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Cake: 6

Is there a future for Peyton and Mark?

By Jerome Smith-PulaPublished 10 months ago 7 min read

I hadn’t talked to Mark since our last “date.” Not sure what is going on but did send him a message after the date thanking him, so the ball is in his court. He could be sitting on the text, wondering if it’s worth it. He could be bogged down with work but it’s Sunday. Maybe Nicola and him are trying to come up with a verdict about me. Who knows, but whatever the outcome is, I know we are on different levels. I’m not self-sabotaging something or trying to deflect away from a situation but just what I am feeling.

Mark has been cut up about his sexuality for a few years now and I totally understand his frustrations. We are conditioned from an early age to have this family lifestyle with a good-paying job, white picket fence out in the suburbs with a loving partner and two children. But behind the perfect madness, the cracks begin to show. We might not get the top-paying job we envisioned, the loving partner or even be able to reproduce so whatever conditioned dream we were “promised,” may never come true. But it could come true – just in a different way. But who knows?

Whatever happens to Mark, whether he talks to me or not, I hope the best comes out for him. I hope he is able to relinquish those frustrations, find happiness within himself. It takes a lot of balls to accept your true identity – who you are as a person, sexuality, etc. I’m not trying to prophesied about life because I’m not perfect myself but just from my understandings on my journey of being a gay man. It’s a hard road, no matter what road, you choose. So, to make sure the road we’re travelling on, we need to have a comfortable vehicle to drive in. And by comfortable, I mean, we need to learn to love ourselves to the best possible way. Our body is a temple and if we’re going to treat it like a rubbish dump, then our temple is going to attract the unwanted crap we don’t need. So, I wish Mark the very best.

I rode the wave and ultimately, the wave was going to break. There were some amazing times with Mark, like fish and chips on the beach. I would say that was a date in itself because it just seemed perfect at the time. The sunlight was perfect, glistening over the sea, providing a natural background for us. And we starting opening up which was just awesome. The atmosphere was chill – there was no dictated direction, it flowed organically. It’s amazing that the couple of days I had with Mark, seemed like a lifetime. But I supposed that’s what lust or a strong connection (which either way you look at it), can do to someone. I wonder what would have happened if we had been hanging out for two weeks? I remember that quote from "Dear John," about falling in love after being together for two weeks, something like “two weeks together, two weeks, that’s all it took for me to fall in love with you.” Cute, but I don’t know, it felt like I had something there with Mark. We didn’t define anything and it was just like two guys chilling out together – a bit like a situationship. Nothing gets defined, everything moves organically – pretty much.

I went out before and walked past the courthouse, trying to not relive what happened almost a week ago. I thought I heard Peyton. With an E. But it was in my thoughts. I walked past the coffee shop, hoping to maybe see Mark but he wasn’t there. It was even close to the hour I had met him for the first time – three o’clock sometime. I supposed I felt a little bummed out. I felt a connection and when he dropped breadcrumb hints that he might be awake to the global tyranny, I thought, ooh. Yeah, I don’t think he is properly awake. And, that’s cool. I wouldn’t push my beliefs onto him. Just like he wouldn’t push his onto me. Maybe there’s hope, somewhere.

1555 hours

I ended up sitting in the square, under the clocktower, for a bit, just to people-watch. It’s a genuine thing - I'm not a stalker or creepy. I’m sure most people do it. It’s funny what you can see, especially in a public arena. The behaviour that people have become accustomed too; picking up smoke butts, assuming that people can’t see you picking your nose, adjusting clothes, talking rather loudly on the phone, driving around texting or talking on the phone – you see a lot! You learn to turn the other way. Unless, it’s going to impose on someone else or property, then things can get heated up. Just minding my own business, staring into oblivion when I felt something or someone sit next to me. I turned around and there was Mark.

Speak of the bloody devil. And the devil nearly made me shat myself.

“Hey!” he said, enthusiastic.

“Hi,” I said, half-dazed. I was still getting over my potential heart attack.

“I’m sorry I have been MIA,” he apologised. He looked sweaty and under-the-weather. “It’s been a bit stressful.”

“I know,” I said, reaching out to touch his hand. “I could tell by the end of the date that things were looking pear-shape. And, trust me, I don’t have anything bad to hold it against you.”

He looked at me with a shy look. He almost looked like Pierre from Simple Plan, in their first video, “I’m just a kid.”

Oh, stop it, Peyton. Stop it, Mark!

“We aren’t dating as such, yet, right?” I continued.

He looked at me suspiciously. “No, but that could change.”

“Well, let’s not rush things,” I said, trying to figure this all out. “We can just be friends.”

He looked at me suspiciously again. He got up off the seat next to me then got on one knee, in front of me. I looked a bit shocked.

“Don’t worry,” he said, laughing. “I’m not proposing to you, to marry me.”

I laughed flatly. No one was around, thank goodness.

“Look, I don’t want to sound like a dick,” Mark said, getting comfortable on his knee. “But, for the past month, you have caught my eye. I made the move a few days ago because I like you. Forget the Nicola bullshit, forget your ex and his narcissism and focus on this – now, present, in the moment, kind of thing. I like you, I know you like me, why don’t we try whatever is gripping us?”

Mark’s a cute hopeless romantic. Maybe we could try something. Maybe something is there. Maybe the universe has been pushing us together but we been too wrapped up in our insecurities to see things, pan out organically?

“You’re thinking again,” he observed, reading my face. “I can always tell you’re thinking about something because you go silent and your face goes blank.”

“I like your idea,” I blurted.


“But what if you find someone better?” I asked.

Self-sabotaging 101.

“Only if you choose to push me away,” he said, frankly.

Fair point.

He got off his knee then sat next to me on the seat. He leant forward, rested on his knees then focused on me, with a corny look on his face.

"I don't mean to sound like a self-sabotaging dick," I sighed. "I like you a lot too. It's bloody obvious. I think we should just cut the shit and just go with the flow. We been practically doing the dating things since the coffee shop last week."

The mood settled. I think we have come to an agreement, in a weird way, that we are dating or seeing where things are going to go. Who knows what the future may bring? We could be married in a year's time, in our house, with a doggy.


One can dream, right?


About the Creator

Jerome Smith-Pula

Been fascinated with writing since I was 11 years old. I'm interested in crime to feel-good articles. Mostly crime.

instagram: jsp_the_curator

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