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Same Time Tomorrow

by The Scholar

Part 20: I'm Not Ill

Carl: Hi, Allan.

Allan: Hey, Carl, didn't see you login.

Carl: That's okay.

Allan: What you been up too?

Carl: Oh, nothing much, you know.

Allan: No, I don't, which is why I asked, hehehe.

Carl: Hehe, well, I just been for a drink with Tom.

Allan: Yeah? How is he?

Carl: He's okay, thanks.

Allan: Bit early to be home yet, isn't it?

Carl: I guess, but I needed to see if you were online.

Allan: You did? Why? Is something wrong?

Carl: No, nothing's wrong.

Alan: So why did you want to see if I was online? I'm always online. Where else am I gonna be?

Carl: You're not always online; you're sometimes at work.

Allan: Yeah, but these days I go online at work, too.

Carl: Oh, I didn't know that.

Allan: Not often, admittedly, or I'd get into serious trouble.

Carl: You would?

Allan: Using company property for personal use.

Carl: Oh, I never thought of that.

Allan: Hehehe, well, I'd never get any work done if I was online all the time, I guess, as I'd be too busy chatting to you.

Carl: Hmm, that makes it sound like I'm always online, too.

Allan: Hehehe, I guess it does.

Carl: Do I bug you that much?

Allan: Bug me?

Carl: Irritate you. By being online, I mean.

Allan: What? No way, what makes you think that.

Carl: I dunno, I just thought maybe you'd be bored chatting to me. Must be better people to chat too.

Allan: You're kidding around, right?

Carl: No.

Allan: Why would you think that?

Carl: Ignore me; I'm just being stupid.

Allan: Is something wrong?

Carl: No.

Allan: Are you sure.

Carl: Yeah.

Allan: Okay, but I'm not convinced.

Carl: Everything's fine, honest.

Allan: Well, okay, but I still think there's something bugging you.

Carl: Tom said I should talk to you.

Allan: Something is wrong!

Carl: No, nothing's wrong.

Allan: Talk to me about what? What's going on?

Carl: It's bloody cold here tonight.

Allan: What?

Carl: I said it's cold here tonight.

Allan: I read that. Are you trying to change the subject?

Carl: I didn't know we were on a subject.

Allan: You said Tom told you to talk to me. Since when did you need Tom to tell you to talk to me? Is it a chore these day, or something?

Carl: Of course it isn't.

Allan: Well, why do you need Tom to tell you to talk to me?

Carl: Was just something we were discussing in the pub.

Allan: Yeah?

Carl: Nothing important.

Allan: Nothing important?

Carl: No.

Allan: So you left the pub and came home to see if I was online just because Tom told you to?

Carl: Sounds dumb when you say it like that.

Allan: Listen, babe, I'm always happy to see you online, you know that, but if there's something wrong then I'd sooner you tell me.

Carl: I told you - there's nothing wrong.

Allan: Then, I don't understand!

Allan: You're ill?

Carl: What?

Allan: You're ill, aren't you?

Carl: No, I'm not ill.

Allan: You have to be ill. What's wrong? Is it serious?

Carl: Whoa! I AM NOT ILL.

Allan: Well, what is it then? I don't believe you just came home to see if I was here just to check that I was still okay.

Carl: Okay, but I'm not ill.

Allan: So there was a reason?

Carl: Yeah, I guess.

Allan: So?

Carl: It doesn't matter, it's not important.

Allan: Carl, you're scaring me.

Carl: Scaring you?

Allan: You sure you're not ill?

Carl: I'm positive I'm not ill. Jesus, Allan, I'm fine. I just came home 'cause it's cold out tonight.

Allan: And online because Tom told you to talk to me.

Carl: Well, I'd have come online, anyway.

Allan: But you came home to come online because Tom told you to talk to me.

Carl: I guess.

Allan: So you can understand how my mind is working, right?

Carl: Yeah, I guess so.

Allan: So, if you're not ill, what's wrong?

Carl: It's complicated.

Allan: So, there is something you came online to tell me.

Carl: I guess so.

Allan: Well, why is it complicated? Am I that hard to talk to?

Carl: Of course not.

Allan: So?

Carl: This isn't easy.

Allan: Oh, my God! You are ill!

Carl: Will you please quit thinking that? I told you already, I am not ill.

Allan: Well what is it then?

Carl: Calm down, for Christ sakes.

Allan: I'm sorry, but I get a bit anxious, we're so far apart and I get worried real easy, especially as you aren't making a lot of sense to me right now.

Carl: I'm sorry. I know we're so far away from each other, I guess that's part of what I needed to talk to you about.

Allan: I don't understand.

Carl: Will you shut up for a minute and listen? I'm trying to explain!

Allan: Sorry.

Carl: It's okay.

Allan: Okay, I'll stay quiet. Let me know when I can say something.

Carl: LOL! smileOkay!

Allan: smile

Carl: Now, I don't know where to begin.

Carl: Okay, well, for a start, I am not ill. Well, not in the sense of being hurt or needing medical treatment, I guess. I mean there's nothing physically wrong with me. Jesus, this is so stupid.

Carl: I am not ill, so no need to worry yourself about that. Okay?

Carl: Okay? Damn it, you can answer the question!

Allan: Okay.

Carl: Hehehe. Was that the answer?

Allan: Yes! I won't worry, because you're not ill.

Carl: Cool. Well, okay, now we got that straight, I guess I better put a few other things straight, too, though, actually, that's quite funny, because putting it straight isn't exactly an apt phrase to use.

Allan: Oh?

Carl: We've been chatting online for a while now and I know a lot of stuff you told me about you and you know a lot of stuff I told you about me, but it's all just, well, it's all just, stuff. I mean, none of it is anything deep or meaningful, just chat stuff, know what I mean?

Allan: Not really, but go on.

Carl: Well, what I mean is we just chat about well, stuff. You know, the weather, the kid of day you had, the kind of day I had, I mean, none of it means anything, is just idle chat; nothing too deep, or anything.

Allan: You mean you're bored chatting to me?

Carl: No, I don't mean that. I mean we don't talk about anything that means anything.

Allan: Oh! So, I'm boring you?

Carl: Jesus Christ, no! Not at all, never that! Hell, I'd find you interesting if you talked about paint drying.

Allan: Hehehe.

Carl: It's just that I think maybe that I'd like us to talk about something.

Allan: What do you mean?

Carl: You know, real stuff, stuff that matters to us.

Allan: You lost me.

Carl: Stuff we like to do. Stuff we have interests in. Stuff like books, or music, something that we can share a conversation about.

Allan: Okay!

Carl: I'm not making sense am I?

Allan: Not really, but if that's what you want to do, we can do that.

Carl: I need to know the real you.

Allan: Okay.

Carl: This is hard for me.

Allan: Well, it's hard to understand for me, too, but if you want to talk about other stuff that's fine, just so long as we continue to talk. I mean, I don't want you to stop talking to me, you know how I feel about you, I've told you before and, yes, I know you're not gay so it's all one-sided and that's okay, I know where I stand on that, but I just don't want us to stop talking.

Carl: That's the whole point.

Allan: What is?

Carl: What you just said.

Allan: What did I just say?

Carl: " know how I feel about you, I've told you before and, yes, I know you're not gay so it's all one-sided and that's okay..."

Allan: Yeah?

Carl: I do know how you feel about me and that's why I need to know the real you. Thing is, Allan, it isn't all one-sided.

Allan: What do you mean?

Carl: I'm gay, Allan. I always have been, I was just too scared to say anything.

Allan: What?

Carl: I just want to get to know you better. The real you!

Allan: What?

Carl: I love you, too, Allan.

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