The phone woke me. At first I thought it was the alarm clock beside my bed, but the familiar green glow pointed out that it was just after 3:00 AM, way too early for it to wake me, and my brain finally woke up enough to make my hand pick up the reciever. "Hello..." Silence. "Hello? Who's there..." Silence. Again. At this point I was just about to tell the phone to fuck off, that it was 3:00 am and that I was trying to sleep... Then 4 words. Just 4, but it was enough... "Matt, it's me. Jason..." It had been seven years since I heard that voice, yet in an instant I had a picture in my mind. Blonde hair, blue eyes, little half smile showing white, white teeth. We had been friends then; No, more than friends. Best friends. Something wasn't right with the voice though. It sounded strange, distant... "Matt, you still there?" "Yeah, I'm here Jace. What's up?" I replied. "She's gone Matt... She's gone." An hour later I was running down the stairs from my appartment, taxi waiting outside ready to take me to the airport... Sitting in the back of the taxi, my mind wandered back... Jason had been my friend since primary school. Opposite in every way, it was a miracle that we had managed to stay friends for over 13 years. I'm as dark as he is blonde. He was tall and slim, I was a little shorter but much bigger built. He was always a joker, full of laughter and sunshine, whereas I'm more like a storm cloud, dark and moody. From the moment we met, we were inseperable. We did almost everything together. Got drunk, got high, flicked through a skin magazine... You get the picture. We had even managed to get girlfriends together. Not that it lasted for me... I soon realised that I was more interested in seeing what the other guys were packing in the showers at school than I was in seeing her naked. Jason however, stayed with Kate... We were both born in Northern Ireland. That's not hugely important i suppose, but had it been any other country, or maybe even any other time, I might still be there. Born in the late 70's, we had never seen any of the stuff that made news headlines worldwide. Ours was a fairly normal and happy childhood. However, it's always been a tough little country, and sooner or later the wrong people knew about me preferring boys and I left. Actually, maybe that's too strong a way to put it... I had done well in my exams and was getting ready to go to university when I started getting things shouted at me in the street. Not that I'm camp or anything. You wouldn't be able to tell unless I let you know, but somehow they found out. Jason as always was there shouting back at them, but I really didn't want to spend my life like this... I had been accepted by a couple of universities, and to cut a long story short, had chosen Manchester. I guess the assholes who were making the threats just kept me from wanting to return, they weren't the reason I left. Anyhow, I finished uni, got a job, worked my way up and set out with my own company after a few years. Which is where I am now. 27 on my next birthday, and I own a little web development company which is never going to make me a millionaire, but I do ok. I'm still based in Manchester. Haven't been home since I left, though I've kept in touch with my family and friends. Jason went to university as well, it's just that he stayed back home. A year or so after I left, the phonecalls stopped happening and Jason and I just drifted apart. Nothing special happened, no big fight, no anything really. We just moved on. The taxi soon reached the airport, bringing me back to the present. I paid the driver and rushed through the rain into the terminal. 20 minutes later, I was sitting in the departure lounge, tickets in hand for a plane that would take me back to Belfast. Half heartedly watching the planes take off, a sudden thought came to the front of my mind... Why had he called me? I mean out of all the people he knew, why me???