Chapter 22 - Hard to Say I'm Sorry/Get Away (Chicago ; 1982)

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Leaving my parents seemed to be a lot harder this time around. My dad was crying, my mom was crying, even Brendon was tearing up at the fact that we were leaving. I remember I was holding everything in until my father pulled Brendon aside and told him something that made my heart absolutely break.

"Son," he said softly, "if you love my son as much as he loves you, I need you to promise me you'll stick around. As you know, I won't be around for much longer, and he's going to need someone other than just his mother to come to. Promise me that, Brendon."

Brendon nodded vigorously as his eyes filled with more tears. "I-I promise," he said brokenly.

My dad nodded and clapped his shoulder before pulling him into a hug. "Thank you," he whispered gently. "You're family now, Brendon. You'll always be family with us."

I think that made me cry more than it made Brendon cry, and by the time we made it back to San Francisco, we were both completely cried out. We didn't do much rather than throw our suitcases on the floor of my apartment's bedroom and collapse onto my bed.

We weren't tired enough to sleep but we weren't awake enough to be active, so we stayed cuddled together on my bed just looking at each other as we ran our hands up and down each other's sides. Some time later, Brendon broke out into a semi-wide grin as I brought my hand up to cup his face. "W-What's got you smiling," I asked gently.

He shrugged slightly before crawling atop my lap and placing his hands on my shoulders. "In less than two weeks," he started as he rubbed my shoulders and my hands rested gently on his hips, "we'll be together in Chicago. The Windy City; the City of Modern Art. I'll be there with you and I can not stop thinking about that."

I smiled gently as I moved to a sitting position and wrapped my arms around his waist. "I can't w-wait, honestly," I whispered softly as his hands came to cup my face and our lips met lightly. This kiss we shared was different than other's, filled with love and passion and leaving me to think of nothing but him.

Chicago couldn't come any faster.

* ~2 weeks later~ *

"Thank you for flying Delta Airlines. Your luggage will be available in the baggage claim, please have a safe and wonderful day."

"Alright, gentlemen," Gerard said as we made our way through the airport to the baggage claim, "Frank is waiting for us out front with the car that will take us to our studio complex. You will have a shared studio apartment room on the sixth floor - which is also the top floor. We have no plans set up until brunch tomorrow, so, for now, you have the entire day to just unpack your things and get some rest."

Brendon and I nodded as we followed him to the baggage claim and grabbed our suitcases as the rolled across the conveyor belt. Brendon couldn't stop yawning because, just like when we flew home to Nevada a few weeks ago, he slept the entire flight. I envied how he could sleep through the whole thing, but at the same time, I was way too excited to even think about sleeping.

Once we made it outside, Gerard spotted Frank's car and led us over to the sleek, black automobile. Brendon just seemed like he couldn't be bothered as he kept himself completely glued to my side with his hand linked with mine as we put our suitcases into the trunk and climbed in the car.

"Nice to see you again, guys," Frank said, looking at us through the rear view mirror. "Did you have a good flight?"

The both of us nodded gently with soft smiles before Brendon laid his head on my chest and closed his eyes again. I smiled down at him before turning to look out the window as we drove away from the airport. Chicago was definitely beautiful, even more so in the fall atmosphere. People were walking down the streets in coats and scarves. Lovers had the hands linked together and their eyes shining as the looked at each other. Older business men were talking outside of a taxi and women were seated at outside tables at coffee shops as they smiled at each other, animatedly talking to each other with their hands. This city is completely enticing, and I was falling in love with it already.

We finally pulled up in front of a building, which I took to be Frank and Gerard's studio complex. I lightly shook Brendon, who was already waking up, and we all climbed out of the vehicle as Frank killed the engine. Brendon and I grabbed our luggage from the trunk before following the two older men inside the building and through the lobby and into the elevator.

"Okay, gents," Frank said as he pulled two sets of keys out of his messenger bag, "here is an apartment key for each of you, just in case one of you isn't there when the other needs to get in or if one of you happens to lose a key. Mine and Gerard's room is also on the top floor on the other side of the building from yours, so if you need anything, it's room 610. Yours is 600. Now," he says as he hands us our keys and the elevator stops on the top floor, "go get some rest, and we won't be bothering you until around ten o'clock tomorrow morning to leave for brunch."

The both of us nodded and we bid our goodbyes as we each went to different ends of the building. Brendon and I reached our room and I slid the key into the lock and turned the knob before opening the door slowly. When we entered the apartment, Brendon and I let out almost simultaneous gasps at what was in front of us. We were met with polished hardwood floors, a wall comprised of almost nothing but windows that was opposing the other walls made entirely of brick, a wooden beamed ceiling with two ceiling fans and the only thing lighting the room being the natural light coming from the windows.

I felt my eyes tearing up at the sheer beauty of the room before I felt Brendon's hand slip into mine. "It's s-so beautiful," I whispered softly.

"Yeah, it is," Brendon agreed with me breathlessly.

I felt myself smile a moment later before I spoke. "Hey, B-Bren," I whispered softly.


"We made it."

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