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The Exhaustion on His Tongue

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I’m 4 foot 10, and he’s 6 foot 2. With this in mind, Mondo could, I suppose, bend forward to my level to press his lips against mine. That may be the simplest solution. Another solution would be for me to stand on top of something that would boost me up to his height. There are many other more creative ones possible, I’m sure, but what always happens for us instead is that he’s the one to pull my whole body to his level. So, this time, as always, my feet are leaving their place on the ground to dangle beneath me. Blood rushes to my cheeks and I find a squeak escaping my lips just before he covers them with his own. Also as always.

 

Mondo’s hands move from my waist down to act as a seat under me after he pulls me into him, never taking his lips off of mine. My legs naturally wrap around his body and I close my eyes to return the kiss, allowing my arms to fall over his shoulders and close behind him, pressing us even closer still. I revel in the feeling of his tongue running over my lips, into my mouth, careful and gentle, but somehow excited.

 

After a moment longer he pulls back, a grin covering his face as he laughs. “How the fuck you weigh nothin’, Chihiro?’

 

“What?”

 

“I mean, I dunno why I was thinkin’ about it...” pink splotches appear on his cheeks as he continues “It’s just that like, I feel like I could carry you all day and never even notice. It’s like, super fuckin’ cute,” Mondo pauses before clarifying “It’s a good thing.”

 

“Thank you” I feel my own blush deepen and my heart beats faster. Mondo’s style of showing affection is so often limited to touch; he intertwines his fingers with mine when we walk side by side down the halls, he places his arm across my shoulders when we sit together in the cafeteria, he presses his lips against the crown of my head when he walks by me working at the computer, he sleeps with his arm entirely encircling me and his leg draped over both of mine at night, and of course, he lifts me like a doll so nearly every part of my body touches him when we kiss. Every “I love you” is obvious in the way he touches me. But just saying outright that I’m good?  To hear him say it so simply fills me with some kind of hope that it might be true. “Do you really mean it?” falls in a rush from my lips.

 

“You gonna make me say it again?!” His voice is pressured, his cheeks still pink, and he avoids my eyes with his, quite the feat to accomplish from barely an inch away from my face.

 

“No, that’s not what I meant! I’m not trying to embarrass you. I mean, like, you really like that I’m  small… even though I’m a boy?”

 

“What?” Mondo meets my eyes again. “The fuck would that matter, dude?”

 

“Boys aren’t supposed to be small… or weak, like me” I confess quietly.

 

“Chihiro, for such a smart fuckin’ dude, you can be really dumb sometimes, you know that?”

 

“What?!”

 

“Well, for the damn record, you’re adorable as shit and that’s a good thing” He continues, still staring directly into my eyes “You’re good for bein’ a boy and you ain’t weak. You’re small and you’re fuckin’ adorable, but you ain’t weak and you don’t gotta be some specific size to be a dude. You’re doing it just fine.”

 

Now it’s my turn to try to move my eyes away. I settle for focusing them on his mouth as tears start to leak from my eyes. “But what about the pretending to be a girl thing? The wearing girl’s clothes and my hair and everything?” I say quickly after some deliberation.

 

“I ain’t sure what that’s got to do with anything, dude. You sure got a lot of fuckin’ thoughts in that head of yours. You can wear whatever clothes you damn well please. Nobody with any fuckin’ sense ever said boys can’t wear dresses or have hair they make look cute. Only fuckin’ assholes would  try and make your manhood based on shit like that.”

 

The tears now escape my eyes to begin pouring down my cheeks and soaking into the chest of his shirt. “It’s not even that I want to wear those, really. I don’t feel like it’s who I am, necessarily. It’s just… it’s what I’m used to and it’s what people don’t get mad at me about, as long as I let them think I’m a girl.”

 

“Well, I know that. But it ain’t really important why. You can do whatever the fuck you want. If some piece of shit is gonna give you trouble over shit like that, you can do what you want about that. It ain’t weak to protect yourself, and you can do it however’s easy.

 

“Like, I mean it. You wanna wear girls’ clothes and tell ‘em you’re a girl, I’ll go right the fuck along with you tellin’ ‘em that. You wanna wear boys’ clothes and tell ‘em you’re a boy, then if they give you any of that ‘even though you’re a boy’ shit, I’ll beat the absolute fuck out of them. You wanna wear a dress and tell ‘em you’re a boy? Fine by me. I ain’t gonna let ‘em do nothin’ to you. Wear what you want, dude, for whatever reason you want. I don’t fuckin’ care about it. Not for my sake anyway. I just think- I thought you knew that.” Mondo pauses for a moment, the pink in his cheeks spreading across the rest of his face and darkening to a deep blood red before he continues.

 

“And you’re cute as fuck in whatever you wear, and you’re a man cause, like, you wanna be. And you’re a good one ‘cause you got that determination, you know, the inner strength and integrity and all that shit. That’s… well, that’s what I love you so much for”

 

And suddenly without my consent, I’m wailing, burying my face in Mondo’s shoulder. “I l-l-l-love y-y-you s-so much” I manage to cry out between sobs. Mondo moves his hands back up to level with my waist, wrapping his arms around me entirely. I sit up off of him, the tears still streaming down my face.

 

“If it’s gonna make you this fuckin’ happy, I guess I gotta try tellin’ you shit like this more often.” I laugh through the tears. Despite them, he presses his face against mine, soaking his own cheeks and then parts my lips in another kiss, deep and intense. I won’t mind if he takes a long while, after he just spent so much energy talking that I can almost taste the exhaustion on his tongue.