I was in complete disbelief.
Amir was serious. He wasn't joking or trying to pull a fast one on me. He wasn't trying to compliment me or make me feel good. He had seriously said what I just thought he said.
He repeated himself as a matter of act, "I had a dream about my lover. I prayed I would find who the person was. The person was you. I had been so upset that it was a GUY that I spent a lot of time chasing girls...trying to shake the idea...but I couldn't."
He shook his head and smiled. Then there was a little snicker. It was nervous laughter. I thought I was the only one who still laughed when they were real nervous.
"Yeah...bro...I mean, yeah," he said.
All of a sudden it sounded awkward for him to call me "bro" anymore, especially after we had kissed. I knew he noticed it because he fixed what he said.
"Listen," I explained, "Maybe it was just a dream."
He shook his head. This whole thing was so awkward.
"Did you ever feel...some way when you first met me? I mean were you excited. I was excited when I first met you. Did you feel the same way?"
I had to admit it, "Like I told you before, I'm gay and I mean, you're you so of course..."
"No I meant more then physical."
I couldn't lie. I didn't believe in love at first sight until I saw him. I was reliving the first moments that I saw him. He was something special. I knew for sure that he was going to play a major part in my life.
He sounded excited, "See! Like...I know what gay is...and I know what bisexual is. I CAN'T be both. I get pussy...I mean I get a lot of..."
"I get the point," I said suddenly feeling a tweak of jealousy. He didn't have to shove it in my face that he was something of a Casanova of our time. He was straight and that was obvious.
"I'm sorry," he said looking down, "So how come I kissed you? How come you were the one behind the door in my dream? I know you're not a girl and I know I'm not attracted to guys."
"Are you attracted to me?" I asked.
He looked at me up and down. I could see his eyes scanning over me in this real delicate and slow way. I felt almost like I was naked in front of him. He seemed to scan every part of my body. Then I watched as he did his signature move. He licked his lips fully and before he even spoke I knew what it was.
He was scared to say it.
"It's cool. You don't have to answer now," I expressed to him, "I don't know how to answer your question though. This is as weird as it is to me. I love Moonlight Sonata. I had no idea that was the song you were dreaming about. I mean, you never had thoughts about being with a guy? Are you sure?"
"I'm very positive," he said with all the confidence in the world.
"Not even once?"
It wasn't the fact that I thought he was gay. I just always thought that people had thoughts about how it would be like if they were with a guy. I thought it was natural. I thought it was natural even for manly Amir, standing here with muscles piercing through his wife beater.
"I always wanted to get married to a girl," he explained, "I may come across as this bad ass, breaking rules and stuff, but deep inside I thought my life was set. I want a private wedding on the beach. I want the white house and picket fence. I want kids. I want a son for me and a daughter for her. I want to teach my son how to run track so he can make it to the Olympics. I want everything like that. At least I thought that is what I wanted. "
"That is almost everything I am trying to avoid. I am trying to run away from the average American dreams...I want...more..."
He stood there and then said, "That is what I love about you."
He said love.
"If you're afraid, you aren't the only one," I explained, "It's like the Matrix. You can choose to go back to your life or you can see how far the rabbit hole really goes. You know?"
I wasn't trying to convince him either way, but I was trying to let him know that he had the choice.
"I'm not gay though..."
"I know," I explained, but I wondered why he kept saying it. Was it to convince me or to convince himself?
Amir began to laugh more. He turned around and sighed.
"I need time to think," he explained.
My heart skipped because just as he said that he gave me this piercing look. He turned away to leave. Then as he was walking by, he stopped and stared at me for a moment.
I couldn't help it anymore. I walked up to him and I started to kiss him. My kiss eagerly embraced his lips and he didn't pull me off. In fact, he was the first to insert his tongue into my mouth. He licked my lips until I opened them and he slipped his tongue against mine. He held me tight as he kissed me.
Amir rubbed the smalls of my back until he got onto my ass. He seemed to like it. He squeezed it and caressed my butt in the same way that he was caressing my face. He sucked on my tongue and then let me suck on his. The wet kiss seemed to not end.
He stopped for a moment to look at me.
"Damn..." he said.
"I know right..." I replied.
He didn't waste anymore time then to continue kissing me. We stood there kissing for what seemed like forever. We would take breaths just to look at one another. His hands seemed to worship me somehow. I loved it so much. Amir was always good with the ladies...but at this moment I realized he was good with one boy as well.
"I have to go," he finally said.
"No you don't."
Damn...I almost wanted to take it back. I sounded needy and dependent. I could feel him holding me and it was an experience that I wanted to last a lifetime. The African breeze swept over us and I knew there was no other place that I'd rather be.
"I want to stay here with you," he explained but then paused, "I have a
four page paper to write though.
It's due in the morning and I haven't even started it. I mean...I haven't
even done research or anything."
I looked at him and held back laughter, "Get the hell out of here!"
He held me tighter and joked around, "Wait...wait give me a second. I was just now figuring out how
attracted I am to you."
As if the half an hour he spent making out with me and holding me wasn't enough to figure that out. I pushed him away and gave him a stern look.
"Go do your damn paper!"
He kissed me on my forehead and started to walk away, "Let's meet here
tomorrow night...at !"
I nodded as he disappeared.
He was so care free. I couldn't believe he would wait till the last couple hours before he had to hand in a paper. Why did I like that he did that? Maybe it was because it was a part of me that I could never risk. I couldn't have dreamed of doing that in all my lifetime. I'd been working on all the papers that I had due all year (thanks to Patience's schemes) already.
I stood there, waiting in anticipation for the next night. It was almost like I had gotten my wish and for the first time in my life I was completely overwhelmed with happiness. For the first time I was sure that nothing could bring me down from my high.
The next day Patience had called an emergency meeting. I had no idea what this was about and I really didn't care for going, but Mia was there knocking at my door early in the morning. She gave me a look as she saw the face that I had on. I was smiling. I didn't care about Patience or her meeting.
"What are you so happy about?"
I just shrugged. She wouldn't understand. She was trapped like the rest of the dollhouse. We made our way to Patience's bedroom. I could never understand why Mia found it necessary to wear heals to Patience's bedroom. It just never really made too much sense to me at all.
Patience was there and Ethan was standing right next to her like her damn personal security guard. At times, I figured that was her fiancÚ really was.
Then I saw Vince. He avoided my eye contact and I avoided his. I knew I would have to talk to him sooner or later. This was stupid. Him and I were best friends. We could work past all the problems that we were having. His sister sat next to him with the clueless look that she always.
"Wednesday, hand out the papers," Patience explained, "I want everyone to read these and pay close attention to the details."
Wednesday got up and did just that. When I got my paper, I realized what they were. They were our first month's assessment. I looked at the paper and realized Patience had marked up everything that I had done and what I needed to do for school on the paper.
Then as I kept reading, it went from school work to more personal things.
At the very bottom there was a `What you need to work on for next time' list. The list was long as hell for me. She had things like "more order, more discipline, more loyalty...loyalty?" What the hell was this?
"Is this it?" I asked and looked at the time, "Because I have theater."
She gave me a pissed off look, "I especially want you to pay close attention to that Chauncey. There are some things you need to work on..."
I got up of my chair, getting a confused stare from half the room and an angry stare from the other half. These rules...these schemes...these assessments were becoming stupid. I was really not having time for it much anymore.
I walked out of the room and made way down the hall. It hadn't until I got to the elevator and saw Mia chasing me down that I realized that I had really just blown Patience off. I mean, it wasn't everyday somebody just did that.
She got into the elevator with me before she even said anything to me. She kept looking at me almost like I was crazy.
"You must have a death wish," she explained.
"Mia, don't you ever get tired of doing what she wants you to do?" I asked her and grabbed her assessment out of her hand, beginning to read, "Look at this. She writes `change your make up, brush your hair more, stop goggling at boys and close your legs'. You are grown. Patience is not your mother!"
She snatched the paper back. She looked embarrassed as she crossed her arms, "Chauncey...it has always been like this."
"That was then...we were kids then. We are grown now," I explained.
I give her a look. She won't understand. Vince was the same way. It was almost like there was a wall there between us that things couldn't understand. I didn't get why the hell they were so...so damn thickheaded.
"At times...I do want to speak to someone," Mia explained, "Like just speak to him you know. I'm so scared though. Patience would kill me."
Mia was beautiful and smart. She was the most stylish person I knew. She was more stylish then Patience! I didn't get why the hell she was taking tips from Patience.
"Well, you are going to miss out on some things," I tell her, "You are going to miss out on love if you keep listening to Patience. You can choose to really be in love with someone or get engaged to someone out of convenience like she did with Ethan."
I know it was rude to say and I was risking Mia going right back and telling Patience about it. I didn't care about that though. This was something I was going to risk one way or another.
"I...I don't know..."
I crossed my arms a little pissed, "Mia, what the hell! When are you going to start cutting the ventriloquist strings? Hell, I'm on my way and I swear, when I cut mine, I'm gone...seriously."
That was when she stopped speaking for a second.
I never expected Mia to really be the one actually thinking about doing something that Patience didn't want, but now that she was in this elevator thinking about it. I knew that maybe it wasn't the worst thing.
That was when Mia hit the stop button on the elevator.
"Help me...please Chauncey."
"I mean, sure, what do you want me to do?" I asked, completely in shocked and kind of excited that Mia all of a sudden seemed to want to break the whole thing up that was going on.
"I've been talking to this boy...yesterday I kissed him," she explained, "I
just need you give him a letter. I'm kind of scared Patience is going to find
I thought how corny a letter was but then I figured better then that. Mia was far from being a daredevil. It would take one step at a time.
"Sure, give me it...I'll find the boy."
"You already know him."
She gave me the folded letter. On the outside of it, I could see "For Amir" on it. What the hell? I almost dropped the letter out of anger. It hung loosely in my hands as I looked back at Patience with this bothered look on my face.
"You kissed him yesterday?" I asked, a little confused by the whole thing about it.
"Yeah...we were flirting for a while, but you know his GPA isn't that high
and he's from the ghetto. He
doesn't go to an Ivy League.
Patience hates him. I was always so afraid," she explained, "But
yesterday...we kissed and I think...I think I'm in love."
I couldn't believe this bullshit.
How could this bitch say she was in love after just one kiss?
Then again...how come I'd thought the same.
"I don't think I can do this," I said, reaching the letter back out to her.
"Please...you said you would help!" Mia asked with these drooping eyes, "No one else would understand. You know that! I need to let him know that I want to accept his offer. I want to be his girlfriend."
"He asked you to be his girlfriend?"
"You know what," I said, folding up the letter and putting it in my pocket, "I'll give it to him."
All of a sudden I felt Mia hug me. It was one of the only times she had hugged me in private...in a way that she actually meant. All this time we had known each other, it was the first time that she'd done it.
I looked over at her eyes and saw a tear drop fall from her eye. This girl was serious. It wasn't just lust that drove her. She really thought she was in love.
Mia was worst off then me. She wouldn't risk the security in life that Patience offered. She wouldn't risk it unless she really was in love. What did Amir say to her to make her feel so protected in her emotions? Was it like something he had told me?
I made it to theater a little late because I had stopped to talk to Mia. I was pissed. My entire body was shaking. I tried not to turn his way but I couldn't help it. It was Amir. He smiled at me as I walked in, but I completely ignored his smile.
I didn't know how to feel about this. He was such a playboy.
"What's bugging you?" Kim asked as I sat next to her.
I didn't have time to tell her. I didn't feel like dealing with any of it right now. She was right about him.
He was probably just getting bored with how easy these girls were and had decided to try to local fag that had a crush on him. He couldn't have been surprised that I was gay. He had to have realized all along how I looked at him. Then he made up that whole lie about the song. He probably used that line with everyone.
The stone...I couldn't explain that. Maybe it was just a freak coincidence. It didn't have to mean we belonged together or anything.
The class went by pretty quickly. Our quirky teacher wanted to be called Peter. I didn't understand why he was so funny to me but he really was. He always started to carry about things that no one seemed to understand. It was like he spoke in riddles at times. I liked it though, even though I couldn't understand what the hell he was talking about at times.
By the end of class he had dismissed us with one final thought, "Move like you've been a stuck for all your life. That is what you should do. Move like a weed. Yesterday you thought it was a good thing to be flowers. Tomorrow, you should all be weeds!"
With that he had dismissed us, but as I packed up to leave class, I realized that Amir was still there in the back of class, taking forever to leave like he always did. I guess, it was the best time to give him his fan mail.
I handed him the note.
I tried to force a fake smile, but it just didn't work. It came out crooked and he definitely noticed because smile that had spread across his face disappeared when he looked up and saw my face.
"What is this?" he asked me, seeming to understand how pissed he looked.
"Mia gave it to me for you," I explained to him, trying my hardest not to seem bothered, "She must have really enjoyed your kiss...she..."
I tried to keep talking but I couldn't. I was bothered. It was getting to me. I turned to walk away, but he grabbed me and pulled me over to him hard.
"You not going to keep running from me boy," he said in this real aggressive way that made me think for a second maybe I was the only one he had his eyes on.
"What...you want me to wait for you reply letter?"
"We...me and you," he said and then looked around the class before
whispering, "We have a lot to talk about.
It's important. Are you still going to meet me tonight at our secret
I stood there for a moment. He had said the place was "our" secret place. He hadn't said it was his. I just stood there thinking about it.
"I don't want to get hurt," I explained to him.
"What? Why would I hurt you!" he seemed a little pissed by even the mention of it and then we both realized that we weren't all alone in the room. Peter, our theater teacher was still there.
He gave us a suspicious look, causing Amir to grab me and pull me into the corner a little bit more.
"You keep fucking around with all these females," I told him, slightly upset about it. I didn't mean to curse but he was pretending to be so innocent like he had no idea what he was doing.
"We can't talk about this now," he explained and looked at the time, "I need you to know though, that I'm not scared about...us. I have been...scared out of my mind of what yesterday meant, but it was special. We both know that."
He was right. It was
"So what about Mia?"
"I'll explain about her. I
have a class, but please meet me tonight.
"Whatever," I said.
He squeezed my hand a little harder, "Whatever? I want you to promise."
His eyes were chasing mine around the room. He kept moving in front of wherever I was trying to look. I even made an attempt to look down and he bent down to lift my eyes up with his.
As soon as our eyes met, I knew for sure that I would agree, "Ok...I promise."
"Great!" he said and walked away, "I'll see you later."
I wasn't convinced as I watched him walk away. God, some other girl, or maybe even a guy for that matter, was probably going to fall in love with him as soon as he walked out that door. He could charm the devil into letting him out of hell. That a boy was that good and even as I struggled, I realized things were hard.
I started moving towards the door to leave as well when I heard Peter clear his throat. I looked back and he smiled at me.
He spoke slowly almost hauntingly, "Love isn't simple. It should be hard and it should be dramatic. Why do think it's the main subject in most tragedies and yet is the same for most comedies?"
I walked over to him a little embarrassed.
"Is it that obvious?" I asked.
He laughed, "Again...I am a teacher of the dramas and the arts. I don't want to toot my horn, but I am damn good at my job. I can read into people from a mile away. I could tell that you had feelings for that boy. You know the weird thing?"
"I could tell he had feelings for you too."
It was weird talking to Peter. I never was one to be friends with a teacher, I felt it was corny...even in college. We talked there for hours though. We talked about love and about life. He was such a deep person.
No one had ever talked to me about love before. People talked to their kids about sex and my mother had done the same thing in a very informative way. However, I'd never really talked about love like I was doing now with Professor Peter. He seemed to know about it all. He spoke about it as though it was poetry. It was the most beautiful thing in the world and the whole time he spoke, I felt like I was getting closer and closer to what my feelings for Amir really were.
He explained his experience so well, "I'm an old man...older than I
look. I saw your same look in the
eyes of countless other boys. They
were paired lovers. So many
feelings I've noticed, but none of them acted on it. They came to my class...they became
infatuated and they left. Most of
them left without even speaking to one another. You and him...you were the first. After all these years, you and Amir were
the first to even think about what the potential could be. You may redefine what true love is for
this new decade. That potential is
"Am I gay? Is that what you are getting at?" he asked and laughed humbly,
"No...no...I am not gay. I have done a few things in my past, but no, I'm married
and in love with a woman. Yet I
appreciate love, in any form that it comes."
He spoke like this to me for hours. They were beautiful words that seemed to be encrypting themselves into my bones. I would never forget them. They were poetic and by the time I left it was late in the night.
I had never spent hours just speaking to someone.
"You realize what time it is?" he asked me and smiled, "You should go get
ready to meet him."
Partially I didn't want to go. He didn't seem like he minded the conversation. It excited him. He told me that he was my teacher and he planned to teach me about drama. He told me that drama was more then performing Broadway plays. Drama was life.
I'd given Peter a hug and left.
He was right about everything. I understood Amir wasn't perfect and I understood what his biggest fault was, but I wanted him with every fiber of my body. He didn't know what gay was...I'm sure he had no idea, but I was going to do anything that I could to have him.
I had taken a shower and gotten dressed. There were a couple messages on my phone. I looked down. Some were from Kim. She was probably trying to invite me out. Then there was one from Mia. She was asking if I gave Amir the letter. Then I saw one from Vince. It was weird. I picked up the phone to call back, but decided not to. I wanted to give Vince all my attention when I spoke to him to clear things up. I couldn't at this moment. I was too focused on Amir.
I made sure I looked nice. I
wore cologne. Most of the students
were at the last celebration in
I practiced in the mirror and everything, "So Amir...I just want to tell you that you aren't gay...but..."
I took a deep breath. It was even hard to say in front of a mirror let alone in front of him. How would I be able to do that?
"Amir..." I said, changing up my opening line, "You have been like a brother to me. I know what that means and even though I don't want to lose that close bond, I'm sure that I want to be more than that. I care about you...ugh...this is stupid."
I couldn't rehearse it. I would just have to wing it.
I put on my Dad's watch and then grabbed the necklace that he had made for me off the cabinet. I hung it around my neck. It was fucking huge and beautiful. It looked so damn expensive like I had gotten it out of some expensive store.
I wondered if he was going to wear mine.
I walked up to the deck. As usual it was an empty, small private deck that overlooked the much bigger back deck of the ship that stretched out like a baseball field. It sat up on top from the boiler room so every once and a while the deck would vibrate from the boiler room's busy activity.
He hadn't arrived yet. Damn...I was kind of impatient. I felt as though the cologne I used would have evaporated or something would happen like rain to just completely fuck up the night.
It felt like it was going to rain.
Fuck...then all of a sudden it did. The rain started to drizzle at first but then it started to really rain. Damn...no wonder he didn't come.
I went back to a little bit of balcony to get out of the rain. Rain in
"Hey," a voice explained, "You're wet, come here."
The voice wasn't Amir. It stirred my heart, but I knew it wasn't Amir. I turned to see Vince standing there. He had a towel in his hand. He didn't even wait for me to accept it before he came up to me and helped me dry myself by wrapping the towel all through my head.
"How...I mean...what the hell, how did you find me?"
It was weird. How did people keep finding me? First him and Patience were walking towards Tosha and she said she knew what happened. Then Patience found out that I was one of the people that got kidnapped. How did they know these things?
"You're going to be mad," he explained.
I gave him this tough look, "Vince...tell me! How the hell did you find me up here?"
He reached his arm out. I thought he was going to try to smooth talk me or something, but then I realized him pulling my watch off. I gave him a weird look, wondering why he took my watch off. Then he opened it. I didn't know it could open like that. There was a listening device stuck inside.
Vince looked a little shy when he said, "You were bugged. I made the watch for Patience when she
wanted a way to listen to people. I
never thought she was going to use it on you."
"Are you fucking serious?" I cried angrily.
I couldn't believe it. She bugged me. My sister...that bitch, bugged me! I grabbed the watch and threw it in the rain angrily. She lied to me! The watch hadn't been my father's watch. I had cherished that watch this whole time and it was nothing more then a fucking bug.
"I confronted her about it angrily," he explained, "She told me that she wasn't going to harm you. She said that she just wanted to keep an eye on you and make sure Amir didn't poison your mind. She told me that if I didn't trust her, I could be the one to keep an eye on you."
"He doesn't want to poison my mind."
"She thinks he is and so do I.
She wanted to find something real shady about him to get him out of the
scene. She figured if you two got close then he would tell you everything about
"Oh my god...what do you know..."
"Mostly everything that happened since then. I know you guys are from some project building from the Grove. I know about the kidnapping. I sent her there to get you out. I know about him..."
I couldn't even look at Vince. He seemed so...evil to me all of a sudden. Since when was he an accomplice in crime? I understood we were all afraid of what Patience was capable of but since when was he going out of his way to assist her in her crazy plots.
"You invaded my privacy," I said in an angry way.
Vince got real defensive, "Only so she wouldn't! What would you have rather me have done? What if Patience knew about what you and this...boy...have been up to? You think you're in love?"
"It's none of your business!" I cried out, "If you wanted to help me you would have told me that Patience had bugged me! Since when does she bug her family to keep them in check?"
I wanted to hit him. If he wasn't my best friend I would have swung at him. He was such an ass hole at this very moment. I couldn't believe he had done this to me and made up this whole excuse about trying to protect me.
"It is my business...I couldn't let you come up here and make the biggest mistake of your life. Not with him...not with this boy. Can't you tell? He has Mia wrapped all over his finger now. You want to be next?"
God...he had heard everything! He had even heard about Mia. It made sense what Mia had said about him always being locked up in his room now! It was all coming together. He was listening to my life! I felt like I was on reality television all of a sudden with no idea.
"How much does Patience know?" I asked.
"Not much...I'm trying to tell you. I hid the tapes somewhere safe. I was going to tell you to record some
boring stuff to cover up everything that happened."
I looked at him suspiciously, "Are you lying?"
"No...I have another watch. We can still record something. We were going to make some stuff up and I was going to play it for her so that she wouldn't get suspicious. That was the plan all along."
He was holding me now...he was holding me so I wouldn't move. His hand gripped the side of my arms. Damn...maybe I was wrong. Maybe Vince was trying to cover up for me all along.
I grabbed onto his hands, letting him know that it was ok to let me go
and that I wouldn't run away, "Thanks...I mean...I'm sorry for getting mad, you just
have to know that it doesn't feel good being spied on."
"I know...it was wrong...but my heart was in the right place," he explained and then with a twinkle in his eye added "It still is."
His movement was face and his head dipped into mine. He gave me a soft kiss on the lips that seemed to have so much passion and need. He continued to hold me still, only this time his arms were holding onto my head.
I back up, trying to really get a hold of my actions, but it was for no good.
He backed up with me, continuously holding my head as well. All of a sudden we were out in the rain and it would have been so perfect. It would have been the perfect kiss as the rain poured down between our lips, making them smack even harder.
Everything would have been perfect if it wasn't for Amir...I loved Amir...
I turned around to see Amir standing there. I broke the kiss from Vince and he reached out for me, but I quickly ran over to Amir.
I looked at his hand as he pulled out a couple of pieces of paper. They were music notes. They read "moonlight sonata." I watched as Amir crumbled up the notes and threw it in the rain.
"You know how hard it is to find a printer on this ship at this time," he
asked me and then laughed, "I was going to try to play the song for you today,
but I guess I'm disturbing something."
He gave a look to Vince. Vince walked back under the balcony above us away from the rain silently. I saw Amir's eyes steadily following him, stalking him almost.
"Listen, I have to talk to you."
"No I wouldn't want to disturb," Amir said with this angry, disgusted
tone, "Fuck it...yo...you don't even know nigga. I was going to give it all up. I was going to give up all the girls...all
the bullshit. I was going to give
it up for you."
"You still can."
"No. I said fuck that! After you bring him to our place? This was our special place..."
He turned around slow.
He stood there for a second almost as though he was thinking and I hoped with all my heart that he was thinking about turning back around.
Was he crying?
"Are you...are you crying?" I asked him.
He turned back around, quick as he slowly backed away. He was looking in my eyes and it wasn't rain that was strumming down his face. All of a sudden I was absolutely shocked. He seemed like an emotionless playboy all this time. I never thought he would be the type to actually cry.
"I've dated people for years and they've never broken my heard. I mean...thought no one could do it...but you really did," he said and threw his arms up almost as though giving up, "You broke my heart bro...you really did."