"Return To Distance"
I would have thought that Jesse and Artie's invitation to stay would have given my chaotic swirl of thoughts and emotions a reason to actually slow down a bit and bring me some much needed comfort. But, in fact, the exact opposite happened.
My breath got even SHORTER, my heartbeat even FASTER, and if my palms sweated any more I was gonna have a full fledged puddle of perspiration under my chair. I was lost. While a short and awkward visitation was both manageable and exciting at the same time...a longer session means actually having to...TALK. It means that I can't just do it all on impulse anymore. I burned up all the courage I had just coming over to this table to sit down. NOW what??? What the hell do I talk about where the sexiest gay teen I've ever even gotten this close to is concerned???
As I sat there, a short silence passing between the three of us, I started to wish that I had quit while I was ahead.
Jesse and Artie had no problem interacting with one another, but for me it was a little bit different. I was sort of an outsider to their playful little 'two man act'. But it mad me feel like royalty, just being able to sit there and be around them. And omigod...I saw the SCAR! The little scar above Jesse's left brow...the one he got when he was outed at camp. Even though there was a sad story behind it...oh man...it looked so CUTE! You could hardly notice it at first, but it just...I don't know...it was this one little flaw in this ocean of perfection, and it just seemed to give him some added character somehow. I hope he didn't catch me staring at it. It's just...it was so awesome to be a witness to it all. I couldn't just sit there and watch. I HAD to be a part of this. I'm gonna wanna remember this afternoon for the rest of my life.
"I totally can't believe that I'm here with you guys right now..." I said softly, trying to just...force myself to stay steady and at least give him the appearance that I'm...you know...'cool' enough for him to be talking to me.
"Really? Why not?" He asked me. Arrrgh! Follow up question! I really wasn't expecting that.
"I just...I'm like..." I tried to put the words together. Come on, Tristan...think faster. "...I just feel like...I'm meeting a celebrity or something. You're like, sooooo amazing." Jesse blushed, and I tried to 'generalize' the compliment so that I didn't sound like I was 'gushing'. "You BOTH are. Really. I watch your videos all the time. It's refreshing. I feel like...'better' every time I see something new."
Jesse's blue eyes lifted for a moment. Seeing them this close, in person, was a dazzling experience. He has these really sexy flecks of green in them. They almost twinkle when he smiles. "Thanks, Tristan. Gosh, I don't know what to say. Hehehe...." He said sheepishly. He kinda raised his hand to let a few of his fingers nervously twirl some of his silken blond locks as he tried to think of what to say next, and it made the small scar even more visible. That time, I think he did catch me looking...and he quickly took his hand down again to hide it. "Ummm...hehehe...really, thanks. But I'm not, like...a real celebrity or anything though. Honestly."
"Sure you are." I said, and I saw Artie kinda give Jesse a secretive little poke under the table to get him to accept the compliments and to look up from the table so he could see me eye to eye. Which made me blush even harder. But...just...if there's a CHANCE...just a CHANCE, that Jesse could possibly fall for someone like me, I had to at least TRY to show some interest. I just...wish I knew how.
Artie spoke up, and he said, "Jesse is about to reach 2,000 subscribers. Cool right?" He smiled at me, and Jesse seemed to almost hide his face completely. Modest, almost to a fault. Sighhh...it was so cute.
"Really?" I asked.
Jesse tried to 'engage' me with a bit more confidence, and he said, "Yeah. We're like...18 subscribers away. Me and Artie are trying to think up some kind of celebration video thing to post for when we go over the mark." His voice was so cool. And I was looking at his lips as they moved. It was, like, this totally seductive activity...watching him speak. It was almost distracting, to be honest. His sweet lips were soooo kissably soft. Moist, and pink, and shaped just right. I felt myself starting to get hard again under the table, and tried to tear my thoughts away from mashing my lips against his and kissing him passionately until the sun went down. But I swear, if Jesse and I were making out, and I had to choose between continuing the kiss and OXYGEN....I'd probably suffocate right there in the warm embrace of his tender caress. "We might have to do a few more videos first though. Hehehe, 18 subscribers is harder to get than you think." Jesse said, just as I was coming out of my fantasy. "Most people just kinda watch the videos and leave. So we never know how many people are actually paying attention. Not until they say something, that is."
"That sucks." I told him. "But still, maybe that just means that you're an even bigger celebrity than you know."
Jesse giggled. Wow...it thrilled me so MUCH to be the trigger for that beautiful smile. "I'm NOT a celebrity. Quit it." He whimpered.
Artie snickered a bit himself, obviously entertained by the fact that Jesse and I were starting to relax a bit more. I said, "I'm sure there are a lot of people who would disagree. I mean, just think about it, there are like 2,000 people out there who know who you are. They come to your site just to see what you have to say. That's gotta count for something." Jesse's eyes gravitated back to the table...and he bit his bottom lip in the cutest way.
"Yeah, well..." He said.
"It's true. Hell, I doubt that I could find 10 people in the whole world, outside of my own family, who would notice me at all." There was a short pause, and I kinda heard Jesse say something under his breath, and then giggle gently as he lowered his head to let his blond hair bashfully cover his eyes. "Say what?" I asked.
"Hehehe....umm...nothing." He grinned.
Then Artie raised his girlish voice to loudly say, "He SAID, 'I would notice you'!"
"ARTIE!!!" Jesse was shocked, but the both of them just laughed it off. "Don't listen to him. He never knows when to shut up."
"It's ok. Really." I could feel my excitement rising to levels that threatened to make me float away from that table and never come down. I'm doing it! I'm almost like...FLIRTING with 'Jesse-101'!! And he's almost flirting BACK! AHHHH!!!!
But then...just as fast as the excitement peaked inside of my infatuated heart...a sudden burst of confusion raced in to take its place. I mean...somehow, Jesse kinda went back to eating his nachos, and Artie was eating his sandwich...and the table got really quiet. It was like my idol had crawled back into his shell, and was waiting to be coaxed out again. My thoughts became this jumbled up cluster of random topics, none of them worth talking about. I seriously WANTED to say something. I wanted to keep this flirtatious momentum going. But I couldn't find an opening. I lost my opportunity, and would now have to start all over again. Something just got tense and weird...and after all those weeks of preparing and dreaming and fantasizing and obsessing over ALL of the many things that I wanted to ask him if I ever got the chance...I was now drawing a complete and total BLANK. There's nothing more embarrassing than suddenly being separated from your own sense of 'normality' in front of someone that you desperately want to impress.
The silence was starting to become uncomfortable. It was almost as if the air was thinning out again, becoming scarce, and I found myself gasping and wiggling like a fish out of water as I struggled for something intelligent to say to the adonis across the table from me. Not even Artie was talking now. My ONE messiah in this major gap in casual conversation. Ugh! Why was I choking on this??? I need something to talk about. SOMETHING. Don't go losing Jesse's interest NOW!
Jesse looked up from his nachos briefly, and he smiled. I smiled back. He giggled a bit, and I giggled in response. But that was it. Nothing was said. I looked over at Artie, who was trying valiantly to finish off that monster of an Italian beef sandwich, but he was only halfway through it, and I highly doubted his boyish little body would be able to contain the rest of it. It was like watching a garden snake trying to swallow a buffalo.
"You want some of my nachos?" Jesse asked me. And I perked up immediately, hoping that this would be the 'chit chat' initiation that I had been waiting for.
"Ummm...yeah. Sure. I'll try some." I got a few chips, and dipped them into the cheese and beef and sour cream mash up in the center of his tray. I couldn't believe it. I was eating from the same plate as my all-time favorite boy. Omigod, this is surreal! I tasted it, and it might have just been your average food court nachos...but my mind practically made it the ambrosia of the gods. That was the best handful of cheesy beefy creamy chips that I have ever had the pleasure of putting in my mouth. "Mmmm, they're good." I said, and Jesse grinned a bit. But....dammit, he didn't really start any new topics of conversation.
All he said was, "Well, help yourself. Have all you want." He left the little tray in the middle of the table between us, and went back to eating. Our eyes connected a few times more...and then the dreaded silence returned. This time, it was almost deafening. I was so STUCK for what to do next.
"You want the rest of this?" Artie asked Jessie, finally giving up and putting his sandwich down.
"Dude, I told you that you wouldn't be able to finish it. They make 'em so big!" Jesse answered.
"It's not THAT big. I'm just....I'm not that hungry."
"Whatever. Just wrap it up and take it home with you."
"I can't." Artie said. "My mom is gonna be all like, 'why did you eat all that meat? You're disgusting.'"
Jesse looked over at me with a little smile, "Artie's mom is a vegan. She TRIES to be tolerant of Artie eating meat, but...you know....'parents'."
"I can't take this home." Artie said. "Here, Tristan. YOU take it."
He shoved the tin foil wrapped, half eaten sandwich, at me...and I had no IDEA what to do with it. "Wait....are you serious?"
"Yeah, don't let it go to waste."
"Uhhh...thanks, I think." Artie smiled at me for a moment, but then him and Jesse just kinda exchanged a look and giggled to themselves. I swear, they had a whole unspoken language all their own. Then again, Lori and I did too. I guess when you're that close to somebody...you just learn how to 'hear' them without them making a sound, you know? Still...I wish I was in on the secret. Because it was only making it harder to keep from being visibly awkward in front of someone who was basically my 'hero'. Not to mention my personal wet dream in the flesh.
I tried to spin through a million and one topics of conversation that I had heard in movies and television and tried to come up with something that didn't sound totally stupid. What if I mention music, and everything I like...he totally HATES and thinks is stupid? What if I talk about a movie and he hasn't seen it yet, and I totally ruin the ending or something? What if I say something about his YouTube channel and it embarrasses him even more? I mean, he obviously gets a little freaked out about getting noticed and stuff. Arrrgh! No no no no NO!!! The silence is lagging on for too long again! He's gonna think I'm a dork! Like....like I used up all my 'cool' in the first five minutes and now I won't ever have anything intelligent to say ever again. What do I do??? Think!!! Awww, C'MON, Tristan! You've been talking since you were a YEAR old! How hard can this be? DO SOMETHING!!!! ANYTHING!!!!
"You wanna hear a joke???" I blurted out of nowhere. Both Jesse and Artie gave me a weird look for a moment.
Then Jesse grinned and said, "Okaaaaaay...." Giving me a bit of a sideways glance.
"Ummm...ok...what did Wolverine say when he first met Jean Grey?" They both wrinkled up their foreheads in the cutest way and shrugged their shoulders. "He said...'you've already got the whipped cream, all you need now is the NUTS, bitch!"
I have NO damn idea why I just told Scotty's joke! Arrrgh! But what the hell else could I DO??? I was desperate!
They both looked at me for a moment, expecting 'more' from the joke than what I had given them. And suddenly, without warning, Artie broke out into a fit of high pitched laughter that sounded like an entire troop of girl scouts having a tickle fight. Hehehe, he put his head down on his arms and was nearly in tears in the first few seconds. Jesse, who was still looking at me for a few seconds longer, like, 'what the HELL?'....soon let a smile cross his pretty face, and he started cracking up along with his best bud. I was still nervous as SHIT...but just knowing that he was laughing made me wanna melt right there at the table.
"Hahaha, Tristan...what the heck does that even MEAN???" Jesse giggled.
"Hehehehe.....um...I dunno. Nothing, I guess." I smiled until my face was ready to crack at both sides. And Artie...he had practically dampened both cheeks with tears, his dainty little frame completely wracked with girlish giggles. Jesse gave him a little push, and we both started laughing even harder just because Artie was obviously enjoying the joke more than the two of us put together.
It was Artie's uncontrollable chuckles that kept Jesse and I laughing so damn hard. "Hahaha...'all we need now is the NUTS, bitch!' HAHAHA!!!" He cackled.
"Hehehe, Artie...hahaha, geez!" Jesse blushed, trying to get HIM to stop so that WE could stop. I should hand Artie over to Scotty Lynch. I'm sure they'd have a blast together. "I'm sorry. He's a pint sized weirdo sometimes." Jesse was sooooooo cute when he turned pink in the cheeks. You know, I think his eyes blink just a LITTLE bit slower when he's being shy. It seems like a strange thing to notice, but his long lashes and aqua blue eyes with the gentle sprinklings of emerald green splendor...they were too hypnotic to look away from them. To not notice every last detail. In fact, his eyes spoke a language all their own, translating every mood, movement, and gesture, into something immaculate. Something truly beautiful. A visible poem that words weren't designed to capture. Not entirely. God...you just had to see him. How can anything else in this world matter when you have a pair of eyes like that looking back at you?
It was a moment of weakness...but my mind suddenly began to flood itself with the most intense sexual known to man. It blindsided me out of nowhere, and I nearly gasped from the erotic battering as it caught me off guard. I brought my knees together under the table, hoping that Jesse and Artie wouldn't somehow figure out what was on my mind. But...thoughts of Jesse naked ran through my mind, enticing me. Controlling me. Visions of our tongues entangled as we rolled back and forth on his bed. The taste of warm sunshine on his skin. The feel of his heated breath on my neck. I pushed my knees together with even more determination as I felt myself reach full hardness in a matter of seconds. When I started thinking about having Jesse's naked body straddle my head, pushing his eagerly dripping hardness in between my warm lips...the taste of boyish honey on my tongue as he humped slowly into the warmth of my mouth...my hands on his round, supple, ass cheeks as he moaned my name...I nearly EXPLODED! I had to look down at the table and ignore both boys completely just to get my mind back on the right track. The sensual attraction was soooo hard to put back in the bottle once the thought crossed my mind. But after a little distractive thinking, I managed to tone it down and at least get myself back to semi-hard again.
It was at that moment, while trying to fight Jesse's unimaginable magnetic pull on my hormones, that I noticed something out of the corner of my eye...and I actually saw Lori and Michelle coming up the escalator to the upper level. My eyes widened, and I gasped out loud, covering my face with my hand. "Omigod...." I whispered to myself. I kept my hand up to my face like a giant blinder, hoping that they wouldn't see us. But let's be honest...the food court at the mall wasn't THAT big. Not to mention that it was half empty...and I was sitting at a table with two boys who were so cute that even blind men would lift up their sunglasses to do a double take. "Shit....SHIT...!" I whispered again, and Jesse and Artie had obviously taken notice.
"What's the matter?" Jesse asked. Wow...even THAT was cute! I don't know why, but having 'Jesse-101' ask me what the matter was was just....like....wow. You know? It was like this little touch of 'caring' that gave me the wiggles inside.
"Nothing. Nothing's the matter...I just...I...uhh..." I peeked again, and DAMMIT!!! Lori and Michelle saw me looking and started to come over. NO!!! No no no, what the hell are they DOING??? They're not supposed to acknowledge me at ALL! They were supposed to wait downstairs! FUCK! Don't embarrass me, don't embarrass me, don't embarrass me, don't embarrass me....
"Do you know them?" Jesse asked me.
"NO!" I lied. But then...there wasn't much point in lying about it. He was gonna know the truth in about ten seconds anyway. "I mean...I mean, yeah. They're my...um...they're just friends. I just..."
"Hey..." Lori said as she approached the table, and I suddenly turned purple right in front of them. She was smiling so brightly, and stuck out a hand to meet Jesse. "I'm sorry...I don't wanna be weird or anything, but we are, like...HUGE fans of yours, Jesse. Seriously. We watch everything you do. And I mean everything."
"Awww, thanks." Jesse said sheepishly, lowering his eyes a bit as he shook her hand.
"And Artie...you're soooo awesome." She said, forcing me to blush even harder as I tried to think of a subtle way to tell them both to get LOST before they wreck what little progress I had made already.
Artie blushed a bit himself, and he nodded, but he spoke really softly when he said, "Thanks." Now, if I had to pick the 'shy' one out of the two of them, I'd say that Jesse was much more bashful than Artie was. But for some reason, at that moment, he seemed to crawl into a bit of a shell when it came to him speaking. I think he's still really insecure about his voice. I think the presence of girls sort of backed him down a little bit in the confidence department. Couldn't explain why.
Through gritted teeth, I looked up at Lori and Michelle, and tried to speak volumes with the look of 'invasion' on my face. "Sooo...what are you two doing up here? I THOUGHT you were shopping? Like....ELSEWHERE!" I said with a fake, and slightly frustrated smile.
Lori gave me a fake smile in return, "It had been a while. We thought you might have took off without telling us. We came to look for you."
"Well...I didn't, obviously. So you guys can *GO* now." I said, looking back across to smile at Jesse, just in case he thought there was a problem.
"Well...that's sort of the problem, Tristan." Lori responded, also smiling at Jesse. "Michelle's boss just called her phone. She's gotta cover somebody's shift at work...which means we kinda have to leave. Unless you feel like walking home today." Arrrrgh!!!!
I lowered my voice, both of us smiling at Jesse without looking at one another. Smiling? Hehehe, we probably looked more like a couple of crazed ventriloquists...trying to speak to each other without moving our lips, maintaining an awkward grimace of gnashed teeth as though he couldn't hear what we were saying. "Are you SURE we have to leave right NOW??? I'm kinda 'busy'..." I said.
"I know you're having 'fun', but it's kind of out of our control. There aren't any connecting busses that go out this far to get us home past 2 o'clock." She said.
Sighhh....grrrrrrr! "Um....you know what...I really....WE really....have to go." God it hurt sooooo much to have to say that to Jesse and Artie. It was like being asked to get off of the best roller coaster you've ever been on at the amusement park, you know? And my legs were just as rubbery as I attempted to stand up again.
Jesse....he said...."Awww, really? That sucks." Omigod...CUTE!!!! He sounded almost SAD to see me go! "Well...ok. I guess, if you have to..."
My stomach felt funny, and I nearly collapsed in half right there in front of everybody. With an unintentional whine in my voice, I said, "I'm SO sorry, Jesse! Really, I'd stay all DAY if I thought I could! I SWEAR!"
"Heheh, it's ok. Really." Jesse said.
Then Artie looked at his watch, "Actually, we've gotta go too." He almost forgot how sweet and light his voice was, and I saw Lori practically melt when she really heard it for the first time. He shut up instantly, but it was to late.
"Omigod, Artie...you're so CUTE!!!" Michelle said out loud, and Lori was quick to give him that...girly 'awww, what an adorable puppy' look. It was like they wanted to run over and pinch his cheeks or dress him up in a baby doll outfit or something. That only made Artie cringe and want to get out of there even faster than before.
"Okaaaay, c'mon, we've gotta go." Artie told Jesse, and they kinda cleaned up their stuff from the table.
We stood almost eye to eye, with only a few short feet between us. I swear, I could almost lean forward and kiss him if only I had the stones to go through with it. I looked into Jesse's eyes for a moment, and he looked into mine...but then we both sorta turned away from each other. Giggling nervously as we struggled for something 'cool' to end this magical experience with. The amount of unrestricted joy that flooded my system all of a sudden was almost TOO much for me to handle. I felt like crying, but I couldn't understand why. Not crying from sadness. Certainly not crying from joy. It was some strange limbo in between...where I just didn't want us to part ways. It was all so fast. All too short for me to really enjoy it like I wanted to. And yet...it was still, quite possibly, the greatest event that I had ever been a part of in my whole life. And I just didn't want to let go of it just yet.
"Soooo...." Jesse asked, his voice a bit strained from the sounds of it. "...Are you here, like...all the time, or...?" Omigod! What is he ASKING me??? What is he...? "I mean...you're not from far away, are you? Like...from another state or something...?"
"NO! No, I'm not!" I said. "Well, I mean...I'm just over in the next town. So it's like...25 minutes away. 30 minutes tops." I said, and he blushed again. Biting his bottom lip. You have no IDEA how *HOT* Jesse is when he bites his bottom lip!
"Ok. Cool." He grinned. "Because.....you know...me and Artie..." He started, and then he looked down at his shoes for a moment while he smiled. "...We kinda...come by this mall a lot. Like, all the time. Especially on Saturdays, around this time. So....I dunno, maybe...we'll run into each other again some time?"
I couldn't breathe. I literally began to rock back and forth on my heels, trying to contain myself. I mean, if Jesse didn't really like me...he was certainly good at hiding it. Because at that very moment, I was nearly ready to faint from the very thought of him possibly taking an interest in me. It was like this whole golden future flashed in front of my eyes...where he became my boyfriend and we got to kiss and take time out to have fun and go places and just...'connect', you know? It seemed like such a silly fantasy to have until I looked at him standing there in front of me, blushing, practically coming out and telling me that he wanted to see me again.
"Ummm.....uhhhh....." I stuttered and stumbled, my eyes glued to his beauty as if looking at anything else around me would be a complete waste of time. "...Yeah. Maybe. I mean...Saturdays, huh? That's...that sounds cool." Why couldn't I just come right out and say it? Why couldn't HE just come right out and say it first so he could save me the trouble?
"Well, yeah. I mean...if you want to?" He told me. "Me and Artie are always around, so..."
"O-o-ok..." I whimpered. And we both stood there...fidgeting. Neither one of us wanted to be too forward, but....UGH! God, I would have given anything to just have him ask me out or something. I don't know, maybe it was just wishful thinking....but I couldn't push it out of my mind. It was like...I was SO close. But it was a leap of faith that I was too terrified to make.
"Anyway..." Jesse shrugged, giving up the fight. "...I'll see you later. Maybe." He gave me a half smile, and started to walk away from the table. But Artie came up and gave me a hug. A HUG!!! His body was pressed up against mine, and he grinned a little bit as he gave me a squeeze and nuzzled his cute little face into my shoulder.
Then he let go and looked at Jesse. "Go ahead, give him a hug, Jesse." Jesse's eyes got big, and he looked at Artie pretty much the same way I looked at Lori and Michelle when they first approached the table. A combination of shock and frustration. "C'mon! I did!" He said.
Now Jesse was totally on the spot, and in a sense...so was I. He peeked up into my eyes from under his silky curtain of golden blond hair, and he nervously rolled his eyes at the ridiculous tension involved in this one moment. Then, much to my surprise, he spread his arms out a bit, and took a step forward.
It took EVERY LAST OUNCE of courage to not step backwards and run away from him! I seriously would have knocked over every little old lady that dared to stand in my way, just to get away from him. I mean...it was like my heart had suddenly caught fire and was fighting to jump out of my chest and up into my throat....my lungs seizing instantly as I braced myself for an actual, real life, 'hug' from THE 'Jesse-101'. Omigod...I was SO not ready for that! I wasn't ready for MOST of what took place this afternoon!
It was as if it all happened in slow motion, as Jesse moved towards me, his arms barely reaching out for me, barely coming up to my waist. Such a timid hug...but I doubt that I was hardly one to talk. I was shaking like a wet cat in the rain as his inner arms made contact with my sides. Since he took the low road, I was forced to take the high road, nervously bringing my arms up to land ever so softly on the tops of his slim shoulders. I felt his chin resting on me, and our chests touched. His arms gave me a tender squeeze, and all of the air rushed out of my lungs as I just closed my eyes and tried to enjoy every last detail of that magical moment. God, he smelled good. I don't know if it as his hair, or his skin, or just some wandering fragrance from some sweet treat served in the mall food court...but whatever it was, it was enough to make me weak in the knees, and I soon found myself not ever wanting to let go of him. Not ever again.
The feel of his slim and sexy body against mine...the scent of him...the very knowledge that he was..who he was...it was a sensory overload that I was SURE was getting ready to stimulate me in dirty and embarrassing ways. So I had to let go. But when he took a step back again...he bit his bottom lip again, and looked away from me, looking for something to say. It was an adorable habit that I was quickly becoming addicted to.
"Ok, so...." Jesse stumbled for a second, and he looked as though he didn't know what to do with his hands. He eventually put his thumbs in his pockets, and kinda rocked up onto his tiptoes for a moment before standing flat again. "...Don't, like...stop showing up or anything."
"I...I won't..." I smiled.
"K. Good. I might be back next Saturday. Just so you know." He said, and I saw Artie roll his eyes a bit, but he kept quiet.
"Tristan...sorry, but..." Lori was trying to be considerate enough for us to say goodbye. But unfortunately, the clock was ticking for Michelle and her job.
"I know. I know. Ok." told her. And I turned back to Jesse, wishing that I had something to prolong this moment. Something to insure that it would happen again. A phone number would have been nice. But I didn't ask. I didn't DARE ask. It was a struggle just keeping my body temperature survivably warm. "Um...so..."
"Yeah...hehehe..." He said. "...Well...I mean, this was really cool."
"Yeah." He told me. "Like...REALLY cool. So..."
Then he said, "Ok, so...we've gotta run. I've gotta do some...'editing' stuff for the site."
"Oh...ok, yeah, sure. Hehehe...can't wait to see it." I said. "I kinda....ache when you don't have anything new up for a while."
"Well, I'll just have to try to post faster then." He blushed. Michelle kinda gave Lori a quiet signal, and she, in turn, gave ME a quiet signal...telling me to hurry up. And once Jesse saw their rush, he decided to let me go. "Well...keep watching, Tristan. K?"
"K. I mean, I will. You can count on it." And with a smile and a wave....we regretfully had to part ways. I followed Lori and Michelle back to the escalator, taking my uneaten salad and Artie's half eaten Italian Beef sandwich...and peeking back at Jesse every two seconds to wave goodbye to him over and over again. And you wanna know something....
...Every time I looked back, he was watching me with a smile. A boy...no...a full fledged online *CELEBRITY*...was smiling at ME! The fact that he even gave me the time of day was beyond anything my wildest dreams could ever hope to conjure up! That ALONE made me want to run back up that escalator and tackle him to the floor...smothering his with kisses until he either had to kiss me back or suffocate from the lack of oxygen.
I stared at him, his eyes connected to mine with his sweet little grin. And when we were out of sight, I looked up and saw Jesse and Artie come to the railing to look down and wave at us a bit more. Omigod, I was DYING inside!!! All of my insides turned to mashed potatoes, and if Lori hadn't been watching me fall into a brain-dead trance of total infatuation, I would have missed that last step on the escalator and fallen flat on my face. I saw Artie whisper something into Jesse's ear as we walked away...and then...as fast as our encounter had began....it had come to an end.
How in the name of God am I EVER going to have a better experience any other day of my life??? I've peaked. This is it. This is the epitome of my existence on the planet Earth.
I didn't say a word the whole way back to Michelle's car in the mall parking lot. Not even with Lori poking me in the ribs the whole way. I think she could just look at the smile on my face and tell that I didn't quite have the words to tell her what happened yet. But she didn't really sweat it though. She just knew that I hadn't been this happy in a LONG long time...and I think a part of her celebrated it as much as I did.
Michelle opened the doors, and I sat in the back seat, leaning my head back...letting the sunshine warm my face as I tried to come down from the most exhilarating natural high of my life. And she was apologizing and telling me that she REALLY didn't mean to break things up and how bad she felt for cutting my time short with Jesse...but I hardly heard a word of it. My head was still swimming with visions of his smile.
Finally, as she pulled out of the parking spot and got back on the road to take us home, I said, "Wow....oh...oh wow...." And then I sighed and added, "PLEASE tell me that just happened! Somebody PLEASE tell me that it wasn't all just a dream!"
Lori looked back at me and said, "Tristan...dude...YOU just had lunch with 'Jesse-101'..."
I don't know what made me do it, or why I couldn't restrain myself any longer. But all of a sudden, a SCREAM escaped from my lips, and I violently stomped on the floor behind Michelle's seat as she was driving! "AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! OMIGOD!!!!!"
I think I scared the living SHIT out of both of them, and Michelle suddenly SWERVED the car halfway into the other lane, almost hitting another car. They honked their horn angrily, and Michelle was quick to get back in her own lane, trying to catch her breath from the major scare. I instantly thrust both of my hands up to cover my mouth, ashamed of my outburst.
We all sat silent as the shock of the jarring event took a hold of us all. Then the other car passed us, the upset driver stomping on the gas to pass us. Then we all exchanged a glance or two...and Lori was the first to burst out laughing. That TOTALLY set me off too, and we were giggling madly as Michelle reached back to repeatedly swat me on the knees with her hand.
"Hahaha! You DORK! *DON'T do that when I'm DRIVING!!!" Michelle said, unable to keep a straight face.
Lori only laughed louder, and I screamed again, just because it felt so good to do it. And Lori responded with an excited scream of her own.
"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!" She shrieked.
"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!" I shouted, hoping to top her, and soon Michelle joined in too. Hahaha! Omigod...Jesse-101....he's real. Oh WOW, he's SO real!
"So...what's up for next weekend?" I asked, and both girls gave me a surprised look.
"You're gonna come back???"
"I've GOTTA come back. As often as possible." I told them. "You're not gonna believe this..."
".....But I think 'Jesse-101'....LIKES me!"
"The Shack Collection"
~ Volume 1 ~ and ~ Volume 2 ~
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