Thinking back on it while lying on his bed in his silent flat at 3am listening to the sound of the city outside, maybe Mario shouldn't have signed that contract that tied his future to the bavarian club.
It could have waited a few more years, he thought, maybe he should have stayed with the people he had known his whole life, stay with his family, with Marco.
Maybe he should have continued his routine of meeting his friends at training, hearing Kevin's jokes at the lockers and laughing at Mats' comments on the different ways to kill them Kloppo had thought of with the exercises he had given them. Hearing Marco laugh and saying he didn't know why Mats was making a big deal out of it when he seemed to be the least affected by it all.
Heading back to Marco's flat after it all and making love with him and whispering sweet nothings in his ear.
Yeah, he definitely should have stayed in Dortmund.
But Bayern Munich is not a club you say no to, Pep Guardiola is not a coach you say no to. When life gives you great opportunities, you have to take them, everyone always told him, and so he did. He accepted the offer and Bayern took care of his transfer. Mario almost hoped they would take care of informing every person he knew of his decision so he wouldn't have to look at everyone else's eyes and inform them that he was leaving them behind.
Mario can remember in every detail the moment he told Marco he was leaving. He remembers the broken look on his face and the tears trapped in his eyes. He remembers Marco yelling at him, asking how he could do this to him. He remembers Marco telling him to leave, his voice so full of anger or maybe disappointment it broke something inside of Mario.
He does not, however, remember the next weeks after he told Marco. Everything is a hazy blur of packing, looking for a place in Munich, telling the whole team after training one day and having to see the sadness in Klopp's eyes, the shock in the rest of the team and Kevin quickly exiting the locker room with rage as Nuri followed him.
He blindly reaches for his phone and quickly types a message.
I miss you.
Mario didn't think Marco would see it until tomorrow, yet the response arrived not even a minute later.
I miss you too.
But that doesn't change anything.
And Mario can swear he hears his own heart shattering a little bit more.
I'm so sorry , he sends, I know everything's changed and I know it probably never will be the same, but i miss you so much, i miss my best friend, i miss your tackle hugs, i miss your laugh, i miss Saturday morning breakfast and your chest pressed to my back.
Mario shuts his eyes tightly almost sure Marco wont reply this time, but then his phone pings, he's opened the new message in a flash.
Don't go there, sunny. It's been six months. We need to move on.
Mario sighed, the hurt he felt in his chest almost nauseating, and he felt ridiculous when his heart skipped a beat at reading the old nickname. And hope flourished in his chest at the implication that Marco hadn't been able to move on either.
I don't want to move on, i want to be with you.
And Mario hoped Marco remembered all their moments together, the concert they had attended in Berlin and all the iconic monuments they had visited before leaving back to Dortmund at Mario's request, the time Lewy had gotten Marco so drunk he ended up serenading Mario while he was trying to stay on his feet (something he barely managed), all the times they were in international duty and they had to hear André complain about always having to be the third-wheel, all the times Klopp yelled at them for laughing so much during trainings and making them do extra laps. Mario hoped he remember their first kiss, the first time they slept together, the first time they said i love you to each other, the first time they met each other's family, their first date.
Mario shifted in his bed and hissed when his feet touched the cold part of the sheets. They wouldn't be cold if you hadn't left, a little voice said in his head. And if that voice sounded an awful lot like Marco's, then nobody had to know.
One last time, his phone made the ping sound and later on, Mario could never describe with words the warming feeling he got on his chest at reading those seven words, it was almost pathetic, but Mario couldn't really bring himself to care as he smiled like summer wouldn't end.
i want to be with you too.
Yeah, he should've stayed in Dortmund, but maybe they could still make it through.