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Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman Read Online (FREE)

Then a strange idea got hold of me: What if my body—just my body, my heart—cried out for his? What to do then?

What if at night I wouldn’t be able to live with myself unless I had him by me, inside me? What then?

Think of the pain before the pain.

I knew what I was doing. Even in my sleep, I knew what I was doing. Trying to immunize yourself, that’s what you’re doing—you’ll end up killing the whole thing this way—sneaky, cunning boy, that’s what you are, sneaky, heartless, cunning boy. I smiled at the voice. The sun was right on me now, and I loved the sun with a near-pagan love for the things of earth. Pagan, that’s what you are. I had never known how much I loved the earth, the sun, the sea—people, things, even art seemed to come second. Or was I fooling myself?

In the middle of the afternoon, I became aware that I was enjoying sleep, and not just seeking refuge in it—sleep within sleep, like dreams within dreams, could anything be better? An access of something as exquisite as pure bliss began to take hold of me. This must be Wednesday, I thought, and indeed it was Wednesday, when the cutlery grinder sets up shop in our courtyard and begins to hone every blade in the household, Mafalda always chatting him up as she stands next to him, holding a glass of lemonade for him while he plies away at the whetstone. The raspy, fricative sound of his wheel crackling and hissing in the midafternoon heat, sending sound waves of bliss up my way to my bedroom. I had never been able to admit to myself how happy Oliver had made me the day he’d swallowed my peach. Of course it had moved me, but it had flattered me as well, as though his gesture had said, I believe with every cell in my body that every cell in yours must not, must never, die, and if it does have to die, let it die inside my body. He’d unlatched the partly opened door to the balcony from the outside, stepped in—we weren’t quite on speaking terms that day; he didn’t ask if he could come in. What was I going to do? Say, You can’t come in? This was when I raised my arm to greet him and tell him I was done pouting, no more pouting, ever, and let him lift the sheets and get into my bed. Now, no sooner had I heard the sound of the whetstone amid the cicadas than I knew I’d either wake up or go on sleeping, and both were good, dreaming or sleeping, one and the same, I’d take either or both.

When I awoke it was nearing five o’clock. I no longer wanted to play tennis, just as I had absolutely no desire to work on the Haydn. Time for a swim, I thought. I put on my bathing suit and walked down the stairway. Vimini was sitting on the short wall next to her parents’ house.