Walking through the doors of that theater, I had to use every last bit of energy that I could muster to keep from trembling inside. Quaking at the thought of finally finding that last bit of evidence that it was truly 'over' between me and Adam. I know...I KNOW....it was over a long time ago. It's been a very long time since I had the slightest chance of repairing any damage I might have done by being such a lame boyfriend. It's been a year since I've had any effect on Adam's life at all. But....hidden deep in my soul, where even *I* couldn't find it...was this....HOPE! You know? This secret stash of faith that allowed me to believe that he'd give enough of a FUCK about me to maybe come back and at least say goodbye!!! It was always there. Gnawing at my pride, and my heart, and my confidence, and my beliefs, and my....EVERYTHING! But...that was overwith now...isn't it? It's done. He's moved on, and I'm...I'm still standing right where he left me. Broken and alone. Without any hope of every being happy again for as long as I live. However long that may be.
The guy at the front of the lobby took our tickets, ripping them in half. "Theater four, upstairs to your right." And he gave us some special buttons and trading card freebies for going to see the James Bond movie. We were in.
"Cool! They got Chance Tremier to play 'Taryn' in the 'Taryn's Song' movie! I think he'd be awesome! The book is incredible. I can lend you my copy if you want. You have to read it." Brice chatted away happily, and I did my best to lose myself in his smile again. But it's hard to ignore a hot poker jabbed into your eye while trying to be 'social' and friendly.
"Chase who? I don't think I've heard of him before." I said.
"You know, from that 'Out Of Hollywood', movie? He used to be in music videos?" I gave him a confused shrug. "Well, trust me, he's perfect. Actually, after 'Taryn's Song'...you should read the SEQUELS to that story! They're much better! There's tons of vampires and fighting and stuff. If they do a sequel for each additional chapter...I'd have a heart attack!"
"Heh heh, sure." I wasn't necessarily being a great companion tonight, was I? But I tried. No need for him to suffer too.
"Say...before we go upstairs...um....do you want some popcorn or something? I'll buy." Brice said it, and looked me in the eye as though my answer meant a lot more than 'just' getting a bag of popcorn. I wasn't sure why. I had money of my own, and I didn't really want him to spend any cash on me or anything. But...I remembered his brother, Alex, telling me not to reject the offer. So I figured...what the hell? I might as well.
"Ok. That sounds....it sounds good. Extra butter?"
He smiled wide at me, and I could practically feel the energy radiating from his very core. I didn't know Brice was so easy to please. "OK! Um....wait here..and I'll be back in a sec so we can get some good seats. K?"
"Sure thing." I answered, and he walked over to get in line. Looking back at me a few times and grinning to himself like a mental patient. It's the kind of behavior that I usually project when I'm nervous and stupid. It was nice to see somebody else doing it for a change. It almost made me wish that he could be MY 'Jonathan Hersh' for the night. If for no other reason than to just show Adam that I wasn't sitting at home, crying by myself in some cold lonely corner of my basement, while he went out and had fun with Mr. Blond Poster Boy over there.
That's when they walked in together. The two of them, almost shoulder to shoulder. Adam was always so touchy feely with me when we were....'in love'. He needed me. He'd reach out and touch me in some way every few minutes, just to be playful or cute. It made me feel so warm inside to feel wanted. You know? It really made me feel special to have someone that I thought was soooo perfect actually feel something similar for me. It's like having the heavens open up and swallow you whole in eternal light and joy. I've never known a feeling like that before Adam. I haven't known one since. Now I feel like a puppy in a sack, tossed off of a bridge to drown in the stormy river below.
Did you know that I used to sneak him down into my basement late at night? We'd wait until after midnight sometimes, and he'd sneak out of his house, and ride his bike over to see me. I'd go down into our basement, and wait impatiently to see his bike wheels roll up passed the window. Then I'd open it, and he'd creep in. The room would be dark...and we'd have to whisper to keep from being caught. Something about Adam's whisper always made me hot. It always created this uncontrollable passion inside of me that ACHED for his kiss every second of the day. Then, we'd find each other in the darkness, and our lips would meet....and we'd kiss for as long as we could before we got worried that my parents would find me out. Wow.....kissing him was such a delight. His lips, his tongue, his sweet breath, his gentle caress on my hips, the spongy feel of his perfect bubbled cheeks as I grabbed them and pulled him against me....Adam was the best thing that ever happened to me. Ever.
Now he's the best thing that ever happened to.....HIM!!!
I watched them walk up to the ticket guy, and he gave them the same freebies that he gave to Brice and I. Meaning they were there to see the same flick that we were. I couldn't believe this! *I* exposed him to Bond FIRST, you bastard! *I'M* the one that made him a fan! *I'M* the one who started him off on the whole Bond kick in the FIRST place! He hadn't seen a single fucking MOVIE until I came along! How could you just swoop down and 'steal' that away from us! You heartless fucking asshole!
I felt both my fists and my teeth clenching as they walked further into the lobby, and headed for the escalator. I was SURE Adam would see me, and I braced myself for the impact. I decided that I'd tighten up my face, hold back my emotions, and try to be as calm, cool, and collected, as I possibly could be. Just....don't give in to the tears, Danny. Be strong. When Adam says hello, you say it back with a smile, and look normal. That's all. If you show him any pain at all, it's only gonna make things worse. So....let it all go. Stand up straight. When he speaks....answer nicely. And you'll be alright. Ok...here we go...he's coming...I'm ready.
Adam and Jonathan walked closer, smiling and giggling, absorbed into one another over some little inside joke or something.....and walked RIGHT past me! Without saying a single WORD! Not ONE! What the fuck was THAT??? Huh??? Is he not even TALKING to me now?!?! I KNOW he saw me! I KNOW he could feel the misery in my entire existence when he walked past me! He HAD to! But he pretended not to. He just fucking IGNORED me!!! He walked right past me with this new pretty boy son of a bitch and pretended like I wasn't even THERE! WHY??? *WHY*, Adam??? Why are you DOING this to me??? What could I have possibly done to you that was so awful that you could HATE me this way? What did I do wrong that made it so easy for you to push me SO far out of your life that you don't even see the value in 'speaking' to me anymore?
God, Adam....do you know how much this is destroying me inside? Did I ever mean ANYTHING to you at ALL? Ever?
I was pretty fucking FAR from being ok at this point! I felt my breath get heavy, and my heart felt like an iron anchor in the center of my chest. Sinking slowly down into the sickening swirl of self hate that was boiling and churning in the pit of my stomach. My skin felt cold, my eyes were watering, and the back of my throat went dry as what was left of my emotional stability got caught there and began to decay. I had to get out of here. I didn't want to ditch Brice, and it would be a really rotten thing to do after he had been so nice to me tonight...but I have to go. I have to leave this place. I can't just fake this and act like I'm having a good time. Not now. I was almost in tears just standing there. I looked around, and felt a pinch of guilt hit me as I took a few steps towards the door to escape.
"Danny? Where you going?" I heard Brice call me, and silently cursed myself for getting caught. I should have left the second Adam 'breezed' past me. "The escalator's this way. C'mon." He had a medium sized bag of popcorn with him and a large coke for us to share. I wouldn't have had any problem telling him that I was leaving and that I'd see him another time...if I wasn't such a COWARD!!! But....dammit....Brice was standing there looking all 'cute' and smiley and he had bought us snacks...just seeing the sparkle in those glowing sky blue eyes of his...I couldn't do it. I couldn't walk out on him, no matter how much it hurt to be there. I worked up a very VERY weak smile, and kept my head down as I walked over to join him again. From the second I stepped onto that escalator with him...all I could think about was how much this was gonna damage me before the night was over.
We walked into the actual theater and began looking for a seat. The place was pretty full, but not packed to the point of being uncomfortable. As we made our way down the aisle, I tried my best not to think about Adam being in that theater. I tried HARD not to think of him sitting in that room somewhere sharing his company with some new infatuation of his. But there was no fighting the urge to visually search the room anyway. Sure enough, there they were. Sitting together near the back of the theater. Not ALL the way back, just far enough back to see the whole screen at once and be comfortable. It was 'our' spot at one time. We had scientifically picked it out to be the best seat in the house. Well...I guess THAT belongs to Jonathan too now. I'll have to sit someplace else from now on.
"How about up here? Look good?" Brice asked, and it was somewhere near the middle of the theater. It was 'alright', I guess.
"Yeah...sure." I said, trying to ring the saddness out of my voice like dirty water out of a moldy old mop. So we scooted inward to the middle of the row and took a seat. I probably should have been nicer to him, more social, less....'me'. I guess I can be moody and distant when something is bothering me. It's one of the MANY things there are to hate about myself, I guess. I was wrapped up in my pitiful thoughts for a full minute or two before I realized that Brice was looking at me.
"Danny...do you wanna talk about it?"
"Talk about what?"
"Whatever it is that's got you feeling so down all of the sudden. Everything was going great, but now you seem kinda sad." He knew. He could always tell. Even when he was trying to make me smile through it, if I held onto something for too long, he always confronted me about it. It's weird how Brice managed to recognize my little 'signs' in the last few weeks that we've known each other. "Look...if you...don't wanna do this..."
"Danny..." He sighed. "...Please don't just say things to make me feel good. I'll understand if you wanna go somewhere else. Maybe we can get our money back if we leave before the movie starts."
"Don't. I'm ok. Alright?" I looked him in the eye, and forced myself to stop being a jerk. "Seriously. I'm just...I'm being stupid. K? I'll stop."
Brice paused for a second, and the look he gave me was one of such 'concern'. Then he replied, "I don't want you to stop, Danny. I want you to have a good time." It was as if some of my own sadness was suddenly seeping into his reality as well, and I couldn't really take any of this out on him. He was just being a pal, it wasn't his fault. It only made me double my efforts.
"I will. I AM! Hehehe! K? Quit being a girl." I said. I couldn't tell if he was buying it, or if he just decided to play along since he saw me making an effort. But whatever it was, his grin helped to balance things out a little bit better. And by the time the theater had gotten dark to start showing previews, we had 'small talked' our way back to a few giggles again. Brice had a contagious level of cheerfulness that got to be addictive once you got him going. And it was engaging, to say the least. But in the back of my mind, I knew it was merely a distraction from the horror sitting just seven rows behind us. Seven rows exactly. For some sick obsessive reason...I counted. Anyway, there was something so soothing in having Brice pay me attention at that very moment. I really needed a friend to be there, and he was. The least I could do was try to have a good time with him. His whole point for tonight was for us to have fun, afterall.
The previews started, and Brice and I gave our thumbs up or thumbs down rating for the different movies they advertised. Half of them were thumbs down. Old tv shows made into movies, old books made into movies, old movies remade into NEW movies, video games made into movies...has Hollywood completely given up on trying to think for itself? I think the Matrix was the last real ambitious shot at trying to do something original. God knows HOW many years it'll be before we get another one. Then, we saw this supposedly 'touching', but mostly 'mushy', romantic comedy advertised. You know, the ones with the big sweeping theme song and the teary hugs and all the little things that just SCREAM 'chick flick'. It's like they're trying to get you to cry from the trailer alone. Well...one of THOSE came on, and Brice giggled a bit, putting his hand on my arm, and rubbing it in a gay sorta way. "Ooh, Danny...let's see this one, baby!" He said with a pretend lisp, and batting his blue eyes at me. Oh if only you could have seen it. Hehehe! I jerked my hand away and gave him a shove with a grin.
"You're a nut, you know that?"
"Hehehe...you said 'nut'." He smiled, and my guard seemed to relax itself just long enough for me to laugh. Some of that tension, that pain, that awful embarrassment, seemed to melt away for a brief moment, and I truly enjoyed being there with him. It didn't last long, but it happened. That's more than I could have ever hoped for with anyone else.
The movie itself was full of all the crucial 'James Bond' elements, and it was definitely a cool chapter in the series. Car chases, the super villains, the deadly henchmen, the explosions, the women...it was classic. Very cool indeed. But any time there was a slow part in the movie, I thought back seven rows and wondered what Jonathan Hersh and Adam were doing when they weren't in a room full of people. I wondered if Jonathan could ever possibly want him the way I once did. If he could ever love him as completely as I did. I wondered if they had gone beyond everything Adam and I ever did together. If they were rushing home after school to some secret place to strip down and make the most passionate love imaginable. If they were sucking and rolling and touching and rubbing without any restrictions at all. I imagined Jonathan laying naked on Adam's back, rooted deeply in between those tight young ass cheeks of his, and kissing his ear as he rocked back and forth on top of him, driving into him....MY Adam! It made me feel like I was dissolving into a puddle of hatred so intense that I had to fight tears of anger just to THINK about it! I didn't want my mind to be so tightly wound around them and the little game they were playing with my life...but getting them out of my head wasn't going to be possible. I was too hurt for that. Too angry, too jealous, really. Why sould somebody else get a shot at MY boyfriend? Yeah...that's right...MY boyfriend. I still....I still love him. I'm always going to love him. I don't care if he never speaks to me again. I don't care if every time he hears my name, he rolls his eyes in disgust and decides to hate me for the rest of his life. I don't care if everything he ever said to me was fake, and everything I believed about him was a lie. I'm always going to love Adam....always...with everything my heart has to give. But you wanna know what hurts most of all?
The fact that.......Adam is no longer required to care.
"Popcorn?" Brice asked, and it thankfully pulled my attention back into his friendly presence for a second or two.
"Thanks." I reached in and took a helping out of the bag, and popped it into my mouth. There's nothing more addictive than movie popcorn, you know? It's awesome. Brice switched hands to keep the bag between us and share while the movie went on. I have to admit, he's the most subtle sweetheart you could ever ask for. If it wasn't for his attention and company, my soul might have collapsed. He truly kept me afloat through all of this.
About five minutes had passed....and he silently offered me some more popcorn by moving his hand further over with the bag. This time, the back of his hand rested midway on my thigh. His hand was warm, his touch gentle. I didn't think anything of it really, and he turned his head towards me a bit to smile bashfully in my direction. I took another handful and smiled back, feeling some of my tensions relax. However...the next time he offered me another handful...his hand rested further up on my thigh. In fact, it was so far up, that is wrist was touching one thigh while his fingertips were touching the other one. It was only inches from the place where they connected...and I wondered if he knew exactly where his hand was resting. I took a slight inhalation, and calmed don a bit, before reaching in and getting a few more kernels to po into my mouth. When I was done, he let his hand rest there for a second or two longer without moving it. I sorta peeked at Brice out of the corner of my eye, hoping that he didn't see me looking. He seemed to be watching the movie and not paying me much attention, so I figured it was an accident. I wasn't able to relax again until he pulled the bag back into his own lap.
I looked back at the movie...but felt a 'stirring' down below. That little bit of contact had definitely 'awakened the sleeping giant', if you know what I mean. It just started to stiffen all on its own, and I shifted a bit in my seat to make sure that I wasn't 'showing' or anything. I looked back at the screen, concentrating on Bond as much as I could, but the more I tried to block out the boner I was getting, the worse it tingled. And then the fact that it was BRICE that had come so close to touching it crossed my mind...and it began to stiffen and become even more rigid than before. It was hard to keep my cool. I secretly used my forearm to press down on it, wishing it away with my every thought, and thankfully, it began to soften again. But just as I had gotten it down to a somewhat 'bendable' tube again...Brice offered me more popcorn. And this time, his hand was so far up, that his thumb had grazed my balls! Not only that..but I could have SWORN that I felt his thumb, very slightly, move up and down once or twice to feel it. Well that was it...I was getting fully hard again, and there was no stopping it this time!
If I thought I could get up and get to the bathroom without an entire theater of people seeing my puptent, I would have. If I thought I could find some way to reach into my pants and 're-adjust' without Brice or anybody else noticing, I would have. But this part of the damn movie had James Bond skiing on a snow covered mountain, ad the white glare of the snow lit up the whole theater to the point where you could see EVERYTHING. I was stuck. I began to tremble a bit, hoping that I wouldn't be found out. I nearly froze when Brice offered the popcorn again. I thought to push his hand away, but it was too late. This time, he landed right on my hardness, and his hand HAD to have felt me! It was a pretty unmistakeable bulge, I was sure of it. I closed my eyes, embarrassed beyond belief, and thought Brice would probably laugh at me and yank his hand back immediately. But....he left it there. In fact, it felt like he pressed down a bit harder on it.
I opened my eyes, and this time I turned my head to look directly at him. He looked back, and that killer smile of his spread across his oh so kissable lips. He left his hand there.....and I could feel myself blushing hard. Omigod...okaaaay.....THIS is certainly...um...different. I looked forward again, grabbing a quick handful of popcorn with a shakey hand. I know he could feel me hard. I know it. But even after taking the popcorn, he just left his hand there. When he didn't take it away...I looked at him sideways...and then whispered, "Um.....th-th-thanks..." And he actually rubbed the back of his hand across my boner briefly before taking the popcorn bag back into his lap. I felt my stomach muscles tighten up, and my stiffy throbbed and pulsed once or twice in response to his loving touch. I gasped and sighed by mistake, almost moaning outloud, and got extremely nervous as I squirmed in my seat.
I was lost at that moment. Swept up into a cyclone of confusion that I couldn't understand or control despite my efforts to walk the fine line between possibility and wishful thinking. O one hand....I KNEW that this move on Brice's part wasn't an accident. I mean...he can't be so dense as to not know what he was doing, right? At least...I THINK that's what he was doing. Then...on the other hand...just seven rows behind us...was the unmercifully painful reminder of what happened the last time I was stupid to fall into such a vulnerable position. And what an IDIOT I was to think that love would ever have anything to DO with me after everything that I've lost. It may sound easy to figure out, but it isn't. I KNOW what falling for Brice could mean! I KNOW how this story is going to end! And I can't survive another heartbreak. I've already made that vow a thousand times...but this time is serious. To die without love is tragic...but highly preferable when compared to LIVING without it. Brice was a temporary fix...a nice and stable shelter from the ice cold rain that Adam had brought into my life ever since he left me here alone. But I'm not going to be anybody's fool ever again. Ever.
Damn him for making me think I could overcome this.
The movie ended, with me only really absorbing half of it. The rest of my time there was spent being emotionally torn between two evils. I was almost thankful for it to be over so I could go home and maybe try to figure things out a little better. Or at least to get away from Brice long enough to think straight.
The dim lights came on in the theater as the credits rolled, and Brice and I both stood up to shuffle ourselves out with the rest of the crowd. I hate to say it...but even in the dark, I found myself peeking up over the heads of everyone in front of us to see if I could see Adam and Jonathan leaving in front of us. I think I caught a glimpse of Adam's shiny blond locks in front of us as he walked through the door, and I tried desperately to push my way forward to hurry the rest of the crowd along so I could see him again up close. Don't ask me why! I don't KNOW why! I just...I just.....I had to see him! You know? I can't...put it into words or truly describe the feeling in my heart. But I just felt like...if he would just TALK to me...if he could just turn around and SEE me...I could fucking.....I could...sighhh....
I don't know what I could do. It wouldn't make any fucking difference....would it? Adam doesn't give a shit about me anymore, and why should he? I wasn't worth his love in the first place.
"Dude, that was incredible! I'm putting this movie in my top ten favorite Bonds! Definitely!" Brice said. I barely heard him over the shattering sound of my breaking heart. "Did you like it?"
"Yeah. It was good." I said, still looking for Adam out by the escalator...and by the concession stand...and in the lobby. I think my eyes followed him for as long as possible, until we got outside to the parking lot and him and Jonathan veered off in the other direction. Jonathan had his own fancy schmancy car, and they were smiling the whole way.
"So...you wanna get something to eat?" Brice said, but I was too busy concentrating on Jonathan's car. I watched them get in it, I watched them buckle up and giggle with one another, and then I watched them drive away. An entire 2 hour movie, and he never spoke to me once. He....he really has forgotten about me. "Danny?"
"Do you wana get something to eat? We've still got about an hour, ya know." Brice was standing beside the car, and I nodded. I'd rather go home and bawl my eyes out, but I suppose I can be a gentleman for another hour. I just don't understand why he's being so damn 'weird' all of the sudden. I knew coming out to this movie with him was a bad idea.
We got in the car, and Brice didn't start up right away. He looked over at me and smiled, and he said, "You know...I realize that you've got other shit on your mind tonight...but...I really had a good time going with you. It was cool."
The entire vibe in the car had become...foreign to me all of the sudden. I didn't quite know what was going on here. I just...I wanted it to stop. "Um....yah. It was nice."
"Sure." He said, and he sorta had one of those bashful moments, lightly biting his bottom lip. "Sooo....maybe, I can call you up, and...we can do this again sometime. Maybe?"
Ok...that was it. That was the last straw. After all the little hints, and the movie, and the popcorn...I was seriously getting tired of this 'is he' or 'isn't he' garbage. "Ok, you know what? Excuse me if this sounds rude or anything, Brice...but exactly what are we doing here?"
He gave me a slightly confused look. "What..what do you mean?"
"I mean this. You and me. The movie and all. What exactly is this? What are we doing?" His smile was gone completely at this point, and I knew I might be causing some kind of damage by even INSINUATING that he was gay, but I had to know. Enough is enough, and I'd rather have him toss my heart aside now and get it overwith than sink any deeper in this emotional quicksand he's got me trapped in. "Is this....is this a date, Brice? Because I really need to know."
His face turned white. Completely white. And then began to darken to a crimson red as he looked forward and tried to hide his eyes from me. "Oh man....oh....oh God..." He began to mumble to himself. "I made a mistake, didn't I? Shit...SHIT!!! Dude...I'm SO sorry!" Ok, now it was MY turn to be confused. "I don't know what to say. I'm sorry, Danny, honestly I am! I just thought that...you know...with the smiles, and the looks in the hallway, and us talking and getting along so well...I just thought that maybe...omigod, Danny, I'm sorry. I didn't mean anything by it, ok? I thought you might be....well.....whatever." Was he babbling aimlessly, or was I missing a major hint here. I don't think my mind could calculate what was going on here. I don't think my heart wanted to recognize anything that he was saying to me at that moment. "Danny...dude...don't take this badly, ok? I mean...I like you as a friend too. You're the coolest. I just...I was mistaken about the other part, that's all. It's a compliment. Seriously."
"I think...I think I'mhaving trouble understanding you here, Brice."
"It's ok. You're straight. I get it. I just had you pegged wrong, that's all." He said. And the light bulb in my head FINALLY lit up. In fact, it lit up brighter than it ever had before. I felt God's hand on my shoulder, and it forced me to speak before I had the chance to shut myself up.
"NO! No...you didn't have me pegged wrong!" I said excitedly, and then the shock hit me. I think I just accidentally told Brice that I was gay! My eyes shot open as wide as they could spread, and I involuntarily covered my mouth with BOTH hands! I think the confession was a MUCH bigger surprise to me than it was to him! JESUS!!! What the fuck did I just do?!?!?!
"What?" He asked.
"I mean....well...you DID have me....well...erm...uhhh...that is...I'm not....ugh..." Do I say 'yes'? Do I say 'no'? Do I tell him it's none of his business? Do I...what the hell do I do? Why the fuck did I say anything at ALL??? "Brice...I..."
I saw his smile begin to return to his face. And the sparkle in his eye was almost blinding. "Wait a minute..." He said, and leaned closer to me while I blushed and wiggled in my seat uncontrollably. I didn't even have the time to come up with a good lie before he saw the truth in my actions. "...You ARE gay, aren't you?"
"Don't SAY that!!!" I shouted. And then softened my voice a bit...looking away from him. "At least....not outloud. Ok?"
The look on his face was more precious than any jewel on Earth. Just taking a glance at those pretty blue eyes of his, I saw infatuaton, I saw a sigh of relief, I saw doubt, I saw hope, I saw...a connection. And it frightened me. "Oh wow...cool. I had a good feeling about you." He blushed again, and saw me still squirming to avoid his eyes. I can't believe I just outed myself to him like that. God forbid if it had been my MOM or something! Brice didn't persue it though, he just giggled a bit, and started the car. I looked over to see his reaction, and just had the cutest little wicked grin on his face. "So...you still wanna get something to eat?" And that was all he said. I didn't know if this was good or bad. But suddenly, my whole world had been turned upside down again, and I had lost my foothold in everything I could ever consider safe forever.
Brice drove me to some burger joint type place, called Nuke's, where you drive up and park by the outdoor menus, and people bring the food to your car. Kinda like a drive-in movie...without the movie. "You've gotta try their nachos, they're incredible! Oh, and their waffle fries too!" Brice was being so damn normal considering what I had just confessed to him. What he had just confessed to ME. I mean...this isn't really normal, is it? Two boys just suddenly finding each other and going out on a date. Well...SURE it happens in porno movies, because you just wana skip ahead into the sex. But it doesn't happen in real life. At least, I don't believe it does. I mean....can it really be that easy? That some cute boy can just be dropped in your lap after an entire YEAR of heart ripping pain and suffering? It CAN'T be! There's GOTTA be a catch here somewhere! There's GOTTA be something wrong with this picture! Like....he's got a boyfriend already and he doesn't know we're out together right now! Or...or...he's some kind of weird S&M guy who likes having needles inserted into his penis! Or he's one of those guys who's gay NOW...but ends up marrying the prom queen and having lots of kids! Right? RIGHT? This is SO unreal!
He told me that the nachos were pretty filling, so we ordered one to share, and got some grub to go along with it. As he leaned out of the window to order, I sorta leaned forward a bit to take a good look at him. There was no doubt about it...Brice was absolutely beautiful. Beautiful in the way that causes you to stare without even knowing you're doing it. The kind of beauty that appears to be brand new no matter how much you look at him...it's always as if you're seeing that cute stranger for the first time with every glance. "Do you wanna drink or something, Danny?" He turned his head too quick for me to cover up the fact that I was staring. It startled me a bit. "They've got IBC root beer. In the bottle, believe it or not." He said with a gentle raise of his eyebrows.
"Really? Um...yeah. Root beer sounds great."
"Cool." He replied. "And two root beers, please." When he looked back over at me, he smiled sweetly, and I swear that I could feel my stomach turn to jelly. "So...you wanna talk about it?"
He giggled to himself a bit. "Liking other boys." He seemed to be a LOT more comfortable with this idea than I was. "I can tell you don't talk about it much. It's actually, kinda new for me too. But once you let it out, it feels so much better."
I shifted a bit in my seat. I knew I was blushing. And Brice was right, I didn't talk about this stuff. Ever. With anybody. Not even when Adam and I were together. It was just something we didn't bring up. Still, I tried to find out exactly what the 'strings' were with this boy suddenly being available to me. So I had to keep talking. "So....you're 'out' then?" I asked.
"Well...yes and no. I mean, I don't go around wearing any big pink banners and rainbow pins. But I kinda figured it's something I'm gonna have to deal with sooner or later. So if somebody asks, I probably would tell them the truth."
He smiled again. "You're really 'discreet', aren't you?"
"Yeah." I answered. "I don't think I'm ready to really tell anybody just yet. You know?"
"Understandable. Everybody comes to their own solution in their own time. Just so long as you're happy." This was WAY too good to be true! I tell him I'm still in the closet and I don't even get a lecture about 'lying' to myself or asked to change my mind? Come on! I don't think ANY boy is THAT understanding! Especially the cute ones! I was practically looking for the hidden camera and the studio audience.
"Right. I suppose so." I was feeling this invisible constricting belt tightening around my chest, and I nervously tapped my fingers on my leg as I fought desperately to find something else to say.
"So this is your first time out with another boy, huh?" He asked me, and that belt squeezed me even tighter.
"Um...well...actually...I sorta had a boyfriend before. Sorta." I looked down, unable to break the misery of refering to the biggest love I've ever known in the 'past tense'. "He was my first."
"Oh. So.....you guys...?" He made a gesture, and I caught on to what he was asking right away.
"OH! No! No, not that part. I'm still...kinda new to that part." I said. "Me and Adam....all we did was kiss and roll around a lot. It was fun though."
"Adam? Adam from my gym class, Adam?" I froze, and my eyes opened wide. Shit, I just said his name, didn't I? I'm batting a thousand tonight in the stupid comment department!
"Omigod...I can't believe I just outed him like that. That's not cool." I said, covering my face with my hand.
"No...it's ok. My lips are sealed, promise." He said, holding up his right hand. Just then, a waitress tapped on the car window and brought our food over to us. I just remember feeling this strange urge inside of me to spill everything to Brice at once, and this even stronger urge to stop talking entirely and hold it back without saying another word. I will give him this piece of credit though...he was right about it feeling good to get it off of my chest. Even talking about it this little bit was a release of some of the painful pressure building up inside.
We got our food situated around us, and took a few bites, before he asked..."So what happened? With you and Adam?"
It never took long for that stormcloud to roll back in. The mere mention of 'the end' bringing that agony back to me with a fire. "Um....I don't know, really?" I said. "You're guess is as good as mine."
"Did you guys have a fight?"
"No. No fight. He just....I don't know. It's just over, that's all." I said, feeling that unforgivable pain kicking and punching at me from inside. "I guess....I just wasn't good enough."
"Get outta here." He smiled, and took a bite of the nachos.
"I'm serious. I think he got sick of me. He hates me now." I said, with a chuckle that was designed only to keep me from crying. "I saw him tonight...at the movies. He didn't even bother to speak to me."
"Ahhhh...I see. So THAT'S what was bugging you tonight? Ouch, I'm sorry dude. That a shitty thing to do somebody."
"I deserved it." I said with a shrug. "It's been a year already. I should be done with this by now. It just...it won't go away, you know?" I took a bite of a nacho, and continued with, "I kinda knew it was over when he purposely forgot my birthday. That REALLY was the end for me. I was completely and utterly heartbroken after that. Adam never forgets anything. Certainly not something like that. I think he just pretty much wiped me out of his memory after that day. No sex, no love, no friendship...not even a nod in the hallway. Even a STRANGER deserves a little acknowledgement, you know?" I sat back and took a sip of my root beer, and that's when I noticed that Brice was just sitting there watching me. Listening. He was actually...'listening'. "Aw dude, I'm sorry. I'm rambling on about Adam and being all depressing....I don't mean to bore you."
"It's ok. I can understand totally. I just...I can't imagine you being such an awful person to know." He said. "I've only known you a few weeks, and I haven't seen anything in you that would make me run in the other direction yet."
"Maybe you don't know me well enough yet."
"That's a possibility. But something tells me I'm not gonna find it anytime soon. I think Adam might have made a mistake."
"No...I'm pretty sure that I just suck as a boyfriend. I did something wrong. I screwed up somewhere."
"How do you know he didn't screw up somewhere?" Brice said.
"Because he's perfect. That's why." I said sadly. "He can have anybody he wants. I didn't deserve someone like that in the first place. It was stupid to get wrapped up in that whole deal to begin with."
Brice looked over at me, as though he were baffled by my attitude towards what happened. But he didn't understand it like I did. How could he? Brice isn't the kind of boy who would ever get dumped for somebody else. "Well...Adam's cute...but he's not all THAT great, you know?"
I wrinkled my brow for a moment. "So you think he's cute, huh?"
"Well of course I do. I'm gay. I mean it's not like I don't 'look'. Just seeing him in gym shorts that first day was enough to fill my fantasies for the rest of the school year. Physically, he's gorgeous. A bonafide hottie if I ever saw one." He said. I smiled, but only to mirror his grin out of politeness.
"Well...if he's so cute, why isn't he here with you right now?" I asked.
"Because I didn't ASK 'him'. I asked you." He grinned, eating another nacho. I looked at him crooked, with a sarcastic frown. Like he was gonna really choose ME over Adam. Whatever. "Hehehe, don't sell yourself so short, Danny. Sorry...Adam's not my type at all. He's too...I dunno...'popular pretty boy' for me. You know what I mean?"
"No. Not at all." I said with a smirk.
"How can I say this?" He had one of those attractive pauses that I loved so much, his dreamy blue eyes directed slightly upwards. "He seems like the heartbreaker type. No pun intended."
"I don't know. It's just a vibe I get. Don't get me wrong, he's cool, and he's funny, and he's extremely good looking...but..." He thought for a second. "...I don't see the same sweetness in him that I do in you. I mean, you just have this adorable aura of comfort around you. I like it. You seem like you have a lot more to actually give to somebody else than to take from them."
I blushed, and sorta looked away from him, pretending to wipe my mouth with a napkin to keep from looking him in the eye. A sense of humor was all I had to protect me at this point. "Well, how do you know that I'M not the heartbreaker type?" I smiled.
"Nah, you don't have it in you. You strike me as the kinda guy who would rather dive headfirst into an empty pool than indulge in anything even remotely selfish. You're the kinda boy who's got more heart than he knows what to do with, and the person that gets to have it is going to be blessed for a long long time." He leaned slightly closer, and he said, in an almost whispered voice, "It really shows in your eyes."
The comment was enough to cause my stomach to flip over. Now we've gone from subtle hints, to hanging out, to touching in a crowded theater...and now we've moved onto to outright flirting. I was falling..I could feel it. I couldn't stop it if I tried. The pull was too strong, and Brice was emotionally dragging me closer and closer to being completely enveloped in love all over again. It would have felt good...if my entire hormone crazed teenage body didn't suddenly go fucking HAYWIRE on me! I was almost gasping for breath, my hands sweating, my erection swelling, my heart pounding, my eyes watering, my foot tapping wildly...causing my knee to bounce up and down rapidly without end. What the hell was happening to me here???
"Danny?" Brice asked, and I gave him the most 'normal' look that I could manage at that moment. "Danny, say something. Hehehe!"
"Eleven O'Clock." I blurted out.
"It's...it's eleven o'clock." I said, looking at the clock in his car. "You're...y-y-you're brother...Alex...he said pick him up at eleven o'clock." I was stuttering, breaking out in a sweat...I think it was the most nervous I had ever been in my life.
"Ah shit, you're right. Here, hold my root beer, k?" He wiped his hands off on his pants, and started up the car. I felt like an idiot for doing it, but it was my only escape from whatever tractor beam he was using on me back there. I made sure to keep my mouth shut the rest of the way to Alex's girlfriend's house. No need to make things worse. God, I must look like such a dumbass!
We drove over and sure enough, Alex was outside on the corner, leaning up against a streetlight. We were only about ten minutes late, but he didn't seem to mind. I started to get out and let him sit up front, but he stopped me. "Nah, don't get up, Danny. I'll sit in the backseat." He climbed in and a huge grin spread out on his lips as we pulled away. "Sooooo....? How was the movie?" He sai, grinning wickedly to himself.
Brice smiled bashfully. "It was good." He said.
"Really?" Alex leaned forward until his head was up between us. "How good?"
Instantly, Brice whacked him in the chest with the back of his hand, and he leaned back. "Shut up!" He giggled.
"Ok...alright...it's none of my biz." Alex just smiled at me, and I suppose he knew this was a 'date' before I did. Meaning he knew about 'me' too. For some reason, however, it really didn't matter to me. I can't explain why, but it didn't.
Brice looked over at me briefly and whispered softly, "Don't worry about him, dude."
To which Alex loudly replied, "YEAH! Don't you boys worry about little ol' me back here in the backseat! Just pretend that I'm not even here!" And we all shared a laugh over it. It broke a little of the tension, and I was happy to be able to relax for a few moments. My muscles were wound up so tight that they literally ached for release. Having Alex back there helped.
We were getting ready to turn right so Brice could take me home, and Alex spoke up. "Hey...drop me off right here."
Brice looked in the rearview mirror. "Right here? For what?"
"Don't worry about it. Just let me out." Brice did as he asked and he said, "Go ahead and drop Danny off at his house and come back when you finish."
"Shut up." Alex grinned, and he reached up to shake my hand. "It was cool meeting you, Danny. I hope to see more of you sometime soon." He popped out of the car and closed the door, waving goodbye as he started walking.
I knew what he was doing. Brice knew it too. And I could feel my body submerging itself in chaos again. The rest of that ride was hell on my senses. Especially with Brice being just as silent as I was. It terrified me to be alone with him. It was a vulnerability that I had no control over whatsoever. For the next ten minutes, I was just trying not to jump from the moving car.
When we reached my house, he stopped outside in the front, and put the car in park. I was nearly hyperventilating at this point, and I think he was laughing at me a little bit. "Hehehe, you're adorable, you know that?" He giggled. "Don't worry, I'm not gonna 'jump' you. You're off the hook."
"I'm not...nervous..." I lied.
"Good." He answered, and I know that I just should have gotten up and out of the car, but I was frozen still. Almost as if Brice had to dismiss me first. "You know...I'm no 'pro' at this either. If anything, you've got more experience with this than I do. So if you're worried about impressing me or anything..."
"No. No it's not that." I said. I took a deep breath, and since being honest with Brice had been going great so far, I decided to just tell him. "It's just...I haven't had such good luck with...'being' with someone else. I know you had nothing to do with that, but...it really hurt me, you know? I guess I'm just not anxious to put myself in the position to have someone stomp all over my heart again."
"I know. And I'm sorry that somebody hurt you before. Really, I am. But....I really like you, Danny." He said. "I have a good time when I'm with you. And...if you wanna go slow, that's ok. But I'd really like to take a shot at getting to know you better. You know...maybe give this a try?"
How did this all HAPPEN? Why am I falling for this again??? Every bell and whistle in my mixed up brain was telling me to RUN!!! Run away! He's gonna HURT you Danny! They will ALL hurt you!!! How can I make the same mistake twice? How can I keep jumping out of the same airplane and checking for a parachute afterwards? He was cute, sooo cute....and such a sweetheart on top of it. If it turned out that HE didn't want me, I'd sink every knife in our kitchen deep into my stomach and welcome death with open arms. Don't do this to yourself Danny.....please? Don't.
"Um....um.....Brice...." I started, but his eyes....his gorgeous eyes. They sparkled a bright blue even in the dark. His lips were so soft, so smooth..."I think I need some...time...ok?" I said. "That's NOT a 'no'...just...I need some time." He seemed a little disappointed at first, but smiled anyway.
"That's cool. We'll go slow." He said, and I relaxed completely. He was so much more mature about this than I ever would have been. "But not TOO slow though. Because you're cute, and I'm horny! Hehehe! So don't tempt me!" The comment surprised me a bit, and I couldn't help but laugh, bringing a hearty smile to his sweet lips. "Hehehe! It's good to see you laugh again."
"Yeah well, you make me feel funny. I couldn't help it." I grinned.
"Hey, it could've been worse." Brice said.
"Well...you might have had to deal with one of those weird and awkward teenage moments where somebody just leans over and kisses you out of the blue without warning."
"Yeah, I supp....mmmph..." And before I had a chance to even know what was happening, Brice quickly leaned in and kissed me right on the lips!!! It shocked the HELL out of me at first, and my first instinct was to jerk away from him. But once my brain processed what was happening...once my body had been forced to release those happy little tingles of adrenaline into my bloodstream...I couldn't pull back from it. My body tightened up, and then relaxed, as I melted into the first kiss I had shared with ANYBODY since Adam walked out of my life. Despite his sudden lunge forward, Brice's kiss was surprisingly tender and soft, with just the right pressure to make contact with my very soul. I sighed outloud through my nostrils, my chest deflating, my heart racing...and I slowly closed my eyes, taking a minute to just enjoy the feel of Brice's soft full lips pressed against my own. We smacked a couple of times as Brice's lips parted from mine, only to lean the other way and embrace them once again from a different angle. A tiny thought of me doing this right outside of my house DID actually cross my mind, but it was swept free from my worries when I felt Brices hand reach up and delicately caress the back of my neck during our kiss....his the tip of his thumb lightly gliding across the back of my ear. It sent shivers through my whole body, and I was so overcome by the passion inside me that I felt as though I was shrinking into the seat. It was a mindblowing experience.
A moment later, Brice broke the kiss, and my world stopped spinning at the speed of light. My eyes opened, looking upon the graceful face of my seduction, and I swooned as I leaned back against the window on the car door. A moment of silence passed between us as we tried to remember how to breathe on our own again. "Wow...." Brice said breathlessly.
"Yeah..." I agreed. "Ok....well...I'm...uh...I'm gonna go inside now and....yeah..." I said, reaching blindly behind me for the door handle. "Thanks. I mean for the movie, not the kiss. Well, thanks for the KISS too, but..."
"Hehehe, go already." He giggled, and I grinned back. I found the door handle and opened it, completely not paying attention to the fact that I was 'LEANING' on it at the time! When the latch was pulled, the door swung open and I spilled right out of the car and out onto the street! "Omigod! Danny, are you ok?"
"Yes! I'm ok! I'm fine!" I quickly sprung up to my feet. As though the speed of my recovery would somehow create the illusion that that little bit of 'slapstick' comedy DIDN'T just happen! Dammit! I'm SUCH a dumbass!!! "G'night, Brice." I said, just wanting to get into the house before I made myself look like an even BIGGER dork than I already had!
"Hahaha...g'night, Danny! I'll see you in school Monday. Give me a call this weekend, ok?"
"Um...k." And with that, I backed up from the car, walking backwards all the way to my front door. Not taking my eyes off of him once. I was really falling hard for him, wasn't I? There was no amount of misery in this WORLD that could bring me down now! All that pain, all that heartache....and Brice was the cure. For a few tender moments, he really did make it all go away. And that was my only relief from the storm that was sure to roll in even 'harder' now that Jonathan was involved.
I remember being too excited to sleep! Laying in my bed and wondering if I was still touching the mattress, or if I was beginning to float away. It was hard to even close my eyes, and I kept them focused on a small crack in the ceiling. My newfound emotions making it the most fascinating mark in the world. I could barely lay still that night. In fact, it was difficult to keep my fingers from reaching up to my lips and gently rubbing the places where his beautiful mouth touched me. My body went numb, only the sensation of his repeated kiss remaining. If I closed my eyes....I could still feel him. I could still taste his adorable breath on the inside of my cheeks. I could still feel the tingle of his tender fingertips looselygrasping the back of my neck, and tickling the fine hairs that dwelled there. Brice kissed me. He kissed me. I never thought it would be possible to feel this way about anybody else ever again...but that was out of my hands now, wasn't it? I suppose it's up to my heart to decide now.
Did I call Brice that weekend? No. Actually, I was kinda scared to. That's not to say that I didn't want to. I just....I kept trying to wait for the perfect time to call, and then would try to think of clever and funny things to say before I made a fool out of myself, and then the time would pass...and I'd try to think of another perfect time to call. I kicked myself every hour on the hour, trying to motivate some kind of real determination to make this happen. But I chickened out everytime. Hopefully I won't look like too much of a jerk when I talk to him today. It was only gonna be a half day today, and we got out at noon. So I'd have to seek him out sometime between classes, since we weren't going to have lunch.
I showered, got dressed, fixed my hair, and got down to the breakfast table in record time that morning. I think my mom was surprised, and as I sat down to a bowl of oatmeal, she leaned against the counter and just started watching me. I looked up from the bowl and wrinkled my forehead. "What?"
She smiled a bit, and gently shook her head. "Nothing. You just seem...better this morning." She walked over and kissed me on the top of the head, rubbing my shoulder before leaving the room. True...I was CERTAINLY a lot happier than I was last week, but Jesus...does it really show that much where I can't eat my breakfast without secretly broadcasting it to everybody watching? I didn't mean to 'glow'.
I was quiet all the way to school that morning, silently praying for one of my mom's phone calls to come in and keep things from feeling weird. But nobody seemed 'desperate' to talk to her like they usually are. Just my luck. By the time she had dropped me off, I was silently thanking God for the escape.
Had I known what I was going to run into that day...I would have just stayed in the car.
An entire weekend of tingly feelings and newfound joy...twisted, broken, and gone, with one single vision. Swiftly fading away like the memories of a forgotten dream. It's the king of all lies to tell yourself that you're 'over' somebody that you were once really in love with. At least it is for me. I may get used to the pain of them being gone, but I never get over it. Not ever. If I'm not good enough for the person I'd be willing to die for...how can I be good enough for anybody, right? Yeah....it hurt. In fact, I was stupid to think that a kiss from Brice and a year without conversation of any kind would heal the wound that Adam had ripped open in me. It hadn't, and seeing him outside on the front lawn that morning proved that to me all over again. He was standing by the side entrance of the school with Jonathan next to him...and they were laughing. They were ALWAYS laughing together. What the hell is so damn funny anyway? GOD, I fucking hate him!!!
I didn't want to look...I didn't want to even CARE! All I wanted to do was walk right past him and ignore the fucking SHIT out of him the way he could so easily do to ME! All I wanted was to completely be done with him and start my life all over from square one, without a single memory of that son of a bitch crossing my mind ever again! I just...sigh...I just didn't want this feeling to GUT me like this anymore! If I could just make it stop hurting, I could be free of him for good. And that's really all I want, right? Well...actually....no...I take that back. I wanted MORE than that! I wanted Adam to suffer. I wanted him to suffer the same excruciating PAIN that I had to suffer through knowing that he didn't care about me anymore! I wanted him to cry HIS eyes out every single night for a year straight and feel as worthless and as unloved as I did! He DESERVED to be the one in pain! Not me! HE'S the jerk who cut me off without even telling me WHY!!! HE'S the asshole constantly pushing the dagger deeper and deeper in my fucking BACK with every single smile that he shares with someone that he sees as 'better' than me! Why should I be the one crumbling and falling apart??? Why am I even looking OVER there! They can do whatever they WANT to do! I've got Brice now, and...and...we're gonna be happy FOREVER....and...and FUCK THEM BOTH!!!!
But how many times does that work? Huh? How many times have you ever experienced a time when your emotions, your karma, or anything about your life at ALL...was actually 'fair' to you? I can't remember a single time. And this wasn't about to be the first. If anything, it hurt worse than anything I was used to, even when dealing with THIS situation. I fought every urge to look, I fought even STRONGER urges to run over there and start swinging my fists at the both of them until they both understood what it was like to be in this much pain. But I was completely defeated inside, imploding from this eternal rejection that kept running over me like a stampede of horses everytime I saw him happy. Everytime he smiled without a single thought of me in his head. Everytime he moved further and further away from that time when we were....a couple. Oh God.....oh GOD this hurt....my stomach tightened up to the point where I almost doubled over in pain. I gritted my teeth and clenched my fists, walking faster to just get inside so I wouldn't have to see them anymore. Was it anger or depression? I couldn't tell anymore. It was more like choosing between being SO angry that I wanted to break down and cry...and being SO depressed that I wanted the whole planet to crack in half and swallow me whole. When I noticed the way they looked at each other, when I saw the flirtatious vibe in Adam's presence, when I saw a small, half hard, bulge in the front of his jeans, proudly presenting itself in front of his new boy toy...I became MORE than miserable! MORE than jealous! I was so ENRAGED that I wanted to FUCKING *SCREAM* until my lungs popped!!! I felt as though I had the strength to tear them in HALF if given the inkling to do so! I could rip the sun down from the sky and set this whole damn SCHOOL ablaze! I'd murder every last person on this high school lawn if it meant protecting what was mine!!! I'd rip the bricks down with my bear hands if I had to!!! YOU CAN'T HAVE HIM!!!!!! HE WAS MINE!!! YOU HEAR ME??? MINE!!!
By the time I got into that school hallway, I was fuming, blowing steam from both ears. He's doing this on PURPOSE! He's deliberately trying to fucking hurt me and tear my heart in half by being all snuggly with somebody else! Well I don't have to WATCH! I don't have give a SHIT about him anymore! I won't give a shit about him ever AGAIN! *EVER*! Fuck him and the bitch that gave birth to him!!! ARRRGGHHHH!!!!!! I tried. God DAMMIT, I tried! But as I walked forward, my breaths got heavier and I felt tears beginning to flood up into my eyes. I needed to get out of the hallway before I broke.
I ran into one of the bathrooms before going to class and tried my best to calm down. I was breathing so hard my face was turning red, and it felt my heart was freshly broken all over again. As though Adam had just walked away from me yesterday. There were a few other boys in the bathroom as well, and I just leaned forward, my hands, palms down, on the counter. I stared at myself in the mirror, so upset that I was visibly shaking, and every muscle in my body was tensed up and ready to punch a hole in anybody that touched me. I hated my reflection. It defied me. It was practically shaking its head at me for being STUPID enough to love Adam in the first place! For being STUPID enough to still be agonizing over him breaking my heart in two! For being STUPID enough to allow Brice the opportunity to swing down and do it again! Because he WILL! I KNOW he will! I ran the water and splashed some on my face, my breathing so huffy and ragged that you would have thought that I had just run three miles to get here. I took a paper towel to my forehead to dry off and regain my senses. Come on....where's that glass mask? Where's the happy little clown mask that I wear when I need to be happy? Where is it? COME ON DANNY!!! Get it together! Jesus! You're breaking down here! Are you crazy? You're in SCHOOL for Christ's sake! Don't you DARE let Adam make you cry! I did all I could to talk myself into losing the compelling order to cry. But none of it worked. It wouldn't go away. My every attempt to swallow it down only made it push harder. And I felt two streams of tears roll down each one of my cheeks.
Just seeing them made my mission a failure, and with no chance of hiding it now, the waterworks began to run out of control. The other boys in the bathroom didn't say anything, but I was sure that at least one or two of them could see me crying. Adding severe humiliation to the already overwhelming burden of emotions spinning around in my head at the moment. I turned away from the mirror and went into one of the stalls for some privacy. I tried to hold back, but I couldn't, and as the tears poured down from me, I pounded angrily on the wall with my fist. I could SEE the two of them....kissing and smiling and....loving every minute of it! I could feel their love for each other, and how it had forever locked me out of Adam's life for good! I could feel it, and I hated it! I HATED it! There was so much FURY inside of me, with no outlet for it to leave me. My emotions laughed at my attempt to force them down, and I was almost too weak to stand. My only comfort was hearing the last few boys that were in the room with me leave one by one over the next few minutes. Once the last body gone, I nearly broke down into loud sobs and hysterics. I don't think this pain will ever stop. I think....it will me with me until the day I die.
I heard the bell ring, but stayed in that bathroom for ten minutes more. I couldn't move. Everytime I tried to fix my face and walk out, the tears would start all over again. My heart was rotting and decaying inside of my chest, and I couldn't stop it. I couldn't even breathe. I had to get out of here. I can't do 'school' today. I've gotta go home. My mom won't be there. I don't care what I miss, or if the school calls my house. I'll deal with that later. Right now, I've gotta escape this place and get my head together before I end up tossing myself in front of a bus.
I could make up an interesing story about 'sneaking' out of school past security. But there wasn't any. Frankly, when it comes to large public schools like this one...nobody really cares. Especially on a half day. I walked out to the backdoor and it let me out by the high school soccer field. So I simply walked out to the street and waited for the bus. I sat down, leaning against the fence, and put my walkman on to keep me company while trying to forget about the fucked up thoughts in my head.
I had been waiting about five minutes when I saw another boy coming towards me. I looked up, and it was Eddie. Great. Just fucking great. The LAST thing I needed was Eddie's dopey little antics right now! I sighed out of frustration as he called out my name and walked over to sit next to me. "What's poppin' dude? I didn't expect to see YOU out here. You're usually here from opening bell to closing bell."
"Yeah? Well...not today."
"Honestly dude...you should wait for a FULL day of school to ditch, man." Eddie replied, and I became even more annoyed that he couldn't just leave me alone with my thoughts for a while.
"Why are you out here?" I asked.
"I'm excercising my right to be free. I 'choose' not to be here. Besides, I'm having a shitty day anyway." He said, and I gave him a strange look.
"A shitty day?" I asked. "Eddie...it's not even nine o'clock yet. School just started like fifteen minutes ago."
"A LOT can happen in fifteen minutes to ruin your day, bro." He said, and took a sandwich out of his backpack. No wrapping or paper bag or anything. Just bread and meat, pressed between two of his school books. "Besides, it's a nice day out here. Sun is shining, birds are singing, GRASS is growing..." After which he whispered, "...No pun intended." With a giggle. "So I figured I'd go back to the zoo for a bit today." He leaned over again so he could lower his voice. "You know...if you pretend you're a tourist, nobody there will give ya shit about not being in school."
I was always lost while trying to make sense of Eddie's ramblings. Today was no different. But there WAS one question that I felt I had to ask. "Eddie, answer me something....why the heck are you so obsessed with the zoo? I mean, what is it with you and that place?"
Eddie took a bite of his sandwich, and chewed a bit before answering. "My dad...he used to take me there once a month." He said, and chewed some more. "He used to go out of town all the time, and he wasn't home much. But once every single month, he'd come home, and he'd take me to the zoo. And then we'd go out for chili dogs. It was like...our time together, ya know? So now, when I go out there, it's kinda like seeing him again."
You know...in all the time I've known Eddie, I think that was one of th first times I've ever made any sense out of something he told me? "Really? Wow...I had no idea. Does he still take you?"
"He's dead." Eddie said, without even flinching.
"Oh...shit, I'm sorry."
"It's ok. It's been about three years now. I miss him, sure, but things are a lot better than when it first happened. You know?" He said.
"I guess." I told him.
"At first, it didn't seem like I'd EVER get over it, but after a while, you just really wanna move on." Eddie took another bite, not knowing that he had my full attention for a change.
"Can I ask you something? If you don't mind?" I said.
"Well....how...I mean...when did you know that you were ready to move on?" I asked.
Eddie shrugged his shoulders as though it were no big deal. "I dunno. I guess....one day I woke up, and the pain just wasn't as bad as it was the day before. It let me remember more of the 'good' stuff instead of the end. It really helped. I started living my life again after that."
"And that was it?" I asked.
"Yep. That was it." He paused for a second. "I think what really hurt, was the fact that I just didn't get a chance to talk to him one more time. You know? Dude, I just really wish I had that ONE chance to tell him all those little things that I wanted to say."
"Things like what?"
"Shit, I don't know, bro. Maybe....'thanks'. For taking care of me and making me feel good. Or...'I'm sorry' for all the times I didn't appreciate you like I should have. Or...I miss you and I wish you could somehow know that in your heart. Or just....a simple 'goodbye' would have been enough. I never got the chance to really 'finish' our time together. I think that's what hurt me more than anything." He finished off his sandwich by stuffing the rest in his mouth. And continued talking with his mouth half full. "So now...I go to the zoo. I walk around, I kinda share my thoughts with him...just totally free my mind, you know? And sometimes...it's like he's right there with me. Like...I can talk to him again and tell him all the things I didn't get a chance to before. It's just a good way to wrap things up. Once you do that dude...you can move on. Otherwise it just gets left open and clogged up and it hurts more than you can imagine. I'd be catatonic without finding some kind of end to it all."
I sat there without having the ability to respond. I think I just looked at him in awe for a moment. And he had no idea. No clue as to how much what he had just said might help me. Maybe that was it. Maybe that was the key. The reason Adam's absence had been hurting me for sooooo long is because nothing ever 'ended' for me between us. It was just left open and unsaid and I never found any kind of closure on the whole thing. One day he just....woke up...and fell out of love with me. Which was fine for him, I guess, because he was able to look for someone else...but for ME, it was an apocalyptic end to my happiness as I knew it. It was EASY for him to move on because he was done with it.....but I just...I needed some kind of finality to let my heart know that I wasn't just stranded by the side of the road. I won't be left wondering whether or not he's coming back for me, or if one day he'll just 'show up' and say he wanted to talk. Maybe then...I'll be ok. I can go home, and I can call him later, and actually TALK to him! And then...I can get past this. I CAN! He might not even know what kind of hell he's been putting me through for the last year. Maybe...if I just tell him that I still love him, maybe he'll want me again! Maybe he'll think he made a mistake, and he'll come 'home' to me again! It's possible, right? Adam and I shared something special once. He CAN'T just...'turn his back' on it and throw all of that emotion away without caring about me anymore. He's not that kind of person. He's always been better than that, and he'll remember how happy we were once I talk to him. He HAS to!
When I turned my head, I saw the bus coming towards us, and I stood up. I tried to remain calm, but deep down, I felt like I might have another shot at this afterall. And it's all thanks to Eddie! "Looks like our bus is coming."
"Bus? I'm not taking the bus." Eddie said, standing up with me.
"Hell no, dude. I live right across the street. That's my house right there." He pointed it out, and once again, I was confused.
"You live across the street from school?"
"Yep! Just six itty bitty minutes from my bedroom to English class." He smiled.
"Well.....why the hell were you sitting here waiting against the fence with me?" I asked.
"Because...we were rappin', bro! Talking deep shit. Depressing, yeah...but deep." The bus came as he gave me a little slug in the shoulder. "Enjoy your 'day off' dude. Next time, make it a full one." He said as I stepped on the bus, and gave him a little wave goodbye. For all of his weirdness...Eddie certainly had a heart of gold. Not to mention a weird sort of 'wisdom' once you deciphered it.
Once I had made it home, it felt as though a piece of my soul had been released from its prison. For the first time since my heart had been broken, I felt as though I might actually find a way to get past it. All it was going to take, was five minutes. Just....FIVE MINUTES...to talk to Adam. To just let him know how I feel about him, and hear how he feels about me, and be done with it, once and for all. He might have even been WAITING for me to say something like this! At least I could say that I tried, right? That I fought for the love of my life. It would feel....SO good to let go of this awful misery. God knows that I don't wanna live with it anymore. He'll miss me. Right? It hasn't been that long. Who casts aside somebody they love anyway? It would work. I just knew it would. So I waited. I waited anxiously for school to be overwith and give Adam enough time to get back to his house so I could call. My hands were shaking. Hell...my whole BODY was shaking! But I waited, and then found the courage to dial the numbers.
I knew he'd be home by now. It only took Adam twenty minutes to get home from school, and I had given him fifteen minutes past that. He'd be there alright. And he'd be in the house alone too. Just like I was. We'd be able to talk then.
I shivered with every ring of the phone, and after three or four times, he picked up. "Hello?"
Wow...just hearing his voice was both terrifying and exhilirating at the same time. I was almost too far gone to speak. "Adam?" I said nervously.
"It's me. It's...um...it's Danny."
There was a slight pause, and he answered, "Oh...HEY! What's up, Danny?" It was somewhat 'cheerful', his response, but it also gave me the impression that he wouldn't have picked up if he knew it was me. Don't ask how I knew...it was just a feeling I got.
"Nothing really. I....I uh...wondered if I could talk to you for a minute." My trembling was hard to hide in my voice, but if I didn't get this out now, I might not get another chance.
"Um...ok. Hold on a second." He said, and I heard some shuffling around as he got up from where he was and walked into another room. "Ok. What's up?"
"Adam...I don't know....that is...I'm not sure how to say it. But...I'll just come out and say it." I swallowed hard, and prepared to bare my soul to him. "I just wanted you to know that I love you. Ok? I love you Adam. I think about you all the time, and I really miss you sooo much! I miss everything about you, and my life hasn't been worth a DAMN since you left. I NEED you, Adam. I need you and I...I just...I let things kinda 'settle' for some reason and I never got the chance to tell you how I feel because I was afraid you wouldn't feel the same about me anymore." There was complete silence on the end of the phone. It frightened me so much that I kept talking just to keep from noticing the lack of a reply. "I never stopped caring about you, Adam. Even when we weren't talking to each ther, I always thought about you, and I always wanted to be with you again. I just didn't know how to tell you that. I was just scared and hurt and....being silly, you know? But I miss you. I miss everything about you. And...if...if we could just...maybe...'meet' somewhere to talk for a minute..."
"Danny...this is...not a good time. Ok?" He said. How was I losing him? What was I doing wrong NOW? I was spilling my heart out to him! I'm letting him know that everything was ok! That he could come back to me if he wanted to! That I needed him in my life again! How can he just tell me it's not a good time? How can he not be phased by this?
"Well...we don't have to meet TODAY. I mean, if you're free some other time..."
"Listen man, I...I have to go. I mean...'thanks' and all, but..." He trailed off. Another rejection, I could feel it. This isn't how this conversation was supposed to go. This isn't what I wanted.
"Wait, wait...look, I know I screwed everything up! And I know I was a terrible, boring, stupid, IDIOT of a boyfriend! And I know you proably HATE me right now for not being good enough for you and not being there for you and EVERYTHING...but if you'll JUST listen to me for a SECOND..." I was preparing to BEG! To BEG him to stay! BEG him to just...validate my reason for living again and go back to loving me as though the last year hadn't happened. PLEASE Adam! Please don't fail me here! This is the end of my rope here, and it's tied around my throat! PLEASE don't let me fall!
"Danny, don't do this. Ok? Just...don't. I have to go."
"I'm hanging up, Danny." He said...and just before hearing the click, I could have SWORN that I heard Jonathan Hersh's voice in the background, asking who he was talking to. I KNOW his voice! I KNOW it! Jonathan was at Adam's house...alone with him....on a half day of school when his parents wouldn't be back for hours. For HOURS! It doesn't take long to put two and two together! Jonathan was touching him...kissing him...and Adam was loving every minute of it! They were making mad passionate love and I wasn't anything more than a fucked up interruption! He wouldn't even TALK to me! He doesn't even CARE that I'm hurting!!! He doesn't give a flying *FUCK* that I'm aching like this!!!! That my stomach is turned inside out and my whole fucking LIFE is over!!! As long as he gets Jonathan's DICK in his mouth and he can live a happy fucking life WITHOUT me!!!!
It was too much. I hung up the phone, trying to contain my rage, trying to stop the pain from devouring me where I stood. But this was too much. It was an overload of misery that my body couldn't handle! I was rocking back and forth, looking at the phone...I began to clench my fists, and it felt as though the carpet beneath my feet was rippling and wrinkling up from the increased weight from my heavy heart. My neck stiffened up, and my breath became so labored that I could barely get enough air in my lungs to stay conscious. The anger bubbled up inside me...it poked and stabbed at me from deep down in my stomach. It twisted my guts into a tight knot...constricting more and more until my intestines felt like they were going to SNAP!!! I couldn't even stand still! My arms began to move, my shoulders rotated, my feet lifted up from the floor, one at a time. I started to walk away from the phone towards the door, but stopped. I started to walk back towards the phne, but stopped. I was going in circles, and had to force myself to breathe as I paced back and forth in frustration. I was using EVERY LAST BIT OF ENERGY THAT I HAD to keep my anger bottled up! I had done it so many times over the past year! But this was different! It enveloped me completely...and every muscle in my body clenched tightly as my emotions came crashing down around me and gave way to the burning hatred that I felt inside. There was no more forgiveness left in me. There was no will power, no control, no restraint whatsoever! Why couldn't I stand STILL???
I felt my fingers digging so deeply into the palm of my hand through clenched fists that I nearly broke the skin! And a soul destroying scream was fighting its way to the surface! I couldn't hold it in! Not this time! Thoughts of them fucking, thoughts of them smiling, filled my head and my heart couldn't take it! He didn't care. He didn't care. He didn't care at ALL!!! I walked hurriedly to the other side of my room, covering the entire distance in three long angry strides! I threw in some of the angriest music I owned into the cd player and hit play! As it began, the sensations inside of me began to boil out of control! My fists unclenched themselves and began to clutch and grab at my shirt! I was so full of anger that my body started to shiver and shake from working so hard to hold it in! HOLD IT IN, DANNY!!! HOLD IT IN!!!
Adam's voice played back in my head! 'Danny, don't do this. Ok?' he says!
'Danny...this is...not a good time. Ok?' he says!!!
'I'm hanging up, Danny.' He's gonna hang up on ME??? When all I wanna do is fucking TALK to him?!?!?! I can't even have a CONVERSATION with you anymore???
Then...as if delivering me back to a pristine moment of clarity...I thought back to one afternoon when Adam and I had been making out for almost an hour on my bedroom floor. When we broke the kiss, he looked at me dreamily. And in the sexiest, most truthful sounding whisper that mankind has ever heard...he said, "I love you, Danny. I'm always going to love you, no matter what." He said. "Always...." And that was the flame that lit the short fuse that I was trying to hide...even from myself. It was the catalyst, and my sense of reality was shattered.
My tears rushed up to my eyes, running down my red cheeks in BUCKETS! And I shouted outloud! I SHOUTED!!! I yelled with an agonizing cry that came straight from my very SOUL until my whole body shook!!! I turned up the music as loud as it could possibly go! Until the walls quaked with the force of the vibration! And I stood in the center of my room, crying outloud with all of the rage in my ravaged and mercilessly mutilated heart! I grabbed the lamp next to my bed, and lifted it from the dresser. I just...I had to hold onto something! I had to SQUEEZE the base of it! Crushing it in my fingers as though the pressure would somehow leave my head! It didn't! The music only egged me on! It chanted for me to toss it! To throw it with everything that I had and try my best to shoot it right through the FUCKING wall! Standing there, sobbing uncontrollably, I gave in to the rage before I exploded! And with all my might, I THREW the lamp at my bedroom wall FULL FORCE!!! The bulb shattered and the lampshade was dented and cracked! It fell to the floor in pieces....and that was just the beginning! It wasn't enough!!! If I tore down this WHOLE FUCKING BLOCK....it wouldn't be enough!!!!
I turned over a chair, and swept EVERYTHING off of my dresser with my
arms! I sent it ALL crashing to the goddamn floor, and screamed out in
mindblowing anger! I viciously ripped my posters from the wall in
shreds, I picked up my garage can and smashed it up against the wall, I
nearly kicked a HOLE in the closet door....I couldn't STOP!!! My wrath
burned hotter and HOTTER by the second, my tantrum attempting
DESPERATELY to express and relieve the pain I've been coping with since
that asshole tore my whole fucking WORLD apart!!!! I spit out
every curse word that I could think of at the top of my lungs, and the
only thing that helped to make me feel even the SLIGHTEST bit better was
the DAMAGE I was doing to my room!!! I stomped the floor until my legs
ached! I pounded the walls with both fists, the adrenaline protecting me
from the pain! I snatched the curtains down from the window, and just
kept spinning further and further into rage and out of control! I kicked
my computer monitor off of my desk and down onto the floor, I turned
over my entire cd shelf and began to stomp the cds until the jewel cases
cracked and crumbled under my feet! I went from one corner of that
fucking room to another...bringing chaos to every inch in between!!! HOW
COULD HE FUCKING *HURT* ME LIKE THIS?!?!?! HE PROMISED ME HE'D
BE THERE!!!!! HE PROMISED ME HE'D LOVE ME FOREVER!!!! HOW
"I HATE YOU!!!!!! I HATE YOU!!!!!!! I HATE YOU!!!!!!" I screamed at the top of my lungs, as I continued to trash everything that I could get my hands on! I shouted and shouted and SHOUTED until my throat was sore and my vocal chords were in shreds!!! I slammed my full body weight against the wall and just started kicking it with all my might! More and more, until the plaster caved in and my foot began to ache from the impact! It was armageddon for me and for everything that I touched....and the ONLY thing I wanted to destroy more than anything else in this whole room.....was ME! If I could break my own neck as easily as I had torn up this room, I'd be free of this agony by now!
When my muscles had given out, and there was nothing left in my room to tear down, I banged the back of my head against the wall, and wept helplessly as I slid down to the floor. I curled up into the fetal position and just laid there...sooo hurt....sooo alone....I would have cut my own throat right then and there if I had the energy. I just....I was done. That was it. I had nothing left. It's gone. My very last chance at ever having something special in my life...is gone. Adam was all I had. He was....he was....all I had.
Looking down at my arm, I had cut it on something, and it was bleeding. I hadn't even felt it when it happened. I also saw a trickle of blood, that I originally thought was sweat, roll down over my eyebrow in a small red river. I laid on that floor and cried until my whole body went numb. For a short moment, I almost felt vindicated through my destruction. But when I opened my eyes again and looked at the ruins surrounding me...I realized that I hadn't solved anything. Nothing was better. Nothing had been proven. And despite my tiring tantrum...Adam and Jonathan were still probably somewhere wrapping their arms and legs around each other right now. Naked...and kissing...and laughing at the 'ex-boyfriend' because of how little he matters to anyone anymore.
At that moment, my world came to an end for good. And I swore that I'd never love another living thing ever again. Not a boy, not a girl, not even a PET. In fact...I hated myself so much at that moment...that I began to think of how easy it would be. To just be gone. To not be here anymore. To be taken out of the equation. To do what Eddie's dad did....and 'move on'.
It would be an honor to die for love. And a disgrace to live in pain. Don't try to rationalize it out...it won't make any sense to those who haven't experienced it like I have.
Don't cry for me. There aren't any tears left in the world that I haven't cried for myself.