(c) 2016, Vikram Kolmannskog.
Orlando, mi amor,
I heard, about the shooting. Sorry I didn’t get in touch sooner.
They say the gunman had seen you kiss.
It made me think of us again. Those tentative first touches, your smell, hearts racing. But outside the bed so brutal, my silly rationalizations: Public displays of affection are just vulgar, I said, it’s not about being less gay.
Lo siento, mi amor. Of course it was. About being less gay. About the terror. I was terrified when you tried to kiss me at the station.
And then te acuerdas, that time I fell asleep on the bus, my head resting on your shoulder? I woke up to an angry voice, I did wake up, that white guy yelling at us, perverts, burn in hell, you yelling back. Hearts racing. I kept my eyes shut, pretending to still be asleep, only later asking qué pasó?
Lo siento, mi amor. I’ve been so proud of you. And I’ve been so ashamed of myself, for not fighting more, fighting for our love.
But now, writing this, I also see that eyes closed pretending to sleep, I at least remained with my head on your shoulder. At least I did that. While you yelled back. I hope you felt that.
And next time we meet, Orlando, for old times’ sake, for a future, let’s do a public display of affection. Hell, I’ll even sing your favorite song. Bésame, bésame mucho.
This story was originally published on 14 June, on the Norwegian gay news site QVAKK.
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Vikram Kolmannskog is a gay man living in Oslo, Norway, writing fiction and non-fiction in both English and Norwegian. His texts have been published in electronic and printed media, including Erotic Review, Bent magazine, Gaylaxy and Pink Pages.
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