Gabriel’s boyfriend had a tongue that bit. Gabriel let it bite, hardly noticed the teeth sink in until he believed their lies.
“You shouldn’t eat that.” He said. “You’re big enough already.”
Gabriel put down the muffin he was holding. His stomach growled like a dog being denied a treat.
“I love you just the size you are.” He reminded him with a pat on the wrist. Gabriel held his hand across the table and ignored the pang in his heart.
“Don’t wear that.” He snorted. “It makes you look huge.” He undid the buttons on Gabriel’s shirt and smoothed it off of his shoulders. Gabriel smiled at Him and nodded even though he felt like curling up into a ball. His hands found Gabriel’s waist and pinched at the fat there. “You’ve been eating too much.” Gabriel nodded again, tears wanted to come. “You’re so lucky I still love you.”
“Don’t put your hair like that, Gabriel.” He scolded, like Gabriel was a child. “It makes you look ugly.”
Gabriel put down the hairspray and let Him fix his hair in the way that He wanted. Once it was done, He grinned that grin that reminded Gabriel how much prettier He was than him. “That’s better. Now I can see why I love you.”
“Don’t wear that.”
“Why are you eating that?”
“You need to lose weight.”
“What are those on your arms? Why would you do that to yourself? I’m so disappointed.”
“Don’t wear short sleeves, you’ll embarrass me.”
Sam had been his best friend since college. Gabriel was lying if he said he hadn’t been crushing on him since then. But Sam was with Jess then, and Gabriel was with Him now.
“I’m here for you if you need to talk.” Sam said. He didn’t push when Gabriel said no. He nodded and stood back and kept his eyes off the long sleeves.
“I’m not angry at you.” Sam muttered when he found Gabriel at his doorstep after He saw the cuts. “This doesn’t make you any less of an amazing person.”
“Maybe you should leave Him.” Sam suggested one day softly.
“But He loves me.” Gabriel sobbed. “I can’t leave him like that.”
“But do you love Him? Does he make you happy?”
“Don’t grow a beard, you look awful.”
“Don’t eat when you’re there, you don’t need to gain more weight.”
“Do you love Him?” Sam asked again.
Gabriel shook the tears from his eyes.
“Do you want to leave him?”
Gabriel nodded as though his life depended on it.
Sam told him so many times that it wasn’t his fault that he’d fallen into that relationship. Gabriel finally began to believe him. He had a panic attack the first time they kissed, he had to remind himself again and again that this was Sam. And Sam thought the world of him. Sam kissed his scars and the pudge on his belly and shared the last slice of cake with him and took him clothes shopping and bought him the most beautiful skirt and the most form fitting shirt. Sam didn’t make him take his clothes off at the beach or during sex but when he did he kissed his exposed skin and told him he looked wonderful.
Sam made him feel like he was the light of his life, even on days where all Gabriel could hear were His words.