40 Days: A Short Story
Pressured from a project to pass on Wednesday, overtime cheerleading practices six and a half times a week, and the annoying memory of his 3-year relationship which just recently ended. No wonder Anson Del Cara would have instantly filed a case against his phone for beeping while he's busy. His thoughts right now are just about everywhere. Just all over the place - well, just all over his spacious room, I guess. After staring at his beaming phone for three seconds, he displeasingly grabbed it off his worktable and saw the LCD screen present this text:
"House party as promised. 8pm. See you. -Robbie"
Magically, the frown went off his face and was replaced by a simple smile - the kind of smile you do when you're shy enough to say something everytime someone tells you, 'your looks kill'. Anson rushed to his closet, sat down on the floor like a kid waiting for the boogey man to come out, rested his head on one closed door of his closet, and stared blankly at his folded shirts, hanged pants, and well kept shoes. I tell you, this guy is way too vain for the word I can't even use it. Five minutes passed and he still can't decide on what to wear tonight because his thoughts are still directing to his man. Oh yes, I forgot to mention that part - his man.:)
You see, Andy, - the name his close friends call him which I think is the hybrid of his first and second name - is this 5'8" slim figured lad who lives just across the chapel of Facilla Village. With all those designer clothes he got, it's not a question that their family is well off. But Andy is always as simple as he can get. Yeah, I know, one can never be simple when you're wearing signature jeans off your closet, but what I mean to say is that Andy just enjoys the plain things in life. Just like those plain old friends he obtained while he was still in high school. And I must say, with these kinds of friends, those who belong to the upper class in the society (the class where he belongs to) would look at him just as plain as them. But hell, Andy doesn't even care. He loves them just the way they are. He even got into a catfight sometime last week for defending a friend from a stupid degrading lady who was accidentally bumped in a very rowdy crowd. The friend had no intention of doing any harm to the girl but the moronic lass slapped her hard anyway.
That was when the love of his life entered the story.
Patrick Jules Anzio was just as busy eating his way down the iceream he's holding while those two are fighting right in front of him when he entered the University mess hall. Though everything was a riot, he easily made his way through the rampage in the room. That's because they do the make-way-for-the-prince-shit-thing.
Now, there are two must-sees in this part of the school. One, is the brawl where Andy is in, and second is the catwalk of the football superstar, Patrick. If only you have seen all those girls wetting their skirts as this hunk walked past them, I tell you it was surreal. And Andy, despite being busy scratching his way to revenge, saw that stunning piece of human being, too.
Were his perfectly installed eyes stayed on Andy the whole time? My, my, both shared mysterious glances as if they knew each other during their past lives. I don't know what were in those stares, but after that incident, everything was eventual - they fell in love.
Andy bumped his head hard on the floor when the closet door failed to support his body while he was off reminiscing - sheesh. Closet doors tend to do that, anyway, they open freely when put on much weight on a sole side.
Andy sat back up, on his right mind now - thinking.
What to wear.
What to wear.
What to wear.
Everyone just seemed to be very eager to get in to Robbie's abode of coolness, if I may say so myself. And Andy just walked right in, wearing his vintage tee. The shirt's been with Andy for a year or so, bought from a neighboring country - Canada - because Andy's from Bay City by the way. That's in Michigan. HnF - the boutique in Canada where the shirt was bought, just swept Andy away - swept all his money away, that is. But this piece was priceless to Andy. No one alive will ever get this away from him. Not a chance. Why you might ask. Because this one is special of course - it's a gift from Patrick. And now, just when Andy was about to turn the knob of Robbie's front door, he felt a sudden chill.
What on Earth am I thinking? Screw you brain. This isn't the time for memory lane, Dee.
His thoughts went wild. Then stop. A calming hand rested on his shoulders. "You okay, Dee?". Andy looked at him and grinned, "Oh, I just remembered something. I’m fine, thanks". Kurt Macey just looked at Andy for a second, then smiled back. Both had known each other for about a year now through a common friend. Both love to be in parties, and parties became the bridge of their friendship. Kurt is a nice guy - gentle, sweet, caring - and these traits, made Andy plant a crush on him.
"It's just a crush".
Andy used to tell Pat, but Patrick would just nod suspiciously. Sure, Andy loved Patrick greatly, but sometimes, you know, Patrick just showingly abuse Andy in a way that isn't proper anymore. And in the last month of their relationship, they went on a trip to Canada. The couple would always end up fighting even if both woke up on the right side of the bed. And finally, in the mid of July - but I'd say it felt like November for all those chilly breezes, kinda weird really, but I was sure as hell it was July - they broke up. That was like the coldest July in all of Andy's life.
Andy would waste his time doing something he never did before; drink excessively, get in to more catfights, and many other things that made the real Andy fade away from that body. Patrick noticed this, and he too was in his hardest time. But for him, getting back would only make things worse. He loved Andy no matter what the circumstances were. That certain fact only made Andy love him more. But I guess their love story just came to an end, as how a beautiful flower gets all dried up. Wilt and die.
Andy just got to live with it, as how Patrick dealt with it. And so he got help from Kurt one windy Monday.
Coffees and Pajamas
Andy woke up really bored that morning as usual, knowing that he has no one to do something with since the relationship was over. Then his phone beeped.
“I'm coming to Cafe Facilla, will you join me? I'm wearing pajamas.”
Surprisingly, Andy got dressed in less than an hour. He usually spends an hour or so staring at all his clothes on what to wear whenever he comes out of the house, but I guess, it was adrenaline rush baby.
That early morning coffee with Kurt went fine. Fine enough that he had totally forgotten about Pat the whole time they were together. And that triggered it all. After a year of moving on from Pat's love, Andy fell for it again. That's why they’re here to join Robbie's house party, together.
This was kind of an unusual scene, though. Back when Dee and Pat where still together, Pat would wait for Andy outside that very same house - Patrick is Robbie's brother - but this time, that didn't happen. That caused the sudden chill before he entered the house, as if someone familiar was supposed to be there. But Andy got a reality check after a few seconds, and he realized he has Kurt now.
Robbie's party was great, it was always great. Everyone in the village would slay just to get invited to such, and Andy, being a close friend to Robbie, always gets an invitation. Drinks were everywhere. The music just won't stop bugging their ears, and everyone was drunk. It's half past three when Andy saw Pat come out of his room - goosebumps went all over Andy's neck and arms. The chill conquered his body again, it was like he had immediately forgotten he was with Kurt. Pat saw him, and Pat saw him with him. They stared at each other for the whole minute, when Andy got into his senses and felt the urge of hurting Pat for breaking his heart. Pat was about to give away the sweetest smile to Andy when all of a sudden, Andy grabbed Kurt from his side and kissed him deeply.
Everyone's asleep. Everyone's exhausted. Andy only got a few winks when he sensed some shadow towering over him. He opened his tired eyes and it was Pat looking at him the way he used to. It was his sweet stare, so loving, you could only wish time would stop right then and there. Andy looked at Kurt beside him, he was in a deep sleep thanks to his consumed mojitos. "How are you Dee?", Pat said calmly. And he felt it again! Like is this a dream or what? They haven't talked to each other since their final talk after the break up, and that was like a year ago. Sure enough, Andy missed that voice it almost sounded like a song to his ears. "Oh, I'm fine. You?", Andy replied shyly, guilty of what he just did earlier. Both talked for a few minutes when they finally noticed the blue skies right outside the window in front of them. Pat offered to take him home. Andy thought a ride home would be great. He left Kurt there sleeping soundly and went off to Pat's ride. It was a short trip, but the talk just outside Andy's house was a long one. Before both said goodbye, Pat lovingly hugged Andy so tight he felt his bones would be crushed. But he liked it anyway that he tried to hug back. Pat kissed him on the forehead and said, "I'll miss you Dee. But I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?" Andy nodded, went out of the car and waved goodbye. As he entered the door to his apartment, he began to think about what Pat had just said.
Was that an I'll miss you or the alcohol are all stuck in my ear that I'm starting to hear things?
But he was pretty sure of what he heard. That was an I'll miss you, Dee.
Maybe he just found someone new and had moved on like I did. Nice goodbye phrase, though.
And Andy's eyes led his way to dreamland.
Later that afternoon, Andy woke up really tired. He must have had a hangover from last night's party that he now had a hard time getting up. Just lying around in his queen-sized bed, he thought about last night. Everything was just so unplanned. So surprising. So like Pat. He went on with that the whole afternoon 'till he fell right back to sleep.
************* 2:48am *************
Andy woke up from the sound of the strong breeze. He had left his windows open while he was asleep. He went to the two windows across the room and shut it tight. His stomach was rumbling. He hadn't eaten since he got home early that morning, and so he fixed himself a breakfast suited for a king - and this king was more like a fat king to me, with all those heavy stuff on his plate. After he was done, he brushed his teeth and went off to his bed - again. Thoughts about Pat came into his mind again and again and again and again, when the telephone rang. He wondered who in the break of dawn would be calling him. It's 3:34am now. He lazily grabbed the phone and placed it comfortably into his ear.
Pat: Hey Andy, sorry, did I just dis..
Andy: Oh not to worry I just woke up, and...
The conversation went on for about 45minutes until Andy invited him for a road trip. Andy just loved those things, especially with him. Both really had a good time, even the best time. It was almost like they were together again - Andy driving, Pat talking. After their date on the road, Andy gave Pat a ride home. He then again hugged Andy so tight, kissed him in the forehead and said that phrase he said after the party at their house. Andy went on his way after, but this time he just can't seem to sleep. Like something has been bugging him. It's in the wee hours and there's nothing much to do, and so he decided to just surf the net. He opened his mail and saw there was nothing interesting mailed to him that day, so he thought of what else he could look for.
Suddenly, he remembered an account he had not opened for so long. An account he had not opened for about a year now. He opened it and was a bit uneasy that it showed 18 unread messages in his inbox. For a lot of people, having 18 unread mails would sound disappointing, especially if you haven't even opened it for almost a year. But in this case, it's different. This was their private mailbox - his and Pat's. They thought of doing this to really sort their mails. This account's inbox was purely Pat's. He got so surprised of the unread mails that he became too scared to open them. But the mystery in what’s in those mails triggered him to read. He read them one by one. The last mail dated three months after their break-up, and it appears Pat was trying to make up with him after all. He read them according to date so he would not get confused. when he got to the last mail, he got those chills back again, the one he used to have back in the party, but this time it's worse. This explained those bruises on Pat's neck. This explained his pale skin lately. This explained all those goosebumps and chills.
He can't believe what he's reading is a suicide letter from Pat. It's dated 40 days back. He imagined the last 24 hours that they had seen each other when suddenly, he remembered. He remembered the last thing Pat said.
"I'll miss you Dee. But I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?"
This my personal tribute to the International Day Against Homophobia
Most photos are from Suicide Room film.