Hello! After a long break, I've finally started writing again. This is the 18th installment of Collision. I apologize for the length of time between this one and the last one. If you are under 18 or 21, please go elsewhere. And if you don't fancy gay high school boys learning about love and life, then please go elsewhere also. Thanks.

Collision Part 18
"Ryan's Breakdown"
By Joey E

"B, can I, uh, talk to you son?" asked Brett's father as he came into Brett's room.

"Sure," Brett said, turning around from his desk to face his dad. "How was the concert?"

"Okay, I guess. Your sister had a solo," he said, closing the door behind him. The older Thompson sat on the bed.

"Does your mother know?"

"Not that I'm aware of," Brett answered, not knowing where this was going.

"Well, we all know your mom is smarter than we let her on to be. She might. She's not a blockhead like me."

"Yeah, that's for sure," Brett said, laughing.

"Hey!" Brett's dad said grinning.

"So, what are you telling me, Dad? That I should tell her?"

"It probably would be the best. I don't know, B. I've never been through this kind of thing before!"

"You think I have?" Brett asked.

"Sorry, I just don't know what to do or say."

"It's okay Dad. I don't think you need to know what to do or say at this point. I sure don't."

"Yeah, but…."

There was a knock at the door. "Come in!" Brett yelled.
His mom came through the door and smiled. "You missed a great concert tonight, Brett."

"I just heard all about it," Brett said, smiling at his mom.

"What's going on in here anyway?" she asked.

"Nah, nothing," Brett answered. "Dad and I were just talking."

"Okay. Don't forget to get to bed at a reasonable time. You've got school in the morning, sweetie."
"Yes, mom," Brett answered obediently.

"Think about it," Brett's Dad said as he got up off the bed to leave the room with his mother.

"I will, Dad."

"So, I heard your boyfriend's dad walked in on you making out with him last night," Eric said, grinning at Ryan.

Ryan looked panicked and uncomfortable. "Yeah, he did. We were all naked and shit. It wasn't good dude. I'm not too comfortable with it. I mean I've been thinking about it all night., It's not right that we have to go on hiding like this. It's like I'm ashamed of myself."
"Well, Jay's roommate caught us making out. But, still, that ain't as a parent."

"Tell me about it," Ryan answered. "I just wanted to crawl into a hole and bury myself."

"Cheer up, bud. His dad didn't throw either of you out. It could've been worse, man. A lot worse!"

"Well, what about your parents? What do they think about Jay?"

"I don't' know, man. I know they suspect something's up. But curiosity hasn't gotten to best of them yet. Hey, Ryan, what about your parents though? What would they say?"

"Good question," Ryan said, sitting down on the bench. "I think my dad would throw a tantrum. My mom would cry, and my younger brother would say, I always knew you were gay."

"Did you ever consider telling them?"

"Oh sure, I've been tempted to. But just never really had the chance."

"You should have Brett by your side today, man. I Hear there is a rumor going around high school that you are gay this morning."

"What? Again?" Ryan asked laughing.

"It wasn't Miller this time though."

"Oh who was it?"

"That's why I'm scared. I don't know," Eric said, looking at his hands.

"Shit. That's just great. That's what I need now. And why aren't you included in this rumor? And why is this rumor so late? It's four months late already!"

"I don't know dude. Just ignore it, dude. It'll probably go away again," Eric said, putting his hand on Ry's shoulder. Ryan looked up at the large figure that loomed in front of him and smiled.

"And if it doesn't," Eric continued, "You've got me on your side!"

"A big fat slob?" Ry said, laughing.

"Shut up, bitch!" Eric said, laughing.

Ryan looked up to see his man walking towards him. He stood up and smiled. Brett smiled back, showing his dimples as he casually walked towards him. Ryan actually started blushing.

"Hey, buddy," Brett said.

"Hey B!" Ry said. "How was the thing with the father last night?"

"Oh, it went well. We talked a little more. He seems to be okay for now. Mom still doesn't know. How are you makin' out?"

"Not so good, but I'll get over it. No one has ever known that I didn't want to know yet. It's scary and I don't think I'm ready for it."

"Dude, at least it wasn't your father!"

"True," Ryan said. "At least it wasn't mine. I'm just glad that it turned out okay for now."

"Yeah, Brett. Control yourself from now on!" Eric said.

Brett laughed. "I'll try. But who can resist this hunk of man?" he asked, grabbing his little man and putting his arms around little guys chest. Ryan smiled.

All through the day, though, thoughts were going through Ryan's head at what would've happened if HIS dad caught him screwing around with Brett. He feared when that moment would come. He feared when his parents would find out. He didn't know why, but it scared him. He wasn't too close to his dad, but close enough to know what might happen if he came out to him. His dad was a very proud man, proud of his sons, his wife, and his family. What if his wonderful son wasn't so wonderful after all?

Finally he went home after wrestling practice, acting like nothing happened so well that even Brett didn't notice anything weird. He went to his room, closed the door, collapsed on his bed and cried. For the first time in a while, he didn't want to be gay anymore. He wanted to be normal. He didn't want to have to tell his parents. He didn't want to tell anyone.

But at the same time, he was tired of hiding. It was like if he was doing something wrong. He didn't like lying to his mom and dad. He didn't like lying period. He had the all-star high school boyfriend, had his circle of friends, and a brand new life at his new high school. And here he HAD the all-star high school boyfriend and no one knew it. That pissed him off as well. It was slowly building up inside of him. He was frustrated.

Finally, after talking with Brett on the phone that night, Brett started to suspect something was wrong.

"Something's up Phillips. You okay?" he asked.

"Yeah, Brett I'm fine. I think I'm just tired from practice. I'll talk to you tomorrow. I gotta go to bed."

They said goodbye and Ryan laid awake for quite sometime before sleep fell upon him.

After making it through another day of high school without much chaos, Ryan made his way down to the locker room to get changed for the last regular meet of the season. He saw Jay waiting at the door of the locker room.

"You waiting for Eric?" he asked, smiling.

"Yeah," Jay said.

"He know you're gonna be here?"

"No," Jay answered. "I wanted to surprise him today. Can you go get him and tell him there's someone out here who wants to see him?"

"Sure," Ryan said, opening the door to the locker room. "I'll tell him."

"Yo Neuman!" he yelled. "There's someone outside to see you."
"Thanks, Ry," he said, passing him by to go outside.

"JAY!" Eric yelled, smiling. "what are you doing here?"

"I wanted to see how you kicked butt on the mat. Since this is your last match, I figured I'd surprise you and watch you."

"Cool, man. I'm so glad you came," Eric said, shaking Jay's hand. "You can go out with us afterwards too if you want!"

"I just might do that."

"Good. Well, I gotta go back in now. Watch for me."

"I will, man."

And so the wrestling got under way. Ryan successfully cleared his head of all the thoughts that were in his head throughout the day. He focused and won his match in less than a minute. Brett won his match in less than a minute as well. Eric faired okay. He won but it was close. The closest match he ever had this year. He turned to look at Jay in the audience and winked in his direction. Little did he know, his parents were there too, watching the whole thing. Ryan and Brett got a little carried away at their celebration as well when their team won the meet. They wrapped their arms around each other and held each other for a second too long. Eric came over and said, "All right, guys, we won. Get over it!"

Brett and Ryan looked over at the team and separated. They turned red and avoided looking at each other for the next ten seconds. That might have been a little too long, Ryan thought. He knew his parents were there. He had had it with holding his emotions in. He wanted the fuckin' school to know that he was fuckin' gay. It felt so right just holding on to Brett in celebration. How could a thing like that be wrong?

Something in him cracked and he ran out of the gym to the locker room. He didn't care who saw him. He ran into the back and started crying uncontrollably. He banged his fist against the cement wall until there was blood. He collapsed in a heap on to the tiled floor of the room. His face was buried into his knees. He let out loud sobs as his whole body shook with grief. He ahd just won and yet it didn't matter a damn bit to him. He was changing. And he didn't know why. Suddenly, living in the closet with his boyfriend wasn't enough anymore. He sat there sobbing for a while.

Meanwhile, Brett was stopped by the cable company crew that was filming the whole match and asked for an interview. He knew there was something wrong with his little man, but he couldn't say no to the interviewer. He frantically tried to get his coach's attention.

"What is it, Thomspon?" he said, running over.

"What's with Ryan? He just ran out of here to the locker room."

"I don't know. Why don't you go and check?

"I would but I have to talk to the TV," Brett said, pointing to the television camera in front of him.

"I'll run in now. They want to interview me too, though."

"Okay, thanks, Coach," Brett said.

The couch ran to the locker room. Ryan was still on the cold floor in his singlet, silent tears falling from his face. He knew he should get up and go back out, but he didn't have the strength. He heard the door open but didn't care who it was. He remained on the floor in tears. His headgear was still in his hand and his other hand was lined with bloody knuckles.

"Phillips? You in here?"

Ryan didn't want to see the coach. Not in this state. He remained mute. He heard the footsteps getting closer and closer. He hoped that the Coach would not find him.

"Yo, Ryan, are you in here?" His voice was noticably closer.

Ryan let out a sniffle by accident. Coach turned the corner and saw his 103lbs wrestler on the dirty cold floor, his knuckles dripping blood, his eyes dripping tears, and his face looking in pain.

Coach immediately came over to where Ryan was and knelt down beside him. Ryan instinctively threw his arms around his coach. His coach put his arms around Ryan and lifted him up and they hugged standing up. He could feel that Ryan was extremely weak and worn out.

"Ryan, what's wrong? We won. You won…you have the best…"

Ryan suddenly gathered strength from the anger. "I can't even show any affection to my boyfriend to celebrate our victory. Oh sure, plenty of girl and guys can kiss in public. But I can't even fuckin' hug my own boyfriend when I want to. Fuck that shit coach. I'm sick of this. I'm sick of being gay. I've got the biggest dating trophy of all, Brett Thompson, and the fuckin' school doesn't even fuckin' know. FUCK ALL OF IT!" Ryan yelled. He started crying again and this time worse than before.

The coach gently took him back into his arms and said, "I know, Ryan. I know. It's hard. You'll get through it."

"No I won't. I want to give up. I don't care anymore. Fuck all of it!" Ryan said softly through his tears.

The coach grabbed a hold of Ryan on his shoulders, looking at him straight in the eyes. "Hey! Stop talkin' that way. That's all bullshit, Phillips!"

Ryan stopped crying and looked back at the coach.

"Now, I know how it feels, bud. Really, I do. But you learn to deal with it. People are gonna look. You can't let it get the best of you. Life is full of unfair things, but you gotta learn to make the best of the worst. Have you talked to Thompson about this?"

"No, not really. It just sort of came up all at once today. I gave him a hug when he won the match, Eric made some comment that just set me off," explained Ryan, sniffling.

There was the sound of the door opening. Ryan quickly wiped the tears off his face. They both gathered themselves together.

"Stick with it, Ry. You'll get through this, I know. You're a strong little dude," the coach said.

Ry cracked a smile and headed to where the team was coming in. Brett walked swiftly over to Ryan, relieved to see he was okay.

"Hey, little man, I was slightly worried about you," Brett said, softly. "Why'd you run off like that?"

Ryan looked at his boyfriend and smiled. "I love you, Brett," he whispered softly. His smile then disappeared. "I just wish I could show everyone I did." He walked towards his locker. Brett, surprised by this, followed him.

"Look," Ryan said, turning around. "We have to talk, man. It's not about us, trust me. It's about me, and the whole thing..."

"We'll go out alone, just you and me, Ry after this," Brett said, putting his hand on Ry's bare shoulder. Ry shut his eyes, feeling how wonderful it felt.

He shook his head yes and each boy changed and left the locker room together.

They walked to Brett's SUV and climbed in. Brett knew his boyfriend was hurting, but didn't know quite how to handle it. Ryan had a million things he wanted to say, but didn't know where to start.

"Where to?" Brett finally asked, pulling out of the parking lot.

"Anywhere. Let's just drive for a while."

"Okay, babe," Brett said.

The couple stayed silent for a few more minutes until Ry finally spoke up.

"Brett, do you have any idea what my parents would say if I came out to them?"

"Uh, well, I think your mom would be cool with it. Your dad, well..."

"Precisely. And do you know what the rest of the school would say if I came out at school?"

"No, and I'm not sure you really want to find that out."

"I'm not sure I do either," Ry agreed. "But, Brett, we have been going out for at least four months now, babe. And no one, except Eric, Miller, and Amanda know it."

Brett sighed. "True."

Ryan began to get tears in his eyes as he went on. "Tonight at the match, I wanted so much to hug you and kiss you..."

"I knew you did, and I wanted to too, but..."

"But I couldn't do it. I was worried about me and you. I don't want the school to hate you, Brett."

"Hey! Let's get one thing straight. I care more about you than what anyone else thinks!"

"Yes, but your parents were there..."

"Dad's cool with it..."

"Yeah, but what about your mom? My dad would freak out if he found out!"

There was a brief silence. "Ryan, why haven't you brought this up before?"

"Because I just left it inside of me. I thought I could deal with it, babe."

"You should've told me. It's not healthy to keep it bottled up inside."

"I was also afraid of what you might think if I suggested that we both say fuck the world and not care about who sees us kissing."

Brett sighed again and took Ryan's hand in his. "Ryan, I love you very much. You know that already. But..."

"But," Ryan prodded.

"But...I'm not ready for the world to know about me. I mean, sure, I don't mind if they do, but if they don't, that's fine with me too. I mean, I want to live normal life. I don't want to be labeled as a freak or different. I know I am different and I know I shouldn't care who knows, but I do. I want the chance to be accepted as normal and then if it seems okay, then I will tell whoever I want that I am gay."

"But, Brett, please understand where I'm coming from. I mean, I'm dating the best looking guy in high school and I CAN'T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT IT!" Ryan said, loudly. "It's driving me crazy. I see all the couples walking around, holding hands, kissing. You see them too. Doesn't that make you wish you could do that with me?"

Brett pulled over to a side street and parked the SUV. He then turned to face Ryan.

"Yes. It makes me wish I could show the world you were mine. And by the way, I think I am dating the best looking guy in high school. And yes, I wish I could be like the other normal straight couples. But we're not. And I am not ready to tell the world that I'm not like them."

Ryan was feeling frustrated, but was prepared for a reaction like this from his boyfriend. "Well, I guess I'll have to deal with it. But you know now where I stand."

"Yeah, I do. And one day, maybe, I'll be able to face it better."

After dropping off Ryan at his house, Brett went to his home and thought over things. His dad knocked on his bedroom door.

"Dad, can I ask you something?" he said, motioning his Dad come into the room.

"Sure, B!"

"Close the door first," Brett said, sitting on the bed.

His dad closed the door and sat down next to him.

"Would you be ashamed of me if I came out?"

His dad laughed. "I thought we already established that last night!"

"No, I mean if more people than just you knew I was gay," he said.

His dad looked at Brett with a very serious face. "Son, that is your decision. You have to decide that. You've always seemed to know what you were doing and I trust that this is no different. Whatever you decide, I'll be behind you."

"Yeah, it's Ryan. He's upset about not being able to be more free with his feelings in public, if you know what I mean."

"But, remember, B. There is a time and place for everything," his Dad said.

"Yeah, I know it. And that's what I was saying to Ryan. He'll just have to deal with what comes with the territory, I guess," Brett said.

His dad got up and smiled. "Whatever happens, be good to the boy. He's the best thing that ever happened to you."

Brett smiled at his father. "You noticed that too?"

"Yes, B. I did. Good night, son," he said, leaving the bedroom.

Brett sat back down on his bed, pondering over the issue some more. How could he break down what he built up over all these years? What would his friends say? What would the teachers think? What could he do?

The next day, Ryan met Brett in the parking lot for their usual morning meeting. Brett smiled when he saw Ryan getting out of his car. Damn, he thought, he still makes me hard at the sight of him. Brett got out of his front seat and grabbed his book bag and closed the door. Both dudes walked towards each other and smiled.

"I've been thinking about what we were talking about," Ryan said.

"Really? That's dangerous," Brett teased.

"No, really. I can't screw up both our lives just because I have issues about wanting to show you off in public. I will just deal with it," Ryan proclaimed. "It's not worth the risks. It's enough jsut having you by my side."

"Really? What made you change your mind?"

"I just thought things over rationally...why?"

"Well, because I have been thinking too last night about the whole thing."

"What did you come up with?" Ryan asked.

"This..." Brett said, grabbing Ryan by the back of his head and guiding his head towards his for what looked like was going to be a big kiss. A big kiss in the student parking lot.

"No," Ryan said, trying to fight it. "Brett, don't!"

Overpowering his boyfriend, Brett finally planted his lips on Ryan's. It didn't take long for Ryan to give in and soon they were in a full-fledged open-mouth kiss.....

Well, I hope you enjoyed this part of Collision. I'm still mad at my computer for losing the original part 18 which was better than the rewrite. But, more will come soon. Please send comments to SNJBoy76@aol.com Thanks!