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Falling.

"What kind of party is this anyways?" I asked unsure over whether or not this was a wise decision on my behalf.

"Relax Mother Theresa, its just a bonfire! Some drinking and dancing, but that's about it. Trust me Mark, your mom won't find out. Now just sit back and enjoy," George exclaimed. The truth was, I had been looking forward to this party all week. I knew this would be my last chance to enjoy whatever remained of my youth, to finally escape from the clutches of my conscience. This party would be my solution and my way out. "If you say so, but just remember Georgy boy, if anything were to happen, I'm holding you accountable." I smirked at his mocking face, we knew this night was going to be changing and defining of who we were. We just didn't know how.

The car ride was entertaining enough, the full teenage experience with the Four loco's, the marijuana, and endless conversations of boys who "might" be interested in two queens like us. Me and Georgy passed through the suburbs and onto the open wilderness, past the forest, and arrived into a green haven. The cabin was surrounded by nothing other than pine trees, the place filled with the people I had grown up with. I exhaled relief, I knew this night would be grand, not just modern grand, but old Hollywood grand. I stepped outside, with a certain zest for life that was unattainable otherwise. "Look how the flames dance, almost as if we should dance along with it! Let's go Mark!" Georgy seized my hand. He was dragging my hand behind him like a chain behind a truck.

We arrived just in time, as the neon lights had just been set up and the DJ had began playing his beats, manipulating them into a hypnotic melody. I allowed the music to take a hold of me, to mold me to it's will. The flames leaping to the sky, as the beats hit the floor. Georgy began smiling, living the only way he knew how, through dance. As we did this, I began to feel sick, probably because of the "high" that we had given ourselves. "Georgy, I gotta sit this one out, ok? I'm feeling a little sick to be honest. Ill try and get there as soon as possible...or until I can no longer resist." He smiled, and nodded, acknowledging what i just stated. He turned and began to dance with a group of girls. My sight was camouflaging with everything, nothing seemed to be one single object. I was stumbling, reaching for a log on which to sit, I missed and fell. My restraint could no longer restrain itself any longer, and I let go, passing out on the outskirts of the party. Unnoticed, I lay there hearing the howls of the liberated, of the young, and of the carefree.

I awoke an hour later, the party still going on. I could hear the same people doing the same thing. Oddly enough, I felt better. I got up, and walked towards the illuminated part of this forest. I spotted Georgy talking to one of his exes, this obviously going to end up badly for me, I thought. I'm the one who has to listen to the crying and complaining after the romance shatters once again. Love was useless, and had no place in anyone's life. I thought about love, mostly because everyone around me was in couples. They had all uttered the words and done the deed, but what had I done? Nothing. Everyone seemed to dance with ignorant smiles plastered over there faces, willing to sacrifice whatever dreams they had to stay with that single man. Pathetic! Just as I was about to quit on the evening, Eve came up to me, "Mark! I didn't think you'd make it! You didn't bring along any books did you?" she too was mocking me, I had always been reading throughout my years in this town. Nothing ever so much as interested me, other than books. "Well I guess I took up your advice. Living it up, as you once stated! So girly, tell me what a gal like me has to do to have fun around here?" I still felt dizzy but decided I would try and ignore it with a vengeance. " Well for starters, you can eat. Child, you look sick. Come with me to the buffet, so any crushes lately?" her eyes were glowing with the eager excitement that only someone as pure and as innocent as she could bestow upon someone. I smiled in a daze of confusion, "No..I haven't. Why are you asking?" She was chewing on a gold colored crisp shrimp puff, which she spat out in all her excitement, "Word on the street is,You've been lusting after John! Who could blame you! He's eye candy and there's no shame in what you're doing! Admit it, don't give me that stoned look!" she was practically laughing, enjoying my misery as I heard my private thoughts blurted out by someone else! I quickly made an excuse and got away. There was no escaping the Scarlet frenzy overcoming me.

Of course, I had talked about John openly. I had openly gazed at him obviously across the room. I had tried everything in my power to get him to notice me. And yet, here I was regretting everything I had done. I was vulnerable, once again. I went inside the cabin and sat down on the couch, next to a couple who were at it like barbarians. I envied them, the way they could publicly show their affection without ridicule, without judgement, without fearing for their lives. I had boyfriends in the past, but all of them so scared for their safety that they stayed in their shells the entire time, knowing any action that would set them apart as "different" would ultimately lead to gay bashing. I was repulsed by how easy it was for them, so i said, " Ugh, Go back to the farm you pigs." They looked at me, muttered something homophobic and went away. I was awed by them, and sat there in solitude. I would glimpse at the floor, back at the party, and continue this cycle.Until..until I caught sight of a gentleman eyeing me. "Where have i seen him before? I'm sure I have. He's looking at me...as though..well as Scarlett O' Hara said "as if he knew what i looked like without my shimmy!" His admirer, was tall,lean, and dark. He had the complexions of an adult, a child's amusement in his eyes, and a youthful smirk on his face. He of course, was being very discreet, he was drinking and talking to some of his buddies, but never quite taking his eyes off me, like an animal eyes its prey right before it devours every single inch. This excited me, he was tempted by ME. Of all people, he chose me. I blushed and chugged on my alcohol.

I was so caught in his lust, that when a friend came over to discuss our project for school, i completely ignored her and she left swearing at our friendship. But i could not help it, this man, was violating me, without a single touch. He sipped on his drink, and motioned to go outside. I got the invitation clearly and quickly sprang up from where i was seated and ran outside. This was it. I may not believe in love, but that doesn't mean I still don't hope for it. Just as I was about to leave for being a hypocrite, his body blocked my passage and i crashed against him. "I'm sorry," I began, I was starting to blush, to feel so utterly stupid for believing someone like him would be into a homo like me when he grabbed me by the wrist, got my chin and physically lifter my gaze from his shoes to face. What a handsome face it was, Italian features all around, as if Da Vinci had molded him into a living sculpture. "Your name is Mark, yes?" he asked smiling, flirting, being exactly the way i wanted him to be. "Y..Yes. I overheard yours..Dante? I mean...I wasn't eavesdropping if that's what your thinking. I..I..." He smiled and got a hold of my lips, closing them. " he simply said "Your cute. Don't worry. Stop worrying so much." And that's when it hit me, like a bullet going at immense speeds. Cupid's arrow went through me, and I felt as my heart began to race faster, as my palms began to sweat, as the world began to spin and all that was standing still, was Dante. All out of my control, and I passed out once again, only this time into the hands of a gentleman.

"Wake up Mark. Wake up."I awoke to see Dante, standing over me with wrinkles on his forehead as he began to worry over me. " Oh thank god, your alive! I didn't want to be held responsible for this." His eyes a soft hazel, his skin darker than mine, his hair pitch black. And those arms, so very protective, so very strong. And I knew...I knew all of a sudden...somebody was supposed to fall in love. I knew that someone would be me, I would be the one complaining after he had been done with me, after i gave all of myself to him only to be thrown out of his life like trash. I had to get away, before falling victim to this so called love, the most sought after and despised of emotions. "Georgy must be looking for me. Sorry Dante, but Ive got to go." I began getting up when he held me down. " Oh no you don't. It practically took me all night just to get your attention, from the moment you've arrived i couldn't take my eyes off you. And now you're saying you want to go? No way. Ill come with you." He said cooly, charming almost. He was right about one thing, he could not take his eyes off me. Not that I was complaining, I couldn't take my eyes off him. We walked right through and amongst all the people, apologizing nearly left and right. I decided not to look back, for fear of falling even deeper in infatuation for this creature. All resistance proved futile, as I was falling deeper into a world that I could not explain. "Georgy! Georgy!" He was in the middle of trying to convert a straight boy into being gay, just for him. " Do you mind? I am trying to turn this trick homo? Where have you been by the way? You completely missed out on Diana throwing up on her boyfriend while making out. I'm sure it will be on Facebook by Monday. Oh, who's your..man?" he asked pointing at Dante who was now playing it cool. Not openly gay, I suppose. " He's..erm...he's an old friend. We go way back. Right Dante?" He nodded. "Well just make sure...you're friend uses protection when you go behind those bushes." I felt my head overheat in that instant, my face go red with embarrassment, and felt as i shoved Georgy. He laughed it off and slipped me a rubber. I knew I wouldn't be doing that, but kept it anyway. I then grabbed Dante and ran off.

The moon was shining, glimmering down upon us. We were near another fire, one deserted by the people. We sat down on the logs and looked at each other, noticing each others flaws and perfections. We both smiled, feeling a certain awkwardness and acknowledgement of that awkwardness. "Dante, why did you choose me out of all those people? I mean there was at least 10 other queers, not to mention all the girls. Why me? " At this point, I was drunk enough to release some of my thoughts without actually thinking. "Listen, my mother once told me. When you fall in love, you'll know. You''ll be attracted to him, and you'll want nothing more than to just introduce yourself to them and kiss them. Well tonight, when you stepped foot outside of your car, I felt that. I knew I had to have you. I don't care if its just tonight, or if its for the res of our lives. But I do hope it will be for the rest of our lives. You have to understand, these luscious lips caught my attention when you were talking to your friends, these eyes captivated me when you finally caught my gaze, these hands stirred up a desire within me to wrap them around me. To protect you. I had to have you, or go living with doubts and what if scenarios for the rest of this life." He was holding me in his arms as he expressed all this, lifting my up towards the end and facing me directly. He looked into my eyes filled with fear, and went for it. I felt my lips lock lips with his. I had always imagined what a great kiss might feel like. The color went out of my surroundings, being drained out by some force. Our lips greeting each other, exchanging caresses. His arms went around my waist, and although I was sitting down, I felt my knees go weak. I was dizzy, I was repulsed by how easily I was surrendering. There was just no winning in a war against the inevitable.This love, was consuming by the second. I let go. I let go of this. This false promise of being here for me, of loving me unconditionally. "Whats wrong?" he asked. He was obviously concerned, for my well being. I got up, started walking away but he caught me by the wrist. "Whats going on here? I told you I'm not letting go of you. I found you, your my muse. I can see, I can think, I can feel clearly now. I see life for what it is, and without you, I cannot feel it. Stay with me. Stay and just give in. Be my amore." He looked at me expectantly.

"What I'm feeling right now, is so very hard to ignore. I cannot deny these attractions, this need to kiss you, this craving to be held, to yearn for you and to be yearned after in return, Dante. But how can I trust you? How can I Make sure you will not leave at the first sign of trouble. I want you to hold me as if I'm gold, I would want you to tear this place apart until you find me hiding, for you to be excited to see me again someday. But what if you suddenly just stop? These yearnings will stop, and eventually you'll lock eyes with another queer." I felt the tears wanting to burst. I held them back, I wanted pride and that would be something I could not keep a hold of if I began to cry. Dante slowly rose up from his seat, walked the distance and embraced me, let me sink into his chest and hear his heartbeats, increasing in speed. I felt his sweaty palms as he held me, I felt him and I knew he felt the same as me. I grabbed his chin, looked up at him and kissed the fool. Better said we were two fools in this Russian roulette called love. As we kissed, as we embraced, as we swore fidelity and happiness to each other, sparks emerged from the bonfire. They surrounded, danced around us in a celebration. I, the non-believer, had finally fallen in love.





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