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

I did not know where all this was leading, but I was surrendering to him, inch by inch, and he must have known it, for I sensed he was still keeping a distance between us. Even with our faces touching, our bodies were angles apart. I knew that anything I did now, any movement I’d make, might disturb the harmony of the moment. So, sensing there was probably not going to be a sequel to our kiss, I began to test the eventual separation of our mouths, only to realize, now that I was making mere motions of ending the kiss, how much I’d wanted it not to stop, wanted his tongue in my mouth and mine in his—because all we had become, after all these weeks and all the strife and all the fits and starts that ushered a chill draft each time, was just two wet tongues flailing away in each other’s mouths. Just two tongues, all the rest was nothing. When, finally, I lifted one knee and moved it toward him to face him, I knew I had broken the spell.

“I think we should go.”

“Not yet.”

“We can’t do this—I know myself. So far we’ve behaved. We’ve been good. Neither of us has done anything to feel ashamed of. Let’s keep it that way. I want to be good.”

“Don’t be. I don’t care. Who is to know?”

In a desperate move which I knew I’d never live down if he did not relent, I reached for him and let my hand rest on his crotch. He did not move. I should have slipped my hand straight into his shorts. He must have read my intention and, with total composure, bordering on a gesture that was very gentle but also quite glacial, brought his hand there and let it rest on mine for a second, then, twining his fingers into mine, lifted my hand.

A moment of unbearable silence settled between us.

“Did I offend you?”

“Just don’t.”

It sounded a bit like Later! when I’d first heard it weeks earlier—biting and blunted, and altogether mirthless, without any inflection of either the joy or the passion we’d just shared. He gave me his hand and helped me stand up again.

He suddenly winced.

I remembered the scrape on his side.

“I should make sure it doesn’t get infected,” he said.

“We’ll stop by the pharmacist on the way back.”

He didn’t reply. But it was about the most sobering thing we could have said. It let the intrusive real world gust into our lives—Anchise, the mended bike, the bickering over tomatoes, the music score hastily left under a glass of lemonade, how long ago they all seemed.

Indeed, as we rode away from my spot we saw two tourist vans heading south to N. It must have been nearing noon.

“We’ll never speak again,” I said as we glided down the never-ending slope, the wind in our hair.

“Don’t say that.”

“I just know it. We’ll chitchat. Chitchat, chitchat. That’s all. And the funny thing is, I can live with that.”