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There’s truth in that line, that you can stand in a room and see a sea full of faces and yet feel completely alone. He’s been there before, understood the way you could stand in a crowd and feel like you were the only one there, as if the people around you were players on some stage, hired to play the part but lacking the emotions of reality. He just never thought he’d feel that like this. Never though there could be that kind of distance between the man sitting next to him, holding his hand as he fought to keep from crying and digging the glass from his hand. He never thought he’d look at his lover and feel like there was distance between them, a loss of connection that had always been there. But perhaps its because everything he’s been feeling , everything he’s done in the past few days has been behind some sort of veil. He can’t settle on anything, any single emotion or event as his brain skips around as a way of coping with what’s happened. He needs someone to tell him it wasn’t his fault. He needs someone to tell him that he’s still worth something. He’d thought that he’d find that here, in the man holding his hands and avoiding looking at him, but he’s been quiet and with every passing second it’s like a gulf is opening between them, a rift of a wound perhaps that wont easily be fixed by a bandage. He wonders if it will be noticed while it’s still able to be splinted and healed, or if – like a gunshot to the heart – it’s going to be fatal. He’d never quite been able to have the faith that they’d last forever – forever was a hell of a long time, and he’s not a hopeless romantic – but he’d never though this would be the way they’d go out. Maybe he’d pictured something explosive, fireworks in the night as they dissolved in years to come when Nick realized this fucked up excuse for a lab rat wasn’t worth his time, but he’d never pictured it like this – a quiet acceptance of failure. Both of them looking the other way until there’s this distance and suddenly he feels like he’s never been more alone. How ridiculous now, to relive the days of high school when he was an outcaste and everyone scoffed at the punk kid who played chess. How ridiculous for him to feel like that now, now that he’s 30 and so broken and just wants a friend. How strange is it that here, in his home, that he can’t find one. Sofia is in Miami with her own issues, a baby and a girl and a life all her own. Sara’s gone. And that still kills him. And Nick, Nick’s standing right next to him, but he’s so distant that he’s not even sure if they speak the same language anymore. Before Nick even says goodbye and kisses him on his cheek, an action he doesn’t even much feel anymore, his brain is already planning, skipping ahead from the present to a moment when things make more sense. And he knows what he’s going to do when Nick walks out that door, and he only hopes that it’s the thing that will build the bridge back between them again, and it’s not what’s going to destroy them forever, because on top of this – that’s something he’ll never forgive himself for. And as Nick turns and makes his way to work, Greg absently hopes Danny won’t hate him too.



really happy

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December 2007


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