Ash sat there in his bedroom, anxiously awaiting at least a sound from his frozen best friend. He looked carefully at Samuel; the other boy’s eyes had widened to near incomparable proportions and his mouth was ajar.
Desperate, Ash reached a hand out. "Please, Sam. Say something."
Sam took a deep breath and frowned at Ash's hand, batting it away before standing abruptly to tower over Asher. "What do you want me to say, Asher?" Ash winced; Sam only used his full name when he was upset with him. "That I understand? That I expected this? Because to tell you the truth I didn't."
"I know," Asher whispered. "I thought --"
"You thought that I'd approve?" Sam snapped. "Did you think I'd enjoy hearing my best friend since kindergarten say that he likes men? Do you think I like imagining other guys touching you like that and -" Sam broke off with a shudder. Once his eyes opened he looked at Ash with disappointment. "You're disgusting," he whispered.
Ash gasped. His chest clenched painfully as Sam stepped away from him. He stood and tried to reach out but his friend just shrugged his hand off.
"Don't touch me," Sam said through gritted teeth. "You're disgusting. You're not the Asher I knew."
"Sam, please..." Ash stepped closer to the bigger boy's ears ran down his cheeks. He wanted, needed, Sam to just sit down and listen to him. If only for a moment longer...
"No," Sam told him. He pulled open Ash's bedroom door and Ash knew that the look of pure hatred he saw in Sam's eyes in that moment would forever remain imprinted in his memory. "I hate you. Stay the hell away from me." With that he fled the room and Ash stood there, stunned.
Then the floodgates opened and the storm was let loose. Ash fell to his knees in a crumpled heap and sobbed until his eyes burned and his vision blurred and his throat felt sore. His chest hurt with his effort to take deep breaths in between sobs and his heart felt hollow. He'd just lost his best friend and the only boy he'd ever had feelings for and he felt...alone. As if he was just a shell.
Tears still streaming down his face, Ash managed to crawl up to his bed and pull himself up on top of it by the sheets. He curled himself onto a feral position and just continued sobbing as his heart broke more and more.
The next two weeks went by rather tediously. Ash found it difficult to do much of anything, and his mother had taken it upon herself to help him as much as she could. Ash was slowly deteriorating due to a lack of physical activity and eating. He was frighteningly thin, his cheekbones much too prominent on his once fleshy face and his dark eyes held no life in them anymore. He just...existed. He didn't consider himself living anymore; just being present for the sake of being present, in essence.
Ash's mother stepped into his bedroom as he lay on his bed. Verona Staten sat next to her only son and placed the coffee mug she brought with her carefully on his night table before lifting Ash's head into her lap.
"Asher, sweetheart, you need to eat something." When he didn't move Verona's eyes filled with tears.
She'd known the seventeen year old has preferred males for a few years and while she had been stunned and apprehensive to see things his way in the beginning, it slowly became obvious that he was her son and she would love him no matter who he loved. But she hadn't known he was in love with his best friend, or that he'd have taken rejection so badly. Verona had to assume pretty much all of what happened; Asher only told her that Sam hated him and wouldn't return his calls or messages.
"I'm not hungry," Ash grated out.
Verona frowned. "Asher Staten, you are going to finally get out of this bed today. I will not stop until you do," she warned.
She watched closely as Ash made a feeble attempt at rolling his eyes. Verona's chest tightened as she watched her usually strong child wither away before her eyes. That was the final straw for her.
Verona set Asher's head back unto his pillow and went into his bathroom. She returned a short moment later with a pail full of water and she sniffles as a few years ran down her cheeks. "Sorry baby." She overturned the pail and the water fell unto Asher in a rush. He rolled off the bed and into the floor, the bed and his clothes soaked right through.