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Part 21 – Did You Ever Pet a Bee?

This is a serial about love and awakening. Previously:Billy and I both get HIV tests and pass. But back in his house, there’s a shy awkwardness. To see all posts in chronological order,Click Here.

Billy asks me to come and lie down so he can hold me. He folds my body into his arms on the kingsize bed, with its dark leather frame. “It’s okay to cry,” he says.

Tears come, and I confess that I wanted him to contact me, despite the fact that I told him not to. He says he must have known that because he refused to give up.

We start to make love, slowly, for hours. Sunlight filters through the massive pine trees outside the windows, and he’s playing his favorite kind of music, which is also my favorite: singer-songwriters, from Tom Russell to Sheryl Crow to Leonard Cohen.

The bedroom suite is so big I keep losing my way, opening the wrong doors as I look for the bathroom. There’s a closet so large it has an island in the center, a sauna, a TV nook, and two separate toilet enclosures.

The next day we go for a walk and eat lunch at an outdoor café. A bee lands on Billy’s plate. “Did you ever pet a bee?” he asks.

“God, no. I’m allergic to bee stings.”

He runs a finger, ever so softly, along the bee’s back, barely touching the fur. I brace, expecting the bee to freak, but it just sits there as if hypnotized. After a while it flies up, circles and returns to the plate for more. Watching Billy stroke its back, I want him to touch me that way. When I tell him, he laughs and starts referring to me as “the bee.”

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