This is Part Four of a story I’m working on for our Fearless Fiction Femmes Fatales group. If you want to catch up, here’s Part One, Part Two, and Part Three. Don’t get too far behind — the cool kids may not like you anymore…
“This is definitely going to be one of those snapshot moments.”
Peter put his elbows on the table and looked out at the rain. The wood on the side of Duane’s Ono Char Burger slowly turned a darker shade of red as drops from the sudden downpour made their way down it.
“What do you mean?” said Eric, his mouth half-full of teriyaki and bleu cheese burger.
“You know, when you look back on your life and can remember certain times really clearly — almost like you’ve taken a picture of them. For me, this is going to be one of those moments.”
“You mean like when you’re falling to your death and your life flashes before your eyes?”
“Would you stop? I’m being serious. Today was huge. This is the first day of the rest of our lives.”
Eric smiled, rolled his eyes, and looked down at the burger falling apart in his hands. “You’re crazy.”
“I know,” said Peter, reaching across the table and grabbing his forearm, “Crazy for you.”
“Oh my god,” said Eric, “Get me out of here. The rain and french fries have thrown you into full-blown cliché mode.” Peter smiled wickedly and popped the last part of a fry into his mouth. He loved this little game. He’d pun and cliché Eric to death until Eric would finally just put a stop to the whole thing by grabbing him and kissing him to shut him up.
But on this day, Peter knew to stop. Their little play had run its course — like a joke that’s been told too many times and gets a sympathy laugh. Instead, they finished their lunches and sat without speaking, watching cars drive up and down the Kuhio Highway as rain pounded the roof of the restaurant. When it finally stopped, they stood up and walked to their car.
Peter was right — it was a snapshot he’d never forget.
The moonlight through their bedroom window shone like a streetlamp. The only time either of them ever thought to get blinds was during a full moon or in the morning when they wanted to sleep in. During the day, it slipped their minds. Twenty-something men who are living in a rental apartment that they “won’t be staying in forever” don’t think about blinds. Twenty-something men who are starting their own outdoor adventure business don’t think about blinds. Twenty-something men who are madly in love. . . well, they should probably think about blinds.
Between the light and the waves crashing on the shore, Peter couldn’t sleep. It didn’t make sense — the sound of waves was supposed to be relaxing. But he laid in their bed and stared at the ceiling. He could tell Eric was awake, and he wanted to reach out and lay his hand on his chest, but he was afraid to touch him. It seemed like he could feel the space between them buzzing like some invisible, electric fence.
“Are you upset about something?” whispered Peter.
“No, why?” said Eric. Right — not asleep.
“You just seem. . . weird. Is this because we decided to start the business? You know, we don’t HAVE to do it. But I thought you wanted to. I thought this was your dream. You talk about it all the time.”
“No, no, it’s fine. Everything’s fine. I’m happy. It’s good. We’re good. Really, it’s okay. I love you. Don’t worry, I love you.”
Peter paused. “Eric, I didn’t ask…”
Eric reached over and grabbed the back of his neck. He pulled him towards him and kissed him to shut him up.
Eric walked behind Peter as he perused the racks and shelves, looking for something to hang over their window. Peter had woken up that morning determined to find something to block out the bright light of the moon and sun.
“You know, we have no idea how long we’re even going to be there,” said Eric. “Let’s just deal with it for a little while longer.”
“No, no. I need this,” said Peter. “I just. . . I need to be in the dark.”
They rounded a corner. When we get to the end of this aisle, thought Eric, When we get to the end of this aisle, I’m going to tell him. I’m going to break it to him. I’ll just say it. “I don’t think this is working. I’m really sorry. I love you but I’m not in love with you.” What the hell does that even mean? You’re nice but not hot? You were hot once but not anymore? Oh hell, just rip the Band-aid off damn it. This has been going on long enough. How much longer are you going to pretend you’re cool with this? Just do it, Eric. Shit, missed the end of the aisle. Okay, when we get to this next corner…
Peter turned, clutching a set of beige curtains. He had tears in his eyes. “What do you think of this? This will work right? We can make this work, can’t we?”
Eric stood rock still. He tried to swallow and realized he couldn’t. He didn’t look down at the curtains. All he could manage to do was say, “Yeah. Yeah. . . I think I can live with that. . . for a little while.”
Read Part Five: The Rock
This week’s prompt: When was the last time you looked into someone’s gorgeous eyes? Maybe they were sea green and seemed to have all the secrets of the world behind them? What would happen if you had a chance to know this person intimately?
Then you find that person has a dark secret that would bring your perfect but lonely life to its knees.
Be sure to check out my fellow femmes:
- Susanne’s World
- It’s a Dome Life
- DeBie Hive
- Grass Oil by Molly Field
- Quirky Chrissy
- Near Genius
- The Suds Box