My eyes were weighed back down to the table for an entirely different reason this time, and I began ripping my napkin again. Just then, Jason came back to the table. "They are playing Wilson Phillips in the bathroom. That is SO not comfortable when you're trying to take a piss!" He said, patting me on the shoulder again as he passed me to sit down. I looked over at him, and frowned slightly. He had been busted, the scheming little bastard. And when Summer came back in from outside, she got more of the same look. This was a game. It was all a game. Something for the poor little 'gay' boy to get excited about. Oh gee, thanks for the pity date, I really appreciate it, you guys.
I don't think Niles really noticed much of a change in my demeanor, but Summer and Jason could tell. I wasn't playing their game anymore. I'm insulted that they thought to make my sexuality a game at all. I was definitely ready to go, and thank goodness, I only had another 20 minues to wait before they got the message. So we paid our check and gathered our stuff up to leave. We huddled up out in front of the cafe to say our goodbyes. I watched as Niles gave Jason a sports-like handshake, then he gave Summer a little kiss on her hand with a smile, saying that it was nice meeting her. All the while, I was kinda standing off to the side, trying not to be noticed. My insides sulked and sagged, still magnetically attracted to every lovely quality that I could and couldn't see about that boy. But I felt as though I has been shamed beyond belief. As though...the whole 'magic' behind this seemingly coincidental encounter had been a fluke. The fantasy was gone. It's like being told that there was no Santa Claus all over again.
After sayng goodbye to the other two, I could feel Niles watching me. I looked up sheepishly, and his eyes floored me again with their brilliance. He had purposely saved me for last. Niles walked over to me, and instead of a handshake, he gave me a loving hug around the neck. Wow...as much as the anger and the discomfort was building up inside of me over what had happened, I practically melted in his arms. That aroma of fresh vanilla seemed to wash over me, getting caught up in the fabric of my clothes, the soft scent filling my nostrils and making me sigh outloud. My arms instinctively went to his trim waistline, and my palms laid flat on his snake like hips. Lightly, almost afraid to touch him too roughly. It only took me a few seconds before I let my fingers slide further back around him to touch somewhere near the small of his back, and he lightly pushed himself into my embrace. Not enough so that our privates were touching, but almost everything above the belt was. Gosh, he was so slim. So soft and seductively sweet. Holding him and feeling the warmth of his body heat against my chest and stomach was, like, the most erotic thing I had ever done in my life. I could feel his chin resting tenderly on my shoulder, and he gave me a delicate squeeze before letting go. The hug itself was maybe all of a few seconds, but to me, it lasted a lifetime. Then it was over, and he backed up a step or two, looking at me with those sparkling sea green specs of his. "I enjoyed meeting you, Gabe." He said softly. "Maybe we can do this again sometime? I'm not far away if you ever want to visit." He held my gaze for a short moment, and I was forced to look down at my feet before I started to tent out my jeans.
"Um....k.." I said, still quaking from our physical contact. I could still smell his scent on me, and one of his dark brown hairs had been left on the collar of my shirt. I could feel it lazily grazing the nape of my neck as a gentle brezze passed over us.
"Ok you guys. I'll see you later. Bye, Gabe. Come see me some time, ok?" I nodded politely, even though the fact that he addressed me directly made me wiggle in the center of my being. And then Niles waved and gave me an adorable smile as he walked away from us. My heart swelled as my lungs deflated. The very notion that ANYONE that young and cute could possibly be available to someone with my apparently 'abnormal' tastes...was simply unheard of. But it was true. He liked boys. And if he's not with someone already, he will be soon. I can't imagine any gay boy in the WORLD would pass up a chance to be with something that incredible. And yet, even with a harsh infatuation pumping itself into my system to the point of overdose, I had other matters to attend to. And as soon as Niles was out of sight, my grin disappeared, and my scowl returned.
"Exactly what the hell did you think you were doing?" I asked. Both Jason and Summer looked at me.
"What are you talking about?" Jason looked innocent enough, his poker face spot on. But Summer knew better than to try to dig her way out of this now.
"You know EXACTLY what I'm talking about. What are you trying to do???" I said louder.
"Gabe...take it easy. What's the matter with you?" Summer tried to keep me calm, but I didn't even want to look at her right now.
"What's the matter? With ME??? Do I look like a complete IDIOT to you?"
"Dude, we were just trying to....you know..." Jason was trying to find a heterosexual way of saying, 'hook you up with another queer', I'm sure. "...I thought you'd be into it."
"Into WHAT? What are you, my PIMP now?" I said. "I can't believe you did that."
"Did WHAT?" Summer added. "Gabe...he was CUTE! EXTREMELY cute! And he was totally down for meeting you today. When we told him about you, he thought it was bullshit. Like nobody could be that incredible. But honestly, I think he likes what he sees. He was, like, smiling the whole time."
"You told him I was GAY???" I said, even more shocked than before. There was a pause, and neither one of them wanted to answer first.
Then Summer wrinkled her brow, and a pained look came over her face as she said, "Well......"
"Omigod, you did. You told him." I pointed a finger at them, "I told you guys that in CONFIDENCE! And you run out and tell the first person you come across?"
"Niles was NOT the first person we came across! And except for Niles, we haven't told a single soul about you being gay!" She said louder.
"Great, Summer. Shout it out in the street now, why don't ya?" I said.
"Oh, get over yourself, Gabe. We were trying to help."
"You TOLD somebody that I don't even KNOW that I'm gay. How does that help?"
"We ONLY did that because Jason already knew that HE was gay first. You came out to Jason, Jason knew about Niles, we met him and talked about getting together, and we figured we'd put you two in the same room and see what happened. That's IT! It's not like I slipped a hundred dollar bill into his pocket and tossed him a half opened condom packet, saying, 'don't bruise the face, we need it to market him later'!"
"That's not even REMOTELY funny right now, Summer." I whined. "You could have told me. Now I look like a complete asshole."
"WHY???" She protested. "Gabe, honey...look at me, ok?" She turned my head and held onto my shoulders. "This guy...he's awesome. Do you understand that? He's a total BABE!"
"He's prob...sighhh..." I said, rolling my eyes, "He's probably got somebody already."
"He doesn't have ANYBODY, Gabe. We checked. He doesn't like your average brainless supermodel type boyfriend. He's looking for someone with substance. That's got YOUR name written all over it! Did you see the way he was looking at you all afternoon? He thinks you're CUTE! And he was having a good time!"
"Yeah. Actually, he says none of the guys he's ever been interested in have ever made him laugh. You had him giggling all afternoon." Jason added.
Summer shook me lightly. "Come on...he's single, he's smart, and he just...he's fucking HOT, you know?" But, as much as it seemed like a good idea, I think I was too stubborn to give in. "He's looking for somebody, you're looking for somebody..."
"Who said that I was looking for ANYBODY? I'm not lonely, ok? I'm just...figuring things out, and you guys are pushing me into something that I'm not even...I don't even know if he...or if I wanna...whatever. I didn't ask you to DO this, Summer." I was SO humiliated. Why did they have to tell him about me? What did I do today? What did I SAY to him? I was staring awfully hard. He must have known the entire time that I was checking him out. It was all flirtatious and fun before, but NOW? Now I look like some kind of lecherous weirdo. And they somehow couldn't see how setting me up like this could possibly be uncomfortable for me. I mean, here's this wonderful, gorgeous gay teen...and he thinks I'm some kinda desperate loser who needs to have his friends set him up on a 'play date' like a toddler. How humiliating. "God...could you guys be any MORE embarrassing?" I said, turning around to walk away.
"Gabe. Don't be like that." Jason called after me. "Dude, we're SORRY, alright."
"Whatever." I sulked away from them, getting ready for the long walk back home. Sighhh...Niles...PLEASE don't think that I had anything to do with this! Ugh! I'm such a dork for even BEING here!
You would think that a forty five minute walk would do a lot of good when it came to clearing your head and working your way out of a confusing state of mind. But it really didn't. It's hard to explain, but...I felt so incredibly disconnected from what I was really feeling inside all of the sudden. It was like...there was this 'itch' inside, and I couldn't get to it. Some kind of foreign emotional parasite that was working all on its own, despite my attempts to get a hold of it. I couldn't understand what was happening to me. I felt embarrassed, but hopeful. Angry, but giddy. Sad, but inspired. Does ANY of this match??? I mean, without any kind of well defined reasons for what I was feeling...I didn't have any way to...you know...understand what the hell was wrong with me. Maybe I'm just being stubborn. I don't know. I just...I want to have some kind of clear definition of what is right or wrong here. What's going to be 'cool', and what makes me look like a 'dork'. But it felt more like being kicked out of an airplane, lost in this blind freefall with nothing to grasp on to, to stop me from falling or to even slow me down. And you wanna know what's REALLY fucked up? I kinda like it.
I made sure to avoid the phone that night, as I was sure that Summer was going to do her worst to bully me into saying I was sorry for the way I acted earlier. Even though...I kinda did. But no need for her to rub it in right now. Not until I figure things out a little bit better. And Jason? Well, I'm sure that Jason was going to be a 'guy' about the whole thing. You know...just wait a day or two, show up at my back door, and we go back to being buds without ever mentioning it again. I didn't really expect him to be too concerned with the emotional act of 'making up'. Our way of making up has always been reduced to a few well placed curse words, a painful punch in the arm, and giggling while we look for a bruise to show up. At least THAT I understood. THAT I could handle. But this situation with Niles...that was something different.
My mind wandered over to him every five minutes, it seemed. I couldn't get him out of my head if I tried. I probably spent ninety percent of my Saturday night staring off into space, just trying to picture his smile. I remembered every detail. And every thought was sensual, erotic even...but not realy sexual. I just...I wanted to touch him. I wanted to put a hand on his soft stomach and feel him breathing. Or feel the fabric of his shirt. Or maybe take a deep sniff of his soft hair. It made me quake inside to even picture myself kissing him on the cheek. And I found myself either smiling or blushing for no reason at all, over and over again. I thought about his voice, and his accent, and the way it sounded when he said my name, and the shine in his eyes. He knew that I was gay. He KNEW. And he was smiling at me. I mean...do you have any idea how MONUMENTAL that is??? To suddenly be faced with an opportunity like this after spending a majority of your waking life wondering if it's even possible to find something this amazing? Being gay, and finding a boyfriend, and having....sex...that was someting that I always wished for, but never actually CONSIDERED before. It was a fantasy. Like wishing I was infinitely rich or wanting to be a cowboy when I grew up. You never actually expect something like that to step into the realm of reality or even NEAR it. So when it does, it scares the hell out of you. Why? I don't know. Maybe because I have to actually work to be 'worthy' of it now. I actually have to deal with the idea that...there really is somebody out there for me. And there's such a pleasantly helpless feeling in knowing that. God, what if I'm not good enough? PLEASE let me be good enough.
My mom could tell that something was up when I was drifting during dinner. She kinda looked over at me and saw my attention span reduced to that of a goldfish. "Is it anything you wanna talk about, hon?" She asked out of nowhere.
"Wha...huh?" I looked back at my plate, and realized that I had been lazily pushing the same potato piece with my fork for about five minutes now.
"You seem a bit distracted. I just thought maybe you needed an ear." She always offered, never pushed. But there was a lot of stuff that I never expected my mom to understand. And yet...since I was hopelessly lost on this one...I thought she might have more of a hint than I did.
"Well..." I started playing with my food a bit more, twirling endless circles with my fork, and tried to push far enough past the initial embarrassment to speak to her about it. "...I was kinda thinking about...something."
"Something?" She asked.
"Ohh...someONE." She smiled, and I smirked a bit too, with a blush.
"Don't make fun of me."
"Who's making FUN? I smiled. I can smile at my son, can't I?" I looked away, but she did her best to hold back her grin. "So...who is this 'someone' you're thinking about?"
"He's just...he's some guy."
"Ok...that helps." She said sarcastically.
"He's...well...I met him today. So...I don't really KNOW him, know him. But...I kinda know him. You know?" I said, my words twisting themselves into a knot. I kept my eyes down on my plate, trying to keep my eyes from giving away more than I wanted them too.
"Ok..." She said, applying just the right amount of pressure to keep me talking, but not too much where I clammed up and let it go. "So...this guy...is he cute?"
"God yes..." I sighed, almost forgetting that I was talking to my MOM here. My eyes widened, and I blushed at the table. "Sorry."
She just giggled to herself, still trying to hold her chuckles in until we talked some more. "So? Do you like this 'cute' boy?" I nodded. "Does he like you?"
"I dunno...maybe. I mean, he might. But, I can't really tell. Probably not though."
"Why do you thik that?"
"He's kinda...out of my league. You know? I mean, like, seriously out of my league."
"Somehow, I don't think such a category exists for you, sport." She said. She waited for a moment or two, taking another bite of food, before working up the nerve to ask me that one particular question. That 'extra step' that we gay boys always have to go through before we can invest any real emotions into anybody who catches our eye. "So what do you think about the odds with this boy? I mean...he doesn't have a girlfriend or anything, does he?"
"Oh...no. No girlfriend. No guessing game this time. I mean...he's....he's gay like me." I started twirling my fork faster, traces of that nervous energy still lingering in my limbs from his hug earlier.
"Really?" Her smile widened considerably. I got weirded out for a moment there, because I thought she was gonna cry or something. "He told you this?"
"Yeah...he did." She was melting now, and I just wanted to leave it alone at that point. I don't know what it was, but this wasn't a conversation that I should have gone into with her. And yet, now that I had the chance to talk to someone about him, I couldn't stop. "...Anyway, so he's on my mind. And it's just...it's making me nuts. That's all."
"Aww, don't take a feeling like that and brush it off of your shoulder. You should be happy. He's cute, he's gay, you like him, so...tell me more. You've got my attention." She said. "There's nothing to talk about, really. I'm just thinking about him." I started to get up from the table, but she wanted more.
"Wait. Where are you going? Sit down. Talk to me."
"I just did."
"No, you gave me an excuse as to why you were staring off into space. Now I wanna hear more about this boy you're 'thinking' about. What's he like?"
"Mom..." I whined. "Don't, ok? This is weird enough as it is."
"Well, what's weird about it? I think it's great that you like somebody."
"It's NOT great. It's...confusing." I said with a pout.
"Yes, confusion can be a part of it too. But it's a good thing. The more someone confuses you, the better. It makes love fun."
"I'm NOT in love, either. So don't start getting all emotional on me. It's not like that. He's just...he's..." I lowered my voice. "...Cute. That's all."
"That's how it always starts." She smiled, and I playfully rolled my eyes at her. "So, after you guys talked for a while...did you ask him out?"
This strange rush of mild frustration washed over me all at once. "WHAT??? NO!!! Ask him out? Geez, Mom! Why would I ask him out?"
"Why wouldn't you?"
"Because..." I said, hoping that would be enough of an excuse. "Sighhh...you don't understand."
"Understand what? You said he was gay, right? What could it hurt to take a shot at asking him out?"
"It's not that easy."
"It's not that hard either." She said, and I huffed a bit as I started to walk past her chair.
"Just forget it, ok?" I sulked. But she took a hold of my arm and gently pulled me close to her. "Mom..."
"Stop squirming!" She giggled. "Listen, don't ever sell yourself short, ok? You're beautiful. You've always been beautiful. And any boy with a brain in his head is gonna see that when they look at you. Even more so when they talk to you. So believe me when I tell you that you can have your pick when it comes to gay boys like yourself. Even the ones you think are so 'out of your league'." She said, hugging me and giving me a loving 'shake' to keep me from pouting stubbornly to myself. The shake helped to put a sly grin back on my face, even if it was against my will. "Don't WORRY, I'm not gonna go invading your privacy or anything. But you know you can always talk to me, because I tell you the truth, right?"
She looked up at me for an answer. "Yes, Mom." I mumbled.
"Good, now give your mother a kiss and then go pout in private like you always do." She had such an affectionate way of teasing me. But she was right...and she did tell me the truth whenever we talked. It just seems like a bit of a stretch to think that Niles would be that easy to snatch up. The words, 'too good to be true' never applied more than they did to Niles and me being a couple. I should have talked more while we were at the cafe. I should have been more friendly, and social, and funny. I just wish I could start this day all over again, that's all.
It was kinda hard to sleep that night. I got into bed at the usual time, and I was comfortable enough. But my mind was polluted with so much....'extra' stuff, you know? I kept replaying my every minute with Niles earlier, and everything seemed to be off balance somehow. I did everything wrong, didn't I? I don't know. I worry too much. But it was all I could think about, and I was restless with the thoughts of how everything SHOULD'VE gone if I had been given enough time and warning to prepare for today's little visit. There was no way I was gonna be able to sleep like this. So I just kept my hands behind my head, staring up at the ceiling in deep thought until my body had no choice but to pass out from exhaustion. I'd say it all took about an hour and a half of intense dramatic reflection before I blanked out. Did I dream about him? Who knows? I never remember that stuff anyway. But if I did...I'm willing to bet that it was hot.
When I woke up the next morning, I heard the doorbell ringing downstairs. I hadn't even gotten out of bed yet, and I hadn't planned on doing so for another ten to fifteen minutes. But my mom called my name from the living room. "Gabe, honey? You have...a 'visitor'." A visitor? What the heck does she MEAN, I have a visitor? The way she said it, I almost began to have visions of a police detective coming to haul me off to jail or something. I got up, patted my hair down a bit, and put on a pair of red sweatpants and a white tshirt. I checked the mirror for a second to make sure I wasn't TOO terribly 'sleep-ugly'...and then left my room to come to the bottom of the steps.
I sorta peeked around the corner to see who it was, and I saw Jason sitting on the couch while my mom brought him a Sprite. "Aww, Mom...it's just Jason." I said. "Sighhh...come on..." I told him, and he stood up to follow me back to my room. The weird thing is, my mom had such a weird grin pasted on her face. What the hell is THAT about?
"I wanna talk to you." Jason said, closing my bedroom door.
"About what?" I pouted. I can't say that I was really angry with him and Summer, but it still doesn't erase the fact that I feel completely mortified from yesterday's events. I slumped back down on my bed, feeling the heat still radiating from my pillow. I could SO go back to sleep right now.
"Dude, don't be difficult, ok? You KNOW that me and Summer were just trying to make things...I dunno...better for you, or whatever."
I had my eyes closed, and sighed outloud. "I know you did, Jason. Just...don't do it any more, ok?"
He was quiet for a second, and he asked, "So...I mean, what did you think of him? Niles, I mean."
"He's fine." I said.
"Just 'fine'?" Jason moved to sit on my bed with me. "I mean...you thought he was cute though, right? I'm not gay or anything, but I know cute when I see it. I think he's...you know...nice looking and stuff." He paused for a second. "Girls like him a lot." He paused again, waiing for me to say something. "Guys REALLY like him..."
"Can you just...stop, please?"
"What? Come on, you can't tell me you weren't at least a LITTLE bit attracted to him."
Finally, I answered. "Of course I was attracted to him. He's.....he's fucking incredible." I groaned, not wanting to really show him any enthusiasm at all. When I opened my eyes, Jason was grinning at me. "And don't you DARE tell him I said that! You got it? Or Summer, for that matter! I'll totally never speak to you again."
"So...do you think...you might wanna...." Before Jason could finish, there was a light tapping at the door, and my mom asked if she could come in.
She peeked her head in, and at first she had her eyes closed. Then she opened them and saw Jason and I sitting on the bed talking. She smiled and came in to bring us a small plate of grilled cheese sandwiches. "I just figured you boys might wanna snack." She walked across my room and set the plate down on the bed, and then stood there and smiled at us for a second without saying anything. What the hell is UP with her today? "Ok...I'll be downstairs, if you need me."
Even Jason was giving me a weird look now. "Ok, Mom...thanks." I said confused.
"How's your mom doing, Jason? Good?"
"Um...yeah, Ms. Logan. She's great." Jason answered.
"Good to hear. You make sure to tell her that I still have that new margarita recipe if she still wants to have another girl's night out some time soon." Then my mom, with a cheesy smirk, walked back to my door and left. But came back a second later and opened my door again. "Why don't you two just...leave this door open a crack. Ok? Just...get some air in here, or something." She propped my bedroom door open and then walked back downstairs again.
Jason gave me a crazy look and said, "I think your mom has been 'taste tasting' that margarita recipe herself this morning."
"Dude, don't even ASK me what that's about. She's being...wacky today."
"So...back to what I was saying..."
"Jason...I know what you're gonna say. And...forget it. I mean, Niles is way out of my league. I'm gonna embarrass myself."
"What are you talking about? Are you crazy? GO fot it, already! What are you doing?"
"I don't even know if he's...like...'right' for me."
"You just SAID he was fucking incredible."
"YES! Yes, he's...incredible, in a super gorgeous 'everybody on the planet should BE so lucky' kinda way! But..."
"But WHAT?" Jason interrupted, and I sat up in my bed. "Gabe, look...Niles called me yesterday, and I'm TELLING you, he's like totally interested."
"NOT whatever! He asked me if I was sure you didin't have a boyfriend. He didn't really come right out and say it or anything, but he brought you up like FIVE times! And he was usually smiling when he did it." I got up from the bed, this weird vibration of sudden fear surging through me like a steady current of electricity. "Gabe...I think he...you know...wants to ask you out or something."
The fear got worse, and I started to pace back and forth nervously. "That's ridiculous. He only met me one time. I mean...did he SAY that?"
"Well...no. Not exactly, but.."
"So, if he didn't SAY that, then what makes you think he wants to ask me out? Huh? You're just guessing, right?"
"Dude, I don't think you have anything to worry about." He said. Then he looked at his watch. "Shit, I've gotta get out of here. But here...take this." He handed me a slip of paper, and it had Niles' phone number on it. "Give him a call sometime this week."
"JASON?!?!?!" I shouted. "Give him a call...what the fuck is WRONG with you??? How did you GET this???"
He gave me a strange look, wrinkling his forehead at my reaction. "He gave it to me. He thinks you're cool. He wants to meet up again at the cafe this weekend, and he wants you to call him."
"I'm NOT cool! And I'm NOT calling him!" I panicked, feeling my heart pounding in my chest as I tried to slow this whole situation down long enugh for me to think.
"Suit yourself. But me and Summer are going. And Niles will definitely be expecting you to be there." Jason said, getting up to leave.
"I never said that I would be there. YOU told him that I would be there! That's YOUR fault! You just tell him I can't make it."
"You've got his number. YOU tell him." Jason told me and walked out of my room.
I chased behind him. "This isn't a JOKE, Jason! I mean it!"
"Don't worry so much. It'll be fine. Come by, we'll have apple cider, share a few laughs..."
"BYE, Ms. Logan!" Jason shouted to my mom in the kitchen.
"Bye, Jason! Say hi to your mom for me." She said.
"You'll be great, Gabe. I promise." He said, opening the front door and trying to escape me before I could make him change his mind.
"Summer sent you here today to aggravate me, didn't she?"
But as he walked down to the sidewalk, Jason just grinned at me and said, "Nope. Actually...she didn't. Later."
Arrrgh! I slammed the door shut! Why did he DO this? What are they doing to me? Niles doesn't really like me, does he? I mean, LIKE ME like me? What did he say? He wants me to call him? For WHAT? FUCK! Now I'm more confused than ever!
"You ok?" My mom asked.
"No. Actually, I'm pretty far from ok. I'm about as screwed up as I can get right now without actually being committed." I sighed and leaned back against the wall, closing my eyes and trying to suppress the terror inside just long enough to breathe again.
"I think I understand now." She said, and stood beside me. "You know, hon...sometimes relationships...they can be difficult. But, when you love someone...and they turn out to be a good friend too...you can really make things work out for the best." I opened my eyes to look at her. She was being weird again. "When you're close to someone for a long time, and those feelings grow into something more...it can be hard to move from one emotion to the other. There are gonna be some 'bumps' along the way..."
"Huh?" I said. "What are...?"
"It's ok, honey. Jason's a good boy. You two have been close ever since you met. I should have known you two were more than just friends."
WHAT??? "Oh Mom...NO!" I said.
"It's alright! Really. I always thought that Jason was a little bit...well...'you know'. But hey, I understand, he's cute. I think it's sweet. And if you guys ever want to go upstairs and...make out...or whatever, I'm cool with that."
"But the door stays open, and your clothes stay on. I don't want you two thinking that you can just..."
"Mom! Stop! Please! I'm NOT in love with Jason. This has nothing to do with Jason. I swear." I said.
"You can tell me, you know? You don't have to keep it a secret. I know how to keep my mouth shut."
"Believe me, Mom...if I had the good fortune of having Jason Marshall as my boyfriend, I'd run through the streets naked, shouting it out to anyone who would listen." I told her, gently rolling my eyes. "This situation is....a bit more 'complicated' than that."
"Do you wanna talk about it?"
"I wish I could. I just...haven't figured anything out enough to talk about it yet. I just need some time to think. Ok?" She nodded, and then pulled my head toward her to give me a kiss on the top of my head. She started to walk back to the kitchen when she heard me snicker quietly to myself. She peeked back around to see what I was laughing at.
"Hehehe, did you really think Jason was gay?" I giggled, and she smiled with a soft blush in her cheeks.
"I didn't say that."
"Well you implied it."
"I didn't...what I said was...I thought you were going to your room to 'think'." She chuckled.
"I'm gonna go to my room and think about you letting me and Jason 'make out' on my bed. Hehehe...geez, Mom." I said, laughing as I ran upstairs before she could throw something at me.
While a normal school week would slowly glide by like a ten ton glacier in the Atlantic...the first few days of this particular week zoomed by in minutes. It jumped from Sunday to Wednesday so fast that I couldn't even blink without losing a few hours. I attempted to keep a mask of total calm on my face, even though I was literally hysterical on the inside, not knowing what the hell I was going to do about this coming weekend. What's even worse, every day that I came home from school, Niles' phone number was staring at me angrily from my desktop. Hounding me. Hauting me. Silently nagging me to call him already and get it overwith. And then, after chickening out completely, I tried to go back the next day and pretend to be normal again. But trying to hold this panic down in the pit of my stomach without letting it show was about as difficult as trying to hold down an angry cat in the bathtub without getting wet. Sighhh...I don't think I've ever been this stressed out over some cute boy before. What am I DOING to myself? Am I going nuts or what?
Summer and Jason made sure to remind me every single day that they were going back to the cafe. They even said that they might even make a weekly habit out of it. Just for the 'four' of us. But I didn't give in. I never once let them think that I was actually gonna 'show up' on Saturday. Even when they pushed, even when they teased. I didn't care. I already made a big fool out of myself last time, and if I screw up a second time, he's just gonna write me off as an idiot.
You know, you would think that this kinda thing would get so much easier when you were out of the closet and actually found another gay boy to talk to. You would think that having all the signals in your favor and actually being somewhat infatuated with a gorgeous dream boy who supposedly likes you too would be a gay teen's ultimate fantasy come true. But...the truth is, I don't think I've ever been more scared of anything before in my life. This was like...'Armageddon' to me. I didn't know what to do, what to say, how to dress...I could hardly tell left from right in his presence. How in the name of Christ am I supposed to appeal to a boy who's so....so....immaculate. It wasn't so much that he was unspeakably beautiful, or that he had a wit and charm that melted your heart within ten seconds of being around him, or that he has inspired every heart bursting mind blowing emotional orgasm that I've had since the second he came to sit at our table this past weekend. All of that was intimidating, sure...but more than anything I found it alluring.
It was the fact that I just....wasn't. I wasn't ANY of those things! At all! How the hell am I going to be 'enough' to keep him even MILDLY entertained? It's like having God Himself tell you that it's up to you to save the entire planet from certain destruction. I mean...what would make ANYBODY think that I had the brains or the power to DO that? I just...I'm not sure that I can ever be anything other than a total fuck up in his eyes. And frankly, to even dream that I could live up to his expectations the way he's already exceeded mine...well, it's preposterous.
But the day had come where I had to make a decision. I could either NOT call Niles, and NOT show up on Saturday. Which...looks like a rejection. And I'm pretty sure I don't want that. Or I could NOT call, and THEN show up on Saturday. But that's gonna make me look like an asshole when he asks me why I didn't call. Or...I could just...you know...call. It seemed to have the highest fear factor of them all, but the least amount of consequences for later. So, even though I was gritting my teeth and frustrated with Summer and Jason for even putting me INTO this position...I decided to go through with it. God...just THINKING about talking to that boy makes me breathless.
I just remember sitting on my bed, staring at that stupid cordless telephone in my room...tapping my fingers on the back of a cd case. I must have laid there for 45 minutes or more before I even got the courage to pull the phone onto my lap. And even then, there was another twenty minutes of doubt. I kept watching the clock, knowing that I'd have to call before it was too late. I just....I was so nervous that I could hardly sit still. I had absolutely NO idea what I was gonna say after I said 'hello'. I doubt I'd have the courage to say anything if I DID know. But I was gonna have to do this sooner or later. And I had to admit, I did wanna see him again. I just...would rather duck behind the bushes outside of the cafe and see him through the window without being noticed. It would be so much safer than having to 'interact' with him. Ok...I'm gonna try this. I'll keep it short, and to the point, and then I'll hang up. It's no big deal, right? He's just a boy. He's just a boy.
I picked up the phone, and dialed his number, which I had been staring at so much for the past few days that I practically had it memorized. Is that his handwriting? God, even his handwriting is cute. Oh SHIT! It's ringing! Don't pick up, don't pick up, don't pick up....
One ring, then two, then three...good. Maybe he's not home. "Hello?" Came a voice on the other end. His voice. That awesome angelic voice, with that twinkle of an Irish accent. "Hello?" He said again. OK...THIS IS TOO MUCH!!! I hung up the phone instantly, and leaned back on my bed, my heart feeling as though it were being crushed in a vice. Jesus...I don't believe I just called his house! STUPID!!! Arrrgh! I can't believe I just hung up on him! Ugh! I squeezed my eyes tight in self disgust, and pounded my fists on the bed while kicking my feet. Dammit! What the hell am I DOING???
Then...the phone rang!
I nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw Niles' number on the caller id. Oh God....oh God....what do I do??? Well, I HAVE to pick up! He KNOWS I'm here! I should just...well, I could maybe...FUCK!
I picked up the phone, and tried to keep my voice from shaking. "H-h-hello?"
"Gabe?" Omigod...it was him! Damn he sounds hot! Shhh! Ok, ok...stay calm.
"Hey! Did you just call me?" He asked.
"Um...yeah. Yeah, that was me. I thought...I thought maybe you weren't home or something." I said, so wiggly that I had to stand up and move around to burn off some of this extra energy that was suddenly filling me up inside.
"I'm sorry. I was actually just comin' out of the shower when you called." I immediately jerked my arm and accidently dropped the phone in the empty trash can next to the desk when he said that. I cringed from the noise, sure that he was wincing on the other end of the phone as well. "Gabe? Are you still there?"
I picked the receiver up out of the trash and hit my forehead with my palm for being so stupid. "Yeah. I'm here. Sorry. I...uh...dropped the phone." I shut my eyes again. God, that must have sounded so stupid.
"It's alright. Listen, I talked to Jason and we were thinking about going back to the cafe this weekend. I thought...well I wanted to know if you were gonna join us again." The way he asked was so...'normal'. But it had a cute little hint of bashfullness to it, and I suddenly found myself getting hard just hearing it. Not from any sexual stimulation or dirty thoughts...I think it was just on excitement alone.
"I...I thought...I might. Well..I probably will...drop by, or something. You know...for a little while." I was trying to speak while my whole body was going haywire. My tongue felt like it was twice its normal size, making it hard to articulate much of anything. And my lungs felt like they both had 20 pound weights tied to them.
"Aww, just for a little while? I kinda liked talking to you last weekend."
"Yeah?" I said, my hands trembling.
"Yeah. You make me laugh. I had a good time" I was breathing so shalow that I thought I was gonna lose consciousness any second. "I look forward to spending some more time with you. It'll be fun."
"Wicked!" He said, and I sat down on my bed for a second, until my legs started shaking and I had to stand up again to pace some more. "So, Gabe...is this your home number? Can I call you here if I need to?"
"Um....uhhh...yeah. This is...my bedroom...phone."
"Great. I'm writing it down now. I want to talk to you some more." He said, and I sat down in a chair for a few seconds more. Then that jittery sensation got to be too much and I had to stand up again. "So, how are you? We didn't get much chance to really talk the last time. Well, 'alone' I mean."
"Alone...?" I whispered meekly.
"I wanna know more about you, Gabe. I hope you don't mind, but I kinda pushed Jason to give you my number. I'm really happy that you called." I felt my stomach quivering, and tried to continue pacing as my knees went weak, and I had to use my free hand to reach out to the wall and hold myself up. I have never felt this way in my life. And he was making it so much worse. I didn't think I could handle this. My body was fluttering with a thousand butterflies at once. Not just in my stomach, but madly flapping their soft wings under my skin. In my arms, my legs, my neck, my chest. I was nearly choking on infatuation at this point.
"Maybe later! You know what, I've gotta go!" I said out loud in some kind of bizzare outburst that I wasn't really expecting to take hold of me that quickly.
"You've got to run?" He said, his accent making me so wiggly inside that I nearly folded in half. "Now?"
"Yes! I've got...a TON of stuff to do! And...and...well, just a ton of stuff. So I'll...see you this weekend, right?" It was like my mouth was running on some kind of adrenaline packed rocket fuel, and I couldn't stop myself.
"Oh...well, sure. This weekend then. I guess we can catch up then." He said softly. So softly. His voice was like wrapping yourself up in silk, and it gave me goosebumps. It was so sexy that I felt like I wanted to cry. None of my emotions made any SENSE at that moment. It was like a hundred different emotions all crashing into each other at once. "Well, I hope to see you soon." He said.
"Sure...soon. Great! I love it! This weekend! See you later, BYE!"
"Bye..." But I barely heard him as I swiftly hung up the phone and slammed myself down on my bed, staring up at the ceiling as I tried to catch my breath!
"Shit....shit....omigod....wow...." I whispered to myself, panting outloud. I was literally making myself dizzy from breathing so hard. I let the phone drop off of my stomach and it fell over the side of the bed, hitting the floor. I reached both of my hands up to my face to hold my cheeks together as my smile threatened to split my head open! Ok...ok...so I sounded like a big dork, and I TOTALLY freaked out in the end...but I TALKED to him! I really TALKED to him! And he wants to talk to me some more! And he wants us to...'catch up' on stuff. My God...what is this FEELING inside of me right now??? It's like...shaking me to pieces! I heard myself giggle a bit, and had to cover my mouth to stop. I rolled over on my side, feeling my whole body tingle from head to toe, and buried my face in my pillow. Then...as if I couldn't help myself...I screamed into it! I laughed at the sheer 'goofiness; of it, but to hell with all that! I just got off of the phone with the more gorgeous gay boy in the WORLD!!! And he wants to see me!!! AHHHHH!!!!! I've gotta find myself something to wear!
"Gabe? Are you ok?" My mom knocked, but didn't open the door. "I heard a scream..."
"I'm great, Mom. I'm...I'm great. Hehehe!" I sighed to myself. I couldn't have dimmed my smile even if I wanted to. I wondered if any of this would be possible if I hadn't told Jason I was gay. Or if I hadn't told Summer. Or my mom. I wondered what might have happened if I hadn't gone to the cafe that afternoon, or if I had chickened out at the last minute. I don't know, my mind was so out of focus on so many things at once that it hardly made a difference. All I knew was that I've got a weekend date with a HOTTIE!!! Hehehe, and...I don't know what I'm gonna do with myself when I get there, but I'm gonna take that first step towards being...'with' somebody. Somebody who's...interested.
As I laid there on my back, grinning like an insane asylum's 'least likely to be released' patient, I felt a lot of that weird confusion melt away. nd I almost became ANXIOUS to see Niles again. Anxious to talk to him, anxious to hold him, anxious to maybe even....sighhhh...but I guess that's the part of the process I can save for another day. Right now? I just wanna 'float' for a little while.
Yeah...I'm just gonna 'float' for now.