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Adrian to Brian, Brian to Adrian Chapter 3

Image by JenR

Months later.

A,

I've been remiss, but so have you. The news tonight is that I got on with Vanguard, the company that bought out Ryder. It wasn't easy and if I don't prove myself pretty quickly, I'm gone. Not sure what I think of Gardner Vance. He's one of those short, pompous types, typical Brit. Ducking. I know, I know, you aren't short. But if that other shoe fits... anyway... On the personal front, Justin and I came up with these lame rules by which we can live together without becoming faux breeders. He's already broken them all, I think. I haven't, oddly enough. Haven't needed to, but then who says I won't? We aren't exclusive, but we do have a structure in place. No kissing, no second trick, home by three or two or something. I can't seem to make him happy, though. I don't know how to do this, Adrian. I care so much for him, but I keep taking wrong steps. I don't want to give myself up just to fit his definition of a relationship. He's so young, he has so much to experience, so I don't want to crowd him either. It's a struggle. I knew boyfriends would be a mistake. My friend Mikey (did I tell you Mikey moved to Seattle or somewhere like that with this bone doctor, and no I don't mean a urologist but he bounced back after a couple months away from lovely Pittsburgh?) is now dating a college prof whom I refer to as Zen Ben because he's so...well... Zen. He's also HIV positive. Here's the twist. I tricked him at a White Party a few years ago. It was hot as hell (the party and the trick). A little bondage, and I had the feeling that he was out of his comfort zone by bottoming for me (no comment), but we were careful and safe so I'm not worried about the HIV stuff. I get tested often anyway. But I am worried about how Mikey will react when he finds out. I'm not telling him, but I suspect Zen Ben is the overtly honest type. The feathers will fly. Speaking of feathers, are you still with Swan Boy?

B


**********************

B,

I have been remiss, true. You may have read about this huge merger we just closed. It took up nearly all my time. I'm completely done in. Swan Boy, as you put it, got fed up with my lack of attention to him early on. But I haven't had a moment to worry about that loss. Rules? I can't see you finding rules to be the way to go, but then, as I said long ago, this is all part of the mystery of feeling your way along a first love. Different things work for different lovers, I suppose. I already knew that you ended up working with Gardner. I keep abreast. He would be a fool to lose you and I told him so. Fellow Brit, you know how it is. We're all so pompous and SHORT. Wanker! You're smart to be wary of him, however. Clever fellow that he is, he's out for Gardner and Gardner alone. Back to your lover, unsolicited opinion: Brian, no one can make another person happy. It doesn't work that way. When did you acquire the guilt of the world? Let go of some of it. It'll give you ulcers. You didn't bite the apple, Eve did, and I've always suspected she was framed.

A


**********************

A,

Justin saw me typing an email to you and asked me who you are. Don't worry. My email is passcode protected and I would never give my code to anyone.

B


**********************

B,

What did you tell him?

A


**********************

A,

The truth. We tricked before I met him and we've remained long distance cyber friends, and that you don't even live in the States. He seems to be okay with it.

B


**********************

B,

Ah. I see. Yes.

A


**********************

A,

You see it differently?

B


Two weeks later


A,

Adrian, what's up? What did I say?

B


**********************

B,

My problem, not yours.

A


**********************

A,

Will you talk to me, please? I need a friend. I'm sorry if I said something wrong before. Adrian? Quit being such a drama queen.

B


**********************

B,

You're right. I am being a drama queen. I think I'm just overly tired because the unfortunate fact of life is that after one goes through the horror of a merger, the work isn't done. Oh no, now the integration begins, and it's a killer. But I'm here, Brian. What's wrong?

A


**********************

A,

Mikey told me that Justin is cheating on me. I don't mean tricking, I mean cheating. He saw them together. It all fits. The guy is some kid he goes to college with, a fiddler, although I suppose he'd rather be called a violinist. I have a few choice terms of my own that I'd like to call him. The thing that makes me the most angry is that Justin thinks he's putting one over on me. He's playing me for a fool. After all, I pay his school tuition. Did I tell you that? His father won't and his mother can't. So ol' Brian kicked in. We have an understanding that he'll pay me back when he graduates. We'll see. This boyfriend of his (by the way, what does that make me?) looks like a greasy little street urchin to me, but... don't know what to do. Maybe he'd be happier. I got mad when he came home the other night and I kind of threw him down like I was going to fuck him, but instead I told him he stinks. Take a shower. I could smell that prick on him. Literally and figuratively. Excuse the fuck out of me, but he's the one who came up with these fucking rules and he's never lived by them. Never. Yet, according to all of our friends, I'm the fucking asshole. And I have been an asshole, don't get me wrong. It's not as if I'm the wronged and innocent wifey. I've tricked, I can't tell him that I love him, rather I won't, I can't even buy him flowers on his birthday. I almost did, but I chickened out. I bought him a hustler instead. That didn't go over the way I intended. And then he told our friends that I'd done that. Why would he tell them something so personal? Anyway, it hurts, Adrian. It really hurts. The little shit. I've done a lot for him. I've changed a lot for him. I've tried. I... sound like an idiot. Fuck it. I don't even care. Let him go to this guy. Good luck to them. I'm over it. I should have eaten his fucking picnic on the floor instead of gone clubbing that night. A lot I should have done, but I don't know the rules of this game. The rules he imposed, I followed but he didn't. Confused. Hurting. Angry.

B


**********************

B,

No, you're not over it, Brian, and I'm sorry that you're in pain. Tell him how you feel about him. Maybe it will help. At least you'll be able to tell yourself that you didn't hold back. That you gave it a shot. Right now he's being forced to make a big decision based on half facts. He has no firm idea about how you feel, and he's too young and inexperienced to be able to gauge your feelings by your actions rather than your words. You've retreated, emotionally. You're hiding your pain and anger. One way or another, it will erupt. Before he makes an irretrievable move, be honest with him about how much you care. I know it will be hard, but isn't this?

A


**********************

A,

I can't.

B


**********************

B,

You won't.

A


**********************

A,

Can't, won't, all the same. Not happening.

B


**********************

B,

Consider yourself warned.

A


**********************

Later:


A,

I'm really really tweaked so if this doesn't make sense, well, fuck it. Tonight I paid a fortune to launch this comic book about a gay superhero that Mikey and Justin are doing together. We took over Babylon. Everyone was there. Family, friends, everyone. I got high and I had sex with the guy hired to portray the superhero, Rage. We were in the backroom and he saw us together. Justin, that is. Part of me wanted him to see me, wanted there to be an event, wanted this fucking lie we're living to be fucking over. Yeah, here I go again being big bad Brian, tricking in the backroom with a total stranger, when he's the one catting me out with this fiddler. Anyway, the news is, he left me. He left with his fiddler in the middle of the party with everyone watching, everyone looking at me like I was the biggest loser of all time. They just walked out together. I pretended not to care. I will continue to pretend not to care. But I care, Adrian, I care very much. I'm in some considerable pain right now and tweaking and tricking and whatever doesn't seem to be helping. He's gone. New lover. I'm the idiot who didn't deserve him. Deb told me to tell him how I felt, you told me, but no. I was too proud and too stubborn, and too fucking scared. So he left. He probably would have gone anyway, even if I did tell him. I dunno. Tomorrow, I have to walk into that diner and pretend like everything is just fine so they won't start making shit up about me. I will do it, too. But it isn't fine. I hurt, Adrian. I suspect it will never be fine. I'm glad for him if this is what it takes to make him happy. But what am I supposed to do now? How do I make the pain stop?

B


**********************

B,

I'm sorry, Brian. Now you cry. Alone, if necessary, but sometimes it's nicer if you have a mate to commiserate with you and tell you it will get better. Crying helps, believe it or not. And then you go on with your life and wait it out. Maybe he'll come back, maybe not. Maybe you'll take him back, maybe you won't. Grieve, Brian. You have to let yourself grieve. If you don't, it will make you bitter and angry. I feel your pain across the miles. Put your head down near the keyboard and cry, imagining my fingers stroking through your hair, imagining my voice telling you that this too shall pass. My hand massages between your shoulder blades, feeling your body heave with your tears. I hate seeing you in pain. Cry with me, Brian. I'll never tell a soul.

A


**********************

A,

I am.

B


**********************

B,

I'm right here with you. You're not alone.

A


Continue to Chapter 4

Disclaimer: The television show Queer As Folk and its characters are the property of Showtime and CowLip Productions. No money is being made. Stories and discussion are intended purely for the entertainment of fans of Queer as Folk, the Brian and Justin characters, and Randall's writings.
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Beginning
July 25, 2004