A pit had grown in my stomach. An aching pain I mistook for hunger.
After our second date, Andy and I spent all our free time together. After work, he’d come over for dinner. Sometimes he’d call me over when he needed to take a break from the dark room: a quick beer on the rooftop, a view over Bushwick, Manhattan glittering like the stars in the distance. Our sweaty bodies drawn together, our kisses accompanied by the wail of sirens, the rush of the city. We spent the weekends in bed. Our hands would collide in bowls of popcorn, some series playing on my laptop, my head resting on his shoulder, our toes touching underneath the covers.
When apart, we sent each other jokes and memes, which flowed into real conversations, the boys that broke his heart, and the ones I wouldn’t let in. Like wow. I put so much into words I’d never been able to express before. This sweet southern boy got me to see another side of life.
Andy was all I craved. It must’ve been love.
But he rarely spent the night, running off to the studio. He’d send texts before I’d go to bed; couldn’t get away from thoughts of me. Still, I wished he’d have kept an extra toothbrush in my bathroom, or stored a pair or two of those pastel undies in the drawer I emptied especially for him. Call me hopeful.
Maybe I should’ve lowered my expectations; we were just fooling around. I guess that’s what it could be called. Maybe I was just fooling myself.
By our third week, and after countless dates, I’d pushed the boyfriend talk to the back of my mind. I was practically running away from the discussion. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I didn’t want to have it. I just couldn’t imagine how to start the conversation. Awkward to say like, “hey, want to be my boyfriend?” What if he just wanted to keep it casual, open? For all I knew, he’d leave by the end of summer.
My fear of pushing him away was legitimate. Suffocating him, asking for too much. I still did the typical boyfriend things: the cutsie check-ins, getting to know his roommates, surprising him on his lunch break. I even went above and beyond, dedicating time to dust off my drafting board and unused high-precision mechanical pencils to draw up plans for a partition that would finally give him the privacy he deserved. Just enough for us to lay on his new mattress and fuck without fear of his roommates walking in, not like Andy cared, he was always free and so secure.
Drawing up those plans was a task I never thought I’d enjoy, but even as simple as putting up a few walls in a crowded space could be, I fell back into the rhythm like I’d just taken a short holiday, not a few years off. Once finished, I continued drawing, drawing, drawing. I didn’t want to stop. For the first time since I left school, I questioned why I dropped out in the first place.
Maybe I missed the feeling of the pencil in my hand, the satisfaction of a finished drawing. I wanted to show Andy I could bring something to the table besides a stellar blunt.
We took the plans to the hardware store and cut all the two by fours for the frame, the sawdust coating our hair and sneaking under our shirts, sticking to our sweaty backs. We itched as we screwed the wood together, Andy smiling as the walls went up, imagining his own space for the first time.
“You’ve done the impossible,” he said, taking hold of my cheeks and pulling me into a sloppy kiss, all the dust and dirt and grease on our fingers spreading onto our faces like paint that signified our desire, his gratitude, my affection.
The drywall got us all chalky. He suggested plywood, but I told him not to worry about the added expense; I’d take care of it. He deserved to have a sense of permanence, despite the walls not reaching the ceiling or having a window, but at least these walls were sturdy. Andy chose a shade of baby blue, so light that it was like the sky itself, so refreshing that despite the scorching heat it felt like a breeze was keeping us cool.
Once all of his belongings were moved from around the couch to the other side of the partition, we closed the door and fell on the bed. Despite being totally wiped from all the hard work, he thanked me in his own way.
Andy unbuttoned my shorts and pulled out my cock. Like a lollipop, he sucked on the thick thing tenderly, an indulgence, but the treat was all mine. He plunged down, his hand cupping my balls and after every motion, he came up and kissed the purple head, his eyes focused, looking to connect with mine, and without so many words, he assured me that it was his pleasure.
My hands were thrown back, my eyes closed, my mind had wandered to a place of the pure satisfaction of working with my hands and using my brain for something useful. Those same hands held his ass as he rode my cock, slow and gentle, his dick erect and pointing straight up and out, twirling around and around like he was trying to hypnotize me to fuck him forever. He rode me with his hands on my chest, his movement dictated by the beat of my heart, the one he held in his hands, his eyes open and sincere. And as he came across my chest, the only words that left his mouth were, “thank you, thank you, thank you.” But it was me that should’ve been thanking him for tearing down all the walls I’ve built.
I left Sunday night, and on my way home I had an epiphany: I could go back to school, I had what it took to succeed. I finally saw it for myself.
It was impossible not to have a smile on face, but the anxiety of him leaving always came back to mind, circling, readying to attack any sense of security. What would long-distance mean for us? Could we even be considered an ‘us’?
A text from him on Monday morning:
Andy – No Dumplings – Monday 11:47AM
I’m curious how this boy I’m seeing looks all dressed up?
i clean up real nice, like a mf gentleman
Suppose you can take a lil vacay to the Hamptons this weekend? My boss is having a party. I’ll have to work, but I get a plus one <3
i’m there. no doubts.
The moment I put down the phone, it dawned on me that maybe I’m not the kind of man to take home to mom, let alone his boss who he needed to impress. What did I have to offer other than drugs and a good fuck? I was nothing special. An arch school drop out with no career prospects, no future. I warned him! What would I tell all these party guests in a mansion on the beach? Professionals with glitzy jobs, their offices in Manhattan, making millions and jet setting around the world.
What in the world could I possibly contribute to the conversation? Could I just…