It ends with us
I stare at the guy a moment longer, wondering if he’s ever going to move. He’s just standing there, staring down at the chair. His hands aren’t in fists anymore. They’re resting on his hips, and I notice for the first time how his shirt doesn’t fit him very well around his biceps. It fits him everywhere else, but his arms are huge. He begins fishing around in his pockets until he finds what he’s looking for and—in what I’m sure is probably an effort to release even more of his aggression—he lights up a joint.
I’m twenty-three, I’ve been through college and have done this very same recreational drug a time or two. I’m not going to judge this guy for feeling the need to toke up in private. But that’s the thing— he’s not in private. He just doesn’t know that yet.
He takes in a long drag of his joint and starts to turn back toward the ledge. He notices me on the exhale. He stops walking the second our eyes meet. His expression holds no shock, nor does it hold amusement when he sees me. He’s about ten feet away, but there’s enough light from the stars that I can see his eyes as they slowly drag over my body without revealing a single thought. This guy holds his cards well. His gaze is narrow and his mouth is drawn tight, like a male version of the Mona Lisa.
His words, and his own reaction to his words, force an embarrassed smile to cross my face as I think back to that night. It was before we knew he would be moving back to Texas. We knew his prognosis at that point and we were still trying to accept it. We spent an entire evening discussing all the things we could have experienced together if we had a possibility of forever. Traveling, marriage, kids (including what we would have named them), all the places we would have lived, and of course, sex.
We predicted that we would have had a phenomenal sex life, if given the change. Our sex life would have been the envy of all our friends. We would have made love every morning before we left for work and every night before we went to bed and sometimes in between.
We laughed about it, but the conversation soon grew quiet as we both realized that this was the one aspect of our relationship that we still had control over. Everything else about the future, we had no voice in, but we could possible have this one private thing that death could never take from us.
We didn’t even discuss it. We didn’t have to. As soon as he looked at me and I saw my own thoughts mirrored in his eyes, we began kissing and didn’t stop. We kissed while we undressed, we kissed while we touched, we kissed while we cried. We kissed until we were finished, and even then, we continued to kiss in celebration of the fact that we had won this one small battle against life and death and time. And we were still kissing when he held me afterward and told me he loved me.
Just like he’s holding and kissing me now.