Written By: Justin Case
Edited By: Ed
May 23, 2001
Disclaimer: This story is written about gay love. It is graphic
especially with sexual content. The story, while based on truth, is fiction.
It is an idea conceived between the writer and his editor. Any resemblance
to real people, places, or activities, is pure coincidence. This story is
the property of the writer. It is placed here for your enjoyment. However,
if this story is illegal in your community because of its content and your
age, you should consider leaving now. ©2001JCPCo
Words from the author: When I began this tale, I started each chapter with these words, "Usually I stand on my SoapBox at this point. Not for this story. I will let the story speak for itself." I thought it was fitting that I would end the story in the same manner.
Preface: Guy, oh Guy, you are with us. We keep you here. Rest, oh little one, rest.
Guy stood in the kitchen; tears began to form in his eyes.
"Sure, Guy, you can ask me anything you want," John answered him.
"Have you ever loved anyone? You know, like Matty and me?" Guy's voice quavered.
John took a step back, he looked at his younger cousin, and his face showed confusion. He wondered what had Guy so upset. He had been so busy with work that he hadn't been around very much lately. He ran one of his hands through his hair as he sought in his mind for the right words. He could sense from Guy that something was troubling him.
"No, to be totally honest, Guy, I have never loved anyone the way you two love each other," John told Guy, but wished he had lied. His voice trembled a little with fear, fear that Guy wouldn't think he could help. So he followed up with, "But, I know what true love is, and it is what you and Matty have."
Guy looked at his cousin and smiled. His turquoise eyes locked on his cousin, he looked deeply into John's soul. He was too upset and wanted honesty. Guy didn't want John to tell him something just because he might think it was what he wanted to hear; he wanted to be told the truth. Guy thought for a moment and decided his cousin would be honest with him, but had to be sure.
"John, I need you to be honest with me. I think Matty has someone else. What do I do?" Guy finally asked, and began to sob.
John stepped closer to his cousin and put his arms around him. He pulled Guy's head to his shoulder, and remained silent as he thought out what to say. He couldn't believe that Matty had found someone else. Yet, he hadn't been around to know. He felt horrible inside, he felt as if he had let the two boys down somehow, by not being there for them. He reasoned in his mind that it was his fault for not setting a better example, after all, he convinced himself, he was the adult.
"Guy, I am sorry. I know that Matty loves you. No matter what has happened, we can work this out. You have to believe in yourself and your love for Matty," John finally said.
"I don't know. I've been so busy at school. I have really been practicing so hard with West Side Story and my part, that I haven't been here for him, John." Guy cried harder onto his cousin's shoulder.
John patted Guy softly on his back as he held him in his arms. His mind raced with thoughts, but nothing came out of his lips. He couldn't figure out what to say, but he knew in his heart of hearts that the two boys really did love each other. He had to go on his gut instinct, and what little knowledge he felt he had. John realized that what Guy had said was, `he thought Matty had someone else,' not that he did have someone else.
"Don't you think you should talk with Matty, before you go and get all worked up? I mean, you don't know for sure that he has someone else. Right?" John finally said, feeling proud of himself.
"Yes, I do know. I came home tonight..." Guy sobbed uncontrollably.
"And?" John asked, his voice softened.
"I just know. I just do. I can't explain it to you, but I know he had someone else." Guy broke down completely in his cousin's embrace.
John didn't know what to say. He held his young cousin close to him, while his mind raced with thoughts. He wanted to say the right thing; then he thought that maybe the right thing to say was nothing. After all, he had no experience in the matter. He was forever telling his clients that's why they needed to hire him, for experience. How could he offer advice now, when he had none?
"Guy, why don't we go to bed? I'm sure everything will look better in the morning. It's Saturday and we'll all be here. If you like I can go out, that way you two will have some privacy," John told Guy, his voice sounded so reassuring.
Guy walked slowly down the hall; John followed behind. As Guy reached his bedroom door he turned and attempted to smile at John. John stopped briefly and gave Guy one last hug, then he continued to his own bedroom.
Guy tossed and turned all night long; he couldn't quite get to sleep. His mind was a fury; he wondered what he would say. He thought about the whole conversation that he would have with Matty in the morning; over and over again, he rehearsed what he devised in his head. He pictured Matty and him sitting in their bedroom, then he visualized the two of them in the living room. He wanted to make sure he covered all the bases, he wanted to make sure that, whatever happened, he didn't lose Matty.
He thought back to when the two had first met. He remembered Matty as he first met him, down in Hilton. He longed to go back to the way it was. Guy began to cry harder as thoughts of his father flooded his mind. Oh, why did all these terrible things keep happening to him? What had he done that he deserved such a cursed life? Guy began to think about his mother, that wicked woman, and how she used to beat him and verbally abuse him. His heart ached; he missed his siblings and tried to picture them all in his mind. Tears fell from his eyes. He curled up on his side, in a ball on his bed, and cried.
The early morning sun broke through the clouds and peeked into Guy's bedroom window, the orange-yellow rays bounced off the mirror over the dresser at the foot of his bed. The early morning traffic sounds shook the glass panes in the window frames; the vibration woke Guy with a start. His body ached, his muscles cramped from the fetal position he had fallen asleep in. He heard soft footsteps, as they approached the bedroom. He watched the door intently.
Matty crept into the room, not wanting to wake his friend. His raven black hair was crumpled and messy from his sleep on the couch. His eyes were puffy and red from his sobbing most of the night. Even his clothes were wrinkled and sloppy from sleeping in them. He slowly made his way to their bedside and began to undress.
Guy peered at him through his half-opened eyelids, he pretended to be asleep. He didn't want Matty to know he was awake, he was still confused about what he knew. He was happy that Matty had come to bed, but he was afraid to make a move. He lay in the bed motionless, in spite of the pain his body was in.
Matty finally climbed into the bed with his back toward his lover. He too was afraid and confused. He tried to sleep, but his mind was full of guilt and shame. He kept seeing Junior; the images haunted him. He longed to be held by Guy, but felt rejected.
"Matty?" his courage found, Guy asked.
"Mm?" Matty mumbled.
"I love you," Guy said, the tears began to flow again.
"I love you too," Matty said, his back still facing Guy, his own face was drenched in his flowing tears.
Guy reached his arms out and put them around Matty. He nestled his body against his young lover's back. He tightened his arms around Matty's body, and pulled himself as close as he could toward his best friend. Guy began kissing the back of Matty's neck. He slowly began rubbing Matty's chest with his hands.
Matty pushed his backside into Guy's pelvis; he tried to get Guy's hard dick between his ass cheeks. He wanted to feel his lover's love-stick inside of him. He wanted to feel whole again, with Guy. The tears continued to stream down his face as his lover held and rubbed his chest. He rolled over and faced Guy; he reached his own arms around his boyfriend. He pulled Guy's body toward his, and pushed his hard cock against Guy's, as he kissed him deeply.
Guy reached his right hand down between them; he slowly slid it around Matty's cock. He felt the hot hard member in his hand, the feeling was so familiar, and he knew every fiber of his young lover's hard cock. He gently pushed his left hand down to Matty's balls, and gently massaged the swollen sac. He eased his head down and took Matty's dick into his lips, while he kept his two hands working at it. He sucked the rigid, velvety prick into his mouth as he pumped on it with his right hand, and gently squeezed his testicles in his left.
Matty's body began to tremble as he cried; he couldn't shake the thoughts of Junior, and what he had done. He couldn't control his desire for Guy either, nor his want to be loved. He wanted to feel like he was part of Guy; he missed making love to him, the feeling overwhelmed him. Matty rolled his body over so his hard dick was near Guy's waiting hole. He pumped his cock into Guy's hot tight ass. He felt his balls tense as the impending orgasm mounted.
Guy sensed Matty was close, he felt the cock burning inside of him as it swelled and stiffened. He thrust his hips so his ass could be filled with the hardened shaft, and reached around his back with his right hand and gripped Matty's balls.
With every burst of cum, he felt Matty's dick pulse inside of him. He felt the sweet hot juice as it shot up his ass. Spent, he moved so his head was next to Matty's. His own cock ached for release, but Matty didn't reach for it. He gradually moved one of his hands to Matty's and guided it to his own stiff dick.
Matty slowly stroked on Guy's dick that was slick with pre-cum. He worked his hand up and down the hard cock lightly, so it slid against his skin. Matty grabbed at Guy's cock head, and rolled it around with his hand. He felt Guy's hips as they thrust themselves with his stroking hand. Matty continued to jerk Guy's cock off, he felt it as it spewed the hot juice against his smooth stomach. He reached his hands around Guy's ass and pulled his lover's body into his, so the spent two cocks rubbed against each other.
"Matty?" Guy called.
"Yeah?" Matty responded.
"What do you think about going home in two weeks? Just you and me, what do you say? After the play? We take a week off school? I want to spend some time alone with you," Guy explained, his heart was breaking on the inside.
"Oh, Guy, where we gonna get the money for that? I would love to go home and, most of all, spend time together with just you, but I don't have any money," Matty told him.
"I do, I have my inheritance. It's my money, and what good is it doing me, sitting in the bank?" Guy justified, with a slight hint of excitement in his voice.
"Do you really mean it, Guy? It's just that lately you've ignored me. You hardly talk to me anymore..." Matty began sobbing.
"I've been so busy in school, it's been so stressful. Oh, Matty, you have no idea how hard I've worked. I came here and I didn't know anyone. I got the lead part in Juilliard's Spring Production, and these people here in New York haven't exactly made me feel like a tick on a dog," Guy said, his own voice began to tremble.
"I--I--I...know, b-b-but you forgot my birthday. Y-y-you haven't touched m-m-me. Guy, it's b-b-been horrible." Matty's voice stammered, as he continued to cry.
"Oh, Matty, I did. I plumb forgot your birthday. Can you forgive me?" Guy confessed, his turquoise eyes filled with tears. He began to sob harder as he held Matty near him, then he went on to explain, "It's all my fault. I have been so caught up in doing everything I thought I should be. I have forgotten what was important, I forgot you, Matty. Can you forgive me?"
"Oh, Guy," Matty wailed, his body heaved with his sobbing, "I've done something horrible. I thought you didn't love me anymore. I was so lonely; I wanted to punish you. Damn you, Guy Sugardale, I was so frigging confused. I didn't mean to do it. I don't know what came over me. Please say you will forgive me," Matty begged his lover.
The two boys began crying harder. John could hear them in his bedroom, he wanted to check on them, but he remained in his own bed. He prayed that everything would be all right, but worried it wasn't. He felt remorse, tears formed in his own eyes as he stared up at his ceiling. He also felt guilty for not being where he felt he should have been, home nurturing some form of family environment. He reasoned in his mind that somehow it was all his fault. He begged God for forgiveness, and called on Him for strength to change his ways. He closed his eyes tightly and fell back asleep.
The sobs became softer by both the boys, as they clung to each other's naked bodies in their bed. Guy softly stroked Matty's face with his soft fingertips. He looked into the reddened eyes of his friend; his mind was full of questions. He lay next to Matty in silence, waiting for more.
"Guy, I don't know how to tell you this. Last night I was at the end of my ropes. I brought someone home. We had sex. I feel so ashamed." Matty's voice trailed off, he kept his eyes shut, he couldn't bear to see Guy's face.
"Who, Matty, who?" Guy asked, fearing it was over between them, and Matty had found someone new.
"Oh, Guy, I don't even know how to say this. Oh, you're going to think so little of me, you'll hate me." Matty's voice trembled.
"No, Matty. I promise. I love you. I'm just afraid I've lost you," Guy reassured Matty.
"I heard about these boys in school. They have sex for money. I brought one home last night," Matty told him.
"That's it? You don't have another lover, you mean? You only had sex with a prostitute? Oh, Matty, I love you, I could never hate you," Guy said, his voice sounded relieved.
"Really, Guy, do you mean that?"
"Of course I do. I am so sorry. Let's get up now. Let's go shopping, I need to buy you a birthday present," Guy said, his spirits lifting, and then kissed Matty gently on the lips.
A few hours later the boys clamored around the city, they took a cab down toward Times Square, and did the Forty Second Street shuffle. Checking out the several theaters, looking for all the celebrities the `Big Apple' had to offer. Hand in hand, the two young boys darted in and out of the crowded sidewalks and into the hustle-bustle of the various stores that dotted the street. They decided to head over to Herald Square and do some shopping, the two hoofed it over to Thirty fourth and Broadway and headed into Macy's.
Once inside Manhattan's icon of department stores, all the glimmer the city had to offer was on display. The two young men headed for the escalator and directly to the balcony, the home of young men's attire. The latest fashions of the world were available to all who could afford them. Guy wanted to buy Matty the latest designs for their upcoming trip and his forgotten birthday. After a rigorous Saturday morning of fighting the crowds, the two headed back home.
The next few days flew by, as Guy prepared himself mentally for his lead part in New York City's finest of theater arts schools. Matty scoured the smaller shops for more clothes for the two to wear and impress the folks back home. He also bought several gifts for Guy's brothers and sisters, his mother, and the Johnsons. The two lads were so excited to be making the trip, especially because they decided to do it on their own, that they didn't even notice how little time they spent together.Every night, the two boys made love, no matter how busy life had become.
The night of the first production of West Side Story, Guy became ill. His body ached, his stomach was queasy, and his temperature was up slightly, he chalked it up to first night jitters. He wasn't going to let anything stop his being the show.
"Guy, are you all right, you look terribly peaked," John said, as the three hailed a cab.
"Yeah, it must be my nerves. What with the show, and our trip, I've been feeling a little weak the last day or so. I'm sure it's nothing." He shrugged it off.
"You're probably right," John said, as the large yellow cab screeched to a stop at the curb.
The three men got into the back seat of the livery vehicle, John called out to the driver, "Juilliard!" The cab eased into traffic, as it headed for the school. The driver just nodded his head as the car whizzed along the streets. The clicking of the meter was the only sound in the car, except for the occasional horn being blown. "Here, pull up here at the side entrance first, cabby," John said to the driver. The car stopped and Guy got out, "We'll get out in the front. Break a leg," John told Guy, loud enough for the driver to hear.
The show was a tremendous production; the dancing and singing were as eloquent as any John had seen on Broadway. After the show, the three men decided to have a celebration at Top of the World, and then dinner at Windows of the World, both located at the World Trade Center. It was a joyous occasion, but Guy was exhausted and his symptoms weren't letting up, instead he felt sicker.
"Guy, you look terrible. You hardly touched your prime rib. Are you OK?" Matty asked, as the three sat at the table with the window that had a vista view to the world below them, inside the restaurant that showed off the vast panoramic visions of one of the largest cities in the world.
"Yeah, I'm just tired, that's all. Maybe we should go," Guy said, his voice sounded weak and tired.
John motioned for the waiter; he felt bad for Guy, he thought it best to get him right home and into bed. He knew that Guy needed his rest for the trip the two boys were going to be leaving on two days later. The man dressed in his black tuxedo pants and white ruffled shirt with the French cuffs and the black bow tie, rapidly attended to John's whims.
The next day, Guy became violently ill. Every muscle in his body ached, his temperature spiked to a hundred and four. His body became drenched in sweat as Matty watched him. Within an hour his temperature lowered and Guy began shivering, as chills wracked his body. Matty worried, he had never seen Guy sick before, he felt so helpless. John had to go into the office, he told Matty to call him if there were any problems. Matty fought the urge, but finally called John.
"John, I think he's going to be all right. I just wanted to tell you, his temperature is down. He's resting now. I hope he'll be better tomorrow, for our trip," Matty said into the telephone.
"Matty, I know you're worried. I'm sure it's just a touch of the flu. He'll be fine, you'll see. I'll be home in an hour or so. I'll whip up some of my mom's chicken soup," John told him, and begged off the phone.
True to his word, John came home almost an exact hour later. The two men made a batch of chicken soup. The aromas of the cooking wafted through the small apartment, as Guy rested in the bed. Matty helped John by cutting the vegetables, as John sautéed the chicken parts in a frying pan. It was a few hours later when the soup was finally done to perfection and Matty carried a bowl in to Guy.
The following morning Guy felt much better, except for a slight discomfort in his throat. John was proud of himself, claiming it was his mother's soup that did the trick. Guy didn't care; all he cared about was he and Matty were going home for a week.
The next afternoon the two boys stepped off the plane and walked through the tunnel of sorts that connected the jet to the airport. Matty carried a small carry-on bag, the one packed full of the small trinkets he had bought to give as gifts. Guy felt weak, but didn't worry about it, he knew it must be his body adjusting from the flu.
"Guy! Matty! Over here, welcome home!" Sally Ann's voice screamed above the crowded room.
Guy saw all his brothers and sisters, Bob and Alice, Father Beck and Mrs. Beck, and even Matty's mom had come. The whole gang was there to greet them. He rushed to his oldest sister and hugged her.
"Oh, Guy, you look exhausted. Was the flight that bad?" Alice asked.
"Alice, leave the boy alone. Can't you see he's overwhelmed? Come on, boys, let's head for home. Nancy Sue has made her famous fried chicken, and I know you must be as hungry as me, them damn Yankees don't know how to feed a starving dog, let alone two strapping men such as yourselves." Bob led the procession toward the baggage claim area.
Alice just shook her head, she knew that Bob was just spouting off because he was nervous. Nancy Sue exchanged a quick glance with her and smiled. The three women held back to walk together; they followed the rest. The children all seemed to surround Guy, who held Matty close to him.
The week-long visit was too short. The two boys were bound back to New York before they knew it. Their departure was as chaotic as their arrival. The whole gaggle had trudged into the airport's gate to see them off. Guy and Matty were saddened to leave, but held their feelings at bay.
"Now, Matty, you make sure Guy eats more, he looks like he could stand to gain a few pounds. Young boys such as yourself need to eat so you can grow," Alice shouted to Matty, as the boys walked into the runway and out of the gate.
"Alice, will you leave them alone, they aren't boys, they're young men. John knows how to take care of them," Bob quipped at his wife.
"I will, look, his trousers are falling off him." Matty yelled to her, as he quickly pulled Guy's pants waist down, and the two boys disappeared into the group of travelers.
The flight was spectacular, the skies were clear, and the plane touched down a few hours later. They had been served lunch, but Guy just played with his food, his appetite hadn't been what it was lately. Matty ate for the both of them, he even chomped down Guy's food.
"You really should eat more, Guy," Matty quipped, as the two met John in the New York airport.
"I know, but that food tasted like cardboard. I just didn't feel hungry," Guy solemnly said.
"Hey, boys! Welcome back to the `City that doesn't sleep,' I missed you both," John called to them.
Over the next several months, Guy drastically began losing weight. He was plagued with diarrhea and missed several days of school. Often he had lost his appetite, and rarely ate. He seemed to have some swelling of the glands under his arms and in his neck; because of the pains he would feel nauseous. John became worried, and thought to himself, he should get Guy to a doctor, but never found the time.
Matty woke up one night the following spring to find the bed sheets drenched in Guy's sweat again; it had happened frequently over the last year. He had to get up and change the sheets. He couldn't believe the sight of his young lover, Guy had lost so much weight he was nothing more than skin and bones. He turned the bedroom lamp on, to see as he changed the bedding. He watched Guy's frail body as he got out of the bed. He saw a huge purple, almost brownish black looking lump on Guy's back; it was almost an inch in diameter.
"OO, what the hell is that, Guy?" Matty's voice filled with concern.
"What? What?" Guy shouted, his voice full of fear. "Oh damn, I have the runs again. Shit." He ran to the bathroom.
Matty followed him; he wanted to see that sore on Guy's back. He had never seen anything like it. His mind was wracked with terror. Something was dreadfully wrong with Guy, Matty thought, he always seemed to be sick lately.
"Guy, let me see your back, there is this ugly sore on it," Matty said as the two got to the bathroom.
"Damn you, Matty, I have the runs, leave me alone. Please." Guy's voice was panic stricken, as he shouted to Matty, and slammed the bathroom door.
Matty stood outside the door, tears filled his eyes. He slowly walked back to their bedroom and continued to change the sheets. He quietly crawled back into the bed and waited for Guy to return. A few minutes later Guy stumbled back to bed.
"Guy, are you OK?" Matty asked his lover.
"Yeah, I'm sure. It's just nerves. I have my finals this week, that's all," Guy said, trying to convince himself as much as Matty.
"But what about that mark on your back? What is that?" Matty asked, his voice almost in a whisper.
"Oh, that, I don't know. I think I hit it on something. It's nothing but an ugly bruise," Guy answered him, half convincingly.
"Don't look like no bruise I ever saw," Matty quickly responded.
"Look, I'm tired, Matty. Can't we just go to sleep?" Guy's voice sounded as weak as he looked.
Matty didn't feel like pushing his lover, he decided maybe a good night's rest was the best thing for both of them. He wrapped his arms around Guy's body; he could feel every rib and bone of Guy's emaciated body. He tried to sleep, but couldn't. He lay in the soft clean sheets next to Guy and listened to his breathing as Guy drifted back to sleep.
As Matty lay next to Guy and held him in his arms, he could feel Guy's heartbeat. It was racing, and much faster than his own. He listened, as Guy's breathing seemed to be rapid and labored. He held onto Guy's young body and cried. He felt Guy's forehead with his hand; Guy was burning up with fever. As his hand rested on Guy's temple, Guy began coughing. Matty looked at his lover who had awakened, Guy's eyes were full of panic as he coughed and gasped for air.
"JOHN! JOHN! Come quick. HELP!" Matty screamed at the top of his lungs.
He heard John as he ran through the hallway; John burst into their bedroom, only clad in his boxers. He flicked the wall switch to the light, and shrieked as he saw Guy fighting for oxygen.
"Quick, call 9-1-1, he can't breathe!" Matty screamed, as he held Guy in his arms.
John raced to the kitchen and practically ripped the phone off the wall, he quickly punched the three numbers into the dial pad. He frantically yelled into the phone, "This is John Sugardale, I live at 4819 Eighth Street. We need an ambulance. I'm on the fifth floor. Hurry, please, it's my young cousin, he can't breathe."
John slammed the phone back into its cradle and ran back to the boys' bedroom. "Matty, you better put some clothes on. I'll watch him while you do. Then I need to dress myself." John rattled off the instructions.
Matty quickly obeyed and began rushing about the room as he dressed quickly and kept his sights on Guy the whole time. He had barely finished when a pounding could be heard coming from the door to the apartment.
"Matty, go get the door. I need to get dressed. Hurry," John shouted as he raced to his own bedroom.
Matty rushed to the door, he methodically unlocked the three locks and flung it open. Just outside the apartment stood two men dressed in light blue shirts and navy pants, with them was a stretcher on wheels. The two uniformed paramedics whisked the portable bed through the living room and followed Matty to the first door on the right down the narrow hallway.
"What happened? What are his symptoms?" called the taller of the two men, to Matty.
"He woke up drenched in sweat again, only this time it's worse. He can't seem to breathe and he keeps coughing," Matty explained.
"How long has he been sick?" the bigger man asked, as the other man put an oxygen mask on Guy's face.
"I don't know. He's been getting the flu an awful lot lately. Off and on now I guess for the last year or so," Matty diligently reported.
Both the medics donned rubber gloves and began to move Guy's shrunken body to the stretcher. The shorter man took Guy's blood pressure as they wheeled the gurney toward the door. Just as they got to the door, the bigger man stopped the stretcher. He looked back and watched John as he came up the hallway. The shorter attendant fixed an intravenous needle in the back of Guy's right hand.
"I'm sorry, we can only take one of you with us in the ambulance. Which one of you is going to ride along with the patient?" his baritone voice asked.
"Matty, you go with Guy. I'll take a cab. What hospital are you taking him to?" John quickly asked the taller medic.
"Beth Israel, on Sixteenth," The taller man with the baseball cap shouted, as the two wheeled Guy's body into the hallway.
"Momma, Momma!" Guy called out. "Sally Ann, you fix lunch," he continued, obviously delirious.
The four men cluttered into the elevator, with Guy moaning on the stretcher. It seemed like the ride down the short five flights took an eternity. The doors slid open of the small cubicle, and the two medics rushed the stretcher to the waiting car with flashing lights. Matty was close behind them. The shorter man in the blue uniform opened the back door to the waiting van, and guided the stretcher into the tracks that ran along the floor, the legs folded up on the bed as it slid into position.
Matty climbed in and sat on the bench-like seat next to the shorter medic. The bigger man raced around the vehicle and jumped into the driver's seat. Matty saw John out the back window, he watched him as he hailed a cab.
The siren blared as the van raced through the streets of Manhattan. The flashing red and white lights seemed to ricochet off the buildings and reflected back into the compartment where Matty watched Guy seem to dwindle in and out of consciousness.
"Is he going to be all right?" Matty asked the man that sat beside him and tended to Guy's medical needs.
"I don't know, son. You'll have to wait and see what the doctor has to say. Has he always been this thin?" the young paramedic asked; his voice reflected his concern.
"No, he has lost a lot of weight lately. It's school; it's been so stressful for him," Matty's quiet voice said.
"I see, well I think he has pneumonia. He's also very dehydrated," the handsome medic stated.
"Dehydrated?" Matty asked, unsure of what it meant.
"Yes, his body is in need of fluids. Has he had diarrhea, or been vomiting a lot lately?" the medic asked.
"He's had the runs, yes. I don't think he's been vomiting though, he hasn't really had an appetite lately." Matty said, his voice trembling as he held back his tears.
"I see. Anything else?" the paramedic asked.
"Well, yeah, now that you mention it. He has this funny looking sore on his back, I just noticed it tonight," Matty told the man, and then began to cry.
"Hmm, let me take a look." The medic moved closer to Guy and rolled the frail boy's body on its side, as he studied the dark purple slightly raised lump. "We'll have to let the doctor know about that too," the medic stated; he didn't reveal his suspicions, it wasn't his place.
Guy was immediately admitted into the hospital. A flurry of nurses rushed about, and a young doctor saw to him the moment he was taken into the curtained off section of the emergency ward. The medical staff knew what to do, they had seen this illness before; it was almost of epidemic proportions now. This disease didn't get the attention of many of the others, although its outcome was certain death. The only thing the medical staff could do was hope, hope for some miracle.
The young doctor examined Guy, he knew time was short for the young teenage boy. He was charged with making his end as comfortable as possible. He also had the tremendous burden of bearing the news to Guy's family; it was for these reasons that he almost dreaded his job as an infectious disease doctor, a specialist in his field.
He slowly walked to John and Matty who were seated in the waiting area. He checked his watch; it was a nervous habit he seemed to have acquired lately. He knew what to say; he had practically memorized the lines, which he had so often delivered before.
"My name is Doctor Burnside. I am Guy's doctor. I'm afraid Guy has severe pneumonia, as well as Kaposi's sarcoma, the worst thing is his T-cells, they are greatly reduced. There is very little we can do at this time. They do have some experimental drugs, but it is just too late... I am sorry," the doctor said.
"What does that mean, Doctor?" John asked, although he knew the answer.
"In laymen's terms, Guy has the advanced stages of AIDS, acquired immune deficiency syndrome. How long has he been sick?" Doctor Burnside asked Matty and John.
"No, no, noooo..." Matty cried out.
"John, I need you to be strong for your cousin. He's resting now, but he's delirious. Dementia seems to have set in; he may drift in and out of reality. I am sorry. You may see him now if you like, all we can do is keep him comfortable, and pray," Doctor Burnside stated, with little emotion in his voice, while inside he died a thousand deaths.
"Oh, God, Doctor. Is there nothing you can do?" John pleaded.
"I wish I could. He is so sick, his body can no longer fight off infections, and all we can do is pray. Please, you must remain strong for him," Doctor Burnside said, as he reached for John's hand.
"I understand, Doctor. It's just so hard; he's so young. You have no idea." John broke down and cried.
The young doctor held John in his arms, he didn't know what else to do. His heart broke, he felt so helpless. He wished there were some drug, some treatment that could save Guy from death, but knew differently. Something has to be done; someone has to make this disease stop robbing people of their lives. So many were suffering from this devastating virus. He was sickened by the inaction of the government to assist in funding a cure. The federal government spent more money on weapons to kill than they did on research for this disease.
Doctor Burnside slowly escorted John and Matty to Guy's room. He brought the two near the bed, and the three of them watched Guy as he slept. He wished there were more that he could do. Anger filled him, this was not why he got into medicine, and he painstakingly spent years learning how to save lives, not to stand idly by and watch people die. He looked down at Guy and shook his head.
Guy slept through the night, as John and Matty stood vigil over his bed. John called Bob and told him the bad news. Bob cried on the phone with him, he wondered out loud how Guy had gotten the disease. John began to tremble when Bob asked him, but didn't volunteer any information. John feared the answer, he also knew it, and Matty would have to be tested.
John sought out Doctor Burnside, he told him how Matty had had sex with a strange boy. He remembered what Guy had told him that night in the kitchen, about Matty having someone else. John knew enough about the disease to know the ways it was transmitted.
"We'll have to test him. Like I told you, they have some experimental drugs. Some people have been known to live several years with HIV, but most have died from AIDS. We just don't have a cure, perhaps we will someday soon," Doctor Burnside said with sadness in his voice.
"I understand, Doctor," John simply said, his mind clouded with depression.
The next few days all ran together. Bob and Alice brought all the children to New York; somehow, they all crammed into the small apartment. Nancy Sue came up with Father Beck a couple of days later. They all took turns visiting Guy as he lay in the hospital bed, drifting in and out of reality. It was heart wrenching to watch the young boy die before their eyes.
He seemed to have some good moments, where he was alert and aware of their presence, but they were rare. He had a respirator hooked up to him, and couldn't talk because the tube that forced air into his lungs ran down his throat. Guy often reached his hands out as his body writhed in pain. More cancer spots spread on his body, and his skin took on a grayish-yellow tint as he slowly died. His turquoise eyes became sunken into his forehead and his cheeks clung to his jaw. Most of his hair had fallen out, but somehow his appearance seemed angelic.
Matty tested positive. Doctor Burnside explained that he must have a stronger immune system than Guy. He told John and Matty about several new drugs, and thought that Matty could live for several years with treatment. Matty knew it was him that gave Guy this horrible disease. He became depressed, and unable to face his dying lover. He wanted to die himself. He couldn't seem to shake the tremendous feelings of guilt. He cried himself to sleep every night that Guy lay in the hospital, clinging to life.
John talked with Doctor Burnside; the two of them seemed to strike up a friendship. It was almost as if John had found a soul mate. He couldn't express his feelings for the young doctor, but he did ask Doctor Burnside to talk with Matty. He hoped that something could be done to save Matty from his feelings of remorse. The young doctor told John about a support group, and volunteered to go with John and Matty.
It was the last night of young Guy Sugardale's life on earth. Father Beck summoned everyone to the bedside, with tears in his eyes he asked them all to join hands as they prayed. Guy lay before them, his body pumped full of morphine to ease the pain of the lymphoma cancer, and unconscious.
* "Let us give absolution. Lift up your hearts. 'We lift them up unto the Lord.' O Almighty father, Lord of heaven and earth, we confess that we have sinned against thee in thought, word, and deed. Have mercy upon us, O God, after thy great goodness; according to the multitude of thy mercies, do away with our offenses and cleanse us from our sins; for Jesus Christ's sake, Amen."
"The Almighty and merciful Lord grant you Absolution and Remission of all your sins, true repentance, amendment of life, and the grace and consolation of his Holy Spirit. Amen." *
"Now, as we are bold to say, 'Our Father who art in heaven...'" Father Beck continued the service, and everyone joined in with reciting the `Lord's Prayer'.
Perhaps it was the last thing Guy heard, and perhaps it wasn't. All we know is that he is no longer with us. His physical body left the world that night; we feel he is in heaven. We pray he no longer deals with pain and suffering. We keep our faith in God above and trust His judgment.
Guy, rest, oh little one. You will always remain with us here on earth, as you rest in eternal peace.
It is with certain sadness that this tale has ended. I want to thank my friends at the Burnside Clinic for their assistance in my writing, as well as their tireless work with AIDS. I especially want to thank John Windham for his diligent and constant support of my efforts. My good friends, I know that we have advanced in our treatment of the horrendous disease of AIDS, that afflicts so many of our kind since the time setting of this story, I pray we can someday end it. I encourage you to contact Doctor Alfred Burnside or John Windham at the Burnside Clinic, go to http://www.burnsideclinic.com for confidential information about AIDS. I encourage all at risk to become tested; almost half of the people that are HIV positive don't even know it.
To the many of you that have followed along this journey, I hope you send it to someone you love. Please don't let this message die, carry it forward to others who need to hear it. I hope that you all have a safe and peaceful Memorial Weekend. I ask you all to remember our fallen brethren, from this tragic illness.
Thank you, Ed, for your fine editing.
God Bless you all.
For more information on the latest treatment of AIDS, don't hesitate to contact me.
* From 'The Book of Common Prayer', certified by John Wallace Suter, Sept. 1945
As always, but not forever.