By Savannah David
Rumbling in his stomach growing louder. Interrupting his professor. Simon doesn’t hear it anymore; he’s heard it too many times to notice. But the girl sitting next to him, Dianna, glances sideways. She’s eating a granola bar, the raisins sticky tar between her teeth. She offers him a bite wordlessly, passing it between their desks. Simon’s disinterest is a denial– he doesn’t even look directly at the food, only at Dianna’s right foot on the ground, tangled in her backpack straps. She’s not offended. She just shrugs and keeps on eating.
Simon hasn’t eaten anything solid for five days straight, now. A new record. He had a moment of weakness the previous morning. Broke down and bought a smoothie in the campus center. Doesn’t matter. All gone now. All gone fifteen minutes later, back in the dorm bathroom. Knees on the tile, handle of the toothbrush down his throat, try one, try two, third time’s the charm and the warm, fruity liquid is in the bowl where it belongs. He’s not sure if he liked it better going down or coming up, but either way his throat burned and his stomach protested.
Right end of the toothbrush in his mouth and he is clean again.
Now in class he ignores the pain and nausea that threatens his consciousness. The edges of his vision are fuzzy and black. Another nap after class, maybe, and he’ll be good to go for the rest of the day.
But when he packs his textbooks away, intestines groaning, and trudges into the hallways, Simon bumps into his boyfriend, Paul. Paul, who induces the other hunger, lower in Simon’s gut. It’s hot and dries Simon’s throat, and they head to Paul’s room. Simon is reluctant to disrobe, as always.
Paul licks his way up to Simon’s throat, though, tongue catching on rough stubble. “Come on,” Paul breathes into Simon’s lips, cupping his hard on through his jeans. Simon groans at the pressure on his cock, a small, lustful smile forming. He nods and pulls back. Clothes are quickly shed, the door is locked, and then Simon crosses his arms over himself.
Paul is thin, but not nearly as thin as Simon. He doesn’t have any real muscle definition. His face is kind of good looking, but he rarely turns heads. His hair is sandy brown. He is nothing special, except that to Simon he is perfection.
Simon’s hips jut through his skin. Sometimes Paul thinks they could cut him if they make one wrong move while fucking. Paul worries about Simon, and even says so sometimes, but is still invariably turned on by him. Something about Simon fits perfectly with Paul, and the imperfections make it that much better.
Paul pulls Simon’s arms apart, drags their bodies together. Simon begins to suck on Paul’s neck. “You look skinnier every time I see you,” Paul gasps.
Simon pulls back for a moment. “No. I don’t.”
Paul’s too turned on to want to argue, so he kisses Simon into shutting up. A few more minutes of this, and then Simon’s on his knees on the rug, shoving something entirely different down his throat than yesterday. Spit and hands and pulling and sucking. Licking and bobbing. Simon is more skilled than he looks, and it’s over soon. It’s warm, sticky, salty, and sort of bitter, and it’s all right there in his mouth. He pulls back and begins to swallow, because he almost kind of likes it, but then he stops himself.
How many calories does cum have? The thought takes less than a moment to form in Simon’s mind, but it’s long enough that now it feels strange in his mouth. Simon spits into his palm.
“You didn’t swallow it?” Paul asks.
“Sorry?” Simon is caught off guard. He’s wiping his hand on his thigh slowly. He didn’t think he’d been that noticeable.
“No, I don’t care. But you always swallow.”
Simon shrugs. Doesn’t look at Paul’s eyes. It’s not hard to avoid them – he’s still on his knees.
“Stomach just feels weird. That’s all.”
Paul drops to his knees, too. Simon loves that about Paul. He doesn’t feel the need to pull Simon up; Paul moves to him. “When did you last eat?”
Simon shrugs again. Doesn’t want to talk about it. Sitting this way is making him look rounder. His thighs are squishing over his calves.
Paul runs his fingers over each of Simon’s ribs. Simon tries to shrink away, but Paul is having none of it. He touches each rib as if it is the last time he will be allowed--softly, slowly, his face warm but worried. He opens his mouth a few times before finding his voice again. Now it’s Paul who can’t meet Simon’s eyes. He remains focused on Simon’s chest. “You need to talk to someone.”
Simon jerks back. He’s completely flaccid now, mood completely gone. What once was intimate is now fear. “I’m fine.”
“You won’t tell me when you ate last.”
“It’s a diet.”
“Diet’ implies that there’s food involved.” Paul tries to pull Simon close again, but Simon scoots further away, off the rug. His ass is cold on the dorm’s tile floor, but he can’t do this. Not with Paul. “Simon, please.”
Except, apparently, he has to. “I just need to lsoe weight. I know you say that you like me –”
“The way I am. But I could be better for you.”
“I want you to be better for you.”
“I’m trying.” Simon’s voice cracks. It’s as weak as the rest of him. He begins pulling on his clothes. “I’m always trying. Just a little more.”
“A little more and you’ll be gone.”
Simon refuses to cry. He blinks rapidly instead, because looking silly is better than crying. The sting is nearly unbearable, and he can’t see anything, he’s blinking so fast. Paul pulls on his boxers as he waits. “I’ve gotta go.” Simon’s fully clothed now. He is standing, but Paul is still sitting on the floor. The way his legs are crossed pulls his boxers open. Simon can see the dark shadow of Paul’s pubic hair through the small opening of his flap.
“Please.” The desperation in the word hurts Paul to pronounce. Tugs at his chest. Hollowing it out.
“I’ll see you later.” Simon’s face is blank, but he leans down to peck Paul before he leaves. He can’t do what Paul wants, but he can’t lose Paul. His world already blurs at the edges. Without Paul, Simon wonders if he would lose the ability to focus altogether.
Paul leans up into the brief kiss. When Simon moves to stand up, Paul grabs his shirt. “I’ll leave it. Just don’t go.” Simon looks down at Paul, but doesn’t say anything. His nerves taste like bile in the back of his throat. Paul pushes another kiss against Simon’s lips, and Simon gives in.
Paul gets up to match Simon’s stooped posture, and then they both straighten their backs without breaking contact. Paul pushes Simon back onto the thin bed behind him. He moves to take Simon’s shirt back off, and Simon freezes.
“That I love you.”
“It doesn’t matter. You’re beautiful.” And Paul means every word of it, even if Simon can hear pain laced through the sincerity in his voice.
Paul kisses down the side of Simon’s face until he gets to his ear. “Let me show you,” he whispers.
Paul’s hair smells too clean, so close to him. Almost unrealistically so. It barely even smells like hair--just some “unscented” shampoo. Simon nods.