The train chugs and chugs down the old railroad tracks. These tracks have seen decades of man, their struggle through life. All the way from the time of the California gold rush, seeing many families die from starvation from the lack of money. Now, the train holds Kurt and I. We're on some coming of age story, or maybe we're just two young kids who ruined their lives by hopping on this train with no set destination. We've done this for months now, running and hiding out on coal trains then jumping off when we hit a city. We're hardened, resilient together.
Kurt was an outcast. His life turned to shambles only a few months after meeting me. Always picked on, his daddy beat him at night, was turned to hard drugs. It was awful, I knew he'd snap. Never told me what happened, but he said we had to leave town for good. Of course, I followed him, stuck to his hip like a dog follows its owner. I should've stayed home, should've stayed at my job. But... I'm here with him, the man of my dreams, and that's all that matters, I guess.
"Where d'ya think this train will end up?" He speaks up against the scratch of metal coming from the railroad beneath our feet. His voice is soft naturally, even when he has to raise his tone for me to hear him.
I force my shoulders to lift with a shrug. His blue eyes reflect a shine of pain, yet he still holds a childlike innocence. He'd always been this way, ever since I first met him. With all the shit he's been through, it's hard to believe he keeps such an innocence. My lips pull into a half-assed smile, I try to coax my lover that I'm just as hopeful as he is.
"Maybe Canada? Or down south, Texas or something. They've got tons of train stations down there for coal."
His lips flatten as the words sit on his head then a soft nod follows. Maybe he's satisfied with that answer, maybe he hopes we won't get dropped off at some shitty small town again. I feel his head shift and his body weight leans against me, his head rests lazily on my shoulder.
I wonder where we'll end up, too. Part of me knows it'll probably be some run of the mill town again, where we're still the outcasts who deserve to be stared at. But his innocence rubs off on me, I hope deep down we end up in New Orleans or Houston. Hell, maybe even D.C.
"Are you happy?" He asks suddenly.
"I'm always happy when I'm with you."
"Bullshit," He snorts, "You always look miserable."
"I'm not," I furrow my brow. Sure, I hated this running away, but getting the chance to be with him was all I ever wanted, "I promise."
Again the words weigh heavily on him. His eyes drift towards the open train cart door where the sunlight drops in from. The light illuminates his face, those dirty blonde locks of his hair mock the fading gold color of the dusk's final light. I turn my cheek and let my lips touch the pimple-ridden, greasy skin of his forehead. He stays silent for a few minutes after I kiss his temple.
"Why do you stay with me?" He asks as a feeling of betrayal taints his words. I stupidly furrow my brow, only answering with a dumbfounded look.
How do I even respond to a question? A million thoughts bombard my brain. Does he question my love? My loyalty? Does he want me to be gone? Or is he just insecure? I let my mouth hang agape, all I can do is offer a half-thought nod.
"Kurt," I put my chin on his shoulder, careful not to let my bone dig into his delicate flesh, "Why do you let me stay?"
"Because I can't live without you." His words are frail, they tremble out of his shivering lips.
"Then why'd you ask?" A smile tugs at my lips, the faintest hint of cockiness touches it.
I'm answered with a frustrated sigh, I feel his muscles relax and fall limp against my tensed body. He leans in for comfort, I let him bury his head in my chest.
"I dunno Dave," He murmurs, "Just wanted to make sure you still loved me."
"I said I'd love you forever," I coo back towards him, "I'm a man of my word... mostly."
"Mostly," He repeats the words as a mumble of a chuckle finishes his sentence, "You're too much sometimes, Dave."
His head touches forward, our lips stir together for a moment's breath. Wet and wanting, our lips continue to bump together. His hand extends forward and brushes a stray lock of hair from my face, my cheeks dimple stupidly, my big teeth shine even with their coffee and wine-stained colors. Again, I feel his lips touch my skin, this time they tease my jawline.
A moment of peace washes over the land, it seems. He breathes an aura of joy, just for this one second. This was a rare occasion, he always seemed miserable. The only time he'd even seem happy was when we'd lay in bed alone together. I recall memories of our first few months of doing this. We would lay together in a dirty, cheap motel room, his scrawny arms would be wrapped around my waist. We would mumble sweet nothings all night, long enough to see the sunrise. I wonder if those sweet moments will ever come back to us.
"I love you," His sound breaks the stillness of the train car, "Don't think I'd have made it without, Dave."
My cheeks dimple, though it doesn't hold strong. I hate how his own brain makes him hate himself sometimes. Wish he'd drop the suicide shit.
"Love you more, Kurt," I reply, "I'm not going anywhere, okay? We're ride or dies."
He replies with a soft murmur of something I can't understand, he speaks too lowly and the noise from the train overrides his words. His eyes droop as his body still leans against mine, I don't even realize he's feeling tired until I look over and see him completely inert on my shoulder. Another soft smile clasps my lips as I watch him sleep soundly.
"Love you so much," I let my lips caress his forehead, "I really do."