Failing Upward Ch. 20

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Author’s note: To those who were afraid that I’d kill Sid– be not afraid! I love them both too much to see them separated.

Find below three alternate endings. I’d always planned to write a fourth, where Wes would sacrifice his life with Sid so that Sid would be alive and well, but as I said before, I became so attached to them that I could never write such a bittersweet ending.

Thank you to all who have commented and followed Sid and Wes on this journey. I know there were times when comments got rough with readers wondering and asking where this was all going and if I had some vision for an end. I hope those that stayed with this see now that I did. Thanks again.

I hope to add a few more stories here soon. I also have some one-shots to add for Sid and Wes.

Love you all.



Alternate Ending A: The Light

Les and Uncle Dan were beside me. I cradled Sid’s head in my arms. My tears wet his face and mine. So cold, so cold. Then he gasped.

I clutched him to me. I’d been so afraid, so afraid that I’d wished him mortal too soon. But I should have know he wouldn’t die. He wasn’t like Shackleton. Sid was all light.

I buried my face his neck and sobbed with joy.

He wet lashes fluttered open.

“Is it over?” he asked.

I nodded and kissed his forehead then hugged the stuffing out of him. We were home.


“Is this another wrinkle?” Glenda said, digging through her vanity. “God, where did I put the Oil of Olay? Could you be a dear Wes and help me find it?”

It was difficult at first. Glenda worrying about laugh lines and crows feet, and Uncle Dan complaining about arthritis in his joints and the crick in his back. I blamed myself, considering that the passing of Old Father Time was part my fault. Sometimes I thought that maybe they did know that I was the cause of their suffering– that’s why they complained so much around me. As I helped Glenda look for her personal fountain of youth, I remembered what Sid said to me just last night:

“Stop beating yourself up for that, they’d never experienced it up to now, so of course they were going to bitch more. It’s part of life. It’s going to happen to us someday. And beside, you know She wanted it this way.”

He was right about Mica. I tried being selfless, but sometimes I just had to revert back to thinking I was the center of the universe.

Glenda had invited us to dinner tonight. I’d noticed a sharp decline in her culinary abilities since “the incident in the garden” (the term that Sid and I now use for that day). It took her much longer to prepare with a poorer result. Still, she cooked a heck of a lot better than me. Sid still had her beat in that department though.

I followed Glenda to the dining room then to the kitchen, helping her by carrying the chicken to the table. She called, “Dinner’s on.”

As we sat around the table, I had to laugh. Les looked so happy in love. Glenda smiled at him, knowing the reason for the light in his eyes. She didn’t care. She liked Smith.

Uncle Dan reached for the mash potatoes then the gravy, grumbling about the lumps in both. The old grandfather clock struck seven times.

It was a good evening.


I went to work the next morning at the flower shop. Nothing like walking up the steps and smelling the sweet mixture of orchids, daisies and stephanotis. I could hear Mr. Keller whistling as he watered the greenhouse number one out back.

Alan came in late. Didn’t even give me shit as he went out to help Mr. Keller finish watering. I could have sworn Alan was whistling “Everything is Beautiful” along with Mr. Keller.

The phone rang.

“Good morning, Keller’s Flowers, Wes speaking. How may I help you?”

“Um, I don’t casino siteleri know… My boyfriend got up this morning and left for work without waking me. I didn’t get a morning kiss and hug. Now I’m thinking maybe he’s lost interest in me. You think that might be the case?”

“No. Not at all. In fact your boyfriend told me he didn’t want to wake you because you looked so sweet and cuddly all scrunched up hugging that pillow with the soft light of morning kissing your forehead.”

“All that flowery talk makes me wonder if he’s a florist like you.”

“Hm-m, could be. He also told me to tell you that if he would have woke you before he left he would have ended up late for work.”

“I see.”

“Yes, and– crap the other lines ringing. Have to go. Bye!”


“Good morning, Keller’s Flowers, Wes speaking. How may I help you?”

“Sure can, but I don’t think it would be appropriate for phone sex right now. Let’s say I pick you up for lunch.”

“Sure,” I said. We both laughed. “See you at 12:30. Miss you.”

“Miss you more.”

I walked into the backroom, put on my smock and smiled. God I loved him.

I shoved my hands into the front pocket of my comfy old smock. So what if it made me look gay–

I was.


Alternate ending B: The Story

“Wake up Mr. Grant, your boy friend is here.”

Beatrice the big night nurse sure had a lot of nerve. My boyfriend. My wanna be boyfriend maybe. Sid walked in the door looking at me with those eyes. Yeah. Those eyes. The eyes that made me want to crawl under the bed just to get away. They were so beautiful– for a guy. Not that I would notice something like that. Or the cute way his eye was twitching right now.

“I hate the hospital,” I groaned.

“Brought you these,” he said. Don’t know how I could have missed Sid holding a dozen red roses in a vase. Must have been distracted somehow.

“I’ll leave you two alone,” Beatrice said, winking at me at she closed the door behind her.

My cheeks were burning. What the hell did she know anyway?

“Sorry about your car,” Sid said. “Guess that llama did it in. Anyway, you’ll be ok, that’s what’s important.”

I nodded. Sid turned and set the roses on the table next to the window. As he bent over to straighten roses, I rolled over so I could see him– I mean them– better.

“What about the card?” I asked. He took it off the flowers and brought it over. Sid sat on the edge of the bed and handed it to me.

“I’ve thought about this for a while,” he said. “I’ve got something to tell you, but I want you to read the card first.”

I knew what was coming. Shit. He was going to finally tell me. My heart started pounding. My faced got hot. Why did this matter so much to me? I opened the card, it read:

I have to tell you a story– I know it will sound crazy, but I can prove that it’s true. When I’m done, if you want me to leave I will, but I want you to think on it before you go deciding what’s what, Okay?

I looked up and nodded. Then he told me the story of Mica and Blake’s poem. Through the pain killer and a few sips of ice water, I listened without interruption.

I didn’t say a word. Just nodded and frowned. It was all too fantastic to believe, but I did. I knew it was all true.

At last he finished and I laid there quiet, staring at my feet. Sid reached out and squeezed my hand.

Next to my bed was the note I’d left in my car from the three yellow roses I delivered at the Lancaster house– all written in ones and twos. I’d tried reading it before hitting that llama. I didn’t need to know binary. I knew it– “To see the world in a grain of sand…”

It’s funny how sometimes you don’t know what’s in your own heart until someone shows you the way. I guess I was like an old vinyl canlı casino record with the needle skipping, I needed a nudge.

I squeezed his hand and looked into those eyes I’d been afraid to stare into for all these years.

How could I keep from loving them.

“Want me to go?” he asked.

“No. I had something to tell you too.”


Alternate ending C: The Answer

I heard the sparrows. Flapping and chirping. I was tired, so tired from finding my way on the path. “You are walking through a garden, a beautiful garden… one… two… three… steps you take..”

I could swear my my eyelids had barbells attached to them. I walked toward Sid’s voice.

“Wes? Wes?” I heard through a fog.

“Come back to me, Wes.”

My eyes slowly opened. Sid frowned at me, touching my brow.

I was flat on my back. I had on my red Converses, ripped, worn jeans and my orange Smashing Pumpkins t-shirt. He was alive. He was fine. I tried jumping up but my body was like lead.

“What did the card say again?” Sid asked, writing on the yellow note pad.

I stared up then over. There was Peter Deal. Dockers, lab coat, red tie. The robin’s egg blue walls, reprint of Dali’s The Great Masturbator on the wall parallel to the bay windows. Sun was too fucking bright.

I managed to sit up.

“Welcome back,” Deal said. “You were under for hours.”

I rubbed my temples. Then it all came to me. Sid on the ground. Shackleton. The garden. But I wasn’t there anymore. It had worked. She was gone. I didn’t feel her. Mica’s call was gone. Sid was safe. I was in here, in Deal’s office at Hidden Hills– home of SPF sunscreen 30, polarized sunglasses and loads of naked white people. At first I thought I was in another universe, but no. This was before. I smiled up at Sid, expecting a look of relief. Instead I saw confusion.

“That was some story,” Sid said, kind of bashful. His eyes avoided mine, and he turned to Deal to speak. “Sure you don’t believe in past life experiences?”

“Nah, but the guy has a vivid imagination– kinky too.” He winked at Sid. “I think you might want to test the waters further with this one. I don’t think you’ll come out dry, if you get my meaning…”

I watched Sid blush. I closed my eyes. He was different, but he was my Sid. My wish was true– except not as I’d expected. He was not the Sid that went through all that I did. Not the Sid who suffered, not the Sid who gave up his soul to be with me forever. We hadn’t wished together. This was before– before all that pain had happened.

I went to stand, and my legs were Jell-O. I melted into Sid’s solid comforting arms. He tried to hold me up straight. Well, not that straight. I fell against him, my chest turning into his. A dopey smile plastered across my face as my own arm slipped around his waist.

“Ah-h, Wes,” Sid stuttered, more confused than before. “You’re out of it. Better take you home.”

“Home,” I said. ” Now that’s a good idea.” Sid blushed darker as I leaned into him and realized just how happy certain parts of me welcomed going home.

As he helped me out to his car, he kept stealing bashful glimpses at my face while I just stared lustfully at him. His confusion became a kind of aphrodisiac.

Sid turned on the radio.

The ride home began quiet. I was thinking on what had happened, where I was now and how. I’m sure Sid was thinking that hypnosis had addled my brain.

I closed my eye and reflected. How many people would trade eternal life for true love? I sighed. My fingers brushed my wrist where the thorn had once been. Nothing. I opened my eyes. No scar or thorn. Nothing.

“That was some story you told,” Sid finally said. “Alternate universes and roses– even had an evil villain.”


“Don’t you remember? kaçak casino You told Peter too. That’s strange.”

“I remember, just…”

“Just what?”

“Just– it was real.” Fuck! Why’d I go and tell him that for? Now he’d think my brain was addled.

“Real? No, Peter told you to believe it was real. I was pissed at him for that. He told you later it wasn’t. Damn, I hope he didn’t fuck you up?”

“Fuck me up?” I said. “Nah, he didn’t. Besides, I thought you said it was harmless?”

“Yeah, well maybe not, considering you just told me you think it all happened. You still think that?”

I looked at him. “No,” I lied. “Actually, I don’t recall much of anything. Why don’t you tell me?”

“I guess it wouldn’t hurt.” He went on to tell me the rest. I noticed he’d blush every once-in-a-while at the parts he omitted. When he got to the beach he stopped, searching for words.

Finally, I said it for him.

“We made love on the beach,” I said. “You think it was just some convoluted imaginings or wishful thinking on my part?”

“You tell me.”

“Wishful thinking.”

He smiled and nodded then turned the radio back on.

We listened and sang the rest of the way home. I sang, he sang (well, if you want to call it singing). Then he pulled up in his driveway. I got out of the car, and as I went up the steps Babe greeted me by rubbing her head against my leg.

Part of me became one of those sad songs that played on our way home. I began to think that maybe it was all a fantasy. It was all so fantastic. The Sid I knew who shared all the pain with me won’t be there to comfort and understand.

As we got in the house, I kissed him. He pulled me against him. I guess I was technically twice a virgin– reliving our first time. Then again, maybe this was the first if Sid was right. Hard to believe, he felt so much a part of me.

“I want you to take me to bed,” I whispered in his ear.

“You sure?”

I nodded. Silly question.

As we went into the bedroom, I panicked. I began to think, what if what I believed happened never really happened? what if this is my first time?

“I don’t know Wes. You don’t look like you’re ready for this to me.”

“I’m ready. It’s just I need to relax. I’ll breathe like you taught me, in through the nose, out through the mouth, right?”

He looked at me confused. “I don’t remember teaching you that.”

I was really getting off seeing confused. He was cute with his brow all scrunched, his eyes misty with doubt and lips pursed. Made me want to kiss the doubt right off those lips. Thought I’d try it.

It worked.

His fingered curled around my head, and he began to take off my shirt.

I had major butterflies in my stomach, and I relished them. He looked at me with such longing. Those eyes of his became golden.

I was so afraid. I began to think, to believe, that everything before was some wild fantasy. This was real. We were real.

When he touched me through my jeans, I groaned. I helped undo them. As he slipped them over my hips he said, “What’s this?” holding up a bag of sand.

I closed my eyes and laughed quietly.

Now he looked at me, wondering. He shook his head. “No, couldn’t be…” he said.

“Infinity in the palm of your hand,” I smiled. “Only one infinity exists. Took me too long to know the answer, and it was there all the time. Know what it is?”



He kissed me this time. Sucking my tongue and making me so hard I’d thought I’d explode. Sure this was different. No roses. No psychic sex with nerve endings exploding. But you know what? I still saw into his soul, and he saw into mine. No different. I was his Wes– and he was my Sid. We were one complete. After all, he had experienced all that I had. Didn’t matter that he didn’t recall. Just knowing that he’d made that sacrifice for me was what mattered in my heart. As he made love to me slow and soft, I told him what he meant to me.

We were home. We were together, safe. Maybe we didn’t have eternity, but we had time.


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