I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF

"A Queer As Folk USA FanFic"

by Gaedhal

This is Chapter 15 of the "Queer Realities" series.

Go back to "Queer Theories" for the very beginning of this saga.

The narrator is Justin Taylor, and features Lindsay Peterson, Debbie Novotny, Wade, Others.
Rated R and contains no warnings or spoilers.
Summary: Justin adjusts. January 2003.
Disclaimer: This is for fun, not profit. Watch Queer As Folk on Showtime, buy the DVDs, videos, and CDs. Read the stories and enjoy.

Taking Brian up to his new rehab is harder than I thought it would be. I can't stop thinking about how hopeful I'd been when Tess and I took him to Haven of Hope. This is a new beginning, I kept telling myself then. But Haven turned out to be a fucking disaster. And now I'm telling myself the same thing all over again about Springhurst. That this will make a difference. That THIS will be the place that can help him.

I watch Brian walking away. Brian gives me one last, backward look, and then the door closes behind him. I want to scream. I want to run after him. Go with him. But the door is closed. He's on one side and I'm on the other.

Ben drives the Jeep back to Pittsburgh and he and Michael talk quietly most of the way. I sit in the backseat and don't say much of anything. What the fuck is there to say? I close my eyes and pretend I'm sleeping, but they know I'm not asleep. They know, but they leave me alone.

The next day -- Wednesday -- I go to class. I eat lunch with Marshall, like I do almost every day. Then I pick up Wade and take him to the Monroeville Mall to get some new shoes.

"Why don't you have Ted take you shopping, Wade?" I ask. "After all, he's your boyfriend."

But Wade just shrugs. "I haven't seen Ted all that much lately. He's kind of busy and stuff. With his website. And stuff." Wade fidgets with his seatbelt. Looks like that little romance is pretty much kaput. "There's this new guy hanging around. He was with Ted in the office when I stopped by the other day."

"Oh, yeah?" I say, trying to sound interested. "Is this guy a new Jerker?"

"I don't think so," says Wade. "Emmett came in right after I did and the guy ducked out the back door. Ted says he's just some guy he knew a couple of years ago who dropped by to give him something."

"Oh," I say. Sounds like Ted has a new boyfriend -- or a new something. But Wade doesn't seem all that upset. It's just as well. Wade's too young and immature to hook up with some guy seriously. And so is Ted, come to think of it.

After I drop Wade off at his house, I drive over to Lindsay and Mel's house. I want to tell them all about Springhurst and how I think it's a really good place for Brian. Lindsay sits me down and brings out cookies and herbal tea and everything is all lesbianic. Then Mel arrives from picking Gus up from daycare. Gus comes running into the living room and jumps on top of me and gives me a big hug. "Dustin!" he exclaims happily. But then he tilts his head, just like Brian does, asks me, "Where's Daddy? When Daddy come?"

That's when I stand up and tell the girls that I have to leave. I fucking can't get out of that house fast enough. I gun the engine all the way home.

Back at the loft there's a message on the answering machine from Leslie, Brian's personal assistant out in L.A. Leslie is one of the few people Brian contacted after he came here and now I need to let her know that he's back in rehab. Actually, I have a long list of people I need to call, but I don't feel like doing it this minute.

"Brian?" comes Leslie's voice. "Justin? Are you guys there? Check your e-mail messages and the fax machine because I've sent you the press releases for the Screen Actors' Guild and the BAFTA nominations. Congratulations! Bye for now, boys!"

I immediately run to Brian's desk to check the fax and Brian's e-mail. Sure enough, he's been nominated for Best Supporting Actor for 'The Olympian' by the Screen Actors' Guild, and for 'Hammersmith' by BAFTA, which is like the British Academy Awards. Jimmy was also nominated for Best Actor by SAG and BAFTA, too, for 'The Olympian,' and Ron by BAFTA for directing 'The Olympian.' I note the dates of the two award ceremonies and mark them on Brian's calendar. I wonder if Brian will even be out of rehab by then. I hope so. And I wonder about the Oscars -- those nominations are due in a few weeks. After all the shit about Ron and everything, I want Brian to be nominated. To be recognized for his work. And I want him to win, too. I really, really want him to win!

I do some reading for class and hit the bed early. It isn't until I'm already half asleep that I realize I've forgotten to eat any dinner. Fuck it. Then I get up Thursday morning and drag myself through the day once again. It's hard to keep my mind on anything except what Brian is doing at Springhurst. I keep checking my watch. Checking the hours until he's out of detox.

After I eat some salad and leftover meatloaf for dinner -- yeah, now I remember -- I sit around and feel sorry for myself. And feeling sorry for myself is the last thing I want to do. After all, things are going great, right? Brian's in a great new place and I'm going to see him next week. Stay with him next week.

Next week.

But right now I have to get the fuck out of the loft. I feel like the walls are closing in on me.

I try to think about what Brian would do in this situation. And what he'd want me to do. That's a no-brainer, of course. So I get dressed and go to Babylon and dance and have a couple of drinks and then dance some more. And I think about all the guys there I could fuck -- If I wanted to. IF.

There's one guy who is pretty hot and he's all over me, but I realize that, as horny as I am -- and I AM horny, believe me -- I'm not the least bit interested in him. Yes, I want to get HIM interested in me, but mainly just to prove I can. I like to flirt and Brian thinks I'm a big cock-teaser, but sometimes you just have to do something to remind yourself that you're still desirable. I mean, I KNOW that I still am, but when you're sitting all by yourself in the loft or working hour after lonely hour in the studio or lying in bed, still alone, it's nice to be admired by some hot stranger.

I smile at the guy and thank him for the dances, but then I disengage myself from his grasp, leave the club, drive home, and go straight to bed before my buzz wears off.

I'm just dropping off to sleep when I hear the phone. The telephone ringing in the loft at any time of night always snaps me wide awake. I guess I got into that habit last year, waiting for Brian to call me every night. I grope at the bedside for the receiver, then realize that it isn't the loft phone at all. It's my cell, humming very loudly.

Maybe it's Brian calling me. Maybe he's out of detox early! I fumble around in the dark for my cell and flip it open. "Hello?" I mumble sleepily.

"Hiya, Baby Blue," comes the voice. That snarky laugh. That mocking tone. And those slurry, drunken words.

"Jimmy? Is that you?" I sit straight up in bed.

"It's me in the flesh, Justy-wusty," he snorts. "I mean on the phone! Ha!"

"Jimmy, where are you?"

He makes a snuffling sound. "In the land of the silver birch, home of the beaver, where else?"

"Jimmy, are you in Toronto?" I know he's filming a movie up there with Chuckie Ranger, the comedian.

"That's the place!" says Jimmy. "Do you know how COLD it is here, Baby Blue? This film is supposed to take place in Chicago and Chicago is pretty damn cold, but THIS! This is just crazy! I'm freezing my balls off, Justy! Do you know what that's like? To freeze your pretty little balls off?"

This conversation is not at all what I need right now in my life. But how do you hang up on 'The Most Powerful Actor in Hollywood'?

"Yes, Jimmy," I say. "I know what it's like. It's cold in Pittsburgh, too, right now. It's the last day of January, after all."

It's obvious that Jimmy is beyond smashed, but why the fuck is he calling here in the middle of the night? Brian says that Jimmy is a phone addict and is constantly on the phone. "Jimmy can't take a shit without making a call," Brian told me once. "He even talks on the phone while he's fucking." Yeah, I didn't ask for any details about how Brian knew that bit of information. But where did Jimmy get MY cell number? When I think about it, the answer was obvious. He must have gotten it during one of his little encounters with Brian. Brian's past is always catching up with me. And now it's on my phone.

"Let me talk to Bri, will you, Baby Blue?" Jimmy cajoles. "I've been calling his cell, but it's turned off."

"Brian isn't here, Jimmy. And he can't talk to you. He's in rehab."

"Now I know THAT isn't true!" Jimmy barks. "Tess told me that he split last week from that Haven of Happiness or whatever the fuck it's called. I know he's there with you, so let me talk to him." Jimmy waits, but I don't reply. "Have a heart, Justy! Come on!"

"Jimmy," I sigh. "Brian was here with me, but now he's back in rehab. At a different place. I took him there on Tuesday."

I hear Jimmy fiddling with the phone. "Give me the number of the new place, Justy. I need to call him right away! It's really, really important!"

Now, Brian IS allowed to have calls at Springhurst. He's also allowed to have his laptop and to send and receive e-mails. He can also have selected visitors, as long as they are cleared with Dr. Gorowitz. It's not like it was at Haven, where he was basically cut off from the rest of the world. But that doesn't mean that Brian wants me to tell everyone where he is or how to get hold of him. Brian is still not sure how many people he wants to know about him even being in rehab, because the more people who know, the better chance that it will get into the press and then Brian's whole fucking life will be on the front page -- again! Only not accompanied by pictures of my bare ass! I hope!

"No, Jimmy," I tell him. "I can't give you the number. Brian is in treatment and he doesn't need a bunch of people to know where he is.

"But I'm not a bunch of people!" Jimmy whines. I almost laugh because he sounds a lot like Michael when he whines. "I'm Jimmy Hardy! I'm 'America's Boy Next Door'! I'm not some fucking stranger here, Justy! I'm... I'm...." Jimmy reaches around in his boiled brain, trying to figure out exactly what he is to Brian. "I'm Brian's CO-STAR!"

I have to stop myself from bursting out laughing. For Jimmy that connection means everything. Brian's co-star! I guess in Jimmy's mind that's a relationship that trumps friend, lover, or partner. And maybe even wife. Poor Tess!

"Then why don't you call Chuckie Ranger? He's your current co-star," I remind him. "I'm sure he'll be honored to hear from you at this hour." I glance at the clock and it's after 3:00.

"Chuckie fucking Ranger!" Jimmy snorts. "I don't want to call Chuckie fucking Ranger! He's making my life a living hell up here, Baby Blue. I have an Academy Award! In another two months I'm gonna have TWO Academy Awards!" Jimmy brags. "But does Chuckie fucking Ranger give me any respect? Forget it! He treats me like shit! ME! James Lawrence Hardy!"

"I'm sorry about that, Jimmy." And I do feel sorry for Jimmy. Kind of. But not at 3:00 a.m. "I'll let him know that you were worried about him and maybe you can write to him, okay?"

"I don't want to fucking WRITE to Brian! I want to TALK to him! I NEED to talk to him! Right now! It's important, Baby Blue. Very important!"

I take a deep breath. "The most important thing is that Brian gets his treatment going. This place looks like it will be good for him -- unlike that pathetic Haven of Hope! And I don't want Brian distracted. So why don't you sleep it off, Jimmy? Or better yet -- call your wife. Talk things over with Tess."

Jimmy sniffs sadly. "I can't. Tess isn't speaking to me."

Great. Jimmy is burning all of his bridges these days. "I'm sorry, but there isn't anything that Brian can do about that, Jimmy. Maybe you need to have Tess come up there and visit you. Talk things over, face to face? What about that?"

"Tried it," Jimmy says shortly. "Didn't work." I can hear him taking a drink on the other end. "She's cutting me loose, you know? She told me so! She said that she's fucking had enough!"

Oh, oh. That doesn't sound good. "Cutting you loose? What do you mean, Jimmy?"

"She's filing for divorce, Justy. But not until after the Oscars, of course. That wouldn't look good. You always wait until AFTER the Oscars!"

Shit, I think. Tess is the only thing keeping Jimmy from going completely off the rails! Or from coming after Brian. Especially now that Ron is dead. Before at least Jimmy had two strong-willed people telling him when he was being a jerk. Now, one is dead and the other is divorcing him. This definitely is bad news.

"Brian wouldn't blow me off, Justy," Jimmy says mournfully. "Like Tess is blowing me off. And now you're blowing me off, too. That stinks, Baby Blue. I thought you were such a nice boy?"

"I AM nice, Jimmy," I yawn. "But it's the middle of the night and I'm really tired. I have a studio in the morning and I need to be awake for it."

"Studio? Are you filming a movie, Justy? Tell me all about it." He's obviously lonely and really wants to talk, even if it's only to me. I can hear Jimmy taking a puff of something, whether a cigarette or a joint I can't tell, but I've always had the impression that Jimmy was more into booze than weed.

"It's life class, Jimmy," I explain. "Figure drawing."

"Figures, huh?" Jimmy snorts. "Like NUDE figures? Are you drawing dirty pictures, Baby Blue? You're a naughty little boy!"

"They aren't dirty pictures, Jimmy. It's art. It's part of my training at the Institute." Of course, I don't tell him about the kind of drawings I do of Brian that aren't for my life class. The drawings that are only for us. I guess you could call them 'dirty,' but I prefer the term 'explicit.' Or 'erotic.' Or just 'honest.'

"Tell me what those pictures look like," Jimmy continues. "Do they have models? Right there in the room with you?"

"What do you think, Jimmy? That's why they call it 'life drawing'!"

"So, do they hire people to do this modeling -- or is it just volunteers who get off on showing their dicks?" asks Jimmy, with increasing interest.

"They hire people. Some of them are students and some of them are professional models. It depends," I say. "And they aren't exhibitionists. A lot of them are artists themselves. And it's women as often as men, Jimmy, so it isn't about anyone's dick!"

"I bet you draw pictures of Brian." Jimmy's voice sounds a little funny. "I KNOW you draw pictures of Brian. He told me about that art show you had a long time ago. When you won some kind of award for a picture of Brian's cock!"

I snort at that one! "I didn't win any prize! But I did sell some of my pictures there. That was a show at the Gay and Lesbian Center for young artists. It was for charity."

I think about how mortified I was when my mom showed up at the Center and how I tried to get her to leave. I guess that was when I really 'came out,' at least semi-officially. The first time I identified myself in public as a queer. My name was printed in the brochure and everything! That's pretty fucking official for a 17 year old kid!

"I was really nervous about showing my art. And I really wanted Brian to come and see it. Everyone told me that he wouldn't, that he would never show up at the Gay and Lesbian Center because he hated the people who ran the place and everything it stood for. But I waited and waited. I almost gave up. And then Brian came strutting into the Center, wearing this black sleeveless shirt. I was so excited that he came! And he looked so incredibly hot! That was my favorite shirt for a long, long time! And he remembered that, too, because he wore it again when he showed up at the Austin Gallery when I had my piece in the juried show there. Man, Brian looked SO fucking hot that night, too!"

"Yeah, how hot did Brian look, Justy?"

"Amazingly hot! In that black shirt! And his arms were all hard and smooth -- I couldn't keep my hands off of them," I say.

"What did the shirt look like?" says Jimmy.

"Black, like I said. With snaps up the front instead of buttons. And he had it unsnapped halfway down his chest." As I'm talking I realize that my hand is on my dick. Of course, I'm naked in bed and my hand is on my dick a lot under those circumstances. But thinking about that night. And then about the night of the closing at the Austin Gallery when Brian flew into town from Chicago so he wouldn't miss it -- that's getting me so fucking horny!

"Sounds like a Brian Kinney 'fuck me' special!" breathes Jimmy.

"It was," I answer. "It really was. There was this piano there in the middle of the room and some bald guy was playing show tunes. But then he stopped. Brian came up behind me and put his arm around my neck and started whispering in my ear."

"Yeah? Then what?"

"And I thought -- what would happen if Brian just bent me over this piano and fucked the shit out me, right in front of all these people? In front of my mother! And Daphne! Debbie and Lindz and Mel! In front of the whole damn Gay and Lesbian Center! What would they do? What would they say?"

That was such a powerful fantasy of mine back then, when I was so young and naive. To have Brian claim me -- right in front of everyone. To have them all KNOW that I belonged to HIM! Because I DID belong to him -- even back then. The way he claimed me at Babylon that first night when he pushed away the two guys who were rubbing up against me on the dance floor and he lifted me up in his arms. And then took me back to the loft and fucked the living shit out of me!

Little did I know that my fantasy of Brian claiming me would end up on the front pages of all the tabloids in Europe AND the U.S.! Jesus!

I'm stroking myself harder now, thinking about it. Closing my eyes. I want to hang up and finish this, but I'm getting closer... closer... almost....

"Tell me, Justy -- are you naked?" I hear Jimmy say, his voice in a whisper. "Are you jacking off? I know you are. I can hear it in your voice."

Oh, fuck! "Christ, Jimmy! I have to hang up now!" This is TOO creepy!

"No! Not yet!" he pleads. "Give me another minute... Justy. Keep stroking that beautiful cock of yours, Baby Blue...."

I'm such a dope! I should have realized what Jimmy was doing! Asking me all those questions about life class. About me drawing pictures of Brian. And about my fantasies. Yuck! The thought of having phone sex with Jimmy Hardy, even inadvertently, is too awful! My dick begins to sink back down. Even picturing Brian in that black sleeveless shirt isn't enough to make me come with Jimmy on the other end of the phone!

"I'm hanging up now! Do you hear me, Jimmy?" I tell him. "Don't call back!"

And I bang the phone down before he comes. At least I hope it was before. I get out of bed. I have to wash my hands now. I feel kind of... soiled.

God! I wish Brian were here!

***

It's Friday and I don't have any plans for the weekend except to catch up on the work I neglected all week. I missed classes on Monday and Tuesday, first going to Tim Reilly and Ben Bruckner about Brian's rehab, and then actually taking him there. And going to Babylon last night didn't help the situation, either. My ass drags all morning, making my Friday morning studio torturous. But I don't want to skip any more classes and fall behind so soon in the semester, especially if I'm going to be gone most weekends to stay with Brian at Springhurst.

So I was in a cranky mood all day Friday. I had lunch with Marshall and snapped at him when he asked me if I wanted to go to the movies that night. Then I apologized and told him that I was up late, but I didn't tell him why. He'd never believe that Jimmy Hardy, drunk and horny, was calling me, Justin Taylor. Right. Next Tom Cruise starts calling me, and then Brad Pitt!

I work in the big studio at PIFA all afternoon until I'm ready to drop. On my way back to the loft I stop by the diner to pick up something for dinner. I like to cook well enough, but cooking for myself isn't all that exciting. And by the time I get back from class during the week I'm usually so tired that I just eat whatever is in the fridge. Leftover meatloaf that my mom brought over. Peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Pretzel rods. Frozen pizza rolls. Poppers. Whatever. And it isn't much different on the weekends.

I was going to get a pizza at that place just off Tremont, but then I remember that tonight the special at the diner for Friday is pasta primavera with Italian broad beans and Italian bread, so I make the detour over to Liberty Avenue. I'm getting hungry just thinking about the food. Brian is always on my case about all the carbs I consume, but I'm a growing boy! Aren't I? I need to fuel up if I'm going to get through my crazy schedule without fainting.

The diner is bustling, but Debbie comes right over when she sees me come in. "Hiya, Sunshine!" says Debbie. "What can I get you?"

"The special," I tell her. "Actually, give me two specials. That way I'll have something for tomorrow, too."

"Special for tomorrow is the baked ham, honey."

I think about it. "No thanks, Deb. Two primaveras to go. Please."

Deb grins at me. "Coming right up. Take a load off while I get it."

I slip onto an empty stool and unwrap my scarf. It's cold outside, but hot here in the diner. I unzip my jacket, too. It's funny to think about how much of my life I've spent in this diner. I came here the first time when I was looking for Brian. Yeah, it always comes down to Brian somehow. But I came here that night with Michael after Brian blew me off. And I made some stupid comment about Debbie being a freak -- without knowing that she was Michael's mother! Talk about the classic Taylor foot-in-mouth disease!

After I started working at the diner after Brian brought me back from New York was when I really began to feel part of the gay scene on Liberty Avenue. I knew everybody and everybody knew me. They gossiped about the ups and downs of my life. And the ups and downs of my relationship with Brian. All that fucking drama! All that angst and queening out! But there were the good moments, too. Like Brian and I sitting in a booth on one of those well-fucked mornings after, just gazing at each other. Or holding hands -- as long as Brian didn't think anyone was noticing.

But then came Brian's bolt out to L.A., leaving me to face all the snarky comments from every asshole who had a grudge against Brian. Or who loved to see Brian's blond twink taken down a peg. Yeah, that was a pretty shitty time. And it was almost exactly a year ago that I went ballistic on Ted's ass when he had the fucking nerve to bad mouth Brian right in front of me! In fact, Ted was sitting on this very same stool when I decked him. When I threw my fucking tray against the back wall. I almost hit Ted with it. I WANTED to hit him over the head with it! I was so fucking angry. Angry with Ted. Angry with Brian. Angry with the world. And also angry with myself. So fucking angry with myself for letting myself be in that situation. Angry at myself for still loving Brian.

Now it's a year later. I'm still angry some of the time. Angry about being bashed and angry about so many of the things that have happened in my life -- and in Brian's life. And I'm still alone most of the time. But I'm trying to deal with it. At least I have a commitment from Brian. Well, maybe not exactly a commitment, but an understanding -- which is as much as Brian is ever going to make. And that's more than I ever could have hoped for a year ago. A year ago I couldn't have hoped for anything -- not even that I would ever see Brian again. Hope -- that's mainly what I have now. A lot of fucking hope.

When I get back to the loft with my food I check the answering machine. Messages from my mom, Daphne, Wade, Emmett -- and TWO messages from Jimmy. This is getting ridiculous! He sounds drunk in the middle of the afternoon. Drunk and horny. I feel like calling him back and telling him either to call Tess or else get the number of a local Toronto man-to-man chat line, but I don't want to encourage him. I delete Jimmy's messages.

I spend the rest of the evening down in my studio, with the studio phone OFF the hook and my cell turned off! And I actually get some work done. What a surprise.

I crawl into bed pretty early for a Friday night. I need to get a lot more work done tomorrow, and then Sunday I'm due at Mom's for brunch. Funny, she never used to do brunch. I think she's picking up the whole Queer Lifestyle! I should bring Emmett with me one Sunday and see how she reacts. She's only met Em a couple of times and he'd be a real test of her Queer tolerance! On the other hand, they might really get along. Mom's in real estate and Em thinks of himself as an expert in anything having to do with home decor. Maybe they would end up going into business together!

Then I realize that next week I'll be up at Springhurst with Brian. That is, if everything goes according to plan.

That's when my cell purrs. I pick it up in the dark, without even thinking.

"Baby Blue! Hey, there!"

Crap. I can picture Jimmy, all alone in his hotel room, cradling the phone against his ear, his hand on his dick. I kind of feel sorry for him. Kind of. But I wish that he'd make up with Tess. Or find someone on the set of his movie to have an affair with. Anything to keep himself occupied and off the telephone!

"Jimmy, I don't have time to talk to you right now!"

"Oh, in the middle of something important, Justy? Got a friend staying over?"

"No, Jimmy," I sigh. "I don't have a friend staying over. I'm just really tired and I have a big week coming up. I have schoolwork and some prints for an exhibition that I'm getting ready."

"Exhibition? Where's that?" says Jimmy, with interest.

"At the Warhol Museum," I answer. "One of the prints is of Brian and another is of Gus. They're all done in the Warhol style."

"Are they for sale? I'll buy them!" Jimmy says expansively. "I'll buy ALL of them!" He's definitely drunk again. "Art collecting is something I could get into. When is this show, Baby Blue? I wanna be there."

The last person I want to show up at the exhibit is Jimmy Hardy. Wouldn't THAT be a fucking circus? "I'll send you a flyer. Now I have to get going. Bye, Jimmy!" And I snap the cell shut before he can start in on the heavy breathing.

But 10 minutes later my cell starts up again. I grab it and flip it open angrily. "What does it take to get you to fuck off!"

"Must be that time of the month, Sunshine. Take your Midol and I'll call back in the morning."

"Brian!" I cry. "No, wait! Don't hang up!"

"I'm here," he laughs. "I should have called earlier. Sounds like you're all talked out."

I don't want to tell him about Jimmy. Not right now. He doesn't need that aggravation. "I'm sorry, Brian. It's been a long, long week. How are you? Are you out of... of detox?"

"Yeah," comes the voice. Brian sounds so close. Like he's right in the room with me. "It wasn't too bad. A couple of hours of puking and then two more days of being bored. They released me this evening and took some time familiarizing me with the routine and getting me settled into my room."

"How is it there, Brian? Is everything okay?"

"Well, it's nothing like the hell that was Haven. I mean, it's not the Plaza or even the Chatterton, but the room is private and I even have my own bathroom and shower. And real shampoo. Remember my suitcase and the bag that I brought to Haven of Hope? Dr. Gorowitz has been in touch with the Nazi who runs that joint and they sent all my stuff here to Springhurst. My photo album and my Filofax and all my clothes. But I still need my own products. Do you think you could bring some with you... I mean, if you come next week?"

"Yes, I'm coming, Brian," I tell him, settling back against the pillows. "If you still want me to."

"I do," he says. "I want you to. That is, if you still believe in me even after all my fuck ups," he sniffs. "I don't want to be the one who you're telling to 'fuck off' for real next time."

"I won't. I'll never tell you to fuck off, Brian," I say. "That's something you have to believe. I know how hard it is for you to believe that I'll always be around, no matter what. But it's true."

"You know how hard it is for me to believe in anything, Justin," Brian says. "But I may be starting to get the hang of it -- with your help."

"Then maybe we both can believe, Brian." Maybe we really can. Believe. In the two of us. And maybe even in something more. It's only a start, I know. A beautiful beginning. And I close my eyes as I think of the what's still to come.

Continue on to "Fixing a Hole".

©Gaedhal, May 2004.

Posted May 16, 2004.