My key card is faulty. It takes a few tries before I get the door open. Adam sits on the floor, smoking and playing a game on the PlayStation. He brings that thing everywhere. I dunno how he managed to fit it in his suitcase. ‘Come and play Crypt Killer,’ he commands, without looking up.
I shrug. ‘Alright.’ Adam is still wearing the clothes I chose for him this morning. Most of them are mine, and they look so much better on him. There’s a bottle of rectified spirit in the mini fridge. With it, I pour myself a cocktail, and sit next to Adam.
He smells of smoke, as always. I don’t like the way I’m feeling: warm, horny, distracted. Adam taps the end of his cig, sending ashes falling to the floor. ‘Mate, I checked that out whilst you were gone, that shit’s 96% alcohol.’ He watches me take a drink and raises an eyebrow. ‘You doing alright?’
I try not to look at him. One glance and my guard will come completely down. ‘Yep.’ The controller still sits on the floor beside me; I pick it up. My drink leaves a sharp taste in my mouth.
‘I don’t believe you.’ Adam takes the controller from me, grazing my hand. I jerk mine away quickly. I’m losing my touch, I used to be so good at acting normal. ‘You’ve been down lately. You never talk to me.’
I never talk to anyone. I want to say it. He tries to look at me; Christ, I’d love to let him. ‘There’s nothing to talk about.’ I drink, again, letting the glass linger on my lips far longer than it needs to. ‘I’m fine. Can we play now?’
Somebody is stamping loudly in the room above us. Adam sighs, gives me the controller with a reluctant nod. He looks away. ‘Just remember I love you.’
I can’t hear that right now. It never used to mean anything. For him it still doesn’t. We’ve said it to each other a million times. It’s never meant anything more than you’re just like my brother. That makes it worse. ‘I love you, too,’ I say. There’s a lump in my throat. Something is wrong with me. Our entire sixteen years of friendship has been filled with flirting, closeness, affection, it never meant anything. Why the fuck does it mean something now, and when did things change?
Adam can’t know. I’m good at keeping secrets, even from him.
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