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Isn't strange that you're not here with me?

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Isn't strange that you're not here with me

(?)

As the time passes many things change... We change adresses, phone numbers, favourite shows,  even us can change! But what's changing? Winning? Losing? Both? But what can we lose or win? Everything? Nothing? Can we lose ourselves? Well, I don't have a clue, or maybe I do, when we lose something we gain something else, or maybe we don't. But what about feeligs? Can we win and lose feelings? I can't really give you an exact answer but I'm sure that when we can't just lose the feeling of "love". You just can't stop loving that person and if you do, you never loved that person. If you love someone, nor time nor the distance will ever change that feeling. If you eventually lose that feeling, that fire that burns in your chest, sometimes unbearably painfully, you have probably lost yourself. If you did stop loving, soon you're nothing but an undesired memory in someone's broken heart. As I said, I might have an answer, in the day we find ourselves without the need of something else, the desire of winning something else, that will be the day we'll stop losing, that will be the day you're finally happy with yourself and with everyone around you. Will that ever happen to me? To you? To us? Probably not, but who are we to say that that can't happen? Let's just faith decide, or maybe we shouldn't let him decide, maybe we should be the ones that decide ourown future. Is that wrong? Is that right? I don't know, do you? If not, just let me write.

~~~

 

For some, there was nothing worse than the national team break... Injuries, not getting to see your team play, boring games, urgh, what a nightmare, a two weeks nightmare! Well, for Francisco Alarcón it was nothing like that. Francisco always liked the national team breaks... he get to be with some friends he could only see in that time or in the vacations, he get to travel, which he loved, and he gets to relax a bit, you can't compare the stress at Real Madrid with the stress at the Spanish National Team. He loves his friends at Real Madrid but he spent the whole year with them, he only got to spend time with his national team mates on those tiny breaks, which was obviously not enough, after all, they are for Francisco his second "family". Though, there was one more reason for him to love the national team break so much: he got to be with his boyfriend, Álvaro Morata, that's currently living in Italy, playing for Juve. They were having a long distance relationship, or at least they were trying... They met in the 2013 summer in the sub-21 Eurocup but they only admited to themselves that they were in love with each other a few months after Isco signing for Real Madrid (Álvaro's club), thing that only happened because Álvaro insisted that he had to sign for Madrid, that he would love it! He couldn't be more right, Isco was very happy in Real Madrid that season, it felt like a dream to play in the best club in the world with the person he loved the most, Isco wondered himself many times if he wasn't really dreaming, sometimes he thought that he didn't deserve to be so lucky.

Unfortunately, things weren't going so well for Álvaro... he loved Real Madrid, he loved to be with his boyfriend (there was nothing in this world he liked more) but... he was not happy with his playing time. He knew he had the talent to shine in any club, even at Real Madrid, but back then there were better players at the club that he considered that deserved more playing time than him, that was obvious to him and for everyone. So he made the decision of his career: he signed for Juventus. Isco and Álvaro cried together before he left, they knew that everything was about to change and they were not ready to accept that. At first, Isco didn't want Álvaro to leave, he didn't want to lose his boyfriend, but after a lot of talking Francisco understood that it was the best for Álvaro, that it was the chance Álvaro had to be happy in the football world, even if it wasn't with him, there was nothing that let him happier than to see Álvaro happy, he always loved the way he smiled, not the smile for the pictures, but the smile he made whenever he saw him after a long day, the way he smiled with his eyes, only that thought could make Isco's heart warm a bit... They made love in the night before he left for Italy and promised that their love would be eternal, that it was just a phase and that Álvaro would return home soon and that he would be a starter at Real Madrid... Again, the future didn't smile them back. Even though Álvaro made a good season for Juve Real Madrid didn't try to sign him back and he was only called for Spanish National Team once(!) It was a really tough season for both of them who couldn't help to be jealous when the fandoms shipped them with other football players from their squads, it was totally irrational but it was stronger than them, deep down they only felt jealous because those "assholes" (from thei point of view) get to spend time with their loving one while they couldn't, it was just unfair! The worst part about being in a long distance relationship is obviously the lack of contact, even though they could see each other and listen to each other thanks to all the technology we have at our disposal... They skyped almost everyday and they were always texting each other, sometimes it even felt like they were still together but... it was not the same and as much as tried to pretend it was they knew it wasn't. A relationship is not the same without feeling your lover's skin, his warm, his body above yours... it's just not the same.

This season was not being any different... Juventus signed a new striker named Paulo Dybala and as soon as he saw him he knew that his season would be a fucking hell again. Only a few weeks after his signing there were already fangirls being fangirls. Isco already expected it but everytime he saw pictures of them so (too) close he felt so envy, not envy like he felt the last season when Álvaro was always with Fernando Llorente, he knew that Fernando intentions towards Álvaro were not bad, after all, they were all friends and Fernando knew about them, Isco new nothing would happen between them. About Dybala... he couldn't be so sure, he didn't knew him! But everytime he saw a picture of them he felt so jealous, so so jealous, and as much as he didn't like to admit it, it was because they reminded him of what Álvaro and he were and were not anymore, he could see it just in the way they look at each other. Isco didn't complain though, he didn't want things to be like they were last season when Álvaro were jealous of James and Toni (Isco found it ridiculous back then but now he understood him perfectly) and things got very ugly, it was by far the most tough part of last season, they almost broke up for good. Isco couldn't let that happen again, so, he let everything to himself.

The season went slowly but finally October arrived with the best new for this couple: they were both called for Spanish National Team! They were both so happy to see each other again, they haven't been together since pre season and they couldn't be more excited! Isco was the first one to know and as soon as he knew he called his boyfriend, he got hyped right away, not only because he got to be with Isco but also because he would have a chance to shine for the national team.

As soon as they see each other they hugged tightly (they couldn't kiss because the press and because not everybody knew about them, only the closest friends or the ones who caught them making out), they felt so happy. The thing Álvaro liked te most about their relationship was that he could spend a year without seeing Isco that when they'd be together it wouldn't be awkward at all, in fact, they'd be even happier to see each other. At first they spent some time with their friends at national team and caught up a little, only then Isco remembered that he wasn't te only one that was away from Álvaro that long. It took some time but they were finally alone in their bedroom (they shared a room like they always did). Isco started kissing Álvaro right away, so softly and shortly at first but as the time passed the kisses grew and became more passionate, Álvaro returned the kisses and even moaned once in a while to Isco. It felt so good to be together again... Álvaro let himself fall on one of the beds and they resumed the making out, only stopping to take off the close that was only bothering. Isco was on top of Álvaro and he couldn't be happier, he missed the feeling of the short man weight on him. They just made out, they were saving it for later when they had more time to be together to do whatever they wanted to do. They started to dress each other and they were about to leave the bedroom when Isco said something he would regret later:

"I bet I kiss better than Dybala" he sai with a teasing smile" he said and as soon as he said that the smile that was on Álvaro's face faded away right away.

"What?!" Álvaro said angry, what was he talking about?

Isco kept smiling.

"Don't I?"

"What the fuck Isco! I never kissed Paulo! But I can also bet that James' skin is softer than mine" he said and now he was the one who was smiling.

"He has baby ass skin that's not a fair comparison" Isco sat down in the bed and hold Álvaro's left hand. "Look Álvi, I'm sorry, it's hard to see you with Pa... that asshole, it's a daily reminder of what I can't do!" he said with a sad smile.

"To do what?" Álvaro asked, now surprised with his lover confession.

"To be with you. To see how you are, to be able to touch you, to comfort you, fuck, just to see the glint in your eyes!" Isco said and without noticing it, tears blurred his vision

"Oh yeah? See what he can't do that you can." Morata said and kissed him passionately. "I know it's hard but we're going through, no distance will ever separate us." Álvaro said and hugged his boyfriend who sniffed.

"Let's just enjoy the time we have" he continued.

They stayed that way until they heard a knock on the door.

"Hey assholes! Stop making out and come with me to pratice." Nacho yelled nervously but at the same time teasingly from the other side of the door.

"We're going!" They said at he same time and kissed one last time.

"Come on, fucker" Álvaro said and grope Isco's ass like only he could. "We have to work hard if we want to play in the uncoming match and be in the Europe Cup!"

"You're right, let's do this together" he said and he openned the door.

 

~~~

 

The national team was being perfect for both of the young men. They enjoyed themselves the most. They trained, hang out with their friends and still managed find some time to date. Everything was perfect, too perfect perhaps... It all ended when Álvaro got injured against Luxembourg, not a serious injury but an injury that forced Álvaro to came back to Turim. They easily won but that victory had a bittersweet flavour for everyone, especially for Isco, who saw his boyfriend for the last time when he entered in the airplane with destiny to Italy. Dark times were arriving or had they arrived long ago?

 

~~~

 

The following weeks were not easy for anybody. The first days were not hard at all, they could still feel each others warm, it felt like they were still there. They texted all day long and at night they skyped. Simple. Not the perfect relationship but it was the best they could do. As soon as the absence got unbearable the stress and the emotions came up, It all started in a calm evening when Paulo replyed for Álvaro, saying that he went to the toilet. What the fuck was that asshole doing at Morata's at those hours?! Of course Isco got mad and Álvaro told him to chill, that it was not a big deal and that Isco should stop being jealous, adding that he had no problem about James staying at Isco's sometimes. That pissed Isco so much because that was not true, Álvaro was the most jealous boyfriend at the face of the Earth, he even got jealous of Jesé, what was insane and ridiculous for Isco, they both knew Jesé had a girlfriend... Resuming, they had a huge fight where they both said things without any sense: Isco blamed Álvaro for the distance between them and Álvaro accused Isco shamelessly of cheating, result: they didn't communicate for days. They were both very stubborn but eventually Álvaro's birthday arrived and Isco gave up on being mad, he concluded that that wouldn't solve anything and that there was nothing more important than Álvaro, that he was his whole world and that he felt miserable in the days without hearing his voice saying those beautiful words only he could say, those words that warmed him as much as the touch of his skin. He posted a photo they took several time ago and wrote in the description a discreet text (after all he couldn't expose them for all the world) full of meaning. Isco was surprised when he didn't get a reply, he knew that they were mad at each other but he was waiting for a thank you (at least). Deep down he knew that he was hoping that perhaps Álvaro would forgive him after all. The day ended and he didn't get a reply, which made Isco angry but at the same time sad, without strength, he didn't reply to that picture and to the texts because everything was over, they were over.

Little did Isco know that Álvaro was clueless about those texts and the photo on Instagram. Why? I'll let you know... After the morning pratice Álvaro and Dybala were on the locker room changing when the second one came up with an idea. Dybala noticed that Álvaro was a bit off since the day he went to Álvaro's place, he could even say that he was sad and he didn't have to be a genius to understand that the things between him and Isco were not okay. Perfect timing to "attack". Dybala look for Morata since day one, he considered him an example and he found him the most nice guy on Juve's squad. Only later he understood that he didn't find him only very nice but also irresistible, he felt desire.

So when they were changing Dybala came up with an idea (a plan he was thinking since he saw Álvaro in the day after being at his place)

"Come on Álvi (only Isco called him that way), sheer up! It's your birthday, we gotta celebrate it!" he said excited.

"How..?" Said Álvaro with no interest, he just wanted to go home and see if Isco remembered his existence on his birthday, it was everything he cared at the moment back then.

"Lets reunite that squad and party until we can't!" he said even more excited now.

"Paulo.. sorry but I'm really not in the mood to parties, just wanna go home and celebrate the date with my family, we're having a lunch at my apartment. Thank you though" Álvaro forced a smile and patted his shoulder. "You're a cool lad".

"Not being in the mood only means you need it even more! Come on Álvi (he insisted on calling him that way, completly aware of the situation)! You can be with your family and party later, you really need to have some fun and it's perfect timing, even mister agrees on this one..." Paulo said and Álvaro frowned.

"You talked with the coach about this?!" he said with disbelief.

"Damn right I did! Come on Álvi, do it for yourself, please..." he said and came closer, holding Álvaro's right arm tightly like a little child.

"Allright" he eventually gave up, he couldn't stand to see Paulo like that, it reminded of Isco when he wanted something very much, he just couldn't say no to him.

Before leaving the locker room Dybala stole Álvaro's phone, he wouldn't let Isco ruin everything.

 

Paulo's plan went exactly how he wanted. In the next morning they were lying on Álvaro's bed. Last night was amazing (for Dybala of course), he got Álvaro drunk and then everything went his way, too easy he thought... What he was not expecting was Álvaro's reaction. As soon as he woke up his skin became very pale and he told Paulo to get out immediately, asking for forgiveness more times than those he could count, saying it was all his fault and that he shouldn't get that drunk. When Paulo finally left he just stood where he was, without moving or making any sound, like he was trying to hide the fact that he existed, like his existence was an insult to mankind. After several hours he made something: he started crying his eyes out. He became what he hated the most, a cheater. Things got worse when he saw Isco's post on Instagram and his apologies texts, he felt the worst person in the world. He reffused to reply to him because he felt like he didn't deserve to be with Isco anymore.

Weeks passed and November was close, soon they received the new that they were both being called by Del Bosque. None of them enjoyed that new, things between them were at least awkward, tension was awaiting them...

 Though Isco had a way to escape to that tension. El Classico was arriving and the responsibles of Real Madrid told him to fake am injury to train with the squad the whole week. Otherwise, he wouldn't play.

~~~

 

Pretend. It was all they do. They both pretend that the other was not there, that they were still miles away. They did everything they could do avoid each other existence but they both knew that they couldn't do that forever.

As usual, they were sleeping in the same bedroom. Tension. It was the only thing that was in that bedroom but it was enough to fill it, in fact, the room was so filled it was hard to breath. They were organizing their stuff in silence, occasionally looking at each other for too long, forgetting what they were doing for seconds, then, when they came back to reality, they resumed organizing their stuff when they should be organizing their stuff! They kept silent until they shared eye contact again. Isco started laughing.

"Why are you laughing?" Álvaro asked seriously.

"You're a dick, that's why! I don't know what I've seen in you all these years but right now I see nothing but a dick!" Isco said, laughing hysterically in that moment.

"What the fuck are you talking about?!" Álvaro asked offended.

Isco kept laughing, which made Álvaro's anger grow and grow.

"STOP LAUGHING FOR FUCK SAKE!!" Álvaro screamed but that only made Isco laugh more. He kept laughing and pulled his phone, then after some "searching", he showed the screen to Morata. Álvaro gone pale when he saw the picture on Isco's phone.

"How did you got this?" Álvaro asked worried.

"Are you kidding?! You're the one who sent me this. You sent me a direct message on instagram replying to the photo I posted on instagram in your birthday. I was flattered to be honest, you were... classu and original, I give you that..."

"I never sent you nothing! I swear to God Isco I..."

"Save it. Even if you didn't, I don't fucking care. I only care about the fact that you cheated on me days after accusing me of cheating. Fucking hypocrate..."

"I was drunk I would never do that, you know that!"

"The sad part is that I don't, I don't know anymore, I don't know you anymore"

"Isco don't say that. I'm still the one you met in 2013"

"I wished you were Álvaro... I wish you were..."

"Please Isco don't do this, who am I without you?!"

"This is not one of those lame movies we used to rent... The truth is that we should have broke up a long time ago, long distance relationship?! Where was my mind?!"

Álvaro couldn't stop crying, all Isco was saying was truth but he couldn't lose him.

"Isco, you may not believe me on this one, but I'm honest when I say I don't regret nothing, that no matter what I'll always love you. I know I ruined everything.. but, don't do this..."

"I'm not doing nothing" Isco said at least.

"What?!" Álvaro was not expecting that.

"You are"

"What will I do then. I'll do everything!"

"Will admit that you don't love me at all, that you never did, that it was all a lie. It will hurt much less, it will be easier. I'd rather hate you than loving you and pretending you love me back when you don't, you only love yourself!" Isco said and for the first time in those weeks he cried. He didn't cry until then. Not because he didn't want to, it was because he couldn't.

"Isco, I will never do that because I can't lie to you and you are completly aware of that. Saying that I don't love and that I never did would be the biggest mistake of my life, not only because it's a lie but also because I know you don't want to hear that. After everything we're still madly in love with each other and I don't intend to change that. I know it's hard Isco but we have to be strong and we can only remain strong if we stick together... otherwise, it won't be worth it, all the pain, all the sacrifice will be in vain. Francisco Alarcón, I fucking love you and even though the distance sucks that won't make us give up. Remember, our love is eternal." They were both crying by now, not only because they were completly devastaded but also because they didn't know what would happen. They remained silent for a while but once again Isco broke the ice.

"But... Álvi... when you're alone don't you think that isn't strange that I'm not there with you?"

"Isn't strange that you're not here with me? Yes, it is, but when I get to see the glint in your eyes I realize that it's worth to stay days without seeing them, the touch of your skin reward all the lonely and sleepless nights thinking about you and how much your presence would help me to keep on through. Yes Isco, it's strange to be without you, your absence is still weird to me after more than one year, you know why? Becausee it still feels like you're still here with me, you arre with me, I'll never be alone because I have you Isc. Fuck Kroos, fuck James, fuck Dybala, I just fucking love you and I know that you love me. Forgive me."

Álvaro expected some kind of reaction from Isco but he didn't move a finger.

"Sorry Álvaro, right now I need to think very well before making any kind of decision..."

"Think about what?"

"About us. You really hurt me this time and I' not sure if I can trust you anymore. Sorry" He said and left the room afterwards.

 

Hours later he was back in Madrid. Oh fuck times are hard...

He wanted to forgive Álvaro, so, he did, without telling him.

 

~~~

 

Three weeks later he was in Turim. He couldn't play because he got a red card in El Classico so he decided to take the step. At nine o' clock he was waiting for Álvaro in front of his building with a flower branch. He waited two hours for him but what were three hours compared with three months after all? Anyway, the waiting had completly worthed it since when Álvaro saw him he ran to him, tears in the eyes and the old glint back on his eyes.

"What are you doing here?!"

"Just came here to say hi. Oh, and to say that you were completly right. This is right but we're worth it. Lets keep trying, lets suffer more... But that's for later, right the only thing I want is to enter in your apartment, it's fucking freezing!" Isco said with a huge smile on his face, the most genuine in the last year.

"Oh sorry let's come inside!" Álvaro said jumbled. "Oh.. and..." he kissed him, it felt so good to kiss him again. Suddenly they were kissing in the middle of the street, not caring about who could see them.

"Lets come inside, I can't do what I wanna do to you here" Álvaro said teasing, with fire on his eyes (it had beens a while). Isco smirked and obeyed, like a good boy he is.

They made love and afterwards they cuddled. When Álvaro felt assleep Isco grabbed his phone and sent a private message to Dybale with a selfie of them saying "SURPRISE MOTHERFUCKER!" with many emojis. Isco found himself ridiculous but at the same time  he couldn't stop smiling. He was happy, really happy.