It was the longest time in a row that we’d spent together. Every night we slept in the same bed (though not always just the two of us). We ate (almost) every meal together. It was eight straight days of being around each other, eight straight days of time together.
When he left, when I hugged him goodbye, even though I knew I’d see him in just under three weeks, I got into my car, drove just far enough to be out of sight, and started crying.
It was as if I was hit by a box truck to my chest. I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think beyond trying to regain my composure. My heart actually hurt, ached in fact. It was a severe dull pain that didn’t go away until I made myself drive.
I made myself go play dodgeball.
I left him at that specific time so I could make the game. The thought had occurred to me that I could skip the game and drive him to the airport; I’m glad I didn’t.
I arrived just as the opening horn sounded. I stood on the sidelines and cheered on my team before being allowed in to play. I ran around. I caught a few balls. I smiled and was happy to see my friends. Afterwards a few of us went out for a beer and greasy food. It was what I needed.
Little moments over the course of the week still punctuate my memory.
A locked intense stare while demo bottoming for his Military Style Bondage class. Following his rhythm for push ups (which I hate) but my unwillingness to let him down.
Sitting on the ground while he and others stood around me, smoking and chatting, patiently waiting til I again received his ash.
My head on his chest at night as we slept. His arms around me when we adjusted. Hearing his heartbeat in my ear.
Listening to him talk for hours, twice.
His smile, when it appeared every so often, even when it wasn’t because of me.
My forehead on his boot, my hands cupped on his heel, as he slipped his foot out from his leather.
And, yes, there was sex and play. But there is always sex and play.
Eight days. Eight straight days of Gray in my life.
Even with the eventual hurt and the occasional frustrations, even with the drop all at once. Even with it not being perfect, because we are not perfect people. Even with the tired and tedium and sometimes some bullshit, I could not be more thankful.
Eight days of Gray, eight days of my Teacher in my life; really can’t beat that.
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