Disclaimer: All characters and events in this story are made up. All characters in this story belong to myself, use without asking permission may warrant castration, or punishment to as severe a degree. Again, this is a story of fiction. The context of this story may contain a little homosexual something' something'. If this offends you, do not read. All readers under the age of thirteen (13) must be accompanied by an adult or legal guardian of the age of eighteen (18) to partake in this entertaining experience. If you actually read this disclaimer and actually believed any of it, you are a dumb shit. Please, all employees wash hands before returning to the work place, because that's just nasty.

My apologies for the large length of time spanning chapter updates. Life has been...well, life. I didn't drop off the face of the planet for a year, I've just been particularly busy. Some of it you will read about, the rest is just for your imagination. Enjoy this chapter though, because it's been a year in the making. --A. Carmichael

Bumping Into Love

Chapter 6

The first weekend in March, the boys, Caroline and I went out on the town. Eric, Steve, Brian and a couple of the other guys wanted to go to a bar, while Caroline, Chris, Greg, and I wanted to do a little dancing. We opted to go to Viva on Thayer Street. It's pretty low key, and the guys could easily head off to a bar if they got too boring. After Eric's party, we got in a fight over our plans for Spring Break. Miraculously, the week he had off, was the first week of my two week break. I had been planning on visiting Scott in London, but was thinking about going somewhere with Eric. I couldn't make a decision, and Eric got tired of my indecision, so he made his plans to go off with his friends. This would have been fine if he had told me, but by the time he told me this, I had decided I wanted to spend the week with him, and had cancelled my plane tickets to London. So we were mainly mad at each other because of miscommunication, and after the miscommunication, there was a conversation that filled with some really mean and nasty communication. In other words, we got in a fight.

Even though I was still slightly angry with Eric, I wanted to go out with his friends. Out we went. Caroline and I had fun dancing with Chris and Greg while the other guys were sitting at the bar talking and laughing about who knows what. When I had gone up to get drinks, I noticed that Eric was really throwing them down tonight. I had never seen him drink so much. We didn't say much to each other, but when I came up to the bar he would watch me intensely. I got tired of his stares, so Chris started getting me my drinks. I was only drinking Cokes at the beginning of the night, and didn't plan on drinking all that much. I was trying to cut back. But I didn't tell Chris that, and he was bringing me rum and Cokes. After the first few I was starting to get pretty tipsy, and gained my courage again to go up to the bar. Steve was obviously drunk and said to Eric when I went up to the bar:

"Hey how many shots can the kid take?"

Now that just hurt my ego. Kid? I hadn't been called that in a non-endearing context in years. So, being the guy I am, and with my ego on the line, I decided to step up to the plate.

"Kid? Who are you calling kid?" I asked. Eric glanced over at me with a cocky grin, and replied to Steve.

"The term `two and you're through' was definitely invented just for him." He looked back over at me after he had said it with that same cocky grin on his face. That one dug deep. I wasn't going to let him crush my ego anymore.

"Oh really? Well speaking of other things I take very little of, I guess it isn't very much when you tell me to take it all." I replied to Eric with a cocky grin of my own.

"Ouch, man. That's got to hurt." Steve said laughing.

"Okay bucko!" Eric said with an emphasis on bucko, "Let's end this right now. You and me..."

"You and I, dipwad." I cut him off, correcting his grammar.

"Were drinking till we can't drink anymore."

"Name your drink, cowboy."

"Jagermiester." He said emphasizing every syllable.

"You fucking bastard." I replied after a minute of giving him a death stare.

"Hey man, you said name your drink."

"You fucking know I can't stand that shit."

"Oh I know, and I love it."

Steve got the bottle from the bartender and a few shot glasses for the two of us.

"Do I get a chaser?" I asked.

"Nope, we're going straight tonight."

"Bastard." I repeated giving Eric a death stare. He just smiled. "Cheers" was all he said, after our drinks were poured. I was really pissed with Eric, and I didn't care how much I hated this shit, I was going to down it all. Everything is at least 70% mental, and I was not going to give in without a fight. I looked down at the drink, and on the count of three held it up to my mouth, and downed it. Man that shit tasted horribly. It burned slightly, but it was the taste of cough syrup that I mainly associated it with. I was determined not to show Eric how much discomfort I was in. I smiled with a cold face.

"Give me another, big boy." And so Steve poured us another round. After I finished that one, I still had that cold smile on my face.

"You done?" Eric asked.

"Far from it, let's go asshole."

"Such a dirty mouth he has on him." Steve remarked while pouring the third round. This continued for a few more rounds. On the eight round, the alcohol was really starting to kick in and mix more with the buzz I already had from the rum and Coke. I really wasn't doing so well. But I wasn't going to give into Eric though, not just yet at least.

"Come on boys. Keep `em coming. I don't got all night."

"He's really holding out tonight." Steve commented.

"This is what happens when you insult his ego." Eric said with the same cocky grin as before, only this time, he had more of a swagger to him. Eric was drunk. I'd never seen him that drunk before.

"Fuck you asshole. Give me another." I said, as we proceeded. Five shots later and I was piss-ass drunk. I took number twelve, and almost puked. Jagermiester is one of the few drinks that I can't stand. No matter how drunk I am, it's always difficult to get it down.

"What? You're done already?"

"How many was that?" I asked, my brain completely disoriented.

"Twelve." Steve replied.

"Okay, one more." I downed it, and felt it coming back up as I stood there. "Ha, see I did way more than two, you fucker." I said laughing.

"You done?" Steve asked nicely.


"Nicely done my friend. I'm very impressed." Steve again replied nicely.

"I'm too drunk right now to figure out if you are mocking me or not, so I'm gonna go find Chris." I said, while Eric again stared at me intensely. So I stumbled my way over to Chris who was dancing with what appeared to be a very pretty girl, but then again, I couldn't tell my right hand from my left at the time.

"Hey bud, where've you been?" He said still dancing with the girl.

"I feel like I'm gonna hurl." I said, my speech slightly slurred.

"Ut oh, you need me to take you to the bathroom?"


"Okay dude." He said, walking me in towards the bathroom.

"Where did you go? And why are you so drunk?"

"Eric and Steve were at the bar. And they were being bastards. And I decided to take shots with them."

"How many did you take?"

"Ummm... over ten."

"Jesus Andrew, you can't drink that much. No wonder you need to puke."

He brought me into the bathroom, and took me into a stall where I sat on the floor for a minute next to the toilet.

"What were you drinking?"


"Damn, you drank ten shots of Jager, you hate that shit."

"I think it was fourteen, and I know." I said, making up a number of how many I took. I sat in front of the toilet for about five minutes, but nothing was coming up, and my stomach was starting to settle, so I got up to see Chris sitting on the sinks.

"Feeling better?"

"Yeah, thanks bud."

"No problem." He replied smiling. We went back out, and found that the guys had left the bar, we found Caroline and she said that they had decided to go to another bar. That was fine with me, now Eric wouldn't be staring at me from across the room. I told myself I was just going to drink water for the rest of the night, but found myself having sips of Caroline's drinks. Later, she bumped into a couple of her girl friends, and decided to leave with them and go somewhere else. I didn't care. Chris and I were having a fun time. At about 1:45 I could hardly walk I was so drunk.

"Hey man, I think we should get going." Chris said, holding me from falling over as I got off my bar stool. He led me out to his car, helping me into the passenger seat. Chris had a couple of drinks that night, but only early on, so he was sober to drive. I was fidgeting with the button on his radio for a minute while he waited for the car to warm up. That was the last thing I remember doing that night.


The next morning I awoke slowly with a pounding headache. I was warmly under a pile of blankets, snuggling close with Eric. My head was cuddled into the crook of his neck. Without opening my eyes, I lightly began to kiss his neck. I felt him beginning to stir next to me.

"Morning Eric." I mumbled into his neck still, as I slid my hand across his chest. For some reason, his pectorals seemed a little smaller than normal. As I continued to slide my hand farther into the center of his chest I didn't feel any of the hair that was normally there. That was when my brain kicked in. I jumped up opening my eyes. Lying next to me was a shirtless Chris, who was abruptly woken from my sudden jerk away from him. I freaked out.

"HOLY FUCK!" I yelled, jumping out of the bed, my headache being much less severe as the neurons started firing faster and faster, and ideas began spinning through my head about what I was doing in a bed with Chris. Looking around the room, all my cloths were strewn on the floor, everything except the boxers I was wearing.

"Whoa, whoa, Andrew, calm down." Chris said, starting to get out of his bed.

"What do you mean calm down, Eric's gonna kill me. And you, you're not fucking gay." I said aloud as I pulled me pants off the floor.

"Andrew, would you just shut up for a minute and let me talk. We didn't sleep together."

"Huh?" I asked, looking up, halfway in my pants.

"Well obviously we slept together, but we didn't have sex."

"Then, then why was I asleep in bed with you?" I asked, still half in my pants, my headache slowly beginning to reappear.

"Well, I took you to Eric's house last night, but neither his or Caroline's cars were there, so I brought you back here." He said, sitting on the side of the bed, looking up at me honestly. "You passed out in my car, but you woke up when I tried to pick you up. When you got in, you went into the bathroom and puked a couple of times. And when I was trying to get you to drink some more water, you passed out again, so I brought you in here to sleep, and I was worried you were gonna puke, so I decided to bunk in here with you."

"Are you sure?"

"Dude, I like girls." He said, throwing a pillow at me.

"This is true." I commented with a smile. "You sure you don't like my ass?"

"Well to be honest, it is pretty cute, but I don't think Eric would be too happy with me if I stole a piece." He laughed. Sitting there, I had to admit he was pretty cute himself. I'd never seem him shirtless before, and he had a really nice chest, not as nice as Eric's, but he had a decent pair of pectorals and a nice flat washboard stomach. His sexiest quality was his legs though. All that running from soccer had them sculpted perfectly, and him sitting in just his boxers allowed me to see a lot of them. I smiled.

"I have to admit, you are a really comfy person. I wouldn't mind doing it again sometime." I replied with a wink.

"More comfy than Eric?" He asked with a goofy grin, and his head cocked slightly sideways as he looked up at me.

"You know, that's a tough one." I said after I thought about it for a second. "The worst person to sleep with, though, is Caroline. God, the girl is way to boney. You'd think her boobs would help but they just get in the way. And man, her elbows are so fucking pointy." I said, both of us laughing.

"Yeah those girls are all weird with their boobs."

"What do you see in them?" I asked.

"What boobs or girls?"


"I donno, what do you see in the dick?"

"The cock is sexy man."

"Well so are boobs."

"Whatever." I said smiling. We both laughed some more.

I hung around Chris' apartment for a while longer. The place was quite big, and luxurious. He had a large bay window in the annex in his kitchen that overlooked downtown Providence. It was only on the fourth floor, but the view was pretty nice. I'd never been there before. He always came to either Eric's house or mine, but I had never been to his place.

Everything about Chris is meticulous. His appearance, his belongings, everything about him is neat and organized. He's always dressed very clean and neatly, and he has great taste in cloths. The fact that he had on Burberry boxers at that moment can contest to the fact. The open door to his walk-in closet showcased numerous bags from designer stores that were hanging on the doorknob and hooks. I found that he mainly preferred Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren and Burberry.

Looking around his apartment, I could see that the meticulous philosophy also pertained to his living quarters. Like his car, where there was hardly a visible grain of sand or dirt on the rugs, his room was unbelievably spotless as well. I consider myself clean, but this was beyond clean. The only items on the floor of his room were our cloths which he had tossed there from the night before.

His apartment was nicely furnished. The rooms looked like a butch Martha Stewart had decorated them. It seemed like all the rooms used the classic colors of grey, black and white, with mahogany furniture, and a main color of a blue, green or red, respectively. For instance, the main wall of his living room was red, while the others were a stark white. The main wall in his bed room that his bed was next to was blue, with a light grey tone on the other walls. He tended to use vivid colors, but it all was very appeasing to the eye.

This description of Chris might give you the impression that he is OCD or a neat freak, but I felt very relaxed messing up the order of things, and he was very relaxed about it too. I knew that after I left, he'd probably tidy up a bit till he was satisfied and then leave it that way. Chris alone by himself is a very clean person. He just doesn't seem to make messes, so it would be understandable why his apartment was so clean. By all means, he doesn't go around vacuuming and dusting every day when he gets home.

"Hey Chris, how long have you lived here?" I asked as we were in his kitchen eating.

"Since second semester sophomore year."

"So about two years?"


"You've lived here all by yourself for two years?"


"Doesn't that get boring?"

"No, I really like it. You know how I like to keep to myself, and plus I don't have to put up with someone else's mess."

"Yeah, `cause you're OCD." I joked.

"Ha, funny." He said, trying to stifle a smile.

"Would you be upset with me if I got you a puppy for your birthday?" I asked innocently.

"You are not getting me a puppy." He replied emphatically.

"But you need something to preoccupy you."

"No I don't. That's what I have friends for."

"Whatever you say." I replied with a devilish grin.


My fight with Eric started March off on a very bad foot. That occurred the first week of the month. The second Monday of the month, the eighth, was even worse. The fact that it was a Monday was enough to have made it bad, but I had had a horrible day at school. I had gotten back a test which I got a C on and was pissed with myself. Eric seemed to not be returning my phone calls. The fact that I had been up till about 2 am the night before finishing a paper caused me to be sleep deprived and longing for a nap.

When I stepped into the house, I headed towards my room on my way to lie down for a little while and relax. Though, when I walked into my room and saw my mom, folding cloths and packing them in a bag, I was quite surprised.

"Mom, why are you packing my bag?"

"Oh, honey you're home, I didn't hear you come in." My mom said, as she looked up at me, her eyes were read and puffy and she looks like she had been hit by a truck.

"Mom, what happened?" I asked sincerely while I hugged her.

"You're father called an hour ago. He was having lunch with Chris Stratton. They were talking and Chris just keeled over in the restaurant." She said, the tears rolling down her eyes again. I was staring at her like she had a third eye. "He had a massive heart attack. They couldn't stabilize him. He died on the way to the hospital Andrew." I saw my mom's mouth moving and the tears rolling down her eyes, but I didn't hear anything else. I was in shock. I couldn't believe the words that had just come out of my mother's mouth. Chris Stratton, by dad's best friend, was dead. I had just seen him a month ago when I was in New York. He looked fine. Every memory I had that involved him seemed to pass through my mind at lightning speed. When I came back to reality again, I heard my mother still talking.

"The wake is tomorrow and the funeral Wednesday. I told your father we'd be in the city tonight. So I figure we should start leaving soon. After your father called, I sat for a little while, thinking over what I had just heard. And then I decided I should come up and start packing. I figured out what I needed and then came in here and started packing your clothing. Only, I forgot what cloths you have in the city, so I decided to pack it all just in case." She rambled as I looked over at my bed that was covered in practically every article of clothing I owned.

"Mom...mom...mom... it's okay." I said, finally getting her attention and pulling her into a hug. "It's okay. I'll get it under control. You just go get your stuff and put it in the car. I'll go make you some tea, and then I'll finish packing. You need to just go sit and calm down." I said, still holding her in a hug, and kissing her on the forehead.

"Are you sure you don't need any help?"

"Yeah, I've got it under control. Why don't you go call Els and Scott and see how they are doing." I said.

"Okay, thanks for keeping a straight head, honey."

"I love you mom."

"I love you too."

Logic always takes over in my head when stuff like this happens. It takes me a few minutes to understand what has actually happened, but after that, I seem to go into an instinctual mode where I can think everything not important through, like packing cloths, calling people, and making arrangements. I had done the same thing two years ago when my grandfather died. My mother again was a mess, and somehow I made sure everything got done.

Once I made sure my mother was really packed, which she was. I got down to the business of cleaning up the mess in my room. All we really needed were toiletries and comfortable cloths to relax in. I had a suit and dress cloths in New York which would be appropriate to go to the funeral in. So after throwing that in a bag, I headed down, put it in the trunk of the car, along with my mom's stuff and then went inside to get some food. After I packed up a bag of snacks to take for the road, my mother and I got in the car and off we went. I told her that I would drive. After sitting down, and watching TV for a little while and having some tea, she appeared to be much more relaxed and in control, I knew emotionally she was still a wreck. She fell asleep once we hit the Connecticut boarded, and it was just my thoughts and me for the rest of the ride. I was exhausted when I got home, but while driving in the car that night, I was wired. I'm sure that was partly due to the caffeine from the Coke I had drank, but I think just all the thoughts going through my head were keeping me crazy. Soon we arrived in the city, and I was pulling up to the building.

My parents embraced each other in a huge hug when we got up to the apartment. They stood that way for a couple of minutes not saying anything, just holding each other. I pulled my father into a hug once my mom had let him go.

My father had called Scott and Elspeth after he phoned my mother. Els was getting on the next plane she could, and Scott, well I wasn't sure if he was going to come back from London or not. My father didn't say if he was coming and I didn't feel like pressing him for the information at the moment. My parents kept to themselves for the rest of the evening after we had dinner. I knew that my dad was really hurting. When we were having dinner, he had no expression on his face. Of the food my mom managed him to get into his mouth he'd chew and swallow, but there was no gusto to it. His face was void of any emotion but pain. I could see it in his eyes as I sat across from him. My parents went back to their room and stayed there for the rest of the evening. I had been pent up all day either in school or in the car, so I decided to go for a little walk after dinner. The cold winter chill was still in the air as I walked a couple of blocks. I still couldn't quite grasp the fact that Chris Stratton was dead. The walk was good for me; it helped me to clear my head. When I came back upstairs, I went in and checked on my parents, they had fallen asleep watching television, which I took as a good sign, and turned it off.

I got into my pajamas and took up the post of watching television myself, waiting for Elspeth to come home. At some late hour, I heard her come into the foyer, and ran through and gave her a hug. We stayed in the embrace for a minute or two. We didn't say much, but she was going to unpack and then meet me in the den. She returned a few minutes later in her pajamas and sat down next to me on the couch.

"How are you holding up?" I asked her when she pulled the blanket I had over herself.

"I can't believe he's dead. He's only, what, 56?" She said, a few tears rolling down her cheeks.

"When mom told me, the only thing I could think of was dad. It could have easily happened to him, and it really scared me." I responded.

We talked some more, and when Elspeth's stomach started to growl, we got up and got some food. She had called Scott when she got to the airport, and he was waiting to board a plane. They hadn't really talked much, but Scott said not to wait up for him, he was just going to catch a cab when he got into JFK. We on the other hand decided we were going to wait up for him. I made Elspeth and myself sandwiches, we ate and entire bag of potato chips, and finished off a tub of ice cream, we were headed for our own heart attack as we munched down more shit when Scott came in.

He walked into the den, and I jumped up, running to him as he pulled me into a hug. I hadn't cried yet, but once I saw Scott, I just broke down into to tears. I'm sure it was some subconscious thing where I was thinking, its okay Scott's here you don't have to make sure everything is okay anymore. He kept me in a hug for a couple of minutes, and then brought me over to the couch. We sat down and talked some. I was still crying a little when we sat down. He pulled me into another hug, with Els, none of us saying anything. We were just there, together. We talked a little longer, but Elspeth said she needed to go get some sleep. Scott and I stayed up longer, we didn't really talk, but it was nice to be sitting with him. I realized at one point too that I was cuddled up to him sort of like I would have with Eric, or was it the other way around? Did I do the things with Eric that I did with Scott, but only in a more intimate way? I caused me to laugh a little.

"What are you laughing about?" He asked.

"I was just thinking how you and Eric have the same effect on me."

"Oh really? I make you horny?" He asked laughing.

"No, but you both relax me. I feel safe and secure when I'm with you." I stated after laughing at his comment.

"Well thanks for the compliment." He said smiling.

"You're certainly welcome." We were soon in bed, sleeping soundly.


The next day we spent as a family. It was a quiet day, us kids comforting our parents, especially my dad. My mother came in and woke me up the next morning at around nine. We had a quiet breakfast as a family and then got ready for the funeral. It was a nice service. It was weird looking at the casket and knowing that Chris was actually in it. As I looked around, there were so many blank faces. There were a lot of familiar faces in the sea of people that filled the church. I looked forward and saw Nicki and Ryan, Chris' kids, a few pews forward to the left. They both had black, expressionless faces. My dad went up and eulogized Chris. My dad didn't really seem like a public speaker, well at least in my experiences. I had really never heard him get in front of a group of people and say all that much. He also always seemed very apathetic, like he just couldn't feel emotion. Again, I guess that must have been just from my experiences, because he was raw standing there. You could see it in his face how much he was fighting back the tears. He had us all laughing with a few anecdotes about memories from grad school, and trips our families had taken together. When he was done with the eulogy, he went back to his seat next to my mother and cried his heart out.

After the service was over, we went over to the Stratton's apartment for the reception. I've only been to a couple of funerals neither of which I could really remember, but everyone was so gloomy. Elspeth hung out with Nicki and a couple of her cousins who were their age. Scott and Ryan were in front of a TV watching some basketball. I decided to check on my father and see how he was. He was in the library talking with his other buddies. My dad had an empty glass of scotch in his hand, and graciously welcomed me to sit next to him on the couch. I think the alcohol was helping a little, because he had a tid bit more life in him. The guys were laughing about some more of the comical times they had shared with Chris. Some of the stories about the strippers had my stomach hurting I was laughing so hard. It was really weird thinking about the company in that room at that moment. Normally I would have felt very intimidated being in such a close intimate setting with them. These men helped run the economy. The fact that Donald Trump had attended the funeral was an indicator of who they were. They were very raw and vulnerable at the time. They had just lost one of their best friends, and they were allowing me to join in their sorrow. I felt honored in a way.

We stayed at the Stratton's until everyone else had left. Scott, Elspeth and I helped clean up their apartment, and when most everything was picked up, we decided we were going to head back home. My mom and dad stayed late with Audra Stratton and spend some more time, just the three of them. When the three of us kids got back to our apartment, we changed into more comfortable cloths and decided to get some junk food and have a game night. The three of us and my dad used to do it all the time when we were little, and since we hadn't done it in a few years, we pulled out the board games and sat down for a relaxing game of monopoly. After a couple of hours, I went bankrupted. I stupidly traded my Park Place property, causing Elspeth to have a monopoly on Boardwalk. She was smart putting up her hotels, because I landed on them, and kept doing it. Plus the fact that I had about five pieces of property caused me to loose all my money, fast. Elspeth went on to finish off Scott an hour and two bowls of ice cream later. She retired the current champion and went back to her room to do some reading for school. Scott and I started a game of chess. All three games were pretty pathetic. Neither of us were very good, but I ended up winning two out of the three.


That Friday, Scott and I took the Acela Express from Penn Station. Eric met me at Providence Station and Sydney met Scott at South Station in Boston. My mom was staying in New York with my dad till Sunday and then she was driving back home. Els was staying one more day and then flying back to Winston-Salem on Saturday. The train ride wasn't bad. It was much nicer then when I took the train a couple of years earlier before the new Acela became functional. I lounged around with Eric for the day, and stayed over his house that night.

I returned to school on Monday, and caught up on a weeks worth of work I had missed. I was really stressed because that was my last week before spring break, and all the teachers were having tests before we were off for two weeks. Not only did I have to do twice as much work, but I had to take tests on new information I hardly knew. After the ordeal with Chris Stratton, it seemed like my fight with Eric had never existed. He was being extremely affectionate with me, trying to cheer me up as much as possible. Finally that last Friday came and went. I didn't go out and party, instead I stayed home with my mom, went to bed early and slept most of the day Saturday. When I woke up, I drove up to Providence, spent the day there, and had dinner with Chris, Caroline and my man. Afterwards I relaxed with Eric. I helped him pack for his trip, and after he was all set and ready to go, we decided to go see a movie. After that, we just drove around. We were both in a very mellow mood, as he got on the highway, and headed south towards Jamestown. We decided to stay on the highway and headed over to Newport. I showed him all the mansions and the other sites, even though it was midnight by the time we got there. When we got to Breton Point, Eric parked the car and we got out. He put a towel he had in his car on the ground and we laid down, looking up at the stars. We could see the sweeping light of Beavertail Lighthouse just near my house, and the Point Judith light way off on the other side of the bay. It was very peaceful with him, especially after we had been hostile just two weeks earlier. After we layed there for an hour, we hopped back in the car. We didn't want to drive back up to Providence so we crashed at my house.

We crawled into bed at about two thirty, but I didn't feel like sleeping. I wasn't going to see Eric for two weeks, and I was going to miss him. I lay with my head on his chest, my left arm draped over his side, while my right lay under me. I lied this way for about fifteen minutes. I could tell Eric was asleep from the way he was breathing. I move me hand slowly down Eric's chest, and down his abdominals. I slowly slipped my fingers under the waistband of his boxers and grasped him in my hand. He made a slight moan, as I began to stroke him. I could feel him hardening in my grasp.

"Mmm, baby what are you up to?" He asked after a couple of minutes of my toying.

"Having a little fun." I responded.

"I thought you just wanted to have a quiet evening tonight."

"Since when does that mean I don't want sex?"

"I donno, you just didn't seem in the mood." He laughed rolling on top of me. He kissed me passionately on the lips, as his hands roamed over my bare chest. He finally reached into my boxers and stroked me. I moaned into his mouth from his pleasuring. After a long time of this passionate kiss, and exploring each other's bodies, he got up out of the bed, pulling his boxers off. He reached down, and pulled mine off of me also, and then reached into my bed side table, getting out the lube and condoms.

When he came back into bed he pulled me on top of him, again kissing me passionately. I ground into his stomach, as his hands traveled down my back. His left hand rested on the cleft of my back, while his right pulled my butt tighter against him, adding more pleasure to my grinding. In one powerfull movement, I was on my back with him on top of me, covering my small frame. He spread my legs, so that I could feel him rubbing up against the cleft of my butt. We continued this kissing and rubbing for a while, just enjoying the contact with one another and the enjoyable pleasure that came with it. But soon, Eric's cold, lubed fingers found my opening and slowly slid into me. He had me moaning into his shoulder as I lightly bit him when he almost brought me to climax with his large digits. After a few more minutes of pleasant torture, he slid out of me, and prepped himself with a condom. He whispered into my ear, and nibbled on my neck as he entered me, slowly, and gently. He began his easy rhythm as I met my hips with his. His lips, after working that spot on my neck, returned to my lips, his right hand was sliding up and down the back of my thigh, a sensation he found that oddly sent chills up and down my spine. He supported himself with his left hand, while he quickened his pace, sending even more waves through my body. Every inch of my skin became hypersensitive as we made love. The hairs on his chest were rubbing against my skin, sending even more waves of pleasure through my body.

We did eventually finish with another euphoric explosion, but not for a long time. When I fell asleep cuddled up next to him, it was pretty late in the morning. The sun wasn't up yet, but was on its way. Eric's soft gental stroking of my stomach soothed me to sleep, as he softly kissed the back of my neck, and whispered quietly into my ear. I was pretty sure I heard the word love, but unfortunately, I was too tired, and he was to quiet to understand.

"Love you, stud." I mumbled.

"I know you do baby. I love you too...with all my heart. Now go to sleep."


I awoke late Sunday afternoon to an absence of Eric. When I rolled over, I heard the crunch of paper. Rolling back over, I sat up, and read the note.


I couldn't bear to wake you this morning. You looked too peaceful to wake, but I had to get going otherwise I'd miss my flight. I'm really going to miss you these next couple of weeks. Have fun in London if I don't talk to you for some ungodly reason. I'll try to call you as soon as I can, but I'll be thinking about you till then.

Love you, Eric

I rolled over and sunk my head into the pillow that Eric had slept on. His smell was all over it. My heart started to ache as it finally sunk in. I wasn't going to see Eric for two weeks. I sighed as I got out of bed.

I came down to the kitchen to the site of my dad cooking at the stove.

"What are you doing here?" I asked, surprised to see him.

"Well hello to you too." He replied turning away from the stove to greet me. "I'm glad you're up. I'm making grilled cheese, so why don't you just skip breakfast and go straight to lunch."

"Grilled cheese and tomato soup?"

"Of course!" He exclaimed with a faux shock as if I would dare think of grilled cheese without tomato soup.

"So, what's the occasion?"

"Nothing special, I just decided to come home this week while you're off."

"Oh really? Does that mean you'll be in your office the whole time, or will you actually be doing stuff with me?" I asked a little bitterly.

"Such hostility." He said, setting the food down on the counter in front of where I was sitting. I rolled my eyes at his comment.

"Honestly. I've put my number two man in charge this week. Besides, you're gonna be sick of me by the end of it." He stated with a grin a lot like one that Scott and I both have. It meant only one thing. He had something planned.

"What do you have planned?"

"We're going on a road trip."

"Huh?" I stated, making a noise with a mouthful of food.

"Well since you are going away to London to see Scott next week, I thought that I could spend the time with you this week. And well, it's March of your junior year, and I think we should get started looking at colleges."

"Okay... don't you think it's a bit early?"

"No, not at all. I think the faster you get it done, the better off you'll be. Scott wished he had started his junior year, and Elspeth was glad she got it all done in the spring. She even had her applications done over the summer, and relaxed her senior year."

"Well where are we going?"

"It depends where you want to look. I figured you'd want to look at the Ivy's, but other than that I'm really not sure."

"Yeah, I think I want to be in a city, particularly, Boston, New York, or Washington."

"Well, New York is easy. We can do Columbia and NYU sometime when we are in the city. In Boston, we could do Harvard and MIT one day. Do you want to look at BU or BC?"

"Not really BU, but I'm interested in BC."

"Okay, well we might be able to squeeze that all in one day, but we'll see. We could go up to Brown today..."

"I don't really want to look at Brown. I want to get away from Rhode Island." I stated, cutting him off.

"Fair enough, that's off the list. Any interest in Yale?"

"No, not really."



"Okay, now in the Washington area there's Georgetown, and then Hopkins in Baltimore."

"And George Washington too."

"Okay, so all three of those are on the list?"


"Are you interested in Cornell, or Dartmouth?"

"No not really."

The whole trip had been planned out. Harvard and MIT in Boston on Monday, with a possibly of Boston College if time allowed, then dinner with Sidney that night. Tuesday midday was the scheduled departure time to head down to Philadelphia. The University of Pennsylvania was in the schedule for Wednesday morning, and then it was off to the District of Columbia. Thursday was allotted for Georgetown University, and the George Washington University, as well as time to meet up with some of my dad's old friends. After that it was the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore followed by a visit to my grandmother and other assorted family members in the Baltimore-Washington area.


My father and I had about six hours of driving ahead of us. Dido was playing from the speakers as we cruised down Interstate 95 through Connecticut, our destination: Philadelphia. The conversation was light as we comfortably sat, our velocity a steady seventy-five miles per hour. The Bavarian twelve-cylinder was silent and the sweet notes played from the surround sound. My father was taking a short nap in the passenger's seat, leaving me to guide us on our journey alone with my thoughts. I was actually quite excited about the next week ahead. It was just my father, me, and the open road. Not only that, but it reminded me of how much closer I was to going away to college.

These intimate settings with my father really showed how similar we really are. Unlike my siblings, my parents and I enjoy the same types of music. It was my mother who got my father into Tori Amos, and it was he who got me into her. In fact, I'd say that my father is borderline obsessive. He has ever album of hers, including the singles and bootlegs. His prized possession is her first album, Y Kan't Tori Reed?, a very rare CD which he paid something like a hundred dollars for. He's been to every one of her concerts in New York, and even flew to London to see her play there too. But as we drove, we began to talk much more. Now, when I say talk, I really mean converse. We never talk about anything all that important. We mainly converse about politics, economics, cars, entertainment, school, and work, nothing that would really deserve much attention from a member of some psychological society. I've become used to the arms length relationship we have built. Content is a word I would use to describe it. It's not great, it's not shitty, it's just content. Though, I do hope that at some point in our lives that we both step back from our respective stubbornness, and get past it all. There is a future, one never knows. All the while, the miles continued to melt away as the sun set on our journey south towards Pennsylvania.

We arrived at our hotel at about six o'clock and were in our room lounging in front of the television. We had a quiet dinner out, and decided to see a movie while we had nothing else to do. It was the first movie I'd seen in the theaters with my father since I was about eleven. We thought it was a sad statement when we came to the realization, but nothing else was further said about it after the awkward silent moment engulfed us.

My visit to the University of Pennsylvania, or Penn, the next day was nice. We got a tour of the campus and sat for an information session before we were done. My impressions afterwards were positive, and I would apply, but nothing about it really jumped out and grabbed me. After lunch, we got back in the car, and headed south yet again, our destination: the Washington, D.C.

For some reason I really enjoy riding in the car. Strangely it is one of my favorite things. As a kid with my mom driving me to school, I loved the snowy days when I'd sit in the perfectly warm seat, listening to my CD player as I looked out the window at the white scenery. Unfortunately there wasn't any snow that day on the drive down to Washington. Instead it was actually fairly warm.

When we got to D.C. we stopped at Georgetown first and had a look around the campus on the tour. We had lunch at a restaurant on M Street after advice from the tour guide that the food was really bad on campus. Then afterwards we checked into our hotel, the Hay Adams, and got settled. The room was gorgeous, and had a view of the Whitehouse and the Washington Monument which towered about the city.

I went to dinner with my father who met up with one of his old friends from school. It seemed that they hadn't talked in a couple of years, but they caught up quickly. It turns out the guy was a Congressman from North Carolina that my father went to undergrad with at Wake Forest. I wasn't that impressed. I went to school with the son of one of my Senators as well as my Governor's daughter, and had met both of them on a couple of occasions. This guy was only a Congressman, and after all there are 435 of them. When we finished dinner they dropped me off at the hotel and proceeded to go to a bar somewhere in Georgetown.

When I got to the hotel room I saw that I had two messages on my cell phone, one was from my mother calling to see how my day was, and the other was from Eric. My heart did a little flip in my chest when I heard his voice. He was in Paris at the moment, and he gave me the number to his hotel room if I wanted to call him. As soon as I had the number written down on a piece of paper, it had been dialed. After ringing a couple of times he picked up the phone with a groggy voice.


"Hey Eric!"

"Oh hey baby." He said waking up quickly after hearing my voice and figuring out that it was me.

"How's Paris?"

"Well, I haven't seen much of it other than the train station, my hotel and a near by restaurant, but what I have seen has been beautiful."

"Did you just get in from London?"

"Yeah, we took to the Chunnel and got to the hotel at about four."

"Why aren't you out on the town tonight finding some hot Parisian?"

"Well there are a number of reasons, the main one being that last night I got piss ass drunk in London and ended up having a wild night of hot sex with what seemed to be a plethora of amazingly fabulous English boys that kept appearing out of no where. I had so much sex I can't even get hard."

"Did they have good teeth?" I asked playing along with his sarcasm.


"Good to know."

"I can't even get hard thinking about you naked."

"That's a let down, I have the hotel room all to myself, and I really wanted to try phone sex for the first time."

"Why are you in a hotel room?"

"My dad, spur of the moment, decided to go on a college search trip."

"Oh, good times, I remember mine very well. Where are you at the moment?"

"Washington. We visited Georgetown today, and then George Washington tomorrow morning, followed by Hopkins in the afternoon and then a visit to my grandparents in Baltimore."

"Oh, good schools."

"Yeah, so what is the real reason that you are in bed in Paris, at what time is it there? 1:00 AM?"

"The real reason would be that I did get really drunk last night in our last hurrah in London, and I decided to have a quiet evening. That plus the fact that Caroline has her period and is really PMSing, and Steve and the other guys are still hung-over."

"Oh, sounds like a fun time with the crew."

"You know it."

"So how about that phone sex?"

"Sorry babe, though I am really horny and would love to, Chris is reading in the bed next to me."

"So, just take the phone into the bathroom or something."

"Oh, and like that isn't obvious. He knows I'm talking to you, and he's not stupid. He'd tell the guys and I'd never hear the end of it?" At the end of his statement there was a slight pause with murmur in the background which caused Eric to laugh.

"What's so funny?"

"Chris just asked if we were talking about phone sex." That caused me to laugh myself.

"That silly Chris, he's always right on the mark. Put him on the phone for a second, I want to talk to him."

"Okay, one second."

"Hello?" It was Chris.

"Hey dude, what's up?"

"Just reading."

"Well, could you go into another room so I can have some nice phone sex with Eric?"

"Oh come on man, you aren't actually being serious."

"Well I don't really know. It sounds like a fun proposition, it being the first time and all, but it sounds kind of desperate at the same time."

"You are so weird." He said laughing.

"Yeah, and I'm horny."

"Well, I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but I'm just being a good friend and not letting you do such a destructive thing." He said in a serious tone.


"Oh come on, didn't you mother ever tell you it's a sin to play with yourself?" I started laughing.

"Wow dude. No she never told me that. Though I'm sure having sex with another man is much more of a sin than masturbating."

"Such a dirty mouth you have."

"Well if you're going to be an ass, can you give the phone back to my boyfriend?"


"Hey." It was Eric again.


"So the phone sex is a no go."

"I guess." I said with a big sigh of serious disappointment. "Looks like I'm gonna have to just jack off without you."

"I guess so babe."

"Well this phone call I'm sure is going to be quite expensive, so I should hang up."

"Okay baby. I miss you."

"I miss you too."

"Love you. Have a fun time in Washington etcetera."

"Love you too. Have a great rest of your trip."

"Okay, bye."

"Bye stud." And with that I hung up.

George Washington was a blast. I loved it. It had been my favorite school so far. We went to a morning tour, and then had lunch on campus at the J Street cafeteria. It was amazing walking around Foggy Bottom knowing that I was in the power center of the world. I thought it was amazing thinking that I could go to class right near the State Department, or live across the street from the World Bank and four or so block from the White House. After our fling around Northwest Washington, we headed off to Baltimore to visit Johns Hopkins. After a tour of the campus, we headed to my grandmothers.

Now, my grandmother is a very interesting woman. She's the matriarch of my father's side of the family. She is a very conservative woman, but at the same time she's very eccentric. Once you get past her political views and such, she's a very loveable woman. She's very strong willed. After having five kids and becoming a senator's wife, you have to be strong willed. Mix that with her southern heritage and you've got a woman to be reckoned with. There are three rules to follow with Jane. Never say the lord's name in vain without adding an H, never bring up liberal politics and most of all, never say anything insulting about one of her grandchildren. She doesn't give a rat's ass what you say about her children, but say something negative about one of her grandchildren and she will chew you up and spit you out so fast you'll wish you never had lived. Visits with her are always interesting. She has many old quirky rules, for instance, denim is not to be worn on the nice furniture, and nothing is to be eating off of anything but fine china. She also has rules about proper attire to be worn to the yacht, and country clubs at particular seasons. Though she may seem like a tough person to spend time with, she's actually very easy going. As long as your follow her rules, you can do anything else you want just as long as it's within the rules.

We arrived at the old house, the same one my father grew up in. Driving up the driveway to the old white plantation house always makes me feel like I should be in some old book such as Huckleberry Finn, or To Kill a Mockingbird. We walked into the house, leaving our bags in the car. My grandmother came to greet us in the front hall with hugs and kisses, her strong will contradicting her old frail body that was showing times wear. She then ushered us into the living room for a lively talk, while my father's sibling that live in the Maryland area arrived for dinner.

All my father's siblings have been very successful in each of their respective fields. My father, the middle child is the power banker and investor in New York. His oldest sister is on the Board of Trustees of the Indianapolis Children's Museum. His older brother is the President and CEO of a software consortium company he started in Baltimore years ago. His younger brother is a well known attorney in the Northern Virginia area. Lastly, his youngest sister, the baby of the group, is a very successful trophy wife, who uses her free time to indulge in her life's passion of photography, mainly at both the Baltimore and National Zoos.

Being the Yankee's of the group, we tend to not see the rest of the family all that often due to our location several hundred miles north. Though, when we do make it down, the family does congregate as best as possible. That night, everyone except Susan, the eldest living in Indianapolis, made it to the dinner table. My cousin Julia and I were the only persons at the table under the age of eighteen. Well, technically my aunt Joy, who was pregnant with her first child, was carrying a minor as well, but that doesn't count. The table was buzzing with dialogue, a lot of it involving talk about college. At the table was an alumnus of either undergraduate or graduate school from Johns Hopkins, Wake Forest, Harvard, UNC Chapel Hill, George Washington, Duke, and Columbia. All of them buzzing about which school Julia, a fellow high school Junior, and I should attend. I tuned a lot of it out, but nodded my head politely adding a verbal remark here and there. My grandmother looked over the whole meal from the head of the table, a seat usually reserved for my grandfather who passed away when I was five, and never really got to meet. His legacy was vast though. A veteran of World War II, and then a wealthy lawyer in the Baltimore area, he started getting involved in politics, which ended with the prestige of becoming a United States Senator for two terms. He, like my grandmother seemed to be a true character filled to the brim with life. After my grandmother said a little prayer for his well being as well as for the rest of ours, we ate.

After dinner, the men went off to my grandfather's study to talk about who knows what, while the women went to the living room to also talk about who knows what. My cousin and I went out onto the porch and sat in the wicker rockers and talked for a little while. Julia was the first person I came out to. Two summers before at her mother's beach house on the Connecticut shore, it slipped out one tear filled night. She was a listening ear for the next year or so before I came out to my parents. After a little while of talking she had to head back home to do homework. She unfortunately, was not on spring break, and had to write a paper. Being bored and not sure what to do, I got my father's keys and took the car out for a little spin. Little was an understatement. After getting lost, and trying to find my way back, I just got more lost, and had to use Alfred, the name I gave to the cars navigation system to get back to the house two hours later. I wasn't too missed though. The wine was still flowing, and the siblings were merry. I sat with them and listened to their jokes and talks about the family. It was fun to sit and hear about the past. At around ten, my grandmother announced that she was going to bed. We all wished her good night, and about an hour later, the house was empty except for my father and I who were quietly talking. He was in a nostalgic mood, and I was enjoying asking questions about and listening to the stories of his childhood, adolescence, college years, and even when he was dating my mother, that I had not heard before that night. We both got tired around midnight, and headed to bed. The next morning I awoke around nine, and came downstairs to the smell of breakfast which my father and grandmother were cooking. It was a good home cooked southern breakfast. We got in the car to head home a little after eleven, once we had finished eating and I had showered and dressed.

"Hey Andrew," my father said breaking the silence in the car somewhere along the New Jersey Turnpike, "I was thinking."

"Yeah dad?"

"Well, I feel kind of bad about not getting you a car for Christmas."

"What are you talking about?"

"Well, I got your sister and your brother new cars when they got their licenses, and I don't know. It seems that with you, I've always either just blown you off, or canned you to the backseat."

"Dad, it's totally okay, I understand where you were coming from."

"No Andrew, it's not okay. It really isn't. I just haven't been in your life for the past few years. Even when you were little, I still never gave you the amount that I gave Elspeth and Scott, and I'm sorry for it. Chris' death really awoke me to all of this. The truth is that I really don't know my son. You're mother rants and rants about all the stuff you are doing at school, and about how happy you are, and I haven't been there to see any of it."

"Dad...it's really okay. You were busy with work."

"No Andrew, I don't think you understand me. I chose all of this. When your mother told me that she thought you might be gay... well it scared me. I knew you then. You were such an amazing kid.

"Wait, wait, wait a minute... You and mom knew I was gay before I told you?"

"Well yes, your mother suspected it, I was in complete denial about it all. I mean, what else could you ask for? Innocent I guess would be a world I'd use to describe you growing up. You were so kind hearted. You could never grasp issues of hate and war. I remember one time when there was a clip on the news about the Arab Israeli crisis, and you couldn't understand why the people were fighting. You seemed to always only see the good in things, and look past the bad. But, I was mainly so worried about you. I never wanted you to have the difficult life you'd have to face. No father wants that for their children. The ironic thing is that I feel that I've given you the most difficult time. I seemed to also forget that you were not only my good hearted, innocent child, but you seemed to not give a shit about what other people thought." He said, with a chuckle. "And, I'm really sorry about everything I've done in the past few years. I still love you, everything about you."

"I still love you too dad."

"Don't get me wrong, I still have a year and some time to try to make up the past what, three years? You know Andrew, I've worked all my life, and don't tell your mother, but I'm thinking about retiring and leaving my number two man in charge."


"Yeah, it would give me more time to play around with my toys...and spend time with my family."

"You not work? That's almost an oxymoron."

"Well you might want to start getting used to the idea. You're the captain of the soccer team next year right?"


"Well, I think it might be a good year to actually start going to your games."

"Are you actually thinking about doing all of this, or is this some white lie you've all planned in your head?"

"Again with the negativity. That's the third time in 6 hours; I must really have been an ass."

"You had your moments." I said flatly.

"I set myself up for that one didn't I?"

"Yeah, you did."

"But anyways... The retirement issue is still in the maybe pile in my head. Don't tell anyone about that, that's just between you and I."


"The second topic of discussion is this boyfriend of yours." I remained silent after his remark.

"What about him?" I replied after a few too many seconds of silence.

"Well, I want to meet him."

"You do?" I said, in shock, causing the car to swerve in the lane a little.

"Yeah, Elspeth and mom said he's a great guy. Scott and I really want to see what's got you all excited."

"Well, maybe we can come down to New York some weekend and you can meet him."

"I'd love for you to do that."

"Me too."

Hearing those words lifted my spirits so high. The rest of the ride was filled with our playful banter about the usual: politics, cars, etc.


When I got home, I had a couple of days to hang out with friends. Eventually, it was time to pack for my trip to England. I was flying out of Logan Airport in Boston, so I decided to go up a day early and see Sidney. We went to dinner and a movie with a couple of her friends from Law School, and then she took me to the airport to catch my plane for the long flight to London.

I really enjoyed hang out with Scott. He had some really interesting friends who showed me around when Scott was busy with work. I went to the usual sites, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben. Then one day Scott and I drove out and saw Stonehenge. We went to pubs and museums and had a fun time, being both tourists and locals. Strangely about halfway through my trip, I would wake up in the middle of the night to pains in my left leg. I'd eventually go to sleep, and it wasn't a big deal. I was to head back to the State on Saturday, and Scott surprised me with a mini trip to Paris the Thursday and Friday before. We went to the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower and got around the city with Scott's French that had been rusty from a lack of use since graduating from college. I was sad when we parted ways. I had a fantastic time, and mainly it was just seeing and spending a lot of time with Scott. The flight home was just as boring, as the flight to Europe, but I thought about how it was only going to be a couple of months until Scott returned for good.


School started up again, unfortunately. My teachers were really starting to pile on the work towards the end of the year, when I really just wished school would be over. We called it the Spring Sprint. In the afternoons I had sailing practice and regattas which kept me at school till late. I didn't see Eric as much anymore. In the winter, my afternoons were free, so the days he didn't have class after three, I could go up and visit him, or vise versa. Now though, we were both really busy and I only saw him on weekends.

The pain in my leg persisted. My mom noticed that I was taking Advil and Tylenol more and more, but wasn't sure why. About two weeks after spring break, I told her one night at dinner after I couldn't get to sleep the night before because my leg ached so much. On top of the pain, because I couldn't get enough sleep, I did poorly on a test I had, which just added more stress. We brainstormed what it could be, and after some thought, figured it was probably just an injury from soccer that was just popping up now. The next day she called and scheduled an appointment for the next week with a doctor in Providence my sister had seen when she had bad shin splint problems in high school. He was an orthopaedic specialist and professor at the Brown Medical School, and got right to the point with none of the bullshit that a lot of the doctors my sister saw put here through.

My mom excused me form sailing that next Wednesday. It was just a practice so it didn't matter all that much that I was missing it. I met my mom in one of the Rhode Island Hospital parking lots. We walked into the waiting room, a white walled room with a cheesy painting on the wall, a television on in one of the corners or the room, and was lined with chairs and a couch. In the other corners were tables that had magazines heaped on them. I let the woman at the counter know I was here, and about five minutes later, a nurse escorted my mother and me down a hallway to an examination room. Inside, the paper covered examination table crinkled under my weight as I shifted. It is a habit of mine to swing my legs when I sit somewhere, and my feet aren't touching the ground. Swing they did. My mother sat patiently in a chair that was on the opposite wall, reading. I'm normally a patient person, except for when I'm at the doctors or dentists. I'm not afraid, it just annoys me that you make an appointment at a specific time, only to be sat in a room, waiting while the doctor is who knows where.

The doctor eventually entered the room, about ten minutes after we were brought into the examination room. He was a fairly young guy. He introduced himself, and asked me what the problem was. I told him, and he asked more questions, such as if I played any sports, etc. After talking with him for about five minutes, he told me that he needed to get some x-rays of my leg, and got a nurse to escort me the x-ray room. I stripped to my boxers, and lay on the x-ray table. The nurse covered my genital region with a lead blanket, or whatever material they used these days, and moved my leg into weird positions. She took five x-rays in all. The process only took about ten minutes, and I was soon back in the examination room with my mother, waiting for the doctor and the results. The doctor strode in yet again, the same smile on his face, only this time minus the introduction. He opened up the large plastic envelope. Earlier, he had talked about how I probably had a hair-line fracture on my femur, or maybe just a bone bruise, both of which could have been from either soccer or sailing. Many don't think sailing is that tough of a sport, but during tacking in the small boats, I have to fling myself to the other side of the boat to get as much speed as possible, and make the tack as quick as possible. This often resulted in a banged knee, shin, and possible my thigh. The doctor placed the x-rays on the light projector, and as I looked closely at the part of my thigh that was hurting, my breath caught in my throat.

My mother and I parted in the parking lot. I told her that I was going to stop by Eric's house and see if he was there, and either spend a little while there, or head back home. I got into my car picked up my phone, and called Eric. "Please, please pick up." I thought to myself.

"Hello?" Eric said on the other end of the line. When I heard his voice, my bravado I'd had for the last fifteen minutes cracked, and the fear came pouring out in tears.

"Eric." I croaked.

"What's wrong baby?" He asked concerned, he could hear it in my voice that I was crying. After I didn't respond he asked, "Where are you? Did you just get out of your doctor's appointment?"

"Eric," I croaked again, "I might have cancer."


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