The Visit - Part 8

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Alex and I returned from our outing late at night, laughing our heads off. We'd been laughing so long, I couldn't even recall what started it. Being a little tipsy might have contributed to that. I knew I wasn't supposed to drink with my meds and Alex had been furious when I took a sip. But, it was really only a sip. We snickered outside the dorm room door, trying to calm our laughter because we knew Tim was already asleep.

Once inside, we got changed and prepared for bed in the dark. I put my pill bottle back into my bag and climbed onto the mattress as quietly as possible with its creaking. Alex got in behind me and we laid down facing each other. The moon peeked through the blinds at the head of the bed, so I could see him clearly. We stared at each other, smiling.

"Tobiath said you were popular," I said, remembering how Alex had exchanged friendly waves with another student on our way back. I was surprised to learn this guy, Dapo, as Alex had called him, had also been his roommate---albeit for five minutes. Alex had refused to explain how that'd happened. "Does he mean with guys?"

Alex laughed then caught himself and looked over his shoulder to make sure he didn't wake Tim. "No."

"You haven't had lots of boyfriends?"

"No," Alex said. "I only had one boyfriend here."

"Then you had lots of hookups."

Alex glanced away and back at me like he was surprised I had the nerve. "I can count them on two hands."

I blinked. "Wait, that's good?"

"Yes!" Alex hissed.

I frowned. 'I'd rather do it with someone I liked,' he had said in grade 7. What a lie. But I guess the easiest way to cover up that he'd rather sleep with a guy had been to agree with me. "Hm... What's your type?"

Alex paused, then smiled softly. "Taller guys with nice eyes."

If not for Alex's loaded gaze, I wouldn't have realized: he meant guys like me. I was surprised he was admitting it.

"What's your type?"

I thought about it. Did I have a type? I didn't have the experience like Alex did, so I went to thinking about the girls I found myself taking a second glance at and the porn I immediately clicked on. I felt my face heat in embarrassment and hesitated. "Brown skin and full lips."

Alex gazed at me with wide eyes, the soft smile on his full lips gone. Then he forced a smirk and gently pushed my shoulder. "Don't joke around, Liam."

"I'm serious."

Alex's smile disappeared again. His eyes were careful as he said with no humor, "Don't fuck around." He sighed. "Sorry, it's my fault. I started it with my answer. I shouldn't have said that."

I stared at Alex's lips as my hand inched over to touch them with my fingers, heart pounding nervously. "I'm not fucking around, though." My fingers slid to the brown skin of his cheek, darkened by the lack of light. "You're my type," I confessed to Alex and myself.

Alex gazed at me, and I wasn't thinking anything except that he was beautiful and I wanted to try kissing those lips. So, I crept forward and pressed mine against them.

It lasted maybe three seconds. When I pulled away, Alex's eyes were wide with shock but mostly with what looked like worry. It morphed into hurt as he put his palm on my cheek, pulled my face towards his, and kissed me.

And I kissed him back.

After a few seconds, I realized it was everything I'd ever wanted. Alex was everything I'd ever wanted. I thought things were complete with him by my side, but things were really complete with him on my lips. His kiss in grade 8 was not like this. I don't know if in grade 8 I would have kissed him back after getting over my shock. But here I was now, nearly eight years later, kissing him eagerly.

Our mouths moved in sync. His lips were soft as I held his warm body tightly. Our tongues touched. He whimpered and I filled with the desire to consume him.

"No sex!" we heard from across the room and jumped apart just as a pillow landed between our heads. "No anything. For fuck's sake," Tim grumbled.

I reluctantly removed my hands from Alex's back and cheek. He dropped the pillow onto the floor and swallowed, his Adam's apple bobbing, then cleared his throat.

I didn't know what to say. My head was buzzing with various options, but none of them felt right.

"Goodnight," Alex whispered with a small smile before turning over so his back was to me.

I didn't want to say goodnight, but I didn't really have a choice. "Goodnight, Alex." Looking at his back, I longed to touch him, but kept my hands still. After turning over as well, to resist temptation, I stared at the wall.

I didn't know how long it'd been the case, but with my confession and our kiss, I had realized that I was deeply in love with Alex Camejo. In a very non-heterosexual way.

When did my love for Alex turn romantic? Once he was no longer by my side? Maybe the time back in high school? Or maybe after we made up and I'd only gotten to see him via Face Time for over a year? Maybe the level of platonic love I had felt before then was already atypical, even if it didn't reach romantic levels.

I didn't know.

But what I did know was that moments ago was the first time I'd ever had the urge to kiss him and that when I did so, I wished I'd had that urge sooner. And I knew that I loved him romantically and it had not started just today.

The pieces fell together. All the comments and looks my parents, Jeremy, Kareem, and other friends had given me throughout the years. Not to mention the comments and looks coming from Alex's friends and roommate. Everyone had seen something in me that I wasn't able to see myself. Or maybe something I'd refused to even consider seeing in myself. Not until now. Now, Alex, whose heat I could feel on my back, was someone I wanted in ways I didn't know I could want someone.

I had sincerely been in love with Selena. But Alex... I closed my eyes and listened to his breathing. Alex was my best friend. Alex was my other half. I loved him differently. I loved every fraction of him deeply. And while I wanted him to be my best friend... I also wanted him to be something else.

My mind running with all these thoughts and more, it took me a very long time to fall asleep.

**

The next morning, Alex shook me awake. I opened my eyes and saw he was already showered and dressed.

"Did I sleep that deeply?" I asked, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes.

Alex nodded. "Yeah. Go ahead and get ready and we'll go to breakfast."

I showered and dressed then headed with Alex to the dining hall. After getting our food, we sat down. I wanted to talk about last night. Our kiss. Confess my feelings to him. Hear if he felt the same way or had just gotten carried away. The dining hall wasn't the greatest place to have that conversation, though.

I was sure Alex noticed me staring at him, even though he wouldn't look up. Without expression in his face or emotion in his voice, he said lowly, "Last night didn't happen."

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