When I’m Beside You

His chest rose and fell in slow repetition. His skin was marble; it clung to his slender frame. Moonlight bathed him in a cold embrace. The light was eerie, yet made his every detail visible.

He wore little. The blanket which had at first maintained his modesty, lay abandoned. Leaving his body exposed, save for the thin cotton briefs which clung to his narrow hips.

The erotic vision before him did nothing to quell the unease which lay in Darren’s stomach.

The sensual rise and fall of Kaz’s chest, the occasional flicker of his eyes as he dreamed. For Kaz sleep came almost as quickly as he did. Darren had never been as lucky. When Kaz abandoned him after every encounter Darren would lie conflicted, shamed and guilty. Unable to sleep. Unable to turn off the thoughts which plagued him on a cyclical loop within his head.

At first, it was a game. They were young after all. It didn’t have to mean anything. As they approached the end of their teens, the game was abandoned. All that was left was the sex, pure and simple. Except it wasn’t pure. It wasn’t simple.

For years they had played this game. When alone, they were together. No kissing, no talking about it. Just sex. It isn’t gay if you don’t talk about it. Right?

Around others, neither acknowledged the other as anything other than friends. Best friends. Perhaps at one time.

Kaz was confident and brash. Darren timid and mindful. Darren hid, where Kaz would jest and jibe. Darren wasn’t attracted to the person. He revered the personality. The ease with which Kaz could be around other people.

Yet Kaz kept Darren in the loop. The few friends Darren had he had because of Kaz. Or at least that’s how Darren saw it. The naivety of youth had yet to leave him.

Even as Darren’s eyes gazed upon Kaz’s body he promised himself he wouldn’t let Kaz talk him into this again. Not while he was seeing her. Darren was jealous, he wanted Kaz to himself but wouldn’t break the unspoken rule.

‘We do not speak about it.’

However well intended the promise may have been; the thought of loneliness was all it took to break it.

But their time together was marred by greater and greater periods of time apart. The closer to adulthood they got, the less they could return to their game. Kaz had stopped looking Darren in the eyes long before their last day together.

Their last day together wasn’t significant, other than it being the last. But neither knew it at the time.

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