Sixth hour art was always a very laid back class as our art teacher basically only expected us to complete our art projects. My latest project was a pencil sketch of a landscape I had found in a magazine. Usually I worked on project while chatting with friends but today I looked forward to just sitting in class, working on my sketch and letting my mind wander. I had been in a very subdued and contemplative mood since lunch when I had decided that I had to make a decision about what I wanted to do with Zac. As I entered the art room, I proceeded to get my stuff and sit down towards the back where I knew I wouldn't really be disturbed. I started mindlessly shading some parts of the piece when someone sat down across from me. I looked up to see Josh Porter sitting down across the table with the watercolor painting he was working on.
"Hey, Josh," I said.
I knew Josh because he was also on the school soccer team with Jake and me. We never really hung out together but we were still friends. He was really one of the nicest guys in our grade.
"Hey, Kyle, what's up?"
"Not much. Just the regular stuff," I said then stopped shading. "So I just found out this morning from Hannah that you two have been going out for three months. Am I that clueless that I didn't notice?"
Josh laughed. "Not really, we've been kind of keeping our relationship on the low."
"Oh," I remarked then went back to sketching.
"How about you? Are you seeing anyone?"
"Nah, not right now. I'm not sure what I want."
"That's problematic," remarked Josh.
I sighed. "Yeah, and to top that, I just found out that someone is interested in me but I'm not sure if I like them in that way."
"Well, maybe you need to get to know them better and then you can see if you like them," said Josh casually.
Get to know them better. I knew Zac or I thought I did. He was overall a great guy that everyone liked. So what was stopping me from acknowledging to myself that I liked him?
I put my pencil down and looked at Josh. "I think I know what I need to do."
Josh gave me a thumbs up and smiled. "Well, I'm glad you resolved that so quickly."
I chuckled and then decided to change the topic. "So what do you think about our team this year?"
We spent the rest of art class talking about soccer and working on our art. By the end of class, I was almost finished with my sketch. I wasn't really that talented but it looked decent so I was happy about that. I packed up my stuff and headed to my locker.
To my surprise, I saw Colin was standing in front of my locker. Seeing him there, made my heart jump and I felt a smile spreading on my face. He was looking in the other way so he didn't see me. Then I remembered that I had to keep my cool so I quickly composed myself and walked up to my locker.
"Hey Colin," I said coolly.
Colin turned around and looked at me. "Hey, Kyle."
Then he smiled which made my heart skip a beat. God, I was still quite crazy about him no matter how much I tried to convince myself otherwise! I tried to keep my feelings in check and I just casually unlocked and opened my locker.
"So what brings you here?" I asked as I took my backpack out and placed it on the floor.
"Oh, umm, I just wanted to apologize for suddenly ditching you yesterday. I just had to finish a project with Matt," he stammered.
"Yeah, you told me that," I replied looking at him curiously.
Was he going to apologize and say that he actually did want to hang out with me? That he wanted to get to know me better? That he liked me also?
At that moment, someone called out my name. I turned around to see Jake walking up to me.
"Hey! I just wanted to say that I'm going to have dinner with Ashley's parents so we can't have our usual Friday night dinner," said Jake.
"No problem," I replied. "I'm going with Zac to the ice cream shop after school, so I will probably just get something there."
"Okay, well then see you at the game then," said Jake.
"Yeah, see you," I said then I turned back to face Colin but to my disappointment he was gone. He had somehow managed to slip off when I had turned to talk to Jake. I felt really frustrated. I looked around but there were a lot of students walking around in the hallways and I couldn't see him.
"Hey, Jake, wait!" I yelled at Jake who I saw walking off.
Jake turned around and walked back.
"Yeah dude, what's up?"
"I had just been talking to Colin when you came by but then he disappeared. Did you see him leave?" I asked.
"Oh was that Colin who was standing behind you?" asked Jake surprised.
"Yeah, didn't you say you saw him after the swim meet?"
"Well, Ashley just pointed him out and it was dark. I never really saw his face clearly."
"Whatever. The thing is that he was waiting for me at my locker so I thought he must have had something important to say. Did you see where he went?"
"No, sorry dude. I didn't really pay any attention to him."
"That's okay. He just apologized again for ditching me yesterday. I guess that was all he came by for then," I said dejectedly.
"Dude, don't get down over him. He's an idiot if he's not interested in you and plus, you know there are many other fish in the sea."
I shrugged my shoulders. "Yeah, I suppose you're right. It seems every time I see him my hope gets less and less. It was foolish of me to expect something in the first place. I guess I just can't let it go."
"Ah, unrequited love happens to the best of us," said Jake as he patted my shoulder. "At least you tried."
"Yeah, I guess it just wasn't meant to be. Whatever. I need to stop dwelling on this."
"So now just go find yourself someone who really appreciates you."
I smiled. "I think I will," I said. "I think I know what I need to do."
"Good for you. Now I had better run or Ashley's going to get mad. So see you later!"
"Yeah, see you!" I said.
I then turned back to my locker, shoved my books into my bag and zipped it up. I checked my clock to see that it was almost three o'clock. I needed to hurry if I was to meet Zac at the ice cream shop.
I reached the ice cream shop five minutes late. I rushed in and was relieved to see Zac was sitting at one of the small tables eating some ice cream. I waved at him and walked up to the counter. I ordered a scoop of strawberry ice cream in a cup. After getting my ice cream and paying, I went over to where Zac was sitting and sat down across from him.
"Hey," I said as I sat down.
"Hey," replied Zac as he licked a large spoon of his ice cream.
"I see you got strawberry," I noted.
"Yeah, it's my favorite."
"Same here," I said pointing down at my cup of strawberry ice cream.
I continued to eat my ice cream since I didn't really know what to say next. Zac didn't seem to know what to say either so the result was that we sat in silence as we finished our ice cream. Once I was finished I looked up at Zac and noticed he had also finished and was just lazily looking at me.
"So," I said putting down my spoon and wiping my mouth with a napkin. "This is awkward. I don't know what to say."
"Can I just ask a question?" asked Zac in a serious tone.
"Are you actually gay?"
I shook my head. "No, I think I have decided that I am bi. I thought I was straight until I found myself being attracted to this other guy."
"Yeah, I guess you heard about that from Jake?"
"Yeah, I was really surprised to hear that because I had also thought you were completely straight before. Then I just felt the need to tell you that I wasn't straight either."
"Well, that kiss was pretty effective. So are you gay?"
"Yeah," said Zac nodding his head. "I'm just attracted to guys."
That made sense, I thought to myself. Zac had never had a girlfriend from what I could remember and he never really had said anything about being interested in one either.
"So when did you find out?"
"It was maybe sometime around middle school. It was just a slow realization and I denied at first but I eventually accepted it as I realized it wasn't going to change."
"So are you out to anyone?"
"Not really. I kind of feel that it's really no one's business and I just know people are going to look at me differently when I do tell them. I might decide to be out in college or something but right now, I am happy to be in the closet. So far, I've only told Bryan in secret and now you."
"Yeah, I haven't really thought about coming out but I guess I agree with you on that," I replied as I idly scraped the ice cream cup with my spoon. "You guys are the only ones that know right now and I think I would like to keep it that way."
My life would be different now. There was no question about that. But really I just felt like I was the same person as before and I didn't want people to think of me any different. I had been staring at my ice cream cup for a while when Zac broke me out of my thinking.
"So do you like Colin?"
I looked up at Zac. I knew he would ask this since he had heard about it from Jake. There wasn't really a conclusive answer to that question but I decided to answer it the best I could.
"Yeah I do like Colin. He's really the person who is responsible for the consciousness of my true sexuality. I had never thought I could be attracted to another guy before him. However, he doesn't seem to be interested in me so I'm guessing nothing is really coming out of that. It's almost a passing fancy now. "
Zac was quiet and then he looked me straight in the eye and spoke again. "So do you like me?"
I looked at him and then I just turned to look out of the window for a while. Here was the question that had been plaguing me. I took a breath and looked back towards Zac.
"To be honest, I never thought of you in that way before you kissed me. But now I have been thinking it over it," I said then paused.
"I think I would like to get to know you better."
Zac smiled. "Really?"
I smiled. "Yeah. I don't think I am ready for any kind of relationship with another guy. But you seem like a great guy and I would like to get to know you better."
"Of course, of course. I don't want to push you into something that you're not ready for. That would just lead to a big mess. We can just take this slowly and keep it casual."
"Yeah, thanks. That sounds good."
For a couple of minutes, we just looked at each other with stupid grins on our faces.
"So what are you doing for dinner?" asked Zac finally.
"I don't know. I usually go over to Jake's but he's having dinner with Ashley and her parents tonight."
"Do you want to come over to my place for dinner?"
"Awesome. Well I probably have to be at home soon so why don't you just come home with me?" asked Zac.
"Okay. Sounds like a plan."
We threw away our ice cream cups and then got into our cars. Zac was driving a maroon Nissan Xterra and I followed him to his house. I had actually never been to Zac's house before so I didn't know where he lived. I did know that he was only child and his dad was a lawyer while his mom was an elementary school teacher. I had seen his parents several times at Zac's swim meets. His mom was especially nice.
His house turned out to be in a nice neighborhood with medium sized houses much like mine. Zac parked inside the garage and I parked on his driveway.
"Welcome to my house! I don't think you've been here before," said Zac after I got out of my car. "Come in through here."
"You have a nice house," I replied as I followed Zac inside through the garage.
"Hi mom!" said Zac as he walked into the kitchen. His mom was making something on the kitchen countertop but she stopped to give Zac a hug.
"Hi sweetie. How was school? And who is your friend?" she asked noticing me.
"School was great and this Kyle. Is it okay if he stays for dinner?"
"Of course! He's more than welcome," replied Kyle's mom happily. "It's nice to meet you Kyle."
"Nice to meet you too, Mrs. Anderson," I replied with a nod of my head.
Zac then led the way to the staircase and I followed him up to his room. It was a bit messy which he apologized for. I sat down on the futon he had in his room as he tidied up a bit. We spent the hour before dinner talking about random topics. We went through his CD collection and talked about the various music we liked. We found out that we both liked almost the same kind of alternative and rock music. He was a very big fan of Coldplay and some other more mainstream bands while I was more into indie music. We talked also a bit about the horror movies we liked since we knew from last night that we were both fans. We even decided to go to the movie theater again sometime during the weekend. Zac's mom then called us down for dinner. Zac's dad had returned from work and I was introduced to him also. Zac's mom had made lasagna for dinner, which was really good. During dinner, Zac's mom shared some stories about her second-graders and Zac's dad talked about some of his co-workers who I didn't know. Zac told them about his day at school, which involved mostly work and swim practice. Zac's parents also had several questions for me about my family, school and interests. When we were finished, Zac and I excused ourselves from the table and went back up to his room.
"Your parents are really nice," I commented once we were sitting on his futon again.
"Yeah, I feel I am lucky to have them."
"Are you going to come out to them soon?"
"Yeah," he replied slowly. "I still don't think I'm ready to tell them yet but I want to tell them before I leave for college."
I gave him a comforting smile and he smiled back.
"Well, the game starts soon. I should get back home and change," I said.
"Okay. Well, I guess I will see at the game then."
"Yeah," I replied as I got up from the futon. Zac got up also and then led me downstairs to the front door.
"Thanks for having me over. I really enjoyed dinner and hanging out with you," I said as I paused outside and looked at Zac.
"Well, I'm glad you came over."
I couldn't help but look him in his dark blue eyes. "Yeah, I'm glad I came over also."
Zac was looking at me and there was a moment of silence before I instinctively leaned forward. My eyes closed and I pressed my lips onto Zac's lips. His lips were soft and he instantly kissed me back. I placed my right hand behind his head and pulled him closer. My mouth opened and my tongue slipped into his mouth. He grabbed me by my waist pulling me into him. We kissed for a few minutes before I realized what I was doing and pulled back.
Zac looked at me with a smile but then stopped smiling when he noticed that I wasn't smiling back.
"I better go," I managed to say before turning around and heading to my car.
I got in and turned on the car. As I pulled out of the driveway, I saw Zac was still standing at the front door looking out at me.
I couldn't believe that I had just made out with him. I had made out with a guy. Maybe I wasn't so ready for this as I thought.
To be continued...
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