I smiled, looking over to the riverbank where my lover lay sprawled among the long grasses. He made quite a picture for the knowing, spread-eagled in that lazy way that cats have when there's a warm ray of sunshine made just for them. However, it would make a better picture on paper and I have a scrap of paper and pencil just begging for use.
Buck was just like a big cat. Quiet and reserved, he was certain of his superior place in the universe so fighting wasn't real important unless someone else needed help. Never doubt those claws, never forget those fangs; wildness preserves him. It keeps him safe, that sense of nature, and I don't doubt that the spirits he believes in protect his soul.
That makes sense, because he protects my soul from any and all that might harm me. Bullies are one thing, we've always dealt with them together since the day we met. Women ... well, that was never much of an issue. Most women aren't interested in either of us; we're too different from most men, and while being unique might be sought after by others, let me tell you, it's damn hard being the one on the outside.
Most of the time, we're on the outside together, and that's okay. So long as we're together, we can face anything. Anyone. I'd die to keep him safe, and -- like I said before -- he would die before he let anything hurt me, whether it be a physical pain or a mental one. I remember that most on days like this, when our chores are done and we can sneak away somewhere private to do some dancin' of our own. The other boys would never understand, so we have to always be real careful-like.
Emma knew, though, I'm pretty sure. She always gave us these gentle soft looks whenever we'd come in together and I know that she knew what we had been doing. One night Emma caught us tryin' to sneak into the bunkhouse a little late, and called us into the kitchen for a chat. Me and Buck had gotten carried away with our dance and fallen asleep right here on this riverbank. We woke up and it was dark and we just knew we were in for it. What a sight the two of us must have made, looking like a pair of colts surprised by a rattlesnake in the feedbox. The both of us dirty and run all-out wet, grass and leaves every which way, our clothes all disheveled, and we'd forgotten all about the ... decorations ... until Emma plucked out the wildflowers that I'd twined in Buck's long hair. She didn't say anything really, bless her, but just quietly reminded us that they were there and that it'd be best if we didn't leave them there overnight.
I've not before or since seen Buck turn so red, and with his complexion sometimes it's hard to tell that he's blushing. He was practically scarlet with embarassment. At least, I thought it was embarassment until he kissed me, and with Emma standing right there. Then he smiled in that smug-but-you-love-me-anyway way of his that I love so much, rushed by me, and left me standing there in the doorway with my jaw hanging open. She smiled at me, and everything was good.
I still have that picture of Buck with flowers in his hair, hidden in my trunk where no one -- especially Cody -- will find it. It's a wonderful picture.
This drawing is coming along pretty good, I think. When he sees it, Buck will say that it doesn't look like him at all, he'll say it looks like a cow swimming in the water or something. Okay, so I'm not doing as well with this drawing thing as I'd hoped ... this looked a helluva lot easier when that other guy was doing it.
Most of the other boys don't understand why these drawings are so important. I've tried to explain it, that after we're gone, these pictures will show who we were and how we lived and what was important to us. There's only so far that journal entries and pages in a ledger can go -- those won't show you the love in my eyes when I look at Buck, or the joy I feel when he smiles at me. Words can't say how I feel or what I hear in his words when he tells me he loves me or even those soft little almost-moans he makes sometimes when I'm in his arms or he's in mine.
Drawings show the future, our future, what meant everything.
Is it any wonder that all my pictures are of Buck?
You may forget but
let me tell you
this: someone in
some future time
will think of us
~"You May Forget"