I couldn't have planned it better myself. Terry stayed for the entire weekend, even on ...
I couldn't have planned it better myself. Terry stayed for the entire weekend, even on Sunday. We had a week off from college. Seeing as Catherine and Simon wouldn't return from their vacation for another one and a half week, he stayed over at my place where we wouldn't be disturbed, if you know what I mean.... So we had a lot of time to spend together at my place, alone... With each and every day that passed, Terry and I seemed to get more closer than we ever were before, especially at night... The nights I've spend with him were just so wonderful... To me, it didn't felt mandatory anymore... I wanted him to, even though the two of us didn't go "all the way" just yet... It's strange to have realized how much I've changed in just two weeks... And in the beginning, I felt so ashamed and so humiliated to have told him the truth of what happened to me when I was a teen... The reason why it was so difficult for me to be intimate with him... But even though it had to be the most difficult thing I ever did, it was also the most rewarding... I didn't expect Terry to understand or that he had sympathy with me... I didn't want him to feel sorry for me and treat me any different because of it. And I didn't think that Terry truly understood what intimacy meant to me... Terry thought that sex was just a way to have fun with someone... All I saw were obstacles and ambushes whenever I thought about sex, let alone to actually do it... And well, Terry once told me that sex doesn't have to be a negative experience all the time... Slowly but steady, I started to realize that ever since I told him... With all the awkward conversations, misunderstandings and the fights we had about it made me think it was all worth it in the end... Being intimate with him meant so much more to me than he could've ever possibly understand... All the burdens, worries and insecurities I've ever had about it just vanished into thin air... And I just can't tell you how happy I was for finally letting it all go... Terry never gave up on us even though I often wanted to... He made me see things differently and for the first time in my life, I felt I was in control of everything... I was in control over my own emotions, my own feelings and more importantly, I wasn't gonna let it take over me anymore... I always knew I wasn't able to do so on my own which is why every attempt to deal with it failed miserably... But with Terry's help, I finally managed to overcome my worst fears...
Terry has always treated me with the respect and dignity of which I didn't deemed myself worthy to... He always did, even though I wasn't always treating him the same. I was very defensive, sceptical and aggressive... Doubting people's motives for even the simplest of things, like hanging out with me... Kept people at a distance because I was always so fucking cynical... And even though so many people made me doubt myself in the search for who I really am, I never showed that I was afraid... Deep down inside, however, I was... I was terrified of everyone... It was all part of the intense fear that I had, trying to hide it behind a rough exterior... People always saw that I was never afraid of anything... But who was I trying to fool anyway...? Them or just myself...? In the end, I was the one who has to live with it and I would only be fooling myself into thinking that I could take on the world and anyone who tried to hurt me. I lived with that idea for years... Breaking a habit you live with for so many years is difficult, even when you realize it's wrong to still cling on to it... It feels familiar and it's the only thing you ever knew... Mikaela always told me what to like when I was little... Who I had to fall in love with... How to show your affection to the people you care for the most... It hardly ever went the way she always told me... And I was hurt by those closest to me... I was betrayed and they took my self-confidence... Shattered my dignity to pieces... For years I was so lost... But then I met Terry... He took my hand and made me see it... Made me feel things I've never felt before and showed me what it's all about... I didn't know any better at the time... But now I do... And no one was ever going to tell me otherwise...
It were the simple things that Terry did which made all the difference there was... He was so sweet, tender and gentle to me... During the day, he was the best friend I could ever wish for... At night, he cuddled me as I felt his strong arm around me as he whispered sweet little things in my ear... I often looked at him when he was asleep and wondered where he's been all these years... My life and personality changed dramatically because of him and I was scared at first because I noticed I was changing... It's because people always tell you that you should never change for anyone and to be yourself.... But how can you be yourself if you don't even know who you are...? They never tell you that changes can be a good thing... Terry once told me that not everyone carries hatred and grudges in their hearts... That the world has so much more to offer... He took me by the hand and showed me... I changed because of that... Because of him... I started to cling on him ever since the night I told him what happened when I was a teen... I wanted to be with him twenty/four seven even though that wasn't possible... We spend a lot of time together and I always had a lot of fun with him... So what's it like to be madly in love with someone, knowing that they are everything you've ever longed for...? I can't describe it... I simply just can't... But it's the most wonderful feeling you can ever possibly feel...
But it came at a price... Being so caught up with Terry and being so happy caused me to neglect other people in my surroundings... Blain, for example... It's been weeks since I've received a letter from him... I didn't even took the time to write him back... Blain's letters were always short... He was fighting a war on foreign soil and I was always worried about him but that seemed to die off the longer I was spending time with Terry... And I realized how much I've neglected him that Friday evening, when Terry and I were spending the evening together again... I've noticed some advertising flyers in the kitchen, ready to be thrown outside... Catherine left it there before they went on vacation and asked me to put it outside so that the garbage men would take it away... But as I was looking at the pile of advertising flyers, I noticed something that didn't look like a flyer but more of an envelope... As I looked closer, I saw our address was written in a rather familiar handwriting... The envelope was wrinkled and once I managed to retrieve it from the pile of advertising flyers and stared at the handwriting, I knew who it was that sent it... "Blain..." I opened the envelope to see if there was still a letter in it but there wasn't... Seeing that envelope made me remember I've kept his letter under a pile of stuff on my desk... And I felt ashamed that I never even bothered to write him back... It kept me busy that evening but the moment Terry and I went upstairs, I wasn't thinking of Blain anymore and Terry and I did what we usually did whenever were spending the nights together... But once the lights were turned off, I started to think of him again...
That Monday morning, Terry and I got up rather early and went to town to do some groceries considering it was Monday and that the mall was always usually crowded... We got back at around eleven o'clock at my place and as Terry and I were carrying everything inside the house, I noticed Mrs Rodriguez, Blain's mum, was working in her garden. We greeted her the moment we noticed her but she seemed too busy to even notice us... Once Terry and I carried everything inside, I watched her and told Terry I'd be right back. So I walked up to her, in the hope that Mrs Rodriguez would notice me but she didn't... And that's when something told me that something was wrong... It wasn't until I placed a hand on her shoulder that she seemed to respond...
'Hello, Mrs Rodriguez...'
She stopped with what she was doing, looked up and turned around... And when she faced me, I saw her eyes were soggy and red... Her face was so pale and looked as if she hardly slept for ages...
'Hi Ceylan... How good are you...?'
'I'm doing good, thank you for asking... How are you...?'
She let down a deep sigh and looked down on her roses again, as if she didn't want to answer that particular question...
'Is everything alright, Mrs Rodriguez...?'
'I'm just a little distraído, querido, that's all...'
'I know, I miss Blain too...'
'Does he still sent you, uhm... Cartas? How you say, uh... Letters...?'
'Yes, the last one I received was about two months ago...'
'That was also the last time he... Uhm... nos ha llamado... Telephone...'
Mrs Rodriguez looked down on her roses again and stared at them for a while... That's when I kneeled next to her and gave her a reassuring cuddle... I can't imagine what it's like for a mother to know that her son is exposed to constant danger and that he might lose his life in the line of duty... I've had a lot of difficulty with that idea in the beginning when Blain told me but I learned to accept it... Blain sent me letters in which he always told me that he was doing fine, which was good enough for me... But to her, hearing his voice on the telephone just wasn't enough... And even though she has a thick heavy accent and used words I didn't always understand, I was always able to comprehend what she was trying to tell me... And of course, Blain was always capable to translate it for me... But he wasn't there with us that morning...
'Wasn't Blain supposed to be back by now...?'
'Oh Dios mío... I wish... I wish I could him hold again... You know...? But the war, is not going well...'
'Usted no ha visto las noticias...?'
'The news, did you not see...?'
'No, I haven't... Why...?'
'Los ultranacionalistas... They took back the capital city in Sercia... Is going very bad...'
'Blain is still there and they are sending more soldados to Sercia... All I do is pray he come back safe...'
She looked down on her roses once more and I saw a tear going down her cheek... Terry watched us as he was standing at the door and several moments later, he approached us and kneeled next to her... Terry looked at her and once Mrs Rodriguez noticed him as well, she hugged him tight... The two of them already knew each other seeing as Terry is a good friend of Blain... But at some point, she just kept looking at us...
'You know Jason...? Jason McLaughlin...?'
'I'm afraid I don't...'
'I do, but that not that well... He hanged out with us a couple of times when we went to O'Malley's.'
'He is good friend of Blain... Always visit here with him... A good boy...'
'Yeah, he is...'
'His mother, Emily, had visit two weeks ago...'
'She did...? Oh no...'
'I don't understand, uhm... Visit...?'
'When a soldier gets killed in action, they bring the news personally...'
'Veintiún años... Too young... No mother should bury their own child...'
'No, they shouldn't...'
'He will not come home for a long time...'
Throughout the afternoon, it kept me busy... Terry and I were supposed to go to the movies that afternoon but my mind was just distracted... We went to see The Departed, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson while the move was directed by Martin Scorsese. Good cast, good director, good story. DiCaprio played an undercover agent who infiltrated the mafia and Matt Damon played a gangster who infiltrated the State Police. That's all I know about the quick synopsis of the movie by watching the trailers before. I was thinking and thinking and hardly followed what was happening on screen... I normally like these kind of movies but that day, but I just kept thinking about Blain after that talk with his mother... He's been my friend for as long as I've been here... And it only seemed like yesterday that the two of us were outcasts and depended on each other to make it through... We were bullied when the two of us were just little cubs... He was bullied for being short and fat and I was being bullied because I didn't "belong" here... For having a funny accent and to be unusually tall for a nine year old... And well, Blain was the only one who stood up for me... But he often paid the price when he did... The bullies focused on him instead, which usually meant that they were beating him up... He tried to do something, even though he knew he was powerless against them... I didn't do anything the first time I witnessed how he was beat up by them... But ever since that day, I watched over him and he became more than a friend... I lost my little brother Sanjay during the war and forgot what it was like... And even though Blain never replaced Sanjay, I wanted to believe that Blain was another little brother of mine I had to watch over... To protect the one and only little brother that was still with me... And I guess that's why Blain is so special to me... Blain once told me that he considered me more like a big sister than an actual friend but I always had a hunch that he had feelings for me instead... But it just wouldn't feel right if I did... Even though I didn't had any romantic feelings for him, Blain is still special to me... I never told him that, how special he really is to me... But now he was fighting a war in a foreign country and I realized I might never get a chance to tell him that... Realizing that it was possible for him to die over there was something that was hard to swallow... And what if he did came back...? Would he have changed so much that we did not recognize him anymore...? What would happen if he would find out I was having a relationship with one of his best friends...? It could risk my friendship with Blain and my relationship with Terry... And the friendship that the two of them shared... That and so many other questions were going through my mind that day... But I also realized that things would be difficult for me, whether Blain was coming back or not...
Once we left the cinema, Terry wanted to go to a restaurant to grab a bite to eat but I wasn't feeling hungry at all... Nevertheless, I went with him to some restaurant and stopped outside to see what they had on the menu. They had a lot of tasty traditional dishes like schnitzels and bratwurst with chips and salad but they also had mixed grill dishes with a variety of grilled meats... Lambsrack, steaks, spareribs, everything my carnivorous stomach could ever possibly wish for... But even when we entered the restaurant and the sight of all those wonderful dishes on the tables and the scent of them penetrated my nostrils wasn't making me feel hungry... Shortly after we entered, a friendly young hostess approached us...
'Good evening, welcome to Zefiref.'
'Hi, we'd like a table for two, please.'
'Certainly. Please, follow me.'
The hostess lead us to a lobby which was situated next to the bar. And the whole interior of the restaurant looked beautiful. I guess the owners aren't a bunch tree-hugging hippies because everywhere you looked, you saw that they used wood in excessive amounts... The bar was made out of some dark brown wood that looked really shiny and the place seemed really posh. The people who were visiting however, were not. No one was dressed fancy or something, just normal casual wear... The hostess asked if she could take our jackets and told us we could take a seat at a table near the window. It stayed silent between the two of us for a while as I watched that hostess hurriedly pacing across the restaurant while she still tried to keep that friendly smile on her face. She was probably very busy to keep her customers satisfied and to keep her staff on a tight leash. All the waitresses seemed very coordinated and professional... At some point, the hostess approached us and gave us that friendly smile again... "She's hot, I'd do her..." She gestured a waitress who took our orders and a while later, two large cokes were placed on the table as I saw the hostess stormed off to the other side of the restaurant. "What a lovely ass she has..."
'You know, this place looks great. All the tables look occupied so they must be popular.'
'Looking at all those dishes makes me want to snatch a lambsrack from that guy's plate.'
'Or his wife's t-bone steak, I'm not picky. Perhaps a few fries if she could spare them. And snatch the dude's lambsrack and smuggle it out in your purse.'
'Okay, what's with the droopy ears?'
'What about him?'
'I miss him...'
'Me too, dude but you know... You can't really do anything about it.'
'I know but that's why I feel so shitty after we talked to Mrs Rodriguez...'
'It's logical for her to miss him, Blain's her son.'
'That's not it, Terry...'
'Then what is?'
'I never wrote him back...'
'Then write him back. I think it'll do him very good. I've sent him letters too, you know. I gave them to his mum who'd make sure it would get to him.'
'I know... I just don't know what to write about...'
'I admit, that's difficult...'
'I've always had a problem keeping in touch with people who's been away for a long time... They change to the point you don't recognize them anymore... And all that's ever left of your friendship is something that'll crumble down fast... It's because the person you see isn't the person you used to have such a tight bond with...'
'Blain will never change... Haha...'
'Yeah, laugh about it, Terry but you won't recognize him when he comes back... I couldn't take it if he dies and I know I couldn't take it if he's scarred for life... I know he's coming home, either in a body-bag or as a person you don't know anymore... I'd rather not want him to come back at all if those are the only options...'
The moment I mentioned body-bag, I saw how Terry's smile was wiped from his face... Whether he didn't realized or just didn't want to realize it, I didn't know but what I did know was that those were the only two options if Blain came back... Just like me, Terry didn't like the idea that it was possible for him to die over there...And I guess Terry just didn't want to think about it...
'Those are some harsh words for someone who considers him as a little brother.'
'Yes... Because now I have in memory of how he used to be... If he comes back, he wont be the same...'
'Perhaps it might better than it used to be, who knows?'
'You seem to forget that there's a war going on there, Terry. Gruesome things happen there... You'd be surprised how someone can change by seeing things they're not ever supposed to see... People always get hurt in a war... Either mentally or psychically... Even if he still has all of his limbs, he's still hurt... Here, in his head... And I don't want him to get hurt... I don't want him to experience the same things I've been through...'
It stayed silent for a moment as I took a small sip from my coke... I stared down on the table as I heard Terry sigh quietly... When I looked up, I saw him looking out the window... I placed my hand on his and his eyes were fixated on mine again... And I felt sorry for reminding him... But I was just trying to express what I was feeling about Blain being there...
'I'm sure he'll be back safe... But I'm just saying not to think so lightly of the situation, Terry... Don't just assume that once he's back, he'll be fine because he will not be... And I'm just afraid that once he does get back, I'll have to confront things I tried to leave behind for so long... That's what I'm afraid of...'
'I know... He's got a lot of good friends he can rely on.'
'I relied on you, Terry... And I know you'll be there for him as well... But how many of his other friends will stay with him once he's back...? A lot of people don't know how to deal with it... So they rather choose not to deal with it at all, even if that means abandoning your friend... And that's not what he needs...'
'I know you and I will stick with him... That's what we're here for. And he knows that we're there for him.'
'But he'll find out that we're a couple, which is something I'm also afraid of... I'm afraid that it might come in between the two of you as friends...'
'He already knows.'
'His going-away party. I asked him who you were and well, Blain knows what I'm after so... He was perfectly cool with it... The only thing that might shock him is when we tell him that we're still together. He knows my relationships don't last long.'
'I know it's very awkward when a group of three friends are together and two of them are getting a relationship and... The other one feels as if he's a competitor or something... Being left out, so to speak... And that's not making me feel comfortable because I've been there, you know...?'
That's not the case with us because he already knows. And so what if he didn't...? It's not like the two of you were ever together, right?'
'Blain and I never were a couple, no...'
'That's what he told me as well. And he's cool with the idea that you and I are together.'
'So don't worry about that anymore.'
'I just don't know what to do when he comes back and if things will be anything like it used to be...'
'We'll make sure of that, don't worry... Besides, you wouldn't know what'll happen until he's back... No point in worrying about it right now...'
'I guess you're right... Heh...'
'I'm always right.'
'I'm glad you are...'
'So you feeling hungry yet?'
'I could go for a lambsrack right about now...'
'So you already knew who I was back then?'
'Yeah, why's that?
'Because you asked me if I was Blain's girl.'
'It was all part of getting to know you... Besides, you live next door to him so I already knew.'
'You cheeky bugger...'
Many hours later, when we were at home and Terry was asleep in my bed, I wasn't able to catch any sleep... I did felt relieved once we talked about it but it's actually bizarre that despite my claims to consider Blain as my little brother, I never seemed to care enough about him to even write a letter back to him... I looked at Terry and realized he was right... We had to be there for him, not only when he came back but also while he was still there. I thought that by seeing Blain, I would also confront the things I tried to hide away for so many years... I was certain that when Blain came back, we would not recognize him, even though Terry didn't really believe that. I was afraid that Blain would be just like me... To have nightmares... To be scared... And I didn't want him to... But that's what Terry tried to tell me... Once Blain came back, we'd make sure we'd be there for Blain to support him, in any way he needs us, just like he's always been there for us... And that's why I got out of bed... A cold breeze was going over my naked body as the curtains were gently waving in the breeze from the open window and I sat behind my desk... I turned on my desk light and tried to make as little noise as possible as I was looking through my pile of stuff on my desk for his letters... And I found them eventually, wrinkled... I was reading them all through and it brought tears to my face to realize how long I've been neglecting him... It's difficult to express my feelings in words... All of a sudden, it struck me... "Just write..." I had to write down everything I ever wanted to tell him... And that we'll be here for him... So I got hold of a pen and a sheet of paper... And I started to write...
The letter I wrote to him was a long one... Two A4 sheets, written on both sides... About all the things that were happening here... How things were going with me and Terry... But above all, I told him what he meant to me as a friend... As my little brother... All the things I've ever wanted to tell him... I guess writing back to him was difficult for me... Remembering how everything went with Sarah and me was the reason why I never wrote anyone back... I saw how our friendship crumbled right in front of me... Receiving a letter in which she explained everything still wasn't enough for me to understand... What difference would it make if I did write back to her...? Writing back to her didn't make things go back the way they once were... And I felt the same about Blain... But he had to come back, unlike Sarah... Terry made me realize that the only thing I could do was to be there for Blain, when he needs me the most... I thought that a letter wasn't able to change anything about that but I guess it does... I thought that by sending him a letter, he would miss us even more... But that letter might also give him the strength to carry on and to get back safe... But we were safe at home and he was still out there... It took me several hours to write that letter, including some rewrites of it... I saw the sun coming up and noticed it was half passed six in the morning when I finally finished... Even though it took me a few hours, I felt as if it was never too late for writing it... I placed the letter in an envelope and hid that in my drawer... Once I sat on the edge of my bed, I looked at Terry and caressed his cheek... And as much as I love Blain, I realized I wasn't able to do much from here... I looked at Terry and realized I had to focus on what was important to me at the time... Once I got back in bed next to him, Terry put his strong arm around me and mumbled something quietly I wasn't able to make much sense of... Nevertheless, I whispered quietly back to him...
'I love you too...'