Kevin Cyn

This short story is, while not my first attempt at writing, my first completed work that I've ever submitted for public view in such a forum as this. As such, feedback of any type is greatly appreciated, sent to kevincyn[at]authorskeep.com. Helpful critique is welcomed as much as any other comments.

This story contains no sex, just the implication thereof. If homosexuality in general offends you, look elsewhere (obviously...how'd you get here, anyway?).

This story is the property of the author - please do not repost, resubmit, etc it without explicit permission.

Special thanks to bwctwriter/Matty for all the advice, editing, and help given with this story and with my writing in general, as well as to Joey, Es, and my other friends who've provided much support and encouragement as well. Without further ado, I hope you all enjoy.

The cell phone next to my head rang, rudely interrupting my pleasant slumber. Its tone was one of the most annoying sounds I had ever heard, and thus I had purposefully set it as my alarm ringtone to guarantee full disturbance when it rang at half past ten every morning - late by most people's standards, but painfully early to me. I grabbed for the phone, still half-asleep as I fumbled with the functions in order to silence the shrill beeping. Finally succeeding, I groaned as I rose to a sitting position in bed, the sheet falling from my bare chest while I lazily repeated the daily routine of wondering where I was and why it was important to leave my cozy bed. And then it hit me. College. Classes. Education. Crap.

Eyes still glazed over with the crust of sleep, I lazily stomped out of my room and towards the one of two bathrooms in my tiny apartment, which I shared with one of my three other roommates. The very roommate that I shared the bathroom with, Ty, was busy on the couch watching The Price Is Right. Still drunk with sleep, I fumbled with the doorknob to the bathroom for a good minute. Ty let out a little laugh as I finally managed to work the knob and open the door. Smiling at myself, I managed to let out a playful "Fuck off," before closing the door behind me.

My daily routine began as it did every weekday morning. I shaved, cursing my whiskers, which seemed to grow out again as soon as I left the bathroom every morning. I brushed my teeth, stripped, and wrestled with the shower knobs until the temperature finally became bearable and I jumped under the stream of water. Finishing within five minutes, I dried off as quickly as possible and secured the towel around my waist. Stepping out of the tub, I grabbed my dirty sleep clothes on the floor, conquered the doorknob with less difficulty than in our last meeting, and closed the door to my room behind me. Draping the towel over my computer chair, I grabbed a pair of loud red briefs from my drawer, pulled them up my legs, and secured them around my waist with a snap of the waistband for good measure. A fresh pair of socks and pants followed, and then I fished through my t-shirt drawer for a suitable article of clothing. Having done nearly all of my t-shirt shopping at concerts, I was in no short supply of intricate, or loud as some prefer to call them, designs. Noticing the time on the clock, I chose a baby blue Bear Vs. Shark shirt, threw it on, gathered my books, and headed for the front door.

"You're gonna be late again," Ty called after me as I paused at the door to consider whether I had time to muss with my hair or not. Deciding against it, I gave him his second "Fuck off," and headed out into the pleasant spring air.

I tried to imagine myself in a mirror as I petted my light brown hair down with my hands, hoping to achieve the desired effect on it as I walked to class. My hair, when cut short, usually spiked up a little bit. Lately, however, it had grown to the point where it would stick up into a sort of afro if I left it alone. Blech. The hard-cut features of my face made such a default hairstyle even less desirable, though I was blessed with light blue eyes that immediately attracted attention away from what I considered my ugly features. Satisfied with my hair for now, but knowing it'd eventually misbehave as the day went on, I trudged on to class in the warm spring weather. Clouds were forming overhead, indicating I should have brought an umbrella, but it was too late now. The campus loomed up ahead as I charged across the street, playing Frogger with traffic.

My classes proved to be as boring as always, and I wondered why I even considered waking up early enough each day to shower in preparation for more dull drudgery. I received a test back in my Sociology class which was, predictably, a B. Afterwards, I walked across campus to the Political Science building to take a quiz, on which I'd probably get another B. No matter how much or how little I studied, it seemed that's all I was able to make as far as grades were concerned. It seemed even school did not dare to disrupt my daily monotony.

The weather, however, did provide a disruption. Finishing up my third course of the day, Japanese, I walked to the bus stop that would take me from the north end of campus to the south so that I could walk home. As soon as I arrived at the stop, the rain started, unleashing itself in a torrential downpour that I could only describe as ridiculous. It was a thing you would think could only happen in movies, but there I stood at the bus stop along with two or three other miserable souls, completely soaked head to toe as we waited for the next bus. The rain truly was a welcome addition to my day as far as I was concerned. I let out a little giggle as I shook my head violently, creating a torrent of my own as my hair whipped around. The two girls sitting huddled behind me on a bench, under a tiny, bright pink, basically useless umbrella, looked up at me, shooting daggers with their eyes because of my amusement towards the situation. My smile remained, however, and I looked over to another guy in the same predicament as I was. He was apparently as amused as I, smiling in such a way that a grin was threatening to form. He followed my lead and shook his head violently, his shorter hair not holding as much water as my shag and thus not creating as violent a rainstorm with his head. He looked back at me afterwards and raised his eyebrows playfully. Shyly, I broke my gaze, and right on cue, the bus appeared in the distance.

I took my normal seat in the back, allowing me to gaze out over the other occupants. Almost as if on purpose, the guy from the bus stop took a seat in direct sight of my own. Out of the rain and now in the open air of the bus, I now was able to drink him in completely. Black, now wet, hair cut short to his head was slicked back into small spikes as he ran his hand through it. His features were soft and his skin a slight shade darker than mine, though still maintaining a gentle, creamy color; perhaps the product of some sort of mixed ancestry. His height matched my own, and my breath was caught in my throat as my eyes wandered across his well-defined chest and noticed the white shirt he was wearing was completely soaked and definitely not leaving much to the imagination. I let loose a shaking, troubled breath as I savored that sight. Finally, I noticed perhaps his most stunning features were his eyes, an emerald green that demanded attention, but gave off nothing but kindness. I could tell this because he was meeting my gaze from across the bus. Nervously, I directed my eyes elsewhere, watching the passing buildings. Before my stop came up, I gathered the courage to glance quickly back over to him. He was smiling, and caught my eyes wandering once again. Shaking more still, I looked back out the window.

My stop came soon after and, grateful to step out of this nervous situation, but cursing the fact that I wouldn't be able to look at this mystery guy anymore, I stood up and headed for the door as the bus came to a halt at my south campus stop. I paused for a second, feeling his eyes on my back, and then jumped back out into the downpour to make my way home.

Later on, I indulged in my normal routine of watching Seinfeld and eating dinner with my roommates before shutting myself in my room for the night. I couldn't get that guy out of my head, and I found myself constantly thinking of him as I played Civilization on my computer. Scenarios ran through my head of what "could have been." I let my mind run away as I envisioned myself coming onto him, him revealing himself to be gay, and us frolicking in some meadow together. That, however, would require me to have some sort of confidence as far as these matters are concerned. I sighed to myself, lost in thought, as I let the barbarian hordes in the game overrun my empire. Before long, I turned off my computer and snuggled up in the covers hours earlier than was normal for me.


I could feel his eyes on my back as I prepared to venture out into the rainstorm once again. There was a pause on my part as the doors of the bus opened, but I shrugged off the feeling and stepped off. Something kept me from running, however, and I walked casually in the rain, letting it soak into my hair and clothes. No doubt I would regret this days from now when I would be nursing a cold.

"I'm glad I'm not the only freak who enjoys the rain," I heard someone behind me say. I turned my head around to see the demigod from the bus walking a few steps behind and nearly gasped.

"It feels nice. Injects a little excitement into my day," I responded, trying not to sound panicked while talking to this gorgeous specimen of a boy.

"I suppose it could feel exciting if I had to walk through a waterfall to get home, I agree," He smiled and caught up to me as I walked. Hyperventilation was definitely going to be a danger here.

"No kidding," I smiled goofily back at him. My eyes rose to his and were trapped in a piercing stare. I suppressed the urge to avert my look, and his smile grew wider when I kept eye contact.

"I'm Kyle," He offered his hand as his smile grew into a full-blown grin. I shyly returned the handshake, hoping it wasn't as limp as it probably was, due to my nerves.

"Pleased to meet you, Kyle. I'm Evan." He held onto my hand a little longer than normal for a handshake. We walked on, talking, until I finally noticed we had passed the turn towards my apartment complex. I didn't care, though, and we walked on in the rain.


I awoke to another day and another violent awakening from my cell phone alarm. Begrudgingly, I managed to turn it off with little effort, and sat up in bed. I had to soak in the dream I just experienced. It seemed so real...if only it was so real.

Sighing I got to my feet and headed for the bathroom. As I started applying the shaving cream, I smiled to myself. Kyle. Where'd I come up with that name for him? Sometimes I don't know how I would have survived this far in life without my imagination...

Passing Ty and another roommate, Chuck, who was busily typing away on his laptop, I mumbled a farewell and headed out the door to the tune of Bob Barker awarding a contestant a brand new car.

The day went just as slow and monotonous as the day before it. I received the graded quiz I took the other day and scored a B, as predicted. I yawned, almost in reaction to the grade on the paper and the teacher started his pointless droning as I thought of Kyle and the dream I had last night. My imagination had concocted a meeting so real that my heart was aching. I had always harbored a bit of loneliness, and consequently some bitterness. I never really had a chance with anyone as far as a relationship, and being gay complicated things tenfold by trimming down the selection. So, this dream was perhaps my subconscious manifesting my desires. The teacher went on a tangent about the "resource curse" of developing countries, and my mind started wondering if "Kyle" would be at the bus stop again.

After getting out of class and practically racing towards the stop, I was quite disappointed to see that I was the only one there. Perhaps he had been there earlier, or was still in class talking to a professor. Worse yet, maybe yesterday was just a one-time thing. My mood immediately soured as I considered the prospect of never seeing the mystery guy again. Cursing its arrival, I hopped onto the bus and made my way home.

I resigned myself to the usual routine of dinner with Seinfeld, followed by a short videogame session with my roommates and a movie. Afterward, I started to work on a paper due the next week, foreseeing I'd be spacey enough where I wouldn't be able to get it done in the usual fashion; being unable to think of a topic or write the paper until the night before the due date. Failing to complete it, I suddenly became extremely tired. Not wanting to argue with my heavy eyelids and liking the idea of perhaps meeting Kyle again, albeit in my dreams, I gave in and drifted into slumber.


God, I look so horrible. The mirror stared back at my wreck of a face as I tried to decide which style made my hair the least despicable. I had only one or two collared shirts, and chose a hunter green shirt that really didn't match me well enough. Even aside from the color, I felt awkward and unsure, the collar and buttons seemingly shouting out "FAKE!"

There was a pounding on the door and I jumped straight into the air. I heard Chuck open the door and I brought my hands to my face, trying to calm myself. Breathe in. Breathe out. Kyle introduced himself and the door presumably closed behind him. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in...I opened the bathroom door to see Kyle on the couch making small talk with Chuck. His black hair was styled and stuck out in every direction, reminding me of our jaunt in the rain together. He wore a blue polo shirt with khakis that accentuated his skin perfectly. His hands wrestled with each other as he made small talk with Chuck - apparently the first quirk about him that I noticed, and I already found it endearing. Most of all, I noticed his eyes and the immediate heart-melting effect that they had on me as he looked back at me. ...Breathe out.

"Are you ready?" He tilted his head back slightly over the couch as he asked me with a hopeful smile. I stupidly nodded and mumbled a "Yahuh," and he got up, shaking hands with Chuck, and headed towards the door with me. Chuck had a discernable shit-eating grin on his face as I left, and I could almost predict his parting words.

"I can spare a condom later if need be, buddy!" He shouted after me as I opened the door.

"Fuck off," I sang as I closed it.

The dinner we had was at a quaint diner downtown, mostly a burger place with old movie posters from the 40's plastered on the walls. The food was always delicious, and since Kyle had never been, we went on my ticket. Between short interruptions from our heavily-tattooed waitress and the food, we had a great conversation and laughed endlessly together. Kyle was a first-year student, like me, but was nearly a full year younger due to his skipping of a grade in elementary school. He had lived in this city all his life, so it was only natural for him to come here for school. His parents had lived here fairly long as well, though his mother was originally from the
Philippines, which explained his mixed heritage. As the night wore on, I found out more essentials about him, and we bonded well, nearly missing the movie due to our lengthy conversation. During the movie, I felt a tapping at my hand resting on the armrest. Looking down, he had his palm outstretched for me. Barely able to contain my excitement, I took his hand, holding it throughout the movie.


I nearly broke my phone in anger when the screeching woke me up. Calming myself down, I turned it off without incident and sat up in bed, sighing heavily. That really was how I always pictured my first date

I ventured to the bathroom, took an extra minute in the shower, and then dressed. Bob Barker was calling the lucky contestant Julie on down to the podium as I slammed the front door behind me.

Sociology was especially boring, and I constantly nodded off to the tune of Professor Covington's unexcited voice. Every time I nodded off, my head almost hit the wall behind me. I didn't attempt to exorcise my sleep demons, however, as every time I closed my eyes I saw Kyle's smiling visage. Maybe it was torture, or maybe it was a way to cope. Either way, I let the images float in my mind, my desires taking hold of me. As class ended, I took a look at my notes and nearly laughed at the pathetic attempt at note-taking I had given. I doubt a page full of scribbles and lines going off the page would help me come test time. After re-adjusting myself quickly so that nobody would notice the after-effects of my daydreaming, I exited the classroom.

The bus stop proved to be a bust again as my dream date failed to show up. The only other occupants were a scrawny emo kid and a sorority girl who made sure peace and quiet was dead and gone by discussing how wasted she was the night before and who she fucked. Her words stabbed my ears as if she had shoved a knitting needle straight into my ear drum. Bemoaning the absence of Kyle, but celebrating the death of my need to stand next to sorority chick, the bus stopped in front of us.

The night proved to be a mirror image of the past few nights. Seinfeld serenaded me with "yada yada yada" while I demolished a pizza. I made it a point to finish my paper that night, and before the night was through, I had ten pages explaining Singapore's economy ready to be turned in for the inevitable B. My mind completely numb after churning out the ten pages of complete bullshit, I laid down assuming it'd be a dreamless sleep.


The park was practically empty, as the overcast sky ahead threatened rain on anyone who dared wander outdoors. Kyle and I, however, had already made our lack of caring as far as the rain very well known to mother nature, thus we walked. Due to the emptiness and the fact that Kyle held no reservations about anything whatsoever, we held hands as we walked, me fidgeting from nerves enough for him to giggle consistently. As we walked on, I grew calm as the rudest reaction we received was a slight stare. I continued fidgeting though, just to hear Kyle giggle some more, and to feel his hand vibrate with his lively chuckling. I sighed contentedly, but Kyle didn't ask why. He didn't need to.

Coming to an especially remote part of the park, I suddenly pulled him aside, threw him against an oak tree, and planted a long, wet kiss on his lips. When I pulled back, he grinned, reservedly. It was nice for him to be the shy one for once. I noted this as we pulled away from the tree, and he immediately grabbed me and threw me back against it, letting loose an assault on my lips. Pulling back, satisfied, we continued walking.

"You did that just to spite me, didn't you?" I smiled, still on a sort of high from the kiss. He didn't respond, instead opting just to look me in the eyes, cocking his eyebrow playfully.


I woke in a happy mood, as if I was still high from the kiss in my dream. It was fake, true, but...it was close. It was close. I got ready for my classes and headed out the door to the tune of contestants bidding on a brand new chandelier they'd never use.

Before long, Kyle had been incorporated into my schedule as much as Seinfeld had, and his smiling face was constantly in my visions. Every night, I'd almost look forward to going to bed, and every day I'd wake up with a hint of happiness, as if I actually had him in my arms there with me. Sleeping, nodding off, and even blinking, he'd be there. Sometimes he'd stare, sometimes he'd say something, other times he'd simply wink at me, and then other times still I'd practically be acting out a day with him as if I was channeling some alternate life in my thoughts. It felt good, and it made my slumber peaceful. It also, however, created a huge sense of longing, and before long the emptiness that was engulfing my monotonous life was even more so blatantly apparent. All by simply checking him out on the bus...


It had been a few months since we started dating, and due to a fatal slip of the tongue to my mother in conversation, I was in the car driving Kyle to my parent's house for dinner. I was dressed in normal attire, a black Snowden shirt with cargo shorts. He chose, however, to dress as well as he did on our first date, wearing the same polo shirt with a pair of black khakis. I almost feared I'd underdressed when picking him up, but quickly remembered we were eating with my parents, and immediately took a few cracks at his dress. He ignored me, naturally, saying he wanted to make the best impression possible. Truly, though, I knew anybody would love him as soon as they met him, my parents included. My friends and roommates took to him immediately, and I knew my parents would be no exception. It would be awkward, oh yes, but my parents not liking him wasn't a fear at all. We drove mostly in silence, his hand on my knee as I let him think and be the nervous one for once.


The days seemed to blend together even more and the semester never seemed to end. It rained almost every day, which would not have been so bad were Kyle to actually be out at the bus stop again for once. Ty never missed an episode of The Price is Right in the morning, and Chuck never took his nose out from his computer. My last roommate, Rob, I could practically have sworn had moved out, I didn't ever see him. The episodes of Seinfeld seemed to run together and I could practically quote each episode word for word. I took more tests and got more B's. I kept falling asleep and seeing Kyle's face in visions. It was as if I had ceased to live and was now simply doing so through my dreams. The daily routine had made me comatose. What I would give for another day on the bus with that boy.


It was our anniversary. I had planned on just a quiet night at the apartment, asking the roommates to leave for a bit. Kyle, however, had other plans, and took me out to a fancy dinner at some overpriced restaurant. I sulked at first, and he noticed, giving wary glances at me before asking questions on the way to the place and during dinner, trying to avoid my occasional snap.

Eventually, I loosened up and let him sweet talk me into enjoying myself, and we had a romantic evening together. I could see the effect I was having on his mood as his bright face started deteriorating into self-doubt, and I made myself stop torturing him. I don't think I could ever create any such face of his without feeling complete remorse and giving myself to him. I wasn't going to take this special thing together for granted. I couldn't imagine going back to the life I lived without him.


Finals were coming up and Kyle's face illuminated my dreams every night and invaded my daydreams every day. I still looked for him at the bus stop every day, especially getting my hopes up when it rained, but he never showed up again. It was as if I had fallen in love with a phantom. Even in passing on campus, none of the faces I saw matched his. None were illuminated with life and joy as his was - all were dull and dead, just like me.
I made my way through the front door after getting ready, Bob Barker apparently giving away another chandelier. How many people really need chandeliers, anyway? Damn.


"I swear to God I'm going to kill you, I can't believe I let you talk me into this. Oh God, oh no," Kyle was whining as much as possible in the seat next to me as our car clanked loudly up the hill of the Thunderbird, the newest roller coaster at Six Flags. My grin was so huge he could probably hear it. I had convinced him, against all odds, to face his fear and go on the ride. "I can hear you being smug over there, and I'm going to kill you for it!" He shouted at me as we neared the top of the hill. An especially loud clank as the coaster climbed up the track elicited a whimper from him that I couldn't help but laugh at. He responded by swatting at my hand, though the awkward position of the restraints guaranteed it to be a mostly ineffective response. I could hear Chuck and Ty snickering behind me, and our other friends Crystal and Jane offered comforting words from the front seats. The words soon lost their effect however as we reached the hilltop. "Oh..." he moaned forebodingly. The coaster paused, Kyle gulped, and then the coaster surged forward and down the track at blazing speed. I was laughing and shouting as it zoomed along, Kyle screaming at the top of his lungs. I was never happier.

Getting off the ride, Kyle was visibly shaken as he took his time. By the exit of the ride, watching the next car full of people go up the hill, he stood against the railing, holding his head in his hands, moaning. "You alright, Ky?" I asked, not able to hide my slight smile. I gently removed the hand from his forehead and replaced it with my own.

"If you don't find me some aspirin, you are so in the doghouse," he said between moans and a smile. I rubbed his neck for him lovingly and placed my forehead against his.

"Alright, homos, I swear to God I'm going to puke if you keep having these Hallmark moments. I got some Aspirin, let's go," Ty jeered at us while Crystal and Jane poked at us to get moving. I sneaked a smooch in to Kyle and then took his hand, leading him along behind the others.


Bob was working on giving away another new car as I left for Sociology. I had already taken the finals in my other classes and only had this final left to take. Naturally, the others were all B's. I almost cracked an A in Japanese, but alas, I missed it by a point. Figures. It was raining again, and that slight swell of hope rose up where I knew it would cower later after the disappointment of not seeing Kyle.

It had been months since I made eye contact with Kyle in my dreams. Since then he had not left my dreams. My life was spiraling, though not out of control. That would be too kind at this point. Instead, I was spiraling in control, caught in an utter rut that I knew not how to escape. My only highlights came from Kyle's presence in my mind. But that was only in my fucking head. My life revolved around a dream that I couldn't, and wouldn't, forget. At this point, I feared psychosis. Maybe my boring life got so tired of itself, it conjured up an illusion in the form of the life I aspired to have in order to make up for not actually having it.

I stayed at the bus stop an extra two hours after class, ignoring several stopping busses in the hope that I'd see Kyle, the love of my life that I was sure was imaginary by now. Finally, with a puzzling glance from a bus driver that had gone their route three times so far to see me still at the stop right then, I decided to get on the bus. As I returned from my final final exam, Seinfeld was already on and my roommates were all gathered around. Dinner was already finished apparently, as another day flew by right before my eyes. I immediately retired to my room, not able to do anything outside of sit on my bed. After an hour of staring at the bottle of prescription painkillers I had stolen from Ty's medicine bag, I put it away in my drawer and instead took out the jumbo bottle of Benadryl that by now only had a few pills left inside. Benadryl usually medicated me well enough to where I'd typically be asleep within an hour of taking two or three. At this point, my life seemed like a waste. I couldn't bear to live it and longed to let death take me. At the same time, I couldn't go without seeing Kyle, even if it was only in my dreams. I was in love, albeit with a ghost.


My hand gently tickled his bare belly as he laid down, my body spooning his. We had had sex earlier, but now simply basked in the afterglow and enjoyed each other's company. His breathing was shallow, but as usual he would be in and out of sleep while we were like this until finally he would pull the covers up, give me a final kiss, and go to sleep for good. I let my eyes roam up and down his back, tracing the outline of his side with my fingers. His breathing gradually expanded his body next to mine, lulling me into my own peaceful trance.

When I next opened my eyes, Kyle was gazing into them. Instantly I smiled. "Do you usually act all creepy and watch me sleep like that?"

"Only when you look sexy," He said through a slight sleep-haze. "So, yeah, I guess I do watch you all the time like that," I smiled bashfully.

"Casanova. You're just saying that so you can take advantage of me," I smiled. He made a kissy noise with his lips and grinned. I returned the grin, and leaned in for a real kiss.

An hour later, we lay splayed across each other, finally worn out. His fingers lightly traced over my hips, making me twitch every once in a while. Eventually, he turned to me. "I love you,"

I turned my head to his, seeing his face serious and full of want. "I love you, too," I said to him. We had no need to kiss then, we simply stared at each other. "I don't know what I would do without you, Ky," I said, turning away from him to look at the ceiling. I heard him shuffle over the bed a bit, and through my tears, saw him lean down to kiss my forehead.


I awoke to a beeping sound, and cursed it vehemently in my head. There was something different about it this time, however. It was more spaced out...more calm...less annoying, even. I tried to open my eyes to investigate, but found it extremely hard to do. My eyelids seemingly weighed a thousand pounds, as if I was heavily medicated. With all my might, however, I was able to push them open.

What greeted me was interesting, to say the least. I was staring at a white ceiling, surrounded by medical equipment. A very uncomfortable bed supported me, and a TV hanging from the ceiling was playing the last quarter of a football game while on mute. I was dressed in a gown that probably left nothing to the imagination, and a tray of food sat uneaten on the other side of the room. Most conspicuous of all, however, was the feeling of another's hand in my own. I knew whose hand it belonged to. With all my strength, I turned my head to see the love of my life, head resting against the metal bar of the bed, his other hand resting on the top of his head. Kyle sat there, black hair disheveled, clothes wrinkled and obviously thrown on in the span of ten seconds, rubbing his head against the bar. Wanting to see his eyes, I squeezed his hand that held mine.

He jumped for a second before looking to see my open, but heavily medicated, eyes. His own eyes were red and puffy, obviously abused due to hours of sobbing. The eyelashes were wet and held together, and the cheeks below them showed obvious tear streaks. Those eyes still were his mesmerizing green, and his face still vibrant and radiating. It was definitely Kyle with me right now.

"Oh, God...Evan. Oh, God, thank you, you're awake. Oh," He stood up over me, planting me with innumerable kisses as he alternated between joy and subdued relief. It took him a good five minutes before he was able to stop smothering me like a mother and catch his breath, but eventually he sat down, gripping my hand even tighter as he cried tears of joy. "How do you feel? Can you talk?" He asked, his face still concerned but now showing happiness as well.

"Woozy...medicated..." I started, trying to keep my eyes open. "What happened? Is that really you, Kyle?" He nodded.

"Yes, it's me," he stated, his voice cracking. "You were in a wreck, Evan. Some drunkass plowed into you." He paused, crying anew. I squeezed his hand as hard as I could. The medicine was hitting me again, but I struggled to stay awake. "The doctors say you were close to death." I squeezed his hand again. I would have been crying, were I not sure it would tire my eyes out even more, so I fought the tears as best I could. I let his words sink in a moment as he fought to regain composure.

"Yeah...I guess I was close to death, wasn't I?" I mused in my head. His hands squeezed mine harder, him trying to get out the last of the sobs. One tear escaped my eye, but the rest I kept under tight guard.

The memories came rushing back to me, as vivid as ever now. He really did follow me off the bus that day. We took that walk in the park, and many others, and made the trip to my parents' place for dinner. I took his stubborn ass on the roller coaster, and we had made love countless times. It was all real. He, my happiness, was real. My "dreams" were my actual reality, my memories kept prisoner only able to resurface in that way. My "reality" was the true dream, and I finally fought my way out of it to wake up.

I really did almost die...but it was my love for Kyle that made me keep going. He made me hang on. I smiled, and let the tears fall as we embraced. "Don't ever leave me, Evan, please," He said through sniffles. At that, I smiled even wider.

"I don't think we could leave each other even if we tried, Ky," I said knowingly, kissing the top of his head as he rested it on my chest. He sighed, content. I followed suit. I tapped his back to the rhythm of the beeps of the heart monitor and let myself give in to the medicine, drifting into a dreamless sleep to wake up later with him holding me again...as if we were in a dream together.


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