Chapter 9

“Sampson is up and ready to have company,” a doctor says.

I don't know how long we've all been in the hospital waiting. It's T-Boy who nudges me and lets me know the doctor is coming out to see me. I'm laid out in the chair and there is a slow run of drool coming down the side of my face. I look a fucking mess and I'm well aware of it honestly. I don't care though. My only concern is Sampson. That's why I jump up so frantically at the news of the doctor. I realize however that I'm not the only one jumping up.

“Oh thank God,” Dahlia says standing up.

Ms. Nicole gives her daughter-in-law a loving pat on the back and leans over to whisper words of strength to her. I know I shouldn't be thinking this but all I can think about was why Nicole was still supporting Dahlia after I told the entire congregation about the kind of person Dahlia was. Ms. Nicole clearly still rather Sampson be with a lying cheating bitch then me. That's just how Ms. Nicole has always been. I shouldn't be surprised but I'm still annoyed by it.

“He actually asked to only see someone named Syn,” the doctor states.

Dahlia’s face at that moment is priceless.

Ms. Nicole interrupts the doctor, “That must be a mistake. He's married to Dahlia.”

“No mistake ma'am,” the doctor says.

Dahlia seems shocked but defeated all at the very same time. She squirms a little at first. She adjusts her face. She looks a little worried but then sits down as though she wasn’t excited to run in there and see him.

It's Ms. Nicole who walks up to me, leans in and damn near hisses, “Why are you still here?”

“I care about your son.”

“You're the devil,” Ms. Nicole states.

She's not saying you're like the devil or like you have devilish ways. The way Ms. Nicole looks at me in that hospital I honestly think she believes that I am Satan himself. I rose from the depths of hell, left my burning throne and stopped playing chess with Hitler just to annoy Ms. Nicole. I came to Earth just to tempt her son with butt play. I think Ms. Nicole really believes deep down in the bottom of her soul that Syn Clinton is the devil.

“Yes. Yes I am,” I tell her.

I don't know what else to say. I think it's just easier to admit it then to argue. I know I'm not making things better. Sampson was always Ms. Nicole's favorite. Regardless of the fact that he was just adopted Sampson was the one that she put all her hopes in. T-Boy wasn't worth shit as far as morality goes so everything was left to Sampson.

Ms. Nicole doesn't even seem shocked when I say it.

A light bulb goes off in her head and she just comes to a realization, “I knew it.”

I nod, “Now if you will excuse me. Your son would like to see me.”

Her eyes burn into the back of my head.

I get up and feel T-Boy give me a nod of confidence as I walk into the doctor’s room. It has to be the slowest walk over. This has to be the most awkward thing I’ve ever done.

When I get in the room Sampson is just laying there. He looks at me and then nods over at a chair. I grab the chair and pull it up to his bedside. I want to touch him but I don’t know if he wants me to. He just looks in my eyes as though waiting for me to ask.

Even laying there sick Sampson is beautiful. He has this strength that I can't ignore and this pureness to his soul that seems so rich.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” I ask him, not knowing to be mad or sad at this moment.

“I didn’t want you to blame yourself,” he explains.

His voice is strong. He's trying his best to make it seem like this is just a normal conversation that we had. I know that's not the case. It's not everyday you find out the love of your life has a terminal disease.

“Why would I blame myself?”

He sighs.

“I got cancer when I was with you. I didn’t tell anyone besides my mother. I didn’t know why this was happening. I’m young. I’m in my 20s and now I have cancer? I didn’t get it. My mother told me it was because of my lifestyle.”

“You being gay?”

He sighs.

“I think so. Maybe it’s just my lifestyle with you. I’m not really sure. Either way she tells me, ‘Sampson, you need to seek redemption. You need to find God and leave this life of sin.’ And the cancer was coming on so strong. The doctor said I only had a few months, if that,

to live. I started chemo but it wasn’t working.”

“All this while you were WITH me? And I had no idea?”

“I hid it,” he replies, “Either way I started going to church with my mom. She prayed for me. And one day…the cancer was gone. Poof. After I promised God to take away the pain. I promised him that I’d devote my life to his will if he just took away the pain. Syn. There was so much pain.”

“And when you felt like he took it away you moved to Briarswood?” I ask.

“You’re angry.”

I shake my head.

“Sampson wait. You think you being with me gave you cancer?” I ask, “Honestly is that what you think?”

Sampson shakes his head.

“That’s what my mom thinks.”

“I asked if that’s what you think.”

“No. I just felt like no matter how much I loved you. No matter how much I wanted to be with you, my faith saved me. God saved me. So I decided I had to devote my life to God. I moved away. I became a pastor. I had a family like he wanted.”

I shake my head.

“And now that I’m back in your life the cancer is back.”

He nods, silently.

A part of me wants to curse him out.

“I can't believe you think that I'm giving you cancer,” I reply.

This shit hurts. It really does.

“I'm not saying this shit to hurt you,” Sampson tells me and starts getting up off the bed.

“No need. You want me out of your life Sampson. You got it.”

I'm halfway away when Sampson reaches his hand over to me and grabs me.

“I never said that I wanted you to leave.”

“What do you mean?”

Sampson gets up. I'm annoyed that he gets up. I attempt to have him sit down but he doesn't let me. Sampson grabs me and holds my hand at that moment. It scares the fuck out of me to see Sampson standing there in the way that he is standing there.

“The day I left you---I made the biggest mistake I've ever made in my life,” Sampson explains, “Everyday since then I've regretted it. Everyday since I left you I've been in hell. You're the love of my life Syn.”

“I'm your curse,” I tell him.

“Maybe, maybe not,” he responds shaking his head, “But honestly I've been living a lie this entire time. I've been married to a woman that I don't love. I've been taking care of kids that aren't even mine. I've been praising a God that I don't really understand.”

This is the deepest that I've seen Sampson in such a long time. Behind those eyes I can see this desperation. It's almost the eyes of a caged bird. You ever look at a caged bird? A bird who just wants to fly will sit in the cage but it never really gets used to it. It never really ever feels at home. Once that cage door open that bird will make a run for it. You can bet your ass that bird will fly away. Sampson is that bird.

My problem is that I'm not sure if I'm the wing beneath his wings or if I'm actually Sampson's cage keeping him trapped.

“Goodbye Sampson.”


“I'm telling you goodbye,” I tell Sampson, “For years I've chased you. I believed in unicorns and rainbows once. It was you. You were my fantasy. I'm such a realist but then when it comes to Sampson I just start thinking dreams can come true. I start thinking that there is such a thing as true love and that my Soulmate does exist.”

Sampson sighs.

“Syn. It does exist. I'm your soulmate. You're mine.”

“That shit doesn't exist,” I shake my head, “That shit ain't real. Rainbows ain't shit but a refraction of light and unicorns are probably just horses with tumors. You know who else has a tumor? My 'soulmate'. So no. There is no happy ending here. Some stories end, 'fuck it', I moved on and left his ass and settled for mediocrity because that's a lot easier to find and maintain. No more unicorns. No more rainbows. All that's left in this world is tumors, backstabbing and settling for anything. And that may not be what love is. I'm giving up on trying to understand what that stupid thing called love is. From now on I'm just going to try to understand life.”

I feel like I'm rambling. I think Sampson thinks that way too because he's turned away from me. He's staring out into the darkness. He had one hand on his head and the other on the wall. I wonder if it's helping him stand up. I'm not really sure.

“Why do I feel like this isn't just Syn having another dramatic moment?” Sampson asks me, “Why do I feel like you're giving up on this?”

Sampson is looking away because he's crying. I can hear it in his voice. The old me that used to look at Sampson and see rainbows and unicorns would have felt like this meant something. I would have went over there and tried to really make him feel better. This new me though who just saw tumors and death and backstabbing wasn't ready to make Sampson feel better about himself.

Maybe I was to blame for this situation that we were in.

Maybe Sampson was more of the reason we were in this situation.

Regardless of what the cause is I knew that true love died today in this fucking lame ass hospital bed in the middle of Briarswood South Carolina.

“Feel better Sampson,” I tell him.

A month passes from when Sampson was hospitalized. I wish I could say that I followed up to check up on him but that wasn't the case. I didn't follow up on him. I had no idea where Sampson was. I had no idea if Sampson was alive or dead. I assumed he was alive. I mean Briarswood was so small that I would have heard otherwise even if I was trying to avoid Sampson.

I look over at my congregation.

“I've been called crazy in my lifetime...many times...”

The congregation started in a Marigold's house. It expanded from there to include a building that Marigold rented out. Right now I had about 50 people in this building and they were all lined up listening to me talk. It wasn't anything religious. Not to me at least. I kind of thought it was more just people who needed a motivational speaker. I never asked for money but a lot of people donated. It became a job. It became money.

I spend all my time now a days helping people feel motivated and find their place in life.

Looking into the crowd I can see those bright eyes glaring back at me. They all have come to hear me talk. They all have come to feel motivated and that is exactly what I planned on giving them.

“What is more crazy though then the life that society tells you that you need to have. Society says that you need to be in love to be happy. After a certain age if you aren't in a relationship then there's something wrong with you---according to society right? Well I think that's what crazy is. Crazy is going home to the same person every single day. Crazy is falling in love with this one person that you'd give everything for them. Everything is a lot to give. Imagine what you could accomplish if you kept everything for yourself. Imagine what you'd accomplish if you didn't waste your life chasing this thing called love. So stop it. Stop chasing it. Take the 'everything' you were going to give to that motherfucker back and LOVE yourself. Because that is one person that will never let you down.”

People nod in agreement. This is a sermon you won't hear at a church. This is a conversation that won't be repeated in some life and love seminar. This is my truth and I know that there are people who actually want to hear it.

After I'm done with my speech I don't get applause. It's not because they don't want to. I've asked my followers not to applause. Applause makes it seem inauthentic. I feel like it cheapens what was said. People clap for entertainers. I don't want to entertain. Not anymore.

I wanted to understand this world.

And I wanted my followers to understand it for me.

“Don't clap. Understand,” I told them, “Instead of taking that few seconds to clap, take a lifetime to comprehend what those words mean to you and if they have any place in your life. If my words are useless then call me out on my bullshit. If not then cherish them.”

It's interesting to have people who respect you. It's interesting to have people that look up to you. I'm not surprised when Wade walks up to me after my speech.

“That was beautiful sir,” Wade says.

“Wade I told you that you don't have to call me that,” I tell him.

I'm in the back room. I wear little suits when I go do the motivational speeches in Briarwood. Word is spreading about my motivational speeches. Today I had 50 but just a few days ago hundreds of people were packed in the halls. It wasn't just the locals either. People were coming from far and wide to hear me speak. Word was traveling fast.

“We're going to need a bigger venue soon,” Wade explains to me sitting down.

“Election day is coming up. Joshua Carnes will support us expanding if he wins,” Marigold says walking into the room overhearing what Wade says.

“Speaking about the election we are going to go protest Edwin Reading tonight if you want to join,” Wade tells me.

“I'll pass,” I state, “I'm hanging with a friend of mine.”

“A friend?”

“You met T-Boy,” I state.

Wade pauses for a few seconds.

“He's still in town?” Wade asks.

“Yeah. His brother is sick and he's taking care of him,” I state, “He said he was going to get with me and give me an update on Sampson's situation.”

“I thought you were done with Sampson,” Wade explains.

He had a point. I'd gotten the text from T-Boy saying that he wanted to meet up earlier. I didn't think much of it. I figured he just wanted to stay in touch but then out of no where T-Boy mentions Sampson and that whole situation. I should have told T-Boy that I was interested in talking about Sampson but I didn't. I jumped at the idea and told him that I would like to meet.

Wade calling me out right now especially after the sermon I gave kind of puts things back into reality.

It's Marigold who cuts off my reply.

“Wade you can't tell people how to feel,” Marigold states, “Syn taught us that remember? Independent thought.”

It's weird when people quote me. It's been happening more and more often though. I'm not surprised Marigold is pointing to a talk that I had a week ago about independent thought. Wade doesn't seem to react well to it though. He's crossing his arms and staring over my way.

“Joshua Carnes needs our help to get elected. I think that's more important then catching up with some pretty boy about his pretty boy brother,” Wade states.

He's aggressive in the way that he's talking. Marigold and I look at one another.

“Do you guys even know Joshua's political views?” I ask.

“Does it matter?” Wade asks, “He's not Edwin Reading. He's running against Edwin Reading. We have to make sure those voters don't support Edwin.”

“Well Joshua has been a friend but I just think it's smart to know where he stands politically if you're going to back him. Maybe have a conversation with him.”

“Why are you being soft?” Wade asks me.

“Excuse me?”

I'm shocked when Wade says that.

“You haven't been with doing anything else on Edwin Reading. We are taking our foot off his neck since we revealed those pics in New York of him in drag.”

“The guy is going to lose. Huge. His excuse is that we were lying on him but I think everyone with a brain knows that was really Edwin Reading. His career is done. It's over for Edwin Reading. What else do you want me to do to the guy?” I ask.

“You think Edwin Reading isn't plotting something against you right now? We need to get to him first?” Wade states.

“Wade you need to calm down. If Edwin makes a move I'll be ready. I don't get any joy kicking a dog when he's down though. He hasn't fought back yet.”

Joshua crosses his arms. He looks pissed.

“I can't believe you right now, Syn. You preach all day about not wanting love but the moment the name Sampson drops you abandon everything we have going on to go over there. You're being such a pussy?”

Wade slams his hand hard on my dressing room table rattling the entire table.

“Wade...” his mother attempts to calm him down.

I'm entirely confused about Wade's behavior. Was this really about getting Joshua Carnes elected or was this more personal? It's weird how he tied me meeting up with T-Boy about Sampson to the first thing.

“I'm sorry,” Wade says.

He doesn't wait for me to even acknowledge his apology before he storms out of the room as though someone was chasing him. That wasn't the case. I didn't care how dramatic he was being, I wasn't going to leave this soft ass cushion a moment before I had to.

“Sorry about that,” Marigold tells me, “He's still so heated at the Reading brothers. Especially with his eye situation.”

“I get that he's upset with them,” I state, “I just don't want him to do anything stupid.”

“You mean at the protest tonight?”


Marigold nods, “You're right. I'll go and make sure that he's on his best behavior.”

I nod, “I know how it is to resent someone but he needs to be careful to control his resentment. He needs to be able to control his emotion all together. Wade is kind of...”

Marigold stops and stares at me.

“Kind of what?”

He was kind of crazy. I sit there and think about saying that though. How many times has someone called me crazy? That shit hurt when they did. I didn't want to be hypocritical. I didn't want to be that guy who was passing judgment over someone's action.

“Nothing,” I reply.

I leave it alone when Marigold lets me out a knowing smile and leaves the room right after.

I arrive at the dinner a little late. It's nothing fancy. T-Boy has never been the type to bring me to a fancy place. I'm actually surprised we aren't headed up at a strip club or some shit when I walk over there. It's some type of dive bar that also seemed to serve food.

T-Boy smiles when he sees me.

“You look sexy as usual,” he tells me.

With that he hugs me and right when he hugs me he squeezes on my butt a little bit. He gives a long firm grasp and rubs my cheeks. I love the feeling of it, but I push him away pretending as though I don't.

T-Boy gives me a knowing smirk almost as though feeling I'm playing hard to get.

“Long time,” I state.

We sit together. T-Boy is smiling at me. Hard.


“Why are you looking at me like that?”

“How am I looking at you?”

I shrug, “You know how you're looking at me T-Boy and I didn't come here for that. I came here because you said that you had news.”

T-Boy nods.

“What's going on with you and my brother?”

“I dunno. You got to ask him.”

“I did.”

I raise an eyebrow and look on the other side of the table, “What'd he say?”

“He said that things between the two of you are over because he blames you for the tumor bullshit,” T-Boy responds and laughs.

“I think Sampson was serious when he blamed me for that.”

T-Boy continues to laugh, “I know. That's the funny part.”

“Look T-Boy it's election day. The polls are about to close. So unless you had something specific to tell me then I should probably be leaving.”

“Ok. Ok. Gheez. Calm down. I just wanted to tell you that Sampson misses you.”

“Why are you of all people telling me this?”

“Because it's the truth,” he explains to me, “I'm not here to make you feel good or make Sampson feel better. I'm here because if I do win you over then I want to win you over fair and square. If I am going to win you over from Sampson then I'm going to do it because I deserve it. I'll win you over because you chose me.”

“I'm done with Sampson.”

“Quit the bullshit,” he responds, “You know damn well after all these years you aren't done with Sampson. I know. I've been here for all of it. All these years I'm not done with you so trust me I know the pain.”

“Did he send you here?” I ask.

T-Boy sighs.

“He offered me a place to stay. I've living with him in his new apartment while he undergoes these new chemo treatment.”

It's kind of nice that T-Boy is doing this.

“Are they working?”


“The treatements. Are the treatments working.”

“Of course, better than expected actually. Sampson asked me to invite you over to our new place. I kind of feel bad for the guy. Cancer and then this whole thing with the kids. He's going through a lot. So maybe you should just come through.”

I think about it for a minute. A lot of me wants to go check on Sampson but I feel like the closer I get to him the worse his cancer is going to get.

Maybe he has a point.

Maybe I just wasn't good for Sampson.

“I'm done with Sampson,” I state.

T-Boy rolls his eyes, “This bullshit again.”

“I can prove it.”

T-Boy raises and eyebrow, “Prove it?”

I get up off the table at that moment and clear my breath. I start walking towards the bathroom. When I'm halfway to the bathroom I stop and stare back at T-Boy. Our eyes connect and shortly after I am licking my lips.

I don't think T-Boy sees this coming because he panics a little bit. His energy gets a lot higher when he turns and starts walking towards the bathroom with me.

As soon as we get into the bathroom I walk into a stall. T-Boy followed me into stall and starts kissing me almost immediately. His warm tongue fills my mouth.

“Damn I can't believe this is happening. It's been so long since I tasted your warm mouth. It's been so long since I've felt your wet lips. I love every moment of this.”

He's feeding me emotional stuff as he kisses me. I am desperate though. I'm grabbing at his shorts and pulling down his pants. I get them all the way down and feel his hard dick pressing up against my inner thighs. He gets harder and harder the more we kiss.

I'm moaning deeply by the time his dick comes out.

He's precumming so hard that I play with it against my fingertips. T-Boy takes a step back. He has this perfect stripper's body. He is lean and dark, but with the perfect face of some teenage heartthrob. We kiss for a while longer.

I drop to my knees and take the dick in my mouth.

There is a warm salty, stickiness to his cum when I taste it in my mouth. The precum lubricates the back of my mouth allowing me to go deeper and deeper on the dick. I engulf T-Boy's dick and look up at him. He's leaned up against the stall. One hand hanging from the top of the stall and the other hand is rested up against the back of head. He lets out this deep moan and thrusts his hips forward letting me get more inches into my mouth.

I deep throat him and let him get as far in my throat as possible. I shake a little bit and let him enjoy every moment of it.

T-Boy lets out a hard squirm after a few minutes.

“Baby I'm cumming.”

T-Boy nuts in my mouth! The warm jizz fills up my mouth to the point that I think I'm going to spit it out. I don't spit it out though. I had something to prove. I swallowed every little bit of T-Boy's nut.

When T-Boy is done nutting he's still thrusting upward. His thrusts are hard and solid. I can tell that he wants to get me sucking on every last inch of him.

He's breathless looking down.

I get up off my knees, “I'm not your baby,” is how I respond.

The rest of the dinner seems like T-Boy completely forgot Sampson. He doesn't mention Sampson again. I mean I guess after you got some really good head from a guy the last thing you want is for him to go easy on your brother who is also my friend.

“So what about you and me?” T-Boy asks.

I know it's coming when it comes. He's dead serious. I know T-Boy was in town to take care of his brother but he was also in town for another reason. That reason just so happened to be me.


I'm about to make up some excuse but we are interrupted. It's Wade standing over me. I put my hand in my palm.

“What the fuck is this kid doing here?” T-Boy asks me, “Syn, I really wish you'd get fanboys together..”

T-Boy laughs him off but then almost immediately I watch Wade grab a KNIFE from the table. He grabs the knife and just points it towards T-Boy.

T-Boy and I both jump up from the table a little bit.

“Whoa...Wade...what are you doing?:”

Wade has a madness in his eyes that I've never seen before. He looks...crazy. It's not just the craziness though. He looks like something horrible has happened. I'm a little scared to ask. I'm a little scared to find out what happened.

“I have no time for this asshole and his bullshit,” Wade says, “Something's happened. Something went wrong at the election.”

“Did Joshua lose?” I ask.

Wade nods, “Yeah. Even worse. We were protesting and then...things got ugly. I didn't know it was happening. I swear I didn't know. Shots got fired. One of the strays passed me just barely.”

“Thank God,” I respond.

“No. You don't get it, Syn. The bullet did hit someone. It hit Marigold. Wesley and his goons KILLED my mother.”

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