“It’s chilly out today. I like it.” I smiled, speaking as I looked up at the grim grey sky. I felt his grip tighten on my hand in response to my comment and it made me smile even wider. We stopped walking in front of the coffee shop we typically spent our Sunday afternoons at, and I turned to meet his eyes. Oh, those beautiful, beautiful eyes. I had to stand on my tip-toes to kiss his warm cheek, but it was something I had grown used to by then.
“I find it warm, though,” he responded with that soothing, loving voice of his, “because I’m with you.” It made me giggle in that childish way you do when you see the boy you have a crush on. I huddled against him and pressed my forehead to his warm neck. Home is right here with you. We stood like that for quite awhile before I opened my eyes, just pausing a second too long on the window of the building across the street. My mood suddenly went South and my blood ran cold. Alec could tell and he took hold of my chin, tilting it up so I would look at him. “What’s wrong, love?” he whispered, resting an open palm gently on my cheek as he fixed his eyes on mine.
“I… B-Benji…” I stammered, terror filling my eyes. He looked worried and confused for a moment, but then it hit him who I was talking about and his mouth twisted as if he were angry with me.
“Benji? What do you mean, Hilly?” he questioned me, those beautiful eyes growing cross with confusion. My hand rested on his cheek the way his had on mine and turned his head slowly so he was looking across the street. I dropped my hand to my side, exhaling deeply.
“Benji…” I whispered again, swallowing the lump in my throat, “Benji is dead, Alec.” Alec took a deep breath as his eyes scanned the front of the undertaker’s building, looking for what I had spotted. I could tell he was upset that I was upset, his muscles grew rigid and his jaw was set tight and stern. “Alec… Sweetie, don’t…” I touched my icy fingertips to the stubbly remains of a beard on his chin and he stepped away, turning his eyes on me, silently accusing me of some terrible crime.
“Don’t, what?” He demanded an answer of me and stepped back, watching me carefully. “He ripped you to pieces, and you’re upset about him being dead? I don’t get it, Hilly.”
“I’m only human, Alec. I loved him once. Like I love you now. But, I love you so much more than I ever loved him. You understand that, right?”
“Yeah, yeah, I understand.” he exhaled, relaxing his muscles, knowing he was acting rashly. “He had it coming to him, though. He had no right to treat you that way back then.”
“That was a long time ago, Alec. Who knows what he grew to become in the past ten years. Maybe he has a wife and kids now. All that matters to me is that we are together and happy.” I offered him a gentle smile, which he returned after a moment and we turned, going inside the coffee shop. I never did know what happened to him. I never knew that he overdosed because he had seen me so happy with Alec for so long. I never knew that he loved me all those years and I had forgotten how sweet his lips had tasted to mine. I never knew what could have been. And I never told Alec what I had seen in the window that day…
His golden skin was tinted purple with a lack of oxygen.
His lips were so blue, so cold looking.
His stomach looked swollen as they rolled him past, but maybe that was just years of loneliness.
His hair was still laying the same way it used to, messy and sticking in every direction like he just didn’t care.
Of course he didn’t care, he was stone cold on a metal table.
Since then, I find myself wondering what had happened that led to him winding up on that table. I brewed a bubbling pot of murder and suicide in my head and it ate at my stomach late at night like the acid that singed our relationship. I almost felt bad for him, but then I remembered Alec was right.
The bastard had it coming to him.