His offer for a walk came to me as somewhat unexpected. I’m not saying it was a bad thing, it isn’t, it was just really unexpected, absolutely surprising. Not that there is anything surprising about going on a walk with him but we haven’t really done anything ‘together’ since we’ve come back from our trip to the country. Sure, we swam together, we eat together, we watch television together but this is different, this is walking quietly side by side, enjoying the quietness and appreciating the air.
So I did accept, what was I supposed to do, say no and skulk back to my room? That wouldn’t really have achieved anything. That and I guess he wanted some fresh air after the time he spent on that card-built pyramid that still is standing in the back, unused room with its closed and locked door.
The moon is bright as can be in the otherwise ever dark sky. There are a few clouds about but I can spot several different constellations. When I was younger, I would look up to the sky and try to find constellations. I knew a bit about them because one of the older kids in the orphanage in Beauvais, before I ran off, was nuts about the sky and the moon and the rest. I admit I loved listening to him when he started talking about it all, it was the only thing that’d get his eyes all bright and clear, like his life was actually worth something.
I guess this is something I don’t share easily, I guess he’s why I ran off, just a few weeks before he turned eighteen, I found him in our shower area. The floors were red and he wasn’t really there anymore, it was just his body. I could tell he was dead, what I didn’t really understand is why he’d done it. I didn’t really want to face that image anymore so I took off. That image, the poor condition of the orphanage, the poor treatment, I just couldn’t take it. One of these days I’ll tell Quentin about it, maybe.
His hand brushes mine and I startle out of my reverie. I blink at him and offer him a sheepish sort of smile. His eyes are questioning but I shake my head, as if to clear the rest of the cobwebs off. Now isn’t the time to be thinking about the past. I sigh and murmur a quiet, “it’s nothing.”
It mostly is, I don’t really want him to worry about me at this point. His eyes are so bright, a bit like Sterling before he died. He had such a strange name, though I suppose I’m not really one to talk, when I was about ten, I learned my name was mostly meant as a feminine name, in the end.
I just smile at him, my best, as-normal-as-I-can-muster smile and I shrug with a sheepish note. He lets it go and we finally step right and proper into the park. I haven’t really been here in a long while and I can’t even remember what it’s like to be in this place. I’ve never taken a walk outside with anyone, let alone anyone my heart felt so strongly for. I feel sort of warm and the worries and thoughts I had about the past slowly ebb away. This is fine for now. I can focus on our walk.
The moon’s shine on him is beautiful. It’s like, with some folks, when the sun shines on them it creates a halo and it is breath-taking. With the gold of his hair and eyes, you would think that he would be quite the sight to behold out under the golden glow of the sun but I think the moon gives him a sort of ethereal look. His skin looks so pale that you could think he’s glowing. He’s just something gods might want within their ranks but I would never let them take him from me. I’m very selfish about that point. I will share him with mortals about but I’ll never let anyone take him permanently away from me.
His hand brushes mine again and I have to blink another time. I laugh sheepishly, murmuring another quiet apology. I can’t help it. At least this time I was thinking good, positive thoughts, it has to mean something, right? Not dwelling on the dark memories of my past but on the good memories of my recent life, the one I’m spending with him. Currently as friends but who knows what might happen with passing time.
He stops by the little bit of pond that graces the park and I shift and settle next to him, shoulder to shoulder. I just watch the moon playing on the water, reflecting off of it though I can’t help but sneak glances at him. He’s more interesting than the water and I can’t help myself. I just love watching him. I could watch him for hours on end without ever really getting bored. Even if he was doing nothing at all.
The air around us is somewhat sticky. You would think that the nights would be slightly cooler than the days, one of the reasons why I appreciate living at night more than during the day but lately, everything just feels sticky. It’s one of the reasons I was surprised at his offer to go on a walk. Still, hard to refuse him when he’s looking so happy about life in general. If building a card-pyramid has made him that happy, then I’ll have to take note of inviting him to do little projects every so often. It’s pleasing to see him happy.
Things have changed in the months since I first moved in with him in that then lonely house. It hardly is lonely now, it’s warm and inviting and welcoming. It’s full of laughter and of light (though not too much light, night living has its perks!). It’s full of playful teasing and taunting, full of learning experiences and of new things. I don’t know that I still would be alive to this day if it wasn’t for him. I think a small part of me, before he invited me to his life, had been pondering the same end Sterling had taken.
I know and I’m aware that it is a very cowardly thing to do but I was more than a little tired of living in my tiny little nook under the bridge. Of begging about to find food to eat, of looking into the eyes of passerby and seeing nothing but pity for me. It was a hard life and I’d been doing it for ten years. I’d had my share.
I don’t think about that kind of thing anymore, it would be foolish to. Quentin has offered me a new beginning and I’m doing all I can to help him along that very same path. A path filled with wonderment and understanding and learning.
The walk home is as quiet as the walk to the park but it’s peaceful, pleasant silence. I don’t think, except the couple of months following his return from Siberia, that the silence between us has ever been anything but pleasant and I’m glad for that, as glad as I am to be in his life. This time, I’m the one who brushes my hand to his and I simply offer him a sweet, pleased sort of smile. He smiles back and I know that things are going well at this point in our lives. I can’t complain.