As long as I have you, I'll always have everything I need

Submitted into Contest #244 in response to: Start your story with a character staring at a picture they don’t remember taking.... view prompt


LGBTQ+ Drama Romance

This story contains sensitive content

TW: Mentions of Alzheimers, vomit, amnesia, addiction, death, homophobia, car accidents, coma's.

George looks in awe at the framed pictures representing the life he and Juan apparently created together, in the 5 years that he currently doesn’t have any memories of.

It is still a weird idea, that the man he's wanted for so long actually wants him back, and even married him in the time frame his amnesia impacted.

It will take some time to get used to the fact that he now lives in a city where he’s able to be a proud, married, gay man.

Not to mention that he somehow married his best friend who he only remembers loving in secret.

But apparently, a lot has changed since the time George didn’t have the guts to tell his gorgeous, biracial, talkative, funny, supportive, incredible best friend how he truly felt about him.

He might not remember his marriage, the car accident, and the coma that left him with amnesia, -temporarily amnesia- if they are lucky, but Juan clearly does remember every second that George forgot.

The look on Juan's face when he finally woke up from a 3-day coma will most likely haunt George for the rest of his life. 

Even though he is still scared he's going to wake up one day and realize that the incredible, too-good-to-be-true life he woke up to is simply a product of his imagination, he doesn't think a dream could possibly be this detailed or feel this real so he supposes he's in the clear.

Or at least he hopes he is, if he ends up finding out this was all a dream he'll consider it actual torture.

He turns around to look at a framed picture of him, Juan, and a young girl that he doesn’t remember taking.

"Who is this?" George asks curiously pointing at the little girl with red curly hair.

Juan wraps an arm around him from behind as George continues to stare at the picture.

"That is Evie, she used to live here with us', he tells him gently.

George’s stomach drops.

"She died?" He asks horrified.

Juan shakes his head. "God no. I'm sorry, baby, I phrased that wrong. I'm still getting used to this whole amnesia thing. Evie is alive and healthy I promise."

George breathes in relief.

He can't remember this little girl and yet he feels protective over her.

George turns in his arms. “You didn’t tell me we're parents’, he whispers softly.

Juan smiles back at him. "I didn't think I should tell you everything at once, so as to not overwhelm you. I mean you didn't even remember that we dated, let alone got married. But You and I became foster parents for this little girl, whose father struggled with addiction after losing his wife. Her grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and that is when she was placed under our care. She was our first and only placement. We talked about adoption, we always saw that in our future. But we're so privileged, that we wanted to help people who aren’t. Being a foster parent is heartbreaking because it's the goal that they leave you again to go back to their birth parents. But it's also rewarding. We really saved Jared's life by keeping Evie safe, healthy, and happy when he couldn't. He went to rehab and now he has full guardianship of her again, but he still invites us to her birthday's. He's immensely grateful that we gave her a loving home when he couldn't and now he's going to get to watch his beautiful daughter grow up. And we got to have a taste of what raising a family together would be like. It was really special. Don't get me wrong we sobbed our eyes out when she left, but we had a nice time and we realized we have a lot of the same morals and values. Plus I learned that you look very cute with a little kid in your arms.'

George smiles at Juan. "It's beautiful that we helped make sure Jared didn't lose his daughter too after he already lost his wife."

Juan hums. "I have a lot of stories to tell you about Evie and pictures to show you, I swear you were made to be a Dad. I am actually glad we’re starting with this story", he says as he carefully lowers them onto the sofa.

He kisses George's cheek. “This is a fitting story to begin with because you and I talked about Alzheimer's when we had Evie under our care since we went to visit her grandmother at some point. Alzheimer's runs in my family so I got anxious. And you told me something really beautiful. You told me that you love me for who I am, for who I've always been, and for who I am to you. You told me that my memories don't define me, that they're just stories, but that my heart and character are what make me who I am. You told me that even if I didn't remember you at all, some day, you'd stay with me to the very end and you promised you’d hold my hand through it all. You promised me you’d remind me who we are to each other as often as possible, and that you wouldn't even begin to think about leaving me on my own during that fight. You don’t remember any of this, But this is my chance to prove to you that I've always felt the same way. Who cares that you can't remember the past few years? You're still my G, you'll always be my G, whether you can remember our love story or not. Obviously, we hope you get your memories back, but if not, our story won't end, I can promise you that. You remember me as your best friend who would go to war for you. I am still that guy, except now I have a matching wedding ring on my finger. You might not remember what it’s like to be married to me, but we've got the rest of our lives to create new memories as husbands."

George falls in love with Juan all over again on the spot.

He closes his eyes and thinks back to their conversation in the hospital after he woke up and they found out he couldn't remember anything from the past 5 years.


The doctor and George's family finally leave him alone in the room with his husband.

"Hey stranger", Juan says with a smile that doesn't reach his eyes.

"I'm sorry", George whispers immediately.

Juan shakes his head. "Don't be, baby. None of this is your fault, I'm just glad you woke up", he says sweetly.

George sighs. "I get that, but this whole amnesia thing can't be fun for you."

Juan smiles teasingly. "Well, you've got that wrong. I happen to love that my husband lost all his memories of our marriage. This way he won't remember all the stupid shit I've done. Clean slate, baby. Plus now I'll be able to gaslight you into thinking you do all our household chores while I just sit there and look pretty."

George laughs surprised.

"There he is. You're gorgeous like that, baby", Juan says with a more fond smile this time.

He gestures to the side of George's bed.

"Can I? Whatever you feel more comfortable with."

George smiles. "Go for it."

Juan carefully sits down next to him. "Can I ask you a question?"

George nods. 

"Don't take this the wrong way, but why aren't you freaking out? I mean of course you were upset when you initially found out you had amnesia and couldn't remember the past 5 years. But you seem to have adapted rather quickly", Juan says carefully.

George chuckles, that's not what he'd expected Juan to ask.

"I mean it's rather cruel to get a glimpse of a life I'll never live.

But I've heard of coma patients trapped in horrible nightmares, so I suppose I lucked out by getting trapped into a reality where I am living the life I'd quite literally kill for", he answers softly. 

Juan sighs, "Baby, look at me".

George cautiously looks up.

Juan smiles softly at him. "Sweetheart, I know you don't remember our marriage or any part of our relationship, at least not right now, but let me be the one to tell you it wasn't a toxic one. You and I don't lie to each other, okay?"

George nods, yeah that makes sense, he can't imagine lying to Juan.

Juan gently cups his cheek. "Do you really think this is all just a coma-induced dream?"

George nods slowly.

He expects Juan to yell at him.

Or that this might be the moment he wakes up.

But none of that happens.

Instead, Juan whispers gently. 'Oh, Corazon, can I hug you?"

George nods.

"This is your real life, baby, so you better get used to it", Juan teases as he hugs him.

George still doesn't really believe him.

Juan smiles again. "I'd show you some pictures, but you the apple of my eye and the reason I'm going to die from overcaffeination if you don't stop scaring me, are not allowed to look at screens yet. Don't worry though, when you're released to go home you'll be able to see tons of pictures. Because my husband is a romantic sap who decorated our entire house with framed pictures that will show you just how happy we are together."

George smiles. That does sound like him.

But then again he supposes his own brain would know that, so this could still very well be a dream.

"We live in a beautiful brownstone in New York City', Juan tells him kindly.

George stares at him in disbelief.

He now lives somewhere where being gay isn't frowned upon?

Juan smiles softly at him. "I can tell you still don't believe me, but I can't say that I blame you. If I were to wake up thinking it was still 2019, just to be told I married a man, let alone my best friend, I'd have an aneurysm. At the time I hadn't even come to terms with the fact that I am bisexual. You're taking all this new information very well, babe."

George laughs, "An aneurysm, really?"

Juan chuckles. "Okay, fine, I'm being dramatic, but not as dramatic as your love confession after you kissed me for the very first time.'

George gasps dramatically. "I kissed you first? Now I'm even more convinced this isn't real!"

Juan laughs. "It is very real, whether you want it to be or not', he teases.

George rolls his eyes at him. "I want it to be real, of course I do. I've been in love with you for years, but it sounds bloody unrealistic."

"That I love you back? No, sweetheart, I've always had bad taste", Juan teases.

George laughs so hard it hurts.

Juan instantly notices and stops laughing. "Don't hurt yourself, baby. We've done enough talking. I don't want to overwhelm you. You just woke up from a coma and a few hours ago you were still intubated. I think this was enough life-changing information for one day."

 "You think too highly of yourself", George teases back, already slipping back into the banter he remembers.

Then he shrugs. "Besides, this is a dream anyway, there is no way this is real life and my unrequited crush on my best friend has turned into a loving marriage. I know good things happen, but life isn't a fairy tale, miracles-'' 

Juan gasps dramatically. "Okay, that's it. I've had it with you not believing my love for you is real. I'm going to get your name tattooed across my chest first thing tomorrow."

"You're so bloody dramatic', George chuckles.

Juan shrugs. "Okay, then tell me you 100% believe that I love you and we're in a happy, healthy, loyal, and loving marriage, that you're completely convinced this is not a dream, and that you believe that you escaped your homophobic hometown."

George groans. 

"That is it, now I'm getting the tattoo on my forehead", Juan hisses, but he doesn't actually look pissed if the fond look he's giving George is anything to go by.

"You wouldn't", George shoots back with a breathy laugh.

Juan shrugs. "I wouldn't be so sure about that, babe. There is quite literally nothing I wouldn't do for you. When I got the call from the hospital, I prayed to switch places with you. Which I understand isn't possible, but it's all I could think about. I wish I could take his pain away and give it to myself."

George stares at him in disbelief. "That is the first thing you did?"

Juan sighs. "Well if you must know, the first thing I did was drop my coffee and burn myself and then I vomited from the stress and had a panic attack. Then I tried to drive to the hospital, so a colleague had to fight me for my keys. And then during the car ride, I prayed for your safety and to switch places with you... and I'm not even religious."

George wipes tears, that he hadn't even realized were forming in his eyes, away frantically. "I'm sorry, you didn't deserve that."

Juan agrees. "I didn't, but let me ask you something, did you deserve to get hit by a drunk driver?"

George sighs. "Of course not, I just feel bad for you, you had this perfect life and now your husband doesn't remember your marriage and you burned yourself, vomited, and then slept on the ground for a few days... Just for the bloke to wake up and basically go who the hell are you?'' 

Juan kisses his forehead. "Actually you still have all your memories from before we started dating, but yes... it does suck. But I'd been preparing myself to have to attend my husband's funeral, I didn't think I was ever going to be okay again... Yet here you are. So I'm not going to complain, now that you're awake. We can make new memories, and I can fill you in on the gaps. And common what is 5 years in a lifetime?"

George sighs. "But you did lose your husband, in a way, I mean-"

"No, sweetheart you've always been a pessimistic, stubborn, pretty thing", Juan teases.

George rolls his eyes at him. "I'm serious, you lost your husband-"

Juan grabs the hand his IV isn't attached to and makes a show of clinging their rings against each other. "I didn't lose shit, my husband is right here and I'll be with him every step of the way to recovery and if his memories don't come back we'll make new ones, and like I said I'll fill in the gaps. God knows I like to talk. As long as you want me here, I'll be right next to you."

George starts tearing up. "How did I get so lucky?"

Juan hugs him again. 'You're not lucky babe. You're loved, as you should be. You deserve every good thing in the world. And I'm really sorry things suck so much right now."

George chuckles softly. "Yes, poor me, I'm married to my dream man, that I've been secretly pining at for ages. How ever shall I cope with this horrible information?"

Juan grins. "Oh, he's still got jokes, good to know the coma didn't ruin that."

George sighs dramatically. "You get into a coma one time-"

Juan nods. "Oh yes, you guessed that right, you are never living this down. We're going to be 90, sitting in our rocking chairs, bitching at our grandkids while drinking coffee, and I'm still going to give you a bombastic side-eye every time I remember that you once scared the life out of me by accidentally getting into a coma."

George rolls his eyes at him. "Can I ask one more question?'

Juan sighs dramatically. "Fine. But if I end up getting yelled at for melting your brain, I'm not taking accountability."

"5 years later and still just as bloody dramatic. I was going to ask something sensitive, but now I want to know how I put up with you?', George teases.

Then he takes a deep breath, braces himself, and asks. "Are you really not mad at me, for forgetting our whole relationship?"

Juan pretends to glare at him.

"Are you serious? Am I mad at you for the fact that you got into an accident, that you couldn't possibly be blamed for? Just to wake up from a coma, with amnesia, that you also couldn't possibly be blamed for? Yes, you're right... I'm furious at you."

George hides his head on Juan's shoulder.

Juan immediately starts playing with his curls. "Sweetheart, I know I didn't give you an answer the first time you asked this, but no, I'm not mad at you. Of course, I am mad that you got hurt and that you're suffering. But I'm more so just grateful you woke up again. I understand that since you have amnesia your recovery will probably be a messy journey, but ... I'd take that over losing you. Obviously. We can make new memories, but we can't make a new you. I was so terrified I'd never get to hold you again. If there is a chance I'll still get to grow old with you then I'm more than thrilled."

George frowns. "Wait...what do you mean a chance? Aren't we married already? Isn't it kind of a given, that we'll grow old together? You just convinced me this is real!"

Juan nods. 'This is real and so is that ring on your finger, I promise. But you forgot every single second of our entire relationship, baby. There is no way for us to truly know if you'd fall in love with me again."

End of flashback

George kisses Juan's cheek. "You're an idiot if you think I couldn't fall in love with you again, I never stopped.'

April 04, 2024 18:31

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