Website: The Cosmos
Anticipation makes the clock tick slower. The night must have lasted a few years of normal time at least! It was one of those nights where Taran woke up every hour, scared. Every time he'd convinced himself that he might have missed his buzzer and he'd slept through a whole day of school. Normally of course this would be cause to celebrate. But given the events of the day before, Taran wanted to make sure he was at school on time.
He wanted to see Damien arrive in the morning, then spend the entire day with him, and maybe even walk home with him. He'd gone over the possibilities of the day a thousand times in his head. Sometimes he'd end the day in Damien's arms, kissing him all over his beautiful face. Other times he'd be laughed at the minute he tried to talk to him. The two sides of him battled each other it seemed, yet he couldn't imagine any middle ground. There was no compromise.
When he arrived at school, Taran found his usual spot. He was surprised to find Luke there together with Nathan and Will. As he walked over, Will just winked at him and gave a huge grin. Taran's first instinct was to blush, knowing what the wink was in reference to, but he suppressed it.
Taran wanted to go find Damien straight away. He was aching to know what Damien thought of him. Yet he knew it was a question he'd have trouble asking when the time came. At any rate he just wanted to see him. He felt like his stomach was flying away from him. The adrenaline had started already and it was messing with his mind. He couldn't hold a conversation without getting lost. He'd wind up just staring beyond Will or Nathan's shoulder.
"You alright dude?" asked Will, pulling Taran aside for a moment.
"Yeah," he grinned back, "I just got a few things on my mind that's all."
"We aint gonna tell anyone about yesterday, ya know..." Will spoke with a sincerity that Taran wasn't quite used to in him. It was something he really hadn't seen before a few days ago, but found it something that he liked.
"Yeah I know," said Taran, imitating his warmth. If they were alone perhaps they would have hugged. Within a second, Will was back over with the others. But not before he had made a lasting impression on Taran. It was just a short glance into his eyes, but it was enough for Taran to change his whole opinion of his friend. Like suddenly his soul was shown to him, if only for a brief second.
The bell rang and Taran knew the fluttering feeling in his stomach wouldn't leave him all day. Even the prospect of going to roll-call was getting to him. It was possible that he might walk past Damien, or see him off in the difference. One view of his soft blonde hair in the distance would send him weak at the knees, he just knew it.
Of course he didn't see him, but finally making it to the classroom settled his nerves only a fraction. Roll-call was just a ten minute sit-around, so it was easy for his thoughts to drift over to Damien once again. What would he say to him when they met anyway? What did they possibly have in common? Maybe that's what today was about then; finding out!
When the lunch time bell rang, Taran found he couldn't do it. Not right away anyway. He would just go and have something to eat first. Maybe the food would settle his stomach a little. Then he could go and find Damien and it might appear like a chance encounter or something.
He found as he sat with his friends that he was eating his sandwiches at a lightning pace. His silence was noticed by the others he realised, but none of them commented on it. Nathan had a porno at school which was amusing the others. Since it was particularly straight, it obviously held no interest to Taran. He felt like maybe he should show some interest so as not to arouse suspicion from the others, but found he couldn't be bothered.
"I'm going to the canteen," said Taran at length. It was an excuse that would be bought easily, but with all honesty he could hardly care less if they didn't.
"Cool. Hey can you get us a donut?" asked Luke.
"Yeah sure," was Taran's abrupt reply. Usually he'd wait for some money, but he just turned and left.
Taran knew exactly where to find Damien. He hanged with a couple of guys in his year over in the science compound. It was a strange little area to sit in the school. Mainly because it was so close to all the buildings and the only places to sit were on those cold and hard metal fixed seats that are standard for all public schools in the country.
Damien liked to play hand-ball, Taran remembered. It was a game that was played by everyone in primary school, and was quickly forgotten by most people once they reached high school. It wasn't seen as being a `cool' thing to do, but Taran always thought it cute that Damien and his friends played it even in the ninth grade.
As he rounded the corner, Taran immediately had his eye on Damien who was just standing against a wall, talking to some girl. Great, a girl, thought Taran. How could he stop and break up their conversation without seeming suspicious. The fluttering in his stomach felt like it was traveling up his throat the closer he stepped towards Damien. He could sense he was getting to the point where he needed to do or say something, but nothing was coming to him.
"Hey Damien," Taran awkwardly blurted out as they came within normal talking distances. He wasn't sure if he should stay or keep walking. His hesitancy resulted in him moving about the place like some kind of spasming blow-fly. What else should he say to him?
Damien acknowledged him with an hello, and had this look on his face which was somewhere between expectation and embarrassment. The girl too, had turned to see who had interrupted them. Just by looking in her eyes Taran could tell she had the hots for Damien. She had the same look in her eyes that he knew he must have.
The girl's eyes watched Taran like a predator. Taran switched his focus from the girl to Damien and noticed he couldn't even look Taran in the eye. Standing there, trying to think of something to say that was both friendly and non-suspicious, Taran suddenlt felt like a fool. What was he doing trying to talk to Damien?
All at once it became obvious that their encounter the day before was nothing more than a fling for Damien. A chance for him to get his rocks off. He really liked girls after all. Just the way he seemed so at ease talking to her showed this. Taran felt a little foolish for having built up this magical relationship in his mind. As he quickly flicked through all the events there was no real love from Damien. Was it all just in his mind then?
He had nothing to say, and after a few minutes the girl turned back towards Damien and started talking to him. Damien was still slightly distracted by Taran's presence, but once she started to touch his arm as she spoke, he was drawn back into whatever it was that she was telling him. Probably how much of a cutey he is, thought Taran with much jealousy.
Taran tried to make his exit as quiet and invisible as possible. He knew it was impossible of course, but it was about saving face. As he made his way back across the school, Taran tried to reassure himself that it was something he had to do. But he felt so bad for building this thing up bigger than it was. He always did this.
For once he just wished he'd keep his head closer to the ground. See things as they are for a change. But try as he might, Taran could never keep himself from dreaming. He was the kind of boy who was raised on too many fairy-tales. He truly believed in love, and he believed it would happen for him. And whenever someone like Damien came along that he felt even the slightest attraction to, he couldn't help but hope he was the one for him.
Perhaps it was this hope that sent him crashing to the ground. Once he starts hoping for something long enough, it only takes a small amount of help from fate to convince him that perhaps this time he is right.
Who was he kidding? The whole encounter had been an absolute disaster. He could just sense Damien's embarrassment at him showing up out of the blue like that. Taran knew he wasn't welcome. He could feel it by the awkward tension that everyone present could no doubt feel as well.
So he made his way back to the oval and to his friends who were sitting around like usual, doing nothing. The porno had been put away he noticed as he approached. Good thing, he thought. If they started getting boned up over that, Taran might find his eyes in places they probably shouldn't be.
"Hey where's my donut?" asked Luke almost immediately.
"Fuck off!" Taran said without much feeling or thought for how it might sound. No one made a reply, but it set a darker mood than Taran knew existed before he came back to the group.
There was only a couple minutes until the bell, and the group remained mostly silent for that time. Luke and Stuart took to a friendly rock-war across the circle of friends. Pretty soon most of them were in on it, but the silence remained. Except for the occasional "ouch" from a hard throw or big rock.
Usually Taran loved a rock war. He was usually that one that went insane and started hurling large boulders instead of small stones. Of course he'd never actually try to hit anyone with them, but as the game progressed the rocks naturally got bigger, and Taran usually couldn't contain his excitement. It really is quite a sight to see a tall boy lift a forty kilo rock above his head, and in a fit of giggles, try to hurl it with as much force as he can muster at his friends, who are likewise laughing uncontrollably. Needless to say it doesn't go far, let alone come even close to it's intended targets.
Today Taran wasn't interested in this sort of play. He watched, with the occasional smile coming to his face when someone made a humourous reaction. Apart from that he stayed motionless, not even bothering to duck when rocked shied past him. The one time a rock hit him in the chest he simply gave a filthy look in the direction of the thrower.
With the bell, they trudged off to their respective classes. The last two lessons for the day were very long and very boring for Taran. He tried to pay attention but of course, his mind kept drifting to his own situation. Were his chances with Damien dashed forever? Did he even have any chance in the first place?
When the final bell for the day rang out, Taran picked up his bag with a heavy heart. This day had been the single worst day he'd had in a long time. It was strange he thought how things worked out. When he'd decided to tell Will and James about himself, he felt certain they'd hate him for who he was. But they were fine with it. More than fine, really. Taran couldn't ask for a better result out of that.
At that point he'd never expected to find someone to be with. Certainly not in the next few days. And definitely not the boy he'd been dreaming about for the past year or so. Yet just one short day ago, Damien had performed with him an act of love that he'd longed to perform with someone he genuinely cared about for so long. He felt certain that it was about more than just sex. Taran knew it in his heart. But today, he knew his heart had lied to him. Or played a trick on him.
He made his way out to the front of the school and through the bus-bay, with all the kids talking and making noise. Damien is in there somewhere, he thought. Taran made his way to the usual meeting spot that he, Luke and Sam use. As he was about to cross the road, he heard a voice from behind him calling his name.
He turned around and scanned the masses of people. The voice was slightly high pitched, but in the bustle of the crowd, was lost. It had to be calling for him, because Taran was hardly the most common of names. But as he looked about the place he couldn't pick the direction even. Yet he could hear it being called even as he looked.
Taran started to make a few cautious steps in the direction that he thought the voice was coming from. He made it almost back to the bus-bay, when he heard the voice again, this time much clearer. It was from behind him.
He turned around to find Damien smiling at him. Immediately his heart started beating at twice the speed it had been. Damien had this cute little bashful grin on his face. Taran just wanted to let out a giggle and stroke his face, but he kept his thoughts in check. Instead he just looked at the idol of his affection, hoping that maybe the thing at lunch was just a mishap. Maybe Damien really was interested? Taran became aware that he was starting it again, and that he should just stop thinking, and listen to what Damien had to say.
"Sorry about lunch," he said through the same bashful grin. Taran wondered if Damien knew exactly how cute he was when he did that. No wonder that girl was so close to him at lunch.
"That's cool," said Taran. "She has the hots for you, huh?"
Damien let out a little giggle as he nodded his head. Of course he doesn't know; that's what makes him cute.
"So I can't really stay too long," he began. "But can I call ya this arvo?" Taran was ecstatic at the idea. He just wanted to kiss him and kiss him for showing an interest in him.
"Yes of course," said Taran with haste. "Call me any time you want. Do you know my number?"
"It's in the book, right?" he asked in his sweet-sounding voice.
"Yeah but I'll give it to you anyways." Taran pulled out a pen from his bag and ripped a page from one of his books to give to Damien. His hand was shaking as he tried to write his number in a legible manner. As he handed the paper over, all the negative thoughts he thought since lunch were suddenly vanished from his mind. His faith in love had been reinstalled.
Taran often questioned the way he was so easily affected by the events going on around him. It may seem odd that his perception of a good or bad day can often come down to the outcome of one or two seemingly insignificant events in the day. The encounter at lunch to most people may seem trivial, but to Taran, who'd built it up in his mind before-hand, it seemed like the defining moment of his life.
Just imagine, he thought, if he hadn't made his way through the bus-bay to walk home, if he had taken an alternate route, then Damien wouldn't have caught him before he left. He'd still be feeling miserable right now. Who knows where that would have led him. He probably would have given up on Damien completely.
He realised it was something he couldn't control. Taran has always been this way and always would be. At this point in time it didn't really phase him, because right now he felt happy. He felt confident. And he felt loved.