Chapter 20: Blur

The light stung Mike's gradually opening eyes, and his body ached. Without realizing it, he had fallen sleep. The light shining through his window told him it was still day, so he couldn't have been out that long. He glanced at his clock, and to his dismay, he had discovered he had only slept for about twenty minutes. Mike let out a heavy sigh as he continued to lie in his bed. Somehow, his short nap only made him feel twice as bad. While Mike was glad his mind's relentless assault upon his spirit had subsided, he didn't particularly enjoy the general soreness he felt throughout his body.

"Hey," Blur whispered as he hopped up on the side of Mike's stomach and looked over at him. "Do you need anything?"

"No, I'm alright." Mike responded with a large yawn. "Well… actually… I want to ask you a question"

Blur looked at Mike with curious and compassionate eyes.

"A question? What do you want to know?" Blur asked.

"I want to know if I've been a good friend." Mike asked, not looking at Blur, but staring out of the side of his window.

"A good… friend? What do you mean?" Blur asked confused.

"I mean, have I done a good job taking care of you? I know you can take care of yourself, but, well… You know what I mean." Mike asked, his voice tinted with exhaustion and depression.

"Uh, well, yeah, you've been great to me, Mike…" Blur responded with a pained expression. "Why… do you ask?"

"I was just… curious. Thanks for answering, I'm glad… I'm glad you feel that way." Mike answered, his voice still detached from the world.

"But… why did you ask?" Blur asked, struggling to contain his emotions. It hurt him to see his friend in such a perilous condition, as well as acting so strange.

"I… I just wanted to know." Mike responded moving his eyes to look up at Blur. He could see tears glimmering back at him, the final touch in a portrait of confusion and fear.

"Mike… are you going to… to die?" Blur asked him, still trying hard to contain himself. Mike paused a minute and thought about the question. He thought about what the doctors had told him, he thought about lying for Blur's sake, and he thought about lying for his own sake.

"I don't know." Mike responded, his voice devoid of all life, as he begun to look out his window once again.

Blur took a hard look at Mike. He didn't want to see Mike in pain, nor did he want to see him die. Blur turned around and was about to fly off of Mike's stomach, that way he could get better control of himself and his thoughts, but before he could go, Mike gently cupped him in both hands. Blur was startled by Mike's grasp.

Mike brought Blur close to his chest. Blur's body was stored safely in Mike's hand as his head stuck from in-between his fingers. As they looked each other in the eyes, they both saw two very different things. Mike saw a confused, saddened friend with tears prevalent. Another friend he had caused pain and sorrow. Mike wanted to feel bad about it, he wanted to regret it, but he couldn't. He felt as though feelings were beyond him, as if he had already died in spirit, and his body would soon follow suit.

Blur saw a friend as well, but a friend who had lost all hope, one that had given up on life and was ready to accept death. There was no confusion in Mike's eyes, only truth and pain. Blur could feel his chest tighten as the tears in his eyes began to overflow on to the soft feathers below.

"I'm sorry." Mike said to Blur, holding him close.

"No… no."Blur said as he started to lose his composure. He began to sob into Mike's hand. He didn't want to watch his friend die. Not from disease, not from cancer, not from anything. He didn't want to know what would happen to him if Mike died, and he didn't want to think of what it would be like without him. How it would affect Mike's mom, his sister, his friends, Lucy, Yashy, Chirpy… What would everyone do?

Mike continued to hold Blur in his hands, small tears beginning to form in his eyes as well. As Mike held the sobbing bird, his brain was firing off on all cylinders. He thought about everything he had done over the day, everything he had learned, but he couldn't help but wonder if he had really learned anything at all. He had vowed to himself that he was going to be a better friend, but he had once again only helped the people around him when it was convenient for him. If he had truly changed then he wouldn't have been so mean to Paulo.

While it was hard for Mike to come to terms with the embarrassment Paulo had subjected him too, he had to admit that Paulo didn't do it on purpose. Paulo's intentions were not to publicly shame him, or at least not to the extent in which he did. Paulo had simply wanted to voice his opinions, to voice his emotions, just as Mike had done.

In some ways, Mike had deserved what had happened. It was simply his punishment for being a bad friend and a bad person. If he had been there for Paulo, maybe not have lashed out on him, then just maybe that wouldn't have happened. Then just maybe he wouldn't be laying there praying for death.

"I'm sorry about that, Mike." Blur said as he regained control over his emotions.

"Sorry? Sorry about what?" Mike asked looking at the small bird nestled in his hand.

"I didn't mean to… breakdown like that. I'm sorry…" Blur answered.

"You don't have to apologize for that, Blur. It definitely isn't like you cry very often." Mike said with a small laugh. He was still tired and depressed, but something about Blur seemed to be cheering him up, even if it was ever so slightly.

"Yeah, I just don't want to stress you out anymore then you already are is all." Blur responded with a sniffle.

"Don't worry about it Blur, if anything it helped." Mike answered as he set Blur on the bed.

"It helped? How?" Blur asked slightly confused.

"I guess… I guess it's just nice to know you care that much." Mike responded.

"Well, of course I do. You're my best friend, Mike." Blur said to Mike.

"Your best friend, huh? I'm glad you feel that way, little guy." Mike responded.

"Little guy? You think because of… what just happened," Blur begun. "That you can call me 'little guy'?"

"Nah, I think that because I'm easily ten times bigger." Mike responded jokingly.

"Hilarious." Blur said back to him, rather unimpressed by Mike's joke, as he flew over to the opposite side of the bed.

Mike let out a small sigh as he continued to gaze out of his window. That act of sentiment, the kindness he had showed Blur there. It wasn't out of his convenience, it wasn't out of selfishness, and it wasn't for personal gain. Mike did it solely to cheer up Blur, completely to cheer up a friend. Not to justify himself, not to make himself happy, only to make Blur feel better.

"Are you alright over there, Mike?" Blur asked.

"Actually Blur, for a change, I think I am." Mike said as he rolled on to his back and stared at his ceiling.

Mike let his eyes close. He had no intentions of falling back to sleep, he just simply wanted to relax. Maybe to take some of his time to think and put everything into perspective, but before he had a chance to really consider much, he was interrupted by a knock on his front door. His eyes slowly opened back up. He had considered getting up to see who it was, but he didn't even know if it was for him. Mike let his eyes close again as he let out a heavy sigh. Of course it was for him.