My Life is You Ch. 08bymypussyandyours©
I TRULY WANT TO THANK EVERYONE WHO HAS BEEN SO WONDERFUL ABOUT GIVING ME FEEDBACK. IT’S NICE KNOWING THAT YOU ARE AS INTERESTED IN DILLON AND SETH’S STORY AS I AM IN TELLING IT.
OK: STANDARD WARNING. THIS IS A NON-SEX CHAPTER. THOSE TEND TO HAPPEN WITH ME. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! LOL
Dillon felt a huge sense of accomplishment as he made his way down the hallway of the community college. He had just taken his last Braille class. While he wasn’t truly fluent in Braille yet, he couldn’t wait to buy his first book and escape into it.
That was especially true since reading would be the only form of escape he’d be getting any time soon. His physical therapy was going really well and he was down to just four visits a week. He still did all the exercises he was supposed to do on his own each day plus the ones that Seth had taught him in order to improve the rest of his body, but he just wasn’t losing himself in it like he used to.
It also seemed that his friends really had given up on him. The phone no longer rang and none of them had come to visit him in over a month. That hurt a lot, and part of him wanted to confront them and ask what was up. He couldn’t do it, though. He knew his friends. They never did anything without reason. So, they’d had their reasons and he couldn’t argue that.
Maybe if he’d made some new friends in his class he wouldn’t be so let down. He had been hoping for just that. What he had discovered, though, was that everyone was too busy dealing with the major changes in their lives to worry about adding any new elements.
He couldn’t blame them for that. Hell, he spent a lot of time analyzing all that was going on around him himself. Why should he be upset with them for doing the same?
Still, it would be nice to be walking down the hall with someone now. He remembered high school and college days when it had seemed so easy to make friends. It seemed like people had always surrounded him as he went from class to class.
Forty-five, Forty-six, Forty-seven, Forty-eight, Forty-nine. Dillon turned to the right and moved forward. Reaching out on the seventh step, he wrapped his hand around the handle of the door and pulled it open. Warm night air hit him in the face as he stepped outside.
The soft putt-putt of a car engine caught his attention. Nurse Sterning was waiting for him just as she did each night. Of course, from now on there would be no need for her to wait because he had just graduated!
Dillon made his way down the stairs. Reaching the landing, he turned to the right. As he walked back toward the kitchen, he heard the television.
Nurse Sterning must be watching one of those Soap Operas that are on around this time each day, he thought to himself. Based on the argument that was currently being enacted, someone had just found out who was the real father of a baby.
Dillon had never understood how the people on soap operas could be so promiscuous and the worst that ever happened to them was they got pregnant by the wrong person. If these shows were supposed to be realistic, why did no one ever contract AIDS or any other STD?
Just as he walked into the kitchen, the phone rang. Nurse Sterning rose, the chair she had been sitting in scraping against the tile floor.
Dillon listened eagerly. Hopefully, it would be one of his friends calling. He was dying to get out of the house.
"No, I’m sorry." Nurse Sterning said. There was a slight pause as she listened to the person on the other end of the line. "Yes, I will. Thank you. Good-bye."
Dillon’s shoulders slumped as he heard Nurse Sterning put the phone back in its cradle. "Who was that?" he asked, some small bit of hope still clinging to him.
"Oh, just some telemarketer," she replied in a dismissive tone. "I promised to keep him in mind if I ever decide to join a vacation club."
"I haven’t missed any calls, have I?" Dillon asked.
"Why, no," Nurse Sterning said. "I would have told you if someone had called for you while you were unable to come to the phone. Were you expecting a call from someone?"
"No, not really," Dillon moved forward and lowered himself into a chair. "After all, hoping for a call and expecting a call are two different things, aren’t they?"
"Well, there’s no arguing the truth," Nurse Sterning said in a brisk tone. "I’ll tell you this though. If you’re hoping for those friends of yours to call, don’t hold your breath. I’ve seen it time and again.
"At first people make an effort. They tell themselves that they won’t be one of those people to drop a friend just because that friend has been seriously injured. They say, "We’ll never grow apart," and they even mean it at the time.
"But the truth is, it takes more effort to be friends with someone who is different than most people are willing to put in. After time, they realize it. The calls stop, the outings end. When all is said and done, the injured or sick friend is left alone."
"My friends aren’t like that," Dillon protested.
"Let’s hope not, but remember what I said. I don’t say it to hurt you. I just don’t want you to be disappointed when you find that all you have left is me."
Belinda and Seth strolled along a park path. Just twenty feet away, Sprite was sitting on a blanket, talking to Eric. Seth kept a careful eye on her, not wanting her to overdo it and exhaust herself.
A woman jogged past, a golden retriever keeping pace with her. Seth knew it was just an old wife’s tale about people looking like their pets, but both the woman and the dog were healthy specimens with golden blond hair that shone in the sunlight and their strong muscles moved easily as they loped along the path.
"I like her," Belinda said, nodding her head in Sprite’s direction. "She really doesn’t let anything get her down, does she?"
"No," Seth shook his head. "That girl is bubblier than the bubbliest champagne. It’s amazing it’s not annoying as hell."
Belinda smiled. "She’s too sweet to be annoying."
"She’s been good for me," Seth said. "I’ve been kind of down lately, but Sprite never lets you forget how lucky you are."
"You miss him, don’t you?" Belinda asked. Seth had never verbalized how he felt about Dillon, but Belinda was a very smart, very perceptive woman. "Dillon’s his name if I remember correctly."
Seth sighed. "Yes, I miss him, even more than I expected. Considering I expected to miss him a great deal, that’s saying a lot."
"So why don’t you call him or go see him?" Belinda asked, raising her face into the sun. She closed her eyes for a moment, breathing in deeply and then exhaling slowly. "It’s not like he lives on the other side of the country."
"I doubt he’d want to see or speak to me," Seth replied, shrugging his shoulders. "I made a total ass of myself and really hurt him."
"So what," Belinda shrugged. "If people broke up permanently the first time they really hurt each other, Eric and I wouldn’t be together anymore. What he did to me, I thought I’d never get over it. I did. Dillon can too."
"Yes, but you and Eric were already happily married at the time. Dillon and I have never been together, never had that connection with each other."
"Oh, you and Dillon have a connection," Belinda said, turning to take the left fork of the path. "Neither of you may have ever acknowledged it to the other, but it’s there and you should fight for it."
"We went to a park once, Dillon and I, I mean," Seth said, struggling to put things into the right words. "We didn’t have a picnic or anything. Sprite wanted a picnic, wanted to do something. Dillon and I, we just sat on a bench. I don’t know what he thought about while we were there, never asked him.
"We sat there for quite a while, not saying anything. There were kids playing, parents gossiping, couples talking. Dillon and I, we just sat on a bench."
"Would you rather have been playing or gossiping or talking?" Belinda asked, a curious look on her face.
Seth thought a moment before answering. "That’s the thing. A lot of times, Dillon and I wouldn’t do anything at all. We’d just be around each other.
"I never minded. In fact, I liked it, but what if Dillon didn’t? What if he was bored and too polite to tell me? Or what if during those times he didn’t even notice me?
"I was happy because I was near him. As far as I was concerned, things didn’t get any better than that. But that doesn’t mean Dillon felt the same."
Belinda hooked her arm with Seth’s. "He could have been bored, he could have been thinking, he could have been daydreaming, he could have just been happy to be with you. You don’t know. I only know of one way to find out."
They continued to walk in silence, making a slow circuit of the park. From time to time Sprite’s laughter would float through the air and Seth would smile, but then they’d just go back to walking and Seth would think of Dillon again.
Strobe lights cast flickering light over the faces of the people on the dance floor. A smoke machine was giving the area an eerie glow as people gyrated to the beat.
In the middle of the floor, a small space had formed around two of the dancers. They moved together perfectly, seeming to communicate without words. The stronger of the two lifted and supported his partner effortlessly. Their bodies flowed together and apart without any stumbles or missteps.
Their style of dance didn’t exactly fit the music, but no one seemed to mind. They were enjoying themselves and looking good doing it. People could appreciate that and give them the respect they deserved.
Dave stood and watched them for a time before going back to the table where his friends were sitting. The couple was a rarity in a club like this, a man and woman instead of two men. They had drawn Dave’s attention for that reason alone. They had kept it when he had seen who the man was.
"So, what’s the big attraction?" Chandler asked, gesturing toward the dance floor. "Whoever is out there is drawing quite the crowd."
"Yeah, but I’m not sure why," Dave replied.
"Well, either they’re good dancers or they’re getting hot and heavy. Surely you can tell the difference," Scott said as he signaled a waiter. The man, dressed in leather pants and a tight black T-shirt, approached the table. He swept away the dirty glasses and announced he would be back with refills.
"They’re good," Dave admitted. "But you misunderstood what I meant. Everyone could be watching for one of two reasons and I’m not sure which it is since both apply in this case."
"You’re being cryptic, Dave," Chandler pointed out.
Dave smiled. "Sorry, I’m not doing it on purpose. I’m just trying to figure it out. See, people could be watching because they’re good, or because it’s a man and a woman. As in, the only woman in this place tonight."
"A woman? Really?" Jeremy asked, swiveling around in his seat, even though he knew he couldn’t see the dance floor from this table. "I wonder what a woman is doing in here."
"Well, dancing for one," Chandler said, taking a sip of his newly arrived martini.
Jeremy dug his wallet out to pay for the drinks since it was his turn. As he returned it to his pocket, he said, "How many straight couples do you know who come here to go dancing?"
"I’m upset that he’s straight," Dave said, looking down into his beer before taking a large swig.
Jeremy laughed. "That hot, huh?"
"No! Well, yeah, but that’s not it," Dave replied. "I wanted this guy to be gay because I have a friend who would be happier if he were."
"Now you have us intrigued," Scott said. "Who’s the guy and who’s the friend?"
"The guy is Seth, and the friend is Dillon," Dave replied before draining the last of his beer and signaling the waiter to bring more.
"Remind me again why we’re here," Seth said, looking around the crowded club.
"We’re here," Nathan responded patiently, "because you’ve practically become a hermit and the only way we could get you to come out with us was by promising not to go to Fantasia or any of the other more mainstream clubs."
"Oh, yeah, that’s right," Seth said, looking back down at the bottle of beer in his hands. "That probably wasn’t very fair of me. After all, this can’t be the most comfortable place for Belinda."
"I don’t think you have to worry about Belinda," Nathan replied. "You know she’s comfortable any place she can dance."
Seth smiled slightly. "True. It’s a good thing Eric likes to dance since Belinda’s read to go dancing almost every night."
"It’s all that gymnastic training the two of you had." Nathan pointed out. "If a man isn’t good at moving his body after spending four hours a day in a gym, five days a week, for almost eighteen years, than that man has to be a natural disaster waiting to happen."
"When you put it that way, it makes me feel like I’ve lived my life in one gym after another," Seth laughed.
"You have," Nathan jibed, leaning back and hooking his arm over the back of the booth. "On the other hand, not only do you have a great body to show for it, but also a better understanding of the impact serious injury has on the active person than just about any therapist I’ve ever met."
Seth blushed. "Thanks, but I’m beginning to think I should have gone for a degree in psychology instead of physical therapy. Maybe than I could at least understand the people around me even if I can’t figure out what’s going on in my own head."
"Well, if you do ever figure any of it out, I, for one, will be extremely impressed. I don’t think I know anyone who has it all figured out."
"Nice to know I’m not the only confused person out there then," Seth said wryly. "I think I’m going to go grab another beer. You want one?"
"Sure, but why don’t you ask the waiter, he’s right over there." Nathan pointed to the waiter standing in front of a table not far from theirs.
Just then the waiter shifted and Seth got a clear view of who was sitting at that table. His eyes widened as he stared at the men at the other table. He had only met them the once, but he wouldn’t forget them ever.
"This is not happening to me," Seth moaned, burying his head in his hands.
"What’s not happening to you?" Nathan asked, sitting forward in his seat.
"I think Dillon’s here," Seth said without looking up.
Nathan looked around the club. "What makes you think that? Did you see him?" He was still scanning the club even though he had no idea what Dillon looked like.
"No," Seth glanced back toward the table he had just looked at before lowering his gaze to his hands again. "I didn’t see Dillon."
"Then why do you think he’s here?" Nathan sounded confused.
"See that table over there?" Seth gestured with his head. Once Nathan nodded, he continued, "Those are his friends. In fact, Jeremy is his best friend. They’re all really tight, sort of like the four of us are."
"Ah, so if they’re around, he’s near by."
"Then go talk to him."
Seth gave Nathan a look like he was insane. "He doesn’t want to talk to me. He doesn’t want anything to do with me."
"I don’t buy that for a moment."
Seth made a disparaging sound, causing Nathan to lean forward and grab Seth’s wrist. "No! Listen to me!" he insisted. "If Dillon is truly in love with you, if it’s not the Florence Nightingale Syndrome, then he’s hurting as much as you are, maybe even more. He may have great friends, but they can’t just get rid of his heartache by talking to him. You, on the other hand, can."
Seth thought about that. If he went over there, Dillon might just tell him to go away again. The pain of simply imagining it was staggering. But what if Dillon didn’t do that? What if Dillon actually listened to him this time? Of course, Dillon couldn’t do any listening at all if he didn’t get up and walk over there.
Nodding to Nathan, Seth rose. Realizing he was still holding his beer, he took another drink before setting it down on the table.
As he neared their table, he saw that Jeremy was sitting next to a man he didn’t know. Across from Jeremy were Dave and Carter. The four of them appeared to be deeply involved in an important conversation.
Before it could really register in Seth’s mind that Dillon wasn’t sitting at the table, Dave looked up and spotted him. Their eyes locked and Seth was shocked at the amount of contempt that shone in Dave’s gaze.