Life between clouds and feathers – Don’t be silent (10)

Every silence makes Connor aware of the screams building up inside of him. Every moment of numbness reminds him of the many moments of overflowing emotions he experiences on a daily basis. He isn’t leading a life that fits the norm. He can’t. Everything needs to be in a certain order. Filed by colours, or numbers, or memories. No one knows what triggers him. Least of all he himself. Life could be so easy. It really could be. But not for Connor. Few people try to understand Connor and his special needs. Thomas is one of the few. But Thomas himself is not an easy characters. Connor once knew how to handle the man who is currently sitting on his couch. But things happened; life happened, and what little trust that had built between these two was destroyed in the blink of an eye after too many fights. Both men can’t say what happened or when they fell out of love. The fights just got too many to ignore. And the words that were spoken in anger left deep wounds that didn’t heal. As it was, Thomas never gave up on Connor. He tried to let him go, but too many sleepless nights were spent thinking about the man who once owned his heart. In the meantime, Thomas had a girlfriend, but it wasn’t the same. He was not able to give her what Connor had gotten so willingly. After Connor had gone, there had been a void in his life no one could replace. The many routines Connor has and which have driven Thomas mad, were now missing from his life. And Connor; his heart has been bruised, and he recoiled into his own little impenetrable shell. The end of their relationship has been a huge failure for him personally. In his mind, his malfunctioning brain is to blame. It isn’t, Connor knows it rationally, but emotions rule his thinking. Thomas is still silent, sitting on the couch, flipping through the channels on the TV. He doesn’t say a word. It is unsettling. If he just said something. If he just insulted him for what had happened earlier. But no. Silence. Silence is louder than the loudest scream. Uncomfortable.
“Say something,” Connor dares to say at last.
“We should order some food,” Thomas replies. His eyes never leaving the silver screen.
“That is not what I meant, and you know that I can’t order takeout. I can’t eat the food someone else touched.” Connor looks at his naked feet. They feel good when he rubs them on the carpet.
“I am hungry. I am going to order some pizza.”
“Here?” Connor needs Thomas to say yes. He cannot be left on his own. But he also dreads the answer. He cannot have Thomas in his sanctuary. He will disrupt his routines, and he will take space Connor needs for himself.
“Of course. Don’t think that I will leave this place anytime soon after your little stunt.” Thomas sits up straight. Muting the TV, he looks at Connor. He knows better than to try and make eye contact.
“We are not a couple and you are here uninvited.” Connor tries to make a point, but it is as weak as it sounds, and he knows Thomas well enough to know that he won’t leave.
“I don’t give a flying fuck about whether I am invited to be here or not. I will not leave until I know that you are okay.”
“I didn’t mean to kill myself…”
“… And yet you tried,” Thomas cuts Connor off.
“Pizza, I am starving. I’ll sleep on the couch. And now, shut up I want to see this.” Thomas takes his phone out of his pocket and orders food, before he turns his focus back on the TV. “It is okay, you know. Just sit here with me for a while. The world can wait.”
Connor doubts the truth of those words, but somehow, he is willing to find out. Something is different. Something feels weird. He sits next to Thomas on the couch and without over-thinking it, he leans into the other man. He is comfortable feeling Thomas’s heat through their shirts. Safe. The thought scares him. He is too far out of his comfort zone to enjoy it. He is too exhausted to be able to find a way to make this easier for him.

Life between clouds and feathers – saviour (8)

Thomas hurries up the steps and reaches for the potted plant in front of Connor’s door. The key is still there. Of course it is. Thomas takes it out of the small plastic container and quietly opens the door. He can hear the water in the bathroom, but nothing else. The apartment is neat and tidy. Everything is arranged in a certain angle and organised by colours. Very Connor. On the coffee table is a note. It would worry Thomas, if he didn’t know the truth. Connor is not dying. He is not successful with killing himself. He can’t be. At least not with the pills that he has in his house and which aren’t fatal in high doses. Thomas knocks at the bathroom door. Connor is sitting on the floor trying to mop up water with wet towels. His movements are frantic and he is constantly sniffling. Tears are on his cheeks. Thomas steps past him and turns off the tap. “Connor, I order you to stop!” he says in a stern voice. He wishes that he could pull Connor in his arms, but that is not how Connor is wired. Connor is different than most people. Special. Connor looks up. There is defiance in his eyes, but he drops the wet towel with a splash and gets up. His clothes are dripping wet. “Strip! Remove the wet clothes.” Another order Connor tries to obey, but the fabric clings to his skin and getting it off is harder than anticipated. Connor exhales audibly when he folds the wet clothes and puts them on the lid of the toilet.
“Why?” he whispers. And Thomas knows that it is time to speak. “I switched all your meds because I was scared this would happen soon. You took vitamins. Nothing dangerous.” Connor shakes his head. “I will always be there to catch you. Even when you push me away. I promise not to hurt you anymore. Here, let me help you.” Thomas takes a fresh towel and reaches is out to Connor. Connor doesn’t take it. “May I?” Thomas asks. He waits for a consenting nod and begins to rub Connor’s skin in soothing circles. “Everything is okay. You are safe,” he whispers. To Connor’s surprise, he believes Thomas. And there are no conflicting thoughts in his mind about it. At least not for now.