I woke, and it was cold, but not here. I could see the snow falling in big, globby, fat flakes and knew that as soon as my toes touched the floor, the warmth would oozefrom my body. But that didn't matter yet; I was still warm. His breathing was hot on my neck and his arms formed their own protective blanket around my waist. He was still asleep.

It was time to get up and my body knew this even before I looked at the clock. He would not want to; he would hold me against him, murmuring about the feel of our bodies against each other and try to convince me that classes could wait. I would fidget and kiss hislips, and eventually pry myself free as he smiled up at me.

"Hey baby. Hey. It's time to get up." I kissed his forehead and the early morning struggle began.


Outside was as bitterly, miserably cold as it had seemed looking out from my nest of a bed. I could still feel the warmth of his arms around me, though really it was just pseudo-warmth of my coat and the effects of an over-active mind. He was not near me and would not be until late, late tonight. We were busy. Though my eyes scanned the other students making their way across campus, I could find no friends, and my walk was a lonely one.

The day wore on, out into the blistering cold of winter, then inside into the too-warm heat of lecture halls and classrooms. Polite small talk was made; the well-set Asian boy next to me, asking of my plans for lunch, shamefully unaware of my disinterest; the sexually active slut behind me complementing my scarf. And of course, the frantic conversations as we dashed between the halls with the friends I would find along the time we spent on campus. All this was my day. It was busy and disheartening and flustered and absolutely necessary.

Usually, I would go back to my dorm, drown myself in Sprite and Icy Mochas while reading the pages and pages I was required to know. I would sit with my cell-phone glaring next to me, reciting the time, and not ringing because nobody would expect me to want to go out. But not today. Today I had another task waiting before I could let myself return to my comfortable little world where nothing was demanded of me that I could not do, but nothing ever changed.

Today, I would bleed.


I am painfully terrified of all things blood related. Even band aids give me the shivers. My heart wasthrobing with increasing intensity as I entered the big, brightly lit room, and my nose took in the smell of what I think a makeshift hospital would smell like; a mix of all types of disinfectants that I cannot even begin to name.

"CHICA," big arms wrapped themselves around my shoulders and swung me around in a half circle. I smiled, and nearly half of my fear left me. The arms let go, and I turned to face Greg, himself smiling and jumping around. Rather than mind numbingly, utterly terrified (like myself), he was excited, nearly enthralled. He couldn't wait to let the needle suck him dry. Well, not dry, that is an exaggeration to everyone except me. In my fearful mind, the smiling nurses in white would be the death of me.

Still, I couldn't help but smile as Greg gleefully led me over to the sign-in. He rapidly put his name down in nearly unreadable print; while I meticulously made sure every letter was there and perfectly intact. We sat waiting and he chatted on endlessly, providing a comic distraction for my swirling, terrified mind. Of course, this was why I had been so excited – no, relieved – when Greg said he would go with me to the blood-drive. He was comfortable in with the experience, and is always wonderfully yet politely supportive of me. He is not the boy I love, but he is my friend, and can always be counted on.

Soon enough, the distractions were brought to an end and I "lounged" on a glorified poolside chair. The woman spoke to me, and I responded tersely, despite my best efforts to be sociable. Iodine was rubbed in swirling rings on the skin of my inside-elbow and the bag readied for my blood.

I made the mistake of looking at the needle.

"This will only be a pinch" she was saying, trying to calm me. I must look absolutely horror struck. I tried not to watch, but my evil, disloyal eyes edged over in time to see the needle pierce my skin. Blood went through the tube and down to a bag I couldn't see, but my minds-eye saw it filling slowly and sweat beaded on my forehead. "Give this balla good squeeze once every three to five seconds," she said "and call me if you begin to feel dizzy."

But what if I begin to feel terrified? My eyes locked onto the small bulge in my arm where there wasn't before, and followed the contained line of blood as far as they could, returning to the bulge when it had nowhere else to go. I could feel myself turning pale, convincing myself that too much blood was leaving me.

"Chica! Hey!" My head snapped left and there was Greg, on the 'bed' next to me, meeting my eyes with his. He stuck his tongue out and rolled his eyes, then smiled at me. Despite myself, despite my body's desire to be terrified, a part of the ball of terror in my chest unraveled and I smiled back at him. "That'a girl."


It took seven minutes for me to finish, and the entire time he stayed with me. He blabbered on about football, about Physics, about Outdoor's Club and the President. His voice never wavered, even when the nurse put the needle in his arm. When he saw my eyes drift over to his needle and his blood, "Hey pretty chica, I didn't cause such a fuss to be next to you only to have you watch me bleed and scare yourself again" was all he had to say to cause my eyes to lock back onto his.

Afterwards we ate fudge-striped cookies and drank our water, pretending it was beer. "This is the best part of giving blood," he said andI agreed whole-heartedly. We had a decent part of our strength back by the time ten minutes had gone by, and so we picked up our books, stole extra cookies, and made for the dorms. In my room, we curled up and watched "Must Love Dogs" after I promised to watch "Terminator" with him next time. The movie had barely started when I fell asleep, but I woke up to a knock on the door. Greg was still siting on the edge of my bed, leaning against the wall.

"It's open," I said, and in walked my boy. He gave mea smile, one quick (unfriendly) glance towards Greg, then crawled into bed behind me. "We gave blood today," I said, and extended my arm. I was proud, albeit tired now that the terror had vanished and I wanted him to be proud of me too. But my boy only grimaced and said "I wouldn't go there for anything."

I know. I asked you to come with me, to keep me unafraid and you wouldn't come. My boy kissed me on the lips, then sighed into my neck and closed his eyes. I stared at him a moment, but then my eyes wandered back to Greg. He was looking back at me, but not smiling. I made a face at him and he made one back, but only half heartedly.


The movie ended andGreg whispered "I'll see you tomorrow" so he wouldn't wake my boy,and walked out my door. But he spoke too soon andthe door hadn't quite closed yet; I heard him say what I had heard before, yet always pretended I hadn't:

"You should be mine. I would love you better than him."

My boy was asleep, his body draped over mine, his warmth unbearable. But I wouldn't leave, and I wouldn't wake him. I had made my choice, and now had to stay with it, no matter how much I wanted to tellthe boy who was my supportthat I should be yours and I love you more than him.

a/n: I am unsure of this story, but I hope you enjoyed it. I had trouble with the tenses – I know they skip around – but I like the way it turned out.