In exactly seven minutes, Myron will jog past my backyard, only to find me standing there, tending to the garden like I always do except for every other day.
He will look through me in a way that he looks through everyone, and he will brush the hair from his eyes.
Then he will look at me with his unremarkable brown eyes.
He will remember that night, when we were drunk and stupid, where all the lights had rained down on us and the world felt smaller and more in focus.
He will remember that he had pulled me closer that night, that he had run his sweaty hands over my body in a small corner away from the noise, and he had kissed me, even though he had promised me that he was not attracted to men.
He will remember how he had run after the night, jumping out the window, looking back at me with a broken heart spilt on his face.
He will remember how we never saw each other again because he never wanted to look his feelings in the eye.
He will remember it all when he looks at me.
I pull at the weeds in the garden, and push my shovel, doing hardcore gardening while one eye is on the sidewalk next to my house.
I had come back only a few days ago, and my evenings by the window had been rewarded by a glance at that secret lover of mine.
Ten years may have been long enough for him to forget me, but it had been the only thing keeping me awake at night, imagining his body in the body of the girl next to me.
Just like Myron, all the girls did eventually leave, some stealthily and some with a kiss on my cheek, their body smelling of my cologne.
This time, no one would leave. I would make sure of it.
The world could run on its axis until eternity for all I care, but no one would leave.
Five minutes left.
My knees suddenly begin to shake, and the thoughts in my head all vanish, having been overtaken by one dominant one.
Early by five minutes.
I plunge my shovel into the soil at the exact moment he passes by me.
I can’t help but devour the sight of him, his hair tied back with a small rubber band, still leaving huge blocks falling on his eyes, his body having a sheen of sweat, not too different from that night.
He jogs past me, not even looking at the young gardener standing there with his mouth slightly open.
When he is a good few metres away, I finally regain my ability to speak, and decide to call out to him.
He doesn’t stop, his body slowly becoming smaller and smaller in my line of sight. I take in a deep breath.
This time he hears me, as I jog towards him. He stands there, lightly panting and running a hand through his wet hair that has come out of the rubber band.
He tilts his head as I come closer and stop at a respectable distance.
A bead of sweat runs down his forehead, and I want to reach out and brush it away.
I clench my fists and force out a smile, the muscles in my cheeks tugging with difficulty.
His eyes widen at my use of his name. I hope he doesn’t notice how much joy it gives me to roll those two syllables from my tongue for the first time in a long time.
“How do you know my name?” he asks, and I hope he doesn’t hear the clean crack of my heart breaking into two.
“I – we used to go to high school together. Remember?” I say, and he shakes his head, those maddening strands of hair framing his face.
I want to remind him, right here and right now.
I want to touch him, and I want him to moan with acceptance and arch his body towards mine.
Instead, I resort to just giving him another one of my tight smiles.
“We should hang out sometime,” I say, in a way that a long-lost friend would say to another.
He gives me an easy smile, and I wonder how he does it. Maybe if I spent time with him, in a few days my smile would come as effortlessly as his does.
I don’t say that out loud, and just walk away from him, crossing my fingers and hoping that he calls me back.
The memories of that night still swirl around my mind.
We drank too much and watched in wonder as the lights fell on us.
We giggled with our bodies leaning on each other as the lights swirled and spun.
When can we have that night again?
“Hey, listen, bro,” he says, and I hope my wide smile doesn’t scare him off as I turn around, waiting.
“I didn’t catch your name,” he says.
“I’m Felix,” I say, and my heart picks up pace at the thought of my name coming out from his lips.
“Felix,” he enunciates, almost as if his vocal cords are picking up my name and storing it for the best occasion.
I don’t know whether it is because my name struck as familiar, whether he remembers that night or whether he is just intrigued, but this time when I turn to go back, he follows me, his steps at an irregular rhythm, matching the train of his thoughts.
He soon catches up to me, and my hand reaches out to his, stopping midair and returning to my side.
My feet touch the freshly dug soil, and I make a mental note to return it to its original state after, well, after whatever is meant to happen happens.
The door swings open with a kick of my foot, and I enter, Myron following me without waiting for an invitation.
He sits at the chair with the shaky leg, creaking it back and front as a child would.
I want to offer him coffee, but I decide against it as I pull a chair closer to his.
“Do you remember me?” I whisper, and he shakes his head, his Adam’s apple bobbing in his throat.
I hear his breath hitch when I move even closer, placing a hand on his knee.
“What are you doing? Get away from me,” he protests with almost no strength in his voice.
My hand is at his cheek as I stroke under his eye with my thumb, and he closes his eyes, leaning against my hand.
His eyes open and he gets up with a jerk, murmuring under his breath.
“I didn’t catch that,” I say, getting up.
“I said that I have a wife,” he says, almost as if he is testing whether I will take that fact into consideration at all.
My heart sinks to my feet.
I back off, my hands raised in surrender.
His mouth pulls down to a frown, as he stands there in deep thought.
Setting his jaw, he comes to a decision.
“I know that you don’t remember me, but I really want you to. I want to feel like we felt that night, even if it is only for tonight. I understand that you have a wife, and you shouldn’t feel like I’m forcing you to. The way I felt that night, I had never felt anything like it before, and I didn’t feel it ever again. I want to feel like that again, Myron, please,” I beg.
His eyes light up in recognition as he pulls me by my collar.
“Felix,” he whispers reverently, and I want him to say it again and again.
“Only this one time,” he says and kisses me, his mouth promising that this was only the beginning.
His lips are surer than that night at the party.
I push away the images of all the girls before me, all the people whose lips were moulded into his, not unlike mine.
He pulls me closer, almost trying to convince me that I was different from all of those before me and that no one would measure up to me.
Somehow, he pushes me into the bedroom of my house, and we fall on the bed in unison, his hands roaming under my shirt, his lips soon following as I arch back, my body surrendering to his with pleasure.
This time, he leaves through the door, his body aching more than it had in years.
I lie there, my cheeks sticky with tears, as I engulf myself in his scent, the bedsheets wrapped around me.
I know that he will go home today and kiss his wife with my mark still on his swollen lips.
I know that his wife will moan louder tonight as he pushes harder, trying to get me out of his head.
I know that in a few days, he will come outside my house, wanting more.
He will kick open the door like I did, and he will enter a place with my presence lying all over it.
He will enter that bedroom where we were young again, and he will lie on the sheets, smelling me and trying to bring me back.
Maybe he will cry too.
He will remember that night, that night when the lights rained on us, and that night when we didn’t care about the world and only wanted each other.