personal blog: simon

can’t be too late. can’t be too early. the rules of hooking up.

my stomach growls but I ignore it and unbuckle the seatbelt. the engine turned off. the lights off and I push the door open.

what am I doing here? what am I doing at Bryan’s visitor parking lot?

Kevin and Bryan… and Bryan’s kiss. I am not in a condition to make any rational decisions.

one eight seven two. the door buzzes and I wave my hand to the security guard, surging for the elevators. I have slept little since Friday and have eaten even less. so, I stagger with every step. but, this is a pattern after each breakup, as if I have tossed a part of myself with the relationship. the underserving, the discarded part of myself. part of my senses.

the elevator door opens and I exit. met by Bryan’s gentle and generous smile, everything stops.

let the play begin.

let the truth unfold.

“hi,” and he engulfs me into his arms like the sea, as if we were best of friends and urges me to go in, entrapping me like a mouse.

hi, the blurred line between wanting something and fearing it. if the experience with Kevin was such a tragedy, why Bryan be any different?

such proximity. this time I made an effort to look good. crisp shirt, sleeves rolled up rebelliously, the scent of sandalwood, not too intimidating, on my collar, pretending to be a grownup and in control.

as soon as Bryan closes the door, I shift lunging forward to Bryan’s lips, but Bryan scoops my cheek into his palm, halting my intentions.

“I thought…” I shuffle an inch back with a complete puzzled expression. of course, I am not collected in any minimum and I don’t know what it is that I am doing. a scattered question. my fingers continuing to gently hold the side of Bryan’s neck. my cheek still in Bryan’s palm.

“it’s not.” Bryan clarifies with one easy exhale and retreats, creating space between our words and us. “I thought we could just hang out.”

hang out? I scoff, “you kissed me yesterday,” like that is any valid reason for me to attack Bryan few minutes ago.

“I’m sorry about that. I shouldn’t have.”

“and then you invite me over. what am I to think?” and it’s not like I even wanted to. it’s just something I am programmed to do because it’s something that is almost always expected.

“well. you left an impression.” another Bryan’s calm exhale.

“from yesterday?” I am baffled.

“from ten years ago but I realized we’re not ten years ago… it might have at first felt a little unfinished… and I was curious… but,” an exhale of vulnerability, “I know very little about you.”

“you know plenty.” I scuff but Bryan lets it slide.

“take a moment… breathe… and sit.”

is he fucking kidding me? what is this a therapy session?

“you want something to drink?” he asks as he moves to the kitchen.

I drop to the closes chair, not because I was told to, but because I am without a comprehensible thought and answer deflated, “water is fine.”

“hi.” Bryan followed me into the kitchen. “what would you like?” opening the fridge, bending to my whim, mirroring my sour expression. “nothing?” he smiled.

“I don’t drink.” in case Bryan was offering some liquor.

“not even water?” he poked fun.

I snickered, “water is fine,” and allotted myself space on the massive three-piece sectional in the centre of the room, between the entryway, doors to the back porch, kitchen, and guest bedrooms, in front of a colossal TV. the open space on the main floor looked like three ordinary houses would fit in it.

Bryan collapsed to my side. “here,” passing the glass and sinking his hands into the pillow.

“you don’t have to do this… be nice… keep me company.” I muttered.

“I want to.” then as quickly correcting his intentions, “I’m obliged to… you’re my guest,” yet consumed by my every move. like a grooming ritual. like being pointed out by my father that I’m his ‘special boy’.

Bryan’s eyes from that one weekend a decade ago drilled into my memory like the alphabet.

“I feel like I ruined a moment.” Bryan’s words break the pending silence. his forehead creases as he winces.

“you didn’t,” my confirmation comes off a little grave and I take the glass from Bryan’s grasp.

“will you stay?”

how can I say no to such courtesy and nod. for the first time I don’t know what to do, what do say, how to be.

“thank you.”

Bryan cannot possibly be so perfect and thank me for staying; but, there is not a single sign of evil in his gesture. my arm falls over the side of the chair as Bryan on his feet hovers for a moment before taking a seat on the sofa.

“you thanked me for staying?” I ask amused.

“I don’t want you vanishing,” and the freckle of Bryan’s nervousness somewhat appealing because it holds honest.

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© simon whittle — second act