Greetings everyone and welcome to another installment of the WE ARE INFINITE stories and giveaway! I'm so grateful to be able to do this and to share stories that remind us all of connection and our intrinsic worth.
Now, before we dive into today's tale, let's have a quick refresher on what's happenin' 'round here:
1. Contest is simple: you send me (email@example.com) your INFINITE STORIES and I post 'em. I also promote them, so if you want to include a link to a novel you wrote, an etsy shop, or other such awesomeness, then by all means, include that in your entry! I want to share the love!
2. INFINITE STORIES are tales that remind us of connection: ghost stories, past lives, prophetic dreams, a moment that changed your life, how you found faith, how you found love, how you recovered from heartache, a friend who saved your life, a dog that meant the world, a cat that knew too much, a feeling that spared you or a loved one from pain, a feeling that hooked up a pair of friends for marriage, kids, and life. Anything and everything goes!
All the details about what I'm looking for and how to play are found HERE.
3. Each story enters you for the grand prize. What is it, you ask? Well it's Amazon cash, artwork, and a book!
4. Don't have a story you want to share? No problem! Sharing information about the contest also constitutes an entry for the grand prize! More details about that are right HERE.
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And last but not least, don't forget to check out the always-accumulating-ever-impressive-oh-so-powerful WE ARE INFINITE STORIES INDEX, where all the contest entries will be linked for you to peruse anytime you need a reminder that you are never, ever alone!
Today's entry is from Raphael, who shares with us a Love Story.
We have a song here (I believe it is from the early 80’s) and it has been a hit at many teenage parties since its release. It translates, loosely, as 'a thousand times we touched each other and a thousand times nothing happened. But a thousand and one nights, and it went zoom!'
Does one contemplate fate when one is thirteen years old?
Admittedly, these two paragraphs do not seem have anything in common, but the truth is they are describing the beautiful state of my life as it is today.
As you might surmise, I was thirteen years old when this story starts and fresh into seventh grade right after the summer break. I was already aware that I am gay (and pretty firm in my belief that it was not "a phase"). I was standing in the school yard with a friend when I spotted him – shoulder-length dark hair and a set of eyes that were like (as an amazing friend, of whom I had no idea existed back then, would describe over a decade later as) dark pools of chocolate. He was sitting all by himself, with a sketchbook, and was completely absorbed with drawing in it. My attempts at hiding the fact that I was constantly looking over at him were a complete failure, and the friend I happened to be standing with at the time told me to forget it. The guy seemed to be too shy (or nervous, or whatever) to talk to someone. Probably because he was new at school.
But for some reason, I could not stop watching him. There was this urge inside me to get to know him. Please, let me be clear, it was not a matter of love on first sight. I was not standing there wishing to marry him. Hell, I had no way of knowing if he was even into guys. But I also knew that it would drive me nuts if I didn't walk over and at least say hello.
So I did. I said hello and introduced myself. He looked up, said hello back, told me his name, and promptly turned his concentration back to the sketchbook. I felt a little awkward as I desperately tried to think of something to keep the conversation (which at that point was not a conversation at all) moving. Instead, I peeked at his sketchbook. I was stunned. It was an awesome sketch of the school yard with the students standing around.
"You are drawing! You are an artist!" I said, excited. "I love drawing, too!" I had all the tact of a fan-boy.
He noticed, of course, and without looking up, he told me, "Sure, a lot of people like to draw."
I knew I would have to prove myself to him. So I told him how remarkable he was with his perspective of the scene, the posture of people, and how well he managed to convey their expressions with just a few strokes of his pen. He looked up again, and he handed me the sketchbook and the pen. "You try."
I was stunned. He, as an artist, had just handed me his sketchbook to draw in it. I understood what a big gesture that was, and I gave it my best. When he looked at me again, his smile felt wonderful. It made me crazily happy. "You are very good," he told me.
We quickly became friends. Then we became good friends, and finally best friends. You know, the sort of friendship where your friend knows you better than you know the back of your hand? We had so many great years together! Soon it was unthinkable for us not to spend time together every day. And although he told me that he was gay, too, our relationship, once it settled at best friends, always stayed at that level. It was a very special friendship—we had no secrets from each other—but it was just friendship. We didn't even kiss.
My belief is that we respected each other too much to give in to more. We had our friendship, and we had 'love' relationships with others. And each time one of us found a partner, the other one was honestly and truly happy. Each time a relationship ended, and one of us felt down, the other one was instantly around to lift his spirits.
A few years ago though something inside me changed – when he was not around, I felt empty. Sad. I missed him terribly and craved the time that we would be together again. I did not merely look forward to the opportunity for us to see each other again, I thought of it constantly. And when he was back, I was on cloud nine. His voice alone was enough to turn my legs into a puddle of goo, to make my throat dry as a desert; to make my hands shaky, and my heart beat like crazy. I would get lost in those dark eyes of his, like I was drowning in them. Each day those feelings grew stronger and stronger, and each day I tried to ignore them. I mean, we were just friends, right?
Of course, everyone around us noticed what was happening – those smiles and smirks directed towards us silently telling us: suuure! 'Just friends'. Right.
The day came when I had to admit to myself what a fool I was to keep ignoring what was happening. I was like, damn, why do things have to get so complicated now? Love had struck like lightning, and I was helpless. And scared. What to do? Tell him? Will if he didn't feel the same? What if my confession hurt what we already had? Our friendship was precious to us.
But, the thing is, those feelings were tearing me apart. Day after day, month after month, it became harder and harder to live with them. Or to be more precise: to keep them to myself. (For his own reasons, my friend had a hard time trusting people. And here I want to tell him that my feelings for him were way beyond friendship.) So, I made a decision that was very difficult. Today, I am so glad that I did.
He looked at me in silence—those dark eyes just staring—and then a huge smile broke his expression. It was not just a heavy weight that lifted off my heart, it was as though Mount Everest rose! I saw only love in his eyes, and when he told me that he felt the same way for me all this time, the emotion overwhelmed me.
Nine years after we met back in that school yard we kissed each other for the very first time.
It was love. The greatest feeling in this world. When our lips touched for the first time, it felt like we were not part of this reality anymore.
That same year, on November 1st, 2011, was my 23rd birthday. My new love invited me over to his place for dinner. He asked me to wear a suit, as he had planned something special.
So I went over to his place. Suit, shirt, tie, polished shoes. He had set a beautiful candlelight dinner. It was fantastic, and unbelievably romantic, but I noticed how nervous he was the whole time. After dinner, we retreated to his room and he grew more and more nervous. I couldn't bear it anymore, and I asked him what was up. We were sitting on his bed when he pulled a small box out of the pocket of his jacket. He held it in front of me and his voice was a whisper when he opened it. "I want to share my life with you, kid."
(Since our teenage days, when he learned that he was about half a year older than me he has called me kid, and yes, he actually uses the English word.)
I have no recollection of all of the details. My memory is still blurred by the emotions that moment still evokes in me. But I do know that the next we were doing was embracing each other in a tight hug, tears of happiness rolling down our faces. We did not let go of each other for quite some time, and we seemed unable to stop mumbling anything but the words, "I love you," over and over again.
The two of us have become one. Not just friends or lovers or partners, but soulmates. We became inseparable. And hell yes, he still can make my mind spin and my knees shaky. In his eyes I can see the infinite feeling of love he has for me.
Was it fate that it took so long for us to come together? Was there a bigger plan? Or Karma? Both of us had to live through personal tragedy in our lives, and each time the other one was around to pull his friend back into a life worth living. Perhaps it was a test? To prove that we were meant for one another?
Looking back at those times, it really seems that way, as it was those time that strengthened our bond, and made our love as strong as it is today.
Beautiful, Raphael. We thank you so much for sharing.
What do you think, readers? Do you have a story about a love that changed you? A lover who inspired you? A relationship that was everything magic should be? Respond in the comments or email your stories to me at email@example.com as entries into the WE ARE INFINITE contest!
Deadline to enter contest is Feb. 8!
Kelly Wyre enjoys reading and writing all manner of fiction, ranging from horror to romance. She used to work in advertising but is now happily chained to her writing desk and laptop. She believes she's here to tell stories and to connect people with them. She's written several novels, novellas, and short stories and has no plans on stopping anytime soon.
Kelly relishes the soft and cuddly and the sharp and bloody with equal amounts of enthusiasm. She's a coffee addict, an avid movie lover, a chronic night owl, and she loves a good thunderstorm. Currently Kelly resides in the southeastern United States.
Meet Me at the Gates by Kelly Wyre
Outer Banks bookstore owner Hyacinth Silver Fox has a secret millennia in the making: her soul was magically entwined with another, and at night she dreams of every lifetime they've ever spent together. The rules of their magic are simple: Hydee always knows her lover, but he, or she, doesn't remember her. It's up to Hydee to find and make her soulmate see they are destined for each other, and this lifetime is no different, but there's one problem: her soulmate is Theo Monk, heartthrob actor and Hollywood's sometime-infamous badboy. Hydee's hope of reuniting is wearing thin, but she has no idea how dire the situation really is.
Because meanwhile in California, Theo Monk is losing his mind. Anxiety and paranoia rule his life, along with his on-again-off-again girlfriend and her entourage. When fear and frustration push him to an edge, Theo cuts and runs as far from his problems as he can without knowing Fate's giving him one last shot to unite with the only person who can help him. Hydee and Theo must save one another before hope runs out and Hydee's despair and Theo's fear keep them apart forever.