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Mr Brightside

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The light in the shabby backstage room is too bright, it hurts my eyes. My eyelids want to fall down and save me from this torture but my eyes won’t let them. They are stuck on you. How you prance around the tiny room and stumble over empty beer bottles. You fall down but you get up laughing immediately because you are still high on post-concert excitement and you love everyone’s eyes on you.

I know I’m not the only one watching you. Rupert, being the only sober person in this whole club, is keeping a careful view over everyone and Robert is laughing his arse off over your stupidity. You’re not really stupid but you love to play the entertaining fool. It’s not the drummer’s eyes on you that I’m worried about. It’s Orlando’s. He is leaning against the table watching your every move.

You notice his stare. Of course. Not mine. My eyes are always on you and you know that, you are already used to that. But Orlando’s interest in you tickles something inside you, it makes you all eager, I can feel it.

And I know that I’m absolutely no rivalry to Orlando. You’ve been with me almost every day for the last 18 years and you know me inside out, whereas Orlando is a shy and reserved boy that rarely opens himself up to other people. And you always loved the nuts that were harder to crack.

I tried to change myself. I tried to come out of my cage. I tried to make you notice me again and not just take me for granted because I’m just alwaysthere. During the show, when Orlando announced First Love, I walked over the stage, to you. You seemed surprised at first but quickly deciphered my intentions (as always). Lining up my guitar opposite to yours I started playing the intro to the song. It took me all my will power to channel my senses on my guitar playing as I was well aware of your overwhelming presence. Eyes cast down to my fingers flying over the strings I could still feel you with every fibre of my body. Your unique smell of sweat, cheap beer and the last hint of Dad’s cologne. I could feel the tips of your messy hair tickle on my cheeks. I shivered under your hot breaths that you exhaled against the sensitive skin on my neck. You were radiating with energy. You were everywhere.

You drew me in with the same strong ungraspable spell that I felt towards for many years. But in that moment I was too weak to resist any longer. I took another step forward. Not caring about anything in the world I put my forehead on your shoulder and nuzzled my nose against your neck while my fingers kept stroking over the guitar. You played the same notes I heard you play a hundred times before but then I felt your hand on my neck and I automatically pulled away. But your hand remained on my neck and the smile in your eyes burnt through my back as I walked over to my spot on Orlando’s left side again.

For the rest of the song I was doing just fine. Smiling contently at myself and putting even more effort and passion in my guitar-playing.

When the next opportunity arose I dared another visit to “your side” of the stage. This time you already knew what I had in mind and our symmetrical guitars must have looked rehearsed.

When the guitar part slowly came to an end and I knew that our seconds would be over soon I just couldn’t resist leaning in again to get one last drag of your smell.

You must have had the same idea because you leaned in in the exact same second. Our noses bumped together and then I felt something soft and sweet on my lips. But before I could completely realise that these had been your lips, they were gone already.

While I was busy convincing myself that my mind had played a trick on me, you leaned in and caught my lips between yours for the glimpse of a second.

Licking over my lips, savouring the taste, I caught your eyes, just in time to see you winking at me. A wink that let me know that this had been no accident, no coincidence, no mistake.

This was just you, Felix.


Now I can’t stop looking at you, hoping that the power of my eyes is enough to bring you back to me.

I’ve always been so good at suppressing this feeling, at suppressing feelings. But this time it had been different. I took a bite of the forbidden fruit. I tasted the drug. And I want it all.

From now on my whole life will be haunted by the taste of your lips on mine and the restless desire of getting more. Nothing else matters anymore. I want, I need more.

You are always so good to me. But that just makes everything worse. All I ever wanted was a kiss from you. Knowing that this could never happen had filled me with a strange feeling of content. The satisfying feeling of having done everything in your power and still not being able to reach your goal.

Having felt your lips on mine, something I thought would never happen, left me longing for more. I want to properly kiss you, explore your mouth with my tongue, explore your body, mark it as mine, be with you. We’ve always been close but I want to be one with you.

It started out with a kiss, how did it end up like this?

The thought that is repeating in my head since we got off the stage.

It was only a kiss, it was only a kiss.

Because that electric tension I had felt between us on stage is gone now. I’m sitting alone on the sofa, fighting against the cruel light. I’m tired, Felix. Tired of everything. Tired of wanting you and not being able to have you.

Now I’m falling asleep on that couch. I don’t want to think about the fluids that had soaked through this fabric. I just want you to pick me up and carry me to my bed, just how you’ve done so many times before when we were younger and I fell asleep in front of the TV. I never told you that I sometimes just pretended to be asleep to feel your strong arms wrapping around my body and be carried to my (or your) bed in the safe embrace of your arms. Oh how I wish I’d stayed smaller and lighter than you so you could still carry me.

My eyes are falling shut for the third time in the last minute. I’m not actually tired. I just want you to…to come to me and carry me home.

“Fe, stop dancing around! We should be going! You are drunk and your brother is falling asleep. I’m calling a cab!,” Orlando says. Of course. He is always the responsible one.

“Don’t be such a killjoy, Lands! The party has only begun!,” you laugh and playfully smack Orlando’s bum. Orlando blushes. My blood starts to bump through my veins. I’m asleep on the outside but I’m burning on the inside.

Orlando ruffles your messy hair and you idiot, you smile that stupid smile that could make every person in the whole world fall for you. Even your little brother.

The longing feels like stabs in the heart but it feels so good. Pain it’s the only thing my heart can ever feel, so it’s better than nothing.

You watch Orlando packing up his bag and gathering all the leftover catering food while you’re having a smoke. The three of us are alone in the room. I didn’t notice Rupert and Robert leaving.

“You have a cute bum, Lando,” you say without batting a lash. The left corner of your mouth is curved upwards. This is your game. Orlando is a nut you have yet to crack and tonight is your night.

I have to press my eyes shut. Seeing you flirt with my friend in front of me hurts more than the sterile lights.

“Oh you think so?,” Orlando smirks and walks over to you. With a self-confidence that I would have never expected from Orlando, our singer walks over to you and stares you into the eye. He doesn’t break the intense eye-contact while he is taking a drag and exhales the smoke sexily.

I wonder if you even know that I’m still in the room, lying on the couch and observing your every move through the tiny gap between my eyelids.

And if you do, do you put your hands on Orlando’s hips just to get under my skin? Because that’s what you do. My head plays visions of you two tumbling into your bed together. Half-naked and drunk on alcohol, lust and a post-concert high. You going to bed with Orlando. The same bed that I spent so many nights in when we were kids.

I feel cheated on. This is not right. No one else but me has the right to lie in that bed with you. The images of Orlando there won’t leave my head. My stomach is sick, this can’t be happening. I know it’s all in my head but Orlando is touching your chest now and it’s pretty obvious what he thinks about where this night should be heading.

“Felix, I…,” he stutters.

But you don’t listen, you never do. Slowly you start unbuttoning the first buttons of Orlando’s shirt.

I don’t know what hurts worse. Thinking you have simply forgotten about my presence or knowing that you just don’t care about me seeing you taking off Orlando’s shirt now.

I can’t take this any longer but my body is numb. I can’t move a limb. I’m paralysed.

Let me go.

Your lips hover over the naked skin of Orlando’s chest and your nose gently touches his collarbones.

I just can’t look, it’s killing me.

Jealously is taking over my body where hopeless desire and want had been once.

I want to jump up and pull you away from Orlando. I’ve been a saint my whole life and never acted on my feelings towards you, brother, but this night I can’t take it anymore.

My thoughts drift back to the nights I spent in your bed and you told me good night stories when I couldn’t fall asleep. This scenario feels like a sick lullaby and the nightmare is yet to come.

Suddenly you let go of Orlando and turn around.

“Hu? Can you get us a taxi home? Just ask the staff at the box office, okay?,” you ask me. It’s not a request, it’s an order.

It’s like you lifted a ban off me. My body moves and a moment later I stand on my feet.

“Sure, Fe,” I say and make my way towards to the door to do what you asked of me. Did you notice I always do what you say? Even when it’s just an alibi like this. You want to be alone with Orlando, I get it.

“Aww, I love you, little bro, you’re the best,” you say and reward me with a dashing smile. It warms my heart even in this fucked up scenario. I smile back because you still make me happy with just a little gesture like this. But that is just the price I pay. It’s my destiny to live on little gestures like these. I’m your brother. I could never be your lover. I try to take as much as I get get from you. I allow myself one last look into your eager eyes before I walk out of the backstage door. Your eyes are the light in my dark world.

You will always be my Mr. Brightside.

And I’ll never experience what Orlando is probably experiencing in the backstage room right now.

I never. I never. I never