You can feel me breathing. I know it. I am breathing too hard, too loud. I am not distressed. I am content. I am content with you.
You turn away from me, and I study your back. I study each crevice, each blemish, the places where your bones appear, the fading tan lines. I want to trace your spine with my fingers, but I know that you won't let me.
The touching is over now. We have touched, and molded into frenzy, into heat. This motel bed is still warm from our rendezvous, but I am cold now. I can't feel my body heat like I could before.
Or maybe that was your body heat.
My eyes scan your neck, then follow it, back and forth, up and down in its curling sort of way, over the bump of bones and cartilage, and to the soft hairs that trickle up to your head. It's funny, how you are always crooning your neck to meet my words, my lips. You are tall, taller than me. I like to tease you about it. I like to say mean, taunting things to you.
You hardly ever seem to care, though. Maybe you just don't hear me.
That's the humor.
The only things that pass from my lips that you hear without strain are my whispers in the dark. The things I don't want you to hear. The things that are too fragile to be said out loud. The things that would ruin me, and ruin you, but would mostly ruin me and you if they weren't whispered.
Me and you.
It is a weird thing, us. Nobody knows about us. I'm not sure if I'm aware that we exist most of the time. (Do we exist?) It is hard, for me.
I don't know what to do. I'm not sure when I am allowed to speak to you, to touch you, to kiss you. I think you feel the same way.
You have beautiful hands, but I have never touched them, never felt them against mine. They are long, smooth, with lots of lines crossing and crossing again. I have noticed two scars on your left hand. They are small, but I still wonder where they come from. You have none on your right hand, not a mark, except for the pen streak on the heel of it, but you are right handed.
I want to ask you where your scars are from, the small scratches that won't fade, but I am afraid. I don't want you to know that I have been looking at your hands. I'm not sure that I'm allowed.
I know I could caress your tongue with mine, touch you in places where the sun doesn't shine, but it is the little things – touching your hand or cheek, that I'm afraid to do.
I notice you have turned back to me, and I cannot figure out how to avert my gaze fast enough.
I shouldn't be staring at you in a way that is not lustful. You have almost caught me many times. Your face, your body, those sparkling brown eyes and strong jaw line, your soft, floppy hair, and your lips, your long, long arms and legs... They captivate me. I cannot help it.
"What?" I jolt at your voice, your husky voice. I can hear the Chicago in it, mixed with sleep.
"What?" My own voice sounds strange to me. It is a little nervous, slow, and breaks instead of rolling out smoothly.
You sigh, and turn again. I know you are pissed at me, but I also know that it will pass.
We annoy each other so easily, I'm not sure we should be together. But it always passes. We never really talk, especially when it comes to the things we should know about each other, about ourselves. I want to know. I always want to know what you know, what you think, what you think about me.
But asking is dangerous and forbidden.
I don't know if I will ever be able to ask.
I want to belong with you, to feel like I do. Maybe I do. Maybe you belong with me. I don't think we belong together, though. We are too fucking scared.
I hate you, sometimes.
I hate you for making me doubt myself, making me unsure and vulnerable. I almost feel innocent with you, because I sometimes get scared of you and of us.
I am mostly afraid of myself, though.
I don't want to be attached to you. I don't want you to be able to make me smile, make me want to touch you, make me want to kill you, make me want to cry.
But you do, anyway.
I glare off into space.
You have been dozing beside me.
You suddenly move, jabbing at my shoulder.
I pause, falter, and then say, "What?" It comes out softer than before; the harsh tone has momentarily fled my voice.
You turn to face me, and I mimic you.
I wait for you to say something, and we just stare back at each other, unsure.
You still don't answer me, and I say, a little louder, "What, Dean?"
It may be the first time I have said your name out loud to someone other than myself.
I whisper, one final time, "What?"
And you reach out, pressing your fingertips to my cheekbone.