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Etched into your skin

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“Aahh, the handsome young man is back. What a lucky girl I am.”

Type smiled kindly at Jeed. One week had gone by and he was indeed back in her bar. Mostly to relax and enjoy the end of a long week of Uni. Maybe a little bit because he wanted to hear Lhong’s band again.

“Hello P’Jeed, you look great tonight.”

“Handsome and charming, what a great mix. Where are your little friends?”

“At home, they’re finishing some assignments.”

Techno and Champ had slacked off on their anatomy’s paper all week, preferring lounging around and playing games with the other guys to the point of forgetting entirely about the paper. The only thing that saved them was when they actually saw Type submit his own assignment in. Anatomy and sports injury was a bitch of a subject, Type didn’t know why these two morons thought they could just wing it 10 minutes before the deadline. The result was them sacrificing their first night of freedom of the weekend to graphs and thick textbooks, whining and pouting all along. Well, Techno whined and pouted, Champ pretty much just grumbled and started to work right away.

In a burst of generosity, Type had thrown his notes on the table for them, reminding them kindly they would now be in his debt and they better remember it when he’ll need to collect it.

“Damn Type, signing a pact with the devil sounds less scary than this!”

Techno had still snatched the papers from the table and started to scan through them.

So here Type was, alone, in Jeed’s bar, ready to… relax. He ordered his usual drink, asked for some snacks and went to a small table in a corner, further away from the female consumers that were once again near the stage.

Just as he was looking around wondering where the band was, Type saw Lhong coming out of the bathroom. He raised his glass to catch the man’s attention, successfully making him stop by his corner.

“Hey dude, good to see you, where are the other guys?”

“Trying not to fail a paper.”

The singer snickered and grabbed some of the still untouched snacks.

“Glad at least one of you managed to come. Stay here and we’ll join you at the end of our set.”

Lhong jumped on stage, soon joined by the guitarist and bassist. But no trace of the drummer. Type glanced left and right, trying to catch sight of the man, unsuccessfully. The band didn’t seem to be waiting for him either and started to play at once.

Type eyebrows were furrowed during the whole set as he knocked down a first drink, soon followed by a second.

Why the fuck did that guy tell him to come back today if he wasn’t going to be here? Who does that? He could have just said ‘thank you’ and move on? If Type had come only for that guy, he’d be quite pissed right about now. But all is fine, he was here to enjoy the alcohol and atmosphere first, the band was just a part of the atmosphere. And the band sounded just a little bit less good without the drummer, just a little bit more boring. Whatever, he just needed more alcohol.

As soon as the band was finished and the clapping subdued, the three musicians joined his little table, pushing another one closer to bring more drinks for everyone, graciously bought by their fans of the evening.

“Did you enjoy it?” asked Song with a bright smile, the youngest and definitely most cheerful of their group.

“Mh, you guys are talented. Is the other guy not here tonight?”

“The other guy?” said Song, tilting his head at the question.

“You know, the drummer.”

“Aah! Phi was quite busy, he stayed at home.”

“Why?” came Lhong’s question, his eyes focusing razor sharp on him. “Interested?”

Type sneered and pushed one of the fuller glasses in the man’s face.

“Just drink, it’ll keep you from talking shit.”

It’s like he couldn’t be curious anymore.


What a week, and it was only Tuesday.

Classes had really picked up the pace and everyone was starting to slowly drown under the amount of work that, as if enchanted, kept piling up without ever disappearing.

Tharn needed all the boba Thailand had to offer. He knew his study group was already waiting for him at the library, but he needed something to wake up. He’d been sleeping poorly for weeks now and he was starting to feel the effect of it.

Saying he had made peace with the idea of Type not wanting to have anything to do with him would be an overstatement. Numb would probably be closer to the truth.

Even if he did manage to track him down, what would he say? Something like-

“Hey! Here you are, you quitter!”

Tharn almost choked on his sip in surprise. He turned around, uncertain if the voice was really calling out to him.

A man was walking toward him in swift strides, expression set in the most offended look Tharn had ever seen on another person. Tharn placed him easily enough as the man he’d briefly met at Jeed’s bar some 2 weeks ago. The guy was too pretty to be easily forgotten, he had had the fluffiest hair and the most expressive eyes.

He remembers how the man had watched him the whole time the band had been on stage, how intense his scrutiny had been.

Tharn had been just as surprised he’d taken notice. Usually, when he plays, he gets lost in his own world where everything feels better, a little less heavy. But he couldn’t have shaken the weight of that stare off his shoulder even if he’d wanted to.

Frankly, if circumstances had been different, if he wasn’t still trying to come to term with his soulmate situation, he would have definitely picked him up. Tharn was quite sure he would have been successful as well.

He was definitely too pretty for someone that scowled that hard.

However, at this specific moment, Tharn really wasn’t sure of what was going on.


The man was as attractive as he’d been at the bar, but had swapped his casual slacks for a blue football shirt and shorts exposing wide patches of tanned skin.

“Don’t pretend you don’t know. You told me to come back last Saturday to hear you play and then you didn’t even show up.”

Tharn had to search back to try and remember what he could have possibly said to deserve such anger. He’d said the guy should come back for their next performance.

“Mmh… the band did perform Saturday.”

“I know! But you wouldn’t, you weren’t there!”

Tharn raised both eyebrows, understanding slowly settling in. He would have definitely managed to pick the guy up.

“Was Nong sad because he missed me?”

Tharn would wish for a long time he’d filmed the footballer’s reaction. The next moments were full of sputtering and indignant looks, cheeks reddening and scowls deepening.

“Shut up! Who are you calling ‘Nong’, we’re the same age! And who missed you?!”

Tharn smiled around his straw.

“You look very angry for someone who didn’t miss me.”

“I’m not angry,” he hissed between his teeth. “I’m annoyed because you’re talking nonsense! And you didn’t respect your engagement the other night!”

That guy was a terrible liar. Tharn wondered if he at least believed in what he was saying or even he knew it was in vain. In any case, his reaction only made Tharn want to push his buttons some more.

“If I had known you were waiting for me, you could be sure I would have come.”

“Who said anything about waiting for you! If you give your word you should follow through, that’s all!”

Tharn hummed, sipping some more of his drink, staring at the man who was in turn looking down at his mouth at the mouvement. Pushing it, he liked his lips for good mesure, grinning as the other only seemed to frown harder.

“Well… You should come next time again. I promise I’ll be there.”

The man scoffed, crossing his arms on his chest. He had an air of someone that wasn’t really used to being pushed around. Which Tharn could imagine without too much problems. He was very good looking, that was a fact, but he was also tall and clearly in very good shape. There was an edge of aggression in his posture, daring anyone to just try and come after him to see what would happen.

“Ah! Fat chance! I’m not going to waste my time for you.”

“But how will you know if I keep my word this time around.”

“Why do I care?”

Tharn raised a single eyebrow, tilting his head slightly.

“Because… you just shouted at me for it right now.”

“... Whatever,” was the only answer he received, the man turning around swiftly to leave.

Tharn laughed, calling after him.

“See you soon! I’ll be waiting for you at P’Jeed’s!”

Tharn hurried back to the library, laughing to himself as he replayed the conversation in his head. He apologised to the other members of his group as soon as he arrived at their table and sat down on his seat next to Lhong.

“What took you so long, I started to worry.”

Tharn hummed while taking his laptop out of his bag.

“Nothing bad, just saw a guy on the way over here and stopped to talk for a minute.”

“A guy? Do I know him?” wondered the other man.

“Yeah, the hot one, he’s friends with Techno.”

Lhong seemed to think about it, looking at the ceiling until understanding dawned on him.

“Ah! You mean Type?”

And in an instant, Tharn’s whole world tilted from its axe.