I call this seat my view of the world, I stand in front of a full legth mirror my back leans against the bathroom sink, the room is filled with filth and graffiti. But it has become our own retreat. I am still leaning when Mark walks through the door and toward me gently laying a hand on my shoulder. I feel a tear.
"Is everything OK?" Mark asks unaware
"No…" his hands drop to his sides, I don't want him mad "Mark?" it's easier to talk into the mirror "I’ve been thinking… I think… I turn him around to face the mirror and hold my head on his shoulder "Look… we have to talk to somebody… and I was thinking it might be nice if…" I grab his hand not only for effect but to somehow hold him with me "I want you to be there when I tell my mom…" i pause, his face speaks nothing "Mark?"
"What!" As if awaking from a dream he looks into my face.
I turn him completely around "Will you be there?" looking him straight in the eye.
"Mark?" I lean in our foreheads touch
He pulls away "I… "
"River, NO!" his eyes turn sad "I mean I want to, I really want to… it’s just…"
"I don’t know what else to do Mark"
"To do? I thought we were" walks toward the door and turns to me worried
"I really care about you…" I hop down and try to comfort him. He is at least a half foot taller than me "More than you know, I care about you… probably more than I’ve ever cared for another person in my life"
"Than why are you trying to ruin it? If… you don’t understand… I have worked hard, so fucking hard!"
"Mark" I touch him and he does not pull away "don’t get mad. I was just thinking…" i tilt his head down to see I am on his side "Mark, have you ever thought that maybe… just maybe, if we both told someone we knew we could trust… Things might get even a little bit easier?"
softly "No…" he shakes his head
I don't know why this hurt "Why? I mean we could actually be together."
"We are together…"
"No, we see each other in class and behind closed doors… those bastards in the hallway don’t even let me see you there. Mark…"
He cuts me off "My life is really great right now; I’m working toward something I can actually achieve…" looking into my eyes "I’m afraid."
A smile "Afraid of what?"
"Afraid I might lose something…"
"Afraid you might lose what… My mom loves you."
"No! I’m afraid of losing this! You...this room…"
I look around: graffiti, mold, holes... "Mark" I lean in and kiss him gently on his lips "Your not going to lose me. And did you take a good look around" instead I turn him toward the mirror "Look Mark, have you ever thought that maybe this! Just might be worth losing?"
"I Love You"