Tel Aviv; November.
For months I had anxiously counted the days until my return across the ocean and into the embrace of a boy a had grown to adore. There was never a moment that passed that I did not think of Miguel’s striking green eyes and that I did not long for his presence. Even as I stepped off the plane and down the halls of the airport with which I had become so familiar, I felt I could not make my shaking legs go quickly enough to match the urgency I felt.
It took only a week for us to develop our own routine. This night was no different; it was well past midnight and we had been lying in bed for hours listening to the winter’s rain hammering relentlessly against the building. We were intoxicated by each other’s presence. Our limbs were tangled and my face had found a home nestled against his neck, his beard rough against my cheek.
The air weighed heavily in our silence. I squeezed his hand, trying to convey an intensity that I refused to voice. At length, I released myself and rolled over, breathless.
“Fuck, Miguel. I am so fucking crazy about you.”
He responded immediately. And he, though always so careful in his words, fumbled: “I love you too.”
My heart stopped, and I am certain that for a moment I could not breathe. I turned to him, desperate to see his face through the darkness.
“You love me?” I winced; I waited. I felt the span of a week pass as I lay there, blind to his expression, waiting for his response.
“I think so.”
I exhaled, barely noticing that my breath had been stuck in my throat. “Thank god,” my arms found his his body once more. “Thank god. I think I love you too.”
We lay in silence. I could feel the tension in my body ease. The tumult that had existed within me, fighting against my tightened lips, finally rested with my confession. I inhaled deeply, enjoying the comfort that this release had bought me.
But the air turned cold and our hearts beat wildly. Miguel’s words had come unexpectedly and we were unprepared for the stark bareness that they caused. My calm had been fleeting. I bolted upright; clutching the sheets around me as though they could provide my heart some sanctuary. Miguel’s warm hand rested on my back, but I hardly felt it. I could say nothing.