I sat there on that bench for only God knows how long. I just sat there watching people as they walked by me and went about their daily business.
There was a group of girls in the middle of the courtyard of the campus practicing cheers. One of them kept dropping one of the other girls. The girl got mad and cussed the girl that dropped her and stormed off.
I noticed sitting under a tree on a blanket were two guys. They had a stack of books sitting in the middle of them and a picnic basket off to the side.
One of the guys was tan, like he had been outside working all summer. He had dark brown hair and light blue eyes. The other guy was of a smaller build and had blond hair. He also wore glasses.
There was something about the two guys that just intrigued me. The way they sat there talking to each other, the way that they looked at each other. I had seen nothing like it before.
I was interrupted by my phone ringing. Well vibrating actually. I reached in my pocket and pulled it out and looked at the caller ID. The name Madison scrolled across the screen.
I knew that I had just ran out of my sister’s dorm room without saying good bye or anything and that she was probably worried about me so I decided to answer it.
“Are you ok Preston? You just took off like someone had sat your pants on fire.”
“I’m fine sis. I just got some thinking to do. Some self discovering to do,” I told her as I continued to look at the two guys sitting there.
“You know that I love you no matter what little brother and that there is nothing that you could do to make me not love you.” She paused for a minute. “Don’t worry about what mom and dad will think. Follow your heart.”
“Thanks.” I told her. “What if I do like other guys? Then what?”
“Well, then you march yourself to Jamie’s room and tell him how you feel.” Madison told me. “I will take care of mom and dad.” She paused again before continuing to talk. “Do you remember the Christmas when you were ten, what you got?”
“Yeah, mom and dad got me a hand gun and I had specifically told them what I wanted, and dad said that no son of his was getting a doll even if it was called My Buddy.” I told her.
“Well, I knew you were special then. You threw the biggest tantrum because dad said that boys weren’t supposed to play with dolls.”
“Special?” I asked. “You make it sound like I rode the short bus to high school.”
“Well, you know you will always have me lil bro. If you need anything just call me. Tamara and some of our other friends are going to go out and eat so I am going to get off here. You do what you think I right and don’t worry about what mom or dad think. I love you.”
“I love you too Maddie. Thanks for everything.”
I pressed end on my phone and put it back in my pocket. I continued watching the two guys having the picnic. In the short time that I had taken my eyes off of them to hang up my phone and put it in my pocket, the brown haired guy had grabbed the blonde’s hand and was caressing it.
Next thing you know, the brown haired guy leaned over and kissed the other guy right on the lips in front of everyone. The blonde guy jerked his hand away and glared at the other guy and then looked around to see if anyone had seen them.
I was shocked by what I saw. Two guys being to share a public display of affection like that and not care what everyone else though of them.
Sometimes we think about something and then we subconsciously do it. That is what I did. I was thinking of going over to the two guys and talking to them because I thought they would be able to help me figure out some questions that I had for myself.
Next thing I know I was standing in front of the two guys and the one with brown hair is looking up at me. I could feel my face burning up with embarrassment. I was sure my face was bright red from the embarrassment.
“Hi.” I said.
“Um hi,” the blond guy replied inquisitively.
“Do you want something?” The brown haired guy asked rudely.
“Uh I uh-” I stuttered. “I was wondering if maybe um. Could I talk to you guys for a minute?”
“About what?” The brown haired guy asked me.
“I saw you kiss him.” I nodded towards the blond guy.
“What’s you point?” The brown haired guy asked me.
The blond guy glared at his boyfriend. “Do you have to be so rude all the time Jared?”
“Um I um was wondering if uh I could talk to you for a minute.”
“Well so far you aren’t any good at talking. All you do is stutter.” Jared said flatly.
That is one thing that I hated about myself. I had grown up being home schooled up until my second semester of my junior year and didn’t have much interaction with people my own age. The only real interaction that I ever really had was at church which really wasn’t a lot and here it was a total stranger making fun of me. I just wanted to turn and run away, but there was something in me telling me to stand there and talk to them that he was just being defensive.
“Sorry.” I apologized. “When I get nervous I stutter like that.”
“It’s cool man.” The blond guy smiled at me.
“Why are you nervous?” Jared asked.
“I was on the phone with my sister and saw you two kiss making me realize that you must be together. I had some questions about myself and was kind of thinking that maybe you could help me out?” I asked.
“Why don’t you sit down.” The blond guy patted the ground next to him.
I sat down next to him.
“I’m Preston, Preston Roberts.” I introduced myself.
“I’m Damien Francis and that’s Jared Fancy.” The blond guy said. “So what did you wana ask us?”
“Are you to um,” I looked at the ground. “Are you gay?”
“No he’s my brother and I just wanted to kiss him because I hadn’t seen him all summer.” Jared answered.
“Yeah we are. Jared is my boyfriend we have been together for a little over a year.” Damien answered.
I looked at Damien. “So how did you know you were gay?”
“I always knew. All the guys were playing kiss chase on the play ground in elementary school and I spent all my time trying to get them to chase me. Then on my fourteenth birthday I said to my mom and dad “mom, dad I like boys” my mom just kinda looked at me for a minute and then says “well duh. What took you so long?” She then looked at my dad and says “told you so” and that was my story.”
“Wow your parents seem so accepting of you.”
“They are. Couldn’t ask for better parents.”
I looked at Jared. “What about you?”
“Are you gay or what?” Jared asked me.
“I really don’t know.” I replied. “I was kinda hoping you guys can help me figure it out.”
“Sure. I’ll help.” Jared told me. “Let’s just say that I didn’t have it as easy as Damien. It could be considered a good thing because I met Damien because of it.” He looked at Damien and smiled. “I thought my parents would understand. I told them my junior year of high school. My mom took it well, my dad was furious he said that he wouldn’t have no faggot for a son and that I was going to hell and that I was ruining my football career. I ran upstairs to my room and listened to my parents having a good screaming match. I thought things were settled until I went to school the next day. My dad had called my football coach and told him that his son was a fag and had been sucking off the other guys in the locker room. I was humiliated my parents divorced and my mom and I moved to Los Angeles where I met Damien at the beginning of our senior year of high school.”
“That sucks man. I am sorry to hear that.” I told him.
“Only made me stronger.”
“You ever had a girlfriend?” Damien asked me.
“Nah sure hadn’t.” I replied.
“You ever kissed a girl?” He asked.
“No. I um kissed a guy earlier and that’s what brought this all about.”
“Well did you like it?” Jared asked.
“It felt normal to me. It’s just that I was just raised that being homosexual was a sin. My parents wouldn’t understand. They would probably disown me.”
Jared looked at me with the most serious look on his face since I had started talking to them. “One thing I learned from my dad is that he was so worried about his self image that he never loved me. He was worried about what people would think if he had a gay son. My mom is what you would call unconditional love.”
“My sister already knows some of what I am going through.”
“And?” Jared asked.
“She said she would love me no matter what.” I replied.
“There ya go man. You will always have your sister. Don’t try to spend all of your life trying to please other people and trying to be someone that you aren’t. Be yourself and screw anyone that tries to change you.” Jared reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone. “We have to head out we have dinner reservations for the night. What’s your number man and I wana keep in touch with you and know how things.”
“It’s um 555-2180.” I told him.
“Cool.” Jared said as he put his number in his phone. “I just called you so now you have my number.”
“Thanks for the advice you guys.” I told them as I stood up from where I had been sitting at.
I walked back to my dorm room. Greg still hadn’t made it home yet so I just lay there thinking about everything that had happened that day. My life was changing and I didn’t know what to do.
I woke up the next morning to the sounds of guns and bombs. I screamed and then heard laughter. I slowly opened my eyes and looked around my room and saw Greg sitting on his bed watching a movie on the television.
The movie was where all the noise was coming from. I wasn’t been blown up or shot at. It was just the sound effects from the movie.
I didn’t have my contacts in yet and I didn’t remember where I had laid my glasses before I went to bed, so I squinted to try and see what time the alarm clock had on it across the room. I had no luck in deciphering the time.
“What time is it and what the heck are you watching?” I asked Greg.
“It’s almost noon and I am watching this war movie called The Hurt Locker. It’s pretty good. You’ll have to watch it yourself sometime.”
“I might.” I muttered. “You got any plans today?”
“Just going out with Jena, what about you?”
“Oh nothing yet, probably just stay around here do some writing in my journal.”
Greg picked up the remote to the DVD player and hit pause. He looked over at me.
“So what happened with you and Jamie yesterday?” He asked. “I thought you guys hit it off good then when I came home you were already asleep still in your clothes, your eye glasses lying in the floor next to the bed. Jamie sent me a text this morning asking if you were mad at him.”
“I’m not. I uh I am just confused about some things.” I looked at Greg. “Will you get me my glasses from where ever you put them so I can at least see you when I am talking to you? Right now you are just a big blur.”
Greg got off his bed and walked over to the TV stand and got my glasses. He walked over to my bed and handed them to me. I immediately put them on.
He walked back over to his bed and sat down, looking right at me. “So what are you confused about? We are going to spend the next year living together so the least we can do is help each other.”
“Do you think I come across as being gay?” I asked him.
“You are gay aren’t you?” He asked.
“That’s the thing, I don’t know.” I sat up with my back against the headboard of the bed and ran a hand through my disheveled hair. “I have never had a girlfriend before never even kissed a girl then Jamie kissed me and I kissed him back and I liked it.”
“Jamie is a good guy.” Greg said defensively.
“I know he is. He had it rough the way his parents did him. I wouldn’t mind getting to know him and you know uh maybe seeing what happens from there. I just don’t want my parents to find out.”
“Why?” Greg asked as he picked up his phone and read a text and started typing his reply back.
“Have you ever heard of Valley United Pentecostal Church?” I asked.
“Yeah I have.” He paused for a moment. “I hate that church and everyone that goes to it. That is where Jamie’s parents go and well the douche bag preacher there is the one that convinced them that they should throw Jamie out. He told them that they were committing a sin as well as he was.’
I looked at the floor. I never realized how much of a negative impact that my dad has had on the lives of certain people.
“Well, that’s why I am having such a difficult time with this. That douche bag as you call him is my father and well can you imagine how he would act if he found out that his son might be gay?” I asked.
“Dude, I am sorry. I didn’t know that he was your dad. I have just had hard feelings towards that church since Jamie got thrown out.”
“I think I am going to call him. Maybe invite him over. Do you know what he is doing today?”
Greg grinned at me. He picked up his phone and looked at it. “Well I invited him over he said he was on his way over three minutes ago so he should be here anytime now.”
“What!” I exclaimed. “I look like crap. My hair is messed up I have on my night clothes still, my breath probably smells to high heaven.”
Greg stood up from his bed and smiled at me. “No offense, but dude you are so gay.” He walked over to his dresser and picked up his wallet. “Jamie has never had a boyfriend before ya know. He is a good guy and if I swung you guys way I would be all over him. I am going to go get something to eat. You want something?”
“I’m good.” I paused for a moment. “You are just going to leave us here alone!”
“What are you twelve?” He laughed as he walked towards the door. He stopped and placed his hand on the doorknob. “If I am not back before he leaves, text me and let me know how it goes.”
He took his hand off the doorknob and turned around and looked at me. His expression was that of someone that had just thought of the best idea ever. I hadn’t known Greg but a little over a day, but I was starting to pick up on things real fast.
“What is it?” I asked. “You have that look like you just had an epiphany of some sort.”
“A double date, you guys could go a double date with Jenna and myself tonight. It would be awesome.”
“I’ll take it into consideration. I don’t think anyone would want to go anywhere with me looking like this.”
Greg turned back around and opened the door. Right when he opened the door, Jamie had his hand up getting ready to knock.
“Your timing is perfect bro. I was just getting ready to knock.”
Greg looked at me then to Jamie. “And I was just getting ready to go get something to eat. I’ll see you two in a little while.”
Jamie came into the room and Greg left, closing the door loudly behind him. Jamie stood at the door with the deer in headlights look on his face.
I patted a spot on my bed next to me. “You can come over and sit down so we can talk. Just don’t look at me. I’m not at my best right now.”
He sat down next to me on the bed. He looked at me. “You look pretty good if I could say so myself.” He paused for a moment. “I’m sorry for what happened yesterday.”
“It’s fine. Don’t be.”
“I just assumed that you were gay. I am sorry for coming onto you like that. I am usually not that bold.”
“I usually look much better. I can’t believe I am letting you see me in my dorky glasses of all things.”
Jamie reached over and caressed my face with the back of his hand. My body began to tingle all over. He suddenly pulled his hand away and looked away.
“I’m sorry for that.” He apologized. “I just couldn’t help myself.”
“It’s fine. Can I ask you something?”
He raised his head back up and looked at me. “Ask me anything you want.”
“So how did you know you were gay?” I asked.
“I turned every girl down that asked me out telling them that I didn’t want to be tied down. Finally when I was a junior, the summer before my junior year actually, I had this friend named Cody Potts. We spent all summer together; Greg was away at some kind of sports camp. We were inseparable. We never fooled around or anything. The only thing that we did was kiss and that was the rock that shattered the window so to speak. My dad of all people walked into my bedroom with Cody and I lying on my bed making out. He threw Cody out and me along with him.”
“You had it rough. I feel like crap for everything. I know my dad influenced a lot of it I am sorry for that.”
He looked at me and smiled. “Thanks.”
“So you have never gone all the way with another guy?” I asked.
“No, just made out with Cody that one time and that was it.” He replied.
“So like um I think um I might be gay.” I blurted out.
Jamie didn’t say anything. He just looked at me letting what I just said sink in.
“I liked our kiss we had yesterday. I think you are a nice guy and if you are willing to give it a shot and be patient with me and see where things go with us then that would be good.” I explained.
“I don’t want you changing who you are just to please me.”
“I’m not. I have felt this way for years. I just never thought about it much until yesterday. There is just something about you that is so alluring I guess you could say. I feel good when I am around you.”
“I feel good when I am around you too Preston.”
“So what would you think if I told you that Greg and Jenna were going on a date tonight and said that they would turn it into a double date if we wanted to come along?”
“I would say you have yourself a date.” He said as he smiled at me.
I leaned over and kissed him on his cheek. “Now if you don’t mind my bladder is about to explode and I need to take a shower and brush my teeth get rid of these gosh dang glasses.”
Jamie got off my bed and walked towards the door. He stopped when he got in front of the door and turned around and looked at me.
“Will you do one thing for me tonight?” He asked.
“Wear your glasses. You look so smart and sophisticated in them; very sexy if I say so myself.”
I smiled at him. “I’ll think about it.”
He opened the door and left. I picked up my phone and scrolled through my contacts until I got to Greg’s name to send him a message.
looks like a double date tonight buddy
A few seconds I got a reply.
I know Jamie called me as soon as he walked out the door.
I smiled to myself. I reached under my mattress and took out my journal where I had stashed it the night before. I opened it up to a clean page to start writing. As soon as I did my phone rang. I looked at the caller ID and it was my friend Kelsey. I really didn’t feel like talking on the phone so I just pressed the silent button on the side so that it would quit ringing.
I took out my pen and wrote.
August 20, 2010
I have talked to several people in this hard journey in trying to find myself, my sister, her friend Tamara, two random gay guys in the courtyard and Greg. The two gay guys, Damien and Jared helped out a lot, more so Jared than Damien, because he went through some of the stuff that I feel I will be going through in the near future. I woke up this morning and talked to Greg who really helped me out. He gave me good advice and then he being the sly dog that he is went to go get something to eat leaving Jamie and myself alone. We talked and I found out a little bit more about him. I asked him out on a date and he said yes, so I looks like we will be having a double date with Greg and Jenna tonight. I am both nervous and excited to see where things go from here.
I read over what I had just written and saw how I had signed it. Love always, Preston Roberts. That sounded so gay. I was just starting to realize that a lot of the things that I do fall under what most people would call being gay. I on the other hand just call it being myself.