The middle of the night is the worst time.
In the busy rush of a workday shift, Christian can distract himself with trivial things: the witty, bitchy gossip of his workmates, the promise of a tip from a wealthy patron. Sometimes reality hits him, suddenly and violently, but then someone comes by to distract him and he can continue to pretend that the bottom of his world hasn't just fallen out.
Basking in the late afternoon sun, he can almost believe the lie he tells himself: that everything is okay; that when he goes back inside, he’ll find Aaron waiting for him, smiling that lovely smile that lights up his face and illuminates everything that matters in the world.
But at night? Well, that’s a whole other ball game. As Christian sits alone in the dark, the urge to cry overwhelms him, and deep despair threatens to bury him alive. He can almost hear the sound of his heart shattering into tiny fragments as the tears start to fall, and he wraps his arms around himself, willing them to morph into Aaron’s.
Then he murmurs his lost love’s name, soft against the pillow, and waits in vain for his reply.