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Help Me (Nick Carter)

“I wish I could define

All the thoughts that crossed my mind

They seem too big for me to choose

I don’t know which ones to lose

When I’m falling down so far

I think I’ll never see your light

Bouncing off of me

Shining down here from your eyes”

*

James swore he’d never been so sore or hurt in his life. He’d always been a clumsy guy, but as his mom drove him into the emergency room, he still couldn’t believe he’d fallen down the stairs. Of course if his Dad hadn’t been chasing him, he wouldn’t have fallen. And now he was pretty sure he had a bump on his head, and his left wrist and the ribs on his right side hurt like hell. He’d expected his dad to be furious when he told his parents he was gay, but this was a bit over the top. He knew they would be disappointed, but he was used to being the family disappointment. Never tall enough, never athletic enough, never smart enough. It wore you down quite a bit. It was totally liberating to have gone to college and meet new people, and to be able to explore who he was suppose to be. Truthfully, he’d known he was gay before he’d left, had come to terms with it when he was 16, but when you live in a religious household, well, things are better left unsaid.

“Well I hope you learned your lesson about upsetting your father.” His mom said, interrupting his internal thoughts.

“Whatever” James said under his breath like a sullen teenager.

“James, maybe you are confused, but don’t expect your father to go along with your little joke here.”

“It’s not a joke Mom, seriously.” James said staring out the window.

“We’ll talk about it later.” Beverly McMonte said in her ‘Don’t mess with Mom’ voice as they pulled into the emergency room parking lot. James swore under his breath, as his mom loved to park in the middle of the lot, so it was further for her to walk. Not that Beverly needed the extra exercise, but now James would have to walk what looked like a mile to get to the freaking entrance to the hospital while feeling like shit.

“Couldn’t you park closer, I can’t breath great.”

“It’s your own fault for falling down those stairs, man up.” His mom said.

James was floored. Was this punishment for telling them the truth? Not only did he fall down stairs to avoid a beating by his dad, but now he was going to injure himself further by walking. Well, whatever, he was still on his parent’s insurance so if he did, they’d just have to pay more anyway. James groaned as he lifted himself out of the car and started the walk to the door.

Ben was returning to work from a brief break when he spotted a young man trying vainly to open the door to the ER, while a woman stood by. It was obvious the man was in terrible pain, yet the woman waited for him to open the door. Ben ran over to open the door for him. The young man almost collapsed into Ben’s arms.

“Hey dude, what happened to you?” Ben asked, helping him to a chair.

“Fell down a flight of stairs. Hit the railing on the landing with my chest and then fell down the rest of them. I hit my head and my left wrist.”

“Okay, let me go get some paperwork, we’ll get you started. It’s been a slow night so hopefully you won’t have to wait to see the doctor.” Ben said.

“Take your time, we aren’t in a hurry.” The woman said. Ben’s opinion of her went further south as the young man groaned as he sat down.

Ben jogged up to the reception counter.

“Hey Cindy, can I get you to fill out paperwork for that guy that just came in? Injury report. And see if we can’t get him pushed through, he’s hiding it well, but he looks like he could be in a lot of pain, and he said he hit his head.”

“Sure Ben. Dr. Cheron will be happy to see him. I’m pretty sure I saw him flinging paper clips at a cup in the break room, he’s so bored.”

Ben watched Cindy go over and talk to poker oyna the two, getting insurance information and history of what happened.

Cindy came back over with the chart and handed it to Ben.

“Why don’t you pull him into a room and get him started, I’ll let Dr. Cheron know he’s here.”

“Okay.” Ben said, as he glanced at the file. ‘James’ was the man’s name. Now that Ben could look at him closer, he looked quite young, barely out of high school if that.

“James McMonte? You can follow me, we’ll get you started.”

The young man and the woman followed Ben, and he suspected she was James’ mom. He quickly looked at the chart and realized that James was over 18. Ben, not being impressed by the woman’s attitude so far, turned to James and asked,

“James, since you are over 18, you don’t need a parent for the exam if you’d prefer.”

“Mom I know you don’t like hospitals, do you want to go out to the waiting room or the car?” James turned to his mom, gasping a little.

“Oh, I suppose I’ll wait in the family room here, I’ll find a magazine to read.”

“I’ll find you later then, thanks mom.”

James followed Ben into a treatment area with multiple beds separated by curtains. Ben set down his clip board and motioned to James to hop onto a open bed. Ben helped him step up and sit down.

James groaned again, and grabbed at his ribs.

“So what exactly happened? Did you really fall down the stairs? Cause to me, your mom’s a bit of a bitch…” Ben said as he took James’ temperature.

James laughed.

“Yes, I fell down the stairs. Mom had nothing to do with it. But yeah, she’s a witch sometimes. She told me that I needed to ‘Man up’ as we came in.”

“Good. Well, I mean about the stairs. Not good about the ‘Man up’ thing. Sheesh. It’s not like you’re crying or something. Not that it wouldn’t be an unmanly thing to do considering the pain you seem to be in.”

“Truthfully I have a high pain tolerance. I think that most guys would be, no matter how manly. I’m pretty sure my ribs are cracked. I’m not sure about the wrist. I tried to catch myself, and twisted around a bit before I fell down the first part of the stairs. I really flew into the banister though. God, it hurts to breath.”

“Well, good news is, the doc isn’t too busy, so hopefully we can get you some good pain meds.”

“Thank God.” James said. “Can I lay down? I feel like I could breath easier.”

“Go ahead.” Ben said.

James sucked in a breath, then laid down.

The doctor walked up then. He quickly did an exam on James, poking and prodding the areas James mentioned hurt the most.

“Well James, you certainly did a number on yourself. I do suspect you broke some ribs, and I think your wrist is sprained, we could verify both with an xray. I don’t think you have a concussion, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have someone wake you up every 2 hours to make sure you’re okay once you go home. If you don’t have anyone, we could have you sleep here.”

“Let’s do the xrays. I want to make sure we aren’t going to miss something. And I’d have to make sure my mom is okay with it, but she’d probably be put off if she needed to wake up every 2 hours to wake me up, so I would prefer to stay here I think.”

Dr. Cheron arched an eyebrow up with that comment, but kept any thoughts to himself.

“Okay, well, Ben, why don’t you find James’ mom, I’ll go order the xrays.”

Dr. Cheron left the room.

“Would you prefer to stay, or go home?”

“Stay. It’ll give me a chance to make sense of things, and like I said, my mom probably will have a hissy fit if I need care at home.”

“I’ll be back.” Ben said as he left the room.

Ben came back five minutes later, with Beverly in tow.

“So as you can see, James is settling in good. Dr. Cheron is concerned he might have a concussion, so we’d like to keep him for observation canlı poker oyna after his xrays are finished. So if you want, you can stay with him, otherwise we can call you when he’s ready to be discharged.”

“Hmm. I guess you were hurt more than you lead on James. Well, if you’re comfortable spending the night, I will go back to the house.”

“Yeah mom, I should be fine. If I have any problems, I can call.”

“Okay, see you tomorrow then. Be safe.” Beverly said as she turned around and left.

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure she’s a witch…” Ben said under his breath.

James laughed.

“You have no idea. At least now maybe she won’t tell me to ‘Man up’ anymore.”

“Yeah… maybe. Or maybe she’ll tell you to put on your big girl panties next.”

James laughed even harder and then gasped in pain.

“Jeez, sorry dude. I forget that broken ribs hurt when you laugh.” Ben felt terrible, only because he’d caused James pain, not that he’d made fun of somebody.

As they waited for Dr. Cheron to come back with the xray orders Ben took the time to look over James as he laid there with his eyes closed. James was a lean, fit young man. His blond hair was a bit on the shaggy side, and his facial hair was artfully scruffy. In short, he was pretty damn cute.

Dr. Cheron came in to give Ben the xray orders. Ben took the papers from him and went to find a wheelchair so James wouldn’t have to walk in order to get to the radiology rooms. Once he found one, he came back to the bed James was laying in.

“Alright big guy. I got a wheelchair, so you get to go for a ride.” Ben said. James sat up reluctantly, mostly because he was starting to fall asleep.

Ben helped James into the wheelchair. Because he’d laid down, he was more stiff now.

“When are you going to tell me the truth about what happened? I mean, I get the stairs were involved, but there’s something you aren’t telling us.”

“Well, I guess if you promise not to tell anyone I’ll explain what happened. I just don’t need it causing more issues, since I’m not sure it didn’t happen just because I’m a freaking klutz.”

“So what happened? I promise not to tell.”

“My parent’s have a house that’s built on top of the garage, so there’s this flight of stairs you have to go up and down to get to the house or the driveway, right? Well.. I actually came out to my parents tonight, and my dad started screaming and yelling, and was about to throw stuff and I was just done with it, since I knew they’d be upset. We’re a pretty religious family unfortunately. But as I got up to leave, dad started to flip shit, and basically said ‘You aren’t leaving until I beat the devil out of you…” I started to book it out of there, opened the door to the stairs and tripped over the door jam. Tried to grab the railing, but didn’t get a great grip, and because of that I practically flew down the first part, slammed into the railing and then rolled down the last few stairs and bounced on the driveway. I’m lucky mom decided I should go to the ER, but it wasn’t until I told her I hit my head. Otherwise I think she would have let my dad lock me in my old bedroom.” Ben was speechless. He knew that this sort of thing happened to people, but Ben was raised by hippie grandparents, so he’d never had any reason to think he wasn’t normal by liking boys while growing up. His dad, a pastor, often counseled young persons who were dealing with the confusion of sexuality or other things. He didn’t tell Ben about specifics, preferring to keep confidential relationship with them, but he never hesitated to tell Ben how lucky he was to never be bullied for being gay, and for having understanding family members. James was sadly part of the normal reaction to finding out a child was gay.

“God. James, that, well that sucks. Do you think you’re dad really would have beat you up?”

“Not sure. I mean he’s been a rough parent. Lot internet casino of belt spankings, you know. But never punches or anything.”

“Ugh, still. That’s terrible.”

“Meh, it was tolerable. I really enjoy college though. Got a chance to find myself, you know. But now I want a relationship, and I promised myself that I wouldn’t get into one with still being in the closet. I need to be out and proud, so not to hold back a partner, you know?”

“I get it. That’s great reasoning. But unfortunate results.”

“Yeah.” James fell silent as they pulled up to the xray rooms.

“Well, I’m going to leave you in the capable hands of the radiology techs. I will be back to pick you up once they’re done with you though.”

“Cool. See you in a bit then.”

James was miserable during the xrays. First they made him change into a gown, and between the ribs and the wrist he could barely take his clothes off. Then he had such a hard time standing straight since his ribs hurt so much, but they needed him to in order to get an accurate look at his ribs. The wrist xray went fine. Finally they got the view they needed and let him sit back in the wheelchair. He leaned back and closed his eyes for a brief moment.

“Hey big guy, no falling asleep just yet. Let’s get you back to your bed and then you can snooze a bit, okay?”

“Okay.” James said sleepily.

Ben wheeled James back to his bed, and helped him lay down. He was still wearing the paper thin gown, but it was comfortable, so James wasn’t going to complain.

“Ok, here we are. Comfortable?”

“Yeah, I think so.”

“Good. Get some sleep, since it’ll be a bit before Dr. Cheron can look at the films. Besides, we might as well wait until you need to be woken up after the two hour mark and then let you know results.”

“Sounds good.” James said as he drifted into sleep.

Cindy walked over and saw Ben watching James sleep from the edge of the curtain.

“He’s cute isn’t he? I should ask him out.” She said.

“Well, here’s the problem… He doesn’t bat for that team.”

“Darn. Well, are you going to ask him out then?”

“I should. He is pretty hot. He could probably use a conversation with my dad too.”

“Shit, is that why he’s here?” Cindy said disbelieving.

They were interrupted briefly by a page over the intercom.

“No, he really fell down a flight of stairs. He said he’s always been clumsy. It looks like there’s a healed break near his wrist. It looks like an old injury, probably years ago. That makes me believe him a bit more. I mean, unless he’s one of those chronic domestic abuse cases. But it doesn’t quite fit. You’d think he’d have more issues, more injuries.”

“Yeah, I don’t get that gut check I normally do. I’m not sure if it’s just because he’s older, or what.”

Ben nodded. Dr. Cheron came over.

“Well, it’s been 2 hours, do you want to wake him up?”

“Sure.” They both said at the same time.

Ben turned to Cindy,

“Rock paper, scissors?” Ben asked.

“Jeez, fine, I’ll let you.” Cindy laughed.

Cindy walked back over to the triage desk, as Ben turned to step up to James’ bed.

James felt someone shaking his shoulder. He’d been mid-nightmare of his dad pounding on him. His ribs were sore even after the pain medication kicked in. As he dragged himself out from under the heavy lure of sleep, he saw a pair of twinkling green eyes staring down at him. It was as if an angel came to check on him. He realized quickly it was actually Ben, but James was starting to think Ben was an angel since he’d taken such good care of him, and actually seemed to like him.

“There we go. Come on cutie, wake up. Gotta make sure you haven’t hurt your head too much.”

“Hey…” James said sleepily.

“Ah, there we go. Alright, couple questions for you. What year is it?”

“2012.”

“Good. And your name?”

“James McMonte”

“Even better, and how many fingers am I holding up?”

“Three.”

“Excellent. Last question.” Ben paused.

“Okay…”

“Will you go to dinner with me later this week?”

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