As the young man finished his last verse, a tear discreetly slid down from his face. His hands were clammy from the distress of his heart as he laid down a rush of words that he brought forth from the wreck of what once was the love of his life.
He did not really care for how the small crowd would react to it. This was an amateur’s first time at a spoken word, venting out a free verse poem with a collapsing structure and breaking voice on just a whim of his feelings. It was as if he just wanted to scream it out one last time to the world, before he truly believed that he could try to move forward from it. From him.
Much to his surprise, a lot in the crowd had risen from their seats and clapped happily to their heart’s content. He never really had expectations from the audience now standing in front of him. All he wanted was to release the clenching pain from within; a chance he would not have taken had it not been for his friend munching on macarons on the furthest side of the crowd, at the back of the quaint cafe that the spoken word was held at.
There wasn’t much that one could say about his friend. The young man always stood by his side, even when the harshest parts of reality began to catch up to the collapsing world he once believed in. His charming smile, and thoughtful actions always found a way to sweep him forth from his feet, and all the sorrows he harboured from the weight of his naivety felt lighter than ever. Truly, he could ask for no one better than his friend to be the rock of his burrowing self.
If only he knew that the actions of his friend, hidden underneath the guise of fraternity, were more than platonic, maybe this painful lifetime wouldn’t be so bad for him.
As the crowd began to settle down, and the next participant of the spoken word event stepped onto the stage, he discreetly walked towards the direction of his friend. His friend notices this and flashes him a bright smile.
“Nanon, you did so well!” He greeted the approaching boy, standing up from his seat and opening his arms for a hug.
“Thankies for being here, bubby.” Nanon replied as he quickl;y ran into the arms of his friend, even slightly pushing the much more built boy by a bit.
He really wanted to show how grateful he was for everything. That boy was a heaven sent blessing in his eyes, and he would do anything for him, like he always did anyhow. But maybe even selling out his brother, Frank, for having a crush on the boy would’ve been a nice treat, Nanon thought to himself.
“I made you go here in the first place, and like I would miss this for the world!” His friend retorted, disheveling Nanon’s nicely styled hair. This earned him an adorable groan from the smaller boy, but that made him play with his hair even more.
“I’m so happy for you, bub. You did so well. I actually cried.” The boy continued, this time with a more melancholic tone filling the air.
Nanon wasn’t sure if it was the current participant’s performance, but the way his friend had shifted moods irked him a bit. He had never really seen his friend in this kind of state, even when he had wrecked the man who broke his heart.
“Is that why you were trying to munch on the macarons?” He asked the taller boy, trying to ease the sudden tension in the air.
His friend noticed this and immediately shifted to a much more optimistic look.
“You know me so well, Non.”
Nanon sighed, giving up on trying to ignore the obvious change in his friend’s demeanor. This was probably not the time to talk about it.
“As do you, Ohm.” was all he could say, as he then returned into the somber embrace that they had shared earlier.
Ohm suddenly felt a chilling breeze in his bones, as he got a full view of how his courageous friend looked. For once, Nanon actually looked like himself. He was glowing with health, eyes brighter than they’d ever been. All Ohm could do was stare in awe, and he wasn’t alone in that.
Nanon, enchanted by Ohm’s caring eyes and worried face, couldn’t help but look in awe that was his friend. He had never really noticed how comfortable it was to be in his embrace. In fact, the way their arms perfectly fit one another had never made Nanon feel so comfortable and safe. His friend’s firm chest was like the opposite; a soft pillow he could lie down whenever he was down. He had never felt so at home more so than he had already when being around Ohm. It was like he had finally found the home he had been trying so desperately to build with someone else. Rather, it was always there. He just hadn’t realized it, until now that is.
“Ohm, if I suddenly realized something within me changed, would you still stand by my side?” He asked the dazed boy in his arms.
Ohm blinked. Not really knowing what his friend was thinking. He could only give the latter a confused look as Nanon slowly leaned in. It was only when he noticed the distance between their faces and their lips changed that he realized what was happening.
Nanon was kissing him. The one he stood by since their childhood, the one who looked for him when no one bothered to ask where he was, the one he admired from afar but never too close, the one who always stood by his side when he was stranded by his fears and regrets, the one who almost gave up on love, and the one who he loved with all of his heart and all of his might; that person was kissing him.
Ohm could feel his heart beat louder as his friend chastened the way his lips fit into his. He couldn’t pull away, especially with how tight the other’s embrace was. Like hell he would. This was what he had always wanted, but never dared to do. He didn’t really care anymore if this was ever going to happen, all he wanted was to cherish the citrus-like flavour of Nanon’s tender lips.
“I’m sorry for realizing this late.” Nanon tells the boy in front of him as he separated from the other’s lips, earning a disgruntled choke. The latter couldn’t believe what he was hearing from his friend. There was surely something wrong going on..
“The past five months. No, maybe even before that. Even when I was with Lee, you were always my priority, Ohm Pawat Chittsawangdee.” The boy continued on, earning a worried look from Ohm. He was internally freaking out, and the last thing he would want was for Nanon to suddenly regret everything.
“Non-” He tried to speak up, but Nanon immediately stopped him by placing a quick peck on his lips. This earned him another disgruntled choke.
“I know, I just got that piece of shit, NTRing, son of a bitch who was just after Papa Tay’s dick out of my life. Everything's had always been a mess even way before, especially with what happened to P'Pluem & Mon, but this, even if I only realized it now, I want it, and more.” The smaller boy retorted, the conviction in his eyes burning with earnesty.
Ohm, however, wasn’t exactly mentally ready to hear what his friend had in store for him. Who would even be prepared to hear the love of their life suddenly confess their feelings for you? No one would, the boy belied to himself.
“Wait, Non! You can’t do that! I- What if you’re not sure? What about me?” His voice being a bit louder than he initially intended, Ohm garnered a few looks of curiosity towards the unfolding confrontation.
Nanon noticed this as well and buried his head into his friend’s chest. Ohm’s face was already red from the previous statements, this small act of his pushed the taller boy’s flushed face into a crimson shade that he had never seen before. There was only one thing he could do left before everything would go out of hand.
Wrapping his arms around his friend, Nanon leaned in a bit and looked directly into Ohm’s eyes for one last time, hoping that the latter would realize what even he had taken forever to realize himself.“I’m really sorry for this Ohm. I really don’t want to rush you if that’s what you’re referring to. I just… I just want you to know that I am very much all yours.” He mumbled just loud enough for only Ohm to hear.
Initially, Ohm’s face was still. A blank and unreadable mask that even Nanon knew to never question, as this was how he consolidated himself, but as minutes passed by he grew filled with worry; that maybe he was wrong in believing that Ohm might give him a chance.
He cherished the remaining moments of being in his friend’s embrace as he slowly let go of the boy he had grown to love. The two had been starting to garner more attention by minute, and he didn’t want to put Ohm on the spot like that, so he quickly turned around to face the stage. If only he had noticed the deep breath of the boy he turned his back on would he have been prepared for the sudden pull from behind.
“I’m sorry… I’m sorry it took me a while to tell you this, but...”
Nanon turned around to face the person behind him, quickly looking into his eyes, and saw how wrong he was.
“I’ve been in love with you from the moment you found me in the abandoned shed behind our old elementary school. I’ve loved you from afar so that you wouldn’t feel suffocated by the weight of my secrets, and up close it’s even way harder to keep myself from you. I’m an amalgamation of issues and catastrophes that only you would know of, and I originally hoped that we could keep like so.”
His eyes were like the verdant garden of the Vihokratana Estate, brimming with the care and love that his Papa New used to put into it. His adoring smile reminded him of past days when his late elder brother Pluem's face when he tried to carry the younger boy, just so he could reach into the skies and feel the winds of the open field. The dimples on his cheeks were like a mosaic of the face of their childhood friend Chimon, as the boy tried to comfort him before his last breath. So much pain and regret that Nanon held from within by the weight of the having to be so distant from the home he once cherised, he didn't even realize how much he missed it.
But the worst part of it all was that he had never really realized how much of home he had always had with him.
“But knowing you, I doubt that I could keep myself from wondering why I haven’t tried to marry you yet. I don’t know where we’d be heading if you’re really sure about wanting someone like me, but I will always be by your side, as I always have been. Will you let be the one you call home?”
“You have always been home, Ohm.” That was all Nanon could say, before falling into Ohm’s arms once more.
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