Chapter 97: Light In The Dark
“Where Am I?” Adam mumbles as he finds himself on a dark floor. He grunts as he feels weird, light, a little dizzy. “Where… Where was… Where am I?” Pushing his hands onto the solid surface, he slowly gets to his knees, before sitting gradually back on his heels. His tired eyes look around.
He is in a dark grey void. There is practically nothing in sight… He sees a mess of luminous cards scattered all over the floor. Some of them are facedown; some of them are shining white light from them. And some of them have images. He picks up a card, seeing conflict and pain inside it.
Adam frowns as he sees a few teenagers in a school hard shoving him down into the ground, scrambling to get up, before one of them gives him a punch, “… This was after a month after I came out of the closet… My best friend, Michael, he… He stopped talking to me, he just abandoned me…” He mumbles sadly as shifting the card reflected a different moment of the point in time, “Why wouldn’t they just leave me alone? Why didn’t the teachers do something about it…”
He looks to another, brighter card. He couldn’t help but smile as he takes it, seeing a happy scene. It’s inside his house, decorated with snowflakes, glittering baubles, garlands of red and green hung about. He can see Yuri, Jamal, and… Merrick. They’re all sitting around a tall, lush pine tree with many fancy, elaborate ornaments.
“Heh heh heh…” Adam chuckled. He tilts the card a little, making the image on it shift, and seeing them outside layered in thick coats and gloves, throwing balls of powdered ice at each other, while Merrick was just wearing some boxer shorts, “That was Merrick’s first Christmas…” Adam says with a heart-felt smile, “It also snowed for the first time ever in Hawaii… I couldn’t ask for a better first time for that…” He tilted the card again, and he can see Merrick opening up a present – a delicate butterfly figurine on a white flower – the rims of the wings and petals alike light up with fiber-optic material, twinkling with different colors.
Adam takes one of the face-down cards, and turns it over… Only to find it the same pattern as the back. Both sides are covers, there’s no image or light from them, “Weird… I guess some things you can’t just remember.” He says as he casually lets it drop aside.
He glances at another face-up card, and takes it. Backstage at the Waltz, a few people stand there, stunned as a guy lay on the floor, blood dribbling from his nose, and Chloe storming off. He tilts the card, seeing her punch the man, and shifting it to a few other moments in it. “That time… Some guy made a joke about rape. No one thought it was funny, but Chloe just punched him out flat…” Adam’s eyes lowered sadly on it, “She locked herself in her dressing room and wouldn’t come out… Jerry and Carla couldn’t even get her to talk… I was the only one who actually got somewhere with her, Rajani was away at the time…” He shifts the card, seeing tears of anger run down Chloe’s reddened upset face, “It was so weird to see her cry…” The card shows of them sitting, and Chloe weakly hitting Adam’s chest as she sobs in searing anguish.
Adam puts down the card, and picks up another one. He blushes as he sees a booming party in a house with all kinds of guys in thongs in speedos, “Sasha’s birthday…” Adam smirked, “Her rich mother threw an extravagant party for her 25th… There was a clothing-restriction rule for the male attendants… She’s such a weird pervert…” He remembers he was only allowed to wear his boxers at the party… And Merrick was wearing a cyan-blue down-feather C-String.
He looks down at a darker card, and examines it. He is being carried out of a wheel chair, onto a cot. Erin tends to him and tucks him carefully while Daniel adjusts the pillow, “That… That was the Agency, yeah… They forced me to undergo electro-shock therapy, and I couldn’t even move… Erin made them stop and wheeled me back to my room… I don’t remember a lot of what she said to Nigel… I was in so much pain… All I can think about is getting them to let us go… I just wanted it all to stop…”
He picks up another card, smiling as he sees Luther, much younger, showing Adam’s point of view on how to hold a fishing rod. He takes another card, and sees Donna throwing a huge handful of fan-like leaves up, making them fall wonderfully around them.
“Hhhhhmm…” Adam sighs. What are these cards doing so carelessly left around? He doesn’t have OCD, but this mess is very bothersome. He begins to organize the cards closest to him, placing them around himself sorting by ones with images, ones shining brightly, and the ones facedown.
“Where were you going?” Asks someone. Adam looks up, and he sees…
“Merrick?” Adam looks up at him. Merrick is completely greyscale. Black, white, and grey. He has no emotion on his face.
“Where were you going to go?” Merrick asked again.
“What… Are you talking about, babe?” Adam asked.
“You promised… I promised…” canlı bahis Merrick said, sadness underlying his voice as he holds up a card.
“Merrick, why do you look sad?”
“It hurts… It hurts… I promised everything to you… You promised everything to me…”
“Merrick, I don’t understand. What are you getting at?”
“It’s gone now.” Merrick said, tossing the card to Adam’s feet, “That place vanished when you did.”
“What are saying? I’m right here.”
“You can’t go there anymore… Not now… You will always see me… But I will never see you again… And it’s breaking my heart, little by little.”
“Merrick! What are you… Agh,” Adam looks from the card, and back to Merrick as he bends over to pick it up, “Merrick, tell me-” He sees Merrick has turned around, and starting to walk.
“I can only take so much at a time… It hurts… So much… It’s killing me…”
“Merrick.” Adam shook his head as he takes a good long look at the card Merrick tossed. Adam sees only glimpses. The docks, light blue and white flowers, Adam felt so nervous, he could fall over as he faces Merrick. The card shows a velvet box, and a glittering treasure inside.
“HHH!” Adam gasps as the card suddenly becomes crystal clear, “Merrick!” Adam feels a purge of fear, Merrick is suddenly a mile away from him, with only the cards on the floor between them, how did he get so far so fast?? “Merrick, wait!” Adam kept the card in his fingers as he started to run.
“Merrick!! Wait for me!” Adam sprints as fast as he can, over the randomized playing cards all around. That blonde merman is so far away, “Don’t leave, please!”
Adam’s feet stomp as he ran past the cards. As he passed them, the cards begin to drift up in his direction, like a wind starting to shuffle them around. Every single card behind Adam levitates and flips, aligning in a very straight and elaborate pattern in Adam’s wake. The more he runs, the more cards he passes, the entire deck fluttering about around and behind him, putting themselves in a correct line of events from points in time. Cards with images, cards that shine with nothingness, and cards that facedown alike, all take their rightful place as Adam runs.
“Merrick, please! Don’t leave me behind again! I’m coming!” Adam shouts out, trying to reach his voice out Merrick. He’s not getting farther away from him, but he is still just walking away, as if he can’t hear him. Some of the cards spin by past Adam, and lay themselves in perfect arrangement in front of them in a black and white brick path, leading all the way to the distant lover ahead.
“Merrick, wait for me!! I’m coming, I’m coming!!” He begs, pumping his arms back and forth as he runs nonstop, hearing a lot of shuffling behind him, holding that one card that shows where he got down on one knee held tightly in his grasp, “Wait for me!”
Adam’s eyes slowly open, “Nngghh…” He groans as he shifts on the bed, his ass still feels sore. “Awww maaaaan…” He whispered. The corner of the blanket slips from his lap, giving him a sudden reminder that he is completely naked. “Hhh!” He gasped as he sits right up, grabbing and stuffing a nearby shirt over his crotch. He looks to the side, and sees Merrick sleeping on the other side of the bed, his lower body covered by the blanket, but Adam has a glimpse of that smooth bubble butt within the shade of the sheets…
A shudder races up his back as Adam looked around, grabbing onto a pair of boxerbriefs, and pulling them up between his legs. “Ok… Ok… Ok… What now…” He mutters, taking deep breaths, remembering certain events of last night…
Rather than wake Merrick, he turns to see his laptop on the desk. He sighs and nods, before taking the chair. He grunts as his rump still feels that dulled pain inside… That is oddly satisfying in the slightest way. He opens it up, and opens up a Word Document.
-Two Weeks Ago-
Adam paces around, his insides churning with mixed feelings… Confusion, a little anger, slight mortification, fear.
“He and I are close, huh…” Adam puts his hands on his hips, still unsure on what to make of anything, “Just what the-“
The door opens, immediately grabbing his attention, walking into the household with his duffle.
“Hey, Adam.” Merrick says as he looks at him… The look on Adam’s face is not reassuring at all… “What’s this about?”
“I um… I found something interesting yesterday, while I was at work.”
“No, at the Dream Waltz.” Adam tells him. Merrick’s eyes go to Adam’s hand in his pocket, before pulling out elongated pictures, before tossing them onto the table. Adam takes note on the exact shape and frame that Merrick’s eyes take on… Sad, maybe? “What are these?”
“… If I were to guess, I’d estimate a hypothesis that those are pictures.” Merrick said.
“Can you not be a smartass right now?” Adam’s voice shakes a little, “I’m being serious here. What can you tell me about these pictures?”
“… They’re bahis siteleri just of you and me. We were at a photo booth, and we’d thought it’d be fun…”
“Ok. Merrick, before she left, my Mom told me that you and I were close before my attack. What did she mean by that?”
“Just… Best friends…” Merrick said, not looking at him, “We’ve known each other for years…”
“You’re lying.” Adam stated, glaring at him.
“What?” Merrick looks up.
“You’re lying. We’re not best friends, Merrick, because honestly, these,” Adam takes out another set of pictures, and drops them on the table, almost throwing them. Merrick blushes as he sees these ones are a lot more naughty than the first set, “These aren’t the things that best friends do!”
“… What do you want, Adam…?” Merrick asked him after a pause.
“I want the truth.” Adam tells him accusingly, “Who ARE you?”
“… Look, Adam-“
“I don’t care what my mother says, I want to know.” Adam interrupts him, “I don’t care what Yuri says, or Jamal, or my Dad, or anyone else says, I have a right to know.” His voice still shakes with growing anger.
“Adam…” Merrick shakes his head.
“Tell me who you are!” Adam exclaims, “Why do you have a key to my house, Merrick?? Why would Jamal and Yuri be so casual about you stopping by whenever you feel like and using our kitchen?? Why do you keep kissing me out of nowhere, why-” He huffs, striding to the side, and then striding to Merrick, “Why did you let me touch you down there??” He said lowly, backing up, “Why did you let me do that?! I don’t know you, and all this weird stuff keeps coming up, and it’s scaring me how no one can give me a straight answer!”
“… Alright, no… We are not best friends…”
“Then tell me who you are, Merrick.” Adam tells him, “Tell me right now.”
After a pause, Merrick sniffles as he wipes his eyes, “Well, what is there to say?” Merrick asks weakly, “You’re my boyfriend… You’re my lover.” He sniffs again, “You’re the person I think about day in and day out.”
“Ok… Keep going…”
“We’ve… We’ve been together for a very long, long time.” Merrick continues, “Those pictures were taken when you and I were on an LGBT Cruise – that’s a Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans Cruise… Heheheh, it was the first time I ever been in a photo booth, and I was confused because I hate camera flashes, and the shutter kept sounding off and there was no flash.”
“So all this time.” Adam shrugged with a look of disbelief, “You and I were… And you didn’t even…”
“I wanted to, Adam.” Merrick said, “I wanted to more than you will ever know. But you know how cautious your mother was… And then when I tried to seduce you at the ward, yes. That gave me reason to back away. There’s hardly anything left of what used to be my heart…”
“Still… If we’re in a relationship…” Adam bows his head and shakes it, “Something could have happened to me, and you… Fuck, I don’t even know.”
“What are you talking about?”
Adam thought about Jessica, what she tried to do to him… And after all this time, he and Merrick were together “Nothing, never mind…”
“Anyway, it’s just… What do you want to hear, Adam?” Merrick asked, “Why are you so mad at this?”
“I’m not, I’m just… I’m shocked. And, honestly a little appalled.” He gestures to the racy pictures, “Seeing myself in that kind of way… It threw me off big time, and…”
“And… There’s something else that’s been on my mind… And I’m starting to think you’re the person to ask.”
“Alright. Go ahead.”
“A few days ago, you made soup for my Dad, because he was sick.” Adam said, a little more calmed now, “And it reminded me a lot of the earliest memory that I have.”
“How so? What’s the memory?”
“Um… See, I remember there was a lot of sunlight, and I could hardly see. I only remember someone coming to visit me, and… That soup you made tasted exactly like what I remember tasting on that day. It’s the only other thing I remember.” Adam looked directly at Merrick, “That was you, wasn’t it?”
“Yes… Yes, that was me.” Merrick nodded, “At the time, I recently had been through a very harsh emotional free-fall, and… I needed to see you. And it’s not like we would have much to talk about, and it was all I can do to keep myself from falling apart all over again. So, I made something to bring to you.”
There is such a difference of explanations between Merrick and Jessica. When Jessica talked about it, she hesitated, and was borderline desperate to make sure Adam knew it was her on that day.
“Then tell me about this other thing that’s been on my mind.” Adam continued, “The last thing I remember, we were talking about something. All I know is that there was someone saying something, but I just remember mumbling or… Whatever. If we were talking, what were we talking about?”
“When you woke up from your coma, you not only had amnesia, but you also had short-term memory loss. The only person that was able to bahis şirketleri make a lasting impression was Yuri, and that’s because she was your doctor, you interacted with her almost on a constant basis.”
Adam listens intently on this, wondering where Merrick is going with this. Merrick didn’t even need to hesitate when confronted with this question… “You had regular visitors – your parents, coworkers, friends. But you could never remember them. The more you forgot them, the more guilty and sad you felt, and you didn’t even know why. Yuri tells me while I was gone, your body was getting less and less healthy, as well as a growing depression that was severely hindering your recovery.”
“But what does this have to do with why you were there on that day?”
“Because you were happy, Adam. For the first time in weeks.” Merrick says, “You were happy, and sad at the same time. You were crying as you lay there, too weak to even sit up. You were so happy when I fed you, but you grew sad because you knew you would only forget me. You were so upset that I was just going to disappear as soon as I left.”
“You told me that you didn’t want to forget anymore.” Merrick says after wiping his eyes, “You said that you ‘couldn’t have this, whatever this is’. Word for word.”
“So… What did you say?” Adam says, his eyes rimming too. Merrick walks up to him.
“I took your hand…” Merrick holds Adam’s hand, “And I told you that it was going to be ok. Even if you do forget me, I will remember you.” Adam sniffs as he looks at those sapphires, “Even if you forget everything about me, I will remember everything about you. And I will tell you everything that we have ever had together, of everyday, of every hour if that’s what it took.”
“… It fits…” Adam said as Merrick turned to him, “What you just said… It’s like…”
“De ja vu?”
“Yeah… I-I’m sorry, Merrick… This is probably hard for you. I… I should have… You know…”
“I love you, Adam.” Merrick finally said. Adam looked right up at him again, “I love you so much, that it hurts. I love you with everything I have, and it’s killing me in so many ways. And it feels like something completely else just to finally be able to say that to you now.”
A tear rolls down Merrick’s cheek before he sniffs and wipes it off. “When I first saw you at the hospital, I didn’t even recognize you. Those men disfigured you so badlyyhhh-” Merrick whines suddenly as he put his hands to his face, just recalling the memory. He gasps and shudders as he takes a few hard breaths.
“Babe, I-” Adam says, out of total instinct as he walks up to him.
“I’m fine, Adam, I’m fine…” Merrick swallows his pain to try and calm down, “You’re here now… And you’re ok…”
“Merrick…” Adam says as he looks down, and takes Merrick’s hand gently, “I…”
“Don’t say it.” Merrick tells him.
“Don’t say it now, Adam… I love you more than you can ever imagine. But you don’t love me that way anymore.” Merrick looks at him with dulled eyes, “So don’t give me a cliché response just because I said it first.”
Adam sighs as he feels a sense of guilt, just from not knowing how to express these feelings and words. What Merrick says makes sense, but… They also hurt. As if he’s just been insulted a little.
“Also, something my Mom said.” Adam tells him, “It’s about when I was attacked. She said… Even though you had nothing to do with it, she says you feel like it’s your fault.” Merrick looks away, “What does that mean?”
“… I left.” Merrick answered, “I wanted to have something made for you, and I was gone for barely a week. During that time, you were bashed, almost died…” Merrick’s insides churn with unease, “I could have protected you… You needed me…” He sniffs again as he wipes his eyes, “You needed me, and I wasn’t there…”
“Merrick, there’s no way you could’ve known that would happen.”
“It doesn’t matter. I didn’t listen to you when you asked me to stay. You told me to come back to bed, and I refused.”
“Hhh…” Adam bows his head for a moment, before he looks back up, and sees that Merrick is walking towards the door. “W-Wait!” Adam strides to him, and grabs his hand again, “Merrick, don’t leave now! You can’t just… I don’t know, don’t tell me all of this and then just leave.”
“…” Merrick turns back around, and looked at Adam, “So what do you want then?”
“… Show me. Show me us. Show me more evidence, I want to know.”
“Adam… I can’t take this right now…”
“Y-You just said you promised you’d tell me everything about me if that’s what it took. Right?”
Merrick chuckled as he cried silently, “Are you even sure you want that?”
“Yes. I want it. I want to know… I want to know… Please.”
With the lights on, Merrick carries in several boxes he gathered from the garage.
“What’s all this?” Adam asked.
“When you moved in, I… I packed everything that had anything to do with me, and I stored them away…”
“But… No, no, I get it.” Adam nodded.
“Ok…” Merrick opened up the first box, and Adam beamed in awe as he sees an assortment of items as he looks through them. Books, shells, knick-knacks, unique things that hardly make sense.