Sorry for the very long wait. Not on just this story, but on all my stories. I for some reason, did not feel the urge to write. I guess I got writer's block. And no matter how hard you work to write, when you have writer's block, trust me, ain't nothing going to come out.
I felt bad though, because I kept getting reviews and PMs, from all my readers, wanting me to update.
So, to get myself back on track in my writing, here's the next chapter of The G Word.
"Did you remember something?" Toby asked when he saw Jonathan again, the next day at school. He'd been worried sick, afraid that the dramatic sort of reunion from the day before had like, made Jonathan's spirit vanish or something. He'd sat up all night, because it was his fault it had happened. He was the one who wanted to talk to Jonathan's parents so badly.
Jonathan nodded. "Not much. Not who I was with. Just, some emotions." he said, swallowing. "Fear. I remembered a lot of fear."
Toby sighed. They were getting nowhere. He looked at Jonathan and saw that the ghost looked pretty upset. Toby felt bad. This was kind of all his fault.
"Hey..." he said, and Jonathan looked over. "I'm sorry I made you take me to your house."
Jonathan looked away again, and Toby realized that he was standing in the middle of the hallway, and that he was indeed being stared at. Damnit, he thought. I really need to work on that. Luckily, he had a pair of headphones in, and he motioned to them, and said, "Sorry, I'll take this somewhere else." He started walking toward his class, and Jonathan followed behind laughing lightly.
"It's not funny." Toby whispered. "People are going to think I'm crazy."
Jonathan only laughed more. "Of course it's funny. And don't worry about it, I should have told you why I didn't want to go to my house." Jonathan sighed now. "I guess a part of me did want to see them."
Toby would have responded, but at that second Hajime came out of nowhere and planted himself in front of him.
"Toby, I need to talk to you." he said, and Toby bit his lip. He had a feeling he knew what about. After all, he wasn't being one hundred percent subtle when it came to hiding the fact that he could see and speak with Jonathan. That, put together with the fact that Hajime had heard Jonathan's voice yesterday, was putting together some very obvious facts.
"Uh...what is it?" he asked, and Hajime looked around and then motioned for Toby to follow him. Toby went without argument because it was either that or have Hajime spill his secret right here in front of anybody who happened to be nearby.
As they were walking, Toby kept looking back at Jonathan for guidance. What was he supposed to do? Tell Hajime the truth? Pretend he had no idea what he was talking about? Jonathan was thinking about it hard, too, Toby could tell by the look on his face.
They went into the boy's bathroom, and luckily, no one was in there. Hajime went over and grabbed a trashcan and shoved it under the doorknob so that nobody could get in. Toby leaned against a wall and looked at Jonathan, who said, "We shouldn't tell him, right?"
"Why not?" Toby whispered, curious. He didn't see how it would hurt anything. As long as Hajime didn't go around telling people.
Before he could answer, Hajime was back, and he was crossing his arms over his chest, looking very serious.
"You can see Jonathan." It wasn't even a question. It was a statement. He sounded like he was daring Toby to disagree with him. Toby wanted to look back over his shoulder to Jonathan, but then Hajime would wonder why he was doing that.
"What?" he simply said, and Hajime rolled his eyes.
"Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about."
"I...don't know what you're talking about. I don't even believe in ghosts." Toby tried, shrugging. "I think you're just still upset, Hajime."
Hajime did not look happy. "Oh yeah? Then explain why you keep talking to thin air, and why you keep looking over your shoulder, and why I heard his voice yesterday!"
Toby looked over his shoulder at Jonathan, lost.
"See!" Hajime said, pointing. "Like that! You're looking at him, aren't you?"
"Don't tell him." Jonathan spoke up, and he was suddenly standing next to him.
"Why not?" Toby repeated, trying not to speak loudly. Jonathan grabbed his hair and floated back away from them, and Toby could hear him starting to cry.
"Because what if he wants to help catch my killer? Then he'll be put in danger!" Jonathan shouted, looking at the ground. Toby couldn't help but roll his eyes. Oh sure, putting Hajime in danger, a big no no, but him on the other hand, sure, why not?
"I'm sorry, Hajime, I don't know what you're talking about." Toby said, and Hajime suddenly did something unexpected.
He started to cry.
It wasn't loud and gross, he just stood there, shaking lightly, looking pissed off, other than the tears going silently down his face.
"I know you're lying to me." he said, and his voice shook. He looked over Toby's shoulder, to where Jonathan was, and Jonathan felt his gaze, and looked up at him, gritting his teeth when he saw that his best friend was crying.
"Jonathan, why don't you want me to know?" Hajime asked, shaking his head. "I miss you! And I..." he trailed off, and Jonathan went over to him quickly, trying to grab him, his hands passing through him.
"I can't put you in danger!" Jonathan shouted, and Toby felt like he should leave, like this wasn't his moment, but he knew that would be stupid.
"I can feel you, Jonathan!" Hajime sobbed, reaching his hands up to try and find the source of the cold around him. Toby watched, feeling very depressed, as Hajime's hands went Jonathan too. "So why are you lying?"
Suddenly there was pounding on the bathroom door.
"Hey!" a voice shouted, "I gotta take a piss!" When nobody moved to open the door, the pounding grew more insistent, and this time, there were more than one guy.
"Open the door!" one guy shouted.
"What are you doing in there?" asked another, and Toby went over and put a hand on Hajime's shoulder.
"I'm sorry." he said softly, and then he went over and took the trashcan away, opening the door. The people waiting on the other side gave him strange looks as he exited, peering in to see who else had been in there.
"Dude, it's Hajime." one guy whispered, and they gave him very strange looks then. Toby ignored them and left, Jonathan trailing behind him sadly.
"Are you sure?" he asked as they walked. Jonathan nodded.
Toby didn't argue. He just looked back at the bathroom, where Hajime was appearing. He stared after Toby, his eyes red. Some people were asking him if he was okay, but he just ignored them, turning around and stalking down the hall. Toby picked up speed, and then he heard Hajime's voice shouting after them, "I know you're lying to me!"
Toby didn't turn around.
"So," Toby said to Jonathan at his house later that night. "Who else could it be? If it wasn't Martin, that is."
Jonathan didn't answer him, he just kept staring at the wall.
"Jonathan." Toby said, and the ghost looked up.
"Oh, sorry." he said, and he thought about it. "I'm not sure."
Before they could pursue it, Toby heard a crash from Cody's room. He looked at Jonathan, and asked, "Can you go see if he's okay? He's a serious klutz, and I would not be surprised if he just fell out the window or something."
"Sure." Jonathan said, vanishing into the air. It was quiet. Toby kept thinking about Jonathan and Hajime. God, that would suck, to die. To die, and be on earth, and nobody could see you, except some random guy you hadn't even known in life.
Another second passed, and then Jonathan was back. To Toby's surprise, he was grinning.
"What's up?" Toby asked, and Jonathan shrugged.
"Nothing. He's fine."
"Then why are you grinning like that?" Toby asked suspiciously. Jonathan didn't answer, shrugging again.
"It's none of my business."
Toby frowned. "No, but he's my cousin, so it's my business."
Jonathan's grin grew larger.
"He doesn't think so."
Pissed off, Toby got up, and went to Cody's door, and without even knocking, went in. To his surprise, the only thing he saw was Cody, standing by the window, looking out. Nothing weird about it.
"Toby?" Cody said, confused. "What is it?"
Toby looked around the room, but nothing seemed out of place, and Cody didn't look like he was hiding anything. Jonathan had floated into the room, and he was just shaking his head, with an amused smirk on his face.
"I uh, heard a crash. I came to see if you were okay."
"Oh." Cody said, moving away from the window. "Yeah, I'm fine." Then he smiled.
Toby couldn't tell what Jonathan was smirking about. But he wanted to smack him for it.
"Okay." Toby said, turning around to go back to his room. Jonathan followed, laughing. When they got back to his room, Toby shut the door, and said, "What? What was he hiding?"
Jonathan just kept laughing, and Toby tried to smack his shoulder, but his hand went through him. It gave his hand a cold chill.
Once they'd calmed down, Jonathan went back to being depressed. Toby could tell by now when the ghost was feeling down.
"Don't worry." he said, sitting down next to his friend. "You made the right choice."
Jonathan looked up at him, smiling weakly. "You think?"
"Yeah." Toby nodded. "Now stop worrying about it, and start worrying about who killed you. If we can catch him, maybe then we can tell Hajime the truth."
Jonathan's smile grew wider, and he nodded. "Yeah. You're so nice, Toby." But then his smile faded again.
"What if..." he started, and then he trailed off. Toby cocked his head curiously.
"What if what?" he asked, and Jonathan was quiet a second.
"What if...my parents...were right?"
Toby frowned just thinking about them, and it got deeper as he processed Jonathan's words.
"Right about what?"
"Right about my death being my punishment." Jonathan whispered, folding his hands into his lap. "And what if being stuck on earth is my further punishment?"
Toby shook his head. "Well then its failed, because you have me, and so you're not alone." he tried, and Jonathan smiled a little again, then sighed. "Don't worry," Toby said. "It's not your punishment. You didn't deserve to die for being gay."
"How can you be sure?"
Toby thought about it. "If it was a sin to be gay, do you really think God would be make you gay? Why would he do that? What would be the point?"
Jonathan was quiet.
"You're still here because you need to know who killed you." Toby said. "That's all."
Jonathan was quiet for a few more seconds, then he looked at Toby and winked, "If I wasn't a ghost, I'd kiss you."
Toby found himself blushing, and he tried to push the ghost away, again, to no avail. "I thought you liked Hajime."
"I do like Hajime. But a thank you kiss never hurt anybody."
"Yeah well, don't even think about it."
Jonathan only grinned some more.
"Maybe I'll try it anyway."
Then the ghost moved forward an inch, and Toby found himself running around his own room, trying to escape. Jonathan chased him around for a few minutes, then stopped when Toby fell onto his bed, panting with exhaustion.
"You know, Toby, sometimes I think the reason I'm still here on earth was to meet you." Jonathan said, and Toby smiled at him.
"Don't be so gay."
Hoped you liked it. I know it might not feel like this is progress, but trust me, every chapter counts!