After Harris breaks up with his cheating boyfriend, he plans to stop by the liquor store and spend the evening drowning his sorrows in a bottle of vodka. Instead, he finds himself face to face with an armed robber and he’s shot in the head.
When Harris finally comes to after a coma, he doesn’t just have medical bills and head trauma to deal with -- he has strange visions whenever he touches someone. He finds a common thread in the visions, and believes he’s psychically seeing other people’s soul mates. His friends can’t agree on whether the bullet that pierced his brain caused him to lose his mind, or gave him a miraculous ability.
Harris’ new “gift” turns him into a local celebrity, though it comes with consequences in the form of sickness and delusions. Will Harris be able to help himself and his friends find true love, or are they doomed to end up with a string of Mr. Wrongs? And how long can Harris hold out before his battered brain starts to tear his life apart?
Harris carried an armful of clothes out of the hallway and past a blue bin of recyclables that had to be taken outside by the morning. He paused for a moment, but it no longer mattered.
“Is that all the clothes you’re taking?” Tucker asked, the shower curtain slung over his shoulders.
“Yeah, most of my stuff reeks of cigarette smoke. I can just buy some new stuff.”
The trips up and down the stairs winded the guys.
“I need to get in better shape,” Harris said.
“You want to get a gym membership, go twice, and then feel bad about never going back?” Tucker asked.
After they loaded the last box into Tucker’s car, Harris stood in the living room with Tucker, surveying their handiwork. It wasn’t exactly empty, but it felt devoid.
“Now what?” Tucker asked.
“Now I let Dalton know what’s up.” Harris pulled out his cell phone, his hand trembling.
Harris’ mouth went dry. He called Dalton.
“Uh, hey, what’s up?” Dalton asked after the third ring. It sounded like he’d just had a cigarette. Was he nervous? Was he hard, waiting at some sleazy motel for a fuck and go?
“Just working,” Harris said. It wasn’t a lie, just misdirection. He wanted to give Dalton more rope to hang himself with, but he equally waned a justifiable excuse from his boyfriend. “What about you?”
“Um, just sitting around the living room, trying to find something good to watch. When, uh, do you think you’re coming back?”
“Actually, I’m in the living room right now. Funny, I don’t see you.”
“What? Oh. I went out to buy dinner. I wanted to surprise you.”
“Great,” Harris said. He felt flushed and wished he’d never called Dalton. If they never spoke about it, it wouldn’t be real.
“Yeah, I’m making dinner. Just needed a helping hand with it.”
“So you’re looking for a chick with a dick to make dinner in a cheap motel?” Harris asked, feeling like a lawyer making a great point.
“Oh. So you know?” Dalton asked quietly.
That’s it? After all this time. Oh. So you know? No more lies, no great confession. A quiet whimper.
“Goodbye, Dalton. Lose my number.” Harris ended the call and hurried out of the apartment before he broke anything in his rage.
“I’m really proud of you,” Tucker called out as he chased after Harris.
“Thanks. Let’s get back to your place. I need a drink. Or five.”
“Believe it or not, I don’t have much left at the apartment,” Tucker said as they walked outside. “Let’s make a pit stop at the liquor store.”
“Sounds good to me.”
An optimistic feeling flooded through Harris as they drove away. There was a certain sense of freedom. No more checking in with is boyfriend. No more cancelling plans with friends to appease Dalton. No more crying jags. No more stroking Dalton’s ego.
No more stroking Dalton. Damn it.
His cell phone rang -- Dalton calling. He cradled the phone in his hand, staring at Dalton’s name. He wanted to answer it, to let Dalton apologize or to scream at him, but he shut the phone off instead. He didn’t want to scream. He didn’t want to hear empty apologies. He needed to hold onto his pent up anger.
“Which liquor store do you want to hit up?” Tucker asked.
“The one with the most booze.”
They drove through traffic in silence for a few minutes. Harris remembered happy moments with Dalton, blocking out the screaming fights. No more forced conversations with the neighbors. No more feeling comforted by Dalton’s arms wrapped around him at night. No more feeling loved. No more life as he knew it.
This was the start of a whole new everything. Life. Love. Living. Everything.
Tucker parked in a long line of cars on the sidewalk. Harris unclicked his seatbelt and opened the door before Tucker even killed the engine.
As Tucker undid his seatbelt, he asked, “You in a hurry or something?”
“To unpack and get trashed to numb everything? Uh, yeah.” Harris left the car, his feet pounding the pavement. The sooner he reached Tucker’s apartment and downed three shots, the better. Let Dalton wait in purgatory for all he cared.
Stop thinking about Dalton. That’s how the terrorists win.
The busy street felt all too comfortable. Store fronts. Merchandise. Passersby. Wealthy women with poodles in their purses. Businessmen with too much in their pockets. The homeless begging for spare change to appease their high. Con artists pretending to be veterans in need or wearing fake casts.
Harris shrugged off the balmy sweat and approached the front door. He set his hand on the door handle, his eyes roaming through the glass window front.
Tucker locked the car door and jogged after him. Harris pulled the door open and saw a man standing in front of the counter with a bag in his hand. The guy turned around, a twitchy on his face and a handgun in his other hand.
The gunman stumbled to the side, his eyes wide open and jaw dropping. Before Harris could even think to react, the gun fired.
Harris’ body felt light and airy like he was floating on clouds. There he was, lying on the tiled floor, his blood pooling out all around him. Someone screamed, someone called 911. Tucker knelt in the blood shouting words that all flowed together in a cacophony of anguish.
The entire world drifted away on a gossamer breeze.
Harris found a blinding light waiting for him. He felt another presence. Peaceful. Inviting.
There came no answer. It wasn’t needed.
Moments from his life washed over him like a tsunami. High school graduation. The first time he kissed a boy. His grandmother’s funeral. Getting lost his first day of college. Meeting Dalton. Guys’ night out with his friends.
Harris let out of a peaceful sigh, perfectly content with the universe.