This week has Liam finally had enough?
The day things changed a cool autumn wind heralded it.
Karl met Liam for lunch in the little café close to Liam’s office building. He kissed Liam before he sat at the table. “Hi, babe.”
The stilted conversation stalled. Liam pushed his salad around in the side dish. He only ate half of his burger. He twisted his napkin into a pretzel shape.
Cold fingers of dread crept up Karl’s stomach. “What is it, Liam?” He lost the fight to keep quiet and wait for whatever was going to happen.
Liam ran a hand through his dark hair and it spiked on end at the front. He sighed and his eyes filled with emotion. There was a plea in his tone. “There’s a launch party Friday night. I want you to come with me. It’ll mean staying late. Maybe until one AM—please say you will. It would mean so much to me. I’ve told Evan about you. I want you by my side. It’s time I stopped hiding what I am…”
Karl winced at the last words. They resonated with his own plight. He stared at Liam. His heart filled with tenderness and sorrow. “Babe, I can’t stay. You know that.”
Liam let his fork drop onto his side plate with a clatter. He leaned away from the table.
“I thought maybe just this once—Is it a sick relative you go to help? Couldn’t you employ a nurse? Surely you can be late to whatever it is you run off to, or whoever it is, just for once? Karl, please. How can we ever have a long term relationship if we never spend the night together?”
Tears gathered behind Karl’s eyes. This was it. Liam had grown tired.
“I’m sorry.” He couldn’t say any more without crying.
Liam gazed at him. “So am I. Let’s call it a day, then, Karl.” He stood abruptly, his chair legs squeaking on the tiled café floor, and stalked off.
Karl sat for a time staring at Liam’s empty chair and then at the salad pushed to the edge of the Liam’s plate. Tears welled and slid silently down his face. They splashed onto the Italian fabric of his pants, making spiky dark spots on the pale gray. Finally, Karl asked the server for the bill, paid, and left to go back to work.
Copyright E.D.Parr, Evernight Publishing
Global Amazon link http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B076L3JC63
HOP to the next midweek teaser