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    gor mu
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

The North Down South - 5. 5. Life is passing by (and today is not coming back)

Wednesdays were for physics. Our professor was a young woman with a round face and a pretty smile. She wore bright red cat-eye glasses and lipstick to match, and whenever she talked about scalars and vectors she became all giddy and excited, which was endearing to see. But it also made her speak much faster than usual, in turn making the class extremely difficult to follow.

All in all, I still found myself enjoying her as a teacher. It was nice to see someone find so much joy in graphs and quantities. Heaven knows I didn’t.

The class lasted a few minutes more than it should’ve, as the professor stayed behind answering students’ questions. Prompted by one of my classmates’ questions, I remembered (perhaps a little late) that our first exam was in less than two weeks.

Great. Just what I need.

I was starting to pack my things and getting ready to leave when I heard someone speak to me from the seat next to mine.

“Hey! Sorry to bother you. Did you by any chance attend this class last week?”

The stranger in question was a pale guy with shoulder-length tawny hair and bright blue eyes. I recognized him from our first day in class, he’d sat right in the front, in the seat closest to the door.

“Um, yeah,” I said. “Do you need my notes?”

He smiled apologetically.

“That’d be great, thanks.”

I handed him my notebook and watched him take pictures of last class’ exercises. It was funny—he must have missed a fair bit of classes, as I was certain I would have noticed him if he’d been there the whole time. He wore black from head to toe: black sweatshirt, black jeans, black combat boots, black-tinted piercings on his face and his ears. The only pop of color on him was a purple hair clip holding back a strand of hair on his right side.

When he was done, he handed me the notebook, and said: “My friends all have terrible handwriting, so I already know not to ask them.”

Hah. I believe their handwriting is bad if mine is good in comparison.”

He shook his head.

“Nah, you’re good. I’m Lautaro, by the way.”

I blinked.

“That’s funny.”

“Funny?”

Instinctively, my hand went to the back of my neck.

“Sorry, it’s nothing. That’s just… Um, my boyfriend’s name is also Lautaro.”

His eyes widened.

“Oh, cool! It’s a sweet name, isn’t it? Most people call me Caffa, though. From Caffaro. That’s my surname.”

“Caffa,” I repeated. “That works for me. I'm Valentín.”

There were two highlights in that simple interaction that I felt very proud of then and there. On the one hand, it was the first time I’d had a proper conversation with a classmate that resulted in a mutual introduction since I started attending university over two months ago. On the other hand, it was the first time I’d mentioned having a boyfriend to a complete stranger since I started going out with Lauti almost a year ago.

Both things had come so naturally I had to remind myself they’d actually happened.

Caffa and I walked outside together, not necessarily talking, but in that way you hover around the only people you know at a place full of strangers like they’re a lifeline. It was probably not a mutual feeling. He seemed like the kind of guy who was at ease with other people, who didn’t mind strangers but simply preferred to make friends out of them.

So much like Tomi, so much unlike me. 

Indeed, right as we walked outside, he recognized a group of people and they all cheerfully greeted each other.

So much unlike me.

I was about to make my way to the spot where I’d parked la Gorda when I heard Caffa call after me.

“Hey! Sorry, those are my friends from Math. We usually grab lunch together after class.”

“Um,” I cleared my throat. “That’s cool. They seem nice.”

“Yeah, they are.” He smiled. “Want to come with? The campus buffet is not as terrible as people say.”

“I’d like that!” I rushed to say, perhaps with a little too much enthusiasm. But then I remembered I’d told Lauti I would have lunch with him, and I still needed to finish working on the Kawasaki, and I wasn’t done with my math problems, and God damn it. 

Time. 

“Although… I should probably get going. I’ve got work and… yeah.”

Caffa shrugged. “Don’t sweat it. You know, the guys and I are planning on getting together some of these days to prepare for the exam. If you’re the sort of person who likes to study in groups, you’re welcome to join us anytime.”

I’d never really studied with anyone other than Lauti, so I didn’t really know if I was “that sort of person”, but I liked the idea nonetheless.

“Yeah, sure. I’m down.”

“Cool!”

I gave him my number and he gave me the promise to text me whenever a date was set for the studying get-together.

God, how embarrassing was it? The warm feeling in my stomach and the upward curve of my lips that I couldn’t manage to erase during the whole ride across town to Lauti’s place.

It was inevitable, I suppose.

After all, when was the last time I made a new friend?

***

There was a nasty vibe in the air when I arrived at Lauti’s. I realized something was wrong the moment Lauti opened the door for me. The look on his face simply spelled out D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R. I gave him a peck on the cheek as a way of greeting, but that did little to shake him out of it. So, something was not just wrong, but really wrong. 

I didn’t dare ask what was up—to be honest, I was scared to.

Up in their apartment, Lauti’s mom had an angular frown on her face, and her lips were pursed so tight they drew a nearly perfectly straight red line. Her usual warmth and nonchalance were gone when she greeted me, and neither Lauti nor her spared a single look in each other’s directions.

If the look on my face spelled anything, it was probably A-W-K-W-A-R-D.

“So,” I tentatively said once Lauti closed the bedroom door behind him. “You… had a fight with your mom.”

His eyebrows arched in a sarcastic expression.

“Alright,” I continued. “Want to talk about it?”

He remained stubbornly silent, arms crossed, back uncharacteristically straight. His eyes were firmly posed on the ground before him. 

Angry Lauti had to be the most difficult Lauti.

“We don’t have to talk about it if you don’t feel like it.”—I wrapped my arms around him—“We could talk about all the movies you’re going to force me to watch despite knowing I’m gonna hate them. Or we can talk about the weather.”

Lauti’s breath was hot as he sighed into my chest. We stood there for a good minute, until he stepped back, eyes glistening, cheeks flushed. For an instant, I thought he might say something about what had happened with his mom. But then, he said:

“They say it’s gonna rain tomorrow.”

I pressed the back of my finger to the corners of his eyes, wiping away the half-formed tears. Then I took a deep breath, and I said:

“Let’s watch that movie of yours.”

***

I ended up staying late at Lauti’s. His mood didn’t really improve all evening, but I managed to distract him enough with the movies and the studying and the sex.

The movie had been a bore, the studying had been a chore, the sex had been… okay. Despite it having been Lauti’s idea, I got the feeling he never quite got into it after all.

He’d fallen asleep after that last bit, so I slid out of the room and made my way into the balcony. Making sure Corina wasn’t around (she wasn’t), I lit up a joint and watched the last remaining bits of sunlight reflect off the buildings across the street. Those days smoking was a rare treat—weed made me drowsy, drowsy Valentín was no good for studying or working or pretty much anything.

My stomach growled just as I realized we hadn’t eaten anything for lunch. 

Fuck.

Maybe I could grab something from the pantry?

My phone buzzed in my pocket: a WhatsApp message from an unknown number.

“Next Wednesday after class!!!”

I squinted at the cryptic message. I was about to ask who the sender was when another message came through.

“Study group. We’re going to the National Library.”

“This is Caffa by the way lol”

I smiled and texted a quick reply.

“gotcha. ill let you know later if i can go”

The balcony door creaked open behind me.

“Is that a marihuana, Mr. Gómez?”

There were bags under Lauti’s eyes, somehow more pronounced under the receding sunlight.

“Yeah. It’s medicinal, though. C’mere.”

I held him for a good minute.

He mumbled into my shirt: “I didn’t ask how your class was today.”

“Yikes, terrible boyfriend behavior,” I ran my hand through his hair. “It was good. I may have made a friend. Too soon to say, though.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah. And I may have a study group now? Not sure if I’ll be able to make it to their get-together, though. I’ve also never talked to any of them before.”

Lauti hummed. “That’s really cool.”

His eyes were now set on the traffic down below. There was something hazy about his expression.

“I could come study here, you know? With you.”

He shook his head.

“Nah, you should go.”

I nodded. Nothing about the look in his eyes or the tone of his voice told me he liked the idea, but I really did not feel like questioning him about it. He’d been in a mood the whole evening, after all.

Our hands had found each other without realizing it. We finished the joint in silence, as the sun bid its final goodbye, disappearing somewhere behind the concrete jungle. 

I felt like letting out a sigh, but held it in.
 

This chapter's title comes from another Gilda song, the iconic "No me arrepiento de este amor". I can't promise there won't be another chapter title off this song, it's just that good 😋

Valen makes a new friend and Lauti's having a bad day! What's going to happen now? 

Are you enjoying the story? As a quick reminder, your comments and feedback are always much appreciated 😉

Copyright © 2022 gor mu; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Well what I speculated in the last chapter comments everything that happened in this chapter makes it seem more likely.I hope its my overactive imagination.If I wasn't thinking what I am thinking this would be good thing usually making friends.I think Valen made a unintentional mistake when he explained his "boyfriend" had the same first name as Caffa.He mentioned that  Caffa's eyes widened .Not because he had the same first name but to me because he heard the word boyfriend and he thinks to himself "Oh he's gay" he invited Valen to the Buffett and then to the study group I think that's moving too fast even if he only wanted to friends.Okay I'll stop here lie I said before I hope Im 100% Wrong

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