Losing To Win, Part XVIII
By Joey E
This series is alive and well again. Thanks to all who have responded and gave me their suggestions on how the story should pan out like Jon, Dan, and all the others who have sent me comments. I appreciate them all.
This is a work of fiction. Any similarities to real life are coincidental. Copyrighted 2004, all rights reserved. No unauthorized duplication in any form is permitted without the consent of the author. If you are under 18 (or 21 in some areas), get out. If you can't handle gay high school students learning about life and love, then get out too.
After John had left, I just decided to drown myself in school work. I had closed off from the world at that point. I just wanted to be left alone. I ate dinner with the parents and went down to the basement. I watched the Eagles play their game and was interrupted by a phone call.
"Steve!" my Mom yelled. "Phone."
"Who is it?"
"I think it's Josh," she yelled down the steps.
I grumbled and got up to get the phone from her. I closed the door behind me and went back downstairs.
"Hey," I said.
"Yo, what's up?" he asked.
"The Eagles are on," he said.
"Yeah I'm watching it now."
"Want me to come over?"
"Nah, dude, I'm tired."
"Nothin', Steve. You okay?" he asked.
"Sure, bud, just tired. Been a long weekend."
"Yeah, you're telling me. You sure you don't want me to come over?"
"Nah, bud, I wouldn't be much fun anyway. I think I'm gonna head to bed soon anyway."
"Well...okay..." he said, sounding unsure.
"So, I'll see you later then?" I asked, not wanting to talk to my boyfriend right now.
"Uh, yeah. Okay. I'll see you tomorrow then."
Somehow I had sensed that he wanted to tell me something or that he knew something was up with me. But I didn't want to go there. I was beat and I didn't want to talk to him.
"Okay, buddy. Good night."
"Later," was all he said and he hung up.
I didn't give it any thought really of how he said goodbye. I was too consumed in my own thoughts. Why the hell did I have to go and do that? Why couldn't I have just said no? Why the hell couldn't I stop him? Why did I have to go and fuck it all up? I almost knew that if I did confess to Josh what happened, he'd probably dump me. I was a big fool. I knew what was right and what was wrong. But I wasn't thinking when that hot hunk was in bed next to me. All I could think about was getting my rocks off. This wasn't the real me, was it? I was not one of those cheating pigs, was I? Not thinking straight, I called up my ex-girlfriend. She after all knew me best.
"Hey, Steve! How are you?"
"I need to ask your advice about something."
"Sure. Ask away!"
"I've been a bad boyfriend to Josh," I said, not knowing what else to say.
"What did you do now?" she asked with that familiar tone of voice.
I had to laugh at that. "Aw, man, you crack me up, babe," I said.
"I sort of cheated on Josh this morning."
"All right, I did! I'm gonna spare you details, but I did. So now what do I do? What if I had cheated on you? What would you want me to do?"
"If you cheated on me, that would be the end. There would be nothing else to do."
"But, like, should I, well, should I tell him?"
"If he has any self-worth, he would end it with you if you did. But yes, Steve, you have to tell him. Why did you do it?"
"I don't know, Jill. An opportunity presented itself and it just happened."
"Nothing just happens like that, Steve. You say no. You get yourself out. You have resistance."
"It doesn't matter what I did now. I did it. What matters is now how am I going tell him?"
"Back up a second. Don't you see? It does matter why you did it. If you don't know why, you might go and do it again another time. I thought you said you loved him."
"I do! I love him like nothing else. He has become my life. I love him so much."
"Well, I don't know Steve," she said, sounding a little annoyed. "I always knew you were a flirt and a tease. But I knew that's where it stopped. At least I thought I did. Look, maybe you're just not ready for a relationship yet? I mean, you just came out. You may just not be ready for a relationship."
"What? I'm not ready? I was with you for three years!"
"Yeah, but that's different. How many other girlfriends did you have before me?"
"That's not the point!"
"Yes it is, Steve. You're missing my point. You had at least three other girlfriends before me in middle school and high school. That I know of. And who knows how many you had when you were with me..." she said, breaking off into laughter.
"You were the only one!" I proclaimed.
Jill stopped laughing. "I'm sorry, Steve. Look, I know you very well. You're challenge-driven. You like challenges. You like the reward after winning. You won Josh. He won you over."
" Could the reason you were driven to cheat be because it was a challenge to you? Look, I mean when I went out with you, I challenged you every day. That's why we fit so well together. Now the challenge is over with Josh. You got him."
"Jill, I don't think that's the reason...."
"Look, you love him. I honestly think you do. I can see it in your eyes and it makes me want to cry every time. Because I know you looked at me that way at one point in our lives. But I'm getting over it. You gotta tell him though, Steve. Take the risk of losing him. At least you'll know you did the right thing after you did the wrong thing. And who knows? Maybe it'll teach you a lesson..."
"That's not fair, Jill. I..."
"Steve," she said, pausing. "You're an asshole for cheating. But, you're even more of one if you don't tell him. And though I hate to say this, it would serve you right if he walked out on you. I love you, Steve. But this has got to stop before it gets out of control. I don't want to see my ex-boyfriend being a slut, sleeping with every guy he can get his hands on."
I had nothing to say. She was right, as she normally was. For a young chick, she certainly had her head on straight. She was not your average teenage bimbo, and that's why I loved her so much.
"I love you, Jill. You know that, don't you?"
"Yes, I know you do. There are times when I ask myself was it something I did to you to turn you the way you are?"
"No, no, you didn't do anything, babe. Stop it, you'll make me cry," I said, tearin' up.
"Well, I have to go soon, Steve. Tell him. Be a man and tell him."
We talked for a few more minutes, catching up, gossiping, and all that shit. It was almost like we were still going out. We laughed a few times. It was actually the first good conversation I had with her since we broke up. She was my rock. She really was.
The next morning, I picked up Joe for school.
"Hey whore," he said as he got in the car.
I punched him in the shoulder. "Shut up, bud."
"Only saying the truth, dude."
We were on our way to pick up Josh.
"You going to tell him?" Joe asked.
I shook my head yes and smiled at him. "I have to. Jill said to."
"Oh," he said, grinning, but then his face turned serious. "Listen, man, I am here for you. You know that. When you going to tell him?"
"After school, I think. He's coming over again to help me with Physics and I am going to tell him then. Meanwhile, it's gonna kill me going through the whole day of school."
"Say, listen, do you mind if I don't give you a lift home today?"
"No, dude, I understand."
We picked up Josh and we made small talk the whole way to school. I could tell Josh knew something was up, but he didn't say a word. Josh also looked like he had something going on in his mind too, but I didn't bring it up either. We headed to our homerooms and then went through our daily grind of school work.
Josh met me at my locker at the end of the day. I was dying to tell him by that point. He knew something was up.
"I'll see you later, Josh," Joe said, leaving to catch the bus.
"Aren't you ridin' with us?" Josh asked.
"Nah, bud, it's just gonna be us," I answered, closing my locker.
"Steve, what's wrong?" he asked with a faint quiver in his voice.
"Come on, let's go," I said, putting my arm around his shoulder for what could be the last time that I ever do that.
We walked to my car in silence. As soon as we got in the car, he turned to me and asked, "What the fuck is going on, Steve?"
I took a deep breath and started the car. I then turned the engine off again and turned to face him. His blue eyes were so beautiful. His face, his hair. I couldn't lose this. I needed him. I loved him. I didn't want to lose him.
"Josh...I uh...I -I-I got a blow job from Tim Sunday morning."
Josh's mouth dropped open.
"Look, I'm sorry, babe! I don't know what came over me. He was sleeping in my bed when I got home. And in the morning, he saw my morning wood and I just let him suck me, I guess."
"YOU GUESS?" he exclaimed.
"All right, bad choice of words! Josh, I love you. I know that it doesn't mean a damn thing right now...."
"Well, you have a helluva way of showing it!"
"Come on, bud! I screwed up. I'm sorry."
Josh opened the car door.
"Aw, where are you going now?"
"To catch the fuckin' bus," he said, with tears in his eyes. He grabbed his backpack, jumped out of the car, and slammed the door shut.
"FUCK!" I screamed out loud, hitting the steering wheel. I deserved anything he did. I hurt my little guy. I felt like my world just crashed all around me and on top of me. My world just left me. What the hell was I going to do now? I drove out and drove home, not at all concentrating on the roads.
I passed the school bus going home that Joe and Josh were on. I drove into my driveway and went inside. Two minutes later, there was a knock at the door. Could it be Josh?
"Oh hey," I said, realizing it was Joe when I opened the door.
"Josh told me on the bus," he said, coming in.
I convinced myself that I was not going to cry in front of Joe. I hated showing emotion in front of anyone. I hated showing emotion period! I was the strong one. I was the one who never cried at movies, never cried at funerals. I was the rock. And I would be damned if I lost it over Josh in front of my best bud.
"Buddy, don't take this the wrong way, but I just want to be alone right now."
"Bull shit, dude. You really did it this time. Josh left the bus stop with tears in his eyes."
"You're just going to let him walk out on you like that?"
"He has every right to. I hurt him. I was the asshole. I was the fuckin' asshole who had to fuck everything up!"
"Yeah, you did."
"Did you just come over here to fuckin' berate me too?"
"No, man, no."
"Just get out of here, bud. I don't want to talk to anyone right now."
"All right, dude. You win. I'm outta here."
And with that, he left. I slumped down on the couch and finally cried my eyes out. I was drained. I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to talk to anyone and I didn't want to do anything. I just cried and cried.
"Steve, honey, what's wrong?" I heard a soft voice say.
I looked up through my tears and found my mom standing over me, concerned.
"Mom, when did you get here?" I asked, wiping my eyes.
"Just now. What's wrong?" she asked, sitting down next to me.
Out of instinct, I fell into her, and she wrapped her arms around me.
"I'm sorry," I whispered.
"It's all right, Stevie. What happened?"
"Oh, Mom, you don't want to know."
"Josh broke up with me."
"I cheated on him, Mom. I'm sorry."
My mom was caught off guard once again and said nothing. She just held me tighter. This was not a conversation to be having with my mother. She raised me to be true and honest. I knew this would be a disappointment in her eyes. And it was.
"Steven. What you do with your life is your business. I'm sorry it happened. I don't know what else to say?"
"You don't have to say anything. I know what I did was wrong. I'm just going to have to live with it."
"You certainly will."
"I'm sorry, Steve. I don't know what to say. Three days ago, we thought you were straight, honey."
"Are you disappointed in me?"
"No, not really. For being gay? No. Your father is slightly, but he'll get over it. But what you did to Josh...I am."
"I know, Mom. I know," I said.
"Are you in love with him?" my mom asked.
I turned to her and looked at her. I turned red in the face from embarrassment, but said, "Yes."
She just held me tighter. I broke away from her after a while and got up.
"Well, I guess I need a new tutor, don't I?" I asked her.
"Probably for the best. Well, I'm going to get changed and start dinner now."
I went up to my room and tried to do my best at studying. It wasn't very easy.
After Josh jumped out of the car, he raced to get his bus. Something he was used to riding since Steve worked out three days a week. He would get rides home with Steve when he didn't. He ran to the front of the school and hopped on the bus. Joe was on there too, and he sat down next to him.
"Uh oh," Joe said, softly to Josh.
"Yeah, I take it you know too, eh?"
Josh tried to remain composed the whole way home. He couldn't believe the words he had heard from Steve, but then again, something inside him wasn't surprised. Josh was more guarded with his heart than Steve was, having had it ripped out of him before. Though he was falling hard for Steve, he still remained reserved. Joe and Josh made small talk on the way home but nothing more was said. Joe offered to hang out with Josh, but Josh declined and went directly home from the bus stop.
He came home, threw down his back pack, and yelled, "FUCK!" He ran up to his room and saw a picture of Steve on his desk. He took the little frame and threw it against the wall. He was now realizing what this meant and it hurt so bad. It hurt so bad that he wanted to call up Steve and forgive him. But he knew better than that. What was his life without Steve in it though? This was all too much. He didn't know who to turn to. It was happening all over again.
He saw a piece of paper on his dresser and picked it up. Chris' cell phone number. Shit, what a fuckin' coincidence that he appear in his life now. He put the number down again and collapsed on his bed. He let out a huge sigh and closed his eyes. All he wanted to do was crawl up in a ball and die. Like it or not, Steve became his life. If he was to have nothing to do with him again, he would be tossing away all he had accomplished for the first time in years. He grumbled as he got back up and picked up his phone. He dialed Chris' number.
"Shit," Josh said as it went to voicemail.
"Hey, Chris, it's Josh. Give me a call back. Mom's working tonight so you can call as late as you want. Later."
As soon as he hung up, the phone started to ring. Josh waited a moment before deciding to pick it up, thinking it could've been Steve as well.
"Yo, bud, how's it going? It's John."
"Oh hey, how did you get my number?"
"You gave it to me, bro! On Saturday?"
Josh laughed to himself. "Oh yeah, right. I forgot."
"Uh, so, what are you up to?"
Josh found it a little hard to talk to John, being that John was a friend of Steve's and that he was undeniably cute too.
"Nothin'," was all Josh replied.
"You all right, man?" Chris asked.
"Yeah, sure. Just fine."
"Well, listen, I was wondering if you and Steve wanted to hang out tonight with David and I? Nothing late, but we were just sittin' over here with our thumbs up our asses. I tried calling Steve, but he didn't answer. So, we thought he might be with you."
"He's not with me now. I don't think he'll be with me for a while if ever again."
"What? OH SHIT!" John yelled. "He told you!"
"Told me what? He told you first!?"
"Buddy are you all right?"
Josh's first instinct was to tell John to go fuck off. But something inside him told him that John actually really cared.
"No, I'm not."
"Shit, I'm sorry, Josh. You want to hang out with us tonight? You're more then welcome."
"No, you'll probably be getting a call from Steve any moment now. He'll need you more than I need you."
"Bud, Steve has Joe to talk to. I just don't want you to be alone, man. I know how it can be. Come over, man. I'm serious."
Josh thought about it and then said, "Fine," almost as if to just shut him up.
"We'll be by to pick you up in a few. How do we get to your place?"
Josh gave him directions and then hung up, wondering if this was a good thing to do at all. He went back downstairs and waited for John to come by. A few minutes later, there was a knock at the door.
"Hey Josh," John said.
Josh opened the door and walked out. He locked and closed it behind me.
"Where's David?" he asked noticing that he was the only one there.
"Oh, I left the douche bag home. He was whining."
Josh still had some reservations about doing this. He paused and didn't walk any further.
"It's okay Josh. We're not going to molest you or anything. Besides I wanted to talk to you alone before we got to my house."
They got into the car and sped off.
"Josh, David cheated on me once."
"Huh?" Josh asked, looking at John.
"He hooked up with another boy two years ago."
"And you kept seeing him?" Josh asked.
"Not at first. Look, I'm not saying that you should take him back. But, I know my bud. He's in love with you, Josh. I have never seen him happier when he's with you at school or just hanging out. His face lights up when you walk in the room and when he is just talking about you."
"Yeah, I know. But after what he did to me, I am not sure I want him anymore."
"It's perfectly natural to think that way. After all, he cheated on you once, and he might cheat again. But then again he might now. With David, it served as a wake-up call for him."
"What did you do?"
"I stopped talking to him. I ignored him. I didn't want anything to do with him. But then I realized, why am i doing this to myself? We started fooling around three years before that. We were best buds. What he did was wrong, no doubt. All I'm saying is, before you throw him away, think about what you'll be missing if you do."
"I won't be able to trust him again, John. I love him so much. He has hurt me like you wouldn't believe."
"Yeah I know, it's probably too soon for you to think about it. He cheated on you. Plain and simple. And that sucks. We're here for you though. You're still welcome at our table as far as I'm concerned at lunch. You'll just sit by me instead of him."
"I don't know if I can do that or not, John. He'll be there."
"Precisely the point, dude. He'll be there!"
Josh remained silent as they pulled into John's driveway. They walked inside and headed downstairs.