Life Support


Saturday April 22, 2006

Dam's Point of View:

I quickly stand up from the couch, where my girlfriend of three months, Tracy, and I sit watching some stupid movie she had pulled out from her collection, squealing some random shit about it being a "classic!"

My cell phone rings again from my pocket in the entry hall, crying out in to the quiet house the dirty lyrics of one of my favorite songs. I know that it has to be Cale, from the ring tone alone. "Man, what the hell are you calling so late for?" I demand, though I'm not really annoyed in the least. He always picks up on my moods easily, so I know he won't misread my mock frustration.

"Dam…" his voice mumbles to me in reply. "Sorry, do you want me to call you back tomorrow? I didn't mean to interrupt."

I cut him off, realizing instantly why he doesn't pick up on the fact that I'm just joking around with him.

"Hey, what's the matter? Why are you crying?" I whisper into the phone, not wanting to draw Tracy's attention; she often gets jealous of mine and Cale's relationship. She thinks that we are more than friends, that I want more than friendship from him.

And oftentimes, I do.

I turn back to the conversation in time to hear him say, "It's…tomorrow is the anniversary of Mom's death."

Oh, damn it all, I had forgotten. His mom had been in a car accident three years ago, when we were fourteen. She had been coming home from working late one evening, and a drunk driver had run a red light and hit her. She had died on impact.

There was a long pause before he informs me quietly, "I just…I can't sleep. Every time I close my eyes, I see her face."

Funny; usually when I close my eyes, I see only him.

"Do you want me to come over?" I offer, not wanting him to be alone; that was one thing Cale hates, especially when he isn't feeling well.

I can hear his voice trembling as he answers, "Would you spend the night?"

I agree instantly, not wanting him to be in any more pain than he already is. So, tossing on my coat and checking that my keys were still in my pocket, I head to the McAlister family room. "Hey, Trac," I call to her, careful to cover the phone with my hand as I do. "I'm heading out."

She frowns at me from her place on the dark leather couch. "You're going to his house again, aren't you?" she demands with not a little disgust.

I scowl in reply. "Yes, actually, I am. He needs me, and I'm going."

She turns her head towards the muted TV, feigning disinterest. "Will I see you tomorrow? Maybe we could go see that movie I've been dying to see."

I shake my head. "Sorry, but I really don't think I can do anything. I don't want to leave him alone."

Again with the frown. "Fine. I guess I'll see you on Monday, if you're done playing the part of Cale's boyfriend by then."

I shrug, not bothering to take the time to offer a retort, before pulling my cell back up to my ear and apologizing to Cale for taking so long. "I'll be there in like, five minutes." I promise him firmly.

He giggles into the receiver, and I smile at the sound. "It'll take you at least ten!" he pronounces, the laughter still evident in his voice.

"I'll speed," I reply with a smile, and I know he is shaking his head. "Just don't get caught," he advises me. "Or wreck; I need you over here."

"I won't, I promise. I'll see you soon."

"Kay. Love you," he replies, voice tired. I knew he needs the comfort right now, and answer with a small smile, "I love you too."

"See you in five," I promise teasingly, knowing he'd take the bait.

As expected, he reacts instantly. "It better not be a minute before ten!" he orders with a laugh before clicking off.

Seven minutes later, I pull up in front of his house.

Swiftly, I push the car door open and walk up his driveway, stopping for a moment to fish my key from the spot on the ring and unlock the heavy wooden door. His dad and step mom had given me a key on my sixteenth birthday, when I first got my car; they said I was constantly over there anyway; it would save everyone the trouble of having to answer the door.

After pushing past it and into the house, I quietly creep up the creaking, winding stairs, careful not to hit anything, as I can't see very well in the dark. There's a crack of light emitting from under his door, and I shake my head; he should be in bed, attempting to sleep. He comes out and stands waiting for me before I even reached the top of the stairs, and I roll my eyes with a small smile, knowing he'd been watching, waiting for me from his window. "Hey," Cale whispers quietly as I reach him, and I simply hold out my arms. He instantly folds himself into them, as I knew he would, and cuddles against me, as if trying to get as much of my body heat as possible.

He buries himself in my embrace, tucking his head under mine, leaving him leaning against my chest. I know when he begins to cry, as hot tears seep into my thin cloth shirt. I sigh, running my fingers through his long, curly raven locks in an attempt to calm him down. Supporting both of our weight, I walk us toward the double bed pushed into the corner of the room, the blue sheets still made and showing no signs of use.

"C'mon," I tell him gently, laying him carefully under the sheets. He looks up at me dolefully with red, puffy eyes, pleading with me silently. I smile softly, knowing what he wants, and strip off my shirt. After kicking off my sketchers and my jeans, I am left standing only in my boxers, a black and white pair with red dots that Cale got me one year for Valentine's Day. Then, I crawl under the comforter beside him, pulling him to my chest once more. We share a pillow, as usual, our bodies pressed tightly together, so there is no space left between us, and I can feel his heart beat against my own, feel it pulse through my body as if it were my own. We lie there like that for a long time, him lying completely still and breathing evenly, but still not asleep, as I run my hands through his hair and soothingly rub his back. I am just about to fall asleep when he increases his already strong hold on me, and whisper into the darkness, "Thank you, Dam...I love you." I don't reply, just lightly kiss his temple.

We fall asleep then.