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A day or two passes by me in a blur.
It's not that the days were uneventful. They just seemed dull in comparison to some of the major milestones I've been experiencing in my life lately. I certainly didn't want to complain though, for fear of being thrust out of my current lull in 'adventure' and tossed right back into another pit of tragedy and despair before I had time to heal from any of the last four or five mishaps that I've been struggling through.
Johnson and his hoodlum crew of assholes still leered at me in the hallway whenever they saw me coming. It was more subtle now. Far less violent than before. But I don't think Chris' telling them to back off did much good. If anything, they'd prefer to lose respect for Chris before gaining any respect for me. And realizing that fact made me sorry for getting him involved at all.
Tanner's grown more fond of me since I came out to my mom. I can feel it. I can see it in his eyes. Not only that, but he's more anxious than ever to do the same with his mom too. Should I worry about that as much as I do? It just seems like his mom would go to great lengths to keep us apart from one another if she knew that we were in love. And unlike my own mom, she has the money and the resources to make that happen. She could send Tanner away. She could ship him off to live with a relative, or place him in another school system entirely. Who knows WHAT she'd be capable of. she's not the most sympathetic person in the world. She could completely destroy our love and the rest of my life and never lose a moment's sleep over it. Why would she care? Why would anybody?
I don't know....maybe this whole worst case scenario is all in my head, you know? Maybe Tanner knows the level of risk that comes with telling his parents about us better than I do. I want to put my trust in the idea that we were simply meant to be together and that it'll all work out for the best...but...that would be delusional. Wouldn't it?
Things don't always work out for the best. In fact, things hardly ever work out for the best.
I woke up that morning with the dread of having to look at myself in the mirror again as I brushed my teeth. Even though my face had healed up enough to not really draw much attention to myself, it was still...sighhhh....imperfect. You know? Slightly darkened patches of skin where my bruises and scratches once were. I just felt ugly. Defeated. Every time I looked at one of those bruises, I was forced to think about how helpless I was. And how helpless I'd be if they decided, on a whim, to come after me and do it again.
But the one thing that kept me from spiraling down into a deep depression over it was the fact that Tanner still stood by me. Through all of it. With all my battered ugliness...through my insecurities and my withdrawal...even through the danger that HE might be in, just being associated with me at school...he stayed right by my side through it all. He saw my busted lip and my black eye and...he kissed me anyway. He looked at me as though I was just as beautiful as I was the first day that we fell in love. Without a blink, or a flinch, or an uncomfortable twitch of any kind. He still thought I was beautiful. And I never had to ask him. Never once. I just knew it.
God...who gets this lucky in life? You know? I mean, seriously...he's so perfect for me...
I came downstairs and smelled one of my mom's signature breakfasts cooking. Still warm and ready to be scraped right out of a hot pan and into my plate. My mom was a bit more lively than I was, as she was already hopped up on her second cup of coffee. She gave me a kiss on the top of my head as she put down a plate in front of me and told me to eat up.
The rumble in my tummy didn't allow me to hesitate at all. I started devouring everything I could like a hungry junkyard mutt while she moved swiftly back and forth in the kitchen around me. It always looked like she was juggling 120 thoughts at once, just trying to get things organized for the day and making sure that all of the proverbial 'dominoes' fell in the right order, and ended up at the right destination. And that included getting me ready for school.
Geez...what is she? Wonder Woman?
I was almost done eating when I noticed her taking little peeks at my face every now and then. And when she got fed up with being sneaky, she just lifted my head up and took a rather 'aggressive' look to see how my scars were healing. Jesus! I'm lucky that I didn't choke to death, the way she thrust my head back like some kind of spazzed out vampire! "MOM!!! I'm eating!"
"How are you feeling, sweetie? Good?"
"I'm fine. Really, I am." I said.
She ran her hands through my hair. Very lightly. And she asked, "Things at school? They're...better?"
Only slightly annoyed, I said, "Yes. Things at school are just fine. Ok?"
She said, "Just fine? No more trouble from those boys who picked on you? Because if I have to go back up there..."
"No! Please don't." I said. "After your last visit, I'm surprised that Principal Payton doesn't have the whole National Guard escort me from class to class."
I was rolling my eyes, but my Mom had built up an immunity to my sarcasm by the time I reached my 13th birthday. "If that's what it takes, then that's what it takes." She said. "Are you sure that they're going to leave you alone from now on? Are you going to be alright? I'm just going to keep asking you, so you might as well tell me."
I looked her in the eye and told her, "It's FINE. Ok? Thank you, but...you don't need to keep stressing out about it. I wish you would stop worrying so much."
She gave me a light smack on the back of the head. "Well...that's what you get when you lie to your mother the first time around. Your trust points reset and go right back down to zero. So it's up to you to build them back up. ONE point at a time. You hear me?"
"Yes, Mom...." I groaned.
"I mean it, Derrick. If I keep asking you if you're ok, and you continue giving me the same old tired answers, I'm marching right back up to that school to see for myself. So save yourself the embarrassment and be honest with me from now on." She said.
"Alright, already. Can I finish eating, please?" I said.
That's when she walked over to give me a kiss on the cheek and she said, "I have to go to work. I love you. K, baby?"
"Ok..." I mumbled softly.
"It's just you and me, Derrick. Just us, against the world. We have to look out for one another. That's the only way this works. That's how we get by." She said, and gave me a quick squeeze.
"K....bye." I said. And then she grabbed all of her stuff and she was gone. I wouldn't see her again until a few hours after I came home from school, but now that Joel was back home, I was sure that I'd have something to snack on when I came home from school. That's always a blessing, right?
I just happened to notice how anxious I get when the bus nears Tanner's stop every morning. How long have we been together now? And after all this time, it still feels like my very first crush. There's a bank and a small park that passes by my bus window just minutes before stopping to pick Tanner up...and that's when it begins. The racing pulse. The involuntary smile. The unconscious tapping of my fingers on the backpack sitting in my lap. And when the bus begins to slow down, and I see my sweetheart waiting to climb on board...it's like my heart bursts wide open. I feel like I'm suddenly filled with light...and I practically slide right out of my seat when those bright eyes meet mine and he gives me his first genuine smile of the day. I swear, it never gets old. Never.
"You seem especially cheerful today. Hehehe! What's up?" He asked, taking his rightful place beside me.
"Do I? I don't know why. I'm just happy to see you, I suppose."
"Oh. Well, in that case, do you wanna make out?" He grinned, making kissy faces at me. God, if only he knew how much I wish we could. Right there in front of everybody. It would be a miraculous boost for the rest of my day. "Hey, you know that freaky giant tarantula movie we were watching the other day? Well, I checked out the listings for that channel, and they've got a different old school monster movie every week at the same time! You should see some of the names they've got on the line-up, dude!"
I watched as Tanner reached into his backpack and pulled out a folded piece of paper. He seemed so happy about it. I was like, "Hehehe, wait, you're serious, aren't you?"
"Of course, I'm serious. I wouldn't joke around about this." He said. "Look...'The Mad Monster', 'The Mole People', 'The Killer Shrews', 'Attack Of The Giant Leeches'....I guess if you wanted to be scary back then, you just had to make stuff really big." When I giggled at what he just said, he caught on and giggled right along with me. "You know what I mean! Weirdo!" I took so much joy in seeing Tanner get excited about much of anything. It just...warmed my heart, you know? His happiness was so contagious. It affected every aspect of the small piece of existence that surrounded him. Me included. "This one's called 'The Brain That Wouldn't Die'...so we've got that one..."
"We're planning on losing a lot of sleep together, I take it." I smiled, and he was quick to smile back at me.
"Maybe. It'll be late, but...we'll be together. I like feeling close to you." His voice softened when he said it, his eyes beaming with a dreamy gaze. And after a quiet sigh, he said, "Maybe the next time we get a break from school, I can sleep over...and we could get under the covers and watch them together for real."
The idea made me blush, and it only got worse when he secretly reached down to take a hold of my hand.
I attempted to maintain my composure before I jumped his bones without thinking. I said, "My mom would love that. Hehehe, she'd probably be peeking in every five minutes and listening at the door. You know...now that she knows."
"I wouldn't mind..." He said.
"You know, she is totally psyched about the idea of you coming over to dinner. She's being a maniac about it these days."
"Really?" Tanner asked. "You didn't tell me that."
"Don't worry about it. She's just one of those moms who gets excited over everything that I do. I could join a goat worshipping death cult, and she'd want to come to our meetings on the weekends."
But Tanner just grinned at me and said, "So...when are you going to have me over?"
"When am I coming over to dinner? Tell me when. I wanna do it."
"Tanner, hehehe...what are you talking about. There's no dinner."
"Well, not yet, there isn't. So let's set one up. What about next weekend? It'll be fun!" He said, giving my hand a bit of a squeeze, and an affectionate rub with his thumb.
I giggled girlishly before I was able to contain myself. "Tanner....hehehe..."
"It's not like you've never come over for dinner before at my house before."
"I haven't been since you blabbed everything. It'll be awesome. I love your mom!" He said.
Is it weird that I was getting extremely hard just from having his thumb lightly rubbing back and forth over my hand like that? What I wouldn't give to taste those sweet, soft, lips of his right now. I told him, "I don't know, dude. It's gonna be embarrassing..."
"Hehehe, not for me, it isn't." I gave him a poke with my other finger, but it didn't do much to distract him from the issue at hand. "LOOK at you! Omigod, you're blushing so hard right now!" He kept his stare and his smile focused on me until I was ready to cave. Then he said, "Please? C'mon...I've never really been 'out' in front of somebody elses mom before. I think it'll be really cute. And we can spend even more time together. Which...you know...would be fun."
"Yeah...it would be." I grinned sheepishly. I sighed, and I told him, "Can't we just hang out at your house instead?"
"You mean you want to hang out with MY mom? Because I can totally arrange that."
Tanner definitely had me there. "Fine. Ok...whatever. I'll...I'll ask my mom. Ok?"
"SOON!" He insisted. "For next Saturday! I'll wear something fancy. Would she want me to bring something?"
"Just a smile." I said. "She's probably going to give us both an entire three hour photo shoot before she allows you to leave. My mom is like the paparazzi when it comes to this kind of thing."
I know that I was groaning and all when I surrendered to Tanner's request, but what else could I do? I can't say no to him. Not ever. I'd do anything Tanner ever asked of me, and more. I loved him more than the word 'no'. Hehehe, how crazy is that?
Tanner gripped my shoulder, and he said, "Don't stress out so much. It'll be a good time. Your mom is awesome. And hopefully....you've got a closet in your house somewhere that's FULL of naked baby pictures that I can copy and save! You're not planning to run for office anytime in the future, are you?"
Teasing him back, I said, "You don't need baby pictures to see me naked, you know?" Which caused his eyes to widen a bit. "Hehehe, now who's blushing?"
It was a challenge, trying to shake out all of the wiggly feelings that I had for Tanner before reaching our destination that morning. Not to mention that I was still hard enough to be 'showing' when the bus came to a stop. Even after Tanner had stopped holding my hand. Maybe it wasn't the physical contact at all. Maybe it was just my feelings for him in general that brought about that kind of instant response. Because, to be honest...Tanner's smile...his voice...it was just as potent for me as his touch. It was a total experience. Every time.
We walked into school together, a bit sad at the fact that it might be a few hours before we would be able to reconnect again. You'd be surprised a few hours can seem like a lifetime when your very sense of completion isn't in constant immediate contact with you. It aches. And I don't mean some sort of metaphorical 'ache' either. It's an actual, physical, ache that I feel in the very center of my heart. My brain tries to tell me that it's silly for me to feel that way when I'm just going to see Tanner again at lunch, but...the heart won't listen. Instead, it curls up on the rug like a lonely puppy at the front door, waiting for its owner to come home again.
Love is the most enjoyable form of madness. Or so I would assume.
Then, as we were traveling around the corner, we saw Johnson and some of his goons coming towards us from the other direction. Ugh, why do they even have to BE here???
It wasn't so much my hatred for them that made things uncomfortable. It was the smug little grin on his face as he looked at me and got the satisfaction of seeing the scant traces of his barbaric bully tactics still lingering on my face.
I wish I was stronger. I wish I didn't feel the need to lower my eyes and shy away from his squad of jerks. But I did. And having to do that in front of Tanner just made it hurt even worse.
Tanner, on the other hand, was more insulted than I was about the fact that they were still allowed to roam these school hallways without suffering any consequences at all for what they did to me. He fought really hard to hold himself together, but I could see it in his eyes...if he could suddenly snap and put every last one of them in the hospital...he would.
Johnson grinned at me, and blew me a kiss as we crossed paths. I didn't let it get to me, but I hear Tanner say, "Assholes...." It wasn't loud, but it was far from a whisper.
Johnson turned around and said, "What was that? Got something to say, faggot? Don't be bashful, sweetheart! I'm right here!"
Tanner almost looked like he wanted to turn around and give him the challenge he was looking for. But I quickly reached out to silently tell him to keep walking. I didn't need this today.
"Don't instigate them, ok?" I said. It wasn't meant to come off as being cowardly. I just know that you have to pick your battles in cases like this. And this wasn't it. Any teacher without their morning coffee fix would jump on both of us and suspend us without batting an eye. I know that Tanner was willing to take a beating for me. If for no other reason than to make the point that messing with one of us meant messing with both of us. But I'd never want anyone to put their hands on my boyfriend. I won't allow it. If Johnson were to blemish that soft beautiful skin of my favorite boy...I'd kill him. I'd literally take his life and keep punching until there was nothing left of him to save.
It's just best to avoid that confrontation altogether. I'm not letting him get a pass...but if I want to get back at those braindead idiots, I was going to have to use the one weapon they don't have. My brain.
"Those fuckers need to be kicked out of here. Seriously." Tanner pouted, and then he looked at me as my mood was instantly lifted with a few snickers. "What? What's funny?"
I said, "Don't curse, dude. Hehehe! It's so cute when you try to be hardcore."
"Shut up! I'm hardcore..." He pouted, a smirk appearing on his face. GOD! Why can't I find a place to drag him and kiss him in private right now??? "I'm not gonna let them bother you anymore, Derrick. I'm not going to let them hurt you anymore."
"I'm not going to let them hurt you either. Don't sweat it. They're day is coming. Until then, I'd rather be happy with you than angry at them. K?" I don't know what it was, but hand just naturally raised itself from my side to lightly caress the side of Tanner's pretty face. My thumb gracefully gliding across the smooth surface of his cheek as he sighed, closed his eyes, and gave my palm a gentle kiss.
Maybe it was a bit 'open' for us, as far as displays of affection go in the middle of a high school hallway. But, you want to know something? People didn't really notice as much as I thought they would. In fact, most of them were downright oblivious. And if I could have mustered up just one more ounce of courage at that moment...I might have leaned forward and given Tanner the kiss he so rightfully deserved.
Funny how little things make you realize the difference between whether they care or not...and whether *I* care or not.
Tanner and I parted ways...and the countdown began until I could touch his hand again. The ache began to build the moment he was out of my sight, and continued to add stress and strain on my heart every minute after.
I actually got to my gym class a bit late today. Only by a few minutes, but I knew that I was going to have to change into my uniform in record time if I was going to make it out on the field. It didn't surprise me at all that Chris had slowed down his routine to wait for me in the locker room. I wouldn't have expected anything less from him at this point. Besides, all things aside, I thought it was kind of sweet of him. Chris' heart was so much bigger than he let on. I was proud to be one of the few people who was able to see him for who he really was. To see Chris at his best.
Then....I think I sort of messed things up...
Chris talks to me while I'm getting dressed. It's normal conversation. But I hope he doesn't think that I'm unaware of the fact that he sometimes does it just to keep his eyes fixated on me while I'm in nothing more than my underwear. I know when I'm being mentally groped. Chris was never a creep about it, I mean...if anything, it was flattering. But I knew what he was doing. I just sort of ignored it, I think.
So, Chris was telling me about his father looking to add new chef specialties to the menu of his restaurant chains, and he mentioned for select clientele to try some of these new dishes out. It was small talk, you know. But I appreciated it. However, his experession changed when I said, "My mom is like that too. Always wanting some kind of new audience for something she's trying out for the first time. You know, she really wants Tanner to come over for dinner some time soon so she can cook for him too. I don't know what the big deal is. It's not like she's never made a quick dinner for us before. I guess she just wants to see him again." Then, without really looking at him as I was putting my gym shorts on, I said, "Tanner's all stoked about going over. I think he wants to do it next weekend, but..."
That's when I heard Chris slam his locker shut. It was pretty loud. Angry even. And it made me jump when I heard it.
Chris had his back to me for a moment, and I heard him sigh to himself.
"Chris? Are you alright?"
He paused for a moment, and said, "I've just...I've had a really shitty day today. Ok?"
I asked him, "Do you want to talk about it?"
And he said, "No. No, Derrick. I don't want to talk about it." He rolled his eyes and said, "Just...do you think you could go ONE day without talking about how 'amazing' Tanner is? Can you do that? Can you maybe stop being SO lovey dovey and infatuated for a few minutes? Long enough to think and realize why I might not want to hear you fucking TALK about him all the fucking time??? Is that possible for you? Can you at least give me that much of a break instead of being so goddamn selfish?"
I couldn't help but to feel a pinch of hurt from his reaction, but I guess Chris had his reasons. I said, "I'm...I'm sorry..."
"NO! Don't be sorry. It's fine. Good for you. Good for Tanner. Good for young love, the world over. Hip hip hooray. I just...I don't need to hear about it all the time. Ok? I know religious fanatics that talk about JESUS fewer times in a conversation than you talk about your precious golden boy. And probably with less divine praise and worship. Enough already. Do I have to listen to you brag about him constantly?" He grunted. I wasn't sure what to say, but after a moment of silence, Chris tried his best to cover up the hurt expression on his face, and with a softer voice he said, "Just...I mean, can you maybe understand why I don't want to hear about him right now? Can you not understand that?"
It wasn't my intention to open any wounds for him, but I guess I've been so involved with Tanner for so long that I had forgotten about the whole 'pool incident' completely. So I finished getting dressed for gym class, but I told him, "Chris...dude...I didn't mean to be insensitive or anything. Ok? Really."
He mumbled, "Whatever makes you happy." And that was all he had to say about that, I guess.
All he wanted to say, at least.
I saw him quietly finishing up so he could get away from me as soon as possible. I had the spark of an idea, and I said, "You know...if you were having a tough time today, for whatever reason...I'm sure Mitch would be honored to sit down and lend you an ear. He might want to help."
"What are you talking about?" Chris said, absentmindedly.
"I'm just saying...maybe Mitch would be...you know, 'interested'."
"Interested in what? My bad day? Why would he be interested in that?" Chris asked.
Okaaaaay, so Chris isn't the best at taking hints. "I'm saying...that maybe Mitch is willing to give you the kind of attention that you need right now. I mean, you guys are close, right? Don't you think he would want to talk to you about what's got you in a foul mood today?"
Chris gave me a sour look. And he said, "You're making even less sense than usual, Slug. Mitch can't give me much of anything."
I said, "Well...maybe he can." Chris gave me another sideways look. "I'm SAYING that he might like you, Chris! Geez! I mean, haven't you ever thought about it? All the time he wants to spend with you? All the things he's willing to do for you the second you ask? What if he likes you?"
"That's crazy." He said.
"It's not as crazy as you might think."
"But...Mitch isn't hot." Wow...I can't believe he just said that. Chris saw the expression on my face, and he said, "What? He's not."
"Chris...dude, you know, there's a lot more going on between two people being together than just being 'hot'."
"Like what?" Chris asked, matter-of-factly. "I mean, don't give me the same old garbage as everybody else. Sure, people say all that stuff so they don't come off as shallow and cruel, but nobody means it. They all say it's all about the inner spirit. They say it's all about personality and compatibility. They all stand proudly and say that beauty is only skin deep. Then somebody hot walks by them in the street, and the skin is about as 'deep' as they're willing to go."
I told him, "That's not always true, Chris. You know when it comes to me and Tann...." I started to say his name again, but before Chris could grunt and roll his eyes again, I stopped myself. "...When I think about being with somebody, looks are nice and all. But it's everything else that makes them fun to be with. Being cute is just a bonus."
"Well, that's easy for you to say, Derrick. You're hot. Tanner's hot. It's kind of hard to make your point when your boyfriend looks like he just stepped out of a fashion magazine." He said. "Just look at my dad. Do you really think he pays to pick up those random bimbos on his business trips and buys them expensive gifts so he can take them back to his hotel and discuss geopolitics and her personal code of honor? Do you think he wants to spend time with them because he's so intrigued by their incredible charm and wit? None of that stuff matters, Derrick. 'Hot'? 'Hot' matters to people. It's the only thing that matters to people in the end. And I'd rather screw 100 incredibly stupid, humorless, hot people...void of any personality at all...to find just ONE gem among them, than to have to do it the other way around."
I kept trying to get Chris to understand what I was trying to tell him, but I don't think he was in the mood for it. "I just think that Mitch cares for you a lot more than you know. That's all. Falling for somebody and willingly giving them your whole heart is a LOT more fun when you have someone willing to give you their's in exchange."
"I don't think Mitch is ugly. He's really cute in a lot of ways. But...he's not you. Nobody is." There was a hint of sadness in his voice, and he made sure to look away from me when he said it. And I watched him lock up so that he could go out to gym class. "And as for giving someone my whole heart? It's a total waste of time. So why bother?" And then he was gone. Just...gone.
I wish I could say that Chris avoided me for the entire class, but he didn't. Not completely. He still manages to stare. He still tries to get close enough for an occasional touch on the arm. He still looks like he's fighting the urge to brush some of my blond locks out of my eyes. But all the affection in the world wasn't ever going to make me feel the same way. I just...I couldn't. It's not that Chris wasn't sweet, or intelligent, or a loving and caring individual. It certainly wasn't because he wasn't 'hot' enough. Because he was. Believe me...he was. But...with Tanner...I already found perfection. I was blessed with something so rare, and so special, that I'm still reeling from the very first time that he kissed me. I don't have a need for anyone else. Tanner is my angel. My twin and my opposite at the same time. I can only hope that Chris learns to accept that someday.
As Tanner and I got back on the bus after school, I made a foolish attempt to tone down the utter madness that washed over me every time he was near. I don't know, maybe Chris was right. Maybe I obsess about him a little bit. It's hard not to. And we've got tons of stuff to talk about. There's hardly ever a quiet moment between us once we start gabbing away. But...I see that smile. That gorgeous smile. Pointed in my direction. And I go all warm and squishy on the inside. He IS hot, isn't he? I mean I knew he was hot to me...and apparently to my mom...but, yeah...wow. He's hotter than I am, and you would think I'd have enough ego and self esteem to level the playing field a little bit. If only in my own mind.
Just before the bus reached Tanner's stop, he giggled sweetly to himself. And out of the blue, he said, "Come here. I wanna tell you a secret."
We both leaned toward one another, and he cupped his hand as if he was going to whisper something in my ear. But suddenly, I felt the wetness of his tongue reach out and he started to gently suck on my earlobe! As good as it felt, my initial reaction was to suddenly pull away. "Hehehe! What the...?"
"WAIT! Hehehe! Come back here! Let me finish my secret!" He said, and he leaned right back in and started sucking and nibbling on my ear again. Right there...on a bus full of people! Jesus Christ, it was so hard to sit still while he was doing that! I began to twitch and wiggle a little bit as I felt his warm tongue tease the tiny flap with its sensual motion. And just as the bus started to slow down, he let it slip from his moist lips and he whispered, "I love you..."
The spoken words...the warm breath on my ear...the light tickle of his hair as it brushed against my cheek...combined, they were an orgasm for the senses. Tanner left me a shivering mess as he grabbed his stuff and rushed off the bus as if nothing had happened. But he looked back and waved at me with a playful grin as the bus started up again...pulling us further apart.
I had to press down on my lap to keep a rather obscene display of arousal from freaking out the remaining passengers, but as I slumped down in my seat, my body alive with a fluttering rush of hyperactive endorphins...I just smiled to myself. And let my body ride out the rest of the wave.
Wow, that sweet sweet angel of mine...
The house still seems exceptionally quiet these days without Joel around. I think I'm going to give him a call soon. Just to make sure things are still cool with him and his mom. They've got such an explosive relationship sometimes. It wasn't always that way, but...you know...teenagers, I guess. I have my flare ups too from time to time. I just happen to be a lot more 'afraid' of my mom than he is. Hehehe!
Speaking of my mom, I was wondering what was taking her so long to get home tonight. For a minute I thought they might have had a cancellation at work, and she was going to end up working another double. She usually calls when that kind of thing happens, but maybe they're really busy. Who knows? All I cared about was the fact that Joel wasn't home, Mom wasn't home, and the hottest boy in town spent a good two minutes making love to my ear on a crowded bus! If THAT isn't a reason to 'tease the weenie', I don't know what is!
I had a good double hitter today too! I was SO turned on!
It was then that my mom came bumbling through the back door and into the kitchen. She was about an hour late, but she had a ton of groceries in her hands. More than I had seen her with atone time in a while. It's not payday yet. What's with all this?
I got up to help her untangle some of the bags, and she said she had a couple of 2-Liter sodas in the car still. "What happened? Did you win the lottery or something?"
She smiled and said, "Nope. But I decided to splurge a little bit tonight, and you and me are pulling out all the stops for next Saturday! So help me get this stuff put away."
"Next Saturday? What's next Saturday?"
With an excited grin, she said, "Your boyfriend called the diner tonight and asked to talk to me." He DID? What the heck? "He said that he would very much like to make a reservation at our dinner table for next weekend. Omigod, that's JUST how he said it! Tanner is utterly adorable!"
A bit surprised, I gritted my teeth and grunted, "Oh...yay. He didn't tell me that he was...going to do that."
"Probably so you wouldn't have enough time to make any excuses. He's a smart one. I like him."
"Unh unh! No arguments. I know exactly what I'm going to cook for him, and I'm going to make it to perfection. You'll see." Then she started buzzing around the kitchen, putting stuff away at light speed while I tried to wrap my head around the situation. "Wow, Derrick, honey...this is going to be SO much fun!!! I can't wait!"
The woman who gave birth to me...and the homosexual boy that I'm sleeping with...