Life after the Habitat, was hectic for a few specific people. Shockingly, almost everyone had a nice time in the habitat, so they could return to their mundane lives.
Kamal however had a hard time, that might have been the most confusing. He was starting to talk to Habit a bit more, since the guy had claimed he was getting treatment. Seeing the big lug smile a bit more easily, warmed Kamal's heart. He wished his crush on the Doctor died out, but it was blooming. Getting more and more hard to ignore.
Then there was someone else Kamal had gotten closer to.
Back in the habitat, the odd fellow had complimented Kamal's foul smelling breath. It wasn't the best first impression, but he still wanted to be friends with the quirky guy. Of course there was more to Randy, than his odd love for stinky things.
Randy had no idea that Kamal was gay, but it was obvious that Randy was. He had complimented Kamal in his own Randy way, but as of late; he had been less subtle about his advances.
Kamal was at a crossroads. Was he even into Randy??? Or was he just desperate for a boyfriend, after pining for Habit for so long?
He groaned into his hands and laid back in a park bench. Thoughts swirling in his head.
Originally, it was just meant to be a chill day, but.
He had to talk to Randy about it sooner or later. Kamal checked his watch.
They were supposed to meet up at 2pm. Randy was late.
'Did he somehow find out..? No...he'd have to be a mind reader to find that out. I…. I just gotta be gentle and mindful of my tone.' Kamal proceeded to rehearse what he would say, in his head dozens of times.
Randy was so giddy, that he was practically skipping down the sidewalk. He was counting the ways that he'd express himself to Kamal. Was today the day? Maybe not. Maybe it was his impulsivity. His mind was already thinking of a poem he'd maybe send over MSN.
'Like Tantalus of the ancient world
I saw nothing but fruits too high out of my reach
But you fell within my grasp and showed me flavors
I had only dreamed of
Would it be foolish to want to treasure you for myself?'
Yeah maybe that sounded nice. Hopefully Kamal knew Greek mythology, or else that would fall flat. His heart raced, seeing Kamal in his summer leisure wear.
Kamal had his hair pulled back in a small pigtail. Wore a loose-ish tank top that at the right angle...gave Randy a nice view of that bare possibly sweaty chest-WHICH HE WASN'T LOOKING AT.
His face felt warm from either the handsome man in front of him, or the heat.
“Hello Kamal! So sorry I took too long!” Randy nervously chuckled.
Kamal laughed a little. “No its fine. I went on a jog before meeting you.”
“Right..Right.” Randy sat down next to Kamal, feeling his heartbeat fast and furiously. “So...do we have any idea on what we are going to do..? I have some suggestions..maybe.” Randy fidgeted with the end of his shirt.
‘Its okay ...just. Find the right time..’ Kamal thought to himself.
“Let's walk along the lake for a little bit.” He said getting up onto his feet, waiting for Randy to follow him.
Randy made sure to keep his pace matched to Kamal’s. Since he had a better look at Kamal’s face, it was clear something was on his mind. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to see that Kamal was nervous about something too. It was hard to assume the best, but he was already dreading that Kamal already knew.
Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Randy glancing at him now and then. The silence was very telling. Kamal tried to distract himself by looking at the lake. There were some geese swimming around and honking loudly. It made Kamal smile just a little bit, until he imagined Habit at the water’s edge trying to feed them with bread. Smiling that dumb goofy grin-
‘FUCK!’ Kamal’s face heated up and he groaned.
“Are you okay???”
‘Shit.’ Kamal wanted to swan dive into the lake out of embarrassment.
“I uh...Just thought of something. Don’t worry about it.”
Randy raised his brows in concern. “Kamal. Something is obviously eating at you. I’m your pal, you can trust me.”
Could he really? Was he really just getting mixed signs and Randy just wanted to be his friend after all? Would talking about it make the situation worse? What if it ruined their relationship? Would Randy blacklist him after that?
Kamal just froze in place, looking off into nothing as his breathing sounded shallow. It was obviously a sign that his anxiety was about to swallow him whole. Randy reluctantly took Kamal’s arm and guided him over to the grass, to sit down.
“Easy breaths chum. Slow it down.” Randy sat beside Kamal, watching him bring his legs close to his chest while breathing.
Kamal felt like the world was going to implode on him. He could have just died right there. Yet there was Randy still sitting there with him, talking him through the attack. It made Kamal feel more guilty for not crushing on Randy back. Randy deserved much better than him. There was this awesome guy next to him, but yet his brain was fixated on someone else. Why. Why??? WHY?!
He gripped his own hair, slightly pulling it out of its pigtail.
“I’m not...supposed to be like..this.” Kamal hiccuped between his words.
“Like what…?” Randy tried his best to not pry, but his concern was overwhelming. Kamal was having an anxiety attack and Randy felt helpless.
He didn't know how to help or what caused it. All he could do is sit and watch Kamal unwravel himself.
After a few deep breaths, Kamal raised his head to Randy. His eyes still leaking with tears.
“You’re gay right..?”
That heavily caught Randy off guard. His brain didn’t have enough time to react, his mouth just tried to move on its own.
“Y ...Yeah I am.. Why?”
He was already bracing himself with the worst response he could get. Homophobic slurs, spit slung at his face, maybe a punch. He had been through this song and dance before.
“Okay…” Kamal looked over and mentally kicked himself in the teeth. Randy looked so tense because of what he said. Good lord this was harder than he thought.
“Randy. I’m gay too.”
Randy untensed his muscles, widening his eyes in surprise. “You...You are?! Agh, sorry I didn’t mean to shout but uh. I...couldn’t tell. Wait that sounds stereotypical sorry I was supposed to mess up this badly! I’m just so floored-”
There it was. The excitement he had to kill with his dumb words. Randy didn’t deserve a relationship where his boyfriend faked loving him, but breaking his heart almost felt worse. “Randy. I’m...I’m sorry. I’m so sorry..” He hid his face between his knees again, choking on tears.
“..? Kamal what is this about-”
“I-I-I got vibes from you that...you like me.”
Oh. Oh damn. It was more obvious than he realized. Randy could already feel himself sweating, but for the first time; it didn’t feel good. He bit his lip and sat on his hands.
“Yeah. I. Do.” He said while looking away from Kamal’s eyes.
The silence made him nervous enough to look back, just to see Kamal’s reaction.
Kamal’s eyes looked so clouded. Almost as if he was completely numb at this point.
“The worst part is. I should like you like that Randy. You’re more charming than you realize. That’s why I was mad at myself. Am I not really gay because I don’t like you???? I’ve only ever crushed hard on one guy before.” Kamal looked at the grass under him.
“I think I’m still pining for him...despite everything in the universe hinting that he would be nowhere ready for that… You..deserve so much better than me Randy.” Kamal stopped when Randy got oddly quiet.
What was he supposed to say to all of that? He didn’t know Kamal well enough to reassure those negative thoughts. Kamal clearly wasn’t homophobic. This was unlike any other rejection he had ever gotten.
“Randy I..I did mean it when I wanted to be your friend..Please believe me.” Kamal straightened himself up and tried to scoot a little closer to Randy.
Randy didn’t look at him. He couldn’t think. He wanted to say so many things at Kamal, beg, plead, yell. None of those options would help him, but his brain was screaming at him to do something. Words just couldn’t escape his mouth.
“I….Need some time alone...sorry.” Randy got up and started to walk away.
He knew this wouldn’t help Kamal feel any better. Neither of them would. However, him being stuck, anxiously nonverbal? That would make things so much worse. He just knew it. His mind was already starting to torment him. He didn’t want to continue walking.
He just wanted to lie down and not move for a while. Why couldn’t he be normal and just adapt to the problem as it happened???????
As usual. What he wanted wasn’t best. Maybe the feelings that overwhelmed him, would leave soon. All he could do was pilot himself to his apartment building.
Kamal sat there, in a ball, too tired to cry more. He laid himself onto his back and just stared at the swaying trees above him. The geese distantly honking happily amongst themselves. Nothing around him felt real. Just foggy images. Lying to Randy in any capacity, wouldn’t have helped. Yet the ‘what-if’ scenarios came flooding in Kamal’s mind.
Why did it have to be like this..?
Kamal looked at the clouds above him and in a hushed tone lamented,
“I just...wanted to be friends…”