MOSCOW, January 18, 2004 -- Despite Yegor’s exodus, I felt unaccountably exuberant that night at the prospects of unending passionate sex with Shurik, and his and my love that night was the most ardent we’d ever had. “Will we love together forever?” I asked, snuggling into his armpit.
“Do you really enjoy having sex with me?”
“Very much.” (What else could he say?)
“Can I have sex with you in the morning?”
“Yes, when I start stirring – 11 or 12.”
We talked about my trip to visit him in the spring. I was sad about Yegor, but it had been his decision. And I was in a state of undiluted joy, convinced of Shurik’s sincere love.
I gave him one final goodnight kiss and went to my bed, where Sasha was already waiting for me. I gave him a quick BJ and settled into sleep.
The phone rang about 2:30 a.m.
“Dane, I’m sorry to wake you, but I couldn’t sleep.”
“I keep thinking about things. Do you know when he came into the kitchen after you kissed and made up,” Yegor paused, “he was bragging and saying, ‘I can’t believe what a good actor I am’?”
“He what?” I shouted in astonishment. “Why the hell didn’t you tell me then?
In an instant, everything was again upside down. The deep feelings we had expressed to each other that day; the promises of eternal fidelity, eternal love that we had made had been shameless manipulation! What I worst feared was indisputably true. He was just using me and making fun of me!
Yegor also told me that when we had had our confrontation in the living room and Shurik had first put his arms around me and kissed me, he had looked at Yegor and made an obvious grimace.
And when Shurik was telling Yegor the details of how I had agreed to let him stay after all, he had smirked, “And the only thing it cost me was to say ‘I love you.’”
I was nearly speechless.
“What are you going to do?” Yegor asked.
“I’m going to throw him out. That’s the absolute last straw.”
“Do you want me to come home?”
“I don’t want you to feel in danger, but I’d like for you to be here.”
“Okay, I’ll come home about 1:00.”
When Shurik began stirring the next day around noon, he called me from the kitchen.
I came and sat on the edge of his bed and touched his face. We kissed each other. My feelings were really torn. I knew I would be throwing him out in less than two hours. But God, he was still beautiful and alluring.
I’m as good an actor as he is, I comforted myself.
I lay down beside him and reached under the covers. He was still naked from the night before. I began caressing him and kissing him. My mouth slid down to his now erect cock for the last time. I savored each touch of his hairless legs and belly.
“Well,” I told Anton a few minutes later. “We just made love for the last time.”
When Yegor arrived we were all in the kitchen. I turned to Shurik: “Shurik, I don’t want to live with you anymore. I want you to leave.” He looked at me in shock.
I led him into the living room – his bedroom -- and I confronted him with what he had told Yegor the night before. He denied it. I called Yegor in and asked him to repeat it.
“So you believe Yegor?”
“So Yegor’s honest and I’m a liar.”
“I absolutely believe Yegor.”
“You absolutely believe Yegor, huh? Do you know about his boyfriend?”
“He met him on the Internet and he’s been having sex with him every day for two months.”
“Oh, that Dima. I’ve known him since they first met”
“And did he tell you about Tunis?”
“Yes. When he said he was going to see his mother in Dushambe, he actually took the money and went to Tunis.”
I called Yegor in again and had Shurik repeat his charges.
Yegor looked confused. “If I had gone to Tunis,” he countered, “would I have…”
“Yegor, just tell me yes or no.”
“Okay. He didn’t go to Tunis.”
“If you’re going to believe him instead of me, there’s nothing I can do.” He got up and put on his coat. His friend Andrei, who had just returned from the Ukraine, was waiting for him outside.
“I’ll be back in a few minutes to get my clothes,” he said as he left.
So out he went.
At 3 p.m. I had to leave for my class at the Institute of Diplomacy. Yegor was still nervous about Shurik returning with his friends and beating up on him and Anton, so I told him not to let Shurik in if I wasn’t here, to tell him I’d be back at 7.
He didn’t return that day. That night Yegor and I had sex together for only the second time since we had come back from Prague. My old Yegor was back at last.
Shurik didn’t return or call the next day.
On Monday afternoon about 3:30, while I was giving a lesson to a TOEFL student at Novoslobodskaya, Yegor called. “He’s here with his friends to get his things. He wants to wait and see you.”
“Okay,” I said, “but I won’t be home till about 5:30, and then I’ll have to leave almost immediately for my 6:00 class.
When I came up the staircase of the apartment, Shurik was sitting with his bags on the landing between the third and fourth floors. He looked rather forlorn. There was no bristle of revenge, retaliation, or defiance; only the look of hopelessness and defeat. I felt very sorry for him. How I ached to take him in my arms and tell him, “it’s okay. I know you’ll change. You really do love me.” And then the memory of “I didn’t know I was such a good actor. All it cost me was to say ‘I love you.’”
“Do me one last favor,” he said.
“I don’t have any money. Can you give me enough money to catch the train home?”
“How much do you need?”
“As much as you can spare.”
“I don’t have any on me right now.” I pondered for a moment.
“Maybe you could go to the ATM?”
“Oh, yeah, maybe. How much is the train?”
“About $ 50.”
“Okay.” I picked up one of his bags. “Here, I’ll help you.”
We plowed and sloshed through the deep melting snow to the Belarusskaya Metro station. I got $ 100 out of the ATM and gave Zhenya $ 65. Then I helped him through the turnstile to the head of the escalator.
“Have you got a piece of paper?”
I pulled out the notebook I had bought in Prague. He wrote his mailing address and e-mail address on it. “I would still like for you to come visit me in May if you can.”
We kissed each other on the cheek and he was gone.
A huge sense of relief, but how I miss the fantastic sex we enjoyed together. Orgasms aren’t like “I-love-you’s.” You can’t spit them out at will. He can’t have had as many orgasms as he did if he hadn’t felt something for me. So what was the game he was playing?
In any case, the game’s over, and he lost.
I’m just sad he wasn’t real.