you don’t, no,
Zion recalled the happenings of a week before. He had been out with Emily after work – they had dinner together, and ended up sitting in Zion’s car for a couple of hours, talking. Having decided that their discussion was not over, Zion said they should pick up beer and head over to Emily’s, so they did. Emily would never pass up an opportunity to be in Zion’s company, and was glad he had brought up coming over, so she wouldn’t have to ask. Zion knew, and played along. They had a couple of beers in Emily’s room, then Zion headed downstairs to grab some more, while Emily sat – heart and mind racing – on her bed. She heard a door open and someone call her name. She thought it was Zion, she smiled, and as the shadow walked through the door she was about to speak but instead saw Nicholas’ head pop in. He had been in Esperanza’s room, and wanted to see Emily before he left their place. They exchanged hellos and Nicholas asked her if she’d be at the party, and she responded by asking if he would be at the party. Zion walked up the stairs and heard Nicholas’ voice, something unexpected, and the circumstances he found himself in, with both Emily and Nicholas, he met the situation with laughter. Nicholas heard the laugh, his stomach sank, realizing Zion had been with Emily, and that he would probably be spending the night in Emily’s room. With the sick feeling in his stomach he looked down the hallway, didn’t see anyone, then looked back at Emily, whose forced awkward smile told him she knew exactly what was going through his mind. It was a desperate need to escape – leave, disappear without being seen. Without saying bye Nicholas walked down the hallway, and saw Zion’s smirk glow in the light that flooded through the window. Zion said hello to Nicholas, but Nicholas dropped his head – eyes hitting the carpet, and walked by without acknowledging Zion’s greeting. Zion kept smiling, walked into Emily’s room, and Nicholas heard the door being shut as the beige carpet grew black – the light from upstairs fading.
Zion looked at Nicholas, took a swig of his beer and said, "I don't think you understand what love is. The beautiful part of love is being able to love someone without trying to make their body your own."
At this point in the night both were drunk. And both had been hit by one of the by products of drinking too much – the gentle spirited feeling of always being right, even when wrong. With every beer came a new level of spiritual transcendence, and a new reason to keep talking. Nicholas had been sitting across from Zion, but had now shifted over to the seat on Zion’s right.
"But that's not it at all - that's not what I am trying to do," said Nicholas.
"See, I don't think it is an attempt at making their body your own, but just an attempt at letting them know how you feel. Letting them know how you feel emotionally about them is important. But letting them know how your body feels, letting them touch you and you touching them in return, you know, well, it's just an entirely different level of understanding. I think that is the beautiful part of love."
"Maybe, but why are you trying to hold my hand?"