Here’s chapter 17 of the new book, “Dangerous Roommate.” Enjoy reading. Let me know your thoughts about this chapter in the comment section below.
Stefan stepped outside with a trash bag in hand, thinking of how he could get it. He looked up at the sky and flashed a smile, watching a flock of birds fly above him. Satisfied, he tossed a glance at the bag and clucked, thinking about what had happened lately. He walked in strides until he reached the gigantic trash bin standing nearby.
When he opened the bin, his eyes caught something. He saw the same shopping bag he saw Frank had that day. And it looked like it was full. He thought if he loved his ex-wife that much, why would he throw them away? It didn’t make sense to him.
Though feeling disgusted with the smell, almost retching, he couldn’t stop being curious. His eyes narrowed as he kept staring at it, reeling the conversation he had with him that night he moved in. He hummed, thinking about whether he should take it back.
Well, it didn’t take a minute for him to grunt as he pulled it out. It wasn’t too bulky, but it looked heavy when he was pulling it. When he finally had it out, he tossed it to the ground, revealing its contents.
His eyes widened as he gasped with his mouth eased open. With his hand covering his mouth, he bent down and had a closer look. It had nothing but women’s clothes—various colors of satin and sheer nightgowns, thematic costumes, stockings, high heels, skintight latex overalls, lingerie, pieces of underwear, various headbands, from fluffy bunny to cat ears to plastic horns.
He cursed, feeling the cold air as the silence grew. It felt like an eighteen-wheeler truck had missed him. He was speechless.
Something stirred inside him that he rushed upstairs and marched into Frank’s room. His eyes wandered as if he was searching for something. The sealed box. He had to find the box. He scrambled his things and paused from his tracks when something caught his eye.
It was the box. He found it. It was placed inside the closet, hiding beneath the clothes hanging above it. He took it out, and to his surprise, it was empty. His eyes widened when he realized something. And that something made him even more curious about the man he was living with.
Then, as he straightened himself, swiveling his head from left to right, he saw Frank’s camera standing on his desk. It looked like his makeshift working desk, filled with sculpting tools and lithographs featuring his sketches and drafts, finished and unfinished. He took the camera and turned it on.
When the first video played, his eyes widened, and his mouth opened in shock as he watched the series of footage Frank had saved. He saw him wearing several layers of sheer fabric, looking like a dress, a pair of red high heels—while filming his most intimate moment. Then, something in the background caught his eye. There was something about the door. His eyes narrowed.
Go, fuck yourself.
His eyes widened.
As soon as he heard his name escape his mouth in a whisper, something he had felt earlier stirred inside him again. He cursed when he moved from one video to the next. His body was covered in a cold sweat, feeling a cold shiver in his spine as he reached the end of the video. His tears welled around his eyes when he saw Frank at his darkest moment—wailing, screaming like a madman while throwing and tearing the clothes he wore.
As Stefan briefly shut his eyes, he pictured himself as a young man, screaming the same way, begging his father to stop leaving. Even after several desperate attempts, he ignored his cries despite how loud they were and kept going until he disappeared before his eyes.
And when he ran back into the house and then upstairs, ignoring the young Len screaming for his name. When he reached his mother’s room, he stopped dead. His feet slowed as he entered his room.
“Mom?” he asked in his strained voice. His eyes twitched, his nostrils flared, his mouth pressed, and his knuckles grew white. “Mom! Why?” he asked again. But this time, he fell down to his knees and raised his head high to the ceiling. His eyes ran over her until he saw her face. It was pale. Then, he went down to her neck and then the rope—
Returning to the present, Stefan opened his eyes without realizing how damp his face was. But instead of stopping the video, he was too curious to do it. So, he continued watching the footage until it showed Frank, in his calm state, looking more exhausted. He sat on the floor, leaning against the hotel bed with nothing on. His hair was mussed, covering half of his face. His face frowned. He tilted his head to one side as he stared into the camera. He looked like he was in a state of euphoria, slowly fading away while returning to his consciousness.
“This is the Frank everybody doesn’t know about. For those who knew me, they all think I’m this successful….” He paused when he couldn’t finish the sentence. He bit his lip, squeezing it when tears welled around his eyes. “Successful sculptor. A successful artist, a global sensation. A creative person who did great things for others, even the world. But even after all those things, after all the hard work, after all the achievements I earned, I couldn’t find myself feeling grateful. I’m an unhappy man. Stefan was right. As if I had a choice. And because I was born without a choice, it meant living a life, my life, that is both a blessing and a curse.”
Frank paused to sniff. When tears crawled down his face, he lowered his head for a minute as the silence grew. He pulled his face again and stared into the camera again. “It sucks. ‘Cause I feel like this every single day. I missed those times when I could get up early in the morning with vigor and my heart filled with love. Honestly, I don’t remember being happy anymore. I couldn’t remember how it felt to wake up without feeling anxious, frightened, or alarmed. Every moment, I feel like I have to run for my life. I’m an artist, for God’s sake. I want to be inspired.” He paused and expressed his loud cries, leaving Stefan in tears, watching him until he calmed down. “How I wish someone would know how much I wished to die,” he muttered.
Stefan’s eyes popped and then narrowed at the same moment when the video ended. When silence grew, he stood there as his hand dropped, placing the device back on the desk. With his mouth eased open, he rubbed it with his hand to ease himself. He was left gobsmacked. He was at a loss for words, reeling the words Frank had said for a while. He ran his eyes over Frank’s space and kept things in place. He closed the closet, and when there was nothing else that caught his eye, he went back to the entry.
His eyes sharpened as he looked into the distance.
Thank you so much for spending time reading this chapter. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did when I wrote this part months ago. This chapter, in particular, reminded me of those times when I sat before my desk, seemingly prepared to type in words, but I struggled to keep it up.
It took an external motivation to get it through, and, at that time, the NaNoWriMo event was upcoming. At that time, I thought, “This could be a great opportunity to try and give this a shot one more time. You’d done an excellent job with ‘The Rival,’ so you could do it, Mecyll.”
You know, it’s easier said than done because writing a chapter with a clear intent to finish it requires more than just a skill. Since I started writing fiction, I realized how much this work demands my ability to be naked and the guarantees to answer whether I was mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepared to face my fears, conscious or unconscious.
So, being able to write this down meant I managed despite the countless times dancing around with depression and enjoying the roller coaster rides my anxiety provided me.
This is why I don’t know how to thank you for your support, regardless of the scale or contribution size, from sharing my work with others or buying my books. It doesn’t matter because, for me, every small act you show is appreciated.
Again, thank you, and have a great day!
If you like to support my writing life, here’s what you can do:
- Get a copy of “The Rival” Uncensored Gay Romance Novel.
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