Chapter 10
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Brent is standing on the front porch of the shack, looking like he's mad at me again. And I thought we'd be friends.

“Brent!” I joyfully shout to him.

“What the fuck, Jack?!” Brent jumps at me. He looks at drunken Aiden and jerks him away from me. “He's underage! Why the fuck did you get him drunk?! Are you out of your mind?!”

“What’s gotten into you? We…”

“I don’t care. Stay away from him!”

“Brent, you're overreacting, we...”

“I said stay away!”

And he takes Aiden into the house, I stand for a while, and then I turn around and go home.

The light is on in the dining room, Laura is sitting with a mug. I know my sister. She's upset.

“Did you have a fight with someone?” I ask.

“Oh, look who we've got here! Our night Romeo! Returned your beloved to mommy?” She had a fight with someone else, but is venting her anger on me. Laura knows I'm gay. I've never made any official statements or any coming-outs, because - what the hell? I don't need a permission to be who I am. Who lies in my bed is nobody's business - nor my father, nor my mother, nor Laura. Relationships should be equal and voluntary - that's all. Two adults, no matter what gender they are, want to be together, they don't have to explain anything to anyone. So I never did. My orientation, oddly enough, was natural for me. Yes, I felt certain limitations, otherwise I would have confessed to my friend at school. But beside that...

Laura often throws such phrases, even in the presence of dad, but he pretends not to notice them, or really does not notice them.

“What's gotten into you? Envy is a bad feeling, sister,” I say and try to hug her. She dodges, but does not have time to get off the chair when I put my arms around her shoulders. “Do you want a piece of advice from your big brother?”

“I can give him a piece of advice too – go to hell!”

“You should just tell him how you feel,” I continue, ignoring her rudeness.

“And then I will be able to suck face in the stables and bushes?!”

I let her go. She can be very mean sometimes... She, indeed, did not have enough mother's love. Mom died when Laura was five. So Laura grew up under my and dad's care.

So now she's not a tender flower but more of a cactus.

She realizes that she has hurt me. But I won't get an apology. Instead, she says:

“I told you not to do stupid things. What are you thinking? His brother is starting to get a clue. And do you even know where this is going?”

Why is everyone so eager to spoil the carefree existence of two people? It's too short anyway. There is a plane ticket on the table in my room. I am going back to California on Friday. I was supposed to stay for the summer semester, but I took time off to help my father on the farm. Therefore, I must return earlier.

Naturally, I didn't talk about this with Aiden.

And again I come back to the fact that questions and answers are needed.

I leave Laura, take shower, and lie down in the hammock on the veranda. Thoughts don't leave me. Aiden and I almost don't know each other. Yes, there is a spark between us, but he is very young. For him everything is for the first time, and I have not been with anyone for a long time. And then suddenly, unexpectedly, he appeared on the farm. We're having good time together, but even though we talked, I still don't know much about him. And I'll fly away in a day.

I, like a coward, tried to avoid these thoughts and postponed everything to the very last moment. I think I still need to talk to him, but I'm not sure what I should say exactly.

"I'm not ready for a serious relationship..."?

"We had a good time..."?

Maybe I should ask Aiden? Maybe I'm worried in vain, and he looks at our relationship as at a small adventure without serious consequences. He's only eighteen. He doesn't think that I am his only love for life, does he?..

Stop, why should I decide depending on his thoughts? What do I think myself? What do I want?

I'm completely confused.

Indeed, I wasn't ready for this. And we had very little time to come to something more understandable. Are we in a relationship? Or just fooling around?

I don’t know… I don’t know because I need time.

I like him, too much maybe...

And this is what confuses me.

My longest relationship has been built on mutual trust and reason. We had common interests, we had similar views in many ways, we wanted each other, but we broke up anyway.

“We’re missing something,” Sean said. I knew he was right, but I could never say it.
Perhaps this is exactly what we lacked?

But what?

Passion? Or love?

I'm sure there is passion between me and Aiden. Intense flashes of emotions. I don't believe that such a relationship can last long. That such a fire can't burn forever.

And he's only eighteen, he's just a kid. He just graduated. Does this even fit in with my principle of equal relationships?

I need to talk to him. To say that I'm leaving, I need to finish my education, then I need to work. Naturally, we didn't discuss such things, too serious and too early, and maybe not necessary at all.

Damn, I need to sleep. I don’t want to think anymore. I don't want tomorrow to come.