“Where’ve you been?” Mark asked after a quick kiss hello.
“I went to get milk. I was out,” Paul said, putting the carton in his nearly empty fridge.
“Thanks.” Mark could not drink his morning coffee without milk. It was very nice of Paul to remember this even though Paul had become distant since Mark moved out. This small consideration seemed like an encouraging sign.
A week later, Paul noticed the billboard was half tagged. He’d been at Mark’s place the night before, so the kid must have been back and gotten interrupted again. “Idiot,” he murmured as he let himself into his studio. The kid was an idiot with a quest, and the romantic in Paul couldn’t help but admire that.
Making Mark fall in love with him had once been a quest, but an accomplished quest is no longer as interesting as an unaccomplished one. Reasonable as ever, Mark had suggested they needed more space or something and moved out. They continued to date, but Paul was keeping his options open. In these last, restless months before his thirtieth birthday, Paul was no longer sure what his options were open for, but they were definitely open.