"Wait. I have to tell you something first Jess. I don't want to hide this
He was scaring me now.
"What?" I asked anxiously.
"You know I told you how El has trouble giving up drugs..."
He was very uncomfortable now. "Jess. I was into drugs too."
This was actually happening to me. Just when I was seeing
that supernatural light at the end of the tunnel; a stupid train rams into
He nodded his head looking straight at me. Damn his guts.
I couldn't look at him, my Rene was fading.
"Your silence is fucking killing me..."
"What am I supposed to say? HUH?"
"Tell me what you're thinking..."
"I'm thinking, why now Rene? Why do you have to tell me this now?"
"Because it matters."
"To you Jess..."
"No it doesn't...it would have, if you had told me before. But now it
doesn't...now that I'm in a relationship, you think I won't leave you? You
think you are..."
"Fuck...How can you even say such things? What do you want me to do? I did
it okay! YES! I was into drugs...And I'm out...Now what? You want me to be
"SORRY? I'm the one who should be sorry Rene. Sorry for myself. Sorry for
ever loving you...," I said and uncomfortably stood up.
I was gone.
It happened so fast, too fast. And now there was no way of
going back. I was in my room looking blankly at my book. Whatever had
happened actually helped me keep my thoughts in control and study. At
least I pretended it did. The bruise on my face from El was still hurting.
The following day's exam went actually okay, which was not at all
expected. If they had asked me to summarize my feelings on what had
happened the night before, I would have scored a definite `D'. Maybe I
reacted too fast. Maybe I was too harsh. Maybe I was right about
everything. Part of me was too dazed. El's threatening calls, then the
punch and to top it all Rene's confession – I just couldn't handle it.
On my way back home, Willow called up.
"How was the exam?"
"...Hmm...fine...," I said dully.
"What's the matter?"
She had no clue about the hell I was going through.
"Okay...can you be at Blue Alimento in ten minutes?"
"Ehm...I'm not in the mood Will, can we do this some other time?"
Her "No" was a simply straightforward, one that really gets you.
"Okay...I'm on my way" I said and hung up.
I wasn't in the mood for food. I just wanted to lock myself in my room and
Will seldom asks me for anything even though I've asked her for
innumerable crazy things, so it was only fair I went.
The restaurant looked deserted. At one corner I spotted Willow looking
very excited. She greeted me with a broad smile.
"What's up?" I asked.
"I've a surprise for you..."
"Really! What?" I asked trying to be interested.
"It isn't here yet..."
"OH There he is..."
A young guy with long hair walked toward us.
"Hi...you must be Jesse..."
"Yeah.." I uttered. His gorgeous hair was driving me nuts.
"Jess...this is Leon," Will introduced the long haired hunk.
Leon? Leon...who? OH LEON – Will's crush!
"My boyfriend," she blushed.
"OH...Will! You never told me, when did this happen?"
"Yeah...I kind of confessed to her and she accepted...," the long haired hunk
Yesterday. And today they decided to meet me? Love works really
fast these days, well at least for some people. Will was mischievously
smiling at me. So she hadn't confessed after all, the lucky bitch!
"Let's sit and eat something!" Will quipped, probably trying to avert the
possible topic of confessions and lack of it.
"So...Will told me a lot about you Jess," Leon said.
"Oh really...? She told me a lot of things about you too."
Will stared at me.
"What do you mean?" Leon asked with a fixed expression.
"I was kidding!" I quipped and gave a hysterical laugh.
Will tried to laugh with me, but it only made things worse.
I quickly added, "Ah..So what do you do, Leon?"
"OH...I'm right now interning under this doctor with Will..."
And you are one year senior to Will.
Suddenly I wondered if he knew I was gay.
"So how is Rene...that's his name right?" Leon asked me – the gay boy. Will
nodded to Leon affirmatively.
I paused. My brain was stimulated with images, images of the past night I
"Uhh...he's fine," I said.
Just the fact he was into drugs makes me feel weird.
"So why don't we guys go for a movie or something tonight?" Will quipped.
"Err...no Will, I've got to study tonight..."
"Ohhh...yeah...I totally forgot..."
Did she forget that she had exams too?
"Let's order then," Leon quipped.
Seeing Leon and my roommate in their first dance of love,
I became nostalgic. It was so exciting to experience this feeling that
you've never felt before. I wondered if it was worth falling in love when
you have an idea of the pain you have to suffer when it might fall apart.
Even though I hated Rene for being untruthful to me, I missed him. I
decided to go speak to him. I wanted to see him once more. Besides, if I
didn't, I knew he would come to me, so it made no difference. I had no ego
"Jess! How was the exam?" Laura asked.
"Ah...okay...how did you do on it?"
"I did it so well I can't believe it! Haven't you become a busy boy
lately! Busy with my bro, eh?"
"Where is he by the way?"
"Maybe you don't know me. I'm Laura, your boyfriend's sister, once
considered as your friend..."
"Ohhh...honey, I'm sorry I don't have time for your sarcasm right now, but I
really got to see Rene..."
"Okay! He's upstairs and do you know what's wrong with him? He's acting
nuts since yesterday!"
"Ah...I don't know. Let me go see him."
"Okay...but you better not ignore me."
"Even if I try, I can't!"
I walked past the washroom where I had caught Rene masturbating. I walked
past the wall where Rene shoved me into, to put some sense into my brain.
I knocked on the door.
"I said don't disturb me, Laura!"
"It's me," I said, my voice muzzy.
The door opened.
"Come in," he said.
I saw books lying all over his bed.
"Were you studying?" I asked.
"Yeah...it's my last exam..."
"Ohh...maybe I can come back some other time then..." I said and began to
leave. I didn't know what I was doing there in the first place.
He came close to me and said, "Why did you get so angry?"
He then brought his lips close to mine and kissed me. I kissed him back
and then stopped...
"No, Rene...this is not going to help. I need answers...I need to know
"What do you want to know?"
"Everything. Why you were into drugs? Why you never told me? Is there
anything else you are hiding and..."
"Why does El give me threatening calls...?"
"What? El called you?"
"What did he say?"
"He asked me to leave you... Rene...he asked me to leave you."
Rene kept quiet. He went and sat on his bed.
I sat besides him.
"Are you two still..."
"No, it's over. It is over."
"I said it is over, Jess..."
He continued. "I've known El...he's really Elliot Grey," he said and smiled,
"...for six years now. We began as high school bench mates and grew to
become best friends. He one day caught me fondling around with this cute
guy in high school. I remember how funnily he reacted. He treated me like
I was the devil in human form! I let him be and in a few weeks he became
friendly again, as if nothing had happened. He never really liked to
discuss my sexuality and I respected that."
"But nothing really happened between us, Jess. Nothing. Then my problems
started...Laura got into drugs, my parents were ignoring us and I was
getting incredibly lonely. El was the only person I could rely on at that
time and that was when I realized I loved him."
He took a deep breath and continued, "Shortly after I confessed my love, I
found out about his drug addiction. He went crazy because I was his best
friend and he didn't know what he was feeling for me. He always believed
he was straight. I tried to save him only to entangle myself into his
problem. Then the overdose..."
"Who? El ?"
"No...it was me actually. El was devastated. It was then we tried to give up
on drugs. And we did. But few months later El was back on it..."
I could almost feel the pain in his voice.
"After I was hospitalized, he told me that he loved me. I was the happiest
sick person in the world."
"After that, we've been on a very rocky path...in and out, in and out until
finally I got fed up. I told El that I would love him forever but I
couldn't be with him anymore. I had reached a point where I couldn't trust
I was stunned. I felt like a total stranger in front of Rene. He and El
had a history, a long and painful one. Perhaps Rene wanted to get away
from all that, or perhaps in a way, he missed it.
"What about me, Rene? Do you really love..."
He put his hands around my neck and brought me closer. "Sweetheart...I do, I
really do! You might be half the size of El, but that doesn't matter to
I ignored the pun and partly felt reassured, but still something lurked in
"What about El? He hates me!"
"El will always be El. And I will always love him for the way he is and he
will always love me. Of course, he will always hate you."
"That's not funny Rene...How can I know...what if you get back with him?"
"Haha...you're one possessive prick aren't you? Jess, we love each other
very much, but unfortunately, sometimes love alone isn't enough. We've
many conflicting thoughts and we both know we are better off as just good
"Good friends. I will remember that."
"Well, do you remember how to kiss?'
"I don't know, but I have you to try on, don't I?"
"But Oh Fuck! I'm an ex-drug-addict! Can you kiss me?"
"OH Shutup coke boy," I said and began kissing him.
"What's the matter?" he asked me.
"Just that I feel I don't know you, Rene...is there anything else you need
to tell me?"
"No...but I really have to teach you how to suck on a membrane."
"You're one horny gay boy," I commented.
He smiled and kissed me again.
We both lay on the bed, his hand in mine.
"So tell me more about your childhood..." I asked Rene.
"Well... my childhood was hell and at the same time, heaven. I did have
access to a lot of cute guys...you know..."
I was getting jealous!
"Tell me about hell," I interrupted.
"Haha...well okay. Well... I hated my mom. She was the reason my father left
"Do you get to see him?"
"I haven't for some years now. He lives in Canada. We used to live there
until my mom got divorced and moved here."
I really owed Rene's mom for that.
He continued, "Then I met El and my life changed. I slowly began to renew
my relationship with my mother and things began to work out."
"I guess you guys were just like how Andy and I used to be..."
"What's with this Andy guy anyway, you keep mentioning him, but you never
really talk to me about him."
"Yeah, because I don't like to" I smiled weirdly.
"I just don't like to Rene, that's all"
"Now I feel like I don't know you, Jess. You got to tell me! Why?"
"Because he is fucking dead. I...I don't like talking about dead people,
I hardly finished the sentence before I turned away and lay with my back
Rene was silent for awhile before he said, "I'm sorry about that, Jess."
I didn't speak.
"Hey..." He climbed on top of me to discover that I was crying. I felt
"Look at me," he said.
I didn't respond.
He pulled me and made me look at him.
"It's okay," he said and hugged me.
I pulled away and shouted, "He bloody died because a mother fucking
asshole decided to shoot him for no reason..."
"What are you saying Jess?"
"We were in a store and and and... this crazy fucking guy tries to rob the
place. He was trying to scare the clerk by shooting a bullet in the air...he
didn't shoot high enough. Andy died Rene because of a fucking looser...a
Rene just looked at me with utter disbelief.
"I saw it, Rene. I saw everything...I saw that bullet go into his body. I
saw the expression on his face...his beautiful face. He tried to grab hold
of me, but he fell down. I didn't know what to do. There was blood
everywhere and I couldn't do anything to save him. I held him tight in my
arms and stuttered – I love you. He was too dead to hear me...too fucking
"Shhh...it's over. It's over now," he said and then forcibly took me in his
I held onto him for awhile before gaining control over myself.
I stopped crying. "You're right. It's over," I said regaining my
I continued, "He had to go, but I never really let go of him. I never told
him how much I loved him..."
"Stop thinking about it...he's in a better place now, okay..."
"I want to be there too!"
"Hey...what about me then?"
I gave a vague smile. "No matter how much I tried, I never really could
"Jess, you've got to let him go."
"It is probably the most difficult thing to do, but you have to try...
That night we talked until early morning and then fell
asleep together. Sleep in the literal sense. We talked about our lives,
the crazy people in it, our feelings, our fears, our favorite movie
hunks...we simply talked.
I woke up late next morning with Rene by my side. I never felt so secure
in my life, so loved...so happy. I knew Rene had his flaws. I knew Rene had
made mistakes. I knew there was a chance that Rene might get back with El.
But that morning when I woke up, I didn't care. I didn't worry about our
future because he was there by my side. And I knew I would remember that
moment for years.