Sunday, April 25

Sitting in Surprise's stall, watching her go slowly through her hay. Her belly hangs low with pregnancy; her eyes flick back and forth tiredly. She's obviously ready to get this baby out of her, but it's not time yet. Every once in awhile she turns her head and nuzzles my hair, comfort. She knows me better than anybody else. Or so I think at that moment.

He peeks in. The glinting silver of his piercings are gone. He looks softer, more innocent. He's carrying a box in his arms, just big enough for spiral notebooks. He sets the box on the floor next to me. "Something, maybe you should see." I think: Smooth, Toby. Hand me my notebooks so I can see that life does go on. This kinda shit has happened before, and I've survived. I have loved men since... But when I peek inside, the notebooks are unfamiliar; the handwriting not mine. The ghost of a smile touches his lips. "I'll be in the office, if you need anything," he says. His hand twitches, barely, as if controlling the urge to touch.

After he slips away I open the notebook on the top. A journal--how did I not know that about him? His scrawling handwriting makes a mockery of the blue lines, marching into the margins and covering every space on the page. Did I really lose my chance? I want to blame this on myself, because I'll have some control over the situation that way. I still hope beyond hope that it's just situations, inconveniences, I still hope that one day there will be a wake-up call and he'll be mine. And, Shit. I'm such a fuckin moron. I have to remember why I quit in the first place. Damn it, Tobias, don't forget!

Skimming, only catching every other word. him Julian another dream God, he's so beautiful sick, again why can't I make things better? Lists: If I could say anything without consequences, here's what I would say:

I love you.
I love you.
I love you.
I love you.
That about covers it.

The other notebooks are the same. Timelines. He thinks I'm sleeping with her. It doesn't bother him, so there's no reason for correction. Unless....Well, maybe if he knew that I haven't been with anyone -- I guess for the pathetic reason that he consumes my thoughts -- then maybe he would feel differently about me. Yea, and then I woke up.

Back in time, to where we weren't speaking. It's taking everything I have to not contact Julian. I have to wait, though, until I have something to show him. Things are different now. Rehab is going well, I guess, if you consider me getting through withdrawal a success. And: I really fucked up this time. Last night I was so messed up I didn't even know what he was saying to me, not until I walked out the door and got home and spent the night throwing up. Then I remembered. Fuck. I've lost him. For real this time. Fuck. I guess this is desperation, then? I feel like killing myself. I would, if I thought it would make anything better, but all that shit about escaping the pain? Yea, right. I'd have to deal with it after I was dead, too. I'd remember what I did to him.

The earliest, from when we first met: I met the most perfect boy today. His name is Julian. He has those eyes that just swallow you alive. I could drown in those eyes. He's shy, but he told me how to get ahold of him. I think he's deaf, so I better polish my ASL a little. Wow. Is this love at first sight?

At the very bottom of the pile, a folded letter under all the notebooks. Dated "everyday."


I hope you're ready to hear this now, because you're going to have to. If you missed the memo, I'm truly, madly, deeply in love with you. I would die for you. I would live for you, and I have. I would....

....There's this image in my head of us, ten years from now. We're married and in love and have a billion kids, just like you wanted, and a billion horses. You and I are sitting on our rap-around porch, drinking coffee and watching the sun rise. When I kiss you, you don't pull away. It's not a sex thing, just love. I'll be like Ender and give up all the pleasures of the body, complete devotion to the spirit. I don't have the same qualms about it that he did. Be my Novinha, and I will give you the world...

...Without you, my heart does not beat.



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