When the door was shut and he had gone I just stood there watching it. I blinked a couple of times rather owlishly before I had any real thoughts.
"I need to do some thinking?" I wondered aloud. What was there to think about? Obviously he was depressed about something but what?
"He can’t possibly know about… about Natalie…" I said still confused. You see, Natalie had come to me before the tour about how she was planning on leaving Ed since he was always gone. I never wanted to tell him, it would make him so sad and I really didn’t want to see him heart broken. He couldn’t know, I never even mentioned it in the conversation… uh oh.
"Uhh… I wonder if he took Tyler’s last words a little wrong." I muttered. I had to find him; I had to tell him soon that we were talking about Natalie. I just don’t want to break his heart. Oh no, why didn’t I tell him at the start of the tour what Natalie said? Why did I tell Ty and the others but not him? This was going to make things complicated… oh wait they already were complicated. I shook my head and grabbed my coat; I had to find Ed before he learned the truth with out my telling him. But what if he gets mad? What if he hates me for it? He will hate me for it but I can’t let him hear that I was told to tell him.
"Natalie, why didn’t you tell him yourself?" I asked aloud. Well there was one thing I could do and not have the entire thing blow up in my face. I could call Natalie and ask her the best way to approach her husband and tell him the things I should have told him months ago. And while I’m at it why don’t I tell her that Ed and I are sleeping with each other… well maybe not. I can just picture her reaction.
"YOU’RE WHAT? You’re sleeping with my husband? God why don’t I go have a round with Carolyn or Jill then?" Eeep that would be scary.
"No, I want to live longer than that." I told myself but I picked up the phone and dialed her number anyway.
"Hello?" came her tired voice.
"Natalie? It’s Steve." I said not bothering to say hello.
"Hi Steve, what do you need?"
"How do you approach your husband and let him know his wife wants to leave him?"
"You can’t tell him Steve! Please don’t!" She said anxiously.
"I can’t keep this a secret! The others found out from Tyler "The Mouth" and if Ed finds out that I’ve known this he’ll blow up on me!"
"Why would he? All of you are friends, there’s no point in him going after you alone."
"Yes there is." I said quietly knowing our secret would be out in mere seconds.
"And why is that?" she asked curiously.
"Uhh… no reason. Just never mind! I have to tell Ed though! He’ll get mad at me and it’ll break his heart!"
"Why would you be worried about breaking his heart?"
"Nat, you swear you won’t get mad?"
"Ed and I have been… turning to each other I guess you could say."
"Oh my god… Steve I have to go!" and she hung up. Look what you did
now, Page. You’re in for it if word of this leaks out, I thought scowling.
I never wanted to tell her. But I still didn’t know how to approach Ed!
This is going to be tough. I walked out the door and began to look for
Ed. I guess I had to tell him sooner or later, why not now? I saw Kevin’s
room first, that would be a good place to start. I knocked on the door
and heard Kevin’s voice call out:
"Who is it?"
"It’s Steve. I need to tell Ed something." I called back. He opened the door and I saw Ed looking at me rather worriedly.
"Ed, I need to tell you something, this is really important."
"I already know!" he said harshly.
"You… you do?" I asked and I looked angrily at Kevin.
"What did I do?" He asked frowning.
"I know what’s up, I heard it in the conversation with Tyler!" Ed exclaimed.
"No, Ed you heard wrong…"
"No I didn’t! You… how could you?" he yelled now starting to cry. He ran out the door sobbing uncontrollably. Then I heard the familiar Zelda tune go off in the hall. I gulped and had a strange feeling I knew what was coming next.
"Hello Carolyn, what would you like? What about Natalie? She… she what? Oh my god and Steve knew? Oh… I have to go!" Said his distressed voice. I ran into the hall where Ed was crying. I put a comforting hand on his shoulder.
"I was about to tell you… that’s what me and Tyler were talking about."
"Get away from me… you could have told me any time… don’t touch me you bastard." He hissed and he ran for it. I watched him go and I knew that I deserved everything he called me.
"Now what am I going to do?" I asked burying my face in my hands and sobbing. "I have to tell him I thought I was doing the right thing! God I hope he doesn’t do anything drastic." I muttered getting up and going in the direction he had gone. I turned the corner and saw him waiting for the elevator.
"ED! Ed please don’t! I thought I…"
"NO! You keep away from me! Don’t come near me, after last night and the night before I thought maybe you would tell me something that important but I guess I’m just some stupid fuck you can throw around!" and he ran for the stairs. What am I going to do?
How could he? After all that has happened between us he went and kept a secret, a secret that will seriously affect my life. Natalie was leaving me and he never told me… was I just some stupid fuck he could have every once and awhile? Was that all I was worth to Steve? Oh god…
"Natalie… why couldn’t we work this out?" I sobbed and I tripped and fell down the last few stairs. I lay in the hotel lobby with people staring at me. One lady approached me and kneeled down beside me.
"Excuse me sir? Are you alright?" She asked shaking my shoulder.
I looked up at her and then nodded.
"I’m fine… I… yea I’m ok." I said standing up.
I turned and walked to a deserted part of the lobby and sat down and put my head in my hands. How could Steve do this to me? He had known about Natalie for months and he kept something that important a secret from me, I couldn’t believe it. Why was Natalie leaving me? I made money and I tried to be home a lot of the time but I couldn’t. It wasn’t my fault, it was my job. She was going to leave me, she wasn’t threatening she was seriously going to. I had to clear this up now. I took out my cell phone and dialed my home number... well most of it. Before I punched the last number I hesitated. Why bother? I flipped it shut and set it down beside me. I heard the elevator ding and I turned to look, Steve stepped out. No, I wouldn’t deal with him. I got up grabbed my phone and ran for it.
"HEY! Ed listen I want to talk!" He called after me.
"Don’t talk to me you bastard!" I yelled back and I ran out the hotel doors trying to avoid him. I felt hurt all of a sudden. I didn’t like calling Steve a bastard, it hurt. I stopped and let my shoulders slump. I needed to apologize… he was my best friend. But he had decided not to tell me about Natalie. Maybe he had a good reason? Doubt it… well… I need to be alone. I took another step but my head was starting to hurt worse and everything was getting a little blurry.
"My head…" I moaned as I took another step. I shouldn’t be walking but I had to get away from everyone. I saw the busses up ahead and I began to walk slowly to it holding my head and drawing confused and angry stares my way. I didn’t care that they were staring, my head hurts. I finally reached the side of the bus and walked to the door. I was dismayed to find it locked and that Steve had the keys. I slid down the door and began to sob on the ground miserably. There was nothing I could do… Steve would comfort me… no! Steve kept that from you!
"What do I want? What do I need?" I asked the sky and I drooped my head again. You want Steve… you want to be with him…it’s because you love him, came the answer.
"Do I… do I love… Steve?" I wondered breathing hard. Did I love Steve? God I think I do. I looked up into the clear blue sky. I wasn’t sure how long I had been in love with him… and boy if this doesn’t sound strange I don’t know what does. I slumped my head down and I was sure that anyone watching thought I was drunk. I felt like crying but I was too occupied to cry. I was thinking of Steve so much it almost hurt. I heard the click of boots on the ground and I turned and saw Fin walking towards me. Could I even deal with some one else? Could I deal with myself?
"Ed? Is that you down there?" asked Fin kneeling down.
"Hi Fin… I’m canceling on breakfast… leave me alone." I whispered softly.
"I’m… just leave me alone."
"Why? What’s wrong, Ed?"
"LEAVE ME ALONE! DO I HAVE TO SPELL IT OUT FOR YOU?" I exploded letting all the anger vent. Fin walked off a little angrily.
"Sorry Fin… I’m a little depressed right now and can’t deal with much." I said after a second rather guiltily at how I acted.
"It’s ok, sometimes you just need to vent. I feel like that everyday when I tour with you guys." He replied with a cheeky smile. I rewarded him with a dirty look and the finger. He put his hands up and ran off before I got hostile. I sighed and buried my head in my hands again trying to figure out what to do. Leave. Don’t come back until you’ve settled all this out. You do have a week to do it. I got up and walked out of the parking lot and decided if I walked around everywhere and never slept in the park no one would pass me off as one of the homeless. I had a home, I just wasn’t sure if I was wanted there. I began to sing out lady peace to get my mind off of it.
"It’s a long long get away… make it home again… I can’t see that thief that lives inside of your head…" I sang still walking and drawing strange stares. I didn’t care, I just kept walking. I spied a nice place to sit down and mope for awhile and I collapsed down still singing. Now I was singing Green Day.
"It was something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right… I hope you had the time of your life…" I knew those weren’t the real words but I hoped in some weird psychic way Steve would hear them and find me. I’ll talk if he finds me and talks first. My head was pounding but I didn’t care, I was thinking. I was trying to see what I could do to stop Natalie from leaving me but the only thing I saw was Steve… I couldn’t stop thinking about him… what was I going to do? I eventually fell asleep… I woke up much, much later. I swore I could feel some one sit beside me. It was cold out, probably almost nighttime even if I had been asleep that long but the other person just sat there and never moved. I wanted to know if it was Steve but I didn’t dare look like I was awake… or move since my head hurt. I could feel his presence and it wasn’t in any normal way… I was sure it was Steve. I fell asleep later, after about a half an hour, into a dreamless sleep. I thought I felt something brush up against my cheek. I opened my eyes a crack to catch the culprit but I couldn’t see anyone. It was almost pitch black out, at least midnight. I opened my eyes some more and wondered what touched my face. What ever it was it had sent a little shock of something through me… it was a familiar feeling. I rubbed my aching head and winced. It hurt worse than ever before. No one was insight and I sat up and looked around. I heard a familiar humming down the street and occasional words.
"It was something unpredictable but in the end you were right, I really had the time of my life. Good-bye for now…" and the singing stopped. Another bad lyric singer but I knew it was Steve… I knew he was the one sitting with me and didn’t have the heart to wake me and try to talk. I thought for a minute before singing back.
"Thanks that was fun… don’t forget, no regrets…"
"Except maybe one… listen Ed, I have to go. I’ll see you later… I hope." And the sounds of Steve’s footsteps echoed in the distance. I closed my eyes and decided I would return in the morning and I hoped Fin didn’t freak out. I closed my eyes and fell asleep on the park bench feeling remarkably like someone was going to come and sit with me again. I’m not sure how long it took me, but I did eventually fall asleep.
I was lying in my bed and slowly nodding off to sleep. I had found Ed, I had sat with him for a long time but I never woke him up and let him know it was even me who was sitting with him. Before I left I kissed him lightly on the cheek; not sure if it was smart since I now knew that every time I kissed him he’d wake up. But when he left I went up into my room and lay down and just wondered what I really thought about him. I had just sat there for a few hours and thought about my feelings for Ed. I knew now that they had grown far beyond turning to each other for comfort to love… at least I thought I really and truly loved him. I wanted nothing more that for him to be here with me, no matter what we were doing. Fooling around to just sitting together, I would give anything to gain Ed’s trust back… anything in the world. I mean I never wanted to break his heart, I just thought it would be best not to tell him about Natalie. I mean I think I would have freaked out on him just as bad if it had been Carolyn. But the thing that killed me the most was that I had broken his trust and trust was probably one of the hardest things to gain back. I wanted to hold him and kiss him so much I could feel it in my heart, as a constant ache. Then there was a light knock on the door.
"Who’s it?" I asked sleepily.
"I was wondering if we could talk." Came Kevin’s voice from the other side.
"Jus a sec and you cin comin." I slurred getting up and opening the door.
"Are you drunk, Steve?" asked Kevin stepping inside of the room.
"No, just… tired." I replied.
"Well you’re eyes are sort of red like you’ve been crying… oh jeez what’s wrong Steve?"
"Did you want to talk or not?" I snapped and narrowed my eyes.
"Yea, Ed’s missing. Where is he, I think you’d know since you room with him."
"I… well… we had a fight." I stammered and sat down on my bed. Kevin sat down on Ed’s bed and studied me carefully. Neither spoke for a long time and my mind kept trailing back to how Ed looked in the park… broken down and weak. How I had betrayed his trust… betrayed his friendship. I couldn’t stop it; I let a tear fall down my cheek before I could wipe it away. Kevin got up and sat beside me and laid a friendly hand on my shoulder.
"Steve, what’s really wrong between you two. Tell me, it’s ok." He whispered. I looked at him and sniffed before beginning to speak.
"Ed found out about Nat wanting to leave him and he found out that I in particular knew and sort of blew up on me and ran off. I… I think I have strong feelings for him so I guess that’s why I feel so bad. I never wanted to break his heart! I just didn’t think it would be a good idea to tell him at the time and he found out… I betrayed his trust and I think he doesn’t care for me anymore. Jesus let me die already…" and I began to cry right in front of Kevin. Not like a baby would but my head was in my hands and I had no way of stopping the tears from rolling down my cheeks.
"I never… I never knew. I mean, if you’re saying you care for each other in the way I think you are…" Kevin said quietly absorbing the news.
"How do you think we are? If you don’t know me and Carolyn are having problems as well… that might give you a hint." I sobbed.
"I think you’re… oh big word for Kevvy… turning to each other sexually aren’t you?" He whispered. Uh oh, ‘innocent little Kevvers’ has blown his cover.
"Yea… we are. Don’t tell any one, please Kevin don’t you dare." I said pulling my head out of my hands and looking at me. He gave me a weak and shocked smile.
"I swear. That’s what friends are for, isn’t it?" he asked.
"Thank you Kevin. No one else would understand…" and I hugged him. He sort of returned the hug before moving away.
"You’re with Ed, it’s not my place to interfere. Where is he, I think you should go find him… soon."
"But… I don’t know if he really feels the same way."
"Well go and find him and find out. When you’re in love the almost always feel the same way back. I may not know much but I do know something. Go and find him, you need him." I nodded. I got up and began to pull on my clothes and Kevin left the room. I finished putting on some clothes and I looked at them more closely. They were the same clothes I was wearing the first night we were together. Aww Christ it feels like we’ve been together for years. I walked out the door of my hotel room and headed for the park. I wanted to see him so bad, hold him so bad. I half ran there through the midnight air. I needed him. I turned the corner and saw him sleeping on the bench. Ed was there. I ran forward but I didn’t speak, I didn’t want to wake him. I stopped in front of him and looked at him. He looked very venerable. I leaned down and kissed him lightly. He didn’t stir.
"Ed… Ed wake up I need to talk to you." I said hoarsely. He still didn’t move. I narrowed my eyes and noticed that there was blood in his ear. Oh my god, he was unconscious… oh no, his concussion. I began to search him for his phone. I was more than happy when my hand clasped around it. I frantically dialed 911 and waited. I told them the situation and Ed’s symptoms and then waited for the ambulance to come the small park. When I saw it I ran for them.
"Hello sir, we’ll take it from here." Said one of the men with the stretcher.
"How did he get his concussion?" asked another. I explained to him that we were talking in my hotel room about something and he stood up to quickly and fell and hit his head.
"Why is he out here then?" asked the man suspiciously.
"Well I… he left for some thinking. I mean I kept a secret I know I shouldn’t have and I’m praying to god he can forgive me… and the reason I found him is because I want to tell him something." I mumbled not wanting to give away our secret. He narrowed his eyes waiting for more of an explanation. I pursed my lips and walked to the ambulance, like hell I was going to leave him.
"No sir, not with out telling us what happened." Said the man laying one hand on my shoulder.
"I want to tell Ed that I love him." I mumbled and I tugged my shoulder away and continued to the ambulance ignoring him. Climbing inside they were mostly working on Ed so I was crowded out and had nothing to do but wait and get to the hospital and phone the guys. I was staring at Ed and how I felt so guilty about not getting him to the hospital when I should have. I felt worse than I already did. Then someone tapped me on the shoulder and I jumped.
"Yes?" I asked turning to look over at the same man.
"Your friend is going to have to stay in here over night, maybe another if he goes into a small coma. I’m sure he’ll be fine it’s just we’ve realized that concussions can be related to depression or cause depression. I wish to inform you so you and your… partner will know this for the future."
"Thank you very much." And I reached over and took Ed’s hand. I wanted
to let him know I was here.