Chuck rubbed his hands together uneasily. “Yeah, about that. Are you sure it’s not…you know, too soon? For going out to a bar?”

“I’m practically healed, Chuck,” said Evan. He had to go in for a biopsy on the ‘other lump’ in a week and stick to eating stuff that his body wasn’t going to violently reject from both ends thanks to the chemo. But Dr. Jaipur hadn’t said anything about not drinking, and he said a lot about not doing other stuff.

“Well, yeah, I suppose,” Chuck said, nodding. “But just because you’re okay physically doesn’t mean you’re okay mentally. I mean…you’re twenty-four with a fresh orchiectomy. I can’t even imagine what that must be like, how you must feel, not being able to have kids…”

Evan’s eyes flahed. “Even though I never wanted any kids to begin with?” He’d told Chuck before that he was just too messed up to bring a kid into this world–a world that, he might add, didn’t need any more humans, thank you very much. That conversation had been years ago.

“Well, you never know when someone might change their mind,” Chuck said. “And, I mean, to have that door closed for you so early, to lose even the potential of ever having kids…”

“Goddammit, Chuck, stop that,” Evan tossed back his drink and tapped the bar for a refill. God, Chuck was just like everyone else! It wasn’t that Evan’s life has been turned upside down, or the chance that the cancer was eating him away from the inside, or the fact that the orchiectomy hurt like hell and he’d always have the scar, or how the operation had hurt his chances of ever having a normal college student life. No, everybody felt sad for Evan strictly because of the fact he couldn’t have kids anymore.

“Evan, I-”

“I don’t want to talk about it anymore,” Evan said. His drink was refilled and he took a fresh swig of it. Considering it was served in stemware, a swig was about all there was to it. “You don’t have to cling to me like some kind of chaperone, Chuck. I’ll get a cab home.” He’d come there to get plenty drunk, not wallow in sympathy for not being a portion of a person factory anymore.

Chuck seemed about to say something, but instead he gathised his things. “I’m a phone call away if you need me,” he said.

“Thanks, but I won’t. Good night, and don’t wait up.”

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