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    Wayne Gray
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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.

Fleeting Eternity - 6. Time

The Monday shift was a more relaxed time for Kent at work. He didn't have to deal with Nate, as the redhead had the day off. That meant Kent could just do the job and not think about anything else. It wasn't that Nate tortured or actively tried to make things worse for him. Simply seeing him was still difficult for Kent, though he was slowly working through his issues with both Nate and himself.

On some level, Kent knew that Nate was a reminder of his unresolved struggle with his sexuality. Yet, what manifested was a slow-burn sort of antagonized irritation when Kent laid eyes on the flippant redhead.

Liz was nice. Throughout the day, she gently asked how he was doing, and she knew when to leave him alone too. It seemed like she cared and Kent appreciated that. He sure didn't get that from Nate, who had avoided him.

After Kent finished his workday, he stepped out into a gloomy and cold afternoon. It wasn't raining, but the overhead sky was gray and thick with low clouds. He shivered from the chill and walked to his car parked on the street. Kent got in, sat behind the wheel of the old Honda Accord, and let out a long sigh. He didn't understand why Nate would treat his struggle as a joke. Despite everything, Kent fundamentally liked Nate as a person, so that made it even harder.

He shook his head, no closer to an answer.

Kent put the key in the ignition and turned it. The expected, comforting sound of the little engine never came and he pressed his lips into a thin line. He tried again with the same effect. He lay his head back so it leaned on the driver's headrest. "God, please. I don't need this. Not right now." He closed his eyes and rubbed his face, suddenly weary. He tried one more time, but there wasn't a single murmur from the engine.

He had no idea what could be wrong. The car was a gift from his parents. His family never had a lot of money after paying rent, so Kent had been stunned and elated at the gift of the used car. His Dad had tried his best to make sure the little vehicle worked well before Kent headed off to college. He had bought new tires, checked the oil, and had his mechanic give it a good check up before handing it over to Kent. Yet, there was only so much that could be done. Still, the Accord made it to Northern California. Kent drove from San Diego to Humboldt County in time for the Fall semester, and he had no problems along the way.

There was definitely a problem now. Kent wasn't sure what to do. He pulled out his phone and entered "car trouble eureka" into the search engine. Various local auto repair shops and towing companies came up.

Kent selected one of the towing companies. His phone dialed and he sat there until the line picked up. "Hello, A-Plus towing. How can we help you?"

"Uh, hello." Kent propped his head up on his hand. "What does it cost for a tow? And, do you have any sort of deals for college students?"

Christopher saw the A-Plus Towing truck pull into the dealership. He straightened from his work on an engine hoisted out of a Chevy Colorado and he wiped his hands on a greasy rag.

The dealership had an agreement with A-Plus Towing to kick back a bit for each tow they brought for repairs. It worked for all involved - since A-Plus also gave customers a slightly reduced price to get a tow to the dealership.

The middle-aged, rail-thin driver got out and nodded at Chris. They didn’t know one another’s names, but they recognized each other thanks to their work. Then the driver frowned and opened the door again.

“Hey.” The driver motioned at the young guy in the passenger seat. “Come on. You need to talk to these guys about the repairs.”

The blonde fellow opened his door and he stepped down. His shoulders slumped and he cast a wary gaze around. He looked lost, like he was completely out of his element.

Chris walked over to them and stopped in front of the car. “Hello.” Christopher smiled and he put out a hand. “I’m Chris. What’s wrong with your ride?”

“I’m Kent.” Chris could now see that Kent was very young. He didn’t look like he had broken twenty yet. He also seemed nervous. Kent shook Chris's hand, and he stared up at the tall bearded man. “I don’t know. It wouldn’t start.”

The tow driver, now freed of his passenger and the stricken car, waved and got back into his truck.

“Uh,” Kent watched the truck turn to leave, “I don’t have a way home.”

"If you live in Arcata or Eureka we can get you a ride home. Don't worry about that." Chris watched Kent relax a little. He got the impression that Kent had never dealt with car problems before. "So, it won't start." Christopher opened the driver-side door and he popped the hood. "Let's take a look, and we'll find out what's going on with it."

"Oh. Okay." The young guy grimaced. "Uh, do you know how much it'll cost? I don't have a lot of money."

Chris nodded. "I get it. I'll know more in a few minutes, okay?" Christopher turned his head as Stanley walked toward the dealership office. "Hey, Stanley!" The small, skinny man changed direction and headed their way. Once he arrived, Chris put a friendly hand on Kent's shoulder. "Stanley, this is Kent. Can you take him in, get his information into the system, and maybe get him set up with something warm to drink?"

"Yeah, no problem!" Stanley grinned and he stuck out his hand. "Good to meet you, Kent." The men shook and Kent smiled.

Chris went back to his troubleshooting, but he kept an eye on the pair of guys as they walked toward the office. There was an edge of eagerness in Stanley's voice as he talked, and the husky kid seemed to be in a better mood.

Christopher cocked his head as the young pair walked into the dealership office. "Huh." Chris's mouth moved slightly in an amused smile. He then shrugged, and soon he was back to work.

Tad made a relieved sound. He had completed a last-minute gig for his client just under the wire and he emailed the final draft of the flyer for the grand opening of the new hospital wing. Miranda had dropped his name to her boss at the hospital, and then the work request shortly followed. Tad was thankful - the hospital paid well and on time. He knew his work was good, and after a short examination, the approval of the final product and payment would follow.

He stood and stretched. Tad was done with his work for the day, which was good. It was Wednesday, and he had some time scheduled with Nate after he got off of work at the bookstore. He could now use the rest of the afternoon to prepare for the redhead's arrival.

Tad looked around at his somewhat chaotic home. Things always got a little messy when he was working. He liked to entirely focus on whatever he had to do, so upkeep of his apartment took a backseat when he worked.

In addition to a few dirty glasses on his desk, and some light dusting to do, there were a pair of used briefs in the middle of the living room floor. Kali had a strange fascination with underwear, but only after they had been worn. She dragged them out of the dirty clothes and liked to lie and roll around on them. Chris had always called her a "nasty girl" for the odd behavior, though it was likely she simply wanted to be close to something that carried the scent of her men. Regardless of the reason, Tad had given up on trying to change that particular habit of his strange little roommate.

Tad frowned at his surroundings, then he looked at Kali where she sat in the window. Her attention was locked on something outside on the street, and Tad smiled at her.

"Kali, why don't you clean up the apartment for me?" Tad walked over, and he patted the black cat. Then he looked down at whatever had snagged her attention. Tad inhaled in surprise when he saw the dark GMC truck on the street.

"Bear?" The pet name he had always used with his old lover sprang to his lips.

When Tad appeared in the window, the truck immediately started and it drove off. Tad watched it for as long as he could until it was out of sight.

"Mrrrow!" Kali jumped from the windowsill and she ran excitedly to the door. Tad looked after her, his expression sad. The kitty circled in front of the door. She looked back at Tad and cried. He knew what she wanted - she yearned for him to open the apartment to let Chris inside.

"He's not there, baby. I wish he was, but he's not." He walked to her and picked up the wiggly feline. She purred in his arms, and he smiled a little against her warm little body. "It's just us now." After another moment of comforting his kitty, Tad put her down.

Tad forced himself to pick up his apartment while his heart lay heavy in his chest. He couldn't help how he still felt for Christopher. He still loved the man deeply and completely. Chris was his ten - his measure of how strong love could be.

It was hard, but he tried to instill some sort of positive emotion before Nate's arrival.

Nate stood at the door to Tad's home and knocked. He could hear meowing from inside, and he smiled to himself. Footsteps sounded, then the door opened.


"Hey, Nate." Tad stood there, and the black cat at his feet took a look at Nate, then she turned and scampered deeper into the apartment. It was apparent that she was unimpressed by her visitor.

Nate stepped inside. "Hey." He shrugged out of his coat and hung it up on a hook mounted on the wall. "How's your day?"

Tad attempted a smile. "Ah, it's all right. I've had better and worse." His expression grew a little happier as he looked at Nate. "It's good to see you."

Nate grinned and he closed the distance between them. "Yeah? It's good to see you too." The redhead leaned in and the two guys kissed. While they did their arms closed around one another, and Nate enjoyed the warmth of Tad's body and the taste of his lips and tongue.

After a moment Tad smiled, his lips moving against Nate's. He pulled back a bit and looked at the blue-eyed man. "Okay, I'm having a better day now."

Nate’s tongue appeared as he smiled. “Well.” His hand ventured down Tad’s front and he rubbed the bulge in his jeans. Nate was happy to feel that Tad was already excited to see him. “Why don’t we make it even better?”

Tad grinned. “Sounds good.” They wasted no time, and they soon stood by the bed, stripped down to their underwear.

Tad knelt in front of Nate, and he pulled until the briefs slid down and off of his hips. He wet his lips as he stared at Nate’s erection. “I want to taste you.”

Nate looked down at him, approval on his face. “By all means.”

Tad grinned. Then he slowly licked up the shaft and then back down to the redhead’s balls. One of Tad's hands slid beneath the waistband of his own boxer briefs, while the other cupped Nate’s testicles and his knuckle pressed into Nate’s taint.

Nate loved oral sex, and Tad seemed to as well. His hands rested gently on the short, dark hair of Tad’s head and he was a little surprised at how good a job Tad was doing. “Shit.” He could easily get off the way things were going. “Tad, you’ll finish me off if you keep at it.”

Tad continued for a few seconds, then he pulled off and looked up at the panting redhead. He grinned. “I could keep going.” He shrugged. “Any reason for me not to?”

Nate knew what Tad was implying. He wanted to know if Nate was safe for him to suck off. “Ah, I don’t ever do penetration without condoms. And my last testing a couple of months back came back negative.” Nate knew that there was still a risk of STD transmission for both of them, thanks to window-periods of new infections. But that part of his brain just didn’t care enough.

Apparently, neither did Tad's. His eyes sparked with a mischievous, lustful glint, then he went back down on Nate. This time, the black-haired man was obviously trying to make Nate come.

“You are gonna get a mouthful.” Nate felt his balls tighten as he neared his finish and Tad kept sucking him. “Oh fuck. Here it comes.”

Nate’s orgasm struck with a shudder as he rocked back on his heels. Tad continued to eagerly milk him with his mouth and tongue while his knuckle pressed firmly into Nate, just behind his balls.

Nate breathed as he finished, then Tad stood up.

Nate was surprised when Tad grabbed him, and he leaned in. Tad kissed him with force. He shared the taste of Nate’s semen, and Nate felt Tad’s hand moving against his hip as he stroked himself.

Seconds later, Tad grunted while their lips and tongues continued their dance. He got off, shot his load into his shorts and gave a shudder of his own. Then Tad pulled back and he licked his lips.

“Mmmm.” Tad grinned. “That was fun.”

“That was fast!” Nate laughed and shook his head. “Damn. I think that’s the fastest I’ve ever gotten off!” He looked down their fronts. “You finished?”

“Yeah.” He gave Nate another short kiss. “Sucking cock is something I really enjoy. So it helps me get off pretty fast when I’ve got a guy in my mouth.”

Nate smiled. “I’ll volunteer to help you out with a cock to suck anytime you like!”

Tad laughed and he wiped a wet hand on his already messy boxer briefs. “How giving of you.”

Nate grinned. “That’s me.” He pulled on his underwear, and he picked up his pants from the floor. “I’m a giver.”

The two guys got themselves dressed. The plan was for Tad to make dinner and then Nate would spend the night. Nate felt a little bad about not bringing anything, but Tad had told him not to.

As Tad puttered around in his kitchen, he made a motion with his head at his desk in the living room. “Feel free to surf the web on my tablet. I left it unlocked for you.”

“Oh, cool.” Nate walked over to the desk and noticed the complexity of the piece of furniture. “Uh whoa. How much did this thing cost? It looks custom-made!”

“The desk? It was custom-made.” A skillet scraped on the gas stove-top burner. “Christopher made it. I think it cost him about $140 for the wood and all the fittings.” Tad’s voice grew wistful. “He made it for my birthday. It was a pretty awesome surprise.”

“Damn.” Nate’s eyes flicked over the desk. He moved some of the pivoting wooden leaves and created additional working surfaces centered around where a person would sit. He pulled out the chair, sat down, and he looked around at the expanded work area. “This is brilliant.”

Tad looked into the room from the kitchen and he smiled, though his eyes were sad. “Yeah. He creates some pretty wonderful things from wood.”

Tad resumed his meal prep and Nate watched him. After a bit, Nate swiveled in the desk chair to face the kitchen, and he cleared his throat. “Hey, so I have a confession.”

“Oh?” Tad glanced at him while he started mincing some garlic. “What’s up?”

“Ah, I saw your note on the fridge and I paid Chris a visit.” Nate grimaced and watched Tad very carefully for a reaction.

Tad blinked. “Really?” He stared, the knife with minced garlic stuck to it forgotten in his hand. “Why did you do that?”

“I was curious about him.” Nate frowned. “Sorry if it was out of line.”

Tad continued to stare, deep in thought, then he slowly nodded. “Actually, it’s ok. Chris is a great guy.” He seemed to squirm a bit. “Ah, did he say anything?”

Nate chuckled. “Yeah! He said something sorta weird.” Nate leaned forward, his elbows on the gray desk. “He said that he’d be there for me when I needed to talk. It had to do with something about you.” Nate shrugged. “Sounded like he’s playing some weird game.” Nate waited for Tad to laugh it away.

That’s not what happened. Tad set his jaw. “That was nice of him.” He voice had just a hint of sarcasm, then he shrugged. “I think maybe he assumes we’re doing more than just playing around.”

The statement, spoken in such an off-handed manner, caused an intense flush of both disappointment and then apprehension in Nate. ‘It’s just fun for him.’ Then his next thought struck. ‘Wait. It’s not a game?’

Tad went back to mincing garlic. Nate swallowed nervously and stood. He walked over and leaned on the kitchen counter beside Tad. He tried to appear neutral, though his stomach felt icy with trepidation. “So, what was Christopher talking about?”

Tad sighed and then paused. His jaw moved as he thought and stared down at the garlic on the cutting board. Then he looked at Nate. There was a strange, flat expression on his face. “I guess we should talk.” Tad wiped his hands on a dish towel and Nate followed him into the living room.

Tad and Nate sat. The dark-haired man looked at a spot a few feet away on the floor and his jaw clenched and relaxed.

Nate wet his lips. “Okay, this is kinda freaking me out.”

Tad turned dark, reticent eyes on him. He smiled sadly. “Luckily, I’m not worth you freaking out over, Nate.” He lay back and leaned his head on the couch behind him. Tad stared up at the ceiling, then he exhaled a heavy sigh.

After a long pause, he began to speak. “Last year, during the final weeks of summer, Chris and I were on a hike at Patrick’s Point. I fell and cracked my head, and as a precaution, Christopher took me to the hospital.”

Tad’s eyes grew dreamy and far away as he let the memory play. “They did a CT. They ruled out a concussion, but they found something ‘strange,’ as the radiologist called it, on the scan.”

Tad sat up and glanced over at Nate. He had the redhead’s full, undivided attention. A strange smile settled on Tad’s face. “A week of various tests later, and we had a diagnosis. It’s something called a ‘glioblastoma.’ They’re usually very aggressive, malignant brain tumors, and they typically kill very fast.”

Nate struggled to hang onto his calm. “That, that must have been really scary.”

Tad nodded. “It is scary. Every day it’s scary. I've learned to be okay being afraid.” He faced forward again and focused on the window. “I’m completely symptomless.” He shook his head. "But that won’t last. This thing will kill me. We,” he frowned, “uh, I just don’t know exactly when.”

Nate stared at him. A deep dread began to bloom in his belly. “What,” he shook his head, “what can they do? Chemo? Radiation? Can they do surgery?”

Tad gave him a knowing, defeated smile. “No. No surgery. It’d kill me. It’s in the hypothalamus, and it's really in there - tied into multiple areas of that part of my brain. If they removed it I’d probably lose the urge to breathe. Can you imagine having to consciously breathe? As for chemo and radiation – the only thing that does is it extends my time alive, at the expense of my quality of life.”

Tad hung his head and continued, "My choice to stop the chemo, that’s why Christopher left. I did two treatments, and they made me so sick.” Tad chuckled. “What’s really crazy? I stopped because I wanted my time left to be good. I wanted it to be as good as it could be, so Chris could remember me that way.” He stared, unseeing at the floor. “I did it for him.” He swallowed. “But he thought I was just giving up, and he couldn’t handle it. He left.”

Nate blinked, his brain unwilling to grasp what Tad had revealed. He sat and tried to wrap his mind around it. He cleared his throat and he forced himself to speak. “Uh, how much time did they say you have?”

Tad looked over at him. “Well, it’s a good sign that I don’t have symptoms.” He shrugged. “Once those start I’ll have between two weeks and eighteen months. It could be a few years before I have symptoms, or they could start tomorrow.” Tad laughed, the sound completely out of place in Nate’s mind. “Let me tell you, headaches? Those are pretty terrifying! I always wonder if this will be the one that never goes away and the beginning of the end.”

Nate stared at him. He couldn’t quite make himself speak right away as he processed the information. “I,” he shook his head, “I’m sorry.”

Tad smiled, then he shrugged. “Thanks. But we’re all gonna die.” The dark-haired man stood up and walked back into the kitchen. “In my case, I just happen to know the thing that’ll do the killing.” Tad looked at the cutting board and picked up his knife. “Hey, Nate?”

Nate stood up and looked into the kitchen at him. “Yeah?” He didn’t know what he expected to hear, but he focused all his attention on Tad.

“You do like garlic, right?” Tad waved a hand over the cutting board. “I’m loading up this sauce, so tell me now if you don’t.”

The shift from life-and-death to mundane gave Nate mental whiplash. “Uh, ye... yes. Yes, garlic is fine.”

“Okay, good. I love the stuff.” Tad continued to mince his way through the few cloves he had set out for their meal.

While he did, Nate sat at the little gray desk. Yet, instead of surfing around on the tablet as Tad had suggested earlier, Nate watched Tad as he prepared their dinner.

Suddenly, every moment spent with the dark-haired man seemed a lot more important.


It was a rainy Thursday evening. Christopher got to his apartment building and exited his truck. He was already a greasy wreck, so the water from the sky didn’t seem worth worrying over. He walked up the sidewalk, then through the breezeway into the middle of the complex.

He drew up short. A figure sat on the cement under the protection of the overhang in front of his apartment door. The man leaned back against it, and it only took a moment for Christopher to realize who it was.

Chris sighed, then he walked over and looked down.

The man at his feet stared forward into the rain. Nate didn’t look up at Chris, he only shook his head. “This really sucks.”

Christopher couldn’t argue there. “Yeah.” He reached down. “Come on.”

Nate gripped his hand and Chris hauled him up to his feet. Then the tall, bearded man unlocked the door. Wordlessly, Nate followed him inside and shut the door behind them.

Chris stepped into his kitchen and opened the fridge. Two beers in hand, he popped both and handed one to Nate.

Nate nodded in thanks, then he tilted the bottle and drained half before he took a breath.

Chris raised his beer. “I second that.” He took a slug of the amber liquid, then he wiped his mouth. He eyed Nate. “He told you,” Christopher said, without a question in his voice.

Nate nodded again, his blue eyes blank. He took another swig of his beer and shook his head. “I ah,” he flinched, “I don’t know what to do.”

Christopher took a long, deep breath. “I hoped you’d figure a way to stay. Be with him.” He looked down at his feet. “I hoped he wouldn’t be alone anymore.”

Nate frowned in apparent confusion. “I don’t understand why you aren’t there.” His expression was wounded. “How could you leave him?” Nate’s voice cracked and he grimaced as he faced Christopher.

Christopher blew out a shaky breath. “I left because I can’t watch him lay down and die. He’s going to just let himself die, and I can’t watch it.” Chris set his jaw, stubborn and pained. “I want him to live. I want him to fight.”

The emotion was audible in the big man’s voice. Yet, Nate's eyes narrowed. “That's his choice, and he loves you.” Nate shook his head. “He feels more for you than he ever will for me. I’m just a,” he searched for the word, “I’m just a distraction.”

Chris felt the first inkling of worry that Nate might not stay. “It could grow to be more, you know.” He stepped closer to the redhead. “Give it some time. He could grow to love you.”

Nate laughed, and then the dam broke. Tears streamed down his face, and his laughter turned to sobs. Christopher watched, hurting right along with him, but he was unsure what to do. Nate squeezed his eyes shut, and shook his head as tears dripped off of his nose. “Time,” he croaked out the word.

Chris began to say something, but Nate’s head came up, his teeth gritted, and his fist clenched the bottle of beer. Nate’s eyes were now red with emotion and tears left tracks on his cheeks. “I’ve known him for two weeks. Two. Weeks.” Nate shook his head. “I’m in fucking love with him, all I can think about is him. And the fucked up part?” He laughed bitterly. “The fucked thing is that I can’t run.” He looked forlornly at Christopher. “I envy you, your ability to just step away. Because I know what’s coming, and I can’t make myself run.”

Instead of waiting for a comment, Nate put the remainder of his beer down on the coffee table in front of the futon. Then he turned to silently leave the apartment, closing the door behind him.

Christopher looked at the closed door. Knowing Nate wouldn't leave Tad made something like relief settle in his soul, and he exhaled in a long sigh. Though there was something which needled the back of his mind.

He had been so certain that Tad would want nothing to do with him now. He thought that he had burned that bridge so badly there was no going back. Yet, this was the second time since Christopher had walked away that someone had said that Tad still loved him.

No matter what he did, he couldn’t push that out of his mind.

* Poor Kent. Dude can't catch a break, can he? He comes outside to car trouble
* Or, maybe Kent caught a break after all. Christopher notices Stanley and Kent getting along well
* Tad prepares for Nate's arrival. He and Kali notice Chris sitting outside the apartment. Tad still loves his Bear
* Nate visits Tad. And the secret is revealed. Tad has what is known as a glioblastoma - an aggressive, deadly brain tumor
* Nate pays Christopher a visit. Chris is both his only sounding board for Tad's situation, and a source of Nate's anger. He can't understand how Chris could leave Tad

There we go. Chapter six is on the books, and what a chapter it is. I love hearing your reactions to the work. If you're so inclined, let me know what you think, and thank you for reading.

Copyright © 2019 Wayne Gray; 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.
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It was starting to feel a bit like things were going in circles, and I don't exactly know why. Thank you for finally sharing what happened between Chris and Tad. I am not certain how I feel. I will need some time to process. Of course part of me wants to shake them both and say stop pretending you are characters in a story, talk to each other, and work it out.  After all you both love each other.

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32 minutes ago, BryanC said:

Gut punch.

Yeah.  Yeah, I know.  This chapter is a keystone of the book.  It's where the central struggle is revealed - the singular thing which defines the story, and what is to come for all the characters in it.  Tad is more than his condition, though.  Stick with me.  I'll do my best to make it worth the trip.

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18 minutes ago, JeffreyL said:

It was starting to feel a bit like things were going in circles, and I don't exactly know why. Thank you for finally sharing what happened between Chris and Tad. I am not certain how I feel. I will need some time to process. Of course part of me wants to shake them both and say stop pretending you are characters in a story, talk to each other, and work it out.  After all you both love each other.

I can see that.  Chris and Tad both circle one another - emotionally at least.  They can't help it.  It goes back to that fundamental truth - they still love each other.  There's no escaping that, not when it's as strong as it is between them.

Edited by Wayne Gray
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Wow what a chapter. Now we know what’s wrong with Tad. Chris is emotionally unable to watch Tad die. Nate’s admitted that he loves him and can’t leave. Quite a pivotal chapter.

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21 minutes ago, chris191070 said:

Wow what a chapter. Now we know what’s wrong with Tad. Chris is emotionally unable to watch Tad die. Nate’s admitted that he loves him and can’t leave. Quite a pivotal chapter.

Thanks, Chris.

Yep.  Now we and Nate all know what's wrong.  We'll have to see how Nate deals with it - and Chris too.

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6 chapters and I'm already invested and crying. 
Good work, I am excited to see how this ends up

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When I did the final proof for this last night, I already knew what was coming (as I helped edit the whole thing a few months back). I knew it was coming. Still cried when Nate did. It's his moment with Chris that really gets me. I remember reading it the first time and realising how there was so much more depth to Nate than I'd thought.

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Not what I was expecting at all. Well done! Great how all perspectives are dealt with and validated. Life is complex and it sucks and it is full of boundless joy. There is no right! 

On a completely separate note; is it normal where you come from if your car doesn't start you get it towed? Seems a very expensive start to what could be a simple battery problem... 

Thanks for a great story..

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I stayed and watched my husband die of cancer 4 years ago. The night that we anticipated he might die  his Mother and sisters just up and left because they "just couldn't do it anymore"

In spite of Chris' assertion that he couldn't stand to see Tad give up, I could never leave the one I loved to die no matter what. 

Nate's reaction is a pleasant surprise and shows a real depth of character. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, iMarme said:

6 chapters and I'm already invested and crying. 
Good work, I am excited to see how this ends up

If it makes you feel any better, it makes me cry too.  Thanks for coming on the journey with me.

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2 hours ago, Thorn Wilde said:

When I did the final proof for this last night, I already knew what was coming (as I helped edit the whole thing a few months back). I knew it was coming. Still cried when Nate did. It's his moment with Chris that really gets me. I remember reading it the first time and realising how there was so much more depth to Nate than I'd thought.

I think this chapter is, really, where Nate begins to truly show how much he has grown, and what he's capable of.  Love does crazy things to people, it really does.

Thanks for helping me polish it up, Thorn.  🙂

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1 hour ago, Canuk said:

Not what I was expecting at all. Well done! Great how all perspectives are dealt with and validated. Life is complex and it sucks and it is full of boundless joy. There is no right! 

On a completely separate note; is it normal where you come from if your car doesn't start you get it towed? Seems a very expensive start to what could be a simple battery problem... 

Thanks for a great story..

I'm happy to surprise you.  🙂  Everyone has their point of view - Chris has his, Tad and Nate each have theirs, and Miranda has yet another.  Though, right now they all agree that what is happening sucks.

A 19 year old guy with barely any experience owning a car will just call someone.  🙂

Thanks for reading and commenting!

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1 hour ago, Petey said:

I stayed and watched my husband die of cancer 4 years ago. The night that we anticipated he might die  his Mother and sisters just up and left because they "just couldn't do it anymore"

In spite of Chris' assertion that he couldn't stand to see Tad give up, I could never leave the one I loved to die no matter what. 

Nate's reaction is a pleasant surprise and shows a real depth of character. 

 

 

Man, I'm sorry you lost him.  More, that they left you to lose him alone.

Christopher is still in love with Tad.  Is what he doing admirable?  Most would agree that it's not.  He's being reactionary and selfish, and it's hurting all of the people involved.  But he's also limited.  He doesn't know how to deal with what he knows is coming.

Nate has been forced to grow a lot in a short span.  And that's always difficult, but worthwhile.

Thanks for reading and commenting, Petey.

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Chris walked away, unable to bear the burden of Tad’s illness. Nate is broken over it. Tad is indeed someone very, very special. At least Chris might understand Nate. As for poor Kent, he really doesn’t need car trouble on top of everything else. My heart breaks for them all. 

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12 minutes ago, Parker Owens said:

Chris walked away, unable to bear the burden of Tad’s illness. Nate is broken over it. Tad is indeed someone very, very special. At least Chris might understand Nate. As for poor Kent, he really doesn’t need car trouble on top of everything else. My heart breaks for them all. 

Yeah.  Chris has his emotions mostly on lockdown over Tad.  Mostly.  But it tears him up to think that Tad will leave the world.

Nate is broken.  The first man he has ever loved is afflicted with a deadly tumor.  Used to being a player, used to leaving people when he's finished with them... he's ill-equipped to handle the situation with Tad.  Nate despises Christopher in a way, but he also needs someone who understands.  And Chris does.

Ah, Kent.  Things may have worked out better for his car trouble.  We'll see.  🙂

Thanks for reading and commenting, Parker.

Edited by Wayne Gray
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This was an incredibly involved and emotional chapter.  Thanks for allowing us to share in it.

Tom

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2 minutes ago, Hawgdad said:

This was an incredibly involved and emotional chapter.  Thanks for allowing us to share in it.

Tom

Of course.  I'm happy it is so engaging to some folks.  Thank you for reading and commenting, Tom.  🙂

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13 hours ago, Thorn Wilde said:

When I did the final proof for this last night, I already knew what was coming (as I helped edit the whole thing a few months back). I knew it was coming. Still cried when Nate did. It's his moment with Chris that really gets me. I remember reading it the first time and realizing how there was so much more depth to Nate than I'd thought.

Same here -- even knowing where it was going, Tad's confession to Nate still hits hard.

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Just now, Fae Briona said:

Same here -- even knowing where it was going, Tad's confession to Nate still hits hard.

It hits me hard too, and I wrote it!  I can feel all the trepidation in Tad, the terror of Nate, and the hope and resignation of Christopher.

I feel it all.  Which made writing this story very difficult.  So I’m glad you like it.

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That is pretty gutless.  Our partners are supposed to support us, not decide for us. If Chris wants out.. then he should go and not come back. 

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11 minutes ago, Mikiesboy said:

That is pretty gutless.  Our partners are supposed to support us, not decide for us. If Chris wants out.. then he should go and not come back. 

It's very easy to feel that way from our point of view.  Personally, I understand why he did what he did, but I don't condone it.  I'd never do such a thing myself.

Like so many things about emotions, Chris's are confusing and difficult.  Because, the heart of it is Christopher doesn't want out - he never did.

In short... he fucked up.

Edited by Wayne Gray
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I'm curious

Did you know someone with a Glioblastoma Multiforme? Not many people know about that type of tumor unless they've dealt with one in some form or fashion.

One of the dearest, kindest, gentlest men I have ever known died from this.  Your story is not only wonderfully written, it's cathartic as well.  Thank you.

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5 hours ago, bellisima said:

I'm curious

Did you know someone with a Glioblastoma Multiforme? Not many people know about that type of tumor unless they've dealt with one in some form or fashion.

One of the dearest, kindest, gentlest men I have ever known died from this.  Your story is not only wonderfully written, it's cathartic as well.  Thank you.

Hello.  Thank you for writing.

I work for a system of primary health care clinics.  We have had a couple of patients come though our doors with these tumors.  Their situations put the condition on my radar, and with my background in healthcare, and access to various providers, I had my research tools built in to write this book.

I'm glad you find the story cathartic.  It was inspired by a man with terminal prostate cancer.  He only had concern for those he would leave behind, and I wrote this to honor him.

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