|Primary Characters:||Tenoch, Julio|
|Spoilers:||Just watch the movie, ok?|
|Warning:||m/m sex referred to, language, adult themes|
|Description:||Set after the end of the movie. Tenoch finds out about Luisa, but in this story, he contacts Julio right away. After talking about their experience, he two guys find a way of comforting each other.|
After Jano’s mother had hung up, Tenoch remained standing with the receiver in his hand for so long, his hand became numb. He hadn’t even noticed how cramped his position was, until he became aware of the pain in his fingers and in his neck. Not until then did he remember to put the receiver back. Inside, he was numb as well. What Jano’s mother had had to tell him was such a shock he was still having a hard time dealing with it. How could someone as young as Luisa just die? She must have died only days after he’d left her. How could she be dead? No one he knew had ever died this young and no one he’d fucked had ever died. It felt unreal.
Thinking of Luisa made him remember Julio, no matter how little he wanted to think about his friend. His former friend. After what had happened he never wanted to see him again or talk to him. Only Julio had cared as much about Luisa as he had. Maybe more. He had to let Julio know. It was only fair. Besides, who else would understand? He couldn’t very well let his mother, or worse still, his father see him mourn Jano’s wife, someone who officially, he’d only met briefly at the wedding. Julio, on the other hand knew. He’d understand. In the end, that was what decided him, even though he knew he owed it to Julio, despite everything.
Again, he picked up the receiver, which still felt hot from his clutching hand, or was he only imagining that? In any case, he knew Julio’s number by heart.
The voice at the other end of the line was as familiar to him as his own. It was obvious Julio had no idea what had happened. He still sounded ordinary, cheerful. Of course he couldn’t possibly have expected to hear from Tenoch so soon. It had been an unspoken agreement between them – the last one, or at least so they believed – never to see each other again, never to get in touch again.
“Julio? It’s Tenoch.”
Julio was silent for so long, Tenoch was beginning to think Julio wasn’t going to give him a chance to tell him his news. He half expected to hear a click which told him his friend had hung up on him. After all, that was what he’d have done if Julio had called him.
“Don’t hang up. I have something important to tell you. Something serious. Bad news.”
Julio had sworn to himself by all he held sacred never to meet Tenoch again or even think about him, but hearing that all too familiar voice cause a familiar feeling of warmth stir inside him. All those years of friendship couldn’t be erased in just a few days, no matter how many resolutions he made.
That was all he could bring himself to say. He didn’t fully trust his own voice.
“It’s Luisa. She’s – dead.”
“You’re lying. She can’t be. We only saw her a couple of days ago.”
“It’s true. I just heard.”
“She’s really dead?”
Somehow, Julio had to believe Tenoch. Even after what had happened, he couldn’t believe Tenoch would make up something like that. Julio’s throat constricted and it felt as if a cold hand squeezed his heart. He must have made some sort of noise, but he wasn’t really aware of it.
Tenoch heard it. It sounded like a wounded animal. That was all. After a few moments of silence, the click he’d expected earlier came and the line went dead. Again, he was left standing with the phone in his hand, feeling sick.
He hadn’t known Julio would take the news quite that badly. It had sounded as if Julio was mortally wounded. Maybe he was. Tenoch realized they hadn’t really talked to each other. Not during their exciting voyage of discovery or – ever. Their friendship wasn’t based on talk. Sure they’d bragged about who they’d had sex with or who they wanted to have sex with or who they thought they would get to have sex with, but they’d never really discussed anything. Not how they felt or anything more serious than making plans for parties or whatever else they’d been up to.
None of that seemed important right now. Tenoch was wondering if he’d ever be able to have fun again or have sex without remembering Luisa and her touch. He’d slept with too many girls to count and even one or two older women, but no one had taught him more than Luisa. After her, he had a feeling others would have a hard time comparing.
Still, no matter how badly shocked he’d been, he had a feeling Julio was taking it harder. The thought of Julio grieving alone made him want to break his vow and go and see him. This changed things a bit. It wasn’t that he missed Julio or anything about him, he tried to tell himself. He just wanted to make sure Julio was ok, that was all. Maybe it would help if they talked about her. Compared memories. Or maybe not. In any case, it would be easier to grieve together. No one would ask awkward questions there. Julio’s mother wouldn’t get back until late.
Just like Julio’s phone number, Tenoch knew the way to his house like the back of his hand. It didn’t take him long to get there. Outside the front door, Tenoch hesitated. Would Julio welcome him? Maybe Julio wanted to grieve on his own. Besides, Tenoch knew how proud Julio was. It was possible that he’d hate to have someone witness his weakness. On the other hand, now, could there be any secrets between them? Now that they’d shared everything.
At first, Tenoch was about to walk in without ringing the doorbell. He’d done so every time until now. Julio’s home had felt like his home. It was hard to realize that everything had changed now. He couldn’t be sure of his welcome – in fact – quite the opposite. Still – he had to try.
So he rang the doorbell and waited. And waited. By the time he’d come to accept the fact that Julio didn’t want to see him or anyone, the door did open a crack. Julio looked out, a suspicious look on his face.
“What do you want?”
“I just thought -”
He was unable to finish the sentence. How could he explain that he felt sorry for Julio? That he wanted to comfort him and in turn be comforted? How could he say that without it sounding like he was – coming on to Julio?
Julio stared defiantly at Tenoch. It felt strange to see him again. After what had happened between them, everything was different. On the other hand, Tenoch was the one who knew what had happened to Luisa. It wouldn’t change anything, but he had to know what had happened, even if nothing could bring her back.
“Ok, come in.”
He knew he said it grudgingly, but that was as much as he could bring himself to say. Without waiting to see if Tenoch followed, Julio turned and went back to the living room. That was where he’d been when Tenoch’s phone call had come. He’d been lying on the sofa, remembering how it had felt to make love to Luisa. His hand had been straying down to his crotch and he’d been about to – The phone call had made him snatch back his hand. A sudden wild hope had stirred inside him. Could it be Luisa? Instead, he’d found out that he’d never see her again, never hear her voice again. It was over.
Feeling more drained than ever before, even after several intense sessions of sex, he sank down onto the sofa again, not caring what Tenoch did.
Tenoch remained standing awkwardly above him, like a stranger. It was all so wrong. They knew each other so well. In a way, they now knew each other even more. He knew Julio’s scent, taste, every inch of his skin. It was all wrong too. They shouldn’t have done what they did. Even now, with the sorrow heavy on him, Tenoch felt sick as he recalled what he and Julio had done.
He looked into Julio’s face and saw that it was very pale and rigid and the eyes were opaque like rocks. It seemed Julio was taking the whole thing even harder than he was. Why? Luisa had been sexy, exciting, fascinating. A wet dream come true. But did he love her? He didn’t think so. In a way, they’d become friends, when they opened up to each other. She’d taught him more about sex than he’d learned in his three years of being sexually active. All this in less than a week. Even so, apparently, Julio felt something more for her than he did.
Tenoch had intended to say more, but he wasn’t sure if anything would make this easier on Julio.
“I didn’t know you felt that strongly about her.”
His words were only barely audible, but Julio had heard him. The other boy’s reaction stunned Tenoch. It was so fierce he was taken aback. Julio almost spat out the words, in sudden rage.
“I loved her. Do you understand that? Really loved her. I guess you didn’t?”
“Loved? No, but – it was all so big. I’ll never forget her. What she taught me -”
“All you think about is sex.”
“And you don’t?”
“Are you serious? But -”
“You didn’t know her. We only met her a few weeks ago.”
“I loved her. Do you think you have to know someone for a long time to begin to love them?”
A fleeting image of Julio’s smile and his generous mouth hovered in Tenoch’s memory. Yes, he wanted to say. But Julio wasn’t talking about that kind of love so Tenoch forced the image away.
“I don’t know.”
“What we had will have to be enough. She was so young. How can she be dead? What happened?”
“It was cancer.”
Filled with rage, Julio jumped to his feet, startling Tenoch and making him take one involuntary step backwards. Julio wanted to seize Tenoch and pound him with his fists, until he admitted that this was just a sick joke, maybe an attempt to get back at him for what had happened.
That wasn’t meant to happen. Julio couldn’t understand how they could have done it. He wasn’t into guys. Tenoch was kind of like a brother to him. If it was possible for a guy like him to have such an upper class brother. Maybe a half brother. Tenoch’s dad had to be out screwing secretaries and so on all the time. Except they didn’t even have the same blood type.
The reason they knew this was that Julio had wanted to make some extra money. He’d become a blood donor. To his surprise, Tenoch had done the same, even though he sure didn’t need any extra money. Julio was guessing that Tenoch just didn’t want his friend to outdo him in any area.
And now they’d shared more than just a bit of drugs.
Life had seemed so simple. Just one long quest for chicks and drugs – and for Tenoch – finding a way to hang on to his car without having to study economics. Charolastras had made up a few simple rules on how to live life. Except stuff happened which wasn’t covered by Charolastras’ rules. Sex with a friend’s girl was out of bounds, but not, apparently, between the friends themselves.
Only that didn’t matter. What counted was Luisa. Now he wished he’d stayed with her. Even though he knew it wouldn’t have helped he had a childish idea she would have gone on living, if he’d stayed with her and never taken his eyes off her. Instead, he’d taken off like the little coward he was and now he’d lost her forever.
The anger left him as suddenly as it had taken hold of him and he slumped down. He faced Tenoch, almost pleadingly.
“Is really it true?”
“Yes. Jano’s mom called. He’s broken up. Just keeps crying and crying.”
Then it was true. Tenoch never elaborated his lies like that, at least not in front of Julio. Humiliatingly, Julio felt tears sting his eyes and he tried to look away, so Tenoch wouldn’t notice.
Was Julio crying too? He’d really taken it badly. Tenoch didn’t know what to say. It wasn’t fair. He’d wanted to see her again. Older women fucked much better than the young ones. Those giggling, unfaithful – Worse still, that bastard Jano had cheated on her. While she was still around. Before – No wonder she was sad. She had no parents. Completely alone. Then on top of that, she got sick and died.
Maybe he ought to leave Julio alone with his grief. It seemed he wanted to be alone. Even though he felt sickened and shaken, Julio was more severely hit by the shock.
Who would have thought Julio was so in love with Luisa? Then he couldn’t be gay. In that case – Of course, Tenoch knew he wasn’t either. There couldn’t be anyone more turned on by girls than he was. Sometimes in school, he’d have to leave the classroom and go into the washrooms and jack off when he’d seen a really hot chick or best of all, one of the teachers. Actually, he did that like five or six times a day. It sure wasn’t after he’d seen some guy naked. Not even Julio, who had such a great body. Though that was the last thing he wanted to think about right now.
“Hey, I should probably -”
Julio didn’t seem to have heard him. Tenoch clearly heard his friend sobbing. Completely devastated. You’d think Luisa had been his wife and not Jano’s.
“Julio – I -”
Most likely, Julio was faking it, so he’d leave him alone. Still, Tenoch had never seen his friend this sad in all the time they’d known each other. Tenoch couldn’t make up his mind what he was going to do. Hesitatingly, he remained standing above Julio.
Luisa had left Jano. There was no doubt about it. She would have divorced him. After the divorce came through – Julio had had this silly, childish idea of asking Luisa to marry him. She’d never have married him. He knew that really. He’d been awful in bed. But he could have learned. And if she’d let him marry her, he’d never have been stupid enough to do other girls.
It hurt so badly. She just couldn’t be gone. The last time he’d seen her, kneeling on the floor in front of them, she hadn’t seemed sick at all. How could it be possible? Maybe it wasn’t true, after all. He tried to get a grip on himself so he could ask if Tenoch knew more. What if she’d gone back to Spain? But if she’d just left, Jano’s mother wouldn’t have been able to tell Tenoch about the cancer. He knew it was true. The emptiness in his heart made him feel cold. He was freezing and shivering.
Tenoch spoke more softly now. It sounded as if he was closer now. So close Julio could almost feel his breath on his neck. He didn’t want to turn around but he had to know. Quickly, so he wouldn’t change his mind, he turned around and suddenly, they were as close as they had been that time –
Tenoch put his arm around Julio and pulled him closer. Not sensing any resistance in Julio, he put the other arm around him too and with his cheek against his friends cheek, he did his best to comfort him.
Julio was taken off guard and for a few seconds he allowed himself to relax and lean into Tenoch’s arms. Then he tensed up and pulled away slightly.
“I’m not gay.”
He’d meant to be defiant but his voice came out sounding like when he was nine and had been accused of stealing something from a classmate. His voice broke and he couldn’t go on.
“Of course not. Neither am I.”
There didn’t seem to be anything more to say. Bracing himself to make that clear had drained his last strength. Without protesting he let Tenoch pull him closer again and they sank down onto the sofa together. There was no one around to see them and misinterpret. Julio let his tears fall onto Tenoch’s shoulder without feeling ashamed. The warmth from Tenoch’s body helped a little, but he still felt colder than he’d ever done before. For the first time since his childhood, he wasn’t a bit horny.