we didn’t talk much. we just lay there and looked up at the stars.
“too much light pollution,” he said.
“too much light pollution,” i answered.
and it seemed to me that dante’s face was a map of the world. a world without any darkness. wow,
wow, a world without any darkness. how beautiful was that?
someday, i would understand my father. someday he would tell me who he was. someday. i hated that word.
i wondered what that was like, to hold someone’s hand. i bet you could sometimes find all of the mysteries of the universe in someone’s hand.
“are you mad at me?”
he sat back down on his bed. he looked sad. i didn’t like seeing him that way. “i’m more mad at myself,” i said. “i always let you talk me into things. it’s not your fault.”
“yeah,” he whispered.
“don’t cry, okay?”
“okay,” he said.
i decided that maybe we left each other alone too much. leaving each other alone was killing us.
i wanted to tell them that i’d never had a friend, not ever, not a real one. until dante. i wanted to tell them that i never knew that people like dante existed in the world, people who looked at the stars. i wanted to tell them that he had changed my life and that i would never be the same, not ever. i wanted to tell them that he was the first human being who had ever made me want to talk about the things that scared me.
how could i have ever been ashamed of loving dante quintana?