Holding On To You
Port Charles, NY
"Happy birthday to me."
Lathering the lower half of his face with shaving cream, Jason Morgan stared at his reflection and pondered his life and the choices he'd made. Looking back at him was the face and the body of a thirty-two year old man, but the birthday he celebrated made him a mere seven years of age. He made a sound that could pass for a chuckle, but the emotion he felt didn't come close to humor. It came nowhere near it. Instead, he was filled with the opposite.
And worst of all…loneliness.
God, he was so lonely, he groaned. Even the thought of dinner with Elizabeth couldn't lessen the pangs that struck his heart. Somehow, he ambled through the movements of dressing, making himself look presentable. But his heart wasn't in it. It was trapped in the past and ripping in shreds over a hasty decision he made in the heat of the moment. If he could only turn back time, his life would have been a helluva lot different.
Jason stared down at the manila folder that was tossed in front of him. Slowly, he opened it and read through the documents. Everything was laid out just like they said it would be. The Feds didn't miss a thing.
The offer was presented so nice and neat. Saying no would be hard, and they knew that he couldn't do it. Not when it meant his brother being sent to prison for the rest of his life. If it came down to it, he could sacrifice his life for AJ's, but he wouldn't like it. Not for a minute.
"As you can see," Special Agent Gaines said, pointing at the records, "everything is already in place. All you have to do is agree."
"And what will happen to AJ? He won't go to jail. That's what you said. Nothing will happen with the drug trafficking charges? You know he didn't realize what he had with him, right? I mean, AJ would never-"
"Listen, kid," the other Special Agent Bradley interrupted, "the offer is right there on the table. If you take it, your brother will be taken care of. The charges won't be filed against him, and his record will remain clean. Just as long as you sign on the dotted line and do what you're supposed to."
Jason swallowed down the ball of hesitation that lodged in his chest. This was for the best. AJ wouldn't survive in prison. He'd die and he couldn't let that happen to his older brother. Besides, how long would this thing take? Six months? Maybe a year at the most? Then he'd get his life back and everything would be the same as was before. He reached for the pen and pressed the tip to the dotted line. Before he signed, he looked up at the two cold agents again. There was just one very important factor he needed clarification on.
"What about Keesha?" he asked, searching their faces for some semblance of emotion. "What will she be told?"
"The same as everyone else," Gaines said. "You suffered brain damage that severely impaired you. You have no knowledge of anyone prior to the moment you wake up from the coma. And please, Quartermaine, don't make the mistake of trying to resume a relationship with her. In order for Corinthos to be nailed, you'll have to break all ties. Completely."
Completely. Why did the word sound so permanent?
"I won't say anything to her," he said quietly, "but it will be hard. We have a connection and pretending otherwise… We love each other very much and she won't give up on me so quickly."
Bradley pursed his mouth. "You'll have to do whatever it takes to make her give up." Jason didn't respond. The Agent's eyes started to blaze and he frowned. "You can always get up and walk out of here. You don't have to sign the papers. You can keep your life with your family, your girlfriend and your medical career. Corinthos can continue his little drug trafficking business using innocent bystanders like your brother as his courier. Maybe he'll turn little Robin Scorpio on to scoring hits the way he did Karen Wexler. Or maybe Brenda Barrett will meet her demise in a drive-by. You don't have to let any of that sway your decision. You can always walk away. What is it to you, right?"
"ENOUGH!" Jason screamed. Attacking the paperwork with the tip of the pen, he applied his signature to the necessary documents and flung them at the sneering Agent. "There! Now, when do we start this charade?"
Gaines picked up the documents from the floor. As he flipped through them, he said, "You'll awaken from your 'coma' in the morning. Your medical records will be switched and no one will be any the wiser. You'll be a new person, Jason. Don't forget that."
"How could I?" he asked. "I doubt if you'd let me."
"You're right about that," Bradley smirked. "Nailing Corinthos is a must. Your family will be there once your assignment is done."
"And you're so sure he'll take me in once I have the new attitude adjustment," Jason questioned. "What if it doesn't work? I never had anything to do with the man. He won't care about me."
"You'll be a stray," Gaines informed him. "Corinthos likes strays. Look at what he did for Stone Cates."
"Not to mention the trust fund," Bradley added. "He wouldn't be able to resist helping poor brain-damaged you handle it. Trust us. The new Jason will work like a charm. You'll be in with hardly any problems."
Jason was quiet as their words sunk in. From what they described, it should be a piece of cake. His new life shouldn't be his life forever. Once Corinthos' racketeering ring was exposed and dismantled, he could go back to his life and marry Keesha like he planned.
End of Flashback
I'm holdin' on to you
When I close my eyes
You're still in my arms
And we never said goodbye
Keesha. Thoughts of her invaded his mind at the oddest times. Riding on the Harley, he'd see a patch of land and remember a picnic they had. Snippets of a French movie would remind him of their trip to Paris and the magical first time they'd both made love…
Now that seemed like a lifetime ago. And it was. He was a different Jason back then. A feeling Jason. A loving Jason. Not the cold-hearted sonuvabitch who could humiliate her so deplorably by suggesting she only wanted sex for him and then befriending a man only to betray him later.
The other hearts he'd broken along the way haunted him, too. Keeping AJ away from Michael. Eventually leaving Michael. Robin. Carly. Elizabeth.
It wasn't right. The pain. The heartache. The damned loneliness!
Getting close to someone else would solve everything, but it was not to be. Not when he was still holding on to Keesha.
I'd give anything
Just to hear your voice
Or see you look at me and smile
Oh, but what I miss the most
Is holdin' on to you
'Cause here I am tonight
Starin' at a woman
Who's the last thing on my mind
[Author's note: Song credit goes to Brad Paisley for "Holdin' On To You" from his Who Needs Pictures CD.]