"And where are you going tonight?"
"Los Angeles...I mean, I'm stopping at Los Angeles and going to Ft. Lauderdale." I said to the baggage handler outside of the airport. I was more drained than I thought, running around all day to find me here at six in the evening, checking my ONE bag. I could carry it onto the plane if I wanted to, of course I could, but I didn't want to risk it. It wasn't heavy, but it hurt my bad arm to carry it, and it was a bitch to carry with the opposite one, don't get me started. Good think I caught myself when I did when he asked me where I was going, or I wouldn't have any clothes to take on me for the trip. Not that I had many clothes in the bag, I packed so hastily, but I still needed SOMETHING to wear, and I didn't have that much time to pack. I really was going to Los Angeles though, on one of those hubs, of course there's a zero minute layover there, was I ever going to get a break? I was lucky to get the one last available seat on the flight when I could, three hours short notice doesn't really leave room for luck, or low ticket cost. I didn't care about money though, I had more important things to worry about, lots of things. Like the fact that the plane was going to take off in about five minutes and I was standing here waiting for the guy to take my damn bag! He asked me the stupidest question, too. Was I in contact with my luggage at all times and did anyone go through my bag that I didn't trust at any time today? Yeah, a couple guys in turbans with Arab accents were curious to what was in my bag, so I figured kill two birds with one stone and ask them to watch it while I went to the bathroom. Oh, and by the way, what's nitroglycerine? I was sixteen, but I wasn't dumb. He took my bag FINALLY and gave me my tickets back after checking them over. Gate D32, great, I don't even wanna imagine how far away that is.
I gave him a small tip and ran through the automatic doors into the airport. Damn, there were so many people and passageways; I wandered how you didn't go insane from the madness. I looked up at the sign, lots of arrow and words, I remembered how to read, lucky me. Restrooms, food court, information desk, Gates A-B, and Gates C-D. Ah ha! I followed the arrow and ran as fast as I could through the complex, trying my best to dodge people and luggage and strollers and those big airport cars with the loud beeping sound. Yeah, I heard the siren ten minutes ago when you were on the other side of the terminal, but I STILL didn't know you were coming. I ran across the food court and under the billboard that said Gates D1-D40. I looked at my watch, only two minutes until the flight leaves, I had to kick it up a notch! I sped through another hallway, almost knocking some old guy down. I was surprised I hadn't gotten into any accidents yet, the place was PACKED with people and suitcases.
There was one more fork, two adjacent and identical paths. Signs, signs, where are the signs? Come on, I'm gonna miss my damn flight and I'm so fucking beat! Then I looked up, pathway to the leading to Gates D19-D40, the other leading to...well I didn't care about that. I could have made a rough guess as to where the other one led but I was in too much of a hurry to think right now. I cruised though the narrow pathway, large glass windows as walls on both sides. Ohh, I could see outside and see the airplanes taking off if I wanted to. I didn't want to! The only direction I was looking was forward, and occasional backwards to see if I knocked anyone over. Gates and seats and people sitting, that's all I saw ahead of me, not even looking to see what gates there were, well, maybe one look. Gate D24! Hold jesus, I'd better get there fast. I veered to the right and using my super strength, leapt over the railing, gripping the moving, rubber, top of it and onto the moving walkway. Actually, I underestimated what consequences would ensue because of my holding onto the moving thing as I tried to land my feet on something metal, also moving, and I fell backwards but still held onto the railing. I stood back up and ran with increased speed, gaining an extra three miles an hour from the alloy under me and before I knew it I arrived at my gate.
No time for cheering and hooting and keggers I ran up to the desk and displayed my ticket to the lady behind it. She checked them and gave me my boarding pass.
"We've been waiting for you..." Yeah, yeah I know, and I ran to the gate, gave the lady there my boarding pass. Yes, yes, she's smiling, I'm pretending I still know how to smile, no time for small talk though, maybe we'll see each other in a few years, we'll have lunch, no sex though, can't tell you why though, a bit of a secret. I ran through the gate and through walkway and onto the plane, oh boy, the pilot was there, and the copilot, and a stewardess, another lady! All smiling and waving and saying `hello' and `good evening'. This place would be great for hetero perverts. I walked with a quickened pace between the seats on both sides of the airplane. Now this place was filled with people, was there even a seat for me? I looked all around, ahh; there it is, ALL the way in the back, right in the middle, how fun for me. I took no time to look at my fellow passengers. I made an effort not to make eye contact with them, because then they'd look at me, and I looked like shit! I made my way to the back of the plane, to my seat. It was next in front of the bathrooms, yep; this was my seat all right. I stepped over the big, fat guy and took my seat next to a lady with a baby, crying no less. This must have been the most cliched flight in the universe! Don't worry though, it's not a long flight, you'll be off it soon and on your way to Richie soon. Richie, I'd been away from him no more than ten hours and I already felt like nothing without him. He gave me the strength to endure the trip I was only seconds from taking though. I wouldn't be able to go on if I didn't know he was alive and well, or at least hope that he was. All I had left now was hope. Hope and a whole shit load of unused good luck. Maybe it'll work for me this time, eh?
The plane took off; me wedged between a guy who probably got out of playing for two seats, and Mother Goose. I was so worried I didn't even take the time to enjoy the fact that I was flying when the plane took off. I thought I would throw up from it all, this was my life? If it was, I didn't want it, almost as if God hated me and never allowed me to be happy for more than a month. Child abuse, murder and mayhem, insomnia, and now kidnapping! What next, rape? Oops, already happened to me! Oh I know, alien abduction, and I am on an airplane, easier to abduct people on an airplane. I thought I was about to loose it, but then something happened, something that changed the whole mood of the situation. We reached our expected flight altitude, my ears popped all the way, the baby stopped crying and went to sleep, and that fat guy traded seats with his son, his very, very, cute son. And then I finally caught my breath and began to relax...
An hour and forty-five minutes later: I forgot my worries and was in a heated conversation with Phillip, oops, I mean that fat guy's son, very, very sexy son. He couldn't have been more than seventeen years old. It was the most I could do to keep my mind off of things. He wasn't just a pretty face to look at, and saying that just would be abasement, he was smart, funny, invigorating, and handsome as hell. I couldn't believe he was the son of his father! Now don't get me wrong, I still loved you know who, but this was just nice to look at, it helped me loads, the only down side was...well...I feared standing up to go to the bathroom for...two reasons actually. Firstly, I'd be having to err...climb over him, making contact with his luscious physique, and he would see something of mine that was protruding, and no doubt feel it too. So I sat down and secretly tried pinching my leg with my fingernail really hard and tried to make it go down whenever it...well...went up by accident.
He was cool to talk to really. It was like we were old chums we were having such great conversations. We talked about games and sports and cars and girls! Believe it or not we were talking about girls for about a half an hour. Normally the thought would sicken me, but he talked about it in a way that just made me want to hear more. Phillip told me about girls that he used to like and go out with. He even made making out with girls sound appetizing, well, at the moment. I didn't wanna give myself away so I made up some nice making out with girl stories to him, too. I talked about girls at school I looked at and girls I dated and went to the movies with. It was kinda fun making up all that stuff, and he bought every word with it. I told such elaborate stories even I was beginning to believe them, right up until I looked at Phillip again and snapped back into my ultra-sweet reality. He also told really funny jokes and riddles, too, and I thought my jokes were funny.
Before I knew it, we were on the ground again in Los Angeles. According to my watch I had ten minutes to get on my flight. As luck would have it I guess we were early, and I wouldn't have to rush so much to get to my damn flight, damn four-hour flight to be exact. Of course, we had just landed on the ground ten minutes before my other flight would be taking off. I began to get a bit edgy looking at my watch, as we weren't even stopped at the airport terminal yet. I doubted the chances of me getting off this airplane in less than ten minutes from now, and to make things worse we were in the back row, the last people to get off of the airplane. And then the baby stared crying again, with its infernal, torturous cries! For a nanosecond I even thought Elise Woodward's actions were justified. I wanted to shake that thing to make it stop crying, too. My breathing became short and once again I felt trapped. My being laid back phase for this trip was over with, and once again there was nothing I could do. My actions would not make me getting off of this plane any faster.
Cut to fifteen, yes fifteen minutes later, and I'm running walking, no, pushing my way off the airplane. I thought I was in deep shit before, but look at me now! People were standing in the aisle, not moving at all, yet I could clearly see people getting off the airplane, even from where I was sitting. I had to do something; I couldn't just sit here and wait for destiny to take off without me. And I'd do anything to get away from that baby, screaming in my ear, and I do think it spit up a little of something on the sleeve of my shirt, but there wasn't enough to investigate. So I just stood up, walked over Phillip's seat, not even looking at him or thinking him relevant to anything anymore, and got into the aisle. I was ready to start hastily making my way through the horde of people, wiping nervous sweat from my forehead, when I felt Phillip grab my hand hard and shake it. I turned to him and saw the sweet smile in his face. I could only smile in return, yes even in my anxiety he could still make me melt.
"Good luck with your next flight." He said in the softest voice that was meant for me and could possibly only be heard by me. It was people like him that made life worth living. "Here, don't open this until you're on your next flight." He released his hand from mine and I found a folded up piece of paper in it. Oh, what could it be? An email address? A phone number? A love note? Yeah right, not in this universe it wouldn't be. I had my heart in other places anyhow, but a little kiss wouldn't hurt, or a nice grope. Man I really was depraved without Richie. I started snickering at the thought, if I had just run away with a boy that I had met on a trip while searching for another boy. All I could do to refrain from falling on top of him by accident was to just thank Phillip and turn back to my pushing spree. But when I turned back to face the front, all of the people were moving fast off the plane!
I said my good-byes and rushed to catch up with everyone else, thinking of how Phillip had once again done something good for me, keeping me from having a shoving contest and letting me relax a little once again. Of course, as soon as I had to chance I bolted past everyone through the walkway and sped to the terminal of my next flight, hoping it was waiting for me. Well, you know those annoying times where your flight is delayed and you hit yourself because you have to wait another half-hour until your flight leaves? Well, sometimes that happens but you are glad it does, as with my flight, delayed thirty minutes, boarding just as I arrived, and leaving twenty minutes to spare. I wanted to get on my hands and knees and thank God for having the plane delayed, someone up there was making up for lost time, fifteen years lost time to be exact, and it looked like he was making up for it pretty good with the sixteenth year. So I boarded my plane casually, not in any hurry this time, and found my seat. It felt nice not to be the one they were waiting for, and not having to rush, rush, rush everywhere you go. I sat down on my seat, in the mid-section of the plane, not too bad. There were bigger, more comfortable seats than the last plane it seemed, and fewer people too. I know it was a bit early to tell, but I think there would be some empty seats on the airplane. That was just an observation though, airplanes rarely have an empty seat, which is what standby is for. Luckily I had the window seat so I could look out the window. I did look out that window, and wow what a view! Not really actually, since we were still on the ground. You can see how unexciting the airport is from the outside, which is a mild deception, because inside there are people everywhere getting bags, yelling that they'll miss their flight, running desperately. How pathetic, not me though, I'm laid back and in an upright position the whole time. Eww, did that sound like a euphemism or WHAT?
The thing I just don't understand is why they have luggage stores in an airport. First of all, most people will check their luggage BEFORE they go into the airport with a baggage handler. So if you had to buy a suitcase AFTER you get in the airport, then you have to walk all the way back and wait in line. Secondly, who would even NEED a suitcase in an airport? This isn't rocket science, and it the worse franchise ever. If you don't have a suitcase, then you probably don't need one. Unless I see people running with large piles of clothes and toiletries in your hands, yelling `I need a suitcase fast, I had no time to pack!' I fail to see the significance having them there. It's not like Halloween with pumpkins. Pumpkins sell the biggest during October, but if you think you're gonna sell any in November; you're out of luck there.
Before long I met my fellow passengers sitting next to me, not the worse passengers but not the best either. Two sisters, twins it appeared, and both from Los Angeles. Ouch. They are the cliché and stereotype you can think of when you think of girls in LA, with the expensive clothes, cheap make-up, lipstick, talking like dumb airheads and being very, very giddy. By the time I tried actually shielding myself from them, they already noticed me. At least it was no crying baby or fat guy, but of course they didn't talk to me either. On the brighter side, I was assured not to get turned on by girls, so I wouldn't have to keep desperately leaning forward in my seat and covering myself up the whole time. Of course, parts of me expected Phillip to ask to trade seats with them and he'd sit next to me then, making it a VERY joyous four hours. But no, I had to spend the next sixth of a day with pretty girls, a straight person's dream come true. They both talked at the same time and in the same voice to me, yes, the very annoying, and high pitched voice.
"Hi, hi, I'm Sharon, I'm Karen, where are you from, I've never seen you before, what's your name, do you have a girl friend...." And of course it got sort of jumbled up from there. I didn't even get to introduce myself yet and they were asking me if I had a girlfriend! Why do girls always hit on me? Oh, I'm good looking that's why, damn nation. Only two things would stop this. One of them would be the slim chance that their heads burst do to the low air pressure and the expansion of the air in their heads, but that only happened in movies, but which leads to the second chance, that there is a good movie on this flight that they will watch. I endured their chatter, answering in small phrases so our conversations didn't get too interesting for them and maybe they'll lose interest. Yeah right, with a body like mine, not likely, damn nation. Finally we took off, and their heads didn't pop, but I think they grew a little. I was starting to hate valley girls; it was like they were bringing Los Angeles to you. Granted there were some girls like that in Fresno, but they were smart and sophisticated, this was just ignorance! I was getting tense and frustrated again, maybe Phillip's note will help. I took it from my palm and unfolded it. It was a riddle, a funny one, too.
"What's the only place other than on an airplane where you can join the mile-high club?" Damn that was a hard question; I didn't even want to think of the answer. I couldn't even think with those chatterboxes. I thought I was gonna lose it and take my plastic knife they gave me and use it to slit their vocal chords when something mystifying happened. Something that if this were regular life I would have dreaded, but in these circumstance I loved. The pilot was talking to the flight, telling us the flight time and altitude and shit, but then he mentioned the movie. There was no more perfect movie that he could have named for this flight. And is guaranteed at least two hours of freedom for me. "The movie we will be showing for this flight....Spice World." Yes!
I was saved yet again, because everyone knows that teenage girls will take any chance they get to see something affiliated with the Spice Girls, especially the movie. So the girls bought headsets when the movie was being shown. They even bought one for me, but I put them on and turned the volume all the way down. That way they would be watching it and thinking I was watching it to, but I really wouldn't be. Then as soon as the movie started the girls' mouths actually closed, which I didn't think they could, and silence fell. Five minutes later I fell asleep...
Could you blame me though? I had been running around all day and the first chance at peace I get I take, and use to get to sleep. I didn't even care about my damn meal, I just wanted to rest, and I really did. I didn't take sleep for granted anymore, not after what I've been through. Though I don't dream as much anymore, or just can't remember them well. I wouldn't expect myself to have a nice dream after what's happened today, so I guess no dream was better than a nightmare.
I woke up later, way after the movie had ended, and the girls were talking quietly to themselves. Now I say quietly to mean in normal voice, because regular talking for them would be like someone talking into a megaphone. Rather than bring attention to myself by bothering them I looked out the window and found it completely dark out, not a moon anywhere to be found, probably on the other side of the world. I could see some traces of stars if I looked really hard, but I was night next to the wing of the plane, and that blinking light on it made me almost go into seizure. I just sat and rested more, tuning to various radio stations through my headset. They were actually pleasant stations; usually are for long flights. Not short flights though, short flights usually jam pack their listening stations with classical and country music. Yeah, I'm on a flight and I wanna listen to that. Longer flights tend to be more considerate though, in all aspects. I don't get it though; they think that just because you're not in the air as long that they can treat you worse? I wonder if long flights to Europe have expensive white wines and fifteen minute flights to another state would just leave you in a moderately large cardboard box, and you'd have to kill your own rats. I also wonder if I think too much sometimes. It was just one of those times, that if my mind got any more zoned out I probably would be having some lame Star Wars parody right about now. It wasn't my time too though, I wasn't that insane and it was someone else's turn to, someone with a very overactive imagination.
At around midnight we started around landing procedures, I had to put my seat in the it's upright position and make sure my tray table was up, but of course all of you knew that. And if you didn't, well, I must say that you could endanger many passengers on a flight one day, possibly even be the leading cause of a mid-air collision. Remember the TWA Flight 800? A little girl had her seat reclined, her tray table down, her seatbelt not on, was smoking AND tampering with a smoke detector while in the bathroom. Now would that catastrophe have occurred if she hadn't done all that? Probably, but there's a chance it might not have; now you think about that and put your damn tray table up when they tell you to!
I must have been more tired than I thought, because from the pilot over the intercom system I was reminded that it wasn't midnight, it was three in the morning! I sighed and quickly set my watch ahead the three hours. Talk about major jet lag, I'm not that tired now. I just hoped whoever was escorting me from the airport realized my faux pa and could actually stay up until three in the morning and drag himself to the airport. He had better have lots to do and plenty of stamina.
After our plane landed on the ground, the girls began taking notice of me again. I rolled my eyes at first because it seemed as if they were going to chat me to death again, but I turned my head and saw them snickering at me. Did I have something sticking out of my nose or something? Because I didn't see anything funny to be laughing at. Maybe I had a wet dream or something and my pants were stained. I looked down at my pants and found nothing there. I turned to them again with a perplexed stare. Their gaze was directed at my face! I put my fingers to my face to feel if there was anything on it. I didn't feel anything and they started giggling more. Just ditzy girls, I thought to myself, then I looked down at my hand and found the fingers that I had touched my face with to be covered in lipstick. I rubbed my lips and found more color on my fingers. Holy shit they put lipstick on my lips while I was sleeping! How could I not notice this for the entire duration of the flight? I shook my head and sighed, feigning having dignity while I wet my napkin and took the rest of the lipstick off. When I was completely certain that all of my pretty lipstick was removed from my skin, I rolled my eyes and just looked out the window until we could leave the airplane.
I let the bitches finish their laughs while not giving them the benefit of seeing my annoyed and downhearted face. And I was actually starting to not feel so much like shit. It wasn't just being the laughing stock of two girls, having the privilege of seeing my embarrassment, it was what they did, putting make-up on my face. When I figured out I was gay I freaked out big time. I was so broken up about it, about being the one thing my parents hated, someone they could throw out just as they did with my brother, that I ran into my parents' room and made myself the very person that I thought I would turn out to be, and force myself to like it. I raided my mom's dresser and found her make-up kit, jewelry, and girly clothes. I put it on to make myself into a drag queen that I thought all gay guys were. Well, that was how I thought it was according to my parents. A few times after that I even tried sodomizing myself, I thought that was what all `fags' like me wanted to. Obviously I had a lot to learn then, but I was still in shock. I just looked at myself in the mirror and cried, not seeing me anymore or anything that looked remotely like me. It was what I thought was my inevitable future, and it stunk. Not five minutes later I felt sick to my stomach and removed all of my mom's stuff before I hurled onto the carpet. I didn't know what I was dong, I didn't know anything anymore. I just wanted to be me, but I thought I couldn't be. I was led to believe that I was destined to talk like a girl, walk like a girl, dress like a girl, try to get into little kiddies' pants, and try anything associated with anal sex.
Of course, I eventually learned to keep being myself, and keeping a very good secret from the world, well, except my brother of course. What had happened that day stuck in my mind, though, freaking out like that. I was just so scared I wouldn't get to live out my life the way I wanted to, exploring my dreams and fantasies. That was a long time ago though, and I had moved on since then. I told my brother as soon as I could. He was in military academy at the time, his senior year there. At the moment I wasn't quite sure where he was, he traveled on his own, trying to steer clear of our family. If our parents found out where he was they would call the police and make them take him back home. I would have run away too if I could have, but I wasn't prepared for that, yet. I'd get the occasional letter with no return address on it and I'd know right away that it was from Ray, and of course he would tell me how things were and where he was. I'd laugh when he mentioned a different guy's name he was dating since the last letter. It was hard to remember all of the boy's he'd been with though because I had to throw Ray's letter away in a public dumpster to make sure my parents didn't see it or think he was writing me.
Ray talked me through some things when I told him that I was gay like he was, the usual brother stuff like it's ok and no matter how many people tell you otherwise, you are no more different than everybody else. He had only two warnings for me: don't be weak, get as strong as possible in wits and body, and never, EVER let mom and dad find out. He didn't have to tell me the latter. My parents started giving me mean looks when my eyes passively gazed at another boy's butt well before I figured myself out, then AFTER I figured myself out I had to make a conscious effort to keep my eyes to themselves when my parents were around. As you can imagine that kept me well into the closet, not letting one hint slip away, not taking the chance to touch, look, or even vaguely flirt with another guy. If I started doing that when my parents weren't around, then when they were around I might have fucked up, and I didn't even want to think about what more they would do to me. I had worked hard to get strong and not to cry when my parents hit me, but if they had a good reason to suspect me, I could have gotten into serious shit. I kept it bottled up for a year, one whole year, and then I had had enough. I mean, it was my vacation, I wanted to take a walk on the wild side, see what I was missing, and try to forget I even HAD something to be afraid of. I wasn't going to deny who I was and I was going to take action to any hunches I had. If it meant trying to kiss some totally straight boy then so be it, in the end I'd only come out stronger and wiser. Twelve hours after I stepped onto the cruise ship I found the love of my life...
I stepped off of the plane, somewhat relieved to be on the ground again after a four-hour flight, though I didn't think I'd be back in Florida so soon, the location for both happy and painful memories. On the upper hand it was a nice place to think about, because it's where I met Richie for the first time. The downside, well, because it made me think about Richie though. Ironic isn't? I'm going to get my boyfriend again in the same state; it was a regular fairy tail. I sighed at the thought and put on the hat I brought with me in order to keep low profile. I really didn't feel like taking chances with being seen. Girls flourished around me and I had more than one enemy in the world. Stranger things have happened than meeting an old foe in unfamiliar territory. I put my hands in my pocket and walked with my head down low to get my bag. There was no need to worry about bumping into anyone, seeing as how it was three in the morning. The only flights at three in the morning are for cheapskates and travelling businessmen. I took a quick look around and felt so lonely, compared to how things were in the other airports. You wouldn't believe how much you seem to stand out just by hearing only your footsteps and the soft echo they make when your shoes clank against the floor. Maybe five other people were in my range of vision at a time to me, that's how abandoned this place seemed. Yet some people can't stand crowded airports because of the added stress level. There is no in the middle either, it's either vacant and quiet or bustling and noisy, and the individual will either be lonely or stressed. Of course that's only in the airport, there are other focuses to people's lives, unless you work in an airport of course.
Once I picked up my piece of luggage, a moderately sized duffel bag, I made my way to the exit doors. The bag was green, my favorite color, and I've been told it matched my eyes as well. Anything to make me look good I say. People say I don't have a problem with trying to look good, and I won't deny that I don't but I also don't want to have a huge ego that makes me think I will look good no matter what. How I present myself to people reflects the impressions they will have on me, especially first impressions, I just hoped I would make a good first impression to the person I was about to meet. Holy shit, my mind had been so wrapped up in everything else that I completely forgot about the person that I entrusted over the Internet to take me into their home with six hours short notice. It was someone who I'd never talked to before, much less see. Parts of me felt that small nervous doubt in the pit of my stomach, you know, the one that tells you that this could be some thirty-year-old biker. The Internet is one thing, but doing things in real life, totally different. Still, I kept my aspirations high, I mean Richie had been talking to this kid for six months, a half of a year, and he said he'd seen pics of him before. Well, if Richie trusted Justin enough to be friend, then I did too. I reached the automatic doors to the outside and exited the airport.
I raised my head up slightly to look around for anyone that could be Justin, feeling the warm southern breeze hit my face. It wasn't anything like back in California; this was fresh, right from the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, where as the air in Fresno just seemed, I don't know, yuck. That's why cruises are so great, you get even more of that fresh air, without having pollution from buildings and cars contaminating it. I noticed that there was a crowd of people out here, getting on and off of one of those shuttle busses that take you to your car. I was surprised to see that many people outside, pushing past me from both sides. Finding myself trapped and not being able to find an opening in the line of people to escape from, I desperately pushed my way out of the mob to the left and waited for it to clear up. Eventually the riot cleared and everyone collected their luggage from the shuttle and went into the airport and the rest got their stuff and themselves onto the shuttle to leave the airport.
I stood at the entrance to the airport, wondering what I was supposed to do now when I saw two dark figures in the shadows start to approach me from a distance, whispering to one another. Were they standing on the other side of the riot line the entire time while I broke out the other way? It didn't matter now; they were coming up fast, walking along the shadows so I couldn't make out their appearances. Were they who I was supposed to meet? I thought I was meeting one kid. Or they could be muggers, hiding out at the airport late at night that preyed upon singled out and defenseless teenagers and took their money and condoms and Altoids. Well I liked my candy, and they were getting larger and closer. Run Danny run! I almost listened to my inner-voice, and if I did I wouldn't know where I would have ended up later on, but just then I remembered that Justin also had a boyfriend. Yes, of course it was them, probably, hopefully, it had better fucking be, because I didn't have my switch blade with me, and my karate was a little rusty. I was only a yellow belt anyhow, but that's still something! My final thought was that it had to be them and didn't even prepare for the other possibility. So I looked right at them and took a step forward as they stepped into the light and I saw who it was really was. They were...two boys and...wow...really...extremely...I mean just...wow. From what I could see so far, one had dark brown hair, and cute, the other, in front, had this nice blond hair, a little bit taller, and adorably cute. Had just...this...face that you would see in one of those magazines that you hid under your mattress and looked at in bed, but it wasn't a porn magazine it was like a fashion or clothing magazine! It was amazing; this was too good to be true. These were supposed to be the friends Richie talked to online? That were actually GAY? No shit, aye?
My eyes wandered to the brown haired one, his eyes squinting at me as if trying to make my face out, though it was somewhat hidden by my hat. He also seemed a bit taken back by what he saw, I hope my appearance didn't surprise him too much. We were now standing across from each other, neither of us had said a thing to one another yet, but for some reason there was an unspoken knowledge among us, as if we all knew who one another was, our passions and fears, our innermost desires, our names. Yes, I knew now, the blond one was Justin, and the other one was his boyfriend, Deke! I wanted to say something, but I found that I couldn't, it was harder than I originally thought. Come on Danny, just stick out your fucking hand and introduce yourself. They are your friends for crying out loud. They were nice enough to pick you up at the airport at three in the morning, how could they be disrespectful in any way? In fact, I had a vibe that they were considerably nicer than that, and even felt a vibe between the two of them, something I couldn't put my finger on, it wasn't love, it was something else they shared, but I didn't know what yet. In the back of my mind I had this weird feeling that I've seen Justin before, I wasn't sure where though, bit I was almost positive this wasn't the first time I'd seen him. I know Richie never showed me a picture of him, so where do I recognize him from? While neurotically trying to work my way out of this web of silence, I nervously removed my hat and let my hair fall back flat, getting rid of that dreaded hat hair. Suddenly I heard Justin whisper something to himself, we both turned to look at him and then it got a bit louder, but still inaudible.
"Yes! It is you!" Justin screamed happily with a big smile on his face and hugged me. Boy did I feel awkward, but I just smile and breathed short sigh of relief. "I wasn't sure at first but I definitely recognize you from your picture." Then turning to Deke, a sleepy look on his face. "It's him, see? I told you!" Deke yawned and nodded.
"Yes, I owe you a diet Coke, hun." He said sleepily. I don't blame him though; it was really late in the evening, two hours until sunrise if I wasn't mistaken, so of course he wouldn't be as enthusiastic. I was right too, they were really nice people, even if I'd only known them for a full ten seconds, I still knew.
"Yes, I am Danny, nice to meet you." I finally got the composer to say, shaking both of their hands firmly. All three of us began to relax more in each other's company. "Glad I could make it out here when you could meet me, sorry for it being THIS late though. I hope it wasn't a problem for any of you."
"Well..." Deke began to say, but got cut off by Justin.
"No, of course not! We were wide awake and ready to come and get you. I couldn't wait until this time to get you. I am Justin, please to meet your acquaintance, Danny." I caught Deke rolling his eyes at Justin as he turned to him and put his arm around him. "And this sweet, cuddly person here is my number one boy, Deke!" Then Justin turned his head KISSED Deke on the cheek! A big, sloppy one, too, one which anyone standing out here would notice. Deke forced a nervous smile towards me. I smiled back, while still wondering how Justin could kiss Deke like that in public, with people standing around, and there were plenty now, another shuttle was unloading. Did Deke approve of this? Then I saw Deke reach his hand down and hold Justin's hand lightly, smiling at him and not trying to hide their love. That was it! That was the vibe between them, they were...they were...
"Fuck, you guys are out of the closet?" I shrieked quietly at them, startling them a bit, almost breaking there union. I know I could have made it a bit more low key, but this was entirely new ground for me, it never occurred to me the thought of coming out and making your sexuality known to everyone else. I didn't know whether to be envious or scared. I mean, it takes guts to do that sort of thing, letting every soul on earth know about you, while only six other people knew about me, eight now, and half of them were gay already! I've also heard about some pretty bad shit happening to people who came out, getting beat up and bludgeoned, take Matthew Sheppard for example! I just couldn't risk it; I couldn't just put Richie out there like that. Enough crap has happened to us for people knowing about us already, we didn't need six billion more psychos looking for revenge.
"Sure are, two months this Christmas, so in three days...oops...two days actually!" Justin giggled. "Gonna be an extra special Christmas for us. Come on let's go." They started walking off hand in hand; I was keeping up next to them, by bag slung over my shoulder. "Now that formalities are out of the way, to what pleasure does the boyfriend of my net flame honor us with his presence, and on such short notice?" Damn, I figured I had to tell them the bad news at some point. I turned to them and took a deep breath.
"There's a situation, and you were the only person I could turn to." I said to them. Justin's faced was perplexed by what I just said, waiting for me to clear things up, so I did. "Earlier today, or last night...Richie was...he was..." I tried my hardest not to loose it right then and there. "...kidnapped...he's in the city somewhere, either being held, or abandoned. I...I can find him, I know I can, I HAVE to." I wiped a tear, looking away from them the entire time. "It's just some sick prankster's idea of a joke, I need your help, though." I started breathing normally, regaining my composer. Turning back to them I saw that they had separated from each other, both of them with shocked looks on their faces. Imagine how I felt.
"Jesus, of course we'll help, Danny, you have every resource of mine at your disposal. We can get this prankster, I promise you that. Starting tomorrow I'll do everything I can." He sighed and continued. "I'm sorry Danny, I really and truly am, and it sucks that we have to meet under these circumstances. People do shit like this, they just want to see you suffer, don't let them see you suffer, Danny, you have to be strong. And if you are strong then we'll find him, and we'll make that fucker pay for messing with us. Ok?" I nodded slowly.
"Thanks, Justin, you're as cool as Richie said you were." I said, letting a smile escape from my lips. Both of them smiled back. I guess the tension was decreasing, having it raised wouldn't help the situation one bit. If we could joke, laugh, and smile, then I was assured everything would turn out ok, and I would be reunited with Richie before I knew it.
"You know, Danny, Justin and I have had our share of crap also. See this small mark here?" Deke said, pointing to a little, dark patch under his eye. "That's the remnant of a black eye that I had given to me about two weeks ago. Those things don't heal quickly. I got cornered in the hallway by these three asses. They didn't punch me but they smacked me in the eye with a backpack, a really heavy one, too. Didn't hurt, but they got in trouble anyhow. I can fend for myself, so if anyone ever tried beating the shit out of me, they'd get another thing coming to them." He laughed to himself. We continued walking away from the airport in silence, collecting our thoughts. I would have thought some mode of transportation would have been needed from Justin's home to and from the airport, but I guess walking sufficed for us. I wanted to get my mind off of Richie, there wasn't anything I could do until tomorrow, and I would do everything possible then, but right now I was just changing the subject in my mind. A big topic in my mind was where I knew Justin from. I was almost positive I had seen that face before, but where? I couldn't put my finger on it...
"So, Danny, you're from Fresno right?" Justin asked, trying to get his mind off of it now as well. "Nice country they got out there, except for the crime of course."
"Yeah, plus it gets blistering hot in the summer compared to how it is out here in the summertime." I planned to get out of that town as soon as I got into college, the entire state for that matter. The place the intrigued me the most was the east, the northeast actually. We didn't have pine trees or lots of noticeable foliage out here in autumn; I never really got to experience it first-hand. My dreams consisted of a nice comfy home with lots of trees and flowers, maybe a lake nearby. It would be in an area that had moderate temperature summers and snowy winters, where you'd actually have a use for your fireplace. Personally, I've never made a fire, I've never been near fireplace, and I don't even know how to make a fire, except with matches and a streak of pyromaniacness. Maybe there would be a nice bearskin rug beside the fireplace, one that Richie and I could lie on while watching the fire burn slowly. We would be holding hands at first, then look into each other's eyes deeply, our palpitating becoming harder and hearts beating wildly. Our lips would tongue tenderly and softly, no verbal speech between either of us, just perfect silence other than the hissing of the fire. And after that, well, not for kids. Then I realized I was thinking about Richie again, and sighed to myself quietly. It was a nice fantasy to have though. The conversation didn't pick up again until about twenty minutes later. I noticed that the city parts were slowly getting further away and we were approaching more rural areas.
"So, what do you parents do?" Deke asked in a soft, sleepy tone.
"I live with my aunt, Richie does to." I managed to train myself to saying certain answers to questions like that quickly. I hated talking about my parents and the answers I gave would digress from them easily and quickly.
"Richie lives with you? Are his parents cool with that?" He asked. I told you it would change the subject.
"Yeah, now they are. He's got control over them now instead of them controlling HIM. It's not like he never sees them, but most of his stuff is at my house, our house actually. He only lives a couple of block away anyhow.
"I see, that's cool. How did you two meet?" He shot back quickly. Man, he must be either really interested in me or on Justin's leash to ask me all these things, possibly whipped, even though Justin didn't look like the whipping type. Of course I'd only known them for a half-hour so far, and his bedroom closet could be filled with handcuffs, whips, chains, and LOTS of leather. Or maybe not.
"We met on vacation, out here actually." I responded with a yawn, getting a bit tired myself. I needed sleep and soon, for tomorrow I won't rest until Richie is found.
"Really? How did you luck out like that?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, meeting the boy of your dreams on vacation, and then finding out you lived only a few blocks from each other. I mean, what are the chances of that happening? You could have lived in Alaska and he in Mississippi, but no, you happened to end up in the exact same town. Looks like someone is watching over you."
"Just lucky I guess." Was all I said, because truthfully I never really
gave it much thought. I always just understood it as true. I mean, I knew
Richie was from my hometown the first day I knew him. They even seated
us at dinner according to living location and family type. As far as I
knew there were only two families on that cruise from Fresno and brought
their teenage son along with them. The chances were widened quite a bit
then if you think about it. Thinking about that reminded me how good my
life was, and that anything bad in my world has been justified eventually.
Now Richie was gone, and if the pattern was to continue, I'd get him back
too, and then my life would be complete again. Well, except for one thing
I didn't have yet, which was my brother, wherever he was at the moment.
About fifteen minutes later we started curving around blocks until at last
we were at Justin's house, his big, pretty house. There was obviously no
time for settling in, since we were all too tired, but tomorrow would bring
more, and hopefully we would all be reunited and get to know lots more
about each other, because right then and there they were the only friends
I had, Deke and Justin.
Ok, here is the first part of the crossover, as you can see it is getting good. Now just wait for the big three-some in the next chapter hehehe. The other side of this story will be in Deke 14, so look there for the rest, and don't forget to tell me what you thought of this and my website. Look around, stay for a while, check out my large quotes page and sign my guestbook. Until next time, buds :)
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