And every new “day,” I hope and pray that this will be the one when they decide to let me out of here, let me be with the people I love again, let me be a part of things again.
I’m so lonely. I spent the last three years building relationships with the people of Oakdale, and now here I sit in this room, twiddling my thumbs for hours on end. I don’t think anyone who loves me even knows where I am. And they don’t even give me books to read or movies to watch. Hell, I’m lucky they even bring me some food every once in a while, although they forget about that most of the time, too.
At least they gave me my eyesight back before they sent me away. This would all be so much worse if I was still blind.
I hadn’t expected this. I probably should have. They always seemed to be finding ways to exclude me as much as possible. I pretty much always got shipped out of town when someone in Luke’s family got married. Hell, they even sent me away for Holden’s funeral. Thankfully he turned out to be alive, but still, I DID NOT want to leave Luke’s side at that time. But I had no choice. I have to do what Jake acts out and he’s obligated to perform what’s in the scripts.
I like Jake. He’s a good guy. He’s done right by me and he GETS me. Which, unfortunately, is more than I can say for the writers who created me.
I was so excited the day I became a reality. I was flattered that they picked such a handsome and likable actor to play me, and eager to find out who I was.
I was complex. Usually what I WASN’T saying was just as important as what I was. I had a rich backstory and countless storyline possibilities.
And then I fell in love.
What an exhilarating experience that was. The towel fight, the first kiss, the walks by the pond. Yes, there was pain, confusion, and uncertainty. Yes, there were obstacles galore, but...I never expected that I would be feeling all the things that I was feeling. I thought I was just a character, a concept, a product of the writers’ imaginations and Jake’s acting choices. But, no, I was so much more and so was Luke. He was my life, my heart and soul, and I was his. And I became a brother to his siblings, a son to his parents, a grandson to his grandmothers, and a friend to his friends.
All I had been hoping for was that I would be interesting and that I would have other interesting characters to interact with. I never expected to find the love I found from all of them. And him… he was beyond my wildest dreams. I loved him with a fierceness that thrilled and terrified me. I would have done anything for him.
But then they wouldn’t let us kiss onscreen for months and months. When we tried to kiss offscreen, our mouths wouldn’t touch. It was beyond frustrating.
“It’s that damn ‘canon,” Lily told us, shaking her head bitterly.
“Canon?” I asked, raising an eyebrow. I was still so new to how this all worked.
Luke looked at me with sad brown eyes. “We can only do what they write for us, Noah. They don’t take our own actual feelings into account. For some reason, they’re not letting us kiss onscreen, so we’re not able to kiss offscreen, either.”
“Canon is a bitch,” Lily said with a resigned sigh. “We’re slaves to it. Holden and I love each other so much, but they keep having us both act so stupid and breaking us up time and time again. I’m so sick of it.”
I completely agreed. If “canon,” whatever that was, was keeping me from being able to kiss the man I loved, then “canon” sucked.
Eventually they let us kiss again, but then they continued to make us wait nearly another year to have sex! Every time we thought they might finally be letting us, they’d crank out another script giving a contrived explanation of why we weren’t doing it, while everyone else in town was bed hopping all over the place.
Most of the contrived explanations involved my struggles to accept Luke’s love and make peace with my troubled upbringing. And these were truly things that I struggled with. Because even though I became a reality as an eighteen year old, my backstory had been detailed onscreen. So although I didn’t actually live my younger years, I experienced the full burden of their psychological baggage. All the pain and insecurity was real. But I never would have let that get in the way of my love for Luke to the extent that the writers chose to depict.
It was really offensive and hurtful, actually. It seemed like they were always more than happy to exploit my pain for dramatic purposes without ever bothering to provide any real insight into it. My emotional trauma could always be counted on to provide a reason for Luke and me to be broken up for a while.
These breakups were excruciating for both of us. Because of the dreaded “canon,” when we were not speaking onscreen, we weren’t allowed to speak offscreen, either.
But, after getting through a particularly difficult rough patch that involved cheating in a college election and Luke kissing his closeted step-grandfather, they finally let us make love. The scenes were sweet, but it was clear that they wrote them much less explicitly than the heterosexual love scenes. Thankfully, however, once they had established in “canon” that we were in a sexual relationship, we were free to do all kinds of fun things to each other offscreen.
But “canon” was still a bitch in a lot of other ways. During my first few months, I had become good friends with Dusty Donovan, and he and I were both certain that they were going to reveal him to be my biological father. We were both thrilled that this was happening, and I told him I couldn’t wait until “canon” allowed me to call him “Dad.”
But it didn’t happen. After spending a significant amount of time developing our relationship onscreen, they completely dropped it. We haven’t shared a single scene in more than two years, which means I’ve rarely seen him in those two years. It’s hard to believe that these people get paid to write our lives. Dusty being my father would have been a GREAT story! Certainly better than most of what they wrote for Luke and me. And it would have made us SO happy.
The kidnapping story wasn’t so bad, I guess. At least they got it right that Luke and I loved the hell out of each other and would have died for each other without a moment’s hesitation.
The Mason story was frustrating, though, for both Luke and I.
“Why are they writing me as being so jealous of this guy?” Luke asked me, with a look of bewilderment. “He’s not even hot.”
“I know,” I answered. “And neither of us would ever cheat on the other, so I don’t know why they’re wasting time on such a dead end story.”
Dead end was right. Things had gotten extremely boring in our storyline. At least “canon” was letting us share an offscreen apartment and screw the hell out of each other there. And since our screen time was shit, we had plenty of time for that.
And then it all came crashing down. Or more accurately, I came crashing down. Off a ladder, after fireworks exploded in my face.
I was blind. My whole world had gone dark, and I was terrified. Was this just a short term storyline or was this my new reality? I had no way of knowing. And there were rumors that the show was going to get canceled. What if they didn’t restore my eyesight before the end of the show?
I desperately needed Luke to hold me and confront me. I needed to draw strength from him.
But that didn’t happen. Because they decided to write me as being ferociously angry and bitter towards Luke, pushing him away instead of letting him comfort me. They wouldn’t allow me to let ANYONE comfort me.
Then they sent me away to rehab for a month. At least the other times they had sent me offscreen for extended periods, I had gotten to go to Rome and Hollywood. But now all I got was being sent off blind to rehab.
How had these people who had created me come to care so little for me?
I did get to come back to Oakdale for Christmas. But since our onscreen life was still constant misery and turmoil, Luke and I were once again forced into celibacy, since the writers made it quite clear that I was NOT in the mood for such things.
Offscreen, I was going crazy, wanting so badly to touch and be touched by the man I adored. It was the only way I could imagine glimpsing even a glimmer of light in my pitch black existence. But, still we were denied that chance to be together. And the writers made me culpable for the physical and emotional estrangement that was the product of their own imaginations, writing angry words for Jake to rail against Van with, which, of course meant that I ended up having to rail against Luke with them. Even though Luke knew that I didn’t actually mean those things, it was still so hard to hear myself say them to him.
And then, just when I thought things couldn’t possibly be any worse, he arrived. Almost from the second the Doctor showed up, he ate into my screen time. As if they hadn’t already done everything they could to demolish our relationship, the Doctor was used to drive a wedge further between us, all while he was moved closer and closer to Luke. We could figure out where this plot was going, and it made us sick. The show’s cancellation had now been announced, and there were only a few months left to fix things.
Luke hated the Doctor from the second he met him. He had to admit that Eric was a good actor, but he passionately detested the arrogant and cruel Doctor, and dreaded where it looked like the writers were going with this.
“I just can’t believe this, Noah,” he told me over the phone one night, since “canon” dictated that the Doctor had ordered us not to actually see each other. “Does it make any sense for me to fall for this asshole? I wouldn’t give this jerk the time of day.”
“I know,” I assured him. “I hope this storyline is over soon. Hopefully the audience will hate it and they’ll get us back together and bring on somebody new for the Doctor.”
It became clear in the next few months, though, that the audience was divided, with many continuing to root for and support Luke and me, but also an inexplicably large number of people now rooting for Luke and the Doctor. I’m sure that my being written in the most unflattering way possible the previous few months had more than a little to do with it. Still, though…Van and Eric were certainly doing their best with the material they were given, but Luke and the Doctor simply had NO romantic chemistry. Everything about their “relationship” was completely forced and inauthentic. Luke and I had MAGICAL chemistry. It was natural and it was real. It wasn’t plot driven, it simply WAS. How could so many people have started to prefer THEM over US?
The Doctor hated Luke just as much as he hated him, and they were both disgusted when they very nearly had to sleep together. Thankfully, the writers showed some actual good judgment and had Luke come to his senses before it was too late. And also thankfully, I wasn’t around when they were sweating that out, since I was in a post-surgery coma. Who would have ever thought I’d be GRATEFUL to be in a coma with possible brain damage?
I awoke from the coma with my sight beginning to return, but could barely enjoy that because of how nervous I was that “canon” would bring an end to Luke and me forever. And with less than four months left until the show would come to an end, the clock was really ticking.
And then came the day that led me here. Just when it looked like the plot might finally be turning around and they were going to begin writing me as actually fighting for Luke, I got a letter from the Executive Producer and Head Writer, instructing me to come to Room D53.
I had never heard of Room D53, but wandered around the studio for a while until I found it. It was the large, dimly lit, windowless room in which I now stand. I walked in and looked around. Other than a bed pushed against the wall, it was completely empty.
“Chris?” I called out. “Jean?”
Suddenly the door slammed shut behind me. I dashed back and pulled on it, only to discover that it was locked. I was trapped.
And I’ve been here ever since. It’s a good thing that “canon” has never depicted me as needing to use the bathroom. Otherwise, I’d be in big trouble right now.
I’m wondering how my absence has been explained. Was I killed offscreen? No, that doesn’t make sense, since I’m clearly very much alive. Am I traveling? No, that doesn’t make sense, either, since in the past, if I was sent offscreen to Rome or Hollywood or rehab, I actually went to those places. Am I supposed to still be in Oakdale, but offscreen and not being seen by anyone?
That seems like the most likely scenario given my circumstances, but really, they couldn’t have sent me traveling or, better yet, given me some scenes with some of the other characters I had built relationships with over the past few years? Why wasn’t I allowed to have a point of view about the destruction of the relationship that meant everything to me?
I was put here by the very people who created me. I had thought they loved me. I guess I was wrong.
I’m just starting to feel like it’s time to lie down and go to sleep, when I hear the sound of a key turning in the lock. I immediately stand up in anticipation. Maybe this is the moment I’ve been waiting for! My heart pounds from a combination of intense nerves and excitement.
I expect to see one or both of my creators/captors, and am shocked when the door swings open to reveal my beloved Luke, his laptop in hand. The look of fiery determination in his eyes immediately melts into concern and love for me.
“Noah!” He places his laptop on the ground and then races over and throws his arms around me. I’m still so shocked that it takes me a moment to realize and accept that this is real, that I’m not dreaming or imagining this. I wrap my arms around him and we hold each other tightly.
I’m already not sure how this is happening, so I decide to see what else we’re able to do. I lean forward and plant a long, lingering kiss on his lips, which he happily accepts and responds to. His lips feel so good after months and months of being denied them.
I could kiss him forever, but right now I need some answers. “Luke, how is this possible?” I ask. “How did you know where to find me?”
“You’re not the first person to be sent down this hallway, Noah,” he responds gravely. “This is where they send characters when they’re too lazy to write for them anymore. They actually have Grandma Emma in the room two doors down.”
“Emma?” I am completely baffled by this. “But she’s been around for twenty-five years and the show’s ending soon! Why would they send her away so close to the end!?”
Luke shrugs his shoulders. “They’re buffoons, Noah,” he states matter-of-factly. “Who knows why they do what they do anymore? It’s hard to believe, though, that the same writers who recognized that I was gay have so completely messed everything up now.”
“But that still doesn’t explain how you’re able to be here and kiss me,” I tell him, furrowing my brow. “And how long have I been here?”
“You’ve been here about a month,” he answers. “And, about me being here,” he smirks mischievously, “well, first of all, they had a party in the writer’s room tonight, and they all got drunk and passed out.”
I chuckle at that. “See, and here I figured that they were ALWAYS drunk when they were writing the scripts.”
“It sure seems that way,” Luke agrees. “But, anyway, I snuck in there while they were all passed out, burned the shooting script for tomorrow’s episode, and quickly wrote a new script in which I kick the Doctor to the curb and return to the only man I’ve ever loved. Then I stole the master key from off Goutman’s keychain and high-tailed it down here. They’re going to wake up tomorrow and hurriedly rewrite the script, but tonight, Baby, our reunion is ‘canon.” He smiles jubilantly at me with wide, seductive eyes.
I have a million questions, but none of them matter at the moment. As I take his hand and lead him to the bed, I wipe away a few stray tears. I’ve dreamed of this moment for nine months, and it’s going to be amazing.
“I have missed you so much,” he says, cupping my face as I prepare to enter him.
“But not as much as I’ve missed you,” I insist as I begin to sink inside.
And it is every bit as amazing as I remember.
It’s a few hours later. I’m now able to keep time since Luke is wearing the wristwatch I gave him. He specifically wrote the watch into the script so he could bring it with him. We’re lying on the bed, the covers draped over our naked bodies, after having by far the best time either of us has had in-possibly forever.
“Have they had you and him-” I can’t bring myself to finish the question. The thought of Luke being made love to by that jackass hurts too much.
“No, thank God, Noah, you’re still my one and only,” he answers quickly. “And, believe me, he’s every bit as relieved about the lack of sex as I am. Probably doesn’t want me finding out what a teeny tiny little cock he undoubtedly has.”
That snide comment makes me snort with laughter. Imagining the “amazing” Dr. O. having a small penis brings me a much needed feeling of smug satisfaction.
“They really haven’t given us too much in the way of plot lately,” he continues. “Van’s filming some kind of horror movie. But the movie couldn’t be half as horrifying as the writing on the show right now. I was sure being rid of Kreizman would finally be a step in the right direction, but it still sucks beyond belief. They’ve stripped away everything that made me an interesting and compelling character and reduced me to a prop for Dr. Bitchass.”
“Well, at least they haven’t forgotten that you even exist,” I say, gesturing around the room I’ve been kept in.
“I’d much rather be here with you than having to follow Dr. Prick around town like an attention starved puppy dog every damn day,” he says. “I mean, Noah, you just wouldn’t even believe it. It’s such a pathetic joke. Last week they had me tutoring him on how to say ‘good day’ to a nurse without making her cry. I mean, really? I’m supposed to be attracted to someone who can’t manage to have basic day to day social interactions without belittling people? It’s an insult to everything I stand for.”
“Any indication that it’ll be over soon?” I ask. Now that we’ve had our special night, courtesy of Luke’s machinations, I’m starting to fear it could be our last.
“Well, I’m hearing that they’re going to write Casey and Ali as telling me they’ve been talking to you all along and that you really miss me. And God, are Casey and Ali pissed off, since they obviously haven’t been seeing you. But at least once it becomes ‘canon,’ they can come down here and visit. I don’t think they’re going to let you out of here until they actually decide to put you back onscreen.”
“Do you think they’re even going to put me back onscreen before the show ends?” I ask, my eyes downcast. I’m afraid to look up, afraid to let him know what scares me the most right now.
“Yes, I do think so,” he answers. I don’t say anything, still looking down, unable to face the fear that now grips me.
“Bubby?” he says quietly, a moment later. “Please look at me.” I slowly lift my eyes to meet his. “What is it?” he asks.
“What happens to us when the show ends?” I ask. “What happens if we’re frozen in time and you and I aren’t together? What if they listen to all those people and keep you with him at the end? What happens then?” I gulp, feeling my atom’s apple bob.
“I need to show you something, Noah.” He stands up, pulls his boxers on, and walks toward the door to retrieve the laptop he had set down upon entering. He brings it back to the bed, opens it, and pulls up a website.
“This is a fanfiction site, Noah,” he informs me. “I’d never heard of fanfic before, but Natalie was telling me about Harry Potter fanfic the other day, so I thought I’d poke around and see if anyone wrote stories about us.”
“And are there stories about us?” I ask.
“There sure are! Lots of them! I wish some of these people wrote for the show, Noah. Then we wouldn’t be in this predicament we’re in right now. Some of them wrote us having sex A LOT sooner than in the show. That would have been nice, too. And the sex scenes they write, Noah,” he leans in to my ear, breathing hotly, “they’re almost as hot as the things we actually do in the bedroom.”
“Wow.” I shake my head, impressed that there are people capable of imagining just how hot Luke and I can be in the bedroom.
“And some of them even picked up that Dusty should have been your father,” he tells me.
“Oh, how I wish,” I say with a wistful smile.
“But the most important thing, Noah, is that people have already started writing our reunion.”
“There are already people who are writing us back together, in case the show can’t be counted on to do it. And they’re really good, Noah, you should read them. They’ll give you hope.”
“But isn’t it all false hope if we don’t get back together in ‘canon?”
Luke shakes his head. “Once the show’s over, Baby, ‘canon’ ends. These people and others who haven’t even discovered us yet are going to continue our story. And, frankly, I trust them a lot more than the hacks we’ve got working here now.”
“But will it be real?” I ask. “Or is ‘canon’ the only thing that’s real about us?”
“Oh, Baby,” he says, thumbing my cheek, “we’ve been fighting ‘canon’ for this long now, and you still don’t know that our love trumps ‘canon?’ We’re real as long as there are still people who believe in our love. I mean, Noah,” he points toward the screen, “these people sit around and write stories about us. We’ve obviously impacted them in a big way if they’re willing to invest that kind of time. As long as there are still people willing to write our story, our love will always be real.”
Luke’s thumb moves from my cheek up to my eyes, which are now thankfully able to see him again, and wipes away a few tears that have begun to trickle from them.
“I have to go,” he tells me, reluctantly removing his hand. “I’ve got to get this key back before Goutman wakes up and realizes it’s gone. I hate to think what he’d do to you if he knew I was here.” He stands and begins putting the rest of his clothes back on. “I’ll keep you posted through Casey and Ali once they’re able to come here and see you.”
I reach upward and brush my hand against his cheek. “I miss you already,” I tell him.
“I know. Me too, Baby.” With teary eyes, he leans down and places one more kiss on my waiting lips. “But trust me, Noah, this is not the end of the story. We’re not over. We’ll NEVER be over.”
I nod and force myself to smile as he begins moving toward the door. I want desperately to grab hold of him and never let go. “Don’t forget your laptop,” I call out, looking at it still lying open on the bed.
He turns around and smiles. “That’s YOUR laptop now, Noah.”
“I’m giving it to you. THEY won’t even notice it’s gone unless they suddenly remember that I have a passion for writing. Pretty fat chance there, I think. I want you to read those stories. They’ll give you hope, the same way they gave me hope.”
“I love you,” I say, and I’ve never meant it more.
“I love you, too. We’ll be together again soon, Noah. I believe in us, just like all those people do.” He blows me one more kiss and then steps through the door, closing it slowly behind him.
After the door has shut completely, I let out one long, mournful sob, and then immediately take a few deep breaths and compose myself.
He’s right, of course. Our love can withstand anything. It WILL withstand this. It has to.
I scroll down the list of fanfic stories and decide to start with one entitled, “Nuke Lives Happily Ever After.”
Please, oh, please…let it be so!