The Foxwood Chronicles
“Evan, eat some toast at least before you leave.”
Evan gave his grandmother a peck on the cheek and shook his head.
“No time. I have to be at the hospital before Adam wakes up. I have to be there when he does. He has to see me when he opens his eyes.”
He grabbed a glass of orange juice and quickly chugged it as his grandmother nodded and smiled.
“Shall I call the Sinclairs to drive you over there?”
He shook his head.
“It’ll be quicker if I just run. They’ll take forever to get ready and they’ll want to talk.”
He was already out of the kitchen and running through the dining room.
“I’ll be up there later. Give the Stuarts my love!” his grandmother called just before the screen on the front door slammed.
Wearing cut-off shorts below his usual Izod or Polo, something he had never done in California, and Nikes that he hadn’t washed since his arrival in Foxwood three weeks before, Evan jogged up Court Street, his longish hair, now having grown from the perfectly sculptured cut he once so assiduously maintained, tossed in the wind and flopped up and down with each stride. Even though it was early morning, the late July heat had already begun to grow and he was quite sweaty after only a couple of blocks. The Stuarts’ car was not in the driveway as he ran past Adam’s house and the church and as he reached Main Street, the morning traffic of business people heading to their offices was almost the only life he could see. There were no shoppers with whom to compete for the sidewalk as he ran toward the hospital.
The cold air conditioning and the disinfectant smell was almost a slap in the face as he impatiently waited for the automatic door in the hospital lobby to open. A volunteer sitting at the desk in front, an elderly lady who looked remarkably like the picture of Pope John Paul II that hung above and behind her, was about to ask him something as he ran past. He dodged around a couple of nuns and threw open the door to the stairs, rather than waste precious time with the elevator.
When he reached the third floor, he was quite winded, but it didn’t matter to him. The nurse at the desk nodded as he hurried past, his shirt drenched, beads of sweat on his face. He saw Dr. Atherton consulting with another physician down the hall and started to call to him, but chose not to. It would delay him.
He turned into the doorway to Adam’s room as the Stuarts were just sitting down in the two chairs on the opposite side of the bed. Adam was still asleep, lying peacefully on his back, a rare look of actual contentment on his face.
“Is he awake yet?” Evan panted softly in the doorway. Mrs. Stuart smiled and shook her head.
“He slept through the night. How are you, Evan?”
“I’m OK,” he replied quickly, dismissing the question as if his health was of no concern. “Will the doctor try to wake him up later or wait till he does it on his own?”
“I think he’ll sleep as much as he needs to,” Pastor Stuart replied. “We just have to be patient and let Adam do what he needs to do.”
Evan took a deep breath and relaxed. He slid another chair over to the side of the bed opposite the Stuarts and sat down. He gazed at Adam’s sleeping face, so peaceful, so pretty, the wild-boy hair falling across his forehead and pillow.
“He looks to sweet,” he whispered.
Adam’s mother smiled and nodded.
“Yes, he does. Sometimes, I look at him when he’s sleeping and I try to imagine the storms of frustration that have to be raging inside him sometimes and I just can’t believe it’s the same boy.”
Pastor took his wife’s hand and she leaned against him. Evan reached across the bed and took Adam’s hand in his.
It was not long before Dr. Atherton looked in as he was doing his rounds. After the obligatory small-talk with the three, he leaned over Adam as Evan released the boy’s hand and stood, moving out of the doctor’s way. He felt Adam’s pulse and then checked his chart. Looking at Adam’s mother, he said softly, “Why don’t you awaken him. Let’s see how he’s doing.”
She stood and then hesitated.
“Perhaps, Evan, you should.”
Dr. Atherton looked surprised for a moment and then nodded with understanding. Evan looked with uncertainty first at Adam’s mother and, then, at Dr. Atherton, who simply smiled and nodded again. Evan swallowed and stepped forward. Taking Adam’s hand in his, he gently touched Adam’s forehead with his other, brushing the waves and curls from Adam’s peaceful eyes, and whispered, “Adam, it’s Evan. Can you hear me? Wake up, Adam.”
At first, there was no reaction, but as Evan repeated his words just a tiny bit louder, Adam moaned and shifted slightly. His eyes still closed, he pulled his hand from Evan’s and the look of peace and contentment on his face disappeared. Evan looked up at Dr. Atherton in fear, but the doctor’s face was a blank. He looked back at Adam and softly said, “Adam, it’s me, Evan. Can you wake up now, sweetheart? Please?”
A moan of protest escaped from deep inside Adam and as he rolled over with his back to Evan he curled into the fetal position, his eyes open and unfocused toward the wall. His mother fought tears and stood.
“Adam, honey. It’s Mommy,” she said softly, unconsciously reverting to the language she used when he was younger. “Can you hear me, sweety?”
There was no reaction. Adam’s face was a blank and his eyes were unresponsive to his mother’s moving to stand before him. Dr. Atherton walked around and aimed a penlight into them as he leaned down to look. The pupils responded, but Adam didn’t. The doctor sighed.
“I’m going to talk with a psychiatrist on the staff here. I wouldn’t be too concerned yet. It may take some time.
Evan was biting his lip as Dr. Atherton placed a gentle hand on his shoulder while walking past. The Stuarts sat back down in their chairs. Evan stood for a moment, clenching his hands and looking down with pain at the boy he loved. After a long pause, he, too, sat.
He had no idea how long they sat there, silent, watching Adam lying unmoving and unresponsive. Soon, Evan’s grandmother appeared at the doorway. As she entered, Evan simply watched Adam. The Stuarts stood and Dorothy kissed both of them. They went outside to the hallway to talk, leaving Evan alone with his love.
Evan stood uncertainly and walked around the bed. He knelt on his knees before Adam’s face, his own just inches away.
“Adam,” he whispered. “I love you, Adam. I’m here, Adam. I’m not going anywhere. I’m with you. Can you hear me?”
There was no response. Adam’s eyes were still unfocused staring blindly ahead, the boy’s face registering no emotion.
“Can you hear me, Adam? Please say something. Please let me know you hear me. You’re safe, Adam. I’m here. I love you.”
Adam still did not respond. Evan struggled to contain the sob that was building in his throat. Sniffing, he looked up at the door and saw Dylan standing there, a blank look on his face.
“Is he awake yet?” he asked blankly.
“He’s awake,” he replied as he sadly stood, “ but he’s withdrawing. He won’t respond to me or your mother.”
Dylan bit his lower lip and slowly entered the room.
“Let me,” he said as he walked around the bed. Evan nodded and stepped back.
Dylan walked over to the far side of Adam’s bed and knelt until he was face-to-face with his big brother. He placed a gentle hand on Adam’s face, but his brother jerked away and Dylan quickly withdrew his hand. He frowned and placed his face directly in front of Adam’s gaze. He saw no sign of recognition in the boy’s face.
“Adam, it’s me, Dylan. I love you Adam. How ya doing?”
Slowly Adam rolled onto his back, his arms flat at his side atop the covers. His eyes were aimed at the ceiling and he remained motionless. The only sign of life was the gentle, regular rise and fall of his chest. Dylan persevered. He leaned over and said softly, “Adam, please don’t go away again. I need you. We all need you. The sooner you come back, the sooner you can go home and play the piano again.”
There was still no sign that Adam heard his brother or understood what he was saying. Dylan looked up in defeat and saw his parents standing behind Evan, watching with sad, sympathetic faces.
The rest of the day was not much different. Occasionally, a nurse or doctor would enter. At one point a psychiatrist chased everyone out. Jesse and Ryan came by and several of Pastor Stuart’s parishioners paid their respects. Evan left only for lunch and dinner, unhappy that he was never able to be alone with Adam. But, as he passed the evening sitting beside Adam, reading to him from his book comparing quantum physics to Zen Buddhism, and Adam’s parents dozed in the corner, he began to formulate a plan.
At ten o’clock, a nurse came by to usher everyone out. Slowly Evan and the Stuarts made their way to the elevator. But, as Pastor pressed the button to summon the elevator, Evan announced that he had forgotten his book. He told the Stuarts to go on ahead and that he would walk home. He needed the exercise, he said, after sitting all day. Adam’s parents both hugged him and stepped into the elevator. Once the door was closed, Evan slipped back into the room.
The schedule called for a nurse to visit Adam at ten-thirty and Evan sat in the corner chair and feigned sleep until she had come and gone. She said nothing to him, though he was able to notice through thin slits in his eyes that she had looked at him for several seconds with sympathy before turning the light off.
He waited several minutes after the nurse left before standing. He stepped to the half-closed door and moved it almost all the way closed. Then he returned to the side of Adam’s bed. Lit only by the crack of light from the hallway and the residual light from outside the window, Evan stared down at Adam for several minutes. The boy was not asleep, but his eyes were still unfocused and Evan knew that he was somewhere else.
After a long while, Evan sat down on the edge of Adam’s bed. He knelt over the boy’s face and whispered, “Adam, I love you. I know you’re there. I know that you can hear me at some level. Please understand that I’m here and that I’m never going away. I’ll always be here for you.”
There was no reaction from the boy. Evan took a breath. He knew what he had to do.
He stood up and crept to the door. Slowly pulling it open slightly, he looked up and down the hall. The only person he could see was the night nurse leaving a room further up the hall toward the nurses’ station. There was no one else. He slipped the door back to where it had been and tip-toed back to Adam’s bed. Sitting on the side, he raised a hand and caressed Adam’s forehead. This time, there wasn’t even the jerking away that had characterized Adam’s earlier reactions to such a show of affection. It meant, to Evan, either that Adam had sunk lower into his world, or he seemed, at some level, to understand that Evan was there.
Evan moved his hand to the covers and slipped it under. He slid across the sheet until he came to Adam’s hip. Slowly, he pulled the hospital gown out from under the boy and then slid his hand underneath and across the smooth skin of Adam’s right thigh. With the palm of his hand resting on top of the leg, Evan waited a moment and watched Adam’s face for any sign of awareness. Seeing none, he slipped his hand inside Adam’s thigh, slowly, gently caressing the smooth tender skin. There was still no reaction in Adam’s face, but when Evan looked down to where the sheet was covering Adam and his hand, he was surprised to see some movement. Adam was responding. He could see a slight movement, a gentle rise of the sheet just above his hand. He waited, not moving his hand, watching as Adam’s penis slowly, oh so slowly, swelled and lengthened, sliding upward from its downward direction and across his left hip until it was pointing toward his navel. Soon, it rose from his tummy and stood up rigid. Evan gazed with longing at the rise in the sheets and then looked up at Adam’s face. Still, there was no sign of awareness.
Evan glanced nervously at the door and then back at Adam. Slowly, he extended his index finger until it was touching Adam’s retreating ball sac. He caressed the left ball with his finger and suddenly heard a sniff from above. Adam’s face was still a blank, but he was certain he had heard the boy’s sharp intake of breath.
“Adam,” he whispered. “Can you feel me loving you?”
There was no response.
Evan’s fear grew. His plan was to break through the wall Adam had built my making love to him, but it appeared that Adam was capable, at that moment, of only the most physical of responses. He couldn’t give up. He couldn’t be satisfied with a mere physical response. He had to find Adam, the real Adam, and bring him back.
Evan crawled up on the bed and lay down beside Adam atop the covers. With his right hand still inside the sheets and caressing Adam’s thigh, he propped his head up with his left hand and looked down into Adam’s face. Slowly, ever so slowly, his hand moved forward until his fingers completely covered Adam’s balls. He could feel them tighten.
“Do you remember the first night that we made love, Adam?” he whispered softly in the boy’s ear. “How we lay naked on the roof of the bell tower and hugged and kissed all night under the stars, how beautiful the sky was? You showed me the North America Nebula, and the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn and the universe was so beautiful and it was ours that night. The whole universe was ours that night. And, some night, very soon, you and I will go back up to the top of the bell tower and we’ll make love under the stars again. All you have to do, sweet Adam, is come back. All you have to do is come back to me.”
Evan cupped his hand around Adam’s balls and held them gently, lovingly, working them around in his hand.
“Remember last week, when we camped out in the church’s courtyard? We laid our sleeping bags in the grass and it was so dark and we ran naked around the courtyard? And, you sucked me by the fountain? And, I sucked you in front of the roses? You said the roses smelled as beautiful as my mouth felt on your penis. Remember? Remember how I held you when we were sitting in the back of the church and we just looked at each other and told each other how much we loved each other just with out eyes? And, you got so excited that you came, just from looking into my eyes? We can do all that again and so much more. So much more. We can love each other for the rest of our lives, Adam. Just come back to me. Please.”
He slid his hand up from Adam’s balls and wrapped his fingers around his erection. For several seconds, he just held it, feeling its warmth and its hardness until he felt it flex in his hand. This wasn’t the usual throbbing with the heart beat. This was a sexual pulse. He glanced at Adam’s eyes and saw something. They were no longer unfocused. He was still looking upward and the eyes were still immobile, but they were no longer glassy and vacant.
“Adam, I’m loving you, Adam. Me, Evan. I’m loving you. Can you feel me loving you? Can you feel it, Adam?”
His hand began to slowly work up and down Adam’s erection and he could feel the penis reacting, pulsing and pushing back against his hand. And, when he looked down at Adam’s chest, he saw the boy’s breathing had become slightly irregular, speeding up and slowing down at uneven intervals.
“Someday, soon, Adam, we can lay naked in the night again and make love beneath the universe. Soon, I can hold you under the stars and love you and make you feel good and show you how important you are to me. All you need to do is come back to me Adam. Come back to me, Adam. Come to me, Adam.”
Suddenly, Evan saw Adam’s lips move. He could hear nothing, but the lips were moving.
“Are you saying something to me, Adam? I can’t hear you. I love you, Adam. Tell me what you’re saying. Please.”
Adam had spoken. Clearly, though weakly.
“Yes, Adam. Yes. I’m here, Adam.”
Slowly, Adam’s eyes moved to the right and focused on Evan’s face, Evan’s eyes.
“Adam!” he cried. Evan pulled his hand from under the cover the held the boys face as his tears fell to Adam’s cheek. “Adam.”
Their eyes met and for long moments, they gazed at each other, silent, sharing their love through their eyes, not needing to speak.
Eventually, Adam whispered, “Love me.”
Evan knew what he meant. His right hand pulled the covers back and slipped Adam’s gown upward, revealing his erection. Gently, lovingly, he wrapped his hand around Adam’s penis again and slowly began to stroke.
“Evan,” he whispered softly, his eyes still locked on Evan’s.
Evan stroked him slowly, steadily, feeling Adam’s erection growing harder in his hand. He could sense Adam’s hips churning slightly beneath his pumping hand. Yet, Adam’s eyes never left Evan’s.
Adam’s left hand rose and moved across his body to Evan’s cut-offs. It was only then that Evan realized how hard he was. In all his concern for Adam, in all his lovemaking to his boyfriend, he had never realized just how aroused and erect he was. Only when Adam’s hand cupped over the rigid bulge in his cut-off shorts did Evan realize, with a shock of passion exploding though his body, just how rigidly, how passionately aroused he really was.
Evan brought his hand to his zipper and lowered it, unsnapped his shorts and slipped them downward with his briefs, revealing his firm erection. Immediately, Adam’s hand wrapped around it, feeling it, stroking it, loving it.
“Evan,” he repeated. “Evan.”
“I’m here, Adam. I’m here. I love you, Adam. I love you.”
The two boys gazed into each other’s eyes and stroked each other’s erections, making love and whispering love to each other. Adam repeated Evan’s name over and over, Evan repeating “I love you,” over and over, their whispers becoming ragged, their breathing labored, their bodies shuddering, their hips churning until, suddenly, their eyes still locked on each other, they cried softly into each other’s ears. They both closed their eyes as their ecstasy burst through their bodies and minds. Evan’s forehead fell to Adam’s as their bodies quaked and trembled.
“Ohhhhhhh, ahhhhhhh, nnnnnngggghhhhhh.”
As their orgasms subsided, Evan’s head fell to the pillow. Adam turned his head and continued to look at Evan, repeating his name several more times. After a moment, Evan wiped his hand on the bed sheet and pulled his shorts back up. After pulling Adam’s gown back down and pulling the sheets back over him, he wrapped his arms around Adam and pulled him tightly to him.
The last word spoken by either boy that night as Adam lay in Evan’s arms was Adam whispering, softly, “Evan.”