Chapter 52 - Jason

Chapter 52 - Jason

I can’t sleep, so I make my way to the rooftop to watch the sunset. Kaiden is there standing on the ledge, arms spread out staring into the city. I rush over and snatch him back; afraid he was going to jump or something. He just stares at me like I woke him up from a really good dream. Confusion, anger, all that wrapped up in one. I let him go and he walks back to the ledge and takes a seat. I take a seat next to him.

“Hey, do you want to talk, about everything? Anything,” I try to open up the conversation.

“No,” he doesn’t even look at me.

“Well, do you care if I talk?”


“Kaiden, I fuck up. I fuck up, a lot. It’s part of life. I fuck up more than most people. I’m violent, I don't have any patience. My life has been hard as fuck. My parents are dead. I never made any real friends my whole time at the temple. I don’t know how to be around people. Nobody ever taught me how to handle my emotions. I’ve been killing as long as I’ve been alive and today is the first time, I ever thought it might be wrong. You were right, I did shoot those Orcs. Some of them are probably dead. You were right about the temple as well. Fuck that place. They taught me to be a killer, nothing else. This...mercenary life I live, it isn’t easy. I’ve been struggling with it. That’s why I was taking so many beatings. The only thing I’m good at is killing, I don’t even have any hobbies. That’s what they made me. I get it, sometimes you have to kill, but they showed me that was the only way.”

For a moment Kaiden glances over at me. I have his attention, but that part was for me. I needed to say it. I needed someone to hear it.

“My emotions were kept at a minimum from the time I was born until now. When you first showed up in that building, I didn’t care for you. I was plotting how to send you back. Thought about trying to send you back,” he turns to stand, but I hold him there, “I’ve grown to like you. I don’t really know how to say it, but I guess I’m happy to have you here. You balance me out. You’re good with people, you can cook. You actually tell jokes. It’s good to have someone else as lost as I am around this city. I thought about doing all that stuff, but I gave up on it a while ago, even I couldn’t admit it. I hated having you stick to me like a shadow, but you’re actually kind of fun.”

“Thanks,” he finally gives me a defeated answer. I’ll take it.

“Kaiden, you killed someone, on accident. When I killed someone, I was told that murder and killing are different. Murder is done with ill intent, and killing just happens. Sometimes to survive, sometimes because there’s no other way. I was told to close my heart to it. Their suffering, my guilt and despair. It was terrible advice. I never dealt with it and it just made it easier for me every time. I didn’t even need to justify it. I just did it and didn’t think anything of it. It’s too late for me, but not for you. Don’t close your heart to it. Don’t ignore it. Acknowledge that pain, that’s how you grow and move on. Even if you never forget.”

Kaiden starts to cry again, and quickly wipes his eyes while looking away. I get a lump in my throat. It feels like I’m not supposed to say this next part. Some temple training keeping me from saying what’s on my mind. I have to get it out, not for my sake but his.

“I went through a lot of shit, but you don’t have to. You don’t have to be tough all the time. You don’t have to worry about being a soldier. You just have to be you. If you want to grow up and do the kind of work I do, you’re going to kill people. Do it in self-defense, not as an ultimate solution. You don’t have to worry about shit except being yourself. If you don’t want to kill, find another way. Get really good with your magic, find a way to bind people instead. I’m not good with magic, so I can’t guide you on how to do it, but I know you can do it. I got faith in you.”

“Okay,” Kaiden nods and turns, hiding more tears.

“Stop hiding your fucking tears. I just told you it was okay,” I lose my temper and yell at him.

Kaiden finally cries. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone cry so hard. Snot starts to fall from his nose and for some reason I feel better. That’s a little self-centered for sure. I don’t know if anything I said meant as much to him as it did me. But, I’m glad I said it.

“Look, I’m going to be alright,” I wrap my arm around his shoulder. He leans in and somehow cries harder, “Are you going to be alright kid?”

“Yeah, I’ll be alright bro,” he pushes through the tears.


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