Second half of something I’ve been working on since like forever…
“Listen, Jer. I love you and I’m not leaving. I’m simply asking to open up what we have. I’ll never stop wanting you. You don’t have to worry about that. I just think, why not share our love? Why not have...more?” Kende passionately pleaded.
Kende had never so honestly offered his feelings on non-monogamy before. But if he thought Jeremy would appreciate his candidness, it seemed that he was wrong. Jeremy’s light brown cheeks quickly reddened and he his clenched fists even tighter.
“All I hear…,” Jeremy began with an exhausted sigh.
“Don’t minimize what I’m saying, Jer,” Kende interrupted, finally grasping the gravity of their conversation. He couldn’t protect Jeremy’s feelings forever.
“All I hear,” Jeremy’s voice dropped, “is that you aren’t content with just me even though I’m content with just you.” The fire in his cheeks cooled as the first tear fell. “And I see your side. That’s what infuriates me. Because I understand. I just…I just don’t, I can’t, it’s not for me, Kende. It’s not for me.”
The waiter came back and began to ask if she should top off their drinks, but the tension in the air suggested otherwise so she quickly pivoted toward another table. Jeremy reached out and this time it was Kende’s hand he caressed.
“I love you. I always will. But what you want, it’s just not what I want. So do what you need to do, Kende. Do what you need to make you happy.” He didn’t mean to, but his words fell out flatly.
For a moment, Kende wasn’t sure if Jeremy was serious or not. He struggled to grasp how they so quickly arrived to this point. Kende didn’t expect that he would be deciding on the future of a three-year relationship so abruptly. But here they were.
“Is this real? I don’t know what to say,” Kende replied in disbelief. He could always think of something charming to say to ease any awkward scenario. This time, though, he was at a loss for words.
“You don’t have to say anything. Let’s just finish dinner,” Jeremy replied with familiar disregard before returning to his plate.
They didn’t speak much for the rest of the evening. It was clear to the both of them what would come next. After signing the check, Kende reached over to touch Jeremy’s thigh but he moved his legs.
“It’s over Kende,” Jeremy paused. He didn’t think he could continue but he did. “You can get your things in the morning. Good night.” He put on his coat, looked one last time at the love of his life, and left.
“Good bye,” Kende responded, dumbfounded; a meager bowl of plantains resting alone on the table before him.