Chapter 7: Two Lost Souls…

"H-hello?" Mike asked, wide eyed and suddenly afraid. He recognized the voice, and he definitely recognized the tone.

"Why the hell did you just call my house for?" Lucy asked in anger.

"What, uh, makes you think I called your house?" Mike asked, not thinking at full speed.

"Hmm, I don't know." Lucy started sarcastically. "Caller ID maybe? Now how about you answer the question, why did you call my house AND THEN, act like an idiot and hang up?

"I, uh, don't know." Mike said, wishing to whatever holy creature may be out there to end this conversation as soon as possible.

"You don't know? You call my house, act like a complete fuck, and you don't know why?" Lucy asked, her rage growing exponentially by the second.

"… I guess was just wondering what you were up to." Mike said after a short silence, hoping this conversation didn't go in the direction he was guessing it was going to go.

"Well, why didn't you just ask for me?" Lucy asked him almost exasperated at this point.

"I…" Mike stopped there. He didn't know how to respond, so he sat there trying to think of a suitable answer. He couldn't help but look down at his lap, slightly ashamed of being called out like he was.

"Mike, what is your problem?" Lucy asked him with a mixture of confusion and anger.

"What do you mean?" Mike asked slightly hurt.

"Honestly Mike, you don't exactly call to see 'what I'm up to' very often. Not to mention the fact you're acting weird as hell."

"Well, I just…" Mike started.

"You just what, Mike?" Lucy egged him on.

"I just… I… You know what? Fuck this, if I knew you were going to be such a bitch I wouldn't have called." Mike said suddenly being consumed with anger. "All I wanted to do was talk, but no, you've got to do nothing but harass me. Then again, it really isn't my place to ask you to be nice for change is it? You know what, Lucy? Excuse the fuck out of me for calling you and not doing everything the way you fucking want me too!" Mike screamed into the transmitter, smashing the 'End' button on the phone. He got a sudden urge to throw the phone across the room but he managed to control himself.

"Damn it! I fucking hate this!" Mike said punching his bed with as much force as he could muster, almost hurting his arm. "God damn it, Lucy. GOD DAMN IT!" Mike screamed as he walked over and slammed the phone down on its charger. He could feel tears of anger and desperation well up in his eyes, but he held them back.

"All I wanted to do was fucking talk, but forget it. "Mike said himself with his voice starting to break. "Obviously that's not going to fucking happen. I'm sure I'll get plenty of that at school tomorrow anyway, when I get to listen to everyone bitch about their lives. "Mike continued as he lay down on his bed, face down in his pillow. "Their terrible, terrible, little lives…" Mike said to himself, his voice muffled by the pillow and getting steadily quieter.

"Mike, are you okay?" His mom asked knocking on the door.

"I'm fine." Mike replied with anger, just wanting to be left alone. He didn't hear any response from his mom, and this only seemed to anger him more. It seemed all he could do was make everyone around him as unhappy as he was. He was nothing but a virus; slowly spreading pain and misery to everyone he came into any sort of contact with. Maybe he really was better off dead. There was nothing anyone could do to help him anyway.

As Mike wallowed in his own self-pity, Lucy sat on the edge of her own bed, surprised, and even a touch hurt, at Mike's explosive reaction. She had no idea why he was acting so weird, but she knew something was seriously wrong. This wasn't normal of Mike, let alone anyone for that matter. Lucy looked at her phone with a grimace. She wanted to call Mike and ask him what was wrong, but she was a little afraid of what his reaction would be. Finally, she decided that he would have done the same for her (at least there was a time when he would have), so she began to dial his number.

Mike heard the ringing of the phone, and almost instantly jumped up in anger. While deep in his mind he was truly glad that Lucy hadn't given up on him, on the surface he was still consumed in fury and wasn't open to reasoning from his subconscious. He quickly made his way across the room and answered the phone.

"Who is it?" Mike asked with a clearly enraged tone.

"Mike, it's me." Lucy said to him. For the first time that night Mike had actually heard Lucy calm, and it seemed to have a calming effect on him, but it was only slight.

"What do you want?" Mike asked her,now with less rage, but more attitude.

"I want to know what's wrong with you." Lucy asked, this time expecting a real answer.

"What's wrong with me? WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME? The only thing wrong with me is that no one will leave me alone!" Mike yelled at her.

Lucy clenched her fist and did her best not to reply in anger. She knew that if she let her anger get the best of her now, she wouldn't get anything out of Mike. Normally she would have just let him have his way and hang up, but she could tell something was very wrong.

"Mike, there is obviously a problem, and you obviously called me to talk about it. I'm sorry about how I reacted before, and… and… I'm just sorry, alright? Now will you please tell what's wrong?" Lucy reasoned.

"A problem…. Like you could ever understand my problems, as if you could ever possibly fucking fathom them!" Mike said in the phone, stressing the words with force and emotion.

"Try me." Lucy said into the phone, trying to get him to talk. Mike waited a few moments before responding.

"You could never understand, Lucy. I was an idiot for thinking you could." Mike said with more hopelessness and depression rather than anger this time.

"You're not the only person with problems, Mike." Lucy said getting rather annoyed at his selfishness and leaving Mike a bit taken aback. "Everyone has issues, everyone feels pain, and everybody hurts. The world does not revolve around you. So instead of assuming I have no idea what I'm talking about, how about you just tell me these alleged problems, instead of bitching about how 'I can never understand'?" Lucy asked him, the last part in an almost mocking tone.

Mike could feel tears starting to build up as he processed what she said. He couldn't seem to get a solid grasp on his thoughts, and he wondered what to tell her. He figured that if he was going to say it, it may as well be direct. Beating around the bush would only make it worse for both of them. He didn't know if he could take an elongated approach anyway. Mike took a long glance at his hand again, this time he didn't see possibility, but he saw reality. He saw himself.

"I'm going to die." Mike said trying to keep his voice from cracking. There was a long lapse in the conversation. Mike stood there, waiting for Lucy to say something, to see how she would respond. Lucy simply sat on her bed in shock.

"… What did you say?" Lucy said in a tone similar to a whisper, not wanting to believe what she had just heard.

"I'm dying Lucy." Mike said, this time with a slight bit more control over his emotions.

"I-I'm… I just…" Lucy was at a loss for words. She could feel tears of uncertainty starting to build up in her own eyes. She couldn't help but wonder if this was some kind of sick joke. She prayed that was the case, but Mike didn't say anything. There was no punch line, there was no laughing, and there was no humor. There was only silence.

"How?" Lucy finally asked, her voice more fragile and high pitched than Mike was used too.

"I have cancer." Mike responded in a low tone. Mike listened as he heard a gasp, silence, and then soft crying over the phone. Mike wanted to say something to her, to calm her down, maybe to help thank her for listening to him, but there was nothing he could say. He could lie and say he would be alright, but she wouldn't have believed it, and if she did, it would probably only hurt her more in the long run.

"Lucy…" Mike said, having a lot more trouble controlling his tears now that he could hear Lucy crying.

"What about treatment?" Lucy asked him.

"They said they were looking into it, but, I don't think it looks very good…" Mike responded. "… But I really don't want to talk about this right now. I called to get my mind off of this."

"Okay, I'm sorry." She said trying to get control over her tears.

They spent the next few minutes with no words. Mike listened as Lucy softly cried over the phone. Neither of them knew what to say, so they sat there.

"Lucy, what are you up too?" Mike asked her, hoping to lighten the mood, although it was a somewhat poor attempt.

"I guess… I'm just sitting here." She said with a sniff. "And you?" She asked trying to not to start sobbing.

"I guess I'm doing the same." Mike said rubbing the shaft of his nose with his thumb and index finger gently. The conversation was awkward, but somehow felt natural at the same time. Maybe it was just Mike, but he was glad to finally be talking to someone, even if the cancer was on the forefront of both of their minds. Lucy was somewhat in shock, but glad Mike was talking about it. She couldn't imagine what it was like to carry a burden like that around, especially alone. Although she didn't admit it to herself, Lucy was a bit glad he had chosen to talk to her, and secretly hoped that she was the first to know.

"Are you alone?" Lucy asked him, this time with a slightly better grasp of her emotions.

"My family is here." Mike answered as he heard objects being shuffled around over the phone.

"I mean are you with them though?"

"No, I'm not." Mike answered, beginning to understand where this was going.

"Do you want me to come over?" Lucy asked him with another sniff.

"No, no, no, you don't have to do that." Mike told her; very glad she had offered it.

"I know that, but do you want me too?" Lucy asked him.

"Well I… I…" Mike thought about it for a few seconds. He hadn't considered Lucy volunteering to come over.

"Alright, I'm on my way. I just need to take care of the pets. Oh, and what should I tell Blur?" She asked, almost afraid that she would have to deliver the news.

"… Tell him I said to stay there. He doesn't need to know about this." Mike answered.

"You're gonna have to break it to him eventually, Mike." Lucy leveled with him.

"I know, but I don't see any reason why it has to be now." Mike told her

"Okay, I'll be there soon."

"Oh, and Lucy?" Mike said grabbing her attention.

"Yeah?" She asked.

"… Thanks." Mike said as he rubbed the back of his head.