Most of this is actually fiction, but some parts are, well, sort of autobiographical. The names of the characters, though, have been changed so as to protect their privacy. As with most stories, however, the author retains all rights to this story. Without the permission of the author, no reproductions or links to other sites are allowed.

This story deals with male homosexual love. If you are not of legal age (18 or 21, it depends actually where), or if you live/are in a place where material such as this is illegal, or if you are simply offended by homosexuality and/or homosexual themes, please leave.

Again, this story does not have any sex scenes in it. ^_^

Finally, if you have time, please check my other story, "Similar Differences" out at the college section of Nifty. :) This is the final chapter of Alone... I hope you enjoyed the story so far. :)

Alone 7

In the gloom of my apartment, I drifted listlessly. Like a zombie. The sun was still bright outside - I could tell by the way the curtains glowed. It was such a violent, angry glow that I was afraid of pulling them apart thinking that the light would've invaded my flat, sweeping me away in a flood of noise.

I didn't even bother preparing an overnight pack like I thought I would have done when I suggested that I'd watch over Ry while Mrs. Corwen was working.

In the dreary silence of my apartment, it was then that I realized. I did love Ry. Maybe not in a way that meant that I'd blush every time he'd smile at me, but I did.

I wanted to be with him when he steps out into the violent light - and I wanted him to be with me when I did, too - so that we both wouldn't be swept away in the flood.

When I arrived, Mrs. Corwen greeted me cheerfully, in stark contrast to how she was that afternoon. She had been scouring over fashion magazines and gossipy tabloids and said, "Chris, when you get bored, just flip through these. Oh! And here's the TV remote!"

In her nurse's uniform, all neat and white, she looked like a saint. Before she left the room, she gave me a small peck on the cheek. "Thank you for this."

Ry was still asleep. And though he was a light sleeper, as I knew from experience, I suppose I couldn't wake him up even if I jumped on the hospital bed.

A doctor came in, complete with stethoscope and white overcoat. He did a little poking and examined Ry's eyes, opening his eyelids and flashing a little penlight on his pupils.

His signs were okay, he said. All we had to do was wait.

It was a familiar scene: me, him, the hum of the air conditioner, the stillness of the night. Only, while he was in bed, I was curled up in the visitor's chair. Mrs. Corwen had stopped by earlier to give me some fruit, which eventually became my dinner.

I couldn't sleep and my stomach was making funny noises. For a moment, I was worried at the thought that the noise might wake Ry up, but just remembering what had happened, I stopped to smile - albeit nostalgically.

I was staring fixedly at the gap between the blinds of the room, trying to make sense of the lines I saw on the outside. An electric post? Cables? Through the blinds, the light cast a dim, soft glow on everything, making everything seem blue. It was very familiar, indeed.

The hospital clock read 1:30. I knew I had to rest if even for a bit. For a while I thought I heard Ry call me. It was just a whisper, very faint, and cracking.

When I looked over to the bed, he was looking over at me.

Realizing that it wasn't just a hunger pang, I jumped. "Ry? Ry?"

The reply was sort of a gurgle and all I understood, in his weak, cracked voice was "water."

I pressed the red Nurse Call Button and Mrs. Corwen came storming in, just as he finished gulping down the last few drops I had given him. She looked as if she were about to cry.

"I think I'll be going down to the caf," I said.

She nodded, teary-eyed.

The doctor wanted to keep him for a few days for observation and again I happily took night duty.

Ry was quiet and pensive most of the time, but I chalked it up to the drugs he had to take and, well, what had happened in general. I mean, if that happened to me, I would've been fuming bitchy, I guess. So I just tried to be cheerful, even to excess.

"Ry, do you want an orange or an apple?" I said with a big smile.

"Chris, remember when you said we had to stop?"

"That isn't an orange."



"Should we stop now?" From his tone, I couldn't tell if he wanted to or didn't want to.

I tried to make a joke out of it. "Ry, well, you're in the hospital... and, well, people might just suddenly come in and out and..."



"I've been thinking," he stopped and looked down. I imagined that for him to look up, it would've hurt a little. "Chris, I have fun with you. I really do." Again he stopped. "You're special to me." I didn't want to ruin the solemnity of what he was saying. "I mean, you're crazy and insane, but you're really nice." Pause. What was he saying? "And, and I want to take care of you."

I just looked at him, trying not to cry.

"And I know that you want me to."

I did. I did want him to hold me right then and there. But I couldn't move. I couldn't even speak. I just kept trying to swallow the lump in my throat.

Before I could say anything, the door burst open.

"Ry!!! You're awake!" Tara screamed.

After Tara came bounding in the room, Ry started to have a headache. I really couldn't blame him, though. Tara made quite an entrance. When we called Mrs. Corwen, as she was the nurse in charge, she scolded Tara for her noise while I just tried to stifle my laughter. Mrs. Corwen also brought in a tray with a couple of pills.

"He needs to take these after eating. Please go on down to the cafeteria and get him something, would you? I still have to run a few more tests on him."

Before we exited, she called to Tara, "And please try to keep it down."

As we were going down the stairs, Tara said, "I'm glad it worked out well."

"Me, too. I'm glad he's fine. The doctor says all he needs is a little rest."

"Oh good. But, I mean, I'm glad it worked out well between the two of you."

"Huh?" I asked.

"Oh. Aren't you, like... together?"

Where did this come from? "No!" I was incredulous. Well, maybe just surprised.

"Oh really now." She had to be teasing.

"No. Seriously, we aren't."

"That's odd," she was quiet for a while. "He likes you a lot, you know."

That made me stop. "Huh?"

"'Huh?' Can't you think of any other thing to say?"

"How do you know? He told you?"

"No," she said. "Just call it women's intuition."

"And I'm guessing you knew this from the start."

She nodded happily. I didn't know whether to push her down the stairs or hug her. "Uh huh! Uh huh!"

"Even before he met me?"

"I don't know though. Maybe."

The familiar warming of cheeks came creeping back. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"What, and say, 'My women's intuition tells me that he likes you.'"

She had an extremely good point there.

"Besides, I don't think I'd like the sight of you and him kissing in front of me."

We were alike, Ry and I. In many ways, we were both alone. Perhaps, in my case, it was blatantly obvious. For him, it was different. Though I'd be in the same bed as he was, I was miles away. He was alone as he tried to discover himself.

Tara left earlier on and Ry was taking a nap.

I honestly didn't know where we'd go from there.

But for the first time, I reached out and took his hand in mine.

I knew that somehow, we wouldn't be alone anymore.