Book 3 of HomeLess
Growing up in a family was what most kids who didn't have one, would dream about. As he got older, however, A.J. found himself dreaming about the same thing... yet he had a family. He'd been loved by that family as a child, but as he grew, their attention slowly shifted to his younger brother. He came to understand that his adoptive parents would focus a little more on their actual genetic child, but he wasn't prepared to deal with how quickly he lost everything he had cherished.
The packed lunches stopped coming when he turned ten. Eleven, the birthday parties ceased. At fourteen, his younger brother was 'too old' to have to share his room, so A.J. was moved to the small laundry room. At sixteen, there were no more 'I love you' or 'have a good day'.
At seventeen, the lunch money stopped and the hateful glares started. Then the angry words. Everything he did was wrong. The dishes weren't clean. The laundry wasn't folded right. By the time he finally graduated, a few days after his nineteenth birthday, there was no more attention of any sort. They ignored him, except to tell him that his chores weren't done well enough and that he didn't deserve to eat until they were. A.J., desperate for some sort of attention, and honestly starving, tried one last thing to get them to at least show so semblance of caring, even if it was negative. He told them that he was gay.
At nineteen, only a few days after his graduation, A.J. was kicked out of his home with an empty stomach, and an empty heart.