Disclaimer: Did you actually think I would stake claim to something like this?
A/N: Uh…yea. It just hit me this morning, struck me as a strange idea, so I went with it.
It was almost four in the morning. We did this a lot, neither of us were much for sleep. We would just lay in my bed, together, and talk. If one of us fell asleep, so be it. It was just something we did. It was how we learned about each other. I would know practically nothing about her past if it weren't for those sleepless nights. Those nights made it a lot easier to love her. She was different. Quiet, open, understanding.
"Mark, will you tell me about your dad?"
"What about him?" We'd gone over this. My father and I didn't speak unless my mother forced us to. I didn't say much else.
"Why don't you guys talk?" She was quiet and stroking my hair and curious. Her eyes were searching for an answer, but I got the feeling she only wanted to know because it was a part of me. A part of me she knew nothing about.
"I don't know, M, we just…don't get along."
"I don't need to know all of it, just give me a little idea."
I took a deep breath. She deserved to know. She deserved to finally understand this part of my life. "Promise this is between us?"
"Of course, Mark." I shouldn't have bothered to ask. Those late nights had been completely confidential. I trusted her. You have to trust the person you love.
"Um…" I took a deep breath, thinking about where to begin. "We don't talk because I fell in love."
"What? Because you fell in love?"
I nodded slowly. "I fell in love and my father didn't like it." I could feel myself about to be lost in the story, I closed my eyes and continued softly. "The summer before senior year. We were so alike. I was a writer, then. It's all I did. I wrote everything I could. Stories, journals, poetry. Anything. He was a photographer."
She cocked her head to the side. "He?"
I nodded and continued. She smiled sadly as if she already knew the ending to this particular story.
"He was amazing. Neither of us had jobs, and neither of us cared. We would just go out all day. The movies, the park, my house, his house. We would just hang out. Talk, run around like idiots, whatever. We were kids. Seventeen years old." I smiled slightly at the memories. It didn't hurt so much, yet. "He kept sneaking pictures of me. Taking them when I wasn't paying attention. I'd be laughing, or have my back turned, or something. And he'd just snap my picture and I'd give him this look, and he'd just shrug and tell me I was beautiful, that he couldn't help it. He always used to tell me I was beautiful." I let out a bitter chuckle before continuing with the story. It started to hurt, a little. "We were those people. Those people you hate, so sickeningly cute around each other, you know?"
She smiled sadly again and nodded.
"Not that anyone knew. But when we were alone…we were always sneaking little kisses and whispering corny little things that happened to be incredibly true. God, I wrote so much that summer. If I wasn't with him, I was writing. Mostly about him, or how I felt when I was with him, or something equally as cheesy." I smiled through the tears in my eyes. "We were in my basement. Sitting on the couch. We had been going through this pile of photos he had just developed. The last picture was another one of me. Almost half of them had been, but this one was different. They were all black and white. And the one this one had come out, just with shadows and lighting and shapes…he told me it was his favorite, and that it was beautiful, that I was beautiful." I cleared my throat. "And for the first time, I sort of agreed with him. Just in that photo. He was behind me and I was sitting backwards on a chair. We had just come in from swimming and I had been doing something at the table. I wasn't wearing a shirt and my hair was sopping wet and dripping down my back. So we finished looking at these pictures, and I put them on the coffee table. And we just started kissing. It's one of those times that you get completely lost in the person, and nothing around you matters, until it's too late. So we were just totally into each other, his hand in my hair and the other on the back of my neck, my hands on his back. God, I have this picture in my head, every position exactly as it was, our fingers, the exact placement of the pile of photos on the table, the angle of the couch to the wall. And suddenly, my dad comes downstairs. He was checking the laundry. And he saw us, and we instantly turned and looked up, and he had this look on his face. Just…petrified. Like he didn't know what to do. Not angry, or disappointed, just terrified."
She was almost crying. I didn't know I had that effect on people, on myself. I was close to letting the tears fall. "We decided he should leave. He went home, I stayed to face my father. I waited for him to say something. All day I just waited. Finally I just stood behind him while he was getting something out of the fridge, and I asked him if he was going to say anything. And he said; 'Mark, I don't have anything to say. Because nothing happened. Nothing happened, and nothing will happen. Whatever I thought I saw, I didn't see. I don't expect to see it, ever. And I do not expect it to be discussed.'"
"So he wasn't mad?"
"He didn't acknowledge it. He told me it was never to be discussed, and if I ever brought it up with him again, I could expect to 'suffer the consequences'. So I never spoke to him about it. I never spoke to him about anything."
"You just stopped talking to him, like that?"
I nodded. "This was me. He didn't want to discuss Ime/I. He didn't want to know his own son. So I didn't give him the chance."
I smiled. "We didn't break up. We stayed together for the rest of the summer, and through senior year. He was going to California for college, and I was staying on the East Coast. So we promised to keep in touch, and that we would always have a place for each other, and we went our separate ways."
"Do you? Keep in touch?"
I brushed away the stray tears that had escaped the confines of my eyes and smiled again. "Yea. I get a letter from him like every other month. And he gets one from me. He's thinking about coming up to the city."
"Will you see him?"
"I don't know. Maybe."
She nodded supportively. "You should. And that's not what I should be saying as the loving girlfriend, but you should."
"What was his name?"
"Vedie. It's Latin. It means sight."
"His name fits. He saw something. You are beautiful."
I laughed and wiped my face once again.