True To Yourself.
It was 3 days before his 16th birthday when Max Russo realised who he was. The most gorgeous person Max had ever seen was right there. Sat in his family's Sandwich Shop, in one of the booths. Max was working, he had been all day, so when Max saw this amazing beauty, he had to talk to them. So Max headed to the kitchen.
"Mom, I'm taking my break, 'kay?" Max proclaimed as he threw his apron onto the counter. Although he asked if it was ok, Max would have done what he wanted anyway. He normally did.
"Sure honey. But don't be too long, we're getting busy now." Remarked Theresa, pointing into the sub-shop which was beginning to fill rather fast.
"Mom!" Max said, half moaning, half laughing, "I've been working all day. I'm exhausted. Can't I have time to rest?" Theresa normally would have said no to Max instantly, today she hesitated before answering her son.
"Okay Maxxie, you can have the rest of the day off." She said with a smile, "I'll go get Harper to cover the rest of your shift" Max looked at his kind mother with a smile growing on his face. He ran into his mother's arms and hugged her. She was completely confused as to why her youngest, less affectionate son was hugging her. "What was that for sweetie?" Asked Theresa.
"Thank you mom, you don't know how grateful I am for this." Max answered. "I have some things to do. And I really appreciate this. I'll make it up to you!"
"Okay honey, just go have fun." Theresa said before heading to the basement to get Harper.
Max walked out of the kitchen, before realising he was wearing his stained red t-shirt and a pair of worn jeans. He didn't want to approach the beauty looking like a hobo. So he ran into the wizard lair and grabbed his wand. He thought of the look he wanted. He waved his wand above his head and it glowed. His clothes changed from his hobo like clothing to a blue/black checker shirt, and white t-shirt under it, and a pair of black skinny jeans and blue converse. He walked out the lair and into the shop. He noticed the person he was attracted to was still sat there, nursing a diet root beer, that Max himself had given to them. Max was extremely nervous. He had never really done this. So he walked over to the booth the person was sat at and sat down.
"Hi" Max said, smiling at the gorgeous person sat opposite him. "I'm Max, Max Russo."
"Hi Max, nice to meet you! I'm Jack. Jack Benson." Yes, the person Max had been so attracted to, the person he was so nervous to talk to, was indeed a boy. Max had never ever felt this way about another boy, or a girl for that matter. Jack was very good looking. He looked about the same age as Max. He had the most beautiful brown eyes Max had ever seen. His hair was a chestnut brown colour, that swept over his face, perfectly. He had the most perfect little freckle under his right eye. Max was picking up every little detail of Jack's person.
"So Jack" Max said nervously, getting a small chuckle out of Jack.
"Max? Why don't you just say what you came over to ask?" Stated Jack bluntly. He could tell Max was nervous and he could tell Max was going to ask him something.
"W…w…what d…do you mean?" Max struggled to ask. His face began to turn as red as the t-shirt he had been wearing not 10 minutes ago.
"Max, just ask me out already" Jack said with a cheeky smile on his face. That made Max feel even more nervous. Max tried to think of how to ask without sounding like a total nub. Jack just smiled at Max.
"Jack, I was just wondering…"Max paused, he had never asked anyone out, in fact he hadn't come out of the closet yet, so maybe this was a bit previous. Asking someone out when his family didn't even know he was gay. "What I'm doing here. I can't do this. I want to. God I want to. But I can't." With that, Max jumped from his seat and ran up the metal spiral staircase that led to the Russo family's apartment. Jack laughed to himself before he saying "He'll be back."
Later that evening(7.30 to be exact), Max had called a Russo Family Meeting, which now included Harper.
"Okay, lets get this over with." Alex proclaimed as she emerged from the stairs. "Who the hell called this 'Russo Family Freak show' anyway?"
"Max did." Exclaimed Theresa. "What's going on, Maxxie?"
"Can we wait until Justin gets here?" Max asked, knowing Justin would be a few more minutes because he was at his guitar lesson.
"Sure sweetie." Theresa responded.
"Mom, Dad? Why the hell did we have to come just now? I mean Justin won't be home until a quarter to 8." Alex moaned, looking rather angrily at Max, who at this point in time didn't need Alex's negativity. He needed all the courage he could for what he was planning to do.
"Alex? Can I talk to you for a minute? In private" Max snapped at his negative older sister.
"Fine!" Alex groaned, as she pushed herself off of the sofa. Max led her down into the now empty sandwich shop. "Okay Maxxie, what's so important you couldn't just wait until Justin got home?"
"Alex, I'm telling you first because what I'm planning on telling you guys, I'm gonna need you to be as positive as you can be. I'm gonna need your support."
"Max, what is it? Your really scaring me now!" Alex said, in the most sincere voice her repertoire could muster up.
"Alex, what I'm gonna tell you, please don't be mad at me, kay?" Max said in a sad, low voice that was barely audible.
"Max, I promise what ever it is, I won't get mad." Alex reassured
"Alex, I'm gay!" Max just blurted out, seeing the shock in his sisters face.
"You're what?" Alex asked, unsure if she had heard him correctly.
"I'm gay. Homosexual. Y'know?" Max answered, now regretting what he told his loud mouth older sister.
"Max. Are you sure?" Max nodded. "Well if your sure and your happy, then so am I" Alex said with a smile on her face. "But before Justin gets home, answer me a few things, kay?" Max nodded again. "Okay, why did you choose now to tell us, me, no us?"
"Because I met this boy today that I wanted to ask out. And he wanted me to ask him too, but I couldn't because I hadn't told you guys."
"Okay, next question. Who is he?" Alex asked, sounding genuinely intrigued by Max's new love life. "Where'd you meet? And what's he like?"
"His name is Jack Benson. He was in here earlier. Mom gave me the shift off and I spent it with him, or I tried to anyway. He has chestnut brown hair almost falling over his eyes. His eyes are brown and he has the most amazing freckle under his right eye." Max answered his sister's questions.
"Max. I'm glad I'm the first person you told. And you do realize I will have to meet him before you can date him, right?" Alex teased, poking her not-so little brother in the chest.
"ALEX…MAX… JUSTIN'S HOME" Jerry yelled down the stairs. Alex and her brother made their way up the stairs before Max grabbed Alex's arm.
"What?" Alex asked
"I'm nervous. Please don't say to them I already told you. Act surprised, Kay?" Max said, as Alex nodded.
They walked into the living room and saw the whole family(and Harper) sitting on the sofa. Zeke was there too.
"Zeke, go home!" Alex barked at him, and he did. He got up and stumbled to the door.
"Alex? What the hell?" Justin said really confusedly.
"He can't hear what I'm gonna say." Max chimed in, drawing the entire room's attention. Max looked around at everyone. From a very puzzled Jerry to a concerned Theresa, to a confused Harper to a very angry Justin. He then looked at Alex, who was looking at him smiling and nodding.
"Go on Max" Alex said, trying to give him the support he needed. He smiled at her.
"I don't think I can." He said to her, before sitting down.
"Maxxie?" said Theresa, "Honey, you can tell us anything. You know that."
"Yeah buddy" Added in Jerry. "Just tell us."
"Max. Its now or never" Alex spoke up.
"Okay. Here goes. Mom. Dad. Justin. Harper. Alex. I know you guys are wondering why I called this meeting, right?"
"Yeah Max, that's kinda why we're all kinda staring at you. Asking why you called it to begin with." Justin said rather rudely, probably because Alex had told Zeke to leave. Alex shot Justin a look that made him shut up and sit back.
"Okay. This is hard for me to say. But I'm gonna try." Max said, so nervously that his family were getting more worried.
"Max, just say it. In your own time, honey." Said Theresa. She placed a loving hand on his left shoulder. Max could feel the tears begin to build up in his eyes.
"I'm…GAY!" Max blurted out, before looking down to his lap and let the tears out. There was an awkward silence until:
"YOUR WHAT?" Jerry yelled
"DAD!" Alex screamed at her father.
"Alex, don't yell at dad." Justin said, trying to adjust to what Max said. "Max, are you sure?"
"Yes, I am." Max said, again he was barely audible.
"Maxxie honey, since when?" Theresa asked, but Max could tell she was clearly upset about it.
"I've always kinda felt different and then recently, like the last week or two, I figured out what it was." Max tried to explain. He looked around the room. Harper and Alex were smiling, Justin sat staring into space, trying to digest this information. Theresa was looking at Max with a forced smile on her face. While Jerry didn't try to hide how he felt. He was furious.
"Max, just go to your room" Jerry said, trying to speak instead of shout.
"Don't you dare Max" Alex said making her way to her brother. "This is who you are! Your not any different than you were an hour ago. Your just being honest with who you are. And I accept that"
"So do I" Justin said, finally speaking after sitting practically silent for a few minutes.
"Me too Max" Said Harper, with the biggest smile on her face Max had ever seen.
"Max, this is just going to be hard for your father and I to deal with. But…"
"EXCUSE ME?" Alex Screamed. Everyone looked shocked at her.
"Alex? What is it?" Theresa snapped
"THIS WILL BE A LOT FOR YOU AND DAD TO DEAL WITH? HOW DARE YOU? MAX IS ONLY 15 AND HE HAD THE GUTS TO TELL YOU GUYS. HE IS BEING TRUE HIMSELF AND HE'S THE ONE WHO IS GOING TO DEAL WITH THIS. NOT YOU! HE IS YOUR SON! DON'T TREAT HIM LIKE A FUCKING PARIAH! HUG HIM. SIT DOWN AND TALK ABOUT IT, BUT DON'T YOU DARE SPEAK TO MY BROTHER LIKE HE IS SOME KIND OF SICK TWISTED THING!" Alex screamed at her mother.
"ALEXANDRA RUSSO!" Jerry yelled.
"AND YOU CAN SHUT UP ASWELL TUBBY! YOUR SON HAS JUST TOLD YOU SOMETHING THAT HE WAS COMPLETELY TERRIFIED TO TELL YOU! AND INSTEAD OF BEING THERE FOR HIM, YOU JUST YELL AND SHOUT AT HIM. GROW UP YOU FAT DISGRACE OF A MAN!" Alex shouted at Jerry. Everyone looked shocked.
"Alex please, stop" Max whispered.
"No Max! She won't" Justin said as he stood up "And neither will I"
"Justin, sit down." Theresa pleaded with her eldest boy.
"WILL I FUCK SIT DOWN MOTHER! MAX IS MY LITTLE BROTHER AND HE HAS MORE GUTS AND BRAINS AND DIGNITY THAN YOU TWO" pointing at his parents "MAX, I'M PROUD OF YOU! AND SO IS ALEX! AND HARPER! BUT IF YOUR PARENTS AREN'T THEN SCREW THEM"
"Maxxie, I'm sorry" said Theresa "I accept this is who you are, but it's a lot to take in on one night".
"Well I don't accept it!" Jerry snapped at his family. "I just don't" Jerry stood up to leave the room when Justin stepped in front of him. "MOVE OUT OF MY WAY JUSTIN!"
"I don't think I will" Justin said as he swung his fist at Jerry, knocking his father to the ground. Blood everywhere.
"Max come on" Alex said as she gripped her brother's arm. "Get your stuff, we're leaving! Harper do you still have the keys to your old place?"
"Yeah Alex, I do but I don't think this is a very good idea." Harper said as she stood up from her seat.
"It is a good idea." Alex and Justin said in unison. The three Russo children and Harper headed to their individual rooms, packing enough clothes to last them a few days. Before leaving the Sub Shop and not looking back.
Back inside the flat, Theresa and Jerry sat in silence. Theresa was glaring at her husband.
"I hope your happy Jerry!"
"Of course I'm not happy Theresa. We've just lost our son." Jerry answered, genuinely saddened by the developments that just unfolded.
"Not only have you lost your SONS. And Daughter. You've lost my love and respect. Jerry. I can't do this. I'm leaving". Theresa stood up and left the room, then after packing her clothes, she left the house too. Leaving Jerry. Alone.