Author's Note: This is the last chapter. I do plan to come back and do a sequal, and eventually make it a trilogy, but I 'm not sure how long that will take, considering how long this took. On top of that, I have other stories I want to write. Thanks to any and all loyal readers who hung on this long. Please enjoy...
The Last Page
Janice has made arrangements for me to leave in the next couple days. I get one more Friday at GBM and a Saturday to cope, and then I am gone. Iris and Paul want me to stay, but there is nothing I can do. I'm afraid to leave Criss. I don't think I could possibly get through my first few nights there without him by my side. Janice won't let him stay over. Maybe in a few months, she said. He made sure he wore all my clothes before I packed them so that he could still be with me some how. It's a little weird but I can't really complain. I'm going to miss Ryan and Rayne, but Jade most of all. She was really the one person who knew me best. One thing that's really going to kill me is that I won't be where Aubrey died. Don't get me wrong, I still love Criss, but Aubrey was my first love and he is always going to be in my heart. Still I hope to meet him again, wherever he may be.
Joey packed his diary away into his backpack. He would write in it one last time before he left. It sat among Joey's laptop, books, and other smaller things he planned to keep with him on the move. The rest was packed in boxes.
This last page completes the book and my stay here with my best and most cherished friend in the world, Criss. We had been brothers since page one, but through all that has happened between us, I feel we've made and unbreakable bond. There is no way it could be any more impossible for me to leave him now.
As if on cue, Criss slipped in through the door and sat next to the boy quickly scribbling an ellipse and the time and putting the diary down to acknowledge his visitor. Criss bent down to kiss Joey on the cheek before sitting next to him on the bed.
Criss pulled a small book from his pocket and handed it to Joey. I found it on the floor a while ago and I started reading it. "I didn't think you'd mind because it was dated so long ago." Joey flipped it open and thumbed through the crinkled handwriting and bad grammar, picking up thirty ways to spell 'Aubrey', 'Robert Weatherby', and other common words that a young Joey would use. The book fell open on the horror scene of Aubrey's father's death. Shame, confusion, and curiosity hit Joey all at once.
"Did you read all of it?"
"Yeah, Every word."
"Did you like it?"
"I wish there was a sequel."
Joey picked up the old diary and walked over to a small box stacked on top of two others. He opened it, placed the book inside, and carried the whole box to Criss. "Here's 11 years worth of sequels."
"Really? I mean you kept them all this time. I don't want you to lose them, now. "
"I'd rather have them here. I'm coming back someday. I don't know when or how, but soon. I'd rather have my whole life history safe with you then lose them on the trail back home."
"What are you thinking?"
Joey looked Criss long and hard in the eye, and just slid the newest diary towards Criss. "I'll be working on the next one. I'll send it to you when I'm done"
Criss kissed Joey good-bye in a secluded corner of the airport terminal before Joey boarded the plane to Nebraska. Criss remained in the corner until Joey was into the gate and out of site. On his way home, he blared the radio to try and cover the first tears he had cried in a long time.
Joey found his seat and placed his over bag in the over-head compartment. Before he could sit down, he jumped back up and pulled the empty book Criss had given him in their last few minutes. Dear Diary, he started. As soon as it was on paper he ripped the page out and threw it to the side. He took the pen again, gently sketching the words "Dear Criss."