I walk to work feeling happier than I have in weeks. I smile to anyone that looks in my direction, slightly weird and I'm sure they wonder if I'm on drugs but I don't really care. I'm proper happy me, I just hope nothing ruins it.
I walk into, ChezChez, with my morning coffee and my bacon butty. Brendan's already behind the bar wiping down wine bottles with a tea cloth.
He missed me I remember his words as he looks up to see who's walked in. He missed me.
I sit down on a bar stool and take my sandwich out of the bag. Brendan looks over at me and without a word leans over the bar and takes a bit out of my breakfast.
'Brendan!' I moan.
He then takes a slurp of my coffee, he screws his face up as he remembers I have three spoonful's of sugar and he only takes one.
'Stephen, your teeth will go black with the amount of sugar you have.'
He wipes the corner of his mouth as he eyes up my sandwich again.
I laugh and shake my head.
'Here, you might as well have it you greedy git.'
'Oh, and I don't have that much sugar in general.' I add a bit offended.
He takes the butty out of my hand and smiles.
'Don't call me greedy, Stephen, only because you have the body of a 10 year old.'
'No I don't!' I scrunch my face up and put a hand to my belly.
'At least I won't end up like you; ya won't be able to move soon you. You're already getting a double chin.'
I laugh. This is nice, just been able to have a bit of banter without having to worry about nothing or no one. It's easy and pleasant, just how it should be.
He takes another bite; he eats like an animal vicious, eager and sexy as fuck.
I try not to watch him too much as he eats, but I can't help it. Like anything else he does I have to watch, make sure I'm not dreaming about how he makes anything he does so charmingly.
'I thought you liked ketchup, Stephen?' He asks and washes it down with another sip of coffee.
'I do, but they had none so had to go for brown.'
'I did tell you brown sauce was much better, didn't I?'
'Yeah,' I pause 'but I still prefer red, I've loved since I was little, me.' I finish.
He smiles at me, a bit silly of me but I blush. He cleans the corners of his mouth once he's finished and smooth's down his suit jacket to get rid of the crumbs.
'Al'right, I'll let ya off. Am I looking dapper?'
He asks doing a swirl. I laugh and wrinkle my nose up.
His eyes click together with mine for a second or two and he seems unsure of himself. Like I don't want to know that part of him anymore and I know that's what I told myself last night; that what me and Brendan had would be no more, but I can't help it. Last night he made an effort and he's doing the same this morning, I can't just forget how he makes me feel.
He looks down as the first punters of the day walk in and I feel deflated, I don't him to keep building barriers between us.
'Good. You'd best get to work then.'
It's half one in the morning and Jacquie's just finished helping me with the tidying up. It's been a good night, got a few tips and the atmosphere was good. Brendan had to chuck out a lad though for getting into an argument over some bird.
I grab my coat and go upstairs to tell Brendan I've finished. I'm surprised to see him sat at a table in the middle of the floor, it's empty and all that is on it are his hands and a glass of whiskey. I look at him seriously confused, but I don't question him.
'Erm, I've finished now so I'll be off.'
'Just lock up and come back up here.'
He doesn't look at me as he talks. I just do as he says and I lock up. When I come back up there's a plate on the table with a sandwich on it.
What is going on?
'Come on then, sit down.' He says his jaws clicking as he chews at his gum.
I sit on the chair and look at him then the table then back up at him.
'What is this, Bren?'
'It's two pieces of bread with something inside it. It's what us lot call sandwiches.' He drones.
He sounds… agitated, like he doesn't know why he's done it himself.
'I know that… but why?'
He tits and taps his fingers on the table.
'Does there have to be a reason?'
I shake my head and take a bite out of the sandwich. I smile and look down as I feel my cheeks burn up.
Bacon with red sauce, nice crispy bacon too, not of that usual cheap stuff I normally buy.
He goes to the bar and gets me a bottle of lager.
'Thank you.' I smile at him pushing the empty plate to the side.
'It was nothing.'
'Well, it meant something to me.' I tell him.
He chews harder on his gum; if he doesn't want to be here with me then he shouldn't have come up with this idea in the first place. I get up from my chair zip up my coat.
'You don't want me here so I'll be off.'
'No.' He says too quickly. 'Sit down, Stephen.'
I sigh and sit back down; he gives me a small smile and gives his forehead a scratch.
'What's wrong, Brendan?'
I drag the chair to the side of the table so I'm closer to him, I take his hand in mine and I feel him stiffen slightly but he doesn't push it off.
'I just want to be here for you… you don't have to do it on your own.'
'I don't need anybody, Stephen.' He lies. 'I'm a big boy.'
I take my hand off of his and shake my head; I just can't work out what's going on.
'Yeah, but… there's obviously something up with you, what's all this about?' I ask pointing at the table and plate.
'Just giving you the sandwich back I owe you from this morning.'
Ha! Yeah, of course, this is all about a bit of bacon? I don't think so.
'Don't lie to me, Bren. You've been so different since you've been back. I don't understand.'
I tell him honestly, I really don't understand. I'd like to, but means him telling me because I can't work it out for myself and trust me, I've tried.
'Oileen.' He simply says as though I have the answer.
I shake my head still not getting it.
'What about her?'
He blows out a sigh and takes his hand away from underneath mine.
'I told her about you.'
'Eh, what did you tell her?'
He looks at me; he's pissed off with me.
'Jesus, Stephen, I told her that me and you have been… you know.'
My mouth falls open as I try and register what he's said.
'She knows that you're gay?' I ask a bit too excited.
'Well, I never said I was queer. I just said we had a thing going.'
No, of course he told her he wasn't 'queer'. How silly of me to think he had, but he's told someone; told someone that he trusts, that surely means something, right?
'What made you tell her?' I lean forward wanting to hear everything.
He looks up at the ceiling as he tells me.
'I'd not been answering your calls had I? I stupidly left it in the kitchen and she was there when you'd rung me, she then asked me about 200 questions on whom you were and she wouldn't let it drop. A bit like you actually.'
He laughs, short.
'And what did you tell her about me?'
'Just stuff she wanted to hear really.'
'Right.' I say and I feel disappointed. I start fussing with my hands so he can't see my face.
'I also told her that you drive me crazy and that I'd fucked you around so much that I couldn't quite understand why you stuck around.'
He bites the inside of his mouth as I look back up at him; a smile quickly forms on my face. He really said that? Why wouldn't I stick around? I love him god's sake, but I can't risk saying that to him again.
'I ask myself the same thing actually.' We both smile at each other and I put my hand back into his.
'I just needed a break.' He tells me.
'I know you did.' I smile. 'I just want us to be together proper…'
I've said too much, I'm an idiot. He gives me a knowing look, his eyes set coldly on my face and I know I've messed up. I cough the tickle out of my throat and set to leave again.
'Sorry, Brendan.' Panicking I try and move my hand out of his but he grabs me tighter.
'I won't say it again, I promise. Can we just forget about it?' I know I'm gonna get a beating, but I can't take it; not this time.
I try and pull my hand away from his again but with his free hand he takes hold of my waist and pushes me onto the table. His thumb starts to smooth over my hand as he stands broadly over me.
He leans into me and his breath burns over my face, I keep my eyes closed as I try and see where this is going.
I feel a finger touch my skin and his lips brush over mine so gently I'm not sure if I'm imagining it or not.
'Lager, bacon and red sauce - what a beautiful combination.' He jokes.
He takes away my speech as another brush of his lips is made with mine, his bottom lips sticks between mine as I breathe in his scent.
'No. I'm sorry.' He whispers, he comes closer and wraps his arms around me, tightly. His hand strokes up my back as I hold him back.
'We'll get there, Stephen.'
A/N: Can you tell I have no idea where this is going? I'm really just writing what goes now… hopefully I can find a suitable ending soon. Hope it wasn't too rubbish.