"Why do you think you're here?" It was one of those questions you know not to answer truthfully. It was something that deserved a carefully thought out and calculated bold-faced lie. I know I should have said, 'because I need help' or 'I have problems I can't deal with on my own.' The only problem? I can't stand bullshit.
"Mom can't live with the idea of two guys fucking." He didn't gasp or move back uncomfortably as I would have hoped. Hell, he didn't even flinch. He just simply made a note on his faux wooden clipboard, his eyes never detached from mine.
"You think you're here because of your sexual preference." The way he spoke so coolly began to irk me. It was inhuman. He sat there unmoving, stolid, waiting for my response.
"Isn't it?" He laughed then. A sort of low rumble shook his chest. I waited, he smiled.
"So none of this is due to the fact you purposely injure yourself?" It was my turn to laugh, but it way dry, humorless.
"You think that bitch didn't know I was cutting myself?" He continued to make notes in his clipboard, not once breaking eye contact, "I've been doing it since I was ten, she noticed." He laid his pen down very deliberately and leaned back into his chair. He wanted to make it known that he was listening. I continued. "This," I stressed the word, "is because she caught me red handed with a tongue down my throat, too bad that person had an extra bit of equipment between their legs." I laughed again, thinking to myself that it was a good thing she came in when she did or she would have caught me with something else down there instead. I imagined the old hag walking in and having a heart-attack right there on the floor. The worse part is, I would probably finish up before I even thought about calling 911.
"I see." He said simply. His whole cool guy aura was really started to piss me off. God, why wouldn't he just deem me insane and lock me up, anything to get me out of this torture session. He was acting like he cared, that was his first mistake. 'Strike one, buddy,' I thought. He stood up then, making his way to his desk. "We're done for today." I sighed in relief; at least God was good for something.
"So I have to come back here?" I prayed silently that he would say 'no'.
"Yes," He turned his back to me and looked at the big blue calendar that he displayed on his wall, "Tomorrow, same time." I groaned.
"Tomorrow? As in twenty-four hours from now?" He laughed.
"Yup." I shook my head and walked out.
"What are you doing?" I chuckled sinisterly.
"Just lean back, Kyle." He pursed his lips in response. I didn't wait for him to move of his own free will. I shoved his chest playfully until he was lying flat on his back. He bounced slightly from the springs of the bed. I laughed. "Stay still." He didn't even breathe. I leaned over him so my legs were still dangling over the edge of the bed, but my chest was hovering over his. I caressed his cheek in my hand.
"Zander." He whispered my name quietly. That was all I needed. I cocked my head to the side and pressed my lips against his lightly. He wrapped his arms around my neck and pulled me closer. I bit his lower lip softly. I felt him trembling beneath me. My kisses trailed down his neck to his shoulder. I shifted my weight so I could lift his shirt over his head. I traced the line of well defined muscle, naturally tanned. He breathed in sharply. I outlined the suggestive line, just under his hips, where his shorts began. I felt him hook his thumb behind my ear and draw me closer. "I love you." He spoke quietly into my ear.
"I love you too." I bit his ear mischievously, he moaned. I kissed his neck again and bit into the arch where his shoulder began, leaving a small red mark where my mouth had just been. He intertwined his fingers through my hair. I pressed my lips to the soft flesh of his chest, then his stomach. I put my finger into the waistband of his shorts, he smiled…
"How was your night?" He was at it again. The seemingly harmless questions that I knew he was using to determine my sanity.
"Boring." Short, sweet, and to the point. But I knew it wasn't enough.
"How so?" He had his pen at the ready, erect, waiting for any sign of a true answer.
"Well boring usually constitutes nothing happening." He smirked.
"Ok then, let's change the subject," He laid down his pen, "Let's talk about school." I grimaced.
"I'd rather not." I felt my chest tighten a little at the thought of that place. I saw Kyle's face sharply in my mind. I nearly cried out in pain.
"Why?" He couldn't catch a hint. He just didn't seem to get it.
"I just don't, ok?" He sighed then leaned forward a little.
"That much I comprehend. I was just simply curious why." I shook my head. I felt heat rising in my cheeks. Nonetheless, my voice stayed level.
"Curiosity killed the cat." He shifted in his seat. 'Strike two,' I thought.
"Oh look, it's the school fag and goth. I wonder who will kill himself first. My bet's on Marilyn Manson here." I looked up, barely aware the overly masculine jock had even utter a word. I had a way of blocking people out when they were of no interest to me. It was almost like they weren't there.
"I'm surprised you can still speak Jonathan," His eyes widened in shock, "I heard your dad kicked your ass to kingdom come after last Saturday's game." I saw the vein in his neck begin to pulse, his face was turning purple. "How bad did you guys lose again? 0 to 24?" His breathing was heavy, almost like a wounded animal driven mad from pain. To add insult to injury I added, "Oh wait! It was 26."
"Fuck you!" I smiled smugly.
"You only wish, sweetheart." I think it was the sweetheart that did it. Yeah, it the sweetheart. I saw his fist flying towards my face. I lifted up my left arm and blocked it easily. I let him take another shot, this time to the stomach, I blocked that too. I raised my left hand and got in one good hook to the jaw before I felt someone pulling at my shoulders. It was Dr. Litwack, the school principal.
"In my office Alexander!" He grabbed me by the arm and I followed, giving a quick smile behind me to Kyle. He winked and made his way to class.
"Your mother tells me that you didn't come home last night." I blinked in response. I felt my arm throb painfully.
"And?" I didn't feel like talking today.
"Why is that?" I breathed in heavily, then exhaled slowly. I made a tight fist and waited for the pain to radiate through my body. I felt the skin of my forearm begin to sting. I winced at the sweet, sharp feeling.
"I couldn't handle it." I bowed my head in defeat. He didn't reach for his pen. Instead, he shot me a heavy gaze. I looked up to meet his eyes. I felt tears burning mine. I tried not to blink. I tried really hard. But the tears came anyway. "Tell me this," my voice was steady, "How come no matter how hard I try; I can't make the pain go away." I felt a tear roll down my cheek.
"Wounds heal eventually." I shook my head. Did he really think I was talking about the cuts? That wasn't pain. That was release. I clutched my wrist tightly, feeling a small amount of blood trickle down my sleeve. He didn't notice.
"Only the physical ones." I leaned back in the chair. Hating the way it was cushioned. Hating that it was soft. I didn't want to feel anything but pain, so I kept talking. "It hurts so bad that sometimes I wish I could just die." I wanted to so badly, but I couldn't. I had to keep my promise. "I want to die." He moved towards me then. Slowly at first to make sure I wasn't going to push him away. He wrapped his arms tightly around my body. I gasped as he touched my arm
"Do you hate me?" At that moment, I really wished I did. 'Strike three'.
"I'm going to die, Zander." I shook my head, and blinked back tears.
"No you're not!" My voice was louder than it should have been. I didn't care. He couldn't die. He was my world. My life. If he died, so would I.
"Yes I am." I felt the tears begin to pour, flowing freely down my cheeks. He held my face in his hands, he kissed my eyelids, then my nose, then finally my mouth. I sobbed.
"You can't." He sighed weakly.
"They give about a 3 months with chemo, one without," I was shaking my head as if that would make his statements somehow untrue, "I'm dying, I have been for a while. But I need you to promise me something." I nodded. There was a lump in my throat much too large for me to speak. "Once I'm gone, I need you to live for me. No matter how hard it gets, I need you to live." I couldn't speak. I was numb. I needed something sharp, that would help.
"But—" I tried to speak, but failed.
"Promise me, no matter how hard it gets." I shuddered.
I ran from the building as quickly as my legs would carry me. I began silently cursing everyone who had hurt me. My mother for never accepting me. My father for loving his patients more than me, even though, I too, was now a patient. And Kyle for loving me then leaving me, for giving me the world and taking it away, and mostly, for forcing me to make that stupid promise. That was what hurt the most. The fact he left me and made me stay behind. I knew I could never break that promise to him, so it hurt, and I ran.
The street was pretty empty for a weekday. It was probably due to the weather. The wind was biting cold, but I didn't feel it. It even didn't faze me. I was running so fast I could barely see. So I didn't see when the car hit the patch of black ice at the corner. I didn't see when the driver turned too far into the skid. I didn't see the tons of metal as they came crashing into my body at an unimaginable speed. But I did see a light. And I didn't have to go towards it. I didn't feel my soul being ripped away from my body. So I did do the next best thing. I gave it some help. I felt the world slip away from and for a split second, I could have sworn I felt a hand, lightly caressing my cheek.
So much for promises…