Over the next few weeks I began to notice little details about the boy when he passed through the halls. He had an adorable charming smile and every time I heard his voice or laughter it made me all jizzy and nervous and the butterflies in my stomach stayed there through the whole day. Everything about this boy was amazing, even if I didn't know him! He always carried the same notebook with him which made me wonder that, maybe, we had the same interest. I also noticed that he was always wearing a necklace that resembled a feather; not an actual, real feather. It was from metal, maybe silver. Little details that gave him away...
I always searched for his blue eyes, but I didn't have the chance to meet them.
Luckily, he hadn't noticed my sneakiness. Hayden still tried to find him, but what was she able to do with a blond hair and blue eyes (if she figured the metaphor, of course). But knowing how stubborn she was, she wouldn't give up. I knew it because she didn't ask me anything. She's just like a child. What could I do?
I so wanted to talk to him, to say something, but was afraid of what he may think of me. As my story gave me the chance to fantasize that I have met him, it didn't give me the courage to actually do something.
"Will you come to the party on Saturday," Reece asked as we were walking to the next class.
"You know I don't like parties."
"You can bring him and you will like it." He grinned.
Oh, great, Hayden was doing a good job.
"There is no him, okay!" I said sharply.
"Well, Hayden told me otherwise. Do I know him?"
"Do you really think I would fall for an empty-headed jock like the ones you know?"
"Oh, no, I think he will be a book-loving nerd like yourself." He teased.
"Very funny, Reece."
"So, you do admit there is someone."
But just then my brain shut down completely as I saw him laughing and heading towards us with a familiar figure next to him.
"Hey, little bro, what's up?" Reece said when they got close.
It was his brother Andrew. I had completely forgotten that he too was a first year.
Reece was a childhood friend, my best friend. We shared everything with each other from the moment our mothers let us wander in the playground. I have done a lot of crazy things and sleepovers with both of them, so I knew Andrew very well. However, he didn't know that thing about me.
"Hi, Jace," he said as he got closer and started talking with his brother about something.
My attention was at the boy that came with him and was now standing not far away from us, waiting for Andrew. He wasn't looking at us, but I wildly wanted somehow to catch his attention. Again, the nervousness appeared. All of the voices in the hall mixed in a faraway echo that didn't matter to me now. All other things, beside the boy, became blurry, unimportant. I so wanted him to look!
And then it happened! My heart was beating so fast that I thought it was going to explode. He looked up at Reece to see who his friend was talking to, then his eyes traveled to me. He saw that I was looking at him, staring even, like an idiot and his eyes quickly went back to the floor. I probably scared him. But just as I was going to feel the self-pity, he looked up again and our eyes met. A smile appeared on his face. He smiled at me!
"Jace! What do you think?" Reece's voice suddenly pulled me back to the school reality.
"Weren't you listening?"
I had to get away from here and cool my head before I did something stupid.
"No, sorry. I have to get to class," I quickly said and run off.
It crossed my mind a little too late that I could ask Andrew about the boy, his name at least, but maybe it was better I didn't. However, the next class it was all about him: thinking, imagining, dreaming. Why was I so interested in this boy? I felt he had something special, but I was soon going to get crazy like this!
It happened again at lunch.
Reece, Hayden and I were at a table talking and eating.
"So, Mrs. Anderson asked you that?" Hayden asked me.
"Yeah, she wants me to take her place for the first two or three classes."
"Oh, my young little Shakespeare, let me give you a kiss." Reece teased me.
"Don't you dare, you dumbass jock," I replied.
"She sees that you have got talent," Hayden said.
"No, I think, she just doesn't want to spend so much time in school, teaching the same, and decided to have someone else do her duties."
You see, Mrs. Anderson was our English literature teacher and she asked me to replace her and `teach' in her Creative writing class, which was a group of students from the whole school who wanted to learn how to write (better), or something like that. Though it is amusingly unknown to me how something like writing could be acquired through teaching in school or anywhere else.
After I won a writing contest and some of my stories got published in magazines, Mrs. Anderson realized, or rather finally noticed, what `amazing and talented' young boy she had under her wing. She undoubtedly thought it was thanks to her that I had the inspiration to write.
"So when is the first class?" Hayden asked.
"After school. Why do you ask?" I tried to figure what she had in mind.
"Oh, just curious." She smiled.
And then it happened!
He walked in with Andrew, his slim frame moving sheepishly, yet with confidence, in a cute boyish manner.
The room got a little too noisy from the sudden whispering, but I didn't realize that, it was unimportant. All my attention was concentrated on him. He took a seat on a table close to ours. I searched for his eyes; my heart, again, started to beat fast. This happened just from the sight of him! Wow! My fingers were tapping on the table, my foot couldn't stop moving.
Just then my ears perked up as Hayden spoke about the boy in interest.
"Hey, Jace, that boy with Andrew, is it true?"
"True?" I asked confused.
"You know, is he like you?" Her question still wasn't ringing any bells.
"Are you asking me does he write?"
"No, I mean..." But she didn't finish.
"Yep, he's a fairy just like Jace, Hayden," Reece said, grinning, before I could comprehend anything.
"Wow, really? He's young," Hayden said.
"He's the only one out of the closet in school." Then, looking at me, he said, "For now, that is."
I was dumbfounded. I couldn't realize what I just heard.
"Wait, what? What are you saying? How can that be?" I was still in shock and didn't think how the opportunity presented itself to me.
"He was writing something in his notebook under the big tree in the school yard. Some idiot approached him and decided to play the bully. So, he started teasing him about his notebook; that only gays have a diary and he must be one. Imagine that – the stupidity of people, not minding their own business! But the boy was calm, didn't even look at him and said: "I am gay. Do you have a problem with that? If not, then leave me alone." The other was angry and agitated and would have done something but, luckily, Andrew was around. And since then the two are best friends. A heartwarming story, don't you think, Jace?"
"I can't believe it."
"What is there to believe? He is gay and apparently likes to write like a certain someone I know since he was a wee baby."
"It makes you want to scream to the world you're gay, seeing someone younger than you done it, without being afraid, right?" Hayden said.
"Jeez, Hayden! You know what I think about that."
"Actually, if you hadn't left earlier, when we met Andrew in the halls, he would have introduced you to him. We talked a little after you were gone."
"Then you know his name?" I asked, wanting to finally learn that piece of information. At least address him with the real one in my fantasies.
"Oh, wouldn't you want to know?" Reece teased me, yet again.
"Yes, so tell me!" I insisted.
"Interested?" Hayden joined, too.
"What?! There's like four years between us!" I tried to hide my fascination with him.
"Is that supposed to be an excuse for not liking him?"
Just then I heard a voice passing next to us.
"Hey, Jace. Hi, Hayden."
I turned around and saw Andrew. He was walking by, but my eyes fixed on the person walking behind him. I was like struck by lightning, unable to move. You mean to tell me this blond godlike boy, with blue eyes, like the broad sky itself, with that cute smile and innocent face was... like me. It felt like days passed, our eyes were locked into each other. I could feel his scent as he walked. I saw him bit his lip just like a sweet little puppy; his eyes glowed.
"Hi," he said under his breath.
But mine stopped. I was unable to realize the situation.
"Hi," was all I could say.
And he passed. The sparks settled down a little bit. But my heart was still pounding.
Out of the corner of my eye I could see that Hayden was scribbling something in her notebook. She moved closer to me.
"A golden aureole, huh?" She whispered in my ear and grinned.
I was blushing madly by now, which with all my effort I was trying to hide.
"Ah, what it is to be in love," said Reece in a theatrical way and with that our lunch concluded.
No need to say I was thinking about him through the rest of my classes. I have been watching him for four weeks now, drooling over him, wanting his attention and now that he suddenly showed interest, even spoke to me, I am ready to chicken out and do nothing. Geez! If only I knew what I really wanted! Here I was, dreaming every day and night about him, also regretting that I did it, but I thought the opportunity would never come, so I got used to the fact that we will never be, at least, friends. And now that the thought that he is gay lets my mind wonder, along with Reece and Hayden thinking that I like him, what will follow?
It bugged me a little, the fact that he is so young and has learned about himself at such an age. I felt a little jealous about the freedom with which he so openly had said he was gay. Something that I didn't do and never thought that I would have to. But I started to trace the roots of that feeling. Why did I want to be in his place? That jealousy wasn't an obsession, my obsession was with him, but it was like a little poking with a stick, which you can't ignore, because you're annoyed. The feeling reminded me of one of those stories in which everything is perfect, the main character is perfect, he has settled down with his life, knows what he wants and his little life has some meaning in it, but it so happens that one certain person throws a wrench in the whole `perfect' machine and the person realizes that something is missing. The strange thing was that I actually understood that and my mind started to play and replay different scenarios.
I liked both boys and girls, but mostly I looked at boys. I was always puzzled when I came across the coming out thing. To this day I don't understand: Why would you want people to acknowledge you that you are different from them? Why would you search for people's approval of something that concerns only you? You are just who you are: pure, true to yourself, without any labels, without any categorizing. It's true that the thing we are most scared of is the one which we do not understand. But then, would it be true that those, who judge others, are scared mostly of themselves (and for themselves), rather than the ones they don't understand.
But I felt that something lacked in that way of thinking. Now that I experience it, I slightly begin to understand. That philosophy works (only on yourself), but can you explain it in detail to other people. Can they all understand? What happens when you are attracted and have feelings for someone of the same sex, but you have not admitted and don't want to carry the label gay or homosexual? Because that is what will be presented to you, sooner or later: either carry that philosophy in mind and live in solitude or admit the label and be happy with someone. We are simply too far away from the free thought of connecting our lives, without the set of boundaries.
Those crazy thoughts troubled my mind during the rest of classes. The boy, whose name I didn't learn, was gay and people knew. I was gay, too, but people didn't know. If there was the slight chance something could happen between us, I had to show him, so he can know that I was gay. There is no other way for this kind of thing to work, right?
But there was no way something between us could happen. He was a freshman, a little boy. I tried to convince myself that that isn't what I wanted, that those looks we exchanged, the moment we had didn't mean anything to me and I wouldn't try anything. Just because he was a gay boy didn't mean I had to grab that opportunity, like a desperate closet case, it didn't necessarily mean that he liked me either. But I knew better than that, within days it will become painful and unbearable, I will not be able to restrain around him.
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