Don't Look Back
Whoever that said breaking up was hard to do was a liar. Breaking up is easy. Itís the living with it that is hard, harder than anything Iíve done. And if youíre thinking, this guy is on crack if he thinks that was the hardest thing he has ever done, then let me tell you something. I was a soldier. I fought in two wars in a state of the art mecha. Iíve seen death and suffering beyond what normality dictates. So when I say living with this break up is the hardest thing Iíve done in my life, Iím saying this shit is hard. Really hard.
I canít really say when and where it happened, the feeling of being trapped. Heero and I were two guys in the midst of war when we got together for the first time. Do you know what got to me about him? Not his eyes. Donít get me wrong, he has the most beautiful set of cobalt blue eyes on this side of the universe, but they werenít the things that drew me in. It wasnít his perfect body, his perfect dedication, his perfect anything. It was his imperfection that got me. The fact that his mission and resolve crumbled like a house of cards when that girl got involved. Thatís right, I fell for Heero when I saw him with Relena. Sick, right?
Thatís what I thought for the longest time. I fell in love with Heero because somewhere deep within that cold exterior sheathed by missions, there was a human being who cared for someone. It wasnít me, sure, but he cared. He protected her, he thought of her. Hell, for all I know, he dreamt of her. Anyway, when I found out that he was human, not just this automaton who could whip Oz like a bowl of eggs, I fell in love with him. Then the perfectness became endearing, not annoying. Yep, no one can say Duo Maxwell is a shallow son of a bitch.
So I loved Heero for a long time. He and I had some mind blowing sex in the process. We were just so full of energy, hormones and stress so the sex was more gratifying and intense. During the war, both wars actually, we fucked like the proverbial rabbits. Truthfully speaking, I think the rabbits would have died of exhaustion had they screwed like me and Heero, but thatís just my pride asserting itself again.
After the sex, the intensity, the war was over. During the one year of peace before the little girl known as Mariemeia came along, Heero and I were happy. Really, truly happy. We didnít live together, but opted to see each other occasionally when our respective schedules permitted. We kept in touch by phone, by email, whatever. But we saw each other maybe twice a month to have a weekend filled with sex. Top, bottom, side, upside down, trapezes on the ceiling, toys, whips and leather and all that shit. If it was possible we did it. If it wasnít, we devised ways to make it possible. Of course, sometimes impossible means impossible, or at least thatís what the emergency room doctor told us after heíd untangled us.
Then the Eve War had hit and we had gone off running to save Relena and the world again. Let me tell you, I was more than a little worried about Heero. I was petrified for him. I could see it in his eyes, you know? He really cared about the peace and the girl who led it. He would literally do anything for her. Thatís when I realized that I couldnít be with him afterwards. Somewhere along the way, he had forgotten to fall in love with me. So I had trapped myself into the idiocy of unrequited love. Trapped.
After all the mess was over, Heero found me on L2, working my salvage operation with Hilde by my side. As soon as he showed up, my stupid, traitorous heart had gone into overtime, trying to beat itself out of my chest. Then without so much as a hello, he had grabbed me by my braid, dragged me into the office, and then screwed my brains out oh so perfectly. Thatís when I broke up with him. It was classic really. As soon as he was done, I had pulled up my pants, zipped my fly, turned around and then said those words. "I donít want to see you anymore, Heero. Good bye." Then I had left my office as casual as I could, eyes dry, dignity mostly intact. I hadnít looked back. Not me.
So, here I am now, a whole frigging year after that break up. And Iím still hurting, still moping. Iím the one who left and Iím the one who is completely destroyed. I really loved him. I still do. I see his eyes before I fall asleep, feel his body when I wake up. I see him in everything around me, even the goddamned curtains on my window. Weird. I know Hildeís worried because she keeps trying to set me up with these guys. But how do you get over someone you loved so intensely? Even when you knew all along that he never loved you back? Compared to the pain I lived with in the past year, that small moment when I told Heero to get lost was so damned easy. And you know what? He had done just that. Gotten lost. I havenít seen him or heard of him since that day. I miss him.
Hilde watched Duo check things off on his clipboard, muttering to himself about the salvage business. Ever so often, Duo would blow his bangs out of his eyes. Outwardly, he seemed normal, cheerful and even content. But Hilde could still see the emptiness in him. Even after a whole year, Duo couldnít forget about Heero. Lord knew she had tried to help him forget, but the stubborn bastard that he was, he just would not.
Duo whistled tunelessly, lost in the haze of numbers on his clipboard. He was standing on top of a huge pile of junk, calculating the amount this pile would bring in at the recycling factory. He was so absorbed in his work that he yelped like a scalded dog when he felt his braid being yanked from behind.
"Jesus, Hilde, how many times have I asked you not to do that?"
Angrily, Duo jerked his braid out of the offending hand and turned to scream at Hilde some more. His words died in his throat when Hilde spoke gently. "Heero is in your office, Duo."
I was more nervous than I wanted to be. I was smiling for all I was worth, hoping that my face didnít crack under the pressure. I stepped into the office. "Whatís up, Heero? Long time."
Heero merely stood there and stared at me, making me sweat bullets. The intense glare had not lost its strength. It seemed that nothing about Heero had changed at all, except for the height. And the broader shoulders. And the longer hair. Okay, Heero had changed. I stood there and waited for his response. After all, I had spoken first, it was his turn.
"Why did you break up with me?"
Okay. I was expecting a lot of shit, but that was not one of them. I had more or less thought that Heero had forgotten about that whole thing.
Great answer, Maxwell! I wondered where the hell I had come up with that spectacular answer. Usually, I could speak like I was on fire, but no, not in front of Heero. Not in front of the guy I loved.
"The answer is unacceptable. Try again."
If Heero was teasing me... but this was Heero we were talking about here. He did not tease. He hardly ever spoke. So, I guess you could say I got really pissed at him. Here I was, a nervous fucking wreck, and he was mocking me.
"What the hell do you want from me now, Heero? One more good fuck before you go off on your merry way?"
Heero winced. Granted, that one had sounded crude and undeserved, but Iím not in the best of moods. So excuse me.
"You ended it. Not me."
Okay, he did have a point there. But who could blame me for breaking up with him? Who wants to be second best? Who would stick around knowing that the person you loved didnít love you back? Who would stay when they knew that another person was more important to him than you? Not me, that was for sure.
"What did I end, Heero? Itís not like we had something special."
I can feel the bile rising, but I swallow it back. To me, it had been the most special thing in the world. To me. Just me. Not we. No us.
Heero has the glaciers back in his eyes. I can tell that heís really pissed about something, but I donít really care. One year worth of pain is spewing out of me as we speak. Why should I care that Heero might get violent and hurt me? He canít hurt me worse than he has already.
"Special. We were special. I loved you."
Now Iím really reeling. Heero just said.. Shit, I canít even process it right now.
"Every time I was with you was like touching heaven."
When had Heero gotten sentimental and corny? And why am I liking it?
"I loved you so much that it hurt."
Cliches are tumbling out of Heeroís mouth and all I can do is stand here and listen to this dribble.
"Then you left me. Why did you do that?"
Iím really surprised to hear a rusty laugh. Iím even more surprised when I realize that Iím the one laughing.
"Stop laughing and tell me!"
Did I just hear Heero yell at me? His voice filled with pain that I only associated with my life for the last year? What could I tell him, really? That I left because I didnít want to be the one to be left behind? That I broke it off before the sex became old and he moved onto someone he really cared about, someone he loved? That I had trapped myself into a losing situation and had to get out?
But I do say so. I say it all. I tell him. And I watch as the planes on his face shift and change.
Heero has a way of making a guy feel wanted, you know?
"Who would I love more than you?"
As if he didnít know.
"How could you have thought you were nothing more than sex to me? You were the only person I ever slept with. Still are."
I know Iím tearing up, but I canít help it. Somehow, Iím starting to believe Heero, that he really loved me and it was me that completely fucked things up.
"Relena was my ideal, my peace. You were, and are, my love. Canít you see that?"
"It took me a year to ask you, because I was afraid of the answer. I was afraid that you didnít love me. But you did, didnít you."
Iím too numb to say anything, so I just nod. Stupid, stupid me. How did I fuck up so badly this time?
"So, I love you. You love me. We just misunderstood each other. Again."
At this point, Iíve had enough so I launch myself into Heeroís arms. Iíd missed them. Hell, Iíd missed everything about him, right down to his toes.
"Can we start again Duo? I swear Iíll tell you I love you everyday."
He knew. He must have figured out that he had never once told me that he loved me. But then again, I never had told him either.
"Letís start over, Heero," I hear myself say, "and letís not look back."
So here I am, in Heeroís arms. Weíre both crying I think, holding onto each other like we would never let go. We wonít look back. Not us.