[oasis]

[arts]


Right Now

By David Wycislak

"Why do you have to leave?"

"The same reason you should -- we have to get back."

"To what?"

Interesting question, that. What exactly do we have to get back to? I mean, Adam has his father and his sister, both of whom wish he wasn't around, and I have my dorm room. What's even worse, we're hundreds of miles apart -- and this night has been the only one I've spent with him in weeks.

We kind of knew that our relationship would be awkward. I mean, we worked together at first, and even looking at him violates rule number one of smart dating -- never date a coworker. But things happened -- I don't know. A look here. A touch there. A few heartfelt conversations in the exact spot where we are now. And now we have this. Which is more than anything I've ever dreamed.

Lying next to each other in the enormous crotch of two ancient trees, Adam and I have just been gazing at the stars, sharing a few kisses, feeling the warmth of each other's body as the brisk winds of autumn whip through the other trees and around our bodies. My car is just far enough away that if anyone finds it, they won't find us. We don't want people to know that we love each other -- we're not ready to deal with the reaction we'd inevitably get. So I go to college, and he's finishing high school, and we both hope that as soon as he gets out of here something can be done to improve the situation we're in.

But now it's something like 3 a.m., and he really should get back -- and I should have started back to school about an hour ago. It's three days before Halloween -- our holiday -- and I wanted to surprise him. No one else knows I'm here -- except, maybe, for the lady at the gas station where I stopped to buy condoms. She didn't look me in the eye. She didn't need to. I was just another horny kid to her.

Adam's looking at me sadly, and I don't want to look away. I move my hands to his hips and feel the soft, familiar curve of his butt beneath his jeans. I've missed being with him. I miss the shape of his lips, with their rosy glow, and the feel of his hands, the tiniest bit bigger than mine. I miss the agility and strength of his mind. I miss the power of his love to bring me back from insanity.

I pull Adam close, and I feel him pull me back towards him.

I know that soon I'm going to have to actually unwrap my arms from his body, and be separated from him. I'll have to drive him home, as slowly as I can, one hand on the wheel and one hand inside his, holding it tightly because I won't want to let go. I'll get to his house, and neither of us will move inside the car. We'll sit next to each other, my hand in his, watching his house, the windows dark because his father and sister don't care. They don't care what he does with his life -- just as long he's not a Nazi, a junkie, or, horror of horrors, a fag.

He knows he's a fag. When I was still around, he used to hit me, to beat on my chest, screaming at me for what he felt around me. He hit me, he kicked me, his words ripped like scythes across my heart ---- not because of the words, but because he hated himself so much for needing to say them. I remember holding him close as best I could, restraining his arms, blocking his legs, and telling him I loved him, which sometimes made him calm down and sometimes made him get angrier.

The one night we actually knew that we both loved each other, he calmed down ---- and the kiss we shared, the love we felt was greater than any before or since, I think because for one moment he let everything go into me. I can take his hurt, his pain, his frustration, and turn it back into love -- but only if he gives it to me. And that was one of the hardest things he ever did. And he's never done it since. He may love me, he may trust me ---- but some things belong only to him. For now.

I feel him lay his head on my chest. I stroke his hair, his soft, dark hair, and feel for the tiny lump in the back of his head I know is there -- just a small lump, not caused by anything except Nature.

Caused by Nature. That's what we say when we admit our homosexuality. Is homosexuality just another way of love? A lump on the back of Nature's head? We like to think so -- I like the idea of being a lump on a head better than a scar on a life. Anyway, I'm the only one who knows about that lump. No one else cares, but to know something about Adam that no one else knows only makes me love him more.

Beyond our feet I see the condoms I bought, still wrapped in their colorful foil packaging. We didn't plan anything, so didn't use them. I only bought them "just in case." "Just in case" we got hot. "Just in case" we couldn't suppress it. "Just in case" we didn't want to suppress it. Sometimes I want Adam like nothing I've ever wanted -- I just want to bring him here, and rip off his clothes, and fuck him, and be fucked by him, and glory in the pain and the heat and the sweat and the smells and the sounds and the tastes and the feeling of his fingernails scratching my chest and my arms as I push his feet up past his shoulders -- and sometimes I don't want Adam. I just want to lie here, and hold him, and know that he's here, and share soft kisses while the wind whips around us.

Neither of us has anything to go back to. All we have is here -- and this is where we want to stay.

"Garrett?"

"Yeah?"

"I love you. I say it, and it sounds like nothing. I can't think of a way to say it that makes it mean anything."

"Adam?"

"Yeah?"

"I already knew."


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