A random comic showed up in my feed that has the same general idea as this piece, so this seemed like as good a time as any to post it.
This is a random fic I threw together a month ago when I couldn’t sleep. It’s going to be the basis for a short visual novel project that I want to make at some point (see my attempt at sprites for it in the last post).
My original plan was to do this for nanoreno in March, but that seems unlikely now given my other commitments. We’ll see how that works out.
Obligatory warning for strong language and discussions of sex.
(For those of you following my series of YAGS fics, this is completely unrelated to those and the YAGS universe. So don’t worry about spoilers.)
At First Sight
Everyone has a soulmate.
It seems ridiculous to write that, even now. I mean, of course they do. It’s a fact as obvious as the sun rising every morning or the planet continuing to orbit the sun. Even babies, wide-eyed and babbling, stuck in their endless cycle of eating and shitting, somehow have an innate understanding of that fact as their mothers – and fathers; okay, it is the 21st century after all – drag them around on shopping trips to be poked and prodded and cooed over by strangers in the aisle of the grocery store. Even they, somehow, know this, and the lucky ones – the really, really lucky ones – are wheeled past one another between the rows of canned corn and dry pasta and then never leave each others’ sides again.
Everyone has a soulmate, and you’ll know the first time you lay eyes on them.
Okay, the second part is maybe a little less obvious. It’s strange then, maybe, that no one really talks about it. But it explained why I was sitting here, in a shitty run-down bar drinking watery tequila with one eye on the door and the other on the clock.
The dreams had started a few days ago. I was old – pushing 30 years, at that point – trying to deal with the fact that I was one of those unlucky few who would go their lives without that glimpse into the future that would help find that elusive them. Or her, anyway.
30 years old, trying to deal with the fact that fewer and fewer of my friends – really acquaintances because, let’s be real, no one really wants to be friends with a thirty-something-year-old guy still off on his own – sent wedding invitations each year, that stupid “plus one” staring at me from the crisp white cards, as if mocking me. That more and more of them were having kids of their own, eating and shitting and babbling their endless streams of nonsense.
What a load of crap.
So it was somewhat of a relief when I had the first dream, vague as it was. I wasn’t even sure it was a premonition at that point because, you know, no one really talks about it. Which seems silly because, hey, it happens to everyone, right? Thank god for the internet, at least.
But then I had it again, a little clearer the next night. And the next. And so on, until today when my bus home popped a flat, and I decided to walk, and in my infinite wisdom managed to screw up the route so badly that I ended up in front of this bar that I’d never seen before, staring at the dusty wooden letters above the rickey old door, and feeling a lump in my throat because I knew this place. I knew this place, and I knew that this was it.
I took another shot, noticing the bartender watching me – concern maybe? disgust? – and glancing over at the door again. I also knew that she was late. But, somehow, with that expectation, maybe she’d be here exactly when she was supposed to be?
The door shuddered open again, and my eyes darted back to it – when did I look away? – and she walked through.
More accurately, they walked through.
I started into their eyes, their arms around each other, their smiles fading as I watched and we watched and we knew. All three of us, somehow, knew.
“What the… fuck?”
We sat at a booth – although calling it that would be generous – awkwardly trying to look everywhere but each other, the butterflies in my stomach having given way to some deep, gnawing pain, instead, and my head spinning a bit more than I’d like, not just due to the knowing.
This was all wrong.
One of them, the blonde one, clears his throat and sticks out his hand.
“Hi. I’m, uh… I’m Tim.” He jerks his head toward the other guy, who’s trying his hardest to pick the cracking ends of the cheap linoleum tabletop to pieces. “That’s Matt. We, uh…”
The sound of a couple of glasses hitting the table sounds like a gunshot, and the bartender nods at us, quickly, before returning to his post. Tim’s hand hovers, awkwardly, and I grab it because, hey, it’s only polite, right? If only the damn walls would stop moving.
“What’s… what’s your…”
He nods, and I make the mistake of looking at him again, those blue eyes drawing me in, in the dream feeling like an oasis in the desert but now, somehow, threatening to drown me. I tear my gaze away from him and focus on the puddle of tequila in my shot glass.
“I’m not gay.”
The other guy, Matt was it?, laughs at that. It’s not even a particularly nice laugh, soft and pleasant – no, it’s rough, like nails on a chalkboard in the foggyness of my brain, and I know I should stand up and walk out of here, now.
“Funny, coming from a guy drunk on shots of tequila in a gay bar.”
“Matt. That’s not…”
“Hey, just pointing out the obvious.”
Tim bites his lip, fingers awkwardly drumming the table.
“We, uh. We should talk about this.”
“You’re supposed to be a woman.” The words come out, angrier than I intend, perhaps, and slurred from the booze, and Matt just stares at me, this stupid grin on his face as Tim takes a huge gulp of his drink. Then he’s laughing again, and I’m shaking my head. “No. Stop that, dammit. You’re supposed to be a woman. Emphasis on the ‘a’. As in one. Person. Also female.”
“That’s why we should talk about this.” He takes another gulp, the obnoxiously pink liquid sliding down his throat, and my eyes lingering, somehow, there and on the way his adam’s apple bobs as he does. “I, uh… we, I guess, uh… we all felt that, right? That knowing.”
“Babe, you’re stating the obvious again.”
He puts his hand on Tim’s arm, and I stare at it. In revulsion? Disgust? Why the hell was I feeling this way? I don’t want some faggot’s hand on my arm.
Must be the liquor talking.
“Well, it’s not exactly something people talk about. And, uh… not exactly something I expected to ever feel again, in my lifetime.”
“What, we don’t stare into each others’ eyes every night while you’re buried deep inside me?”
Tim turns red and stares at the empty glass in front of him, a drop of pink slowly running down the side.
“Is that supposed to make me feel better?” My stomach is outright revolting now, threatening to unleash its wrath upon the unsuspecting tile floor.
“Chris. Dude. I don’t know what this is either, okay? But we all know it’s right. So why don’t we…”
My stomach makes itself known, then, dumping its contents, the sickly stench of tequila and whatever crappy lunch I’d had that day permeating the air, and Matt is laughing again, and I want to tell him to shut up and walk away. I want to punch that stupid face and walk out of here and never see either of them again.
Instead, I take sips of the water he brings me, and let sleep take over.
I wake up in an unfamiliar bed, in an unfamiliar room, the pounding in my head and cotton in my mouth adding to the confusion. There’s a trashcan by the bed, and I grab it, dry heaving as my stomach tries, unsuccessfully, to rid itself of the emptiness inside it.
Tim walks in, a glass of water and some pills in his hand, setting them on the table and sitting on the bed, next to me.
I look at him, not entirely friendly, and he stares at the floor.
“You passed out. We weren’t sure where you lived or anything, so we brought you back here, instead.” He hands the glass and pills to me, still not meeting my gaze. “Nothing happened, if that’s what you’re asking. We just…” He bites his lip again. “We just wanted to make sure you were okay.”
I eye the pills warily, deciding they’re just painkillers, before downing them and half the glass of water. He watches me, and our eyes lock, neither of us able to look away until Matt erupts into the room, sees us, and starts laughing.
“Having a moment?”
“Matt, that’s not…”
“Hey, I want in on this too.”
He sits down next to Tim, an arm over his shoulder, smiling at me with that stupid grin on his face.
I shake my head, the light too bright and my head still pounding, and he laughs again.
“Dude. Ten shots? I’m not surprised. Also you should make sure you go pay the bartender tomorrow… we convinced him to start a tab for you, but he doesn’t exactly have a card for you, so we’re gonna be i…”
“Matt. We should let him sleep.”
“Where are we going to sleep?”
“Our couch pulls out, remember?”
“But babe. We…”
I shake my head, shimmying out from under the covers and feeling the unfamiliar carpet under my feet.
“That’s okay. I should, uh… get out of your hair, anyway.”
Tim bites his lip again and Matt shakes his head.
“Uh uh. You’re staying somewhere we can keep an eye on you, dude. Just maybe not exactly there.” I open my mouth to protest, and end up in the plastic haven of the trash can again. Matt just laughs, does an I-told-you-so, and kicks me out of the bed.
I end up on the couch, staring at the ceiling in the darkness, my stomach still doing flips but not angry enough to fight, anymore. There’s snoring coming from the other room, and I wonder if it’s Tim or Matt.
It’s oddly endearing.
No. It’s shit, and it’s annoying, and what the hell am I still doing here, lying on some stranger’s – no, strangers’ – couch with vomit on my shirt and the worst hangover I think I’ve had, ever?
No one has ever rejected their soulmate. At least, not that I’d ever heard. Then again, I’d never heard of anyone having two, either.
“I’m not gay.”
It comes out, softer and maybe a bit more hoarse than I’d like. But It’s comforting, somehow, to say it out loud to the darkness. And that slight comfort, or whatever, was enough to let me drift off to sleep.
So this is probably the part where you expect a sort of coming out montage, where I find my inner Cher, or RuPaul, or whoever, and start taking it in the ass from Tim and Matt, right?
Well, sorry to disappoint, because sexuality doesn’t work like that, no matter how much I may have wanted it to, or not wanted it to.
That’s not to say they didn’t try – I had a rather interesting, and honestly rather pleasurable, experience on the receiving end of some blowjobs. But straight is straight, and gay is gay, and there’s just something about another man’s lips wrapped around your cock that is an instant boner killer, you know?
So no, we didn’t get it on every night with hot threesomes that kept the neighbors up.
What we found, instead, was somehow even better than that – a sort of closeness and companionship that you can’t really describe with words. It was perhaps the first time I watched them having sex, seeing the way they looked at each other, and somehow getting caught up in the moment myself, despite not caring for the particulars; it was perhaps that time, and the way they also looked at me in their throes of passion or whatever, that made me feel like, somehow, this was where I belonged.
I’ll spare you all the gory details of our arrangement – suffice to say, arranging hookups with un-soulmated women wasn’t particularly difficult – but it somehow worked for us. A week after that fateful day in the bar, I broke my lease, packed up my shit, and moved in with them to their cramped little apartment in the middle of nowhere, and none of us have looked back since.
Well, no. I suppose there’s one thing I need to fix.
Everyone has a soulmate, and you’ll know the first time you lay eyes on them. But maybe not just one.