The Last Time
A short piece of autofiction.
The following story was written for a queer writing competition. It didn’t win, but I’m happy to share it with you!
I still remember how curious we were at that youthful age and that foreboding feeling of getting caught with our pants down. But we were young and shared the same desires. So we experimented under the floorboards of my parents’ house; a crawl space that was high enough for us to stand tall.
Of course, Shane and I never wanted to be boyfriends. It wasn’t the purpose of our friendship. But we developed a deep fondness for each other during those formative years. We were slaves to curiosity, spoiled by lust and poisoned by pleasure.
I don’t know where we parted or when it stopped. We never really broke it off. I just think we came to realise there was more to life than sex. But it wasn’t the last time for us. And that’s exactly why I’m sitting here writing about it.
A week ago, we reconnected by chance at a writers group. I had walked into the quaint little bar holding my notepad and pen, ready for another adventure. And then I saw Shane. He was snuggled next to this guy; a guy I would shortly learn to be Shane’s boyfriend. Of course, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous, but it wasn’t enough to bother me. Honestly, it was just nice to see him again.
Yet, as we reminisced about youth, unravelling the trivialities of high school and growing up gay, we never mentioned what we really did. And we were both culprits to that.
“So where are you living?” he asked me as the night was ending.
“Eastwood,” I said.
“Oh, I live in Epping. Did you want a lift? I’ll have to drop Mark off first.”
It was there the seed was planted, burning our cheeks like wildfire. But the intensity sunk into the shadows, showing only as a subtle emotion. A slight feeling of internal ecstasy. The kind that swelled up salacious ideas in secret. It was wrong. God, I knew it was wrong. More so for him than I. And yet we both yearned for this carnal reminiscence.
I felt awkward as I sat in the back seat, watching them. I vividly remember how they clutched their hands together for that brief moment. Feelings of guilt surged up my spine, and I wondered if he felt the same then. Or even now.
And I knew somewhere deep down that this really would be a one-off. The last hurrah. It wasn’t a rekindle of a long lost love, but a rush down memory lane. We wanted to feel young again. To remind ourselves of that beautiful sexual curiosity that enveloped our boyish minds.
Even now I am poisoned by pleasure.
Shane dropped Mark off and sealed him with a kiss. I hopped out of the backseat at that moment, exchanging for the front seat instead. And I tried desperately not to focus on their love. For they were in love then, and still are from what I gather. And even though I knew they’re in love, I still told myself that this wasn’t really cheating.
If that makes me a fool, so be it.
The silence in the car was deafening. Our tongues wrestled for possibilities but we were struck dumb by the moment. In fact, from what I recall, we never spoke at all until Shane pulled into the industrial car park that was shrouded in discreet darkness.
“Do you still remember what we did under the house?” he asked. He gripped the steering wheel tight, even though the car was lifeless. I could hear a tremor in his voice.
“Of course I do.”
We looked at each other, feeling the growing tension rising into an impulsive crescendo. Memories swam between us, reconnecting our souls, making us feel immortal to the current world. Our quest to refuel the flames were already in motion, even before we left the quaint little bar. All the salivating side glances, the cheeky smiles and the regular penetrating stares were enough to overflow our untarnished lust for each other.
We knew why we were there.
We knew what we wanted to remember.
And we knew of its inevitability.
Shane reached for my belt buckle, knowing that I couldn’t resist. Instead, I clutched the edges of the seat and took a deep breath. For it would be the last time we could feel young again.
Any more and we would be catching up to reality.