I pick up the carelessly thrown hoodie and stare down at it and then back up at the empty room. It was covered in the chaos of domesticity and it was sickening to look at. The pile of our mail, mixed, was sickening. The bowl of noodles on the counter table, sitting comfortably as if this was some kind of home, was sickening. The bare walls were all that I found comfort in.
I take a seat on the couch and nudge a hideous red colored bowl to the side with by foot. The noodles remained cold and untouched. Perhaps I should learn to cook something more.
That thought makes me scoff.
Why should I?
I, for one, like noodles.
The silence is soothing, and yet mocking. It is the silence of solitude, not the silence of mutual understanding, but at least it wasn’t the terribly uncomfortable silence of boiling hatred.
Ah, yes the hatred. The fights with vile words. What was it that caused him to receive a nasty bruise on his jaw this time? He supposes it was the comment about ‘fuck off and leave me the fuck alone’. That was just unacceptable. For two individuals who fit together messily, it was a true wonder as to why they so desperately clung to each other. Yes, they never really left the other alone. It was a forced them. The prospect of separation was just not spoken of between these walls, and he supposes he did cross a line, although he hadn’t meant it that way. He really just meant this. One goes out while the other sulks indoors. That was all he meant, but anger does such a strange and particular thing to reality. It distorts it until the world is an ugly place.
This was not at all like his previous relationship, where kind words were sputtered meaningless and in access. All the love was cumulating into some strange heap of lies and a weak form of love. He wasn’t happy, but he certainly wasn’t miserable, and yet he still broke it off. The other bloke certainly loved him, of that he was sure, but it was a weak one dimensional love, which is common to most and enough to sustain a happy relationship, and yet he didn’t want it. So then, why would he remain in this relationship that teetered so dangerously between hate and love? If he could leave the other bloke who loved him, then why couldn’t he leave this one who hated him?
Love, he concedes as he frowns. He stays for the love. The love is stronger, so strong that it has reached the line that separates it from hate. Its maddening. The fights, the spats, the yelling and the silence, but he doesn’t leave.
He has not spoken to his father in years due to this relationship, if it even has the liberty of being called that. His father had discovered a particularly nasty bruise inflicted by his other and his father had been appalled. Domestic violence he screeched and tried so desperately to pull him into his fatherly protection and save him. What a laugh. His other had already apologized for the bruise, and he knew that his other was truly guilty for being the one to inflict it, and so he had forgiven him. Brainwashed, his father then wailed, mourning over his damaged psyche. Love, it was just love that did this brainwashing he spoke of, but of course he did not tell his frantic father this. His father implored for him to move back. He refused politely. His father begged him to go back to his previous relationship. He refused with hard eyes. His father demanded that he leave ‘that lowly piece of shit’, and he had then politely told his father to fuck off because his father had no right to speak of his other like that. Or perhaps he did have some right since his father only knew of that common, weak love and did not understand the love they shared. Even he, who is actually partaking in this relationship, at times does not understand it. Of course, that being said, that doesn’t mean that his other is entitled to hit him. If they get in a nasty spat and then a punch is thrown then it’s thrown, that’s what happens in spats. Either way, he doesn’t really mind because he throws punches every now then as well. It is not a punch throw in hate and detest, but merely one thrown in the moment’s anger.
He wonders if either of them had known how pathetically dependent they would become of the other. He certainly didn’t. When they first leaned in he had no idea where it would lead. It was just a stupid drunken kiss and by chance they happened to cross paths a month later. His other asked him to coffee, and he had agreed, even if he had a thing against coffee. That itself should have been a sign. He went with them and then weeks had blended together into what could have been dates, but never really called one.
It wasn’t even innocent from the beginning. They didn’t brand it a relationship at first, and after four months of these sort of dates, he had brought it up and questioned his other of their status. They had partaken in kisses and other physical acts behind bedroom doors, but never really in public. He wouldn’t have been offended if he was some sort of friends with benefit because they certainly were friends and clicked easily in that field. Although, he would not have it if he was seen as some kind of secret whore, it was just something that bred from principle.
His other glared at him then, look at him as if he was the stupidest thing to ever walk the earth, but even then, when his other was degrading him, there was this fondness to his eyes. He said a friend with benefits was the label, if he needed one.
He was fine with that.
Except when he realized how pathetically clingy he had become. He most certainly wasn’t okay with it when he realized that he loved the bastard. It frightened him because even then he knew that it could be dangerous, that if they decided move to a real relationship then he would love him even more and he didn’t want that. They wouldn’t make it, he knew it, he feared it and regretted it and so he had taken the liberty of arranging a date. He could, since they were just friends with benefits and there was this no strings attached nonsense.
His other though, did not take to the news so well. Its humiliating to think about the reason on he would have even told his other about his date, and then accepting it with a bit of shame that it was done to create forced jealousy. He wanted to know how his other would react. It was a selfish need and it was greedy of him, especially when his other was so bothered by it, but then it wasn’t so good when he realized that if he wasn’t careful they might fall into some kind of relationship.
He tried to get to his date, but then a fight had broken out in the mist of the silent tension and cruel words were spoken and there was this looming threat of breaking if all off, from whom he was unsure, but it was heavy presence and they both felt it and feared it. He didn’t know what he wanted, and he supposes the threat had come from him since he had been thinking about breaking it off since it would not end well.
Somehow, in that moment the relationship was born and he stayed with him that night and slept with him, just slept. It was hard at first, to make the transition because they both knew it would not end well and so they were both so cautious with the other, but in time their hearts had become stitched together and beat and the same beat and bled the same blood.
They are not perfect for each other, far from it, but they are good for each other, in a sense. Sometimes he plays with the idea of just leaving, without a word so he wouldn’t be tempted to take it back, but the thought physically hurts him. He doesn’t want it to end.
It’s stupid and dangerous to continue like this, so desperate and dependent for the other. He should leave, he really should and he sometimes wishes that someone would make him, really make him. He wishes someone will make the hard choice for him, but then he suddenly wishes the most painful death to whomever would dare.
He has heard of domestically violent relationships where the submissive one will be trained, almost programmed, to need the other one and fear leaving, and sometimes he wonders, he truly wonders if that is him, but each time he decides that it’s not. Their relationship is not centered around violence or fear and even if he fears the relationship ended he does not fear his other, at all. He entrust his heart to this other, and that is what scares him.
His ex had already shown interest in getting back together, unknown to his other, and it would be a smart decision, the first he’s made in a while, to take him on his offer, but then he realizes that he just sees it as an offer, a cowardly escape. He wouldn’t leave anyways, not for someone else that is. Perhaps if he’s had enough one day or perhaps if his other leaves him first, but he would never leave his other for another soul. He is utterly and completely, without a doubt in love with his other, which isn’t such a great thing. It’s a bit not good.
It’s wonderful too, though. His other is wonderful. He is kind when he means to be and considerate and so gentle for a monster. He is his other and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
He jumps slightly at the sudden intrusion of noise and the presence of a cold hand on his jaw. He must have really been deep in thought if he hadn’t heard his other enter the apartment.
“I know,” He takes a beat before whispering, “I forgive you, you know.”
“I know,” His other offers a small smile and caresses his jaw as he rests his head on his lap. “You always forgive me.”
“I do, don’t I? Never thought I would be so transparent,” He runs his hand through his others hair, “You’re always sorry.”
“I am, truly and honestly sorry,”
“I know that,”
“Doesn’t make it okay,” His other mutters as he stands to take a seat next to him.
“No it doesn’t,”
Silence follows then, the kind that signal that something important is about to be said.
“I ran into your ex,”
There it is.
“And?” He asks without looking at his other, suddenly being filled with guilt, as if he’s done something wrong.
“He wants you back,” He sees his other look at him through his peripheral vision, but he still doesn’t look at his other, “He said he offered it to you.”
“Offered what?” He doesn’t know why he’s playing this game.
The silence returns. He doesn’t know what he should say. Should he say that even if he’s thought about it, played with the idea of taking him up on his offer, he would never? Should he tell him that he loves him and that he’s okay with this love of theirs?
“Well?” His other’s voice is hard, which is never a good sign.
“Well what?” He really doesn’t know why he’s playing this game.
“Am I what?”
“Martin,” He hisses back as he finally turn to look at him. The sight tugs at his heart. He’s frowning and clenching his fists and he may look angry, but he knows him, oh he knows him so well and he knows that his other is afraid. “I love you.”
This catches him off guard and blinks, and when he collects himself his eyes are gentler and seem so sadden. “That’s the problem,”
He doesn't know what he means by that, but he know it’s probably true. Perhaps he meant his love for him is the only reason he didn’t take his ex’s offer, or perhaps he meant his love for him was a problem itself. Perhaps he knows too how desperate his love is for him, or perhaps he is trying to blame his love for the way their relationship turned out. No, he wouldn’t blame him for it, if anything he probably is blaming himself. Whichever way though, he doesn’t mind this sort of problem anyways. He doesn't want to leave him anyways, so he doesn’t mind that its his love for his other is what is keeping him here. He doesn't mind his love for his other. “Let’s not fix it,”
© Copyright 2016 The Artist Cellar. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Gay and Lesbian
Poem / Poetry
Article / True Confessions
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