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    Adam Phillips
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Crosscurrents - 30. Turnaround

Ruben's parents had always been a light touch; the first week in June was out of the question, but I managed to get the condo for the third weekend in May, plus the following Monday. I called Matt and told him he could pick up a key from Ruben's dad at his place of business when he got into town; I'd do the same when I got home. Matt wasn't sure when he'd be moving back down, but he told me he'd let me know he was home when he hit town.

With that detail taken care of, I focused on acing my finals and stopped thinking about him.

I took my last exam on a Friday and loaded my car that evening. The next morning, I said goodbye to Shane. The other guys had already left for the summer, but Shane had gotten a job in town; he'd be staying in the house. The rest of us had agreed to pay our share of the monthly rent while we were gone so that we wouldn't have to find new living arrangements when fall came; it wasn't entirely money down the drain. Anyway, I figured the place might make a nice summer getaway for a weekend now and then.

I started up the car and headed for Dallas. Angie wouldn't be home until about a week later. I thought about her, and about us, as I drove; we'd be spending the summer as a couple back in the place where we'd first come together. Thinking about the past I'd had with her brought a wave of homesickness that I hadn't experienced in all my time away. I couldn't wait to get there.

My parents and siblings welcomed me home and pulled me right back into the family. Beth had been her class president during the school year; I spent some time talking with her about high school days, comparing her experiences--on student council, with academics, and in other areas--with mine. She was also a cheerleader, so she'd been at most of the sports events all year long. We talked about some of the football and soccer players; I listened for exploits of the younger siblings of former teammates. I'd gotten to know some of those guys back in the day, and was having trouble thinking of them as high school kids. Dinner with the family was devoted to a family-friendly recap of my previous semester's exploits. I knew how to tell an entertaining story, and kept everyone appropriately attentive to my Tales From College.

At the end of dinner, I said casually, "Oh, I forgot to tell you one thing: Angie and I are dating again."

My mom's face lit up; my brother laughed out loud.

"First rate, Andy; she was the best! Better than so many of them other skanks you brought by."

"Daniel!" my mom chided, horrified.

"Sorry, mom," he said. "Well, tell us, man. How long? And is it serious?"

"About four months," I said. "And, I don't know, what's serious?"

"You tell us," my dad said.

"I can't see giving her up again," I said. "I got a long way to go and it's early for life plans...but nobody has ever made me feel the way she makes me feel. Nobody has ever loved me like she did. Like she does," I corrected. "I can't see going out with anyone else, no matter how far down the road I look."

"Except Matt," Danny smirked.

I felt my face flush. I glared at my brother.

"Dan!" my dad said sharply. "I'm sorry for that, Andy, your brother overheard your mom and me expressing concern one night."

"I know, Dad," I said. "It's fine. Danny and I have already had that discussion. I'm not mad at him. He needs to think before the opens his mouth, though." I flashed a glance at my sister. I knew she knew, but...

Beth looked intently at me. "I'm fine with it, Andy. You'll always be my brother, and anyway, it's not like you're wanting to...wanting to...well, you know. I mean, you're with Angie, and..." As she stumbled on the last words, she blushed. "I think I'll just shut up now."

Dad looked at me. "Any progress on getting past whatever it is that's been causing problems between you?"

"What's been causing problems is his stupid head," Danny said.

"Shut up, Danny," I growled.

"You know it's true," he protested.

"I don't care, it's none of your damn business."

Danny sulked quietly as I scanned the faces of my family. "Anyway, I don't know, Dad." I said. "Maybe. And Danny's right: It's been my fault. Just like you told me a long time ago. I don't know what's gonna happen, but I'm done with running from him and pushing him away."

"Thank God," Danny said. "Although I hope you realize that don't mean you have to jump in the sack with him."

My mom's jaw dropped. "Okay, that's enough from you on this subject," she said, staring holes through him.

"Yes, ma'am," he told her, "meek" radiating from his puppy-dog eyes. He turned to me with the same gaze and said, "I'm sorry, bro."

"Like hell you are," I said. "Them eyes may work on your women, or even on Mom, but I got your number, you little jerk."

He raised an eyebrow and stared at me tentatively, trying to figure out whether or not to play "offended." That cracked me up, and I broke into a laugh. He flashed me an embarrassed grin and said, "I only give you shit because I'm glad to have you back."

"Well, I'm gonna be glad to have you back all summer long, so watch it. Matter of fact, why don't we get started with some hoops? Let the humiliation begin."

"You're on," he said. "Lemme go get my basketball, and I'll meet you outside."

I looked over at my dad. "You wanna play?"

"We have all summer," he said. "Go spend time with your brother."

Lying in my bed that night, wrapped up in the room I'd grown up in, I couldn't help but smile: The sunlight from my past cast a glow upon my future, and I lay there, reflecting silently on the direction things seemed to be moving. I wasn't sure what would happen to me in the coming weeks. But for the first time in a long time, I had no anxiety about that.

For now.


---------


I started work the third week of May; the pool would be opening the next week. Orientation and training for workers was held Monday through early Friday morning, so I couldn't get started for the beach until 10 AM or so. I'd packed my car the night before, though, so after I was finished at the pool, I climbed in and began driving south.

The ostensible purpose of this trip was for me and Matt to spend some time re-familiarizing ourselves with the area. We told ourselves we'd look up places we wanted to bring the guests to eat and make reservations ahead of time. We'd also explore to discover fun things to do that we hadn't done in previous years, and we'd factor them into our July 4 plans.

That wasn't the real reason for the trip, though.

I had a good eight hours to think about the upcoming weekend as I drove. Eight hours to think about my life and where it was headed.

Eight hours to think about Matt.

I'd spent two-plus years avoiding him and assuming that we were finished. Assuming that he'd only stayed in touch out of loyalty to a past that we'd left behind. Assuming that sooner or later he'd come to the conclusion he was done with me, that I was too sorry a friend to go the distance with.

I knew that was wrong now. And as I drove, I began the hard work of talking back to those assumptions.

I'd looked at life as a threat for over ten years...I'd put myself on constant guard so as to avoid being blindsided by pain, always anticipating the worst, always blind to the possibility that disaster wasn't always lurking around the corner. That caused me to miss out on things; it caused me to get things wrong. It caused me to mess up my life, because I didn't see some critical opportunities that were waiting for me if I'd only risk a little.

I'd decided that loving Matt was a serious risk. I'd pushed him away, and I'd run. Blurring his image; drowning out the sound of his voice in my head; avoiding the raw acreage of my heart where the memories lived and the love threatened to break loose and come after me.

I ran by chasing and consuming women and men; by drinking and drugging; by overdriving myself at my studies; by throwing myself into athletics with a frenzy; by partying so hard on the weekends there wasn't any room to think about him.

But I couldn't run any more. My wild college life wasn't working for me. It had gotten to the point that things had all gone to hell. My escape tricks became hollow and cheap to me. And nothing felt real but my hurt.

So on a dime, I'd decided to stop. And that's when Angie had come back into my life.

I had no illusions about being able to have anything spectacular with Matt. I knew that there were things I longed for with him that I'd never be able to have. But just to repair and restore the friendship we had once...

A friendship I now realized I was responsible for derailing chronically...

That would mean everything. That would be all I needed.

I had to talk myself into believing it was possible, but it felt like a time for impossible things. I got Angie back; maybe I could get my best friend back. After all, he'd told me that whether or not we were good was up to me.

I decided that I believed him. That I trusted him. And that if I'd show him I wanted it, he'd take me back.

At least in some form or fashion.

As I drove, I began to think about how I might walk back two years of stupidity with him, two years of holding him at arm's length.

Pre-emptive pessimism and a pre-emptive battle mentality hadn't done me a bit of good with this thing. The nine-year-old who assumed he had to live life hypervigilant to protect himself was still inside me, selling me out with that lie.

I took a deep breath and sighed as I considered these things. I knew that little Nine-Year-Old Warrior inside was wrong; but the impulse--the habit--was so deeply ingrained; would I be able to break through it and do something new? Could I find the courage to risk, the guts to open up to Matt? Deciding I believed him and resolving to change things...those made a good start. But when I looked into his eyes and it was time to make it happen, could I do it? Would I have the guts to say what needed to be said?

For that matter, what did need to be said?

A voice inside told me, You better figure this one out, boy.

Those interior voices were usually pretty damn smart, but this one was wrong: I didn't need to have it all calculated and planned out. I just needed to be with Matt. To let my guard down and let myself be what we'd always been with each other: Relaxed. Open. Honest. Caring.

And fun.

Through everything we'd had and been together, it had always been fun. It had always been easy. Only when I'd gotten scared of my feelings for him, scared of what he'd think of me if he really knew me...

Only when I'd become afraid of him...afraid he'd hate me for being queer...

Only then had things gone bad.

And they'd gone bad because I'd made them go bad.

By withdrawing.

By hiding.

By not trusting him.

By thinking like a homophobe...

No, by thinking homophobic thoughts and projecting them onto him.

And by pushing him away so he wouldn't have a chance to hurt me.

Those were the ways I'd made things go bad between us.

I stopped in San Marcos for gasoline, road snacks, and a Coke. As I walked around and stretched, I decided I wasn't going to calculate a repair between me and Matt. I wasn't going to plot and strategize and work it all out ahead of time in my head.

Instead, this weekend I was going to bring back the old stuff. I'd relax.

And have fun.

I got back in the car and started driving again.

If I kept my focus on simply being with Matt, letting myself feel my love for him...letting myself receive the friendship he said he still wanted to bring...and returning that friendship, spontaneously and unguarded...well then, the words, the weekend...they would take care of themselves.

I shuddered a little. What if, in spite of my resolve, Matt couldn't get past how I'd mistreated him? He sounded like he could, but it's one thing to say it and another to be able to do it.

Before I went too far down that ugly road, though, my Newfound Calm blocked the way: You can't prevent Matt from feeling anything he's going to feel. Even if he were destined to respond in all the terrible ways you feared, hiding in the corner and avoiding isn't going to change that. Anyway, haven't you always had no respect for people who did that?

There alone in the car, I nodded to myself. I realized that I could do it. This weekend I'd risk it all. I'd be open to him for the first time in two years. I wouldn't try to make him be my best buddy. I'd just be what I used to be with him before all the...

the confusion...

caused me to go nuts and toss him overboard.

And whatever was going to happen would happen. And whether it was good or disastrous or something in between, at least I'd know I gave it my best shot.

And I also decided that I'd accept whatever happened as a result and move on. I couldn't continue to be held hostage by my fears and feelings about Matt.

I turned on the radio, found a station I liked, and started to sing along. I was done thinking about this.

I was also done cowering over it.


---------


I parked the car in the condo's lot and headed up the stairs. In spite of my resolve, the memories that swirled around this place raised my anxiety level.

When I got to the right unit, I unlocked the door, opened it, and saw Matt standing in the middle of the living area.

His head turned my way, and he began walking toward me.

I looked into his smiling face...

And I knew--without knowing how I knew or what it meant--that things would be better.

What kind of better? In that moment, I didn't even pause to consider.

I didn't know. And it wasn't important.

He put his hands on my shoulders and pulled me into him.

"Soccerboy!"

"QB!"

In his arms, the walls and floors went away, and I was floating in eternity, where there was only me and Matt and the deep peace of his body, pulled against mine; only the sound of his slow, steady breathing; only the wordless message of his head resting on my shoulder.

Time and space returned as he slapped me on the back and released me.

It took me a minute to recover from his embrace and the way it had untethered me from reality. Somewhere from a distance, I heard him say, "I'm all unloaded," and as I shook off my disorientation, I saw him grinning like I hadn't seen him grin since the summer before our senior year.

I looked at him wordlessly for a minute.

"What?" he said. "You look funny. Are you okay?"

Jeez, Matt; if you only knew...

"I'm perfect," I said.

He looked into my eyes, gauging, taking me in.

There was a sparkle in his eyes as he said, "I told you."

That jolted me a little. "What?"

"Nothing," he said. "Hey, I took the back bedroom this time, I hope that's okay."

The back bedroom. Where I'd gone to evade and avoid after he sang "More Than Words" that first July here.

I shook my head as I considered that emotional landscape. There were minefields here.

It didn't matter, though. Nothing mattered but his smile. His hug. His coffee-rich baritone voice reaching out to pull me into his world by the mere sound of it.

Pulling me past all the things I'd done and all the things I hadn't done. Toward something better.

"It's fine," I said.

"Good." His smile became more electric with every passing second. "Let's go haul your shit up."

He went with me to the car; we got my things into the condo in two trips. "Excellent," he said, once I'd gotten settled in. "Time for beer."

"I dunno, man, I'm hungry," I said.

"Really? I thought you might wanna chill first. But I am too! Let's go to The Crazy Cajun and stuff ourselves. We can start the drankin' out there in the beer garden." He laughed and added, "Damn, it's good to see you, boy!"

My heart wanted to explode. I wanted to cry for joy.

What the fuck was different? Why was this so easy? So good? I had no idea, but I didn't care.

Something New was happening.


---------


We talked and laughed a lot over those four days: We drank and swam and fished a little and smoked a little weed. We checked into additional fun things to do over the 4th. And inside our private selves, we rejoiced, neither of us giving voice to the wonder we were both clearly feeling:

Somehow, the separate, agonized roads we'd been walking had begun to lose their agony, and the trails had joined once again, and nothing of that dark, separated time seemed to remain. It felt like we'd been doing this forever.

It was as though we'd never messed things up. No; it was as though I'd never messed things up.

And it was effortless.

As I lay in bed those first two nights, I found myself smiling. Full; filled. Utterly content. We hadn't talked about a single serious thing, but everything had fallen into place between us: I had my best friend back, and the only difference that could account for it was that I had finally been ready to drop my guard and let him in.

Why did I wait so long? I asked myself over and over.

But it was pointless to torture myself. It didn't matter.

The only difficulty was that the deep ache returned with a ferocity, the ache that seemed to arise out of the depths of my friendship with him.

The ache that came from being in love with him.

As Matt and I began writing our next chapter there on the coastline, I found myself wanting more. Needing from him what I'd never be able to have.

Just like before. Just like I knew I would.

But there was no way I was going to let that fuck us up. I shoved the excess desire, the hopeless need, into the back corner of my psyche. I pointed at them and told them to stay put.

The weekend sped by. Based on our reconnaissance, we added some new twists and opportunities for our Fourth of July guests: A group reservation at the best restaurant on the Island; a spectacular spot from which to watch the fireworks; a group rate on some deep-sea fishing; and some reduced prices on the museums and tourist spots. Matt had designed and brought along a logo so we could have personalized t-shirts commemorating our weekend. He took it to one of the local surf shops; the next day we walked out with two dozen or so t-shirts, one for each person who'd be coming to the July 4 celebration.


---------
 

The night before we had to leave, we were on the beach with a campfire, some food, and a bucket of premixed frozen Margaritas in an ice chest. We'd laid a couple of blankets down to keep the sand off our bodies and our food, and we were sitting there, soaking up the evening.

The surf was perfect as the sun went down. The sky was soft-lit with a palette of rich colors. I was pleasant-buzzed from the tequila. Matt strummed and picked his ubiquitous guitar, singing quietly as he played...and I felt at peace. Mellow.

Memories of a night just like this a few years back tried to tug...but I wasn't going there. I wanted to be right in the moment. There was no better place to be.

He finished a tune, sat quietly for a couple of minutes, and then said in a voice that was the very essence of no-big-deal, "Hey, you're never gonna believe this, but I been learning a few country tunes; wanna hear one?"

I looked his way and raised an amused eyebrow. "Sure, why not?" Back in high school, we both disliked country. But I'd learned to two-step from dating a girl in college who was seriously into it. Her stereo was nonstop Randy Travis and Alan Jackson, with a good dose of George Jones from the old school, so I knew a lot of those songs.

I leaned back on the blanket, my hands behind my head, and closed my eyes, anticipating.

He began to pick out an introduction. Although I recognized the opening licks, at first nothing registered with me.

Then the instrumental intro segued into the vocal, and Matt began to sing.

You made up your mind it was time it was over,
After we had come so far;
But I think there's enough pieces of forgiveness
Somewhere in my broken heart.

I sat up, wide-eyed, and stared into his face.

I knew the song, and the Randy Travis cover version of it that he was emulating...

And I knew what he was doing.

I would not have chosen the road you have taken;
It has left us miles apart.
But I think I can still find the will to keep going,
Somewhere in my broken heart.

His eyes bore down on mine.

Caught off-guard and unprepared, a wave of panicked nausea clutched at my gut; and my eyes filled with moisture as I stared back at him, hammered by the indictment that the music hurled at me.

So fly; go ahead and fly,
Until you find out who you are;
'Cause I will keep my love unspoken
Somewhere in my broken heart...

I hope that in time you will find what you long for:
Love that's written in the stars;
And when you finally do, I think you will see it
Somewhere in my broken heart.

He repeated the B-section and the final stanza, and then he set down his guitar.

And stared at me. Waiting.

The peace and serenity that had settled into me were gone. I had to stand up

and everything became blurs and jars and jumbles as

I'm staring at him I can't move my eyes from his and he's not letting go he stares into mine

He looked into my eyes and said,

simply

quietly

"You hurt me."

Little more than a whisper, utterly without energy or defiance, it was at the same time a wail of defeat and despair. I could see it in his face louder than I heard it in his voice.

I flinched and stumbled backward, knocked off balance by

all the pain all the abandonment rolled into one cuts-like-a-knife country tune and thrown at me like one o' them fuckin' Asian stars the martial artists use

it catches me in the carotid artery feels like and now I'll bleed

it feels in my body like he's felt

like his dad who left him high and dry his best friend the same both of them teaching him that when men love you it hurts because they don't stay

And I'm feeling all of it.

And I'm seeing all of it.

Right there in front of me, open and vulnerable and abandoned: the face of the little boy whose brother had been murdered, the little boy whose father had left him...

And more:

The face of the high school kid who'd tried to show his best friend that he could go the uncommon distance in returning the love he'd been given. The kid who'd been rewarded for that with two years' worth of exile.

It came at me through a blackening haze, like a nightmare sequence.

I sat there staring at him, tears streaming down my face.

He stared back at me, stone-faced. I choked out a "Matt..." but I couldn't get anything else out of my throat.

Finally, he said, "Oh, God, Drew, how could you think I'd hate you? How could you not trust me? I tried and tried, Andy, I tried to show you it didn't matter and it was fine and I didn't love you any less, and you just...you just..."

He took a hard, hitching breath.

"After everything we ever meant to each other...after I let you into my body, held you and kissed you and told you that I loved you...after all those years, all that friendship...all that love...that's what you thought of me? That I'd treat you like dirt? That I'd be disgusted by you?"

Now the tears had begun streaming down his face.

The reply tumbled out of my mouth in an agonized torrent:

"I'm sorry, I'm so so sorry, I'm sorry, Matt, I fucked up, I'm so sorry, oh god..."

I tried to stop crying, but I felt like I was drowning; or being born; or something. It was too much.

All I could do was cry and let things play out.

His pleading eyes looked into mine as he said, "Do you believe me?"

"Of course I believe you, I realized when I watched you drive off, Matt, I took your pillow, I still have it, I sleep on it every night, I know I fucked up..."

I froze up.

desperate

scared

But something else. Here it is, what we've avoided, only way through it is through it and in any case it'll be different after, what kind of different remains to be seen.

He shook his head. "You believe me in your head, but that's not good enough if you don't believe me in your heart."

I wanted to object. I needed to object. To show him he was wrong.

but I can't show I can only plead only pleading makes its way out of my mouth

"I'm trying, Matt, I think I do, I know I do, can you ever forgive me?"

I risked a glance at him; grief was all over his face. Grief and weariness. Weariness like he'd been carrying this around two years and it's gotten to be more than he can bench-press.

His eyes turned to frost, and I shivered as, broken and optionless, he spoke.

"I can't not," he spat, bitter and wounded. "I can't not forgive you. Jesus God, I wish I had it in me to not forgive you."

He shuddered and his shoulders heaved. "I understood. You think I'm stupid? I knew what was going on; why you treated me like that. I knew when we were eighteen, and I knew when we were nineteen, and I know now that we're twenty. I got it, Drew. I get it. But that doesn't make it not hurt."

"Matt..."

"Shut up," he snarled. "Just shut up. I'm telling you that me getting it doesn't make it not hurt. It makes it hurt worse. Do you know why?"

My vocal cords were locked.

"I asked you a question."

I squeezed my eyes shut. "I...don't know why. I don't. I don't."

"I'll tell you, then," he hissed, through angry, gritted teeth. "I know what you do."

I stared at him, uncomprehending and afraid.

"You fight. Your whole life long. You do. You fight like it's life or death. Now tell me what you fight."

I flinched; I'd never said the word to anyone. I hadn't even fully verbalized it to myself.

"Say it. Say what it is."

I looked at him.

"Monsters," I mumbled.

He didn't even blink. "Yep. You fight monsters. You think life is full of 'em. You walk though life fighting monsters."

I sniffed. "No, it's not like...I don't think it's like you think it is..."

He rolled his eyes. "I've known this since we were kids. And I know where they came from, too."

"I don't know what you mean," I said.

"Don't lie to me," he spat. "I remember the night. I remember what you said you heard your parents talking about.

"It was my monster. Mine, and my mom's and my dad's....and my brother's. And for us it was real. For us, though. Not for you. We lived that thing you only have nightmares about."

My breath hitched as I tried to speak up. Finally I heaved out, "I...okay. It's true."

"That's right," he said. "So this...this thing you did to me...

"I was your best friend," he said. "We were everything to each other. And you...always fighting the monsters...well, when you did what you did...

"What does that make me?"

It was a question from his very depths; a deep, dejected cry of betrayal. He began crying again.

"Oh God, why didn't you trust me?" he asked. "What did I ever do to you to make you decide I was that kind of person?"

I walked toward him; he backed away from me. "You fuckin' promised me," he half-whispered savagely. "Got my back, always. That's what you said."

There it was: my childhood promise spat back into my face.

I lost it; deep, chest-heaving sobs wracked my body.

He wasn't finished. "That's what hurt the worst, is you promised me that, and then when it really counted, you...you believed..."

He couldn't continue. He was crying too hard.

Finally, he sputtered, "Dammit! Me. Me: One of your goddam monsters. Fuckin' how could you, Andy?"

His face twisted into a tortured grimace as he tried, and failed, to get himself under control.

The guilt and shame were unbearable. The sorrow and remorse were beyond any pain I'd ever experienced in my entire life. I watched, helpless and convicted, as he tried again to get a grip, struggling with his body until he'd gotten the heaving of his chest tamed.

Long minutes after he'd stopped talking, he sat staring at me, accusing, breathing heavily, tears streaming down his face. I sat across from him, devastated, tears streaming down mine.

"You better say something," he finally said.

O god was all I could think. All I could feel. O god o god o god...

Finally I got enough control of the speech center to sputter, "I don't know, I don't know, I didn't want to be a freak, I didn't want you to think I'm a freak.".

There wasn't much more to say, but as soon as I'd said it, he rose up again in resigned fury.

"Fuck you," he muttered, a beaten, angry grief contorting his beautiful face. " 'Think you're a freak.' That's what you thought of me. Just fuck you."

Syntax and sense bailed on me, but I had to say it.

So I took a breath. The incoherence and utter worthlessness of the words that tumbled out startled even me.

"Always, I never stopped, I never...I fall asleep sometimes thinking about what I did; please, Matt..."

I screamed at myself inside. Get a goddam grip. You owe him.

I forced calm into me. "Please. Please, Matt."

As the vortex of feeling and remembrance and shame gradually released its hold on me, and I forced my thoughts to clear, I grabbed on to a purpose, a goal; and I gave it voice.

"Can we get past it? I promise, Matt, I promise; just be my friend. Can we get back there? I promise I'll never doubt you again."

He sat with his elbows on his bent knees, his face resting in his hands. "I don't believe you," he said, defeated.

We sat there in the awful, horrifying silence that was the backwash of those words, and in that moment it struck me:

Maybe what I'd dreaded all this time was destined to happen.

His face softened a little, though. In a few minutes he said, "But I think you believe you, and maybe if I work with that; maybe."

He looked up and out at the waves. "Anyway, what choice do I have? You're not the only one who loves."

I'd never heard anyone make loving sound like losing before, and it brought a fresh infusion of sadness into me to think that I was the person responsible for that.

I didn't know what to say or what to do next.

I stared at him warily.

He stared back warily.


---------


Then something changed in his face; I couldn't tell what it meant.

He stood up and motioned me to come over and stand next to him.

When I did, he reached out and touched my shoulder.

"I have to show you."

The words sickened me. "You don't have to do anything. I have to do everything. I hurt you."

"No," he says, leaning into me. "I want to show you. Please. Let me show you. Let me show you how much it doesn't matter, how much it never mattered."

Something about the desperation in his voice scared me. I tried to pull away, but he wouldn't let me.

He reached for me and pulled me into a hug. We stood there wordlessly in the firelight, holding on to each other. The sea breeze and the rush of the waves were the only sounds I could hear.

And I understood.

"You don't have to do this, Matt," I said. "That's not what I need us to be about. It...if I can just love you like that and have you be okay with it, I swear you never have to touch me again."

"Shhhh," he said, staring into my eyes. "Listen to me: Am I not allowed to want this?"

I watched, rapt, as he leaned his head toward mine. I moved my own face closer to his until our foreheads touched.

"I don't care if I'm straight," he said, resting his head on my shoulder.

What he said didn't make any sense, but I didn't want to let him go. So I held on and let the experience of him wash over me.

I could smell the sun and the sweat and the salt on him. And I could smell his body's own natural scent

familiar to me as my own name

My breathing slowed and deepened, holding him in my arms like that.

Minutes went by. Gradually, involuntarily, the rhythm of our breathing synced up.

With glacial slowness, the closeness...his touch...began to bring back the earlier peace of the evening.

Until finally, he pulled me into himself and kissed me on the neck.

Twice.

And for the second time in my life--and in the exact same setting as before--I was completely lost in him.

Something changed in him again. There was an urgency. An intensity.

He moved up from my neck, and slowly, gently, he put his lips on mine.

I pulled back a little and looked at him.

He held my gaze steady with his, smiling, silent. Eyes still red from crying.

I nodded to him.

Encouraged, he kissed me again.

Wrapping his arms around me, we kissed a few additional times. He looked at me, and finally I was able to smile at him.

From 1998, the love and companionship and lust surged into the present. They'd never really left. I'd just buried them under a mountain of loathing and shame and fear.

Covering my neck with kisses, he then moved down toward my pecs. My breathing began getting deeper. I put my hands on his shoulders, nodding affirmatively at him, and I pushed down gently as if to emphasize the point. He began kissing my left nipple, circling his tongue around it; when he moved over to my right nipple, I moaned quietly, "Oh God, Matt."

He got down on his knees, and his mouth continued its southward journey down my torso, until finally, putting his hands on my ass, he pulled me in tight and kissed the fabric-covered outline of my dick.

"I'm remembering that night," he said. "Aren't you?"

"Oh, God, Matt, if I could only tell you how many times over the years I've thought of that night."

"It's different, though," he said. "I'm not scared. I was scared that night. You were scared that night. Nobody's scared now, are they?"

"No," I said.

And I meant it.

"Because we're done with that, right? Done with the fear?"

He couldn't hide the urgency propelling the question.

"Right," I said.

"Promise me, Andy," he said. "Promise me, or we can't do this. If you're not done with the fear, it means you still don't trust me, so promise me."

"I promise, Matt," I said.

But I knew that, whatever happened tonight, I might have to promise over and over and over before things were completely okay.

So be it.

He began kissing my torso again, moving lower and lower, until he'd reached his intended destination.

I closed my eyes and felt the warmth and wet of his mouth surround my cock. His hands caressed my bare ass, bringing a moan up from the deep places within me and out into the air. The sensations were beyond ecstasy. My emotions were past the point of control. I wasn't crying, exactly...at least not out of grief...but tears were streaming down my face.

Never.

Never ever, not even in my most desperate needs and fantasies since that night on the beach so long ago, did I believe anything like this would ever happen.

No words were adequate. I had no coherent thoughts left. Quiet ecstasy bloomed inside me, an impossibility after having walked through so much pain; but there it was.

I needed to say something to him, no matter how lame. "So good, Matt. Oh, god, I can't even tell you..."

He stopped for just a minute, pulled off me, and looked up, smiling. "I love you," he said. "Don't talk. Just feel it."

He took me into his mouth again and continued.

Matt had never sucked a dick, but what he was doing was perfect; he completely mastered my body. It was as if he'd focused totally on discovering the tempo and touch that brought me the most pleasure.

And as I rolled my head back, my mind kept repeating a newfound mantra:

My Matt...my missing half...

Matt. Who'd endured, and suffered, and waited with faith and hope even as I was wounding him, even as I made him into one of my personal monsters.

Matt. Who'd never given up on me.

Who wanted, in this coupling, to undo the last two and a half years by bringing back that magic night, turning it around, and perfecting it.

And he'd succeeded. But it wasn't really the sex; the warm wet heaven of his mouth on my cock was nothing compared to the Place he'd just taken us.


---------


We did exactly what we'd done that long-ago September, only with the roles swapped: He did what I'd done, and I did what he'd done.

Minus the fear. Minus the misgivings. Minus the self-loathing on my part.

Almost.

When he'd swallowed the blast of cum he'd pulled out of me, we lay on the blanket, cuddling and kissing. Naked. The whole time, though, I kept thinking that it wouldn't be perfect until he fucked me. If only to make the evening a complete counterbalance to that first time.

So I decided to break the silence of our cuddling.

Before I did so, I had to assure myself: He loves me.

I reflected on it, and realized I knew it was true. I just had to act on what I knew. So I put aside the armor, all of it; laid open my chest for him to crush or cherish.

"Matt?"

"Yeah?"

"I want...I mean, do you think...would you want to...you know, make love to me?"

He looked into my eyes without answering at first. My breaths became shallow and quick and scared.

He smiled. "I didn't want to push it. I knew you'd been with guys that way, but..."

I interrupted him. "I wanted you to be the first. I wished you had been the first. But I knew it would never happen. So..."

A couple of tears fell down my cheeks; he leaned in and kissed them.

"No more tears," he said. "It's okay. I mean, me too; I wish I could have been the one...or...well, when you told me at Christmas about you and other guys, at first I was so angry and hurt."

"Why?" I asked.

"I...no, we can talk about it later," he said. "Let's stay with the original topic. Drew...we were more than friends. That word doesn't cover what we had...maybe what we still have?"

"Yes. What we still have. If you'll let me in."

"I never shut you out. Never stopped hoping this day would come."

"The day when you could fuck me?" I asked, uncomprehending.

"No," he said. "I mean, well, yeah, sort of. But not so much that. More like, I never stopped hoping that we'd get back to...to feeling like we used to feel together. Being like we used to be together. And I was ready for the lovemaking to be part of the package, if that's what it involved."

He frowned at what he'd just said. "That sounds wrong. It's not something I figured I'd just tolerate. It's just...it's just new to me, and sort of...well, sort of against the grain."

He paused, reflecting. "But I want it. I do want to make love to you. And I will, if you'll let me."

"Are you sure?" I said.

"Look at me," he replied, directing his gaze--and mine--toward his crotch.

He was as hard as I'd ever seen him.

"Jesus, Matt," I said, my voice hoarse with emotion. "I...oh, God, I never dreamed we'd...Let you? Are you kidding?" I said. "I need you now, I need you this night...I need you inside me. I can't believe you want to do this with me after...fuck, Matt, I hurt you so bad..."

"That's finished," he said, rubbing my back. "And now it's just you and me again. You and me and the love. Do you believe me?"

I looked into his eyes. "Yes," I said, without a trace of doubt or second-guessing.

"Good," he said. "Then let me get a condom to roll onto this bad boy, and I'm gonna fuck you."

He reached into a bag of supplies and pulled out his wallet. Opening it up, he grabbed a wrapped condom.

I gulped. And tried to inject some levity: "Prepared, huh?"

"Hey, I was a Scout, and so were you, remember?"

I chuckled. "Well, I ain't prepared. Got no Astroglide in my wallet."

"The condom's lubed, Andy. I won't tear you up."


---------


I wanted it to hurt, though.

I wanted to be punished. I wanted to make amends for what I had done.

"Just love me, Matt," I said, as I lay back. "Do what you want...just love me, and don't ever go away. Take me hard if you want. Make me pay."

"Fuck that, that's just stupid. But I'm tellin' you this. After tonight, you can't push me away," he said, the note of desperation sounding in his voice again. "I won't let you do that again. I'll fight you if I have to, but I ain't leavin' ever again. And I won't let you leave, either." He paused, considering. "I...I mean, if you ever don't love me, of course I'd...

"Shut up," I said. "Not possible. Now make love to me."

He smiled and kissed me. Then he put two fingers in his mouth, wet them, and brought them to my vulnerable spot. The place he planned to claim.

I winced a little as the first finger went in, but my dick pulsed and my sphincter muscles tightened around his finger as if I wanted him to stay there forever.

He worked me for a while and eventually added the second finger. I closed my eyes, focused on relaxing, and let my desire for him...

my love for him...

take me where he was leading.

After he'd stretched me with two fingers for a while, he looked into my eyes. "Ready?"

"For you to love me? Hells, yes," I said. "I just had to make my mind believe it."

"Does your mind believe it?"

"All of me believes it."

"I love you," he said, kissing me on the cheek.

He tore open the wrapper and pulled out the condom. I sat up. "Let me do it," I said. "Stand up."

He smiled, stood up, and handed me the rubber ring.

Kneeling in front of him, I brought my face to his crotch and inhaled.

Matt. My Matt.

I began kissing his scrotum, caressing his balls.

I wrapped my hand around his cock and felt the mind-bending combination of hard and tender. So much like the rest of him, I mused. I began kissing his cock.

He took a sharp breath in. "Careful," he said. "I'll finish right now if you do too much of that."

I let go and put the ring of latex at the head of his dick. Rolling the rubber sheath down over his shaft, I stroked up and down to distribute the lube down the length of it. Then I reached back and coated my asshole with the lubrication left on my fingers.

I lay back and he lowered himself over me. "I love you," he whispered once again as he kissed me.

He took my ankles in his hands and rolled my legs back, my ass forward, exposing my hole.

Pulling in close to me, he guided the head of his cock toward it. I felt the sheathed head press lightly against my opening.

"Take me," I said, looking into his eyes.

I wanted him to assault me, brutalize me, make me pay for two and a half years of pain. I deserved it.

But the wish was impossible to sustain as I felt him push into me ever so gently, ever so lovingly.

I'd never seen his eyes like this: Full of pain and surprise and wonder and love and ecstasy and utter, complete, unmerited devotion.

How can he love me this much? I wondered. And how could I have been so blind?

All thoughts of having him extract payment or revenge dissolved in the wash of sensations and emotions.

When he'd sunk himself into me completely, he leaned in and began covering my face with kisses. "You're mine now, and I won't let you do this again," he whispered.

"I promise, Matt. I promise. I'll never turn my back on you. Always friends, always best friends. From now on. Always."

He made love to me, filling me. Filling me with his love. His kisses. His cock. Over and over he told me that he loved me; over and over my mind and my heart took in this new, old, never-gone reality.

Our bodies began to shimmer with sweat in the firelight. Our words of love began to dissipate. Our breathing grew louder and more urgent. I gripped him tightly, my hands on his ass, pulling him into me on the downstroke as he pumped.

Much too soon, he grimaced. "Andy," he groaned, and fired into me.

I jerked myself as he pumped his semen into the condom. Ten seconds after he'd started, I came too, squirting on his chest and abs.

When he was finished, he collapsed onto me. I lay there, holding him tight, feeling his body heavy on top of mine.

"Andy..." he said as I stroked his back in the aftermath.

"Tell me, buddy," I replied.

"It's...it's like we never had...had the bad stuff. It's like I never lost you. I...Oh god, I'm so happy."

I hoped so, but I needed to check.

"Matt?"

"Yeah?"

"The sex...the lovemaking...you're straight. 'Best friends' doesn't mean..."

"Shhh," he whispered. "Hush. Let's just rest for a little bit."

"But the sex..."

"It was perfect," he said. "Look at us."

He was right. Somehow in these acts that much of the world calls unnatural, we found our way back to each other, and the cold years between us--the years where I'd wrenched us apart--vanished from our hearts.


---------


In the aftermath, he sat by the fire, leaning back against me, as I rubbed his back and kissed his shoulders.

1998 had come alive again, minus the claws, and melded with 2000.

I didn't feel the distance or the years of pain any longer; but more importantly, I didn't feel the fear, either. He'd sent it packing.

After twenty minutes or so, he reached over to his board shorts, stood up, and put them on. He grabbed mine and extended a hand. I reached for it, and he pulled me up, saying, "Get dressed. I can see your mind rolling over and over. I can see it in your eyes. Let's walk and talk."

I wasn't aware--consciously--of being agitated. But I did what he'd asked.

We began strolling down the beach, hand in hand, and I realized he'd been right. So I started.

"What does it all mean?"

He squeezed my hand. "It means I love you, Andy, like I've always loved you. It means I got your back and always have. It means maybe we can walk away from this frozen hell between us that we've been in. What does it mean to you?"

I stopped walking and turned to face him. "It means I just got back a part of myself.

"I've loved you forever," I said, "and you know what's all in that. I don't need you to love me like that. I mean, tonight was great, but it was just a way to...I mean, if I can have you just be okay with the way I feel, that's all..."

"I can love you like that," he said, interrupting.

"You mean you can be okay with me feeling like..."

"I mean I can love you like that," he said, clipping off my sentence for the second time. "I liked it the first time...back in senior year...and I liked it tonight."

I frowned. "But..."

"I tried to show you before."

"What?"

"That night senior year. The first time. At the beach. I tried to show you even back then. I was waiting for you to ask me that night, waiting for you to ask what it meant, where we'd go from there."

My mind began to sway and reel. "What would you have told me?"

"I was ready, Andy. I would have been with you like that for our whole senior year."

"You...you're saying that I could..."

"I would have been your lover that year, Andy," he said. "If you'd just have asked. I wanted to love you like that. I was ready."

I didn't know what to say. All I could get out was, "You're straight."

"I don't think that has much to do with anything when you love somebody," he said.

"I don't know about that," I replied. "And how long have you felt it that strong?"

"I've loved you that strong as long as I can remember," he said.

"But the sex..."

"I don't know, what you wanted only gradually occurred to me. But I don't care, if I had realized earlier, I'd have been willing to do it earlier. I've always loved you so, so much. I'd do anything for you. It's been that way as far back as my memory of you goes."

"But after I was so...so hateful to you. Did you feel this way while we were at college?"

"More than ever," he said. "And what you were doing hurt me so much..."

I winced. "I said I'm sorry, Matt. Can you please..."

"No, it's fine, Andy, that's over now," he said. "You asked me if I felt that way at college. Loving you enough to be with you like this."

"Yeah?" I waited to hear what he was going to say as he tried to figure out how to put it.

"I was just trying to say that there was hardly a day that went by in college that I didn't think about you that way," he began.

"Nights were the worst. Nights, man...I'm talking about after the lights were out, when I was just lying in bed, waiting to fall asleep. I usually had some music going, Brent didn't care. He was my roommate. Although, he probably got sick of hearing...anyway, that was when I felt you so strong in my heart. Needed you so much. What I meant about him getting sick was I used to lie in my bed at night playing...well, you know, that Foo Fighters song "February Stars" over and over and thinking about you and me. And crying. Just letting the tears stream down my face and trying to keep quiet enough so Brent wouldn't know I was crying. And thinking about the physical things we did that night...you know, the sexual things...it all combined with the love I felt. I wanted to remember it at night. I wanted to think about you. It hurt so bad, but I wanted to think about you. And what we did that night. And I wanted that again. The sex...with...shit, with a guy's equipment. So different, but I...I wanted it again. I wanted it more. I...I don't know..."

Interrupting him, I asked, "Why didn't you get with some other guy if you needed to be with a guy so much?"

"You said it yourself. I'm straight." He put a hand on my arm. "I don't want to be with any other guy like that. Only you."

"Why?" I said.

He extinguished the look of exasperation on his face almost before I could see it, but not quite.

"Because I'm not in love with any other guy. You're the only guy I've ever been in love with."

In love.

My mind split and went three places.

He's in love with me.

What he said, about sex with guys, that's not coherent.

He listened over and over to "February Stars" and thought of me. And cried.

I followed that path of that third thought, and replayed the lyrics of "February Stars" inside my head; as I thought of Matt lying in bed, applying those lyrics to the two of us, a searing metal rod of guilt and regret pushed into my gut.

His eyes grew wide with concern as he looked at me. "Leave it alone, Sharpe," he said, recognizing and registering my distress. "It's a good song, anyway. It reminded me of you, and of what I was gonna do. Some day."

I stared at him in wonder.

"I would have never done what I did tonight without it."

I wiped my forehead with my hand. The campfire had me sweating. Surely it was that.

I wanted to ask him something else. "The guitar tonight. The song. You..."

"I needed your attention. Something had to start the words flowing. Something had to get this poison shit out of us. I saw that. I knew it. But I wasn't gonna say, 'We need to talk.' You would have run again."

"No way."

"Yes way. I love you, Drew, but it's your nature. Tell me it's not true."

I was indignant. "I promised myself..."

"I know you did. But old habits..." He didn't finish the sentence. No point.

After a moment, he continued. "Anyway, let's drop it." He pulled me close to him and began kissing me all over the face. "We're done with that shit," he whispered.

I relaxed and banished the regrets. We were here now. We were together now. The old stuff didn't matter; we were at A New Place. Our claim on the ground was tenuous, but we were there.

He continued. "Back to high school. I was trying to show you the same thing at the end of the year, at our first July 4th thing. The Extreme song."

I thought of that night's agony for just an instant and felt the land under me falter a little.

I shook it off. "But that was high school; what does any of that have to do with..."

He sighed. "I'm trying to say the offer stands, doofus. This doesn't have to be the last time. You want me to be your lover, I'll be happy to be your lover. I want it. It would be the best thing that ever happened to us. Do you still not get it, Andy? I want to be as close to you as I can. I always have. I turned it over in my mind before that last August in high school, before it all went to hell. Actually, I thought about it a little bit the year before, maybe. Because by then I knew."

I could only stare at him in amazement.

"I'll tell you about it some time, but not tonight. My point is, I knew back then what I was willing to do. What I was wanting to do. And I know it now. I've been ready to be your lover since I was eighteen."

He let the gravity of that sink in, and then finished: "So now I need to know this: Do you want that?"

My heart was in my throat. I croaked out, "I love you."

"I know," he said, smiling. "I love you too."

We fell silent. He looked at me expectantly.

Finally, he said, "Well?"

I blinked. " 'Well' what?"

"Say something," he answered, anxiety rising in his voice. "I asked if..."

"I know," I said.

I wanted to say, "Of course." But it was all too much; this was beyond anything I'd conceived. As a result, I was tongue-tied.

Before I could clear out the internal chaos sufficiently to answer, he added, "But I guess I think we have to be clear."

"Clear on what?"

He paused a little. Something wary flashed across his eyes. "I don't know how to say this any way but to just ask you straight out: You...you wouldn't want us to be...I mean, I hope you're not thinking that we'd...Well, life partners, Andy, I don't think..."

"You're straight, Matt," I said, anticipating his concern. "So am I, basically. Or at least I need the women."

"I know, but..."

I smiled. "I'm back with Angie."

His eyes grew wide. "Fuck...you are?"

I nodded.

He smiled hugely. For two reasons, probably. One was that she was always his idea of my perfect soulmate.

"You're not shittin' me, are you?"

"Nope," I said. "It's the direction I see my life taking."

"You mean, like y'all are thinking this could be the real deal?"

"Yep," I said. "Time will tell. We're still a coupla college kids. But you know how we were together. We're still like that."

The relief in his face was apparent. "So it's not like you wanna..."

"Set up house with you some day? No," I said, laughing. "Best friends, just like before, okay? I mean, if we could just look at the last couple of years as a phase, right? Pick up like we've always been before all the shit?"

He pulled me over toward him and hugged me. "Pick up like we've always been. Yeah. Good. Perfect."

His eyes twinkled mischief, and he added, "But if I'm up for the lovemaking that's okay, too?"

He winked at me. I felt myself blush. I nodded. "I'd like that," I said quietly. "It's not anything I ever hoped for."

"Well, it's something I've hoped for." He pulled my hand to his lips and kissed it, before he asked, "And you don't care about me seeing women?"

I snorted. "Don't be an idiot."

"Don't care about me having sex with them? Making love to them?"

"You think Angie and I are gonna move into separate rooms in, like, a convent or something?"

That got me another smile. "I'm just trying to wrap my head around it, okay? I wanted to show you I'd do anything for you. Just about, anyway. I want us to love each other. I want us to be close. Closer than we've ever been. I don't want to lose you again. Not ever. Not ever, Drew. I mean it."

His eyes became intense and his entire face became serious. "I want to be your lover."

I sat there, trying to control my breathing. With all the horrible things I'd done to him, what good could I possibly have done that had resulted in this?

"It's true," he said. "But just so you know. I'm really happy about Angie, because then...well, I can only be who I am, just like you. I want to find some girl to love and have what you have with her someday."

"Of course," I said. "I want that for you too. Matt, I love you so much, boy...I want you to have everything in life you ever dreamed of. I want you to get married, settle down, have kids. I just...I just need you in my life."

"I need you in mine, too," he said. "So it looks like we've both gotten back something we need."

"Come here," I said. He walked over to me and I pulled him into an embrace. He brought his lips to mine, and we began kissing each other. On the lips, with tongues; on the face; on the neck, making out under the moonlight with intensity, with passion...with joy. I was beside myself with happiness; I wasn't sure I'd be able to contain it fully.

Eventually, we got back to our campsite. We undressed each other and lay on the blanket again, cuddling and kissing, and whispering our pledges of love to each other.

At some point as the time drifted by, I saw his face cloud over. "What about Angie, though?"

I understood the question. "I'll tell her about tonight. But I told her about it the last time. She knows I love you. I wouldn't have done this tonight if I thought...if I thought it was going to be a problem."

"She knows about now? I know she knows about back in the day, but..."

"Yeah, she knows I love you now. Actually, she even knows that I'm in love with you, and that I always have been."

"And it's okay?"

"I can't say for sure, but seems like. I'll let you know. I'm not worried."

I sat up, and he joined me. We sat side by side for a while, staring out into the ocean, not speaking.

After a half hour or so, he laid his head in my lap. In the quiet crackle of the firelight, I ran my fingers through his hair and stroked his head.

I was home.

2003-2013 Adam Phillips; All Rights Reserved. This story and its characters remain the property of the author and may not be reproduced or republished elsewhere without the author's written consent. Chapters may contain scenes depicting a loving and/or sexual relationship between consenting males. If you find this material morally or legally questionable, please do not read further.
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FINALLY!!! Now, I feel better and less stressed on what was gonna happen. I realize it is just a story that I got wrapped up in, but I REALLY enjoy it. Look foward to more. Thanks again for sharing your creativity and talent.

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I've got to agree with Jdkrebs above...Even though "it's just a story"' it was told so incredibly well.

 

I dispared that Andy would never get it figured out and that Matt would be left torn and drifting without the rock that was Andy, when he needed it most in his earlier childhood. I'm so happy to have them exorcise the demons of the last two years and be more into each other than they ever were before, and still be able to recognize that they both still need more from other relationships to be complete. Many emotions and a few tears were wrung from me with this chapter.

 

I still have a concern though over how the opening chapter played out with Matt being in the empty condo reflecting on a room that would forever have Matt's name on the door, a room that would forever remain empty...at least that is how I recall the story beginning...

 

Hopefully the story will not go forth from this chapter and have an event that occurs to take Matt and Andy away from what they've restored and strengthened...not sure that I could take that.

 

Thanks Adam for this GREAT story!

:worship:

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Great chapter. Finally, your right, this is what we’ve ( well I have anyway) been waiting for. Thanks so much.

 

 

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I started crying when Matt started to play the song and I've been crying ever since. It broke my heart when Andy FINALLY realized what he could have had...

 

It's such a great story, thank you for writing it!

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Oh man...thanks. You know, reading this was sort of religious experience for me...it says so much of what I've heard said in church (but not always seen practiced). this is so spot on! thanks again

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This would be a good place to finish -- sigh. I've gotten caught up in this long saga, and it has been a wonderful tale of growing up, reconciliation and finding peace with oneself. Thank you.

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I can't believe - but this was a story so well told that I have to - just like Matt & Andy's love - I have to believe it. Wow - what an amazing trip - Hope it isn't over - no my wish is that you have had (and will have if you choose to continue the story) as much joy in the sharing as I've had. Simply one of those stories that I can set aside and read again and again.

It helps when the pain creaps in, reading again - it's like sharing when the joy is overwhelming. It is like adding a third person to their incredible, emotional trip. Thank you so much for these two lives and their sharing. :music:

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WOW is almost all I can say. Fantastic chapter. I have to agree with KevinD and hope that something does not happen that causes a split between Matt and Andy again.

 

It is a fantastic story Adam!! thumbsupsmileyanim.gif

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On 03/23/2011 11:22 AM, byboy said:
I can't believe - but this was a story so well told that I have to - just like Matt & Andy's love - I have to believe it. Wow - what an amazing trip - Hope it isn't over - no my wish is that you have had (and will have if you choose to continue the story) as much joy in the sharing as I've had. Simply one of those stories that I can set aside and read again and again.

It helps when the pain creaps in, reading again - it's like sharing when the joy is overwhelming. It is like adding a third person to their incredible, emotional trip. Thank you so much for these two lives and their sharing. :music:

For what it's worth, there are several chapters more to go in Crosscurrents. --Adam
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Beautiful turn from mid with increase resulting wonderful ending of this chapter! Last three lines sky-rocketed my satisfaction.

 

Hope the boys will come to understand the gravity of being lovers.

 

Great read! thumbsupsmileyanim.gif

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Read this as soon as it came out, but waited a little while to comment/review.

 

Great job with this one, Adam. Simply beautiful. Like always, you conveyed the fullness of the emotion. No punches were pulled about Matt's pain and anguish, but love and wholeness seemed to emanate from the lines- the love and wholeness for which Andy and Matt have both been longing. Thank you for continuing to share with us.

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WTF, dude, I thought clicking the 'Like' button for this story meant I would get updates for it. *shrugs* No matter.

 

So, I KNEW IT. He got here kicking and screaming but I knew he'd get here eventually. You really can't force some people to do anything. It's my favorite part about Andy...it's had me wanting to slap him and set him straight a few times, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't love him for it. This was GREAT. I have...very few words right now, but it was beautiful. I'll be back with a more coherent review once this has had a chance to settle.

 

 

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I read all your chapters in one sitting. I've cried more than once. I am glad that Andy and Matt found their way back to one another. There are parts here that might haunt me. Some things struck a little close to home. But it was a beautiful story and I am glad you shared it.

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On 04/17/2011 10:42 PM, comicfan said:
I read all your chapters in one sitting. I've cried more than once. I am glad that Andy and Matt found their way back to one another. There are parts here that might haunt me. Some things struck a little close to home. But it was a beautiful story and I am glad you shared it.
This story is not over, comicfan. There are about 4 more chapters to go.
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Guest light secret

Posted

This chapter had me cried...the confrontation at the beach was so emotional. I am feeling it. Andy was vulnerable and Matt was tired and about to give up. You are a great writer Adam. This deserves to be publish or a movie adaptation, of course minus the Rated X content. The story itself is beautifully written and convincing. Congratulation.

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Awesome story and chapter, but hey, it's been a while since this got updated. Any information about the next chapter/chapters or any updates would be great, thanks!

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Is there more??? Really?????? I want more then!!

 

If it makes any difference at all, Crosscurrents is my only favorite story on the site, needless to say out of so many amazing stories..

 

But I think I'm hard to please and your story was so good it touched my heart in more ways than one!!

 

:worship:Thank you so much!

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On 05/10/2011 09:00 PM, Tara00 said:
Is there more??? Really?????? I want more then!!

 

If it makes any difference at all, Crosscurrents is my only favorite story on the site, needless to say out of so many amazing stories..

 

But I think I'm hard to please and your story was so good it touched my heart in more ways than one!!

 

:worship:Thank you so much!

I've had some distractions for the past couple of months. I'll get on Crosscurrents next week and see if we can't get this dang thing finished by the end of summer.
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Great story

However, judging from the prologue, we're still going to have to face another truckload of drama.

I don't know if I could take it, heh.

Anyway, thanks for sharing! cap.gif

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