It’s day 18 of quarantine and I’m dead on my feet already.
It’s not like I’ve got too many things to do. It’s the opposite in fact; but my mind refuses to let me sit idle. So, instead of lying around all the damn time in my bed, as I had initially decided, I keep cleaning my house and find stuff to do now and then. It seems, I’ve got nothing better to do. When I’m done cleaning, I get to work, drafting all the required documents and recreating all my briefs, talk to my clients and co ordinate with my assistant.
You see being a lawyer, can be exhausting. At times, more so when the clients demand unnecessary time from me just so they can vent their frustration, and it’s generally not specific. Sometimes they bitch about the legal system, or the judge, or the administration or the government. And when all is done, they start talking about their opponent. It’s endless sea of words and themes that make less sense to me. I gather, they forget that I’m too a part of the same legal system they hate so much and it’s the same legal system that is adjudicating their disputes ultimately. That’s why it’s inevitable that after five exhausting hours of being behind closed doors of my home office, I stroll down into the living room and drop down on the couch, watching T.V. and somewhere between the Sherlock reruns, I’m fast asleep.
I wake up to a delicious smell of spaghetti sauce and meatballs. I’m still very much out of it but the idea of having such a lavish dinner, makes my stomach growl. A smile forms on my face as I think of having dinner, maybe with some wine, in dim lights, with a side salad and the leftover pie, from yesterday. Of course with Jen, sitting tight in front of me, a big bright smile on his face, his green eyes shining with mischief as he teases me for my appetite. A warm feeling settles down in my stomach and my heart does little flip flops as I think of my Jen.
When the hell did that happen! No, never.
Oh brain, you need to stop fantasizing. Stop thinking, period.
Let me introduce, Jensen Ackles, or Jen as I call him affectionately, my roommate and my best friend. I’ve known him since we were in high school. We practically grew up together. Or we’re still growing I would say! Because even today, our pranks do get us in trouble to a point that we had to buy a new sofa as Jen had found some glue and done a great job at scaring me off and I just had to return the favor by sticking most of his underwear on it, for him to see when he had his coworkers trailing behind him for a party! God, it was priceless.
Needless to say, the couch had been martyred and we had to buy a new one.
Sorry…deflecting. So, as I was saying, we grew up together. He was the only one to come and talk to the lonely geek back in school. And we became the best of friends very quickly. We had our first dates together, shared our stuff, got accepted in same college and most importantly, came out to each other, together too. God, that had been a dreadful day. I was so fucking scared to let Jen know that I wasn’t interested in ladies as I should be. I almost had made up mind that he was gonna hate me for it. But I couldn’t hide it anymore. To my surprise, he seemed totally fine with it. He had hugged me and told me that it was all going to be fine. He seemed a little fidgety himself, though. When I asked, he confessed that he was not exactly straight and he just might be interested in guys too. To sum up, he told me he was a bi.
That was the day I felt the weight on my heart lifted up. Because that meant, I could tell Jen that I had feelings for him, feelings that I had no business developing for my best friend, my shelter, my anchor. But then, he had told me about his crush on this Andy guy and my heart tumbled down the slope, ever to recover again. I decided that at least having Jensen in my life as my best friend was enough and much better than not having him in my life at all.
We were both scared of letting out parents know, but I was content in the knowledge that even if our parents abandoned us, we’d still have each other. And having Jensen in my life was enough to fill the void, even partially. It turned out, our fears were unfounded and our families had accepted us as we were. So, after everything was said and done, my mom was a little worried when she found me in my bedroom, crying like a little girl. She had comforted me and told me that “Everything will work out, give it time, JT”. I had been astonished to see sympathy and love in her eyes, but then I shouldn’t be as surprised as I was to know that she knew what the matter was even without me telling her what was wrong. She’s a mother after all and a mother always, knows it all.
Apparently, everyone knew about my little old crush on Jen, except for the oblivious fool, that is.
So, here I am still dreaming and hoping for Jen to come to his senses to realize that I love him. We all know, it’s not going to happen.
Yeah…Right…tell that to my stupid heart that still hopes and yearns for his affections.
Anyway, I blink and slowly open my eyes to take my surroundings in. I’m still on the couch but something is different. I’ve got a pashmina all over me, which I definitely remember, never touching, before I slept. It’s cream, soft and comfy. I should mention it’s warm too. And I promise it has nothing o do with the fact that it smells like Jensen. I burrow myself more into it, soaking in the warmth of it all. I smile like a stupid fool when my brain kicks into gear and I realize that Jen must have covered me with it, sometime after I slept.
It’s one of the things that keeps happening these days. Hey, I’m not complaining!
Jen’s very sweet like that. He’s been taking care of me, spoiling me by cooking my favorite dinners and sometimes breakfasts. I say sometimes, because Jen’s not a morning person. He’s rather a grumpy grumperson when he wakes up early and makes coffee, eggs and toast for us. He’s adorable though and I can’t help but hug him, everytime he does that.
What? It’s my way of being affectionate with him, when I know I won’t b able to do that exactly like I wish.
We’ve been quarantined for 18 days and I really don’t know how long I can manage before, my feelings burst out and I do something stupid, like kiss him. It’s been the best 18 days of my life so far.
You know why?
Because Jen’s been completely mine, for past 18 days. No visitors, no friends, no offices and no parties. It’s been 18 days of togetherness and he’s been so considerate with me. It’s not like he isn’t busy. He’s an architect and a damn good one at that. It’s obvious that with his talents and the recognition he gets, he’s busy with his ongoing projects in addition to the new ones he’s designing. That however, has not deterred him from taking care of me. He never complains of my obsessive working. He’s just there, silently supporting me.
And the best part is…
Sometimes, Jen cuddles me when we’re on couch, watching movies or games or stupid web series or watching Bachelorette, he holds me tight to his chest and kisses my forehead, silently whispers in my ears, “It’s gonna be okay, Jay. I’m here for you” and I always choke up. It’s a new thing that he started doing recently and everytime he does that, I find it hard to breathe. My heart skips a beat and then lurches and twists, creating a lump in my throat, making my eyes sting. Can’t he see that he’s making it hard for me to move on? Not like I can move on from him. The fact that I’ve never been in a relationship is a testament to that. I can’t help it. Nor does him being so sweet.
Can’t he see that everytime he’s dated someone, its torn me apart. Can’t he see that my heart is bruised enough and can’t stand the salt he’s rubbing in? Its been hard enough for me to watch him love others, wishing it was me all the damn time. And now, to shower me with cuddles and kisses, is a reminder of what I have but can never have the way I want. When he wakes me up from my impromptu naps, he always gives me the smile that brings out his wrinkles and makes his eyes shine bright and then, he kisses my temple to say, “Get you’re sleepy ass out and be ready for dinner”
My heart always hurts when he does that. I can’t help but let myself loose in the shower and cry my heart out because it’s the only way I can give in to my emotions. If this is my reaction to when he’s simply dating, I shudder to think about what I’ll do when he finally falls in love, gets married and moves out. I don’t think I’m gonna be able to go through that. The very thought sends shivers down my spine and leaves an empty and hollow feeling behind. I try to control, but my eyes always betray me, readily shedding more tears.
Those thoughts are for another day, though.
As I revel in the feeling of being wrapped up in Jen’s scent, I can feel a shadow looming over me. I blink open my eyes, only for them close in pleasure as Jen plants a slow kiss on my forehead.
“Wake up, sleepy head” Jen says in his whisky smooth voice and I can’t help but smile.
“You’re a sleepy head” I murmur, no doubt, my cheeks burning a little. Jen looks so good, dressed in grey sweat pants and his blue Henley, sleeves folded up to his elbows. His hair is all spiky and his eyes are full of mirth and his freckles stand out in the glow of his face. I want to drown in the beauty that Jen is.
“You’ve the worst come backs ever. It’s a pity that all this time, living with me, you haven’t picked up anything good from me”
“Hey, you’re just as stupid as I am”
“What are you talking about, I’m as charming as they come”
And I can’t help but laugh. He’s a dork, my best friend , Jen. And I fall a little more in love with him as he pouts as he looks like a petulant child throwing a tantrum. “You know, you look like a dork with that pout”
“You say the sweetest things, Jay. Now enough of the banter. Get up, dinner is ready”
I quickly get up and head to my bathroom to get a quick shower. I don’t let my thoughts linger over anything dark as I don’t want to spoil my mood. Especially, not when I’m about to have Jen’s special meatballs. I simply love Jen’s cooking. He’s a great cook.
In fact, he’s a whole package. Ideal for anyone. Except me.
Huh, stupid brain, lurking in dark again.
I quickly jump out of the shower and do a quick change of clothes and rush downstairs.
I come to a stop when I enter the dining area though.
The lights are dim and the table is set with roses, which are definitely from our garden. There’s candles lit and plates laid, with napkins neatly folded. There’s red wine and the deep aroma of the food is perfect for the theme as light music plays in the background. I wonder if there’s something special. Because Jen never does this. He hates the cliché. It’s the hopeless romantic in me that craves all this stuff – candle light dinners and roses etc. That’s why I’m curious. Is there anyone coming over to have dinner with us? But then, there are only two plates on the table.
I walk up to the table and I find a card folded, near the rose vase. It’s an expensive stationary card. I reach out and unfold it. Inside are words written in beautiful calligraphy, by Jen himself, because he’s super like that. I read the words and I drop down the paper back on the table and take a step back as if it burned me. And maybe it did.
The words written were:
“I love you, to the moon and back”
- “Forever Yours,
- Jensen ”
Wait a second.
Is Jen having a date? If he is, is that why he asked me to get up and have dinner, early? So that I go to my room as early as possible and he can have the house all for himself?
Hot tears roll down my eyes as I realize that once again that I’m in love with a guy who will never be mine. Looking at the lengths to which Jen has gone and decorated the table, I can’t help but be jealous of the person he’s seeing. He didn’t even tell me if he’s seeing someone. It must be someone special if the declarations are to go by.
That’s when my mind screams at me. JEN IS IN LOVE.
Jesus, Jen is in love with someone.
Dread and panic settles down in my stomach as I realize that Jen is in love with someone and it has got to be serious. Because Jensen is not the kind of guy that throws L word easily. I start breathing heavy as another thought jumps in my brain.
Jen is going to leave me soon. He’s going to settle down with this person and leave me behind, to live alone in this house. The walls suddenly start closing around me and my head is spinning. I cannot stop it though. I want to scream, I want to beg him to stay and tell him that I love him. I want to ask him why he can’t love me as much as I love him.
I don’t seem to do any of that. Instead I collapse down on my ass as my knees give out. I fold my knees close to my heart and hold them as I rock back and forth trying to calm down and will my tears to stop. I close my eyes, trying to concentrate on something and instead I picture Jen, laughing, glowing bright in the sunny light as I try to reach out to him. But I can’t. I know I can’t because he’s never going to be mine.
More tears make their way down my eyes as I sob uncontrollably now. It’s inevitable. My breakdown.
I hear steps coming my way and I try to hide my tears in an attempt to get up and run to my room because there’s no way I can confront him right now. But before I can get up on my shaky legs, Jen’s there, looking at me with wide eyes and he’s still so beautiful that my heart aches.
“Oh my god, Jay, what’s the matter? Are you hurt? Why are you crying? Are you in pain? Did you fall down? What happened? You’re scaring me” Jen rambles on as he holds me still by my arms and wipes my tears. God, he looks so concerned. Just like a best friend, I remind myself. But I heart yearns for him to be concerned for me just like my partner would. And I want that…I want him to be mine so bad but I don’t know how and especially now that I know he already loves someone.
Maybe it’s combination of my battered heart and my bruised mind that words slip out of me without my permission. “When were you gonna tell me?”
I can tell he’s confused and he still looks so adorable, I can’t help but cry some more.”Tell you what, Jay?”
I shed some more tears, I am helpless. He’s being so kind to me. It’s this kindness that’s killing me. That’s what makes me give up my secret, “Why can’t you love me?”
I feel so open and vulnerable now that my secret is out and judging by the surprised expression on Jensen’s face, I’m sure I’ve successfully ruined the only best thing in my life. And because I can’t take the silence anymore, I start rambling, in an attempt to get up and rush to my room, “I’m s-sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. F-forget I said anything okay. I’ll go to my r-room and you can have your date. I w-won’t interrupt.”
Just as I’m nearing the stairs, I feel a hand gripping me tight on my arm and spinning me around, only to come face to face with the man I love.
“Hold on. What do you mean date?” When I say nothing, he speaks again, “Jay, tell me what do you mean by date?”
His eyes are so beautiful but they bore into me as if they can read my soul. The gaze is intense and I duck down my head to avoid looking in those eyes.
What? Hey, they are hypnotizing!
Jen cupped my face and lifted my chin up, his eyes so soft and welcoming I can’t help but blurt out, “You’re having a date. The table and I-I read the letter. You said, you l-love someone…” I trail off because it’s so hard to even think it, let alone say it.
That’s when I have the strongest of urge to punch Jensen because the bastard starts laughing and I wanna punch him so hard that his nose comes out his ears.
Don’t judge me for saying that? I’m angry!
“God, you can be so stupid sometimes Jay. Is that why you were crying? Because you thought I was having a date?”
Now I feel …dumb? I don’t know. Confused? Maybe.
“Jay, let me clear it for you, okay” Jen says once he stops laughing. Now he’s all serious and I dread the conversation we’re about to have. He looks at me and holds my gaze as he speaks
“First of, no one is coming okay? We’re in quarantine, you doofus, so no one is visiting us. Second, yes, I’m having a date but it’s with you. And yes, I’m in love and it’s with you. Jay. This setting, the table, the roses, the card, it’s all for you, because I realized that enough was enough and I had to tell you that I love you. I’m in love with you and I can’t keep my feelings from you anymore, because everyday that I live with you is everyday that I feel alive. You’re my sunshine Jared. In this crazy world, you’re the one that keeps me sane. Your smile, your dimples, your princess hairs.” He chuckles as ruffles my hair but I’m in shock, still as a rod. But he continues, softly speaking as he stands close to me know, almost close to breath the same air.
”All of you, Jay. I’m in love with all of you. And I’m sorry it took me so long and a quarantine to realize that I love you so much. So much, sweetheart”
I’m too stunned to say anything. It’s all that I’ve ever dreamed and it’s all that I ever wanted, finally presented to me and all I can do it stare at Jen, trying to figure out if this is real or if I’m dreaming. I must have said it out loud though, because the next I know, Jen’s smiling at me,
“Yes, it’s real, my Jay. You want me to show you?”
Like a dumb idiot that I am, I only manage to nod before Jen’s lips are on mine and he’s kissing me. My eyes automatically close as I feel his tongue licking my lower lip, as if seeking permission and I finally understand it’s real. I bring my hands around his neck and I hold him close to me as I open up and kiss him back. It’s the most beautiful feeling ever. I’m so happy to have him, warm and mine, in my arms that I feel like shouting out to the world from top of the roof or doing a million cartwheels. My stomach does flip flops and my heart is so full of love for this stupid but wonderful man that I can’t help but deepen the kiss. I map out all the corners of Jensen’s mouth, our tongues battling for dominance.
As usual Jen wins, he always does and always will.
I kiss him till my knees threaten to give out. But I don’t fall, because Jen’s holding me. His strong arms around my waist are doing things to my organs down south. When the need to breath becomes strong, we break the kiss and I open up my eyes, to be greeted by the beautiful sight of Jensen, all warm and smiling goofily at me with kiss swollen lips and I start crying.
“J-jen I love you too. So much.” I say and it comes out a bit wobbly. But I don’t care, not when Jensen gathers me in a tight embrace.
“I know, sweetheart, I know. I’m sorry it took me so long to understand. But I’m here. And I’m never gonna leave you. I love you, Jay. I always have and I always will.”
He breaks the embrace and cups my cheeks. His thumbs slowly wipe away the last of my tears as we stand there smiling at each other like love sick fools.
“Love you, Jen” I repeat because I’m never gonna get over of letting him know just how much I love him.
“Love you too, babe. And I know we need to talk some more. But food first. After all, I toiled so hard to impress you. You can’t spoil all my efforts by looking so cute, Jay or I won’t be able to control myself” Jen complains as he pouts.
This time, I lean in to kiss those pouty lips, just like I always thought.
Just because I can.
After all, he loves me and I love him.
What else is there to say.