The Move

Chapter 22

By Doug Smith

Lunch was definitely strange. On Monday, Josh and I ate with Chris and Ryan to explain what happened over the weekend but today we were back at our regular table. In addition, Mike was there since he and Becky were now friends. What made it awkward was the seating arrangement. Everyone usually had their regular seats but with Josh and me wanting to sit with each other and Mike wanting to sit with Becky nobody knew quite where to sit.

It worked out that I sat with Becky on my right and Mike to her right. Chris and Ryan were diagonal from me across the table from Mike and Becky. This left Josh on my left across from Tim and Abby. Randy wasn't there. I don't know if he was still pissed off or not. He might just be hanging out with his latest girlfriend and that could mean he's sitting at another table. I didn't see him around though.

I hadn't thought about it when we sat down but since Josh was on my left it was difficult for him to be part of the conversation I was having with everyone to my right. He could have leaned closer, I wouldn't have minded, but he didn't seem comfortable doing that. Normally he would have talked with Chris and Ryan and I would have talked more to Becky. Instead he kept to himself or occasionally talked to Tim and Abby although they were more into talking to each other.

I decided it would be better if Josh and I changed places but it would look funny if I just stood up and moved. I thought it would be easier if I got something else to eat and then casually nudged Josh to move over and I could sit on his left.

I grabbed my tray along with Josh's saying I was going to get some water. He gave me a surprised look but I just smiled. While I didn't really want water I bought one and went back to sit down but instead of sitting where I had been I went to Josh's left and nudged him over so he was sitting where I was. He gave me a questioning look but moved over. Chris noticed and gave me a smile. That arrangement worked out better. Josh got more into the conversation and I didn't have any problem leaning towards him to talk as well. He didn't seem to mind me being close either.

Chris nudged me in the side when we were walking out. When we made eye contact he smiled and I knew what he was thinking. He leaned over and said he saw what I did. I nodded and watched Josh who was still talking with Becky and Mike.

What happened afterward was interesting as well. We had a few minutes before our next class so Josh and I went into a restroom on the way to pre-Calc. I know what you're thinking and it wasn't like that. While I would have liked to grab him for a quick hug I didn't want to take chances. That wasn't the case for the two guys we saw when we walked in. While they jumped back from each other it was obvious what they had been doing. The bulges in their pants kind of gave things away too.

I recognized them as the two guys from the cafeteria the day I was talking with Chris before school. They looked younger than us although they could be in our clas. They definitely weren't older.

They quickly became nervous when they realized we knew what they had been doing. I'm sure they were wondering what we were going to do. One of them moved in front of the other to block us in case there was going to be trouble. I thought that was cute knowing I would have done the same had it been me and Josh.

What Josh did next was what surprised me. He just smiled, wrapped his arms around me and gave me a passionate kiss.

"I've wanted to do that all day," he said.

I smiled and gave him another quick kiss before turning to the two guys. "Regardless of my horny boyfriend you should be more careful," I smiled with my arm around Josh. "You never know who might walk in."

"We know but it's hard."

"I can see that," I smiled nodding towards their crotches.

They both turned red. "He just can't keep his hands off me. Not that I'm complaining," the taller of the two said.

Josh smiled. "I know the feeling. Don't worry, you're safe with us. I'm Josh and this is Dan."

"I'm Travis and this is Kyle. Believe me, we usually are more careful and you're right, anyone could have caught us. Some kids are real assholes, especially Kyle's brother. He'd kill us if he saw us. He's a jerk. Him calling us names is bad enough."

"Step-brother," said Kyle firmly. "That asshole is NOT related to me. I just wish whoever punched him out last week would have done more damage. He can still talk."

Josh and I looked at each other. "Who is your br.., ah, step-brother?"

"Phil Clayton, you probably know him: quarterback on the football team, mouth that won't quit, general asshole."

"You're brother is Phil Clayton? Wow, you definitely don't look like him." They really didn't look anything alike of course I guess they wouldn't. Phil was big with a dark complexion. A lot of his size was fat but he was still a big guy. Kyle was just the opposite. I wouldn't call him small but he definitely wasn't like Phil. I'd definitely never describe Phil as cute either and Kyle was definitely cute. I know I'm biased since I have a thing for leaner, smaller guys with nice eyes and Kyle certainly was that.

"I told you, step-brother, and that's stretching it. That asshole and I don't share any of the same genes. My parents are divorced and my mother married his father. He's an asshole too. I don't know what she sees in him."

"I don't know about your father but you won't get any argument from us regarding Phil. A word of advice though, you probably don't want to tell him you know us. We're not exactly on his list of favorite people."

"Not many people are and don't call that man my father."

"Sorry, how's his jaw?" I smiled. Part of me was sorry for what had happened. I really don't like to hurt people, even assholes.

"Unfortunately it isn't broken. Like I said, he can still talk. All he does is walk around the house whining about being sucker punched. Other than that I don't know, I try to avoid him. I do know he's really pissed. He won't say who did it. Just that the guy got in a lucky punch and he'd take care of it. If you know who did it you better tell him to watch out. Phil can be mean and he doesn't fight fair."

"Do you know what he's planning?" asked Josh obviously nervous.

Kyle looked at him questioningly. "No idea, I just know he's pissed. Why? Do you know who did it?"

Josh didn't answer but the look on his face gave it away when he looked at me.

"You????" Kyle asked.

"Like I said he doesn't really like us much. Thanks for the warning. I assume he will try something sooner or later. He's been too quiet lately. He can try what he wants with me, he doesn't worry me. If he touches Josh though he'll regret it. His jaw will be the least of his problems. ...Lucky punch bullshit." My whole body went tense.

Josh squeezed my arm. "Calm down Dan."

"Wow, he is so full of shit. He said the other guy got the worst of it. You don't have a scratch on you. Tell you what, I'll make a deal with you," he smiled.

"What's that?"

"I'll tell you if I hear what he's planning."

"Why would you do that? He may be an asshole but he is your brother."

"I told you, STEP-brother and I can't stand him. I'll tell you if I hear anything but you have to promise me something."

"What's that?"

"Promise me you'll break something. Two things would be even better. I don't really care what. Just make it hurt," he said.

I couldn't tell if he was serious or not.

"Does he hurt you?"

He looked at me and started to say something but the bell rang before he answered.

"We have to get to class. It was... interesting meeting you. I'll try to find out what he's planning," Kyle said as we walked out the door. When we got into the hall Kyle lowered his voice. "Maybe we can double date sometime. That would piss him off." He just smiled and walked off with Travis.

Josh and I just made it to class before the second bell rang. I had never thought about Phil having a brother even though Kyle made it abundantly clear they were only step-brothers. I guess everyone has some kind of story. I kind of felt bad for him. He seemed like a good kid. Plus the way he looked at me when I asked if Phil hurt him gave me an eerie feeling. I knew I shouldn't get involved but I also knew I couldn't stand by and do nothing if Phil was hurting him.

Not much happened the rest of the day. We had three periods left, two together. Mr Williams seemed pleased that I was paying attention more in class. He still seemed surprised when I answered a couple of questions without being asked.

Josh and I didn't have the next class together. I had study while he had a business class. I wished I could have gone with him but did use the time to do some homework. The more time I could spend with him at home the better.

Ryan had the same study as me and we ended up talking towards the end of the period. Nobody cared as long as we kept it down which was fine since we really didn't want people to hear what we were talking about anyway. I smiled when he said he was jealous that Josh was living with me and sleeping across the hall. He was really jealous when I told him Josh might have his own room for appearances sake but he really wasn't using it. Josh had said he didn't care if they knew.

"Wow!!! Your parents are okay with that?"

"I'm lucky, they accept me being gay. They've said Josh needs his own room in case some social services inspector comes to check us out but they know where he's sleeping."

"My parents would kill me if they knew. Chris's too. We sleep over at each other's house but need to be pretty careful."

"My parents have known about me for over a year. My mother walked in on Aaron and me once but she told me this morning that she knew before that. She said mothers know. If she's right then maybe your parents already know ...or at least suspect. No offense but it's not like you and Chris are subtle."

Ryan frowned when I said that.

"I didn't mean that in a bad way. It's not like you're flamers or anything, not that there is anything wrong with that if it's your thing. It's just kind of obvious you mean a lot to each other. Maybe I just know what to look for."

"If they suspect they haven't said anything and probably don't want confirmation. My father is always making derogatory comments about gays. He claims he's got nothing against 'those people' but it's kind of obvious what he really thinks."

"What would he say if he knew you had a couple of gay friends who live together?" I asked smiling.

"I'm pretty sure I know but I don't really want to find out."

"Don't worry, Josh isn't ready to tell the world yet," I smiled.

Josh was waiting for me when I walked out the door with Ryan when the period was over. If I do say so myself he looked really good and I had just seen him an hour ago. I felt my cock stir when I saw him smile. If he does that every day then sooner or later I'm going to slip up and give him a kiss right there in the hall in front of everyone. I knew I wouldn't but the thought of dragging him back to the restroom did cross my mind. Ryan definitely noticed. He just laughed and shook his head.

Our last class was Mr. Harrison's Philosophy class. He looked surprised when Josh and I walked in together. I just nodded when he smiled.

"What's up with him?"

"I'll tell you later."

Class was pretty boring and I didn't really pay attention. I was too busy thinking about my appointment with Dr. Medford. I wished I could stop seeing him but that was probably too much to hope for. Hopefully he'd at least see I was doing a lot better and not want to see me as often.

After school, Josh and I drove to my appointment with Dr. Medford. It was about a forty-five minute ride since his office was near the hospital in where my mother worked. Sometimes I'd stop by and see her after my appointment and if she wasn't busy we'd get something to eat at a nearby coffee shop. I think she enjoyed times when it was just the two of us.

Neither of us said much as we drove to my appointment. I was lost in thought thinking about what I was going to say. I really felt I was doing good. I felt good and it was all because of the guy sitting in the passenger seat. Every once in a while I'd glance over and look at him. He seemed lost in thought too.

We drove about fifteen minutes when Josh asked if I was mad at him.

At first I didn't think I heard him right but when he asked again I knew something was wrong.

"No, of course not. Why would you think that?"

"You haven't said anything since we left school. I thought you might be mad about what I did in the restroom. I'm sorry if you are. I had no right kissing you like that in front of kids we don't know."

I smiled and reached over to take his hand. "Josh, get that thought out of your head. You didn't do anything wrong. Have you been worrying about that all afternoon? I've told you I don't care who knows I'm gay or that we're together. It wouldn't bother me if you kissed me in the middle of the cafeteria. Actually I'd kind of enjoy it but I know that would be pretty stupid. I'm proud of you for doing what you did. Besides, I liked it," I smiled squeezing his hand.

"I was just thinking what Dr. Medford is going to say. Hopefully he will see that I'm happy and have put what happened behind me. You're the reason for that. I'm so lucky you gave me a chance after how I treated you. You have to promise me something though. If something is bothering you then tell me. Don't keep it all inside."

"I'm the lucky one, not just for you but for everything your family is doing for me. It's funny how life works out. A week ago finding someone I love who also loves me and being rid of my father was only a dream. Now we're sleeping together. Last night was fantastic," he smiled.

I smiled and reached towards his crotch after parking the car. "Wait until tonight, I'll give you a repeat performance."

"Great," he laughed. "Now I'll have to meet your shrink with a hardon. Thanks a lot."

I smiled and leaned over to kiss him. Nobody was around so I felt it was safe. "Don't worry, he won't notice. It's too small," I laughed.

"Asshole," he laughed. "You better be careful. I'll tell him about all your 'Aaron moments' even if I have to make them up. Maybe I'll tell him how you moan his name in your sleep when I rub your crotch."

I just looked at him. "Tell me I didn't do that."

He just gave me a shit eating grin.

"Josh??? I didn't, did I?"

"No, if you did I would have woken you up ....abruptly," he smiled.

I sat back in my seat and sighed. "That's not funny. It wasn't very nice either."

"Then don't make fun of my cock," he smiled.

I laughed. "Alright, I won't. There's not enough there to make fun of anyway."

He laughed. "You didn't seem to complain when it was down your throat last night."

I gave him another kiss. "And I won't tonight either but if I told you I thought your cock is perfect it wouldn't be half as much fun."

He smiled. "I didn't go too far joking about you moaning Aaron's name did I? I was just joking."

"Anyone else and I might be upset but I'm actually glad we can joke about it. ...I think. ...You ready? Dr. Medford awaits. You do know I'll have to tell him about us, right?"


Dr. Medford's office was in a medical building near the hospital. Various doctors had offices in the building. Dr. Medford had a small office on the third floor. Walking in there was a small waiting room with a receptionist. I never saw anyone in the waiting room since Dr. Medford had a private practice and didn't have any associates. If someone was waiting when I got there then they either had to be early for their appointment or Dr. Medford was running really late, something he never did.

Today was no different. Josh and I walked in about five minutes before my scheduled appointment and the waiting room was empty. I checked in with the receptionist who is always cheerful. Her name is Joyce and she takes the time to talk to me about school or family when I check in. She actually has a daughter who goes to my school but told me not to worry. She tole me she can't say anything to her about me being a patient. She likes to joke though and always says she's available.

Joyce looked at Josh when I checked in.

"Hi Dan, glad you could join us today. We missed you on Friday." I guess that was her way of reminding me I had missed my appointment.

"Hi Joyce. I'm sorry, something happened at school and I totally forgot. Was he mad?"

She smiled. "He was worried and will probably say something but I think he liked the break. Fridays are pretty hectic. ....Who is this?"

"Oh, this is Josh. He's a friend of mine. It's a long story, something Dr. Medford will probably want to hear. He'll probably want to meet him too."

She looked at him but didn't say anything. "He should be right out. He's with another patient right now. Why don't you have a seat."

Another thing about Dr. Medford's office is that you never see other patients. Everyone left through another door. Josh and I sat down and talked softly. I thanked him again for coming and didn't really know if Dr. Medford would want to talk with him or not. He wasn't really nervous but he was a little ill at ease since he'd never talked to a 'shrink' before. I smiled and told him to relax. I'd probably go in first and then if Dr. Medford wanted to include him he could come in. If not then he could read a boring magazine and wait for me.

We had been there about five minutes when Dr. Medford came out.

"Good afternoon Dan. I missed you last week." He said giving Josh a questioning look.

"I'm sorry Jim (he didn't want me to call him Dr. Medford), something happened at school and I completely forgot. I didn't remember until my mother asked how my appointment went."

"Did it have something to do with this young man?"

"You might say that. This is Josh. I'll tell you all about it and him," I smiled. "I thought you might want to meet him."

Dr. Medford knew I was gay although Joyce didn't. She was watching intently not that I was worried. She wouldn't say anything to anyone.

"Why don't you come in and tell me what's going on. I must say you seem in a much better mood today."

"I am," I smiled. "That's something else I want to talk to you about."

"Come on in then."

Before leaving I looked at Josh. "Don't look so serious," I smiled. "Maybe this will loosen you up," I said as I leaned down and gave him a kiss. He was a little surprised but didn't seem to mind. I noticed Joyce smiling. I guess she did know. "Relax," I said. "I'll see you in a few minutes."

Dr. Medford just watched before shutting the door behind us. I kept my eyes locked on Josh's for as long as possible. After he shut the door I took a seat in the chair I always used. Dr. Medford sat in another chair nearby. Contrary to popular belief he didn't have a couch in his office. Maybe that was just him or that was just on TV.

"I take it Josh is a good friend," he smiled.

"He's my boyfriend."

"Oh? Is that what happened Friday?"

"It's a long story. It's really been going on since I moved here. I know I should have told you before but I didn't know how to deal with it. I just wanted to avoid it."

"Well, I can't help you unless you're open with me. I do think we've made progress but you obviously still felt the need to keep things inside. Are you ready to talk about it now?"

I nodded and for the next twenty minutes told him about what had been going on since I moved here. I also told him how I realize I was just feeling sorry for myself and being selfish.

"So let me get this straight. You're telling me that the boy in my waiting room looks exactly like the boy you lost and now he's your boyfriend? That's something we're going to have to talk about. I won't go into the psycho-speak about that, I'm just concerned you're transferring your feelings for Aaron onto Josh. You're sure you've told him everything?"

"He knows more than anyone else and yes, he does look like Aaron but I know he's not. Have I ever shown you a picture of Aaron? You can see for yourself."

I realized I still had the pictures of us together in my wallet and handed them to Dr. Medford.

"I have to put those away. I said good-bye to Aaron the other night and put his pictures away. I even took off the necklace that he gave me. I forgot these."

"When I first saw him I really had trouble dealing with it but things are good now. I haven't felt like this since before Aaron died. I won't forget him, I can't but Josh has made me feel whole again. He has some things going on in his life as well. I can't say anything about that unless he is here. It wouldn't be right."

"Why don't you get him. I know your appointment is almost over but I don't have anyone scheduled to come in for the next half hour. Why don't the three of us talk and then decide how we go from here. I'll be honest Dan, I do see a lot of improvement in your attitude but I'm worried too. I know you said you know Josh isn't Aaron but I'm sure you can understand why I'm concerned. If something should happen then you might end up worse off than before. You both need to be aware of that. That said I think we should take things one step at a time. Why don't you get him and the three of us can talk."

I smiled. "That's what we've said too, one step at a time. I admit we've been taking some big steps but I really do feel good. I've also thought about what would happen if it didn't work out between us. I really don't think it would be the same as with Aaron. Josh has made me see how I've been the last year and I don't think it will happen again. I'll be right back."

I opened the door and immediately saw Josh's eyes looking at me. He really did have a cute smile.

"Can you come in?"

Josh came in and took a seat next to me. Dr. Medford looked at him and then at the picture of Aaron.

"Amazing," he said. "You know you should have told me Dan. How do you expect me to help you if you keep things this important to yourself. We were working on one set of problems and you were dealing with another."

I felt bad. Dr. Medford was actually a nice guy. He wanted to help me and he was right. He couldn't help me if he didn't know all the facts.

"I'm sorry. I don't know why I didn't tell you. At first it was because I didn't know you and my parents were forcing me to come. I just wanted to be left alone. Everything just snowballed."

"Alright, but from now on I need you to tell me the truth. I really do just want what is best for you. ...Josh, Dan says he's told you about your resemblance to his life long friend. How much has he told you?"

Josh looked at me not knowing quite what to say. I think he wanted to make sure it was okay with me.

"It's okay," I smiled. "He needs to know."

"I don't know if he's told me everything. I think he has. He's told me quite a bit. He told me how he and Aaron were born a day apart in the same hospital, how they grew up together, how much they meant to each other, how he died as well as what it has been like for him coming here and meeting me. I know that was hard for him but it was hard for me too. We've talked about that. I had this major crush on him pretty much from the first day I saw him but he didn't seem to want anything to do with me. He'd talk with everyone else but when it came to me there was nothing, almost no emotion at all. I understand why now but it hurt, it really hurt. He knows that."

I knew I had hurt him but until that moment I didn't really understand just how much. Sometimes no matter how much you hear something things just don't click. When they do it's like a light bulb goes on and you feel like such an idiot. Looking at him I could see tears in his eyes. Hearing him tell someone else was like being punched in the stomach. All I could think about was how much I loved him and how much I had hurt him. I had told him I'd never hurt him. Hearing him made me realize how much I meant that. I didn't ever want having to ask him to forgive me again. I reached over and held his hand. When we made eye contact he smiled.

"I'm okay," he said wiping his eyes.

"And now? Dan told me you're his boyfriend. I'm sure he has feelings for you but I need to be convinced those feelings are for you and not for Aaron through you."

"I've thought about that a lot. It was one of the first things we talked about once he finally told me. He said he wanted to make sure that wasn't the case too. So far I believe him. Sure, I see him looking at me sometimes and I know he's thinking about him. I can understand that. We even joke about it calling it an 'Aaron moment' when he does it. They're becoming less and less though. I think he's seeing enough differences between us that he doesn't really see me as Aaron so much. His parents have told me how he's acting more and more like his old self now."

"How do you feel about all this?"

"I'm still a little over-whelmed. I've never had a boyfriend and kind have had a shitty life. Sometimes I worry if he'll feel the same after he gets to know me better."

"Josh ... I thought we talked about that."

"We did and I want to believe you, I really do. It's just everything that's going on with my father, everything you're dealing with, my life in general, like I said I'm just overwhelmed."

"Dan said you had some things going on in your life. He wouldn't say what unless you said it was okay. Will you tell me what's going on? I'm not your doctor but since this is said in the confines of Dan's treatment then the same doctor patient confidentiality applies. Anything you say won't leave this room."

He looked at me and then back at Dr. Medford. Then he summarized his life since his mother died including the fact he was now living with us until his aunt got home, how my father was helping him and how he felt like he was part of a family again. All the time Josh was talking Dr. Medford looked back and forth between us. I could see him out of the corner of my eye even though my eyes never left Josh's. When he stopped I realized I had been holding his hand the entire time.

"Okay Josh, I think I get the picture. I wish there was more I could do to help you. You're not my patient and my main concern is Dan's well-being. It might be good if you considered getting some counseling yourself. I don't think I could do it because it could present me with a conflict of interest at some point. I can recommend someone if you're interested. Give it some thought. Counseling can help IF you confide in your counselor," he said looking at me.

"As far as your relationship with Dan I'd like to make a couple of points. First, I don't think you have to worry that Dan's feelings will change as he gets to know you better. I was watching him when you were talking and I think I understand the type of person he is. It's obvious he cares about you. I can see it in his eyes."

I smiled and squeezed his hand again.

"Second, I know you have a lot going on but I really think that could actually help when it comes to Dan not thinking about you as Aaron. What you're dealing with is tragic but it gives you both something to focus on that will let you get to know each other in your own ways."

"That said, I do recommend you take things slow. You're living together for the foreseeable future. I don't know about your sleeping arrangements but understand you're both healthy sixteen year old boys. I'm not going to ask about sex but if it hasn't happened I'm sure it will at some point. Just go slow. Be there for each other but remember what each other is dealing with."

Josh turned five shades of red when Dr. Medford mentioned sex. I just smiled. "He called me a slut," I smiled squeezing his hand to make sure he knew I was joking.

Dr. Medford laughed. "I'm sure there is a story there. It's nice to see you laughing Dan, and Josh, don't be embarrassed. There is nothing wrong with showing your love for someone. I think it's obvious Dan has more experience than you."

I laughed. "Are you calling me a slut too?"

He just laughed. "Like I was saying, Dan probably has had more experience. Just go slow. Don't do anything you're not comfortable with. Talk to each other and remember how each other is feeling."

"We are Dr. ... ah, Jim. We've agreed to wait on certain things and we're taking everything else one step at a time."

"That's good. I really think you've turned a corner Dan. I can't really take much credit for it but I'm glad. Why don't we see how things go? Let's keep your scheduled appointment on Friday and if things keep going well we should be able to cut back on how often we get together. Maybe go to weekly for a couple weeks, then every other week. We'll play it by ear."

Before we left Dr. Medford wanted to talk to Josh alone. He said he just wanted to go over a couple of things and if Josh wanted to tell me later he could. In the meantime he wanted me to wait outside the door. I was definitely curious but waited in the hall for Josh to come out. It was probably only five minutes but it seemed longer since I hated to wait.

"You want to get something to eat?" I asked as we were walking back to the parking garage. "My head is spinning. There's a coffee shop I sometimes go to with my mother after my appointments. Want to go there?"

"Can we just pick something up? I'd like to go by my house. Your father was asking about my birth certificate. It must be there someplace. My father has a box where he keeps papers."

"Okay, but first I want to tell you something. Let's get in the jeep."

Josh looked puzzled as he got in the passenger side. I looked at him and smiled.

"Don't worry, it's not bad. I just wanted to thank you for coming. I know you would have rather done something ...anything else. It's not easy to open up to a stranger, especially when he mentioned sex. You should have seen your face," I smiled. "I do think it was important for him to see us together though. He got to see how we relate to each other."

"I wanted to come."

"And I appreciate it but there is something else I want to tell you too."

"I think I know what you're going to say. I know you get upset when I say some of the stuff I did. I'm sorry."

"I'm not upset," I said taking his hands in mine. "Please look at me.. I promise you I'll do whatever I can to help you get rid of any doubts you have about why I feel like I do or that it won't last. You can't think like that. Right now when I'm with you, when I think of you, my heart pounds and my stomach does flip flops. I hope you feel the same way and that we always feel like this, it's a great feeling."

"I know we can't predict the future. That's one thing I've learned the last year. There is so much we don't have control over but I promise you I won't hurt you and I'll always be there for you unless I'm dead. We can't worry about what might happen. We have to enjoy what we have now."

I was holding both his hands and looking into his eyes. We both had tears in our eyes.

"That's what Dr. Medford said when he talked to me alone. He said from the short time he spent with us he could tell I'm a 'good kid' and that's what you see too and if you don't then it's your problem," he laughed. "I know I'm a good person. It's just I've been on my own for so long. I don't know what it's like to have someone love me, let alone why they would want to."

"Josh, stop that. You're going to have to learn what it's like to have someone love you because I do. As to why I can't really tell you. I can say how you're a good person, cute, lovable, and fun to be with. It's all of that but mostly it's how you make me feel. I know you're not going to stop worrying about it but will you try? Don't just not talk about it either. I don't want you to worry about it and just not say anything. If you keep feeling like that then tell me, we'll deal with it. ...Okay?"

He seemed to be thinking about what I said but then just smiled and nodded. "I'll be okay," he smiled. "I just need to believe that you really can love me like you say. I know you do but there is still that little voice in my head that says it can't be real or that it can go away as fast as it came."

"What's the absolute worse that can happen? We could love each other and then lose each other either through an accident like Aaron or me or we could end up hating each other. We can't worry about that. Even if the worst does happen, and I really hope it doesn't, life will go on. That's one thing I've learned the last year as well. I'm so happy I met you but if for some reason things don't work out for us it's a big world out there. There will be someone else who feels the same way I do about you right now. Just don't be looking for him yet. I smiled.

He laughed. "You should have Dr. Medford's job. You sound just like him."

"I guess that's what happens going to counseling for the last year. Are you ready to get something to drink and swing by your house. I think I'll call my father first just to make sure your father won't be there."

My father said we should just go home. He was bringing the lawyer who is helping on Josh's case by the house and he wants Josh to meet him. He also told us the guy's friend from social services was coming as well. They both needed to talk with Josh and the person from social services wanted to check out where Josh was living.

Josh wasn't too happy when I told him someone from social services was coming to the house. I'm sure he wished all this could go away and he could just be a teenager. He was nervous that he'd have to go somewhere else, even back to his father, no matter how much I tried to tell him not to worry. It's tough to tell someone not to worry when you're worried yourself. We ended up just buying a couple of Dr. Peppers at a nearby convenience store and going home.

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