Roger got out of the hospital a few weeks ago. His T-Cell count was still low, but he felt better despite the fact. The doctor sent him home with way too many pills that cost too much, but he's home, so I can't complain.

"Let's go outside." Roger pressed on for the millionth time. I was sitting ontop of the kitchen counter, trying to label negatives. A dark room would have been preferable to this weather, but I take what I can get.

"It's hot out there baby," Mimi replied,running her hand absentmindedly through his hair. She'd finally came back. Even though I wanted to be angry at her, I couldn't bring myself to it. I suspected that she'd come back dead. She came back close enough to it, though.

"Where have you been?" I whispered urgently to Mimi after Roger had gone to sleep in his room. Her eyes got big, and her hair was illuminated eerily in the moonlight.

I hadn't seen her since Roger was first put in the hospital. Maureen had been out looking for her constantly, even going as far as Jersey because that's where somebody had seen her once. We put up flyers, filed a missing persons report -

"I was...Mark, I don't -" she managed to stammer.

"Are you?" I said back. My words stayed in the air like tree swing in the dead of winter. It was more of a statement than a question, and I couldn't blame her. Collins had his marijuana, Joanne had her cases, and Maureen had her performances. If I didn't have my camera, or Roger, I sure as hell would have been using something, anything.

I came closer to where she was sitting on the fire escape, looking at her eyes, trying to tell. They say you can tell a lot about a person by their eyes. She tacitly pushed up her sleeves, and even though there were no lights on in the loft, I could clearly see that she had been.

Her arm reminded me of Roger after April had died. There were too many track marks to count. Her bronze skin was bruised and appeared purple and green. I could barely tell where one ended and another one began. She let her sleeve drop and almost instantaneously, she drew her knees up to her chest, and held herself tight.

"I'm scared, Mark. I don't like this. We're supposed to be young and vibrant and energetic. Not sick and bedridden because of this stupid disease...They say that these are supposed to be the best days of your lives. But look at us. At me, at him. We're counting down the days until we die -"

"Mimi, don't say that." I said firmly. I didn't want to think about that.

"But it's true!" she said urgently.

"Well maybe I don't want to realize that, okay? Did you ever think about what Roger's going through? About how you just picked up and left and nobody knew where you were? We were worried. I didn't know what to say to Roger, so I didn't say anything. Hell, I don't even think I could have made up a legit lie if I had to. So when you want to want to talk about death and dying young, think about the people who you're going to leave behind." I said. My eyes stung from the angry tears I tried to hold back. I suddenly felt bad for lashing out at Mimi, who was dying just as fast as Roger.

Awkwardly, I kneeled down and wrapped my arms around her. At first she stiffened, and then I felt her go rigid in my embrace. She put her arms around my neck and began to cry, almost uncontrollably yet silently. And the worst thing about it was that I couldn't imagine any words that would be of comfort.

Roger was dying and she was probably next, but on the street beneath us, nobody even turned on a light.
He'd been saying that for the past three days and I finally gave in for some reason. I made him put on one of his worn sweaters, even though it was a warm summer evening, and we began the trek up to the roof. I dusted off the busted up recliner we'd stolen from the street below us and got him to sit down on it to catch his breath.

"Are you okay?" I asked Roger. Lately he'd been acting like an old man when nobody was looking. If I didn't know he was sick, I'd say he looked like he was dying. I could tell by the way you could hear him wince when he bent down into the sink to get some water for his AZT or how he'd get random bruises and lesions .

"Yeah, just help me up. It feels good out here."

"Yeah, it does."

Roger was acting strange. I don't know if it was because he finally was outside after being stuck in the loft for so long or what. But he was definitely acting strange. I looked at him again, taking a mental picture of him. I didn't know how much more time he'd have left. All of a sudden, a gentle breeze came around and he looked livelier than ever. His hair looked a wavier and healthy, his cheeks even seemed to have a hint of color in them. And he looked like he put on a few pounds. Then, the breeze stopped as fast as it had come in. And Roger looked sicklier than ever.

"It looks great out here tonight." he commented awkwardly. I could see his eyes brimmed with tears.

"Do you want to go back inside?" I questioned. He nodded. He was light enough for me to carry until we got to the door. He practically demanded that he be put down to at least walk to his bed. He'd always mumble something about "at least being able to walk to his fucking deathbed by himself", even though he'd grimace inwardly the whole forty seven steps it took to get there.

I helped him change into a pair of sweats and a raggedy flannel top that nobody would dare walk out of the loft in. Mimi came in and kissed him goodbye, with me sheepishly hanging around in the corner, waiting to give him his round of medicines. She'd work nights so she could be with him during the day. I gave him the AZT and a cup of chamomile tea, and stayed with him until he drank it all. When he was finished, I took the cup and closed his door gently.

I want to the counter and began counting out the medicine for the next day. There were so many things the doctor put him on. They had to be taken in different ways, at different times. They cost a lot, too, but I didn't really mind. I went back to working at the diner when I could, and I even picked up a juvenile paper route to do in the wee hours of the morning.

After I was finished, I went back into his room, just to make sure that he was doing okay. Laying beside him in bed was his journal, the one that everybody and anybody avoided. I remember the first time that I was even tempted to look in it I couldn't bring myself to it. But now, it lay open and inviting as a cup of lemonade and a few cookies with Roger when I was seven.

The page was graffitied with Roger's handwriting and grotesque sketches in the margins. I picked up the journal and thumbed through it, catching glimpses of various entries.

"I'm getting sicker..."

"Nobody knows where she is, we've put up flyers and filed a missing persons report. God, I hope we find her soon, before it's too late..."

"Today I left for Santa Fe. For what, I don't know. But I hope when I come back, Iwill be able to write something good, instead of my old shit..."

"Mimi's got AIDS, too..."

"I met Mimi Marquez today, and I think..."

"I can't think straight. I want it. I need it. I'm going out to get some."

"AIDS. Trading in life for death..."

"April has AIDS. That means, that I am HIV,too..."

"I met this most amazing girl at a show last night. Her name is April. I brought her back her last night and we..."

"Tonight's our first performance at CBGB's..."

They wereconciseand to the point. On the backs of pages were songs he'd written. He could have enough material to never have to worry about money for AZT for a millions years, but that's not what he's about, and I can't blame him. He doesn't want to become a yuppie just like Benny. I flipped back to the last page he'd written on and read aloud, in a whisper.

"This entry might be my last. I don't want to write about my last days. That'll make whoever finds this and reads it feel even worse. So to whoever who finds this, you're lucky I don't see you. Let Collins andMimi and Mark read it, even though it's probably one of you who's reading it now. And when your finished, I want you to tear up all the pages in a billion little pieces, and let them float around Alphabet City. I'm not really all that religious,but if there is a heaven...well, I know somebody who should be there now. Instead of writing about the insuppressible coughs and fevers and the constant cold that shivers up my spine, I'm going to write one last song before I die. I could say this song's about heaven, but really, it's about what's just past Alphabet City, just out of my reach.

How you found me out I still never understand,
Thoughts you can't take with you when you go.
You were waving flags that bare the colors
Of your love I didn't know:
Orange for the vineyards,
Blue is for the rivers,
Green goes like a hillside covered now,
White is not surrender
Despite what you've been told;
It's clouds of hope
That fall on you now, save you now.
Fall on you, fall on you now, save you now.

One time we met, you were outside
Floating in the forest. I placed my stigmata
On your hands. Little flowers that you have sown
Show people you have known
that I am love and
Fall on you now, save you now.
Fall on you, fall on you now, save you now.

And fall on you now, save you now.
Fall on you, fall on you now, save you now.
Fall on you now, save you now.
Fall on you, fall on you now, save you now."

A/N: That's it, I guess. I'm sorry it's taken so long, but with school, writer's block, and a lack of muses, I semi gave up on this story. Thatnk you for all the reviews on this story, you have no idea what feedback means to me.

The song Roger writes is actually by Denison Witmer entitled "Little Flowers".