Pran had been balancing himself on his toes and heel, going back and forth again and again, biting his lip and hands running on his phone impatiently. Being back in the university doesn't feel so good. He sees young students walk to their classes and feels out of place. Some of them look so young, like they're barely sixteen, after all not everyone matures in the first year.
It feels uncomfortable, being at a place he's not associated with or practically has nothing to do with. If a teacher walks past him, they wouldn't even recognize him, except his math teacher maybe, he had a perfect score anyway. Not a single classmate of his is gonna be around, not even if they had failed a class or two.
He's twenty seven year old now. Long gone from his days of university, and now stands here to meet with a friend who's studied their way into an assistant professor currently. Only problem left is, they don't seem to be anywhere around. Before he can wonder more, his phone buzzes and he sees a text from his boyfriend.
Where are you?
I informed you last night.
I'm meeting Ben.
Where's the food
Pran bites his lip and stops himself from sending a long text, finger hovering over his keyboard before he's interrupted. "Hey, playing hard to get now?" The voice is neither low nor high pitched, manly all the same, wide shoulders and round eyes stare at him with amusement playing on his face.
"I'm sorry.. who are you?" He steps back a little, baffled at the man stepping so close to him like he knows him, does he? No. He has a bag slung over his shoulder. The boy is a college student. There's no way he knows him. "Well, you were staring at me for the pat ten minutes. Don't think I wouldn't notice? Looked away just when I looked back and then pretended to be busy on your phone."
The smug smile and confidence in his voice is almost enough to decieve someone and question their actions back. "Just because i was looking in your common direction doesn't mean I'm interested in you. I'm waiting for someone here, who's not you." He makes it clear to the young man, turning away just when his phone rings.
Shit. It's Wai.
There's no food made. Then just make it yourself. He bites back the urge to say it. Wai makes him act like he's supposed to take care of his boyfriend like a child. It's bad enough he earns for them, cooks for them, cleans for them and does their laundry.
He deserves some credit right? Or at least thankfulness? He thinks he does. It's not easy after all, everyday watching your partner laze around on the couch as you run through your day to make everything perfect. And now on his free day, where his friend has apparently ditched him, he's called back because Wai is mad again.
And there's a college student chasing him. "You'll be lucky I don't press charges on you for following me." He says and then sprints faster. The more time he takes, the worse it will be today. "I told you I'm not! I really need to go here and I'm just lucky you need to move in the same direction. I wasn't kidding that you're cute before, you're super cute and if you want to-"
He stops and sighs, there's no getting out of this any other way. "Listen, and I'll say it just this once. I'm not interested. And furthermore, I have a boyfriend. So no, I'm not available. Please hit on someone your age and find someoen good." He finishes before he sprints away again. The boy keeps standing in his place but Pran's head is full of worries to think about that.
Turning a person down isn't destroying their life anyway, even if it did give him an ego boost he feels more anxious at the thought of someone liking him than anything.
"Wai I'm not a fucking child! You can't keep cutting off everyone in my life because you don't trust them for me. I love you and I appreciate you but your role doesn't decrease just because I talk to two other people besides you, I'm human after all." Their voices get louder and louder as they quarrel and he only fears the lady next door will come knocking on their door again telling them to keep it low.
His partner is red in anger, "Well it IS decreasing, you're fighting me for someone as irrelevant as that. How do I know you're not cheating on me huh? Pran, is that it? One person is giving you attention and you're immediately jumping on the opportunity."
"No that's not it for fuck's sake how could you say that to me."
"And how could you ditch me to go with that douchebag! I'm allowed to be suspicious I'm your boyfriend. You didn't even bother preparing me a meal!"
"Yes because you're literally coming from hanging out with friends. And you can make your own goddamn food."
"So that's what it is about? Me not working?"
Pran only sighs and feels a headache climb in. "How did you even conclude that-" but he's shut up with the expression Wai has, he's terrifying right now. And the next coming minutes are gonna be shouts and screams of curses and mean, hurtful words. He knows it all too well.
Pran sits on the floor, back against the bedside as he's curled up in himself, hands around his legs that seem to have given up and head hanging low, resting on his knees for support, trying to block out the noise with his hands but it doesn't go away. He can't ignore it and shut himself out from the present, no, he has to endure it and it almost makes him want to start crying there and then.
"Open the fucking door Pran!" The voice shouts at him again and he collects himself, screws in his head spinning to think if he wants to let the man outside in or not. "I'm gonna count to five nicely.. and this door better be open when I'm done."
There it goes again. That's the final word for him and he moves to open the door, even in his tired state he rushes to unlock it at 'two', stepping back as the door slams open, angry eyes looking in his own. He feels suffocated. He wants to run. Run away from here, anywhere, even on the road or in a park, doesn't matter if he gets chased by a guard being mistakened as a drunkard.
No. He's wrong. He shouldn't be thinking this way, if his boyfriend is angry then he's angry for a reason.. right? He can't find himself to make sense with the way Wai is staring at him, his gaze harsh like a parent, Pran almost feels like a kid again, under the disapproving gaze of his mom and dad after he broke the window with his football.
Except he would forget it back then and continue playing the next day. Now, he's stuck in a loop of a draining cycle that ends up with Wai screaming at him and scolding him like he's a total fuck up. Maybe he is. Maybe that's why nobody wants him.
"You make it so hard for me to love you, you know." his boyfriend says, in a surprisingly calm but disappointed voice. "I don't know how to deal with you, we had a simple rule, a delightful routine that I made in both of our interests and you still can't do even that much?" Pran bites his lip to stop the sob that dares to rise. "What if I left right now huh? Then what are you going to do? Should I?"
It makes him jolt his head up, previously lifeless eyes running on the floor now searching for his boyfriend's. "You wouldn't.. Wai you wouldn't leave me." he doesn't know why he sounds this weak and unsure, he's not really. Come on, speak up, a voice tells him but as he sees the retreating feet he can't do anything but chase after them, hugging the other close.
"Please. I'm sorry, I'm sorry for ruining everything like I always do. Don't leave me Wai.. please." He's barely hanging on, clutching the other man's white shirt when arms wrap around him to pull him closer to the sturdy chest. "We would've never had so much problem if you had just realized before."
Like always, he finds himself apologizing for pointing out his boyfriend's obvious attempts to flirt with a random girl, him dropping jobs because he "doesn't feel it" right now and having Pran at his beck and call to do things for him like he's a child.
Every month ends like this, he bottles and bottles all the jealousy, pain, exhaustion and just gives and gives all of him to Wai who continues to take every ounce of his energy, love and care only to toss it aside like it has no value. Then he always talks about pulling out of this relationship.
'But who would want you if not me Pran, just.. look at you. You're a mess, heck, you're worse than dating a college student. Stop crying already.' Wai's voice rings in his head, he's right. Even Pran doesn't know how long he's been this way, scattered and lonely and emotionally drained.
As far as he remembers, he's always been like this. Since he realized he likes boys. Since he started dating in high school, since Wai shut everyone out after his first boyfriend left him heartbroken. And then Wai became his whole world. At first, he was like a wall protecting him from all the negativity and hurt of the world.
But then the wall became immovable and he became detached, from everyone. All his life centered around one person that knew everything about him, things he wanted to share and things he didn't want to share. Now it was a room he was trapped in, with no way out. There was nothing inside and yet, the outside felt just as empty, like there was no point in trying to escape.
Did he even want to? And if he did, where would he go? He had no one in this world except Wai, the Wai who loved him and the Wai who hurt him. He doesn't know if he wants to never separate from the man or if he would sell his soul to be away from him forever. His emotions are conflicting, tonight as there's distance between them, both bodies far away on the mattress, he feels the cold and inconsistency in their relationship.
But he knows, just tomorrow as he will wake up to the butterfly kisses on his neck and the handsome face staring down at him with all the love in the world, he will melt and his icy covering will be gone again, falling into his boyfriend's arms. He knows tomorrow they will be on the same mattress again, so close that their will be no space left and he will feel the security and faith in them.
It's a fool's game, Pran doesn't know how long he can take this but he leaves the questions on the future, he falls asleep, eyes heavy. Right before his eyes closed, the handsome college student flashed before his eyes. Would anyone besides Wai really want me?
Unsurprisingly enough, they make up the very next day. He doesn't know how all his strong resolve of not wanting to see Wai's face seem to just vaporise. Maybe because the man had apologised so lovingly, eyes holding so much hurt and pain, he looked like he'd had his worst night. Pran couldn't bring himself to saying he forgives him. He can't stop himself as the "I'm at fault" escapes his mouth as well.
He doesn't know why he feels so relieved when he feels the kiss plant against the side of his head. The day goes slow like always but with Wai showering him with all the attention and love he craves, not letting him go for a single second as they melt into each other. Still, if he's had such a good day, why does he feel so empty.
He groans as his boyfriend slips out of him and collapses on him, Wai isn't too heavy but still, he doesn't like the idea of the man passing out on him with their sticky bodies. The man does roll off him, hugging him from the side and sending a kiss on his shoulder that makes Pran let out a giggly whimper. "Oh fuck, I missed you."
Wai always says that once they're done in bed like this, it's almost like he's drunk even though he isn't. He doesn't know if the man really misses Pran or Pran's body.
Or just a body.
Does he mean anything more than that? He wishes he does.