there had been a fight once. just one. but levi thought of it so often it might as well have happened a hundred different times, a hundred days in a row.
things had been going too well.
and levi just
felt an itch up his spine, a sore one that made him feel all off-balance and nasty.
he picked a fight over a pair of socks.
you never fucking pick up, he snapped. the balled up socks bounced off of erwin’s chest and erwin’s calm, ah sorry levi i forgot, made him feel small.
you dont take anything seriously, he said.
i do, erwin said. just different things. people are different, levi. he bent and picked up the socks, put them in the hamper and levi felt all at once a hundred memories of just how seriously erwin made love to him. it made his insides feel too big for his skin.
i cant do this anymore, levi said.
okay, erwin said, and let him go. the look on his face haunted levi, broken and fond, like he loved levi for leaving.
levi’s apartment was very large now. maybe it had gotten bigger while he’d gotten used to erwin’s. waste of money, he told erwin while he scrubbed down the bathroom. erwin didn’t answer because erwin wasn’t there.
levi saw him again, months later, at a bar. his five o'clock shadow had grown into something more wild and his eyes weren’t the same shade of blue.
im sorry, levi said in the dark of erwin’s bedroom. erwins lips were all salty wet when levi kissed him and he laid with his head on levi’s chest for a long time like a sad old family dog. levi saw one like that once. it’d gotten lost, he thought.
you’re gonna give me beard burn, levi said.
erwin lifted his shaggy head to move, but levi pressed him back down and cradled his jaw. didn’t say i didn’t like it.
then he said, can i stay this time?
i never wanted you to go, erwin said.