Walking up these church steps seemed to be one of the hardest things to do at the moment. I felt like I had weights on my ankles with every step I took. I paced myself until I hit the final step and reached out my hand to open the creaking wooden door. I swallowed deep and proceeded inside where I heard the piano playing a slow tune. I noticed Eskimo white roses flooding the lobby along with a few people I didn’t know dressed in their finest formal attire. They all stared at me as I stood still taking it all in.
“Johnnie! Boy where have you been? Marcus has been waiting for you to get here and refuses to start without you!” I heard Ms.Loretta explain as she walked up to me and interlocked our arms. I didn’t speak, or I couldn’t, either way nothing came out of my mouth.
She navigated me towards the stairs on the side and took me to a room down a hall and introduced me. “Marcus I found Johnnie! Now you boys hurry, up we don’t have much time!” She left the room as she gave me a kiss on the cheek and closed the door behind her.
A wave of silence washed over the room as I gazed around. I leaned against the wall feeling all kinds of awkward and I could see Marcus staring at me through the mirror. As he adjusted his tie properly and then he spoke to me. His calm tone said everything I needed it to say.
“What took you so long?”
“You already know the answer to that question…” I replied. He always has a knack for asking me questions he already knew the answers to. It was something that got on my nerves but was expected.
I had known Marcus since middle school. We grew up together and became instant friends once we found out we both loved Pokemon trading cards and lived right down the street from one another. We were inseparable. If I went to summer camp he went to summer camp. When he went and joined the high school basketball team I joined the basketball team. There was nothing that we did alone besides use the bathroom and even then we called each other on the house phones, before there were cellphones of course.
It all seemed innocent enough until we hit puberty and found out the joys of orgasms. I figured it was natural to experiment with your best friend with everything so this was no different.
We had to keep it a secret though. We couldn’t have anyone find out about us. This secret continued to stay hidden all the way through college, which we both attended together as well. I don’t think I can recall a time we were every apart from each other until now.
He was on his way to becoming a married man and leaving his “single life” behind. It was all hitting me hard and whether or not I was okay with any of this it didn’t matter.
Yesterday was the worst day for me. We had his bachelor party at some hotel room in Atlanta and there was nothing but strippers and thirsty men following their every motion as they made their money handing out lap dances to anyone who showed the most attention.
I had been drinking in the corner and shooing away any and all unwanted ass and tits that approached me. I was well over the night and I didn’t feel like staying any longer but as the best man it was my duty to make sure the groom to be was enjoying himself. As I looked over at him gripping the ass of a stripper on his lap as she whispered something in his ear I knew that I had fulfilled my duties.
I went in the bedroom and spread myself across the king size bed that had been calling my name after the third drink. I closed my eyes hoping to wake up in a different place but before I drifted off to sleep I heard the door open and close.
I felt his touch as his hand made its way up my spine exploring as if it had never been there before. His body gently fell on top of mine as I lay flat feeling his manhood throb as it pressed up against my ass. His tongue traced the outer part of my ear lobe and I felt my body tingle with pleasure. I turned around to face him and his lips instantly pressed up against mine.
I gripped his ass as our tongues danced in each other’s mouths. I could taste the alcohol on his breath as he went deeper. Our clothes made their way onto the floor within minutes and before I knew it he was inside of me.
I held onto him tightly as we fucked our way through the bachelor party. My recollection of the events last night played over and over as I now stood face to face with Marcus staring back at me looking amazing in his black tuxedo.
I wore the same tux but in my opinion his physique fit it much better. I could see every muscle and curve in his body and I was instantly turned on.
“No, I don’t know what took you so long.”
“Does it matter Marcus? I ‘m here now.”
“Everything you do matters.”
“Don’t do that shit.”
“Why are you acting like that?”
“Why are you getting married?”
It just slipped out… It had been on my mind since the first time he told me he was getting engaged. Even growing up we both had our little “girlfriends” every now and then just so no one would get suspicious but this girl was different. She was at all the important events in his life sitting right next to me and I couldn’t understand why she was still here, why I was having to share my space with some chick who should have been gone months ago.
His eyes focused on everything but mine as I waited for a reply.
“You know why. You think I want to do this? You realize why this needs to happen right, we already talked about this.”
“Why can’t you just be engaged, string her along or some shit Marcus? You can’t tell me you don’t know how to string a bitch along!”
“JOHNNIE!” He shouted cutting me off and then he tried to collect himself as his eyes got teary. I watched as he took his hand and put it over his face and slid it down sniffling as a tear came down his face.
I couldn’t help but let the tears come down mine as well. He grabbed me and held me close and I put my arms around him never wanting to let go.
“I love you.”
“I love you too Marcus.”
“Nothing has or will ever change that, Not even this wedding.”
“…I don’t think I can do this Marcus.”
“You? I need you to pull it together.” He let go of our embrace and looked down at my tie and smiled.
“You still don’t know how to tie a tie huh?” I chuckled as he began to loosen it and tie it then put it back around my neck.
“I need you to be there for me Johnnie. I need you to support me right now.”
“Well, That’s not the only thing that’s hard.” He started to turn from side to side brushing his dick up against mine in a playful way. His lips went towards my neck and I pushed him back.
“Stop. This isn’t what I want! I don’t want to sneak kisses behind locked doors or rent motels just to hold you or be held for a night it’s not how this is suppose to be, not how I want it to be!”
“You think I want this shit!? You know what would happen if I told moms and the rest of the family about us? We would lose them! We would lose everything, we wouldn’t have a family. Everything I worked for trying to run for governor and trying to make sure you never have to worry about shit ever, it would all be gone and why? Because we’re in love? It’s stupid, and it’s unfair but it’s life. I’m doing this for us Johnnie I know you see that!”
He went on and on trying to smooth things over but I eventually agreed with him. I couldn’t put our families through that, I couldn’t put him through that. It made me feel like I was selfish for even wanting to tell anyone about us but I was just tired of having to wait for my moment with him. Every moment wasted should be ours and I shouldn’t have to share it with anyone but now I was being forced to do so. But could I spend my whole life being a side for the only person I truly love?
“I’m sorry.” I uttered in shame as I looked down but he took his index finger and lifted my head up.
“I don’t need you to be sorry, I need you to be my best man. Can you do that for me, for us?”
Did I really have any other choice?…
Jai Smalls appears to be an E. Lynn Harris and James Earl Hardy protege all wrapped up into one package with his strong tales of love and compromise in the black LGBT culture. He is a talented writer hailing from Elizabeth, NJ and now residing in Atlanta, GA toiling away on various literary projects including his highly anticipated first novel.
Feature Image by RJ WAGG