The crowd at the wedding reception was substantial. My former classmate, from high school and up to college in fact, gathered her family, friends, and workmates dutifully to witness this event. What a special day for her. Diana looked really lovely today, her round eyes sparkling with so much love. I wish her well.
These were my thoughts, looking her way, sitting from afar, in one of the many tables all dressed in white. I could have gone all nostalgic, thinking about my friendship with the bride, but I felt the gaze of someone resting on me to the right.
He was making his way towards my direction, but he was not looking at me, instead he was shaking hands and exchanging greetings with some of the guests, which were his former classmates in high school too. Ah, those days, really… interesting.
I take him in, his white polo reflecting more light to his short, brown hair. I smile, remembering all the times he made me laugh each time we hanged out after school, or during our extracurricular activities before. There is also the fact that I might have been attracted to him then, but did not pay much attention to it because he was always seeing someone else. He was a real charmer, and he still is actually, particularly now that I can tell he has been working out.
He stops in front of me and lays down the huge wedding present he has for Diana on the floor. He opens his arms to embrace me, and I stood up, to return the friendly embrace. It has been long – far too long – and I’m glad to see him after all this time. Since we graduated high school, I did not have the chance to speak with him again, though I gazed at him shortly at the Sanctuario while he was sleeping, when I heard his mother died and I wanted to offer my condolences a few years back. But he did not see me and we did not get to speak because I left, not wanting to disturb his beautiful sleep. I knew he needed it that time.
My head only reached his chest and he enveloped me in his arms, his face nuzzled on my neck. I brought my arms to his back, giving him a friendly hug. But the baby hand of the clock ticked and ticked and he was not letting go, squishing my face closer to his broad chest. He smells like the morning light and as his embrace grew tighter, my eyes widened in shock, and my arms found a life of their own and hugged him closer too, closer to me than what was possible ever.
I wonder what the other guests are thinking, taking us in? But he does not care, I can tell, and a part of me was very pleased. We stood there locked in each other for I don’t know how long – and I didn’t care much too for all I wanted was to revel in that moment, savoring him, discovering a huge damn well broken by his touch, hidden somewhere at the back of my… mind.
In his embrace I can feel a whole assault of emotions, traveling up my spine, from him to me. But what is it? Why is he doing this? I closed my eyes tight, feeling him needy, longing, and… what? I sighed. “Please tell me what it is, James. Please tell me what this means,” I was thinking this thought to myself, all the while, pleading, begging to understand, or more important, debating whether or not I want to hear the words from him.
But as abrupt as it came, the more abrupt it ended. He released me from his embrace that felt like home. He took me in, dead in the face, his brown eyes boring into my soul that I did not realize I was holding my breath. “Alright,” he sighs then breaks into a satisfied, radiant smile, as if he was able to be free of something heavy in his chest. “It was great to see you.” And that was it – casual and simple, yet cryptic to me. He picked up the gift he brought for the newlyweds and walked away from me.