By Skylights. Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, I apologize for any errors. Again, this has neither been proof-read or beta-tested as a result of my laziness and lack of initiative at the moment.
"I don't know what to say..." Jeremy's voice came over the phone.
"Listen, I know it sounds like a horrible idea but it won't be so bad. I'm not a child, okay?" I pleaded, trying to convince both him and myself. I sat back on to my chair and held my face in my hand. The window was letting in small increments of light and a chilly breeze that bothered me.
"I don't know about that," Jeremy replied caustically.
"Hey!" I protested, and then in a quieter voice said, "I'll be okay, Jeremy."
Jeremy sighed. "I know you think that but you always say that and you end up hurting yourself more."
"This time I will be. What's the worst that could happen?"
"Kyle, do you have any idea how you've been the past week? Hell, the past few months?"
"I've been standing around watching all of this happen and It hasn't looked good, Kyle. You're just messing yourself up."
"Why can't we be friends?" I said loudly.
There was a silence and then Jeremy's came through. "So now you want to be friends with him? I thought this was just being civil and hanging out with him?"
"Ugh...it is, it is."
"Kyle...I'm done trying to mother you around and tell you what's best for you. I keep telling you things and you continue to push them aside. As patient as I have been with you, this is getting ridiculous! How blinded by your stupid love for Ryan are you that you can't even see something unhealthy like this won't be good for you? No, don't answer that."
"Stupid?" I asked quietly.
"I'm sorry...that was uncalled for." An uncomfortable silence ensued, only to be broken as was inevitable. "That bit of it, at least. I can't judge whether your love is stupid or not. Hell, no one can do that." Jeremy said apologetically.
"And the rest?"
"Is right," Jeremy continued, "You just don't see anything else. You're so deep into this that you keep putting yourself in situations like these. You were a mess this past week, you tried to hide it but we all knew, Kyle. Josh and Laura agree with me and you're the only one who doesn't see it. Do you ever see anything besides yourself at all?
"You've all been talking a-about me?" I sputtered, shocked and angry at the same time. "Behind my back?"
"See, you're just so fucking wrapped up in yourself. Do you even hear what I'm saying past what's important to you?"
I'd never heard Jeremy talk this way before. He was always so patient and just...there, always. How could he be so selfish and mean? Wasn't he supposed to my friend? And now here he was, undermining my feelings and basically telling me I was a bad person.
"I have nothing to say to you."
"Of course not, just go have fun with Ryan, have a nice time and be happy." Jeremy said coldly.
"Yeah, yeah I will." I said, and hung up without another word.
After I finished talking to Jeremy, I sat there for a while and merely fumed. How could my own friends talk about me behind my back without discussing anything with me at all? They all sucked in my mind at that moment. I hated them and I felt like calling each of them up and yelling at them but I didn't. Instead, I tried to calm down.
I didn't yell at people crazily. That wasn't me. Why was I behaving this way?
I wasn't ready to forgive them though because in my mind they were the ones who had committed a heinous crime. In the future, I would find out differently and see how ridiculous I was being but back then that was it. That was all I could see; that they had been talking about me. My mind conjured wicked conversations of the three of them making fun of my stupidity and the things I got myself into. Absurd imaginings as they were, it seemed right to me.
Similarly, being friends with Ryan wasn't the smartest idea. But It's not like I had told him we could be friends, I said I would try. What was so wrong in that? What was so `unhealthy' about that, to put it as Jeremy would?
I sank back into my chair. Of course there was something wrong with that. I loved him, and not lightly either, I loved him greedily. And at times that passion seemed so immense, It was the least I could do stop myself from grabbing him right there. Sure, it hurt less. The misery had faded, and it was only a shadow of what it was just a few days ago but that didn't make it any easier did it?
Could I really be friends with him and not fall even harder? Was that even possible? Was I just building up some fantasy in my mind again?
I pulled at my hair, but nonetheless raised myself up and changed into a pair of jeans and a dark blue button up. I threw on some sneakers, waved a hand through my newly cut hair, and waited for Ryan to pick me up. That was the plan now. We were meeting John—who did not seem the least bit excited to me being accompanied by a third party—at the theatre and were skipping dinner because John was running late from work.
John was obvious about his interest in me but he didn't much seem like the serious type so once he saw Ryan he'd probably be in gay boy heaven and not even spare me a second glance. Or he'd probably get it into his head to score with the both of us...
I never realized how disgusting the mind of a teenage boy such as me could be till I judged John in my room that day. Having a dirty mind was something all us males seemed to have in common despite sexual orientation. I assumed girls were grossed out about things most guys found hot and they were probably all prudes.
My own mother should have shown me how wrong I was when I walked downstairs. "You have a hot date tonight?" She asked, waggling her eyebrows.
"No, Mom." I rolled my eyes and released a puff of breath before sinking down on the couch.
"Good thing too, you're in the worst mood aren't you? Have you just fought with Jeremy on the phone?"
"Mom! Were you listening to my conversation somehow?"
"No, but you have all the signs of someone who's angry and has clearly just had a fit of some sort," My mother informed me casually.
"I have not just had a `fit,'" I said.
"Okay, if you say so," She said in that way females often did.
"Oh my goodness, do all of you do that?"
"Do what?" My mom asked curiously, raising her voice.
"All of you?" I waved my hand absently, "do you all have to talk like that as if you know everything?"
"All of whom?" She asked innocently.
I rolled my eyes. "Females, all you females!"
"Well, your father would say yes," My mom said. "He's not home, but ask him when you get back. I find that males know best about things that commonly annoy other males," She added with a twinkle in her eye. The doorbell rang just then and I got up.
"I'll do that," I said, "Later, Mom."
"Bye sweetie, be safe." My mom said and went back to reading her book.
When I opened the front door, there stood Ryan of course. He wore a tan jacket with a white shirt peeking through along with a pair of worn jeans and sneakers. His face broke out into a wide smile when he saw me and I had to pause a second. How did people manage to maintain a conversation with him when he smiled like that? With that smile directed at me, I could barely form a sentence.
"Hey," Ryan said breathlessly. "Sorry I'm a bit early."
"Oh, uh, it's okay. I've been ready for a while." I managed to get out.
"Okay, cool, ready to go?" He peered behind me.
"Yeah," I said, and quickly followed him out to his car.
"So what's this guy, John, like?" Ryan asked me once we were seated and he pulled of my driveway.
"Oh, he's...okay, I guess. I don't really know him."
"Oh, I see, well you'll find out tonight."
"Yep..." I said lamely, "So will you..."
"Yeah," Ryan laughed, "I will." Goodness, his laugh made me feel lighter."Everything okay?"
"Yeah," I said simply.
"Um, you're not regretting this, are you?"
"Oh...okay," Ryan said confusedly and didn't say anything more till we arrived at the movie theater.
And that is when everything started to go downhill. Maybe the fact that my seatbelt got stuck was a sign not to go, but I obviously didn't pay attention to what the universe was attempting to tell me. Ryan ended up having to come around and unbuckle it for me, which was slightly embarrassing. As soon as we spotted John waiting for us, a subtle change occurred in the atmosphere.
I felt Ryan tense up beside me as John spotted us and waved enthusiastically at me. I took in a deep breath and smiled back at John. "Hey," I said dumbly as we approached.
"Hey!" John said happily. "You look good." Then his eyes drifted past me to the person beside me who was known as Ryan Melbourne. I saw the shift in his expression right away. John's eyes almost lit up like a little kid on Christmas staring at a pile of presents. "Is this Ryan?" He asked me as if Ryan wasn't there himself.
"Um, yeah...Ryan...meet John...John, Ryan." I introduced them.
"Hey," Ryan said simply, glancing once at John and them looking around him again.
"Hi, Kyle's told me so much about you!" John gushed. I gaped.
"He has?" Ryan asked, unfazed. "I thought you two just met."
"Well, yeah we did. But, we talked on the phone, right Kyle?"
"Yep," I said, not bothering to add that it had only been about two times including the first time he'd called me. Obviously, John's interests had shifted to the prettier package. I rolled my eyes.
"So are you his boyfriend or something?" John asked sharply, not even bothering to look at me.
"No, I'm not –uh-."
"He's not gay," I finished for Ryan, offering him an apologetic glance. Ryan just raised an eyebrow at me amusedly. Man he'd matured.
"That's what they all say, honey," John drawled, casting a salacious look down Ryan's body. Thank God Ryan hadn't noticed the look because he'd been busily looking about him as if distracted by something.
"Whatever," Ryan said, "I'm tired of standing around. We going to get a move on and watch this shit or are we gonna stand out here all evening?"
And that was the cue to go in. Somehow once we—meaning John—chose a horror movie and were seated, John had his attention wholly on Ryan. I was sitting away from the two of them since John was in the middle and he had his entire side turned to Ryan the whole time. It didn't bother me...at first.
By the time the climax of the movie was approaching and John turned to talk to Ryan mid-way once again, I was really pissed off. Who did this guy think he was? He asked me out but now he was flirting with Ryan? He couldn't flirt with Ryan...Ryan was...not mine. I shoveled popcorn into my mouth and ignored the upset, annoyed, and slightly apologetic glances Ryan was throwing at me.
"Right, right, right," I heard. I felt like puking.
Why did I have to put myself in this situation in the first place?
Once the movie was over John finally turned to me, "So how did you like that?" He asked with a sweet smile on his face.
"I don't know, couldn't hear a word of it, at least at the important times."
"I know, that guy in front of you wouldn't shut up," John nodded along at me.
"Actually, I couldn't hear anything because of you," I blurted out. Then, before he had a chance to say anything, I got up and stormed out without waiting for either of them. If Ryan wanted a gay relationship with someone so bad, he could just fuck john. Whatever, as if it mattered to me.
The night air was chilling and my ears were cold but eventually Ryan came out, minus John.
"I'm so sorry about that," Ryan said, that apologetic look on his face again. I wanted to punch it off his face.
"Whatever, can you take me home?"
Ryan looked grave, "listen, I didn't...you know encourage him or anything. I kept telling him to shut up, I'm sorry. He's a jerk, Kyle, and doesn't deserve you."
"You heard me." Ryan said.
"Yes, but why would you say that? I don't..." I paused and gaped, a smile warming across my face. "Ryan, I don't like him or anything."
"Yeah, I'm so—oh..." Ryan paused and looked confused. "Oh I see...then why did you want to go out with him? I shouldn't have forced my company on the two of you..."
"I don't...and didn't. This--before you crashed it--wasn't a date or anything."
"Not to you, at least." Ryan said sharply.
"Yeah, well, obviously he's easily distracted." I snorted, imitating John's leer directed at Ryan.
"Yeah...that was uncomfortable..." Ryan admitted, grinning. "I thought he was going to sit in my lap or something, he kept leaning over so damned far."
"Asshole." I said simply.
"Agreed, I can't believe he'd do that to you. I mean the guy is clearly blind or something. He wasn't worth it anyway." Ryan said stiffly, and placed a hand on my shoulder. My heart felt like it would melt and bubble over and my throat felt constricted with the need to laugh. I let it go and my laughter bubbled forth easily.
"It's okay, Ryan," I managed to say, "I never liked the kid."
"Okay, okay, I get it," Ryan smiled again and I kept staring up at him while his hand lay on my shoulder. "I guess we should go," He said, not making any move to remove his hand or get in the car.
"Yep," but the smile faded from my face all of a sudden. I stepped away from his touch and pulled open the car door. Only to find that it was locked.
"Uh, let me unlock that for you," he said, and pressed the button on his car keys that unlocked the door.
I said nothing and just got in. After that, Ryan attempted to speak to me several times on the way back but I just wasn't in the mood for it. It's like a bubble had been lifted and I couldn't look at him yet again. What the hell was wrong with me? I felt like a hormonal teenage girl.
I wanted to be his friend, I really did, but more than that I wanted to be loved by him. And as much as I tried being carefree, those feelings always resurfaced because frankly, my subconscious just didn't want to get rid of them.
So there I was, reality crashing again. I recalled the feel of his hard palm on my shoulder, how it had felt like it was soothing me from the center of the touch. Just being near him made my heart feel like it was going to overflow. Fuck, I felt like such a pussy.
When we were parked in my driveway, I saw a lone figure sitting on my front steps. Jeremy looked, in the dark of night, like a faded renaissance painting. His profile was so powerful and handsome that I looked at him amazedly for a second. I looked from Jeremy to Ryan beside me and saw both of their jaws clench while they surveyed each other with the barrier of the glass windshield between them.
"Yeah, thanks, Ryan. Um...bye," I said, eyes averted.
"Kyle?" Ryan asked slowly.
"What's wrong?" Ryan's brow furrowed with concern and apprehension.
I sighed."I don't know. I'm just fucked up."
"Okay, well, I know how you are about these things. Just...will you talk to me at school Monday or...fuck I sound like a retard..."
"Yeah," I mumbled, "I will. Later."
"Um, alright, bye," Ryan said and gave a half smile that I didn't buy.
I walked silently up the driveway and the grey stone steps to the porch while Ryan pulled out of the driveway behind me. I didn't look back at him. I looked ahead at Jeremy. The street was hushed and utterly bereft of any noise besides the sound of insects trilling in the yard. Jeremy still sat there as I approached and he simply looked at me. I stopped in front of him.
"How was your evening?" Jeremy asked me. Nothing else, nothing mean, nothing about how he knew he was right.
"Utterly horrible," I said, plopping down beside him.
Jeremy grinned. "What'd I say?"
"You told me to have a nice evening actually." I informed him.
"Whatever, I can't remember. I could have sworn I said something witty and intelligent." He added a funny little English accent to the last sentence.
"How dignified." I snorted.
I caught his silver eyes, such beautiful eyes, such pained eyes. I wondered what atrocities those eyes had seen that made them so. The chilled night with its moonlight beams cascading over Jeremy's face made him look as if he belonged there. Jeremy had a feel about him, a dark velvety smoothness that made him look at home under the shadows and delicate moonbeams.
"No," I said in a low voice, and didn't look away from his silver eyes.
And even in the dark of night, when he looked at me like that, it was almost like the sun gently warming my face.
"It'll be okay," He said simply, "You know that."
"Yes! Of course you do, Kyle. You'll find that someone for you."
"I read something somewhere, on someone's facebook or msn page, can't remember, the other day and it really caught my eye," I told him, smiling ruefully, "It went like this: `There are 6,470,818,671 people in the world, 6 billion souls, and sometimes all you need is one.'"
Jeremy smiled at me, and tweaked my nose. "Just one?" He asked me.
"Just one." I concurred.
"Sure about that?"
I shrugged in response. "Who knows? A feeling can be consuming sometimes."
"How can you love someone that much?"
"How can you?"
"Fair enough," Jeremy allowed. "That doesn't mean there isn't someone else out there for me."
"Do you really believe that, and would you go in search of them?"
"No, I don't," Jeremy admitted, "I don't think I'll ever find someone that would love me to that capacity."
"Do you want that?"
Jeremy shrugged this time."Who knows?"
I grinned."You do."
"Then, I guess, deep down I do probably. To be honest." He added.
"Aww, how sweet." I grinned.
"Shut the fuck up, asshole." Jeremy shook his head, but he was smiling lightly.
"What?" I asked when he didn't stop shaking it.
"No, what?" I demanded, grabbing his arm.
"It's nothing, Kyle, kay?" Jeremy assured me.
"Um okay, sorry bestie." I smiled.
He rolled his eyes, "bestie?"
"Yeah, bestie, I heard Laura use it. And you're like one of my best friends soo...bestie!"
"Damn, you needa get checked out, buddy. Something ain't right in there." Jeremy pointed to my head.
"Yeah, I have to work on the mood swings too," I said sullenly.
Jeremy suddenly grabbed my hand. "It'll be okay, Kyle." He said again.
I smiled despondently at him. "I know."
"So anyway, you going to try being friends with him still?"
I sighed deeply at this question. "It's so easy when he's not here or when I'm thinking rationally that it isn't a good idea for us to be friends. Then when he's in front of me or the rational part decides to take a fucking vacation, I seem to forget all of that and my brain stops working. I just...really want to be with him, Jeremy."
Jeremy coughed. "Uh-yeah, I know what you mean."
"It's like I'm hot and cold and happy and sad and disgusted with myself." I pulled a face.
Jeremy laughed, "That sucks."
"I'm sorry," I said to him broodingly.
"About?" Jeremy pulled out a cigarette, lit it and took a deep drag.
"Earlier, when I got angry...It was wrong—I was wrong—and you were right."
"No biggie." Jeremy shrugged.
I rolled my eyes. "Don't let me off the hook, god damn it, I can't believe you claim to be such a beast when you're this fucking nice."
"It's just with you, Kyle." Jeremy laughed. "But seriously, it's cool. No big."
"It is though. I'm being selfish, blind, and I know it but I can't seem to stop it. It's like a fucking disease. Just-just know that I'm sorry and I'll try to be better."
"Okay, cool, and Kyle," Jeremy raised an eyebrow at me, "About the little fit you threw—."
"I did not throw a fit!" I exclaimed. "What is wrong with you...and females." I remembered my mom's words earlier. "I hate you and females."
"I sense a story there, but anyway, about the little fit, we haven't been talking behind your back." At my severe look, he rolled his eyes. "Okay fine, maybe we have been, but none of it was ever malicious. We're just worried about you."
"Next time, talk to me, okay? All of you who claim to be my friends."
Jeremy grinned and said something. I only caught the last line: "Don't know what it is about you."
"I said." He repeated loudly. "I don't know what it is about you!"
"What about me?"
"That makes you so fucking easy to get along with and talk to and just...genuinely like...even though you can be a selfish little bitch sometimes."
"You're such a good friend..."
"Aww, naw, I'm just kidding." He wrapped an arm around my shoulder.
"Damn, have you gotten bigger?" I grabbed his arm.
"Yep," he said proudly. And he certainly had. He was a lot taller and had really come into his own the last few months, with his arms and chest filling out and his long rangy legs as well. But he maintained that lean sinewy look that was so classically Jeremy.
"So did you come here to sit on my porch all night or what?"
"Nope, came here to talk to you and make sure you were alright. Also, sorry for yelling at you."
"Did my parents refuse to let you in or something?"
"Nope, they were very nice, I even had dinner with them. After, I decided to come sit out here."
"You had dinner with my parents?" I gaped.
"Yeah," Jeremy said, shrugging, "Your mom's an excellent cook."
I shook my head at him and stood. "You're one of a kind."
"Thanks!" Jeremy beamed.
"Let's go in, kay? It's fucking freezing out here."
"Great idea, watcha wanna do?"
We left thecold and walked into the warmth. And really, who knew?
Okay So I have to thank all of you lovely nifty readers who wrote to me after the last chapter! Your words were very compelling and a pleasure to read. I'm sorry if I haven't gotten to responding to your email yet, I will definitely answer every email soon! Also thanks to my readers on my yahoo group and everyone on GA for being so fantastic. I hope you enjoyed this segment of Sparkling Combustion and I'm so very glad that a lot of you are warming up to Jeremy more. (The initial response to him wasn't all that pleasant :P). I am going to write the last chapter soon but I've been holding it off because it seems so final. My first completed story (although it is quite an abomination in many aspects, and I don't say that so you all can come to me and tell me `no it's not!') and it's just so final that I've been holding off.
I've been working on some other stories as of late so while I have plans for writing another story from the world of SC, I will probably be working on yet another story which is very different from this one but is still Gay fiction. I have other non-gay fictional stories in mind as well that I want to start but combine that with very little time to write and the result isn't so pleasant. School can do that to you. We'll see how it goes.
Contact me personally at: Sky_lights@hotmail.com
Yahoo group: http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/Fire_flies79/