The following is a work of fiction. The story may contain profanity and references to gay sex. Any relation to similar events or persons, fiction or real, is completely fortuitous. If such content offends you please leave now. The author retains all rights to the story. Do not copy or use without written authority from the author. Write Bobby at email@example.com with your comments.
Mad World 10
Collin seemed tense as we walked to the correct playing field. It is a beautiful spring day. The sun is passing its middle point in the sky while a nice wind blew through the towering maple and sycamore trees. Kids played on the playgrounds, screaming and hollering with joy. Parents were sitting on benches or on blankets in the grass reading a book or talking on their cell phones occasionally glancing at the playgrounds. Birds sang feverishly, flying from tree to fence and back to tree. All this wonderful activity and Collin still remains tense as a turkey in November.
"I haven't seen Brian in so long. I loved coming to his games." I said out of random, hoping to draw him from his shell with idle chatter.
"How many games have you missed?" Collin asked with strained curiosity. What has him so edgy?
"I'm not sure," I replied. "The last time I came, though, was before . . . Well, before . . ."
"It's okay. I know," he interjected gracefully.
"Yeah, since then. Jacob used to love coming to the games, too." I released a heavy sigh. I reached for Collin's hand to force back the unpleasant memories that threatened to surface. When his skin rubbed against mine, the universe appeared to have calmed. Collin even smiled the smile only he could.
"Do you think your cousin will like me? He must've really liked Jacob."
"Brian is a very mature fourteen year old. Him and Jacob didn't get along very well right from the start. He would be extremely reserved when around Jacob, and Jacob, feeling the obvious awkwardness, would also become quiet and shy. Now that I think about it, the beginning was actually pretty funny. You'd think they were meeting on a date for the first time or something instead of just meeting as acquaintances."
"So, Brian didn't like him at first." He sounded like he came to his own conclusion. "Great."
"He didn't know him, Collin. Once they did get to know each other the two were like old friends. Brian will like you, if not immediately, after meeting you more."
Passing the bathrooms Collin literally stiffened next to me. He was trying to be subtle, but he kept looking around for someone. I wonder if he thinks his parents might be here or something.
"Is everything okay?" I asked him.
He stopped moving, just standing like a tree. "I-I think I'll go wait in the truck, Michael." Before I could even object he was speed walking away.
"Wait!" I ran up and grabbed him by the arm. "What the hell is wrong with you?"
"Let go of me, Michael! I'm just going to wait in the truck!"
"Why? What's gotten into you all of a sudden? Why have you been edgy since we got here?" Without answering me, he dropped his head. I barely noticed the frown on his face. He started talking, but it was so soft I couldn't even hear. "I can't hear you, Collin."
"I said this is where I used to come with people sometimes." Shame shadowed his feeble voice. I didn't need him to clarify anything.
"Oh," I let out. "Well, that's okay. You won't see them here, you know?"
"What if I do?"
"The chance of you seeing someone like that, during the day much less, is very slim. And if you happen to see a former . . . acquaintance you don't have to feel weird. You can hold your head up high knowing that isn't your life anymore."
The smile I loved so dearly returned to his beautiful face. He raised his head looking me straight in the eye. We shared a moment right there in the park near the bathrooms. Isn't the ideal place, but the moment was too stunning to ruin. While staring into his eyes I felt something. A powerful feeling that I've only ever felt with Jacob. I don't know what it was, but . . . I liked it.
I returned a smile. "Now, let's go watch the game."
Team Arctic Thunder has no losses under their name. They only have wins and two tie games. That can mostly be accredited to the three coaches that keep the team well disciplined and trained. And the level of respect on the team is something not often seen in even a high school setting. Regardless of whether a batter strikes out or hits a homer, high-fives are abundant and so is the encouragement. The Arctic Thunders are a city league team meaning the coaches are here because they love to coach, not because they're getting paid (because they're not). So for them to dedicate the time to the team they have it takes a special kind of person. The players are surprisingly great kids. Never have I seen them degrade or mock another teammate. They are also very encouraging and supportive. Where was that when I was in school?
The bleachers were filled to capacity with parents and grandparents waiting to see their player. I saw my mom and aunt sitting in the top corner so I decided to say a quick hello. They were talking absentmindedly when I stood next to them.
"Oh, Michael," mom gasped. "You scared me."
"Sorry," I chuckled.
"Hi, Collin," she said.
"Hi . . ."
"Elizabeth," I muttered as softly as I could.
". . . Elizabeth," he smiled.
"There aren't any seats, Michael. Go to my car and get the two in the trunk." She handed me her keys. Collin and I started moving away, but mom stopped us. "No, leave him here. I want to talk to him."
I shot her a warning glare, but she ignored it. "Um . . . okay, I guess. I'll be right back, babe." Collin looked just as nervous as I felt. So help me if mom says something rude to him.
Not wanting Collin to be with mom and Aunt Jackie for long, I rushed to the car. Leave it to mom to have two chairs in the trunk. She's always prepared no matter where she goes. As I was going back to the bleachers, I saw the three of them laughing. Collin still stood tensely, but he was at least enjoying himself somewhat. His smile eased my nerves greatly.
I set the two chairs up next to the bleachers. The game was just about to start. The first batter from the Arctic Thunders took his position. I may not have been to a game in a while, but I didn't even need to think twice when I saw the number on the back of the batter's jersey.
"Brian!" I called out. He turned around to see who yelled his name. When he found me, the biggest grin I've ever seen came to his face. His spirit unquestionably rose. He twirled the bat with his hand and got ready for the pitch.
The pitcher threw the first ball, which appeared to be too high, but the umpire called a strike when Brian didn't swing. A few people in the crowd groaned at the poorly made call. This is going to be a fun game!
"Come on, ref! What kind of call is that?" a woman shouted. I remember her from other games. She's quite the animated, um, parent? I don't exactly know who she's with.
Another ball was pitched to Brian, but this time he connected with it and sent it flying to the outfield. Everyone erupted into cheer, especially Aunt Jackie. I may have missed a few games, but she definitely hasn't ever missed one. Wonder where Uncle Charlie is?
Half way through the game Collin had relaxed considerably. Perhaps the idea that he wouldn't be seeing any old acquaintances calmed his frantic nerves. It felt great watching Brian play again. Even though this is the final time I'm determined to make sure this will be the best time. In fact, after the game is over, I think I'll invite Brian to spend the night tonight. Him and Collin can get to know each other and bond, I guess. Hopefully Jackie told Brian about my new boyfriend so the initial shock of meeting Collin won't be too apparent. But Jackie's like my mom. They're both gossipers. I'm almost willing to put my truck on the line and say that she's told her son already.
"Run! Run! Run!" Jackie cheered on a player. The Arctic Thunders are leading by ten points. What a surprise there. The coaches need to get paid for the work they've done with the team. Maybe if my old high school had baseball coaches like them they wouldn't have such a mediocre record.
Brian was up to bat again. "Come on, Brian!" I shouted happily. He didn't turn around, but the grin on his face was hard to miss.
The Vipers switched out their pitcher with a fresh one. This kid is a lot smaller than the previous. He had the ball in hand looking extra focused. The look in his eye reflected a passion for striking players out. Brian can take him.
He flung the ball right in the dead center of the catcher's glove.
"Strike!" the umpire called out. Wow, that was a fast pitch.
Another pitch, but this one was definitely way too low.
"Ball!" the umpire signaled.
Brian acrobatically maneuvered his bat preparing to hit the next pitch. This time, though, the pitch was perfect . . . ly aimed with his feet. He tried shuffling out of the way, but the ball connected with his left foot. Ohh's and ahh's made their way from the spectators. Brian clutched at his foot. One of the coaches hustled over to make sure he was okay. For a few minutes, the two stayed kneeled down talking quietly. Finally, Brian stood up and limped to first base. Everyone clapped to show their support.
"Is he okay?" Collin asked.
"Oh, yeah, I'm sure he's fine. He's used to being hit by balls." Until he snickered, I didn't realize what I said was actually pretty funny. "Not quite what I meant." I chuckled.
Collin reached over the arms of our chairs to hold my hand. It's great how he's not afraid of being, well, together in public. Although Jacob didn't have many restrictions in public, the closer we were to his house the more conscious he'd be. With Collin there's no hesitation whatsoever. And his skin feels so much softer than it did when he first stayed at the condo. He himself is softer, too. And his happiness has shot through the roof. I feel so incredibly amazing right now. My life a few weeks ago was nothing short of a downward spiral with no looks of pulling back up. If it wasn't for Collin, who knows what I'd be like right now. He's given me a reason to get out of bed every morning and go to work and . . . eat. In a sense he's saved me from becoming a terrible person. For that I am grateful, and I know Jacob would be also.
"Out!" Another for the Arctic Thunders. One more and the Vipers bat next.
Only a little while longer before the game is over. The Vipers are just a few points behind. Any mistakes on the Arctic Thunder's part and it could be a tie game or worse . . . their first loss. A win would be a heck of a way to go out, though. They can do it. They always do.
"Michael, um, can I get some cotton candy?" Collin asked so shyly. I couldn't help but gush over his adorableness.
"Yeah, sure," I reached into my wallet and pulled out money for him. "Buy whatever you want, babe."
He blushed his patented blush. "Thanks," And he bore his trademark smile.
Collin was gone for only a few minutes returning with a large stick of blue cotton candy. He gave me back the change and went to work on his sugary goodness. The second half of the final inning is being played. With the Vipers now down by only two points, the Thunders really need to hold them. The first batter was struck out, but the second one managed to make it to third base. Finally, the third batter hit the ball towards the left outfield allowing the third base runner to gain a point. Everyone was on the edge of their seat in anticipation. A fourth batter took his position at the plate. Our pitcher looked extra focused on his goal.
"Strike!" the umpire said.
Kyle, the pitcher, was pleased with his work. But overconfidence clouded his vision. The next pitch was too low, which resulted in a ball. His confidence turned into fear post-call. He only needs two more strikes and the team wins.
"Strikes, Kyle, we needs strikes!" one of the coaches shouted.
A second pitch, which was a strike, boosted his confidence. Hopefully the confidence won't get to his head for the third pitch.
"Kyle, Kyle! Strike him out, kid! Come on!"
The ball was thrown from his hand. Time seemed to slow as the ball came straight down the center. The Vipers' hitter swung his bat . . . and missed!
The crowd erupted into cheer, some standing on their feet. Kyle ran into the dugout where everyone could hear the team chanting their battle song. Then the two teams lined up and congratulated each other on a good game, but you could tell the Vipers were more than disappointed.
All the Arctic Thunders gathered outside of the dugout. Parents went over to where their kids were sitting. Just as everyone was present, the coaches started talking about what a great game they played and what an amazing season they had together, and he also thanked the parents for their support and encouragement. He then said there would be a pizza party at a local place on Friday. After a team cheer, the players were free to go.
"Hey, Michael!" Brian said as he ran up to me. "Dude, you haven't been to a game in forever!"
"I know, but I've had a lot on my plate. You played great like always." It felt weird for some reason. Not like a bad weird, more of a weird weird. I know that doesn't really make sense, but the feeling is true.
"Yeah, well, I'm . . . I'm really sorry about . . . about what happened."
That sinking feeling I get whenever the situation with Jacob is mentioned came to my stomach. I needed to ignore it, push it away and come back to it later. But my stomach was doing barrel rolls.
Shake it off, Michael. Come on.
"Look, uh, I was wondering if you'd like to spend the night tonight."
"Can I, mom?" He looked up at Jackie expecting her to say yes. She would, obviously, but she's still his mom and he still has to actually ask permission.
"Sure, I don't care. Let's go home and get you cleaned up first, huh? Do you want me to drop him off, Michael?" Jackie questioned.
"No, I'll be over in a little." I replied, still feeling the churning. "Oh, Brian, this is Collin. He lives with me."
Brian gave a funny, curious expression. "Like a boyfriend?" He didn't even really acknowledge Collin.
"Exactly like a boyfriend."
Now he looked almost accusingly at me. "Oh, well hi. Okay, mom, let's go!"
Brian's reaction didn't sit well with me and I know Collin was now freaking out on the inside. He was already uneasy about meeting him. I hadn't even mentioned Brian spending the night to Collin. I probably should've asked if he'd have been okay with it. God, I hope tonight isn't going to be terribly awkward.
I took the chairs back to mom's car with her, then went back to the truck. Collin was being unusually silent and I knew he felt weird over what happened a few minutes earlier.
"I'm sorry for not telling you about him spending the night. I thought about it during the game and just kind of blurted it out to him." We weren't even holding hands, or walking so close to one another that our skin touched. The separation was oddly killing me. He's standing right next to me yet the partial distance between us feels like miles.
Collin moved his head so our eyes met. "It's not something you have to apologize for. It's your place."
"Yeah, but you stay there, too. I don't want you to feel . . . I don't know, like a third wheel or something."
"Well, I don't think he liked the fact we're boyfriend. I didn't even realize you had decided on that."
"Do you want to be? I mean, I feel like I'm ready to finally accept it."
"Are you sure, though?"
"Okay then," he grinned. "I'm down for it."
The space between us closed as I moved to take his hand in mine. Collin and I are officially boyfriends and . . . it feels great! I thought I'd feel remorseful or depressed, but there's nothing but happiness. This is what life is supposed to be.
When we made it to the truck, I had a slight inclination to take Collin right then and there. But I knew in the presence of children that would be wildly inappropriate. So, to solve that problem, I drove us to a remote street only a few blocks away. Finding a spot was no problem, either. The problem, however, was that I pushed the brakes too hard and prior to even fully stopping I roughly shifted the gear into park.
"What are-" Collin began, but I stopped him by rushing him with my lips. I forced my tongue inside his mouth and just attacked him. Somehow, I crawled over the center console and straddled his lap. "Michael," he moaned into my mouth.
Our lips never separated, mine moving with hunger. Collin whimpered and whimpered. His cries of pleasure only fueled the raging hunger within. He dropped his hands from the small of my back to the edge of his shirt. But there wasn't enough time for undressing. There wasn't enough time to truly release, either. Heavy petting would have to satisfy us both. He replaced his hands back behind me, inching them up into my shirt. The coolness of his fingers made me shiver. Slowly breaking our kiss, I put one hand on each of his cheeks and just stared at the delicate features; the coral lips that tasted so sweet and delicious; a button-like nose; milk chocolate eyes that were as big as the moon; eyebrows that were just darker than his brown silken hair; and the two freckles that were barely visible near the bottom-left of his left eye. I know I've described him before, but if you could see what I'm staring at you'd describe him a lot too, or, try describing him rather. No description could ever fully bring justice.
He smiled and blushed, probably from me just staring at him.
"What are you doing, crazy?" he giggled softly.
I rubbed my nose against his. "I just like looking at you."
"Oh, well . . . okay then." Gah! His cheeks burn so cutely!
"I can't really help myself." Then he nuzzled into me, our noses still touching. "You are so . . . beau . . ." I was about to say beautiful, but how corny is that? It's too corny for this moment . . .
"I'm so beau?" He softly giggled again. I would've answered him immediately, but a sudden cramp in one of my knees forced me to move back to the driver's seat. Collin shot me a sad face.
"Sorry, babe, but my knees were cramping." I let out a chuckle to ease the swift change in mood.
"What were you going to say?"
"No, come on. What were you gonna say?"
Collin had the most adorable puppy dog look. "Pwetty pwease?"
"No," That was hard to resist, but quite honestly I'm getting kind of angry.
"How about I guess what you-"
"Just drop it, Collin!" I said loudly, slamming my hand down on the console. He warily clasped his hands together and bit his lip.
Fuck. But just then, my cell phone rang.
"Hey, Brian," The life in me was drained. "Uh huh . . . Okay, well . . . Okay, I'm coming, dude." Collin stared out the windshield and kept silent. Those big doe eyes were glossy with sadness.
I can't apologize yet. I'm still upset. Why? That's an answer I don't know.
Brian was waiting outside for us when we arrived. He hopped in the backseat and wasted no time in gushing about how far he's gotten on various video games he brought with him. You see, I bought Jacob a Wii during our first year together. Well, technically I bought it for him, but he didn't like that so I had to lie and say I actually got it for myself even though I don't play video games. Brian, however, is a video game enthusiast. Jacob and him would play almost all night when he'd stay with us while I sat on the couch and either did work or just watched the two of them have fun.
"So, I'm trying to get my mom to buy me this new game because it's a sequel to this one and, like, it's supposed to be so much better than the first one." Brian said quickly.
"Well, isn't your birthday coming up? She's probably going to buy it for you then." I mundanely spoke.
"Yeah, but that's still so far away, Michael!" he whined. "I tried compromising with her, like, if she buys me the game early, then that'll be one less thing for her to buy on my birthday."
"Parents don't always work like that, though, bud. Sometimes you just have to wait for the good things to come to you. I know it seems it'll take a while, but in the end it'll be worth the wait." I realized what just came out of my mouth. A metaphor of Collin easing my pain from Jacob. Collin was still mindlessly staring out the windshield with the same glossiness in his eyes.
I reached over and intertwined our fingers together. His lips carefully curled upwards.
Thank you to those readers who have written me since posting chapter nine. I appreciate all the fan mail I receive. Well, I hope everyone enjoyed chapter ten. Feel free to join my group: Shades of Wisteria. Go vote for the next story I write while you're there! Oh, and don't forget about my instant messaging screen names! Don't worry about bugging me, either, because you WON'T. I love talking to my readers!
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