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the heart it hides such unimaginable things

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Patrick glanced over to the couch and saw David in Natalie’s lap and his tongue down her throat. A burst of jealousy ran through his stomach and he turned away from the scene. He shouldn’t be surprised at this point, every time they went to a party it seemed like David beelined to the nearest person and started making out with them. Sure, a few times David would have to engage in a conversation or share some shots, but before long it ended up with him preoccupied with someone, leaving Patrick by himself nursing a drink in the corner.

He can’t get too mad. If given the chance he would love to be the one making out with David during a party. Back up against the wall, a knee between his legs, hands on his waist, as David’s lips were on him, breaking away only to whisper in his ear and ask if they want to get out of there. 

Except, David never offered or really showed any interest in Patrick beyond being friends. And Patrick was fine with that.

Of course, he was fine with that.

Stevie scoffed when he told her that last week, but what was he supposed to say? That he loved David, wanted to date him? No, if he did that he’d have to prepare himself for eventual rejection when David would look in his eyes and say that why he was flattered he wasn’t looking for a relationship.

Why did he keep going to these parties? He’d always wear his tightest shirt, actually tame his curls for once, and for what? For David to notice him? Patrick snorted into his drink. No, going out always ended in one thing ⸺ him leaving alone and staring up at his bedroom ceiling contemplating life.

A touch on his arm shook him from his thoughts. He blinked and saw David looking at him. 

“Is something wrong?” Patrick asked. David sometimes only talked to him long enough during parties to say who he was leaving with. His stomach clenched. He didn’t want this to be the case again, but he knew it probably was.

“Can we get out of here?”

Patrick froze. This wasn’t what happened. He knew the steps by heart. Go to party. Get a drink, maybe talk with some people, stare at the person David is with, play beer pong, stare at the person David is with. Be supportive and happy when David goes off with them, wish it was him instead. 

Rinse and repeat.

“Uh, sure, y-yeah. Let me go say goodbye to Stevie first.”

David gave a small smile. “I’ll wait by the door.”

Patrick dropped his cup into the nearest trash can, gave a hurried goodbye to Stevie, and headed to the door.

He opened the door and gestured for David to go out first before following. The air was crisp and cool, the kind of autumn weather that Patrick always enjoyed. He watched as a group of drunk college students stumbled into an Uber and heard a woman loudly talk into her phone about cat sitting.

David started walking at a quick pace and Patrick hurried to catch up. 

“Did you not like Natalie?” Patrick blurted out. Mortification shot through him and if the pavement could swallow him whole he would gladly let it.


“The girl you were kissing? Her name is Natalie right?” Patrick replied. Why was he making this into a conversation?

“Oh, Natalie.” David shrugged. “I just wasn’t feeling it tonight I guess.”

“I thought you usually do.” 

“And I didn’t tonight.”

Patrick wanted to change the subject, but in the time he had known David this was the only time he could remember them walking back from a party together.

“What changed?”

“I told you already, I wasn’t feeling it.” David said. Patrick could hear the edge in his voice and a smarter man would stop. Tonight, Patrick wasn’t smarter.

“Have you lost your touch?”

It took a second for Patrick to realize David wasn’t walking next to him. He turned around to see David a few feet away, tears in his eyes.

“I can’t keep kissing strangers and pretending that they’re you.” 

“W-what?” Patrick was floored.

“You don’t know how many times I’ve wanted to kiss you,” David started. “The first time we went to a party I almost did.”

David’s words unlocked the memory for Patrick. Patrick had been sitting on an ottoman, David the couch, knees so close they touched. David had finished talking about his love for Bridget Jones’s Diary, cheeks flushed, arms waving and Patrick had leaned over. The urge to kiss so strong. David had paused and for a moment, Patrick thought it was going to happen, and then David turned around and kissed Jake. Patrick had been heartbroken, more than he probably should have.

“-easier to just always find someone to kiss then accidentally start making out with you. I knew our friendship was more important to me than some drunk kisses and mild groping.”

“You don’t have to keep pretending. You could just kiss me instead.”

“You sure?” David asked quietly.

“Yeah.” Patrick walked closer and grabbed David’s hand. “I’m always wishing I’m the person kissing you.”

“I think I can change that,” David replied.

“Then do it.”

David leaned forward and kissed him. 

It wasn’t like how he imagined it. It was better. David moved to grip his waist, pulling them closer, and Patrick melted into the moment. When they finally pulled away, Patrick felt the heat on his cheeks, a laugh of joy bubbling in his throat.

“I hope we can do that at a party now,” Patrick said.

David tilted his head slightly back and laughed. “We can kiss more back at your place if you want.”

“I like that better.”

Hands still clasped, they continued walking to Patrick’s apartment in content silence. Patrick glancing over occasionally to see David’s smile.