“You are Danny? THE Danny?!” she yelled into my face, the veins on her forehead almost popping. “And you are looking for Xavier?!”
I nodded. That’s what I just said to her. Did she have a hearing problem?
She then hysterically ran over to me from behind her counter, almost tripping because she clearly couldn’t run on those five-inch high heels, and frantically looked in all directions. “Where is he? He can’t be that far!”
What was happening? Why was she acting so weird?
“Oh YES! There! There he is! He’s just getting in the taxi. He was the guy who just checked out! He waited days for you to get here. Hurry, go STOP him from leaving!”
“What?!” I shouted.
She grabbed me by my cheeks and almost twisted my neck, making me look in the direction she wanted me to look.
On the other side of the glass wall, I saw Xavier step into a cab.
“Fuck!” I screamed. Xavier really came?
Why did everything have to go wrong?!
“Well, what are you waiting for, go get your man!” She screamed into my ear, making all the other guests of the five-star hotel look in our direction.
Even though I’m pretty sure she just screamed a hole into my eardrum, she was also right!
I saw the taxi take off and I ran outside as fast as I could.
“Run!” the lady shouted. “This was what all those extra hours spent at the gym are for! Use those fucking leg and thigh muscles you’ve trained so hard to acquire! I wanna see you flex them to the max!!”
And I did. I ran, as fast as I could. My feet hurt, my legs burned, but I wouldn’t stop. I waved my hands in the air and screamed “Stop!” at the top of my lungs.
“Stop, Xavier! Wait!”
Suddenly the car halted with squealing tires and the passenger door flew open. Xavier jumped out of the vehicle and turned around to face me.
I witnessed a stunned face staring back in my direction.
I was totally out of breath. I felt hot, dripping wet. I must look so disgusting right now.
“I know I’m late!! I’m so sorry, Xavier! My flight got delayed and postponed, I was really supposed to have arrived like two days ago...but everything kept fucking with me. I even forgot to book a room. And to top it all off the Tuk-Tuk I was on decided to break down and have a flat tire.”
Why did I even think taking a Tuk-Tuk here was a genius idea when I was in a rush?
Sweat gushed off my face as I continued my story. It was hard because I was totally breathless but for the first time in three years, I finally spoke to him again. And for the first time in four years, he was close to me! It felt like a dream.
“It took them ages to find me a new one, cos we were stuck in the middle of nowhere, so I had to wait even longer and...”
As I rambled on and on, non-stop about the disastrous voyage it took me to get here. The man that stood motionless in front of me suddenly walked towards me and grabbed me by my waist till he pulled me close and hugged me so tight my ribs nearly snapped.
The hug was familiar.
The hug was warm.
The hug was what I needed.
The hug was my Xavier, my World.
He let go much too soon and sighed out loud while he wiped some sweat from my forehead with the back of his hand. Oh, the touch of his hand against my skin made my knees go weak...
“You look like a wet tomato.” he smiled.
I saw his lips tremble. He was nervous, I could tell. Just like I was. The thought that I almost missed out on him made my eyes tear up.
“I’ll tell the cab driver I don’t need him any longer. Shall we go back to the hotel?” he whispered.
I was so overwhelmed with emotion and exhaustion, all I could do was nod and agree while I slowly gathered my breath and regained my strength.
I can’t believe he’s actually here. He came! He remembered my stupid comment!
This wasn’t a dream, right? Or was I imagining this? Was this a hallucination?
I’m really holding my Danny again with my arm around his waist. I tried pinching myself on my cheek to wake me up.
But I somehow managed to accidentally squeeze Danny’s waist way too tight and suddenly he jolted his body away from me.
“I’m so sorry! That was not on purpose!” I quickly apologized to make sure he was okay. This was awkward between us. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be...
“It’s okay, Xavier. I’m just a little touchy right now... Sorry.” He lowered his head staring at the ground as we walked our way back to the hotel.
I wanted to hold his hand so badly. It was literally just inches away from mine. My fingers burned to stroke him. Caress him, feel him again.
But why can’t I do it? And why does he look so sad all of a sudden?
Maybe I misunderstood his intentions? Maybe he didn’t come back here to get back together with me?
The thoughts in my head were starting to plague me again. It’s like the darkness was back to swallow me whole.
“Are you sure? You seem like you’ve got something on your mind.” I asked yet dreading the answer. Do I even wanna know? Because if he’s thinking about ending this completely, I might as well have left and never stopped the cab. Then why did he come to stop me?
“Are you hungry? Do you wanna go grab some ice cream along the way back to the hotel? I really need it to cool off after that sprint!” He interjected with a smile that seemed a little forced.
“Okay... I think I’m gonna be needing it also...” And then suddenly, Danny grabbed my hand and led me to the nearest ice cream shop. The place where he touched me felt hot to the touch.
We went inside the shop and ordered our favorites. We sat down on the counter to await our orders.
I couldn’t help but stare at his face as I glanced sideways. We were seated opposite each other but he kept avoiding my eyes.
Oh my God, he’s seriously about to end it all with me and I’m still here pining over his gorgeous face!? Did he have someone else?
“You have a nice new dapper English boyfriend now, don’t you? Be honest with me, I don’t mind!” Danny ominously blurted out words that I could not comprehend. I was so taken aback, I let out a noise that only dolphins could interpret.
“What?! What are you talking about? Where did you get that from? Of course, I don’t! Why would I even come here if I did?”
That’s the exact question I should be asking myself. Why would Danny be here if he got himself a new boyfriend?
The sudden realization of my own stupidity was not the first time. But we basically both smiled and laughed awkwardly at one another when we realized how paranoid and dumb we probably were.
“Seriously?” Danny exclaimed. His smile returned and my heart started racing again. “You never even had a little fling or something?”
“Why are you asking these questions? Are you intentionally trying to hurt me and yourself?”
“No! I’m trying to protect myself from getting hurt. So I automatically assume the absolute worst-case scenario. I’m sorry.” His breath hitched.
“That’s ok, Thit. I feel like I’m exactly the same. I literally panicked a minute ago, thinking you were here to end things with me because you found someone new.”
“Why did you never call me anymore, Xavier?” he asked. The look in his eyes was sad. I wish I could just stand up, place him on my lap and cuddle him. But I didn’t, it would be too weird to just do that.
“I don’t know, cause I was dumb. I was afraid you might have too much fun without me. That you didn’t miss me as I missed you. But there were so many times that I wanted to call you. I just waited like a coward. I was also always worried about disturbing you in the middle of the night when I got back from college and my part-time job.”Except for my cowardness, the time zone difference definitely didn’t help our situation either.
“Yeah, it felt like whenever I had free time to call you, you were either sleeping or you’re in college or working!” he answered. “So, same I guess. I was also afraid you might have found someone else after me. I didn’t want to find out. I kept telling I would call you later but then another week passed and again we didn’t talk and all I could picture was you having fun in the arms of another man. I didn’t want to find out if that was true.”
“But believe me if I could go back in time, I would have handled it completely differently! I would call you every day. I wouldn’t have ended us in the first place. That was just stupid!” I said.
“Well, we are here now, the both of us. That must mean something too. I never forgot you, Xavier.”
Danny swallowed. Oh, how I loved the look of that Adam’s apple. I wanted to kiss it so badly.
“Let’s spend today together. Let’s do the things we did four years ago. Us together again. We will see how it goes. I really want to be by your side now. And you?”
“I want that too, Xavi,” he smiled. He called me Xavi. He always called me Xavi before.
Our ice cream came at the perfect time for us to move on to our next destination. We wanted to take a nice leisurely stroll along the way to a decent restaurant, hopefully for a quiet little lunch date for the first time in four years.
I may have made a mistake choosing a cone to take my ice cream with. It’s now heavily dripping down the sides, over my fingers, and onto the floor. I’m trying my best to lick every last drop up without wasting too much. All I managed to do was get it all over my face and fingers.
“Hey, look at you! You’re still eating like a baby. There’s cream all over your lips. How did you even get a drop on your nose?” Danny leaned in, close to my face, and started wiping it with his personal handkerchief. He’s wiping my face and licking his own ice cream cone all at the same time.
Seeing his tongue licking it up and down so close to me makes me wanna sprint right back and get myself an entire bucket of ice and just pour it all over my body.
I pushed his icecream against his face. Playfully.
“Hey, Danny. You got some on your face too. Who are you calling a baby now, huh?” I reached at his hand for the handkerchief he was using and took it to wipe his own face this time.
He just smiled and said, “Well, at least you got me to take care of you, right?” His face went completely red as he realized what he just said to me out of the blue. Was that a slip of the tongue?
“Well, I’m just glad I’m not the only baby in Phuket...”
Right as we were about to arrive at the restaurant near the hotel, the sky turned dark, covering the once burning sun immediately. The sound of thunder roaring in the distance. Heavy rain began down pouring all over the island.
Well so much for a boat trip or fun day at the beach...
We ran back inside the hotel for cover, totally soaked and dripping.
Our white shirts didn’t help but expose our muscular-toned bodies for all to see.
Seeing Danny shiver like that made me wanna feel his warm body against mine so we could keep each other warm. But there were just way too many people around, plus I didn’t want to overstep my boundaries when we were just getting to slowly reacquaint ourselves back into our lives again.
“What luck we have, right?” Danny laughed as his lips trembled.
“Yeah, hold on a second, and let me ask Lizz if she’s got any more spare rooms since I last checked out.”
“Sorry, handsome. That’s still the only spare room and Mr. Danny over there’s the one that took it.” She replied with a surprisingly enthusiastic tone.
“Why don’t we just share the room, Xavier? It’s either that or you’ve got no place to stay.”
“Ok Danny, if you insist.”
I smiled so big on the inside, my heart was getting weak. It made the four years of waiting and suffering all feel worth it in the end.
“Great!” Lizz happily interjected and registered both our names for room 206. “Here you go sir, this is your own key for the room. I hope you enjoy your stay...”
“Oh, I’m sure we will...” I grabbed the key and we hurried up the stairs to the room we once stayed in together four years ago.
We’re back in there again.
The room that ill-fatedly ended it all...