Excerpt for Comorbid Part 8 by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Comorbid Part 8: Baby

June went back home alone after what she considered to be the best time of her life with Mercury. She didn’t live with Kyle anymore; she lived with Father again. And Father babied her and made sure she was the happiest she could possibly be in order to keep her around.

June never liked to be babied to such an extreme extent, but she couldn’t blame her father. She had disappeared for months with a boy who ended up biting her pinky off. She knew nobody could ever understand the otherworldly bond she had with Mercury, and so she never even tried to explain it. She let them believe he was a monster like everyone else did. June knew the truth, and that was what was important.

“Oh my God, June…” Father had said with tears in his eyes when she appeared at his door late at night after three days of travelling back home on June’s part.

Father embraced her warmly. June looked over his shoulder with a blank and miserable expression. He was out of her life again, and she knew she would never be completely happy without him in it.

“Why would you disappear like that? Kyle told me about the baby, but good God June, why? Can’t you see that I love you? Can’t you see what it would do to me if I had to bury you?”

June blinked tears out of her eyes. “I had a lot of fun. I was really happy, Dad…”

“Please don’t ever do that again.” Father begged.

June sniffled. She knew her fun was over. She knew she had to shape up for her baby. She knew Mercury couldn’t be apart of her life; worse than that, she knew Kyle would have to be.

*

June spent a week sleeping. She thought every minute about her last encounter with Mercury as she lounged about Father’s house. It occupied her thoughts instead of more important things like getting her life back on track and thinking about how she was going to get along with Kyle.

You take care of that body and that baby… Was the last thing Mercury had said to her.

June thought about it often as she sat on her window sill and looked out the window with a flat expression.

*

After that first week, Father told June to get back into therapy. She complied, but refused to take antidepressants. She made sure everyone knew she had to get over her sadness and her impulsiveness on her own terms. Leanne was overly relieved and happy to see her client alive and reasonably healthy. She was alarmed when she saw June’s pinky bitten off, and June had to explain to her what had happened while leaving out the fact that June could tap into her own mind.

“I met up with him…” June explained.

Leanne was shocked; indeed, June realized that Leanne may have never completely believed her about his existence in the first place. Leanne asked calmly, “and he bit off your finger?”

June sighed. She didn’t want anyone to think of the person she loved most as a monster, but in order to explain that he wasn’t, she would have to make herself look insane. “He was diagnosed as antisocial personality disorder, but he always displayed a completely normal affect. He was so charming… He tricked me into thinking he had feelings. I thought he loved me.”

June wiped tears from her eyes, but not for the reason her therapist was thinking. Leanne was silent and waited for her client to continue.

“He asked me to run away with him and I did. It was like a dream come true for the first weeks with him. We went on adventures together, and he spoiled me so much… And then, at the end, he bit my finger off. But God, I still love him. I still want to marry him.”

June knew what Leanne must be secretly thinking; how crazy much June be to love a man who bit her finger off? Who convinced her to run away from her own home for months while pregnant? She also knew her therapist probably hated Mercury for taking advantage of an obviously sick and disturbed woman.

Leanne never, ever let that show, however, even if she was indeed thinking it. She did her job; making June realize how irrational her thought process often was.

June thought it must be an exhausting job.

“I have to work out a plan for the baby with Kyle…” June told Leanne in the middle of their session.

“You want to keep it, then?” Leanne was surprised.

June nodded. “I want to keep it.”

“Why don’t you try to work something out with him on your own, and if you’re having trouble, you can bring him in and I’ll help the two of you work something out.” Leanne suggested.

June nodded. She hated Kyle. She wanted him to have nothing to do with her child, but she knew she wasn’t a stable parent by herself. She needed Kyle to help her.

*

While June was travelling was Mercury, she forgot about the previous damage done to her mind by Kyle and Trisha’s betrayal. Now, all she could think about was the two of them together and their disrespect for June’s feelings and how little they must care about her to sleep with each other. She saw them together when she closed her eyes, when she was in a therapy session, and during everyday activities.

It took June many days to get up the guts to call Kyle with trembling fingers.

“Can you meet me somewhere, Kyle?” June asked with a trembling voice.

There was silence, and then he said, “sure.”

“Let’s go to that pizza place we used to go to. I’ll pay.” June suggested.

*

It was very cold out now. It was nearly August, and Father was suggesting June at least get back into school. June knew she should, but she could hardly stand the alienation and loneliness she felt at school. For Father’s sake, before setting off to the pizza place, she signed up for four classes.

June pulled into the parking lot and took a deep breath, gripping the steering wheel and seeing flashes of her previous boyfriend and Trisha together as she blinked.

She climbed out of her car and pulled her coat closer about her body. June rubbed her hands together and saw her breath as her teeth clattered.

She pushed the glass door open to the pizza place and spotted Kyle, already there, and already having ordered a pizza for the two of them.

June walked slowly and painfully over to him, sweating immensely. She sat down across from him nervously and folded her hands in her lap, avoiding his gaze.

“You can look at me, June.” Kyle said a little sternly and irritably.

June complied awkwardly. She saw no hatred in his eyes like she was expecting to. She saw worry and compassion, but no hatred.

June said. “So… I think we need to work out a plan for the baby.”

He raised an eyebrow for a moment (he was surprised that she wanted to keep it) but he didn’t address her decision. “Before we do, can you tell me what the hell you were thinking?”

June hung her head for a moment and just let him unleash his frustrations on her.

“Running away with another man to God knows where with my baby?” Kyle said angrily.

June snapped angrily. It was not his baby. “You’re not my fucking father and you don’t get to control where I go or who I see. You lost that privilege when you banged my best friend.”

Kyle felt very guilty about that still, she could tell. He looked away, embarrassed at his poor decision. “I was really worried about you. I kept thinking you would end up on the news, dead or something…”

June folded her arms across her chest defensively. “You were worried about me? I didn’t think you cared at all.”

“Dammit June, I love you! Everyone who knows you well enough loves you! Of course I was worried about you! I wouldn’t have slept with someone else if you hadn’t been so distant and depressed!” Kyle fumbled over the words, trying not to insult the disorders she had that he could never understand completely.

June glanced away, still crossing her arms. “It’s just who I am…”

Kyle was quiet. He knew it was the truth. He knew being with June took a lot of patience and compassion, and he foolishly thought he would be able to accommodate her constant and persistent needs. He still did. “I still love you. Why don’t we live together and take care of the baby?”

June looked into his eyes searchingly. He was completely genuine. He still loved her. Or, at least, he thought he did. He loved her when she was fun; he loved her when she was happy, and she could never be that for him.

She still had some affections left for him as well; she did with every man she slept with. She loved his freckles, she loved his nose, she loved that he was ticklish on his elbow, and she loved how long he could put up with her. He was a genuinely kind person, and it was her that had ruined their relationship as usual.

“We can’t live together; all I see when I close my eyes is you and her together. And… Come on, I think we both know you can do better. You’ll get sick of taking care of me in no time.” June grinned with unshed tears in her eyes.

Kyle wanted to live with her badly; he wanted to convince her, but he knew he couldn’t, and more importantly, he shouldn’t. “So, how do you want to take care of the baby?”

June wanted to be the primary caretaker, but she knew with how unstable she was that it wasn’t a good idea. “I’ll take it on weekends and you take it on weekdays?”

Kyle was stunned. “You don’t want it on most days…?”

“Of course I do… I just… You’d be better for it.” June explained tearfully.

Kyle put a hand over hers. She showed maturity beyond her usual level—beyond most people’s level in her situation—Kyle was extremely impressed.

*

June got back into school and got a low paying job at a nearby fast food joint in the coming months. She ignored most people and liked nothing more than to work, go to school, go to her therapy sessions and then come home and study more.

June realized she didn’t feel lonely at all. She had Father to talk to when she came home and she liked the peace and quiet to think to herself. She had done a lot of self-reflection and had found a place where she could just be happy about who she was.

She had given birth to a bouncing baby boy who spent most of his days safe and sound with his responsible father and, unfortunately, his girlfriend and her ex-friend, Trisha.

June loved to have her boy over on the weekend. Kyle let her pick the name, and she went with August. He was special, she knew, like every mother knows their child is special.

“Look at you…” June murmured to her baby as she held him up by the arms in her room and looked right into his eyes. “Look at that soul. I can see it in your eyes. You’re the kindest, most compassionate kid out there, aren’t you?”

The baby was calm and looked back at her. She knew he loved her. He loved her like nobody else would, like some kind of loving magic. June decided from that moment on, she would try her very best to stay happy and healthy for her boy. She wanted to be in his life more.

*

And June did shape up. She stayed away from boys and bad company, stayed away from substances, stayed away from anything that previously led her down a dark and bad path, despite the thrills given to her. She even stayed out of her own mind.

For awhile after her adventure with Mercury, she had trouble thinking, and she consistently got migraines to the point where she had to take aspirin. She knew she had to stay away from her mind for a long time to let it regenerate.

And as for Mercury? June never stopped thinking about him. She knew she never, ever would. She still had his number. Sometimes, she would sit in a nearby park alone at night with her phone in hand, feeling lonely and wanting his company with a burning, inescapable passion.

June wanted to know if he was okay, at least. Texting wouldn’t hurt. She typed him a quick message on her phone.

Are you okay, Mercury? June typed with trembling fingers.

She waited, wondering if he even wanted to answer. They had left each other on vague terms. She knew he didn’t want them to see each other, but she wondered if texting was okay.

A message popped up on her screen. I’m okay. I got a shitty job as a janitor.

June giggled with unshed tears in her eyes. Sounds awful. It’s so good to hear from you.

Good to hear from you too. Did you give birth? Mercury texted.

June wiped joyful tears away and sniffled a little. Yeah. I wish you were here to see him. He’s perfect.

There was a long pause before Mercury finally wrote back. Is he your true love?

June smiled and typed back. You’re my true love forever and always, baby. Now I have two.

Another pause, and then. I love you.

I love you, too. June typed with a sorry frown. She craved his company and affections. Life was so empty without him, but it was also stable and peaceful. To live a life of pure passion and love with him would be a dream come true, but she had to come back to reality for her child. She couldn’t live on love; she had to live on logic.

June shut her phone and took a deep breath.

She didn’t know how humans could ever be satisfied living such ordinary, boring lives. She didn’t understand the point of living a life without something so out of the world and meaningful that it excited her beyond what other humans could ever feel. She never wanted to live a life in which she felt those shallow and unimportant worldly emotions that anyone could feel. She wanted the intensity with which only she and Mercury could feel them. Those emotions that seeped into her eyes and nose and lit up her brain like nothing else could.

June let their last conversation sink in, and reminded herself of why it was best to split up.

*

Like most times of hardships in her life, June wept hot tears and clung to Mercury desperately after he told her she had to leave months ago.

“I won’t go! I want to travel with you forever! We can go on adventures and explore each other’s minds and feel things that nobody else can. You know you don’t want to let me go.” June threw her arms around the man who loved her more than anything, but also the man who wanted to bite her. The man who wanted to eat and be eaten. The man who was a perfect angel and would do anything to support and protect her, and a perverse devil at the same time.

Mercury wept as well. He kissed her cheek compassionately. “God, it was so fun… I ruined it, I’m sorry. I’m a slave to my genes after all. No one should be around me; no one is safe around me.”

June screwed her eyes shut and tears streamed down her cheeks. “You’re not a slave to your genes; you’re so much more than them… Your soul… That’s what makes you, you. Your genes just overlap them sometimes. You have to work so hard just to be normal like the rest of us, and it makes you such a special, beautiful person. Please don’t make me go…”

Mercury grinned through his own tears. “You love me so much; it makes me so happy…”

June just let him hold her for a moment and sniffled and wept horribly for the next five minutes, and then she stepped away from him. Mercury stepped forward and handed her something without a word.

June opened it. He handed her a plastic ring.

“One day, I’ll ask you to marry me. But this is all for you and your baby. You’ll get well without me dragging you down.” Mercury said, shoving his hands in his pockets.

June wiped her eyes with the back of her hand and threw her arms around him one more time. She wanted to remember this moment forever.

“Take care of that baby and that body…”

*

In present time, June sniffled a little bit. But there was nowhere to hide. She had to face life head on.

June hated reality for so many reasons; the boring, typical stages of life… The wonderment of being a child, the busy and stressful state of having to take so many classes as a teenager, and then working a job and going to college at the same time in adulthood. It was all so stressful and pointless—boring and depressing. She was obsessed with fantasy—she had been since a teenager. June had lived her life in a fantasy for a long time in many ways. In her mind, she was always in a deeply erotic and satisfying relationship with Mercury. That fantasy kept her going. It was what had kept her from killing herself when her self-esteem shattered in her teens and she went down a path that she couldn’t escape from. Fantasies had, and would always be more interesting to her than real life.

June stared up at the sky and wondered if she could overcome her genes and function the way she was supposed to in society. June, after all, was not a human in the sense other people were.

She was something lower than a human—something that made mistakes like no human should—she was something to be consistently poked and prodded at by a therapist who knew how, so that she would not be a danger to herself or anyone else around her. She was something that needed to be taught how to act properly, because she was a beast who never knew how, despite good parents and good upbringing.

June knew the truth, no matter how much people told her otherwise. She was a bad girl, and, no matter how much she told herself otherwise, she loved being a bad girl. She loved drugs and booze and sex and pleasure, and cared nothing for hard work, reward, and respect.

But, it was time to change, because she got pleasure from something else now. Holding her son in her arms and doting on him.

*

June was thoroughly excited on Fridays because, despite having to work with people who she hated and people who she considered to be idiots at her fast food job, she knew that the next day she got to go pick up her son from Trisha and Kyle and have a blast playing with him.

June was by far the best worker in the fast food joint as all her other coworkers were generally very young and foolish. She took orders, rang customers up, and forced a smile on her face because she knew it was good for business. It wasn’t a big accomplishment to be the best worker in a fast food joint (especially considering Father was a dependable and wealthy lawyer), but it was a big accomplishment for June. In the back, a snot-nosed fifteen-year-old girl with a bad attitude fought loudly with her coworkers about who was going to do what chore for the day. June ended up doing most of them anyway.

Some of the boys who worked with her had a crush on her and made no secret about it. June found it charming and also often disgusting when she heard them talking about her. Sometimes they would compare the other girls they worked with to June and even though she was still losing baby weight, June always made it to the top of their most attractive list. But then they would somehow shift to talking about her body parts. That was what June generally was to boys, and she was sick of it.

And, June was surprised and proud of herself for thinking that. She valued herself a little more suddenly.

*

The next day, June drove up to the apartment complex in which Trisha and Kyle now lived. It was a very nice and high class place because Trisha and Kyle both worked consistent jobs and could afford it. June climbed up ivory stairs on the eastern side of the complex and knocked on the door, 209.

June danced on her feet impatiently while waiting. She put her ear to the door curiously while she did.

Trisha opened the door holding June’s son to her dismay. Kyle had always been careful before never to let June come face-to-face with her old friend, and made sure to always be the one to give June her baby.

June forced a smile and laughed a little awkwardly. “Where’s Kyle?”

Trisha bounced June’s baby on her hip and made him laugh, which made June extremely jealous. “He’s running errands.”

June cleared her throat. “Well, I’m here for August.”

Trisha very reluctantly handed the baby to June and she immediately turned her back to Trisha and greedily dashed back to her car.

She leaned against her car for a moment and just hugged her baby. She felt calm and loved and her baby did, too.

“I love you so much…” June murmured with tears in her eyes. “What shall we do together today, precious? Let’s go grab Dad and then we can figure it out.”
















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