He stroked the face of his lover.
Not the clearest face.
He didn’t mind.
He moved his hand to his buttock.
‘Have you ever thought about the future?’
‘Our future,’ he continued.
His lover sighed. ‘Stop thinking and enjoy the moment, baby.’
They were in deep love, like any other couple who were ready to marry each other at any moment.
But what could they do?
They got up, put clothes on, and left the motel.
His lover walked ahead, plugged in to some upbeat music.
He walked behind, head dropped low.
They went to a café, sat themselves at the corner.
‘Why do you put your sunglasses on?’ His lover snapped.
‘W-well… I’m just trying to avoid attention,’ he whispered embarrassedly.
‘You’re getting the exact opposite result.’ He glared for a moment and mouthed ‘Paranoid’.
‘You didn’t wish to be seen with me on the street just now.’
His mouth was open but he didn’t know what to say.
‘Baby,’ said his lover. ‘I love you.’
‘And I love you too.’
They put their hands on the table and touched lovingly.
People started looking and talking in no time.
They left for a quiet park.
They were in private.
What could they do, where could they go, what about their families?
That was a long talk leading to no helpful conclusions.
Love was red-hot yet reality was cruel.
In the following years, they were both very busy.
Unlike their colleagues who rushed home to spend time with their spouse and children, both of them got promotion after promotion because of the extra time they were willing to give at work.
Both of their parents were not as healthy as before, sibilings got married and had their own families to look after. The responsibility fell on their shoulders and they made absolutely no complaints.
Still, they made time to see each other.
No matter how many protests they joined, how many petitions they signed, how loud they made themselves to the world – they realised they couldn’t say the vow, live together or share properties under the law. They can’t even walk hand-in-hand on streets without getting into trouble.
The right word to describe them was ‘friends’.
They found love in this world.
This world didn’t find them.
He rented a small flat near the hospital, so he could easily go there for his lengthy treatments.
Retired life was quiet.
His daily routine was getting up, washing himself, either visiting the social worker or the practitioner, reading some newspaper, wandering from shop to shop, and missing the love of his life.
His love passed away couple of years ago.
He was not even allowed to go near the hospital.
None of his siblings, nieces or nephews knew who he was. They had never met.
Whether his lover was calm and peaceful, which name he asked for, what his last words and last wishes were – he had no clue.
He dropped his pill.
He bent down.
Since when did it become so hard to bend?
Pain here, pain there.
He held his breath. He reached it. He slowly got back up.
Not sufficiently slow.
Drastic coughs lasted for a few miuntes.
He caught his breath.
Shaking, he managed to stand up with his stick.
Left leg forward.
Right leg forward.
Left leg for- BAM!
He laid there.
The love, the memories, the ups, the downs, the disappointments.
He found serenity.
Serenity found him too.