Mitch hated the thought of bringing up Derrick in a conversation, but Nico didn't mind at all.
Actually, Nico was around a lot, lately. After all, he was Sky's uncle. Although, Mitch couldn't help but think of them as brothers and Nico was probably around just to check up on them. Still, he didn't mind having Nico around. He was good company. Usually, waiting for Sky to get off work. Waiting for Sky to come home from a date with Josie. Yeah, there was a lot of waiting.
A part of Mitch felt he'd put his life on hold, too. He didn't play his music anymore. It made him think of Derrick. As it was, Mitch was practically down to part-time hours these days. His folks were on him to go back to school. Get a real education.
Still Mitch felt numb.
"Don't you want him to be tried as an adult?" Nico was serious, and he was talking about Derrick while Mitch was making coffee.
Mitch heard the words, but he wasn't really listening.
"They've got Derrick practically in juvie. Some group home." Nico would know. Nico found out from a friend of his father's.
Mitch shook his head. Would it be like a year from now, before Derrick was even sentenced? It felt like such a slow process, the justice system.
"Listen." Nico was closer now as he leaned in. His fingers touched Mitch's thin face. There in the kitchen. "I hate what this guy has done to you." His dark eyes studied Mitch's eyes.
Mitch could barely steady himself. He was sure he was going to fall on the kitchen floor.
"I don't want to ruin his life." Mitch just wanted to let it go. He wanted to forget he ever knew Derrick.
A part of him, felt he was in prison, too. Mitch didn't want to go out. He still felt afraid. His body trembled slightly. He was sure of it. He would never be over with Derrick.
But Nico kissed him. Mitch's eyes closed and he felt Nico's arms come around him, and he felt safe, again.