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"Alex, hon, time to get up."
I opened an eye and groaned softly, dreading the coughing to come. The fear and horror of the nightmare was nothing new, was the new normal. I sighed.
"Alex, you awake?"
"Yeah," I croaked, starting the inevitable coughing.
Why won't she let me sleep in? Cripes. I could have Tom do the bandages in an hour. Or I could not. That's why. And making sure I take the pills. And getting a breakfast that isn't cereal like I'd do. That's all why. Dumb ass.
So, up and get going. Ugh.
After a few minutes, the coughing was slowing and my breathing was clearing. I'd spat out the usual thick, multicolored phlegm. I still felt awful. Beside the dried sweat on my skin, my head was blurry and fuzzy. I felt as if I'd had a partial night of sleep and needed much more.
I'd spent the rest of the night after the dream on my right side, curled up tight. The burns had been healing along but had been stressed for hours, and were bearing my weight for the first time as well. They hurt at every movement. The sore left hand throbbed at all times, screamed at any use, and wasn't much help in the shower, drying off, or dressing. A persistent headache rounded out the symphony of agony, throbbing through my skull, resounding from my temple with fury.
It was again a major job to take a shower, being careful of the burns on my back and side, and the sutures on my temple. It was a chore to dry myself. Dressing was torture, so again I only wore sweatpants, a light t-shirt, and slippers.
I threw Toby a thought as I passed his picture in the hallway, as always, and smiled and acted fine during a breakfast of pancakes with strawberry syrup, bacon, and orange juice. New bandages and elastic wraps. Pills.
More reminders of this and that, and more normalcy. Soon I was alone in the kitchen again.
Usually I'd get stuff ready for school, and in a few minutes go meet Tom on the way to the bus. And ride with Jeff. And sit with them and the other guys for almost an hour. Then classes. I fucking miss school. Geeze, what a fucking nerd! And I'm worried about going back. Everyone knows I'm gay. Everyone. It got all around. The guys didn't even try to hide that from me. They told me, almost the day I woke up in the hospital. I'd need to know that, and be prepared for it. And the whole school knows about the van fire. And how long I spent in the hospital.
Tom's knock brought me back from sliding downward. I opened the door with a smile and a "Hey!"
"Hey! Only got a sec, not comin' in or anything. Just had to say, you guys would make a cute couple if one of you'd just grow a good pair of tits!"
He held his hands out before him in an approximate relationship to the breasts of Dolly Parton. He also wore his zinger grin.
I almost laughed, but I saw him playing the game, so I played it too. He had obviously come over just before heading to the bus, just to deliver the line he had missed out on last night, hoping to give me a laugh to start my day. I'd forgotten until he showed up so oddly and made his delivery.
I did the only thing I could think of. Without a gesture, word, or change of expression, I closed the door.
I could hear him yell, "Smaller?" then after a pause, "Think Jeff'll like it?" and after another short pause, "Should I tell him on the bus, or at the table?" and then, "Or in gym class? In the shower?"
I was trying not to laugh, but he was good when he had the time.
I opened the door, and with a wide grin, said, "Wait until Friday. I wanna see. You're gonna miss the bus, Knight."
With a smile and a quick, "Later," he turned and jogged off.
I watched, grinning, until he was out of sight.
Okay, if I got nothing else, I got a decent friend, I thought, grinning even wider. I had no idea what I was getting into the day I met him. I just saw a guy my age moving in almost next door with an older brother who looked like he was in high school. I figured he didn't know anybody either. I figured he was wondering if anybody he could hang out with lived around here. I'd lived here months already and knew the rich kids weren't going to be his friends, so I hoped we could. So I took him a cold pop when he was taking a break on the curb. He stayed over at my house that night, and I think we haven't been apart, except for family vacations and such, ever since. Three years ago.
I found myself headed up the stairs. I took them slowly, so as not to end up short of breath. I wondered how long it would be before I could run up them again. Upstairs I let myself think of Tom and our friendship, instead of Jeff and my growing relationship with him. I'd concentrated on Jeff so much recently, that I almost felt I was ignoring Tom. At times it seemed there was something bothering him. That was unusual for Tom. When something was on his mind, he asked about it, talked about it, mentioned it, or brought it up, or it simply didn't show. But recently, something was on his mind that he didn't care to share with me, even though it obviously affected him when we were together.
Once again, I made a mental note to poke and prod Tom. I wanted to try helping him in return for some little bit of all the help I felt he had given me. I sat at my desk, sighing, rolling a joint. I let it sit on the desk in front of me. I tried the radio and gave up. I looked through the cassettes and albums and gave up. I lit the joint.
Eventually I found myself doing the chores. I ran out of breath more than once, which irritated me and made me wonder again how long it would be before I was back to normal. Once the chores were done, and I was bored again, I picked up the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant and began reading. It was when the main character was in conflict with his own desire to deny the reality of what he considered a dream that my mind threw the thought into my head again: If I was really able to communicate with Toby when I was close to death, or deeply unconscious, then why couldn't I meditate and reach a state that let me see him again?
Putting the book aside, I thought over the possibility. The near-meditation that the speech therapy teacher had taught me had sparked my curiosity in such things. I asked her questions about it, and she gave me books. Being a bookworm by nature, I'd learned more. I learned of other books, read them, moved on.
By sixteen, I had learned a great deal about meditation and the self. The concept of ego, id, and superego seemed simplistic and silly to me. The It, the I, and the Higher I were not separate entities of desire, awareness, and control. I was sure that we were more complicated and yet more simple than that. We were made up of facets, portions, bits, all one. To me, what made us, us, was best described by the more popular phrase, though never used for the topic, E Pluribus Unum.
I had no illusions that I understood what made us human and thinking creatures, any more than anyone else, but I did know that I was far more aware of the subject than any of my peers, and probably more knowledgeable on the subject than most college graduates, even ones who'd studied it. What was not in doubt was my ability to meditate. I could calm myself even from the most stressful situations if I had the chance and opportunity. I could sit quietly and ignore sounds and smells and sensations around me. I could rest myself to the point of dreaming while awake, or into a placid, quiet state that let time pass unnoticed.
I began to hope that this ability could somehow put me into contact with Toby. I had no doubts that I had experienced the visits with him in some regard; my only doubts were exactly what those experiences were. I didn't doubt he was "real," only that I had actually crossed over the barrier of death. I had accepted him as real, whether he was the being I'd known as Toby who was now in the afterlife, or my own creation within myself.
What threw a monkey wrench into the whole works and kept me from being so sure that he was simply a dream or hallucination were his warnings and hints. More than once, something said by Toby had proven right or come to fruition, despite my own lack of knowledge or belief in it. Most stunning had been his warning not to start the van while alone. At the time I had no car, let alone any van, and I had no idea that Tim would sell his van to my parents. I didn't even know that Tim would be leaving. Yet Toby, either the Toby I knew who was now dead, or the Toby I had created for myself, had known and warned me.
If that had been the only such warning or advice that had come true, it would have been easy to accept it as coincidence. But it wasn't. It was only the latest and largest of many. And that fueled my desire to contact him again. I hoped that with further contact I would find, or he would prove, the exact nature of his existence.
I had only seen him during blackouts, or when struck unconscious. Supposedly because of the blow to my temple, I had been prone to losing consciousness until the doctors had found and fixed several problems caused by that blow. Since then, I had not passed out or seen Toby, with the exception of a combination of a sleeping pill and a heavy dose of merta'ed pot on Sunday night.
The idea that I could somehow contact him had been growing in my mind now. The hope that I could speak to him again though meditation had reached a zenith, and now, with too much time on my hands, I tried.
I needed to be comfortable, I knew, so I took off my clothes and sat on the bed with my back to the wall near the window.
I concentrated on my breathing, using the techniques I had been taught so long ago to control my stuttering. My breath came clear despite the lingering effects of the smoke from the van fire and the recent coughing. I felt my own body, and I let myself fall away from it. I drew smooth, slow, even breaths. I began cutting off my senses. I began thinking only of Toby. I let images of him fill my mind's eye. I saw again his wonderful strawberry-blond hair, his piercing green eyes, his ruby lips, his one crooked tooth in his otherwise perfect smile. I built up his image as if I were putting together a human Lego kit. With each part, I slid a little deeper. I placed his face and head on his slim neck and shoulders, and slid deeper. I saw his pink nipples with those ever so faint blondish-red hairs, and I slid deeper. I saw his smooth sides, and I took my time seeing again his round, small ass, his narrow hips, his patch of nearly glowing reddish-blonde pubic hair. I slid deeper. I lingered over his long, narrow, straight cock with its smooth, bullet-shaped head and small hole. I slid deeper. I let myself enjoy seeing his slightly large balls hanging in his smooth sack, and the faint, pale hairs there. I slid deeper. I saw his pink pucker so clearly. I slid deeper. I placed him onto his long, slightly muscular legs with more faint, light hairs. I slid deeper. He finally stood on his long feet with their narrow toes. I slid deeper. I remembered tickling them, making him laugh in that wonderful way he did.
I was no longer thinking, but was separate from my brain and body. I was still myself, but I was no longer completely bound by the physical. I knew I was free, but I didn't know where Toby would be in relation to me. I knew this place, or non-place, and I knew Toby's place, that place on the other side of life; they weren't the same.
I grew sad, so very deeply sad, as I realized that I could in no way reach him this way. Meditation was nothing like death, I concluded. I tried to probe around me, discover anything beside myself there. Nothing. No light, sound, sensation.
I tried willing his presence. I tried calling out to him. I even pictured him, bit by bit, building him slowly up from nothing again. I made him walk and talk. While it was immensely enjoyable, and was almost realistic, I knew that this Toby was doing nothing that I wasn't making it do.
Eventually I let the pull of my body return me. I looked at the alarm clock by my bed and was shocked to see that over four hours had gone past.
That's the longest I've ever meditated! I pondered in awe.
I lay down on my bed and let my mind wander. I felt overwhelmed by the pain and joy of Toby, the joy and trepidation of Jeff, the wonder and worry about Tom, the concerns of going back to school, of being known as gay there, of showers and changing in gym now that I was known to be gay, catching up on weeks of homework, and... more yet.
One more thing I'm willing to add to the list now, I thought. I gotta admit it. I feel like a shadow of me. I got no energy. No strength. Is not sleeping enough causing it? Is it just having to recover from a week drugged in bed and another week recovering in bed? It ain't been a week yet that I've been out of bed or the hospital. The docs and nurses said I'd be a week or two getting back to normal, so I got a week yet before I should worry, right?
Sure. What do I expect? I ain't Superman or a demigod. Just a plain old human whose body shut down for a few minutes, then spent all that time laying in bed. Gotta get it back used to working, is all. Another week, then I'll worry about it.
Don't I got enough to worry about? Ya idiot.
I was relaxed and I knew that I could fall asleep. Not wanting to risk having the nightmare, I dressed and then started looking for things to do. By afternoon I was bored again. I'd written some in the diary. I'd rearranged and dusted the models. I'd opened the sixty-four Fairlane model and hadn't put any two pieces together. I'd smoked another joint while laying on the bed. It was quiet, I was tired from not sleeping well, I was stoned.
My eyes closed.
The smell of gasoline made me nauseous.
I felt my stomach fall in anticipatory dread and fear yet again. I could only watch as I pumped the pedal once, then moved the Styx medallion aside so that I could grasp and turn the ignition key.
The engine turned for several seconds, almost catching, but not quite. The smell of gas grew stronger.
"Yeah. Old Chevy," Dad began.
I leaned across the sizable hump between the front seats and unlatched the the passenger side clamp easily. Knowing that I would be unable to open the other, still, I tried. I pulled and yanked, afraid I might tear it off. The van was shaking from my efforts.
Dad told me to to break the latch, but instead to try starting it again.
"At least you know I ain't even started it," I answered with a sly grin.
I didn't feel like grinning. I wanted to scream, "Get the hell out of here!" and run for my life, but there was nothing I could do. I was fated to relive it again and again.
He peeked around the hood at me with a grin.
Please, Dad! RUN!
I turned the key again. The engine turned over, barely beginning to catch. Dad called for another pump of the accelerator. Knowing that it was the final doom, I did it. The engine turned faster, then caught with a pop. I closed my eyes tightly, but I still saw it all clearly.
Another, louder pop, then an even louder "whoom!" as there was a bright, orange light, and I was knocked against the van door, my sore temple striking the pillar.
Things went fuzzy, and wobbly, and blurred, all at the same time. I heard Dad yelling my name. The flames rose toward the dashboard. My eyes closed instinctively against the heat and smoke, but I could still see. I could feel the heat of the fire on my right side. The odors of burning carpet, oil, rubber, and plastic choked me.
I reached for the key, fumbled with the Styx medallion, and killed the engine. The flames on the dashboard were now less than a foot from me, and now reached to the height of my face. Thick, black smoke curled up the windshield and rolled over my head.
I opened the driver's door, but it hit the wall of the garage. My lungs began rejecting the air they drew in, making me cough uncontrollably. I couldn't keep my eyes open against the smoke and heat, let alone breathe it.
I heard my dad calling my name, and I tried to call back, but I only coughed horribly. I rolled the window down, but the crank came off in my hand. Smoke billowed out of the partially open window, choking me. I slid as far from the blazing engine and dash as I could, pressing myself against the partially open door, shoving my face out the partially open window. I tried the window crank again.
The phone rang. It was in the kitchen and I had no idea how I could hear it over my screams and the fire. It kept ringing loud and clear. The heat and smoke lessened, and the phone got louder. It was real, not in the dream I realized, finally waking up. I sat up and coughed a few times so that I could talk to answer it.
My voice was low, rough, and gravelly, and didn't sound like me at all.
"Is this Alex?" an unfamiliar voice asked.
"Yeah. Who's this?"
I had to cough more from talking, I apologized.
"It's okay. Uh, just someone who, uh, just wondering how you're doing."
"Okay, I guess."
"Good. Uh, just wanted to know how you're doing. That's all. Uh, guess, uh, get well, I guess."
Whoever it was hung up.
He sounded like someone from school, or my age, at least, I thought. It had to be someone who heard about the fire and just wondered how I was doing. He probably didn't know any of my friends, so he didn't have any way to find out otherwise.
I thought it was pretty cool that someone was interested to know how I was doing. It made the horror and fear from the nightmare fade even faster. I sat up on the edge of the bed, coughing up thick, discolored phlegm.
Cripes. Am I gonna have those nightmares the rest of my life? What the hell? How long do I have to go through this?
I stood, a bit shakily, and cleared my throat of the loose matter. I washed my face and neck and smirked at myself in the mirror as usual. I'd not brought a soda up with me earlier, and my throat was parched. I almost settled for water from the tap, but I wanted cold, fizzy, sweet soda. For some reason, I craved the rich, spicy taste of Mason's Root Beer. On Sunday, Toby's aunt had promised she'd send a case over, and I was waiting in high anticipation. It had once been cheap and available at a small store on a corner a few blocks away, but when that store closed and a cookie-cutter White Hen Pantry had moved in, Mason's disappeared. Toby and I had walked the first summer, and ridden bikes the next summer, to that store, just for the root beer.
Running away from those memories, but not realizing it, I went downstairs and got a cold bottle of Coke. I tried to spend the rest of the day being occupied with something, but nothing appealed to me. I simply didn't want to do anything. And I most certainly didn't want to sleep.
I ended up listening to country, singing along to it, smoking pot, and thinking. Way too much, too; of all three. What came again and again was the new awkwardness with Jeff when we were around anyone. If it had existed at my party in Tim's basement, it hadn't been noticed. Not until after we had been totally alone and then once again with others.
It wasn't guilt, more a sense of being on display, or forced to stand and draw attention to myself in public. Jeff was dealing with it for the first time, so very soon after being forced to deal with his sexuality and forced to reveal it to his highly religious mother, and of course, the Circle guys.
He's doing good as it is, I knew. I should be glad he's doing so good so far. But I ain't. I want him to be as ready as I am. And it ain't gonna happen. Not for a while.
I came to that conclusion again and again. I even wrote it down in the journal. I also wrote my hope and dream that he would, very soon. I even finally wrote what had happened in the van. Only a quick description of the facts, nothing detailed. I wondered if I would ever write a more detailed version.
I managed to fight off the blues that those thoughts created, by remembering that the Circle was meeting at Eric's on Friday, and working on my plan to get the guys talking about Jeff and me in a positive light, hopefully enlightening Jeff. Then I thought of how Jeff and I would have Saturday night and Sunday morning alone. Those thoughts easily put the blues into full-nelsons for the count. I considered plans for Saturday night, but figured I had plenty of time before then. Instead, I imagined outcomes. I found myself aroused and alone.
Four days, I thought. Four days, not a single shankin'. Man, if I wanked it right now, I'd hit the ceiling.
I didn't have the usual white briefs on under the sweatpants, and it was pushing a tent upward. It was aimed down my thigh, trying to right itself. The pressure against the head was enough to make it throb. I stretched my legs out straight, cracking ankles and knees. Doing so sent waves of pleasure all through me.
I tickled the trapped head with a fingertip. I scratched it a bit.
John Anderson started singing, "Just A Swingin'," and it got my attention. Surprisingly.
When I had been first trying out the new voice, I had gotten a wailing sound very much like John's in that song. I had been anxious to try, and this was the first time I had heard the song since then. I sat upright and started following along. I was hitting him, nearly note for note. I had the same sandy sounding voice, and I could match his almost perfectly at times. I was still shaky and wavy, not stable and steady. I also had trouble following ups and downs, but I was enjoying myself.
That lasted until, "Four Bells." I found that I could almost sing it now, and that it still held a strong emotional load for me. It was a very short song, but even so, I was wiping at my eyes long before its end. I knew I would never be able to hear the song without seeing Toby and his family driving away down his aunt's driveway that last day as large, fat drops began falling from the sky, as if God himself were crying for what was to come.
When the commercial break began, I turned off the radio. Another mistake. In the silence after that song, my mind could only process a class of thoughts that would inspire more melancholy.
It'd been so easy with Toby. He'd come on to me. I was so shocked. And interested. And we got along so well, right from the first. The sex was so good! And we did it so much! So many good times, too, besides the sex. Singing together. Playing my synthesizer and him playing his guitar. Singing together and sounding absolutely awful. No hangups. Other than the paranoia of being around my other friends, afraid one of us would say something to give away what we felt for each other, or what we were doing. So, we rarely spent any time with anyone else.
I laughed, remembering that my friends had already known what we were doing.
That same worry we felt then is the same thing Jeff has right now, I realized. But Toby and me didn't know that the others all knew - Jeff and I do know they know. So why's it such a biggie? What if Jeff won't get over his hangup for a long time? Do we sneak around? Can he do that? No. I'm sure not. Just no way. It'll be over real soon if he can't get past it. It won't be nothing more than messing around, just like I've done with all the guys. It can't be a, well, a relationship, if we have to hide it even from our friends. It'll just be us sneaking around. And feeling guilty about that. And hiding. Fuck.
When that topic reached its inevitable conclusion, I worried about going back to a school, where everyone knew that I had told Charlie Derek that I was gay. And then I worried about who would be next to bully the fag or my friends. And who wasn't going to talk to me anymore. And what kind of things I'd find on or in my locker. And what would happen at the breakfast table, like who would leave and who would cause trouble. Then lunch. Then gym and the worries over showers, stuff in my locker, or trouble in class or changing clothes. Maybe even on the bus, with Jeff right there. And Tom.
Then more worries. What it would take to get rid of the dreams? How long before the burns healed? How long would my lungs and fingers take to get back to normal? What would my voice end up sounding like? What I was going to tell Tim about the van - or, rather, how and when? Would I ever get a car? Just how far behind would I end up in classes despite all the homework I'd been doing since waking up in the hospital after being dead and brought back to life? How long it would take for my clothes to fit again? How long until the dreams stop? How long until it can be like it never happened?
I was sitting on the bed, thinking, looking out the window, joint in hand. At the first sight of Tom, I was almost running downstairs, like a puppy running to greet its master. I had the door open before he was up the walk from the driveway. He waved and smiled as he saw me at the door.
"Hey, what's up?" he asked, the both of us ignoring the one-time joke opening.
"Get in here! This day fucking sucked! I demand my knight entertain me!" I said around my breathlessness.
He laughed and asked what had sucked so badly.
"Nothing! Fucking nothing! That's the problem. Absolutely fucking nothing!"
"Bored outta your skull, huh?" he asked, still smiling.
"Dude, I'm five minutes from counting the little bumps in the ceiling paint."
"I figure I could measure off a square foot and count the ones in there, do three more and average them, then multiply by the-"
"Shut the fuck up, stop thinking math, and light that joint."
I relented and lit the joint as we entered my room. It was difficult to draw on the joint after running down the stairs and then walking back up them so soon.
"I got your homework, and there is math," Tom said after his first hit.
"I got all day tomorrow," I said around my second hit, growing dizzy from lack of oxygen.
Tom had very little homework, and in a few minutes we were at the Atari. Before it seemed possible, Mom called that dinner was almost ready. Tom left; I ate and talked to the parents; he came back. Just another normal night. No talk about Jeff. No deep discussions. Just two friends, stoned, playing games and watching television until one had to go home.
More than once, I thought of asking about what had been bothering him, but we were having a good, normal time, and I feared ruining it. I wanted that normalcy with him. It was the only normal thing I really had, and after so long without it, I needed it. Even if our new normality didn't include sex, we were finding it rapidly and falling into it.
After Tom left and I had been re-bandaged, I watched the news with Mom and Dad. I rarely watched the news, and even more rarely with my parents. I said I just felt like something different.
I wasn't going to tell them that I was trying to avoid sleeping. I hadn't told them about the nightmares. I'd only told the nice lady doctor who had no white coat, and only ever wanted to, "talk for a bit" instead of inspecting my burns or injuries.
She'd never told me what she was a doctor of, and I had never asked. I knew. Only someone who really needed her help wouldn't know. On my next-to-last day in the hospital, she'd asked me, after what was surely going to be our last talk together, if I knew what her specialty was.
Actually, she'd asked, "Alex, I'm curious. Do you know what kind of doctor I am?"
I'd prepared in case she ever brought it up.
"Now you are messing with my head, right?"
I grinned, remembering her smile and laugh.
"What's got you smiling like that?" Dad asked.
"I was just remembering the head-shrink at the hospital. The last time we talked, is all."
"What, head-shrink?" Mom asked.
I looked at her, and I saw her glance at Dad.
"Oh, please, don't even try," I said dryly.
"What reminded you of her?" Dad asked.
Uh-oh, I thought.
Then I noticed what had probably spawned thoughts of her to begin with, and it was harmless.
"The news. She came in during the news most of the time. Right before you guys the last week."
Then I thought it was time to reveal a bit.
"I always figured she came then so she could talk to you before you came in to visit me. So you'd hear from her about how I was handling it. The nurses told you all the physical doctors' stuff in front of me."
I looked over to see how they liked that. They were both surprised.
Then the surprise turned to those parental grins of theirs that warmed me, sometimes too much. Like right then. It was time to evacuate. Rapidly.
"Well, goodnight," I said, standing up as normally as I could manage, stifling small moans.
"Goodnight, my son," dad said, not letting me get away Scot-free.
"Sweet dreams, Alex," mom nagged even to the end, even though she didn't realize it.
Yeah, sweet dreams, I thought ironically. If I take both the pills, sure. But how long they gonna keep it away for? Rest of my life? Take the same pills every night so I don't have the nightmare? Never dream again? And be a zombie all day? Fuck that.
But I'd love not to dream it again. Just for tonight.
I decided, and I went into the kitchen and took the little white sleeping pill and the little yellow one. I said a good-night to Toby as I passed his picture in the hall.
As I climbed into bed I considered jacking off. My body was suddenly ready, but my mind wasn't. I kept thinking of the nightmare, even knowing that it wouldn't come with both pills in me. I worried and wondered when it would stop coming and what it would take to stop it for good. There had to be something that would end it, I figured.
I'd heard of dream research, and read about some of it in various books and magazines. Discover magazine had had an article about lucid dreaming, and I had wanted to look up more on that in the library at school and downtown. Now I saw an even more imminent reason to follow up.
If I can take control of it, I can stop it. I can have Toby show up and distract us. At least until Tom comes by. Or just dream something else. Or something. Maybe just never have it again. Something.
Tomorrow's the Circle at Eric's. What if I wake up screaming and crying and sweating like a baby from the nightmare in front of everybody? What the fuck do I say? Do I take the pills? It'd suck the next morning for sure. But not as bad as getting caught having the nightmare. The emotional blahs would be around until everyone leaves, though. By the time Jeff and I are alone here, I'd be okay.
What about Saturday night alone with Jeff? If I don't take the little yellow emotions pill, what do I tell him if he notices? Do I just pass it off as a random nightmare? Would he believe it, or would he think I was hiding a nightmare about him? But what are the chances I'd wake him up? I move around some, but I don't yell, I don't think. And even if I did, it wouldn't be enough to wake him up, would it? Probably not.
Despite the worry of the nightmare, my guts thrilled at the idea of another night alone with Jeff. The two of us, together, alone, being together. The wonder and joy at the very thought overwhelmed me. I felt like getting out of bed and dancing again. I was too physically tired, but the desire was strong.
Two years bein' in love with the lug, and finally! And it took Tom to manage it. From start to finish. He got us to meet that first day, and he knew about me even then. And he probably figured out Jeff pretty quick. And he got us to tell each other, over two years later. I gotta ask him, someday, when he got Jeff pegged as gay. And how.
Fuck, I bet if Tom really wrote down everything he did for me, he really would have a, a, a fucking book. Just, the stuff I know about... it's tons.
He spends all his time looking out for me. My knight in white linen.
Helping with... everything. My birthday party... the fight with Charlie... meeting Jeff, getting Jeff... even getting the van... and saving me from it...
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