My cell phone was ringing. Loudly. And I was sleeping, but not for long. I didn't even open my eyes when I groped for it on the low teak nightstand, clicking the call button with excellent early morning motor skills, I held it up to my ear without speaking.

"Where the hell are you?!" Amory. My eyes fluttered open nervously. Named for the infamous character in Fitzgerald's novel, as if his parents had predicted he'd be an egotist from the moment of his birth. Holden being his middle name, they proved their devotion to literature, and further sealed his fate. The sun was seeping through my draperies in my single bedroom suite and I could hear the Mediterranean viscously attacking the rocks a few feet below. For a moment I questioned my surroundings, as any hung over college student would when waking up anywhere but their dormitories, by an international call from their exboyfriend who hasn't spoken to them in months at….sometime way too early on the morning of their 22nd birthday.

"Excuse me?" I said in my most confused tone, as the situation began to sink in. Exactly what time is it anyway? I wondered and took the phone away from my ear to quickly check its blue glowing screen, 5AM local time, 11AM New York time, that was early for Amory, but it was excruciating for me.

"Where. The. Hell. Are. You?" Amory over enunciated, as if slowing down and slightly dropping his, as always, berating tone would really make it more clear to me exactly why he was calling.

"I'm in Napoli. Why are you calling me?" I finally managed.

"What are you doing in Italy?" He sounded worried, I noticed for the first time. "Anyway, it doesn't matter, you have to come home."

"Why?" I was noticing now just how nervous he sounded. In my head I could see him shaking his luxurious light brown hair out of his sea foam green eyes and looking uncomfortable while still remaining gorgeous, in a way only a boy with perfect breeding can. When he didn't answer for a moment I changed the question, figuring we'd take this a step at a time, "What's wrong?"

"Everything has completely blown apart; you have to get back here." He said suddenly sounding more sure and commanding, "Now."

"What happened?" I said ignoring the last comment and beginning to take in the details of my surroundings.

"Everything. Fuck, Hunter didn't say you were out of the country."

"Yeah, well I am Amory." I snapped, realizing how much this phone call was probably costing me (i.e. my parents) right now. "Now either begin explaining why you're calling me at 5AM, or hang up." I half expected him to hang up, it would be all too him to, and so when he began to speak, I knew it was serious after all.

"Everything has hit the roof out here. Hunter's in the hospital. He's asking for you. There's a good chance this will be the last time he does so, especially if you don't get your ass back to America within the next 48 hours." He said. And then he, as I figured he eventually would, hung up.

At age nineteen I had been the playboy of the female gender, standing at an average 5'4" and 100lbs with giraffe long legs and arms, pale freckled skin and storm cloud blue eyes, I was beautiful and I knew it. I say this only because it is true, I had everything a girl could want and then some. I was pursued by every boy I met, and took them for my own quite often for a while, before I would lose interest. That is until I met my match in Amory.

Amory who to go with his literary first and middle names had a perfect last name, VonSutton, was the first boy to truly make my heart stop, as a cheesy teenage novel would tell you. We were more madly in lust from the first moment we met than any two people I've ever seen or heard of. That lust intensified quickly, as did our eight to ten hour conversations on everything from the meaning of life to idle gossip about friends. He wanted to know a baby boy Sebastian and was a law fanatic, but not entirely sure he wanted to be a lawyer, he loved to write, and his songs were utterly beautiful, though he didn't pursue it as he knew it would never make him money. We became inseparable instantly, and with him came a band of boys who I had grown to love just as much, and even after a tumultuous relationship, break up, brief friendship, and casual sex relationship, all of which ended badly, we found it best to just stay away from one another entirely, or rather, he had decided on that and I had reluctantly gone along to respect his wishes. I had however, stayed very close with the boys, one of which was Hunter.

About two seconds after Amory clicked off I stared blankly at my cell phone, which, due to the "time of last call: 3.36" I knew the last few moments had actually happened. What I did not know however, was what had happened to Hunter. I closed my eyes against the early morning Riviera sunlight and found my brain to be merely too dazed to properly begin analyzing the phone call. I needed water; make that San Pellegrino, and now.

Getting out of the bed proved to be a larger task than expected as I was sufficiently tangles up in 1,200 count sheets and a down duvet cover, but eventually I made it to the plush carpeted floor of my suite and blissfully found that at some point during this trip I had been intelligent enough to leave my medicine bag next to my micro fridge both of which I now tugged open. Once I had about half the pint sized glass bottle of Pellegrino and four pain killers (two Tylenol, two Advil) in me I leaned back against the bed frame in my black satin boy shorts underwear and silk and lace black camisole, to consider the evidence.

Amory was bitchy and manipulative to say the least, though the words abusive and sociopathic more often came to mind when considering him however I knew he wouldn't lie about Hunter being in the hospital. The question was why. In the two years I had known Hunter at Columbia University, where we all attended, his suicide threats and occasional attempts had become all too commonplace, but never before had there been need to hospitalize him, at least, not as far as we had been concerned. As the well brought up children of Connecticut, Ohio, and Massachusetts heirs we had grown up with the knowledge that in our world, one simply does not air ones laundry in public, and mental hospitals were, as far as we were concerned, very public places. We'd talked him off of driving off cliffs and bridges, confiscated sharp objects, and fed him charcoal until he threw up pills too many times to count. But never had we put him in a hospital. So it occurred to me, my second bottle of Pellegrino in, that perhaps something had actually happened to him, and he hadn't brought this on himself.

It took another five minutes to begin calling people, I began with Hunter himself, but his cell phone went right to voice mail, meaning it was off, furthering my fears, my mind was starting too come off the dull panic by now, and I was moving on to desperation to understand, I knew however, in the sensible part of me that was still left, that I probably could not get anything else out of Amory, so I dialed the next person on the list, my best friend since high school, Margeaux, who I'd always called Mae, but when her phone rang about 89 times before going to voice mail and I had left her two messages begging her to call me, I gave up, figuring it was still too early to get hold of her at only 11AM on a Saturday morning. I was about to begin calling the other boys, Liam, Nate or Parker, when I realized that was a bigger ask at hand.

Within 20 minutes, with the aide of my best persuasive speaking and my fathers credit card number, I had a one way business class ticket departing the Naples airport at exactly 8PM that night, I would arrive at JFK back in NYC early tomorrow morning. I decided, resignedly, that I would pick a date for return after I measured the damage, I was scheduled to remain in Naples until early August after all, with only a brief trip back to the city in June to take my finals, otherwise I was done with college, and I had all my credits. I figured it would be all right to inform the staff and leave my room at the Excelsior on the beach unoccupied for a few nights. My head was pounding in the way it can only when you've consumed so much alcohol in the past hours that your brain is pickling itself in your skull, and even with all the adrenaline from panic, I could now barely keep my eyes open. However, I decided I would sleep on the plane, I flew in only fifteen hours, and in a metaphorical sense, I had no idea where I was going.

I decided the best idea would be to shower first, to wake myself up, and then order room service. So an hour later I was answering the door in a terry cloth robe to find Belgian waffles topped with fresh berries, a bottle of grapefruit juice, and a rather large mimosa. I ate slowly, considering my course of action with each bite, I wanted to know what had happened, but knowing Amory and Hunter, this whole situation was probably still very secretive.

I figured Mae and Liam definitely knew, there was a good chance Nate knew, at the very least a vague synopsis of what had happened, and Parker would, at best, know Hunter had been hospitalized. That was how that chain went. In New York City, there is a social ladder and perched on the top wrung, were the socialites, heiresses and incredibly wealthy suburban college imports that had half grown up in co-ops on Park Avenue owned by mummy and daddy, my group of friends heavily represented that third category. Within that top tier there were several little cliques, mine consisting of the aforementioned boys and Mae, but also on the outer rims including a few other girls, most of whom at some point had dated the boys. This social ladder within the social ladder applied mainly to the boys of our group, as Mae and I didn't have a standing, being the only girls typically pushes one to a rather idol position. The chain went as thus, Hunter, a now first year grad student and Amory, a junior; they had known each other since high school, followed by Liam, though Amory often disliked him, and Nate who they all loved, in a shallow way, because he kept things light, and then Parker, who I believe we only kept around because our social codes said we couldn't ostracize him completely, he was rather air headed and annoying, but could be loveable if you looked at him in the right light. Amory had a pretty obvious ennui in his dealing with Parker and was often downright contemptuous with Mae, who wasn't particularly loved by Hunter either, but because she was my best friend, and because Parker and Liam with both rather in love with her, the two tolerated her. Well, mostly tolerated her in Amory's case. I had always been, aside from the recent months when things had gotten messy between Amory and I, been universally loved by all the boys, and Nate didn't seem capable of disliking anyone.

I decided, pushing away my mostly uneaten and now cold waffles and downing the rest of my mimosa at 8AM that it would be a good idea to attempt and connect with Mae or Liam, as they seemed to be my most likely candidates. If all else failed, I would call Amory again, but I knew better than to count on it. I had a lunch date with Gaetana, Camila, and Nico, my recently acquired Italian friends, at noon, we had reservations at the Café San Carlo and I supposed I'd have to tell them then about America, I wasn't sure what I would say,

"I cannot get hold of anyone back at home, but they tell me one of my friends is ill, so I must go." It was completely illogical; they knew nothing of Amory and me, or my collegiate life in New York. I had come to Napoli to separate myself from all that, all the drama that had begun to encumber my life. Now I would have to explain at least some of it to them, and I sat for a while trying to decide exactly what qualified as need to know. Before deciding I'd explain to them that a friend of mine was very ill and in the hospital and he wished to see me, so another friend had contacted me and asked that I come home ASAP.

After packing a small overnight bag consisting mainly of the contents of my entire micro fridge and minibar, all the books I'd picked up while in Napoli including, a tour guide of the city, which I'd been slowly decoding as it was in Italian, which is not a language I speak. Breakfast at Tiffany's and A Farewell to Arms in French, as I'd finished all the ones I'd brought with me upon my arrival a month earlier, and a soft velour tracksuit I'd picked up in Rome two weeks earlier. I figured I'd fine a gift for Hunter and maybe Mae too in the mounds of stuff I'd accumulated and pack them as well.

Around ten AM I wandered out of the hotel lobby and onto the sun scorched white walkways, I had donned an airy dress and beaded Indian style flip flops letting my hair drip down my back, enjoying the last of the Mediterranean sun I'd be feeling for at least a few days. I wandered the city for a little while, staying as near to the sparkling blue coast as the streets would allow. I watched the locals both nannies or mothers carrying their small children down the streets in various stages of dress and the chic Parisians walking small dogs bearing matching Coach collars and leashes, and thought of the abysmal gray I would return to in less than 24 hours.

It wasn't that I didn't adore New York, I did, but I had come to love Naples as an escape from the harsh post winter melt down when everything is slush covered and gross. And now I was facing a definite return to the city in its ugliest period, on the night of my 22nd birthday. As I turned into the city to go peruse the market I remembered for the second time that day, in the harsh awakening style that today was indeed my birthday. This meant that there was a party, tonight. In the hotel lobby, thrown by Nico and my other new friends, a party costing them, I'm sure, a lot of money and the hotel a lot of heartache as they made everything painstakingly perfect, a party that I, the birthday girl and guest of honor would in fact, not be attending.

After much consideration, I bought Mae a few silver bracelets from a local stand and Hunter a leather bound copy of Hamlet, because it always makes him laugh, and I figured it is probably nice to be able to laugh in the hospital once in a while.

Explaining to my new friends why I would not be able to attend my own birthday party was not as hard as I expected. It seems many people don't show at parties planned for them in Europe, they agreed to have all my presents sent up to my room and then Camila decided it would be nice if they all brought my dinner in tonight and helped me get ready to go, and they could bring me my presents from them then too, and drop me off at the airport. This sounded like a nice idea to me as well, and so they agreed to arrive at my suite around 4:30, leaving me with 3 hours to kill at the hotel. I went down to the beach and lied out in the sun, figuring I could at least return to the city tanned, and then wondered up and down the beach surveying the families and couples wondering how they all knew one another, if they were happy, and if they realized that a day might come where it would not be so. I tried Mae a few more times on my cell and then Liam twice at home, and once on his cell. No answer from either of them, though Liam's cell went straight to voicemail meaning it was turned off, and leaving me wondering if he wasn't visiting Hunter in the hospital. I was beginning to get stressed in the way that only an international traveler can. I considered calling my parents, but knew that they couldn't exactly do anything from Connecticut. And so finally, in resignation, I called up the same car service my family has been using when we couldn't use our driver for whatever reason since I was a child. We always request the same guy, and we always get him, Lars.

I returned to the hotel at 4 to change into another velour track suit and tank top combination and dig out a pair of tennis shoes. Nico, Camila, and Graetana showed up at 4:35 with a bottle of Veuve Cliquot and enough roasted duck and mashed potatoes to serve 8 people. They had also sneaked off a small chunk of my birthday cake, even though the party didn't begin for another 5 hours. We toasted to "Bella Italia" and feasted. When we finished they let me open my presents, a gold bouquet locket from Graetana, to remember them while I was in NYC, some CDs of an Italian singer they were all enamored with from Camila, to listen to on the plane, and a map, all traced in gold leaf and framed in a silver frame from Nico, so that even when I left for good I'd remember where I had been. He promised to mark all the places we went when I returned.

At 6 we all loaded into a black hotel limo slightly tipsy and headed for Italian customs, and by 7:30 they were hugging me goodbye at security.

"You look out for your friend now." Camila made me promise.

"You come back, but not until he's ok?" Nico added.

"You'll see." Is all Graetana could say with a smile. At 7:45 I boarded business class and figured out my seat adjustment to turn the plus leather into a bed and attempted to contact Mae a few more times, even though by now I was sure she was out partying.

And by 8:15 I was fast asleep at cruising altitude of France, with the sheer exhaustion of this life.