End to a Non-Beginning

“I can never be in a relationship with you,” he said. “I’ve never been in a relationship with another guy before and I don’t know what it’s like.”

I lit a cigarette and looked at him, slightly incredulous, slightly confused. “But you’ve been in a relationship before, yes?”

“Well, yes. But that’s different.”

“Different how, exactly?”

He was silent for a while, returned my stare for a millisecond before looking away, “Well because there’s no point, is there? Gay relationships don’t go anywhere.”

I looked away as well then; looked away yet kept him in my peripheral vision, his sitting form slightly blurred. And now, looking back, that’s how he always was: there but not quite; an unclear, uncertain, sometimes unnerving presence somewhere around the periphery.

“I love you, you know.” He’d finally said.

And I just sat there, silently blowing cigarette smoke, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

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