Ever have one of THOSE days? You know, where you wake up and it seems like a normal day, things seem to be going normally, you get up. You shower, or at least I hope you do, eat breakfast or not, and go out on your way. If you're me, that's the beginning nine times out of ten, and your next step is hopping into your VW for the ride to school. School, now that's the wild card most days, that's the most likely place for one of THOSE days to happen, forgot your homework, books, pen, or whatever.
"Ready for the test?" Toby asked me as he took his seat in our first class of the day.
"What test?" I asked, and believe me it pained to ask with all sincerity.
"Do not even tell me you didn't study?" Karla asked with a knowing smile.
"What test?" I repeated.
"We've only been talking about it all week, dog," Toby contributed.
"I don't know anything about a test!" I protested.
"You see? I told you he doesn't listen to us, even if you try and help him, I swear I give up!" Karla stated as she opened her notebook and appeared to be going over last minute notes.
"Dog, you're gonna fail," Toby smiled sadly at me.
"What freaking test?" I whined. Yeah, ok, I whine once in a while, build a bridge and get over it.
"Ok, everyone settle down, let's open our books to page 322 and begin the section on the American Revolution. Do we have a volunteer to read?" Mr. Shelby asked the room in general.
"Test, huh?" I asked sliding down in my chair to the mad giggles of Toby and Karla. Allow me to introduce my friends, Toby the loyal, and Karla the master mind. I won't say Toby isn't smart enough to come up with his own pranks, but he follows and fills in the gaps real well. Like today for example.
So, that wasn't really why I was having a rough day. I mean, I forgot my gym stuff in the car and the stuff that was in my locker, well, ever see Night of the Living Dead? Yeah, something like that. Anyways, it worked out I guess, I was watching all the guys play floor hockey. Brian had his shirt off, he had this great little tan going that was especially cool with his straw blond hair that hung down straight, like a bowl cut would. He was pretty silly, I guess, a little guy as he stood about five foot six I guess, but he could be nice when he wanted to. Jamie was his best friend, and they were opposites. Jamie was calculating and usually could cut someone to ribbons, not always kind hearted one could say. He was also somewhat hefty, enough to notice but not nauseating.
Bryan was there too, the third member of that triad, and he was the real ass in the group. Money was everything and because his family had a little bit he thought he was really special. He had dark chestnut hair that rolled in small waves, and was attractive on the outside, it was his inside that was rotten to the core. He tried to hang with Wes, but he kind of shied away from Bryan's acidic comments.
Anyways, that was second period and you would think that would be enough for one day, right? Wrong! When I have a DAY I really have a DAY, cause then I lost my pen somewhere and when I went to look for my math book, I realized I left it on my desk at home, plus my lunch money was right on top of the math book. See, I figured I'd remember the lunch money, thus I would find my math book in the morning. So much for my logic?
"Forget your lunch money again, Erik?" Toby asked as he put an arm on my shoulders.
"Um, yeah, I left it on top of my math book," I grimaced at my forgetfulness.
"Yeah, we figured something was up when you looked in your front pocket for the third time. Erik, you will wear out the CLOTH in your pocket from checking where it ought to be," Karla mused.
"I am so glad I have you guys around for moral support!" I groused.
"Well, you'll like us a lot more after we buy you lunch, again!" they joined their voices on `again' and embarrassed me totally.
Two friends, for sale. Cheap.
My day settled a bit from there, but don't forget I said when I have one of those days, I don't fuck around. I left school, well, I was in the parking lot when my `friends' caught up to me and asked for a lift to Jack's. For the uninitiated, that refers to Jack's Drive In, home of burgers the size of a silver dollar, greasy and I am sure breaks some form of health code. Naturally, it was our favourite hang out.
We hopped in my Jetta, a well used but still very serviceable model, and headed up to Jack's with the windows down to take advantage of the 4/50 refrigerant that I had made use of since the air conditioner compressor had gone to mechanical heaven.
"So, I was thinking of asking Sean Barrett to the dance next week," Karla began.
"Why him?" Toby asked.
"Well, for one thing he's blond, has great skin and I heard he really knows how to treat a lady," she said while examining the polish on her nails.
"Lady? What lady do you think Sean ever dated? Rosie Palm has been all he's dated that I know of," Toby retorted.
"I think he's sweet," she smiled a dopey kind of smile and Toby rolled his eyes at her.
"It's finally happened, she's gone soft in the head!" Toby exclaimed.
"I'm just happy I am here to se it," I agreed.
"Erik, don't you think Sean is just adorable?" she asked bating her eyelashes.
I remained silent as she played her running gag about me being in the closet. The shitty part was that she was right and I was never sure how to defend myself. So I sat there like a lump.
"Now you've done it, called his sexuality into question, and he won't talk to you for at least an hour," Toby stated to her. My friends needed to get some other form of entertainment besides me.
We pulled into Jack's parking lot and it was fairly full. Toby popped out and Karla was only milliseconds behind him. I shook my head and climbed from the car, joining them at a table. One of the nice things about Jacks was it was frighteningly efficient, handing you food too hot to eat right away in just a few minutes. They got me cheese fries and a cheeseburger, plain, just the way I liked it with a coke.
"Thanks, you guys didn't have to do this," I told them.
"Well, I feel kind of bad about always knocking you about being gay, I just wish you'd come out to us at least," Karla said offhandedly, almost distractedly.
"You are going to be so disappointed if I start dating a girl, aren't you?" I replied as I stuffed a fry in my mouth.
"Well, lets see, Tracy Marshall asked you out, you said no," Toby began, holding his index finger up.
"She had braces!" I defended myself.
"Let's not forget Angela, she wanted to go to the dance with you!" Karla contributed.
"She was a land whale, they didn't have enough cloth to make her dress in time for the dance!" I retorted.
"Lets' not forget Amy Ross, she would have done anything for you, Erik," Toby said with a lascivious smile.
"She was nice enough,: I admitted.
"But?" Karla asked with her eyebrows raised.
"She...well...she had the longest nose hair in the free world!" I blurted, "why do I have to defend myself anyways? What business is it of yours what goes on in my sex life!"
"Or lack there of, " Toby grinned at me.
"Fuck you guys," I mumbled.
"Erik, you can date whoever you want," Karla began.
"Gee, thanks for you seal of approval," I muttered.
"As I was saying, you can date whoever you want, I would just like to know which side of the fence my friends are on. Toby is an unapologetic horn dog, and I don't think it matters with him if it has two of four legs," she said wickedly.
"Hey!" Toby interjected, not enjoying the spotlight being on him.
"And I think my dating history speaks for itself, but you are an enigma, a black hole from which no information flows. Erik, I don't even know if you are interested in people," Karla grinned.
"Why are you so interested in knowing who I like?" I asked in all seriousness.
"Because, it's something no-one knows, and we're your friends, we tell you who we like!" they said, almost in unison. Which was scary, like twilight zone scary.
"I just don't see the big deal," I mumbled.
"Seriously, Erik, I don't care if you like farm animals, I just think it's sad that you aren't really close with anyone besides us," Karla commented as she popped the last of her cheese fries away.
"Me too, I mean, you know we're here for you, you can say anything, but you don't date and I know you aren't like, uncaring, you must want to date and do social stuff," Toby offered.
"I AM being social! For Christ sake I am being downright cheerful! I SMILED at you this morning didn't I?" I demanded.
"Well, no, technically I think it was grimace because we were busting your stones about that test," Toby said in a pseudo innocent manner.
"I guess were trying to say we worry about you, in our own way," Karla offered.
"Well, I am fine. Not depressed, not lonely, not desperate, I'm just in a very bad mood!" I said angrily chomping down the last of my burger.
"I think you hit close to it today," Toby said in a stage whisper to Karla.
"Aw, fuck you too," I stated as I stood and headed over to throw out my trash.
"I'm not your type," Karla said, "But Toby isn't half bad if you throw out his brain."
"Hey! There isn't anything wrong with me!" Toby whined.
"See? He's even interested, aren't you Toby?" Karla said with satisfaction as her trap sprung closed.
"That's not what I said!" Toby glared at her. I shook my head, what else could I do?
"Your ass is safe, Toby," I replied.
I climbed in the car and the other two clamored in with me. I pulled out of the roadside lot and into traffic, heading for Karla's house first as she lived closest. I hummed to the radio, `Drops of Jupiter' was playing and Toby started to sing along, and I joined him soon Karla's voice mixed in, not wanting to be left out of our little bonding experience.
We pulled up to Karla's house and she hopped out of the front seat, and Toby climbed out of the back seat to take her place.
She circled around to my side of the car to give me her parting words of wisdom, no doubt.
"Thanks, Erik, call me later ok?" she said with a wave, "See you Toby! Call me!"
We pulled back into traffic and headed out past the edge of town in to an area littered with small hills and little pseudo farms. This was Toby's domain, clean country living, and that's where Karla gets the animal sex jokes about Toby.
"Dog, you know we're just busting, right? I mean, we really wouldn't care if your gay or straight , right?" he asked with a worried expression.
"I know," I said squirming in my seat, "I just don't see what the big deal is I guess. Why do you guys have to push the issue? I mean, are you guys afraid I am after one of you or something?" I asked with more irritation than I wanted to let in my voice.
"Well, you never say who your into. I guess, I mean, I don't know if she feels like this, but I think you don't trust me, like you feel like you can't say who you like," Toby said while looking at me solidly.
"It's not that, Toby, not really," I said haltingly, "Well, maybe it is a little, you guys are a lot more outgoing than I am, outspoken and loud. I don't want the whole school knowing my business, and maybe I don't think there is anything wrong with that, you know?"
"You're right, but if you didn't want us to talk about it..." Toby started.
"Toby, you guys speculate about my sexuality all the time, it's old! Why would I ever come out to two people who have been talking about it so long, why should they stop? What else would you guys have to talk about if I dated someone?" I said with irritation.
"That's easy, Erik, we'd get to talk about who you dated," he smiled, dimples doing their magic.
"Yeah, maybe, I just wish you two would lay off it."
"I'll make a request to the queen," he giggled.
Thunder rolled in the distance and a breeze kicked up suddenly, a cool breeze that carried the promise of rain with it. The breeze lifted up Toby's hair and ruffled it for him, like an adult indulging a small child. I won't lie to you, you aren't telling anyone, but I was gay, and I was way back in the closet, and Toby was way cute sometimes. Not enough to come out over, but still not bad.
"I'll call you later, ok?" Toby asked while climbing out of the car.
"Sure, thanks Toby," I smiled after him. He grinned and dashed for the house as the first large drops fell from the heavens. I rolled up the windows quickly and put the car in reverse as the drops fell in great dollops on the hood and roof, the windows showing a blurry version of the world outside. I slowly pulled out into traffic as the deluge worsened and I felt my car rocked on its springs by the wind and the rain and slowed down to try and see where I was going, the poor wipers being sadly under matched for the weather.
As I trundled down the road the rain tapered and was starting to let up when I saw a rainbow appearing, colors streaming beautifully and then I saw a figure superimposed over the rainbow, as if it were the pot of gold at the end, the prize so to speak. Dark hair lay against his upturned head as the last of the rain beat down on him, tee shirt clinging to his torso and shorts folding over his strong legs, pillars of elegant beauty in their form, as they tapered to bare feet.
Suddenly the wheel twisted in my hands and the engine raced, mud flew up on my side windows and I slammed on the brake and clutch at once, out of reflex. Steam came up from the hood, mud splattered the windshield and was smearing as the wipers tried to keep the glass viewable. I had run off the road, damnit! While staring at a guy no less! I put the car in first and started to ease forward, which it did for an inch or two before the wheels began to throw more mud. I tried reversing it and got no where. This was so frustrating!
I put my head down on the steering wheel, praying for the day to come to a close. It was like magic, you know, THOSE days only last for a day. Usually. I was startled by a tapping at the glass and looked up hesitantly to see the ruefully smiling face of Wes Schraeder. His tee shirt clung to every curve of his chest and water dripped off his nose and made him look new and fresh. The rainbow arched away in the distance behind him, like a backdrop. I stared at him, transfixed until he began to speak, and I could barely make out his words. I looked at him blankly until he made a hand gesture. Roll the window down! Of course!
"Hey, Erik, you're a little stuck man, you wanna come inside? My dad has a tow company, he can get you out when he gets home if you want to hang out," he said, shyly. I don't remember Wes having said two words to me all year. Check that, for the past two years, but here he was.
"Erik? You ok?" he asked.
"Um, yeah, sorry, that sounds like a plan," I said as I climbed out of the car, and planted my foot in mud, "ugh." I felt a smooth, strong hand grab my forearm and I grabbed his forearm in return, and was tugged out of the car. I let the door close without locking it, who would try and steal a car lodged in the mud?
`Dude, how'd you go off the road?"
There it is, please let me know if it should continue. Yfirstname.lastname@example.org