Disclaimer: This story is purely a work of fiction. Any similarity to events or persons, living or dead, is unintentional.
`Star Wars' and `Indiana Jones' do not belong to me, they belong to George Lucas.
"You know what the great thing about our relationship is? The fact that there's no physical attraction between us whatsoever."
"How am I supposed to take that, as a compliment?"
My best friend, Chris, and I were in my room watching Star Wars: A New Hope. It was our typical Saturday afternoon ritual. We'd choose a theme (today's was the original Star Wars trilogy) then spend the day together, just the two of us.
"Come on," I replied, rolling my eyes, "you know what I mean."
"Not really," Chris said, "care to explain it to me?"
"Well, it's just like I said, we have such a close personal relationship that there's no threat of us ever being attracted to each other and messing that up with a relationship going bad."
"Because if we ever got into a relationship it would automatically be terrible, of course," was his sardonic retort.
"Don't get like that!" I said, punching him lightly in the arm.
"Like what," he asked, not giving his typical reaction of a punch to my arm.
"All mopey and quiet. We've talked about this before, just because we're best friends and get along so well and know everything about each other and we're both gay doesn't mean we'd be a good match. I mean, for instance, I could kiss you right now and not feel anything.
"Is that so?" Chris asked, raising an eyebrow at me.
"Yes, that's so," I shot back, punching him in the arm again. This time, he punched me back and our movie was forgotten as an impromptu wrestling match on my bed broke out. As always, we were a pretty even match, rolling this way and that in an effort to dominate each other.
When I came out to my parents, I didn't get the typical reaction one would expect. My mom was completely and totally behind me one hundred percent. My dad, on the other hand, didn't take it as well. He bought nearly every parenting book that dealt with having a gay child and read them all at least twice. Then, he spent a week blaming himself for not being around enough when I was younger. He dragged me to every sporting event within a twenty-mile radius, showed me how to change the oil in all three of the family cars, and made me play catch with him every day after school in a misguided attempt to "re-affirm a positive male influence in my life."
The week after that, he blamed my mom. It was her fault, he said, because she taught me to cook and to sew and that it was "ok to cry." This didn't sit well with Mom, of course, and she decided to stop speaking to Dad for the entire course of the week.
Once he realized that it wasn't anything he or Mom had done wrong as a parent, he shifted his blame to God, public schools, and the liberal media, in that order. Finally, I sat him down and explained to him that it was no one's fault and my being gay was as natural as my having brown hair or green eyes was. That seemed to drive the message home and, although he still had a few reservations, like how he would handle me bringing home my first boyfriend, he was almost as accepting about my sexuality as Mom was. The one person I was most worried about telling, though, was my best friend, Chris.
Chris and I had been nearly inseparable since we met in middle school. We had been living almost next door to each other for several years, but didn't become friends until I crashed my bike in front of his house and broke my arm. His mom saw me, called my mom at work, and drove me to the emergency room. Chris tagged along the whole time, talking to me and asking me questions and generally trying to distract me from the pain caused by my broken bone. Once we were done at the hospital, Chris' mom took us out for ice cream and then back to their house for me to wait until my mom got home. That weekend, my parents invited Chris and his mom (his dad wasn't in the picture) over for a barbecue as a way to say `thanks', and Chris and I spent almost every waking hour with each other since then.
We were two normal adolescent, then teenage, boys together. We would spend entire weekends at each other's houses, take the same classes, did homework together, and knew each other's secrets. We were closer to each other than we were to anyone else. Then, sophomore year of high school hit. That was when I realized that my feelings for other guys went deeper than friendship. Especially one guy in particular: Chris.
I made it through the year without letting him in on my feelings. It was easier during school since the majority of our time together was in class. It was hard to not overstep the bounds of our friendship when we were alone together. There were times when we'd be doing homework and I'd catch myself staring at him, or we were sharing the same bed and I had to resist the urge to spoon up to him. It would inevitably happen anyway once I fell asleep, but at least then, I could blame my subconscious. When summer hit, though, with its promises of sleeping, swimming, and sunning together, I knew I had to put a stop to things for it became too much for me to handle and I did something stupid and outed myself.
I started a hundred letters, all of them shredded or burned. I tried to just tell him, but could never seem to form the words when I had the opportunity. I even sent him an e-mail once, and then agonized for an hour after I sent it until it was returned because I had mistyped the address. Finally, I chickened out and began to avoid seeing Chris at all.
He would call and I wouldn't answer, or when he came over, I would beg off hanging out. I could tell he was hurt, but I kept telling myself it was for the best, even though I couldn't have felt worse about the whole situation.
My mom worked a lot, but she could still tell what was going on. She tried to get me to tell Chris my secret. Deep down, I knew she was right, but I was terrified of losing him. Finally, after a week straight of not seeing each other at all, Chris confronted me.
He came over to my house one afternoon while I was alone and let himself in. It was nothing too unusual, since we had gone way past knocking on each other's doors. I was up in my room so I didn't know he was there until I heard him knock on my bedroom door. I was a little surprised, but I figured it was just one of my parents home from work early or something.
"Come in," I said. I was sitting on my bed reading a book. I didn't look up as the door opened, so Chris had to clear his throat for me to notice him.
"Hi, Asher," he said quietly. I set down my book and stood up, shocked that he had come over.
"What are you doing here?" I asked, a little harsher than I meant.
"We need to talk," he said, closing the bedroom door.
"I don't think we have anything to talk about, Chris," I replied, trying to come up with a way to make him leave.
"Look, I know you've been avoiding me, and I think I know why."
To say I panicked was an understatement. A million different thoughts raced through my head. How did he figure me out? Would he still like me? Was he going to beat me up? Could I escape if I jumped out the window? In my own defense, though, at least I made myself look calm on the outside.
"Um...what do you mean?" I asked. Not the most brilliant of responses, but I was still trying to figure a graceful way out of the situation.
"Please...don't make this any harder than it has to be. I really didn't want to have to confront you like this, but I couldn't figure out any other way," Chris pleaded with me. He looked like he was about to cry. In retrospect, that should had been a clue that we weren't on the same page, but I was too wrapped up inside my own head to try to get into his.
"I don't see why we even have to discuss this," I said, still trying to get him off the subject.
"How can we not?!" He said, taking a step toward me. Reflexively, I backed away, not even knowing why. "Look, it's even making you not want to be near me!"
"I don't want you to get the wrong message or something! I don't want this to wreck everything we have!"
"Is that what you think? Just because I'm gay, I'm going to think you're coming on to me? This isn't a big deal!" He was yelling by now and I was glad my parents were both at work.
"Of course it's a big deal," I shouted back. Then, what he had just said made it through my brain. "Wait...what?!"
"I'm gay!" Chris said, crying at this point. "I didn't want to tell you but you obviously figured it out and don't want to be around me anymore. I'm sorry, I'll just leave!" He turned and began walking toward the door. I wanted to stop him but, for some reason, my feet refused to move. All I could to was stand and watch my best friend walk out of my life.
"Chris, wait!" I said, finding my voice louder than I had intended.
"What," he said, not turning around, "you want to bash the little fag? I don't think so. Good-bye, Asher."
"No...please! I...I'm gay, too..." I said quietly, and then sank down onto my bed, physically and mentally exhausted. I don't know how long I lay there, facing away from the door, my eyes closed. I was sure I had lost Chris forever until I felt a weight on the bed next to me and a familiar pair of arms wrap around me from behind. I rolled over, burying my head into his shoulder and cried. I cried for myself, I cried for him, I cried for us, and we cried together. Eventually, I fell asleep. When I woke up, it was dark outside and someone had pulled up my comforter to cover me. I also noticed that Chris had stayed with me and I had rolled over in my sleep with him now spooning me from behind. It had happened before when we slept in the same bed, but somehow this time was different. I felt safer and I knew that Chris and I would always be friends.
When we had both woken up the next morning, it was a little awkward at first. We danced around what was on both our minds for most of the day, and then finally, while we were up in my room watching an Indiana Jones marathon on TV, (the precursor to our weekly movie marathons,) and we shared a kiss. It was obviously both our firsts, and as such, was very awkward. When we broke apart, Chris spoke first.
"Well, that was..."
"Interesting?" I finished for him.
"Yeah, interesting," he agreed, wiping some spit off his mouth.
"Kinda weird, too," I added, "like kissing my brother or my best friend or something." He laughed and punched my arm.
"Yeah, something like that." We went back to watching the movie and other than being free to point out which guys we thought were hot, things were pretty much the same as they always were with us.
I finally managed to pin Chris and was straddling his hips, holding his arms down so he couldn't move.
"So, you got me," he said, "now what?"
"I'm going to prove what I just told you," I replied, and leaned down and kissed him. I pulled back and smirked at him. "See, I told you. Nothing." Chris looked up at me, his blue eyes wide with a mixture of emotions. I hesitated a moment, then leaned back down and kissed him again, this time holding it a little longer. Chris was tense underneath me and I pulled back again, this time getting off him and sitting down on the bed. Chris sat up and looked at me.
"Asher, are you-?" He began asking, but I cut him off by putting my hand on the back of his head and gently pulling him toward me. This time when our lips met, he didn't resist. This kiss was infinitely better than our first together, and soon we were making out in earnest.
"Wait a second," Chris said, breaking the kiss, "what about just being friends and not having any physical attraction to each other?"
"I lied," I replied, wiping the corner of my mouth.
"Good," Chris smirked, "so did I."
"Yeah, I kinda figured that out when your tongue was in my mouth," I said, giggling. He lightly punched my arm.
"I didn't hear you complaining at all."
"Because your tongue was in my mouth!" We both began laughing, and then Chris leaned over, and kissed me again, this time a quick peck on the lips, then pulled me close into a hug.
"I'm glad we lied," he whispered into my ear.
"Me too," I whispered back.
"I love you, Asher."
"I love you, Chris." We kissed again as the Star Wars end theme music played, then embraced until after the movie ran out and began rewinding itself. I knew, no matter what, Chris and I would be a part of each other's lives forever.
Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is my first submission to Nifty, so feedback would be much appreciated. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.