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Journey of Love

By The Journeyman

Chapter 14

It's been about a month since I've been able to write. I've tried. I get up late, after making love, the dried cum crackling on my belly, sore between my legs from the passionate pounding. And soo many times I've only been able to stare at the computer screeen. Several times my lover's awakened and come to me. He understands. He just says, "It's okay. It'll come when you're ready." The funny thing is, I don't have to write anything myself this time, just put someone else's words on the page. But I don't want to relive it. It's soo painful.

Dear Justin,

Mom says I should keep a diary because you might not remember much of what's going on. I'll try. I'm not in very good shape right now, my lover. I've been crying most of the night. Please don't die. That's all I ask. I don't care what else happens. Just please don't die. I don't know if I could stand it if you die. We've been together our whole lives, and I've always needed you. I don't know if you realize it. I've leaned on you so much these 15 years that, if you die, I'll die too. Not in the physical sense, but in the spiritual sense. Justin, I need you. I don't know what I'll do without you...I mean what I WOULD do without you. And now that we've, um, become lovers, to have you taken away would be the worst cruelty.

I don't know how much you're going to remember. So let me start with last night. Remember? We were making out in my room - geez, I can't let mom see this - anyway, we were making out in my room when Greg walked in? And he told us he saw us kissing the night of Charlie's camp out? And then we told him we loved each other, and he had all these questions? Well, you went home after that. Greg and I talked a little bit more, but not much. I think he's really confused. But I don't think he hates us.

I did my homework, and Charlie and I horsed around a little. The little prick's getting strong. We really were wrestling and he damn near pinned me. I think he's starting to lift weights. I mean, I'm no weakling, and he can take me down! So the next morning I got up, showered - wish you could have been there - and walked over to your house to go to school. You looked soo sexy in that new black t-shirt of yours. Jeez, Justin. I just wanted to pin you against the wall and start kissing and playing with you. It was all I could do not to start pinching your nipples. You know I can get you to do anything when I play with your nipples? I think they're the most sensitive part of your body. Hehehe. I can make my thumbs work magic on them and you start to moan and squirm. I don't' think you even realize it. And when I flick my tongue on them, suck them up into my mouth and lick them fast, you start grabbing my butt and damn near begging me for it. Not in words, maybe, but in body action. I shouldn't be telling you this. It's been my secret weapon since we've started making love. Your nipples. And my toes. I can get you in the mood just by going barefoot.

The doctor just came by and ignored me. I want to see you sooo bad. Your dad told me it'll be a while. He's been crying, Justin. Um, so have I, bud. So has Greg. Kyle and Richie aren't here right now. I don't think they can handle it. I couldn't without Greg here.

So we walked to school, and Greg, Richie and Kyle joined us. It was just your regular school day. No up-chucks today, if you know what I mean. Hehehe. Becky ate with us at lunch. Boy, she and Kyle are really getting close. Jeez! And get this! She was feeding him little bits of food. I hate it when people do that. I hope you don't get mad if I NEVER do that to you. Don't you ever do it to me. That is, If...No, when...

It was after school, Justin. We went to the weight room for a while. Lifted, talked, worked out. Not hard. Just about 45 minutes. You said you didn't want to shower. Boy did I want you to. Just to see you naked. Justin, I love you. I love the way you look. I could look at that lean body, your smooth chest all day long. You've got such a flat stomach, and I love the way your waist comes in then flares out a little at your hips. And you've got the cutest butt I've ever seen. It's just so round and soft and strong. Your crack is perfect. It starts with the little Y-shape at the very top, and it's deep and perfect. But what I love most is your cock.

Man, I gotta stop writing that shit. I gotta help you. I wish they'd let me do something. I can't stand it. I gotta get up and do something.

Let's see. Oh, yeah, after school. Well, you didn't want to take a shower because some of the guys came by and got you for a pick-up ball game. So after my shower I came out and walked over to the practice field to get you. There were about 12 guys playing. You were at second base. I remember because you usually play shortstop or left field. I guess you all were just taking turns batting. I watched you field a few grounders, and Tommy threw a peg to you to get John Jefferson out trying to steal second. A couple of us watching cheered and you gave this cheesy bow. What a ham.

Ronald Rosehart was up at bat, and Don Jenkins was pitching. All of a sudden coach Danielson came out. Just as Don threw a pitch, Danielson hollered that everyone should be wearing a helmet, and you looked over at him. Ronald hit a line drive and it caught you in the right temple, just in front of your ear. Justin, you hit the ground without saying a word. Just boom. You just collapsed.

Oh, shit, we were all so scared. I screamed. So did Ronald. He was the first one to you, and I was right behind, only because I had to jump over the fence. Don was crouching at the pitcher's mound. Coach Danielson leapt the fence and came to you, taking out his cell phone. Man, you didn't move. He shook you. Ronald was on his knees with me beside you, and he was already bawling. The guys all gathered around. Coach dialed 911 on his cell phone and just screamed for an ambulance to the high school baseball practice field. He told us to stay back. Yeah, like that's gonna help. I wanted to gather you in my arms. I wanted to hold you.

"Is he breathing?" I asked.

"Yes, he's breathing." coach said. He looked at me. "Shaw, how do I get hold of his parents? Aren't you guys friends?"

"I'm his best friend, coach." I gave them your home number. I didn't remember your dad's but I told him where he worked.

The ambulance was, like, there. It didn't take more than five minutes. But by that time the shock had sunk in. I was just standing there crying. But I wasn't embarrassed because about six of us were. I think Ronald and I were just holding each other. Some of the kids hanging out around school came out. Richie had been late doing something, and he ran down to the ball park when he heard something had happened. I just about jumped into his arms. The paramedics made everyone get way back. I tried to tell them that you and I are best friends, but they said I couldn't ride in the ambulance. I screamed at them till coach eased me away. I went back into Richie's arms, but he wasn't much better because by now he had tears in his eyes. Man, they worked on you about 15 minutes, putting tubes into you and patches on you. They cut off your shirt and took off your shoes and socks. They put something over your head. They kept listening to your chest with their stethoscope. After one long listen, they tipped your head back and put a tube down your throat with this metal thingie. Then they hooked a bag to the tube and started squeezing it.

They put a board under you, lifted you onto a stretcher and started to put you into the ambulance. Man, there must've been about 50 people around by that time. A lot of them were holding hands.

Whew! My mom just now came in to talk. She almost saw this. I gotta be careful. I just sobbed in her arms. I'm so scared. I don't know how I'll live if you don't. Justin, I don't mean I think you're gonna die. I think you're going to live. But, I don't know. I can't even think about it.

Anyway, they put you in the ambulance. And they were squeezing this bag so you'd breathe. I knew that wasn't good. I started to get into the ambulance with you. I just thought they'd let me go. I told them I was your best friend. But somebody pulled me back out of the ambulance. I started screaming, grabbing the door before they could shut it. I was kicking at whoever had hold of me and I was trying to cling to the door. I was shouting that I wanted to go, that you needed me there, that I was your friend, that I couldn't be left alone, that we had to be together. At the top of my lungs. I managed to kick someone in the head because he dropped my legs, but someone else grabbed me. Richie came up and started talking to me in that low voice he has, just trying to soothe me. Someone got my hands off the ambulance door, and it closed, and the ambulance started away. I tried to run after it but Richie got me in a bear hug. Then he started yelling at me. Then he picked me up in that bear hug and slammed me down on my feet. It shook me up and I just looked at him.

"CALM DOWN," he screamed at me. "Jeez, Danny, just chill out a minute."

"That's Justin in that ambulance!"

"I know. I know it is. But you can't go with them. Mr. Danielson said he'd take us."

I looked at Richie. He had tears in his eyes. I looked around. Don and Ronald were holding each other, crying. So were most of the other guys on the team. Almost everyone there was, Justin. I mean, I knew we had lots of friends, but I'm telling you, they were really worried about you. Even Coach Danielson was shook up. I think he wanted to say something about pick-up baseball games and wearing helmets, but he realized the lesson had sunk in.

I really don't remember the ride to the hospital. I couldn't tell you what kind of car Coach drives. I don't know where it was parked. I sort of remember Richie guiding me to the car, and sitting next to me in the back seat while I cried on his shoulder.

We got to the hospital about the same time your mom did. She was really frantic, but they took her back behind these doors, and then I heard her scream. Justin, I just about died right there. I thought the worst, and I collapsed onto the floor. Richie helped me up and tried to tell me to calm down. I couldn't. I started breathing real fast and I couldn't catch my breath. Remember in health class they talked about hyperventilation? That's what I started doing. Richie called for help, and this guy in a green outfit came out and put a bag over my mouth and nose, just like they taught us in class. Man, I thought a hospital would have a more sophisticated way of doing that. I just breathed into that bag, and you know, it worked. I slowed down and the guy finally took the bag away. He asked if I was okay and if I could breath. I just nodded.

And then the worst part started. We just waited. That's all there was to do. Richie stayed with me for about an hour more, then he went to call the others. I don't know how Greg got here so fast, but it seemed like just an instant. He burst into the emergency waiting room, and when we saw each other, he just stared at me. He looked real worried, and he just stood there, looking at me. That's all. Like he couldn't move. But I couldn't either. I could almost see what was running through his mind. After about 30 seconds I stood up and walked over to him. He just grabbed me and hugged me and whispered in my ear, "How is he?"

"I don't know," I said. "They haven't told me anything. I don't know if anyone knows yet. He's been in there" I pointed to the emergency room doors "for, oh, god, I don't know how long now. It seems like a whole day." He came over to where Richie was sitting, and we just started to wait again.

Then I remembered I hadn't called my mom. She'd be worried sick. Greg had brought his mom's cell phone, so I used that. Mom, boy, she was so surprised. She loves you so much, Justin, it was like someone had told her I had been hurt. She must've shot out the door and driven a hundred miles an hour to get here, because it didn't take any time at all. She started demanding to know what was going on. But they couldn't tell her anything.

Finally your dad came out and said you had a concussion, and maybe worse. They were taking you for a CT scan, I guess, and that would show whether there was more serious damage.

Mom took Richie and Greg and me down to the cafeteria because we hadn't eaten since lunch. You know, the hospital cafeteria isn't much better than the school cafeteria. I think our cooks come over here after they're done with lunch at the school. Ugh. We were pretty quiet for a while after we all sat down. Then Richie and Greg and I started talking about being kids and the stuff we did. It sort of made us laugh to talk about learning to ride a bike - I was the first out of all the group. Richie remembered that. And he said you got the first skateboard. Oh, man, the skinned knees we had from those things. But we got pretty good on them. Richie was talking about how much fun we all had, and how good things really were. Greg and I just looked at each other. We knew they weren't all that good for you, but we didn't say anything. Richie was talking about how good of friends we were and how we'd always be friends. I think he was trying to be real positive about you. We stayed down there till they closed.

It was awful when we went back upstairs. Your dad was waiting for us. He said the CT scan had shown bleeding in your brain and a skull fracture. They already had you in the operating room. I didn't know there was any doctor in town who could do that kind of surgery, but your dad said that new Dr. Smith was a pretty good surgeon. He'd done some emergency room training in Chicago before moving here. Who'd have thought in a town this size we'd have a surgeon that good? God's smiling on ya, bud.

There was a stream of kids that came to the hospital, Justin. I had them sign a piece of paper from my notebook - I still had my backpack. About 30 kids came by. Becky's dad drove her all the way in from the farm. She couldn't even talk, Justin. She just cried in my arms. Her dad talked to your dad for a while. She finally quit crying and just sat with her head on my shoulder and we talked. I didn't know she had a brother who was killed in a tractor accident when he was 3 - must've been about 10 years ago. Maybe that's what her dad was talking to your dad about. Becky would have been five. Kyle came in right after he got off work at the movie theater. The four of us and Becky just sat and waited. Don and Ronald both came in, and about half the baseball team did, just to see how you were. I guess about half the people who came to your party stopped by. We finally had to start telling people to just call everyone else and tell them about it, but not to come because there wasn't enough room at the hospital for everyone, and there wasn't anything anyone could do. But, I mean, I think it was great. And they needed to come. They knew they couldn't do anything, but they needed to be here, just like I did.

Mom left about 11:30 and took Richie home, but she said I could stay here. Greg called home and asked if he could stay with me. His folks said it was okay, so we just sat there. It gets real quiet in the hospital after about midnight. They turn the lights down, and it actually got chilly. Greg found a blanket and threw it around me, then wrapped both of us up in it. He's really warm-blooded. Hehehe. I was sweating in there with him.

About 2:00 the doctor came out to get your folks. They were gone about 15 minutes. Then your dad came out to get me and Greg. We walked into the ICU. But he warned us that you looked pretty bad and to be prepared for the worst. I'm glad he did, but I still wasn't prepared for it. Justin, you have tubes coming out of you everywhere. There's one breathing for you. Each arm has a tube in it hooked up to machines that beep and click. There are wires on your sweet chest. You're naked, but they have you covered from just under your belly button down. You even have tube coming out of your head. But your head is all wrapped up in bandages, too. You look soo white. So pale. Your eyes are closed, but you aren't peaceful.

All I could do was gasp and choke out a sob. Greg did, too. A nurse put her hand on my shoulder, but I just cried. I wanted to leave because I didn't want to make your folks feel any worse. But your dad said he wanted the doctor to explain it to us.

He said they'd found the bleeding in your brain and fixed it. He said it was as routine as these things get. He also said he put a plate and some screws in to fix the skull fracture. You'll probably always have them. He said it was too early to tell how much damage had been done, and that right now, you were in a coma and they'd just have to wait to see how long it took for you to come out of it.

"Is he going to be all right?" I asked.

"He's going to live, if that's what you're asking," Dr. Smith said.

"It's not what I'm asking. Is he going to be okay?"

"Son...ummm, Dan, right? Well, Dan, I don't know. We can't tell how much damage the bleeding did. The paramedics got to him right away. We got him evaluated and into the operating room right away, and he's been stable through everything. Those are all good signs. I'd say he has a good chance of being the guy you've known, with no permanent damage. But I can't be 100 percent sure until he wakes up. And right now, that's my main worry."

Worry. He said worry. He said the word worry, and then he left. How could that word have been the last one he said to me? Us. Us, because Greg was right there with me, his arm around my shoulders, giving me something to lean against. I decided to be strong, Justin, and not cry any more. I just wanted to look at you. I looked at your dad and mom, standing next to each other, looking at you. I moved so I was right up against the bed on the other side from them. I looked at your face, the face I've seen just about every day for 15 years. I looked at your hair, what little I could see peeking out from under the bandage. Only on your left side. I guess they'd shaved the right side for the surgery. I looked at your bare arms, invaded by needles with fluid slowly seeping into them, carrying whatever medication would bring you back to me. Your hands, white, listless, just lying there. Those hands that can do magic to me. That can catch a baseball and heave it toward home plate from left field. That I wanted to raise and lace my fingers into. That I wanted to kiss. I looked at your chest. It looked so weak. I know it's not, because I've watched you lift, but now it looked like it couldn't protect your precious heart. That sweet heart.

Oh, Justin, I haven't been able to put into words what that heart has been to me. You've been strong, kind and tender all at the same time. As long as I can remember, I've looked up to you. You have such a capacity to love. You know, you've always been the peacemaker among the five of us. You always know the words to say to get us all back together when we fight. You've been a brother to Charlie. And I've seen that heart of yours break, my lover, and I've felt so helpless when it's happened. That first night you crawled into bed with me because of the noise at your house, I knew that I loved you. When I put my arm around you, that broken heart of yours completed me. It was like I found new life. When you're six you don't know that, but as I look back, that's what it was. I found I could do something for you, because you'd always done something for me. You've always been someone I could count on. You never judged me. You were my friend always. Even when we were only six, I knew you were a rock-steady friend, who rarely lost his temper, who always stuck by me. Even then, Justin, I felt different. I didn't know I was gay. I just felt different. But I never did around you.

Well, I finally reached out and stroked your cheek. And suddenly I wasn't strong any more. It didn't last long, my strength. I got weak in the knees, and Greg held me up. And then I felt it. Rising from my stomach. I just said, "I'm gonna be sick" and Greg hustled me out of the room. There was a bathroom right across the hallway, and he got me there just in time. Justin, he stayed with me while I heaved up everything I'd eaten for supper. He held my sides while I hung onto the bowl and dry heaved four or five times. He reached up and flushed, then helped me sit against the wall. He went out and asked the nurses for a wash cloth, rinsed it in cool water, and wiped my face off with it. Then he helped me up, got me out to the waiting room, and sat me down.

I don't know how I slept, but I must have, because a nurse came up and asked if I needed anything. I asked what time it was and she said 4:30. Your dad came out of your room and told us there hadn't been any change, good or bad. He told us to go home and get some rest.

Mom came and got us about 5:30 in the morning. I didn't have the heart to call her before that. I asked Greg if he'd stay with me, and he said he'd have to check with his mom, but he'd like to. Mom said it was fine. So did his mom. It was obvious we weren't going to school that day. When we got to my room, I was dead tired. I stripped to my boxers and slipped into bed. Greg did the same. Except he wears briefs. Anyway, in a way I wanted to cry. But I couldn't. How weird is that? I mean, I felt like I should before I went to sleep, but I just couldn't. I thought of you lying there, alone, helpless, naked, drugs flowing into you, fluid being drained from you. Motionless. And I couldn't cry.

Can you forgive me for that?

I held Greg's hand. I heard his breathing get deeper and slower as he fell asleep. Then I did the same, just as the sun was coming up on a bright day.

I slept till about 2:00. Greg was still asleep when I got up. I peed, and went to find mom, who was looking at photographs of us when we were little. All of us. She had tears in her eyes. I sat down beside her and laid my head on her shoulder. She stroked it like she does when she's being particularly loving. She didn't say anything. She was sooo sad. We just sat there about 15 minutes. Then she said, "You know, with a head injury like that, Justin might lose part of his memory. You should write down the things that happened so he can know. And maybe keep a journal till he wakes up."

"You think he will wake up?" I asked.

"I know he will, Danny. He won't leave you."

I went back to my room, and climbed back into bed. Greg was warm. I lay there about 20 minutes and he started to wake up. We ate a little bit, and then I went to my room and started this.

I hope it helps.      

DAY 3 - Friday

After I got done writing that yesterday, Mom took me to the hospital. I'm glad you can't see yourself, Justin. You just lie there sooo still. There are still all sorts of tubes in you. The doctor says you're doing as well as he hoped. But I'm not really sure what that means. I mean, does that mean he doesn't expect you to do well? I expect you to be Justin again. I expect you to be part of the gang again. I expect you to be my lover forever. Your mom and dad are here. They're holding hands, but not saying much. It's real nice of them to let me stay here with you and them. Greg is here, too. So are Richie and Kyle. And Becky. They're out in the waiting room. I can't stay in here very long - only about 10 minutes out of the hour. So they're staying with me out there.

No one has left me alone since the accident. Greg spent the night with me, and then slept with me till afternoon. About the time he went home, Richie came over and stayed. Then Kyle's mom drove us to the hospital. Becky was here. When Greg went home to eat, Richie went with him. Kyle and Becky stayed here till they got back, then the two of them went to eat. Someone has always been here with me. We're lucky guys, Justin, to have friends like that.

Kyle said school was a pretty dreary place today. He said kids were coming up to him all the time asking about you, asking if they could come and see you. He says he told them you were in a coma - oh, god, I can't write that word without shaking - and that they couldn't see you. But, Justin, it didn't stop them. Don and Ronald both came back. Several of our teachers came by - remember Mrs. Kilfoil from kindergarten? She's retired now, I guess. She came by. I mean, besides the guys, there are usually a few of our classmates here.

Oh, and Charlie. Justin, he doesn't know what to do with himself. He loves you like a brother. Mom says he cried himself to sleep. He couldn't concentrate in school. He's been here as much as Mom will let him. He thinks it was soo cool that you wanted to have a camp out with him. He's growing up, Justin. He was waiting out in the waiting room with me for a long time this evening, sitting right next to me.  But for some reason he won't come into the room to see you.

The doctor says a coma is not the same thing as being totally unconscious. It's not the same thing as a sleep. He says you can hear. Is that right, Justin? Can you hear me? Your mom and your dad talk to you sometimes, and hold your hand. I feel sort of silly. I mean, you look like you're asleep. No, you don't really. When you're asleep, you're the sexiest thing in the world. Well, you are when you're awake, too. But I mean, I can watch you sleep all night. But not this, Justin. I can watch you, but you're not, um, sexy. Sorry. You're pale. You have tubes in you. It feels weird to talk to you. I gotta admit, I'm a little embarrassed. I haven't asked them if I could hold your hand.

You get used to the hospital smell after a while. I don't notice it till I go outside and come back in. It's beautiful weather outside. The nights are perfect. I sometimes go out and get some air. I wish you were with me.

I just came out of your room again. It's much later than when I started this. It's about 11:30 at night. The hospital is pretty quiet. I held your hand this time, Justin. I asked your folks if I could and they said of course. So I did. Did you feel it? I held your right hand in both of mine. I rubbed it gently a little. I couldn't rub much because some of the tubes are in the top of your wrist. I hope you felt it, Justin. I hope you wake up soon so we can go home.

DAY 4 - Saturday

Man, I fell asleep. I woke up about an hour and a half ago, leaning up against Greg. Sorry I didn't stay awake all night. We're gonna go get some breakfast.

We're back. The doctor says you're doing better. He was pretty happy. He says when he rubs your chest hard or touches your eyelid you're reacting. He says it shows you might wake up. I'd like to touch you somewhere to see if you'd wake up. Hehehe. I want to feel you next to me, bud. I want to be naked with you so we can do all the things we've done. I want to pinch your nipples and suck your toes and lick your cock. I want you inside me, fucking me hard like you do. Do you know when you're on top of me with your cock inside me you go nuts? Do you realize that, Justin? I mean, you start off like you think you're going to break me. You are slow and gentle. You hold my feet in your hands and work in and out of me. You lean down to kiss me, you lick my nipples and you say sweet things to me.

And you're able to do that for a while. But then the urge to cum overtakes. Your nipples get hard and you start to move faster. You always close your eyes. I don't know what you see, but you go off in a zone. It's like this passion is too much to resist. You start to grind in harder, and your balls start to slap against me. That lasts for a while before you start to use your whole cock, pushing all the way in and pulling almost all the way out, but really, really fast. Jeez you start slamming into me, and what you probably don't realize is that when you start that, you start hitting my prostate. I mean you become a blur, a fucking machine. You don't even know what you're doing any more, I think, and you just fuck. Pounding and pounding. And I can tell when you're about to cum because you suddenly slow down and take three or four good, strong thrusts in and out. Then you let out this loooong moan in the back of your throat, pound in as far as you can go one last time, and then I feel your warmth flow into me. I can, Justin. I can feel it.

Um. Excuse me for a few moments. I gotta find a bathroom.

Well, that's taken care of.

Your folks were having some dinner a little while ago when the nurse said I could go in. It's the first time we've been alone since the accident, my lover. Well, we weren't really alone. Not with all those nurses hanging around. I wanted to kiss you, but there's this tube in your mouth. So I just held your hand. I brushed the side of your head, too. And I told you I love you. I hope you heard it.

It's later now, Justin. Kyle, Greg and Richie just got back from Becky's party. Only it wasn't much of a party. I didn't go. I can't leave. I don't even want to go home and be away from you. Anyway, they said a lot of people came to Becky's, and they all tried to have a good time, but mostly it was pretty quiet. There was music and food, just like always, but there wasn't the laughter and fun. Kyle says Becky is pretty sad. They're spending a lot of time together. So are Greg and I. I'm a little worried about Richie. He seems to be hanging by himself. I'm soo tired, Justin. It's real quiet again. I'm going to lean up against Greg for a while again.

DAY 5- Sunday

Please wake up, Justin. Please. Right now. Please. I'm sooo scared, bud. Let's just go home and lie in bed next to each other. You can sleep there.

I woke up in my own bed. I have no idea how I got there. But there I was. In bed. Mom says she came and got me, but I sure don't remember it. She says I was just out of it. Greg and Richie helped get me to the car, because I was just dead weight. And Greg and Charlie helped carry me in. I guess it was about 1:30. Mom told Greg he could stay. So he slept with me again, and I woke up next to him. But it's not the same thing, Justin.

Wow. You're starting to move. You've just been laying there, but today you're moving a little bit. The doc says that's a good sign. He says it shows you're starting to wake up. But you're not responding to anything yet. You're just moving, like, your hand or your head. But he says he won't know if you're going to be okay for a while. When I asked him what that meant he wouldn't exactly answer me. I don't care, though, bud. We'll make you the same. I'm going to stick with you to help you with whatever you need. If you need help eating, I'm here. If you need help getting dressed, I'll do it. If you need help going to the bathroom, I'll help. If you need help taking a bath I am DEFINITELY there! If you have to beat off, you don't even have to ask! I love you, Justin. I'm not ever leaving.

But I need to talk to you. I want to tell you that I love you, and that I miss you. Can you hear me? I try to tell you. I keep holding your hand, bud. Doc says I should keep talking to you. He says it'll wake you up. Man, I'll talk to you forever. We've been talking about baseball, if you didn't catch it. The Cubs are doing pretty well. Well, for the Cubs, anyway. I think they're gonna make the playoffs as a wildcard. And the thing between Sosa and McGwire! Man. That's really exciting. I wish you could see.


Day 6 - Monday

Oh, god, Justin. I'm sooo sorry. Listen. I don't' know what to say. Justin, I'm so, so, sorry. I didn't mean it. I don't even know why it happened. I don't even know if I can ask you to forgive me. I understand if you want me to go away. I'd give anything to hear your voice, Justin, but right now I'm glad you can't say anything. Just let me be here a few minutes. I'll stay here till you wake up, okay? I mean, I hope you wake up soon, but while you're in a, sleeping, I can at least look at you. I'll never bother you after that. I mean, I know yesterday I wrote I'd never leave you, but I have to now. You're not going to want me around. Not now. I'm soo sorry Justin. I just want you to know that I love you. I have always loved you, bud, and I always will. I don't care what happens the rest of my life, Justin. You will be my love.

I guess you deserve to know what happened. Oh, god. Oh jeez. You gotta believe me, Justin. Neither of us wanted to. To hurt you.

See, Greg and I went home together last night. It was late again. Probably about 1:30this morning actually. Remember yesterday I wrote that you were moving and how happy we were. Well, you stopped moving. The doc said it would be okay. But, Justin, it really got to me. You laid so still those first four days, and to see you move, even just a foot or a finger, just made me soo happy. Greg and I were able to laugh for the first time. But then you stopped. The doc said not to worry, but I did. And the more I thought about it the worse I got. I haven't been sleeping well and I can't eat. No, I gotta stop this. It sounds like I'm the one who's suffering and you're the one with needles and a breathing tube in you. But it seems like I just break into tears soo easily any more.

So anyway, mom came and got us, and said Greg could sleep over again. He's been great, Justin. I think if you hadn't come over to my house that first night you'd have gone to his, and he'd have been as good a friend as I've tried to be. Better, now.

So we went to bed and about two hours afterward I had a nightmare. I saw the whole accident all over again, only this time the paramedics covered your whole body with the blanket - even your head. You were dead, Justin. And I woke up panicking, panting, gasping for breath, sobbing, and I couldn't stop. I just gasped. I couldn't get any air. Like when they first brought you in. I was hyperventilating. And Greg woke up and held me. There was an old McDonald's bag in my room and he found it and held it over my nose and mouth and tried to calm me down. He just held me, my back against his chest, one arm wrapped around me, the other holding the bag. He was whispering into my ear that I'd be okay. And I was. I slowed down, and I was able to breathe again.

When he took the bag away, I turned around and put my cheek against his chest to rest a little. It felt so secure. He held me to him, and stroked my hair. And then...oh, god, Justin, I've missed you so much. I need you. The urge is overwhelming sometimes. I think I started to drift back to sleep in his arms. I don't know. I hope that's what it was, because I stuck out my tongue and licked his nipple. Like I used to with you. He said, "What are you doing?" and I just said, "Shhhhhhhh." And I moved my head to take his nipple in my mouth and I just nibbled it and sucked it. And then I looked at him, and our mouths came together and it was like someone lit a torch. We started kissing. And while we did that, without even breaking the kiss, we tore our shorts off and...and we were all over each other. It happened soo fast, Justin. I'm soo sorry. I couldn't' help myself. I took his cock in my mouth and sucked him. It didn't take long. He shot really fast. We were on the edge, Justin. We've been together so much over the last few days. We've shared so much emotion. We've been touching each other all the time. Almost constantly. And after he shot, he did the same to me. Except that I imagined it was you. Except it wasn't. He can't do to me what you can....could. Used to do. Never will again. Justin, we held each other again after we came. We could hear each other's heart beat. And as our heartbeats slowed, we looked at each other.

"What have we done?" Greg asked. He meant to you. He didn't mean what did HE do, like turning gay or anything. I don't think he was all that embarrassed about that. No, he was talking about what have we done to you? But it wasn't him, Justin. He's still your friend. He's a faithful friend. He didn't start it. I started it. I licked his nipple. He didn't make a promise to you. I did. I made that promise, and I broke it. It isn't Greg's fault. He's still your friend. Go to him, Justin. I think he loves you. He'll never do to you what I did. Never. He's been here almost as much as I have. He's been sooo worried about you, bud. Yeah, I think he loves you. All the guys do, Justin. Kyle and Becky were here again today. So was Richie. Oh, I forgot to tell you, Richie sprained his ankle washing the upstairs windows. He was getting off the ladder and jumped the last few rungs and landed wrong. Even though he's on crutches, he was here tonight. He was holding your hand for a while.

And your mom and dad. They don't talk much in your room. They sit by you all the time, and talk to you and stroke your cheek. They let us be in there, too. The nurses are really nice. They didn't used to be. They tried to keep us out. But doc says it's important you hear us, especially after he found out how close we all are. So now the nurses are great about letting us in. I almost got to stay while they gave you a sponge bath, hehehe.

Oh, Justin. I'm sooo sorry. I know that sounds hollow. I don't know anything else to say. It won't happen again. Except it might. I mean, how could you ever trust me again? I can't trust myself. I promise never, ever to let it happen, as long as we're together, lover. Never. But I know you can't trust me.

You've been moving again today. Doc says you're breathing more on your own, that the respirator is only helping now. It's soo cool. You're gonna be fine, bud. You're gonna bet out of here and play ball with us and ride bikes with us and camp out with us....well, with the guys. I won't bother you. When you wake up, I'll say good bye. Maybe I'll ask for a kiss. Maybe just a hug. Just don't hit me. That's all I ask. I'm soo sorry, Justin. I'm soo sorry.

I don't have anything to add to today. I'm just gonna sit here for a while, then go home. Greg won't be staying over tonight.

Good night, my bud. I'm sorry.

Day 7 - Tuesday

Oh SHIT! YOU SQUEEZED MY HAND! Just now! Justin, I've been holding your hand, and I asked you to squeeze it, and you moved your fingers. It wasn't a real squeeze, but you moved your fingers when I asked.

This is soo cool, Justin. Come on, bud. Squeeze my hand again. YOU DID! YOU DID IT! Wait here. I"m gonna go tell Kyle and Richie and not Greg. Yes, of course Greg. Oh, god, I'm sorry Justin. This is like the greatest moment of my life and I can't be completely happy because of what Greg and I...what we

Your mom says you squeezed her hand earlier today. I didn't know that. Soo cool. You are fantastic, my love. Man, I can feel you trying soo hard to wake up. I can feel it in you. Doc says if you keep going he'll take you off the respirator. It's really only helping you right now. You're taking most of your breaths on your own. Oh, man. Wait till I tell everyone at school. Yeah, I gotta go to school. It's where I've been all day. I just get blasted with questions. Even Mr. Brown and Dwimmer ask about you. All the teachers do. Everyone does. I answered a million questions today.

Becky says she's gonna have another party when you get out. It's gonna be in your honor, Justin. Squeeze my hand again. Okay, maybe later. Anyway, she's gonna have the party when you get out and invite the whole grade. The whole school maybe, hahahaha. Wouldn't that be neat? You'll have such a great time. Everyone is so eager to have you out and back in school. I mean, I know you're getting out of school lying there, but really, wouldn't you rather be suffering through school and able to be up and around? I'd rather have you up especially.

Oh, god. I forgot. I won't ever see you that way. I won't ever see your beautiful body. All I can say is that I've been lucky enough to have you. I can be happy the rest of my life, because we shared ourselves. Now you can go on with your life, and I'll go on with mine. Maybe we can still have a malt at Snyder's or something. I'd like that, if you'll let me go there with you. Maybe a group of us can go. Like Kyle and Richie. And Greg. Don't blame him, Justin. It's my fault.

Hey, I just got off the phone with Richie. He and Kyle are coming down. They were pretty excited to hear about you starting to wake up. Man, they've been worried. They haven't been at the hospital as much as Greg and I, but they call or visit for a few minutes every night. Both of them. And then they field questions from everyone else. Hehehe, they might be p.r. agents some day. I get discouraged about you now and then. But Kyle and Richie are always there to bring me back up.

Greg didn't stay over last night. We thought it would be better that way. So after I went to bed, I couldn't sleep. I just lay there tossing and turning. And pretty soon, the door opened, and Charlie came in. He's never done that. Then without saying anything, he just climbed into bed with me.

It's like, everyone thinks I can't sleep alone. But I think they're just worried about me because you and I are so close...well, we WERE so close. He's growing up, Charlie is. I told you he can take me down. Well, when we were in bed he asked how I was doing. I said okay, but he kept pressing me. I tried not to cry, but the tears leaked out. So he just talked to me about growing up with you. He remembers things I don't. I guess you made an impression on him. Like the time we wanted to paint your bike red because you said you didn't like blue any more. He wanted to help, but instead of helping he stepped in the can of paint you'd gotten out of your garage, and ran around leaving red barefoot prints all over the driveway. Mom was going to be angry, but when she saw them she said it looked like an Arthur Murray's Dance Studio gone mad! HAHAHAHA.

He remembers that it was you who taught him how to swing out over the water at the swimming hole on the rope tied to the tree branch. Remember that? We could have killed ourselves. We used to do that a lot. Remember about three years ago when we went up there the day after that huge thunderstorm? The tree was blown over. I still think it was a tornado. Maybe a little one. But everything was thrown around. It was that really, really hot day. We spent most of it playing in the basement because it was cool down there. And it got real still and humid, and about 4:00 those big black clouds came in. You and me and Charlie laid on the deck and watched them roll in, watched the lightning till mom told us to come in. I think it was a tornado. He's not a little kid anymore, Justin. He's getting big. And I think he wanted to be with me not for me, but for himself. I've sort of ignored him through all of this, but he's hurting too, Justin.

I've been telling you about all the things Kyle and Richie and Greg and you and I used to do, Justin. Doc says those are good things to talk about, because you're familiar with them and it might help you wake up. It's about 10:00 and mom's coming to get me because I have to go to school tomorrow. I'll have mom bring me by before school, and then I'll come back after school gets out. I love you, Justin. I hope you believe that, no matter what else has happened.

Good night, my lover.

Day 8 - Wednesday

I wish I didn't have to go to school. I wish I could sit here all day with you. I miss you soo much when I'm not here. I think it's mostly selfish. You're going to read this when you wake up, and you're not going to want me around. I've been thinking. It's twice that I've betrayed you since I told you I love you. The first was Mr. Brown's class when I made you cum. It led to the fight. I begged you not to leave me. Now this. But this time I can't beg. I have no right to beg. I've destroyed your trust a second time. I can't do it again.

Greg and I have talked a lot since this happened. He's confused, Justin, about his feelings. He doesn't think he's gay. I don't either. I think it was just that we'd shared so much emotion. We were completely drained, and we'd leaned on each other for days. We were exhausted, physically and emotionally. He's been here with us, Justin, waiting for you to wake up. He's been badgering the doctors and nurses with all kinds of questions. Sort of funny. You know, I've known Greg ever since he moved into the neighborhood when we were all three. I know almost everything that's happened to him. But I didn't know he was dyslexic. Did you? You must have. He's struggled so hard over the years to learn to read. I knew he didn't get as good of grades as you and I, but he's not a bad student. He wants to go to college and study engineering. And all these years he's had to work so hard just to read the books for school! And what a friend, Justin! He's really, really concerned for you. Sometimes when I come back from the bathroom or from getting a drink, he'll be sitting here with your hand in his, just looking at you.

Anyway, the reason I wish I didn't have to go to school is because I miss so much. I came here right from school - Becky's dad drove me over - and they had your breathing tube out. I missed it. You're moving a lot. You squeeze my fingers when I ask. You're just not responding to other things. Why not, Justin? Wake up for me, bud.

Becky and I have been talking a lot. She's a really upbeat person. I can see how you got to be such good friends with her. I just don't understand why you two never dated. You're exactly alike. Maybe that's why. Anyway, she asked me why I've been so sad these last two days. I lied and said it was because I miss you so much, and want you so badly to wake up. I couldn't tell her about Greg and me. I just couldn't admit that I cheated on you. She's so smart, Justin, that I'm afraid she suspects. But if she does she's not letting on, and she's not asking me about it. I mean, I think having grown up on a farm, Becky's become so life-smart. You know what I mean? I don't just mean common sense. I mean she's calm, level-headed and very thoughtful. Not just thoughtful as in "nice", but thoughtful as in she thinks a lot about a lot of things. Jeez, I'm making a mess of this. But she doesn't just make statements to hear herself talk. I really like her. She's helped comfort me. I've told her how much I love you, and I think she understands. It's been a huge relief to be able to talk to someone about you that way. Greg is...oh, god, Justin, I'm soo sorry. I can't even talk about....Kyle and Richie don't know, so I can't talk to them. Becky is it. She's helped me through this whole episode, and given me an understanding ear to talk to.

She left a few minutes ago. I'm staying at the hospital with you tonight, bud. I may not get to be with you much more.

Day 9 - Thursday

Nine days without you. You know, when we had our fight and it was a couple of months, it was hard to do. But I knew you were okay. I was lonely, but I deserved it. I think you were lonely, too, but you didn't deserve it.

Now this. You certainly don't deserve this. This is soo much worse, Justin. So much worse than being apart from you because of a fight. You shouldn't be going though this. You shouldn't have to suffer for something you had no part in. Getting hit by a baseball - who could have seen that happening? Why would such a thing happen to you? I want to take it all away. I want to roll back the calendar a week and make you take a shower with me instead of going out to play ball. I want to take you home that night and play around. I want to see you the next day in school, and go with you to Becky's party that Saturday. I want you to stay over night after the party and I want to make love to every single inch of you. I want to try some new things, and go back to some old ones. I want to see you in the weight room and in classes and at lunch. I haven't eaten lunch since this happened. I'm skipping out early on weights. Coach is getting a little mad at me, but when I told him you were starting to wake up, he understood.

Your eyes are open today, Justin. It's like you're hearing things, they're just not making sense. You got strawberry Jell-O today for lunch. But someone had to feed you. Since you're starting to eat, they've taken some of the tubes out of you. And they've taken the one out of your head, too. The doc said after the surgery you still had fluid that needed to be drained, but that's gone now. I suppose they'll move you to a quieter room one of these days if you don't

Doc says you'll probably have to go through therapy, and you might never play baseball again. I mean, pick-up games, okay, but maybe not high school or college. I hope you can. I know some ball players have been able to come back after injuries like this. Whatever you want, Justin. I'll help you get there.

Not much else to write, bud. It's about midnight. Mom let me stay a little late. I gotta go home. Greg's not staying with me any more. Now Richie has been coming over. I'll be back tomorrow. I love you, Justin. And I will forever.

Day 10 - Friday.

Hi, Justin. It's late. I'm about ready for bed. It'll be the end of the happiest day of my life. The day I heard you say you love me had been the happiest. But this day, when you said my name, surpasses that by a mile. You were asleep when Greg and I got there after school - we didn't wait a minute after school to get here - so we just waited. Your mom had said you were having a really good day. We were so excited. Greg grabbed my hand and we just held onto each other, waiting for you.

I stroked your arm and said your name softly. "Justin," just softly. And then you opened your eyes. And they focused on me. It's the first time in 10 days that you've really looked at me. And then you said, "Hi, Danny. Hi, Greg." I didn't want you to see me cry. But I couldn't help it. I love you.

I admire you, Justin Reynolds. I've watched you battle your way through this. You never gave up. You were beautiful. Every single day you made progress. You didn't let this get you down, bud. You fought through the fog, the pain and the drugs. I've heard the kids say what an inspiration it is to watch you. They're still calling, many of them, and those that don't call stop one of us in the halls each day asking how you are. Teachers ask, the principal asks, everyone asks. I think they see something in you that makes them proud to know you, Justin. I do. From the confusion on the ball field that first day to your wakefulness today, you've fought And now you've won.

So I'll stop this journal and bring it in to you tomorrow. You don't have to read it right away. I don't know if I have the nerve to tell you to your face what I did to you. I may be just enough of a coward to let you read it in these pages. In either case, our time together is short, I'm afraid. But, Justin, I want you to know, in print, forever written down on these pages, that you are my love, the love of my entire life, now and forever. You have my heart, and no one will ever replace you. My friend, my bud, my lover.

I am sorry.


Danny. Oh, Danny. I forgive you. I've never had anyone care for me the way you do. We can be together forever and ever. Lovers to each other. I understand. No one would have stayed with me that long or gone through what you did. Oh, god, Danny, all my life you've been there. How could I reject you again?
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