The following is a work of fiction. Any similarities are entirely fortuitous. The story may contain profanity and references to gay sex. Any relation to similar events or persons, fiction or real, is completely coincidental. 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 with your comments.

Mad World 06

She knows...

But who is she? And when exactly did she see me kiss him? April eleventh was a Monday if memory serves me correctly. The only time that day we could've possibly been seen kissing was when I dropped him off on a corner a couple of blocks away from his house. I picked him up from school, like I did every day, and we stayed at my condo until it was time to go. Whoever saw us must have known Jacob because there's no point in writing down that a stranger saw us kiss. She, though? That's the twist right there. Jacob definitely didn't have any female enemies. This doesn't make any sense to me.

When I arrived home yesterday afternoon, Collin was still fast asleep in my bed. I was under the assumption that he had been sleeping the entire time I was at work. I'm giving him a choice about whether or not he wants to go to the barbeque with me today. He might not want to meet mom and dad yet. I know I wouldn't want to this early in a relationship. Oi, not a relationship, but a...soon-to-be, I guess. Either way, he has the choice. The party starts at three; it's almost time and Collin hasn't woken up since yesterday. Poor kid must be exhausted. He probably got terrible rest on the streets what between the adverse weather and need of alertness. It must be like heaven to sleep in a real bed.

I began to shower and get ready for the party around two. If Collin's not awake by the time I'm out, then I'll have to wake him up and ask. Showering felt relaxing, washing away the worry of what my family would think of Collin. Their opinion means little to me, but for his sake I hope they show courtesy. He's been through enough without needing to be judged further. What particularly worries me is mom's reaction. She seemed flustered about finding him yesterday so what's her reaction going to be like when she actually gets to meet him.

By the time I finished showering, Collin hadn't woken up, but I figured I should put Jacob's journal up before waking him. Reading one more entry wouldn't hurt anyone, though.

April 23 2011

Coming back home was such a hard thing to do. Our two year anniversary was yesterday and Michael took me to the beach for dinner and then we took a walk along the shore and THEN we went to a hotel and had incredible sex all night long. It was by far our best sex ever. He was a complete animal last night and I loved every second. I love when he's rough with me. Being manhandled is just so...oh, I don't even know other than it's just very hot. Then Michael did something I didn't expect whatsoever. He proposed to me with the most amazing ring ever. Michael never told me a date, but I'm assuming it won't be for some time. That's okay though because I'd wait forever to marry him. I've never felt this way before and it's awesome. If Michael and I wouldn't have met that one day two years ago, who knows what would be going on in my life right now. We're soul mates. We're perfect together.

But apparently all good things must come to an end. The fear of my parents finding out I'm gay is the strongest force in my body. If she wouldn't ever have written the note, I wouldn't be thinking of ending it all. I hope she's proud of what she's done.

"Hi," I heard behind me. "Sorry I slept so long." Collin trotted in and sat down next to me on the couch. "What's that?"

I quickly wiped my watery eyes and closed the journal. "It's, uh, nothing," I mumbled, fumbling with it. "So, listen, my parents are having a small party," I sniffled, "and I was wondering if you'd like to go. You don't have to if you don't want, but, you know, food and stuff."

Collin didn't seem to buy my attempt at comedy. He seemed worried about me almost. Worry might be too strong of a word. We're not boyfriends after all. It was just friendship worry, I guess. God, I am such a dumb fuck...

"Sure, I'm down for some food," His answer was monotonous like he was weary of me. He knew I wasn't okay. What was the point of asking?

"I'll get you some clothes," I went into the bedroom, slyly wiping my eyes again in the process. "Actually, why don't you pick something you want to wear?"

Jacob's half of my closet was beginning to depress me. I think it's time to clear his clothes out. Collin can't keep wearing Jacob's clothes and I can't continue to see him in Jacob's clothes. I could donate the older clothes and return the unworn clothes, and then buy Collin some simple stuff from the returned money to start out with just to make sure we can make things work between us. Sounds like an ingenious plan to me.

"Can I wear this?" Collin, holding up an outfit, asked.

"That's fine," I said softly. "So, I was thinking of giving Jacob's clothes to a charity and returning some of the newer, unworn things. You and I can go shopping for your own clothes." It didn't hurt as much as I thought it would to say that. Maybe it really is a good plan.

Collin didn't seem to know what to think. A mixture of gratitude and anxiety shown on his face. "I don't think I can accept that. These are Jacob's clothes. You can't just get rid of them because of me."

"Well, to be honest, seeing them in here depresses me. Plus, if you and I work out, then you have clothes. And if not, then you have clothes regardless."

"Michael," Collin sighed in an unusual manner, "you don't even know how grateful I am for all that you're doing for me. I've never... I've never been treated like this before. I always came after my siblings. Don't get me wrong, though, because I still had it quite good there." The sudden sad demeanor of him struck me fast and hard. Collin upset is something I don't ever want to see.

I placed my arms around him protectively. "That is over with. This is what you have to look forward to." I pressed my lips against his and savored the touch. His lips were dry, chapped from months of neglect. I imagined what it would be like kissing his lips when they were properly taken care of.

"Thanks," he whispered, staring down to the ground with one of his awkwardly cute smiles. He took the clothes into the bathroom with him and started cleaning up.

After about thirty minutes, the two of us were out the door. As we were driving, Collin asked about my parents so that he could be prepared for anything that came his way.

"Mom will probably barrage you, but don't worry I'll always be very close to you. If things get too uncomfortable, then just don't answer something." I noticed his hand was resting on his leg in a very relaxed manner, almost like he wanted me to hold it.

"That doesn't make me nervous at all," he laughed shyly.

"Hey, don't worry about this. Her barbeques are always casual and fun." His hand looked so inviting.

"Well, as long as you're close by I think I can manage, especially if there's good food."

"Don't worry about that, either. The food never stops. Some relatives are on the larger side so there's never a shortage of food." If only I had the courage to reach over and hold his hand.

"What's your dad like?"

"Dad's a much calmer person than mom. He'll probably just shake your hand and then go back to whatever he's doing." I glanced down at his hand, but Collin was looking at me at the same time. We made eye contact for a split second before I continued watching the road. I tensed up immediately and worried about what he was thinking. Collin must've figured it out so he decided to take the initiative. He reached over and intertwined our fingers. I let out a raspy sigh of relief, but the tension was still there. The sudden gush of emotion flushed water into my eyes.

The rest of the way to the party we spoke nothing. Collin had a small smile plastered on his face whereas mine was just sort of a small, relieved grin. He must've known I wanted to hold his hand, but simply couldn't make the first move. I'm utterly grateful for his sense of awareness. I pulled up in front of mom and dad's house. They have a nice house, nothing extravagant. Cars lined the street and I could already hear the rowdiness coming from the backyard. Collin suddenly seemed more nervous than before, but at the same time excited. I squeezed his hand reassuringly.

We walked inside the house only to be welcomed by shouting and arguing. I instantly knew what was going on.

"No, damn it," dad shouted. "That's the wrong one."

"Well, excuse me, Mr. Know-It-All." mom responded. "Why don't you just fix the fucking thing yourself?" Collin tensed up next to me.

"Fine, I will!"

Mom stormed out of the kitchen towards the back door. I figured it'd be better to show myself in given I knew she wasn't in a welcoming mood. Typical bickering between my parents, nothing to fret. They may argue like no other couple, but you won't find two people more in love at the end of the day. Collin eased up a tad, but he was still stiffer than corpse, no pun intended.

In the backyard, family from all extents were lounging and laughing. The kids were running around in the grass whereas the adults were seated under the comfort of the patio awning. The temperature was particularly warm today unlike the past week or so with highs of seventy.

"Hey, Michael!" Uncle Ted shouted. "Hey, everybody, Michael's here!" I blushed fiercely from the sudden attention. I knew Collin, who was standing partially behind me, was also cursing the sudden unwanted attention. Mom looked up from the barbeque and finally noticed us, but showed no sign of coming over.

Please, God, no drama or awkwardness tonight.

"Hi, Uncle Ted," I went over to him and shook his extended hand.

"So, how you been, boy? Haven't seen you around lately." Ted owns an advertising warehouse in the industrial district of the city. Before the events as of late, I would visit him and see if there were any leads he had for me. He's done advertising for companies like Nissan's Infiniti and even Nintendo. In fact, Nintendo was so pleased with his work, they gave a DS to everyone who worked at the warehouse. Ted still has extras just sitting around in one of his storage shops somewhere! But the warehouse, or shop as the family refers to it, has a special room called the junk room. When I was ten, my parents would take me to said room to gather and collect what was referred to as junk. But let me tell you something. The items in that room were anything but junk to a ten year old! I would walk away with calendars of all sorts, movie cases (empty, but awesome cases nonetheless), pens, pads of paper, toys, trophies, and so on.

"I've been busy uncle," I smiled not realizing before how much he apparently enjoyed my little visits.

"Too busy to come see your favorite uncle, huh? That's bullshit, Michael!"

I laughed, "Whatever, Ted,"

"Who's this?"

"Oh," Jeez, I totally forgot Collin was behind me. "This is my friend Collin." Ted extended his hand and they shook.

"Collin, huh? What happened to that Jacob guy you were seeing?"

The smile was figuratively slapped right off my face. I was prepared for questions, but not such blunt ones. Mom should've told everyone what happened by now to prevent something like this. Considering my family is the biggest bunch of gossipers, mom must not have told really anyone about what happened. Collin sensed the sudden change in mood and did something about it.

"Michael, let's go get some food." He pulled me by the arm over to the buffet table.

I sighed sadly, blinking back the tears. Uncle Ted's question kind of felt like an accusation, although I know he didn't mean it that way.

"Thanks, Collin," I half smiled at him.

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah, yeah, I'm fine," I brushed the sadness away determined to have a good time tonight. "So, let's eat,"

The buffet table was filled to capacity with dishes ranging from carne asada to the usual potato salad. It was easy to see that Collin was having a hard time deciding on where to start. I started with the meats and just worked my way down. As we finished loading our plates, I couldn't find any empty tables so we went to sit right in the middle of all the action. There were so many people everywhere. Good thing my parents have a nice sized backyard. I love these family gatherings. They remind me that there is still simplicity in this mad world.

Dad entered the backyard looking much happier than he sounded earlier. Don't let the previous argument fool you. He's always been the most levelheaded in the family.

"Michael! There's my boy!" he said, rushing over and engulfing me in a hug, squeezing like this would be the last time he'd ever have the chance.

When he released me from his death clutch, I introduced him to Collin, who by the way, seemed considerably calm for meeting my dad. That's definitely a good sign. He probably picked up on dad's relaxed nature completely voiding what was heard earlier.

"Nice to meet you," Collin said politely.

"Names Tom," dad smiled. "So, you boys enjoying the food?"

"Yeah, it's all great, dad," I replied, sitting back down to continue eating.

He spoke to Collin directly. "How about you? Do you want some more? There's plenty more for you. Anything you want you just go ahead and have."

"I'm fine for now," Collin chuckled. "I'm gonna get something to drink."

"Tom!" mom called out from behind the barbeque. "Inside. Now!"

"Oh, God," he grumbled under his breath. "Be back,"

The two of them walked inside leaving me feeling a little miffed. What was up with dad's sudden barrage of questions to Collin? And why is mom being such a bitch today? I mean, she's always been a little cranky during high stress times, but today she seems extra irritable.

"Your dad seems nice," Collin said, returning from the ice chest.

"Sorry about his questions. That was a little weird." I said, taking a drink from the soda he brought for me.

"Nothing to-"

"Michael, come here!" Ilsa, the wicked she-mother, shouted from the backdoor.

"Ugh, be right back, Collin. Time to play mediator." I walked inside not looking forward to whatever mom was bitching about. "Yes, mom?"

"I know him. Your dad told me he's a homeless kid." she started.


"You shouldn't be bringing people in from the streets, Michael. How do you know he's not a schizophrenic or something? He could be dangerous."

"Calm down, woman," dad broke in. "Michael can do as he pleases."

"He's a great kid, mom," I said as nicely as possible. "Jacob knew him. He was a friend to Collin and wrote me a letter asking to take over where he left off."

She took a moment to think about what to say. My mentioning of Jacob probably threw her completely off track. I know mom wasn't prepared to hear that. Even dad looked taken aback.

"So, what, are you two an item now or something?"

"Or something," I mocked. "I'm not sure what we are, but if things go smooth enough we could be an item. That's sort of why I offered to move him in with me. We'll be able to see our compatibility. And even if we don't work out I'm still going to let him stay there."

"I don't like this, Michael. You're in way over your own head this time."

"Mom, you need to seriously relax. I can handle my own life. In case you've forgotten, I've done a pretty good job so far."

"Come on, Elizabeth, you know he's right." Dad defending me was neither helping me nor hurting me. Mom is her own person and rarely gives in to other people. Perhaps that's where I get my resilience from.

"You can do what you want, Michael. Just know that I don't approve of you taking in this homeless boy."

"Well, he's not homeless anymore." With that I went back outside. A few family members were laughing with Collin. He seemed to really be enjoying himself, which eased me immensely.

A few minutes later, my parents came back outside. Mom seemed a bit calmer, but went back to the barbeque. Dad started talking with Uncle Ted and I knew things were smoothed out for now. Laughter filled the air with idle chatter. This is what the parties were all about. Just simple, casual conversations and visiting with relatives.

"Michael," dad called from his seat near Ted. "Are you going to Brian's game on Saturday? It's his last one!"


"Yeah, season's over,"

"Crap," I groaned. Collin looked at me. "Yeah, I'll definitely be there, but don't tell him! I want it to be a surprise."

Collin asked, "Who's Brian?"

"He's my cousin. I used to go to every single one of his baseball games before my life was turned upside down. There've been quite a few I've missed since then. He used to spend the night with me and Jacob on occasion, too."

"Do you want me to go with you?" His question was that of hopefulness, almost like he wanted me to ask him to go.

"Yeah, if you want to."

"Will, um, Brian like me, you think?"

"I'm sure he will,"

"That'll be fun then,"

"I think so,"

Family barbeques remind me of Jacob. He loved coming with me to them. He loved the food and the general togetherness my family only appeared to have. Then there was that Fourth of July party where he got kind of hammered. When we got home that night there was a different kind of party if you catch my drift. Yeah, those were the days, but Collin looked like he was really enjoying being here, too. People were talking to him and he was talking to them. Everything was okay, I knew that, but it just felt different. I probably just need to adjust to it. I mean, it is new after all so the different feeling is pretty much justified.

"You okay?" Collin asked, leaning in.


"Your eyes, they're watery," he pointed out.

"Oh," I rubbed my eyes to try and get the moisture out. "I'm fine, I think. No, let's go somewhere to talk."

I led him over to the back of dad's workshop. It was secluded enough to give us plenty of privacy, but if someone found us, then I could easily make an excuse as to why we were back there.

"So?" Collin looked apprehensive about whatever was coming.

"I feel kind of depressed, but it's really nothing." He wanted more from the looks of it. "I was just remembering how much Jacob loved coming with me to family things. I think it made him feel like it was his own family."

"Well, I can see why he felt like that. The entire time we've been here your family has been talking to me like I'm part of the family. It's...nice." One of his lopsided smiles appeared on his face.

I sniffled, trying my damndest not to start crying. Between his cute grin and the flood of memories, it was a difficult task to maintain.

"You know, I never did tell you why I freaked out so badly that one morning."

"Michael, you don't have to..."

"No, I need to. It'll make me feel better." I wiped my eyes before beginning. "I dreamt that you and I had sex, then I told you I wished we had met before Jacob and that there was so much time wasted." I dropped my head in utter shame. Although no one can control what they dream, the pain it caused me and Collin, too, will continue to haunt me for who knows how long.

"Wow, I probably would've freaked out, too. But it's okay now. I mean, you obviously don't feel that way so there's no need to hold onto that dream."

"I know and hopefully now it can just be a distant memory. Don't take any of this the wrong way. I'm glad we met and I'm glad we're trying."

"You don't have to worry about that. I know things are hard for you."

The moment was perfect. We were alone in a secluded area with the sun inching closer and closer to the horizon casting the perfect amount of light on us. I noticed for the first time just how truly beautiful his eyes were. The sunlight made them warmer than usual and the hazel totally stood out. Collin leaned towards me, aiming for my lips. I stood like a totem pole. His tongue glided right through my lips, and he rested a hand along my jaw line to hold me in place. We started out slow at first, but eventually our kissing became more urgent and then would slow back down again. I could taste the spices from the carne asada and the sweetness from his soda. I used one of hands and pressed it against the small of his back. And suddenly, without any warning or clue at all, I burst out in tears. Collin stood momentarily stunned, but then pulled my head down on his shoulder. I felt so stupid for ruining our kiss, but literally I didn't feel the outburst coming. Little did I know at the time, mom was watching this unfold.

Sorry this took a little longer, but I didn't really have the urge to write because it's been hot around here lately and mom doesn't use the air so I try to keep my laptop off as much as possible. Then when I do finally write, nothing happens, haha. But I hope you enjoyed chapter six. The barbeque bit was partially pulled out from real life. My great uncle does in fact run his own advertising business and has done work with major clients. The junk room is also very real, although I haven't been there in quite a few years.

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