The sequel to the GabeDavis' hit story Embrace Me. In this continuation we find Josh in the midst of his breakup with Jake. He finds himself remembering the good times in his apartment where his and Jake's relationship blossomed. The memories bring more than just a smile to Josh's face.
“I think this is so stupid, who does stuff like this anyway?”
“People with dreams and inventions, I guess.”
“ 'I have bulletball'? Seriously?”
“It looks fun.”
“It looks like ghetto air hockey.”
I burst out laughing. Despite his close-mindedness to it all, Jake did have a point.
“I'm glad I'm going into something a little bit more practical,” he continued, “it seems like a little too much of a stress and risk factor in this kind of living. And pressure to not fail or else your life'll be ruined.”
I breathed a deep sigh. I looked up at his face still on the TV. I'd usually stayed neutral during Jake's judgments on whomever we're watching on reality TV, but this one didn't seem so specific.
“So a lone painting major like me is gonna have a stressful life cuz its not as practical as other people's?”
“Hmm,” he pursed his lips in thought, “Maybe. In reality I really don't know. I just think my way is safer.”
I made myself more comfortable on his chest, moving my head farther down between his pecs.
“You're unbelievable. You know, plenty of things aren't always so safe. I mean, what if you can't find a job with your computer science degree when you graduate?”
He breathed in and gently took hold of my hand hanging off the couch. The Bulletball man on the TV took his walk of shame away from the judges. Jake ran his other hand through my hair. I could feel his released breath on my follicles.
“You're right,” He said finally. “Guess it all is a chance, huh?”
I pressed the back of my head on his chest to signify my nodding. He responded by running his fingers through my hair again and squeezing my hand a little tighter. I smiled and let my legs scramble with his on the opposite end of the couch, enjoying another night of watching American Inventor.
I pressed hard on the gas, trying my hardest not to pass the speed limit. I kept my eyes focused on the white road ahead of me. I could feel my frustration boiling, trying to escape my body in heated streams. I had to get away from there as fast as I could. I pressed down harder when my street came into view.
I raced up the stairs to my apartment and shut the door with both hands, as if to keep out something chasing me. As I turned from the door my eyes immediately saw the couch, slightly brightened blue by the escaping light between the blinds. I felt my heart drop.
I sped walked into my kitchen and raised a desperate hand to the top of my refrigerator, knocking over cereal boxes and some plastic-ware in the process. I grabbed what I was searching for and made my way back to the couch. I pulled my coffee table closer to me, set the contents down and sat down staring at it. I rubbed my sweaty hands on my jeans. My breaths shortening, I got up again and returned to the kitchen. I swung open the refrigerator door, grabbed a brown bottle and returned to the living room.
My shaking hand made its way to the coffee table top, my eyes unmoving from what I'd grabbed off the refrigerator. Grabbing it, I reached into my pocket and pulled out a red lighter. Lighting the paper-wrapped sliver, I closed my eyes and let the contents take over me. I held it in for as long as I could, then slowly let the fiery smoke escape my mouth. Being so out of practice, the burn became too much for me and I started to cough a few times.
As soon as the last cough subsided, the sliver was back to my mouth, and the burn returned. After a few times, I became addicted to the burn, and soon I was laid back on my couch, bottle in hand, watching the sliver's smoke rise into a gray dirigible above the coffee table that was stained green by the contents of the sliver.
“You know, maybe I should be a philosophy student instead. That way our majors can kinda match up.”
“Nah, I think you'll be just fine with what you have now. You want this one? I don't read it anymore.”
I held up a tattered green-covered book in his direction. The cover was so frayed the only eligible words were the name Eliot Sober and the year 2000.
Jake turned around, his burgundy sweater blotted gray by all the dust. “Sure, looks cool.”
He stepped over the large mounds of books over to my extended hand and took it from me. “Now which pile is mine again?” He looked around at the ground, which resembled an island nation of book piles surrounded by dust and cobwebs on the black hardwood floor. “I'll just put it by the door.”
I watched him walk over to the door and dropped the book on the ground, a cloud of dust flying up as it hit the ground. He snickered and walked over to the couch, crossing his legs on the coffee table as he plopped onto it. He leaned over to pull up his gray dress pants legs above his knees, his stained black, bare feet a great contrast to his milky-white legs.
I turned my attention back to the old bookcase. I pulled off a book with something resembling Oscar Wilde on the brown-colored spine.
“Its pretty much all I like to read anyway, why not I change my major?” He said before I could offer up the book. “At least I'd be doing something I find interesting instead of something just for the sake of money.”
Jake was looking outta the window as he spoke. He had his hands on the back of his head, letting his face be radiated by the outside sun beams. I smirked to myself. I walked over to him, holding the book in front of me. “How 'bout this one?”
He turned his head toward me, not looking at the book. “You're not listening to me. I'm serious.”
I sighed and dropped the book on the coffee table beside his feet. I sat down next to him, laying my head on his shoulder. “Weren't you all about being practical and cautious the other day?” I say half-jokingly. “Now you wanna change your major, just like that? What's with the change of heart?”
He stretched one of his arms over my shoulder, resting his head on my leg. His eyes remained fixed on the coffee table. “I don't know really.” He said after awhile. “Maybe cuz I'm starting to think if I stay with computer science I'll end up going crazy, even though I'll be making a lot of money doin' it. I think I'd be happier doing something that I love moreso than something that's just practical.”
“Hmm...” I pursed my lips. “There's that word again...'practical'. Turning into Bulletball man, huh”
He laughed and gave me a nudge. “Shut up!” His smile instantly turned serious. “I mean, isn't that why you're a painting major? You love it, don't you?”
I nodded in agreement. “So...?”
I chuckled at the wide-eyed, What do you think? face he was making at me. “So I guess you're changing your major.”
“I'm changing my major!” He said it proudly. We relaxed more onto the couch, our bare feet dirty bare feet on the coffee table.
“So..you gonna still help with all this spring cleaning, now?” I ask.
He burst out laughing. Giving me a kiss on the forehead and a squeeze on the thigh. “No.”
The clock read three am. and I hadn't moved from my spot on the couch. The dirigible had evaporated and the bottle's contents had been depleted and was now turned over on the floor allowing the remaining drops of liquid to accumulate in a small pool by the top.
My eyes wandered over to the bookcase that was moved from by the kitchen to by the door; the one thing Jake actually helped me with when he came over to help with the spring cleaning.
Philosophy students don't do heavy lifting! We argue how the body got there and wonder what makes it sensible!
I felt a corner of my mouth turn up at the reminiscence. At the top of the bookcase lay a white hardcover, its novelty obvious amongst the old, frayed paperbacks.
My eyes began to moisten and my lips quivered. “Fuck!”
My legs angrily kicked the coffee table over, it's top smashing the defenseless bottle below. My fingers sent the pillows of the couch flying in various directions across the room, and with nothing else to throw my fists took to combat the peeling paint on the walls. “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!”
I continued despite the growing burn on my knuckles. I shut my eyes, throwing my arms harder into the stationary wood. My hand encountered glass and my body shot forward. The sudden impact caught me off guard, and for a moment I stared thoughtless at the cracks along the window, meeting at the asymmetrical hole swallowing up half my arm. I pulled it out slowly, glass breaking under my boots as I backed up. Braids of blood covered my shivering, tightly-clenched fist.
I sunk to the ground. Repeating my swears in my drunken rage. Warm liquid moistened my cheeks. “Shit...that fuckin' bastard....shit shit shit!”
I kicked the wall, but the lack of balance sent me falling backwards.
I let my head drop, smashing it hard against the unforgiving uneven wood. Glass pricked at my ears and face. I lay there, letting my ears wrap around the sound of my sobbing heaves, staring at the various shapes of brown shards that dotted the floor, merging with the paint chips and shattered glass, all illuminated by the dark blue moonlight.