A smile as sweet as peaches ( Call me Daniel )
Straya. I did never hear someone say straya to say goodbye before. But then I never met someone from Australia before. But then again, I was sure that no one uses straya as a word for goodbye or see you later. It is the Australian way to say Australia, it is slang, so why use it instead of goodbye? But it is the first thing I can remember about him and I can hear it still today, straya!
When I close my eyes, I am back. Back in Italy where I met him for the first time. I can feel the hot sun on my skin, but also how little goosebumps covered my arms when I saw him standing there in the driveway. When I close my eyes, I can see him. See him like I always did.
I have spend so much time watching him, how he walks through the tree-lined way after he had left the cab. I see how he stretches his body, relaxing his limbs after the drive from the airport to our place. His muscles, covered by sun-kissed skin but also some mysterious tattoos, tighten a little and show how well trained he is. I see how he puts off his sunglasses and reveals his stunning warm eyes for the first time, while having the brightest smile on his face ever imaginable. He asks me if my father is at home. I give him a little nod, do not correct him by making the fact clear that he is not my real dad, but he is more a father to me as my real one ever could have been. And it’s answer enough for him to get his suitcase out of the cab and say 'Straya' to the driver. Straya, such a strange word.
Maybe it already started there, in the driveway to our house in Italy. He was just another of our summer guest. Christian always invited some of his students to the summer house in Italy. Normally, I did not give them a lot of interest. They were mostly in their twenties and so deeply buried into their studies that I just did not see any use of connecting much with them. We had polite small-talk at the dinner table, talking about what I wanted to do after school, normal most boring stuff. But this new guest had something special on him. Something that made me want to get to know him, being close to him. And it was not only the fact that he had this unbelievable smile and this soft light brown skin that I really wanted to touch, feel it against my fingertips, it was something more, something I was not able to catch.
Or maybe it started in those first days when he had begun to settle in, when he was sitting next to me at breakfast, during dinner and talked about the thesis he was writing. Or maybe it started during those hours after lunch when we just hung around at the pool, dressed only in swimming tanks. Not sure what to do at those hours of the day where the sun was burning so hot that it was nearly impossible to move at all.
Or it all happened while I watched his soft pink lips forming words in Italian, even though they came out quite hard, the older student still not really used to the foreign language. But that only made it worse for me. Images of him sweet-talking in broken Italian, both of us intertwined between white sheets.
Or it was this one time when the Aussie was away in the little town for a meeting with his translator, being away for some hours, and I could not stand the urge to enter his room, the room that normally was mine, the room that belonged to me, not to him, just as I did not belong to him. On the bed, for anyone on display, was one of his summer tanks. It was the yellow one, the one that suited him the most, being a nice contrast to his sun-kissed skin and the dark brown curls. Before I was able to think about my actions, I grabbed it and took it with me. Back at my summer bed, I put it to my face, smelling the herb smell of Daniel. It smelled like summer, like a warm, sunny day but also like something else, like danger and darkness. It was overwhelming. My fingers found their way down to my hot aching cock on their own. I was lost in lust.
Or it was during the times the student watched me playing my music. How fascinated he was by every melody but also how confused he was whenever I decided to change the rhythm of a normally well-known song so he was not able to catch the title at the first try. It was often that he asked me if I could play something for him. Sometimes on the piano, sometimes on my guitar. It made me felt special and I enjoy every second of it.
Or maybe it was while the two of us drove down to the small village, where we drunk strong espresso. Where I took him to the places, where a long-dead man got inspired for his biggest achievements. Where we talked about everything and nothing. His clear laugh sounding like the sweetest melody reflected by the big old walls around us. Where I asked him about the dark and sometimes colourful ink on his skin. And where I was allowed to touch the small of art while he explained the meaning behind them, sparks of electricity floating through my fingertips.
Or after that, when our bikes took us to the small pond, where we played in the cold water like little children. Getting wet, his white linen shirt glued to his muscled chest because of it. Showing off the sunkissed skin of his chest. And where we laid down in the warm grass. Close to each other, waiting for the sun to dry our clothes. The next moment, my whole world came to a halt. Our lips united to an innocent kiss, which was not innocent at all. My hand pressed against his chest, his holding my face. It was everything I had ever dreamed of and still, it was not enough.
Or it was the evening where Daniel left a message on his writing pult, "grow up", which led to me sneaking into the older one's room in the middle of the night. How he smiled at me after I confessed to being nervous, I was a little shy, and showed me that he was too. So we navigated our newly granted permission to explore each other's bodies into something awkward, intimate, sexy and sweet, all at the same time. It was kinda embarrassing how I nearly bit the bullet and threw myself on top of him. Full of hunger after weeks of imagining how it would be sharing this intimacy with him. It was rushed and slow at the same time. It was awkward. It was the moment the distance between us finally collapsed.
We went for a swim under the moonlight. It was the most perfect night of my life.
Or it was the afternoon at his secret spot on the attic. The air was dusty and the sun burned far too hot outside. Daniel was once again in the little village because of his research. I picked up a peach from the garden and took it with me but abandoned it on the little shelf next to me. Instead of reading, thoughts of the shared night distracted me, and I stared outside the dirty window at the glorious summer sky, before my gaze scanned the room for something more interesting and caught the peach. My thumbs opened it up before I brought the blush-colored peach down to my groin and lowered my swimming trunks. My already hard cock pressed itself into the soft fruit, parts of it sliding down my erection. Not long after I started to rub myself with it, my orgasm came and I carefully aimed the cum in the open peach and laid it next to me.
Or it was moments later after I fell asleep and got woken up by someone coming up to the attic. It was Daniel, of course, it was. He sat down next to me, smiling. Then he spotted the peach, raising his right eyebrow. He took it, his eyes on me, asking if it was what he thought it is. Then he peered into it, dipped his finger into the sperm and tasted it. I tried to snap it out of his hand. This whole thing was disgusting, but he had good reflexes and was faster, so he just put the fruit to his mouth and took a bite before I was able to take it away from him.
Or it was the night we spend together in Bergamo. I was so happy that Christian gave his permission for me joining Daniel on his trip. We strolled through the city together. Got drunk by drinking sweet, full-bodied wine. We took advantage of a deserted alley, Dan pressed me against the wall and we kissed, desperately as it was everything we need to survive. Suddenly there was a distant melody and he grabbed me at my wrist and pulled me over to the direction the sound came from. It was a little place with some people and a band playing some music. So we danced together surrounded by old Italian buildings, the air around us still warm and fizzy.
Or it was the moment at the train station. The moment before Daniel would take the train to Milano. The last time we would see each other. He hugged me tight, in a way only he was able to hug. And then there it was again: 'Straya', the word that still does not make sense to me. He whispered it into my ear before he kissed my forehead and smiled at me one last time. I watched after him, how he entered the train. My eyes followed the red vehicle long after it already disappeared behind the horizon.
Or it was in winter. A snowy day. Six months later. I was walking around outside, wearing a heavy overcoat to protect me from the cold, while listening to some music. My eyes caught all the familiar parts of my surroundings and all of them were connected to memories with Daniel. When I went back into the warmth of the house, the phone on the wall next to the entrance rang. I answered the call. It was from Daniel. My Daniel. I did not expect to ever hear his voice, his heavy Australian accent again. He called to ask if I was alright. I was not, but I was not going to tell him that. And then he said something even more unexpected than the call itself. He was getting married in the next spring. I ended the call because Christian wanted something.
I am not sure when exactly it was. If someone ever asks me when I knew that my feelings for this beautiful, interesting man were something that would never have a future, when exactly I understood that I only had this one summer. One moment in time. Only a short breath of hot summer air. Probably, I already knew it the first time I saw him. But at least I know that I enjoyed every moment of it. And I know for sure, that I will never forget about this summer. About everything Daniel and I had.