Saudade. Chapter 4

I always take a while to fall in love and it took me a while with you as well. I remember we were walking, how loud the night was and you brushed against me in a narrow street, you told me that you don’t even remember but then I looked up at you and I knew, after all that talking and drinking which on some days you wouldn’t stand on your feet. We would go out so often as friends.

You would tell me to stop talking to David, when I wouldn’t be able to move, far too much booze in my system and I was tucked in my bed by you, as you would take the floor. We couldn’t even sleep in separate rooms because I couldn’t bear the thought of having you far when I could wake up from a nightmare, and you know that I’ve had plenty. Sleeping pills help, but the bare bone is psychological, something I should’ve dealt with so many years ago, but I never did.

And here I was-

Betraying your love, pushing you further, knowing that you would stretch like gum. It’s an odd feeling because I know how deep your love runs and now I don’t know how exactly shallow I am with my papercut feelings. I don’t know.

I don’t know.

I kiss David and he just looks at me lustfully, as if he would never betray me and the eyes are different now. They resemble a dog’s but even a dog can die or run away. Dogs run away, no matter how faithful and loyal, so why are they a symbol of trust?

“I love you. I love you.” He would say between kisses, both of us spent. I was watching him spiral down, I was watching all of his feelings collapse into my hands, when I didn’t know where to go.

I only knew love.

I didn’t know what this would lead to.

David had been my first kiss and it was a sloppy one to be honest. We both had no idea of what we were doing, as we had both held to make it special, because firsts are somehow considered to be treasured and I had taken it far too literally with him up to my mid twenties apparently.

I felt overwhelmed with his kissing that I started laughing when he would trail them all over my face, pleased to see me after all these years.

“All these years, Jesus Christ, all these years.” He strokes my hair, playing with the ends as he would observe me, see how scared I felt, my breath becoming so heavy and I even sat up to glance at the darkness outside the window. How long have we been fucking? He sits up with me. “What is it?”

“I have a boyfriend.” I say with my mouth all dry. “I’m supposed to be in love with him.”

“Do you love him?” He looks pale and looks at me all confused, lost and hoping for some catch for him to raise the stakes with me.

“Yeah.” I say even more quiet than I should. “I do.”

“I have a girlfriend.” He pauses. “But I don’t love her, like I always do.”

It’s no surprise again.

He takes my hand and kisses it.

“That didn’t stop me, neither should it you. We’re in Brazil.” I raise an eyebrow.

“What happens in Brazil, stays in Brazil?” David just shrugs, maybe he is more broken than I ever was. I grew to love again at least and accept who I was. A fuck up, but at least I knew it. I drag my nails on the bed sheets, thinking, weighing everything.

“Don’t you want to keep fucking?” He asks that a bit shyly, reminding me of how he was when he was young and he tilts his head. “Unless you want to discard everything, which is alright.”

He never changes, but I see through him. I’ve got him now after all these years.

“Blackmail.” I smirk.

“I want the whole package, David.” I confess. I lay back on the bed and I close my eyes. “You want a fucking affair, let’s have one.

Let’s have a fucking affair.”

He smiles widely. My whole body heats up, I’ve had thoughts of infidelity before, just standing at night in the balcony, wondering how much did I really miss fucking someone else, how much did I just miss hooking up and how much did I miss exploring other people? Did David count? I would think of him a bit more sometimes, just a brief thought throughout the day, something about my exes, because I would always think of love and he would be there. He would change as he got older, I would think of him how he is now, rather than how he was before with all his bad haircuts. I think we all get bad ones as we grow up. In my case it was worse, because I had the whole gender confusion. I didn’t know who I was and if I knew back then, it would have been hell for my relatives and myself, because it wasn’t the right place and time to be out.

David opens his mouth to speak, looks at me and holds, shaking his head with a small laugh from inside.

“I am terribly happy, honestly. I don’t even know what else to say. I’ve wanted this for so long.” I wonder why hadn’t I done a move, but then I was trying to stay female and I would play by all the rules, thinking that it was how it was always supposed to be and was envious that all the moves and thinking would be done by the men. I wanted in, so badly. “I’ve talked about you and asked of you.”

He puts a strand of my hair away from my eyes.

“But you stopped asking, you would be very cross at me for the confession. I don’t know what else could I have said. It was too many years and I knew that you wouldn’t come back.” He pauses. “I should have dumped the girl, but I didn’t know at all that you would even consider getting back with me. I just wanted to swim in my tears. I wanted salt on all my wounds, but I didn’t even consider that being in a confessional would make me lose you for so many years.”

“I would have never confessed.” I say. “I always thought all was done and I didn’t consider myself to even have the authority to make the moves. I just thought that I would wait and then I got tired, because you would always sense when I would get closer to someone else.”

I pause.

“The confession was done a few days before I got with my current boyfriend.” I speak out. “You sensed it.”

“Really?” He laughs and watches me, to make sure that I’m not puling a prank on him but I really am not. Even knowing David and how he would fuck up things to come back, it still makes me wonder how he is still here and how this was the ultimate dream for him somehow. He covers his face with his hands and then peeks out, smiling. “I never wanted to let you go.”

“Okay, I’ll stop being sappy.” He grins and sits up even more. David looks outside, just to reflect how he is also surprised at the sudden darkness of the night which reached us. “We need to eat.”

I guess neither of us would show up at the wedding events until tomorrow. And I could only imagine the gossip, but it was inevitable and I had no fun explaining things to people usually, unless I deeply cared about them which were usually lovers.

I would be lying if I said that I didn’t miss you now, as I was writing all of this. I happened to be as screwed up as David once was. I thought for so long that I had been taking so much from him because he was the first. Or maybe David is still screwed as badly as he had once been, I’m not sure which one would be considered his absolute worst and the fall of a man. I’m telling you this because I never want it to end even if I have my midnight thoughts and my doubts, I know that it’s all because I’m screwed but never for a second doubt that I love you, I just happen to love an old love as well. And I don’t know what to even do with myself about it.

Maybe that was the beauty of David, that I barely remembered so many things and only the striking ones would be in memory, so there was never a dull Wednesday which I seemed to be running away from with you. I would get terrified that love would be put as a secondary thing and I would do everything in my power to do something. I wanted to be a constant love protagonist instead of some sort of life story, I wanted love to keep writing itself to a ridiculous extent. And for that moment, I felt like I could be a protagonist again. That’s why I went with it.

“I thought sex counted as food.” Awful, I should have never said, but I did. David snorts at my bad joke and signals to get out of the bed. The following was clumsily trying to understand which pants belonged to whom, since we seemed to be suffice with the lights outside the window and we didn’t bother to turn on the lights until some tumbling. We get dressed and once we do, we stop to star at each other, to let everything sink in from the confessions to affair agreements to sex. David kisses me briefly, before saying come on.

We discuss for a brief while where to go, realizing that many places are still unknown to us or we can’t remember them and as we stand outside of the hotel watching all of unchanging Brazilian fashion, since the brands are mostly local. It’s odd to think that for foreign goods the tax is high and somehow it feels even more that Brazil is in a bubble with all of this. But once you sink your teeth deep into any country, you’ll feel terribly isolated. It’s quite possible to imagine and live like there’s no other countries out there.

David eventually points to a restaurant and I just follow him, wondering what the hell will I even order, juggling the Brazilian food I can remember in my mind, since the place seems to have Brazilian food mostly. I like to know what I’ll order beforehand because otherwise I take far too long.

I just watch everyone, as David makes sure that we’re going the right way. We don’t hold hands or anything, because it’s weird to be in a place which has anti-discrimination laws but the nation holding the opposite values. I can’t help but wonder everything like how does it feel to be here their entire lives with the fear of getting robbed or dying from a bullet, which people maybe don’t think about as often. I don’t really know. I feel that I am dragging myself a bit, as I happen to have sex which drained me and the lack of food isn’t helping. I didn’t even realize how hungry I was. We also seem to be in a sea of Portuguese noise.

We only look and open our mouths to start talking once we are seated at a crowded, overpriced place but I don’t think we could’ve held until anything cheaper and since we’re pretty much next to the beach this is the price we have to pay. Maybe the worst is that I still want him, we both just smile at each other, peeking over the menu. It’s weird to know that we can both be silences which don’t bore the other, I would think that age would have easily erased everything and all the comfort, but instead it gave a second life somehow. My mind was drifting, I couldn’t help but compare you two. But at the same time, I didn’t want to think of you while I was sitting at that table, I just wanted to be David’s, I wanted him back, I wanted him back inside me too, I wanted to fuck him, I wanted everything. I wanted to stretch every single cell of his skin, I wanted to trace my tongue all over him, I wanted to kiss him.

We were still terribly post-coital with the matching hair.

I remember once reading that the beauty of memories is not only that you could interpret them as you wish, but you could remember what you want and build the memories in a way that you want. Giving yourself false memories if you want to. I remember it from some pretty embarrassing thing, so I won’t tell you where it’s from. I just remember that it inspired me and awed me being pretty young at the time. It’s odd to look back and really hate yourself because life was dreadful being so young and being under so much control by parents. The problem is that indeed teenagers are awful, but not as bad as parents paint them to be and that’s the reason why everything is so fucked during the teenage years.

I glanced back at David, who kept looking at the drinks page, I assume. Do we sacrifice things for love? For every couple there is something they had to sacrifice which goes from abandoning dreams, careers, places, children and so on. There’s always some sort of sacrifice. Did I sacrifice David just to be with you?

Was that my sacrifice? Was David something I had wanted all along? I knew that people loved multiple, but when I happened to be in a monogamous relationship for a while now, it wasn’t something I should’ve even thought about. I knew that you wouldn’t want to open it to someone who had shattered me for so many years and I am terrible at removing toxic people from my life. You knew how much he had dragged me around, how many manoeuvres he had done and nothing to even bring me much closer, he would stop at some point and that would be it. And we haven’t seen each other in so many years.

We ordered some food, which I’m sure we had eaten plenty times while being in Brazil, but since it’s not a weekend trip for us, it was something enough to savour. And that’s when the silence should be gone, but instead neither of us opens any topic, the post-coital salvation gone and replaced with awkward looks, like we’re back at some school reunion and we remember that we once used to date and love each other fearlessly. I don’t even know what to say. My mind is blank and I just stare at him nervously, I should’ve said something a minute ago. I should’ve been better in the recent past.

Usually I would base my own partner for the most beloved, but in this case I had a different character in mind, I wanted a different fiance and boyfriend for Allan. Which is a contrast to the fact that the two main characters had realistic bases.

Another thing which happened was that my partner did indeed tell me to stop talking to the guy, which resulted in us ceasing contact forever.

My first kiss was something bizarre, which never stirred any emotions in me and it still causes me confusion to this day, but then maybe I had put too much expectation in it. I honestly don’t know why the magic hadn’t happened, because all my other first kisses had feelings behind them.

I pretty much retell a lot and I wouldn’t want to blur the lines even further by saying what’s real and what isn’t in regards to David and Allan’s story and how things had gone in the past.

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