Norbert was leaving the university and was on his way to the parking lot to pick up his bike. The afternoon classes were cancelled because the teacher had fallen ill, so the boy decided to go eat at home. The food of the canteen was not bad, but not even so good - he knew how to cook better and anyway had bought supplies only two days before.
He walked toward his motorcycle, the keys already in hand, when a boy stopped him.
"Sorry..." he said.
"Yes?" Norbert asked looking at him and was struck - he was identical to the boy with whom he had made love in the white bedroom, in the villa. His heart leapt in chest and held his breath.
"Sorry... I'm hungry... Can you give me a bit of spare change?" asked the other with an expression of shame.
"Hungry? No one is hungry, in our society, by now... For what, do you need money... to buy the dope?" he asked with some harshness.
The boy widened his eyes: "Huh? No. If you do not believe me... buy me something to eat, please, and give it to me. Just a piece of bread..."
Norbert looked into his eyes - they were green with brown flecks that tended to gold, and they were beautiful.
"Your name is Gilbert, by chance?" he asked.
"Huh? No. My name is Trevor. Why?"
"Nothing..." Norbert said, feeling stupid.
But the resemblance was amazing... and also the approach of "I'm hungry". And the great mass of soft, light brown and slightly wavy hair with a lock that fell over his forehead.
"So... would you offer me something to eat? Please... I really do not want money, but I'm hungry..."
"Come." Norbert said to him.
He led him up to his bike and unblocked it.
"I'm going home to get me something for lunch. We will eat together."
The boy looked at him a little surprised, then looked down and said: "Just buy me a bit of bread, or maybe a burger at the Mac Donald's nearby."
"Do you not trust me to come home with me? At home you can eat a full meal... and it will be plentiful, if you're hungry."
"No... Thank you... it's not that I do not trust you... I do not want to disturb you..."
"No trouble at all. I cook well, you know? I like to cook. Your name is Trevor, you said?"
"Yes, Trevor McAllen."
"And why you did not eat? You do not have a job?"
"I had it... I lost it a month ago."
"What were you doing?"
"I was... I was a waiter in a hotel."
"Problems at work..." the boy replied vaguely, looking down.
Norbert got on the bike and started the engine: "Sit down behind and hold yourself to me. Put your feet on those supports." he said.
When he felt the boy's arms around his waist he dropped the clutch and set off. He liked to feel the arms around his waist, and the body of Trevor adhere to his back... As he led into the traffic and gathered speed, he realized that they both were getting aroused.
After arriving at home he sat Trevor in the kitchen and began to prepare lunch.
"Where do you live, Trevor?" he asked while he was cooking.
"I also lost home, I had a room that I paid every week... the owner kicked me out when I ran out of money... three days ago."
"You have not looked for another job?"
"Yes, but have not yet found anything."
"Do you not have family?"
"I lost it when I was sixteen..."
"No... Kicked out..."
"Even from your own home? But what the fuck have you done to be kicked out from all sides? You said you do not take drugs, right?"
"Never tried it..."
"It's just bad luck... or is there something else?" Norbert asked.
Trevor did not answer.
"Excuse me, if you do not want to talk about it... it's fine. Basically we do not know each other... Ah, I have not yet said my name: I am Norbert..."
"Yes, I read it on the door. You live alone?"
"Yes there is only this mini-kitchen, a bedroom and a bathroom, but I'm fine."
"You study at the university, right?"
"Yes, major in History."
"I would have liked to study. I wanted to become an architect, but at sixteen I had to quit, and to get work."
He put food on the table, he too sat down and they ate. From time to time they looked at each other - they were studying each other and Norbert felt more and more strongly attracted to Trevor.
"How old are you?" he asked Trevor.
"Like me." Norbert said. Then he wondered how to question him without making him uncomfortable. "You do not have a girlfriend?" he finally asked, saying that it was perhaps the simplest question, but also the most classic.
"Me neither. We're... both singles." Norbert said, and wondered what could he say - he did not have experience trying to hook up another guy.
"You are good at cooking. It's good."
"Thank you. You still hungry?" he asked.
"No, thank you."
"I like the way you smile." Norbert said. Exactly as he had said to Gilbert.
"Thanks." replied the boy.
"I like you." Norbert said and put his hand on the back of the hand across the table, almost in a caress.
"Thanks." the boy said, looking at him serenely in the eyes.
"I... I want you..." Norbert eventually found the courage to tell him, and felt his heart sink.
Trevor turned his hand under that of Norbert and laced his fingers with his, squeezing slightly. Norbert shuddered, feeling sharply increase in himself the excitement he already felt.
"You take me... there?" the boy asked.
"I... you should not feel compelled... just for a lunch..." said Norbert uncertain.
"No. I really like you too... This is why my father kicked me out... and why I lost my job at the hotel..."
"But what has the hotel to do with it?"
"I tried it with a customer... who complained to the director... and so... you know, the manager is a prude, and so..."
"But you like me?"
"Very. Although I really... didn't dare to hope."
"Come..." Norbert said.
They got up and Norbert led him to his bedroom. When they arrived next to the bed Norbert took him in his arms and kissed him. Trevor replied to the kiss with abandon. Their hands ran down the other's body, touching, caressing, exploring in an increasingly more intimate way. Gradually they undressed each other. Norbert trembled with the intensity of excitation.
He pushed Trevor on the bed and admired him: even the body seemed just that of Gilbert, and even his member...
"We've known? We have met before?" he asked with a soft tone, while creeping on top of him.
"No, or I would have not forgotten you. I like you very much."
They kissed again, and then joined in a long and pleasant sixty-nine. Then Trevor offered himself to Norbert and later he offered himself to its host.
"It has been wonderful." Norbert sighed as they later relaxed caressing and kissing each other tenderly.
"And for what? If anything, I do have to thank you."
"For welcoming me so."
"Trevor, you have had many guys?"
"More than one. But... I like you very much."
"Why do not you stay here with me? So that we get to know each other better... at least until you find a job, then... then we'll see."
"Do you really want this? Are you serious?"
"Yes. You're the first boy with whom... I feel so well, so complete. "
"I... I accept. But on one condition."
"That you send me away, if you realize you do not feel good about me."
So Trevor stopped and stayed at the home of Norbert. They were very well together, and not just in bed. Trevor, as well as going around looking for work, when he was home kept it tidy and clean, so leaving to Norbert more time for his studies.
But Norbert continued to think about the villa... So one day he took with him Trevor, and on the motorbike, he returned to Peebles. Then skirting the river, he went upstream. Sometimes they had to get off and push the bike by hand.
"But where are you taking me?" Trevor asked, more and more intrigued.
"I'm looking for a villa."
"Yes, you told me this, but where? What villa?"
"Along the river. If I find it... I'll explain."
"You like to be mysterious." Trevor said with a smile.
"No. I told you: if we find it, I will tell you everything."
They continued to climb along the stream.
And at last they saw a vast group of ruins. It was a building that must have had some elegance and Norbert recognized the steps that led to what had been the entry. Even if the walls were left standing only a little more than the height of a man and there remained neither more furnishings nor any of the fixtures, Norbert recognized the hall, then to the right the vast ballroom.
He found the large, long gallery, then the round room with the bases of the nine columns, lying in pieces on the floor. Bypassing them, he came to what must have been the little studio and from here the octagonal room.
Then there were the remains of the structure of a large greenhouse, and those of a wide swimming pool... The maze was gone but there was another large space, which now made him think of barns or warehouses, and that could have contained it.
Then, turning back, he found what must have been the bedroom, with the windows that seemed now empty eye sockets, and which overlooked the river. Finally also the large kitchen.
"It's all as I remembered it, but apparently in ruins for years." Norbert mumbled in awe.
"Were you there as a child?" asked Trevor. "Did you live here?"
"No, I lived on a completely different area. Let's get out of here." he said feeling a little uncomfortable.
They descended the semicircular steps, and saw that on the trunk of a fallen tree, sat an old man of indefinable age. Norbert gave him a salute and the old man replied with a nod. The two boys approached him.
"Excuse me..." Norbert said.
"You know whose villa was this? And how long it is abandoned in ruins?"
"Villa Norbert? Is ruined by twenty-one years."
"Villa Norbert? That was its name?"
"Yes, of course."
"And who had built it, and why it is in ruins?" Norbert asked him feeling increasingly uneasy.
The old man looked at him with a mysterious smile: "Well... you had built it, boy. You have made it and you were prisoner in it. But then you have abandoned it, you managed to get out, and so now you see it in ruins. "
"I? But I'm only twenty-one years old, how can I have built it myself?" asked Norbert upset.
"Oh, boy! We're used to thinking that life is only three-dimensional. In fact some even think it is only in two dimensions. But in reality there are many others."
"I do not understand..." Norbert objected, feeling a slight headache.
"We are not always able to understand everything. In fact, usually we understand very few things... and we do not even need to understand everything. It is a bit like our sight. We can not see everything, only up to a certain point, and it is anyway hampered by a thousand objects, and then... the more we try to look away, the more the landscape becomes indistinct, confused. The important thing is to watch where we put our feet and a little farther to choose the path. "
"Yes, maybe you're right, but... I... Tell me if you know, I really spent some time at that villa? Recently?"
"A few hours... a few years... Of course you have lived there, because, as I said, you've built it and you've made it to fall into ruin. And now you're finally free."
"Yes, maybe I'm now really free... or at least some more than before."
"Exactly, you are some more than before. Our whole life is nothing but a path to freedom... if we do not lose our way. It is easier to travel the road and not lose it, if you're two, if there is love. Live happy, my dear boys, and love each other. To cultivate your love will help you walk better and to risk less of losing your way. "
"Thanks, old man. I'm glad I was able to speak with you."
The old man smiled, and gave them a salute with his hand. The two boys greeted him and went back.
"The old man said that... we must cultivate our love, Trevor."
"Yes In fact for a while I feel it is born, and growing up."
"You didn't tell me. But I too feel it, although before we met the old man I had not the courage to tell you. It seemed too soon."
"We're a little stupid, right? Maybe we should learn to say what we feel, without many fears, especially if we feel something special and nice one for the other." Trevor said with a tender smile.
"Yes, and now I can also tell you why I wanted to come up to the villa. You see, one day some of my friends, those with whom we have formed, from high school, a group that we call 'the clique', have proposed me to come to camp around here..." Norbert began to tell, as they returned to the valley, to everyday life.