So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
As I sat there on the sandy shore, contemplating the interactions between Gatsby and me 一 A rather gloomy topic一 but it was the only thing I could really contemplate at the moment. Gatsby had been shot by Wilson just a day earlier, Wilson took his own life soon after. I was on a call with Gatsby's butler at the time, inquiring rather joyously if Gatsby was there. But once I heard that ear-splitting bang, I hung up, shocked and angered.
While I was sitting there, trying to comprehend what happened the previous day, I never realized the figure approaching my prone form laying on the damp sand. They slowly walked towards me, reaching a hand out towards my shoulder from the shadows. The hand grabbed my shoulder and I spun around at the speed of light, thoughts racing through my head and my body being rapidly flooded with adrenaline
"Old Sport! Why so shocked? It's only me," My heart stopped and time seemed to slow down to a still.
It was Gatsby.
My heart leapt with joy. I quickly sat up, dusting off the sand and whatever lied on the beach off my body and I rushed him. I wrapped my arms around him in a tight hug and a shout of relieved happiness left my mouth. "Ouch! Watch out for the arm Old Sport! I was shot yesterday if you do remember," I sheepishly, but rather quickly, withdrew my arms from around his body.
"My apologies," I said with a bowed head, finally noticing the white bandages wrapped around his arm.
"No need to apologize Old Sport, I'm not surprised you forgot. You looked rather lost in that head of yours," He moved past me to where I was lying earlier, my body's imprint still in the shore, and he sat down slowly, "Come, let's sit down at the beach, it's a nice night and hey, at least I'm not dead."
We sat down on the tiny little beach, watching the gentle waves lap at the shores, dragging sand away as it withdrew, and leaving little trails of seafoam in its wake. It was quiet. Not an ominous quiet mind you, it was a comfortable quiet, like watching clouds or sitting by a fireplace. In this void of noise, we sat there, looking at the tranquil waters and contemplating the events that lead up to this point.
It was broken when Gatsby turned towards me and asked, "Old Sport... wherever did Daisy go? I've called her many times, but it seems like she's never there to pick up," Damn I forgot about Daisy, that nasty harlot of a cousin of mine who abandoned Gatsby in his time of need.
"Daisy is…" I trailed off not knowing how to word what I had to tell him, "Daisy is off... on a trip with her family — Tom included — and she said that she never knew if they'd ever return.
Gatsby's eyes widened with betrayal and shock at what he heard. Daisy, with Tom? Well, that's something he didn't expect to happen. He turned his back to the still waters and put his head between his knees. I didn't think much of it, probably just thinking about what happened is all he was most likely doing, but I snapped my head towards him when I heard a small sniffle. His head was still between his knees, but now his arm was around them and his back shook with small, quiet sobs. Soon enough, those tiny sniffles turned into harsh, angry sobs that made him stand up and start screaming expletives at the sodden ground while tearing it apart with his feet.
I didn't try to stop him.
After a half-hour of watching him do this. He soon ran out of any energy to keep on doing this and collapsed to the ground, tears streaming down his face and spilling to the ground like salty raindrops. I slowly stood up and tiptoed towards him. Once I reached his form, I sat down beside him and gingerly wrapped my arms around his shoulders and pulled him into a tight hug. The contact with him sent an odd feeling through my chest, but I ignored it. He put his head on my shoulder and continued to cry, soaking it with tears and whatnot. But I didn't move away because I knew he needed a shoulder to cry on.
Once it was over we watched the green light at the end of Daisy's dock shine on the bay, what was once a beacon for Gatsby's hopes and dreams became the herald for his almost demise. "I'm feeling rather tired Old Sport, might I ask if we can go back to my house?"
"Uhhh... your house was emptied by Wolfsheim and nothing remains inside it anymore,", Gatsby let off a sad sigh, "But… you could stay at my home? I don't care if you do…"
"It's as good as anything I can get right now Old Sport,"
So we trudged up the concrete stairs, barely able to walk in a straight line due to stress and tiredness, arms supporting one another until we reached the top. Once we got to my yard I looked around at it. The detailing and fixing done by Gatsby was slowly being worn away, the pearly white marble steps slowly fading, the neat cut grass became longer and the beautiful flowers that were once a myriad of heavenly colours now turned into a dead brown. We entered the house and went past the dark, dingy kitchen with a tiny sink and stumbled to the lifeless flower filled living room, illuminated by the ghostly moonlight that came in through the glass doors that lead to the backyard.
We collapsed into the two comfy, well-worn brown chairs that sat beside each other in the centre of the living room, the springs squeaking in protest at the sudden weight. We sat there, bathed in the ethereal glow of the moon, giving us a view of the other when we normally could not in such lighting. In the stark shadows that filled my vision, only one thing stood out for me. Gatsby. His chiselled cheekbones defined by the light, that beach tan skin and cropped hair adding a certain beauty to him, and those piercing emerald green eyes that shone like the treasures in a chest in the moonlight and broad-shouldered, muscled body rippling with every movement he made.
An eternity seemed to pass as I stared at him, my body and mind seemed to be hypnotized by this, this, this beautiful creature that sat in front of me. A warm feeling passed through my chest again, my heart skipped a beat and my lungs seemed to constrict themselves. He turned to me and gave me his smile, a smile that assured me that nothing bad would ever happen to me. I turned away quickly. "Nick… I need to tell you something," I quickly focused on what he was about to say, the fact that he hadn't used Old Sport mean it was something serious, "because I survived the encounter with Wilson, that means I have to go to court for Myrtle's death… I don't think I'll be able to win..." My eyes widened in shock.
Gatsby in prison? No, it couldn't be. Not the seemingly invincible man who held those glimmering parties that brought all of New York to his home in a glowing train of cars and people, not the man who waited for a patient five years for a woman who abandoned. But I knew this would happen. He piped up again after a small bout of silence, "Since I'm most likely going to prison, I don't think I'll ever be able to dance again," a strange musing, but I kept listening, "so… Nick Carraway, would you take my hand in what is possibly my last dance?" I sat there in disbelief, as he offered his hand to me, Gatsby? Wanting to dance with me? Preposterous!
As I sat there, eyes as wide as those on that damn billboard in the Valley of Ashes, Gatsby quickly shook his head, retracted his arm and waved his hand in the air like he was fanning something away, "A silly question for me to ask. I don't care if you say n—"
I interrupted him, "I accept your proposal for a dance, Jay Gatsby," his eyes widened in surprise and soon began to twinkle with joy and relief.
We stood up, approached each other slowly and clasped hands, his arm snaking around me to hold my waist, firmly grasping it with a gentle hand. I put my arm tenderly on his injured shoulder and rested it there. We made eye contact and soon we began to waltz to an unknown tune that existed only in our heads. Pressed together we moved around my home, my erratic inexperienced footwork that somehow matched up to his gentle, reserved footwork that guided me through a gentle waltz.
After some time, the moonlight seemed to get brighter and brighter, the air was soon filled with a tense energy and we picked up our pace. We moved like a well-oiled machine, him leading the way with confidence and grace as I followed along. He spun me around with his good arm then dipped me. The music seemed to slowly fade out and the moon became dimmer. We stood in that pose for a long time. Gatsby, tan muscles rippling as he supported my body with only his arm, blue eyes misty and clouded with an unknown feeling, staring into mine, searching for something that he wanted as sweat dripped down from his forehead. Me, in a deep dip, arms wrapped around Gatsby's muscled figure, panting heavily and gripping for a handhold.
Then, the music crescendoed and we began again into a quick dance. Everything soon became a blur, we danced and danced until we ended up again into our previous position. But this time, our suit jackets were gone and we were gasping and panting for breath. Our bodies seemed to steam in the cool air, flush against one another in an intimate hold filled with passion, our sweaty bodies glistening in the gentle pale moonlight. But we didn't start dancing again. Gatsby slowly moved his head towards mine and gave me a gentle kiss, his lips as hot as fire and seemingly leaving what felt like an inferno. He withdrew slowly, eyes clouded, and my head followed his. We met again, lips slamming against one another, teeth clashing with tongues dancing and searching.
We fell to the ground but we didn't stop it for fear of never continuing. His hands roamed my body, leaving a trail of fire and ice in their wake. My hands exploring his as well, feeling those taut muscles shift and move underneath them. We were in a knot bound by passion and lust. We withdrew, a trail of saliva being the only thing uniting us. "Gatsby… do you truly want this?"
"Yes, I do," his voice was filled with lust and desire.
We proceeded to make love until the sun rose from the unending horizon, filling the dark sky with a blaze of fire.
When I awoke, I was lying naked beside Gatsby as his good arm was wrapped around me. Like me, he was naked too. I saw our clothes tossed everywhere and I slowly tried to untangle myself from his grasp so I could stand and get myself dressed. I heard a quiet grunt of disapproval from Gatsby and he drew me tighter into his chest. I sighed and stood up anyways, he groaned and stood up as well. I blushed at the sight of him naked, but I quickly got ready in spite of this and I walked to the living room.
I walked back to the chairs we sat in last night and went back to my previous spot. He followed suit, but he told me something strange, "Get up, I want to do something," cocking my eyebrow in confusion, I stood up and watched him just take my spot.
He motioned for me to come near him and I did. Once I got close to him, grabbed me by the waist and pulled me into his lap. I was shocked for a bit, but I didn't care. I curled myself close into his body and he placed his hand into my hair and ran them through it. My eyes began to slowly close but Gatsby murmured gently into my ear, "Nick… I'll be going to court in three days…" my eyes snapped open and I looked up at him worriedly.
He looked back at me, eyes tearing up and a tight, sad smile on his face. I sat up and rested my head on his shoulder, legs straddling his waist and pressing my body against him. He wrapped his arms loosely around me and held me like a teddy bear. As I sat there, I contemplated ways to solve this dilemma of ours. Suicide? No, we already know what happened to George. Faking our deaths? No, too clichè. I racked my brain hard until I came up with the only logical solution.
I withdrew myself from Gatsby's grasp. He looked up at me worriedly, thinking that he had somehow done something wrong, he opened up his mouth to apologize, but I quickly cut him off before he was able to say anything, "Gatsby, let's run away," he eyes widened and he gave a small smile.
"Really. You'd do that just for me?" Gatsby said in a hushed tone of awe.
"Yes, I'd do anything for you," I looked at him directly in the eyes as I said this.
He grabbed me in a tight hug but forgot about his injured arm and he inhaled sharply as his wound was jostled around. He put his uninjured arm around me and pulled me into him. I heard a chorus of quick thank yous reach my ears and I smiled.
We quickly got up after a bit of this and started packing everything we needed. Clothes, hygiene products, appliances, anything! We loaded it all into an inconspicuous looking little black car and we headed out. We passed by Gatsby's old mansion. My mind was filled with visions of a glimmering palace filled with people of all types, filled with light and noise, but was soon replaced with this empty looking structure, a place where not even the wind moved. We drove down a tree-covered road, covering us with shade in the warm summer heat.
We drove into the bleak, gray world of the Valley of Ashes. Smoke filled the air and our lungs, leaving what felt like a dark stain in my soul. The giant billboard was still there, watching down on the people of this land with the piercing eyes of God. We passed by Wilson's place, my heart skipped a beat when I saw all the policemen still there, crowded around the shop. But they didn't notice us and we were able to get away, but through the entire time my heart was racing with worry and fear.
We reached East Egg and saw the home there. Posh and prim, they exuded a sense of arrogance and haughtiness with their evenly cut grass and servants scurrying around. We passed by Daisy's home. It was barren, with no signs of life at all. The fountain in the front was shut off, the windows had an obvious layer of dust on them. Gatsby couldn't bear to look at the home, so he had his head turned facing the other way, brooding on something unknown to me. We now knew for sure that Daisy and Tom had run away to live a new life elsewhere, most likely leaving a trail of other people's tears as they went. I took my hand off the steering wheel and gripped his hand that was resting on his chair. He looked towards me surprised. I have his hand a tight squeeze just to reassure him and he smiled. He turned away again, hand still gripping mine, but now his aura was of a content one, not a depressed one. We soon reached the outskirts of the city.
We drove on down the unending road out of New York, unsure of how the past might affect us, but constantly looking towards the future.