Ryan Perdio - Queer LifeBy Ryan Perdio

Adam was my first love. We met online during our late teens. It was a simple ‘hi and hello’ but over several weeks, it turned into hours of chatting and countless phone calls.

Adam was my first love. We met online during our late teens. It was a simple ‘hi and hello’ but over several weeks, it turned into hours of chatting and countless phone calls.

I liked Adam straight away. He was easy to chat to and to spend time with. Plus he was cute and very cheeky.

I thought that apart from being great friends, we could also be an item but a mutual friend beat me to the punch. He had asked Adam out before I could work up the courage to do so. Soon, the two were going out and before long, they were calling each other boyfriends. I was disappointed to say the least but as his good friend, I pretended to be happy for him even though deep down, my heart broke just the tiniest bit.

One day after a few months, Adam and his boyfriend broke up. I called him to see how he was coping and though I could sense his heartbreak, I didn’t pry. I wanted him to tell me when he was ready to talk but he never did.

Soon, things were back to how they used to be, just like how we were before, although this time, things felt slightly different. Adam seemed more eager to meet and chat, more expressive, more attentive.

Buoyed by these apparent new changes, I didn’t want to let another opportunity pass and finally asked Adam out one evening. Us standing outside a club, in the middle of the rain. Me, hearing the booming bass from the dance floor; him, looking down at me apologetically. He said no. The sad, regretful expression on his face didn’t make the situation any less awkward nor painful. I said goodbye and walked away.

I didn’t speak to Adam for a long time after that fateful night. He tried but I ignored his phone calls and his attempts at online chats. Eventually, he stopped.

After many weeks and a completely new wardrobe, I heard from him once again. He wanted to meet up for lunch. We did one Saturday.

He looked just as good as I remembered and was possibly even cheekier than before. Our conversation was easy and teasing as if nothing had happened. And soon, midday turned into evening and we found ourselves walking along the misty banks of the city’s picturesque river.

He kept nudging me with his shoulders as we walked. He seemed to be extra playful and smiled and winked knowingly.

As we started to cross the decked footbridge spanning the river, he continued to shove lightly and I asked him what he was up to. He only looked, grinned and kept walking. I chased after him and when I had caught up, he started again. I dodged, slowed down, sped up and played along. It was like some crazy game of tango and hopscotch.

Finally, halfway across, I couldn’t keep it up. I stopped and wasn’t going to budge until Adam had told me what was going on. He wasn’t looking at me directly but I could sense that cheeky grin on his face.

“That question you asked that night,” he said, “do you still feel the same way?”

“Do I still feel the same way about what?” I wanted to bait him but I was caught out by his question. Apparently, the time away had made him think; a friendship was good, but maybe a relationship would be better?

“Yes, I still feel the same way…” I admitted.

“That’s good,” he smiled, a bigger smile than before. He came towards me and I leaned against the bridge railing. As he closed the gap between us, I could smell his musky, sweet scent that still reminds me of him even to this day.

Over the amber-illuminated lapping waters of the river, on that misty, crisp Saturday evening, my first boyfriend leaned in for our first kiss. Faces pressed, lips against lips. Our warm breaths mingled amidst the chilly air wafting at our cheeks.

People walked past as we stood in the middle of that bridge. They may have looked, they may have smiled, they may have sneered, and they may have gawked. Right there and then, we neither noticed nor cared.
For there was only Adam and I… and the beginnings of a first love.

(For comments or feedback, email rperdio@rocketmail.com)

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