Hey guys. Annnnnnd we're back. Sorry for the long wait. Also this is dedicated to pllsabtvdfan because she was one of the winners of my short story contest. She wrote "Tick Tock." And all of you should check it out :) Also thank you to ILove AshtonTaylor for the cover ----->>>

 Eliza. She was the only subject my mind could process - the one thing I could think about clearly. It took me ten minutes to drink my orange juice the next morning because I kept zoning out, unable to focus on anything but the events of the previous evening. I couldn't forget what it was like to be near her - what it was like to breathe her air.

 But the best part of kissing her wasn't how natural it seemed or the way her long body had felt against mine. The best part was that she had kissed me back. That put me in a very good mood. It made me even happier than I was the first time Madison had slept over, and that made a hard night to compete with.

 I stapled - literally stapled - my phone to the underside my bed so I wouldn't call Eliza or even text her. Every bro knows that after he hooks up with a girl, he has to wait 76 hours before he can ask to see her again. I knew that better than anyone. I also knew that it was going to be a long-ass 76 hours. It would be worse than watching a single episode of The Desperate Housewives of New Jersey, and it would be even worse than listening to Austin sing.

 When I was done, the job I had done on my phone was probably more effective than the security system in Fort Knox. It would take some serious work if I ever wanted to hold it in my hands again. Of course, that was exactly the point. When I stood up I heard a soft knock on my bedroom door. "Nick?" I heard my mom's thin voice call through it. I answered immediately. It wasn't often that my mom wanted to talk to me, since she hardly ever left the sanctuary of her bedroom except to eat and use the bathroom, neither of which happened on a regular basis. She'd been like that ever since my dad got his death sentence two years ago. That's what she calls leukemia. A death sentence. In that sense, I guess I'm lucky. I refuse to think of it that way. "The hospital called. They said he can come home.” I thought back to the conversation I'd had with my dad the other day, and how upbeat and energetic he'd seemed. I supposed his doctors had seen him like that too.

 Maybe all of us were lucky.

 My mom sat shotgun as I drove to the hospital. It took me a while to realize what was happening. Over the last few months, my dad had been in and out of doctor care eight times. Not once, had my mom ever acknowledged that he might be getting better. I think she believed that my dad would always have to go back. This time, she seemed different. Her thin lips held a small smile, and I couldn't remember that last time I'd seen her display any sort of emotion. Hope swelled up inside of me. Maybe this time, we really were lucky.

 "Do you want to come?" I asked once I'd pulled into a parking space.

 She shook her head, making her a few strands of her graying, night-colored hair fall out of her stiff ponytail. She had that dazed look in her eye like she'd just woken up from a dream and she wasn't yet aware of her surroundings. Apparently she was just as surprised to find herself there as I was.

 A few minutes later, I met my dad in the hospital lobby and wheeled him out to the street. He didn't actually need to be in a wheelchair, which was probably a good thing, considering my house wasn't really equipped for one - he just liked to ride in them. That was one of the things about my dad that made me think he never really grew up. "C'mon, Nicky, I thought you were in shape. A snail could crawl faster than this."

 "I'm pretty sure we just broke the world record for the 100m sprint, dad." I laughed as I pushed him.

 "Too bad we didn't get it on camera-" I heard the breath catch in his throat. 

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