In Solo Musketeer, Troy stewed over his falling out with Justin and Martin until. . .
I was sitting across from Justin having a coffee. He was drinking a skinny cinnamon dolce latte, and me a caramel macchiato.
After reading his text I called him straight away, and arranged for us to meet. All thoughts of sex with the security guard at the Body Shop disappeared.
It was great to see Justin again, he was making me laugh, as he always did. He’d look people up and down, and then declare that they were wearing all shades of wrong. Or he would start his routine of trying to convince me that random strangers were wearing wigs or toupees. This cracked me up the most, and I would laugh like a drain.
I thought about telling him of my desire for the security guard but decided that this wasn’t the time or place.
Instead I enquired after Martin, only to learn that he had taken to his bed after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President! Martin told Justin that America was finally through the looking glass, and he worried about where the world was heading. Martin has always taken world events to heart. They seem to affect him mentally and physically to such an extent that he would come down with a cold or suffer from headaches.
‘You should go and see him’, Justin said, ‘he’d like that’.
‘Would he?’ I replied frostily. This was in reference to what happened at my flat where I felt they’d verbally attacked me about Alex.
I decided to soften the mood by telling Justin how good it was to see him. ‘You know me’, he said, ‘I’m not one for holding grudges, life’s too short. Besides we’re a long time dead’.
‘Why were we arguing that night at my flat?’ I asked. ‘What were you and Martin really getting at?’ I said it while staring him right in the eye.
‘Like I said at the time, me and Martin care about you’, his face then turned all serious.’Okay, you asked so I’m not going to sugar coat this! We can go there.’
‘This “break up” yeah’, he used his fingers as explanation marks which is something I always hated. ‘This “break up” from Alex, well first up, we’re not talking weeks, or months, it happened years ago! And still……’ he stopped speaking.
‘Still what?’ I charged.
But Justin’s attention had been caught by a cute looking brother who had just walked into the coffee shop. I could almost hear his gaydar screening the guy for signs. Slowly he turned back to the conversation, and picked it up again without missing a beat.
‘And still, you’re acting crazy!’ There was that word crazy again it always hit me like a punch in the stomach.
‘How am I acting crazy?’
‘How?’ said Justin, raising his voice, which made the girl who was serving coffees look over in our direction.’I can’t believe you just asked how? Well, let me break it down for you. By moping around, by isolating yourself, by letting yourself go, and by stalking people!’
‘Who said that I’ve been stalking people?’ I said with alarm.
‘T, we know that you’ve been hanging around Alex’s work place at lunch times, if that isn’t acting crazy I don’t know what is!’
I sat back in my seat, it’s clear they knew more about what had been going on than I realised.
Justin leaned forward in his seat, ‘Look, I know that you’ve built Alex up as some big “soul mate”‘ he did the explanation marks again. ‘But he clearly isn’t. Maybe he was, for that period in time. But it didn’t work out so let’s all please move on! But before we do can you let me know once and for all what really happened? Did he mess around did he cheat on you, is that it?’
I let the words hang in the air before answering. No it wasn’t that, I said quietly, it was much worse.