Lyon: Just like that?!
Kevin: I knew she was a bitch.
Kevin jumps to throw a 3-pointer into the basket. The ball goes in neatly, clean and perfect. Edd, depressed with a rather uncaring attire, had just shared with his two friends what had happened a few days ago.
Classes had started once again, which helped Edd's mind to not dwell on recent events…but it was slow and hard. Winter break made both teachers and students to be…lazy and most were just slowly falling back into the rhythm of study which Edd so desperately needed. He wasn't eating well, his barista skills had been flaky, he hadn't gone into his lab again…he was…lost. He was thankful for Lyon and Kevin though, his two friends had initially literally dragged him out of his dorm and now they constantly tried to pull him out of his sulk cave (room) to get some fresh air. Today, they had opted to play basketball…well, Lyon and Kevin played while Edd watched.
Lyon: Dude, don't need to be that mean.
Kevin: You're taking HER side?!
Edd: It wasn't her fault.
Lyon: It's neither's fault.
Kevin: It's HER fault!
Lyon and Edd: Kevin.
Kevin scoffs and throws the ball at Lyon who catches it firmly.
Lyon: Dude you SHOULD be happy.
Kevin: Why would I be happy when my friend is suffering?
Edd lifted his hands to his head, trying to cover his ears to ease the pain of his now growing headache. Things had been this way ever since that night. When they broke up.
Lyon: Look who's calling who a friend.
Lyon glares sternly at Kevin as he walks aloof towards him, bouncing the ball in a slow rhythm. Up close he shifts his weight dramatically to his left, an easy read for Kevin. His cold eyes keep track of Lyon's movements and his anger make him burn inside; he lunges swiftly at Lyon. Lyon, cold and calm stops abruptly and with ease and grace arches backward, carrying the ball with him, dodging Kevin, rolling on his back to get past him. He scores with ease, dunking the ball slightly and gently…graceful and serene, his silky yet thick hair fluttering and falling with him, droplets of sweat glistening in the court's light.
The boys pant as only the ball's last bounces are heard. Edd had left, Kevin quickly searching for him eagerly and desperately, unable to focus. Lyon…cool simply saw their friend walk up the stairs, towards the southern exit. Lyon sighed, as he grabbed his towel to dry his sweat. Looking at his watch he hissed softly…he was late.
Edd walked slowly in the cold air, pulling his loose hoody to keep warm. He felt lost, utterly lost and confused. The pain of the breakup wasn't as much as he had expected…maybe because he was self-conscious about it and his mind rejected the idea. Still, something in him gnawed at it, at their last conversation… and at his own ignorance.
The talk had been long, a rational and cold conversation where Marie always refrained from collapsing on her own emotions. It had begun with the sculpture she had made…a "personal artwork", as she called it. A unique piece, unavailable for the public and not for sale she simply led the conversation with making Edd examine and analyze the piece. He was spot-on on the technical aspect of it, the method, the use of the elements, but he had failed completely to express what the piece projected or "made him feel". It was when Edd understood something was terribly wrong as Marie simply asked if "that was all".
One thing lead to another, but not in a rather accusing or demanding way. They talked, an open dialogue, humane, rationale and honest. Despite Edd's efforts to calm Marie down she kept the topic on point…that he was beyond her reach… 2 beings on different levels…different worlds. Despite her saying that it was "fine", it hurt, but it made him see everything that he had…ignored. He was blinded by his own projects, by his own doubts and inquiries. Though Marie said he was loving and caring, Edd understood he never had Marie as a priority, he never made time for her nor did he ever show the slightest glimpse of interest towards her work, her life, her needs nor her emotions. Marie was sweet, telling him that he should focus on what's important to him…and that she understood she was not part of that world, but it killed him. Yet, his throat was tied in a knot and Edd could only sit, tears streaming down his cheeks while Marie comforted him that everything would be fine…that he'd always have her around…as friends. Thus, that night, Edd came back to sleep at his dorm. Disgusted with himself, Edd simply fell on the mattress and cried himself to sleep. He hated himself, utterly and completely…to him, he was a monster.
Edd sighed remembering it all…reliving it again and again. He was such a terrible person. He had hurt her, he had lead her on, he had made her believe a lie…what kind of person could do that? Drowning in self-guilt and self-pity, Edd walked aimlessly around campus once again, ignoring his duties, his projects, his investigation…everything. Edd wished he could redo everything…be a better person…a better boyfriend. Yet, he knew such a feat was impossible…and so… he sulked. "Who am I? What am I?"
Edd jumped in surprised as he saw an elegant Kevin stand before him with a scarf on his hands…his scarf. The weather had shifted to a rather heavy snow fall and vision was rather limited. Kevin wore a green jacket with a black turtleneck underneath, black cardigan pants and his green army boots…with orange beanie and scarf. Edd giggled at the odd match of the last 2 accessories.
Kevin: Glad to see you're better doofus!
Kevin moved up close to Edd and wrapped the scarf around his neck. Edd simply gazed up at him in awe as he allowed his hands to carefully wrap him. His mind was quiet…numb…in peace. Why? Why did his former school bully, the guy who had tortured him for so many years…why was he so nice? Edd's mind raced to all the experiences they had lived together for the last year, the laughs, the fun, the talks…the kiss. His mind stopped, time slowed as the image burned and bore in him. That kiss…that Christmas kiss…
Kevin had been ranting all along to the dumbfounded Edd about how irresponsible he had been for forgetting his scarf. He jested at him that he need a babysitter and that he'd be willing to take the job. He laughed at his own silliness and tried to irk Edd with his carelessness and how he was supposed to be the smart one. The lack of response finally made him notice that Edd was simply staring at him blankly.
Kevin: What are you thinking Double Dork?!
Edd finally snapped back and simply shook his head, clearing his throat…his cheek quickly got crimson as he felt ashamed and shy. He was embarrassed at his own thoughts; such impure and immoral thoughts. Yet…he felt they were right…were they though?
Kevin: Did you hear me at all?!
Kevin screamed in anger into his hands as he grabbed Edd's hands and pulled him behind. Edd simply followed as the chaos in his mind prevented him from focusing on anything.
Edd: Where are we going?
Kevin knocked Edd's forehead firmly which made Edd grimace and grab his head in pain.
Kevin: Stop spacing out! Look at this weather.
The storm was falling heavier and a wind was beginning to blow.
Kevin: I'm taking you home, it's not too far off.
Kevin simply pulled him behind as Edd bowed his head and rubbed his head in shame, compliance and feeling completely stupid.
With his head down, he was able to look at their hands interlocked. Kevin had big, athletic and coarse hands, created by years and years of playing. On the other hand, Edd had soft delicate hands, carefully tended, impeccably clean and trimmed…feminine even. They fit so perfectly and Edd could only wonder, and dream.
Lyon strode carefully down World Avenue carrying both bags of groceries with him. He sighed and shook his head. His thought was rather simple "Why am I doing this?" To which he chuckled for the thousand's time answering himself.
He turned left and moved onto one of the side avenues where all the buildings were (his own business was on the block before). This avenue though had the building where…a friend lived in. He signed his name and despite the guards insisting in that Ms. Kanker had given explicit orders of not allowing anyone up, he had talked and joked his way in. He giggled and sighed at such skills of his…he hated it. He pulled an apple from one bag and bit it. He disliked the fact that he "understood" people. Though empathy is a trait that allows us to relate with others and to understand them…it also allowed manipulation. Lyon sighed at the thought, he liked having fun, but he loved honesty and values over all. Was it idealism? Or was him seeking that which he so lacked? Or perhaps he just wanted someone that understood him and didn't fall for his games. Who knew?
The door chimed and Lyon walked out the elevator playfully. He walked up to the door and kicked it twice.
Lyon: Honey I'm home!
Lyon grinned and stood there. 5 minutes later he decided to call again.
Lyon: I know you're in there, guards said so themselves!
No answer and another 5 minutes.
Lyon: I'm not leaving and you know it! So just suck it up and let me in, Marie. I brought food too.
After a brief silence the locks of the door were heard and the door was slightly opened. From the creak a single, tired blue eye peered out and quickly opened the door. Lyon strolled in and moved to the counter of the kitchen as the door closed behind him.
Lyon: Was it THAT hard?
Marie: Fuck you.
Lyon turned with a playfully look to answer her but his face quickly turned to disgust as a Marie with only one sock on, old and ragged sport shorts, a grey and completely stained (probably food and sauces) hoody and a wild blue hair which puffed up as if it was rubbed by a balloon dragged her feet and crashed on the couch, covering herself with a blanket. Lyon was shocked.
Lyon: Ok…so…no jokes.
Marie: Thank you.
Her tone was cold, uncaring, and unemotional…as if nothing mattered in the world. Lyon frowned…he was worried.
Lyon: Hey…have you eaten anything?
There was no response and by the looks of the kitchen (spotless and impeccably clean) he could confirm she hadn't eaten anything since yesterday…again…unless she ordered food delivered. 24 hours without food… she was really depressed. Yet, Lyon understood… being raised by mostly cousins... he knew breakups were harsh, especially for girls…ESPECIALLY when it's someone they truly loved and cared about. He smiled and simply made himself at home, putting an apron on and beginning to take the groceries out of the bag.
Edd sat on Kevin's bed. It was warm, and he had his feet dangling in the air, curling his toes to get blood circulating. He looked like a child, that 14yr old skinny kid from the Cul…a figure from another world when he seems himself in the mirror. His shaggy figure had changed into a toned figure with curves and muscles. He liked himself…physically…but…his ever so brilliant mind had caused immense harm…something his morals and integrity couldn't bear. Edd fell backwards on the bed, sighing in frustration as tears crept up his eyes. He covered his face with the sleeves of his hoodie. He fought the need to cry, the desire to loathe himself, but he simply whimpered softly.
Edd's mind raced with all the questions he had avoided up to this time. It was a storm, an incessant storm which not only drowned him in emotions but also burned his brain, causing him immense pain with migraines. Edd tossed and turned, trying to find relief. Somehow his thoughts calmed down as he felt something…a soft caress echoing from the world outside of his mind, reaching him in his own prison of thought. It felt…hard, a rather large hand rubbing his hair and head. It felt…comforting and strong, protective even. Edd eased his breath as the gentle strokes continued. He took deep breaths, his mind clearing up, leaving only a pulsing block of thought cycling through the same ideas. Who am I? Behavior. Fear. Marie. Kevin. Love. Who am I?
Edd's eyes popped open as he rose up suddenly, as if terrified.
Kevin: Hey! Hey, you ok Double D?
Edd watched as Kevin had his hand slightly withdrawn looking at him worried. He became self-aware that his beanie was loose and nearly tipped off his head…yet he did not care. Something in him was off…he wasn't…thinking…human nature, NO…primal nature. Edd lunged himself at Kevin, coiling his arms around his chest and pulling him close. His beanie fell off completely, his knees coiled with Kevin's, yet he did not care. He needed him…he still needed him…he had…
Kevin was shocked and left cold with Edd's sudden outburst, more even as he felt him whimper and carry whole heartedly on his chest. It didn't trigger any reaction…he simply…accepted it, even wanted it. He smiled and chuckled as he felt himself naturally wrap an arm around Edd and caress his now bare short, silky hair. It was smooth, glossy, like silk. Kevin felt happy and he simply sat there, holding him as he began to hear Edd blurt out everything that was troubling him. From his experiments to his latest discoveries, to his self-experimenting which was bringing him immense pain and he couldn't keep up with his journal. He talked about Marie, about everything they shared…he talked about their past…about prom…and about a few days ago. He talked about him, about the Cul, about the past, about…them…Christmas. The subjects flowed out of Edd and though Kevin more than once wished to interrupt him and try to butt in with his comments he swallowed hard. He couldn't come to stop Edd, he knew Edd needed this…and he was glad it was him and not her…for once. This was their moment…a moment he would treasure as he had finally gotten to meet that 14 yr. old genius he had always admired, even envied…but always…and secretly wished to be close with.
Marie stood up at the gallant and alluring aroma of fresh juicy steak and a myriad of other aromas that wafted the room. It smelled delicious, and her food deprived body demanded it. Slowly and weakly, Marie walked slowly towards the kitchen.
The sound of food made her appetite rage. She was confused though…who was cooking in her home? Her mind had been off for most of the time…drunk to be exact. Just thinking about it made her head hurt, her stock of bottles of wine had taken a hit in the last weeks. Yet, she didn't know what to do after Edd had left…she most definitely didn't want to think about it. If she did, she'd go mad…so…she got drunk instead…kind of worked though. Still…passing out drunk everyday she still found herself with food ready in the fridge, her clothes and laundry clean and ready...even though she rarely changed clothes lately…the apartment was clean, her bottles always in the same corner (neatly organized), a comedy or romantic movie for her each day on the table by the TV in the living room, and gelato in the fridge. The last reminded her that she was probably getting fat…but the thought was swatted away with a "who cares". Still, not having taken a drink or…done anything the last day, she felt rather… lucid today. This made her jump in surprise as rationality finally kicked in. Who was in her house?
Grabbing her churning and starving stomach, Marie tiptoed to peek into the kitchen. She had practiced martial arts before, even a bit of krav maga, but she felt far too ill to consider engaging the intruder. Then again…what kind of intruder would barge into someone's home to cook? Marie peeked into the kitchen and immediately hid behind the wall, covering her mouth and clenching her chest. Déjà vu…Edd. She whimpered a bit, but still covering her mouth, took a couple of deep breaths and looked again inside. Her eyes and mind slowly fixed the image distorted by smoke, the skinny yet toned figure of her once beloved Edd was replaced by a broad shouldered, slim yet fit man. His hands moved swiftly from pot, to casserole, to pans…an experienced chef and cook as he worked not only diligently, but with speed and precision. The neat and clean kitchen was quickly cluttered with spices and ingredients, something that would've made Edd cringe. Connecting the dots, Marie eased herself a bit at the fact that it wasn't Edd, but tensed immediately as she now wondered who this stranger was.
Lyon: If you want, you could help me with serving.
Marie yelped with her mouth still covered, muffling her cry but she still hopped in surprise at the voice addressing her. It was…familiar.
Lyon grinned as he turned around, cleaning his hands with a hot towel as he took out 2 dishes and placed them on the counter. Marie could only watch, in awe now as her mind clicked. Unable to utter a word, she watched how Lyon carefully placed bowls on the plates followed by white fluffy rice which clumped together into a ball, 3 fine cut pieces of steak beside it and finally a succulent, rich and powerful aroma broth which filled the bowl, soaking the steak and rice. Lyon dropped with his hand some spice on top, and placed a plate before her as he moved back to turn everything off and put everything away.
Lyon: Careful, it's hot.
Lyon hollered but his words were lost as Marie was mesmerized at the meal before her. It wasn't made by a professional, he'd be an amateur at the most, but the execution, the fine details, the presentation of the dish were superb, inviting, enticing and alluring. Her stomach groaned and roared for the food and Marie felt her body unconsciously move and shove a spoonful of the broth with some rice into her mouth. It was ecstasy.
Lyon smiled, a crooked smile, as he cleaned the marble kitchen counters after putting everything away. As he stole glances at Marie he could only giggle and smile at her features and expressions as she gobbled down the food. To him, cooking had always been a hobby, but just because it was a hobby didn't mean he didn't take it seriously. He wanted everyone to whom he served his dishes to feel satisfied and full. To him, cooking was a means of communication…of touching others. It was why he knew Marie was finally getting better…and that today was her FIRST sober day since the breakup.
Lyon: I'm glad you like it.
Marie simple lifted her big blue eyes, one covered by a clump of hair and the other showing the smeared and thick makeup of…days without a bath.
She simply muttered with her mouth full as she continued to eat, trembling at every juicy bite of the steak and sighing after every gulp. She seemed childish, yet…adult, mature…elegant, sexy, wild…Lyon would simply shake his own head, stopping his train of thought. "Not now." He smiled at her as their eyes met, they giggled and Lyon began to eat his own plate on the counter, face to face with Marie for the first time. Their first true meeting.
Night slowly and steadily crept as the snowfall became heavier and heavier. The news and weather forecasters advised and alarmed people to stay indoors and wait until the snow storm blew over. It was a wonderful event…despite everything that could go wrong. For starters, Kevin's dorms had lost one heater to the incessant snow, causing for the prefects to calm everyone, explain the situation and asking them to stay calm and just cover up. The remaining heaters would be used with caution so they wouldn't burn out. Edd didn't mind, he didn't care about much really, he simply heard Kevin's explanation and nodded in agreement.
He felt…embarrassed actually. He had blurted all his problems out on him, cried on him and fallen asleep. Being usually a very composed and proper individual, such emotional outburst was new to him…and very embarrassing. How did Kevin see him? What did he think of him now? He must think that he was maybe just a sissy. Edd sighed as he sat on the bed, rubbing his arms and holding himself….it was cold despite his attire. Out the window, the ground was white, maybe a couple inches of snow by now…it was rather poetic and his pain and turmoil made him finally (maybe) understand Edgar Allan Poe. Yet, he felt fine, as if the weight had been dramatically lifted.
Kevin: Hey Double D.
Kevin dropped a heavy cover on Edd who yelped in surprised and tried to move away. Somehow he instead got tangled under the cover and Kevin laughed as Edd squirmed like a cat trying to get out. Kevin laughed as Edd looked up at him sternly and pulled his beanie.
Edd: Shut up!
He threw a pillow at Kevin, who caught it easily.
Kevin: Oh come on…
Kevin kept on laughing and soon Edd joined in…aware of how foolish he must've looked. Maybe laughing your mistakes away was better than getting caught up in them. He felt calm, he felt at peace…something he so desperately needed these days. Yet…he still couldn't understand why it was with him…with Kevin that he could just…let go.
Kevin: So…no way they're going to let you go back to your dorm, besides the fact that it almost at the other end of campus.
Edd: It is not that far!
Kevin chuckled and sat on his bed beside Edd, moving under the cover too. Edd blushed but stayed calm as he simply watched Kevin warm himself up. They were shoulders to shoulder their body heat was palpable, but instead of making them uncomfortable, it was almost gravitational.
Kevin: Hey, I got some movies.
Edd: What movies?
Kevin: You know, action, comedy…
Edd: Ever so simple-minded.
Kevin: Piss off!
Kevin: Ok, genius, what do you like to watch?
Edd: Mystery, suspense, romance…
Kevin: So gay.
Edd slapped his shoulder as Kevin had an outburst of laughter.
Edd: Rude, SO rude.
Kevin: I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
Kevin hugged Edd playfully as he apologized, their physical contact had grown in the last days…but this was a leap. Edd blushed as he simply accepted it, he didn't wish to make Kevin feel uncomfortable.
Kevin: Ok, let me go for my laptop. Halfway and a romantic comedy?
Edd shook his head and cleared his throat.
Edd: Since when are you the amicable diplomatic one?
Kevin: Shut up Double Dork, I'm trying to be nice.
Edd: And it's much appreciated.
Edd giggled as he made space for Kevin beside him. Kevin placed the laptop on his legs, over the cover and the boys soon began talking about what movie to watch. To Edd's surprise, Kevin had a varied assortment of movies…maybe the reason he didn't study too much. Edd did glare at him a couple times as Kevin talked about one movie or another since he had seen it before. They laughed and teased each other mostly though, the night, the weather, it was perfect for such an activity. Having decided on a movie, Edd and Kevin sat in silence watching it, a chick flick romantic comedy they had agreed on since Kevin had not seen it and Edd refused to watch blood and gore.
As the movie ticked by, the boys shares laughs, giggles and comments. They weren't silent viewers and the fact they both liked to talk midway in the movie, making comments and observations made them enjoy their time together even more. The 100 minute movie soon extended into nearly 2 hours and 30 minutes, reaching nearly midnight as the boys stopped the movie to talk or debate over subjects as who would get the girl or what they'd do in such a situation and such. It was a great night and Edd slowly became conscious of his surrounding as the movie came to an end. He was in bed with Kevin, watching a movie, Kevin's arm wrapped around him, him resting his head on Kevin's chest, his beanie had slipped off at some point… yet he did not mind.
As the credits began to roll Edd and Kevin talked a bit more on the movie's ending and some points. They laughed and teased, soon forgetting about the laptop. Face to face, one on one, they talked about romance and comedy, their likes and dislikes. Edd found himself laughing and feeling girlish as his tastes and likes veered more towards the feminine side, delicacy and details, while Kevin was (no surprise) all about big actions and grand love proposals. It made Edd laugh a lot as he couldn't imagine Kevin doing anything romantic without making a buffoon out of himself. Kevin tickled him in revenge. Edd soon found himself in between Kevin's arms. Though it was because Kevin was holding him still to tease him, he couldn't avoid the intense sensation. Their legs intertwined, in bed, physical contact, their body heat allowing them to stay warm… he was blushing intensely, ears burning. Yet, he did not resist it, nor fought it.
Edd: Ack! I'm not a toy! Kevin! KEVIN!
Kevin: HA! I didn't say dat. I said you were a doll. A fragile…
Edd squirmed and tossed but his physical prowess was nothing compared to Kevin's. Kevin soon had him pinned down, held by the wrists with firmness and care. Edd simply stared Kevin in the face with a pout as the mischievous red head grinned at him in triumph. He look manly, strong…yet…protective and caring. He had been with him all these days he had felt down, supported him, helped him, tried to distract him. He had cared about him… and he had simply avoided him…afraid. Afraid of what? Afraid of his own emotions? Afraid of what had happened? Or what could happen? Afraid…of himself? Fear…he knew why fear could be triggered by such a way…a psychological reaction of rejection…of denial. Denial.
His mind, quarreled in doubt and the existential turmoil of "who he was" became quiet, calm and… accepting of "who he was" and what he was doing when it came to Kevin. As if his very nature longed and wished for such a situation. As he gazed up to Kevin, his eyes growing at the fascinating man who had him pinned and was tickling him. His mind, the red pulsing cycling message changed to a single word, a terrifying, powerful yet amazing word… LOVE.
Edd clenched his fists slightly, girlishly as he averted his gaze and head.
His tone was quiet, somewhat pleading… Kevin immediately let go. He simply sat beside Edd, looking at him with worried eyes.
Kevin: You ok?
Edd: Much better…actually.
Edd turned in the bed to look at Kevin with his big eyes and long eye lashes. Kevin blushed.
Edd: Do you…know who you are?
Kevin was baffled at the question and stammered at the simple thought of having to answer. Edd giggled and laughed as he watched Kevin's mind go haywire at the sudden existential and philosophical subject.
Edd: I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Look, what meant is... do you like yourself?
Kevin stared at Edd questioningly as his still baffled and lost expression tried to grasp an answer of some sort.
Kevin: Well…yeah. I mean…why not? I like who I am…
Edd smiled. A sad, regretful yet accepting smile.
Edd: I don't… I still haven't found out who I am…
Kevin: But…you're you…Double D, Double Dork, Double Dweeb…
Edd socked a punch at his ribs at which Kevin groaned but still laughed loudly, Edd joined him…but still glaring at him.
Edd: I'm serious…I mean…
Edd soon began an educational rant about what an individual is, the complex combination and interaction of neurons, chemical compounds and environmental stimulation. He talked about the division of psychology, physiology and biology and how this was a misconception as neither could explain everything but each explained something. Sisters of a same scientifical area, yet each different. He explained his proposition about a new way to asses Lewin's Equation as a real mathematical qualitative take on personalities and behavior. It was a slur of terms and explanations Kevin barely got a grasp on but he was amazed. This small, fragile genius he had shared his life with was nothing but extraordinary…leagues away from him…he was on a completely different level. Compared to him…he was…nothing, a jock who knew nothing but throwing a ball through a net. Yet, he felt happy hearing Edd rant about why must people be considered incomprehensible, about how he believed we all have an explanation of being and that maybe there WAS a way to understand each other, to explain how we act and to accurately assess what type of individuals or disorders we have.
Edd ranted until he fell asleep falling on Kevin's chest. Holding him in his arms Kevin could only gaze at the amazing person Eddward Marion Vincent was. He felt him so far away…and yet. Kevin closed his eyes, trying to not fall in that bizarre train of thought. His own turmoil, hidden from the world by years of experience…of faking that "everything was OK". Kevin eased himself to sleep as the red blaring alarms in his head eased into silence…all different words he had used to insult and bully others…all coming from the same idea…from the same fear.