I'm having a "to hell with everything. I'm sad and depressed, and I need someone else to feel this way for a while so NEW MULTICHAPTER" moment. So yeah. Let's get angsty all up freaking in here.
Why was it that the people who were supposed to notice never did? How come you could be walking down a hallway at school and everyone looks at you like they can… like they can see your hurt and see your pain, but your own best friend doesn't seem to notice at all? What makes complete and utter strangers able to look right through you, but allows those closest to you to accept every lie you give them?
Jeff just didn't get it. He needed help. He definitely needed help, but… but no one was coming. No one was seeing. He was falling apart inside, and he didn't have anyone to fix it, to fix him, and shit, shit, shit, did he need someone to fix him.
Jeff Sterling walked cautiously into his house, barely dodging his younger brother's soccer cleats that were blocking the doorway and very nearly knocking over his sister Jessica's cello that was resting upright on the wall. Oh gosh, she'd never forgive him… Jeff seriously hated coming home for vacation. If he had it his way, every day would be a regular Saturday during the school year. That way, he wouldn't have to worry about school or home, and… yeah. That sounded pretty ideal to him.
His duffle bag dangled dangerously off of one shoulder as he tried to close the door silently. He placed the handle next to its lock, trying to avoid the dreaded click sure to come as soon as he let it go, anything to avoid that click…
"Jeff…? Jeff, is that you?" came a voice from the kitchen, and the blonde straightened up as much as he could, trying to look proud and brave. He could do this. Spring Break was beyond short this year, a five day long weekend basically, and he had spent the first two days at Nick's house. It was Saturday night. Two days. He only had two days.
"Yeah, Mom. I… I'm home," he replied. The petite blonde woman appeared in the mudroom, regarding him with cold eyes. They seemed to trail over every inch of him, leaving Jeff feeling completely exposed. He needed her to just leave. He was tired of fighting, and Nick hadn't listened to him in the way he needed him to earlier, and… and Jeff just wasn't up for this.
"God, what have they been feeding you?" she asked, her tone highly critical and her gaze like fire on his skin. His mother burned right through him. "Every time I see you, you freaking put on weight. What, like I don't pay your ridiculous dance class fees for you to put them to use? I don't need to help your fagginess along, Jeff. You should at least give me a reason to," she said flippantly, and Jeff crossed his arms around his stomach. He wasn't fat. It was just her. It was her, it was her, oh crap, please let it just be her.
"I'm sorry, Mom, I'll try harder."
"Hmm… you always promise me that, Jeffy, but it seems to me that you never do," Mrs. Sterling concluded lightheartedly, like she was just poking fun at him a little. Jeff adjusted the bag near falling off of him a bit higher on his shoulder before wrapping his arms a bit tighter around himself. He tried… he tried so hard… he just didn't know how to get any better. He couldn't be more than… than this. Than him. Than nothing.
Jeff caught Jackson's face half hidden behind a wall in the hallway, watching their conversation. He wasn't that much younger than him. Why didn't he come and help? Why did no one ever come and help? He could also just make out James's eyes peering at him over the banister of the stairwell, a couple feet behind Jackson, through the door of the mudroom. He was twelve. Jeff couldn't blame him. Jessica was probably hidden upstairs in her room somewhere. She had hated him since… well, whatever. "I promise. I just… I just want you to be happy."
"Oh, Love. Go on up to your room… It's useless to try to make me happy with you," she laughed, brushing her hair off of her shoulders, and Jeff sighed. Same old, same old. Sometimes he liked to pretend on his drives home that she would actually care for once or maybe at least have something nice to say. It was depressing how swiftly reality reminded him of his place. Jeff gathered up what was left of his dignity and walked past a silent Jackson and James. Jackson didn't talk to him. James sort of went along with everyone else… He didn't really get it. Whatever… No one freaking did…
He tried not to sprint up the stairs; Jeff wasn't allowed to run in the house. His siblings were, but he wasn't. That's how it was. He burst into his room and closed the door quickly behind him, slightly out of breath and looking at the door as if it would suddenly burst open with his mom –having sprouted fangs and tentacles- on the other side about to eat him. He seriously wished his room had a lock…
Jeff allowed himself to take a moment to calm down before dropping his bag on the ground and surveying himself in the floor length mirror between his desk and bookshelf. Oh no… Why did he have to look the way he did? Why? Jackson and James were everything Jeff wanted to be… They were loved. Heck, they were liked. They had the right faces, and the right bodies, and the right brains, and the right… preferences, and it was so obvious that his mom favored them over him. They were the normal ones. They were the ones that kept his dad around, not pushed him away like he did.
He was awful. He was so, so awful. He didn't deserve a zero-bullying policy; he didn't even understand how people could even possibly adhere to that when it came to him. He looked like a girl. He really did. And it was obvious that others seemed to think so. People at public school… his dad… his mom… they all had and still loved reminding him of the fact every day. Faery face, faery face, faery face… Before all the drama at home went down and when his siblings still talked to him, even they would whip out the nickname whenever they deemed it fit to ruffle his feathers.
And now he was a fat girl.
This was actually a new insult from his mom. Jeff wasn't that surprised. There was so much material to work with when it came to his existence, that the constant things his mother found to prod at never seemed to run out. And yes. Now that he was looking at himself, he could see what she meant. His face was too full, his arms too pudgy, his dancer abs not worth anyone's time… Jeff had sort of been trying to fill out muscularly lately, but he was so freaking ropey… he must not have been trying hard enough. He must have been eating too much. Luckily, weight was something he could fix. He could do this one. Just because it was Easter, it didn't mean he needed candy. He didn't need to eat anything. His mom would see him succeed at getting better this time. He could do this.
A soft tap on the door had him jumping, and he tentatively crossed his bedroom, hesitating before opening it. He saw James's blonde mop of hair before he had the door widened more than a crack, incredibly grateful it was him visiting and not anyone else. The relieved feeling in his stomach turned to lead when he noticed the tears streaking down his younger brother's cheeks. "I… I don't get it," he wailed, crashing into Jeff's waist, and he wasn't quite sure what to do.
"Wha~?" he asked, unable to wrap his mouth around a full word due to the air having been momentarily knocked out of him. His brother was currently too busy sobbing into his shirt to answer, so Jeff led them over to his unmade bed, plopping them both down on the mattress and hugging James's back until he calmed down a little bit. "What's wrong, JayJay?" he questioned.
"Why can't we be friends anymore, Jeff? Why does mom, and Jess, and Jack all hate you?" James was now pretty much a mess, and Jeff had no idea how to answer. This is not what happened when he came home. He was supposed to just go up to his room, struggle through some uncomfortable family meals as his mom verbally abused him and his sister glared, and then go back to Dalton feeling more depressed than ever before. But this…? No.
"Cause Dad left, James," he answered, not wanting to give more than he had to. This hurt. This hurt more than anything else, because both he and James knew why their dad was gone, and it wasn't because of a freak accident or a car crash. It was because Jeff and his gayness had been too much to handle. It was because Jeff was so despicable that it countered out the love their dad felt for the rest of their family. It was because of Jeff's bad life choices and his uncanny ability to get tripped down the stairs or punched in the face. It was because of him, and they both knew it.
"But… but… but why would he do that to me? We used to be bros, and now… now what… now wh-what am I supposed to do?" Jeff sighed. This was not his problem. This was not something that he wanted to have to deal with. He loved James so much… He loved all of his siblings. But he hadn't been the one to drop them, even if it was his fault.
"I'm sorry," he said because he was. Jeff was always sorry.
James continued to be a puddle of tears on his bed, until eventually Jackson came in and took him away without a word. That was probably for the best. Jeff could appreciate him acting as the older brother he was and protecting him like that… but it didn't make things hurt any less. He had dwelled over things long enough to stop questioning why they wouldn't forgive him. He understood the multitude of reasons there were, but… It's not like it didn't sting every time Jackson looked right through him or Jessica glowered down at him.
Jeff just wanted to be loved. He was tired of feeling so alone all the time… Jeff leaned back on his bed, not bothering with sheets or a pillow. He was tired. Tomorrow was Easter. Without a doubt, it would be long…
Oh my gosh. Who's amped for tomorrow's update? Yeah. You all should be. Also, I made a really cool One Direction Power Point focusing on why people love them. For the record, it's totally because they cuddle so much… Well, that and a bunch of reasons. But seriously, look 'em up and try to find a picture with two or more of them and they're not touching.
Then try not to be attracted to them.