Good Morning, Heartache (part 9)

14 04 2012

Good Morning, Heartache (part 9)

Dear H.,

Well, I actually hope you’ll see this, and if you do, please just listen, and think about it instead of dismissing it right off the bat.

I know you seem to have moved on, but there are so many things I wish I could tell you.  I don’t know if it will make a difference or not, but I’d still like you to know.

First, my biggest regret is that I wish we didn’t break up so fast. 

I wish we would have taken the time to sort things out, to figure out a solution.  I should’ve known that I would spend hours, days, months thinking and thinking.  I wouldn’t have let you give up on me so easily instead of accepting everything you said.  I should’ve known that I would overthink everything to try and fix things.  I wish I realized just how much I loved you, and how that should count for something.

The thought of going on a break did cross my mind at the time, but I didn’t see how that would’ve helped, since the issue was about not spending enough time together.  In retrospect, I wish we did go on a break, so we could both think and re-evaluate things, as well as come up with a solution, instead of chucking away everything so damn quickly.

I keep thinking about how, when we were walking along the beach after our conversation, we walked in silence, and I could’ve… I should’ve stopped walking and said, “No, this doesn’t feel right.  I’m not going to throw everything we’ve worked on away so quickly.  I know we can work things out.  Please, let’s try.”  But I didn’t. 

List of Sorrys and Future actions:

It would be easy to lay out all the things I am sorry about, but that would all be talk of the past.  In addition to all the things I acknowledge I did wrong and all the fuck-ups I’ve made, I’m also including ways I will do– or at the very least, try– to fix them, so I won’t have to keep fucking up.

My first and biggest apology is that I never apologized enough.  Sometimes, I think I apologize too much; other times, I am so stingy with my apologies.  When it came to you, I know I didn’t offer enough apologies.  I can have a lot of pride and a lot of the time, I don’t like to be wrong.  I am so, so sorry for a lot of things.  Mostly, I’m sorry I didn’t say sorry back.

I’m sorry I didn’t say I’m sorry back to you about the chapstick incident.  I remember you apologizing about it after, but I didn’t.

I’m sorry for making such a big deal out of our 6th month anniversary.  It’s just goddamn 6th months– a blip on the relationship timeline, nowhere near important as, say, one year.  I should have been more understanding that you were busy.  And for the record, when you said, “Forgive me for being busy!”, I forgive you.

I’m sorry for snapping at you that one time while we were walking after class.  It was noisy outside, and you asked me to repeat what I said a few times, and I eventually yelled it at you.  I never yell, and I the only reason I would is because I was comfortable enough (and not self-aware enough) with you to do it.  That was not nice of me, and I should have more patience than that, not to mention I shouldn’t snap at you.

I’m sorry I complained about the Amazing Race event during the sleepover at the Botanical Garden.  I probably sounded ungrateful, and even though I caught myself in the midst of ranting to you and stopped ranting after that, I actually didn’t apologize.  I will be sure to apologize if I do it again.

I’m sorry I didn’t try as hard to get you off after you got me off.  (I’m extra sorry about this one)  If I get off first, I will work extra hard to make you feel as good as you make me feel, which includes lots, TONS more rimming since I didn’t do it nearly enough, and I know you love it.

I’m sorry I stopped you from sucking my dick in the private changeroom at the community center because I was afraid we’d get caught.  In retrospect, that would’ve been really hot.  I wouldn’t stop you if it happened again.

I’m sorry if I didn’t make you happy.  If you ever had any problem or issues, you know you can talk to me.  I am always willing to do my best to make you happy.

I’m sorry I can’t be as optimistic as you, or as you want me to be.  I know it will take time, but I’m willing to at least try to think more positively.

I’m sorry I was insecure about our relationship.  I’m not used to good things staying with me (as you can see now).  I’m sorry if my insecurities got in the way.  I will try to enjoy having you around instead of wondering and questioning everything.

I’m sorry how obstinate I was when you were cautious about holding hands in public near Commercial Drive.  If you weren’t comfortable with it, I shouldn’t have argued with you and pushed you to do it,  and I promise I will listen to you next time you tell me you don’t feel safe about things like that.

I’m sorry I didn’t go with you and your friends to the beach at low tide.  I know it was something you were really excited about.  I’m sorry I missed out on that opportunity.  I would go in a heartbeat if I were invited.

I’m sorry I wasn’t more expressive about everything you were interested in.  I really am enthousiastic about the things you love, like animals.  I love nature and animals too.  I’m sorry if I didn’t acome across that way.  I think sea slugs are actually pretty cool looking.  I hope you realized that I’m not outwardly excited much, but that doesn’t mean I’m not happy or excited about things.  I forget that it can be difficult to tell if I’m not outwardly expressing myself, and I’ll do my best to show you how I’m feeling.

I’m sorry for about half the times I said “I love you”, because I didn’t mean it as much as the other ones.  Maybe I said it too much, but it goes back to how I will not hesitate to tell and show people I care about that I care about them.  To me, whenever I saw you, I was always, always taken aback by the stunning, beautiful, handsome, caring man before me.  My husky.  I’m reminded of a line from a movie: “Love me less, but love me a long time.”  If that’s what you want me to do, I will.

I’m sorry I didn’t want to go to any of the other haunted houses at Fright Nights.  I’ll man-up.

I’m sorry for the time I got annoyed when I flaked out on dinner with my family to be with you.  I’m sorry I didn’t realize it was one of the few times you actually wanted to be with me instead of the other way around.  I will be sure to cherish all the time we have together.

I’m sorry I refused to take salsa dancing lessons together.  I thought it was a great idea, and I honestly didn’t have any good reasons to object to it.  At least it would have got us more times together.  I’m sorry I didn’t realize this.  I’m still up for it if you are.

I’m sorry I was so opposed to Shakira.  She’s not that bad.  At least better than friggin’ Rhianna.

I’m sorry I realized all these things too late.  I suppose knowing all these things now is better than not at all or never, but it’s been so long that I feel as if it’s useless now.  Please tell me it isn’t.

Here are some things I’ve thought about as well:

I never tried to pry you from your family obligations because I knew they were important to you.  You pulled me out of having dinner with my family at the last minute because it was nice outside.  Sometimes, I thought you didn’t understand. 

I wish I was more adventurous with you.  Now I wish I had let you put that big beetle thing on my hand on Langara Day.  Or that time I stayed hard after we had another day of mind-blowing sex, and you hinted that you wanted to stay and do it again, but instead, I ushered you out.  

Because of you, I doubt my ability to be a good boyfriend.  I feel as if I have failed — failed our relationship and failed to be understanding as your boyfriend.  If you ever had a problem with anything at all, I would’ve hoped you could be comfortable to share it with me, despite how I might feel about it.  My goal as your boyfriend would be to make you happy, and to love you, and if you spared my feelings but not telling me something that was bothering you, I wouldn’t have been able to help.

You know I am insecure.  I am insecure with being in a relationship because I feel that things will end and that I will lose whomever I am with.  You said you didn’t feel insecure because our relationship was strong.  I let you know how much I loved you as much as I could because unlike my father and my family, I will not hesitate to say or show that I love someone.  I feel like I did that for you, but months after we were together, I didn’t feel it back.  I no longer felt special to you, and sometimes, it seemed you could go for days without seeing me or even speaking to me if you wanted, and you could be content with that.  You became complacent with me, did you not?  When we would meet, did you think, “Here comes my fantastic boyfriend.  God, I’m so in love with him.”  Or was it simply, “There’s this guy who happens to be my boyfriend.  Meh.”  I asked you to show me– show me that you love me, and I didn’t feel like you showed me much.  I wanted to be around you so much because I loved you so much.  There’s no simpler way to explain it.

Looking back, I think it’s clear that I loved you more than you loved me.

I know nothing about this guy you’re with, but I know he will not love you as I did.  Whether or not you think that’s a good or bad thing is up for you to decide.

I keep thinking of the times we had sex and I thought this was a bad thing, that I should be thinking of something more profound than the times we did it.  But I realized that these were the times — as cheesy as it sounds — we made love, and I felt such a strong emotional connection to you, to the point where I remember saying once, “I love you” when we had amazing, passionate love.

Everyone seems to think I’m better off, or that I can do better, and even you think so.  It seems I’m the only one who thinks otherwise.  Does it not mean anything to you that I’m willing to fight for you?  You really think hapy enedings are just in movies and shows?  What does it mean to you that I’m doing all this?  Do you think this is all just a big stunt?  I wouldn’t be doing this I didn’t think you were worth fighting for.  I’m showing you.

When I got your text that there were things you wanted to discuss a few days after we broke up, I thought you were going to ask me back, and I was so happy and relieved.  Oh, how I was wrong.

I’ve also thought about a lot of what you said, mostly what you said in December, but some of them are further back.  Here are some of my observations (the quotations are things you’ve said):

Apparently, you’ve been telling people who ask why we broke up, “I’m not ready to settle down.”

I never asked you to settle down with me.  If I gave you the impression that I wanted us to move in, get married and have kids — which is what I think settling down conssits of, then I’m sorry.  I simply wanted to be your boyfriend, here in the present.  Anything in the future, whether it be settling down or whatever, is uncertain.  That is all.

If your idea of settling down is being in a monogamous relationship– if what you really meant was that you wanted to go out and have fun with other people and not have to work at a real relationship– if that’s what you thought, then maybe you should’ve said that.  You may not believe when I say this, but if that’s what you want, I still think we could work things out.  I’m not as inflexible as you think.

“Sometimes there’s no easy way.”

Is this how you justify breaking my heart?  True, sometimes there are no easy ways to fix a difficult solution, but letting me go instead of working hard to fix our almost year-long relationship seems like the easy way out. 

It seems quite easy for you, the way you cast me off seemingly without hesitation, how you resisted me so easily when I kissed your cheek and brushed my nose against your like we used to do on what would have been our 10 months together.

“I’m no good for you.”

It’s another way of saying the good ole “it’s not you, it’s me.”  It’s not that you’re not good for you.  It’s that you don’t want to be the one for me.  If you genuinely don’t want to be with me, then I would think you would be man enough to say that.  Don’t tell me it’s for my own good, because it’s not.  I never asked you to break up with me, and I didn’t want to that day.  You said you weren’t expecting to break up either.

You are good for me.  Why do you think we were together for so long?  Because even though you disappointed me, you made me deliriously happy, and in the end, being happy with you is always better than disappointment.  That’s the plain and simple truth.

“How many people end up with the first person they’re with?  You gotta go through 2, 3, 4, 5 people.”

With that thinking, in your mind, our relationship wouldn’t have worked out anyway for the sole reason that I was the first person you were with?  How can you think like that?  You may think it’s realistic, and yes, many people don’t end up with their firsts, but once in a while, there are those who do.  Couldn’t we have been an exception?  You say this like probability is a valid reason for us not to be together. 

“You can choose to not be sad.  You can choose to be happy.”

When you said that, it made me feel as if you weren’t happy when we were together, that I made you sad or unhappy.  I wonder if you chose to be happy by being with somebody else.  I wonder if you were even a fraction of how sad I was.

“I didn’t know what I wanted when we were together, and I don’t know what I want now.”

Why didn’t you tell me?

You were my boyfriend, and I thought that’s what you wanted.  Was I just some test for you to figure out what you wanted?  I poured all my feelings into you because I knew I loved you. Was it just convenient for you that we broke up?

I guess you know enough that you don’t want me, right? 

When I asked you if you honestly had time for a relationship, you said, “I guess not.”

But quite obviously, you do have time if you’re seeing someone.  What you meant was that you couldn’t– didn’t want to– dedicate time to our relationship.

My friend said that she honestly felt you didn’t prioritize our relationship.  That’s not to say that being boyfriends should be the number one thing in your life, ahead of school or work or whatever, and I wouldn’t want either of us to do that.  Of course not.  But a relationship is something you have to continuously work on, and I don’t think you spent enough time working on our relationship.  Do think you did?  Or did you do it intentionally because you didn’t want to see me? Am I crazy to even think that?

“He’s not here.  He’s gone for ten months.”

Why did you tell me this right after you admitted you were seeing someone?  Did you think this would soften the blow somehow?  If anything, it only means you’d rather be with someone halfway across the world than with me, who is here, ready and willing to sort through this mess, to make things work again.

“I know you don’t want an open relationship or polyamory.”

That’s not fair.

You asked me that based on a hypothetical situation and said you didn’t mean anything by it.  I may have not had favourable opinions on either open relationships or polyamory but that doesn’t mean I would never consider it.  Like all things, we’d have to talk about the rules, what’s acceptable and what’s not.  We’d have to talk it over.  I would listen and I would think about it before making a decision.  Anyway, I thought the issue was the amount of time we had for our relationship, not about whether we wanted to include others.  I thought you were too busy with work and volunteering to spend time with me, and now you’re implying it an open relationship or a polyamorous relationship would’ve been an option?  I don’t understand.  Were you trying to find a way to say you wanted to date around and not be with me all the time?  Or did you think that if I was allowed to date others, that I wouldn’t have to see you as often?

“Kind of.”

For someone who is so concerned about not hurting others, you certainly hurt me an incredible amount just by saying “kind of”, when I asked you if you were seeing someone.  Those aren’t very kind words at all.

Here’s some info that may or may not interest you:

According to wikipedia, a panick attack is “a discrete period of intense fear or discomfort, in which four (or more) of the following symptoms developed abruptly and reached a peak within 10 minutes:

  • Palpitations, or accelerated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
  • Feeling of choking
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Nausea or abdominal distress
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
  • De-realization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
  • Fear of losing control or going insane
  • Sense of impending death
  • Paresthesias (numbness or tingling sensations)
  • Chills or hot flashes”

Also according to wikipedia, this is one of the causes of panic attacks:

“Short-term triggering causes — Significant personal loss, including an emotional attachment to a romantic partner, life transitions, significant life change”

Sound familiar?

When you said “kind of”, it felt as though something inside me burst, or that I was bleeding internally or something.  I told you I needed to sit down because I felt so physically weak I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to keep standing up.  I wonder what you were thinking as you sat beside me while I gasped for breath, trembled, and tried to fight away the feeling of throwing up.  My heart collapsed right in front of you and you didn’t even know.  You didn’t do anything.

You may have seen me at school, walking away from the bus stop where you were standing.  The few times I have seen you, I get anxiety– the same symptoms as a panic attack (increased heart rate, trembling, difficulty breathing, gasping, sweating, feeling like I’m choking)– and I have to walk away because I cannot bear seeing the boy I used to love anymore.  The same boy who broke my heart.

It’s been almost a year.  I’ve changed, and I’m sure you have too.  The wants I had before are all different, and I now view relationships differently.  You say you’ve grown a lot because of me, and I have as well.  The difference is that I am willing to take those lessons that I’ve learned to try and make them right again, because I know you’re worth it.  You seem to want to take your knowledge and apply them to someone else.

I don’t know how much I would need to see the person I’m with.  Things like that should be worked out together, not expected.  I know that now.

“Try to be more optimistic.”

You know I find that hard to do.  But if there’s one thing I can honestly believe in that is optimistic (and perhaps it is blind optimism), it’s this:

It is never too late.

“I wish I could have done things differently.”

Don’t you see? 

You still can, H.  You still can.

We still can.

Good Morning, Heartache (part 8)

13 04 2012

Good Morning, Heartache (part 8)

Good morning, heartache, thinks Jake, waking up to another day.  How cold you’ve kept me in my bed at night.

More like the movies and TV shows of post-dumped characters, Jake has been crying in his room for the past few days.  He listens to “The Only Exception” by Paramore at least three times a day, and a specific scene from the movie The Broken Hearts Club, where one of the characters tries to win back his ex by proclaiming everything he did wrong, and then wishing him a happy life with his new beau. Sometimes with the door closed and sometimes not, Jake sobs alone, drenching his shirt with tears, his whole body heaving up and down, gasping from sadness.

(Skip to 4:27 in the video)

All these months have been a waste.  I was a goddamn fool to ever think there was hope.  I thought there was hope, but there’s no hope at all.  He’s with someone else, someone who is better than me.  It’s never going to be me ever again, are just some of the negative thoughts going through his head.

Our It Gets Better video we made together.
The times we made love.
Every “I love you.”
The bath we had together.
The one night we slept together.
The roses we gave to each other.
The poems we wrote to each other.
The songs I sang to you.
Every kiss we shared.
Every laugh we shared.
Every second of every minute we did something together.

Don’t these things mean anything to you?  I know they do to me.

Thanks, or possibly no thanks, to the fact that it’s in between semesters, maybe he would have less to think about if he were busy with classes.  On the other hand, maybe he needs to cry it out.  Even going in to work at the theatre, Jake is so ovewhelmed that on a few occasions, he leaves the building on his break and heads over to the empty parking lot next door, listens to “The Only Exception”, and cries to himself in the cold rain.

And when he goes in to work at the park… well, most of the time, he’s making kettle corn like a robot, and doesn’t have to think about much.  When he goes in to work later the day he and Heath meet in December, Jake tells Mozilla what happened.  He expects her to be surprised, but she confesses, “Yeah, I just found out yesterday about this guy.  Basically, Heath’s been doing the same thing to him as he did to you– ignoring him.  Except this guy doesn’t care.  He’s in Japan for 10 months.  I don’t trust him.  Apparently he’s bisexual too, and he just gives me a bad vibe… When you’re away from someone for such a long time, I think the pressure to sleep around can be pretty up there, and I can see this guy doing that.  I think Heath is going to get hurt because of that.”

Heath won’t get hurt because he doesn’t care if this guy cheats on him, Jake thinks to himself.

Every night working in the park brings Jake down.  He can almost see where he and Heath told each other “I love you” last year.  How different a whole year has been.

His friends tell him to take his time and cry all he needs.  Again, Jake tries to move on since it’s clear Heath has, but this time, it’s even more difficult.  He tries dating, and does meet some interesting people including Kurt, who is younger and very patient.  Perhaps it’s the people he’s been seeing or that it’s too soon since the incident in December, but whatever the case, Jake doesn’t feel “it” with his dates like he did easily with Heath.  He wonders if he’s lost that part of him that believes in things like Hollywood endings.  Maybe it died in December.  Maybe now he’s been disillusioned, and true love doesn’t exist.

His entire being, after all, is to love (and be loved, of course).  Or at least that’s what he thought.  And now that he’s failed with Heath, he can’t help but feel like, again, he’s failed in loving.  He knows people won’t understand if he tried to explain it to them.  Of course he can live without love.  Of course he can be single.  He obviously isn’t imploding into nothingness.  It just doesn’t feel right to not have someone to love.

The city becomes a minefield.  No longer can Jake go without feeling a pang in his chest when seeing ads for the botanical garden on TV or online.  Working at the park is an obvious one.  Such things as hearing a song by Shakira or Lady Gaga, whom Heath adores, red sweaters, hearing and speaking Arabic– it all reminds him of Heath.  It almost feels as if every time something reminds him of Heath, what’s left of his heart dissolves further, decomposing.  It all makes Jake stop and feel sad.

Even going to school, knowing Heath is somewhere in those halls creates a sense of dread in him.  When the next semester in January starts up, Jake is so disinterested in college life that he makes half-hearted attempts to do pretty much everything.  Walking around the school makes him nervous because of the possibility that Heath could appear anywhere, and Jake figures that ignorance really is bliss in this case.  If he doesn’t see Heath, the better it is for Jake.

There are times when Jake sees Heath waiting at the bus stop.  They used to take the bus together.  When Jake sees Heath, his breathing immediately because short gasps of air, and he has an overwhelming sense of nausea and panic.  Jake has to walk away and find another way home, and he wonders if Heath notices him walking away at all.

Although Jake considers himself to be “seeing” Kurt, they haven’t talked about being official boyfriends.  Things with him are simpler, but at the same time, are also complicated.  With Heath, they went out a few times, and talked about being boyfriends.  Jake does like Kurt a lot, and he’s told him about Dorian and Heath because he feels it would only be fair that Kurt know how and why Jake is being affected by issues in the past.

When Jake tells Kurt about seeing Heath at school and how he felt as if he were experiencing the same symptoms as in December, Kurt tells him he had anxiety.  Although anxiety is a common problem in society, it’s not something Jake ever thought he would develop, at least not when it came to exes.  He supposes this must show how much he loved Heath.

There are times when Jake finds himself still thinking about Heath and this new guy of his, and surprises himself by clenching his fist until his knuckles are white, or shouting profanities to no one in paticular.  Jake’s mental health deteriorates; he gets sick several times in the following months, as opposed to normally once or twice a year.  At the very least, he is aware that his mental state isn’t that great, but doesn’t know what to do about it.  Kurt, who has been extremely understanding and patient with Jake this whole time, helps Jake sort things out.  But it’s still not enough, and Jake knows it.

One day, Kurt advises Jake to write down every thought, positive or negative, around Heath.  Write it all down on paper.  This, Kurt says, has been proven to help people feel better about things.

So he does.  After filling three pages of scrawl, Jake sighs.  He does feel slightly better, but now that the words are written on the page, staring back at him, it feels like a waste of ink.  These words hold power for change, and to let them lay on the page, flat, not living up to what they could achieve…

And with that, Jake types up his written thoughts and organizes them.

To be continued!

Good Morning, Heartache (part 7)

12 04 2012

Good Morning, Heartache (part 7)

Months pass.  Jake tries to get on with life.  His friends tell him it was better to end things with Heath before he became completely absorbed later down in his career and completely neglected Jake.  They tell him that Jake can do better, and that Heath was kind of immature anyway.  After all, as Jake reads, breakups, however painful they may be, happen to millions of people all the time.  What Jake is feeling has been felt before.

He starts by putting the gifts such as the stuffed animal Heath gave him in the back of his closet.  Harder to take down is the poem and a sketch of Jake Heath drew and gave to him back when they were first going out.  Jake had it framed and hung it on the wall of his bedroom.  He sadly takes it down from its place and also stores it on a shelf in his closet.

Now that his room is more or less Heath-less, Jake occupies his time with school and work.  He finds life relatively alright, and aside from thinking about Heath every now and then, he still feels fine. When he does think about Heath, it’s always about how they left things, how unresolved it feels.  He goes back to the things they both said, and all the things he should have done or said.  In his mind, Jake begins making a list of everything he did wrong, all the times he should have apologized but didn’t, and how things lead to the way they did.  What could I have done differently? he wonders over and over again.

When he goes back to school in September, he doesn’t see Heath around campus.  There are times when Jake is so busy with homework and projects that he has to go home right after to work on things, just like Heath used to do.  It’s times like these when Jake is glad he’s not in a relationship because he honestly wouldn’t be able to spend much time with someone.  It makes him wonder how much he time he really does need with someone, and whether or not he really does need to see someone as often as he thought he did.

It’s now December, Jake’s favourite month.  He still thinks about Heath, and wonders how he’s doing, and finds himself missing Heath a lot.

Jake is invited to work at the park with the Christmas lights again, and although he knows the park is where he and Heath first said, “I love you” to each other, he accepts, thinking it will keep him busy.

On his first day of work, he sees Eliza, whom he hasn’t seen since last year working there.  He and Eliza are very friendly and get along well, and she is the type of person in whom he can trust about telling certain things.  After re-introductions and catching up on life, Eliza says, “So, I heard about you and Heath.”

“Oh.  From who?”

“Mozilla.”  Eliza gestures behind her, where Mozilla stands nearby, making hot chocolate from chocolate syrup in a big tin (if people saw how it was made, would they still drink it?).

“Oh.  Okay.”  Jake looks down at the ground.  Any and every thought of Heath makes him sad.  “So I guess you know what happened then?”

Eliza shakes her head.  “No.  Only that things ended.  Mozilla doesn’t even know what happened.”

Jake is taken aback.  Mozilla is supposed to be one of Jake’s closer friends, who is also studying botany at school, and would likely see her somewhat often.  At the same time, how do you explain to your friends that it was your fault for not putting in much time in a relationship?

From her platform, Mozilla adds, “He’s just been saying he ‘doesn’t want to settle down yet.'”

“Oh.”  Jake doesn’t know what to say.  Settle down.  Like move to the suburbs, own a house, and drive kids to soccer practice?  That wasn’t what Jake wanted at all, and he didn’t think he made that impression on Heath.  What he wanted was just to be a loving boyfriend and to see where life would take them.  That wasn’t settling down by any means.

So Jake fills Mozilla and Eliza in on what happened.  After everything, Eliza is pensive.

“My ex-boyfriend and I would see each other on the weekends only, but it was an arrangement, and we were both okay with it.  Yeah, we have full-time jobs and lives outside of work, but we always made sure that we knew when we could see each other.”

And in those words, a spark ignites in Jake’s mind.  All this time, Jake had been upset that Heath wasn’t able to see him as much as Jake wanted.  In fact, Jake had been imposing his own schedule onto Heath, and since Heath was busy all the time, of course Jake was upset.  They never sat down together and worked out how much exactly they wanted to see each other.   They never agreed on how much time they could both dedicate.

It was all Jake’s fault he was ever upset.

The revelation surprises Jake.  You see, Jake wasn’t simply dwelling on the past– that would be unproductive.  He inadvertently was analyzing everything to figure out a solution to their problem, despite it being months after their breakup.  It’s taken half a year, but he finally thinks he’s found the solution to Heath and Jake’s relationship problem.  No wonder it never felt finished.  He was looking for the answer all along.

After work, Jake texts Heath and asks how he’s doing.  It’s been months since they’ve talked.

“I’m fine.  Exams are done.  What’s up?”

“I just wanted to talk to you about some stuff.”

“Okay.  About what?”

Jake hesitates.  If he says it’s about relationship stuff, then Heath might think he’s still dwelling on things (which he clearly is), which might look bad.  He figures it’s better to be honest than to ambush Heath later, so he replies, “Well, it’s about a lot of things.  If you had to categorize it, I guess it would be relationship stuff, but it’s not really.”

He waits nervously for Heath’s answer.  When he gets it, he’s relieved.  “Okay.  Want to meet tomorrow at noon?”

Tomorrow it is.  Tomorrow things will work out.


“I don’t know where to start.”

It’s the next day.  The noise of the traffic whizzing by makes things harder to hear, and Jake finds himself having to say things a bit louder, which is awkward when he’s about to tell Heath what’s on his mind. The two are walking on sidewalk on the edge of downtown.  Heath seems fine, as usual, and Jake is nervous, as usual.

“It’s okay.  Just start wherever you want.”

It’s been so long since they’ve talked that Jake has almost forgotten how good a listener Heath is.

“Well… my co-worker Eliza told me that she and her ex-boyfriend made plans specifically on the weekends to see each other, and that worked for them just fine.  I realized that I never did that with you– made up a schedule of when we could see each other, and instead, I imposed my schedule onto you, and that’s not fair.  I now see that a relationship is based on two people, not just one, and it wasn’t right of me to expect you to see me as much as I wanted to see you. And I’m sorry.”

Jake pauses, to see if Heath wants to say anything, but he doesn’t.  Jake goes on.

“Just for the record, I’m not asking you back.  If anyone should be asking anyone back, it’s you, and I’m still leaving it up to you.  I just wanted to tell you what I’ve figured out.”


They turn down the street, now walking into downtown territory.

“I also wanted to tell you that you said you didn’t want to hurt me anymore by not seeing me as much as I wanted to.  But that wasn’t what hurt the most.  What hurt the most was that you knew, from the very beginning of our relationship, what happened with me and my ex.  I told you I didn’t want that to happen with you because I care about you so much, but you still let it happen.  That’s what hurt the most.”

Heath is silent for a few seconds.  “That makes sense.  I wish… I wish I could have done things differently.”

Is this an admission of guilt?  “What kind of things?”

Heath is again silent.  Jake wonders if Heath really meant what he said.  “I don’t know,” he musters.

Jake doesn’t what to feel.  Is there any truth to what Heath just said?  Who knows.  Heath, in all likelihood, hasn’t been thinking about the way things were nearly as much as Jake, so it would make sense that he wouldn’t know.

“Let’s walk up this way.”  Jake leads them down the city’s gay street, a street where the two of them walked many times together before.

“I also never asked you an important question that I failed to realize until it was too late with my ex.  What is it you want, Heath?”

Jake, not looking at Heath at all, hears Heath sigh beside him.  “I don’t know.  I don’t know what I wanted when I was with you, and I don’t know what I want now.”

Jake pauses, to collect his thoughts before asking the next question.  “So, since you don’t know what you want, I guess that means you’re not seeing anyone?”

Heath looks over and gives Jake a strange look.  “Just because I don’t know what I want, why should that mean I’m not seeing anybody?”

Now, he feels something.  It’s as if there’s a tsunami, building power and speed from the ocean, rushing towards the shore.  Jake feels something like that, something loaded in his question.  He can feel the tsunami closing in on him, and yet he needs to know.

“Okay, so are you seeing someone?”

There is a brief silence before Heath says it.  Jake will remember these seconds, the calm before the storm.

“Kind of.”

How does one describe heartache?  How does one describe devastation?  We’ve all seen it in the movies: crying, sobbing.  But is that really enough?  Words are so feeble in showing just how painful it can be, but I will do my best.

After hearing those two simple words, Jake feels something in his chest burst, like a damn bursting.  Physiologically, it feels like a sudden explosion of hormones or blood or something else right in his heart.  Mentally, it’s as if a nuclear bomb just dropped.  Metaphorically, his heart just broke.

The tsunami hits the shore, flooding the village, sparing nothing in its path.  It drags people and debris back into the sea where they drown.

Jake stares on ahead, unable to look at Heath.  His breathing intensifies, and a wave of nausea hits him.  Still walking, Jake’s legs suddenly get weak, and he is afraid he’ll keel over and vomit.

“I need to sit down,” he chokes out coarsely.

They walk over to a nearby bench, and Jake slumps down in it.  He whole body shakes, and he keeps gasping short puffs of air.  Thinking it’s because he can’t breathe properly, Jake takes off his scarf, and though that helps a little, he still can’t breathe properly.  He buries his face in his hands, then runs his hands through his hair, desperately trying to do something with his hands.  This goes on for several minutes, Jake gasping and gasping for air, as his heart pounds in his chest.

It’s not until Jake becomes aware that he’s breathing erratically that he calms himself down.  He starts taking normal breaths of air slowly, and his heart rate returns to normal.

All this time, Heath sits silently next to him, presumably staring at the ground.

Once he feels more or less normal again, Jake asks, against the better part of himself, “How long have you been together?”

Heath thinks.  When he’s taking a longer than usual time to answer, he says, “Hold on.  My timeline is a little off at the moment.”

Okay, well, it’s obviously been a while, thinks Jake.

“Since the end of August?”

Jake furrows his brow.  “So, a month and a half after we broke up.”


It takes everything for Jake not to start gasping for air again.  “But he’s not here.  He’s gone for 10 months,” Heath quickly adds, as if trying to console him.

“I don’t understand, Heath.  If you don’t know what you want, why are you with someone?”

“Sometimes, to figure things out, you just have to try things,” is Heath’s reason.  “Please don’t be sad.  You can choose to be happy.  I know you’re dwelling on things, but… I’m no good for you.  You’ll find someone; you’re only, what, 22?  Think of all the years ahead of you, all the people you’re going to meet.  People never end up with the first person they get into a relationship with.  You gotta go through two, three, four, five or more until you find the right person.  Just… try to be more optimistic.  I know it’s hard for you to do, and it might seem like it’s easy for me to say all these because I’m with someone, but I really mean it.”

It’s not Jake’s turn to stare at the ground.  Although he is hearing everything Heath says, he wants to leave the situation.  Nothing ever seems to work out for Jake.  This whole idea was stupid in the first place.

“I actually thought that you weren’t the kind of person who would ask me back, and now I see that I was right.”  Jake stares sadly at the dirty ground.  “I feel like such a fool.  I was a fool to ever believe you’d get back together with me, and I was an utter fool to spend the last six months after we broke up trying to figure out a way for us to get back together.  I’m such a damn fool, a dumbass.”

“You’re not,” says Heath, but even that sounds forced and untrue.

The two sit in silence for a little while.  “There was also something else I wanted to tell you today.  Do you know when I realized I loved you?”

Heath looks at him and shakes his head.

“Well, I’ll tell you, whether you want to hear it or not.  Do you remember when I asked you when we were together, how and when you realized you loved me?  You said you didn’t know, that there was no one incident that made you realize it.  I wanted you to ask me the same question, but you never did, and I never told you.  Well, here it is.  I was watching Glee — yes, I realized it by watching Glee — and there’s this one character, Rachel, who has a major crush on the high school quarterback, but he doesn’t even know she exists.  Classic love story.  Then, after they get in glee club together, he notices her, and then, after many, many obstacles, they end up together.  At the end of one of the episodes, she sings a cover of Paramore’s song “The Only Exception” to him in front of the class.  Have you heard that song?”

Heath shakes his head.

“I hadn’t heard it before I heard it that night on Glee.  Basically the song is about how the narrator never wanted love, that she distanced herself from people, and would “never sing of love if it does not exist”, but the chorus goes “you are the only exception.”  And in that moment, after hearing those words, “you are the only exception”, a link in my brain, unconsciously, connected it to you.  Immediately, I thought of you, that you were the only exception for me.  And that’s when I knew I loved you.”

Jake waits for a response, but doesn’t expect any.


That’s as good as a response as he’ll get from Heath it seems.

“Things like Glee and movies like Twilight just perpetuate this idea of romance and love.  Reality is not like that.”

Jake looks over at Heath.  “No.  I suppose you’re right.  Winning people back is for the movies.”

Jake puts his scarf back on.  “I need to go to head home and get ready for work.”

“Are you going to be okay?”

What difference does it make? Jake wonders.  “Yeah.  Can I… have a hug?”

Heath offers a small smile.  “Of course.”

Jake hugs Heath tightly, not wanting to ever let go.  After they part, Jake stands up.



Jake paces down the sidewalk quickly, speed-walking.  All this time, the most insecure part of his mind kept telling him Heath was with someone new.

“I was right…” Jake mumbles to himself, not caring that people are looking his way.  The tears he was holding back now pour down his face.

“I was right… I was right…”

Good Morning, Heartache (Part 6)

11 04 2012

Good Morning, Heartache (Part 6)

So, as I was saying, things didn’t seem over.

As Jake is hanging out with a friend a couple days later, he gets a text from Heath.

“You know, there are still some things I want to talk about.”

Jake looks at his phone in surprise.  Maybe he was wrong about Heath not being the winning-back type.  Besides, what could Heath want to talk about?  Wasn’t everything already all talked out?

The two meet at school the next day.  They walk to a bench and have a seat.  Jake is nervous and excited at the same time, but Heath seems unreadable again.  Jake wonders how Heath has been taking the breakup.

“You know I don’t want to hurt you anymore,” Heath starts.

“Don’t you see you’re hurting me by doing this?”

Heath looks at Jake.  “I know.  Sometimes, there’s just no easy way.

“I just don’t know what else I can do.  And I know that you don’t want an open relationship or are into polyamory.”

A few months ago, Heath randomly asked Jake one day, “This is completely hypothetical and I’m not insinuating anything, so please don’t get any ideas, okay?  Question: how do you feel about open relationships?”

The answer was fast and simple for Jake.  “I think it can work for some people, and that’s great for them.  But for me, I wouldn’t want to be in one because I wouldn’t like the idea of the guy I’m seeing or who I love to be going around and having sex with anyone other than me.  And what if it goes further?  What if these two start dating and exclude the other person?  It can’t be balanced.  Being in an open relationship would make me feel insecure, like I’m doing something wrong or that I’m not good enough.”

“Okay, okay, good points.  I have another question, and again, it’s completely hypothetical.  What do you think about polyamory?”

Again, Jake’s response is quick as an instinct.  “That’s even worse!  If there’s love involved– how is anyone supposed to love two or more people equally?  Someone’s bound to get screwed over.”

At the time, Jake never asked Heath why he was asking these questions, but in hindsight, it certainly suggested something.  Since Jake’s stance on open relationships and polyamorous relationships hadn’t changed much, if at all, he doesn’t say anything.

Usually, Heath was the chatty one, always going on about something.  But now, there is a lot of silence between them.  Although Jake is fond of silence, coming from Heath, it doesn’t seem like a good sign.  It feels as though Heath is giving up.

“I just want… an excuse–” Jake tries.


“A reason.  I just want a reason for us to be together.  I feel like there’s a solution to this, but I… I don’t know what it is.”

“Sometimes, there just isn’t one, ” Heath states with neutrality.

They talk for a bit more while watching and listening to old people play golf on the golf course in front of them.

“So I guess that’s it?”

“I think so.”

Again, Jake feels nothing.  The words are sad, and he feels a bit sad, but no tears.  Strange.  They always cry in the movies at breakups.

“Well, I’m going to go home now,” Jake says, wanting to leave the situation.

“Alright.  I’m going to be here a while, so you go ahead.”

Jake starts to get up.  “Wait.”  He feels a tug on his sleeve, and sits back down.

Heath looks at Jake, deep in his eyes, and kisses him one last time.  Jake kisses him back passionately, only to be left wanting more as Heath pulls away.



The 22nd of July is coming up, which would’ve been their 10 months together.  They had broken up days before, and with the day coming up soon, Jake is sad that Heath won’t be there.  After much deliberation, he texts Heath and asks if he’d like to hang out on the 22nd, to which Heath agrees.

They meet nearby Jake’s place and go for ice cream, which Jake knows Heath loves.  Heath doesn’t have any ice cream, though, and Jake eats his uncomfortably.  After, they can’t decide what to do or where to go, so Jake suggests going back to his place and watching a movie.  Heath politely agrees again, and they walk back.

While it appears that Jake has ulterior motives to lure Heath back to his place, he doesn’t.  Remember that to him, he doesn’t feel like they’re split up, even though he knows they have.  Back in Jake’s room, Jake reminds Heath of the no-outside-pants-on-bed rule.

“So you can either take off your pants or use my sweatpants.”

“I’ll take the sweatpants.”

Jake is surprised.  Heath seems tough as nails.  It’s only been about a week.  Could it really be possible that Heath is over Jake so quickly?  Could almost 10 months of love be whisked out the window?

The movie Jake picks is a gay-themed movie where after a loving gay couple split up, one tries to win the other back.  Other than the fact that the movie is fantastic in its own right, Jake wants Heath to watch for this scene.

Unfortunately, out of the corner of his eye, Jake notices Heath falling asleep, tired.  Jake stops the movie.

“Tired?  Do you want to sleep a bit?”

Heath nods sleepily.  Jake shuffles out of his bed, so Heath can lie down.  He feels awkward staying in the room with Heath, so he decides to take his computer out into the kitchen to work on some homework while Heath sleeps.  Jake checks in on Heath a few times, and fights off the urge to crawl in next to him and wrap his arms around the boy he probably still loves.

Eventually, Heath lies awake when Jake comes in.

“You feeling better?” Jake asks.

Heath nods.  Jake sits next to him, and succumbs.  He touches Heath’s arm, and looks at Heath for a response.  There is none.  Jake doesn’t go further, though.

Heath gets up and switches Jake’s sweatpants for his jeans.  Jake turns away, giving Heath privacy, but also aware that things have changed.  He walks over to Heath, up close– so close, their noses touch, just like they used to do.  Jake hesitates to kiss Heath, and instead, kisses him on the cheek.

Nothing.  There is absolutely no response from Heath.  He couldn’t have been a better statue.

How can you resist me so much?  Do you really not like me anymore?Jake thinks over and over again.

Distraught, Jake sits down on the bed, and puts his hands in his face.  He senses Heath staring, but not doing anything still.

“Heath, I… I still want you.”  And then the tears come.  Well, Jake’s eyes get teary.  He looks up at Heath with blurry vision, and sees Heath looking back.  Heath walks over and, still standing up, hugs Jake, bringing Jake’s head to Heath’s stomach.  Jake holds Heath there for a longer-than-usual hug, listening to Heath’s heartbeat through his red zip-up hoodie.

At last, Jake lets him go, and wipes his eyes.  Heath goes over to his bag and opens it.  He takes out something blue, and hands it to Jake.

Remember when Jake wanted Heath to show him he cared?  Well, Jake lent a book to him called Boy Meets Boy, which was one of Jake’s favourite books of all-time.  In it, the main character shows the boy he likes that, well, he likes him, by way of things such as making him bouquets of paper flowers, having friends give him rolls of film, serenading him with a friend’s song, etc.  He hoped Heath would learn a lesson about showing others how you feel.

Now here’s Heath, handing it back to him.  Jake looks at it sadly, and takes it from him, wondering if Heath read it at all.

“I should go,” Heath says.

Jake shrugs.  What he wants to say is, “You don’t have to” but he feels Heath’s neutrality is clear.

When Heath leaves through the front door, there is no goodbye kiss like they used to do.  There is no “I’ll talk to you tonight” like they used to say.  It’s silence, and the silence begins the heartache.

Because silence consists of things unsaid.  Unknowns.

Silence, like a cancer, grows.

To be continued!

Good Morning, Heartache (Part 5)

10 04 2012

Good Morning, Heartache (Part 5)

It’s the start of a new year.  New year also means new semester, and both Heath and Jake have full course loads at school.  Like a continuation of last year, Heath and Jake only see each other a couple times a week.  Despite this, almost every day after class, they hang out with friends in the school cafeteria, which is always fun, but there are times when Jake wants to be alone with Heath.  His insecurities tell Jake that Heath would rather spend time with him when there are other people around, diluting, in a way, their time together.  It’s difficult for Jake not to think this, and he has to tell himself that things are going okay between them.

One time, Jake mentions about fate, and Heath says, “I don’t believe in it.”

“I thought you did.  What about how we met?”

“I… I dunno about all that.”

Heath tells Jake that he’ll be gone for a week on a trip to look at some cool plants with other students.  Jake is thrilled for Heath’s opportunity, naturally, but he can’t help but feel that this is only causing a greater rift between the two of them.  So Jake asks, “Then the next time I’ll see you is next Monday?”

“Well, I’ll be back on Friday.  And there’s the weekend.”

“Yeah, but you’ll be busy with family and studying, right?”

Heath laughs.  “Yeah, I will.”

“Exactly.  So I’ll be seeing you sometime next week.”

He hopes Heath will get the hint but he doesn’t seem to.  No matter.  Just gotta keep a brave face and be confident that things are alright.

Jake decides to let Heath get in touch with him when he gets back.  Fighting every urge in his body to send a text or to call him after Friday, Jake manages to hold off.  It’s not until Sunday when Heath finally texts Jake, and even then, he seems completely unbothered that it’s been almost a week since they’ve last talked, and that he’s been home for three days and hasn’t gotten in touch with his boyfriend.

It makes Jake sad, to say the least, that he’s realized his boyfriend doesn’t need to see or talk to him very much.  What happened to the boy who said he “can”t get enough of him, to that I will testify”?  He didn’t feel important or wanted in Heath’s life.  He knew he had to talk to Heath about this.

For the past few months, Jake always found himself to be the one saying, “I love you” first before hanging up on the phone, and always the first to both telling Heath “Happy Anniversary” as well as coming up with when to see each other next.  On what would have been their 6th month anniversary, nearing the end of the semester, Jake decides again to let Heath wish him a happy anniversary.  He’s sure Heath won’t forget.

By 11pm, he hasn’t heard from Heath all day.  Jake figures Heath is super busy from upcoming school projects, exams and whatnot, but also reasons that it’s not too much to send a text to someone.  Surely, Heath must have 30 seconds or 5 minutes to send a text or to call him, right?  Just before midnight, Jake, extremely bummed out, sends Heath the requisite happy anniversary text, and goes to bed.

Jake and Heath meet at school a few days later, after classes.  Heath says he needs to go home and do work and doesn’t have time to hang out with friends in the cafeteria, but Jake can walk and talk with him at the bus stop.  At the bus stop, Jake tells him about how sad and disappointed he was about Heath’s lack of contact after his trip, and his forgetting to do or say anything about their six months together.  He hopes Heath will understand where he’s coming from.

For the first time, Jake witnesses Heath upset– upset in the slightly angry sense.  Heath, who is probably stressed out of his mind, snaps, “Well, forgive me if I was busy studying for a midterm the next day, and was running of 5 hours of sleep!”  Jake stays silent as Heath goes on.

“I know you probably think I’m making up excuses, but I’m not.  That’s just the way it happened.  Forgive me!”

Jake finally speaks up.  “When we started going out, we would celebrate our anniversaries in person, and I thought that was so great and wonderful.  Then, we got busy, and we would at least call each other on the phone or text, and I thought, ‘This isn’t as great, but I can live with it.  Just hearing from him is more than enough.  I guess this is what I should expect.’  And now…

“I know you’re busy.  I just didn’t think sending a text would require too much of  your time.  Should I be expecting this from now on, Heath?  Is this the standard I should get used to?”  Jake looks to Heath imploringly.  Heath looks away, then down at the ground.

“No, you shouldn’t get used to that.  You know I care about you.”

“Then show me!” Jake says, exasperated.  “It’s so easy to just say that– anyone can say that.  But if you do care about me, then show me.”

It’s now Heath’s turn to be silent.  “Okay.  I will show you.  I’ll come by your place this week, okay?”

Jake nods.  “Okay.”

The bus pulls up to the bus stop, and students begin climbing aboard.

“I love you.”  That’s Heath, one of the first times Jake’s heard Heath say those words first.

Of course Jake says the same.  “I love you, too.  Bye.”  They kiss before Heath gets on the bus.

He wonders.  He wonders if he was too harsh on Heath or not, if he was overreacting, but Jake, who is so in love with this boy, simply tells himself that the next couple weeks will be difficult because of the end of term.  After this semester, it’ll be summer, and things will be so much better.  It has to get better.

After the semester is finally over and summer is out, Jake’s wishes don’t exactly come true.  Although Jake is taking a few courses at school for the summer, Heath is not.  However, Heath spends more time volunteering at the botanical garden and looking for a summer job that although they get to see each other more than, say, those two weeks before end of semester, it’s still not very much.  Jake is fine with it though.  Any time he gets with Heath is great, he tells himself (not that he needs to because he knows it’s already true).

When Heath tells Jake that he’s landed a job, Jake tells him the obligatory “That’s great!  Congrats!” but  is secretly sad, only because he knows it will mean even less time with Heath.  Jake also gets a job at a local movie theatre, but still always seems to be the one who is trying to schedule time together for the two of them.  Moreover, Jake is scared that he’s no longer interesting to Heath, that Heath now thinks Jake is boring and no fun to be around, which might explain why he doesn’t make time to see Jake.  The web of insecurities continue to weave around Jake’s mind.

He decides confront Heath about all this.

On a bright, summer day, a few days before their 10 month anniversary, Jake and Heath meet at the park downtown.  They go on a long, long walk throughout the park as Jake tells him everything he’s been feeling for the past while.  Heath listens to everything without interrupting, and his expression is difficult to read.  Then, Jake has a pivotal question for Heath.

“Do you honestly think you have time for a relationship right now?”

After some silence, Heath replies, “I guess not.”

The two sit on a log and talk some more.  “When we started going out, I promised you that I wouldn’t hurt you, and I can tell this has hurt you.  I don’t want to hurt you anymore,” reasons Heath.  He puts his head on Jake’s shoulder as they sit in silence.

Unable to think, Jake says nothing.  He doesn’t feel anything, which he is aware of, and is surprised at it.  There are no tears, although he does feel sad.  Perhaps all the time away from each other has made things easier to end.  Logically, if one person in a relationship doesn’t have time for one, it should follow that that person shouldn’t be in a relationship.  Logically, things should end.

But it doesn’t feel like an ending.

On their long way along the beach at the park, Jake locks his arm in Heath’s, the way he used to do.  Heath lets him do it, and Jake can’t help but obviously still love Heath.  It doesn’t feel as if anything has changed.  The truth does not equal the reality.  It doesn’t feel over.

The next few days, Jake suprises himself by being able to not contact Heath.  He actually feels alright.  He thought it would be harder to do, but maybe he’s stronger than he thinks.  There are a few times when Jake catches himself thinking about his “husky”, but then reminds himself that he no longer has one.  At the same time, he can’t help but think Heath isn’t the type of person who would ask him back.  Unlike Jake, the romancer of romance, Heath was never too big on romance.  Sure, he used to write a poem or two to Jake and one time he gave Jake a rose, but it was never consistent, and certainly in the last few months, the only romantic thing Heath did was have romantic sex.  Still, Jake supposes there’s always a chance.

To be continued!

Good Morning, Heartache (Part 4)

9 04 2012

Good Morning, Heartache (part 4)

Things go well for a few months.  The couple spend good time together.  He won’t realize it until much later, but Jake falls for Heath more and more every day, and misses his terribly on days when they aren’t able to see each other. Then one day, things change.

It’s during a bus ride home.  Since Jake and Heath both live east, they take the same bus home to family.  On the trip home one day, Heath tells Jake there’s something important he needs to tell him.

“I don’t want you to freak out or make a big deal out of this, alright?  It doesn’t mean anything.”

Jake tries his best to remain calm.  Had Heath cheated on him?  Does he want to break up?

“Okay.  What is it?”

Heath takes a breath.  “I have this thing where I kind of get… tired?  Sick?  Those are both bad words to use, but I can only hang out with people for a certain amount of time before I want to not be around them.  It’s like filling my quota of time with them; anything more is too much, and I need some time away, and then I’m good after a while.

“I’m… I’m starting to feel that way about you.  Please, don’t panic.  It happens to everyone I know.  There are only two people I’ve ever met who are immune to this, one of them being Chihiro, and please don’t think that I don’t like being around you.  I just don’t want to not like you, you know?”

Well, what could Jake say after that?  “Alright,” he manages.  “If you feel like that, then I guess I’m okay with that.  I mean, it makes me sad, but I can’t make you hang out with me.  I understand.”

Heath takes Jake’s hand and gives it a reassuring squeeze.  “Like I said, I’m just starting to feel it, and I don’t know if it’s actually there or not, or if it will develop.  I just thought you should know.”

“Okay.  Thanks for letting me know.”

From then on, their weekly hang outs decrease.  They still see each other at school, but their actual time together goes down.  Jake, who was used to seeing Dorian once or twice a week, now feels as if he is with Dorian (or rather, Dorian’s schedule) again.  His insecurity floats around in his head, telling him he’s not worth Heath’s time, and that Heath just doesn’t want to be around Jake much.  Jake figures the best thing to do is to be honest, as he considers their relationship to be an honest one.

Jake invites Heath over to his house one night.  He tells Heath he has something he wants to talk to him about.  The two sit down on the leather couch in Jake’s living room.  Heath looks concerned.

“I don’t know where to start, so I’ll just tell you about Dorian.”

Jake explains his complicated relationship with Dorian, and how dating him made him feel distanced and not like a boyfriend, and how he really didn’t want that to happen with Heath, whom he considered to be so wonderful.

Heath nods every now and then.  When Jake is finished, Heath says, “I had no idea.  I’m sorry I did that to you.”  And he leans in to hug Jake tightly and give him a kiss.

“I’ll make it right.”

Jake believes him.  Or he really hopes Heath means it.

Things do sort of get better, if not, they at least they don’t get worse.  Heath invites Jake to have a sleepover at the botanical garden where he volunteers, which is nice.  Jake and Heath still do see each other, but like his relationship with Dorian, Heath is super into his schoolwork and many days, he goes straight home to work on things or to be with family.  Jake, an understanding and patient guy, figures that it’s good for Heath to concentrate on his schoolwork.  After all, they’d get lots of time together after the semester was over.

It’s December, and school is out for the winter.  It’s also the month of Jake’s birthday.  For the past few Decembers, Jake has been working at a concession stand in a large park in the city.  He, along with several others, prepares and sells hot dogs, hot chocolate, cider, and other goodies to guests who come to see the park all dressed up in lights.  It makes for a nice (but chilly) date, since the light show is only open at night.

Remember Heath’s friend Mozilla?  Well, she happens to work inside the park’s restaurant, and for the winter light show, she also works outside with Jake.  Mozilla and Jake were never super close, but he confides in her about something he’s planning.

“Heath and I are going to come by the park this weekend, just after my birthday.”

“That’s so nice!  You guys are gonna really like it.”

“I think so too.”

After walking around for about an hour in the multi-colored, light-filled park and weaving through loud groups of families (and hence, loud children), Jake suggests they find a quiet place to sit down.  The two find a sign that leads them up a small hill and to a bench.  The bench overlooks most of the park, and is out of the way enough to actually be quiet.

Heath and Jake sit down on the frozen bench.

“Thanks for bringing me here,” Heath says.

“You’re welcome.  I really wanted to come here with you.  Heath, there’s something I want to tell you.”

Heath is silent as Jake struggles to cough up the words.  They are stuck in his throat.

“I… um, I…”

Jake looks down at all the people milling around the park, at the randomness of life, and how, for two people to be together on a winter night like him and Heath, there must be some sort of organization, something more than mere luck or chance.  There had to be a reason Jake is with someone as good as Heath.  Good things just don’t happen to Jake like this.  And in that moment, Jake decides that he will be thankful every day for having such a person in his life by telling him how much he means.

“I love you, Heath.”

Heath takes Jake’s hand.  “Aww.  I love you, too.”

Heath then starts talking about something funny that happened to Mozilla in the restaurant last week, when he suddenly stops.  There are tears in Jake’s eyes.

“Are you crying?”

“Yes… but they’re happy tears!  It’s okay.  I’m just… I’m just really happy that you said it back to me because I was honestly not sure.  I’m never sure about this like this.  And I’ve never said it to anyone out loud before.  Now that I hear you say it back… I know I can be sure, because you love me too.”

Heath and Jake kiss among the thousands of lights in the park.

To be continued!

Good Morning, Heartache (Part 3)

8 04 2012

Good Morning, Heartache (Part 3)

Their second date goes a little differently.

A few days after their milkshake date, Jake asks if Heath would like to hang out again.  Heath says yes, which excites Jake.  Jake invites Heath over to his place after class later that week to watch a movie, and Heath agrees.  Let phase 2 of seduction begin.

It’s a rainy day, perfect for a nice, quiet stay-in.  Heath and Jake arrive at Jake’s house.  Fortunately, Jake’s mother is out at work and won’t be home for several hours, so the boys have the place to themselves.  After grabbing some snacks and relieving themselves, the two head in Jake’s small room, where Jake prepares to set up a movie on his laptop.  Using his two pillows as backrests, Jake turns his bed into a mini-theatre, turning the laptop on his desk 90 degrees so that it faces the bed.

“We’re gonna be sitting on the bed, by the way, so if you want to get comfy while I get the movie up and running, go ahead.”

“Sure thing.”

Heath begins to take off his jacket and sweater.  It’s Jake’s chance.

“Oh, I almost forgot to mention, I have a rule about sitting on my bed: no outside pants.  If you want, you can either use my sweatpants, or else, like me, you’ll have to sit in your underwear.”

Jake does his best to sound normal and uncreepy, but Heath still gives him a weird look. After a few seconds of deliberating, Heath agrees.

“Fine.”  And with that, Heath shucks off his skinny black jeans to reveal a pair of briefs and hairy legs.

Jake tries not to notice, but smiles.  He also takes off his jeans and shows Heath his boxers.  The two get on settled on the bed, their bare legs touching each other.

They watch a fairly forgettable gay-themed movie.  All the while, Jake and Heath’s hands, under the covers, find their way to the other’s legs, but aside from some brushing, it’s all PG-13.  After the movie, Jake tells Heath, “Hey, you were in my dream last night.”

“Oh really?  What happened?”

“Well, I think it’s better if I show you.  Follow me.”

Jake takes Heath by the hand and leads him to the kitchen, beside the fridge.

“Okay.  Now put your arms around me.”

Heath is surprisingly not confused or alarmed, and put his hands on Jake’s shoulders, which makes Jake laugh.

“What?” demands Heath.

“In my dream, we were standing next to a fridge.  I asked you to put your arms around me, and you ended up somehow putting your hands around my neck, like your were strangling me.  I just wanted to see how you’d do it.”

“Oh, haha.”

“And by the way, your arms aren’t around me.  Here.”  Jake re-positions Heath’s arms so that they go around his neck.  In turn, Jake puts his arms around Heath’s waist, bringing the two even closer– kissing distance.

They stand there, in their underwear, nonetheless, for several seconds in silence.   Finally, Heath breaks it.

“Are you gonna kiss me or not?”

Jake laughs again, and then leans in, but hugs Heath closely.  “I’m afraid to kiss you because of what it will mean.  I like you a lot, but I don’t want to get in anything with someone who isn’t out to his family, you know?”


When they pull back, Heath stares right into Jake’s eyes.  “I’m planning on coming out to them this weekend.”

“It’s not because of me, is it?  I don’t want you to feel pressured because of me.  I want you to do it on your own terms, when it feels right to you.”

“It feels right to me.”

“Okay.  I’m glad.”

“Now will you kiss me?”

Jake grins and kisses the handsome boy.  Their tongues explore each other’s mouths, and it feels so natural.  When they part, Jake inquires, “That was your first kiss, right?”

Heath nods and asks, “How is my kissing?  Is it good?  Am I doing it wrong?”

“No, no!  You’re actually really good.”  They kiss again, pulling each other closer.

When they finally stop to breathe, Jake and Heath touch and rub their noses together.  It’s a gesture the two will do a lot from now on.

“There’s one more thing I wanted to do with you today.”

“Another one?”

Jake leads Heath back into the living room.  “Wait here.”  While Heath stands in the middle of the room, surveying it and wondering what the hell this guy could possibly be up to, Jake returns from his bedroom with a stereo.  He plugs it into a nearby outlet and presses play.

Chet Baker’s sweet trumpet fills the room as Jake smiles to Heath and extends his hand, asking for a dance.  Heath takes Jake’s outstretched hand, and the two slow-dance in a circle, noses pressed together, underwear and obvious hard-ons pressed together.  At one point, Jake changes position and puts his arms around Heath from behind.  With his eyes closed in what could only be happiness, Heath reaches up and touches Jake’s head, cradled in the nook of Heath’s shoulder.  Even Jake’s cat joins in, meowing at them nearby, either jealous from not getting attention or cheering them on.

They dance for the entire length of the CD, swaying slowly and holding each other closely.

And so it began.  The relationship between Heath and Jake.

For the first month, it’s everything Jake wished for come true.  Seeing this boy he has such strong emotions for several times a week (as opposed to once or twice in the case of Dorian). During breaks at school, Heath and Jake would walk over to the nearby elementary school playground and make out, and just be generally goofy around each other.  How strange and thrilling it was for Jake to be kissing someone in public like that.  One day, while at the playground, Heath asks Jake, “What’s your favourite animal?”  Jake ponders this while hanging upside down on the monkey bars, and finally replies, “Penguin, probably.  Why?”

“Different animals are supposed to symbolize different things.  For example, my favourite animal is the husky, the dog, which means I’m hardworking and I like a good belly rub.”

“Husky… yeah, I can see that.  You don’t look anything like a husky, but you sure are warm.”

“Oh, you,” Heath says.  “Anyway, a penguin would represent… a braveness against hostile conditions?  Or maybe inability to fly?”

“Or lack of knees?  A love to barf up chewed food and shove it down someone else’s throat?”  Jake jumps down from the monkey bars and waddles over, penguin-style, to Heath, who laughs.  When he gets to Heath, Jake makes barfing sounds, as if about to hurl on Heath.

“I’m all full from lunch, but how about a kiss instead, pingu?”

“Coming right up, musky husky.”

On the 22nd of the month, while Jake and Heath are walking together after class, Jake brings up a question he’s been thinking about for several weeks.

“So… um, what would you say our relationship status is?”

Heath seems unfazed.  “I’d say we’re going out.”

“Oookay… well, would you then say I’m your boyfriend?”

“Um, yeah.  Would you say that I’m your boyfriend?”


“Great.  We’re boyfriends, then.”

Heath looks over at Jake, who exhales.  “You’ve been thinking about that a lot, haven’t you?”

“What?  Me?  Maybe.”

Heath takes Jake’s hand as they walk down the street, newly christened boyfriends.

On another day, Jake even tells Heath one day while walking together, “You know, this is really weird, being around you so much.  I mean, it’s really good, it’s really nice!  But I guess I’m not used to it, but now that I see what I’ve been missing out on, it feels really good.”  Heath smiles and takes Jake’s hand as they walk.

They would go to the local community center pool, where loads of splashing, playing water tag, aiding each other achieve underwater handstands, and one time, diving off the high dive, despite Jake’s apprehension to do so.

Heath brings Jake to the botanical garden where he volunteers.  He shows Jake excitedly all the plants and species, and although Jake is a simple greeting card writer, he is thoroughly interested, even if he appears otherwise.  For example, when checking out the perrenials,

When hanging out after school, Jake would joke and tease Heath about his lack of compassion for the general human race, and his unexpressiveness whenever Jake tries to be romantic to him, usually by way of cheesy lines (“You’re a tasty stud muffin”, and Heath would roll his eyes) or cheesy lyrics (“You are my fire, the one desire”, and Heath would send a text saying how he rolled his eyes).  Because of this, it becomes an ongoing joke about how Heath has no heart, to which Heath says otherwise.

“Do you believe in fate?” Jake asks Heath one day, lying in bed together one day.

“Not really.  Why?  Do you?”

Jake chuckles.  “You’re gonna think I’m totally bizarro, but here’s what I figured out.  I wouldn’t have met you if I hadn’t met Romulus, and I wouldn’t have met Romulus if I didn’t meet him at the afterparty at the Greeting Card-a-puhlooza, and I wouldn’t have been in the expo if I hadn’t written that greeting card about my ex, and I wouldn’t have written that greeting card if we hadn’t broken up, and we wouldn’t have broken up if I hadn’t have met him, so… what I’m trying to say is, do you think it’s a coincidence that me meeting you again was by chance?  ‘Cause it seems awfully connected, all these events.”

Heath takes a minute to digest this.  “Well, I don’t know what to say.  I suppose it’s possible that fate brought us together, but… hmm.  No, I guess you’re right.”

“What?  Why?”

Heath shuffles himself closer to Jake.  “Because it can’t just be a coincidence that I found someone so wonderful.”  And with that, they kiss.

A week before their first month anniversary, Heath keeps saying how excited he is to give Jake a present.  This makes Jake happy, since he’s never really gotten romance gifts before.  Heath comes over to Jake’s place one day with a piece of paper tied to a penguin plushie.  He hands it over to Jake and sits on the bed, grinning.  Jake thanks Heath for the present, then reads the paper.

I came across a boy
and he is called Jake.
He isn’t jacket,
and he isn’t a rake.

He’s but a director,
musician and writer.
Rather creative
but not much of a fighter.

He’s sweet and he’s charming,
and a hell of a tease,
and he keeps me begging
“Oh please, do me, please!”

It was rather strange,
the conditions of how we met,

But I know we’re together
because it’s our fate.

I know that I’m lucky
to be with such a guy.
I can’t get enough of him,
to that I will testify.

I hope that this proves
that in me lies a heart,
and if you agree,
then please, kiss me hard.

The second Jake finishes the last word, he looks up at Heath, then practically jumps on him, kissing him ferociously, and pulling him in close.

“I take it that means I have a heart now?” Heath manages after they finally stop making out, minutes later.

“Yes.  Yes, you do.  Although ‘fate’ and ‘met” don’t rhyme.  But I still love it.  Thank you, Heath.”  Jake smiles, and he leans in to kiss this wonderful boy with a heart some more.

And that’s how you show someone you care for them.

To be continued!

Good Morning, Heartache (Part 2)

7 04 2012

Good Morning, Heartache (Part 2)

Before you read the next part, play this video.  It will help enhance the mood while you’re reading.  However, if you are like me and are unable to concentrate on words while listening to music, then don’t play it.

The two boys stare at each other.

“Ah wahh?” was the last thing Heath uttered.

“Your name is Heath, right?”  Jake goes on to describe in fairly good detail about how they had met that one day almost a year ago through Jake’s old classmate.

“I vaguely remember that…” is all Heath has to offer.  No matter.  As long as Jake doesn’t come across as a big weirdo, that’s fine by him.  After their brief re-introduction, they don’t speak to each other much.

At the write-a-thon, Jake is introduced to a few other of Romulus’s friends, including Mozilla and Chihiro.  Remember their names because they come up again later in the story.

Everything goes fine.  Jake speaks to Heath in Arabic (and Heath replies in English, but that works too) a few times, but not much really happens between them.  The problem is that Jake has never been the kind of guy to ask people out, particularly in person.  His sense of gaydar is all but defunct, and thus, approaching boys has never occured to him.  But since Romulus is gay, there is a chance Heath could be as well.  Jake decides to test this out in the best way possible: greeting card-writing, of course!

On the last day while, Romulus and the rest of the friends are out getting inspiration from the night sky, Jake, Heath, and his best friend Chihiro are left at Romulus’s place.  Jake scribbles and scribbles in a small blue notebook, while Heath and Chihiro chat away.

“I wrote a greeting card about you.”  That’s Jake speaking– or rather– blurting out loud.

“Oh really?  What’s it about?”  Heath inquires.

Jake fumbles with the pen in his hand.  “I… I’ll read it to you.”  He takes a breath and begins.

“Roses are red, violets are blue… Please can you tell me if you like dudes?”

There’s an awkward silence in the room as Jake finishes.  Heath and Chihiro look at each other, then giggle.  Jake shakes his head.

“I know ‘blue’ and ‘dudes’ don’t rhyme… but I mean what I asked.”

Heath smiles.  “Well, what do you think?”

“Well… you’re friends with Romulus, and he has a lot of gay friends, but that doesn’t mean anything.  Also, I not-so-secretly anymore stalked your facebook page last night and saw that you’re a fan of Dan Savage, but lots of heteros like him.  So in conclusion… I don’t know.”

Heath smiles again.  “Well, you are correct with those points.  But yes, I am gay.”

Jake feels himself sigh with relief, and manages a smile.

A few days later, after having exchanged messages on facebook, the two decide to hang out.  Jake suggests going for milkshakes, which is secretly his way of asking guys out online (although it has never actually worked up until this point).  They hit Mary’s Hamburgers and settle down for some drinks.

“Are you out to your family?” asks Jake.

“No.”  Jake’s face falls, as he remembers how unhappy he was with Dorian.  “But I want to soon though.  I’m out to friends and all, and if someone asks, I won’t hide it.”

Jake nods.  He remembers how difficult it can be to come out in general, much less come out to parents.  The fact that Heath is out to friends is already a big step.  Jake learns that Heath has been studying at the same school for a year, in biology, specifically, botany.  When he talks about plants, Heath really gets into it, speaking about how gymnosperms are just so damn cool (and not because the word “sperm” is in the word).  For someone his age, which is to say, two years younger than Jake, Heath is quite intelligent and seems mature, which impreses Jake.

The two finish their milkshakes and head off.  Seeing as how this whole date was orchestrated by him and his romantic mind, Jake proceeds to lead Heath to a nearby hidden secret.  In between a row of houses is one of the city’s treasures: a small garden of a variety of coloured flowers.  Jake had discovered it months ago, and it was his quiet place to think.  For a while, it became his place to dwell on Dorian but he eventually decided that associating negative thoughts with sucha  lovely place wasn’t a good idea.

“Have you ever been here before?” Jake asks as they get to the small garden.

“No, I haven’t.”  Heath’s eyes are everywhere, absorbing all the life around him.  Jake sees this and smiles, knowing he’s done good.  For a second, Jake hesitates, then cautiously puts his arm around Heath’s shoulders.  Heath doesn’t move, and Jake interprets this as a good sign.  It’s the first real intimate contact the two have had.  The two sit in the clearing for a few minutes in peaceful silence, with the wildlife of birds, bugs, and wind rushing through the plants as their soundtrack.

“Hey, that’s a bleeding heart flower!” Heath leans in to examine it, breaking their embrace.  Jake watches Heath giddily caress the plant, talking about the species and all this random trivia about it.  The greeting card writer and the botanist, he thinks.  Us.

After spending some time in the garden, Jake asks Heath if there’s anywhere he’d like to go.  Heath says no, which is perfect, since Jake has more plans up his sleeve.  Jake leads Heath over to the local music store, where they go up to the third floor– instruments.

“I don’t know how to play any instruments,” confesses Heath.  “Except if you count the recorder.  And I’m not even very good at that.”

“Hey, recorder’s better than nothing.  I think everyone should be able to play at least one instrument.  It would change how we’d all look at life.”

They finally stand in front of the accordions, possibly the most misused instrument out there.  Jake picks up a snazzy, bright green one, and puts the straps around his shoulders.

“Wait, you know how to play this?” Heath asks.

Jake smiles.  He takes a breath, and sings while he plays, his breath almost moving in time to the compression of the reeds:

I first saw you at the video exchange.
I know my heart and it will never change.
This temp work would be alright if you called me, you called me,
I lie awake at night for you, and I pray.

We cross the deepest oceans, cargo across the sea,
and if you don’t believe me, just put your hands on me.
And all the constellations, shine down for us to see,
and if you don’t believe me, just put your hands on me.

When Jake’s done singing Vanessa Carlton’s “Hands On Me” (you didn’t think he wrote that, did you?), there’s a few seconds of silence before Heath claps politely.

“That was great!” he says.  He puts a hand on Jake’s shoulder.

Jake merely blushes.  “I’ve been playing for a long time.  I just felt like playing that for you.”

“Well, thank you.  I really appreciate it,” says Heath.  “Hey, I’m actually going to meet some friends– Chihiro and Mozilla, you remember them, right?– to catch that latest zombie movie, you know, the one where the zombies are all old people?  Did you want to watch with us?”

Heath and Jake are off on the streets again.  It’s late in the afternoon now, but still quite warm for a fall day.

“You know, I would, but zombie movies just aren’t my thing.  Makes me hungry after watching one.  I’ll walk you to the theatre though.”

As they make their way to the theatre, Jake reflects on how things have gone.  He’s spent the day with this young, unbelievably cute boy, who, for whatever reason, seems to also like spending time with him too.  How many times has that happened?  First date success, it seems.

Inside the theatre, Heath’s friends Chihiro and Mozilla await him.  Jake says hi to them, and wishes that they enjoy the film.  Before he leaves, he turns to Heath and opens his arms, gesturing for a hug.  Heath embraces him, and they hug tightly.

“I’ll talk to you soon, alright?”


With that, Jake leaves the building, hearing curious murmuring and whispering behind him.

To be continued!

Good Morning, Heartache (Part 1)

6 04 2012

If you ask me or my friends, we will tell you that one of my characteristics is being honest.

A little while ago, I started writing an entry on my blog titled “The Scientist’s Experiment.”  It’s still in my drafts, incomplete.  It is unfinished because I have been trying to convey my thoughts in a somewhat prose-y, poetic way, while trying to say everything it is I want to say.

A friend told me a while back that I should write out my feelings on paper– no prose, no poetry, just write them all out, however you feel.  It would make me feel better.  And so I did.  Did I feel better?  Perhaps.  The thoughts certainly came out faster when I didn’t have to think about how to phrase exactly what I wanted to say to fit what came before and what would follow.

But I decided at the least minute to fuse the two together, so it’s not just an emotional unloading.  So for all those out there, here’s a story for you.

Good Morning, Heartache
by Aaron Chan

Once upon a time, there was a guy named Jake.  Jake, like many queer young boys, took in the idea that gay boys were supposed to find love after coming out.  It could also be that Jake was simply a romantic, but in any case, he longed for the day when he would find someone he could love and be that wonderful boyfriend he so frequently saw in C-grade gay films, and lackluster Hollywood rom-coms.  He thoroughly believed in the tradition of winning back someone by way of bouquets of roses, silent messages via placards during Christmastime, and admitting one’s faults after an exciting airport chase.  Although Jake is not very social when it comes to meeting new people, he finds talking to people one-on-one just fine.  Unfortunately, not many people happen to waltz up to the quiet loner standing in the corner of the room and start a conversation.  No, siree.

I know it can be strange to imagine, but Jake has always felt the need to love someone.  He can’t explain it.  The best I can do is this: some people claim they were born to be engineers; some say they “knew” they had to help people in developing countries.  For Jake, he always felt that he wanted to love someone.  It was as natural a goal and instinct as wanting to be a mother, or writer, or voting for the Green Party.

People always say, “you don’t need a man to make you happy.”  Okay, well, women typically say that, less for men.  Although Jake knew this had to be true, he couldn’t help but feel he did need — or at the very least, want — to love someone.  It was as if there was a piece missing from himself that could only be found when he found someone.  Corny?  Yes, a bit.  But it was life for Jake.

During this time, Jake also begins to develop his insecurity.  His lack of finding anyone remotely interesting who was interested in him makes him feel like a freak, like he’s not attractive.  Granted, he is mainly looking online and you know how shallow people can be, but still, for a dreamer and a romantic like Jake, it still hurts him every time he messages an interesting guy and receives silence.  At the same time, the only attention he seems to get is either from said older, usually white men who seem to have a fetish for young guys, or, less often, from guys so jacked up on testosterone they can’t communicate with more than a grunt or, in Internet language, “sup?”  Sure, some attention is flattering but after a while, when it’s all he gets, it made Jake feel as though he was doing something wrong, or else he just really destined not to find anyone.

Fast forward a whole bunch of years (because the life of a tween is not that interesting).  Jake, now a young man, finds that someone messaged him on an online dating site he signed up for.  What a revelation!  After weeks, months, years of being unable to find any sort of gay person, this guy, who appears to 1) not be a creepo old guy, and 2) have a good grasp of basic spelling and grammar.  So Jake and this guy, Dorian, meet and eventually start dating.  It seems they have a lot in common, and things are great.  Jake’s insecurity starts to disappear, as he is finally with someone interesting, someone worth dedicating his time to.  Ah, young love.

However, things don’t go exactly as Jake thinks.  Dorian is really busy with school and preparing for lots of plays at the university.  He’s so into what he does and is so good that everyone in the Drama building knows him, and he continuously gets requests from everyone to help on this project or that one.  Since he can’t say no, he accepts, leaving little time for Jake.  Oh, and Dorian is in the closet (no one in Drama would ever suspect him!), so all of Dorian’s friends that Jake meets know Jake as a “friend.”

Despite this setback, Jake convinces himself that it’ll be okay.  After all, Jake is patient and still that romantic I mentioned earlier, and he believes that Dorian is worth being with.  So Jake continues to be Dorian’s “friend.”

Eventually, Dorian and Jake decide to break up.  Dorian admits that were he to stay in the city, he would never come out, and although Jake truly cares for Dorian, he can’t take being known as another friend the rest of his life by his boyfriend.  Moreover, it’s gotten to the point where Dorian and Jake only meet once or twice a week– because of Dorian’s busy play production schedule.  So they part.

The piece is gone.  Suddenly, Jake feels alone, his goal for love thwarted.  Although it was a mutual separation, he still feels as though he has failed in some way.  The insecurity comes back.  He believed he was lucky to be with Dorian, now Jake sees his relationship as proof that nothing good can stay in his life.  Anything that makes Jake happy is temporary, especially love.

Calendar pages fly by.  Jake is alone, still thinking profusely about Dorian.  Instead of thinking about all the good times they had together, Jake ruminates about how he’ll never have them again with Dorian, and what went wrong.  It’s just his way of thinking.  Dorian, on the other hand, seems to have no problem getting on with life after Jake’s departure.  Jake can’t understand this, and realizes later that he does in fact love Dorian.  Unfortunately for Jake, it no longer matters– Dorian is just too busy to respond to any of Jake’s messages or emails, and I’m sure he conveniently ignored a bunch too.

It takes Jake a good while to get back on his feet.  Even though Jake and Dorian were only together for four months, Jake let himself get immersed in this first love.  All of Jake’s friends tell him that that dream guy that Jake has been fantasizing about all those years is going to find Jake sooner or later.  After all, they say, Jake’s a kickass boyfriend.  Good things happen to good people, like, all the time.

Press the fast forward button again.  A little more than two years later, Jake is more or less back to normal.  He’s back at school, has taken up writing witty greeting cards (“You’ve graduated high school?  Join the other 5,389,284,203,298 in human history!”), and no longer dwells on thinking about his ex.  Dorian can go suck it, for all Jake cares (although since Dorian’s in the closet and had disclosed to Jake that he wouldn’t have sex until he was back in a relationship, he probably isn’t sucking any). During all this time, Jake tries to date but it seems the town is in a drought; there’s a shortage of average, interesting gay guys in the city, it seems.  It’s discouraging, to say the least, but Jake figures trying is better than not.  So he keeps at it.

One day, Jake submits his greeting card inspired by Dorian (“I don’t tell you enough how amazing, fantastic, loving, wonderful you really are… but at least I’m buying you this card.  So when is it my turn?”) to the town’s annual Greeting Card-a-puhlooza.  And his card gets in to the expo!

After his card is showcased in front of a live audience and Jake talks a bit about how he came up with such an idea, he decides to head over the afterparty to meet the other cool, witty, snarky card writers.  At this party, a young, also queer guy comes up to Jake and starts yell-talking to him over the uhns-uhns-ing beat of trashy music.  His name is Romulus, and he and Jake hit it off.

Being a romantic (and a tad desperate, but more romantic), Jake instantly imagines Romulus as a potential boyfriend.  But as they get to know each other, Romulus comes off as something better: a true gay friend.  Although Jake is a little disappointed, he is more than thrilled that at least Romulus is an interesting gay guy who isn’t into camping out to see the next Sex and the City movie.  Besides, Romulus is way too busy with his day-time job as a flame-throwing, homophobe-vanquishing superhero anyway.

Romulus invites Jake to help out with his own greeting card party.  It’s been a big passion of Romulus to write greeting cards but he’s always put it off for one reason or another.  But no more!  He’s decided to have a three-day greeting card write-a-thon, and has invited some other friends to help out too.

Naturally, Jake is more than willing to help.  When he gets to Romulus’s place on the first day, he sees a guy who looks familiar.  And since Jake has a creepily good facial recognition (I say creepily because a lot of people might find it creepy but if you think about it, it’s actually quite impressive), he instantly remembers who this guy is.


Now we have to rewind a bit.


While Jake was at school, he was taking an Arabic class.  One day, he and a classmate had to work on a project together.  The classmate told Jake that he was in the library “with my friend Heath.”  Thinking nothing of it, Jake went to the library and found the classmate sitting with a guy named Heath.  Since Heath was fluent in Arabic, he was able to proofread their inferior project so that they wouldn’t look as stupid when they presented it.

Heath was short, with short dark hair, and super skinny (but not anorexic skinny, thankfully).  He and Jake didn’t talk much that day, and when Heath was done with their project, Jake left.

End of flashback!

Now standing before him was the same Heath, who looked the same, even after almost a year.

“I know you!  You’re Heath!” exclaimed Jake, demonstrating his awesome memory.

“Ah wah??” said Heath, naturally confuzzled.

And that was the start of the romance to-be.

To be continued!

“I Love Like a Lesbian”

1 03 2012

Wanted to post this one.  It’s from my reading at thrilLITERATE last week, the last one I read.

A friend didn’t understand the poem and although I could attribute it to his innocence and general naiviety about the world outside of his farm, perhaps there are others who don’t get it.  To understand it, you have to know about stereotypes, mainly that lesbians fall in love and get together VERY quickly.  I make fun of it but I also explain how I, as a gay man, am like that too.

Alright, now that I’ve told you how to interpret the poem, here it is: