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Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Sup”

“I suppose you’re going to say you planned to come to the hospital.”

Isaac turned to look at Arcelia. He didn’t say anything, though. He wasn’t sure what to say, if he could say anything through the way it felt like his throat was closing up.

“You know he could use your support right now.”

That finally got his throat working again. “And what about what I need? Do you know what it’s like? To walk into a house, and think the person you love the most is dead? I’ve gone through it twice now. And the first time, my mom didn’t survive. My dad made it clear I was at fault for that, too. That I wasn’t worth enough for her to stick around. I can’t wait around for Jonas to come to the same conclusion.”

Arcelia didn’t get angry, like he’d thought she would. She always came to Jonas’ defense, whether he was in the right or not. They might fight  with each other, but neither let the other fight anyone else alone. Instead her face fell, and she stepped forward, her arms going around him. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I’m sorry you had to go through that. Again. You know he didn’t mean for that to happen.”

He wiped tears away from his face. “I can’t do it again,” he said. “It almost killed me the last time. I just can’t, Arcelia.”

He knew she’d never seen his scars, but that didn’t mean she didn’t know they were there. That she didn’t know exactly what he meant. “I’m sorry,” she said softly. “he’s not going to do it again. We’re going to be there to get him through this. I know it would help if you were, too, but I understand if that’s not something you can do.”

She finally pulled back from him and turned to walk away. The ache that had been in his chest since finding Jonas on the kitchen floor only spread wider. He just wished he knew what to do.

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This week’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was to use “sup” either on its own or as part of another word. I got a couple words in. So, what is Isaac going to do? Are him and Jonas ever going to be okay again? I’m still working on that part.

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Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Cheers”

Jonas walked into the youth center among a round of cheers. He stopped and looked around. Then, he spotted the sign that read “Glad you’re not dead, Coach Jonas.”

He let out a little laugh then his gaze fell on Konner. “This your idea?”

He shook his head. “The kids wanted to do this. All I did was get you here.”

“I hadn’t even thought you wanted to talk to me.”

“I’m upset for Isaac’s sake. I know what it’s like to find someone the way he found you. My mom and my sister. And I lost my mom. So, I know how he felt.”

Jonas looked away from him. “I didn’t mean for it to happen. I just wanted the pain to stop for a little bit. I didn’t mean for that to happen.”

“You can’t do it again.”

Jonas smiled at him. “Trust me. I do not plan to. Now, about all this,” he said, waving a hand around them. “Since when am I a coach? All I did was help run some drills a couple days. Hard for me to do more than that.”

“You know, Isaac’s right. You don’t give yourself nearly enough credit. You can do more than you think, and you mean a lot more to these kids, and to Isaac, than you can imagine.”

Jonas couldn’t understand why. He couldn’t seem to do anything right. He was just going to let them down.

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Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was to use “cheers” in any way you want. This comes some time after last week’s.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Bug”

Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was to use “bug”. This happens during my Jonas & Isaac story, though it may not appear on the page, though what comes after probably will. And before you read, I’ll leave you with a warning. There is a mention of suicide here, so if you need to skip it, I completely understand.

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“I hope I’m not bugging you.”

Konner looked up and smiled at Arcelia. He did have a nice smile, but she didn’t really care about that. Especially not now. “Not at all. What can I do for you?”

“I was hoping you’d tell me where Isaac has been hiding himself.”

The smile fell away at that. “What makes you think he’s doing that? Maybe he’s just been busy.”

Arcelia scoffed. “Yeah, I know better than that.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“He’s avoiding me. He’s avoiding everything. He hasn’t come back to see Jonas. He claimed he loved my brother, yet at the first bump, he’s taking off and hiding away. So much for standing by him through everything.”

“Ever think maybe he needs to protect himself? Have you forgotten he found his mother much the same way he found Jonas. He’s got to take care of himself before he can take care of your brother. He should have known what it would do to Isaac to try to kill himself.”

“He didn’t!” Arcelia insisted. “He didn’t mean to take so many pills. He was in a lot of pain and doesn’t react well to them anyway. He wasn’t thinking about what he was doing.” At least that’s what Jonas kept insisting, and Arcelia wanted to believe him so much.

“If he was having problems with them, why didn’t they put him on something else?”

“Seriously,” Arcelia said, “have you met my twin brother? He’s got to be the most stubborn idiot I know. He thought it’s just the way it was, and that he could handle it. Like I said, stubborn idiot.”

Konner burst out with a laugh at that. “That doesn’t seem like a nice thing to say about your own brother.”

“Well, it’s the truth. As long as no one else says it. Now where can I find Isaac?”

“He’s over at the shelter. I’d warn him, but I doubt there’s any armor that would protect him.”

“I don’t want to hurt him, just knock some sense into his fool head.”

“Well, good luck with that. I’ve never had any luck.”

She couldn’t help laughing as she headed for the door. Wasn’t that the truth? Jonas and Isaac were the perfect match for each other. If only they would see it.

 

 

Story a Day: Day 28 – Memorial Day

Today’s Story a Day prompt was to include the words: ink, previously, work, breeze, seven, run, delicious, example, spontaneous, barb. As today is Memorial Day here, I decided to run with that theme as well. This will come after the end of Jonas & Isaac’s story.

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A breeze ruffled through Jonas’ hair as he headed down the path. It wasn’t the smoothest path, so he was glad Isaac had insisted on him bringing his cane along, even though he’d been walking without it for a few months now. Still he didn’t want to damage his prosthetic or hurt his residual limb. Again.
He wasn’t thinking about that now, though. It was all over. Isaac’s father was back in prison, and not getting out any time soon. Whatever had happened previously didn’t matter. The last seven months had been the most peaceful Jonas could remember in a long time.
When he reached the stone he was looking for, Jonas slowly lowered himself to his knees and brushed some cut grass and dirt off the top of it. A year. It was hard to believe it had been a year already. And maybe a little ironic on the timing of it all. The previous Memorial Day he’d spent tethered to machines, not even knowing yet that his best friend, his former lover, had already been buried.
He pushed those thoughts away and reached out to run his fingers over the letters engraved into the stone. “You’d want to shake me for it,” he murmured, “but sometimes I still think it should have been me instead. You shouldn’t be the one gone, Santiago. I still don’t understand why I’m the one who survived.” He kept his hand on the stone and kept talking, even though he’d never get a response from Santiago again. Never be able to trade barbs with him again or hear the man burst into spontaneous song when they were working together.
“You’re supposed to still be here. I’m supposed to be able to tell you that I got back together with Isaac. I know you’d be happy for me. And that I’m going to begin work as a paramedic soon. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do that kind of work again, and it’s a lot less likely I’ll have to dodge bullets or bombs when I go out on a call.”
He heard Isaac’s footsteps behind him. He knew his boyfriend was worried about him, but there wasn’t much he could do to assure him he was doing better now. He’d gotten his pain issues mostly sorted out, was accepting the help that was offered, even when it didn’t settle right with him. He felt Isaac’s fingers trace over the ink on the back of Jonas’ shoulder. He’d encouraged Jonas to get it. One more way to honor what had come before.
“I’m going to go now,” he said. “Your mom’s making some of her delicious enchiladas for us. Just another example of how lucky I was to know you.”
Isaac helped him back to his feet. He could have done it on his own, but it would have taken longer, and he knew it made Isaac feel better to be able to do something to help. Then, Isaac brushed his lips over Jonas’ jaw and to his mouth. “I’m okay,” Jonas insisted. “I’ll always miss him. That won’t change. But, I’m okay. Come on, let’s get out of here. He’d rather we celebrate what he did with his life than wallow in the fact he’s gone.”
Isaac looped his arm through Jonas’, leaving the other free to wield the cane so he didn’t lose his balance. Isaac kept him keep that most of the time now anyway. And he couldn’t help but think he’d never have found his way back to him if that helicopter had never crashed. Yes, he’d always miss Santiago and the direction his career could have taken. But, sometimes things worked out the way they were supposed to.

SOCS/Story a Day: Day 26 – “Grill/Sale”

Today’s Story a Day prompt was to write about one character trying to sell something to another. That could be an idea or something more literal. I combined this with the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt of using ‘grill’ somehow in the post. I have Jonas here, trying to convince his family(particularly his older brother here) that he really is fine. But, will they actually buy it?

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“I don’t know why you have to keep grilling me.” Jonas slumped down in the chair at the table.
“I don’t know why you think that’s what I’m doing.”
“That act might work with criminals, Toby, but I’ve known you for more than two decades. You don’t have me fooled. You’re trying to get a confession out of me.”
“We just want to make sure you’re okay.”
“I told you I am. You and Mom both stood there and watched me take all my pills. Obviously I’m fine.”
Toby snorted. “Brother, you are so far from fine. You’ve been trying to act like you are for days, and we bought it because we wanted to believe it. Things wouldn’t have gotten so bad if you’d told us how you were feeling. But, no, you thought you had to act all tough.”
“I wasn’t acting,” Jonas grumbled.
Toby laughed softly. “You also didn’t tell us how you were reacting to those pain pills. Otherwise we might have realized it wasn’t typical, and you could have gotten them changed up sooner. How long will it take you to learn that if you have a problem, you can come to us?”
“I thought it was just the way it was.”
“You little fool,” Toby said, wrapping an arm around his shoulders. “Now, tell me how these ones are making you feel. If there’s a problem, we’d rather be able to know it before we find you passed out on the floor again.”
Jonas snorted out a bitter laugh. Yeah, he’d rather avoid that too. And be treated like an addict, when all he’d been trying to do was make the pain stop for a little while.
“Better,” he admitted. It helped that his brain wasn’t trying to convince him that the pain was about ten times worse than it actually was. “They don’t make me nearly as foggy as the others did, so I actually remember what I do after taking them.”
Toby stepped back and looked satisfied. “Good.”
“So you actually buy that I’m fine finally.”
Toby snorted. “Nope. You can sell that one as hard as you want, baby brother, but I’ll never buy it. And it’s okay. You don’t have to be fine all the time.”
“Why not? You are.”
Toby shook his head. “No, I just finally learned it’s okay to lean on someone else. I understand you’ve always been the one to help others. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with letting others help you now. It took me three decades and a wonderful woman to teach me that. But, I always figured you were smarter than me.”
“Well, at least I was able to sell you something.”
Toby chuckled and hugged his shoulders tight. “I’m so glad you’re still here.”
Jonas was, too. He was really glad his mistake hadn’t been fatal.

Story a Day: Day 22 – “Strange Surroundings”

Today’s Story a Day prompt was to write about your character waking up in a space they don’t recognize. It doesn’t take Jonas too long to figure out where he is, though it isn’t a place he wanted to find himself again. This leads in to a Stream of Consciousness post I did earlier in the year.

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Jonas groaned and turned his head to the side where he could hear some sort of beeping noises. It sounded too damn familiar, though he hadn’t heard it for months. It had been months, hadn’t it?
Maybe it had all been some fucked up dream, and he was still in the army hospital.
“You little asshole. I know you’re awake.”
It must have been a dream. Because those were the same words he’d heard when he thought he’d first woken up. Still, he muttered, “You’ve said that before, Toby.”
“Yeah, and I actually mean it today. I’m really tired of you scaring the shit out of us and making us think we’re going to lose you.”
Jonas wasn’t quite sure what his brother was talking about. What had he done this time? “I didn’t make the helicopter crash.”
Toby barked out a short laugh, and Jonas forced his eyes open finally. This was definitely a hospital room. But, it didn’t look like the one he had first woken up in. Not that he could see all of it, not clearly at least. So the partial loss of vision hadn’t been part of the dream. Damn. His brother was in his field of vision, though.
Even with that laugh, his brother did not look amused. “I’m not talking about what happened more than six months ago.” So none of it had been a dream then. “I’m talking about your boyfriend calling me in tears because he couldn’t wake you up. I’m talking about Isaac saying there was an empty pill bottle next to you, and I didn’t have a clue how many you’d even taken. I’m fucking talking about being scared they wouldn’t get you here in time to save your life.”
Jonas just stared at his brother. He still didn’t know what his brother was talking about. He remembered Isaac’s father attacking them. And his brother being there when he woke up on the couch, taking him back through everything that had happened for the police report. He remembered Toby handing him one of his pain pills, even though Jonas had refused to take any for several days before that.
And then…fuzziness. Had he taken more pills? He really couldn’t remember.
“What has gotten into you?” Toby asked when Jonas didn’t say anything. “Don’t you realize how much you’d be missed? How much it would hurt all of us, especially Mama. Why would you do this?”
“I didn’t…I wasn’t trying to do anything. I know you gave me a pill. Then, I crashed out. And I don’t remember anything that happened after that. Jeez, Toby, I’ve been trying not to take them just so this wouldn’t happen.”
“Since when?” Toby asked harshly.
“Saturday. I realized I was taking too many, and I didn’t want it to get worse.”
Toby let out a curse in Spanish before turning back to Jonas. “I can’t believe you. I used to think you were pretty damn smart, but right now you’re certainly proving me wrong.”
He flinched at his brother’s words. He didn’t know why Toby ever would have thought that. “So far you aren’t telling me anything I didn’t know.”
Toby let out a growl and paced over to the door. Jonas closed his eyes, wishing his brother would just leave. Maybe everyone should just leave him alone.

Story a Day: Day 19 – “Report”

Today’s Story a day prompt was to tell a story “direct to camera”. I probably didn’t do it exactly right. But, I did have Jonas telling his brother about the attack by Isaac’s father.

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“I was sitting on the couch with Isaac. Get that smirk off your face, Toby. You said you wanted to know what happened here earlier today. “I’m trying to tell you.”
He waved his hand at me to continue.
“Like I said, we were on the couch, and there was a knock on the door. I was going to get it, but I didn’t have my leg on. So, Isaac got up. I didn’t know what was going on, so I tried to get up. Then, Isaac fell back into the living room. His father was right there. Isaac told him he couldn’t be here, that he needed to leave before the police showed up. Of course, he refused. And he hit Isaac. I couldn’t get over to him.” I held up my hand. “Don’t interrupt me, Toby. Please.”
He nodded, and I drew in a deep breath to continue.
“I told him he had to leave, but of course he didn’t listen, either. That’s when I called you. He saw that and knocked the phone from my hand. I just hoped you were still able to listen. He hit me in the face, kicked my bad leg. The rest is kind of blurry. But, Isaac told him to hurt him instead. That he was used to it. He stepped on my chest. Not Isaac. His father.”
Yeah,” Toby said slowly, “I figured that.”
Of course. My brain was feeling fuzzy, though. Stupid pain pills. Which was why I needed to get the rest out before I was completely useless. “Isaac kept asking him to stop hurting me. And asked him what he wanted. He said for Isaac to pay. He still blames him for being in prison.”
“That’s his own damn fault.”
“I told him that and managed to get him off my chest. Isaac threw something at him. I was trying to pull myself to my feet…foot. I told him to run. I just wanted him to get away from his father. The next thing I know was the officers coming in to check on me. Then you and Isaac and the paramedics were there. And that’s all I know.”
“He didn’t say how he planned to make Isaac pay.”
“No. I don’t think. Probably killing him. He can’t control Isaac, so what else would he want?”
“All right. I don’t have any other questions right now, then. Go get some sleep. I know where you live if I need more information.”
Ha, my older brother thought he was so funny. “Go be a cop. I’m going to sleep now.”

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