For today’s story, I used the “The party was nearly over…” prompt to write a little more of Jonas & Isaac’s story. I’m not quite to this point in the notebook yet, but I’m getting there.
The party was nearly over. Jonas would only be too glad to see everyone leave. He was thankful for all the people who had showed up. Really he was. He knew they all meant well. He just didn’t see that this was something to really celebrate. He hadn’t wanted to get out already. So a welcome home party wasn’t really what he wanted.
But, he understood why his family wanted to celebrate. Unlike Santiago’s family, who was still mourning his lost life. Jonas pushed off that thought before he spiraled into that dark place again.
The front door opened, but it was just another guest leaving for the night. He didn’t quite understand the disappointment that bloomed in his chest. So what that he hadn’t shown up. It’s not like he was required to, though Jonas knew an invitation had been extended to him. They weren’t boyfriends. Not anymore.
Isaac wasn’t obligated to show up for anything to him.
After the weekend before, he wasn’t quite sure what to expect. There’d been that kiss during Luis’ birthday party. And he thought they’d nearly shared a moment at the youth center the next day. But, Jonas had pulled away from both. So why would he expect Isaac to show up anyway?
He rubbed at the end of his leg, wishing it wasn’t starting to ache again. It’s not like he was even using it. The door opened again, but he didn’t bother looking up this time. Isaac wasn’t coming.
And that was fine. Really, it was.
So, that didn’t explain the burning behind his eyes. He hadn’t even spoken to Isaac since he got home for good on Wednesday. There’d been Thanksgiving. And he’d been exhausted the day after that. Then, the party today. When would he have spoken to him anyway?
“Sorry I’m late,” a voice said from the doorway. “We had a problem down at the center. I didn’t get away as soon as I’d planned.”
Jonas looked up and saw the concern in Isaac’s eyes. Jonas licked his lips before saying, “I didn’t think you were coming.”
“Sorry I gave that impression. Like I said, there was a problem I had to take care of at the center.”
“That’s fine,” Jonas insisted. “I’m glad you made it.”
Isaac didn’t seem quite sure if he should move forward or stay where he was. But, Jonas patted the cushion beside him on the couch. It had been nearly two weeks since he’d seen Isaac. That shouldn’t seem like such a long time. Not after the last five years of not seeing him at all. Of thinking he probably never would again.
“How was the party?” Isaac asked, once he was sitting on the couch. Not on the cushion Jonas had patted but the next one down. Another thing Jonas told himself he shouldn’t feel disappointment over. It was better this way.
“Exhausting,” he admitted to Isaac’s question, keeping his voice down. He’d rather not upset his mom by letting her know that. “Too many people. Either pitying me or telling me how lucky I am to have made it home. As if I didn’t know that,” he muttered.
Isaac didn’t say anything and when Jonas looked over, he was chewing at his lip. Jonas couldn’t tear his gaze away from it. Then, suddenly Isaac was pushing to his feet again. I’m going to go see if there’s any food left. Want to come with me?”
Jonas grabbed his crutches and got up from the couch. That wasn’t what he wanted to do. But what he did want didn’t make any sense. And he knew he could never have it. Not again.
So he wasn’t sure why he tortured himself by following Isaac to the kitchen. His mother smiled at him when they entered the room, but his answering smile felt more like a grimace. He just hoped no one would notice how torn up he felt. And as soon as the last person was gone, he could finally disappear into his room.
Maybe in the morning, his feelings would make more sense.