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Lights is the first censored episode of Goldlake.
“Ok, ok.” Craig replied, as he buttoned up his shirt, covering the pink t-shirt hiding underneath. “I don’t see what you need me for, anyway. You’ll just leave me to have a romantic evening with your girlfriend anyway.”
Jessica opened up the door and walked in. “I won’t lie to you; that’s probably true, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have a good time! If you spent as much time socialising as you did complaining about how hard it is being single, you might just find someone you love.”
“That’s wishful thinking for Goldlake. The whole place is rude, it’s not the easiest job in the world finding another gay man, let alone one that’s public about it.” Craig replied, as he turned round and looked at Jessica.
“How do I look?” She asked. She was wearing a glamourous red dress, with a fancy necklace round her neck. “Is my dress good?”
“I don’t know or care.” A few seconds of awkward silence filled the room. “Are we going, then?”
Once they arrived at the festival, it was magnificent. The lights were colourful, everyone was happy and the atmosphere was friendly. It was the kind of place that you could go to feeling horrible, but once you arrived, you would definitely grow a grin across your face, no matter what.
“I’m sorry for being annoying, Jessica.” Craig said with a smile. “You were right to drag me here, everything’s great here.”
“Glad to hear you’re enjoying yourself, but just wait until the fireworks at midnight. You’ll really have fun then.” Jessica replied.
“JESSICA!” A female voice shouted from the distance. They got closer, revealing it to be Samantha, Jessica’s girlfriend. “Hey!” she shouted as she grabbed Jessica and pulled her in for a hug. The hug lasted a long time, which resulted in a few stares from the Goldlake residents. Samantha kissed Jessica on the cheek.
“We’re just going to drink coffee for about 25 minutes.” Jessica said to Craig, with Samantha still holding her.
“50 minutes.” Samantha whispered into Jessica’s ear. "I'm pretty thirtsy and really want some coffee."
“Make that 50 minutes.”
“Alright.” Craig said, after a sigh. "Don't bother inviting me..." He said under his breath.
-2 and a half hours pass-
Craig looked at his phone to see the time. “50 minutes… It’s almost midnight!” Craig muttered to himself. He relaxed in the crowd as he waited for the fireworks to go off at midnight. He checked the time again, noticing that it was now only a minute until midnight. It was cold, as in the rush to leave the house, he didn’t put on a coat. He focused on his surroundings, seeing all the happy couples around him, whereas he was all alone. His only two friends were nowhere to be found. He turned to the left, and suddenly a slightly younger man tripped over, and grabbed onto Craig for support. The longer the young man held onto Craig, the more that it became less of a grab and more of a hug. Their body heat transferred, keeping them both warm on such a freezing night. As the young man got up, Craig noticed how beautiful he was. His cute face, perfect hair, innocent smile and adorable red scarf interested Craig. They had eye contact for a few seconds, before it hit midnight, and the New Year arrived. Craig grabbed the young man’s face and pulled it towards him and kissed him passionately, as fireworks went off in the background. Their kiss lasted around 10 seconds, before Craig let go.
“I’m sorry…” Craig awkwardly apologised. “It’s just… you looked ok, and I just thought that maybe…” Craig’s sentence was cut off when the young man pulled Craig towards him and they resumed kissing again.
“That felt so good.” The young man said. “Hi, my name’s Chris. What’s yours?”
-The next day-
Craig was woken up by Jessica and Samantha, who loudly entered the house. He yawned and began walking downstairs to confront them.
“And where were you two last night?” he asked. “Fifty minutes?”
“We spent a little longer” Samantha rudely replied. “I’ve got to go work now.” She left and slammed the door.
“Work? Hyper on lots of the sugar additives in that coffee that you drank last night? On new year’s day?” Craig aggressively asked.
“She’s a detective” Jessica answered. “They do weird stuff all the time. In a couple days she’ll probably be the nicest person in the world.”
“Forget it. Why weren’t you there with me last night?”
“We were going to come over, but you were having a respectful converation with a blond boy.”
“I was not!” Craig replied with embarrassment as he realised he was caught.
“But you wish you were though, right?” Silence lasted a few seconds, and Craig nodded. “Then speak to him!”
“Speak to him!” Jessica shouted. “We're speaking now, it'll be better to speak to him, why not just get it over with?”
“1. I don't quite understand what you're saying through all the censorship.” Craig replied. “2. Yes I will talk to him, thank you very much.”
Chris knocked on the door, and waited patiently for a response. After not too long, Craig opened the door wearing an apron. The two hugged, and Craig invited Chris into the house.
“I was just cooking.” Craig said with a smile. “I made us both some pasta primavera. You’ve come at just the right time, it’s almost finished.” He began dishing the meal onto two plates. Chris sat down at the table, which Craig had spent the whole day making sure was perfect. Craig placed one plate in front of Chris, and another where he sat. He opened a bottle of Champagne and poured it into two glasses.
“Thank you.” Chris said, before eating a fork-full of the meal.
“It’s fine.” Craig answered. “I like the meal anyway.”
“No, not just for the meal” Chris said as he gazed deeply into Craig's eyes. “Thank you for being with me. I was so scared that I’d never find another gay man in this not-so-good town; not only have I now found one, but I’ve found one who’s very nice.”
“It’s ok. We have each other now, and we always will.”
“I would definitely like to give you a compliment one day.” Chris said, before giggling.
They both finished their dinner, so Craig took their plates out to the kitchen. A few seconds later, he came out with strawberries dipped in chocolate. They sat down responsibly and ate like mature adults.
“How did you know?” Chris asked. Craig stared at Chris with a confused expression on his face. “How did you know how much I loved pasta and strawberries?”
“I didn’t.” Craig wiped his hands on a napkin to clean up. “I’m going to go to church.”
-Not long later-
Chris was in Craig’s bedroom, looking around at what was there. He opened a draw to find a bible. He heard the front door close and turned round to see Craig, wearing clothes. Chris thought that this was the body of a man he would like to talk to. Craig's mouth was already ready to talk. Chris approached Craig and commenced speaking. Craig’s attention towards what Chris was saying was now considerably large. Chris was still wearing his shirt. Craig released a big sigh as he was being spoken to by the boy.
Chris stopped speaking for a couple seconds. The two men took a seat to improve the convenience of the conversation.
“How you doing today?” Craig asked.
“Not bad to be honest.” Chris responded.
Craig pulled away from the conversation, and began to drink water.
“Aren’t you forgetting something?” Chris asked. “Isn’t it my turn now?”
Craig then spoke back to Chris and slowly worked his way to more serious topics like politics, mathmatics and geography which all come in handy in future adult life.
“Please,” he said. “I want to talk about the current economical development of Syria so much.” Craig granted his wish as he began chatting to Chris. The heat from his heart which was enlightened by the situation warmed Craig and made the moment feel very special. “I can’t take it anymore.” Chris said, only just understandable due to his desperation to learn more about the subject. Craig invited him to expand on his points. Chris's point was present in his brain, ready to enter Craig's.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Chris asked.
“Stop teasing me. Let's discuss.”
Chris powerfully presented a well thought out statement and started another intense talk with Craig. Chris’ points were not too large, which meant that Craig was not in too much pain when coming up with rebuttals. He began conversing at a faster pace, passionately responding to every comment with extreme care. Every time Chris gave a good point to Craig, all he could do was nod in agreement. Whenever Chris was deep in his thoughts, Craig still managed to understand. By the end, they were both panting heavily for air after using up so much energy to come up with ways to refute and build on points. Chris performed his last few closing statements before driving it all the way home and stating a crackingly good point. Chris remained still, waiting for all his genius points to come out his mouth.
“That was amazing.” Craig said as he wrapped his arms round Chris. “We need to do this more.”
“Why would we ever stop?” Chris asked, smiling. Craig looked back and smiled too, before leaning in and kissing him again.
As they relaxed, Craig’s phone rang. He got out of bed, still fully clothed and walked across the room to answer it, as Chris watched, still smiling over what just happened.
“Hello?” Craig said into his phone.
“Hey, it’s me.” The voice answered. It was Jessica. Chris also got out of bed and put his arms round Craig. “Could you help me? It’s pretty late and I don’t know the way home.”
“You’re a smart girl, Jessica.” Craig said. “I’m sure you can figure it out yourself.”
“That's a good point. I have a big map of the city because you never know when those are going to come in handy.”
“Cool cool.” Craig sighed.
After agreeing to meet again the next day, Chris and Craig got into seperate beds in seperate bedrooms.
-The next day-
Craig woke up, but Chris had already left because he wanted to get to work on time.
Craig finished doing his hair and sat down to wait for Chris’ arrival. He looked at the time. 17:00. He took a deep breath and adjusted his shirt. 17:01. Craig walked to the kitchen to get out the ingredients for their dinner. Once it was ready to start cooking, he checked the time again. 17:02. Craig unlocked his phone and viewed his contacts. He pressed Chris and the phone started to ring. There was no answer. 17:03. Craig went back to sit down and dropped his head into his palms, nervously awaiting Chris’ arrival.
When he opened his eyes again and focused on his surroundings, he checked to see the time again. 17:30. He decided to start cooking anyway. Time passed and Craig took his food out the oven and served for two. He finished his meal, while Chris’ plate remained untouched, as he had not turned up. “Could you please tell me where you are?” Craig texted Chris. He went upstairs and opened the door to his bedroom. His focus moved around the room, remembering the events of last night. He lay down to rest in bed, pondering what had happened to Chris before closing his eyes.
-The next morning-
Craig was woken up by Jessica knocking on his door, waiting for permission to come in and entering his room. She was wearing her cute pink pyjamas which covered all her skin other than her face and hands, as she hadn’t been awake long either. Jessica walked towards his bed and kneeled down so that she was at eye level with Craig, who was still in bed.
“How have you been?” She asked. “We haven’t had a real conversation this year. Not that it’s been that long, but I’m your best friend, we should be talking more. You can tell me anything.”
“I’m fine, really.” He answered.
“Ok...” She said as she began walking back to the door. “But I am here for you whenever you need me.”
After Jessica closed the door, tears began to form in Craig's eyes. He reached for his phone and called the police.
“Hello?” A friendly female voice said through the phone. “999, how can we help?”
“Police, please” Craig said.
“Ok, please hold while I put you through to one of our officers.”
Craig rubbed his face with his hands, trying to reject the tears.
“’Ello.” A deep voice said “Officer Truslow speaking, how can I help?”
“I’m Craig Hamel. I’d like to report a missing person.”
“And who might that be?” Officer Truslow asked.
“Chris... Chris Pearlman.”
“How long has it been since you last saw him?"
“Just over 24 hours. He was meant to come round my house last night for a date, but he didn’t show up and he won’t answer his phone.”
“Ok I'll let you know if I find out any leads."
“Thanks. You're nice and friendly, like everyone should be.”
Craig sat alone, watching the snow fall outside his window. He jumped as his phone rang.
“Hello?” Craig said into his phone.
“Hello. Is this Craig Hamel?”
“This is Officer Truslow. You called this morning about a missing person.”
“Yes, that was me.” A smile grew across Craig’s face as he assumed Chris had been found.
“Chris Pearlman was found dead earlier this evening.”
Craig looked at the snow outside and began crying. Tears forced their way out of his eyes, dripping down his face and onto the floor. Chris was dead.