At this point, it was utter agony. It seemed that some horrendous being was out to make my entire life utter agony. At one point that seemed so long ago, things were simpler. I was still me, he was still him, but that need to be an individual wasn't quite as strong in me, and I looked and acted more socially acceptable. But now, socially acceptable was some distant figment of imagination, for no part of my life could be acceptable to anyone now. Not the way I have twisted it.

What a word to describe a person like me. Twisted. No longer of normal shape and wholesomeness. I am glad, at least, he still remains pure, not dark and tainted like I have become. I now strive to oppose what others do, I want to be what no one else would dare be. I already have that covered, in one sense. I have dared to want and lust after what no person of normal standards, what no human born and raised under a loving, natural, normal family like my own, would ever dare to want.

Not that it matters. I have my own ways of dealing with my problems, I choose to stay away from temptation, to stay away from fate. I do not like that he blames himself here. I do not like that we used to be so close, and now I must isolate myself from him, my problem, my addiction. He is worse to me than a banquet to a starving man, then anti-venom to a dieing victim. I am his victim, though I don't believe he could ever understand it like that.

"Gerard, dinner!" my mother, Donna, calls down the basement stairs, pulling me out of my revery. I hate when I have too much time to think, because it gets me to thinking about what I am doing with my life, and how, at any moment, I could destroy his. I wince and get up to go up the stairs and greet my mother, father, and brother for dinner. My routine never varies: get up, shower, dress, go to school, come home, do homework, hide in my room, come out for dinner, return to hiding.

For a while, I even managed to fast, though my mother noticed soon enough and started forcing me to join my family for a meal every night. The way she put it was reasonable. In return for her allowing me to spend my entire life a recluse in my room, I had to eat one meal at our tiny wooden four-seated table, sitting directly across from him.

At this point, Michael had given up attempting to pry answers from me, when we were younger, I could never hold out against his pout. But now, after a year of that same routine, seeing him no more than I had too, it took a lot to make me feel emotions. In essence, I was a corpse. I did feel one thing, though. The one feeling I wish I didn't feel, the one feeling that would make my life so much easier if I lived without it.

I join my family at the table, the usual awkward silence accompanies me. The room always get tensely quiet when I enter, as though my family hope, or wish, I were to just break down and explain my recent behavior to them. As much as the thought appeals to me, I couldn't ever tell anyone, especially not my family, what was wrong.

Mom served out pasta, as was our dinner, my portion considerably smaller than the remainder of my family's, even Michael, who was skinny for a boy his age. I don't eat much, unless I have too. The sensation displeases me.

I keep my eyes fixed on my plate as I spear a noodle, lifting it to my mouth and grimacing before placing the fork in my mouth. I can feel his eyes on my as I chew. He usually doesn't look at me. He is smart, and he has learned it will get him no where with me anymore.

Quite suddenly, I feel something brush my foot. I realize it is his, but contrary to him purposely doing this, as soon as he feels the contact, he emits a squeak and pulls his foot away immediately. I never take my gaze off my plat as another noodle makes it's way to my lips. I know my mother and father are staring at him. I hear them ask him what is wrong.

He says nothing, that something startled him, that's all.

It occurs to me that we haven't had physical contact, hugs or even an arm or leg brushing against each other, in nearly a year. Could the time gap be the reason I lust for it? But my own restriction on frivolous things like that also play a role in my feelings, I think.

The rest of our dinner passes in that same awkward silence. It only occurs to me to wonder what he set in that brief second that caused him to emit such a noise. Could he possibly know? I didn't see how that was possible, but I also know that he would tell me as soon as he thought something like that.

Then, our relationship certainly isn't what it used to be.