A story about the tv show, Cupid
by Steve 0yervidez

Some(minor)scenes still missing in page 3, but done for the most part.
(still working on those)

            Shadows were starting to fall over the glittering lights of Chicago.
            In the distance, far beyond the shape of Claire Allen's house below, the sun was slipping gently below an orange tinted horizon, turning everything dark. As the light faded, the calm street below was left behind, peaceful in front of Claire's home. All along the block, lights were starting to switch on here and there, below the dimming twilight canvas stretching above, resisting the dark, creating artificial lights, artificial suns in the shadows.
            Inside, the soft light of a bedroom lamp lit Claire Allen's form as she finished getting dressed, watching the sun go down through her bedroom window. The colors of the sky faded against the dark outlines of houses. Houses, where the lives of people played out everyday. Thinking, Claire's brow furrowed. Where as the days of the people in those houses were winding down, hers was just beginning. Strange how life could change sometimes.
            Dressed in a strangely casual manner, Claire finished what she was doing. Gathering her things, she headed out of her bedroom door.
            In the living room downstairs, Trevor was looking outside too, gazing out through the larger bay window and watching the sky wistfully as the last of the daylight faded away. He had a steaming mug of coffee in his hand, drinking it occasionally as he looked out at the vista before him. Transfixed by the last echoes of the sunlight world outside, he didn't hear Claire's steps as she came down the stairs, the sound stopping when she saw where he was.
            "Trevor..." She sounded tired. "I've asked you not to do that, like... a million times."
            "No one's going to see me, Claire."
            "You don't know that. Trevor, you have--"
            "--to keep a low profile." He finished along with her, having gone through it all before. "I've heard that a million times too, Claire."
            "Yeah. But there's a difference between hearing, and actually acting on it."
            "Sure. But your definition of 'acting' usually means to just 'do exactly what I say'."
            Smiling, she moved over and kissed him. "Guess I just love a god of love who takes orders."
            "And special requests too." he teased her, kissing her back.
            She kissed him deeply, but it was obvious that in her embrace, she couldn't resist pulling him away from the window in the process. Trevor realized what she was doing, but strangely enough didn't care at all. he was lost in the feeling of her lips and body against his, tingling from the kiss she gave him. Pulling back, Claire exhaled a soft, warm breath against his lips, pleased, perhaps having expected that exact reaction. Her gaze was steady on his.
            "I'm going to work now. Bliss is asleep upstairs."
            "Ok" he said, still recovering slightly.
            'Be good," she cautioned, concerned.
            "I'm always good."
            A new smile broke onto Claire's face. "I definitely know that." Another long, tingly, lingering kiss. "But while I'm gone... be better."
            He nodded. "Ok. I'll add an extra cheerleader to the squad coming over tonight."
            "Oh." With a twinkle in her eyes, she kissed him again. "Siss Boom Bah."
            She gathered the rest of her things, car keys and such, and Trevor followed her to the door.
            "Claire, you know there's still a cheerleader outfit waiting for you if you want to blow off work."
            She spoke in all seriousness. "That's ok, Trevor. We still haven't fixed the rips in the old one yet. Call me if anything. You know the number."
            "I know the number." He stood by the door as she opened it.
            Another quick kiss on the lips. "Bye, Cupid."
            "Bye Claire."
            And then... she was gone. The shadowed home was quiet again. Trevor stood there, motionless, waiting. He looked around, almost sad at the quiet, the stillness. Turning his head, he listened. She hadn't come back. He heard the sounds as her car left, its headlights swiveling across the living room's bay window. Trevor waited a few seconds more... before suddenly springing forward without warning, a joyful lightness in his step and a smile on his face.
            Looking cautiously around even though he knew no one else was there with him, he moved over to a darkly varnished circular wooden pillar, a similar square pedestal at its base. Standing beside it, he acted non-chalant even though he knew no one was watching him. Not caring that that was true, Trevor stood with his back to the pillar, leaning back against it, hands in his pockets, inexplicably trying to look casual. He began to whistle softly. Then his right elbow quickly jammed back against the wood. Low, along one side near his feet, one polished wooden plank was now extending slightly out.
            With one last look for non existent observers, Trevor knelt happily, removing the plank pulling out some objects from inside before replacing the plank in one smooth well rehearsed move. He looked down at the wood. It seemed seamless again, no sign of the space inside it.
            Trevor looked at the objects he had removed, gazing at them gratefully. They were simple. A dark light bulb. Masking tape, scissors. And a small Greek cigar box, so stuffed its lid was barely able to close. Swaying to one side, his body eagerly swept over towards the window.
            In the shadows, his fingers quickly worked, turning underneath the small lamp on the polished desk. He took the unscrewed light bulb and replaced it with the dark one he had hidden away. Leaving the lamp turned off, he tore strips of masking tape, sticking them to the window beside the lamp into a shape. The living room was quiet behind him. Another strip and he was done, revealing the white tape outline of a heart on the glass.
            Trevor switched on the nearby lamp, swiveling it up to shine on the window and the taped heart. It glowed a deep, lush red with the new colored light bulb inside, shining outward into the night. Pleased with himself, Trevor stepped back. Grabbing a nearby basketball, he started bouncing it on the floor as he waited, for some reason thinking of redheads.

            Claire Allen walked down a dim, carpeted hallway, moving past door after door, greeting co-workers quietly as they passed her by. Everyone seemed hushed. She smiled politely, familiar with these people but not really close, having started the job only in the past few months. As she walked further into the building and the hallway slipped silently past her, Claire realized some part of her wasn't fully invested in this new job yet. Deep down it still surprised her to think that she was doing this. She would never have expected it of herself Her life had definitely changed. Still... it was work. Something new, offering different challenges.
            "Hello, Tom." she greeted one of her supervisors passing by.
           "Mrs. Allen."
            Opening a door, Claire walked into a small, cramped room and sat down, getting comfortable before a low, wide desk in the dim light. Opening her bag, she spread some papers out on the top, before pausing to stare at the machinery before her, her lips parted slightly. A woman came in and handed her a cup of coffee.
            "You ready for this?"
            Claire smiled. "Ready as I'll ever be."
            "Fine. I'll count you down."

            A box light near the ceiling pulsed on, glowing with the words ON AIR.
            Sliding her chair forward, Claire put on a large pair of headphones and pulled the swinging, black metal arm with a microphone hanging from it towards her. She watched her assistant's fingers counting down through a glass window into the next room, before the woman finally motioned the go ahead and Claire spoke.
            "Welcome again everyone to LOVE NOTES. You're overnight source for help on love and relationships. I'm you're host, Doc--." She paused. "Sorry. Old habit. I'm Claire Allen. We're going to have a good, relevant show tonight. RELEVANT. So please, no more calls about edible panties or how to prevent chafing. And ABSOLUTELY no calls asking what I'm wearing. You... you know who are. All our lines are open... so let's get started."

            Trevor kept bouncing the basketball, before finally pausing, looking towards the ceiling and hoping that the sound hadn't woken Bliss. Stopping at that thought, he carefully extended his arms and put the basketball down. The living room fell silent. Trevor turned his head and looked at the shadows around him. He felt isolated, alone. Which strangely enough was exactly what he was supposed to feel. He was a secret. No one was supposed to know he was back in Chicago, or even alive. This was his life. This was his 'low profile'.
            And then, there was a knock on the front door.
            Trevor's body tensed, turning towards the sound. Keeping his movements slow, he walked over to the door, completely serious now. Taking a deep breath, his hand paused on the door handle, trying to strengthen himself. Then without thinking, he wrenched the door open.
            Ian Frechette was standing there, frowning at him in the light from above Claire's front house step. His cold gaze looked straight onto Trevor's eyes.
            Trevor froze, the silent moment stretching between them in anticipation of what might happen next.
            Then a smile broke across Trevor's face.
            "Hey, man. Took long enough.... Come on in."
            Frechette grinned back at him, eyes creasing happily as he stepped into Claire Allen's home. Trevor shut the door behind them both. A concerned look passed over Frechette's face, thinking of something and turning back to Trevor once they fell into shadow again.
            "You didn't do it, did you?"
            Trevor didn't understand. "Do what?"
            "Look through the peephole. Check who it was. You just carelessly opened the door--"
            Moaning, Trevor turned away. "Oh don't start that again. I knew you would be coming. I put up the signal."
            "Trevor, you have to keep--"
            "-- a low profile. Right. Gods. You're starting to sound just like Claire."
            "Well, she doesn't know I come here, does she? The rest of Chicago doesn't know you're still alive, do they? That because it's a secret that has to be carefully, carefully kept."
            "ok. I'm the secret that is carefully, carefully kept." Trevor turned to him. "And hey. I AM keeping a low profile. And I do know how to keep secrets. The Pope and that little waitress near the Vatican for instance. The crashed alien planet-to-planet salesmen at Roswell. Even you. Claire doesn't have a clue."
            "That's good then, Trevor. We need to keep it that way. She would never approve of what we're doing. Where is she anyway?"
            "At work. As usual. Bliss is upstairs asleep."
            The two of them were walking towards the dining room table. Frechette was carrying a briefcase. Moving ahead, Trevor casually switched on the dining room light, but Frechette paused, hanging back in the shadows.
            "Trevor... the curtains."
            He turned back. "What?"
            "The curtains! The curtains! We could be seen!"
            Trevor huffed impatiently. "Ok, mom."
            He slid the curtain shut. Now that the two of them were isolated, Frechette moved forward into the light. Trevor beamed happily from the other side of the table, putting down his nearly overflowing cigar box and looking at him eagerly.
            "Ok, Ian... What do you got?"

            A thick notebook and stack of folders slammed down onto the dining room table beside Frechette's open expensive leather briefcase. His hands quickly spread the folders and sheets of paper out across it's surface for easy viewing, flipping open the notebook with precise hand written notes inside. Some of the papers were cleanly labeled and sorted copies of pictures. Others were just cataloged stacks of information. On the other side of the table, Trevor was pulling out a pile of unorganized slips of paper from the cigar box, leaving them jumbled on the table's surface.
            Trevor spoke up, looking across the table at him. "So. Hit me with it, Proxy Man."
            With a sigh, Frechette looked up from his notes. "Shawna and Justin fell through."
            Trevor leaned back, bitterly disappointed. "What? How? I thought that was a lock!"
            "I know. So did I. Everything seemed perfectly aligned. I took all your steps. Confirmed all the signs you taught me. But then last Wednesday for reasons I'm unaware of, it all blew up. And now they're not speaking to each other."
            "What happened?"
            Frechette shook his head. He looked down at his notes, the glow from the papers reflecting off his glasses with the room dim behind him. "I don't know. I didn't see it, since I wasn't there."
            "I told you to stay on them."
            "I'm juggling over two dozen different couples right now, Trevor! This case load you've given me is insane. I can't be with one couple all the time, Trevor."
            "Yes you can! You do what it takes. We'll get back to that." Trevor searched his pile of jumbled slips of paper, pausing on one. "What about those two professional football players we saw butt patting on tv at soldier field?"
            Frechette seemed embarrassed. "Security threw me out. I'll try again tomorrow."
            "Joe and Diana?"
            "Believe me. Nothing there."
            "Have you done anything to start it up again?"
            "I haven't had time."
            "Hmm... I thought you wanted to help me with this. Guess maybe, I was wrong."
            Frechette seemed offended. "I believe in what we're doing Trevor."
            "Sure. But I don't think you see the the larger scope."
            Intrigued, Frechette looked up from his large notebook of handwritten notes and pulled an even smaller notepad from his coat pocket, his pen waiting eagerly over it in his hands, ready to learn. "And what is that? Teach me, master."
            Trevor twinged, uncomfortable. "Please stop calling me that."
            Looking up again, he saw Frechette standing there, a willing audience.
            "Ok... Grab a seat. Class is in session."

            Inside the dim lighting of the radio studio, Claire was listening to the next caller, the woman's voice coming through her headphones.
            "So please... help me, " the woman softly pleaded. "You're the relationship expert. How do I find someone?"

            Still facing Trevor from his seat at the brightly lit dining room table, Frechette leaned forward eagerly, his pen ready to write. "So teach me, Cupid. How do I get these couples together?"

            Claire smiled at the question. She leaned closer to the microphone hanging before her before, getting comfortable, before answering the woman on the line. "Well... understanding the nature of relationships can be a complicated thing..."

            Trevor spread his arms. "It's not complicated, Doctor man. In the game, set, and matches of love, over thinking things is like throwing in the towel! Or whatever other mixed sports metaphors you can think of."
            Keeping his eyes of Frechette Trevor started to pace, moving his arms for emphasis, growing more enthusiastic and animated by the second. "LOVE... is everything, man. Everything. You've got to make them see that. Make them see that it's the most amazing, incredible thing in the world! And it's easy! You just have to realize what love needs..."

            "What love needs is patience." Claire continued to speak to the caller, her voice confident and feeling fully in her element. "Awareness. Time. It needs freedom to blossom to fruition on its own accord despite the obstacles."

            Trevor scoffed. "Obstacles? Never let obstacles make you wait! Make the obstacles wait on you!"
            Frechette blinked. "I don't really know what that means."
            "You don't NEED to know what it means! Just Break down the obstacles, man! Burn down the walls!" Trevor was speaking more and more loudly now, shouting in full Preacher mode. "Love needs heat! Speed! Fire! Want to make a match? Then light the match!! You don't stop! Ever! Love is a race car, barreling over a cliff with no brakes, exciting and out of control, going a million miles an hour with your hair on fire! If something gets in the way, what you do is," Trevor rammed his elbow towards his side, grunting, making a fist, lifting a knee, as animated as a male cheerleader. "You charge through with your guns blazing, face your fears, and above all keep going! The express train of love looks only at the destination and doesn't turn, with the absolute certainty that it will happen man!"
            Frechette continued to write notes, reading the words race car and express train written there on his notepad, wondering if any of it would be useful at all.

            Sighing at what she heard, Claire shook her head in the studio. "Caller, what you're talking about is infatuation. And while I agree that sort of passion is good, essential even, pushing too hard or rushing things too fast can crush a potentially long term relationship."

            Trevor laughed, disagreeing. "Going fast is the only way to win the race, man."

            Claire answered back. "Yes, but going to fast usually just leads to a car wreck. Forcing things that should happen naturally is never good."

            Trevor shook his head at how Frechette responded. "Not true proxy man. why do all you shrinks think that way? Let me tell you a secret. No matter what... most people... are stupid. Gum chewing through life with zombie eyes without seeing the possibilities."

            Claire shrugged. "Sizzle fizzles."

            "But you can't light a fire without it. Sometimes you got to just smack people on the side of the head to make them-- Hey... no. Don't write that down... Don't--. That's not literally-... Wait, you know what. Write that down. Go ahead and use it to set the spark, doctor man. Get their blood pumping, push through the fears. Things don't happen unless you make them happen."

            Claire leaned forward towards her microphone again. "Oh, on that point I agree. You have to be open to the possibilities. But sometimes our instincts are better than we think. Look inside, follow the pull of your--"

            Trevor looked quickly downwards to his belt as he stood there, "--heart. Follow the pull of your heart."
            Frechette nodded as Trevor continued.
            "And eventually, they'll get to the most important question for the long haul..."
            Intrigued, Frechette paused in his notes, leaning forward, looking up. "Yes, Master?"
            Trevor paused longer for emphasis. "If after a month of seeing your partner naked... do they still make you hot?"

            Claire laughed into her microphone. "Well, that seems to be a rather limited viewpoint, caller. It's a more superficial level of attraction that has little to do with true love."

            Trevor shrugged at Frechette's almost word for word response. "Maybe it is superficial. But it's the first step to the deeper stuff."

            Claire considered further, obviously thinking of a specific person. "Someone less mature might just be looking to start with sexual energy at the beginning. Which..." she paused, remembering, "... can be fun too."

            In the dining room Trevor nodded slowly. "Very fun, man..."

            Claire turned her head. "And being physically attracted to a person is an essential part. But afterwards, real love can't be based solely on that alone. Otherwise the foundation crumbles. For something long term you need more than just a physical connection. You need a connection deep in your heart. Deep in your soul. And after all is said and done..."

            Trevor nodded. "After all the crap is out of the way..."

            Claire smiled. "After all the fears, after all the broken hearts..."

            Trevor seemed serious. "After all the suffering before is finished--"

            Claire's eyes twinkled. "--and the obstacles are gone--"

            Trevor nodded, "--in the end true love is totally--"

            Claire continued. "--and completely--"

            In both locations, the two of them finally spoke together.

            "Worth it" they said as one.

            Claire smiled silently for a second, not knowing why.

            Trevor smiled too, feeling better. He pulled out a chair and sat down across from Frechette at the table. "Ok, doctor man. Let's look at your couple notes and get to some specifics, see what we can fix."

            Claire checked the time from a clock glowing on the wall. Beyond the glass, her assistant was motioning too. "Ok. Thank you caller. We'll be back in a few minutes. You're listening to LOVE NOTES with Claire Allen. Don't go away."
            She pulled back slightly, and her assistant's voice from the control room came through her headphones. "Ok... you're off."
            Claire looked down and checked the time on her wristwatch. Quickly she pulled out her cell phone and pressed a speed dial button.

            In the dining room, Trevor and Frechette were poring over Frechette's couples notes when Frechette checked the expensive watch on his wrist, looking down at it.
            "Trevor isn't it about time for--"
            At that moment, the cell phone Trevor had placed specifically beside him on the table began to ring. Without looking away from the notes, he picked it up and answered in one fast motion.
            "Everything's fine, honey" he said immediately, hanging up and placing the phone back down, going on with his suggestions.

            In the studio, Claire's mouth paused, never having gotten a word out. She looked up, thinking, before turning back to her work.

            Pouring over the notes, Trevor was speaking to Frechette when he paused and noticed an angelic, little brown haired girl standing by the entry into the dining room. He realized his rather impassioned speech earlier must have awoken his daughter.
            "Bliss, are you okay?"
            She nodded, silent.
            The little girl didn't come closer, watching them.
            Concerned, Frechette was looking at her too.
            "How is she?" he asked. "Still hasn't spoken?"
            "Not a word..." Trevor looked at Frechette for a moment, thinking of something off topic, before turning his eyes back to the little girl and noticing that her attention had shifted. She was gazing instead towards an empty corner of the dining room, and as she did her smile grew wider. After a moment, she strangely waved a hello towards that empty spot.
            Confused, Trevor blinked. "What are you looking at, honey?"
            Realizing the direction Bliss was facing, Frechette seemed to suddenly grow nervous across the table, trying to change the subject.
            "Umm, probably just a moth, Trevor. Now about the list--"
            "Yeah, I just realized there's a problem with the list. Just a second..." Trevor spoke kindly over to his daughter. "Honey, go back to sleep. I promise I won't be loud. Everything's fine. Daddy's working now."
            That seemed to make the tiny little girl happy. She came forward into the light and gave her father a quick, silent hug before heading back upstairs.
            Beside him, Frechette was barely paying attention, his brow furrowed at what Trevor had said as he hunched forward over the table and frantically searched his notes, shocked he could have missed something. "A problem? On the list? What problem?"
            "Someone on the list is missing," Trevor answered, turning back to face him.
            Frechette continued to search. "Who? Who did I miss? I've been telling you all the possibilities. I've--"
            "You," Trevor interrupted. "The person missing is you."
            "Me?" The older man seemed surprised.
            "Yeah. You. You need some loving in your life. Don't worry, I'll hook you up, Doc. Just tell me what you're looking for. Redhead? Bald? Young, old, girl, guy, Lindsay Lohan? Because hey, I could do it."
            Uncomfortable, Frechette sputtered. "Well, no. Thanks... I... I don't--"
            The bearded man looked toward the same empty corner that Bliss had waved too, before looking away again. "I'm already, sort of--"
            "Hey, don't give me that, man." Trevor looked him over, evaluating, but his lips twitched slightly when he spoke, trying to sound reassuring. "Umm... come on! You're one HOT DOC. I'm... sure the girls are lining up for you. Somewhere. Somehow... It's my job to find the how. Women waiting for you? I'll find that line. May take the rest of my life, but I'll find it."
            Skeptical, Frechette looked at him. "You... You're going to find it. Stuck in here..." He motioned to the rest of the house.
            Trevor nodded.
            "Super excellent observation. Which brings me to my next point. I need you to watch Bliss for me..."
            "Oh not again. " Frechette moaned, throwing down his pen.
            "I have to get out of these walls, man. Besides, Bliss likes you."
            "Bliss isn't the problem. It's you. If you're recognized, Trevor--"
            "I won't be recognized."
            "If your seen--"
            "I won't be seen."
            Frechette shook his head. "Trevor, you--"
            "--can't live this way!" Trevor interrupted loudly, looking at him for a long moment, a desperation in his eyes. When he spoke again, his voice was lowered. "Stuck inside all the time. Like a shadow. Not whole. Not real. Not... free. Could you, Ian? If you were in my place.... could you do that?"
            Looking away, Frechette paused, thinking. Finally, after a long silent moment, he looked backup.
            "I guess I couldn't."
            The two men looked at each other, coming to an understanding.
            Trevor started gathering some things, throwing on a hooded sweat top, followed by a coat for the cold air outside. After he had grabbed everything, about to leave, he turned back to Frechette.
            "Just keep an eye on Bliss. Don't worry. She likes you. She inexplicably seems to think you are fun."
            Frechette nodded as Trevor started to leave, before calling out. "...and Trevor?"
            Frechette still looked at him with sympathy. "Good luck."
            Trevor smiled. "Thanks."
            The bearded man continued. "And may I also say... it's been an honor and a privilege tonight. Learning from the great Cupid. The one, and only... truly amazing god of love."
            Expressionless, Trevor looked away, pausing for a very long second. "Ok... you're kinda creeping me out now, man."
            And with that, Trevor opened the front door and was gone, leaving Frechette sitting in the lit dining room of the dark, silent house.

            A shadow moved through the streets. Hidden. Unseen. Simply another person's outline passing by. Above, streetlights glowed brightly, but the hooded figure avoided them in the distance, moving towards a street corner.
            Far away, two very large headlights suddenly appeared, moving closer slowly.
            Somewhere unseen, music started playing, sounding like a pipe organ playing long, introspective chords, softly.
            The two headlights came rumbling closer, pulling up to the street corner under the glow of a light to reveal a large city transit bus, stopping. Through the large windows along its side, the view of the interior revealed that it was virtually empty at that time of night.
            The pipe organ chords continued to play as the figure stepped out of the shadows, looking small beside the size of the bus as the person got onboard. In the distance, visible inside, the figure moved towards the back seats of the bus as the vehicle started to roll forward again, slowly rumbling away.
            More musical instruments joined the pipe organ over the image of the retreating taillights of the bus. A guitar was softly playing a fast, repeating rhythm, rising slowly in anticipation. Slowly the music crescendoed, growing louder, until finally it was joined by a bass guitars and drums, the organ chords fading away.

            Downtown in the night, the bus squealed to a stop as it's doors folded open. Trevor stepped off and looked up at the skyscrapers glittering all around him, far above his head. Lowering his gaze, he looked at the people walking by on the sidewalk in the cold air, busy even at this time of night. A line of seemingly endless car headlights were racing past on the street behind the bus. As the bus finally pulled slowly away, Trevor took in all the activity, feeling it alive around him, finally free of the confines of home. He smiled under the hood that covered most of his face in shadow. Sighing contentedly, he moved off down the sidewalk into the chilling night.

            Inside the radio studio, Claire was speaking into the microphone hanging before her to answer the caller's question.
            "Well, Samantha, sometimes it's natural to feel the need to break out, break free, break away from the self imposed walls we surround ourselves with. It's always easy to find yourself stuck in a rut."
            The music swelled and a man began to sing.

            I want to run, I want to hide,
            I want to tear down these walls, that hold me inside...

            As he walked through the crowd, Trevor looked ahead and spotted a man squeezing past a woman he had obviously never met before. The man's head turned after he passed, watching her. She smiled back at him, their eyes meeting for a moment. But then he turned and continued forward, the moment gone.

            I want to reach out, and touch the flame
            Where the streets have no name...

            The man took several steps and was now approaching Trevor, quickly checking his cell phone before dropping it into the pocket of his expensive brown outer coat, not looking back.
            Suddenly the man veered towards an all night coffee bar beside him. Trevor veered with him. The two of them collided, bumping hard as they both tried to get in at the same time. Apologizing, Trevor stepped back and pulled open the door for the man. The man glared at him and went inside. Not following him in, Trevor simply smiled, victoriously lifting the cell phone he had removed from the man's pocket.

            WHere the streets have no name...

            Moving quickly now, Trevor continued walking down the sidewalk towards the woman waiting to catch a taxi. Still looking back at the coffee bar, Trevor seemed to almost watch past her when he suddenly turned and with an exaggerated surprise he stopped and pretended to finally notice her there. He spoke to her.
            "Miss, could you do me a favor? I'm in a super humongous rush and I just saw that very attractive man in the brown coat drop his cell phone. Could you go in there and give it to him? He just now went inside that coffee place over there."
            Surprised, the woman took the cell phone from him. "Sure. Thanks."
            Watching her, Trevor's face almost gleamed, pleased. "Hey, I gotta go. Name the first born after me, okay?"
            As he walked happily away, the woman blinked at what he had said, calling after him. "Wait! What's your name!"
            Trevor turned but didn't stop, walking backwards with a smile. "Doesn't matter!"

            Where the streets have no name
            We're still building then tearing down love,
            Tearing down love

            Inside Claire's studio, she continued to speak into the microphone.
            "In life, or in relationships, sometimes we can lose ourselves, forget what makes us unique. Attractive. Forget what makes us who we are. It's always important to make the effort... to find that again."

            And when I go there, I go there with you
            It's all I can do...

            Now further down the block, Trevor was talking to a pretty blends woman and pointing to another man across the darkened street. The two of them smiled as Trevor leaned in and whispered encouragement into her ear. For a few moments, the woman nodded in agreement. Then suddenly her eyes widened and what he said and she pulled back and slapped Trevor across the face before storming away. Tenderly, he touched his cheek, watching her leave before he shrugged and continued on. He walked down the darkened sidewalk, streetlights shining down from above in circles of light as a different woman's voice could be heard calling in to Claire's show.
            "Mrs. Allen, do you feel it's fair that you lost your license because of the incident four years ago? The incident with the patient you fell in love with?"

            In the studio, looked down, swallowing before answering. "I.... I don't want to talk about that."
            The caller pressed on, coming through her headphones. "What about the rumors in the last few months of sightings of Trevor Hale .Here in the city. Do you think there's any possibility that he may be still alive?"

            Walking down the street, Trevor pulled his hood in tighter, blending in with the crowd on the sidewalk.

            Claire paused in her studio, having that question asked of her before. Her first response was flippant. "Well I'm sure he's alive and well in a restaurant right at this moment having tea with Bigfoot, Elvis, and Jimmy Hoffa. It's ridiculous, just rumors, nothing more."
            After that Claire suddenly grew introspective, wondering why that question was asked so much. Thinking about it, she became lost in her own thoughts, gazing at nothing, as she replied. "But I... I understand the desire to want Trevor to be alive..."

            In the cold night air outside, Trevor carried a sealed styrofoam cup of hot coffee in his hands, steam whisping out from under the plastic lid as he walked across the city park in the darkness.
            Over that image Claire's voice could still be heard talking to the caller in the studio.
            "Sometimes it's a harsh world. A world where we lose things. Before we're ready for them to leave. And it's comforting to want the story to continue, to see what happens next. To want those things back in our lives again, back the way they were."
            Trevor moved towards a man wrapped tightly in several multiple layers of tattered, disheveled clothing, sitting on a park bench in the cold. He had wrinkled skin, a scraggily beard, and a huge cloth bag by his side, where he collected various items abandoned on the streets of Chicago.
           Claire continued.
            "But life doesn't work that way. We can never really go back. Because things are never really the same after."
            Without saying a word, Trevor plopped himself down on the park bench beside him. They were both quiet as they sat beside each other for several seconds, before Trevor finally offered the man the cup of coffee he had bought for him.
            Claire continued to speak. "Yet I can understand how despite that, how despite everything it's nice to think Trevor's still out there, doing what he does. Helping people."
            The scraggily bearded man seemed surprised at Trevor's gesture, looking at Trevor strangely before his hands slowly took the styrofoam coffee cup from him. Trevor patted the older man's shoulder like they were long lost friends, whispering something to the man. The man wasn't used to being talked too, and he was at a loss. Trevor motioned to the coffee, and then pointed towards a woman nearby. She was older too, pushing a rusted shopping cart full of crumpled soda cans, softly muttering incoherent words, totally unaware of anyone around her.
            Coming out of nowhere, Claire's voice could still be heard.
            "When it comes to finding love, so many things are pulling against us. Bad luck, doubt, fears, missed opportunities..."
            Finishing his talk, Trevor stood up, happy that he had accomplished something as he walked away. The bearded man looked at the coffee cup gratefully after Trevor had gone, slowly pulling open the lid... before pouring the hot liquid inside it out onto the grass and placing the styrofoam cup onto his head like a hat.
            All the while, Claire continued to talk to her caller.
            "It's comforting to believe someone is still out there, pulling for us. Someone who's on our side."

            "Bye, Roger. See you same time here tomorrow."
            A waitress in a cafe placed her regular customer's bill down on the table and walked away, offering him a smile.
            Seated at a table nearby, Trevor waited.
            He watched as Roger paid for his bill, leaving his money on the table and starting to get up. The waitress glanced back at him from the counter, and he smiled back at her, a warm look on his face as he turned and exited the small cafe, walking away outside.
            Trevor's eyes locked on the waitress, waiting.
            Claire co continued.
            "A patron saint, looking out for us, and secretly helping us along the way."
            Seeing the waitress distracted for a moment before she came back to the table, Trevor darted his hands forward and dropped a single long stemmed rose from under his jacket down onto the waitresses tip.
            "Someone who actually WANTS us to find love."
            Trevor pulled innocently back when the waitress finally turned and walked up to the table. The woman paused, ignoring the money, but slowly picking up the rose left for her on the table. With an amazed look, she turned her eyes towards the door where Roger had left. With a smile that lit her face, she lifted the rose to her nose and turned away.
            Trevor smiled as Claire's voice spoke out. "The hard truth is that Trevor's gone. But still.... I like to believe he's alive. Alive in the hearts of everyone he helped get through love's pitfalls and minefields. Alive in the hearts of everyone he nudged forward past their fears. Everyone he touched..."

            In her broadcast studio, Claire was still staring straight ahead, her eyes glinting happily, thoughtful, smiling. "He's still alive for everyone who loves him. And that includes me."

            Trevor was outside, waiting on a platform for an elevated train, next to a man who seemed impatient to get on. Both of them stood next to each other in the cold night air, trying to stay warm. Trevor looked at the man and tried to start up a conversation.
            "Cold night, huh?"
            The man seemed disinterested. "I suppose."
            Stomping from foot to foot, Trevor nodded down the platform, his breath misting. "So... she's cute, huh?"
            Growing annoyed, the man checked his watch. "Yeah, I suppose...."
            Trevor nodded. "Maybe you should go over. Say hello."
            Having had enough, the man turned angrily towards him. "What? Wait. Who are you?"
            Realizing he had pushed too far, Trevor stepped off, backing away. "I'm nobody, man. I'm nobody."
            Trevor walked off into the distance, going down the steps and leaving the man behind as the elevated train finally pulled up.
            A caller's voice still overlapped him as Trevor left the train platform. "Mrs. Allen, since I lost her, lost everything... I just feel... like I don't know who I am anymore."
            The windows at Taggerty's were glowing brightly out into the night, shining down onto the sidewalk as Claire's vice answered.
            "Well, Michael, sometimes it's easy for people to lose themselves. Forget who they are."
            A line of people was waiting to get inside, Trevor walking beside them. The door bounder checking ID's at the front of the line was different, Champ not working there anymore. Trevor averted his gaze and kept going. Moving past the front door, he continued down the sidewalk, walking along Taggerty's wide windows. But then he paused, and turned to step closer, looking into the interior, his face bathed from the lights from inside. He saw people everywhere, crowded as usual, laughing, dancing, enjoying themselves. Suddenly Trevor couldn't help but feel the pull to be inside instead of standing outside in the cold.
            Somewhere in the distance, Claire continued to speak.
            "But you can't find yourself again by just trying to live in the past. Because trying only to recreate something that's finished, some place in your life that's gone... it usually just leads to disappointment. Yet it's something we all know. But that doesn't make letting go any easier."
            Another voice spoke out, far closer to Trevor.
            "Sir, can I help you?"
            Calling out from over by the front of the waiting line, the voice of the Taggerty's bouncer seemed gruff as he addressed him, watching him with an unfriendly stare as he hovered there by the windows. Trevor shook his head, and continued walking down the sidewalk, not looking back again.

            Seated inside her studio several minutes later, Claire finished with her caller. "Thank you Michael. Have a nice night."
            "Thank you, Dr. Allen."
            Claire pushed her notes aside, getting ready for the next call. her voice became lighter as she leaned forward and transferred to the next light on her board. "Ok... Moving on to our next caller... our next caller's name is... Bob. He says he's been having intimacy issues. Ok, Bob. You're on the air. What's your question."
            A British voice came through her headphones.
            "Well, Doctor. I've been having problems with self appreciation. So that's why I called. I need help lighting the spark in my love life. And I have to admit, lately I keep having trouble."
            She blinked, listening. "Trouble? What kind of trouble?"
            "Trouble picturing you naked. So if you could tell me exactly what you're wearing right now, it would really help improve my self 'appreciation' so I can--"
            Claire instantly disconnected the call, shaking her head and ignoring it. "Ok, moving onto our next caller--"

            Hanging up the exterior pay phone, Trevor smiled triumphantly, still ignoring the identifiable cell phone in his pocket. With a grin he stepped back and moved off down the sidewalk again.
           The music still played from some unseen source.

            And when I go there, I go there with you...

            In the studio, Claire continued her show.
            "From the calls we've taken, I'm starting to see a pattern emerging tonight. In a relationship, love can't be about losing yourself. In the end, real love, true love is about being with someone who helps you find yourself."

            It's all I can do...

            Somberly Trevor walked forward as the music, filled with a fast repeating guitar, began to fade away, finally going silent. Above him, the dark night sky seemed open, less cluttered as he stepped slowly across the grass. In the dim light a large block of polished marble suddenly slid past him as he walked, followed by the shadowy form of another on the other side, and then two more, all of different designs. Trevor didn't notice, his eyes fixed ahead. He was walking through a cemetery, walking all alone in the night. His eyes were staring at one tombstone in the distance, watching it as it slowly came closer and closer. Finally he stopped before it, wondering why he had come here. His eyes were sad beneath his hood as he looked down, not knowing what to say. He read the words inscribed there.


            Sighing, Trevor pulled the hood of his head, and put his hands in his pockets as he looked at it. He really didn't know why he had come. It felt surreal to be standing over his own grave. But this was him now. To the rest of the world, this was all that was left of him, a forgotten tombstone of a crazy man's burial site, delusion even in death. As Trevor stood there, he looked away, feeling empty inside.
            And then he heard footsteps.
            Trevor looked all around when he heard, surprised anyone would be there at that time of night, turning in place on the grass as he searched for the source of the sound. Then he saw a dark figure, stumbling, weaving slowly back and forth between the tombstones, coming slowly towards him in the dark of the night.
            Freezing for a second, Trevor wondered what to do. But the figure didn't seem to have seen him yet. Trevor quickly backed away from his grave marker, lifting his hood over his head again and slipping further into the shadows of the cemetery, before finally ducking behind the tombstones. Inside he knew he should leave, get out while he could, but he was curious about the figure. Stopping behind a tall pillar shaped grave marker he pressed against it, concealed as he looked back around its side, the marble cold under his fingers. Quietly he watched the stumbling shape.
            The dark figure was closer now, resolving into the shape of a man, barely visible in the darkness. The man was still stumbling left and right, unsure of his balance and having trouble staying on his feet. After a few moments, the reason why was obvious. A large, half empty bottle of alcohol glinted in his hand off a distant light. Occasionally the man lifted it up, taking another drink as he stumbled deliberately forward towards Trevor's grave. Finally he momentarily regained his balance and stopped before it as Trevor watched from his hiding place.
            Then, inexplicably, the man fell to his knees before the grave marker, weeping uncontrollably. Surprised, Trevor could barely make out the words coming through the man's sobbing.
            "I'm sorry... I'm so sorry... I could have saved you.... I could have saved--"
            His voice breaking, the man's head dropped, his sobs the only sound, echoing over the tombstones. Trevor watched for several moments, uncertain., Then he couldn't stop himself any longer, feeling the pull to go over and see if the man was all right. Making sure his hood was up, he slowly began to approach the sobbing figure, trying to stay in the shadows. Trevor didn't know what was happening or who the man was, but he was clearly suffering. Despite the risks, Trevor wanted to help.
            Trevor stepped slowly closer, calling softly over to him, cautiously extending a hand out, trying not to startle him. "Hey, it's okay man. You'll be okay."
            In a daze, the sobbing figure lifted his head as he knelt on the grass and looked over at him, tears glinting on his cheeks from the distant light. He was fairly young, but his face looked older than his years, puffy and desperate looking with two days of beard on his face. A smell wafted from him. The man was drunk and had obviously been crying long before coming to Trevor's grave. Finally he spoke.
            "Who... who are..." he said softly, his voice weak.
            "Doesn't matter." Trevor smiled, shaking his head , coming closer. Reaching out, he helped the man to his feet, patting him reassuringly on the back. "Doesn't matter who I am. What does matter is that what ever this is that's happening to you, you'll get through this."
            Now standing beside him, the man didn't turn, instead still looking sadly down at Trevor's grave "I really don't know if I will."
            Trevor did his best to keep his face hidden under his hood, still trying to console him. "Hey, it's never to late to change things."
            The man still looked forward. "Can you change the past? Can you undo something that can't be undone?"
            Trevor blinked, not understanding. The man was still watching his grave. Trevor nodded towards it. "Why are you out here? Did you... did you know this guy?"
            "No. We never really met. But it's my fault that he's dead." The man took another drink from his bottle.
            "Your fault?"
            "My fault. I was supposed to have saved him. I could have saved--"
            As he spoke, the man turned his head to glance casually at him, and without thinking Trevor turned his head towards him too. Suddenly the man's eyes went wide with shock when he saw Trevor's face underneath his hood. Stunned, his expression emptied, stumbling drunkenly away from him. Falling down as Trevor tried to help, the man scrambled back to his feet and backed further away from Trevor like he was some sort of monster, but still not able to take his eyes from him.
            Seeing the situation getting out of control, Trevor looked into the shocked man's face and it suddenly hit him. He remembered the man's voice, calling to him. Trevor's face froze with the revelation, sensing the clarity one feels when they know with absolute certainty that they have reached the point of no return.
            His eyes, fixed on Trevor's, the man could barely speak through his shock, his words jumbled. "The rain... the cliff... I was supposed to talk you down from... I was the... I... I..."
            The man gasped, not knowing what was happening.
            "I... I watched you die."