The boys were surprised by the late breakfast the prior morning. Alex and I probably should have waited until that evening to do what we did, but it was ‘his birthday’. I waited until our prescribed lunch alone time that I scheduled in everyday to give him the second present. Instead of meeting him out like we usually did I brought groceries to Alex’s apartment. We were insured complete privacy.
Alex kept smirking at me like I was trying to hide my motives. “You aren’t?” he asked.
I shook my head, “You can read my mind, I can’t hide shit from you.”
Alex only smirked. “So what’s in the bag?”
“Groceries.” I said.
He pointed to the gift bag. “That’s groceries?”
I laughed. “Can you at least wait until I put things down?”
Alex shook his head. “Nope.” He was almost giddy with anticipation. The day before, when I got home Alex had purchased a desk and had it set up in the corner. His laptop sat on top of the desk and the miniature Serenity sat on a pestle in the sunlight streaming through the window.
Alex took the bag from my hand and I started cooking us lunch while he rummaged through the tissue paper for the present inside. Alex looked at me strangely as he pulled out the spiral notebook. He’d seen me doodling in it for the past few months. It wasn’t a surprise in that sense. He opened it up to the first page.
Inside was a note, ‘To the best partner a man could ask for. This is our life, past, present and future’.
Alex started flipping through the book quickly looking to see how many drawings were in there. It was full. I’d been working on it for a while. He looked up at me, “This is what you’ve been drawing? You’ve been planning this?”
I shook my head. “At first it was just memories that I couldn’t get rid of. Then I had the idea of sketching Serenity and so I just started doing everything. I didn’t know if it’d be filled by your birthday though.”
“Holy fuck, Nox.” Alex sat down at the island in the kitchen and pulled the stool up and sat down and flipped back to the front of the notebook and started at page one.
I cooked our meal in silence. The only sound was my knife and Alex’s breathing. He was totally absorbed in each drawing until he turned the page to find the next one.
He said nothing and I was getting anxious as I put the chicken in the oven with the vegetables to roast. I made us some coffee and tried to quell my fears, my irrational fears. I knew they were irrational. No one would devour and stare at something they hated – unless maybe they were that bad. I’d never given anyone anything I’d ever drawn except Dorian, and those were all technical things – patterns I saw so I could explain it to him.
There was my dream journals but they weren’t meant to be seen by others. This was for Alex. I’d made it for him, as proof of what I saw. Things I remembered.
I was lost in my drowning thoughts when the timer went off and I jumped.
Alex looked up at me and frowned. But in that moment he jumped out of his seat and rush around the island to pin me against the counter behind me. “Fuck. I’m sorry. I love it Nox. Stop….” He pressed a kiss to my lips and I focused on him, his love, his attention. My mind had gotten carried away and Alex had been lost in the drawings. I didn’t blame him, I did too. But he wasn’t half way through them.
When we broke apart, Alex folded the notebook closed and pushed it to the side. “Food, then while you go back to work, I’ll look at them.”
I gave him a shy nod and finished our lunch. Alex was my everything and I don’t think he quite really understood it. How easy it was to lose myself when I didn’t have him to help pull me back. Even Margo had commented on how well I was doing since Vegas.