Here’s what I said the last time I wrote about Starsky and Terry: “Two weeks after Terry died, we sat on Starsky’s kitchen floor and cried together, and then we made love in his bed, the tears still drying on our cheeks. But I’ll save that story for another time.”
After we had opened the gifts she’d so lovingly bequeathed to us, we remained sitting on the floor for a while, the tears continuing to well up in our eyes, both of us silently contemplating the meaning of life and wondering how such an innocent and selfless person could have been taken from the world so cruelly.
As the candle wicks began to burn towards their end, I looked at Starsky who nodded and extended his hand, and I knew it was time.
I blew out two of the candles and picked up the one with the most wick remaining, and then I reached down and helped him up off the floor. As we walked towards his bedroom, my hand still holding onto his, neither of us said a word, but I knew what he was thinking.
I put the candle on his nightstand. It was the only light in the room and we slowly and wordlessly undressed as we stood solemnly together next to his bed, as if we were about to perform a sacred ritual. And in a way, we were.
Then we climbed under the covers and pressed our naked bodies together, facing each other, my hand gently stroking his face. As we kissed, we both began to get hard, but then his lips started to tremble and I felt his cock go limp against my groin. I pulled away slightly and saw the tears welling up in his eyes just before he buried his head against me. I held him quietly as he sobbed into my shoulder, my hard-on long since forgotten, as his entire body shook with the finality of his grief and loss in the darkened room.
I consoled him as best I could, murmuring his name and telling him it was okay, one arm wrapped tightly around his shoulder and the other cradling the back of his head, softly stroking his hair. I was dimly aware of our limp cocks brushing against each other as I held him, and it felt oddly comforting, as if every part of our bodies was being embraced, and I cried along with him.
But my crying was not so much grieving for Terry as it was sorrow for what my partner was going through, because it suddenly hit me that Terry was the third loved one he’d lost to violence in his 34 years on this earth. First his dad, gunned down when Starsky was a just a kid, leaving him to become the head of the family to a grieving mother and a brother too young to understand why daddy wouldn’t be coming home anymore.
And although he and Helen had broken up several months before she died, the nature of her horrific death, being strangled by radio wires, her body callously left in the park behind some bushes, haunted him for a long time.
And now he’d had to watch Terry, his fiancée, slowly die of a bullet in her brain these last few weeks.
But when Starsky’s sobs gradually became softer until they stopped completely, I knew then that he’d be able to move on, just as he had after his dad had died. And just as he had done after Helen. After two weeks of grieving Terry’s death, and many more weeks since her shooting and the doctor giving him the grim prognosis, he was ready to passage to the final stage of his grief: acceptance. And while I knew that her death would always leave an unfilled hole in his heart, he would be okay.
It was then that I began to notice he was getting hard again, and we made love in his bed for the first time since he’d told Terry about us.
Usually we take turns being top, sometimes flipping a coin to decide, but on this night, the choice had been made for us. Starsky would be top. It marked yet another way for him to let her go. Neither of us spoke. He simply reached over, silently took the jar of lube out of his nightstand and handed it to me. I scooped out a dollop and spread it over his cock as he looked at me intently. I felt him get harder and more swollen beneath my hand as he leaned his head towards mine and kissed me, our tongues eagerly exploring each other for the first time in a long while.
Then I lay on my side facing away from him as he slowly inserted his cock into me. I could tell he was being mindful not to be too rough or too fast, as he remembered that rectums don’t give as easily as women’s parts.
While Terry had known about our “friends with benefits” arrangement and was fully accepting of it, Starsky had never felt comfortable having anal intercourse with me while he was dating her, not even in my apartment, and so this was the first time we’d made love in several months.
As he thrust back and forth inside me, I turned my head towards him so I could look into his eyes as he held my hand, but then, suddenly and inexplicably, I felt a crushing wave of sadness wash over me. The tears I’d cried earlier had since dried, but in their stead, new tears started to take their place, and I had to turn my head in the hope that he wouldn’t notice.
You see, although Starsky and I were together for the moment, and we loved each other deeply, I knew that he would one day meet another woman and fall in love again, and I never would. It was that moment when I realized it was Starsky who I wanted to be with for the rest of my life, but I knew that could never happen for us.
Thank God, I was wrong.
I never told him what I was feeling at the time, but I knew he suspected because of the way he squeezed my hand. But neither of us said a word. At least, not out loud. It was a few years later, after the Gunther shooting, when I finally confessed. But he’d always known, he said. And I knew that to be true.
Even now, as he lies beside me in our bed, his head snuggled up against my shoulder, he knows what I’m writing about. We always know what the other is thinking. Always.