"I don't understand you."
The wind picked up all of a sudden. Newly fallen Autumn leaves seemed to come out of nowhere, brushing against his trousers as if to warn me of something. Perhaps something sinister was coming that we were creating by merely sitting. Chester smiles, then looks to me for an answer. A look to which I shrug and return my gaze to the sky, clouds are forming and the day is turning to night quicker than usual. The leaves, coupled with the inevitable return of night, are enough to make any stomach turn. Especially mine, "It's getting dark, Chester."
He nods absentmindedly and I look to him, his thin fingers gripping mine. The grip was warm, but not so much to cause perspiration. There was already enough tension in the air. So much that I feel as if I could reach out and squeeze it through my fingers, the blobby substance sticking to my ring finger and the diamond strapped to it. The diamond. The symbol of my marriage to a woman I do not desire, she is not my lover but my mask.
"How much longer do we have?" Asks Chester in his soft, velvet voice.
I sigh, then get to my feet and pull Chester up as well, "The walk home. I hardly understand me either, Thomas."
I catch a glimpse of his eyes as he looks to our feet, then hear him cough lightly. A smirk plays at our lips. This is too dramatic a situation to resist smiling. Lovers. Two men holding hands in the Autumn leaves. If our fathers were to see us like this they'd surely have us killed or worse; imprisoned in a mental health facility. The mere thought seems to make the air stale and unwelcoming, the leaves stop rustling before Chester speaks as if he is some radiant god parting the sea for his disciples.
"Yet you know me better than any other, Thomas." His eyes show a compassion and genuine happiness that others seldom have the great honor of seeing. His eyes show love, burning hot and wild like a fire in a barn of hay.
"Do I?" I ask. He squeezes my hand, and I look up at him. He is slightly taller than I, enough to have me tilt my head upward to look him in the eye, "How long has it been?"
He hums for a moment then looks to me warmly. He alreayd knows what I speak of, "A month. A month since-"
Twigs snapping interrupt his answer and my hand untangles from his as we part. Chesters demeanor changes from cuddly cat to angry alligator as he observes his sister trumping through the woods. She sees them and for a moment looks as if she will frown in suspicion. I swear, in that moment my heart almost stopped from sheer suspense.
"Boys!" She calls. Chester forces a smile as I fondle the ring on my finger and nod to her, bending to pick up my hat. Within the time it takes for me to freshen up, she is mere inches away from my face and holding it softly. I feel my stomach twist and tighten at the contact, Chester's eyes bore into the back of her skull as she kissed the corner of my mouth and looked into my eyes.
"Francine. Chester and I were observing the falling leaves, the way they fell. The physics of it." I say, ever the fantastic liar. Chester looks to me then to the leaves and nods. He makes a vague comment about numbers, and angles of falling. Francine looks impressed but not intrigued as she still holds my jaw and looks a little too deeply into my eyes.
"You two boys sped far too much time on your own, hm?" Francine says. My wife grasps my hand and leads myself and Chester out of the woods, back into the open land around what is soon to be our Manor. What will happen to Chester has yet to be figured out, but I have taken it upon myself to hint at him staying. To look after future generations. Of course.
Not to kiss the nape of my neck as I watch the river water reflect the delicious oranges and reds of the sunset. Of course not.
I'd be crazy to merely think such a thing.