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„It’s easier to run
Replacing this pain with something numb
It’s so much easier to go
Than face all this pain here all alone
Something has been taken
From deep inside of me
A secret I’ve kept locked away
No one can ever see
Wounds so deep they never show
They never go away
Like moving pictures in my head
For years and years they’ve played…”
(Linkin Park: Easier to Run)
Another flight, another concert. He was so very tired of this, but there was nothing to do, the tread wheel was spinning and he found himself in the middle of it, running for his life or maybe for his sanity. Lately when he wasn’t hiding in his room, he got into the habit of going onto the after parties. First he was a bit confused when one of their fans offered herself on a plate – recently he gave no thoughts for such things – but as he eyed the pretty woman, sipping from his tonic, he asked himself why not? And he hoped that maybe this way he can distract his thoughts which were still spinning around the singer, whom he gave a miss. He was bold, but he didn’t care if he brought tension into the band, he NEEDED this to survive. After the first few occasions he didn’t feel remorse anymore.
They were just after one of the concerts, sitting in the bar and he was mustering the “bidding”. He saw some potential candidates, but he wasn’t in a hurry. He was careful enough not to let anyone – especially Dave – see him with stronger drinks than beer. Anyway, just from a few strong drinks he could soon throw his already low-lived morals to the dogs.
Dave – of course – noticed that Martin was avoiding him and that he was with another woman every night. Somewhere deep it hurt him, because he felt that his blonde mate, acting like this, just pushes their 21-years-long relationship into the dirt – though he could understand that Mart wanted to forget. But Dave didn’t act the same way. And this difference was what really disturbed him. Yet Mart can still respect (maybe love?) him somewhere, because he never saw him with strong drinks and he still didn’t drink too much. Maybe it is better that he was avoiding him… maybe they’ll be able to become estranged from each other, they’ll become machines to each other, working together, but not friends, not humans, not living beings. This thought hurt him terrifically, but didn’t do anything against it.
He spotted them. It wasn’t hard – they were giggling loud, sending glimpses towards him. He excused himself from his dudes and headed for the bar to order another beer before walking to the three ladies, engaging himself in the conversation after getting the invitation to join them. The gestures flitted and like a real gentleman he ordered the most expensive, strong drinks for them… anything they wanted, he just needed them to help in forgetting things.
The little group didn’t need much time and thanks for the drinks they were already in the middle of hot flirting. Mart soon sized up the situation and he liked the possible outcome of the evening. He let himself go and after a long period of time this was the first night when he drank a lot in public. Of course he did that alone in his room or with a woman – sometimes even on the side of a boy. Now he let the actual ladies bantering him. A hand was already placed on his thigh, but he didn’t resist. He sent down the short drinks quickly. His system could never bear them so he felt their effect soon.
Dave felt himself a bit stronger than lately and decided to show up on the after party – it was time to do so. He wanted to fit into society again from where he ripped himself out earlier. He could force even a smile onto his face as he stepped into the bar.
“Dave! What a nice surprise!” Christian exclaimed with a happy smile on his face “Come, come, sit down to us!” he invited him immediately.
Dave took the offered seat then got into some kind of conversation with the others. But after ten minutes a question slipped out of his mouth: “Martin?”
“Ehm…” Fletch adjusted his glasses confused “Well, he found better company than us” he cleared his throat.
“A better one?” Dave laughed “Who can be better than us?” It seemed that a faint sparkle of his good mood had returned.
Andy remained awkwardly quiet and rather sipped from his drink, and was very careful not to look at the happy little bunch of people a few tables far.
“I’d rather say that they are prettier than us” Chris noted, giggling, a bit already drunk and with his finger he mercilessly pointed towards that table. Andy sent him a homicidal look, which skipped the singer’s attention.
Christian looked back at Andy confused and shrugged, while Dave turned towards that table. He saw three pretty women with Martin, who was grinning idiotically, a sea of glasses in front of them. One of the girls laughed annoyingly and Dave’s eyes turned black.
“He drank?” he asked the evident question.
Andy turned around and glimpsed at Mart, sizing up the situation “It seems…” he made a face “When he left us he had just a few beers” he added, following as the blonde man sent down another short drink.
“It seems that he’s switched” Dave turned away from the sight. So Mart’s promise was worth this much?
Andy nearly swallowed in the wrong way from this sentence. He heard its ambiguity but this time he didn’t want to go into it. “Leave him be. I’ll talk with him tomorrow” he sighed when he was able to talk again without coughing.
“It’s unnecessary, Andy. You know what I do. It’s totally unnecessary…” he said and stood up from the table. He felt that they had succeeded with killing another part in him… but this time the killer wasn’t his wife, but Martin.
“What was this all about?” Chris asked, his eyes following the disappearing figure “What do you know both?” he turned to Andy with curiosity.
“It isn’t important” he waved with his hand “And it’s a long story anyway” he frowned.
Upstairs in his room Dave was making his circles again and he hated himself because his tears were flowing again. He hated the fact that Marin was this important to him, he hated the decision he made 21 years ago and which pushed him into this, he hated himself, Depeche, Jen, everything and everyone! So this much did it worth to him? This much?! He’s not acting like this, but Mart does… Maybe he should get a fix too?! “Get this out of your head IMMEDIATELY!” a strong voice exclaimed in his head. It was right. That wouldn’t be a solution. There won’t be a solution for this situation.
Meanwhile Martin got into a nice state of mind and accepted the ‘you don’t dare to do it’ challenge of the ladies. Accordingly, he soon found himself in his room with all three of them, getting rid off some tension. Martin was grateful for them and not just for the pleasures, but because during he concentrated on pleasing them, nothing else could get into his head.
After a few hours he was lying satisfied and naked on his bed, staring at the ceiling, a bottle of brandy in one hand, sipping from it time after time. The three graces had left a few minutes ago, giggling and laughing. For them this night was a nice trip, but for him it was a “handrail” in surviving. And it was good. Until they’d left the room. In the moment the door had closed behind them, Dave got into his cloudy and slightly incoherent thoughts. He saw his face, the line of his naked body, so sharp that he had to rub his eyes then he drank a long sip from the cognac. No, no, no, he didn’t want to see this!! He wanted peace! Sleep! Rest! But this way he won’t be able!
“So… what the fuck… should I do?!?!” he exclaimed shortly, speaking with difficulty from the drinks, hitting the mattress with his free hand.
“Maybe you should not lie” a cold tone hissed from the dark.
Mart jumped a bit on the bed and lifted his head, trying to bring the singer in focus as he was standing in the dark. He hadn’t heard him coming in. For a moment he thought that he started hearing things too – Dave’s voice to be exact – but no, the man was really standing there.
“Dave?” he propped himself up on his elbow, not even noticing that he was still naked. He had to concentrate to put an apt sentence together: “What… are you… doing here?”
But he didn’t answer just lifted his hurt gaze on him then in the next moment he moved forward like a panther and he was already on Martin. He was thin, but he still had a part of his strength. He kneeled onto the blonde man’s arms, in the motion the cognac spilled onto the mattress. Dave fisted his hands and hit Mart’s face again and again.
“You last… untrue… heartless… reptile!” he shouted, stressing every word with another hit.
Martin coughed as blood flooded his throat from one hit on the nose, so the red fluid splashed onto Dave’s hand and forearm, but it didn’t seem that it moved him too much. He tried to get over the shock and resist, but he couldn’t free his arms, and thanks to the alcohol his senses were too numb. He couldn’t kick Dave’s back hard enough with his pulled-up knee to throw him off balance.
“Da…Da…ve!” he rattled with another portion of blood.
But Dave didn’t stop, he was just hitting him again and again without any break. Finally his arms went numb and he pushed himself off of Martin sobbing.
In the moment he was free again, Martin turned to his side to spit another big amount of blood onto the floor. His face, shoulders and every spot Dave showered with his hits hurt and throbbed badly. He suspected that one of his eyebrows had opened too, because he had to blink rapidly from a warm fluid, which always wanted to run into his eye. The whole room was spinning with him and he realized that he was crying just when something started burning his fresh wounds. He wanted to turn around and hit Dave from childish revenge, but he suspected that he won’t be able to do it thanks to the booze and his aching face. So he was just lying on his side, pulled his legs up and quietly cried and whined into the pillow like a beaten up, lost puppy.
Dave wouldn’t have been able to tell how much time had passed as he was lying vulnerable on his stomach, making wet the mattress with his tears. His sobbing eased and his husky voice broke out of him: “You lied to me in the eye…”
“I… I didn’t want to” he whimpered, moving his head on the bloody pillow just enough to free his mouth for the talk.
“You didn’t want to? You didn’t want to?! And the women?! You’ve got over me fucking quickly as I see!” Dave rose up “How can you fling out a 21-years-long love?!” he shouted.
“You misunderstand it” he muttered barely audible as the knife, which Dave was turning in him, went deeper.
“I misunderstand it?!” he shouted back and he had to force himself not to hit Martin again.
Mart already prepared himself for the next punches, curling up even more. He was afraid to turn around and look at Dave, because if he did so, he wouldn’t be able to hold his tears and emotions back, so he started to speak rather to the nightstand, which was in line with his vision. Now he was a bit more sober.
“Yes… How could I forget you, David?! You… you are in every breath I take…” he whispered, squeezing his hurt eyes shut “Can’t you see that I tried to survive this way?! If I was just sitting in my room, I’d have gone totally insane from the pain…” he sniffed, his whole body shaking “But… but when I was with them… then I finally had some peace… they helped me to forget the torturing pain, which bites me in every minute when I’m not with them… Harder than your blows….”
Dave’s fist was already in the air but he relaxed it and touched Martin’s back softly – his body following it as he nuzzled to the back of the man lying in front of him. He embraced Mart and buried his face between the shoulder-blades.
For a moment Martin froze from the unexpected touch then without a word he let Dave to nuzzle to his naked body. As the familiar scent hit his senses, his whole soul throbbed and he had to close his eyes, trying to swallow a sobbing-like sound. In the next moment he was already grabbing the embracing thin arm painfully firmly.
“I’m sorry!” he moaned out with some difficulty and the tears were already leaking, though he still tried to fight them.
“I’d never push you away. I love you so much!” he gave a bittersweet kiss on the soft skin between the shoulder-blades.
And this was it. He couldn’t take it anymore! As fast as he could he turned around and hid his injured face in Dave’s warm chest, not caring that he smudges his T-shirt. He wanted to be close to him as much as it was possible! He wanted to feel the warmth of his body, his scent, every part of him.
“I CAN’T TAKE THIS!!!” he cried out painfully into the singer’s chest, clinging to him desperately and started sobbing in a heartbreaking way.
Dave was just hugging him tightly and ran his fingers in the blonde curls, like he used to. Martin’s whole body was shaking and he dared barely to believe that he was really in Dave’s arms – even if just for a short amount of time. Now nothing else mattered to him and he let peace slowly come to him, filling his wounded and bleeding soul. He arrived home!
Dave slid lower so he could press his lips onto Mart’s forehead then he said: “We should clean your wounds.”
Mart was ashamed and turned his face away. He didn’t want Dave to see him like this, though he was the one who caused his wounds.
“My love…” Dave whispered quietly “You know that you don’t have to turn away from me.”
“But I feel ashamed” he whispered still crying “I deserved what I’ve got.”
“None of us deserved this.”
Martin didn’t agree with him completely – he thought Dave didn’t deserve this after all of those years of suffering, but he didn’t say a word, just let him take him by the hand and help him up, guiding him out to the bathroom. His head was still spinning from the drinks and the hits and he felt nauseous. He wanted to send Dave out, not to see him in an even more humiliating situation, but it was too late. He had time just to drop on his knees in front of the toilet and he was already heaving. His whole naked body shook in the convulsive contractions and his tears started running on his face from the strain… and maybe from the shame too.