Interlude: Honest

The late afternoon sun was creeping in through the window, casting its orange light over Stefan’s now bare bedroom. He sighed softly as he looked around at the piles of boxes and bubble wrap at his feet.

Can I really do this? He wondered. The movers would be coming in just two days to ship everything over to Willow Creek. Then the room would be empty. It would all be gone.

06-12-16_10-20-33 PM

And just a week later, so would he.

He’d be on the other side of the ocean, thousands of kilometers away from his home. His family…

Stefan looked down at his cellphone, furrowing his brow slightly. Just one call, that’s all it would take.

06-12-16_10-22-50 PM

He’d spent the past few weeks changing his mind, again and again. Some days were easy – Stefan felt so certain that he was doing the right thing, that moving away was the best thing he could possibly do. And others, well… Others, he felt sure that he was about to make the biggest mistake of his life.

It’s not too late to back out. He told himself. Just pick up the phone…

06-12-16_10-24-58 PM

The sound of a sharp knock at the door made Stefan nearly jump. “Y-eah?” He called out uncertainly as he watched the bedroom door slowly creak open.

06-12-16_10-28-38 PM

“Hey, Jonas.” Stefan tried to smile at his stepfather. “What’s up?”

“Just checking to see if you needed any help in here.” The older man said kindly.

Stefan shook his head and gestured at the  boxes that lay about on the bedroom floor.

Jonas let out a small chuckle. “Guess I’m a little late to the party… Sorry.”

“It’s okay.”

06-12-16_10-29-59 PM

Stefan cleared his throat uncomfortably before speaking again. “So… yeah. I’m all good in here.” Please leave, he wanted to say.

Jonas let out a soft sigh. “Stefan… Can I talk to you for a minute?”

Shit. “Um, yeah. Sure. What’s up?”

Jonas took a seat beside Stefan on the edge of the bed. “Is everything okay?” He asked softly.

06-12-16_10-33-53 PM

“Of course.” Stefan replied, his tone suddenly hard. “Why wouldn’t it be?”

Jonas shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know, you just seem a little… lost right now.”

“I’m fine.”

06-12-16_10-35-20 PM

The older man hesitated. “Look Stefan…” He took a deep breath. “I just want you to know that I’m really proud of you for doing this.” Jonas said at last. “I know you’re probably scared shitless about this whole thing — I would be too.” He smiled slightly. “But this is going to be amazing for you. I know it is. You were always meant to do great things — I’ve known that since the moment we met.” Jonas let out a soft chuckle. “You were such a weird little kid… But, from one weirdo to another, please take that as the highest compliment.” He added with a wink. “I knew right away that you were special. And sometimes I’ve wondered if you would ever see that for yourself–“

06-12-16_10-34-32 PM

Stefan rolled his eyes, letting out a small sigh of frustration. “Look Jonas, I really don’t need this little peptalk right now.” He interrupted his stepfather. “Like I said, I’m fine.”

A brief flash of pain crossed Jonas’ face at Stefan’s words. The younger man did not miss the small flicker of emotion before it faded away.

06-12-16_10-35-41 PM

“Okay.” Jonas said softly. “Just let me know if you need anything, okay?”

Stefan said nothing. A twisting feeling of regret began creeping into his stomach as he watched Jonas rise to his feet and walk away, closing the bedroom door behind him.

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06-12-16_10-42-45 PM

“Jonas”? Stefan muttered nervously as he stepped out into the cool evening air.

His stepfather glanced up from his book, furrowing his brown in confusion.

Stefan swallowed nervously as he drew closer. “Can I talk to you for a minute?” The young man echoed Jonas’ words from just a short while before.

06-12-16_10-44-27 PM

Apparently this was not lost on Jonas, who laughed softly to himself before replying. “Of course.”

Fuck, why is this so hard?  “Jonas… I…” He cleared his throat uncomfortably. “I’m sorry for before. You were just trying to help… And I was being a huge jerk.”

06-12-16_10-47-47 PM

“You’re just really stressed right now. I get that.” Jonas smiled. “It’s okay.”

Stefan shook his head. “But it’s not okay. I do it all the time… I have ever since I was a kid.” He sighed. “And I don’t mean to do it. I swear to God, I don’t. I just… do.”

06-12-16_10-46-48 PM

The thought had been weighing heavily in the back of his mind for weeks. The more he began to realize that finding Josh had not been the miracle solution he’d been hoping for, the more he also realized just how unfair and misplaced his resentment toward his stepfather had been.

So many years pushing him away… and for what? I’m such a piece of shit. Stefan thought miserably.

“Stefan, it’s –”

06-12-16_10-46-12 PM

Don’t tell me it’s okay!” He snapped angrily. “Don’t.”

His stepfather sighed. “Then what do you want me to say?”

“I… I don’t know.” Stefan admitted, his tone only slightly softer than before. “Just… don’t sit there and act like you don’t hate my guts for the way I treat you, okay? I’m leaving in a week. The least you can do is be honest with me. Please.”

06-12-16_10-48-34 PM

“Stefan –”

“You’ve been nothing but nice to me ever since I was a kid… And all I’ve done in return is push you away and treat you like shit. And you never deserved that. I know you didn’t.” The words spilled from Stefan’s lips so much more easily than he’d anticipated. “And you’ve always put on such a brave face for Mama… But I know what you really think of me. So please. Just… let me have it. Because I deserve it.” He hung his head for a moment. “And I figure you should have the chance to be honest one last time before I leave.”

06-12-16_11-00-47 PM

Jonas said nothing for several long moments. Stefan could feel his heart racing in his chest as he waited anxiously to hear his stepfather’s reply. At last, the older man opened his mouth to speak. Stefan braced himself for what was to come.

“You want the truth?” Jonas said quietly. “Okay…” He paused and took a long, slow breath. “Stefan, you are an ungrateful little shit. You’ve never been fair to me, and you’ve probably broken my heart more times than I could even count.”

06-12-16_11-01-37 PM

Stefan was surprised at how deeply those few simple words had cut him. “I know.” He replied in a whisper. “And I’m sorry.”

“But you’re wrong.” Jonas continued, ignoring the apology completely. “I may get pretty damn pissed at you sometimes… but I don’t hate you. I never could.” He said simply.

“You don’t?” Stefan asked, his voice small. For a moment, he felt like he was a little boy again.

06-12-16_11-02-42 PM

“Not even a little.” Jonas assured him. This time, he finally allowed a small smile to creep onto his lips. “You’re like a son to me, Stefan.  All I’ve ever wanted is for you to be happy. And I meant what I said before — I’m so proud of you. It takes a Hell of a lot of courage to do what you’re doing, and it’s not gonna be easy for any of us…” Jonas sighed. “But if this is what it takes for you to finally be happy, then you have to do it. And I’ll be rooting for you every step of the way.” He promised.

06-12-16_11-04-06 PM

Stefan felt the warmth of tears on his cheeks as Jonas’ words washed over him. He didn’t even try to wipe them away. “Thank you.” He managed to choke out. “And I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, Jonas. I…” Fuck.

06-12-16_11-09-04 PM

Jonas quickly closed the distance between them, reaching for his stepson and pulling him into a tight hug.

06-12-16_11-06-40 PM

And, for the first time either of them could remember, Stefan did not pull away.

06-12-16_11-07-36 PM


65 thoughts on “Interlude: Honest

  1. AWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!! This was so beautiful! I loved the part where he called Stefan an ungrateful little shit. LOL. I’m glad they finally had this conversation. Even though he’s leaving, at least now he acknowledges how important Jonas was to him his whole life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hugs for everyone!!! *throws confetti*

    Looks like Stefan may have learned to communicate a bit, even if you can’t say it at the right time, saying it at all is a big step forward!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. HOORAY!!! WOO-HOO!!!! *blows celebration horn* Beautiful chapter! Achievement unlocked: Communication Rocks!

    I’m so happy for Stefan that he finally learned to communicate and share his feelings. My favorite part is when Jonas called Stefan an ungrateful little shit. I’m glad that he realized how important Jonas is in his life and I wish him the best in Willow Creek.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Hahahaha well I take it as a nice compliment when my writing is able to move people to tears XD But I still feel bad, even if it’s happy tears 😛 Crying is awkward hahaha

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m definitely on the awwwwwwwwwwwwww train! This chapter has made me love Jonas more than ever. He’s been the best stepfather to Stefan. If he wasn’t completely honest in that moment, I don’t think Stefan would’ve believed him. This was such a great moment for them. Now I’m wondering what his goodbye with Mari will be like.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I adore Jonas. He’s legitimately the best thing to ever happen to this family! Thank goodness Mari messed up the computer all those years ago 😛

      And you’ll see the day after tomorrow! Can’t believe there’s just one chapter left of this generation! 😮

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Omg yes! I’ve been waiting for so long for Jonas to express his true feelings and he finally did it! Of course still in totally perfect and loveable Jonas-fahion, but that’s why we adore him ❤

    And so happy about the genuine hug. This might be what Stefan needed more than anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So freaking cute! I’m smiling at my phone like an idiot, but have no regrets (though I might if my dad decides I need mental help… He looks kinda concerned).

    Stefan and Jonas finally getting to talk. Yes. Made my day. That hug. So. Cute. Jonas is the most awesome guy ever. Such a good father.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. aw thank you so much! Now *I* am smiling like an idiot at your comment hahaha I loved writing this chapter so much and I’m glad you enjoyed it ^_^

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you ^_^ I got emotional while writing this one. It felt so good to give them a bit of resolution 🙂 (by the way, thank you for reading! I love that you’re working on catching up 😀 )

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Of course I will! I’ve just been busy trying to catch up with one of the reading circles I joined that has a July 9th cut-off to catch up on. Then I’ll be more regular in catching up again. I love your stories! You are a wonderful author.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad I can see all of these comments now hahaha. (Do you remember which chapter is the last one you commented on? Unfortunately I have to manually go through each chapter and LOOK for your comments now).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Okay, I’m being completely honest, I started tearing up. Like, I got so enveloped in reading this chapter that I completely stopped hearing my music? You know, if you’re ever really into something that everything else fades away, yeah, that happened, and when I came back to reality my eyes were teary. I dunno, it’s just “real” and I like that. You have a good way of conveying personality, emotion, and real personalities. It’s a great talent 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww! That is so kind of you to say. 🙂 I’m really glad this one touched you. I remember getting really emotional when I wrote this one too!


  8. I have been waiting patiently for this conversation to take place! I hate that Stefan couldn’t have seen what a little shit he was before now but I guess he had to go through the process to see it. So much wasted time and memories but again he was not in the right place to acknowledge it. I’m so hopeful that this move is the best for him as it was for Alex. He could be a tough pill to swallow sometimes (just like Mari) but I’m actually going to miss seeing the two of them regularly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah this one was a long time coming! It was hard to have him leave, but I do think it was the best thing for him 🙂 Thanks so much for reading, kaycee! Another generation down 😮

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m trying to pace myself but I soooooooooo want to get caught up to the current generation. Yes I’m so excited about Jocelyne and All that this gen has to offer (can’t imagine what your going to put that poor girl through) 😆😐😑😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha take your time! I will warn you right now… the gens just keep getting longer and longer as they go haha Jocelyne’s generation is about 100 chapters (and Tobi and Stefan’s was about 75, if that helps put it in perspective) and then Gen 5 was 124 chapters… eek! It’s kind of obscene (I’ll admit that the chapter index is deceptive because I did not start numbering my interludes until gen 6, just journals!)

          I hope I didn’t just scare you away by telling you the numbers LOL Thank you soooo much for reading! (Also, I will warn you now — Gen 4 is a doozy! Prepare yourself 😉 )


          1. Ok so with that in mind I won’t stress out trying to get caught up by this weekend. But of course not…..I’m not scared off by the length. I’m having a blast reading 📖 this. The other stories I started have taken a back seat to yours btw (Kudos to you for that 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽). Lol 😁 I’m hooked and definitely a fan.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I think that would have been a little too much for Stefan. But he loves Jonas. He always has. And deep down, he’s always been a respected father figure in his life. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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