All other content or otherwise are works of my own imagination. All events are fictitious in nature.

Any similarities to persons living, dead, or otherwise are purely coincidental.

This story contains strong themes of homosexual content, if this offends you in any way, please refrain from reading further. If you are not of legal age to read this, please leave now.

A/N: I'd like to thank TalonRider for editing this chapter. His unparalleled excellence and tireless effort applied to my work is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

American Differences
-By Emulated

Chapter 22: Evolution

One week later

I spun around on my chair and narrowed my eyes at her, “Fuck off, Hayley!”

She frowned, “You’re such a bitch, Matt.”

I’M the bitch?” I asked, noting some kids looking up at us from their lunch, “Coming from you that’s a compliment.”

“Why don’t you go find yourself a girlfriend, huh?” She queried, “Then you can stop pestering Jamie and me.” She said, causing Jamie to scrunch up his face in disgust.

I stood up, “Why don’t you go find one of the boys who ‘play’ nicely with you?”

“Fuck this!” She fumed, as though I’d stepped over a line, “I’ll go away and leave your boyfriend alone.” She said loudly, standing up.

Someone started to laugh behind me, “’Boyfriend’? Is that the best you can come up with?” Came a girl’s voice.

I turned around to see Li and Sarah walking over.

Hayley frowned at them as Li spoke again, “Just take the hint he gave you three months ago: he isn’t, and never will be, interested in you.”

I looked at Hayley as she stood there for a second, before she grabbed her bag and walked off through the dining hall, out of sight.

“Uh, thanks guys.” Said Jamie, looking at Li and Sarah.

I faced the two girls, watching as they spoke to Jamie. It was lunchtime and Jamie and I were having lunch in the dining hall alone. Connor and Max had gone off for some football practise, and Ayo was working on some of his coursework, before he’d join us later. It was going fine at first, great even to be alone with Jamie, but then ‘stupid bitch’ came along to mess with us. But I was having none of it.

Sarah smiled at him, “No problem. That stupid cow should just disappear or something!” She ranted.

Li nodded, “She should’ve just got the idea and moved on. No need to keep bugging you forever.”

“Yeah, well, she didn’t take the hint.” I remarked, noting Li glance at me, wondering if that remark was for her. I smiled, “But thanks for showing up Li. I almost forgot you had that mean streak to you.”

She laughed, “I’m not mean. I just can’t stand that girl.”

I nodded again as I began to question their reason for coming over, aside from kicking Hayley’s ass.

Sarah placed her bag on a chair, “You guys don’t mind if we come over, do you?”

Jamie gave me a look, before I placed a grin on my lips, “Sure, we don’t mind.” I replied, as I sat down in my seat.

“Thanks” She replied, “Haven’t seen much of you guys since…” She shook her head, “It’s been a while.”

I fished out my sandwich from my bag, “Yeah, you two were part of our group…before you ran away.”

Li grinned, “We never ran away.” She said, “We just…you know, didn’t want the other girls to get lonely.” She joked.

I nodded at them. In truth it had been convenient that they hadn’t hung around with us as much as they usually did. While it was relatively easy to hide the truth from the other guys, notwithstanding Ayo, I had always assumed that one of the girls would notice it sooner. Mostly because Jamie and I would never seem to be ‘available’, yet would both be single.

She looked about, “Where’s the other guys, football practise?”

“Yeah.” Replied Jamie, “They abandoned us to kick a ball about.” He said, flashing me a grin.

I nodded, “Could be worse though, “I began, looking at them, “They could be hitting a ball about with a bat.”

I felt Jamie nudge his foot under the table at me, but I just grinned at him.

Li laughed, seemingly she understood our banter, “You’re really good at baseball, right?”

He smiled, “I try.”

I shook my head at him. Who knew my boyfriend was such a cocky little guy?

Sarah looked over, “Yeah, we heard about how you almost got in a fight the other week.”

“Who, me?” I asked.

She nodded.

“I didn’t fight with anyone.”

“No. I was talking about you two, when you were playing rounders. Someone said you almost got in a fight.” She said.

I instantly knew what she was referring to, but in truth neither of us were really going to fight. It was during another rounders lesson the week before, and it was actually just like what happened the first time; with Jamie using his best ‘skills’ whenever I stood in the box, but unlike the first time, I actually managed to hit one of the balls. But it didn’t go very far. That was for my second swing, and for my third, well, that was when the action began. Jamie bowled the ball to me, but missed the bat and hit my arm instead.

“Ow!” I exclaimed, as I reeled from the attack!

Jamie giggled, “Oops.”

I looked at him, putting on my faux ‘angry face’, “What did you do that for?”

He laughed again, placing his hands on his hips, “You were in the way.”

Noting that the teacher was on the other side of the field, and that the rest of our group was watching us, I decided to have a little fun. I dropped my bat on the floor defiantly, “You think it’s funny?”

His smile faltered, “Uh, sorry, Matt.”

I shook my head, “Too late for that now.” I said, as I reached down, picking up the ball that hit me. I looked at him for a moment.

“Give it to me.” He called out seductively. Of course I was the only one who noticed his attempt at seduction, but that made it even hotter. I was so gonna get him back for that.

“You really want it?” I teased. I wanted to say, ‘Come and get it’, but that would have crossed the gay threshold. I didn’t want to raise too many eyebrows.

He flicked up his head, shaking his hair, “Yeah.”

“Fine.” I said quickly, before I pulled back my arm and threw it at him. Hard.

Jamie saw it coming and cupped his hands, catching the ball. It must have stung, given the ‘slapping’ noise it made, but he didn’t show it. “Thanks, Honey!” He called out.

He almost floored me with that! I felt my cheeks instantly flush, as the other guys laughed at the exchange…

I smiled to myself, recalling the event in detail, and reminding myself that I still needed to get Jamie back for his actions!

Jamie swallowed some of his drink and looked at the girls, “Yeah, I almost whipped his ass.”

I turned to him, mouth agape, “You couldn’t whip a fly.” I retorted.

“Now, now, play nicely boys.” Giggled Li.

Jamie turned, to me “Yeah, play nicely, Matt.” He warned, the undertone evident in his voice.

“So what happened?” Asked Sarah, “Did you fight?”

“Not exactly. You see, Jamie has this little thing that he likes to do. It’s not that goo-“ I began, before I felt Jamie’s foot return to my leg, but this time he wasn’t nudging me, he was…teasing me. I coughed, trying to shake him off, before I continued, “Yeah, so I’ve got this thing and he said…uh, that he’ll…give me it, I mean, give it to me.” I stammered, coughing as Jamie ran his shoe up my calf. I shifted in my seat, causing him to remove his foot. I looked at the girls, who were looking at me oddly. I nodded, “So yeah, that’s what happened.”

They shared a look with each other before they burst out laughing.

I looked at Jamie and then back to them, “What?” I asked.

Sarah shook her head, “You’ve lost it, Matthew.”


“Dude, you’re making no sense.” Began Jamie, “Something else on your mind?”

‘No, but something else is on my leg. I thought to myself, before I noticed Ayo heading over. “Thank you, Ayo!”

He grinned, “Eh?”

“These guys are ganging up on me.” I said as I pulled out a chair next to me.

He sat down, “Why? What are they doing?”

‘Well Li and Sarah are trying to ask me some really hard stuff, while Jamie is feeling up my leg.’ I thought. I smiled, “Oh just, you know. Jamie’s being bitchy and stuff.”

He laughed at that.

We talked about a few different things. School, the exams, and stuff. But during that time, Jamie kept on staring at me. I swear he was looking at me constantly, yet no one else seemed to notice. But the real highlight was when we were talking about movies at the cinema. Everything was fine, with Jamie giving me those looks, when Ayo seemed to jerk in his chair, before he shot a look across at Jamie, who widened his eyes. I watched them for a second, trying to figure out what happened before I started to laugh.

From the way we were sitting, Ayo’s legs were near to mine, so Jamie tried to ‘feel me up’ again, only it wasn’t my leg, but Ayo’s instead. I couldn’t stop laughing for a few minutes, a fact made even better when Jamie wouldn’t look Ayo or me in the eyes for a while. Li and Sarah had no idea what was going on, but they expected that kind of behaviour when around us.

But things settled down and I zoned out for a while. More to the point, something that Li said about her parents made me think about mine. How they were and how they felt. I hadn’t seen them since the time I had to go over because of my aunt, uncle, and Craig visiting. And that happened over a week before. I don’t think I had ever in my life gone that long without seeing my parents.

I did try to put it out of my mind, as the last thing I wanted to do was think about them while at school, but I kept on being drawn back to them. And for the first time in almost two weeks, I wanted to go home. But whenever I’d think that, I’d remind myself about all the things my parents had said over the years. All the homophobic things that they had said. If they came to me, asking for me to come home, would I have? To be honest with you I didn’t know. I wanted to go home, but I couldn’t forget what they’d said, or more recently, how they’d treated me because of my sexuality.

Jamie must have noticed that I was doing some heavy-thinking because he gave me this look with this soft frown on his eyebrows. ‘Are you ok?’ Asked his expression. I gave him a small smile and a nod. Yeah, I was fine. As long as I kept telling myself that I’d be ok.

“So what you guys doing about the prom? Anything planned yet?” Asked Sarah.

Alarm bells rang in my head at that. “Prom?” I asked. My mind now fully awake and alert.

She nodded, “They’ve set the date, the twenty-second of June.”

I quickly done the math, that gave me less than three months. What the hell was I going to do? Every possible thought flew through my mind. Should I take Jamie, as my partner? Should we miss the thing entirely? Or worse of all, should I let Jamie go with someone else?

“Erm no, nothing planned yet.” Said Ayo. It was clear from his expression that he knew what dilemma Jamie and I faced.

I nodded in agreement, and glanced idly at Li. I could tell she wanted to say something, no, I knew exactly what she wanted to ask. But knowing her, she wouldn’t really be nervous about asking him, but she probably knew that she’d look really bad asking him, especially after everything that had happened with Hayley earlier that morning, or the fact that Jamie had recently ‘broken up’ with his ‘girlfriend’. That last part wasn’t true, of course, but she didn’t know that.

“Matt?” Came Jamie’s voice.

I looked over at the face of my angel. My heart wanted me to take him as my partner, so I could show everyone who he was to me. But my mind knew that it was out of the question. Forget those stories where gay kids go to the prom, or homecoming together. It just didn’t happen in real life. At least not in my life.

I let my mind wander though, just for a brief moment, as I thought about what it’d be like to take Jamie to the prom. I thought about how great it’d be to show up together, in a fancy car or something. I’d stand at the door, with my arm out and he’d hook his around it. I shook myself from the daydream, “Uh, yeah, Jamie?”

“I was asking you what you’re doing later.” He said, before he pointed to Li and Sarah, “They wanted to know if we wanna hang around town with them.”

I shrugged, “Sur-“ I began, before I realised what they were asking.

They looked at me oddly.

I produced a small smile, “Sure. Sounds good.”

Li giggled, “I thought you were having second thoughts.”

I shook my head, “I was just thinking about something else.” I replied, noting that Jamie was giving me this understanding look. He understood our predicament too.


I leaned close to him, “I want to take you to the prom, more than anything.”

He nodded, “I know.” He said, before he looked up from his work, “I want to take you too.”

We were in our last lesson for the day, Science. None of the work was that hard, but having Jamie next to me sure helped out some.

I looked at him, “Do you think we should, you know, go together?”

He looked at me surprised, “Where did that idea come from?!”

“I dunno. I…” I sighed, staring into his grey eyes, before I looked away. “Nothing.”

“No, what is it?”

I glanced at my worksheet, “I just wanna...” I glanced about, “Be with you, Jamie. Like how couples are with each other.”

He thought for a moment, “Like a date?”

I nodded, “Yeah, dates, parties…anything where we’d go together. Where people know that we’re together.”

He glanced up at the whiteboard and scribbled something down into his book, before he spoke, “You know things could be worse, if we were out.”

“I know.” I replied, “It’s not about us being out, it’s about everything.” I frowned, “If I wanted to take you out somewhere, to the theatre or something, I shouldn’t have to worry about someone saying something…or doing something.” I paused, “Why can’t people let us be free?”

“I don’t know.” He replied, peering into my eyes, “Maybe someday, in our lifetime, we can be free.”

I gave him a weak smile, “Yeah. I hope so.”


Going into town with the girls really wasn’t as bad as I made out. I mean we knew Li and Sarah really well, and they were both decent people so it was quite a fun thing. Connor and Max came along too so we had a right group of us walking around. One thing that had Jamie and I giggling was the way that Max was eyeing up Sophie. Once he found out that she had recently broken up with Dean, he seemed that he could at the very least check her out a little more openly.

“Were you that obvious when you were checking me out?”

I chocked on my drink slightly, “What?”

We had been down town for a little over an hour when we decided to split up a bit. Max went off with the girls, and Connor and Ayo went off somewhere else, leaving Jamie and me together. Seeing as we were alone, we headed over to the leisure park where we could grab some McFlurrys from Macky D’s.

“You heard me.” He said, giving me his look.

“I wasn’t THAT obvious.” I replied, “Besides, I only checked you out for a few hours before I deemed you acceptable.”

“Just acceptable?” He pouted.

I managed to subdue the sudden urge to kiss those fresh, pink lips, “More than acceptable.”

He smiled and thought for a moment before he giggled.

“What now?” I grinned.

“Us.” He began, “On our first day.”

I sipped some of my drink, “What about it?”

He leaned closer, “What we did.”

I blushed lightly, “Oh, yeah.”

He grinned, “I can’t believe that happened on our first day, the first chapter of our life together.”

I beamed at him. Our life together. I liked the sound of that.

After a while longer we got a call from Connor and decided to meet up again with the other guys back near the shops. We met up with them and hung around for a while. As usual, we didn’t get that much shopping done, it was just something to do. It was great to be with the other guys, but at the same time, I was still somewhat bugged with Li’s attendance. Don’t get me wrong, she didn’t do or say anything, but once I knew she liked Jamie, it automatically put me on the defensive.

The hard part was that anytime she’d look at Jamie, or talk to him, my mind was instantly at work, trying to figure out if there was some kind of ‘link’ going on there. I wanted to see if she still liked him. Sure it had only been a week, but perhaps Max was right, maybe she could have just gotten over it. But by judging from some of the glances she’d give him, it was clear that there was something else going on. I wasn’t sure if Jamie noticed. Perhaps he did, but either way, he was working hard to ignore her if that was the case.

But it was all this speculating and stuff that got to me. Li was a nice person, I didn’t feel like I should be watching her every move when it came to Jamie. I kept telling myself that I was only doing it to make sure things didn’t come back to haunt us in the future, but no matter what I’d do, or say, it still felt a little odd. Regardless, there was one way that would ensure that Jamie and I remained in the closet for as long as we wanted, and that was for us to stick to our guns. I was sticking to mine, and without a doubt Jamie was doing the same. I didn’t see any problems arising in the immediate future for either of us.


I lay there in bed, looking up at Connor’s darkened ceiling. “Why can’t I take my boyfriend to the prom?” I asked rhetorically, as I knew the ten-page long reason why I couldn’t do it. I sighed, “It’s not fair.”

Connor frowned, “No, it isn’t.” He said, “It’s not fair at all.”

According to Connor’s alarm clock, it had just gone past eleven. We’d gotten into bed about ten minutes before and were quietly talking to each other about various topics, namely the prom.

“Anyway, what’s wrong with us going in a group?” He continued, “That’s what most people do anyway.”

“But what if you have a girlfriend or something? Or if one of the guys has a girlfriend?” I asked, “What happens then?”

He shook his head, “If you can’t go with Jamie, I won’t go with my girlfriend, if I have one then.”

That hit me. “Really?”

He nodded.

“Why not?”

“Because it isn’t fair.” He replied, turning on his bed and facing me, “I’m going on strike.”

I giggled at that, but calmed down, “You’re too good a friend, Con.” I said, “After everything…” He waved his hand.

“Don’t be stupid. You’d do exactly the same for me.”

I didn’t even have to think about that one, “Yeah, I would.”

“Well then. That’s why I’m too good a friend.”

I smiled, and thought for a moment, “Con, what do you think of Jamie?”

“How’d you mean?”

“Like as my boyfriend. You think we’re a good match?”

“You’re kidding, right?” He said, “You need to ask me that?”

I shook my head, “I think we’re great together. I just wanna know what you think.”

“I think you guys are perfect for each other.” He smiled, “I’ve told you before, I used to wonder what type of woman you’d date, or marry.” He giggled, “I was a little wrong there…but Jamie is better than anyone I’d have ‘picked’ for you.” He said, “He’s a great guy.”

“And an awesome boyfriend.” I finished.

Connor giggled, “I bet he is.”

I reached across and shoved him, “Hey.”

He giggled again, and then looked at me, “Matt, can I ask you something? It’s kinda personal.”

“Sure, go ahead.”

He was silent for a moment, “I’m only asking because I don’t know…uh…when you…uh.” He paused, “Does it hurt?”

I thought for a moment before I realised what he was getting at, “Oh, you mean like…erm…’back there’?”


I nodded, “You want the honest answer?”

“You don’t have to tell me.”

I smiled, “I don’t mind.” I replied. And that was the truth, as Connor and I had always been quite open like that.

“Ok, go ahead.”

I breathed, “To be honest, I don’t know.” I said, “We haven’t…done that.”

“Oh, that’s cool. I was just wondering, you know?”

“That’s fine.” I said, before I decided to have some fun, “Does it hurt?”

“What?” He asked.

“For you?” I replied, “With a girl.”

He giggled before he shook his head, “I wouldn’t know.”

“Yeah?” I grinned, “That’s cool, man.”

He giggled again, “Just don’t ask Max that.” He replied, “He’ll be here for hours telling you ALL about that!”

I laughed into the pillow, “Yeah, that’s why I haven’t!” I said, as I stretched out on the fold up bed, “He seems to be coming around, to the idea of Jamie and me.”

“Yeah.” He said, “It wasn’t so much Jamie, it was you being gay. He’s known you for years, he just couldn’t believe that he didn’t notice it before.”

“I worked hard to hide it. I still do.”

He nodded, “Do you want to be out, like completely?”

“No.” I replied, “No way. I’m nowhere near ready for that.”

“What about Jamie?”

“He’s the same. He doesn’t want to come out either.”

“Yeah, I don’t blame you guys.” He replied, “Hopefully one day you guys can be yourselves without worrying about anything.”

I yawned, “That’d be nice, yeah.”

He yawned too, “Yeah.”

I fluffed up my pillow, “Anyway, we’d better get some sleep.”

“Yeah, we want to look our best for Prince Charming, don’t we?” He teased.

“Ayo?” I retorted, “You wanna look your best for Ayo?”

He laughed, “Goodnight, Matt.”

I grinned back, “Goodnight, Connor.”

I hope you enjoyed reading this chapter of American Differences.

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