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Lost Inside

The Hunt

Caleb was afraid.

Everywhere he went for the past two days, he could not shake the feeling that he was being watched. He knew that he was just being paranoid, but he couldn't help himself; it wasn't the first time that he had seen that familiar face, even if the other didn't recognize him, Caleb sure knew who he was. They had, in fact, gone to school together. Declan Callum.

Caleb was two years younger than Declan and had seen him go off to high school at only thirteen, graduating barely a year and a half later. Caleb had definitely been jealous of the boy. Looks were not in his category during those stages; he had worn glasses and braces and his face wasn't the clearest, not to mention the fact that he had been in the school band, but to Caleb, Declan had been a hero. All thoughts of the older man had slipped his mind until that moment two nights prior; now, he was all Caleb could think about.

During those years, Caleb had never really spoken to Declan, but the older man did say hello to him once while in middle school; for five days, they had spoken to one another and no one else in the playground, they had been on the fast road to being best friends, even though they weren't in the same grade, but Declan's parents quickly had him transferred into the private middle school, only allowing him to attend the public high school. Caleb knew almost everything about the man and it hurt once he realized that he had been quickly forgotten. Although his facial features had definitely changed, Caleb would at least expect Declan to remember his eyes; the boy had once commented that they were Caleb's most beautiful features. Even at a young age, Caleb knew that this was what everyone would call a 'crush'.

He had heard about the generous donation that Declan had made to the small group that had sat huddled in the cold and wished that maybe he should have stayed, but he was afraid. Declan had become so much and Caleb...he was nothing. The woman in that group, Martha, had bought food and winter jackets and clothes for her children, not caring about herself in the least bit until her kids had what they needed. Then, she had bought a large meal for Caleb. He had grown somewhat close to her in the past months; she never wished to see a child his age out, alone. She had also bought him a jacket, second hand for them all to save what little money they had. With the rest, she bought three bus tickets to Boston, where her sister lived. They apparently hadn't spoken in years, but they were on friendly terms. Caleb was glad she had found her way; both her and her children deserved better and by luck, they would get it.

As he searched the streets for a homeless shelter and soup kitchen, Caleb's life flashed before his eyes. He tried his hardest to push all of the thoughts of a warm bed and hot food from his mind, but it was no use. Had he honestly taken all of those things for granted? When people eat, they don't think about the fact that there are others out there who don't get what they do. Caleb would always waste food when he was younger, throwing out an entire meal because he wasn't 'in the mood' for it. What he wouldn't give for those throw-aways at the moment. It wasn't until he was stripped of what kept him alive did he finally realize what good it did him.


The first raindrop fell from the sky as Caleb was making his way down the street; he knew he was in for a long night. His jacket had been stolen from some other homeless man, screaming obscenities at him while pretending to have a gun. It was pointless to fight and in his weakened state, Caleb was not about to try. The flimsy, dirty shirt that he had found on a street corner was ripped in several places and was hanging from his skin; it gave no warmth as the cold night wind and rain whipped his body. There was no shelter; nearly everything was closed, including the homeless shelter – which had stopped allowing people in once it became full. It would no doubt be yet another painful night, one filled with sobs swallowed by the storm.

Caleb rubbed his hands over his arms, to warm himself up, though he knew it was a fruitless effort. That was when Caleb saw the trees looming in the background and knew that he had reached the park. The tunnels were the only place he could think of as it began raining. Sure, they weren't the most comfortable things out there, but it was his only choice; his only dry choice. Where else could he possibly go?

Climbing into the rusted children's toy, Caleb brought his knees to his chest, finally allowing the tears to fall. With them, his energy would too leave his body and allow him sleep. Perhaps this was a lucky night for him and there would be no nightmares, no brown orbs would attempt to reach him through his subconscious.

That next morning, Caleb was back on the road, desperate enough to search through garbage for food and sit on the sidewalk, begging for money. Whenever this occurred, he would never look directly at the people who were giving away their loose change, he was too ashamed. Whenever adults saw a homeless teen asking for money, they would always assume that it was because of drug use. People always assume and are they always right? No. Yes, there are teens on the streets who are there because of addictions, but sometimes that's just not the case; Caleb being the perfect example.

It was midday when he'd made enough money for a cheeseburger and some fries at McDonald's and maybe even water, if the prices hadn't gone up.

He received stares and maybe even some glares. Parents held their children closer and everyone visibly cringed away at the sight of him, but the only thing that was on Caleb's mind was food. The young girl at the counter, on the other hand, looked at him with nothing but sympathy. She spoke softly, smiling the entire time, not at all caring about his appearance and if she did, she didn't let on in the least bit.

When Caleb looked at the menu, he knew he didn't have enough money for the water, but the girl gave it to him anyway, along with an extra burger and fries, smiling kindly and wishing him a nice day. If only everyone in the world was that kind.

Caleb walked back to the park, staying to the trees, seeing as there were families currently on the playground and he didn't wish to scare away any little kids. He'd finished the food in about ten minutes, trying to savour the taste, but it was gone to soon. Caleb would have saved the second burger and fries for later, but the hunger was gnawing his insides as he looked at the second meal. It had been so long since he'd eaten so much in one day; that small hope that everything was going to be alright had shined through, telling him that for once, it was okay to indulge. There was no doubt in his mind that he would regret said actions soon, but as of now, he was content. The water was gone all too soon as well, relieving his parched throat. Although he was still very weak and desperately tired, Caleb was somewhat happy; not enough to smile though, he hadn't smiled in years. 


 Declan had just about had enough of his mother; the woman was driving him absolutely insane. She had been pestering him for days on when he would finally tie the knot with Clarissa; wondering when she would have to get her great-grandmother's priceless engagement ring out of storage. Declan knew that if it came to marrying Clarissa, he would never get married.

Declan wanted a family soon; a wife and kids, but not with the woman who makes his spine crawl. But how could he ever possibly tell that to his parents? They would disown him for sure and that has always been his worst nightmare. 

It was just another Tuesday and Sophia - Declan's mother - was over yet again. She had been wondering lately when the grandchildren were coming. Sophia had taken Clarissa into the other room to discuss wedding details (for what wedding, Declan wasn't quite sure) and baby arrangements, so Declan had some time to himself; time to figure out why in the world those sea green eyes looked so darn familiar. He was almost positive that he's seen them somewhere before; they surely didn't look common, so he must have known the person at one point.

'But when could I have possibly known such a gorgeous creature and not remember?' He wondered, hoping to whatever was greater than him that he was not accidentally saying any of this out loud.

That was when he came to the conclusion that he must have known the person before he figured out his sexuality, which was when he'd turned sixteen. No matter how hard he tried, Declan couldn't possibly remember where he'd seen the younger boy before and it was frustrating. 
Quickly picking up the first acoustic he set his eyes on, Declan quickly began strumming to get rid of the stress. It was easier than he thought, but of course Declan already knew that there was nothing that his guitar couldn’t fix.

A small smile crept onto his face as he recognized the familiar tune; it was less than thirty seconds of strumming before the guitar went crashing down onto the ground as those green eyes stared back at him. They were blue at the time, back when they were in middle school. Declan had been in the eighth grade, but...
Declan could have face palmed himself for not remembering Caleb...Caleb; it seemed to just slip off of his tongue as he remembered. They'd been close to being best friends and Declan had completely forgotten about the boy. After being pushed up grades at 13, he had been so busy trying to make his parents proud and pass every class that he had forgotten about pretty much everything that didn't involve school. It was sad really, but Declan was sure that it was because of those blue/green eyes that he had realized his sexuality. He had been almost done with his first year of University when he'd just turned sixteen when he'd met Jacob Kennedy. The other boy was a good four years older than Declan, but that had not stopped them. The one thing that had caught Declan's attention in the first place was the fact that, when the light caught Jacob's eyes, they reminded him of those deep blues that he'd seen somewhere before.

How could he have possibly forgotten about those eyes for one second? There was this gnawing feeling in the pit of his stomach that told him to go find that boy. Of course, the first time he had seen him had been purely accidental, but what if they had seen each other by fate. Declan normally didn't believe these things, but it was all he had to cling onto. Caleb had been the first person he had ever connected with, even at such a young age.

How did he end up on the streets?

When Declan had met Caleb, the younger boy had been too shy to say a word; Declan had in fact done all of the talking in their days of friendship. Caleb had just smiled the entire time, nodding and occasionally shaking his head as a means of communication. What could he have possibly done to end up on the streets?

Caleb was a young boy when they'd met, he could have fallen into drugs or a bad group of friends after Declan left, but he highly doubted it; Caleb didn't seem the type. Had he been that type of person then perhaps he wouldn’t have run off frightened when he saw Declan on the streets the night before. Declan wondered if Caleb remembered who he even was. Perhaps something happened to his family and he had nowhere else to go. He needed help and Declan had never wanted to help someone so much more in his life.

Clarissa burst into the room, a bright smile on her face. Sophia was right behind her, an equally bright smile lighting her features. They both reminded Declan of beasts, staring down their next meal; it was quite frightening. He wasn't even going to bother opening his mouth, asking what was wrong, but he didn't have to, Clarissa spoke first.

"Come on now, get up. We are going engagement ring shopping!" She squealed, grabbing her
oversized purse. Declan didn't understand those things; what could women possibly have to fill that bag with?

Shouldn't Declan ask her to marry him first before they went engagement ring shopping? Then again, this was Clarissa; she takes matters into her own hands. But now Declan was just confused and frustrated, both with Clarissa and Caleb.

"Shouldn't I possibly ask you to marry me first? When did I ever ask you that? And please not now Clarissa, I'm very busy." He almost snarled. 
Sophia gasped, holding a hand above her heart almost as if it physically hurt to hear her son talking like this. It was no surprise that Declan did not like Clarissa; he wondered how his own mother could not see that when the rest of the world did.

"Darling, watch your mouth in front of your fiancée. And yes, you two are getting married; this fear of lifelong commitment has gone on long enough. What respected lawyer does not have a loving wife by his side?" She didn't give Declan time to answer; he could think of six right off of the top of his head. "…Exactly, none, so you are going to get married and it will be a quiet family reunion with a few close friends in about seven months. Honestly Declan, it’s as if you don’t care one bit about the family image."

Declan was at a loss for words. He knew his mother was capable of a lot of things, being in control of his father and all, but this was new for him. He did not think the woman was about to make the biggest decision of his life for him. That was just unheard of! Would she surely force him to marry Clarissa...of course she would. What could he do about it? 
If Declan decided to leave, he was sure his parents wouldn't do anything about it, except for disown him, so what was he waiting for? Declan didn't like to admit it, but he was so dependent on his parents; without them he would surely be at a loss. 
So Declan said nothing as his mother and Clarissa strolled out of his loft, smiles on their faces, on their ways to the most expensive jewelry store they could find. Even the guitar couldn't help this one, but that didn't mean he didn't try. After all, he was now alone in the house, who knows how long it would last.

The only thing Declan saw as he began to strum was the face that he was sure belonged to an angel. It was probably thought wrong that he would be thinking about another man this way, but he just couldn't help seeing those beautiful eyes behind his closed lids, those nimble fingers...that helpless face. 

'Love of mine one day you will die

But I'll be close behind

I'll follow you into the dark

No blinding light or tunnels to gates of white

Just our hands clasped so tight

Begging for the hint of a spark

If heaven and hell decide

That they both are satisfied 

Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs

If there's no one beside you when your soul embarks 

Then I will follow you into the dark

Catholic school as vicious as Roman rule

I got my knuckles bruised by the lady in black

I held my tongue as she told me

"Son fear is the heart of love" 

So I never went back 

If heaven and hell decide

That they both are satisfied

Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs 

If there's no one beside you when your soul embarks

Then I will follow you into the dark 

You and me have seen everything to see
 From Bangkok to Calgary 

And the soles of our shoes are all worn down

The time for sleep is now

It's nothing to cry about 

Cause we'll hold each other soon

In the blackest of rooms

If heaven and hell decide 

That they both are satisfied 
Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs 

If there's no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I will follow you into the dark 

Then I will follow you into the dark'

Quickly dropping his guitar down on the ground, Declan ran out of the room, grabbing his jacket, shoes and keys before bolting out of the house. He'd frightened the woman on the elevator with his fidgety ways, but he didn't care much for her at the moment, he had to find Caleb. 
Declan wasn't quite sure why he all of a sudden felt the desperate need to find the boy, but it was almost painful. Before, it was gnawing, slowly chewing him, but now it was burning; excruciatingly so. He would let Clarissa think they were getting married, but when he found Caleb, he would immediately put an end to everything, even though he probably didn't stand a chance against his mother. 


Two a.m. passed and Declan was about to pass out. How far could a person have gotten in one day? He could have hitched a ride with a stranger to somewhere far away. Did Caleb really seem the type?
Declan had searched all day and all throughout the night with no leads whatsoever. He tried asking a few of the homeless people, but they didn't seem to be of much help. He'd ignored all of Clarissa's phone calls, not doubting for a second that she would be at his house waiting for him, which would be why he didn't want to go back. He had taken his time, checking the alleyways near his loft where he had last seen Caleb, but to no avail; the boy had just...vanished. 
Declan was currently stepping out of the elevator, searching for the right key, not bothering to stay quiet, there were only two people on the entire floor. Perhaps he should have kept it down because Clarissa came bursting out of his house, hair in curlers and disgusting green mush on her face, looking absolutely livid. Declan pushed her into the house; if she was going to yell at him, better make it in private when the neighbours couldn't hear at two in the morning.

"Where the hell have you been?" She seethed, keeping her voice down. "Your mother and I have been trying to reach you all day, but you never picked up your phone." Clarissa placed her hands on her hips, her glare turning deadly. "Who is she?"
Declan couldn't help but roll his eyes, making his way past her into the guest room, where he was planning on sleeping for the night.
"I can't believe you would do this to me, Declan. I tell you we're getting married in seven months and I go out to buy my own damn engagement ring and you have the nerve to go out and see another woman. I can't believe you!" She continued, her voice rising with every word. It took all Declan had not to slap the woman and force her to leave his home. "You can be sure your mother is hearing about where you have been all day. I bet the woman is a hooker in her free time, to be desperate enough to be with you. I gave you a chance that you are never going to get from another woman and you take advantage of that. If I wasn't so understanding and forgiving, your ass would be on the street right now!"
That was it...

"No Clarissa, I think your ass would be out on the street right now because you know what...this is my house! I pay for it, I live here, and you do not!" Her face turned to one of shock and anger. "And don't try to act so damn innocent because we all know you aren't. I know about all of the times you have cheated on me and believe me when I say this, you are not good at hiding it. I have been out all day looking for something and right now, I need sleep, so shut the fuck up and leave me the hell alone."
With that, he slammed the guest room door in her gooey green face and locked it, dropping down onto the soft bed. Clarissa wouldn't dare make him repeat that. He heard the door to his bedroom slam shut for the night.


Cold blooded fear would not cover what Caleb had been feeling that night. Declan had not only remembered him but he was looking for him. Why? Caleb wasn't quite sure, but he didn't like being pursued. He knew the safest place to be at that moment was where Declan had already searched and one of the first places was the alleyway near his house. How was he to know that Declan would search there again?

It was quite frightening, having to hide in a dumpster for ten minutes, not knowing if Declan would search through there or not, luckily for him, the man left before he had time to cry about it.

Caleb had actually followed Declan in his pursuit when he had first seen the man in the alley, watching as he asked others about him; he had to make sure that Declan had no chance of following him, so hiding in the alleyway where they had seen each other was not the smartest thing to do, but what other choice did he have? He thought he was safe.
But wouldn't he be safe either way? Caleb seriously doubted that Declan would hurt him. The man had willingly given away one thousand dollars to a bunch of homeless strangers, why would he hurt the boy he once knew? Caleb was actually contemplating walking in front of Declan's house just so the man could see him, but quickly dispelled the thought as soon as it came. He didn’t understand how Declan could remember him anyway, it had been so many years since the two even saw each other. Why was he looking for him? To rub it in his face that he was rich while Caleb was the lowest of the scum of the earth? Could he be that cruel?

What was he going to do? Caleb couldn't very well hide forever...could he?
♠ ♠ ♠
My babies :3

Thanks to: Josh Cutlip for commenting.

Let me know if you like this story, please and thank you.

- C