“Whizzer?” Marvin enters the dimly lit hospital room. Whizzer immediately perks up at the sight of his boyfriend.
“Marvin.” Whizzer smiles as Marvin walks to his bedside and encloses him in a hug. Whizzer rests his head in the crook of Marvin’s neck, a perfectly comfortable fit for both. Marvin begins to pull away, but Whizzer holds the grip. “Don’t let go.” He whispers, “not yet.”
“I’m not going anywhere.” Marvin whispers back.
What feels like minutes later, but is merely seconds later, the two pull apart, not before Marvin places a kiss on Whizzer’s cheek. He takes a seat next to Whizzer’s bed, but right when he sits, he notices Whizzer has scooted over and made a place for Marvin to sit in his bed. Marvin climbs in and under the sheet. Whizzer wraps his arms around Marvin, and Marvin returns this gesture.
“How are you feeling?” Marvin asks, speaking softly and gently, as if he were talking to a fragile child.
Whizzer laughs, “I’m dying Marv, how good do you expect?”
“I just thought I’d ask.” Marvin frowns, “do they know what you have?”
“Something bad. That’s all Charlotte keeps saying.” Whizzer frowns too, “how am I supposed to die happily if they don’t even know what I have? How can they not know what I have?”
“It’s they’re job to find out, I’m sure they will-“
“They can’t give me any treatment!” Whizzer angrily interrupts. “Marvin I don’t want to die.”
“I don’t want you to die.” Marvin responds. “No one wants you to die.We all need you.” His voice softens once more, “I need you. Besides, who will Jason play chess with?”
“Certainly not you Mr. I-Must-Win-Everything.” Whizzer teases, kissing Marvin’s cheek.
“Hey, that was the old me.” Marvin reminds him, “That was two years ago, I’ve gotten help since then. Well help besides Mendel, I’ve seen someone who isn’t so closely tied in with our family.”
“Our?” Whizzer asks, confused by this phrasing.
“Yes, our family. Sorry bud, you’re stuck with us.” Marvin teases back. “And I wasn’t a “I must win everything” kind of guy. I was just naturally good at things.”
Whizzer laughs, “As if. The one game I won against you was that one chess game, which ended in you breaking up with me!”
“But I let you win.” Marvin reminds him.
“No!” Whizzer exclaims, “I always let you win because you were too over-competitive for your own good! Let’s just change the subject before we start another war.”
“Remember when we first met?” Marvin asks, his tone reflective of contemplation.
“In that noisy bar?” Whizzer laughs, “Oh I remember. You with your dad clothes, sitting at the bar alone until I walked up and said hi. Then you offered to buy me a drink and I said-”
Marvin interrupts him, “‘I don’t date closeted dads.’” Marvin laughs, “Look at you now.”
“I didn’t say it like that…” Whizzer laughs, “I think I said something along the line of, ‘I don’t date closeted boys who are dressed like dads.’ Or something along those lines. But let’s be very real, who wears a plaid button-up shirt and a tacky green tie to a bar?”
“As opposed to what?” Marvin laughs, “Your brown leather jacket you always wear on top of some blue shirt?”
“Hey Mister that outfit said ‘Single and ready to mingle’.” Whizzer retorts.
“You still wear it!” Marvin breaks into laughter, which leads into Whizzer doing the same. The laugh for minutes, barely able to catch a breath, then the room falls silent.
“Would you still have asked me out if you knew what you were getting into?” Whizzer solemnly asks.
“I would do the same in a heartbeat.” Marvin smiles, pulling Whizzer closer, “You?”
“Of course.” Whizzer smiles, “I wouldn’t want in any other way. Well except of course the obvious,” He gestures to the room around him. “But I’m thankful I have you to visit me. You should really bring Jason around here more, he sure would bring up the mood of this place.”
“I’m sure he’d love too, maybe he’d even bring his chess board. Speaking of that, Jason is refusing to have a bar mitzvah unless you are present, so we (Trina, Mendel, and I) had an idea. What would you say about having a bar mitzvah here?” Marvin asks.
“How badly does Jason want this?” Whizzer asks, suddenly sounding worn out.
“He won’t say.”
“I’ll do it.”
“Thank you Whizzer.” Marvin kisses him.
The two sit there for awhile, talking about everything. Except the uncertain future. But, for a moment everything is fine and nothing is awful.
Marvin stays until Charlotte comes and kicks him out so she can test Whizzers levels. Marvin leaves reluctantly, but promises to return in two days for Jason’s Bar Mitzvah. Charlotte shares with Whizzer that the doctors estimate how much time he has left: 3 days. Whizzer tries to wait for Charlotte to leave so he can cry, embarrassed to say he’s not ready to die, but can’t hold it in. He cries in her arms, explaining he doesn’t want to die. She tries to stay strong for her patient, but in the end she too gives up and cries with him.
Three days later, Whizzer dies in Marvin’s arms. Two weeks after, they throw his funeral, one which Marvin can barely drag himself to attend. Time passes slowly. Marvin sits in his loft apartment alone, until 4 months later he finds himself hospitalized. By the time he is hospitalized they finally have a name for what he has, what Whizzer had. Marvin passes away faster than Whizzer did, this time with Mendel, Trina, Charlotte, and Cordelia by his side. Jason was not allowed to watch another father die. They refuse to let their memories die, remembering the couple yearly for the rest of all of their lives.