Until this very moment I thought I’d lied to him, letting him think he was the first. But I’m not even sure he asked. And even if I had lied, he should have known the truth afterwards.
Instead, he jumped off the loft bed and started flexing his muscles in the mirror on the door of my dorm room. In Apache-Santa Cruz. Like he’d won some Mr. Universe pageant.
Like I wasn’t really there.
You make compromises. Little ones. For love. For honor. That eat at your soul down the road. But you will lie to yourself and say that they’re harmless. What does it cost to give this little thing?
Until you’ve given it all away and he thinks he earned it himself. Bootstrapped himself into something majestic. Raised himself like a wolf in the forest. And all that he is, all that he has, is by virtue of his hard work and cunning mind.