Things between Mikey and Jamie had improved slightly but they were still on thin ice. Mikey was reluctant to trust Jamie despite wanting to more than anything. Jamie was doing everything in his power to avoid another argument like the one they had just had.
It was a quiet Thursday afternoon and the pair were resting on the couch. Jamie had his earbuds in listening to a drama video about his content and Mikey also had his earbuds in, listening to a podcast about the architecture of Notre Dame cathedral.
“Isn’t it sad that something so beautiful has to burn down?” The freckled boy muttered absent-mindedly into the silence, he received a distracted hum in response. Nevertheless, he continued speaking to his preoccupied boyfriend.
“You know, Notre Dame is said to house the original crown of thorns that Jesus wore.” Mikey knew he wasn’t getting anywhere with this conversation and put his earbuds back in his ear and started up another podcast. He gently plopped his legs into Jamie’s lap, receiving a playful groan which made him smile slightly. It was in moments like these that Mikey felt truly happy. To be so in love with someone scared him at first, sometimes it still does, but he’s so happy that he met Jamie and gets to share his life with him. A while passed between the two of them, the pair enjoying the silent company of the other. That was, until Jamie decided to break the silence.
“My secondary school is doing a reunion.” He stated. Mikey expected him to elaborate on this topic but he didn’t so he had to continue the conversation himself.
“So, are you gonna go?”
“Probably not, no.” Jamie replied, not looking up from the reaction video he was watching.
“Aw, come on. Why not?”
“Well, its just going to be people bragging about how great their boring office jobs are. Why do I want to listen to that?”
“Well, you can flex your YouTube fame on them.”
“I might, I’ll think about it.” This was enough to cause a bright grin to spread across his boyfriend’s face, revealing soft dimples and crinkles at the eyes as he snuggled closer into the green haired boy.
Mikey hadn’t thought any more about it until later that evening when they were cooking dinner.
“You should come with me.” Jamie started out of nowhere, casually cutting up some pepper.
“You what?” Mikey asked, completely dumbfounded, taking his attention away from the mushrooms he was sautéing to give his partner a confused look.
“To the reunion. You should come as my date.”
“I don’t know. For moral support and so I can show you off.”
“Look, if this is about the argument, I told you, I’m over it now.”
“But I’m not. I want to be better for you.”
“Fine. I guess I’ll listen to boring people talk about their boring lives if that’s what you want.”
“It is, thank you. Oh, and watch out, your mushrooms are burning.”
“Shit!” Seconds later, the fire alarm is screaming in their ear and the entire block of flats has to be evacuated.
“Maybe, we don’t mention this when we talk to your old school friends.” Mikey chuckled as they stood in the rain, waiting to be allowed back inside.
That was that. They didn’t think about it until the night of the event. Jamie was pacing nervously as Mikey picked out a tie.
“Will you hurry up? I don’t want to be late!” He barked at the latter, who chuckled warmly in response.
“Its called being fashionably late, babe. You know, making an entrance.” Mikey joked, settling on a magenta tie that matched his socks.
“Yes but this is my old school. I was never late to school.”
“Don’t worry, I don’t think they’ll give you detention or nothing.”
“Yes, yes, very funny. Can we go please?” Jamie ordered, grabbing his keys and ushering his date out of the door. It was only when they were buckled into the car that he allowed himself to take a breath.
“I don’t see why you’re worrying. It’s not like school was hard on you or nothing.”
“Exactly. I don’t want people to think I peaked and that’s all that’s gonna become of me. I had so many hopes and dreams when I was in school. I wanted to join the army and become a medic, do something worthwhile. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, but even I know it’s completely worthless in the grand scheme of things.”
“Entertainment is important. Life is impossibly, soul-crushingly hard sometimes. All it takes, is to turn on your favourite show or listen to music by your favourite artist or, even, watch a YouTube video by your favourite channel and things don’t seem so hard anymore. Are you saving lives on a war-torn battlefield? No. But are you bringing joy and entertainment into people’s lives? Hell yeah. And you know what? I think that’s pretty fucking cool.” A heavy silence covered them like a sheet of snow. Unlike snow, however, this silence was warm, loving and optimistic. Jamie wished that he could be bathed in it, or tap into it like sap from a tree. Instead, he opted to enjoy the loving warmth that Mikey radiated while it lasted, choosing to store that memory, that feeling, for the times that the silences were filled with sharp icicles and a bitter cold that cut through his heart. The silent car journey was short and, before they knew it, they were at the hotel. It was a fancy hotel, one that Jamie knew he didn’t deserve to be at.
“You ready to go in?” Mikey asked shaking him from his thoughts, his soft hand laced in Jamie’s.
“Not really, no.” Jamie wanted to run and hide, he didn’t want to be here.
“What are you afraid of?” Mikey asked, his voice was soft and gentle however, it posed little comfort to Jamie at the current moment.
“I don’t know really.” He did know actually; the fear of the peers he looked down upon as an adolescent becoming more successful than him in every way, his insecurities surrounding the legitimacy of his job, the fancy, expensive hotel that was making him uncomfortable and the fear that he may embarrass himself in front of the man that he loves more than anything else in the world.
“We don’t have to go in if you don’t want to, but won’t you wonder what your old classmates are up to now?” Jamie took a moment to look at his boyfriend. To properly look at him. To appreciate the small crinkles of his eyes when he smiles, or his soft curls that always sit perfectly without any effort, or the sprinkling of freckles over his while body. He loved the way his caramel brown eyes glowed in the moonlight. They reminded him of the sun. Much like the sun, he feared he would lose sight of what’s around him if he stared too long.
“No, I don’t think I would. Besides, who needs to look into the past and worry about ‘what if’s if you have everything you’ve ever wanted? It may not be exactly where I saw myself but looking at it now, this is exactly where I needed to be in life; with an amazing career that I love and people who love and care about me. I won’t waste my time in a room with people I’ve never liked, listening to them brag about their flashy lifestyle when I could be at home, watching movies with someone who I enjoy spending time with and makes me feel good about myself.” Jamie rambled, reversing out of the car park to do exactly as described.