The phone rang at 3 a.m. and, lo an behold, it was Steve.

"I'm falling apart, I can't deal"
"What happened?"
"Jen, it's horrible. I can't sleep. My brain won't shut up. I tried to drown it out with the television, but that was no comfort."
"God Steve, what am I gonna do with you?" I was fighting the urge to rush over there now. But I have my mother to think of. "Go back to bed, I'll come over tomorrow."

At 7, I had to wake up to make my mother breakfast. The usual two egg omelet with a glass of orange juice. I can't tell you how many times I wished for the nerve to put something in the glass, to put her out of her misery. I keep thinking, "She wants to be sick so bad? I'll make her sick." I'm not sure I can handle this much longer.

Steve, on the other hand, I can't do with out. He's needy, but I guess I'm needy too. At least he appreciates me, I think. Maybe he does, and maybe he doesn't but at least he lets me know he needs me. Which is close enough.

At least that is something to hold on to.

When I brought my mother her breakfast, she was mumbling something about her hair. She was in bed for the third straight day. Wearing the same disgusting nightgown she hadn't taken off for a week. One of her hands was on the trash can (Just in case), and the other was on the TV remote. She was watching Jenny Jones. She waved at me to put down the tray, and to get out of the way of the TV. So I did, and I left.

When I got to Steve's, he was curled in the corner of his giant couch, still wearing what he slept in. He looked adorable, like a small child who stayed home sick, curled up with his pillow like it was a teddy bear. I sat down next to him, kissed him on the forehead (which he immediately placed in my lap) and flipped on the TV.

This could be worse.

This is part two of a three part story. Please see part one and part three.

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