Chapter 6, Dr. Clay (Cult of Eros #1, Ongoing Update)

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Here’s chapter 6 of the new book, Dr. Clay, I’ve been writing since NaNoWriMo 2022. Enjoy reading. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Hundreds of students of all ages and sizes were squeezed together, moving in waves. Some of them raised their arms with their phones on hand in an attempt to call for help. Many of them, especially the smaller and thinner women, screamed their lungs out when they barely could see anything as those who stood beside them, who were far taller and bigger, almost covered and pushing their small faces on all sides.

Only a handful of security offers responded earlier, with more than a handful of men helping them pull the students’ arms out from the piling bodies. The majority of them lay on top of each other. Their eyes were shut, seemingly unconsciously, with their arms extended outside, covering other students’ faces, especially those lying flat on their chests against the ground. Their eyes squeezed, and their faces flushed, dripping with sweat, as they endured the agony and panic from others.

When Clay saw the chaos, he stepped back, almost losing his balance, as he kept walking back, rubbing his face, strolling in circles. As he pressed his lips with his hand on his chest, he felt panic rising through his throat, which puzzled him.

However, as a few minutes more passed, his eyes became determined as he turned, heading back to the chaos he saw, and swallowed a great deal of anxiety to step up in service. So, he ran downstairs towards them, only to get blocked by the university officials.

“Fuck you, let me help! I’m a doctor! Can you see it? They’re dying! Please, let me help them! Please, God, you can’t be doing this to me!” he said while pushing them, shoving them sideward. But exhaustion hit him, and he was losing against a group of people holding his arms, trying to stop him from what he was planning to do.

It took them a while before he could restrain him until he calmed down, feeling so bad watching the young people suffering before him. He cried and cried, not knowing what to do.

“Fuck it!” he whispered, hissing, as he kept walking to and fro, panicking. “Why did you try to stop me when there’s a lot of students I needed to save?” he said, almost screaming at the officials, only to find himself in so much distress because even they didn’t know what to do, scratching their heads and screaming through their video calls and frantic interviews, answering the demand for clarity from the higher-ups.

In tears, he kept rubbing his face with his hand as his face reddened and sighed the loudest sighs of frustration and desperation. When one of the officials approached him, trying to ease his discomfort, he turned his back. Then, he heard some of the security guards screaming.

Many security guards repeatedly screamed, catching Clay’s attention. “We need doctors!”

So, he ran towards them and raised his hand. “I’m a doctor,” he said loudly, nodding to reassure them. When he saw the injured students, he was more surprised to see most of them unconscious, and some sounded dying. Shit. Even though he felt panicky, he kept calm and began doing his work. He focused on the first student, an unconscious male, with his clothes almost torn and shredded into pieces. His face and many of the uncovered parts of his body were full of scratches and bruises.

With his full attention, he began loosening the young man’s clothes to give way for CPR. When it was free, he pressed his hands on each other and pressed the student’s chest many times. While resuscitating the student, he paused to press his ear to the patient’s breathing. When he knew he was doing well, Clay continued pressing until he saw the student slowly opening his eyes. Then, he pulled himself closer.

“Are you okay?” he said in a loud voice, so loud that the vein on his neck popped, ensuring the victim could hear him speaking amid the loud sirens and screams from everyone.

The student nodded and smiled. “When would the program start?” he paused to look around. When he saw himself lying on the ground, both of his eyebrows knitted together, “Why am I lying here? I shouldn’t be doing this, Sir,” he said as he pulled himself, but before he could do so, Clay pressed his hand on his chest, pushing him down while shaking his head. “Why are you pushing me down? What’s going on?”

“Don’t worry, you will be fine. I’m glad you are. At the moment, you have to stay still until another team assists you. In the meantime, I’ve had to proceed,” Clay said. So, when he saw the student nodding, he began doing the same procedure with the other unconscious students lying almost beside each other. And then to another one and the next one until he barely has energy left to save another unconscious victim.

After saving one student from the other, he raised himself to ease, and while doing so, he felt a tap on his shoulder and saw a student volunteer handing him a bottle of water.

“Thank you so much for helping us here, Doctor Clay,” she said in tears.

“You’re welcome,” he said, pulling himself up to stand, facing the distressed student. “Are you alright?” he paused, studying her face, “How did you know my name?”

The student nodded while wiping her tears before she shrugged, answering his inquiry. “You’re quite a popular doctor. Many of my staff have been talking about you. So, I knew you that way, though I have never met you before,” she said.

Before he could say something to comfort her, he caught Valon running towards the university hospital with an unconscious, injured student on his arm. He clucked as his eyes followed his trail, running to catch him until he disappeared. When Valon was nowhere, he returned his attention to the student standing in front of him, facing down, shaking her head.

“You don’t have to worry so much,” he paused and noticed more emergency teams came to help, “You see, there are more of us coming here. So, everything will be alright. Though you want to help as many people as possible, don’t forget you’re human. Don’t forget to pause and rest because you look exhausted.”

“I am. It’s been hours since I kept running around asking people for help. She nodded and pressed her lips, pulling her face to Clay’s height. “Thanks for the kind words,” she paused as she began to sob, covering her face with her hands, “But this shouldn’t have happened if I had been there.”

“Why are you blaming yourself for something like this?”

She nodded again, more convinced that she was at fault. “I am the student government president. I’m in charge of every shit that’s happening in this school. So, this-“

Clay interrupted her by hushing her and pressing his hand on her shoulder. “Stop blaming yourself for something that is beyond your control. The stampede happened because it’s an accident and not because it’s your fault.”

She looked at him with determination, shaking her head lightly. “That accident shouldn’t have happened if I had been a more responsible president. They elected me. I’m their leader. But in return, I did this. What kind of leader am I?”

“Stop,” Clay said in a more demanding tone, which got her attention. “This is an accident. Period. Like you, nobody expected this. Not me, not you, or anyone else. So, better stop thinking that way because it doesn’t help.”

At that moment, she looked at him and moved her attention to the chaos that had been going on for the entire day. As she looked up, she saw the darkening skies, and watching the bats flying overhead made her sigh. “Anyway, the time does run fast, doesn’t it?”

When he saw her doing it, he raised his head, copying her, before turning his head, looking at her and appreciating the view the skies had to offer her. “Yes, and this is far from over.”

“You’re right.” She nodded and straightened herself before extending her arm, inviting him to shake hands. “By the way, I’m Melody Alora Gomez, the current student government president. Just call me Alora.”

Clay took her hand and shook it without qualms with a smile. “It’s nice to meet you, Alora,” he said, as he let her go when she turned her head, screaming towards a colleague waiting at the corner of the building, demanding her attention. “It’s alright. You should go.”

“Yeah, I should,” she said, waving her hand as she turned, heading towards them, while Clay waved his hand. When alone, he saw Valon again, passing by with yet another student on hand. So, he walked in significant strides and then ran until he could catch up. Valon didn’t see him despite being beside him, as his attention was on the unconscious female student he had brought to the emergency area.

When Valon reached there, he didn’t have qualms about placing the student on the emergency bed with a team of nurses pushing it. After he planted his hands on his waist, he turned his head and saw Clay at the entry, screaming at the nurses to attend to the injured students that kept arriving until the whole hospital was full. Unlike the previous meeting, the doctor wore a more formal attire, and his hair was fixed.

As the situation worsened, Valon felt increasingly distressed as he returned to where the stampede was and managed to bring another injured and unconscious student to the emergency area. He kept doing so until it was already dark.

He was exhausted, almost fainting as he sat on the empty Monobloc chair near the entry, facing the soccer field. It was the only time he could catch his breath, and he was on the verge of being too emotional and in tears. Trying to hide his vulnerable state, he leaned forward with his elbows planted on his lap and threaded fingers, facing down the ground to hide his worries for the students.

Then, he felt a tap on his shoulder.

When he turned his head to see who it was, his eyes widened in surprise when he saw Clay standing next to him, looking at him in the same level of distress as he was. He stood and gulped, glancing at the busy medical teams behind the doctor.

Before he could utter a word, he wiped his tears with his hand and averted his gaze as if he felt embarrassed for crying for the first time.

“You don’t have to hide your worries because we all are on the same boat here,” Clay said in a cold tone, which Valon expected from a doctor. But when he heard it, it didn’t take long before he clucked and sat again to avoid looking at him.

“How could I keep calm when I see my students suffering like that?” Valon said, almost screaming to his face after he pulled his face to land a stare at the young doctor. “I understand doctors are stoic because you have to. But how could you say something like that to me when I don’t need to hear your bullshit today?”

So, do you want me to say sorry? Clay inhaled and exhaled soft sighs of exasperation, briefly shutting his eyes as if he was carefully choosing his words to express his dissatisfaction with the ongoing situation. In his mind, he understood Valon’s concern. However, as he said, he was a doctor, so he couldn’t express or show the same distress as everyone because it would add up to the tense situation.

As much as he wanted to express what he truly felt at the time, it wasn’t the best choice. Knowing he couldn’t do anything to ease Valon then, he turned around and left him alone in his seat, heading back inside without saying a word of comfort. Besides, he doesn’t know what to say to calm him down.

Valon turned his head when he left, only to learn he was already gone. “That son of a bitch,” he said, clucking before he stood and walked in strides until he arrived at the empty lot behind the hospital. Then, he leaned against the unfinished concrete wall of the building and took a cigarette to light it up.

As he exhaled a cloud of smoke, he looked up to the sky, hoping that the students were alright and could be discharged soon while feeling remorse towards Clay for doing something he shouldn’t have done.

***

While in the middle of a mess with the busy crowd of people entering, Valon stood at the hospital entry, swiveling his head in all directions as if he was searching for somebody. After a while, as he turned to his right, his eyes glowed when he saw Clay in a rush, flipping the papers clipped on the board he was holding.

The attending nurse was much shorter, so Clay had to bend down to reach her height shortly before arriving at the nearby nurse’s station where Valon stood. “We’ve got this, Doc!” she said loudly as she walked into the room, rushing towards the patients.

“Alright,” Clay said, nodding. As her voice faded, though audible in the background, he couldn’t hide his worry for the injured students, especially those he had rescued earlier he arrived at the hospital. While he was in such a distressing situation, unlike yesterday, he was wearing his usual boring clothes. It made him feel at ease because looking like that and being seen wearing the same clothes felt more familiar than how he appeared yesterday.

Then, he recalled Alain’s excitement when he arrived in his apartment one day with a bespoke all-black suit he had made for his young brother. He sighed, thinking why he had to do all that for him. While deep thinking, he pulled his face a little bit, only to notice Valon walking towards him. Surprised, he gulped, feeling the same rising ecstasy as he did when they met earlier, not too long ago.

When Valon stood closer to him, his eyes began to wander again, looking into the unusual getup of this man-oozing a beautiful mix of colorful, Bohemian vibe that stood out against the plain white walls and gowns. At the back of his mind, he asked himself if he could get used to seeing someone this way despite trying not to be too judgmental about their personality differences.

“Why are you here?” Clay said with disinterest.

Valon pressed his lips and flicked his head down before pulling his face up to look at Clay and sighing.

When Clay saw and heard nothing from him, impatience overrode him, so he impulsively raised his arm to check on his wristwatch. Then, he clucked. “You know I don’t have all day to wait for you to talk.”

But I can’t just let go of this. “I know you’re busy. Can we speak alone for a moment? Please,” Valon said, pressing his fingers on Clay’s arm when he noticed him wanting to walk out.

Clay scoffed and exhaled sighs of frustration, rolling his eyes. But then his eyes crawled down to glance at Valon’s thick fingers, pressing against his white fabric and feeling the warmth permeating through the sheet and against his skin. He wondered more why he couldn’t seem to shove Valon’s hand when it was right. Instead, he waited until Valon released him and awkwardly tucked his hands in his pants. “Sure, what do you want to talk about?” he said, arching an eyebrow.

“I’m truly sorry for what I said yesterday. I didn’t mean to explode like that,” Valon said, pressing his lips and sighing guiltily.

Clay sighed. “It’s fine. I understand why you’re feeling like that anyway.”

Valon nodded. “Thanks for saying that.”

“Is that the only reason for being here?” Clay asked, increasing the pitch of sarcasm.

“No, I mean-” Valon shook his head and froze for a moment and was suddenly frantic, thinking of how he could extend this conversation. Because it was clear to him that the doctor was trying to escape and avoid him, but he didn’t want him to. However, when his eyes noticed how busy the hospital was, as much as he wanted to, he wasn’t in the right position to demand Clay’s time. So, he nodded. “-Yeah, and don’t forget about the art exhibition. I’ll expect you to be there,” he said, stuttering.

Clay nodded, flashing a soft smile. “Let’s see,” he said before he turned and left Valon alone, observing him walk away.

Valon turned as well, heading back to the entry. But before he could leave the hospital, he flicked his head to where Clay was, assuming he was still there, before he let out a soft sigh and headed to the department office, where he was supposed to go, clucking and scratching his head.

What have I done? He thought, leaving him clucking as he walked into his cubicle and sat on his swivel chair.


Author’s Note:

Thank you so much for spending time reading this chapter. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did when I wrote this part three months ago. This chapter, in particular, reminded me of those times when I sat before my desk, seemingly prepared to type in words, but I struggled to keep it up.

It took an external motivation to get it through, and, at that time, the NaNoWriMo event was upcoming. At that time, I thought, “This could be a great opportunity to try and give this a shot one more time. You’d done an excellent job with ‘The Rival,’ so you could do it, Mecyll.”

You know, it’s easier said than done because writing a chapter with a clear intent to finish it requires more than just a skill. Since I started writing fiction, I realized how much this work demands my ability to be naked and the guarantees to answer whether I was mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepared to face my fears, conscious or unconscious.

So, being able to write this down meant I managed despite the countless times dancing around with depression and enjoying the roller coaster rides my anxiety provided me.

This is why I don’t know how I could thank you for your support, regardless of the scale or contribution size, from sharing my work with others or buying my books. It doesn’t matter because, for me, every small act you show is appreciated.

Again, thank you, and have a great day!

If you like to support my writing life, here’s what you can do:

  1. Get a copy of “The Rival” Uncensored Gay Romance Novel.
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