here's a little something I had started a number of years ago, but just
never got around to finishing. Seeing as
is a fictional story which contains scenes depicting sexual acts. All the
normal legal warnings apply.
As I lie here in my
darkness, I can hear your footsteps. Soft in the night.
You stop at my door . . .
looking in. Your footsteps grow louder. I hear the soft sound of your
clothing brushing together, and I can feel your presence.
I cannot see you, though
I can hear your gentle breathing, above my own. And there’s that perfume
you’re wearing, like roses in a garden. That’s how I know that it’s
you . . . the person who has been watching over me and tending to my needs
almost every night.
I feel your hand on my
forehead, gently brushing back my hair.
‘However did you get
yourself in this mess?’ you ask me.
You actually want to
know? Well, I suppose I’m not going anywhere, am I? But are you sure
you’ve got the time to hear it all?
Okay then. I’ll take
that as a yes.
I guess it would have
been about three weeks ago, give or take a day or two. You’ll have to
forgive me if I’m a little hazy about exactly when
it was, but I do know that I can tell you exactly how it started. Of that much I can be sure.
What a day it had been.
You know, one of those days in
the store when absolutely nothing went right! I’m sure that you’ve
probably had one like that!
Let’s see now, as I
recall there was a lot happening on that day. Firstly there was the office
romance that ended in disaster. The glamour couple from our store found
out about each other’s infidelities . . . not that they were a secret
from everyone else in the place anyhow. There was this huge fight in the
staff lunch room. Oh… and there were tears! There were lots of tears! I
almost forgot about those!
What else? Oh yes, the
stationary supplies didn’t arrive on time, which meant that we
couldn’t do this big marketing mail-out that we had been planning. And
that was after we had even brought in some of the casual staff especially
Then to top it all off,
we get a surprise visit from our District Supervisor in the afternoon! And
he was in one of those kind of
moods, which meant that there wasn’t much that he was happy with!
So yeah, it was all
happening that day! I can tell you, I don’t think I have ever been so pleased to lock that front door and head for my car at
the end of a day! Little did I know however, that that was when my real
troubles would start.
I made it to my car
alright. I got in and started it up. I even made it out onto the main road
and managed to point it in the general direction of home.
I could almost taste that
At the first set of
traffic lights (they were red
– of course) I sat in the long line of traffic. Everyone always seems to
be heading home at the same time these days. Eventually the lights changed
from red to green and I got to drive another two blocks, which of course, was
where the next set of lights were.
And waddaya know? They
are red too.
I remember sitting there,
impatiently drumming my fingers on the steering wheel, while listening to
some unknown band sing some unknown tune that I really didn’t like all
that much anyway.
At that moment all I had
really wanted was to be at home. To have walked in the front door and felt
those strong and familiar arms around me. To have tasted those familiar
lips on mine, and then enjoyed a cold drink out on the verandah, while the
two of us sat there and watched boats cruise up and down the river below
It was nice, being able
to do that. It was something that I cherished on these hot summer
afternoons, although it has been a little while now since I have been able
to do that, hasn’t it? As I said, at least a few weeks, give or take a
day or two.
Three weeks since the
accident happened. Three weeks since my world turned upside. I can barely
believe it now.
It was like a nightmare .
. . and still is, I suppose.
That was when the driver
of a cement truck, a bright red one from a company called Hudsons Concrete, lost control as he came around the corner in front
of me (at least he had a green
light!), then careered into the one car in front of me and then my car as
Apparently I was the
lucky one. At least I lived. But I heard the nurses talking in quiet
whispers and overheard them saying that the woman in the other car
wasn’t so lucky.
I know I cried when I
heard that. But nobody else knew. Nobody seemed to worry too much about
the patient in bed three, except to come and check that I was still
breathing every now and then, or to see what was wrong if one of the
machines that were attached to some part of my anatomy started beeping a
little too loudly, or a little too fast.
I am under no illusions as to where I am, or even what my current condition is. I’m up shit creek, and without a paddle.
* * * * *
was the strangest of feelings, I can tell you.
expect that when you’re unconscious it’s just that. You’re supposed
to be totally out to it, right? The weird thing is, that’s not what it
was like for me. I could hear the sirens and the machinery, and everything
being said. I could feel it whenever anyone touched me. But I couldn’t
see a thing. And I couldn’t move.
worst of it is, as I lay in this hospital bed, that’s how things still
is it that? Can you tell me?
the night that the accident happened, I can vividly remember the Doctors
talking to Chris. He was crying, which was unlike him as he is usually the
tough one out of the two of us, and the Doctors were trying to explain
something to him about major trauma, and swelling of the brain (my
brain, I assume), and that he shouldn’t expect miracles.
shit!’ I remember him
saying. I wanted to laugh. But I just couldn’t. Then I wanted to cry.
But I couldn’t do that either.
the Doctors went away and we were left alone, with Chris sitting beside
me, holding my hand, while machines beeped and whirred and carried on
going to be okay, Nate. You’re going to get better,’ he whispered.
That much I
can remember well.
I wanted to
tell him not to worry, that of course, I knew everything was going to be
alright. But I couldn’t. All I could do was listen to his quiet sobs and
the not so quiet ‘beep… beep…
beep…’ of the machines I was hooked up to.
immediate days that passed, nothing much seemed to have changed.
I have been
lying here day after day, listening to the things that are going on around
me, hearing the doctors and nurses talking about me as if I wasn’t even
there, and feeling their poking and prodding, yet I am unable to move.
I want to
scream. I want to call out to them and tell them that I’m alright,
really, and that I can hear and
feel and smell. But inside my head there is this constant buzz and
pounding, as if a battle is being fought on some distant, sodden, blood
If only I
could open my eyes and my mouth and tell them that I can smell their
disinfected hospital wards, and the strong fragrance of the flowers that I
If only I
could tell Chris that each time he walks into the room to visit me I can
smell the distinctive after-shave that he always wears. Aramis,
it is. And oh, how I would love to tell Chris how comforting it is when I
can smell him near me, or when he picks up my hand and holds me.
I know it is
him, even though I can’t see him, sitting there beside me for hours on
end, holding my hands, talking to me, telling me that everything will be
alright. And I know it must be hard for him, saying things like that when
I know that he isn’t even sure of that himself. I can hear it in his
voice, you know. I can hear the doubts and the fear and the pain. I wish
that I could tell him that everything will
be alright, but after hearing everything that the doctors and nurses
have been saying, how can I be certain of that myself?
How long has
it been now? It’s all so very tiring you know. It feels like forever,
but I know it hasn’t been that long.
will do for one day, eh? I think I’d like to sleep now, just for a
little while, if you don’t mind. Maybe I can tell you some more later?
Just let me
have a little rest, will you? I’ll let the darkness take over for a
while now, and we can talk again later.
I seem to be
drifting. In and out of sleep, I guess, although no one around me would be
able to tell the difference anyhow.
can’t open my eyes, or move, or do anything, but I can
still smell, at least that function still works.
As I come
to, I pick up a scent that seems familiar, yet I can’t quite place it.
It’s like . . . it’s like it is coming from a place far, far away. I
try to go back through my memories as I try to recognize the fragrance,
but there’s nothing there.
Then I hear
footsteps. Familiar ones. They belong to Chris; I can recognize them in an
They stop at
hear him say. ‘I’m sorry. I didn’t know Nate had visitors.’
movement next to me, on my left. Someone clears their throat. A man.
Then I sense
that someone is on my right. There are two people in the room, with Chris
still at the door.
Nathan’s parents. Jean and Allan Price,’
a woman said. My mother. And my father was here too?
shit!’ I suddenly
Chris. Nate’s . . .’
please don’t say boyfriend,’ I
housemate,’ he said.
. . . that was a close one.
Chris took a
few steps into the room and stopped. I hear my father get to his feet.
meet you,’ the old man says. I guessed they must have been shaking
‘Errr . .
. yes. You too,’ I hear Chris say, his voice clearly filled with
uncertainty. ‘I’m sorry, but he never really spoke about family,
otherwise I would have made sure you’d have known sooner.’
silence follows, during which time my brain seemed to be racing.
boyfriend is in the room with me. My parents are in the room with me. I
just know that this is going to get sticky.
So . . . now
that we’ve got to this point, I guess I should fill you in on the rest
of it. I mean, how I got to here.
See, I had
left home when I was just eighteen, with my sights set on making my
fortune, or if not a fortune then at least enough to get me by. I also had
my sights set on just being me, with being able to be the person I knew
was, without having to hide behind someone who was all together different.
and I had, for as long as I can remember, fought like cats and dogs.
Nothing I ever did was good enough for him. None of my friends were ever
anything more than no-hopers, bludgers or poofters. That’s just the way
it was. Just the way he was.
When I was
seventeen I found myself a job with a local department store. It wasn’t
anything special really, but it gave me an income. It also gave me some
independence. It felt great knowing that I finally had the means of
setting myself free.
later, after I had managed to save myself a little bit of money, I noticed
a poster on the notice board in the staff room that said positions were
available in other stores. It was time to make my move, I decided, so
without telling my family I asked our Personnel Lady about jobs that might
be available in the city.
month I was offered what they called a Management Traineeship in a
suburban store, which I quickly accepted, then shortly afterwards, despite
my mother’s objections . . . and tears . . . I packed my bags and caught
eight years ago now, and even though I have kept in touch with my parents
since, and have even been home to visit a few times, I was now leading the
life I always knew I would . . . even if the person they still know as
their son isn’t the person I really am.
When I was
twenty one years old, five years ago now, I met a wonderful guy. He was a
few years older than me . . . okay, he was ten years older than me, all
right . . . and I had seen him a few times on the dance floor at The
Den, my favourite night spot.
He was tall,
dark and handsome, with the build of an athlete and the smile of an angel.
He was the epitome of the perfect man that I’d imagined ending up with,
but thought was far beyond my reach.
there I accidentally bumped into
him, spilling his drink. When he spun around I could see he was about to
let fly at the useless git who had bumped him, but then he saw me and his
expression totally changed.
man,’ I said to him. ‘Here, let me buy you another. What are you
He told me,
and I ordered his drink, plus one for me, then I carried them both to a
table, with him following.
Nate,’ I said, as music thumped around us and strobe lights flashed.
he offered, while thrusting his hand forward, which I duly shook. ‘Are
you always that direct when you want to meet someone?’ he asked, having
to yell to be heard above the music.
depends,’ I yelled back.
badly I want to meet them!’
For a long
while he simply held my gaze, then he broke out into a broad grin.
grabbing some fresh air?’ he asked, while nodding toward the exit,
through which there was a balcony which overlooked the busy street.
We picked up
our drinks, and this time I followed him, out through the double doors and
into the night, where the music was still loud, but at least we could hear
night I left with him. We caught a cab and went back to his place, which
was well out of the city.
On the way
there we kissed in the back seat, like two school boys discovering each
other for that first time, hungry with desire.
we pulled into a driveway and removed ourselves from each other just long
enough to extract ourselves from the cab.
the driver a fifty then reached into his pocket for the keys.
first time I looked up, toward the house, then let out a low whistle. It
was modern and large. And it must have been worth a fortune.
this?’ I asked.
own, so far, is about half the driveway,’ he said cheekily. ‘The bank
owns the rest, and I’ll be paying it back to them for the next hundred
Come on, let’s go inside.’
We walked up
the driveway hand in hand and he opened the front door, pushing it aside
and motioning for me to go inside.
was nice, there was no doubt about that.
fantastic,’ I said, before cheekily adding, ‘What’s the bedroom
good time my cherub,’ he whispered, before then taking my hand and
leading me across the room, where he slid open a glass door and then,
placing one hand in the small of my back, urged me to step outside, which
found, when I reached the railing of the balcony was a sight to behold,
with the dark shape of a river snaking along below us, twinkling lights
from the houses on the far side of it reflecting from its surface and the
smell of water drifting up toward us.
back around and faced my companion.
know how to impress a guy,’ I said quietly.
in toward me and placed a hand on the railing on either said of me.
I find one who is worth impressing,’ he whispered, before leaning in and
kissing me once more.
lips breaking contact, his hands moved to the buttons of my shirt, as mine
also went to his, and on that balcony, in that darkness, we undressed each
other, before making love to each other on a sun bed, as a breeze washed
over our damp, sweating bodies.
As I said,
that was five years ago now, and I’m still with him, still going home to
his place every night and, on occasion, still making love in the darkness.
It seems we liked each others company.
In the five
years I’ve been with Chris, I’ve never had my parents visit me, which
I guess speaks volumes for the relationship I have with them.
never once questioned my not having a close relationship with them, or my
desire to keep my private life, well, private . . . especially from them.
who we are, mate,’ he has often said to me. ‘We all deal with things
in our own way. If you want to keep things to yourself then no one has a
right to demand otherwise.’
doesn’t bother you that I’m a closeted basket case who doesn’t want
to confront his parents?’
bother you that I’m not a militant pro-gay crusader, outing everyone who
even looks like they walk with a mince or talk with a lisp?’
rest my case.’
love you!’ I told him.
back at you, babe.’
So . . .
here we all are, and in the same room.
sounds that can be heard are those emanating from the machines to which I
The silence stretched out. Awkward.
The silence stretched out. Awkward.
remember when the last time was that I had spoken with my parents.
Probably around last Christmas, at a guess. As you have probably already
figured out from what I’ve told you already, we haven’t been that
close in recent years.
bad that you didn’t know any sooner,’ I heard Chris say.
not your fault,’ my father grumbled, in his usual gruff manner; which
always made it hard to work out whether he was in a good mood or
. . .’
all right love,’ my mother added. ‘We’ve been trying to call him on
his mobile for a couple of weeks now, but we couldn’t get through. Then
a friend of ours asked us a few days ago how he was doing after his
accident . . . so, you can just imagine how we felt about that!’
sorry,’ Chris mumbled. I could hear the strain in his voice. I wondered
if they could as well.
stretched once more.
this. I need some air,’ was the next thing my father said, then I heard
him get to his feet.
I’ll join you,’ my mother said also. ‘We’ll be back in a little
Then I heard
the sound of them walking out of the room, their footsteps echoing around
the room, and then down the corridor, until finally they were gone.
Nate, I nearly fucked that for you,’ I heard Chris whisper. I then heard
him dragging the chair slightly closer to the bed, the sound of its feet
scratching along on the linoleum floor unmistakable, then sit down.
leaning against the bed, then I felt him take one of my hands in his.
this is so fucked up. Why can’t you wake up? You know I love you, and
I’m sure that in their own way your parents love you too . . . they
wouldn’t be here if they didn’t.’
He took a
few deep breaths then I felt his lips touch the back of my hand, before he
held my hand to his face, continually kissing me.
I heard him
sob, before he pleaded with me; ‘You’ve got to wake up babe. We all
need you. We all love you.’
It was then
that I heard the gasp . . . and it didn’t come from Chris.
I felt my
stomach lurch and, in my mind at least, I held my breath.
Chris let go of my hand, letting it fall back to my side.
went silent . . . except for that infernal beep of the machines that I was
hooked up to.
the fuck is this?’ my father eventually asked, in what, for him at
least, seemed a controlled manner, yet the underlying rage in his voice
was unmistakable. ‘I just knew something like this would happen when we
let him come to the city.’
‘He . . .
Nate . . . he didn’t want to hurt you,’ Chris said calmly, though in a
tone that almost sounded like that of a beaten man. ‘And no matter
whether he was in the city or back home with you, he still would have
turned out the same.’
. . . you’re not just housemates, are you?’ I heard my mother ask,
sounding hurt and confused.
understand . . .’ my father started to say.
I have been together for five years,’ Chris said, before then taking my
hand in his once more. Once more I felt his lips touch the back of my
. . . you’re both . . .’ my father tried to say.
‘Yes Mr. Price, we’re both gay, and we’re in love. Nate had his reasons
for not wanting you to know, and I’ve always respected that, but now I
guess you know, so there’s no longer any point in either of us trying to
keep up any charade.’
had finally been let out of the box and as I waited for a reaction . . .
any kind of reaction . . . my stomach was in knots and my head felt like
it was about to explode.
thing I heard was the sound of boots retreating once more down the
corridor, with the softer sound of my mother’s shoes following.
sorry babe,’ Chris whispered. ‘I know what you wanted, and I didn’t
mean for that to happen, especially not like that, but it had to happen
know . . . I know, I thought, while wishing somehow I could tell him, and
hug him, and let him know it was all right.
As he continued to hold me, and whisper to me, soothing me and reassuring me, I calmed back down. The noises in my head gradually subsided and the knots in my stomach gradually untangled. Then the darkness eventually came once more.
* * * *
The beep of
the machines. The sound of a trolley being wheeled along the corridor. The
occasional clatter of something being dropped. The quiet tones of people
I could hear
someone breathing. Close by. To my left. Then I heard a grunt, coming from
the other side of me.
more than one person in the room.
boy. Here we go again, I thought.
though, things seemed different. I couldn’t quite work out just how, or
what it was, but all the same, I felt different.
I rolled my
head to my left, as that was where Chris had been sitting last time.
I felt a hand grasp mine.
he said, quite urgently. ‘Nate? Can you hear me?’
happened?’ my mother asked, from somewhere on my right.
moved his head,’ Chris said urgently. ‘Nate, can you hear me? Please
squeeze my hand if you can.’
I could hear
him. I could feel him.
closing my hand around his. I tried squeezing his hand.
god,’ I felt that, he exclaimed. ‘I felt his hand move in mine.’
felt someone pick up my other hand.
darling,’ my mother said. ‘Please come back to us.’
Willing my hand to move I tried to give her hand something of a squeeze as well, then I tried rolling my head in her direction.
see that?’ my mother exclaimed. ‘He heard me. And he squeezed my
remember the last time my mother had just held my hand like that. It was
something I missed.
I rolled my
head back toward Chris. This was starting to get easier.
here babe,’ he whispered. ‘Please wake up.’
Then I tried
to open my eyes. I felt my eyelids move, ever so slightly.
You can do it,’ he urged.
again. Then I saw something . . . the faintest sliver of light.
happening,’ my mother said. ‘He’s opening his eyes.’
I tried some
more and the light came flooding in . . . though not bright as I didn’t
think the lights were on in the room. Ain’t it funny how we recognise
things like that at the oddest of times?
Then I heard
heavy footsteps. I figured it was my father. But oddly, they were going
away from me.
I heard him bellow down the corridor. ‘Nurse!’
father to do that. Most people would have just used the buzzer. I’m sure
there would have been a buzzer around here some place he could have used.
my mother scolded. ‘This is a hospital!’
I wanted to
smile. I think I tried to smile.
He’s smiling,’ Chris enthusiastically said. ‘Yes!’
him pumping the air as he said that.
eyes opened further, fully. I could finally see something. There were
shapes moving around me. Three large shapes, then slowly their forms
started to become recognisable.
tried to focus on the one on my left. Eventually the blob morphed into
He had been
here for me the entire time. I smiled at him and squeezed his hand. He
squeezed back and mouthed the words, ‘I love you.’
rolled back the other way and as I focused on the other two figures I
eventually saw my parents standing there, looking concerned, though
son,’ my father said. ‘Welcome back.’
I tried to
open my mouth, but my dry lips seemed to be stuck together. I tried again,
wanting to lick them, eventually succeeding after a couple of attempts.
somehow managed to croak.
from them, to the smiling face of Chris, and then back again.
The moment I
had been dreading for the past ten years had finally arrived. The moment
when I would look my parents in the face and we would all acknowledge that
I wasn’t the person they had always thought me to be.
‘I . . .,’ I started to say.
my mother said. I wasn’t going to be ssshhh’d though.
you know,’ I croaked.
all right,’ my father whispered. ‘You’re back, and that’s all that
Yeah. I guess that’s right, I thought, as Chris leaned in and kissed my forehead.
As always, your
comments are most welcome.
Please email me at email@example.com
© Mark Peters 2002-2012. All rights reserved