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    Sasha Distan
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Direct Confusion - 22. Chapter 22

Thanksgiving dinner at the Parker family home is like something out of a utopian television show. The house is warm and scented with the rich aromas of roasting meats and sweet things baking. I am deeply glad that I skipped any sort of decent breakfast and went for a long run: I’m starving. Erin kisses me just inside the door, and I itch to get my hands inside his clothes, he looks and smells delectable too, but he pins my wrists to my sides with a soft smile.

“I gotta go cook.”

“OK. I love you.” Now that I’ve allowed myself to say it to him, it feels stupid not to say it all the time. “I’ll be patient.”

“Be good.” He warns as he walks towards the kitchen.

“Aren’t I always?”

Jameson and their parents are pleased to see me, and Mrs Parker looks calm with her half empty sherry glass in hand. Jameson chuckles in my ear, too close as usual, and assures me that Erin sent her out of the kitchen first thing and sent her in the direction of the drinks cabinet about an hour ago. Mr Parker offers me a small glass of what I think might be whisky, and I sip nervously. I like good beer, and I am secretly really fond of Midori, but I don’t want to even be approaching the idea of being drunk. Jameson gets called to the kitchen after a while, and returns with a platter of appetizers, trailing Erin behind him.

“Here.” Erin swaps my whiskey for a long cold bottle of cola. “Eat something?” His grin is slightly manic, teeth clenched. I take a small piece of oblong bread covered in some kind of thick white cheese and studded with little pieces of orange-yellow fruity paste. It’s delicious.

“Mmmm…”

“Goat cheese and pear chutney bruschetta.” Erin exhales suddenly. “There’s prosciutto wrapped parmesan filled prunes, and those are little bite size crab puffs with the devilled eggs. Is it good?”

I swallow, grab Erin by the back of the neck and kiss him forcefully. Jameson gasps and giggles.

“Boys…” Erin’s father’s warning lacks any actual substance, but I still pull away. Erin looks flushed and lust drunk, his beautiful rose-pink blush staining his cheeks. I grin at him and he bites his lower lip.

“It’s really good, babe.” I lean in close and whisper in his ear low enough for his family not to hear. “I’d tie you up in that kitchen and fuck you senseless if I thought I could eat while I did so.”

Erin gapes at me and pushes me back towards the tray of nibbles before retreating to the kitchen. He knows I am staring at his butt as he leaves.

Half an hour later Erin calls and steals his twin to help lay table and in not too long we are all five sitting down at a table so laden with food I can practically hear the wood groaning in complaint. The turkey is huge and golden and surrounded by heavenly scented balls of pork and apple stuffing. There is a platter of thin chipolatas wrapped in streaky bacon; a pile of sprouts and walnuts glistening with melted butter; incredibly creamy mashed potatoes; carrots and sweet potato mixed together and shining under their honey glaze; soft brown biscuits, and a stoneware jug of thick, dark gravy; a cut glass bowl of cranberry sauce topped with slivers of orange; and a heaped plate of green beans with wild mushrooms, under generous gratings of parmesan cheese. I have never seen so much food in my life, and it all looks like it’s come straight from the pages of a good food magazine.

We are all full of praise for Erin’s food, the heavenly aromas and wonderful flavours. I do my very best not to overfill my plate and stuff my face, but it’s hard when everything looks and tastes this good. The glazed sweet potatoes turn out to be a particular favourite, and Jameson elbows me as I spike another with my fork.

“Drop it in the gravy.”

“Eh?”

“Seriously.” Jameson grins as I slide my silver plated fork against the edge of the gravy boat, abandoning my captured sweet potato. “Leave it like two minutes and it’ll be awesome.”

“Jame is always trying to convert people to his style of gravy drenched roasted vegetables.” Erin smiles as he takes another bite of turkey. “My twin is strange; please feel free to ignore him.”

“And you’re boyfriend is mean.” Jameson rolls his eyes as he looks at me. “You’d best teach him some better manners later.”

I highly doubt that Jameson has any idea of the erotic implications his words flag up in my brain, and I blush into my plate for a bit. He’s right about the gravy soaked sweet potato though, it turns out to be an excellent idea.

Just as I think I might have reached my food intake limit, Erin and his mother clear the table to bring out dessert, and I find that my stomach has been holding out on me and I am totally still hungry. Erin apparently doesn’t believe in one dessert only, because there is a large, flat, bright orange pumpkin pie; a big tub of rich vanilla ice cream; a peach and cherry cobbler still steaming from the oven; a double crusted apple pie which smells of maple syrup; some little pears poached in wine and spices that I cannot name but definitely want to try; and a quivering bright green jelly with pieces of lime rind cut into little fish shapes suspended within it. I grab my spoon and decide that not trying everything would be impolite to the young man who has worked so hard to make it all.

We abandon the table an hour later, absolutely stuffed, and I help Mrs Parker to pack the leftovers into plastic boxes and into the fridge while Jameson and his father stack the dishwasher and put various pans into hot water to be soaked. Erin hangs up his apron and goes to die quietly in the living room; he looks full and happy, but exhausted. I can’t even consider the amount of effort it took to make all that food.

It’s around six by the time we all settle in the longue with coffee, tea and soda. Jameson is magically able to put away half a bag of salt and vinegar chips while I slump on the sofa. Erin pulls me against him, and I use his arm and shoulder as cushion as the game starts. Food had made me sleepy, and as the timbre of Erin’s breathing changes under me, I drift off before even discovering who is playing whom.

In the end, we are both too full of food to even think about attempting any of the delectable things I had previously thought of, and though we stand and brush our teeth at the sink, little sleepy cows chewing cud, I still get the best of kisses from Erin after bidding Jameson goodnight. It’s not even that late. We lie together, naked in Erin’s bed, half hugging and kissing softly.

“Thank you for dinner.”

“Thank you for coming.” Erin strokes his fingers against my smooth skull. As much as he apparently liked my hair, he seems to have no trouble with my being bald. “I made too much food again.”

“Always better to over-cater.” I reply. “Those are going to make awesome leftovers.” I trace the shapes of his lips with one finger tip. “We’ll have to go for a run tomorrow. How is it that Jame was still eating? Where does the skinny bastard put it all?”

“I think he has extra stomachs.” Erin voice is soft now and he shuffles closer, fitting himself into the curve of my chest and shoulder. “I love you Luke.”

“I am so lucky.”

“Yeah you are.” Erin yawns half way through his sentence. “Good night babe.”

Just as I am about to answer him, the blaring of my cell phone ringtone fills the room. Erin groans, rolling away with a hand over his ears, and I scrabble in my jeans to find the obnoxious device, my body wanting to be half asleep. When I see my father’s cell number displayed on the screen, my heart begins to beat really hard.

“Dad?”

“You need to come up to the hospital. Right now.”

“Dad? What’s going on?” Erin rolls over to look at me with wide, puzzled eyes.

“Get in a car and get up here. Or get a cab. Just come up now.”

“Dad!” He sounds like he’s already in tears. “What’s happened?”

“It’s your brother.” He takes a deep breath. “Just get up here.”

The phone goes dead in my hand and I stare blankly at my boyfriend.

“My brother is at the hospital.”

“Shit!”

There is a mad scramble for clothes, and I growl that I can’t find my shoes before realising they are downstairs. Our fuss prompts Jame to stick his head round the door and he gives me one long, concerned look before saying he will come with us. Jameson takes care of telling Erin’s parents where we’re going: there’s nothing they can do, both of them have had too much to drink. Erin is most awake, and he drives while I give directions in a shaky tone.

My brain is running through every worst case scenario my over active imagination can come up with, and I don’t want to think about any of them. Greg is at the hospital, and I don’t know why.

The parking lot outside accident and emergency is pretty empty, and all three of us basically abandon the pick up and run for the door. There is a nurse in pastel pink scrubs waiting for us and I my brain registers that some people worked today and through the night so this place could still stay open.

“Luke McBride?”

“Yes?”

“Follow me. Boys, if would wait here: family only, thank you.”

“But-!”

“Just go babe.” Erin squeezes my fingers before he lets go. “It’s OK.”

I am shaking as I follow the nurse from the waiting room. I’m not really paying attention to where we are going, and the cries and wails of others fade into the bleeping of medical machinery. We round a corner and I catch sight of my parents. At that moment something inside me snaps and I break into a run to reach them. My mother hugs me hard enough to make my ribs creak, my father holds my head against his shoulder, and I suddenly feel four years old again, being held by both my parents in a manner both reassuring and tinged with sadness. When dad moves to let me go, I look past him and through the plate glass wall and I feel the bottom fall out of my stomach.

The bed is surrounded by machines going blip-blip, there is blood spotted on clean white sheets, and all I can see of my brother are his arms lying on top of the sheets at his sides. There is a thick tube going to his mouth, and off to the side, a balloon inflates inside a plastic case. I gasp as I realise it is breathing for him.

“Greg…”

“He’s gone baby.” Mom hasn’t let go of me, and her voice is thick with tears. “We wanted to wait until you got here…”

“But…” The sight of my brother, bruised, bloodied, and broken, is burning into my retinas. I want to look away, I desperately want to look anywhere else than through the glass into the room where my brother’s body is being kept alive without his mind, but I can’t.

“He was going to see some of his friends.” My father’s voice is dead and hollow. “We finished Thanksgiving dinner and he got a call from some of his high school buddies. He said he’d walk.” Dad stops speaking for so long that I don’t think he’s going to finish. “He got hit by a car. The driver was dozing off at the wheel; too much good food. He got hit by a car…” My mother’s sob punctuates his sentence, and my brain fills in the rest.

He survived the desert, and the army, and terrorists that wanted to blow him up, and he gets killed by an idiot with an SUV.

A doctor in clean scrubs and a white coat approaches where we stand, burgundy file in hand. I can see my brother’s name in block capitals on the front. The image of his army cap in my hands this morning swims in front of my vision.

“Mr and Mrs Parker.” He smiles softly. I would hate to have his job, telling people that their loved ones are beyond saving. “You must be Luke.” His eyes look sad, but his gaze is resolute. “It’s time.”

I whimper softly: I am not ready to say goodbye to my brother. Suddenly the touch of my parents is not enough and I wish Erin was here.

We file into the room accompanied by the sniffling of tears. The ventilator seems harsh and loud in the near silence. My mother grabs Greg’s hand, my father stands beside her, one hand on her shoulder, the other resting on Greg’s chest under the sheets. I cannot bring myself to step closer. My brother is big and strong and handsome, and the figure broken on the bed just isn’t him. The face is barely visible past the mask of the ventilator and the swelling and the broken skin. The room smells like blood and asphalt.

“Is there anything you want to say?”

I shake my head, the room is becoming blurry, and I drag my knuckles over my eyes. It doesn’t help.

The doctor approaches a bank of switches, nods to my parents, and begins to still the machinery. The whirring of the dialysis machines stops, the ventilator ceases to pump breath into his lungs, and only the beep of the heart monitor remains.

Beep. Beep. Beep. Be-

The long noise is exactly the tone heard up and down the country on a million TV sets watching medical dramas. A nurse reaches over and turns off the device and its intrusive sound.

There is silence in the room, and then my mother begins to cry.

“Time of death…”

But I don’t stay to listen. I cannot stand being in this room with the body of my brother and the stench of chemicals and death. It’s not much better in the corridor and after ten seconds of trying to breathe properly, I turn and run back towards the waiting room. Erin is there, and I fall against him without a word.

My brother is dead.

Remember to come and join us in the discussion forum for questions, answers, and all sorts of silly supposition.
Copyright © 2014 Sasha Distan; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Chapter Comments

Bastard...

 

Okay, I don't really mean that. We all knew something horrible was coming. It is particularly awful following the fantastic dinner scene. I can't imagine Luke's response knowing that he put off dinner with his family to be with Erin unknowing that Greg was living his final few hours...

As we have come to expect of you, your talent to enliven your characters and evoke such images remains awe inspiring.

Deepest respect.

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I know it's a callous thing to say, but why didn't the doctors ask about organ donation ? This would be a normal procedure when someone so fit as Greg is brain dead. Unless his kidneys and liver was ruptured due to the impact.

And I'm with dughlas here, Luke is going to take it hard having missd Greg's last day alive.

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Quite the shock. I wasn't sure what to say but here it goes. You just never know. It can happen at any time. Our loved ones can go in a blink. So sad. We'll see how they deal.

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Such a sad ending to a happy day :,( Luke will feel bad about not being there with his family, but hopefully he´ll get over it soon.

Very touching chapter :thumbup:

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holy shit...that was a really dark and mean thing to do. he just got his brother back. he is going to probably feel like if he'd stayed home, his brother wouldn't have gone out and would be alive. I have to say....you wrote that in a way that had a visceral effect on me as I read it. I felt like I was standing there and thought about how horrifying it would be. I really felt pulled into the story to feel the pain Luke would. I am not sure why you'd do that to Luke, but I will hang on b/c I like the other characters. I give you credit for the ability to affect your readers so..I still am thinking 'poor Luke. This morning he had such a good moment with his brother. they were like they had been when they were younger...recapturing that close relationship. To wake up in the morning and have that gift and lose it right after dinner literally...wow!' the fact he had made it through war did make it worse. i'm glad it's only in a story. But, being affected emotionally as a reader is a sign of a good author so whether I liked the direction the story took or not, you get credit for that! I am glad he will have jameson and erin and derrick's, etc. support to get through this. He will need it.

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I highly suspected that Greg was going down in this chapter and that included by way of an automobile, just not exactly how it happened. That doesn't necessarily make me pleased with being right. I'm looking forward to reading how you will bring these characters out from the little hell in which they find themselves in this chapter.

 

I am sure in your estimable style; you will not leave us disappointed.

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On 07/17/2014 09:33 AM, dughlas said:
Bastard...

 

Okay, I don't really mean that. We all knew something horrible was coming. It is particularly awful following the fantastic dinner scene. I can't imagine Luke's response knowing that he put off dinner with his family to be with Erin unknowing that Greg was living his final few hours...

As we have come to expect of you, your talent to enliven your characters and evoke such images remains awe inspiring.

Deepest respect.

thank you.

I know i'm a jerk. sorry about that.

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On 07/17/2014 12:29 PM, SanguineAffair said:
SCREW YOU I DIDN'T WANT TO CRY TODAY. D:

 

(That was amazing, there are seriously tears.)

thank you. sorry.
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On 07/17/2014 01:26 PM, Timothy M. said:
I know it's a callous thing to say, but why didn't the doctors ask about organ donation ? This would be a normal procedure when someone so fit as Greg is brain dead. Unless his kidneys and liver was ruptured due to the impact.

And I'm with dughlas here, Luke is going to take it hard having missd Greg's last day alive.

safely assume that the doctors had dealt with that before Luke got there. it after all, about his experience of his brother's death, and I doubt he would notice such details.
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On 07/17/2014 01:42 PM, Cole Matthews said:
Quite the shock. I wasn't sure what to say but here it goes. You just never know. It can happen at any time. Our loved ones can go in a blink. So sad. We'll see how they deal.
shock is about right. there is no way of telling when there are no more tomorrows left.
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On 07/17/2014 03:03 PM, Suvitar said:
Such a sad ending to a happy day :,( Luke will feel bad about not being there with his family, but hopefully he´ll get over it soon.

Very touching chapter :thumbup:

"soon" is an strange and undefinable amount of time.
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On 07/17/2014 03:20 PM, Cannd said:
holy shit...that was a really dark and mean thing to do. he just got his brother back. he is going to probably feel like if he'd stayed home, his brother wouldn't have gone out and would be alive. I have to say....you wrote that in a way that had a visceral effect on me as I read it. I felt like I was standing there and thought about how horrifying it would be. I really felt pulled into the story to feel the pain Luke would. I am not sure why you'd do that to Luke, but I will hang on b/c I like the other characters. I give you credit for the ability to affect your readers so..I still am thinking 'poor Luke. This morning he had such a good moment with his brother. they were like they had been when they were younger...recapturing that close relationship. To wake up in the morning and have that gift and lose it right after dinner literally...wow!' the fact he had made it through war did make it worse. i'm glad it's only in a story. But, being affected emotionally as a reader is a sign of a good author so whether I liked the direction the story took or not, you get credit for that! I am glad he will have jameson and erin and derrick's, etc. support to get through this. He will need it.
why I did it is not yet clear, even to me.

Thanks for the praise on how I did it, and I promise it will be worth it, in the end.

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On 07/18/2014 05:53 AM, Ron said:
I highly suspected that Greg was going down in this chapter and that included by way of an automobile, just not exactly how it happened. That doesn't necessarily make me pleased with being right. I'm looking forward to reading how you will bring these characters out from the little hell in which they find themselves in this chapter.

 

I am sure in your estimable style; you will not leave us disappointed.

thank Ron. and sorry.
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Wow, I'm just speechless, Sasha.

 

I was reading this in my car while my kid was having a driving lesson. When I got to the hospital scene (not realizing there wasn't much left to read after that), I put the phone down b/c number one, I was crying my eyes out in the car, in the middle of the damn parking lot, and my dog was looking at me funny, and number two, I just couldn't bear to read anymore until I got home. I thought about it the whole way home.

 

Unlike the majority of your readers, I am really clueless and I had NO IDEA something horrible was going to happen.

 

I know Luke is going to feel guilty, as some readers have pointed out. He will think that if he had stayed his brother probably wouldn't have gone out that night. And of course he's going to feel guilty b/c even if he was there and Greg did go out that night, he would have spent some quality time with him and his family. Now he missed his brother's last day.

 

And Thanksgiving will forever be a horrible holiday for all of them.

 

Shit, I'm crying as I'm writing this. Damn you, Sasha. ;)

 

Oh, and I usually don't comment on what other readers have said, but Luke and his family will not get over this anytime soon. Getting over something 'soon' to me means you broke up with your b/f or g/f of six months or so. So yeah, it sucks that you guys broke up, but you'll get over it soon. Losing a family member, not so soon. Every holiday during that first year will be horrible. Christmas, which is right around the corner will no longer be a joyous occasion. Next Thanksgiving will be a terrible reminder that it's been only one year since Greg's death. No, they won't be getting over this soon. And the parents will NEVER get over this.

 

Ok, well, sorry to kind of run away with this review here. lol

 

Hurry up and post the next chapter, Sasha. I have a feeling I'm not done with my tears. :(

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On 07/19/2014 07:24 AM, Lisa said:
Wow, I'm just speechless, Sasha.

 

I was reading this in my car while my kid was having a driving lesson. When I got to the hospital scene (not realizing there wasn't much left to read after that), I put the phone down b/c number one, I was crying my eyes out in the car, in the middle of the damn parking lot, and my dog was looking at me funny, and number two, I just couldn't bear to read anymore until I got home. I thought about it the whole way home.

 

Unlike the majority of your readers, I am really clueless and I had NO IDEA something horrible was going to happen.

 

I know Luke is going to feel guilty, as some readers have pointed out. He will think that if he had stayed his brother probably wouldn't have gone out that night. And of course he's going to feel guilty b/c even if he was there and Greg did go out that night, he would have spent some quality time with him and his family. Now he missed his brother's last day.

 

And Thanksgiving will forever be a horrible holiday for all of them.

 

Shit, I'm crying as I'm writing this. Damn you, Sasha. ;)

 

Oh, and I usually don't comment on what other readers have said, but Luke and his family will not get over this anytime soon. Getting over something 'soon' to me means you broke up with your b/f or g/f of six months or so. So yeah, it sucks that you guys broke up, but you'll get over it soon. Losing a family member, not so soon. Every holiday during that first year will be horrible. Christmas, which is right around the corner will no longer be a joyous occasion. Next Thanksgiving will be a terrible reminder that it's been only one year since Greg's death. No, they won't be getting over this soon. And the parents will NEVER get over this.

 

Ok, well, sorry to kind of run away with this review here. lol

 

Hurry up and post the next chapter, Sasha. I have a feeling I'm not done with my tears. :(

I'm sorry that I made you cry. Thank you for the review, and I'm sorry that your dog was looking at you all funny in the parking lot - it's a funny image though.

I like to point out to people that you never really get over things like this, you just get further away from what happened - but I have a feeling you already understand that.

Thank you darlin', and I'm sorry.

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Like everyone else, I am flat out crying...I would never question what you do in your stories...I have faith in you ...but this is devastating....

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On 07/21/2014 04:04 AM, Headstall said:
Like everyone else, I am flat out crying...I would never question what you do in your stories...I have faith in you ...but this is devastating....
thank you. and I'm sorry.
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Oh!

 

That was a bit sudden.

Um, I don't even really know what the hell to say.

Processing this one is not going to be easy for any of them, but the effects of guilt and the feelings of blame are going to be sheer murder.

Damn Sasha, talk about a curve ball. I had thought things were being a bit too happy for a bit too long, but I'd expected something to go wrong on the team or with one of the twins. I'd not expected it to be such sideline character that we'd see something dramatic happen too. The funny thing is, as little as we know about Greg, the story is written in such a way that his passing is as devastating to your readers as it is to your characters. You can't help but buy into the lives of the boys and their world, that when they are hurting, we are hurting.

Really well done, even I do feel somewhat emotional about things right now.

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On 08/30/2014 09:43 PM, Yettie One said:
Oh!

 

That was a bit sudden.

Um, I don't even really know what the hell to say.

Processing this one is not going to be easy for any of them, but the effects of guilt and the feelings of blame are going to be sheer murder.

Damn Sasha, talk about a curve ball. I had thought things were being a bit too happy for a bit too long, but I'd expected something to go wrong on the team or with one of the twins. I'd not expected it to be such sideline character that we'd see something dramatic happen too. The funny thing is, as little as we know about Greg, the story is written in such a way that his passing is as devastating to your readers as it is to your characters. You can't help but buy into the lives of the boys and their world, that when they are hurting, we are hurting.

Really well done, even I do feel somewhat emotional about things right now.

thanks, I'm sorry.

Emotional hooks are my trademark. I'm a terrible bastard.

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On 04/14/2015 05:23 AM, sarapf said:
Omg so sad poor Luke why?
thank you.

 

I gotta hurt the ones I love though, don't I?

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