#01 – Comfort
The pillow underneath his head is nice, soft, Samuel thinks as he closes his eyes – but it's not as comforting as Erik's arms.
#02 – Kiss
Their first kiss is perfect: it is slow and slightly clumsy but very, very hot; it's passionate (Samuel) but controlled (Erik) and why had they waited so long to do this?; it's all soft lips and tangling tongues, and that is when they both realise that they are in too deep to climb out now.
#03 – Soft
For Christmas Erik gives Samuel a few gifts, one of which is a small, fuzzy, extremely soft travel pillow; Samuel declares that he has never received a better present.
#04 – Pain
Despite everything Erik says, being with Samuel is heartbreaking in every way because he cannot share in his pain, because he can never understand.
#05 – Potatoes
The damp strips of potato skin fall around Erik's hand as he peels the vegetables and chunks are missing from where he's pressed too hard as he imagines each one having his face.
#06 – Rain
"I can't sleep when it's raining," Samuel complains into the crackling phone line, and he hears Erik's answering grin before the blue-haired boy even has a chance to say one word.
#07 – Chocolate
Erik breaks up a bar of chocolate filled with delicious, delicious caramel under the table in his English class room and passes a few squares to Samuel, who pops them in his mouth and licksuckchews them so suggestively that it has to be illegal; Erik doesn't realise he is staring in a completely obscene way until the class falls silent around him and Samuel smiles that mischievous smile before burying his head in his arms again.
#08 – Happiness
The two boys whoop and wave their arms about above them as the rollercoaster dips and dives and twirls them around; their eyes meet and they each grin a little bit harder, two hands joining in mid-air.
#09 – Telephone
When Erik and his sister were younger they had made a crude telephone which was no more than two paper cups connected by a piece of string; Erik had never had so much fun with them until Samuel came into his life.
#10 – Ears
Samuel licks the curve of Erik's ear languidly; Erik shifts beneath him and stifles a moan and gives half-hearted protests which Samuel ignores as his fingers reach down to tug at the waistband of the blue-haired boy's jeans because they really, really don't do this enough.
#11 – Name
One cloudless night Erik is wrapped around Samuel as he sleeps and he hears his name whispered, so he rolls over to ask his friend what's wrong but Samuel just curls up tighter and exhales; Erik realises that he is still sleeping and a smile curls its way onto his face.
#12 – Sensual
The fingers running over his body are cool and long and wonderful, the face hovering above him is narrow, beautiful; Samuel is just a little puddle of bliss as Erik smirks at him, those blessed fingers moving down and down…
#13 – Death
Erik has one rule: he does not think about death, ever.
#14 – Sex
"Erik, stop thinking, for once – please, just give me this one thing."
#15 – Touch
Don't touch me: Samuel's eyes say the three words louder and more venomous than any mouth could ever; Erik has never seen him look so angry (it is frightening); he brushes it off with a fake smile and a, "Good luck with your paper, hm?", but really he wants to vomit.
#16 – Weakness
Samuel is his weakness; Erik has never taken down his cool, controlled façade around anyone else before.
#17 – Tears
For once in his life Erik is at a loss when he walks into Samuel's living room and sees his friend's mother crying into her hands, oblivious to everything around her; a fleeting moment passes where Erik wants to shake her and ask what the fuck is wrong with him?! but he knows the answer, he just doesn't know how to deal with this, and so he walks out of the room silently.
#18 – Speed
The room is small and square, shiny tiles black in the darkness; it has a clinical, eerie feel (a hospital?) – suddenly, a noise comes from a shifting figure on the floor – it is Samuel, whimpering, and Erik moves forward to see what is wrong but his view is blocked by the pillows suddenly falling onto the writhing boy; soon he can't see Samuel at all and he's pulling the pillows off and off but he's not fast enough, he needs to be faster, his arms are a blur, there are so many pillows, where are they all coming from?, and he gets to the bottom of the pile and Samuel is gone.
#19 – Wind
It has to be close to a hundred degrees, Erik thinks as he and Samuel sit beneath the willow tree in the park; he tips his head to gaze at Sam (who's reading a book about girls with long golden hair and sea blue eyes or some shit again); wind ruffles the leaves around them and he goes back to leaning his head against the bark of the tree, content.
#20 – Freedom
After a particularly uncomfortable trip to the cinema (in which Josh and Metis' lips didn't seem to part once and you could've cut the sexual tension between Jay and Charles with a knife) Erik sighs with relief as he and Samuel hit fresh air; Samuel mutters, "Freedom at last," and Erik smirks in response.
#21 – Life
"It's impossible to keep, Erik – it's like grasping at air or sand on a beach, it's all just slipping through my fingers and I don't know how to stop it."
#22 – Jealousy
The irony almost makes him want to laugh as Samuel hisses: "Why do you have to be so fucking perfect at every fucking thing you do?!"
#23 – Hands
Samuel's hands are always cold, but they fit perfectly into Erik's, and so it's okay.
#24 – Taste
"You taste like coffee," Erik whispers, and Samuel replies: "That's because I was just drinking some, genius," to which Erik laughs and asks, "I thought you liked tea?"
#25 – Devotion
Sometimes, Erik wonders why he does it – why, on top of keeping perfect grades in every class, he goes to Samuel's house every night (his parents work late; it is a blessing), sometimes cooks for him, talks with him, lets him fall asleep in his arms – and then he looks at the boy in question and it doesn't matter anymore.
#26 – Forever
"I won't leave you; I'll be here forever, you know that."
#27 – Blood
There is so much of it in the sink, so, so much and the red is in such stark contrast to the hospital white of the bathroom and the pale boy slumped on the floor in his own blood.
#28 – Sickness
"I'm sick," says Samuel, and Erik gathers his friend, boyfriend, lover, whatever up into his arms as he cries; they both sink onto the tiled floor; the blue-haired boy presses kisses to the other's head; the knowledge that he was right is no comfort to him at all, and he hates himself for it.
#29 – Melody
The elevator going down plays the same jangly song as it did when he was going up and it plays it every day; Erik grows to hate that melody, to blame it for everything – it gets him queasy and afraid when he hears it which is dumb and illogical but he needs something to blame apart from his own stupidity.
#30 – Star
Over the next few weeks, Erik finds himself wishing for the same thing on every single star in the sky.
#31 – Home
"Next week," the nurses say, and Erik feels like he could cry; instead, he squeezes one of the nurses in a rib-cracking hug and whispers, "Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you..."
#32 – Confusion
Samuel's family don't understand why the blue-haired boy (they learn his name is Erik and he is a friend from school) visits every day, why he seems so quiet and distant and weirdly impatient when they're around, why he sinks to his knees and looks like he could cry when they leave the room, and they especially don't understand the look in his eyes whenever he gazes at the sickly, sleeping boy stretched out on the bed.
#33 – Fear
The fear never stops: every time he sees his face, he is scared, because he looks a little bit thinner, a little bit more gaunt, a little bit (if it is even possible) more tired.
#34 - Lightning/Thunder
It is during Biology when the first roll of thunder booms overhead; Erik is not startled (it has been raining for the past few hours) but he knows that Samuel doesn't like storms, and so he catches his friend's eye and gives a reassuring smile.
#35 – Bonds
Erik reads, Gemini and Scorpio: Once in love, this is a couple that have an almost unbreakable bond and immediately dismisses it because horoscopes are bollocks, right – but he still can't explain the sudden urge to hit something.
#36 – Market
"I didn't know you had stocks," Samuel says, smirking as Erik pauses to read the stocks page in the paper; Erik is silent for a moment before replying: "The world is screwed."
#37 – Technology
The soft glow of the laptop screen lights up his face as Erik reads about penguins at two am for some god-only-knows reason, and he smiles when "Samuel *yawn*" pops up in the corner of his screen in a little box; he clicks, types Can't sleep?, and laughs to himself.
#38 – Gift
"Why?" Erik asks, bewildered, turning the box in his hands; Samuel replies, "Jesus, if you don't want it you don't have to have it," and Erik shakes his head, smiling.
#39 – Smile
Snatching Erik's glasses from his face, Samuel jumps up and runs to stand in the doorway, taunting his friend by waving the frames in the air, grin wide on his face; Erik growls and jumps to his feet, squinting; he lunges towards the panda-eyed boy, intent on wiping that smile off his face.
#40 – Innocence
Samuel has wires going in and coming out of his skin – there is dried blood on his hand and on Erik's fingertip from stroking it, faint tear tracks on his cheeks and lights reflecting in his eyes; Erik stares at his friend and wonders about the exact moment when his youthful innocence had been stolen away from him.
#41 – Completion
"And it only took me fifty-four hours and sixteen minutes!"
#42 – Clouds
The pencil scrapes against the paper as Erik draws a child-like picture: a stick figure with a happy grin, bright green grass, blue sky and the fluffy white clouds to go with it; he stares blankly at the front of the card before folding it open and scribbling Happy Birthday on the inside – the look on Samuel's face as he handed him this would be worth it.
#43 – Sky
The world is peaceful, the sky a brilliant blue, the clouds white and fluffy like sheep above; he turns his head to look at Samuel next to him – but suddenly everything is dark and Sam's cheek is so cold and that clichéd hooded, scythe-wielding figure is looming over them and Erik is screaming, screaming, screaming…
#44 – Heaven
"Do you think there's a heaven?" Samuel murmurs one night, and Erik does not open his eyes, pretends he has fallen into sleep, because responding to that means breaking his one rule.
#45 – Hell
"It is hell," he whispers into the crook of his neck, "and I hate it."
#46 – Sun
The sun beats down on Erik's face as he lies stretched out on a lilo in the pool – it is perfectly quiet and tranquil and that is why it comes to no surprise to Erik when a crowd of raucous voices rounds the corner and he is drenched before he can open his eyes.
#47 – Moon
Erik is lying awake one night while moonlight spills onto his pillow, contemplating the fact that the thought of losing Samuel is the most terrifying thing in the world; he has no idea who he is without the sleeping boy – all he knows is that he should.
#48 – Waves
A light drizzle of rain falls around Erik like a curtain as he sits on the cold, grey beach, the sound of waves filling his mind; he doesn't even look up when a body lurches down next to him.
#49 – Hair
"I don't have long," Samuel murmurs, and Erik tells him to shut up; his friend's hair is splayed around his head like a halo as Erik rises above him and tells him to just shut up already Sam; the other boy tips his head for a kiss and it is the hardest thing Erik has ever had to do.
#50 - Supernova
In the end, it is not a supernova of despair and sadness like Erik thought it would be – it hurts, yes, but there is a strange numbness there as well, and Erik thinks about how he promised himself it wouldn't come to this, about where it all went wrong, about how he had so much potential, about how he's letting so many people down – but, when all is said and done, it is purely a wonderful feeling of peace that settles over him as he tips the white, round pills into his open palm.