by Megan Russo
He was seated on the handle bars. Marcus stared at the back of Theo’s head as they rode home. Theo held tight as Marcus peddled through the second to last intersection before their street. It was sunny, but everything around was a flat grey color. Theo turned to him, and Marcus saw only a faceless mass.
“This is fucking stupid.”
“You couldn’t have tried very hard in such a short span of time.”
“I want to see you.”
“Obviously, isn’t an option now.”
“If you think of something vivid, you can trick yourself into thinking you are somewhere you’re not. Simple?”
“Doesn’t seem right.”
“I’m sure it works.”
“Try for yourself.”
“It doesn’t work that way for me.”
“This is a waste.”
“You’ve done nothing but complain since the bitches separated our schedules. Maybe you could try harder at this and stop whining?”
“I still won’t be able to look at you.”
“I’m sorry. I’m here physically… kind of… until tomorrow morning.”
Marcus rubbed his forehead against the area above the mouse hole in their shared wall. If he squinted, Marcus was convinced he could see a sliver of Theo’s skin through it. He closed his eyes and began again.
Their bed faced the window that overlooked the roof of the garage. The curtains were blown back by a soft breeze, and Marcus could see a form sitting on the edge of the shingled surface. He knew the date, and the time. Theo was staring at him from beyond the framed piece of the roof. Marcus remembered the unmistakable warm swell that rose inside him as he studied Theo’s eyes. He was mostly faceless in Marcus’s memory, but the eyes were right… Pale green. Not too exaggerated, but wide and round like he recalled. Marcus climbed through the window, and out onto the roof. As he made his way to Theo the dream state began to evaporate around him.
“It all just seems like a fabrication. Like I’m dreaming up some cheap porno starring you. I’m not really remembering-”
“I’m going to bed.”
“I’m sorry you’re mad, but will you try to wake up early enough to say good bye?”
Theo’s hands rested on top of Marcus’s as they rounded the corner to their street. His legs swung back and forth around the spinning wheel of the bike. Theo was talking animatedly, but Marcus couldn’t understand any of the words as Theo chattered away with excitement. His hands seemed to pulse as Theo held them. Marcus slowed and Theo got off the bike when they noticed the cars in the driveway. Time lurched quickly forward. Everything was silent until Marcus heard the sick, smacking sound of flesh against pavement when they tackled Theo to the ground. Theo’s head turned to the side as he stared up at Marcus, the blood from his nose covering his mouth and chin. The world blurred with the passing seconds.
Marcus didn’t remember going to sleep, but knew Theo was gone now.