Empty swimming pools [BxB]

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Space date


William is that ‘nothing’ when people ask him what he is thinking about.

It’s been a few days now that he hasn’t heard of him. Lennon definitely doesn’t want to call him anymore, there is no point. He decides he will just distract himself but all he’s done is drink. He drinks so he can just pass out and then sleep. He sleeps so they can meet again in dreams.

He barely leaves his flat. Nate is usually there, doing nothing as well. At times they will pick up their guitars. Nate would twist his fingers in all sorts of odd shapes to form chords, Lennon would join him. His gentle humming would fill the living room, then he would write some words down on a used cardboard KFC bucket that was left on the coffee table.

Jorja complains at times but mostly gives up and joins them when they light a joint. When pressure is too much, not like a tangled knot but like a ticking bomb, he needs to let it explode somewhere safe. That’s why he has Nate. That’s why Nate has Lennon. Liam used to be there too until he moved to New York. When he needs to vent, Nate is there. Lennon gets to yell his fucking lungs out and be a vengeful, crass, arsehole of fury and Nate sips his beer and nods in the right places. Only when Lennon picks up his pint, Nate asks him if he is ready for his perspective and if he is, Lennon will keep drinking, otherwise the shouting starts again. His job is to tell Lennon how he thinks the other side likely felt in his stories, tone Lennon down rather than egg him on. Sometimes Nate is right, sometimes he’s way off. Nate’s just the same, he calls Lennon, he goes. He vents, Lennon listens. They don’t gossip, no one knows his secrets or Nate’s. Sometimes just getting that rage out is the best thing he can do. Because rage is what he feels at this moment, rage towards himself. It is a torment he was not prepared for.

- So, are you going to call him already or you’ll just continue sulking? - Nate asks at one point not turning his head away from the TV screen. Lennon looks at him confused.

- What are you talking about?

- This guy you like.

- How do you know I like a guy? I don’t like a guy.

The nausea swirls unrestrained in Lennon’s stomach, his heart feels as it’s struggling to keep a steady beat. His melancholy mood hangs over him like black cloud, he knows the feeling, he’s been there before, but not for this reason.

- You wrote a lyric about missing him. Right there. - Nate points his finger on the words Lennon wrote on a piece of cardboard.

- I don’t miss him - Lennon gives up, looking at the TV, not actually paying attention .

- Right.

- It’s just...- Lennon wants to put his feelings into words but he doesn’t know how. Apparently he could only write them down.

- Is the sex good?- Nate asks with a smug look on his face.

- Good? He fucked my brains out all night, I think I actually passed out at one point. Oh and then he got me off in the cinema. - Lennon’s skin shivers at the memory as he shamelessly admits this to his friend.

- Oh. - Nate seems unfazed by this information at first but then turns towards Lennon suddenly - Wait. He fucked you? You told us before you don’t like that? And you went to the cinema? Like on a date?

- It wasn’t a date. And it’s not that I don’t like to bottom. I didn’t want it, with others. But with him I felt like that’s what I wanted to do. It was spontaneous, it was natural. He just radiates that BDE, mate. - he shakes his head like he wants to get rid of the images.

- The what now?

- BDE, you know, big dick energy, just the confidence he has. And the way he took control, how he touched m... - Nate chokes on his beer next to him.

- Whoa mate, ok ok I don’t need to know all the details! Jesus.

Lennon closes his eyes and pinches his nose, then sighs.

- I don’t know Nate, I never met anyone like him, it’s weird. I usually don’t care about people I fuck. - Lennon is being honest.

- Yeah I know, but it just means you like him. It’s fine Lenny, people do that. You know, actually like each other for other reasons not just sex. I know it might freak you out but give it a go, why don’t you call him?

- Well, yeah but there’s this thing. He...He is in a relationship.

- Ok. Yeah, that might be a problem but it’s not the end of the world. If he’s seeing you then it means things are not great and he’s not happy in his relationship, you know. I mean... I think. - Nate is trying to solve this problem but Lennon knows it’s pointless. He’ll just pour another pint from the home beer tap. He and Jorja installed it in their flat right after they moved in and realised that a lot of people would be hanging out here. He brings another one for Nate as well and sits next to him on the floor, between the sofa and a coffee table.

- Who is he anyway, do I know him? - Nate continues the conversation taking the xbox controllers and handing one to Lennon.

- It’s Liam’s friend from New York, William. - Lennon is saying his name for the first time out loud and it sets a hurricane in his soul.

- William? William Hamilton-Smith?- Nate’s head turns in Lennon’s direction.

- Mhm.

- Fucking hell, Len. Since when? New York?

- Well yeah, kind of. He kissed me then. And then we hooked up when he came to the UK last week.

- He kissed you first? Bro ... He’s with Nina fucking Perry from The Forgotten!- after that Lennon just explodes.

- I know, Nate! Thanks for clearing that up. He says he doesn’t know what he’s going to do. I mean yeah, they’ve been together for a while but like you said, he is obviously not happy. I don’t want to pressure him, you know. Hell, I don’t even know what I want, I’ve never wanted to be with anybody before. It just feels right, when we’re together. So yeah.. I am a bit desperate, just want to see him again but I don’t want to push him away either. And...

- Lennon...

- ... and he called me first, you know, it’s not like I forced him, everything was his initiative..

- Lennon, shut up. - Nate tries to calm him down. - It’s William Hamilton-Smith. You realise that? It’s going to be harder than I expected.

- Why do you say that? - Lennon looks at him curiously.

- Well, he’s not open about, you know.. Liking dick. You know who he is, it’s just unlikely that he will break up his perfect straight relationship with his precious girlfriend to be with a gay punk from some irrelevant alternative band.

- What do you mean, who is he?

- He’s a Hamilton-Smith mate, you know, just like one of the richest families in England, he’s dad is Gabriel Hamilton-Smith, a baron or some shit. They do brunches with the queen and go golfing with the prime minister. They own Hamilton Records and some football clubs, maybe hotels and I think... - Lennon just stares at him speechless, not listening anymore. His dad is a baron? He’s rich?

- You didn’t know?! - Nate asks him, with amusement on his face.

- No. He didn’t tell me who he was. - Fuck. Lennon is gulping his beer now, this brand new information confusing his mind even more.

- Well yeah, Liam told me at the pub after our gig. I saw you two getting all chatty and touchy, so I thought you will hook up but then Liam told me who William was and how his family doesn’t approve of him being out and, you know. They don’t like scandals in the royal circles. I didn’t actually think he would make a move on you.

There was hope before. A tiny flicker. Not so much now.

He sits motionless, unaware of the time that passes. This feeling soon is about to become a memory. This person who is constantly in his thoughts is going to become a silhouette. Their conversations will become nothing but a record that will be played over and over in his head. Promises made in the wrinkled sheets of one hotel room will soon fade away with time and all that will remain is its fragment.

People tend to say a lot of things, commit in the heat of the moment, but that’s how it is in reality. Lennon knows that words should never be trusted, he trusted his own family once and that didn’t turn out well.

It’s not like William ever promised him anything, both of them didn’t know what they got themselves into. But the hope that they will find out together what it is is gone.

He doesn’t want to complicate William’s life by being in it. Apparently it already is complicated by being in one of the richest and most famous families in the country.

The handle of the apartment door jiggles.

- Where are my beautiful boys?- Jorja enters with some shopping bags, her curly black hair in a high ponytail. She kicks off her high heels and drops the bags on the floor, then she flops on the sofa behind Lennon and Nate who are still sitting on the floor, playing xBox.

- Sup Jo. - Nate greets her, while Lennon stays quiet, almost like not even noticing that Jorja came in.

- You two didn’t even move since I left. At least have a shower. You stink.

- Thanks. - Nate replies jokingly.

- What’s up with this one? - Jorja pokes Lennon’s cheek .

- Leave him alone. He’s in love with William Hamilton-Smith. - Nate bluntly says before Lennon can even answer. He shots a death stare at Nate.

- Nate. What a fuck! Shut up. - Lennon shouts and Jorja laughs at this and hugs Lennon from behind.

- Aww it’s ok Lenny, he’s gorgeous, that man. Those cheekbones, and blue eyes, and that body, did you see his bum? - Jorja jokes but Lennon doesn’t find it funny.

- Oh piss of. Both of you. - at that moment Lennon receives a message and the phone chimes from the sofa Jorja is sitting on, so she reaches for it before Lennon can. - Give me the phone, Jorja.

- Oh, who’s this? - Jorja looks at Lennon’s phone while he’s trying to reach her from the floor.

- Jorja, I’m warning you. Give me the bloody phone now. - Jorja is smiling mischievously at the phone and then at Lennon.

- It’s your loverrrrr, here you go. Don’t worry, I haven’t read it. - Jorja hands him the phone, and Lennon opens the message. It is William. He won’t reply.

- What does he say? - Nate asks, still only focused on his game.

- It doesn’t matter. I’m not planning on replying. - Lennon is determined. Jorja is curious.

- Wait. What is actually going on here? You are actually in love with this guy? I thought you’re only friends and flirting and stuff, he’s got that actress for a girlfriend. Right?

- I’m not in love.

Is he? He can’t be. That’s just not it. His only crime is that he loves beautiful things and when he sees them he gets them.

William is just too beautiful and too out of his league to handle, just too much work, too much drama, he has to admit his defeat. Right now, he needs old Lennon to be back, not this dumb Lennon with undefined feelings.

- I need to get out of here. - Lennon says, throwing the phone away from him.

- Should we go out? It’s Saturday . -Jorja questions.

- Yeah let’s go out. I will call Tinie. - Lennon grabs his phone back and scrolls down his contacts.

- Tinie? So you mean business tonight? - Nate smiles.

- Yup, why the fuck not. Tinie always has good stuff and it’s Saturday, we don’t have any work in the studio until Thursday and that Gala is next Saturday. - Lennon explains, a bit of excitement now in his voice.

- Ok sure, I’m in, I will call Sophie she was telling me about this party in Fabric tonight. - Jorja also scrolls through her phone, and Lennon thinks how he doesn’t like Jorja’s friend Sophie much but he does like raves in Fabric and he’ll get something good and strong from Tinie anyway, so he won’t mind anybody’s company really.

- Last time I was in Fabric I didn’t return home for like three days. - Nate says. Lennon laughs.

- I remember. Kind of. It was Liam’s birthday.

Lennon thinks it’s time to shower and actually looks forward to tonight. He stands up and walks towards the bathroom, the phone with the unanswered message I need to see you tonight in his pocket burning the skin through the jeans.

*

They arrive in Farringdon and Sophie, knowing the owner of this iconic London club, makes sure they enter without waiting in the queue. She’s short, too skinny and talks way too much about completely random stuff but Lennon likes the fact that she can get them in easily because he can’t deal with trivialities like queuing up.

- Adam Beyer is on tonight, it’s going to be madness. - she says.

He messages Tinie as soon as they enter and they meet. Tinie is a dealer he trusts and knows for a while now. Lennon doesn’t take drugs on a regular, at least not as much as he used to but techno parties are something Nate, Liam and he loved to experience, they even met at a club like this one night in London when he was high and broken, body too young but mind tired and old. They were moving in the same crowd, Lennon with his friends from the modelling agency he used to work for and Liam and Nate, high school friends who liked to party hard. And that was the time they started experimenting with drugs. Liam was trying stuff out like any curious rebellious boy in their eighteens and the best place for that were clubs with techno music. Nate was more into rock music, he already had a band then and usually just played music all the time. But together they discovered ecstasy in one of the clubs and life was never the same.

He can’t wait for the feeling. He just wants to be happy again. After he buys little smiley pills he joins Nate, Jorja and Sophie on the dance floor. People sway, jitter, hop around, bob their heads, jerk their shoulders, shake their hips, grind in couples. Some hug together and twirl around. Fabric’s main dance floor is a perpetually dark place illuminated, infrequently, by flashing lights overhead and packed, hour after hour, with increasingly sweaty people.

Lennon discreetly hands three pills to his friends and downs one himself. He’s not going to think about William, he will find somebody else. He slips into the crowd.

Shadows around him are moving in the rhythm. Body heat, a communal momentum, an ominous euphoria. After an hour molly starts to kick in and he welcomes the feeling. First sign is the music. It’s like he hears it for the first time. Giant, booming drum beats and bass lines bearing down and building up again and again, with relentless impact. When Lennon hears it it is like liquid adrenaline being injected right into his bloodstream - not so strong as to freak him out, but just enough to make him tingle and start to move his body.

He’d never had a dance class, but he, Liam and his mates had jived to music since they discovered clubbing. You don’t have to actually know how to dance in this place, your body just knows. So he dances, a smile on his face, long hair let down - he doesn’t dance to show off, to make others watch - but they do. He is used to attention and he likes it now.

He likes every single person in this room too at this moment. The music is so loud that it makes his skin tingle and his lungs feel like mush. The bass is thumping in time with his heart beat as though they are one, filling him from head to toe with music. He looks at his friends. They’re all grins, they all look like idiots and they don’t care. Inside they’re just happy, happy and more alive than ever.
Lennon feels the part of him that’s really him comes out to play, to feel the vibe of the music and let his body go free. He feels his heart open to the most infinite, deepest love he can possibly imagine.

Damn, he loves this drug.

But he needs more water, he’s getting more thirsty by the second. Or hour. He doesn’t really know the concept of time right now, he never does when he’s on ecstasy.
There’s a short haired girl right next to him at the bar, wearing all black, and she turns around, her beautiful blue eyes looking straight into Lennon’s and he instantly smiles at her.

- I know eyes like yours. - Lennon tells her, feeling of love consuming him now. She smiles.

- And who they belong to?

- They’re not here. - Lennon’s mind goes on a journey far away from here and he tries to stop it, but he’s weak. Her eyes are blue, not the right shade of blue like he first thought when he saw her. And she’s pretty, seems like she’s into him too because she’s leaning in, touching his hand.

- I’m here though. I can make you forget. - she whispers into his ear and he likes that, he feels every little tingle that her breath leaves on his skin and then William says I need you and his body tenses.
He misses his touch so much, he needs him too, he closes his eyes, he kisses his neck, it is so warm and his whole being is focused on that little peck he leaves on his skin. He wants to shout to the world how much he needs him too but the music is too loud, nobody will hear him.
There are lips on his earlobe just gently sucking, it feels fucking amazing.

- I never want to forget you, Will. - he breathes out in his ear and he tries to pull him closer now but the body in front of him stiffens and steps back a little, Lennon looks surprised and William says something but he can’t quite understand.

- I’m not William. - he hears now. His eyes have grown dim, but heart is still full of hope.

- What?

- I’m not William, you’re fucking waisted. - she gives him a once over - We can leave if you want... As long as you don’t call me by some bloke’s name and you’re aware I don’t own a dick.

The girl in front of him is talking and her voice is crystal clear now, he hears perfectly, it’s not William, he was never here. Before she can say anything else he grabs four bottles of water that he bought and runs away from her.

After he finds his friends, still full of energy, he’s happy to see them. He gives them the bottles of water and they all thank him, Jorja hugs him and tells him how much she loves him.

- I love you too, Jo.

Lennon is still thinking about the girl he just had a close encounter with. That was some creepy shit, he thinks. But it is eye-opening. He takes the phone out of his pocket and knows in his soul he’s doing the right thing.

Is it late to meet now? Is all he writes and drinks some water. After only a few seconds he receives a reply, he can’t be happier it seems, a big grin on his face and Jorja shakes her head.

- Is it the lover?

- I’m going to see him now. He’s going to pick me up. - Lennon says shyly, all rosey cheeks and glassy eyes. - I’m so fucked Jorja, aren’t I?

- Yeah babe, you are. And not from drugs. - Jorja tells him, hugging him tightly.

Lennon leaves the club soon after receiving a message from William that he’s outside.

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