First Time Vignette I:  Admission
First of a series of vignettes from the "First Time for Everything" series.


So here we are, standing at these railings, and the Shakespearean overtones aren't lost on me -- oh-ho-*no*, not at all. I'm not quite sure who's supposed to be Romeo and who's playing Juliet, although I'm sure Chris would have an opinion on that, if I dared to ask. Which I won't. I don't want to think about that right now.

I have no idea how I got here, to this place, to this point. Or at least, that's what I tell myself, when the strangeness of it hits me -- when I look around at where I am and what I have become, and can no longer reconcile this life with the one I used to have. It's like I stepped through some invisible door, and when I realized it and turned around, the door was gone again. Sealed up without a single seam, leaving me... out here. And even if I knew the way, I know I can't go back.

I've killed a man. In cold blood; or maybe not, maybe more like hot blood. Yes -- scorching, searing fire-hate, burning so I *had* to do it, or incinerate myself. I stood there and I watched him die, and it was like a dream. 

Of course, the truth is I know exactly how it happened. But I don't want to think about that right now, either.

I'd thought I would be nervous, and I probably should be. But I'm not. Maybe because for the first time since I've been here, the decision regarding what's about to happen is mine. *I've* made this choice. And the motivation wasn't fear or hatred or booze in my bloodstream -- just the fine hum and thrum of desire, the real, weighted kind. The kind that flows outward from the heart instead of just upward from the dick.

Ironically, my loving Chris has made it harder to accept Gen's death. I'd never realized what she'd given me. I know it now. Men can preen and prance around and show off all their feathers, but in the end it's up to the woman to say yes or no, and there's a sacrifice in that. To choose to surrender... to open yourself up and allow someone inside. To GIVE yourself. All by saying yes. 

If Gen were still alive, I'd love her better, knowing that. 

How many times have I said *no* to Chris? 

I hadn't known what I was waiting for. Not until -- until that shank-sharp moment of realization in the gym, when Vern laid me open one more time and I called out for Chris without even thinking. Somehow knowing that he was there, that he was there for *me*, despite what happened the last time we played in the gym. Through the filmy haze of pain I watched him twist and lunge without a second thought, burying his shank into Vern before turning to catch me as I fell. And his voice, rough with helpless fury: "Gotcha, Toby. Oh, fuck... I gotcha." And he did.

And in the infirmary, I only thought of Chris. Not the pain, not Vern, not even Said rotting in solitary -- just Chris. Me and Chris. And all the things we didn't say. 

So here we are at these railings and he's looking at me with an expression I've never seen on his face before. After all this time, I had expected him to be smug when I gave in... maybe that self-satisfied, "I know what you want" grin that so irritated Sister Peter Marie. 

He's not.

He isn't looking at me like someone who just paid a debt or won a bet, or even like a guy who just learned he's about to get laid.

He's looking at me like -- like I've just given him a gift. Something really precious, and he's wondering if he's worthy.

He's scared. And I'm not. I guess there's a first time for everything.


* * *

comments | home