My nervousness in waiting for Mikey to show up at the hotel was increased dramatically when I saw him turn the corner at top speed, running straight for me.
I put on a smile and stood to greet my boyfriend.
He charged into my arms, hugging me tightly.
"Frankie baby. I love you so much," he breathed in my ear.
"I love you too Mikey."
My perfect guy sat on the end of the lounge chair I was resting on. "Talk to me."
I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, not wanting to reveal my secret just yet.
But, with the way I had been feeling recently, I was afraid it wasn't going to be a secret much longer.
"Frank? Honey, are you okay? Do you need anything?"
Mikey stood quickly, hearing my mother's voice coming closer.
"Oh, hi. You must be Michael. I'm Linda..." my mother extended her hand to my boyfriend.
Mikey smiled his beautiful smile and turned on the charm as he shook my mom's hand firmly.
"Hi, Mrs. Iero. It's a pleasure to meet you."
"Same here," Mom smiled back before turning to me. "Do you need anything, sweetheart?"
I looked away from her and rolled my eyes.
"No thanks, Mom. I'm fine. We're just gonna hang out here and talk, okay?"
"Okay, but it looks like rain, so if you two want to go inside and watch tv or something, you can."
"Thanks, Mrs. Iero," Mikey looked up at my mom and smiled brightly.
"Your father and I are going souvenir shopping, unless you need me to stay here," she leaned in and kissed the top of my head.
"Have fun, Mom. I'll be fine. Mikey will help me with anything I need, you don't have to stay."
"Well, like I said, if it starts raining, go ahead inside."
"Okay...bye Mom..." I said impatiently.
"Bye sweetheart. It was nice to meet you, Mikey."
"Have fun shopping, Mrs. Iero," Mikey smiled, standing up as my mom went back toward our room.
She waved back at my boyfriend before opening the door and going inside.
I shook my head and pulled Mikey back down to the chair. "Sorry about her. She's a little...a LOT overprotective."
I watched my parents head out to our car.
Mikey took my hands. "Now you need to tell me WHY she's so overprotective."
I took a deep breath and lowered my head. "You've already figured it out."
After another minute, I looked up at Mikey and felt raindrops on my face, mixing with my tears.
Mikey lifted my hands to his lips and kissed them. "Let's go inside," he whispered.
In the short time it took us to reach the motel door, we were pretty much soaked through. I changed into dry clothes and gave Mikey his surfer shorts back so he wouldn't leave water marks on the furniture.
My boyfriend came back into the small living room after changing and grabbed the tv remote out of my hand to switch off the set.
"Out with it," he plopped down next to me and stroked my cheek.
I gathered all my strength and courage before answering my perfect guy.
"Mikey," I squeezed my love's hand and looked deeply into his incredible brown eyes. I sighed before I said the next sentence.
"I have leukemia."
Mikey's incredible hazel eyes widened and filled with tears.
"Mikey...don't..." I felt tears beginning to form in my own eyes as well.
"Frankie...I...I don't...I don't know what to say...are...are you going...to..." Mikey lowered his head and began to sob.
I raised Mikey's face to mine and tried to force a smile, not easy with my boyfriend's tears now flowing freely down his perfect face. "Die? No, baby. Not today."
"But then w-why...why do you look so..so..." Mikey cried.
"So bad? I always look like this after my chemo."
"Is that w-where you were yesterday?"
I nodded and pulled Mikey into a hug, unable to bear the look on his face any longer.
I felt my love's shoulders shake as I held him. I let him cry for several minutes, wanting him to get it out. When I felt him calm down, I held my perfect love at arm's length and brushed his tears away with my fingertips.
"H-how?" Mikey continued to cry, despite his tears being wiped dry.
"How did I get it?" I finished the question I've heard so many times before.
"I was exposed to this chemical a couple of years ago. Benzene. It got into my bloodstream and that's how I got it."
"Does the ch-chemo help?" Mikey tried to steady his breathing.
I nodded. "Yes, but it makes me sick the next day. And I have to have therapy every week."
"For h-how long?"
"Until I go into remission again."
"You mean...you c-could get better?" I saw a glimmer of hope in my love's eyes.
I nodded. "And don't worry," I smiled. "You can't catch it."
"What do you need...I mean, what can I do?"
I held my boyfriend's beautiful tear-stained face in my hands.
"Mikey, all I want you to do is love me. You have no idea how bad I need you to love me right now."
"Baby..." Mikey whispered as his lips inched closer to mine.
I noticed my boyfriend hesitating as our lips touched ever so lightly.
"You can't hurt me baby," I whispered into his mouth and slid my tongue over Mikey's bottom lip.
Mikey relaxed and let me deepen the kiss.
After several incredibly passionate kisses and touches, I took Mikey's hand and led him to my room.
Nothing else mattered.
No one else mattered.
There was no leukemia.
There was no chemotherapy.
There was only me and Mikey.
That was all that mattered.