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

“You’re hurting me.”

“Then let go.”

I watched him put the peach in his mouth and slowly begin to eat it, staring at me so intensely that I thought even lovemaking didn’t go so far.

“If you just want to spit it out, it’s okay, it’s really okay, I promise I won’t be offended,” I said to break the silence more than as a last plea.

He shook his head. I could tell he was tasting it at that very instant. Something that was mine was in his mouth, more his than mine now. I don’t know what happened to me at that moment as I kept staring at him, but suddenly I had a fierce urge to cry. And rather than fight it, as with orgasm, I simply let myself go, if only to show him something equally private about me as well. I reached for him and muffled my sobs against his shoulder. I was crying because no stranger had ever been so kind or gone so far for me, even Anchise, who had cut open my foot once and sucked and spat out and sucked and spat out the scorpion’s venom. I was crying because I’d never known so much gratitude and there was no other way to show it. And I was crying for the evil thoughts I’d nursed against him this morning. And for last night as well, because, for better or worse, I’d never be able to undo it, and now was as good a time as any to show him that he was right, that this wasn’t easy, that fun and games had a way of skidding off course and that if we had rushed into things it was too late to step back from them now—crying because something was happening, and I had no idea what it was.

“Whatever happens between us, Elio, I just want you to know. Don’t ever say you didn’t know.” He was still chewing. In the heat of passion it would have been one thing. But this was quite another. He was taking me away with him.

His words made no sense. But I knew exactly what they meant.

I rubbed his face with my palm. Then, without knowing why, I began to lick his eyelids.

“Kiss me now, before it’s totally gone,” I said. His mouth would taste of peaches and me.

I stayed in my room long after Oliver left. When I finally awoke, it was almost evening, which put me in a grumpy mood. The pain was gone, but I had a resurgence of the same malaise I’d experienced toward dawn. I didn’t know now if this was the same feeling, resurfacing after a long hiatus, or if the earlier one had healed and this was a totally new one, resulting from the afternoon’s lovemaking. Would I always experience such solitary guilt in the wake of our intoxicating moments together? Why didn’t I experience the same thing after Marzia? Was this nature’s way of reminding me that I would rather be with her?