From, Shower You With Love
Chris hummed the catchy melody of a song he’d heard in the store where minutes ago he’d bought some groceries on his way home from work. He’d chosen his boyfriend’s favorite wine to drink with dinner in an effort to apologize for being late again. His meeting dragged on way past the expected time of conclusion, despite his efforts to curtail it. Surprised there were no lights on in the little brownstone he shared with his lover, Chris fished in his overcoat pocket for his house key. He juggled the paper sack of pasta, tomatoes, and wine as he fumbled the key in the lock. The half-stick of French bread somehow leaped from the bag and landed at his feet.
Chris succeeded in opening the door and flipped on the hall lights in a move that had his key falling to the tiled floor. He called out. “Andrew? Hey, are you home?” He strode to the kitchen and placed the paper sack on the table, then went back to pick up his house key and the bread stick. There’d been no answer from Andrew and he closed the front door. An unfamiliar emotion gripped him and his heartbeat sped up. Is Andrew sick? Chris took the stairs two at a time to the bedroom they shared. “Andrew?” He knew in his heart his lover wasn’t there. He switched on the pendant instead of the bedside lamp wanting to flood light on what was happening.
A note lay on the bed.
Sorry Chris. You must know we’re over. I’ve changed my phone number to avoid any uncomfortable conversations. Andrew
Chris read the note twice before he checked the closet. Andrew’s clothes and shoes were gone. Chris clicked off the light and, note in hand, went down to the kitchen. Andrew had never brought many belongings into the place other than clothes, shoes, and a handful of DVDs, but he had bought them both a coffee mug that proclaimed their love. Chris saw them, rinsed and upside down on the sink drainer. The sight brought tears to his eyes. Chris went to the fridge and took out a beer. He slumped on a kitchen chair, still wearing his overcoat, and heaved a sigh.
He turned over every loving moment they’d shared over the last six months until his head hurt. He looked among his memories for signs he could have missed that Andrew was so unhappy he’d just leave. He found nothing. I wish I’d paid more attention, but I thought I’d shown my affection, care… After an hour staring into space, he finally drank some of the beer, placed the bottle on the table, stood, and went to the hall, where he hung his overcoat on the hallstand.
Chris wandered back to the kitchen and made a cold chicken sandwich, only half of which he ate. He gazed around. The place felt very empty. There was work he could do, but he’d left important notes at his office, meaning to give Andrew his full attention that night. He went into the living room and put the TV on. Nothing captured his attention as he flipped through the channels hoping to fill the hollow that ached in his chest.
Sleep evaded him that night and he dragged into work the next morning feeling wrung out. He met his best and oldest friend, Phil, that night for a meal and ended up staying with him for the remainder of the week in the penthouse Phil rented with his girlfriend in the city. Phil and Kathy let him drone on about Andrew until something startling happened. Chris discovered he’d not been in love. True, he’d enjoyed being with Andrew, cared for him, but although he’d not expected Andrew to suddenly up and leave, he’d not expected them to last forever. In fact, he’d not given any thought to their future. He asked Phil as guilt flooded him, “Is that awful—am I a horrible person?”
Phil had glanced at Kathy, taken her hand as she sat beside him on the couch, and slowly shook his head. “If something is going to be forever, you know. It’s there practically right away.”
Two weeks later, Chris moved out of the brownstone into an apartment closer to his office. He’d always worked hard, now he worked harder.
Copyright E. D. Parr, Evernight Publishing, 2020
Chris Everhart attends his best friend’s weeklong wedding festivities. He meets handsome, enigmatic, Owen, and in a haze of attraction ignores the strangeness surrounding Owen. Convinced he’s falling in love, Chris spends every moment he can with Owen, until on the final day of his best friend’s celebrations he discovers a heartbreaking and shocking truth. He and Owen can never be together.
Traumatized, lonely, Chris can’t settle into another relationship, and then, after two years of wishing he could feel the way he felt for Owen with another man, fate intervenes. He meets gorgeous, gentle Matthew.
Spooked, Chris is about to run from Matthew who reminds him so much of Owen, but Matthew asks Chris to dance with him.
In Matthew’s arms, Chris can’t ignore the feeling of belonging that rushes over him.
Will he take the risk to love again, or continue to yearn for a ghost?
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