It has been several long months since the last time I have ventured out of my home, the last time being the disastrous night at The Gallery. That memory is still implanted clearly in my mind and the sound of Sam’s bones breaking continuously circles my soul. I cannot forget it, cannot release it from within. That night I had turned into the monster from my nightmares and he has not left me since.
Now as the sand caresses my bare feet, I try to recall my last visit to the beach. It had been with Tom, I know that, but what had occurred? Had it been a pleasant visit? I try to force the memories out, but it is no use. I cannot even recall if we had been alone, or had Natalie been there as she is now.
Tom is on my right side, with his arm entwined with my own, and Natalie holds my left hand, as we all walk slowly along the shore. Waves crash endlessly onto the sand, as birds squawk from above. It is a peaceful place; yet, I am not feeling so peaceful, my mind is aching for all the memories that slowly slip away, and every muscle within my body seems to be dissipating into oblivion. I feel as though I am wasting away to nothing, and yet, I know that my body has not changed, it is just a feeling from within, a feeling of weakness and restlessness.
“Let’s sit here awhile,” Tom finally insists, as he drags me down to the sand.
“Be careful, Tom.” Natalie snaps, annoyed at his rough treatment of me.
“Davad doesn’t need to be wrapped in cotton.” Tom tells her. “Why don’t you go for a walk, so I can talk with Davad, alone?” Tom adds, as he wraps his arms around my waist.
“Fine. Are you all right, Davad?”
“Yes I am, Natalie. Can we just have a few moments?” I ask her, as I drape my arms around Tom’s shoulders.
Natalie must have wandered away, as she does not say another word.
“What was it you wanted to talk about?” I ask Tom, after a short pause.
“Who wants to talk?”
Tom begins to kiss me gently on the lips and his lips feel softer than they ever have. It is as though my sense of touch has increased dramatically since the departure of my sight. The sensations which run through my body send shivers down my spine, and all I want to do is make love to him, right there and then on the sand.
I hear the voices of people drifting by, disappearing into the distance, but I am not concerned for their presence. I do not care if they see the two of us kissing in public, as I no longer fear public knowledge of my relationship with Tom. It is far from being a worthwhile concern now and the fact that I can no longer see their eyes looking at me has allowed me to stop fearing them. All I am concerned for now, is Tom’s affection.
“Marshall called and he wants us to come down to the Angel Centre, something about your blood test,” Tom had told me when I awoke this morning and we now sit in Marshall Reed’s office.
It is a little strange, having Tom here with me, after all, the doctor-patient relationship is meant to be private, and yet, for some reason I feel comfortable having him here. It feels as though he has been here with me before, yet that is impossible, as I would certainly remember such an occasion.
“What do you think this is about?” I ask Tom, as I run my fingers along the soft smooth arm of the chair in which I sit. It has a familiar texture, a texture that I am accustomed to, but the word for it refuses to come to mind.
“It’s probably just routine,” Tom says, as the door opens.
“Sorry I took so long.” Marshall apologises, as he walks across the room.
“What is this about?” I ask, before sinking back into the chair.
“I have some results from your blood test,” Marshall explains.
“I see. What is it?”
Marshall pauses and I hear the sound of rustling paper. “I don’t think I should tell you. I’m going to give Tom the results to read to you, if that’s all right with you, Davad?”
That is fine,” I tell him.
I listen carefully as Marshall hands the paper to Tom. The crinkling sound returns, as Tom reads. The office is unbearably silent, so silent that I can hear Tom’s breathing, at first it is slow and steady, but as he rustles the paper in his hands, it begins to increase and seems to become unstable.
“What is it, Tom?” I finally ask.
“It’s…Davad you…” Tom stops and takes three deep breaths.
“Tom, tell me. What is it?”
“It’s a HIV test.”
“What?” I ask, shocked.
“We ran a series of test, Davad, just to be sure.” Marshall interrupts.
“What does it say, Tom?” I ask, ignoring Marshall.
Tom does not answer; he just sits in silence, taking deep breaths.
“Tom, please! I need you to tell me what is says.”
“Okay,” Tom agrees, before taking another deep breath, “It’s…your positive, Davad.” Tom sands up. “I have to go! Marshall, can you make sure Davad gets home?” Tom asks before walking out of the office.
“Positive! What do you mean I am positive?”
“Davad, Tom has gone,” Marshall tells me as he stands.
“I am not stupid, Marshall. I know he has gone. It was you that I was talking to.”
I feel his hand touch me. “Davad…” he begins.
“Answer the question, Marshall!” I demand withdrawing my arm from his touch.
“You have Aids, Davad and its full blown.”
“That is not true. It is impossible, Marshall. I cannot have Aids!”
“Davad, you need to accept it. You have Aids and that is why you have been becoming ill so rapidly. It’s not just the tumour.”
“This is bullshit, Marshall!” I snap and stand, “It is total bullshit!”
“Davad, calm down, you know that I would never lie to you,” Marshall insists, as he puts a friendly hand on my shoulder. “The weaknesses you experience are all because of the HIV virus, you understand that, don’t you?”
“I understand! I just do not want to believe that this is happening to me. I need…Will you take me home, Marshall, I just want to go home.”
“Natalie!” Tom calls, as he walks through the front door, “Natalie, where are you?”
Natalie comes into the hallway, to find Tom sitting on the floor, leaning against the wall. As she approaches him, she notices that his hands are shaking rather violently and tears fall from his eyes.
“Tom, what’s wrong?” Natalie asks, as she kneels in front of him.
Tom does not answer; he just reaches out, pulls her close to him and lets the tears take control.
“Tom,” Natalie lifts his head, so that their eyes meet, “talk to me, Tom.”
“It’s Davad…” Tom manages to say, before losing his breath.
“Take some deep breaths, Tom, you need to stop crying,” Natalie wipes his eyes.
Tom takes a few deep breaths, then stands and leads Natalie to the lounge room, where he walks over to the bar.
Natalie watches as he opens a bottle of vodka and begins to drink heavily from the bottle. “Tom, what is it? You’re scaring me!” Natalie takes the bottle from him.
“I’m scaring you! I don’t think you know what it means to be scared, Natalie!”
“Fine! I’ll leave you to your sulking then!” She turns to leave but Tom walks from behind the bar and grabs hold of her arm.
“I don’t want you to go. I need you Nat.”
Natalie hugs him and runs her hand soothingly down his back. “Talk to me Tom, and tell me why you are so upset.”
“Okay, but I need a seat.” Tom leads her to the sofa. He stretches out and shades his eyes with one hand. “Davad has Aids,” he announces, without any warning.
“What!” Natalie blurts out.
“We went to the Centre today, and he had blood test results, they said he is positive.”
“Are you sure?”
“Am I sure? I had to read the bloody results to him!”
Natalie runs her fingers through Tom’s soft hair. “I guess I don’t have to ask why you’re angry then.”
“I guess not. Natalie, I don’t want to die from Aids.”
“I know.” Natalie continues to run her fingers through his hair.
“How could he do this to me?” Tom asks, as tears begin to roll down his cheeks.
“I don’t know Tom, but he obviously didn’t know if you only found out today.”
“Maybe, but he must have done something that got him in this situation.”
“I don’t think you should be jumping to conclusions. The only thing you should do right now is go get yourself tested.”
“I can’t do that,” Tom tells her, sitting up on the sofa.
“What do you mean, you can’t do that?” Natalie asks, shocked.
“I don’t know if I could handle the results, Nat,” Tom admits, wrapping his arms around her.
“Well don’t you think it would be better to know, then to just assume, Tom?”
“I guess so.”
“We can go to the Angel Centre now and get you tested, then we can…Where’s Davad, Tom?”
“I don’t know, he’s probably at home, I walked out of Marshall’s office. I couldn’t handle it.”
“Okay, we’ll go to the Centre and then we’ll go to talk to Davad.”
“No! No way!” Tom objects.
“I’m not going to see Davad. I don’t want to see him, Natalie.”
“Well he can’t be left by himself.”
“Right now Nat, I couldn’t give a shit about Davad, ok. So don’t even go there Natalie, because I’m not going!”
“Okay,” Natalie agrees, running her hand across Tom’s face, wiping away his tears, “calm down, Tom. Let’s just go get you tested and then I’ll go see Davad.”
“Natalie, I said no.”
“You said you won’t go, but someone has to look after him, so I’m going to go look after him.”
I have never really thought of darkness as a frightening place, not even in my nightmarish hours, yet lately it is very frightening. It is like being trapped in a dark empty room with no stimulus and nothing at all to touch my senses. I am experiencing a kind of sensory deprivation. It is not a pleasant feeling, but I am unable to escape it, as it now possesses me and has become the major part of my day.
I try to bring myself out of this waking nightmare, try to imagine how things would be right now, if I did not have a tumour, but I am unable to imagine such a life and now this new player has pushed his way into the game. This new player is relentless; he does not care for me any more than the martyr does. He just wants to destroy me, just wants every last breath of me, and just wants to see me below the earth, where he can laugh as my earthly body decays, and my mind and soul dissolve to nothingness. Then I shall become one with him, and I will not remember, will have no knowledge of this life, no memory of it at all, not even of myself, Davad Moss. Fancy that!
It is as though the game began long before the tumour was ever conceived. I had no knowledge of it then, but I know it was there, however, I do not remember it and I cannot possibly even recognise it, but deep down I know that it existed. It has always existed within me, it is a part of me, the one part of me that can possibly bring me down, and now as it eats away at my mind and body, all my earthly memories and feelings are fading away into the darkness, where I cannot see them, I cannot touch them, and soon they will no longer be a part of me and I will not even know that they are gone.
Today I live for the moment; I cannot recall much else. My mind cannot hold onto the information it is meant to store, it can only handle names and trivial things that have become disjointed, like the fact that I have Aids. How that information came about I cannot recall? I try hard to remember, but it will not come to my mind. Perhaps it is not there, perhaps my mind made the whole thing up because my mind is probably capable of doing such a thing, as it seems to have become very powerful, and as my essence fades, my minds power seems to increase in its capabilities of destroying me.
Ben Dover looks up from the papers on his desk as his office door opens. A smile crosses his lips, as Tom enters, carrying a bottle of vodka.
“Busy?” Tom asks, as he takes a seat on the edge of the desk.
“Not anymore,” Dover smiles. “Are you on the prowl again tonight?”
“Of course!” Tom tells him, running his fingers through Dover’s hair.
“Have you talked to Davad yet?”
“No, I haven’t. Natalie’s been looking after him, so he doesn’t need me and I don’t need him!” Tom drinks some vodka. “Want some?” He asks, offering the bottle to Dover.
“It’s been almost a month. Don’t you think he will be missing you?” Dover asks while shaking his head in reply to Tom’s offer.
“I don’t care.” Tom tells him as he runs his hand down the front of Dover’s shirt.
“Sure you do! Come on Tom, when are you going to see him?”
“Well I don’t know. When are you going to give me sex?” Tom asks, as he unzips Dover’s pants and slides his hands inside.
“You know that’s not going to happen, not until you get your results back anyway.” Dover leans back in his chair, allowing Tom to continue touching him.
“Then I guess it’s not happening with Davad and me. I don’t know why it’s so important anyway; he’s got Natalie, hasn’t he? Who have I got? Not even you!”
“Hey! I’m here for you.” Dover protests.
“Really! Then take me home and give me what I want.”
“You’re not being fair Tom.”
“So! It’s not like Davad was fair to me!”
“All right, let’s not talk about Davad then.” Dover closes his eyes, allowing himself to reach climax.
Tom removes his hand from Dover’s pants then stares Dover in the eyes as he takes hold of his hand and places it on the front of his own jeans.
“I have to go Tom. I have someone to see tonight.” Dover tells him and removes his hand.
“Great! What am I supposed to do?” Tom asks, annoyed.
“What you’ve done for the last few weeks, Tom, try to pick up unsuccessfully.” Dover mocks, as he leaves the office.
“Hello,” Natalie greets Dover, when she answers my ringing doorbell.
“Hi, I promised Davad I would come over tonight. How is he?”
“He’s as good as he can be,” Natalie tells him. “Come in.”
Dover enters my home and looks around the living area. “Where is he?”
“He’s up stairs, in bed. He’s really weak, and Marshall’s making house calls now. I don’t think he’s going to last too much longer!”
“Shit! I keep telling Tom to come and see him, but he won’t.”
“I know, and if he doesn’t come and Davad goes, he will be devastated. Is he at The Gallery?”
“He is. I better go upstairs.” Dover smiles and walks up the stairs, then along the hallway to my room.
I hear the door open and footsteps enter. “Hello, Davad,” his voice greets, breaking the dreadful silence which had surrounded me.
“Dover?” I ask.
“Yes, it’s me. How are you?” He sits on the edge of my bed.
“I feel just great,” I joke, “but how do I look?”
“You look great” Dover tells me, hesitantly.
The hesitation in his voice is a clear indication that he is lying and I cannot understand why he feels a need to lie to me. I asked him a question and would appreciate an honest answer, yet, it seems he is not capable of that. All I want is to know how I look.
“Listen,” I finally say, “can you be really honest with me for a minute?”
“Sure, I guess I can.” he agrees.
“Can you tell me how I truly look?”
“You really want to know, Davad?”
Dover pauses for a minute and I can feel his eyes caressing my skin, perhaps they are not enjoying what they see, but I am certainly enjoying their caress. I feel a shiver run the entire length of my spine and feel myself harden, as the sexual nature of such a caress beckons for more.
“Are you sure, Davad?” He finally asks.
“Yes and please be honest,” I tell him, as I try to push the sexual desires away.
“You don’t look so good, your skin is pale and you look very ill,” he tells me honestly.
“Are you saying you would not pick up a guy who looked like me?”
“What?” Dover is shocked.
“I am just joking. Thanks for being honest.”
“That’s ok. Do you need anything, I mean, if there’s anything you want Davad. I’ll do anything,” he tells me, as he takes hold of my hand.
“There is one thing I need.”
“What is it? I’ll go get it now!”
“Tom.” I say, squeezing his hand.
“Oh!” Is all Dover can say.
“I know you cannot change his mind. I just wish he would because I really need him,” I admit, “but Natalie has been great and the Doctor comes to me now, so I will be fine.”
“Yes, you will, won’t you?”
“I need to rest now, thanks for coming, and, if you see Tom can you tell him that I love him,” I tell Dover and let go of his hand.
“So, Joseph,” Tom says, as he hands him a drink from across the bar, “what are your plans for this evening?”
“Well, you know, the usual!” Joseph smiles, as he takes the glass from Tom.
“Sounds exciting, but I know something even more exciting.”
“What?” Joseph asks.
“Sleeping with me!” Tom smiles.
Joseph looks across to the corner table, where Andy and Monty are busy talking, then looks back into Tom’s eyes. “Are you serious?”
“Totally!” Tom tells him and leans across the bar to kiss Joseph softly on the lips.
Joseph pulls away and takes a step back from the bar. “No way! You’re setting me up for something and I’m not going to fall for it Tom!”
Tom laughs as he walks around the counter, to stand in front of Joseph. “I’m not setting you up Joseph. I truly want to sleep with you with no strings attached, just you and me, alone, naked and sweaty.” Tom tells him, as he runs his hand gently down Joseph’s chest.
“You really are serious, aren’t you?”
“I wouldn’t joke about something like this.” Tom promises with a smile. “What do you say, Joseph?”
“I say, let’s get the hell out of here!”
“Natalie,” I say, as Marshall gives me an injection in my left arm.
“Can you put some music on for me?”
“Sure, anything in particular?” Natalie asks, as Marshall pulls the needle from my arm.
“There, all done.” Marshall says to nobody in particular. “I’ll be going now.”
“Marshall, I would like to talk with you before you go.” Natalie tells him.
“All right, I’ll wait downstairs,” he says as he leaves my room.
“Now, where were we?” Natalie asks, as she flicks through my CD’s.
“Just put Blood n Fire on random.” I tell her.
“Okay.” Natalie agrees.
I listen to the sound of the CD plate as it slides out from the stereo, which is hidden away within the bedroom wall. I have never realised that it made a sound before now. I always assumed it was silent; yet, it makes a slight scraping noise that is almost inaudible, yet still detectable. Then comes the click, as Natalie puts the CD into place, and then the scraping again, as the plate slides back into the machine.
“Random?” Natalie asks.
“Yes.” I tell her and she leaves the room as the music begins to play.
Funny how random selection always manages to pick the songs you never listen to? The music is not all that familiar; I have possibly only listened to the song once, maybe not at all but I allow the sound to fill my mind, to encompass me, as I recall the title. ‘Biting clouds’.
“Biting clouds in the sky, feeling sick right inside. The needles are hurting, can’t see out of my eyes.”
How appropriate. If Natalie had selected this song herself, I would have taken it as a personal attack. Perhaps that’s exactly what it is. Perhaps my stereo has a personal vendetta against me, highly unlikely, but perhaps, just perhaps.
No matter what the reason for this songs selection, the words are a kind of empowerment. They are the essence of me because I am feeling very sick inside, and needles certainly do hurt, even when they are unexpected. A piece of metal being shoved into your body is a frightening thought. I am so glad at that point, that I cannot see out of my eyes.
“The gateway is open, the lights are bright, I should have listened to my friends last night.”
My mind seems to have opened up to new insights. Perhaps it has become my very own gateway to the nether world and the life beyond. One day, perhaps soon, my eyes will see light again and those lights will take me away, take me to my new life, to escape the martyr for a few more years, and when I reach that place, I know that my friends will be with me. They will stay by my side and will support me, of course they will all be unrecognisable, but to hear their voices will be enough to jolt my memory and they will bring me back to my true self, to become something of this man again.
“Taking pills and shooting up, smoking dope, who needs that stuff.”
I always wonder how people can become involved with such stimulus. People such as the members of Blood n Fire, for instance, constantly destroy their bodies with illicit substances without a care. Perhaps the day they are facing certain death, their priorities may change. Dover, Grimes, Stephens, and Elder, they have all dabbled, but not this man, as this man would never destroy his body in such a senseless way, and yet, now as I think about it, I wonder what it would be like to smoke a joint. I wonder what the feeling is like, and yet, I know that I would still never allow myself the dishonour. To do so, would be ludicrous, it would go against everything that I am, and then I would be just like everyone else.
“No turning back now, I’ve passed the line of life, on my way, another name, all I have is myself to blame.”
Pretty soon nothing will matter anymore, nothing at all, not this song, not even myself. I will be on my way to a place that is inconceivable to me right now, yet, it exists. It is an entity that awaits my arrival and I cannot change what has been perceived as inevitable. I am responsible for the way my life has panned out and there is nothing anyone can do to change that.
“Kiss me now, kiss me goodbye, I can see tears in my lovers eyes, but never wonder why when biting clouds.”
I guess this is how things were meant to occur. Tom kissed me goodbye, right when I needed him the most. Natalie has told me that he cried, and I have imagined him sitting on the floor of his hallway, the tears rolling down his soft cheeks. I have hurt him, not intentionally, but that does not matter, however it was, I have still hurt him and I have made him cry. How could I be so cruel?
Now, as I am almost truly biting clouds, I know that Tom has every right to hate me. There is nothing here for him any more as I can no longer offer him love or even to just lie in bed and talk about old times, as those days are so fragmented that I am worthless to him, as I am to myself. I am no longer an iconoclast, not worthy of attention. I am perhaps just a sphere in the mist of the greater world, a sphere that is about to lose its active position and soon all I will be is a mass of human remains, lifeless and unrecognisable. Fancy that!
“Why does Davad need the injections?” Natalie asks as she sits on the sofa next to Marshall.
“Why do you want to know?”
“I was just wondering what they’re for.”
“They help stabilise his nervous system,” Marshall explains. “Is that all you wanted to ask?”
“No, actually I was wondering about the drug, Fludarabine. What is that? I mean, I’ve never heard of it before.”
“Of course you haven’t,” Marshall tells her. “It’s a drug for treating tumours and it’s usually only available in hospitals.”
“Why do you have it?” Natalie asks, interested.
“I have friends who brought some bottles to me, just for Davad,” Marshall smiles. “It’s the best treatment for him. Without it he would be in constant pain, and that’s something that none of us would like to see, right?”
“Of course not! I was just curious, Marshall.”
“I know and I’m glad you’re so interested in Davad’s well being. Oh, I almost forgot.” Marshall says, as he stands up. “I’ve left the bottle upstairs, by Davad’s bedside, and a supply of clean syringes. Things are becoming rather hectic at the Angel Centre, so I need you or Tom to administer the injections. Do you think you can do that?”
“You’re not coming back?”
“I can’t! I wish that I could come every day, but, like I said, things are hectic at the office.”
“I understand. I’ll talk to Tom and we’ll take care of it,” Natalie agrees.
“You do that, Natalie, but I must be going,” Marshall tells her as he walks to the door.
Natalie can certainly work wonders. I always knew that it would be her that would bring Tom and I back together. Yes, he is in my room, sitting on the edge of my bed, sticking a needle into my arm. Not exactly how I had pictured his return, but at least he is here and at least his hands once again caress my skin.
As he pulls the needle from my arm, I hear him sigh and I know he is trying to think of the right thing to say.
“Davad, I’m sorry,” is all he says before wrapping his arms around me and resting his head on my chest.
“It is all right Tom. You had every right to be upset. It was a shock and you needed to deal with it in your own time,” I tell him as I run my hand down his back, feeling his warmth against me, and I realise that touching him is bringing alive the sexual desires I had repressed. I want him right now, and yet, I know very well that it is impossible.
“I’ve missed you Davad, missed holding you and missed your kisses, your touch and most of all, I missed making love to you,” Tom finally says and kisses me softly on the lips. “Do you want to make love to me tonight?”
“What?” I ask, astonished by his question.
“We can make love if you want.”
“Tom, you must be forgetting something…”
“No, Davad, I’m not!” Tom says, cutting me short. “I have some things that we can use.”
“Things?” I ask.
“Condoms, and some foam,” he announces, as though he is proud of himself for bringing them along.
“Oh, I see, well, you know that I want you Tom, but it will all be up to you. Does that bother you?”
“Not at all!”
“Davad, are you awake?”
I can hear a voice, but is he talking to me? He said Davad, who is Davad? My mind seems to be as blank as the blackness before my eyes. Where am I? And who am I?
Davad,” the voice says again.
“Who are you?” I finally ask.
“Are you ok, Davad?” he asks.
“Who is Davad?”
He places his hand on my forehead then runs it along my cheek. “You’re Davad and I’m Tom,” he says as he kisses me gently on the lips.
“Well, hello Tom,” I smile. “Have we known each other long?”
“All my life,” Tom tells me as he stands up. “I have to go Davad, but I’m coming back later, okay?”
“Sure! It was nice to meet you Tom,” I tell him as he leaves my room.
Tom walks to the bench in his kitchen and begins making himself a cup of coffee. Natalie looks up at him and places the document she had been reading onto the table.
“I thought you weren’t coming home?”
“Well, I had to,” Tom tells her, as he walks to the table and sits.
“Why? What’s up?”
“Davad woke up this morning and he doesn’t even remember me,” Tom tells her, as he wipes away the tears that have begun to fall from his eyes.
Natalie moves her chair closer to his. “He’s lost his memory?”
“Yes, he doesn’t even know who he is and I can’t stand to see him this way.”
“I know.” Natalie gives Tom a hug. “I could move back into Davad’s if you want?”
“No, that’s not necessary! I just need some time to think.”
“Well, just don’t leave him alone for too long, Tom because he really needs someone there with him.”
“I know Natalie, I know!”
“Anyway, Tom, we need to talk about this,” Natalie points to the document on the table.
“What’s that?” Tom asks, looking at the piece of paper.
“It’s a fax from the hospital. I did some checking on that Fludarabine drug, and you won’t believe what I found out.”
“Look Natalie, I haven’t got time for this,” Tom tells her and stands.
“Tom, that stuff is killing him!”
“Don’t be stupid Natalie, it’s keeping the pain away,” Tom insists, “Marshall knows what he’s doing!”
“Tom, I think you should read this!”
“I told you, I don’t have time. I have to go. Davad needs me, right?” he says as he walks out the kitchen.
Tom pours a glass of bourbon from the bottle on the desk and hands it to Dover.
“What are you trying to do? Get me drunk!” Dover asks as he sits in his leather chair.
“Maybe I am. Then you might sleep with me,” Tom tells him, with a cheeky grin.
“We’ve been through this so many times over the last couple of months Tom, and you know how I feel.”
“I know. When my test results come back!”
“That’s right, and only if they are negative!”
Tom kneels on the plush carpet in front the chair and unzips Dover’s pants.
“That’s a really low blow.”
“So is cheating on Davad.”
“Oh, we are getting cynical now, aren’t we?” Tom says as he slides his hand into Dover’s pants. “Wouldn’t you prefer a little more than this?”
Dover smiles and leans back.
“No, this will do me just fine Tom.”
Natalie walks out of Marshall Reed’s office, holding a piece of paper in her hands. Tom has been sitting outside the office in the dome shaped waiting room and he stands as soon as he sees her.
“Well, I’ve got your results,” Natalie says nervously and holds the paper out for Tom.
“Can you do it, because I can’t go through that again,” Tom tells her as he sits back down.
Natalie slowly unfolds the piece of paper and looks at it for some time, before looking back to Tom.
“I have it, don’t I?” Tom asks, rather solemnly.
Natalie sits beside him, places one hand on his thigh, and holds his hand with the other. “Actually Tom, it’s negative!”
“Negative?” Tom asks, shocked. “How can it be negative? We had unprotected sex all the time!”
“I don’t know Tom. You just must have been lucky.”
“I guess so. We have to go see Davad. I can’t believe this! Do you know how great this is great Natalie,” Tom kisses her on the forehead.
“How are you Davad?” The woman’s voice asks as she clasps my hand.
“Who are you?” I ask.
“Natalie. I’m taking care of you, with Tom.”
A strange feeling wells inside me when she speaks the name, Tom. It is as though the name should mean a great deal to me, and yet, it means nothing, if not just a name.
“Tom?” I ask.
“Yes, Tom!” A male voice says. “Your friend, Tom and we’ve made you something special to eat Davad. Your favourite, Tiramisu!”
“A dessert and you really like it!” Natalie says, and then there is a tinkling sound.
“What’s that noise?”
“It’s just the spoon striking the bowl,” Natalie tells me. “Open your mouth.”
I open my mouth as she requests and taste the burst of sweetness as the dessert slides down my throat. I am in sweet heaven!
“Davad,” Tom says, as he takes hold of my hand. “I know you won’t understand, but I need to tell you something.”
“What?” I ask, as I wait for the next burst of sweetness.
“I got my results back and they are negative,” he tells me.
“That is nice,” I smile then accept another mouthful of dessert.
Tom takes his seat at the corner table. Joseph smiles at him and lights a cigarette.
“Where are the other guys?” Tom asks, as he looks at their empty seats.
“Dover’s in his office, as usual lately, and Monty and Andy are both working late tonight,” Joseph informs him, then takes a drink from Tom’s vodka bottle.
“Listen Joseph, about what happened between us. I don’t want anyone to find out about it, okay?”
“I understand Tom. I won’t tell anyone, if you don’t, but you know I wish that I could!”
“Well, it was the best sex I’ve had in a very long time,” Joseph admits, blushing slightly.
“Come on, surely you’ve had better!”
“But that’s not what I said, I mean, you were great Tom, but the truth is there’s this one guy who does things for me that I can’t even describe, there’s no words for it, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been with him.”
Tom just smiles, while he considers the statement. “Who is this guy? Do I know him?”
“No! He’s just this guy I know, but he’s kind of busy with other things at the moment.”
“Are you saying he’s your boyfriend, Joseph?” Tom asks, interested. “You have a boyfriend?”
“I suppose he is, and I do.”
“Why did you sleep with me then?”
“Like I said, it’s been a very, very, very long time,” Joseph says, “and I will never regret doing it Tom.”
“Glad to hear it,” Tom smiles, as he stands up, “I have to go see Dover, so I’ll catch you later Joseph.” Tom walks away from the table and behind the partition, to the corridor.
“Knock, knock!” Tom says as he opens the office door.
“You’re supposed to use your hand for that,” Dover laughs as he looks up at Tom.
“Well, I prefer to use my hand for something else,” Tom grins as he walks across the room and takes a seat on the arm of Dover’s chair, “and I have great news, but it looks like you’re far too busy for it.”
“I am rather busy, but I always have time for you Tom,” Dover puts his pen down.
“That’s good, because I got my results back.”
“And I’m negative!” Tom announces.
“Well, what are we doing here then?” Dover asks as he stands up. “Let’s go to my place Tom.”
“Oh! You want me now?”
“Of course!” Dover tells him and wraps an arm around Tom’s waist only to find that Tom removes his arm and walks around the opposite side of the desk.
“Maybe I want to play hard to get,” Tom grins.
“You’re joking! You can’t do that!”
“Because you have teased me so much that there’s no way you’re backing out now Tom.”
“Oh, Mr serious! Are you going to get aggressive if I refuse?” Tom asks, with a smirk.
“I just might!” Dover tells him seriously.
“Who knows, I just might enjoy that,” Tom laughs.
Dover walks around his desk, grabs Tom by the front of his jeans and pulls him closer. “Don’t be an ass, Tom,” he says, as he kisses Tom hard on the lips. Tom kisses him then pushes him backwards, causing Dover to almost fall over the desk.
“Cut the rough stuff Dover, I’m just playing and I’m going to go home with you! I’m the one who wants sex, remember!” Tom takes hold of Dover’s hand and leads him out of the office.