Knock on Wood

Doctor Raven's appearance was rather flattering, yet intimdating. She was a redhead. Her hair reminded Janus of the burnt orange sunset over the beach, it was warm and it tumbled over her shoulders like rusty water. When she smiled, her lips pulled back to reveal straight purely whites that shimmered under the dim hospital light. "Can you tell me what day it is?" "No." "Your last name?" Janus paused. He chewed the inside of his cheek while racking his brain for the answer to the most simplest question to ever be asked. Although now it wasn't so simple and he was unable to respond. "I see." Doctor Raven wrote some more things down. "Can you tell me your birthday? Year, day, and month please." "All I know is that I'm eighteen." he answered. "Okay and can you tell me five names you know? Could be someone from your family, a friend, spouse..." "Nurse Jacky." "Besides Nurse Jacky." "Then no. I don't know any names." Doctor Raven stared at Janus for a minute. "Janus," she began. "Can you tell me why you're here?" A sigh came from the eighteen year old as he shook his head and looked down, suddenly feeling a sharp pain in his chest. "No." he said. "What happened? Why am I here?" "You were hit by a car." Doctor Raven's honey-like tone grew softer as she placed a hand on his shoulder to comfort him. "Terrible, terrible incident. Surprisingly, the only injuries you suffered from was a fractured spine, broken leg, and now...amnesia." Janus's heart dropped.

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1. Chapter One.

"Go fish." The words escaped from thin, reddish lips from a teenage male - who seemed to be around seventeen years old - for the fifteenth time since the card game had started. The room he sat in was dimmed, the light above them flickering and gradually going out as the minutes ticked by - it hung on to its last hint of life, lighting the room only enough so that the seventeen year old and his best friend, who sat across the mini coffee table before him, could see their cards. They sat in a tight, yet live-able apartment that contained only one bedroom, a bathroom across the hall from it, and a kitchen barely large enough to fit a regular sized fridge. There was no stove and the sink was rusted and damp, seeming to have been used moments ago to either wash something out or wash one's hands. In the living room was where the two teenage boys sat; a beat up, dusty couch sat on the left side of the apartment door with an old, grey box sitting in front of it.

"I'm getting tired of playing this shit man," the other teenager, looking to be eighteen, spoke. He seemed rather bored, his face falling low with a frown twitching at his plump lips. Eyes the color of Hershey bars scanned over the cards that sat in his hands before he tossed them carelessly on the mini coffee table. The two boys had to sit on the floor rather than the couch because of the unfortunate height of said coffee table.

"We've played for no longer than, like, eight minutes." said the first young man mentioned.

"Yeah well eight minutes is a long damn time in my book." Just as the eighteen year old spoke, his cellphone in his pocket went off, this being the tenth time today within twenty minutes. And again, like many times before, he angrily huffed out a breath from his nostrils and sent the caller straight to voicemail.

"I still don't understand what happened," said the first. "I mean, one minute, you're calling me all happy and shit. Telling me that you and your folks finally made up. And now...?" He trailed off in hopes that his best friend would repeat himself just one more time since the situation wasn't making sense to him. But his friend kept his lips shut - in fact, he pressed them together tighter to keep any sort of sound from escaping. "C'mon Janus. What the fuck happened?"

"I'm not repeating myself to you, alright Gene? I've said it over and over and if you don't get it then you just don't fucking get it." Angrily standing to his feet, Janus marched over to the beaten up couch and plopped down. His hand scanned over the stained cushions as he searched for the remote. "They're assholes and I'm not staying there anymore." Holding the remote out in front of him, Janus pressed his slightly tanned thumb on the power button. A loud ringing sound went off before the grey box in front of him began to turn on. The screen was round and it took longer than two minutes before the color and picture of whatever show that was displayed to show, followed by the sound soon after. "Damn you really need a new TV."

"Well you can't stay here, that's for sure." The first guy, now known as Gene, retorted with a huff. He was immediately interrupted with a loud laugh coming from Janus.

"Good," he laughed. "I don't wanna stay in this dump anyway."

"It's not a dump." Gene defended.

A snort. "Dude, you have one fucking bedroom without a bed. You can't fit a fridge in your kitchen - you can barely fit a fucking stove in there! And to top it all off, this couch smells like shit."

"It came from the front of your house, may I remind you." His best friend snickered back. "It's been sitting in front of your trash for decades."

"Which proves my point furthermore." Janus laughed louder. "You're so broke, you can't afford an actual couch. Gotta go to the front of my house to grab a dumpster, smelly ass couch that's probably infested with disease."

"He says while sitting on the very couch he's talking shit about." Gene shot back with a roll of his eyes as he knocks on the mini coffee table that's made out of wood. It was shiny, appearing to have been polished before it ended up in Gene's place.

Janus only smirks as he skips over all of the black and white TV shows. Each skip took about thirty long seconds to load before actually going on to the next channel, but Janus was oddly used to the lag. He and Gene express their feelings to each other by being insanely and extremely over-the-top with their jokes and insults. There are times where they can go too far, but in the end they always eventually forgive each other (of course, without actually saying the words "I'm sorry," and "I forgive you") because their best friends and that's what best friends do. "And anyway," Gene continued as he stacked the cards on top of each other, not caring that some were facing the wrong way, "where are you going to go? What's your plan?" Janus shrugged. "Got any money?" Another shrug. "Do you have any idea what exactly you're getting yourself into?"

"All I know is that I have to get the hell out of that house before I go mad." His Hershey-like eyes landed on emerald ones. "I also know that I have a best friend who - even though he claims to not want to - can help me out as much as he can until he's sure that I'm on my feet." This got a heavy, discomforted sigh from his best friend. He shook his head and sat the deck of cards down on the mini coffee table, his dirty blonde hair swishing back and forth lightly after his head movements.

"You can't always depend on me to help you with crap. Especially crap like this, Janus."

"I can because you're my best friend and that's what best friends do. You don't want to get a call from the police, claiming to have found my corpse somewhere in a ditch do you?" Gene knocked on the coffee table twice. "Exactly. Just chill man. We'll figure something out." A moment of heavy silence fell between the two, but that was soon interrupted by another ring coming from Janus's cell. Wow. It hasn't even been ten minutes.

Just as he was about to send it to voicemail mail, his eyes landed on the caller ID and immediately he answered the phone. "Agnes-"

"Asshole!" roared an angry young woman from the other end of the phone. "You fucking prick! I've been worried sick about you!"

"Yes, princess, I know-"

"Oh you know? YOU KNOW? I've been calling you for the past hour or so. I even called your family and not even they know where the hell you are! Is this another one of your games?"

"No babe-"

"Then?!" The yelling ceased, now being replaced with a shaky sigh from Agnes. "I'm sorry... Jan, I'm sorry. I just-"

"No, no. It's okay." Janus shot an angry glare that read 'shut the fuck up' to the laughing Gene, who knew that Janus was caught into some deep shit. He had heard the yelling even from where he sat, and the phone wasn't even on speaker! "I'm sorry I had you so worried. I know I should've called."

"You just have a really bad habit of vanishing into thin air without my knowledge and even though I don't want to seem like one of those girlfriends, it'd be nice to have a call every once in a while just to know you're okay." Another sigh came from her end. "Where are you? Are you alright?"

"I'm fine Agnes. I'm at Gene's place." Janus wasn't able to finish his sentence, though, because his girlfriend had expressed a laugh that she failed to stifle.

"That dump? Jeez Jan."

Janus laughed as well. "Yeah I know. I was out of options though."

"What?" said Gene. His bushy eyebrow shot up as he slightly tilted his head. "What's so funny? She said something about me?"

"No Eugene, Agnes said nothing about you and your crappy apartment." responded Janus with a smirk dancing upon his face. Agnes laughed.

"Well," she said while letting out a breath, "good to know you're okay. Although your family is still worried sick. They sound very concerned about your whereabouts." Her voice dropped to worry as well. "Why'd you run off?"

"Long story." was the only thing Janus said about the situation. Frankly, he was utterly tired about having to explain what happened between him and his folks. It was mostly Gene's fault for asking consistently for Janus to repeat himself. "I'll explain later." This got a huff of doubt coming from his lover.

"Tell me a lie," she muttered. This brought a warm, fluttery smile to spread across her boyfriend's face.

"Seriously, I will." The term 'tell me a lie' was made up between the two about two years ago, around the time they first began dating. It's not exactly an idiom, although it's dangerously close to being one. The term isn't supposed to be taken literally; she doesn't necessarily want to be told a lie, but rather, she feels as if she is currently being told a fib. So to call him out on it, she tells him to tell her a lie as a way for Janus to come clean and confirm rather or not he is fibbing. It's sort of like a spin-off of the term "tell me the truth". Saying that would result in a lie rather than the truth, and so the two decided on switching things up to make telling the truth a lot easier in their senses.

Dead air rose it's way between the two, their breathing being the only sounds that they shared together. Agnes was the first to speak. "I really miss you," she softly sighed in dismay. Janus chewed his tongue and looked down at his lap, his chest tightening at the sound of sorrow in her voice.

"I miss you too." he answered in strain. It felt as if it's been longer then three months since her move, but knowing that it has been that long... he felt cold. His eyes slid up and landed on Gene, who was making kissy faces and sticking his tongue out as his way of showing French kissing. A grimace came from his best friend in response as he shook his head. "I miss your smile."

Almost on cue, Agnes smiled and Janus could tell by the way she spoke when she asked, "What else?"

A balmy half grin grew on his face. "I miss your laugh... and your cute little button nose."

"Oh my God," groaned Gene.

Janus ignored him. "And your body- Man, I miss your body."

"Oh. My. God!" Gene tossed his head back and waved a hand in the air. "Seriously man, get a room." Janus only laughed, as well did Agnes. And for a moment, sitting here with his best pal and on the phone with his best girl, Janus forgot about everything.

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