<div style="float:left;margin-right:8pt;"><img src=http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x167/goldendercon/JasonCollins.jpg></div>There were worse ways to live, worse places to be, worse people to be with, he mulled as he stared out of the airplane window at the clouds passing below them. He was sixteen. He was gay. He was out. Maybe in 2012, it would've been okay, but the world had changed since then. The Christians argue for the better. Pretty much everyone else argued for the worse. Either way, it didn't change the fact that the Westboro Baptist Church had had an immense influence on the small community in Kansas that he had lived in and the fact that he was out made life a living hell both for him and his mother. His father had been a drunkard turned pastor and not one of the good ones. He had been accused of paedophilia on more than one occasion too. Either way, it wasn't long before "God Hates Fags" banners began going up around the community and inside the young green-eyed Irishman's home. It wasn't even being gay that had made Jason's early life difficult. It was the fact that his father was part of the Westboro Baptist Church that made people throw dirty glares in his direction. As much power as it had obtained over the years, during Jason's childhood, the church had been spurned and scorned by pretty much everyone. How his mother had managed to put up with such a hateful man, he would probably never understand. Even her sisters urged her to leave him and take me with her already. Even so, she stood her ground and said that she was confident she could talk him out of it. She certainly tried. Although, talk was probably a euphemism for having long shouting matches that lasted well into the morning and left little peace at the dinner table. Still, Jason had been well taken care of and he himself had been relatively undisturbed. It wasn't until high school that he began to notice guys and while he never really adopted Christianity as his religion, and while he never really saw his father's beliefs as valid, he was still afraid of the social stigma and kept it to himself, denying it as much as he could. Eventually, it had been just too much. Pining after boys, blushing every time they would come near him, it wasn't difficult to tell for anyone who knew where to look. Unfortunately, Jason was the kind of guy who could not tell between gay and straight. A deep crush on the wrong person ended up getting him outed both to the school and the community. It was at this point that his father had been able to wrestle more families into the same point of view, and the Westboro Baptist Church had gained more influence on the national level. All hell broke loose. Jason was pushed around, bullied, taunted, called names and even physically harrassed. Most school officials turned a blind eye. Except maybe Ms. Owler, the beautiful young Math teacher that no one, not even Jason liked. She actively tried to help the young man. It didn't help him much. Soon after, after a heated argument with his father, Jason found himself homeless. His mother refused to leave his father before giving it the bastard one last time. Knowing no one else to turn to, he asked Ms. Owler if he could stay for a while. For a week or two, Jason stayed with the math teacher. School quickly became a problem for him. While he tried to avoid fights, they came to him. The children of WBC churchgoers brought fists to him. Everyone else brought stinging words. Rumors were everywhere. One of them made him lose his temper and got him suspended indefinitely. The girl had said "Maybe his father fucked him and that fucked him up." She hadn't gone home that day. She went straight to the hospital. It was three days later when his mother had shown up with passports in hand. There was a gash on her forehead and her cheek was caked with blood. Ms. Owler was quick to bring out the first aid. Jason, on the other hand, fainted. When he came to, his mother was talking frantically with the teacher whom he had come to know over the weeks. She wasn't as bad as everyone else painted her. She was just really strict when it came to schoolwork. "We're going to Canada, Jason. We have to get away from him." It was a disturbing sight, seeing your mother bandaged, trembling and terrified. All the tension that had been in Jason, at least for that moment, melted away and he hugged his mother, crying in relief. The very next day they had pulled away from Ms. Owler's driveway, on the road to a new life. Had he looked back, he would've seen Ms. Owler holding a picture of an inhumanly, boyishly beautiful woman and crying silently. Regardless, that was the last day anyone heard or saw the math teacher who was reported missing two weeks later. "I'm scared, mum" he had said as they entered the Vancouver airport. "So am I, Jason. So am I" she replied, smiling weakly. As he walked away with his mother, he took a look around at the people in the terminal. There was an Indian staring intently at a laptop screen. There were two Asian girls talking over coffee, their trolleys right beside them. There was a rugged looking man standing nearby, looking anxiously at where the new arrivals were still streaming in from. Not far from them was a middle-eastern man, crying as he hugged his wife and children. A loud roar of delight, from someone he figured wasn't much older than him made him whip his head around. He saw the source of the voice; a young blond man, couldnt've been over twenty, embracing someone who looked like an exact carbon copy of himself, only much older. The sight of the younger man made his heart flutter. It wasn't long before his mother dragged him on. He kept looking back and while on the elevator, got a good long look at the blond. He let his gaze settle on the man until the elevator blocked him from view. Sighing under his breath, he faced forwards. Towards a new life. Towards a new tomorrow.