Lucky Dog 1 Contest Fanfiction Entry 24



Let’s Go Somewhere Today, Let’s Blame the Whole World

“Gian this is-“

“Yes, darling?”

“…a very bad idea.”

“Awww, don’t be such a spoilsport.”

Gian tilted his head to look at Bernardo. The person currently standing by his side who looked like he had just made some very bad decisions in life, and was trying to control himself from wallowing the sea of regret and self-pity. Well, hyperbole aside, Bernardo looked unsure – like most sane people would when Gian bursted into his office cum sleeping quarter at 12.30 A.M. going ‘oi, do you want to have some midnight snacks and a booze or two’ and promptly dragged the struggling Bernardo away. Shrugging off the unnecessary frivolities such as a sleek bullet proof and fully furnished limousine complete with a pack of accompanying bodyguards, and also the convenient option of ordering a room service.

He would live, and they would be just fine. There were some very good reasons on why he was called the ‘lucky dog,’ and one of them was because of his ludicrous skill of staying alive and not dying. So, there. Sometimes, Gian just wanted to relax and spend some quality time like a normal person. Not the leader of an Italian mafia group that controlled the whole city. Though being a mafia boss was infinitely cool and had its own perks, the proverbial hanging sword started to feel heavy and was teetering far too close for comfort on the worst days, and all he wanted to do was to just say ‘screw it,’ and go off on a little adventure of his own. Sort of like taking a breather, really.

Tonight’s so-called adventure consisted of finding a decent-looking speakeasy that was still open past midnight and convincing Bernardo that really, it wasn’t such a bad idea after all, and that he should try to loosen up. Being the resident worry wart with diminishing hairlines couldn’t possibly be healthy for him.

Besides, there was nothing prettier than a city nearing 1 A.M. with its empty streets, lamp lights, and the occasional cool breeze. Better yet was because he had someone that he could randomly call up and be like ‘yo, I know it’s an ungodly hour and your sanity’s slipping away, but want to walk around aimlessly for a while.’ A late night adventure, going out with rumpled shirt and bunched up sleeves (though Bernardo albeit a bit tired, looked impeccable as always). Maybe they would walk around, go to a park, and swing in the swings, or maybe sit in the grass to watch the stars just to be romantic. No drama, nothing but good vibes and good company. But no – snacks and booze. He should at least stick with the initial excuse.

Going out to get dinner (read: snack and copious amount of booze) together, it was starting to sound like a date right? He sometimes wished that dates didn’t have such strong romantic attachment to them. Like he wished he could go to a friend of his and say ‘hey, I want to take you to a nice restaurant. Let’s get dressed up real nice and go.’ They would go have a fancyass dinner, but there would be no romantic attachment. He wished that platonic dates were more of a common thing.

‘But romantic love’s what sets human apart and makes us really human.’

Well, he was pretty sure that aromantic people existed and penguins mate for life, so you little shit, how did it feel to be a penguin? It was not that Gian couldn’t fall in love. It was really because he couldn’t help falling in love with too many things all at once. So it must be understood why sometimes he couldn’t distinguish between what was platonic and what wasn’t – because it was all too much and not enough at the same time. And if ‘love’ was liking someone an awful lot, then he supposed that he was in love with several different people.

Relationships in life came in all different shapes and sizes, and so did his relationship with Bernardo. Did you ever just meet one person, and at first it was awkward. Then you started talking and it was like ‘holy shit, where have you been all my life?’ That was more or less how his relationship started with Bernardo, except not really. They hit it off almost immediately. Bernardo taking care of him when he was first made well, a made man in the organization.

So what were they? Mentor and pupil? Boss and subordinate? Friends? Very good friends who never crossed the thin thin line? He personally liked the term ‘partners’ because it could mean so much more. Were we dating? Were we robbing a bank? Did we run a legal firm? Were we the dedicated detectives who investigate the vicious felonies and were a member of an elite squad known as the special victims unit? Who knows? He liked that.

But Gian was ‘Honey’ to Bernardo’s ‘Darling,’ and after all was said and done, he had to be as dense as a thousand bricks combined, dumb, or otherwise severely in denial to not acknowledge their relationship as that of ‘lovers.’ So yeah, he conceded the fact that they were indeed, lovers and that Bernardo might just be his favorite person in the history of ever.

Was it selfish if he also wanted to be Bernardo’s favorite? Bernardo’s favorite person to talk to and be with and look at and think about. Was it really self-centered to just want to be one person’s favorite person? No it wasn’t. If he liked someone, he constantly wanted to talk to that person. Wanted to know how their day went and what they did. He wanted to talk to them because talking to them made him happy. He would also run up to them and give them a hug because their company was the best. Sorry not sorry if what he did was annoying and a bother. No offense was meant on those gestures, just plain adoration.

It was said that somebody loved you if they didn’t mind the quiet. There were no pressure, no need to fill up the silences. Not that he had any problem with that, but you see, the reverse was also true for Gian. Somebody loved you if they didn’t mind the conversations, talking about everything and anything under the sun. Something important, something not-so important, and sometimes, nothing at all. Because people said ‘I love you’ in lots of different ways. ‘Eat something,’ ‘buckle up,’ ‘get some sleep,’ and lots of other variations that existed thereof. Even if the word ‘love’ and ‘like’ itself were left unsaid, the meaning still remained the same. He liked the idea of Bernardo whispering words of adoration to him even during their mundane everyday conversation. It was all in the subtext. Oh, if only people could just stop and listen.

Thinking about shits like that, he guessed that he had successfully become a sappy romantic. Not that he mind, it was kind of a natural human reaction to ummm… being in love. There, he said it. How could he begin to tell him? How could he explain this exact feeling? It might take a while, but he would try his best. The feeling of happiness, anger, sadness, and humor all bundled up into one. The days when they ran past freely through the myriads of human’s emotions. The feelings still shake him to the very bones, the imprint made him close his eyes because it was so bright, shining like precious gems.

‘Please let me be here for a little while longer.’

(in this time called ‘now,’ this place called ‘now,’ this wonderful season called ‘now,’ and the happiness that came from meeting everyone)

This was bad; he was having too much fun.

Was it okay, was it really okay for him to like someone this much? Was it okay, was it really okay for him to fall this hard? Yes, it was. The way he saw it, every life was a pile of good things and bad things. The good things didn’t soften up the bad things, and vice versa, the bad things didn’t necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant. But there were also no harm on hoarding all of the good things, right? Life was regrettably short, and he would rather say close to the things (and persons) that made him glad that he was alive. Because everyone was a story in the end, and he wanted to make his a damn good one.

The clumsily put ‘love’ that he felt didn’t have to be the same for Bernardo.

‘I want to look into his head just once.’

‘We think about the same things at the same time.’

Even if such miracles were offered for free, he wouldn’t need them. After all, it would be rather bothersome, and not to mention, creepy. It wasn’t about forced intimacy, forcing words upon the feelings that couldn’t be expressed, or forcing themselves to agree on every little thing. The feelings that he felt for him, and the ones that Bernardo embraced didn’t need to be one and the same. Even if the label was left blank, as long as Bernardo would stay close and accompany him on his little adventure every now and then, it would be plenty.

As they moved farther away from the train station, the day time hustle and bustle seemed like a dream. Even the buildings lining the street became deserted looking, and the distance between the street lights grew larger and larger. This neighborhood was quite a ways from the station and bore no resemblance whatsoever to the image of a lively economic hub bustling with people. In the corners of the dim patches of light created by the streetlamps, there was no one present. It made Gian felt like that he and Bernardo were the only two people left in the whole wide world. Which was bad, given the snacks and booze. But also felt nice in its own strange way.
It was kind of worrying about how much he wanted their little journey to never end. Just him and Bernardo walking side by side during the dead of the night – moments of silences broken only by brief conversations.

But all good things would never last.

He looked up at the address plates on the lamp posts and found number 37, transferring his gaze to the building there. The lamp hanging in front of it dully illuminated a small sign: [CAFÉ] which Gian was pretty sure it wasn’t.

“Café, huh.”

It seemed decent enough.

It wasn’t a very big place. There was a small stage and tables set up in a dance-hall style room with appropriately strained lighting, but very few customers sat at those tables. A man and woman were chatting pleasantly at a table in the middle of the room, and a little distance away a single man was tilting his glass quietly to his lips; finally when he turned his eyes to the corner of the hall, there was a lone customer slumped over his table asleep, surrounded by countless of empty glasses. The stage itself was empty. Completely different from Bernardo’s shop, the one with Natasha.

Even if Gian included himself and Bernardo, he could count the so-called café’s patron on one hand which was a given, considering the late hour. The tone of the of the saxophone playing some tunes that sounded like jazz from the recording near the bartender was somewhat lonely as it echoed through the hall, but it suited him just fine. The faint warmth, the smell of alcohol, and the strains of a tune with name unknown – it was better than that, it was perfect.

“Then, let’s drink,” he said to Bernardo.

Five glasses – after much goading – and they were nearly drunk enough to join the man slumping over his table in the corner to the la la land, giggling like a fool, and bursting in an animated conversation.

Maybe happiness was this; not feeling like he should be elsewhere, doing something else, and being someone else. Because the alcohol and the cold cuts was surprisingly good, and the body heat from Bernardo sitting beside him was warm.

His face split into a wide smile, Gian lifted his hand and brushed some stray hairs away from Bernardo’s fair face. He felt Bernardo leaned into the touch.

 


 

Ah, I am so happy.




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