Fixing a Broken Heart
Copyright ©2007 by Rad Steven

Disclaimer: This story is purely a product of my imagination; in other words, fiction. It may not be reproduced in any form or be posted in any site without the writer's permission. This story might contain stuffs that are adult in nature and illegal to some of you. If this offends you, please discontinue reading. Comments are welcome and greatly appreciated.

Chapter Five

"Bye!" I hollered before closing the door behind me. I know the mass would probably be over by the time I get to St. James. As usual, I'm on my way to hang out with Father Jim after the last mass of the day. Brian thinks he is trying to convert me to Catholicism, but I told him we just eat, watch movies, and stuff in his apartment. It's not like Father Jim is an old man; he's only thirteen years older than me. I know he gets lonely there, being alone and all. Besides, I like being around him. He's always calm through everything and it kind of calms me too.

I was glad that school was finally through since yesterday afternoon and that it's officially the start of summer vacation. I got another two months ahead of me to have fun, gain weight, and burn my skin. Even though my parents are busy in their firm, I know they would find some time off. They always did, even for a day. And if they don't, it's still ok. We see each other every night anyway, and they're sometimes free every Sunday. It's hard to be hotshot lawyers sometimes. There's still Brian to have fun with. His girlfriend, Sheila, is not that clingy, thank God.

And then there's my best friend, Arvin. We've slowly gone back to the way our friendship was before he and Max hooked up. The process was slow, but we got there and that's all that matters. Everything was back to "normal" and I couldn't help but be thankful even though all the times I was alone, there's this incredible hole in my chest. It's like this insatiable need that I just couldn't get rid of. Often times in bed before I go to sleep, I wonder if I would ever find someone that I would look forward to seeing in the morning. I wonder if the time when I would finally be satisfied in life would come... when I would wake up in the morning and not want for anything anymore...when I would go to bed at night and know that there is nothing that I would ever need because I have my love by my side—my lover that doesn't have a face right now.

I have never told anyone about these things although I'm pretty sure Arvin could sense it. He would always drag me with his boyfriend, and I could only apologize to Max for intruding. I never really intended to put myself between their relationship but Arvin wouldn't take no for an answer. Tonight though, he asked me if I wanted to go with them to the movies, but I could hear in the tone of his voice that he wanted me to say no, and it hurt. I mean, the three of us would always go see a movie every Saturday night but it's not like I impose myself. He drags me along. If he didn't want me to come, then he shouldn't have asked. I would understand. He made it sound like having me with them was some kind of chore, and it really hurt a lot. So I told him no and to have fun. I would be alright by myself. I just had to wait for a few hours until the last mass would be over and I could go hang out with Father Jim.

There were only a few parishioners left when I arrived. I stood outside the door looking for Father Jim, but he was nowhere. I began to get nervous when I saw another priest talking with a group of old ladies. Where is he? I was about to turn back and head for Father Jim's apartment when a sacristan waved at me. It was Gary, the guy who always comes over to help Father Jim. I shyly made my way towards him. Being in this church really makes me feel uncomfortable.

"Hey, you looking for Father Jim?"

"Yeah, why isn't he here?" I asked, looking around.

"He's at the hospital."

"WHAT? Why?" I near about shouted. My hand quickly flew to my mouth as my voice echoed in the large church. I really didn't know what to think. I didn't know what to feel either. But I did know what I wanted to do. I wanted to get the hell out of this place and run to the hospital. I wanted to know what happened to my friend. I wanted him to be okay. So I guess that clearly suggests that what I feel right now is concern. "What happened to him?" I whispered.

"I don't know," Gary answered, shrugging his shoulders. "I asked them and that's all they said. He's at the hospital."

"Do you know which hospital?"

"Alabang Medical Center, I think."

"Thanks." I got out of the church. I needed a ride to the main road and then another ride to the hospital. At least I wasn't panicking. There's just this heaviness that was weighing on me big time. I thought about calling or sending a text message to either of my parents, but I didn't because I know they would just tell me to visit Father Jim tomorrow. I would just deal with them later. Right now, I'm more concerned about my priest friend. I hope it was nothing serious.

The time going there was excruciatingly slow to the point of driving me to nervousness, which in turn drove me nauseous. I think it was the fact that I didn't know anything about his situation that had driven me this worried. If I had known how he was at the moment, at least, some part of me would have felt settled about the whole thing. But I still would have worried, nonetheless.

I always marveled at how empty Alabang Medical Hospital is everytime I see it. There was a nurse and a lady at the lobby, and the emergency room was empty save for one person that I caught a glimpse of before I went in. I headed straight for the nurse with my heart threatening to outrun me. "Excuse me, what's the roo..."

"Oh my!" the nurse exclaimed, gasping in surprise. "Your brother is in 301."

"Huh?" What the hell is she talking about? I scratched my head in confusion. "My brother?"

"Yes, your brother!"

This is really bewildering. My brother is out with his girlfriend. "Yeah, anyway, do you happen to know what room number Father Jim Castillo is in?"

"I just told you he's in room 301," she answered with a hint of irritation. Actually, it was more than a hint.

"Does he look like he's my brother?" I asked, really perturbed now.

"A little. But he has a brother who looks a lot like you so I thought..."

"Well, we're not," I huffed. "So, he has a brother, huh. Well, thanks a lot, miss." I was about to take off for the elevators but I remembered something. "Say, do you know what happened to him?" I asked with trepidation.

"Yeah. I was in the emergency room when they took him in and then I was also there when they trans..."

"What happened to him?" I asked through clenched teeth. Now, she's the one who's irritating me. I almost wanted to strangle her.

"Car accident." Great, now she's pouting.

"Uh... thanks. I'll see you around." I said then ran for the lift before she could say anything. My mind was tangled with a mess of thoughts that I was in such a daze when I finally reached the third floor. I almost didn't want to get out of the elevator. I was nervous, confused, and scared all at the same time. 301. The door looked so ominous standing in front of me. What was it the nurse said? Car accident. The door stood in front of me separating me from knowing how my friend was. I wanted to be assured. I wanted to know. But first I have to knock.

The nurse did say his brother was here.

I was shocked when Father Jim answered the door. An intense rush of relief flooded into me all of a sudden and before I could stop myself, I was hugging his neck. Everything that I have been worrying about evaporated seeing him alright with my own eyes. He was not just alive; he was well.

He was well.

I realized I was wrong in assuming that he got hurt. That he was the one who was in a car accident. My eyes drifted to the hospital bed where a boy my age lay unconscious. A boy who... I gasped involuntarily and felt Father Jim tighten up in my hold. My hands fell to my side and I stared at him in shock. I took a step back shaking my head and trying to come up with something to say. Something to express my shock. But no matter what, nothing came out of my mouth. Nothing seems to work. Nothing. Even breathing, I realized, was beginning to become a hard work. I barely felt it when Father Jim put his hands on my shoulder. I couldn't make anything of what he was telling me. His voice was just... bouncing inside of my head sounding so far away. Even he was far away. Everything was. Then they all disappeared. All of a sudden.

Everything was fuzzy when I opened my eyes. They were just... blurred. There was a white blur kneeling in front of me and I knew it was a nurse, same as I knew that the other blur was Father Jim. I closed my eyes again and the image of the boy on the hospital bed came back to me. I snapped my eyes open, not wanting to believe it. Everything was crystal clear when I opened my eyes the second time around. I sat up and found myself on a cushioned bench in the corridor. "He'll be okay now, Father," I heard the nurse say before she walked away. My eyes that found Father Jim's as he sat next to me dropped to the ground for an unknown reason. He sighed deeply before putting an arm around my shoulders.

"How long was I out?" I asked softly still keeping my eyes to the ground. I didn't even know why I was feeling this way around him. It's just that the boy...

"Five minutes, I think," he answered back just as softly. "Do you want to come back inside the room?"

"Was that... for real? What I saw..."

"Yes, I'm sorry."

"Let's go." We went inside the room and I was greeted once again by the image that had shocked me so much that I passed out.

There on the bed lied a boy who looked exactly like me. Just the image of him was enough to make me so... speechless. I studied his face but couldn't find any difference from mine. I hoped his eyes are black instead of dark brown like mine, but somehow, I really didn't believe that either. The only difference I see now was his hair which was longer than mine. I realized right then that the nurse down at the lobby wasn't kidding. I did look like... Father Jim's brother. Exactly like him.

"How... how is this possible?" I asked, finally able to turn my feelings into words. Just how is that possible? I didn't want to think of an answer. I wanted to be told the answer because it's just... terrifying to think of the possibilities.

"I didn't want to be the one to tell you, but I have no other choice. I should have left a message for you before I left for the hospital this morning. But maybe, I hoped that you would come and find me here with my brother."

"What do you mean?" My eyes were still transfixed on the face of his brother. I only dreaded for his answer.

"Do you remember the day after you reconciled with your best friend? Do you remember the talk we had?"

Of course, I did. How could I not? I could still remember it like yesterday.


"I finally did what you told me to do." He turned to look at me and smiled. I got the distinct feeling that he was expecting me to follow his advice despite my oppositions to it. But truth be known, it was Max who pushed me into it. It was Max who did the right thing and saved my friendship with Arvin. I would have just waited for my best friend to approach me if I were to decide.

"What made you do it?"

"Mostly, it was my fear of losing my best friend, but it was Max who helped me decide."

"Max? Your best friend's uh... boyfriend?" he asked, clearly struggling with talking of a guy as another guy's boyfriend.

I grinned. At least, he's not as comfortable with the whole thing as I thought he was. For some strange reason, it doesn't feel ok to me that he's accepting everything without batting an eye. "Yeah. He and I... we're friends now."

"You told Arvin everything?" I nodded yes. There were no tears anymore although I could feel gaping hole in me. What was it that Matchbox 20 song said? I got a scar I can talk about. "Time heals, Zack... time heals."

"I hope so," I said, staring at the ceiling of his apartment and wishing the pain away in futility. "You know what hurts most?" I looked at him struggling with words in my head. "I always thought he and I would be together to the extent that I planned my future. With him. And now that there's no hope for that anymore, it feels like I have nothing to leave for anymore."

"You planned your future with him as your lover." He probably meant it as a question but it came out as a statement anyway. I nodded sadly at his conclusion.

"We always talked about how much we would like to live in Baguio, but we knew that is almost impossible. So I planned to go to college there, of course, with him as my roommate. I thought of all the places I want to go to and he's always there. I even thought of us dying together."

"There's nothing wrong with that, Zack," he said chuckling, "I was no different when I was your age. I was in love once and I thought it would last forever. One thing I've learned in life though was that only God's will lasts forever. If it were God's will for me to love that girl in my past, I would never have become a priest, but His will was for me to serve Him. God always has a will for everything, Zack. He has a will for your life. When He closes a door, He always opens another."

"Is it God's will for me to be gay?"

"I personally believe that everything that happens in this world is God's will, so yes to your question although I've never thought of it that way. It would be hypocritical of me not to believe so when I myself believe that God's hand is on everything."

I laughed softly at his words. "So you're really not comfortable with me being gay?"

"I have to and I want to," he said looking away.

"Why?" I almost took it back seeing him flinch at my question. I've struck a nerve I can tell. There was so much mystery around him that everytime I'm with him, I only itch to know what it was with him that makes me feel like I've known him all my life and why I feel like he feels the same way too.

"I will tell you soon, Zack, when the time is right," he said. I couldn't deny the sincerity that was pouring out of his eyes and much more the plea for me not to ask more so I just nodded my head. He smiled a little and stood up from our spot on the floor in front of the TV. "So where's the movie we're going to watch?"


"Is this what you were supposed to tell me when the time is right?" I asked, finally breaking my stare from the face that is an exact copy of mine.

"Yes. Come here. Sit next to me." When I did, he put an arm around my shoulder and took a deep breath. "I really didn't want to tell you. Besides, I never thought I would be able to see you." He held up a hand when I was about to open my mouth to ask him something, so I decided to stay quiet until he finished telling me what he wanted to say. "I'm the oldest of nine siblings. You see, we were poor back then although we are a little better now. I was thirteen years old when my mother gave birth to twins." I felt my heart sink at that. I almost didn't want to hear the rest of his story. "My parents didn't want to give up one of the twins so they asked relatives to adopt him, but nobody would. They were forced to give him up to a couple who, after having their first child, couldn't have one anymore. My parents..."

"No." I stood up, trembling. I couldn't believe this is happening to me. "I don't want to hear any of it. No." I walked out the door not looking back, because I was afraid I would break down. I didn't want to see Father Jim's face. I could hear him sniffling and I didn't want to see him cry. I just... I don't want to believe that... my whole life had been a lie.

I don't want to believe any of it.

Author's Note:
Of all five chapters, this one proved to be the most difficult to write. There were times when I just sat in front of the computer but couldn't come up with something. I knew where I want the story to go but I just couldn't put it into words. As a matter of fact, this installment that you just read is my third try, same as Chapter Two. This chapter probably has more dialogue than all previous chapters combined although it really is the shortest so far. I hope you find this as good as them.

I have debated with myself if this is the path that I really wanted the story to go. From the start, this has always been my plan—for Zack to find out he is adopted and that he has a twin brother. I have been dropping hints since chapter one so I hope there are no violent reactions. I hope you guys stick with me 'til the end.

I also want to thank those who wrote me. Thank you for the encouragements and criticisms. Thanks to BOSS Nathan for pushing me around to get my job done.

Yours truly,
Rad Steven