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Memories in the dark

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Jack was alone. It was dark, cold, and he hadn't seen or spoken to anyone in such a long time. He didn't sleep, but he always had energy, albeit not much; and he didn't eat, but felt full. Full in the sense of having just had a home cooked meal, but he was empty. He missed his Sammy. The love of his life. He no longer wanted to be in the dark, he regretted leaving, but he had no idea how to leave, how to get back to his baby. To his love. To his Sammy. He only got through it, by remembering.

*

He remembered asking Sammy out for the first time. They were sitting in a small coffee shop on their campus, doing a project for their journalism class. They'd known each other for a few months by that point, and Jack had loved him for almost as long. When Sammy got up to leave after a few hours, Jack looked at him, and asked him to go on a date with him. Sammy smirked.

"Yes. I will go on a date with you." And leaned down and ruffled his hair before turning heel and leaving Jack red-faced in the shop. 

They went on exactly one date - which was spent at home watching a movie - before Sammy asked him to be his boyfriend. He was nervous for once, his cheeks slightly red. Jack went slack-jawed and it took him a few seconds to answer him. 

"Yes. Yes. I want to be your boyfriend." Sammy smiled and laughed, and took Jack's hand, and everything felt right.

*

Three weeks, four more dates, and many hours spent together, they kissed for the first time. It had been at Jack's apartment which he shared with his older sister Lily, who had left before the date, but not without whispering "Hurt him, and no one will find your body" into Sammy's ear and hugging Jack. They sat down, and ate pasta with toast and laughed, and talked about books and life and anything they could think of. It was like nothing was off limits with each other. While they snuggled on the couch and watched reruns of old television shows, Sammy leaned his head on Jack's shoulder, and looked up at him. It took a few seconds for Jack to notice, and the moment he did, they were kissing. Neither can remember who broke away first, but it doesn't matter. It was theirs. 

*

He remembered the first time he had told Sammy he loved him. They'd been dating for five months, and were lying on the couch watching The NotebookSammy lay in Jack's arms, his head resting on his chest, while Jack ran his fingers through his hair. Sammy had beautiful long hair, which he often kept in a bun, but left loose for Jack because he knew how much he loved running his fingers through it. The movie was almost done and Jack had barely been paying attention, thinking about how to tell Sammy he loved him. He was nervous, his heart pounding, and he knew Sammy could feel it. Finally, he couldn't take it any more.

"I love you, Sammy. I love you." He finally blurted out. He looked down at Sammy, whose cheeks had turned red and had a smile wider than an ocean. Sammy looked up at him, and said "I love you too, Jack. I love you too." Before kissing him and snuggling even deeper into Jack's arms.

*

They moved in together three months after their one year anniversary. It was a sunny day in California, but not too hot. Lily helped move boxes and set up their apartment, building furniture, because, as she put it "You two wouldn't be able to get past opening the box before getting bored and doing something else." Which wasn't true, but Jack just laughed while Sammy jabbed back at Lily and ensuing a small, friendly argument. Jack didn't care. He was happy. He was with his Sammy.

*

A year later, after saving up for months, they moved across the country to start a new radio show. Lily didn't show up to the airport to see them off. She was upset at Sammy for taking Jack away, even though it was Jack's idea to leave anyway. They asked her to come with them, but she refused. 

They landed and set up their new home together, and had to call someone to help set up the furniture. Lily had been right in the end. After all, she was nothing if not her namesake. 

*

Jack remembered spending hours picking out the perfect ring for Sammy. Spending hours in shops, saving money, looking online. He finally found it. A thin gold band with their birthstones on top. Jack bought himself a matching one, but silver. He proposed after spending a day with Sammy walking out around downtown, looking at flowers, little shops, and a small lake just on the outskirts of the city. When they returned, Sammy went inside first, needing to use the bathroom. When he came back out, he almost fainted from the shock of seeing Jack on one knee in front of him. His mouth turned into an 'o', and tears threatened to pour over his cheeks. He went to say something, but nothing came out.

Jack took a breath, and began. "Sammy Stevens, you are the love of my life. I love your hair and the way you smile. I love the way your eyes glitter in the sun and the light. I love how much you hate Valentine's Day because you think it's just a dumb Hallmark holiday. I love how you always try to get me to be super healthy but let me get away with having a candy drawer. I love how much you care about me and work on yourself. I know I will never be good enough for you, but I will try. Will you make me the happiest man alive? Will you, Sammy Stevens, marry me?"

Tears spilled from Sammy's eyes. No words came out. He silently nodded, and Jack slid the ring on Sammy's finger. His fingers had just barely left his hand when Sammy pulled him into a hug, kissing him with all his might. They did not let go of each other for a long time.

*

He remembered the arguments after the obsession came. He can't remember what brought it on. But it happened. Sammy told him to get help, and he wanted to, he wanted to so badly so that Sammy would be happy again, so they could be happy again, so that everything would be okay. But he couldn't. Something was pulling him. And he was pulled. Into the dark.

*

Jack came out of his memories with tears streaming down his cheeks. He'd "seen" his baby, his Sammy, but he couldn't reach him. He wanted to kiss him again, to hear him say his name, to love him. He wanted his Sammy back.

"I miss you, my love. I will come back to you. I don't know how, but I will. Please, hold on. I love you."

He got up, and walked on. To more memories. To whatever he would be brought to. He did not care, as long as he had his memories to return to. As long as he could have his Sammy back again. For new memories to be made, not in the dark, but in the light.