Evan has family problems. He has a special-needs brother whom he adores and clueless parents. His senior class writing assignment is overdue because he ended up in the hospital. The reason why involves his new classmate, Jamison, and the realisation that he is almost certainly gay.
Jamison has his own issues. His mom died of cancer and he misses her, but at least his dad is supportive. Things are looking up now that Evan is in the picture.
Christmas is a bust for Evan. Jamison and his dad fly off to see relatives, leaving Evan alone with his dysfunctional parents and ill brother, but at least an intriguing new girl has moved in next door. New Year's Eve looks promising until Evan's parents tag him to babysit his brother while they party. When tragedy strikes that night, who will be there for Evan? With family problems keeping him and Jamison apart, can a death bring them back together?
The sun was slanting over us, and we really should have been getting back to his house, but there was no way I was going to interrupt this story. I wanted to know everything about Jamison, and this was sounding like a really important part.
“I only had that night to delete all the bad photos, and the nudes I’d downloaded from the internet. Of course most of the pictures I had were ones I’d taken at the pond. I didn’t want people to think I was a pervert, though; so I hadn’t taken any of the little kids or girls, only guys my age and older. Anyhow, that was stupid, but I did it, and I was about to delete the evidence. The ones of Steven though, oh my God. It wasn’t like he’d ever looked twice at me, well, maybe that one time in algebra class when I told a joke instead of giving the answer because hey, the answer was so simple a fourth grader could have figured it out, but I was the only one who did. Idiots. And the book was wrong. Mr. Sparkles (not his real name, ha-ha) humiliated me anyhow. It was horrible.
“So I hesitated to delete Steven’s pictures. This one in particular; he looked so hot in it -- it was a perfect image, and I mean that in an artistic way. I do! So I was sitting there in the twilight looking at it, and right then my Dad knocked once and barged right in and saw Steven’s cute butt enlarged on my computer screen. And right next to the screen was the bottle of pills I had taken from Mom’s bedside table. The now empty bottle.”
* * * *
Dad: “Have you seen your mother’s -- Jamison, son, what are you looking at? And is that -- oh, here’s Mom’s pills.” The top of the bottle is off. The bottle is empty. Dad sees that.
At this moment in time Mom’s little blue pills are churning around in my stomach as if they were assembling an atomic bomb. I suddenly remember where my left hand is.
Dad: “Are you -- ahem -- are you ...” he gestures graphically. “Um, to a photo of some other guy’s, um…? Or is that just a really ugly girl, in which case I’ll take your Mom’s -- wait, this bottle is empty. Jamison ...”
I’m waiting for the we’ve got to talk speech. I glance at his face -- emotions are pouring over it like lemmings over a cliff. With my right hand I click off the picture and hit the wrong button. It enlarged it instead. With my left hand I let go of myself. The mood is ruined anyhow -- at least that shrank.
Dad: “Did you -- are you -- son?”
The pills decide to answer for me. They weren’t supposed to kick in until sometime during the night, when I’m asleep. The pills decide the heck with later and decide now is perfect. And they can’t decide to go into my bloodstream like they’re supposed to. Oh no. The little jerks say let’s have a party and decide to both come up my throat and head down the back stairwell at the same time, if you get what I mean. I bolt for the bathroom.
An hour passes. Dad has come in and helped me out of my clothes, into the shower, and back out onto the commode, then back into the shower and then into a warm towel. He practically carries me back to my bedroom. My computer, helpful as ever, is now running a screen show of pictures I have not yet deleted, a free review of every guy who ever swam nude in the pond. Great.