With a little laugh at my stunned expression, Jonathan spreads his arms and cocks his hip at an angle so I can take in this outrageous outfit.
"Do you like it?" he asks me.
He is wearing a dress, and I can't believe how amazing he looks. This white minidress glides down his body, hugging him tightly. On anyone else, it would cling to all the wrong places, especially on a girl where there would be breasts and hips where Jon had only flatness and strait angles. The dress seemed to dance down his body gracefully. Perfectly.
"I - um," I stutter, unable to think strait. "Jon - whoa. Are you actually going to wear that?"
His eyes shine at me as he grins. "Uh huh, I am. Do you like it?"
Jon slinks slowly towards me, exaggerating the sexy sway of his hips. He climbs into my lap and, blinking slowly, gazes innocently into my eyes.
"You wouldn't believe how hot you're making me right now."
Jon laughs and kisses me quickly on the cheek. "You're adorable, Zachy."
I chuckle and blush as Jon climbs off of me.
"Really, Zach," Jon continues as he goes to his dresser and plucks a tube of lipstick from a box. "I almost can't believe you're mine. Y'know, the first time I saw you, at that school dance, I was so stunned by you I almost left? I was so shy. I had to work up the courage to go talk to you for a good hour before I actually could do it."
I laugh. "No way. Not you!"
"Yeah, me," Jon says seriously as he slaps the deep crimson red lipstick across his plump lips. "So I decided to just go and grind against you, or something, instead of talking."
"That worked. You had me at that."
He turns away from his reflection in the mirror and smiles big.
"I really do want to marry you, Jon," I say.
He nods, his smile slipping a little. "I know. And I want to marry you, too."
"Okay, Zachy," Jon says brightly. "We need to do your hair now!"
I stand up and pull a hand through the long track of hair that streaks down the middle of my head, my fingertips grazing the stubble on the sides.
Jon hooks his fingers around the waistband of my jeans and pulls me all the way to the bathroom by the crotch, giggling all the way. I grin at his saucy behavior. I'm glad his parents aren't home.
I take off my shirt while Jon pulls the detachable shower head down from the wall and turns on the water. When it is no longer frigidly cold, I kneel down and hang my head over the bathtub. Jon straddles me from behind and douses my hair. I smile as he rubs his fingers through my drenched Mohawk; this is one of my favorite positions to find myself in.
Jon works in sweet-smelling shampoo with his small hands, and my sense are nearly overwhelmed. I close my eyes as Jon's fingers massage my scalp and I gulp in the fragrance of the shampoo. What a lovely time I'm having.
"Okay," Jon says, turning off the water and climbing off me. I wait, my hair dripping thickly, for Jonathan to grab a towel. He wraps it around my head for a minute, not enough to completely dry my hair.
"Sit down on the toilet," Jon instructs me. I obey, and watch Jon as he squishes thick goopy hair gunk out of a tube. He rubs his hands together, then approaches me.
He takes big chunks of my black hair and pulls at it, hard, working the stuff to my scalp. After all my long hair is standing strait up in a tall, glorious fan, the gel begins to dry. Jonathan then whips out his hair dryer, to speed up the process.
My hair is now cement solid, and I pull on the shirt of Jon's choice: a black t-shirt with bats and "Avenged Sevenfold" emblazoned on the front. I had gotten it the last time I saw Avenged Sevenfold in concert, last year. That was the first concert I went to with Jonathan.
Jon wants to do my makeup, so I let him. I just sit here, staring into his beautiful blue eyes as he traces mine with eyeliner, concentrating hard. He dusts on a bit of gray eyeshadow, too, then colours in my lips with black eyeliner.
"Why don't you just use black lipstick?" I ask blankly.
Jon smiles slightly. "Because this way we can still kiss quite hard and not get oo messy."
I laugh and peck him quickly on the lips as I stand up. Jonathan reaches up to my neck and pulls himself up to kiss me again. Our lips stay in contact for a long time before we finally pull away, with shy smiles in place.
I borrow some jewelry from Jon: a studded collar, some cool wristbands. Then I put on my leather jacket, the one Jon gave me for Christmas, and I'm ready to go. We lace up each other's Chuck Taylors and are about to head out the door when Jonathan stops us.
"Wait," he says, and runs back to the kitchen. A moment later he reappears with his father's digital camera. "Let's take a picture."
He stands close beside me, his arm weaved around my neck, looking down with a peaceful smile on his face. I put an arm around his small waist, making sure the camera can see my hand resting on his butt. I lay my lips against the top of Jon's head as the camera clicks.
Jon pulls his arm back and presses the 'view' button on the camera. We don't move from our melodramatic pose as the picture appears on the miniature screen.
Jon smiles. "That's beautiful."
I snuggle him closer. "You're beautiful, Jonathan."
He laughs in delight. How cute.
When we arrive at the venue, there is already a bit of a lineup, but we're pretty close to the front. I can tell everyone is looking at us, or, more specifically, looking at Jon. Some people think he's a girl, then they look harder and notice a lack of breasts, narrow hips, and his thin, but distinctly masculine forearms and hands, then they realize that yes, it is another boy's waist my arms are encircling, and yes, it is another boy's lips I am kissing.
A concert, with a concert's crowd, is one of the only places Jon and I can go where almost no one will mind about us.
We grab a pretty good spot in the line; the real crowds haven't arrived yet. It's beginning to get chilly, even though the sky is still light. Jon folds his arms over his chest and looks at the people walking past us. He is very interested in the boys and girls around us, wearing black leather, torn denim and chains, I see it in his eyes. We are both fascinated by people, but right now I am captivated by only Jon.
I reach out and rub his arms. "Are you getting cold, Jon?"
"A bit," he answers. Then he looks up at me with that glorious glowing grin. "But this dress is worth it."
I smile back, thinking that my own smile could never compare to the beauty of his own. Jon snuggles his head against my chest, and I put my arms around him as he wraps his around my waist. With a kiss to the top of his head we began to sway gently to music only we can hear. Every time we dance in public, only one song drifts through our minds, the same one every time. I softly begin to sing.
Jon gives a bit of a giggle and buries his face even deeper into my chest. As I sing, I feel his tinny voice against my skin, singing along. He has a lovely singing voice, all high and angelic, and not at all shrill. He can reach amazing notes, like a soprano in a church choir. Only it doesn't sound quite human. If I close my eyes, his voice sounds as though it is coming from a supernaturally beautiful fairy-like creature, not a skinny vegan teenage boy. I shiver as his voice enters my head and sends chills down my spine.
It's like I'm having an out-of-body experience. Only I'm in my body; luckily, too, because Jonathan is touching that body. I wouldn't like to miss out on that.
Jon stops singing and the sway of our bodies halts rather abruptly. We are just standing here, arms tightly knotted around each other. I feel Jon's arms pull me even closer to him, and my chest almost hurts before he releases me.
I tilt my head down to peer into his face anxiously, but he turns his head away from me.
"Jon?" I whisper, my voice cracking a little. "What's the matter? You've been acting a little strange all day."
He finally looks up at me, and I believe I can see the ghosts of tears in those stunning eyes, but he tries to disguise them with a fragile smile that those eyes don't share.
"Oh, I'm fine, Zachy," he says. "I think it's just my period."
His weak joke and feeble laugh don't console me. I'm beginning to get worried about him.
"What's the matter, sweetheart?" I whisper in his ear. His breathing starts to accelerate, and his breaths are hot against my skin. He's trying to hold back sobs.
"If I told you what was the matter, Zach," he says thickly as he tries to swallow his tears, "you wouldn't believe me."
As the words leave his lips he loses control and is suddenly weeping. I pull him close to me again and he begins to soak the front of my shirt with those beautiful hot tears.
"Is - um - your friend okay?" the girl behind us asks uncertainly.
"He's all right," I say, telling myself as well as her. "He's just a little upset."
She gazes doubtfully at the top of Jonathan's head that pokes out from my embrace. She's probably thinking that he is a tad more than 'a little upset'. I think I agree.
"Jon, you can tell me," I say soothingly as I brush bits of his hair away from his face with the tips of my fingers. "It's your Zachy. You can tell your Zachy anything."
He whimpers a bit and looks up at me. My heart breaks as I take in the fear and painful misery in his eyes, and the way his chin and lips wobble, shaking with the coming earthquake of tears lurking beneath his eyelashes.
Jonathan shakes his head, sending a few tears streaming down his cheeks, and he wipes them away. He says nothing more about it.
He pulls away from me, now no longer in my arms. I feel despaired, as though he is rejecting me; as though in the space of a few tear-soaked moments he changed his mind about loving me. The thought itself instills a sudden grip of fear in my chest.
"Jonathan?" I say quietly. To my surprise it's my voice's turn to shake.
He looks up at me with a smile through the crystalline tears. The sparkly purple and black makeup splashed around his eyes is messy now, and his mascara is beginning to bleed down his cheeks.
"Don't cry, Zachary," he says sweetly, cupping my face in his small hands. "I don't feel good when you cry. It makes me feel like I don't make you happy anymore."
"You do," is all I can manage to utter.
I smile and close my eyes as he kisses my lips delicately. Afterwards I lick my lips, tasting the sweetness he left behind for me to savor. The gaggle of girls in line behind us whisper, but I don't care. I simply open my eyes to grin at my beloved Jonathan and pretend nothing but his loving gaze exists.
He reaches for my hand and weaves his fingers into the spaces between mine. I squeeze his flawless, tiny hand.
We are now just holding hands in public, like an ordinary teenage couple.
Yet, I ask myself, how ordinary are we, really?
Jonathan is a very social creature. People are drawn to his glowing smile, his adorable giggles, and they way he likes everyone so much. He can never see bad things in anyone.
Before long he is chatting amiably with the crowd of girls behind us. Even though they pretend to be tough and indifferent, with their piercings and chains, they are girls at heart and are enchanted by Jonathan. After everything he says, they all laugh and look at each other with insane grins.
As he continues the conversation, I feel pangs of jealousy like darts being thrown at my heart. I can't help it, I always get a little bit jealous when he hits it off with strangers like this.
"Yeah, I'm here with my boyfriend," Jon tells the girls, leaning his head against my chest. He looks up at me with a secretive smile. "Well, actually... he's my fiancé now. His name is Zach."
"Oh my god, how cute!"
"That's fucking adorable."
I smile tiredly down at Jonathan, silently begging him to stop talking to them. He grins back and cuddles closer to me.
"Stop being silly," he tilts onto his tiptoes to whisper in my ear. "I'm not gonna go strait on you, darling, not now, not ever. No need to get jealous over nothing."
I nod. "Okay, Jon."
"Good boy," he says, and gives me a kiss on the cheek. At this tiny tidbit of affection, my face reddens in a blush and I can't stop a smile. I can feel a small circle of lipstick on my cheek now, a perfect imprint of his rosebud lips.
With a glance at my watch, I am surprised to learn that it is 7:00, and they have opened the doors. Jon cracks an enormous, excited grin, and I put an arm around his shoulders as we walk forward.
A few minutes later our tickets have been ripped, we've been felt up by security guards(after a little bit of gender confusion concerning Jonathan's outfit; they weren't sure to send him to a male or female frisker), and we are let in to the venue. My senses seem to sharpen threefold as we step into the building.
Music plays out of distant speakers, reverberating in the high ceilings. People loiter around the canteen, the bathrooms, or the merch tables, talking to friends. Jon grabs my hand and pulls me to the entrance to the stage.
We walk into the dimly lit room, where tiny beginnings of an eventual mosh pit are being formed. Everyone is sitting on the ground at the moment, but I know the calm will not last.
Jon and I make our way into the stands. We don't like to mosh for the opening bands, we conserve our energy for the reason we came. The feature band.
We sit down and Jonathan pulls a piece of paper and a pen from his pocket. With a smile, he draws two vertical lines crossed by two horizontal lines.
We play Tic Tac Toe for a little while as more and more people filter in. Jon sees a few people he recognizes from school, people I don't know. Everyone skims their eyes over everyone else, and I now that everyone watches Jonathan with an unusual intensity. Oddly enough, I don't find myself feeling resentful or jealous at all as a boy, the typical emo kid, walks by us, mouth open and eyes glued lustfully to Jon. I don't flinch. I know that Jon is beautiful; he attracts those kinds of gazes like flies to flypaper.
I also know that he loves me most, anyway. He must.
"Zach," Jon says.
"What were you thinking, the first time you saw me?"
Wow. That came out of nowhere.
"Do you want the honest-to-God truth?" I say with a bit of a sigh.
"Of course," he answers.
I take my time answering, weighing my words carefully. "I saw you out of the corner of my eye at that dance, and you were with a ton of people. You were smiling. I kept watching you, and thinking - thinking that you would never notice me. I was such a nobody to you, you would never see me."
Jon suddenly rushes forward and kisses me hard and deep. Catching me totally off guard, he climbs hastily into my seat and on top of me. He slams his body against mine and moans a little as I kiss him harder and considerably messier. I run my hands down his chest, and even further down, where I am slightly surprised to discover a hard bulge pushing against the tight fabric of the dress. He lets escape a little yelp of a moan as I touch him there.
I don't even care that we're in public, doing something I had always hoped would be exclusively private. But the people around us melt into the scenery, and all I care about is Jonathan.
Suddenly the yellow lights extinguish, and all around us screams erupt. Jon stops kissing me and looks to the stage as a song's opening feedback blasts into the air.
Blinding lights of every colour in the rainbow explode explode as the opening band begins their show. Jon and I turn our attention to them, but keep our hands on each other. Occasionally Jonathan will slip his fingers down my pants, just long enough for me to get hot and for blood to rush to where he is touching me. But all too soon he will withdraw his hand, killing me over and over.
This boy sure knows how to keep me hooked.
Jon continues to torment me. In my head, I scream at him to stop, or finish what he keeps getting started.
Stop playing this cruel game with me, Jon.
"Keep going," I groan as he pulls his hand away again. I'm now leaning back in my seat, my heart beating hard. Jon, from his perch in my lap, turns his face to me with a sexy smile. The multicolour lights from the stage shine on his face and sparkle in his eyes.
"Do you want to continue this?" he asks. I can barely hear him over the music's roar, but I can read his lips perfectly.
All I can do is nod vigorously.
His eyes gleam recklessly as he licks his lips. Even more sweat pours down my forehead, and more blood pulses in a rush to my crotch as Jonathan begins to pull open my belts.
"Here?" I say.
Jon, now breathing heavily, nods.
"But there're other people here!" I say, looking around us.
Jonathan leans forward and licks me.
"Shh. They won't mind."
Then I realize: being in public is part of the excitement for him. Part of the thrill.
I let him now unbuckle my belts, unbutton and unzip my pants. He pulls them down, along with my boxers, and then slides to his knees in front of me. I spread my legs further apart, lean further back, as Jon takes me in his mouth.
I moan, and then scream. No one else hears me.
It doesn't take long for Jon to bring me to a blissful finish, and one more outbreak of sweat. As he pulls my pants back up and refastens them, I look around anxiously. Everyone else in the stands' gaze is still trained on the stage. I am amazed.
I just had oral sex in public.
And no one noticed.
After the two opening bands have played, a small division of the mosh pit disperses to get a drink, find friends, or head to the merch tables. Jon and I use the opportunity of an intermission to buy a couple of Cokes.
We sit down on the ground near the stands, gulping down our Cokes and talking a bit.
I bet someone passing by would think we were just friends, from the way we are talking, each looking seriously at the other as they speak. That's one of the many things I love about our relationship: we can be best friends as well as lovers.
We can tell each other anything.
I can't help but feel a pang of uncertainty as I think this. Things between us have been so strange today.
"Hey... Zach?" Jon says. His tone is different from how it was a minute before. He sounds scared and sad.
"What's the matter, beautiful?" I ask softly.
The corners of his lips twitch upwards a little at my compliment, but the smile is quickly overtaken by a worried expression. Jonathan blinks before slipping his arms around my torso in a hug.
"I have something to tell you," he says in a whisper, "and it's really important."
"Okay." My heart begins to thud.
I feel him take a deep breath before he says, "Something awful is going to happen later, something I can't -"
He is cut off by the lights being suddenly shut off, and everyone screams. Fog and smoke spill into the room from the stage, and we scramble to our feet in a rush and begin to run blindly towards the crowd.
We can't see anything besides the technicolored lights from the stage. Around us everything is black as I pull Jonathan in front of me by his thin wrists. I bring his body close to mine as we run, preparing to enter the fray.
As the band begins the show with assaulting bass and earsplitting squeals of guitar, Jon and I push and fight our way to the stage. The screaming, insane people packed in tight all around us press into us, but we press back. The entire time we're fighting the current of the crowd, I keep one arm locked firmly around Jon's body, holding him against my chest. I am his mosh pit protector.
We break into a hole in the middle of the pit, where individuals can thrash around, shaking their heads and pushing each other. Adrenaline is pumping heavily through my veins, and Jon can feel it, too. I let go of him, and we enter the circle. Disguising my lack of real dancing ability, I jump wildly, keeping the beat but being beautifully free at the same time. I just jump, spin and scream.
But Jon can actually dance. He moves his small body in crazy ways I never imagined possible, shaking his hips to the speed of the impossibly fast song. His shiny hair is all over his face as he dances. He suddenly lashes out with the chorus like a true thrasher, spinning uncontrollably and jumping at the speed of light.
I go to him, grabbing him by the hips. With a gigantic smile, he dances right up against me.
We sink back into the constraining grip of the mosh pit, just jumping to the rhythm of the unbelievable speed, arms in the air, showing the band what we think.
Sometimes a random guy will try to worm his way between me and Jon. At times like these, I use my height to my advantage and throw myself against them. If I'm lucky, his face will be injured by my Mohawk, too.
I am in total bliss tonight. The two best things in the world, in my opinion, are loud, deafening music, and Jonathan. And here I have them both.
We spend an amazing hour smashing our bodies around, moving in a shockingly unorthodox, yet stunningly beautiful dance. I keep one arm fastened securely around Jon, protecting him from the extreme physical dangers that are always present.
My mind, body, and soul are in complete ecstasy. My ears are throbbing with the guitar and bass on maximum volume. I am jumping aggressively, with the beloved boy of my dreams pressed tight against me, holding my hand. All I feel in my heart right now is love; love for this extraordinary teenage boy, love for the people around me, love for the gods on stage.
All of a sudden the crowd jolts, and a current nearly knocks me over. I stagger sideways, crying out in pain as someone steps on my foot. Very quickly my pain turns to red hot anger, and I push at the people around me.
Suffocating panic builds up in my chest, lending strength to me to shove the crowd.
But they do not let me through.
I feel a wave of sickening terror coarse through me.
Jonathan is gone.
As though I have stolen the strength of those around me, I am suddenly able to get through. I desperately scan the pit around me.
I don't see him anywhere.
I start to scream obscenities at those around me, but I scarcely notice. I notice nothing except Jon's absence from my side.
Subconsciously, I am praying. As I try to find him in this ocean of people, I am bargaining with the Heavenly Power for his safety, even offering myself in his place.
Anything, God. Anything you want from me, you've got it. Just don't let Jon be hurt.
I have been alone for a horribly long time. My vision blurs momentarily, and I swipe at my eyes to clear them. I discover now that I am crying.
My heart is nearly giving in to the despair, now. I push my way out of the pit entirely. I am feverishly hoping that he had the same idea, and that he is looking for me with tears in his eyes, too.
On the edges of the pit all I find are strangers. There is no tiny waif of a boy in drag to greet me.
I try to blink away the liquid pain that springs to my eyes yet again. But the pain remains, no matter how hard I will it away.
Then, passing the first aid kiosk, I see him.
My heart seems to stop as I recognize Jonathan, surrounded by men in paramedics' uniforms, being lifted onto a stretcher. His body is limp, motionless, and one of his legs is bent at a horrible angle. His head falls against his chest, and with a jolt of horror, I notice the blood matted in his hair.
My legs carry me to the kiosk, and my voice shakes as I ask them:
"What happened to him?"
A woman looks up at me. Her eyes are full of worry.
"He was trampled," she tells me gently. "The crowd overwhelmed him. He was crushed."
I begin to cry noisy, hot tears. The paramedic woman comes over to me and begins to comfort me.
"Do you know him?"
"Better than anyone in the world," I mutter. "I'm going to marry him someday."
I don't hear anything else anyone around me says. Jon's face is the only thing I can concentrate on. His eyes are closed, his makeup is all over his face. I notice that his lips are trembling, as though he is trying to whisper words.
The paramedics wheel his stretcher out at a fast pace, and I follow them. Behind me, I hear the band strike up a different tune, and I choke on a brand new wave of tears.
It's our song.
I run after the paramedics, outside, and in the parking lot I see an ambulance's lights, red, white, and blue, flashing through the tears that cloud my vision.
They lift him inside and a few people climb in after him while the others run around to the front of the ambulance. The woman reaches out a hand to me and I take it. She pulls me inside and the doors close behind me.
I slide onto the bench beside Jon's stretcher. Already the paramedics have stickers on his now-exposed chest, to monitor his heartbeat. I reach out to grip his hand, and lean close to whisper to him.
"Jonathan," I gasp. "Jon, it's Zach. It's your Zachy. You're going to be okay."
He groans a little bit, and his eyes roll behind his eyelids.
"You're going to be okay," I repeat, my voice cracking. "And we're going to get married and live in England, and you'll be a rock star and I'll write books. Someday we'll even have kids. You're going to be okay."
Then he opens his mouth and croaks my name.
My heart leaps.
"What, Jon?" I whisper.
His beautiful lips quiver delicately, trying to form the words he wishes to speak. Tears begin to fall from underneath his eyelashes.
"Zachy," he utters. I shake in fear; his voice is just a broken rasp. "This is breaking my heart."
I hold his hand tighter as I use my other hand to tenderly stroke his face.
"Death won't come between us," he whispers. "This isn't the end, okay, Zach?"
I begin to cry all over again as I realize that he knew it all along.
This was what had been plaguing him all today.
"Don't cry," he says. His voice is so small and quiet now.
"How can I not cry?" I somehow manage to ask. "I love you more than anything, Jon."
"I love you more than anything, too," he says softly, a sad smile growing on his lips. "More than anything in this world or any other. Remember that, Zachary."
I nod fervently, and I bend forward to lay a kiss on his cheek.
"Zach," he says, and I now have to lean in close to hear him. "This is not the end."
Against my tear-streaked, reddened cheek, he lets out one last breath.
I withdraw from him, blinking for a horrible, suspended moment before the terror grips me.
With a scream of anguish, I realize that he is gone, and that there is now nothing for me.
The siren of the ambulance fills my head with agony, as this godforsaken vehicle speeds me into the bleak, hellish depths of my future.
A/N: So, there you have it... the longest "short story" ever. So long I had to separate it, even though I hated doing it. I've spent two months(approximately) working on it, and it's taken over my mind. I'm thinking of making it longer, like a full-length novel. Tell me what you think. Leave a comment, pretty-please.