Keep an eye out for my re-edited eBook stories at the
I had the most sickening feeling in my stomach as I stubbornly marched out of those front doors. Leaving the high school behind me just minutes before one of my biggest final exams....how the hell was I going to explain this? I can't just take an 'F' grade on the biggest test of the semester! It's already Spring Break next week! Do you know how much WORK I'd have to put in to pull my grades up by the end of the school year??? How many miracles I'd have to perform to avoid Summer school???
But despite the screaming logic in my brain, trying to physically turn me around to march right back into that building and take that test like a champion...I couldn't stop. I just...I could NOT stop walking. It was like my legs were moving all on their own. I wanted to be better than this. If anything, I could take the test and cry later. But...I just kept going. My heart was pounding, my breathing short, my limbs fired up with this weird tingle of negative energy. I couldn't tell if it was anger that was rushing through my veins...or just a really hypersensitive expression of profound suffering and pain. From the way my fists were balled up and being aware of the disgusting bursts of whispered cursing being mumbled to myself with every step...I'd say it was anger. I never wanted to punch a fucking HOLE in something so bad in all my life!
And yet...from the way that my eyes were fogging up...the quivering of my bottom lip trying to keep the burning emotional pressure in the back of my throat from pushing forward a torrential storm of tears and agony...I'd say it was pain. I'm surprised that I was able to walk at all. Because my whole body felt as if it wanted to collapse in on itself from the severe pull of the emptiness I felt inside. The 'black hole' misery of it was almost unbearable.
Maybe it was a combination of both emotions at once. Working against me, united. Or maybe they were switching back and forth from one to the other so rapidly that my confused little body couldn't decide which was which. I couldn't control myself. I couldn't even react properly. I just had to keep walking forward. That I could do. Besides...I was afraid that if I stopped....even for a moment...the psychological hurricane inside of me would rip me apart. All chains were broken. All common sense had been dissolved from the hurt of having the most important person in my whole life...choose someone else.
How could he do that? Just....
How? How could he?
Instantly, I tried to comprehend what was going on and what this meant, exactly. 'Fuck you'. That's what I said to him. I just said 'fuck you' to Ryan. To RYAN! Oh God....was that too much? Was it too little? Did he deserve it? Will it truly have an impact and make him see how much this is hurting me? Or will it have the opposite effect, and drive the love of my life into the arms of another boy who was just WAITING for something like this to happen???
He's pissed at me, isn't he? I fucked up. I REALLY fucked up! I said stupid things out of anger, and now he's gonna hate me. He's going to want to fall into the arms of the first cute boy who shows him some compassion and sensitivity. He's gonna think of me like some heartless monster and ask himself why he puts up with my CONSTANT bullshit! And it'll only be a few suggestive comments from Sean later that they'll end up naked and making out somewhere...forgetting all about me and the hurtful things that I said to hurt his feelings. I just know it.
Don't fight. Cody TOLD me not to fight! Ugh!!!! Why did I screw this up sooooo badly???
Then again...what was I SUPPOSED to do? Huh? Just let Ryan keep flirting back and forth with a boy who would jump his bones in a heartbeat if I turned my back on them long enough to give him a chance??? Should I just sit there and suffer the insult time and time again? How is that fair? It BOTHERS me! Why is the fact that it bothers me not enough for Sean to stop doing it? Or for Ryan to understand my problem with this?
There they were. The reasons fuelling both my frozen despair and my furious wrath simultaneously. And neither one of them were giving me much of an opportunity to suppress them. Not even long enough to get my sanity back. By the time I got back to my house...all I could think about was slamming my face down in a pillow and crying until my body was WEAK from the drain of it all.
I could barely kick my shoes off in time. It hurt soooo much. My chest felt as if it had been folded in half, my shoulders touching in the middle. No matter what I said or did, Ryan thought it was more important to defend his so-called 'buddy' than tend to the needs of his boyfriend. I know that I've made mistakes before, and I know that I was an asshole for what happened between me and Tyler. And here ARE times when I think too much and let my mind run away with wild thoughts and paranoid fantasies that aren't really real. I know all that. But...this isn't one of those times. I'm not making this all up. And Ryan's not stupid either. He knows. How could he not know? If he's still letting Sean tease and taunt me this way, there's got to be a part of him that's turned on by it. If only just a little bit. There HAS to be. Why else does he hang around with him all the time? Why would he talk to him for a whole HOUR on the phone one night, and then not mention it to me? Something has to be going on. Whether he's willing to admit it or not.
I think that's what scares me the most. That maybe...Ryan doesn't even know how he feels yet? How easy would it be for Sean to take advantage of something like that? To just...tap into the right emotion at just the right time...bat his eyelashes at him...and allow him to give in to feelings that he didn't even know were there. There are married couples who have been together and totally in love for YEARS who suddenly experience a moment of infidelity on a spontaneous whim. What makes me think that a horny teenage boy with a silly 'puppy love' boyfriend in high school would be any more faithful? I wish I could believe that I held that level of importance in his life...but sometimes I'm not so sure.
I can't be Sean. I can't even tell my mom we're together. While I'm sneaking around and cringing every time Ryan tries to hold my hand in public, Sean is giggling and flirting and telling him stories of all the hot boys he's been with. Ryan feels more comfortable with him. I can just tell. So what do I do? Just give up my whole LIFE and come bursting out of the closet door with a big rainbow flag tied around my neck? Expose my most frightening secret to everybody who knows me? Even then...would it help? I'm the only boy that Ryan has ever been with. Ever. If nothing else, Sean's little day-to-day sports cast on his rogue's gallery of teen cuties has got to have made Ryan at least a little bit curious. About....maybe being with somebody else. Somebody hot. Somebody who he hasn't gotten so used to. Somebody he hasn't gotten so bored with.
Who needs thoughts like this? What happens to love when the initial shock of it is gone? It just becomes this fragile little weight on your shoulders. What I was once soooo excited to have...has now become something that I'm desperately afraid to lose.
And I'm afraid that it's ALL it has become.
I laid on my bed for at least an hour. The ache inside so powerful that it caused me to curl up into a ball from time to time and roll back and forth in agony. It wasn't just some pathetic sensation of sorrow. Some mental manipulation of reality. This was actual, physical, pain. My heart was actually 'broken'. It hardly felt like it was beating at all. Not for anything more than my most basic survival anyway. The hurt was just...unimaginable at that point.
Every time I closed my eyes, I felt tears being squeezed out of them. Every time I opened them again, they just blurred over with a fresh supply of salt water for another drizzle. I tried to force the images of them out of my mind. Ryan and Sean. Sean and Ryan. Probably 'bonding' right now over how ridiculous I was, and how I overreacted in the cafeteria today. It was hard not to think about him. Not here, in this room. I still remember that rainy day, soooo long ago. The first day that Ryan stepped into my classroom, I was forever changed. Those bright hazel eyes, that alluring smile, that amazing strawberry blond mop of hair...
No one had ever made me feel so special before. Having him talk to me, come home with me even...it was like a dream. A surreal experience that still hasn't completely convinced me that it was anything less than one long nocturnal emission that hasn't ended yet.
I can't believe I just said 'yet'....
I rolled over and looked on that magic spot on my bedroom floor. Right where Ryan and I were wrestling and tumbling about in front of the TV. Heh...that seems like it was soooo long ago. I feel like we were just 'babies' back then. Scared. Confused. Playing that frustrating game of 'is he?' or 'isn't he?'. Almost like a game of Russian Roulette. Waiting to see who would shoot himself first. I probably would have chickened out numerous times if he hadn't made the first move. Hell, I'd probably STILL be staring at him longingly from across a crowded lunchroom to this day. But...Ryan was always the braver of the two of us.
He pinned me down on the floor. My floor. Right in that exact spot. And he asked me...."You don't really like girls, do you?" I'll never know how he knew...but he did. Even when I tried to deny it, he quieted my ramblings, leaned down....and we shared our first kiss. Right there. On that spot.
And through the fights and the worries and the secrets...through sneaking in each other's windows at night, and hotel rooms, and car accidents...through my father visiting, and Hailey's fury, and make out parties, and Tyler's desires...we've always managed to find a way to stay together. We always knew what was most important. And even when it hurt, even when times were bleak...I always had an ounce of faith and hope in my heart somewhere that was constantly telling me that everything would be ok. A little light that burned bright in the darkest of situations.
I didn't really realize how delicate that light was...
Until Sean came along and snuffed it out.
When my mom came home from work, the first thing she did was about ask about my final exam today. And the first thing I did was lie about it. What else was I gonna do? Tell her that I ditched it? Then she'd demand to know why. And I'd have to explain. Which would be extremely difficult without mentioning my boyfriend and I having relationship problems because of another boy. It would just be an unraveling of seriously disturbing information that was better kept to myself right now.
My mom and I...what we have is really special to me. REALLY special. After my dad practically bullied us both to the point where neither one of us felt like we were worth much more than the dirt that we walked on, it was comforting to know that we at least had each other to hold on to whenever life's little storm clouds gathered over our heads.
As much as Ryan means to me, as much as I love him with my entire being...it's still a difficult question for me....asking if I'm willing to sacrifice everything I've known throughout my entire life...on that ONE blasphemous confession. Even Ryan can't claim that his relationship with his father is anything like it used to be before he told him. I know he says that he doesn't care, but...I kinda...do. I care. All it would take is one awkward look from my mom across the dinner table...and I'd be destroyed inside. Irreversibly damaged forever.
Sighhhh...why does anybody have to matter other than me and Ryan? Why do I have to run around humping his leg in public for everybody to see to care about him? I liked it so much better when it was just us.
I'll bet Sean wouldn't care. He'd probably get a kick out of shouting his gayness to every ear that would listen. Hey, look at me everybody! I'm here, I'm queer, get used to it! I'm never going to be that guy. I never thought Ryan was either. But he seems to be pushing for us to move in that direction. Sean's flamboyant bullshit isn't helping.
Great...now I feel even lower than before. Could this night get any worse?
"Mom...I think I'm gonna go lay down for a while, ok? I think I just wanna rest my brain for a little bit."
"Are you feeling ok?" She asked.
"Yeah. It's just been a long day."
"Well, alright, honey. What time are you leaving? Let me know so I can come in and wake you up."
I was confused. "Wake me up for what? I'm not going anywhere tonight. Trust me."
"Uh, yes, you are." She told me. "You promised Wilson you'd babysit tonight, remember?"
I slapped myself on the forehead...HARD! "Nooooooo!!! You've GOT to be kidding me! It seems like it was YEARS ago that I said that!!!"
"Well, years or not, there's no backing out of it now. He was very excited about his...gorilla flamethrower movie..."
"It's a Monkey Blowtorch. And it's a video game." I groaned. "How did I just go from a quiet evening alone to a group of screaming 10 and 11 year old boys within a five minute time period?"
My mom gave me a kiss on the cheek. "I've been asking myself that very same question since you first started having birthday parties and sleepovers, young man. Consider it an essential 'love tap' from karma itself."
I said, "Maybe I can cancel..."
"Don't you dare, Randy Stephens." She said. "Wilson is...adorable, sure. But that poor woman needs a break every now and then. We all do. You don't just call and cancel on her at the last minute, that's rude. Especially if it's for something as selfish as sitting at home by yourself doing nothing. Where are your manners? You made a commitment to her."
I gave her a sideways look. "You want the house all to yourself tonight, don't you?"
She turned away from me, but I caught a hint of her devious smile before she did. "I might have a quiet evening and a long bubble bath planned. And you're not going to cancel on me either. So suck it up, pack yourself some action figures or whatever it is that will keep Wilson's attention for more than fifteen seconds, and have yourself a nice night out."
I whined and pleaded with her for a moment longer. "Mommmmm, please don't make me goooo..." I don't think it was working. "You could go! Do you wanna go instead?"
"What do 'you' think?" She said with a tilted smirk. Sighhh...looks like I'm stuck after all.
Just as well though. Who knows, maybe the distraction will do me some good tonight. The worst thing I could do is sit around the house sulking, trying not to envision Ryan and Sean getting together somewhere tonight to strip naked and 69 on his living room couch. Sean's probably had enough sex to be a total porn star in the bedroom at this point. If Ryan gets a taste of that, I'm gonna be a boring lay to him.
Ugh! God, what am I thinking? 'Once he gets a taste of that'? I'm totally self destructing right now. I can't even stop myself. Screw him. Screw them both. Breaking my heart over nothing...this is so fucking STUPID!
Where are my keys? I'm going to get something to eat and then I'm going to Wilson's. I'm not gonna play the helpless little victim this time. If Ryan wants to screw around, then fine. Let him screw around. I don't care. I'm not going to let this destroy me. I've got feelings too. There are other boys out there. So...you know...whatever.
Trying to keep that kind of mentality is about as pointless as it gets. As angry as I was...I already missed him. One little argument, and I already feel this huge 'absence' in my life. A huge absence in me. I've loved him so much for so long...I don't think I even know who I'd be without him. Or if I'd exist at all.
Somehow, I don't think a monkey with a cybernetic blowtorch arm isn't going to do much good to distract me from that fact.
As I got myself ready, my mom said, "Do you want a ride?"
"Are you...catching a ride with Ryan, or...?" I really did NOT need her to ask me that.
"I'll get there just fine. Don't worry about it." I said.
"Well, I know Wilson's mother said she'd drop you off at home after you're done, but if she gets home and she's tired, just call me and I'll come pick you up."
I tried to hide my sullen expression from her as best as I could. "It's ok, Mom. I'll be fine."
"What's the matter?" She asked.
"Nothing. Just...nothing." She gave me a strange look, but I just worked up a fake smile. "Enjoy the bath." I said, and walked out the door.
I only took a glance at Ryan's house down the street. I don't know why I did it. Habit, I guess.
I did see the light on in his room though. So he had to be home. Funny, that didn't comfort me a whole lot. Not this time. He didn't try to come over. Didn't try to call. Nothing.
Then again...I didn't really do much to invite him to.
So here I am. All alone again. Wondering, once again...if I have a shot with the most beautiful boy in school.
I used to have an answer to that question. Now all I've got is a pair of crossed fingers...and a broken heart.
I can only hope to find a way to turn that around...
And be sure to keep an eye out for my re-edited eBook stories at the