** As with all celebrity stories, this
one is no different. I do not know the members
of Dreamstreet, I've never met them, so this story is meant to imply nothing about their
sexual orientation. This is FICTION, which means not real, so all you legal
types can mellow out and read. That is why you're really here anyway, right? :)
** And if you're in the mood, drop by my
website, The Chamber
As always questions and comments are very welcome. Please send
them to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Drake tried every trick he knew to get me to talk about what was wrong with me on the ride to my house, but I never budged. He was nice enough to honor my request to be taken home without asking a lot of questions (at least until we got into the car) or waiting for Frankie and the others to make it back. Alyssa was good about it too and told him she would handle things on that end.
Between tries to get me to spill my guts, Drake told me that everyone would be coming back next weekend for the second show. They were going to be on a tight schedule and would be arriving Thursday evening and leaving Sunday morning, so my time to see them would be very limited. When he asked me if I wanted to attend the concert I told him I would get back to him on it instead of just saying no.
The only way I kept myself from totally breaking down on the ride home was to not think at all. For those of you who've never tried it, it isn't easy by a long shot, especially when you have a lot on your mind. I was hoping that my father would be asleep when I got home because I really didn't feel like having to go through twenty questions with him over what was wrong with me.
I thanked Drake for everything when we got to my house and told him it was really appreciated. He told me he was glad to do it and that I should really think about what Claudia said. I promised him I would and that I would give him my answer about the concert either Wednesday or Thursday. I figured that would give me enough time to mellow out and think about things before I said no.
Lucky for me my dad was dead to the world when I walked into the house. He left me a message on the machine telling me that he hoped I had a good time and to be as quiet as possible. He'd just come home a few hours ago and was sleeping. After that was a message from my mother letting both of us know we'd be spending another week without her. The case she was working on was going to be a bit more troublesome than originally anticipated, but she was almost sure it would be done by the end of the week.
Those two distractions
brought me enough time to make it to my upstairs to my room before I couldn't
ignore the obvious anymore. I collapsed on my bed and cried like
I'd never cried before. This sucked SO bad! Everything was
ruined now. Ruined because I lost control and forgot for a minute
that I was living in the real world and that I could never have Chris in
the way I wanted him. At least I could've had the option of being
able to be around him on occasion and to know that he thought of me as
a friend. Now, I didn't even have that. Screwed up by that
part of me that was so weak when it came to him. And I hated that
part of myself because now I couldn't even control it anymore and knew
that I couldn't change it, disguise it, or pretend that it wasn't there.
I was always going to be the way I was until the day I died.
That brought on the anger. I grabbed hold of the shirt I was wearing and ripped it apart straight down the center. With tears still pouring out of my eyes, I went over to my closet and took out the BB gun I'd gotten two Christmases ago downstairs to the backyard, took three aluminum cans out of the recycle bin and shot the hell out of all three of them. When that didn't satisfy, I went for my baseball bat and all the baseballs I could find and batted the snot out of them all over the yard. At this point I didn't care if my father could hear me or not.
Once all the aggression was out of me the pain and the sadness of my broken heart set in. It made me think about things and question them in dim realization. Was this what I had to look forward to for the rest of my life? I could look but never touch? Dream but never have it in reality? Right now it seemed like that was a loud, screaming affirmative. Because unless there were other guys out there like me, I was in for a long and lonely road.
* * * * * *
The rest of the week was like HELL for me. My mind was on Chris all the time, even though I tried my best not to let that happen, and how things between me and him had gone horribly wrong. Every time I looked at a guy I thought was appealing, my painful experience would resurface and I'd have to fight hard to keep the tears and emotions back.
I was able to keep most of my friends at school and at work oblivious to my condition. School was easy because I there were a lot of distractions to keep my mind off the issue. Work was a little bit harder because there was down time where there wasn't much of anything going on, but I managed to find something to...even if I had to mess something up and redo it again.
Sadie was the only one who saw right through my act. She made me spill my guts to her on Wednesday (when my willpower as at its lowest point) when we took our break together. I made her swear that everything I was about to tell her had to stay between me and her. When she did that, I let the truth about everything out...feeling I honestly had nothing else left to loose and that nothing worse that what had already happened could happen to me.
I was positive that Sadie was going to give me the exact same treatment that Chris had given me once she knew the truth about me. The first thing she did was get up, come over to me, and give me a big hug. There were tears in her eyes when she sat back down and she told me she knew exactly how I felt and what I was going through. She told me my sexuality was nothing I should be ashamed of and not to listen to the opinions of people who have never experienced or lived it because they didn't know shit about it. Her little brother (who had just turned 16) was also in the same boat as me and she had seen his heart get shredded to pieces by guys who he thought were like minded, only to find out they really weren't at the last and wrong minute. It sent him into an almost manic level of depression and made him very suicidal. She'd come in on him making an attempt to take his life one afternoon and that's how she found out the truth. She became his support and helped him through his harsh reality. Just recently, though, another guy tried his luck with him and the two of them got together and were very happy so far.
Sadie told me not to let what happened with Chris get me down. People didn't go around with their sexuality tattooed on their forehead and it was an honest mistake. If he couldn't understand that then he was the one with the problem and not me. Then she broke the seriousness by saying that she wished she would've known I was gay because I was a real sweet and cool guy. She would've introduced me to her brother.
Our break time was over by this point and she had to go to the restroom to redo her makeup, because her mascara had ran like an Olympic sprinter. She hugged me again and told me that she was really glad I opened up to her and that she hoped she'd helped me feel better about things. I let her know she did and that she better feel special because not even my own parents could've dragged the truth out of me like she had. To that she told me sometimes you find help and support where you least expect it.
That made the rest of the evening at work go by a lot easier and faster. By the time I got home I was almost back to my normal self. So what if things hadn't worked out between me and Chris. I couldn't expect him to understand what it was like to be me just like he couldn't expect me to understand what it was like to be him. I'm pretty sure if I were straight and a guy tried to kiss me, I probably would've reacted negatively too.
When I got home from school on Thursday my father left a message on the answering machine telling me that there was a scheduling mistake and that two people from another hotel, who were supposed to be coming to cover shifts at his Hotel next week on Thursday and Friday, had been told to come this week. That meant I had the rest of the day to myself. He also told me that I was going to have Friday off too. It was his off day and it hadn't gotten past his attention that something was up with me. He wanted us to have an evening together so we could talk.
The message after that was from Drake calling to remind me that I was supposed to have gotten back with him to let him know whether or not I wanted to go to the concert on Saturday. He started to leave his cell phone number, but it cut out on the last three digits. It was no problem though. My father more than likely had the number and I would get it from him.
I meant to go upstairs,
put down my backpack and then go back downstairs to call my dad to get
Drake's number. Somewhere along those lines my bed got involved and
the next thing I knew the doorbell was ringing and I was waking up to it
in my dark bedroom. I looked over at the clock and saw it was 8:15
"Man. Out for almost five hours and I didn't even know it." I thought as I got up and staggered through the darkness and into the hallway.
The computer had already
turned on the lights for its evening mode, so once I hit the hallway I
was able to see clearly because the lights in the front room were on.
The doorbell rang again as I came down the stairs.
"Who could this be?" I wondered, reaching the door and asking, "Who is it?"
"Frank." the person on the other end replied.
I almost asked Frank
who before I placed the voice and added an "ie" to the name. I wasn't
expecting him, so I was thrown big time and wasn't sure if I wanted to
see him or not. That was on my mind while I unlocked the door and
pulled it open.
"Hey." he greeted me, smiling a little. "I woke you up, didn't I?"
"Don't worry about it. I was supposed to be up anyway." I told him. "What're you doing here?" then realized, "Wait...how'd you get here?"
"Well, obviously. But who brought you..."
"That's not what I'm here to talk about." he cut me off a little sharply.
Knowing he wasn't going
the best of ways about getting things started he cleared his throat and
"Sorry." he apologized. "Um, can we talk?"
Okay. I guess I
could be nice and at least hear what he had to say.
"I guess." I shrugged.
I walked away from the
door and into the living room. He followed, shutting the door behind
"You know what I want to talk about, right?" he began, cutting straight to the point.
Yeah, I knew exactly
what he wanted to talk about. There was only one thing that was worth
him coming all the way over here to talk about. Thing was I didn't
want to talk about it. I was in the final stages of healing and moving
on past all that. No need to revisit it.
"I don't mean to be rude, but you may as well save your breath. What happened at Great America happened and its over with." I told him matter of factly.
"Not quite." he informed me.
He glanced away toward
the couch, gathering his thoughts, before he answered.
"Let's just say I know what happened between you and Chris last Saturday night and why."
"And so do I on account that I was there when it happened." I responded in my head, but hesitated on saying it out loud. Frankie hadn't come here showing any hate or disrespect to me so far, so he didn't deserve any from me.
"Okay...and?" I urged him to continue.
"Plain and simple, Brenden. Chris said what he said to you because he likes you."
Ever have a moment where
you hear something and take it in but it's so improbable to you that your
brain refuses to acknowledge it? That was my moment. I blinked
my eyes a couple of times like a bright light had been flashed in front
of them and said,
"He. Likes. You. Why do you think he went out of his way to give you back your poster at the store? Why do you think he was the one to volunteer to teach you the dance moves personally, and to escort you back to the stairway after you hung out with us?"
Three very good points that hadn't escaped my attention, but had been looked at as just him being nice in light of his more recent actions.
I think Frankie and me
stood there a good five minutes in complete silence as my brain slowly
began to accept the news he'd given me.
"He likes me?" I said believing it as much as I believed that the sky was bright gold instead of blue.
"Just like you like him."
"Well that's funny, because the other night..." I started, recalling the ride in the Observation Tower all too clearly. Frankie didn't hesitate to cut me off.
"He said what he said because he was scared of his feelings for you, so the only he saw to put a stopper in it was to do what he did."
"But he didn't have to do it like that."
"I agree with you there. He didn't have to be as harsh as he was, but it's not easy for him, Brenden. And I know it's not a walk in the park for you either. But what do you think would happen if word got out about his sexuality? The media, being the heartless bastards that they are, would have a field day on him. And some of the fans might understand, but most of them would abandon ship without thinking twice."
That was still no excuse for
the way Chris had come at me, but at least now I could see where he was
really coming from.
"Yeah. I guess that's true." I agreed. "I keep forgetting who he is to the world."
"Which is exactly why I told him screw it." Frankie said.
"What do you mean?"
"Who said the fans or the media had to know the truth? Unless the two of you were just out there blatantly announcing your feeling for one another, you'd just be a friend of the group and nothing more."
"Well, what did he say to that?"
"Why don't you ask him yourself?"
"Out in the car waiting. I'll send him in." Frankie answered me starting toward the front door.
I waited until he was
almost at the door before I called to him,
He looked at me from
over his shoulder but didn't speak.
"Why?" I was curious to know why he was for this and why he'd been the one to come here and break the ice.
Sighing heavily and turning
back to face me, he answered,
"Let's just say I know what its like to find someone you really click with and not be able to get with him because you're afraid of what it'll do to your career."
That answer hit me with
a serious round of surprise. Did this mean that he was...?
"I'm open minded, if that's what you're wondering. Greg, Jesse, and Matt are the only ones who are completely insane for the poontang."
I had to laugh at that.
He smiled too. I never would've guessed that he out of all the members
would even consider guys. The only Dreamstreet member I thought might
even have a twinkle of gayness in him was Jesse. That was only because
his look always struck me as the prettyboy style. Anything I'd seen
him in he always looked perfect and from the chats I'd read that were done
with him, he said that he'd rather dress in slacks and a nice shirt instead
of jeans and a t-shirt.
"Thank you." I said. Truly touched that he cared enough to do something like this.
He came over to me and gave me a hug. Not that handshake-into-a-hug-because-we-have-to-preserve-our-masculinity-and-never-show-our-emotions kind of hug. A true, nice hug. Frankie probably didn't know it but he was the first guy outside of family that I'd hugged before. It was nice.
The hug only lasted for
a couple of seconds before it ended and he slugged me playfully in the
chest, causing me to cover it, and said one of the coolest, most nicest
things a person has ever said to me.
"That's what a big brother does, man. He looks out for all his little brothers."
I didn't know how to feel. With the news Frankie had just given me, happiness and excitement should've had me to the level of nearly wetting myself. And I was definitely feeling that. There was still also the unforgettable hurt and anger that went with the breaking of my heart over the situation.
Damn it! I felt like I was being blindsided in a major way. Seconds weren't going to cut it. I needed minutes, maybe even hours to get my feelings into perspective and to figure out what I was going to say. I was not ready for this to happen and I had to put a stop to it before it did.
I got ready to call out to Frankie and go toward the door to tell him what was up. On my second step and as I was opening my mouth to say his name, Chris appeared at the front door and sent plan A flying out the window.
Him, there, in person, in front of me gave the hurt and anger the fuel they needed to overpower what happiness and excitement I was feeling. The one guy in the world I could've stared at or talked to all day and never gotten tired of it was suddenly the first person in the world I didn't want to see or talk to.
I'd paused when he came into
the house, but resumed after those bitter emotions took hold.
"I can't do this right now. You need to leave." I told him. Asking was not implied.
"Brenden. No. Please. Could you just hear me out first?" he tried to plead with me.
I stopped at the door
with my hand on it, ready to shut it.
"Give me one good reason why I should?"
"Because I was completely out of line to say the things I said to you. And knowing I hurt you so badly that you won't even see me now, I can't even describe how bad it makes me feel inside." he gave me two.
My feelings stood firm, barely wavering from those two reasons that had been given. I wanted to hear him out, but I felt like if I did that there would be a reversal in roles. I would be giving in to what he wanted instead of him giving in to what I wanted.
Then something happened
that I never would've expected in my wildest dreams. Chris got down
on his knees and put his hands together like he was praying. He looked
up at me and a single tear formed in his right eye and slowly began sliding
down his face. Another gathered in his left eye and came trailing
down shortly after.
"Please. Dude, I'm begging you. Please." his voice wavered from the emotions he was quickly loosing control of.
I was blown away. I had
never been on the receiving or even the giving end of something like this.
This was Chris Trousdale down on his knees begging me of ALL people in
the world for a chance. And he was crying. Shit, it didn't
even have to be Chris doing the begging. Just the fact that it was
another guy there doing this was enough to blow my mind. I can't
describe how that made me feel. All I know is that I told him okay
and he got up off his knees and followed me into the front room.
"Thanks, Brenden. Thank you so much." he said, eyes still streaming, but his voice was under control.
"You...you're serious? Aren't you?" I was still...stunned.
"I've never been more serious about something in my life. I am so sorry. You have no idea how sorry I am, or how much I wish I could take back what I said."
"Well, you shouldn't have said it to begin with. I mean there were other ways."
"I know. It's just that...I was there and you were there and...I wanted to kiss you so bad and just when it was about to happen...I freaked." his voice was starting to shake again.
He dried his streaming
eyes, took in a deep breath (regaining some control) and continued.
"You were just so perfect to me, Brenden. Cute, funny, intelligent. I've never vibed with anyone like I have with you. You broke down all my barriers I used to keep myself in check. When I realized you'd done that, like I said, I freaked."
And if that wasn't describing me to the very core I don't know what was. The same thing that had happened to him had happened to me, only my freaking out part had taken place in the hotel room and without the nasty words.
I couldn't be mad at him anymore.
The anger and the pain that had taken over knew understanding. My
heart knew it could break Chris into a million pieces right now, much like
it had been done. But it had been listening to everything and processing
every emotion he'd displayed. It knew he was sincere and it knew
he was sorry. So like the anger and the pain, it too knew understanding
"I understand why you did what you did." I said. "But make no mistake that what you did was cold. You made me feel like shit and that my life was pretty much going to be full of what happened between us on the ride. I'll never be able to forget that. It doesn't mean that I can't forgive, though."
His disposition didn't
change at all.
"Really? I mean, I'd completely understand if you never wanted to hear my name again."
"I wouldn't be saying it if I didn't mean it."
He sniffled and dried
his tear leaking eyes again. The first big hurdle had been cleared.
Now either of us knew what do to next. I figured I should be
the one to make the first move. I was technically the one in control
of the situation.
"I'm kinda new at this so I'm not sure. Is this the part where we're supposed to hug or something?"
Laughing nervously a
little, Chris agreed,
"Yeah. I think it is."
Both of us hesitated
at first before we close the gap between us and did the deed. The
hug was a little awkward because we both kept doing it the same way the
first couple of times, then we finally got it right. It was nothing
passionate, just a close moment that signaled the completion of our reconciliation.
"So, I guess you know how I really feel about you then?" Chris asked after the hug had ended.
"According to Frankie, the same way I feel about you." I answered.
Hope returned to his
face with my answer, along with a bit of surprise.
"You still feel that way about me?"
"Can't deny it. No matter how hard I tried."
His spirits dampened
"I really want to ask you if you would be with me right now, but I already feel like I don't deserve you."
And there was a boost
for my ego. It wasn't that I now felt like I was somehow higher than
he was or anything, it was just a pleasant surprise. It showed me
again how real his feelings were for me and how highly he held me.
"That's for me to decide and not you." I told him and then smiled a little. "And I say you do deserve me."
The lighting up of his
face that I was waiting for happened right then. For a moment he
didn't look like he believed I'd said it and was at a complete loss for
"So then you and me? Yeah?" he made an attempt at a sentence.
My smile widened.
That beautiful smile of his
graced his face for the first time since he'd walked into the house and
it made me fall in love with him all over again. I knew now without
a doubt that I was making the right choice.
"You have no idea how happy you just made me." he said, unable to stop smiling.
"I think I do, only because I'm feeling it here myself." I assured.
Chris was about to say something
else, but instead looked down at his watch and back at me.
"Oh man, almost forgot about the time. I better get going. I would give you the number to the room, but it has to go through Drake and everyone else first. Do you have to work tomorrow?"
I was about to say yes
when I remembered my father's message.
"No. My dad scheduled me off because we haven't really had a chance to do the father, son thing in awhile." I lied, not wanting to reflect on the real reason why.
"Okay, well that still might work out. What time do you get out of school?"
"We've been rehearsing the choreography for the three new songs this whole week and we'll be rehearsing it tomorrow at Great America on the stage to get a feel for what its going to be like Saturday. Drake and Alyssa said it would be okay if we invited you since it might be the only time we'd get to see you. You'd just have to drive yourself and let him know so they can get you clearance."
There was only one problem
with that. My dad. He was keeping me off work because he was
being a good parent and wanted some time with me to make sure I was okay.
It would be shady if I tried to blow his attempt off and go do something
else...like he would really let me.
"Let me see what's going on with my dad first and what he's got planned. If I have time, then I'll try to swing by. Trust me, it's not that I do want to come. It's just that my dad is doing his good parent thing and I don't think it would be a good idea to reject it."
"Oh, no. It's cool. I'd be making the same choice if I were you too."
"So let's go with a strong possibility?"
"Sounds good to me."
"Cool. Let me walk you out."
I walked Chris all the
way to the car he and Frankie had come to my house in. As we got
closer to the car I started to wonder more and more if Drake or somebody
had driven them. But Frankie was at the wheel and he was the only
one in the car when me and Chris made it there.
"So it looks like you two are both alive and unbruised. Is it safe to say you're cool again?" Frankie rolled down the window and asked as we approached
"Very safe." I answered him.
He smiled in approval.
"Good to hear. So are we going to see you tomorrow?"
"My dad wants to do something with me tomorrow, so if I have time after that then yeah."
"We'll probably be there until late anyway since we're not going until five."
Chris moved in to hug
me again and I hugged him back. This one was longer and more serious.
"Thanks again for hearing me out. I feel like the luckiest guy in the world right now." he whispered into my ear.
"I'm glad I did." I whispered back.
As we were pulling away to end the hug, I kissed him on his passing cheek. Even though it was quick contact I felt like it was the boldest, most greatest move I'd ever made in my life.
Chris froze after my
lips left his warm, soft cheek. We were face to face and he gave
the cutest giggle and immediately began to blush. Then he leaned
in and returned the favor, sending a serious rush through me.
"See ya." I said.
"Very soon I hope." I said as we let go of each other and he got into the car. Frankie waved one last time before they pulled away, leaving me standing there with a smile that could've lit up the whole block on my face.
* * * * * *