Finn walked home from work on the second of March. His surroundings passed by him unnoticed as he waded through his thoughts, his feet taking over navigation.
I can’t tell him. Not yet. I don’t know how he’d react.
He buttoned his jacket and stuffed his hands in his pocket.
I mean, he said there was someone he liked. It’s not like anything would happen. I’d just be troubling him. But, still… I want to take the chance. Maybe he’s… he doesn’t…
Finn’s mind reached another question. Does this mean I’m… gay?
He wondered about it.
Kieran is the only guy I’ve ever liked… and the only person I’ve ever liked. What does that mean?
He stopped walking, for a moment, his head ticking carefully.
I should stop worrying about it. Because, all I know is… I love him. That’s good enough.
He soon reached the apartments, still mulling over his options. He took his coat off, carrying it, and went up the stairs to the third floor, his travel a distant thought. As he approached his door, he stopped, his thoughts interrupted by something. He turned around, realizing Kieran’s door was open.
This is a familiar situation…
Then, he noticed the light in the hallway, as well as the breeze. Gazing up at the staircase, he realized the door to the roof was open.
Finn’s heart sunk, and he dropped his coat, running up the stairs.
“Kieran?” he shouted, looking around. He caught sight of him on the right side of the roof, standing a small distance from the edge. Finn’s heart raced as he ran towards him. “Kieran! Don’t!”
Kieran stood on the roof, staring at the distant buildings at the farthest reaches of the city. The air was bitterly cold, seeping through his clothes. He didn’t mind, since he’d only be out for a moment. Things were starting to look up, lately. He looked to the city for some inspiration, breaking in the middle of his painting.
As he stood, clearing his thoughts, he suddenly heard a shout. He started to turn, seeing Finn running at him. Quickly, he threw himself back, knocking Finn down with him. After regaining his thought, he picked himself up off of Finn. He was about to turn and yell at him when he felt Finn’s arms lock around his waist. He paused in surprise.
“Kieran, don’t kill yourself! Please! You told me you weren’t going to!” Finn shouted, his arms locked around Kieran’s waist.
“What…? No, I wasn’t going to kill myself…” Kieran said, looking over his shoulder at Finn.
“I don’t know what’s wrong, but, please, just talk to me… don’t do this,” Finn said, starting to cry.
“Whoah! Hey!” Kieran said, surprised. He turned himself, pushing back Finn. “Hey, look. I’m fine. Why are you freaking out so much?”
“Because I love you!” Finn shouted.
Finn’s face changed, suddenly alarmed at his own declaration.
“I… I mean, I didn’t mean to say that. I’m just… I was… oh god…”
Finn panicked. That was not supposed to come out. Shit. Shit, shit, shit. What now? He’s going to hate me. Why did I have to say that? That was stupid! That was so dumb! How did I screw that up so badly?
His thoughts sped by in mere seconds, when he suddenly snapped back to his senses as Kieran’s lips met his own. Everything stopped, for a moment. His head slowed down and his eyes widened. It felt like a decade. He felt jolted, shocked, paralyzed. He realized Kieran’s hand was on his face. It felt warm.
Just as suddenly, Kieran started to laugh, breaking away from Finn. His laughter got louder and stronger and he fell back, bracing himself with his hands. Finn stared at him in confusion.
“Why are you…?” Finn started to ask, his voice quiet and broken.
“Sorry, sorry, haha… I’m just really happy,” Kieran said, smiling wide. “I’ve never been this happy before in my entire life.”
Finn’s heart raced again. Everything went by so quickly, he couldn’t tell what was going on anymore.
“Why?” he asked, still dumbfounded.
“Haha, maybe I should’ve explained,” Kieran said. “I… wow, it’s still tough to say after pulling that stunt, huh?”
He regained himself after a moment and stood up, offering his hand to Finn.
“I love you, Finn,” he said. He smiled wide again. Finn grabbed his hand, and Kieran pulled him up.
“You okay?” Kieran asked. “I thought you were going to throw us both off the roof, so I kind of fell on you. Sorry about that.”
“No, it’s fine… I wasn’t really thinking straight…” Finn said, still in a daze.
“Heh. Seems like it,” Kieran said. They stood still for a moment, Finn’s hand still in Kieran’s.
“Oh, today’s your birthday, right?” Kieran asked. He reached into his jacket pocket for a plastic bag.
“I didn’t wrap it or anything,” he said, taking a book out of the bag. It was Finnegans Wake by James Joyce. “I noticed your copy was really worn out, and you seem to like James Joyce, so I thought I’d get you a new one. Plus, there was that time I was drunk and I kept calling you Finnegan… I thought that would be funny.”
Finn held the book, staring at its cover quietly.
“I’m also trying to work on that painting I owe you! I was having some trouble figuring out what to paint, but I think I have it now. I’ve done a bunch of preliminary sketches…” he said, scratching at the back of his head awkwardly.
“Thank you, Kieran…” Finn said. His eyes started to tear.
“Hey, you okay? I’m not gonna kill myself.”
“I know. I’m happy.”
“Ahh. Good,” Kieran said, smiling. He put a hand on Finn’s shoulder.
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