The world stops spinning when he’s with Isak.
It doesn’t just slow down, no, it hits the breaks and time stops flowing and everything that’s usually hanging over his head, dissolves or falls between their bodies on the creased mattress and sinks and sinks and sinks until nothing feels more important than the curve of Isak’s chapped lips.
Isak’s fingers draw shapes and letters on Even’s chest. He settles back against the pillow – Isak’s pillow, his pillow – and lets himself drift off. A thousand thoughts don’t fill up his head to the very brim when they’re together. His mind isn’t hazy or blurry or cloudy. The sun comes out.
Maybe Isak is the sun.
They hug in the doorway, arms tangled together, and kiss, chaste in one moment, more passionate the next, because neither of them can get enough of the other, not yet. Even breathes into Isak’s mouth. He pushes him against the still closed door and trails his fingers across his jaw and neck and just watches.
“Don’t stare,” Isak laughs, breathless from the kiss and his eyes linger on Even’s lips for a second or two before he speaks, “You have to go now.”
The world starts spinning again, but only a little bit.
It’s as if Isak provides some sort of stability. And for Even, someone who’s always wavering on one end or the other, always either black or white, up or down, it feels so odd and unfamiliar to be somewhere in the middle.
Another thing about Isak is that he makes Even forget his own name. He makes him forget how to form sentences out of words he doesn’t remember how to pronounce, until everything he knows how to say is Isak and I like you and I want you.
So he shuts up and bites down on Isak’s bottom lip and lets his roaming hands do the talking. His fingers run through the boy’s tangled hair and he smiles at the way Isak’s mouth slackens when he pulls at it harder and harder until he throws his head back against the bed and moans. Even takes in the sight and shakes his head in disbelief or adoration, or maybe both, because Isak – god, Isak is so beautiful and soft.
He’s the softest boy he knows.
He presses his thumbs into his hipbones to keep him in place while he thrusts in and out to a perfect rhythm their shallow breaths created. He watches Isak look up at him through his long eyelashes and stutter out his name (he makes it sound just like a song) and then, the softest boy he knows comes on his stomach.
Even doesn’t sleep after but he doesn’t think, either. He counts the cracks in the ceiling and listens to Isak’s quiet snoring.
He kisses him in the locker room even though his heart is pounding against his ribcage and it feels like it’s going to crack it open. He kisses him and then spends the night with his back against the bathtub, hunched over the toilet because Isak doesn’t want mentally ill people in his life.
“Are you okay?” over the phone, Isak’s voice buzzes in his ears and he has to take a moment to decide if it’s real.
The bathroom is pitch black and everything feels like a delusion, even the sickening smell of vomit, even his heart in his throat, even Isak. He pulls and scratches at the collar of his shirt until it doesn’t feel like it’s strangling him anymore. He thinks his lungs are going to collapse if he doesn’t take it off but his arms won’t coordinate with his brain and Isak keeps talking but he can’t hear anything, he’s underwater and Isak’s far away and he can’t hear anything.
Even throws his phone across the room and presses his face against the cold tiled floor. He barely hears the footsteps but when he does, he recognizes them. His lungs burn even more.
“You left the door open,” says Isak, as if that matters now. His cheeks are flushed pink and he’s gasping for air. He still looks pretty.
His hand hovers over Even’s trembling body as if he’s not sure if he won’t break him if he touches him. He sits down against the tub and guides Even’s head to lay in his lap, wrapping one arm around the boy and steadying him.
And the world stops. Like it always does.
He runs his fingers through his hair until he falls asleep.
In the morning, he makes Even breakfast and tells him he’ll stay in with him and that they don’t have to go to school. They snuggle up on the couch and watch movies and bad reality shows they both insist on not enjoying until their tummies hurt from laughing and they’re so close to each other, Even feels Isak’s breath on his neck.
They go to school on Friday because Even says he’s okay. He doesn’t say that when he stays inside for too long, the walls start closing in on him and his bones ache under the weight of his head, heavy with thoughts.
Even talks a lot that day and his speech is jumbled and unorganized because the faster he speaks, the faster he gets to see Isak again. He walks with a skip in his step and looks around the school, searching for a blonde mop of hair or a snapback and when he’s sitting at his desk and the sunbeams light up the classroom, he thinks that maybe, Isak walked in.
Isak’s head is resting snuggly against his shoulder and Nas’ Illmatic is playing from his laptop because Isak said it makes him think about Even, and everything that makes him think about Even helps him sleep better. He also said he hasn’t slept in three days but his eyelids are heavy now and it doesn’t matter anymore.
“Hey,” Isak mumbles and presses his nose against Even’s chest. “I’ll take care of you.”
Even doesn’t know what to say, so he hugs him tighter in response. He doesn’t see it coming when Isak gets on top of him, thighs pressed against the sides of his hips, but he isn’t complaining, either.
“Okay?” he asks and pulls at the collar of Even’s hoodie, leaning down to bury his blushing face in the crook of Even’s neck. His voice is small like him and it’s soft, also like him, but he keeps talking, “When the curtains are yellow or blue or I don’t fucking know, I’ll take care of you.”
Their heartbeats match and for a moment, that’s all Even can think about.
He brings his fingers to Isak’s chin and tilts his head up to look for something other than sincerity in his eyes but doesn’t find it. Their lips connect in a subtle kiss and Even hopes that it tells Isak that he’ll take care of him, too.
Even wants to make a movie about Isak.
About Isak who blushes up to his ears when he’s embarrassed, who claims he’s not ticklish but actually is, who is a better listener than he is a teller but when he talks, the whole world stops to listen. It would be about Isak who smiles with his eyes and always touches Even like he’s trying to figure out why it feels as good as it does, about Isak who thinks about infinity but never about death.
He’d call it “the boy who couldn’t hold his breath underwater” or “the boy who kisses like there’s no tomorrow” or “the boy who feels a lot like home".