Megan's parents fed us pizza for dinner.
Her mother asked, "What did you two do all day?"
Fortunately, Megan saved me the trouble of having to lie, by lying to her parents for the both of us. I just smiled.
I headed over to Andy's around eight that evening to tell him about Megan and me. He told me he didn't want to hear about it.
"I listened to you," I said. "Now it's your turn to listen to me. Besides, you agreed."
"That was then, and this is now."
"Come on, Andy. I need to talk about it before I explode."
He waved the back of his hand at me. "Okay. Okay. If you have to."
I told him every detail, and he just sat there with his arms crossed. "Are you done?"
"Yeah, but the thing is, I'm more confused than I was before we had sex. It was awesome and everything, and I want to do it again. Well, to be honest, I want to do it again and again and again. But I still want to fool around with guys. Is that fucked up or what?"
He finally smiled. "Not as far as I'm concerned. You want to fool around now?"
"I'm tempted, but I gotta get home."
"What a crappy excuse. We could do a quick bam, bam, thank you man."
"We could, but not now. Sorry. Thanks for listening. I know you didn't want to, but you did. You're the best, Andy."
Adrenaline was still pulsing through my veins when I got home. I went into the living room to sit with my parents who were reading while classical music played in the background.
"Did you have a nice time at Megan's?" my dad asked.
"Great, Dad. I know I've told you about their house and pool, but it's so awesome I can't help but be impressed every time I go there."
My mom set her book on her lap. "How was dinner?"
"It was good; we had pizza. I was expecting something fancy though."
"Megan's parents probably figured it would be something you'd like."
"Probably. And then they drilled me about football and made a big thing out of the fact I might be starting. I think they're impressed with me."
My dad took his glasses off and looked at me. "Or, you're impressed with yourself?"
"Funny, Dad. I didn't bring it up. They did."
"You've spent a lot of time with Megan the last few weeks," my mom stated. "Have you and Andy decided to go different ways?"
"For the time being, and he's not happy about it."
She gave me a serious look. "So what's up? After everything you did this past year, this is a big change for you."
"Just trying to find myself, that's all."
"Matt, you don't have to go looking; it's inside you."
I picked up a magazine and paged through it like I wasn't interested.
"Matt, you know that, don't you?"
"Yeah, but it's a lot easier to say that than to find it."
"Do you think your actions over the last year or so are really you?"
"I don't know. That's why I'm trying to find myself."
My dad turned in his chair. "Look, Matt. When I was in college, one of the guys in my fraternity said he was going to drop out of school and go to Europe to find himself. I laughed at him, and asked if he really thought he'd find himself in Europe? He nodded and said that despite my doubts, he believed he would. I told him that when he found himself, to be sure to say hello for me. He walked off. I don't think he ever found himself. I ran into him a couple of years after I graduated. He had come back from Europe, still seemed as confused, and never went back to school. We don't want that for you. Matt, you're special; you're kind and loving. You have many fine qualities. That's who you are, you're not that guy that sold himself for money."
"I know. But am I gay or bisexual or what? I don't know."
Then my mom surprised me when she asked, "Does it really matter?" and then added without waiting for a response, "The one thing I've learned through all this is that it's about who you love, and when you find out who that is, you commit your life to that person if they feel the same way. That's all there is to it. I love your dad, and he loves me. We are committed to each other. We just want you to be happy, so don't worry about any of that other stuff. One day you'll fall in love with someone you can't live without. When that happens, nothing else will matter."
I closed the magazine and set it on the coffee table. "Mom, you make it sound so easy, but it's not."
"Be patient. When you're young, you want all the answers now, but it takes a lifetime to get all the answers, and even then you don't get them all," she said.
It did make sense. My parents and Andy's parents had to deal with things they never expected. No one ever prepared them for what we did or the pain we caused them. "I think you might be right, Mom."
"Of course I am," she said with a big grin. "So just be patient. Live life one day at a time, and just don't do any more crazy things. Football starts on Monday. Devote your time to that, and help Andy get a starting job. No matter what happens in your life, he will always be your best friend. That's one thing I'm sure of."
"Me too. We've been through too much together to have it be any other way. In some ways, we're like an old married couple. We argue and disagree, but we work things out. He's not happy with the Megan situation right now, but I don't think he'd let it come between us." My dad picked up his book and put his glasses back on. "I think you're right, Matt. Hang in there. Be patient, and do your best to make this a better world. And besides, it's a better world for me because you're in it."
Every time my parents mentioned my past I could see disappointment in their eyes. They never reprimanded me for it or rubbed it in my face, but I know it hurt them. Hell, it hurt me. Maybe it was just that I was ashamed and read it into their look. But what else could they think about the son they thought had so much promise and then managed to screw his life up. All I could hope for was that I could restore their respect. Like my dad said, I have many fine qualities, but he didn't elaborate very much. Maybe he couldn't think of many more than the two he mentioned.
That Wednesday, Matt just had to tell me about him and Megan. I just folded my arms and acted like I didn't care, when in fact, I did. He told me all the gory details, and I wanted to vomit. Well, not really, it sounded hot. After all, I'd had sex with girls too. It's just that I prefer guys. Hopefully, Matt will end up preferring guys too.
I didn't see him until Saturday because he spent the next couple of days with Megan. He probably spent all that time fucking her, and the thought of it didn't make me happy. We got together on Saturday and Sunday to work out by jogging around the track and running sprints. Matt took his shirt off, and laid it on the bleachers before we started jogging. I took notice of how much he'd filled out. He had a nice tan from our mowing jobs and his time swimming at Megan's. I took my shirt off and he glanced at me.
"You need to get some weight on those bones," he said.
"You really know how to make a guy feel like shit," I said.
"That wasn't my purpose. Remember how you started lifting weights the year you got hurt? You can do it again. I'll work with you."
"Really?" I couldn't believe how something so small could mean so much.
"Yeah, I want to see you succeed and be a starter with me."
I started jogging, and Matt ran beside me. "The weight set is sitting in the corner of my garage," I said as my breath quickened.
"Good, let's lift after we're through here."
I patted him on the back and enjoyed feeling the coolness of his sweaty skin under my fingers. "You still turn me on, Matt."
"That's because I'm one sexy guy."
"How are you and Megan doing? Did you fuck again?"
"None of your business."
I sped up. "First you want to brag, and now you're not going to tell me anything?"
"Right. You don't really want to hear it, do you?"
He patted me on the butt. "Your ass is almost as nice as Megan's."
"Fuck you, Matt."
"I'm just joking. I thought of your cock and ass when I was with Megan. Does that make you feel any better?"
"No. The only thing that will make me happy is you and me together."
Matt started running faster and turned his head back to me. "I guess you'll never be happy then."
I caught up with him. "Matt, you can really be mean sometimes."
"What did Dr. Walker tell you? I'm sure he didn't tell you that all your happiness is wrapped up in being with me. Did he?"
"He told you to do your best in school and in football, right? So quit worrying about Megan and me, and see if you can finish a mile before me."
We had three laps to go. Matt started running faster, and I caught up to him. He kept doing it, and I kept catching up. Finally, I took off, taking advantage of my thinner body and lighter weight to kick his ass in the mile.
I stopped at the finish line and waited for him. He was breathing hard when he caught up to me. He bent over and put his hands on his knees, "Maybe you should run cross country."
"I'm just in better shape that you. You've been spending too much time getting your rocks off. It's weakened you."
"Fuck you, Andy. Let's run sprints. I'll kick your ass."
He and I walked to the twenty-yard line. It was like old times. I said, "On your marks", and took off.
Matt didn't move. "I see nothing's changed. You still cheat. Get your ass back here."
I gave him a shit-eating grin. "I have an idea. We'll start on the goal line, sprint to the ten, and then back to the goal line. Then to the twenty and back to the goal line, then the thirty and so on, until we run the whole hundred yards. Whoever gets back here first is the winner."
"You're on," he said. "But I'm starting us."
"Fine with me." I had outsmarted him. This was really more like a distance run than a sprint, because once you added it all together it was 1,160 yards, which is almost three-quarters of a mile. I smiled.
He pointed at me. "I'm going to wipe that grin off your face."
"Quit talking shit and start us."
"Ready, set, go!"
He was ahead of me by the time we got out to the fifty and back. He was quicker than me, but not by much. By the time we got back to the goal line from the fifty, he was winded and I knew I had him. I beat him out to sixty yards and continued to move forward until I was almost twenty yards ahead once we got to the far goal line. I stopped for a second and yelled, "You want to give up?"
"Fuck you, Andy," he said in voice filled with so many quick gasps of breath I could hardly make out what he was saying. Just as he got a few yards from the far goal line, I started running back to the starting line.
He managed to say, "It's not over till it's over."
By time I got back to the fifty I was ahead twenty yards, and by time he got to the thirty-yard line, I was standing on the finish line. I turned back to wait for him.
"That wasn't fair," he said as he fell to the ground.
"Matt, you just never learn. I have always outsmarted you."
He looked up at me, still out of breath. "Forty-yard sprints when I catch my breath."
"Anything you say, Matt."
Then it suddenly hit me. I was happy. At least in that moment I was happy. I had beat Matt in two races. I felt strong and powerful in my small body. The smell of the grass and the air in my lungs made me feel like I was, well, happy. I realized that sometimes it doesn't take much to make us happy. I could have lost. In fact, I did lose in the forty-yard sprints. But I didn't care. I was out there with my best friend, who cared about me, who loved me, and wanted me to succeed.
I put my arm over his shoulder as we walked over to the bleachers to get our shirts. "You know what, Matt?"
"You know what, Andy?"
"I'm happy too."
Megan was insatiable when it came to sex. Not like a nympho or anything. She was just like I was after my first time with Andy. She wanted to fuck all the time, and I was happy to oblige. There wasn't much we could do on the weekend because her parents were home, so we sat at the pool and talked, but it didn't take long before I realized we didn't have much to talk about. Megan was cool and all. She had a good sense of humor, but our relationship became more and more about sex. I loved books. Megan loved clothes and being cool. Not that I didn't love being cool too, but that had never been very important to me. Yeah, I wanted to be starting quarterback, but it wasn't because it would make me more popular. I wanted to be starting quarterback to prove I could do it.
When I was at Megan's Sunday afternoon laying on the chaise lounges by the pool, I told her Andy and I had worked out yesterday and today. She didn't seem interested. It was like she was jealous.
"You spend a lot of time with Andy," she stated.
"Yeah, he's my best friend. I spend more time with you though. I think he's jealous."
"Are you and Andy having sex?"
That kind of pissed me off. "Would you be jealous if I was?"
"Yeah. You're my boyfriend."
I paused. Boyfriend? I thought. I never said anything about being her boyfriend. "No, I'm not having sex with Andy. I'm not like that anymore. It's just you. But I never said anything about you being my girlfriend."
"I know, but you know. We've been, you know."
"Yeah, I know, but it's sex. You enjoy it, don't you?"
"Well, yeah. Doesn't it mean anything to you?"
"Of course, but I wasn't aware that it made us a couple."
"What did you think it meant?" she asked with an angry tone in her voice.
"Sex. Fun sex. Does it have to be more than that? Damn, everyone wants to tie me down."
"So I make you feel tied down?"
sorry. It's not exactly that. The reason there is nothing going on between Andy
and me is because he wanted me to be his boyfriend, and I told him no because I
wanted to date girls. I like you. You're funny and full of fire, but commitment
isn't part of this deal. If you wanted
that, then you should have said it up front."
"You should have known."
"I'm not a mind reader. Anyway, you started this whole thing with Thomas and Colt. That's when I noticed you and thought I'd like to go out with you. It seems like I should have been more cautious now that I think about what you and Zoe had in mind with Thomas and Colt. They broke up, and it might not have ever happened if you two hadn't gone after them."
She covered herself up with her towel as if she suddenly felt naked. "Does this mean you don't want to go out with me anymore?"
"I didn't say that. I just can't be your boyfriend. Andy would be angry."
"Andy, Andy, Andy. Don't you ever stop thinking about him? Anyway, he's a guy. He'll understand."
"No, he won't. If I wouldn't commit to him and then I committed to you, he'd feel betrayed, and I couldn't do that to him."
"So I'm just going to be your fuck buddy?"
"It's better than no sex at all, isn't it?"
That question surprised her.
"Well, uh...uh...I can't answer that right now."
"Megan, I like you. We have awesome sex. But if you want to be more than friends, then you'll have to find someone else."
"But, I think I love you."
Oh shit, I thought. "We haven't known each other long enough to be in love."
She got up off her chaise lounge and laid beside me. "But sometimes you just know when something's right."
Her body felt nice next to mine, but I managed to say, "I think you're trying to seduce me, Mrs. Robinson."
She pushed me away and got up. "I'm not."
Her parents must have noticed something was wrong because they came out of the house. "What's going on? You two having a fight?" her mother asked.
"Just a small disagreement," Megan replied.
"Yeah, just a small disagreement," I repeated. I glanced at my watch. "It's getting late. I'd better go."
"We're having hamburgers for dinner," her dad said. "Do you want to stay?"
It seemed like the whole family was trying to trap me. "No thanks. My parents are expecting me home for dinner. But thanks anyway."
I grabbed Megan's hand like everything was okay. She politely followed me to the gate of the pool area. I gave her a quick kiss and said, "Let's talk about this later."
She kissed me back. "Okay."
The two most misused words in the entire English vocabulary are love and friendship. A true friend would die for you, so when you start trying to count them on one hand, you don't need any fingers. - Larry Flynt, Hustler Magazine
Once you have commitment, you need the discipline and hard work to get you there. -- Haile Gebrselassie
The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed. -- Martina Navratilova
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.