Something was going on between Matt and Colt. I acted like I didn’t give a shit, but I did. I told Matt no sex and now he went off to be with Colt. That was the last thing I expected. If he didn’t enjoy sex with just me, why would he be going after Colt instead of Ashton and Scott? My feelings were hurt. I wanted to call Dr. Walker, but I was beginning to feel like I was becoming dependent on him. I needed to begin thinking for myself. But then as I thought about it, that’s exactly what Dr. Walker got me to do. He knew what questions to ask. It was my idea to tell Matt no sex, and now he was running off with Colt. The problem is that our decisions seem so right when we make them, yet we don’t know what knots we will tie or be able to anticipate the consequences of our decisions. No matter, the thing I’m beginning to learn is that we have to accept the consequences of the decisions we make and the actions we take.
Matt and Colt didn’t return to our table, and I wasn’t able to catch up with Matt until just before our next class started. I grabbed him by the arm. “What’s with you and Colt?”
He pulled away. “I don’t owe you an explanation. You said no sex, and I’m accepting your decision.”
“But Colt? Why him? I thought it was group sex you wanted.”
He gave me a shit-eating grin. “You have to start somewhere.”
“What the hell do you mean by that?”
“You know. One, two, three, four. You have to start with one.”
I must have sounded desperate when I said, “Maybe I’m willing to reconsider my terms.”
“What about your promise to Dr. Walker?”
He had me there. “Well, I, uh, I don’t know.”
He smiled. “Andy, I don’t want to be responsible for you breaking your word with Dr. Walker, so I’ll make it easy for you. I’m not going to have sex with you even if you get on your knees and beg.”
That really pissed me off. “Fuck you, Matt. Do what you gotta do. I don’t give a shit.”
“I plan to. Maybe once things are settled, you can join us.”
“What the fuck’s wrong with you, Matt? You never used to be this way.”
Matt started to walk to class. “That’s right, Andy. You and Dillon did this to me.”
I grabbed his arm again. “You’re going to blame Dillon and me?”
“Yeah. You were so needy and so weak, and I cared too much. Now look at us.”
“Yeah, look at us. If you care so much, why are you doing this to me?”
Matt pulled away. “I gotta go. We can talk about it again later. Although I don’t think there’s much to talk about.”
“I want to talk now.”
“Sorry, I’ve got to get to class,” he said as he walked off.
Andy jumped me in the hall and was angry as hell. I acted like an ass, but he pissed me off. First he tells me we’re not going to have sex, and then he’s pissed because I’m hooking up with Colt. Andy always wants life to go his way. Well, I was finally tired of it and was going to do what I wanted to do. I’d had my eye on Colt for a long time, but would never do anything as long as he was going with Thomas. But now he was available, and since Andy said no sex, I was ready to hook up with Colt.
I saw Colt talking to Zoe. They looked kinda serious. It seemed like maybe they were still dating. I didn’t bother to ask him about Zoe because he was happy to hook up with me. But hell, I’d just had sex with Megan and moved on to Colt, so we were obviously both fucked up. I knew I should have just cancelled. I should have called him and told him it was a bad idea, but I didn’t.
I apologized to Andy as we dressed for football practice.
“I don’t want to hear it,” he said. “We’ve been friends all these years, and you’ve changed. What happened to the old Matt? I want him back.”
“I don’t know what’s the matter with me, Andy. I’m pissed at you one minute and then sorry the next.”
“Well, sorry won’t cut it. Anyone can say they’re sorry. What are you going to do about it?”
Matt looked like he was going to cry. “I don’t know.”
“You can start by ending it with Colt.”
“I can’t do that. I won’t do that. You don’t own me, Andy. This is all about you wanting me to be your boyfriend. I’m not your boyfriend, and I can do what I want.”
“I thought you said you were sorry.”
“I am. But you’re not going to tell me what I can or cannot do.”
Colt must have heard us because he came over. “Are you guys talking about me?”
Andy jumped on it. “Yeah, you fucking slut.”
Colt looked surprised. “What the fuck, Andy, I didn’t do anything to you.”
Some guys in the locker room were looking our way. “This isn’t the place for this. Let’s talk after practice," I said.
going to let it go. “I don’t give a shit
I picked up my shoulder pads and helmet and headed outside. “Colt, go back to your locker. We’ll talk later.”
Andy stood there and then yelled, “Matt, if you and Colt want to fuck each other, it’s fine with me.”
I turned back, ran toward Andy, and knocked him to the floor. “Shut up, Andy. You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. It’s time for practice. Shut your fucking mouth and get out to practice.”
He jumped up and ran after me as I jogged out the door. He tackled me just as I ran onto the grass.
“Get off me.”
Coach Gilbert’s voice bellowed, “Stop it. You’re teammates. Teammates don’t fight. You guys are best friends. What happened?”
“Matt’s fucking Colt, that’s what!” Andy screamed.
A lot of the guys on the team had gathered outside the locker room. It was like we were reliving Dillon’s trial all over again. Jackass Barnes stood with his hands on his hips. “Guess the gay guys are at it again.”
Coach Gilbert did his best to look calm. “Shut up, Barnes. Get your ass out to the practice field.” He pointed at Andy and me. “You two – in my office! Now!”
Coach Gilbert pointed to the sofa across from his desk. “Sit!” Andy sat at one end, and I sat at the other. “What’s going on? I thought you guys were best friends.”
“Not anymore,” Andy spat out.
“Is this true, Matt?”
“No, but Andy’s gone crazy.”
“I know about what’s gone on in the past, and this seems to be related. You want to tell me about it?”
“Yeah, Coach. Matt’s fucking Colt.”
“Watch your language.”
I wasn’t sure what to say to get Andy to stop, so I said something weak. “Stop it, Andy. You don’t have to do this. Just stop.”
“You stop. When you stop, I will.”
“Okay. I’ll stop.”
“I don’t believe you.”
Coach Gilbert shook his head. “I still don’t understand. What are you fighting about?”
“Don’t say anything, Andy,” I said. I turned toward Andy and then Coach Gilbert. “Coach, we’re sorry. We let things get out of hand, didn’t we, Andy?”
He glared at me. “Yeah, Matt. We did. It would have helped if you hadn’t knocked me to the ground in the locker room.”
“Did you knock him down, Matt?” Coach asked.
“Yes, Coach. He said some things that upset me.”
“Is that true, Andy?”
“Yeah. I did. I lost my temper. I should have known better. I’m sorry.”
“Are you just saying that or do you mean it?”
“I mean it, Coach. I shouldn’t have acted like I did. I’ve been going to counseling, and I’ve been trying hard to change, but everything just got away from me.”
I couldn’t believe it. Andy changed just like that. He made me think that maybe he was right when he said I should go back and see Dr. Walker. Andy had lost it, but so had I. We both acted like fools. “I was wrong too, Coach. I taunted Andy.”
Coach got a disappointed look on his face. “I’m going to have to bench you both. There’s a zero tolerance for fighting.”
“Coach, it was just a disagreement between friends.” Andy said. “That’s not the same.”
“Maybe so, but a fight is a fight, so you’re both benched. I hate to do it, but I need to follow the rules no matter what. I’m going to leave you here to talk.” He got up and walked to the door. “See if you can solve whatever is going on between you. Come out to practice when you’re done. You’re both benched, so take your time.”
He left us both sitting at each end of the sofa. Neither of us said anything at first. Finally, I said, “Andy, I’m sorry for what I said and for knocking you down.”
His face broke into a smile. “Matt, I’m sorry for yelling that you and Colt are fucking each other. I can’t believe I said that; I was so pissed, but I should have known better. Dr. Walker would be disappointed. What you and Colt do is none of my business. Like you said, we’re not boyfriends, and I don’t own you.”
I put out my hand. “We’re still friends though, right?”
He shook my hand. “Yeah, we’re still friends.”
We stood and hugged each other. Andy whispered in my ear, “Do you want to fuck and make up?”
Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you're doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you. -- Joel Osteen
If you like this story, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org I answer all emails.
I’d like to thank Lisa for taking the time to edit Knots 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. 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.