This story is dedicate to my big sisters, Kathleen and Tabetha.
His heart was racing. All he could think was, What if they find out?
When he came out to his Catholic parents a year ago, it was with a less-than-stellar outcome. His parents were furious. His mother wouldn't stop crying. His little sister seemed to have pity. She'd glance at him, and talk to him, but it was never quite the same. She was afraid of what would happen if it seemed like she took his side. His father had barely said a word to him for a month. He heard his father's voice in his head, more taunting than heartfelt now. You can tell us anything, son. We'll always love you. What a pathetic lie that had been.
The sound of a pebble hitting his window pulled him from his thoughts. His boyfriend was there.
He took one last look at the room he grew up in and tears filled his eyes. The bad memories were more sharp and recent, but there were a lot of good memories too. Sitting on the floor teaching his baby sister to color inside the lines; his mother tucking him in at night; his father helping him with homework. But that was back when they still loved him.
Moment of hesitation over, he opened his window to see his boyfriend standing on the lawn waiting for him. He lowered himself from his windowsill and closed his eyes before letting go to land in the bushes outside his house.
He stood and walked over to his boyfriend to be enveloped in a pair of warm arms. The first tears started to fall as he clung to the one who had gotten him this far. "Ryan, I'm scared."
Ryan pulled his boyfriend away from his chest slightly to wipe away the tears and kiss him gently. "Shh... It's okay, Dev. We'll be okay."
They walked to Ryan's car in silence. The two of them had been planning on running away for months. Dev had lost the people he cared about, and Ryan never had anyone to care about before he met Dev having been raised in foster care.
Ryan opened the passenger door for Dev and got to the driver's side. As they drove farther away the nervousness started to turn to excitement. There were plenty of flaws in their plan. Neither of them had any clue where they could go. Since Dev was sixteen and Ryan was eighteen, if they were caught Ryan could be charged with kidnapping, but neither of them cared. They would run forever as long as they could keep holding on to each other.
Dev squeezed Ryan's hand and grinned at him. "We made it!" Ryan grinned back, but Dev's features contoured into terror. All he could think as the speeding truck came barreling towards them was What if they were right?
Screeching of metal was the last thing they heard. Sparks flew in every direction as Ryan's beat up old car was embedded in the truck.
By the time their eyes opened the paramedics were there. Hand in hand, the couple drifted closer to their cold, unmoving bodies. It didn't take long for them to be declared dead.
"NO!!!" Dev dove towards his body. He wasn't ready to die. He was only sixteen. He couldn't go to Hell yet. Everything his parents ever told him said he was doomed to eternal damnation. When he fell through his body instead of into it, tears started cascading down his face at an uncontrollable rate, and he couldn't stop sobbing.
Ryan hoisted Dev up lovingly and just held him as the ambulance took their mangled bodies away. "Shh... It's alright, sweetheart."
"Oh, God. Oh, God. What if they were right?" He closed his eyes and hid his face in Ryan's chest.
"Open your eyes." The gentle command barely registered with Dev. "Sweetheart, open your eyes."
Dev did, and looked in the direction Ryan nodded in. An awe-inspiring ethereal light was in front of them. Two glowing figures with magnificent, white-feathered wings and shimmering silver halos stepped out and beckoned the pair forward.
Ryan started walking towards the light, pulling Dev with him. As they walked through, the knowledge of a thousand generations seemed obvious. Everything suddenly made sense. They were enveloped in warmth and love, and they knew Dev was right. They finally made it.