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the best of times

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Elliot had that grin on his face, loud and like a whisper. He reaches for the radio dial and turns the music up louder. The synth of the song overtakes the whole car, and the vocals start and he just closes his eyes.

Alex just watches. The song is good, yes, but Elliot’s face right now, the feeling he’s expressing, it’s all so much more than that.

The chorus hits and Elliot swells with it. Alex is feeling the magic now, smiling, too. Elliot looks over, his eyes open again and blown wide.

“So?”

“I feel it.”

Elliot’s grin breaks out so loudly, as if that was the best answer Alex could have ever given him.

They sat in the driver’s and passenger’s seats, feeling the beat make its way into their bones until it consumed them, moving their limbs and heads and bodies and dancing with their seat belts on.

“God, this is the best I’m ever gonna feel,” Elliot says with a laugh, that same laugh of his that sees the brightness in everything.

“I love you,” Alex says out of the blue, and it’s the first time either of them has ever been so forward, but it feels so right and Elliot doesn’t hesitate.

“I love you too, Alex,” he says, and it’s honest, even if Alex doesn’t know what all of it means.

The song draws to its bridge, and Alex gets overwhelmed with the weight of this experience. The chorus comes in harder than ever, and Elliot and Alex both have a couple tears in their eyes that they’ll never mention. It’s not a big deal. It’s just monumental, that’s all.

It ends almost abruptly, and Alex wants to ask if Elliot will play it again.

“This feels like something, doesn’t it?” Elliot asks, and Alex smiles so deeply at him that it hurts.

“Yeah.”

They look at each other as the next song starts to come on. Elliot reaches for the dial to turn it down. Alex leans forward and kisses him.

Elliot’s breath catches. Piano keys play over the radio and Alex’s hands play over Elliot’s shoulders. It’s slow but it’s heavy but it’s so light. It’s precious and gentle and spiritual.

Alex pulls away and Elliot follows but falls behind. They open their eyes.

Violins, now. The atmosphere is pulling them even tighter. They smile.

These really are the best of times, aren’t they?