A/N: This will probably be about 3 or 4 chapters long.
I Was Meant to Hold Your Hand
A Story by Harper A.C., writing as Johnny Heartbreak
We're sitting in Trevor's yard – I'm sitting, he's standing. He's looking at his phone. Above us are the two tall elms shading the cool yard, their leaves brown and red and showering us moment to moment. The whole lushly green yard is scattered with them.
I don't mind that he's looking at his phone. His hair is tousled and the colour of dishwater, or country mice, and his skin is pink, as if he's recovering from a sunburn. I don't mind, because he's so close; I could reach out and touch him. In a way, I am.
The concrete slab is cold and gritty, so I hug my arms around myself. The yard is enclosed by three long and tall hedges, so green, with little tops of houses peeking out over them. At my back is the door inside.
I think we're both recovering from ten minutes ago, what happened then. I am.
He's laid out on the bed, pink all over, and his chest is beating in and out like a robin's, or the way a butterfly beats its wings. It's gorgeous. Our eyes share each other. It was like falling out of myself and into a new self – not at all what I thought.
What I thought had been put together over many teenaged nights in my living room at two a.m., listening closely for any creaks upstairs, the video muted, not daring to touch myself. That was what I thought sex was, these men being obliterating each other.
On Trevor's bed, is was like when you walk over a long moor, thickets in the distance, wet and reedy life around you, and suddenly a million, ten million birds fly up from all around you, swirl off into the distance, swerve one way and then another as one, scurry around and settle down again.
When I saw him that first day of university (how sweaty my palms were, on those clean new notebooks and textbooks), I liked him, but I thought, how great could he be? He doesn't look the most sexy. How does his body look under those clothes? Does his ass sag? His stomach, is it flabby? Is he pasty and disgusting?
And so I thought, surely, there is no one in this life who is even acceptable to my standards, who could stand me in turn. It's impossible. I am consigned to a life of loneliness and frustration, that's what I thought.
Today, he is no less disgusting. He is imperfect. He is terribly imperfect. But the human fact of him, the smell of him and the being of him, the genuine flesh of his flesh, the genuine voice of his voice, it strikes me thunderously. I'll never understand how any beautiful body in my eye could beat any human being in my arms.
It could have been anyone, it could have been everyone; but I am glad it was him. He is him, and that's what I want.
So he looks at his phone and looks around. Trevor, Trevor, I'm glad you brought me here today. I'm glad you've shown me something I couldn't see before. I pull him down next to me; he's startled.
I just look at him, unconcerned. He is what matters right now.
"Did you want something to drink?" I ask.
"No, that's okay," he says. It's his house. I would have to ask him for the things I would give him… but that's what I had to do in the first place, isn't it? I'm alive. I'm beautiful. I want him all over again.
He looks away, maybe flustered, but turns back smiling a secret smile.
Hours later, I tell him I have to go home. "I'll call you," I say, and, with my eyes, add, "over and over and over again."
"Yeah," he says. He has his baseball cap back on; the one that fell to the floor earlier, in among our hasty kissing. I reach out to trace his eyebrow. It's beautiful that somebody would let me touch them. It's impossible. It's beautiful.
I draw back slowly out of the door, then turn suddenly. "Bye!"
I run away, the wind below my arms, which I've stretched out like a bird. I'm soaring. The full perfume of autumn coats my nostrils, which are burning from the cold.
The sky is darkening when I catch the skytrain. The stars are beginning to twinkle; well, maybe they are satellites. They are wonderful if they are both or neither.
I look around coyly at the people around me on the train. They looked tired, or bored, or happy, or not anything at all. They are humans too, like me, like Trevor. We'll all be human together.
When the train speeds out of the station I keep my eyes on the dark houses and hills below me, the overgrown yards and fruits trees. I want to reach my lips out and kiss all of them, but they are running past much too quickly.
I try to settle down, so I sit back, and look up at that penumbra in the sky. I look and wonder. Not at anything in particular, just wonderment in general.
Everything is starting to look lighter, more faded. Everything is starting to look incredibly bright. I squint my eyes and look around, try to cover up my eyes with my hands. But it doesn't seem to stop any of the light from getting in.
The other people on the train are gone. I don't know why, or when they left. Everything is just so bright and blurry. Then the four sides of the train seem to split up, going in four different directions, and I feel like I'm free-falling.
The brightness has taken over everything, and it still feels searing. The, cracks appear, like in the slab of concrete in Trevor's yard. Then the light just shatters into a million pieces and is gone. Everything is deeply black.
In the blackness I can see cogs and wheels, spinning wheels, rainbow coloured and bristling and never staying in place, just like you would see if you pressed down on your eye sockets. They seem to take over everywhere, the electric wheels, and I'm afraid of being crushed in them.
Then it all goes utterly black.