Chapter 1: return it
i met him when he was only 17.
despite everything, he was still himself: he was a kid, full of life, happy to be here and alive.
he's achieved his dreams and everyday a thousand more people will love him.
he was happy.
i think i fell in love too fast.
every time i look at him it's as if i've been seeing him for the first time and
my head goes light.
when he turned 18 we started getting closer together.
luck or fate, i have no idea. his attachment was obvious and my eyes aren't deceiving me and i love it.
but i needed more than what he was giving, still.
if he saw the way my knuckles would whiten with every bit of tension we have, or the way i look at him like it's what i needed to do, what would he do?
i love you, it's what i say in my head every time we're in each other's company. when i look at his photos online. when he sends me his own.
when we're high, it's different. like a fantasy only my mind could ever work with.
through the haze, i can touch him.
he'd sit on my lap and kiss me, laughing like an idiot every time he doesn't. i hesitate to continue because my eyes want to be trained on his face. (and i can't help it.)
but every time he begs me, i'm pushed forward anyway.
because it's the only time i'd see him like this.
the only time he'll really be mine.
i'll hear him say, "i love you, i love you," to my ears and it feels like i've gotten higher than i actually was.
then the next morning, we don't talk about it.
i love you.
i love you,
is what i say every time in return.
Chapter 2: light
"you're drunk." i say, tasting the alcohol in my tongue. strawberry margarita. he's a lightweight.
it's dark in this room.
the liveset going on behind us is great, but he's near and that feels a lot better.
he's in front of me, watching it from behind, but suddenly he looks at me like he sensed that i was staring.
then i realized
how did we get so close?
we're so near to the point that closing the gap was a few inches away.
and it takes a matter of only seconds to do too.
for a moment, the whole world is gone except for us, but i have to see it again.
"you're drunk." i say, the taste of alcohol in my tongue. strawberry margarita. he's a lightweight.
"i love you." he slurs. he managed to silence me with that phrase and i only hesitate to speak because of how he's looking at me in this light.
"where's your DD? i'm gonna have him take you home." i decide to say, and i suddenly remember that his hand is in the back of my neck and slowly moving up to stroke my hair. i try not to shudder.
he doesn't respond immediately. instead he drowsily looks away, just for a bit, and i'm afraid that he might fall.
"can you take me home?" he emphasizes the you and my heart is straining. he's looking at me again and the light hits his face. a mash of purple and red, he's become even prettier.
i'm resisting the urge to kiss him.
"what about your friend?" i ask.
his hand moves up again and leans closer, stroking my scalp and trying to press his forehead on mine. i take his drink, afraid of any spills, and put it down on the table next to us before helping him adjust. "if he brought me here, he can go back alone." he slurs.
i have to hold him up when i bring him to my car.
driving home was fine. his head was leaned against the window with an occasional noise uttered from his lips, and every time the stop light was on my hand would rest and give him his opportunity to grab. he takes the opportunities gladly.
it's agonizing, really.
agonizing because he won't do this sober.
agonizing because i want him to keep hold on it too.
"joji," he slurs when i bring him out the car, arm slinging on my shoulder, "i love you so much."
i'm trying hard not to lose my shit here.
i say nothing.
he tries kissing me when i try unlocking his door, and i have to move and nearly have him dangling on me each time he does. bringing him onto bed with only his underwear is a more difficult procedure, because he tugs on my clothes and tries kissing me, and if he was sober this would've been so much better to do.
even if he wants me right now, though,
i'm not a dick. i love him too much to be one to him.
"can you stay?" he murmurs, and i freeze because i'm almost out the door.
"joji..." he says, clearer, waiting for an answer. "please?"
"sure." i eventually answer. he's probably too drunk to tell about how shaky my voice is.
i'm down to my boxers when i'm in bed with him, and suddenly he turns around and buries his face on my chest, hugging me tightly.
"i love you." he says, muffled.
baby, can you hear my heartbeat? the way it's exploding?
"i know, man. not like i don't notice." i feel hopeless when i say that shit. i sound like i'm joking but i'm ridiculously hopeful. "and i love you too."
his head tilts up so he can look at me. his cheeks are flushed and the air conditioning in this room isn't stopping me from sweating. i love you, i love you, i love you.
"i love you so much," what am i doing? "but i can't kiss you right now."
he kisses my cheek.
i smell the alcohol off his lips.
"i'll..." he trails off. "say it to you again in the morning."
i stay quiet.
for a moment, i'm just lying on my side while he turns to lie on his back. he has a smile on his face, and his cheeks and lips are flushed.
i finally just let my arm on his waist and whisper a good night.
Chapter 3: angel
originally i was gonna put this in joji's point of view but big whoop nvm,,, prolly for the better too
my head is stinging when i'm finally up.
was last night real?
because if it was, then shit.
i shut my eyes while i'm suffering from this shitty hangover.
when i finally try to open my eyes i turn to look for joji.
he's not here.
but he left his shirt, so that must be something.
suddenly i'm smelling the scent of food, and it's good, damn it, it's refreshing.
and i'm starving.
i end up staggering to the kitchen and i find the one who was cooking and fuck, my head is throbbing because he's still here, and i'm starting to think of a lot of shit, and the fact that he's set the table for both of us is also making my face red.
but i'm not doing shit either.
i just sit down, and when he turns around he's a little surprised.
fuck. he's hot.
"didn't think you'd be up so early." he calmly says, placing the food down.
"what time is it?" i ask. i'm slowly putting food on my plate and i'm praying to every single god out there that i'm not blushing. my head is hurting even trying to think.
"just 10:43 am, man. i'm surprised that i didn't have to give you breakfast in bed." joji chuckles.
"wait, but, you didn't have to like.. make me breakfast in the first place." i say, averting eyes to the food. "thank you. thank you though."
jesus shit, way to go, brian imanuel. absolutely priceless statement left and right through hangover.
"'s cool." joji replies. "eat, man, your food's getting cold."
i have at it with the food. i forget he's actually a really good cook, especially when he's cooking the ones for breakfast. midway, though, my heart is still racing with last night's flashbacks. shit.
"hey, listen man," i begin, and joji looks up from his breakfast. "about last night... did you, uh, remember what i said?"
"yeah? why though?" he asks. my cheeks are probably reddening. fuck, man.
"i'm... shit, i'm sorry, then." i look away sheepishly.
"why are you apologizing?" okay, so that's a turn. i look back at him with surprise. (or whatever hangover equivalent of a surprised expression. i ain't a pro at telling.)
"bro, i'm pretty sure it wasn't cool of me to. uh." i'm embarrassed. when was the last time i felt like this? being high wasn't a problem, for some reason being drunk off my ass was.
"'s cool, man, i promise," he makes another save on me, "i had to do what you wanted."
he resumed to eating.
"you didn't mean it?" fuck. this time he looks up again, and he stares for what felt like an agonizing long time. i am suffering inside.
"mean what?" he asks. this is it. i'm going to die.
"when... you said you.. you loved me back." tension. tension. tension. i'm silent and unable to continue eating until he answers.
"i meant what i said."
it's not an answer i was expecting. holy shit. i look back at him and i don't give a shit if my head is hurting anymore.
"eat, man. your food's getting cold." he says.
Chapter 4: しょうがない
"can you stay?" he asks me, reaching for my hand.
i let him grab it and i settle down next to him.
my hands have been shaking and i'm not one to want to remember the ordeal.
or, whatever the fuck that was.
it's only 11 and i've been treating his hangover with a shit ton of water and gatorade and his face is adorable when he's blushing (but who am i kidding, he's always adorable.)
when i bring him back to bed so he can lay down he makes a grab at my wrist when i turn.
"can you stay?" he mutters. his grip is weakening, mostly hesitant.
i look back at him.
grin a bit.
"yeah, man." i respond. i let him let go of my wrist and i make it for his hand. we're the same height. his hands are much thinner than mine though. a bit tender. a bit weaker. i squeeze it when i continue, "not like i got shit to do today."
he hasn't lay down yet, i'm about to tell him to, and then he says,
"thank you." while looking away.
"hey," i inch close, "can you look at me?" i ask.
he does. my free hand cups his cheek and i lean forward, enough to let him know that he has options to push away or not.
but he stares back at me, only, and it's a sign where i can finally kiss him.
the grip in my hand is tightening, and our foreheads are touching. my heart is exploding and the way this kid is looking at me is as if he's going to murder me with being so pretty and adorable.
"i love you." i say, eyes trained on his.
"i.. i love you too." he says, lips stretching to a grin.
i'm about to ask, then suddenly his free arm hooks around my neck and pushes me down to the bed, kissing me, hard, and i have never felt so alive in my life.
i love you, i say in my head, i love you, i say to him again, and it's stuck in my head like a loop in a beat.