"Hey, Stud. Wanna dance?"
Four simple words. Innocuous enough, one would think. But let me tell you, that's how it all began. That's how THE TRUTH invaded our lives.
I trailed him out of Woody's, more than certain I didn't want to spend the rest of the evening indulging in my wicked ways. Tapping him on the shoulder from behind, I surprised him when he turned around to see it was me.
"Shut up," was his gut reaction, hardly believing I'd actually passed up the opportunity to fuck some random guy on Pride Weekend.
"I promise you won't forget this one," I told him, catching his hand and pulling him back toward me. The thought of what Chris Hobbs had stolen from him turned my stomach and was never far from my mind. Walking with him to the center of the crowded street, I draped my arms over his shoulders as we slow danced, utterly content to be there with him.
"Do you hear this, Brian?" he asked before long. "It's one of my favorite songs. The lyrics are so meaningful."
I knew it was sung by ABBA, but I'd never paid any particular attention to it before. "Yeah," I agreed, "it's good."
"But the words," he persisted. "They're so perfect for where we are right now."
"Where we are right now? Dancing in the middle of Liberty Avenue?"
"Just listen," he said softly, mouthing the lyrics along with the song. "I'm a shoulder you can cry on. Your best friend, I'm the one you must rely on." He pulled me closer to him, continuing. "You were always sure of yourself. Now I see you've broken a feather. I hope we can patch it up together."
I kissed him slowly and sensually when the chorus played, contemplating the lines in the verse he'd pointed out. "You're right," I whispered. "I am your best friend. I want you to rely on me, and together, we'll patch up your broken feather."
We'd never talked in great detail about the bashing, but it made me happy that he knew I wouldn't rest until I'd helped him through it. Leave it to my sensitive Sunshine to relate beautiful song lyrics to the healing process.
"I know, Brian," he whispered back. "I love you for being here for me. We're gonna get through this together."
Nodding, the lump in my throat prevented any kind of verbal response. He didn't anticipate one, but for the first time I found myself not loathe to the idea of offering one. Slowly swaying with him to the strains of ABBA, I rested my forehead against his, not wanting this lesbianic moment to end.
How had he done this to me? When had he done this to me? I started to think back.
It had been months since I'd strolled into his prom, searching for him among a sea of formally clad eighteen-year-olds. Taken aback at the sight of him all decked out in his tux, I'd led my handsome partner to the middle of the floor for a dance, determined to give him a night he'd never forget. Holding him in my arms as the music started, he'd simply smiled into my eyes, stirring up something foreign and new inside me. Boldly ignoring all societal norms in front of his classmates and their chaperons, we'd pulled off some pretty fancy footwork, feeling as if we were the only two people in that ballroom. Kissing him passionately on the closing notes, I'd been lost within his mouth.
Setting out to give him the night of his life, it had turned into the night of my life as well, for it was then that I knew I loved him.
Justin drew me out of my reverie by hugging me into his body tightly during our Pride dance, peering into my eyes. "I bet if you believed in love," he said quietly, "this is what it would feel like."
Never one for effusive displays of affection or emotional confessions, I guessed the world wouldn't come to an end if I answered honestly when he kissed my lips and asked, "Don't you think so?"
Holding him fast against my beating heart, THE TRUTH was unexpectedly
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