There were no reviews for the last chapter, so I have nothing to reply too. This makes me a little sad. Is it because I didn't update quickly? Because I changed the title? Have you all lost interest? Oh well, I guess we'll see.
"Hajime?" Jonathan repeated, sounding horrified.
Toby nodded slowly, knowing that saying this was a risk. "Hajime was your closest friend. I just think it would be wise of us to...check him out."
"You think Hajime killed me?" Jonathan said, glaring like he wanted to kill Toby. If he could have touched him, Toby thought he probably would have hit him. Toby was silent in reply. He didn't actually believe that Hajime was the killer, no, he just thought they should make sure.
"I've been watching Hajime everyday since my death, and trust me, he's not my killer." Jonathan said, folding his arms. Toby put his hands up in surrender. "Okay, okay, calm down, I believe you."
They were silent for a second, then Jonathan sighed. "I'm sorry."
Toby shook his head and waved his hand. "No biggie. I'm sorry too."
Suddenly there was a knock on the door, and when Toby answered, Cody was the other side, dressed in a suit, like he was going to a fancy dinner party.
"What's up?" he asked, and Cody held said, "I just came to ask if you were going to Jonathan's funeral. It's today."
Toby blinked in surprise. "How do you know who Jonathan is?" He turned and looked over his shoulder at Jonathan, and questioning look in his eyes. The ghost shrugged and said, "I've never met him."
"He's in the news Toby." Cody said simply. "I just thought you might want to go, since he was your classmate. I'm gonna go."
"You?" Toby said. "You're gonna go? Why?"
Cody shrugged and looked at the ground, and Toby thought he saw something in his eyes. Like...maybe he knew something. He shook the thought off. That was impossible. He nodded. "Sure, just let me get dressed for it." he said, and Cody nodded, turning to go to his room. But at that moment, Marty shouted up, "Hey! Cody, get your ass down here."
Toby instantly backed up, making space for his cousin to come in, urging him in quickly. They locked the door quickly, waiting to see if Marty would come up. Just as Toby pressed his ear to the door to listen, there was a loud knock on it, and Marty shouting for them to open the door.
"Open it up, you useless shits!" he ordered. "Before I beat the shit out of you!"
"Get dressed." Cody whispered quickly, and Toby nodded, going over to his closet. He looked at Jonathan, who was glaring at the door, like he was trying to force it to come off it's hinges and smack Marty.
"Don't look." Toby told him, and across the room, Cody frowned, confused.
"Even if I had been, I thought we were a little past this."
Toby blushed while Jonathan laughed, fading out suddenly, with a quick, "Be right back."
Suddenly, the knocking on Toby's door stopped, and Marty's voice said, "What the-?" and then there was a thump, some confused grumbling, and then Marty left, and Jonathan was back in the room.
"Just gave him a light push." he said. Toby smiled at him without saying anything. When he was dressed, he and Cody escaped out his bedroom window.
The funeral was full of people that Toby didn't know. The only one he recognized besides him and Cody, was Hajime, who was sitting in the way back, instead of in the front, where he thought he would be. When Toby came in, Hajime stared at him for a few seconds, confused.
"Let's take a seat in the back." Cody said, and Toby nodded. They sat in the third to the last row, and behind him, Jonathan was looking around at the people, his eyes sad.
"Where are your parents?" Toby whispered, quiet enough that Cody didn't really understand what he was saying, and just thought he was grumbling to himself. Jonathan pointed to the front of the room, where a man and a woman were standing, talking to an elderly woman who couldn't contain her tears.
"Grandma..." Jonathan said, his eyes soft and sad with love. Again, Toby was surprised by him. He still wasn't focusing on his parents. Suddenly, to Toby's huge surprise, the old lady lifted her wrinkled hand and slapped the mother across the face. Toby's eyes widened, and Jonathan smiled. The old lady shuffled away from Jonathan's parents, going to sit next to Hajime, who grabbed her hand.
"What was that all about?" Cody wondered out loud, and Toby looked at Jonathan for answers.
"Mm, something tells me she didn't like what they were saying." he answered vaguely.
The funeral started, everyone saying nice things about Jonathan. The things they said made Toby wish they had been friends before his death. He sounded like a good guy. One person talked about how grown up and mature he was, and then Toby chuckled lowly.
"He obviously doesn't know you very well." Toby joked, but when he looked at Jonathan, the ghost wasn't laughing. He was sighing sadly.
"None of these people did. My family...well...let's just say that other then my grandmother...there was a problem."
A problem? What could it be?
"Do you think maybe your parents know anything about your death?" Toby asked, and Cody shushed him, so apparently he was getting louder.
Jonathan shrugged. "I don't know. Probably not. They weren't much interested in my life, to be honest."
"Should we ask?"
"Toby, ssh!" Cody finally said. Apparently Toby was not talking as quietly as he thought he was. This was confirmed by the strange and dirty looks he was getting from the people closest to him and his cousin.
The funeral passed quicker then Toby felt like it should, only a few people going up to say things about Jonathan. Toby saw Jonathan staring at Hajime and his grandmother, and he found himself wondering if they were going to go up and say a few things. But neither of them did.
When it was over, Toby was about to turn and go, but then a voice said, "Hey!" For some reason, he knew it was himself being talked too, so he turned around. It was Hajime coming over, waving. Jonathan instantly smiled, and his eyes got sad.
"Hey, Hajime, what's up?" Toby asked, and Hajime said, "I never got a chance to thank you for the other day."
Toby assumed he meant the other day in class, and the fight with Martin.
"Yeah, whatever." he shrugged, not sure what to say.
"If you don't mind my asking, why'd you come?" Hajime asked. "You didn't know Jonathan, did you?"
Toby shook his head, and said, "I just thought I should offer my support. He was my classmate and all."
Hajime smiled. "Well, thanks for coming then. I always thought you were...I don't know...like the rest of them."
"Homophobic?" Cody suddenly offered, and Hajime looked over like he'd just noticed he was there.
"I'm sorry, I didn't even see you. Who are you?" he asked, sticking out his hand for Cody to shake.
"I'm Cody. Toby's cousin."
"Good to meet you. And yes, that's the word I was looking for."
Toby shook his head. He wasn't actually sure though. Before he'd met Jonathan, had he been homophobic? He didn't think so. Well, he was a little freaked out whenever he saw two guys kissing, even when they were just holding hands. But it was just because it wasn't something he saw everyday, and he wasn't sure how he was suppossed to react. At least he wasn't like Martin, who beat them up.
"Naw." he said, "You love you who love." Next to him, invisible, Jonathan smiled, and it was matched by Hajime, and to Toby's surprise, Cody looked relieved. Maybe he had thought Toby was homophobic. Cody did seem like one of those guys who didn't care about it either.
"So, um, why didn't you go up and say anything?" Cody asked, obviously connecting the dots that Hajime was somebody important to Jonathan. Hajime's face grew sad, and he turned and looked back at Jonathan's grandmother, who was speaking quietly with some other old women.
"Oh. I really wanted too. But...we were told not too."
"Told not too?" Toby asked. That seemed harsh. After all, Hajime and the grandmother obviously cared about Jonathan very much. Why shouldn't they be allowed to say something at his funeral? "By who?"
Hajime didn't answer, but Jonathan did, his voice low and angry. "My parents."
"What?" Toby said, caught off guard, and forgetting that Hajime and Cody couldn't see Jonathan. "Your parents!?" he repeated, horrified. Why would his own parents stop them? Jonathan shushed Toby, his eyes widening. Hajime and Cody were staring at him, and while Cody only looked confused, Hajime's eyes were locked on the spot where Toby had just been looking, the spot where Jonathan was.
"Are you okay?" Cody asked, and Toby nodded, scratching his head. "I just...remembered something important."
It was a very bad lie, and he knew it, and so did Hajime, because he was staring at him, and he obviously wanted to say something, but was holding back, because Cody was standing right there.
"Well, we should go." Toby said quickly. Cody looked at him, his eyes pleading with him to stay longer. If they went home, Marty would be there, and he would be mad.
"We'll go get something to eat." Toby whispered to his cousin, who smiled and looked at the ground. It hurt Toby whenever Cody was like this. It made him realize how much he really hated being home, with his own father. He would rather be at a funeral.
"Sure." Hajime said, and he looked away now, looking up at the bright sky outside the windows. Toby saw tears gathering in his eyes. Clearly this was all getting to be too much for the japanese boy.
"I'm sorry." Toby told him. "Jonathan was really lucky to have you." Jonathan was nodding, his own eyes spilling tears as he watched his friend cry.
Hajime's bottom lip was trembling. "No. I was really lucky to have him."
Jonathan shook his head now, and he drifted forward, reaching out to grab Hajime's hand. Again, it went through him, but Hajime looked at his hand, and rubbed it, like it was cold now.
Jonathan leaned forward, and whispered, "I was the lucky one."
For a second, nothing happened, but then Hajime's eyes widened, and he looked around, trying to find out where the voice had come from.
"Did you-?" he asked, looking at Toby and Cody. "Did you hear that?"
Jonathan gasped. "He heard me?"
"Hear what?" Cody asked, and Toby looked around.
"I didn't hear anything. Come on Codes, we gotta go."
And he quickly pulled his cousin away.
"They have to know something." Toby was saying that night, and Jonathan shook his head.
"Come on." Toby tried to convince him. "They might." He was still wondering if Jonathan's parents might know something. And, he was a little curious about their relationship with their son.
Jonathan sighed. "Fine. But only for a few minutes, okay?"
Which is how, the next day, Toby ended up standing at Jonathan's door, waiting for an answer after he knocked. A woman answered, and Toby recognized her as Jonathan's mother. She didn't look much like him, with short black hair, and different colored eyes. Jonathan must take after his father.
"Yes, can I help you?" she asked, and Toby smiled.
"I'm a friend of Jonathan's. I was wondering if I could ask you some questions about your son."
The woman narrowed her eyes at him. "Weren't you at the funeral yesterday?" she asked, and Toby nodded. He was surprised. He didn't think anybody besides Hajime had noticed him. She sighed.
"Alright, but make it quick." she said, moving aside for him. Toby stepped in, and was amazed by the interior of the house. It was huge! Jonathan was loaded! Well, he had been.
"Hun, a boy is here to talk about Jonathan." the woman called, and a man came out of the kitchen. He looked like an older version of Jonathan.
"What do you want to know?"
Toby motioned for them to sit on the coach, and he took the open chair. Jonathan was drifting around his living room, looking at all the stuff he had grown up with, the pictures, the knickknacks, he even stared at the rug for a minute, smiling at it, like it had some funny back story.
"Do you know where Jonathan was heading, the night he was...murdered?"
Jonathan's dad shook his head. "No. The police think he was going to the school."
"Do you have any idea why he might have been going there?" That was what was important. If they could figure out why he went there, they could narrow down suspects, or something like that. He wasn't that big on this stuff, but he knew it would help, for sure.
But again, they shook their heads.
"No." his mother said. "He was grounded. He shouldn't have been going anywhere."
"Grounded?" Toby repeated. "What for?"
Jonathan stopped moving, and just stared at the wall, obviously listening, but not wanting to look like he was.
"He'd snuck out the day before to go see that boy." his mother said, assuming Toby knew who she was talking about. Luckily, he had a pretty good clue as to who she meant.
"Hajime?" he asked, and they nodded. "You guys don't like Hajime?"
The mother scoffed, looking disgusted. "That whole life style..." she said. "It's disgusting."
Toby's eyes widened. Now he saw. They were homophobes. They hated their own son. Horrible. He didn't know his parents, but if he had, he couldn't imagine that self hatred he would feel if his own parents didn't like him.
"I kept telling him that if he didn't repent, he would be punished." the mother continued. "And look what happened." she shook her head. "It's the punishment he deserves."
Toby felt his anger boiling again. Why did people keep saying that? Why did everyone think Jonathan deserved to die? Because he was gay? That was all? They hated him because he loved another boy? Jonathan was glaring at the wall, his hands curled into fists, and they were shaking.
"I heard this everyday." he said, his voice wobbling. "Everyday they told me I would burn in hell for my sins."
Toby could not imagine that.
He tried to push the anger aside, and continue with the questions. "So you don't know anything?" he asked. Next to the mother, the father shook his head, and when Toby looked into his eyes, he saw something there that he didn't see in the mother's eyes. Regret. Sorrow.
"You miss him." he said quietly, to the dad, who looked up, his face seeming to age years, in only seconds. Jonathan turned around, staring at his father, his eyes hopeful and sad at the same time.
Jonathan's dad nodded slowly. "Of course I do. He's my son. My only child. I wish..." he wiped a tear. "I wish I could have helped him. He must have been...so scared."
"Dad..." Jonathan said quietly, but his father couldn't hear him. Jonathan's eyes suddenly glazed over, and it looked like he was seeing something else.
"I was...I was scared." he said, and Toby's mouth dropped, and his hopes began to rise. Was Jonathan remembering?
"What if...what if he called for me?" the dad continued.
"Calling for dad." Jonathan whispered, closing his eyes. "I'm calling for dad. I needed him."
"If he called for you," Toby said, trying to comfort him. "That means he still loved you, doesn't it?"
The dad was quiet, thinking. Jonathan's mother put a hand on his shoulder, and said, "Don't worry darling. It wasn't your fault. God was punishing him for his sins."
Toby snapped. "Could you please shut up, ma'am?" he asked, and she looked at him, eyes wide in shock.
"Excuse me!?" she said.
"Your son was a person! Do you know how much it hurt him to hear you say that to him? Don't you know how much he just wanted you guys to love him?"
Jonathan was back from the place in his mind now, staring at Toby.
"I just wanted to make them proud..." he said quietly.
"He wanted you to be proud of him!" Toby shouted at her.
"But they made me...hate myself."
"You made him hate himself!"
"Like I shouldn't be alive!" Jonathan was shouting now, obviously very glad to finally have a voice to tell his parents what he wanted them to hear.
"You made him feel like he shouldn't be alive!"
"I loved them so much, and they treated me like trash!"
"You treated him like trash, when he loved you so much!"
"I knew they wished I'd never been born. They wished I was dead. I wished...I wished I would die."
Toby's anger was rising, he was so caught up in the moment. The parents were just staring at him like stupid wide-eyed fish, and he wanted to smack them both. Especially the mother.
"You made him wish he was dead! He thought you wanted him to die!"
"I HATE YOU!" Jonathan screamed, overwhelmed, and he screamed, but only Toby heard it, but he wished they did. But he didn't say it. He just shook his head, and said, "Well, if you did, you got your wish."
And he turned to leave. He thought Jonathan would leave with him, but when he turned to check, the ghost was already gone.
Ah, how I would hate to have parents like that.
You should all love your children!
No matter what!