Author's Note: Hello everyone, I hope you all are excited. This here is my second single story, and it will be a real touching one... just not TOO touching if you know what I mean lol. All previously mentioned trigger warnings still apply and the same zero-tolerance for homophobia and disrespectful comments in general are enforced. This entire story will be narrated in third person, and it is dedicated to all the depressed LGBTQ youths out there who are suffering in the hands of bigotry of today. I just hope you guys will be able to find comfort.
Also, in this story, I will be adding problems with racism rather than just homophobia to bring comfort to the Black and/or Hispanic community, so I hope you guys can be open-minded with that too. Please don't make me regret my decision. If you don't like it, than don't read it. I won't judge because it's your choice.
To those who are interested, I'm just glad to have you here and thank you for clicking onto this link. So have fun reading!
This story may contain profanity language, violence, PTSD attacks, acts of racism, internalized homophobia, sexual intercourse, and suicidal attempts.
Prologue: Broken beyond Repair.
One week ago; September 14th, 2018
"How much do you want to know?" The boy asked his therapist, Mrs. Kennedy, who is sitting on her chair right beside him. She clicked her pen and prepares herself to write down whatever he had to say. The room was quiet and the only sound audible was the clock ticking and the boy's heavy breathing as he was facing up at the blank, white ceiling.
"You don't have to tell me everything, Lance. Just tell me about what happened at school last week. Has there been bullying going on?" Mrs. Kennedy asked him, adjusting her glasses before she looks at Lance with sapphire blue eyes. She has been his therapist for almost a year now.
"Last Friday when I was using the bathroom after Algebra class was over, Sequoia and a few of his gang members came barging in to torture me to their own entertainment. Two of them were shoving my face down the toilet water. I couldn't tell who they were but I do know that Sequoia was the one who's kicking me in my behind. It reminded me of my Elementary School days all over again. I could've suffocated by inhaling too much toilet water if one of the staff hadn't come in, you have no idea how bad it was." Lance explained, his voice was raising a bit with distress.
"Wait a sec, is Sequoia the one you told me you had a crush on?" Mrs. Kennedy inquired him, raising an eyebrow.
"Sadly yes," Lance nods his head, sighing. "You can't imagine how desperately in love I was with him." His voice started to break as he was trying to hold back fresh tears that were begging him to escape from his eyes.
Even though it's only him and his therapist in this room he didn't want to cry in front of her... She can tell by reading his facial expression before she starts writing down her notepad.
"He was supposed to be my friend. He was supposed to help me... and he does THIS to me! Why couldn't he just like me the same way I like him?"
"You can't make anyone like you, Lance. That's not how the world works that way." Mrs. Kennedy told him.
"I don't care anymore!" Lance screamed as he slammed his fist with anger, startling her. "It's not my fault I'm a freaking homo! I didn't choose to be this way! If I could choose, I would've choose to be normal by being straight rather than being discriminated for being different."
"Nobody is normal, Lance." Mrs. Kennedy shook her head. "Everyone's different."
Lance scoffed, rolling his icy blue eyes. "Well it doesn't seem like it to me..."
If people were in Lance's shoes, they would know how hellish it is when it comes to playing a cruel game called life. A game where there are no winners, only survivors, to which Lance feel like he wants give up surviving sooner or later.
Most days he would question himself why out of all the people in this small town does he have to be so different? Why does he have to be judged and hated by everyone? Why does he have to be...
... a homosexual?
Lance hated himself for so many reasons. Gay being the main one for being the cause of other problems such as being ridiculed and not focusing on his school work. Other reasons included being too afraid to be himself, being too weak, not having a strong willpower.
But just because he's gay doesn't mean that he's not an ordinary person with feelings just like everybody, right?
Sadly, that's not what his hometown in Alabama thinks.
Alabama was normally described as a civilized and peaceful state by most people. But not everywhere was as lucky or privileged to be so graceful. No matter where one goes in the world, there will be some hardship and conflict around. Nobody was spared from antagonism; not the men, the women, the elderly, the disabled, or even the young children.
... Especially those who were part of the LGBTQ, unfortunately.
High School was as potentially a vile place as anywhere, and some unfortunate souls experienced that harsh truth. A boy named Lance Kelly, a 17-year-old boy, was one of these unfortunate souls.
It all started when Lance was a happy and friendly boy back then, but there were many things about him which made him an outcast. He was a mildly autistic individual, meaning he had difficulty understanding and dealing with certain social situations.
Because of this, he was also quite anti-social, always opting to be by himself than to interact with other children when possible. Because of his social differences and quirks, he was often rendered a victim of bullying. Living in a town area in his childhood days, Lance was unfortunately surrounded by children of the rough and mean variety. Those who would take pleasure in exploiting the fact that Lance was alone, as well as fearful of even interacting with others, let alone fighting back against those who wronged him.
Because he was different, they picked on him, as kids often do when they come across someone who is different, or weird, to them. Additionally, Lance had a last name which sounded like a girls name, as well as a very high-pitched voice. Not to mention prominent freckles and even slightly pointed ears. All of these qualities of his made him an ever larger target for bullying and abuse from the other kids.
Lance indeed went through many incidents of bullying as a little child. Everything from name calling and teasing, to physical abuse and attacks at the hands of the less friendly classmates...
Lance rarely, if ever, tried to fight back. He didn't like conflict and just wanted to be left alone. This is why he adopted such a passive behavior. Even when he actually tried to fight back or retaliate against a bully, it was usually he, more so than the aggressor, who received punishment from the teachers or present authority figures in the room. Instances like that only served to further cement his passive and timid behavior as a core part of his personality during his younger years.
Because of this hostile treatment in his early years, Lance figured he was better off not interacting with other kids very much. He kept to himself, playing video games and watching cartoons in his spare time. When interacting with those he didn't know, he decided to act as passively as possible, in order to avoid conflict with anyone. In his earlier years, he found this to be a decent coping strategy, ignoring the hostility of the outside world and finding happiness through an isolated existence; just him and his electronic devices.
But as he got older and was sent away to private school after he wasn't participating at Middle School, thanks to his autism, he became more depressed.
He hated how lonely he was, and how little anyone in the world knew or cared about his existence. While everyone else would enjoy living life together, embarking on various hi-jinks and providing enjoyment for one another, he wallowed in despair upon the realization that he may never be anything other than a lonely little loser who nobody cared for.
That was until one day when he returned to public school at freshman year, he met a certain popular boy in school, Sequoia Williams, who would later on become his crush. Sequoia came up to defend Lance from the bullies. He was Lance's closest (and only) best friend and they would hang out together after school. Because that he was hanging out with the one of the most popular kid in school, everything was starting to improve for Lance. The people would start giving him attention and nobody would dare bully him as long as Sequoia would be right beside him. Lance was so grateful for what Sequoia had done for him. He looks up to him as if he's a real hero, and he was glad to finally have a someone who at least cares about him.
Someone who unfortunately would turn Lance's world upside down, which is unbeknownst to him until junior year came when he found out about his true sexuality. Lance was never really interested in girls like the normal guys from his school were, and he was never even interested in doing any manly activities. He was able to date a girl once thanks to Sequoia's help to gain confidence, but still no interest... and he wondered why. But thanks to one guy who seem handsome and charming in Lance's eyes, the answer to his questions had finally came.
Sequoia had made him come to the conclusion that he is gay. Out of all the words to describe how Lance felt about being gay he only needed one...
Sure there were other words to describe it, but fear overpowered all of his emotions. Each day his newfound confidence would get weaker and weaker as the fear of being gay increased each day. He used to control his life but now he doesn't feel like himself anymore, and his fears limited him from doing things ultimately controlling his life. He even tried doing research to find out if he is gay.
He learned just because he had dated a girl once does not make him straight. And since he had already dated a girl, he thought maybe he should try a guy. Problem was only one guy interested him, and that one guy is the Sequoia Williams, the most attractive person he have ever seen. In Lance's opinion; he is flawless, perfect to be exact.
Lance was so much smaller than the rest of the guys at school... he was definitely a late bloomer for puberty. All those things that made him doubt that Sequoia would want to date a guy like him. Asking him or at least talking to him would not be easy. He is so popular that it is hard to get some alone time with him. Whenever Lance do get alone time with Sequoia after school his body would shut down and he would get nervous like he can't do simple human interactions with him.
He had to tell someone that he was gay, he just couldn't hold it back any longer, it had to be someone who would support him. Lance was able to come out to his mother that he is gay, well really just that he like Sequoia, but still it meant that he is gay. He had always talked with his mother about his feelings. He was glad that she didn't reject him like most homophobic parents would do with their gay child, and that she promised him that she'll love him no matter what.
But unfortunately he couldn't say the same for his former crush Sequoia, who is now his main bully. Coming out to him was the worst mistake of his life. He thought that Sequoia would be okay with Lance being gay for him... but boy was he wrong. Lance felt like he wanted to join his hopes in death when Sequoia harshly rejected him.
Things had gotten so bad that Lance was back into being a lonely loser who nobody wanted to be around with. And not only that, he also doesn't feel safe anywhere besides school. Sequoia has been spreading Lance's secret all over town, and it wasn't long before Lance had become a target of hate and violence.
Lance couldn't believe that his own best friend who is supposed to support him would betray him like that. He felt like he would never love anything and anyone ever again. It was when his trust issues and paranoia around people had began.
Lance hated this town so much, he didn't want to live there anymore. He even begged his mother to find a way for them to move to a different state where he can hopefully start a new life and attend a new school. But unfortunately, his mother told him that they can't afford it. Her job wasn't paying her much and they don't have enough savings. To make matters worse, even though he'll be graduating High School, he still has to stay there until he's 21 due to the lack of having real Middle School education when he was sent to private school, thanks to his autism and other stuff.
This hindered Lance's hope of finding happiness. He even doubted that anyone in this homophobic town would hire a gay kid like him to have a part-time job.
His self-loathing problems had gotten worse than before, he decided to punish himself. For each day he would cut himself on the forearm, and it wasn't long until both his arms were covered with cuts. He was going insane that he had lost so much blood, but he could not stop himself.
Lance's mother suspected something was up when her son would still be wearing long sleeves when it was hot outside. She knew he was hiding something, and so she quickly found out he has been cutting himself. She was so worried about his depression ever since the bullying started last year and she thought he needed someone who she can trust to help him. So she had signed him up for therapy sessions ever since.
Lance wasn't sure about having a therapist at first due to his trust issues, but slowly he was able to find comfort in talking to her.
Mrs. Kennedy asked him right after she finished writing, "Do you still have the urges to do self-harm such as cutting yourself lately?".
Lance scoffed, leaning back on his chair and sarcastically replied, "No, I've been having thoughts that one day I'll see that my own punishments will help me become a much better person rather than a mistake by being known as a town faggot".
He crossed his arms he had bandaged to cover the fresh cuts he made last night after he got home from another miserable day in school, and would keep them hidden under his sleeves to make sure no one would see them. Not that they would care much like his mother and his therapist.
He quickly scratched his arms a little as he can feel the burning itchiness from the cuts.
"Lance please, there is no need for that kind of fowl language." Mrs. Kennedy scolded him and sighed. "Look, I know how harsh your life has been on you lately-"
"Hard?!" Lance cuts her off, his voice was now raising with raw emotion. "How hard do you know about my life? Even though I've shared my pain with you for over a year now I bet you still don't know what it's like to become a target of this community every single damn day, even before I came out of the closet. My shitty childhood was one thing, but being discriminated for something I couldn't control is too much. Hell not even the teachers wanted to help me. I needed them, but they were never there for me! You don't even know what it's like when kids at your school would pretend to be gay just to trick you into thinking they finally have interest in you, let alone embarrass you in front of people in the end. I can't even escape the harassment outside of school, which means I can't go out on my own like I used to as long as this shithole of a town is infested by some fools who are waiting to jump on me 24/7. And the worse part is even after I graduate this year I still can't leave this place. Things are always gonna be the same as long as those people won't leave me alone. Don't even think I'm just overreacting! It feels like the world doesn't want me to be happy at all, that I deserved to be punished until the end of time!"
His voice grew tired from yelling as Mrs. Kennedy decided to speak up. "Honey, please calm down. Now I'm sure those people don't know any better-"
"That's easy for you to say..." Lance cuts her off once again. "... because you're not me!"
Tears started to form in his eyes. Unlike before, he couldn't hold them back anymore. His voice was starting to break. "I'm broken, Mrs. Kennedy. I'm broken beyond repair. I just wanted someone to be there for me... you know like someone who'll hug me when I need it. I'm starting wonder if my Mom really cares about me... she hasn't been talking to me lately and would just sent me here to talk to you instead. I bet she only gives me attention because she's my mother, the same as you did for me because you're my therapist."
Lance didn't really want to say those last parts, but he couldn't hold back the paranoia that wouldn't leave him alone. He doesn't know if his Mom really loved him for who he is, or if she's just saying that because she felt sorry for him and just wanted to get him off her back. He didn't know what to believe anymore. He hated this feeling.
Mrs. Kennedy meanwhile had been silent the whole time while listening to his ranting with sad, sympathetic frown painted on her red lips. It really breaks her heart to see how miserable her patients are, especially when they weren't accepted of being true to themselves. It wasn't fair for poor Lance to live in the same torment everyday. It seemed clear that neither of his therapy treatments aren't helping him much, as long as there are people with toxic hearts coming after him.
It really did a lot of damage on him. He was broken.
Broken beyond repair.
Being a successful therapist for almost 7 years, Mrs. Kennedy wasn't going to give up on helping this poor boy just because her treatments for him kept on failing. She was aware of Lance's paranoia if she really cares about his problems or not... she does.
Seeing him in a terrible state, Mrs. Kennedy really wanted him to stay so she could do something than just talking and small stuff. That is why she came up with a plan of a new treatment not too long ago. A treatment that she hoped to God that it will work. She has another patient who has been with her longer than Lance, and he's been having same experiences as he does.
She finally broke the silence that lasted 5 minutes with a heavy sigh, replying to him, "Listen Lance, you can't let your paranoia get to you. I'm positive your mother does care about you, and so do I. And you are right about me not knowing the same experiences as you do... But I was aware that the usual treatments aren't working. Therefore I have decided that we should try something else". Mrs. Kennedy got up from her chair. "Please wait here."
Lance raised an eyebrow in confusion as she went out of the room. What plan could she be talking about? He can hear her having a conversation with someone else, but he couldn't hear what they're saying. He just decided to shrug it off and wait for his therapist's return, not that he's hoping that some 'plan' Mrs. Kennedy had brought up is gonna solve his problems. None of them did.
Mrs. Kennedy soon returns as she was standing at the door frame before she and Lance made eye contact.
"Okay Lance, I just hope that this will help you this time because I would like to introduce you to someone." Mrs. Kennedy said before she looks out the door to call for someone. "Come on in, Pablo."
Lance raised an eyebrow... Who's this Pablo guy she's talking about?
At this moment, Lance felt like he was being lifted off the ground and into the universe once a boy steps into the room. He had completely forgotten about everything at first when he was checking him out. The boy seemed to be the same age as Lance, although he does appear to be a bit shorter than him. He also appears to be quite Hispanic no doubt, although he is mixed with white. He had a smooth jawline and his curly hair appears to be dark brown, there were some blonde streaks as some bangs were hanging in front of his face. Not to mention his eyes were quite enchanting and dark brown as a Hershey's chocolate bar.
The boy seems to be a bit shy as his eyes were staring down at the floor while he was crossing his arms behind his back like a nervous little school boy, which to Lance's opinion it seemed kinda cute, but also heartbreaking at the same time when he saw a hint of sadness in the boy's dark brown eyes.
Mrs. Kennedy smiled as she walks up between the two boys before she starts to introduce the boy to Lance. "Lance, this is Pablo. He's another one of my patients and he's been with me for the past two years. Plus, he has the same problems as you do." She then turns to Pablo. "Pablo, meet Lance."
Pablo finally made eye contact with Lance and he couldn't help but smile a bit since he thought Lance looked adorable. He extended his hand to offer Lance a handshake. "Hey Lance, it's cool to finally meet you."
Lance was almost blown away by hearing this Pablo's voice. It sounded deep, soft, and soothing with a Spanish accent. He took Pablo's hand, replying back to him, "It's cool to meet you too". All the while, he felt his hand was electrified with pleasure. It felt so... warm and magical to him. He wondered if Pablo can feel it too.
"Okay then," Mrs. Kennedy began as she walks over to her desk and takes a seat. "You may be wondering why I brought you two together, correct?"
"Yeah." Both Lance and Pablo said at the same time.
"Since you two have the same problems I thought that this treatment would be an excellent idea by having you guys sent to some place where you guys and be alone for two whole weeks. I know you guys aren't sure about this, but trust me, I asked your parents for their permission and they told me it's up to you guys. I'm not gonna force this on you guys either, but I promise that it'll get better before you know it. So, what do you guys say?"
Pablo and Lance were silent for a few seconds as they started to think weather they should go with Mrs. Kennedy's plan of this new treatment or not.
"I don't know if this is gonna help me, nothing else did. I may be too far broken, but it's not fair for Pablo be suffering the same pain I went through. I'll try and do whatever it takes to make him happy, he deserves all the happiness he needs." Lance thought to himself. Little did he knew that Pablo was thinking the exact same way for him.
Both of them will do exactly what it takes to make each other happy... even though they don't know each other much.
Finally, they had made their decision.
"Well I think I can get used to spending time away from my home." Pablo said.
"Yeah, I don't see why not either." Lance added with agreement.
"Excellent." Mrs. Kennedy clapped her hands with delight. She then realized something else. "Oh yeah, I almost forgot... You guys can't bring your phones or any devices with you during two weeks. The place you two will be staying won't have any good internet signal. Please don't think of it as punishment, this is only to help you guys by learning to socialize with each other more. Okay?"
Lance frowned at her words. He REALLY wanted to bring his phone with him so that he can entertain himself by watching videos on YouTube or other stuff, but it looks like he'll just have to accept Mrs. Kennedy's orders of forbidding devices. Besides, according to her, they won't be having any signal even if Lance brings his phone with him.
But at least he'll be able to spending a lot more time from his own personal hell... with a handsome stranger who he just met today.
The two teens just nodded at their therapist words, none of them daring to complain about it. She smiled and begins to write down the schedule with her pen. "Then it's settled. Please be sure you guys will be packing everything you need once you get home, I will be calling your parents to let them know I'll be picking you boys up on Monday morning. You two have a safe evening now."
"Okay, thanks..." Lance said before he and Pablo both exited the room.
Pablo turned to Lance while they were walking and asks him, "Do you think you'll be okay with this, Pablo?"
Lance flashes him a small comfortable smile and replies to him, "Look Pablo, we may have known each other for like 7 minutes, but I can see the pain in your eyes when you first walk in. I know what it feels like since we both suffer the same shit and I feel like you need someone there for you to cheer you up. I'm not sure if it's gonna be easy, I'll admit, but I promise that I'll be with you whenever you need me. Okay?"
In that instant, Pablo felt very touched by what his new friend had told him. He never felt warm feeling in a long time. Lance seemed to very honest when he has said all of this.
"Thanks Lance... but you don't have to do this. I-I don't want to be much of a burden-"
"It's no problem Pablo, trust me." Lance told him. "Please, let me help you."
Both of them continued to exit the building, thinking to themselves; "Maybe this won't be so bad after all".
END OF CHAPTER
Author's Note: And this has concludes the prologue of "The Butterfly Effect"! What do you guys think of the detail and emotion I've added? I had to push some of my personal problems into this story to make it more entertaining, and forgive me if this prologue looks cheesy to you guys.
Thank you guys for reading the prologue, this story will be updated soon. Stay fresh readers, and have a safe evening.