Zak lay in the middle of his cold living room floor staring up into the rafters of his ceiling. He contemplated dragging himself to his dungeon, letting the darkness engulf and heal him, but even that, he thought, wouldn’t take away the pain. There had never been so much emotion uttered in a single word. Sorry.
Zak’s bones hurt. He didn’t know that it was possible to have your bones hurt so bad just because of grief. Maybe he should find a more comfortable surface. No… the cold, hard floor fits right now. Plus he didn’t think he had the energy to move. Everything was zapped out of him, right here, in his living room. With that one word and a cold metal key pressed into his palm. Sorry.
Alone. That was what he was. Of course not really. Aaron was here and Billy and a few other people were still in Vegas. But he was leaving. And he was the only person that really mattered. What about the show, Zak had asked. What about the trio? What about us? He had shrugged and said that everything would still go on the same except for the last part. There could be no more “us.” Sorry.
Abandoned. That was what he felt. Absolutely, totally abandoned. Left in the wilderness to his own devices. Zak didn’t think he’d survive. Hell, he was already having problems breathing. Maybe he didn’t want to survive. He could just stay here, sprawled out on his cold tile floor for days and he would bet money that no one would come to visit him. Cash money. They knew he was leaving and what it would do to him, but would they care? Hell no. Why should they? They weren’t the ones stupid enough to seduce him. Fuck ’em and leave ’em. That’s what he did. A soft sob escaped his lips. Sorry.
“Bro, get up off the floor.” Ok, so he would have lost that bet. Aaron trudged through his front door, suitcase and laptop in tow. “For real, get up. I’m ordering pizza and we’re getting beer.” Zak laid there and looked up at him, still not saying anything. Maybe he would go away if he just didn’t respond. And why was Aaron bringing a suitcase into his house? Is he trading one for the other? Did Nick hire him to be his replacement? Had he thought it through this far before he walked out? Sorry.
Bending down, Aaron took the cold metal key still in Zak’s hand and put it in a kitchen drawer. “Come on, dude, seriously, get up.” Zak slowly got up to a sitting position, staring dumbly at the wall on the far side of his living room. So this was how it’s going to be. Fine. He could deal with Aaron. He could actually do a hell of a lot worse. Stripping off his tshirt over his head and flinging it towards the couch, he laid back down, unbuckling his belt and opening it. “Dude, what are you doing?” Aaron asked, standing over him with a Papa Johns menu in his hand and his cell phone in the other. Zak looked up at him with a questioning look then back down at his body, still not saying a word. Aaron sighed. “That’s not what I came here for and bro, I love you but no. Put your clothes back on.” This time that offensive word was escaping his own lips. Sorry.
An hour later Zak had been coaxed and prodded to the couch with a slice of untouched pizza on a paper plate in front of him and Aaron rambling on in front of him. His stomach turned at the idea of food. “Bro, eat the damn pizza. It has all the food groups on it.” Zak winced. Nick says that every time they get pizza. He didn’t think Aaron realized that. The pang of hearing a familiar statement… Nick’s voice. When would he hear it again? How would he react? Out of all the words in the human vocabulary, he had to remember the last one Nick said to him most prominently. Sorry.
Aaron was kind about cleaning up the bile that his stomach had rejected. Especially since it landed on his pizza and his shoes. Quietly, he was ushered into the shower. Apparently a hot steamy shower is supposed to fix everything. When he got out he did feel better, less dirty at least. Pulling clean clothes from his drawer the realization hit him, Nick didn’t take his clothes with him. Sliding a tshirt over his head that he knew wasn’t his, Zak walked back into the living room. Aaron was at the sink in the kitchen, scrubbing the vomit off of his shoes. Scowling, he looked up, noticing what Zak was wearing. “Go back in the bedroom and put on one of your own shirts.” Zak nodded obediently. Sorry,
Sitting back on the couch, pizza cleared away and Gatorade in hand, Zak flinched as his cell phone vibrated across the table. Nick’s face lit up the screen. He contemplated not answering it. Nick’s last word ringing through his head. “Well… aren’t you going to see what he wants?” Aaron asked beside him as he paused the movie. Zak grabbed his iphone from the table, pressing the reject button without saying a word. Sorry.
Hours of silence later, Aaron ushered Zak back into the bedroom. Stripping him down to his boxers and getting him into bed. “Stay.” It was the first positive thing Zak had said since he had gotten there. A hand around his wrist was pulling him down to the mattress; those blue eyes were pleading. Aaron sighed, relinquishing his hand from Zak’s grasp and pulling his shirt over his head. Dropping his pants down to the floor, he climbed in behind Zak, cradling him in his arms. The smoothness of his skin surprised him. Smiling into the back of his neck he whispered, “Good night.” For the first time all night he felt Zak relax. Quietly, Aaron sent up a single prayer to Nick, wherever he was on his journey east with his wife and daughter. Sorry.