Different social classes swarmed the floor of the cosplay convention masquerading as their favorite characters from fantasy and science fiction genres. For a few hours, they hid their true identities from the world and each other.
Patrick Valdez tried to walk at a normal pace through the convention hall. Disguised in a flame red, shoulder length wig covering his brunet locks. The traditional colors and mask of the only young female wonder, Robin from ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ comic, holding a gold retractable staff. Patrick glanced at the admirers, who whispered and pointed at the various outfits of their favorite characters; Thor and Loki, Captain America and Iron Man, Wonder Woman, Gamora of Guardians of the Galaxy, various Star Wars and Star Trek characters mingling together. Usually, he enjoyed the attention he received from his outfit but his mind was elsewhere. With every twist of his right hip, a burning pain shoots through him reminding him of the night before.
“Why do you go to those shows? You’re only humiliating yourself,” said Gavin, standing at a tall dresser using his credit card to divide a small amount of white powered into three thin lines.
“You didn’t seem to mind when you met me,” said Patrick, draped in a towel around his waist just out of a shower. His back was to Gavin as he dried his hair with another towel.
Gavin stared at the lines of powered and clinched his back teeth, placing the credit card down and grabbed a small glass straw popping it at the tip of the white snow and the other end just inside his one nostril. With his mouth closed he and breathed in drawing the drug into his nose. The act was copied with his second nostril and rose pinching his nose for a second as he opened his mouth and caught his breath. His body came to life as a new heighten of energy possessed his body. as he placed the straw on the dresser turning to see Patrick’s back who was looking at his cell phone.
“Who the fuck, are you texting?” Patrick, stood his ground so Gavin didn’t see him close his eyes as he sighed. Not wanting to turn around Patrick raised his head.
“I’m going to a cosplay event Gavin, that’s it.” Gavin rushed towards him and reached around and snatched Patrick’s cell from him, looking for any suspicious texts. Patrick knew he shouldn’t confront Gavin after he’s taken drugs. “Gavin, please, I need my phone.”
“Who are you meeting?”
“The only person I’m meeting is Mia.”
“You’re a fucking liar. I know you been talking with someone behind my back.”
“What, Gavin you’re high, there’s no one else.”
“Bullshit! I know you’re trying to leave me but it will never happen!”
“Shut-up!” Patrick knew Gavin would throw his cell against the wall then turn his fist on him. Even though terror gripped Patrick inside, he approached Gavin.
“Baby, you know I’d never leave you,” said Patrick, locking eyes with Gavin. “I—love you.” Patrick went to reach up to touch Gavin’s cheek when Gavin placed his wrist in a vice grip.
“I know you’re a little freak that likes to play dress up for men,” said Gavin. Patrick remained still not looking away not wanting to give Gavin the satisfaction. “I also know that if you even think about leaving me I’ll post everything about you online. Everyone will know the real Patrick.”
“Everything you have is a lie.”
“The world doesn’t know that. All they want is the dirt on Patrick Valdez and I have it.” Gavin smiled as he squeezed Patrick’s wrist causing him to flinch and try to free himself from Gavin’s grip. With a hard shove, Gavin pushed Patrick back releasing his wrist. Patrick’s hip collided into a long dresser with a vanity mirror. The pain caused him to drop to his knees holding his injured side.
“I own you! Never forget that!”
Gavin turned and breathed in the last line of cocaine cleaning the surface with his finger which he rubbed on his gums. He could hear Patrick’s sobs behind him which made him look to the ceiling and grin. Without turning to Patrick he walked to the bedroom door.
“Enjoy your freedom, because it’s about to end. Oh, and whoever you are, not, talking to, you best tell them whatever happens, will be on you.” Gavin opened the door and walked out leaving the door opened. Patrick didn’t move until he heads the apartment door close.
Vendor tables displayed books, replicas of weapons, masks, armors, dreamed up technology, statues, DVDs and more mementos, a die-hard fan want. Patrick aimed to impress the judges with his representation of the Girl Wonder in the approaching competition for best cosplay. But his heart wasn’t in it. He stopped every so often to take a photo with a devotee, another cosplayer and to rest his sore hip. He smiled and waved as the cell phones and cameras captured his image. Patrick tried to be civil as he pushed a wandering hand from his ass and hip ignoring their sexual offers and privileged kisses. His body cringed from physical touch remembering Gain’s fury.
“Hey, Girl Wonder!” Cat called a voluptuous feline dolled up in touchable leather. She approached in spiked heels carrying a braided whip lassoed over her shoulder.
“Mia, you made it,” said Patrick in his own recognizable male’s voice, that stunned the gathered fanboys around the crime fighter, whom they thought was a female. The male admirers shrugged their shoulders not caring Patrick was a male as they watched the two masked characters hug.
“Wow, you are a sight to behold,” she said as they separated. The crowd parted as Mia and Patrick walked off together. Patrick met Mia online while looking for a cosplay event since coming back home two years ago.
“I considered coming as Robin Hood but figured comic superheroes were more in fashion.” Patrick pushed his satin cape, that fell across his chest, back behind his shoulders.
“Want to meet up after the show? That is—unless your bodyguard is here,” she said, glancing around for the brawny male that always wore a mask with his chosen costume. He always hovered over Patrick so to intimidate the too friendly fanboys.
“He’s history; it got weird.”
“Didn’t I tell you groupies can’t be trusted?”
“Yeah, I thought he was different.”
“It comes with the territory, sweetie. Anyway, I got a Batman to go bug. Coffee later?”
“Sure, meet you in the lobby around six?”
“I’ll be there, bye.”
They both turned and walked in opposite directions. Patrick had a date to keep with a few bats wanting to take photos with him and he needed to get his badge for the talent show. He had a set prepare for the acrobatics he’d planned for the show.
As he moved towards the theater, a familiar echoing voice caused him to stop. He turned to see a six-foot stormtrooper holding a blaster rifle across his chest coming towards him.
“Patrick,” said the trooper whose voice sounded altered.
“Do I need to guess who it is?” Patrick asked.
“How are you?” Patrick moved to the side where fewer people gathered, the trooper followed. When he was sure, no one would hear their conversation he snapped at the trooper, but kept his voice at a whisper.
“God, it’s only been a week. You promised to give me space,” he said glancing around him.
“I know—but—I hated how we ended.”
“I told you; you asked too much of me. I can’t— not with Gavin…”
“Gavin’s a prick who doesn’t deserve you.”
“Even if that’s true, it’s my decision when I break up with him.”
“You’ll never do it; he has too much on you.”
“That’s none of your business; I should have kept my mouth shut.”
“I also noticed you’re walking with a limp today. Gavin got ruff with you again.”
“That’s also my business.”
“I saw how he treats you. You don’t have to do this alone.”
“None of that is your concern. You need to leave me alone.” The trooper towered over him in silence, and it bothered Patrick that he couldn’t see his face to make sure he understood. “When I move on, it will be on my terms, not anyone else’s. Just—please leave me alone Jay.” Patrick didn’t wait for an answer as he hurried off not looking back. He blended into the crowd and vanished from sight.
Jay watched through dark holes of his mask as his grip tightened on his weapon buckling it in two places snapping the hard plastic under his gloved fingers.tart writing here…