She licks my lips first and then when she starts to move up, I push myself down a little further upon the bed to give her room.
I waste no time when her thighs press down around my head and I start to lick her furiously, sucking on her cl*t so hard that she begins to grind her h*ps against my face, her fingers clutched around the top of the headboard. She’s so f**king wet. When she starts to moan and whimper, I stop. And she knows why. She knows I want her to get off with me.
She crawls back down over the length of my body and sits on my lap, rubbing herself across my c*ck before reaching down and taking it into her hand.
When she slides herself down over me slowly, we both gasp and shudder.
After a night of making love, she passes out in my arms and I hold her here, never wanting to let her go. I cry quietly into the softness of her hair until eventually I fall asleep, too.
“ANDREW?” I SAY, ROLLING over onto his side of the bed. Waking myself up further, I lift my head slowly to see that he isn’t there.
I smell bacon.
I think about the night we had and can’t wipe the obvious smile off my face. I untangle myself from the sheets and get out of bed and slip on my panties and t-shirt.
Andrew is standing at the stove when I walk into the kitchen.
“Baby, why are you up so early?”
I walk over to the fridge and open it, searching for anything to wet my mouth. I need to brush my teeth, but if he’s cooking breakfast I don’t want to make it taste funky mixed with toothpaste.
“Thought I’d bring you breakfast in bed.”
It took him a few seconds longer to answer than I feel like it should have and his voice sounded off. I look up from the fridge and over at him. He’s just standing there, staring into the grease.
“Baby, are you alright?”
I let the fridge door close without getting anything from it.
He barely lifts his head to glance at me.
My heart is beating faster and faster, though I’m not sure why.
I move over next to him and put my hand on his arm. He lifts his gaze from the grease and looks at me slowly.
In a sort of cruel slow motion, Andrew’s legs give way and his body crashes against the white tile floor, the spatula he had in his hand hits the floor with him, splattering hot grease. I reach out to grab him but I can’t keep him on his feet. Everything is still moving in slow motion: my scream, my hands as they grab at his shoulders, his head as it bounces against the tile. But then when his body begins to shake and convulse uncontrollably, slow motion becomes fast and terrifying.
“ANDREW! OH MY GOD, ANDREW!”
I want to help him up but his body won’t stop shaking. I see the whites of his eyes and his jaw clenched in a horrific display. His limbs have locked up stiffly.
I scream out again, tears barreling from my eyes. “Somebody help me!” And then I snap into my senses and run for the nearest phone. His cell phone is on the nearby counter. I dial 911 and in the two seconds it takes for them to answer, I’m turning the fire off from the stove.
“Please! He’s having a seizure! Please, someone help me!”
“Ma’am, the first thing you need to do is calm down. Is he still seizing?”
I watch in horror as Andrew’s body shakes against the floor. I’m so scared I feel like throwing up.
“Ma’am, I want you to move anything nearby that could hurt him. Is he wearing glasses? Is his head in danger of hitting furniture or any other objects?”
“No! B-But he hit his head when he fell!”
“OK, now find something to put under his head, a pillow, something to protect it from hitting anything else.”
I look around the kitchen first but see nothing and then I run frantically into the living room and grab a small couch pillow and bring it back. I set the phone down long enough to slide the pillow underneath his jerking head.
Oh no….oh my God, what’s happening to him?!
I put the phone back to my ear.
“OK, I put the pillow under his head!”
“Alright ma’am,” the 911 operator says calmly, “how long has he been seizing? Does he have a known condition that causes seizures?”
“I-I d-don’t know, about…maybe two minutes, three at the most. And no, I’ve never seen him do this before. He’s never told me about any….” It starts to dawn on me: he never told me. All sorts of things start attacking my mind, only causing me to lose my calm again. “Please send an ambulance! Please! Hurry!” I’m choking on my own tears.
Andrew’s body stops jerking.
Before the 911 operator has a chance to respond, I say, “He’s stopped! W-What do I do?”
“OK, ma’am I need you to help roll him over onto his side—we’re going to send an ambulance. What is your address?”
While I’m rolling him onto his side, I freeze with her question.
I don’t…I don’t f**king know! Goddammit!
“I-I don’t know the—.” I shoot up from the floor and rush over to the counter where a stack of mail has been sitting and I find the address on the top piece and read it off to her.
“An ambulance is on its way. Would you like to stay on the phone with me until it arrives?”
I’m not sure what she said, or if she ever really said anything at all and I’m just imagining it, but I don’t respond. I can’t tear my eyes away from Andrew, lying unconscious on the kitchen floor.
“He’s unconscious! Oh my God, why isn’t he waking up?!” My free hand lingers on my lips.
“It’s not uncommon,” she says and I finally snap back into her voice. “Would you like me to remain with you until the ambulance gets there?”
“…Yes, please don’t hang up. Please.”
“OK, I’m right here,” she says and her voice is my only comfort. I can’t breathe. I can’t think straight. I can’t speak. All I can do is watch him. I’m even too scared to sit on the floor next to him for fear of him seizing again and me being in the way.
Minutes later I hear sirens blaring up the street.
“I think they’re here,” I say into the phone distantly.
I still can’t look at anything but Andrew.
Why is this happening?
There’s a knock at the door and finally I get up and run over to it to let the EMT’s in. I don’t even remember dropping Andrew’s phone on the floor with the 911 operator still on the other end. The next thing I know, Andrew is being lifted onto a stretcher and strapped down.
“What is his name?” a voice asks and I’m sure it’s one of the EMT’s, but I can’t see his face. All I see is Andrew’s as he’s being wheeled out the door.
“Andrew Parrish,” I answer quietly.
I vaguely hear the name of the hospital the EMT tells me they are taking him. And when they leave, I just stand here, staring at the door where I last saw him. It takes me several long minutes to get my head together and the first thing I do is grab his cell phone and search for his mother’s number. I hear her start to cry on the other end when I tell her what happened and I think she dropped her phone.
“Ms. Parrish?” I feel the tears stinging the back of my eyes. “Ms. Parrish?” But she’s gone.
Finally, I throw on some clothes—I have no idea what I’m even wearing—and grab Andrew’s car keys and my purse and rush out the door. I drive the Chevelle around for a few minutes until I realize I don’t know where I’m going or where I’m at. I find a gas station and stop to ask for directions to the hospital and they give them to me, but I still barely find my way there without getting lost. I can’t think straight.
I slam the car door and run into the emergency room with my purse sloppily over my shoulder. I could drop it and not know the difference. The nurse at the desk types on her keyboard for information and then points me in the right direction where I end up in a waiting room area. And I’m all alone.
I think an hour has gone by, but I could be wrong. One hour. Five minutes. A week. It doesn’t make any difference; it would all feel the same to me. My chest hurts, I’ve cried so much. I’ve paced the floor so hard that I’ve started counting the specks in the carpet on my way back and forth.
This waiting room is so incredibly insipid with brown walls and brown seats lined neatly in two rows down the center of the room. A clock high on the wall above the door ticks around and around and even though it’s too faint for me to hear, my mind believes that I can hear it. There’s a coffee pot and a sink nearby. A man—I think—just walked in through a side door and fills a small Styrofoam cup and then walks back out.
My head hurts. My lips are chapped and broken. I keep licking them, only making it worse. I haven’t seen a nurse walk by in a while and I’m starting to wish I would’ve stopped the last one I saw before she slipped down the long, sterile fluorescent lit hallway outside the waiting area.
What’s taking so long? What’s going on?
I hit my forehead in the palm of my hand and just as I go to reach for Andrew’s phone in my purse, I hear a familiar voice:
I turn swiftly at the waist.
Andrew’s younger brother, Asher, is walking into the room.
I want to be relieved that someone has finally come to talk to me, to lift this deep sense of painful nothingness, but I can’t be relieved because I only expect him to tell me something horrible about Andrew. Asher wasn’t even in Texas as far I know and if he’s here suddenly then that must mean he took the first flight out of wherever he was and people only do that when something bad has happened.
“Asher?” I say, tears straining my voice.
I don’t even hesitate and I run over into his arms. He hugs me tightly.
“Please tell me what’s going on?” I say, tears streaming from my eyes all over again. “Is Andrew alright?”
Asher takes my hand and leads me to a seat and I sit next to him, squeezing my purse in my lap just to have something to hold onto.
Asher looks so much like Andrew it hurts my heart.
He smiles gently at me.
“He’s fine right now,” he says and that small sentence is enough to fill my entire body with a surge of energy. “But he probably won’t stay that way.”
And just as quickly, that hopeful energy drains right back out of me, taking other parts of me with it: my heart, my soul, that tiny bit of hope that I had maintained all this time since this happened. What is Asher saying…what is he trying to tell me?
My chest shudders with tears.
“What do you mean?” I barely get the words out.
He takes a calm breath.
“About eight months ago,” he says carefully, “my brother found out he has a brain tumor—”
My heart is gone. My breath is gone.
My purse falls onto the floor, spilling everything with it, but I can’t move to pick it up. I can’t move…anything.
I feel Asher’s hand take up mine.