Probably my favorite one of all. 11th in the J/T series. Don't really have to read the others for this one to make sense, but it might help.


In our Future

Time passes quickly, at least for me. I mean, it feels like just yesterday that I was too afraid to sleep with my nightlight on, and now, graduation is sneaking up on me. I mean, I'm still reeling from the shock that I have enough credits to pass, since I spent a great load of the "four best years of my life" sleeping and goofing around.

Maybe there's a fairy living in my closet, and she came out at night and got my school work done. That would explain the magical tingle I once felt in there as a young tot, assuming that just wasn't my stomach warning me off the oncoming throw up. But that's a story for another day.

Anyway, graduation is three months from now. And then I will be done with school. It is almost a depressing thought, because now my parents were probably going to force me to get a job, since it was way to late for me to apply to any colleges. But I guess that's what I get for being a lazy fuck knob.

The seniors are in the autotorium now, practicing our walk down the aisle. I think it's pretty stupid to practice this three months in advance, and I told this to the prinicipal, but my concerns were obviously not important to our falculty. Which I find extremely disgraceful to me, seeing as I saved the entire school from getting murdered at the hands of a psychopathic killer.

Okay, so it was like, one classroom, and he wasn't really psychopathic, more misunderstood I'd say, but still, you'd think they'd show some appritiation.

As I'm standing in line, while the prinicipal calls out names like this is the real thing, I keep an eye on my friends, finding myself wishing we'd all met a lot sooner, and could have known each other longer.

Katy's like me, she didn't try to get into any colleges, but I'm not sure why. We assured her over the course of this year that she was smart enough to get into any college she wanted, but she never tried. As far as I've heard, she's staying here and getting a job.

Abby's going to the local community college, studying to be a nurse. She got an apartment close to the college, enabling her to see Katy whenever she wanted, and to get to school quickly.

Jayden is like the girls, he's staying close, for now, since his parents never saved up the money to send him to college, and he didn't apply for any scholarships. He says he's found a place with a friend of his, a girl, where they will both split the rent. At first, William was jealous, but he calmed when he learned that the girl was a lesbian. Jayden's landed a job at the local pet shelter, hoping he'll be able to have enough money next year to send himself to Chicago.

Chicago, which is where William is going. Out of all of us, he is the one of the only ones who was offered a scholarship, to an art school in Chicago. William had always been good at art, but he said he'd never considered it a career until he was offered the scholarship. Now, he had plans to be an artist. I was sad, because of all my friends, I liked him the best, and had hoped that he would stay close, if anyone.

I have concerns of course, over my own future. Seeing as I had no job, I'd have to stay with my parents until I found one, and had the money to get a place of my own. I guess I put off thinking about what I wanted to do for a living, because now, I have no clue what I want to do with the rest of my life. Until I realized I was gay, I'd always figured I'd do the steryotypical marry a woman, get a job, have kids, blah blah. That sounds very boring now.

Why would I ever want to do that?

My mom is not too pleased with my plan.

And what about me and Jason?

Was he going to move out of his parents'? If he did, could I go with him? Was he going to get a job? Did he want to stay in this town? Or was he going to go away?

Jason had been offered a few scholarships, and some were to some pretty good schools. All of them were really far away. Up until now, we'd put off talking about it, but now that I'm being forced to realize that this is happening, it's all I can think about.

If he went to one of the schools, would I go with him? How could I, when I didn't have the money? And even if he didn't go to school, that didn't mean he wouldn't leave town. Maybe he was sick of this place, and wanted out as soon as he could, any way he could.

It was all very stressful, so as we took our turns walking down the stage, I pretended that instead, this was a runway fasion show, filled with some of the ugliest models I'd ever seen.

*(*)

That night, at dinner, my mom makes things worse.

"So, what are you guys going to do after graduation?" she asks, her belly stretching far enough to hit the table. Her pregnancy made things even weirder for me. It made me realize that just as I was leaving my parents' lives, another child was entering it, and would take my place. It made me want to stay. I didn't want to grow up yet. I wanted to stay here, and be loved by my fangirl of a mother, and sportsfan of a father. I didn't want them to replace me.

"Haven't thought about it much." Jason said easily, making me feel like a fool for putting so much thought into it.

My mother frowns at this. "You and Tommy need to think about this, you know. I don't want my boys to end up homeless."

Jason grins at her.

"Don't worry. If we're ever homeless, we'll call to let you know to expect us."

"Oh good grief." my father says. "That's just what we need. Two overgrown children, "boinking it," upstairs."

I choke on my food, and everyone laughs. Glad to be of service. I mean, I'm having mini panic attacks over here, but at least I was able to give you guys one last laugh before I keeled over from stress.

Jason stands up and stretches, then looks at me.

"Hey Princess. Wanna take a ride?"

He means on his motorcyle. He's taken quite the interest in motorcyles since he got it, sometimes mentioning that he might like to build them someday.

I nod silently and get up.

"Thanks for the food, mom and dad!" he says to my parents as we go out the door. Next door, his mom and dad are sitting on the porch, and they wave as we come up.

"Tommy, you look stressed." his father says, and I shrug. I guess that's enough for his mother to decide I need a hug, so I'm trapped in her arms until Jason pulls the motorcyle out of the garage. He tosses me my helmet. My helmet tends to stay in his garage, because on the one case that I brought home with me, it ended up on the roof, due to a game of catch with Tammy, my neighbor's little girl, that got way too out of hand.

It had taken Jason -I went over to his house and made him do it. I'm too lazy for that- hours to find a ladder, and by the time he was able to get the helmet he was grumbling and sweating. So he'd taken it to his house, and now I only got to see it when I was sticking it on my head. Not even when I was taking it off, since he did that part for me.

We drive to our usual spot, a hill that overlooked the river. We sit in the grass, holding hands, staring silently out at the setting sun. It was romantically stupid, so I crawled into Jason's lap and kissed him gently, hoping to ease my stress. He senses this.

"What's wr-" he starts to say, but he's interrupted when I'm suddenly hit by something hard from behind, making me fall onto him. We scramble up, looking behind me quickly. Two guys I've never seen before, a little older then us, are standing at the bottom of the hill, laughing.

"Faggots!" one of them call up, and I frown, so caught of guard that I can't think of anything to say. So far, I had not had to deal with any bullies, or anything of the sort. I mean, of course, sometimes in the school hallway I'd hear the coughed, "Fag!" but it never really bothered me, since all together, I was pretty much worshiped by the entire student body, having saved my best friends' life from a burning car, bravely come out to the whole school, saved the lives of the kids in my chemistry class, gotten shot doing it, was cheated on, and still forgave my boyfriend.

That, and Jazz had some influence on the students too. But, all together, I'd earned my respect in that school.

So, that's why I was surprised to find a rock lying at my feet, having just knocked me in the head.

Jason instantly went charging down the hill, and the two guys took off. Jason came back up to me and touched my head gingerly.

"You okay?" he asked, and I nodded.

"I think so. But that sure was something, wasn't it?"

He nodded, and I'm grateful to see that this surprise interruption, while painful, has directed his attention, and he no longer recalls my previous emotions. I didn't want to talk to him about it, not yet. I didn't want to look lame in front of him. And what if he said he wanted to leave me? Though doubtful, since I'm pretty great, it was not impossible.

"Come on." he says. "Let's get to my house and get that cleaned up." He winks. "My mom and dad are going out later tonight.

Hmm. This should take my mind off my troubles, at least for now.

*(*)

I wake up late in the night, in Jason's bed, with his arms wrapped around me. As I stare at his sleeping face, I remember everything we've been through, and how now, things might change. The memories of our childhood swim through me, and I whisper, "What are we going to do?"

What are we going to do?

"Are you going to go to those colleges?" I continue, knowing he can't hear me, but going on anyway. In the daytime, I'd never be brave enough to say this stuff.

"Are you going to leave me?" I ask, but he doesn't answer me.

Are you going to leave me?

I whisper into the dark, "Please don't leave me."

*(*)

When I wake up, the spot next to me is empty. I yawn and go into the bathroom, getting cleaned up. Then I go downstairs, expecting to find Jason and his parents having breakfast, a fourth plate set up in my usual spot. But the room is empty. I look at the clock. It's almost ten, so his parents must be at work. But where is he? Today was a Saturday.

I go over to my house, figuring that he's forced my mom to cook him breakfast, since his is not home. My parents are there, but Jason is not.

"Mom, have you seen Jason?" I ask her, wincing as she does a pretty uncomfortable bend in front of the TV, staring at an exercise video for pregnant women.

"No honey, sorry I haven't."

She bends again, and I sheild my eyes. "Jeez mom, do that in your room!" I say as I go into the dining room, having spotted my dad sitting at the table, doing bills.

"Dad, you seen Jason?"

"Yeah." my dad says, looking up. "He stopped by this morning and told me to give this to you when I saw you."

He hands me a folded paper. I unfold it and stare down at the words written on them.

1278 GoldenShy lane. In the bushes.

It's an address. One that doesn't ring a bell. Was this a scavenger hunt? I always sucked at scavenger hunts. And how did he expect me to get to these places? Walk?

I've lived in this town my whole life, so I'm able to find the address easily, though not quickly. It's fourty minutes before I get to a house that makes me want to scream in anger.

It's Carly's house.

I hate Carly. I hate her. So much. But apparently, there was something in her bushes that I wanted. I go over to the only bushes I see, and start digging through them. I cut my hands a few times, but am able to locate a slip of paper being held down by a rock. I lift it up, and unfold it.

I'm still sorry I hurt you this way. Especially when I remember this day. I'm so proud of you. Go to the school, room 312.

That's our chemistry room.

Why did I have to go there? It was so far!

At that exact moment, Katy rolls up in her car, Abby beside her, and she leans out. "Hey, Tommy! Need a ride?"

Very convient.

"Apparently." I answer, and tell her my destination. They don't ask me why I need to go there, and do a terrible job at not looking like they knows what is going on. So they are in on it. I stay silent, and Katy drops me off at the back of the school.

Fully expecting to be locked out, I am very surprised when I find that the doors are open. Was the school in on this too? Jeez.

I go to my chemistry class, and that door is wide open. I look around, confused. Why am I here? But then I see a paper under me and Jason's table, and I remember the words on the note. This is where I was shot. The day he was proud of me.

I crawl under the table and read the note.

You gave yourself to me in this place. Physically and emotionally. This is when I realized I could never love anyone more.

Great. Riddles. I suck at riddles. But the words touch me. So I think over it hard. It's about ten minutes later that I get it. My room. My bed. It's where we first had sex,(pyshically) and he realized how insecure I was. (Emotionally)

I had to go all the way to my house? Damnit. But at this point, I couldn't deny the fact that I was enjoying myself. I bounded back outside, expecting to find Katy and Abby waiting for me, but instead, Jayden is outside, sitting in his father's car. Knowing he's in on it too, I climb into the passenger seat.

"Don't you need a lisence to drive?" I ask him as he starts the car up. I don't think he hears me, since he's got his earphones in, but he smiles and shrugs. Apparently he wasn't listening to music at all. Maybe half the time he wasn't, just liked having the earphones in.

Without even asking where I'm going, he drops me off at my house.

"Are you going to wait here for me, or am I going to find somebody else out here when I get back?" I ask. He shrugs again, with another smile. It surprises me how much he's opened up since the day we'd met.

"You'll see."

I go up into my room, telling my parents I'd just forgotten something. In my bed, is another note. This one says, Not only did you save all those kids, you saved me. This is when I realized how much you really loved me.

The place I saved his life? The party from junior year? I don't remember the address at all, but I figure which ever of my friends is waiting for me outside will. As I suspected, Jayden is gone, and Jazz has taken his place.

"I hope you remember the address." I say as I climb into her car. "Because I don't."

"Jason had me memorize it." she grins, and we drive. What a weird day. When me and Jazz reach the house, I go to the spot where I pulled Jason from the burning car. He's right. This is where I realized how much I really loved him. I smile as I think about how much trouble he's gone through today. But why did he do it?

Was it a goodbye gift?

I shake off the depressing thought and find the paper. I open it.

Where I chose you.

That's all it says. I think about for a while, but can't figure it out. I turn to see who my new driver is, and wave to William when I see him grinning out at me from his car.

"Do you know what he means?" I ask him, but he shakes his head.

"I've just been told where to take you."

"Well take me there."

William gives me a look. "You can't even figure out his romantic messages? You're so suck." he says, acting like that's the correct way to say it. "I"m not taking you until you figure it out."

"William!" I say, crossing my arms as I walk over. He shrugs, and turns up his music.

"How will you know I just didn't make it up?" I ask. He smiles.

"Because I actually know what he means. I lied to you."

Damnit. So I sit in his car, thinking over it. When I get it, I feel incrediebly fucking stupid. His room. Where he chose me over Jazz.

"His room." I say, and William grins and ruffles my hair.

"Good boy."

We drive.

In his room, I find myself a tad bit cheezed that I've made an entire circle. I'd probably passed up the paper this morning, with no idea what it meant.

I see the paper right on the middle of the floor, which is where we were when Jazz walked in on us about to kiss.

You described it as, "cliche."

I get this one instantly. Our first kiss. Under the tree, in the rain.

Back to the school I go.

But there is nobody outside waiting for me. I guess this time, I have to walk on my own. I'm smiling all the way there. I don't know why.

I guess because I love him.

And because he loves me.

When I get there, the sun is starting to set. I hadn't realized it was getting so late. I go to the front of the school, and find our tree. Jason is sitting under it, and when he see's me, he gets up, and smiles. He hugs me tightly and kisses me gently.

"Good job. You found me."

"Yeah." I say, smiling up at him. "What do I win?"

He's quiet for a second, and I perk an eyebrow curiously as he takes a few deep breaths.

"You gonna be okay?" I laugh. "I don't see why you're tired, I'm the one who had to trek around all day."

"Give me a minute."

I do. Something's happening. Something big.

"I heard you, Princess." he finally says, and I bit my lip, thinking.

"Heard me?" I ask.

"Last night." he says.

Fuck. Embarrassing. I blush. "And?" I ask of him. Answer me now, I'm saying. Tell me where we are going from here.

"I would never leave you." he says, hugging me again. I smile, but he doesn't see it. I'm glad. Because it's probably the most embarrassingly happy smile I've ever smiled. When he pulls back, I say, "I love you."

"I love you too. So, Tommy Choice," he says, and then, in front of my unbelieving eyes, he gets down on one knee. My heart starts pounding, and I start to cry, not big sobbing wails, just tiny little tears of joy. I could never be happier then I was in that moment. Never.

He smiles at me, and pulls a ring out of his pocket. I don't know when he got, or how long he's been planning this, but I don't care, because the next words out of his mouth freeze my heart, and the world around me is gone, with nothing in it but me and Jason.

"Will you marry me?"

Whatever happens in my future, I don't care. I will get through it, because I will have Jason with me.

"Did you even have to ask?" I laugh lightly, and now he's crying and he gets up and scoops me up into his arms, kissing by the same stupid tree that I love so fucking much.


Polly: O.O O...M...G!

Me- I know! I was writing it, and I was still so excited!

Max- That's because you had background music.

Ben- Nonfitting background music.

Me- Still loved it.

Ben- And still not the end?

Me- Still not the end.

Ben- Damn.

Max- But doesn't this feel like it should be the end?

Me- Yeah, it does. But I never stop!