The Perks Of Loving You
by Camilo Mott


Chapter 10

I woke up relatively early, I think just a little past sunrise. I opened my eyes and the tent was no longer dark, as light had managed to penetrate through the fabric. I rotated my body so that I was no longer faced down in my sleeping bag. As soon as I began to turn, I felt Luca’s hand on me. Wow, he must have kept his hand on my back the whole night. So I slowly got out of my sleeping bag, making sure to not wake him since he was right next to me. I put on my shoes and exited the tent.

It was bright and sunny outside. It felt fresh, as if the rain had washed away everything and left it all renewed. Hehe, I also felt upbeat and relaxed, feeling like I was light as a feather. I looked through our backpacks for something to eat. Hmmm, I wonder what I could make for breakfast. Hehe, I’ll make us, well attempt to make us, some bacon egg ‘n cheese sandwiches.

As I rummaged through our gear, I pulled out a skillet along with some plates. Sigh, it took me forever to get the fire started again. I tried it the old way – with sticks and a little bit of dried up grass – but after yesterday’s rain, there was no way it would ever work. So I had to do it the easy way with a little bit of lighter fluid and a match, but at least I got the fire going. Then I looked for the food, which was hanging from a tree for some weird reason. I got it down and then started to look through it. I found the breakfast rolls, the eggs and the bacon, but I also found a list.

It was written by Luca, no one else has such microscopic handwriting. I’ve been telling him ever since elementary school that he needs to write bigger and he always responds by telling me that my handwriting is too big and only girls write big letters. Well, who’s winning now! My handwriting is clear and readable while yours looks like that of a third grader!

“Good morning, Casey,” I heard Luca yawn from the tent, causing me to turn around.

“Nope, I’m the one making us breakfast, so get back in the tent until I’m done,” I told him.

“Okay,” he laughed. “Can I at least go pee?”

“You can, but when you come back we’re eating Bacon Egg ‘n Cheese, not ‘Belgian Style Waffles with Strawberry Parfait’,” I said as I read the list.

“Oh, I would never disobey an amateur chef,” he teased.

“Just go and do your business in the bushes and let me get to work!”

After he was gone I continued to focus on making breakfast. I fried the eggs and the bacon and then formed the sandwiches. I have to say, I was impressed with myself; it looked like a great batch of sandwiches. Luca came back just as I was done and I instructed him to sit near the fire so I could hand him one. I sat next to him with my sandwich in hand.

“Are these safe?” he wondered, grinning as he inspected it.

“Oh, I think so. The snake I used for bacon wasn’t poisonous, so yeah it’s safe,” I teased him and he laughed.

We ate quietly while sitting in front of the fire. It was sunny and warm, a perfect day to be out here. After we were finished, Luca helped me store all the gear away and we began to dismantle the tent.

“Thanks for last night,” I told him as we stored the tent in its bag.

He smiled and only said, “No problem.”

We gathered all our gear into our backpacks and made our way down to the Jeep. I kinda felt sad leaving this place, but we need to get back to the cabin and train. Wait, does Coach know we’re up here?

“Luca, does Coach know that we’re camping?” I asked.

“FUCK!” he shouted.

“I guess that’s a no,” I laughed.

Luca groaned and then said, “No, he doesn’t know we’re here. He’s probably waiting for us at his cabin right now.”

“So you didn’t tell him?”

“No, I meant to, but I forgot,” he sighed.

“Don’t worry about it, I’ll take care of it,” I told him.

“What do you mean?”

“I’ll take care of it, Luca, don’t worry; besides, I owe you for yesterday.”

“You don’t have to do that, Case; I was the one who invited you.”

“We’re a team, remember. It’s my turn to take one for the team, plus I also went camping.”

“‘K,” he said somberly, causing me to laugh.

“What?” he asked.

“Cheer up; I want to do this for us!”

He smiled and then nodded his head. Soon afterwards we arrived at his Jeep and stored all the gear in the back. I got into the passenger seat and then we drove off.

“So what are you going to tell Coach?” Luca asked.

“The truth.”

“Wait, what truth?”

“That I skipped practice and that you were so busy doing all the work on our camping trip that calling him slipped your mind.”

“Casey, that’s not what happened, I can’t let you do that.”

“Why can’t you?”

“Because we’re a team; we do things together and we take the blame for them together.”

“We’re not married, you know.”


“You make it seem like we’re married: we do this, we do that, we’re responsible for that.”


“We even sleep in the same room together,” I laughed.

“Yeah, I guess so,” he said aloofly as he drove.

We remained quiet for a while until I spoke up, “I kinda like it.”

“You do?”

“Yeah, it’s weird, but it’s nice to have someone you can rely on.”

“Yeah, it would be nice to have someone to rely on,” he jokingly said.

“Hey, I am reliable.”

“Are you?”

“Yes, I am. I’ll be there when you fall down or when you get thrown down,” I said confidently.

“Wow, you sound serious.”

“That’s because I am serious, I’ll be there when you need me.”

“You promise?”

“Yeah…I promise.”

“So you just promised to be my husband?” he teased.

“Yes, okay, I promised to be your husband; now can we please talk about something else!!!”

“Okay,” he laughed.

We arrived a few minutes later at our cabin and then rushed to get changed. We quickly changed into our rowing gear and headed back into Luca’s car. Luca took off and we were at Coach’s cabin in a few minutes. We got out of the car and ran towards the cabin.

“The boat is still on the dock,” Luca said pointing towards the dock as we ran.

“Fuck, now he’s going to know that something happened,” I said.

“Yeah, probably.”

“I’ll knock, Luca,” I said as we reached the door.

I knocked three times and waited with Luca for Coach to open the door. He opened it a few seconds later and looked at us.

“Boys, you’re late,” he told us in a neutral voice.

“Yeah Coach, sorry ‘bout that. We we’re…” I attempted to say.

“I don’t want to know why you were late. Now go back to your boat. I’ll join you boys on the river in a few minutes,” he instructed us, still in a surprisingly neutral voice.

We walked back to our boat and undocked yet again to row about half a kilometer away from the cabin and wait for him.

“Good thing he’s not angry,” I exhaled in relief.

“Nah, he’s pissed. This practice is going to be horrible.”

“He didn’t seem like it.”

“He didn’t seem angry when you were late for practice and he made

us run.”

“Oh fuck! So this is going to be just like that time?”

“Yeah, I’m afraid so.”

Luca was right, Coach was merciless. He made us row and row and row and just when we thought we were done, he made us row even more. I think he got a big thrill out of it because while we rowed he sat in his launch and smoked a cigar. Throughout practice he repeatedly told us to row even faster and pointed out every mistake we made until we corrected it. “Slow down your slide!”, “Quicker hands away!”, “Feather earlier!”  He just wouldn’t stop until we were doing all of it correctly. Finally we were done! But Coach made sure that he ended practice in front of his cabin so that we had to row back to our cabin. Sigh, by the time we got inside the cabin it was already dusk and I wanted to just sleep.

“Are you as tired as I am right now?” Luca asked as we entered the cabin.

“If sleeping is the only thing you can think of doing right now, then yeah.”

“I’m just gonna shower and then sleep.”

“I’ll shower tomorrow,” I told him and headed toward my bed. Once I saw my bed I was so relieved that I ran towards it and then just dove into it as fast as I could. I slammed directly on the mattress and felt the bed buckle under me. The pieces of wood supporting the mattress had splintered and broken, causing the mattress along with me to fall on the floor. I stood up as quickly as I could and looked at the bed.

“FUCK!!!!!!!!” I shouted as I saw the mattress on the floor with pieces of wood piercing the bottom of it.

Luca came running into the room asking me what had happened.

“The fucking bed and the fucking mattress and the fucking room and now I don’t have a bed and fuck wood!!!” I exclaimed as I pointed at the broken bed.

“Are you okay, Casey?” he asked, looking at me with concern as he placed his hands on my shoulders to calm me down.

“Yeah, I’m okay, but that fucking bed!!! Now where am I supposed to sleep!!!” I said as I focused my gaze on his face.

“It’s only a bed, Case.”

I sighed, “I know Luca, but I’m so tired and now I’m going to have to sleep on the couch.”

He moved his hands away as I started to turn and walk towards the living room. I sat on the couch and shifted around to see if I could extend my arms and legs. Fuck! I don’t fit! I can’t sleep here, I’m too big!

Luca joined me in the living room and then started to laugh when he saw me squirming on the couch.

“I guess you’re too big,” he grinned.

“Stop laughing, Luca! This isn’t funny; I don’t have a place to sleep.”

“You can always sleep with me,” he laughed.

“You’re not helping!” I said as I continued changing positions on the couch.

“It’s either that or sleeping on the floor,” he teased.

I stood up and told him, “Fine, I’ll sleep with you.”  That seemed to take him by surprise because he went quiet and looked at me.

“I mean, if you’re okay with it,” I added quietly.

“Yeah, you have nowhere else to sleep…and after all, what are friends for?” he said after he regained composure.

“‘K,” I smiled.

“‘K,” he said, returning my smile.

“Well, I’ll take my shower now,” he said as he walked towards the bathroom.

I walked back to the bedroom and looked at my bed; it was completely destroyed. I looked at Luca’s bed, which was an exact copy of mine. I guess we can both fit into one of them. I think there’s enough space in the double bed.

When I heard Luca exit the bathroom, I decided that I would shower too; it’s getting really hot and humid, so I might as well wash away all the sweat. I grabbed a towel and headed toward the shower.

“Make sure you use lots of soap, Casey. I don’t want to smell you all night!” Luca said as he passed me by on his way to the bedroom.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be squeaky clean just for you!” I jokingly replied.

Once in the bathroom I began to strip. It felt so good to remove all my clothes and just be naked. Now I really want to take a long hot shower to soothe my muscles. I pushed away the shower curtain and stepped inside, closed the curtain and moved toward the faucet to turn it on. As my hand neared it, I noticed specks of cloudy liquid against a corner wall of the shower. Fuck! Luca, clean up after yourself!!!

I turned the shower on and washed away the cum still sticking to a corner of the shower. He shouldn’t be so sloppy! And just how on earth did it get over there! Sigh, whatever.

I got under the heavy flow of hot water and stayed there for a few minutes enjoying the sensation of water trickling down my back and chest. I began to trace my body with my hands and slowly made my way to my cock. I began to stroke it gently until it became hard. My strokes began to increase in rate and intensity. I tried to focus only on the pleasure that I was feeling and nothing else, yet I couldn’t bury the fact that Luca had done the same just a few minutes ago.

My mind kept coming back to an image of Luca standing here as water trickled down his body. I pictured how the water droplets would run down his skin, slowly tracing the various curves and edges of his torso, arms, and legs – his expression and small grunts as he stroked his cock in his hand. I began to wonder what his cock looked like. I had seen the outline of it before, but for some reason I wanted to see it firsthand. I felt lightheaded as waves of pleasure consumed my thoughts. The thought of Luca having sex forced its way into my rowdy mind; I pictured him fucking a girl. How would he kiss? How would he move? How would he touch? How would he fuck? How would it feel to make love to Luca? I felt pressure surging from my groin as my body jerked and my back muscles tightened; I felt ropes of cum shoot out of my cock as I softly grunted.

I remained still until my body relaxed, inhaling deeply. I looked below and saw my cum being washed away by the water. I sighed at the sight, took a deep breath and moved under the flow of water, remaining motionless as I allowed the water to cover my body.

“This might not be a good idea,” I murmured.

After a couple of minutes, I turned the shower off and stepped out. I dried myself and then wrapped the towel around my waist. I walked toward the bedroom where Luca was writing something in a notebook and, just as I expected, he was only in boxers too. I went into the closet and grabbed a pair of mine.

“I don’t think we should sleep together,” I said as I pulled them on.


“I don’t think either of us will sleep very well…the bed is too small.”

“It’s not that small; it’s bigger than the couch.”

“Luca, it’ll be cramped and uncomfortable, you won’t be able to sleep well and we have a tough practice tomorrow.”

“I’ll be fine.”

“I think it’s best if we don’t sleep together.”


“And make sure you clean up the shower after you’re done,” I smirked, causing him to blush. I walked over to what had been my bed and grabbed my pillow.

“Good night, Luca.”

“Good night, Casey,” he said as he stored his notebook away.

I turned the lights off as I exited the bedroom and walked to the living room. I placed my pillow on the couch and then lay there. Shifting around to find a comfortable position, I ended up lying face up and staring at the ceiling.  It wasn’t because the couch was too damn small that I couldn’t fall asleep, but because I felt nervous. I felt uneasy, like I was waiting for something to happen, something to change, an expectation of a surprise…yet, at the same time I knew that I was just waiting for nothing. I got up from the couch, grabbed my pillow and walked to the bedroom.

“Can I?” I whispered as I stood next to Luca’s bed.

“Yeah,” he whispered as he scooted over.

I lay down next to him and whispered, “Thanks.”

“No problem,” he whispered back. I yawned and soon afterward fell asleep.

I don’t know what I dreamt about, but it must’ve been good because it seemed to me that I began to feel completely rested. My muscles were no longer sore and the sensation of tiredness was relieved by a feeling of lightness. Shuffling around a little, I attempted to fall back into sleep, but something was not right; it’s strange because it feels like I’m still dreaming and my body is resting on a firm yet soft surface.

I moved just slightly, still too sleepy to open my eyes, and felt my face graze against a smooth and comforting surface. It wasn’t just my face; I then felt it throughout my body, against my chest, and in between my thighs. I felt this warmth.

So I overcame my heavy eyelids, which begged me to leave them closed, and looked to see what was causing me this sensation.


Somehow during the night I must have climbed on top of him… and grabbed hold of him. Luca was lying on his back with both arms up around his pillow. I, however, had my head resting on his chest, my arms wrapped around his torso, my legs entangled with his. My body was wrapped around his and that warm sensation I was feeling just now was my skin pressing against his.

As I began to release myself from our embrace, I felt cool air flow in between where our bodies had been touching. It made me stop halfway and hold still. Why does it feel so good to be touching him? He’s just Luca!!! The jerk and asshole, remember…kinda of…your best friend now. Why is his touch the only one that causes this?

“Casey?” Luca asked, causing me to tilt my head and look at him.

I remained quiet, thinking of something to say, while I still lay on top of him. “I’m getting my phone,” I told him as I pointed to it on the table next to our bed.

“Then why are you on top of me?” he asked.

“Because it’s faster this…” I attempted to say but was stopped by an electric sensation that ran up my back. While stretching toward the phone, my navel and whole stomach had rubbed against his. However, the only thing I felt was my cock in my boxers rubbing against his cock in his boxers. It was made worse by the fact that Luca pushed upward in surprise, which only caused our crotches to jump even nearer, which, sigh, made me lose my balance and fall back down toward him…pressing us even closer.

I had no idea what to do – this is so awkward. I’m sleeping on the same bed as Luca. Not only that, but I’m sleeping on the same bed as Luca, only in boxers. Crap, I’m sleeping on the same bed as Luca, only in boxers, lying on top of him. Shit, I’m sleeping on the same bed as Luca, only in boxers, lying on top of him, with our cocks pressing against each other. Sigh, the thing is, I’m sleeping on the same bed as Luca, only in boxers, lying on top of him, with our cocks pressing against each other, and I’m not moving an inch!!!!

“So…” he said.


“Male bonding?” he asked.

“Yeah, male bonding,” I responded and rolled off him and just ran out the room.

Why did I do that? Why did I do that? Why? Fuck this! I need a walk.

I ran back into our room to grab some snacks. I told Luca, who was still in bed writing something in that notebook of his, “I’m going for a walk.” He nodded, not really looking at me, so I left.

Outside the cabin I took a deep breath and started to head towards a hiking trail. To distract myself as I walked, I hummed and focused on the bird chirps and all the other animal sounds along with my hums.

Finally I reached a grassy area with a nice view of a pond, plus it was so isolated that I could shout and no one would hear me. I lay underneath a large oak tree to escape the morning sun and took out my phone. I dialed and waited for an answer.



“Love! How are you? Did you read my email?”

“I’m okay, Mom. And no, I haven’t checked my email in a while, why?”

“Read it, Love.”

“Okay, Mom.”

“Are you sure you’re okay, Love? You sound very down today.”

“I really am, Mom. It’s just that this week hasn’t been one of the best.”

“Why, Love?”

“It’s just…I don’t feel very good.”

“Are you sick, Casey?”

“No, Mom!” I chuckled.

“Then what’s wrong?”

“Things aren’t the same anymore…I’m thinking about going home.”

“But you were so excited just a week ago!”

“I know, Mom, but…I think it’s best for me not to stay here any longer…with Luca.”

She remained quiet until I asked her, “Mom, you there?”

“Yeah, Casey.” she responded. “There’s something bothering you, Casey. Can I know what?”

“I don’t know, Mom.”

“You don’t know what, Love?”

“I don’t know if it might be something you should worry about.”


“It’s nothing, Mom.”

“Does it have something to do with Luca?”

“It’s not him or Coach or rowing. I just feel like I shouldn’t stay

here anymore.”

“Casey, there has to be a reason for it.”

“Mom, I don’t know the reason. I just know that during these last few days I’ve been feeling really nervous! I don’t like it! It’s like I’m about to explode! I can’t sleep with him again!”

She sighed and then asked me in serious tone, “You slept with whom?”


“You slept with Luca?”

“Yeah! The bed broke and then the mattress and the couch was uncomfortable!”

“You’re not making sense, Casey. Why were you in Luca’s bed?”

“Because the bed broke down!”

“Did he ask you to sleep with him?”

“Mom! My bed broke into pieces, aren’t you going to ask me why?”

“Oh right, what happened to it?” she asked apologetically.

“I jumped on the bed and it just broke in two and wood splintered through the mattress. So I had to sleep in his bed.”

“Why were you jumping on your bed?” she asked puzzled.

“Did I say jumping? I meant…I was tired and lay back on my bed and it broke.”

“You must’ve been very tired!” she giggled.

“Yeah, I was!”

“So what do you want me to help you with?”

I sighed and then said, “Can you pick me up and take me home?”

“You want to quit?”

“No…it’s just, I want to go home for a while…for a couple of



“I know, but it’s only a couple of days, Mom.”

“Have you talked to your coach yet?”


“You want me to convince John to let you come home for a few days, don’t you?”

“Yeah…that too.”

“Okay, Casey, I’ll call you later and tell you when I’ll pick you up.”

“Thanks, Mom.”

“Bye, Love.”

“Bye, Mom.”

I hung up and then took a deep breath. I sat down in the grass and looked at the pond. There were a few frogs hopping along the edge and sheets of water lilies covering the surface. It looked so peaceful… I’m going to stay here for a while.

I took a quick nap until the sound of my phone ringing woke me up.

“Hello?” I answered groggily.

“Casey, where are you?” Luca asked.

“I’m taking a walk.”

“It’s been a couple of hours since you left.  When are you coming back?”

“I don’t know.”

“What do you mean you don’t know?”

“I don’t know when I’ll be back, Luca.”

“Where are you, Case?”


“Can you tell me?”


“Do you want to tell me?”

“I don’t.”

“I’ll see you later, then.”



I hung up and then looked at the pond once more. I should call Amy, I haven’t in a really long while. I dialed her number and waited for her to answer.

“Hello?” she said.

“Hi Amy, it’s Casey.”

“Casey!!!!!!!” she screamed.

“Nice to know you still remember me,” I laughed.

“You know I could never forget about you Casey.”

“I could never forget you either.”

“So what’s up…what’s wrong?”

“I’m just feeling confused…sorry, Amy, I’m always bothering you with my problems.”

“It’s okay, Casey. I’m always here for you, remember. Besides, our friendship has always been about helping each other when shit hits the fan.”

“I know, Amy, but I just feel bad that we only talk when we have problems.”

“Yeah Casey, but we know more about each other than anyone else does.”

“That’s true.”

“So what’s bothering you?”


She sighed and then said, “That guy is a pain in the ass, you know.”

I chuckled and asked, “Why?”

“Because he’s always causing me more problems,” she laughed.

“More problems?”

“Yup, remember how he would give me the evil eye?”

I laughed, “Oh yeah, he hated us way back then.”

“No Casey, he was annoyed by you, he outright wanted to kill me,” she giggled.

“Why did he hate you so much?”

“Casey, you know why he and your other friends hated me…”

“But you were only trying to help, Amy…Mel and Eric were just…”

“Casey, it’s okay. They hated me because I was the bitch who stole their best friend.”

“You didn’t steal me away, Amy. I was the one who was always following you around and you helped me so much. When my whole life was falling apart, you were there to help me put it back together.”


“It’s true, Amy, if it wasn’t for you, I don’t know if I would have become the person that I am today.”

“Thanks, Casey…and don’t forget that you also helped me.”

“I guess so.”

“You did. Now, what’s wrong?”

“I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m starting to have weird thoughts about Luca.”

“What kind of thoughts?”

“Weird-he’s my best friend-we’re now close again-he’s like my brother-and he makes me nervous thoughts.”

“Um’kay, those are definitely some complex thoughts, especially about that asshole,” she giggled.

“Yeah and he’s not an asshole anymore, Amy.”


“Yeah, he’s actually nice and caring and makes me laugh.”

“We are talking about Lucas, right?”

“Yes, and that’s why I don’t know anymore.”

“Casey, can you come and visit me? I would rather talk to you face to face. And we haven’t seen each other in a while.”

“Yeah, Amy. Plus I want to get out of here for a few days.”

“Do you know when you’ll be able to visit me?”

“Not exactly, Amy. My mom is supposed to tell me whether my coach will allow me to leave or not.”

“So you don’t know when?”

“I think…I think my mom will convince him. I just have to wait until she calls me back.”

“Okay, Casey. I’ll talk to you later then.”


“Hugs, Casey.”

“Hugs, Amy.”

I hung up yet again and lay back once more in the grass. A couple of hours had passed since I arrived here, so I decided to walk back to the cabin and started to trek down the trail slowly, not wanting to arrive soon. Half way down the trail my phone rang again.

“Hello?” I answered.

“Casey, it’s Mom.”

“What did Coach say?”

“Well, he wasn’t so willing to let you have a few days off.”

“So he didn’t agree?”

“He agreed, Casey. It just took some convincing.”


“Yeah, I’ll pick you up in a week, Love.”

“A week! That’s like a week away!”

“And you only have five days off.”

“Um…I guess it’s better than nothing. Thanks, Mom.”

“You’re welcome, but can you please tell me why you want to leave so badly?”

“Um…not yet, Mom.”

“Fine, Casey. But you’re going to have to tell me eventually.”

“I know.”

“Bye, Love.”

“Bye, Mom.”

I arrived at the cabin minutes later and noticed that Luca’s car wasnot there. He must have gone off again. I entered and walked toward the bedroom to get my laptop, heading towards my backpack to pull my laptop out. I made my way back to the living room, sat on the couch, and turned it on. I noticed Luca’s notebook lying on the floor under the coffee table. I don’t know why it’s on the floor; he usually keeps it stashed away in his backpack. So I picked it up and placed it on the coffee table.

I logged into my email; I hadn’t expected to see so many of them and began to open the messages one by one. Most of them were wishing me good luck with rowing, telling me to have fun and enjoy the fresh air. Mel sent me a really sweet email that told me to behave and not to be a whiny baby. Hehe, it was so funny because she pretended to be my mother and told me that she would spank me, and enjoy it too, if I misbehaved. Eric also sent me an email wishing me best of luck and telling me that he missed having me around. Then I reached an email from my mom which she had sent a few days ago. I guess this must be the email she was talking about. I opened it and began to read.

“Dear Casey,

You are the most wonderful gift that God has given me. I love you so much, Casey. You have no idea what those postcards meant to me. I couldn’t help but cry as I read them; they are part of why I love you unconditionally. Casey, you are the reason for my hard work; you are the reason why I wake up every morning and know that today will be just as great as the day before. I’m proud of you because you are a respectful and caring person. You are full of love and compassion. Whenever I look in your eyes, I see so much enthusiasm. I can’t help but smile when I see you running around, laughing and shouting. You have no idea how much I miss having you around these days. I owe my life to you, Casey. You pulled me out of the darkness with your bright smile and inviting laughter after the death of your brother. A mother is supposed to protect and rescue her children, yet I failed. What tugs at my heart the most is not being able to be there, to console you when David died. I was too weak to console even my own son; I can never forgive myself for that.

However, here I am, blessed to have a son like you. I am proud to be called Casey’s mom. I know that you are going through some rough times right now, I can feel it. You were always stubborn when it came to your emotions, I would always receive a “Nah Mom, I’m okay” but then hear you quietly sob in your room. Casey, know that I am always here for you and will always be, no matter what. I love you completely and always, my son.

Remember that I will always be the wind beneath your wings.”

“Mom, I love you so much,” I said as tears rolled down my cheeks. “You’ve never disappointed me; you’re the strongest person I’ve ever known.”

I heard the door open and Luca come inside. I closed my laptop and wiped my tears away with my forearm.

Luca walked towards me and then noticed his notebook on the coffee table. He picked it up and asked me, “Did you read it?”

He seemed nervous and anxious. His eyes were focused on mine and he looked scared.

“No, I didn’t,” I said still choked up on my mom’s letter.

“Casey, tell me the truth!”

“I didn’t read it, Luca, it’s your notebook, why would I want to

read it.”

“You promise?”

“Yes Luca, I wouldn’t violate your privacy.”

“Then why were you crying?”



“I just did,” I replied as I stood up from the couch and walked toward the bedroom. Luca didn’t follow me; he remained in the living room with his notebook in hand. I stored away my laptop in my backpack and put on my earphones. I sat down on a chair to the left of my broken bed and began to listen to music. I shuffled and changed positions on the chaise but I couldn’t find a comfortable one – the wood didn’t budge and I could not lie down.

I stood up and walked towards Luca’s bed, but I hesitated a bit whether or not to lie on it. I don’t know if I should; it’s not my bed after all. It’s Luca’s; but, but we are a team and he said we support each other…and I did sleep here yesterday. So I guess it is fine for me to lie here.

I sat on the edge of the bed and then leaned back. I lay facing the ceiling with my eyes closed, listening to music. After a few songs, I felt a grumble in my stomach. I hadn’t eaten in a while and I was starting to get hungry, so I stood up and walked out of the bedroom towards the fridge. I took various ingredients to make myself a sandwich along with something to drink. After having made my sandwich, I sat at the kitchen table and began to eat. It only took me a few minutes to finish and the sandwich wasn’t that bad; it wasn’t as good as the ones Luca makes, but it was still good.

I wonder where Luca is. He is not in the cabin; I would have seen him. He has probably gone off to somewhere. I walked to the living room and towards a window. I looked through it to see if Luca’s car was gone. It wasn’t.

Luca was sitting on the porch deck with his arms and head on his knees. His back was facing me making him a shadowy and bowed silhouette. He shifted a bit and raised his head from his knees. He released one of his hands from his knees, brought it close to his face and wiped something from his cheek. He looked up at the night sky, inhaled and then returned to that solemn position. Luca is crying.

That realization ripped through my heart and body. I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach and left me breathless. Luca is crying.

Don’t cry Luca. Why are you crying? Why are you sad? You can’t be crying. I don’t want you to cry. Why are you crying? Don’t cry Luca. I want to make your tears go away. Please stop crying Luca. Please.

Why does it hurt to see him like this? He…he…I should hug him…I need to hug him…I want to hug him.

He stirred once more, but this time he stood up. He wiped his tears and walked toward the door. I stepped away from the window and moved toward the center of the living room. The door opened slowly and Luca walked in. Preoccupied with closing the door, he did not notice me. Once the door was closed he looked straight ahead and saw me.

“Casey?” he said surprised.

I walked forward and wrapped my arms around him and hugged him tightly.



He finally returned my hug and placed his arms around me. He held me just as tight as I was holding him. I didn’t want to let go of him, but after a while I had to.

“What was that for?” he asked quietly.

“I said I would be here for you…” I responded with my head still bowed down.


“I need to tell you something,” I said raising my head and meeting his eyes.


“I’m going home in a week…”

“You’re leaving???” he asked with a face of despair.

“Yes, but I…” I tried to say but he interrupted me.

“FUCK YOU CASEY! Do whatever you fucking want, I don’t care anymore!” he shouted. He stormed out of the cabin and slammed the door as he left.

“…am coming back the following week,” I whispered still startled by Luca’s response.

“Fuck! What did I do!” I shouted as soon as I realized what I had done. I ran out of the cabin in search of Luca. He was a couple of yards in front of me and he was heading towards the woods.

“Luca!” I shouted as I ran after him, but he began to run away from me.

“Luca wait up!” I shouted but he kept on running.

I followed him into the woods and past the many trees. He didn’t want to stop; he just kept on running and running. I followed him without stopping; I need to stop him. He reached the edge of the river and then jumped in. He began to swim to the other side of the river. NOOOO! Now he’s gonna drown.

“Luca come back!” I shrieked.

Shit! I need to reach him. I saw a short cut through some bushes that would lead me to the river bank. I dashed towards it, not really paying any attention just trying to reach him.

“Ah Fuck! Just what I needed thorns!!!” I screamed as I felt them scrape along my flesh. I kept on running until I finally reached the river bank and dove in.

Luca was now having a hard time swimming, making me swim as fast as I could. By the time I reached him, he was starting to swallow some water and I heard him gargle.

“Luca! Hang in there!” I yelled as I grabbed him from behind and placed my arms under his armpits. I bent my arms back holding him securely and began to swim to shore.

“Luca calm down,” I told him as we swam back, but he didn’t respond.

Once we were on shore I laid him on the sand and began to perform CPR. I pressed against his chest. I opened his mouth and blew as much air as I could into his lungs.

“Luca! Wake up!” I screamed as tears ran down my cheeks.

I repeated the steps again and again, each time more frantic than the next until he finally responded. He coughed up some water and then started to breathe rapidly.

“Casey…” he weakly said, but I didn’t let him say anything more. I immediately hugged him, holding him tight in my arms.

“I’m sorry Luca. I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to,” I sobbed against his shoulder.

“You didn’t Case…I just.”

“I was such a bad friend, Luca.”

“Casey! It’s not your fault…I just…I can’t keep it in anymore…”

“Then don’t Luca!”

“Casey…I…I…I love you,” he whispered.

“Luca, I love you too. You’re one of the most important persons in my life; I don’t want anything to happen to you.”

“No Casey…you don’t understand…”

“What is there to understand, Luca? We’ve cared for each other since we were 5 years old.”

“Casey, I’m in love with you.”


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