Stan is in the middle of his lunch break when he gets called back to duty, which isn't supposed to happen, but they're understaffed and apparently there's an emergency. He scarfs the rest of his ham and cheese and brings his Coke back to the front desk, where Carol is waiting for him with a humorless stare.
"What's the emergency?" Stan asks. They're not exactly in the fucking ER here, just an internist's office outside of Akron, but Carol considers difficult customers an apocalyptic event, and she claims they respond better to Stan because he's a man. It's true that half the new patients assume he's a doctor upon meeting him. Stan likes to think that it's because he obviously knows what he's doing.
"There's a really bitchy gay guy out there," Carol says. Stan raises his eyebrows.
"Really? You couldn't handle that yourself?"
"He took one look at me and demanded to speak to the doctor about scheduling. Can you imagine Dr. Harper fielding scheduling requests? Fucking hilarious!"
Stan puts his Coke down and peeks through the sliding window that looks out into the waiting room. There's a lanky guy pacing around, his arms crossed over his chest.
"What does he want to be treated for?" Stan asks. He's trying to figure out why Carol assumes this guy is gay. His pants are a little tight, and his sweater is a shade of powder blue that Stan would never wear, but there's got to be more to it than that.
"He doesn't want to be treated," Carol says. "He's in a tizzy over his boyfriend. That sickly little thing sitting by the door."
Stan cranes his neck and only gets a quick look at the guy by the door before the taller one sees him looking and rushes over to the window. He scowls at Stan and knocks on the glass.
"Hello?" he says. "Excuse me? Are you the doctor? I need to speak to the doctor immediately."
"He's all yours," Carol says sweetly, ducking out of the room. Stan would throw something at her if he wasn't being watched by a patient. He turns back to the man and tries to smile as he slides the glass window open.
"Are you the doctor?" the man asks again, shouting. Other patients in the waiting room are staring. Stan picks up a pen and clicks the button on the back violently, thinking about the beer he'll have after his shift.
"I'm not the doctor," Stan says. "I'm the guy in charge of scheduling." Actually, all the nurses work on Dr. Harper's schedule, but maybe this will placate the guy. He takes a deep breath and stands up a little taller.
"Good," he says. "My boyfriend needs to be seen right now."
"Okay. Is there some reason you came here instead of an emergency room?"
The guy scoffs. His glasses are obnoxiously self-aware, and his breath smells like feta cheese. Stan tries to get a better look at the boyfriend, who is still slumped in a chair near the door, but with this other guy crowding the window he can only see the boyfriend's shoes. Ratty hipster sneakers.
"Right, the emergency room," the guy says. "So we could be ignored and he could pick up some other nasty disease in the meantime? No, this place was recommended to us for his particular condition, and I'm sorry, but we don't have time to wait for an appointment. We're going to Hawaii in three days."
"Wow," Stan says, deadpan. "That is an emergency."
If the guy could breathe fire Stan would be roasting alive. Stan knows he needs to be nicer to difficult patients. He was warned about that recently. He clicks the pen again and forces a smile.
"No, I understand," he says. "The doctor's at lunch, but I'll see what I can do. What seems to be the trouble with your friend?"
"Boyfriend," the guy says. He sets his mouth in an ugly line and gives Stan a once-over. "We were told that this was a gay friendly office."
"It is," Stan says, though Carol is a bigot and Dr. Harper thinks all gay guys love Lady Gaga. "Can I talk to your boyfriend, maybe?"
"He's barely conscious," the guy says.
"That sounds like an emergency room level situation, sir." Stan cranes his neck again, trying to get a look at this barely conscious condition. He can see the boyfriend's hipster heel bouncing nervously.
"Not literally," the guy at the window says. "But he's quite out of it, feverish, and the main problem is that he's having trouble breathing. It's a chronic condition, probably to do with his agoraphobia."
"Agoraphobia." Stan has never had an agoraphobic patient before. He's kind of excited, suddenly. "I see. Have you taken his temperature recently?"
"Yes. It was 100.5 this morning."
"That's actually not very high."
"Excuse me? Don't you want to know a little more about the situation before you make that call? Kyle is diabetic, and he has asthma, a severe grass allergy – shouldn't you be writing this stuff down?"
"Here," Stan says. "Let me get you the forms. Does Kyle have insurance?"
"Yes, of course! Well, I mean, he's still on his parents' plan. Do you have a pen?"
Stan gives him all of the paperwork, learns that his name is Spencer, and takes another look at Spencer's boyfriend Kyle once the window is clear of Spencer's bony frame. Kyle does seem fairly comatose, staring into space. He's got his arms wrapped around himself, his knees pressed together, the toes of his hipster sneakers pointed inward. He barely registers it when Spencer sits down beside him, just smoothes down his matted red hair and glances over at the admittance forms without interest. When Kyle looks up at the window, Stan knocks over his Coke. Cursing, he cleans it up with some napkins leftover from Carol's lunch. Gay guys make him nervous. He's got nothing against them, he just feels vaguely accused when they're around, like they'll be able to tell that he sometimes jerks off to their porn and still considers himself straight. Mostly straight.
Dr. Harper returns from lunch and starts shuffling around in the nurse's area. He's only five years older than Stan and a total Melvin, but he's pretty nice and Stan is lucky to have a job. His nursing school wasn't exactly one of the top programs in the country.
"Hey, can I shove a difficult patient in your face real quick?" Stan asks, because Dr. Harper responds well when Stan treats him like they're buddies. He laughs, sorting through the mail.
"How difficult?" he asks.
"Uh, actually, it's more like his boyfriend that's difficult."
"His boyfriend? Uh-oh. Was there a grave injury at a Lady Gaga concert?"
"Ha." Actually, Dr. Harper is mostly a huge asshole. "No, it's like, a fever. Sort of. I don't know, if you want me to check him out and try to get him to schedule something with you later, I could do that."
"Yeah, could you?" Dr. Harper rubs his the back of his neck, wincing. "I had barbecue for lunch and my stomach is killing me."
He disappears, presumably to spend some time stinking up the men's room. Stan turns back to the waiting room window and jumps when he sees Spencer standing there, staring in at him. Spencer presses Kyle's chart to the glass.
"Finished," he says.
Stan collects the chart and shuts the window again, promising to get Kyle into an examining room in less than twenty minutes. He's usually good about not letting patients push him around, but he's curious about this situation for some reason. A severe grass allergy? Who announces that to a front desk nurse? A mother, maybe, not a boyfriend.
"Holy shit," he mutters as he looks over Kyle's chart. Under 'medications' there are six major drugs listed, and there's an arrow indicating that the sheet should be flipped over for the rest of the list. Some of the drug combinations are pretty risky, to the extent that Stan is surprised Kyle is fessing up to taking all of them at once. Under the 'Anything else we should know?' field there's a star and the words "ask me." Stan wonders if this notation refers to the agoraphobia, but Kyle – or Spencer? – has already listed that under Psychological Conditions (misc.). It's the kind of chart that usually makes Stan want to bang his head on his desk, but he leaps out of his chair as soon as he finishes reading it. Someone needs to save this poor son of a bitch from himself before he ends up in a coma, his liver choked with designer drugs.
"Kyle Cartwright?" Stan says, poking his head out from the back door and peering into the waiting room. Kyle gets up, the sleeves of his baggy sweater sliding down over his hands. Stan meets his eyes, which are a kind of watery green, like kelp in motion. When Spencer tries to follow Kyle into the back, Stan holds out his hand.
"Patients only," he says.
"Excuse me?" Spencer all but wheels backward with indignation. Stan gives Kyle enough room to slip in behind him, then blocks Spencer's path again.
"Anyone over eighteen comes back alone," Stan says. "Sorry."
"But he's hardly cognizant!"
"It's okay, Spence," Kyle says. He sniffles like a kid who's putting on a show for his parents, wanting them to know how brave he's being. "I'm alright."
"See, he says he's alright," Stan says, starting to close the door. "Bye now."
"Wait! Excuse me! Hang on!"
Stan lets the door close on Spencer and turns to Kyle. He stares back at Stan impassively, waiting to be told what to do. He's skinny – underweight! – and his skin is pallid. He only has a few freckles, just under his eyes, barely visible. A couple of hours in the sun and they'd be darker. Probably.
"Uh," Kyle says. "Are we going to a room?"
"Oh – yeah." Stan fumbles the clipboard, barely recovering it before it can clatter to the floor. "Um, here, come over here, I'll weigh you, and take some blood."
Kyle follows him to the pre-exam area with listless obedience, and toes off his sneakers before stepping on the scale. Stan feels anxious as he pushes the weights around, the way he gets when his patient is an adolescent girl who's obviously self-conscious. He always knocks off five pounds, sometimes ten, and feels guilty, because he's supposed to want to be accurate.
"One hundred and forty-three," Stan says. "That's pretty low for your height. With clothes on."
"Want me to do it naked?" Kyle asks. Stan sputters, somewhere between a laugh and choking on soup. Kyle stares at him, blinks, then smiles. Stan can smell his shampoo. It smells expensive. There's something else that hovers around him, too – old books? Used tissues?
"Well," Stan says. "Now for your blood. But – wait. You had something on your chart, something you wanted me to ask you about."
Kyle frowns. "Oh, that. Yeah, I'll tell you after we're in the exam room, if that's okay. It's nothing that means taking my blood is gonna kill me."
"How about a urine sample?" Stan smiles queasily.
"Nah," Kyle says. "I'm not really in the mood for urine today."
Stan takes Kyle's blood, trying to ignore the thing that happens to him when he touches Kyle's skin. He can't remember ever noticing the tiny hairs on the back of someone's hand before, but maybe it's just because these are a very faint red, strawberry blond. He can't remember ever actively applying the word strawberry to anyone's features, especially not a patient's.
"Hold this under your tongue," Stan says, offering Kyle the thermometer. Kyle doesn't take it from him, just opens his mouth and lets him stick it in. A boner introduces itself to Stan's scrubs like a cartoon rake handle that has popped up to snap him in the face. He clears his throat and busies himself with the blood pressure cuff. Kyle's thermometer beeps, and Stan hides his erection under his lab coat before turning to remove it.
"Ninety-nine point nine," Stan says.
"Is that lucky or something?" Kyle says.
"Yeah, jackpot." Stan says. "Or, wait, that's seven-seven-seven. Which would make you clinically dead. Here, let me get your blood pressure." Normally, he lets the patients push up their own sleeves, but today that doesn't seem to be an option. Normally, his dick is not hard from touching a patient. Normally, pre-come doesn't pool into the y-front of his boxer shorts as he gently rolls up a patient's sleeve, exposing more strawberry blond arm hair. The veins on the underside of Kyle's wrist are visible through his pale skin, and he seems to be offering them like naked trust when he puts his arm out for the cuff. Stan makes a very serious face while he takes Kyle's blood pressure, as if the fate of the world is hanging in the balance. He can feel Kyle smiling at him the way a feverish person does, with dopey acceptance. Though, technically, Kyle isn't feverish.
"Sorry my boyfriend was a dick," Kyle says. "He just really cares about me."
"Oh, that's okay. I've seen bigger dicks. I mean! Encountered bigger dicks. I mean -"
Kyle laughs, and Stan's boner throbs, because Kyle is smiling at him, the blood pressure cuff deflating around his arm.
"Um, 120 over 80," Stan says. "Perfect."
"Really?" Kyle frowns, seems disappointed.
"Perfect is good," Stan says, idiotically, and Kyle grins.
They go to exam room five, because it's the best exam room, with the picture of a beach and palm trees. Stan isn't a fan of the other framed pictures in the office, mostly prints of stale old paintings. He's seen the ocean only once, when he drove down to Galveston after graduating from nursing school. That first night, drunk as shit and alone on the beach, the ocean made him cry. He's going to live there one day, even if he has to work for a plastic surgeon whose patients give him nightmares.
"So, okay," Stan says once the door is closed. "You're here because of shortness of breath?"
"Yeah," Kyle says. "It might just have been a panic attack, though. I have those a lot."
"Do you know what set this one off?"
"I woke up from a bad dream and Spencer was making tea."
"The tea, uh, contributed to your panic?"
"The kettle was screaming."
"Ah. Well, if you're sensitive to that, he shouldn't use a tea kettle."
"You should tell him that," Kyle says, and he grins like he's imagining how well that would go. Stan frowns.
"If he cares about you, like you said –"
"Oh, he felt bad about it and everything. My friend gave me the name of this doctor – Dr. Harper? – and Spence has been trying to get me to see him. My friend said Dr. Harper specializes in cases like mine."
"Cases like yours?"
"Debilitating anxiety in amnesiacs."
"What now?" Stan looks up from the chart. Kyle is sitting on the exam table, swinging his legs a little bit. He doesn't seem anxious at all, but he is on quite a lot of drugs. "Did you say –"
"That's the condition that I put 'ask me' about," Kyle says, gesturing to the chart. "It's kind of hard to explain in a little white box on a medical form. I don't remember anything from before I was ten years old."
Stan actually starts to write before he hears that. He drops his pen, and stares at Kyle as he lets it clatter to the floor.
"Excuse me?" he says.
"They think – my therapists, and my adoptive parents, who are therapists, too, actually – um, they think I must have suffered some trauma that I can't remember. I was found in a Tesco parking lot outside of London when I was ten years old, and all I knew was that my name was Kyle. I had an American accent, but nobody from America ever claimed me. My adoptive parents worked at the group home where they took me after they found me –"
"Stop talking," Stan says, sharply. Kyle startles, his eyes widening.
"What the fuck is this?" Stan backs away from him, his stomach churning. "Some kind of fucking joke? Did Carol tell you to do this? How did she even know –"
"Who's Carol?" Kyle asks. He's swiftly broken-looking, clutching at his elbows. "Look, if you're one of those people who doesn't believe amnesia is a real medical condition – I don't know, my friend told me this place was –"
"I'm pretty sure I believe it's real," Stan says, trying to keep from shouting. "And I'm pretty sure you know that, since someone obviously sent you here to fuck with me."
"What?" Kyle looks clueless. Stan is shaking, still backing away. He jumps when his back hits the door.
"You're lying, right?" Stan says. "Please, dude, whoever you are, don't fuck with me about this, please –"
"What are you talking about?" Kyle asks. His eyes are growing wet, his hands clawed around the edge of the examining table, the sanitary paper crinkling. "I'm not lying. This is true, I swear. It was in the news and everything."
"In the news?" Stan isn't sure that his own story was. He was found hiding under an elementary school playground's slide in rural New Mexico. He doesn't really remember that, just remembers waking up in a sterile bed in the orphanage where he spent the next eight years of his life, with no memory of the first ten. Except his first name: Stan. For years it seemed like he got nothing but questions he couldn't answer, just that one, the first one they asked when they pulled him out from under that slide.
"Please," Kyle says. His breathing is labored, the sanitary paper on the table tearing as his fingers close more tightly around it. "I get really – it's really hard for me when people don't believe me –"
Stan is so rattled that it takes him almost half a minute to realize that Kyle is having a panic attack, the color draining from his face as he starts to wheeze, clutching at his throat. Stan forces his own panic away and hurries forward to put his hands on Kyle's trembling shoulders. Stan's hands are shaking, too.
"Kyle," he says, keeping his voice as steady as possible. "You're having a panic attack. Can you hear me?"
"I can't – breathe," Kyle says. It sounds a little put on, but he's obviously distressed.
"Do you need oxygen?" Stan asks. His boner is long gone, but Kyle's smallish shoulders feel good under his hands, and touching Kyle has calmed his own panic somewhat. "Kyle, look at me." He takes Kyle's chin in his hand, gently, and tips his face up. Tears slide down Kyle cheeks, but he meets Stan's gaze easily and seems fully cognizant.
"S-some of my doctors thought I made it up," Kyle says. He takes a deep breath and lets it out. Stan rubs Kyle's arms like he's trying to warm him. It seems to help, though the tears are still coming.
"Some of mine thought that, too," Stan says. Kyle sniffles, and lets Stan clear some of the tears from his cheeks with his thumbs. Unprofessional, maybe, but Kyle's face is so wet.
"What?" Kyle says.
"I'm sorry I reacted like that. It's just – I've never met another amnesiac. And I lost the same years, the first ten." He stares at Kyle, holding his gaze, letting that sink in. "How old are you?" he asks, trying to remember Kyle's chart.
"Twenty-five," Kyle says.
"No, it's just – insane. I'm twenty-six. We're almost the same age. Where did you say they found you?"
"Outside a Tesco, ah – a supermarket, just about fifty miles south of London."
"That's pretty far from New Mexico."
"Where they found me," Stan says. He shakes his head. Kyle stares at him, his lips parted.
"Wait," Kyle says. "Are you fucking with me?"
"I swear to God, no," Stan says. "And where the hell did you hear that Dr. Harper specializes in amnesiacs? He specializes in ear infections."
"One of my friends from back home told me," Kyle says. "He lives in London, he said this clinic was world famous. Me and Spencer came from Chicago just for this. My panic attacks have been terrible, and Spence is afraid they'll spoil our vacation."
"Jesus," Stan says. "Who's your friend who recommended us? He must have heard that there was an amnesiac with a similar history working here and gotten confused. Or something."
"His name is Christophe, he's French," Kyle says. "My dad's patient. He has a lot of problems, too – Christophe, not my dad, although, well - okay. This is crazy. They found you in New Mexico and you only knew your first name?"
"Yeah, when I was ten. Um, I need to sit down." Stan pulls a chair toward the examining table and falls into it heavily, his legs feeling rubbery. Kyle reaches over to touch the top of his head, and he smiles shyly when Stan looks up at him.
"I've only met two other people who claimed to be amnesiacs," Kyle says. "My parents thought they were both faking, which made me really mad, but I kind of did, too. It's weird, I don't even know you, but I don't think you're making it up."
"I'm not," Stan says. "I'd never joke about this. It's a nightmare."
"Yeah," Kyle says. Stan wants to pull him down off the table and hold him in his lap, wants to talk to him for three days straight, wants to know everything about him.
"Damn," Stan says. He scrubs his hands over his face. "I think I need to leave work early. I think I need a fucking beer. Or ten. Do you want to come have a drink?"
"I'm not supposed to have alcohol," Kyle says. "But. Yes."
"What hotel are you guys staying at?"
"We didn't get a hotel. We were just going to drive back to Chicago after my appointment. That's why Spence was in such a hurry to get me seen. It was a long drive. We're both really tired."
"But – you can't just leave!" Stan says. Kyle grins. "I mean – because – we should talk. Compare notes. Don't you think?"
"Yeah," Kyle says. "Christophe must have heard your story and figured you could help me with my own shit. He really made it sound like you were a doctor, though."
"A lot of people think I'm a doctor," Stan says, proudly. Kyle's smile widens.
"Why'd you decide to be a nurse?" he asks.
"Uh, I couldn't really afford eight years of school. Being a penniless orphan and all. Plus, I'm not that great at math."
Kyle frowns. "No one ever adopted you?"
"Nope. Something about 'pre-adolescent boy who claims not to remember anything about the first ten years of his life' put people off, I guess."
"Not my parents," Kyle says. "They were all excited about, you know." He pulls a ratty tissue from his pocket and unfurls it. "Studying me, like. Up close."
"They're both therapists?"
"Yeah. Dad specializes in childhood trauma, and my mom's written like ten books on memory disorders. One of them is just called Kyle."
"Damn. It's about you?"
Kyle grins at the stupid question. "Yeah. Don't read it, though! I mean, I hate it when people do. Spencer did."
"Did you ask him not to?" Stan knows Carol is probably starting to get antsy, wondering what's taking so long in Exam Room 5, but she can go fuck herself. Kyle shrugs.
"Yeah, I pretty much begged him not to read it. But he said he wouldn't be able to understand me if he didn't. I was like, hello, you ass, I'm trying to tell you, you'll never understand me if you do."
Kyle seems to hear himself suddenly, and he turns bright red. Stan's dick reawakens.
"I've got it!" he says, jumping out of his chair.
"You have?" Kyle sits up straighter, looks excited.
"You and Spencer can stay at my place. I have a pull out couch."
"Oh, I don't know," Kyle says, mumbling. He looks down at his tissue, which is coming apart, leaving tissue dandruff on his jeans. "I have a lot of allergies."
"My place is super clean," Stan says, though it isn't. He could make it clean, maybe. "Look, I really think you and me need to talk, and not just for a few hours. We need to talk for, like. Days."
Now it's his turn to get red-faced. Kyle smiles. He takes a deep breath and lets it out.
"I agree," he says. "It would be scientifically irresponsible if we didn't, um. Explore this."
"Yeah." Just the word 'explore' makes Stan's cock twitch. "But, um. I don't think Spencer should be there, actually. He's kind of. Loud. And he might derail the conversation."
"He is big on doing that," Kyle says, nodding to himself.
"So what if you stay with me and he gets a hotel?" Stan says, pushing the words out fast, aware that he's being ridiculous. Kyle's eyes widen, but he doesn't seem horrified by the suggestion. He wets his lips.
"I don't know," he says. "Spencer wouldn't like it."
"Oh, fuck him. I mean -" Stan cringes and Kyle frowns.
"He takes really good care of me," Kyle says. "I know he can be a little pushy, but -"
"You shouldn't be on Ambien and Lucidrine at the same time," Stan blurts. "You could develop serious heart problems. Whoever's taking care of you needs to be more careful about your drug combinations. Also, your liver. Is it okay?" Stan feels panicked, wants to hide Kyle in his lab coat and rush him out of here. He's sweating, stupidly aroused, still having a hard time believing that he's met another amnesiac, though in hindsight he feels like he knew what Kyle was as soon as he saw him.
"My mom prescribed those," Kyle says. He sighs. "My dad says my suspicions that she wants to kill me are just paranoid fantasies. A complication of the severe anxiety."
"Well." Stan isn't sure what to say. He wants to touch Kyle again, and shoves his hands into the pockets of his lab coat to keep from doing it. "I'm sure she doesn't want to try to kill you. I mean, it's rare that people on both drugs develop those problems, but it's possible –"
"So what sort of mental disorders do you have?" Kyle asks. "Anxiety? Chronic night terrors? Difficulty breathing when people doubt the things you tell them?"
"I haven't been diagnosed with anything," Stan says, feeling almost guilty about this. "I, um. I wake up in the middle of the night sometimes. So, there's that." He's not sure how to explain the rest, that he wakes up and starts sobbing because he feels like he was on the verge of remembering something, someone, everything, and lost it. Kyle sighs.
"Lucky," he says. "If that's all."
"Yeah." There's more, but Stan has never tried to put it into words. When he was a kid, he thought the point of seeing therapists was to pass a kind of test: act as normal as possible, and maybe someone will adopt you. He knows he turned out weird, despite his best efforts. He's never dated anyone, doesn't have any real friends, likes working with medical equipment because it's sterile, and became a nurse because it's a way to be close to other people without any real intimacy. He's still a virgin at twenty-six, and he watches gay porn because he has too much respect for women to stomach the other stuff. Or something.
"You know," Kyle says. "I would really like a beer. Or ten. I haven't been drunk in years."
"Maybe if we got drunk together it would trigger some memories."
"No." Kyle pinches his eyes shut and shakes his head violently. "No, no. I don't want to remember any of it, ever."
"Seriously? I guess that makes sense. You ended up with a pretty good life. I mean, you got adopted, you have French friends who care about your mental health. And that boyfriend."
"Right, him. I never really, um. I guess I'm still hanging on to this childhood fantasy that I have some amazing family that I can't remember, and a bunch of awesome friends, and they've all been looking for me this whole time, and, uh. Yeah."
Kyle slides off of the examining table, and Stan is afraid he's going to walk out, back into the arms of that pastel-sweatered scarecrow. He comes to Stan, fidgets awkwardly for a moment, then hugs him like he's trying to learn how to do it, patting Stan's back very softly.
"You're so calm when you talk about it," Kyle says. "It's like you're the opposite of me. I'm surrounded by all these people who care, yeah, but, well. You saw my chart. I'm kind of a fucking disaster."
"Oh, shit, please come stay at my apartment," Stan says, starting to lose his composure. He hugs Kyle until he squeaks, his hipster sneakers lifting off the floor. "I know you don't know me, but -"
"I feel like I do," Kyle says. He pulls back to search Stan's eyes, studying his face. "And that scares the shit out of me, to be honest."
"There's no way we knew each other before," Stan says, laughing nervously. "It's just a crazy coincidence. And it's not even that – your friend found the one other person alive who can't remember the first ten years of his life, and sent you to meet him." Stan is still holding Kyle; he's so fragile, shaking like a leaf, but warm, too. He doesn't seem to want to let go of Stan, either, his hands sliding up to rest on Stan's shoulders.
"It's just symptom recognition," Kyle says, nodding to himself. "That's why it feels like I know you."
"Even though we don't have any of the same symptoms."
"Except for the whole not remembering the first ten years of our lives thing."
"Oh, yeah. That."
They make plans to meet at a local bar near Stan's apartment in an hour, after Kyle has explained the situation to Spencer as delicately as possible. Stan is brain dead throughout the rest of his shift, tripping over himself and thinking about the way Kyle's eyes got greener when trust started flooding into them. On the way to the bar, he rolls up the windows of his shitty car, plugs in his mp3 player and blasts the song that's been his favorite since childhood, singing along at the top of his lungs.
"Tomorrow, tomorrow! I love ya, tomorrow! You're always a day away!"
This dumb ass song makes his eyes water every time he hears it, but he'll never not love it, and for the first time in his life the hope that he borrows from the lyrics feels real.