16.So just

Chapter 16

Jami sat in front of the kitchen table with a steaming hot cup of tea in front of him. It was only nearing four in the afternoon but it was beginning to get dark outside. There wasn’t even a small promise of snow outside even though it was early December. His hands shook slightly as he brought the cup to his lips; the agonizing feeling in his chest had stubbornly stuck with him since that morning and seemed to send a wave like chill through his body from time to time. Jami closed his eyes and sighed, he should have just come straight home from work yesterday, should have…

Finally the doorbell rang and Jami rose almost reluctantly to open.  As expected Sonja stood behind the door, looking like her usually cheerful self, a bag on her other shoulder and a bottle of white wine in her hand. What was not expected was that Joni stood beside her, offering a careful smile clearly wondering if things were okay between them and Jami had asked himself the same question.

Sonja hugged him when entering the house.
“You look tired, how late were you out yesterday?”

“Pretty late…” Jami admitted quietly as Joni stepped further inside as well. Jami gave the younger man an embarrassed look. “Listen Joni, last night…” He started scratching his neck. “I hope you can forgive me, I was foolish and I was drunk, if that excuses my behavior at all.”

“It’s okay, it’s forgotten… It’s not like I wouldn’t have never drank too much…” Joni smiled. “How are you feeling?”

“Not like a champion…” Jami admitted.

“I’m sure it will pass.” Joni comforted. “Look, I have to get going, I just wanted to stop by for a moment, so that there wouldn’t remain any tension between us.”

“I’m glad that you came, I feel pretty embarrassed about last night.” Jami nodded. “Tell Misha that I said hi.”

“I will, have fun!”

When Joni had left, Jami walked towards the kitchen Sonja close behind him.
“Want a glass of wine?” She asked already searching for glasses from the kitchen cabinets.

“I think I stick with tea…” Jami said and sat back down in front of the table. His tea had unfortunately chilled.

“You really drank so much yesterday?” Sonja wondered and took a glass for herself feeling disappointed that she couldn’t get drinking company from Jami.

“Too much,” Jami admitted, holding the cup between his hands and looking at Sonja in a miserable way.

“Did something else happen yesterday?” Sonja asked worriedly and took a seat opposite from him. Jami seemed to hesitate.

“I think I screwed up really bad…” Jami finally blurted, his eyes glistened slightly and Sonja became more worried.

“Tell me?” She requested with soft tone.

“Well… You remember when I told you about that customer who always tips?” Jami started.

“I remember.”

“Well, yesterday I ran into him at the club and he offered me a drink… or two… and…” Jami closed his eyes shaking his head. “Then I woke up at his place in the morning… naked…” Jami looked at Sonja and cursed silently when he felt the first tears on his cheek. “I feel like shit, Sonja…” He muttered. “I drank too much and I lost my memory… I really have no recollection of how we ended up at his place but apparently…” Jami gave a joyless chuckle. “Apparently we had sex and apparently it was awesome…”

“What do you mean apparently?”
“I really can’t remember… I only recall blurry images here and there…” Jami moaned. “I remember that I flirted with him, that we had fun at the cub. We may have danced… but then it gets blurry… I feel so ashamed, so regretful, I don’t know what I should do, what will I say to Ivo? The man said he used a condom but I can’t remember and what if he’s lying? What will I do Sonja?” Jami started to tremble. “What if I have some disease now? I have to tell Ivo, I couldn’t live with myself if….”  He was starting to get hysteric. “But I know Ivo will leave me if I tell him, but I can’t just not tell him either, right? I can’t possibly think of enough excuses not to have sex with him ‘till I know the results and I am a terrible liar…”

Sonja got up and walked over to her friend to hug him. “Oh Jami… Everything will turn alright…” She whispered and Jami cling on to her tightly and wept.

“I’m a lousy boyfriend, I suspected Ivo and then I do something like this… Where will I go when he kicks me out? I don’t want to go to my parents, they’d just say that they warned me and…” Jami snuffled once while weeping. ”Can I sleep on your couch just until I find my own place?”

“Aren’t you jumping ahead of things?” Sonja asked. “It sounds weird to me that your memory would break like this. You haven’t blacked out like that before, have you?” She wondered as she pulled away from the hug looking at her friends face.

Jami wiped his eyes, sighing. “Not like this, just forgotten smaller details, like once I brought home a guy whose name I couldn’t remember in the morning… It was embarrassing… but not this bad…” He shrugged. “Perhaps it gets worse with age?”

“At 26?” Sonja cocked her brow. “We’re not that old. How much did you drink? Clearly more than normal?” She kept asking as she sat back down and Jami tried to remember.

“I don’t recall exactly… But mix of different drinks… That’s never a good idea.” The truth was that he himself was somewhat confused how little he recalled between leaving the club and the morning. His memory trail seemed to meet a sudden closure after he remembered dancing with Aki. He couldn’t remember that they would have kissed or touched or that he would have even considered going with him to have sex. He had a dim recollection of traveling in a car; a taxi most likely and the driver had looked pissed off… Aki had whispered something in his ear… the rest was like wrestling in a giant cotton candy… Flashes of something he could almost reach and those memory frames were as though behind a curtain, teasingly there, but the curtain was too heavy and long that he only found himself getting tangled when he tried to open it.

Sonja was quiet for a moment. “He bought you drinks?” She asked and Jami nodded.

“Two I think…”

“And did you see him ordering them, did you see them all the time?” She continued and Jami got what she was after.

“You think he could have slipped something in them?” He asked cautiously.

“These things happen,” Sonja nodded. “Haven’t you learned? Never let your drink out of your sight or allow a stranger to buy you one without you at least seeing the order?” She scolded him.

“He wasn’t a stranger…” Jami muttered. “He was…”

“Your customer.” Sonja sighed. “Jami… this is serious, if he has drugged you…” Jami bit his lip, tasted his tea that was already disgustingly cold and brought out the sweetness of the honey.

“It’s also a serious accusation, I can’t prove anything…” Jami said finally. “I wouldn’t want to believe it and I wouldn’t also want to believe that I cheated Ivo

“If it is true, then you actually didn’t cheat…” Sonja pointed out. Jami closed his eyes tightly, his head ached.

“The unhappy truth is also that I drank a lot… And I can’t make an accusation that I’m not entirely certain is true… I know I was fucking stupid and I regret that now and I do have to pay a huge price over being stupid.”
A sound of an arriving text message interrupted their chat and Jami took his phone. “Thank you again for the lovely night, you’re in my thoughts 😉 Please contact me if you’re in need of company again some evening…” The message was from Aki, apparently he had also saved his number on his phone even though he didn’t remember doing so either. Jami felt a stab in his chest and let out a desperate sigh. He wanted to burry himself somewhere deep under his guilt blanket, forgot the whole evening, the rest of it.
“Who was it?” Sonja asked although she could already guess. Jami gave her the phone so that she could read it herself.

“Aki,” Sonja repeated. “Clearly the name has a bad ring to it.” She nodded.

“What do you mean?”

“Eva’s ex was Aki… Eva left him, said that in the end he was pretty daft… On the other hand I don’t know if her word is the most reliable…” Jami stared at her for a moment.

“Could we focus on my problem? What should I do, Sonja?” Jami asked miserably.

“Well, you made a mistake…. People make mistakes and you regret it, right? I have to agree that you are a terrible liar so… I think it’s best that Ivo hears this from you than some other way, right?

Jami nodded slowly, he knew, but he was afraid that Ivo wouldn’t find understanding because if Ivo would tell him a similar story he know how difficult it would be to him to stay calm and swallow the whole story. “Well… you better make room on your couch…” Jami noted in defeated tone.

**^^**^^**^^**

Ivo arrived home on Sunday afternoon in cheerful mood.
“You’re not still sulking, are you?” He asked when Jami welcomed him home quite meekly. Now they were in the kitchen where the younger man had prepared them dinner. “I brought a little gift for you…” Ivo smiled and Jami glanced at him trying to return the smile as he set the table. “And I asked if Dima could come home a little later so that we could have some alone time…” Ivo continued and moved behind him planting a kiss on his temple. “After an argument it’s good to make up properly, right?” Jami freed himself of Ivo’s hold gently.

“I’m pretty tired…” He said dismissively. “We should eat first.” Ivo looked at his partner feeling fed up with his mood swings and sulking that seemed to last. He himself would have wanted to move past their disagreement, but apparently Jami thought otherwise.

They sat down in front of the table and Ivo poured them a glass of wine hoping to get Jami more relaxed.
 “Would you like to tell me what’s the matter? Is it that I didn’t tell you about my business trip sooner? That you couldn’t come with? Or perhaps Galina?” Ivo finally asked in frustrated tone when Jami continued his silence just sitting there, not eating, moving his fork on the plate, a distant look in his eyes.

Jami held his silence a moment longer, shook his head, feeling tears gathering in his eyes: Ivo had tried to be so wonderful as soon as he had arrived home and he couldn’t shake off the disgusting feeling of guilt from his shoulders. And he was afraid; terrified even to say those words out loud that most likely meant that he would lose Ivo. Jami wanted to find away to speak the truth out softly, gently, in a way that Ivo could forgive, but it didn’t exist, not without a lie and he couldn’t do that.

“What is it?” Ivo asked worriedly and Jami finally looked up. Ivo gave him such gentle look, filled with genuine worry that it broke him.

“I screwed up… I don’t know if you can forgive me… I love you so much and I don’t want to lose you, but I’m afraid…” Jami started with shaky tone. Ivo frowned his mien turning serious.

“What?” He asked almost warily, already suspecting from his reaction. Jami felt tears rolling down on his face, the candle flame on the table flickered restlessly as if repairing for the storm until it settled more calm and Jami drew a deep shaky breath.

“I drank too much… I was angry, I know it’s a poor excuse, but…” He swallowed, tried to find his voice to continue. Ivo was looking at him quietly, serious and tense. “I went out with my friends and I lost them… I ran into my client and he offered me drinks… I can’t remember the rest of the evening, everything is hazy…” Jami took another breath trying to calm down. “In the morning I woke up at his place.” He was finally able to say and the silence that settled felt pressuring and at first Jami didn’t dare to look in Ivo’s eyes.

“Woke up?” Ivo asked hoarsely. “You slept with him?” His voice tightened and Jami finally looked up. Ivo’s blue eyes had turned darker, there was a look in his eyes that Jami hadn’t seen before; disappointment? Anger mixed with sadness? Hurt and disbelieve.

“I don’t really member it, but apparently so… I was naked.” Jami admitted with his voice breaking. Ivo looked away, breathing tensely until he slammed his fist against the table so forcefully that the glasses shook and almost spilled the wine on the table.

“Dammit Jami!” Ivo cursed and stood up. “Damn with you!” He strode restlessly in front of the table. Looking at his weeping boyfriend with upset. “First you doubt me and then you go and cheat yourself!” He snapped.

“I didn’t mean…” Jami spluttered. “It wasn’t supposed to happen!” He cried and tried to approach Ivo.

“Well that would just top it that you would have planned it!” Ivo snapped and rejected Jami’s attempt to touch him.

“I’m sorry! I really don’t remember how I ended up at his place! … I love you!”

Ivo stared at him, still breathing tensely, his eyes glistened. “Just so you know, I never once cheated on you and I would have never thought that you’d do that to me!”

“It wasn’t supposed to happen…” Was all that Jami could splutter and when he saw the tears in Ivo’s eyes he started crying more. “I’m sorry, forgive me…” He repeated and again tried to touch Ivo who only slapped his hands away.

“Right now I don’t even want to look at you.” Ivo said and turned towards the hall.

“Where are you going?” Jami asked following him. “Ivo?” He sobbed when the man dressed his coat on. “Ivo please?” Ivo gritted his teeth, put his shoes on and turned towards the door. “Don’t leave me…” Jami begged.

“Right now I don’t want to spend the night under the same roof with you.” Ivo said, took his car keys and left. The door slammed shout with a loud bang after him and Jami sobbed uncontrollably.
He couldn’t believe that he had screwed up this bad, he wasn’t a cheater, he had never been, why did it happen now? He had imagined this situation a thousand times during the last weeks but in his imagination their roles had always been reverse and he felt so disgusted with himself now.

Io drove aimlessly with his car, trying to calm down and digest Jami’s revelation. He felt humiliated and hurt, unsure how to pass this feeling. Sure he had flirted himself, felt lust to other people from time to time but never moved beyond that and couldn’t quite believe that Jami had cheated either. Perhaps it was best to stay single? Not fall in love with anyone since it seemed only bring trouble and heart ache.

Ivo wasn’t really sure where to go, how to start settling his thoughts. He didn’t want to go home, not if Jami was there and a couple of times his phone rang during his drive as Jami tried to call. Ivo felt tense, like a nervous wreck. Finally HE found himself parked near Joni’s and Misha’s apartment. Although he was close with Misha, they often raged at each other and Ivo didn’t really want to talk about this to his brother. It was difficult to have a serious conversation with him sometimes. Finally he ended up choosing Joni’s number, it would feel easier to talk to him.

Joni was working in front of his laptop in the kitchen, planning Sonja’s training and diet program when his cell phone rang.
“Hi, Ivo, got home already?” He asked smiling. Misha, who had spend time playing on the other computer in the study room came to get something to drink from the kitchen and glanced at his boyfriend.
“Are you home?” Ivo asked instead of replying,

“Yes.” Joni glanced back at Misha who snatched an apple from the fruit bowl and gave him a questioning look. Ivo’s voice sounded odd, little depressed maybe; it was easy to pick up the difference since he usually had a cheerful sound.

“Misha is probably as well?”

“Yes, why?”

“Well… Can you come down? Let’s go and have a cup of coffee somewhere?”

“You could come here as well?”

“I’m sure I could, but… I rather speak with you alone.”

“Okay… Has something happened?” Joni wondered.

“It involves Jami…” Ivo admitted and Joni wondered if Jami had been right with his suspicion after all. Misha observed him with curiosity during the call and took a bite of the apple.

“Where are you now?”

“I’m at your parking lot.”

“I’ll come down soon,” Joni promised.

“Good, I see you soon.”

“Well, what did Ivo want?” Misha asked when Joni ended the call.

“I promised to go and talk to him, it has something to do with Jami.”

“And Ivo couldn’t come here?” Misha cocked his brow.

“I guess it’s something that he doesn’t feel right talking to you.” Joni shrugged. Misha snorted, rolling his eyes.

“This is getting ridiculous.” Misha pointed out and when Joni looked at him Misha continued. “It is a bit peculiar that my big brother is constantly relying on the advice of my fiancé.”

“I think he just needs a friend.” Joni said planting a kiss on Misha’s cheek.

“And I am not qualified?”

“You are his brother… And… well do you see yourself in the situation that you could listen seriously Ivo’s relationship issues?” Joni smiled. “I don’t think that you’d first go to Ivo if you and I had problems?” Misha thought about it for a moment and sighed.

“I guess you’re right… But be careful, soon you find yourself going back and forth between those two listening how they bad mouth each other.”  Misha nodded to which Joni chuckled little nervously.

“I doubt it goes that bad…” He wondered

Joni walked to the parking lot and towards Ivo’s car which engine was running. He took a seat next to him,
“Well, do you want to tell me what happened?” Joni asked. Ivo was quiet for a moment.

“Jami cheated on me.” He said bluntly and glanced at Joni who looked surprised.

“Really?”

“Yes…” Ivo rubbed his eyes and sighed. “So how about that coffee?”

“Okay.” Joni nodded and fastened his seatbelt.

“So um… this happened on Friday?” Joni asked carefully while Ivo drove.

“Apparently. Do you know something about it?”

“I saw him early that evening, he had then had a couple of beers and was in a pretty sour mood… And yesterday he seemed very quiet when I drove Sonja there.”

Ivo nodded, his feelings were very conflicted. His phone peeped when it received a message and Ivo guessed that it was from Jami.
“What did he say about it? Was it someone he knew from before?” Joni asked still unsure how much would be okay to ask.

“His client, apparently they met by chance at the club. Jami insist that he was so drunk that he can’t remember anything.” Ivo’s tone changed neutral, he seemed both tired and bored at the same time.

“He did seem like he really wanted to get wasted when I saw him.” Joni admitted.

“Well… you wouldn’t go cheating on Misha no matter how drunk you would be? It’s a poor excuse.” Ivo sighed. “I can admit that I’ve done my share of mistakes in our relationship, but I haven’t had sex with anyone else.”

They parked near a cafeteria that luckily seemed quite quiet that time of the evening. Ivo read the message as he walked towards the table with a cup of coffee in his other hand. It was from Jami like he had suspected. “I’ll go and spend the night at Sonja’s, I’m on my way there. You can come home. I hope that you could forgive me, but I understand your anger and I know that you need time…”

“Well?” Joni asked with curiosity.

“He’s gone to Sonja’s, says he’s sorry…” Ivo said and sat down with Joni.

“Do you know what you’re going to do yet?”

Ivo shook his head and took a sip of his coffee. “I don’t know if I’m up to this…” He sighed. “Perhaps I’m meant to be alone,” He pondered and tried to smile. Joni tilted his head, twirling his spoon in his mug. He tried to think of what to say without sounding stupid but in the end he sighed and brought the mug to his lips.

“It’s a difficult situation. I don’t know what I would do in your shoes, I’d probably feel just as lost with my thoughts.” He admitted holding the mug between his hands. “And I feel like I can’t really tell you what you should do. Jami is my friend as well and I wouldn’t have thought that he…” Joni shook his head.

“Yeah…” Ivo nodded slowly. Going through all of it in his mind, wondering how everything could have changed so fast.

“I’m sure he had a hard time telling you…” Joni started. “If something good, even though it doesn’t feel like that now, he confessed quickly.”

“Jami is a terrible liar.” Ivo noted with a faint smile. “He couldn’t have kept this from me without looking guilty.”

“Do you love him?” Joni asked quietly, observing Ivo’s face.

“I wouldn’t have asked him to live with me if I didn’t… He has qualities that at times annoy the heck of me and then at the same time…” Ivo shrugged. “Tons of qualities that I appreciate… And even those annoying things… In a way I guess one grows strangely fond of them as well…” He sighed and looked at Joni. “But this… this episode might be too much… Everything and how it started.” He frowned. “I don’t know… this came as such a surprise and now I feel stupid.”

Joni nodded, he hoped he could say something comforting but everything sounded silly in his head. So instead he reached out and touched Ivo’s hand. “You don’t need to know at this minute what you want to do. Think about it for a couple of days and then, after you’ve calmed down, try to talk with Jami.” Ivo smiled and Joni moved his hand back slowly.

“Thank you Joni… It helps me to be able to talk to you…”

“I’m glad I can help,” Joni smiled back. “How many times have you listened to my problems?”

“Have you heard anything about that Canadian?” Ivo asked to take his thoughts away from Jami.

“No, I guess I worried for nothing?” He shrugged and sipped his coffee. “I guess some part of me still fears that something could happen though… But, perhaps it really is behind me and Chris has been able to move on?”

“I hope so. You have a lot of people on your side. Chris would have to be crazy if he tried something, I’m sure he gets that.”

“At least it’s good that he is different nationality…” Joni smiled.

“True.”

**^^**^^**

Chris had called Ryan a couple of times and each of those time the younger man had invited him over to his place without asking further questions. It was just sex, Chris didn’t want anything else between them and Ryan accepted that. Possibly he had other relationships like this and Chris wasn’t all that interested. Ryan didn’t even know his real name though perhaps suspected that it was something other than Nathan. Ryan accepted his role in Chris’ fantasy. Sex between them was intense and rough, Chris never wanted to see Ryan’s face during the act and the younger man didn’t seem to mind.

The random sex with Ryan didn’t however bring relief to the aching feeling in his chest; longing, bitterness and loneliness mixed growing a lump inside him that spread like cancer almost; that is how it felt.

At times it felt difficult to recognize who he had become. Chris had never dyed his hair before and he wasn’t sure when he had gotten the idea, but he found himself sitting at the barber chair explaining that he wanted to be blond and described the hair cut he wanted. The young woman, who was doing his hair, was too talkative and too inquisitive for Chris’ taste. He answered shortly to her questions and finally took a magazine, which worked to quit the inquisition.

When the process was done, Chris was amazed to see his reflection and how much a hair style could change. He wondered if Joni would recognize him if they were to meet by chance. It could really be that he wouldn’t. Perhaps Joni would prefer this style; after all it did have similarities to his current partner.

Chris started going to the gym more often; some might have said that it was his second home. He was interested of starting boxing again against a real life opponent, but for that he needed to practice, sharpen his skills.

“Chris?” A familiar voice interrupted his training one Saturday afternoon when he was beating the sack. Chris turned to look at the man whose face held a surprised mien. “I almost didn’t recognize you.” Leo said and Chris wiped the sweat from his forehead not knowing what to say at first. He hadn’t really seen old acquaintances after his return and now, here Leo was, and he hadn’t changed much.
“It’s been a long time,” Chris took note, not really knowing how to take this sudden encounter. Could he be the person anymore that Leo remembered?

“It has,” Leo smiled. “Gods… I heard a rumor that you’ve returned but…” He shrugged looking perplexed or perhaps queasy. “Wow, it’s odd meeting here.” He finally sighed grinning in a way that felt pretentious to Chris.

“It is…” Chris nodded. There was a moment of awkward silence.

“Um… How are you doing?” Leo asked to break the said silence and Chris shrugged.

“Okay…” He said and attempted to smile. “And you? Still working at the same firm?”

“Yeah… where else would I know to go?” Leo smiled. “Where do you work now?” Chris felt awkward, he didn’t really want to answer because it felt embarrassing somehow.

“Well… It’s just a temporary job, it’s okay while I look for a new job in my own field…”

“Okay, well, have you contacted the boss? I’m not sure though that we have any openings at the moment, tough times…”

“I haven’t yet.” Chris replied. Sure he had thought of it but perhaps he was afraid before hand that he would be rejected or that his time in jail would be brought up.

“I think you should ask at least.” Leo smiled. “Would you like to have a cup of coffee afterwards? It would be nice to talk more.”

Chris accepted Leo’s suggestion and after training they headed to a near by coffee shop. Chris felt odd, the person he had once been had started to feel like a stranger to himself and he wasn’t sure how to act with Leo. How much did the other know about the events that had brought him back?
They ordered coffee and sat in front of a window table, Leo smiled at him.

“The new look suits you, even though I have to admit that I rather liked your long hair…”

Chris tried to smile and nodded. “Change is good sometimes.”

“That’s true…” Leo brought the cup to his lips looking at him.  “It didn’t work with that Finn then?” He asked carefully, he had heard rumors, but wasn’t sure if they were accurate. They had shared their moments with Chris, spend couple of nights together some years back, perhaps tried something close to dating but it had never turned serious though Leo wouldn’t have objected the idea.

“Not really…” Chris smiled shortly and twirled his spoon in his coffee cup. “He had someone else on the side.”

“I’m sorry…” Leo said knowing he couldn’t start inquiring further details. Chris had never acted violent towards him and it was a reason why he wasn’t ready to believe all the rumors. At the same time though, those rumors were a reason why he hadn’t attempted to contact Chris sooner.

“What can you do…” Chris said. “I didn’t really like it there anyway.” He said dismissively and Leo nodded.

“I’m glad we ran into each other… I wondered about contacting you when I heard about your return, but I wasn’t sure… We didn’t really keep contact when you were gone.” Leo said and Chris admitted to himself that it was true. In the end he hadn’t really bothered to keep contact to his old friends, which also now explained their silence. Part of him realized how hung up he had been of Joni and how badly he still was…

”It’s true.” He admitted.

“But listen, we’re holding a casual Christmas party with the usual work group this weekend on our own expense. You could join us? I’m sure that many would be pleased to see you again. It’s the usual routine; we’re going out to dine somewhere and then to a bar. What do you think?”

Chris shrugged. “Well, lets see, I just might join you.” He replied, surprising even himself. Perhaps it would do him good, to seek out old acquaintances company?

“Great, do you still have my number? I seem to have lost yours.”
They exchanged phone numbers and Leo promised that he’d call on Monday when he knew the plan better. Chris returned home, the silence felt pressuring, it had felt so much better to come home to someone, to Joni. And before… before he had been more active and social, he had spent a lot of time with Adam and their mutual friends, Suvi had hanged out with them when they had started dating.

Chis logged in on his computer, overwhelmed of all the sudden memories of the past, of himself. Sure he had had his hermit like moments even then, when he just wanted to be by himself, but not like this… He hadn’t been all that happy then either, from time to time he had felt uneasy about the deepening relationship between Adam and Suvi, fearing that it would mean a slow death to their friendship.
He soon found himself looking at Joni’s pictures, at times he had glanced at his facebook profile that shared very limited information to outsiders, but at least had a fresher profile picture than what his own were. In the picture Joni looked healthy and happy. Chris wanted to contact him and at times like then, he pondered if he could write a message that could get Joni’s reply. Was it possible?

He got an instant message, it was from Aki, who else? Chris clicked the window open.
“I bought plane tickets, I’ll arrive on 15th, I assume that’s okay?”
 At time he found himself apprehensive of Aki’s enthusiasm concerning the plan, something in him bothered Chris. On the other hand it didn’t feel like a good idea to cut contact with him either.

“Okay,” he ended up replying. “I have work on the week days though.”

“It’s no problem, I’m sure I find things to entertain myself with ;)”

“How long are you going to stay?”

”About a week… I got Joni’s new phone number; I’ll send it to you soon. I don’t recommend that you try to call him though, we need to cook up a plan when I get there.”

Joni had changed his number unlisted when Chris had tried to search it before, though he knew it wouldn’t be a good idea to call.
“Where did you get it?”

“I tell you more when we meet. Now I have to run, later!”

Chris sighed deeply, soon he got a text message from Aki and stored Joni’s number in his phonebook. Doubt gnawed at his mind concerning Aki, where was everything going? Chris tried to think of it calmly and rationally, which felt difficult, he felt tangled between different emotions.  He wanted Joni, at times he felt angry, bitter and jealous of how everything had turned out. Part of him realized that the path that Aki was leading him to concerning Joni, was a path where there was no return and everything would forever change beyond repair. How far was he willing to go?”

TBC.

 Web published: 20th of August 2015.

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