The smoke wafted towards the ceiling as I inhaled the last bit of cigarette. I leaned myself forward to kill the bud in the ashtray next to me on the floor. I moved back to my position and pressed my head against the wall, closing my eyes to the relaxing music on the radio. The sounds of the violins washed over the pain that I felt deep within my chest and reminded me of happier days. Days where I was in the presence of Sam. We would laugh, we would go crazy talking about the next chemistry test and what would we do if we bunked again? He said he loved the way my eyes sparkled when I suggested something exciting. It hadn’t been my intention to find myself in this position, these kinds of things just kind of happened. I had no idea that his attraction to me would turn romantic.
It was last week Sunday, today was Thursday, and we had been drinking. Sam invited me over to listen to the cassette I had just received from my brother who had been sent off into the war. We imagined we were with him in the trenches, on the frontline, shooting Nazi soldiers in cold blood. Oh, how unlucky we were to be stuck in school because someone had to pay the bills while our parents were off wrecking their marriages like it was an everyday job. We were mumbling about the stars and estimating how many of them there were. Sam collapsed on the bed with me and laid his head innocently on my shoulder. I stroked his hair absently and told him that no matter the stars in the galaxy, he’d always be the shining light in my dark world.
It was completely cheesy I know, but he looked at me like his heart had stopped when I said it. He leaned in and kissed me. A strange feeling awoke in me. It wasn’t what I had expected. Kissing him was like kissing a girl, but better. I found myself enjoying the vague taste of smoke and cheap liquor on his tongue. Too soon I pulled away though. I knew that it was wrong. Boys weren’t supposed to kiss boys. I had told him off in a fit of anger that I never wanted to see him again. He pleaded with me. Begged. A man begging another man to be with him! How pathetic. I had merely kissed back in curiosity and he thought I was some queer! Those romantic feelings I felt towards him were only the result of our close friendship and the fact that I had never received love from either of my parents. That had to be it.
In my drunken haze, I smashed the bottle over his head. Blood dripped down his white shirt in all its vicious glory, awakening me to my sense. I knelt over his crippled body, crying as I tried to stop the bleeding. It didn’t stop. It just kept pouring and pouring like an open tap. His last words were that he loved me and that he forgives me. I could never forgive myself for this. For kissing him. For ruining what we had. Once his body was found and I was held in custody, I revoked my initial statement that I was with him that night voluntarily. I told the court that he led me into his house to seduce me and that he got me drunk to the point where I had no idea what was going on. I rejected him and that was true at least. They pardoned my sentence as I was heterosexual and he was not. It was honour killing.
He said he forgave me and I accepted that. But I would not forgive myself for that moment of weakness where I had lost my best friend. Feelings destroyed all that was good. Would we ruin it all just for love? No. There was no such thing. Only fools fall in love. I lifted my hand into my pocket and took out another cigarette. I pulled out the lighter with a few drops of blood stains on it. Sam wasn’t going to miss it. I brought the lighter to my lips and flicked on the flame. As the smoke travelled again towards the ceiling, the trumpets on their last note rang out like shots fired in the darkness as the world fell into a blissful silence.