It didn’t take long for the situation to get resolved, much to Ethan’s relief. Fortunately, he had the presence of mind to reassure his family and customers that he was very much alive. After leaving the newspaper office, he called his best friend Jordan, who hadn’t yet seen the obituary.
“Insane asylum. Chief psycho speaking.”
“Hey Jordan, have you seen this morning’s obituaries?”
“What? Are you kidding? That’s just plain creepy.”
“Well according to the paper, I died yesterday.”
“I beg your pardon, what did you just say?”
“Yeah. Chris saw it this morning. As soon as I found out about it I went to the newspaper office. They’re going to print a retraction and a letter of apology in tomorrow’s edition. Apparently this wasn’t the first time they’ve gotten bad information from the Life Sciences Center.”
“Hopefully it will be the last. I know how I would have felt if I had seen it. I can only imagine what your sister and brothers felt, as well as all of your customers.”
“Which is why I called everyone as soon as Chris showed it to me.”
“Well, hopefully it will be the last time. I wonder if the paper is going to do anything about it.” Jordan said thoughtfully.
“I hope so. I can’t help but wonder how many others this might have happened to.”
“Are you planning on taking legal action against the newspaper?” Jordan wanted to know.
“No. It wasn’t their fault they got the wrong information from the Life Sciences Center. I wouldn’t think to question the accuracy of the information.”
“I guess you’re right. I wouldn’t think to question it either. But what about the Life Sciences Center? They’re the ones that started all this shit.”
“True, but I have a feeling that the newspaper is going to be all over this. The guy I talked to wasn’t too happy with them.”
“I can imagine. I would think that stuff like that would damage the credibility of the paper.”
“No doubt,” Ethan agreed. “Feel like hitting the lake then getting food?”
“Yeah, sounds good to me.” And off they went. Ethan was relieved that Jordan agreed so easily. He was really tired of talking about the obituary, but his manners wouldn’t allow him to give voice to it.
After a long swim, the two men debated on where to eat and finally decided on the local diner. Searching for a topic of discussion Jordan decided on the subject of Ethan’s dream man. “Any more dreams staring your mystery hunk?”
“Not really. I can’t help the feeling that I’ve met this guy. It’s almost as if we’ve been together, if you know what I mean.” Jordan raised an eyebrow in question. “Yeah. That way. He was so gentle, tender and caring.”
“Sounds like you’re in love with him.”
“Yeah, right. How can you be in love with someone you only see when you close your eyes? It’s just…” Ethan’s voice trailed off.
“Just what?” Jordan asked quietly.
“I don’t know. I keep hearing his voice saying that he’ll always take care of me. That’s a little out there, isn’t it?”
“Honestly, I don’t know.
With a sigh Ethan said, “I don’t know either. I wish I did.”
C’mon Ethan! What the hell’s up with you? “Man, you were really out of it. I’ve been trying to get your attention for the last ten minutes. What’s going on with you? You’ve been like this since you came home from the Life Sciences Center.”
“There’s just so much. I can’t get my head around it all.”
“Around what?” Chris pulled up a chair and sat down next to Ethan, placing his hand on his shoulder. “Come on, Ethan, you can tell me anything. You know that.”
“It’s just what the doctors told me in the Life Sciences Center; that there’s something strange in my blood that can lead to a cure for all STD’s, even HIV and AIDS, that a vaccine could be created that can save countless lives.”
“And,” Chris prompted.
“I mean, it’s a little overwhelming. Why me? I’m nobody special.”
Chris rolled his eyes, “Here we go again. Ethan, you are special. You’re special to me, you’re special to our friends, and you’re special to your customers. Do you want me to continue?”
“No. I get the point. Then there’s the fact that I’m cured of HIV.” A thought suddenly popped into Ethan’s head. Maybe, just maybe… “If I’m cured, then maybe they can cure…”
“Don’t say it!” Chris interrupted.
“First of all, that scum bag Ken knew he had AIDS. He got you so drunk you passed out and when you did, he fucked you without a condom and shot his load inside you.”
“I would never have allowed that to happen,” Ethan argued.
“Then how do you explain the fact that I caught him pulling his dick out of your ass on the couch. There was no condom wrapper anywhere. Ethan, his cum was leaking out of you. He raped you, but you refused to press charges. Alicia told me that technically, since he was in full knowledge of the fact that he did have full-blown AIDS and did not use a condom when he fucked you; that is classified as assault with a deadly weapon.”
“He should be in jail somewhere, not roaming the streets infecting others.” Thankfully that dickwad Patrick’s in jail for the rest of his life!
Ethan sighed, knowing his brother was right. “Well, there’s nothing I can do about it that. I just can’t understand why this is all happening to me.”
“I don’t understand it either, bro, but I do know one thing and that there’s a reason for everything that happens.” Chris rubbed the side of this face, something he did when he was puzzled over something.
“What reason could there possibly be?”
“Whatever the reason is, at least something good has come out of all this crap.”
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