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Jonathon was truly terrible at waiting. It was one of his parents' arguments opposing his becoming a school teacher. He wasn't patient enough. No child would ever benefit from his help because he was unable to wait for their response, for their development, for their trust. Jonathon had brushed off this negativity, but it was times like these that he had wished that he had just listened to his old man.
Although, this time, Jonathon would have to argue that he had been very patient with Shawn. He maintained his cool, expanding his temper to the maximum, and he gave him space. He was waiting for Shawn to close the gap between the two of them, but he stretched it further, instead. His patience was being tested. And since tests were in preparation of tasks, Jonathon worried that the worst was yet to come.
"I really don't know what I'm going to do." He admitted to an exhausted Nicky, who was leaning against the door, his head against the speakeasy. He was peering through it, his curiosity the only thing that was not lethargic about his stance.
Nicky didn't say a word, as he slowly turned his head to meet the pathetic expression on Jonathon's face. He shook his head, Jonathon unsure if that meant that he wasn't sure or if he was disgusted by Jonathon's weakness.
"What's going to happen?" He fired off another fret, all of his worries and fears seemingly bubbling beneath his skin, keeping him from calming down.
"Nothing." Nicky sighed, rolling onto his shoulder and leaning on his side to face the other man. "Chet waved his right to an attorney. He confessed and agreed to the maximum sentence. No trial."
Jonathon wasn't expecting to hear that. "Wh-why would he do that?"
"Guilty conscience?" Nicky offered, seeming to be just as surprised as Jonathon had been. "He said he deserved it. He said he didn't want to be a coward anymore. Wanted to make things right."
"He can't make this right!" Jonathon argued. Chet had destroyed Shawn into so many irreparable pieces. It was unimaginable to believe that he could be fixed.
"I don't think you could be more wrong." Nicky speculated, shifting his gaze back to the window. "All Shawn wants is his father."
Jonathon moved over toward Nicky and settled in a spot behind him where he could view the two subjects of conversation. "Some father." He was a monster. He was a white trash, good-for-nothing, son-of-a-bitch with no business being anywhere near Shawn. Jonathon was thrilled to hear that he was incriminating himself, because he deserved everything that was coming to him.
"Well Shawn sure doesn't see it that way. You gotta remember, Chet's not the one who …took complete advantage of him." Nicky paused half way through as if searching for the appropriate word.
Jonathon was still feeling sick. "Yeah and what's going to come of the other one?" He asked, unable to bring himself to say his name or the word 'brother'. In Jonathon's eyes, he was not Shawn's brother. He was a predator and didn't deserve to share the same air with him, let alone blood.
"We got him under allegations of assault and since he's been saying he's innocent he'll go to trial, probably won't make bail but if he does, I mean… it really doesn't matter, he's broke. The trial, well, Shawn'll have to testify."
Jonathon regretted asking. He wished he hadn't, but he knew that that wouldn't change the fact that all of this was happening. He felt like this was the longest night of his life, yet glancing at the clock he realized that it was only a quarter passed eleven.
Nicky was suddenly sent staggering backwards, the door being forced outward from the inside. He caught himself on the doorframe, standing like a brick wall as he replaced himself in the doorway. When Shawn shot out, he was just as surprised as anyone else to be met. "Hey!" Nicky yelled, as Shawn squeezed around him and bolted down the hallway.
Jonathon took off after him, Nicky not far behind. "Shawn! Wait a minute!" In front of the administration's office there was a loud crash that sent Nicky's heart racing passed him.
Shawn was standing amongst a river of glass littered upon the floor. His hands were clutching a large shard of it, both dripping with a thick red liquid. The window guarding the would-be secretary was shattered, a chair thrown across the desk on the other side. He was breathing heavily, his eyes empty like dead and his face almost frightening to approach.
"Shawn." Jonathon edged forward, slowly. "It's gonna be okay."
"No." He shook his head. "No. No. No. No. No."
"Come on. It's okay." Jonathon raised his shaking hands, as he stepped closer. "Hunter…"
"Don't call me that!" He roared. "I'm not! I'm no one." He said, as if realizing this for himself as he said it.
"Hey, now. It's going to be okay." He said softly, as he took Shawn's hands and forced his fingers open. The glass fell to the floor and shattered further and he felt Shawn weaken at the sound. He began to buckle beneath his weight and Jonathon grabbed him, trying to keep him steady.
"No, it isn't!" His voice broke and so did his façade. In seconds he was gasping for air, his face wet from tears and mortified from heartbreak.
"Shawn, listen to me. We're gonna get through this, okay? It's okay, buddy. It's okay." He allowed him to fall to the floor, but guided him there, kneeling amid the broken glass and pulling Shawn into him.
He slid, his knees tucked beneath him and his upper half buried in Jonathon's arms. He cried and he cried openly. There was nothing secretive or private about the hurt that Shawn was feeling. It was there and it was present and it was overwhelming.
Nicky was frozen in his place. He had no idea what to do or say, the urge to engage in something, anything at all, just paralyzed him further. Shawn was helpless and as he watched Jon in his distraught frame of mind, he felt depressed as if the entire situation were an infectious disease, its effects ever raging and contagious.
Jonathon rocked him, speaking softly into his hair. "You're okay. You're okay. Shawn, breathe, honey. I got ya. You're gonna be alright." It was a losing battle. Shawn was inconsolable, his sobbing seeming endless. "I know. I know." Jonathon breathed. But did he really know?
Nicky could see how the situation was affecting the man. He was barely able to console himself, let alone the boy. It was unbelievable that Shawn had managed to keep it all to himself for so long, with such secrecy, when the pain and the heartbreak was literally killing him.
After what must have been an hour, Jonathon gathered Shawn in his arms and got up, practically forcing Shawn to stand himself. "We have to get out of here." He muttered, trying to awaken a dazed, almost lifeless, Shawn, who wasn't doing as much as balancing on his own two feet.
Nicky hurried toward them, finally assuming a place for himself in the scene. "Jon, it's okay." He said, taking Shawn's arm and pulling it over his neck. "Your friend's been waiting in the parking lot. I'll carry him. It's okay." He could see how unstable Jonathon was. He was weak and tired, the burden of Shawn weighing him down so that he was almost immobile.
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