Heaven on Earth: Chapter 4 One Day at a Time
I wanted him, I really did. I couldn’t stay though, I had to run away. But why? Why was I running away? I went up to my room and sat there staring at the ceiling. It took me ten minutes before I was out the door and at Brian’s door again. I knocked several times before he answered. When he came to the door, he was wearing a towel and his hair was dripping wet. God, he was beautiful.
I never let him finish his sentence. My arms wrapped around his waist and I pulled him in for a passionate kiss. I could feel him melting into me. He put his arms around my neck and let his towel fall to the floor. We kissed until neither of us had any oxygen left. I looked into his eyes, and I knew that this was right. Water was running down his face and I leaned in to lick off. He placed one hand against my face in question, and groaned as I took one of his fingers into my mouth. His body pushed up against mine, and in a harsh whisper, he said,
“Let’s go back to my room.”
He took my hand and led me into his bedroom, his perfect ass bobbing in front of me as we walked.
I woke up the next morning in my own bed. I quickly sat up and all the blood rushed from my head. Did Brian bring me back to my room? Did I leave? I paused to think for a moment. No, it was a dream. My life wasn’t a fucking romance novel. How much of it was a dream? ‘A shower should help me clear my head,’ I thought. I threw the covers off my body and looked down. So that’s where all the blood went.
I pieced together the previous night as I ran through everything that had happened. We did go to the movies. We did eat. We chatted, he told me that he’s gay, I told him the same, and then I kissed him. No, he kissed me. Not like I did anything to stop him. And then I left. That was it. And that damn dream still did nothing to answer any of my questions or my doubts. Hot showers were great for thinking. What could I do now? If I wasn’t already in Heaven, I’d be damned if I hadn’t ruined any chance that I had with him.
I had to think of a better way to handle this. I stepped out of the shower and went into the bedroom. It was only 9:00, probably too early for me to go and wake up Brian, but it had to be done. What should I put on? I didn’t want to seem overly provocative, so running shorts and t-shirt were out of the question. But I didn’t want to put him off entirely. Was I being a girl about this or was it just me? I decided on a college shirt and cargo shorts. That was casual without acting as if I expected something right?
My heart was pounding as I went downstairs. He was going to be mad. How could he not be? I felt terrible for what I did. Shit. What if he didn’t want to have anything to do with me? Erica and Brian were all that I had in New York now that Jane had left me. Well, she hadn’t left me, but things were certainly different.
I raised my hand to knock on the door. ‘Here goes nothing,’ I thought. I waited. I knocked again and waited. He wasn’t there. I turned to leave and the door opened. Brian was there in a towel, dripping wet. Calderón was right: life is a dream. God, he was beautiful.
“Um, hi,” he said.
“Hi,” I replied, shaking myself out of my daydream.
“Sorry I couldn’t get to the door, I was getting out of the shower.”
“Yea, I can tell.”
We stood there in silence for a while. I couldn’t bring myself to look him in the face; I was too afraid to know what was there.
“Would you like to come in? I’m beginning to get cold standing here.”
“Oh, yes, of course.”
He led me into the apartment, and I took a seat on the couch.
“I’ll be right back. I’m going to put on some clothes.”
A minute later he came back in some sweat pants and shirt, but he didn’t sit on the couch though. He pulled a chair out from the kitchen table and set it in the living room. I guess I got the answer to the question of whether or not he was angry with me.
“Evan, I’m really sorry about last night. That was really rash on my part.”
“Brian, I’m sorry, too.”
“Wait a minute, let me finish.” I nodded my consent. “I shouldn’t have kissed you. I got excited, but I completely understand why you stopped me. You said it yourself, you’re only now coming to terms with being gay. I can’t imagine what kind of uncomfortable position I put you in. The truth is that I like you and I’m attracted to you. To hear you say that you liked me, well, it was exactly what I wanted. It’s been a long time since a guy I was interested in expressed interest in me, and it’s been nearly as long since someone’s even kissed me.” I could see him starting to form tears in his eyes. “This is new to you. I’m sure the last thing you need is an old, bitchy boyfriend like me.”
Here it was: the turning point in our relationship. Our future depended on the way that I responded. Was I ready for this? I had to be. I walked over to his chair and knelt in front of him with my hands resting on his knees. This time, I looked straight into his casino siteleri eyes.
“Brian, the way I acted last night was really shitty. You have nothing to be sorry for. I told you how I felt and then ran away when the truth is you were exactly what I wanted. You’re right, I am new to this, but if I’m too scared to start something with a great guy like you, then I’m never going to be ready.” I squeezed his knees and he smiled at me. Thankfully, his eyes had dried up because he made me want to cry.
“And you’re not old,” I added.
“Yes I am. I’m 26. That means I’m closer to being 30 than I am to 20. And what about bitchy?”
”Well, I’m not so sure I can argue with that one,” I said jokingly.
He lightly slapped my face, but it was really more like a caress. He then used his hand to cup my cheek.
“So…?” I asked.
I put on my prettiest, high-pitched voice in an attempt to sound like a high school student. “Will you be my boyfriend?”
He laughed at the look on my face. “Well, I suppose you can hold me over until I get a better offer. I’m still holding out for Brad Pitt.”
He stood up and pulled me off my knees. His eyes looked directly into mine, and I began to fade out of reality. A little hesitantly, he leaned in to kiss me, but I stopped him.
“Could we take this slowly at first?”
The warm smile on his face almost made me wish that I had never said it, that he would take me to the bedroom and not let me out until the next day. “Slow it is, then.” His soft lips met the flesh on my forehead and then I wrapped my arms around him.
We stood there holding each other. It felt good to be honest with myself. I felt like this was the start of my search for true happiness. It was a start wasn’t it? Brian was the first one to pull away.
“As much as I would love to stay here all day, I’ve got work to finish.”
“Oh, ok,” I said. Since I had the day off I was hoping that we could spend the day together, so I was disappointed. “Do you plan on eating today?”
“Sooner or later,” he said as he winked at me.
“Well, if you get hungry, give me a call. Maybe we can get lunch down at Joelle’s.” Joelle’s was a great burger joint a few blocks down from the apartment.
“I’d like that.” He walked with me to the door. “I’ll see you later, then.”
“Bye.” I timidly kissed his cheek.
Cloud Nine. That’s where I was then, that’s where I am now. Nothing could have brought me down after that. Well, as long as Nothing chose not to bother me on the ride back up to my apartment. When I got back to my apartment, there was definitely something waiting.
The door was unlocked, and I knew that I had locked it. Instantly, I went on edge as I soundlessly turned the knob and went inside. The smart thing to do would have been to call the police. I never said I did the smart thing. Someone was banging pots and pans in the kitchen. The head that popped up from behind the bar was the last one I expected to see.
“Jesus, Jane, you scared the hell out of me!”
She flashed me an innocent smile. “Sorry, Evan, I came by to pick up some cooking ware that I left here. I figured you would be at work.”
“No, I have the day off. Is there anything I can help you find?”
“Nope, I just found the last of it.”
“Oh.” I walked into the kitchen and poured myself some juice. Adding some gin to that juice didn’t sound like such a bad idea. Too bad I didn’t have any.
She gathered the last of her stuff into a box. “Well, I’ll get out of here. I won’t ruin your day off.”
“Jane, you know that you could never do that. How’ve you been?”
“I’ve been alright. It’s the same old story, work, work, work.”
“Yea. I’m getting more and more nervous about starting school next month.”
“You’ll be fine, sweetie. I have no doubt about that.”
I snorted. “You know how many people end up dropping out before they finish.”
“But this is what you’ve always wanted. Before you know it, we’ll all have to answer to Dr. Alexander.”
Not that I didn’t love Jane, but the way she was acting was enough to make me go crazy. We had broken up 5 days ago, and she behaved as if nothing had ever happened and everything was normal.
”Jane, how you can you be so casual about this.”
“This! Us. Here you are talking to me like last Friday was a dream or something. I haven’t talked to you since then, and I miss you.”
She cocked her head and looked at me.“Evan, to be completely honest, I thought you would have wanted me to keep my distance for a while. I’ll admit that I let you go suddenly, but I’m sorry, I don’t regret it. I thought you felt the same way.”
I rubbed my hand over my face. “I do feel the same way; it was time to end it. What I miss is having my best friend. I was hoping that this wouldn’t change our friendship, but it seems as though it has already.”
Jane walked over to me and gave me a hug and a peck on the cheek. “That’s the last thing I want to see canlı casino happen. We’ve been best friends for too long to let anything come between us.”
“Good. So why haven’t you called?”
Her eyes took on a distant look and she sighed. “I’ve been so busy, Evan, I don’t know where I have time for a life anymore. Some days I’ve forgotten to eat.”
“Jane!” She knew I had a thing about eating disorders.
“I’m not trying to make a habit out of it. With all the work I have, sometimes I get so stressed that I don’t feel hungry or I don’t notice that I feel hungry for several hours,” she snapped. “And why do I have to be the one to call you? I have caller ID, you haven’t called me either.”
“I didn’t want to make the first move. You dumped me, remember.”
She got calm again and her face darkened. “I didn’t ‘dump’ you. I’m here now talking to you, shouldn’t that mean that I’m not trying to get rid of you?”
I didn’t answer. Here she was getting her stuff out of my apartment and saying that she wasn’t trying to get rid of me. There was enough tension already and my temper would do nothing to help the situation. The truth is that I did feel dumped. She had been ignoring me, and that’s never a good feeling. Fortunately she was the first one to speak again. “That does remind me though,” she said holding out the key to my apartment in the palm of her hand, “this is yours.”
I held her hand and folded her fingers over the key. “You keep it, you’re my best friend. Anytime you want to come visit, you’re more than welcome.” I kissed her hand.
Her face beamed when I said that. “Thank you,” she whispered. Once she recovered, she said, “I should get going. I took a break to get over here because I knew that if I didn’t get it done now then it wouldn’t get done for a long time.”
“Alright. Give me a call sometime and we can get dinner or something.”
She picked up her box and headed out the door. “Sounds great.”
“Do you need a hand with that?”
Her voice was muffled from the other side of the door. “No, I’ve got it.”
I went about the rest of my day. It was the middle of the morning, so I had time time to clean up my apartment, which was usually pure taboo, but I was in such a good mood that I didn’t care. After I was done, I settled down in the living room to watch TV. I had a boyfriend. Oh, God, I had a boyfriend. The temptation to jump and squeal was killing me.
The phone rang, but it was so comfortable on the couch, in front of the TV. I didn’t want to move. Eventually, I dozed off about ten minutes after the phone rang. My nap didn’t last long. The phone rang again, and this time I decided to actually answer it.
“Hello?” I answered.
“You have got sixty seconds to explain to me why you and Jane are not together anymore.”
“Well, sis, Jane broke up with me because there was no way we were ever going to be happily married. There was no passion in our relationship. She also figured out that I was gay, which is true, and told me to go after this guy named Brian that I liked. So I did, now we’re together, and I feel great.”
“Terrific. That only took 23 seconds. I have to get the kids to a doctor’s appointment. I love you, talk to you later.”
“Bye Maria.” I looked at the phone and laughed to myself.
That was the least of my worries. I knew that Maria didn’t care about me being gay. We both had a friend a few years ago who was bashed. He ended up in a coma for a few months before his mother couldn’t afford to keep him in the hospital anymore. She had to let him go. When Maria and I went to his funeral, she took me aside after the service. With her finger pointed directly in my face, she told me in no uncertain terms that if she ever heard of me not raising my voice in advocation of the simple rights and protection of gay people, she would personally nail my balls to the wall and let the rodents eat away at my flesh. How could you not love my sister?
As soon as I hung up the phone, there was a knock at the door. “Come in!” I yelled. Brian entered the room, and I could feel the muscles in my face scream in pain from smiling too hard.
“Hey, did you still want to go to lunch?”
“Yea, what are you in the mood for?”
Brian twisted his foot from side to side and looked up at the ceiling like a guilty child. He was so cute, but he was even cuter when he was trying to be. “What are you up to?” I asked with a suspicious look.
“Well, I was thinking. We COULD go down to Joelle’s.”
“Or?” I asked walking towards him.
“Or we could make this first lunch a little more special and have it be just the two of us.” He smiled and pulled out two bags of Joelle’s food from the front door.
“Mmm. That sounds really good.” I took the bags from him and put them on the kitchen table. He followed me, but for some reason I could feel him smiling behind me. “So what did you get,” I asked as I began unpacking the food.
“A bacon mushroom cheeseburger with onions and ketchup, no pickle for you, and a regular cheeseburger kaçak casino for myself.”
I raised an eyebrow and gave him a look. “How did you know that was my favorite burger?”
“You mentioned it at the cookout. I also got some curly fries, but it was going to be too much of a hassle to bother with drinks. C’mon, let’s eat before it gets cold.”
If I haven’t said it before, Joelle’s burgers were so good. I wish I could have brought them with me. Brian had a good laugh at my expense when the juice dribbled down my chin. Part of me wanted him to clean it off for me, but I wiped it up myself. We did get an interesting conversation started though.
“Ok, so you know how inexperienced I am about this gay relationship thing,” I began.
“Well, don’t laugh at this, but I have to know: which one of us is supposed to be the guy and which of us is supposed to be the girl?”
“Some couples define themselves along those lines, but I don’t like to. We’re both guys so I would think that we would both be just that. I don’t want to be a girl, and I don’t want to date a girl. Otherwise I wouldn’t be gay.”
“I know that, but in terms of sex, what’s supposed to happen?”
“Wow. You’re jumping a little ahead of yourself aren’t you?”
I must have turned ten different shades of red. “I-I didn’t mean that w-we should go have sex now or anything, b-but I was just wondering.”
“Relax, baby, I was just kidding.” He chuckled in that beautiful laugh of his. Oh, wow, he called me baby. It felt so strange, but so good at the same time. “You’re asking which of us would be the top and who would be the bottom.”
“Well, I don’t care either way, but I’m assuming you would want to be the top since you’ve never done anything like that.”
“I’m sorry. I’m really nervous about all this.”
“Why don’t we cross that bridge once we get to it?” he suggested.
I nodded in agreement. I regretted bringing up the topic in the first place; I had almost choked on my burger.
We finished lunch talking about a few CDs Brian had picked up. We both had a strange love for Oldies music. I told him that I had some good tapes that my father had left behind. After clearing the table, he settled down on one of the couches while I decided on a Marvin Gaye tape. The first song was “I Heard it Through the Grapevine.” I took a seat on the couch next to Brian as we sang along. After the first two songs, he turned to me and said,
“I should get back to doing my work.”
“Are you sure that you have to?”
“Mmm hmm. It’s almost 2. My paper won’t finish itself.”
I gave him a smirk. “Is there anything I can do to convince you stay a little longer?”
He closed his eyes and gave a great put-upon sigh, but I knew he was only joking. “Ok, I suppose I could stay for a few more minutes.
I pulled my hand up to give him a playful hit, but he caught in mid-air. I laughed.
“Didn’t I ever tell you I had fast reflexes?” he said.
“No, but I’ll keep that in mind.”
He still hadn’t released my hand. Neither of us really noticed for a while. Brian was the first to realize it, and he quickly released my hand as if I burned him.
“Sorry,” he apologized quietly.
“No, it’s okay.” I moved my hand back over to his and grasped his palm in mine. Our fingers locked together, and we stroked each other’s hand. Marvin Gaye’s duet with Tammi Terrell, “You’re All I Need to Get By,” came on. It was my favorite Marvin Gaye song after “Let’s Get it On.” I told that to Brian, and he held onto me that much tighter.
I sang along softly with the music. “Like the sweet morning dew, I took one look at you, and it was plain to see, you were my destiny.”
Still holding my hand, Brian put his head on my shoulder and snuggled against my side.
“Is this ok?” he asked looking up at me.
How could I say no to those eyes? “This is perfect,” I replied. I loved feeling the weight of his head on my shoulder and the heat from his body. For some reason, it felt so natural to me; as if we should have been doing this our whole lives. We fit together. I hadn’t ever been an advocate for love at first sight. I always believed that you had to work for a long time to build the basic foundation for a relationship. The man beginning to doze off on my shoulder had started to prove me wrong. Pretty soon, I fell asleep as well.
Brian was still sleeping when I woke up. Did you ever wake up because you could “feel” someone else in the room? I rubbed my eyes with one hand and the blurry shape of a woman came into view.
“Well it’s about time ya’ll shacked up.”
A tired smile grew across my face. “Erica, we didn’t ‘shack up.’ We ate lunch.”
“And no dessert?”
I stifled a laugh. Brian looked so peaceful, I didn’t want to wake him. Then the realization hit me.
“You knew he was gay!?”
“He’s my best friend, of course I knew he was gay.”
“I don’t understand. Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Because I asked her not to.”
Brian stirred on my shoulder and pulled away from me. “Why?” I asked.
“I didn’t really know how you felt about gay people, and I didn’t want Erica to spring it on you. She also knew how I felt about you.”