Inspired by Rainy Day.
I have been thinking about this for WEEKS. Finally got it out of my system.
'Next time you're bringing your guitar,' he said. I was standing with my back facing the door because I could never figure out the right moment to leave. He decided that, and I let him decide. What he had said was an order, without a doubt, but a soft order. He was shining; there had been no evil in it. There wasn't a single trace of evil in Chris, anyway.
'I want to hear everything and try things out.'
'Try things out,' I repeated. Whatever he meant, it sounded good.
'Will you be back tomorrow?'
Tomorrow was a deviation from our usual schedule. Okay, we had never really made appointments, but it wasn’t our usual schedule of every Sunday afternoon. I had come over three times now. I rang Chris’s doorbell in the afternoon, walked upstairs (he would be waiting, laughing at me because he always took the elevator) and talked to him for a few hours. I always left before dinner.
'You could also stay for dinner.'
'I have a dinner appointment with friends tomorrow.'
'Oh, I am not your only friend?' he said with a face that was so disappointed I had to laugh.
'You might wish you were, but no, you are not.'
'Then I'm just going to sit here all by myself while you are getting drunk with your stupid friends.'
'You do that.'
'You're mean, you know that?' he chuckled. 'Now get out of here before I get mad, because you won't be welcome anymore.'
He pushed me out the door and I waved to him from the stairs.
'Take the elevator, Jonny, just for once,' he yelled, when I had already disappeared from his sight.
The Sunday that followed, there was a downpour. I only had to walk a short distance, but after a certain time in a rain this heavy, it didn’t make any difference. I started to run while trying to protect my guitar, and stepped in a deep puddle. I was almost there, and already late. I thought of Chris’s blue eyes. There was no time for taking shelter.
Wet socks are the worst thing in the world. I shivered and ran even faster, jumped on the sidewalk and rang his bell.
It took him longer than usual, and when I looked up to his window impatiently, I caught a glimpse of him as he tried to hold back his laughter and jumped out of sight.
I trudged up the stairs and enjoyed being laughed at.
'Poor you! You look so miserable! I've never seen something more depressing in my life!'
'Why did I bring my guitar again?'
'Quick, get inside!' He grabbed my arm and dragged me into his rooms. 'You must be so cold!'
'Yes, of course.' Actually, he seemed to enjoy this.
'I have dry clothes for you, man.'
'That would be great.'
I had never been in his bedroom before. It was reasonably tidy, but there were opened books and blank sheets of paper lying around. The curtains hadn’t been completely opened yet. He never really got up on Sundays.
He let go of my arm and started to go through his closet.
'I got some things here.' He threw them on his unmade bed, which I could not take my eyes off.
'I'll get you a towel.' He disappeared from the room. I sighed, put my guitar against the wall and looked at what he had laid on the bed for me. It would fit me alright.
Before I knew it he was standing in front of me again.
'Take it off.'
I looked at him dimly. It took so long that he took off my coat himself, and then my shirt. He pulled it over my head and threw it on his bed. I was completely passive when I felt his hands.
He threw the towel in my direction. I dried my face. The rain was clattering on the roof of the building. He handed me a sweater. I put it on. After I didn’t move for a while, he decided to leave for a moment. Before I realized I would make his bed all wet, I had already fallen on it, my face hidden in my hands.
Some time later I walked into his living room/kitchen on his socks, holding my guitar. He grinned. ‘That’s a lot better.’
'What should I play?' I asked, sitting down on the couch facing him. I was feeling insecure, but tried not to show it.
I couldn’t do anything with that answer. ‘In what order?’
'The order in which you learned them.'
It took me some thought, but eventually I remembered. I started to play some chords, and he looked at me for so long I started to stare at the floor instead. I couldn’t see him, but I could sense he was feeling the same way. But it changed with every snare I touched. He came to sit beside me after 4 songs, and laid his head to my shoulder after 6.
There were so many things I wanted to do, but I had to play.
'I'm going to start cooking now,' he said near my ear.
'Will you play on?'
As if I had dared stop. I went on and on. I heard him cut things, bake things, serve things, on my soundtrack. I only stopped when he pointed out my dinner was getting cold. Hunger was absent. But what he had made for me tasted great. We had to take a few drinks, wine in this case, to loosen up a bit. He sang along with the songs I played. I felt we were stuck in isolation, a place where only we existed, like a cloud we were both sitting on.
He sat next to me when I moved to the floor because it made playing easier. It took hours, but the rain never stopped.
In the end, I put my guitar on the couch and lied down on the carpet.
'That really is all I know.'
He lied down beside me as if it was a normal thing to do, and looked at the ceiling like me. ‘You know a lot.’
I turned to face him. My face was warm and my nerves had disappeared. ‘Was it enough for you?’
'It certainly was enough for me.'
I didn’t want to wait any more.
'So, is my sweater warm?' he asked when he leaned over me.
'Or do you want a different one?'
I put my hands on his shoulders and kissed his lips. He smiled.
'Slow down, Jonny Buckland.'
I froze, but he didn’t stop smiling. ‘Slow down.’
We were rolling on the carpet a few minutes later, horsing around, half fighting. We talked. He seemed to smile more often than before. We grew tired of fighting and took a break, until we started again. I didn’t leave him that night. We eventually moved to his bed. It must have been past twelve when we did.
Usually I couldn’t sleep because of him. Ironically, the moment we were in a bed together, I immediately dozed off. Maybe the presence of Chris in my arms just calmed me down.
We both had to work in the morning, and when his alarm went off, we both groaned and felt extremely tired the rest of the day. When I left his apartment, wearing a new set of his clothes, ready to spend another day at work, he didn’t want to let go of my hand. He followed me all the way to the front door.
'I'm going to be late.'
'Come back when you're done!'
'That's alright, but I have to go now.'
'As soon as you're done.'
'Stop giving me orders, Chris.'
'Okay. I'll see you.'
He let go of my hand. I walked through the sunlight. It made him look small.
Thursday, the 22nd of December, 2011
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