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Chapter 25

"Relax Luc! It's not all that bad." Jeanette said as she fixed my jacket.

We drove all the way back to Montana to get to Jeanette's Mom's house.

We stood in front of the car, about to go inside. The house was big and nice looking. We weren't the first to arrive.

"It's alright, Luc." Brian started. "Just take everything slow." Guess he caught on to my anxiety about this.

Jason draped his arm around my shoulders. "Don't worry! Everyone's real nice!"

That's not the huge issue; what if they don't like me?

I just grunted in response. We walked down the side walk, up the porch stairs, anxiety growing with each step.

Brian rang the doorbell. I hid behind him and smoothed my hair down in the front and continued to do so as the door opened.

A middle-aged woman with short whitening hair appeared in the doorway.

"Jeanette!" Her face changed to immense happiness as she outstretched her arms. Jeanette happily hugged her, grinning from ear to ear.

"Hi Mom!" Jeanette greeted.

They broke their hug and the woman warmly hugged Jason, then Brian.

Let me jump in the bushes before anyone sees me.

"Let me see Mr. Luc!" The woman demanded.

Brian stepped to the side, revealing me.

I made eye contact with her, "You know my name?"

"Of course! Jeanette never shuts up about you."

Jeanette chuckled nervously.

I extended my hand to her. "Nice to meet you."

She shook my hand. "Nice to finally meet you. I'm Jane Todd." We let go of each other.

"Come in, come in," Mrs. Todd beckoned us.

We walked in. I could hear the wood floor creaking under the doormat. There were people all around. Talking, snacking, children playing, laughter.

I saw wine bottles in the kitchen. I planted myself like a tree.

The others moved on. They went into the living room and greeted the people there.

I looked around. There were tables pushed together with one long white tablecloth on across them.

"Luc!" I heard Jeanette call. I heard footsteps coming towards me.

I turned my head. She was holding out her hand as he walked towards me. She took my hand.

"Come on." She pulled me along and into the living room.

I cowered slightly.

"This our son, Luc!" Jeanette smiled brightly.

I grinned a little and waved slightly.

"Nice to meet you Luc." A young man said.

Jeanette pointed to him. "Brother."

She pointed more. "Cousin. Cousin. Cousin. Niece. Nephew. Aunt and Uncle." She went on and on.

I nodded a little.

"We have names Jeanette." Her brother stated.

Brian put his hand on Jeanette's shoulder, "Okay don't overwhelm him."

Jason grabbed my shoulders and pushed me. "I'm going to show him around." He said.

He guided me down the corridor.

"I'm taking you to meet Nick. We always hang out at family events. He's a cool guy." Jason stated.

"Kay." I said.

We walked into the kitchen. Mrs. Todd and a few other women were there preparing dinner.

"Hey cousins!" Jason waved.

"This is my brother Luc!" He introduced me.

They all looked up at me.

"Hello. Nice to meet you." One woman said as she approached us.

"Welcome to the family!" Unexpectedly she hugged me tightly. I screamed at the top of my lungs.

The woman let go of me and stepped back. I stopped screaming when Jason pulled on the collar of my jacket.

"What's the matter with you?" He asked.

"I don't like hugs."

Jeanette's brother and a couple other people walked in, Brian included.

"What happened?" Jeanette's brother asked.

"He freaked out when I hugged him." The woman who hugged me answered.

"Luc doesn't like hugs, Candace." Brian said whilst rubbing the back of his head.

The group "oh'd" and started to come towards me.

"So Luc, how old are you?" Candace asked.

"What kind of things do you like?" Someone asked.

They asked questions rapidly. I couldn't answer. I felt like a shiny new toy to them -- not a good feeling.

I was saved by Mrs. Todd.

"Alright everyone, get your plates!" She called loudly.

They scattered. I put my hand over my chest and exhaled.

Brian approached me. "Luc, you okay?"

"I'll be fine."

He nodded his head. "Come on. Let's get our plates."

I followed him into the dining room. He picked up to plates from the table and handed one to me. "Thank you."

Of course, I just followed Brian's lead. I stuck to him like stink on shit.

A few of us were sitting at the dining room table. The rest were in the other room by the door. I sat beside Brian. Jeanette and Jason sat in front of us.

It was quiet as we ate. Aside from the cutlery scraping against the plates.

I on the other hand was moving so slowly it looked like I wasn't moving at all. If you don't move, they can't see you.

Jason must have been watching me, for whatever reason, he kicked my foot. I frowned and kicked him back.

"Calm down." He mouthed.

I sighed quietly. I started to eat normally, albeit quietly as I possibly could.

Tastes good.

Towards the end of dinner people started talking.

"Luc, why do you cover face like that?" Jeanette's brother asked.

The little boy beside him laughed. "He looks funny!"

Jeanette's brother elbowed the boy on his arm. "Don't be mean."

The boy rubbed his arm and pouted.

Mrs. Todd jumped in.

"You have a girlfriend, Luc?" She asked.

Jason, Jeanette, and Brian looked at me. Apparently they wanted to know too.

"Um..." I stammered. I was not expected that.

"No, no." I said.

"Why not?" Mrs. Todd asked.

"I'm not really interested in girls." I drawled. Don't get me wrong, females are cute and whatnot, but have you seen guys?! Indra...

"What's that mean?" Mrs. Todd asked.

Without missing a beat, Candace looked up and said, "He's gay Jane, eat your turkey," then looked back down to her plate.

I snickered. Guess I know who my favorite is now.

"Really?" Jason asked me.

I looked around. Jeanette and Brian were looking at me.

I chuckled nervously and left the table. When I saw the other eating room was empty, I went in and sat in the corner. If someone walked by they wouldn't be able to see me.

I pulled out my phone and called Hunter.

"Hey Luc. Happy Thanksgiving." He said when he picked up.

"Yeah. Back at you." I spoke quietly.

"What's going on with you?" Hunter asked.

"Um...I kinda slightly got outed to my family..." I stated.

"And I don't know how they're going to react."

"The last time that happened I got hurt." I whispered.

"What do you mean you got hurt?" Hunter asked.

"Luc?" I heard someone call.

"I gotta go." I stated before hanging up.

Nope. I'm done. I heard footsteps coming closer. I looked ahead. The table was still there. Well, when life gives you lemons, squeeze 'em in life's eyes!

I started crawling. I crawled under the table, somewhat hidden by the tablecloth.

Okay, where's the door? Gotta find the door!

I peeked out from the end of the table. There's the door.

Okay go.

I crawled to the door, opened it, crawled out onto the porch, and closed the door.

I stood up and dusted my clothes off.

The door opened and Jason walked around me. He faced me.

"What are you up to this time?" He asked.

"Nothing." I said innocently.

I heard a commotion inside. "Stop it!" A voice yelled.

Jason and I leaned over and looked in the window. I groaned and put my hands to my face.

"Looks like the kids saw you crawling under the tables." Jason stated. He chuckled.

The kids were mimicking me crawling under the tables and the adults were not happy.

We leaned away from the window. I hung my head.

"I hate that you're so anxious," Jason started.

"I mean, it's terrible you are. You're a teenager. You should be able to enjoy things." He finished.

I nodded slightly.

"We don't have to go back inside if you don't want to." Jason said as he sat down on the porch steps.

I smiled before sitting down beside him.

I felt a little nervous. Is he going to ask if I am gay?

"You know. It is okay if you're gay." Jason said.

"I am gay." I stated.

"I knew I saw you kissing a guy!" He exploded.

He started hitting my shoulder playfully. "You made me believe I was dreaming!"

I chuckled and pushed his fists away.

"Luc, do you know you can get an STD if you kiss someone with a mouth sore?" Jason and I whipped around, startled.

"Mom!" Jason groaned.

"Yes," I answered. I ain't gettin an STD.

"Well, he was insanely drunk. I'm sure he wouldn't have done it intentionally." Jason vouched for me.

I pat him on the shoulder and told him to stop.

Jeanette shook her head. "Let's go, you two."

"What? We can't stay out here?" Jason questioned.

"We're leaving early in the morning. Bed. Both of you." Jeanette enunciated.

"Oh." We said.

No one wanted to drive to Kansas on barely any sleep, so Mrs. Todd insisted we stay the night.

At night I layed in bed awake. I rolled over and saw a shadow of sorts by the window. It was a bust. It scared me half to death, so I got up and ran into Jason's room.

I crawled into his bed and laid down.

"There was a bust and it scared me." I stated. Jason snickered lazily.

By the time December came along, Jeanette's stomach was bigger. I think the baby is coming in July or something. We haven't moved to Charlotte yet. Jeanette and Brian were still talking about it. I wasn't in a rush. We'll get there when we get there.

When July came, we moved to Charlotte. Jeanette and Brian got jobs at the University area hospital, Carolina Medical Center. They enrolled us at school, Mallard Creek! I was over the moon. We were in a neighborhood not too far away from the school. Come August, school will be in session. As time passed, Jeanette and Brian lived up to their promise.

"Come on! Come on!" Jason yelled to me. I ran out the door with a large bag Jeanette put together. We hopped in the car. I sat by Jeanette in the backseat.

First day in Charlotte and Jeanette's water breaks.

Jeanette was screaming and crying.

"Can't you deliver the baby?" I asked.

"Drugs!" Jeanette yelled. "I need the fucking drugs!" Yeah, childbirth makes Jeanette cuss-y.

Brian backed out of the driveway and quickly drove down the street.

Brian groaned. Traffic jam. Well, it is Friday evening.

"Okay, we'll get through this!" Brian stated, trying to remain hopeful.

A few minutes passed and we were still in, pretty much, the same spot.

Jeanette seemed to be getting worse.

"We aren't going to make it!" Jeanette stated. I looked through the windshield. She's right. Brian put his head down on the steering wheel, then raised up.

"I think you have to pull over." She said.

"I can't pull over in this!" Brian gestured. We were in the middle; cars surrounded us.

I shook my head. How are we going to get through this?

"Okay. We are never doing this again," Brian stated. He put the car in park.

"Luc, get in the back." He said as he undid his seatbelt.

I climbed over the backseat and sat on the floor. I peeked over the seat.

"Jason, get in the driver seat." Brian ordered as he slid into the middle row.

Jason jumped into the driver seat and put on the seatbelt. Luckily he knows how to drive, but he doesn't have a permit. So, we get pulled over, someone's getting arrested.

"So what do I do?" Jason asked.

"When you're able to move, get to the hospital." Brian answered.

"Are we really doing this?" I questioned.

"No choice." Brian said.

Jeanette started crying more. "No, no! I'm not doing this without Epidural!"

"You're doing it. Stop crying, you need to keep your heart rate down." Brian retorted.

"I'm a doctor, hon. I think I know what to do!" Jeanette groaned. She wiped her tears away. She was sweating a lot.

"Well, come on!" Brian said.

I ducked down. Do not want to see that.

I opened the bag for when they'd need it. There was a blanket, towel, water, etc.

The car moved forward a little bit then stopped.

A couple hours passed.

"Luc! Towel!" Brian called.

I reached in the bag and handed the towel to him.

There was a scream, then a baby's cry. Jeanette panted heavily.

"Eek!" I gasped. Jeanette really pushed a baby out of herself.

"Luc. Blanket." I pulled out the blanket and handed it to him. The baby soon stopped crying.

"Congratulations." I said lowly.

"Park the car, Jason." Brian said.

I looked over the seat.

Jason did what he was told and climbed into the passenger seat. Brian moved into the driver seat. Jeanette swung her hand and swatted the side of his head.

"Ow!" He cried. "What was that for?"

"You did this to me." Jeanette said innocently.

I looked at her. She was holding the baby in her arms and looking at it.

"Girl? Boy?" Jason asked.

Please god, let it be a boy. Boys are less maintenance.

"Girl!" Jeanette cheered.

I rested my chin on the seat and watched the two. The baby was pink-ish and had her eyes closed.

"Tiny..." I muttered.

Jeanette looked overjoyed, but exhausted. I scooted over by her head and peered at the baby.

"Guess we can't name her 'Seth,'" Brian chuckled.

Jeanette smiled and chuckled too. "We'll decide on something eventually."

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