Like the lilt of a song, I have only heard once - whose name I do not know, this great desire persists. Like the quest of an Olympian, my aim is fixed.
"Sometimes the hardest strikes are thrown with words."
"People find importance, in what they make important. My grandmother used to say, 'When there's nothing to complain about, you'll invent something.'"
After practice, following goodbyes to their brothers in sport, as was their custom; Erick and Matthew sat alone overlooking the ocean on the highest cliff they could find. Some days they would remain silent enjoying the view, other days they were confessional. Then there were times they would find humor in childish things, only young people their own age would think comical. Laughter or not, together they would see their day disappear measured by the setting sun.
All that is love - for me - is invested in You. And no other one can bring the love alive - in me. If you take it away - I'll be eclipsed by your absence.
"You can love - too much," Harvard made a blasť gesture, "No. You can desire, push, obsess and lust too much, but real love is never meted out in overdoses."
"Strange how one instant, in a long line of years can stay with you and impact your life or at least bring you to an opinion."
"A man spends his time paving his path with deeds of merit, but let him make one misstep; this is what people will remember."
It was one of those treasured hours, between Harvardís regular classes, family dinner, and his evening college preparatory coaching. Since Stokes had put his school on hold, he had more time to enjoy with his Harvard.
That late afternoon, covered with and surrounded by great weather - Stokes, strutted toward an outdoor park, with Harvard, propped up on his back. Harvard, with his arms firmly around Stokes's powerful chest and his palms pressing against his boyfriend's muscular shoulders, delighted in the horsey-back ride.
Stokes, in a fun-loving manner, rolled onto the playground sand, bringing to an end Harvard's ride.
"What do you want to be when you grow up?" The good-humored tone in Harvardís voice was undeniable, almost every word spoken with the trace of laughter.
"With you. I want to be with you," Stokes was smiling, yet sincere.
"Do you believe in reincarnation?" Stokes ran his finger along the curved frame of Harvardís glasses.
"I read someplace; I'm not sure where, 'Dying is easy. Everyone does this. Living to fight and win another day - that's the challenge.'"
"Is that a yes? A no?"
"You are asking me about past lives? It must be the Nietzsche."
"Do you believe in it?" Stokes casually tossed the book.
"Past lives," Harvard exhaled, "I'm very focused on this life at the moment."
"You can never just answer a question directly, now can you? Let's say, we were together in a past life."
"Oh, I see, games," Harvard moved to sit next to Stokes, "We were in the American Civil War."
"That's smoken'," Stokes took Harvardís shoulders in his big hands and gave him a playful nudge. How spot on, Stokes smiled at the thought, Harvard chooses the Civil War. Since Harvard was born on the anniversary of the firing on Fort Sumter, it matches him.
"Interesting," Stokes nearly whispered.
"I, naturally, was fighting for the Union Army."
"The winning side?"
"Of course. You, being a Virginian..."
"A loser?!" Stokes clenched his jaw, "Yea, yea; we were brothers and fought against each other, and you put a blade through my heart. Kind of like this life!"
"This is a silly game."
"That's all life is - a game - Harvard."
"Not for me, I do not want to leave it to chance, my life. Nor do I want to stumble upon my fate - lights out, in the dark, knocking into my destiny. That type of strategy is for, well, other people."
After their picnic indoors, Harvard was seated on Stokesís lap, nuzzling his head against Stokesís chest. They were silent, unspoken words were told with affection. They were silent, unspoken words were told with affection. Stokes thought, how easily Harvard fit on one of his thighs. The books, bike rides, Harvardís introduction of vegetarian food to Stokes, and conversations which travelled all directions and stretched out like the map of stars along the sky. This was a good match. There was nothing that could interfere with their love.
Then, Harvard, with his arms around Stokesís strapping body, asked the - now ruinous - seemingly harmless question, "Did you ever play team sports?"
"Youíre talking to the Princeton rugby guy here, Harvard," Stokes answered.