was late in the evening. Simon laid silently in Baz’ arms and for a
brief moment Baz wondered why. Didn’t he feel cold? The fire place
was burning and warm light shone from it. They had just been watching
one of the silly comedies Simon was a huge fan of. Shortly, Baz
closed his eyes to fully enjoy Simon’s presence. He couldn’t believe
that this was his life now. It still appeared like a wonderful dream
to him. One day he would wake up only to find himself in a cold
coffin, on the brink of death. He grabbed Simon a little tighter as
memories washed over him that he wished to forget. Amazingly enough,
Simon gave him that power: As long as he was here, Baz didn’t have to
think about it. What he then thought was how beautiful life was,
spending it with the person he loved most. Of course Baz was well
aware that this wouldn’t last forever. He was sure to be only a short
chapter in Simon’s life. Soon Simon would recognize what a mistake
their relationship was. If Baz wasn’t so damn selfish he would never
have started it, knowing that Simon deserved a lot better than this.
But as he was laying there, he felt Simon ever so closely and
therefore, none of that mattered. He would cherish every single
moment of this, every breath he could take without falling apart.
looked up at him and his smile was so bright, Baz felt blinded.
thought you were asleep,” Baz whispered.
was just… thinking,” Simon murmured.
do that,” Baz smirked. “You know what happened the last time.”
up,” Simon laughed. “I just… I mean, you know that… That
on, Snow, say it.”
then Simon did, in the most simple way he could.
say the world stands still for a few seconds. They say there are
fireworks in your mind and butterflies in your heart. They say it is
the best thing you could hear a person say.
then again, Baz wasn’t like usual people. Maybe he wasn’t a person at
all. The world did stand still for a few seconds, Baz was so shocked
that for a moment he couldn’t even breathe. But the feeling filling
him afterwards was nothing but dread. He stiffened and struggled to
react. How could he?
Simon whispered, the words stuck in his throat. “You don’t- You
don’t have to answer that. I mean, I thought you would… too… But
it’s fine if you don’t feel the same. We can just pretend I didn’t
say anything, okay, Baz?”
were welling up in his eyes.
will you just shut up?”
Baz was not only confused but also horrified. He pushed Simon away
and got up.
need to leave. I can’t- I just can’t.”
Baz left so quickly, Simon couldn’t even blink. He tried to process
what had just happened.
hadn’t said these meaningful words before. In a year of being
together, none of them had brought up the courage to say it, thinking
that the other didn’t consider their relationship that important.
didn’t mean to break it,” Simon said and as no one else was there,
he said it solely to himself. “I didn’t mean to.”
something so fragile was just too easy to bust.
bartender shot him a bored look as Baz ordered another drink. The
crowd behind him was chattering and the noise was like a drill in his
mind. Usually he would have hated this place but right now it was
exactly the kind of distraction he needed. Truthfully, this was just
Baz being a coward. If only he had the guts to go back and end it. If
only he had the guts to do the right thing for once. Never had he
felt this terrible before. He had made so many hard choices in the
past but the deciding never stopped. Every day he stood in front of
the very same decision. Carry on or end it all? And he was never able
to be strong.
had never expected Simon to love him back. Not when they kissed for
the first time and not for the hundredth time they did. He hadn’t
been aware of the chaos he left behind in Simon’s fragile heart. How
was it even possible? To fall in love with somebody like him…
some guy sat down next to Baz, but he didn’t even look up. The only
guy Baz cared about was at home, probably crying…
no, conversation was the last thing Baz wanted.
looking kind of grim, if you
know what I mean.”
and I think that should be an indication for you that I do not want
random strangers chatting me up, so back off.”
paused for a moment.
was that a pun? How do you know my name?”
your name is Grim? Kind of a sad name, dude.”
rather be called grim than dude.”
on. Tell me why you’re so bitter. Maybe I can help.”
that’s funny, because I’ve been bitter practically all my life and if
I haven’t been able to cure me in all that time, you aren’t either.”
I think you underestimate me.”
well then, here’s the truth. My half dragon boyfriend just declared
his love to me but unfortunately I’m a blood sucking vampire which
means he’s crazy and should go to the mental hospital, because which
sane person would fall in love with a monster?”
I guess you’re insane too if you just believed that.”
just a man who’s trying to help.”
the first time during this encounter, Baz looked up from his glass
and saw the other guy’s clothing. He wore a Cowboy hat and a satin
coat. He looked like he’d walked straight out of a movie. The worst
thing were the tights. Baz stared at him in horror. Nothing about
this outfit added up.
I’m feeling a vibe of judgment here and I’ll just tell you straight
away. Do not under any circumstances question my fashion choices,
because I personally think it’s pretty swag!”
I went to school at Watford.”
would have liked their dressing code.”
blue hair was sticking out under the hat. Baz shook his head and went
back to his drink. Maybe he was just drunk already.
I think I can help you out, Baz.”
that’s it. Who are you?”
think I might be just the person you need right now.”
who would that be?” “Let’s say a person who’s offering you a
pretty cool deal.”
want Simon to be happy, right? I can ensure that he is.”
how would you do that?” “I could make him forget.”
decided not to question just now.
He’ll forget he ever knew you. By tomorrow morning he won’t even know
your name. And you could meet him all over again. You don’t even need
to say goodbye to him that way. Just stay close to him, as his
neighbor and you can always make sure he’s safe.”
Simon met me again, without all that shit that’s happened to us, he
wouldn’t even like me.”
isn’t that what you want? That he sees you without prejudices? That
he finds happiness with somebody else because you believe you can’t
give it to him?”
hesitated. This could solve everything. All that sadness would be
gone. Simon would finally be able to see him as he was. And the best
thing: he wouldn’t have to leave. Simon’s heart wouldn’t get broken.
let’s just assume for a second you had that kind of power… What
would be in it for you?”
much, no sweat. Just your soul.”
time Baz actually laughed.
would honestly love to sell you my soul, but sadly I don’t have one.
If I did, there wouldn’t be any reason to make a deal… I’m a
that’s so, then there’s nothing for you to be afraid of, is it? Are
you scared of hell, Basilton Grimm-Pitch?”
thought of the coffin and the numpties and of all the years he had to
pretend to hate Simon.
there, done that.”
what do you say?”
you seriously expecting me to believe that this is what the devil
looks like, dude?”
have nothing to lose, do you?”
it, Baz thought as he finished
his drink. Because sadly enough, this joke of a devil was right.
I am back from my Greece trip. Side note, I really recommend Epirus (north-western Greece) as a place to visit, especially the city of Ioannina!
It’s strategically located by a beautiful lake, deep in the mountains. The older part of town and the lakefront are vibrant places with lots of good restaurants and both locals and tourists enjoying a day/night out. The weather is a bit cooler than in southern Greece, meaning that you can catch some sun without burning to a crisp or sweating your soul away. And finally, Ioannina is an ideal place for history buffs of all shapes and sizes! There’s some Antiquity, some Byzantine Empire, some Ottoman Empire, some Independence War and some twentieth century… you can visit the sites and museums of the time periods that interest you the most, but I honestly suggest seeing them all.
Anyway, I guess this means that my hiatus is officially over. I hope to return to posting soon. Thanks for sticking around!
- You’ll learn this at school: 250 years ago, a faraway king re-dealed all the land. Suddenly there were no villages anymore and every household was alone amidst the vast fields and forests. No-one complained. In the North it is considered a terrible weakness to show you’re upset about something. The isolation became a norm and jolly old days a taboo, not to be mentioned ever again. You never do.
- In fact to show any kind of emotion is considered a terrible weakness. Emotions are for shamans only. Everyone is a shaman while intoxicated. Intoxication is pretty popular here. You have been a shaman once or twice.
- Your childhood home has a sauna. So does your neighbour, the guy next door and there’s a common one at your student house. Every home has to have one, because it is a place for extreme, violent purification. In the olden days, it was a place for birth and rebirth and healing and death. Later, it was where huge deals and treacherous contracts were made. Now it’s the only place where you can talk safely about your feelings. Get naked, sweat, whip your soul open, warm and bleeding, with birch twigs. The ritual of absolution by heat, performed every week, by every family.
- Your initiation to puberty is getting drunk in the snow. You learn to watch your friend’s backs. The White Cold will take one young every once in a while, to quench its burning appetite.
- In the summer, you get drunk in the White Light. The White Light also demands offerings. The chosen ones are dragged from the lakes, limp and lifeless. Some are never found. There’s a special word in your language meaning dragging drowned people from lakes. You consider this perfectly normal.
- You see your relatives age. They start showing all the symptoms. Old people get drawn to the woodlands. The trees whisper and provide them provisions: berries, mushrooms, game. It’s not without a cost. As they get old, their minds weaken, get all foggy and dull. They wander into the forests, disappear and die. The woods claim their share.