Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman Read Online (FREE)
“I was waiting for you,” I said.
“I thought you’d gone to sleep. I even thought you didn’t want to.”
“No. Waiting. I just turned the lights off.”
I looked up to our house. The window shutters were all closed. I bent down and kissed him on his neck. It was the first time I had kissed him with feeling, not just desire. He put his arm around me. Harmless, if anyone saw.
“What were you doing?” I asked.
“Things. Going back to the States. The courses I have to teach this fall. The book. You.”
“Me?” He was mimicking my modesty.
“No one else?”
“No one else.” He was silent for a while. “I come here every night and just sit here. Sometimes I spend hours.”
“All by yourself?”
“I never knew. I thought—”
“I know what you thought.”
The news couldn’t have made me happier. It had obviously been shadowing everything between us. I decided not to press the matter.
“This spot is probably what I’ll miss the most.” Then, upon reflection: “I’ve been happy in B.”
It sounded like a preamble to farewells.
“I was looking out towards there,” he continued, pointing to the horizon, “and thinking that in two weeks I’ll be back at Columbia.”
He was right. I had made a point never to count the days. At first because I didn’t want to think how long he’d stay with us; later because I didn’t want to face how few were his remaining days.
“All this means is that in ten days when I look out to this spot, you won’t be here. I don’t know what I’ll do then. At least you’ll be elsewhere, where there are no memories.”
He squeezed my shoulder to him. “The way you think sometimes…You’ll be fine.”
“I might. But then I might not. We wasted so many days—so many weeks.”
“Wasted? I don’t know. Perhaps we just needed time to figure out if this is what we wanted.”
“Some of us made things purposely difficult.”
I nodded. “You know what we were doing exactly one night ago.”
He smiled. “I don’t know how I feel about that.”
“I’m not sure either. But I am glad we did.”
“Will you be okay?”
“I’ll be okay.” I slipped a hand into his pants. “I do love being here with you.”
It was my way of saying, I’ve been happy here as well. I tried to picture what happy here meant to him: happy once he got here after imagining what the place might look like, happy doing his work on those scorching mornings in heaven, happy biking back and forth from the translator, happy disappearing into town every night and coming back so late, happy with my parents and dinner drudgery, happy with his poker friends and all the other friends he had made in town and about whom I knew nothing whatsoever? One day he might tell me. I wondered what part I played in the overall happiness package.