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A short story I wrote entitled "Get Clean." enjoy: - Writers Nook

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I.
I remember you like a filmstrip memorizes a photo. You were like a snapshot as I entered that hospital room. Blue from head to foot, I stepped in through the threshold. You were asleep, and you looked as if you were dead. But it looked like your chest might be moving and the monitors were blipping steadily, your heart the metronome. I convinced myself you were fine and I studied your face. your lips were so dry, you had gone without water for a day or so while you lay unconscious. Your sustenance was dripped intravenously down a tube from your I.V. and yet your skin looked pale and malnourished next to the worn green-blue of your gown. Your skin was bruised on your arms and your hands were cold as I subconsciously grabbed hold of your limp palm. I looked at the Kokopelli tattoo on your wrist and smiled just a little. The patient in the next bed rolled over. I jumped back surprised by the movement in the room. I drew the thick x-ray proof curtains around your bed, encapsulating you and I and my supplies. I spit out my spearmint gum. I slipped on gloves and prepared to bathe you. In all my four weeks volunteering at the hospital, you were the first patient I was happy to be washing. Your body, emaciated and skinny, still retained some of the familiar features that I knew from before. I unsnapped the buttons on your gown and wet a washcloth. I started washing your feet, the joints stiff from lying still for so long...

II.
...My feet were hurting from walking for so long to get there. It was 2:00 in the morning and the sky rumbled half-heartedly. The light from my hometown lit the sky hazily. I was a nervous wreck, I had never snuck out of my house before. You had told me to meet you at the bridge, but I got there first. Then, you called me and told me I had to come get you. There were dogs barking, and they sounded big. You didn't want to walk by them. I remember thinking that for someone who was so much more experienced than me, you were a wimp. I sighed and decided to come save you. It wasn't a decision really, I sometimes can't keep myself from saving people. I walked on the outrageously hilly road until I heard the dogs barking. I told you I was close, you thanked me. As I walked past those dogs that were tied to an oak tree I realized this was the first time I would see you in person. I started feverishly regretting leaving my house, I wanted to turn around. I was getting myself into something huge. I made it to the rise and I saw you standing there. I counted to 5, trying to let go for the first time in my whole life. I called out to you, and smiled. You walked into the streetlight. I couldn't deny. You were just beautiful. The light was low, but I could tell your eyes were blue. Your lips were full. The wind blew and the thunder gurgled. I smelled the results of my long walk to get here. I tell you I smell like shit. You tell me that's fine, you tell me I can take a shower at your house. I smiled and said thanks. You smiled and said I was cute. I blushed, I was thinking about saying something back, but then you asked me if I smoked marijuana. You laughed afterward nervously, I said no. You asked if I wanted to try some. I said no. I apologized for being so stuck up and you said it was nothing. We walked in silence and I felt just a little pride in staying above the influence, even when someone as beautiful as you had asked me...

III.
...We made it to your house around 2:30. I kept checking my phone for the time and my battery kept going down. You started smoking a cigarette, then asked if it bothered me. I said no, even though it did. I was just so out of my element then, I'd never been exposed to someone like you. I had been under the impression that people like you were unredeemable, controlled by their addictions. And that was true of you. I hoped that if our relationship ever became something real I would be able to try to help you get clean. Your porch light was on and there was a metal ornament next to the door. A simplified man with a curved back and playing what looked like a flute. I asked you what it was. You called it Kokopelli, you said it was a Native American deity of fertility and music. I didn't know what to make of it so I said cool and walked into your house behind you. You lived by yourself, and your house was small. We went to your bedroom quickly. You had red covers on your bed that was the biggest splash of color in your whole house. I went to your bathroom and used your shower. It felt strange to be showering this late, everything dark out the window. I finished and slipped on the clothes you gave me. I called out for you and you called back from your room...

IV.
...Before I knew what was happening you were kissing me. Your lips tasted just a little like what cigarettes smell like. It was smoother though. There was stubble on your skin, and it sent shivers down my spine. I smiled in the kiss and slid away to look into your eyes. You said that I tasted great. You rubbed my crotch with your hand and smiled. I saw the tattoo for the first time. You said that you were going to thank me for saving you from the dogs. I didn't tell you that I saw that they were tied up yet. I wouldn't have the chance to as you put your lips back on mine and your arms wrapped around to grab my legs and pull them up around your waist. I sighed into your mouth as you pulled away and whispered that I was the sexiest guy ever. I wasn't sure if I agreed, but I went along with what was happening and tried to enjoy myself. You know as well as me that people like us don't really get a chance to express these feelings like 'normal' people. We take it where we can get it. But you, I was very happy that I was getting it from you...

V.
...I was lying my head on your chest and listening to your heart beat. I had just caught my breath. Your covers were all bunched on the floor at the foot of your bed in a red pile, with tufts of the white sheets here and there. I kissed the skin on your shoulder and asked if you wanted to ever go on a real date. You said that you weren't looking for a relationship but you would definitely like to hook up again. I didn't tell you, but what you said hurt me deeply. I was hoping maybe you would be my first boyfriend. I left a little bit after that, you walked me back to where we had met, next to the house with the dogs. You kissed me, I was disappointed and I didn't kiss back too much. You asked why and I said I was tired. It was around 3:30 after all. I walked by the dogs and they didn't bark once...

VI.
...You let me know that your car would be out of the shop soon before I walked away. I decided I wasn't going to try this again. I really liked you but you didn't want to date me. You also smoked, and that bothered me. There was so much in the way of us working. All of these doubtful thoughts manifested in my mind on the walk home. It was darker now, and the sky was lit with lightning, the thunder more ferocious. Trapped in my mind I started to go crazy thinking about all of the things that happened. Then to top it off it started raining hard. My clothes were getting soaked and the thunder cracked and rolled like God himself was coming down and punishing me. I cried in the rain and ran the rest of the way home. I stepped in my back door at 4:30. I was soaked and sobbing. I stood myself up against the fridge and stripped my clothes, putting them in the laundry after drying the puddle I left with my pants. I took another shower. In my muddled state I thought I could wash you off of me. I was a mess. You made me a mess. If only you had known. I sat under the shower head and fell asleep in the bathtub. Around 5:10 I woke up and turned the water off. I went in my bedroom and my computer was still open from when I left 4 hours ago. It was open to your Facebook page. I saw your profile photograph and almost cried again. I turned the computer off and fell asleep, thinking about how stupid I was...

VII.
...I woke up at 2:00 in the afternoon. I was sore from all the things we did. That I had let you do to me. I cringed and went about my day. You called me and we talked for awhile. You said you wanted to get to know me better. I talked about me for awhile and you made me feel a little better after my nightmarish experiences the night before. You even got me to laugh. I was crushing on you again, and you seemed to like me too. I asked you why, you said I was innocent. You told me that I had a lot of things you envied. Again, I didn't quite understand why you wanted that. I just smiled because you actually wanted to talk to me. No guy had ever just talked to me and told me I was beautiful. You did that for me. And I think you meant it. A few days later I asked if I could be your boyfriend. You said yes, and I was so happy. I met with you again and we went to a park. I held your hand, and you didn't smoke a single cigarette while we were hanging out. It made me feel special since you had told me that you smoked a pack a day. When you dropped me off at my house I gave you a kiss through the driver's window. You drove away in your ratty old car and I smiled inwardly and walked through the front door...

VIII.
...You made me happier than anyone ever had. I was ready to tell you I loved you. You didn't call for a day or so. Then a few days later you called me. You were high. You told me that you were a mess. You were crying in the phone. You said that you didn't want to fuck up my life. You told me that you were breaking up with me and then you hung up. I tried to call back. You didn't answer. I called you again the next morning. No answer. I called you back at lunch time. No answer. I called you back the next day. No answer. I called you after my first day of volunteering at the hospital. No answer. I called you the next day. No answer. I called you on my birthday. No answer. I called you the day I got my driver's license. No answer. I called you the next day...

IX.
And now you are here, laying in front of me. You're naked on the hospital bed. Your monitor is beeping at the same rate as when I discovered you. I'm washing you. I'm wishing you would wake up, so I could ask you what happened. I'm watching your shallow chest heave slowly. I'm remembering everything they told us in orientation for the volunteer program. How to use a fire extinguisher, how to take vitals. How to treat patients. But as I'm washing your face, and making sure to avoid bruises I realize how beautiful you still are. I wonder if you can hear, as sometimes people in comas have one or more of their senses still working. I want to tell you I love you and it will be alright but the other patient just turned on their TV. I am overcome with all that you made me feel and I lean in. I can barely feel your breath, your face is clean shaved. I bring my lips to yours and and kiss you.

X.
The monitors keep beeping at the same rate. I thought that my kiss would bring you out of it. Frustrated, I put a new gown on you. I pull open the thick curtains and throw away my gloves as I hear a loud moan behind me. I turn around and see the woman in the other bed. She is convulsing and then she vomits on herself. I run out to tell a nurse and he runs in. There are monitors beeping everywhere and the noise is so loud. Doctors run in and soon the woman is pulled out of the room and rushed to ICU. I stay behind, as I'm not allowed to go into ICU. I turn around to look at you one last time. Your eyes are open now. My heart skips a beat. I go over beside you. Your eyes move over to me and they focus. Your mouth moves a little. Then you say my name. I say its going to be alright. You tell me that you were so scared until I kissed you. You remembered the kiss. You said that you remembered the taste perfectly. Spearmint. I smiled and held your hand and told you it was going to be okay. You told me the last thing you remember was going to your marijuana supplier and begging for weed, then massive pain in your head. You told me you had no money and you had sold your house since we last spoke. You told me you had been lonely. I told you I had been lonely too. Then you surprise me. You tell me that you love me. I look at you for the longest time. You start crying, you tell me that you are sorry for putting me through this. I tell you it's okay. I tell you that I want to help you. I tell you that I love you. I kiss you sweetly. I say we will make it together. You smile and tell me that you are willing to try. Then you laugh as you tell me my blue scrubs look ridiculous. Three days later, you are admitted from the hospital. I take you out to my car to drive you home. I ask you if you want to go get cigarettes. You say yes. We go to the store and you get a pack. I tell you I'm never buying you another one again and you say fine. You light up and take a huff and cough harshly. You ask for a drink and I get you one. You say they taste awful and throw the pack away. I hold your hand and take you to your friend's house. You kiss me through the driver's window then start to walk away. Your friend asks you if you want some weed and I hear you say no as you open the door. You smile at me from the porch.

You look so much better already.


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Posted

Thank you for the opportunity to read, your short story, Clayton. I sincerely hope you pursue this talent further. You have a gift. I just hope that those who've taken the time to read it, get something out of it. Human emotions tend to cloud over personal feelings. Eventually, those clouds clear and you can see clearly. Sacrifices are made, for when someone so special is close, you take that leap of faith. Obviously it took a severe tragedy for one to realize that life is short and to seize an opportunity to share one's life. There was something genuine in that kiss, which brought his prince, back to life. A love so pure and strong. After being down for such a long time, the first drag off of a cigarette made him cough, hard enough that he gave it up. He turned down the offer of weed. 2 habits that his boyfriend didn't like. He made the conscious effort to come clean, for the sake of his boyfriend. Thanks again, Clayton. I'll watch for more of your work. Cheers! =)


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thank you I appreciate that you got something out of it. It is partly true and quite personal for me and I'm glad it translated well.


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YQW.


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Gabriel_Gomez_42715
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I really liked it! I look forward to reading more from u


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thank you, although not all of my work will be like this, I'm sure. I think I have a style though and I hope it shines through in later works

thank you


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Janie_Krenz
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very powerful, I was there with you!


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thanks, friend!


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