Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman Read Online (FREE)
“Are you sorry I came?” Was I being intentionally fatuous?
“I’d hold you and kiss you if I could.”
I came up to his ear as he was just about to enter the post office and whispered, “Fuck me, Elio.”
He remembered and instantly moaned his own name three times, as we’d done during that night. I could feel myself already getting hard. Then, to tease him with the very same words he’d uttered earlier that morning, I said, “We’ll save it for later.”
Then I told him how Later! would always remind me of him. He laughed and said, “Later!”—meaning exactly what I wanted it to mean for a change: not just goodbye, or be off with you, but afternoon lovemaking. I turned around and was instantly on my bike, speeding my way back downhill, smiling broadly, almost singing if I could.
Never in my life had I been so happy. Nothing could go wrong, everything was happening my way, all the doors were clicking open one by one, and life couldn’t have been more radiant: it was shining right at me, and when I turned my bike left or right or tried to move away from its light, it followed me as limelight follows an actor onstage. I craved him but I could just as easily live without him, and either way was fine.
On my way, I decided to stop at Marzia’s house. She was headed to the beach. I joined her, and we went down to the rocks together and lay in the sun. I loved her smell, loved her mouth. She took off her top and asked me to put some sunscreen on her back, knowing that my hands would inevitably cup her breasts. Her family owned a thatched cabana by the beach and she said we should go inside. No one would come. I locked the door from the inside, sat her on the table, took off her bathing suit, and put my mouth where she smelled of the sea. She leaned back, and lifted both legs over my shoulders. How strange, I thought, how each shadowed and screened the other, without precluding the other. Barely half an hour ago I was asking Oliver to fuck me and now here I was about to make love to Marzia, and yet neither had anything to do with the other except through Elio, who happened to be one and the same person.
After lunch Oliver said he had to go back to B. to hand Signora Milani his latest corrections. He cast an instant glance in my direction but, seeing I hadn’t responded, was already on his way. After two glasses of wine, I couldn’t wait to take a nap. I grabbed two huge peaches from the table and took them with me, and kissed my mother along the way. I’d eat them later, I said. In the dark bedroom, I deposited the fruit on the marble tabletop. And then undressed totally. Clean, cool, crisp-starched, sun-washed sheets drawn tight across my bed—God bless you, Mafalda. Did I want to be alone? Yes. One person last night; then again at dawn. Then in the morning, another. Now I lay on the sheets as happy as a stiff-grown, newly sprung sunflower filled with listless vigor on this sunniest of summer afternoons. Was I glad to be alone now that sleep was upon me? Yes. Well, no. Yes. But maybe not. Yes, yes, yes. I was happy, and this was all that mattered, with others, without others, I was happy.