Loving you, loving me

Chapter 6

Before you start reading:

To Sunny--who saw and greeted the world for the first time.

Introducing: the bicycle. Yes, away from the American teenage life of big, flashy, gas-guzzling cars, the rest of the world seems more than happy with the alternative way of getting around. It's safe, fun, free, and environmentally friendly! Though there isn't much room in the back to `fool around' in (...trust me), I hope this chapter will remind people of what great fun can be had with this wonderful invention on two wheels : )

What follows is a work of fiction. The story revolves around teenage gay males and includes sexual and other content that may be offensive to some. If you think this might be the case, or if you are under the legal age in the area where you live, please do not read any further. Any resemblances to persons, names, or places are unintentional and mere coincidence. Please respect my efforts in writing this, and do not copy or reproduce any part of the story without my permission.

Comments and suggestions are always welcome at formosa1984@gmail.com
Visit my blog at www.alternativeformosa.blogspot.com, where you can take a vote on what you think of the story, and also a peek at the setting for this part of the story!

Happy reading!

Music by: Eithne Ni Bhraonain (Enya)

 Lyrics by: Roma Ryan

Copyright 2000 Warner Music International

Who can say
where the road goes
where the day flows
- only time
And who can say
if your love grows
as your heart chose
- only time

Who can say
why your heart sighs
as your love flies
- only time
And who can say
why your heart cries
when your love lies
- only time

Who can say
when the roads meet
that love might be
in your heart
And who can say
when the day sleeps
if the night keeps
all your heart

Night keeps all your heart

Who can say
if your love grows
as your heart chose
- only time
And who can say
where the road goes
where the day flows
- only time

Who knows - only time
Who knows - only time

The trees were practically bare. Harsh winds from the north had in the past few days robbed them bare. The few leaves that still clung dearly onto the branches would soon fall. Winter's approach meant that trees would have to put on a new set of coats; only for them that meant going naked. That was the nature of things.

I walked slowly on the path home. Another uneventful day at school, with the usual routine of classes, bored breaks and even more classes in the afternoon, had just ended. However much I tried my mind seemed glued to that moment during lunch in the canteen. It was like the reel on the film projector was stuck there, at that very scene with Leo and that girl... And I saw the scene playback in my mind over and over again. And it hurt.

Driiing. Driiing.

An ear-piercing ring dragged me out of my thoughts. I wondered to myself what I had done wrong, since I was walking on the pavement and not in anybody's way. Some cyclists think they are the king of the road, and that they can go anywhere and at whatever speed they liked. I was a cyclist myself.

Driiing. Driiing.

Again, that irritating sound from behind me! I was really beginning to feel annoyed. I turned around and began: "What the he--" What, or who rather, I saw before me took the words out of my mouth. It was perhaps the last person I wanted to face then, and the last person I felt I had anything to say to.

"Hi! Going home?" That trademark grin flashed before my eyes. My irritation disappeared like mist in the sun.

"Yeah, just walking home," I answered. 

"Well, hop on. I'll give you a ride," he said enthusiastically and gestured with his head to the back of his bike to get me on board. It was a flashy city bike, which looked pretty new and had suspensions in the front and back wheels. Just above the back wheel was a level `seat' you could put things on, or even have someone sit on.

"Uhhh, thanks, but I can walk," I declined. I didn't feel like troubling anyone, and besides I didn't know how it would be being around him, except that it would be awkward.

"Oh, come on. It'll be fun!" he said, peddling the pedals backwards and ringing that irritating bell a couple of times with the excitement of a boy who couldn't wait for some surprise to happen. With that smile, those eyes, how could I resist any more?

"Are you sure take me?"

"Of course! With that body of yours you can't possibly weigh that much," he said. I felt a little embarrassed hearing him comment on how thin I was. He must have looked at me thoroughly to notice something like that, and I suddenly became very self-conscious. "All aboard!" He rang that bell again.

Still a little hesitant I walked to the back of his bike and sat myself down. It was a bit uncomfortable since my bum hurt from the hard metal. I had to spread and bend long my legs a little to stop them touching the ground. But his scent soon overpowered my thoughts and drowned the discomforts.

"Ready? Fasten your seatbelt, and get ready for the ride of your life!" he said. He was certainly in a funny mood today, and I felt my mind ease with it. He started peddling, and at first we wobbled left and right, stalled and stopped. At times it seemed like we weren't going to get anywhere together, but I put my weight behind him and did a delicate balancing act to prevent us falling head over heels. Once the momentum got going we were cruising down the path that lay before us smoothly. I looked at the ground flashing past beneath us, and wondered how far we had travelled together...and had far we still had to go. Shadows of clouds began to loom above us.

"So how have you been?" he asked and looked back at me. We were really close, and his eyes were only a few centimetres from mine. I felt his gaze pierce through me and touch my insides. My heart beat faster, and my chest felt like they were being compressed. We were moving, but it seemed like the whole world stopped for a few moments then.

"I've been alright. Nothing much. And you?"

"The same. Nothing much," he said, "But hey, I see that bruise of yours has gone."

"Yeah, like I said it wasn't that serious." The wheels hummed lowly as the rubber trailed across the surface of the road. I held on tightly onto a handle just underneath his seat. His back was so very close that if I only reached out and we would be touching. But of course I didn't, and didn't dare. I admired the little hairs which trailed down the back of his neck and seemed to glisten in the light of dusk.

"Well, I'm glad. It looked ugly on your pretty face." Did I hear wrong? Pretty face? What a strange choice of words, and I was lost for them. "Hey, let's go through the forest. I love cycling through it this time of the day." It rumbled in the background.

"Oh, OK," I said, even though I knew it was a slight detour from my place, and I gathered from his as well. I wondered if there were any other reason to go this way. He took a soft turn and rolled onto a bike path that led into the green. We rocked a little as we rode over some bumps on the road, but still managed to keep on going.


"So, I heard that we'll be working together for the English assignment," he said.

"Oh that. Yeah, it was kind of sudden and Mr Young sort of decided for us before I had the chance to say anything," I said, blurting out the sentence nervously as if I had to justify why that was. Birds sang in a cheery chorus of overlapping melodies all around us.

"No, it'll be fun. We've never worked together, and plus we can get to know each other better," he said as looked back at me again. "So what part do you think we should do together?"

"Uh...I don't know," I said. I hated situations in which I had to decide for other people. I didn't like the feeling that maybe other people will have to `suffer' as a result of a decision I took which they didn't like. It came from this strange desire in me to always please others. "I guess we'll have to take a scene with two characters."


"Genius! Two characters! No wonder they put you one year ahead!" he said, and as soon as he finished I felt a little blush that he was teasing me.

"I meant the two main characters!" I quickly added.

Drip, drop...

"I know, I know. Just joking with ya!" he said and let out a little chuckle. He looked back at me again with this strange look on his face that I couldn't describe. If eyes could speak, his were definitely trying to say something then, but they spoke in a foreign language I couldn't understand. I felt a little uncomfortable how he was looking at me so intensely and I avoided his gaze and looked ahead of us.

 "Uh, I think you better look at where we're going," I said and pointed forward. We were wobbling slightly and veering off to one side of the cycle path and just about to crash into the bushes.

"Oh, sorry!" He turned the handle and we swerved onto the middle of the path. We missed the bushes by a matter of centimetres. Fallen twigs jumped and snapped beneath the wheels. Two robins sat on a low branch, singing and dancing together. Their breasts were decorated with the colour of love.

Drip, drop, drip, drop...

We were speeding quickly in a tunnel made out of trees, bushes and shrubs. Leaves rustled. I took a deep, deep breath and closed my eyes. The cold air, smell of fresh grass mingled with a light and magical fragrance drifted around me. Refreshing.

"Hm, so what do you think `most captures the essence of the story'?" He finished the sentence with an impersonation of Mr Young's soft voice that was so life-like. I couldn't help myself and a few laughs escaped my throat. What a liberating feeling it was to laugh, really laugh.

"I guess it must be the fact that they have feelings for one another but cannot express them," I said as I managed to control myself and suppress the effect that Leo's impression of our English teacher had on me. I felt myself smiling. It wasn't a forced smile out of nervousness or politeness, but a genuine, natural smile that smiled itself. A drop of water brush against my nose.

"Yeah, that must've been hard on them," he said with a sudden strange seriousness in his voice.

Drip, drop, drip, drop, drip, drop ...

"Hey, is it raining?" I asked as I felt even more drops of water brush against my face.

"Argh! I think you're right. I hope it doesn't get any bigger," he said. As soon as he finished it was as if the heavens heard him and mocked him. Rain fell like needles and darted around us. Everything, the ground, the trees, our clothes instantly became wet. A loud roar tore through the air and there was a sudden flash of blinding white light.

"It's really pouring!" I said, raising my voice and trying to make myself heard over the rain. Water poured down my eye lids and I could barely keep them open. Little ponds had already started to form on the uneven surface of the cycle path, and as the wheels ran over them water parted and splashed in all directions, drenching everything in the way. I felt my shoes and socks get heavier as more and more water seeped through.

"If we're quick enough we might just make it!" He began peddling faster and faster, but we only managed to get wetter and wetter. His hair had by now taken on a darker colour and lay like a messy mat on top of his head. My mind imagined how the books and papers in my rucksack must have become pulp and mush. 

"I think we should stop for a while! It's really getting worse!" I said as more rain rolled down my cheeks like waterfalls. More water continued to splash and spray all over the place as the bike sped forward.

"You're right, we really should!" he said and quickly slowed down next to an oak tree on the side of the path. We both jumped off quickly and he didn't even bother to stand the bike up, but just let the bike drop in the mud. We scrambled for cover and stood with our backs pressed against the tree trunk. Though there were no leaves, the branches that stretched like countless arms from the trunk offered some sort of shelter. The surrounding area was full of giant oaks, each stretching tens of metres into the air, and each had their countless arms outstretched embracing the open space. The rain kept on falling. The continuous streaks of rain fell vertically downwards, and looked like prison bars which stranded us on this narrow island of shelter at the foot of the old oak tree.

"Remind me to thank the one who suggested taking the long way!" I said sarcastically, as I jumped up and down a bit, trying to shake off water that had collected on my clothes. Briefly my elbow brushed against his chest.

"I did say this would be the trip of your life!" he answered back, "But don't you think of asking for a refund!" He was grinning naughtily, as water dripped from the strands of hair that clung onto his forehead. He looked stunning, even in the chaos and noise all around us, as I admired his new `wet' look. His eyes managed to contain their radiant glister of blue. Not far from us was a little creek, one that was usually tranquil and a smooth mirror. But the pouring rain that kept on falling and falling like bombs shattered the surface.

We stood there in silence underneath the big old oak tree for a while, perhaps both trying to get used to the idea that we were drenched beyond recognition. He wriggled his body a little to let the water on his jacket fall off. Again we were standing very close to one another. A couple of time I felt his elbow brush briefly against my back. Accidentally, I was sure...

"You know, it's really funny if you think about it," I said smiling more and more as I thought about how ridiculous it all seemed. Just the two of us, stranded beneath the old oak like damp drifters, surrounded by the whispering sound of the falling rain and occasional cracks of thunder and flashes of light.

"Yeah, you're right!" he said and all of a sudden, like a burst of energy had taken over his body, he leapt forward into a puddle in front of us. "Come on, let's dance in the rain like in that movie!"

"You're completely nuts!" I said, though I couldn't contain my laughter as I saw him stand there allowing himself to be soaked even more than he already was.

"Oh, it'll be fun!" he called out and started splashing and stomping around with his feet. He twisted and turned in the puddle, as if there wasn't a worry in the world, as if he wasn't the least concerned what anyone thought of him. I watched him, in awe and admiration, and wondered how he could be so free, how he could live on the spur of the moment as happily and freely.

"Come on, what have you got to loose?" he urged me on, still jumping up and down like an overgrown kid, with a big grin and that enticing glance from his eyes. And all of a sudden I felt his hands grab my wrist. As the first contact between our skins dawned on me jolts of sensations raced around my body. Puzzled I looked at him, and received a mischievous look in return. I felt an abrupt pull on my wrist and I stumbled towards him, nearly falling at his feet, as he yanked me in his direction. "Join in the fun!"

Perhaps it was his infectious smile, his magical eyes, his ability to be so relaxed and unrestrained by anything...or perhaps it was the ridiculousness of the entire situation we found ourselves in, but I felt a strange sense of joy creep up and take over. I let go, just let go like I've not done for a long, long time, and started to plod my feet in the puddle with him. Water and mud splashed around us. Our clothes had become soiled with muddy water, bits of dead leaves and broken twigs. Thunder roared as the sudden freak storm entered its climax.

I didn't know how long we lost ourselves in liberating bouts of laughter and an attempt to recover the lost years of innocent play and childishness. We were dirty, we were wet, we were cold, but we didn't care. We circled and jumped around the great big old oak tree, as if we were performing some kind of ritual dance praying for rain. The heavens answered our prayers and we indulged in the moments of madness, the moments we shared together. The rain kept on falling, falling and falling.

"Hey, st--op, stop for a min--u--te," he said panting, with his body slightly bent over, and his hands resting on his knees. "I think we sh--ould get ho--me slowly," he said brokenly, trying to catch his breath. He was really panting, and he turned very pale. Gone was the normal lustre that seemed to enclose him in a bubble of energy and life.

"Yeah, you're right," I said as I looked around and realised that it had gotten pretty dark by then, and that the rain had become no more than a drizzle. "We should get going before someone starts filing missing person reports!"

We got back on the bike and back onto the path again. He was peddling a little slower than before, but in no time at all we were standing at the footsteps of my house.

"So this is it," I said, "I could've been home and dry a long time ago, but it was fun."

"Yeah, it was great today."

"Remind me to tell you next time it rains again," I joked.

 "Thanks, Dave," he said in a serious voice, "And I mean for everything." For everything? What did he mean by that? I didn't do anything. Why was he thanking me for? I was confused, but I simply smiled as that was what I did best when I didn't know what to say.

"Hey, before I go, can I have your number?" My number? What did he want my number for? I mean, I had a mobile but people rarely called, and it wasn't as if I had a long list of contacts I could call. "We still need to discuss about that English assignment of ours!"

"Oh, yeah! The rain sort of interrupted us," I said. "Do you have a pen or something to write on?"

"Pen yeah," he said as he fished a pen out of his pocket and gave it to me, "But I left all my stuff at school. Here, write on my hand." He extended his hand in front of me.

I took the pen and with the other hand took his hand. His hand was so soft, so warm to the touch...As expected another jolt of sensations shocked through my body as our hands touched for the second time. I began scribbling down my number as my fingers trembled slightly. I noticed his face wince and it was as if he was trying to contain himself from breaking out in laughter.

"You're ticklish, I see," I said teasingly.

"Yeah, get...it over... and done... with already!" he said, his words interrupted by suppressed chuckles. I purposely dragged the pen across the back of his hand slowly. Before I was done I even drew a little smiley. He looked as if he were about to burst.

"OK! Done," I said, "Call me whenever."

"Will do!" he said and got on his bike again, "See you then. And thanks again."

I smiled back and lifted my hand to wave goodbye. I didn't go inside immediately, but instead stood at the doorstep and watched him peddle away. I stood there watching, watching until the tail light of his bike became indistinguishable from the dim magenta glow of the street lanterns.

The smile on my face was still there. Something that moment, in the midst of a violent storm, underneath the great big old oak tree with branches that stretched outwards like countless arms, in the company of a boy named Leo, felt liberating.

Really liberating.