Easy. Nothing is ever easy for Connor, and nothing will ever be. Easy is wrong. Or so it seems. And so, Connor continues to live his life the way he is used to do it. He goes about his usual routines. He goes to counseling twice a week. He goes to work every day. He takes his medication daily at the same time. He arranges his food by colour, and his socks too. He counts steps from one distance to the next, and he counts the minutes until Thomas will be back sitting on his couch. As much as his head wants to deny it, his heart knows that Thomas is the only one he will ever let in. Thomas is the only one who makes him feel safe when he is breaching his personal space. He doesn’t need to feel embarrassed or ashamed in front of Thomas. Never. Because Thomas always seems to understand.
Something clicked recently. And the realisation that they fit profoundly is etched into Connor’s mind now. And this makes Connor’s thoughts a little less dark and a little lighter. It is a phase and he knows it. But he also knows that he needs to savour it. He needs to savour it or it will be over too soon. Right now, Connor’s mind is light as a feather. Soon it will be dark as a cloud again, but he chooses not to think about it. Running on his treadmill, his black curls bounce up and down with every step he makes. His blue eyes are focused on the filing of his music collection, and in his mind he is counting. He is counting the steps he makes. He is counting his heartbeats. He is making the moment count. Connor runs and runs, but it doesn’t feel like running away for once. It is just exercise. Nothing more. Just exhausting his mind and his body. Easy. He slows down, rubbing his face with his towel, catching his breath. He feels a presence before he sees it. It makes him smile.
“What’s that?” Thomas enters Connor’s fitness room. He has leaned against the door jamb watching the shirtless young man. If he weren’t as tormented. If things were just a little easier. But they aren’t, and he learned to take what Connor is offering.
“Thirty-thousand-two-hundred-seventy-eight seconds since you last touched me.”
Thomas gulps. “You counted?”
Connor smiles. “No, I am not that mental. I did the maths,” he chuckles and reaches for a shirt that is folded in a neat square. Thomas puts his hand over Connor’s. “You are having a good day today.” Connor just nods at Thomas’s statement.
“I am a bird today. Not a cloud,” Connor mumbles. But Thomas understands. He most often does. Living a life between clouds and feathers can be a challenge for Connor and for everyone around him. But today, Connor isn’t afraid. And Thomas isn’t either, because today Connor is a feather and that is all that matters.