Lenne: I will warn you that it starts out sad and becomes somewhat more sad later. For those with a tender heart, I warn you to tread carefully with a pillow and maybe some tissues.

Any questions about Lucas and his past will be most likely answered in Ch2 and/or Ch3. If you're confused about their ages, they'll be explained next chapter, although it's somewhat easy to find it here.

So for now, enjoy!

Change: Lucas has glasses now.


Chapter 1: Past Memories

"Mom, no! Don't die, please!"

"I'm...sorry, honey..."

"Mom! Damn it! You asshole!"

"Urgh!"

"Claus, stop!"

Thud, thud. "This is the police; we've received your call, open up!"

"Claus, get the door, hurry!"

"Mom, mom...please...mom...?"

"Hinawa! Hang on!"

"Mom!"

"Mom...!"

"Is this him?"

"Yes, take him, and get my wife to a hospital, quickly!"

"Get the medics in here, now!"

"Mom...please, stay awake..."

"M...om..."

...

...

...

"Lucas, wake up."

"Mmf...mm?"

My eyes opened slowly. Claus was above me, looking worried.

"You okay?" he asked.

"...Yeah," I whispered. I sat up and rubbed the sleep out of my eyes.

"You were whimpering in your sleep again," he mentioned.

"..."

"...It's mom again, isn't it?"

"...Yeah..."

Claus sighed. "Did the counselor even help you with anything?"

"...Not really."

Claus sighed, and paused. Then, he rubbed my head. "It'll be all right. Come on, we're gonna be late for class if we don't leave in thirty minutes. Go shower and we'll get breakfast on the way." He walked away and closed the door.

I felt like going back to sleep. But, for the sake of education, I had to get up now.

I grabbed my cellphone from the counter on my left and peeked at it. One new message.

From Ness.

...

Four years have passed since we left everyone in Onett. Who would have thought that so much would happen in one month? It was the one month that I wanted to relive. Because ever since I met that one boy, my whole life felt like it was going to change.

And it did, and it had never made me so happy and sad before.

I took a look at the message:

"Mornin' Luke! You doin ok?"

I made a small grin and replied to his message. Then, I closed it and left the phone on my pillow. I got out of bed, removed my sleepwear, and went to the bathroom with a towel. I spent about fourteen minutes in the bathroom cleaning up, then hurried back to my room to put on a yellow shirt, a new pair of briefs and then jeans, gray socks and red-white tennis shoes. Finally, I grabbed my phone, backpack, and my red-rimmed glasses.

Before I reached the entrance of my room, I touched my neck. I was missing something. I went back to my bed and reached under the pillow to grab something. When I found it, I pulled it out. It ringed in the air as I looked at it.

A silver-lined necklace with a golden sunflower locket. It was holding a dear photo of my soulmate and I together.

I quickly put it on and walked out of my room. I met Claus leaning against the door of our apartment, waiting for me to approach closer as he stared at his phone. I would have assumed he was talking to Ninten, since he was the most likely person that he would be texting.

"You got everything?" Claus said as he continued to press buttons.

"Yeah, I'm fine." I looked up and down his figure, trying to remind him if he forgot anything. "Did you get your glasses case?"

"Yeah, I..." he reached into his jacket pocket, searching within it. "...Crap." Claus shut his phone and hurried into his room to find it. Sighing, I opened the door and looked at the outside world.

A two floor apartment surrounding a small flower garden of roses—not the best scenery, but it was the best we could afford.

I walked downstairs to the ground level and watched Claus exit our apartment and lock the door. He hurried down with me and we walked to his car.

"So, did you finish the math homework?" He asked, wiping his glasses with a handkerchief.

"Yep," I said. "...Did you?"

"Of course," he said. He put his silver glasses on and put away the black case. "What, did you expect me not to?"

"Well, given how lazy you are..." I commented.

"Hey, you know I changed. Homework first, then online games."

"...So, which problems didn't you finish?"

"...All except number one," he replied proudly.

"You better hope Mr. Sartor doesn't look at the homework."

"Given how he never takes it up, I don't think so."

"You might never know though." We reached Claus' gray car.

"Whatever, just get in." I giggled and we both entered the vehicle. He started it up and we left the parking lot and onto the paved road.

"So, what'cha wanna eat?" he asked.

He knew what I wanted.

"...Omelets," we both said.

Claus chuckled. "To Jimmy's it is."

Jimmy's—the breakfast restaurant that everyone in Fourside loved.

I continued to watch us run on the road. I attempted to keep my mind blank; all of my focus was directed at the scenery of the suburban life of Fourside: free open fields, evenly placed houses and buildings, and few people wandering the sidewalks. Despite the city life beyond the small area where Claus and I resided in, the relaxing landscape of Fourside never failed to make me continue to believe that we were living peaceful lives.

Then, memories flashed through me again.

A bloodied chest. Saddened eyes. My voice cried for my dying mother.

Then my voice cried for my lost father.

And then my voice cried for my tired pet.

"Lucas?"

I perked up. "Huh?"

"I said, did you want orange juice or milk?" He asked me this question every time we neared the entrance of Jimmy's restaurant. As expected, I found ourself at the drive-in of the restaurant.

"Milk," I answered.

He acknowledged my reply and slowly drove the car forward as the rest of the customers left the drive-in stations. Claus ordered at the respective spot and paid, and as we continued, we obtained our breakfast. I held the bag of food as we returned on the way to our next destination.

College.

We arrived at the school's parking lot and exited the car. I gave Claus his plate of omelets and his orange juice as he checked his brass watch.

"Well, we made it on time," he mentioned.

"That's good," I commented.

I walked along with him as we headed towards the entrance of the buildings. We passed by other students chatting and enjoying life on campus grounds, laughing, playfully hitting, and sometimes serious frustration. Above all, they all looked like they loved being here.

The walk to class with Claus was usually silent unless one of us brought up topics, which we would have done by now. Nearing the hall to the math class, we still haven't said anything about a life lesson, homework mistake, or even a corny joke.

I didn't want to say anything anyways. My mind was still left thinking about the past years.

Six years ago, when I was just a fourteen year old boy, I met that one boy who changed the rest of my life.

Two years after then, we spent the happiest moments of our lives with each other. Then, I had to move to a new town because of Dad's new job.

Then, two years after that...

...

"Who the hell are you?!"

"Don't move! Or I'll shoot you right now!"

"Don't hurt them!"

"Tyler, just calm down, and drop the gun."

"As hell I would! You ruined my life! And now I'm going to ruin yours!"

"Watch out!"

BANG!

"M-Mom!"

"You bastard!"

"Stop—ugh!"

"Mom, no! Don't die, please!"

...

Before I knew it, I hit a door.

"Oof!" I cried. I rubbed my head to calm the harmed spot.

Claus sighed. "Did you not see that or something?"

I blushed. "Sorry, I blanked out."

"From what, thinking about Ness?" he said as we walked into the classroom.

"...Maybe," I replied. Speaking of Ness, I checked for a message from him. From seventeen minutes ago, he replied.

"Thats good. Is everything ok?"

I thought how to reply. Then, I made my message.

"Yeah, the therapy is helping. I'll be fine."

I lied to him.

I've visited the college crisis counselor a few times last week after continuously reliving my past within my mind. The events were so horrible back then—a nervous breakdown, a sudden stream of tears, and a few days of being silent. I didn't know how I couldn't control myself back then. Despite all the help I got, I was still having episodes of depression. Grayscale recordings of Mom's murder, Dad's running away, and Boney's old-age death kept replaying. Each event happened all so fast, and they had all shattered my heart.

The only person who's heart still stood strong was Claus. He braved through each agonizing truth in order to take care for me. Despite the downfall of our family, he never left me. He was the only family I had left. For the next two years after those events, we lived on mom's life insurance and dad's leftover funds and stayed in a cheap, yet comfy apartment so that all the money wouldn't die quickly. Our life was easygoing from then on, but Claus didn't cease to watch over me.

I admired Claus for keeping an eye on me after each tragedy that came by. I admit I did have some feelings of love for him at one point, but I overcame those thoughts and only thought of Ness from then on. If I were to ruin our kinship any further...who knows what I would be like right now?

I pushed all of those thoughts away and sat down with Claus. We pulled out our math books, journals, and pencils, ready for the class.

An hour later, math class ended. I stretched my arms and waited for Claus to state his later plans.

"I'm gonna be at the pool," he said.

I nodded, "And you know where I'll be," I told.

"Yeah," he replied. "You going to come swimming after you're done?"

"Maybe," I answered.

"All right then." We both exited the classroom and we headed our separate ways. Claus made his way through the campus to the pool, while I ascended to the third floor and went to see the counselor.

I opened the door, and the counselor was at her desk.

"Ah, Lucas," she said. "Go on and have a seat." She was writing down a few notes on some stacks of papers.

I did as told and set my bag down by the exotic sofa, and sat down.

"So, how are you today?" she asked.

"I'm doing well," I responded.

"Good, good." She finished her current work, grabbed the items she needed and then came over to sat on the chair across from my position.

"So, Lucas, have you been having your 'episodes' recently?" she asked.

I nodded, "This morning."

"What about?" she wrote a few things down on her clipboard.

"My mom's murder. And then my dad running away because of it. And then my dog dying."

"So, all of them in just one moment?" she inquired. I nodded. "Well, Lucas, it seems you're still in shock." She wrote a couple more notes. "Hm, tell me, is there any thought that helps calm you down?"

"Such as?"

"You know, things that relax you. Like flowers, or the ocean."

"Not really," I said.

"How about any person that makes you feel safe? Other than your brother, of course."

"...Ness."

"I'm sorry?"

"Ness, my boyfriend."

"Oh, I never knew you had a boyfriend," she responded. "Did you just meet him?"

"No, I met him six years ago."

"Six years?" I nodded. "Where is he right now?"

I nodded. "He lives all the way across Eagleland in Onett."

"Onett?"

"Yes. Four years ago, I had to move here because of my dad's new job. We could only be together for two years."

"I see. So, do you still love Ness?"

I smiled, thinking about him. "I do."

"And why's that? It's been so long," she stated.

"Yes, but he was the one person that changed the rest of my life. If I had never met him, I would still be some shy kid who couldn't talk enough to make a friend. I always stood by him for those two years, and he changed me. He showed me how to be more outgoing, and I did."

"Uh huh," she mumbled. "Do you want to see Ness right now? Do you think he can help you overcome your 'episodes'?"

When I thought about it, it was possible. All the sadness in my mind could be erased with happiness. The only happiness right now was Claus' protection. But if I could just see Ness again...

"Yeah, I believe so," I replied.

"So then," she continued, "if you were to move back to Onett alone, would you think Claus would be okay with it?"

I thought about it. "I don't think so."

"And why's that?"

"Claus also has a boyfriend in Onett—his name is Ninten," I stated. "I think he would want to go back to Onett too if he had the choice."

"Hm," the counselor wrote a few more words in her notes. "I think I know how to help you now," she stated.

"How so?" I asked.

"Come back and see me at say, tomorrow four o'clock. Oh, and bring your brother as well."

"My brother?"

"Yes, your brother, Claus. Is it a problem?"

"Not at all, but why does he need to come?"

"What I am going to do later may affect him as well, so I want him to hear the solution also."

"O...kay," I said.

"That's all for now. You can go." She returned back to her desk as I exited the door. As I walked down the stairs, I kept wondering, what would Claus have anything to do to help me? How could he even help?

Then again, it's a counselor. She knows what she is doing. I may as well trust her.

I told Claus that the counselor wanted to see him as well. He also wondered why, but I told him I didn't know. After going through the rest of our classes for the day, we went home and leisured around until the next day. Our classes continued as usual, then at 3:55 I brought Claus along with me to the counselor's office. The counselor saw us by the door, and allowed us to come in.

"Ah, Lucas, Claus," she said, "come here,"

We obeyed and approached her desk, and sat down in the chairs.

"So, I have some news for the both of you. Depending on how you view this, it may be good or bad news."

"Well, what is it?" Claus asked.

She picked up a pile of papers as she continued to speak. "Did you both know that you can transfer to a new college, while keeping your majors the same?"

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Well, since we don't have many big towns in Eagleland, all of the college schools' curriculum are nearly coordinated. If you were to change colleges right now, you would probably be on the same objective in your subjects as you are here when you change over to a new college.

"So, by switching colleges," I stated, "are you saying that..."

"Yes," answered the counselor. "Lucas, I believe your boyfriend, Ness, is the only solution to help you get better. Taking or not taking some kind of medication, or just staying here with only Claus isn't going to help you much. So, I called the university in Onett, and after giving them your transcripts and telling them about you, I found out they have two majors available: one for art, and the other for game programming, making it perfect for you to move back to Onett.

"We can move back to Onett and still attend college?" Claus questioned. He looked at me. "That means we can spend time with Ninten and Ness!"

Claus was absolutely right. This was the counselor's plan—to reunite me with Ness so that I can regain my happiness.

"So, are you both willing to pack up everything and move back?" asked the counselor. "I need to call them again and tell them your decision."

"Yes, definitely!" I exclaimed. My heart and body jumped from excitement.

I couldn't believe it—after just four years, Claus and I would finally be moving back to Onett.

That one boy's hometown.