“I love you.” Rev said that so quietly as if he meant it with his heart and soul, not just his breath, as Qi knew that he did. Such statement is not meant to be uttered, between two boys, in public, at least not in such a clear, straight-forward, fucking no-nonsensical way. But that’s just the kinda person Rev is, sensitive yet unreserved, putting his and others heart on his sleeves, not caring at all what others may be charging him with. He lives a life of his own. “It’s a pity,” Qi thinks, “I will need to be more careful handling him from now on. He may be a genius, but also just a child”. For you see, Qi himself is a character for the age or is it ages. He does love like film industry does fantasy novels: tenderly processed and heavily advertised. It’s all for an advantage of course. But he is chasing after something. The only thing that gives him satisfaction is connectedness, if “love” or a version of it can give him more access, then why not. After all, he has nothing to lose. Or so he thinks.

“I love you.” There is nowhere to go. For the first time ever, Qi has to consider what those three words mean. Underneath all that well-developed self-preservation and self-pity, he knows he has something to lose. Something he tries very hard to conceal. A soul so deep, that no light has ever penetrated its surface. And a heart so bleached, he’s afraid it may simply flake off and evaporate into the sunlight. There’s no helping him. All Qi needs is to escape, keep moving. Be a shadow with no shape. But now it’s different. His soul is stirring and his heart, oh boy, his heart is filling in a way he does not yet understand, all these despite the rough handlings by Rev, and perhaps because of it. His whole being is responding to Rev’s sincerity, the intensity of his conviction. He’s humming to it. He’s coming up for air, realizing in amazement that he’s been suffocating himself all this time. Qi does not like this at first. He’s rightfully afraid. He has been played before, for the flower and nectar of his youth. He is the player now, been there for awhile, and yet, this boy is challenging him and is beating him in his own game. Qi is thrilled. He needs a match, even though he did not realize that he did. And Rev surpassed any and all of his expectations to be his equal, or perhaps superior. Qi likes that. That thing he’s chasing after is chasing him, the real him.

“I love you.” How could he? Even with all that he knows? Qi wonders. It could be his accursed good-looks. Again. But Rev himself is commanding enough in his own right. If anyone looks at them, really looks at them, they may think it’s a match made in heaven or hell, or a fairytale. The light and the dark. They match perfectly. Too perfectly. Qi and Rev have known each other for awhile, and Qi always thought Rev as a brilliant and unruly friend. They have such funs together, as mates should. But the way Rev looks at Qi changed, is this just a crush?

“I love you.” Qi knows who himself is. He’s addictive, especially for those eager to have more than just a taste of life. His beauty and attractiveness chiefly lies in the struggle between his spirit and his soul. The former wants to soar above as far as one can go and still further, while the latter patiently await the inevitable crash that comes with going too far, too fast. He’s not used to having someone along for the ride. He has no room for his heart in his wild rides. In fact, he’s trying to outrun it. That is until Rev finds and keeps his heart for him. Now the room is full.

“I love you.” With consequences. Alive.

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