"Jace, you're an idiot!" Hayden angrily exclaimed.
For some reason I told her everything that happened yesterday. She knew me better than anyone, but I guess this time was a little too much of me for her to handle.
All night long I thought about Merry. He asked me that question. He knew all the time that I was looking at him in the hallways. Was I that obvious in my crush?
"...why did you follow me inside?" The question gave me no rest.
What will I say to him? I left him confused... I'm such a jerk! Didn't I want to know him?! That chance was given! Didn't he ask me straight in the face?! The chance was given to tell him how I feel! Then how did I manage to mess things up?
"I'm sorry, Merry." That was the dumbest thing I could have ever said! "...I'm attracted to you..." He must think I'm such an idiot! He'll be pissed at me. He wouldn't talk to me. Even our friendship was probably finished.
Hayden didn't spare the harsh words this morning. She scolded me like I was a little child. But I deserved it.
"You should talk to him," she said.
"Yeah, right, like he would like to talk to me." I self-pitied the position I put myself in.
"I think he won't have a reason to be angry. You didn't leave him with one, you know. Because of your reasons he is probably just confused. So, just fix things up!"
Fix things... that would be easy, right?
All through the first classes I sulked and thought of ways to approach him. Should I be nonchalant and act like nothing happened, or should I apologize. Will he be mad at me, or he won't say anything about last night. Are we going to act as friends when we see each other?
Aghh... this was a strange situation, not the kind I was used to at all.
I saw the blonde angel with blue eyes during lunch period. He was sitting with Andrew.
Reece was signaling me to go sit with him and Hayden, but I decided it was now or never. But as I passed by them he pulled me aside.
"Listen, if things don't go well, I may be able to hasten the plan."
Even if I wasn't concentrated on other things right now, I wouldn't have the slightest idea what he was talking about.
"The initial plan to hook you up with your boy-crush. It has changed a little, but the main points stand. I told you yesterday while you were half-awake."
Oh, Jace, what great friends you have. I wonder, if none of their plans to make you happy had succeeded, would they have gone as far as to kidnap him and drag him over to my house. Friends... I do appreciate their humble support and efforts.
"Yeah, whatever. For now, just move," I said as I got past him. "I'm going to send your brother to you in a second. Do be useful and keep him with you for a while."
I headed to where Merry was sitting. With each step I became more and more nervous. I tried to read his expressions from a distance and guess how he would react when he saw me but to no avail. Was he angry or were we all right? No, we couldn't be alright after what happened. He should had seen me entering the cafeteria...
"Jace! What's up?" Andrew said as I got close to the table.
"Hey," I said. I needed to think fast. I should have done it earlier. Alone, alone, alone... How? For a moment my eyes were fixed on Merry, ignoring the rest that was happening. But I quickly snapped. "Your brother wants to tell you something." It was a noble lie.
"Umm... Ok," he said as he continued to eat his food.
"I mean right now." I twitched a little. Will I get the chance to speak with him?
"Oh, okay," he said as he stood up and took his tray. "See you later," he waved to Merry.
"Yeah, till then..." a soft mumble was hardly heard.
All this time Merry's eyes avoided my own. He was now staring at his food, poking it with the fork.
"Can I take a seat?"
"What do you want?" he was trying to suppress his emotions. It sounded cold and distant and it let me knew instantly that things were definitely not alright between us. How could they be after what I said last night?
"I just want to talk."
"Don't bother, they'll see you talking with the gay kid. You wouldn't want that." It came out sternly.
"Andrew was here with you, wasn't he?" I frowned.
"Yeah, but Andrew is my best friend," he emphasized on those words, "he doesn't care about shit like what other people think."
My heart sank hearing him say that. I cursed myself for all this.
"Can we go somewhere else, to talk."
He got up without saying anything and headed outside. A little bit of the uneasiness was swept away. We walked to the huge beech tree in the school yard and sat at the side where we didn't see the school; it was left behind us. There wasn't anyone around. The road was not far in front of us. We stayed silent, leaning against the trunk of the tree. I didn't know how to begin, but I knew that I had to say something first.
And I did; I said it all straight.
"I want to apologize... for last night. I shouldn't have acted like that and then leave. I don't know what came over me. It's just my stupid thoughts." There. I started somehow and the feeling of weight was replaced by a little bit of relief. "I've been looking at you in the hallways for the past month, wishing to catch your attention. I was so obsessed that I couldn't sleep after the first time I saw you. You had that kind of power over me. That story that Hayden read was written because of you and you really are the character in it. When Reece told me that you were gay, feelings of jealousy and affection rose in me. I tried not to think about you, wishing there was something between you and Andrew, so that I won't get in the way. I was afraid if you somehow found out; what would you think of me. After that kiss the other day, I understood that I really want to be close to you, as a friend or... And yet, last night I fucked things up." I was talking and blabbering. The feelings that troubled me for the past month were easily expressed into words without hiding any of them. It was rare for me to be like this when I was around Merry.
I hadn't looked at the boy even once while I was talking. After I finished, I glanced over to him. He was looking up ahead.
I noticed how his lips formed in a smile. He giggled.
"Y-you were wishing..." It turned into laughter. "... that me and Andrew... Hahaha. What is wrong with you? Come on, Jace. You're good at reading people, aren't you? You should have put aside the clouding judgment and seen how I feel about you."
He looked at me with those irresistible eyes of his. I laughed myself. What was I thinking?
"You're right, but I've noticed a strange thing about that. Those who are good at reading people find it hard to use their abilities on the ones they have feelings for. It's strange or not so much at all. Because they mix emotions with their analysis, it becomes wishful thinking." Our eyes were locked in a gaze, neither of us moved. "Merry... I'm sorry that I hurt you like that."
"I can't seem to stay mad at you. You know, it didn't hurt me what you did directly. It hurt me that I saw someone who I look up to act like that. I mean, what was wrong? Everything was perfect and you just flipped out. I thought there was something between us... You really confused me, Jace."
"I didn't think you would understand..."
"You think I don't understand that I play a role for being gay? I've accepted myself that way, Jace. I'll say it again, for someone who says he is open-minded you sure like to take the position of disregarding every thought that could restrict you. It's silly. You said writers should know themselves, yet you seem to be confused. Does it really matter if you are gay or not? And is it the word that makes you? Or did you think that I will force you to say it? If I've left that impression in you, then I'm sorry."
"Hehe, my little philosopher. So, we're ok?"
He didn't say anything and looked away.
"Can we be... together or something like that?" he softly said. "If you don't want to be viewed as gay can something work between us?"
There it was again, the question which couldn't be evaded. Only now I was clear with myself.
There was a little distance between our bodies and all the while we didn't touch but I moved so that our tights would come in contact. I put my arm across his shoulders and pulled him close. The feeling of our bodies pressing like that was amazing. And this time it was me who took the first step...
"If it means being with you, then I don't mind. That's what open-mindedness is about, right?" I said.
His head turned to me with the most adorable expression on his face.
"Really?" So innocently he asked.
He beamed and got excited, a broad smile appearing on his face. I suddenly got the urge to do something that before I wouldn't have. With my hand across his shoulder I ruffled his smooth blond hair.
"Hey, hey," he scolded me. "Just don't think that I'm some kid who's vulnerable and weak. And don't go thinking that there isn't anything in you that I should be attracted to, and then tell me to find someone my own age. That's not gonna happen." Heh, he was so cute like that. "There isn't someone my age that looks like you, who smell like you, who writes like you!"
"Hehe, I understand."
Merry leaned on my chest. His silky hair was right under my nose, the blond locks spilling down. It had a young, boyish scent.
We had forgotten that we were in school and that classes were about to start. There was just a little time left before we separated. There wasn't anyone in the school yard, but even if there was I wouldn't care if they saw us like this.
"But don't think you will get away with it." He giggled. "You have to make it up to me."
"Oh, and how would that be?" Definitely, he had already made up a plan. In that department he was as mischievous as a certain someone I knew.
"I think Mrs. Anderson won't be of much help with her Creative Writing class, you said it too. So, I want you to guide me in my writing."
I was surprised to hear such a request. Leaning on my chest, his head turned up and his piercing-blue eyes looked pleadingly at me.
"I don't know. It's not like I'm a big writer myself. How can I guide you?"
"Come on! I've read your stories in the magazines. You're awesome, Jace! I just want someone to look at my writing and give me directions. You could do that!"
"Hehe, I can't refuse, can I?" His eyes told me that I cannot.
"Thanks, Jace!" Again I saw how little was needed to make him happy. "Hey, isn't that Hayden over there." He pointed somewhere across the other side of where he was leaning.
"Huh, where?" Wait... Something was familiar here. The scheme, the same manner...
Before I knew it his soft, luscious lips touched my cheek again. I winced from the warmth I felt, becoming instantly excited.
"Come on, Jace. Classes are about to start." He was up and ready to go. He was amusing himself by teasing me. "What's wrong? Let's go." He giggled.
I somehow got out from my pleasurable trance. But as we walked I found it hard not to brush against him. I tried to maintain my distance but every time I ended up walking close to him like we were two opposite magnets.
While waiting for him to get his things out of his locker I noticed the notebook that so many times had made me wonder, the one which he always carried with him. As I looked at it close, the little details gave it away. It was gray with a spiral. On the cover there was the same kind of feather drawn as the one he was wearing around his neck. It was definitely a writer's notebook.
"What do you have written in there?" I asked.
"Oh, that's where I write my thoughts and stuff. But you can't see it yet, hehe. There's something special inside, but it's not ready."
Hehe, little angel...
"And there's another thing," he said as we headed for our classes. "There's a party tomorrow at Reece's house. Andrew told me. Will you take me?"
How could I have said no? He was so sweet that I couldn't refuse him. As for me, I didn't like parties but I couldn't let him go alone. I knew what Reece's parties were like. Where did that idea come from? And then I remembered... It better not be part of that jock's plan. Why would Merry want to go to a party? It had to be his idea or hers...
Before school ended we saw each other again.
I was surprised when they called me to the principal's office and even more surprised as I saw Merry there. Mrs. Anderson was also there.
"What's going on?" I thought.
Apparently, someone had complained that the Creative Writing class was forcing homosexual ideas on the students through literature assignments and artistic expressions. They made it sound like it was propaganda. The principal was strict and wanted to know was it true. After all, the school's reputation is at stake, he said.
I couldn't believe what I heard. Merry and I both stood there dumbfounded, wondering if we should laugh or leave and don't bother at all with the bullshit complaints.
Luckily, Mrs. Anderson handled things well. For once she did a good job! She explained to the principle that the main purpose of her class was to give insight on the various ways in which an artist can express his inner world. In that way of thinking, it is only but prejudice to say homosexual literature didn't exist. The students had to understand that the freedom to express one's self was unlimited. And she took the task to introduce the students to various streams in literature, including gay fiction...
That's when I stopped listening. I imagined how that would happen.
We didn't say anything till the end and just left when everything was settled.
I was in a strange of mood after I left Merry home. I giggled and laughed to myself for no obvious reason. It was like I was drunk, or crazy, or both. All through the rest of the rest of the day I replayed the day in my mind, our conversation, the little details, the smiles, the looks, the smells. And every time I was left more and more drawn and obsessed with Merry. Only now we had become closer and the feelings were mutual.
Hey, thanks for reading! :)
Send me your thoughts to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some other works and stories, though not many, lol: http://www.gayauthors.org/author/dariyo