With a sudden jerk, he woke up. After a few fleeting moments of panic, he immediately calmed as the familiarity of his surroundings brought peace to his fears. Soft, white, cotton sheets embraced his form. A light down comforter on top. The very sunlight shining through the gossamer shrouded window seemed almost blindingly white. The temperature was perfect. The mattress was perfect. His pillows were perfect. The scent of pancakes wafting down the hall was perfect. With a deep, contented sigh, he stretched his arms over his head.
“Perfect,” he grinned to himself, as he scrunched back down under the covers.
“Honey?” A melodious voice carried on the wings of angels settled in his ears.
“Mmm,” his smile broadened.
“Honey? Come on now…”
He slowly pulled back the blankets. There, standing in the doorway, was a gorgeous woman. Light green dress with a belt across her waist and a bob in her hair. His wife, he had to remind himself, Isabella.
“Ah, right, church. Of course!” he sat up in his bed with a grin on his face, “I really am sorry… I’m just… Catching up with reality, as it were.”
His wife smiled at him warmly, “Come on. Everyone will want to see you after this fiasco of an election.”
Sylus grinned broadly as his wife turned to leave the room. Sure he was exhausted. His predecessor put up a good fight, but really he didn’t stand a chance against the younger, more in touch Synclaire.
“For the protection and preservation of human dignity,” he recited his campaign slogan for the millionth time. It really was pie-in-the-sky, especially at this level of politics. Sounded more like a presidential campaign than something as small as mayor. But it worked. And now he was mayor of the little west coast town of La Sombra. He chuckled to himself as he gathered his clothing to get changed in the shower.
As he turned around to lay everything out on the bed, Sylus happened to catch sight of his neighbor watering his lawn. Ah, yes. Mr. Miles’ tradition of Sunday maintenance. Why he did it on Sunday when he’d have to be to church that same morning, Sylus wasn’t sure, but he did always admire his neighbor’s meticulous care for his yard.
Leaning on the sill in a tank top, he watched unnoticed. It didn’t take him long to realize how utterly uncouth he was being, but at the same time… he couldn’t take his eyes off the man. Every move he made sent a strange feeling to the pit of Sylus’ stomach. A feeling he honestly wasn’t used to. A strange urge filled him. He wanted, no, needed to run over there and take the man in his arms. His body suddenly needed to embrace Mr. Miles, Jeron, like it needed air to breathe.
No! No! No! That’s not supposed to happen!
“Oh, but it is,” he beamed at his neighbor who had finally taken notice of his gawking, “Always a gorgeous lawn, Mr. Miles. Honored to call you my neighbor!”
Jeron laughed a bit awkwardly, “And I’m honored to live next door to the most progressive mayor this town has ever had!”
A soft grin slipped across Sylus’ lips.
“Perfect,” he breathed.
“What was that?” Jeron called up to him.
Sylus’ smile grew. Words filled his thoughts that he knew he shouldn’t say, yet it was like he had no choice. “You’re perfect, Jeron!”
Mr. Miles became completely still. He stared up at Sylus, their eyes locked.
“Wh-what… What do you, uh, mean?” he forced an awkward laugh.
“I mean, you’re a perfect human being,” Sylus leaned his elbows on the window sill.
“Ah, well, uh… Th-thank you, S-sir…”
“Smart, talented, strong, handsome as FUCK! God DAMN Jeron! What I wouldn’t give to-“
We are going to stop this right here…
Sylus woke with a start. Typical of a falling dream. That was the norm these days. Always feeling like he was falling. Failing, even… At least he had the unconditional support of his… family? –Who is my family?- So even if this mayor thing failed, he’d still have them at the end of the day.
He sat up with a groan as his wife appeared in the doorway.
“20 minute warning!” with that she was gone.
Sylus grumbled as he gathered his clothes. Once more, he found himself distracted by his neighbour watering his lawn. Filled with a want and a need… Unholy and unnatural. He fought hard not to call out to Mr. Jeron in his garden. Instead, he made his way to the bathroom with a grumble.
“‘Morning, Dad,” his son grinned as he exited the bathroom.
“‘Morning, Son,” Sylus grinned in return, musing his son’s hair.
“Dad! I just got that… Ugh…”
“Vinnie?” his mother called from the kitchen, “Come help me get all these pancakes into their tins, would you?”
“Coming, Mom!” he tried desperately to flatten his now ragged hair as he headed for the kitchen.
“Kids these days,” Sylus laughed to himself.
After a quick shower and a bit of a shave, Sylus joined his family at the front of the house.
“Do we have everything?” he groaned a bit as he lifted all the cake tins of pancake into his arms.
Izzy thought a moment, “Oh! The preserves! You two head out, I’ll be right there…”
With a sigh, Sylus and Vincent went to the car. It was an average vehicle. Probably too shabby for someone like the mayor to be driving, but before last week, he hadn’t been the mayor.
Vincent helped him stack the tins next to him on the back seat. Once everything was secured, Sylus moved into the driver’s seat and waited for his wife to join them.
It took her quite a bit to finally make it to the car. A scowl across her face.
“Sylus Synclaire did you eat my preserves?!” she practically screamed at him.
Sylus thought a moment. He honestly couldn’t remember, but he knew it was well within his realm of likely behavior to eat whatever he could get his hands on, so with a shrug, he replied with a guttural, “Maybe?”
“Dammit, Sylus! I make those specifically for Sundays! How could you be… Ugh, nevermind.” With a huff, she got into the car.
On the way into church, Sylus caught site of Jeron again. If it weren’t for the tins in his arms, he would have wrapped them around the man. Good thing his wife made so many damn pancakes.
“Beatiful day, huh, Jeron?” he grinned at his neighbour.
“Huh? Oh, yes. Perfect, isn’t it?” Jeron replied with a nod.
“Absolutely! See you after mass?”
Jeron laughed, “Not this weekend. I decided to go with Gloria to her family’s place for dinner.”
Sylus fought the frown that was coming with the feeling of something dropping inside of him.
“Next weekend,” he forced a grin instead.
“Next weekend,” Jeron replied with a nod and a smile.
Sylus didn’t pay any attention to the mass. He had no desire to be there. Unrest was welling in his limbs. The desire to get up and walk out of this wooden oven was nearly overwhelming. Luckily, while the pastor had a commanding voice, he liked hearing himself talk a bit too much and droned on and on for long enough that Sylus was able to take a brief nap in hopes of clearing his thoughts.
“Sylus?” a familiar voice penetrated his dozing mind. “Sylus!” the pastor’s tone turned to one of panic, “Sylus, we don’t have much time! You have to wake up! I-I’m losing you!”
“Mmm… Qai… tax…”
Oh for the love of…
Sylus woke up. He woke up wanting Jeron. He knew his wife and son were right down the hall, but something about them… His mind raced with thoughts of Jeron and someone else he could barely recall. Like a memory scratching at the back of his mind. There was someone he was forgetting… Someone who wasn’t here… Someone very important… Something inside of him told him something was wrong. With his feelings. This place. His wife. His son. Something was wrong with all of it, yet he couldn’t put his finger on it. He somehow knew how the day would go. He’d get up, greet his son at the bathroom, help his wife carry her tins of pancakes out to the car, go to church, fall asleep, wake up to the pastor saying something to him. A warning, a bit of support, something… Something… Always something. Always the same something. it was like he was trapped in a loop. The only thing he could find himself returning to, the one constant in his wandering mind, was Jeron. Without another thought, he threw on a shirt and pants and ran out the door. He ran as quickly as he could into Jeron’s yard. He wrapped his arms around the man and lifted him into a bear hug. Pressing his lips against his neighbours, he felt his heart beating faster and faster. This perfect moment was steadily coming to a painful end. It began to throb with pain. A searing pain crept through his veins. From the tips of his fingers to the core of his body. He felt as though he was on fire. His raging heart and burning skin were enough to bring tears to his eyes. Looking into Jeron’s hazel gaze, he begged and pleaded with himself to stay awake. To stay here. To stay now… But he couldn’t.
“G-good bye, my love,” he wept.
“Wake up, Sylus…” his lover’s voice faded into the darkness.
You’re severely disappointing me, Sylus…