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 Six

Like the rest of the houses in the neighborhood, the house where I live was surrounded by a concrete wall with metal spikes sticking up at the top. The wall was painted white while the metal spikes were painted dark blue. A meter-wide patch of soil lied between the wall and the sidewalk. It was covered with trimmed grass and an ornamental shrub, which was trimmed, as well, to an almost perfect rectangular prism that stretches the length of the wall. Matching the color of the metal spikes, the gates stood at five feet and a half. There were two of them, separated from each other by a thick white post their height. The narrower one led to the front door and was separated to the sidewalk by two steps. The other led to the garage. Our two-story house was also white with some shades of blue painted at some parts to balance its whiteness. At daytime, it looked like an extension of the cloudy sky down here on the ground. Now though, it looked so drab... so lifeless. The night turned it into a gray box sitting next to all these other boxes that seemed as lifeless as this box I'm standing in front of. It didn't help that my mood seemed to be plunged so low right now either. Sigh.

I sat on the sidewalk in front of my house wondering if maybe it was all a dream. But that was all I could do right now. Wonder. It was real. I knew it's real. Father Jim's words were still ringing in my ears like a broken record. I hated it. I wanted it to stop. I wanted everything to just go back to normal. Back to the way things had been before this evening. To the way things had been... before I met Father Jim. I couldn't really find any word to precisely describe how I feel right now. Mostly numb. But that only came out of the shock of seeing someone look so exactly like me and hearing Father Jim say those things. What would happen when the shock wears off? Sigh.

I stood up and walked inside the gate to my house. Almost hesitantly. Is this still even my house now?

My parents were already in bed when I went in. I guess I stayed a little bit long outside trying to clear my mind. But I knew I achieved nothing. It was only a futile attempt to convince myself that everything was okay. A lot of things fought for domination in my mind. I just didn't know what to do but ignore them, as hard as they are to ignore. Maybe tomorrow would be different. Maybe.

"Who are you?"

I couldn't help it. A single tear streaked down my face as I asked my reflection in the mirror. Who am I? I just didn't understand why I felt like my whole life had been a fraud. Like I was deceived into thinking that I was something I wasn't. Someone I wasn't. Someone that I'll never be. And now I'm not even sure about myself anymore. The more I tried to understand, the more I came up with more questions. Who am I?


Toss. Turn. Sit up. Lie down. It was an unending cycle. I didn't even feel like I slept at all. I just closed my eyes and then opened them. At one point, I remembered hearing Brian shutting his door. I couldn't get back to sleep even when I tried. 5:37. I took a deep breath and sat up. This was the first time that I was awake this early. I emptied my bladder then turned on the computer to check my email. I played some games to pass the time. 6:13. I still haven't heard my parents moving around. They should be up by now, preparing to go to work. They always left at seven.

Shit! I forgot it's Sunday.

I hurriedly shut down my computer and showered in like the shortest time I ever had. I wore a tee, khaki shorts, and sandals on my way to the kitchen. I found a pen and scribbled a note for my parents. The moment I shut the gate behind me, I couldn't help the sigh of relief that escaped my mouth. I didn't know why, but for some reason I just felt the need—the want—to avoid my parents. I don't know. I'm just really confused right now. I didn't know how I would deal with them. I didn't know if I would be able to control my anger around them. I felt like every minute I spent with them, they lie to me. They were fucking lying to me my whole life! Maybe I just needed to simmer for a while. After that, I know the anger would be gone.

As for the hurt, I don't know.

Sigh... And there goes my "tomorrow would be different."

With another sigh, I walked the short distance to Arvin's house. It's early, I know. Only his dad would be awake at this time. Maybe I'll try to catch up with some sleep in his room. I let myself in, not wanting anyone to be awakened by the doorbell. I was almost at the stairs when I saw Arvin's dad at the kitchen sipping coffee with one hand and reading the papers with another.

"Good morning, Tito."

"Zack, good morning," he said looking up, then motioned at the table where there are some pancakes, "You want some breakfast?"

I grinned, more for his benefit. "Yeah." I got a plate and a fork and sat next to him. I poured myself some OJ and wolfed down half of the pancakes. "These are good."

"You're just hungry."

"No, Tito. These are really good, I swear."

"Well, at least you left some for the others."

"Nah... you know they wouldn't be awake in at least an hour." I downed my juice and washed my plate in the sink, almost dropping it when Arvin's dad asked me why Max had all of a sudden taken my place in Arvin's bed. I fought to keep my voice from shaking. "You mean, Arvin didn't tell you?"

"Tell me what?"

Again, another fight ensued to keep my face straight. "That he's our dope dealer." I howled with laughter seeing coffee sprayed at the newspaper. "Sorry," I said, my face not fully rid of the wide grin from my laughter, "And thanks. For the breakfast." And for the laugh, too, I thought to myself. I really needed that. I was almost at the stairs when I remembered. "Uh, Tito... Max is... there?"

"Yes," he said, chuckling and wiping the mess his outburst had created, "He spent the night."

Sigh. "Oh... I'll just come back later. See ya!" I was out in the streets before he could stop me.

The irony of the situation forced me to chuckle. I couldn't help but look up at the heavens and throw an accusing glance at the power that be—whoever that is—for doing this to me. I couldn't talk about this with Brian and certainly not my parents. Arvin was in his room sleeping beside his boyfriend. There was only one other person in this world that I could think of talking to. Father Jim. Did somebody out there decide to make my life a joke now?


It's amazing how many stones you notice on the sidewalk when you're frustrated. "Do you think I'm funny, huh?" I muttered angrily. The stone didn't answer, and that was what I was counting on. I kicked it extra harder, trying to beat the amount of force I used kicking the last one. It flew across the street. I kicked another one. And another one. With each step, a kick, hoping that maybe one of those stones would hit me back with an answer. But I got nothing but painful toes. Answers are hard to find when you're looking for them alone.

I wandered the streets, trying to sort my head. I knew I was going nowhere. My mind was running in circles trying to come up with something and my feet were taking me everywhere, passing by the street leading to St. James several times. This wasn't just a moment of indecision. I felt trapped; everywhere I turn a wall was staring back at me. I was being pushed back to a corner only to be shoved to another one. It's times like this that I realize something.

There was nothing I can do about these things. I couldn't change them. I could ignore them, but the more it will weigh on my mind. And it will never go away regardless of how I turn my back to it. I just didn't know if I'm strong enough to face it.

What would Brian say when he finds out I'm not his brother? What would he do? Will he regret those times he stayed at home to take care of me when I was sick when he could have gone out with his friends? Will he treat me differently? Will he still be my big brother? I vowed never to tell him... unless he finds out for himself.

At least, now, I knew what to do.


It took me half an hour, but I finally made it to Alabang Medical Center. All the while, I was telling myself not to think but to just go and do it. If I let my mind wander, I just might back out, go home, and do nothing. I just might ignore this whole thing and pretend that everything is fine and dandy. I slowly opened the door and stepped inside my brother's room. There's really no denying it. He looked so much like me. I just wish that my parents hadn't kept this from me. I could, at least, have known about him. I could have known him. I mean, we're not just brothers; we're twins. Shouldn't we have some bond or something that lets us know each other inside out?

I sat on the chair beside his bed. We were alone. I thought I would be able to catch Father Jim here, but he's gone. Maybe I should've tried his apartment. Now I wondered what I should call him. I've been calling him "sir" since I met him, but now that I knew we're brothers, I'm unsure of how to call him.

It felt so weird to know that I have eight other siblings. Two of them—Father Jim and my twin, whose name I have yet to know—I met accidentally. And it felt even weirder to sit here and stare at someone who looked so much like me. I'm being repetitive, I know. I just didn't know if I'd be able to get over these feelings soon. Aside from a bruise, there didn't seem to be any other damage on his face. His arms were scraped not that badly. His right leg, though, is in a cast. And he's obviously in a coma.

I suddenly wondered if he knew he has a twin. What would his reaction be if he wakes up and sees me here? I hope the shock of seeing me wouldn't send him back into a coma.


I opened my eyes feeling someone shaking me. I didn't even realize I had fallen asleep. A guy my age stood in front of me with a look of wonder. I suppose it's because I look exactly like my twin on the bed. The clock near the door told me it's almost ten o'clock.

"Are you ok?"

"Huh? Yeah... I'm ok. Just fell asleep." We stared at each other for a while. Kind of like weighing each other. His black hair was cut short like mine, and his eyes made him look more Korean than Filipino. His skin was white. Not pale, but white. He was obviously not one of my other siblings. Too much physical differences. I finally noticed that he was still standing in front of me. "Hey, take a seat," I said, patting the chair next to me. "I'm Zack."

"I know," he said, sitting down. "I'm JR."

We shook hands. "How did you know my name?"

"Kuya Jim told me."

"Father Jim? Where is he?" I asked, straightening up in my chair. I was less sleepy suddenly. I knew I looked frantic.

"I don't know. He said he'll be back."

Father Jim had been here, and he didn't even wake me up. I didn't know what to think of that. I wanted to talk to him, and it seemed like I just lost my chance. I couldn't exactly talk about all this with him in front of JR.

"You know, I don't even know his name," I said, pointing at my twin.

"Mike," he said. And that was that.

"Are you his friend, or something?"

"We've been neighbors since forever. I don't really remember. He's my best friend."

"Oh." I didn't know what I was thinking. I was kind of hoping he'd say they're boyfriends. I mean, I'm gay, so that could mean Mike was gay too. "Do you know what happened to him? I mean, how the car accident happened?"

"Yeah, I was supposed to go with him to St. James. He rode a van, and they said it was too fast—he's not the only one, you know—but that wasn't really the cause. Another van hit their side at an intersection causing the van to topple over. They're all lucky."

"He is. At least, I could get a chance to talk to him, you know, about us. Did they tell you his condition?"

"They're just waiting for him to come out of his coma, then they'll release him. He'll be in crutches though, or a wheelchair, until the cast comes off. Knowing him, he'll want to be in a wheelchair for the sake of bossing us around."

I laughed. "I like him already."

It was fun talking with JR. He had a way with words that would have me laughing no matter what it was we were talking about. At the same time, he was able to let me know when he is serious even though we would still be laughing at the end. He was, without a doubt, one of wittiest persons I know, although a little shy at first. For a moment, I forgot all about my problems. There was no heartbreak. I didn't know I was adopted. My twin wasn't lying on a hospital bed because of a car accident. I was in JR's world. We were talking about teenager stuffs, and right now, they were very important.

But time always had a funny way of letting its existence known. In my case, it was in the form of a rumbling stomach. I was shocked to find that it was almost one in the afternoon. I had been so caught up in my conversation with JR, that I forgot everything. I was about to suggest getting lunch when the door opened, and Father Jim stepped in. He smiled at JR and me. Not knowing what to do, my eyes fell to the ground. The magic was suddenly gone.

"Hey, guys. I'm guessing you haven't eaten yet," he said from the doorway, "Come on, let's get some lunch."

I followed right behind JR, trying to think of what to say to Father Jim. I didn't know where to start nor how to begin. I suddenly didn't care if JR's here. I just needed to get these thoughts out in the open. I needed to let him know, because I knew that's all I needed. I knew once I'm able to speak out my feelings, I'll be able to get over them sooner. But how do I start?

After a few seconds of walking, an elevator ride, and another few seconds of walking, the hospital cafeteria swallowed us in, a rush of food filling our nostrils and intensifying my hunger. We got our foods and sat on a booth. JR sat next to me and Father Jim in front of us. They were talking about school, that much I could tell. Although why, I didn't know. It's the summer vacation, and I didn't care anything about school. Besides, I'm too lost in my own thoughts. Every now and then, I would catch Father Jim looking at me. He gave me a weak smile each time. By the time we finished our meal and burped our satisfaction, I was resolved to talk to him. Now. I wasn't sure where to start, but I figured anywhere was as good a starting point as any.

"Where are... your parents?" I had been wondering over that question for a few seconds now, probably minutes. It was just unusual for them not to be here when their son's in a coma and might come out of it any time.

Father Jim looked to be in deep thought for a while. Then he asked, "Do you want to meet them?"

"No!" I exclaimed rather loudly, "Sorry, that came out too loud... I was just wondering why they weren't here." I almost jumped when I felt a squeeze on my thigh. I turned to look at JR, but he was looking somewhere else and obviously trying to make me pretend to ignore him by pretending to ignore me. It was almost funny the way he was doing it. Almost. I mentally shrugged my shoulders when I felt him squeeze my thigh again.

"I understand," Father Jim said, "You missed them by a couple of minutes last night. I somehow convinced them to go home and that I'll be the one to watch over Mike since I live nearer. I don't know why they aren't here yet, but they'll be here."

"And your, uh, brothers? Sisters?" I asked hesitantly.

"They'll be here, too. Actually, they might be in Mike's room already... That's why I took you here."

"Oh... so you haven't told them? About me?" I barely got that question out. I didn't want him to tell the rest of his family about me. Yet. And I didn't know whether to feel ashamed for not wanting to meet them. I mean, they're like my long lost family, right? I should be jumping into their arms and not letting go. I should be wanting to get to know them and to catch up on each other's lives, crying for joy and asking God why he didn't let this happen sooner. But I wasn't. Am not. Can't. I was still stuck on that I-wish-this-didn't-happen mood. I still hoped I'd wake up and remember this as nothing but a weird dream, no matter how much of a cliché that was.

Of course, when Father Jim told me he hadn't mentioned me to anyone—except to JR, that is—I was relieved. I just didn't want anyone calling or visiting me because I was their brother. Or son. I was still trying to get used to the idea, and even that was hard to. I wasn't ready to meet them yet.

We talked for a bit more until Father Jim told us he already had to go. They're already there, he said. I understood who he was referring to and politely told him I'd be leaving in a while. I wasn't exactly able to talk with him about everything, but, at least, I was able to settle something with him. Maybe later, but soon, I hoped. He left alone, as JR wanted to stay with me. Smiling, JR told me, "I'm still trying to find out how different you are from Mike."

I grinned at him. "You have to tell me your findings then," I said, purposely trying to make it sound like an experiment, "So, what do you want to do?"

"You wanna go to the mall?"

"Let's go."

Author's Note:
I'm sure you know by now how much I like to change the layout. Hehe. Sorry about that. Just tell me if the font's unreadable. I'll be happy to change it for you. Give me reason to change the layout, and I'll be happy. Period. Haha. Just kidding. Please don't flood me with change requests.

If you feel like wasting some time, check out My Blog at AwesomeDude. I'm also thinking about setting up a group at Yahoo! Just thinking anyway. That's work, and I'm a lazy guy. Speaking of work, I'm sure you noticed the gap of time between this chapter and the last one. To those who don't know by now, I live in the Philippines. I go to school too, and it just started last June 4. So yeah, that means I'll be writing only in my free time. I'll still try to do my two-chapters-a-month plan, but if I don't make it, well, let's not think about that. If I haven't posted anything in a month—thirty days—I encourage you to send my email account LOTS of emails. Hehe. Kind of like a wake up call. Now that got me to thinking about that Yahoo group again, you know, for updates and stuffs.

Like any other author, I live on feedback. I always reply back. If you sent me an email in the past and I haven't sent you any reply, feel free to spank me. Just please don't send me any naked pics of yours :D There's plenty of that in the internet. Feel free to pick on my work. I might learn on that. I'll be wrapping this up, since nobody reads this part anyway. Personally, I prefer the author's note (on any story) more than the story. Just kidding.

Yours truly,
Rad Steven