tagGay MaleGlimpses

Glimpses

bydrowninginreality©

Aaron,

I guess this is weird I'm writing this in a letter. I just know if I tried to say this in person I'd never get it all out. I wanted to say that I'm sorry. I'm sorry for everything.

I always knew in the back of my mind I'd never be enough for you. I just wanted to outrun it somehow – to turn 75 with you and look back and ask ourselves where the time went. I guess you were right though, about what you said.

The point of this letter isn't to point fingers though. I would start over but this is my fourth try and my hand is starting to cramp. I'm starting to ramble, and I know how you hate that, so I'll get to the point. I thought I would be okay with this, when you said we needed more variety – that you couldn't just be with one person. I thought maybe you'd notice the signs that I wasn't okay with it – that I never was. I just wanted to make you happy. That's all I've ever wanted, really, so I agreed.

I hope you find what you're looking for – and I don't mean that in a hollow or spiteful way – I really, really do. You've been my life for the past five and a half years, and I wouldn't change that for anything, but I can't feel this way anymore.



I love you.




Andrew


**************************************************************************************

February 27, 2012

"Where's your other daddy, huh?

Oh, yes, you've been a good girl, haven't you? Yes you have! Did Andrew take you out for a walk?

Andrew, babe? Bella's seriously going crazy on my leg...I told you I think huskies aren't meant to live as far south as this."

Aaron pushed Bella gently off of his leg, absentmindedly setting his briefcase and keys on the counter before returning to his iPhone. Barely dodging the coffee table, his eyes glued to the screen, he made his way further into the apartment.

"Hey, I was thinking we could try that new sushi place Linda and James have been hounding us about, what do you say?"

He didn't notice that Andrew hadn't responded until he started to change out of his work clothes. It was about the same time that he noticed the note on the bed.

************************************************************************************

March 1, 2006

Andrew hated this class. He really, really did. He thought taking a psychology class titled "Interpersonal Relations" might give him some insight into making relationships work – into communication styles and attraction and love. It had given him insight. Plenty, in fact – just not the kind he wanted to hear.

His professor was talking about love today. How long-term love doesn't last, to be specific. Something about serotonin levels and how, after they initially skyrocket during a relationship's early phases, they gradually decrease and taper off. He was trying not to listen too hard – hard enough to take detailed notes but not hard enough to truly absorb any of the information. It was ruining his romantic ideals.

"So, who here believes that love truly can last?"

His professor always did this. She asked some question that culture had ingrained her students to answer in one way or another, like – 'Who here believes in soulmates?' and, after all of those romantic comedies and melodramas, there was always going to be one, two or fifteen students who raised their hands – some poor girls who had just seen When Harry Met Sally or The Notebook or something. Andrew's professor would then chuckle a little, wince, and say something apologetic but heartbreaking, like – 'Well I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the research just doesn't point that way.'

Without thinking, Andrew raised his hand. He was a little too hungover, maybe a little too drunk still, and a little too interested in fixing the layout of his Word document to notice that the class was staring at him. His professor repeated herself as Andrew looked up.

"Yes, you," she said, pointing at him. "Since you're the only one raising his hand, why do you think love can last?"

Floundering for a couple seconds, Andrew thought on his feet and did what he did best – he made a joke out of it. "I mean, I guess it has to – the universe kind of owes me for how my past couple flings turned out."

There were scattered chuckles in the room – the best you could get during a Friday morning lecture, Andrew guessed. His professor shot him a wry smile. "Well, on that note, next week we will be talking about conflict in relationships and how to diffuse -"

Andrew focused back on his computer screen. He felt eyes on him though. He noticed Cocky Hot Guy still hadn't turned around from looking at him a couple of rows forward. Andrew had nicknamed him Cocky Hot Guy from the first day of class. He always flirted and joked with the professor, was really, really hot, and seemed like a total fucking douche. Andrew knew he would probably hate him. He'd learned to hate guys like him. Cocky Hot Guy was probably just mad that he wasn't the only one making jokes in the class anymore, anyway.

After class was dismissed a few minutes later, Andrew was one of the last to leave. Caught in the middle of the seats, he had fumbled with his computer and dropped his water bottle – twice, before it rolled down a couple of rows forward. Cocky Hot Guy picked it up. Waiting next to Andrew's row, Cocky Hot Guy handed him his water bottle and said, "I agree, you know. I'm a total softie at heart."

Andrew half-smiled at him. He had never been very good at interacting with straight guys. Not since freshman year of high school when he came out to his guy friends, anyway. That had scared him away from straight guys for a long time.

"Yeah, I guess I was just tired of her telling us there was no hope left," he replied.

"She does tend to do that, doesn't she?"

Andrew smiled back and gave a noncommittal, "Yeah." He really, really wanted this moment to end. His hands were getting clammy.

"I can't imagine why any fling would have ended badly for you though."

Andrew was way too nauseated for this. "Yeah, well I guess not everyone is as romantically inclined as we are."

They were almost to the front doors of the building. Andrew hoped they weren't walking in the same direction.

"Well, maybe we can find out just how much we have in common sometime?"

Andrew's migraine was kicking back in. And he may or may not have been suffering from auditory hallucinations.

"What?" Andrew managed to say.

"Seems like you're having serious trouble focusing today."

They were outside now. Andrew felt blinded by the sun and twice as nauseated.

"So, how about it? Wanna catch a movie or something this weekend? I'm Aaron, by the way."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Aaron had been watching him for a while now. There was something about him. He was cute, that was obvious. Not locker-room-jock-fantasy cute, and not tan-blonde-and-hairless cute either. Boyish cute. But with stubble. Brown hair, light brown eyes, full lips. Really, really cute. The kind of cute where you could just imagine him falling asleep on your chest. Naked. After fucking for hours. That kind of cute.

Anyway, Aaron had been watching him for a while now. He'd just been waiting for the right moment. This had seemed as good a moment as any – the thing the kid had said during class had given Aaron an in – but now he was starting to regret it. The kid looked at him like he was so hideous he might puke.

He showered this morning. He always did before this class. He had been watching him for a while, remember? He was pretty sure the kid was gay, not that he was flamboyant or anything, Aaron could just tell, he was good at that. How else would he have managed to find so many 'curious' straight guys to seduce over the past four years? His track record spoke for itself. So, why did he look so disgusted? Maybe the kid was just intimidated. Yeah, that was it. This would be perfect – one more shy, probably very eager conquest before he graduated. His new conquest still hadn't even told him his name, though.

"Um, I'm Andrew."

Well, that was a start. Yeah, Andrew was just love struck, that was all –

"That sounds really fun, but I don't think that'd be a good idea."

Wait, what?

"What do you mean?" Aaron winced. His voice sounded pathetic.

"Well, you seem cool and everything, but, I just...I'm not really...I...you just, you seem like a love them and leave them type of guy...and, I'm not looking to be a notch on anyone's bedpost right now."

That was unexpected. Aaron probably looked like a trout.

"I'm sorry, I know that sounds judgmental, I'm not trying to be, and you're really cute, I just...I can't. Thank you, though."

And just like that, Andrew squinted at Aaron one more time and hobbled off. He still looked like he was about to puke.

"Well, what the fuck?"

A squirrel crouching by the building stared at Aaron in response.

**********************************************************************************

February 27, 2012

Aaron read the letter again. He was gone. Andrew was gone.

He was so confused – hadn't they been happy? Where was this all coming from? Sure, they'd had their ups and downs – but didn't all couples? Maybe he never should have suggested they start having an open relationship. Aaron hadn't even acted on it. But it just seemed like Andrew wasn't even interested in him lately. They hadn't had sex in a month when they'd practically fucked like rabbits before. What else was he supposed to do?

*********************************************************************************

September 15, 2011

Andrew was staring at Aaron staring at his iPhone, again. Andrew always thought that restaurants like this would be stricter about cell phone use. Who was he even talking to? It was their anniversary – their five-year anniversary. Maybe this is when anniversaries get less important. Maybe after so long you have to stop proving that you're more important to one another than a smartphone. Andrew got up to get a drink. Aaron didn't notice.

Aaron looked up five minutes later to see Andrew was still in the bathroom. At least, that's where he thought Andrew had gone. He waited for five more minutes. He absently scrolled through his latest text messages. Maybe Andrew had gotten sick? He scanned the room. There he was, seated by the bar – that unmistakable cowlick on the back of his head.

Andrew was nursing a cranberry vodka when Aaron came over. He was in the middle of stalling as much as possible. He didn't want to go back to the table and sit with Aaron in silence again. Not yet, anyway.

"There you are. What are you doing over here, baby?"

"Drinking a little."

"I see that. Wanna come back to the table? I think our dessert is gonna be there soon."

Aaron smiled at him. That smile. Andrew knew he was going to miss it.

"Okay."

Andrew smiled back.

************************************************************************************

March 2, 2006

"And then he just walked away?"

"Yeah, well, I guess it was more of a limp. I think he had a colossal hangover."

"Rough. Are you gonna try again?"

"No! I mean, maybe. I don't know. My ego's bruised."

"Oh no! Your poor, poor ego! How is it taking it's first bruising? Oh, I almost forgot, does it officially have it's own area code yet?"

"That was lame, Jamie." Aaron smiled. "But really, it is. I didn't realize how much of a crush I had on the kid."

He lay back on the bed.

Jamie regarded him for a few seconds, her blonde hair hanging in a lazy ponytail over her shoulder.

"You know, I kind of like it when your ego's bruised. You're so much more..."

"Pathetic?"

"I was gonna say, 'like a real person.'"

"Remind me why I'm friends with you again?"

"Because, Aaron, I'm the only one who doesn't take you seriously. It's good for you."

"You're not doing a very good job of reminding me."

Jamie huffed and smiled at him.

"But seriously, Aaron, are you gonna try to win him over or not? I've never seen you back down from a challenge, and you have been talking about him nonstop ever since the semester started."

"I have not!"

...okay, maybe I have. I guess I have to try again, don't I?

"There's the Aaron I know! But seriously, you've gotta pick up the pace, the clock's ticking until we gra– "

"Don't you dare say the G word."

"Okay, okay! No G word. But, really, this is our last semester. Make some moves!"

************************************************************************************

March 4, 2006

"Psssssst!"

What was this, 5th grade? Who in the fuck was pssssting in the middle of an upper-division psych course?

"Psssssssssssst!"

Andrew looked up from his computer. Seriously?

"PSSSSSSSTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!"

Andrew turned around, ready to glower at the fucking 10-year-old schoolgirl who got lost on her way to the Girl Scout Cookie stand and decided to stop by a college psychology class when he found himself making dramatically prolonged eye contact with Cocky Hot Guy. He refused to call him Aaron, even after their encounter on Friday, which he puked after, by the way. He needed to remind himself to stop drinking champagne.

"What?" Andrew mouthed. A weird-looking girl in glasses two seats over was staring at him.

Aaron did a strange, frantic pointing motion to the space in front of Andrew, almost knocking over some guy's laptop in the process.

Andrew looked down. There was a note. Aaron had thrown a note at him. He was officially back in the 5th grade.

Andrew,

He narrowed his eyes as he read. What did Cocky Hot Guy even have to say? Andrew thought he had made himself pretty clear. Andrew knew Cocky Hot Guy's type. He had recognized it in an instant, as soon as got over the fact that Cocky Hot Guy was hitting on him. The arrogance in his eyes, the shock when Andrew had denied him. Maybe he was just looking for someone to act out his bicurious fantasies with or something. Andrew wasn't going down that path – not again.

I know you think I'm just looking for a quick fuck or something. Hell, if I hit on myself I'd probably be thinking the same thing about me right now too. But I don't just want that.

Self-effacing and convincing. Andrew was wryly happy that he had been around this kind before. A younger him probably would have been infinitely more idiotic about this situation.

I've been watching you since the beginning of the semester. I don't know if you remember this, but I came in late the first day. When I was looking for a seat I caught eyes with you and I stood there like an idiot for a while until Professor Knowlton called me out. Ever since then I couldn't take my eyes off you.

Andrew did remember that day. Cocky Hot Guy had stood there, mouth agape, staring in his direction. He had thought at the time that Cocky Hot Guy might be staring at the girl wearing the hey-here-are-my-tits top behind him. The professor had jokingly asked him if he had ever seen a lecture hall before. Cocky Hot Guy had snapped out of it and mustered some witty, flirty retort. Andrew had rolled his eyes.

You're the most entertaining person I've ever met.

Well, that was weird. He'd shared two sentences with Cocky Hot Guy. Was his circle of friends largely composed of desk chairs?

It's been hard to take notes this semester watching your facial expressions, the way you sink down into your chair when you're afraid of being called on, the way you turned into a tomato when you had to answer that question about love. Even when I'm sitting behind you it's entertaining – your cowlick has never had the same shape twice.

Reaching back, Andrew ran his fingers through his cowlick. So the guy had noticed some things about him. So what?

I realize it's a longshot – especially after your reaction last Friday, but would you please just give me a chance? Maybe we can study for the midterm together? I've seen you in the law library a couple of times – it's my favorite one on campus too. What do you say? Can we talk after class?

        Aaron

Andrew turned around, very, very slowly. Cocky Hot Guy had a sheepish smile. It was probably one of the cutest things Andrew had seen in a long time. He turned back around. He was so fucked.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Watching Andrew read his note was like torture. The fact that Andrew had rejected him before just made Aaron want him more. Aaron wondered if Andrew knew that he was pushing all of his buttons, to control and dominate – to win. Aaron smiled when Andrew had reached back and ran his fingers through his cowlick. At least he was reading the entire thing. When Andrew had finally turned around he was stone-faced. That was better than disgust, at least.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I should have said no."

"I should have said no."

"I should have said no!"

"Are you talking to yourself again?"

"No, Lauren, I'm talking to you! I should have said no! What the fuck was I thinking? The guy writes me one note and I suddenly forget how to be rational."

"He's hot, he's obviously into you, and he wants to meet at the library, I mean what's the big deal? The library is a pretty neutral place if you ask me. At least he didn't ask you to come to his dorm or something."

"He's a senior, too. I think he lives off-campus or something. But that's not the point! I mean, fuck! I haven't even talked to a guy who's been into me since Scotty."

"Well, then maybe this is a good thing."

"A good thing? Feel my hands."

"Woah...extra clammy."

"I know. My books are gonna slide out of my hands or something. I'm such a loser."

Andrew plopped down onto his bed in a huff. He still hadn't decided what he was going to wear. He wanted something that said, 'I tried, but not that hard.'

"You're not a loser, you just...you had something bad..." Lauren hesitated. "You just got hurt, okay? And you're scared. Anyone in your position would be feeling the same way."

"Anyone in my position wouldn't have let Scotty get away with it. Anyone in my position would have been strong – would have actually done something about it. "

"Do you really wanna go over this again?"

"No...I guess not."

"Good! Well then let's finish getting you dressed. Maybe you can keep a paper towel in your pocket or something!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Was Andrew really standing him up? Granted, he was only 10 minutes late, but the way he was practically beaming at Aaron when he agreed to meet in the library after class on Wednesday made Aaron think that he would be a little more punctual.

He looked up for the thirty-seventh time. There he was – Andrew had just entered the library. Aaron took a second to enjoy the view – tight dark wash jeans, chambray shirt over a cream v-neck, tousled hair – before waving him over. Andrew sat next to him in a huff. It looked like one of his books had slipped out of his hands but he caught it at the last second, setting it down on the wooden table.

"Hey...I'm so sorry I'm late."

Before Aaron could even respond, Andrew was launching into some sort of monologue.

"I was walking to campus – I live a couple of streets down, you know where those houses are that a lot of professors live in? By there. Anyway, I was walking to campus and those people – I mean, those people that wear those jackets, you know the people that make you sign stuff? They were posted at pretty much every corner. I hate how they ask you questions you can't refuse, like 'Good afternoon sir, would you like to save an orphan's life today?' It's like, well of course I would! I mean, who wouldn't? They're like Professor Knowlton with their questions. But then, if you say no, you're practically begging for karmic retribution. 'No, I wouldn't like to save an orphan.' Who even says that? So basically, I'm on about 25 mailing lists now. I put my mom's e-mail address for some of them, she loves stuff like that. So, anyway, have you started studying yet?"

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