Lenne: ...I'll give you my last words at the end of the story. Enjoy.
Final Chapter: Farewell
Kumatora and Duster took Ninten, Ness, Claus, and myself back to our home. Along the way, Ninten informed Claus and I that we may have to come out to our parents soon, because in order to ensure Leila and her father's conviction, we would need to testify in court. Meaning, our parents would have to know why we had to go testify. Claus and I decided to tell them that night, having our boyfriends by our side. We confronted Mom and Dad, and told them what had happened at the Spring Dance, and about our relationships. With no surprising reaction at all, they accepted us immediately. We asked why—and as the best parents would say, they only wanted our happiness.
The day after the Spring Dance came the last day of school, which also meant the 8th grade award ceremony and graduation for E.B. Junior High. With everyone at the auditorium, a handful of students were picked to be recognized for their academic or extracurricular achievement, and awarded with a certificate and medal. Those chosen sat on stage in chairs, while regular students remained in one part of the auditorium, watching.
Ness was awarded for "Best Athlete", and it was no doubt that he would have received it. Not only that, he received many cheers and applause throughout the room, disregarding the fact that his secret was out. Therefore, he stood with pride and smiled brightly.
He wasn't alone, though. I was chosen for "Best Student Assistant" by Mrs. Baez. Though not very well-acknowledged, I was still given praise for standing here with everyone else. I nervously smiled, watching Claus, Mom, Dad, and Ninten admiring me from afar.
After that night, we all celebrated together at a restaurant—my family, Ness' family, and Ninten and his father. Ness and I felt the celebration wasn't just for our graduation, but also for the end of Leila's scheme.
Speaking of Leila...
All of us appeared in court for the next few days. As Ninten had stated, Ness and I testified against Leila for her framing, and against her father for the blackmail scheme. I revealed I trespassed school grounds with Kumatora only to remove the pictures that Leila and her friends had posted. Ness detailed his torturous life with Leila to the prosecutor, which revealed many things I did not fully realize: Leila had fully implemented herself in Ness' life controlling his life since he was ten years old. She told Ness what to do, what not to do, what he should have done before, what he should do in the future for her, and all that stupid crap. It made me so frustrated to see Ness on the verge of depression, admitting his controlled life in front of everyone. After the event came dealing with Leila's prostitution charge, which was dealt with easily by Ninten's father, and Leila's older partner "Donnell" who was escorted here by the police.
Later, Ninten and his sisters also helped with Mr. Trevett's attempted murder charge, from getting the car's license and then witnessing the situation. When everything was presented, the court reached its conclusion: Mr. Trevett was found guilty for his abuse of power and attempted murder of Ninten, and Leila was found guilty of her prostitution charge, but not guilty of her framing act due to insufficient evidence. Regardless, Leila was sentenced to three months of jail time, and given a restraining order to stay away from Ness and me, meaning that after she left jail, she had to move away to a new town. Her father was convicted with eighteen years in prison; three for abuse of power and the fifteen for trying to kill Ninten.
All in all, we would not be seeing either of them for a very long time.
I spent the most, if not all, of my summer with Ness. His birthday arrived very soon after Leila's court case. He invited every friend he knew, but made me the only VIP, which had no special value during the big party but made me feel very happy. Unfortunately, I wasn't prepared to get him a gift because he never told me his birthday before. However, all he wished was for me to be his lover for the rest of his life.
Then, for the first couple of weeks we would spend time at each other's houses or playing at the park. We mostly preferred staying inside, because Ness became very loving at some point and we passionately kissed many times in our rooms.
Then, after leaving Ness for a week to spend time in Tazmilly, a surprise offer came to us: Ninten invited us to stay with him at his summer villa in Podunk. We never knew he even had a villa, nor believed he was that rich to have one. Regardless, Claus, Ness, and I eagerly accepted and stayed over there for about two weeks, enjoying the deluxe meals, large swimming pool, spa, hot tubs, and the rest of the amazing mansion.
Being the naughty teenagers we were, Ness and I made out a few times in one of the hot tubs or in our room, but it wasn't just us; as I passed by Claus' room a couple of times, I could hear very quiet noises from what sounded like Ninten. It certainly didn't sound like something extremely inappropriate, but I knew they were both enjoying each other.
The summer continued not only with much relaxation and leisure, but with a lot of love and care from my lover. Our life continued as we advanced into EarthBound High School, meeting new friends and still enjoying each other's company. Freshman year was a breeze, although because Ninten was in 8th grade by the time we were, Claus felt a little lonely. He made up their separate school time with daily afternoon visits. Sophomore year (freshman year for Ninten) became much more livelier between us, and during the year we found our future goals. I became an excellent academic and artistic student, Ness continued to strive in his baseball ability, Claus sought interest in computer science, and Ninten aimed to learn about law enforcement. Despite our career differences, we still loved each other, even though many things changed about us: I was somewhat more sociable and less shy; Ness became a more outgoing person than he ever was, and he gained a good growth spurt, so my head now reached his chest when we normally stood; Claus kept his reckless, headstrong self while trying to be more familiar about the sensitivity of love; and finally, Ninten's naive self continued to bother his Clausy in exchange for gaining the innocence of love I once had.
At the end of our second high school year came another summer break.
Before we could start another vacation, something life-changing arrived.
"Why?!" Claus exclaimed.
"I'm sorry Claus," Dad said. "I was offered a big promotion, and it pays a lot too, but they need me to move to Fourside, and it's very far from Onett. It's across the whole country; I can't just leave all of us behind."
"That's—" Claus stuttered, "that's so stupid!"
"Please, Claus," Mom begged, "Try to calm down."
"You expect me to calm down after telling me I need to leave Ninten behind?!" he yelled. As his tears built, he turned and ran up to his room.
"Claus!" Mom reacted. Dad and Boney followed him upstairs.
Tears began to form in my eyes as well. As Claus had to leave Ninten, I had to leave Ness.
"Lucas, honey..." Mom whispered. She understood how I felt, having to leave behind my soulmate to go to a new town.
"I don't wanna go..." I managed to say between sobs. She hugged me tight, and then my tears rapidly fell down my face. All I could think about was my time with Ness, and how I changed him, and how he changed me.
"I can't believe you're moving..."
"...Ness, I-I'm sorry."
"It's not your fault."
"...Luke, you okay?"
"...No...I don't wanna leave you..."
"I know...I don't want you to go either.
"I meant to give this to you on our next anniversary...but I'm giving it to you now."
"It's...it's really pretty."
"You said you liked sunflowers, right? I had it made like that."
"...Thank you so much, Ness. I wish I got you something though..."
"You don't need to."
"...Okay, how about this? If you promise to keep only me in your heart, then I'll make sure that we'll be together again someday."
"Okay...but will you always keep only me in your heart?"
"Of course. I love only you."
"So do I."
"...I love you, Ness."
"I love you too, Luke."
At the end of our last summer with Ness and Ninten, it was time to say our farewell. The transportation truck finished packing all of our belongings, and was ready to leave.
All of our good friends, Kumatora, Duster, Travis, Jeff, Tony, Paula, Loid, Poo, Ana, and our recent high school friends came to say good-bye. They had even given us a few parting gifts to remember them by. Claus was finishing his last moments with Ninten. As they turned away from each other's farewell kiss, the only thing left between them was their resisted tears.
Ness stayed close to me until I had to get in the car. He held my hand, and then held me as close as he could.
"Will you write to me or something?" he asked.
"Of course; I might get a cellphone too, so we could at least talk to each other," I replied.
"That's good..." he responded.
"...Promise to always love me?" I whispered.
"If you do the same," he answered. Crying, I tiptoed up to his lips and kissed him. He began to cry too, but immediately relinquished them to be the man he wanted to prove to be. With one last embrace, he faced away from me as I got in the car, and shut the door. Nothing more could be said.
I felt everyone's sadness as the the car began to roll. Neither Claus or I could stop crying—it was too unbearable to leave our loved ones.
As we began to lengthen the distance between each other, we heard their last words.
"I love you, Clausy!"
"I love you, Lucas!"
We turned around to see Ninten and Ness running towards us for the last time; their faces completely painted with tears. Our sorrow only grew stronger, until we were reminded that we had to promise to see each other again someday.
My thoughts blanked as I continued to hold the necklace I was given. It was beautifully silver-lined, ending with a golden sunflower shaped locket. When I opened it, I saw a picture holding the only love that connected us across the country.
A picture of that one boy and myself. Enhanced with color and extra detail, it was the very same picture I had drawn for him two years ago, taking it from my sketchbook and putting it up on his room wall.
I clutched the necklace, holding it against my chest.
My tears flowed stronger.
"I love you, Ness."
Lenne: I TOLD YOU ALL YOU WOULD HATE ME. Oh, you don't? Wait, you do? Make up your mind!
TOB is finally finished. It has been such a great story to create out of my improvised mind (in my opinion). I never knew the story would develop like this. I never intended to include ClausXNinten so much, but after creating the recent chapters, I've begun to love them even more (due to the way I created Ninten hurhur). Therefore they get more screen time.
12/30 10:50 PM: I also want to add some clarification: At the end of Ch2, I stated the ages of everybody. It turns out I forgot to count the birthday factor. I stated that they began at age 13, but because the story begins in May, they would be 14 by now, assuming Claus and Lucas are born on April 20. So two years in high school would make them both 16 (and Ness 16, 17 after his birthday on assumed June 5; which I had just added in after Leila's court detail)
But dear Ness and Lucas, I am so sorry to end your love lives like that.
Ness: I WILL KILL YOU LENNE!
Lenne: HEY, HEY, calm down.
All right, as an apology, I am going to give you some good news. I will give you all good news. It's very good news. How good is it? So much that you might squeal.
So what's the good news?