|notreallyme10 (notreallyme10) wrote,|
@ 2007-08-20 12:14:00
Post 513 Series
Originally posted: 4/26/07 LJ
Warnings: Character death (not B/J).
When it rains, it fucking pours. I feel like we are in the middle of a god damned monsoon.
Debbie was first.
Apparently she had been feeling sick for a few weeks. I think Mikey mentioned it once, but I didn’t give it much thought because he said she had a flu she was having a hard time shaking. It was only about a month and a half after she started feeling bad that the doctors first suggested cancer. Mikey called me, but I can’t say I took it too seriously. Sounded to me like Mikey and the doctors were over reacting. Not to mention, its hard to imagine anything getting the better of Debbie.
I should be fucking old enough to realize that nothing happens the way you think it will.
The cancer was bad - aggressive. For the first few weeks the doctors made noises about treatments. The plan was supposed to be to strengthen her up a bit and then some sort of combination of surgery, chemo and radiation. It all sounded familiar to me and as hard as I knew it would be, I thought she would pull through.
Maybe Justin’s turning me into an optimist.
Only in hindsight, Justin seemed to be the only one who realized what was happening besides maybe the doctors.
I think the doctors always knew. They just dole out the information slowly as they think you can handle it.
A few weeks passed and instead of being ready for treatment she was feeling worse. The doctors finally let the rest of us in on what the fuck was going on.
That was about the time we headed back to Pittsburgh for a while.
It was also just about the time Ben started to deteriorate.
Maybe it was the stress or maybe just the natural progression of the disease. Right from the beginning I could see where this was heading. Lucky me.
To make matters worse - as if that was possible at this point - they sent Deb home from the hospital to die, right around the time they checked Ben in.
Mikey is strong. Stronger then he knows. Stronger than most people realize. But this is too much shit for any one person to take.
I wanted to be there for him and for Debbie. She is the closest thing to a real mother I ever had. For the most part she is flat out crazy and I’m not exaggerating. But she taught me one thing, showed me one thing, that no one else ever had.
Debbie loved me completely unconditionally. As much as I pissed her off, as much as she yelled and railed, I always knew she loved me. I’m not sure how she did that.
Mikey loved me too, but it was a different kind of love, one laced with attraction. Debbie was the only one to love me the way she did.
As hard as I fought Justin, he never would have gotten in if it wasn’t for Deb.
The first few weeks after the prognosis were hard, but manageable. We stayed at the loft, visited Ben in the hospital daily, spent time with Deb at the house and ran whatever errands Mikey had for us.
I’m not sure what Mikey would have done without Carl who had retired about six months before. As it was he was running himself fucking ragged between the hospital and Deb’s place.
He had some helpers at the store and Justin worked out a schedule of employees to cover things there.
But all the help we had to offer couldn’t change anything.
Ben’s meds had been changed and there was some improvement, but he was so weak, it felt like too little, too late. He was holding on, staying positive, but I think he knew like the rest of us.
Then Debbie started to lose it. Her kidneys had stopped functioning and the toxins building up in her body began to affect her brain.
Thank God for those weeks where she was lucid enough to say her goodbyes and fuck him for the weeks that followed.
At first it was just a little confusion and difficulty following conversations. The first time she looked at me and didn’t recognize me I freaked the fuck out.
I feel like shit about it, I should have been strong for Mikey and Carl and even Justin. But I wasn’t. I just had to get out of there.
On the side of the road a few blocks away, the only thought I remember having after empting my stomach was why couldn’t it have been Joan.
And then I fell of the wagon, so to speak.
The only thing worse then telling Justin I let a trick suck my dick was the way he reacted.
When I crawled into bed hours after leaving Deb’s house - reeking of alcohol - not telling him wasn’t even something I considered.
He pulled me close and said, "I know. Its OK."
And then I cried - for the first time. Not the way I would cry to Mikey when we were kids and things were particularly bad at home. Not like I cried to Mikey when my dad died. I cried like I have never cried before.
When I finally calmed down, Justin pulled back, looked at me and said, "We’re fine."
I didn’t understand it, but I knew he meant it.
He flipped off the light over the bed.
"Don’t do this to yourself. Don’t wait for your breaking point, let it out first."
We both knew that was as much as he could say without pushing too far. I knew we would talk more about the trick later, but this would be the last mention of my little breakdown.
Justin was amazing on all fronts.
He made food, helped with the store, read to Ben and watched movies with Deb. Held her hand, rubbed her back. He made charts to keep her meds straight and organized the nursing schedule. He did his best to calm her when she was agitated and so out of it she didn’t recognize any of us.
He hugged Mikey and kept Carl company late at night over cups of coffee that he made.
He forgave me completely, immediately, all the while letting me know he expected more from me. He did just what Debbie would have done.
He cried. He mourned. But he never broke. Not the way I felt like I was breaking.
I was torn between feeling completely useless and simply being grateful he was shouldering the weight of this thing I couldn’t change.
It's not that I didn’t want to help. But I couldn’t stand to watch the indignities of what happens to a person that sick. I couldn’t do the things for Deb that I had done not that many years ago for Gus. It was killing me to see her that way.
The night Mikey showed up at our door at one in the morning and nearly collapsed into my arms when I opened it, I felt relieved. Its shitty to say but I was relieved that he still needed me. That there was something I could do.
Justin cleared out with little more than a look passed between us. I don’t know where he went but I didn’t see him again until I called him to meet me for lunch the next day.
I held Mikey while he cried for hours. I held him like I used to hold him and he used to hold me. Like a lover. Only without the any underlying sexual tension. But with the physical closeness and affection I have only ever felt with him and Justin.
I soothed him with meaningless words of how I would always be there for him. Of how much I loved him.
In the morning he seemed to feel a little better, or at least less burdened.
My lunch with Justin was quiet. Its like we could feel the approaching doom.
Without saying a word I took him home and fucked him as hard as I could.
He didn’t say anything when I slipped on a condom. We had long since gotten past this argument with myself as the victor for once. We would return to fucking raw after three months when my test came back clean and I would never make the same mistake again.
It was brutal. I pounded into him while he pulled at me with his arms and legs, clawing my back with his nails. His teeth sinking into my skin wherever they could reach.
I was silent, but Justin sobbed.
If I was more coherent I might have been worried that I was hurting him. But he came more than once so I suppose my concern would have been wasted anyway.
When I came it was excruciating and fucking amazing all at once.
Debbie died three days later.
Ben was too sick to attend the funeral. He too had been moved home to die as comfortably as possible. I think it was out of respect for Debbie and concern for Mikey that he held on for two more weeks.
When the end finally comes the terrible relief that it brings causes almost unbearable guilt. And yet it is still better than the draining feeling of waiting for death.
We should all be so lucky as to be hit by a fucking bus.
The night of Ben’s funeral I wake Justin up from a nightmare, the likes of which I haven’t seen since he moved in with me after the bashing. I hold him while he cries and begs me to never die.
Mikey makes all the right faces. Accepts condolences and takes care of Carl and Hunter.
I’m not sure if I’m the only one who can see the deadness in his eyes. I worry that this kind of heartbreak is the type of thing that breaks a person. That he will never bounce back.
The thought of him going home to an empty house makes me sick to my stomach. Thinking of him lying in the bed where Ben died keeps me up at night.
And yet life goes on. That’s all it can do. It happens all around us until we can’t hold off anymore ourselves and we have to join it.
In Pittsburgh, I feel that there is nothing more for us to do, but in New York I feel like I have abandoned my best friend. The crushing weight of sadness seems to follow me everywhere and yet that thought only makes me wonder how much harder it is on him.
When we travel back to Pittsburgh only three weeks after we left, for Christmas, Justin is smart enough to have scheduled to have the floors redone at the loft during our visit.
Mikey’s bright enough to see right through us but lonely enough to not say a word.
I can hear him crying at night. But during the day I see the Mikey I know returning to life. It's just small things like a real smile at something funny Justin says or his excitement at seeing JR again so soon.
When Linds and Mel ask him to take JR for a whole month during the coming summer I can see in his eyes that he is going to pull through.
On the last night of our stay I wake up to find I’m alone in bed. I head downstairs only to find Justin and Mikey at the dinning room table laughing and plotting over a sketch pad.
Ben is going to make a damn good super hero.