Fiction

Call Me by Your Name – Twitter Book Review

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Read “Call Me by Your Name” and I was frustrated. At the start it was just another gay romance being about how characters don’t even get to enjoy the romance.

I did a live-tweet reaction to the book which I will post here:

After finish reading Call Me By Your Name, I realized that it was a beautiful piece of text. Plot got iffy in the middle but the way it was written was beautiful.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experienced.

Loved the touch of melancholy and “the better to have loved and lost than never loved at all” thing was sweet. I still am tired of this type of narrative though…where all queer men just get unhappy endings but Aciman gets a pass because the story that he told was beautifully done.

At least no one died for the romance to end. It was just life.

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Film adaptation review: http://variety.com/2017/film/reviews/call-me-by-your-name-review-1201966646/

call-me-by-your-name

Learning about Whiteness and Colourism

Something interesting I have learned in the past year are the subjects of whiteness and colourism; specifically how these words have helped me expand my vocabulary and articulate my feelings around race.

The subject that has captured my mind the most has been whiteness, because it is the ways in which people of colour (like myself) have been told how some of the things white people do, then becomes the standard of greatness.

Like how I made sure I spoke English in this overly enunciated manner so that when white/coloured people regularly told me, “You speak so well”, I felt so proud; even when I was saying nothing of importance. This is interesting because no one usually says that of white people.

Like how I ended up wanting to go to one high school because it was seen as the classier school where the white kids went, instead of a closer school that most of the coloured and black kids went.

Like how I would expect my parents (then eventually a single parent mother) to provide me with the things that some of my white friends had, when what I had was already the luxury that they could provide.

Like how growing up on Ricoffy, turned out to be fake coffee because my lower middle class family could never afford filter coffee, and only in high school did I learn that there was this thing called filter coffee.

Like how the media kept pushing this notion of “white beauty” on me to such a degree that it has subconsciously shaped my first instinctive preferences in guys, and beyond that they way my imagination often visualises fictitious characters.

I would stop reading a book when it repeatedly pointed out how “half-Asian” or “dark skinned” a character was, as those character traits would disrupt this image of a white character in my head.

I have had to become aware of all these things and in some cases needed to unlearn these habits, while in other cases I’ve needed to make peace with how I was socialized throughout life.

Racebent Hermione Granger

Colourism is another part of this, as it is something which relates to racism and classism on those within your own racial class. An example being the snide/derogatory comments made about people from a poorer social group when you have exactly the same skin tone.

The only interaction with this I had was when I would judge people of colour for how they would speak English; never mind the fact that English would be their second or third language. As if their manner of speaking English would be a judgement on their intellect.

I haven’t dealt with colourism as much, but learning about this issue, and becoming aware of whiteness (specifically mine) has been a very enlightening part of this year.

The process of learning about these things have been extremely difficult and uncomfortable for myself but by learning more about this, I had found that it has made me more open to learning about the people around me instead of judging them first.

I know that I am still learning, but I am proud of myself for what I have become aware of thus far.

The Dark Knight amongst the Walking Dead

Demonsee
Chapter 1:

Dear Bruce

Everyone thought they would be safe in Gotham.

They thought that the disease would be easy to contain, but they didn’t account for the mutation it triggered.

In the first 100 days after the outbreak, 40% of the Earth’s population had succumbed to the disease. The next 5 days was when it all went to shit. Everyone thought that the disease was just killing everyone, but it was doing something worse.

It had been silently mutating within the dead bodies waiting for something…and when that something happened, that was when the zombies awoke.

The disease had initially started with a loss of feeling, the vomiting and cold sweats, and then finally coughing up blood BUT after their resurrection, the deceased had become zombies.

Zombies who were hungry; it was a hunger for human flesh and blood that could never be fully sated.

Gotham has been the last resistance…or at least it was.

No one heard anything over the radios for the last 20 days, and if that tells us anything, it is that everyone is dead or a walking dead.

We are on day 500 since the outbreak started. Almost everyone is dead or waiting for their death…

It’s a kill or be killed world out there.

We tried our best to protect you, and it hasn’t been easy. After the last attack on the hospital we know that we needed to go.

Switching off your life support would have been the best thing to do but we are not murderers. If you ever get wake up from your coma and get this message, I just want you know that we had no choice, we had to leave you behind for your own safety.

We stashed away clothes and weapons in a box for you in the basement.

A katana, a sawed-off shotgun, canned food (that will probably be days away from expiring), rope and the last of the grenades and ammunition that we had. Don’t use the live weapons unless you have to. It draws attention and every damn monster within range will desperately come searching for you…so make sure you have an escape plan.

Don’t trust anyone…even someone humans.

If you want to survive you will have to do what you have to do. It won’t be pretty, but it will be necessary.

Remember, the best way to kill a zombie is with the katana, and if you do use the gun- double tap those bitches straight in the head.

By the time you get this message, you could be the last one left.

For your sake, I hope not.

Try your best to stay alive…if you aren’t dead already.

R.

November 28 2014

Chapter 2:

Bruce couldn’t believe what he had just read.

He had to read the letter from Robin 5 times to make any sense of it.

What had happened to the world while he was unconscious? It looked like shit hit the fan, and now it was up to each person to survive this post-apocalyptic shit that awaited him out there.

His throat felt dry and his legs felt weak.

He tried his best to stand up, but when he did, he fell to the ground.

He had no clue how many days or weeks he had been out for, but given how dead his legs felt, it must have been almost years.

There was no way he should have been alive.

Bruce realised that Robin and whoever the “we” was that he was referring to must have done the impossible to keep him going for so long; especially if everything was constantly stacked against them. For them to have protected him for 500 days instead of giving up was no small feat.

Bruce wasn’t even sure if he would have been able to be there for them, like they were for him.

“By the time you get this message, you could be the last one left.

For your sake, I hope not.”

For Robin to say something like that meant was unusual. He was always the optimist, but this new world order must have changed the man in ways that he could never have anticipated. Hopefully, he could see the kid one day…

Bruce erased the thought; given the state of the world, he wasn’t sure if it was a smart idea to carry such a belief around with him. He would need to use his wits and determination, hope would do nothing but be a distraction.

Eventually after resting for long enough, Bruce summoned as much energy as he could to move his legs. It hurt like a bitch, but he knew that he all he knew was that he had to get to the basement, to get to the supplies that they have left him.

Hopefully the canned food would be something edible and not all foul.

Whatever awaited him outside these hospital walls, he was not going to give in that easily or go down without a fight. He had endured going up against fucking Ra’s al Ghul, and being stuck in that pit being left to die.

It would take a lot more than a temporary coma and zombie apocalypse to keep him down.

One way or another, he would make it.

Chapter 3:

Dear Bruce

I guess by now you must have a lot of questions.

If you are reading this then you are probably doing what we all expected you would…trying to be the hero of Gotham.

Alfred of course would not give up on you…he never does.

I wasn’t so sure you would make it but if I am being honest, I am glad you did.

One would think that with the world going to shit, your enemies would have at least given us a break.

I mean, the world just went to hell anyway…

But I guess expecting the Joker not to blow you and the Wayne Mansion up would have been asking for too much from the man psycho…

He is clearly obsessed with you.

We managed to make it out of the house through the caves, but unfortunately when a beam fell down of you, because of the fire, it knocked down pretty badly. You lost a lot of blood and kept slipping in and out of consciousness until soon you just slept and no matter what we tried you would not wake up.

You were alive…but comatose.

Seeing you defenceless scared us all, but we had to pull it together otherwise we would have died.

I am sorry that you have to do his all alone Bruce.

I wish I could be there to explain and help you but this is the last message you will receive from me. I only had the time to write the two letters and stash them before it was too late.

Maybe if we’re lucky, we’ll see each other again…but I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

Luck is not on our side.

All the best Bruce.

R.

November 28 2014

Chapter 4:

Bruce had to go back to the cave… the supplies they left him with were useable but basic.

He knew they wanted him to survive and make it out, but he needed more.

If he was going to survive this apocalyptic Gotham, he needed to have as much of his gear as possible, and the only place that he could find all of that is the cave.

Getting into the Wayne Mansion was impossible, the fire had decimated the entire top floor of what used to be his family home, and the entrance to the Batcave was littered with these zombies.

Bruce almost didn’t make it…he realised the stupidity in going back, but he had to return and see what was left.

It’s the only true place that was home…

…that he knew as home.

Everything has been trashed or emptied out.

Given the state of some of the stores along the road to the Wayne Mansion, he saw that the people became desperate after what happened and started ransacking homes for supplies. Almost all of the food they stock piled for emergencies was gone and all the weapons are too.

Bruce breathed a big sigh of relief when he saw that the secret stash he kept within the cave was still save.

He immediately was thankful given how useful they would be to fight of these zombies but then something unexpected caught his eye. It was the last thing he would have thought to find there – Alfred’s present.

Bruce should have expected that the old man would know about his secret spot.

Alfred knew all of the man’s secrets…even those Bruce would never risk telling him about.

He didn’t want to admit it, but seeing the old Batsuit did bring a smile to his face…but that was nothing compared to the note that Alfred left.

However, the smile quickly faded when he realised that it might be the last thing ever left by the man who raised him.


Chapter 5:

Of course Bruce was going to read it.

It was from Alfred for damn sake –

“Master Wayne. 


I hope you never read this note, but if you are, you need to run. He expects you would come back…that you would come back to the one place he knew he would be able to kill you.

If you are reading this note, you need to leave Gotham…

You need to get out NOW.

Don’t let him win.

– Alfred.”

“Don’t let him win?” Bruce muttered.

He couldn’t help but find the last sentence Alfred wrote seared into his mind.

Don’t let WHO win.

Chapter 6:

If it hadn’t been for the alarm system pulling him from the letter, Bruce might not have had enough warning from the siren to prepare.

The door to the Batcave broke down seconds later and what he saw was…

…something that he didn’t even know how to put into words.

Never in a million years did Bruce think that he would find Riddler, Penguin, Two Face and Poison Ivy working together…but that wasn’t exactly it.

They were all suffering from this disease…murmuring the same guttural sound over and over.

Even in an apocalypse, the crazies will always find the other crazies… he should not have been surprised.

They moved quickly, covered a lot of ground after getting through the door, if there was anything he learned just from the couple of seconds from looking at them, it is that these zombies were not to be messed with.

Even with the disease ravaging their bodies, having them feast on human flesh, and chunks of their own flesh decaying, it was their inability to feel pain that did not stop them… in actuality, it made them more dangerous.

He analysed everything; figuring the best way out of the situation.

There was not enough time to get to the Batmobile, and he wasn’t even sure there was enough gas in there to get him out. It would have been too risky…

Bruce knew what he had to do, and as risky as it was, there was no other option.

He initiated the shut down sequence, that would trigger the bombs and permanently close the Batcave, as he grabbed the nearest weapon that he could.

If Bruce Wayne didn’t make it out in the next four minutes, he would be trapped with those crazies and that would certainly be guaranteeing his demise.


Chapter 7:

It was a close call but he made it….

He managed to maim a lot of those freaks, and came close to becoming one of them when Two Face almost bit into him. He managed to push off the freak just in time by giving him an electrical jolt using exposed wires.

Something like that would have killed a usual man, but Bruce had quickly discovered that these zombies are far from the usual. The damn freak got up seconds later, as if he had been merely stunned.

He had to trap and fight off a lot of them, but after much struggle, he managed to do it with the katana. He got out with a few seconds to spare as the Batcave exploded, leaving all of those crazies to whatever fate awaited them inside.

He would had killed them like Robin’s letter suggested but he couldn’t do it. He didn’t know why…

Bruce shook the thought from his mind, and tried moving with his new gear but then he found himself facing a new terror.

He thought that he had made it out of the worst, but he was wrong.

Bruce Wayne heard the one thing that made the hair on the back of his neck stand up…

…the one sound that forced him not to mistake it’s meaning.

A laugh so haunting, it had no humour in it, only complete horror…

Joker’s.

“You know,” a voice echoed, “even though they are no longer people, poor old Bats still can’t kill them. You had to blow the entrance to keep your old friends inside. How honourable of you…I would be so touched, if I wasn’t about to puke in my mouth.”

Expecting the one person who should be dead, to have contracted the fucking disease killing everyone, would have been asking for too much.

Of course he would have survived.

He is a cockroach, and those things survive everything…even an apocalypse.

“What do you want Joker?” Bruce shouted, scouting for the first sign of his presence.

“To give you a little present,” the voice laughed manically.

“I know better than to accept presents from psychos,” he replied. “Give it to someone who cares.”

“You know exactly what to say to warm up my heart Bats,” the voice laughed.

Bruce managed to quiet his thudding heart just in time to hear the sound of a bomb being armed nearby. He managed to jump out of the way of the explosion’s radius just in time to avoid any injury. Getting cover from behind an abandoned car he dived behind…

“Bats?” The voice smirks.

Bruce tried his best to move closer to the sound of the voice, keeping the sawed-off shotgun in his hand.

“Bats? The voice repeated. “I know better than to assume a little old kaboom will put you out for good.”

Edging slowly around the car, Bruce moved from one car to another without being detected; eventually spotting the Joker when his curiosity got the better of him, and forced him to reveal his location.

The more he came out in search for Bruce, the faster he moved – trying his best to reach the Joker and catch him off guard.

“Now now Bats,” he said stepping closer to where the bomb had gone off, “don’t be cruel…I have missed you and you are not showing the right appreciation for my present.”

Bruce quickly snuck up behind him, placing the gun to the back of his head.

“How many times do I have to tell you that I don’t want a present from you?”

“I knew you weren’t dead,” The Joker spun around to face him, giggling wildly, “you like to toy with me don’t you Bats.”

“What are you doing here?” Bruce grunted.

“I wanted to check in, find out how you are doing…you know, just check in on my buddy.”

“I am not your buddy,” he growled, “and never will be.”

“How can you say that when I got you this present?” the Joker replies, extending out his hands to the area around them.

“You are starting to sound like Riddler…” Bruce voiced. “Just spit it out.”

“That’s just mean,” Joker smirked, “and I mean the zombies silly Bats…”

“You… you did this?”

“For you,” Joker laughed, “this virus was my ways of showing you just what we humans are. We are all just zombies, never fully able to quench that hunger for humanity, and going through life in sleep mode.”

“You’re crazy…”

“I’m a visionary,” he growled viciously. “There is a difference…cause now everyone is like you and me. Living life to the fullest.”

“I should end this right now,” Bruce shout, prodding the rifle against his head.

“You could,” he smiles, “but you won’t…because I know something about your precious little Alfred.”

Bruce felt his heart sink at the mention of Alfred.

“What have you done with him Joker?” Bruce questioned, aiming next to his ear as he pulled the trigger.

“Why’d you do that for?” Joker yelled. “That was my good ear.”

“You will endure a lot worse than losing your hearing if you keep testing me Joker,” Bruce yelled. “Where is Alfred?”

“You really need to relax more Bats,” he smiled. “Maybe I should get Alfred to help with that.”

“Where is he Joker?” Bruce fired his weapon between the Joker’s leg. He missed the Joker’s right leg by millimetres.

“Have a look for yourself,” Joker laughed as he pointed to a nearby backseat car window. “Sheesh.”

Bruce knew better than to fully turn his back to the madman, so he kept an eye on the Joker as he slowly made his way to the window.

What he saw made his stomach turn, it was a beast attacking a young girl.

Actually, it was a man that looked like a beast…

It took him a while, but he eventually came to recognise the beast as Alfred.

Of rather, that it used to be Alfred.

“What have you done???” Bruce growled.

“I knew that you would like my present,” he laughed uncontrollably. “I did it for you.”

Bruce was caught off guard when the Joker pulled out a gun and shot out the closed backseat window.

It didn’t take long for Alfred the beast to catch the scent of Bruce’s flesh, and soon enough it was crawling out of the car window.

He would have made the Joker pay but had no time because the Beast was on top of him, knocking the weapon out of his hand as it was chomping at the bit to get a taste for his flesh.

Bruce was going to die if he did nothing…so he did the only thing that he could.

He had no choice but to kill him…

Kill the only person who truly cared for him after his parents had died.

The one who put up with all his tantrums and endured the anguish of what Bruce put him through.

The one man who ever truly knew him.

Bruce quickly clawed at the shotgun with all his strength, and did what he had to do.

Kill the man who loved him like he had been his own son.

For the next minute, Bruce Wayne could nothing but stare at what he had done.

Eventually, reality set in and by the time he had realised what he had done, the Joker was gone.

All that was heard was the sound of his laughter echoing for miles.

It was the only sound Bruce heard as he wondered why the Joker had left him alive and what he was after.

Soon enough, his laugh was the only thing that Bruce could hear and he knew that he had discovered a new purpose.

What now motivated Bruce Wayne to keep going, was the goal of bringing that annoying maniacal laugh to a permanent end.

Joker would pay, and he would pay with his life.

END.

Book Review: I’ll Give You The Sun

I’ll Give You The Sun

By Jandy Nelson
So when I was out my friend, initially wanted to get myself the new Adam Lambert album and because the music store didn’t have the album in stock, I decided I would go get a book instead.

I had planned to get the Robbie Rogers autobiography but I decided that I needed something light because it had been a while since I actually bought a hard copy novel and read it. Also I am a Young Adult person, which at age 22/23 I am not ashamed to admit. 

I feel like I will move on to “adult” books when the time is right but for now I am content reading Young Adult fiction.

Anyhow, getting back to the novel that I want to speak about:
It was really a delightful read.

I had planned to take my time with this book but then I got sucked into it and within three days of starting it, I finished it. 

Here is the plot description:

Jude and her twin Noah are close until a tragedy drives them apart. 
Now they are barely speaking – and both falling for boys they can’t have. 
Love’s complicated.” 
The novel tells the story of Jude and Noah in a split narrative.

Noah’s part of the story is told between the ages of 13-14, while Jude’s is told at age 16.

Noah and Jude are fraternal twins, who are inseparable but over the course of the novel they let jealousy and their own emotional difficulties push them further and further apart from each other.
One of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much was because it manages to make both Jude and Noah’s perspectives of the story interesting.
Personally, I am always concerned about when authors tell the same story from a different character because it can be very boring to the reader, but Jude’s was interesting and I became invested in her story.

Another thing in terms of structure that I really enjoyed was that the novels follows the three act structure building towards a climax  but the time/age gap between their two perspectives is what made it so interesting.



There were so issues with the book that others online readers pointed out:

  1. Oscar being this young adult bad boy trope who then manages to get “saved/fixed of his emotional issues” because of his love for one of the characters.
  2. Zephur who gets reduced to being thrown into this bad guy role and made to be viewed negatively when there wasn’t enough evidence to make it believable why he would be relegated to that role.
  3. The unnecessary delay of resolution because it adds to the drama and tension. As a writer, I understand why writers have their characters avoid certain discussions because it adds tension to the story, but we live in an age where readers are getting tired of this device and see it as lazy writing.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               – I think that while a certain amount of tension can be necessary, if your characters are not having a discussion (which they need to have with each other) only because you don’t want them to, then you have a problem and need to find another narratively logical justification for characters not speaking to each other.
  4. The twin’s father subplot being erratically dealt with. This is something that I felt was an issue because this subplot was dealt with okay but could have been handled better to have the ultimate resolution feel that much more earned.
  5. Noah’s narrative was made to feel a little immature. I understand that there had to be a separation and distinct difference in his characterisation at different ages, but he came off feeling a little too petty at times. 



Outside of this, I really enjoyed the deconstruction of the kids’ mother because so often we idealise out parents and in this novel, Jandy Nelson manages to deconstruct the twins’ parents (more their mother) in a very interesting way.

Every person has that moment when your parent is no longer this perfect person that you idolise but rather someone who you love, that also has their flaws and makes their own mistakes.

I loved that after the resolution of the climax the novel didn’t just end, it gave you time to process that we were reaching an ending. So often I find myself frustrated with how many novels don’t succinctly enough resolve the novel. You reach the end feeling like you had to jump over a ditch instead of the ditch being filled.

I thoroughly enjoyed the novel. I know that eventually I will be reading the book again because of how everything managed to tie together.



I think part of my enjoyment came from the fact that I imagined these characters being slightly older than they are, which in some way may be a issue because it speaks to how Young Adult books a written where these young kids feel wise beyond their years, and can be unbelievable for some.
I enjoyed that they felt older than what their characters were. I only realised this after finishing the novel that when I kept imaging Noah as 16 when was 13, and then when Jude is telling her side of their narrative at age 16, I pictured them as 18 if that makes sense.



In summation though, you should make up your own mind about this lovely story.

I will give this an 8/10 because I thoroughly enjoyed it.



I do tend to skew my opinions of things in a more optimistic way because I enjoy something for what it is rather than actively find fault. 

I really hope that you at least take the time to give this book a try. If you don’t like it then at least you tried, if you do then welcome to the club.



Theo over and Out.
PS – Here is my favourite extract from the book: 

Love does as it undoes. It goes after with equal tenacity: joy and heartbreak.”
– (I’ll Give You The Sun, pg 412)

I really loved the use of metaphor in the book, it did colour in the world more and just felt natural instead of planted in and shoved in for the sake of it.

Author : Jandy Nelson

The Vanishing Love


“Hi Joe,” James said to his partner over the phone, “I’m unfortunately running late, just leaving the office now.”

“Okay love,” Joe replied, “don’t take too long. We are having your mom over for dinner.”

“Will try my best,” James responded. “Bye, I love you.”

“I love you too,” Joe said ending the conversation.

Joe thought that he had ended another typical conversation with his partner over the phone, but what Joe had yet to discover was that nothing would be typical again.
James had gotten into a car crash on the way home and had to be rushed to the hospital. James’ mother, Mary, had already been at the couple’s home when they got the call about his accident. Joe and Mary had to rush to the hospital as quickly as they could, calling brothers, sisters, friends and parents along the way to let them know what had happened. Everyone was rushing to the hospital in hope that the news that awaited them was nothing horrific.

When Joe and Mary arrived at the hospital they had no idea where to go and were trying their best to remain calm- not letting their minds wander to negative thoughts. The twenty minutes it took for a doctor to find them in the waiting room, had felt like hours. James’ brother Edwin, along with Joe’s sister Ashley, their best friend Matthew and his wife Kimberly were all waiting alongside Joe and Mary when a doctor finally showed up to inform them that James had sustained a head injury. She said that they would be unable to know how extensive the damage was until he regained consciousness.

They eventually got the opportunity to see James and to their surprise they found him awake in the room. Dr Martin had been under the impression that James was unconscious when she informed them about his condition, so she was just as surprised to discover him awake.

She was ready to send them back to the waiting room, so that she could properly make her prognosis but James insisted for a few minutes with his friends and family. They reached a compromise and soon enough, she was ready to inform them about her prognosis.

“James had sustained a head injury and usually these cases have an unpleasant outcome but he was very fortunate. From what I have seen he remembers all the relevant things like who he is, where we are and who’s president. I just have to perform one last memory test then once that’s completed we’ll know where we stand.”

Dr Martin went around pointing to each person and asking James who they were and random additional information about them. It appeared that everything had turned out alright until she had asked James if he knew who the man next to his bed was.

“Do you know who he is?” Dr Martin asked indicating to Joe.

“He’s Joseph,” James replied. Joe couldn’t help but smile broadly at hearing his partner utter his full name since he’d always just called him Joe.

“We met 3 years ago,” James continued.

It was ultimately that sentence which caused everyone in the room to that notice something was off.

“James we’ve known each other for 6 years,” Joe corrected.

Dr Martin sensed that she had made a mistake by not asking James what year it was, and swiftly tried to rectify it immediately.

“James,” she started, “what year is it?”

“2012,” he said.

Joe’s heart broke instantly.

That was the year that everything had changed; James broke off his engagement with Monique, and came out of the closet and had their first kiss in June.

It was that very kiss that led to the start of their relationship.

“Where’s Monique?” he asked, looking around his bed, “I hope this doesn’t delay the wedding.”

As if every word was another nail in the coffin of their relationship, James continued speaking without an inkling that he was deeply hurting someone who loved him with their whole heart.

“But James honey,” his mother Mary started, “you’ve been with Joe for the past three years? Surely you must remember that?”

“What do mean been me and him?” James said.

“Together,” Edwin said, “you are the most in love couple I know. It gets annoying sometimes actually.”

“Stop talking shit, Joseph and I aren’t fucking faggots,” James laughed as everyone else winced at the slur. “It would be like saying Ed here was married. That’s never going to happen…”

“But I am married,” Edwin replied, showing him the wedding band around his hand.

All Joseph could do was stand and watch as the last three years of his relationship had vanished into thin air. The James he had fallen in love with had yet to materialise and making peace with that fact was especially hard for him considering the main reason for tonight’s dinner was so that he could propose. He had already asked Mary for her permission to marry her son and she had given it eagerly saying, “It was long overdue.”

She had been at their place to help him recreate their first date, but that was all pointless now.

“I’m going to get some air,” Joseph choked out, holding back the tears. “Give you all some time to yourself.”

Joseph felt like he could not breathe. The walls were closing in and it all was all overwhelming for him.

He never thought thiswould happen to him but now that it did, it changed his world. In the course of a day the life he envisioned, the love he had shared- all gone. He did not know what would happen but with all the thoughts banging around his head, he needed to get outside.

When Mary came to check on Joseph, she wasn’t surprised to see the young man leaning against the wall; the moon illuminating his tear soaked face as he clutched onto a small black box in his hands. Joseph never knew that such a small box could weigh so much.

He kept staring at the box; the love it was meant to represent now null and void.


He suddenly felt arms wrap around him, pulling him into a tight hug. He recognised who it was by the smell of her rose scented perfume. He couldn’t help but further break underneath her grasp, involuntarily releasing sobs of pain as he now had to put together a life without the man he loved. Joe loved James with every fibre of his being and James loved Joe just as equally too… or at least hadloved him. Their relationship had its challenges but they always got past them. This time Joseph wasn’t so sure they would make it at all…