Jasper's eyes slowly opened. He stared up at the ceiling, blinking a few times as his eyes adjusted to the darkness. Jeremy was still right by him, nuzzled into him, and he rolled his head slightly so he could look down at him. His eyes were closed, his mouth hung open slightly as he breathed peacefully in his slumber. It was a relief to Jasper, seeing Jeremy at peace and not wide eyed and scared looking. He recalled what had happened last night in his head as he let his eyes drift closed again.
Jeremy had spotted him sat in the park in the same area that the two had ran into that Mr. Lethe man. Jeremy had sat down by him, and after a while, had left. Or so he thought. When Mr. Lethe had come by and Jasper took a sip of his water, Jeremy had leapt out and convinced Jasper to leave with him. But before they walked off, hadn't Mr. Lethe given him another one of his business cards...? The memories of last night were rather foggy, so he didn't completely remember a lot of specific things.
Jasper hesitated, before slowly pulling his arm off of Jeremy, watching him carefully to see if he'd awaken. Luckily, he didn't. After another moment, Jasper slowly shifted away from Jeremy, trying to be as slow and careful as possible. The bed creaked slightly and Jasper tensed, feeling his stomach drop as he watched Jeremy. While that sound had seemed as loud as a gunshot to Jasper, Jeremy didn't even stir. Letting out a quiet sigh of relief, Jasper managed to pull away completely and creep out of the bed, slowly standing up and stretching.
His hand found his back pocket, and he felt around slightly. Nothing. Pulling it out, he stuck it into his other pocket, and his hand felt something smooth. His thumb and his index finger pinched it and he pulled it out, holding it in front of his face. The dark made it nearly impossible to read, so he shifted over to the window, where a bit of early morning light was just beginning to peek through Jeremy's curtains.
On the card was Mr. Lethe's name, along with a number and an email. After a moment, he stuck the card back into his pocket, sighing quietly. Still rather tired, he didn't exactly remember why he had been so upset right away for a few seconds.
But the it hit him, and he tensed up.
Though the memories of last night felt blurred and uncertain, his mother's voice was the opposite of that. It sounded crisp in his mind, as though it had only happened a few moments ago. Jasper felt his heart sink and he stared into space as he recalled what his mother had said to him the night prior. Along with that, other things that she had said to him even before that flooded into his mind. Things about how she didn't care anymore. Things about how she needed to take some time for herself. Things about how only she was important to herself now. Things about how he didn't matter to her. He shook his head and took a deep breath, bringing his hands to the sides of his head and pressing gently into his temples.
*It's okay,* he told himself internally. *It doesn't matter. You're fine.* He rocked back and forth on his feet slightly. The thoughts didn't go away. Instead, it seemed like they only grew in intensity and volume, and Jasper only pressed harder on the sides of his head. *You're fine.* They got louder and louder, until it felt like someone was genuinely yelling at him, despite the room being silent for the most part. Jasper lowered his head, his chest tight and his eyes closed tightly. He just wanted it to stop, to leave him alone.
He opened his eyes, looking up towards Jeremy who still remained in bed. He didn't look like he had moved at all, and for a moment, Jasper considered waking him. Then he pulled out his phone, fumbling and nearly dropping it, pressing the home button with a shaking thumb.
*6:28 AM.* No, he couldn't wake Jeremy. It was too early. Maybe after splashing some water on his face, he'd feel okay. Trying to be as quiet as possible, the teen made his way over to the bedroom door, carefully pulling it open, cringing at the sound it made even if it wasn't loud. He pulled open the door, creeping down the hallway in the dark, before turning into the bathroom, not even bothering to flip the light switch.
His hand found the faucet handle and slowly turned it. Hunching down by the sink, he brought his hands into the cold stream of water coming from the tap and splashed the water up and into his face. The water felt frigid compared to the warmth he had felt while laying Jeremy earlier, and it certainly woke him up. He leaned back, looking up at the mirror. However, the room was too dark, so all he saw was a dim silhouette staring back at him.
After a moment of relief, the voices returned. His heart started to race, and he took a deep, quivering breath. He just wanted them to stop.
... Maybe Mr. Lethe could help with that.
No, that was a bad idea. He shouldn't have even thought of that. But the more he heard his mother's voice in his head, scolding him, accusing him... It made that option seem all the more reasonable. He didn't even have to drink the water. Maybe he could just talk to Mr. Lethe. Like a therapist, only he wouldn't have to pay. Mr. Lethe was someone who would listen to him.
Taking a shaky breath, Jasper wiped his face on his sweatshirt sleeve and made his way out of the bathroom, heading back into Jeremy's room, doing his best to keep his footsteps near to silent. His feet shuffled across the floor as he made his way over to the end table, where he had his phone. Reaching down and picking it up, he glanced towards Jeremy. The room was dark and barely illuminated by the faint glimmer of the early sunrise, but he could see Jeremy's silhouette in bed, still breathing peacefully as he slept.
Jasper wished he felt that calm.
A thought hit him. Would Jeremy get worried waking up and seeing him gone? He stared at Jeremy's figure in the dark for a moment, considering staying. Then he remembered how worried he had made him last night, and guilt weighed down on his shoulders. He didn't want to worry him anymore. He'd be okay. So, after a moment of hesitation, Jasper softly crept out of Jeremy's room, heading down the hall towards the kitchen where the front door was. Once he was a good distance away from Jeremy's room, he turned on the flashlight on his phone so he could see where he was going. After slipping on his shoes and pulling up his hood, Jasper carefully pulled open the front door. Stepping out, he pulled it closed being him.
Jasper turned off his phone's flashlight before opening his texting app, tapping on Jeremy's contact with a sigh. His fingers a bit stiff from the chill of the early morning air, he began to type.
[hey man. so it's like 6:30 when i'm writing this. something came up and i had to head home early. tysm for letting me spend the night though, i really appreciate it. i'll talk to you again soon, text me when you wake up]
He didn't pay attention to how long it took to get home. He was too zoned-out, focused on his mother's voice in his head. When he arrived home, he walked straight up into his room, flopping down onto his bed and burying his face into his pillow. His eyes squeezed shut, he took a deep breath and sighed quietly. After a few moments of trying to rid his head of the thoughts and failing, he sat up and dug out his phone, as well as the business card. Jasper typed in the phone number, hitting the call button and holding the phone up to his ear.
After a few moments, there was a voice on the other end. "Lethe Enterprises, this is Mr. Lethe speaking."
After a moment of hesitation, Jasper spoke. His voice was quieter than he thought it would be.
"Mr. Lethe? It's... It's Jasper..."