Status: Active :) Comments are lovely.

Lost Inside

The Barnes'

Vanessa had calmed herself enough to agree to have lunch with Declan. The two arrived at the very busy diner at around noon and sat at the only available booth. Vanessa’s eyes were red and puff and her cheeks blotchy. It had been three years since she last laid eyes on her younger brother and one year since her parents had pronounced him dead.

“H-how has he been?” She finally asked once a steaming cup of tea was in her hands. “W-we h....we haven’t seen him in three years and dad said that he ran off and -” She closed her eyes and attempted to take a deep breath. “We never believed them, but...we didn’t know any better.”

Declan wished nothing more than to have Caleb come and meet him and Vanessa, but he knew that it was too soon. He needed to know the story first before he attempted a reunion.

“He um...he was homeless for three years after your parents kicked him out and moved away.” Vanessa stifled another sob. Declan knew he should be more considerate, seeing as this girl was clearly in a lot of pain, but his only thought was Caleb. Caleb had gone through so much at his old home; Vanessa could have helped him before any of this happened, but she hadn’t cared enough. She could have been the one to prevent this. “I found him a few months ago, almost dead in the streets from hunger and cold. I took him in and - he’s getting there.”
Vanessa sniffled, wiping her eyes with her sleeve and taking a sip of her tea.

“Mom and d - Sheri and Louis told us that he had taken his things and ran off in the middle of the night and that they had no idea where he went. Jetson, the fucking idiot, was the only one who believed them. They never called the police to report it and they had us pack up our things and move in less than a week. Who does that after their son goes missing?” Another sniffle, her watery eyes travelled around the diner in order to avoid meeting Declan’s.
“Taylor and I confronted them about it, but they just...they didn’t do anything to find him. Finally after about a month, mother was getting depressed and couldn’t even get out of bed on her own anymore, so we finally moved back. We couldn’t get the house back, so we had to go somewhere else and I just...I couldn’t take it anymore. I knew what they had done and when they finally saw their mistake, it was too late. Mother camped out in front of the other house for months, trying to see if he was ever gonna come back. They called every family member we knew, but he-” She took a deep breath and furiously wiped at her eyes.
“I left; I couldn’t look them in the eyes anymore without seeing his face, begging them to let him stay. I didn’t move too far. I looked for him every single day, calling anyone I could to help me, but I just couldn’t find him.”

Declan wanted to believe her. Really he did, but she had hurt Caleb as well. It would be hard to believe anyone in that family.

“When did they say he was dead?” Declan finally asked.

“Last year, I got a message from Sheri and Louis and they said that he was dead. We didn’t have a funeral or anything because there was no body to find. When they had filed his runaway, the police didn’t really...look for him or anything because there are thousands of runaways every year; he was just another number. They just told us to stop looking, that he would come back if he wanted to.”
Declan sighed. This was one messed up family.

“Well...he had tried to come back and there had been nothing to come back to. My father had found out about your family and told him what he could find from paper trails, but it wasn’t close enough to telling us the entire story. Thank you for telling me this.”

“C-can I see him?”
Declan sighed. That was definitely not a good idea right now.

“I don’t think that’s the best thing to do right now. He needs to hear this first and then it’ll be up to him to decide whether or not he wants to see you or have any form of contact with you. Caleb’s been...hurt, no, that’s not even the right word. He was abandoned by his family and left for dead for three years with no sign that any of you cared for him in the least bit. He’s going to need time to heal and I don’t know if he’s ready yet. You have to set yourself up for the possibility that he might not want anything to do with you.”
Vanessa lowered her head and nodded, trying her hardest not to continue crying.

“I understand.” She finally managed to whisper. “But please, please tell him how sorry I am and how much I love and miss him.”

Declan promised. He wasn’t sure if Caleb would be willing to listen, but he was going to try his hardest to get the boy to understand.


“You did what?” Caleb yelled. He didn’t think he was capable of being so loud, but that was before Declan betrayed him. “Why would go talk to her when I specifically said that I didn’t want to have anything to do with any of them?”

Caleb was now pacing the living room, fingers knotted into his hair, pulling hard. Declan sat on the couch, looking guiltily down at his feet.

“I know you said you didn’t want to have anything to do with them, but the information that my father found wasn’t enough and -”

“Says who?” Caleb interrupted. “Who said it wasn’t enough because I sure didn’t. This is my family, Declan, not yours. It’s my decision whether or not I want to know more, not yours.”

Declan knew that he had crossed a line that should not have been crossed. He never thought Caleb would be mad at him about it though. He never thought Caleb would ever be mad at him, period. He didn’t like it one bit. Declan was disappointed in himself.

“I’m sorry, Caleb. You’re right, it wasn’t my decision and I shouldn’t have gone to talk to her. You clearly don’t want to know and I won’t ever bring it up again, I promise.” His eyes were still trained on his bare feet. He was almost afraid to look Caleb in the eyes.

“Don’t say that!” Caleb squeaked out. “You can’t just have a conversation with my sister and not tell me what was said! What is wrong with you?”
Declan chanced a glance up at the boy in front of him. Caleb had stopped pacing. Standing with his hands on his hips, the boy was glaring holes at Declan.

Dec sighed, running a hand over his face. He should not have gotten involved, now he was just stressed.

“Okay...well...she told me what happened in between the moving and the family problems and everything. I thought it would be better to have an understanding of what was going on inside of the household.”

Caleb sighed, shoulders slouching. It was as though all of the energy fled his body and he could no longer stand on his own two feet. Caleb dropped onto the armchair beside the sofa.

“What did she say?”

Declan relayed his conversation with Vanessa to Caleb, keeping a close eye on the boy’s emotions.
Caleb tried to keep his face as blank as possible; he didn’t want Declan to stop talking because he was getting worked up over what he was saying. He wanted to hear everything.

‘They had gone back for me. Mom was so depressed that they went back home to look for me. They had asked around, mom had camped around the old house in case I came back. But I had gone back, many times and there was never anyone there to welcome me back. Had we really just missed each other by mere minutes? I could have been off of the streets so much sooner if I just stayed for a little longer?’ Caleb thought as he was hearing the story.
‘And Vanessa. She left the house because she couldn’t handle our parents anymore? Her and Taylor had actually cared? What about Jessica, Jennifer and Jetson? Do they still think I’m dead?’ And the most important of the questions: ‘Do I want to see her?’

Caleb was sure that he would never be able to talk to his parents ever again. They had treated him in ways that no parents should treat a child. They had neglected him all of his life and now they were feeling guilty? 'Good’. Caleb wanted them to feel guilty. He wanted his mother to live the rest of her life knowing that she could have killed her own child. He didn’t care about his parents, they no longer meant anything to him. But what about Vanessa? And Taylor and the others?

“I told her that she had to face the possibility that you may never want to speak to her again and she said that she understood and that she wouldn’t blame you for hating every single one of their guts. She also said that she wouldn’t tell your family about this yet, not unless you want them to know.”

“I want to see them.” Caleb swallowed hard. “I don’t want to talk to them and I, in no way, want them to know about me, but I want to see their faces. My parents.”

Declan didn’t know what had gotten into Caleb. He did know, however, that Caleb would not be able to handle seeing his parents with the hard expression that was currently on his face. The boy would break. Declan just wasn’t sure if he would break for the better...or beyond repair.


Declan and Caleb have been in the car for a little over an hour, driving down to Mr. and Mrs. Barnes’s new home. The neighborhood was quiet, calm. December snow was falling thickly, so there were no children playing on the street, but Caleb could see the streets bustling with young ones during the warmer months. He wasn’t sure if this was such a good idea. They had barely waited a day after Caleb had made this decision before they were on the road. Caleb hadn’t wanted to wait and potentially change his mind; Declan was willing to do anything Caleb wanted just to keep him happy.

Declan pulled to a stop beside a small, two story home. It wasn’t the one they were looking for. The Barnes’ lived in the home two houses across the street. It was gray with green roofing and a bright blue door. Smoke was puffing from the chimney and a multicolored Christmas tree was seen from the window; it looked homey. It looked like everything Caleb had tried to suppress. He had wanted the home to be dark, broken down and terrifying; the home he saw in his nightmares. But his parents always had a warm home, there was always a fireplace and tea and Christmas trees. But Caleb rarely got any gifts for Christmas other than socks or gloves while his siblings were showered with gifts.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Declan asked yet again. He had been asking this question ever since they woke up that morning and Caleb had stated that he wanted to go that very second.
Caleb let out a shaky breath and nodded.

“Yeah...I want to see them.”
They sat outside, holding their breath for half an hour before the front door finally opened. Caleb barely recognized the boy - the man - who walked out. Jetson had gotten big; he was already big at 14 when Caleb had last seen him, but he seemed to only have grown since then. At only 17, Jetson seemed to be well past the 6 foot mark, his arms were bulging with muscle and he had grown what looked like the beginnings of a full beard.

Caleb frowned; this is what his parents had wanted.

The boy stalked out of the front door, slammed it shut behind and angrily stomped down the street.
Caleb covered his face as his brother passed the car, but the boy didn’t stop to look inside. Jetson was angry, clearly; Caleb wondered why.

The door opened again two minutes later. Caleb could have cried. His mother looked a lot older than he remembered. Her hair was a mixture of her usual brown, but it was now highlighted with streaks of silver. She was frowning deeply down the street at where her son had just stalked off. Caleb recalled that his mother would have just turned 50 sometime last month.

Sheri didn’t stay at the door long, a man had appeared behind her and ushered her back into the house. Caleb hadn’t gotten to see what his father looked like; he hadn’t shown his face.
Declan didn’t know what to say. Does he insist that they return home and end this torture? One look at Caleb told him that this was the wrong thing to do. The boy looked determined.

“What do you think Jetson’s mad about?” Caleb finally asked. “He didn’t get exactly what he asked for this Christmas or something? He was the most spoiled one of us all.”

Declan sighed, entwining his hands with Caleb in the younger man’s lap. He didn’t know what he could possibly say to answer that question.

“Do you think you sisters are in there?” Declan chanced.

“Your dad said they still live with my parents, so mostly likely. Was this a stupid idea?” Caleb turned to Declan, wide eyes watering.
Declan shushed the boy, hugging him to the best of his ability with the console between them.

“No, hon, this was not a stupid idea. You want to see your family and that is more than understandable. We will sit out here for as long as we have to until you’re satisfied.”
That was apparently the right thing to say. Caleb gave Declan a teary smile and turned back to the house.

Jetson came back home twenty minutes later. He was pulled into a hug by his mother, but he pushed her away and closed the door behind him. Caleb was almost angry - which he did not understand - that Jetson was disrespecting their mother so much. This confused him because he could have sworn that he hated the woman.

Finally, after almost two hours of just sitting in the car, Caleb sighed and turned to Declan.

“I think it’s time for us to go home, nothing’s going to happen today, so -”
Caleb stopped talking and both his and Declan’s head snapped to the house they had been observing. Declan lowered both of their windows a crack in order to hear what Jetson was shouting.

The boy had come back out of the house, followed by Sheri and a much older looking Louis. Caleb recognized Jessica when she came out after their parents. She had dyed her hair platinum blonde and purple and looked absolutely furious. Jetson had a backpack over his shoulder.

“-It’s all your goddamn fault! You don’t deserve to be fucking happy! Do you think he was happy?” Jetson screamed. Caleb was paralyzed in shock. Why were his brother and sister so angry?

“We already apologized, Jetson!” Sheri cried out, burying her face in her hands and turning to her husband, who brought her in for a hug. At least they still had each other.

“Apologized to who? Us? Why the hell do we need your apologies? We’re not the ones you threw from your home!” Jetson growled. Caleb gasped. “You got rid of one child and you just expected us to be okay with it! It’s all your fault he’s dead!”

Declan squeezed Caleb’s hand and was so thankful that his windows were tinted. They would not need Caleb to make an appearance at that very moment.

Mrs. Barnes sobbed harder into her husband’s chest. Jennifer had now exited the house and stood beside her sister.

“Just come inside the house, Jetson.” Jennifer sighed, looking weary. “It’s been three years, get over it; he’s gone, so what?”
At least Caleb now knew who cared. He just never expected it to be Jetson of all people.

“Yeah,” Jessica piped in. “He ran away from home and got himself killed. I don’t understand why everyone keeps blaming mom and dad for his stupidity.” What were the odds that they would decide to have this conversation outside on this very day? Caleb almost wanted to say that it had been staged.
He didn’t know that the family had this argument almost every day with the holidays coming up. It was like this every year since Caleb had gone.

“You two are the stupidest fucking idiots if you believe that bullshit! He ran away? Why didn’t they ever call the police? Why did we move away almost immediately? What if he wanted to come home, huh? Does any of that make sense to you?”

Jennifer rolled her eyes and grabbed her mother’s arm, bringing the hysterical woman back into the house. Jessica too rolled her eyes and followed her sister and mother. Jetson and Louis stood, facing each other on the yard.

“And where do you plan on going?”

“I don’t know and I don’t care! Vanessa left you, Taylor left you and they’re fine on their own. I can’t stand being in this house anymore, it’s like you people don’t even care.”

Jetson didn’t wait for his father to say another word before turning on his heel and marching off down the street. Louis shook his head, entering his home. Jetson had taken to doing this every week and he always came back home. Jetson had nowhere to go and that infuriated him. He didn’t want to stay home anymore, but he didn’t have anywhere that he could stay. He had no way of getting to Queens to where Taylor lived nor to Manhattan to Vanessa.

Caleb watched with baited breath as his brother stormed from the house. His brother. Jetson. Of every member of his family, he had expected Jetson to be the one who cared the least. Jetson had been the favorite. For the longest time, Caleb had blamed him for the reason their parents had finally kicked him to the curb. Caleb couldn’t believe that Jetson was actually the one who cared.

“We have to get him.”

This surprised Declan more than what he had just seen. He turned to Caleb and asked him to repeat, to ensure that he had heard the boy correctly.

“It’s cold and he has nowhere to go. I know what it’s like.” Declan opened his mouth to protest. “I know i sound impulsive and crazy right now, but he’s my brother. Please, Declan.”
Because no, Declan could not refuse those eyes.

Jetson was angrily kicking through the snow. He didn’t know which friend he could stay with for the week, but he didn’t care; he just needed air.

A shiny, expensive looking car pulled up beside him, but he didn’t care. He was big and angry enough to take on anyone who dared to think that they could do anything to him. It kept driving beside him though, and he was getting angry. Jetson growled, but thankfully the driver stopped the car in front of the Mwyabi house with the disabled son. He heard the door open and close and someone called out to him.

Jetson had the feeling that he’d seen this person somewhere before. Maybe on television or something.

“Uh, Jetson, my name’s Declan Callum.”
♠ ♠ ♠
Two updates in one day??? Yep, but that's because I was just so excited because I love these babies so much :3

And also because I got lovely comments so soon after I updated and they just made me super happy :3

So a very big thank you to:
polka dot perfection
See, I gave you guys more, just like you wanted :3
Josh Cutlip. - Noooo, I love you more!
Yummy Octopie Oh you flatter me hon, thank you <3

I love you all so very very much and I hope you like this chapter :))))


- C