Dwayne and I started hanging out regularly ever since that night. And it was fun. Dwayne was fun to be with. I've forgotten how enjoyable the attention of a young man can be.
"Alam mo ba (You know), I put in the log book under reason for visit - to make out and hopefully have some light sex with Kane," Dwayne told me while we were eating the creamy seafood pasta and citrus salad he brought.
"Gago ka talaga. Di nga? (Come on, serious?)" I replied
"Kahit walang sex, okay na rin naman. (Well, it's okay even if there's no sex.) Halika nga dito (Come here)," he said, pulling me until I was on top of him. I could feel his throbbing erection.
We kissed and I tasted the butter and cream in his mouth. Delicious.
"When can I see you again?" Dwayne asked me.
Dwayne is a sweet thoughtful young man and he is amazing in many ways. He would drop by at home and bring me food after his work, and over dinner we would talk about how our day went. I rediscovered the pleasure of eating supper … and eating supper with someone.
How are you? How was your day? How was work?
The small talk couples usually have, the insignificant chit chats we don't realize form and strengthen our bonds with our lovers.
But sadly the more we talked, the more I discovered how we are un-alike. And it was The End of the Affair that sealed our fate.
I was narrating the scene where Sarah Miles realized God had agreed to her bargain: her lover Maurice Bendrix lives but in return, she is never to see him again. I have always wondered at the fairness of such a contract: Sarah's lover's life in exchange for her fidelity to her husband. Can God be so cruel? Or, so kind?
When I finished, there was … silence. I was waiting for a reaction, something like "wow" perhaps but Dwayne remained quiet. Then suddenly he said, "Gusto ko yung kinuwento mo (I like the story)" in an utterly unconvincing voice.
I nodded, but I had a sinking feeling in my stomach.
Oh Dwayne, I thought in my head, this is why you and I can never be.
"Oh my God. Hindi siya pumasa! (He didn't pass the test!)" Neil said, after I told him what happened. "Ang hirap naman kasi ng exam na binigay mo; The End of the Affair talaga. (Of all the topics, you had to choose the hardest. The End of the Affair.)"
"I know. But Neil, I need someone who understands my stories," I replied. The way you do.
"Hayyyy… there are a lot of guys no Kane, but only a few will really get you. You're too much kasi minsan (Sometimes, you are just too much)," he said. "I remember you telling me about that story, though. Na-miss ko tuloy mga kuwento mo. (I suddenly miss your stories.)"
Dwayne's question jolted me back to reality. I realized what I had to do. It was time.
"Dwayne, teka lang (hold on). I think we need to talk," I said and straightened up. I looked at him seriously.
"Huwag ka masyadong ma-intense. Relax lang. (Don't be too intense. Just relax.)"
"Ha? Hindi naman ako intense. Ano ka ba (Huh? But I'm not intense)," Dwayne said. We were both a little nervous.
"Good. Look, I'm not looking for anything serious right now," I said.
"Bakit hindi? (Why not?)" he asked. He suddenly looked downcast.
"I just have other priorities," I explained. Sometimes a lie is kinder than the truth.
He was very quiet. "Ayaw mo ba sa akin? (Don't you like me?)"
Alam kong nasasaktan siya sa mga sinasabi ko. (I knew what I was saying was hurting him.)
"Dwayne, ano ka ba. Huwag kang malungkot (Come on Dwayne. Don't be sad)," I pleaded. "I do. I think you're amazing. But I guess I still like being single; I still want to meet more guys, have sex with more men."
I knew what I said probably hurt him more. Perhaps what I said what unnecessary. But I wanted to make myself clear and not create false hope. And telling him I'm a slut is the least painful way to do it. Better me than him. Better that I'm the bad guy. At least he doesn't have to feel he wasn't enough. Or at least, not that much.
I smiled wanly and took his hand.
"Besides, you can't be all that surprised Dwayne," I slowy said. "Nakalimutan mo na ba? (Have you forgotten?) I'm the guy you picked up sa kalye (at the street) to have a threesome. I'm that kind of girl."
"Nothing's so loud
as hearing when we lie
the truth is not kind
and you said neither am I"
---Toad the Wet Sprocket, "All I Want"