The Trip: Part Seventeen of Angel
“. . . When does ‘he’
When does it begin?
When does it end?
Why are there so many of him? . . .”
The night of the break-in, Sam and Adam snuggled together in front of the fireplace. Macy and Helen had abandoned a mostly full second bottle of wine on the coffee table. They, Helen and Macy, went into Macy’s room to talk. Boys being boys, Sam and Adam had helped themselves to the bottle. At first, they took small sips. Then, they had generous helpings, until they were caught in a delectable glow. The bottle lay discarded on the floor, between them and the fire. Sam held Adam close, between his legs, arms wrapped around arms.
It would have been much more dramatic and expected for Adam to run away from everyone, fearful that he would get them all killed. He knew that. In a way, it would have been easier to just have disappeared and let his father come for him. Ever since he had come to Pennsylvania, he’d had that creeping feeling crawling up his skin. Whenever the flea would bite, he would isolate himself and wallow in impending doom. Of course, he didn’t isolate himself fully. He was still with company and friends, just . . . away.
“I’m glad he’s gone now.” Adam told Sam, “I’m sorry he hurt you.”
“It’s alright,” Sam rubbed his side unconsciously and looked back into the fire.
Adam hadn’t told him what had really happened to his ex-boyfriend. His mom had kept it a secret from him, too. Helen told Sam to try and come from a place of compassion. Sam had gotten very angry when he first thought of it. That is, after the initial stun of being thrown onto a table wore off. He wasn’t confronted by his own mortality. Just by the lie, the hiding.
Helen told Sam it was only natural for Adam to hide what was really going on. She told her son that Adam didn’t want anyone knowing. Sam had seen the scars that Adam would damn for the rest of his life. He wanted to ask how those scars got there. But he didn’t. It was a terrible secret to keep, Sam admitted. But Adam had to have told someone. He chased some Ibuprofen with a tall glass of water and went back to the living room to sit with Adam.
But that was well before the wine, after the fight. And before the night came to an end, they would make up, and everything would seem sane again.
“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you what was really happening,” Adam said.
Sam hugged him closer and smelled his hair, “Don’t worry about it.”
“Thanks for being around.” Adam told Sam, “I don’t know what would have happened if you hadn’t been here.”
After seeing Scott; seeing Jack shot; Sam, Helen and Macy trying to protect him; Adam was confronted by his own mortality. A hole opened up inside of Adam, one large enough for him to move through and look inside. It was dark, mostly empty. He was looking for where Sam stayed. Sam looked to, but he couldn’t get in. Sam was falling for Adam now. Or maybe he was felled.
Then Adam cried. He didn’t know why he had been crying so much lately. Or what was wrong with him. Adam was trying to be strong, but all of the emotions he’d been running from caught up with him. Of course, he didn’t have enough RAM left to express what he was feeling. All he could do was feel. Adam’s feelings might have been similar to what Macy had felt when she cried, too, in the kitchen.
It was over, finally. The beatings, the yelling and screaming; he was free. But in the wake of the events, two people that he loved more than life were dead. And then there was Sam. But what about Sam?
That fucking teddy bear. And where is Scott?! Where’s my mom? When are the funerals? When does my fucking father get zapped? Yeah, he fucking hit me. Yeah, I might never trust a fucking guy again. But, god damn it, I’m ready to see that fucker get put down. I want to be sitting in that auditorium when he gets gassed. I want to fucking pull the switch. Why pay some motherfucker with a hood when I could just do it myself? I know I’ll never see him again.
Samuel and Adam stumbled into bed together early that night. As they were falling asleep, Macy and Helen could be heard murmuring in the other room.
In the middle of the night, Sam woke up in a cold sweat. He had dreamt Adam’s father broke out and came to where Adam and Sam were laying together peacefully. When he awoke, he could still see the shadowy figure from his dream standing above him. Sam clutched Adam close from fright. He looked up to the ceiling, in hopes that whatever it was would go away. But when he looked back, it was still there.
“Adam?” Sam shook Adam lightly.
Adam didn’t move.
Sam closed his eyes tightly, wishing the shadow away. Then, a hand landed on his chest.
“Sam!” Adam’s voice startled him out of his sleep.
Sam’s eyes snapped open. Adam was sitting up, next to Sam, smiling down upon him. God, Sam felt like melting.
“Hurry up, or you’ll be late for school.” Adam told him.
It was Monday. “Oh, yeah.”
“Your mom is getting ready to leave; she wanted me to wake you up.”
Sam nodded, groggily, synchronizing with all of the things moving around him.
This was going to be the first day that Adam would be left alone, but he didn’t want to let on that he was nervous. After all, he handled the train, right? And that was a worse alone than this. Macy and Adam had already had the school talk. She wanted him into independent study for the rest of the current school year, which was only a couple of months. Then he could go full time when the next year began. Today, Macy told Adam, she would work on getting the forms for Adam’s adoption; then they could worry about the logistics.