Love Like This

by D K Daniels

conversed with two pretty women.

Wearing a black parka, beige chinos, and gleeful woollen sweater; the man ambled on unaware of my presence. For a while, I became transfixed looking at the beauty in the woollen jumper. There is something so boyishly sexy about it. The trio was headed to the food court; and since Christmas shopping is not a personal preference at this point. When I see a handsome man, I feel seventeen again, and in love for the first time, all over.

Rather macho in build, the black-haired stallion seated himself at a table, ridding himself of shopping bags. Unravelling his scarf; the stud placed his necktie atop the items he purchased and carried on with his conversation.

Sitting down at a seat a couple of tables from the bunch, I watch intently: Fondly. I wish I had a man who would hold me, caress me. Make love to me. I miss the love; all the laughter, the touch; the warmth radiating from another human being. Something about feeling exceptionally safe in the presence of another… another man. There is a comfort in so many ways I cannot help but adhere to. What would it be like to kiss another again? I wish I had a lover to protect, to cherish; to share my home with, a place to call our own.

The handsome man pulled away the gloves he wore, and fixed to his ring finger was a wedding ring. Already, my heart sinks with the unbearable misfortune of finding such a beautiful being, and then to have it stripped away violently like a ship losing its sails in a storm. Or when you're a child and your mother tears off a band-aid. How can a boat be a ship without its sails; any less than a man can be a man without his lover?

I loathe those who can give love freely since I do not receive it openly. Is human connection all that it's cracked up to be. I know I'll never find another person like David, but something deep inside of me is carving its mighty blade. For once in so long, I only wish to breathe easily again. I want to love unconditionally without the fear of intimacy getting in the way. I can't be a remarkable man if I do not possess an exceptional man. One who is compassionate, perhaps who arrives with the odd occasional grumpy spell, nonetheless that man will do anything in his power to support his family. The kind of parent who jumps foolishly around in the backyard playing a ridiculous pirate game with his children, and a husband you can lean on when the goings get tough. A person who above all knows who you are at every wrong turn.

I wish I had a man like that; only when a partner leaves you like that, finding a replacement is never as free as it seems; for there can never be a replacement. Of two people you can never change; The first person you sincerely and devotedly give your heart to and the other, your mother. They understand who you are, what makes you tick and perhaps breaks you. You always give them your full potential.

Christmas is a hellish tradition, invented by weak-minded people to be cheerful. To remind us to be kind to one another. I have had my fill of kind; now I want love and devotion. Can't a man catch a break? A long, long time ago, I made young men swoon in my direction. Now I am lucky if a bird shit's on me. Love is like that. So, candour, so free when you are young. Losing beauty is like a dismembered limb. No man will ever look at you the same; even kids recoil when they set eyes on my face. I'll have to come to terms sooner or later that a humiliated man is more dangerous than a man who believes he is righteous. Jealousy destroys skin, hair, and allure. Why did I choose to confront a monster that night? Flirt even?

Who likes to set eyes on a melted face? Acid attacks will do that to you. There are only so many times one can try to regain what they once had, but David loved me for that flaw. I was young, and he saw my heart. David came from a crowd when I most needed him.

He saw past the face of my childish romances and mistake.

Most young gay men now are egotistical. Being beautiful is brought to the forefront, and very little heart is given in return. However, a married man would speak otherwise. When you're terminally scarred from a young age, you believe your life is over. David gave fate and love in all the right doses one can comprehend.

The trio sat a while, they ate and in mid-meal, a slender thirty-year-old' something or another entered the groups' personal space. My handsome man rose from his seat, his eyes so pure and full of adoration. He reminded me of David. The two men drew into a hug; two heavenly gentlemen, perfectly proportioned, and well fixed.

My handsome man collapsed against the slighter taller companion, draping his elbows over his lovers' shoulders, to avoid his dirty fingers from touching his partner's clothes. Both lovers brought their lips to a connection and shared a loving kiss. I envy young lovers. Yet, a wanting churned in my heart, wanting to belong to the same embrace the couple endured. I wish I didn't have to be so goddamn ugly. What I'd give to have a handsome man today would be phenomenal. I want a man who has a heart as big as mine. Who plays pirates; makes my crazy feel normal, and eats chocolate past midnight. To tell me I am beautiful.

David was all of those things, but the extent of his cancer took his life. In a way, when I see young, confident couples giving love freely without consideration, it pains me, but not as much as when I look at a passionate couple. Word to the wise, if I could give my young self-wisdom. Don't waste potential, and above all, if a partner is violent, don't be afraid to reach out.

The happy couple sat down, and as they seated, I rose. With a slightly welling on the way, I amble for the exit. I let loose an odd tear of joy. The warmness that transpired in front of my very eyes today will keep me going. That is why I am an advocate for people involved in abusive relationships.

David was an angel, but to the man who scarred me at eighteen, I never wish to see that happen to a naive young boy from a small town in the English Midlands ever again.

The End

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