My Side of Your Bed

What the fuck are you thinking, James? After all we've been through, all the things our love has endured. Why did you do this to me?

Don't you remember, back in grade 10, when it all started?

We were just kids, fresh-faced and innocent. It was in gym class when I fell in love with you. On the first day, playing dodgeball, you got hit in the head with the ball and had to sit the rest of the class out.

I felt terrible for you. Do you remember what happened next?

I sat out the class with you. I lost all the class's marks, but I didn't care. What's a day's gym marks compared to spending time with the beautiful, amazing James Dylan?

After that one meeting with you, I was smitten. My school notebooks and textbooks were inscribed all over with your name, and our initials in hearts.

I remember being so afraid that you didn't feel the same way. I heard rumors about you having had girlfriends, and there were times when I would cry myself to sleep.

Do you remember what happened on October 7th?

I remember everything.

We happened to be in the bathroom at the same time. We were chatting casually and I tried to subtly wipe the sweat off my palms.

Then you told me you liked my hair, and I couldn't believe it. You were flirting with me. Maybe you were gay, after all.

Then you kissed me shyly on the lips.

Before long we were locked in a bathroom stall, pulling off each other's jeans and t-shirts, our heavy breathing mixed with grunts and moans.

When we were finished and gazing into each other's eyes as our racing hearts quieted down, I asked you in a whisper, "Are 'we' a secret, James?"

You had closed your eyes and let out a long breath against my skin. You kissed me again.

"Of course not," you murmured.

You said you wouldn't do that to me. You told me you wanted to be my boyfriend, if I would let you.

From that moment on, we were boyfriends, as publicly dating as the hot cheerleader-football player couples. Your friends wouldn't speak to you again after we came out, and mine rejected me, too. Every day at school we were made fun of for holding hands or kissing in the hallways.

After school we went to your house, because my stepfather wouldn't tolerate 'a couple of faggots' in his house, and you would cry. I held you, rocked you back and forth, kissed you, as you told me how much you hated everyone.

"We love each other, don't we? Just like those guys and their girlfriends. So why are we any different?"

I couldn't give you an answer.

I remember fearing every day that everyone's insults would cut you deep enough that you would not be able to stand it and break up with me. I was prepared for heartbreak, but I gave you all I had, anyway.

Even though everyone tried their hardest to hurt us, we held on to each other, and we lasted longer than all those heterosexual trend couples that tried to bring us down. By graduation we were still deeply in love.

The week after we graduated we left the small town we had both grown up in. We got an apartment in the city together and got jobs. You worked in a funky boutique down the street while I was hired at the local guitar shop.

We were living our dream. We were two trendy kids in love in the big city, having the time of our lives.

I still have a lot of pictures we took from that time, of us together in our apartment or out on the scene. With these snapshots in my box of memories are the DVDs we made, some footage of our little band playing, some of us hanging, some of us doing things slightly more X-rated.

In the fall you went back to school at the university while I kept working at the guitar shop. We didn't see much of each other during the day, except at lunch, so we would stay up late every night talking, or just being together in a silence broken only by the noises of our kisses.

Do you remember how happy we were together?

A few years passed, and very little changed between us. Our love was still going strong, it all still felt new. Sparks still flew between us when we were together, and when we made love it still felt just as amazing as that first time in the boy's bathroom.

This year, the year we turn twenty three, we moved to a house in a pretty neighbourhood full of little caf├ęs and music stores, one of which I own. You are a substitute teacher at the local high school. Every day you come home full of funny stories about your day, and I listen.

We're pretty happy, aren't we?

We're still just as in love as when we were fifteen, eight years ago, aren't we?

So explain what happened today, James.

I came home from the shop, and I saw your car in the garage. You were home pretty early.

On our doorstep there lay your red Converse shoes, and beside them there was a pair of blue skateboard shoes I didn't recognize.

I let myself inside our house and heard a sound from the living room.

I walked down the hall, glanced in.

You were on the couch, half naked, on top of some shaggy-haired kid. You are unzipping his fly, breathing heavily, sliding your hands down his pants, like you have done more than a hundred times before with me.

With tears stinging my eyes, I left the house, got back in my car, and took the wheel, my world crashing down around me.

Now I sit in my car, in a park we visit often. There is a gun in my lap, loaded and ready.

Look what you've done, my love.

Once you were the start, and now you are the end.

So in a minute I will put down my pen and replace it in my hand with the gun.

I will hold it to my head.

I will pull the trigger.

But before I die, James, I ask you one thing:

Will he steal my side of your bed tonight?