Dancing on a Star
“Are you ready?” asked Darren. I held out my left hand and he gripped it tightly as he helped me sit up in bed. For a second I got dizzy, and I thought I might have to lie back down. “Are you alright,” he asked worriedly.
“Yeah,” I assured him. “I got dizzy for a second.”
“That’s normal,” the nurse standing back watching us replied. “You’ve been lying down. Sitting up suddenly can cause you to be lightheaded.”
“Ready?” I nodded my head and Darren gripped my upper left arm and lifted me off the side of the bed. I had to remember to stand on my right leg first. I looked down at the cast on my left leg and lightly put some pressure on it. I was surprised that I felt no pain. The nurse walked over and carefully placed a crutch under my left arm.
“Don’t worry,” assured the nurse as she watched me. “Dr. Vorhees has you on enough medication that you won’t feel any pain for a while.” With the help of Darren, I shifted my weight and balanced myself on both feet.
“How’s it feel?” he asked. I told him that I thought I might be able to take a few steps. The nurse approached and put her hand on my back to steady me as I inched forward a few steps with the aid of the crutches.
“Very good,” she said appraisingly. I took a few more steps, and I felt I was going to fall. Darren put his arm around my waist to support me. He turned to the nurse and asked her if he should help me back to bed. “He’ll be alright,” she assured him. He’s only been in bed a few hours, so he shouldn’t have lost too much strength.”
I asked worriedly, “Are you sure this is a good idea?”
“Trust us,” she smiled. “You’ll be walking around by yourself in no time.”
They helped me walk around the room several times before I began to tire. It was tiring to lift my leg with a cast on. It also didn’t help that they couldn’t hold me by my right arm. I kept thinking that what if I lost my balance? I would have no way of catching myself. I felt like a baby learning to walk all over again.
They helped me back to bed, and Darren lifted my leg to help me lie down. The nurse suggested that they should leave and let me rest for a while. I moaned when she told me she would be back later in the evening to help me out of bed to walk again. Once they were gone, I closed my eyes and fell asleep.
I slept the rest of the afternoon. A nurse came in a few times to check on me, but I would fall asleep as soon as she left. Since I had been up all night, I needed my rest.
I was awakened when the door opened, and several people entered. I immediately noticed Tracy, followed by his mother and my father. Tracy approached the bed, leaned down and kissed me gently on the lips.
“How are you, Jack?” Tears were quickly filling his eyes. He kissed me again and said, “I’ve been so worried about you.”
I tried to smile and replied, “I’ve felt better.” His mother approached the bed, gripped my hand and squeezed it.
“I had to bring Tracy here as soon as school let out,” she said. “He’s been calling me all day to see how you were.” She looked over at my father and added, “Your father is probably tired of me calling him every half hour.”
“It was no problem,” my father laughed. “You’re not the only person to call.” He looked down at me and smiled. “Jack has a lot of friends who have been calling.”
I wanted to tell him that I wasn’t all that popular. Other than Tracy and Jeff, I didn’t know anyone else who would call and check on me. As if reading my mind, Tracy reached down and gripped my hand.
“I would have been here this morning,” he apologized, “but I had to go to school. As you know, I’m on in-school suspension and the principal would have suspended me if I didn’t show.”
“That’s nonsense,” remarked his mother angrily. “I think missing school because your best friend was in a bad accident would excuse you.”
Tracy replied, “Tell Mrs. Alexander that.”
My father looked over at Mrs. Craft and asked her if she wanted to go down to the cafeteria for a cup of coffee. He told Tracy that he could stay with me while they were gone. Before leaving, he winked and told us to “be good.” My face reddened when he reminded me that my mother could come in at any time.
“Where is she?” I asked. I found it strange that she didn’t come in the room with my father and Tracy’s mother. He frowned and informed me that she was out in the waiting room. I didn’t need to ask why. I knew.
After he left, Tracy asked what he meant about being careful that my mother might come into the room. “What happened earlier?” he asked.
“What do you mean?”
“I talked to Jeff after school,” he replied, “and he said something about your mother walking in the room while you were kissing.”
My face reddened as I replied, “It isn’t what it sounds like.”
“So, you were kissing each other?”
I shrugged my shoulders and replied, “I guess so.” I turned my head away from Tracy. I didn’t want him to know what had happened between Jeff and me. He might be hurt if he knew that Jeff liked me more than him.
“Jack,” whispered Tracy softly. “Look at me.” Reluctantly, I turned my head toward him. Tears were in my eyes, and I knew he would ask why I was crying.
Tracy squeezed my hand and said, “Jeff loves you.”
“What?” I asked surprisingly. “How do you know?”
He smiled and replied, “He spent an hour talking about how he feels for you.” He squeezed my hand and said again, “He loves you.” He gave me a worried look when I started to cry.
“What’s wrong?” he asked worriedly.
I sniffed and replied, “I don’t know if I like him that way.” I wiped tears from my eyes and added, “Besides, I don’t want to hurt you.”
I gave him a puzzled look when he started laughing. “Is that what this is all about? You’re afraid how I’ll feel?”
“We did promise each other we wouldn’t get involved,” I cried. “We were just supposed to be friends with benefits.”
He squeezed my hand and replied with a smile, “The benefits were fun while they lasted.”
I asked, “What’s that mean?”
“I’m not coming between you and Jeff,” he replied. “I’ve known since the first time I saw you together in his room that you guys would fall in love.”
I gave him a puzzled look. “You did? How?”
He laughed and said, “It’s the way you look at each other. Sometimes when the three of us are together, I feel like I’m not even in the room.”
“Jack,” said Tracy as he squeezed my hand. “I’m not jealous. I think it’s great that you two love each other.”
I confessed, “I’m not sure I love him.”
“Sure, you do,” he smiled. “You just don’t know it yet.”
“But what about you?” I asked worriedly.
“What about me, what?”
“If I date Jeff, then that means we can’t have sex anymore,” I answered worriedly.
He laughed and asked, “So, that’s what this is about? Sex?”
“Well, yeah,” I responded.
He gripped my hand and squeezed it again. “You’re my best friend, Jack. You always will be. We don’t have to have sex to be friends, or like you say, friends with benefits.”
“But what if I like you?”
He smiled softly and asked, “But, do you love me?”
I couldn’t give Tracy and answer. I felt the same for him that I did Jeff. I liked him- a lot. But I couldn’t actually say I loved him. I just wanted things to be the way they had been. I wasn’t ready to commit myself to just one guy.
“Give it a try,” said Tracy when I didn’t reply. “Jeff does love you. He has for a while now. It’s only been a few days that he realized that he has a chance with you.” He squeezed my hand tightly. “Just remember what I said about dancing on a star.” I gave him a puzzled look. “It sometimes gets lonely.”
Tears welled up in my eyes. “But you’ll be all alone.”
“No, I won’t,” he replied. “I got two of the best friends any guy could ever want.” He gave me a wicked look. “Besides,” he grinned, “there’s this guy in the production who I think has a crush on me.”
“Who?” I asked with a smile. I could tell by the look on Tracy’s face that he was interested in the guy.
“He’s one of the fighting rats,” he replied.
“What?” I giggled. “A fighting rat?”
Tracy rolled his eyes and said, “It’s too difficult to explain if you don’t know anything about the Nutcracker. Anyway, I think he likes me. He wants me to go out with him Saturday.”
“What?” I laughed. “You’re going on a date with him?”
“Well, not really,” he explained. “A bunch of us are going out for a burger after rehearsal Saturday, and he asked if I was going.”
“Is he cute?”
“Very much,” he grinned. “He’s also a great dancer.”
“I hope it works out.”
“Me, too,” he grinned. “Maybe we’ll both end up with boyfriends.”
“Yeah,” I replied reluctantly. I wasn’t sure where Jeff and my friendship would lead, but at least I now knew that Tracy wouldn’t get upset. In fact, he seemed happy that Jeff and I might end up in a relationship.
We spent the next fifteen minutes talking. I told him about Darren helping me walk earlier. I left out that I had talked to Dr. Butler about how I was feeling. I don’t know why, but I thought he might get upset if he knew I was having trouble sorting out my feelings. Tracy seemed so sure and confident about his sexuality. I guess I didn’t want him to know I was struggling with how I was feeling.
He told me about in-school suspension. He said that there were three other students with him. They had to stay in a room supervised by a teacher. They weren’t allowed to talk to each other, and they couldn’t leave the room except to go to lunch.
Tracy asked excitedly, “Guess who came up at lunch and asked about you?”
“He said his name is Murray,” he grinned. “God, he’s hot!”
“Murray?” I asked surprisingly. I really didn’t know Murray except for talking to him in the food court the other day. In fact, it was only about an hour talking to him, Emily and Kelly, that I was hit by the van.
“Yeah,” he replied. “He wanted to know how you were. I told him I would let him know tomorrow.”
“What did he say?”
Tracy grinned again and replied, “He said he might come visit you.” He giggled and said excitedly, “I want to be here when he visits.”
“You’re a perv,” I laughed.
“Like you aren’t,” he replied.
Just then, my father entered the room. With him was Mrs. Craft and my mother.
“Hey, Son,” my father said cheerfully.
“Hi, Dad,” I responded. I looked at my mother and said hello to her. She approached the bed, looked down and asked me how I was feeling. The look in her eye didn’t appear that she was angry. She looked sad.
I smiled and replied, “I was able to get up and walk for a while.”
“I know,” she responded. “Darren said you did well.” She stepped away from the bed and sat down in a chair.
“It’s a start,” I thought to myself. It was the first time she had actually talked to me since that day she saw me in Tracy’s bedroom. At least she didn’t look disgusted.
I turned toward the door when it opened. Jeff rushed in followed by his mother and father. He nodded at Tracy, and then he approached the bed and kissed me on my forehead. Tears welled up in his eyes as he asked, “How are you, Jack?”
I told him I was feeling better and told him about getting out of bed earlier. “The doctor wants me to get up again later.”
Jeff smiled and said he would volunteer to help me. “Me, too,” chimed in Tracy.
I looked at Tracy and smiled. “I’m not going to be doing any dancing for a while.”
“You can dance in your head,” he suggested.
“What’s that mean?”
“Just close your eyes,” he replied. “Let your imagination take you anywhere.”
I asked, “Like on a star?”
“Yeah,” he grinned. “Like on a star.”
The next fifteen minutes were spent with everyone talking quietly among themselves. Soon, Stephanie and Darren arrived. There was hardly any room for anyone else to cram into the room.
My father suggested that the adults should go out into the waiting area and let ‘the kids’ alone. It surprised me when my mother walked to the side of the bed, held my hand and squeezed it. She didn’t say anything before she turned and left the room.
Stephanie noticed but didn’t say anything until they had all exited the room. She looked down at me and asked, “Does this mean Mom’s coming around?”
I shrugged my shoulders and replied, “I don’t know.” Before I caught myself, I added, “I really don’t care anymore.” Jeff reached down and held my hand.
Stephanie looked at Darren and suggested that perhaps they should join the others in the waiting room. Darren nodded and they left. I think Stephanie thought that I might want to talk to Jeff and Tracy alone.
I looked up and smiled at Jeff when I realized that he was still holding my hand tightly. Tracy was standing beside him grinning as he looked down at our entwined hands. He giggled and said, “Maybe I should go and leave you two lovebirds alone.” When he turned and headed toward the door, I shouted out and asked him to stay.
“I want you to stay,” I insisted as I pulled my hand away from Jeff.
“Why?” asked Tracy.
I laughed and said, “I have to use the bathroom. I’m going to need your help.” I sat up and threw my legs over the side of the bed. Jeff quickly grabbed my arm to steady me. Tracy came around, handed me my crutches and placed his arms around my back. I felt that I could walk without so much help, but I didn’t want to complain.
Once inside the bathroom, Jeff closed the door and stood beside me as I pulled back my robe. Tracy started giggling when I started to piss. “When you’re through, if you shake it twice, you’re playing with it.”
Jeff volunteered, “I’ll shake it for him.” Just then I finished, and he reached down to grab it. He quickly pulled his hand away and screamed, “Eww! You peed on me!”
“You should have let me finish,” I giggled. Tracy was behind us roaring with laughter. After washing his hands, Jeff walked over and gently grabbed my dick.
“Oh, no you don’t,” I responded. “You’re not going to get me hard, and then leave me poking through my gown.”
Jeff licked his lips and replied, “Who said I was going to leave you with a hard-on?” He dropped to his knees and sucked my soft dick into his mouth.
“You can’t blow him here,” warned Tracy. “Someone’s liable to come in.”
Jeff removed his mouth and replied, “I locked the door.”
I pushed Jeff’s head away and insisted, “You better not, Jeff. I’m too weak to have sex right now.” I held out my hand to Tracy. “Please help me back to bed.” Jeff rose and his face showed his disappointment. I knew he wanted to show me how much he cared, but it just wasn’t the right time. Besides, Tracy was with us, and I didn’t want to upset him.
When I returned to bed, Jeff said he had to do something and hurried from the room. Tracy waited for him to leave, then he turned to me. “It looks like you hurt his feelings again.”
I shook my head. “I know he means well,” I said, “but I’m not in the mood. Besides, we’re in a hospital room.” We talked a few more minutes before Jeff returned. His eyes were puffy, so I knew he had been crying.
“Come here,” I said as I held out my hand to him. “I’m sorry, Jeff.”
“No,” he said as he held back tears. “I’m the one who should be sorry.” He started to cry. “It’s just that I don’t know what to do. You’re lying there…” He started to sob. Tracy placed his hand around his back and pulled him in closely. “You could have died!”
“I’m alright,” I insisted as tears welled up in my eyes. Tracy was also crying. I held out my hand. “Come here.” They carefully hugged me as we shared kisses.
Through tears, I looked at them and said, “I’m so glad you’re my friends.” We hugged and kissed again.
Suddenly, there was a knock at the door and Jeff’s father appeared. When he noticed that we had been crying, he asked if we were alright. “Yes, Dad,” sniffed Jeff. “We were just worried about Jack.”
Mr. Munson looked at his watch and announced that it was late, and they should be going. Tracy’s parents entered, and everyone stood around my bed to say goodbye. Jeff and Tracy kissed me on my forehead, and they left.
A minute later, Stephanie and Darren came into the room. Stephanie leaned down and kissed me on my cheek, and Darren held my hand. Stephanie told me she would see me in the morning, and then they exited the room.
After they left, my mother and father entered. It surprised me when my mother reached out and held my hand. My father looked down and smiled. “We’re going to go now,” he informed me. “Do you need anything before we go?”
“I’m good,” I replied. “Has the doctor said when I can get out of here?”
He responded, “In a few more days. He wants to see if you show any signs of a brain injury where your head hit the windshield.” I reached up and felt the small knot on my temple. It didn’t hurt, but it could be the pain medication I was taking.
Mom squeezed my hand and said, “We better go.” I thought she might lean down and kiss me, but she didn’t. My father walked to the side of the bed, leaned down and gently kissed my forehead.
“See you tomorrow, Son,” he smiled as they turned and left the room.
I fell asleep, but I was awakened often by nurses coming into the room to check my monitor. One asked me if I was sleeping well, and I joked and said that I would if they would quit bothering me.
Dr. Vorhees came into the room around 10 pm. I asked why he was doing his rounds so late, and he replied that a doctor’s day never ended. He reminded me that just a day earlier he had been on duty when I was brought in.
After examining me, I asked him how long I would have to stay. “You’re recovering from your accident quickly,” he replied. After examining my forehead, he looked over reports he had in a binder. “Your xrays don’t show any significant damage.” He reached out and patted my arm. “I’m going to keep you one more day, then release you. That is,” he added, “if you don’t show any signs of relapse.”
I grinned and replied, “I won’t. I can’t wait to go home.”
“No basketball for a while,” he smiled.
“Okay,” I smiled back as he turned and left the room.
I tried to watch some television, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open. The medicine I was on made me sleepy. I figured it was easier on the nurses if patients slept all the time. I opened my eyes when my door creaked open.
I had to squint to see who was in the darkened doorway.
It was Jimmy!