Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chapter 7: Tick Tock

Kyle looks up at the wall clock in Oliver’s hospital room as he lays next to Oliver on the bed. Kyle’s head is resting on the same pillow as Oliver’s.

Kyle had expressed some concern earlier about hurting Oliver if he slept with him in the bed, but Oliver had insisted. Oliver had grabbed his hand looked up into his eyes and said. “Please Kyle. I need you.“ Kyle thought at the time that he could not refuse this request from his Oliver. However, Kyle pleaded with Oliver anyway to just let him sleep on the nearby sofa, but Oliver insisted he wanted to feel him laying beside him and refused to let go of Kyle’s hand. Kyle’s concern came from the fact that Oliver had now been through two major surgeries in the last five hours. If Kyle touched Oliver in just the wrong place he could only imagine the pain Oliver would feel.  The last five hours felt more like days to Kyle. 

Kyle could now hear Oliver breathing next to him and this provided some much-needed relief and comfort.

Earlier, Oliver had stopped breathing and Kyle had feared the worst thing possible. The loss of his Oliver, the love of his life. The only thing that had kept Kyle really grounded during these very long hours were the hospital clocks, especially the one in the waiting area outside of Oliver’s room. He was able to focus on the movement of the second hand (tick, tock, tick, tock) and think about the good times with his Oliver, versus the fear that he may lose him forever.

Kyle thinks to himself that he owes the clocks some of his gratitude.  He smiles to himself and finally closes his eyes for some much needed sleep.

Two hours earlier….

Within seconds of the heart monitor machine buzzing, Dr. Greg Evans and several  nurses race into Oliver’s room.

“I need everyone out of here now,” says Greg as he makes his way over to Oliver’s bed.

Roxy, Nick, Cristian and Layla leave the room, but Kyle can’t seem to move even though he heard Greg’s words and continues to stand by Oliver’s side.

“That includes you Kyle,” says Greg.

Kyle tries to speak, but no words will come out. He tries to move his feet, but its like giant weights are holding him down in the spot next to Oliver. Kyle looks across the bed and over to Greg. The expression on Kyle’s face is one of shock, panic and desperation.

Roxy, now standing in the doorway, notes Kyle’s reaction and makes her way over to his side.

Roxy grabs Kyle’s arm with her left hand and tries to lead him away from the bed. Kyle follows Roxy’s lead, but the weight Kyle feels on his shoulders makes the trip difficult. A few minutes later they are outside the room. The door closes behind them. Kyle and Roxy make their way over to the window to watch what is going on inside the room. One of the nurses then makes her way over to the window from inside and closes the blinds completely blocking the view into Oliver’s room.

Kyle falls to the floor on his knees letting the weight of the situation get the upper hand. He feels like crying, but for some reason the tears won’t come. He feels so helpless that there is nothing he can do to help Oliver.

Nick starts to make his way over to Kyle, but Roxy blocks him. “I think we need to give him some time.”

“Please, Roxy. I can’t stand to see him like this. He needs me.” Nick pleads with her with his eyes.

Roxy grabs Nick’s arm and turns him around. “He knows we’re here. When he’s ready for us, he’ll let us know.”

Kyle continues to remain on his knees simply staring at the blind covered window in front of him.

Layla makes her way over to a seat in the waiting section outside Oliver’s room. Cris still standing behind Kyle, notes Layla’s movements, and looks over at her. Tears are building in her eyes. Cris heads over and sits down next to Layla. He wraps his arm around Layla’s shoulders. She rests her head on his shoulder as the tears fall.

Barbara then enters the waiting area. She notices Cris and Layla in the waiting area seats. She then sees Nick and Roxy staring over at Kyle. Then her eyes catch Kyle still on the floor. A look of panic immediately comes across her face and she races over to Kyle.

“Kyle. What’s going on? Is Oliver…..”

Upon hearing Mrs. Fish’s voice Kyle stands and faces her.  “His heart just stopped. Are you proud of yourself? You and Mr. Fish caused this. I may lose Oliver again because of you, but this time he may never come back. I hope you can live with yourself. I pity both you and Mr. Fish. I hope you can find comfort in all your misguided beliefs. If he dies ya’ have no one to blame but yourselves.”

Barbara takes in Kyle’s words and is unable to respond.

Kyle walks over to the waiting area and sits at the opposite side of the row of chairs from where Cris and Layla are seated. He stares up at the wall and notices the clock. Quiet engulfs the room. Kyle can hear the second hand of the clock moving. This sound would provide comfort to Kyle over the hours to come.

A few minutes later Dr. Greg Evans comes out of ICU room 114. He spots Mrs. Fish now sitting over in the waiting area a few seats down from Kyle.  Greg makes his way over to her.

“Mrs. Fish. I am glad you’re here. Are you aware of what has happened?”

Barbara shakes her head yes in response to Greg’s question.

“Can you walk with me so I can provide you an update?” says Greg pointing down the hall with his hand.

Kyle looks over at Greg and Barbara. “Please, Mrs. Fish. I need to know he’s goin’ to be okay.”

Roxy, Nick, Layla and Cris are following the conversation with their eyes from their respective vantage points in the waiting area.

Barbara remains seated, looks over at Kyle seeing the pain in his eyes and then looks back at Dr. Evans. “Dr. Evans, please just tell us he’s going to be okay.”

“We were able to get his heart beating again, but we need to get him back into surgery right away. There may be more internal bleeding than we originally thought.”

Kyle stands and walks over to Greg. “Can he handle another surgery so soon after the first?”

Greg is obviously concerned. “We really don’t have a choice. Immediate surgery is the best answer.”

Kyle brings his hand to his chin (this is common for him to do when he is stressed or thinking about some heavy emotional issues) and looks back to the clock. He wonders why everything is moving in such slow motion?

Barbara stands. “Please do what you think is best, Dr. Evans. Please save my son.”

Greg places his right hand on Mrs. Fish’s upper arm. “We’ll do everything we can. I’ll be back after surgery with an update.”

Greg heads down the nearby hall.

The door to Oliver’s room opens and the nurses wheel Oliver out on the bed in preparation of the surgery.

Kyle rushes over to the bed and grabs Oliver’s hand. Barbara makes her way over as well. Nick, Roxy, Cris and Layla remain in their respective places as they want to give Barbara and Kyle some time with Oliver.

Kyle grabs Oliver’s hand and looks down at Oliver’s face. Oliver appears very weak, exhausted and barely able to keep his eyes open.

Kyle feels the tears building, but is still unable to let them flow. ‘Hey you. Ya’ gave me quite scare there. Don’t you ever do that again. Do ya’ hear me?”

Oliver tries to speak, but his voice is very faint. “Kyle. I’m sorry.”

Kyle, still holding back the tears, half smiles. “Shhh. Don’t try to talk . Save your energy. Please stop sayin’ you’re sorry for everything. None of this is your fault.”

“We really need to get him to the OR,” says the nurse who had earlier closed the blinds.

Kyle looks at the nurse. “Please just one more minute.”

Kyle looks down at Oliver’s face again. “Okay ,Oliver Fish. You go get this surgery out of the way so that ya’ can come back to me ASAP.  Don’t even think about checkin’ out on me again.  I’m not finished with you.”

Kyle bends down and places a very gentle kiss on Oliver’s lips.

Barbara stands behind Kyle and looks away as the kiss takes place.

Kyle leans back up.  “I love ya’, Oliver Fish. Don’t ever forget that.”

Kyle steps away and returns to the seat he previously occupied in the waiting area. His entire body is screaming just cry already, but the tears still refuse to flow.

Barbara steps up to Oliver’s bedside. “Hey, baby.”

Oliver weakly looks up at his Mom and tries to form a smile.

“I’m sorry about earlier. I’m here now. I need you to be strong and fight your way back to us. I love you son.” Barbara lifts Oliver’s hand and kisses it.

“We really need to be going now,” says the nurse again. The nurses start wheeling the bed down the hall. Kyle looks back at the clock. Barbara breaks down in tears and continues to stand in the spot where just a few seconds ago she held her son’s hand.

Layla lifts her head from Cris’s shoulder, but Cris keeps his arm wrapped around her.

Layla looks over at Kyle. Cris also looks over at Kyle.

Layla looks back at Cris. “This is so unfair. Look at Kyle. The pain he feels is so visible. They just found each other again. And now this. Its unbelievable. Look at how he keeps staring at the clock. He must be going crazy with fear and worry.”

Cris looks over at Layla. ‘I know. The guy he’s always loved is in real trouble and there’s absolutely nothing he can do for him right now. All he can do is wait and hope for the best.”

“They were so happy this morning and now this. Life certainly can throw you some curves. It makes me wonder about us.”

“Us?” asks Cris.

“Life can be gone in minutes or even seconds. Why am I putting myself through this agony?”

Cris looks puzzled. “What agony?”

“My agony is you, Cris. I can’t stop thinking about you. You make me feel so happy inside, but I’ve been hiding those feelings from you because of Evangeline.” Layla pauses trying to muster up the courage to continue. “Its more than that really. Relationships scare me. I am not any good at them and I always get hurt. Its like I have a big sticker on my forward that say ‘gullible – use her at your hearts content’.

“Layla, your past relationships may have been flawed, but you can’t cut yourself off from future possibilities. You deserve the chance to be happy. Let yourself have the opportunity. You always try to see the best in people and it leads to some bad decisions, but don’t act as if there is something wrong with you. I think you are great just the way you are.”

“I wish I could convince myself of that. I just feel like I’m doomed to repeat my past relationship mistakes over and over. To be all alone forever.”

“Then take a chance on me, Layla. Let me help you change that perception. We can be happy. I’ll do everything in my power to see that your happy. I want to go to that next level with you.  I want you to be a bigger part of my life. I respect our friendship tremendously, but my feelings are a lot deeper than that. I can’t just turn them off. I’ve been trying, but the opposite seems to happen. They continue to grow stronger. Lets learn a lesson from Fish and Kyle. Lets not wait until it’s to late.”

“What about Evangeline? She is my sister and you guys were involved.”

“Layla, we have no idea if Evangeline will ever wake up again.  I pray that she does for her sake and for you, but there are no guarantees. Would she want you to be alone and not happy? I don’t think so.”

“Its hard, Cris. I miss her so much and I don’t ever want her to be disappointed in me.”

“Layla, we broke up before her accident occurred. She would want me to move on with someone I care about. She would want you to do the same. Lets give it a shot. Lets not waste anymore time. If we give it a try and things go south at least we can say the effort was made. I don’t want to regret never pursuing us. I think we could have something really magical. Do you feel the same way?”

Layla pauses not quite sure how to respond.

Cris fears that Layla will back away from giving them a chance. “Look. I admit I’m a typical guy. Its hard for me to discuss feelings. Everything I just said was hard, but I’m willing to try and put myself out there. I’m more of an action guy than a words guy. If I could grab you and kiss you right now I would.”

Layla smiles over at Cris.

“But, this is probably not the best time or place to do that. Let me try to be the guy that gets it right with you. Let me try to be the guy that finally does not let you down. Lets give us a chance to be happy.”

Layla is still unsure, but is impressed by Cris’s ability to identify his weaknesses. “Ok.”

Cris can’t believe his own hearing. “Really?”

Layla shakes her head yes. ‘Lets give it a try. I don’t want to push you away anymore.”

The two hug each other. As Cris hugs Layla he looks over and see Mrs. Fish crying in a nearby chair and Kyle in the end chair still staring at the wall clock.

Layla breaks away from the hug. “I think I need some coffee or something. Do you want anything?” Layla stands.

“A soda would be cool, but do you mind if I check on Kyle while you get the drinks?”

Layla looks down at Cris and smiles.

“What?” asks Cris.

“You’re so sweet. This is the side of Cristian that makes you so hard to resist.”

Cris stands and tries to shrug off Layla’s comments with his words. “Its not a big deal. I just think he could use a guy to talk with maybe.”

Layla grabs his hand and leads him over towards Kyle.

As they pass Barbara, Layla stops and faces her. “Mrs. Fish, I’m going to get us some drinks. Can I get you anything?”

Barbara stands. “Thanks, Layla. Do you mind if I walk with you? I just can’t sit here. I feel like I’m going crazy.”

Layla smiles. “Sure.” Layla looks over at Cris. “We’ll be back in a little bit.”

Layla and Barbara start walking towards the hall where Nick and Roxy stand.

Layla to Nick and Roxy. “Would you guys like to go with us to get some drinks?”

Roxy grabs Nick by the arm. “Sure. We would love to. Right Nick?”

Nick still wants to talk with Kyle, but Roxy is intent on giving Kyle his space. “Sure,” says Nick reluctantly.

Layla, Barbara, Roxy and Nick leave the waiting area.

Cris walks over to the chair next to Kyle and has a seat. “Hey Kyle. You okay?”

Kyle continues to stare at the clock and does not respond.

Cris is not sure that Kyle is listening. “Ok, that is a stupid question on my part. Of course you’re not okay. Is there anything I can do for you?”

Kyle continues to stare at the clock. “Can you make Oliver okay? Can you reverse time so that this isn’t happening?”

Cris isn’t real sure on how to proceed, but tries to offer support. “I wish I could man. I would do that for you guys in second. You guys were so happy this morning and now this. Its just not right. But I can listen if you need to talk or anything,”

Kyle does not move his gaze from the clock. “I’m so angry.”

“Angry about what?”

“You’re going to think I’m a horrible person if I tell you.”

“Just tell me what you’re feeling Kyle.  Let it out.”

“I’m so angry at Oliver, his parents and the world. Oliver wasted all that time that we could have been together and now we may never get the chance to see where things could go. His parents aided him in wastin’ that time. Why couldn’t he just accept himself and rely on me to help him through it? It makes me so mad. Why could he not trust me? And now the world is playing this horrible joke on me, on us. I finally come to my senses, open myself up to Oliver, and now. Now the world just wants to take him away from me.”

“Kyle, listen man. Oliver’s very strong. He’s not going to give you up without a fight. He knows what he wants now. He wants you and a relationship with you. He’ll fight this as hard as he can to ensure he has a chance with you.”

“I don’t know, Cris. I’ve never seen him look the way he looked as they were taking him to surgery. It was like he was barely hanging on. It tears me up inside, remembering how he looked.”

“Kyle, think back to some of the good times.”

“I’m so mad at myself for bein’ angry with him. How can I think like this knowin’ he’s in that surgery room fightin’ for his life. How supportive is that?”

“He knows you’re here, Kyle. That’s what matters. Your still processing everything you and Fish went through. Its not surprising that you are thinking this.”

“How can I be so insensitive?”

“You love him right?” asks Cristian.

Kyle continues to stare forward at the clock. “More than anything.”

“Then lets start there. Tell me about the first time you and Oliver said you loved each other. “

“Ya’ don’t want to hear this, Cris.”

“Kyle, I asked you the question, did I not? So answer my question.”

“It was back in college.” Kyle thoughts drift back in time to the night Oliver first said ‘I love you, Kyle’.

College Flashback

Kyle is in his room at the KAD frat house. It is late in the spring of his freshman year term around 1AM on a Tuesday night. Kyle is studying for his upcoming finals at the desk near his frat room window. Candles are lit throughout the room. Kyle likes the flickering light of the candles and how the shadows bounce off of the room walls.  Kyle also likes the warmth the candles bring  to the room. The room is pretty simple, basic and cold (a typical frat house room). The candles help make the room more comfortable for Kyle.  The room simply feels homier with the candles glowing.

Kyle thinks to himself how lucky he is to have his own room in the house. Everyone else was having to share a room with another frat buddy, including his Oliver who had to share a room with the very loud and always annoying Wes Lassiter.  Kyle would often chuckle as he would think about calling Oliver Fish, ‘his Oliver’. Oliver and him had become inseparable over the last few months. They would hang out at parties together, drink a little too much at times and then come back to Kyle’s room to sleep and let the alcohol wear off.  They would have lunch together almost everyday and dinner too if truth be told.  Their conversations were real deep when necessary and light hearted on the flip side. They had bonded with each other’s friends and had created a nice extended family on campus. Kyle felt they knew each other inside and out. This strong bond and friendship developed early in their relationship.  They relied on each other to get through college’s challenges. But their relationship was more than just friendship it had also become sexual. Kyle knew he was gay relatively early in life, however this was all new to Oliver. Being gay frightened Oliver more than words could say. His upbringing thought homosexuality was a sin and Oliver knew if his parents ever found out he would be disowned immediately. Oliver was simply not willing to take the chance with his parents. He needed them in his life and would do anything to please them even if that meant not being truthful about whom he is.

Kyle drifts from his studies to thinking about Oliver knocking on his room door. It should be any minute now Kyle thought to himself. And sure enough Kyle hears a knock at the door.

Kyle walks over to the door and opens it. “Hey.”

Oliver stammers into the room slightly intoxicated.

Kyle closes the door behind him.

“You’ve been drinking again, Oliver.”

Oliver sits down on the bed. “Just a few beers. I got tired of studying and needed to relax a bit. Are you mad?”

This question brings a smile to Kyle’s face. “No,” says Kyle as he sits next to Oliver on the bed.

Kyle often thought to himself that he wished Oliver did not have to drink almost every night they were together.  But Kyle did notice that Oliver was more true to himself when he had a few drinks and his guard was down. Kyle was happy to see this Oliver. The one who could put all the fear and doubt aside for a while.  Of course the less accepting and real world Oliver would poke his head out every now and then.

Kyle looks over at Oliver. “How was your night? Are you ready for your finals tomorrow?”

“As ready as I can be. You?”

“I was just wrappin’ up when you showed up.”

Oliver surveys the room. “Kyle Lewis and his candles.”

“Knock it off, Oliver. I like the candles. There peaceful.”

“I still don’t get it.”

“Its not important, Oliver. All ya’ need to get is that I like them. And if Kyle Lewis is goin’ to be a part of your life then so are the candles.”

Oliver smiles and grabs Kyle’s hand. “Point taken.”

Whenever Kyle felt Oliver touch him he would melt inside. It was as if the air was being sucked out of his body. The pleasure was so intense and exciting.  The warmth of Oliver’s skin next to his so intoxicating. Oliver was the only drug he needed.

Kyle looks over at Oliver. “You ready to get some sleep?”

Oliver looks over at Kyle with one of his ‘really sleep’ looks. 

Kyle stands. “Let me blow out the candles.”

Oliver still holds Kyle’s hand and refuses to let him leave his side.  “Leave them for a bit.”

Kyle turns and stands in front of Oliver. Kyle looks down into Oliver’s eyes from the standing position and gets lost in Oliver’s gaze.  Kyle brings his lips down to Oliver’s and kisses him. Kyle then grabs both of Oliver’s hands and pulls him up off the bed while continuing to kiss him. Kyle loves the feel of Oliver’s stubble against his face. He cannot get enough of this man now in his arms. The two continue to kiss. The kisses get more passionate. The two then pause, foreheads still touching, to catch their breath.

“I need to say something, Kyle.”

Kyle places his mouth on Oliver’s lips again before resting again. “Lets not talk. I’ve been wantin’ ya’ all day.”

Oliver continues to try and catch his breath. “Its important, Kyle.”

Kyle puts his hands around the sides of Oliver’s neck and looks up into his eyes as Kyle is slight shorter than Oliver. ‘What is it?”

“I don’t know how to say it.”

A panic rises inside of Kyle. He is always waiting for the other shoe to drop so to speak. Or the day Oliver would tell him he could not do this anymore and walk away. Is this the moment he has been dreading for so long now?

Kyle tries to be strong. “Just say it, Oliver.”

Looking into Oliver’s eyes Kyle can sense the panic. Kyle’s own fear builds inside.

Kyle speaks up trying to protect himself from what he thinks is the end of their time together. “We don’t have to talk tonight, Oliver. Lets wait until finals are over. Then we can talk about where things go from here.”

“No, Kyle. I need to say this. I need to get over myself and just say what I need to say. It just scares me. You’ve become so important to me this past year. Why can’t I tell you how I feel? Why can’t I be more honest with myself?”

“Its ok, Oliver. Take it easy. Ya’ can tell me whatever ya’ need to tell me. I’m not going anywhere.”

“Are you sure?” asks Oliver.

“Ya’ have my word,” says Kyle as he places another kiss on Oliver’s lips.

“I…” There is a pause. “I love you, Kyle.”

And with those words Oliver Fish became a permanent part of Kyle Lewis’s heart. Kyle had felt this way about Oliver for  months, but was scared to say anything out of fear of losing him. Kyle also wanted to protect himself. He knew Oliver was not comfortable being gay and if he opened his heart up to these feelings was he only opening himself up to hurt down the road.

“What did ya’ say, Oliver?”

“I love you, Kyle. I love you so much.”

And with those words all of Kyle’s reservations subsided. He could not resist letting Oliver in. There was no going back now.

Kyle and Oliver begin to passionately kiss. Oliver breaks off the kiss to pull Kyle’s t-shirt over his head and off. The two kiss some more. Kyle starts unbuttoning Oliver’s shirt as the kissing continues. The kisses become more intense and the two feel the heat of their chests coming together. Kyle then grabs at Oliver’s belt. He unbuckles the belt and pulls it off while still kissing Oliver. He unbuttons and unzips Oliver’s jeans and begins to pull them down.  The two stop kissing long enough for Oliver to lose his shoes and the jeans. The two are now standing facing each other. Kyle has his hands on Oliver’s chest. Oliver’s hands are on Kyle’s sides. The two look into each other eyes and bring their mouths together again. As they kiss in unison they pull down each other boxer shorts. The boxer shorts come completely off. They continue to kiss and pull each other close to feel the excitement that is building in each of their bodies.

Oliver moves his mouth to the spot right underneath Kyle’s earlobe. Oliver had learned that this was one of those special spots that drove Kyle crazy.  Kyle moans in pleasure as Oliver continues to kiss the spot under Kyle’s earlobe.

Oliver then whispers in Kyle’s ear.  “I want all of you tonight. I want to feel you like I’ve never felt you before.”

Kyle knows instantly what Oliver means. Their previous experiences up to this point had been primarily oral and exploring hands. Tonight, Oliver is ready to go to the next step. The two continue to kiss and fall onto the bed.

As the night progresses Oliver gets his wish. He feels Kyle with him in a way that he has never experienced before. And words could not describe the intimacy and connection that Oliver felt with Kyle at this time. Later that night Kyle also got to experience the sensational feeling he had dreamed about for so long. Not only giving all of his love to ‘his Oliver’, but experiencing all of Oliver’s love as well.


Present Day

Back in the waiting room Kyle’s face is slightly blushing as he glances away from the clock for a seconds over to Cris. “Oh man. I bet that was way more than ya’ wanted to know.”

“Well maybe a little. “

Kyle looks back at the clock. “I really didn’t mean to make ya’ uncomfortable.”

“This wasn’t about me, Kyle. Do you feel a bit better?”

“A little. It was nice to remember a time when it was just Oliver and me, without the pressures of the world or non-accepting parents.”

“Exactly. You need to keep thinking of those times. It’ll help pass the time.”

“How long have we been waiting, Cris?”

“Its been about almost three hours now.”

“What’s taking so long? Shouldn’t he be out of surgery by now.”

“I’m not an expert on that, Kyle.  In fact, you probably know more about that than I do, but I’m sure we’ll hear something soon. Hang in there okay, Keep thinking about the good times. It’ll help.”

“Thanks, Cris. I appreciate how supportive you’re bein’. Oliver is lucky to have ya’ as a friend. “

Cris stands and looks over at Kyle. “I too am lucky to have you both as my friends. I’m going to see what is keeping Layla. Do you need me to get you anything? Soda? Water? Something to eat?”

“No thanks, man. I can’t eat or dink anything right now.”

Cris pats Kyle on the shoulder.  “Ok then. I’ll be back in a few.”

Kyle shakes his head. “Ok.”

Cris exits the waiting area.


A few minutes later Barbara returns to the waiting area alone and returns to the chair a few seats down from Kyle. Kyle continues to be entranced by the second hand of the clock. Kyle also begins to feel his patience waning. Kyle wonders what is taking so long.

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Fish. For what I said earlier. I just feel so helpless. I can’t lose him. Just last night we decided to give us another shot. It was one of the happiest nights of my life and then today Oliver is fightin’ for his life. I feel like we wasted so much time. It makes me angry and I took it out on ya’. That wasn’t fair. I apologize”

“Thank you, Kyle, but you don’t have anything to apologize for. In fact I owe you an apology. I see that now.”

Kyle looks over at Mrs. Fish, surprised by her comments.

Barbara feels uncertain about what she is going to say, but searches for the words.

“I finally saw today how much you care for and love my son. While I don’t understand the type of relationship you have and I’m not sure I ever will, I can’t deny the love that is there.  Isn’t that really what we all want? To be loved?”

Kyle makes eye contact with Barbara. “I love your son more that I can express with words. I have since the first time I met him in college.”

Barbara shakes her head to signal her understanding.

“Can I ask ya’ a question, Mrs. Fish?”


“Where is Mr. Fish? Oliver needs him here. He’s Oliver’s hero.”

Barbara lets out a sigh. “George is heading back to Iowa. We got into an argument after leaving the hospital and he said it was time to go home. I told him I wasn’t going to leave until I knew Oliver was okay. He said I could find my own way home and took off.  At least that is the story in nutshell. I left out some of the more colorful words. I’ve tried to call him several times, but it goes straight to voice mail. I’m so angry with him right now.”

“Do ya’ think he’ll ever come around in terms of Oliver? Is it possible?”

“I honestly don’t know, Kyle. I hope so. But George is very strong in his beliefs on this. Oliver in his eyes is a committing a sin.”

“So love is a sin?”

“George does not see it that way. To him love is not even part of the equation. He loves his son, Kyle. He just doesn’t know how to process this. I just hope he gets the chance to get things right with Oliver.”

“How can ya’ stand him being like this? He can be so judgmental and cold.”

“I love him, Kyle. He’s a great man even with all his faults. Just like you love Oliver, I love George. I need to ask you a favor Kyle?”

“Okay,” says Kyle.

“I need you to look after Oliver. With things the way they are between George and Oliver I’m not certain how much I’ll get to see or talk with him. I’ll do my best to stay in contact even if that is just via phone calls here and there, but I need to know someone is watching out for him. I know I don’t have any rights to ask anything of you, but I hope you can grant me this one request.”

“You don’t need to worry. I’m here for Oliver as long as he wants to be.”

“Thank you, Kyle.”

Kyle returns to his observance of the second hand of the clock as the two sit in silence.

Just then the nurses return wheeling Oliver back into his room. Kyle and Barbara stand. Greg approaches them.

“Okay. That took a little longer than expected. There were a few touch and go moments, but Oliver made it through. We were able to stop all the internal bleeding.“

Roxy, Nick, Layla and Cris enter the waiting area.

Barbara looks into Dr. Evans face. “So he’s goin’ to be okay?”

“I’m hopeful. The next few hours are critical. If he makes it through the night I’m confident that he’ll make a full recovery.”

Barbara is so excited by the news that she begins to cry. “Thanks you so much, Dr. Evans. I can’t express my gratitude enough.”

“Lets save the thanks for in the morning. We’ll know more then.” Greg exits the waiting area.

And finally the floodgates open and the tears that have been building inside of Kyle’s eyes release. The tears come fast and furiously.

Roxy races over to Kyle and brings him into her arms. “Its okay. Let it out. Let it all out.”

Cris and Layla hug each other and then come over to join in a group hug with Kyle and Roxy.

Roxy motions Barbara over, who reluctantly agrees.

Kyle motions Nick over with his hands. Nick squeezes in between Layla and Roxy for the group hug.

A nurse then pops her head out of the door. “Is there a Kyle out here?”

The group’s hug disbands. Kyle looks over at the nurse. “That’s me.”

“He’s asking for you. It’s okay for you to come in. But he’s only allowed one visitor at a time right now.”

Kyle looks to Barbara, asking with his eyes if it’s okay out of respect for the fact that she is his mother.

“Its okay, Kyle. Go ahead. He needs you right now. I’ll come and check on him tomorrow. Thanks again for being here. I appreciate it.”

Barbara exits the waiting area.

Kyle walks towards the door and then turns to face Roxy, Nick, Layla and Cris.

“Thank ya’ all so much for bein’ here. It meant a lot to have ya’ here. You guys are the best. I’m goin’ to stay with him tonight. If you need to leave you can. We’ll be okay.”

Layla walks towards Kyle. “Are you sure? We can stay if you need us to.”

Kyle is very appreciative of Layla’s words. “Thanks guys, but we’ll be fine. I know he would love to see all of ya’ tomorrow when he’s more alert.”

Layla hugs Kyle. Cris shakes his hand. They leave down the hallway.

Roxy hugs Kyle again. “Don’t hesitate to call me for anything.”

Kyle shakes his head in acknowledgement. 

Roxy leaves the waiting area.

Nick approaches Kyle. “Go in and be with Oliver. He needs you. I’ll wait out here just a bit to make sure your okay before I take off.”

Kyle embraces Nick. “Thank ya’ for bein’ so great today.  I know it can’t be easy for ya’.”

Nick pulls away from Kyle. “Don’t worry about it. Go be with Oliver. We’ll talk  later.”

Kyle enters Oliver’s room.

Nick has a seat in one of the nearby chairs.

A very muscular man, with black hair and blue eyes walks down the hallway in a hospital gown pushing an IV along his side. He stops in front of Oliver’s windows and looks inside where he sees Kyle laying next to Oliver in the bed.

Nick notices the man immediately and is swept away by the looks of the man in front of him. Nick makes his way over to the man.

“Excuse me. Are you a friend of Oliver’s?”

The man turns to face Nick. The blue eyes looking directly at him now mesmerize Nick.

“Not exactly. We work together. Well actually I just started with the Llanview PD today and we answered the burglary call.”

“So you were hurt also?”

“Yes, but not as bad as Fish. Is he going to be okay?”

“They think he’ll be fine. They say if he makes it to the morning a full recovery looks good.”

“Oh thank god for that.” The man lets out a sigh of relief.  He looks back through the window into the room. “He saved my life today. I froze when that gun was pointed at me. The next thing I remember is the gun going off and Fish jumping in front of me.
We both took hits, but Fish took the brunt of it.”

“Wow. Oliver is a hero.”

“That he is. Who is that guy in there with him?”

As soon as Nick said his next words he regretted it. “That is my ex and Oliver’s boyfriend.”

The man looks at Nick surprised. “Fish is gay?”

“I probably shouldn’t have said anything. It’s not my place to out someone.”

The guy faces Nick again. “Don’t worry about. I have no problem with it. His secret is safe with me. I guess I best be getting back to my room.”

Nick does not want to stop talking to the beautiful man in front of him. “What’s your name. I’m Nick Chavez?” Nick extends his hand to shake the stranger’s hand.

The man takes Nick’s hand and shakes it. Nick is impressed with the strong grip and can’t tear himself away from those crystal blue eyes. “I’m Zach. Zachery Stafford. Maybe I’ll see you around sometime.”

Nick loses the battle to not show his interest. “I certainly hope so!”

Zach smiles at Nick.

Nick melts inside.

Zach leaves the waiting area

The next morning Kyle wakes up with a very sore neck and back. The previous days events come rushing back through his mind. He is fearful to open his eyes.

He finally opens his eyes and sees Oliver looking over at him.

Oliver lets out a small smile and speaks in a very soft voice. “Good morning, Mr. Lewis”.

Kyle lets out a huge sigh. Kyle then blinks his eyes several times to ensure he is not dreaming. To his delight Oliver is still looking right at him. Oliver made it through the night. Kyle is so happy the tears well up in his eyes and fall across his cheeks.

“Its okay, Kyle. I’m here. I’m not going anywhere. We have a lot of wasted time to make up for. We’re going to make sure that happens. I love you, Kyle. I love you now and always.”

The happy tears continue to fall and Kyle leans his head in and places a kiss on his beautiful Oliver’s mouth.

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