I won't be home ever again, even for X-mas
Tristan thought he'd found the love of his life, but than he overheard a conversation on the subway…MxM
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. The Author holds exclusive rights to this work. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.
Edited by Lisa.
Chapter One – The Sad One
It smells of cinnamon, apple, freshly baked cookies and pine from the Christmas tree. People I've never seen before are bustling around, carrying trays with china, food and candles or slipping presents under the tree grinning at me conspiratorially. There's laughing and talking and giggling, but for me it's just a buzz in the background. I don't understand one word, because hey they're all talking in German; the only words I've learned so far are 'ja', 'nein', 'danke' or 'Frohe Weihnachten'.
I'm currently settled on this big comfy red and green checkered couch, feet on the coffee table, holding a mug of hot Glühwein. Well, I couldn't enunciate this word if my life depended on it, but it tastes good and it warms you up from the inside, no matter what. Andreas' mom told me it's just cheap red wine heated up with sugar, a cinnamon stick, cloves, orange juice and peel. Well for me, it's my new elixir of life. I hate the cold, I hate winter and since last February I only hate it more.
Sitting in this warm friendly house in the middle of Germany, beside a huge Christmas tree, which is decorated with hundreds of tiny lights and white and silver feathers, stars and glitter balls, doesn't prevent me from the sudden cold the thought of February brings back to me; despite the wine.
I was on the subway, the hood of my jacket over my head and hunching my shoulders because it was so fucking cold. On the floor between my feet I had several bags with groceries for the big dinner I was planning for the evening when I suddenly heard my boyfriend's voice from behind me.
I turned my head smiling, when I noticed that Peter hadn't called me but was speaking to one of his colleagues, who was sitting beside him. Just as I was about to gather my things and go over I heard him saying "Na, he's just convenient, you know. He's hot, cleans the apartment, does the laundry and his cooking is more than decent."
Releasing the handles of my bags I sat there slowly starting to comprehend he was speaking about me.
"Of course not. Once I meet the right girl I'll dump him. You know that in my position it's expected to have a family, kids, a house, all that jazz. This is just an experience I didn't want to miss."
The guy he was speaking to asked another question I didn't catch, but I could guess what it was about when I heard the answer. "Haha nah, he doesn't know…He thinks I love him and we'll stay together for the rest of our lives, or at least for a very long time."
"And, do you think he loves you?" This time I heard the question.
"Yes he loves me, at least he says so. But you know those kids; they're throwing the big L-word around all the time. And of course he thinks I love him too… Oh... I have to get out here, this is my station. See you tomorrow at work…"
I saw him grabbing his briefcase, waving at his colleague and then pushing his way through the crowd. With his short, black woolen coat, black pants and boots, his light curly black hair tousled by the wind, his bright, blue scarf stood out. It was a Christmas present from me; I wanted some color for him, because he always wore black, and the blue matched his eyes perfectly. It was because of the scarf, I could see him walking to the entrance until the train left the station.
At first I felt nothing at all; I was just numb. Then I felt almost sick, I thought I had to throw up. My stomach cramped as well as my throat. I looked at the bags by my feet, filled with groceries. I wanted to cook something special that evening, because it was our one year anniversary. How typical huh, the idiot who can clean and cook and even is a decent fuck.
I simply stayed where I was. I stared in front of me without seeing, when suddenly an old lady I didn't even notice sitting beside me, held a tissue in my face.
"Young man is everything all right?"
"Huh?" I stared at her with blurry eyes. "Yes, yes of course…"
"Well you're crying..."
I didn't even notice that I was crying, but she was right; my whole face was wet, tears dropping down my chin onto my jeans. I took the tissue and started to dry my face.
"'s all right. Do you need help? Can I get you something?" She passed me another tissue.
"No, no thank you. It's ok. Everything's ok." I lied.
"I have to get out at the next station. Good luck young man, you might need this though," and with that she gave me the rest of the tissue package.
"Tristan, the name's Tristan." I didn't even know why I told her that.
"Oh. All right, good luck Tristan then. It's a nice name. It means warrior, and it means the sad one. Today it's more like the second meaning is the right one for you, but remember the first also."
I didn't go home. After just sitting in the subway for hours, I finally called a friend from my study group. He told me earlier that his flat mate had an externship in another city. After telling him what happened, he agreed immediately that I could stay with him for a while.
I called Peter from there and told him that I had to study with Gerry the whole night because of an upcoming exam. I could tell he was a bit disappointed, when he reminded me of the business trip he had to go on. He would be gone for a week. He asked me if I could at least come over the next morning to say good bye, before he had to be at the airport. I told him no because the exam would start early. If I didn't know that all of this was a lie, I would have probably rushed home to make love to him the whole night, to wipe away the disappointment and hurt I could hear in his voice. But I knew it was probably just the fact that he had to cook for himself, sleep alone and pack his stuff himself instead of me doing it for him. So I wished him good luck; he thanked me and said ok, we'll see each other in a week then. And of course he never mentioned our anniversary. I think he'd forgotten all about it.
The next day I went over to our apartment. Peter had already left, so I started to pack my things. It wasn't much. My clothes fitted in two suitcases, and for my other stuff, mostly books, I needed only seven medium sized card boxes. Gerry helped me carry them down to his car. Then I wrote a short note for Peter: I won't be home ever again, even for X-mas. Tristan
I don't know why I wrote such a cheesy shit. I cringe when I remember it now.
The same day I called Prof. Brunelli, whom I knew from scientific meetings and some phone calls we've had in the past. He had been trying to convince me to come and work with his group for some time then. But although it would have been much more interesting, I never wanted to leave Peter, so I declined. Obviously, a problem I didn't have any more.
When I asked the professor if he still wanted me to work for him, he affirmed this almost enthusiastically. And faster than I'd ever thought it would be possible, he managed the whole administration stuff in record time. I would be able to change universities the next semester. Prof. Brunelli even organized a new flat mate for me. So, only one week later, I lived in a new city, in a new apartment, and went to a new university.
My flat mate Andreas is a nice guy. He comes from Germany, and even invited me to go home for Christmas with him this year, so that I wouldn't be alone.
And that's why I'm currently sitting in his parent's living room, sipping warm Glühwein and eating freshly baked, slightly warm cinnamon cookies with chocolate chips. Tonight will be the big family dinner and then we'll open the presents.
Tomorrow Andreas, some of his friends and I, will drive to a cottage in the Alps for New Year's. There will be lots of snow for skiing and snowboarding. Yippi-ya-ye. Thank God Lars, who, like me, likes snow only from the inside of a warm comfy house with a sauna, a Jacuzzi and a fireplace, will be with us too.
Today is New Year's Eve. While I'm waiting in the foyer for the others to get ready for the big party, I spot this public phone. I don't know why, but before I know it, I'm dialing Peter's number. A female voice answers the phone.
My heart sinks and my first impulse is to hang up. But I need to know, I just need to know…
"Hi, this is Tristan, is Peter in?"
"Yes, one moment, I'll get him for you, Tristan was it, right?"
I can hear her walking with high-heels on the hardwood floor. Then I hear Peter calling my name disbelievingly, and somebody comes back to the phone.
"Tristan," Peter asks almost hesitantly.
"Yeah it's me. Hello Peter. How are you? Is your life going on as planned?"
"You're calling me after what, ten month, and after you left me with a fucking cryptic note, only to ask me if my life is going as planned? Are you fucking serious?"
"Yes, I am fucking serious. When you told your colleague that you'd be on the look out for the right girl to marry and have a family with, as it should be in your position of course, I became fucking serious. You said you wanted a house and children, and our relationship was only an experience you wanted to have before you finally settle down. I didn't want to wait for you meeting this girl and then dump me, so I decided to leave. You were right with one thing though; I really thought we had something special; maybe even a lifetime relationship."
"I was on the same subway as you were in February, when you told your colleague. I was a bit late because I was grocery shopping. It was our one year anniversary; I had the bags full of stuff to cook a special meal…"
"Oh my God, Tristan… That's why you left. You never even tried to talk to me."
"What was there to talk about? You made your position very clear to your colleague and to me."
"I tried to reach you when I came home from my business trip, but nobody knew where you were, or at least nobody wanted to tell me."
"Yeah, I changed my phone number and email address. Whatever. You got what you wanted then?"
"Yes; tonight is our engagement party…"
"Oh…Good Luck with your future then. That's all the closure I needed to be able to finally move on. I also wanted to wish you a merry belated Christmas and a happy New Year. Good bye Peter."
I hang up, but I know it's still a long way to go to until I'm able to move on.