Offside. Chapter 27

I don’t know why the rest of the week passes in a blur, the days crawling slow with no attachment or memories, other than discussing what the fuck to dress up as with Steven because going together, even if I won’t say couple to myself, still meant a couple costume. I made him smile, saying that we should coordinate our outfits once more. I knew that he loved me, as he kissed me after my suggestion. I just didn’t know where had my feelings gone and why hadn’t they come back. Also if they were lost in the first place.

I had no doubts that I had loved Steven earlier, but somehow the love went somewhere. I enjoyed his company and I felt much better with him, but it still was far from mending my problems with mental health. Maybe it was all because I was at the dawn of being a teenager? Was it all the hormones? Now I had days where I didn’t want to kill myself and it didn’t spill as much onto schoolwork. Steven now helped me with the classes once again. He used to that back when we dated, so maybe I wasn’t understanding the subjects because I didn’t have someone to revise them with, and I didn’t like studying alone. Being depressed just made the reason to not study more tempting.

But should I simply settle? Was being with Steven settling? With the weekend rolling in, I couldn’t find the energy to care about anything on Friday. Me and Steven hung out a lot, because he missed me over the summer, I didn’t like being left alone and frankly when you’re depressed that is the last thing you should be doing. It’s not like we didn’t need to prepare for the Halloween too. We went to mine’s and decided to see what I had before going to the bigger city nearby and buying supplies. We finished early too.

“We slacked off, Robbie. You just keep refusing all my ideas.” He says, holding a laugh since we’ve been talking about this all week and we still haven’t come to some conclusion.

“Likewise, Steven.” I say as I lay face down on the bed, Steven sitting on the rug with a notebook in front of him, writing down all the ideas but frankly we’re out of them. Was I still heavily depressed and was I hiding it well enough from everyone and myself, I suppose. Steven just told me to watch after myself, not push it and I refused to tell my parents. But I was getting better, whether I was faking it or not. I turn my head to face him and he smiles at me. I felt as if we were the it’s complicated Facebook status, we were the poster boys of it for sure. Maybe today was just a good day. I could have those. I think everyone deserves one of those for a while, maybe because I pushed the course work behind.

“We could be Victoria and David Beckham.” Steven says out of the blue.

“Is that the last time you watched football?” I smirk and him and throw a pillow towards him, which he throws directly at my head afterwards.

“Ha ha. I watch football because of you sometimes. You always get adorable when you watch it.” Steven grins at me. “But on a serious note, I can do Victoria with drag. We’ll need some wigs though. It’s not like I shy away from drag, anyway. I’m bad with doing the brows though. Might have to keep my natural ones, keep it more… natural.”

“Drag… natural.” I laugh out loud, but it still feels a bit forced. But I’m surely getting there somehow. I’m getting better. I’m getting better. “And with Victoria Beckham.”

“She’s got more personality than the other football wives. I mean… who else can we even go as?” He sulks at me declining his brilliant idea. Well, it’s surely the best he’s suggested. I just shrug at his question. At this rate I could be asking on the football reddit or something. I have no idea. We’ve also googled different couple costume ideas both straight and gay. Nothing caught mine or Steven’s eye either. He’s suggested drag earlier as well. But I wasn’t too keen on doing it, at least as much as Steven was. I used to be his guinea pig for trying out drag on someone else, but even then he wouldn’t get my eyebrows right. So eyebrows were a tough spot for him, whether they were his own or someone else’s.

“Why couldn’t Andy set a theme?” Steven whines, still sad that I’ve turned down his offer to go in drag. I just shrug, nearly rolling off the bed. Steven stands up and goes towards me, sitting close. I put my arms around him. I look at him.

“You really want to be Posh Spice, don’t you?” I ask him as he leans down and kisses me.

“Yeah.” He gives out a small pleased smile that I’ve realized his deepest desires. I look at him carefully.

“Fine. But we’re not fucking as David and Victoria, that will never keep my cock up.” I smirk.

We do go to get the wigs and then Steven shops around for some dress, he has some heels at home. We get some weird looks, because Halloween passed already, but hell, who cares? I have no idea how to even properly choose dresses, but I’ve helped Steven in the past before and he always claimed that I was helpful. I wonder what monstrosity will Andy and Paul wear. Will they coordinate like every year as well? Then I wonder what would Johnny wear and I wish we would run into each other somehow. I really do want to run into him.

I just want to see some emotions and see what they would be. Of course I want to see some leftovers of summer in his eyes.

I want him to come back.

But would I manage that? Would I survive until then or do we have to be immortal and bored to forgive? Have I forgiven him?

I haven’t, but I was desperate to talk to him again. Steven was great, but I was still hurt and I didn’t know how we would move on. I felt like two guys hurting me was one too many.

What if I just had bad taste in men?

In the end I had to help Steven with his eye shadow about three times, because he kept saying that it wasn’t Victoria enough and neither of us seemed to get it. It didn’t matter how many times we would re-watch a YouTube tutorial, we were still missing it. But we were running late and Steven’s mom agreed to drive us there, since we were already a bit more than fashionably late. She took a photo of both of us, me with my ridiculous blonde wig and suit while Steven walked confidently in his heels and beige dress with an expressionless face, besides laughing out loud when he would see a photo or his reflection in the mirror.

We arrived and politely said bye to Steven’s mom, everyone inside already. Andy still opened the door for us, while fixing his fake fangs. I looked at his outfit from head to toe, which was a zombie… chav with vampire teeth? His tracksuit was the thing which stood out the most against his green skin.

“Andy, since when do zombies have fangs?”

“I’m an upgraded zombie. I fucking suck blood, you wanker. I’m like bacteria, I’ve evolved to fight you cunts.” And he flips me off with both hands, before allowing us to go in.

“Nice dress, Steven. Who the fuck are you supposed to be?” I roll my eyes at Andy, as I see Matt squeeze past us to go outside for a cigarette. Is Johnny here? My chest tightens again from the thought and I would be lying if I said that I didn’t think of who he would be dressed up as.

“I’m Victoria Beckham and this is my husband-” Steven starts but Andy rudely cuts him off, as usual.

“Vintage. Couldn’t you be Zlatan and his cougar or something?” Andy notes.

“She’s far too ugly. And it’s easier to be Becks and Posh Spice, I think.” I say and shrug to which my friend nods.

“Anyway, enjoy the party you bunch of queers.” And we head inside, Andy surely overdid the decorations with the cobwebs and I recall seeing a sale in the supermarket for them. Everything is covered in tiny spiders with the fake cotton. There are some Halloween foods scattered everywhere and people are eating. There isn’t that many people, but enough for me to be confused who is who and some faces which I don’t recognize. Me and Steven make our way to the booze table far too early, but then it’s never early to get wasted at a shit party. Steven eventually starts talking to some girl, whose mom is a friend of his mom’s. But I forgot her name.

I excuse myself, because I had forgotten to go to the bathroom before we left. I make my way upstairs, I’m sure the bottom floor is filled with puke already or is full. I still have to wait with a massive spider hanging on the door knob. Paul passes past me, wearing the exact identical outfit as Andy, to which I give him a thumbs up.

Then he remembers something and comes back up to me.

“Hey… You alright?” He asks as he takes off his killer zombie vampire teeth. I look around, to make sure the question isn’t addressed to someone else, because it’s a bizarre way to start a conversation with someone who you haven’t really been in touch with.

“I’m fine. Nice party.” Paul smiles at my compliment, but he looks just as worried.

“So… you and Steven back together, then?” I feel a bit taken back, because he’s surely seen me and Steven after practice and it’s not like we were hiding that something was going on between us once more, it’s just that I wasn’t classifying it, but everyone else seemed to.

I cross my arms, feeling insecure, which causes Paul to tense up.

“I didn’t mean that… I just don’t want you to get hurt, that’s all man. I know that Andy was friends with Steven over the summer, but… he’s just not the right type for you.” He sighs. I shrug.

“And who the fuck is then, Paul? Johnny?” I say nearly through grit teeth, but I manage to hold a smile and try to play it off as a joke. I still haven’t seen Johnny. I was getting a bit worried that I had no idea who he dressed up as and that he was nowhere to be seen. I wanted to see him and simply believe in something impossible. He was a slow poison and somehow, I was getting dragged in today.

“Well…” Paul pauses and then we both make way for the bathroom door to open. A guy dressed up in a cowboy outfit goes out, squeezing past us. No… a Woody costume. I look up to see his face and dark eyes look back at me. I can feel my face go pale.

Shit.

“Hey, Johnny, nice costume.” Paul says just as Johnny is about to leave us, he ponders for a bit and turns around.

“Thanks, man.” And just like I did before, he looks at Paul from head to toe. “Are you also in Andy’ weird zombie vampire idea?”

“Yup.” Paul grins proudly, but I can see that he’s deeply uncomfortable like I am that most likely Johnny heard the end of the conversation. We both look at each other, possibly Paul asking me for forgiveness with a brief look. Then Johnny looks at me.

“Are you supposed to be David Beckham?” Johnny grins, walking a bit closer to us and takes in my costume. I smile slightly and nod.

“Steven is Victoria Beckham.” I say, not really knowing why I’m saying this to which Paul looks away and Johnny just nods, trying to wonder if he should butt in with his own concerns, but he seems to be keeping everything to himself, at least so far and not like Paul.

“I’m sure I’ll bump into him later, then.” Johnny nods again, not sure where to position himself. It’s a very awkward conversation and the worst is that I never heard Paul’s reply, so it’s all hanging in the air. “So…”

I look at him, waiting for him to say whatever he’s planning to say.

“You guys are back together then… You and Steven.”

“Yeah. I mean, no.” Johnny looks at me and my words confused. “I mean…”

Paul looks interested at me. I’ve dug out my own grave.

“We’re… it’s complicated.” I say. Paul looks at Johnny and they both exchange some knowing look. All of a sudden I wish I had dug out my own grave and stuck myself in it with a cigarette, smoking it as Johnny and Paul cover my feet in ground. I’d have enough time for one last cigarette, I hope. But then that one cigarette won’t matter when I’m dead and my last view is ground covering my eyes. I bite my lower lip and nod a few times. Johnny looks at me concerned. Why is everyone acting as if it’s just started to happen?

This is actually the second to last chapter, I peeked further and decided that the last chapter will have over 3k. So it’s going to be quite intense and filled to the brim with everything going on!

I always get sad posting this story and now with the World Cup going on, it’s even sadder because I can’t help but miss writing it and wondering what would all of them think, who would they root for and what shenanigans would’ve gone on.

I really love this story with all my heart and yeah.

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Offside. Chapter 26

My thoughts don’t cease. But Steven listens to me, flicking the cigarette ash onto the stairs and then kicking it off onto the ground. We already sit in jackets, as if we’ve backtracked and I wonder if I am somehow getting my life stuck again, as everything else goes in motion, but he keeps me sane. I just don’t exactly shake off the feeling of it all being wrong somehow. But if I want to stay alive, I’d rather be with him.

Steven takes a while to think it all over and even signals to me, that he needs some time to digest.

I wonder if Johnny figured it all out by now. I wonder if he still sees it all through me, like I had once thought he did. While Steven tries to articulate the words, my mind shifts to yesterday’s encounter. It was far from the first time that Steven sat watching me play during a small game since we were playing the usual now, practice was always something he didn’t mind either. If he got too bored, he would browse his phone or read a book. As it got colder, a Thermos would appear in Steven’s hands as well. Andy and Paul were most likely a reminder to Johnny, so he just stayed even cockier by just being alone.

He had seen me kiss Steven, he had to. I’ve kissed him every single time after practice briefly as a hello.

“Robbie, say, is that Steven?” Johnny suddenly broke the silence as I was taking off my shoes by walking past me. Maybe he did ask Paul or something. No one really gossiped, everyone was too interested in the school girls.

“Sorry?” I asked surprised and I stared at the taller guy. He didn’t repeat the question. I shrugged, trying not to make a big deal out of it. “Yeah.”

Johnny looked at me and Steven packed his book, because to him Johnny is just another football player from my team. I hadn’t had the guts to talk to him about my summer, we just agreed to flip over the page silently.

“Yeah, that’s Steven.” I said. Somehow, it’s heavy for me to say and I looked back at Steven and Johnny followed my eyes. I go back to Johnny and he looked a bit lost, but just packed his things and left without saying anything else. I did watch him for a while, until Steven approached me and I snapped out of it.

“…Is there anything else?” Steven asks, rubbing his brow, while holding the cigarette. I shake my head. He studies me very carefully, knowing when not to push, because we all reveal what happens whether we’re drunk or post-coital, because we all want to be the better honest person. Maybe he’s waiting for that day. I look at him again, thankful for the time being. We’re a diffused bomb. But who even believes in those? I end up coughing from a leftover first cold.

“No.” I lie, but I feel like I have said it all. I still haven’t talked to him about Johnny. While now Johnny knew that I was with Steven, to some extent-

To all extents, even if we both haven’t discussed it. We were seeing each other, hanging out all over again. His parents seemed to have turned a new leaf. They were never rude, but now they just seemed to be pleased with Steven’s choice for once. My parents, I’m sure, gossiped behind my back, but they seemed happy to see Steven as well. We didn’t call each other boyfriends like we once had. We just kept quiet about that but still started having sex as if we never left it. Sex was something which was the least nostalgic of it all, it stayed the same. We both knew what the other liked and it’s not like there was such a big gap of time where we weren’t together, even if I had felt like I’ve lived 1000 different lives over the summer.

I escaped once to smoke outside in the night. I had the thought of opening the windows, to let the brief moon light up the room with it’s magic, but I let it be.

It was so brief.

Was I in love then? It never really went to my mind properly while it was going on, but I was one to over think things when they were over. Was I in love with Johnny? Was this all so painful because I couldn’t stand the thought that we would be over for good? Deep down I wanted it all to continue but it wasn’t something that I could admit so freely. Why did I lie to myself? Did I know this all along?

I didn’t know how to proceed once I had thought of the fact that maybe I had loved Johnny. That thought haunted me, heavier than an anchor and went around me like a ghost, never touching me, but it was staring at me right in the eye.

Knowing that, my chest would get tighter and that’s why I avoided Johnny even more. That’s why it was awful to hear him ask about Steven.

But it wasn’t like if me being without Steven would mean that Johnny would somehow go back to me. We were done and I’ve had enough time to chew on it and let go.

I look back at Steven.

I should tell him. But what is there to tell? The tension got too thick with a straight boy? Hear him say that he’s fucked a straight boy before and that it had ended the same way? I’ve Googled enough straight stories instead of crying. I was far from the first or the last. People were stuck up, by the end of the day we all in love with the person, but humanity doesn’t care no matter what we say and explain. People will hide under false beliefs.

I look at Steven.

“I fell in love over summer.” I can lie to myself, but not to Steven. I look down at my sneakers. “It ended.”

“Is there something I need to know?” His hair has grown a bit, enough for him to have bed hair, which is funny on mornings where he clearly didn’t have enough time to even chuck the hairbrush into the backpack. I shake my head, wanting to keep my memories with me. I’m sure he’s also much more concerned of my mental state. Steven sighs. “I didn’t see anyone.”

“Did you sleep with anyone?” I ask him and Steven holds the silence. I look at him and our eyes meet. “We can keep it to ourselves-”

“Something broke in me, once we broke up. I just… didn’t want anything. I didn’t have the best of summers either.” He then reconsiders his words. “Not saying your summer was bad.”

“It was… by large.” I laugh sadly and Steven just sits closer to me and I put my head on his shoulder. Maybe it was all a big misunderstanding and all will go back to normal, whatever that was. “Nothing worked out.”

I then feel bad saying it, but then we did get together just now after the school year started.

Steven kisses me on the forehead and soon enough we make out briefly. My love for him is still there, but neither of us say it. We don’t classify anything, we just let it keep going at its own pace, even if we get referred to as boyfriends by relatives and everything. Steven once looked at me when his mom called me his boyfriend, but I just looked ahead. He took the hint. I was very thankful for the fact that he wasn’t pushing me at all. We kept kissing and just holding our silence until mom called us for dinner. Nothing really was exciting after that, Steven just laid on my bed reading as I played some Fifa and then we both just decided to watch some movie which Steven had been meaning to watch for a few months, back even when we were still together.

“Do you want to talk about him?” Steven asked me, as he stayed over and crawled with me into the bed after turning off the lights.

“Sorry?”

“The guy who you loved… or still, y’know. I’m not at getting over people, as you can see. But I can try to give some advice. Sometimes it helps to talk it out.”

“You’ve only dated me.” I smirk and poke his nose, Steven just smiled at me through the blanket of the dark. We sure stayed up late and soon enough winter depression will hit us both. I get more serious. “Did it help to talk it out about me?”

“No.” Steven says in one short breath and I can see his piercing look. I feel it. I move myself closer to him and we both lay on our sides, trying to see the other, but the curtains are closed and the night is deep with any hints of light faded out.

“Then how is it supposed to help?” I ask him and I’m sure he’s shrugging or would be if it wasn’t actually pitch black. “Or you just curious about everything?”

“I am, but I don’t think that you should be sharing now if you don’t want to. Memories fade eventually and it’s not like you won’t share later, when you’ll be able to look further from the time when he took your breath away.” I feel my chest tighten, because he’s right but I don’t want him to be. “You don’t have to share now.”

I don’t know what should I say in regards to him hinting that time would pass, that Johnny would fade and Steven wouldn’t, because I haven’t accepted that yet. I just took it day by day and I wasn’t sure I wanted to think of anything ahead. I didn’t want to let go of him, just yet and seeing him every time on football practice was the worst.

I fell asleep with Steven by my side and Johnny on my mind.

“When you left me, I was suicidal too.” Steven suddenly says, bringing the topic up as I’m choosing a shirt to wear from the closet next morning. I just look at him, blankly, not sure what to reply and neither wanting to stir many memories, as I have plenty enough as it is. “It’s normal. When love is too big, losing a big chunk of yourself… leads to dark thinking. Because we are our own love.”

Steven doesn’t touch the subject again and I am thankful for that. Instead I take him rowing, before it gets too cold and we do it a few times. We also walk around a lot and even hike sometimes, really coming back to some domestic teenage love which we’ve always had. I still don’t dare to call him my boyfriend again and Steven never pushes it. We even have sex outside once, because there is literally no one to catch us in the countryside. I always refused it, feeling uneasy and I wonder if I had just become far more numb than when Johnny had left me, but I still feel living with Steven.

Football practice will be ending soon and frankly, I keep my mouth quiet when we get asked if it’s getting far too cold. I glance at Johnny, who insists suddenly that we should continue practice, because we’re not weaklings to which the couch just shrugged. No one really expected such enthusiasm. But it all was all forgotten once Julian motioned for everyone to start running in a circle.

Andy approached me for the first time in weeks, when Steven already shut his book and was awaiting for me to approach him on the park benches nearby. Far too uncomfortable and chilly to sit on the ground. Paul followed him, Johnny was loudly chatting with Matt about Barcelona and Messi, which was hard to ignore.

“How you doing, man?” Andy asks me and I just look at Paul, who I’ve barely talked with ever since I got back with Steven in our own thing.

“I’m alright.” I shrug and switch from one foot to another, waiting already for the conversation to be finally over. Even if I haven’t talked to them properly in a while. Paul and Andy now sport different styles, I’m guessing they both got girlfriends who dress them or maybe they just got fed up with themselves and were trying new things out. You can’t wear a tracksuit for the rest of your life.

“You wanna come to the Halloween party next Saturday?” Paul asks me, getting infected by my foot switching.

“But… Halloween will’ve passed by then.” I say, confused with Halloween being tomorrow. Me and Steven were going to watch some new horror movies, which was more of Steven’s forte rather than my own. Our year had a surprisingly warm autumn so far, which explained why were still training.

“So?” Andy smirks.

“You’ve got some girl to impress or something?” I pause briefly. “I thought Paul already sucked you off on his knees.”

They both ignore my remark, maybe I am too childish and will never grow out of it. They can’t throw anything back at me, because I am sucking off Steven and Johnny is long gone. Maybe our friendship is gone too and this is just politeness.

“You should do a Christmas party instead at this rate.” I huff mockingly.

“Look, fuck off. Bring your boyfriend too, we’re family friendly, meaning we accept the gays.” Andy says, being the main coordinator of the party in hand with Paul, of course.

“I’m happy we’re moving forward with acceptance, Westboro Baptist Church.” I smile at both of them and catch Johnny briefly before he leaves.

“Oi, you too. Come along.” Andy says and punches the striker lightly on the shoulder to which he just nods and makes his way out. He grins at both me and Paul. “He’ll come.”

I feel myself go a bit cold.

I was thinking the other day how many stories I attempt, maybe even post a chapter, but they remained untouched and then they come to life in the form of another story. I had another story about a summer romance which I think where the roots for Offside come from.

I’ve been writing more and posting other things, mostly fanfiction, so yeah. So I’ve been on a slight roll.

Offside. Chapter 25

“Robbie, are you alright?” Steven suddenly approached me once as I was leaving class and thinking to do a dash for a quick smoke. I had been avoiding Andy like the plague, which resulted in me seeing Paul far less as well and with Johnny not trying to mend our relationship, we were all non-existent as friends now. It was a rather lonely place, which would perfectly explain my surprise at anyone speaking to me.

“Sorry?” I asked him, not feeling exactly anything. I wasn’t even angry at him, everything just vanished. I didn’t want to be in school. I frankly didn’t know what else was interesting and what was holding me together, because I had no longer any glue and I felt like I wanted all my memories to be bad dreams. I had no motivation, no faith, no belief.

“You forgot your jacket.” Steven said and handed me my jacket, which I didn’t notice he was holding along with his. I looked around, wondering if someone overheard our bizarre exchange, since it was a small school, but frankly no one really cared.

“I’m fine.” I said and I looked at him. Steven seemed to be a bit taken back, that I had made eye contact for the second time in the past few weeks, but he held it. I was lying and he probably knew it in his core.

“Do you want to talk about it? You’ve been missing the teacher’s questions.”

“When do I not?” I smirk, Steven was quite smarter than I ever was. I was average, I was just good at kicking a ball and even then I wasn’t good enough. I surely couldn’t make a career out of it, I didn’t even dare to tell my parents that it was actually what I wanted to do. Maybe I could become a referee or something?

“That’s true.” Steven replies quickly, smirking, as if trying to catch me under the right mood. We both look away, not sure where can this even go. I still could feel angry, but at this rate when I have no one, I feel like I don’t care anymore.

“I’m going to smoke before the next lesson.” I excuse myself, but Steven decides to follow me anyway and I don’t bother to snap anything at him. We both go outside and get a cigarette each from our smashed boxes. Steven looks at me as I light my cigarette and then follows with the same gesture.

Maybe I won’t manage at all. When the weekend finally rolls in, I don’t manage to do anything at all, I just play some Fifa with whoever I see online, avoiding Andy and Paul, just because at this point we’re all avoiding each other. Johnny is a name I stare at, but neither of us dares to remove the other from the list. After all, we only delete people when it gets far too personal and it hurts to look at the other’s name. We were a one time fling, which happened to last one month of summer and even then… barely. But somehow managed to bleed colour onto my other misery which Steven had brought along.

Steven keeps looking at me and I glance at him, still not used to his short hair. I wonder if he will end up keeping it, it’s even shorter than mine at this rate. He does a small smile, when I glance. I’m sure it’s not friendship he desires. I don’t know whether to be straightforward with him or not. Do I tell him to fuck off, even if I am completely alone? Then we both look at each other. I am craving any touch at this point, both sexual and something soothing. I never know what the future holds, but people somehow manage to talk, make actions and decide where would the stream take me. I don’t have control over anything at all these days, besides backing out of social interactions.

“Are you sure you’re alright?” Steven asks with the same concerned voice and face, getting a step closer to me and everything seemed to be in a terrible daze. I don’t really understand anything and where is life headed. At this point, I just wish I were dead.

“Yeah.” I lie. I look at Steven, exhaling. I laugh at his face. Even my parents don’t show that much concern. It’s probably the first time I’ve shown some dried up laughter since a while. I shake my head, possibly if I could I’d cry. “No. But then, who is? It’s the last year.”

I inhale and Steven looks at the surprised at my sudden outburst. He quickly glances at his phone and back at the school doors, diagonally behind us.

“You want to skip the next lesson? Talk it over? You look like you haven’t talked to anyone about it for a good while, man.” He says more seriously and I wonder how sunken do my eyes look and I just nod at his suggestion. Thankfully I only have practice tomorrow, so it’s not like I have something actual to miss today. I try to scan all the emotions behind his gray eyes, but all I actually see is concern. I feel a bit eerie looking back at the eyes which broke me, now all of a sudden. “Okay, Robbie, let’s get you somewhere else. Fuck school.”

He puts a hand on my shoulder, squeezing it and we both make our way out of the grounds, not really saying anything. Steven’s hand is still on my shoulder. We make it to the bus stop, since everything is through it.

“My house should be empty-”

“I’d rather be at my place.” I say abruptly and Steven should’ve been surprised, but he still looks more worried than I’ve seen him. But then it’s been months. It’s not like he didn’t learn me inside out in the years that we were together. “Mine should be out for sure.”

“Yeah, we can play Fifa or something.”

“You’re rubbish at it.”

“That’s what makes it funny.” Steven smiles at me. I smirk back. He puts his hands in his pockets. He keeps watching me and I just throw my cigarette out. I don’t even know why I’m doing this, but I feel like I’ve reached such a depth of loneliness that I don’t care anymore. It’s not like we’re fucking again or anything, let alone dating.

Talking to someone again felt very surreal and I didn’t feel tired, like from all the communication after even sitting down at a table with my parents. Maybe because I knew him inside out or maybe because I thought that I knew him. I didn’t know, but I couldn’t stop staring at him. Johnny didn’t even bother to do so. Was I that mad at Johnny for avoiding me? I didn’t honestly know. I didn’t feel like I even had feelings, just some scraps of some bizarre emotions which would maybe make sense to a psychiatrist, just because they’re trained and they would classify me as unstable.

I was also starved for touch, I wanted to trace my fingers on his jawline, because he was simply another person which I could touch. He was a person I could touch. I just wanted everything to end and feel something at the same time. I felt highly desperate. Just like one calls a hospital to tell that they are suicidal, that’s how I felt with Steven. There was simply nothing else to lose. I had no will to live, because I was overwhelmed and I didn’t know where life was heading. I couldn’t lie to myself anymore. I could pretend that I would get some good ending, but that’s simply not realistic or not life at all. There was nothing.

I could even kiss him right now, just to feel something, even to feel a mistake trace patterns on my skin would be better than nothing at all. I didn’t know what to do with school either, I had no intentions of continuing, I just wanted it all to end. I studied and nothing seemed to be working solely because I was just not getting anything.

I didn’t care how the future unfolded as long as it wouldn’t hurt as much as it does now.

I don’t even recall the gibberish we discussed, but it was mainly Steven doing some brief jokes, while my mind’s gears seemed to be settling and as soon as we arrived, I did what my mind had been playing out.

I grabbed Steven and pushed him against the door of my room, his eyes widening, scared that I had changed my mind and would raise a hand on him or something. Instead I just kissed him, seeing his surprise right before closing my eyes.

My ex just pulled me closer, kissing me just as hungrily, desperately. We had different needs, but at least I was feeling something. I could feel him in my mouth, I could feel his hands rubbing my back. I could taste him on my tongue. I wanted to wake up more, I wanted to feel him more. Steven moaned between kisses, something I had forgotten which was only turning me on.

“Someone’s excited.” He says against my lips and strokes me over my jeans.

“Why don’t you see for yourself?” I say, kissing his ear. He gave amazing blow jobs. Overall he was really good in sex. He always made me feel good and I loved giving him pleasure.

I didn’t know what I had wanted to achieve with all of this. My whole body was reacting to his and I seemed to be watching from afar, I felt as if I was watching myself from the corner of the room, masturbating as Steven was going on his knees. I could see everything happen and it was surely the highlight of my month, but I still felt heartbroken after Johnny. I didn’t know what to do, but the me which was now getting a blow job was seriously excited, mouth fucking my ex. I kept thrusting enough to make him gag, which I knew that he enjoyed. Steven kept watching me from below, his own jeans tenting from pleasure and excitement.

But nothing was ending, maybe if this was a nightmare another me would declare, it wasn’t even close to ceasing. I felt like all my thoughts were divided by a sharp sword and now I could see an anxious me just pacing around and looking back at Steven, wondering when would this disaster of a person leave me? What if he would never? What if he was a leech which had no intention of letting go and would continue tormenting me? What if I was my own leech for letting him in again? Why wasn’t he saying anything or was he just getting anything he could?

What if this was all a mirror of what I had done with Johnny? I tried not to think of it, but it was hard to push the fellow striker away. Of course he had crossed my mind so often when I was lonely, I would think about him terribly often in class and I had still wanted him. That only caused me to get even more fired up and turned on somehow.

Steven takes my cock out of his mouth.

“Wanna fuck?” He asks me with a full mischievous smile. I’m getting painfully erect and the idea of fucking him into the mattress is highly pleasing. I didn’t get to fuck Johnny, I was too curious what was it like to get fucked by someone so hung. Both me and Steven were on the average size, which never bothered me and frankly it matters when you know how to use a dick. We start making out again before quickly removing each other’s clothes. Steven takes out a condom out of his wallet, because I had no idea he was cheating we just never used one, kind of having a silent consensus that we were exclusive and first to each other. We were each other’s firsts. I end up staring at the square containing the condom and Steven looks at it too.

“We don’t have to if-”

“Safe sex, really.” I shrug and I try not to get it to me. I would be naïve to just fuck him without anything now, considering that I know what he had been up to. I slide it on me, as Steven lays familiarly on my bed, spreading his legs wide, exposing his hole. I go towards him to kiss him, teasing him with one finger at first, causing the usual moans. I insert a second one, causing him to put his arms around me, just before I take them all out.

I take him by his chin.

“You’ve been bad.” And I mean it. Steven just nods and gasps when I enter him. We have sex facing each other, with Steven’s legs around my waist. I keep fucking him hard, thinking of all the other people he’s had sex with, as his eyes are closed shut from pleasure and only sometimes open in a haze, just to see me. A fucking little cheater.

That somehow keeps me riled up and I bite his shoulder, holding him down and keeping up a strong pace. Steven starts moaning very loudly and I pray that my parents aren’t back yet. He’s just as good inside as I remember, I keep fucking him. Steven keeps clutching my back, gasping for release now.

“Ride me.” I say. “Be my little slut now.” I gasp and stop, causing Steven to wince.

I had ridden Johnny.

Now Steven was riding me. I slid a hand to his torso, playing with his nipple, just exciting him more as he had just taken a very strong pounding and was barely moving, moaning and throwing his head back. Usually he would have his longer hair, which I would pull as we would fuck from behind, but now it was all short.

“Come on, don’t you want to cum?” I tease him and put a hand to his cock, tracing a line on the underline.

“Guess you need some help.” And I push him down, on his stomach. I then put my cock inside, Steven touching himself now. Not the most comfortable of positions to touch oneself, but he’s filled with lust and desire.

“Let me show you how it’s done, you fucking slut.” It’s exciting me. I can’t stop. I’m punishing him by starting slow, Steven whining now for me to fuck him much harder.

I dig my fingers into his shoulders and then I give in. I fuck him like I had never fucked him before, my own moans mixing with his, my cock going in and out at a fast pace.

“Fuck me!” Steven begs and I smash my body against his, thrusting as hard as I possibly can. Going in and out, in and out, in and out-

“Fuuuuuck!” Steven exclaims and his whole body twitches, my own picking up and I cum inside him, before recalling the condom briefly. I keep thrusting slowly until I cool off and Steven kisses me as soon as I stop breathing so heavily.

“I-” He drops what he starts, recalling where we are and who we are now. I just look away at my wall. I used to have posters, so many of them. Possibly made my parents think twice after I came out as gay on why I had so many well-built men on my walls. I feel a bit alive. I kiss him for that. But I don’t speak, removing the condom once I’m soft. Both me and Steven staring at each other, confused on what we have done. No one spoke up, no one said anything, we just took our desires. I feel a bit guilty calling him a slut so many times. But then sex can be a game. Full of role play too, it’s not like this was a first. Just this one had a slice of life.

Sometimes I want to stay conscious, it becomes like a venom, I want to stay within my thoughts because losing sight of them scares me. Every distraction feels like a knife, my mind just clings onto the bitter reality and I can’t let go. Same was with my desire not to speak up now. I want warmth and I want to be clingy once more, since I can’t cling onto the one who contaminates my thoughts. I move closer to Steven and I kiss him again, our kiss somehow becoming a desperate cry among each other, which shifts some gears in my mind.

Aaaand I’m back again.

I don’t know why but going back to exes and contemplation of it is a rather big theme in my stories, since I like to dissect everything possible about relationships. So maybe I’m answering my own question.

Offside is one of those stories which I was really telling and being fascinated by just writing about football and the antics of a small town and team. I miss writing it and it’s probably one of those stories which I end up rereading because it’s rather light compared to my other works and I highly enjoy it because of that.

I never got angry sex and never tried it, but here I am, writing about it.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Why do we fall in love?
Why are we dealing with the same specific deck during our entire life?
I’ve seen the same dame of spades three times already in this game.
I wonder who’s been cheating this entire time.
My hands tremble.
It’s not even about laying on the same bedsheets after I’ve told myself that all should be done in the living room. I panic afterwards and I feel tempted to throw out the bed sheets, but it would look too suspicious.

Instead I check to make sure the door is closed, my heart still beating awfully fast.

Why do we fall out of love for the same matter?

I don’t know the answers to so many things, as I sit outside on the balcony, pressing my head against the rails and feeling my whole body shake, as if I were to be emotional and actually start crying, but there’s something else going on. Instead I keep my phone close for two reasons: to know when to leave and to know when to conceal completely.

I had used a condom as it was discussed with my boyfriend, a very brief and painful conversation with a football match playing in the background. How did people deal with jealousy? I had looked at the girl who just left all confused. How come the guy she went back home to was okay with all of this? I closed my eyes shut, pondering how had I stayed after being cheated on.

Maybe we just give up on breaking up after a while passes? I wasn’t entirely sure how to break up, since I had always been the one who people broke up with. I didn’t dare to mention so many things to my boyfriend, as we had both slept on our secrets. I thought of a threesome with the girl, but the fear of seeing someone else again with my boyfriend was crippling somehow.

I knew that we should’ve discussed it more openly, but I’ve seen plenty of other guys in other DADTs which were even worse and I couldn’t help but wonder… why were we all doing it?

I thought of her black hair spread on the pillow, her nails digging into the bedsheets.

I held my eyes tightly shut again.

Where are we all going? I thought of my boyfriend, how sometimes he would come back and after quitting smoking he would pick up a cigarette from the box on the balcony and smoke it in silence, sometimes watching me, when he would think that I wasn’t looking. That’s how I had known that he had sex with another man that day.

It seemed like a harmless habit, since we discussed it, not touching any of our beers and me mostly doing the talking, saying I had no intentions to break up. Coming out as gay was just as stressful and coming out as bisexual seemed even worse, then I would be told something among the lines of finally, clapping, we would have some blood heir to nothing in particular by the family.

I didn’t even know how everything worked, how I had managed to get a girl into bed after so many years and given her so much pleasure and myself at the same time. I had to brush my teeth thoroughly.

It seemed like a new cross to bear, which would be against the fact that we agreed not to tell each other we were sleeping.

We give up on breaking up. That keeps echoing through my damn head. I would never break up, no matter how much it hurt seeing him and not fully comprehending that I was there, standing above the damn bed I had just fucked the girl in. I just got the terrible curiosity which made me wonder if I should be the one smoking the cigarettes, allowing myself to wallow in my own sorrow. Curiosity spread from porn and onwards, maybe because I wanted something else or maybe all that talk of sexuality being fluid was more than real?

Was I queer? Was I bisexual? Was I pansexual? Everything seemed far too early to tell and to understand. I felt like the routine was going forwards, that me any my boyfriend were just going onwards.

But the awful thing was that it was my story to tell, it was my desire to cut the ties whenever I’d want to. I wasn’t ready to even wash my face and look at myself in the eyes, I didn’t want to see my reflection and all of a sudden it became about me. I felt as if I was the one cheating.

Once he came back and I sat next to him, lit a cigarette and he raised an eyebrow at me.

I felt like I no longer cared since we were both doing it on a near to daily basis.

The bed would be used regardless of who was home. I didn’t know what was wrong with me and I’m sure he didn’t know what was wrong with him. But then… wasn’t that the point? Not knowing why you stay sometimes, but staying because you loved.

“I think I’m bisexual.” I inhale and I wait for all of it to unravel, which causes my boyfriend to look down, get another cigarette, light it and say:

“Tell me.” And so I spoke of love.

This is actually my first proper polyamorous story which has clear cut definitions. I was really excited to write it and with some sudden change of events, I started thinking a lot about the current state of my sexuality and all. DADTs isn’t something I have, but I’ve seen a lot and talked to a lot with other guys who are in one, so that’s where the inspiration came from.

Offside. Chapter 24

“What do you want?” There is no politeness and Steven jerks suddenly, as if recollecting that I am actually speaking to him. He is just struck by the oddity of it all and taking a drag, as if to fog up reality a bit so that it could be sold to him somehow.

“Right, right…” He tries to piece himself together, as if he would take out a small piece of paper and read out the speech, but instead he just takes a very deep inhale without the cigarette. “I just… bonded over with Andy over the summer.”

I tense up and he tries to still play cool about it.

“Our moms became friends so it was a matter of… boys, just hang out. Maybe because Andy is straight mom didn’t give a fuck about me hanging out with him.” He looks at me in the eyes briefly and we both look away at the same time. “And without realizing I just asked how were you doing. Andy was busy texting some girl, so he just went unfiltered on how I had hurt you from what he’s seen but that you were doing better.”

I tense up. Did Andy speak of Johnny?

“So I’d keep asking and… I just didn’t want you to suffer so much. I just thought you’d move on and have a boyfriend by now.” He confesses and I just stare at him, confused.

“Steven, we live in the middle of nowhere.” How the fuck am I supposed to find a boyfriend here?

“You never give yourself enough credit. Any guy would want you… Robbie.” He took a long pause before saying my name, because it was no longer his to say, I’m guessing. He keeps fidgeting with the cigarette, barely looking at me and we’ve stopped to have this conversation rather than Steven’s invitation for ice cream. I see that his plan is crumbling. I couldn’t imagine living without him once we got together, that I would always be able to tell him what’s going on and so would he. I laugh darkly, recalling Johnny who just discarded me. That’s all the guys who want me. I still think of a poisonous reply.

“That’s why you went behind my back… on just a few guys and girls, yeah?” He looks up at me and Steven’s breath gets heavier. I never really understood how could one go behind someone else’s back to sleep around and the whole point of it. At the time I didn’t even want to know why, I just wanted him gone and as summer strolled the question would arise on my lips, but I had no one to ask.

“Robbie, that’s not…” And I guess my gaze is enough for him to drop his defence. “I know. I know what I did and I’m terribly sorry. I just…”

And my whole body goes cold. I never let him give me an explanation. My curiosity can’t help but try and push me further, but do I really want to know? Why would I listen to a liar? I just try to look through him, but he has nothing else to lose. Would he really speak the truth now? I just look down and I’m sure that if we were still together he would’ve touched me but instead I’m left alone. I finally lift my eyes up to look at him. My whole body is strained from training and now so is my soul.

Routine will become dreadful and it already started crumbling the shallow melancholy of a futile summer. Do I want to hear something which will stain the memories and the following days with blood?

“Please don’t-”

“I went crazy.” Steven says at the same time I speak and pauses instantly, not daring to go on further. Instead I’m sure I’m looking at him like a madman. I just look down and can’t even recall where I am, my brain is fuzzy and blank. I don’t understand what’s going on and how the thoughts are rolling in. Of course it’s his fault, but I don’t want to hear much further. He stretches out his arm to touch mine, to soothe me down, but instead I inhale the cigarette fast and look at him.

“This was never a good idea.” I mutter and turn around. Steven’s eyes widen and it’s the last thing I see before heading back to the the bus station. He called out to me, but I just left it at that and so did Steven.

I wanted to cry on the way back, I checked my phone, my heart aching. Maybe Johnny knew somehow. Maybe he’d listen. But the problem is that life isn’t anti-climatic, it keeps going and I don’t understand how some people just die, because for what us seems abrupt isn’t for everyone else. Life’s bare bones are something no one wants to see. We would rather see nothing, be blind and even cover our eyes with our hands.

I get back home to a note that my parents are gone, so I just lock myself up in my room anyway, my mind rushing as I press my head against the door. What else had Steven wanted to say to me? What else could’ve changed my mind? Why didn’t he try to fetch me further? I bang my hand against the door, feeling the pain somewhere far away, as if I were in a dream so I repeat the action, barely feeling anything still. I do it once more and it finally aches.

Why is it so that we care about people and the desire to never be lonely? Why can’t we just be alone forever, without anyone else to toy with us? Why can’t time pass sooner? Why are we always stuck in some torturous waiting for a resolution?

Maybe it doesn’t matter, maybe we’re all supposed to cry.

The more time passes during the day, the more I keep asking myself if anything is even worth it. I have no idea what I want to do in life, nothing will ever be achieved, summer will be over and then I will be dragged onwards into something else. I feel like I’m a log in a strong stream, I barely flinch anymore and a sense of impending doom is something which I fear. I don’t want to make decisions which I will end up regretting. It’s beyond love now, love doesn’t exist at this time and place. Johnny didn’t even slip through my fingers, he just used me as a toy and that had been it. Steven suddenly came back to his senses since we had dated a while. Maybe it’s all the mentality that one will simply not find better. I guess I jump from one fear to another. My current fear being that life is meaningless because by the end of the day we don’t get to our decisions. Maybe we can turn life around, just to make it liveable but no one is truly happy.

I ended up playing even more Fifa, checking the online list just to see Johnny. I paused and stared at the screen, wondering how long would it take for us to mend it as friends or if we should just remain apart. We weren’t talking at all and now Steven was on my back like a monkey. Sure, I could brush him off, but he would crawl back again.

Maybe Steven was all I needed to get through the day?

I wanted to go downstairs and drink until I would see the cosmos even if I knew that wasn’t possible. I couldn’t even force myself to get food when I was hungry, but it was better to eat alone rather than with my parents who would lightly raise the subject of the future which I didn’t want to dwell upon.

I didn’t want anything and I wondered how long would it take until I would split at the ends and slowly dissolve to the point where I would just attempt suicide from the simple fact that I had never been happy. Maybe I was happy briefly with Steven. Well, I was. Maybe I should chase the last sparks of fairy dust with him? I didn’t even know if Steven had changed his mind and decided to pursue something else, but he seemed just as lost like we would sit outside and smoke on the stairs, looking at the lake.

The more I thought the more I knew that I was sliding into his idea. He wanted me to get back with him, it wasn’t like I had no idea about it. But at the same time, I wanted to stay away, I wanted to get pushed to the limit, I wanted to end it all. I wanted everything to go so bad that I wouldn’t hold. I wanted all to go away, so that I would cry and dissolve from the world’s weight and tears. But we’re all foolish and cowards, if we can make it for another day, we go on. We hold onto any fragment of a star and make it hour by hour, minute by minute even. Because that’s what we’re told, we’re told to hold onto life for no reason other than that’s how it works just like reproducing is believed to be the meaning of life. But why? Why do we follow it blindly? Why do we keep going?Why do we really?

I just kept playing Fifa, wondering what would even happen if I would write to Johnny asking if he wanted to play with me. I knew that now he no longer listen to me, because what was the point? I was played like a plain hookup and discarded. The pillow talk was over. The conquest was over and he moved further. I had no idea what he even thought of me now, since we just avoided the other, as if the reason was long forgotten and we became strangers anew.

Just like good things end, so do bad things only to bring worse things along as if it was a kid pulling a train with all the wagons. Every wagon seemed to be worse than the previous. Frankly, I could see myself being a passenger on all and screaming.

I knew that the school year was going to be a terrible drag. I knew that summer had managed to kick box all my memories of formulas and what to say during lessons and what should be kept to myself. The fact that it was the last year wouldn’t help at all either. I didn’t know which school Johnny would attend, somewhere deep down I wished that we would somehow cross paths and I would forget it all, but as time went, I just slowly started tearing the petals away from the flower without asking it questions. I knew that the end was near and I couldn’t help but look at the lake, wondering why couldn’t I just fall into it clothed and let the water take me in once more, just like I had come into this world. The more I thought of it, the more of a fitting ending it seemed to be. When I thought of summer, I would think of the soft temperature which was replaced by the cold of the mornings.

I would only see Johnny during practice as I had learned, while I was stuck in some lessons with Steven, but we didn’t extend it beyond greeting each other because that’s what we were now, acquaintances. I knew that Steven held his glances for a bit longer when he would look at me. He was possibly biding his time, just to talk to me. Because maybe I would break and even a liar’s hands would do.

The fear traced patterns on my body, spider webs of insecurity and further isolation. I just didn’t want to talk to anyone and I would dread every single lunch and dinner with my parents just because they could ask me something I wouldn’t know the answer to. They started seeing how anxious I was getting. Football wasn’t helping. I would still go to training and I would see Johnny look the opposite way, but we had started to play as a team once more. But there had been nothing else which was going on between us. I didn’t know how I would manage to just go further, because he still came into my thoughts with the deep touch of summer. Johnny had taken my summer under his shirt and ran off with it, like a thief. I couldn’t properly string all the words together, I would keep scattering them like my thoughts. Lessons were beyond me at this time and place, I wasn’t following where the usual curriculum was leading me and all I knew is that I knew how to kick the ball. I didn’t understand what was necessary of me. I wished that I was Brazilian or anything which could lead me to a higher chance of a football career. I hadn’t even properly dreamt of one before, but now times seemed awfully desperate.

I couldn’t even find solace in lies. All I wanted was nothing, I just wanted everything to go away. Every day was a terrible dread. On one day I even sat on the bathtub with a kitchen knife in hand, now knowing that if I would attempt anything I would no longer be able to say that I had never attempted suicide. But how far did that question stretch? Was tracing the metal upon the skin in a bathroom enough to state that it was a lie? I just didn’t want to go on further. It kept going through my daft head like a mantra. I wished that I could somehow manage to get a football career, because I saw no other light.

I had wondered if I should manage to ask the coach, but I had no guts. What would I even ask even? I was a mediocre midfielder. I wasn’t going to lie to myself, but I literally had no other talents and I felt that I was back to childhood. Do you remember those talent shows? Where the other kids would sing and dance? I was always jealous that I had no talent to show case, that there was nothing special about me. As I grew up, I started speculating what if that talent had been football and for a while I believed in that. But now as I aged, I remember once a parent’s friend got drunk and sat next to me, smoking and all, saying how he had realized as the years went by that, he wanted to be a musician, that by the end he realized that his songs weren’t good and that neither was his guitar playing.

I guess that sept into me, I absorbed it and eventually I saw that indeed, my songs weren’t that great and neither was my playing. Only it applied to football.

Maybe all the awful American movies were right? Maybe life had no meaning and we were all lying to ourselves, maybe there was no love and no joy. I hated watched all school movies because of that, all the shows which would showcase how bad life was these days. Everything was a disappointment, but then the only thing which somehow seemed better than in movies was sex. Maybe everything else was better as well? I didn’t know the answer to that.

I didn’t even want to think of it properly.

I just felt downright miserable.

I’m bipolar and depression had been a big part of my life before I was properly medicated and even then it took quite a while to find the right medication.

So a lot of this is recollection or even thoughts at the time.

I actually had a talk in my teenage years or even pre-teen years with someone and they told me the same thing that Robbie quotes here.

Offside. Chapter 23

I did decide to head back upstairs and as soon as I closed the door, I thought I would start crying, but nothing came. No matter how much I thought of how useless I was, how I didn’t know what the fuck would I do later. Thoughts of Johnny and Steven reversing their roles felt terrible, but it didn’t spring any tears. Johnny hadn’t written to me during these days, leaving me alone completely. I couldn’t help but crawl back into bed and fall asleep into a nap, which was very conscious. I kept thinking of how he hadn’t texted, how he hadn’t called and how frankly he had no friends. If there was a drift which would be visible to Andy and Paul, I knew that they would take my side. That would mean that he had no friends left. I wondered how long would it take him to realize it?

I couldn’t help but forget about Steven, I tried to just ignore him and so far it had been working. At least for the duration of the nap. Instead I thought of kissing Johnny, as I would change from side to side, how it had felt. How he was actually a fantastic kisser but shy at the beginning, and how he had revealed himself fully during sex and before it. Annoyingly enough, it was getting me horny. I hadn’t touched myself ever since, knowing that the last time I had sex would spring to memory. I knew that I would think of how good he felt, so I abstained. I knew that it would be like trailing nails on my skin and causing myself to bleed. I didn’t want that at all.

I didn’t know how to properly mourn Johnny, it felt like it was just like when I had caught Steven cheating and he told me everything. I couldn’t function once more. Maybe that’s how I just react to break-ups or people ditching me. Maybe it was time for me to confront myself. I didn’t even notice how the rest of the day slipped into tomorrow’s morning, I had napped through the whole night as well, still dressed up.

I looked at myself in the mirror, I looked frankly miserable, it was just the way my face looked. I had managed to shower and take care of myself to a minimum, just so that it wasn’t suspicious because I didn’t want my parents knocking on my door, demanding answers that I didn’t have or want to give out. I couldn’t just babble about Johnny. It was beyond question. I wasn’t going to out him.

Johnny didn’t want to date me. I told myself that in front of the mirror, with the tap running and I saw my face fall even further. My eyes swelled up with tears and I was a fucking mess. I blinked them out and just proceeded with all my morning shower rituals, where I didn’t bother to touch myself, no matter how desperate my body was starting to get. I wasn’t going to touch myself just yet.

I wasn’t ready to move on, because I didn’t want to think of him and somewhere deep down, I wanted my last time that I had an orgasm to be with him. Because it’s not that easy to just step over someone.

Maybe he was right.

Maybe somewhere deep down… I had fallen in love along the way. I looked back at the mirror. I frankly didn’t know because now I couldn’t fucking feel anything at all. Back then, I couldn’t have asked myself either because I was too busy chasing after him, hoping that he would date me.

I couldn’t function the next few days and I didn’t even dare to step outside. Instead I just stayed in my room, thankfully it wasn’t too much out of the ordinary but I was sure that it raised some alarm in my parents. So I decided to get myself outside, ignoring my phone again. I just swiped it to check notifications, since I had left it on silent ever since Paul gave me a taste of Steven, despite all his actions saying otherwise. Both Paul and Andy had called me. There were also a few texts from Paul, who had started asking me how I was.

I didn’t even bother opening them. I couldn’t get myself to care. All I knew is that I needed to go outside, even out to the town and sit on a bench. I needed to get my parents to leave me alone, I needed to stay as pristine as a pool, so that no questions would get asked.

The town was as empty as usual, I just stared out of the window during the bus ride, nearly falling asleep, not even finding the energy for me to listen to music. Everything seemed like slow torture and the next few days went by like that. Nothing was exciting and I would force myself to just get outside, I made a habit of doing that every two days. I would only get some chocolate in the store and eat it outside, nothing else to do. I would walk a bit in the small park, thankful that I didn’t bump into anyone, but I would go in the afternoon, when Andy and Paul would’ve been already at each other’s place. I had seen a few guys from my football team, but no one approached me beyond a quick wave.

I couldn’t properly get myself to suffer, I would just go around, forgetting how the previous day tasted. I couldn’t exactly recall my thoughts. Nothing was working to cheer me up either. I even snuck out booze one day and it just made me feel drunk and sad, I couldn’t get myself to relax. I couldn’t get myself yanked out from the bottom of the ocean and I could barely see the light on the surface with the distance and all.

What yanked me out was the fact that I had decided to go to practice after all. I felt a bit excited, trying not to think of seeing Johnny again. It had been a while now, since we both missed the first practice after we had ruined each other. I wasn’t looking forward to seeing him at all, but I just wanted to kick the ball and we needed to prepare for an incoming match. I skipped once, it would be bad for me to skip more. Maybe Johnny knew that as well?

My heart kept rushing from the thought of seeing him. I couldn’t relax either, but I decided to reply to Paul, ignoring Andy. I think he would understand why and I just claimed to be alright and that I would be at practice this time. Paul just replied happily, that he was glad that I was feeling better. That made me smile slightly, maybe Paul was my friend after all, beneath all the banter. I ended up falling asleep on the bus, causing the bus driver to wake me up, since it was the last stop.

I walked slowly to the field, smoking on the way, barely holding myself from turning back and the upcoming game was my only motivation to actually show up there today. I saw Paul and Andy, which were shouting loudly about something, once I got closer I realized that it was yet another Chelsea game, which I only watched the highlights of. I watched them because I was trying to get myself back on track, I was really faking it until I could make it. I had to force myself to do the things I had enjoyed prior, just because they would bring me back to life. Watching Chelsea highlights was apparently one of them. Not that I cared much about them, though.

“Hey, man.” I heard Paul turn to me, as soon as Andy nodded towards me. I waved at both of them and sat on the bench. I looked around. Johnny wasn’t here yet. I breathed out just as heavy. I greeted them both with a plain hello. Andy and Paul looked at each other a bit concerned. I hoped that they thought that I was simply angry at them because of Steven. Which frankly I couldn’t say I was as concerned.

Johnny ended up showing up, I’m guessing maybe he went to buy cigarettes or something. But he showed up, glancing at me and then just focusing on changing his shoes. I still felt how the colour drained from his face. It was odd, considering that he sat on the other end of the bench next to Matt and everyone else who was laughing loudly. He didn’t even try to follow them.

“Hey, queer, why aren’t you talking to Johnny?” Andy noted and I instantly moved my head up to see his facial expression. I swallowed, quickly starting to think what the hell could I even reply.

“Something happened, man?” I’m sure Paul was still feeling guilty for putting me on the phone with Steven. I didn’t even know what to say, it’s not like me and Johnny did a contract on how we should act around each other now. But then everyone had a fallout in their lives at least several times. It wasn’t uncommon for guys to just stop talking to each other. That didn’t mean that it was because one wanted to date and the other didn’t. It surely didn’t mean that we had sex.

“Oh, nothing much.” I lied and then I notice through the corner of my eye, that Johnny had turned towards me and was watching me. I was speaking loudly over the noise and it was impossible for him not to hear me talk about it.

“Well, we’ve got your back.” Paul said and Andy just shrugged, before Paul nudged him and then his best friend nodded. Maybe Andy didn’t want to be caught up in the whole drama between me and Steven. But then if those two had started being friends, then surely he wanted us both to rekindle at least to some extent, just for him not to be awkward. It wasn’t really about me and Steven though for Andy. It was really about his own comfort.

“Thanks, guys.” I say and I hold myself from asking what the fuck about Steven and how could they have allowed this.

Practice starts off with different exercises and ends up with a brief game where we split up in two teams. It’s odd to note that me and Johnny end up on the same team. But I don’t think I would want to end up on opposite teams with him and one of us breaking the other’s legs. Instead he passes the ball to me normally, which causes me to pause for a second, a bit before Johnny screams pass the fucking ball to the other striker.

I’ve never seen him that much into the game and he doesn’t congratulate me when we win, so that’s that. It was awkward with both of us just looking at each other, but neither of us really wanted to act like everything was normal. I had completely forgotten about Steven by the end of the end of the practice until I had looked behind me and I saw the nervous smoking, which was nearly the same thing as his existence. I remember all the talks we’ve had and he would always lay in bed, smoking a cigarette lazily just to be screamed at by his parents later on for smoking inside. Johnny just grumpily shoved his boots back in, while I saw Paul notice Steven only now. I could only hope that he shoved Andy for the sudden friendship they decided to spread with the rest of the world.

Steven waved at me very briefly, cigarette between his lips. I wasn’t even sure what he even wanted. Now his hair was shorter, compared to his chin length hair which he had sported ever since he probably discovered he was bisexual. It was just a short crop now, which made him seem even thiner than he already was and I can’t say that it suited him just as well. I did decide to approach him after all, not even to give him the benefit of the doubt. It was more about dismissing him.

“I’m sorry for… making a lot of this through Andy.” Is his starting line and he seems surprised that I am still standing besides him. “I… didn’t think you’d stand to see me.”

He pauses and looks at me, taking me in with all the doubt of himself and regret.

“Good to see you.” He nods. “Really good.”

Steven takes another drag. I don’t say anything.

“Want to talk over ice cream? It’s on me.” I open my mouth, but Steven swiftly interrupts me.

“It’s not a date or anything. I’m not offering that, I just… want to make myself clear.” His finger are trembling as he takes the cigarette out of his mouth, blowing the smoke out and looking at me with his troubled light eyes.

“I think you made yourself pretty clear with your actions.” Steven even skips a drag, probably from just hearing my voice. I would assessing it too, if it’s a good thing that I’m speaking, but not too spitefully. He looks around and focuses on something behind me. So I turn around to see quite a few guys from the football team watching me. Even Johnny, right besides Andy and Paul. I look at him, but he looks confused.

“Fine. I don’t want to be on the gossip magazines tomorrow of this town.” I groan, looking back at a very surprised Steven. He doesn’t talk until we get out of their sight and even then, he just lights a second cigarette, only glancing at me every once in a while. I don’t like his look. He looks like a broken man in love. He reminds me of my own summer reflections.

He reminds me of waiting for a call when the number is blocked. I couldn’t get myself to call him either once the fury was gone, instead I was left with a numb body. Nothing would’ve been done from him and I knew that he would just be gone from my life because frankly who wasn’t to be cheated over and over again?

I’m back to posting everything on track! A lot is unfolding and going on, I hope you enjoyed it!

Offside. Chapter 22

Johnny kisses me back and I try to get my breathing back to normal, after probably one of the best fucks I’ve ever had. I grin at him, not hiding the fact that I’m ecstatic and the reality of everything falling into place just starts finally opening up to me, since sex was frankly on both of our minds. What now? What now? My mind starts racing in all cheery thoughts, as I give out a happy laugh and Johnny catches up, a bit confused. I kiss him again. I could kiss him forever now. It feels so bizarre to even see that all is in the past and he’s made his decision, I don’t dare too think too much ahead, but it’s… fucking incredible.

“You want some booze now?” He asks and I smirk, wondering where my shorts are and my backpack, pondering if I should smoke with him, but then that would mean leaving the bed for good and I wanted to enjoy my post-coital bliss. I make a thinking. I feel eager to take him out somewhere, but we should enjoy ourselves while his parents are out.

“Yeah, I guess.” I roll to my side and watch him, just as blissful as I am with his curls a mess and I’m sure my head isn’t that much far away. I have so many things to tell, I have so many things to say, so many questions to ask. I can’t stop grinning at him.

“Alrighty.” He smiles back and stands up. Right, he’s not the one who got pounded by a huge dick and should regret it later. Johnny glances back at me.

“What?” He asks and I watch him all naked and sweaty.

“Nothing. I just wish we could go out somewhere, that’s all. Have a proper first date and all, but your parents are out, so that naturally is a stupid opportunity to miss.” I grin at him and Johnny’s smile doesn’t fade, but he looks a bit surprised.

“Oh, man, this is behind closed doors. We’re not really dating.” He says and wipes off the sweat from his forehead. I sit up.

“What do you mean, not really dating?” I blink. “I… yeah, sure, your parents aren’t too keen on you having a boyfriend, but just take your time and come out to them when you’re ready. I’ll keep my mouth shut until it’s time.”

I shrug, trying to act all casual. Of course he wants me. Johnny’s smile fades.

“Robbie, there’s no time. I’m not coming out just because I happened to wanna fuck some guy.” I stare at Johnny.

“Some guy? Really?” I snap and that takes him by surprise.

“Don’t take it personally. I’m straight. We’re just… having fun. Sure, we overplayed our tension and decided to fuck.” He cocks his head to one side. “Shit, you mean… yeah, I thought of it. This is my stance.”

He doesn’t even give me proper time to think it through, so I have to blur out whatever reaches my shocked mind. I stare at him in his room with the football player posters with the cut out magazine quotes with the wallpaper which clearly belonged to some other kid.

“This is your fucking stance? To just screw me once?” I sit up, pissed off. My mind is blank and just filled to the brim with anger.

“Not just once. Jesus, I enjoyed it. We could always repeat it again, since we’re both single.”

“You’ve… kissed me numerously. You’ve shown concern for me-”

“Yeah, because you’re my fucking friend! Of course I care about you!”

“You don’t fucking care about Paul or Andy!”

“Because they’re some ignorant assholes, which I wouldn’t even recommend you seeing as your friends!”

“Well, at least they’re not screwing me because their dick itched and they wanted to bat for the other team in a fucking alleyway, so that no one would see them!” I stand up and walk up to him. We’re both stark naked. “You fucking kissed me!”

I hold myself from pushing him and starting a proper fucking fight, which he would clearly win. It’s not some kiddy fight from school, where I would have a chance to win against a pipsqueak my own damn height and build.

“Yeah. I know what I did.” He grabs my by the shoulders. “I care about you. I just don’t fucking love you or anything like you do apparently.”

My cheeks heat up from his suggestion.

“What the fuck man?!” I take his hands off me. “You’re the one who always texts me to make sure I’m okay.”

My voice starts trailing off and I feel my eyes start filling up. This is far from good. I can’t fucking cry in front of him. I can’t even comprehend what he will say next and he just tries to get his hands back on my shoulders and I feel regret.

“Robbie, I care about you. I care about you a lot.”

“Then, fucking act on it!” I raise my voice at him. Johnny steps away, being taken back. I’m not going to budge him. He’s fucking straight, he thinks he is. I shouldn’t have even bothered with someone who was taken back and mused upon me being gay in the first place. I shouldn’t have even given him a thought after he freaked out over kissing me. I shouldn’t have.

I’m nearly crying.

I turn around and start picking up my clothes, pulling on my boxers.

“Robbie?” I don’t reply. “Robbie? What are you doing?”

“Getting the fuck out of here.” I say, pretty much shot down. I go to my shirt, which had been thrown nearly on the window sill and I put it on, not bothering with a change of clothes. This would do. “I’m not interested in some straight guy just for fucking fun.”

I turn towards him.

“Maybe you’re not so fucking straight as you thought you were, eh, sleeping with a fucking queer!” I nearly spit at him and he just stares at me, trying to find the right words to make me stay, but nothing graces his mind for now.

“Thank you for fucking fooling me into being another hole for you. Congrats, you’ve tried anal, bet your fucking Heather found it gross.”

“Robbie.”

“What? I’m sure some fucking stuck up American girl didn’t do anal.” I remark.

“Robbie! For fuck’s sake, get yourself together!” He exclaims and I just proceed searching for my backpack. I open it and grab out a box of cigarettes. I’m sure he’s not allowed to smoke inside, just like I am. I get a cigarette out and light it, inhaling. He’s not stopping me, just staring at me.

“Fuck off, you fucking cunt.” I say and make my way down the stairs.

“Robbie!” He says and rushes behind me, grabbing a coat from the coat rack, putting it on and sprinting towards me as I make my way outside. I don’t even bother to turn around. He grabs me and that’s when I look at him, in a very long winter coat, which I’m guessing is his mother’s, but I don’t laugh or point it out. “You’re my friend.”

“Yeah, some friend.” I fucking point out. He’s speechless.

“I really thought… you would also wanted to hook up.”

“We kissed and texted, hung out, acting all lovey-dovey.” I spit the words out at him and look into the distance, hoping that the bus should be soon, as I resume walking and he walks with me, holding onto his coat just to hide his nudity.

“Robbie, I’m interested in women only.”

“That’s why you had sex with me.”

“It’s just… sex. Jesus, stretch it to friends with benefits, if you’re such a bitch about it.”

“A bitch about it?” I snarl. “A bitch? I didn’t fucking lead you on!”

I look into the distance as we’re by the bus stop.

“Get the fuck out before the driver sees you, straight boy.” I smirk darkly as I point to the bus in the distance. Johnny switches from one leg to another and just sees that there’s no point in arguing with me any longer. He tries to choose some famous last words, but he doesn’t. Instead he just turns around, shrugging.

“Fucking psychopath.” He leaves me with that and I just flip him off, as he walks away, turning around.

I didn’t get my post-coital dream. Instead I got some nightmare I never really thought of, trailing into my sleeping times, as if it dripping on me when I was awake wasn’t enough. I barely recall how I got home, I could only pretend that I was just as angry but in reality I just came back, terribly shaking and I started crying rather loudly with the door locked. I ended up putting loud music on, thankful that it muted me out. But I did get questions at the table asking if I were alright, because once you bury a corpse you’ll have dirt under your fingernails. Mine were seen far too well. Mom was more preoccupied than dad, but they kept trying to make me talk and eventually dad asked where did I want to go.

I said that I didn’t know and barely held myself from muttering that I don’t care. That led to my mother to look harshly at my father, hinting that I should be left alone for now. I didn’t know how I managed to crawl downstairs. All the memories of the past days were heavily intertwined and broken, they were all a mess, gunks of broken vases. I didn’t even know where the flowers had gone, it’s as if they were never there.

I knew that I was a phone left on busy. I was avoiding everyone. I skipped the first practice after me and Johnny had gone separate ways. I couldn’t bear to even see him. Apparently neither did Johnny. I got a text from Andy, who asked me if we were boning each other. To which I simply replied no. I’m sure they gossiped about it and I felt stupid, that I hadn’t gone. Instead I went outside and kicked the ball around for ages, sitting on the field, watching the lake from a distance until it got me angry, recalling the last kiss which was with some beads of innocence. Even that was shattered. I couldn’t fucking confront myself to actually start thinking so instead I just cried, now silently and it didn’t seem to get better. I knew that it would take a while. After all, it was the second guy who I slept with and allowed to get close to me.

True, there were things that we didn’t discuss, but I still opened up and we were getting to know each other. Maybe that was the best. That we didn’t get to know each other inside out, like I thought I knew Steven. Then I got a second text from Andy, who was really Paul using his phone. It was asking me again if I was alright. I wanted to say that I didn’t know, but I wasn’t spiteful enough to spread rumours that we had fucked. I didn’t want him to ruin his reputation as a straight kid. I didn’t need that kind of bad vibes going around me, I didn’t want to start gossiping. Maybe I still felt bad for him. God knows.

I ended up calling Paul, feeling myself far too tired to even text. Maybe I just wanted someone to hear how bad and numb I had been.

“How are you, Robbie?” Paul asks me and I just kick the ball again, probably giving Paul a very confused reaction.

“I’m… alright.” I lie and I’m sure my pause can be heard. I hear someone talking to Andy, but it’s far too muffled for me to hear and Paul replies something to the third person. My shit friend does change his attention back to me.

“He’s calling Robbie, now.” I hear Andy a bit far, but it’s still heard. I hear Paul sniff and scratch something on his face, I’m guessing his nose.

“Who the fuck is looking for me?” I ask, not really bothering much and my whole day being a regret already after I had found out that Johnny didn’t even bother to show up.

“Just tell him, man.” I hear Andy.

“Fucking hell, you tell him. I’m not into your friendship, both of you.” Paul whines.

“Who the fuck is interested?” I rub my eyes asking, maybe Johnny showed up after all. My blood goes cold with fear, but I keep listening to both of those morons. I hear someone grab the phone from Paul and something muffled from Andy.

“Sorry about that, it’s me.” I stand still, my brain telling me to hung up instantly, but I just don’t move at all. Instead I hear Steven’s voice perfectly and his breathing. Soon enough I hear him flick a lighter against a cigarette, neither of us budging the silence between us.

“I fucking said it’s a terrible idea.” I hear Paul loud and clear, he yanks the phone back. “Sorry, man, these crazies are getting-”

I hang up. Once it rains, it fucking pours.

Since when are Andy and Steven friends? They barely talked and I try to stretch my mind, as I sit down and get a cigarette for myself. I light it with shaking hands, my mind is still very preoccupied with fucking Johnny, who I didn’t even leave to confront in my mind and now I have my proper ex trying to get in contact with me. Johnny isn’t even an ex, he’s a crush, a hook up, everything gone wrong. I sit on the field, playing with the ball nearby, just passing it from one leg to another. I lay down on the grass, watching the fucking bright sky and my mind is still blank. I can’t even properly react. On any other given occasion I would’ve been furious about Steven, but not today. Not fucking today. Today, I don’t care. I could’ve as well just listened to what the fuck does he even has to say.

I push those thoughts away, since they don’t call back. Most likely Paul, my apparent guardian angel is most likely screaming at both of them new friends. I can’t even function properly and if I didn’t have to go through my parents on the way up, I would’ve cried again.

I’m back! Sorry for the 4 month hiatus, but I’ve settled my fight with the ending, leaving it unchanged, but gaining confidence that I have indeed done it justice.

It’s weird that I had left Offside on such a note, that everything seemed perfect and here I am, destroying Robbie’s reality literally.

There’s more to come and plenty of chapters ahead, twists and turns.

It’s time to close.

Another star, another plane.

I lift myself from my knees, wiping the saliva mixed with cum from my mouth and I get a pat on my face. My cock erect again, but I’m too tired to receive another blow job from the guy I just solicited. It’ll be endless and where will it lead? To both of us missing our flights of course.

I keep running my lips, still feeling the bitterness of another man’s cock thrusting into my eager mouth. Neither of us even asked the other for a condom or if the other was on prep. Like animals we went on it, had we more time I would have rammed him into the wall of the cubicle. But sometimes sex is short and pleasurable.

I stand in front of the damn gate, knowing that damn well I’ll have to clean up my act because no one in the family likes a cocksucker and those who are aware of the guys just close their eyes and ask, the unavoidable question.

What happened to her.

Why had you drifted from women? Sure, the rest were bad… But what about her? The very first one. The one which still has a photo in my bedroom once I go to my family’s. Sure, it’s a group photo, some reminiscence for my mother that once I had friends and I cared what happened to me.

Then it all changed. It’s like I wanted his same fate. It’s like I wanted to die as well.

I keep walking, walking and walking, all escalators broken, those ground ones which are found in Frankfurt airport and I call my mom, holding the gifts, the bags, the smiles and all of that.

Wavy hair.

Big headphones.

Dress.

Hair no longer dyed and hazel eyes I had looked too long. Maybe a bit higher than me now.

She walks past me with an unreadable expression.

It’s like seeing a ghost from the past, the mind recognizes the face but there is no joy, just confusion on who may it be. And she walks on with her backpack.

I call out to her and she turns around confused.

Maybe my tattoos don’t help, my attire, my piercings and my no longer clean act. I look very gay. She looks like she wouldn’t hang out with someone who would go for a sleazy hook up and have sex on the third date.

I never understood the thrill of that, but I was young and I let my tension rise by itself. She looks around, even more so confused but walks back to me, her own confusion mixing with fear.

I had cheated on her. She walked in on a guy sucking me off ironically and then the rumours spread even as we kept being close and then she just stopped talking. I couldn’t blame her and soon enough I left. I knew I wouldn’t survive long being gay and I had pride I wanted to display.

But what about now?

My dead boyfriend was bisexual and trans. Excluded. The lgbt community was shit. We were excluded.

It was all a bunch of cunty literally women screaming for rights they had.

I reached out to her and patted her shoulder, feeling how I had felt it once when we danced.

“It’s me.” I expected a slap, but nothing came. Instead she stared at my pierced brow and then opened her mouth to speak.

What if I left her alone and she would have never recognized me? How untouched would her story had been? Or was that a sign of how insignificant I was in her’s?

Instead she just stares, not saying anything. Her brows together now, I’ve changed and she remembers me with a cleaner act. It’s been years. The more time goes the scarier it gets.

“It’s you.” She takes a step closer and looks at me from head to toe. I never expected her to be this tame, maybe we both got it wrong?

“You just vanished. You left without warning and after that you deleted your account online. I couldn’t find you… no matter how hard I tried.” She sounds like she could burst into tests, but she’s shielded by a thick layer of confrontation and anger. “After… after…”

And it’s all back to us. Just like I was on my knees earlier, same thing nearly ten years ago.

I was scared the guy would talk, but he didn’t. I was scared she would, but we were in love. I was confused. I wanted guys but she was on my mind and we would talk about sex extensively as friends, making me terribly horny and wondering how she would feel.

She knew me before I knew myself and she would listen. It all felt weird seeing her and feeling so young again, right now before boarding the plane to visit my parents who struggled with my sexuality. She was headed elsewhere.

She wasn’t headed home or what we once had called that. I wanted to cry, seeing her, feeling all the years pass and the adrenaline rush through my veins. I knew I had no redemption arc.

I had no idea what happened to the guy I was sucking off either, but I didn’t care about him. Instead she would come to me sometimes. When I spoke of previous lovers I spoke about her to my dead boyfriend, as he laid on his back and listened carefully. Maybe he was jealous I wasn’t sure, all I knew is that all I had left was the memories of him and his soft lips which slowly deteriorated in my mind.

Sometimes I asked myself why hadn’t I killed myself after his death, but it wasn’t that he told me to keep living or to perish with me, he was becoming a distant memory as I would continue life as if he had never happened, depressed and self destructive to the core, having sex in seedy places.

And there she was. Like an angel.

That’s why I didn’t like women, because I could never describe them and she knew that. She knew so much as I slept on her lap.

She looked down.

I looked behind me. I had half an hour to departure and by her step her departure wasn’t that near either. She was dressed much nicer, we both did. With age and going away from a destroyed country did us both good.

Maybe it could’ve not been her. If she hasn’t spoken, but instead she spoke. I wondered if she could vanish into pure air. Maybe it was all a big misunderstanding.

With her it was all a big misunderstanding.

How could I tell her that? Even if I had written her love letters back, they would have never reached her.

My love was long dried and gone.

She looked at me with her big hazel eyes, probably crying just like I had been feeling.

There was no happy ending.

“Zenya, let’s sit down.” I shivered at the sudden mention of my name and I just nodded at her suggestion. So we sat and stared at each other. We had never kissed, even if I had wanted to and it seemed far easier than sucking a guy off. But I didn’t want her to know further, I didn’t want anyone back home to know me. But now I was exposed and with my small fate in her delicate hands.

“I don’t know how many love letters I’ve written to you, just for you to never receive them.

How many sleepless nights I’ve wondered of my sexuality, in my case.

Of the women I’ve briefly tried which never came close. Of the men I’ve tried. I’ve loved and so have you. I’ve apologized to the heavens but does it matter in the world of the living?

No, it never ever does.”

She stares at me and crosses her hands on her lap.

But she’s like a broken memory, I’ll never know her reaction, because in reality I just texted about the encounter, she never looked twice and left as I went to the flight home, to hear of how damned my sexuality was. She never recognized me. I stalked her Instagram and saw her again

Speaking of how she tried to get a tattoo again at the place we were obsessed as teenagers. And the whole truth in this story is her, because we hail memories as fairy dust which we look up and see snowflakes of.

She flickers like a broken VHR and soon enough I get lost in my conversation, calling her a ghost and we move on, as if we’ve never met.

I’ve aged again.

I’ll apologize forever because the more time passes, the less I remember you.

I met one of the Elizabeths in an airport while travelling, which inspired me to instantly start writing. We didn’t talk and she just walked past, I’ve changed drastically over the years, so I hear.

I don’t want to speak much of this one, I’ve considered it calling it an epilogue to the Two Elizabeths but it’s in a different key and I had a different title, a different everything. Tomorrow is my birthday and I’ve decided to just leave it as such, written entirely on mobile besides the last sentence and my near crying once I found out that she visited the tattoo place twice. We forgive so easily and forget. It’s been ages and I’m emotional.

Stale Smoke

I saw the moon, it was a blood red, when we had just met. I dreamt of Rui going up in a top hat, counting all the stars and giving them to me, but instead I am woken up by a hand crawling and tracing lines on my skin. I shouldn’t have worn a tank top, I feel completely exposed.

Years have passed since the moon. No, just weeks.

We headed back inside, climbing over the deserted park fence. Too many places like these became homes here. We didn’t kiss or anything, but I always wondered with his countless cigarettes why he had called me over. Instead of giving answers, he just kept me by his side.

I understood his loneliness. I would have seen Rui cry, if he had let me, but he would take the queue in the bathroom and bawl his eyes out there. He stopped doing drugs a long while ago, or at least that’s what I had thought until he had told me that he never actually did them. Alcohol was enough, he said, but through the mist of weed I had seen him stare at me and even wink.

But he was never pushed to the edge.

Once he had gone out and I laid on his bed, feeling myself go terribly aroused and I stuck a hand deep down my pants, touching myself. It didn’t take long and I wasn’t caught.

I jerk at the sudden hand.

He’s the one always talking in stores and I just mumble my way through a half-eaten language. It’s not like we go out a lot.

But he sketches me a lot.

He’s told me to undress and he’s studied my chest, he’s asked me to spread my legs. It was a circulating currency between us. He would pay me, but I would sometimes lend him money. He called me his muse, but he wouldn’t have sex with me.

Neither would he kiss me. Instead he would just watch, feeling disturbed if another man would sit besides me and watch too. I guess I knew I was good looking somewhere, or maybe it was because I was of such age. I don’t know. He would ask them to stop and take me outside, telling me stories as we would walk up and down the hills of the small city.

I never asked him even once why had he called me over.

The arm travelled and I regretted falling asleep on the bus, but my eyes were greeted with a pair of curious puppy brown eyes. He was younger than I was, and I already felt terribly young.

“Do you have a cigarette?” Accent from the north. I just nod, realizing that I shouldn’t be giving out cigarettes to random strangers. But he takes me by my hand and we exit the stop together. I realize that it’s two stops away so it’s not too bad. He lights the cigarette and I wonder if he is even of legal age, but then I see the subtle stubble. Everyone here has a baby face once they shave. Same for him.

I stretch out the box and he just pulls the cigarette from my mouth into his, returning his to the box. We share the cigarette and he watches me.

“What brings you here? Your accent… it’s not from here.”

“It’s not.” I reply in perfect English. He smiles, rubbing his eye away from any sleep which he might have contaminated from me. It’s not foreign for people to suddenly speak English here, thankfully, so he jumps along the train as we share the cigarette.

Sometimes I get tired from speaking anything else.

“Do you want a drink?” He asks and his hair doesn’t even reach his eyes, but is still rather shaggy.

“Are you old enough to even drink?” I ask him and he laughs.

“They barely ID you here. I thought you’d know by now.” I just shrug and he gives me the cigarette. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a joint. I wonder what would Rui be doing, but instead my thoughts are disturbed.

“The karaoke bars are terrible.” I hear him say and I just look at him, confused.

“I went on a date one with this… guy. It was awful, I sang Beautiful Stranger and then left, because the date was going so damn bad.”

“So he wasn’t your beautiful stranger?”

“Not at all.” He smiles at me, inhaling the cigarette. “But I would call you a beautiful stranger.”

I ignore the compliment and I see that he grasps it immediately.

“I shouldn’t be going around with thirty year old men who never dated.” I flinch, thinking of Rui. He never spoke to me about his personal life. I’m so used to gay men around me, that it takes me a while to realize that the young guy is into men as well. In his own way. I want to say that it depends on the guy, but I don’t want to keep talking and we start heading the same direction, I know he’s just following me at this point. But it’s not like there is anything to steal from me and I do live in a squat, anyway.

I turn around and he stops. We’re nearly the same height.

I point towards a bench and he follows me. It’s opposite to our place, so if Rui were to exit he would be able to see me sitting opposite and we would watch each other. I would surely get him jealous and he would start counting the stars all over again on my skin. He would trace his fingers, the nails down, as if he would be about to make love to me, he’d be on top of me but neither of us would love as he would watch my naked skin.

I loved him so.

We fall asleep on said bench. I don’t even recall us talking, I just remember that he leaned in to kiss me and I took out another cigarette and gave it to him as a pacifier.

We can be anyone to strangers, even beloved.

He invites me for a small breakfast the next morning and I comply, energizing myself from the fact that Rui would notice that I had been gone.

I had a letter handed to me last night by Rui, who watched me carefully, smoking the cigarette since the place was a mixture of anything you could lay your hands on. It was from my mother, begging me to come home, but I couldn’t. I felt like we had discussed too much and even being my mother she had said too many things I couldn’t forgive, so I just discarded the letter and Rui took some photos of me ripping it. He said that it would be for the future. I felt guilty, but I didn’t want to speak to the kid about it.

He paid for breakfast and I just smiled. He was possibly counting the dates it would get me to spread my legs. Maybe he was bisexual or something. Maybe we should all not care who we go to bed with, but in the end there is something wired within us. The problem is that sometimes our wiring doesn’t work, just like we were supposed to live to seventy, but we get run over by a car. It’s not the body’s fault or is it because we had stepped outside that day, knowing the fate and running water through the hair without shampoo just this one time.

Does everything go different on the day you die? Does the wiring go wrong as well?

I don’t ask that.

I run a hand through my short hair, which Rui had buzzed the day before. He watched me a lot and he would ask me questions with a thick accent, ignoring the letter h always, as if it was silent, just like in Portuguese. I couldn’t correct him, he felt like a snake charmer.

He had greeted me in the airport with flowers, telling me that he would be with roses and even if I knew his face and he knew mine. He asked me to strip the first day and he drew me, as if I had been an American Beauty fantasy. Maybe he knew that I hadn’t gone that far, something inside me not letting me unravel, but with him it was different.

Rui let me do anything as he would sketch. Once I had even touched myself and he just kept on sketching, watching me silently with charcoal nearly traced on his face.

“I’m André.” The kid says and lights a cigarette now from his box and watches me. I realize that most likely he is my age with those big brown eyes, which are different from Rui’s black bottomless ones. I don’t reply.

“Alright.” He replies surprised, but as if it’s no big deal. I sip my black coffee in the tiny mug it was served in. Anywhere else it would’ve tasted gross, but somehow it works here. It brings some sad nostalgia of old lovers I would never have. “What do you go by?”

Silence.

“What do people call you here…? you’re clearly a foreigner.”

“Russo.” I say. “Even if I’m a girl-”

“A girl.” André chews on that for a while, as he pokes my pastry and then back up at me. “Yet people call you Russo.”

He narrows his eyes.

“Doesn’t it bother you?”

“No.” I lie. I think I lie. I’ve only let Rui call me by my name and even then when people don’t understand who he is speaking of, he says the Russo. Then everyone knows who it’s about. But André doesn’t push it, like Rui sometimes does.

Rui would ask me questions from a book on gender, studying me, but he wouldn’t let me in properly and I couldn’t understand the Portuguese title either. Maybe he had majored in Psychology. Rui was a few years older than me.

I can’t shake off André, no matter how hard I try, he just follows me, I guess since he bought me breakfast he keeps on asking me questions. How come I’m Russian, how come I don’t speak Portuguese yet and that just like he had learnt English by talking about things he enjoyed, and so should I. Not giving any particular reason, I just recall how once I had asked Rui, while sitting in his small room, to teach me some Portuguese and he had, but I was terrible at it. I couldn’t differentiate the Os and I would even forget the swear words.

But he smiled and he would kiss me on the forehead goodnight.

I don’t know why he preserved me.

Once I had walked in on him masturbating and he just locked the door on me, after letting me watch him cum all over his chest. He shut the door, excusing himself and I heard him sit on the floor for a while, probably running hands through his hair, which was now longer than my own and looking at the door.

I loved Rui.

There was something about him I couldn’t crack because I wasn’t a nutcracker, but I still loved him. Once we had fallen asleep in the same bed after drawing all night and taking photos of each other. My hands shook, but I took fairly decent photos.

“I love you.” I had told him. As if revealing a cover of a dusty book. He was terribly sleepy and allowed me to be in his arms.

“Pois, eu sei.” He mumbled sleepily, wrapping his arms tighter. I didn’t ask for a translation, but I left it at such, always forgetting to ask him.

“Where do you stay, Russo?” André asked me and I just nodded across the street, we had walked a while without realizing it much last night, silently. I wonder how much even goes in silence, simply because I refuse to speak or speak too much.

“Oh.” He said, eyes glistering. He wasn’t from here. Everything was a novelty, even some destroyed places by students and others who would leech off.

I was getting tired of his questions, recalling how I had spent my childhood being a Russian-German, never even speaking German as fluently as I should’ve, focusing more on English, an odd obsession which had gone nowhere. But then we had all learned the fucking language as if we would all believe together in something. Then I spoke of my parents who had to work twice as hard as any German, because we were still foreigners and no one looks properly at foreigners, to which André shifted uncomfortably in his seat. It wasn’t like he was the one holding the whip anyway.

“I don’t think you have that here.” I just smile sadly to his words, actually not knowing anything.

We walked up the stairs to the place and my hands were shaking, I was imagining a million scenarios where he would be sitting there through the haze, someone playing league of legends on their mac, someone grinding marijuana, someone just having a conversation on the phone, but instead it was all empty.

I ran to Rui’s room and André followed me. It was locked and I yanked the door further open, revealing nothing. The photos and sketches were there, all of them from my time here and I just picked some up, as if to clean up and André picked one of me naked and then looked back at me. I wasn’t much to look at naked. I was just average.

“Oi, Russo!” And a man with a crooked smile, sloppy dyed blonde hair shows up in Rui’s flip flops. He speaks to me in Portuguese, before slapping his forehead. “Rui’s in the kitchen.”

The blondie is wearing Rui’s flip flops. My heart sinks. André walked ahead, as if he knows where the kitchen is. We head upstairs, past all the graffiti covered the black paint of the walls and the blonde doesn’t look back. Instead he and André do some small talk in Portuguese about the weather.

Rui’s in the kitchen alright, naked, smoking a cigarette, all pale and his face in his hands.

“Eu fodi um homem.” I’m no moron to not understand that. He says that through his fingers.

“Errado, eu fodi você.” I realize the blonde man is Brazilian with his lax use of ‘você’ as he makes a motion towards Rui. Rui drags the cigarette again, then looking at me.

“He fucked me last night.”

“I got that.” I snap. Rui’s not taken back, instead he looks doped up, but all I see is discarded cigarette butts and the noises of stairs, doors and laughter from the room nearby. The Brazilian looks at all of us in turns. What the fuck is even André doing here? I feel like closing his eyes, from seeing all this opera and Rui keeps looking at me all lost and confused.

I can’t get the image of him receiving pleasure for someone else, that he had listened to the Brazilian’s soft words and gone somewhere in the enormous house to fuck. That somehow a stranger had managed to do something I couldn’t even dream of doing. I had wanted Rui so badly, but the more days went buy, the more I wanted to buy him a bouquet of flowers and leave. I knew that he didn’t want me, not that way while I was becoming obsessed. I was tired of stealing his clothes to wear and him watching me undress for another sketch.

I was desperately tired.

“I’m gay.” Rui says defeated and it is said in one breath, as if it would be a regular motion, but I close my eyes.

But I can feel his eyes pierce right through me and I open just to greet them and I see his stubble has now grown nearly into a beard.

“You could be going through a phase.” The Brazilian laughs and André catches up on the laughter, but instead Rui ignores them both and goes towards me, grabbing me by the wrist and taking me outside. We stand on the balcony, I wish it were raining now, but instead we are stuck in the drought which had burned down many things in its path. Instead I just stare at him.

“There was someone else before…” He wanders off, leaning completely against the balcony with his hands and then stretching, still hangover, thinking that he would find cigarettes, but I give him my own pack and he lights one, eyes which feel bloodshot looking at me.

“Then you-” I stumble on my words and he looks at me. “Why did you call me over?”

“Because you always looked like a guy.” He grabs my face and I stare at him. “I wanted it to be over with the other guy, but I’ve only stumbled onto someone else…”

And for the first time he kisses me hungrily.

I don’t even get a moment of surprise, I claw onto his back, kissing him instantly, his stubble still scratching me as we start making out and I can only imagine André and the Brazilian playing scrabble or something. Anything. I don’t care.

I keep kissing, as his boner starts digging into my hip.

“You were an escape, which I had failed.”

“Shut up.”

He sticks his hands under my tank top, travelling up to my nipples and I moan.

We stop and he presses the door of the balcony back, taking me on the floor with him. He squeezes them harsher than I’ve ever let anyone and I moan even harder. Pleasure travelling all over my body and I let him do whatever he wants to me, as he takes off my clothing, his erection digging into my legs or my hip when he drags himself up to kiss me.

The balcony door is open, the door is open, anyone can hear my moans as he goes down on me, kicking me everywhere, tasting me, savouring me as he is between my legs and I start shaking as he inserts a finger inside me.

“Rui…” I turn away, flushed from sex.

“I love you.” Somehow saying that I need him is harder.

“I love you too.” He stops and goes up to face me. I taste myself on his lips. He positions himself and starts thrusting inside me. I arch myself as much as I can, feeling him stretch me, going in and out. He’s rather big, but I’ve seen that and it aches in the current position somehow, but it brings too much pleasure that we both moan and stare at each other.

“I need you.” I still say and that makes Rui dissolve in me, I feel him fill me up with warm cum and I unravel myself, screaming, thrusting against him as he does his last pulls in.

I start crying.

He holds me. I cry even harder. He’s gay. Where do I even fit? He keeps kissing me all over.

He said he was attracted to me because I looked like a guy. That rings heavily in my head and I sit up, just to look at him. Then I look at my naked masculine body.

I am leaking his cum now. Rui takes a finger and rubs me in circles with the cum soaking it all and I stop crying. I lay down again.

“You never loved me as a woman.” I say.

He keeps doing it and because I’m still sensitive from the previous orgasm I cum rather fast.

“I fell in love, with you as a man.”

Many things made me wonder, many things made me think in the end. We laid still for a while, before I stood up and he asked for another cigarette. Rui didn’t chase me, as he just remained seated in the room, coated with our fluids and only glanced once back.

Stepping out, felt like walking out of a dream, it had been nightfall by the time we left.

I packed up all my things, my hands weren’t trembling anymore.

I gained what I needed to know, as André just sat besides me, passing me old clothes which I had taken with me. The Brazilian walked past my room, as Rui called him out, glancing quickly in my direction and leaving it as such.

I couldn’t picture Rui anymore once both me and André left. I asked him where he lived. It was elsewhere, paid by his parents money. He didn’t ask much, as we drove there.

The rain ended the drought when I headed inside his apartment and hugged André. There never is a way to end things, you just slip out and then you might cross paths again and that’s when you’re asked again

Would you want another round?

No.

I’ve decided to blow off the dust off a very old story of mine. This is a retold/remake new and shiny version set in Portugal, which was influenced by the places I’ve seen, which were something I hadn’t experienced before but attempted to write about. I’ve touched on certain things in Two Elizabeths, so the mindset is sort of there. I feel weird when I don’t work on many projects at the same time, so I felt like rewriting this old story which took a few years to finish, slowly writing short chapters one at a time.

There’s also a homage to one of my favourite imageries in the beginning, but it’s too old to mention what it’s a reference to.

This version focuses more on Russo/Rui’s relationship rather than the original which was more focused on all four characters.

I hope you enjoyed it, because I was so thrilled about it that it took me a few days to finish the whole thing.

Two Elizabeths (Part Two)

What if everything you knew about yourself was wrong?

What if you had never known yourself at all in the beginning?

Was it neglecting the playing musician on the street, just because you decided to save up?

My hands trembled. I watched the cigarette box being passed around, I was still some sort of mamma’s boy, someone who would still pick up the call and say that I am okay, lying. Knowing that standing up to the rest of the family meant something my mother would never do. It was the least she could do, with her misgendering me. Maybe somewhere deep down I was meant to be a woman but ended up as Frankenstein’s monster on the way. Or maybe I was too much like my mother, keeping the mouth closed in a very thin line and displeasing everyone was at the end of my list, even if I had done it.

I had walked through the labyrinth and through poverty growing up, so what would be different this time? What was there all over again? I was like a new spectacle, but that was simply because I was a new person, a new person to look at the surroundings and get asked if I was alright. I was offered food and water. Was that enough? When does the world end to erase everything? I couldn’t decide on which lie I wanted to dwell on, which one was the reason I was here. No one asked many questions, I guess it was because it was still about cigarettes at the moment. No heavy drugs would be dealt with, as far as I understood. Some looked far too skinny and their backs carrying the strains of growing up. We were all chucked into a world where we all held our problems and had to suddenly grow up with a joint in our hand.

I recalled an interview of a favourite musician where he laid down on the floor, laughing and that had been what I had feared. I had the shivers, knowing that one day I would open up to all these people which were already using my name and they had their own speculations on me. They had their own thoughts which I couldn’t control, which I could just journal about.

I could just draw them in hope that someone online would look at them.

I spent some time in a hostel, wasting the last money and avoiding people like the plague, while here no one flinched at the fact that I couldn’t grow a beard yet. I eyed the guy on the corner, reading, he seemed cute. But would he fuck a trans guy? With all the commotion, I was just left without touching myself. I just wanted some misery sucked out of me. Everything seemed like a dystopia with classes left on top to attend and to answer stupid questions to the few friends I had, who had no clue what a trans person was.

I wanted coffee. So I excused myself into the kitchen, watching a few curious eyes lose interest very fast and I had settled on water. I still had a brief allowance, it was just that I didn’t know what to do with my life anymore and it wasn’t like I wanted the degree either. I was free-falling and I couldn’t stop, I didn’t want to stop. I just wanted it all to end, like last night while staring at the wall of the hostel. I couldn’t journal my thoughts, I couldn’t put pen to paper. I just needed it all out, but nothing was working.

I walked outside, I walked down, all the way down the hills, past the music bars, back onto the main street, shuddering, even if it wasn’t as cold today and my feet were sore from the Doc Martens I had bought before I had told my family I was trans.

It wasn’t that she was there. She was sitting on the bench, smoking a cigarette. Like I had said, it was early for weed.

Would it be okay only because it’s straight?

I don’t think there is love at first sight, but there is attraction at the first sight. Just watching her, I knew that everything she would say would be true. I could feel some sort of two sided street, I could feel her anxiety. The mixture of her thoughts to be dumped into ash was my greatest fear. I was no phoenix, I was no fool, if I were discarded I would be done so.

I would lie to myself, if I wouldn’t describe her cut with scissors bangs, her hair hidden in a beanie, leaving the evidence of anxiety of meeting me again, outside, it was something we both agreed on. I wanted to hear her. So I just stood, as she played her guitar, making only a few euros, which seemed to be the way things go.

Love is such a scary word, because I could never tell her that. It was shrouded with the fear of an unwanted confession. I would never be able to write again, unless I spread the truth out like a map. My mind is immersed in love, which I fear I’ve spilled over.

It’s a full transformation.

“I should’ve told you this after sex.” I wouldn’t even recall what she had said. What was the origin of dispute that time, but it was the last time I would go outside of the weed smelling halls with the ukuleles in different corners and some people scattered on sofas with flip flops in winter.

And there she was. Applying make up, lipstick, dark eyes looking way past beyond me, anxiety leaving no trace of being high a few minutes ago. I knew that I was no longer wanted.

But it still gives me nightmares.

Women scare me, because it’s such a boudoir performance.

It was a true story. She had told me that and kicked me out of her heart, now her hair longer and in a bun with walking on eggshells where we both block each other, wondering far too much what the fuck had happened to the man who had seen us both as men. He perhaps saw us as lovers, but he never told us anything he thought of us as he would speak to us.

Instead she would look at me, dark eyes focusing in me in a love now long gone.

I couldn’t look at her in the eyes and I knew she was the woman to make love one more time.

And I had left. It was never my fault, it was just my unlucky roll of the dice with women and even unluckier with the fondest of men, because the stars wouldn’t align. But at least I understood men and wanted them.

Sitting outside on the same bench we had met, I wondered of the labyrinths I would never see again. But fuck them. Fuck women.

It’s odd to think about this story, because I had left so much unwritten and so much had been changed to prose. So much is going to be left to rot and so much had been written at the same time. Originally these were two separate stories and this one was called cold spilled coffee.

I hope you enjoyed both parts and I’ll resume posting Offside next week. Back into the gay we go.

Jamie