The daily serial fictional based on Chicago's Boystown neighborhood: Boystown series by Danny Bernardo

Follow us    Twitter Twitter

1-5 Recap (Volume 2)

A near-tragic car accident, a gay republican, and the new girl in town all in the first week of BOYSTOWN Volume 2. Volume 3 launches on October 8!

1-5 Recap (Volume 2)
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Digg Gmail Addthis Printer Friendly
A near-tragic car accident, a gay republican, and the new girl in town all in the first week of BOYSTOWN Volume 2. Volume 3 launches on October 8!


Out on the street, under the streetlight, Tyler waited nervously as Andy burst out of The Pitstop.

"Thank fucking god," Andy said, beginning to roll a cigarette.

"So... um, we need to talk?"

"Hmmm?" mumbled Andy, lighting his cigarette.

"You said we needed to get out of there, to talk."

"Yeah man, sorry crowded gay bars aren't usually my scene. I want to be able to hear you, you know?"

Tyler sighed with relief. "So we don't NEED to talk."

"Um, I don't think so?" Andy said cautiously. "Do we?"

That's when Charlie came running out of the bar. Before Tyler could call him over to introduce him to Andy, he stopped in the street, looked back, and was struck by a car going west on Belmont. The impact sent Charlie flying into the hood of a car that was going south on Clark. He rolled onto the street, limp and lifeless.

A shocked cry of primal anguish escaped Tyler's mouth as he ran over to Charlie and Andy called 911.


"How is he?" texted Steve from the bar.

"He's in the ICU. They haven't told us anything yet," Hunter texted back.

"I should be there."

"No, you should be at the opening. Charlie would be pissed if you didn't stay."

"Please keep me posted."

Hunter looked up from his phone. Tyler was pale and quiet with shock. The boy he'd brought with him had his arm around him. The twinky femme boy that claimed he was friends with Charlie came back from the hallway.

"Alright," said twinky femme boy. "I texted all of our mutual friends in case they want to visit him if he wakes up."

"When he wakes up," said Hunter, more to Tyler than the random friend. The doctor's face as he approached the motley crew was grim. "How's it looking, doc?"

"Charles is out of the woods. For now. I'm afraid, I can't disclose anymore. Has his next of kin been notified?"

"I Facebooked his sister," said random twink friend.

"Good. Are... um... one of you his... partner?"

"I am." Hunter said without hesitation.

The doctor motioned for Hunter to walk with him, away from the group. "He's suffering from intracranial hemorrhaging and we're worried about edema."

"English, Doc. Please."

"Well, simply put, his brain is bleeding and we're afraid of swelling." The doctor cleared his throat nervously. "I have to prepare you for the worst. If he does wake up... "

"When," insisted Hunter.

"IF he does wake up... there might be some... neurological damage."

"What does that mean?"

"He might be impaired. Permanently."

"But there's a chance that he could be completely fine."

The doctor was quiet for a moment. "Would you like to see him?"

It didn't matter how many machines he was hooked up to, Charlie looked like he was hanging on by a thread. Peaceful and quiet, for once, not unlike the morning after that night they randomly hooked up, when Hunter woke up for no reason and just watched him sleep. Alone for the first time all night, Hunter slowly started to pace by Charlie's bed.

"So I'm gonna tell you this once, before anyone else gets a chance to talk to you. Fuck you. How could've you been so stupid? How could you just run out into... " Hunter stopped pacing, took a breath, and knelt by the bed. "And fuck you for... you know what. Just... fuck you. A lot of people are going to come in here, saying stuff they hope you hear, crying and carrying on, praying that you'll magically wake up. Well I'm telling you: Fuck. You. Get up. Get out of the bed, make it out of this alive. Because we fucking need you. I need you."


All was quiet in the ICU, as was to be expected at 3AM. All the visitors had either gone home or checked into the hospital provided rental suites. The nurse at the visitor's station looked up to see a handsome man in his early thirties with broad shoulders and crystal clear blue eyes.

"I came to visit Charles Parker," he announced.

The room seemed lonely and dark as he walked in. Charlie lay comatose, bruised and battered, with machines beeping away Charlie's vital signs. He pulled up a chair next to Charlie's bed and held his hand.

"Well, I've guess I've got your undivided attention now," he lamely joked, chuckles turning into quiet sobs. He stroked Charlie's hand, speaking gently and quietly. "I just... I'm so sorry for how things ended with us. I know you gave me everything and I gave you fuck all. And I know it's too little too late, but I see now. What I'm missing without you. I know there's no way I could even begin to ask for another chance... I've already fucked up three times... but... it just hurts me to not even have you in my life. And now, not knowing if you'll even pull through... "

He broke down weeping. A call came in from Diego. He declined the call, knowing the full consequences of that in the morning. He wiped his tears, kissed Charlie gently on the cheek, and continued holding his hand.

He woke up suddenly three hours later, still holding Charlie's hand. Nothing had changed in Charlie's condition. He washed his face in the sink and walked out, passing a handsome muscular guy and a sweet-faced young guy on the way out. They all three acknowledged each other without a word exchanged.



They always got drinks after seeing a play together and since it was so close to the old neighborhood, Becka and David chose Elixir. Other David and Brad ordered the signature Bourbon Shrub, while Becka and David ordered the refreshing Grapefruit Basil Martini.

"Well that play certainly lived up to its name," Becka said, placing the program for "Sweet & Sad" on the table.

"Man, the chick that played the sister with the actor boyfriend was SO HOT!" said Brad, halfway through his drink. That got an elbow from Becka.

"Is that really all you got out of the play?" asked David.

"Well... I mean, all the stuff about 9/11. That was really powerful."

"All that family drama reminded me of being home for Thanksgiving," said David.

"Except I didn't want to slit my wrists after," joked Other David.

"That one brother, the Republican lawyer? He kinda got on my nerves."

"Careful, babe," Becka said, rubbing Brad's arm.

"What? We're not in mixed company, are we?" The deadpan reaction from the Davids made Brad retreat sheepishly to the rest of his drink. "Sorry, I just assumed... "

"It's all right," said Other David. "I've come to terms with being in a mixed marriage."

"But... doesn't that defeat the purpose? How can you be gay and be affiliated with a party that wouldn't want to see you married?"

"It's not all about social issues," said David.

"Isn't it? I'm sorry, but if Becka were raped, I'd want her to have the option to deal with it on her terms, ‘legitimate' or not."

"And I wouldn't be so quick to base everything you know about politics on a Facebook meme."

"I'm gonna grab another drink," said Becka. "Um, do you want... " Other David quickly got up and joined her at the bar.

"I just don't get it. You're both minorities AND gay!"

"And Republicans have done more against Castro than anyone. Being gay is just one part of my identity, no less or greater than my being Cuban, or left-handed. Or Republican. I vote as I see fit."

"You don't see any problem, any at all, with supporting a political party that actively brings themselves up by keeping others down?"

"You're oversimplifying."

"But it's basic human rights. Don't you want to marry David some day?"

"I love David. I also love money and having a job and having a condo and not screwing up the world."

"How is Obama screwing up the world?"

"Don't get me started."

"But gay marriage has as much to do with economics as it has to do with equality. Why would someone so concerned with low taxation and individual freedom support a party that doesn't want to give them the right to marry and therefore force you to incur additional taxes if they want security with their other half? It doesn't make sense."

"I'll let you in on a secret: it's totally possible to care about two different things, and decide one is more important than the other, and vote based on that. I am an individual, I am not the gay community." Becka and Other David came back from the bar very solemn.

"Sorry babe," Brad said, giving Becka a kiss on the cheek. "We'll let up."

"It's not that," said Other David.

"Charlie's friend Tristan just texted,'" said Becka. "Charlie got hit by a car. He's in critical condition."

They quickly settled up their tab and cabbed it to the hospital.



The second she walked into The Pitstop, the DJ just happened to put on "Venus" by Shocking Blue to entertain the diverse happy hour crowd. Backlit by the setting sun, tossing her hair back as she took off her sunglasses, the air around her seemed to move in slow motion as the lyrics "she's got it... yeah baby she's got it... " echoed through the bar. Heads turned and jaws dropped as she strutted her way to the bar in her slinky black dress, her carry-on suitcase trailing behind her. Lesbians and straight men were in love; gay men and women were questioning their sexuality. Hunter thought this kinda shit only happened in movies, but then again, the way she carried herself, it seemed as if that's what a casual observer could say about her whole life.

"Are you Hunter?" she asked, leaning on the bar with a seductive casualness

"Um, yeah," he said, something oddly familiar about her jet-black hair, olive skin, and almond shaped hazel eyes.

"I'm Eddy. Charlie's sister." Ah. They could've been twins. Except that Eddy was a girl. And hotter.

"Hey. I didn't know you were coming."

"Yeah, that Tristan guy sent me a message on Facebook. I got here as soon as I could. Then that kid at the hospital told me you'd be working if I wanted to drop off my stuff and rest or whatever."

"Oh. Um, you're staying with us?"

"Yeah. Is that cool? I figured I'd stay in town until we knew what was going on with Chuck. Maybe hunt for some prospective business."

"For sure. That makes sense. Of course."

"Well... " she cooed, licking her lips ever so slightly as she grinned a Chesire Cat smile. "Aren't you gonna buy a girl a drink?"

"That's all right," said the hot red head Megan Fox look alike sitting at the bar. "I've got it." Eddy smiled appreciatively at the red head as Hunter poured two gin and tonics, per Eddy's request. It didn't take long for flirty whispers to be exchanged, for hands to find knees, for coquettish flips of the hair. After the third round, the red head whispered into Eddy's ear yet again and Hunter could swear she saw her nibble at Eddy's ear.

"Hunter, how late are you gonna be here?"

"I'm closing tonight."

"Great. I'm going to get better acquainted with my friend... "

"Dawn," red head offered.

"... Dawn, here. Can you watch my bag?"

"Sure. I've got an extra set of keys here, if you want ‘em. I keep ‘em at the bar." He tossed them to her as Dawn ran out to get a cab.

"Thanks. Charlie was right: you are pretty fuckin' hot. Too bad he's too pussy to do anything about it."

Dawn came back and beckoned for her to join.

"Oh and Hunter," Eddy said, on the way out. "Don't wait up."



"But he aight?" LaTrice asked, cutting up another onion.

"We don't know yet," Tyler said, wiping away what he told himself were onion tears.

"That's fucked up," said LaTrice. "If that were my boy, man, I'd be runnin' down the street, chasin' that motherfuckin' car, make that fucker pay for that."

"Well, Charlie's not my ‘boy'... " Tyler didn't know why the implication made him so jumpy.

"I meant your friend, stupid." LaTrice clarified, cutting up the last onion.

"Oh." Tyler looked at how much mise en place she'd accomplished in a half hour. "You're really good at that. Have you thought about going to culinary school?"

"Bitch, please, it's only because my mama was never home so I had to cook for my brothers and sisters."

"Still... it's a possibility. For the future." LaTrice tried to scoff it off, but Tyler saw in her eyes a spark starting and that was enough for him. "Anyway, thanks for helping out in the kitchen. Kinda short staffed today."

"That's my fault," said Josh, appearing at the doorway, with Travell brushing past to put on his hairnet and apron. "LaTrice, wanna meet me in study hall so we can go over your Andrew Jackson paper?"

"That crusty ol' white man is so BORING!"

"Well, he had some very radical ideas... "

"Populism, yeah, yeah," LaTrice said upon her exit, rolling her eyes. Tyler began washing up as Travell took over. Josh lingered a little longer than he should've had.

"How is he?" Josh asked.

"SHE is doing fine. I mean, yeah she can focus on her studies more... "

"I meant Charlie."

"Oh. He's still in ICU. The doctor told our other roommate that he's got some internal bleeding in his brain... "


"Yeah. So, all we can do is hope and pray I guess."

"Will you... if he wakes up... "

"When. Right. When he wakes up... can you tell him I was thinking about him?"

Edward burst into the kitchen. "Josh, your history study group is about to start. Oh and Tyler? There's a very handsome punk rock young man looking for you."

"Hipster," teased Tyler. "Us kids these days call them hipsters."


"Penny," said Tyler, as he and Andy sipped bubble tea and watched the sunset over Lake Michigan.

"How's that?"

"Going currency for thoughts. Unless it's gone up."

Andy smiled. "Just reminiscing. These use to be called the Belmont Rocks. They were these huge boulders and we'd all come here after like a rave or like after Café Pride. So we'd be sun on its return journey."

"What's Café Pride?"

"It was like a gay youth hangout. Stopped going after a while, kinda got trashy. Dunno if they even still do it.

Tyler couldn't help but feel a little jealous. "I wish we had something like that where I was growing up."

"Sorry, I always kinda get nostalgic round this time of year. End of summer. Back to school."

"Yeah." Tyler got quiet for a moment, slurping the last of his bubble tea, watching the sun sink lower past the horizon.

"All right, your turn. I'll even pay a nickel for ‘em."

Tyler sighed. "It's been an interesting summer. I'm happy to be here sure, but I just thought... "

"That you would've conquered this city by now? Next stop: world?"

Tyler was embarrassed that he was so transparent. And that the sentiment seemed so... shallow when said by someone else. "How did you know?"

"Ah, the sweet idealism of youth. We've all gone through it." Tyler slugged Andy's arm.

"You're like two years older than me."

Andy lifted him up and made him turn from the lake and face the city. "It's a big bad world out there, dude. You made it here, that's the first step. There's no way you can accomplish everything you hope to in a lifetime, let alone in a summer. So just go with it. We're young, we're alive, we've got our whole lives ahead of us."

Tyler breathed it in for a moment, then began to tear up. The first person that was just so kind and awesome to him for no reason, in his whole life, was Charlie. And who knew how much life he'd have left ahead of him.

Andy kissed him and held him tight as the sun disappeared into the lake and day turned into night over Chicago.



"Fargo," said Tyler, as the hot intern walked by them in the waiting room.

"How's that?" asked Hunter.

"It's that code that Charlie has. For cute guys. He never taught it to you?"


"Well, when you're out with your friends or whatever, and you see a hot guy, you say ‘fargo.' And if your friend agrees, they say ‘bank.' And if they disagree they say ‘wells.' It's fun."

"What the fuck?"

"Apparently there's a bank in California by where he grew up called Wells Fargo. He came up with it back in the day."

"That is the most retarded thing I've ever heard. Why don't you just say ‘hey look! Cute guy!'" Eddy returned to waiting room.

"Ready for the changing of the guard?" she asked, plopping down in the chair next to Hunter.

"How is he?" Hunter asked.

"It's like watching paint dry. But sadder. Finally got a hold of our parents. They're booking the next flight to the States." A Lincoln Park blond with too much cleavage showing, sat down next to Tyler, red eyed from crying.

"Fargo," said Eddy.

"You know about FARGO?" asked Tyler.

"Who do you think helped Chuck come up with it?"

Hunter scoffed. "Seriously, what's up with the Parker family being so passive aggressive?" Eddy changed seats with Tyler and put her arm around Lincoln Park blond.

"Are you okay, sweetie?" she asked sweetly, as Lincoln Park blond burst out crying, laying her head on Eddy's breast. She slyly looked at Hunter, making him eat his words. Hunter rolled his eyes.

"Come on dude," he said, pulling Tyler up from his seat. "Let's go check on Charlie."

Whether it was his concern for Charlie weighing on him or the frustration of the situation wearing him down, Hunter irrationally could not let go of his annoyance at this code.

"It's SO like him," Hunter said as they went through the double doors. "Why can't he just say what he has to say? Everything's such a fucking game. Why does it all have to be code and subtext and shit? I'm so sick of it, why can't he just tell me?"

"Tell you what?" asked Tyler.

Hunter wanted to punch a wall. "Nothing. I just... wish that something would change, you know? In his condition at least." Several nurses and doctors rushed past them, nearly knocking them out of the way.

"Room 616, stat!" Hunter heard one of them say. "He's coding!"

Room 616 was Charlie's room.


So what do think? Be the first to comment!

As a part of our commitment to upholding a high standard of transparency, we wanted to let you know that uses cookies to improve your user experience. We've updated our cookie policy to reflect changes in website tracking laws. By continuing, you agree to our terms and provide your consent to our use of cookies.