Our date didn't go too well. Andy got pissed off when I told him I didn't want to get involved in forming an LGBT club. He called me a coward, and even though he was right, I went off on him and said a bunch of things I shouldn't have. He got up and left me sitting there by myself. There wasn't any way I was going to let him think I cared. The waiter and manager left while I sat sipping water and waiting for my dinner.
The waiter set a stand down next to our table and placed a big tray down with our dinners on it. It was the first time I really paid much attention to him. He was a nice looking guy, trim and athletic looking. He had sandy colored hair, green eyes, and looked Hispanic because of the color of his skin. The combination made him very attractive. I'm not sure why I never noticed how hot he was before. I guess it was because I was on a date with Andy. Andy probably noticed. Thomas probably did too.
He looked at me like I was a hurt puppy. "Is your friend coming back?"
"I don't know. But leave his food in case he does."
He set the food down and left. I wasn't hungry anymore, but I began eating, all the while hoping Andy would come back so we could talk. But he didn't.
The waiter returned. "Would you like me to put your friend's dinner in a box?"
"No. Just leave it."
He stuck out his hand. "By the way, my name's Derrick."
I shook his hand. "My name's Matt.
Derrick gave me a look of concern. "Sorry to see what happened between you and your friend. If you want to get together and talk about it sometime, I'd be happy to." He pulled an index card out of his shirt pocket, wrote his phone number on it, and slid it to the top edge of my plate.
down at it. "How old are you?"
My eyes drifted up to his. "You're a little old to be picking up sixteen-year-old guys, aren't you?"
"What makes you think I want to do anything more than talk? You look sad and I hate to see anyone look as sad as you do right now."
The card sat there at the top of the plate. Derrick Gonzalez, 555-543-2311. I picked it up and slipped it into my shirt pocket as I asked myself, What the fuck are you doing?
He gave me a hopeful smile. "You're going to call then?"
"I didn't say that. I'll have to think about it." There was nothing to think about. The answer was no, but despite his age and everything that already happened, I suddenly wanted him. I couldn't explain it. Maybe it was his age. Maybe I'd always been jealous of Andy being with Dillon. It could have just been lust, lust for someone new, for someone more experienced than the rest of us, and lust for the excitement of it. All I knew was my dick was hard. At the time, having sex with Derrick seemed safer than forming an LGBT club at school. Crazy thinking is what I'd call it. And of course, it was another one of those opportunities to tie one more knot in my life.
He set the bill down where his card had been. "I didn't charge you for your friend's dinner. That's the least I could do." He grabbed Andy's plate. "I'll be waiting for your call," he said, as he spun around and walked toward the kitchen.
I sat there for another five minutes. The card felt hot in my pocket. I remember thinking I have other choices in my life. At the time I was also thinking I should take it out of my pocket, rip it up, and leave it on the table, but I didn't. I wanted to get out of there before he returned so I left more than enough money on the table and walked out.
The logical thing to have done when I saw Andy leaning against my car would have been to walk up, give him a hug, and tell him I was sorry. But no, that would have been the smart thing. The first thing out of his mouth was, "Matt, you're an asshole."
And just like, that I decided Andy was going to walk home. I went to the driver's side of the car, unlocked the door, climbed in, started the engine, and ignored Andy's pleas and pounding on the window as I drove off with a smug smile on my face.
I'd driven about a mile when a line from a book we'd read in English came to mind. I wrote the line down so I'd remember it. The book was boring, long, very old, and Russian. The name of the book was The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky. One of the characters said, "Those who lie to themselves are most easily offended." Andy used to get all defensive when I'd talk to him about Dillon. It's because he was lying to himself. And now, here I was lying to myself and I was offended. I turned around and headed back to pick up Andy.
I'd walked about a mile when a car stopped on the opposite side of the street. Matt put the window down and yelled, "Hey buddy, you need a ride?"
My first thought was to tell him to go fuck himself, but I decided to swallow my pride and accept the ride. I didn't answer and just walked across the street and grabbed the handle on the passenger side door and it was locked. He laughed at me and then unlocked the door.
"You are a real asshole, Matt."
"I know. Sorry about that. Sorry about everything I said tonight. You're right. I am a coward and I'm responsible for my decisions and not yours. We've both tied our own knots."
I nodded. "That's for damn sure. Why were you in the restaurant so long?"
"I ate dinner. Derrick didn't charge me for yours."
"Who the hell is Derrick?"
"So you and Derrick are on a first name basis? I thought he was pretty hot myself. But what the hell happened from the time I left until you came out of the restaurant?"
Matt glanced over at me. "He said he felt sorry for me and would be glad to talk to me if I needed someone to talk to."
I laughed. "You're not going to fall for that bullshit are you?"
"No, but he's pretty damn hot. He's twenty-two and probably has an apartment of his own. I never thought to ask."
I couldn't help but give a long "Ummm"
"What do you mean, Ummm?"
"Oh nothing. Just thinking. Did he give you his number?"
"Yep." Matt pulled the card out of his pocket and handed it to me.
"Ummm. This has possibilities." I stared at the card, pulled out my cell phone, and dialed the number. It went to voicemail. "Derrick, this is Andy, Matt's friend. Go fuck yourself."
We both laughed as I ripped the card up and threw it out the window. I turned to Matt. "We can always go back and get his number if we change our minds."
"Yeah, you're right."
Temptation comes in many forms, and seeing that card with Derrick Gonzalez's name and phone number was one of them. I went to bed thinking about him instead of my fucked up date with Matt. It seemed like I was a Dillon in reverse because I kept thinking I prefer older guys. On Sunday, the card kept flashing in and out of my mind all day. Of course, he'd given the card to Matt, but I figured if he's as horny as the rest of us and if he's looking for younger guys, he'd be happy to give me his number. Hell, I was sixteen and no one was going to care who I had sex with now.
I called Matt. "Matt, that damn Derrick's been on my mind all day. How `bout you?"
"Me too. Damn. I feel so fucked up. What do you have in mind?"
"I don't know. That's why I called you."
Matt knew how to get to me. "What about Thomas? I thought you liked Thomas."
"I do. But we're not going together."
"How do you think he'd feel if you messed around with Derrick or for that matter, if either of us did?"
"I don't know. We could ask him to join us. After all, Derrick saw you out with him too."
There were a few seconds of silence before Matt spoke. "Okay. We know this is stupid and wrong so why would we do it?"
Matt smiled. "You have the damndest way of putting things."
"What do you think?" I asked.
"I think we need to stay away from the forbidden fruit no matter how tempting."
"You're no fun," I said.
"If it's fun you want, let's call Thomas and we'll have some fun together. I'm sure he'd be willing."
"But what about romance?"
"Are you ready to settle down with one guy?" Matt asked.
"Uh. Uh. I'm not sure."
"Well, if it's romance you want, then you have to settle down. Thomas doesn't want to be somebody's fling."
I didn't say anything at first. "There's always you and me. I could see us together."
"Make up your mind. Is it Thomas or me you want?"
"Actually, it's Derrick I want. Just joking." I paused for a moment. "I want you."
"You already have me. We could be exclusive, Andy, but is that romance? Is that what you really want? Can you imagine what our parents would say if we became boyfriends?"
I laughed. "I guess you're right. There's plenty of time for romance. We're going to be out of high school in two years and the whole wide world of love will lay before us. Sometimes, I just think it would be nice to be with someone full time like I was with Dillon, well like I thought I was with Dillon."
"Like Dr. Phil would ask, how'd that work out for you?"
"You're right there. But there was something about being with an older guy that made me feel secure."
"Well, one day you'll be an older guy and you can still have an older guy. But we're sixteen with our whole lives ahead of us. Do you want to live it all right now?"
"Yes." He paused. "I say that, but after Dillon I don't think so. It just sounds nice, but I like being free to be with whomever I want when I want."
"Does that mean you're going to get Derrick's number?"
"No, anyone who has an index card in his pocket and whips it out to put his name and phone number on it, can't be much different than Dillon. Of course, there's always the possibility that all he wants is a good time with younger guys like us. I'll have to think about it."
"You are one teenage horndog. One minute you want Thomas, then you want me, and now you want anyone. Am I right?"
"Okay, smartass, what do you want?"
He had me there. I had no idea. Like I said before, I was beginning to think I was incapable of love. My heart felt cold at times because no one seemed special to me. Sex wasn't love. But I have to tell you, when I was having sex with Thomas after our date I felt like I loved him. But I didn't tell him. I figured it was just sex. There's no commitment in me. If you love someone, you have to commit to them and I couldn't. Maybe I'm not needy enough. It was just a thought. Andy's always been needier than me. That's how he got involved with Dillon
You see couples all around the school in committed relationships. They hold hands and kiss in the halls until a teacher tells them, "no public display of affection." They eat lunch together and go out on dates. They're in love. Or at least they think they're in love. Statistics prove that people who fall in love when they're young, soon find out it isn't love at all. There are exceptions of course. I realize that I sounded like a cynic. But that's the way I was at the time.
You may be reading this and asking yourself, where's the romance? Andy and I are telling our story as it happened and that's why our story doesn't follow the usual romance novel pattern which is made up of the following four requirements: 1. Two people meet or want to meet. There are all kinds of roadblocks in their way. 2. They overcome all the roadblocks and fall in love. 3. Something happens that puts their love in jeopardy. 4. In the end, everything works out and they live happily ever after. Ah, if only real life were like that.
Andy and I are telling you our story because it's how we found out about romance. Our lives were filled with doubt when we were in high school. Yeah, some people act like they have all the answers, and usually they're the ones who don't. Before Dillon and my sex with Andy, I thought I knew everything too. Life seemed simple. Maybe it would have remained simple, but we made decisions that complicated our lives, tied our lives in knots. I'm not saying it was wrong what we did or didn't do, but our lives would have been simpler and less complicated without all the drama.
Think of it. If you're sixteen and live to be eighty, which is a real possibility now, we still have sixty-four years of living ahead of us. There's plenty of time for romance and plenty of time to make both good and bad decisions. Going after Derrick would have been a bad decision, but guess what, Andy and I went back a few days later and got his phone number. We were stupid, and we think you'll be disappointed in Andy and me. The decisions we made were senseless, but we did them anyway. Keep in mind that we are telling you about what we did because we'd be dishonest if we didn't. So don't give up on us and quit reading. It's not about sex, but about how sometimes when you're young, you do reckless things you regret. All I can say is that we are fortunate things turned out better than they could have. We'll tell you more about that later.
Our lunch group wanted to know all about our date. "Give us all the sordid details," Ollie urged.
Emily folded her arms as usual. "I'd rather not hear about it."
Gina started to say something, stopped, and then started again. "I have a date this weekend with Greg Johnson."
Greg played football with us and had been Andy's backup at the halfback spot, but now it looked like they might both be starting because Greg was almost as good as Andy.
"That's great Gina. He's a nice guy," I said with a pleasantness that hid my jealousy.
Emily wasn't to be outdone. "Oh, I'm sorry. We were so busy talking about Andy and Matt's date that I forgot to tell you I have a date with Gary Venable."
Andy, ever the one to put his foot in his mouth asked, "Who's Gary Venable?"
"Wouldn't you like to know? Anyway, he and I are double-dating with Gina and Greg. So eat your hearts out."
Andy put his hands over his heart. "If only I had a heart to give. But mine is promised to Matt."
"Oh, did Matt ask you to marry him?" Alan asked with a grin.
"Not yet, but I know he will."
I punched him. "The fact is, Andy left before we even had dinner. I ate and then drove off and left him standing in the Outback parking lot. We had a lover's quarrel."
Thomas got a relieved look on his face while everyone else had a surprised look.
"What started it?" Thomas asked.
Andy was quick to tell. "I suggested we start an LGBT club on campus and he said he didn't want to get involved. I said some things I shouldn't have said. He did too. I was pissed. He was pissed. I walked out."
"That pretty much describes it," I said.
Emily frowned. "Why did you drive off?"
"He called me an asshole. But I came back. We kissed and made up."
I'm not sure what we'd do without Ollie. He said, "Will you kiss and make up with me if I call you an asshole?"
I messed up his hair. "No, I'd kick your ass."
"So what about the club?" Gina asked.
"It looks like Matt is out. But if any of you are interested in helping me, I'll take it." He turned to Emily. "I know you'll be the first to sign up."
"You're right." She pulled a piece of paper from her purse, wrote LGBT Club across the top and signed her name. She passed it around the table. Gina, Thomas, and Ollie signed. Alan, Ernie, and I didn't.
Andy whined. "Emily, you didn't leave any room for my name at the top. I'm starting the club, don't you think my name should be at the top?"
"We're all organizers so it doesn't make any difference where your name is. My suggestion is that we take this list to the student activities director and tell him we want to form an LGBT club."
Andy gave Emily a dirty look. "Em, who made you the boss? This was my idea."
"Andy, like they say, more work gets done if nobody cares who gets the credit."
Andy didn't like it, but he seemed to agree.
The four of them got up and headed to the office with five names on the list.
To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. - Oscar Wilde
Lust is temporary, romance can be nice, but love is the most important thing of all. Because without love, lust and romance will always be short-lived. - Danielle Steel
Romance is tempestuous. Love is calm. - Mason Cooley
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I'd like to thank Lisa for taking the time to edit Knots 1, 2, & 3. As the author, I take final responsibility for all parts of the story, including any errors.
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author's imagination and are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locales, is purely coincidental and no slanderous intent is implied.