Jon had, with all his diplomacy and all of his care, convinced Paul to come on a wine tour of Cayuga lake with him. The weather was perfect for the trip – the foliage was afire and the air was as crisp as an apple – but all of this meant precisely nothing to John, because he had eyes and brain space for Paul alone. Jon had loved Paul for a year now, but he had been so careful not to let him know. So deep was Jon’s love that he was terrified to tell Paul, he was terrified of having his heart broken. But this trip was his chance, and he knew that it was this trip or never.
So when they sat under the great maple tree in the vineyard overlooking the lake, and Paul sipped his wine and commented on how lovely the evening was, Jon nodded without hearing a single word he’d said. Then Jon finished his glass of wine, mentally took a deep breath, physically took a deep breath, and spoke.
“So,” he said, and his heart was racing.
“So,” Paul replied amiably.
“I love you,” said Jon.
Paul froze, the glass of wine to his lips. He slowly set the glass down without taking the drink he’d begun.
Jon could already tell that everything was wrong.
“I mean, whoops, I must have drank too much of this stuff,” he spluttered, trying to back out.
Paul looked at him, then looked down. “You know you’re a really good friend to me,” he began, but Jon didn’t want to hear it. Jon didn’t want to hear anything, from Paul or anyone. But of course he had nowhere to go, and no way to close his ears.
Written on 10/14/16 at RMSC as part of their Prohibition “After Dark” event, for a man who had just had his heart broken.