Envy the Fierce (Misunnelse, den voldsom)

The razorblade slid easily across his skin creating minute scraping sounds as tiny bristles of stubble were consequently shaved off revealing a clearer mandible.

He sighed mournfully – he found this daily task tedious and highly uncomfortable, as it resulted in various cuts congregating around his chin area forming temporary scabs which would be the cause for ridicule among his colleagues that day.

Oh well, he thought, at least today's a Saturday and the only person I'm shaving for is Pål.

And there he was, sat on the sofa of the living room with a hacking coughing from years of cigarette abuse. Almost always it was such a severe cough that it seemed his body was making an unsuccessful attempt at bringing up everything between his trachea and colon.

He lit up a cigarette. Mikael groaned… would he never learn?

Pål got up and embraced his love from behind, burying his face in Mikael's shoulders. His Saturday stubble brushed painfully across Mikael's neck leaving the skin raw red and sore. Pål never shaved on Saturdays.

"Any post?" Mikael asked, pouring himself some milk.

"Nei," came the reply, "Just a load of dritt. Mann, mann I'm so tired," he added with a stretch.

"Åh ja, why's that?" Mikael enquired, slumping into a chair.

Pål scratched at his neck nervously, avoiding the other man's gaze.

"I.. uh… got a call from Kjersti."

Mikael's eyes flashed dangerously and all warmth left them replacing his face with a steely, ice-cold glare which froze accusingly in the direction of his boyfriend.

"I see," he said grimly.

"Ja.." Pål went on, "she just wanted a chat….. she's doing well in Iceland. Back in only three weeks."

"Hmm," Mikael murmured stiffly.

The tension in the room had escalated and without so much as a word, Mikael disappeared through the door giving Pål a final dirty look before commencing his morning jog.

The lift was fairly empty much to Mikael's relief. Only two others – a middle aged Belgian widow from downstairs and a teenage boy, Frank, whose hair colour seemed to change with mood occupied the lift.

"God morgen, Herr Haakonsen," the boy said in a lazy drawl.

"Ja, god morgen Frank."

"Is Herr Nyberg still asleep?" The boy asked, "You look angry…lover's tiff?" He added with a malicious grin.

With a horrified glance Mikael replied, "That, ung mann, is none of your business. Unnskyld meg."

The wind sailed past Mikael's ears making his hair flay wildly about as he sped through the crowded streets of the indre-by through to the quieter districts near the park which stretched all the way across the ytre-by.

As his breathing and pace quickened the young man's thoughts bounced around his skull hitting the edges and quickly presenting themselves again incessantly in Mikael's consciousness.

It was true, he thought bitterly, that Pål and Kjersti were simply friends and nothing more but …were they? Paranoia is never an attractive trait in any human being but sometimes indifference could result in the maws of doom tightly enclosing their deadening grip on one's unwatched throat.

He slowed down, clutching at his chest and taking several deep breaths giving the lactic acid in his legs break down as the pain subsided.

It's not like she did not make an issue of Pål's inexperience with men and his wild teen years spent in different womens' beds every week. Somehow, Mikael thought, that was not something that a girlfriend, even an ex, celebrates or indeed glorifies. The mere thought of Pål with all those lecherous harlots and his perfect erect cock sliding easily into their vile, endless openings made Mikael physically sick. That dick was his, not theirs'. How dare they touch my man, he thought, how fucking dare they! Who was he talking about? Just some nameless phantoms from his boyfriend's past.

That woman was a wretched wench despite Mikael's prejudices – her lip would curl satisfactorily each time Pål embraced her. A far different greeting to Mikki's stiff handshakes, which had only recently been demoted to vaguely acknowledging nods and grunts.

It was evident she possessed something that still greatly attracted Pål; that which Mikael could never hope to gain, achieve or attain in this life or the next.

Kjersti was one of those Christians who believed that God made humans to procreate and spread the word of the Lord in order to spend an eternity in an imaginary world beyond the grave. Homosexuality was a mental disorder, she would say, which required her healing touch.. especially when it 'afflicted' her once-beloved.

There was perpetual derision in her eyes, claiming with backed-up 'evidence' from her Good Book that the contours of a woman's body fitted perfectly in conjunction with a man's. What she really meant was that she missed Pål and wanted him resting on her bosom and nestled between her thighs. The loathsome strumpet.

What she needed was not the Good Book, but a good kick.

He's my yin, Mikki mused, not her yang.

It did not help that Mikael was Pål's first and only boyfriend thus it being territory for him. New feelings, impulses and attractions had arisen in him over the past few months and it had taken him time to get used to his newly discovered sexuality. Mikael often caught him ogling at particularly attractive women in the street in a most unseemly and infuriating manner, that set his teeth on edge.

Sufferance for love, eh?

The morning bled easily into midday and the people in the park increased – mothers with children, older people with dogs … and couples. Couples hand-in-hand displaying their affection openly to the rest of the world in sickeningly undisguised glee. Mikael just imagined the physical and verbal abuse they'd receive if he and Pål even considered such a venture.

Everywhere. They were fucking everywhere.

Out of the corner of his eye, Mikael saw a tall blond man with deep blue eyes kiss a slim redhead and as they passed him, Mikael saw with a choking horror that it was Pål and Kjersti.

They strolled by him holding hands and laughing, completely oblivious.

Doubts sprang up in Mikael's mind. Did Pål always have blond hair? Were his eyes even blue? Brown? Hazel? Green? Did Kjersti even go to this park? How could Pål be here if he was in his flat and Kjersti was in Iceland?

But again he saw Pål with Kjersti – this time he had black hair and she had blonde highlights on brown.

There he was again at the opposite end of the park with a mane of bleached hair and Kjersti with her dark Indian complexion, both appeared shorter. Kjersti was Indian?

An army of Påls and Kjerstis now surrounded him making him feel as if they had both superimposed their images upon every young man and woman in the city.

They were everywhere!

Who were the real Påls and the fake ones?

No..no, no, NO! They would not cease to torment him! Passing him indifferently, laughing, as if they just told some great joke.

Mikael spat.

A madness overtook him and he collapsed onto the road at the edge of the park weeping terribly….and Pål was at his side in the ambulance. There was a bluish light surrounding him..

"Åh Pål," Mikael murmured, "Jeg elsker De. The real you is here at last."

But the figure above him did not seem to have heard him and stared in disbelief at the ECG's unwavering line.

"Pål…. I'm sorry."