“When I was born, my mother had been clean for less than four years. Before that she had struggled for nearly twenty years with addiction. She abandoned my oldest sister when she couldn’t take care of her. My brother was taken from her custody several times, and by the time she finally started getting clean, he had started down his own bad path. She was in and out of rehab for the next few years, but she was trying her best to stay clean.”
Jonas felt like such a fraud right now. This wasn’t even his story to tell. But, it was important back story to his own story, as Carisa would tell him.
“I didn’t know that mother,” he said. “Not the one my sister came to resent even though she never really knew her. Or the one my brother always loved despite how rough his earlier life was. I knew the mother who put us first from the moment of my birth. The one who worked hard at her office job and loved my father until the day he died. And well after that as well.” In fact, a dozen and a half years after his death, he was pretty sure she was still in love with him. “But, she also never kept that other life a secret. So, there was always the fear it might be what was in store for me as well.”
Now, they came to it. The whole damn reason he was here. Why wasn’t this any easier to talk about it now? “I thought I was good. I made it through high school without ever trying anything, even alcohol. I joined the Army. I was on the right path.” He took a deep breath. “Then, the helicopter I was in got shot down. I was the only one who survived the crash.” He had to stop again. Make sure he didn’t flash back to that moment, like he usually did when he spoke of this. “I lost my best friend in that crash. And even more than that.” He lifted his pant leg up so the people in front of him could see the metal that had become his new leg. “For a while I thought I’d lost everything. And it was a close thing because I was so sure I could face everything on my own. It took almost losing the person who matters the most to me, for me to see that wasn’t the case.”
He looked around at the faces in front of him, all of them looking so young, though he was sure some had been through even more than he had. “I obviously don’t know each of your life stories or who you have in your life to support you. It’s important you find those people, though. Let them help you when you’re struggling. Trust me, it’s worth it.”
He turned and headed toward the edge of the room, where Isaac sat, an empty chair beside him. He dropped into it and Isaac wrapped an arm around his shoulders. “Quite inspirational, that speech.”
Jonas groaned and dropped his head into his hands. “It was cheesy, wasn’t it. I suck.”
Isaac chuckled and brushed his lips over Jonas’ cheek. “You didn’t. You can later if you’d like, though.”
Jonas laughed and twined his fingers through his husband’s. “Thanks for the offer. I’ll keep it in mind.”
Isaac laughed and rested his head on Jonas’ shoulder while Carisa and Jayla took over the floor. He’d almost lost all this once, but he wouldn’t trade anything that had brought him here. Not if it meant giving this up.
Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was to use “birth/berth” in the post somehow. This fit with one of the prompts for the first week of Story a Day September, too. So, I combined them. This will take place a while after Jonas & Isaac’s story, so I guess you’ll figure how that ends(I write Romance. How would you think it ended?) 😉