I never told Josh about Barry and Bruce. It never seemed relevant to any of our conversations. We were too busy debating on the contingency of American politics or whether or not they'll be a new author with as high a vocabulary as Charlotte Bronte. Whenever the topic of sexuality came into our daily games of verbal hockey I'd evaded the blow with a crude joke on the effeminate, squeaky-voiced masses that wore high value couture that represented the gay label. He'd always laugh heartily, flashing me his genuine smile, imaged in shining molars. I was never a sybarite, but took great pleasure in hearing of his many opinions on the works of Kant and Descartes and found humor in his obsession with Shania Twain and Harry Potter.
Some days he would lay his head in my lap, letting his legs stretch in the adjacent direction, looking up at me in intense exclamation. “Did you know that he and the author J.K. Rowling share the same birthday? For any fan its merely a fascinating fact opposed to an act of blatant narcissism. I mean, she's been homeless! I doubt there was a shred of any self-bolstering intention in here doing so.”
I'd slowly stroke his dark brown hair as he talked. Any other time,he'd have it stuffed under a baseball cap, so I utilized my time wisely. I found happiness in these minuscule moments of intimacy, and they soon began to plague with me with comfort. The overtness of my ailment reached new heights the second his arms embraced me tonight. By the time his figure disappeared into the crowd, it had ebbed away.
I stared at the clock reading five thirty A.M. Time to get up. I'd hadn't slept. The last moment I spent with him replayed incessantly in my head until I'd found myself looking nowhere and everywhere, thinking of nothing, afraid the slightest hint of thought would start the torture all over again.
It took me until five forty to realize I hadn't turned the alarm off. Shutting it off, I limped into the bathroom, overcome with exhaustion. The floor was ice-cold against my bare feet. The sensation reminded me of Barry and Bruce. Obvious feelings that take you by surprise.
Thoughts of Josh brushed against my brain as I brushed my teeth. Why hadn't I told Josh about them? Wouldn't I share this a significant party? Josh was pretty significant. He'd want to know.
Spitting out toothpaste water I caught sight of the deep incarnadine streams swimming alongside it. Damn gingivitis.
I returned to my room without any of my grogginess alleviated by my hot shower. My phone was blinking on my nightstand. I sleepily opened it. When I saw it was Josh, my mood lifted.
“Hey, I knew you were awake.”
I snickered to myself. “Yeah, barely.”
I could hear his smile in his voice as he laughed. “Hey, um....”
The smile faded. “Can you meet me after class? Around two?”
I felt my mood drop. “Sure.”
His voice was tremulous, timid even. Not at all like his usually congenial banter. I didn't know how to respond to it.
“I'll see you then.” He said after a stint of silence.
I knew what was gonna happen when we met, but I refused to let the thoughts emerge.
It took a long time before I'd realized I'd hadn't hung up yet. The dial tone seemed to vibrate harmoniously alongside the lingering silence. Now awake, I rose from my bed and made my way to the closet, resisting the urge to hide inside.