He closed his eyes and relaxed against the hard surface under his back. For the first time in 48 hours he felt at ease.
Flowing water murmured in the background and a soft breeze rustled the leaves. The peace and quiet was like a haven after the past two days. He should have known better. If he’d stuck to his guns and had just stayed home, he wouldn’t be in this mess.
Jonah tried to push the stressful thoughts from his mind and lose himself in the sounds of nature but the residue of the strain he’d been under combined with the fear he might have ruined what could have been a promising relationship wouldn’t be denied. He gave up the fight and allowed his thoughts free reign.
He’d really thought Pete understood his issues. He’d told Pete time and again about the discomfort he experienced in large groups of people. It had something to do with his hearing. Jonah didn’t understand how or why it happened but whenever he found himself surrounded by various voices and sounds he lost the ability to single one of them out. As a result holding conversations while surrounded by people or in a busy environment was all but impossible and exhausting.
Pete had been understanding over the four months they’d been together. Until this weekend. Pete had all but begged Jonah to come with him. Every Year, Pete’s extended family got together for a few days. It was a tradition and Pete had seen it as the perfect opportunity to introduce Jonah to his relations. Jonah couldn’t deny it made sense to meet everybody in one go. Still, he’d fought the idea for as long as he could. Only after Pete had assured him he wouldn’t leave Jonah alone and would give him all the help he might need had he agreed.
Jonah had no doubt Pete had meant his promise, and that he’d tried to keep it. But family demands had taken over and Jonah had spent too much time on his own, trying to have conversations with people whose words he couldn’t make out. Jonah had fled the gathering when he felt the panic growing in his stomach and his headache reached unbearable levels. He hadn’t even tried to find Pete before leaving. He wouldn’t blame his lover if he never forgave him.
“There you are.” Pete’s words took Jonah by surprise. “Are you okay?”
“I will be.” Jonah answered.
“I shouldn’t have left you on your own for so long. I’m sorry. You’d warned me and I still allowed myself to get distracted.” Pete stretched out next to Jonah and stared into his eyes.
“Not your fault. I should have known better and stayed at home. Now your family must think you’re dating an asocial bastard. I feel like an asocial bastard.”
“But you’re my asocial bastard.” Pete’s smile was sweet and his kiss both tender and hot. “I can be sociable for both of us. Let’s try this again.”
As always, more stories based on the same picture can be found in the Monday Flash Fics Group on Facebook.