Hello Project, maybe you do not remember me because four years have passed since we first met. You’ve been a great help. Today, surfing the web I happened in front of Gay Project forum. It has become huge and I see that you write so much there. At that time I was still struggling with the college, now I’m done and I am looking for a job that could allow me to live in dignity and could also leave me a little free time. But I’m looking for work in a single region if Italy, in South Tyrol, and if you read the following you will understand why. When we first met I was very depressed, I thought I would never find love and instead it is just what has happened and I want to tell you, just as a contribution to the forum, because things have gone in a completely unpredictable.
It was early December 2008, after talking to Project I was a bit calmed down, I decided to put aside the search for a guy and to devote myself entirely to the study. For a while, it works, then I start to think back to guys. There is one of my classmates (let’s call Mark) that I like, I begin to court him, first covertly and then more and more visibly, hoping to receive from him clear signals. The signals are weak but not negative, he is almost never with girls and basically just thinks about studying with a group of friends. I pluck up courage and propose to go together in the mountains for a weekend. He says yes right away. We decided to leave Friday, December 19, the first day of the Christmas holidays, and to get back on Monday 22 in the evening and we immediately set reservations in a beautiful place in South Tyrol where Mark had already been, there are only double rooms , it’s okay for him and even more for me. We are told that the room will be available but not in the morning, just about 22. Because we have to get in South Tyrol from Rome, starting in the afternoon, for us the room from 22 on was right. I was amazed at the fact that Mark did not have any hesitation and my brain started to work intensively building and demolishing scenarios and assumptions of all kinds. I literally made the countdown until December 19.
Friday, December 19
On the 19th, at 14.00, departure from Rome by car. The journey is long and we alternate driving, I’m careful to what he says to see if the argument “girls” appears or not, but it does not appear, he tells me about his dreams for after graduation, that he wants to study for his doctorate, that he had planned to go to England or United States, tells me about his family, a family of economic status rather than wealthy, his sister who now lives in the United States with her husband and many other things, but does not talk absolutely about girls. We stop to eat something a roadhouse along the highway, I realize immediately that in front of us there is a very nice guy, Mark does not even notice him, near the guy there is a girl also very nice, but he does not look even the girl, then drawn game! We resume our journey the highway is quite free. Joking about teachers (never on issues of sex) and about our colleagues, including various tittle-tattles we arrive at our destination well in advance just before nine o’clock. We park, unload your luggage and bring it in the hall, but we are told that the room is not yet ready but we will be informed as soon as possible to climb. We sit in the lobby next to the suitcases and a waiter brings us a drink to make the wait more comfortable. Shortly before 22 comes a guy in the uniform of the hotel, he was about 21 or 22, more or less our age, the guy grabs the suitcases and accompanies us in the elevator, I’m embarrassed, I do not know how to behave, I do not know if I have to tip him and how much I have to give but it seems to me something inappropriate. The guy of the hotel in the elevator is absolutely professional. Opens the door to the room puts inside the bags and starts to leave, Mark puts in his hand 10 euro, but the guy doesn’t take them and tells him that at work he is not allowed to take tips. My friend just says, “Okay,” I add, “Thank you!” And look at the guy straight in the eyes, he replies, “Please, my duty!” And smiles at me. I feel deeply troubled. Suddenly I don’t care of Mark anymore because now I’m thinking only about the guy of the hotel. I have a very clear impression that the exchange of glances and that smile could say infinitely more than the chatting of hours that I had in the car with Mark. I have to find a way to meet that guy again. Mark is tired and wants to go to bed, I go in the lobby with the hope of finding that guy and I find him actually, I greet him again, but he is working and simply replies with a nod but he notes that I’m there. I stay in the lobby as if paralyzed, I do not know what to do, how to go beyond, if I have to or not. A few minutes after midnight, I’m still there and I see him going out with a big coat on. I also go out in the garden, it’s freezing cold and I’m just in a jacket. I cry from afar, “You need a ride?” He replies: “Maybe! It’s terribly cold, but you go to put on something heavy.” I run in my room and then back in the garden as soon as possible. We get in the car, I tell him: “Can we call each other using the “you?” [In Italian, talking to a persona who we know and are familiar with, we use to talk in the second person singular, like in English, we say: giving the “you”. Speaking in a formal way with unknown persons, regardless of the sex of the interlocutor, we use the third person feminine, we say: giving the “she”. For example, informally (giving the you) we say “Where are you going to go?”, formally (giving the she) we say: “Where is she going to go” (also addressing a man), but the meaning is exactly like “Where are you going to go?”. To move from “she” to “you” means “we are friends, no need of formal language!”] He replied: “Here, certainly, but at the hotel I’d like rather not.” I tell him that I understand, then he teaches me the way, by car it takes 10 minutes, he tells me that normally he goes on foot, but by car it takes very little time. Before letting him go I tell him that my name is Andrea and I’d like to have his cell phone number, he tells me his name is Luke or better Lukas, because his family is a family that comes from Tyrol. He writes his number on a piece of paper, then writes mine on another piece of paper and puts it in his pocket. We greet each other with a strong handshake. I go back to the hotel. Mark wakes up soon, I go to bed but I keep thinking about Lukas all night.
Saturday, December 20
Mark wakes up next morning at six, I would not get up for any reason, but the package we bought included a bus tour in the morning, I sat on the bus and I have been half asleep for the whole morning. The bus was not full and Mark went to sit next to a girl on holiday coming from Milan, I even if half asleep saw them but I did not care at all. Mark, for me, now, was just a problem. At one point my cell phone rings, Lukas is telling me that the night before I was very polite and he would like to chat with me, I reply: “Tell me when you’re free and I’ll get rid too.” He says: “Today I again have to work until midnight, but tomorrow morning I’m free.” We agree that I would pass under his house in the morning at 7.00. I feel totally in orbit. The tour ends and we come back to the hotel. After lunch, Mark goes for a walk with his beautiful girl and I rest me in the hotel to sleep, I go for dinner only, and rather late, then I start sitting on a chair in the lobby but this time I have a fur-lined coat with me. Lukas sees me, he nods a greeting with his hand, then back to work, at twelve ten a.m. I follow him out in the garden, we get in the car, the embarrassment is strong, when he is going to come out, while shaking hands, he says: “I think tomorrow will be a beautiful day! “And here I make a terrible blunder and say: “I heard the weather report and it should be fine.” He smiles at me and says: “But I wanted to say that I’m glad to get out with you tomorrow.” I turn red as a tomato and only say: “I too, Lukas!” Back in Hotel, Mark awaits me awake, tells me that the next day he needs the car but there is no problem because I have another bus tour reserved. I tell him that I will not go to the excursion and that I too need the car and then he tells me about the girl and reminds me a little detail: the car is his car. I send a depressed text message to Lukas to explain how things are, he says: “At 7:00 in front of the big church, do not worry it will be a great day all the same.”
Sunday, December 21
Wake up at 6:30, at seven o’clock in front of the church, Lukas is already there, we great without shaking hands, I ask how he intends to organize the day. He tells me that the weather is good and we can take a bus to go to a very good place with lots of nice meadows and green forests. He shows the tickets he has already got. The journey is short, no more than 20 minutes. There is a roadhouse, a large lawn and beautiful mountains all around. He says he knows a quiet place where tourists do not usually go, we get there on foot in about twenty minutes. It’s a place of nature absolutely pristine, where the sun beats directly, and in these places, during the winter it’s a rare thing, it’s cold, but a tolerable cold. He asks me if I was sad to leave my friend and I tell him I wasn’t at all. We begin to talk about the nature, the meaning of life, the happiness and many other things, he tells me that he left school in tenth grade because he had to work, but when he speaks, he chooses his words carefully and I feel like in front of an oracle, he tells me that he reads a lot both in Italian and in German, says he has learned a little English for work but speaks English fluently so much better than me. I’m really in a little paradise, then Lukas looks straight into my eyes and I feel happy. He explains many things about herbs and trees. He tells me that a 10-minute walk from where we were there is a pond. We go see it, I’m going to slip and fall but he holds me strongly and tells me that if you are in the mountains in two you have not to worry, and I reply. “Not only in the mountains!” And he smiles at me. At about one o’clock we go back to the lawn near the roadhouse to eat, I say we could get something to eat, and he says he cannot afford it, I, foolishly, say that it is no problem, but he says that if I want to go to the roadhouse to eat I can go but he will wait for me outside. I realize I have offended him and I feel uncomfortable, he says: “Come on, nothing happened! If you want, I brought sandwiches as well for you. “We remain on the lawn eating sandwiches. I feel embarrassed, but he takes off mi snow hat and beats me a pat on the head and then smiles at me and says, “But you’re still thinking about?” He told me about his childhood, about his father who died when he was a young boy and also showed me the picture, I felt proud just being near him. He was able to calm me down and to fascinate me with his words. At three o’clock we took the bus because the cold was beginning to become very strong; at three and a half we were in the village. He explained that he would start working at 18.00 at the hotel and would end up at 6.00 in the morning, then said: “Starting at two onwards there is no one around, and if you like we can talk a little.” We agree that we would met at two in the night in the lobby. I go Back to the hotel, Mark gets back in the late afternoon with the girl, we only say hello, then he goes away again. I go to sleep and put the alarm clock at half past one. I’m always thinking about Lukas. I finally fall asleep.
Monday, December 22
At about half past one I’m already awake, shut the alarm without letting it sound and get up, Mark looks at me bewildered, I say I go down the hall, he turns away. At two o’clock Lukas arrives, makes me see that behind the reception there is a kind of little room with a cot for those who work the night shift, he says that the door is closed and can be opened with the button, then we go to sit in the lobby, the room is very large and there is a low background music. We talk a lot but nothing about sex. At one point I pluck up courage and put my hand on his, but he withdraws his hand, I feel a blow to the heart, then he looks at me and says, “You are leaving at 14.00 today and I’ll stay here. It makes no sense.” I say,” What if I do not leave?” he replies that I would not even have a room at the hotel because it is the Christmas week. I feel very uncomfortable, he tells me he is very sorry because he has never been so well. We continue our conversation without ever talking about homosexuality because there is no need. Only around 5.00 am when the time begins to dwindle we start to talk more explicitly. I ask him: “Have you ever had a boyfriend?” He answers: “No, it’s my first time.” I would hug him, but I know that he wouldn’t like, I star to give him promises, but he stops me immediately, ” No! No promises, we have to realize that it ends here, then what will be will be.” He adds: “If you want, wait in the car, because the change is coming, and then take me home.” I nodded and went in the car to wait . I did not want to leave, I wanted to stay with Lukas lifelong, he was the guy I always wanted to have beside me, but I knew that I had to leave. While riding him home, he tells me that we have to say goodbye because he had to work the evening shift. I do not know what to do, then he shakes my hand very strongly and says, “I love you” I drop two tears, he sees them and says, “I hope to see you again! Goodbye!” He gets home and I go back to the hotel. Last tour with Mark and this time I sleep on the bus, then we left for Rome. Mark drove all the way because I was always half asleep.
Since then I have come back to that hotel exactly 20 times. I tried to save the most and every time I ran away from him. My parents thought I had a girlfriend and created no complications but I lived only for Lukas. It’s not a guy like the others, when he talks to me, words are deep and true. I think Lukas has taught me many things and today I feel happy because we are in love. Now I have finished my studies, I had job offers near Rome, but I want to go to South Tyrol and want to be with Lukas lifelong. Now our story has lasted almost four years and I think that has become solid. I never thought that my life would take this direction but I feel that my life is whit Lukas! Lukas I love you!
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