Edd Interrupted

Chapter 22 - Summer After Senior Year IV

Kevin was at a concert. Jason the punk boyfriend was on stage with a bunch of his greasy band mates and they were playing something loud and obnoxious. Not that it mattered. He had Double D’s hand clutched in his.

Just as he turned around to ask if Double D wanted to go home and get out of the noise and stench of sweat, cigarettes, and beer, the crowd reached forward and took hold of his petite lover and began dragging him away. Shouting in fury, Kevin tried to follow, hands outstretched to Double D’s, but he couldn’t reach him. The crowd swallowed him from view. Somehow, over the pulse of Jason’s raspy tenor, he could hear Double D crying, calling his name, calling for help. There was a loud, metallic crash and the shouting stopped.

Kevin woke with a gasp, sweating and clutching his chest. Panting, his hands immediately went to the bed beside him and found it warm but empty. After such a nightmare, Kevin made no assumptions that Double D was taking a shower or making breakfast, especially as the numbers on the bedside clock glowed a depressing 4:15AM.

He threw the blankets off of himself and jerked his blue jeans on hastily. He had just picked up his shirt and was tugging it on when he noticed that the suitcase and messenger bag were gone.

“Shit . . . shit! Double D!” His voice practically echoed inside the empty house.

Then he heard a car engine outside. He rushed to the nearest window and swore when he saw Eddy’s car idling in the driveway while Eddy helped Double D put his suitcase into the trunk.

“Dammit! Hey!” He pouted on the window in vain before taking off in a sprint downstairs. Breathless and terrified, he burst out the front door just in time to see Eddy’s car turn right at the stop sign out of the cul-de-sac.

Kevin had never run so fast in his life. Still in his rumpled clothes from the night before, he managed to get into his house, find his keys, and pull out of his own driveway in his car.

The stereo was blaring dully in the background, though Kevin didn’t notice. It had begun raining and he belatedly remembered to turn on his windshield wipers. Where could they be going this early? Check in at school wasn’t for another three weeks. And if he was going to school, wouldn’t he have taken his boxes? Surely Eddy wouldn’t drive him all the way to the coast. They had to be going to the airport, then.

Hopefully there wouldn’t be many cops around this early. Speed limits be damned, Eddy drove like a maniac. He’d knocked over plenty of mail boxes when he was sixteen, so that meant Kevin had to be faster and better. He had to get to them before they reached the freeway.

Then, finally, at one of the busier intersections of town, he spotted Eddy’s beat up little Honda. They were even stopped at a light. Perfect.

He had turned down the radio and was grinning when he stopped behind the car and honked twice. Eddy readjusted his rear view mirror just as his light turned green and he began pulling away again. Hopefully he’d pull into the parking ahead and they would have a touching reunion in the rain . . .

All thought stopped when a truck tried to zip through a red light and slammed into the passenger side door of Eddy’s Honda with a metallic crash, sending it skidding across three lanes until it came to a shaky stop in the middle of the intersection.

The two other cars at the intersection stopped, staring at the wreckage in shock. Kevin was already out of his car, soaked with rain in moments. The front of the truck was still crushed against the passenger side. There was so much smoke he couldn’t see Double D.

“Fuck . . . fuck, fuck, fuck . . .” he panted and ran around to the driver’s side.

Eddy was awake and shifting awkwardly in his seat, fumbling for his seat belt. There was glass everywhere. Kevin’s eyes were all for Double D who was slumped forward, chin touching his chest. His hat was in Eddy’s lap where it had landed when it was knocked off his head. He couldn’t see his face behind his hair.

“Babe! Double D, you awake?” He could hear someone behind him calling the police. He was frantically clawing at Eddy’s seat belt. “Get the hell out!”

“Geez, it’s not like I’m hurt or anything. Thanks for caring.” His seat belt clicked and he climbed out of the car, stretching his arm sorely. “Is someone calling the cops?”

Kevin climbed into the driver’s seat, crouching over the stick shift to bend and look up into Double D’s face.

“Shit, babe. Babe, I’m here. I’m here, it’s all right now.”

The right side of his face was a mask of blood. Black hair clung to his face, wet with blood. His feet and lower legs looked wedged between what used to be the dashboard and the door. Both engines were off now and there wasn’t much to listen to aside from the falling rain and the choking, gurgling noise Double D was making in the back of his throat.

Kevin had to squeeze his eyes shut to fight the urge to panic and cautiously weighed his options. If he moved Double D’s neck, he could injure him further. What if he broke his spine, paralyzed him . . . Then again, if he drowned in his own blood, there would be no saving him. He’d just be dead. Kevin could live with him being paralyzed. Any Double D was better than none. He could take care of him if he was paralyzed.

As gently as he could, he slid his hands along either side of Double D’s jaws and slowly lifted his head. He hadn’t heard anything pop, no shifting bones, and as soon as his chin was a few inches off his chest, he coughed up a few mouthfuls of blood. The crimson waves spilled over Kevin’s hands, down his wrists, and dripped off his elbows. He took a choking breath, then another and another. He opened his eyes.

“It’s all right,” Kevin whispered with a wavering smile, his thumbs stroking Double D’s cheekbones despite the blood. “You’re all right.”

Double D’s eyes wandered the cabin. He blinked his right eye rapidly as blood ran into it. “Kevin--” He was interrupted when his torso convulsed and another mouthful of blood spilled over Kevin’s wrists.

“Don’t talk. We’ll get you some help.” He took a steadying breath and grinned bravely. “You ran off this morning. That’s being a bad host, abandoning your guest.”

Kevin vaguely heard sirens somewhere in the distance, but all that mattered was the mangled, frightened face cupped in his hands.

“Kevin . . . I think I broke a dishwasher . . .”

He chuckled. “Naw, your dishwasher’s fine.” Delirium was a bad sign, but delirium or not, he had to try to fix this, just in case this was the last time they would talk. “Look, I know I’m a fuck up. I know I totally fucked us up last year, and I’m sorry for it, all right? Fuck, I’m so sorry. I watched you get your mail every day and I saw you limp around like a kicked dog and I saw your black eye and the cut on your lip, and dammit, I’ve never felt so bad about anything until now.”

“Is it night time?”

“No, babe. It’s morning. Babe, you gotta stay with me, all right? I need you.”

“Kevin’s on . . . on an airplane . . .”

“I’m here. I’m right here talking to you. You can hear me, right?”

“Oh, Kevin . . . everything’s falling apart.”

“I know, I know, but I’m gonna fix it. I’ll take care of you. I’ll never hurt you again, I swear.”

Two paramedics were talking to him as they climbed into the back seat with their blue gloves and medical kits. They were big men, probably around Kevin’s age. They were trying to give him instructions, but Kevin couldn’t move. Screw them. He would damn well finish this.

“So I got this, all right? So I’m an ass hole. Big fucking deal.”

“Language . . . mister . . .”

“I’ll make it up to you. I can protect you.”

“That’s a . . . a handsome hat you’re wearing, Kevin . . .”

He laughed, a slightly manic sound. “Thanks, babe.”

One of the paramedics reached around the seat and slipped a neck brace on over Kevin’s hands. Carefully, he slid his hands away. Then, before he could say anything else, hands were pulling him out of the car. He struggled, fighting to get back to his lover who was watching him from the car.

It took a good amount of muscle and persuasion to calm him down, and even then, he watched the proceedings like a hawk. He barked out the occasional order to “be gentle,” “watch your hands,” and “don’t fucking hurt him.” He threw a few punches when they wouldn’t let him ride in the ambulance.

It wasn’t until he was back in his car, following the ambulance to the hospital, that he realized he’d never told Double D what he meant to tell him.


Two hours later, he was slumped in the waiting room. He’d been on the phone with every connection he had but still couldn’t find Double D’s parents. Damn, frigid dead-beats. It didn’t matter. Kevin would handle it on his own.

He’d dozed off when someone shook his shoulder and he woke up to see Eddy, bandaged and bruised, but at least conscious, in front of him.

“What’s going on? Is he all right?”

“Yeah, he’s in surgery. What were you following us for?” Eddy asked.

He shoved his hands into his pockets. “Had to talk to him.”

“Huh. You two, like . . . together-together?”

“I’m working on it.”

“Yeah. Okay.” Eddy shifted awkwardly. “So, uh . . . you like guys.”

Kevin shrugged. “I just like Double D.”

“Wouldn’t be my first pick, but whatever.”

Eddy left Kevin alone in the waiting room, in it for the long haul. Whether the doctors talked to him or not, he would stay until he knew Double D was stable. It occurred to him that life was a lot more complicated than he’d originally planned for himself. It wasn’t complicated because Double D was a boy. It was complicated because Kevin had made it complicated. Haunted and nauseated by the memory of Double D’s mangled body in the jagged remains of the ruined car, Kevin buried his head in his arms, slumped over his lap in the empty waiting room, and wept for the first time in a long time. 


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