I tried to hide the look of fear on my face, throwing my arm back over my eyes, when Kelly told me that he knew someone who knew Kyle. I figured he would remember eventually, and in a way, I wanted him to, because then we’d know what happened. I didn’t want Kelly to go to jail, and I’m sure he didn’t do anything to Kyle. Maybe they didn’t like each other, but Kelly wouldn’t kill anyone.
But still, I was hoping that maybe we could solve this whole thing without Kelly remembering that I’m gay. It was obviously a mistake to tell him last time. Or maybe it was just that I jumped right in with Kyle? Maybe if I’d given him time to get used to the idea before I brought a boyfriend into the mix, it would be better.
“You do?” I ask with a sense of dread, still screening my eyes.
“Yeah, I had the weirdest dream,” Kelly says, pulling my arm from my face. “Me and someone else, I don’t know who, were up at the state park, on Screenland, that trail we keep meaning to check out? And I was arguing with them, telling them that Kyle was bad for them. I think maybe it was Lisa.” He sighs and looks at me, “You said we broke up, right?” Shaking his head and looking down, Kelly looks so lost.
It’s weird to realize that he doesn’t remember their breakup. He’d been miserable for weeks after; she really hurt him. The doctors told us not to force his memory, especially after the seizure; but I felt like I had to tell Kel when he asked me why she was so distant, not touching him. It was hard to keep the hatred out of my voice when I told him, and he looked so confused. How strange to not remember your own life. Although, I wish I didn’t remember mine right now, this huge mess and somehow I know I'm at the centre.
I sit up and look at Kelly, he seems so exhausted and scared. “I dunno Kel, I never knew about it if she was with him. I think you would’ve told me. And plus, Lisa rock climbing?”
Kelly sighs again, rubbing his temples as he chuckles ruefully. “Heh, yeah, I guess you’re right Toad. Everything is such a jumble in my head right now. I keep remembering things, or at least I think I remember them, but then the next second, they’re gone again.” He lifts his head a bit and looks at me “So now that I’ve unloaded on you, how about you tell me what’s really wrong? We both know that allergy line was a lie.”
I don’t know what to say to him. I was sure, when I said it, that he wouldn’t believe me. I was hoping he’d let it go, yet I really need to tell him something, start explaining myself before he remembers and the truth comes crashing down around me. But all I can say is “I’m just relieved Kel, and scared, and happy all that the same time.” It’s the truth but not what I was really thinking about. Kelly looks at me, a curious expression on his face, so I continue, “I was so afraid you were gonna die , and I’m still scared you’re gonna end up in jail. But I'm so glad you’re alive, and home. When I walked by your room earlier and saw you laying there, it was such a relief.” I reach out and put my arm over his shoulder, squeezing him to me and resting my head against his. “I love you bro.”
He smiles and I feel his arm wrap around my back “I love you too Toad. I think I’m gonna grab some food, wanna come?” he asks, shifting away from his emotions, just like he always has.
“No thanks, I think I need to just relax by myself for a little while.” I smile back. I may have said that stuff to hide what I was really thinking about, but that doesn’t mean any of it isn’t true. I’m so glad he’s home.
Kelly gets up and walks, slowly, out my door and down the hall. I can hear him talking to Mom in the kitchen. Once they’re involved in their discussion, I reach over and grab my cell phone off my nightstand and go through the phone book, finding Mark’s number. Mark is one of Kyle’s friends, maybe he can take me to the grave. I feel like I need to go, to have a chance to say goodbye. My finger shakes as I push the “call” button. What do I say to him? ‘Sorry your best friend died in my brother’s car, and I couldn’t go to his funeral because I was afraid of being seen, but can I visit the grave?’ I sure hope Mark doesn’t think Kelly killed Kyle. I don’t want to have to defend my brother to him.
On the third ring, Mark answers. “Todd?” I can’t tell whether he’s surprised or concerned.
“Yeah, it’s me.” Everything else I was going to say just disappeared as soon as I heard his voice. I close my eyes and try to calm down a little, hoping he can’t hear the shake in my voice. “Do you think I could meet up with you and Steve? I need to talk to someone about all this, and I can’t talk to anybody here.”
Now I do hear the concern as Mark answers. “Of course, where do you want us to meet you? How about Jean’s?” Jean’s is a coffee shop halfway between Springfield High and the college that we all used to meet up at, me and Kyle, and Mark and Steve.
“Yeah, that would be ok. Is an hour all right? I have to hang out with the family a little before I can get out of here,” I reply, lost in memories of me and Kyle at Jean’s.
“Sure dude, see you then.” Mark’s surfer talk makes me smile. He thinks, just because he’s from California, he’s the only one allowed to say ‘dude.’ I snap my phone shut and toss it on the bed as I stand up to stretch.
I’m standing in the kitchen with Mom, having an almost argument about whether or not she should stay home to take care of me when Todd walks in and announces that he’s meeting “some friends” in about an hour. Turning to me he smiles, “Kel, let Mom take care of you, she won’t get any work done anyway, she’ll just be sitting there worrying if she’s at the office.”
“Yes daddy,” I smile back. I know he’s right, I just hate to have her hovering around me, I want some time alone to think and try and see if I can jog my memory at all.
I need to figure out what happened with this guy Kyle before I end up in jail. I couldn’t have killed him. At least, I don’t think I could have. But then, I don’t remember anything about myself for the past six months, I could’ve joined a cult, or finally gone bungee jumping, who knows?
Todd grabs a bottle of Coke out of the refrigerator on his way out the door and I stand, slowly sliding off the stool, trying not to put too much strain on my sore ribs.
“I’m gonna go back to my room, call me when dinner’s ready, Mom?” I ask as I head down the hall. Maybe reading through my email will give me some clue as to who Kyle was.
“Kelly, remember what the doctors said about getting enough rest! Don’t spend too long on your computer!” Mom yells after me. The reminder is annoying, but I’m glad she’s here and worrying about me, in case I need her. That seizure really scared me. The doctors said they don’t think I’ll have any more, but they also didn’t expect me to have one in the first place.
Sitting down at my computer, I turn it on and type in my password. Mom told me that the police were here and wanted to take my computer but Dad wouldn’t let them since they didn’t have a warrant and hadn’t charged me with anything yet. I’m glad my Dad stood up to them, I don’t want strangers reading my personal things.
I open my email program and click the “get mail” button, waiting for it to download all... holy crap, 500 emails?! I’ve been out of the hospital for less than a week, what on earth could make me have that many? I usually only get two or three a day with my spam filters on. Clicking through, I delete the hundred or so pieces of spam that got through the filters, and set to reading all of the “hope you’re feeling better” letters from everyone. There’s a note from Lisa, asking me to call her when I can, and another from Blake asking the same. The whole football team set me e-cards. Thompson sent me one with the “Man hit in the groin with football” animation from “The Simpsons” in it. I smile as I read his note
Hey, at least your jewels are all ok. Get better quick dude,
we need to get back to our routine.
He’s talking about our morning off-season workouts, we’ve been doing them together since high school.
Now that I’ve read through all the new ones, I get back to what I was really planning on doing. Lisa’s old emails are all saved in a folder on my computer. There’s one almost every day up until two months ago, and then they drop off almost completely, only one or two in between then and the one I got today. Working backwards, I open the next oldest one.
I wanted to see how you’re doing. You keep avoiding me, and
maybe things didn’t end on the best of terms, but it’s been a
month, I’m sick of having to pretend I don’t know you when
we’re in class together. James keeps asking why you won’t
hang out with him. He’s your friend too, you know, stop
ignoring him, that was one of the things that was wrong in
our relationship, you never have time for anyone but your
family and Blake. Don’t screw up your friendships the
same way you messed up what we had, Kelly.
Me spending too much time with Blake is something we always fought over, but I never thought she’d dump me over that. And who does she think she is telling me how I should act? She dumped me, so why should she have the right to control me any more?
The sad thing is that even though I’m mad about that email, I really want to just call her up and beg her to take me back. I don’t know what I did wrong, but it has to be something I can make up for. I need someone to hold me, and tell me that everything will be ok, to help me figure all this out, and Lisa would be so good at that, except now I can’t ask her. I don’t want to just start asking for things, or even talking to her much until I figure out what happened between us. She wouldn’t tell me at the hospital, even when no one else was around, so I doubt she’d tell me now.
The next one back is just plain weird.
I can’t believe I saw you going into Alley’s last night! I thought
you didn’t want anyone to find out? Anyone could’ve seen you
guys! People are going to think that’s why we broke up. Do
you have any idea how bad that would make me look? And plus,
I thought you said you were going to stop all of this “gay” business?
Going to a gay club doesn’t seem like stopping to me!
What would I have been doing in a gay bar? She makes it sound like I’m gay and she wants me to keep it a secret. But I’m not gay. I guess there’s nothing wrong with it but, two guys? It’s pretty nasty to think about. I don’t think I could’ve just suddenly become gay in the past 6 months. You don’t just “turn” gay I don’t think.
I’ve had enough of reading emails, so I click over to my web browser and open up a new window. The news page that I have set loads up with all of the latest, bombings in Iraq and people being kidnapped, bitten by sharks, the works. At least none of that has happened. I wonder if I made any headlines? Probably in the Springfield Courier, but I don’t think I made CNN. I hope not, I don’t want to be famous for crashing my baby.
As I go to type in the web address for my favorite site, b3ta, the list of all the recently typed web addressed pops up and adds to my confusion. The list is:
CNN and The Onion, ESPN, even Jeremy’s journal, those are all normal. I have no idea what the acronyms are, and I don’t understand the gay sites. Was Lisa’s email right? Did I decide I was gay?
I click on “pflag.org” and wait for the site to load the front page reads “Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.” Maybe someone I know is gay? But I don’t know anyone who’s gay. All my friends are normal, none of them act like girls or anything, hell, most of them play football!
Next I click “comingout.net” it’s instructions on how to come out, a section for friends, family, your job. Makes me wonder how my boss, Mr. Potter would feel about me if I told him I was gay? I don’t know why I’d be looking at this site unless I was gonna use it, but I don’t feel gay. This whole thing is so confusing.
Maybe I’ve been lying to myself? Maybe I really am and I just never noticed, or repressed it? I go to “chrisfisher.com” and it’s disgusting, gay porn. I must be gay, there’s no way I’d be looking at gay porn otherwise. I would never take helping out a friend that far. I know it wasn’t anyone else on my computer, unless someone hacked my password, and why would they?
The keyboard tray slides shut as I bump it with my torso, leaning forward a bit onto the desk to help me stand. Pushing the chair back, I walk the few steps over to my bed and flop down. I guess, if I’m gay, no wonder Lisa and I broke up; and it’s pretty understandable why she’d be angry. I just wish I remembered something, anything other than my fuzzy dreams. I don’t exactly want to go to sleep. I’m afraid of having another weird half-nightmare; but I’m so exhausted.
Editors Note: If you would like to contact the author of this chapter, you may use this email address, CollisionAuthors@Deweywriter.com. Please include the author’s name. Thank you.