There were seven of us that night, arms linked and walking through the white-hot winter while seven lives rested quietly in the background.

It was cold, but there's something about snow at night that makes me warmer than I really should be. The sky's colours circled us like hula hoops and we wore them well, better than any of use could have on our own.

I was so goddamn happy I could have shot myself right there, right then. Blood on the snow and all that jazz. It would have been beautiful. Instead, I started singing. Sort of humming and singing all at once, with a few words thrown in for fun. Miller spoke up and told me I had a lovely voice. Dammit, I could have shot him, too. It's the litle things that remind me how close I am to having him, always on the verge, but never quite there. And I will never get there. But I can't help it if he keeps giving me hope.

Jen queezed my arm when he said this, trying to make me feel like I was making some progress. I am so fucking sick of progress. I could drown in buckets of progress, I could cover myself in a quick-drying coating of liquid progress, I could swallow it down and taste every drop, but it would never get me anywhere tangible. Maybe that's what I'm afraid of.

So I broke away and pushed him into the snow, hard. And then I laughed. Everyone else laughed with me, but it was a different sort of laugh, more restrained, more friendly. Mine was from the gut, a real sick twisted laugh. Whoever started this myth about love coming from the heart never felt it the way I did; in my experience it always comes from the gut, visceral and gorgeous and full of acid. You take it in and sometimes it comes right back up, so much uglier than it was before.

I have this picture in my mind of me leaning over to kiss him, and how it would all make sense, but I know that it would never make sense. And I would never lean over to kiss him. God, he makes me feel so alone. Just the way he puts his hands in his pockets sends a chill up my spine, and then, there I am, staring at the wall in my room again.

I've decided that it's a lot easier to push him in the snow than to kiss him or caress him or even listen to him like I'm interested. I feel like I'm in second grade again. I might as well just steal his hat and call him "FATTY FAT FAT FAT!" while the other kids watch and snicker. Even back then, on the playground, love was a complicated, twisted thing. I can't say any of us have changed very much, at least, not that I can see.

Still, Despite all of the messy, ugly, lonely things he brings to the surface, I wouldn't walk away from him. I wouldn't trade him in for the world.

I sat there with you, your troubles seeming to multiply in size. I never understood you. You always seemed to have hate hidden inside your eyes. You turned your head from mine to hide your tears, you always wanted to be a "strong boy." Well, I don't care if you're not, I don't care if you cry. I want you to cry, to show emotions. "Everything will be fine," I whispered in your ear. "There's nothing to worry about, only good will come of this." You turned to look at me and began to scream, "Good?! How the hell is this going to turn out good?!"

I turned away from your face this time, the tears beginning to form in my eyes. "Why do you treat me this way?" I mumbled under my breath. "Why can't you just appreciate all I do for you just once in your life?" The tears came rushing down my face like a tumbling wave. I got up from the table and started walking away without so much as a good-bye. You called out my name but I kept on walking. I went to the place that I always go when you treat me this way, a place I know well. I went and sat atop a tree. I let the air gently carress my face, I let the wind blow through my hair. I stare out at the city through this tree, the people all going to their work, or maybe lunch, or maybe to meet their loved ones.

I've never told you about this spot. It's my secret place to go and just sit and watch the world go by. I just sit here and listen to the wind whistle songs inside my ear. A silent hope of a silent future. No yelling, only love, and kisses. I don't know if I should even stay with you. I don't even know if you would even care if I told you how much I care for you now. So I sit here and wonder at we could possibly grow to be, and I think, "I'll give him one more chance." Words I've thought of a hundred times.

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