personal blog: simon
not a brim of action. the day has dimmed a little. an overcast sky. soon streets will fill with cars. employed making their way for a meal before the forecast of rain takes over the town. I have enough of the drenched days this spring and examine Bryan’s concise text, “come over.”
come over. what an invitation? how he simply pulls my strings… and I don’t know what to expect. before this weekend, last time I saw Bryan was a decade ago and that was a brief encounter. I’m not sure what game he’s playing here and I know I should run but it’s like a magnet pulling me to the north star. maybe I should get to know him; after all, I bolted ten years ago never giving Bryan a chance. how scared I was… how young… a time when I still believed in romance; although I never gave someone a chance to cast it.
one weekend, one truth, and I was noticed.
“how old are you?” Bryan’s words rang with a punctuation of intrigue.
Bryan’s arm swung from the chair. “so much potential,” he muses without smugness or treat of play. it was a reflective contemplation. Jacob, who sat to my left suddenly darted from his chair towards the house. I knew it was to avoid another social encounter. Jacob always hated social gatherings. I almost bolted after him, but Bryan’s catch of my fingers bounded me to my seat. “let him be.” Bryan urged and unglued his fingers from mine slightly embarrassed. the waiver of his eyes swept from my stare and I liked that I had such power over him.
“what about Jacob?” I asked somewhat startled with concern and investigating as to what would Bryan answer.
“I care for him.” an admittance I rarely uttered and it made me blush, as if my secret of being in love with Jacob was not too far from deduction.
“I’m sorry for…” and gestured his hand. “you should go and check on him.” a kind allowance.
he dipped deeper into the lounge chair. not one of those plastic cheap one, but the expensive redwood double chaise lounger with white upholstered cushions. the one you really sink into. the whole setup looked like a magazine shot, with stone firepit in the middle. five bodies occupying the other chairs. it was a weekend getaway from the city. Bryan, his sister, and their friends. Jacob’s brother and his friends… and then there were the two of us: Jacob and I. the two outcasts invited only by association. not that Jacob much cared to go. more like, he was forced by his mother and me. I wanted to see how the other side of the world lived… me, the humble, poor kid from the streets. my weekends in the wild during my childhood were camping with the whole gear of tens, gas stoves, shared public washrooms, and soggy food when the ice melted and pierced through the plastic wrap, nothing as extravagant and elegant as Bryan’s family summer home… and those inexpensive excursions were rare.
and then there was everyone else. everyone who precisely fit the definition of spoiled rich brats. except Jacob, the rich yet meek and at times odd introvert. Bryan was next to own the honor of being different than the group. I knew Bryan came from wealthy family. I knew the moment I walked into the summer home… and although Jacob’s family had the same excessive wealth, he refused to be part of it as equally as he refused to be defined by his illness. living at the group home leveled everyone’s playfield. status didn’t matter. our diseases and dispositions did.
“nice place.” I muttered.
Bryan genuinely smiled at my comment then as if with embarrassment, “it’s my parent’s,” pressing his palm to his cheek, hiding behind it, almost uncomfortable. “I’m glad you’re staying.”
I didn’t know whether to thank him and blush but at the end Bryan’s approval made me smile.
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© simon whittle — second act