Chapter 9 – A New Beginning
Dec 30, 2002 – Orlando, FL – Florida Hospital — A Veranda on the First Floor
Nick stood at the railing, looking out into the night as Aaron sighed once more as a few tears fell from his eyes as he shook his head. Opening the door, Aaron looked at Nick once more and then walked back into the hospital, giving Nick the privacy he wanted.
“God, here I am again. My life is at a stand-still it seems. Where do I actually go from here?” Nick asked, rubbing at his eyes as more tears came. “He hurt me, he hurt me badly. He doesn’t love me. If he could do something so horrid and vile as that to me, there’s no love in his heart for me. Love isn’t supposed to hurt.”
Nick turned around and walked further into the veranda as he continued crying, watching his reflection in the window, not noticing that there was someone else in the area with him. Getting to a row of seats, Nick stopped and prepared to sit down, but changed his mind.
“Come on God, help me out here. The very thing that I want, why can’t I get it? Why God, why am I doomed to be like this?” Nick asked as he walked over to a door that led outside. “God, when are you going to send a man to love me, that won’t hurt or use me? I would love to have a man that would love me for…”
“Were you actually expecting to get an answer?” Nick heard someone say as he turned around to see Justin Tanner in the room with him.
“Ju—Justin… Justin Tanner, what’re you doing here?” Nick asked, walking over to where Justin was. “Justin, why are you sitting in a wheelchair? Are you sick?”
“I—I was in an accident Nick,” Justin replied, motioning for Nick to sit down.
“You were in an accident? Damn, what happened to you Justin?” Nick asked, taking a seat in the chair next to Justin as he moved it around a bit.
“Well the short and sweet version of things is that I was trying to get away from someone. I was upset and wasn’t paying attention to where I was going, while driving in a car and I collided with another car. I lost consciousness and when I woke up again, I was here and I was told that I wouldn’t be able to walk again,” Justin explained as Nick looked down.
“Oh God Justin, I’m so sorry,” Nick responded as he leaned in and hugged Justin, lingering close to him a bit.
“It was my own fault. I should’ve been paying attention to what was going on around me, instead of letting my anger over what Josh was doing, push me to run away the way I did,” Justin said as he shook his head and then covered his mouth.
“What do you mean Justin? Why were you trying to run away from Josh? What did he do? I thought you two were best friends,” Nick said as he looked at Justin closely.
“We were the best of friends at one point, but he…(<sniffle>)… he did something to hurt me. I—I couldn’t stand to be around him anymore,” Justin said as he looked away from Nick.
“What did he do to you Justin?” Nick asked, reaching out with his hand, touching Justin’s face quickly and then pulled his hand back.
“He lied and betrayed my trust in him. He hurt my feelings,” Justin said as some tears streamed down his face.
“I’m sorry Justin, I didn’t mean to bring that up,” Nick said as he entwined his fingers with Justin’s. “I shouldn’t have asked that.”
“It’s okay Nick. I have to deal with it again anyway,” Justin said with a frown. “I have to deal with my problems first hand or they’ll destroy me in the end.”
“Destroy you how Justin?” Nick asked, rubbing Justin’s hand.
“Our whole relationship was nothing but a lie. He lied, he cheated on me, with men and women both. Hell, he even cheated with someone that had hurt me in the worst way,” Justin said as sniffled as the tears streamed down his face. “I loved him and he just threw our love away.”
“I—I’m so sorry Justin. I’m sorry that he didn’t love you enough to cherish you,” Nick said, moving Justin’s hand up to his mouth and kissing the top of it. “If you were my boyfriend, I would cherish you Justin. I would show you the love you deserve.”
“Nick…” Justin stuttered as Nick pulled his chair closer to him.
“Don’t cry Justin. I know things are not going great for you, but they aren’t going great for me either,” Nick said as the tears fell from his eyes also.
“That was so sweet,” Justin said as he wiped at his eyes. “Nick?”
“Yes Justin,” Nick spoke as he looked into Justin’s eyes.
“Why are you here in the hospital?” Justin asked, looking down, not wanting Nick to see the hurt in his eyes, being that he already knew partially of why Nick was there, but wanted him to tell him.
“I—I’m not happy Justin. I’m alone and I—I don’t want to live anymore,” Nick answered as he gasped and then looked down again. “I’ve been unhappy for a very long time and so far, things in my life are depressing me.”
“Why aren’t you happy Nick? Why don’t you want to live?” Justin asked, looking at Nick.
“I have so much love to give, but no one to give it to. Every time I give my love to someone, that someone pushes my love away,” Nick said as he sniffled.
“Shhh, it’s going to be okay. I know how you feel in that department,” Justin said as he rubbed Nick’s hand in his own. “It’s going to be okay Nick.”
“It’s not going to be okay Justin. I will always be alone,” Nick said as he pulled away from Justin, got up and then walked back over towards the windows.
“Yes it will Nick. Whether you know it or not, the answer to your problems are right under your nose and you don’t even know it,” Justin said as he moved up behind Nick, with a hopeful smile on his face.
“Yeah right Justin. I don’t have any answers to my problems. I have too many of them to count,” Nick spoke as he starred out the window. “I’m fat and ugly Justin. My appearance is revolting to most. Men look at me and then run in the opposite direction.”
“That’s not true Nick, not true at all,” Justin said with a frown.
“Trust me Justin, it’s the truth. The only thing that men see in me is sex and a quick way of getting fame. The men I’ve been with, they only used me to have sex and when they got tired of me, they dropped me like a bad habit and then ran away and acted as though I was lower than trash when they saw me again,” Nick stated as he slid down the wall to the floor as he continued to cry. “Men don’t want me for something special, they just want one thing and one thing only it seems.”
“That’s not true Nick,” Justin said again as he sniffled.
“Stop trying to make me feel better Justin, it’s the truth. All the men in my life have used me. Hell, even Brian used me, raped me and then threw me away for a woman when he was tired of me,” Nick said as he heard Justin gasp at the sound of what he’d just said.
“Oh God, so he was the one that raped you. I’m so sorry Nick. I’m soooo sorry,” Justin said as he reached for Nick, but Nick pulled away.
“It doesn’t matter anymore,” Nick said as he pulled his knees up to his chest as he wrapped his arms around his legs and continued to softly cry.
“I’m sorry Nick, I’m not going to hurt you,” Justin said as the tears streamed down his face as he realized how helpless he was at that moment.
“Just leave me alone Justin, I need to be alone,” Nick said as he shook his head and then wiped at his tears.
“I’m not going to leave you here like this Nick. I like you and I don’t want to see you like this,” Justin said as he sniffled. “Come on.”
“No Justin, just leave me alone,” Nick spoke, his voice trembling.
“Come here Nick,” Justin spoke.
“Just leave me alone Justin,” Nick replied, his voice still trembling.
“Come here Nick!” Justin demanded.
“No Justin, just leave me alone,” Nick said as he shook his head.
“Please Nick, I want to help you. Please come here to me,” Justin begged as he moved over to the couch that was nearby.
Poor Nick, he’s been through a whole lot lately. Here I am, feeling sorry for myself and here he is, trying to hold all the stuff that’s happened to him, all on the inside. I wish he would just come over here with me. I so want to hold him and take his pain away. I know how he feels about the rape and I don’t want him to hurt like that.
Damn Brian! That bastard needs his ass kicked and his dick cut off and buried some place. If I could walk, I would hunt his horrible ass down and then kick his ass all over this place! He needs to rot in hell for all that he’s done to Nick. Nick didn’t deserve to be treated that way. Shoot, no one deserves to be treated like that. Rape is a very horrid thing to do to a person.
“Come on Nick, please come over here, I need you,” I said, looking in Nick’s direction. “Please Nick, please let me help you. I promise, I won’t hurt you.”
“No Justin, I can’t… Just leave me alone here,” he said, lying down next to the window.
“I already told you Nick, I’m not going to leave you alone here. If you want me to leave you alone, first come over here and tell me to leave you alone,” I said, hoping that would get him to come closer to me.
“Why are you doing this Justin?” He asked, watching me as he stood up and then moved towards me as I got out of the wheelchair and then slid over to the sofa, panting hard as I sat back, happy that I didn’t feel in the process. JT’s going to be happy to know that I actually got out of that thing without hurting myself. Yay me.
“I want to help you Nick,” I said, trying to catch my breath.
“Fine,” he said, walking towards me. “I don’t want to talk anymore Justin, just leave me alone here please.”
“Sorry, I’m not going to leave you alone, it’s not that easy Nick,” I told him, grabbing him by the arm as I pulled him down to me. “You’re going to sit here with me. I’m not going to let anything else happen to you.”
“Justin please…” he said, looking at me with sadness in his eyes.
“Nick…” I said, leaning in and kissing his lips. “I’m not going to leave you Nick. I’ll be here with you, for as long as I can be. I don’t want to leave you Nick and I know you don’t want me to leave you. Just sit here with me.”
“Justin,” he said as I leaned in and kissed his lips again.
“Nothing Nick, we’re here right now, so just enjoy the moment, no words,” I told him as he lay his head down in my lap as I ran my fingers through his hair.
Across Town – The Home of Angela Sebastian – The Living Room
“You have some explaining to do Kevin. What happened with you two?” Angela asked as she sat down across from Kevin.
“Please Angela, that’s something I really don’t want to get into,” Kevin replied as he shook his head.
“That’s something you don’t want to get into? You better get into something, before I kick you out of here!” Angela snapped as she stood up.
“Please Angela, that’s a part of my life that’s a little bit complicated,” Kevin stated, shaking his head.
“Complicated? How complicated is it Kevin?” Angela asked.
“It’s complicated enough that I don’t even know how to handle it,” Kevin replied as he looked away from her.
“Are—are you gay Kevin?” Angela asked, folding her arms across her chest as she tapped her foot, watching him closely.
“No, I’m not gay,” Kevin replied, still not meeting her gaze.
“But he was all over you like a cheap ass suit,” Angela said as she shook her head, pacing back and forth in front of him. “You kissed him.”
“I didn’t kiss him, he walked up and kissed me,” Kevin stated, looking over at her. “Before I noticed you were there, you should’ve seen me push him away. It’s not what you were thinking…”
“What am I supposed to be thinking Kevin? We talk, you tell me some personal things about you and your friend that happens to be in the hospital where I work, you kiss me on the cheek and then you ask me out to dinner with you,” Angela said as she stopped pacing and then shook her head. “When it’s time to go to dinner, I see you in the lobby with a guy, kissing all over you like he was your man or something. Talk to me here Kevin… I want to know what’s going on.”
“I—I know how it looked, but I promise you, I want nothing to do with him,” Kevin spoke with a frown.
“I hope you’re not lying to me Kevin, if you are, I would hate to be you,” Angela stated as she walked down the hall. “I’m going to shower. I’ll be out shortly and then I’ll be ready to go.”
“I’ll be here, waiting patiently for you Angela,” Kevin replied as he sat down in the chair and held his face in his hand. “That was close. How am I going to break that part of my life to her? I like her and want to be around her, but my past is still out there. Sooner or later, it’ll all hit the fan and she’ll hate me for it.”
Almost 9 PM – Florida Hospital – The First Floor Veranda
“Justin… Justin, are you out here?” Kasai called out as he walked out into the veranda. “Hello, is there anyone here?”
“Shhh, he’s sleeping,” Justin whispered as Kasai approached the area where he and Nick sat, Kasai noticing that Justin was running his fingers through Nick’s hair.
“I’m sorry Justin; I wasn’t trying to disturb anyone,” Kasai whispered as he looked around and then back to Justin. “You do know that everyone’s looking for you. Daddy and your mom thinks something bad has happened to you somewhere in the hospital. Your mom actually thinks you’ve run away from here or something.”
“No, I’m okay here, nothing’s wrong with me. It seems everything is starting to look a bit better in my life right now,” Justin declared, looking down at Nick as he smiled brightly.
“Is he okay?” Kasai asked, motioning with his head at Nick. “Did something happen to him?”
“He fell asleep,” Justin answered as he sighed. “We were just sitting out here talking.”
“You two were talking out here?” Kasai said as he looked at Justin strangely.
“Yeah, we were just talking about the current events in our lives,” Justin answered.
“Okay then, you two sit tight. I’m going to call Daddy and let him know where you are so they can call off the search,” Kasai stated as he got up and then walked towards the door.
Sighing, Kasai turned and looked back at Justin and Nick and then shook his head. Walking back into the hospital, he walked towards the nurses’ station with a sad expression on his face as a few tears fell from his eyes.
“Damn it to hell… He’s found Nick and likes him,” Kasai said to himself as he walked down the hall, wiping at his eyes. “There goes my shot with Justin.”
“What did you say little man?” Steve asked as he walked up to Kasai. “Are you okay little man?”
“I—I didn’t say nothing,” Kasai responded quickly. “Justin’s in the veranda back there with Nick Canton. You can call Daddy and let him know that information. I’m outta here.”
“Kasai, are you okay?” Steve asked as he grabbed Kasai’s hand, trying to stop him from walking away.
“I’m fine!” Kasai snapped as he snatched his hand away from Steve and then ran down the hall, crying.
“What in the hell was that all about? Kasai! Kasai, come back here!” Steve called out as he ran down the hall after Kasai.
“No Steve, leave me alone! I just want to be left alone right now,” Kasai responded as he walked through the doors that led outside.
“Come back here little man, what’s wrong with you?” Steve asked as he looked at Kasai, trying to get in front of him to stop him from walking.
“There’s nothing wrong with me,” Kasai replied as he sighed and then sat down on one of the benches.
“Oh there’s definitely something wrong here. Talk to me kiddo,” Steve said as he sat down next to Kasai. “What’s going on here? What was that back there in the hospital?”
“I just told you that there’s nothing wrong Steve, I’m totally fine!” Kasai snapped as he burst into tears. “Everything’s wrong!”
“What’s the matter?” Steve asked, hugging Kasai.
“Nothing, everything,” Kasai responded through his tears as he looked down at the ground.
“Come on kiddo, you’re not making any sense here,” Steve said, rubbing Kasai’s back. “Does this have anything to do with what you saw in the veranda with Justin and Nick?”
“No, yes,” Kasai replied and then shook his head.
“You’re really confusing me here kiddo. Which one is it, yes or no?” Steve asked, looking at Kasai closely.
“Yeah, it has something to do with what I saw,” Kasai relied with a frown.
“What was it that you saw back there with Justin and Nick?” Steve asked as he looked at Kasai closely.
“I—I like Justin… I wish I was the one he likes,” Kasai spoke as he held his head down and then wiped at his eyes.
“Sorry little man, but you’re way too young for Justin. You know he’s a full grown man,” Steve stated as he draped his arm over Kasai’s shoulder.
“That doesn’t matter, I love him,” Kasai replied just as Mark walked into the area.
“You love who?” Mark asked as he walked over to where Kasai and Steve sat. “Did you say ‘I love him’ ? Who is this him that you love?”
“Oh God,” Kasai responded as he pulled away from Steve, got up from the bench and then took off running in the opposite direction.
“Oh great, that ended well,” Steve said as he rolled his eyes and then stood up.
“What’s going on here Steve?” Mark asked.
“He’s upset Mark,” Steve answered as he shook his head.
“Upset about what? What did you do to my son?” Mark asked as he glared at Steve.
“I didn’t do anything to him. He’s upset about something and right now, I suggest you go talk to him to find out why,” Steve suggested as Mark cut his eyes at him. “The kid is upset enough as it is. He needs someone right now to tell him that everything will be okay. Maybe he’ll open up and tell you what’s going on.”
“Maybe he’ll open up and tell me what’s going on? Why in the hell did he tell you?’ Mark asked, looking at Steve as if he were crazy.
“Yeah, maybe if you talk to him nicely and ask him, he might tell you what’s going on,” Steve replied as he shook his head.
“What’s your problem Steve? Why do we end up arguing all the fucking time?” Mark asked as he watched Steve.
“I don’t know Mark, you tell me,” Steve replied as he rolled his eyes and got ready to walk away as Mark moved in front of him, blocking his way. “Could it be that you’re an asshole?”
“Fuck you man,” Mark said as he shook his head as Steve moved around him and headed towards the hospital.
“Go find him and talk to him, that’s if you want to know what’s wrong with him,” Steve suggested as he turned and walked into the hospital.
A Few Minutes Previously – Justin’s Hospital Room
“I’m really worried here. Has there been any sign of him?” Lynn Hart asked as she walked over to where JT sat.
“None as of this moment Mrs. Hart,” JT answered as he looked down at his watch. “He couldn’t have gotten far, not without someone here in the hospital, helping him.”
“I hope he’s alright, wherever he may be… I hope he’s not somewhere hurt,” Lynn said as JT’s cell phone rang. “Where could he possibly be right now?”
“Hello, JT here,” I spoke, holding the phone up to my ear.
“Hey JT, I’ve found Justin, he’s in the veranda,” I heard Steve’s voice on the line.
“Well what are you waiting…” I said as Steve interrupted me.
“Listen, he’s here with Nick Canton,” he said as all kinds of thoughts went through my mind. What is Justin doing with Nick Canton right now? “They’re here together. Just call off the search party and let him stay here a while longer with Nick.”
“What are you trying to say Steve?” I asked as I looked over at Lynn.
“It looks to me like they’ve made a connection,” he said with a sigh. “I think something is developing between the two, don’t break it just yet. Let them have some time here.”
“Steve that’s not how things…” I said as he interrupted me again.
“This could be helping both of them. Don’t break them… this up just yet,” he said as I dawned on me what he was getting at.
“Okay, I’ll call everyone else, but you make sure you stay close by, just in case something else happens. Don’t let them out of your sight and keep them there,” I said as I closed the phone.
“Was that about Justin?” Mrs. Hart asked as Mr. Banks and his husband entered the room, followed by the young lady that seemed to always be keeping Justin company.
“I haven’t seen him at all,” Mr. Banks’ husband said with a frown.
“Neither have I,” Mr. Banks replied as he looked over at Mrs. Hart.
“You can all rest easy now. Justin’s down in the veranda,” I announced.
“Well let’s go get him,” Mrs. Hart stated, making a move towards the door as I waved my hand, stopping her.
“That’s not necessary Mrs. Hart, he’ll be brought up here later on,” I said as Mrs. Hart looked at me strangely as she crossed her arms across her chest.
“Is there something going on JT?” Mrs. Hart asked, watching me like a hawk.
“Let’s just say that he’s having a therapy session right now,” I said with a smile.
“What? He’s having a therapy session, at this time of night, you must be kidding me here,” Mrs. Hart said as she shook her head and made a move to walk towards the door.
“I’m not kidding you Mrs. Hart, he’s currently having a therapy session, but I’ll tell you more about that later on. Right now, I must go down to check to make sure things are going okay,” I said as I grabbed my things and packed them up in my backpack.
“May I come along?” Mrs. Hart asked, still watching me like a hawk. “I don’t care what he’s doing; I just want to make sure he’s okay.”
“I think it would be best if you just stayed here for right now,” I said, moving towards the door. “Justin should be back here very shortly.”
“I—okay JT, I guess I’ll stay here,” Mrs. Hart replied as she sat down in the chair next to Justin’s bed.
“Thank you Mrs. Hart,” I replied as I left the room to go find out what was really going on with Justin Tanner and Nick Canton.
Outside – The Parking Garage
“Kai! Kai! What in the hell is wrong with you?” Mark Walden asked as he grabbed Kasai by his arm, stopped him from walking and spun him around to face him.
“Just leave me alone Daddy Mark, just go away,” Kasai said, turning around quickly as he made a move to walk away, but Mark didn’t release his grip.
“What in the world has gotten into you boy? I’m not going away. What in the world is going on? You’ve been acting strange for the last couple of days. Are you in some kind of trouble?” Mark asked as Kasai tried to walk away from him as Mark forced him to turn back to him.
“No, I’m not in any trouble! Just leave me alone, please,” Kasai said as he broke down crying in front of Mark.
“Kai, what’s wrong? What’s going on? Why are you crying?” Mark asked as he pulled Kasai close and held him to his chest, hugging him.
“You—you won’t understand, you just won’t understand,” Kasai said as he continued to cry.
“What won’t I understand son? Just talk to me buddy, tell me what’s going on here,” Mark said as he rubbed Kasai’s back.
“I can’t, I just can’t,” Kasai replied as he sniffled.
“Look buddy, I know I haven’t been one of the easiest people to talk to lately, but I’m here for you Kai, all you have to do is talk to me,” Mark stated as he kissed the top of Kasai’s forehead.
“I—I’m in love with someone and they don’t love me,” Kasai blurted out as he continued crying on Mark’s chest.
“Lisa doesn’t love you and you love her?” Mark asked as he moved Kasai back a bit and looked him in the face.
“No, it’s not Lisa,” Kasai replied as he shook his head.
“Then who is it?” Mark asked with a confused look on his face as Kasai cried more.
To Be Continued…