Fixing a Broken Heart
Copyright ©2007 by Rad Steven
All rights reserved

Chapter Eight

Fucking morning person!

I groaned a little in pain from falling on the floor. In my sleepy daze, I had been trying to push myself into Brian, but I never realized that he was already up and gone. One more push and wham! I was flying off the bed for about a second. The landing wasn't smooth, and as a matter of fact, I crashed, my head making a thump as it hit the floor. It wasn't a hollow thump, mind you; I do have brains after all. But the fall had taken away any claw that sleep had dug into me. I was more than awake, pain shooting from all sides of my head. Ouch!

It was then that I heard snickering coming from the bed. Someone had the gall to think what happened was entertaining. I thought Brian was already gone. I helped myself sit up and immediately came face to face with Tigger. Fuck! I swallowed a lump down my throat, trying to make sure I really was awake. In my mind, an image of Calvin and Hobbes having a conversation suddenly popped in. I was expecting Tigger to open his mouth and speak when he jumped high in the air and came down on me with a force. But I felt nothing. He merely bounced off and lied on the floor lifeless.

"Quit being silly, Zack."

My eyes quickly flew to where the voice had come from. "Arvin!" I jumped in and joined him on the bed.

He chuckled. "Wonder when you started collecting stuff toys."

I hugged him. "Long time no see."

"Not my fault," he said. "Dad said you came to our house yesterday, but I couldn't find you..."

"Yesterday, yesterday..." I muttered, calling upon my memory the events in the past twenty-four hours. It came back full force, shredding to nothingness my made-up reality. "Oh... yesterday." Yesterday and yesterday's yesterday. I wonder who was the fool who said the truth shall set us free. Fool, sometimes the truth is best left in the dark where no one could find it. Sometimes a lie is better masked with the face of truth, because the truth is just not worth living if all you get is a broken heart. It hurts. The truth fucking hurts.

"And you left your phone. First time ever. You? Leaving your phone? What's wrong, Z?"

"Not here. I'll tell you somewhere else, but not here," I said, thinking what, and how, exactly am I going to tell him. "Have you eaten? I'll just take a shower, and we'll go. Just wait for me down there at the kitchen. Leave me some breakfast."

"'K. Don't take too long. You can jack off later."

"I'm already behind my quota, you know."

"Come on, go already. Kitchen."

"Ok. Kitchen."

I walked into the shower with a smile on face. I felt quite good actually. Arvin still had that "place" in me. But believe me, I'm trying to move on. I could still fantasize about him, right? At least, I'm not obsessing on him like I used to before. Just, you know, fantasy. As in sex. Hehe. Gotta take everything that I can get. And between Arvin's friendship and my fantasies, I wouldn't ask for more.

I took my time in the shower, more because it was extremely relaxing. I had always liked the water. There's just something about it that soothes my mind. That must be the reason why I like taking a bath so much. The funny thing about it was that it was always in the bathroom where I "stop and think about the future." It was here where I first thought of becoming a lawyer like my parents. I even remember that when I was still a kid I drew the moon, stars, and the earth with my crayons all over the walls. The earth was nothing but a round hodge-podge of blue and green, the moon a crescent silver, and the stars hundreds of five-pointed stars that I saw teachers drawing on my papers accompanied with "Very Good!" All that because I wanted to be an astronomer. I think, back then, I used to tell everyone I was going to be an astrologer, not knowing the difference between the two. In the end, Brian said he can draw better than that, and my dad was grinning ear to ear as my mom told him to scrub it off. I was seven at that time, and I completely adored crayons. Good times, yes, good times.

When I stepped out of the bathroom, the first thing that I noticed was Tigger. The stuffed toy was still on its spot on the floor where I left it after Arvin threw it to me. I knew I was smiling remembering the person who gave it to me. "Mike likes Mickey Mouse," he said. His face was serious, and his tone was one of incredulity like he believed it was funny and seriously so. I doubt if anyone could pull that off. Being serious about something funny? Nah... only JR can do that. I picked Tigger up and put him on my desk. After dressing up, or down, with a T-shirt, jeans, and flip-flops, I said goodbye to Tigger and made my way to the kitchen.

"Took you long, Z."

"It did?" I asked with a grin.

"Only girls spend that much time in the shower."

"You're one to talk, Arvin."

"I know." He laughed. "Well, breakfast's waiting."

In between Arvin's comments about how much I like eggs and hotdogs, I finished my breakfast. Of course, I couldn't help it anymore but laugh when he said he would like some "jizz" too. You know, jizz, juice? He's silly like that.

"I wonder if Max laughs at your jokes."

"I really don't give him much choice," Arvin said with a laugh, but he suddenly stopped. Without warning, he hit my arm. It was my turn to laugh. "I caught that."

"Caught what?" I asked, rubbing the spot on my arm where he had hit me.

"You think my jokes are lame."

"They're perverted too."


"Do you swear?"

"I promise, Zack," Arvin said, "I won't tell anybody."

We had been repeating this same dialogue like a rosary now. I was glad that Arvin and I had known each other our whole lives because, otherwise, I'm pretty sure that he would have been irritated with me already. I knew there wasn't any need for me to stack Bibles for him to swear on, but I just wanted to be sure that he knows that what I was about to tell him was extremely top secret—for my best friend's ears only. I didn't know whether it was because of shame, fear, anger, or whatnot. What was a person supposed to feel when he finds out he was adopted? I had no idea.

It was quiet in Arvin's house. His sister, Jen, was with her friends, and his dad was at work. We were in his room, making ourselves comfortable on the carpeted floor. I had specifically asked for there not to be any background music. I needed to think straight, and music would never let me do that. I didn't say no when Arvin said he'll get foods and drinks. My breakfast was gone, sent to the extremities of my body. My stomach craved for replacements.

"Did you really tell Max that you'll spend the day with me?" I asked, more for curiosity's sake. It was to my delight that Arvin was a little wary of the friendship between his best friend and boyfriend. It was so ironic that he was torn between Max and I before but now didn't enjoy the thought of us, conniving little fairies—his own words—together. I could say that the pranks we pulled on him were legendary. I knew, though, that he wouldn't have it any other way.

"Ok, I'll pretend that I didn't know you're stalling..."

"I'm not."

"...Yes, I did. I'm sorry about the other night, Z." He paused. He knew I knew what he was talking about. "I should've just told you Max and I were going out on a date instead of asking you to go with us when I clearly wanted you to say no. I guess I still thought you'd feel bad if we wouldn't include you."

"Nah. That's ok," I said sincerely. "Don't feel like everybody loves you and wants to have you."

Arvin laughed. "Ha ha ha. You just have to kill the moment, don't you?" He then turned serious. "Whatever happens, you're still my best friend. Nobody could replace you. Max is my boyfriend, but you know what they say about puppy love."

"That it doesn't last? That's crap, Arvin! Love is never about age. You can't call it puppy love just because you guys are only teenagers. I hope you didn't talk about this with Max."

"I didn't," he said. "I'm not saying our relationship's not gonna last. I'm saying there's always a chance our relationship's not gonna work out. There's always a chance that I'm gonna have a hundred boyfriends before I die. But there's only one you. I've only got one best friend. You've always got my back, Z, and honestly, I'd feel naked without you."

"Did you just say... that?" I couldn't stop the grin that's spreading on my face and neither the rush of blood under my skin. I think my whole body just blushed. Inside, I was going all "awwww." And for a moment there, I wanted to try my luck with him again. But I shrugged the thought away. "You made me speechless."

"To tell you the truth, I don't know where that came from," he said, also blushing. "But if you don't want to tell me whatever it is you said you were going to tell me, then tell me you don't. And I'd leave it at that. I'll find out sooner or later."

"I do want to tell you. Just promise me you won't tell anyone. Not even Max. Especially Kuya."

"I swear. I promise. Cross my heart. What else do you want me to say?"

I took a deep breath. "I'm adopted."

There were definitely worse things to say in this world, but at the moment, none of those could make me feel as bad as the two words that just came out of my mouth. Why? I didn't want to feel this way, but I did. This feeling reminded me of the times when I was sick and food just plain sucked. It tasted so bitter. I didn't want it to taste that way in my mouth but it did. I wanted to savor the food in my mouth—its real flavor. I guess the only difference was that I didn't know how I wanted to feel about my conflict. Like I said, what was a person supposed to feel when he finds out he was adopted?

Arvin fell silent. I knew the news was quite a shocker, and I expected him to react that way. The snacks he brought came in handy in the silence. I wonder what's going through my best friend's mind.

"Your parents told you?" he asked me, and I shook my head no. "How did you find out? Are you sure?"

I sighed. The part where everything just turned complicated came. I tried to speak, but words failed me. I didn't know how to answer him. Besides that, the answer to his question just sounded so ridiculous to me. The whole thing was like a lame product of an excessively imaginative daydreaming. How do you tell someone—your best friend—that the priest you met by chance was your real brother and that you have a living evidence to attest to your adoption—your twin? It sounded so absurd. And yet it's true.

"I met my older brother—the real one, or at least, the one with the same blood as I have. It was Father Jim."

"What? The priest at St. James?"


"So you've known it for a long while now then?"

"No, because he never told me. I guess this is what answers your question if I'm sure I'm really adopted: I have a twin." The rest of the story came out easier—going to the church, then to the hospital, and finding my twin on a hospital bed. I didn't know who was shaking his head more—Arvin or I. I had imagined that I would feel like a huge burden would be taken off my shoulders if I talked about this with my best friend, but nothing changed. I still felt the same.

"So he knew who you were the moment he met you?" He didn't wait for me to say or do anything. "And you got a twin," he muttered to himself. "I don't know what to make of this, Z. I believe you, but do you know how much the story seemed so... so... unbelievable?"

"I really don't know if you told me anything. 'I believe you, but the story is unbelievable.' It's like positive one plus negative one," I said with a grin. "And yeah, I think if ever my story would be featured on TV, the viewers would be all like 'That's bullshit!' I could even see them shaking their heads. I'll do the same too, you know, if it weren't my story. Right now, I don't even know what to do."

Arvin scooted next to me. Putting an arm around my shoulders, he said in a mothering tone, "Oh, you poor baby! I guess I'm going to be taking care of you now. Where does it hurt, m'baby?"

"Go away." I shoved him off of me although I couldn't stop myself from grinning.

"Can't say I didn't try," he said. He continued in a serious tone. "Although, now, I really understand why you don't want anybody else to know. Especially your brother."

"I'm scared he'd find out, Arvin."

"Your parents doesn't know you know?"

"I hate them."

"You don't. You're just mad. They did nothing to you, Zack."

"Nothing? They lied to me. They've been lying to me my whole life!" I nearly shouted at him.

"Don't take it out on me, Z. I'm just saying, sure, they didn't tell you, but they have reasons. Maybe you should talk to them."

"No." I was sure Arvin could hear the finality of that in my tone because he didn't push the issue anymore. He just sat beside me as we continued to munch on the foods he brought.


"I'm still waiting for him to respond," I said for the thirteenth time.

Arvin had somehow convinced me that we need to see my twin. I was a little hesitant because I didn't know who could be there with him right now. I explained to him that I have to send someone a text message first—my airtime being limited by my sometimes very limited allowance—because I didn't want an accidental meeting with my blood relatives. I sent a message to the number JR gave me yesterday, asking him if he's at the hospital. I was waiting patiently for his reply. Arvin wasn't.

"It's been five minutes, Zack."

"It's only been three, and you know it."

"Does he really look like you?"

"Yes. We're identical twins, remember?"

"Wow! This is so cool! I had never imagined this happening! Imagine that, you? Having a twin? I can't wait to see him!"

"Well, I'm glad that, at least, one of us is happy with the situation."

"Sorry," Arvin said, grinning sheepishly. "It's just that the thought of you having a twin had never crossed my mind..."

"Same here."

"... And actually learning you have one is just ahh!"


"Ahh. You know, when you want to describe something awesome and there's just no word that comes to mind, you say ahh!"

"Well, like I said, I'm glad you think it's awesome," I said, torn between amusement and mild irritation. "Oops! I mean ahh!" Arvin laughed. He laughed really hard, and I had no choice anymore but to follow suit. Something about it just plain tickled the two of us. We laughed for what seemed like hours, and even I had to admit that it felt good. We were still laughing when my phone rang, signaling a text message.


We met JR at the hospital's lobby although I thought that it was too much of a risk. By the look on his face, I knew something unexpected had come up. He didn't have to tell me what it was. I introduced him and Arvin to each other, but JR was suddenly the same shy guy that I had first met instead of the witty one that I had come to like. For some reason, Arvin also seemed to be shy. Or maybe I was just imagining things. Maybe it was the heat. Whichever it was, I didn't pay much attention to it. I was surprised to feel disappointed that I wouldn't be able to see my brother. He was still in a coma, JR told me.

"His parents just arrived. I'm sorry, Zack."

"It wasn't your fault. You could still bring Arvin along. After all, he was the one who wanted to see Mike," I told him, then I added with a chuckle, "Like he wasn't seeing enough of me."

"But what about you?" JR asked before Arvin could say anything.

"I'll be at Yellow Cab. It's just a couple of steps from here. You haven't eaten lunch, right?" JR nodded. "Good. I'll wait for you two there. Behave, Arvin."

"See ya!"


I walked to Yellow Cab under the extremely hot, glaring sun. What do you expect at twelve o'clock, right? This time, though, I really think that the temperature was hotter today than any other day in my life. Funny, that was also what I was thinking of yesterday. I could feel the heat reaching my bones. I was surprised my skin isn't burning yet. It was that hot. Thank God for air conditioned pizza parlors. It was cold inside Yellow Cab. I ordered myself a large tumbler of coke and settled on a table near the door, opting to wait for the two before ordering our lunch. I was feeling generous today. My dad left me some money before he went to work. I played Snake on my cellphone while sipping my drink-yes, I was sipping it like coffee. By the time they arrived, my skills on playing Snake had already improved five hundred percent.

"You'll look good with a long hair," Arvin said, plopping down next to me. JR remained silent, settling down in front of me.

"So you think I look bad with my short hair?"

"You look ok," JR said.

"You'll look good with a long hair," Arvin repeated.

"I like my short hair, Vin. Anyway, what do you guys like? Pizza or rice? My treat."

"Rice," they both said. I was outnumbered.

"To the mall it is, then."

The trip to the mall was spent complaining about the weather. I wondered how JR could stay so white. It was so hot, and it never seemed like we've already complained about it enough. This actually made me remember a certain article in a magazine that I've read months back. The article said, "If you have nothing to talk about but the weather, face it, you have nothing to talk about." It was a good thing the mall wasn't that far.

As agreed, we ate rice with a whole roasted chicken. I was sure the people at the food court were all shaking their heads at the three of us, thinking, "Look at those three pigging their ass out." While eating, Arvin asked JR the same questions I've asked yesterday. I think JR got tired of it, though, because he was only giving back short answers, unlike yesterday when we almost turned the Q&A into a game. Arvin hardly noticed as he had only met the guy now. Besides, as far as I can remember, JR had been acting shy since the moment Arvin met him, so I guess he never thought there was something different. Like all good things, our meal came to an end. Nothing but bones was left of the chicken, while I knew I still got some more room for food in my stomach.

Arvin and I decided to stay a bit at the mall. JR, though, said that he has to go back to the hospital. He left with a quick "Bye." I wonder if he's always like that to "new people." Am I not "new people" too?

"He doesn't seem to like me."

I looked at Arvin, my brows furrowed. "He's just shy. He was like that when I first met him yesterday."

"No," Arvin insisted, "When someone doesn't like you, you feel it. I felt it. He doesn't like me."

I shrugged my shoulders at him.

"He hardly talked to me on the way to your brother's room, and take this, when I said 'wow,' I saw him roll his eyes."

"He's not like that."

It was his turn to shrug his shoulders.

"So how was the... situation in the room?" I asked.

"It was bad," Arvin said, shaking his head. "His, uh, mother was crying like they've already lost him. She's blaming the doctors because Mike hasn't woken up in three days. The doctors, though, were optimistic. But the mood in the room kind of killed it."

We were both silent for a while. I thought of Mike. I knew he was going to wake up—I hope he would. I really wanted to get to know him. I have to be optimistic too. Besides, I can't imagine what JR is going through right now, seeing his best friend like that. I hope he wasn't blaming himself. He did say that he could have been with Mike that day. Maybe that was why he was so aloof today. I hope Mike gets better soon.

Striking up a pose in front of Arvin, I asked, "So... who's more good looking?"

"You know it's me, Z."

"I should've known better than to ask you that kind of question," I said, shaking my head at him. "My bad."

Author's Note:
I've created a discussion thread for this at Gay Authors. Please drop me a line. And yes, I'm desperate to hear what you think of this story. Here's the link:
I also created, well, something. Kind of like a Yahoo Group but not quite. It's also a forum although by the time I finished reading the Terms and Services I was convinced my free account would be deleted from the universe any time. I'd prefer it if you join in on the Gay Authors discussion but I'd prefer it more if you join both. Hehe. Here:
You can also find my other stories there. You decide, dear readers.

THANKS a lot to all of you who wrote to me. Keep it up! I love hearing from you.

Yours truly,
Rad Steven