Posted:  March 14, 2012

The call was from Gloria. She had called to inform they had rushed my dad to the hospital after he began throwing up blood. To me that sounded very serious but Gloria didn’t sound so concerned and said it could just be an ulcer. I went to class but kept my phone on silent just in case there was any news. I waited on Kris and Colt after my class and didn’t see my stalker anywhere in sight.

“Bro, are you pumped about this weekend?” Kris asked and nudged me.

“Actually… Gloria called just before I left for class to tell me Dad is in the emergency room,” I replied.

“Then what the hell are you doing here?” Kris asked loudly while we started walking on a fairly nice Friday in February. 

“She said she’d keep me informed and didn’t sound too concerned,” I replied and told them what I knew.

“Matt, you and Corey are still going with us this weekend right?” Colt asked.

“Yeah bro, I know Corey is really looking forward to it,” Kris stated.

“We’ll see, but right now we are. Who knows, it may not be anything,” I said.  

We made it to the room. I called Gloria for a report. She still didn’t know much at the time. She did say Dad was now asleep. With Kris and Colt getting ready for their jobs, I decided to be a good son and head over to see for myself. I drove the short distance and didn’t realize just how close the hospital was. It was new territory for me, thus I didn’t have my bearings down. I parked in the garage and headed to the main entrance. Once inside, I called Gloria to see exactly where they were. She gave me instructions so I headed off in search of them.

I found the room and headed inside. Dad had just woken up and smiled seeing me entering. 

“Matthew, you didn’t need to come,” Dad said with Gloria at his side.

“It’s okay, Dad, I wanted to. So, any news?”

Gloria smiled, “Not since I talked to you fifteen minutes ago.
They said a doctor would be by any time, but you know what schedule they are on.”

“So you’ve been here what, five hours, and have yet to see a doctor?” I questioned.

“Maybe now six,” Gloria replied. “They did give Larry something to stop him from throwing up.”

“It could be just a stomach bug,” Dad said.

“There was a little blood, Larry,” Gloria stated.

“Dad, it is better to be safe than sorry. I’d say by tomorrow or maybe even tonight you’ll be out of here,” I said.

We caught up a little before a doctor entered the small room. He explained they were still looking at a few results that had been run on my dad a few hours ago and wanted to move him to a room to at least watch him overnight. After another half hour, we were moving from the small room up an elevator to a room on the fifth floor of this hospital. 

Dad and Gloria urged me to leave but I really didn’t have much planned so I was fine just being there with him. Dad found us something to watch on the TV while we sat and waited to hear more. Time really didn’t move very fast just sitting around and waiting to hear what was next. 

Gloria and I did head out to grab a bite to eat about four. For the first time, I was alone with her. She spoke about how Dad had been complaining of a little stomach pain earlier in the week but continued to work at his job at a local factory. She was very nice and asked how Corey and I were doing. She did tell me how Dad was growing to accept me and how proud he was of me for my grades. I asked her if there were wedding bells ringing for her and my dad. She smiled and said as soon as Larry asked there would be.

We finished and headed back up to find Dad asleep with the remote in his hand. We had just got seated and settled when a different doctor came in the room. Dad woke when the doctor nudged him. He explained they wanted to do more exploring so they could get to the root of the problem. 

“I don’t think so,” Dad said.

“Mr. Raymond, it is just running tube down your throat so we can see what is going on deep inside,” the doctor stated.

“Is there a reason?” Gloria asked.

“Actually Mrs. Raymond, we think it is an ulcer but want to make sure,” the doctor stated, but not too convincingly in my opinion. 

Gloria leaned over to Dad, “You need to go and let them look inside. Everything will be okay.”

“Matt?” he asked me.

“Of course you should while you’re here,” I replied.

“Okay,” Dad said. “Doc, can someone get me a beer in the meantime?”

I laughed, as did the doctor. “I think maybe you should wait until we are finished.”

Once the doctor was gone, Dad still wasn’t sure this procedure was necessary. While we were doing a little pep talk, my phone started ringing. It was Scott to see how things were going. I stepped out and told him what I knew at that time. 

A host of nurses came in to prep my dad for his procedure. The doctor appeared again and gave me the chance to ask how long he thought it would take. He explained maybe two hours counting recovery, but Dad was staying overnight. 

Gloria and I watched while they wheeled him out. He did kiss me and Gloria on the cheek before leaving. Gloria wasn’t expecting an overnight stay but didn’t want to leave. I urged her to go since I had nothing to do and would be here in case anything came up. She left while I sat in the room. It did give me time to call Mom and talk with her. I told her about Dad as well as catching her up in my college life along with getting the latest on her and Vince.    

After hanging up, the many apps on my phone kept me occupied while I waited on Gloria’s return. After being gone for close to two hours, she came back to the room with a bag for her and Dad. She talked more while I got to hear all about her kids and grandkids. She didn’t get to see the grandkids much but spoke highly of them like any grandmother would.

The expected two hours passed without any word or seeing anyone. We now occupied our time by watching TV. At eight, Corey called me and said he was on his way up. 

There was little doubt when Corey arrived with Kris and Colt right behind him. They did liven up the room while we waited. Kris kept us entertained the best he could by telling Gloria a few of our antics. 

Around nine thirty, the door opened. The doctor came in and grabbed a seat. “Well, it was his ulcer…”

“It took long enough,” Gloria said. “How’s Larry?”

“He’s fine and recovering right now,” the gray headed doctor replied. “We ran a lot more test and will know more tomorrow.”

“Doc, is it serious?” I asked.

“Son, we really don’t think so at this time. As I said, we’ll know more tomorrow,” he replied. He explained that Dad would come back here and recover but be highly medicated so he could rest. 

I waited around until they brought Dad back to the room. He was barely able to open his eyes. He saw me and reached for my hand. “I’ll be okay Matthew,” he said squeezing my hand.

“You will Dad,” I said. He wasn’t looking so great at the time but he had just had a procedure and was on strong medication. 

The four of us left so Dad could get some rest. 

“Matt, we’re not going anywhere tomorrow,” Corey stated in the hall.

“I’d say let’s wait and see. It may be nothing,” I said.

“This really sucks,” Colt said.

“Think about them, asshole. Matt’s dad is here. Bro, he looked like hell if you ask me,” Kris said before hitting the buttons on the elevator.

“I know he did, but he did look sort of okay earlier…” I stated.

“Yeah, he had a rough night,” Corey said.

Back at the room, we were joined by a host of my friends. Word travels fast these days once Scott knows anything. He and Shawn were first to come see how things were. Next came Alex and Brennan along with Toni and Bryson. Soon after, Ted, Luke and Myles were down in our room. Each were so nice with Ted giving me the strongest hug and words of encouragement. Together we formulated a plan where Corey and I would hang around and join the others after we knew more. Corey had already called Parker to inform him of our situation.

I was exhausted after spending a majority of the day at the hospital. For a Friday night, Corey and I were in our room about midnight, which was early for us. 

“Matt, if worse comes to worse, we won’t go,” Corey said as we lay down.

“I know, but I’m trying to keep a positive outlook. It may be nothing,” I said.

“I hope it is…”

“Who am I kidding, Corey? They had him down there four fucking hours…”

Corey saw I was distraught. He grabbed me and held me close. “You can’t fool me. I know deep inside you’re worried sick.”

“I am and I’m trying not to be.”

“It’s natural to be worried about your dad. If it was my Larry, I’d be worried too,” Corey said.

We talked until I was asleep. I was surprised at how fast I fell asleep, but it was a sign how tired I was. Before going to sleep, I did tell Corey I’d run over and see what was up first thing.

I was up earlier than usual and felt great. I left Corey sleeping, getting showered, shaved and then headed out the door. Walking down the stairs, I saw Myles and Ted coming up. They had been out running this early morning. They wished me well before I headed back to the hospital.

Gloria was sitting alone and looking rough when I entered. “Where’s dad?”

“He just left to go to surgery,” Gloria stated.

“Surgery?” I asked with panic.

“Yes Matthew, they got him up early this morning and said they were going to do surgery on him first thing. It’s a good thing or else Larry would have fought them tooth and nail.”

“Did they say why?”

“Just something about wanting to open him up and look at his stomach…”

“Damn… that’s serious business,” I stated.

“I hope they find what they are looking for. You talk about a rough night…”

“Gloria, I’ll be more than happy to stay when I can. If nothing else, it will let you leave to get some rest.”

“I appreciate that but let’s just see how things go.”

I stepped away with great concern and not knowing what was really occurring with Dad. I sent Corey a text to call me when he could and would save the bad news until then. About ten minutes later, my phone went off. I saw it was Corey so I stepped out into the hall to tell him the latest news. I believe he knew this was coming and didn’t sound too shocked. He said he’d be up as soon as he dressed and had called to tell the others we won’t be making it.

Gloria and I sat and talked about how Dad did during the night. She said he didn’t sleep well with nurses coming in like clockwork to check up on him. At six, the doctor arrived to cart Dad into surgery. Being taken so quickly couldn’t be great news. A light knock announced Corey’s entrance with Kris right behind him. 

At two that Saturday we were told Dad would now be in ICU for a few days, yet there was still no exact word on what was found. I did hear they had opened him up for a closer in-depth look at his insides with the focus being in the stomach area. We headed down and were able to see him in pairs. He had just woken up and looked in great pain with tubes and wires everywhere. He reached first for my hand and squeezed it tightly. I put on a brave face and told him to be strong and to pull through this. 

After the short visit, the three of us left to get away.

“Matt, you’re worried sick,” Kris stated.

“I am. If I only knew more than maybe I wouldn’t be,” I replied.

Corey had been something special and was there to hold me when I needed to be held. They were showing great friendship more than anything. We didn’t do much at the room with Kris stating he had promised Megan he’d go out with her and her friends for the night.

While Kris dressed and needed our opinion on his style, Scott and Shawn came in the room. Together we critiqued Kris’s choices and agreed he looked great while borrowing a necklace of Scott’s to top things off. Just as Kris left, Ted and Myles came to the room to see how I was doing. I wasn’t able to talk much and needed to hurry back for the five o’clock visit. I wasn’t alone with all of them coming to keep me company since I wasn’t returning until after the nine o’clock visit.

We found Gloria talking to two other women when we arrived back in the ICU waiting room. Gloria said hi to us and pulled me aside. “Matthew, tell me who that big one is. He looks so familiar.”

“Oh, that’s Ted Wilcox…”

“Oh my Lord it is. He’s even more adorable without a uniform on. I just love to watch him play,” Gloria said and walked over to tell her friends. 

I motioned Ted over to introduce him to Gloria. It still astonished me how popular Ted was. He couldn’t have been any nicer. I had to fill Gloria in on how I knew him.  

Ted and I walked back over to where the others were sitting. Myles began teasing Ted over his notoriety while we sat and joked with Ted. Now, I forget that Ted is a star in some people’s eyes and just see him as a friend, one who is a good friend that would come and be with me in my time of peril.  

First Gloria went back with one of her friends. Then I grabbed Corey and insisted he come with me. We entered and saw Dad sitting up. He smiled the best he could. He reached out his hand for Corey’s and grabbed it. Tears welled up in my eyes seeing Dad take Corey’s hand and rub his forearm. I went over to sit and talk with him the best I could. I asked Corey if he could bring Ted and Myles back to help cheer Dad up. Soon the two appeared with smiles. I wasn’t sure if Dad knew who they were at first until I told him all about both, making sure to get in a good word about Myles. Both were great and told Dad to get well soon so he could cheer them on next year. Dad gave them a thumb’s up before we left.

We went to eat after the short visit. I expected everyone to leave after we ate but the four others stayed right there with me, along with being joined by Luke and Bishop. Having them there did make the time pass faster until the nine o’clock visit. Gloria and some different friends now joined our group, thus we had to keep things under control. We delighted them when we began talking about a few of the games. Ted and Myles were great to give us some inside things like all the trash talking Ted did at the big away game we went to and Luke telling about the key plays while he quarterbacked.

I made my visit to find Dad very tired. I just talked to him a little bit and told him about the friends he had for support. I kissed his forehead and left him to rest for the night. We waited until Gloria finished her visit and walked out with her to her car.

Once we were back in the room, the guys were great to me and did try to keep things very positive after a tough day. Just knowing they were putting forward the effort made me feel wonderful and I knew over the past year and half I had developed some very special friendships.

Once they left about eleven thirty, Corey and I went to our room. Corey never mentioned us having sex and was there being my rock. Having his big arms draped over my body let me know he was there for me and loved me. Sleep came easy to me but I woke during the night and just laid there in my thoughts.  I was worried but knew Dad would pull through after this set back.

Sunday, it was the same routine with me leaving Corey and heading over to the hospital. I visited Dad with Gloria and saw he didn’t look so hot. After the morning visit, I returned to find Kris and Corey sitting in the living area. Both stood and greeted me while asking how Dad was doing. After telling what I knew, which wasn’t much, I sat with Corey.

“Kris, let me hear it. I know you’re about to bust a gut over there,” I said.

“Well… things went as well as expected. Get this… I slept with her but didn’t fuck her like I thought I would. Oh I got in plenty of feels,” Kris stated. “Basically, I had the blue balls.”

“Hey, it is a beginning and you’re not going all out…” I said.

“I know and have to keep telling myself that. It’s a damn good thing I really like her,” Kris said.

“It is,” Corey said.

“So how did meeting her friends go?” I asked.

“Great, but I got the best one of that group. I did get to meet her brother. He may be her twin but not a thing like her. He looked to be a skater boy to the max, wearing all black and having a bunch of piercings with long dark hair,” Kris said.

“Was he nice?” Corey asked.

“Oh yeah, he was really cool, but fucking stoned out of his mind,” Kris replied. “Megan said Micah was smart as she was but stupid as hell on some things.”

As we were sitting there and talking about Valentine’s Day coming the next day, it hit me. I stood and started singing “Happy Birthday” to Kris.

He laughed, “I figured you forgot with all that is going on.”

“I did,” Corey confessed.

“It just hit me out of the blue. Kris, I’m sorry, but this may not be the day you envisioned for your birthday,” I said.

“Bro, forget about it. This birthday isn’t that big a deal, but be warned, there’s no way in hell your ass is forgetting next year,” Kris stated.

We got prepared to leave for the hospital. I know it wasn’t what Kris had in mind for his birthday but he never said a word and was by my side the entire time ready and waiting if I needed some support. When we arrived at the hospital we headed back to see Dad, Kris was great and brought a smile to my Dad’s face just by being Kris. We decided to hang around for a while with Gloria in the waiting area between visits. 

Just before the next scheduled visit, Colt, Scott and Shawn came over to visit us.  

“Alright boy, spill it,” Kris said.

“Lost my fucking ass,” Colt said, shaking his head. “That Bryson stayed at the blackjack just about all night. Toni was furious.”

“What did she expect?” Scott asked.

“I know, but he did win some jack,” Colt stated.

“Are y’all talking about going to the casino?” Gloria asked since she could overhear us.

“Yes ma’am, we are,” Colt replied.

“Larry and I went about three weeks ago. I didn’t win a thing but Larry did quite well,” Gloria said. 

“So how were Parker and Yancey?” Corey asked.

“Actually they were awesome and a lot of fun to be around. Parker hit a slot last night that paid out three hundred so he really had a good time,” Colt replied. “Alex hit one for a hundred whereas the rest of us just fed those machines. It was fun though.”

“Colt I think we forgot a little something,” I said and pointed at Kris. 

“I’ll be damned we did… Happy Birthday, Kris,” Colt said and went over to hug him. 

In the waiting area, it was almost like we were back in our room but not quite as wild. We sat and talked until the nurse arrived to say we could come back. Gloria and I went together to see Dad was awake. I hated he had tubes where he couldn’t talk just yet. We sat and talked with him until allowing Kris and Colt back to see him. I appreciated the fact that they were willing to do so.

It had been a rough day and I was feeling mad at myself for forgetting Kris’s birthday. I had done so much for the others and felt really bad that I didn’t go all out for my best friend ever. Kris fully understood and said he didn’t mind at all that his 20th birthday was rather subdued, other than the part where Kris insisted everyone be in their ‘birthday suit’.  It was no surprise to us that Kris insisted, so we spent the night talking and playing games naked like Kris wanted. 

The highlight of the night had to be Ted, Luke and Myles in their birthday suits. They were hesitant at first in doing so. It was no myth about Luke and his big cock. It was probably the biggest flaccid cock I had ever laid eyes on, with Ted and Myles being average. Without clothes, Myles was stunning. His cut body wasn’t really any hotter than the rest of us if I’m honest but it was just the fact we finally saw them naked. 

Actually we didn’t really drink. A few had what was left over but we chilled and did our best to enjoy Kris’s birthday. 
Monday, I headed over to see Dad as soon as my classes were finished. I did bring my laptop to study while waiting for the 2 o’clock visit. Gloria greeted me and reported how well Dad looked after her earlier visit.  

At 2, Gloria and I went back to see Dad. He had a big smile on his face and was sitting up with the tube gone from down his throat.  

“Matthew, don’t wear yourself out now coming to see me,” Dad stated in a raspy voice.

“I’m good and will be here until you’re going home,” I said.

“Your friends Kris and what’s his name were crazy last night,” Dad said.

“I wouldn’t expect less,” I said with a smile. “So are you eating yet?”

“No yet,” Gloria replied. “They are feeding him through the tubes until his stomach heels.”

“Any word yet on what they found?” I asked.

Dad shook his head no. Gloria said, “The doctor said he’d be by later tonight and may have the report.”

“Let’s cross our fingers and toes it is good,” I said with Dad nodding.

“I am ready to get home,” Dad eked out.

“I know you are and so am I,” I said.

We talked a little longer before our short visit was over. It was a positive sign he was up after only having surgery two days before. 

As I was leaving the room, my phone was ringing. It was a pleasant surprise with Toni calling and wanting to come visit me. I gave her instructions and waited until I saw her. She was so sweet and gave me a sweet hug before we sat down.

“So how was the trip?” I asked.

“A damn disaster,” Toni replied. “I couldn’t get Bryson away from the table. I don’t care how much he was winning…”

“He’s addicted like crazy,” I said.

“You’re telling me, and it’s getting worse by the day. Get this. He wants us to go again in two weeks but there’s no way I’m going. You and Corey can go with him since you missed out. So how is your Dad?”

“Much better than yesterday…” I said and gave the full report. 

“You’re a good son being here for him. I heard you’ve rarely left since he’s been here.”

“It’s no biggie. I’m sure you’d do the same thing if it was your father.”

She chuckled, “I know you’re right. I just wanted to come over since you’ve been so nice to me this year. I really haven’t seen you much.”

“I know, but that happens sometimes when we’re both in a relationship.”

“So what did you get Corey for today?”

My eyes drifted to the ceiling. “Oh damn! Nothing, girl! Our present to each other was our trip.”

She patted my shoulder, “He’ll understand.”

“I just hope he doesn’t get me anything. I’ll feel just awful.”

We talked about their trip. It was great to be able to talk with Toni. She stayed quite a while before leaving when our next visit time had arrived.

Gloria and I went back again and saw that Dad was woozy from the strong meds they were administering. We talked with Dad nodding off to sleep.

During the next down time, I pulled out my laptop to catch up on homework. I moved to a secluded area that was quieter so I could concentrate. My class load was coming on stronger as the semester was really kicking in. 

Before I realized it, it was time for the final visit. Gloria and I walked down to see Dad and saw the doctor coming out. He asked to speak to us and pulled us into a vacant area. The first thing he said was Dad was asleep but we could just peek in if we wanted. Then he gave the news…

I was still going over what the doctor said in my head as I made my way up to the dorm room. I opened the door and saw Corey, Kris, Shawn and Scott.

“Bro, you don’t look so hot,” Kris said. “Long day, huh?”

“Very long,” I said with no emotion.

Corey went to the bedroom and soon emerged with his hand behind his back. He came and knelt where I was sitting. He pulled out his hand but I had seen a glimpse of the nice size package. Now tears were beginning to flood my eyes. Corey stuck the present in my hand.

“Bro, open it! I’m about to die to see what’s in it. He’s kept it a secret from me,” Kris stated.

“Dude’s all emotional,” Scott said while I began opening the present. Tears were streaming down my face.

“Damn, I’ve never seen Matt so happy,” Kris stated.

I opened the box and saw another box. I opened the smaller box and saw a ring. I lost it!


I hope you enjoyed this chapter. 

As always, you are welcome to comment below and express your feelings.  I appreciate those who do.