It was a few months before I heard anything from John. Aside from him and Maxxie, Brent was the only other person I’d told about the whole HIV thing. He’d let me have more time of work since I was getting even thinner than usual and things were starting to tire me out easier. I think the drugs were the worst part, though. They cost a fucking fortune and they made me feel shitter than I did without them. So naturally, I skipped a few days every now and then. I know that’s probably not so good for my health and all but I was gonna die anyway.
I hadn’t heard from Hadley, which I suppose is understandable since it was me who gave his husband a death sentence. But it would’ve been nice to make up or something before I died. I’d wanted to try and sort things out between me and Mom as well but I couldn’t do that without her knowing something was wrong, and there was no way she was finding out about this. Shit, maybe I should tell her. I should probably tell Ava, too.
I was in the middle of trying to work out how to split my stuff when I heard a knock at the door. I went and answered it and was met by none other than John Ocala. He flashed me a faint smile, asking me if he could come in. I let him in, kind of in shock. I was amazed he still wanted anything to do with me. I mean, would you want anything to do with the person that could’ve given you HIV?
“I had my second test today” he said, sitting down.
“How long d’you have to wait for the results?”
“A few hours. Because it’s been over three months they gave me a rapid test”
“How’ve you been?”
I shrugged. “Drunk, mostly. You?”
“Making the most of the time I have with Beau just in case I get a positive this time around. You look better when you shave”
He got up, sitting on my lap and ran his thumb across my jaw. I had a healthy amount of face fuzz going on because I’d kind of given up on shaving. Face fuzz meant my face didn’t look so thin. It was disgusting, but it made me feel a little better.
“I’ve missed you, Smithy” John said, his gaze meeting mine.
“You could’ve come said hi three months ago”
“I don’t mean like that. I mean... Like when we started going out. You were the guy I fell in love with all those years ago. And then we split up and you turned into this whole other person. I want the old Smithy back”
“Well I don’t know how to be the old Smithy anymore” I said, a little snappily.
John wrapped his arms around me, planting a kiss on my neck. I shivered a little and he smiled. “See, that’s the old Smithy”
“You’re gonna make me horny” I chuckled.
John laughed, snuggling up to me a little. I had to admit, it was kind of weird having anyone this close to me. Lately, anyone I picked up seemed to avoid me like the plague once the condom came out. A guy I picked up even crossed sides of the street because he saw me heading to work.
“Smithy, can I ask something of you?”
“Go for it”
“I want you to write like an autobiography thing”
I arched an eyebrow and he blushed a little.
“I mean, I missed a load of your life, and I want to know what happened, but I don’t know if I have the time to ask you. And it’ll be something for me to remember you by”
“Why would you want something to remember me by?” I asked, confused.
“Because you’re the first and only guy I’ve loved and because you’re my best friend. Brent’s great and all, but it was always you I liked the most. And that was even before I’d worked out that I loved you”
“Do you still love me?”
“Of course I do, you asshole”
I laughed. “You still love me and you call me ‘asshole’? You have a strange way of showing affection, Ocala”
He grinned, stroking my cheek. The grin slipped from his features. “I mean it though, Cayden. I’ve always loved you and I always will”
My lips found his by some will of their own and before either of us knew it, we were both naked, John on top of me with the alien feel of a condom between us. I’d start writing that autobiography thing for him tomorrow. I owed him that much, at least.