As Dan approached his house he saw the guest bedroom light was on. Maybe Sanjay had changed his mind? No, their home security system made sure lights would go on and off if there was no one home. He’d set the system for random times. No one would turn the same lights on and off at exactly the same times.
He was locking his bike in the garage when Sanjay pulled the car in.
“They let you out of the pie factory early?” He gave Sanjay a quick kiss.
“Time off for bad behaviour.” He pulled Dan close for a deeper kiss. He moved Dan so he was balanced on the hood of the car and continued to kiss him.
Dan tried to glance over his shoulder. “You aren’t going to shut the garage door?”
“Why bother? I thought you might like it like this.”
“There’s kids around here.” Dan squirmed off the car.
“I see, it is okay for you to start something but not for me?” Sanjay said and walked into the house.
Dan closed and locked the garage door.
Sanjay was preparing supper when he went into the kitchen. Dan hugged him from behind. Sanjay pried his hands away. “Not while I’m holding a knife.”
“The Unsolved people were by the Depot today. Camera crew and all that.”
“I’ve booked my tickets to Mumbai.” Sanjay said as he washed carrots. “I did not book anything for you, yet.”
“When do you leave.”
“When are you coming back?”
“It’s an open end return ticket.”
“Oh? You not planning to come back or something?”
“It is unclear as to how long I’ll be needed there. You know my father isn’t doing well. It could be my last chance to spend time with him.”
“I see. Don’t forget we have Kevin McLeod’s wedding announcement party this week-end. It’ll be a blast.”
“If I don’t have to work.”
“Don’t you know that now? It’s going to be fund raiser for the 519 Church Street Community Centre.”
“Yes. Sylvan has donated some food and of course pastries to the event.” Sanjay turned and leaned on the counter. “Look Dan, I might as well just say this now.”
“I may not be coming back from India.”
“What! Because of last week?”
“No! I want to build a life for myself.”
“I thought that’s what we were doing here. Us. Isn’t that a life.”
“We’re more like fuck buddies than lovers. We share space not lives.”
“What do you mean? Fuck buddies! Sanjay, fuck buddies don’t meet one another’s families, travel together, own cars together. We might as well be a married couple for how together we are.”
“Exactly but we aren’t, are we.” Sanjay went to the fridge.
“Married. Dan. Married.”
“So that’s it – marry you or you’ll leave me. Where’s the love in that gun.” Dan watched as Sanjay chopped lettuce.
“Gun?” Sanja asked.
“Yeah, holding the gun of marriage to my head like that. I don’t get it. You were happy enough with the way things were when we couldn’t make it legal.
“Besides aren’t you the one who said there’d be Gay Divorce Court soon. Marriage doesn’t make anything more stable.” Dan lowered his voice. “I thought you cared for me, for us. But what you really wanted was security not a relationship. Right?”
“I do care for you but I just want …”
“What? To move to India?”
“That might be part of it. I hate the winters here. I can’t stand the way people treat me without realizing they are doing it. That I’m just some immigrant. Even though I was born here.”
“I didn’t know you felt that way. Have I ever treated you like that?”
“Not directly. But …” Sanjay paused.
“It was with great pride I introduced you to my family. I wanted them to meet my lover. A man of property and substance. To show them that as a gay man I had a real future. But they never acknowledged us. If we were married they might.”
“I’m not going to do that just so you can please your parents.”
“I know that but kept hoping you might change.”
“Perhaps you are the one who needs to change. To stop needing your parents acceptance to be happy with who you are.”
“I was never sure …. you wouldn’t find someone else.”
“I wasn’t looking. What would make you think that?”
“Oh! What about the V-Files? You left your lap top on one night. I noticed and went to turn it off and it was still on that page. You are very popular there, it seems.”
Dan had been looking there the past few nights before going to bed to give a little surge for jacking off.
“That site isn’t for pickups. Or at least I’ve never used it for that.” How could he explain this in a way that made it seem like it wasn’t a threat.
“Then what about TTBurning. He has messaged you many times it seems, to film him again.”
“I’ve never met anyone on that site. That’s not the point of it. It’s for posting …. found footage …. TT thinks he was in some of the found footage that I posted a few months ago.”
“Found? Where do you find it.”
“Mine is from the security cameras around the Depot. The back alley. It often catches more than drunk pissers stumbling around. Sometimes it’s people making out. Hookers with tricks, that sort of thing.”
“People get off on watching that sort of thing?” Sanjay wiped his hands on a tea towel.
“Depends on how much dick I can see.” Dan wanted to stop, but this was the first time he’d hinted to anyone about his fascination with the lane way activities. His cellphone rang.
“Aren’t you going to answer it?” Sanjay snapped. “It might be TTBurning calling for his close up.”
“I told you I’ve never …”
The cell continued to ring.
“It can go to voice mail.”
“So you’ll know whose calling? Okay.” He walked into the living room. “Hello? One second.” He took the phone from his ear. “It’s the guy from the TV show.” He put the phone back to his ear. “No I can’t talk now. Yes I’m sure it’s important but call me during business hours.”
Sanjay followed him into the room and sat on the couch. “The other night? Is that that what you wanted? To get us on the security camera so you could post it on the internet for the world to see. Is that what was on your mind?”
“No! I wanted to be spontaneous.” He knew couldn’t tell Sanjay he was mostly right about wanting to get them on camera. But only for his own personal pleasure. Better no truth than half-truth.
Sanjay’s eyes widened as he looked around. “I suppose there are cameras hidden here too. A couch cam. We’ve made out here often enough for you know the best angle for all the action. In our bedroom?”
“What about the one in garage? Is that why you didn’t want to make out there. You thought the angle was wrong?”
“We have a security camera out there, one on the patio, one at the front door. That’s it.”
“That’s how you knew about the racoons. You pointed them out to me on the monitor. You thought they were so cute till they got into the roof somehow.”
“Too bad you didn’t catch them fucking.”
“Whatever.” Dan went to the stairs.
“What about dinner?” Sanjay asked.
“Later. I’m going to take a shower. If you care to join me. There’s no shower cam.”
In the shower he turned the water on full blast, flipped it between hot and cold to see if it would stop his racing mind. Sanjay couldn’t be serious. They’d been so comfortable with each other for so long. He guessed that comfortable wasn’t enough for Sanjay. Was it enough for him? Either way he wasn’t going to be argued into something to save a relationship. If you have to save a relationship then it’s probably not worth saving.
He went to the bedroom, sprawled naked on top of the bed to cool off from the shower. His skin tingled. He could hear Sanjay in the guest room. Drawers opening and closing. He wasn’t packing to leave that night was he?
He pulled boxers and clean t-shirt on and went down to the kitchen. The unfinished salad was on the counter where Sanjay had left. Dan pushed it into a container and put it in the fridge. He had no appetite.
Upstairs he went to the guest room door. Sanjay was in bed, covers pulled over him. His back to the door.
“Sanj?” he said softly.
“I don’t want to talk anymore.”
“Okay.” Dan went back to his room. From a drawer in the side table he took out a box Sleep Ease and popped two of the pale blue pills out of the blister pack. What was the poem with ‘ends with a whimper’? Well, he wasn’t the one who’d be whimpering, just the one who slept well.
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