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

What a crazy thing this was. I let myself hang back, holding the fruit in both hands, grateful that I hadn’t gotten the sheet dirty with either juice or come. The bruised and damaged peach, like a rape victim, lay on its side on my desk, shamed, loyal, aching, and confused, struggling not to spill what I’d left inside. It reminded me that I had probably looked no different on his bed last night after he’d come inside me the first time.

I put on a tank top but decided to stay naked and get under the sheet.

I awoke to the sound of someone unhooking the latch of the shutters and then hooking it back behind him. As in my dream once, he was tiptoeing toward me, not in an effort to surprise me, but so as not to wake me up. I knew it was Oliver and, with my eyes still closed, raised my arm to him. He grabbed it and kissed it, then lifted the sheet and seemed surprised to find me naked. He immediately brought his lips to where they’d promised to return this morning. He loved the sticky taste. What had I done?

I told him and pointed to the bruised evidence sitting on my desk.

“Let me see.”

He stood up and asked if I’d left it for him.

Perhaps I had. Or had I simply put off thinking how to dispose of it?

“Is this what I think it is?”

I nodded naughtily in mock shame.

“Any idea how much work Anchise puts into each one of these?”

He was joking, but it felt as though he, or someone through him, was asking the same question about the work my parents had put into me.

He brought the half peach to bed, making certain not to spill its contents as he took his clothes off.

“I’m sick, aren’t I?” I asked.

“No, you’re not sick—I wish everyone were as sick as you. Want to see sick?”

What was he up to? I hesitated to say yes.

“Just think of the number of people who’ve come before you—you, your grandfather, your great-great-grandfather, and all the skipped generations of Elios before you, and those from places far away, all squeezed into this trickle that makes you who you are. Now may I taste it?”

I shook my head.

He dipped a finger into the core of the peach and brought it to his mouth.

“Please don’t.” This was more than I could bear.

“I never could stand my own. But this is yours. Please explain.”

“It makes me feel terrible.”

He simply shrugged my comment away.

“Look, you don’t have to do this. I’m the one who came after you, I sought you out, everything that happened is because of me—you don’t have to do this.”

“Nonsense. I wanted you from day one. I just hid it better.”

“Sure!”

I lunged out to grab the fruit from his hand, but with his other hand he caught hold of my wrist and squeezed it hard, as they do in movies, when one man forces another to let go of a knife.