DAY SEVEN (CHRISTMAS)
"I thought you would be here." Raul slowly climbed the stairs of the gazebo, staring at the blonde in front of him. After Destiny left him last night after the kiss, the writer hadn't been able to get him off his mind. He had been up all night, trying to remember everything Destiny had described. And finally he had. It took a while but he finally remembered the event the blonde had described. That night he had found interest in Destiny, a young man different from everyone else. He remembered everything that happened, everything he had felt that night. And he knew he needed to hunt him down and talk with him. So immediately after dinner with his family he had come here. He figured if the blonde had been here the past three years, he would be here now. He was right.
"I'm always here," Destiny replied without looking at him. "There's no place else to go." He didn't move as Raul placed himself beside him, and the writer took it as a good sign.
"That's true. Everywhere else is closed or ruined. Not here. Even after last night it seems untouched by time."
"Yeah." Raul saw Destiny bite his lip. "Look, about last night. I'm sorry."
"Don't be. You were only acting on your feelings; don't apologize for that."
"I remember. I remember everything about that night we first met." Destiny looked confused, but Raul continued. "When I got home last night I forced myself to remember. I wanted to know exactly what you were talking about. Do you know why I kept talking to you that night?"
"Because you were interesting. You were alive and warm, something I didn't run into often. And you were absolutely captivating. I wanted to talk with you. To see if you were actually as kind as you looked. I wasn't disappointed. By the time we parted ways I fully intended to see you again, before Christmas if at all possible. But then a few weeks later, I met Fate. I tried to find you, but you had already gone to college. And Fate reminded me of you, but he was completely different at the same time. It was your similarities that drew me in, but the differences I fell in love with." He saw tears in Destiny's eyes, and reached out to wipe them away. "And then I met you again, after he was gone. I didn't remember you but I felt that same pull. Those same things that drew me to you before came at me yet again. And my interest in you flared up once more."
"What are you saying?" Destiny whispered. "Am I some specimen for you to examine?"
"No," Raul replied. "I'm saying I would like to spend time with you. I would like to get to know you."
"Just get to know me?"
"No. I would like to be with you as well. I want to be yours, and you to be mine." The tears fell freely now but Destiny was smiling.
"I'd like that too," he said. This time it was Raul who acted on impulse and connected their lips, beginning their second kiss.
Raul wasn't sure how long they stayed like that, completely absorbed in each other, but eventually Destiny pulled away.
"I think there's something you should have," the blonde said with a blush, reaching into his pocket. When he pulled his hand out, half of a length of ribbon lay in his palm. A very familiar ribbon.
"Where did you get this?"
"I got it from Fate. I actually did meet him, once. Last Christmas. I was here again, and he happened to stop by. I didn't know he was your lover at the time. We talked for a little bit, and before he left he gave me this. He said the person I was meant to be with had the other half." Raul stared at the length of ribbon for a full minute before breaking down into laughter. Destiny only stared at him, bewildered. "What's so funny?"
"He really did know everything," Raul said once he was done. A smile still lit his features as he dug into his own pocket. He pulled out the wallet he carried everywhere with him, taking out a length of ribbon. A ribbon with one smooth side and one jagged side, with black lines adorning the jagged side. Destiny's eyes widened.
"I think it is." As one they held the ribbons out, placing them neatly alongside one another, jagged edge to jagged edge. The moment the two edges touched, they came alive and their dangling threads wove into one another, the ribbon glowing a bright red. Both men removed their hands, but it hovered in midair, healing itself. When it finally stopped glowing it dropped to the ground. It was no longer two separate ribbons but a single one. Either of the two men moved for a time. Finally Raul bent down, cautiously picking up the ribbon. He straightened it out and immediately began to laugh once more.
"What is it?" Destiny asked, taking the ribbon. He took one look at it and started to laugh as well.
In the middle of the ribbon was a single word. This word had brought happiness to both their lives and allowed them to live once more.