The only way for Matt to be with Jordan is to put his life back on tracks. And if it requires physical injuries, Matt is ready to pay that price. One price he isn’t ready to pay, though, is other people’s mistakes. And as his past catches up with him, a lot of such people are ganging up on him, including cops.
I am excited to have Ben join us today. He gives us his point of view of Matt and it is fascinating. Read and enjoy!
Hi, I’m Ben. Can’t say I’m quite happy right now. I’m pretty much stuck where I am for eternity. Yeah, I’m dead. It happens, you know. A car accident… No, I wasn’t the driver, and no, no car hit me. A bullet did.
I know I know I know. I said a car accident. Well, the bullet came from a car pursued by another car. I guess it qualifies, doesn’t it?
That’s not even the worst. It happened too fast for me to suffer; I’m not in pain where I’m now; blah blah blah… But I still have my memories, you know. I still remember my life; how happy I was to eventually be with Matt. It’s just that my mind isn’t as focused as before. Maybe a lingering effect of death? My life, especially the last months, wasn’t a smooth ride, I can assure you. And just when I get my happily ever after with Matt… BAM!
I met Matt pretty much by accident — is there some kind of recurring theme hiding here? — Anyway. As I said I met him by… well, it was an accident after all. But the good kind of accident. Not the bad kind like the car accident I just told you about. Don’t get me wrong. I really do love Ben. More than my life.
Well, more than my ex-life? Can I even say more than my afterlife?
It’s my story after all. I’ll say what I want. And believe me, I do love him more than my afterlife.
But I can’t believe how thick he can be!!!
Breathe. Breaaaathe. Slowly does the trick. Okay, I’m calm.
Back to my story. My mother had that costly hand-me-down that she kept in her apartment. She didn’t want to pay a dime, and the tiara wasn’t even insured. I was looking for someone to persuade her to do something about it, and you know how things work. There’s always the friend of a friend of a friend… who told me about a man who had very persuasive methods, if somewhat unorthodox. I decided to meet him. What did I have to lose?
My life, as it turned out, but that’s just a detail. Matt made me feel alive.
I knew I’d say yes to anything he said as soon as I saw him. He looked… Woooow. And when we shook hands his skin was so…..Yeeehhaaaaah. And his smell? Don’t get me started on his smell. He smelled like summer on Paradise Island, or like—
Well, the man exuded virility and self-confidence through every pores of his skin. Don’t think Rambo or Terminator. He also had an aura of calm and gentleness… Maybe Robin Hood. The one with Kevin Costner and that song Everything I do… I love that scene in which—
Ahem. Of course I signed the contract. His idea to steal the tiara was good. Nothing short of it would have stood a chance to convince my mother. And it provided the perfect excuse to see him again.
And that’s where things got… complicated. I wasn’t 100% sure he was gay, so I tried to flirt with him, but he was all business, ignoring all my hints. I called him under different pretenses, and got the same result.
I discovered later that although he was gay and had more sex-appeal than the whole fire department that makes that calendar with naked pictures—
Well, despite it, he had no idea when someone was hitting on him.
I told you he can be thick! I could have brought him flowers with a condom instead of the card, I’m not sure he would have taken the hint! And no, that’s no exaggeration. Trust me! I tried things with barely less subtlety, and he didn’t notice anything.
You know how the saying goes? If at first you don’t succeed… It just forgets to say and again and again and again.
And it worked.
Except that it didn’t.
I did eventually managed to get the message across.
And got gently but firmly dismissed.
Matt kind of kidnapped a girl. But it was the good kind of kidnapping, to save her from the Mafia. You get the picture.
Don’t worry, we all got out of it alive, the girl got back to her family. I just got shot (another recurring theme?) during the events. Well, just a few minutes before everything was settled. Talk about tough luck.
I didn’t die, no. But you already know it, as I told you how I died. It was just a mishap. A scratch (going through my body, but a scratch nonetheless).
And Matt somehow got the ludicrous idea that I was hurt because of him and his job. He broke up with me (well, to be honest, my mother had her say in it too).
It took me months to convince him to get back together. Not an easy task, especially when Mister Super-cute-policeman-and-ex-boyfriend comes back into the game. Too bad for him, I won!
And that’s when I got shot. Again. And died. Not again as I didn’t die the first time.
And I watched as Matt went through hell. I wish I could have told him to move on, to live, even to accept his love for Hunky Cop. But if he’s the best at his job, Matt really is the worst when it comes to love. He did everything backward. And not being able to do anything was so frustrating for me.
And now he’s moved on.
I can’t say I’m not a bit sad, but I know he still loves me. And he loves Jordan, and Jordan loves him back.
Of course, Matt isn’t just attracting men (and a few women occasionally, though those one need to be ready for a severe disillusion…). He kind of attracts trouble too. I don’t expect Jordan to have it cool. And with being mean, I can’t say I’m not curious to see what happens next.
Well, maybe I’m being just a little bit mean. But I’m dead. Who’s going to scold me?
Stupid phone. Jordan told me to call him two weeks ago. Two weeks and I haven’t mustered the courage to call. How can I tell him I want him back in my life, but I have to rebuild my life first? How can I ask him to put his life on hold until then, when I don’t know if it will take days, months, or years?
I put down the phone and go to get my bike. Even if I change everything else in my life, I still need to get some exercise.
Thirty minutes later, I reach my destination. It’s a closed-down factory not far from the docks. The fence has a hole in it, right where my contact told me. I go through it and hide my bike behind a bush. The door is unlocked, as I’d expected. I enter and hear voices. And funny noises. I walk down the hall to the right, as instructed, and emerge in a wide warehouse space. Machines are rusting everywhere. Small ones are scattered around seemingly haphazardly, some no bigger than a small table and others the size of a car. The biggest ones, the size of small houses, are neatly aligned, occupying a whole side of the place. Some of the casings are missing, probably eaten by rust, revealing wheels and chains crisscrossing inside the beasts. A web of gangways had been built around and above them, probably to help maintain them. These are now rusting away, with some parts missing.
Standing on top of the nearest machine, a boy, who looks barely sixteen, sits gazing down at me.
He whistles and the place becomes quiet. From behind the machines, a dozen people appear. There are four girls, and two of the guys look to be older than me, though not by much. Most of them are wearing cargo pants and hoodies; a few have on shorts and T-shirts. The only thing missing is guns. With them, they would look like a gang.
A girl walks over to me. She’s short, with brown hair tied in a ponytail. She’s wearing a dirty white skintight top and a cap. “Matt?”
I nod. “Gaby, I suppose?”
We shake hands. She turns to the group. “This is Matt, the guy I told you about.”
A boy comes forward and scrutinizes me.
He turns to Gaby. “Are you sure he won’t cause us any problems?”
I can’t help smiling at the rebuke.
Gaby keeps a straight face. “He’s the one who busted those dirty cops three years ago. Trust me, he won’t be a problem.”
This wipes the smile off my face. I’d rather leave that feat in the past. However, it gets me a few awed stares from the others around us.
“Too bad he didn’t get rid of the clean ones, too,” the kid grumbles, walking back a few steps.
“Did you take me in because of that?” I ask Gaby.
She shakes her head. “No. Don’t worry about it. But the cops don’t appreciate what we do. They can sometimes cause us trouble. I told you about it. If you don’t like it, you can go away.”
I stifle a snort. “Trust me, I’ve done worse!”
Alec Nortan is a French social services worker. Though he learned English at school, he chooses this language to write in. His works are gay-related fictions, varying from young adult, science fiction or fantasy adventure, to romance.
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