Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chapter 6: Oliver's Parents Back in Llanview

Kyle stands frozen on the spot where he received the dreaded phone call from Roxy about ‘his Oliver’ being shot.  The room is spinning around him. Is this really happening? Is he destined to lose Oliver all over again?  Is last night the last special moment he would ever have with Oliver? These thoughts run continuously through his mind.  Kyle can barely catch his breath. He almost forgets Nick is in the room with him.

“Kyle. What do you want to do? Do you want me to take you to the hospital?”

Kyle is still processing the shock of the news and does not immediately respond.

Nick walks over to Kyle and places his hands on Kyle arms shaking him slightly. “Kyle. Look at me.”

Kyle’s eyes focus in on Nick.

“You need to breathe. What did Roxy say?”

“Just what I told you.”

“Did she say how bad it is?”

“No. She just said get down to the hospital as soon as I can.”

“Ok. Then we need to go. I’ll drive you there.”

Nick grabs a still dazed Kyle by the arm and leads him out of the apartment.

The car ride downtown to the hospital seems to take forever. Kyle keeps thinking that  they are never going to arrive at the hospital. Kyle knows Nick is doing his best to get them to the hospital as fast as possible.  Kyle thinks to himself that this drive, even if Nick breaks all the speed limit laws, will forever be the longest car ride of his life. Even though only minutes have passed since they left the apartment and headed downtown in the car it feels as if time has stopped for Kyle. It’ s almost like the hospital is within reach, but getting there seems impossible.

Every so often Nick looks over at Kyle. “Breathe. It’s going to be okay.”

Kyle hears the words, but can’t take them in.  All he can think about is Oliver, the love of his life shot and fighting to survive. How can this be happening?

Finally, after what seems like an eternity, they turn into the emergency room parking lot. Nick speeds into the closest available open parking spot. Kyle jumps out of the car and runs into the emergency room. Nick follows behind Kyle.

Once inside Kyle frantically looks around for any sign of Oliver. He runs from room to room, however Oliver is not in any of them.

He then runs over to the emergency room check-in and information station. “Excuse me. I’m lookin’ for my boyfriend, Oliver Fish. He’s been shot and is somewhere  here.”

Before the nurse is able to answer Kyle hears a familiar voice behind him. Kyle quickly turns away from the desk and heads towards the voice behind him.

“Dr. Evans.”

Greg turns to face Kyle upon hearing his name.

“Kyle. What’re you doing here? I thought your shift ended hours ago,”

“Dr. Evans, what do you know about a police officer bein’ shot and brought in?”

“He’s headed to surgery now. I’m on my way there.”

“How bad is it?”

“Kyle, I can’t discuss the officer’s condition with you. You’re not family.”

“Dr. Evans, he’s my boyfriend. Please. I have to know what’s goin’ on. Is he going to be okay?”

“I’m sorry Kyle, you’re not listed as one of the officer’s emergency contacts and I can’t divulge any information about his condition.”

Kyle looks over to Nick with panic and turns back to Dr. Evans.

“Please, Greg. I have to know how he is.”

“Kyle, you know it doesn’t work that way. His parents are on the way. You can check on him through them.”

Greg starts to head off, but Kyle grabs him by the arm. “Please tell me he’s goin’ to be okay. His parents and I don’t really get along. It’s the whole gay thing. They’re not very accepting.”

Greg breaks away from Kyle’s grasp. “I’m sorry, Kyle. I feel for you. I really do, but rules are rules. Hang in there. I have to go get ready for the surgery.”

Greg leaves the emergency room area.

Kyle buries his face in his hands, and then turns around to face Nick.

‘Now what? I have to sit here an wonder if he’s dead or alive? I can’t do that.”

Nick grabs Kyle’s arms again. “Listen. Lets just calm down and have a seat. His parents will be here soon.  We’ll find out what’s going on when they get here.”

Kyle breaks loose from Nick’s hold and turns away. “They won’t tell me anything. You don’t know them. Mr. Fish hates me. I corrupted his son.”

“Kyle, I know, but what choice do you have?”

“I could use my clearance here in the hospital and go find out how he is.”

“You could, but we both know that is probably isn’t the best idea. You’re still kind of on probation.”

Kyle throws his hands up in the air in frustration. “Your right. I know. I can’t just sit here.”

“Do you want to go for a walk? Get something to drink? Get some food to eat?”

“I can’t eat or drink anything. I need to know how Oliver is. I can’t believe this is happening. Why?”

Nick grabs Kyle by the arm again and leads him over to a chair in the waiting area.

“Lets just have a seat for a bit. I’ll stay here with you.”

Kyle reluctantly sits at Nick’s request. “Why are ya’ being so nice to me?”

Nick looks at Kyle surprised by the question. “What do you mean?”

“I just broke up with ya’. Ya’ asked me to marry ya’ and I agreed. Then, less than hour ago I told ya’ I couldn’t go through with it. You don’t owe me anything, Nick. You don’t have to stay with me.”

“Look, Kyle. I ‘m hurt, but I still care. I hate to see this happening and that you have to go through this. I’ll be here as long as you need me to be.”

Kyle shakes his head. “Ya’ should hate me. Ya’ should be yellin’ at me for treatin’ ya’ so unfairly. But you’re not.”

“Lets just focus on Oliver for now. Don’t worry about our earlier conversation. We will continue that at some other time. Maybe Roxy knows what is happening. Did she call you from here?”

“Yes. She had brought her grandson down for a checkup and they were leavin’ through those doors.” Kyle points to the emergency room doors to lead to the outside. “Her and Shane saw them bring Oliver in.”

“Do you know if she’s still here?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Give me your cell phone, Kyle.”

Kyle reaches into his pocket and pulls out the cell phone. He doesn’t remember how it got into his pocket. He remembers it hitting the floor when Roxy called, but the rest is a blur. He hands Nick the phone.

Nick looks up Roxy’s phone number in Kyle’s contacts menu.

“Hey, Roxy. This is Nick Chavez. Are you still in the hospital?”

There is a pause as Nick listens to Roxy’s response.

“Great. See you in a few. He’ll really appreciate you being here.”

Nick closes the cell phone. “She’s on her way back from dropping Shane off at home. She said she should be here in about ten to fifteen minutes. She’ll fill us in on what she knows.”

“Thanks, Nick. I appreciate everything you’re doin’ to help me.”

The emergency room doors from the outside then open and in walks Oliver’s parents. George has his typical stone cold face on, but you can easily tell Barbara has been crying and is beside herself. Almost instantaneously Kyle’s eyes meet with George and Barbara. He looks over at them hoping for some sort of sign that this interaction would be different from their infrequent, but dramatic past encounters. Kyle hopes they will keep him in the loop on Oliver’s condition. They had to.

George immediately looks away from Kyle, grabs Barbara by the hand and heads over to the information desk.

Kyle’s heart instantly sinks as he can tell from Mr. Fish’s attitude that he has no intention of even recognizing that Kyle is even in the room.

Within seconds one of the nurses starts leading Oliver’s parents to the surgery waiting room. Kyle jumps up and runs over to them blocking their path into the hall leading to the surgery area. Nick comes over and stands behind Oliver’s parents ready to support Kyle if need be.

“Wait, please.  Can I come with ya’? I need to know how he’s doing. Please. I’m beggin’ ya’ both.”

George is immediately irritated. “Please excuse us. Our son is in surgery and we need to be there when he comes out.”

“I need to be there too. I love him. Please.”

George’s face cringes at the ‘I love you’ words that come out of Kyle’s mouth.

“Get out of our way. I’ll not ask again.”

“Why are ya’ doin’ this? Please, can we put aside our differences for Oliver. He needs all of us right now.”

“Do not say my son’s name. Just leave. We don’t want you here.”

George starts to walk forward hoping Kyle will move out of the way, but Kyle continues to block the path.

“This isn’t fair. I just need to know he’s goin’ to be okay.”

“Get out of our way or I’ll have security escort you out of the way.”

“Ya’ would do that?”

“In a heart beat. Now excuse us.”

“Please Mrs. Fish, help me out here.”

Barbara looks away unable able to look at Kyle.

Nick intercedes. “Kyle, come on. This isn’t helping. We’ll figure something out.”

Kyle looks at Nick with pleading eyes. “There’s no other way. They have to tell me how he is. If he’s goin’ to be okay.”

Nick pulls Kyle over so that George and Barbara can pass. Kyle feels so helpless and disappointed.  The man he loves is in surgery, probably fighting for his life, and he can’t be with him. Oliver needs to know that he is here for him. There has to be a way.

Nick and Kyle start walking back to the chairs as Roxy enters the hospital. She instantly spots them and heads over to where they stand near the chairs they were previously sitting in.

Roxy opens here arms for Kyle signaling him to come and get a hug.

“Hey, handsome. How are ya’? Doin’ okay?”

Kyle clutches to Roxy. “Not really. They won’t tell me anything because I’m not family and his parents won’t even acknowledge that I’m here.”

“You work here. Can’t you use that to your advantage.”

Kyle breaks away from the hug. “I wish. But if I try anything strange after the entire lab fiasco I would never be allowed back into the hospital or medical school program. I can’t take that chance. As much as it pains me I have to do the appropriate thing here. Was he awake when they brought him in? Was it bad?”

Roxy leads Kyle over to the waiting room chairs. “He wasn’t awake. I only saw him for a few seconds as they wheeled him in. You have to think positive, Kyle. He’ll be okay. You guys still have some unfinished business.” Roxy immediately feels as if she has put here foot in her mouth. She looks up at Nick.

“Sorry, pal. I’m sure Kyle’s current boyfriend doesn’t need to hear my crazy thoughts about who Kyle should be with. It’s really sweet of ya’ to be here for Kyle like this, considerin’ Oliver's the competition.”

“Roxy!” says Kyle.

“I know. I’ll shut up now.”

“There’s no competition. I’m back with Oliver. Nick is helping me through this.”

Roxy stands and faces Nick. “Wow, Mr. Nick. I’m impressed. Ya’ must have nerves of steel to be here like this.”

Nick is embarrassed. “I still care about Kyle. I wouldn’t be anywhere else right now.”

Roxy smiles at Nick and can’t help but to be impressed.

Roxy then turns to Kyle. “And you. Why didn’t ya’ tell me that you and Officer Hunk were back together?”

Kyle looks even more exhausted from the stress of the situation with Oliver. “It just happened last night. I was goin’ to tell ya’ tonight, but then this happened.”

Roxy sits down next to Kyle and grabs his hand. “It’s goin’ to be okay. “

Kyle looks at Roxy and then up at Nick also. “How? The man I want to spend the rest of my life with is in surgery. I don’t even know if his injuries are serious or minor. I don’t know anything.  Barbara and George Fish certainly aren’t goin’ to give me any information.”

Roxy and Nick look at each other not really sure what to say at this point.

Kyle shakes his head in frustration and pounds his left fist into the arm of the waiting room chair.  “I hate this. I hate this so much. I feel so helpless and useless.”

Dr. Evans approaches Oliver’s parents in the surgery waiting area.

George and Barbara stand holding hands.

“How is he doctor?” asks George.

Greg lets out a big sigh in an effort to maintain his professional demeanor. He hates not being able to deliver completely positive news, but it’s part of the job. “Your son made it through surgery. The bullet hit very close to his heart. The internal injuries are quite severe, but he did come through surgery. The next 24 hours are critical. We’ll be moving him into an ICU room and monitoring him very closely.”

Barbara tries to fight back her tears. “Can we see him?”

“Yes, but only two people in the room at a time. He hasn’t regained consciousness yet so I need you to be prepared. He looks very pale, but he’s young and he’s fighting. He made it through surgery that’s a good sign.”

“Thank you, doctor. That’s our Oliver. A fighter through and through. He’s tough. He’s a cop. He can get through this.”,  says George.

Greg hesitates and then continues the conversation. “I know this is probably none of my business, but there is a man in the emergency room waiting area who would really like to know if Oliver is okay. Do I have your permission to share this information with him?”

George is instantly frustrated by the question. “Absolutely not. That boy isn’t allowed anywhere near our son. Do you understand?”

“Look, Mr. Fish. I understand you have some issues with Kyle, but if your son loves him, he would want to know that Kyle is here. I think it’s important to his recovery that Kyle be here with him.”

George shakes his head in a no fashion. “Absolutely not. Oliver only needs his parents. We’ll help him get through this.”

Barbara looks over at George and pleads to him with her eyes. “George, please. Lets put our issues with Kyle aside if it’s best for Oliver.”

“It’s not best for Oliver, Barbara. This probably happened as punishment for what that boy has done to our son. Leading him down a path of sin. I don’t want him anywhere near our son.”

Barbara gives up, knowing George’s view on the subject will not change.

“I implore you to think about my request. ICU room 114 is down the hall and to the right. We’ll have Oliver there in a few minutes.”

Greg leaves the waiting area as Barbara and George hug.

Back in the emergency room waiting area, Cris and Layla have now joined Nick, Roxy and Kyle. Roxy fills Cris and Layla in on what she knows. Nick shares with them the exchange between Kyle and Oliver’s parents.

“His parents are a piece of work. I remember their reaction to Oliver when he came out. His father was down right cold,” says Cris.

Layla shakes her head yes to confirm Cris’s words. “We felt so bad for Oliver. I can’t imagine what he went through growing up in a place where he had to deny his true self.”

Kyle has not spoken any words since saying thanks to Cris and Layla for being there to support Oliver. His frustration about not knowing continues to grow. His insides feel as if they are being ripped out from the fear of possibly losing Oliver. He bends over and buries his head in between his legs trying to remain calm. His places his hands behind his head as if trying to hold his head between his knees. This frustration builds into anger.

“I can’t wait around like this anymore. I have to know what’s goin’ on,” says Kyle jumping up and bolting out of the waiting room chair.

At this moment Greg walks up to Kyle and hands him a piece of paper.

On the paper a note is written. ICU room 114.

Kyle looks at Greg. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

Greg exits the waiting area.

Kyle to Cris, Layla, Roxy and Nick. “I’m goin’ to see how he’s doin. Oliver is in ICU room 114.”

Roxy stands and gives Kyle a half hug. “Go. We’ll be right here if ya’ need us.”

Kyle feels frozen again. “I’m not sure I can go by myself.”

Nick approaches. “Roxy, can you go with him?”

“Sure. Lets go.”

Kyle and Roxy head out of the emergency waiting room towards the hallway leading to the ICU rooms.

Kyle and Roxy approach Oliver’s room. The room door is closed, but the window blinds are open and Kyle can see into the room. He sees ‘his Oliver’ like he has never seen him before. Oliver is pale, looks chilled and looks like a young boy in a teddy bear man’s body. It breaks Kyle’s heart to see Oliver this way. Kyle knows Oliver is a cop, but it never crossed his mind that he could get injured or shot. It pains Kyle to think that Oliver in his career will constantly be putting his life in jeopardy. But he can’t really process this fear right now. He is scared, scared that Oliver will not get through this. He looks so weak and so small through the window.  Tears build in Kyle’s eyes. Roxy wraps her arm around Kyle’s shoulders for support. Suddenly, George Fish appears in the window. With a quick motion the blinds are instantly closed. Kyle and Roxy are caught off guard for a few seconds.

“He can’t get away with this. Ya’ have every right to be in that room with your guy.”

Roxy barges into the room. Kyle follows behind her. Barbara sits in a chair next to Oliver’s bed and George now stands behind her. They look over in surprise as the door opens and Roxy and Kyle enter.

“You can’t do this.”

George is clearly agitated. “This is none of your business. Get out of this room. Now.”

“I’m not goin’ anywhere.” Roxy pulls Kyle in beside her. “This man loves your son and it’s breakin’ his heart that he doesn’t even know what’s happenin’. He has every right to be here. Your son would want him here.”

“You don’t know my son. He’s in this hospital, in this bed, fighting for his life because of that man standing next to you. You, Kyle Lewis, turned my son into a sinner. This is punishment for that sin. Now get out or I’ll have you escorted out.”

“You’re such bigot. Can’t you just be happy that your son has someone in his life that loves and supports him?” asks Roxy.

“Oliver, doesn’t need his kind of support. I don’t want that freak anywhere near my son. Get out!” says George raising his voice and heading over to where Kyle and Roxy stand.

Something inside of Kyle suddenly snaps. “No! I’m not goin’ anywhere. I love your son, Mr. Fish. I have since the first time I laid eyes on him. We lost so much time together because of you, his parents. Parents are supposed to be supportive and understanding. You guys are anything but. Ya’ both let him live a lie for years, denying his true feelings, denying his true self all for your own selfish and bigoted views. He’s the same son ya’ raised. He’s honest, hard working, and prideful in his job and loves you more than anything. None of that has changed or will change because I’m in his life. I’m not goin’ to let you drive me away from Oliver anymore. I’m in his life and you’re just goin’ to have to come to terms with it in some way. I plan on spending the rest of my life with him.”

“We’ll see about that.”

“What do you mean by that, Mr. Fish?”

Nick, Cris and Layla walk up to the doorway having thought they would come down to the room and lend support. Kyle sees them out of the corner of his eyes.

“I’m not going to let you corrupt and defile my son anymore than you already have.”

Kyle’s anger continues to grow. “Defile your son? Do ya’ hear what you’re sayin’? You’re so full of hate for me and what we are, two guys who happen to love each other, that…”

“This isn’t love. This is a sickness.”

Kyle shakes his head in disbelief. “Wow! You’re a real piece of work, Mr. Fish. You’re more concerned with your views and opinions than you are with the health of your own son. Oliver is what we should be focusing on now. Not your hatred or disgust with me. But Oliver. He needs us all here for support. It tears me up inside to see him in that bed. He looks so vulnerable. I never want him to suffer and all I can do right now is pray that he’s goin’ to be okay. I feel so helpless. I think we all share that in common right now. Can’t we just focus on Oliver and forget all this drama and chaos?” The tears begin to well up in Kyle’s eyes.

“We’re his family. We’ll take care of him. Please leave.”

“No, Mr. Fish. He may have your blood running through his veins, but we..” Kyle waves his hand around the room at Roxy, Layla, Cris and Nick. “…are his family. We know more about the ‘real’ Oliver than you ever will.”

Barbara stands and grabs George’s hand. “George, please let this go for now. This isn’t good for Oliver. He needs us to be strong for him. He needs his friends also. Please.”

George is briefly torn, but his beliefs won’t go away. “I’m sorry Barbara, but no. I can’t let these people be a part of my son’s life.”

“We are a part of his life. We’re proud of the man he is. Why can’t you just let it go and try to understand? He loves you guys so much and its hurts him so much to know how disappointed you are in him. Please, can we just agree to get along for Oliver’s sake. He needs us all right now,” says Kyle.

“No! I want all of you out of here. Now!” George is firm in his resolve.

Suddenly a faint voice is heard. “Stop, Dad.”

Barbara rushes over to her son’s bed and grabs his hand. Kyle tries to run to the other side of the bed, but is stopped by Mr. Fish. Kyle struggles to try and break free from Mr. Fish. Nick and Cris come up and face Mr. Fish.

“We suggest you let him go now before this goes any further!” says Nick as he approaches.

“What’re you going to do about it ‘sissy’?” asks George.

“Step away from Kyle, Mr. Fish before Nick and I physically separate you two,” says Cris.

Kyle continues to struggle. He knows it’s useless. After all Mr. Fish is a cop and in good shape. Kyle thinks he’s also in good shape, but he is a tad on the skinny side.

“I…..” says Oliver struggling to speak.

“Oliver, don’t try to talk. You’re to weak. You need to build your strength up,” says Barbara.

George turns his head to face his son and wife, briefly letting go of his strong grip on Kyle.

Kyle rushes to Oliver’s side and grabs his hand. He smiles down at Oliver. “Hey you!”

Oliver looks up at Kyle and forms a half smile as every part of his body aches with pain. “Kyle”.

“I’m here, Oliver. Try not to talk.”

George is fuming mad. “Enough. The doctor said only two people at a time could be in here. You all need to leave. Oliver needs his parents.”

Oliver, still barely able to speak, grasps for air. “No, Dad. I want you and Mom to leave.”

“Oliver, honey. You don’t mean that,” says Barbara with a painful look on her face.

“I’m sorry, Mom.” Oliver coughs and feels shots of pain shooting through his body.

George makes his way over to the bed. “You don’t know what you’re saying son.”

“Dad, I know what I’m saying. I want you to leave. I love Kyle. He’s all I need right now. I can’t take anymore of your attitude or criticism. Just go.” Oliver looks up at Kyle pleading with his eyes for support. Kyle squeezes his hand to let him know that he is there for him.

“Fine, Oliver. Barbara, lets go. I’m not going to stay here. Its obvious we’re not wanted or needed”

“Mr. Fish, that’s so not the case,” says Kyle.

George ignores Kyle’s comment. “Barbara, lets go!”

“George, we can’t leave our son. He needs us.” Tears form in Barbara’s eyes. Barbara can tell by the resolve in George’s eyes that she does not have a choice.

Barbara looks back at Oliver and squeezes his hand fighting back the tears. “I’m so sorry, son. I love you. Take care of yourself.” Barbara releases Oliver’s hand and walks out of the room. George follows as everyone else watches Oliver’s parents leave the room in disbelief. All of Oliver’s visitors have the same thought in this moment. How can his parents just walk away?

Kyle looks down at Oliver.

Tears fall from Oliver’s eyes.

“I’m so sorry, Ollie. I love ya’. I never wanted ya’ to have to choose between them and me.”

Oliver continues to struggle with breathing and talking. “I choose you!”

Oliver’s heart stops beating. The heart monitor machine begins to blare.

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