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Caleb remembers these streets.
He drives the main road of the residential neighborhood, and he can see himself as he was ten years ago. Those long evenings when he would walk along the sidewalks and pass the rows of houses.
There are the quaint houses, with little front yards and little front porches. And there are the others—less quaint—tucked away in cul-de-sac after cul-de-sac, with heights that seem to tower over their neighbors and sprawling yards that threaten to fall into the streets. They would all walk these streets together.
Caleb. And Sarah. And Tiffany. And…
No—that was thirteen years ago.
In any case, nothing here has changed. It’s late evening. Early September. The sun is going down, and the homes’ shadows fall heavily along the road. The air conditioning wafts in the car. It cools Caleb’s skin as he grips the steering wheel tightly. Only a few people are outside—all families. Kids gather their toys from the grass. Parents call to their kids from their porches. Doors close. Lights leak through blinds.
Thirteen years ago, they would have been wandering these roads at this hour. They would have just had dinner, and Caleb would be sipping what remained of his soda. Tiffany would be making jokes about a TV show Caleb didn’t watch. And Sarah would be talking about a guy—yes, another one, already—that she had fallen for. And Caleb’s shoulder would brush against Owen’s as they walked, and Caleb would smile. He would look over at Owen.
Owen wouldn’t look back.
Caleb sits in his car, both hands on the steering wheel, staring ahead at nothing. He’s parked on the side of the road. The car is still on, and the engine shakes like Caleb’s nerves.
Caleb looks to his left.
It’s excessive, it’s lavish. It proclaims its own affluence with its columns, and balconies, and spiraling driveway. Years ago, Caleb used to park in that driveway. Today, it seems more appropriate to park on the street.
Caleb stares at the home. He grasps the steering wheel tighter. He closes his eyes, breathes deeply, and turns off the engine.
Caleb remembers this door. He used to push it open without a thought. He used to enter this house unannounced, Sarah and Tiffany trailing behind.
Owen! Sarah would yell up the staircase. What the fuck we’re here come down already!
She’d look at Caleb and smile.
Did she know then what she knows now?
This door. This brown slab of wood. Caleb remembers it, but tonight he doesn’t push it open. He stands before it, ready to knock, but not knocking. These days, with Sarah or Tiffany, he texts them when he arrives at their apartments. With Owen, that seems strange. To text him. To arrive at all. They didn’t text when they were friends—why would they text now that they are strangers?
Caleb raises a timid fist. His knuckles hang inches from the wood. Why can’t he knock? Why the hesitation?
The door opens. Light floods onto the porch, onto Caleb, his fist raised and his breath gone. Wind rustles. Warm air percolates. Caleb’s car remains where it’s parked, too far away, alone and still. It’s almost night now, and two men greet each other.
“I’ve run into so many people, too. Just going to Target is like… Oh, I don’t know—a fuckin’ class reunion,” Owen says.
He is in the kitchen making drinks. Preparing snacks.
Caleb is down the hall, looking at the many photos that hang on the walls. Family photos. Christmas photos. Moments with friends and pets. Adventures abroad.
“I know,” Caleb says. Am I lost somewhere in these pictures? He wonders. “It can feel that way sometimes.”
Caleb stops his gaze on a senior photo of Owen, in which he poses and smiles in front of a hazy blue background. He’s wearing a suit. How odd to see him in a suit like that.
Owen continues talking to Caleb from the kitchen. He talks about his life on the east coast. His job, his friends. His trips around the country. The strangeness of being back in his hometown. Caleb güvenilir bahis gives curt replies. Yes, wow, uh-huh, oh really?
Sounds awesome, Owen.
Caleb’s attention, though, is on the photos, and he follows the procession of them down the hall.
After passing the formal dining room, the living room, a smoking room, another living room, Caleb finds himself in the den. Owen is still talking to him from the kitchen, but his voice is distant and faint. Caleb stands still, relieved to be in the den, alone and away from Owen. He peruses his surroundings. There’s a bookcase that stands floor to ceiling, wall to wall, with books stuffed into every crevice. They fall onto each other like crooked bricks that have been shoved into a mailbox.
There’s a desk with a computer. The surrounding workspace is clean and devoid of the chaos of the bookshelf. Caleb sits in the leather chair. There’s a photo next to the computer monitor. Caleb notices it and picks up the frame.
He doesn’t know the photo, but he knows when it was taken.
Graduation. After the ceremony. The Owen in the photo makes a silly face, flashes a peace sign, holds a diploma.
Caleb’s stomach stirs looking at the photo, and he doesn’t know why.
“My mom says hi, by the way,” Owen says. The sound of footsteps signal Owen is walking down the hallway. Caleb hurriedly places the photo in its original location. He fiddles with the positioning. Is it crooked now? Was it facing more to the left?
“I’m only in town for a week,” Owen continues, now closer. “And she still has to fit in a night with her…”—he appears in the doorway, holding a glass in each hand—”Boyfriend? Fuck buddy? I don’t know.”
Caleb taps a rhythm on his thighs with his fingertips. He sits up straight and looks around, but at not at anything. Owen hands him a drink, and Caleb looks Owen in the eyes, and he feels butterflies.
He wonders if they’re the same ones, still lingering after too many years.
Caleb smiles involuntarily, then darts his gaze elsewhere. Owen swigs a drink.
He says, “Spooky, huh?”
“Hm?” Caleb replies.
Owen gestures around the room with his drink.
“Ten years on, and it’s like nothing’s changed around here.”
“I don’t believe you,” Caleb says, smiling.
They are in Owen’s bedroom. Owen is lying on his bed, propped up on his side, looking at Caleb. Caleb sits on the floor across the room.
“What do you mean you don’t believe me?” Owen says. “It’s a fact. There’s nothing not to believe.”
Caleb shakes his head. “No, no—”
Owen sits up on his bed. “You asked Joey Milton to the prom,” he continued. “And he said no, and you were being very dramatic about it, and talking about how you were so ugly—”
“—and you were going to be alone forever—”
“And then I told you I would have been honored to go to the prom with you. And you said no.”
“Yes! You rejected me! For no one. You would’ve rather gone alone to the prom than be my date.”
Caleb rests his hand on his chin and looks away. He thinks.
“Okay,” he says. “That may have happened.”
“But you weren’t being serious.”
“I was one hundred percent serious.”
Caleb scoffs. “You weren’t even out then.”
Owen sits still.
“I would have gone with you,” he says.
Silence follows, and Caleb doesn’t respond. He squints his eyes, showing his suspicion that Owen is feigning sincerity, and he studies Owen’s face. Owen keeps his expression neutral before squinting his own eyes, matching Caleb’s expression mockingly. They keep their eyes locked.
Caleb shifts his eyes away and shakes his head.
Caleb stands on the back porch. He leans against the railing, looking out towards the pool. Blue lights used to illuminate the water at night, but they aren’t on tonight. Darkness covers the entire backyard.
Wanting another drink, Owen went back to the kitchen, and Caleb took the güvenilir bahis siteleri opportunity to step out for some air. The late summer night is still warm. He breathes in the fresh air.
Why did I come here tonight? He thinks. He had told himself it was to catch up with an old friend. He had told himself that he only wanted to see how Owen was doing. But now that he’s here… maybe he’d just been fooling himself.
Caleb pulls his phone out from his pocket. A text from Sarah is waiting for him.
How’s it going? It reads. I need DETAILS!!
Caleb replies. No details. I’ll text later.
The screen door opens behind Caleb and he turns around at the sound. Owen walks towards the pool and throws a towel at Caleb as he passes. Caleb startles, but catches the towel.
“What’s this?” he asks.
“What do you think?” Owen says as he descends the few steps of the porch. He throws his towel to the ground and pulls his shirt over his head. He unbuttons his jeans. Pulls them down. He’s in his boxers. Then he’s not.
Caleb watches him from the porch. His heart races at the sight of Owen nude in the darkness. The details of his body are obscured by the night, but his form is apparent. The width of his shoulders. The curve of his back. His musculature forms a silhouette, framed by the glimmering water before him.
Owen jumps into the pool, and the water splashes around him. Caleb approaches the pool and takes off his shirt. He takes off his jeans. Caleb looks at Owen and, through the darkness, he can only see the form of his shoulders and head surfaced from the water. Caleb can’t see his eyes, but he is sure he feels them on him. Caleb takes off his underwear. He walks to the steps and descends into the pool.
The two of them wade silently. Owen leisurely backstrokes around the pool. Caleb stays close to the edge, his hand gripped to the safety of the ground. After a few minutes, Owen speaks.
“Are you happy here?” he asks.
Caleb sees Owen’s shape several feet away. He’s floating on his back. He looks peaceful.
“No,” Caleb says.
The two men are quiet. The night is quiet. The water is calm.
Owen swims to Caleb. He holds onto the edge of the pool. Caleb can see his face now. It’s dotted with droplets, and his wet hair is matted and messy.
“Now it really feels like high school,” Owen says.
“No,” Caleb replies. “We’re missing the girls.”
“Probably for the best.”
Owen’s gaze turns towards the house. He looks like he may pull himself out of the pool. Caleb’s heartbeat quickens, and his stomach feels like it’s toppled over, and he thinks he may lose his breath.
“I was in love with you,” Caleb says. “Then.”
Owen keeps his face turned towards the house. His expression doesn’t change. His body remains calm. Is he surprised? Is he thinking? Is he…?
“I know,” he says, quietly. Then, he leans back from the ledge, and pushes himself backwards.
Caleb is drying himself off. He is alone in Owen’s bedroom.
Why why why why why.
He rubs the towel hard against his body. His skin is nearly completely dry, but he continues running the cloth across his back, up and down his legs, through his hair. He repeats the motions.
Don’t think about it. Don’t think about it.
Just leave, just leave.
The damp towel runs across the skin of Caleb’s shoulders, and he stops suddenly. His chest expands and contracts. His arms are trembling. He closes his eyes. He clenches his fists. Tears form.
Caleb turns around to see Owen standing in the doorway and pulls his towel in front of his body. Owen stares at Caleb, who wears only his towel around his waist. Caleb can only bear to meet his gaze for a few seconds before he shifts his eyes to the side. The tears build. But why? He wonders whether he feels sad, or embarrassed, or hopeless, or ashamed. He wonders, maybe, if it’s the weight of ten years spent wondering what if is crashing down on him all at once.
“Yes?” Caleb says. His tone is impatient. His iddaa siteleri eyes glance briefly at Owen before averting once more.
Owen seems like he wants to say something. But he doesn’t. He just stands there with his lips parted, and his brow furrowed. He’s appears like he would in a still photograph. A picture of a person on the cusp of saying how they really feel.
He walks toward Caleb. He’s holding his towel around his waist. His chest is bare.
Caleb takes a step backward, and Owen meets him where he stands. Then, with a timidity that Caleb has never seen from him, Owen places a hand on Caleb’s chest. It’s a gentle touch, and it feels like an invitation.
Caleb’s heart beats rapidly against Owen’s palm. His instincts urge him to pull away, but his body remains where it is. Owen slides his hand upwards from Caleb’s chest to his neck. He massages Caleb’s skin gently, and Caleb feels as though he can’t breathe.
Their eyes lock on each other. The room is silent but for their breathing.
Owen leans forward. Caleb exhales.
Their lips meet. Their mouths open. Their tongues touch.
Caleb’s knees feel week, and he loses his balance. Owen seems to sense this, as he wraps his arms around Caleb’s torso, and he pulls their bodies against each other.
Caleb’s towel drops to the floor, and his bare skin presses against Owen’s. His cock touches the soft fabric of the towel still wrapped around Owen’s waist.
They kiss. They embrace. They hug. They touch.
Caleb wants to say something. He wants to release a flood of questions. What is happening? Why now? Do you love me too? Have you always loved me? What does this mean?
Caleb says nothing. He kisses the man he has longed for. He touches the skin he has dreamed of touching. He feels the relief and the joy and the pain.
Owen removes his own towel and the pair fall to the bed. They kiss, and their cocks rub against each other. The sensation overwhelms Caleb, and pre-cum leaks from his tip. He moans. Owen bites his neck. Then licks his skin. Caleb pulls away. He looks down.
There it is. Hard. Big. Throbbing.
Caleb had imagined seeing this cock for years. He wondered what it looked like. Its size. Its color. Its shape.
Caleb moves down and rests between Owen’s legs. He takes the cock in his hand and licks the length of shaft. It’s solid in his grasp, and the pulsating veins press against his palm. Owen’s hand touches Caleb’s hair, still wet and matted, while Caleb takes the whole of the cock into his mouth. He caresses the head with his tongue, and savors the intimacy of the moment, stays with the connection of their bodies.
After some time, Owen says, “Come here.”
Caleb obeys, and the two of them kiss. Their bodies embrace. Owen’s hands find Caleb’s ass and grasp the flesh.
“I want to fuck you,” Owen says amid their kissing.
“Fuck me,” Caleb says. The words fall out of his mouth like a drawing come to life. The phrase lived as a fantasy in his mind for years. Now, suddenly, they’re real.
Owen puts on a condom. He lubes Caleb’s opening. Caleb spreads his legs apart. Owen enters him with a push.
Caleb gasps with the pressure. The moment is a release. Emotion washes over him. His arms wrap around Owen’s body. They kiss. Owen moves within him, his face intense and serious.
The pair stay with their bodies pressed and their faces close. Owen’s warm breath lingers on Caleb’s cheek. The speed of Owen’s movements quickens, and he pushes deeper and deeper, until Caleb feels the entirety of him with every thrust. Caleb’s ass contracts tightly around Owen’s cock. Owen grunts in pleasure, and his face bares is a mixture of anger and relief. Caleb stares at him in awe, and his own mouth falls open.
The sensations and feelings fall onto Caleb in a rush, like water bursting through a collapsing dam.
He cries out. It’s a loud, primal noise. A noise born from the pleasure and the pain of a moment in time. A moment that took too long to arrive, and whose finale is already visible, emerging like a train from the fog, coming into the station, already scheduled to leave.
Caleb feels the orgasm begin to rise within him, and he wraps his arms around Owen’s shoulders. He pulls the man against him and clings on tightly, not ready to let go.
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