Subject: Unplanned love chapter 02 Nifty is a free site, but still requires funds to continue operating. Please provide a donation at fty/ This story is 100% fictional. Any resemblances to actual people (living or dead), organizations or companies, events are entirely coincidental. Comments are welcomed and would be very much appreciated. Asterisk (*) will be used for past events, dreams or thoughts. …… . …… Chapter 02 The wheels of the small black suitcase purrs against the cobblestone floor as I run to the train platform, phone glued to my ear, trying to contact Nina again. But the call goes to voicemail after a few rings. The eighteen messages I sent aren’t yet delivered. *Fuck, come on, pick up.* I’m still worried about the graduation party, even though Stephanie, unbelievably, had everything ready when I left the party and went home to pick up my bag and feed my cat. Still, I feel like I’m jumping off the boat at the sight of an iceberg on the horizon. I feel my phone vibrating and immediately pick up, not checking who it is, thinking it’s Nina who finally saw my messages and now is returning my missing calls. “Hello, is this Liam Weidenfeld’s number?” I frown. That’s a woman’s voice. But not Nina’s. And yet it sounds very familiar. “Yes, and who is talking to him right now?” “Oh, hi.” the voice says enthusiastically. “My name is Bianca Giesinger. I got your contact from a friend. She told me you were the one in charge of her wedding ceremony last year. I saw you at that party but we didn’t get to talk because you were busy. And then I also had things to do and left early.” I almost drop my phone right there as the name explodes in my mind. “Bianca Giesinger? THE Bianca Giesinger?” I ask, pressing the phone harder against my ear and assuring my heart that there is no reason for such a commotion. It can’t be her. The woman who can make my dreams come true just wouldn’t call out of the blue. That kind of thing only happens in the movies. It must be another Bianca Giesinger. “Yes, it’s me! I can’t believe you know me! My friend said you’re the best event planner and organizer in Frank-…” She doesn’t believe I know her?! I know she loves to drink green apple juice for breakfast and take morning walks in the park near her penthouse. Her favourite TV show is ‘the great british bake off’, and her favourite colour is moss green. Yes, I stalk that woman. “…-nd that’s why I called you. I just got engaged,” she announces. “And I want you to plan and organise my wedding!” I hear a chorus of angels, the fluorescent lights become brighter and the air starts smelling like roses. It’s happening! The sweet, beautiful, filthy rich, it girl, Bianca Giesinger is engaged. And she wants me to plan her wedding. “I’m so excited!” she confesses, laughing. “We’re going to have about five hundred guests, and I want it all. Lights, flowers, orchestra and a red carpet. I want a fairy-tale wedding.” “Yes, of course. Whatever you want, Bianca. I can do it.” Notebook. I need my notebook! Balancing the phone between my ear and shoulder, I lean my backpack on my leg and rummage through my belongings until I find my notebook. I begin to write as an excited Bianca talks about the details I dreamt about. “When can we meet?” she wants to know. “We need to start as soon as possible. We only have three months.” My pen hovers motionless over the notebook. “Three years.” I blink rapidly. “That’s what you meant, right?” “No silly, it’s three months. I know it’s a little tight, but we want to get married before summer ends.” Three months? A lousy ninety days to plan a dream wedding for five hundred people? Did she lose her mind? Even if I can devote himself exclusively to her – and I can’t – I will need a church, a venue, and available dates, something practically impossible without a front of at least a year. I will also have to book the caterer, the flower shop, sweets and souvenirs, photography and film crew, beauty salon, transportation for the guests, the musicians, create the table map, the invitations… How can I put a wedding of this size into practice in barely twelve weeks? It was too good to be true… “Bianca…” I start, holding the phone by its base. “A wedding this large would be impossible to do in three months.” “Aaaaaah…” her voice wilts. “I really wanted you to be the one in charge of everything, but if you can’t…” Oh, fuck. I’m going to lose her. I waited my whole life for this phone call, and now I’m going to lose it. I close my eyes, wishing I can bang my head against a wall. Hard. *Come on Liam, say something! Anything at all!* “But I’m known for making the impossible happen! Making your dream wedding come true in three months is a piece of cake.” Just like having me giving birth to a unicorn. The chances of either situations happening are the same. Bianca squeals and we plan a lunch for the next day. *I have to reschedule my trip home*, I ponder as I hang up the phone, my head start throbbing. “Okay, Liam, don’t panic,” I tell myself. A challenge is always an opportunity to demonstrate my own ability. I’m going to make it. I’ve been through a lot and never failed. No. It won’t be now, with Bianca Giesinger, right? My train is announced over the station loudspeaker. I gather my things and go to the platform, not noticing the 6’2 handsome blond man, in a well cut navy blue suit, making his way through the crowd, calling my name. When I see him, I think that Fred is going to take me in his arms and blow me away with a kiss. Then people around us will clap and some romantic music will start playing in the background. Maybe Fred has a bouquet of flowers hidden behind his back and he will beg me not to get on that train otherwise he will die, just like in the movies when the guy goes after the love of his life when they are about to leave. I’m pretty sure that movies are the big culprit for the love frustrations nowadays. Because, in real life, the good guy doesn’t kiss their partner, nor does he shower them with promises of love or begs them to stay. All he says is, “Liam, thank God I got here on time. You forgot your headache pills the last time you were in my house.” Ah, well… I’m not a fan of romantic movies anyway. “Can we talk?” Fred asks anxiously, looking around. Oh, no. He’s about to ask me to marry him. “I was already going to the train…” I risk it. “You still have time. Please let’s have a coffee.” I almost burst into a puddle of relief, fighting the urge to laugh. If Fred has to choose a beverage, he’ll choose wine or champagne, never coffee. This is what happens when you listen to a friend whose mind is driven by fictional novels. They project their desires onto you and everything becomes a big mess. I knew it. I knew Fred wouldn’t propose. Relieved and more confident, I follow him to the train station Café. He chooses one of the tables in the small inner room, hidden by a huge fern vase. I push my suitcase under the table while the waiter takes our order. “I’m sorry about today, Fred,” I say, as soon as the waiter walks away. “I’m meeting an artist who seems to be the new sensation of the market. Maxine gave me no choice. I have to go.” “I know.” A collection of wrinkles decorates his forehead, his mouth contorts into a despondent grimace. “Liam , I love you. I’ve been in love with you since the first time I saw you. I knew I shouldn’t have, but I fell in love anyway.” I want to say that I love him too, but the speech annoys me a little. Shouldn’t he love me? The vein pulsing urgently in his neck and eyes drowned in a deep sadness warns me that I’m not going to like what comes next. “I bought the ring,” he announces softly. Oh, shit, no! I haven’t come up with an answer yet. I don’t want to get married, but I also don’t want to lose Fred either. Improvising always ends in shit, as I know for some time now. But what alternative do I have? “Fred… I… um…” “I didn’t mean to,” he replies, “I wasn’t thinking about that now.” “Then let’s not talk about it anymore! We don’t need to go down that way.” Lifting his face, he puts his hands on mine and grips my fingers like a life raft, putting my instincts on alert. If he has to hold my hand, what he has to say is difficult, painful or humiliating. And, unfortunately for me, it’s all three together. “I can’t wait anymore, Liam.” His voice trembles. “I didn’t come out to my parents yet and also Blog İçerik Tabanlı Sosyal Ağı Sitesi because of the baby…” I blink a few times, not understanding. I know Fred is still in the closet and is waiting for the right moment to come out. He would say that coming out now would affect his image. He is a public figure after all. A political one. I didn’t feel like pressuring him. I, myself, took some time telling people about my sexuality. Hell, it took me ten years to tell my mom and my brother that I’m gay. So I accepted Fred’s reasons and waited for him to assume our relationship publicly when he feels ready. But what does that have to do with babies… It takes me a moment longer than necessary to understand what he’s talking about. “She’s pregnant,” he suddenly lets out. “We’re going to get married.” The world begins to spin uncomfortably as I’m sucked into a whirlpool of emotions, watching the dark clouds gather, massive and violent, waiting for the moment when they will touch the ground and unleash hell. “You were seeing someone else? A woman?” I babble, so softly I can barely hear my own voice. But Fred hears and nods once. “Yes. I’m seeing someone else, while I’m dating her.” He rubs his face, mortified, before adding, “You, Liam.” I’m sure I didn’t hear it properly. My boyfriend didn’t just confess he’s dating a woman while he’s with me. And worse, she is the main one. I’m just his side bitch. This isn’t real, I’m probably hallucinating. Only, as I contemplate the man across the coffee table, the anguish that paled his rosy skin, running away from reality becomes impossible. I hope that at any moment someone will wake me up and everything will be all right again. Fred has deceived me in the worst way possible, the lowest and cruelest, taking advantage of my feelings. I bite my lips as my stomach threatens to spill out everything that is inside. “I tried to tell you before…” Fred tries to take my hand but I hide it under the table. He sighs, resigned. “I tried to tell you the truth. But I was afraid of losing you and… I didn’t say anything.” “No,” I say, numbly. “You didn’t.” I never suspected of anything. There were no signs. Not even an indicator that Fred is bisexual. Since the day we met, he told me he was gay. Also he was always affectionate and attentive, and never gave any indication that he’s leading a double life. Except for his complicated schedule. However, my own schedule is a mess… If I didn’t feel a dagger going through my heart at that very moment, I would’ve laughed at my own stupidity. This is the reason why we never went to the movies or restaurants, or even a walk in the park, and not only because he feared people would see him with a guy. But because of his girlfriend. Everything starts clicking. The times he would make up excuses not to pick me up at work and him not allowing me to post pictures of us together. I was always understanding about him taking his time to feel comfortable enough to come out, that’s why I never complained. I was just happy he loved me. But this… It isn’t the world finding out that Frederick Schulte is gay, it’s his girlfriend finding out he is dating a man while he’s with her. Oh my God, the signs were all there, I just didn’t want to see them. Fred has a girlfriend. A fiancée, I correct. And worse he’s cheating on her with me. A bitter feeling burns the back of my throat as I stare at him, unsure of how to react. A part of me wants to jump on the table and rip his head off. The other half wants to curl up under a towel, shove my face between my hands and scream. “Am I the only one… you… you’ve been cheat-…” I try to impose some dignity in my voice. But I know, it’s breaking. “Please, don’t do this.” Fred closes his eyes, mortified. “I won’t stand it if you hate me. You know I’m not a bastard.” I take a deep breath. “Just tell me, have you been cheating on her only with me?” He glances at the table beside him, loosening the knot of his tie with a sharp tug before turning to me, restlessly. “Yes. I was confused about my sexuality, and then I met you. You were so accepting. So happy with yourself. With who you are. I didn’t plan on falling in love with you, okay? It just happened. Don’t treat me like I did it all on purpose.” “Really? So you were a son of a bitch by accident?” The waiter arrives with our coffee. Fred reclines in his chair, giving him space, and waits for us to be alone before resuming the conversation. “Listen, she and I have been dating since high school.” He concentrates on turning the cup counterclockwise. “But as time went by I’ve realised that I like guys as well. And it started affecting our relationship. I didn’t feel right dating her.” “So instead of breaking up with her, you decided to make things right by using me to cheat on her. For a whole fucking year.” “No, Liam. It wasn’t like that. I was in a bad place, confused with all of my thoughts. My likes and dislikes. You helped me through it.” “Wow. Should I be flattered?” I sneer. Tiny beads of sweat break out on Fred’s forehead. “What do you want me to say? I was crazy about you after we exchanged a few words in that bookstore. I thought that she would eventually realize that I wasn’t as whole in the relationship, that I was distant and…” “For fuck’s sake, she’s pregnant, Fred,” I Interrupt him, my voice rising several octaves. “How were you not whole? What do you mean you were distant? When have you ever been crazy about me? In her bed? Fucking her? Cumming inside her? Getting her pregnant?” Muttering a shhh, Fred peeks inside the café, tensed. “Please don’t make a scene. I can’t imagine what would happen if this story were to reach her or the press.” In that sentence I realize two things. The first is that Fred has some respect for his girlfriend. In a distorted way, but he does. The second is that our relationship is his dirty little secret, and he wants to sweep it under the rug as quickly as possible. I want to say something sharp and clever, maybe throw the hot coffee on his face and walk away, just like in those cheesy romantic movies Nina sometimes forces me to watch. But real life sucks, and I don’t have the money to pay a lawyer to defend me in a court for burning the face of Germany’s beloved TV host. So all I can do is just standing up. He stands up as well, somewhat unsteadily. “I know you didn’t expect any of this.” He clenches his jaw. “You have every right to be furious. Even I am. But once the anger subsides and you think about everything you know about me, you’ll realize that I didn’t do anything on purpose. I really fell in love with you, Liam.” How can he still have the nerve to tell me that? Whatever feelings Fred had for me were lost in the ugliness of the farce he created for us. The anger that I was trying to keep under control explodes. “I don’t know what is harder to accept right now, Fred.” I squirm. “Knowing that all this time we were together you had a girlfriend or to keep hearing that you love me. I’m not mad at you. What I feel right now is disgust.” Pulling out my suitcase from under the table, I start to leave the the café. My boyfriend… ex boyfriend… fuck, Fred… jumps in front of me and grabs me by the arm. I get rid of his fingers with a sharp jerk. “Don’t you ever touch me again,” I spit, enraged. “Don’t you dare come looking for me either. For the first time since we met, show me an ounce of respect and forget I exist.” Funny, I reflect, walking away from the café without really seeing which direction I’m going. In those cheesy romcoms, the villain is always defined by an evil arching of the eyebrow, a red outfit or a puff of green smoke. It’s easy to identify who is trustworthy, who is lying, who’s going to break the main character’s heart. In real life, it’s not so simple. I’ve idealised Fred, projected onto him the boyfriend I wanted him to be, refusing to see his true self. And even now, with the curtain of lies drawn at my feet, my heart bleeds imagining Fred in bed with someone else, giving her a ring, telling her the same loving things he used to whisper in my ear. Remembering every kiss, every words, now tears me apart. But if there’s one thing I learned from life, it’s to compartmentalize feelings, to lock them away in a corner of my soul where, with luck, they will disappear. I’m good at that. I had to learn to be. I board Sesli Kitap Dinle the train and put my suitcase in the baggage compartment. I take the seat next to the window and prepare myself to feel absolutely nothing for the next 2 hours, keeping my mind completely blank. But it isn’t so easy to concentrate in the middle of noise. “Sorry about that,” A familiar voice says. I lean over to understand what is going on and end up with my nose ten centimeters away from a jeans fly and an old black leather belt. A patch of fair skin and black hair appear in the small slit between the white T-shirt and the blue jeans. I lift my face, running the entire silhouette, past through the broad chest, the strong shoulders and the neck, arriving at the muscled arms, noticing the familiar sleeve tattoo on the right arm. My stomach retracts as soon as the person lowers their arms, revealing their identity in slow motion. First I catch sight of the thick, dark brown hair pulled in a loose man-bun, then straight brows over blue eyes. Between them, the straight-line nose diverges from the dashing curve of the mouth surrounded by a designer stubble beard. Oh no. Immediately, I straighten up and stare at the back of the front seat, watching in peripheral vision as the guy finishes putting his luggage in place, and pray he doesn’t recognize me. As he takes the seat next to me, he slides his backpack into the gap under the seat in front of him, “Sorry for whole commotion.” he apologises, and then looks at me for the first time. First he frowns, then he smiles. “Hey, Liam, right? Derek’s wedding planner.” I swallow a groan. Being locked in an train for 2h next to the most annoying guy I’ve ever met right after I broke up with Fred… Yeah, that’s exactly what I need right now. The problem with my life is that it doesn’t care. It makes no difference whether my head is totally out of place, or if my world has been turned upside down, reduced to dust and my heart is stiff, trying to keep up a beat. It just doesn’t care; it simply moves on, and if I don’t try to keep up with it, it will run me over with everything. And I saw that as soon as Marcel Bergmann sat right next to me and threw me a wicked smile. “What are the chances of two acquaintances sitting next to each other in a city with more than seven hundred thousand people?” “It depends on your karma,” I sigh. “In my case, the chances are a thousand per cent apparently.” I really thought that after Derek’s wedding I wouldn’t see Marcel ever again. And I was happy with that. The last thing I wanted was to cross paths with the most infuriating guy I’ve ever met. Sometimes I wonder how can Derek have a guy like that as best friend. They are like oil and water. Derek is calm, understanding, thoughtful and respectful. While Marcel is just everything that Derek isn’t; rude, annoying, fucking anything with a pretty face. Really, the guy just sleeps with anyone, man, woman. It doesn’t matter to him. If they are attractive, then he’ll sleep with them. I remember Derek telling me how we had to wait for his friend and best man, Marcel, to be there before starting the wedding rehearsal. I knew Marcel would be a hell of a headache since the moment our eyes met inside the small church where the rehearsal was taking place. Marcel showed up ridding a motorcycle, in jeans, leather jacket and a cynical smile. I knew the type: a man well aware of his good looks and power of seduction and not afraid of using it. At that rehearsal, he looked at me in such an intense way that I had the impression he could see through me. He really did, in a way that no one had ever done before, making me really pissed off. I felt exposed, vulnerable and if not, scared. No matter how hard I tried to (and, oh, I’d tried) Marcel just wouldn’t stop staring at me. Not even when I walked him to the back of the church with the other groomsmen and he leaned back on a pedestal, his elbow brushing against the image of a saint that, if I hadn’t acted quickly, it would have fallen to the ground. “Marcel, you and the others go in after Derek,” I explained to him. “You’ll be positioned on the left side. There’s a red mark on the floor; it shouldn’t be hard to to identify it.” “I don’t normally like taking orders.” Marcel ran one hand through his dark brown hair and smiled, showing me a collection of perfect white teeth. “Especially from people much younger than me. But for some reason, I’m having fun with you, you know.” “I’m just three years younger than you,” I rolled my eyes. “And I’m not here to amuse you.” “Are you sure? A dose of fun would be more than welcome tonight.” His voice was pure velvet and ulterior motives. Glancing at the holy image that had been almost knocked over, I wondered if the saint would mind if I punched Marcel’s nose. “Aren’t you ashamed?” “Not usually.” He rubbed his neck, struggling to keep his gaze dulled on my face. “Ashamed of what, specifically?” “Um, let me think… what about showing up late and delaying my rehearsal? Or trying to hit on me? Or being in a church thinking about these things?” I lowered my voice on that last part. We were in a sacred place, after all. Marcel glanced at Derek and the other groomsmen further back before turning to me and whispering: “I don’t know if I’m following this conversation.” “I believe that. You don’t seem very bright to me. You’re more the kind of guy who thinks with his…” I covered my mouth before the word escaped and condemned myself to eternal damnation. Unfortunately, Marcel seemed to guess the direction my thoughts were taking and flashed me a dazzling smile. “I have to say I’m surprised. And a little flattered that you’re thinking of me.” He crossed his arms, “Or at least certain parts of me.” “I’m not!” I felt myself growing angry. “You started this!” He laughed. A deep, warm, infectious, laugh, which warmed me up inside and made something very weird flutter in my stomach. *What the fuck is this crap?* “When I mentioned a bit of fun,” he explained, “I was thinking that maybe you could find a drink. Priests always have a bottle of wine hidden somewhere.” He scrutinized my face, pausing at my mouth, and lingered longer than politeness would permit. “But your idea of fun is much better.” He blinked, looking for support on the wall. He missed his aim and ended up hitting the bowl of holy water on a built-in granite stand. “Would you stop trying to destroy the church?” I glared at him, realigning the bowl in the centre of the stone. “I didn’t even know I was trying to destroy anything, for starters.” He dried his hand on his pants. I took a breath, begging for patience and hoping I didn’t lose my first clients because of this guy. Fortunately the wedding went smoothly, if it wasn’t for Marcel constantly flirting with me and annoying the crap out of me the whole time. And I really thought that after the wedding, I would never see that guy again. Well I was wrong. Five years later, there is he again… “The world really is full of surprises, isn’t it?” Marcel says, and then he does it again. His eyes are on me with such intensity that my cheeks burn. At that moment I thank my dark complexion. Last thing I want it’s my skin exposing my embarrassment. But my hands begin to sweat, my heart rate shoots up in a kind of hurdle-jump. And that’s the reason I don’t like Marcel, besides the fact that he’s an incorrigible seducer. Nothing about me works right around him. I get nervous and get all these types of weird feelings. I hate it. “Would you mind keeping to your space?” Quite annoyed with myself, I push the arm resting on the armrest with my elbow. “Wasn’t there another seat for you on this train?” “I’d like that.” he replies. “Please, you’re sitting too close. Try not to touch me.” I try to ignore his presence there, turning my head to the window, but it’s not that easy. His scent, an intoxicating mixture of green apples and mint, wraps my skin in an embrace. I feel, more than see, Marcel’s gaze settle on my face. “How is it possible that I’ve already annoyed you?” He asks, exasperated. “All right, I admit that this situation isn’t the most comfortable in the world. But we’re almost the same size here.” “I know,” I answer grudgingly, without turning around. “Then you know I’m not doing it on purpose. Why do I annoy you so much, Liam? Why do you seem so willing to hate me? I only tried to Exxen have a friendly dialogue, since we’re going to be sharing the same space for the next two hours. I didn’t know it offended you,” he scoffs, settling into his seat as the train begins moving. “When Derek told me you have a boyfriend I couldn’t believe it, because how did someone manage to get through that thorn fence?” The mention of Fred stirs up the anger I was trying to stifle since I left the café and flows through my veins like acid, eating away my reason. It makes me turn my head to Marcel. “I’m sure there’s no one better than him to help you with this, since the asshole is an expert at jumping the fence.” He frowns as he studies me intently. The problem is that he seems to see far beyond what I want anyone else to see, so I fight to keep my guard up and throw him off, but with my emotions messed up and his presence, I’m not strong enough. He sees everything. “Ah.” He lays his head on the backrest, incredulous to see the truth. “The idiot cheated on you.” Or almost the whole truth. On another occasion, I would’ve controlled myself and keep my mouth and my affairs away from the nosy Marcel. But it’s asking too much of my meager self-control this night. “Fred didn’t cheat on me,” I explain, “well, he did, but he also cheated on his girlfriend. The bastard had a girlfriend the whole time we were together. And I was so stupid for not seeing the signs. He made me believe the reason why he wouldn’t assume our relationship was because he didn’t want to come out yet. You know I get it. I was in that position before. I didn’t pressure him. But I should’ve at least suspected of something when we wouldn’t even go outside together. Noone would straight up assume we were a gay couple. Even if they did, he could adress the rumours by saying we’re just friends, but that somehow would force him to admit that he has a girlfriend. And I would know. The red flags were right there and I still chose to be blind.” The words come out uncontrollably, and Marcel listens in disbelief to everything I say, including the pregnancy, the engagement, and the fact that my friends believe that Fred intended to propose to me. I have to bite the inside of my cheek to stop the chatter. I’m one step away from bawling my eyes out, because in that that moment it hits me. The betrayal, the broken trust. It all comes at once. “I’m sorry.” The compassion in Marcel’s tone hits me in the pit of my stomach and my shattered ego. My nose begins to run. I start crying. “Damnit…” I grumble, bending down to pick up my backpack from under the front seat with some difficulty because of the tears blurring my vision. My fingers bumps into all sorts of things except what I’m looking for. Where are the damn tissues? A white hand comes into my blurred field of vision. “Let me get it for you,” Marcel offers in a low, gentle tone. Slowly, he pulls the backpack out, looking surprised as soon as he feels the weight. He’s even more astonished when he rummages through my belongings and finds a small roll of double-sided tape, a colour palette and an envelope full of zips in different colours. Finally, he finds the tissues and hands me the box. “Thank you.” I pull one of them out, rubbing it on my nose. “Knowing that he manipulated me, made me his side bitch without me suspecting it, is the worst part. I will never get involved with anyone again.” With a movement so quick that my brain barely registers, Marcel returns my backpack under the seat. His elbow bumps into my knee, sending an electric shock to the the centre of ny bones. As he straightens, he scrutinises my face, his blue eyes flashing with an emotion that can only be interpreted as disbelief, before focusing on the seat in front of him. “You must really like this guy” he comments, disinterested “if you’re going to let him ruin everything for you like that. You shouldn’t give him that much power. It’s stupid.” I can’t do much but to stare at Marcel, surprised that he hasn’t said that to stop the crying. “You’re all the same.” I say without thinking, pulling out another tissue, to blow my nose. My comment serves to expel the compassion from his expression. The look in his eyes alerts me that I’ve offended him. Indignation mixed with something even more violent, darkens his eyes. His lips comes to form a syllable, but the train attendant leans over. “Is everything alright here?” he asks, glancing at my wet face before smiling at Marcel. “Does your… friend need anything?” “He’s not my friend,” Marcel replies quickly. “But a glass of water might help.” The boy lits up like a Christmas tree. “Of course. I’ll be right back.” He flashes a wide smile and goes off, bouncing his hips, which Marcel doesn’t see, too busy staring at me with a frown on his face. “Don’t put me in the same package as this guy.” He clenches his jaw. “There’s a huge difference between him and me. Both me and the people I’m involved with know exactly what we want, what we’re getting into, what we can expect, and what’s no use wishing for anything more because it’s not going to happen.” “So basically, it’s just sex with zero emotional involvement. Your life must be great if your dick is the one that rules it.” “Once in a while. What matters is that nobody embarks in the dark.” He investigates my features, lingering on my wet dark brown eyes. “And no one cries at the end.” A little embarrassed, I concentrate on folding the tissue into a small triangle. “But it reassures me to know that you’ve come to think about certain aspects of my anatomy again. It seems that, despite your broken heart, your mind works perfectly.” If there weren’t twenty other people on the train, I would’ve have slammed the emergency window open and pushed Marcel out. “You’re a fucking idiot, you know that?” “I must be. Since for a moment I thought I could comfort you in some way.” “Well, you can’t. I don’t even know why I’m talking to you about these things.” Well I know. I’m nervous, over the edge, and Marcel has that uncanny ability to scramble my emotions. “I don’t like people like you, who think they own the world. Expecting everyone to love them, to feel grateful for their attention. I don’t want you to talk to me, be nice or do anything for me.” My harsh words has an effect. Marcel stiffens from top to bottom and any trace of civility disappears from his eyes, revealing… sadness??? Ah, shit. I didn’t mean that. Not even to Marcel, whose heart I imagine to be a magic cube, impossible to solve. I’m just too hurt and I took it out on the the first person who came near. Of all the people in the world, why did he occupy the seat next to mine? Why did it have to be him seeing me crying? I didn’t mean to offend him. I didn’t mean to be so rude. I just… The things he involuntarily awakens in me are driving me off track. I try to apologize for the unwarranted attack, but he goes ahead of me. “Now I understand why you’ve been fooled all this time.” His voice lacks any affection. “it’s through this distorted filter that you see people. What surprises me is that the guy has stuck around for so long.” It’s my turn to be offended. But before I can do anything, the train attendant returns. “Here you go.” He shoves a bottle of water under my nose. “Thank you,” I murmur, accepting the drink. “You’re welcome. And this one I brought especially for you.” He hands Marcel a small bottle of whiskey and a napkin folded into a triangle. Marcel cracks a smile that leaves the twink boy a little stunned. “That was very kind of you…” “Niklas.” He says, “Call me if you need anything.” Marcel nods and unfolds the napkin, revealing Niklas’s phone number. Ah, that’s great. My love life is a wreck while Marcel’s is filled with free whiskey and offers of sex without him even making an effort. It’s very, very unfair. Annoyed and unable to think of anything intelligent other than a snort or a grumble, I keep my gaze on the window, determined to ignore Marcel for the rest of the trip. However, I shouldn’t have bothered. Marcel starts reading a book. He spends the whole trip like that. Still, it’s disturbing, because some parts of him is always touching some part of me: his knee, his elbow, his hand accidentally covered mine once, but he pulls it away quickly, as if he touched something slimy. I wish I can say I do the same, but the truth is I don’t even react, kinda liking Marcel’s accidental touches. I experience a confusing feeling, kind of like an Orquestra without a conductor, each instrument vibrating at a different pitch, a different tune. All I know is that I have to put as much distance as possible between me and Marcel if I want to hear my own thoughts.

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