Mutual Necessities

Michael Coffman stumbled across the street to sit on one of the many Carowinds benches. He looked pale, then green as he turned and threw up in one of the also numerous trashcans. If Heather Greg wasn't such an observant person, he would have stayed on that bench until his friends called him, and then he would've followed them around for the rest of the day. But Heather was extremely observant and what she saw was a person in need. She handed a five to Tyler who was walking next to her and asked for a water. Tyler saw the boy before she got to him; he rolled his eyes and went for water.

"Hey, thought it was you." A girl casually sat down beside him on the bench. Michael looked at her, just one of the freshmen in his 2nd period class. He couldn't remember her name but she was friends with the quiet kid in front of him. He honest to god couldn't figure out why she was sitting there until his stomach heaved up again. The girl moved quickly, as soon as he turned to the trashcan, rubbing his back comfortingly as he threw up again. She offered him a bottle of water from a kid who just appeared and wiped his face with a bandana from her belt. The kid looked squeamish but the girl didn't seem to mind as she felt Michael's head for temperature. His body was too exhausted to do anything to the girl for treating him like a kid so he stared at her.

"You're sicker than I thought." She mumbled as she began to massage his head. "I'm Heather."

"Tyler, where did you guys go?" Jake asked as he and Daniel approached the sick bench.

"Heather's taken in another stray." Tyler supplied.

"Boys, this is your warning, go sit on a bench or leave. I hit when you tease me. Michael, I need you to look at me." She said in a much softer voice. He opened his eyes, surprised she knew his name. "Good boy." She held his cool face in her warm hands and slightly tilted it this way and that, examining his brown eyes.

"Why?" he managed to rasp out.

"Felt like being nice today. You aren't drunk or hung over. Meds not sit right?" by miracle alone he could comprehend what she said.

"Went on coaster too soon." He took a drink of water.

"Where are your friends?"

"Told 'em to go. I'm fine, you can go too."

"That's not gonna happen, Heather's gone and adopted you. Now we won't get to go on any more rides." Tyler complained.

"You are not fine; you're puking and obviously having issues with your muscles. Ty, keep my phone and you guys go have fun."

"You sure?"

"I've already ridden all the rides, just make sure to flip off a camera for me." The three nodded and left Heather with her patient. "Lay down, you need to let your body get all settled after that ride." She eased the non protesting young man down on the bench. "You must think we're immature and stupid, giving the bird to cameras but it's kind of a tradition." Heather rested his head in her lap, supported by her jacket. While she talked, her hands swept the hair away from his smooth forehead.

"What happened to you Michael?" She questioned, softly rubbing his temples. "You've never let anyone take care of you before." She stated when he tried to sit up fast. "Calm down, relax. You're stressing your body." She gently pushed him down on her lap. His warm chocolate eyes gazed up at her. She rolled her eyes when he tensed up. "Concentrate on deep breaths, try and relax your muscles one by one." She said again, not unkindly. "Block out all the noise around us." Light fingers closed his eyes for him. "Try and picture your self somewhere calm." A kid ran past screaming at that exact moment. Then the kid stopped screaming. Heather released a satisfied sigh. Michael opened one eye to find the kid staring at his caretaker. "I'll throw another cough drop if you keep screaming." She warned. "Close your eye." Michael did as he was told, attempting to settle his stomach.

"You're skin is so smooth." Heather traced the outline of his face. She was talking to herself more than him, never the less, her soft voice was mesmerizing. "I bet you're a big brother, no sisters though…you're big into sports." A slight grin pulled at his lips, so she didn't just feel needed, physical attraction was there too. Michael grazed over this in his mind, he wasn't one to really care what others thought, but no opinion was ever lost on him. "Something of a player. I see that smirk, you're the one with your eyes closed, remember?"

"Caustic much?"

"He speaks!" the most he could summon was a shrug.

Why don't you want to go with your friends?" he sat up, getting slapped with a wall of altitude adjustment.

"Don't need me. 'Sides, I always like it when other people notice I'm sick."

"Attention deprived?"

"Drama Queen."

"But what's the point of coming to an amusement park if you don't rid the rides?"

"Your questions are amusing me." She answered with a half smile. "Feel up to walking around?"

"Where to?"

"How about away from the screaming kids area."

"What, are you running out of cough drops?" she would've smacked him if he hadn't just thrown up. She told him so when she caught up to him a few feet from the bench. He just smiled and the two of them walked to The Boardwalk.

Heather answered his cell phone when John called to see if he was feeling better. She laid into him about leaving a sick friend by himself. John was confused. So he hung up. Michael watched, not really fazed.

"You seriously need some new people to hang with."

"You told me you only have friends that need you." He challenged.

"It's a mutual thing. Did you not see the hidden jealousy earlier? If you hadn't been sick, I would've been dragged away." She sent him a half smile and stole a fry.

"You're sitting with me on the ride home." Heather announced out of the blue. People walked at different speed around them, in little clusters and groups.


"You interest me." And I need someone to talk to, she finished in her head. "Besides, you still need me."

"Not puking anymore." He said simply.

"Doesn't matter." She shrugged and skipped ahead a few cliques, looking over her shoulder to half smile at him.

True to her word, Michael ended up in the seat next to Heather. Her guy friends started a poker game across the aisle but she didn't notice as she made herself comfortable. Being out in the sun had soaked away most of her energy and she was much quieter.

"Do I still need you?" he softly asked her as she leaned against the top half of his body.

"Dunno, probably. I need you though. I forgot a pillow." With that explanation, she closed her eyes, completely at ease with Michael's hand resting on her stomach. The smell of her shampoo was terrorizing his senses.

"Maybe I need you because I forgot my blanket."

"What are you implying with that undertone?" she asked, her captivating eyes opening, half smile forming.

"I wasn't implying anything, you dirty minded little girl. What are you thinking?"

"I'm thinking I need you because I want you." Leaning up a little, she gently pressed her lips against his. "You amused me at an amusement park." She said, again, more to herself. "Relax and get some sleep Michael."

In later days, people would ask why they dated, both answered the same. They were needed, it was a mutual thing. He would grow calm and she would walk a few feet ahead. But always looked back over her should with a secret half smile.