Status: Active :) Comments are lovely.

Lost Inside

Family Matters

Declan’s mother had halted in her attempts to get him to ‘see reason’ and get back together with Clarissa. Once Clarissa realized that she no longer had Renée on her side, she began to call Declan non-stop. She would frequently visit his loft and spam his e-mail; begging him to take her back and convincing him that she had changed.

Declan couldn’t believe his luck. He was free. How many years had he been with Clarissa, wishing that a bus could just swerve off the road and end his misery and now here he Declan almost forgot what true happiness felt like. And then there were his feeling for Caleb.

It had been two weeks since Declan’s parents had come to his home and it seemed as though getting his story off his chest was the last step that Caleb needed to begin the healing process. Declan had thought that the boy was coming out of his shell before...
Neither Declan nor Emilia had ever seen this Caleb before. He laughed loudly, he talked with volume and he said his first curse word - followed by an abundance of apologies. If Declan wasn’t already falling in love...

Three days prior, Caleb had gotten the job at the library managed by Declan’s aunt, Shaunica. Caleb couldn’t stop praising the work and the people and the fact that he actually had a job. It wasn’t much, a few days a week, but Caleb couldn’t have been more proud of himself. He kept telling Declan that soon, he would be able to start paying rent.

“Absolutely not!” Had been Declan’s response. “I will, in no way, accept any money from you. I don’t know if you can tell, Cay, but I have more than enough money to pay for this place on my own. But thank you for the offer.”

Caleb huffed, crossing his arms over his chest.

“Fine, but I’m paying for my own clothes...and my phone bill...a-and-”

“How about you start saving up for your GED.”
The two had talked about Caleb potentially finishing his high school career in order to be able to find a better job in the future, but Caleb had brushed it off because he knew that it would not come cheap and he refused to have Declan spend yet another dime on him.

“You think I can?” Caleb asked, chewing on the sleeve of Declan’s sweater. Caleb loved stealing Declan’s sweaters; they were warm and smelled wonderful and familiar.

“I know you can. We’ll open a savings account for you and you can save your money from work until you have enough. Meaning...I guess I get to keep buying you stuff and paying for your phone.”

Caleb would have scoffed and made a snarky remark, but he was too busy thinking about what it would be like to be able to finally finish high school. It wasn’t the way he had hoped to finish, but it was more than he ever thought he would ever be able to have.

But they were almost to December and Caleb knew that he would have to get Declan something wonderful. How many ways would he be able to thank Declan and Emilia for all they have done for him? If it wasn’t for them, Caleb wondered if he would have still been alive. But what could he possibly get the man who already has everything? He shuddered at the thought of what Declan would buy him.

Caleb had gone to shower and head for bed that night when a knock came from Declan’s door. He almost expected it to be Clarissa - again - but was very surprised to see his father. Crisp suit as usual, stoic. The men hadn’t spoken since they had last seen each other two weeks prior.

“Dad...come in.” Declan felt underdressed. Which was absurd seeing as it was 10 pm in his own home. Declan wondered if his father ever wore anything other than suits. Did he sleep in them? Did he shower in them?

Ronald Callum entered his son’s loft, as clean and pristine as ever - Caleb swore that Declan was OCD about cleaning - and took a seat on the sofa, taking in his surroundings.

“Hello son, I was hoping to speak to Caleb, if he was still here.”
Declan was thoroughly confused. Caleb? Why did his father want to speak to Caleb?

“Y-yeah, he’s just taking a shower right now and then he said he was going to bed, but I can get him for you if you...want...why do you want to speak to him?” Curiosity got the better of him. Growing up he would have never been able to ask questions about business that didn’t pertain to him, but Declan had grown to think of himself as an equal to his father...somewhat.

“I had found his family. I thought he would want to know.”

All thought process stopped in Declan’s mind. Caleb’s family has been found? His father found the horrid people who threw their own son out to die on the streets? Declan didn’t know how he should feel about this. Did he want Caleb to know about this? Especially now that he seemed to be getting some closure with his situation? What would Emilia say? She always knew the right things to say. Declan sighed. She would say that he needed to see them. To show them that he was alive and to let them know how he has felt these past three years.

“W-where are they? Who are they? How did you even find them?”
Ronald sighed.

“I know people Declan. If I want someone found, they will be found.” Declan had known the answer before the question had fully left his lips. “As to where they are, they’ve found a home in New Jersey. Mrs. Barnes is a teacher at an elementary school working with mentally disabled children, Mr. Barnes works in an office somewhere and coaches football part time. Their youngest son, Jetson, graduated high school not too long ago, didn’t get accepted into any universities and works at the supermarket.” Declan smiled at this. They had thrown their brilliant son away for one who wasn’t amounting to anything. “Their four daughters have grown and left the family house, though they are all relatively close by. One of Caleb’s sisters, Vanessa, actually works in your firm.”

Declan was taken aback. He worked with one of Caleb’s sisters? But he would have recognized the name, surely. Of course she could have gotten married and changed it.
Ronald sighed.

“I will leave it to you to tell this to Caleb if you feel that he will want to know about this. If not, that is your judgement and it will stay between us. If he wants to meet them, call me and I will have their address located.”

With that, Ronald departed. And Declan was left with a dilemma, what does he do?
The water shut off in the bathroom and Caleb’s small feet were heard padding through the room until he reached the living room where Declan was currently pacing.

“Dec, are you okay?” The small boy asked, coming up in front of the man and placing a soothing hand on his arm. “What’s wrong?”
Caleb’s concerned face was what it took for Declan to make up his mind.

“Come here.” Declan led the boy to the sofa, where they sat beside each other. “My dad was just here and he - he told me a bit of news and I...he found your parents.”
Declan wondered if he should have worded it that way. The hurt look on Caleb’s face made him wonder if he should have worded it at all.

Caleb didn’t know what to think. It was as if his mind had gone blank. Void of thought. What did this mean? They found his parents...and? But he knew. Did he want to see them? Did he want to know that they were doing alright without him? Caleb sighed. No.

“I think...I don’t want to know....please.” He sighed. He had thought long and hard before about what would happen if he was to ever see his family again. What would he say? How would he react? But living with Declan and finally feeling wanted for the first time in his life, Caleb realized that he no longer cared. His family had lost their chance.

Declan sighed. He was glad that he had at least let Caleb know that should he change his mind, he would know who to ask.


“And you’re sure that you don’t want to know?” Emilia asked as soon as she had arrived at loft. Caleb had called and told her about Declan’s news as soon as he had gone to bed that same night and she had called Declan to find out more as soon as Caleb had hung up with her. She was in the bathroom, reapplying her bright rouge lipstick for her date that night.

Caleb sighed, he had played his decision over and over in his mind for the last two nights since finding out that Declan had information on his parents. He wasn’t so sure that he had made the right decision, after all.

“I don’t know. I mean...I think I just - I just want them to hurt as much as I did. But they probably never even thought about me after they left.”
Emilia sighed, putting her makeup away and turning to face Caleb who was sitting on top of the toilet seat.

“Don’t believe that. Even though your parents are the worse human beings on the planet, they’re still your parents. Your mother birthed you and held you in her arms as you cried. Somewhere in her heart, she loves you and she regrets everything that she’s done.”

“Then why didn’t she come back for me? They left and they never came back! They’re probably somewhere in Canada right now without a care in the world.”
Emilia wrapped Caleb in her warm arms.

“They’re in Jersey, Dec told me. Look, even if you don’t want to talk to them or ever see them again, just find out more information. Find out what happened after they made you leave, at least.”
She gave him a quick peck on the cheek and made her way out of the bathroom.

“I’ll be at Chateau’s tonight. You have my number, call if you need anything.” She accidentally smacked Declan hard on the back of the head instead of giving him a light pat as she hurried out in her barely there dress and sky high heels.

Declan chuckled and turned his attention from the film to Caleb, who had unceremoniously thrown himself onto the sofa.

“How was the girl talk?” He chuckled.
Caleb growled, but found it too much work to lift his hand to aim a punch.

“I think...I think I wanna know what happened after they told me to leave.” Caleb finally sighed
out. "I don’t want to talk to them or anything, but - I want to know what happened.”


Ronald Callum’s office was unnecessarily large and bright. It was one of the tallest office buildings in Manhattan and of course he had the tallest and largest office. The boys had called the office to make an appointment with the man to find that he was booked solid for five months. One look at Caleb’s big, sad eyes and Declan was doing something he had always avoided; calling his father’s private cell. Two days later and they were sitting across from the intimidating man in his equally intimidating office.
Ronald held a manilla envelope in his large hands, reading some type of paperwork.

“So you want to know what happened to your family after they made you leave?” Mr. Callum clarified. Caleb gave a shaky nod. “Alright.” The man cleared his throat the flipped through more pages. “You said that you came back after two weeks to find their house empty, it shows that not even another three weeks after that, your mother and father had attempted to sign another lease with the owner of their old home.” Caleb sat up straighter in his chair. They had tried to come back? “They were unable to do so because another couple had come in with a higher offer that the landlord had accepted.”

Caleb didn’t know how to feel about this. His parents had tried to come back. Was it because they tried looking for him or was it too much of a hassle to move so far away? Declan’s hand wrapped around Caleb’s small one. The younger could breathe easy again; he wasn’t alone.

“Mr. and Mrs. Barnes, along with their five other children moved into a home two blocks away. The eldest sister, Vanessa, who would have been 21 at the time, moved out of the parent’s house to a condo 3 blocks away from the old family house and got a job at the firm where Declan currently works.”

Caleb’s head snapped to look at Declan. He works with Vanessa? Caleb wondered if Declan knew her. 
 “She’s in social work, so Declan would have had no reason to meet her.” Ronald continued, catching his son’s eye. Declan wondered why his father had said that. Did he not want Caleb to be mad at Declan? Why would he care?
“After two years at this residence, Mr. and Mrs. Callum finally relocated to their current home in New Jersey with their son Jetson - 17 - and their twin daughters, Jessica and Jennifer - 20. Your parents filed that you had run away at the age of 15 willingly and therefore would not file a missing person's report.”

Ronald put the papers down and crossed his fingers, looking at Caleb from behind his spectacles.
Caleb didn’t know how he should arrange his face. How should he feel about this? Happy? Relieved?
From what Mr. Callum had said, it didn’t show anything about his family having missed him after he went away. Sure they might have attempted to move back into the same home, but that could mean anything. They could have just missed the house and wanted it back; his parents had been very sentimental. And what about his siblings?

Ronald cleared his throat.

“It says here that the relationship between your oldest sister, Vanessa, and your parents have been very strained. There appears to have been no communication between them for the past two and a half years. Your other sister, Taylor, also seems to have a difficult relationship with your mother and father; she only visits during holidays.”

Caleb wondered if this was supposed to make him feel better. There could be a number of reasons for the strained relations. Vanessa had been his favorite sibling, but that was only because she sometimes talked to him when she wasn’t too busy living her own life. What did it matter? And Taylor? Caleb had never really talked to Taylor either. She was one of the perfect children, there were times where it seemed that she didn’t want to taint her reputation by associating with her own brother. Jessica and Jennifer, well...they never spoke to their younger brother. He wasn’t liked by the parents, so why should he be liked by them? Caleb’s mind was made.

His family hadn’t cared for him back then, they still didn’t care for him now.


Declan felt horrible. Since returning to the loft, Caleb had locked himself in his bedroom, refusing to come out to even eat. Declan knew that it would probably be a bad idea for him to know about his family, but he had been hoping for some closure. Not this.

And that was when Declan made up his mind. He would find Vanessa. The information that his father was able to dig up didn’t tell enough of what had happened when Caleb had been forced out. The only way he would be able to find the truth was to go to someone who was there.


Finding Vanessa Barnes was not as hard as Declan had hoped. He hadn’t told Caleb or Emilia what his plan was. Caleb would probably cry and Emilia would get angry and tell him that it was a terrible idea, so Declan was doing this alone.

Social work was three floors under criminal justice, floor 26. She had her own office. Declan was certain that had he seen Vanessa any other time, he was sure that he would know exactly who she was. Both her and Caleb had the same sea green/blue eyes, small stature and soft brown hair.
Vanessa was the female version of Caleb.

The woman had been filing paperwork when Declan entered her office. He hadn’t made an appointment, or made his presence known, but he already worked in the building, so it as almost too easy to get into nearly every other office. Her office was covered in paperwork; Declan thought he had a lot of paperwork, it seemed like nothing compared to this woman. There were a few personal touches; a flower pot here, a stuffed panda on the filing cabinet and on her desk, a photograph of a young girl and an even younger boy, beaming into the photo. Declan recognized those chubby cheeks and round eyes almost immediately. She only has a picture of Caleb and no other family member in her office?

“Can I help you? I don’t recall having an appointment today.” Her voice was as small and adorable as her brother’s.

“Um...” Declan should have prepared what he was going to say. “No, no, my name’s Declan Callum, I work upstairs in criminal justice and...” She looked thoroughly confused as to why he was in her office. “I know your brother, Caleb.”

The pen fell from her limp hand. Her bright green eyes glossed over as tears threatened to spill from her eyes. And then she got angry.

“Is this some sort of sick joke?” She snarled through clenched teeth. “Do you think this is funny? Get the hell out of my office.”
Declan wondered why it would be a sick joke? Was Caleb that taboo in their family that he couldn’t even be talked about anymore? Then why did she look so pained at the thought of him?

“Wh-why is it a joke? I do know your brother, he lives with me at my house and -”

“My brother’s dead!” That sure took Declan aback. “Get the hell out or I will call security!”

Dead? Caleb was very much alive.

Declan quickly reached into his pocket and pulled out his cellphone. His background had been one of the silly pictures that he and Caleb had spent a day taking. There were close to 20 of them. Quickly walking up to Vanessa’s desk, he all but shoved the phone in front of her face.

“This is Caleb and he’s very much alive.”

Vanessa ripped the phone out of Declan’s hand. Tears poured freely from her eyes. A hand came to cover her mouth as a sob ripped from deep in her chest. Declan had no idea what on earth was happening, but he knew that Caleb wasn’t the only one who was left in the dark.
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I'm alive! I really am, just a lot of commuting to and from the city and work and school and blah!


Thanks to:
Josh Cutlip. for commenting. I love you <3

I hope to get more this chappy….please :3

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- C