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

I was wondering why the last chapter looked so different. Then, I realized I forgot the disclaimer last chapter. Here it is. Disclaimer: This story is not based on real persons or events though I did take a slice from reality when it came to the setting of the story. It's fiction, period. This story involves a homosexual protagonist. If that's not your type of story, you got a decision to make. This story may not involve sex at all, and if that's what you're looking for, I apologize. Comments are greatly appreciated.

Chapter Nine

I felt nervous. Standing in front of Father Jim's apartment, I was all too suddenly at a loss. Arvin had convinced me that I should continue my nightly visits with my priest friend—and brother. Arvin said that if I suddenly stopped doing the usual, my parents would start asking. Besides, he said, there was no reason for me not to see Father Jim again; if anything, I needed to see him because he's my brother. I was already thinking along those lines. I guess I just needed to hear it from someone else. Especially my best friend. I wonder when he started being the mature one. If Arvin would hear me now, I could already imagine what he'd tell me. "Since forever." I chuckled a bit at the thought. Still, that didn't help my nervousness one bit. I could still feel a giant hammer pounding inside my chest.

There were no lights in the apartment, but I knew that beforehand. I was simply buying time, thinking if I should back out before the last minute comes. I felt like I should do this, and at the same time I shouldn't. That was right. I was torn in two, and it was the first time that I felt like this. How many times can a man say that at one point in his life he had felt like doing two particular things that are polar opposites of each other both at the same time? It's like seeing someone you hadn't seen for a long time and having the urge to both kiss and sucker punch him. Wanting and not wanting. It didn't even feel like a to-be-or-not-be kind of situation. It was more like "I am and I am not." It didn't make sense. It was frustrating. It was insane. I'm not turning Mr. Hyde now, am I?

I sat on the sidewalk. There were still a lot of parishioners in the church from what I could see from my spot. Father Jim, what with his priestly garment, easily stuck out from the congregation. I considered what to say to him—what to call him. He was my older brother, and I was supposed to call him "Kuya." But it felt weird. It made me feel awkward much more than calling him "Father" did. I tried to get over this feeling, but I couldn't. I wanted to, but I didn't know how. It didn't feel like a puzzle to be solved. It felt like a mountain to be moved. I remember what Father Jim used to say whenever we talked about problems in general. Have faith like a mustard seed.

Can I really move this mountain?

It seemed like hours before the parishioners filtered out of the church. In the end, I was stuck on my spot because I simply didn't know what to do. What do Westerners call it? Like a deer caught in headlights. Indecision paralyzed me. I stayed rooted, speechless. It was a good thing the driver didn't barrel ahead. He stopped completely in front of me. I couldn't help but return the smile he gave me although mine was a nervous one. He sat next to me, and we stayed silent in each other's company. For how long a time, I didn't know, the occasional passing of cars and the singing of the crickets making a perfect background.

After a few minutes, he asked, "Do you want to go inside?" His timing was perfect.


I found that it had helped me—staying out there with him doing nothing. It was like he was trying to assure me he'd always be there even if there was nothing I could and would do for him. At least, that was how it felt to me. It was that feeling that made me say "Sure." It was that feeling that made me want to go inside his apartment with him. I found I was whole again. I wasn't torn in two anymore.

Other than the obvious little space between us, everything was the same. We sat in his living room, drinking coke and eating some of the stuffs the parishioners brought for him. It had always made me wonder why he wasn't gaining weight yet.

"Do you..." Father Jim started to ask but trailed off. He tried again. "Do you think you could call me 'Kuya'?"

"To be honest, it would take a lot of time..." I said, then added, "Kuya."

"Well, that's a nice start, isn't it?"

"I still love my brother." He knew who I was referring to.

"Zack, calling me 'kuya' doesn't mean Brian isn't your kuya anymore. And I'm glad that you're not just turning your back to him."

"I know... it's just that..." I tried my all. I did everything I could think of to explain my turmoil. But nothing came of it. Nothing. In utter desperation, I clutched at my brother's clothes and said the only words that kept bubbling in my mind, though I knew that they were meaningless compared to what I was really feeling inside. "I don't know what to do!" And that was it. It was like someone had punched a hole through my defenses, and I was immediately releasing days worth of tears. I just couldn't stop crying anymore. I was, in an instant, a lost child, drowned in misery and confusion. I tried so hard to stop, but it only caused me hiccups. I was vaguely aware of... Kuya Jim's arms around me as I cried with my arms wrapped around my knees. He started rubbing my head and massaging the back of my neck, and I soon became lost in my own thoughts, my crying reduced to sniffles.

There was something in his touch that made me realize a lot of things. In order to be stronger, I have to be broken down so that I could build myself up into a stronger individual. Building is a process, slow and sometimes painful. This time, though, I realized that I wouldn't be alone. No, I certainly didn't want to be alone. Not when I was having a Humpty Dumpty moment.

I didn't know what happened. In only a matter of minutes, seconds even, it was like nothing had ever occurred between Father—no—Kuya Jim and me. Well, no, that wasn't right. Something happened, but it had just become like one of the everyday occurrences that we experience. The whole I'm-adopted-thing was suddenly behind me, at least, between Kuya Jim and me. I couldn't say the same concerning my parents. Most especially Brian, my Kuya Brian. Although I had suddenly found happiness with my newly discovered older brother, it didn't feel complete. No, I knew my happiness wasn't complete. Maybe I was being selfish in thinking this way, but I didn't just want Kuya Jim, I wanted Kuya Brian too. I wanted to have all of them.

I did realize, though, that by thinking of Father Jim as 'Kuya' everytime he comes to my mind, I would soon lose the awkwardness that calling him that way makes me feel.

I said goodbye to him around ten o'clock because I knew he'd be early at the hospital tomorrow. I was surprised he was even here. But you know what they say. Duty to God first. I really didn't know how they do it. I mean, doesn't it get tiring?

* * * * *

My curfew had always been at twelve during vacations or school breaks. I guess you could say that I've got pretty cool parents. But I wouldn't dwell on that.

I knew my best friend would still be up at this time—he's a night owl—so I decided to drop by and see what he's doing. And maybe catch Max and him going at it. That would have been hot. Steaming hot. I was pretty sure he told me he'd spend the day with me today, but he didn't say anything about the night. If Max wasn't there right now, I won't eat rice for a whole week. I swear.

"Hey, Tito... Jen," I greeted. They were both watching late night TV. Not waiting for anyone's response, I made my way up to Arvin's room. It was dark, and sure enough, Max was there. They were both curled up on Arvin's bed and to my disappointment, just talking. It was The Calling singing in the background, Arvin's favorite. Both of them looked up at me when I went in. "Am I interrupting something?" I asked, almost singing it. I jumped in between them and gave both of them a grin.

"Didn't we just see each other hours ago, Zack?"

"Who says I'm here to see you? I'm here to see Max. Right, Maxi?"

"Sure, Sieggie." Max and I burst out laughing. If I had known Max liked Soul Calibur as much as I did, I would have befriended him a long time ago. His favorite character was Maxi because of the name, obviously. Mine was Siegfried because the guy had a really big weapon. No pun intended. Both of us, being halfway between a beginner and a god, liked to play against each other and, yeah, harass the hell out of beginners. Although I sure did have my ass handed back to me yesterday. Man, I'm never going to be playing that game again. So help me god.

"Well, I'm just glad that you're in a better mood now," Arvin said.

For a couple of minutes, we just laid there, me sandwiched between both of my friends. There was something in the silence. It wasn't uncomfortable. It was relaxed. I wasn't jealous of Max anymore although I do admit of being envious. There was a big difference between the two for me. While I don't wish to take Arvin from Max anymore, I envied what they have. For now, though, I'm going to do my best to be content with what I have. For now.

"Were you guys going to do something before I came?" I asked. I continued, giggling, "Of course, I'm not just asking if you were going to have sex. Were you going to watch a movie? Play chess, perhaps."

"Perhaps you should leave," Arvin answered.

"No, really. Did I interrupt something? I'm gonna leave now if I did."

Max put an arm on my chest. Dude, you're going to make my sex-deprived organ hard. "We were just hanging out, Zack. Chill. Let's go home together."

"Uh, Max, don't you go the other way?"

"Yeah. I meant that we should leave together. I don't wanna see my boyfriend jacking off."

"You're a hypocrite, Maxi. Even so, I don't share the same opinion. I'm gonna stay here and wait for him to come. Cum, hehe... You can go home by yourself." Max's arm on my chest tensed up, and he never retorted back. It took me a moment to realize what I just said to him. I just came out to him! I just came out to him, and I didn't mean to. My tongue seemed to have retreated to the back of my throat. I couldn't say anything, and Arvin was of no help either. I think he was waiting for what was going to happen next. "Shit... I... Max, I... I don't know what to say."

"You!" Max said sharply, slapping my chest. "I've been tripping all over myself trying not to do so much gay stuff in front of you when you were just like me all along."

"I'm gay too, remember?" Arvin piped up.

"Shut up! I'm trying to be mad here, and you're not helping." Max said, sitting up. Arvin and I followed suit.

"Seriously, Max," I said, "I just didn't want you to think that I'm after Arvin all along. I mean, I was but not anymore. And look what that just did to egomaniac. The guy's so full of himself." We both turned to look at Arvin who was puffing his chest out a la Johnny Bravo. Unfortunately, Johnny's biceps had more size than his chest. I better keep that line catalogued somewhere. That was downright funny, and I would certainly use that in the future. "He thinks we're fighting over him."

"We had been, a while back, yes. What do you say we do to him, Sieggie?"

"You know what, Maxi."

"Hey, no more pranks. You two better get out of my house now and go home. It's almost your curfew."

"We could sleep here. Right, Max?"

"Go home."

"Hey, babe, when was the last time your dad saw you naked?"

With that said, Max and I pulled Arvin down until we had him secured on the bed, lying face down. It was a tough struggle, but what are the odds of one winning against two? I knew Arvin wished he had more clothes on. His T-shirt and boxers were not exactly much of a challenge. With one pull, the boxers were off. I had to stop myself from drooling when I saw his ass. Max gave me a knowing grin. The T-shirt proved to be quite a job. Arvin knew he was going to lose, but he wasn't going down without a fight. And fight he did. I almost tore it had I not known he liked wearing that tee too much. It was his all-around T-shirt.

"Hehe... Naked as the day he was born," I said, pinching his ass. "Max, I think we're going to have to carry him out of the room."

Arvin's protests were ignored. His wiggling under us went unnoticed.

"Do we carry him face down or up?"

"Up!" I said with a laugh. "I get the feet. You get the hands."

"Babe, your best friend is a perv. A big one!"

It was a sight. Arvin's dick flopped and flopped while he wiggled and wiggled in our grasp as we carried him to the end of the hall. I was admittedly having quite a stiff problem down there, which I will take care of when I get home. The moment Arvin was down on the floor, Max and I sprinted to the room locking the door behind us. I knew Arvin would be grumbling later, but it was all in good fun. He'll come around. He knocked softly on the door, and Max and I immediately burst out into giggles. He wasn't banging on the door, meaning, he knew that if he did that, his dad would come up and see what was going on, plus, the neighbors would be roused from their sleep. He spent a good five minutes wearing his knuckles out.

"I so hate you guys right now! Where the hell are my clothes?"

I handed his clothes to him, which he snatched from my hands. Max and I snickered at him.

"Wow. I am so happy it's already eleven-thirty," Arvin said in a really flat tone, his arms spread and each item of clothing in either of his hands.

"Well, we're not," I told him with a grin, "How about a sleepover?"

"Maybe next year. Or probably five years from now." He turned to Max. "And you, Mr. Cohort, won't have sex as long as I live."

"That's pretty hard to believe considering you haven't worn even your boxers yet."

Arvin jumped into his boxers. "Happy now?"

"No. Not really."

We talked some more before Max and I had to leave. You know, just making plans. Nothing final yet. Right then, I felt like I had all the time in the world. I felt like enjoying myself. I hope I'm not doing the wrong thing here. I mean, what if I'm just trying to bury my problems somewhere instead of confronting them? For some reason, though, something about this felt right. Something had definitely changed. I was slowly reverting back into the former carefree me. Maybe in time I could even put everything behind me. The only question was how.

"Zack, I'm really glad you're in a better mood now. Even though it was at my expense."

I laughed. "Well, it was thanks to you. We talked," I told Arvin. I didn't want to be cryptic in front of Max, but I didn't see any other choice. They kissed each other good night and out in the streets at that. Wow. These two, I only wonder what they're going to do when they get caught. Arvin and I hugged, and we all parted ways. This was definitely a day to be remembered. I still felt a blush creeping up my neck remembering Arvin's line this morning. I'd feel naked without you. I think that's the best thing anyone had ever said to me. What brought that on anyway?

* * * * *

I found Brian in the living room watching "A Time to Kill." I decided to stick around this time. After all, Matthew McConaughey was just ahh! That was what Arvin said it was, right? When something's got you so awestruck and you can't find a word for it, just say "ahh!" That guy's really goofy sometimes. It was a little irritating to watch the movie with Brian, though, because he kept commenting about how that scene was totally not in line with the book, how this character was saying someone else's line, and how everything was just so screwed up. It had become so different from the book. As if I cared. I just sat with him on the floor, leaning on him and rolling my eyes at him.

"Wake up, Z. I can't carry you anymore." I wasn't really asleep. I was merely closing my eyes. Ok, I admit I nodded off a few times, but he would have none of it. He kept shaking me everytime he saw my eyes closed. I really wanted to sleep already, but—I don't know how to explain it—I just wanted to be with my brother for a little while longer. I hope I'm not being too clingy. He never sent me to my room. I hope I'm not trying to read into that too much. And what did he say? I can't carry you anymore. Did he mean he would still carry me if he can?

It reminded me of the time when I was only ten years old. Brian was only two years older than I was, but he was already a head taller than me. I remembered thinking that that sucked so much since everybody thought I would be really short. I guess, back then, I should've known that I was adopted, but I was only a kid. Anyway, whenever I fell asleep somewhere in the house, Brian always said that he was the one who carried me to my room. I always believed him. Still do. Although now that I was catching up with him in the height department, there was no way he could carry me like he used to. A piggyback ride would do, though. I'd love to feel like a kid again. I'd love to feel like cartoons and action figures were the most important part of my life again. If only everything was that simple.

Now that it felt ok to be Kuya Jim's little brother, I hoped I could still be Kuya Brian's little brother forever, no matter how selfish that might sound. They said kids are selfish by nature. I wouldn't mind being a kid again.

Author's Note:
Heya, guys! I'd like to thank everyone who wrote me. And please, keep doing so. It's the only way for me to know that anyone's still reading this. If you find something in this story you don't like, I'd LOVE to know about them. Write me if you like the story, and just as well if you hate it. Drop me a line if you've got the chance or join the thread for this story that I created at Gay Authors. Here's the link:
Fixing a Broken Heart Discussion Thread
Hmmm... what else... can't really think much of anything to say right now. It's getting it old, but I'll say it again. Let me know what you guys think of this story. Feedback is the only payment us online writers receive. And it's nice to know if we are loved or hated.

Take care all of you!

Yours truly,
Rad Steven