A New Novel in the Making
I'm working on a new novel. Here's the 26th chapter of it. Let me know what you think about it. You find a Facebook comment form below the text. I post each new chapter when it is completed. The first chapter is here: Chapter One
He Didn't Know
Caroline enters her room and turns on the ceiling light. Reuben stands in the middle of the room, blinking in the sudden light. Caroline walks right past him and starts to get ready for bed. Reuben hesitates a while before speaking.
"Now you know why I worried about you and Fred."
"Me and him? I only know that you wouldn't feed on him. Now I know why. What does that have to do with me?"
"I thought of your health."
"So, you worried that Fred would contaminate your food. You worried about your meals."
Reuben tries to catch her eyes, but only gets to see her back.
"I worried that he would do to you what he did to your brother."
"They were lovers!" Caroline states firmly, finally turning and looking Reuben in the eyes. "Fred didn't even know that he had it."
Reuben opens his mouth, but he is interrupted before uttering a word.
"No way! As much as I hated to see my brother die, I will not blame Fred for it."
She switches the light off and gets into bed. Reuben still stands in the middle of the room, straight as a statue. There is a moment of complete silence in the dark.
"If you would have let him," Reuben inquires cautiously, "would he not have made love to you, although now he knows?"
Caroline turns on the bedside lamp and sits up in the bed.
"What is it with you two, really? Both of you just refuse to see anything good in the other. Don't get me involved in it. Don't make me choose."
She stares at him defiantly. Reuben keeps his mouth closed.
"Just don't!" she says with a commanding voice. "Fred was a blessing to my brother's life for years. The only blessing. That I knew already. His only faithful friend, who never teased him like the other kids did." She grunts and takes a deep breath before continuing. "So, he gave Thomas the disease. I hate that. Of course I do. But I don't hate him. How could I? He had no idea. And don't forget that he got it, too. It's not like he got away. He's already doomed to meet the same fate as Thomas did, although a little later. I'm not even sure that's an advantage."
"There may be a cure for him. You said so, yourself."
"What was I supposed to tell him? People still die by the thousands, if you didn't know. A cure might take years and years. I'm not even sure they try very hard to find one. It's a disease that strikes gays. Gays and drug addicts. You're clever, you figure it out. Me, I feel sorry for Fred. Really sorry. And grateful for all that he did do - consciously - for Thomas. You, Reuben, you just worry about yourself."
She switches off the lamp, without giving Reuben even a second to respond.
All the chapters posted so far: