“...I’m going to ask Puifai to be my girlfriend.”
Was it possible to feel your heart physically break just with a few simple words? Feel like your world just suddenly...stopped? Because that’s what Tharn is feeling right at this moment, eyes darting right at Type who seemed to be studying his face. He wonders what the other sees; sadness? Dread? Or maybe he just looked downright pathetic with the way he’s looking right at the person who had consumed his heart and mind in such a short time.
Smile, Tharn. His mind whispered. You knew deep down it would end this way.
So smile he did, and even he knew it looked forced. “Goodluck,” he said, fists clenching the sheets and trying to put his tears at bay. “Tell me how it goes, so I know how to act around you.” Eyes looking down, trying to steady his breathing before he looked up again. Still with that smile on his face. “Don’t forget to buy her a present. Or you’ll get dumped before she even becomes your girlfriend,” he added before he turned around and got off the other’s bed.
It hurts. His chest feels heavy, as if there were claws trying to rip his heart open as he lied down on his bed, covering himself with his own blanket.Lying on his side, he stared ar the white walls of the dorm as he raised his right hand and placed it right at the place where it hurts, clutching his shirt as he wills himself to not cry; not yet.
Finally closing his eyes, he forced himself to sleep but despite his effort, a tear escaped his eye.
The next day found Tharn waking up early, getting ready for his class. Before he leaves the room, his gaze lingered for a few second on Type’s still asleep figure, curled around his pillow. Despite the pain that was constantly eating him away, a smile made his way on his lips, albeit a sad one then he turned around and left.
It was tuesday and the gig will be on friday so Tharn and his bandmates would be practicing right after class for the next few days. Aside from that, he needed to talk to the school administration and his parents. As if hearing his thoughts, his phone rang and he saw his father’s name flashing on the screen.
”Good morning, dad,” he greeted as he swiped his ID to get in his faculty building.
”Good morning, son. Have you thought about what I told you last time?”
Tharn was quiet for a few seconds, standing still as he took a deep breath and answered, “Yeah. I’m actually about to call you to talk about it.”
”Son, I understand if you want to stay and just finish your music degree here. Your mother and I just wanted you to have more options in your career. And also, your Nana’s been asking for you repeatedly,” his father said with a light chuckle that brought a smile to his lips.
“I miss her too. But I’ve made a decision. I’ll be talking to the admin right after class to fix my papers.”
”Oh no need to worry about your papers, I’ll have my secretary take care of it. Just talk to the admin and the management of your dorm.”
”Okay. Can I ask P’Thorn to help me pack?”
”I’ll tell him to call you, he’s done packing his stuff anyway. Okay then, go to your class. Have a good day, son.”
Putting his phone down, Tharn craned his neck up to stare at the ceiling. He knew this would seem like he’s running away, but there’s no running away when there’s no one chasing him in the first place.
And he’s so done doing the chasing.
The bar was buzzing with life as Lhong thanked the patrons for listening and telling them that they’ll have a second set after a break. Their audience gave them a loud applause that never failed to make Tharn feel hyped as he stood up from his stool and followed his bandmates to their table for a round of drinks.
”Here, Tharn,” Lhong offered him a bottle of beer that he took with a smile and drank. “I’m only drinking one bottle, I have to be sober before my brother picks me up,” he leaned towards Lhong to whisper and his friend looked back at him with sad eyes but nodding, nonetheless. Lhong knew that he’s leaving and maybe had gotten mad that it was all too sudden, but after Tharn explained that he wanted to be with his Nana and continue his studies in the States, the other finally understood and had promised to keep it a secret to the band, atleast until he boarded the plane. Tharn thought of spilling everything to his bestfriend, but he knows Lhong. Surely, if he knew of his feelings for Type, his bestfriend will hate on the other and blame him for his decision to leave. And Tharn didn’t want that. Type did nothing wrong and he doesn’t deserve to be hated by anyone unjustly just like what happened a few weeks back.
”I’ll go talk to P’Jeed,” he informed the other people on their table and they all gave him a thumbs up so he made his way towards the bar. P’Jeed saw him and she smiled widely, eyes filled with pride and kindness that Tharn felt bad for suddenly dropping the news to her like this.
“There’s our superstar! You guys were great out there! Maybe one of your best yet,” she spoke giddily. “And here,” she slid a cocktail towards him and nudged her head towards somewhere and Tharn followed her line of sight to see a guy standing at the middle of the bar with his friends, smiling and tipping his glass towards him. “A drink for the drummer, he said. Why don’t you go talk to him?” She said teasingly but the other looked away from the stranger and gave her a dismissive smile.
”Actually, I can’t get drunk tonight, Phi. I have to tell you something.”
”Sure, darling. What is it?”
Tharn watched as P’Jeed stopped from mixing the drinks then eyes lifting up to him. “What do you mean leaving?”
”Me and my brother will be flying to San Francisco,” he admitted.
”Tonight. I’m sorry, phi,” Tharn said as he looked down.
”There’s nothing to be sorry about, Tharn. I’m not mad. Surprised and sad, yes. But not mad,” she said and reached up to hold his hand to give it a comforting squeeze. “But tell me, are you leaving due to family reasons only or is there something more to it?”
A lifeless chuckle left Tharn, “I may be using this opportunity to heal from a brokenheart.”
“Thank you for listening! And tonight, one of our band members will be serenading you with his original song as an ending to our final set,” Lhong announced through the mic and Tharn stood up from his seat infront of the drums and relocated to the piano. Seeing this, the audience got impossibly louder because this would be the first time they’d witness the handsome drummer sing and play the piano.
Tharn took out the music sheet from his bag and fixed the mic stand. “Good evening, I’m Tharn,” he started and people hooted giving him encouragement as he introduced the song. “I wrote this song for all the people who falls inlove unrequitedly and can’t do anything but wish their love happiness.”
Slow, melancholic melody from the piano had surrounded the bar as Tharn started his song,
I’m jealous of the rain
that falls upon your skin
it’s closer than my hands have been
I’m jealous of the rain
I’m jealous of the wind
that ripples through your clothes
it’s closer than your shadow
oh, I’m jealous of the wind
Cause I wish you the best of all this world could give
and I told you, when you left me
there’s nothing to forgive
but I always thought you’d come back
tell me, all you found was heartbreak and misery
it’s hard for me to say
I’m jealous of the way
you’re happy without me
I’m jealous of the night
that I don’t spend with you
I wonder who you lay next to
I’m jealous of the night
I’m jealous of the love
A love that wasn’t here
Gone for someone else to share
Oh, I’m jealous of the love
Cause I wish you the best of all this world could give
and I told you, when you left me
there’s nothing to forgive
but I always thought you’d come back
tell me, all you found was heartbreak and misery
it’s hard for me to say
I’m jealous of the way
you’re happy without me
As I sink in the sand
watch you slip through my hands
Oh, as I die here another day
Cause all I do is cry behind the smile
I wish you the best of all this world could give
and I told you, when you left me
there’s nothing to forgive
but I always thought you’d come back
tell me, all you found was heartbreak and misery
it’s hard for me to say
I’m jealous of the way
you’re happy without me
It’s hard for me to say
I’m jealous of the way
you’re happy without me
Tharn re-opened his eyes as he pressed the final key, feeling his heart ache as the words he sung resonates from deeply within. He lifts a hand to his cheek to subtly wipe away a stray tear that escaped before he finally stood and accepted the applause given by the audience.
Type gave the driver a bill, not waiting for the change as he exited the taxi and sprinted. His heart was pounding, so much so that it feels like it wants to jump out of his chest, and announce to anyone who would want to hear of the revelation he had; of something he’d been denying to himself all this time.
I like Tharn, he thought as a smile broke its way to his lips.
I like Tharn. Fuck, that feels so good to finally admit.
“Hey! Stop running!” The landlady shouted at him as he entered the dorm building, but he just gave her a big smile as he sprinted towards the stairs. Taking it two at a time, he didn’t notice another person who was carrying a box going down and almost bumping into him.
“I’m sorry!” he said, giving a bow before he resumed his ascend to the second floor.
Thorn took out his phone after locking the door, placing the box under his left arm as he dialed his brother’s number.
”Hey, I got the last box of your things. I’m on my way there,” he told Tharn and he could hear the loud background of the bar as Tharn reminded him to give back the keys to the landlady at the reception area. “I will, I will. I’ll be there at around 20 minutes, our flight’s leaving in an hour,” Thorn reminded his brother as he took the stairs going down.
”Okay, phi,” Tharn replied from the other line, voice a bit withdrawn that caught Thorn’s attention but tucked it at the back of his head. Knowing his brother, it’s better to talk to him face to face about whatever’s bothering him. Hunging up the phone, he grabbed the box with both hands, and it was fortunate that he did because he almost got bumped into by another person.
”I’m sorry,” the guy apologized and bowed before he took the stairs two at a time and Thorn just chuckled and continued to go down.
Type took out his keys and slotted it inside the knob, steadying his breath before he twisted and opened the door.
That was what greeted Type as he entered, and thought that maybe Tharn was already sleeping. Surely he was tired from his gig at P’Jeed’s so he quietly closed the door and took off his shoes. Placing his hand on his heart, he felt it’s steady and loud thump and he can’t wait to tell Tharn.
Slowly taking a step further, Type’s eyes had adjusted to the dimness of the room to see that Tharn was not on his bed. Okay, maybe he’s still drinking with his friends, Type’s mind tried to rationalize as he stood there at the center of the room. And yet, something felt...wrong. The posters that usually littered Tharn’s wall was nowhere in sight, and when he casted his eyes to the right, the usual spot where Tharn’s guitar was placed was also missing. The silence was starting to be deafening as a sudden feeling of panic made its way to his chest. Quickly, he turned on the lamp on the bedside table and his eyes widened.
Tharn’s side of the room was empty.
Lhong won’t be an obsessive psychopath in this story.
The song that Tharn performed: Jealous by Labrinth
7 years later
Turning around the corner, Type can see his friends at the side of the road with boxes on the ground. He clicked his tongue, reminding himself to smack Techno on the head once the other got in. Once Boat and No saw his car approaching, they stopped their bickering and Techno waved his hands widely, as if Type can’t see him clearly already in this broad daylight.
He stepped on the breaks, pressing a button to roll down the window on the passenger seat. “Techno, come here,” he said and the other dumbly went, putting half his body in through the window and when he’s near enough, Type smacked his head down with a bit of force that shocked his friend. Techno tried to get away from the assault but it just resulted to him hitting his head on the roof of the car causing both his friends to laugh at his struggle. “Hey! What did I even do?”
Type rolled his eyes. “I told you the trunk is full already. Now you have to sit in the backseat and suffer,” he replied, then he told Boat to place the boxes in the backseat and that he gets to sit shotgun.
”No fair,” Techno whined but accepted his fate as he went inside the car, trying to fit beside the boxes in the backseat. “Why do you get to spoil the kids with football gears and I can’t?”
“Because we’re using my car? And I know you’re just buying their affection because the kids always choose me to be the captain,” Type replied with nonchalance as he pressed the location in the GPS. Once he selected the route with less traffic, he started to drive.
”That’s because you like to show-off! Ugh, whatever man. Can we please at least play my playlist?” Techno grumbled, placing his elbow at the back of Boat’s seat.
”Yeah, your choice of music is too depressing, Type,” Boat commented and laughed as Type casted a quick glare to his direction before he looked back at the road.
“It’s not depressing. You both just have no appreciation for good music and great lyrics that are practically poetry. All you like are bop songs that have no meaning at all,” he said, trying not to sound too defensive.
”Oh please,” No said as he reached towards the car console to disconnect Type’s phone through the bluetooth and connected his phone instead. “Just admit you’re crushing on that song writer. Your song choices have no specific artist but only contains song written by the same person. What was the name again?”
”If you want the kids to see you intact, you’ll stop your blabbering,” Type threatened but Techno is practically immune to such words and for the past few years, Type had mellowed down from his proclivity to be randomly violent. Well, except to the usual smacking of his head. It’s almost like a routine for Type to do that whenever they meet.
Someone shouted and almost all tiny heads turned to their direction by the door. Type, Techno and Boat were all carrying boxes and they raised their hands slightly as tiny bodies started plastering themselves to their legs, to Type specifically.
“Did you bring gifts?! P’Type are those gifts?!”
”I wanna see!”
”Do I have one?!”
The children were shouting at the same time and Type suppressed a chuckle at the excited faces looking up at him. “Yes, we brought gifts, Ailee. And yes, you have one for you, Mike, but I won’t be able to give it to you guys if you don’t let us put the boxes down,” he told the children. Like magic, the kids stood properly and gave the three adults space to finally put the boxes to the ground, eyes still looking at them expectantly.
”Now, I promised you all your own cleats the last time I visited,” Type started saying but was briefly stopped by the excited holler of the kids, some even doing a celebratory dance. Seeing this, a big smile bloomed on the other’s face and explained that they have to make a line to receive their own cleats, in which the kids obediently did.
Techno started opening the boxes as he chuckled at the kids. “You sure you didn’t do some voodoo magic on these kids? They listen to you well, it’s scary.”
“I know right. It’s like Type has his very own mini army,” Boat said and passed a pair of cleats to Type.
“That’s because they can see which one is the adult among us,” the other replied without looking at his friend as he started giving the kids their very own cleats. It took them almost an hour for everyone to have their own present and the three friends helping some to properly tie it. Once everyone was settled, Techno put out the contents of the boxes he brought and the children ran to the mini field, following Boat and Techno as he lured them with the soccer balls and the net they’ll set up.
Type stayed back, opting to fix the now empty boxes littering the floor before he joined his friends. As he carried the folded boxes inside, a hand reached out to help him and Type looked to the side and smiled.
”P’Mame. I didn’t know you’ll be visiting today,” he said as he gave her a respectful bow.
The other person smiled back. “Yeah, it was quite sudden. I talked with P’Pique. The director of the foundation is making a music room for the kids,” she said as they walked towards the storage room. P’Pique is the foundation’s Development coordinator and the art coordinator seeing that he’s an architect. P’Mame is the Public relations manager and Type and his friends are volunteers.
”Really? That’s great! When will the construction start? My friends and I can help,” Type offered. When they properly stored the empty boxes they headed to the kitchen where the cook was just pulling the cookies out of the oven. She greeted Type and P’Mame, offering them the pastry then the two headed out to where the children started warming up, led by Techno.
Type and Mame made small talk as they watched from afar and later on the kids were calling out for Type since they lack one player to even out the two teams. Before Type headed towards the field, he bid the other goodbye as P’Mame said she needed to leave.
“See you on saturday, Phi?” Type asked.
”Of course. I’ll see you for our sessions, Type.”
And with that Type told his psychiatrist to be safe as he ran towards the kids with a smile.
The sun was setting when Type and his friends finally made it back to the busy streets of Bangkok. Dropping his friends home first, Type drove towards his condominium when his phone rang. He looked at the caller ID and when he saw it was from work, he immediately answered.
”Yes, Nurse Ja?”
”P’Type, Dr. Pawat is assigning you to a VIP patient,” the other person said.
”Okay. Can you read me his chart so I know what to prepare?” Type replied, listening intently.
”The patient is a 54 year old, male. He came in because he slipped in a flight of stairs and had to undergo hip replacement which was successful. Apart from that, there’s no relevant history in his chart.”
”Hmm, okay. Is the patient aware that he’ll be receiving physiotherapy services?”
”Yes. Him and his wife were already advised by Dr. Pawat even before the surgery so they’re on board. Oh, the patient actually requested to meet you tomorrow,” Nurse Ja informed him.
”I’ll be visiting him anyways,” Type said. “Will that be all?”
”That’s all, Phi.”
”Okay, see you tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, a man was sitting alone in his office, eyes focused on his laptop as he read the final report. The company is flourishing and he’s quite proud of what he’s accomplished for the last 2 years since he accepted the position. Highlighting the last paragraph of the file so he’ll remember to discuss it tomorrow during the meeting, he finally leaned back and stretched his arms up. He removed his glasses and blinked. The clock on his table is telling him that it’s already 10:30 in the evening and he should probably head home since he needs to be back here in the morning.
Standing up, he grabbed his phone, messenger bag and the still chilled Sprite on his table before he switched off the lamp and headed out the door. As he boarded the elevator, his phone rang and he answered without bothering to look at the caller; usually by this time it’s his family who’s calling to make sure he’s no longer in the office. Such worrywarts.
”Are you home?” Thanya’s sweet voice sounded from the other line and Tharn smiled. He misses her terribly.
”I’m about to go home, princess,” he answered before the elevator opened to the underground parking lot. “It’s around noon there right? Aren’t you supposed to be at school?”
”Oh, um, yeah—but,” she stuttered and he squinted his eyes in suspicion. There are only two reasons for his sister to be reacting this way, either she’s shy or she’s hiding something.
”What’s wrong, princess?” Tharn asked, and he is well aware how his voice must sound like. According to Thanya it’s his I’m-not-mad-but-you-have-to-tell-me-what’s-wrong-or-else voice.
A squeak was heard and a thump and Tharn was about to call out again when another voice spoke.
”P’Thorn,” he said, surprised because why are Thanya and P’Thorn together? Isn’t P’Thorn supposed to be in the office? “Okay, spill. What’s happening? Why are you with Thanya and why does she sound like she’s hiding something?” he voiced out his suspicion and he can hear their whispered bickering and he stifled a laugh at how ridiculous his siblings are. “Okay you do know I can hear you bickering if you don’t cover the phone and I’m probably on speaker now aren’t I?”
”Why didn’t you cover the phone, P’Thorn!” Thanya whined, and that just confirmed his suspicion.
His brother cleared his throat before he spoke, “Okay so...nothing’s really up. And you have no reason to overreact and do something you’re not supposed to because we all know you. Everything’s okay and you need to relax. Are you relaxed?”
”Yeah yeah,” he replied. Starting his car, he drove off the parking lot and started to head home. “So what’s wrong?”
”Nothing’s particularly—wrong,” Thorn said with a slight tilt in his voice and it’s a good thing that Tharn has the patience of literally a saint or else he would’ve shouted at his brother to just spit it out whatever it is.
”Just?” Tharn spoke, trying to coax the words out of his Phi.
”Dad is in the hospital!” It was Thanya’s voice that shouted.
And it was a good thing that Tharn just stopped at a red light before hearing that because his eyes widened and replied back with a, “What?!”
”Thanya!” Thorn shouted back at his sister who’s looking back at him with annoyance.
”You’re taking too long to tell,” she pouted and Thorn took a deep breath before he realized that the other line got silent. Looking at the phone to see that it is still connected, he removed it from speaker mode and placed the device on his ear. “Tharn? It’s okay, dad is—“
”I’m booking a flight,” came his brother’s voice and his eyes widened.
”That’s not really necessary,” he tried to reason out at his brother. This is exactly the reason why he was hesitant to inform Tharn about this. “It’s nothing serious. The surgery was a success and—“
”He was in surgery?!”
Okay, wrong move, Thorn thought as he reached up a hand to pinch the bridge of his nose. “You’ll be back here in a month for the wedding anyway, no need to rush and as I said, dad is already fine. Besides the company still—” he said, trying to reason out with his brother for the last time.
”I’m done with all the projects here. And I need to see with my own eyes that dad is okay,” Tharn replied with a serious voice.
”Done? Aren’t those projects supposed to take a few more months? And you’re done with every single one?” he asked, disbelief in his tone.
”I had time,” his younger brother spoke and Thorn rolled his eyes.
”More like you’re overworking yourself,” he said and gave out a defeated sigh. “Fine, you go back here. At least when you’re here we can make sure that you are not working. I’m assigning you a forced leave.”
”Hey! Is that even allowed?” Tharn whined from the other line, and Thorn chuckled.
”Of course. You’re vice president and I am president. So, what I say, you follow,” he smirked.
“Fine. I’ll send you my flight details later.”
It seemed like days in San Francisco passed by slower than the night. Tharn believes so because the sun just shines so bright at 8 in the morning until late afternoon when the moon would shyly peek from the horizon. It’s beautiful, and it’s his favorite time of the day. When the clear blue sky of the day would gradually turn pink and Tharn would make sure to sit by large windows at the living room area in the second floor of the house, usually with his guitar, and just admire the view. Few weeks since he and Thorn arrived, this is the one thing that immediately became his routine.
And now he’s here, sitting by the window waiting for that view he’s always been looking forward to seeing. He’s strumming his guitar, plucking random chords and sometimes lyrics would appear in his head and normally he’d have a notebook to write those down, but now he just lets it pass by his mind and let it get lost in his jumbled thoughts. Because the words would always be about Type.
It’s crazy. He’s known the guy for—what? Almost 5 months?— but he can write the littlest things about him. With the way his eyes would have that fire in them when they have their spat the first few weeks that Type was trying to drive him out the dorm; or how he’d try to hide a smile when he finds the jokes I crack funny; or even the way he tries to act so mean towards his friend but the care in his eyes tell a different story. Those amongst a million things that apparently Tharn have noticed and kept in memory.
“You do like this place, don’t you?” A soft voice spoke and Tharn looked up to see his grandmother walking towards him with a smile.
Sitting properly, he moved to the side to give space for his Nana. “Yeah, I love looking at the sky by this time of the day,” Tharn spoke as his Nana sat down and placed a comforting hand on his knee. He smiled softly at her, then placed his hand on hers. They shared a companionable silence, both gazing out the window, watching as the skies played with colors, splashing the vast horizons with such pretty hues.
”You’ve been quiet, Tharn.”
A sudden feeling of guilt passed through Tharn and he was about to apologize when his Nana spoke first, “and you look sad.” She turned her gaze towards him and they locked eyes. People had always said that Thorn resembles their dad and Thanya like their mother, and Tharn was a mix of both whenever they saw the family together, but people who have met Tharn’s grandmother could not deny that Tharn looks like a male version of her. So right now, looking right at the pair of eyes that looked exactly like his, Tharn found himself unable to give excuses.
”I—,” he started, voice a bit shaky as he was suddenly bombarded with the feelings he’s trying so hard to lock deep down in his heart. “I fell in love with someone who doesn’t feel the same.”
Gently, his Nana scooted closer, pulling him into her arms and realized that there were tears pouring out of his eyes. She rocked them both back and forth, and the familiar gesture just made Tharn feel like a kid again so he decided to let go and sobbed, wrapping his arms around her and hiding his face at the crook of her neck. Her fingers ran through his hair and she started humming that familiar tune that he hasn’t heard in the longest time. Curling towards her, he made himself feel small, hiding in his Nana’s arms just like he did when he was five and eventually his sobs quieted down.
”You kept it all in,” she spoke and Tharn closed his eyes, letting her voice warm him up in another layer of warmth. “Keeping all these feelings inside would eventually lead to it exploding, and that’s what’s happening now.” Tharn let out a tired chuckle as her grandmother scolded him softly. He’s missed this.
“Do you mind telling me the story?”
And he did. He started from the first time they met to the moment of their petty fights just because Tharn is gay. Words just flew out of his mouth as he started explaining of Type’s trauma, not going into detail because he felt like it’s not his secret to tell, but his Nana understands. He told her how he felt the want and need to protect Type and maybe it was because of what he had gone through. Then he said how he found himself feeling so much more towards Type.
”And this Type—he doesn’t like you back?”
”Did you confess?”
”I did. I told him I like him.”
”And what did he say?”
”He told me he’s asking someone to be his girlfriend,” he said, sadness washing over him again. “Nana? Am I too hard to love?” Tharn asked in a small voice, afraid to voice out the thoughts that’s been looming in his head for the past few weeks.
”Oh Tharn,” she started, pulling back and making Tharn look up at her. “You are not hard to love. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. You are so so easy to love because you just have this charm and you know how to make people happy.”
”Then—then why do they all leave? Not just Type...others as well. Why does no one stay? What am I doing wrong?”
”You’re giving them love, son. There’s nothing wrong with that. You are so full of love that you want others to have them and maybe without realizing it, you’ve given too much that you forgot to leave some of those love for yourself,” she said with a small smile. “You’re a gentle soul, selfless and so giving. And that can be a blessing but also a curse especially if you forget about yourself.”
“Maybe this time, instead of giving other people love, it is time you focus on loving yourself.”
Tharn woke up from his slumber. It’s been awhile since he had a dream about his Nana and a small and melancholic smile was on his face as he looked out the open window from his seat.
”I miss you, Nana,” he whispered and he unconsciously placed his palm in the middle of his chest, where the necklace was hidden inside his clothes.
A ding was heard and a voice spoke out, “We have reached Bangkok, Thailand and will be making a landing in a few minutes. May we request everybody to please fasten their seatbelts...”
“Why do you keep doing this to me?!”
Tharn winced, pulling away the phone from his ear as he pushed his cart towards the exit. He has yet to see his brother but the other said that he’s already in the airport an hour earlier.
When the sound of shouting halted, he slowly put back his phone on his ear and said, “I’m so sorry, Lhong. But it’s really a sudden decision.”
”You’re so lucky you’re my best friend because even if you’re my CEO, I would kick you so hard in the balls,” Lhong threatened and he let out a laugh.
”No you wouldn’t. Or else I’ll tell Turbo you’re being mean to me,” he said teasingly and when he looked up he saw his brother, so he waved a hand to get his attention.
”Stop using my boyfriend to get out of trouble, you idiot,” Lhong grumbled but Tharn noted his tone got a lot calmer. “Anyway, you’re heading to the hospital? I’ll meet you there.”
”Okay. Bring me coffee please. I’ll see you later.”
And they hang up just as Thorn gave him a tight hug that he almost dropped his phone.
”You look as pretty as always.”
If looks could just effectively harm another person, then this one would have so many injuries to count. Type internally rolled his eyes as the nurses giggled, but he ignored the annoying presence beside him and continued reading the patient’s chart.
”Oh come on, please notice me, P’Type. Maybe we can go grab some coffee?”
Type closed the chart, a little bit harder than necessary that the new staff nurse winced and he gave her an apologetic bow before he turned a blank stare to this annoying person. “I don’t drink coffee,” he lied then stepped away from the nurses station to have his rounds.
The following steps behind him got his eyes twitch in annoyance and he’s so close to smacking the chart in his hand on this person’s head just to get the idea across that he is. Not. Interested. “Please go tend to your patients, Dr. Fiat,” he said, sounding professional.
”I am,” a cheery voice that made him grit his teeth answered. “I’ll meet with the patient in room 203.”
Oh thank god its not the same patient, Type thought because his patient is at room 210. So he continued walking, ignoring the small talk the other person is trying to initiate. It’s been like this for almost two months. This annoying intern boldly says that he’s attracted to Type on the first day of his internship and made every move possible to flirt with him. But in all honesty, he’s just a nuisance to Type. And no matter how many times Type had rejected his invites or even bluntly told him that he is not interested, the annoying intern just pushed and pushed and Type is quite proud that he hasn’t punched the guy in the face yet. Thank you P’Mame, he thanked his psychiatrist in his head.
He ignored Dr. Fiat’s cheerful ‘bye bye’ when he reached the patient’s room and Type was grateful that the annoying clerk was finally away from him. Stopping outside room 210, he knocked at the door and heard a girl say “come in,” before he pushed open the door and greeted his patient.
”Good morning, Mr. Alexander,” he greeted with a wai, then gave a wai to his wife who was beside him and to the teenage girl on his other side.
“Good morning, Type,” his patient greeted cordially with a smile. “This is Thanya. She’s my youngest and only daughter.”
”Sawadee kha,” she greeted with respect and he smiled. Despite coming from such a well off family, it’s obvious that his patient and his family are kind hearted and humble people. This may only be the third time that Type is meeting Mr. Alexander, but he can tell that he’s a good father.
”Sawadee krub,” he replied before turning to his patient. “So, your surgical wound is healing nicely. I think you physiotherapy sessions can start in 3 days.”
”That’s good. I’m itching to get out of this bed and I miss my zumba classes,” Mr. Alexander said and his wife and daughter gave out a chuckle.
”I’ll make sure you’ll be up and about to join your zumba classes in no time,” he assured. “For the meantime, I have here the lists of exercises we’ll be doing on the first session and I would like to—“
The door opened and a sound of laughter entered the room. A familiar laughter that he hasn’t heard in years but is still etched in memory. And without thinking, Type turned around to see the newcomers of the room and he gasped.
Tharn and Thorn are talking about the upcoming wedding as they walked the quiet halls of the hospital when a shout startled both of them.
”Tharn Thara Kirigun!”
The both stared as Lhong made his way towards them, a cup of iced coffee on one hand and a scowl on his face. But he only took two steps when a nurse who looked like that one character from Monsters Inc.—that one who was always on Mike Wazowski’s case—scolded Lhong and his expression looked from angry to a kicked puppy and Tharn let out a snort. And since it was a hospital and it was relatively quiet, his sound was heard by Lhong and the nurse and they both directed a glare towards him and he tried so hard to not burst out laughing and gave an apologetic bow but he can feel his brother also shaking beside him.
A few seconds later, Lhong gave one last bow to the nurse and made his way towards the brothers who are obviously trying to hold in their laughter.
”You’re both assholes,” Lhong whispered and Thorn and Tharn quickly walked towards their father’s room, slapping a hand on their mouths and when they finally reached room 210, they both quickly opened the door but Tharn couldn’t hold it in and just bursted out laughing before they can even close the door. Thorn pushed him inside before he joined his brother and they were both heaving, clutching their stomachs and trying so hard to breathe.
The door re-opened and Lhong entered the room, a scowl directed at the two brothers.
”Yeah, it’s so funny,” he said sarcastically.
”What happened, P’Lhong?” Thanya spoke and Lhong ignored his best friend and his brother and made his way towards the bed to greet Tharn’s parents.
“I just—I got scolded by the nurse and they both thought it’s so funny,” he informed them all.
”But it was!” Thorn exclaimed, taking a few deep breaths to compose himself and stood straight.
”It really—,” Tharn spoke before another trickle of laughter got out of his lips and he was laughing so hard that his legs gave out and he just crouched down on the floor and clutched his stomach. Tharn can hear his parents and Thanya snickering at his struggle to halt his laughter, they all knew that once Tharn was full blown laughing, it’s quite difficult to stop himself so they just let him be. It took a minute or two before he finally stopped playing back in his head Lhong’s expression from earlier and he took a deep breath as he stood. “I’m sorry, I—“
He stopped when the people in the room finally registered. No, not the people. The person in white coat was staring back at him with the same wide eyes.
”Love yourself first, then at the right time, the right person will come.”
Tharn chuckled, pressing a melody on the piano keys as his grandmother sat beside him and listened. “That sounds too much like a fairytale,” he commented.
”It may be so,” she said. “But one day, you’ll have your own version of a fairytale.”
“Oh, you know Type?” Tharn’s father spoke, and they broke eye contact. Tharn gave Type a small smile before he walked towards his family.
“He was my roommate back in college,” he explained after he hugged his parents and moved to plant a kiss on Thanya’s head. “By the way, dad, are you okay?”
”I’m perfectly fine, Tharn. It was really unnecessary for you to fly back earlier than planned,” his dad chided.
”Actually, it’s perfect, dad. Tharn here is overworking himself so atleast here he’ll be able to catch a break,” Thorn said.
”A break? But didn’t you tell me that—“ Lhong suddenly spoke but stopped when Tharn elbowed him on the stomach. And he may have done with more force than he intended because Lhong lets out a pained yelp and Tharn gave an apologetic bow.
”By the way, Tharn. Why don’t you take Type for a coffee?”
The reaction was instant: Tharn looking at his father with wide eyes and Type opening his mouth to respectfully decline.
”But, sir...I—“ Type fumbled.
”You said yu have the exercises, right? You can leave it here with me and I can look at it over. I’m actually craving a cake. Can yu grab me some too? And get your mom a cappucino.”
”Oh, I want a mocha frappe, P’Tharn!” Thanya said.
”Get me a latte,” Thorn spoke after.
”But, Tharn, I got your—“ and for the second time that day, Lhong was shushed as Thanya gave his side a pinch.
Tharn looked at his family, and all of them are wearing such wide innocent eyes that he squinted at them, his eyes suspicious. But his dad just gave him a shoo-ing motion with his hand and Tharn let out a sigh. Turning around, he walked towards a confused Type.
”Oh, okay. Just—“ Type stepped forward to give the folder he was holding before he followed Tharn out of the door.
When the two left, the family shared a knowning look, a small smirk on their lips that Lhong sort of got the chills.
”Tell me I wasn’t the only one who felt that tension between them?” Their father asked.
Final exams just ended and Techno had begged his friends for a night of drinking. Boat had easily agreed, but Type. Well, Type was a different story. It had taken a lot of coaxing from him and Boat, and they even promised that they’ll pay for him just for their friend to begrudgingly agree. Which was weird because Type always said yes to drinking after exams, especially since they know that Type had aced it like always. But lately they noticed their friend getting a bit subdued, staring off to space and almost always inside his dorm room.
The dorm room which he now occupies alone, apparently.
It came as a surprise to Techno and Boat to learn that Type’s roommate, Tharn Kirigun, had left the university to go overseas. And he left when there was only a month left for the first semester to end. Techno heard about the news to some music students they were playing football with, and the first thought he had was, Type must be ecstatic about this.
So the next day after hearing the news, Techno decided to go visit his best friend in the late afternoon, bringing him cans of beer as a congratulation for finally obtaining the room to himself. And he was expecting a victorious smirk or a whoop of excitement. But when the door opened, he was greeted with a blank-faced Type, with rumpled clothes as if he just got out of bed, and an obvious redness in his eyes.
”What are you doing here?” His friend grumbled lowly, as if his throat is too dry to speak.
”Oh, I just came to visit?” Techno said, and Type stared at him for a second before he went back in, leaving the door open as an invitation for No to follow.
His eyes scanned the room as Type went to wash his face in the bathroom, noting how one side is obviously empty. He placed the plastic he’s holding on the table and sat down as he waited for his friend. He noticed the two beds and it was obvious that one bed was used with how the sheets are rumpled. But it was weird because Techno was sure that the bed that looked used was the one that used to be Tharn’s. And Type’s supposedly bed looked unruffled.
”Maybe he liked that side of the bed better,” Techno shrugged and looked back when the bathroom door opened.
The bar they went to are brimming with university students like themselves, obviously also here to celebrate the end of the exams. It was lucky that there was one table left when they arrived, so they quickly sat down and ordered buckets of beer. In no time they were all singing their lungs out to whatever the DJ was playing. Well, Techno and Boat are. Type was just drinking his beer in silence, and Techno noted the bottles of beers in front of their friend.
”Hey Type, you should slow down,” he told him with concern but was only answered with a glare.
As the night progressed, Techno had decided that he’ll be sober as Boat can’t be trusted to get them home to safety and Type was starting to sway in his seat with all the alcohol he had consumed. Techno had gotten them water and snatched Type’s beer and switched it with water instead so he’d atleast get a bit sober. When it was around 12 midnight, he got the bill and paid when Type suddenly stood up with his hands slamming the table, his expression looking pained. This shocked Techno and Boat sat up awake before he slumped back down again, clearly more drunk than all of them.
Techno watched in confusion as Type suddenly walked off towards a table a few feet from them. A table occupied by two guys who are obviously more than friends with the way they are both leaning towards one another across their table, and their lips locked with each other. Quickly scrambling to his feet, No tried to catch up to Type because he has a strong inkling as to what set his friend off. But he was too late, and he watched in horror when Type just grabbed one of the guy’s arms and pulled them away from each other, arms pulled back and ready to take a swing.
”Type!” He shouted, and took hold of his friend’s arm before it made contact to the guy’s nose. He tried to drag to Type away but then he started shouting.
”Stop flaunting your disgusting affections here! You people are such—such,” he was cut off when the guy threw a punch.
”I don’t know you and I never want to,” the guy hissed, eyes blazing with fury as he set them on Type. “But what we have is not disgusting and you have no right to tell us how to express ourselves. If anything, it’s people like you who are scums in this world. You’re too pitiful. I bet no one wants to be with you with how you are.”
And just then, the security arrived and they were asked to leave. Techno brought them back to his house since his parents and brother are all in his grandmother’s place. He deposited Boat in the guest room and went back down to the kitchen where he last saw Type. When he reached the place, it was to see his friend sitting on the chair counter, nursing an ice pack on his bruised cheek and staring off to space.
”Hey,” he announced his presence and took a seat across his best friend. “You alright?”
”Hmm,” Type just answered. ”I don’t even know why I got mad,” Type suddenly spoke which surprised him. He knew Type was not one to open up. For all the years they’ve been friends, he barely knew Type in a deeper sense but then they have that bond. Techno trusts Type and he will never force the other to divulge everything about him, he respects him.
”Maybe you got angry because you saw what they’re doing? I mean, I know you hate gays so maybe that’s why—“
”Yeah. I saw what they’re doing. And I couldn’t take it because it reminded me of something...someone,” his voice suddenly got softer, with a slight tremble to it.
”Can I—can I know who?”
Type slowly looked up at his friend, before he looked away as if contemplating if he should. And Techno sits patiently, waiting for an answer or even if he gets none, then it’s okay. He’ll respect his friend’s privacy about these—
“They reminded me of when Tharn kissed me.”
Eyes widening, Techno’s mouth hangs open before he closed it and gave out a cough. “Oh, I—“
But he was cut off when Type just continued rambling, as if he hadn’t heard Techno. “I hated how they looked so at peace kissing like that in public, because when Tharn kissed me I pushed him away and I knew he was hurt. I hurt him. His eyes looked so pained that I just got up and left because I don’t like seeing that on his face but then I hurt him. And like the dumbass I am, I hurt him some more when I told him I’ll ask Puifai to be my girlfriend just because I kept on fucking denying to myselft that I want him, and now—he left. And I don’t know how to reach him because he deleted all his social media and changed his number...and I just—fuck. I just miss that asshole so much it’s making me crazy,” he ended with an annoyed scowl but it looked pained when tears were running down his cheeks.
There are only a few instances that Techno was rendered speechless. And this is one of them. In his eyes Type is the stronger one of them, and an independent, smart foul-mouthed dude with loyalty. But the Type infront of him now is anything but. He looked smaller, with his shoulders shaking from his sobs, and he looked so helpless and so—broken. Without really thinking, Techno rounded the table and wrapped an arm around his friend’s shoulder, rubbing his back to give him at least a bit of comfort.
”I won’t even try to give advice because you know I’m shit at that,” Techno started and he was relieved when Type let out a small chuckle. “But thank you for telling me. For trusting me with this. Tomorrow you’ll go home to Phangan, right? Maybe you can talk about this with someone you trust more...your mom? Because I’m pretty sure your mother can give you a sound advice rather than just letting yourself wallow in this all by yourself.”
Type was quiet for a moment, and Techno thought his friend fell asleep but then he sat up straight and gave Techno a small smile, “Yeah, I guess you’re right. Thanks, No.”
Type tried so hard not to show is uneasiness as they got in the elevator, and as if the heavens are mocking him, this one was empty. He got in first, and Tharn followed. When he pressed the button to the lobby, they were surrounded once again with an uncomfortable silence. Type doesn’t know what to say, and he’s trying to rack his brain for any topic to attempt a small talk. Ask about the weather? No, they’re not even outside yet. Maybe about why he left? No, that’s too—he’s not ready for that.
”I’m sorry about my family,” Tharn spoke and Type felt a shiver as the deep tone of Tharn’s voice echoed inside the small space they were in. “They can be a bit weird sometimes.”
”It’s fine,” he replied blandly, sounding uninterested, and winced at himself.
A chuckle was heard, and Type resisted the urge to turn around and look. The elevator doors re-opened and so they both got out and started to walk towards the coffee shop just across the hospital. There was a respectable distance between them as they walked, still silent as they crossed the street and got in the cafe. There was no one in line so Tharn immediately ordered his family’s requests and Type stood behind him.
His shoulders got broader, was Type’s first thought when his eyes got glued on Tharn’s back. He looked at the back of his head and noted the clean cut the other was sporting. It suits him. Then suddenly, the head turned and he felt himself panic when his eyes met Tharn’s.
”What coffee do you want?” Asked the other.
”Oh, I can buy my own—“
”It’s fine. Take it as an apology for my family’s weirdness,” he smiled and Type was stunned for a moment before he blurted his coffee order which was an iced americano. After Tharn paid for their drinks, he led them to one of the tables as they waited and again, the awkwardness came back tenfold.
”Bangkok hasn’t changed much,” his companion spoke and Type looked up to find Tharn looking out the window.
”Yeah, it hasn’t,” he replied.
”So, you’re a physiotherapist? I must say, that’s a surprise,” Tharn spoke with a teasing tone and Type found himself relaxing on his seat.
”You and I both. What about you? What have you been up to?”
”Oh, I’m helping manage the family business. P’Thorn’s the president while I’m his vice. Quite a hectic job if you ask me.”
”If you don’t mind me asking, what is your family business?”
That question got a surprised look from Tharn, “You mean you don’t know?”
Type rolled his eyes. “I wouldn’t ask if I know, won’t I?”
Chuckling, Tharn said “I just thought you’d immediately make the connection seeing as my father is your patient.”
“Yes, your dad is my patient but I don’t go gossiping—“ he paused, remembering his patient’s name. Alexander Kirigun. Kirigun. Eyes widening, he looked at Tharn and said, “Kirigun Motors?!”
”The one and only.”
”Oh wow...isn’t that like—the biggest car company in Thailand? Almost rivaling Volkswagen?”
”Not to that extent,” Tharn replied, leaning back on his chair. “But I did manage to secure a partnership with them a few weeks back.”
And Type saw his playful smirk and if he didn’t know any better, he would say this man was boasting. “Stop sounding so smug,” he said. Then Tharn let out a laugh and Type immediately joined in. And just like that, the tense atmosphere around them slowly disappeared and Type found himself immersed with listening to Tharn talk.
Has Tharn always been this talkative? Type realized that in the months that they knew each other seven years ago, he’s never really just sat and listened to Tharn. All he can recall is how Tharn would be the one listening, offering a silent support as he poured out his darkest past or even just listening to him rant about his day. But it was never the other way around.
”Order for Mr. Tharn.”
Hearing that, they both stood up and got the take out bags from the counter. Now the distance between them got smaller compared to how it was earlier as they walked back to the hospital, still making small talk and with a friendly atmosphere around them. When they reached the correct floor, Type was suddenly called to the ER and Tharn took the bag he was holding so he could go back to his job.
”It was nice seeing you, Type.”
”It was nice seeing you too, Tharn.”
Techno just managed to open his lunch when his phone started ringing. Seeing Type’s name on the screen, he answered and put it on speaker mode so he can multitask. He only has 20 minutes before he has to go see his pediatric patient for her therapy.
”He’s back,” Type cut him off and he can hear Type’s breathing, as if he was doing that relaxation exercise his psychiatrist advised him off when he’s stressed.
He was about to take a bite when the person on the other line spoke again, “Tharn’s back. And we made small talk about our jobs and shit and, and—fuck, No. I like him. After all these years, I’ve never gotten over him.”
And that’s how Techno’s 20 minutes was spent with him trying to calm down his friend and forgetting his lunch.
Tharn took the empty seat beside his sister after he handed them the drinks they asked him to buy earlier.
Closing his eyes, he ignores the curious looks his family and best friend are directing at him as he drinks his coffee. He’s not even surprised that his family will caught on whatever it is that happened earlier, but like himself, they are not stupid. And their obvious meddling was a not-so-subtle move.
”So...” Thorn started to speak, and Tharn opened one eye to peek at his brother before closing them again. “Dad’s therapist is your roommate before? Huh. You never mentioned him at all.”
Ah. And here it is.
”P’Type seems like a nice person,” Thanya said from beside him.
”You guys,” he said with a sigh before leveling them with a look. “Whatever it is that you are scheming, I would like it if you stop it at once.”
Immediately, his siblings put up their hands to surrender and giving him big smiles. “We’re not planning anything!”
A chuckle was heard and the three of them looked towards their parents who are watching them with amused eyes.
”I do miss seeing you three together like this,” their mother said.
”Seems like Tharn’s authority over Thorn and Thanya is still intact,” his father said before giving him a thumbs up that got Tharn to smile.
”Hey! You do know I am the eldest, right?” Thorn said indignantly, crossing his hands and giving a pout. Thanya rolled her eyes at their brother before leaning on Tharn’s side, basking in the warmth coming of his brother.
”It’s good to have you home, Phi,” she said and Tharn wrapped his arm around her.
”It’s good to be home.”
”I had a panic attack yesterday.”
The room had that same feeling of comfort and for the past few years that he’s been here, Type can’t help but have that sense of tranquil surround him. It’s a decent sized room, walls filled with books and large windows that allow the natural light in. There was a subtle scent of fresh flowers coming from the vase that is always filled with different types of roses everytime Type comes in for his session. And today, it’s the scent of red roses. He is seated in a plush couch, leaning back and staring at the high ceiling as he tries to organize his thoughts.
”Can I ask what triggered it?” P’Mame asked, sitting across from him.
There was silence as P’Mame allowed Type ample time to think of how to answer. And a few moments passed before Type sighed, then he let out a small chuckle before answering, “I guess you can say I got overwhelmed by my own feelings.”
”I see. Well, will you tell me what happened?”
”You remember T?”
”T? The person who was your roommate and gay?”
”Yeah, the one and only. He’s back and we saw each other in the hospital because apparently his dad is my patient,” Type said.
”Seeing T caused you to be overwhelmed by your feelings? How so?”
A sigh left Type’s lips as he sat properly. “I may have—kept some information about the extent of my relationship with T.”
“Is it okay to assume that you are more than just roommates?”
He gave a nod then decided to just spill the beans. “He was a fuck buddy.”
”I see,” P’Mame said, keeping a professional tone as she stared at Type. “So T is your fuck buddy despite the fact that you hated gays before.”
”Yeah. I—we didn’t get along well,” he started. “We were freshmen and I hated gays then all of a sudden I am sharing a room with one so I gave him hell just so he’d get out of the dorms. But it didn’t work and a lot of things happened. I got involved in an issue with gays then I was judged by the entire university but it was Tha— T...it was T who fixed it for me and for some reason I told him about my trauma.”
”Was it T who proposed that you engage in sexual activity?”
“No, I—I was the one who asked to do it,” Type admitted, looking away as he felt his cheeks feel warm. “I said I didn’t want to owe him anything so I offered sex for exchange. And in my head my reasoning made sense but now—now it sounded so stupid and careless.”
”Perhaps, you were curious?”
”Yes, curious. You said in the first session we had a few years back that you absolutely hate gays. And I understand that it is rooted from your childhood trauma. But have you ever thought of the possibility that maybe you are attracted to guys but then it got suppressed by the hatred you feel for the third gender?”
Type got silent as he let p’Mame’s words resonate in his head. Curious? Well, he does find some guys good looking. He won’t deny that. But not to the extent of sleeping with them.
”But T is the only one—I’ve never felt like that to anyone else.”
”How did T make you feel?”
Again, Type was reminded of those moments in their dorm room; the way Tharn would gently caress his skin after they have sex, brushing his hair away from his face and placing his warm palm on his cheek as he lead Type’s lips back to his. The soft nibbling on his lips when Tharn would just get playful and would tease Type with his slow ministrations. Warm breath on his ear as Tharn would moan as he thrusted, their sweaty bodies stuck to each other. Then those pair of warm brown eyes that would stare at him.
”Safe,” he whispered. “I felt safe.”
The therapist gave him a small smile. “You told me you had a panic attack because you got overwhelmed with your feelings. Am I right?”
”Then, what feeling was it that got you overwhelmed? Was it anger? Disgust? Sadne—“
”I was happy,” he cut her off. “It was so nice seeing him again and I was—It got overwhelming when I realized how much I like him after all these years.”
”There you go,” she said, still with that smile. “Now, what are you planning to do with those feelings?”
Tharn wai-ed at the nurses who greeted him and gave them polite smiles as he navigated his way to his father’s room. It’s 8 in the morning and he just dropped off Thanya to her university so since his brother banned him from doing work, he’s going to spend his time annoying his father instead. That’s it.
He’s definitely not trying to see if he’d bump into a certain physiotherapist again.
Mentally reprimanding himself, he sighed and opened the door to his father’s room. And there he was again. Doe eyes looking back at him, wearing the same white coat that makes him glow. For a moment Tharn just stood there, staring but then he was jolted by his dad who let out a very exaggerated cough. So, he looked away and got inside.
“Ah, so as I was saying, Mr. Kirigun,” Type said as he turned his attention back to his patient, “your therapy will start on monday at 10 in the morning. It will just be an hour session and we’ll do it every other day so as to not over exert your muscles.”
”Will there be a zumba session?” His father asked as a joke.
”I’m afraid the zumba will be the last part,” Type answered with a smile and Tharn was unconsciously staring again. His mother gave a side glance at his son. And has to suppress a giggle as she witness her grown-up son looking at his crush, no matter how much Tharn denies it.
“I’ll be asking nurse Ja to fetch you in your room and I’ll meet you at the ortho department.”
”Can I bring someone with me?”
Type nodded and said, “It is actually advised to have someone watch you during your therapy.”
”Good! Then I’ll have Tharn there with me.”
The said person turned his eyes to his father. “Don’t you think mom is a better option to—“
”Oh I forgot to tell you, I won’t be available in the mornings. I have a meeting with the investors for the restaurant,” his mother cut him off, and Tharn can swear he saw them do that eye-thing that they usually do, conversing with just a look. They always do this when they are trying to do something and don’t want to get caught.
His dad clapped his hand and turned back to Type, “That settles it, then! Tharn and I will see you on Monday, Type.”
”Oh, uh—I’ll see you,” the other replied before he closed his folder and gave them a bow before he headed towards the door.
Tharn was too preoccupied squinting at his parents, trying to read their innocent smiles when Type turned back and said, “Excuse me, but can I speak with Tharn?”
“Sure, Type! You can speak with our son!” Mrs. Kirigun said, her smile widening as she pushed her son towards the door.
”You two take your time! Don’t worry about us,” Tharn’s father said, waving them goodbye until him and Type are outside the room, his mother gently closing a door with a smile.
They were both stunned in silence as they stared at the closed door, before Tharn let out a sigh and pinched the bridge of his nose.
”I’m sorry about—“
But he was cut off when he heard Type chuckle and he was met with bright eyes. “Your family really is something, aren’t they?”
Tharn let out a chuckle of his own and replied, “That they are. So, what did you want to talk about?”
”Oh, just—“ Type started, suddenly standing straight and he looked behind Tharn then behind himself, noting that the halls are empty as of the moment. “I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed our talk in the coffee shop the other day and—umm, well.”
Tharn smiled as he watch Type fumble over his words. He can’t remember a time when Type was ever this—clumsy? It’s adorable.
Meanwhile, Type was trying hard not to punch himself in the face because why the hell is he stuttering? This is just Tharn, for fucks sake. But really, he knew that he’s feeling this uneasy because it is Tharn. And Tharn is—Tharn is just something else. So he takes a deep breath to try to clear his head before meeting Tharn’s eyes. “I just realized that we’ve never really talked like that—you know, seven years ago. And I know we don’t have a nice past but maybe—we can change that? What I’m saying is, can we be friends?”
Tharn was quiet and Type felt silly for even thinking of asking the other friendship when he hurt him and most probably broke his heart seven years ago. Talk about selfish, Type. “Nevermi—“
”I’d like that,” Tharn cut him off and Type looked up and found those same brown eyes filled with so much warmth. And he felt his heart flutter. Without knowing, they’re both looking at each other with small smiles on their faces.
”Friends?” Type said softly, offering a hand.
”Friends.” Tharn’s larger hand took his, giving it a firm yet gentle squeeze before shaking it.
”Why not offer him friendship?” P’Mame suggested.
”Yes,” she nodded. “From what you told me, you guys didn’t have the chance to get to know each other on a friendly level, just opting to jump to bed together. And I would assume that most of the talks that you have are that of after having sex, correct?”
Type didn’t have to answer as he blushed and refused to meet her eyes. She chuckled at his reaction and continued, “So, start from friendship. Get to know each other. All the small details and in the process, you try to reflect on what it is you’re feeling, Type. Be clear on your emotions and we’ll talk about them during your sessions.”
This got Type quiet as he ponders on what his therapist suggested. Before, he would have flipped if you ask him to be friends with Tharn but now—he actually feels excited. How is Tharn as a friend? He’s only ever seen Tharn as caring, clingy and extremely possessive when they had their brief casual relationship.
”Do you think he’ll accept?”
”Only T can answer that,” she said calmly. “And you won’t know the answer if you don’t ask.”
”Yeah, you’re right. Thank you.”
Their 45 minute session ends and Type gets up to leave. P’Mame leads him to the door but before he walks away, she says, “Remember, Type. Most of the time the strongest of relationships usually starts with friendship.”
The salty air of Phangan was a welcomed ambiance for Type. Inhaling a deep breath, he held it in until he felt that burn in his lungs before releasing it slowly. He did this a couple of times, just to feel something else that’s not trying to squeeze his chest.
Another familiar thing he welcomes.
Slowly, Type looked back to see his mother’s wide smile, waving at him from the pier with his father beside her. Putting the heaviness he’s been carrying aside, he tightened his hold on his luggage and started walking towards his parents. The ride going to their resort distracted Type. Listening to his mother’s excited chattering about everything he had missed and his father’s teasing remarks just to annoy her, Type smiles. This, right here. This is familiar. Comfortable. This is his family that he loves and trusts—
He can do this.
”Mae, Por. Can I talk to you both?”
Kannika Pawatthakun has always been observant. And being a wife and a mother had just sharpened her senses, especially when it came to her only child. The week that Type has been home for his semestral break, he had been distracted—distant. She knows her son. She knows when he is happy or when he is sad. She can sense when Type is angry or when he is afraid. And for the past few days that she’s been watching him, she can tell that what Type is feeling is a mixture of those emotions, but what stands out is the fear.
It pains her heart to see how her child is afraid to open up to her or his father. That Type can’t seem to open up to anyone for that matter. Ever since that dreaded moment—
Shaking that painful memory from her mind, she chose to focus on Type as they all sat down in the living room. Her husband placed a hand on her thigh, and she took it in hers as they both anchored each other on whatever it is their son wished to speak to them about.
“College is great,” Type started. “My grades are one of the highest, and I am a starter in our football team. I made great friends, Techno and Boat, and we had fun times. I play with them, goof around with them, study with them and sometimes we do drink together every after an exam, but nothing too extreme.” He looked up to to give his parents a small smile, as if assuring them that he’s not turning into an alcoholic or whatever.
”It’s been fun. I was fine,” he continued, but something in his tone changed. It was as if he was convincing himself, rather than stating a fact. The smile on his face fell, and he looked down. “But then—I realized I wasn’t. I wasn’t fine. I’ve never been truly fine since I was eleven.”
His mother lets out a pained gasp, not expecting his son to willingly open up about this particular part of his past. A past they all tried so hard to forget, but maybe that was the mistake. They all thought it would go away, that the memories would eventually fade. That if they lock up the man responsible for all this trauma, and surround their son with all the love and affection, that he would be able to forget it. And that's when they failed as his parents.
Not finding the words to say, Kannika and her husband held onto each other as they listened to their son.
“When I was—sexually abused,” Type uttered, voice growing cold as he forced the words out of his mouth. He needs to acknowledge this. He can’t sugarcoat what happened to him. “I was angry. I was mad at the man who did those awful things to me. I was furious of the people who thought they had the right to ask for my well being when in fact they just wanted to gossip about the boy who was molested. I was mad at gays because I generalized my resentment for one man to all of them. But mostly—mostly I was angry at myself. How could I have let that happen? Why wasn’t I strong enough? Why didn’t I scream louder to call for help? Why—“ he felt his throat close up as unexpected tears fell from his eyes. He wiped them angrily, then tried to settle his breathing. He needs this.
”I have—I have been so mad since that day that I didn’t realize what was happening to me. My automatic response to everything that goes wrong is anger. It’s amazing how I even have friends with all this anger and hate inside me, and they don’t even ask me why...as if they just understand that that’s who I am. And maybe I was like that. A guy so full of hatred to the world and to himself. Who blames people without asking for their reason. But—but I don’t want to be that anymore.”
Type paused, and for a moment his parents thought that was that, but then Type lifted his gaze. Tears starting to roll down his cheeks once again as he said with a broken voice,
”I fell in love with a guy. And it took me losing him to realize that I need to change. But I can’t do it on my own and...I want to be better. Please, help me be better.”
“Are you excited?”
Tharn looked down to meet his father’s eyes sparkling with glee and he chuckled. “I’m supposed to be the one asking you that,” he replied as he walked beside his dad and the nurse pushing the wheelchair towards the physical and rehabilitation area.
“Psh. Stop trying to act all so cool. You’ve been bouncing your feet since 9 in the morning waiting for nurse Ja here to take us to where a certain physiotherapist is waiting,” Mr. Kirigun teased his son.
A flustered Tharn gawked at his father then looked at the nurse who’s trying to hide a smile, but failing miserably. “I was not!”
His dad peered up at him for a second, then rolled his eyes. “Yep. Definitely excited. Will you stop blushing like a school girl or else my physiotherapist would know immediately that you have a crush on him. Didn’t I teach you better than that?”
”Taught me—wha,” Tharn stuttered, disbelief in his tone. “Dad, you only literally have mom. No other girlfriends. Just her,” he said matter-of-factly.
”Exactly. And now she’s my lovely wife,” Mr. Kirigun smirked. “I got her with my charms and she wasn’t able to resist. So—lose that blush and turn on your Kirigun charm to snatch my therapist or I’d be very disappointed if you fail.” Mr. Kirigun was having fun teasing his second son. It’s been awhile since they had such a talk, and seeing Tharn who was known to be the collected one of his three children was a feast to the eyes. If only he could take a photo to show his wife, it would have been more fun.
”Dad, please—can you not make such off handed comments when we are with Type? You might make him uncomfortable,” Tharn said, giving his dad a serious look. “We have just agreed to be friends. If you try to insinuate anything more than that, I might not even be his friend.”
Mr. Kirigun looked back at his son, and he saw the seriousness and determination in them that he sighed and slumped down on his wheelchair just as they reached their destination. “Fine.”
”Good morning, Mr. Kirigun,” Type greeted them as soon as he saw them enter the room. And if Type’s eyes had settled on Tharn first, noting how the other was wearing a black ripped jeans and black sweater with ‘Balenciaga’ on the chest area, instead of his father who is his patient, no one has to know.
”Good morning, Type,” his patient greeted him cheerily.
”Hi, Type,” Tharn’s soft voice said and Type let his eyes linger on him for a second, giving him a small smile and a nod before he put all his attention to his patient.
Tharn had waited at the bench on one side of the therapy area, watching silently. He watched Type’s professional demeanor as he guided his father to do the exercises they had agreed to do; the simple stretches, and curl of arms. His dad also had that determined look on his face as he followed his therapist’s instructions, and they would pause when he’d wince in pain but then would continue at a slower pace.
They spent the first session doing the same exercises and Tharn looked to his side when someone sat beside him.
”How’s your dad doing?”
”He’s doing pretty good for the first session,” he replied, leaning to give his mother a kiss on her cheek as a greeting. “How was your meeting?”
She squinted at him, before returning her gaze to her husband who was now being pushed by Type towards them. “I won’t talk business with you. Thorn told me not to.”
”Oh come on,” Tharn whined and his mother giggled at his pout.
”Honey, you’re here,” Mr. Kirigun greeted her happily, making grabby hands at her like a child.
“I am. Why don’t we go back to your room now?” She said, giving Type a smile as she went behind his husband’s wheelchair and pushed him out of the room.
Leaving Tharn behind.
”Uh—aren’t you going to go back with them?” Type asked, confused as to why Tharn is still here.
Tharn watched until his parents turned to the right, their figures disappearing before he turned to Type. “Actually, I was gonna ask you for lunch?”
”Oh,” came Type’s reply, quite surprised by the sudden invite, but definitely happy about it. “Sure...um, but can you meet me at quarter to 12 in the lobby? I have one more patient to tend to.”
”Of course,” Tharn said with a smile but before he turned to leave, he handed his phone. “Give me your number so I can message you to ask if you’re done?”
With that, Type openly gave a smile as he took Tharn’s phone to put in his number. “Introduce yourself when you message me. Or else I won’t reply,” he said with a smirk.
”Why? Avoiding admirers?” The other replied with a smirk of his own.
”Nah. Just people try to scam me of my money.” They shared a laugh before they bid goodbye with a promise of meeting later.
Being friends with Tharn felt as easy as breathing.
At first Type thought that everything would be awkward, given their history of already seeing each other with no clothes on and the hurtful words that Type had told the other all those years back. He would have understood if Tharn would be guarded with the sudden offer of friendship, because Type hurt him and to be honest, Type had never forgiven himself for that. But that didn’t happen.
Tharn was all smiles and warmth. Their lunch outings had quickly become a welcomed routine as Type finished his scheduled sessions with his patients and Tharn just looked after his father while his siblings and mother were busy with their life. Their playful banters never failed to make Type feel light and happy as they make their way back to the hospital after their lunch. And the random messages were also something he looked forward to.
I am bored.
What am I, your clown?
You literally only have 10 minutes left of your shift before we meet for lunch.
So, endure your 10 minutes and be a good therapist.
But 10 minutes is too long...😩
I know you miss me, and I miss you too.
But be a good boy for the next 10 minutes, okay?
I’ll see you in a bit.☺️
“P’Type? Are you okay?” Nurse Ja asked in surprise, as the other suddenly dropped his phone and slumped down the table at the nurse station. His face was hidden in his arms, but his ears are visible.
His very red ears.
Two weeks into their friendship, Tharn had asked if Techno and Boat could join them for lunch.
”Eh? You want to meet Techno and Boat?” Type asked as they entered another restaurant that Tharn had found online and wanted to try.
”Yeah. I mean, your friends and I aren’t exactly close but it would be nice to meet up with people I knew from before. I’ll even invite Lhong?”
”I guess? Wait do you want to do it now?”
”Sure. It’s still early and Techno and Boat works in the same hospital, right?”
”Yeah. Let me just call them and ask if they’re in.”
So that’s how five grown men found themselves reacquainting in a sushi restaurant. Type had been a bit aloof from Lhong for a few moments since the other was looking at him with sharp eyes, but then he became more friendly as their lunch continued. Techno had wasted no time terrorizing Tharn with questions about his life in the States and Boat just listened attentively as he was too busy stuffing his face with the food.
In the third week, Mr. Kirigun is ready for discharge.
They made a schedule for their outpatient sessions and Type had advised him to take it easy for a few days, commenting on not doing a difficult zumba routine so soon. Tharn came back after settling the hospital bill and came back to his dad's room to find Type and his parents conversing lightly. The physiotherapist made a funny remark that caused his mother to giggle and her husband to splutter indignantly.
Tharn’s heart warmed at the sight.
It was then that Type looked at his direction and smiled. “Looks like you’re all set,” he told his patient and Tharn’s parents looked at their son. Tharn walked towards them, grabbing his father’s bag and moving behind his wheelchair to push him. As they exited the halls, Type walked with them until they reached their car which was already waiting. A driver took the bag from Tharn and his parents bid Type goodbye and the promise to not miss their first outpatient session before mounting the vehicle.
Type stood to the side and watched as Tharn kissed his parents’ cheek before closing the door. Then the car was driving away.
”Eh? You’re not going home with your parents?”
Tharn looked back at the other and smiled, “Nah. It’s 12nn, we have our lunch, don’t we?”
And Type felt his heart flutter, welcoming the pleasant feeling.
The day was going smoothly, in Type’s opinion. He had woken up this morning with a light heart because of the late night video call he had with Tharn last night. They just talked about random things, and it was Tharn’s deep voice that lulled him to sleep. When he checked his phone first thing in the morning, he immediately opened a message from late last night.
Is my voice that boring that you fell asleep? 🙃
Good night, Type. See you tomorrow ☺️
And his morning felt fulfilling. He had met two patients for their sessions and it just so happened that those were the patients he adored in the pediatric department. The first patient was an 8 year old boy who broke his knee from an accident. His recovery was going nicely and they had both bonded quickly because of football, and the boy obviously looked forward to his sessions with Type because according to his patient’s mother, the child had always wanted a big brother just like him. And that warmed his heart. His second patient was a 5 year old little girl who has autism. She was quite delicate and Type worked with her patiently until she had learned to trust him and now her progress was something to behold. It makes him proud everytime she succeeds in their sessions and her big smiles are always a sight to behold.
And he can’t wait to tell Tharn all about it. They had agreed to just eat at the cafe across the hospital because Tharn needed a place to work on something and Type will immediately have a 1pm session with a patient so they have no time to dine somewhere else. Tharn had already messaged him that he’s in the cafe around 10 in the morning, and had told him to focus on work and for Type to not reply so the other begrudgingly obeyed and just wished for the time for lunch to come faster.
All in all, Type was having a great day and he was just jotting down the notes from his sessions before he was free to go to meet Tharn.
And—there goes his great day.
He continued writing his patients progress, all the while ignoring the annoying existence who slid beside him at the nurse station.
”—and our patient was a rich dude who thinks he can demand all shit—and he was—but then the operation was a success—and his family is so loaded, phi—“
Type tried to tune out the other’s blabbering.
“But really, that guy was too full of himself his chart even said he has STD and shit but he has a gall to deny—“
With this, Type closed the chart he is holding with a force before he turned to the other with a glare. The nurses who were hanging around and saw the look from the physiotherapist winced and all looked away, grateful that the glare wasn’t directed at them.
”Dr. Fiat,” Type started, voice cold. “You should know better than to spout confidential data about your patient. Do you want to be sued?”
”Oh, I—,” the young doctor grimaced, noticing his mistake.
”Go tend to your patients and try not to be so careless. You might end up losing your license because of your stupidity,” and with that, Type turned, giving the staff nurses a wai and started to walk away.
But the hardheaded doctor just can’t seem to get the hint.
In a flash, he strode towards the therapist and placed an arm around his waist, “Sorry, P. What about I treat you with coffee for—“
”Take your filthy hand away from me,” came a chilly voice. But the doctor just flashed a smile and then Type took his wrist, turned around and firmly pinned the filthy hand behind the doctor who yelped in pain. “Don’t touch me. You and I aren’t close. If you think what you’re doing is cute and shit, then you’re wrong. You are a menace and if you touch me again, I will not hesitate to break your hand so you won’t get to operate on anyone eve again and sue you sexual assault.”
With that, Type pushed the stunned doctor away and walked off.
He balled his hands to fists to hide the fact that they were shaking.
The moment Type sat down across from him, Tharn immediately noticed that something was wrong.
For one, Type didn’t announce his presence, he just quietly pulled the chair back and took a seat. Then he didn’t even greet Tharn because he had his eyes closed tight, and it was as if he was focusing hard on something with his brows furrowed. That was when Tharn noticed that Type was doing some sort of breathing exercise. He pushed his laptop to the side as he watched his companion with worried eyes but kept quiet. At least until Type’s breathing had settled and he slowly met Tharn’s worried gaze.
”Sorry about that,” Type said in a small voice, taking one last deep breath before he let out a small, tired smile.
”No need to be sorry,” Tharn replied. “Do you want to talk about it?”
Type looked at him, eyes contemplative and Tharn waited. If there is one thing that didn’t change about Type for the past seven years, it was that he mostly kept to himself. And Tharn respects that.
”Just—some asshole co-worker who can’t keep his hands to himself,” Type spoke, voice slightly shaking but he was trying to sound nonchalant about it. Upon hearing that, Tharn felt anger suddenly surface.
”It was nothing. I was—“
”Where did he touch you?” A deep voice spoke and Type looked up in surprise to see Tharn’s eyes suddenly dark with fury.
”Tharn? Hey, I’m fine. I dealt with him,” Type spoke, voice turning softer as he noticed Tharn’s hand balled on top of the table. And without thinking twice, he reached out and placed his hand on Tharn, giving it a comforting squeeze. “Come on, breathe. I’m okay, aren’t I?”
It took a few seconds before Tharn could rein in his anger. He let out a sigh when the urge to search for whoever it was that touched Type and maybe break a bone or two subsided, and just focused his gaze on their hands. When Type noticed that his friend was looking at their hands, he flushed and tried to pull his hand away.
But Tharn caught it, swiftly covering Type’s slim fingers with his own and let it settle on the table. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Yeah. I am fully capable of looking out for myself,” Type replied sharply. When in fact, he was trying hard to not blush and duck under the table with how Tharn was gently rubbing his hand with his thumb. It feels so nice.
Tharn chuckled, noticing his friend’s reddening face. Adorable. “I know you can take care of yourself. I never doubted that,” he spoke softly. “I ordered your usual, by the way,” he opted to change the subject and gave the other a smile. And as if on cue, the server came with their warm food and they reluctantly pulled their hands away from each other to eat.
”What are you working on?” Type asks as he finishes his food and is watching Tharn busy on his laptop. “I thought you aren’t allowed to work yet?”
Sparing his friend a glance, Tharn smiled before he resumed typing. “Our family business is not the only thing that I manage.”
Quirking a brow, Type stayed silent and waited. But Tharn made no indication of continuing so he whined, “Aren’t you gonna tell me?”
An amused chuckle left Tharn with Type’s childish whining so he decided to keep teasing the other with secrets. “If I tell you, then I’m going to have to kill you,” he ended with a low voice. And that rewarded him with a look of disbelief from Type that he bursted out laughing. When he calmed down, he said, “But really, I’ll tell you soon. For now let it remain as a mystery.”
Type squinted his eyes at him, before he settled back on his chair and drank his iced coffee silently. All the while watching Tharn with suspicious eyes. Feeling his friend’s gaze, Tharn looked at him and gave a smile. “What’s with that look?”
Suddenly leaning forward, Type cupped a hand on his mouth as he whispered, “you’re not doing something illegal are you?”
Amused, Tharn copied Type’s stance, their elbows almost touching and leaned in too close. “Do I look like someone who’s doing something illegal?” He whispered back.
Type’s eyes widened in surprise at Tharn’s proximity. He was so close that he could almost count his lashes and his smooth face was a sight to behold that for a moment he forgot how to speak. His gaze lingered on Tharn’s eyebrows, at his perfectly sculpted nose, his lips quirked in a playful smirk before he lifted his gaze on brown irises staring back at him with mirth and warmth that he didn’t realize he blurted out the words,
“You look like someone who’s illegally handsome.”
It took a moment for Type to realize that he just, indeed, said that out loud when Tharn’s eyes widened and his mouth hanged slightly open in surprise. The physiotherapist’s face instantly became red and he stood up, avoiding Tharn’s eyes as he made an excuse that he needs to go back to the hospital for his next session when they both knew he still has 20 minutes to spare. But Tharn didn’t stop him, and just watched in amusement as Type hurriedly left the cafe.
Type was beating himself up for spouting out something so—so...God, there’s no way Tharn won’t know that he’s attracted to him. He basically gave him that information on a silver platter! Stupid, stupid! Stupid Tharn and his stupidly annoying handsome face! Damn it!
When he reached his office, he sank down his seat and wallowed in misery, when his phone notified him of a message. He had a hunch on who the sender might be, and despite the embarrassing episode he had earlier, he can’t stop himself from reaching out to his phone to read the message.
And he wished he didn’t because, what the hell, how the fuck would he stop himself from blushing now?!
Hope your day gets better.
Message me when you get home after your shift.
And thank you for the compliment, you illegally adorable Type Thiwat.
Hope you enjoyed this chapter as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Feedbacks would be appreciated. Thank you ☺️
“Mike! Pass the ball to Gun!” Type shouted, then cheered as Gun scored a goal. The other children beside him shouted in glee, giving each other hi-fives and squeals of delight.
The children playing on the field happily ran back to their base, tackling their fellow teammates for their win. Type watched them all with a fond smile, before he decided to join in on the human pile. He laughed loudly when groans were heard from the kids underneath him, but he makes sure he’s not putting his entire weight on them, just enough for them to feel a pressure. After basking in the glow of their win, the friendly match turned into doing some drills. Type taught them a new set of leg exercises that most of the children are taking seriously, while some were struggling. He focused more on those who can’t seem to get the exercise right, and patiently shows them how to do it again until they re able to do it on their own. Once everyone got the hang of it, Type left Mike in-charge as he returned inside the orphanage to get them some refreshments.
It was another one of Type’s day off, and unlike the other times that his friends join him whenever he visits, he is alone since Techno needs to go home for his brother’s graduation and Boat has an emergency situation at the hospital. And Tharn also told him that he has an errand to run.
He remembers that conversation and frowns. Tharn had been obviously elusive about whatever he’s doing today and Type can tell he’s doing it on purpose just to rile him up. He was sure it’s connected to whatever secret job the other has. Tharn wasn’t even trying to hide the amused smirk on his face when he informed Type he won’t be available today because his very secret job needs his attention.
Type internally rolled his eyes as he entered the kitchen.
”Hi, P’Jane. I came to prepare the kids’ snacks,” he greeted the cook.
The said person turned to him with a grateful smile. “Thanks, Nong. The kids have been requesting for some peanut butter and jelly. I already prepared them, over there. But first, I have a favor.”
”Oh. Sure. What is it P’?
”We have a new kid. From what P’Mame had told the staff, she experienced a car accident that killed her family. She was the only one who survived. She just arrived the other day and she hasn’t uttered a word and barely ate her meals,” she said with a somber tone as she pulled out a bowl and started scooping what smelled like porridge in it. “She also didn’t come down for lunch. Can you bring this to her and try to see if she’ll eat?”
”Of course. What’s her name?”
”This is the third store, Tharn!” Lhong whined just as they were out the door.
”You were the one who offered to accompany me. I told you I was perfectly capable of—“
”And take a risk of you buying too much? Not on my watch,” Lhong said matter-of-factly as they walked around the mall to look for another store that would catch Tharn’s attention. “And I did tell you I have to talk to you about an offer. That South Korean company is requesting for our collaboration with one of their artists. And they specifically asked for Mew Suppassit’s aid.”
”Eh? But we have other lyricists,” he said.
”I know. And they are all good. But they are adamant on wanting to work with that lyricist.”
”Is it for only one song? Or for an entire album?”
”They said it’s for a mini album. Five songs at most. And they are venturing on the theme of love, which in my opinion, suits you perfectly. All your songs had been in that tone. And it seems like you have a new inspiration.”
Tharn spared his best friend a glance, opting to ignore the sudden teasing tone of his voice as he entered another music store.
The next day, Tharn woke up and was about to join his family for breakfast when he remembered his plans for the day. With a sigh, Tharn took out his phone.
I won’t make it to lunch today.
Is it because of your secret job again? 😑
Nope. I have my best man duties today.
It’s the last fitting of our suits then P’Thorn and I will have to go to the venue for final instructions and stuff.
I was looking forward to ranting to you during lunch but...
Okay. I’ll see you tomorrow, I guess?
My car decided to be a bitch and won’t start.
So I had to commute to work today and some asshole won’t give his seat to this pregnant lady and I almost punched his face.
Though I subtly...
tripped him when he was leaving the bus.
Of Course you did 😂
The asshole deserves it.
I have to go. See you tomorrow.
“Aaaahhhh~what a beautiful smile this beautiful morning. My day is complete,” Thorn said dramatically and Tharn looked up to find his siblings sitting in the dining table, waiting for him and their parents.
”Morning,” he greeted and took his seat beside Thanya who greeted him back with a smile.
”Hey! Don’t ignore me!”
”So, Thanya, how’s school?”
Thanya laughed at their older brother before answering his P’Tharn, updating him about his classes and his social circle. Tharn listened to her diligently, interested in her fashion course and the people she’s hanging out with. All the time, Thorn was sporting a childish pout, but then Thanya spared him a glance, and a wink.
”P’Tharn? Can I ask you something?
”Sure, princess. What is it?”
”Do you think P’Type is cute?”
”He’s always been cute—wait, what?” Tharn had been filling his plate with food that the sudden shift of topics caught him off guard. He turned to look at his sister.
”Aha! So you do think he’s cute!” Thorn exclaimed from the other side of the table, pointing an accusing finger at him. “Are you gonna ask him to be your boyfriend?”
Tharn sighs, giving Thanya a scowl that she returned with an innocent smile before answering his brother. “We’re just friends.”
”For now,” Thanya chimed beside him.
”Well, if you’re too chicken to ask him as your boyfriend, then why not ask him as your plus one for the wedding?”
”I’m telling you to invite Type to my wedding,” Thorn repeated.
”But he doesn’t know anyone there. He might feel uncomfortable being surrounded by people he doesn’t know.”
”No he won’t. You’ll be there.”
”Phi, I’m your best man. I’ll be busy and won’t be able to be beside him during the ceremony and the reception.”
Thorn turns quiet, looking to his side as he considered his options. A few seconds later, he said, “Fine. Not as your plus one then. But he’s still invited. You can give him the invitation so he can bring a friend with him. Happy?”
And before Tharn could argue, his parents arrived and Thorn had childishly refused to listen to his reasoning. After they ate their breakfast, the brothers bid their princess and parents goodbye as they set out to do their activities for the day.
”Hey, I thought you said you’ll drive?” Thorn called out as Tharn opened another car instead of getting inside his.
”Change of plans. I’ll go to Type right after,” he explained shortly then closed his car door immediately as to not hear his brother’s teasing.
Type lets out an exhausted sigh as he takes the last bite of his sandwich. This served as his lunch because he didn’t find the energy to go out and buy real food when his past patient had been such a pain in the ass. Groaning, he rolled his shoulders and glanced at his phone.
He’s contemplating whether or not he should message Tharn and ask what he’s doing, but decided against it. Tharn said he’d be quite busy today so Type sighs for a hundredth time and stood up.
The hospital’s been filled with patients since early morning because of an accident that happened nearby. So the hospital halls are full of nurses and doctors running in and out of the emergency room. Once Type reaches the rehabilitation floor, he heads straight to the equipment room to take out the materials he’ll use for his patient. The next schedule is still at 2:30pm but he doesn’t have anything better to do so he opted to just prepare things early.
He suppressed the urge to growl at the unpleasant voice that greeted him from behind. Why can’t he just leave him alone?
After Type sets down the materials he’s been holding, he turned around to face this nuisance with a blank look. At least he needs to be professional enough. “What is it, Dr. Fiat?”
The young doctor fidget, looking away before he steadied himself and looked at the therapist with a sheepish look. “I just wanted to apologize for my behavior a couple days back.”
“Okay. Apology accepted,” Type dismissed the other and was about to walk around him when he was blocked. Furrowing his brows, he glared at the doctor. “Can you move?”
“Yeah—just...can I buy you coffee or food as a form of apology?”
“That’s not necessary.”
“Please, phi? It’s just coffee. The cafe across the hospital has a nice—“
“I don’t drink coffee,” Type lied through gritted teeth and his patience is wearing thin.
“Oh, tea then? Or anything?” The doctor was being difficult and obviously still hasn’t grasped the concept of ‘No’.
Just as Type was about to respond, an arm looped their way around his waist and he tensed—
As Tharn walked the already familiar halls of the hospital, the nurses gave him a greeting and a wai. The weeks that he spent here when his dad was hospitalized, he became friendly with most of the staff. Also, they don’t really question his presence despite the fact that his dad has been discharged for weeks now. Almost all the nurses are aware of his friendship with a certain physiotherapist.
“Khun Tharn, you seem a bit late for lunch?” Nurse Lea greeted him.
Tharn gives her a wai as much as he can with the paper bags he’s holding. “Has some things to do. Is Type on the rehab floor?” He asked.
“Yeah. I just saw him go there. Why don’t we go there together? I have some papers I need signed on that floor,” she replied before they walked side by side and made small talk. Nurse Lea is one of the senior nurses, and if you look past her strict demeanor, you’ll see a sweet lady who takes his work seriously and passionately. Tharn likes talking to her. She’s smart and has a motherly aura that he adores. And also, it’s funny because she was the same nurse who reprimanded Lhong that one time.
As they arrived at the floor, Tharn was animatedly telling her a story about his sister’s childhood memories when Nurse Lea suddenly stopped walking. Tharn halted, and looked at where the nurse was staring.
And he frowned.
“Who’s that talking with Type?”
“That’s Dr. Fiat. He’s a first year surgery resident.”
“Oh...was he the same doctor Type threatened last week?”
“Yes,” Nurse Lea replied with a sigh. “That boy has a talent as a surgeon but apparently, he can’t seem to understand it when someone rejects him. He’s been trying hard to get Type’s attention. At first it was quite adorable, because it was like seeing a toddler have his first crush but now it’s just uncomfortable. Especially since Type has been clear that he’s not interested. But Dr. Fiat’s just—“ she ended as we watch that doctor block Type’s way.
Tharn tightened his hold on the bags, and bid a quick goodbye to nurse Lea as he entered the room. Type has his back on him but he can tell that they are still talking from the way this Dr. Fiat is moving his lips, looking like his pleading for something. When Tharn was close enough he heard the doctor say, “Oh, tea then? Or anything?”
And Tharn closed the gap and instinctively wrapped his free arm around Type. He felt the other tense and looked up at him in surprise. He looked back, giving him a small smile and rubbing his thumb soothingly on Type’s waist until he felt him relax in his hold.
“Hi,” Tharn greeted him softly.
He saw the way Type’s eyes grew warm as he unconsciously let his weight rest a bit on Tharn’s. And Tharn happily supported him. “Hey. I thought you said you were busy?”
“I just finished. I came bearing gifts,” he informed him and showed him the bags he’s holding in one hand. Tharn then turned his gaze to the other person who stood there watching their interaction. “Hello, I believe we haven’t met. I’m Tharn,” he said but made no effort to offer a handshake as he was quite busy with both hands.
“Oh, hello. Um—I’m Fiat.”
“Nice to meet you,” Tharn said with a friendly tone, Type noticed his eyes lack the warmth that’s usually in them. “Would you mind if Type and I leave? Are you two discussing something important?”
“No, we’re not,” Type was the one who answered. Giving one last uninterested look at the young doctor, he turned around, dragging Tharn with him who only managed to give Fiat a nod goodbye. Type reached for one of the paper bags and saw two cups of coffee. He cast a grateful smile as he went ahead and sipped his cold coffee, all the while listening to Tharn telling him what food he got.
Two pairs of eyes followed their retreating figures.
One was wearing a shocked expression at what he witnessed. The P’Type he knew never liked physical touch. He shied away from whatever form of skinship, either from him or from any other staff of the hospital who knew him longer than he did. And yet there he was, leaning on someone he never saw before. Looking as if—he belonged there.
And another was watching them with a knowing smile. For the two years she had known the young physiotherapist, Nurse Lea had caught on Type’s aversion to touches. Being in this field for a long time, she can easily spot when an individual could have anxieties or past traumas and she can tell that Type has the latter. This is the first time he has seen Type Thiwat so at ease at having someone touch him.
Type closed his office as Tharn placed the bags on the table.
“Not that I’m not happy to see you, because you brought food. But what are you doing here?” He asked, crossing the room and looking at the containers Tharn had laid out.
“Just thought I’ll bring you something. What did you have for lunch?”
Tharn rolled his eyes, grabbing a pair of chopsticks and passing them to Type. “That’s not real food. Here, try this. These are from my favorite chinese restaurant downtown,” he said and passed a carton of chao fan to Type who happily ate them.
“So, that’s the colleague you told me about last week?”
“Hmm,” Type hummed in confirmation, mouth full of rice.
Tharn chuckled, watching the other’s cheeks puff out as he ate. He reached out a hand to remove a rice that stuck on Type’s chin and the other just gave a small smile then continued eating. “Slow down. The food’s not going anywhere,” he chided the other before he passed his drink.
They passed the time sharing a box of spring rolls as they talked about their day; Tharn sharing what he was up to this morning and Type recounting the busy day at the hospital and his bus incident earlier. Type’s alarm went off at 2:15pm and he informed Tharn he has a patient at 2:30pm.
“Can I wait here?” Tharn suddenly asked as Type started clearing the empty boxes off the table.
“Huh? Why? You don’t have anything else to do?”
“Nope. I’ll wait for you then drive you back to your apartment.”
Type turned to him, a gleeful look on his face. “Really?”
Letting out a laugh at Type’s happy face, Tharn nodded and pinched Type’s cheek. “Yes. That way we’ll be saving some random citizen from tripping on their way off the bus.”
“That random citizen this morning was a shitty citizen,” Type defended, a pout grazing his lips.
“Okay, okay,” Tharn appeased him. “Go ahead and do your sessions. I’ll finish cleaning up.” Then he stood up and took the empty cartons off Type’s hands. Tharn continued discarding their trash as Type stood there in the middle of the room, just watching his companion with a fond look.
“Thank you,” Type said softly, then Tharn met his gaze with the same fondness.
“You are welcome,” he replied just as soft then giving each other one final smile, Type made his way out of his office.
And if his steps had an extra skip to them and a smile on his lips as he arrived on the rehab floor, no one dared point it out.
“...you look ridiculous,” Type commented without remorse as soon as he saw Techno go out of the fitting room.
Techno placed a hand on his chest, wearing a dramatic expression of hurt as he replied, “How dare you! I look dashing.”
Type rolled his eyes, going back to his task of looking through racks suits on his right. “We’re going to a wedding. Not an award show. And besides, I bet no one would dress in a yellow suit. You look like a fucking banana. A short sad looking one.”
”Hey!” His friend said indignantly, as the shop assistant let out a chuckle. Techno pouted but returned inside the fitting room to change into another set of suits.
It’s been 2 days since Tharn had given him the invitation for his brother’s wedding, and he’s been quite stressed on having to look for an appropriate outfit for the event. The only suit he owns was the one he wore for his graduation years ago and he didn’t see the need to buy another one for the other occasions he went to that required a formal attire since it would be a waste of money. And yet, somehow, here he is. They’ve been in the mall for three hours already, and been into almost five shops but Type can’t seem to find the right suit.
”Sir? Do you need help?” The assistant approached. She’s a middle-aged woman with a pleasant demeanor. Unlike the other shop assistants who were following them around as if they’re burglars, this one let them roam around the shop freely and would offer her assistance only if needed. Type had watched her interaction with Techno earlier, and somehow, her non-intrusive personality made him feel at ease.
“I can’t seem to find the right outfit,” Type admitted softly.
She smiled kindly and said, “It is for a wedding am I correct? May I know what your relationship is to the bride or groom?”
“Oh, the groom is my patient’s son. It’s actually the best man that I’m acquainted with. We’re friends.”
“I see,” she says then places a finger on her chin as she thinks. Then she looks back at Type with a gleeful expression, “I think I have the perfect attire for you.”
“Can you please stop pacing around. You’re giving me a headache,” Tharn chuckles as he watched his brother walk back and forth in the waiting room of the venue. He pushed away from the wall he’s been leaning on and walked towards his anxious brother then he halted his steps with putting both his hands on his shoulders. “Stop fidgeting. You’ll ruin your hair.”
Thorn looked up and gave his best puppy eyes at his brother, “Tharn! I’m nervous...why am I nervous? It’s my wedding and it’s not like Name’s gonna leave me at the- oh my god, what if she leaves me at the aisle, Tharn?!”
”Calm down, phi. Come on, deep breaths,” Tharn says soothingly, and thankfully Thorn followed. A few cycles of deep breaths later, he had seemed to calm down and slumped forward, letting Tharn support his body.
”I’m getting married,” he whispered.
”You are,” Tharn answered back, running a hand on his phi’s back.
”I’m about to marry the love of my life.”
”Yes, you are,” Tharn repeated, a fond smile tilting his lips up as he listens to his phi talk his nervousness away. Silence soon followed, and slowly Thorn stood back up. This time his eyes are glistening with happy tears as he looked back at his brother. “Don’t cry now, phi. Or else the make up artist is gonna have your head.” Thorn chuckles, looking up to not let a tear spill before he regarded his brother with a grateful smile.
”You are the best baby brother, you know,” he says.
The other rolled his eyes playfully, “I am your only brother.”
”Oh, shush. I’m trying to have a moment with you here,” Thorn whines and they both let out a laugh. The eldest of the two watched his brother with a gentle smile, liking how carefree Tharn has been for the past few weeks he’s been back home. “I am grateful for you, Tharn. I may not say it often but I am lucky having you as my brother. And I would want nothing more than to see you happy. I know I tease you about your friend Type, but I can see how he’s affecting you. In a good way.”
Tharn looks back at his brother, listening intently.
”It may not be with him. It may be with someone else you’ll meet in the future, but I do wish that someday you’ll have the same happiness I have with Name. I hope to see you walking down the aisle, me as your best man, and witnessing you tie the knot.”
The brothers stood still, regarding each other with filial looks of affection when Tharn replied with a smirk, “Who says you’ll be my best man?”
Type shifts in his seat for the nth time as he brings a hand and swipes a stray hair blocking his eye. They arrived in the venue half an hour ago and when they showed their invitation to the usher, they were guided to a chapel situated almost at the center of a forest. The pathway leading to the chapel was decorated with lamps and white flowers giving it quite a mystical feel to it. Type has been holding on to Techno’s arm as they make their way to the chapel because his dumb bestfriend keeps of walking astray from the path and Type had wished he had brought a leash to tie him. When the chapel was in sight, Type let go of Techno to answer his phone which was ringing.
”Hey. We just got to the chapel,” Type said.
”Good. I’m sorry I can’t accompany you. My brother is having jitters,” Tharn said with a chuckle and Type can hear the fondness the other had for his brother and it brings a smile to Type’s lips. “It’s okay. You’re the best man. It is your duty to make sure the groom stays put.”
”You’re right. I’m- Hey is that Type?! Hi Type! I’m getting married!” Someone suddenly shouted, cutting off Tharn and Type had to put his phone away from his ear. There were some muffled sounds coming from the other line, and Type thinks Tharn just covered his phone to prevent him from hearing whatever it was they’re saying on the other line. The usher motioned for their seats at the second to the last aisle, and they made themselves comfortable before Tharn finally spoke on the phone again. “I’m sorry. It seems like my brother is regressing to toddlerhood,” he said with a sigh and Type chuckled. “The wedding will start in a few. I’ll see you in a bit?”
”Yeah. I’ll see you,” Type replied softly then they hung the phone.
”You know, you look more nice with that smile on your face,” Techno suddenly spoke and Type turned to him, smile disappearing and the frown resurfacing. “See?! You’re frowning again. You look like a grumpy cat.”
”I look like this all the time.”
”Not when Tharn’s around,” Techno said and he ducked down, expecting a smack to the head but none came. Looking up, Techno watched as Type got silent, staring straight ahead. Techno followed the direction his best friend is looking at to see Tharn standing beside another man in a white suit, which Techno assumed as the groom. Tharn turned to his brother, reaching out to fix his tie before he looked forward again, and a big smile was suddenly on his face. He gave a small wave to their direction, and Techno re-directed his gaze to Type who was giving back a small wave with a soft smile on his lips.
Techno smiled then looked away, feeling as if he just witnessed an intimate moment.
The wedding ceremony was beautiful.
It was intimate and the people who witnessed the vows uttered by the groom and the bride felt the love the two have for each other. The chapel was only filled by selected people, and after the ceremony it was the newlyweds who guided the guests out on the other exit of the chapel and into a lit pathway. The sun had already set, and the full moon was peeking through the skies, providing them more light as they made their way to the reception. Once they reached the end of the trail, they were greeted by applause and showers of white and red petals.
More guests were waiting at the reception, almost all the tables were full and Type had remembered Tharn sharing that they have quite a big family. And that some of their business partners were also invited. Another usher approached Type and him and Techno were assisted to a table almost to the front. As the newly weds greeted their guests, the open area was filled with music with the live band playing on the side. Type saw Lhong at the place where the band was, and they greeted each other with a nod before Lhong went ahead and talked to the guys providing music.
The MC had started a small program as the waiters served the table with a full 5-course meal. By the time the steak was out, Type was feeling quite full already but he forced himself to finish the food, while Techno was showing no signs of being full. When he’s not busy eating, though, Type would look up and follow a figure who’s been walking around the reception and doing his duty as the best man. Tharn was making small talk to some old men in expensive suits, who Type guesses as the business partners, then he’d talk to some waiters and give some instructions or something. It kept Type entertained. Seeing Tharn breezing through the event, looking at ease as he made sure everything was in place.
In some instances that Tharn talked with the maid of honor, Type had noticed the lingering touches that the girl left on Tharn’s arm. He also noticed the looks she directed at the best man and he frowned. He doesn’t like it. But Tharn would politely pull her hand down and would give a strained smile as she tried to strike up a conversation. So that makes Type feel a little bit better at least.
“Now for the groom and bride’s first dance, let us welcome the best man, Tharn Kirigun!” The MC suddenly announced and the lights got dim, a spotlight focused on the dance floor as the soft strumming of guitar echoed in the area. The newlyweds walked hand in hand towards the prepared dance floor in the middle of the garden, all eyes directed at them as a smaller spotlight was directed to the side where Tharn was standing, a guitar on his hand and the band playing softly behind him.
I swear to God, when I come home
I'm gonna hold you so close
I swear to God, when I come home
I'll never let go
Like a river, I flow
To the ocean, I know
You pull me close, guiding me home
And I need you to know that we're fallin' so fast
We're fallin' like the stars, fallin' in love
And I'm not scared to say those words with you, I'm safe
We're fallin' like the stars, we're fallin' in love
I swear to God, I can see
Four kids and no sleep
We'll have one on each knee, you and me, hmm
And when they've grown up
You're still the girl in the club
When I held your hair up, 'cause you had too much
And I need you to know that we're fallin' so fast
We're fallin' like the stars, fallin' in love
And I'm not scared to say those words with you, I'm safe
We're fallin' like the stars, we're fallin' in love
I swear to God, every day
He won't take you away
'Cause without you, babe, I lose my way
Oh, I'm in love
Oh, I'm in love
Oh, I'm in love
Oh, I'm in love
Oh, I'm in love
Oh, I'm in love (fallin' like the stars)
And I need you to know that we're fallin' so fast
We're fallin' like the stars, fallin' in love
The guitar strums got softer. Tharn’s eyes which were closed during the entire performance opened, immediately landing on another pair which, unlike the other eyes that are glued to the newly weds, are also staring right back at him.
And I'm not scared to say those words with you, I'm safe
We're fallin' like the stars, we're fallin' in love
“Hey you,” a voice greeted him and Type turned to his side as Tharn took the empty seat.
”Hey,” he greeted back then gave Tharn a look. “Have you had your dinner?”
”I asked the waiter to bring it to me later.”
”Later? What time did you last eat?”
Clicking his tongue, Type reached towards his unfinished food and cut the remaining steak. “You’ve been running around on an empty stomach and you’re telling me you’ll eat later?” He grumbled, fixing a serving on a spoon and directing it towards Tharn. When Tharn only looked at him with surprised eyes, Type pushed the spoon forward and basically force fed Tharn.
Tharn chewed his food properly, eyes watching Type with a fond look as he prepared another serving of food. Once he swallowed, another spoonful of steak and mashed potato was pushed in his mouth and he let out a chuckle, but accepted the food nonetheless. This continued until Type’s plate was empty and Tharn would sometimes turn to Techno to chat with him when Type wasn’t feeding him.
Techno watched as his best friend acted like a mother hen towards Tharn, but made sure not to point it out to not burst whatever bubble Type was in. Once Type was satisfied, he passed his glass of water towards Tharn, which the other accepted gratefully. They were soon joined in by Lhong together with another male who he introduced as his boyfriend, Turbo, and they all made pleasant conversation. The dance floor was slowly getting filled by the guests who were dancing when the DJ had started playing the music, but when a soft song blasted through the speakers Tharn turned to Type.
”Dance with me.”
Type raised a brow. “Are you asking or demanding?”
Chuckling, Tharn stood up and made a gesture of offering his hand to Type, dipping to a small bow. “Would you honor me with a dance?”
Type refuses to believe that he is blushing; the warmth he feels on his cheeks and ears are just because the weather is quite warm and he is wearing a suit. He refuses to believe it had anything to do with Tharn’s charming smile. “Since you asked so nicely,” he replied playfully, placing his hand on Tharn’s. They walked towards the dance floor hand in hand, joining in the other guests who were swaying with their respective partners. When they found a space, the two faced each other with small smiles on their faces. Tharn took a step closer, raising his free arm and gently placing it on Type’s lower back, while his other hand stayed interlocked with the other. Type, on the other hand, placed his other hand on Tharn’s chest and they started swaying gently in tune to the music.
“You look nice,” Tharn spoke softly.
”You don’t look so bad yourself,” Type replied just as softly and they shared a small laugh.
“...and they’re going to Switzerland for their honeymoon! P’Tharn paid for their plane ticket and everything as his wedding gift,” Thanya said as she chatted with Techno. After their dance, Tharn had offered to get them both champagne at the mobile bar so Type went back to their table. Soon, Thanya joined them and had instantly bonded with Techno so Type just listened to the two, offering a response when needed.
”That’s so kind of Tharn. Had he been there?” Techno asked.
”Yep. P’Tharn went to a lot of countries for a while before he became the vice president. He was soul sear— oh no,” Thanya cut off, her smiley face getting replaced with a worried look.
”What’s wrong?” Type asked, turning to the youngest Kirigun.
“Just—“ Thanya started, before she pointed a finger behind Type. Turning around, Type and Techno saw Tharn in the mobile bar, holding two flutes of champagne but another guy in a gray suit looked like he’s preventing Tharn from leaving.
”Who is that?” Came Type’s low voice, not liking the frown etched on Tharn’s face as he talked to the stranger.
”That’s p’Thorn’s best friend, P’San. He’s quite—I don’t like him,” Thanya ended in a soft voice. “He’s been quite pushy when it comes to p’Tharn and I’m not dumb. I know he likes my brother but p’Tharn’s been telling him no since highschool. It’s just—p’San just can’t seem to get the hint.”
That annoyingly reminded Type of the same situation he’s been in. His eyes stayed on Tharn, trying to control whatever anger he feels bubbling inside him but when an unwanted hand was placed on Tharn’s cheek, and the obvious look of discomfort was seen on Tharn’s face, Type immediately stood up from his seat and took long strides towards the mobile bar. It took him less than a minute to get to where the two are, and when he’s close enough, he placed a hand on Tharn’s back and took one of the champagne on his hand.
”You’re taking too long,” Type said directly to Tharn.
”Excuse me? I’m talking to Tharn,” the annoying pest said in a haughty tone.
”Are you done talking to him?” Type asked Tharn, ignoring the person who just spoke. Tharn gave him a nod and Type was about to turn them around when he saw a hand about to grab on Tharn’s arm. Acting purely on adrenaline, and his anger fueling his action, Type spun and turned to this p’San. He took the outstretched hand, gripping it tightly then pulled the other closer to him. He’s taller than this p’San, and Type took immense joy as he towered over this unwanted individual and leveled him with a glare.
“Stop touching him. He’s mine,” he hissed menacingly, then pushed the other away.
The party had ended close to midnight.
Despite the unwanted event with that p’San earlier, the entirety of their evening wasn’t spoiled. Techno danced with Thanya when their favorite BTS song played, then Thanya pulled Type for a dance after that. Tharn stole his sister-in-law from his brother for a dance, before getting his mother to dance with her as well. And at one point of the evening, the Kirigun siblings was having some sort of a dance battle while they followed Lhong’s dance moves in the center of the dance floor. It was fun, and Type had a great time.
When the guests started bidding their goodbyes to the newlyweds, the music shifted to a soft tune and the only remaining people on the dance floor were p’Thorn and p’Name, Tharn’s parents and p’Name’s parents. Thanya, Tharn, Type, Techno and Turbo retreated to their table and half an hour later, Type said they had to leave.
”You’re driving?” Tharn asked.
”Yeah. Don’t worry, I didn’t drink that much champagne. And Techno has a duty tomorrow,” the other replied.
”It’s my day off,” Type answered.
Type and Techno walked towards the newlyweds and told them congratulations. Type had turned to Mr. and Mrs. Kirigun and had bid them a good night and congratulations as well. Thanya had given Type and Techno a hug as goodbye. Tharn offered to walk them to their car in which the two accepted. Although, Techno took Type’s car keys and speed walked towards the vehicle, leaving them behind.
The two had their gazes forward, watching as Techno’s figure disappeared. A soft breeze was felt and the trees surrounding them are rustling gently, the moon shining above them brightly. They were both silent, just allowing the sound of nature to echo through them.
”I forgot to say thank you,” Tharn suddenly spoke.
”For saving me from p’San.”
Hearing that name, Type directed a glare towards Tharn. “Can you not say his name? Hearing it is enough to annoy me.”
Tharn chuckles but stayed silent as they continued their walk. Their hands are swaying beside them, and there are moments when the backs of their hands would touch. When Type’s car is in view, they saw that Techno already started it and the headlights are on, providing more light towards them.
”Do you want to go on a date with me?”
The question caused Type to halt on his steps. He turned his face to the side to see Tharn already watching him with a serious look. When Type didn’t give an answer, but continued gawking at the other, Tharn stepped forward and took Type’s hand.
”I’m asking if you would honor me with a date,” he spoke softly, repeating the words he had used when he asked for a dance.
The feel of warm fingers wrapping around his seemed to have brought Type out of the trance he got trapped in. He lifted his gaze, meeting Tharn’s, and replied, “Okay. Since you asked so nicely.”
Falling Like The Stars by James Arthur
I enjoyed writing the wedding scenes.
Type is an organized person. When he was scouting for an apartment, he was very particular about one thing: storage. He liked his things being put into a specific area, saving him the time of finding anything when he needs it. In his living room, there are hidden compartments under the sofabed where he hides the excess throw pillows and blankets when Techno and Boat would sleepover. One wall of his bedroom was redesigned to be a shelf where he keeps his growing collection of books and documents from work. Underneath his bed are also hidden compartments that serve as his shoe storage. And the other corner was his wardrobe where he keeps his clothes folded properly and ironed.
So, you see, Type really likes an organized surrounding.
But not today, so it seems.
With the closet open wide, a stressed Type in his boxers and white tee was seen rummaging his array of clothes. The once properly folded shirts are thrown carelessly to the bed, and even some of his ironed polos are disregarded after a distasteful glance. It would be amusing for Puifai if it wasn’t pitiful at the same time.
”Stop destroying your closet and tell me where you need to go. Why’d you even call if you won’t tell me what’s happening?” She said in an exasperated tone, watching through the screen of her phone.
The person addressed lets out a grunt and defeatedly walked towards his own phone. Once his face was shown on the screen, the woman let out a giggle at Type who was wearing a face mask. “Oh my—what is the occasion really?”
”Shut up. Stop laughing,” Type hissed. It took a moment for his glare to soften before his shoulders dropped and sighed. “Help me find an outfit.”
Having a hunch on what might be happening for her friend to be this distraught, Puifai decided to play dumb and maybe tease Type some more. It’s such a golden opportunity to let it slip pass. “Outfit for what?” Type grumbles something low as an answer, and even if Puifai has heard it, she said, “I’m sorry? You’re going on a what? A birthday?”
”A date! I’m going on a date! Birthday doesn’t even sound like a date, you witch!” Type bellows, and removes his face mask to reveal his very crimson face that resulted in Puifai into another round of giggles. Type sends another glare to his phone and scowls. “Just—what should I wear?”
Taking a deep breath to calm herself, Puifai gives a smile at her friend. “Do you know where your date is taking you?”
”He just said to wear something casual. Like that’s gonna help. Knowing him his idea of casual is a dinner at a Michelin star restaurant,” Type grumbles but then there’s that small smile on his lips. The pronoun used was not lost on Puifai and she’s reminded again how five years ago Type had asked for forgiveness once again because of his stupidity that got her hopes up. And also, when Type told her he’s in love with a guy.
”Well, let’s just believe his instruction and go for a casual look. Something casual but attractive at the same time,” she assessed.
”I am attractive enough. Thank you,” Type says but was ignored by Puifai who’s deep in thought.
”Remember that striped jacket I gave you last year for your birthday?” She asked, and when a sheepish look was all he got from Type, she rolled her eyes. “You didn’t use that yet, haven’t you?”
”I don’t see a need to use a very expensive jacket when I go out,” came the defensive response.
”Shut up. That was a prototype of my design and I gifted that to you so the least you could do is be appreciative and wear it,” she scolded. “Anyway, you can wear it now. Pair it with a plain shirt and those black ripped jeans I know you own. Then wear a black sneakers. Add a necklace or a bracelet. That should be casual enough,” she finished. She watched through her screen as Type went back to his closet to look for those specific items Puifai had listed. Once found, she gets his phone and thanks her.
”You’re welcome. Just send me a selfie of you and your date as a payment. I’ll be waiting,” she smirked and ended the call.
Type was scowling as the car door was closed and he followed the person who’s rounding the car to get to the driver’s seat with a glare. When the other door was opened and his companion got in, his annoyance increased especially since Tharn does not look a little bit fazed by it.
”Stop treating me like a girl,” Type hissed.
The glare, if possible, hardened. “I told you I can meet you there. But you just had to fetch me like some damsel in distress.”
”You’re not a damsel in distress. Far from it,” Tharn replies and once his seatbelt is secured he turns to give Type a smile. “There’s no girl in this relationship. We’re both males but I just want to take care of you since this is our first date. If you want, you can pick me up for our second date. I wanted to fetch you because I would want to have an excuse to walk you back to your apartment later.” After giving his explanation, Tharn started to drive and directed his attention to the road.
But he did notice Type’s red ears as the sulking male looked out the window and lowly grumbled, “Who said there’d be a second date?”
When the redness on Type’s face finally subsided, he finally asked Tharn where they’re headed. And he learned that they’ll be watching a movie. It seemed clichè, yes, because a movie date is such a highschool move. But then Tharn says, “You told me a few weeks back you’ve been waiting for this film. So I thought we should see it, since it’s also your day off.” And if that reason alone caused Type’s heart to flutter, then no one has to know.
The mall was already buzzing with people when they got inside. Since it is a weekend, families, teenagers in groups and couples are seen roaming around the different stores. Tharn and Type made a beeline to the cinema wherein a line was already formed at the ticket booth.
”We should’ve gotten here earlier,” Type groaned.
”I already ordered our tickets online,” Tharn suddenly said and his companion turned to him with a sour look. Before Type could complain, Tharn said, “You get our popcorn and drinks, I’ll get the tickets.” He smiled brightly, and Type only gave a defeated sigh as he agreed and turned towards the stall to buy their popcorn. He gets in a shorter line to buy popcorn.
”Hi, are you here alone?” Someone behind him suddenly spoke, and Type turned to see a girl wearing a short skirt and a sweater. She’s looking up at him, trying to look innocent and alluring, but all Type thought was how dumb it was to wear a sweater and a short skirt in a cold cinema.
”No, I’m not alone,” he replied dismissively and was about to look forward.
”Oh, are you with a friend too? That’s cool. I’m also with a friend. What movie are you watching? Maybe we could—“
”Excuse me, sir? Can I get your order?”
Type ignored the girl and proceeded to give his order. He looked at the menu for a second, contemplating between getting two separate popcorn or just buy a big one to share with Tharn. Deciding on what to get, he orders them a big bucket of popcorn that could be divided into two flavors; he gets a smoky barbecue and white cheese then adds a big cup of root beer. After paying, he moves to the side and waits.
”Hi again,” the same girl greeted and now, she has another girl who’s wearing the same outfit as her but in a different color. “So, as I was saying earlier, what movie are you—“ she stopped when another male stopped beside them and the two girls looked up and were quite stunned. Tharn regarded them with a polite smile, before he moved to stand beside Type as the other was getting their food.
“The movie’s starting in 5 minutes,” Tharn told him, reaching out to grab the big cup and took a sip.
Type nodded as they started walking towards their designated cinema. He puts a cheese popcorn in Tharn’s mouth as he informs him that they should hurry since he wants to see the trailers. Then they gave their ticket to the guard and entered cinema 4. The two girls they have left and forgotten both have their mouths open at what they witnessed.
Inside the dark cinema, Tharn takes hold of Type’s free hand to guide him to their seats. Surprisingly, Type made no effort to pull his hand away. As a matter of fact, he tightened his grip as they whispered ‘excuse me’ to the people already in their seats. Once they found their seats, the trailers started playing so Type had his eyes already glued on the screen. Tharn placed their cup on his left, and placed their intertwined hand on the arm rest. The movie started, and Tharn would routinely put the cup’s straw on Type’s lips as his companion just kept on munching on their popcorn.
And Tharn found it adorable.
How Type’s free hand would get popcorn, and would slowly put it in his mouth because he was too focused on the lines uttered by the actors. How he would frown when the plot thickens and his eyes widening when the story further unravels. The way he would unconsciously feed Tharn a popcorn, although he’s almost half done with the bucket already. And also on their hands that stayed intertwined during the entire duration of the film.
“Tony Stark should’ve survived,” Type whined as they exited the cinema.
”Then I wouldn’t have seen you cry,” the other teased and laughed as Type gave him a glare. But the red rimmed eyes and blotchy cheeks just made him look adorable. Tharn pulls out a handkerchief and wiped Type’s cheek. “Do you want to wash your face?” He asked and at Type’s nod, they made their way to the communal bathroom. Tharn waited outside for Type. When the other arrived, face fresh and free from tears, a hand easily slid in his and he looked up in pleasant surprise.
”I’m hungry,” Type said, avoiding eye contact.
”There’s a restaurant I wanted to try. What do you think of arabian cuisine?”
And so the two walked hand in hand in an arabian restaurant Tharn had found online with a good review. He ordered for them both, seeing that he’s more knowledgeable of what’s good but if you asked Type, judging by the smell alone if the place, everything would taste divine. As they waited for their food, Type started a conversation about Tharn’s travels that Thanya had shared to him and Techno during the wedding. And Tharn happily answered any questions the other have. Like, yes, he had an arabian cuisine because he went to Dubai; and no, he didn’t see the filming crew of Crash Landing On You when he went to Switzerland because he went there a year even before the drama started. Then it turned to Tharn teasing Type of watching korean dramas and the other’s indignant excuse of ‘Techno made me watch it!’. Their playful bantering came to a halt when the hot plates of food are served in their table.
After their lunch, Tharn told him they have at least two more hours before they have to leave. But when asked for what, he just said it’s a surprise much to Type’s annoyance. In order to appease the other, Tharn had pulled Type to an arcade where they spent their time beating each other to whatever game it is they agreed on playing. Type was laughing at Tharn when his virtual car crashed on the side once again and the WIN on Type’s screen flashed for the third time.
”Are you sure I’m supposed to trust your driving skills?” He turned to Tharn with a teasing smirk.
“My driving skills are fine, thank you. And this game should really not be used as a basis whether or not my driving is safe seeing that all we do in this is drift. I believe drifting is not very appropriate in the streets of Bangkok, don’t you?” Tharn said in a condescending tone, folding his arms and lips turning out for a pout. Type’s smirk widened at the cute display he’s witnessing so he reached out a hand to give Tharn’s cheek a light pinch.
”But it is a sound proof that you lost,” Type replied before he took Tharn’s hand and looked for other games to play. Tharn proved to be quite proficient in the shooting games, but then told Type that he did a bit of firearm training during his time in America. Feeling cheated, Type dragged his date to the Dance Dance Revo where his skills in football gave him the upper hand. When Tharn told them they should leave soon, Type had once again tried to coax the secret out of the other but Tharn would just chuckle at the attempts and squeeze Type’s hand. Before they exited the arcade, however, something caught Type’s attention.
”Hey, can we go in there?” He asked the other. Tharn looked to where Type was looking and gave a smile.
Tharn chuckled as he watched his date who was walking beside him with lethargic movements. He took Type’s hand and pulled him close, wrapping an arm around his date’s waist as he compliantly rested some of his weight on Tharn. “I’m guessing you liked it?” Tharn whispered fondly. He had booked them an appointment for a full body massage at one of Bangkok’s high end spas.
“Hmm,” was the only reply as the two made their way towards the car. Type rested his head on Tharn’s shoulder, hiding his face on Tharn’s neck and gave a small sniff. The smell of the minty oil invaded his nose and he let out another sigh. “That massage was heavenly,” he uttered lazily.
”Good. That was the goal, you know,” Tharn replied, craning his head to the side to give Type more room to nuzzle in. “You’ve been so tense with your work, and I thought a massage would do a trick.”
”It was perfect,” Type whispered. “You’re perfect.” Then Tharn felt a slightest touch of lips on his neck. Once they reached the car, Tharn guided and strapped Type in. In no time, the other was in deep sleep as Tharn drove them back to Type’s apartment.
The drive was silent, the car only filled with Tharn’s humming and Type’s deep breathing. Tharn almost didn’t want to wake the other up when they reached their destination, but it’s already getting late and Type has a morning shift tomorrow. Reluctantly, Tharn placed a hand on Type’s shoulder to try to gently shake him awake. When all he got was an annoyed grumble, he raised a hand and took Type’s small ear between his fingers, giving it a rub. “Wake up, Type. We’re here.” But when even that was futile, Tharn leaned forward and blew air right on Type’s ear, before he traced it with the tip of his nose. “Stop pretending to be asleep or I’ll carry you bridal style to your room.”
That seemed to have done the trick as Type jerked up and plastered his back on the car door, creating a small semblance of space between him and Tharn. He knows his cheeks are flaming, and maybe what gave away his consciousness was his ear’s redness as well. “You wouldn’t.”
Tharn smiled, a little cheeky, as he replied, “Oh I would. Now, let’s go. I did say I would walk you to your apartment.” And with that, Tharn grabs a take away bag on the back seat and gets out of the car, Type following quickly. When they were side to side, their hands automatically wound around each other as they softly talked between them.
”I got you take out for your dinner, by the way,” Tharn said.
”Thanks. I had fun today,” came Type’s reply as they both entered the apartment complex and made a way towards the elevators. “But to be perfectly honest, I half expected you to bring me to a high end restaurant or even on a yacht.”
The other snorted, both entering the lift when it opened. Type pressed his floor number and turned to Tharn, quietly waiting for an answer. “It did cross my mind. To spend quite a hefty sum on our first date. But I know you won’t like being wined and dined. And—“
A smile was on Tharn’s lips as he looked right at Type. “And this is how I imagine how our first date will be. Back when we were in college.” That got Type a bit surprised at the admittance, but also quite shy so he looks away. When the lift doors opened to the right floor, the two exited and their steps seemed to have gotten slower, both quite hesitant for the date to end so soon.
“You know, we seemed to have gotten the sequence wrong the first time,” Type suddenly spoke, a chuckle leaving his lips as his room got nearer. “We skipped the getting to know and the dating before we jumped to bed together.” The bluntness took Tharn a bit off guard but he chuckled as well and hummed in agreement. They stopped right in front of Type’s door and turned to face each other.
“At least we got it right this time,” Type spoke. He gave Tharn a small smile, in which the other returned.
”We did, didn’t we?”
They gazed at each other lovingly for a few moments, hands still tightly clasped between them. Type took the take away bag on Tharn’s hand as he raised his now free arm up to place a palm on Type’s cheek. “Good night, Type,” he whispered before he leaned in to plant a soft kiss on the other’s forehead.
Somewhere in Singapore, a woman was just about to go to bed when her phone pings signaling a message. She looks at it and curiously opened the photo message that her friend sent. Giggling, she looked at a photo that seemed to have come from a photo booth and read the message beneath it.
Here’s may payment. Thanks again for the help.