Technicolor Daze

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twelve.

Sunday, April 20th, 2014

"Last night was lovely. Thanks for inviting me along :)"

Theo couldn’t help but smile as he read the text message shortly after he’d woken up. He checked the time and noticed that it was already almost half-past two in the afternoon. He’d only slept six hours. After parting ways with Noah, as the latter man mentioned he had some plans for lunch and had to get some sleep, Theo wandered around the city center trying to hail a taxi to head home. It had taken a bit longer than he’d hoped, but his mood didn’t falter, his footsteps light and floaty as he rode on the high he felt after he and Noah had kissed. He couldn’t help but smile at the memory of the dancer’s promise of a second encounter.

With all of the blissful excitement coursing through his veins, he ended up only falling asleep a little after eight in the morning. He certainly hadn’t gotten enough sleep, even though it was already past his lunchtime. Theo replied to Noah’s message with, ”Likewise :) Would you like to meet this evening?”

After clicking on ‘Send’, Theo wondered if he seemed too eager. Maybe I should’ve asked when he’s free instead...Theo thought. It was too late, the message had already been sent, and all Theo could do was wait for a reply.

Shortly after sending the text, his phone started ringing. It was Alice. Theo had forgotten to check Alice’s spam of Facebook and text messages, with thoughts of the attractive and charming performer dancing in his mind.

“Hello,” Theo’s groggy voice spoke into the speaker of his phone.

“Oh, so you’re alive! Thank you for not replying to my messages!” Alice’s concern was masked behind a façade of sarcasm.

“Good morning to you too. Are you at Jamie’s?”

“I’m heading home now. I need to do some laundry ASAP and Jamie is coming over for dinner anyway, but let’s get back to the point. Where have you been? Why didn’t you answer me?”

“I’ll tell you about it when you get home. I need some water and a shower,” Theo said as he slowly got up.

“Did you just get up? Geez, what did you get up to last night after we left you?”

“Like I said, I’ll tell you everything when you get here. Too long of a story to tell you over the phone and I really need to use the bathroom. How was Cubic?”

“It was fun, but Jamie and I headed back home pretty early to have a private after-party at her place...”

“TMI, Alice, TMI,” Theo interrupted Alice before she could give any other details away and heard his housemate giggling on the other side of the call, “Anyway, we’ll talk when you get here,” Theo said as he entered the bathroom, before hanging up on Alice’s call.

As soon as he felt the water on his face, Theo’s mind drifted back to the events that had taken place early that morning. The kiss and that smile that promised more. His hand roamed down, longing for release as the dancer became the subject of his lustful thoughts. His moans echoed throughout the small bathroom, as he came, his hand against the bathroom wall, water falling all around him and washing away the mess he had created.

Once his breath had returned to a steady rhythm, he grabbed onto the shower gel and cleaned himself up, his mind feeling clearer after climaxing. As he lathered his body with soap, Theo started singing ‘Get Lucky’ by Daft Punk. The good mood he had felt on his way home hadn’t disappeared and if Theo were not afraid of slipping in the bathtub, he would’ve started dancing.

After finishing the shower and drying himself off, Theo headed back to his room. The first thing he did in his room was to check his phone. Still no reply from Noah. Maybe he’s busy now, Theo thought, he’ll probably reply later. He noticed Alice had sent him a message asking him if he wanted anything from outside. He quickly typed, ”Yeah, buy me some take out noodles. Anything is fine.”

Just a couple of seconds later, he received a reply, ”You’re lucky I am near a noodle shop, otherwise you’d have to get some yourself."

Theo quickly typed back, ”Luckily you’re a kind and generous friend [angel emoji]."

"You would be lost without me [winking emoji] I’ll be there in 15."

Theo was about to place his phone on his desk to get dressed when he received another message, but this time from Liam. He remembered that he exchanged numbers with Liam the last time they hung out after their deep conversation. It just felt ridiculous to be talking on Grindr, if they could just call and text each other normally.

The message read, ”Hey :) Are you free this late afternoon/evening?"

Theo wondered if Liam was interested in hooking up or if he just wanted to hang out as friends. If it were the former option, Theo wasn’t sure he wanted to sleep around with Liam anymore after what had happened the previous night. He didn’t know where he stood with Noah, but he didn’t like the idea of sleeping with someone else when his heart wasn’t in it anymore. He still wanted to keep Liam as a friend. Liam had helped him think of things in a different light, provided some light at the end of his tunnel of self-destruction.

"Yeah, wanna meet up somewhere?” Theo decided that meeting Liam elsewhere would be a better idea. He didn’t want to tell Liam about his intention of cutting the sexual nature of their relationship out over the phone. He had made a lot of mistakes with Flávio that he didn’t want to repeat. He really cared about Liam, even though they hadn’t known each other for very long, so he was going to make his feelings clear to the other man.

"Want to go to a coffee shop? There’s something I’d like to tell you in person,” Theo felt relieved at first that Liam had not suggested meeting at his place, but then wondered curiously about the second part of Liam’s message. I wonder what he wants to tell me, Theo thought.

"Oh about what? And sure, which one and what time?" Theo decided to pick out some clothes as he waited for a reply. He placed his phone on top of his bed, as he browsed his wardrobe. After choosing a grey-blue T-Shirt, a pair of vintage jeans and some boxer briefs. His phone buzzed on top of his bed.

"Well, I have some surprising news, but I’ll tell you all about it in person. How about around 6 pm at the Eskimo near the old town?" Theo knew which one Liam was referring to, so he quickly replied.

“Sure, see you at 6!” Theo put his boxer briefs on and was putting on his jeans when he heard some noise coming from the apartment door. Alice had arrived. Theo quickly zipped his fly up and put on his T-shirt, before he heard Alice knocking on his door.

“Theo! Your noodles are here!” Theo opened his door and saw the take out bag in Alice’s hand. She handed the plastic bag over to Theo and said, “That was 30 by the way.”

“Thank you. I only have 100 on me now, but I’m going to Eskimo later, so I will pay you back later on tonight,” Theo said as he stepped out into the living room and sat down on the couch before taking his foam takeout container out of the plastic bag and opening it.

“No rush, but anyway, what happened last night?” Alice cut straight to the point as she sat down next to Theo on the couch with her legs crossed.

“So, remember the D2 dancer I was crushing on?” Theo broke the chopsticks that were also in the plastic bag into two separate ones to eat his noodles.

“Yeah... Wait, did you go to D2 after we left?” Alice raised her eyebrow.

“No... I mean, I wanted to, but I got some beers and was drinking on some stairs overlooking the Nam Van Lake and the Macau tower, trying to get some liquid courage...” Theo ate some of the fried noodles and chewed on them a bit before continuing, “And right as I was about to get up, I saw him. He needed a lighter, so we started talking... We ended up spending the whole night together, walking around Macau and getting to know each other.”

Alice’s jaw was slack in surprise, “Oh, wow! That was definitely a lucky coincidence? And how did it go? Were you as into his personality as you were to his looks?”

“You make me sound shallow,” Alice giggled as Theo gave her a playful glare, “I really enjoyed getting to know him. I think he feels the same way,” Theo couldn’t help but smile, before shoving some more noodles into his mouth.

“How do you know?” Alice had a curious look on her face.

“Well, we kissed before he had to go home. He also promised we’d meet up again,” Theo avoided looking at his friend, hoping his friend would avoid the teasing remarks.

“Ooo you guys kissed? Oh, look at you blushing! I don’t think I’ve ever seen you gush this much about a guy!” And his silent pleas went unheard yet again.

“Shut up!” Theo tried to focus on eating his fried noodles instead of on the smug smile on Alice’s face.

“So, it seems like you’re serious about him. That’s crazy. This feels like something you would only see in a movie. A salaryman and a nightclub dancer fall in love at first sight,” Alice chuckled as she shook her head.

“Well, I don’t know if it is love, but I definitely want to see more of him and see where it goes...”

Alice nodded at that before smirking once again and asking, “How was the kiss?”

“Fucking amazing. I wasn’t quite sure how far he wanted to take it, so I tried to go for a gentle peck, but then he took control and grabbed my neck to full-on make out. The sun was rising and we were near the St. Paul ruins. I think we may have traumatized a couple of aunties who just wanted to do their morning tai chi routine,” Theo laughed as he recalled the suspicious glares he and Noah had gotten from the elderly ladies.

Alice burst out laughing at the part about Theo and Noah being caught red-handed by early rising Chinese aunties. Once she had recovered from her minor laugh attack, she said, “But in all seriousness though, that sounds super romantic! Is he the person you’re meeting up at Eskimo later on?” Theo shook his head, “Oh... Who then?”

“Liam. He has some news and invited me for a drink there. Noah sent me a message before lunch, but I was still asleep. I replied but he hasn’t answered me yet. Must be busy,” Theo hoped he was right and that Noah hadn’t changed his mind about him.

“Oh? Are you still going to keep seeing Liam? And yeah, he will probably reply later.”

“Liam is my friend. Why would I stop seeing him? I will tell him about Noah as well because I don’t know if I want to keep sleeping around and I am afraid of eventually ending up leading Liam on... It feels strange to say it, considering how long I’ve known him, but I trust Liam like a close friend. We both experienced similar pain and bonded over that. I don’t think I could stop being his friend after that... ” Theo closed his now empty take out container and placed it on the coffee table.

“I think you’re doing the right thing. If you care about Liam as a friend and make that clear to him, you should keep him in your life. Going back to Noah... Do you see a future with him? I know it is too soon to tell, but you seem to be completely whipped this time.”

Theo laughed at the comment about being whipped, “You know what, Allie? I have no idea! All I know is that my heart is telling me that there is more and I want to see what that more is if that makes sense...”

“I guess I understand what you mean. I can’t say I’ve ever felt that way. With Jamie, it’s just always felt natural. Like we fully understand each other. But we got to know each other slowly, first as friends and then as lovers,” Alice had a blissful smile on her face.

“What is the deal between you two? When are you becoming official?” Theo asked, “By the way, wanna smoke?” Alice nodded as they both got up and Theo went to the kitchen to get a glass of water, before getting his cigarettes from his bedroom.

As Theo picked all of those items up, he was listening to Alice answer his questions, “Well, I think we’ve kind of made it official... I mean, we both admitted we didn’t want to see anyone else and that we want to be together. We haven’t really given it a label....”

“Wait! Hold on! When did this happen?” They stepped out onto the balcony before sitting down next to each other.

“This morning actually, which is why she will be sleeping over tonight,” Alice smiled shyly.

“Finally! I’m really happy for the two of you, but I also need to know if I should listen to music later on when I’m in the room,” Theo lit up his cigarette and handed his lighter to Alice who playfully shoved him because of his comment.

“I might be extra loud just to annoy you,” Alice joked back, lighting up her cigarette.

“Please don’t,” Alice chuckled at Theo’s plea.

“I will think about your case,” she replied with a smirk before taking a drag off her cigarette, “By the way... will you be home later tonight? It’s 420 today.”

“Oh yeah. I think so, I can’t really stay out until very late today anyway,” Theo also took a puff from his cigarette.

“So, we can all smoke up tonight after dinner, if you’re down,” Alice offered.

“Sure. I’ll text you when I’m on my way back.”

The two friends sat on the balcony smoking their cigarettes, as Alice told Theo about their night at Cubic and how Ivy and Yoyo had gotten completely drunk and made out with each other. Theo laughed at his friends’ drunken hijinks. He checked his phone to see if he’d gotten the reply he was awaiting, but sadly, there weren’t any new notifications on his phone.

Hopefully, he’ll still reply today, Theo thought to himself as he stubbed his cigarette out.

At 5:58 pm, Theo stepped into the fairly empty Café Eskimo. He had arrived a bit early and decided to have a look inside to see if Liam had already arrived. Theo spotted Liam sitting at a table for two by the window straight away. He soon was spotted by his friend who waved at him.

“Hey!” Theo said as he sat on the other seat.

“Hi, how was the rest of your weekend?” Liam asked.

“It was fun,” Theo suddenly wasn’t sure whether to avoid beating around the bush or making it clear from the get-go, but luckily for him, he didn’t have to wait much, as Liam couldn’t help but blurt out his news.

“I booked a trip to Mexico,” Liam’s wide-eyed expression, an aura fluctuating between the states of incredulity and trepidation, “I impulse bought a one-way trip to Mexico City.”

“What?!” Theo’s jaw went slack with surprise, “Wow, I mean, that’s great, but I wasn’t expecting you to follow that advice so quickly!”

“I don’t know what came over me... After the talk we had, I just felt like... Why am I still here? You know what? Fuck it! I’ll just go! Oh god! I’ve made a terrible mistake, haven’t I? What the hell was I thinking?” Liam had never spoken in such a crude manner. It left Theo surprised, but he could also see that behind Liam’s appearance of regret, anxiety, and dread, was the dream of a smiling young boy not yet tarnished by the pressures of society.

“I don’t think it’s a mistake! I think it’s great that you’re going out and pursuing your dreams,” Theo smiled at his friend sitting across from him, as the waitress appeared and both men ordered some drinks - bubble milk tea for Theo and green apple green tea for Liam. Once the waitress walked away, Theo turned to Liam and said, “When are you going to Mexico?”

“On May 25th. I’m submitting my resignation tomorrow at work. I have to give them one month’s notice. After talking to you, I realized that there isn’t much that is keeping me here. I barely talk to my friends here... I don’t just want to be stuck here working in an office for the rest of my life. You’re right, I need to go out and explore what the world has to offer. I can always come back if I feel like I want to, but I need to give my dream a shot,” Liam’s eyes were glimmering as he rambled on about the thought process behind his decision.

“Thank you for talking me into this, Theo. I really needed someone to tell me that,” Liam looked at Theo with so much sincerity and gratefulness in his gaze. Theo was caught off guard at how sudden the departure was. A sudden feeling of sadness weighed heavily on his heart at the thought of having to part ways with someone he had come to cherish. He knew it was bound to happen at some point, but knowing the date made it real. As hard as it was, Theo decided to keep his low spirits at bay and mustered just enough happiness to give his friend a proud smile.

“I’m glad you are heeding my advice. And you better send me some postcards when you’re in Mexico,” Liam chuckled at Theo’s request.

“I will. I’m sorry I interrupted what you were saying, but I had to tell someone about this. And telling you is easier than what I’ll have to do tonight,” Liam ran his nervous hands through his hair.

“What is happening tonight?” Theo asked as the waitress brought the two men their drinks.

"M goi,” Both men said ‘thank you’ in Cantonese.

“Well, I’m going to have dinner with my family and tell them about my decision. And I’m nervous as fuck!”

“So I was your guinea pig?” Theo playfully smirked at Liam, trying to lighten up Liam’s mood, “Chill! I’m sure it will go well. Just be honest with them,” Theo took a sip from his drink.

“I hope so... I just needed to tell someone first before having to deal with their reaction. Anyway, let’s talk about something else. So, tell me about your weekend! You were saying it was fun before I interrupted you,” Liam had made it clear that he needed a distraction from his upcoming meeting with his family.

“It was fun, yeah. I went out with the gang for dinner and then for some drinks at Sky 21. Everyone decided to head to Cubic, but I wasn’t really in the mood, so I decided to stay back and go for a walk,” Theo wasn’t sure if he wanted to tell Liam about Noah, but he realized that it was the perfect opening. Liam was leaving soon and he was already on the topic, “It feels kind of weird to tell you this, but I wanted to go to D2 to see if I could see the guy I mentioned to you again.”

Liam’s eyes briefly widened at Theo’s revelation, “Oh, did you end up going? To D2, I mean...”

“No, I tried to gather liquid courage, which is not exactly the best idea, but turns out, I end up bumping into him at the spot where I was drinking,” Theo revealed, “and we ended up spending the whole night just walking around Macau together,” Theo couldn’t help but talk giddily about his unexpected encounter.

“Wow! So, how’d it go?” Liam smiled at Theo, though Theo noticed that the other man’s smile didn’t fully reach his eyes.

“Well, I definitely want to see him again. Talking to him made him more real and less of a stupid fantasy of mine if that makes sense. We also kissed at the end, so I think he’s also interested... I’m sorry if it’s weird to talk about this,” Theo felt a strange sense of guilt about talking to one of his casual lovers about someone he was romantically interested in for the first time in years.

“No, we’re friends and it’s nice to see you blushing, all happy and giddy,” Liam teased and smirked at Theo.

“I guess talking to you also opened my eyes in a way. It was like there was a missing piece in the puzzle that I needed to fully move on and you showed it to me. So, I guess I also owe you a thank you,” both men had been each other’s confidants, guiding the other onto a path of optimistic novelty and blissful fulfillment.

“So... does that mean that you no longer want to sleep together? No hard feelings if you don’t,” Liam had an awkward look on his face as he posed the question. In his mind, Theo kind of wished he could sleep with Liam one last time as a sort of farewell fuck, but he knew that he would feel bad afterward. His heart was already elsewhere and overnight the dancer had become the only subject of his lustful desires. It would be unfair to Liam if he were to sleep with him at that point.

“I suppose so,” both men smiled shyly at each other. A bittersweet smile. Theo knew his feelings for Liam were beyond those of friendship, but not stronger than what he felt towards the dancer - an attraction that was almost hypnotizing. Theo wanted to be honest with Liam about his feelings though, “I gotta be honest, if I had met you a few months ago and if you weren’t fresh out of a long-term relationship, I may have fallen for you.”

Liam bitterly chuckled before retorting, “If we had met at a different time and under different circumstances, maybe. I am still glad I met you and you’ll always have a special place in my heart.”

Theo smiled at his now-former lover before jokingly asking, “Are you sure? Maybe after you meet a couple of handsome Latino boys, you won’t even remember me...” Liam’s laugh earned the two men a few strange looks from other customers at the café.

“I’m going to miss your funny remarks,” Liam shook his head in amusement.

“I’m going to miss you, Liam,” Theo suddenly shifted to a more serious tone, “We may not have met a long time ago, but you’ve become a close friend of mine and I will hunt you down in Mexico or wherever else you decide to go if you cut me out of your life.” As per usual, Theo couldn’t help but end the serious and somewhat corny moment with a hint of humor.

“Are you forgetting something? You have a dancer to pursue,” Liam winked at Theo.

“Yeah... I still can’t believe last night happened! Do you think it’s crazy to dive in so blindly after someone I barely know, just because of a spark I felt? I’ve never been a believer of love at first sight, but as soon as our eyes met again last night, I just knew I wanted him with every fiber of my being.”

“I don’t think it’s crazy. There are many different ways two or more people can fall in love. Who’s to know what is the right way, if there even is a right or a typical way of falling in love. How did you feel about him once you got to know him a bit?”

Theo thought back to how at ease he felt around Noah and how much his attraction towards the charming dancer had grown, “I definitely felt like I wanted to know more and more. If it were up to me that night would’ve never ended...”

“Then go for it! You will never know where it goes if you don’t try. That’s what you told me as well,” Liam smirked at Theo, earning an eye roll from the latter man.

“He sent me a text this morning telling me he also had fun and I asked him if he wanted to hang out this evening, but he hasn’t replied... Do you think it’s too soon? Did I scare him off?”

“I don’t think so. You did say he seemed interested as well, so maybe he’s just busy,” Liam looked at Theo for a little while before he shook his head and chuckled.

“What is it?” Theo asked, a puzzled look on his face.

“Nothing,” Liam couldn’t help the grin that was plastered on his face, not wanting to share the random thought that had popped into his mind.

“No, don’t do that! Don’t leave me hanging!” Theo whined.

“Fine,” Liam looked down for a second, before looking back at Theo, “I remembered how when I met you the first time, I was freaking out about casual sex. Now, here you are freaking out about being seriously interested in someone.”

Theo hadn’t thought about it that way, but couldn’t help but smile at the irony of the situation, “You were so nervous,” Liam nodded, a slightly embarrassed expression on his face, “It’s weird to think that we’ve only met each other three times, but it feels like I’ve known you for far longer.”

“This is only the third time? It definitely feels like much longer... ” Liam was looking up, almost as if trying to recall every instance they had met.

“Yeah, it was the first time last weekend and then on Friday and now, which means we’ve only actually known each other for a week,” Theo pointed out.

“Oh wow!” Liam scratched his beard slightly with a wide-eyed expression, “It’s strange because I feel closer to you than any of my friends here. And I’ve known them for years,” Liam admitted.

Both men stayed silent for a few minutes, as they finished their drinks. They were just two lines that happened to intersect at one point in their life journey only to part ways, go on different paths. Theo once again believed he could be open to the idea of loving someone and Liam had decided to embrace the independence and freedom of a single life, embarking on his own solo voyage around the world. In the end, they were both chasing what made them happy.

“Luckily we live in an era of social media, so we can keep in touch when you fly off to Mexico,” Theo smiled shyly at Liam.

“Speaking of which, I don’t think I’ve added you... Which one do you prefer?” Liam asked as he unlocked his phone.

“Facebook, just search Theo Edwards.”

“Theo Edwards? Okay... ” Liam handed his phone over to Theo, “Which one of these are you?”

Theo checked the different accounts and spotted his profile picture - a photo taken by Alice when they went on a hiking trip in Hong Kong. “That’s me,” Theo handed Liam his phone after sending himself a friend request.

“Oh, cool photo! Where’d you take that?” Liam commented as he looked at Theo’s profile photo.

“It was in Hong Kong. My friend and I did the Dragon’s Back hike.”

“Oh man, I should explore Hong Kong before I leave. I have only been to Central and Tsim Sha Tsui. What other places do you recommend?”

“Sai Kung is pretty nice as well and exploring the New Territories is also interesting. You could also get the ferry to Lamma Island,” Theo listed his suggestions as they popped into his mind.

“Oh wow, send me a message with all of these places, so that I can check them out at home,” Liam looked at the time on his phone, “Oh, I have to get going soon. I told my parents I would be at their place at 7:30 and it is almost 7.”

“That’s fine. I also have to get some dinner before I head home. Going to have a chilling session with my housemate and her girlfriend,” Theo wasn’t sure if Liam smoked anything beyond tobacco, so he didn’t feel comfortable in sharing that secret with him.

“Sounds like fun. Let me know how that goes and also how things go with that dancer you like,” Liam smirked at his friend.

“Sure, and don’t forget to tell me how things go at your parents’. We better meet up a couple of times before you go to Mexico!” Theo playfully threatened.

“Of course, though I will probably also be busy selling stuff from my house and talking to the landlord and meeting with relatives... And also with stuff at work... This is already feeling like a bad idea and I haven’t even started doing anything-”

“Hey!” Theo put his hand above Liam’s. Liam looked at Theo, his eyes drowning in anxiety, “You’ve got this. And if you ever need someone to talk to, I’m here until the moment you leave,” Theo gave his friend a sincere smile and gave Liam’s hand a squeeze. He noticed that Liam’s shoulders seemed less tense, as he took a deep breath and exhaled.

“I’ve got this,” Liam told himself.

“You do,” Theo cheered his friend on, trying to ease his friend’s anxiety.

“Thank you, Theo,” Liam gave Theo a small smile. Theo let go of Liam’s hand, “shall we pay?”

“Yeah,” both men got up and grabbed their belongings before heading to the cashier to pay for their drinks.

“Good luck,” Theo said to Liam as they walked out of the dining establishment.

“Thanks. By the way, can I hug you? I kind of feel like having a hug right now before I face my parents,” Liam glanced away as he asked that question, as he felt uncertain as to whether it would be appropriate to hug his friend, as their relationship had always been quite physical given the nature of their first encounter.

Theo didn’t even answer, he just wrapped his arms around his friend. “You don’t have to ask. You’ve got this. You’re chasing after your dream. Think of the Aztecs,” Liam chuckled at Theo’s final words of motivation.

“Think of the Aztecs?” Liam asked with a hint of amusement in his tone.

“Yes, think of the Aztecs,” Theo repeated the same line as he let go of Liam.

“Actually, that kind of helps,” Liam gave Theo a small smile, his posture looking just a little bit more relaxed, “Okay, here goes nothing. I’ll let you know how it goes. Have fun tonight with your housemate and her girlfriend!”

“Thanks! Good luck again and send me a message when you’re free!”

“Will do,” Liam waved at his friend and walked away.

After saying goodbye to Liam, Theo stopped by a small noodle joint for dinner before heading home to celebrate 420 with Alice and Jamie. Every year, ever since he and Alice had started living together, they would smoke a pure blunt rather than a spliff to celebrate the herb’s special day. Jamie wasn’t too keen on tobacco but was open to smoking a pure blunt on that special occasion.

When Theo arrived home, both Alice and Jamie were eating take out as they watched a Netflix series. “Hey, Theo, want to watch some Orange Is The New Black with us?”

“I’ll pass today. Hey, Jamie!” Theo waved at the girl sitting next to his housemate, who also appeared to be engrossed in the TV show.

“Hey, how are you?” She looked away from the TV screen.

“I’m good. I’m going to chill in the room for a bit. Call me when you guys want to smoke,” Alice nodded her head as Theo walked into his bedroom.

After crashing on his bed, feeling exhausted after a long weekend, Theo grabbed his phone to check if he had any new notifications. He noticed he had a friend request from Liam, which he promptly accepted. He stalked Liam’s profile a bit and noticed that the other man didn’t share much of his life on social media. Theo then searched for Noah’s profile and noticed Noah had accepted his request. Theo’s curiosity took over and he couldn’t resist checking the dancer’s profile out. Noah also didn’t appear to post much on his profile, but Noah did find a lot of older tagged photos taken in Germany. Noah looked very different - he looked so young and naïve back then. The eyes of the Noah he’d spent the whole night talking to had an aura of toughness to them, the innocent glimmer from his youthful eyes was no longer as prominent. Theo wondered what had been the cause of the change.

Suddenly, he heard a knock on his door. “Yes?” Theo knew Alice could hear him as the walls weren’t so thick.

“Let’s blaze,” Alice said, “I can’t stay up until too late, so we gotta smoke now.”

It was only about 9 pm when the three friends gathered on the balcony - Theo standing by the door and the two women sitting on the benches. Alice decided to adhere to a cliché and played some stoner tunes, making Theo giggle. Alice and Theo teased Jamie, whose tolerance wasn’t as high as Alice or Theo’s. It was a relaxing evening after a busy and eventful weekend.

As Theo walked back into his room after a pleasant evening hanging out with his friends, feeling high as a kite, he fell onto his bed and appreciated the light and giggly feeling he was experiencing. As he was feeling himself become one with the bed, he felt his phone vibrating in his pocket, so he fished it out.

He had a text message from Liam saying, ”I did it. They took it much better than I expected. You were right. I was just honest with them and they told me to do what makes me happy."

Theo smiled at that news, quickly typing out his reply, ”I told you you could do it :)"

The two men exchanged some messages before Theo got another new message notification. It was from Noah. Theo’s heart raced a little bit as he clicked on the message.

It read, ”Hey! Sorry for the late reply! Just looking at my phone now. I’m busy tonight and tomorrow, but I’m free on Tuesday night if you want to meet up for dinner? :)"

Theo couldn’t help but smile like a fool as he replied, ”No worries. And yes, I’m definitely up for dinner this Tuesday. Where do we meet up?"

This time Theo didn’t have to wait long for Noah’s reply.

"Let’s meet up at 8 in front of the McDonalds at Rua do Campo and see where the night takes us :)"

Theo’s heart fluttered as he typed out his response.

"I’ll be there :)"

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