I remember the day I first laid eyes on my beloved, he was leaning against an abandoned building under a tattered awning, sheltering from the rain that fell like ice around him. He took a deep and heavy draw from his cigarette, he looked up as if he sensed me watching him and our eyes locked.
His eyes took my breath away, they were a piercing blue, so piercing it felt as if he could see through to my soul, laid bare for only him to see. His eyes seemed cold, but I thought I saw a hint of sadness reflect in them.
He seemed to be out of his time. His clothes resembled a time where Men knew how to dress; tailored suits, ties, suspenders, bowler hats, leather shoes, and a long heavy trench sat neatly, halfway down his calves. He reminded me of a mobster from a black and white movie filmed in the late 30's and 40's.
He disappeared as fast as he appeared, those eyes..I would always remember those eyes.
My wandering mind was brought back to the present by the polite and well spoken taxi driver,
"We've arrived, Sir. Did you want me to drop you off here? Or would you prefer for me to drive into the driveway?"
I shook my head,
"Here is fine." I answered as I reached for the door handle.
"That will be $20.45, sir. Are you paying by cash?" The taxi driver questioned.
"Ahh! Yes, I'm paying by cash." I replied as I reached for my wallet and pulled out a $20 note, I checked my pockets for change, I had none. Luckily, I had a $5 note. I handed them both to him, he went to give me change, I declined
"No, it's fine. You keep the change. Have a good night." I said as I closed the door. Just as the taxi drove away, the icy rain started to pelt down. It soaked through my clothes, it felt as though small sharp icicles were being stabbed into my skin.
I switched on the light as the door closed behind me. Another day working my arse off, to come home to an empty, cold house. I undid my shoes, removed my soaked socks, and went straight to the bathroom. I needed a warm shower, the coldness from the rain had spread all over my body and deep inside my bones.
I stepped into the shower the steam engulfed me, like a mysterious, magical fog. The hot water stung as it expelled the cold from my body. I remained hidden by the steam, and drenched by the hot water, until my skin was red and every dreg of cold had been washed away.
I felt warm again, as I stepped out and walked over to the vanity. I wiped the condensation from the mirror and just stared at my reflection.
My hazel eyes looked tired, the black circles under them seemed to have become a permanent feature to my face like a freckle or a birthmark. I brushed my black hair back and again stared at myself. I was in my 30's and had been out of the closet for at least half my life. I've had a few relationships since I first came out as a scared, innocent, fifteen year old boy.
I was so unsure of what future awaited me after I came out to my father, little brother and step mother. It was awkward and my Father refused to accept my sexuality, but now over 16 years later, it seemed he has finally admitted he has a gay son and is starting to accept me for who I truly am.
As I continued to stare, the memories of past love filled my head. I remember Stuart, my very first love, he was eighteen when I first found out he liked me I was sixteen at the time. I had no idea he was like me and that he had me in his sight, until we ended up making out in his bedroom while a party was happening around us. It was a party he threw and a party that he specifically invited me to. A party where I experienced my very first kiss.
He begged me to keep our relationship secret, he hadn't come out to his friends or even his family. I agreed, I also didn't want everyone to know I was gay, It was still subject we were forbidden to talk about, even back then and it still could end badly for those of us who were ousted as gay.
We stayed together for a year. He had finished school and was taking a gap year to work and earn money before he went to university. It was a week before he was to leave, when he finally got the courage to come out to his parents, he thought this was the perfect time. If his parent's reacted badly, he only had to live with them for a week.
As expected it didn't go very well, he was banned from seeing me. I couldn't even kiss or say goodbye to him.
However, not even six months later, he had already found himself a new boyfriend. He didn't even tell me, I found out via social media. Who'd a thought a simple tagged photo of a friend of a friend led me to see my first love, my first boyfriend, with his tongue down some blonde twink's throat. He didn't apologise, he didn't even care how his action's affected me.
I had a few fleeting summer romances, I was the curious guys experiment. Nothing significant, nothing that lasted more than a few months.
Then I met my last boyfriend, Matt. I was fresh out of Uni, and had started my very first and still current job at a magazine specifically for gay men. It was a dream come true.
Matt was a fellow journalist, about ten years my senior, but he looked closer to my age not a man in his thirties.
We passed each other and would give a nod, smile, or sometimes a slight wave. He was very attractive, his hair was a chestnut brown and he always wore it parted. His smile was warm, and he was impeccably dressed in fitted suits, or even the occasional skinny leg jean, if he was feeling casual. His eyes were light green and drew everyone's attention. His skin was nicely tanned which brought out the colour of his eyes.
We started to get close when I joined a gym that Matt also happened to attend. We met one day in the warm up room. I had no idea that he worked out in this specific gym. We would start going to the gym together after work, as time progressed so did our relationship.
Soon we had moved in together and just in a blink of an eye seven years had passed. He was my longest relationship, I had introduced him to my family and we were engaged not long after he met them, he was loved by them. We even had a date chosen for our wedding.
Our wedding never happened, he was murdered for a couple of dollars and a key to his modest hatchback, it wasn't even a fancy one, just your average run of the mill, economic, affordable...hatchback with the clear coat starting to peel on the roof. He was left in a pool of his own blood on a dirty footpath, behind a row of rundown houses He was found two hours after they killed him. They were long gone by then.
They killed him for so little, to them his life was worthless. They sold the car for $500 and spent it on drugs, they were caught a few months later.
When they were put on trial for Matt's murder, they showed no remorse, they couldn't even remember what Matt looked like. They were known to police and to make it worse they had a child. They were sent to prison and their child taken into the care of Doc's (department of community services.)
I tried to hold back the tears and the pain that the memory of Matt stirred, but I couldn't and broke down. It had been nearly a year and a half since Matt was taken from me. Even to this day, the pain of Matt's death was near unbearable.
I still have not had a decent, full night's sleep, since he died, hence the permanent black circles under my eyes. Sometimes I can't sleep without the help of medication, I try not to use it, but some nights I just can't....