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Earth, As it is in Heaven
By: Roman Genesis
Anyway You Look At This
Spraining your ankle or getting the wind knocked out of you in football was nothing compared to a broken heart and vanished dreams. My whole mood after not getting Sebastian's call was one of defeat and apathy. I didn't know what I was living for anymore and I didn't really care. I didn't feel like going to school the next day, but that would have just made my parents suspicious and the last thing I needed right now was concerned parents.
I was angry at Sebastian and angry at myself for thinking I actually had a chance with him. I was destined to be with Vanessa for the rest of my lonely high school years. Well, as long as the Junior Varsity team became the State Champions that is. That was all she cared about.
At the time, that wasn't on my mind though. I had more important things to worry about. I was going to see Sebastian in Algebra and that was going to be the hardest thing in the whole world.
"Okay, that's it," Mike said, putting the cross beam back on the harness. I laid there and looked up at the ceiling vacantly. "You aren't even trying are you?"
"I don't really feel up to it today, Mike." I sat up and rubbed my hands across my towel.
"Geez, man. Are you really getting this upset about Vanessa?" If only that was true. He took my place on the bench and I went around to spot him while he lifted.
"No, it's not Vanessa. It's everything." He saw that I didn't want to talk about it and he let it go. He was getting really worried though and I knew he would be right on my case again if I didn't start acting like myself.
Finally, the coach let us go off to the locker room to shower and change, but I lagged behind. I really didn't want to see Sebastian in class. I could imagine how it would go. I would walk in and he wouldn't even look at me and then after the bell rang he would walk out without saying a word. Now that I thought about it, I didn't really know that much about him to begin with.
"Hey, I can't be late for my class again," Mike told me as I sat in the locker room staring off into space.
"Okay, I'll catch you at lunch." He went
off and soon I was the only person in the locker room. I sat there
a while and just listened to the soft dripping noise coming from the showers.
The silence was soon broken though as boys from the next period Gym class
began coming in and getting changed. I grabbed my bag and left for
I walked into my Algebra class and didn't even look over at Sebastian's seat. My eyes went directly to Mrs. Anderson's disapproving gaze. I shrugged my shoulders and she went on with her lesson.
"Okay," Chad whispered. "Now you're just trying to get written up." I smiled weakly in response and opened my text book. I had no intention of following along, but I just needed something to look at so I wouldn't glance across the room to Sebastian. I wondered if he realized I was mad at him.
The chart in my Algebra that I had been staring at began to get really boring and I couldn't help except look across the room at Sebastian. I had to know if he was looking at me. Much to my dismay, his eyes were once again glued to the book, scanning back and forth.
Back and forth.
After I had looked at him once, I found that I couldn't take my eyes off him. He had a bright yellow sweater on and was wearing jeans. That sweater on anyone else would have looked horrible, but on my Sebastian, it seemed to radiate beauty and sexiness.
His blue/gray eyes continued scanning the text, back and forth.
I mentally kicked myself for staring at him the way I was. Nothing I could do would make him like me anymore. In all likelihood, he probably hated me. I mean, he did request not to sit next to me his first day in class. I probably represented everything he hated about high school. Why was it then that he represented everything beautiful to me?
Back and forth.
Finally, I let my head hang down in defeat. To the rest of the class I probably looked asleep, but I wasn't sleeping. I was contemplating the complete unfairness of life. I didn't want to be in this classroom anymore with Sebastian. I wanted to be anywhere but here. I looked up one last time to the boy I would never have and froze.
His eyes had stopped scanning and they were now looking directly at me. For what seemed like an eternity our eyes locked. No words were spoken. None were needed. Mrs. Anderson's voice droned on in the background somewhere and the rest of the people in the class faded away.
With my eyes I tried to ask, "Why?"
In reply, his eyes fell once again to the text book. Back and forth. Back and forth. I looked back down at my text book. I wish I could have told you what was going through my head at that time, but to be completely honest, I have no idea. I was just staring, not anger nor joy passed through me. I just stared.
The bell rang and the sound of desks being pushed aside filled the room. I stood up and turned to Chad so I wouldn't have to see Sebastian leave. I knew that once he passed through that door it was over between us. What it was exactly that I thought we had, I don't know.
"How was your little study session?" Chad asked me. I remembered that he had seen the entire exchange between Sebastian and I the day before.
"There was no study session. He was," I paused. "He was busy."
"Oh, I'm sorry. If you want, I could help you."
Suddenly, a small voice from behind startled me so bad I flinched. "Hey, Trevor," he said. I turned around and saw Sebastian standing there, his backpack hanging from one of his hands.
"Yes?" I said, as if I too had forgotten about the call he was supposed to have made.
"I'm really sorry about yesterday." He sounded really sincere. Just hearing him say the words broke my heart. All of my anxiety and anger from before vanished in that moment. "Something came up," he said, unsure how to explain.
I didn't need an explanation. Just hearing Sebastian say 'I'm sorry' was worth more that the best excuse in the world. "Oh, it's fine," I said. My hopes were once again being lifted from the depths they had fallen. I wanted to take Sebastian right there and hold him as close as I could.
"If you want, I should be able to help you this afternoon." I looked into his eyes and I suddenly knew what our eyes had been talking about when they had met in the middle of class. His eyes hadn't been silent like I had thought. They had been screaming an apology that fell on blind eyes.
"Yeah, that would be cool," I said, unable to suppress the joy that was bubbling over inside of me. I smiled and he slowly smiled back. Again, just like at the video store, that smile that melted my heart and left me feeling higher than the tallest mountain.
"I'll call you at five." He turned around and started heading out, but turned around at the door. "And this time I will call. I promise." With that, he was gone.
I was still on my emotional high when I turned around and saw Chad was still standing there, the look in his eye not reflecting my high at all. "Okay," he said. He paused a second. I wasn't sure if it was my imagination, but I thought he was suppressing anger in his voice. "I'll see you at practice." He walked out of the room and left me there alone. Just like that. No questions about me and Sebastian's little flirting match. Just, 'I'll see you at practice.'
Did he suspect something was up? I began to get a little bit paranoid. Talking with Sebastian had totally taken my guard down and I quickly replayed me and Sebastian's conversation. There was nothing that sounded too queer I thought. I had no idea what would happen if my secret got out and I didn't even want to think about it.
I tried to push it out of my mind and went
off to my next class.
Sebastian must not have known I sat only a few tables away from him at lunch. At his isolated table he didn't look up from his book once to look at me. "Trevor, did you hear a word I just said?" I looked over at Vanessa. She wasn't happy.
"Oh, yeah. Sorry." She rolled her eyes and started talking to her friend. Vanessa thought ignoring me was a good punishment when I did something that displeased her. I guess she didn't realize that she did it most of the time anyway.
Mike nudged me on the arm from his spot next to me. I looked over and he nodded his head in acknowledgment. He must have overheard what just happened between Vanessa and me. The poor guy still thought she was the reason I had been acting odd lately. He leaned over and whispered in my ear. "Just don't let her affect your game."
"I never do," I said smiling. I was in such a good mood now. Vanessa was just a hindrance. I looked back over at Sebastian and saw that he was still reading. There was only a few more minutes left of lunch so I decided I would do something drastic.
I began to stand up and Vanessa quickly asked, "Where are you going?" She must have felt the leash she had around my neck becoming tight.
"I'm just going to talk to my friend really quick." She accepted my excuse and continued talking to her friend. I began walking over to Sebastian's table and as I got closer I could see that he was reading a novel of some sort.
It wasn't until I had taken the seat directly across from him that he looked up. When he saw me he began looking around as if I had brought someone else along. "What's up Sebastian?" I said.
"Umm, hey." He wasn't sure how to react to my surprise visit. There was no one else at the table so I wasn't uncomfortable in the least.
"I saw you sitting over here and I thought I would join you."
He smiled nervously and said, "Oh." Sitting across from him, I tried not to stare to deeply into his eyes, but they were just to beautiful not to. With those looks that passed between us it was hard to discern my dreams from reality. Was there something between us or was it just my imagination? Did he feel the same way I did or was I just freaking him out?
We sat there for a while and I finally asked, "What are you reading?"
He looked down as if realizing the book for the first time. "Oh, it's just a book my English teacher recommended." He closed it so I could look at the cover. It appeared to be a book of poems.
"Cool," I said and started to reach for it. I didn't have a chance though because the bell rang and the place quickly turned into a sea of people. We both stood up, unsure what to do now, as if the bell was some intruder on our little date.
"Who is this?" Vanessa said, coming up behind me. She had no quarrels with being as blunt as a possible.
"This is my friend Sebastian," I told her. I hoped I wasn't going out on a limb by calling him my friend. Sebastian seemed unsure if he should offer his hand, but wisely chose not to.
"Oh," was all she said. She slid her hand into mine and said, "Let's go honey." Sebastian stood there awkwardly as Vanessa began to lead me away.
"I guess I'll talk to you later today," I called
to Sebastian, who still stood there unsure of what to do. I didn't
get a reply though because we were swept into the sea of people and carried
off to god knows where.
During football practice I tried to get a read on why Chad had acted so strangely in Algebra after Sebastian had talked to me. For some reason it seemed that Chad was avoiding me and I didn't know why.
Chad and I had never been that close of friends, but we were on the team together last year and then we happened to have the same second period class this year. The only time I would really hang out with him was when the whole team was hanging out together at a party or just hanging out at someone's house.
I guess I was just being paranoid about him avoiding then. When I thought about it, he was acting toward me the same way he always had. Not to downplay it at all, but he was the guy that ran out and caught the ball after I threw it. That was about it.
The coach let us go home from practice early that day so I had time to take a quick shower before hopefully receiving Sebastian's call at five. I sat down on the bed in my soggy towel and waited for the phone to ring. Just like yesterday I was getting awful nervous just waiting around so I turned the television on and began scanning the channels. I happened upon the weather channel and it said a cold front was coming through and might bring the first snow of the winter tonight or early tomorrow morning.
I've always loved the snow even though I've lived in it practically my whole life. Usually, though, it was in the summer that I dreamed about the snow and it was in the winter that I dreamed about the beautiful summer days. Kids always want what they can't have, I suppose.
The ringing of the telephone knocked me out of my reverie and I picked it up after a few rings. I prayed that it wasn't Vanessa.
"Hi," the small voice said. "Is Trevor there?"
"Hey, Sebastian. This is Trevor. How you doing?" The anxiety I had felt earlier was all but gone now.
"Pretty good." There was a pause for a moment. "So, did you want to study today or whatever?"
"Yeah, sure. If it's not to much of a problem." He told me it wasn't and he gave me directions to his house. It turned out he lived not to far from the video store down on Rosemary Avenue. It was getting pretty chilly out so I brought my gloves and ski hat since I had to ride my bike.
When I pulled my bike up in front of his house it was about six o'clock and the sunset was beginning. My anxiety had been in remission, but now it was back, full blown. I walked up to the front door and rang the bell. I was almost shaking I was so nervous. Well, maybe it was just the cold.
A middle aged woman answered the door and greeted me warmly. "Hi," she said. "You must be Trevor. Come on inside." I walked in and she quickly took my jacket and hung it up. "I'm Sebastian's mom, Mrs. Reynolds. You can just call me Karen though." I shook her hand and she pointed to the stairs. "You can just go right up. His room is the first one on your right."
"Thanks," I said and began walking toward the stairs. As I passed the living room I happened to look in and see a man sitting on the couch reading the paper. As I slowly walked by I saw him look up over the paper at me. He watched me a second without saying anything. It was kind of eerie, but then he looked back down at the paper. I figured that was Sebastian and Eric's dad.
As I walked up the stairway I heard music coming from somewhere and figured Sebastian must have been playing a CD. As I got closer to the first door on the right, though, I noticed it was a classical piece being played by one lone instrument. The door was slightly open and I knocked softly, but the music was to loud so I walked in.
He was sitting in a chair facing away from me and I saw that the music was actually him playing what appeared to be a cello. I guess he didn't hear me come in because he continued playing without turning around. I looked around the small room and was slightly surprised. There were none of the usual sports posters like me and my friends had on the walls. Instead, most of the walls were bookshelves that contained what must have been hundreds of books. I looked over at his desk and saw a small statue of Beethoven.
The atmosphere of the place was incredible. Looking around with the solemn cello playing made the place seem unreal. Like I had stepped right into a movie or something. I was about to get his attention, but I stopped myself. He was really playing well and I wanted to hear more. The cello played on and I found the music settling my anxiety that had been building up. I could get used to this. Watching him though, I couldn't help feel sorry for him. The music he was playing made him seem like a very tragic figure. He was looking for something. He was waiting for some break that would make his life complete, just like everyone else was. I'm pretty sure it wasn't me.
Suddenly, he stopped and turned around. "Oh, sorry," he said. "I didn't hear you come in." He quickly put his cello down and turned around to me.
"You play that very well," I said. Our eyes met again and suddenly anything I said would have seemed forced. I loved the way we could say more with one small glance than we could with all our words combined. I realized, though, that that I had to continue. "What was it?"
"Bach," he said, going over to his desk. The place was really clean and he went straight to his Algebra book. "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring."
He turned back around and smiled. "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring. That's the name of the song."
"Oh," I said. I suddenly felt really stupid. I walked over to his bed and threw my backpack down.
He suddenly looked down at his desk. "I guess we can do it right here." He seemed unsure when he spoke. I got my book out and sat down on one of the chairs. Slowly, he took the one next to me and we both began scanning our books nervously. He was right next to me and it was driving me crazy. I wanted to just reach my elbow out and brush him and see what he would do, but decided not to. I didn't want to scare him.
"What I'm really having trouble with is how to manipulate the parabola by doing that stuff to the equation."
"Oh, that's easy," he said and quickly began explaining it. He seemed a lot more at ease now that he was explaining math. He went on and on and I wish I could say I was paying attention, but I wasn't. I was totally fixated on Sebastian. He leaned over, pointing to different stuff in my book, his small, delicate voice rising and falling gently. I could tell he really enjoyed math a lot. He leaned closer and closer and my body began to tense up. I could almost smell his sweet, boyish aroma he was so close.
"Hey, guys," his mom said, poking her head in unannounced. We spun around quickly and I realized I felt a little guilty for some reason, like I had been making out with her son. "Do you want some drinks?"
"No, I'm fine," I said.
"I'm fine too," Sebastian said, and with that, she was gone. I noticed that she had left the door open slightly, but I didn't think much of it. Sebastian finished explaining the problem to me and then turned to me when he was done. I turned my head to look at him and realized he was only inches away and our eyes met. It was to much. Being this close and making eye contact sent me over the edge and I quickly looked away. I would have been lying if I said I wasn't getting aroused by this whole Algebra lesson. "Do you understand it now?" he asked.
"I think so," I lied.
He continued looking at me for a moment and said, "I'll be right back." He left the room and I stood up. I had to get myself under control. I was completely infatuated with this boy and if I didn't settle down I was going to do something I would regret for a very long time. I had no idea if Sebastian was gay and I was walking on thin ice the way I was acting.
I walked over to his CD rack and looked at them. There was no DMX and there was no Foo Fighters. Every single CD he owned was classical. There were names like Beethoven, Bach, and, Mozart and then there were names I had never heard of. I looked at his book shelf and saw that a lot of the books were poem books or books about art. I guess if I hadn't known Sebastian I would have thought he was a complete dork because of all this stuff, but knowing him, it all just made him seem one hell of a lot more intelligent than I was.
"Hey, we can go to my brother's room and play on the Playstation if you want," he said coming back into the room.
Well, maybe we did have more in common than I thought. "Sure," I said. He led me down the hallway and I began to wonder if his brother was home. The only time I had seen him was at Nathan's party and I had made a pretty big ass out of myself. Another reason I was getting nervous was the fact that I hadn't seen them side by side before. I knew it wasn't anything to freak out over, but this was definitely going to be an interesting experience.
Sebastian walked through one of the doors further down the hallway and I followed him in. The boy sitting at the desk looked up when I walked in and I was suddenly hit by a sense of vertigo. He was completely identical to Sebastian in every way. They even wore their hair the same way. Well, almost.
"Hey, Trevor," he said when I walked in. He leaned back in his chair and instantly looked back down at the magazine he was reading.
"Hi Eric," I said. Sebastian had been sitting on the floor next to the television and he looked up.
"You guys know each other?" he asked.
Eric looked back up. He didn't so much look angry as he did disinterested. "Yeah, he was at Nathan's party," he said. Sebastian turned back to the Playstation and began fiddling with it. As much as I tried not to, I kept looking from Sebastian to Eric. I couldn't believe how much they looked alike. It's like I was in the room with two Sebastians.
Sebastian finally got the game started and he held out the other controller for me. "Here," he said. I sat down on the floor next to him as the game started. It was some sort of racing game I had never heard of.
It was kind of awkward sitting there playing the game with Sebastian's twin sitting right there looming over us. He wasn't paying much attention to us though. He was just kicking back and reading his magazine. Sebastian didn't seem to mind one bit. I think I was the only one weirded out by the situation.
We played a few games and Sebastian beat me every time by at least a lap. Once in a while Eric would look over and make some comment about how I should drive. I just ignored him though.
"I'm going to get some drinks," Sebastian said finally. "You want anything?"
"Yeah, can I just get some water?" I said.
"I'll have a Coke," Eric said.
"Okay, I'll be right back." Sebastian darted out of the room. I noticed that Sebastian was starting to feel a little more relaxed around me and that made me happy. I was glad he was opening up.
Eric put his magazine down and watched as I loaded a game where it was just me racing against the machine. It was getting kind of awkward with just me and him in the room, but I tried not to think about it.
The green light flashed and I took off down the street, winding in between a few of the other cars. I was off to a pretty good start.
After a while I noticed that Eric was not watching the game I was playing, but rather, he was watching me. I turned to look at him and saw him staring. Now I was really getting uncomfortable. There was something critical about the way he was eyeing me, like he was trying to figure something out. I felt like he was looking straight through me.
My car began to swerve and I knocked into some railing, but I was still pretty far ahead of the other cars. Only one car remained between me and the finish line. I knew I could make it.
"Hey, can I ask you a question?"
"Sure," I said. I sped down the road and almost skidded off at a sharp turn. My car was getting pretty beat up and I wasn't sure how much more abuse it could take.
"What's a guy like you hanging out with a guy like my brother for?"
I swerved again and hit a pedestrian, but he only took about five percent of my car's health. The other cars were right on my tail. It was now a fight for second place. "He was helping me with Algebra," I said.
Out of the corner of my eye I could see that he was still staring at me critically and making no attempt to hide the fact either.
The cars behind me began ramming into me. I was down to about 8 percent life left. One more hit and I would be a goner.
"You know he's gay, right?"
My car suddenly swung into the other lane and right into oncoming traffic. I tried desperately to get back in my lane, but it was to late. I slammed head first into a huge semi truck, my car exploding into nothing.