Zak looked through the haze at the man standing in front of him. Nick. He smiled, pulling him in closer. The smell was wrong. He wrinkled his face, running his hands up this stranger’s chest. “You’re not Nick.”
The stranger shook his head, but smiled. “I can be tonight.”
Zak pushed him away. No, he’s not Nick. He’s not good enough. Where was Aaron? Aaron would understand. He always understood. “Aaron?”
The stranger came closer again. “He’s busy.” Insistent hands pulled at his waist, fingertips dancing under his shirt, touching his skin. Zak’s heartbeat faster as he scanned the crowd over the stranger’s shoulder.
He pushed back again, harder. “Leave me alone.”
“Fucking tease is what you are,” the stranger whispered harshly.
Aaron started making his way through the crowd, beers in hand, back towards them. Zak’s confidence surged when he saw the familiar baldish head, shoving the stranger back again. “Leave me alone.”
The stranger turned, cursing, walking away as Aaron approached, handing a beer off. “You ok?”
Zak stared at him. His body was numb, his mind was getting there. A man who looked like Nick but didn’t smell like him was just not close enough and the rip in his heart deepened slightly. Aaron tilted his beer at him, “Don’t think about him, Zak.”
Zak sighed and sat down heavy in one of the chairs in the VIP booth. Aaron sat next to him. He could feel the warmth radiating off his body, but he didn’t smell like Nick either. Zak looked at him, point blank and in his drunken slur asked, “Why don’t you smell like Nick?”
Aaron blinked at him. “Because I’m Aaron? I think its time we be getting you home, bro.”
Zak set his beer down and stood up, knowing Aaron would guide him out of the club. His body vibrated with the beat of the music, but his mind wasn’t even registering the sound. The din of his thoughts, the residual memory of Nick’s words blocked the outside noise.
Aaron didn’t say anything when Zak asked the cab driver to drive by Nick’s house. Both cars were in the driveway and lights were on in the home. Beside him, Zak broke a little more. The cab dumped them off in front of Zak’s apartment complex. Opening the door to his apartment, Aaron saw the initial result of the argument. Pictures had been ripped off the walls, leaving gaping holes in the drywall. Glass shards were all over the living room floor. Anything with Nick’s face, had been taken down and torn apart.
Zak sat on his couch, in the middle of the debris. Looking up at Aaron, tears shown in his red eyes, threatening to cascade down his cheeks. “Right here, Aaron. This was it,” he said. His body looked defeated; his shoulders slumped.
Aaron cleared his throat and dared to ask. “What was right here?”
Zak looked up at him, wiping the wetness away with the back of his hands. “This was where he told me he didn’t love me anymore.”