Curative Chain of Events: Seeing Purple
PG; 880 words
Honeydew Syndrome: Erik/Samuel pre-slash
Erik's visits to the hospital.
For urae. Happy birthday, bb! This is day one. :D
Erik manages to stay away for a full month. He feels too guilty. Too scared that if he shows up, Samuel will wake from his coma and tell everyone what he did. And Erik, he's not the strongest boy around, and, though he knows when to back down, he doesn't want to end up like Samuel.
Eventually, his curiosity gets the better of him. He always understood the clichéd term; he'd just thought himself above that. He needs to see Samuel, needs to see if it was all worth it.
He'd thrown the baseball card out the other weekend. He didn't want it in his possession when everything got out, didn't want the reminder. It actually helps.
Still, he finds himself at the hospital. The halls are white-washed, and Erik's shirt is white, and suddenly he wishes that he hadn't worn white. White shirt, white underwear, white socks, dirty-white shoes.
He's too paranoid--too scared--to ask which room Samuel's in. He wanders the hallways, peering through the doors on tiptoes, until he spots Samuel.
He's white. Pasty and pale and faded, but his lips are a bright red. An abused red. It entices Erik to push the door open. He stands there, watching Samuel's chest rise and fall, the instrument he's hooked up to beep and pulsate, until a nurse enters the room. She gives him a warm smile, and his blood chills.
He doesn't return until three weeks later. He watches Samuel's parents cry, watches them stroke his lank hair and hold his diminishing hand. It looks like he's fading, moulding into the starch-white sheets over his body.
Erik throws away all his baseball cards. He never tells anyone where he spends so many of his evenings.
But Samuel knows. He lays there, out and dead to the world, but still functioning. His brain works perfectly fine. He dreams in colors. He sees white and black a lot, like an old film, and he hears his parents' voices. They worry, someone pushes the hair off his forehead and whispers into his ear, and some of the white turns into a soft yellow.
It takes a long time for Samuel to realize Erik is visiting, because Erik doesn't talk at first. In fact, Samuel is pretty sure Erik doesn't even enter the room. He probably stands outside it and peers through the glass window carved into the door, his eyes narrowed and arms tight against his body.
The first time Erik speaks, he says, "I'm sorry," and Samuel's dreams erupts in purple spirals.
Samuel doesn't understand it, but he sees purple whenever Erik speaks, and eventually the spirals turn to soft, curving lines, and Samuel likes the sight of them. He'd smile lazily if he could control his facial muscles. Oh, he's mad, for sure. He's mad that this boy he hardly knows landed him in the hospital, that he has to repeat a grade, but he doesn't acknowledge this when he's comatose in the hospital.
Besides, he's always been passive-aggressive. He's a master at it.
And before Erik knows it, he's talking. More than he's ever talked to anyone before. He speaks of his friends, of schoolwork, or his family and his cat, his eye appointment and how he's thinking of dieing his hair electric blue, and he's never spoken this much to someone. Never said much to Samuel to begin with, but he can't seem to shut up now.
One evening, Erik's in the middle of a story about 1984 and how much it's impacted his views on society, when the door eases open behind him. He cuts off abruptly, faces Samuel's mom. He's so sure the guilt is writ upon his face, that she'll take one look at him and see. And that'll be the end of this.
He's almost relieved.
But he's being foolish. He has the best poker face.
She only smiles at him, squeezes his shoulders and says she's glad "one of Samuel's friends came to pay him a visit," and it turns out Erik never felt guilt before now.
His next visit is a month later. Samuel is still in a coma; Erik's kept abreast of the situation, just from other sources rather than his own eyes.
As life is wont to go, Erik enters the room and Samuel opens his eyes. Erik closes his.
Erik disappears in the ensuing confusion. Samuel's parents crowd around him, the nurses fighting with them for access, and Erik quietly slips out the door, pads down the too white hallway and out of the hospital. Walks the whole way to his house.
He sees Samuel in school five days later.
Samuel greets him with a tired smile, the same kind he gave in the hospital when he woke, only his eyes are drooping and he's curled in on his body, hands in the pouch-pocket of his hoodie. Erik, in return, introduces Samuel to his friends.
Samuel stills sees purple when he's sleeping and Erik's speaking. He finds this out during lunch, when he dozes next to his tray. Odette pokes him in the arm, and everyone asks what's wrong with him. Erik says, "He's fine," and Samuel sees purple shards around the edges of his whitewhitewhite dream.
They don't speak of what happened.