Several weeks had gone by since the funeral however to everyone involved it seemed like an eternity since the funeral. Everyone had been busy, Brain and Leighanne moved back to their home and were seeing counselors and joined a support group. Joey had moved into the guesthouse refusing to live in the house itself allowing Mel and Nick to live there in peace. He was slowly getting himself together one day at a time and he to was going to counseling. Howie and Chris had finished there duties as far as the will was concerned and got on with there lives and back into the music business arranging details for both there groups respective new albums. Mel and Nick were busy getting ready for their wedding which was occurring in two months in North Carolina. Kevin's mom had left for home but called everyday to check on Kevin. AJ was worried about Kevin. He had taken this worse then everyone imagined he barely functioned he was merely going through the motion of day-to-day life. It was wearing AJ down and Kevin was slipping. Every day AJ could not convince him to see a counselor instead Kev would lock himself in his study and work on group matters. Justin and Britney moved in with Lance to keep him company and help him through it.
Lance completely changed. He refuse to say Caleb's name totally refusing to speak of him and changes the subject the subject quickly when someone else brings him up. He hasn't spoken to Nick or Melissa since the funeral, not accepting her calls. He even stopped helping her plan the wedding. Just and Britney were worried. Lance began to go clubbing constantly his taste in clothes changed he went and got multiple piercing and tattoos he went totally wild. His hair was deep purple and hung down by his ears he had started to dreads some of his hair. Josh continued to be friend with Lance and supported him hoping that he would realized what he was doing before it was too late. The others were not as tolerant and were getting worried more and more every day.
"Justy I'm heading over to Mel's were going to our fitting for the dresses today if you need me I have my cell"
"Ok Britney, I'm going out with Lance today. We have to work on the album as soon as he gets up. We have to be there by noon."
"What time did he get in this morning? " she asked
"I heard him about 4:30 am coming in, I'm surprised you didn't he is not exactly the most quiet person of late."
"I know I was tired and I started wearing ear pieces to bed"
" Smart I will have to invest in some."
Well I'm heading out talk to you later have fun getting Lance up"
"Thanks" Justin sarcastically replied
With Lance's constant clubbing he normally came in at dawn and woke up around 4 in the afternoon. He was unable to keep any schedules straight so Chris and Justin were doing their best to keep everyone going. Justin was also the one to be most responsible for Lance. He hated this part; waking Lance up was not fun. He walked down the hall to Lance's room and went in. He long ago stopped knocking the only way to get him up was to pull him out of bed and shove him in the shower. The morning routine as it were, however Justin received a shock looking in the bed. He noticed Lance in bed naked, wrapped around another guy. Justin paused for a moment with every passing second becoming more upset. Moving toward the bed he reached out and grabbed Lance and hauled his ass to the floor. Lance hit the floor hard waking both himself up and the mysterious guest.
"What the fuck Justin!"
"What?" came a reply from the young man as he jumped awake.
"Lance we have meetings today get the fuck in the shower NOW!" turning to the guy in bed "You Fuck off, here is some money for a cab as he threw some cash from his wallet at the guy."
"I'll leave but I am not a whore, keep your fucking money" the guy grabbed his clothes and left dressing himself on the way. Lance stood up and moved towards Justin "Where the fuck do you think your doing this is my house and I will do what I please."
"Then Lance you have a choice" Justin responded coolly "You can either come to work today and function like a band mate or you can continue the course your on and kill yourself" Justin turned away and walked down stairs.
" I'll be waiting Lance. I am leaving here in 45 minutes, if your not with me you can consider your self replaced" Justin was gone before Lance could respond would they really kick me out Lance thought, those bastards well I won't leave that easily, I will not go quietly. Lance storms off to the shower. Justin could here the shower turn on from where he was sitting on the stairs his head in his hands. He didn't want the day to start this way and he didn't want to threaten Lance with being kicked out. The guys decided a week ago that if the situation got any more then they would give him the ultimatum. Justin had hoped it wouldn't get like this. He picked himself up and made his way done stairs.
"Oh Melissa the gown is gorgeous its is absolutely beautiful. Caleb would have been so proud to see you"
"Thanks Brit, I miss him" small amount of tears made there way down Melissa's checks. Britney wiped then away with her hanky.
"I'm sorry Melissa I didn't mean to upset You."
"Its ok I am still going to get upset when his name is spoken but I am not going to crack, God Nicky drove me nuts the first two weeks walking on eggshells. I finally lost it and blew up at him"
"Oh my god what did he do?"
"Stood there shell shocked of course and let me rant."
"Shell shocked that sounds like Nicky"
"Shush girl. He is my Fiance you know. anyway we started talking about the past and Caleb. It helped , it still hurts but we know he is up there watching over us and making sure that our lives are safe."
"How's Joey doing?"
"He's good getting better by the day he still has his moments. I think it helps being surrounded by friends he loves the guest house he is always doing something out there fixing it up or decorating. I think its cathartic for him"
The Girls stood in silence for a moment while the seamstresses worked on the finishing touches of there dresses. The dresses were simple Melissa wanted a long white strapless slim satin gown , Britney's was similar but black satin with spaghetti straps.
"So are you going to ask about Lance you've silent for a while."
"What is there to ask about he effectively cut off all connection to me and left me hanging with the wedding what did I do to deserve this."
"Nothing Mel , he's hurting and lashing out at everyone. He's not even the same Lance anymore. He is constantly clubbing. He's got new piercing and tattoos everyday. He started wearing cloths like Caleb used to wear and his hair. I don't know what crack he was smoking but it deep purple with dreads he looks like a freak."
"I didn't realize Brit what are you and Justin doing"
"Barely keeping things together if it gets much worse the guys agreed to kick him out as sort of an ultimatum."
"Oh my god do you think it will work?"
"I hope so I really hope so."
"Ok guys were here" Justin yelled as he and Lance entered the sound booth lets get started. The rest of the guys were already there .
"Finally" Chris replied
"Hey the phone has been ringing of the wall some guy looking for Jimmy" Joey responded
"Yeah, that's me" Lance spoke up "Can I have the messages please" Lance shot his hand out to take the messages from Joey. Lance had barely said anything to Joey since the will reading well anything civil that is.
"Cool it Lance why are you giving this number so some guy and using Jimmy as your name." Josh asked
"Simple boys my name is James, Jimmy is a short for James as for the guy he's been someone I've been fucking on a somewhat regular basis. Well maybe was is a better word since Justin the watchdog threw him out this morning when he hauled me out of bed.
"What! Justin is this right" Chris asked
"Uh yeah that's why we were a little late"
"So Lance when is this going to stop" Chris demanded
"Actually it ended today"
The group of guys looked at each other confused as to what he was talking about. "Well if that's the case lets get going." Justin added
"Sorry you guys are confused , We ended today as in me and us. Justin gave me your ultimatum ship up or ship out. Well I am shipping out Consider this my resignation."
"Lance you can't" Chris cried , "Oh yes I can and I have I want nothing more to do with this group if I am going to get ultimatums."
"Lance wait we can talk this through. We are worried about and how you've Been since Caleb's death." Joey cried
"DO NOT MENTION HIS NAME" Lance screamed
"FUCK YOU LANCE!" everyone was startled not by the response but who it came from, Josh.
"Fuck you. We will not cast away the memory of one of our most dearest friends because you can't deal. Stop living in fucking limbo what are you doing is not living. Piss or get off the fucking pot, make a choice life or death, cause that's where this life is leading you to your certain death. You should get down on your knees and thank God for placing that man in your life, he was a blessing from God and now you cast that memory aside because it hurts. Well your right Lance we did give an ultimatum and thank you for your response So grab your shit and get the fuck out your no longer wanted"
Lance was speechless no one dared say anything they always tip toed around him giving into to what he wanted and Josh , he thought Josh understood he was the one that supported him through the last few weeks never pressuring him. Now his friend had let lose and left him he felt truly alone. He quickly turned around and left the studio, not slamming door nothing just quickly and quietly left.
"Look Justin not in the mood lets just finish what we started here today Lance made his choice and I made mine. I will apologize whenever he pulls his head out of his ass.
"No buts Justin lets go to work"
"Justin come on call Brit and have her watch out for him" Chris added
Flashback Joey's POV
"What do you mean you don't know where he is?, how could you lose your Fiance on a vacation scoop?" I spoke
"I never lost him, he's not here with me, Joey I would have assumed you were all aware about it by now. Its been two weeks!"
"What exactly are you talking about?"
"Then you don't know ? I would have thought he had more balls then that ."
"What? Jesus Joey we broke up. He probably home."
"Wait you broke up? When ? Why?"
"After we got back from Brian and Leighanne's wedding, that whole scene with AJ and Sam . I had enough, we argued and I broke it of then I came down here to cool off"
"Then where's Caleb? I can't believe you would be so petty. You knew he still loved AJ in that he was first love way, He was marrying you not AJ."
"I really don't want to talk about it, you should check the house. He is probably there, if he hasn't moved out yet"
"The house is all closed up and no one has seen him I'm worried!"
"You worry to much he's probably pouting"
"Fine who has an extra key"
"AJ might, no surprise there huh, just ask the old boyfriend. Look I got to go, bye Joey."
The phone went dead in my hands, I pulled the phone away and stared at it confused., unsure if the entire phone conversation was real. I was concerned , someone should have heard from Caleb, Especially Mel or even Kevin. Only one thing to do I guess . Quickly I hung up the phone then began dialing Kevin and AJ's number, to see f they heard anything or if they had a key.
"Hey AJ, Its Joey, is Kev around?"
"No he stepped out to the store . Can I help or do you want me to get him to call you"
"Well actually have you heard form Caleb?"
"Nope no since the wedding I want to talk to him as well but not going to interrupt him and Lance on their romantic vacation."
"Well Caleb is not on vacation!"
"What where is ?"
"That's what I am trying to figure out"
"Doesn't Lance know, I mean they are engaged ?"
"Umm well no he doesn't. See the thing is I just talked to him in Jamaica, and it appears Caleb is not with him!"
"What? Where is he? Lance must be beside himself?"
"Actually he is having a good time apparently"
"Umm they broke up and Lance left for Jamaica. They broke up apparently right after the wedding , he hasn't seen Caleb since then, he didn't seem concerned"
"I was hoping you would have known something ."
"Oh my god after the wedding."
"Look AJ do you have a key to Caleb and Lance's"
"Umm yeah I do."
"Can you meet me over there I'm getting worried about him its not like him"
"yeah Sure, Look Kevin just walked in I'll be right over meet you there"
Joey quickly grabbed my keys and made my way out of the door, jumping in his 4x4. Lance and Caleb lived nearby Joey would probably get there before AJ and Kevin. Joey mad his way quickly through the street barely stooping at lights and slowing down to make turns. If he wasn't careful I would probably be in an accident. He was on autopilot navigating the street before he knew it he was pulling into Lance's and Caleb's community, as he approached the house he could see Caleb's jeep in the drive
"Maybe he's home" he spoke
I didn't see AJ or key's car , just as I thought I got here first. I made his way to the door and rang the buzzer a couple of times no answer, the house was dark looked like it had been shut up for a while I was trying to pier into the window when I heard a car pull up turning I saw AJ and Kevin walk up.
"Thanks for coming guys."
"No problem I'm sure everything is ok you guys" Kevin spoke reassuringly
"I hope your right Kevin I hope your right" I said
Kevin took out his spare key and opened the door he made his way to the alarm to turn it off when he noticed the alarm wasn't on.
"That is strange the alarms off, maybe he home"
"He will be pissed if he's a sleep and we came in" Kev laughed uneasily AJ and I just started looking around
"When was they last time the window were open it smells so stale so musty"
"It smells like I don' know like something is rotting" Kevin said absentmindedly when he caught whiff of it"
AJ and I just paled. "Come on guys I didn't mean that... Caleb! Caleb!"
We made there way thought the house as Kevin shouted Caleb name he was getting more panicked maybe something was wrong. As We made there way upstairs the smell got stronger that musty damp smell. It was a sell of death. Kevin's stomach started to turn from the smell and the panic of what he may find. That when they heard it the faint sounds of a Television. We all turned to looked at each other . A small amount of relief coming over each one of them knowing that someone was in the house. I gently knocked on the door.
"Caleb you there ?" no reply
"Caleb its AJ you in there?"
We looked to one another. Their fear coming back as to why they were getting no answer . Kevin stepped forward took a deep breath and open the door. When he did the full force of the smell Hit them.
"Oh MY GOD!" AJ screamed
AJ ran to the bed with myself and Kevin behind him
"Please no please no. " I repeated. I reached out and touched Caleb he was clammy to the touch but warm. Warm was good I thought if he was dead he should be cold. Right so warm was good. Caleb they began shaking him to get him to respond but nothing. Kevin was standing there in shock muttering under his breath. "He's got a pulse Joey but its not very strong, Kevin call 911."
"Kevin!, Kevin call 911" AJ turned around to see Kevin standing in the middle of the room playing with his medallion and muttering under his breath. His heart reached for Kevin but he would have to wait AJ picked up the phone and dialed 911. I just held Caleb's hand tears down his face, talking to him
"Its ok Caleb hang on ok , don't worry help is coming" I didn't realize I was shaking I looked around the room it was a mess. A huge blanket hung from the window blocking out all light save the light from the television empty boxes everywhere tissue all over the bed. Lots of spoiling food which is what gave the stench to the room. And water . Looks like the food hadn't really been touched in a while. Her heard AJ replace the phone to the cradle.
"Their on the way one of us should go and meet them down stairs. Kevin you want to go downstairs"
I watched Kevin standing stroking his chain and muttering not paying attention to AJ at all just fixed on Caleb in the bed. Kevin was losing it and losing it fast . AJ jumped from the bed and shook Kevin shook him violently
" Kevin snap out of it we need you Caleb needs you." Kevin broke his stare and looked at AJ
"I'm sacred AJ"
" I know Kevin." AJ spoke as he stroked his cheek. "Just take care ok he's going to be ok and help is coming can you go and show them how to get in ok"
He slowly turned and walked out he stopped at the door and turned around once more before leaving still holding his medallion all the way.
"Do you think he is going to be ok"
"I hope so he has to be" AJ answered
AJ and I just sat on the bed watching our friend looking so weak and small. Both of us were unaware of our surrounding unaware of the passage of time or the trail of tears that streaked each of our faces each one last in there own thoughts centered around the multiplied what ifs. The next thing We realized were the load sounds of sirens and people making there way into the house and up stairs the room was invaded by EMT's and police officers AJ and I were pushed to the side as the EMT's began there work and began loading Caleb onto the stretcher. I could see the monitor beeping, which means he was still alive he breathed a sigh of relief its was some hope. The police were asking some questions about what happened and AJ and Kevin filled them in as much as they could. I ignored them and followed the EMT's out of the house and jumped in the back with Caleb .
I looked out the door AJ looked dazed and confused.
"Joey we will follow you in our car and start calling people."
With that the ambulance door closed and away they went. At great speed towards the nearest hospital. Joey watched in silence as the medics cared for Caleb trying to get him to wake up getting vitals repotting back to he hospital. Even explaining thing to Joey, but those things just went in one ear and out the other he knew the medics were talking but it all sounded like gibberish to him. Again time was passing without Joey noticing it the medics were pulling Caleb out of the ambulance Joey didn't now where they were taking him he grabbed the stretcher to stop them .
"Its ok were at the hospital why don't you come with us , will show you where to wait."
Joey just nodded and followed them as they made there way into the ER the amount of staff was unreal, he was sure he recognized a few of the nurses. They seems to gasp and get glazed over looks when they realized who was on the stretcher. One of the nurse spotted Joey and took him to a private room, and sat with him getting as much info as she could she was also waiting with him until his friends arrived.
Joey looked up it was Kev and AJ " Where is he?"
"I don't know he's in one of the rooms they haven't told me anything."
"He is being taken care of right at this moment I will make sure they tell you as soon as they know anything. Hello AJ, its been awhile sorry we had to meet like this."
AJ looked for a moment studying her face when he remembered "Cynthia oh my god , its been so long You sure he going to be ok ?"
"Caleb is a fighter don't worry we will take care of him. Let me find someone to get you some info." Umm thank you Cynthia the rest of the guys will be arriving can you have someone at the front let them know where we are."
"Joey did they say anyting in the ambulance" AJ asked pulling Kev in the room and sitting him down in the chair.
I looked at Kev the was just as much out of it as I was.
"Umm Joey we got a hold of everybody, Nick is calling Mel and is on his way up to her school to pick here up. The only one I couldn't get a hold of was Lance. Joey you need to get in touch with Lance."
"Why? Joey Caleb is not doing well something could happen Lance needs to know"
"They broke up why would he care?"
"I know Joey but I doubt he wants anything bad to happen , please just give me the number and let me call"
"No... I'll call"
With that I pulled out his cell phone and dialed Lance's number hoping he would still be at the hotel
"Lance its Joey"
"What's up Joey? I still don't know where he is at ?"
"Lance shut up, I found him, You need to come home"
"Ummm why Joey, your scaring me what wrong?"
"We are at the hospital , we found Caleb unconscious at home, looks like he was that way for a while too. We are at the hospital it doesn't look good"
"Oh my god, umm ok I'm on my way Joey I'm leaving know"
"You better hurry"
I heard Lance gasp before he hung up, hopefully Lance would get here in time. Hopefully he would have rushed home for nothing because Caleb would be ok. That was a lot of hoping he thought.. There was a knock at the door and the door slowly opened in came a young doctor and the nurse from earlier.
"AJ Guys this is Dr. Resnick he can tell you a bit of information"
"First off is there a James Bass here he was listed as Caleb's power of attorney."
"Umm no he's in Jamaica I just spoke with him he is on his way home now" Joey responded
"Ok His younger cousin should be here in a couple hours she is coming up from Miami is the anything we can help you with" AJ asked.
"No not at the moment , well Caleb is severely malnourished I don't think he has eaten in days , there is no signs of drugs or suicide so we are not sure what happened were checking to see if he has infection of some sort. In the mean time we started him on IV fluids and inserted a feeding tube so when can begin feeding him."
"Oh, thanks you doctors. Can we see him'
"well not now we will be moving him up to one of the ICU's you can meet him up there ."
"The nurse here can show you the waiting room ."
"AJ come this way I'll show you and I'll let the front desk know as well."
AJ, Kevin and I made there way out to the hall. We had no sooner gotten into the hall when we heard our names
"There they hare AJ, Joey , Kev"
We turned to see a collection of our friends making their way towards us. JC Justin Britney and Howie were coming down the hall;
"We got her as fast as we could where is he" Josh said
"He's being taken upstairs to the ICU we are going up to wait in the one of the waiting room. He's holding his own at the moment the doctors are hopeful."
"You don't sound convinced AJ" Howie said
"He looks bad guys , I would never have recognized him we taught he was you know"
Britney gasped. "Has anyone gotten a hold of Lance."
"Yeah he is on his way " I replied
"what possessed him to break up with Caleb"
"Unsure, lets not worry about that now" Justin replied thinking that was the least of their worries.
"Your right lets go ." Britney said
"What bout the others?" josh asked as we where walking through the halls
"Well Nick went to pick up Mel at school and Chris is on his way from LA."
Howie pulled AJ back towards the back of the group and whispered into his ears. I turned and watched discreetly
"Tell me what you really believe without Kevin and the others hearing."
"Howie, I don't think he's going to make it " he whispered the tears falling down his cheeks
I felt the lump in my throat as he said it, maybe things were going to get worse. Why did this have to happen, for the first time I hated someone for the first time I hated Lance. AJ and Howie noticed me and walked forward.
"Its ok Joey lets go."
I didn't believe him I just walked up to the others and caught the elevator. We all stood there in silence. Not wanting to mutter anything. Cynthia made her way towards a waiting room and passed it . We were all wondering what was going on . She must have sense we slowed down.
"Over here guys you can camp out her it's a large conference room. It's hardly ever used you guys can us it and not be disturbed. The other doors open into the units so you don't have to go out into the halls to come in if you like. Just wait here and well let you now when you can see him, it will probably be a couple of hours though. "
"It's ok Cynthia we understand how it works "
"Well nothing better to do then to sit and wait." Howie said
This is going to be a long day
I don't know when it happened but I must have fallen asleep I don't remember falling asleep. But I guess no on ever actually remembers falling asleep. But I do remember waking up I was laying against something warm and lumpy As I opened my eyes I really couldn't see anything my head being turned inwards I quickly jump lifted my head and wiped the drool from my face .
"Oh Joey did you have to drool"
"Sorry Leighanne. Leighanne!" I said surprised I was asleep longer then I thought.
"We got here a little earlier while you were sleeping."
"Had anyone else gotten here?"
"Yeah everybody except Chris he is getting in in about 1 hour and half."
"Umm where's Mel"
"Over here Joey"
"Hey Mel" I got up and gave here a hug she just sort of fell into my arms she didn't cry but I could tell this was taking its toll on her."
"Who's in with him now?"
"Lance and Kev are in there."
"Lance is here?"
"Yeah he is pretty upset, about everything blaming himself." I kept my tongue because I was blaming Lance as well.
"Its not his fault its nobody's really." She spoke sensing my silence.
"Has he woken up yet." "No"
Just the then other door burst open and Lance stumbled in the room crying. Oh god its bad I thought a feeling of great fear swept us all .
"Lance wait he didn't mean it."
"Yeah he did Kev , its over I shouldn't have come here now"
"He's medicated he is not sure what he's saying"
"He is very lucid Kevin" Lance was grabbing his coat and bag, I'm heading home, I won't be back" with that Lance left the room as quickly as he entered it. Everyone should in silence watching what just happened.
"Umm Kevin what happened." AJ asked
A lot of thank god's and yes's were heard throughout the room this was a good sign.
"Yeah but he pulled his feeding tube out he wasn't happy. Mel I think you should go in and see him try and get him to relax"
"Ok " she was already grabbing here stuff as she made here way through the room pulling Nick with her for support. Kevin just sighed and sat down in the chair next to AJ and took his hand. We all gathered around all waiting for him to see him.
"So what happened in there , should someone go after Lance" Josh asked
"Probably no leave him alone now, but someone should check up on him later I suppose" Kevin added.
"Britney and I will." Justin said " We will watch out for him,"
"What exactly happened." I asked
"Well Caleb woke up both Lance and were there just standing there. Lance was talking to him begging him to wake up. I think Lance regrets breaking up with him. He was stroking his cheek and Caleb turned away and opened his eyes. He saw me and smiled. He croaked out a hello. I got him some water . Lance was happy he was so relived he started to cry that's when Caleb noticed him in the room and then all hell broke lose. He started screaming and yelling telling Lance to get lost that he never wanted to see him again, then he pulled the feeding tube out and screamed for the nurse . The nurse came in not knowing what was going on. He was trying to calm Caleb down I was trying to calm Lance down he was visible upset crying and shaking. The nurse asked us to leave but before we left Caleb started talking to the nurse. He told him to get his lawyer that Lance was not to be given any info and was not to be allowed near him no mater what. From now on should something happen AJ was supposed to be his power of attorney."
"Mel is probably going to be a while, why don't we get out of here for a while and grab something to eat we can bring Mel and Nick back something to eat."
"I don't know" I said
"Look Joey its ok he's awake now it should be ok to leave plus we will do him no good if we are all burnt out.."
"Well I guess but we should stay somewhere near by"
"Ok agreed I think there is a little Diner just down the road"
"Ok then lets go"
Lunch was really uneventful we made general conversation trying at most to keep it normal and not worry about Caleb or Lance, even though it was evident that it was predominate on our minds. It was fun even though we had some laughs. I think we all managed to forget about our problem for a few minutes. It never occurred to us that over 2 ½ hours past until Josh looked at his watch. We decided that we should head back and check on things at the hospital if things were ok most of the guys were going to go home and get some rest. I wasn't sure if I would be able to. We made it back to the hospital successfully without any major mishap, and without being noticed which was very fortunate. We made or way into the conference room.
"Hey Guys where have you been, thanks for getting me at the airport"
"Chris" Britney said running over and hugging him. Chris let go and made his way over grabbing me in a big hug " How are you doing?"
I just nodded. " Hey Mel and Nick still in there"
"Yeah, " came a reply form the other side of the room. it was Lance .
"Hey Lance." I said I noticed he was carrying a small bag with him and something under his arms.
"I just came to drop some stuff off for Caleb that he might need. I packed a few things. Here AJ you should give them to him."
"No Lance you do it I think you.."
"No, You do it AJ. I can't right know I have to go. Here take this , its his favorite it might help him sleep." Lance and thrust a small ratty stuffed animal out to AJ
"I didn't think he still had this." AJ said surprised
"Yep he did kind of ratty but he cherished it." Lance at the stuffed animal wetness building in his eyes
"Ok well I better go." with that he left .
"I can't believe he keeps that its falling apart" Justin replied looking at it.
"I don't know it looks like its been loved to death " Leighanne smiled "Kind of cute ."
"Like Bobo on the Simpson's " Josh laughed.
"I wonder where he got it"
"I gave it to him" everyone looked at AJ as he spoke. "I gave it to him on our first date." everyone was silent for a moment taking it all in.
"I think you should bring it in to him babe." Kev smiled, "You and Joey go and visit him."
"You sure?" I said I would have thought Kev would have wanted to go in with AJ.
"Yeah I'm sure I saw him earlier. So you go ahead Joe."
AJ and I made our way back to the ICU the place seemed so antiseptic so clean. Everything was quite as well it was kind of eerie actually we could see Nick and Mel standing in one of the rooms, because of the huge glass sliding door In each room, must be like living in a fish bowel. We made our way to the room.
"Hey Joey hey AJ"
"Hey we better go I will see you later ok buddy."
"Yeah ok Nick,"
"yeah you take care Caleb I can't lose you too"
"I promise sweetie." Mel was crying as she left more out of relief that everything was looking good finally.
"I want to thank you guys fist off, especially you Joey if you had not thought to look for me. God knows where I would be , same to you AJ I appreciate it. How is Kevin doing, sorry about earlier with him"
"He's outside he knows he will be in, he doing much better now that you are ok, he started to withdraw at first"
"Yeah C don't worry:" I said I was breathing finally, thanking god he was speaking to me but he looked so small.
"Caleb what happened."
Caleb sighed and looked at down and the blankets on his bed.
"I did I was so down depressed after James left I don't understand it I just curled up and wanted to stop living and that's what I did I just stayed up in my room watching TV. Not wanting to do anything I didn't want to eat or drink it just seemed to take so much effort. that's the last I remember"
"Caleb" AJ sighed and sat down on the bed and handed him his ratty old Eyore."
"Thanks AJ thank you" he held it to him and smiled. " We have some clothes for you"
"Ok " he looked at the suitcase and started to cry. "Where am I going to go when I am out of here. I just want to go home."
"You will come with me you will live with me and Kevin" AJ said standing up
"you sure" Caleb said
"Yes and I won't take no for an answer."
"Earth to Joey, Stop living in the past"
"Huh, Oh its you I was just remembering happy times?"
"You consider that `Happy Times', you must be ecstatic now"
"Not funny , you now what I meant"
"Yeah I do so what did you need me for"
"You brought me here"
"Oh yeah I wanted to show you something. So what do you think? do you like what I did to the kitchen?"
"You know Joe it is yours now, you can do whatever you want."
"I know but it matters to me what you think."
"Its nice, not really my style but your doing great job. what room are you planning on tackling next?"
"Probably the living room I want to turn it into one large great room."
"That sounds nice, Why aren't you living in the main house?"
"That's your house."
"It was left to you"
"Well yeah but this was going to mine anyway, the main house has two many memories."
"Well yes apparently so does this house or you wouldn't be talking to me."
"I like talking to you."
"And I you, have you told anyone about me yet?"
"No they wouldn't understand"
"You don't say ! what about your therapist did you tell him?"
"No he would think I was crazy."
" Are you sure your not"
"That's not funny."
"Hey JOEY you in here"
"Yea Nick I'm in the kitchen just finishing up."
"Wow Joey looks great man. How is it going?"
"Great man I was just telling, umm never mind."
"Telling who what?"
"Uhh nothing my therapist you know telling him how therapeutic this was."
"How is it going?"
"Well one day at a time Nick, what about Melissa?"
"You know some days are good some are bad mostly ok days though. I think it will be hard not having him there for her on her wedding day ."
"Who is giving her away?"
"Well she did want Lance but that doesn't seem likely under the circumstances so she is going to walk herself down the aisle" Joey became visibly upset at hearing his name
" I'm sorry Joey I understand that he's been giving you a hard time."
"Its not that Nick its just I am worried he is going downhill fast, he has also been sleeping with someone lately."
"I don't know much only that Justin caught them this morning . It all came to a head at the meeting today. We gave Lance his ultimatum and he has left the group. But not before Josh lost it on his head. It was hard. I am worried about him I think he's standing at the peak and about to fall. I hope he doesn`t do anything drastic"
"I never realized it was that bad I can't believe it, I haven't seen him lately he avoids Mel and thus me and the other guys. "
"You probably wouldn't recognize him if you saw him , he has drastically changed his appearance"
"Honey you out there , were back?" Mel's soft voice rang out from the main house
"I believe your being called Nick"
"Yeah Mel, I'm out here be in there in a sec."
"Come up to the house for supper Joey Please we would like to spend some time with you."
"Yea I would like that" with that Nick turned and left the small guest house leaving Joey to himself or so he thought
"Shut your fuckin face uncle fucker You're a cock sucking ass licking uncle fucker Your and uncle fucker yes its true no body fucks uncles quiet like you. Shut your fuckin face uncle fucker You're the one that fucked your uncle, uncle fucker You don't eat or sleep or mow the lawn you just Fuck your uncle all day long shut your fuckin face uncle fucker. Your a boner biting bastard uncle fucker your and uncle fucker I must say well you fucked your uncle yesterday uncle fucker that's your UNCLE fuck you uncle fucker... Suck my balls"
"Jesus why do you sing that , I never understood why you loved that song I swear you and Chris share a Jesus brain. What if Nicky heard you?"
"Not likely to happen now is it Joey!"
"Well I guess not huh." Joey blushed
"So are you going up to the house for supper?"
"I guess so"
"I think you should"
"You know you really got to stop talking to ghosts sweetie before some one finally catches you. Then what are you going to do?"
"I don't know Caleb I really don't know" with that Joey turned around and made his way into the bathroom to freshen up. As he made his way down the hall, he ran his hands along the wall and stopped letting his fingers rest on the first door, the one he had put a large padlock on tracing his fingers around the cartoon characters. "I really wish I knew" he said into the air and then proceed to the shower.