So yeah. Maybe if you beg I'll finish it.
“She knows. I really don’t know how, but God! I can’t…I really can’t control this!”
The glowing streetlights outside my door shined unpleasantly in my face. I squinted and shielded my eyes with my bed sheet-imprinted wrist. I assumed I looked ghastly, being contorted like that and having just rolled out of bed. Blinding orbs of light that magnified the long, wild hairs on my wrist clouded my vision. Whoever it was could wait until I had the appropriate eight hours of sleep. It would really be in their best interest to wait. I’m not a morning person. Nor am I a four o’ clock in the morning person. Rudeness should be met with rudeness. I shut the door in their face. My bed was calling. After living for a year on a tour bus with three guys and sleeping on 150-thread-count sheets, I owed it to myself. I had become a grizzly bear. Not much eating, not much shaving, and always sleeping.
The imbecile at the door didn’t seem to get the idea. The knocks turned into body blows at the door. My house reverberated like a bass drum. I could just see them gathering up all their strength a few feet away from the door and taking a running leap, hoping the it would fly off its hinges.
Crazy, irrational, and desperate were the first and only words that came to my mind.
I flicked the light on in the entrance hallway and hesitantly peered out the peephole. Skin was pressed against the glass.
“Mark! Damn it, please. Open the door!” he whined.
A glossy green eye moved into view, and I knew exactly who it was. Three months of being away from him could never erase that shade from my mind. Of all the times he could’ve shown up, he picked now. I had every intention of leaving that little princess on the doorstep. The elements could do him a bit of good. I turned on my heels, and made my way back up the stairs. He’d be fine. If some loon picked him up, they’d drop him right back off. His whining could get the best of anyone.
He threw himself at the door one more time. Then he shouted. Then he threw himself a few more times. There was absolutely no possible way I could sleep while he was having a tantrum on my doorstep.
“What the hell do you wa-” He looked nothing like I remembered. His hair was long and wild, tickling the lobes of his ears and curling out from the nape of his neck. His black hooded sweatshirt complete consumed him. “Brandon? You’re…you look…”
“Terrible, I know.” He yawned and rubbed his eyes. His body looked like it was about to buckle. “Listen. Can I come in? Just for tonight. That’s all.” I grumbled an unconvincing yes. I helped him carry his stuffed suitcases inside. Pant legs and leather belts were smashed between the hinges. The wrinkles would be enough to send him into an anxiety attack.
Brandon sat down on my couch, crossing his arms and legs like a little schoolchild. His eyes darted around the room awkwardly. He was looking for something to talk about. His jade eyes were circled by an accenting shade of purple that gave me the impression he had been fighting. His eyelashes stuck together and gleamed with tears. The image of his driving to see me, crying over the steering wheel of his little black car played over in my mind like a broken record. Maybe I had been too hard on him.
“I’ll get you something to drink, alright?” I said.
“Coke and rum. Ice.” He orchestrated his words with his hands and quickly tacked a ‘please’ onto his demand. It was rare he ever made a request. People normally waited on him hand and foot. Manners weren’t necessary to get things done in the world of Brandon Flowers.
I poured his drink in a dainty crystal glass. The facets reflected light over every surface. My mind slipped into a feeling of familiarity. It was deja vu all over again. The last time a mixed Brandon a drink was also the last time I saw him. I stood in this exact spot, behind the kitchen counter, quietly laughing at Brandon and Dave. They poked fun at everyone and everything – including me. I didn’t mind. I was never too much of a conversationalist when in their company. Brandon turned to me for input with his comradely questions of “Right Mark?” or “Do you remember that, Stoermer?” He made sure to include me, when Dave chose to ignore the fact I was even present.
Brandon’s hissing laugher died down and Dave’s bizarre accent stopped grinding at my ears. I glanced up to see what happened to the warm conversation. I saw their heads pressed against each other’s, slowly sinking down the back of the couch. My sheepish grin turned into a grimace. I fought with myself, just to not focus on my jealously and my loneliness. It was my weakness, and it would never be any different. Brandon knew that.
Brandon’s soft laughter turned into soft intakes of breath that punctuated the silence. I had to do something. I couldn’t handle this happening in my own home.
“You wanted ice, Brandon?”
My voice shook. His head suspiciously peeked over the back of the couch. I don’t think I had hated someone more in all of my life. His cheeks were flushed, lips bitten, and his short hair stuck up randomly in little tufts.
“Actually, Mark. You can drink that one for me. Dave and I…we’ve got to go, okay?”
“To the guitar shop,” I heard Dave whisper.
“To the guitar shop,” Brandon dutifully repeated.
His mustache twisted under a mischievous grin.
Dave’s shot his hand out of the doorway and pulled Brandon behind him like a kid on a leash. The door slammed shut, cutting the icy silence.
“Right,” I mumbled. “I’ll drink this one in your honour, Flowers.”
Since that incident, I hadn’t seen him until now. I didn’t know what he was thinking, just to come back to me like a lost puppy. Lost puppies have no capacity to understand where they went wrong, nor do they have any capacity to understand the amount of worry they caused their owner. Sure, I didn’t own Brandon but it was all the same. He never explained to me what happened that night. He never apologized. I wasn’t the one for unspoken apologies. Every month that went by without hearing from him dug a bit deep into my heart. I hated the fact that Brandon could wake up my emotions. I felt human when I thought of him. I could feel my heart in my chest and my blood rushing to every part of my body.
This time, no curly-haired guitarist was sitting beside Brandon. This time, he’d come alone. Brandon nervously bit his usually manicured nails that had been reduced to unsightly nubs. He behaved like a murder with nowhere to run.
“What’s up?” I asked. He took a liberal gulp of coke and rum, and swirled the ice cubes around with his long finger.
“Sit down,” he croaked. “I’ve got a story to tell you.” He patted encouragingly on the cushion beside him.
“She knows…she found out about…”he lowered his eyes in guilt, “me and Dave.”
Brandon was undeniably nauseous over this. His skin drained of all colour and his body weakly swayed back and forth. He grabbed on to my shoulder for support.
“I-I don’t know what to do! She’ll never forgive me and I’m-”
He buried his face into his hands and gave into the emotions he was desperately trying to hold back. A horrid sob heaved itself out. Sure, he was a wreck, but I couldn’t pity him in the least. I’d heard the wild stories about Brandon and Dave; their barhopping and make-out sessions all over Vegas had nearly become legendary. Word traveled fast around here. The way Dave paraded Brandon around like a trophy wife could have only fueled the fames.
“What did you honestly expect, Brandon?” I asked. “Everyone in Vegas knows who you are. They’re vicious and jealous. Of course they’d tell your wife just to rip your life apart.”
He whimpered pitifully. His face was sticky with tears and smeared chapstick. He kept crying, shamelessly looking me right in the eyes. I’d never seen him this vulnerable, and I wasn’t sure what to make of it.
“I don’t know what I expected. I guess I just thought people would be more considerate than that. Home wreckers. That’s what they all are. I came home, and my clothes were crammed into these suitcases, strung all over the front yard. It’s like she just tossed my things out the window! She didn’t even have the courtesy to say she was kicking me out of my own house!”
He was visibly annoyed. His skin turned pink and brows furrowed together tightly, giving the illusion of a unibrow.
“Courtesy? Brandon, be serious. You’ve been lying to her for how many months?”
A small noise escaped from his lips, and he tellingly turned his head away fro me.
“A year…I’ve been lying to her for a year. But I thought it would all be okay!”
He’d kept that game up longer than I had imagined. When he’s determined for something to work, he doesn’t throw in the towel. He waits for the towel to be thrown in for him. I scoffed in disgust.
“What reality are you living in? And everyone thought you were the good boy,” I sneered.
“And you know what, Mark. I thought I could trust you on this one,” he whispered.
A tear dropped down his perfectly straight nose, spotting the fabric on my couch with an audible drip. It was moments like these that I couldn’t resist. I felt my emotions thawing. I wanted to comfort him.
“Wait…no, no. Brandon,” I pleaded. “You can. Just stop crying.”
A weak, toothless grin struggled onto his face.
“Just lay down, alright? It’ll help.”
He nodded slowly, and slid back onto a pillow. His warm feet rested in my lap.
“I thought it’d be okay because Dave always talked about how fabulous it would be if we could live together. I thought he’d take me in if she found out. Even I know that’s reasonable.”
“Yes, I suppose it is.” I said.
Brandon squeezed his eyelids shut, as if he were trying to block out a memory. He was fighting himself with every ounce of strength he could muster. Even then, tears pooled in the creases of his eyes and his pouted lips quivered.
“I knocked on Dave’s door with my suitcases, thinking that he’d be happy to see me. But he just closed the door in my face, and oh…God. Fuck.”
He shook his head wildly and buried himself into the couch cushions. I hesitated. I hadn’t the slightest clue how to help him. I couldn’t get his wife to forgive him. I couldn’t get Dave to take him in.
“Mark, I don’t wanna be alone,” he said.
I couldn’t deal with restraint or reason any longer. My heart was screaming to me, “don’t leave him for a second. Be there for him.” I squeezed my body down beside him, melding his space into mine. Brandon’s damp hair stuck to the underside of my chin as his clammy forehead rested on my breastbone.
His frantic breathing eased, and his tense muscles melted against me. An odd feeling found its way into me: happiness. It was the first time since he’d stepped out of my life. To have this boy beside me was all I ever wanted. Still yet, the situation nagged at my conscious. He’d never come to me if Dave hadn’t tossed him aside so inconsiderately. I was second place. I’d collected more silver medals than I had a fancy for.
“You’re warm,” he giggled. The long silence between us led me to believe he’d drifted off.
“Aw, no. It’s the bathrobe,” I said. “Terry cloth. It does that.”
“No, Mark,” he insisted. “You. You’re warm. It surprises me.”
His arm slipped through the opening in the robe, and rested on my back. He traced random shapes on my ribs.
“I’ve got a heart today, believe it or not. You needed me just in time.”
I nudged his leg between mine. He rubbed his feet against me, tying to steal away what warmth that I had.
“You need sleep, Brandon.”
His eyelashes were still fluttering on my chest, as alert as ever.
“Oh, I know. I laid here for a while, just wondering if I should let you know that you’re hot. I mean – you know, warm. Not hot, really. But you are a bit-”
“Sleep, Brandon. Close your eyes. C’mon.”
I let out a quite laugh.
“You’re warm and you laugh. I never knew…I’m very sorry.” He said.
He sighed in defeat, and his lashes took one last stroke downwards. His lips soundly kissed my chest. The warm flesh still stuck to my skin after the gesture was over. He was gone.