I can't believe it's Wednesday again. The week goes so fast, and this week's been a doozie. My son broke his foot at school last Wednesday, at least we think he did. Because of the growth lines on his bones it wasn't possible to tell if he'd broken it, so they've just strapped it up and we have to wait until the x-ray report comes back for them to know. In the meantime he's on crutches - and he's not the most graceful of people at the best of times. He's about the most uncoordinated person I know. He's only 13 but 6ft tall now with huge feet Not fun
This week I chose the kitten, just because I could. It was a bit of a strain but I managed to get it in, because I just adored the picture
When Robin heard the steps across the landing, he shivered. Taking a deep breath, he let it out in a sigh at the tentative knock.
For a moment, Robin couldn’t speak, then he croaked, “come in,” cursing that it came out as a croak.
Cyan shuffled over the threshold, his head down. There was something undeniably endearing about the way he plucked nervously at the sleeves of his shirt.
“Hey,” Robin said, and Cyan looked up, biting his lip.
“I’m sorry,” Cyan said.
“You’ve got nothing to be sorry about.”
“Yes I do.” He went on in a rush. “I should never have done it, but it felt so good. I knew it was wrong, and that something bad would happen, but I— It felt so— It was like you were my real boyfriend.” He took a deep breath and blurted, “like you’re not ashamed of me.”
“Ashamed? What are you talking about? I’m not ashamed of you.”
“Then why did you run away?” Cyan asked, looking confused.
Robin’s chest hurt. A sharp pain shot through him. Was this how it felt when your heart broke? “You thought— You really thought I ran away because I was ashamed of you? Why would you do that? Why would you think…?”
“I’m not— I know I’m not…like other people. And I know I can be…embarrassing. I don’t really know what I did. Well, yes I guess I do. I was holding your hand in public.” Cyan seemed unsure, as if he wasn’t certain he’d got it right. “People saw us. People know…about me. You know, the way I am. That I’m not…normal. They can tell. I know that. It’s okay. We’ll be boyfriends in secret.”
“Cyan…. You know why I have a problem with being open. It’s not because I’m ashamed of you. You know that. It’s because…because I’m not ready for people to know I’m…. To know about me – not you.”
“Yes, I know that. I do. I know you’re not ready but…. When you are…. It’s happened before. More than once. Even with people who do know. Know what they are, I mean. I was afraid this would happen. Then when it did—”
“I don’t know what you mean. You said you understood. You said you understood how I feel about being— about people know I’m— about us.”
“I do, but— I didn’t think… Last time. When I got hurt. There was someone. I though he…. I thought he would stay. He wasn’t afraid of people knowing he’s gay, but he was afraid of people knowing he was with me. They teased him. Called him names. Said the only boyfriend he could get was a defective one. He looked at me like….” Cyan dropped his head again. “Like he was ashamed of me. He left me. I was alone. They…they didn’t hurt me because I’m gay. They hurt me because I’m gay and…and not…not…right.”
Robin felt sick. How could anyone do that? To Cyan? To his beautiful angel? Without realizing what he was doing, he got to his feet and strode across the room to take a shaking Cyan into his arms.
“Oh God, I’m sorry. I didn’t run because I’m ashamed of you, Cyan, I swear it. I’d never be ashamed of you. You’re beautiful, and sweet, and sexy, and…and...brave. You’re awesome. I ran away because those boys—”
“They were mean but— It was the way you looked at me, Robin. You looked at me as if you hated me. That’s when I knew you were ashamed of me.”
“But I wasn’t. I thought I’d explained. I wasn’t ashamed of you. I was just scared.”
“I know that now, but that’s not what I knew then.”
Robin gazed into Cyan’s face and realized something. He was never going to understand Cyan, not really. Cyan’s mind worked in such a different way. He’d have to be careful, to make sure as far as he could that Cyan really understood what he was saying; what he meant.
“I’m sorry, Cyan. I really am. I wish I could say that it does’t matter – what those boys said; what they did. I wish I could say that I’ll walk out with you right now, hand in hand. That I’ll tell everyone in the world how lucky I am to have a wonderful boyfriend like you – but I can’t. Not yet. And that’s not your fault.”
“I know that – now.”
“I wish I could see the world through your eyes,” Robin said. “I wish I could think like you. Just for a bit”
Cyan’s jaw went slack. He stared and tears sprang to his eyes. Robin was scared he’d said the wrong thing again. But Cyan was smiling.
“No one’s ever said that to me before,” he said, in a choked voice. “No one’s ever said they want to be like me. They’ve always tried to get me to think like them; to be like them. Do you really want to? Do you really want to know what it’s like to be me?”
Robin paused. Did he? He stared into his boyfriend’s beautiful eyes. They were so full of hope. “Yes,” he said. “Yes I do. I want to know everything I can about you, so I never, ever make you feel like that again. So you’ll never think for one minute I’m ashamed of you. So you know that I— That I really care about you. So tell me. Tell me what it’s like to be you.”
They sat down on the bed, and Robin watched Cyan search for the right words. His face was so expressive as he put the ideas and words together. It was so endearing, so…Cyan. One of his mother’s favourite sayings sprang to mind – cute as a kitten. Cyan was definitely kitten-ish at times. Something inside Robin that he’d been holding tight closed began to open, and he thought. Maybe it won’t be so bad after all.
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