When I woke up the next morning, I found Jaiden snuggled against my clothed chest, my arms wrapped protectively around him. I raised one of my hands to pet the pale teen's soft, ebony hair.
In his sleep, he was just as innocent as when he was awake. Only that he had a deep gleam of hidden sadness when he was conscious. It may just be me, but I swear, deep down, he knows what's going on. I don't blame him for wanting to hide in this child-like state, though, for his past was just sickening.
I hugged his limp body a bit tighter as I dug deeper into my own thoughts.
As I may have mentioned, Jaiden hasn't had the most happiest of childhoods. It started with his mother. Jaiden said before that he could have had many siblings, six or seven of them, but each and every one died as an infant. Jaiden was the only one who actually survived, but even then he had always been smaller and weaker than the other kids.
Said boy pressed himself closer to me, whimpering quietly. I weaved my fingers thru his silky strands, offering some sort of comfort. His whimpering ceased and his body relaxed once again.
Jaiden's father never really was a patient fellow. That and the grief of so many of his could-be children gone, he turned to alcohol, believing that his only son will soon be gone also. His mother took great care into Jaiden until his father turned into an abusive drunk. She would try to stop as many of the beatings that were intended for Jaiden as possible, by being beaten herself.
From what I heard, this has been going on for many years. Until she found out that Jaiden was sick, and chances are that he wouldn't make it. That was when she left him in the park, hoping that he would be taken into an Orphanage to separate him from his father was she could go start another life, somewhere else. She had enough of the pain.
Unfortunately, the police was able to track Jaiden's father and such. The beatings continued until my mother, Jaiden's mother's friend, gave them a surprised visit and found Jaiden laying half-dead on the kitchen floor.
Events followed after that, leading to where I saw Jaiden's asshole of a dad killing my little brother, Luke, before being shot down by the police.
Since then, we were both sent here at some sort of mental hospital out in the countryside, deemed to be in an unhealthy mental state.
Jaiden's eyes fluttered open as he woken from dreamland. I smiled at him and kissed his forehead, having finished my brooding.
"Morning, Austin…" Jaiden mumbled sleepily, releasing his grip on my shirt with one hand to rub at his eyes. "I had a weird dream," He said.
I gave him a questioning look as he grabbed my hand that was petting his hair. He moved my hand to his cheek, smiling at me. "I dreamt about what would have happened if I had reached up to catch that bright green balloon… Was I wrong for letting it go? Would mom have come back if I caught it?"
Something seemed off about all this, and I had expected him to tear up. I was beginning to pull him into a hug before he smiled up at me, sadly, an unfamiliar emotion in his eyes, "its fine, Austin. I…don't want to hide anymore."
I blinked in surprise, looking into Jaiden's ice-blue eyes. That child-like innocence was no longer there. Only the eyes of deep sadness, with a small fleck of pride were left.
"J-Jaiden," I asked my throat hoarse from lack of use.
Jaiden merely stretched himself out to place a chaste kiss on my lips. "We just have to move on, right? Then we can go outside again, and watch the sun rise, and see the leaves blow in the wind? No more hurting about what's done and over?" His sadness was replaced with hope and desperation.
I ruffled Jaiden's hair, "Of course."
Jaiden snuggled into me once again. "Then it's settled."