My Life is You Ch. 13bymypussyandyours©
Seth was very proud of the fact that he was a patient person. He knew that it would get him nowhere to rant and rave when there was a long line at the grocery store or the person driving in front of him was coasting along at ten miles per hour below the posted speed limit. Oh sure, those were annoyances, but they were so minor in comparison to life's major annoyances that he just didn't bother getting upset about them.
When he did become impatient, he made it a point not to take it out on innocent bystanders. An over-worked waitress just couldn't help it if she took just a moment longer to get his food to the table. No matter how hungry he was or how much of a hurry he was in, if she were doing her best, he couldn't fault her. The same went for visits to the doctor's office. Everyone always seemed to get upset when they were kept waiting for a long time, but the moment they got in there, they wanted to discuss every ailment, every ache, every pain, every symptom they could think of; they did not want the doctor rushing off to see another patient until they were through.
Having said all this, Seth was definitely feeling impatient at the moment and he was close to the boiling point. He rarely let his temper go, which made it all the more dangerous once it was allowed to erupt. He watched as nurses bustled up and down the hall or stood at the nurse's station across from his room and gossiped about their evenings from yesterday.
It was 9:00 a.m. and he had been told he'd be released at 8:00 a.m. His brother was here and Seth was ready to go. Dillon was waiting for him and this would be their first chance to spend the whole day together without either of them hiding their feelings.
Of course, that could only happen if he could manage to LEAVE THE DAMN HOSPITAL! Seth sighed and rubbed his forehead with one hand, trying to remind himself that getting upset would do him no good.
It didn't work. Pushing off from the bed, he began to pace the room. Since it was a small semi-private hospital room (and he was incredibly grateful that he had not had a roommate this go-around!) pacing consisted more of marching from the nightstand to the opposite wall four strides away, executing a smart turn, and marching back only to start over again. Eric simply sat in the chair placed in the corner by the window and watched him, saying nothing.
Even that got on Seth's nerves all of a sudden. Usually he and Eric could communicate without ever saying anything. They were always comfortable just being together, even if nothing was ever said. Today, though, Seth only wanted to see one person and Eric wasn't him.
He whirled, starting toward the door. Rude or not, Seth was ready to demand that the nurses get off their asses and find his doctor so that he could be discharged. Before he even reached the door he turned back again. Yelling at the nurses would do no good. They didn't have the authority to summon his doctor if his life weren't in danger.
An hour later and Seth was feeling more like a caged animal than ever before. He was bristling with impatience, his hands clenching in fists as he fought to restrain himself.
Finally the doctor arrived for his final check-up before he could be released. Seth barely managed to restrain himself throughout the exam. He was obvious in his impatience, he couldn't help it, but he refused to be rude.
The final formality was almost the last straw. He had been walking for the past two hours, pacing up and down his room. It seemed absurd to require him to ride in a wheelchair as he left. When he pointed that out to the orderly standing next to the wheelchair, he was just given a blank look. Seth sighed and got in. Catching sight of Eric's attempt to hide a grin, he growled.
"I love you too, baby bro," Eric replied.
The sun was bright in the sky as they left the hospital. Eric had run ahead to get his car while Seth was being brought down. Now, the black Saturn Ion sat idling at the curb. Eric opened the door with a grin as the orderly wheeled the chair forward. Extending his hand, Eric offered Seth a pair of sunglasses and he gratefully took them, slipping them onto his face.
Once they were in the car and driving off the hospital's property, Seth leaned his head back against the seat with a sigh. "I was beginning to think they were never going to let me go."
"I noticed," Eric chuckled. "What happened to my patient little brother?"
"He fell in love and then wasn't allowed to spend any time with his man!" Seth replied.
"Well, we're on the way there now, so you don't need to scowl anymore. You wouldn't want to scare Jeremy into slamming the door in your face, now do you?"
Seth couldn't stop a smile from forming on his face. The closer they got to Dillon, the lighter his heart felt. By the time they pulled into Jeremy's driveway, Seth felt as though he could have floated to the door.
When Jeremy answered the door, there was a tense expression on his face. "Hey, Seth, how you feeling?" he asked, stepping back to let them in.
"Great!" Seth replied. "It's so good to be free and I can't wait to see Dillon. Is he in the living room? Never mind, I hear his voice," Seth said, following the sound of Dillon's voice. He didn't notice the hand Jeremy raised to stop him.
Entering the living room of Jeremy's house, Seth looked around. Dillon was seated on a couch next to a man Seth didn't recognize. Before Seth could even open his mouth to speak, Dillon took the man's hand and said, "You know I'll always love you Brad."
"Can I talk to you for a moment?" Brad asked.
"And if I say no?" Dillon responded, sinking back down onto the couch.
"Then, I'll go away," Brad said. "But I think we'll always both regret that we didn't have this conversation."
"I guess it's a pretty important conversation then," Dillon reasoned. "We might as well have it."
He felt the cushion next to him sink as Brad sat down next to him. There was an awkward silence. Brad didn't seem to know how to start and Dillon wasn't really sure he had much to say.
"I heard what happened," Brad began hesitantly. "Are you alright?"
"I'm pretty good," Dillon said. "Definitely better than Seth. He went through a lot more than I ever did."
Again there was an uncomfortable silence. Finally, Brad cleared his throat and tried again, "About this thing with Seth . . ."
Dillon waited. He didn't know that his relationship with Seth was any of Brad's business and he took offense at having it called a "thing", so he didn't feel any need to respond.
"I mean, how serious are the two of you?"
"Very serious," Dillon answered honestly. "Seth is more to me than you could ever imagine."
"Does that mean there's no longer room for me in your life?" Brad questioned.
Floored would be a good way to describe Dillon at that point. The question Brad had just asked was the last one Dillon had expected to come out of his mouth. Brad had wanted out of his life. He hadn't asked to leave, he had told Dillon he was leaving. Now he was saying that he wanted back in?
"You didn't want to be in my life," Dillon reminded Brad, trying to hide the pain in his voice. He didn't succeed.
Mistakenly, Brad took that to mean that Dillon still had feelings for him. He didn't understand that Dillon was reacting to being abandoned at the worst time, not to the loss of their relationship. "I was scared!" Brad exclaimed. "Everything had changed and I blamed myself. How could I not? I didn't think I was strong enough,"
"Obviously you weren't," Dillon replied. "After all, if you had been you never would have left."
"Yes, you're right," Brad sighed. "I could say I was scared and weak again, but that's no real excuse. I am sorry. What I did, well, it was awful."
"You're not going to get any argument from me," Dillon said. "It was awful. But in a weird way, I can understand it."
"You can?" Brad's voice was incredulous.
"Well, don't you think I would have walked away from it all if I could have?" Dillon pointed out. "I didn't want to be lying in that hospital bed anymore than you wanted to see me there. Blind? Hell no I didn't want to be blind! If I could have just turned my back on it all I would have."
"So, then you forgive me?"
"No, I don't, at least, not yet," Dillon admitted. "How can I? I didn't have a choice about walking out, you did. And that's exactly what you did. I needed to know I wasn't alone, that when I had lost so much, I wasn't going to lose everything. Your leaving made me feel that I had."
"I really screwed up, didn't I?" Brad asked.
"Yeah, you did," Dillon said. "But, it all worked out for the best in the end. I learned that I'm stronger than I ever realized and I found the man I love. I wouldn't trade the chance to be with him for the chance to have my sight back. I want him more."
"So, then, I have no chance of ever getting you back, do I? I love you, but you don't love me." There was a wealth of pain in Brad's voice. He sounded defeated and dejected.
Dillon picked up Brad's hand, trying to think how to phrase what he had to say. They had been friends long before they were lovers and Dillon wasn't willing to totally turn his back on Brad now.
He took a deep breath and spoke, hoping to say this in the right way. "You know I'll always love you Brad."
"So, what was I? The flavor of the week?" At the unexpected sound of Seth's voice, Dillon whipped his head around toward the door. He had been so caught up in his conversation with Brad that he had never even heard Seth enter the room.
"Well? Are you going to answer me?" Seth's voice was bitter.
"I-I didn't know you were there," was all Dillon could think to stammer out.
"Yeah, I guess you wouldn't be making up to your old boyfriend with your new boyfriend watching, now would you?" Seth spat out. "Don't worry, though. I'm out of here. Brad, he's all yours."
Dillon cried out, "Seth, wait! It's not what you think!"
The only reply that greeted him was the slamming of Jeremy's front door. Dillon moved as fast as he could toward the foyer. He misjudged his direction, however, and ran right into the corner of the lamp table. It struck him in his most vulnerable spot. He cried out in pain again. He just wasn't sure which hurt worse, his body or his heart.
Brad had left not long after Seth did. Dillon was left alone with Jeremy, who sat silently next to him on the couch. Every once in a while Dillon would hit the redial button on the cordless phone he held in his hand. Each time Seth's answering machine picked up he would leave a new message.
At first, they were long messages. He tried to explain himself, tried to let Seth know that there was so much more he had meant to say to Brad after that one statement. He had been going to tell Brad that he would never throw away their friendship, that he would always love Brad as a friend, but that it could never be more than friendship ever again.
Now, Dillon left messages that were more a plea than anything else. He begged Seth to call him, to hear him out. Each time he got the answering machine, his hope died a little more.
He had just found Seth. Was their relationship going to die before it even began?
No! Dillon decided that he refused to let that happen. They had both been through so much, survived so much. This one thing couldn't be the beginning of the end.
"Jeremy, can you drive me to Seth's house?" Dillon asked, turning toward Jeremy on the couch beside him.
"I've just been waiting for you to ask," Jeremy's voice was cheerful. "Let's go."
They rose and Jeremy led Dillon to his new Honda Civic hybrid. Dillon settled himself comfortably into the front seat. He wasn't sure exactly what he was going to say to Seth, but he knew he needed to try.
The ride both dragged on forever and flew by. Dillon was anxious to arrive, but at the same time wanted lots of time to plan how he was going to approach Seth. When Jeremy stopped the car in Seth's driveway, Dillon still didn't feel prepared.
His heart pounded a frantic beat as he listened to the doorbell call for someone to answer it. The sound of footfalls approached the door. He wasn't sure how he could tell, but he knew it was Eric approaching the door rather than Seth. They were exactly the same, even down to their weight, but Dillon could tell the difference.
The door swung open and suddenly Dillon was at a loss for words. What was he supposed to say? How could he convince Eric to let him in to see Seth?
Dillon heard Eric sigh before speaking, "He's not here. He just left to take a walk."
"What do you mean?" Jeremy asked. "He just got out of the hospital, he shouldn't be walking."
"Yes, well, my brother's stubborn that way. He wanted to take a walk and nothing and nobody was going to stop him."
All Dillon really heard was that Seth wasn't there. He had just missed Seth. If he had spent just a few minutes less procrastinating and got off his behind a few minutes earlier, he could be talking to Seth now instead of hearing that Seth was gone.
"Come in, Dillon," Eric said gently. "You can wait here until Seth gets back."
"I don't know," Dillon replied. "Would he really want me in his house just now?"
"If he were thinking clearly he would," Eric assured Dillon. "Seth loves you and spent all morning frantic to get to you. By the time he gets back, he's going to have realized he was an idiot for not waiting to find out what was going on. If you're already here you'll save me a trip back to Jeremy's place."
Dillon turned toward Jeremy, a questioning look on his face. "Go on, Dillon," Jeremy urged. "All you have to do is pick up the phone if you need me, but I think you'll be happier getting this straightened out now than waiting for things to miraculously get better."
Enfolding Jeremy in his arms, Dillon gave him a fierce hug. Jeremy had to be the most understanding, supportive friend Dillon had ever had. There was a time when Dillon had even had a crush on Jeremy, but he had quickly realized that the love he felt for this special man was not romantic in nature.
Stepping back from the embrace, Dillon allowed Eric to lead him into Seth's house. Just before the front door swung shut, Dillon heard the engine of Jeremy's car start.
Eric led Dillon up a half flight of stairs and into a room. Guiding Dillon to a couch, Eric then turned off the television. The sounds of a baseball game being played out ceased.
"Did you want anything to drink?" Eric asked.
"Just some water," Dillon responded. He was feeling a bit dehydrated and knew that he needed to drink something even if he didn't feel as though he could swallow.
"One glass of water coming up."
By the sounds of it, Eric didn't move far away. Dillon surmised that he was in a living or family room and that it was connected directly onto the kitchen. A moment later a cool glass of water was placed in Dillon's hand.
"You know," Eric said as he sat down next to Dillon, "Seth is actually a big believer in the powers of communication. I've never seen him blow up like that before. That, right there, tells me that you mean more to him than any man ever has. I don't think you really have anything to worry about."
"I hope you're right," Dillon said after forcing down a sip of his water. "Seth means more to me than any man ever has, either, so I don't want to lose him. Especially over such a stupid misunderstanding."
"No misunderstanding is stupid," Eric responded. "As long as it hurts those involved, it is of the utmost importance. You and Seth have to work this out so that you can go forward as I know you were meant to do."
"And if Seth doesn't want to work it out?"
"You'd be surprising how forgiving those we love can be."
"I don't understand," Dillon said.
Eric took a deep breath. "I'll tell you something about me and Belinda as long as you promise never to speak of it with anyone outside the family,"
"If it's family business, then you shouldn't tell it to me," Dillon protested, a bit uncomfortable at the idea of being told a family secret.
"Yes, I should," Eric disagreed. "After all, you are family now. You and Seth may be arguing, but I can tell you are the one meant to be with him."
Dillon couldn't argue that. In his heart of hearts, he knew it to be true. He and Seth were meant to spend their lives together. That would make Eric and Belinda his in-laws, even if it wasn't legally true.
"Belinda once forgave me for something I still haven't forgiven myself for," Eric began. "If you had asked me at the time, I would have told you that my actions were beyond forgiveness, but Belinda's love for me was stronger than her hatred of what I had done."
Despite himself, Dillon found he was intrigued. He couldn't imagine what Eric could have done that was so awful. Oh, he might have cheated on her, but people worked past that sort of thing when it only happened once and the relationship was worth saving. Nor could he imagine Eric being physically abusive.
Dillon started to ask, but then realized he didn't need to. Eric had continued speaking without prompting. It was as if he were caught in his own memory, unable to escape until it was played out.
"It wasn't long after we were married," Eric said. "Five months, actually. We were still settling into our own home, not the one we have now, a bigger one. We were in that honeymoon phase that doesn't really go away for the first year, constantly kissing and touching. We couldn't keep our hands off of each other."
Eric gave a bitter laugh. "Ironic, really, when you think about it. I look back at that part of our lives with such pleasure, but it led to such pain.
"I had just come home from a medical conference that was out of town. I had been away for a week, longer than Belinda and I had been apart since we met. I came rushing into the house, desperate to see her.
"She was in the dining room. It was all lit-up with candles and I remember how beautiful she looked in that soft light. She was dressed in a peach nightgown that left very little to the imagination and her blond hair was straight that day, hanging down to almost her waist.
"I picked her up from the chair she sat in and spun her around, kissing her wildly. She laughed and told me we had something to celebrate. I thought she meant that we had survived our first week away from each other without going insane,"
Eric fell silent, remembering. Dillon just waited. He couldn't intrude himself upon Eric at this point, yet he knew he'd understand so much more about the family of the man he loved if he just patiently waited.
"She stopped me, placing her hands on my face and kissing me so tenderly. There was so much love in that kiss. Then she said she had a surprise for me. I closed my eyes. I don't really know why, but it seemed like the natural thing to do. She took my hand and placed it on her belly and then told me, 'Your baby's in there,'"
Dillon's eyes widened and he jerked in surprise. He hadn't been expecting this. After all, Belinda and Eric had no children. Nor had Seth ever said anything about having a niece or a nephew.
"She had found out the day after I left for my trip. She had gone for her yearly exam and the doctor had discovered she was pregnant. Belinda said she couldn't wait to tell me, but she knew she wanted to see my face when I heard the news.
"Well, that wasn't the best idea. We had talked about having kids, but always off in the unidentified future. I was in shock. All I could think was, 'Not yet! I still want you to myself!' Lord, I was selfish. And Belinda can always tell what I'm thinking. She knew I wasn't happy.
"I pulled back. I needed time to think. I just couldn't wrap my mind around the idea that I was going to be a father and that this baby was a part of both of us. So, I just left.
"I'm not a drinking man. Up until that night, I had never gotten more than buzzed. I got fall-down drunk that night, though. It's the first and only time I've been that way.