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"We read to know that we are not alone." — C.S. Lewis

Flash Fiction: Rooftop Rendezvous

rooftop

The sunset was gorgeous from the rooftop where Liam spread out refreshments on a blanket. The last rays gilded his auburn hair and lit up the golden flecks in his hazel eyes.

Harry couldn’t think of a more romantic setting to celebrate their lives together.

“Hungry?” Liam asked, looking up with a grin. “We’ve got gourmet selections once again.”

“Yum, count me in!”

Harry joined him, watching as Liam slathered peanut butter on soda crackers. It was a far cry from the exquisite duck confit Liam once prepared as the head chef of his own restaurant. But his hands still moved with the sureness of a man meant for the culinary arts.

Harry used to spend every spare minute of his shift at the restaurant watching Liam’s long fingers manipulate knives with astounding speed and skill. He came to life in the kitchen in a way that could not be replicated anywhere else, except perhaps when making love. His hands were very skilled there, too.

Harry never expected to experience the latter. As a busboy, he had been far beneath a head chef’s notice. But one night he’d turned, intent on sneaking a peek of the gorgeous chef, to find Liam watching him.

That moment changed his life.

They’d been together ever since, 11 years as of tonight.

Liam poured the last of the wine and raised his glass. “To us. Happy anniversary.”

Harry lifted his own. “Till death do us part. I wonder how many people bet we’d never keep that vow.”

Liam laughed, his eyes lighting up. “I love your sense of humor. Even now.” His voice faltered. “Especially now.”

Harry forced a smile. “Well, my looks wouldn’t have carried us 11 years.”

“Don’t be ridiculous! You’re still gorgeous. You’ll always be beautiful now.”

“There’s the silver lining,” Harry said softly, leaning in to kiss Liam. “We’ll be together to the end. Having a romantic night every night until …”

Liam nodded, his eyes misty. “Until.”

“I do miss your delicious dishes, though.”

 “That reminds me. I have a surprise for you.”

Liam skipped across the roof gracefully to snatch up his backpack.

Harry watched nervously as he neared the edge of the building. There was only ever going to be one way for their rooftop rendezvous to end, but it wasn’t time yet.

“I’ve got soup!” Liam exclaimed. “I’ve been saving it for a special occasion.”

He pulled out a can of stew, and then rummaged until he found a can opener. He lifted it to show Harry, and it slipped from his fingers.

“No!”

Liam leaned forward, and Harry’s heart lodged in his throat.

“Careful!”

He rushed across the roof, clutching Liam close though he was in no danger of falling.

Liam stared mournfully over the side of the building, where the can opener had disappeared.

The streets teemed with bodies in various stages of decomposition. They milled around buildings, scratching at the walls, seeking out entry. Soon, a window would break or a door would give, and then there’d be no putting it off any longer.

“You know, gay people might have been immune to the virus that created those things, but I’m still not sure we’re not the ones who are damned.”

Harry pulled him back from the ugly sight. “Come away, darling.”

“We’re out of food,” Liam said faintly.

“Then make love to me, Liam. Let’s have one more night,” Harry urged.

They sank down on the blanket, each touch saturated in both love and sorrow.

“Till death do us part,” Liam whispered, before Harry silenced him with a kiss.

Tonight, they would make love. And tomorrow …

If tomorrow came, they’d face it together.


Written by DJ Jamison. Read more flash fiction from other authors here.

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