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Do You Ship Us? - 92. I'm Not Afraid, To Walk This World Alone

Warning; this chapter contains a panic attack and violent intrusive thoughts in the second half. None of the characters get hurt.

“Well don’t you look like shit.” Damien’s voice comes as a welcome distraction to Jasper who sighs in relief to finally see someone show him absolutely no pity.

“Good to see you earning money with your clothes on.” Jasper comments. Damien flashes him an impressed grin at the passive aggressive insult. “Is it too early to do shots?” Jasper asks as he sits down at the mostly empty bar.

“Ethically yes, but as long as you pay me I will pour them.” Damien shrugs and gets out a shot glass, placing it on the bench and waiting for Jasper to tell him what he wanted.

“What gets you drunk really fast?” Jasper asks, taking out his wallet and looking at the array of bottles behind the bar. Damien turns around and takes down a bottle of bright green liquor.

“Ever had absinthe?” Damien asks with an amused smirk as he presents the bottle to him.

“Nope. Pour it.” Jasper throws $50 on the bar. “If I like it, you can keep the change.” He says as he pockets his wallet. It's only now that Damien notices the cast on his left wrist, though he chooses not to mention it.

“That kind of day, huh?” Damien starts pouring the drink. His lack of acknowledgement spiked Jasper’s interest.

“Do you not know what today has been?” Jasper asks. His entire world was revolving around Blake’s passing, so it was difficult to imagine anyone not knowing, that people’s lives were completely unaffected.

“I’ve been trying this thing you advised where I mind my own business, so no. My guess would be some music video shoot or something.” Damien shrugs, sliding the shot towards Jasper and pouring a glass of water for him to follow it down with, then leaning against the bar, eagerly watching to see what Jasper's reaction to the shot would be.

“Blake’s funeral.” Jasper says bluntly as he throws back the shot then reaches for the water, washing down the taste quickly.

“Who’s Blake?” Damien asks. Jasper frowns at him for a few moments, wondering if Damien was fucking with him.

“One of the guys from our band." He answers, looking down at the glasses in front of him for a few long moments. Damien doesn't speak, but he also doesn't take his eyes off Jasper with an interested expression. "My best friend." Jasper says under his breath, he felt a heavy guilt for having not said anything when he could have, standing at the side of his coffin and too gutless to say goodbye. Jasper pushes the glasses back towards Damien, diverting his eyes towards the door. He considers for a moment, calling Leo to take him back but wasn't going to put everyone else through round two of dealing with him. The thought of the concerned expressions, the pats on the shoulder, the small talk, was enough to make Damien and alcohol seem like the better choice right now.

“Oh shit. You want another drink then? Something a bit softer, you shouldn’t follow absinthe with more absinthe, or you'll be a complete mess." Damien warns, not showing any extra interest as he takes the bottle and replaces it on the shelf, looking for what he could offer instead.

“I shouldn’t. I’m on all kinds of painkillers that I probably shouldn’t be mixing with alcohol right now.” Jasper sighs, he could already feel the absinthe starting to take effect, doing shots on an empty stomach sure did make them hit fast, though he knew mixing alcohol and pain killers was dangerous he could almost look past the risks for the sake of a good nights' sleep.

“What, for your arm?” Damien nods in the direction of Jasper's cast as he turns back to Jasper, taking out a tall glass and looking at his phone. Somehow the less Damien gave a shit, the more Jasper wanted to talk about it.

“You really don’t know? We were in a car accident a week ago. I’ve got broken ribs, it’s not just my wrist.” Jasper tells him completely baffled to be having to tell someone, instead of being persistently asked how he was doing and how his recovery was going.

“Oh shit. Well what can I get you to drink then?” Damien’s nonchalance towards Jasper was so refreshing. Not being treated like a broken person made such a difference. Damien didn't care about the details of the accident, he didn't care how long Jasper was in hospital for or the details of Blake's death, he wasn't even bothering to keep the conversation going. For once Damien being heartless was a good thing.

“Anything. I don’t care. Just, try not to drug me this time.” Jasper comments. Damien laughs again, enjoying the bitchy remarks Jasper was dishing out on him. It felt weird to be taking petty digs at Ryan's ex on a day that had been so significantly depressing, but it was also the first time he'd felt at all normal.

Well my drug guy went clean so…”

“Flynn?” Jasper asks quickly. Damien looks at him with a frown for a moment.

“Now who's the stalker?" He asks, making an extravagant looking mocktail for Jasper and passing it to him. "How do you know Flynn anyway?"

"Well for one, he's literally dating my sister." Jasper tells him as he plays with the straw in the drink. He looks up at Damien who looked shocked. "And they met, because Flynn is Blake's older brother."

"Woah, small world, huh?" Damien shrugs.

"You probably have more connections anyway." Jasper states as he sips at the mocktail.

"So why did you come here? Shouldn’t you be around people you like right now?” Damien asks, just going about his cleaning.

“I am kinda sick of people trying to take care of me and walking on egg shells around me. Believe it or not I came here because I knew you would be a nice change.” Jasper states. It was settling being in here, aside from him and Damien talking there wasn't any other noise, and Damien wasn't looking at him like he was afraid he'd fall into a puddle of tears or set fire to the place. It was peaceful, just not being cared about for a bit.

“I felt like that when my Mum died. Everyone was so nice to me. They talked differently to me, my teachers were all so ‘understanding’ and if I had to hear one more person say 'it will get better/easier' I would have punched them in their stupid ‘understanding’ face.” Damien states, rolling his eyes at the memory. Jasper felt like a weight was lifting, just hearing someone else say what he had been thinking for the last week, what he couldn't just say to anyone.

Yes that’s it. Why does everyone want you to try and think positively anyway. Does it look like I want cheering up? Does it look like I give half a shit about how ok future me is going to feel? Leave me alone. I am miserable and I just want to feel miserable.” Jasper tells him, feeling relieved to have someone just get it, deciding to ignore the fact that this was the last person he'd want to ever say he related to.

“Especially when it is fresh too, because they say it when you can’t picture happiness, that makes you feel guilty like you have just forgotten and moved on and that is so far from what you think is ok. Obviously you will be a broken kind of ok again one day but until then you just want to be a wreck. You just feel like yelling 'stop fucking making me feel like I should be doing something other than suffering!'” Damien says throwing his arms up in the air as he shouts the thoughts that Jasper had been wanting to scream at everyone.

"EXACTLY!" Jasper agrees and starts laughing, relating so hard to what Damien was saying that he couldn’t help but find it ironic enough to be funny. “Screw you for making me laugh.” Jasper wipes the tears from his eyes and rests a hand on his chest. “Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because of this moment we are suddenly good. But I appreciate you not being sympathetic or anything.” Jasper sighs, finishing his drink off so quickly that Damien was glad he hadn’t put alcohol in it. Jasper breathes in deeply and slowly exhales, he felt different. Probably the alcohol but Damien had done some good and he couldn't deny that. Just giving him a place to sit and express the thoughts he felt like no one else would understand, was so comforting. Damien leaves him for a few moments, heading to the other end of the bar to serve another customer, a few moments later he returns, taking the empty glass from Jasper.

"Did you like the drink?" He asks.

“Mhm. I don’t know what to do now.” Jasper sighs, knowing he had to go now and leave the strange amount of comfort that he was feeling in Damien, of all peoples', company.

“You go home, close yourself in a room and try to remember every single thing you can about him, hate yourself for things you will forget and cry until you feel like you are completely empty or pass out or both. Then when you wake up, you act on whatever emotion you are feeling, rinse and repeat.” Damien shrugs, busily cleaning Jasper's glass and putting it away.

“I haven’t cried yet, is that normal?” Jasper asks and Damien sighs, leaning against the bar again and waiting, he could tell Jasper had more to say. “Ryan is trying so hard to say and do all the right things and I really don’t want to bring him down. He doesn’t deserve that.” Jasper admits sadly, squeezing his eyes closed with a pained expression. “I don’t think he can deal with me being an emotional wreck and the more he looks at me with this sad lost look like he just wants to fix me the more it breaks my heart and frustrates me all at once. I don’t know what to do about it. He's the last person I want to take my anger out on but I'm just, I don't feel anything else.” Jasper pours his heart out to Damien who just stands back trying to think of a way to stay objective and not sound like he is getting involved in their relationship.

“What do you want him to do? Of course he wants to make it better, of course he doesn’t want to watch you suffer, but it’s not about what he wants. You are mourning, what do you want from him?” Damien asks, chewing his lip. Jasper looks at Damien for a moment, wanting to ask if Ryan had been in the picture when his mum had died, since they seemed to feel the same in their immediate grief, but he shakes the thought away.

“Nothing.” Jasper shrugs. “There is nothing he can do. He can’t stop me feeling how I feel. He can’t bring Blake back. I can’t go back in time and try harder to steer us out of danger.” Jasper starts taking deep breaths. Damien leans on the bar, looking at Jasper curiously, watching with interest, the way he was calming himself down.

“Well for what it's worth, you know where I work, if you ever want someone to take your anger out on, I am very good at not giving a shit about what people say to me.” Damien suggests, possibly the nicest thing he could offer.

"Careful, I did punch someone in the face this morning, 'taking my anger out' on them." Jasper warns with a fake smile.

"You punched someone? Not quite the spineless pansy I thought you were." Damien states with a smirk.

"And you're not quite the opportunistic asshole I thought you were." Jasper shrugs, he wouldn't ever forgive Damien for the bullshit he'd caused for him and Ryan, and especially not for what he put Ryan through, but he could respect the change he was seeing.

"Sometimes a non-sympathetic reality check is just what you need to get your shit together." Damien states with a smile, and Jasper knew that was a reflection on the last time they had talked, when Jasper hadn't taken any excuses for Damien's shitty behaviour and it'd clearly been enough food for thought, for him to have a life change. "So here's my parting advice. Don’t hold back for anyone, not even yourself. Because I don’t know if you noticed it but you said before that you haven’t cried yet, but a sentence later you were trying to stop yourself getting emotional. Bottling it up never helps. So do whatever you need to do to let yourself drop the walls." Jasper frowns at Damien, taking in what he said and realizing he was right. He had spent a lot of time saying he felt nothing but anger, and swallowing back the tears he needed to let out.

“Thanks. I still hate you, but thanks. Told you being a bartender was a good idea for you.” He states as he gets up from his seat, throwing down a generous tip before he turns and makes his way out the door, back into the world, back into reality. The walk to his apartment is calm with the absinthe leaving him feeling like he was in some kind of dream state. As he gets to his apartment building he sees Leo’s car out the front still, wondering if he’d been waiting for him Jasper rolls his eyes and knocks on the window, Leo looks up from his phone and opens the door quickly.

“You weren’t at the bar for long, did it help?” Leo asks, crossing his arms and leaning back against the car.

“Shot of absinthe and on my way, it did actually help.” Jasper shrugs. "Why are you still here? I don't need a babysitter." He announces, crossing his arms too.

“I just dropped Ryan home.” Leo tells him. Jasper's demeanor changes as he feels guilty for leaving Ryan at the funeral, and then running off, causing him to worry and miss the wake.

“Is he mad at me?” Jasper asks nervously looking up at the building then turning back to Leo.

“No one is mad at you. He’s just really worried.” Leo replies gently.

“Did you tell him where I went?" He asks, Leo shrugs and shakes his head, loyal to Jasper's wishes. They stand in silence, Jasper knew he should go upstairs, that Ryan would be stressing about him, but he just didn’t know what he was going to say, he couldn't kick this feeling that Blake wasn't the only thing he lost that day. It wasn't the only death he'd been trying to pretend not to face. It was the death of happiness, of love, within his heart. Switched off to save himself the pain of actually feeling the depth of the pain.

"How's your hand?" Leo asks. Jasper looks at his cast then back at Leo who gestures at his other hand, remembering what he’d done at Blake’s funeral and feeling embarrassed to have lashed out like that.

“Where did you walk off to with Chris earlier?” Jasper asks with a frown.

“I had to get him away from you before you completely rearranged his face with one hand.” Leo shrugs, a slight smirk on his face.

“I can’t believe I hit him, god, it was supposed to be about Blake, and I’m there punching someone.” Jasper shakes his head and looks down at his bruised knuckles, lamenting his lack of self-control. “Thanks for getting rid of him before I could embarrass myself more."

“Are you kidding? Blake would have loved you punching someone at his funeral. Especially that dickhead.” Leo grins. Jasper looks up at him and smiles too, he could almost picture it actually, he was pretty certain if it were the other way around, Blake would have punched him too.

“I better let you go inside. But if you need anything, let me know and I’ll be right here.” He fakes a smile. Jasper doesn’t reply, just fakes a smile back and turns away to go upstairs and see Ryan. There was nothing he wanted less than to face him. Jasper understood logically that Ryan was not the problem, but the moment he walked into his apartment and saw the concerned look on his face, he felt like he was going to bubble over with frustration.

“Don’t.” Jasper shakes his head at Ryan before he even gets a word out. Jasper goes into their bedroom and slams the door closed then sinks onto the bed. He kicks his shoes off and loosens his tie then looks at himself in the mirror. He definitely looked the part, Blake would have been impressed with the disheveled hair, the tired dark circles under his eyes and the black suit, complimented with a red tie in a subtle nod to his precious MCR style. The longer that Jasper looked at himself, the more resentment he felt. He didn’t even know what it was towards. He just couldn’t see himself without feeling guilty. Jasper raises a hand and places it on the mirror, bitterly holding back the urge to break the mirror, having to remind himself it wouldn't fix anything. He turns away and paces the room, remembering what Damien had said. He shouldn’t be holding back not even to himself but why was letting go this hard? Why was his whole body shaking to hold it all in, it was only numbness or relentless rage and there was no in between. He could feel his breathing getting shallower and shallower as he paces, his mind racing to find a solution to this strange emptiness he was forced to feel.

“I can’t do this.” Jasper breathes. Turning and throwing his head back against the wall with a thud, hanging his head forward and then hitting it against the wall again, then a third time even harder. He hisses as he holds himself together, waiting for it, expecting it and as the door opens, there it is. The concerned voice, the sad eyes. Everything he needed and everything he couldn't stand all at once.

Hey, I’m here.” Ryan approaches with caution as though Jasper was a bomb that could go off if the wrong wire was tripped, which was actually exactly how Jasper felt. Only, he didn’t know what would explode from him when he finally went off. Ryan reaches him, hand gently on Jasper’s shoulder, always so gentle, always so caring. Jasper didn’t know how to tell him what he really needed because he didn’t know himself but if he had to hear Ryan stumble for the right word and place hands on him anxiously one more time he felt like the wire would be tripped.

Ryan is silent, watching the aggressively short heaves of Jasper’s chest. His own concern on whether or not Jasper would damage his ribs more but he knew at a time like this there was no way Jasper should be expected to calm down. Ryan wanted so badly to wrap his arms around Jasper and absorb the pain and anger from him, to barely be able to hold him to comfort him in any way felt like an insult to the entire situation and he was honestly afraid of how Jasper would ever get through his own recovery alongside the grief he was suffocating himself by holding in.

After what feels like forever Jasper moves away from Ryan, muttering about needing water. Ryan offers to get him a glass and is given an icy glare in response as Jasper walked out of the bedroom. He'd been doing so much for Jasper to try and take away the 'burden' but it'd gone past the point of being helpful, and left Jasper with nothing but time to sit around drowning in his own thoughts. Ryan sits on the bed, hands over his face trying to hold himself together, the attitude was insufferable and he really didn’t know how to navigate this. He didn't expect Jasper to just get better, but he hadn't expected that he'd close himself off entirely. He'd spent the whole time Jasper was out, on the phone to his mum, staring out the windows of their apartment as he cried, asking her what the hell he could do and they had both agreed it'd just be something that took patience and time. It'd dawned on Ryan that Blake was the glue that held Jasper together. Every time something had happened to Jasper he had been the one that stood up and helped him work his way through it, while Jasper would always just glaze over his own problems, focusing on everyone but himself, something he couldn't do this time. Without the glue, Jasper couldn't hold himself together. It also dawned on Ryan, that he turned to Blake for advice with Jasper, because Blake was the only one that seemed to understand all the different ways Jasper would react to things. So Jasper was falling apart and Ryan was trying to put him back together without an instruction manual.

Jasper was grateful for the peace, the silence of the apartment was more bearable without Ryan’s sad eyes watching his every move. He has some water, another lot of pain meds and gets started on rifling through what food they had, to throw together some form of meal. He wasn’t hungry but it was a distraction at least, and a much needed one, though it's only short lived.

“My mum has offered to cook us dinner tonight.” Ryan announces as he walks out of the bedroom, seeing Jasper staring into the fridge. Jasper closes the fridge more aggressively than necessary and turns to Ryan.

“Do I look like I want to fucking go to a family dinner tonight?” Jasper screws his face up at Ryan as though the suggestion itself was offensive and immediately he feels himself starting to shake again, frustration pulsing through him.

“She just wants to help.” Ryan states with a sigh.

“No, Jesus Christ.” Jasper hits himself in the face with his palm then turns around to the fridge, putting his hand on his hip and seething before turning back to Ryan. “I am sorry, I am really fucking sorry but I am done. I don’t want to go out, I don’t want to talk to people. Can you not see how much I just want to be left the fuck alone right now?” He demands, throwing his arms up angrily then raking his fingers through his hair, grabbing a fistful and pulling it a little roughly.

“That’s fine, I didn't mean we were going for dinner, I'll go and just bring food back for us. She just wanted to take the pressure off us tonight by making us dinner, one less thing for us to think about.” Ryan replies, so calm and understanding that it throws the lid right off the bottle of contained emotions Jasper had been holding onto and it all comes into his head with such ferocity that he feels like he might actually physically explode right here and now. Ryan notices the erratic breathing, frantic fidgeting and his pale face, feeling his heart sink as he understands what's happening. “Jasper, talk to me. I know you’ve been pulling away since Blake...” Ryan walks around the counter to go to Jasper.

“This isn’t about Blake.” Jasper snaps, stepping back and putting his hand up to signal Ryan to stop and not come any closer to him, he was afraid of himself, afraid he would hurt Ryan because like this, all he felt was unrelenting fury and confusion. Fight or flight instinct kicking in but he had nowhere to run. He had lost trust in himself after punching Chris and didn't want to risk letting Ryan anywhere near him while he was agitated like this. This feeling was like nothing he'd felt before, it was like his body was trying to shut down, he couldn't breathe properly, his heart was racing and he just wanted to collapse to the floor. He couldn't even get his brain to get one proper thought together, all he kept thinking was that he was dying too, that his heart was breaking, his lungs were collapsing, his head was going to explode.

“Ok, then what? What do you want me to do to help you right now?” Ryan asks, taking a step closer to Jasper, holding in his own tears. It was truly heart-wrenchingly terrifying to see Jasper like this. Jasper's got a hand on his neck, the other resting on his chest and before he even properly thinks through the words stumble out of his mouth with a tone of certainty, as if this was in the back of his mind and something he'd been mulling over for a while, but it wasn't, not consciously at least.

“I want to break up.” Jasper states. He felt so betrayed by his own mouth, but he needed Ryan to get away from him now while they still had something good to look back on when they thought of their relationship. He didn't want to hurt him, he didn't want to break his heart, he didn't want any of this.

“Jasper. Don’t do this. I know what you are doing and I am begging you not to do this.” Ryan shakes his head and reaches forward for Jasper, he wanted to hold him close, to sit on the floor with him while he cried, to place Jasper's hand on his chest and breathe slowly, to calm him down the way Jasper had done for him so many times.

“Ryan go. Please just go.” Jasper had never been so afraid before in his life, of the cocktail of feelings brewing in his head and he couldn’t stand the thought of breaking down in front of Ryan. In this moment, he didn’t feel like there was ever going to be a time when he wasn’t this lost, this hurt and this dangerous. His brain was spit firing thoughts of hurting himself, of hurting Ryan and he needed to get Ryan away before he could do anything that he could never come back from.

“I want to be here to help you.” Ryan maintains strongly, taking another step towards Jasper, his hands up passively like he was afraid too. The truth was Ryan didn't know if he could help him, he just knew he needed to try.

“I don’t want help! I’m FINE.” Jasper screams, tears finally threatening to fall from his eyes as he cowers back, completely overwhelmed, about to lose the last shred of control.

“Jasper, I know you're scared right now, you're having a panic attack. I promise you are going to be ok. I know it doesn't feel like it but you will be ok. Let me help you, trust me, I know it feels like the best thing to do is push everyone away but, trust me." Ryan could feel his heart breaking as he was watching the person he loved, crumble before him. He'd had these plenty of times, but he'd never seen what it actually looks like until now. The fear in Jasper's eyes, the hyperventilating breathing, the complete loss of self.

“Ryan, I do not need you to counsel me right now. I need you to listen to what I want, and leave. Me. ALONE.” Jasper’s voice cracks as he shouts and clenches his fist, shaking his head pleadingly at Ryan.

I don’t think you should be alone right now.” Ryan argues, there was something familiar about the way Jasper looked, full of fear and rage all at once that reminded him of his worst panic attack, the first night he'd tried to end it all.

“You think I am going to hurt myself? I AM NOT THAT STUPID!” Jasper screams, furious tears filling his eyes as he lets out the careless words. It was only after he said it that he realized how he sounded, but he didn't take it back. In this moment he'd rather hurt him with words and have Ryan leave, then let Ryan persist with him at the risk of Jasper losing himself again like he did with Chris. He couldn't live with himself if he ever put hands on this beautifully gentle man, in anger like this. Ryan didn't deserve that, he didn't deserve any of this and there's a devastating moment where they look into each others' eyes and know they are both thinking just that. It's unfair, it's so unbelievably unfair, but as Jasper tears his eyes from Ryan's hanging his head. "Get out." Jasper inhales shakily. "Please, I need you to get out."

“Ok, I’ll go. I’ll go.” Ryan takes another step back, a little shocked at Jasper's comment. “Just remember you were there for me. That night when I called you when I thought I had nothing to live for. Please just. Please call me if you need me. If you need anything. I’ll give you space, but please just please. Don’t think that you can’t turn to me because I’m always going to love and care about you.” Ryan hesitates to leave waiting for Jasper to give him a reason not to, but knowing that staying right now wasn't going to help. Jasper wouldn't calm down, and forcing him to be distressed for longer just because it broke him to walk away, was selfish. Ryan lets out a heavy sigh and then starts walking towards the door, as much as he was worried about Jasper, he did trust him not to hurt himself but he also had no intention of letting him be alone. He calls an ambulance as soon as he is out of earshot, knowing Jasper wouldn't turn to anyone else, but needed someone to check in on him.

As soon as Jasper hears the click of the door closing, he turns and glances around, heartbroken and relieved all at once. He falls to the floor and lets out everything he had been holding in, a flood of tears he couldn't stop, screaming and swearing uncontrollably. Ryan leans against the front door, sliding down and sitting on the floor, his head against the door. He runs his fingers through his hair and tries to stay calm, tears streaming down his own face silently as he listens to the hysterical sobbing coming from inside, from the person he loved. His heart felt like it was being squeezed with every sob he heard. Every piece of him wanted to just open the door and go back inside, to wrap his arms around Jasper. But he knew all too well that for someone to be helped, they have to want help, and Jasper didn't, he wanted to fall apart on his own. Ryan would stay until the ambulance got here, then he would disappear.

Neither Ryan or Jasper are going to be suicidal or physically self-harming in future chapters, no matter how bad things seem.

The next few chapters aren't as heavy as these last few, I'm sorry to anyone that's struggled to read these. Obviously things aren't good, but we've gotten through the worst of it. I wanted to show the ugly side of grief by going so deep into Jasper's darkest emotions but the intensity lets up over the next few chapters as he moves out of the anger stage of grief.

@Copyright (2018), Claire Rosalind; All Rights Reserved.
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I have seen people dealing with intense grief before this isn't exaggerated at all one good thing Ryan has been in a similar place so he won't give up on Jasper.What will the reaction be when the ambulance comes

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Poor Ryan just wants to be able to do something that will help Jasper get the grief out of his system. Jasper said that he hasn’t even cried for Blake yet, I think he’s going to be okay with everything he’s just not able to begin to process his grief. Ryan realized that Blake was the glue that helped Jasper stay together whenever things were going bad for him. 

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Poor Ryan, Poor Jasper. All Ryan wants to do is help, but Jasper is so grief stricken that he's pushing everyone and everything away as he thinks he doesn't need help. Ryan has done the right thing by calling an ambulance, I'm not sure what Jasper's reaction is gonna be. But hopefully Jasper gets the help he needs.

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Some things are better left to professionals. Hopefully, Ryan gave or will give enough information to the medical people that they know what they are dealing with. Jasper needs to be around people he does not feel the need to protect. I would guess that he *chose* Damian to unload on, precisely for that reason.

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@Littlelovestories, I really hope you resolve this crisis quickly, because my heart and emotions will not cope with it being drawn out.  

While Ryan has his issues, quite honestly I sometimes think Jasper is the one who needs more help. I'm so angry right now at the way he treats and speaks to Ryan. I feel it almost borders on abuse. Jasper is being incredibly selfish and self-absorbed. He has given absolutely no thought to the fact that Ryan is grieving too. And trying to be there for the man he loves as well. Only to be rejected and yelled at. AFAIAC  Jasper needs a swift kick in the butt (or maybe even the nuts). Ryan needs to stand his ground and maybe yell right back. He's allowing  Jasper to steamroller right over him.

Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now. That's what happens when one gets invested in a story.

 

Edited by Andre Delport
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Oh believe me, I've lived these last few chapters. I've lived the anger, I've lived with the grief. I still live with both everyday. So I know what Jasper is going through. Very good chapter even though it is a sad one.

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2 hours ago, Andre Delport said:

@Littlelovestories, I really hope you resolve this crisis quickly, because my heart and emotions will not cope with it being drawn out.  

While Ryan has his issues, quite honestly I sometimes think Jasper is the one who needs more help. I'm so angry right now at the way he treats and speaks to Ryan. I feel it almost borders on abuse. Jasper is being incredibly selfish and self-absorbed. He has given absolutely no thought to the fact that Ryan is grieving too. And trying to be there for the man he loves as well. Only to be rejected and yelled at. AFAIAC  Jasper needs a swift kick in the butt (or maybe even the nuts). Ryan needs to stand his ground and maybe yell right back. He's allowing  Jasper to steamroller right over him.

Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now. That's what happens when one gets invested in a story.

 

Jasper for sure has issues, I've been foreshadowing three particular issues from very, very early on. Those are only now becoming the obvious problems and yes I did just skim my entire story to find as many examples as I could to show this attitude of Jasper's has been a long time coming. I hope this helps you see why he's handling this so badly.

Ch18: “Are you alright? I get you mightn’t want to talk about it but whatever it is, I will support you and be there for you.” Blake asks, giving him a comforting smile that serves as a reminder that Blake is not only better at being a boyfriend than Jasper ever was, but he was also much better at being a friend. “I’m fine.” Jasper nods.

Ch19: “Great, well lets all be adults and agree to deal with frustration in our own way. You healthy guys, go off and work out and I will drink and we will all feel better in our own way.” Jasper shrugs with a grin on his face as he heads back to the kitchen. “Have fun."

Ch21: “Are you ok?” “Oh yeah, no I’m fine. There was some stuff but I’m fine now. I just find it relaxing to have a drink at the end of a day.” Jasper shrugs and smiles reassuringly at Blake.

Ch22: "I don’t want to let you down. If anything goes wrong between us, if I am bad at dating you, if I ever, ever hurt you. I would never forgive myself. You deserve the best and I don’t think I’m good enough for you.”I don’t want to let you down. If anything goes wrong between us, if I am bad at dating you, if I ever, ever hurt you. I would never forgive myself. You deserve the best and I don’t think I’m good enough for you.” Jasper tells him.

Ch26: “I just feel awful that I’m not the one that can protect you here. I’m in that photo and you want me to stay out of it. I hate that.” Ryan admits. 

“But look at how it’s effecting you already! You’re almost having a panic attack over this and it’s not even you that has to walk out that door after being outed to the whole world. You don’t have to worry about opening up your social media and seeing criticisms. I’m not saying you can’t come out. If you really want to then do it, I’m not going to stop you. My thought is just that you may want to wait it out and see what you’re getting yourself into before you do that, you know?"

Ch28: “You.” Blake licks his lips and gulps. “You didn’t have to go through that alone Jasper. You never have to keep that stuff to yourself, that’s way too much to carry.” At the sight of tears in Blake’s eyes, Jasper breaks down, remembering that night felt like telling a story now, he’d tried to separate his feelings from it as much as possible but hearing Blake made him realize how traumatic it had been for himself to hold onto that on his own.

Ch29: “Are you ok?” Blake asks, he’d stopped at the front door and waited for Jasper to catch up.

“Please get me smashed and keep my phone out of my hands tonight.” Jasper passes Blake his phone.

Ch39:Come out and talk to me about it, I’m good at understanding those feelings.” Ryan insists. Jasper looks at his face, seeing it’s paled back to his normal colour and complexion. With a few more deep breaths, he steps back to the door and opens it. “

Sorry.” He shrugs. “I’m fine.” Ryan takes Jasper by the hands and leads him over to the bed. Jasper sits with him, they sit down on the edge and Ryan puts his hand on Jasper’s knee. “What can I do to help?” He asks. "Just distract me with some kissing?” Jasper suggests, giving a flirty shrug. 

“Have you noticed you have unhealthy ways of distracting yourself from the real problems you should be dealing with?” Ryan asks with a laugh.

Ch40: “I just wanted to check how he was feeling this morning, since it’s such a big day for him.” Simon sighs. “We’re all kinda worried about him. Is he in the shower or something?” 

“He’ll be fine, I’m sure he’s probably just trying to keep himself distracted.” Ryan comments, looking back at his phone, scrolling mindlessly.

Ch41: Thirdly it was the ‘are you ok?’ and ‘How are you feeling?’ questions his well meaning friends would be asking the moment they saw him again. He couldn’t answer them. Lastly there was facing Ryan. He didn’t want to talk, he didn’t want to have a deep emotional conversation and right now he didn’t even think he wanted to be held or touched. 

Ch44:  “Get drunk with me?” Jasper pouts at him. “And keep my phone away from me so I don’t do this whole fight through text while I’m drunk.” 

“I really need to be more specific and not leave offers so open, when I say I’ll do whatever you ask, I don’t mean make bad decisions with you. You need to go and talk to him.” Blake suggests. 

Ch54: “Jas?” Blake sits beside him quickly.

“I’m fine, don’t worry.” Jasper sniffles back his tears.

“Crying in the dark isn’t being ‘fine’. "

Ch72: "Instead I was taken to gay camp, which isn’t as fun as the name suggests.” Jasper tries to make light of his comment, unlike Ryan who seemed to have had a really healthy reaction to his trauma, Jasper was taking a laugh it off method for his own emotional experience.

Ch75:"speaking of overcoming things though, are you going to face whatever went on with you at the gay therapy place? Because I know you tend to hide your own problems and handle everyone else’s instead but I’m sure you’ve got some shit to work through with all that.” Blake asks, looking at Jasper concerned.

“When have I ever done that?” Jasper asks, laughing before he even finishes the question.

“Ohhh, that’s why you love Ryan, because he’s a very good distraction from your own problems, his are always outweighing yours.” Blake jokes sarcastically.

“Mhm. Definitely. That’s the reason. If I lost Ryan I would actually have to deal with my own stuff and probably end up in a mental institute.” He and Blake laugh for a moment then both go quiet.

“Are you ok though? You haven’t talked about it but I’m sure there’s stuff that happened that has got to have been impactful in some way.” Blake asks kindly.

“I’m always ok.” Jasper shrugs.

Ch82: “Jasper.” Blake places his hands on Jasper’s shoulders looking into his eyes. “Stop putting everyone else first. And take care of yourself. You can’t give people the best of you if you are not making yourself the best. Part of that means knowing when to put yourself first. 

Ch83:  “Are you ok?” Leo asks.

“Yeah, totally fine.” Jasper answers sarcastically.

 & “You’re not very good at letting other people take care of you. You’re too much of a pleaser, you need to learn to be selfish.” Leo winks at him.

His way of dealing with things has been to A) Not deal with it. B ) Focus on Ryan instead and C) *insert unhealthy coping mechanism here* soooooo I guess the real question is, when will he learn from those prominent mistakes. 
Also to be fair to Ryan, he understands what it's like to act the way Jasper is just to push people away, so this is where his experience is vital to showing the compassion Jasper needs during these outbursts. It's hard for him and it hurts, but he gets it. We're at a point here where Jasper has had ample chances to help Ryan through his struggles, and now the tables have turned, it's a new dynamic for them both and they both have to learn how to handle it.

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It’s bad enough that Jasper lost his lifelong best friend—the person who knew him better than even Ryan.  It was the suddenness and unexpectedness.  Blake was making a recovery.  They were working on what the seizures were. His leg was finally starting to heal. No one, not even the medical staff expected this, so it makes the grief worse because they were unable to prepare for it.

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