Life is complicated and all too often it throws you off balance by sending you the right person at the wrong time. – Guillaume Musso
So, big surprise here; apparently I’m a masochist. At least of the emotional variety, because Jack Campbell and Paul Adams tried their hardest to rip my heart out through my tear ducts, and I liked it. No, I more than liked it. I loved this small gem of a story of life-long friends who were so very right for each other, if only their timing had been better synchronized and they could have loved each other like a song played in perfect two-part harmony rather than in discord. But then there wouldn’t have been a story to tell, so I guess it’s a good thing these two men took some time—years actually—to find their way back to each other. It was good for me. It pretty well sucked for them, though.
At the age of eighteen, Paul was in love with a very unprepared and unaware Jack. By the age of twenty-five, Jack has finally realized, and then accepted, he’s in love with, has always been in love with, Paul, but now Paul’s in a relationship with someone else, and Jack is in about as much pain as a man can be in without needing to be anesthetized. Or euthanized, just to put the poor man out of his misery.
This is their story, poured out in a litany of anguish and longing in Jack’s words, as he and Paul eventually find a way to repair the damage done after Jack ran away all those years before, if only to reform a simple friendship that could never possibly be what it’d been before because Paul has moved on with Curt, who loathes Jack with every fiber of his being. This is the story of how, through trial and error, and eventually with unintentional help from a cruel nudge given by an unexpected source, they found their way back to each other, one arduous moment at a time, and it was lovely.
I read this one through the first time really quickly, like ripping off a Band-Aid that pulls a few hairs out by the roots with it. The second time I took a little longer to prolong this bittersweet friends-to-lovers story, and I liked it every bit as well.