Romance Drama LGBTQ+

This story contains sensitive content

Tw: fearing that you're not going to survive, hyperthermia, implied Past: toxic relationships, growing up in complete isolation, betrayed trust

mentioned: imprisonment, scars, a joke about murdering your partner's toxic ex

It was so terribly cold. Snow was falling, and it was almost dark.

Alex turned to face Joey.

He couldn't feel his toes, couldn't feel his hands because, like he just mentioned, it was so terribly cold.

He honestly didn't know if they were going to make it out of this snow storm alive.

Of course, he wishes they did.

But it was almost dark, and they were still miles away from their car.

That would be their luck, or more specifically his luck.

It all had started out so romantic.

Alex had never seen snow before, it's what happens when you're adopted at birth by a crazy scientist who believes that the safest place to raise kids is in complete isolation from the outside world.

Sure, Alex and his older siblings had been out of isolation for many years now. Ever since he gained a step-mom and a little brother and little sister, who convinced his father what he was doing was, in fact, insane and not a healthy way to protect your kids.

But even though he'd been allowed outside the house for many years now, heck he'd even moved out of the house, been to med school and become a doctor by now, yet he had never gotten the chance to see snow before.

Because it literally never snowed in California.

So anyways, when he told Joey that he'd never seen snow before, the boy who was born and raised in Minnesota insisted he'd take Alex to a place where it did snow.

So, here they were, spending their 3-year anniversary in a snow storm.

Just 2 successful, reasonably young doctors, freezing to death on their anniversary.

Great. Just great.

Alex didn't want to think about anything else but a happy ending to this story.

He'd tell his siblings this story, and his older brother would joke about how it was pretty fun that such an uncool guy had been so 'cool'. Even though Alex knew deep down that Elijah would be grateful Alex didn't die from hyperthermia, he secretly loves Alex a lot. And no, he wouldn't be caught dead admitting it, but he didn't need to, Alex knows. Always had and always will. 

As Alex told the story, his little brother would stare at him with wide eyes, in a way Alex was convinced only Tyrel could. 

His older sister would let a tear roll by the idea of losing him and then punch him if he ever brought it up again.

Camille would probably make him read one of her cheesy romance novels, in which the main characters get snowed in and admit their feelings for each other.

That's what was going to happen.

It had to.

This snowstorm wouldn't be the death of Alex and his boyfriend.

They'd both survived, far too much, to let something like this floor them. Literally.

But just in case, it did end terribly for the both of them…

Alex decided he'd propose to Joey right now.

That way, in case they didn't make it, they'd go out as an engaged couple.

He tried to drop to one knee in the cold snow, but Joey grabbed his arms and kept him standing up.

“Dear, what are you doing, you're already freezing, don't sit down in the snow. Are you tired? I can carry you on my back for a bit if you want me to?” Joey asked concerned.

Alex shook his head.

“No, I'm fine, I just wanted to ask you something.”

Joey smiled at him, “you can ask me anything, but let's keep walking, shall we?”

Alex nodded.

That was a good idea.

Alex needed to get home, so Joey's best friend Scott and Joey's 6 siblings could yell at him for proposing to Joey without their permission, Even though Alex knew damn well they'd give him their blessings.

Alex smiled at Joey, who looked like he was seconds away from freezing to death, yet he smiled back.

Alex didn't know if he was going to get all the words out that he wanted to say.

Since talking was quite painful at this temperature, and one of the symptomps of Hypothermia (which he prays to god they won't get) is slurred speech, but he was going to try regardless.

"Joey, I never thought I belonged anywhere, until I met you and I realized I belong with you. I realized I was never asking people for too much, no, I was just asking the wrong people. That's what being with you has taught me so far. I'm with you because, I just happened to love spending time with you. In fact, nothing makes me happier. After a stressful day of saving lives, all I want is to talk to you or be with you in silence. You get me. You're the first person who has ever paid attention to how things make me feel. Before you, nobody ever stuck up for me. Nobody ever praised me. Nobody ever included me in things. But you do. You love me so well, I can actually feel my heart healing. You tell me time and time again that I matter. You showed me that I'm not just some boring buzzkill. You showed me that I can be fun. When I'm with you, I realize I'm enough. I don't have to change for people to like me. I like myself better when I'm with you. You're all I ever knew i ne.. No, I wanted. Loving me isn't always easy, but you've been incredibly patient. Even though I have terrible trust issues and self-confidence issues, You're always there for me. You would break your back to make me smile. You would stand by me, even if you were the one breaking down. You owe me nothing, yet you give me everything. You would walk through hell with me. You're always quick to remind me, that I don't have to be perfect. No one's ever done that before. You make sure I take care of myself. No one's ever really cared about that before. You trust me, and I trust you. You'd take a bullet for me, and I would do the same for you. You're the first person who has ever liked me, that isn't interested in anything else than me. You're not with me for my looks *cough Olivia*, you're not with me for my access to highly secured data *cough Jane and Sebastian*, you're not with me until I mess up *cough Ashley*, you're not with me to win my trust just so you can use it against me * cough Sebastian and Jane*. Joey, you're a good person. An amazing partner, loyal, loving, you're my safe place. You're the first person to actually realize my strengths. You're the first person to care about my migraines, my anxiety, my overthinking, my allergies. You care about me, without me needing to be on the edge of death for it. You can always tell when the smile on my face is fake. With you, it's not just screaming and fighting, like it was when i lo… was with Sebastian. When I'm with you, I feel comfortable, safe and at ease. I'm not constantly at high alert waiting for it all to break down because I trust that you'll keep me safe, even when we disagree about something. You don't leave me guessing, no, you always make sure to explain yourself if you realize I'm overthinking. You don't get mad at me for being quiet when I'm overstimulated or anxious, you just ask me if there's something you can do. You don't lie to me. You always ask me if I'm comfortable. You always respect my space. You talk about our future instead of the things I messed up in the past. You hold me tight when I cry instead of making me feel worse. You make me take breaks when I work too long, instead of yelling at me for being boring. I trust you with my life. In fact, I trust you so much I let you apply cream to the scars, I used to hide from everyone else. Because I used to think they made me weak, but you showed me their evidence of my strength. And every time you apply the cream, you promise me that nothing will ever hurt me again, not as long as you're here. You remind me that my sole purpose on this earth isn't to take care of the world, but to take care of myself. If I apologize too frequently, you don't yell at me for making you look like the bad guy. You don't laugh at my anxious behavior, you just kiss me and tell me I have nothing to apologize for. If I can't sleep because my brain is beating me up, you hug me until I fall asleep, and you never yell at me for waking you up. When I'm overthinking, you don't tell me to stop whining and be grateful, you just listen and then joke around until I'm laughing again. You laugh at my jokes instead of at me. You always make sure my food is vegan, instead of giving me a hard time for choosing to be vegan. You spend time with my family because you know they mean everything to me. Even though let's face it, my older brother, and you can't stand each other, but you still try, for me. You spent a ton of time joking around with my older sister, you loaned my little brother all of your superhero comics, which mind you are like your most precious belongings, just because Tyrel told you he liked comics too. To you, I'm not a secret, no you show me off in public. You love all the things about me that I hate about myself. All of those big and small things you do for me every day, remind me why I fell for you. You're the love of my life. You were worth the weight of all the years of my heartbreak. So with all that being said, Joey Queens, will you marry me?"

Joey was smiling wide and had tears in his eyes.

“Babe, you deserve all of that and more. Ofcourse I'll marry you, and please stop bringing up all the awful things Sebastian put you through, it makes me want to murder him, which isn't exactly the mindset a doctor should have. But Alex, please don't be so dramatic. We'll make it home. We have to, I have to rub it in Kylie's face that her little brother is apparently getting married before her”, Joey didn't quite sound like he believed they'd make it home either, but at least he wanted them to.

“I know, I just wanted to say all that, just in case.”

“And I'm saying yes, just in case”, Joey replied lovingly.

Alex was shivering.

He's a doctor, of course he knows it's a bad sign if you start to shiver. Ofcourse, he knows the early signs of hypothermia and ofcourse he knows the effects can worsen quickly. He knows that hypothermia is a medical emergency and should be treated as such. He knows that soon they're going to need medical treatment. He also knows that the chanches of them getting to their car on time and having enough time to drive to the nearest hospital, are very low. It's just simply not realistic, that they'll receive medical treatment on time. As a doctor he'd lost all hope.

But despite all that he still wanted to make it home.

No, he needed to make it home.

He still needed to bully Elijah for always telling him he'd die alone, even though Elijah was still single and Alex had been in a happy relationship for 3 years now. And unlike Elijah, he'd actually been in multiple relationships before, but those weren't really worth mentioning. 

He needed to make it home, so his crazy scientist father could yell at him for going out during a snow storm, after Lance had spent his entire life trying to protect Alex and his siblings from all things evil.

He needed to make it home, so his step-mother could hand him hot ginger tea and hug him while whispering my sweet boy, in his ear. Something he never thought he'd experience before Lance married Jasmine and Tyrel, Jasmine and Camille came in to Alex's live.

He needed to make it home, so he could listen to Joey's little brother Tommy's crazy theories about why he was convinced Joey was a superhero instead of a doctor.

He needed to make it home because he still needed to make fun of his older sister's poor taste in guys. He had had his fair share of toxic boyfriends and girlfriends (Sebastian and Jane both used to him to get acces to his father's inventions), but he was convinced Brooke's taste in guys was somehow still worse.

He needed to make it home, so he could buy a crazy expensive engagement ring for Joey.

He needed to make it home, so he could teach his martial art skills to his baby sister, Camille.

They needed to make it home because they are damn good doctors, and they still needed to save more lives. So more siblings could bully their siblings, without having to worry about their health.

They needed to make it home, so they could be there when Joey's older brother Kenny was finally released from jail, for stealing money, so he could provide for his big family.

It was a moment Joey had anxiously been waiting for, for years, and he deserved to be there to experience it.

They needed to make it home, so they could be there when the adoption of Joey's little sisters Aliyah and Aisha was finalized.

A moment that Joey had been looking forward to ever since the twins became a part of his family.

They needed to make it home, because Alex's little sister Naomi and Joey's little brother Tommy and little sisters Aliyah, Aisha and Kacey were far too young to have to deal with losing an older brother.

They needed to make it home because they now had a wedding to plan.

They needed to make it home.

And they would because they would fight to make it back to their family, until they took their last breath.

They would make it home because it might be terribly cold, but they had both survived worse.

They would make it home because somewhere not far in front of them, covered under a thick pack of snow, was a car that would -hopefully- take them home.

They would make it home because after all the lives they'd saved and all the good things they'd done for this world, it would be cruel if they didn't.

March 13, 2023 13:07

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Glenda Toews
00:32 Mar 23, 2023

Eline, your story came to me via the critique circle. I wish I could have been as well thought out as you at 19 and I appreciated the amount of thought that went into writing this piece. I'm not a critic though, I can't tell you specifically the reasons why I liked or didn't like something that I feel would offer value as you continue to write other than what I prefer to read, and that's not a good critic, that's a personal preference. I did feel like I was in someone's diary a little, sorting out their thoughts through words. I once re...


Eline Pols
12:21 Mar 24, 2023

Thank you for your comment. One of the two stories i wrote for this week's competition is actually a short one (1k words), where i personally also felt like i would take away the power of the piece if i added more words. That one is called "bail you out of jail" and hopefully gets approved for the competiton by the jury. The other one that i wrote for thos week's competition approaches the limit for the short stories (It's about 2.980 words) and is called "black liquid." Thank you for your support and i'm exited to hear your thoughts on my u...


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