I'm here, I'm queer, and I wanna go home

Submitted into Contest #47 in response to: "Just say it," you silently reminded yourself. You knew you'd regret it if you didn't. ... view prompt

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General

Do you remember how we met? Because I do. You were across the room of someone’s party, I didn’t know them but you seemed to. You were laughing and joking with everyone in that poorly lit space, drinking bottles of beer and vodka mixed with lemonade like there was no tomorrow. I worried that if you didn’t stop drinking like that there would be no tomorrow for you. You noticed me across the room, your mismatched eyes met with mine and completely filled my mind. If we’re being honest, they’ve never really left. You didn’t seem like you were going to come over, however, as it seemed like you were just standing there, staring at me, like you were stalling. Maybe that was just how it felt in the moment. Eventually, after what felt like an eternity, you decided to come over. It looked like with a lot of protest from your friends. Friends which you have never spoken to again since that night. You never mentioned it but I knew you still missed their company, looking wistfully over at their table at lunch when a loud roar of laughter omitted from their side of the canteen. You came over, all tall and suave, and the first thing I had noticed was how tall you were in comparison to me.

“Having a fun evening?” You asked, a small smirk ghosted on your lips.

“Well, I’m here.” You laughed at my joke. You had such a beautiful laugh, I could listen to it for hours. God, I miss your laugh.

“I’m Xander.” Your American accent graced my ears.

“I’m Finnley. What part of America are you from?” You smiled. Your smiles were always huge and infectious, I was never able to resist breaking out into my own smile when I saw yours.

“New York. We moved here a couple months back.” The way you spoke fascinated me instantly; you spoke with your hands so I made sure to always stand a few centimetres away to avoid getting hit, you spoke with so much emphasis on each word so no matter what you were talking about, it was always interesting. I could listen to you talk for hours. Christ, I miss listening to you talk. You told me about your home town, about the school you used to go to. We spoke for goodness knows how long, but there was a slow song that played. You extended your hand to me, asking me to dance, and I knew then that you were a hopeless romantic. Of course, I couldn’t say no to you. I haven’t been able to since then and you knew that. All you had to do was give me a small pout and I was prepared to do anything you asked.  You pulled me onto the dancefloor and it was like the rest of the room disappeared, all I was able to see was you. Cliché, I know. You stood so close to me, I could feel your breath on my neck. I remember you laughing softly when you saw me blushing. I vowed from that day, that I would one day make you blush as hard as I did that night. That never happened, of course. Every time I tried, you would just smile and flirt back, causing me to blush, yet again. I wish I still had the chance to try to make you blush.

“You look really pretty in this lighting.” I tried to compliment you but you wouldn’t let me off that easily.

“What? In a dark room?” You teased, causing me to panic.

“No! No I just mean that-“ You cut me off with a kiss. My first. Your third, I remember you telling me. It was like time had stopped in that moment. I never understood what people meant when they said that but I did then. I remember you pulling away, a tiny blush dusting your tanned cheeks.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have just kissed you without permission. That’s rude.” You were a gentleman. You always treated people with respect and that was one of the things that I loved about you. I still do love about you. It was my turn to laugh at this moment.

“It’s alright, really. “ Then I pulled you back in for another kiss. You pulled away reluctantly, refusing to open your eyes. It was adorable. Shy laughter. I never understood what it meant to be in love, to be loved, but you showed that to me. You always made me feel special and loved and important and I can’t thank you enough for that. For showing me that I am worth loving.

You’ll never leave me. You know that, don’t you? Even when I’m 45 with my own husband and family, I’ll still think of you. You’re far too important to ever forget. I don’t think anyone would be able to forget you. But, why would they want to? You’ve touched the lives of so many people, and I hate, I hate, that it had to be someone as good as you. If I could trade places with you, I would.

I remember that time you kissed me in the rain. I think you meant for it to be romantic, but if I’m being completely honest, it wasn’t. Sorry. It was cold, wet and nothing how it seems in the movies. I remember you jabbed me in the face about 3 times with the umbrella during that kiss. You never knew I hated it, I certainly wasn’t going to tell you. After all, you looked so happy after that kiss. You looked happy after every kiss. Whenever we’d break from a kiss, there was always a huge grin spread across your face. I loved it. I found it incredibly adorable. I was always a blushing mess which you always laughed at. Even after 3 years of being together, I would still blush after even the simplest of kisses. I suppose I never got used to the love that you showed me. You were always so affectionate, it never ceased to surprise me.

I remember the first time you told me you loved me. I don’t know if you were planning to or not, I don’t even think you knew. You looked at me, a soft smile spread across your face. I knew you were about to say something but when I turned to look at you, you went quiet. Nervous. I heard you mutter something under your breath.

“Just say it.” I heard that. You were completely unaware that I heard you mumble that. In the end, however, it was enough for you to build up your courage. You took my hands and gave me a look full of love and adoration.

“I just want you to know; I love you.” Your throat gave out in the end, you physically had to choke the words out of your throat. But it was enough. It was enough to erase any doubt or insecurity that I was not good enough for you. Then it was my turn to be nervous, my own throat giving out on me in this moment. Instead, tears decided to fall. Happy tears, I must say. A tight embrace and soft kisses acted where words failed. It was enough for you to understand the words that I was trying to say. I’ve said those words to you a hundred times but they’ve never meant as much as they did in that moment.

I remember the night you died.  I remember sitting in the waiting room of the hospital as they explained that while you were physically ‘alive’, you had no brain function. I remember watching your parents agree to turn off your ventilator. I remember them going with the doctors and leaving me alone in the corridor. I remember crying alone on that corridor floor, waiting for someone to explain what was happening. I remember your parents walking out of the hospital without a word to me. I remember crying the whole bus journey home, hating you for being so stupid. I remember your parents showing up at my door to give me a box of things I had given to you. I remember throwing this box across the room, furious at you for not looking when crossing the road. I remember the memorial the school did for you. I remember it not being enough. I remember the school enforcing a new road safety course for students in your honour. I remember the plans that you made with me. I remember being livid that you won’t be around to fulfil those plans. I remember you being too young to die.

June 26, 2020 18:37

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3 comments

15:03 Jun 28, 2020

WOW...Your story is so good! It read like a romance novel! I really enjoyed reading your story! I just felt sad when you mentioned that he died..such a sweet and heartbreaking story Millie! Looking forward for more stories from you Millie! Keep writing Millie! :)))

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Millie Spence
15:58 Jun 28, 2020

Thank you so much. That is so nice of you to say :)

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16:18 Jun 28, 2020

I'm glad! Have a great day Millie!😉

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