Disclaimer: I do not own Alles was zählt. *sniff*

Spoilers: Through episode 1269.

Summary: Deniz reflects on his relationship with Roman.


We met on a Friday. You know I can only name the day because you reminded me later, when we were together. I barely remember it at all. That kills me now.

At the time, I was wrapped up in myself; too busy being furious with the world. Resenting my mother, for who my existence was always more an inconvenience than anything. Angry at my father, happy with his latest girlfriend and only too happy - I thought - to see the back of me once the holidays were over.

So the only real memories I have of that day, I've borrowed from what you shared. How you'd been teasing Nadja about taking Dad off her hands. How you changed your mind when I arrived, and joked that you'd take me instead.

How your heart stopped when you saw me.

If I'd known at the time what you'd mean to me one day, my heart would've stopped, too.

You made love to me for the first time on a Monday. Maybe that's backwards, though, because you let me "top." You knew being with a man was already a huge step for me. Still, it was you who took control.

You who pushed me down against the mattress. You who hovered over me, daunting and tantalizing and sure and tentative. You who kissed and touched, as I lay scared and aroused and wanting and damn near frozen - afraid to move at all for fear of doing something wrong.

You finally lowered yourself onto me, with excruciating slowness and care that I realized later was for my benefit, not yours. As you rose, then descended again, I still failed to move. My arms were pinned stiffly to my sides, my fists gripping the sheets as if my life depended on not letting go.

Afterwards, you asked me if it had been good - if you had been good. I didn't answer; just joked and pulled you into the shower with me. Because how could I answer that?

I was 17 years old. I didn't have words that big; that important. Good didn't even begin to cover it.

Do I even have the words now? What would I say if I could go back and answer you? That it was more than good; it was the introduction to more intense pleasure and emotion and connection than I ever knew existed? That every time your body sank onto mine, then withdrew, you took another piece of me with you?

That from the second we became one, we were doomed, because I couldn't handle feeling that much? I wasn't there yet. I was just a teenager; not ready to be a man yet at all, let alone man enough for you.

It was a Tuesday when I broke your heart. I'd grown close to Vanessa while you were away. I wasn't exactly in love with her, but I did love her.

I loved that she didn't need as much from me. She didn't expect so much from me. So loving her was easy.

With you, everything seemed so hard. I wanted to be different - better - for you, but knew I couldn't. So I pretended I was.

I lied about big things, little things - everything. I lied when it was totally ridiculous and unnecessary. I didn't want you to catch on; to find out I wasn't the man you needed.

Eventually, I resented you for the guilt that welled within me every time I lied or fell short. Eventually, it got too hard, and I'd grown up always choosing the easiest path. Eventually, I was sick of it, and sick of you, and sick to death of feeling too damn much.

I didn't want to be with you anymore, even when I did. I couldn't be with you. I still wasn't ready for us - so I ran.

After more time and pain and bullshit than I want to think about now, we found our way back to each other (a Tuesday). You learned to trust me again. I learned to deserve it.

We were happy, I thought.

It was a Friday when you broke my heart. I walked into our apartment only to be met with shock, betrayal, and the deepest pain I'd ever felt. Later, that hellish cocktail was joined by guilt when I'd calmed enough to understand, that was how I'd made you feel once.

But you hadn't done it as payback. You'd simply wanted someone else; loved someone else. I pushed you away before you could leave me.

And then you surprised me. When he left, you didn't. You stayed. You stayed for me.

Again, I wasn't ready. I couldn't forgive you yet. I couldn't wipe the image of you in his arms from my mind.

I tried everything. No matter how much I drank, how high I got - it didn't help. All it did was lead to mindless, stupid choices that risked my health and my life.

In my darkest moment, you appeared. You somehow knew when I needed you - how I'd fall apart without you there to hold the shards of me together. You stood strong beside me and asked for nothing in return.

It made me want to give you everything. I gave you what I had. My forgiveness, and my love.

We were happy, I believed.

I don't remember what day it was when I fucked it all up. I couldn't even give you a good reason why. I should've come clean with you right away, but I was desperate to hang onto us, together. I never wanted to go back to being us, apart.

But we did. We had to. Each time the trust between us was broken, it took that much more work to repair.

I didn't know if we ever could. I did my best to move on, to pick up and live life as if we might never reunite. Though the embers of maybe someday flared up in my heart, I contained them. I didn't want to set myself up for a fall.

You told me I was going to lose you forever on a Thursday. You didn't want to tell me - even physically pushed me away - but I knew you too well. I pressed, knowing something was wrong, and it was bad.

You finally shared the truth, but tried to hold onto the distance between us. I knew you were protecting your heart. Soon, I figured out you were shielding mine, too.

On a Tuesday you accepted the futility of it. Both our hearts were taking an ass-kicking, anyway. Why shouldn't they do it together?

On another Tuesday weeks later, we hit the road. You suddenly wanted to skip training and take me to the beach. Again, I knew something was wrong. Again, I pressed you.

This time, you didn't share what you suspected. This time, I stopped pushing. I didn't want to know.

Because...

We were happy, I knew.

That Thursday, you left me for the last time. I know it's not fair to say it like that. You didn't leave me; you didn't even want to go.

But that's what it feels like. Because I finally grew up. I finally became the man I wanted to be - the man you needed.

I was finally ready - and you were gone.