The Root Beer Boys
Chapter Six - Tanner's Diary
Wow, he is so cool. And he's so shy, it's going to be easy fooling him into thinking I'm so outgoing and have lots of friends. Compared to him, I'm an extreme extrovert. Of course, that's mostly just a mask I wear to hide the truth, but it seems to work.
For two weeks I wondered what his name was, where he lived, did he like me, would he come back tonight. When I got home the last time I had to hide in the tree again. If I keep climbing that tree every night, it's gonna start showing footprints. But when Mom has her boyfriend(s) over, that's the only thing to do. Sometimes I wish I had someplace else I could go.
I'm kind of glad we don't go to the same school. It sure makes things a lot easier. As much as I want to see him again, I don't want him asking a bunch of questions right now.
I wonder where he got those eyes, those absolutely, God-never-made-any-other-eyes-so-beautiful amber eyes. Every night for the past two weeks, I just laid in bed trying not to think about him. It's kind of like trying to go to sleep on Christmas Eve when I was a little kid. The harder my brother Brian and I tried, the more awake we became. It was like that with the new kid, whatsisname.
Every time I tried not to picture his face, it was like my mind turned on a flourescent light. I'd lay there and see his cute face, the way his hair just sort of lays there like God's little perfectly kept lawn. I'd see his little ears, that grin he has when he's embarrassed or too shy to speak. And those eyes! Gosh, I could drown in those eyes and not care.
I couldn't believe I went off without asking him his name. I thought I remembered seeing a sign-in book of some kind the last time, but no one asked me to sign it, so I didn't know for sure. I was going to have to be careful about that tonight. I was so eager to see him I left 30 minutes early. I was the first one there when Mom Janet showed up to unlock the doors. I made some lame excuse about having to go to the bathroom and then hid in one of the stalls.
I just sat on the john and waited until my watch said it was time for other kids to be showing up. Just as I was about to open the stall door, I heard some guy come in and walk over to the urinals. I sat there for a minute or two and didn't hear anything, so I got up on my tiptoes and looked over the door. It was him! He was just standing there lookin' like he was taking a leak, but he wasn't making any noise. So I figured, whatever, I gotta do it sooner or later.
I opened the stall door and walked right up behind him. Just as he was getting ready to turn around and see who it was I asked him if he needed any help. It was so funny. I caught him by surprise and at first he said yes. Wow! I almost reached around to grab his dick. Not really, but I was thinkin' about it.
When he joined me at the sink, I looked at him in the mirror. All of a sudden I had cotton mouth. Everything dried up like I had just been called on in class and wasn't prepared. But when he looked up at me with that shy grin and those eyes.... well, no problem bud!
"What's your name?" I asked him.
"Brian, what's yours."
Awe shit! I thought. I can't believe he has the same name as my little brother!
I guess I should tell you about my little brother. We were really close. He was two years younger than me, and I loved him so much. I was his hero. He'd follow me around like I was a King or a super jock or something. Him and me used to do all sorts of things with our Dad. We'd go to movies together, or ball games, or play tackle football with me and him against Dad. We were both so small, Dad could tackle us both at the same time. And when we jumped on Dad, he'd just carry us across the goal line, kicking and screaming and dragging our feet. But he'd be laughing the whole time and we loved it.
Then one night I was sick and Dad had to go out to get my medicine at the drug store. Brian couldn't be with me, 'cause I was contagious, so he talked Dad into letting him ride along. They never came home. Some drunk in a pickup truck ran a red light and hit them broadside. They both died on the street waiting for an ambulance. I swore I'd never love anybody named Brian again.
Damn! Why didn't I ask him his name right up front? Why'd I have to wait? I almost gave myself away when he asked me why I was crying. But I recovered quick and drug us out into the main room before he could ask me any questions.
A&W took us around and introduced us to most of the other kids. We had to sign the register but I left the address and phone number sections blank. Nobody said anything, so I guess it was ok or they just didn't notice. I don't want anyone there to know where I live, and I SURE don't want Bri calling here in case Mom answers the phone. That's what I call him, diary, Bri. It sounds so cool. I think he likes it.
I made sure I saw his phone number in the register and memorized it. I don't want him calling me, but I want to call him. God do I want to call him. Maybe I could spend some time at his place. Get away from here.
I'm really having fun at these meetings, diary. Its been so long since I had any friends, and I'm gettin' really tired of all of Mom's boyfriends. Some of them are ok and leave me alone, but a couple of 'em are real assholes. But Dad Dan's cool, and so are the root beer boys.
It's more fun than school, but it's harder, too, because I have to wear this mask all the time. At school I just hang by myself and most everybody ignores me, so I don't have to pretend so much. The meetings are more fun, but with all the introductions and stuff, I had to put on my happy mask and pretend everything is so kewl in my life.
That night WAS kewl, though. A&W took us around and I put on my happy face and talked to everybody. All Bri did though was stand there lookin' at ME. He is so shy! I was holdin' his hand the whole time. That's another nice thing about these meetings. Everybody is cool with guys holding hands or girls holding hands. I'm hidden so far in the closet here at home I can't even hold my OWN hands.
So all night long I'm dragging him around by his hand, and he's just standin' there lookin' at me while I talk. Then just before it was time to leave Andy makes some remark about Bri makin' love to me with his eyes. YES! I thought Bri was going to melt into the hardwood floor he was so embarrassed. I don't think he ever noticed that we'd been holding hands all night until Andy said something about it. Then he pulled his hand loose like it was burned. I couldn't help but giggle.
When Dad Dan started turning out the lights, I knew I had to make a quick exit. So I leaned over and blew in Bri's ear. Actually I leaned too far too fast and almost kissed him. I mean my lips almost touched his ear. Oooh he smells so fine. I had a boner almost all the way home. Then I had to sit in the damn tree again.
Christmas was a bummer as usual. Mom invited Charlie, her favorite boyfriend, over on Christmas Eve. Yeah, diary, she has more than one. I think he's her favorite 'cause he spends the most money on her. We haven't had a Christmas Eve to ourselves since Dad and Brian died. God, I miss them so much!
Charlie got Mom a diamond bracelet, a quart of her favorite Scotch and some drugs. They were packaged up in this fancy little container that was supposed to look like a makeup thing, but I knew that white powder wasn't for her face. Mom got me a paperback book I already read and a t-shirt that's two sizes too small. She thinks I'm still six years old or something I guess. Dammit, she doesn't think of me at all! That's the problem.
I wish I could have gone to church with A&W and everybody. I heard one of them say something at the meeting before Christmas, but that was the night me and Bri forgot to get each other's name. So I had to stay home. As soon as we opened our presents, I went to my room and turned on the radio. I don't have a CD player or a TV or anything. Mom says we can't afford any of that stuff. But she always seems to find money for booze and cigarettes.
Diary, if I ever get outta here, I'm taking you with me. You and not much else. But where would I go? I ain't gonna be no street kid. Even home is better than that. At least I was able to get this old computer with the money I made last summer mowing grass. Mom's so dumb about computers, she'll never be able to find you. All I have to do to take you with me is save you to a floppy. Some day.
Well, diary, another month shot to hell. I'm sure glad I have a couple of study periods to do my homework in. Life here at home isn't getting any better. Mom comes home from work and pops a top a couple of times waiting for one of her boyfriends. Then we eat dinner and I come back to my room to hide. Every night's the same. Drink, eat dinner, drink, smoke or shoot up, then fuck. Boy are they noisy. I hate having to listen to my Mom make all those noises. But where am I gonna go in a two bedroom house with the bedrooms right next to each other? I can't LIVE in that damn tree.
I've been able to escape a few times to Bri's house. His Mom is so cool. She knows he's gay. He told me. I guess she assumes I'm gay, too, but she's never mentioned it, so I don't really know. She never says anything about us going back to his bedroom, either. Of course we haven't given her any reason to worry about it. We never do anything but talk or play computer games or surf the web.
Bri's not into gay porn and neither am I. We've read a few stories on this one website called Gay Writers Guild, but we basically look for the ones marked R for "romance". There's this one really great story about two guys who are just best friends, called Falling Off A Log. I hope Bri and I can be that kind of friend to each other. I'm really gettin' to know him, diary. But we aren't movin' as fast as I thought we would at first.
Bri is just so shy, and he has so much to talk about when we're together. And his circle of friends, the ones that A&W call the fearsome five keep us pretty busy. Those guys are neat. All of them have accepted me into the group like they've known me forever. We stroll the malls together, go to movies (when I can scrape the money together), go skateboardin' over on Baker Blvd. Wayne and Tommy take turns lettin' me borrow their skateboards.
I don't know what it is about Brian, though, diary. He told me he thought he was in love with Andy for awhile, but he seems really nervous about gettin' serious with me. I mean we don't even hold hands much except at the meetings. And we don't even do that as much as I'd like to. I wish Andy hadn't said anything. I bet that's what did it.
I'd love to see him without a shirt on, but that's not likely to happen in January. Since we don't go to the same school, I don't see him in phys ed. And I never spend the night at his house. Mom won't let me. The best I can do is come home as late as possible and hope they won't make too much noise bangin' each other.
Last night was fun. I'd saved up some money from delivering groceries for old man Bartemus, and we went to the show. What a crowd. Me and Bri, A&W, Aaron, Joey, Matt, Tommy, all eight of us piled out of Dad Dan's van and mobbed the place. I walked over to Bri's house so they wouldn't have to come get me. It's only a couple of miles. Bri's mom gave me some hot dogs and baked beans when I got there.
All during the movie Bri and I kept touching hands. I wanted to hold his so bad! But every time I touched him he jerked, like he was scared to do it. So I didn't. But I could hardly concentrate on the movie. His aroma was overpowering. I think he must use a cologne that blends with his natural scent to produce some form of aphrodisiac. He just smells so awesome.
And his giggle. Oh god, I love it. There were some funny lines in the movie, and I loved hearing him laugh and giggle at them. He held the popcorn and I held the large drink we shared. The best times of the night were when we'd reach for popcorn at the same time and our hands would touch. My boner was making the drink cup bounce up and down in my lap it was throbbing so hard. I just dreamed Bri was having the same problem and tried to push the popcorn box down onto his lap every time I reached for more popcorn.
Like I said, diary, we're having fun, gettin' to know each other, but we aren't movin' too fast. No kisses or anything yet. But I like him a lot, and it's nice to have some friends for a change. And I really like Bri's mom. She even gave me a hug when I left today.
Awe shit, diary! Who am I kidding? I know why we're not movin' fast. Nothin' in my life has been right since Dad and Brian died. I wash my clothes and iron my slacks and shirts but they still don't fit. The house is a mess, and Mom could care less about me. I love Brian something fierce, but I know he doesn't love me back. He's a good friend, but he'll never love me the way I love him. I love easy, but I'm not easy to love. I mean, even my own mother doesn't love me. And that hug from Ms M was probably just out of courtesy. I bet she didn't mean anything by it.
And what do I have to offer Bri anyway? You? Who'd want to read you? Sometimes I wonder why I'm even writing in you.
I'm not all that good looking. I can't bring guys home. I make all sorts of excuses to meet Bri and his friends at his house or somewhere else so they won't see this place. I'd die if one of them ever saw the inside of this house.
I wear this damn mask all the time to make people think I'm something I'm not - happy. When actually, I'd rather just stay home and hide. Except home sucks. Shit! I wish I didn't cry so much.
... to be continued
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