1-8) Loving And Letting Go

07-04-18_12-48-12 PMEzio chewed longer than necessary. Mostly to weigh off his response. Quite the bomb his wife just dropped on him at lunch. The kids had gone out, it was just Viktoria and Ezio, so she used the silence to tell him the news about Blaine.

“That is … horrible. I am sorry to hear that.” Ezio meant it. Mostly. There was a small part of him wondering HOW she may have comforted him last night. No, he trusted that she didn’t sleep with him, but the mere thought of her holding that no good gigolo in her arms made him lose his appetite.
“It is. He does not deserve this. I am sorry Ezio, I should have waited. I did not mean to put you off of your appetite with such gruesome news.”
“It’s fine. I am glad you told me.” Ezio got up to clear his half eaten plateful of food into the trash and clean up.
“I was hoping you could help him …” Ezio nearly dropped the plate into the sink while rinsing it. He turned to face Viktoria, who joined him now. Evidently she had lost her appetite as well.
“I wish I could help you, amore mio, but I am not a doctor.”
“But you KNOW doctors, professors, etc. One of them can help. Must be!”
Ezio let out a joyless laugh. “You know full well that I cannot just call up my clients and ask them for favors. That’s just not how the financial business works. Maybe in movies, but not in real life. They come to me with their money, and I make them more money, for which they pay me money. I can hardly call up people in the medical field and ask them for a pair of kidneys for some random fool who enjoyed living it up a little too much.”
“Really Ezio, you think NOW is a good time to continue your Blaine-bashing. I have told you SO many times before and I bet I will tell you thousands of more times before we die that Blaine is more of a brother than my actual brothers ever were. If Frederico were in his position, you would act just like me.”
“Actually, after the way he has always treated you I would tell probably him that we all gotta go some time and I’ll miss him…” he chuckled, while pulling Viktoria into an embrace.
“Not funny. Not at all.”
“What about his kids? At least one of them is bound to be a match. And didn’t you say he had a sister somewhere? What about her?”
“He needs two kidneys. They won’t take a teenager’s kidney, except Blaine Jr’s. But Blaine refuses categorically to take his kids’. His sister is only his half sister and he does not know where she lives or what her last name may be now, she may be married. His mother is long dead and so is his father. Well, step-father really. Blaine does not know his real father.”
“Now THAT is something I can help with. Tracking down information on people is part of Frederico’s side of the business, you do not loan money to people unless you know you can find them again, especially not large sums. As you know I have worked that side when father was still alive. So if you can give me some more details I can find his biological father. And if he is still alive he owes Blaine not just one, but both of his kidneys from all the stories I hear.”
“Don’t tempt me. I may just take them from him and let him figure out how to deal.”
“You are so beautiful when you talk about brutally murdering people …”
They laughed when he began kissing her neck, which she seemed to enjoy, until she said
“Ezio, you know what I am thinking?”
“If it is anything like what I have on my mind, I cannot wait to hear all about it.” he wanted to kiss her lips when she turned away and said
“Let’s go see Blaine right now, so you can get all that information and start on it right away tomorrow morning! I’ll get pen and paper…”
She pulled away from him and hurried up the stairs, while Ezio mumbled to himself.
“Sure, let’s go see Blaine. That is EXACTLY what I had in mind while in a heated embrace and kissing on my beautiful wife. What else could I have wanted, than go hold another man’s hand, who so openly drools over MY wife.”

*

Blaine opened the door and raised an eyebrow when he saw Ezio.
“She will be here any second. Obviously you are too impaired to take care of yourself so she insisted on running by the grocery store to fill your cupboards” Ezio growled from between his teeth.
“Sorry man, I didn’t ask her to do that.” Blaine said as he beckoned Ezio inside.
“I know. I am sure you wished as well that she would not mother you so much. Must be demeaning for a man of your age … how old is that exactly if you do not mind me asking?”
“Not at all, one year older than Vik. And I don’t mind her taking care of me. She kinda always has and gets mad when I ask her to stop. It’s what she does. Always thinks of others first. You know…”
Nope I would NOT know. Instead of a romantic rendezvous with my wife in the bedroom with no kids near or far, I am standing in her pesky friends’ living room. Who needs romance in their life when they can kiss the booboos on one’s biggest pain in the rear!
“Look, umm, Ezio … I would offer you coffee, but … ummm … Vik is onto something, I kinda did not get around to grocery shopping with everything going on … ummm… She just knows me too well ….”
Ezio’s mood declined further. He felt like the outsider looking into the bedroom of an old couple. Well, Viktoria and Blaine did know each other for pretty much all their lives … but it was still at the very least annoying, if not downright aggravating. She was HIS wife, not Blaine’s. And Ezio did not recall ever going over to an old friend’s home to surprise them with groceries.

The doorbell rang. Blaine hurried to open and from where Ezio stood he could not see who it was, just saw two big paper bags were now shoved into Blaine’s chest. That bore Viktoria’s handwriting. And there she was, smiling at him and her smile – at him, mind you, not Blaine – made up for it all. He hurried to kiss her on the cheek and to help bring the rest inside.
Viktoria helped Blaine put the things away with an intimate familiarity of this place that brought on another wave of jealousy. Why did this just always feel like some odd love triangle?

Once everything was in its place, Viktoria made coffee and they sat at the kitchen table, where Viktoria told Blaine why they were there. Blaine was hesitant, trying to discourage it, trying to reason with her, trying every excuse under the sun to wind himself out of her plan, and Ezio leaned back in his chair to gleefully watch him fail miserably, just as Ezio usually did in such situations with her. Serves you right. Looks like you do not get away with everything home free after all.
“Look, I really do not know the man and I really have no desire to get in touch…” Blaine tried the puppy-eyes on Viktoria to no avail.
“You are not supposed to, Ezio will. Whoever he is, he is your father and he owes you to at least make the decision to help. Or not.”
“Fine, but even if there is a kidney, well, two really, I won’t be able to pay for it. Look I am not going to be able to work much longer. For that reason … here …”
He handed Ezio an envelope. Ezio opened it, unfolded the letter, read it briefly, tore it up, then slipped the shreds into the pocket of his sports coat, looked at Blaine and simply said
“No.”
“You do not understand. I am not going to be able to get up without puking, no way I can get to the office on time and I definitely won’t be able to work late nights, some days I may not be able to get up at all… However, I figured you might do that, so here is numero dos.”
Blaine handed him a second, identical envelope.
Ezio took it from him and without taking his eyes off Blaine, he tore it up.
“I DO understand. More than you think. I understand that you will need your healthcare insurance, more now than ever. And I will tell you also, that no matter how many of those envelopes you give me, each will meet the same fate. I refuse to accept your resignation. I might charge you for medical supplies though, if you give me many more of those and I get blisters and paper cuts from tearing them all up. Also, not good for the environment, all that wasted paper.”
He noticed Viktoria smiling. Well, at least this earned him brownie points with her.
Blaine looked surprised, but said nothing at first. Then he looked at Viktoria and asked her to pick up a prescription he had forgotten to get filled. She immediately left to do so.
The men sat in silence for several minutes, before Ezio addressed Blaine calmly
“You did not need that medication, did you?”
“Not until next month.” Blaine admitted.
“All right, so let’s talk.” Ezio offered, looking at Blaine.
Blaine looked Ezio straight into the eyes and spoke in a matter-of-factly way unusual for him.
“Look, I know you and I are never going to be best friends. No need to rehash why, but I do want you to know that I will never do anything to interfere with your marriage. Vik loves you and I can see you feel the same. While I never cared much about what people thought of me, I will tell you that I would rather cut my own heart out than ever hurt Viktoria in any way, shape or form. Losing you would do that, so while I may joke with her, I would never ever touch her like that. Never. But I do need you to understand that aside from my children, Viktoria always has been and always will be the most important person in my life. She IS my life and the only reason I haven’t blown my head off with a gun many years ago. Believe me, it crossed my mind many times, especially recently. Truth be told, I am already suffering. It is painful. I know Vik is hell-bend to help, but between you and I, I didn’t tell her how bad it already is. There is no use finding my sperm donor. By the time it is all set and done, it will be too late. My kids will be fine, their mother is a great mother. They do not need me anymore. I know that me dying will be hard on Viktoria. I wish I could do something about that, but I can’t, so I need you to take over there. All her life she tried to fix me, more or less successful, but now she can’t. I came to terms with it, but I am sure I do not have to tell you how stubborn she is.
As far as my ‘father’ goes, I am going to safe you the trouble. My mother was not only a crack addict, but also a whore. I mean, an actual prostitute. My father could be literally anybody. Including my stepfather. Who was not a stepfather, but some random guy who would stick around, they were never married. And even if you magically found him, he would not even know he had a son, let alone give me parts of him.”
Hearing Blaine speak so seriously shone a whole new light on him for Ezio. His jealousy had always clouded his view, even when he hired him on. The work he had Blaine do was not very advanced and basically just slightly more demanding than simple data entry. It was just to help Vik help him. Whenever he had seen him he had been joking with male colleagues or flirting with female ones. Always so carefree, even careless, which repelled Ezio who lived after the ‘work first, play later’ principle. But now he saw a side of Blaine, which probably only Viktoria knew. A grounded, vulnerable, intelligent and deeply caring side. It showed him a man who had been dealt a sad fate from birth, but tried to enjoy life to the best of his abilities. Kinda the ‘if life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ idea, even though with Blaine that lemonade had most likely been spiked most of his adult life. Probably even before then.

“Look, I thank you for confiding in me and I would like to offer to put aside our differences. But I have a few things I’d like to tell you. Viktoria is not the only stubborn one here. You and I are as well. You are dead set on letting go, when I will tell you that, unless you were conceived via immaculate conception, I WILL find your father. And being a father myself, I would do anything to ensure the wellbeing of my children. I think a bit of that is in every parent. Which leads me to point 2. I can be some convincing sunnavabitch. If your father has a kidney, I will get it for you. Thirdly, my appointment to get tested is tomorrow afternoon. It’s a long shot, but I have seen stranger things happen. And forth, I would like your sister’s name and date of birth. She may only be your half-sister, but she is kin and there is a chance. And lastly, you do realize that Viktoria will figure out you did not need the refill yet and will likely yell at you for not taking when you need what medication straight, don’t you?”
As if on cue, the door was unlocked and Viktoria laid into Blaine right away
“Blaine, you nitwit. You didn’t even need this yet. Lady at the pharmacy said you already filled the meds for this month THIS MORNING!”
Both men laughed, leaving a puzzled Viktoria with a worried look.

*

“Blaine? Hey sweetie, where are you?” Viktoria called from the entryway of Blaine’s house, when she received no answer she decided to go up the stairs, where she found him in the bathroom, in his underwear, collapsed next to the toilet. There was vomit everywhere, filling the air with a stinging vinegar-y yet sweet stench. This happened often these days. As if the original diagnosis had not been gruesome enough, they found a cancerous tumor in his stomach. Stage 3. Inoperable. His original prognosis of about 1 year to live got shortened dramatically, even though no doctor would put a timer on it. One glance at a Blaine before and after was enough for anybody to figure out that there were weeks, maybe a few months left.
She patted his hollow cheeks until he came to.
“I am calling an ambulance!”
“Vik no! Please.” he held on to her weakly, his tired, reddened eyes pleading. Within the past three months he had grown weak and frail. He had occasional good days, when he was almost the old Blaine, and many days like today. Viktoria wondered about the medications, if they even did anything.
“We have to get you cleaned up. Think you can stand long enough to … ummm … take your boxers off … so we can wash you?”
“I can do it …” Blaine replied faintly.
“You could not even drag a ball of yarn right now! No sense in false modesty. I’ve seen your junk before, more times than I care to think about, especially in times when you were drunk.”
She helped him into the shower, where he had a small stool for days like these. It pained Viktoria to see him like this. Once he was clean she fed him and put him into bed.
“Would you stay with me?” he asked, his voice weak and crackly from the vomiting earlier. At least he held his food down now.
“Sure.” she sat on the side of the bed and stroked his cheek gently. He had become so thin that his cheekbones protruded noticeably now and his eye sockets were so deep, he looked more dead than alive. A tear rolled down Viktoria’s cheek. Blaine gently wiped it away.
“Hey, none of that … come here, lay with me….” he lifted the cover and patted on the mattress next to him. His hands were so boney and white …
Viktoria did not argue with him. She kicked off her shoes and snuggled carefully against his shoulder, while he covered both of them up again.
“Penny for your thoughts, babygirl.”
“Remember when we were kids and we went to that waterfall we heard about, but got lost and then it got dark and a thunderstorm surprised us? It was so spooky and so cold and so scary, I could not stop crying, thinking we would die. You held me kinda like this, wrapped your jacket around me and told me it would be all right … and it was. The storm passed, the sun came out and it was a beautiful Spring day …”
“I remember.”
“Do you remember as teens you told me about that crazy party by the ruins with that rock band and we snuck out, but missed the last ferry back, because somebody probably had to nail some chick and forgot the time and by the time I finally found you, it was too late? When the early morning ferry finally came hours later, you took me home and helped me sneak into my bedroom window, but I lost grip and fell … right in front of Mama’s feet? OMG! She was so mad! Was a school night too …”
“I remember. She made me climb in through the window too, and I thought she’d spank me, especially when she smelled the alcohol, but instead she just made cocoa for us, and let me sleep on the couch. After giving me a few earfuls about my terrible behavior and that I should be ashamed of myself.”
“I miss Mama.”
“I do too.”
“Blaine, I do not want to miss you, too.”
“I am not really ready to go either, babygirl.”
“I need you Blaine…” she cried into his shoulder. It broke his heart. If only he could fix this. There was only one thing he could do ….
“You know what I was thinking, babygirl?”
She shook her head against his shoulder, still crying.
“I was thinking that after all these years, I finally managed to get you to go to bed with me….”
She made strange sounds between laughing and crying, while gently hitting him.

*

Ezio had kept his promise and had found Blaine’s father. Surprisingly a wealthy retired career politician. Blaine refused to contact him, after he had received his new diagnosis. It was a tough spot for Ezio. He felt helpless, saw how Viktoria suffered with her friend’s rapid decline. She barely slept or ate and had lost a significant amount of weight herself making her appear very fragile and pale. Blaine’s children took the news hard. He had been a very involved father all their lives, despite of all the other issues. Blythe, Blaine’s sister came to his house once when he was there with Viktoria and the likeness was uncanny. She seemed to have her demons too, never once smiled. The reunion was brief and very frosty. According to Viktoria neither Blaine nor his sister were interested in a repeat visit.
Viktoria now appeared in the doorway, a packed duffle bag in hand. “I am ready.”
Ezio rose and kissed her. She wanted to take Blaine to some place in the woods where they used to spend summers as children. Ezio had offered to go, but Viktoria told him just her and Blaine. While he would not say it out aloud, Ezio was afraid to leave those two alone, but for different reasons than all those years before. There was a good chance that Blaine would have some emergency and die there, far away from any medical help. He prayed he was wrong, for Viktoria’s sake. Something told him that this was a way for them to say their goodbyes as at this point it was merely a matter of when Blaine would pass. You needn’t be a doctor to see that Blaine was on his last leg. How he was supposed to make that hike to the cabins was a mystery to Ezio, and tonight he would probably go to bed fully clothed, just in case Viktoria would call in a panic. Funny how things change. Just 6 months ago the mere thought of his wife going off into some lonely woods with that Blaine would have had Ezio blow a gasket. Now he stopped short of packing them a picnic basket.

*

“I am fine, jeeze woman! I am not an old man.”
“I didn’t say that, I just offered my hand to hold on to, you ungrateful bastard.”
“We are almost there, old lady! Here, race you there. Winner gets dinner cooked for them!” He ran towards the cabin which now came into view, while he seemed fitter than most days, his condition made this efforts look almost comical.
Finally Viktoria made it to the front porch long after he got there, he was still catching his breath. She had let him win.
“Did you even try? Am I really so pathetic that you just let me win at everything now?”
“I did let you win, because I have had your cooking. I rather eat dog poop on a cracker than anything you brew up!”
“Whoa, you used to beg for that dessert pudding I used to make…”
“Only to get the taste of that horrible main course out of my mouth …”
“You are evil, woman!”
Both laughed. Then she handed him the key.
“You do the honors.”
“Very well, after you mylady!” he unlocked it and swung the door open, both entered.
“Nothing like the smell of mothballs and stale old air, mixed with rotting corpses to make you feel like you arrived!”
“Seriously, what is that smell? You did put on deodorant before we left, right?”
“What’s deodorant? Wait, can you check my pulse. Maybe I am already dead and I just did not realize it yet.” he joked.
“Not funny Blaine. Wait, I am going to check the bathroom.”
“You will do no such thing. You will go and wait outside. I will check. And don’t you dare argue with me for once, woman!”
Viktoria did as he asked. After long moments of silence she heard stirring. Blaine came limping outside, holding his throat. Her heart beat fast. Oh no, she knew she should not have let him go inside alone. He now stumbled towards her, blood all over his shirt, his chest, his hands …
He stumbled into her arms, she caught him when he collapsed.
“I …. Vik … help me … ” he moaned in pain.
“Oh gawd Blaine, how can I help, where are you bleeding from? What can I do?”
“My .. urgh … here … down …here …”
“Where, what?”
“Here …” he took her hand and placed it on his crotch then burst into laughter.
Viktoria didn’t understand, then pulled away her hand and punched him in the chest, as he held up a half empty ketchup bottle.
“You are one gigantic a$$hole, Blaine Cameron!!!” Viktoria jumped up.
Blaine was still laughing, and nearly in tears….
“You are so frigging immature…. I think I am going back home and leave your butt here. Good luck and enjoy the mountain air!”
Viktoria felt relief and anger, as she grabbed her bag and headed down the path they came up on. Blaine ran after her and held on to her arm.
“Don’t go. I am sorry. But your face … and don’t you remember … when we came here as teens? That one summer, when it rained 4 weeks straight?”
“Yeah, I remember now. You pulled that same stupid immature dick joke then too. And I cannot believe I fell for it again. You are still a douche!”
“Please don’t go.” He had stopped laughing now and was very serious. “I really AM sorry.”
“Fine. No more of this nonsense.”
“No more, scout’s honors!”
“You were never a scout.”
“I was … for one day.”
“Oh yeah. Why were you kicked out again?”
“I beat up a kid for saying something stupid.”
“Man, I am not even going to ask… but seriously, no more of this. If Ezio even suspected that my hand had been anywhere near … that, he’d have your hide!” Viktoria drew a circle in the air above the general area of the offensive body part.
“Gotcha, no more hands down there. I already have an idea about a snakebite routine down there. No hands needed. Just lips.” He ran as soon as he finished speaking, Viktoria immediately after him.
“I am going to kick your …!”
A play fight ensued, when Viktoria halted.
“Ummm .. Blaine?”
“Hmmm?”
“Did you ever find where that smell came from?”
“Yeah, someone had taken a dump and not flushed. Fret not, damsel in distress, I fixed it.”
“Wow, you know how to flush a toilet. I am so much in awe, I can barely ask if you opened the window as well…”
“Ummm…”
“Oh, and just so we are clear … you are washing your own damn clothes. Good luck getting the ketchup out.”
“But I am sick and dying …”
“Shoulda thought about that before being such an idiot. Come with me you demon, let’s see if we can grill us up some sustenance.”

*

“How are you feeling?”
“Fit like a dolphin. Well, I think I ate too much. Maybe more like a manatee. Why?”
“Wanna go for a little walk? To see if we can find our old spot. I think it was that way…”
“Sure! Need to walk off some of that food, don’t want to ruin my girlish figure…” Blaine lifted his shirt and rubbed his belly, but all Viktoria could see was ribs and hip bones protruding. Ugh.

They walked, slowly, the weather was beautiful. Once they arrived, both dropped down in a field of clover, where they play wrestled, until Blaine signaled his surrender after Viktoria attempted to stuff a fistful of red clover into his mouth when he made another one of his off color jokes. Spitting he sat up, while she rolled onto her back.
“At least now you finally got your mouth stuffed for once, you dirty old man. Seriously, look at us. Both in our 40s and acting like adolescents.”
He laid down next to her.
“Look at that cloud over there. Kinda looks like a giant…”
“Stop! I do not want to know! Or are you that hungry for more clover?”
“What?! I was gonna say a giant rabbit. Look, there are the ears, the eyes, the feet…”
He was right.
“Sorry. With you it could be anything.”
“Fair point. But I am trying to be good. Which is why I did not point out that cloud over there that looks like a giant set of …”
“BLAINE!”
He laughed.

For a while they laid back just enjoying the day quietly. Viktoria looked over at her friend from the corner of her eyes. She loved that man, even though he had always been a giant pain in her butt. He just could not seem to take life seriously, could not stay out of trouble. Well, maybe he had known that his life would be cut shorter than most. He felt better now, had gained some weight back, some color had returned to his face, but only because they had stopped treatment altogether. The medication was what made him so sick. Now all he had left was pain management.

“Vik?”
“Yes?”
“I have a favor to ask of you. And before you say no, or hit me, promise you will at least think about it. It is kind of an unusual request … And please don’t hit me!”
“I am not going to sleep with you, I am not going to touch body parts I am not supposed to touch.”
“It’s nothing like that. I have a REALLY big favor to ask of you. I want you to help me die.”
“WHAT?! Are you nuts?! Absolutely not! No way! You are insane!!!!!” Viktoria sat up straight, staring at him bewildered.
“Please, just consider it.”
“WHY Blaine? This is supposed to be an enjoyable trip. Something fun, after all the terrible time we both had. Why ruin it with such … nonsense?!”
“Because Vik, just you being here with me, you agreeing to this trip, and just sitting here with you, being silly, that … it made everything better. Whenever I think of anything good in my life, it is always your face that appears. Sometimes we were kids, sometimes teens, sometimes in our twenties, and now … but it is always you. I want my last memory to be … this …”
“Why? Blaine why? Why not enjoy what time you have left? Why shorten it even more? WHY!?”
“Vik, this is the best I am ever going to be. It is all downhill from here. Fast. You do not know how I feel most of the time. I cannot explain to you how often I wished to just not wake up the next morning. I have a gun you know. But I was afraid that you would be the one to find me. I could never do that to you. But I have an injection. There will be no pain, and I will just fall asleep and my heart will…”
“SHUT UP!!! NEVER!!! I would give my life to save yours, you moron! You cannot ask me for this! I’d sooner sleep with you right here right now, before I would be the one to help you DIE!?!” Viktoria now screamed at him, her voice tipping over for pain and terror, as tears ran down her face. Blaine sat up and pulled her into a tight embrace, just held her.
“Shhhhh babygirl shhhhhh .. there there … it will be all right … everything will be all right …”
“You are lying to me! This time you are lying… nothing will be all right … you will leave me … you cannot even wait to leave me …. then I will be all alone. Mama’s gone .. you will be gone … why can’t I die too!? I want to die as well!” she cried harder against his shoulders.
“You have so much living left to do. A husband who worships the ground you walk on. You get to see your children grow up. See their graduation, see them become successful adults, get married, have children … your grandchildren ….”
“Now you are making me feel old …” she mumbled…
He laughed. “Well, since you seem to worry about that now, may I return to your alternative? I am interested, if that offer is still on the table?”
She sat up. “What offer?”
“Well, you said you’d rather sleep with me than help me die …”
She grabbed a fistful of red clover and he jumped up and ran ….

*

“Move over!” Viktoria stood at Blaine’s bed in her pj’s.
He did as requested and as she climbed into bed next to him he grinned.
“Don’t trust me, huh?”
“Nope.”
“Funny, how time has changed. That used to mean that you would never get INTO bed with me, now it means the opposite.”
“You used to not be on suicide watch! You used to like living.”
“I still do. Oh, angel, if I could make it last longer, I would. I’d give my manhood for that, and you know how attached I am to that, no pun intended.”
“Can we not have ONE single conversation lasting longer than 1 minute in which you do not bring up anything to do with sex, your junk, and such stuff?”
“Hmmm, let me think. No, I do not believe I am capable of such a conversation…” he chuckled.
“Well, try!”
“Anything for you, sugartits.”
“ARGH!”
“Sorry, I’ll be good now. Or good-ish. To keep the suspense.”
“Blaine?”
“Hmmm?”
“Can I lay on your arm?”
“I don’t know .. most of the time I got that close to you anywhere near a bed I ended up with a glowing red cheek or a punch in the groin.”
“Very funny.”
He stretched out his arm and she snuggled up against his shoulder.”
“Kinda weird, that the place I feel safest right now is in bed with a notorious manwhore.”
“Wow, I thought we would not bring up anything sexual.”
“That’s not sexual. It is a fact of life. Like saying you have green eyes.”
“Can I tell you something, babygirl? But you have to promise not to get mad.”
“Does it have to do with sexual acts between us or me killing you?”
“No. Well, kinda, but indirectly. Not like you think.”
“I am intrigued. Let’s have it.”
“Have you ever wondered how our lives would have played out, had we ever gotten together? As a couple? The real deal?”
“I hate to admit it, but yeah, I actually have. You would move into my old place, you remember that little apartment, we would get married on a whim some odd place, we would have a girl, she would have your beautiful green eyes and my hair. She’d be tall like you too …”
“… but have your looks and smarts. We’d name her Vivian and she would be a writer …”
“…we’d move to a little place by the water and get a dog named … ummm …”
“Spunky!”
“I would never let you name our dog ‘Spunky’!”
“Fine, you name the damn mutt then, wifey….” Blaine flashed his signature smirk.
“Taylor. No … Scout .. no … ummmm… Hunter! Yeah, and it is a bigger dog. A protector.”
“You would not need a protector, you’d have me.”
“True, but when Vivian grows up, he would make sure no boys would grow octopus arms around her.”
“Good point. I would hate to end up in jail even in my beautiful little fantasy.”
“You’d be in some famous band …”
“As if you would let me travel the world with all those groupies around …”
“You’d be wearing a chastity belt …”
“OK, now it’s starting to turn into my real life hell … hahahaha”
They laid there spinning their tale on and on, until Viktoria became sleepy. She tried to stay awake but eventually Blaine did not get any more responses and noticed the calm, even breathing.
For a long while he laid like this with her, watching the light of the full moon paint fantasy patterns on the blanket, Viktoria’s feminine form outlined beneath.
What would he give to live that dream they had together. He’d gladly give up part of his life and die today, if only they could go back to where it all went wrong. To have known then what he knew now …
Eventually Blaine gently pulled his arm out from underneath her head, sat up, looked at her cell phone on the nightstand. He stood up, grabbed the phone and headed for the door, where he turned around one more time …

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