We walked into Johnny’s bedroom with a bag of frozen corn and a wet rag. I sat him down in the chair in the corner carefully. “Do you have another towel,” I asked looking around the small room. “Look on the dressing,” he said groaning in pain. “Hold on,” I said, finding a ripped blue towel on the cluttered dresser. I wrapped the bag of frozen corn in the towel and when I turned around found Johnny looking at several bruises on his ribs as he lifted up his shirt.
I sighed and sat on the mattress by the window. I patted the space next to me on the mattress looking at him. He trudged over, sat next to me, and took of his t-shirt revealing [a gorgeous six pack] purple/blue bruises on his side and arms; I gasped. I grabbed his chin and began to clean his bleeding lip with wet towel. The warmth in his golden eyes returned making me calmer and less anxious than I was in the streets. “Please, don’t do that again,” I said softly, almost at a whisper. “I can’t- I can’t watch them do that to you. I don’t have any upper body strength and if I tried to help I would probably make it worse. Just… please, don’t make me watch that again,” I said as his eyes held mine. “Don’t worry about me Lily,” he whispered. “It’s too late,” I choked. “It’s too late,” I said shaking my head. “It’s okay, I’m here. I’m alive… Well not technically, but you know what I mean,” he said kissing me lightly on the forehead, caressing my cheek softly.
“You okay,” he asked; I nodded. “I have to-I need to protect you. Even if it means getting my butt kicked up and down the streets of Brooklyn,” he said with a light chuckle. “You said the longer you’re in the past, the more you become human and it looks like you’re becoming human fast,” I said gently rubbing the bruise on his warm tan arms. “You caught that, huh?” I nodded. “Like I said don’t worry,” he said yawning and lying his head on my lap. I sighed and took the bag of frozen corn wrapped in a torn towel and gently held it to his side as I gently stroked his hair as he feel asleep. “Dino is gonna be frosted when he finds out ‘bout this,” he babbled, I shushed him softly as I ran my fingers through his soft wheat colored hair. “Go to sleep, sweetie,” I whispered. “Mm’kay,” he said smiling.
I sat there taking care of Johnny after he took care of me and ended up paying the price for it in love bruises. “You aren’t scared or worried bout me,” he said smiling and squeezing my thigh. “Well who wouldn’t be scared for you, getting’ your but whooped like that,” I said lightly chuckling, but actually incredibly terrified for him. “Don’t worried ‘bout me babe,” he said rubbing my thigh. “I’ll be…” But before he could finish he was fast asleep.
I sat there more scared than ever. I could cry, but it wouldn’t make any difference. Johnny was too chivalrous and to stubborn to not fight for something he thought was right. I kissed him on his scruffy cheek, held there dry sobbing as I whispered, “Johnny why are you so stupid,” into his ear. Just making him shift his position and hold my thigh tighter.
I watched admirably at his muscles shifting under his tan skin. I played with his hair letting my mind wonder to Never Ever Land; somewhere out west on hot summer day, with me and Johnny driving in deserted land in a cherry red ’64 Camaro with white racer stripes. He laughed, I laughed, we were careless, and we were free.
I let the daydream become an infinite dream as I drifted to sleep with Johnny snoring on my lap, exhausted.