Young Forever [REWRITING]

Jason McCann,
Everyone observed him as a fierce, cold-blooded criminal.
I'm not exactly like 'Everyone'.
I was told to stay away.
Did I listen? No.
I enjoy discovering the damaged ones,
the ones that need the most healing in their lives.
It's a challenge,
but I was eager to take that challenge no matter what.
Who would ever thought he would actually let me inside his isolated world and his complications.
I could've cared less if 'everyone' thought I was senseless to give in to him.
We were free, a breakaway from all the difficulties, anxiety, and people in our lives.
Did I care that he was on the run from the forces? No.
I was willing to be on the run beside him.
I wasn't just his partner in crime,
I was his girlfriend.
I was His,
something I desired to be from the first time my eyes came across his.
We were convicts together, remaining .


18. 18 | "Let It Rain"


February 4th, 2011

I could not fall asleep last night. Countless thoughts haunted my mind throughout the night. I let Jade sleep alone. How cruel am I? Instead, I went out for a night drive to forget about everything. The gang, the missions, the juvenile center, Nick Stokes, and even Jade.

My book is open to empty pages. There is no story without the people or memories in my life. I would not be Jason McCann. That name would not be notorious in the streets of New York City. Who would I be? I would never get back those innocent days when my parents tucked me in at night. I cannot reverse time to the days before I even knew the gang that I call family now.

I stood on the balcony of the hotel room. What ifs ran blew through my head as if they were gunshots. I knew at that very moment that I could never jump off. I could never leave Jade behind to survive alone. My PTSD gets the best of me, but it could never allow me to leave the ones I love. I could not close an unfinished book. I was only in chapter seventeen. Will I ever finish?


I turned to see Jade standing at the doors of the balcony with some of the blanket clutched to her chest. Her bare shoulders were exposed. She was shivering a bit from the cold atmosphere. Her eyes were droopy. Her hair had blonde streaks running through it, twirled to one side, laying on her left shoulder. She appeared to look slightly worried, staring at the fact that I am on the balcony, as if I was planning to jump, but were caught.

“Go back to sleep,” I suggested.

“I can’t.” She replied quicker than I expected.

“Bad dream?” I asked.

“Yeah…” She stared down at the ground, clutching the blanket closer.

“About what?”


My eyes widened. What could she possibly be worried about? Moreover, why would it have to concern me? My responsibility this entire time was to make sure she is not worried; she is not scared, she is not afraid. Why am I failing now?

I sat down in one of the balcony chairs. I patted my lap, instructing her to come over to me. She struggled to walk over while keeping the blanket clutched tightly to her bare skin.

She sat down on my lap, turning her body slightly to me. My hand reached up to her face, combing her hair behind her right ear.

“I’m scared about us. I don’t want anyone to take me away from you.”

I grabbed her waist, pulling her close to my chest.

“How do you think that would happen?” I asked.

“I don’t know…” She looked up at the cloudy, dark sky.

“I won’t anyone take you, baby girl.” I leaned in, brushing my lips against her cheek, pecking it slowly.

Her cheeks flushed into a bright, rosy pink. I snuggled my head into her neck. I wrapped my arms around her tightly, rocking us back and forth.

“One… you’re like a dream come true.” She sang softly.

I grinned. I knew that song would catch on eventually.

“Two… just want to be with you,” I whispered in her ear before kissing it. “Three… girl, it’s plain to see that you’re the only one for me.”

“And four… repeat steps one through three.” She continued.

“Five… make you fall in love with me.”

“I already have,” Jade muttered, trying not to smile.

“And I’m very blessed that you did,” I reassured her.

She giggled, ruffling my hair.

“Yeah because of Jason Drew McCann, you’re one of those big messes that an infant has made.”

I chuckled, snuggled a little bit closer into the crook of her neck.

“Oh, I know, darling.”

• • •

“This, is it?” I asked, pointing at the house as Alex parked out front, yanking his keys out the ignition.

Jaxon’s house was on four blocks away from the hotel. Of course, Jade was concerned at first, but I promised that I would call her the minute we leave here.

The house was slightly run down. The numbers 1896 were in gold on the front of the red-painted door. There were three small steps, two porch chairs, and a beat-up hammock hanging from the tree in the yard.

Alex hopped out of the car, slamming the door behind him. I followed behind him up the three stairs. He didn’t bother ringing the doorbell, just three loud knocks on the front door.

The door unlocked and swung open a minute later. A woman with an enlarged belly and a small little girl clung to her leg opened the door. Her hair bundled up into a top bun.

Hey, guys, Jaxon’s watching tv. Come on in!” She blew in amusement.

From the look of the outside, I rather not, but I did anyway.

Our six-year-old little brother, Jaxon McCann, was mesmerized into Sesame Street when we walked in. A bowl of cereal without milk sat in his lap. His hair was blond, kind of like mine right now but a bit lighter. It was messy, due to sleep.

“Hey, bud,” Alex said, sitting beside him with a wide grin.

He gasped, throwing his arms up to wrap them around Alex’s neck. Alex looked up at me with a smiling, rubbing Jaxon’s back. Jaxon pulled away after a minute, twirling his body around on the couch to see me standing with my hands in my pockets.

He was quick to race over and cling to my leg. My hand scuffled his hair. I grabbed him by his hips, holding him against my hip. His arms wrapped around my neck.

“My brothers,” He whispered.

“I haven’t seen you since you were a baby. How you’ve been, buddy? What have you learned so far in pre-school?” I asked, tilting my head to look at him.

His head laid into the crook of my neck.

“Well… I learned one plus one is two. Uh… I made some friends, some girlfriends.” He giggled, turning red in the face.

My eyebrows rose, “Oh yeah? Little bud got girlfriends already, huh?”

He nodded fast, picking his head up.

“Who’s your favorite out of all of them?”

“Well… Her name is Kayla. She has long brown hair, like Rapunzel. She wears yellow a lot. She loves yellow. One day, I brought her yellow daisies that my mommy helps me get when we go to the park.”

I chuckled, “You got a crush on her, little bud?”

He turned away and smiled, “Nooooo…”

I chuckled again, putting him back down on his feet. He jumped back on the couch, grabbing his bowl of cheerios off the coffee table.

I stared at Jaxon, noticing a spitting image of myself. I miss those days. No violence, no cares, no worries, no gang, and no anger. But like I said, I couldn’t reverse time, unfortunately.


February 6th, 2011

This auditorium that I stood in has 1,378 chairs. Two eyes watching from each chair. One stage for a million performances. Many talents are shown to many people from around the world. One night. One time. No mistakes. No interruptions. My heart was in love. I didn’t want to leave.

We boarded the plane to California in the afternoon of February 4th. That meant more memories were being left behind in one location, one location that we would probably never return to. I didn’t figure out why we were leaving until I overheard Jason talking to Skyler on the plane ride.

“I don’t even get why we are relocating again for some stupid girl!” Skyler yelled, plopping down in his plane seat.

Jason sighed, “I don’t want to do this more than you do, but she was my ex. This is the best thing I can do for her. She’s been through a lot.”

Skyler turned in his seat, giving Jason a confused look.

“The best you can do? She lied to you, bro! The only person that you should be doing anything for is the girl laying on your shoulder right now!” Skyler pointed to me.

“I do everything for Jade. She knows that.” Jason argued.

“Whatever bro. I would be worried if I was her. I mean, you’re saving a girl you aren’t even dating anymore. C’mon! You shouldn’t be saving her one bit. Look at the lies she told. The actions she committed. If I was Jade, my trust for you was being burned in the ashes by now. This all seems a little fishy and someone is going to get hurt. I’m just saying.” Skyler turned back around, laying his head back and reclining his chair.

“Do you like it?”

Jason’s voice in my ear made a shiver run down my spine. I turned quicker than I planned and nodded, smiling at him nervously. He could quickly sense this discomfort and frowned.

“What’s wrong?” His hand reached to touch my face.

I grasped it, intertwining our fingers.

“Nothing, I’m good. Yes, I…” I searched for my words, “I love it, Jason.”

Jason smiled a little, pulling me over to the piano. He sat down, patting the empty side of the bench. I quickly plopped down, sliding over close to him.

My hands touched the keys gently. My finger pressed down on one of the softer keys. Jason surprised me by hitting one of the deep, darker keys on the piano. We began to go back and forth between the key ranges until we reach the interior – the middle key of the piano.

“Play something for me, baby girl.” His face leaned in close to mine. His lips pressed against my cheek slowly and softly.

“I don’t know what to play. I can’t remember anything by heart.” I lied.

I had a ton of songs mesmerized. I’ve been playing the piano since I was six years old. I knew the basic piano rhymes all the way to today’s pop hits. It took me years to learn, but I had a great teacher.

My teacher was inspired by my determination – my confidence. I had so much pride and joy to play the piano. However, I never planned on developing that love into a possible career one day.

“You’re a terrible liar,” Jason said, chuckling a little.

My eyes widened. “How’d you know?”

“Jade, c’mon. You were playing a song that one day when I snuck into the auditorium. You were so focused and engaged. The keys were like a test. You had no distractions. Your eyes couldn’t pull away. I never saw someone so determined. I knew it had to be a passion of some sort.”

My head hung low, staring at our shoes underneath the piano.

“Play,” Jason ordered again, but not so forceful.

I huffed, fixing my posture.

My hands carefully fell onto the keys. An old song came to mind and played through my fingers and onto the keys. I couldn’t stop once I started. Jason’s eyes burned into my skin as I played, but he didn’t become a distraction. A soft hum blew from my lips while I played. It was only to help correspond the harmony to the lyrics.

“Some people live for the fortune… Some people live just for the fame… Some people live for the power… yeah. Some people live to just play the game.”

I breathed, pressing down on the keys to continue.

“Some people think that the physical things define what’s within…. And I’ve been there before, and that life’s a bore… so full of the superficial…”

I cleared my throat lightly, “Some people want it all, but I don’t… want nothing at all. If it ain’t you baby if I ain’t got you, baby.”

I grinned at Jason, just to notice that he was already smiling back at me. He felt it. He felt the love. He felt the harmony. He felt us. And that’s all that I cared about.

“Some people want diamond rings. Some just… want everything, but everything means nothing… if I ain’t got you… yeah.”

I pulled my hands away from the keys. I got up from the bench, grinning ear-to-ear. I heard a clap start behind me. Then more claps followed. I turned to see Jason smirking at me. He was clapping obnoxiously, but I didn’t care.

“You should sing to me more often.” He said, getting up to follow me.

I began to run through the auditorium as if I was a little girl all over again. I screamed at the top of my lungs. I didn’t care who heard me. Jason made me feel so free. I was alive. I was living and breathing in a world I never seen before.

I hopped into an auditorium seat towards the middle of the room. Jason hurried over to sit beside me. We sat together, staring down at the lonely piano on the stage.

“I always dreamed of being there one day… in front of a crowd,” I whispered, shaking my head in amazement.

“What happens to that?” Jason asked.

I furrowed my eyebrows at him. “To what? My dream?”

Jason nodded fast, chewing on his bottom lip. I stared back at the stage.

Why did it end? Why didn’t I want to become a pianist? Why didn’t I want to sing in front of a million different people every night?

“I… I really don’t know. I guess the dream died. It didn’t seem possible. I don’t want the money or the fame. I just want to play. I want to sit on that stage and discover something new about my talent every night I played in front of a large crowd. I guess my confidence fell when I thought about it too much. I became nervous. The dream vanished and soon enough, it wasn’t in reach anymore.”

I gazed back at Jason. A frown had fallen upon his lips.

“You should have grabbed it, and never let go.” He whispered, throwing his arm out and drawing it back in for emphasis.

“I couldn’t. Everyone around me thought it was a dream only meant to last through childhood. I grew up and let a lot of things pull the dream away. ‘You won’t make enough money.’ ‘Be predictable.’ ‘What would be the point of that? You would be wasting time.’”

“But, you would’ve been following your dreams, baby. That’s all that matters. That’s all that should’ve mattered to you… definitely then.” Jason pressed a finger to my thigh gently.

“I know.”

• • •

“Don’t you dare, McCann,” I glared at Jason.

He held up a hose, aiming it directly at me. I was wearing a whole new outfit: a white crop top, black Nike jacket with three, thick white stripes on the left shoulder, shorts that nearly cover one inch of my legs, and white Adidas. How could you be so cruel to ruin this?

Jason grinned evilly at me, twisting the knob to turn the hose on. I heard the water seeping through the hose as if it was ready to be launched.

“You’re daring me, huh?” He asked, tilting his head with a smirk still playing on his lips.

“No, Jason. Seriously, put it down. This is new.” I said calmly, holding my hands up in front of my body.

“I don’t think I can do that, baby. You stepped on my foot twice and poured water into my hair. I think the tables should be turned back to you.”

“Jason, please,” I begged.

He shook his head, twisting the water on to squirt out at me. Water sprinkled all over my shirt and the bare skin of my stomach. I shrieked at the feeling of the water on my body.

“Jason, stop!” I yelled, crossing my arms in front of my face to block the water.

Jason narrowed the hose to the ground, walking closer to me. His hand grabbed my waist in a swift motion, pressing my chest against his. Our eyes met, locking into one another.

To his surprise, I grabbed the hose from his hand, turning it on him.

“This is payback for messing up my outfit, McCann,” I yelled, aiming the hose at his black shirt.

His shirt began to drip of water drops. His shirt made his chest very visibly since it was wet. It made it difficult to focus on the task at hand: pure revenge.

I dropped the hose. My heartbeat was rising, quickly. It was cursing at me for getting trapped up with a criminal, a hot criminal. He shook his head like a dog before staring at me intently.

His lips curled in, running his tongue over them. A smirk rose to his lips, which immediately made me want to roll my eyes in the back of my head. He’s such a tease, an annoying tease. I hated it. I hated him with a passion… but loved him with all my heart. How is it possible to feel both emotions?

His lips broke as if he had something to say, but he stopped himself. I’m glad he did. No words were right for this moment, for this time together.

Just kiss me, you fool. And that’s exactly what he did.

His body pressed against mine. My body leaned against the brick wall of the building. My hands met his cheeks, pulling him closer, which was impossible because our bodies couldn’t breathe already. His arms wrapped around my waist, not letting go. His strength was incredibly dominant over mine. Our lips danced and our tongues intertwined with passion. I didn’t want to let go, but my oxygen was crying inside.

Jason pulled away. I took a minute to stare at his actions. His chest rising and falling, eyes glued to my body, and a heart pumping with lust.

“You’re buying me a new outfit.” I breathed, glaring at him playfully.

He rolled his eyes, “Honey, just wash it.”

He grabbed my hand, turning to leave the back of the building.

“Honey? That’s a new one.” I joked.


“Hurry up, babe. I’m trying to get out of here. James is cooking fried chicken tonight.”

“Don’t rush me, punk! I’m pulling the zipper up!”

I rolled my eyes, practically dragging my feet back over to the cushioned bench across from the dressing room. Jade is taking the most time with picking out a dress to wear to this Masquerade Ball. I’m second guessing it. The Demon Knives could have anything planned. Like they wrote in their letter, that tiny hourglass is losing its sand inside our brains, gentleman.

“What do you think about this one?”

My head shot up. Jade was standing a few inches in front of me in a red gown. It was strapless and grabbed her figure well. Bunched up ruffles were sown in at the skirt of it. Her hair fell past her shoulders, down her back.

“Stop dripping drool, and tell me what you think, Jason!” Jade said anxiously, laughing lightly.

“You look gorgeous, more than gorgeous. It’s… very elegant and compliments your figure well.”

Her cheeks lightened with a shade of reddish pink.

“Thank you. I’m guessing I should wear this one then?”

I nodded fast, licking my lips. She smiled softly, turning her back to walk back into the dressing room.

Jade’s origin couldn’t be Canada. She was a flower blooming from the roots of God. Her petals dripped with God’s blessings and beauty. Her flower could never fade, not even if she was depressed. Her beauty could still glow through the blockage of clouds. Rain could pour on her happiness, but only allow her to grow stronger, be bolder. I admired her for this. She was truly a masterpiece of God’s paintbrush.

What was I going to do with this masterpiece that God set in front of me?

Love it conditionally, until my dying day.

• • •

I hummed the tune of PYT by Michael Jackson, driving down an empty countryside of Los Angeles. Jade and I were miles away from the hotel. All our troubles flew out the windows of the car.

Jade’s hair whirled around in the crazy wind. She glanced over at me, flashing a smile. Strands of hair stuck to her lips, due to her lip gloss. I reached over to detach the stuck strands from her lip. She giggled, kissing my fingers.

“Nah, nah, nah,” Jade sung, leaning her head side to side, poking a finger in my shoulder.

I chuckled at her silliness, shifting in my seat.

My phone began to vibrate in my jean pocket. I twisted the knob on the radio, decreasing the volume from thirty to nineteen. I leaned a little towards the window, stuffing my hand into my pocket.

I pulled my phone back out. A picture of Alex and I sticking out our tongues blew up on the screen. I quickly slid my thumb to the right to answer the call. I tilted my head, placing the phone between the crack of my cheek and shoulder.

“What’s up, bro?” I answered.

“Jason, where are you?”

His voice sounded strict but slightly worried.

“I went out for a drive with Jade. What’s going on?”

“I-It’s Skylar. He was shot. We’re all at the hospital.”

“What?!” I yelled, hitting my foot violently on the brakes.

Jade jolted forward in her seat. Her head bumped against the headboard. I winced, glancing over at her. She looked back at me with widened eyes.

I mouthed, “I’m sorry.”

Alex cleared his throat, “Yeah, he’s in a coma. The doctors aren’t sure when he’ll wake up. It might take days or even weeks. Nobody was with him when he was shot. Let’s hope he remembers who shot him.”

I bit my lip and rolled my eyes.

“What the hell? Where were you guys when it happened?”

“We were all getting settled in our rooms. Mark is the one who found him. He was lying in an alley around the corner of the hotel.”

“We already know who probably did this,” I said, shaking my head.

“Yeah, I guess the hourglass loss all its sand.”

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