Now That You're Here


Chapter 47


By the time Justin’s plane touched down in Pittsburgh, his stomach was completely in knots. He knew the next 24 hours were going to be hard on him and he wasn’t looking forward to it. A part of him kept second guessing his decision to go by himself, but he knew deep down that he really needed to be alone. He was about to say his final goodbye to his old life, and he needed to have the space to do that. Having Brian with him would’ve meant having to constantly reassure his boyfriend that he was okay, even if he wasn’t. The last thing Justin wanted was someone hovering over him, watching his every move.

Since all he had was a carry-on, it didn’t take long for Justin to make his way to the car rental place and then on to his hotel. Jason had pleaded with him to stay at his place, but that would’ve been worse than having Brian there. At least he would’ve been able to snuggle up with Brian at night. After checking in, Justin sent a text to Brian at school to let him know that he arrived safely and then began his journey. The first stop was probably one of the easiest. He knocked on the door with a smile on his face and was happy when he came face to face with Mrs. Johnson.

“Justin? Oh my, what are you doing here?”

Justin allowed himself to be pulled into the frail woman’s arms, relishing in the motherly feel of them. “I had to come back to take care of some business and wanted to see how you and Mr. J are doing.”

“You rascal! I speak to you every month and you never said a word about coming for a visit. Get yourself in here,” Mrs. Johnson scolded good-naturedly as she pulled Justin inside. “Stanley ran to the store to pick up a few things for me, but he should be back soon. He’ll be thrilled to see you again. So, how are things going? You look so much better than the last time I saw you, happy and healthy. I’m so glad you’ve settled in out there in Arizona. That Alexander was a God send, if you ask me. After everything you went through, a change of scenery was just what you needed.”

“Yeah, it really was. I’d give anything to have my mom and dad back, but since that’s not possible, having Chris, Zander and Brian is the next best thing. I’m happy out there. Life is good.”

“I’ve been praying for you every night since I learned of the horrible accident. I guess my prayers have been answered,” Mrs. Johnson said. “Now, tell me about your social life. Are you seeing anyone special?”

Justin paused before answering. He didn’t want to lie to Mrs. Johnson, but he didn’t want to admit to being gay. As wonderful as she was, she was still a God fearing woman who lived for Sunday church. “Yeah, I am,” he finally replied.

“That’s wonderful. Tell me all the details.”

“Mrs. Johnson!” Justin exclaimed, feigning shock. “I can’t kiss and tell.”

“Oh you,” Mrs. Johnson laughed. “I don’t mean those details. I was just wondering if he was a good boy like you.”


“Oh come on, Justin, did you think I didn’t know that you fancy the fellows? I’ve been on this earth for a long time. I’m not as senile as I look, either,” she replied. “So, what’s he like?”

Justin regained his composure and smiled affectionately at the old lady. “Mrs. J, if not for Zander, I think I would’ve really liked living here with you.”

Mr. J returned home a short time later and the three of them sat around talking about the war in the Middle East, healthcare reform, and Justin’s plans for the future. It was a pleasant visit and Justin was a little sad when he realized how quickly time passed. He apologized for not being able to stay longer and said a somewhat tearful goodbye, promising to call in a week or so to say hello.

The next stop on Justin’s itinerary was going to be a lot more difficult. He kept replaying what he planned on saying in his head during the drive, hoping that he’d remember everything when the time came. When he pulled up outside Sean’s house, he became overcome with memories of his childhood and almost changed his mind. He grew up just a few blocks away. Fighting off the sadness, he forced himself out of the car and up the walkway. He took a deep breath before ringing the doorbell. He had to focus on his main goal. To say what he needed to say and settle things between him and Sean one way or another. He only had a moment before his childhood friend opened the door.

“Justin? What are you doing here?” Sean asked. His face was a mixture of shock and confusion.

“I had to fly in to take care of some business with my parents
estate and I couldn’t be in Pittsburgh without coming by and seeing if you’ve changed your mind about me,” Justin explained cautiously. He barely had time to finish his thought before Sean barreled out of the house and grabbed him in a tight hug.

“I’m so glad you’re here,” Sean said as he tightened his grip. “I’m so sorry about what happened in Arizona. I never should’ve acted that way. You’re my best friend and nothing you say or do is going to change that. Please say that you forgive me.”

Justin was only slightly aware of the tears that were running down his face as he hugged Sean back. “Shhh…it’s okay. I forgive you.”

When they finally let go of each other, Sean grabbed Justin by the hand and led him inside. After a quick stop in the kitchen to get a drink, they made their way upstairs and into Sean’s room. It was just like Justin remembered, once again making him feel sad over all the changes that had taken place in the last year. Once they were settled, Sean began with his explanation.

“Dude, I swear my reaction wasn’t towards you. I mean, it was, but it wasn’t. I was really screwed up back then, but I didn’t realize it until after I got back home and told my mother what happened. She freaked out on me, asking me how I could treat you like that and saying that she didn’t raise me to be prejudiced against anyone. She grounded me…actually grounded me for a week. While I was stuck at home, I thought about what you said and my reaction and I think that maybe I reacted so badly because of my cousin Tony. Remember him? He used to come and stay with us for a week every summer? He’s like 21 now, but when we were younger and he used to sleep in my room, sometimes he would climb in my bed and….touch me. I didn’t want him to and I asked him to stop sometimes, but it didn’t do any good. He made me promise not to tell anyone.”

“Holy shit! Sean!” Justin exclaimed.

“When he came out to the family a couple of years ago, I guess I started thinking that he did those things to me because he was gay. I connected the two things when I shouldn’t have. When you told me that your cousin was gay, I thought about not visiting, but I really wanted to see you. I told myself that as long as you were there, it would be okay. Then you tell me that you’re one of them. I don’t know. It took me back to all those visits with Tony. I’m so sorry about that. I never meant to hurt you.”

“Did you tell your mother about this?”

“Yeah, otherwise I’d probably still be grounded,” Sean laughed.

“How can you even joke about it?”

“Ten months of therapy and 100 milligrams of Zoloft a day will do that,” Sean replied with a smile. “Trust me; it took a long time for me to be able to talk about it without breaking down.”

“God, Sean, I don’t know what to say,” Justin said as he tried wrapping his mind around what he’d just learned.

“You don’t have to say anything. There’s no excuse for the way I treated you, but I wanted you to know that it wasn’t you. I don’t care who you’re attracted to, I swear. You guys were all great during our visit and I never should’ve acted like that. Please tell Zander, Chris and Brian how sorry I am.”

“Have you told Jason about this?”

“No, I haven’t,” Sean replied before getting up and walking over to the window. “It’s only been a little while since I’ve been able to say it all out loud. I wanted to call him and tell him, but he was so mad at me on the plane that day. I’ve never seen him so pissed off. I actually think that he would’ve thrown me off the plane if he could have opened a window. I’m not ready to face his anger just yet; especially if the rumors around town are true.”


“That he’s seeing a guy that doesn’t live around here and going away to school to be with him. Do you know anything?”

“Um…” Justin didn’t know what to say. He knew that Jason wasn’t necessarily trying to hide in the closet, but he also didn’t hold a school assembly to announce his bi-sexuality. Since Zac didn’t live in Pittsburgh, most people still didn’t know what was going on with him.

“Never mind, you don’t have to answer that. I can tell by the look on your face that it’s true.”

“You just really need to talk to him.”

“Yeah, if he’ll talk to me,” Sean sighed. “Anyway, enough about Jason. Tell me about you? What’s going on in your life? Are you and together?”

“You know, maybe we shouldn’t talk about this.”

“Jus, it’s okay. I really don’t have a problem with gay people. After months of therapy I understand that what happened to me in the past happened because Tony had problems, not because he was gay,” Sean insisted.

Justin searched his friend’s face for any signs of doubt. When he found none, he smiled. “Yeah, Brian and I are together.”

“I knew he was looking at you funny,” Sean laughed. “So, how long have you guys been together?”

“Since the day you left Arizona. After you guys left, things just happened and we’ve been together ever since. I love him.”

Sean could see the way Justin’s face lit up and was happy for his friend. “That’s awesome. I’m glad you’re happy. You deserve it.”

Justin spent another hour with his friend before he had to say goodbye. He was so glad that he decided to give Sean another chance. Maybe their friendship would never be as close as it once was, but Justin liked knowing that they would stay in touch. Justin’s phone rang as they stood at the curb alongside Justin’s rental car. He didn’t need to look at the screen to know who was calling him.

“Babe, I’m fine.”

“Well, hello to you, too,” Brian replied with a chuckle. “Did it even occur to you that maybe I wasn’t calling to see how you were doing? That maybe I was just calling to hear your voice?”

“Nope, didn’t occur to me at all. And I’m fine. I swear. But I’m kind of in the middle of something. I’ll call you tonight. I have something I have to do and then I’m heading to Jason’s house. I promised Jeff and Karen that I’d have dinner over there tonight.”

“Fine, fine…two thousand miles between us and suddenly I’m not nearly as important to you as I used to be,” Brian teased.

“Oh please. You know you’re still the most important person in my life,” Justin assured him.

“I know, but it’s always nice to hear.”

“You’re such an ass,” Justin laughed. “I’ll call you later. I love you.”

“I love you too, Blondie.”

When the line went dead, Justin put his phone back in his pocket and then refocused on Sean, who had been listening to the one sided conversation with amusement. “Sorry about that. He tends to be a little over protective.”

“Good, at least I know you’ve got people looking out for you.”

“Yeah, I’m good. I’d better get going, though. I really do have somewhere else I need to go. Take care of yourself, Sean. I’m just a phone call away if you ever need someone to talk to.”

Sean accepted the hug Justin offered and held on tight, not wanting his friend to leave. Not after he’d finally gotten him back. “Same here, Buddy. Call me anytime. I really miss talking to you.”

“I promise I’ll call you soon.”

As Justin drove away, he glanced at the rearview mirror and saw his friend standing on the curb waving goodbye. It saddened him to know that it might possibly be the last time they saw each other. Sean was planning on attending Boston University in the fall, making the distance between them even greater. He hoped that they’d keep in touch, but there were never any guarantees when it came to friends that lived so far apart. At least they were able to make their peace. No matter what happened in the future, Justin knew that his childhood friend was still his friend. That was all that mattered.

It only took ten minutes to get to his next destination. As he parked the car at the cemetery, he could feel a rush of sadness wash over him. He hadn’t been there since the funeral. It had been too hard to even think about going while he had been living with the Johnsons, and then he was just too far away. Strangely, despite the large grounds, Justin knew exactly where to go to find them. He stopped in front of the huge headstone and read the inscription to himself.

“Craig Taylor and Jennifer Morgan-Taylor.
Together Forever”


He walked closer and sat down on the ground along the outer edge of the plot. He took a quick look around and was relieved when he saw that he was the only one there. He had something he wanted to say and didn’t want to be overheard. He took a deep breath and cleared his throat before he began.

“Hey, Mom, Dad. I can’t believe you’ve been gone for almost a year. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday when you were telling me to do my homework. Other times it feels like I haven’t seen you guys in forever. I guess that’s the way it goes. I’m sure you both know what’s been going on in my life since you’ve been gone. Zander has been wonderful to me and has given me a family when I needed it most. Apparently the Morgan blood in his veins comes from you, Mom, and not your brother. And Brian…what can I say about Brian? He’s perfect. He’s everything that I could ever want in a guy and I consider myself the luckiest gay boy on earth to have found him. I just wish I didn’t have to lose you to do it.” Justin’s lip quivered as the tears started to fall.

“I miss you guys. I miss you both so much. It’s so unfair that you’re not here with me. That I had to celebrate my eighteenth birthday without you. That you’re not going to be here to help me pick out a tux for my senior prom. That you’re not going to be in the audience when I accept my high school diploma. I’m so glad that I have Zan, Chris and Brian by my side, but I’d give them all up in a heartbeat to have you both back here with me.”

And that was it. Any composure he’d managed to hang onto disappeared as he sat alone at his parents’ grave and sobbed. He couldn’t help it. He couldn’t hold back the sadness as he relived the loss all over again. When he was in Arizona, he could almost put their death in the back of his mind and not think about it too much. But here in Pittsburgh, seeing their names carved on a headstone, talking about how much he missed them caused unthinkable pain that he couldn’t control. He wasn’t even sure how long he sat there, his eyes burning and his throat sore from all the crying he had done. But he needed it. He needed to feel that pain, to expel it from his body so that he could move on. After almost a year, he was finally going to say goodbye to Pittsburgh and his life there. Come the following morning, once he met with the lawyer and signed the final papers, it would all be finished. He was sure that he’d return to Pittsburgh one day. To visit his parents’ grave, if for no other reason, but once those papers were signed, he’d have no more ties to the city that he’d been born in, that he’d grown up in, that he’d lost his parents in. Once those papers were signed, he could walk away with the memories tucked away in his heart, and never look back. He could fly back to Arizona, finish up his senior year, and prepare to begin a new chapter in his life. Somehow he knew that his mom and dad were looking down on him in that moment and smiling at him with their approval; knowing that made his leaving possible. He stood up and brushed the dirt off his pants and then looked at the grave one more time, burning it into his memory.

“Bye Mom, bye Dad. I love you.”

Justin pulled up at Jason’s house a short time later and wasn’t surprised when Jason came outside and met him halfway up the sidewalk. One look at his friend and Justin was suddenly pulled into a comforting hug.

“I wish there was something I could do to make this easier for you,” Jason whispered as he held Justin tight.

“I know you do. I’m okay, though,” Justin said.

“No you’re not,” Jason replied. “But you will be. Come inside.”

Karen and Jeff were both waiting for him when Justin got through the door, and the hugs that he received did a lot to ease the pain that had been threatening to suffocate him. After that, Justin excused himself to go out back and call Brian. He needed to hear his boyfriend’s voice in the worst way.

Brian answered immediately. “Hey, Jus, you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m alright,” Justin replied, trying to hide his sadness. “I just needed to hear your voice.”

Brian could tell from the sound of Justin’s voice that he wasn’t as alright as he claimed, but there was nothing he could do from two thousand miles away other than listen. “God, I wish I was there with you.”

“Me too,” Justin admitted.

“Say the word and I’ll be on the next flight out.”

“No, I’ll be okay. I promise. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, and I was right. I really need to do it on my own.”

“I hate that you’re so far away and upset. I want to hold you and try to make it a little better for you,” Brian said softly.

“Trust me; once I get home tomorrow, I’m going to let you hold me all night long. For now, Jason, Karen and Jeff are here to help me take my mind off things. Speaking of them though, I really have to go. Dinner is almost ready and I don’t want to make them wait. I really am fine, and hearing your voice made it that much better. I love you and I’ll call you when I get back to my hotel, okay?”

“Yeah, alright. Tell everyone I said hello and I’ll talk to you later. Love you.”

“Love you, too.”

Justin disconnected the call and then took a moment to pull himself together before going back inside. Just like he told Brian, he had Jason, Karen and Jeff to help him forget his heartache for awhile. He was going to take advantage of that.

By the time Justin said goodnight to Karen and Jeff, it was almost eleven o’clock. Dinner had been great and afterwards they all sat around and watched a movie, just like they used to do when Justin still lived a few blocks away. Jason walked Justin to the car, giving Justin the opportunity to tell Jason about his afternoon.

“I went to see Sean today.”


“Because I needed to know if he still thought I was disgusting. If he still believed that Brian, Chris and Zan turned me gay. I guess I just needed to know if our friendship was really over,” Justin admitted.

“So what did he say?”

“He apologized. He explained why he reacted the way he did. I’m not going to jump in the middle of the friendship you two have, but you need to go talk to him.”

“I don’t see what the point is,” Jason replied. “There’s no excuse for saying the things that he said.”

Justin sighed in frustration. He understood Jason’s reaction and didn’t know what to say to get his friend to agree to try and fix things. He refused to share Sean’s story, just like he refused to tell Sean about Jason and Zac. It wasn’t his place. “Please, Jas? Will you just talk to him and give him a chance to explain. I promise you’ll understand once you do.”

Jason looked closely at Justin and could see how important it was to him that Jason give Sean another chance. He was screwed. There was no way he could look Justin in the eye and not give him anything he wanted. “Fine, fine, I’ll talk to him. But I’m not making any promises about forgiving him.”

Justin gave Jason his most radiant smile. “I’m not asking you to forgive him. I’m asking you to hear him out and make up your own mind.”

“I’ll call him tomorrow,” Jason promised.

“Cool, oh, but just to warn you. He told me that there are rumors that you’re seeing some guy that doesn’t live around here and you’re going away to school to be with him,” Justin told him with a giggle. “I didn’t confirm or deny.”

“Damn, you’d think the rumor mill could at least get the story straight. I’m not going away to school to be with him. That’s just an added bonus,” Jason laughed. “I knew word was going to get out once Jen Peterson caught me doodling Zac’s name on my History book.”

“So, I guess you’re officially coming out of the closet, huh?”

“Truthfully, I was never really in the closet. No one ever asked me if I was gay or straight. They just assumed I was straight because I only dated girls. I only dated girls because I wasn’t interested in any of the guys around here and even if I was, they were all straight. When Zac and I started…whatever it is that we’re doing, I didn’t think it was appropriate to just walk up to everyone I knew and say ‘by the way, I’m bi-sexual and I’m interested in a guy’. That would’ve been a little awkward. Obviously I’m not trying to be in the closet if I’m doodling Zac’s name on my books. I even have a few of his pictures hanging up in my locker. And those I’m closest to know, like Ryan. If anyone actually came up and asked me if I liked guys or girls, I’d say both. I have nothing to hide.”

“I love you, man,” Justin laughed as he threw his arms around his friend’s neck. “I can’t wait until you move to Arizona.”

“Me neither,” Jason said as he hugged Justin back. “Are you sure you don’t want me to ditch school and go with you to the lawyer’s tomorrow?”

“No, that’s alright. I actually have an early morning appointment and then I have to head to the airport. My plane takes off at noon.”

“Wow, you’re not wasting any time.”

“There’s no point. I’ve done everything I wanted to do. After the day I’ve had, all I can think about is getting home to Brian,” Justin told him.

“I don’t blame you. Alright then, I guess I’ll see you…in a couple of months? I won’t be back until your graduation. I promised Zac that I’d fly in for it. I’m glad that our graduation is the week before yours. This way I can stay for a few days without missing school. Although I promised my mother I wouldn’t stay too long. She’s really starting to get mopey over me leaving for college in August. She’s not going to let me out of her sight until I have to report on campus. Luckily Zac has agreed to visit for a couple of weeks in July, since I’m usually the one who does the traveling. Oh, you and Brian should come with him. A vacation before school starts.”

“We’re already a step ahead of you as far as vacations go. We’re planning on taking a trip sometime in late July, early August, but I doubt it’ll be to Pittsburgh. I was thinking of some place exotic. Maybe one of the Islands? I don’t know. Maybe you can talk your mom into letting you off the hook for a few days and come with us? Zac, Brian and I could meet up with you somewhere and then Zac could fly home with you,” Justin suggested as his brain started formulating a plan. “It would be awesome, don’t you think? The four of us sitting poolside, drinking those fruity drinks with the umbrellas in them. Of course, they’d have to be non-alcoholic for a few more years.”

“Not necessarily. I’m pretty sure certain places like Jamaica have the drinking age at eighteen. We’ll have to check it out.”

“Does that mean you’d think about going?” Justin asked hopefully.

“Hell, yeah! I know for a fact that my aunt and my grandparents are giving me cash for a graduation present. I’ll just borrow money from my parents to book something and then pay them back when I can. I’m sure they won’t mind.”

“That would be great! I can’t wait to tell Brian. We’ll have to start planning as soon as I get back home. Chris and Zan had such a great time on their trip; it made me want to get away even more. Alright, I really need to get out of here now. I’ll call you tomorrow.”

“Okay, good luck tomorrow and have a safe trip. I’ll be thinking about you.”

“Thanks. And don’t forget to call Sean,” Justin reminded him.

“Yeah, yeah. I will.”

Justin got back to the hotel, took a quick shower, and then called Brian. They talked for about an hour before exhaustion took over and Justin started drifting off. After apologizing numerous times, Justin said goodnight and then rolled over, falling asleep immediately.

The next morning, Justin found himself sitting across the table from his parents’ lawyer and longtime friend, glancing at the clock nervously. Due to a last minute injunction, Maxwell had been more than an hour late for their meeting. Justin still had some time to make his flight, but not as much time as he would’ve liked. Maxwell was rummaging through a stack of papers in front of him, trying to get them in the order that they were needed. He finally had them assembled to his liking and was able to turn his focus to Justin.

“Sorry about that. I hadn’t planned on being out of the office so early this morning. It’s good to see you, Justin. How are you doing?”

“I’m good, Maxwell. Thanks for asking. How are you?”

“Oh you know, I’m hanging in there. Life isn’t the same without my golf partner. My handicap has suffered enormously,” Maxwell chuckled. “And my Annette really misses your mom. She never liked any of the other golfers’ wives.”

“Neither did my mom. She always told Dad that he was lucky you married so well, otherwise they never would’ve spent so much time at the country club,” Justin laughed at the memory. “It’s good to know that I’m not the only one that misses them. It’s comforting.”

“Oh no, Justin. You are definitely not the only one who misses them. Most of the club went into mourning after their passing. They put up a plaque honoring them both in the trophy cabinet. They were exceptional people who did a lot for the community. They will be missed for years to come,” Maxwell assured him.

“Thank you for telling me. It means a lot,” Justin replied, wiping the dampness from his eyes.

“Alright, enough of the mushy stuff. Let’s get down to business so that you can catch your flight. As you know, I took care of all the financial aspects of your parents’ estate. I handled the sale of your father’s share of the business, the remaining car, the house, and all of its contents. I added that to the life insurance, minus any debts they had and funeral expenses, of course. I took all the money and placed it into an interest bearing account that is now officially yours. You are also entitled to your college fund, which holds more than enough to pay for your tuition to just about any four year college. A lot of parents make stipulations that their children have to be between the ages of 22 to 25 before receiving an inheritance, but your parents trusted that if they weren’t around, you’d be more than capable of handing your own money. Knowing you the way I do, I tend to agree with them. As soon as you sign these documents, one of them giving you access to the college fund, the other giving you access to the rest of the estate, our business relationship with be officially over. Keep in mind though, that as your dad’s old college roommate and best man at his wedding, I will always be here if you need any help, or if you just want a piece of advice.”

Justin took a deep breath and smiled at Maxwell before reaching out for the documents. He looked over the first one, a little surprised to see that his college fund held just over 100,000 dollars. That would be more than enough to pay his tuition and still have a bit left over for after graduation. Once he signed the document, he reached for the other one. As he scanned the page, his eyes came to rest on the dollar amount at the bottom.

“Um, this can’t be right,” he finally said as he tried to gather his thoughts.

“I assure you, it is. I sold your father’s share of his business to his partner Donald for a nice price. Your parents owned the house outright as well as their car, which had low miles and was in excellent shape. The furnishings in the house were also in excellent shape, some of them were antiques. Also, they each had a very substantial life insurance policy with an additional amount being paid on each if their death was due to an accident, which it was. Your father also had a few very well paying investments, which I was able to cash in because he had passed away. Even after paying for the funeral and paying all of their outstanding debts, I hadn’t even made a dent in one insurance policy, let alone two. If you are careful my boy, you are going to be able to live quite comfortably for a very long time.”

Justin didn’t know what to say. He wasn’t a millionaire; he wasn’t going to be able to live the life of a playboy and never work a day in his life, but if he played his cards right, he’d definitely have an easy life ahead of him.

“Um…I don’t even know what to think about this. Can I…like…take some time to think about it and then call you? Maybe you can help me with this? I can’t just put all this money into a checking account and go on with my life.”

“Well you could, but I wouldn’t recommend it,” Maxwell teased. “Look, as soon as you sign those papers, the money is yours. What we could do is transfer a decent amount over to a standard account so that you can have access to whatever you need and leave the rest where it is for now. Take your time, do some research and think about what you’d like to do with the rest. Call me in a few weeks and we can talk then and come up with a plan. Alright?”

“Yeah…I think…I think that sounds like a good idea.”

“Okay then. Now, since I kind of thought that you’d be a bit overwhelmed with this, I took the liberty of opening a savings account in your name. All I need you to do is sign this transfer form and ten thousand dollars with be moved into the account. Here’s a debit card that you can use to access the money. I know it’s a bit much, but I didn’t know what your situation was in Arizona. I wasn’t sure if you’d be looking to buy a car or move out on your own.”

“No, I’m good. My cousin and his partner insisted on buying me a car last summer and they’re not thrilled knowing that I’m going to be living on campus by the end of August. They’d never let me move out on my own,” Justin explained, smiling at the thought of Zander’s reaction if he said he wanted to leave.

“So you’re doing okay then? Your cousin is treating you good?”

“My cousin and his partner are the greatest. If I can’t be with my parents, they’re the next best thing. I’m happy there. I’ve got a family again.”

“I’m really glad to hear that, Justin. Alright then. Let’s get this finished and get you out of here.”

By the time Justin’s plane reached cruising altitude, he’d finally managed to get his anxiety under control. He was still in a state of shock from his meeting with Maxwell, but at least the shaking had stopped and he was able to breathe again. He couldn’t believe how much money he had just inherited. He never imagined that his parents’ estate would total that much money. He had over 700,000 dollars sitting in an account somewhere just waiting for him to decide what to do with it. He never even contemplated having that much money, and that was counting his college fund, too. The fact that his college fund was separate was even more overwhelming. He knew his father made good money; that the business was going well. He also knew that his dad had investments that gave them added income every quarter. He just never knew that it all would add up to so much. He couldn’t wait to get home. The first thing he needed to do was to sit down and talk to Chris and Zander. He needed some advice on what to do next and he knew he could count on them to give it. The one thing he wasn’t going to do was act like an idiot and blow through the money like it grew on trees. His parents trusted him to make the right decisions and he’d make sure that he earned their trust. It was the least he could do for them.

End of part 47


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