(All title credit belongs to Elton John and Bernie Taupin)
For Freya, as a joke and a tease. And because then I can make it up to her later.
Someone Saved My Life Tonight
"You shouldn't marry her." I sit there and wait for the response. He's not going to like me for this, I know.
"Why not? Do you know something you're not telling me? Has she been cheating?" The panic isn't there; the questioning is almost casual. Just a hint of desperation, telling me that I'm doing the right thing. Step two, don't look at his face, don't back out now, don't move too fast. Step two.
"No. I don't think you love her." One, two, three….
"What the fuck? Where do you get off saying anything like that, you bloody bastard! You don't know the first thing…"
"I know you." Three words, not the three I wanted to say, but they stop him dead in his tracks, and now desperation is showing in his face, begging me to continue, begging me to stop doing this. Fuck, this is harder than I thought it would be. I want to give into that face. Shit.
"You obviously don't." There's a second of regained composure on his face, enough to make me doubt further. I don't want to lose him.
"I do, I've known you forever, I know you. You don't love her. And she's just using you, your fame. " He glances out the window, muggy London air making the East End lights seem hazy. If I don't do this properly, he's going to the altar, she'll fuck up his life, and I'll lose him. I'll lose him, and I can't bear that. I won't. "Talk to me. Please. Tell me the truth, just try." The begging in my voice is almost embarrassing.
"Why?" Fuck, tears now. Here comes the hard part.
"I…I think you're gay." I put my arm up against his blows exactly three seconds before they hit. I keep on talking, trying not to yell, but trying to be heard above his sobbing anyway. "You always look at guys, and don't tell me you've never fooled around with them, because I've walked in on you with one of the guy, from the road." He aims for my face, but my hand catches his fist and holds on to it. "You're standoffish with women, even your girlfriends, you're never all over them. In fact you hardly touch them, you seem to hate your self every time you do. I know you, I know you." He fights to get his fist free and, during the tug of war that ensues, falls onto my chest. My other arm locks around him. "You kissed me once, when you were drunk. Told me you loved me."
The sobs stop abruptly. He looks up at me, blinking. "I did not. I would remember that."
There is a second of silence in which I wonder what he's thinking. Then I realize, it's my move. Step four, can't back down now, I've already fucked it up this much. Oh, fuck, I've already ruined any chance of us being friends again. Proceed with step four before he bolts.
I kiss him. He pushes against me, trying to pull away, but I can't let him go. I keep him against me, lips against lips, until he stops fighting. I pull away.
"You're the gay one." His voice is shaky, and his eyes have dried. I'm out of steps. I have to improvise this part.
"Even if you're straight, she'll fuck up your life, El, you know she will. You don't love her, gay or no." I see his eyes waver, looking at my lips briefly, then registering what I'm saying. His eyes go bright for a moment, and then go hard. " She wants the fame, she wants the coattails into society. Think about it. Has she ever been affectionate if no one else was there? And how often has she asked for tokens of your love? I know those jewels cost a pretty penny. Listen to me, for fucks sake. I love you, ok? I don't want you to get hurt, I don't want her to fuck with you." I stop slightly out of breath. The room is silent, and I wonder if I was yelling.
" You love me?" Ok, now what?
"Yes." I can't help it if I sound terse. I just need him to understand. I need him to promise me he won't let her do him over. "She'll make you into one of those high society types, she'll kill your individualism, she'll.."
"Shut up about her. You love me?"
"Yes, but that's not the point."
"I think it is" I can't read him, what if I never could? I'm in way to deep here. Best laid plans, usual cliches. I hate this.
"Why? You're about to throw your life away to some as undeserving as her, and you want to talk about my feelings?" This is out of my hands.
"Yes. What about you throwing your life away, never telling me that you love me?" His face has lightened, and there's a spark in his eyes.
"I just did." I throw up my hands in desperation, and he laughs. A real laugh and I could kiss him for it. Except I already did, and look how that turned out.
"I….I'm sorry for hitting you." What? " I didn't hurt you, did I?"
"No." Are we back to playful friendship banter again?
"Are you going to call off the wedding for me?" Wait…I got through to him? It worked?
"Yes…" I'm not sure if I've won.
"Tell her, I want to think some things over, ok? Don't hurt her." He still wants to protect her. He amazes me. "Oh, and one last thing."
He kisses me again.
"Maybe I want to try this."