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WAKE UP!

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Even first saw him on a train.

It was a perfect day in April. It wasn’t too cold, and it wasn’t too hot. It was just perfect.

Even had rushed into the train to get a window seat and sighed in relief when he spotted an empty one four rows down.

One of his favorite things in the world was looking out the window while riding trains, picking something random in the distance, and waiting for it to disappear from his sight. He would squint his eyes and stare at it for however long it took.

Don’t disappear just yet. I can still see you.

He would then groan in frustration when a random object would block his view. Ugh.

The train didn’t look particularly crowded, so he secretly hoped that no one would sit next to him. He didn’t mind having random conversations with strangers. In fact, he loved it. He loved chatting up to people he would probably never see again. He loved the randomness of it all. He loved it.

But today, for some reason, today , he didn’t want anyone sitting next to him.

.

The train moved and the seat next to him remained unoccupied. Even mentally pumped his fist in the air. Yes.

He stared outside the window for a while, fixating his gaze on objects and playing his favorite game before eventually dozing off.

.

Even woke up to a warm feeling in the pit of his stomach and to fingers digging into his knuckles. Even’s cheek was resting on top of a blonde mop of hair.

What.

Someone was sleeping on his left shoulder, their face buried in the crook of Even’s neck and their fingers laced with his.

Even panicked for a moment before smiling at the absurdity of the situation.

What in the world.

It was a boy, a boy with soft blonde hair. He was breathing peacefully against his skin and holding tight, so tight, onto his hand.

Even’s first instinct would have been to push the boy away, or to at least shake him gently and bring him back to reality. But he just stared at him instead, not even bothered by how sweaty his palm was getting.

He lowered his face until he could look at the boy, the boy who was sitting so close that he was almost on his lap.

Even was never a fan of superlatives, but he was positive that he was the prettiest boy he had ever gotten to see up close.

His eyelashes cast ridiculous shadows on his cheeks, and his jaw was sharp, so sharp. He had the cutest nose and the cutest Cupid’s bow. Even almost wanted to touch, almost wanted to wake him up just to look into his eyes. He took a guess and was almost certain that they were green.

Uh. What the fuck am I doing?

Even suddenly disentangled their fingers and silently cursed himself for being so weird . He moved ever so gently to push the boy’s head off his shoulder without startling him, but still held up his hands just in case his head would end up falling to the other side and he had to catch it.

That didn’t happen. The boy opened his eyes instead.

Green. Knew it!

The boy looked confused and disoriented. His eyes weren’t fully open and he seemed to be processing his surroundings.

“Fuck, how long have I been out?” he muttered.

Even just stared at him, unsure if the question was directed to him.

The boy, still groggy and annoyed, looked at him with an ‘I’m talking to you’ expression.

“Uh, I don’t know,” said Even.

“Shit. I hate falling asleep on the road. I always wake up feeling like shit,” said the boy.

Grumpy. Cute.

“Uh, me too,” said Even, his heart beating unevenly.

Even was nervous. He was nervous and he wasn’t sure why. Even was never nervous.

The boy brought his palm to his own face, rubbed his eyes, and yawned.

Even just stared at him the entire time, unable to look away.

So cute.

“What are you looking at?” said the boy, but it wasn’t mean or threatening.

It was almost fond. He was smiling.

“Nothing. Sorry,” said Even, turning back in his seat to face forward.

What the fuck, Even. Control yourself.

The boy laughed.

“Why are you being weird?” he said.

“What?”

“Nothing. Ugh. Shit. I need to pee,” said the boy, standing up. “Where’s the restroom?”

“I think it’s in the back of this car,” said Even.

“Okay, be right back.”

The boy walked away, and Even made a conscious effort to not follow him with his gaze. He was about to grab his backpack from under the seat when the boy came back, cheeks pink and lips slightly parted.

The boy looked around as if to see who was watching, grabbed Even’s face, and kissed him on the lips.

He kissed him like it was the most natural thing in the world. Quick but deep. Lips on lips. Hard but still soft. Tongue barely there but could be if he had parted his lips a bit more. It was perfect. It was a ‘Be right back, baby’ kiss.

What the fuck.

Even held up his hands and was about to push the boy away when he pulled back, his shy smile all kinds of intoxicating.

“Love you,” whispered the boy, embarrassed. “Be right back, baby.”

.

Even woke up on that same train with a heaving chest and wide eyes.

What the fuck was that?

A dream. It was a dream.

There was no blond boy next to him. There was nobody.

Even took a few minutes to just breathe. He then leaned back into his seat and stared outside the window at random things.

Fuck. It felt so real.

Even couldn’t concentrate.

.

The second time Even saw the boy, it wasn’t in a dream. He was having his afternoon coffee somewhere near his workplace, when he spotted the wavy blonde hair next to the register. He laughed at himself at first.

Stop being ridiculous. He isn’t the only boy with blonde hair in this universe.

But then he heard him mutter “ fuck! ” and recognized his voice almost instantly. Even stood up and could feel goosebumps all over his body.

The boy, it was HIM, he was certain , had spilled coffee all over himself and was cursing the skies.

“We can replace your coffee,” said the person behind the counter apologetically.

“It’s okay. It’s not your fault I’m so stupid,” said the boy.

He turned around then muttered ‘fuck’ a couple of more times.

Even didn’t know what to do.

Am I dreaming right now? What the hell? Is he real?

He wanted to ask him, but couldn’t think of a way to formulate his question without sounding insane.

Oh excuse me, I’ve never met you in my life, but I dreamed of you a few weeks ago. Can you explain?

Even was about to gather his things and leave the coffeeshop when the boy started walking in his direction. He stopped right in front of him.

“If you make fun of me, I swear to god I will fucking hurt you,” said the boy.

What?

“What?” said Even.

“Ugh. Can you believe this shit? Now I have to go home and get changed, fuck me,” said the boy.

“Uh. That sucks,” was all that Even could manage.

“That sucks? Are you serious? This is all your fucking fault! Why am I the one getting you coffee while you wait here?” said the blond boy. “Pfft.”

Even was genuinely confused. Was this boy pulling a prank on him? Even had his own coffee. What was he talking about?

“Here,” said the boy, handing him a cup of black coffee with Even’s name scribbled on it. “You’re lucky I spilled mine, not yours.”

Even had no idea what was going on and almost felt like screaming.

As ridiculous as it was, he brought his arm up and pinched himself.

“What are you doing?” said the boy.

“I’m pinching myself,” said Even.

“You’re so fucking weird,” said the boy, rolling his eyes. “Why do I love you?”

“What?”

The boy leaned in and kissed him quickly.

“Gotta go,” he said before kissing him again. “See you at home?”

“Uh, I? What the fuck?” Even was stuttering and he couldn’t believe this boy had just kissed him, again.

“What do you mean, what the fuck?” he said. “Even, are you okay?”

“Who are you?” said Even.

The boy sighed and rolled his eyes again.

“Even, I don’t have time for this right now. Gotta go. Bye!” He kissed him again before grabbing his bag which was apparently sitting next to Even the entire time. “And don’t forget to buy beer on your way back.”

The boy was gone and Even felt like pulling his own hair.

What in the actual fuck.

A single cup of coffee with his name on it sat in front of him.

.

“Any mental illnesses I should be aware of?” said the psychiatric Doctor.

“No, I already told your assistant,” said Even. “I’ve never felt anything but normal before.”

“Have you ever felt depressed?”

“Not more than the average person,” said Even.

“Have you ever felt very energized and/or engaged in reckless behavior?”

“No,” said Even.

And it was true.

“Okay,” said the Doctor before closing his notebook. “So what brings you here Even?”

“Uh, I’ve been having strange dreams.”

“Don’t we all?” said the Doctor.

What a strange Doctor.

“Yeah. I guess. But I’ve been hallucinating lately, I think,” said Even.

“Hallucinating?”

“Yeah, there’s this boy. Like I always dream of him. I mean not always, but the dreams started like a few weeks ago. And now all of a sudden I see him randomly during the day. Like he just comes up to me like he knows me, but like he’s not even real. I don’t know,” Even then paused, “Uh, I know I say ‘Like’ a lot. It’s a thing when I speak English. Oh. Wait, why are we speaking English?”

“Because I don’t speak Norwegian?” said the Doctor.

“Right!”

Even, you’re so stupid.

“So this boy you see in your dreams has now started appearing in your daily life, but you don’t think he’s real,” said the Doctor.

“I know he’s not real,” said Even.

“How do you know?”

“What do you mean how? I just know. It’s too weird. He calls me ‘baby’ and tells me he loves me but I’ve never seen him before. I think he thinks I’m his boyfriend and we live together. And not to mention that the first time I saw him was in a dream.”

“Are you sure? Maybe you know him but you can’t remember,” said the Doctor.

“What the fuck? I’m not brain dead. I’m telling you right now that I’m hallucinating. I’m not forgetting anything. I’ve never seen this guy in my life!” Even all but shouted.

“Okay, okay. Calm down, Even.”

“Sorry. I’m sorry I yelled,” said Even.

He meant it. He didn’t like yelling.

“So what does he look like?” said the Doctor.

“He’s beautiful. He has blonde hair and green eyes and a cupid’s bow. He also has dimples when he smiles. It’s very cute,” said Even, before realizing he was being embarrassing.

“Hmm. I see,” said the Doctor.

“What?”

“How do you explain being able to describe him if you’ve only seen him in your dreams?”

“What do you mean?”

“Dreams are your subconscious doing some work while you sleep. You can’t imagine new faces. Every face you see in a dream, you’ve actually seen before,” said the Doctor.

“Uh. I know that. I mean I knew that,” said Even.

“Then this boy probably exists and your subconscious is trying to tell you something.”

“Listen, I would know if I had seen him before,” said Even.

“Have you suffered memory loss lately, maybe?”

“No, what?”

“I mean you-, oh,” the Doctor paused and looked at the clocked. “I’m afraid our hour is up, Even.”

.

Even roamed the city with a cigarette pressed between his lips. He was confused all the time. The boy kept appearing in his dreams and randomly during the day.

The dreams were his favorite because they were always in different places and at different points in time, and Even didn’t even have control over anything. He just seemed to go with the flow. They always left him with the warmest feeling in the pit of his stomach.

The hallucinations were another story. He would be sitting at a bar with his friends, and the boy would pop out of nowhere behind him and whisper “ baby, I want to blow you in the bathroom ” into his ear. He would then disappear into thin air, leaving him with an embarrassing bulge in his pants.

Shit. Fuck. I have a good life, a great fucking life, why is this happening to me?

.

“When was the last time you had sexual intercourse with a person of your gender?” said the Doctor.

“What?” Even was confused.

“Maybe that’s what this is. Maybe your brain is telling you to go get a boyfriend.”

“That makes no sense,” said Even.

“It won’t hurt to try,” said the Doctor, before smiling to himself. “Well, unless you bottom, haha.”

What the fuck is this guy? And how does he know I'm Norwegian anyways?

.

Even was wearing a white t-shirt and plain jeans. He went to the bar with a clear purpose.

Tonight, I’m going to fuck a boy.

.

He ended up taking a girl home.

You had one fucking job, Even!

She was moaning in his bed, and Even was concentrating really hard on not thinking about how messed up everything was.

He closed his eyes for a moment and squeezed her narrow hips before pushing again.

“Fuck, baby!” a distinctly male voice moaned under him.

What the fuck.

Even’s eyes shot up in panic. It was him, the boy. It was him again. He was in Even’s bed, his legs wrapped around his waist, face flushed and wrecked and filled with tears, his eyelids heavy, his lips red and sore, his hair damp and disheveled. He was a mess, a beautiful fucking mess.

“Oh my god!” Even exclaimed, still very much inside him.

The boy locked his fingers around Even’s neck and pulled him down.

“Fucking kiss me. Fuck, baby. Kiss me,” he moaned.

Even felt transported to another dimension. He lost all control of his mind and body. This boy owned him. Even was all his. All his.

So he leaned in and kissed him. He kissed him deep and hard. He kissed him because it was the only thing that made sense. It was filthy and raw and intense, and the boy kissed him back even more hungrily. So he gripped his thighs and thrusted into him with all his might while leaving soft little kisses all over his body.

“Yes, fuck me,” the boy moaned, his fingers now in Even’s hair. “You feel so fucking good! So fucking good, baby!”

Even kissed him again and again and again. He had never kissed anyone that much during sex before. But this boy was insatiable. The moment Even’s lips left his face, he whimpered and whined and brought him back down.

“Need you. Even, I need you,” he mumbled.

The boy’s fingers dug so hard and deep into his back, Even was absolutely certain that whatever was happening was as real as it could get.

It hurt. It was going to leave bruises. He was certain.

“Fuck, you’re so hot,” he whispered against the boy’s neck, completely letting go now.

“Even, shit!” The boy cried.

Even reached down and wiped his tears.  “Am I hurting you?” he asked.

“No, no, no. You feel so good,” he pulled him down again into a soft kiss that lasted longer than the previous ones. “I love you, Even. I love you so much.”

Even looked at him, and a sweet familiar aching started spreading around his chest.

I don’t even know you.

Yet, Even wanted to cry. He felt it. He felt this boy’s love. He could feel it.

Who are you?

He felt it in his bones. He felt it in his soul. This boy loved him. And he probably loved him, too.

“I love you, too,” said Even, with tears in his eyes right before tipping over the edge, still inside him.

.

When Even woke up, the boy wasn’t there. No one was there.

Of course.

It hurt.

Even was convinced he was crazy. He had just had the most amazing sex in his life with an imaginary boy.

Wait.

Even suddenly remembered those Grey's Anatomy episodes he watched with his mother and decided to go check his brain for a possible tumor.

.

“There’s nothing wrong with your brain,” said the Doctor.

“So no tumor?” said Even.

“No tumor.”

“Oh okay. Cool.”

Even was relieved for a few moments before realizing that he still had no idea what was wrong with him. He was also amazed at how fast they had scanned his brain and found out that nothing was wrong with him.

.

What about this one? Is this a dream?

Even was sitting on the window sill at his parents’ old apartment in Oslo and he was smoking a joint. In front of him sat the boy. He was wearing a gray hoodie and a reserved snapback. The sun was still shining outside, and they were passing a joint back and forth.

The boy wasn’t all over him this time. He wasn’t teasing him. He wasn’t asking for sex or talking about taking out the trash.

He looked younger, too, much younger. He was almost swimming in his hoodie.

He was so cute.

Even knew it was a dream the moment he realized they were in Oslo.

What year is this supposed to be?

The boy smiled at him and coughed a few times while taking a drag of the joint. He looked small and shy, but interested, definitely interested. He followed Even with his gaze and when Even looked back, the boy blushed and looked away.

So, we haven’t fucked in this one, yet.

They talked about the most random things, mostly music and movies. They smoked and laughed and made sandwiches with weird spices.

Even didn’t know why, but he stared at the boy and did his best to make him laugh and feel comfortable. He flirted and teased. It was almost as if it wasn’t really him.

It probably wasn’t him. Even felt like a spectator. He could see himself and this boy talking in the kitchen and drinking beer and orbiting around each other, but he had no control over what he was doing.

They were on the floor now, and the boy was rapping and being the cutest thing in the world.

Wow. Wow. Just wow.

Someone rang the doorbell in the dream, and before he could find out who it was Even woke up in the current time, sad, lonely, and even more confused.

So we’re going back in time now, huh. Interesting.

.

Even went to work and busied himself during the day. He went out with his friends at night and talked about politics and TV shows. He smiled and drank and cracked jokes.

It was nice. It was nice, but it was empty.

Even decided to get drunk. He never got drunk, but he decided that it was probably a good night to do that. So he downed shots and glasses until he forgot about the impending bomb inside his brain.

“So do you have a girlfriend?” said a girl whose facial features he couldn’t even make out.

“No!” he replied.

“Oh cool. Wanna go back to my place?” she said.

“No. No,” he stood up and placed a hand on his heart. “I have a boyfriend. I have the cutest boyfriend in the world!”

“What?”

“I have a boyfriend and he loves me. I have to go,” said Even, hiccuping and struggling to find his things.

“A boyfriend? You mean the imaginary boy?” she said.

“What?”

By the time Even had turned around, the girl wasn’t there anymore.

“Whatever, fuck you!”

.

“I miss him,” said Even. “I don’t see him in my dreams anymore. I don’t know I miss him. What the fuck is wrong with me?”

“Uhm. You got attached to an imaginary person, interesting,” said the Doctor.

“I’m losing my goddamn mind here!” Even shouted.

“Breathe, Even. Breathe. Tell me what happened the last time you saw him.”

Even ran a hand through his hair and leaned into his chair.

“Uh, I think we were at my parents’ place and we were like younger I think. We were flirting and smoking. But I don’t think we were together. It felt like it was our first time hanging out. I don’t know,” said Even.

“Okay, and what happened?”

“I don’t know. Someone rang the bell and I woke up.”

“He’s probably sad right now,” said the Doctor.

“What?” said Even.

“Nothing.”

“Why are you so weird? Are all doctors this weird?” said Even.

“How am I weird?” said the Doctor.

“I don’t know. Are you even a real doctor? Sometimes I feel like I’m talking to a wall or worse, to myself,” said Even.

“Interesting,” said the Doctor, opening his notebook and scribbling something.

“What the fuck are you even writing in there? You’re not even helping me!” Even shouted.

“Even, can you describe my face?”

“What?”

The door opened suddenly. It was the boy.

Even stood up so fast that he knocked off his chair.

“What the hell?! Do you see him?! Are you seeing this?!” Even screamed.

But the Doctor was no longer there.

The boy ran towards him instead and wrapped him in a hug so tight, it knocked the air out of his lungs.

“I missed you. I missed you,” the boy breathed into his neck.

“What the hell is going on?!”

I missed you, too.

.

Even woke up in his bed again.

Fuck. A dream? Again?

.

Even couldn’t eat, couldn’t think, couldn’t function. This boy was like a virus. He had somehow inhaled him and he was flowing in his veins, intoxicating him.

Even was convinced he was crazy. He couldn’t discern dreams from reality anymore.

The descent to madness. Here it is.

.

Another dream. Nice.

They were on a bed he had never seen before. It was a mattress propped on the floor, and the duvet was kind of blue.

Even was wearing a Jesus t-shirt and a blue zip-up hoodie and the boy was wearing a gray one.

They were kissing. They were young again, and they were kissing.

It was nice, so nice.

The boy was soft and pliant and kept rubbing his nose against Even’s and blushing and gasping whenever Even kissed him too deep.

He felt butterflies in the pit of his stomach. It all felt too real yet too out of reach.

They smoked and kissed and talked.

“I think life is like a movie and we’re the directors of our own lives,” said Even.

“I don’t agree. It's kind of silly but I believe in the parallel universe theory,” said the boy.

.

Even felt terrible. This boy definitely had an Even somewhere in the universe. It just wasn’t him. Nothing made sense, so he clung as hard as he could to the idea that he was somehow peering into another Even’s life through his dreams.

Don’t be fucking ridiculous. That’s absurd. 

.

Even was tired and exhausted, and he decided that he would confront the boy the next time he saw him, whether in a dream or in a hallucination.

.

Even was reading the newspaper at the train station when he saw the boy. He immediately stood up, knocking into the people sitting next to him.

The boy looked lost in the middle of the crowd. He seemed to be looking for someone. He looked anxious and disheveled.

Even let go of his belongings and ran across the crowd to get to him. He walked down some stairs he hadn’t noticed before. And the more he walked, the further the boy seemed to get.

Even didn’t know what to do.

If only I knew your name. I just want to know your fucking name.

Even was frustrated and angry and mad, and he wanted nothing more than to disappear or to wake up if it was yet another dream. He wanted to give up. He didn’t know what was wrong with him. He just had no clue.

“Even! Even! Can you hear me?!” The boy suddenly yelled his name in the crowd, making Even’s eyes go wide.

“I’m here! I’m here! I’m by the Starbucks! I’m here!” he replied.

He could finally see the boy. And, Oh, what a sight.

The boy was crying. He was sobbing.

Why are you crying? Don’t cry.

Even watched him run towards him in slow motion. He knew they were going to crash. He knew he would probably jump into his arms. They had done it a million times before. So he opened his arms wide and big.

Come to me.

He had practiced his speech in his head. He knew what he was going to say. He just knew.

Who are you? What’s your name? Why do I feel like I’ve known you all my life? Am I crazy? What’s your name? Are you a tumor? Am I dying? Am I dead? What’s your name?

The boy was almost there. He was going to hug him.

The boy grabbed his face instead and kissed him breathless. Even barely had any time to respond. So he grabbed his waist and kissed him back with just as much passion.

Shit. What the fuck is this?

The boy’s hands were on both sides of his head and he was pressing so hard. He was crying. He couldn’t stop crying.

Even couldn’t handle it. It broke his heart. His questions could wait. He would give anything to make his hysterical crying stop.

“Why are you crying?” he asked once he put the boy down, still holding onto his waist while he held onto Even’s face.

“Even!” the boy all but shouted. “WAKE UP! Fucking, wake up! Come back to me! Please! You can’t fucking leave me all alone here! Wake up! Baby, please wake up! I’m begging you!”

Even stopped breathing and just stared at him with wide eyes and with a broken heart.

What the fuck? What the fuck? What is this? What?

Then it all came back to him. The train, and the crash, and the love, and the epic cosmic crap, and the parallel universes, and the cardamom, and the bipolar, and the hotel, and the episode, and the fear, and the love, oh the love. The sweet, sweet, crazy stupid love.

Even was crying and the boy was crying.

He was wiping Even’s tears now. And nothing made sense but everything did all the same.

Nothing was real except for this boy. Nothing.

“Fuck,” Even choked. “Isak?”

“Baby,” the boy sobbed.

Isak? ISAK? What the fuck?” Even was hysterical.

"Even," Isak kissed him again. "Baby, you have to wake up now, please, please, please, baby. We're all waiting for you to wake up."

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Even Bech Næsheim - Medically Induced Coma