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*(Previous Statement May Not Be True)


Monday


- Hehehe, I just got off the phone with Brandon a few minutes ago. I was just going to get into writing my entry for the day and leave it at that, but I decided not to hesitate when it came to talking to Brandon. Not anymore. No more waiting games, no more guessing at whether he wants to talk to me or not, no more holding back with what I feel. That's so 'yesterday'.

So, I called him and...hehehe, we talked. And um...I guess we're getting together tomorrow. You know...instead of Wednesday. Um...yeah...

Well...let me get this out before I get into all of that!

I got up a bit early this morning, because I knew that my dad wanted me to help him with packing the rest of his stuff. I guess he rented this great big truck to take a road trip and complete the big move. As always, I was half expecting my mom to be a little sad about me going off to be...you know...with 'him'. But, surprisingly, she seemed to be totally fine with it. Even made me an early breakfast to make sure that I had something in my stomach before doing any labor. I mean, it's not like she ever told me I couldn't spend time with my dad. If anything, she encouraged it. I guess I just always felt like some kind of a 'double agent', crossing enemy lines to fraternize with one enemy and then the other. I honestly just wish they could have stayed together forever like it's supposed to be? It would have been so much less confusing.

Anyway, my dad picks me up in his car, and Mikey decided to come with him. He saw me and squealed and just wrapped his little boy arms around my neck to say hello. Hehehe, I swear, that kid has got enough love in his heart to power a rocket to the Moon! And my dad grinned at the both of us as the tiny tyke chit-chatted the whole ride back to the house. I loved every minute of it though. Mikey had a way of just bringing everything to life when he was in your presence. You got carried away by the undertow of it, so it easier to just sit back and go along for the ride. That's when we were approaching the house and I finally saw the big white truck for the first time. Trace and his fianc, Lynn, were in the front yard stacking boxers and directing the two or three movers that they had to help out as to where to put stuff.

I think driving up to the house...seeing everything just sitting there on the front lawn...took things to a whole other level of 'real' for me. Like...like really real. This wasn't some procrastinated fantasy in my head anymore. He really was leaving a few days from now, wasn't he? Geez! How long have I known about this? And how long did I wait? How much precious time did I waste?

Lynn spoke to me and said hello. I...sort of gave her a nod, I guess. Whatever. I'm much better off just not having her talk to me. Like...at all.

Trace was in a bit of a melancholy mood, but he tried to smile for my sake. He wasn't anywhere near as convincing as he usually was. He and I were basically by ourselves, boxing up stuff from the garage and taping them shut. Mikey thought the whole thing was a game. To him, all the boxes and extra people and sunshine...it was like a theme park to him. Getting him to sit still was going to be an impossibility. It was better to keep him busy with something out of the way until he ran out of fuel and tuckered himself out.

I saw Trace being extra quiet, and I was like, "So...what's next?"

He shrugged his shoulders. He's like, "I took half of my stuff back to the house. I guess I've got enough to last me until Friday or whatever." Then he says, "I saw him yesterday, you know? My dad. He was...dressed up and trying to be all nice to me and Mikey. It was kinda weird, to tell you the truth."

I'm like, "It was weird?"

He said, "It's true. It was awkward. I can't remember the last time I was able to hug the man without being overpowered by the stench of liquor and cigarettes on him. I swear, the man sweats tequila." Trace gave me a half smirk. Then he's like, "His eyes were clear. I was impressed by that."

Not familiar with the whole alcoholic parent thing, I asked, "What does that mean?"

Trace was like, "No headaches. No booze. No hangovers. No glassy eyed stare as he stumbles from one end of the house to another. He almost seemed...kinda 'normal', you know? I can't really remember what he was like when he was normal. I'm kind of afraid to find out." Taping up another box, Trace said, "I'd much rather stay here though. It may sound crazy, but...I could have spent the rest of my life staying here with your dad and Lynn."

Looking over at the two of them, I mumbled, "Well...my dad maybe. But that's enough for me."

Trace raised an eyebrow, and I got a bit of genuine smirk out of him this time. He's like, "I know that it's really none of my business or anything...but she's really not so bad, you know?"

I said, "Whatever..."

Trace was all like, "She's an amazing cook. She's really good with Mikey. She bakes, dude! My mom and dad never baked a day in their life! Hehehe!" Trace laughed, but I only gave him a politely delivered, half-hearted, chuckle. He's like, "She's a good person, Billy. She was really awesome to the both of us, especially considering that we just showed up on her doorstep one day and invaded her house."

I grinned, "Well, it was either that or let you and Mikey become a couple of runaways that I have to see on the news some day later."

Trace said, "Exactly. That's the sweetest thing that anyone's ever done for me, dude. You and your dad are the best things that ever happened to me. I mean that. You changed my life."

I said, "I don't know about all of THAT, but I'm glad I could help."

Trace stopped packing. He said, "I was a completely different person before I came here. TOTALLY different. I don't want this to sound like some sort of a sob story or anything...but I never really had anybody to talk to before. Somebody to believe in me. Support me. Somebody who was willing to watch out for me, set boundaries, you know...somebody to give a damn. The first time your dad yelled at me for screwing up...I cried tears of joy the second I got a moment of privacy."

I wrinkled up my forehead. I was like, "You did? Why?"

Trace said, "It's because he was honest with me. He cared about me. He believed in me enough to actually be 'disappointed' when I was being an asshole. I never had that. It was so different. With my mom and dad, it was always like...Trace is a hopeless mess anyway. We don't expect anything more from him. Staying out until 3 AM, coming home plastered, ditching class, twelve days of consecutive detention...who cares, right? Trace is just destined to fail. They figured they'd just sit back and wait for it to happen." Trace sort of looked off into space, as if it still pained him to even think about it. Then, his voice seemed to tremble a little as he said, "But not your dad. Your dad demanded better from me. He was convinced that I wasn't giving life my all. That I had potential. He didn't settle for me just slacking off and being half assed about everything. He taught me how to care. That I had a responsibility to care. About me, about other people, about life in general. It was the first time that every day didn't feel like it was just me and Mikey against the world." He turned to me, and he was like, "Did he ever give you the mountaintop speech?"

The what??? I was like, "Uhhhh...no. What the heck is that?"

Trace giggled and scooted closer. He says, "It's awesome. Like...'Dad Philosophy' or something." He's like, "He was telling me to imagine that I was standing at the bottom of a mountain, right? And waaaaay up at the very top, I'm talking the PEAK, of the mountain, where you simply can't go any further...is everything that I've ever wanted. Everything I ever dreamed about. The life and the love and the money...whatever it is, it's up there. And if I'm willing to climb to the top of the mountain...I can have it all." Trace seemed to be getting a bit glassy eyes himself just talking about it. He's like, "Now, it's not easy. Not at all. But I can make it. I can work hard and climb and make it to the top. But the mountain has, like...these plateaus along the way. Little flat spaces. Maybe other people live there, or it's just a quiet place to rest for a while. It's nowhere near the top of the mountain...but you're not at the bottom anymore. You kinda go to the edge, and you look at how far you've come, and you say to yourself...'You know? The view isn't so bad from here.' So you settle for what you've got. It's good enough, right?" Trace said. Then he's like, "You look up at the top of the mountain again...and you KNOW that everything that you REALLY want is at the top...but you're comfortable with what little you've got. You're ok with being average and making the best of it. Getting to the top is going to take hard work, and faith, and patience...it just seems exhausting. You could just take what you've got and let that be enough. You can relax. You can give up."

I said, "I take it this is where Dad pokes you for settling for less than what you really wanted in the first place?"

Trace was like, "Exactly. And that's exactly what I've been doing for, like, my whole life. Just...settling for the view I had instead of working towards something better. Instead of getting what I really wanted. Schoolwork and parents and all that stuff, I never gave it any real thought. If I didn't feel like going to school...I just didn't go. And that was fine for a spontaneous moment of getting my way...but what happens after that? How long did I actually expect to get away with that bullshit until it all fell apart. It's not like I had a Plan B. I don't know...I think I'm going to start climbing that mountain again." He smiled at me, and I had to lean over to give him a side hug. I don't know, something about it just made me feel good. Trace said, "Your dad, and Lynn...you and Simon...you guys believed in me. You pushed me to do better. I can't tell you how awesome you are for that. It was nice having a rock in my life. Your dad is one of a kind dude. I'm honestly jealous that you get to have him all to yourself."

Sometimes it takes someone else to make you appreciate the things you took for granted when you had them in your life. I learned that in more ways than one today. Here I am, with a father who cares, who takes care of me, who helps me out whenever I need it, and loves me unconditionally no matter what...and I never knew how much I was brushing that love off of my shoulder until I was threatened with having it taken away. Possibly for good.

When my dad took me home at the end of the day...I just kept looking at him and smiling. This warm buttery feeling welling up inside of me as I silently honored the man that had done more for me growing up than I ever truly realized. I don't know if he thought it was weird or what, but...I dunno. I couldn't help but to feel warm and cuddly about having him take me home.

Then, as we puled into the driveway, he turned to me and said, "So, I was thinking...since you were such a quick learner on how to operate the barbecue grill that day you came over...and the truck is getting pretty full anyway...I thought maybe you'd like to keep it."

I said, "Really? But...your grill...?"

He's like, "I know. I know. But it's already well 'seasoned' for you, and you know how to use it, how to clean it...I figure maybe you can show your mother what the master chef taught you. I expect you to be a full blown ninja on that grill the next time I come to visit. Got it?"

I'm not sure why my eyes began to fill up with tears, but I leaned forward and hugged my dad around his neck with enough emotion to even put little Mikey's hugs to shame. And I was like, "I will. Promise."

He looked closer and asked, "Are you alright?"

I needed to get out of that car, pronto! And hopefully zig zag my way past my mom before she saw me all emo and weird. So I opened the door and closed it back before he got a closer look at me. I told him I was ok, but before he left...I looked through the open passenger side window, and I said, "I'll see you soon. And Dad...? Forty's not old at all."

He's like, "Forty? What?" I told him again that it wasn't old at all, and that he had nothing to worry about. That's when he said, "Billy...I'm forty two."

I'm like, "Forty TWO?!?!?! Omigod, you GEEZER! That's ancient!" Which got a bit of a laugh out of both of us.

He says, "Nobody likes a smartass, kiddo!" Then he's like, "Say...why don't you come by the house one day before the big move. We'll have a good old fashioned dinner. What do you say?"

I'm still not so keen on sitting at the same dinner table with the woman who screwed my life up and broke my family apart without warning...but...for him, I said, "Yeah. Definitely." We didn't say when exactly, but it would have to be before Friday.

And NOT tomorrow! :)

Yes...soooo, tomorrow....

When I look back on it all, I think Brandon and I talked on the phone for all of 45 minutes tonight...but...just knowing that we had reached a point where we could talk again...laugh again...it left me in a total freefall. I have been smiling for over an hour now, and my cheekbones hurt. Like...a LOT! Hehehe...oh God, here I go again...gushing about the love of my life as if it was the first time.

We both had a TV on in the background, but it was clear that neither one of us was paying attention. I filled him in on what I did to help my dad out with the moving today...and he actually asked me how I felt about him leaving. And I was able to talk about it, and get a few things off of my chest. And he listened to me. He absorbed every word. It was all so simple. Brandon was one of those people that I could talk to for so long that the battery in my phone would run out of juice and I'd have to take a break and come back when it was recharged. But, then again, Brandon and I were always like that when we were in a chatty mood. Hehehe, one night, both his dad and my mom had to get angry and FORCE us to bed before school the next morning. But what can I say? Our hearts were in sync. Our souls, perfectly aligned. He was the kind of boy that you could tell absolutely anything.

At one point, I could hear him sorta munching on something. I think he was trying to be quiet about it, but I caught him anyway. I'm like, "Dude, what are you eating?"

Happily, Brandon said, "Ice cream. Hehehe, sorry. I was trying to sneak it by you, but it's sooooo good."

I said, "Let me guess...Butter Pecan, right?"

A bit surprised, Brandon said, "Mmmm! Oh wow, you remembered. Awwww..."

I'm like, "Of course, I remembered. That's your favorite. I remember everything about you."

With a giggle, Brandon said, "I'm gonna test you on that one day. But not right now though, because I'm enjoying my ice cream. Mmmm!"

I'm like, "Hehehe, great. Now I'm picturing your sexy lips all smeared with melted cream and sugar."

He's like, "Yeah? Is that hot for you?"

God, he could be so CUTE sometimes! I said, "The hottest vision ever! Now...if only I could get you to let it melt and pour it down the front of your pants, we'll be in business!"

I think Brandon nearly choked trying to hold back some snickers off of that one.He's like, "Hehehe, Billy! You almost made me spill! Quit it, hehehe!" We had a few giggles about it, but soon...out of nowhere, he says to me, "I really miss talking to you like this, Billy. I just miss...'us', you know?" As if that wasn't enough to get me all giddy with excitement, Brandon sighs and says, "Can I confess something really quick?"

And I'm like, "Yeah...." My whole body quaking violently as I grinned from ear to ear.

He's like, "I think I fell for you the first time you ever talked to me at all."

And that was it. I was his. I turned to melted goo right then and there. I was like, "You DID? Omigod, so did I!"

He said, "I always saw you around in the halls and stuff, and I thought you were extremely cute, but...a lot of boys are cute, right? They were just eye candy. I never thought about actually approaching any of them. It just wasn't...ummm...in my current realm of possibility, I guess."

I said, "I know exactly what you mean. Exactly."

So he's like, "I think having you talk to me, and finding out that you were...you know...'you', hehehe...it just made the whole world light up. I know I never really said any of this stuff before, mostly because I was scared. But...if nothing else, I wanted to finally let you know that I had been stalking you for a lot longer than you might be aware of." I swear that I could hear Brandon blushing over the phone when he said it. I really could. As beautiful as Brandon was, his timid side was quite possibly the sexiest part about him. It drove me CRAZY sometimes! It reminded me of someone trying to carefully walk up and pet a deer in the wild for the first time. Hehehe, you know...like...'it's ok, fella...don't be scared. I'm not gonna hurt ya. There we go.' It's just...awesome!

With a blush of my own, I said, "You know...I used to always go to the library. But I only did it because I was hoping that you would be there."

Brandon giggled sweetly, "Really? You did that?" I told him that I did, and he said, "That's funny. Because...ugh, I have to admit...I used to go to the library with the hopes that you might show up too. I used to fantasize that you were watching me, and that you might come over and ask me out or something. God, now that I say that out loud, it sounds so corny to me! Hehehe!"

I was quick to tell him, "No! Dude, no way! I get it!"

Brandon's like, "Hehehe, no you don't. You're just trying to make me feel good."

I said, "No! I'm dead serious!" Then, I got an idea. I couldn't remember everything word for word, and might totally end up embarrassing myself...but, as long as we were having a 'moment' and all...hehehe! I said, "Wait! Hold on a second!" And I got up to go over to my little hidden stash of 'Billy Chase' journals, and I got out the very first book. Heh...it was a little worn, but easy enough for me to handle without it breaking open or anything. Brandon heard me turn a page or two, and he asked me what I was doing. I said, "You know those notebooks that I'm always writing in? Well, this was my very first one. You wanna know what I said about you?"

Hehehe, Brandon seemed shocked. He modestly said, "Awww...Billy, no. If it's something private..."

I said, "Trust me, it's nothing I haven't told you before." I opened to the right page, and asked him if he was ready. I kinda skipped over this little part about forever pledging my heart to Jamie Cross! Hehehe, yeah...I wasn't quite as advanced in my thinking about things as I am now. No need to let my immature ramblings about the 'hot' boy ruin the moment.

I read, "Brandon is sooo cute. And he's just amazingly sweet too. I wonder if he ever catches me staring at him every now and then. He's got this light brown hair and these HUGE hazel eyes. Like baby deer eyes, you know? When he looks at you, you can't help but feel it right in your gut. He's pretty tall too, and slim, and soft, and just....cute. He was sitting in the library doing some homework, and I just watched him for a while. And, being the pervert that I am, I looked at his butt too. You know, like when someone is sitting down, and you look at them from the side, and you can see the curve of their ass where their butt meets the chair? Yeah...well...it was a VERY nice 'curve'." Then I blushed as I realized how silly that all sounded, but...what can I say? I was totally infatuated with him at the time.

Brandon giggled out loud to himself, and he's like, "Hehehe, well, if I knew you were staring at my ass the whole time, I might have leaned over and put on a little show for you or something." Then he was like, "Do you really think that I have a nice...umm...'curve'?"

Softening my voice a little bit, I was like, "Yeah. Yeah, I do..." There was a long pause between us, but...as always, it felt like home. I said, "I loved you before I even knew it myself. I guess you inspire me."

Brandon sighed and he said, "I really love you, Billy. I've never loved somebody so much in my life. I just...I feel like I'm gonna burst if I don't tell you that as often as possible. I hope you know that."

I said, "Does this mean I can get my creamy Butter Pecan ice cream kisses now?" Which caused him to grin in the most adorable way.

That's when he asked me, "Billy? What are you doing tomorrow?"

I said, "Well, I've gotta work in the morning..."

He's like, "After that. Do you...want to come over or something?"

Feeling my excitement rise instantly, I was like, "Really? Like...to your house?"

And Brandon bashfully said, "Well...yeah. You know. If you want to hang out or something."

Attempting to sound calm, even with 4th of July fireworks going off in my stomach, I said, "Yeah. Sure. What did you have in mind?"

In a quiet voice, Brandon said..."I dunno..." You have to understand...there was something really SEXY in the way he said it! There was a depth to the tone of his voice that just...wow.

Squirming a bit, I said, "Ok. I think...um...I think I can come over. After work, I mean." The air seemed to get thick around me as I heard Brandon fidget a little bit. There was another short pause, and I asked him, "Will your dad be home?"

And he said..."I dunno..." But even with more of this sensual tone that sort of caught me off guard. It had been a while since I heard that sexy voice being poured over me like that. Hehehe, maybe I imagined it, who knows? But that's when he giggled again, and that was enough to nearly cause me to faint right there where I was sitting!

Either way...I'm going to see my Brandon after work tomorrow. We're going to be together. After all this time, after all the struggle and the heartache and the shouting matches...I've got my baby back. And things are finally starting to feel complete again.

Maybe I was taking him for granted too. Maybe I needed these worthless flings with people like AJ and Lee and Bobby and Robin were all ways of getting me to appreciate Brandon the way I should have appreciated his love from the very beginning. Because as hard as I search for something better, or even equal...I haven't felt a euphoric sensation like this since we've been apart. And I missed it. God, how I missed it.

Alright, I'm shutting up now. Work tomorrow. And then another pay day at the end of the week! Woo hoo! I haven't even spent a third of the money I made from my LAST paycheck! This is AWESOME! More money for ME!

Take care! And I'll write more lately!

I love you, Brandon. And I know you love me too. B & B forever! ::Kiss::

- Billy


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