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[The fictional story below is a continuation from this.]

Jason strummed on guitar, working on stringing the chords together that Adam had taught him. He was antsy. Impatient. Adam and Daryn were running late. A text message said that Sam had been ill and threw up all over himself. Jason hoped Sam was ok. He had grown attached to the little guy; Jason had baby sat a few times and they had a swell time building Legos together.

Jason looked at his bags. A suitcase, wrapped in duct tape, and a duffel. His bulky winter coat was draped over his suitcase. 17 years, his entire life, now fit in two bags. He glanced up at the bed behind it. The bunk he’d spent the last year sleeping on was stripped to the mattress. It pleased him to know soon another lost soul would sleep there. Someone more lost than him. Cause right now, Jason felt very content in his place in the world. He was wanted.

In January, his parents had kicked him out after discovering he was gay. The shelter had been his home since he stumbled in that day, frozen to the bone. He had connected with Adam during guitar lessons that spring, and Adam and

had invited Jason to join Thanksgiving with them. It was the first time Jason had realized he hadn’t been kicked out, but completely disowned. It had been bumpy, as it was also the first time he remembered what a home could feel like. It was an emotional time, but he left with a smile.

The shelter had felt different when he got back though. Just because he’d slept there, it didn’t mean it was home. He felt like a bother. Like he was invasive. Jason missed the family dynamic. He wanted a “home” and a “room” to call his own again, which logically didn’t make sense, because he was almost 18 and looking forward to going out in the world. Still, it’s easier to fledge when you have a nest to return to.

Jason had been absolutely dreading Christmas. Adam and
Daryn had invited him to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas with them, just as they did Thanksgiving. He was relieved by that. But as high school ended for the holiday break, Jason ran out of things to keep him busy until Christmas Eve. He sulked. He played guitar. He took long walks in the snow. Although all the volunteer-based activities were on hold for the holidays, a counselor at the shelter told him that Adam was coming by for a guitar class anyway. Jason had enjoyed that.

He was not expecting for Adam to pull him aside after the class. He was also not expecting to be asked to sit down because he wanted to talk about something. And wow, was Jason shocked that Adam had invited to Jason to come live with him and his husband Daryn

for the rest of his senior high school year.
“Basically you’d come for Christmas Eve and just not leave. The basement is finished now. We have a room down there you could use,” Adam had said. Jason was just so stunned that he could only listen as Adam went on. “Daryn

and I can take care of you through your graduation. In the summer, we expect you to get a job and start contributing. You’ll also have to start community college or some sort of job training in fall, but you’re welcome to stay with us until you’re stable enough to get your own place.”
And Jason could only nod and bite his lip hard.
“Yes?” Adam had whispered.
Jason nodded harder and then threw his arms around Adam.

He just couldn’t believe it. This random gay couple had just totally adopted him pretty much. And they already had a five year old on their hands. And

ran his own business. They were just incredible people. Jason plucked at his guitar and pondered how he would have never had met them unless he’d been thrown out. Maybe he’d see them in the grocery store one day or something out of the corner of his eye. Maybe in a parallel universe.

Maybe he’d see his own parents at the grocery store out of the corner of his eye one day. Jason’s gaze slid over to his duffel where presents for
Daryn, Adam, and Sam were carefully wrapped in dollar store wrapping paper and then padded in his own sweater. In there was also an envelope that had come for him yesterday. It was from his own dad. Jason didn’t know if he wanted to open it. He hadn’t heard from his family in…wow, almost a year. Jason sighed. It still felt weird to not get his siblings any presents. He’d missed their birthdays. His parents’ too. His grandfather’s… a part of him yearned for things to be like how they were before. But they weren’t. And couldn’t.

And although life was going great and he was looking forward to his future, Jason knew it was going to get bumpy. This summer, a friend from high school had hooked him up with a gig working at a summer camp. But without his social security card, and the fact he was a minor, Jason had a hard time getting hired. In the end, someone at the camp took pity on him and paid him cash. But as he turned 18 and began to go to college, and paying his own taxes, it’d get messy. Jason shook his head. He didn’t want to think about that.

He wanted to think about Christmas. And huge family meals. And playing Legos with Sam. And sledding. And getting better at guitar.
And finishing up high school. And maybe, getting up the courage to ask Ted out from his AP History class. Maaaaybe. That kid had to be gay. He drew dicks on everything.

The phone binged. Jason picked it up. Hey it’s Adam. Sam’s fine! We’re all changed and ready to go. On our way.
Jason smiled. “They’re all coming for me. All three of them. Man, they’re amazing.” Jason decided to put the guitar back in its case. It belonged to the shelter. He yearned for one of his own. He also wanted a relationship like

and Adam had. Would he one day have a husband of his own?

Jason didn’t know the answer to that. But he did know that when he was an adult, he would come back to the shelter to volunteer. The cycle of love must continue.

Jason gathered his bags and went downstairs to wait for his ride home. Home.

Captions are fictional.



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