Perfect Imperfections Ch. 07

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This story is told from Brandon’s perspective. I know the timeline seems really messy and incoherent. But I think that is the way our mind works, no? It is never linear, as much as we will it to. The nature of our emotions imply that much of it is irrational and fragmented. That said, I still thank everyone for their comments as I continue with this story of mine.

*

Brandon:

I know that I have shocked Alec by turning up at his Confirmation. The way he gripped the basin said so. I still affect him. Thank God for that. I badly want us to work. Thinking back, it was for selfish reasons. I have always wondered how it feels like to have sex with a man but yet we live in a society where such activities, let alone thoughts, are taboo. Forget about the repeal of DOMA and United States v Windsor. Despite all the progress that has been made, it is still not fully accepted by all groups; activists and members of the LGBT community may celebrate the advances we have made, but there are many out there who remain fearful of what may come. And they have a hundred and one reasons to remain so. The truth is, we have not addressed and solved the issue. There are others who feel threatened by this “gay epidemic”. I know I am attracted to girls, have dated and definitely fucked a few. But no one remembers your successes, they only remember your failures; which is why this secret desire can only be told to someone I can trust. That leaves me with only one person, Alec. I trust Jasper with my life, but Jasper is a conservative Christian and I doubt he will be of any help. As for Alec, he has said that he is a Christian, but I doubt that he will stay that way for long. For one, his doubts and disagreements are too strong to be sustainable. What I did not expect was his reaction. I thought he liked it. Hell all those signals that he were sending suggested that he was okay with increased physical proximity and sexual activity.

I thought I had lost a friend. Until that Sunday. The week after was hell. I wanted to walk over to his house to explain myself. I wanted to corner him in school and ask him how he felt about me. I just wanted Alec back. I see him in school daily. But every time we met in the hallway, he was always with his friends; all he did was just to nod at me and give a weak plastic smile, definitely not his wide, cheery grin that I took for granted. He may not have been the most handsome guy in school, but to me, he was the only one who mattered, except, well maybe Jasper. My realization of the degree to which I relied on his companionship was shocking, harrowing even. My teammates noticed that I was constantly on edge and my performance during trainings suffered. I have to do something, soon.

An opportunity soon opened up. Darius, Alec’s best friend, cornered me one day after school. I was walking along the hallway towards the exit when Darius pulled me aside and into a deserted toilet. He checked through all the cubicles to make sure it was empty before speaking.

“Brandon, now I don’t quite want to know what the hell is going on with you and Alec, but something is wrong. It is eating at him and it has gotta do with you.”

“How do you know, Darius?” I asked shakily.

“Dude, he appears to be normal with everyone except you and me. It’s so damn fucking obvious…” He sighed before adding, “He asked me to go with him to the Starbucks store that you detest going to later.”

“Okay…” my mind still unsure where Darius was going with the information.

“Fuck, you really are dense.” Darius slapped his palm to his forehead lightly in exasperation. “Dude, I just gave you info on where he will be later, without the spectators….Get it?”

“Oh. OH MY GOD. THANK YOU DARIUS!! YOU’RE MY SAVIOUR.” I shouted as what he said finally got through my skull.

That was how I found myself at the Starbucks outlet which I swore to Alec, promising never to visit because of the annoying crowds of giggly girls that seemed to roost there. With Darius as my wingman, I managed to get Alec to talk to me one-on-one at my place later tonight, on my terms. ‘Seduce’ is a much better adjective than ‘get’, on hindsight.

I was still in my beach shorts and muscle tee — I knew that he liked it. He mentioned it once a few months ago when I first wore it and right now he could not keep his eyes off me. Heck, he could not even focus when we were at Starbucks as I teased him. He really is cute, like the brother I have never had. Brother? It seems too…platonic of sorts. If I could analyse my thoughts and feelings more astutely then, I would have realized it there and then that what we had was so much more than “friends”, “brotherhood” or even “bromance”.

He was wearing an absolutely irresistible outfit. He looked so…modern and sophisticated then, with his brown round wire-rimmed glasses, a well-fitted maroon t-shirt and gray felt shorts rolled up such that they ended an inch or two above his knee. I could see his intelligent brown eyes scanning sakarya escort me anxiously, his fingers gripping his phone tightly. I really wanted him there and then, heck whatever I thought of my sexuality. If he was mine, I would have jumped him and kissed him. I was somewhat taken aback at the direction and strength of my thoughts as I welcomed him in.

“Help yourself to drinks. Pasta for dinner. Beef bolognaise. Your favorite, right?” I asked. I could not help but break into a really wide grin as I thought of how attractive he looked then and how normal it seemed for him to be back in my house. He had a great figure — he is not extremely well-built and muscular. He is slim but extremely toned. One could see the veins running down his biceps and his defined abs when he took off his shirt. Even when he walks, especially in his obscenely sexy running shorts, you could see the perceptible flexing of his calves and thigh muscles. He was fairly good looking even then, not stunning but still handsome. His mind was brilliant. I could go on and on extolling his virtues but right now I have a meal to cook.

I felt his eyes boring into me as I cooked. I was pleased. I affect him the same way he affects me. It made it easier for us to talk. Except that we did not really talk much. Dinner passed in silence. It was not awkward, it felt much more comfortable than that, like two really old friends just enjoying each other’s presence.

“It’s delicious. Thank you.” Alec said to me, once we were done.

“I know I am awesome Alec.” I grinned. Showtime.

“We need to talk, y’know Brandon.” Alec whispered softly. His eyes looked worried.

I walked around the table and sat next to him.

“What about?” I asked.

“Last week.”

“Which day? You have to be more specific, y’know.” I whispered huskily, my voice low. I was definitely horny as hell.

Alec shivered. I thought he just looked so absolutely adorable that I felt ridiculous.

“We really have to talk about what happened last Friday.” He whispered back, softly and slowly.

“Like this?” I leaned in and licked a bit of sauce at the corner of his lip. I continued licking that part of his lip softly, gently as Alec’s breath hitched and his mouth opened slightly in shock. I saw an opportunity and took it. I pushed my tongue into his mouth and explored tentatively. My arms held on to the back of his chair as I angled my head closer towards his while still standing of sorts. He was trapped.

“Don’t say no, Alec.” I entreated him as we broke to catch our breath. I looked at him in the eye and I saw uncertainty swimming around in his brown irises. We stood like that for a while staring at each other, panting. I knew that for us to work, he had to be the one who initiates contact. After what seemed like an eternity, his warm hands reached out and pulled my head down for another kiss. His hands slid down my back and round my waist to my front. He went under my shirt and started to stroke and feel my abs as our tongues danced earnestly. I could not get enough of him. The way he was touching me turned me on so much that there was no way to compare.

“Let’s go to my room.” I broke off the kiss and said huskily, my voice laced with lust. Alec’s irises were smoldering as he gazed back at me. I led him to my room with a sense of urgency as we took the stairs two steps at a time.

“Don’t think too much Alec” I moaned as I pinned his back to my door and bent down to kiss him. I was confused about what we meant to each other, but all I wanted there and then, was just him. It appears that Alec felt the same way. At least we are wandering on the same page.

That was how I found myself on my knees in my own shower as I tried to take his entire length in my mouth and begging for his cock. That was how he ended up stroking my abs while staring at the ceiling and soaked in our own sweat and cum.

That was how we became friends with benefits.

We both wanted to remain as best friends. We told ourselves that we were nothing but excellent friends who decided to provide each other with a different sexual experience. We did not commit to anything. We were still open to heterosexual relationships and romances. We were naïve when we thought that everything will disappear and fix themselves when we meet a girl we each truly liked. We wanted to have it all with some yet-to-be-defined limits.

Ironically, it is our cognizance of our individual inability that there is only so much we can give each other; that we cannot give each other everything that had heightened our vulnerability. We were the ones who sleepwalked ourselves into this disaster today.

We stared down challenges that came our way. By some stroke of luck, Alec, Jasper, Darius and I were accepted into UC Berkeley. So that ensured that we were together for quite a period of time. We never really grew apart, only ever closer together. Jasper never quite knew the depth of my relationship samsun escort with Alec. I am not sure whether Darius knew or not, but I had a feeling he did. Alec calls Darius his shrink, after all.

The year we turned twenty, Alec spotted a few Valentine’s Day travel offers which extended until the summer. Alec was always the travel savvy one, saving up and going on exotic holidays around the world, especially Japan since he could speak Japanese. So he cobbled together the offers and somehow planned a round-the-world trip for the summer and asked me to join him. In the spontaneity and craziness that so defines us college students, I agreed. It took us to Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Thailand and back to the West Coast via Japan.

There was one morning in Helsinki when we took a walk along the harbor, soaking up what little warmth the Finnish summer could offer us. It was too early in the morning for any tourists to be around except this American couple who kept looking at the two of us. We were snacking on a pack of blueberries we had just bought at a stall, popping them into our mouths as we strolled around looking for a famous café without much urgency. Alec pointed out a bit of blueberry by the side of my lip and proceeded to flick it off for me before I could suggest something dirty. I wanted to taste how well he and blueberries mix but was prevented from doing so by a chuckle from the two American tourists.

“You guys make a cute couple y’know,” drawled the husband who was in his 60s. His comment struck a raw nerve. I have never ever thought of Alec and me as a couple. We are friends, were we not? Friends who mean something more.

“Uhmm we-we aren’t together!” I said hurriedly, trying to defend ourselves. But who were we kidding? We were a couple in all but name.

“Aren’t you two traveling together? Besides, we understand…” The American tourist shrugged and his wife laughed gently as they walked away, leaving us nonplussed.

“Are we?” Alec turned to ask me as we continued walking. His words struck a deep chord in me. I thought of how lost and unmoored I was when Alec and I were estranged from each other for a brief while in high school. I definitely do not want to go back there. But if I do not want to go back there, then where do I want to go? It is a question I could not answer. I found myself following Alec as he babbled on about the directions to the Café Ekberg, my thoughts as convoluted as the route Alec planned, my answer to his question as elusive as the café appears to be.

A few days later we were in Latvia and our way to the countryside. We were headed to Sigulda’s Turaida Museum Reserve. There was hardly anyone on the train. It was a rickety old one with hard and somewhat uncomfortable seats. But it was spacious as we sat facing each other. It was also unfortunately bright and sunny. I was reading a book and Alec was looking out of the window, his sunglasses on. I looked up to see the sun’s rays reflected off his black aviators. His DSLR was slung around his neck and he was oblivious to my staring. Alec stopped fencing in college and turned to rock climbing instead. And the effects it had on his body were obvious. Where he was lean and toned in the past, he is now extremely defined. Still slim, yes, but a lot more defined and fitter. I could see the sleeves of his sweater defining his biceps. His skinny jeans accentuating his thigh and calve muscles. He is hot and extremely eligible. I idly thought of when he will find a girlfriend and settle down. But the thought of him settling down and us spending less time together seemed to worry me. I found myself wondering and worrying about the end of our friendship. I wanted this to go on, forever.

Later that day, we climbed to the top of the tower in Sigulda’s Turaida Museum Reserve. It is a medieval castle that overlooks that picturesque Gauja valley with trees stretching all the way into the horizon. I found myself staring at the endless expanse of treetops, and Alec. A breeze found its way into the room and tousled Alec’s hair — his baby for the day. It struck me there and then that there really is nothing like this feeling right now, spending time with someone you really care about without giving a damn about the world around you.

Inspiration struck, and I sang to him “Top of the World” rather spontaneously. I am bigger than he is and it was easy to corner him into one of the crevices that the medieval architects and builders pass off as windows. We were disturbed by some tourists ascending the tower. But not before I caught the look in his eyes. The look that conveyed an emotion that is beyond friendship; it was an emotion I was not prepared to handle then. Why not? I could and should have listened to our hearts.

It foretold how much of a failure I have been in letting people down constantly.

A few days after that, we were sitting on a sand dune in Lithuania as we stared at the Baltic Sea crashing on the beach. I could feel urfa escort Alec’s fingers tracing patterns on the back of my palm. I knew that he had something on his mind. He never fidgeted unless he was nervous with whatever he wanted to say next. His fingers are a dead giveaway. I looked at him, he appeared calm. No one can really tell if Alec is nervous or not just by looking at his face unless you observe his fingers. You see, this is what many years of physical intimacy and friendship does to you. You just know. He finally dropped the bomb. He asked if we were together. To say that I was not expecting this question is a lie. I have been waiting for him to ask this, ever since that morning in Helsinki. Alec could never keep something in him, it would have to come out sooner or later. The truth was, I do not know. It felt like a really loaded question. What do you mean by ‘together’? It is such a nebulous concept. My heart and mind were pulling me in different directions. I staved off the inevitable by being a jerk.

“To be or not to be, that is the question.” I replied carefully. Alec growled back something in return. But I did not hear him what he said but I knew how he said it. He felt my dilemma and I felt his slight twinge of disappointment which he had managed to deceive even himself. He did not want to know the real answer. We both just wanted to continue kicking the can down the road until it reaches a fork.

On our way to Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital where we were supposed to spend a few days before flying to Bangkok, our train passed by a few picturesque small towns.

“How nice would it be to get married, settle down and perhaps retire here with my other half eh?” I remarked casually to Alec.

“Mmmhmm” he replied carelessly as he paused for a while, before he continued tapping away at his phone, filtering and editing our travel photos to post them on Instagram.

When we were in Bangkok, we went to a gay club, just to check it out. We were dancing our asses off and there were men of all stripes there. From the alpha male to the outright stereotypical effeminate gay men. I decided to get us more drinks and I left Alec on the dance floor. Bad move. From the bar, I could see this blonde twink approach Alec. He was rather handsome and shy looking. I saw Alec smile gently at him and his face was clouded in lust. It was obvious what he was looking for. Opposite Alec, a few feet away, was a muscular and dreamy-looking Asian. Probably Korean and some silicon implanted somewhere. He was staring and checking out Alec blatantly. Then again, Alec was dressed to kill with his super skinny jeans and an A&F muscle tee that really did not leave much to the imagination. I felt the primal being in me rear up as the fingers of jealousy raked through my mind. I forgot about our drinks as I strode back to the dance floor, determined to reclaim my man.

I stood next to Alec and I snaked a hand into the back pocket of his ridiculously tight jeans and squeezed his ass. I knew that his ass is an erogenous spot for him and he yelped softly in response to my fingers exploring his cheek through the denim. I leaned into his neck and kissed him sensually, grating my teeth gently, leaving a mark. “He won’t mind” I thought, as I pulled him closer. Not by much, but perceptible to anyone watching. I introduced myself to the Danish twink hitting on Alec, subtly stressing the fact that we are “traveling together”. I felt Alec’s smile as his hand reached around my waist, completing the charade. Was it a really a charade? I continued staking my claim the rest of the night and saw off a few more challengers, feeling pleased with myself at the end of it all. The strange thing is, I could not bear seeing or imagining Alec with anyone else other than myself. He is mine. Now, I know that the way I feel about him is beyond friendship and brotherhood, it is romance. At that time, I pithily dismissed it all as my duty to protect him since we were traveling together. Never mind the fact that Alec is pretty strong, and the travel savvy one.

At some point on our extremely long flight home across the Pacific, I decided to draw up the arm rest separating our two seats. I inexplicably placed my hand on Alec’s thigh and promptly fell asleep with my head on his shoulder. Of course, my hand was shielded by the overlapping blankets. It was not that the cabin was extremely cold, I just wanted to feel Alec. I felt that I was losing my hold over him now that we were going back for the fall semester. It was as though we had spent the last month travelling together in a cocoon, just me and him. We had a lot of sex on the trip, yes, but we also spent many nights just lying in each other’s arms staring at the ceiling, refusing to admit that we are so much more than just friends. Even then, I had a feeling that Alec was already aware of this, it was just that he was waiting for me to reciprocate. Alec is someone who does not like to feel stupid. He will act and fight, only if he knows the odds. But this is a dark alley for both of us, with no end in sight. I felt his hand clasp mine and his head rest gently on the side of my head. This is where I want to be, I thought as I drifted off to sleep, feeling protected and extremely comfortable.

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