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*(Previous Statement May Not Be True)


- Awkward is what I would call it. Seeing both Taylor and Garrett at work this morning at the same time. Not really talking to one another like they were before. Barely even making eye contact unless it was absolutely necessary. And even then, it looked like some weird, obligatory, connection that was made to keep one another from feeling uncomfortable within such a cramped space. I mean how big can a music store in the mall really be? You know?

It was kind of painful to watch, personally. Ollie, of course, noticed that something was off about those two right away, but I didn't make any comments about it. Taylor's not at all interested in 'living out loud' the way Ollie is, and while Ollie doesn't really mean any harm by it...he's a bit too comfortable in his own skin to understand why Taylor would want to keep his sexuality to himself. Plus, there's nothing that Ollie loves more than some in house gossip. So it's better that I keep my mouth shut about what happened there. Still, he could tell something was wrong. We all could.

On the flipside...Robin seemed to be in rather good spirits today. I didn't want to question him or mention the fact that he was practically gliding on air all afternoon for fear that I'd jinx his happy mood. I'm guessing that AJ gave it to him good recently. Possibly even a quickie before he got to work today. I just remember what a manipulator AJ could be when it came to getting what he wanted. Giving you just enough love and attention to keep you around so you could feed his inflated ego until he drained you dry like some kind of emotional vampire. The moment you start to drift away or look past his pretty boy features and come to your senses, he'd do something with the appearance of being sweet. Nothing major. But just enough. And you found yourself doubting your own judgement. Like, "He can't be all that bad. Look at what he said to me. Awwww...maybe I'm blowing this whole thing out of proportion. I should give him another shot at this." But, looking back, I know it was all a lie. It was the hook on the end of his fishing line. I think back to the days when I was flopping and floundering around in his boat, and I'm honestly ashamed that I was such a blind idiot when it came to what he was doing to me. But...what can I say? Virgin relationships, right?

It sucks to admit that I didn't know any better.

At one point during the day, my manager, Scott, came to me and asked, "Say, Billy...I know that you're supposed to get off at 6 tonight, but would you mind staying through until close? I hate to ask, but I need an extra pair of hands for the sections in the back."

I was like, "I thought Dizzy was working the sections in the back?"

But he told me, "Yeah...Dizzy's...going home a bit early today." He didn't say anything more about why, but as I looked back towards his office, I saw Dizzy walking over to clock out. Her eyes were red. Nose running until she had to blow into some tissue and clean herself up a little bit. Was she crying? Ugh! Wait. Sorry...was he crying? Why do I always do that? Why do I always assign a female pronoun to Dizzy every time he has a moment of vulnerability or emotion? I keep trying to tell myself that I've learned better, but every now and again...I see traces of it left in the way I mention him. It kinda makes me feel sick. Like I've been brainwashed beyond repair. I hate that.

Naturally, I was like, "Yeah. It's no big deal. I'll stick around."

Scott put a hand on my shoulder and said, "I appreciate it, Billy."

I'm like, "No problem. My mom and I aren't really being too friendly towards each other these days anyway. The more time I spend away from home, the better."

He thanked me again, and I really didn't mind. A couple of extra hours would look good on the paycheck. But then...Dizzy came over to me, looking as though he was about to breakdown again. He's like, "I'm sorry, Billy. I was gonna try to stick it out until close...but I'm having some issues right now. I'm so so sorry..."

Immediately, I was like, "Don't sweat it. No apologies needed." I reached out to give him a hug, and he suddenly began to cry again. I was like, "Are you sure that you're alright, Dizz?"

He gave me a squeeze, and then let me go, wiping his eyes free of tears and trying to work up a sad smile. He's like, "You're a sweetheart, Billy. But, honestly...I'm fine. It's's not a good day for me to be me. That's all."

I'm not exactly sure what that means, but everybody at work wished him well and we all gave him hugs, telling him that we hope he feels better. I've seen Dizzy get a little down from time to time, but never like this. He usually just gets quiet for a while, or goes to the back of the store to keep to himself. Dizzy has a really bold and outgoing personality. it's easy to tell when he's not being himself.

I hope he's ok. I'd ask what was wrong, but...I'm not really sure that I'd understand.

Get well soon, Dizz.

So...I came home, and I made sure to write back to Ian tonight. I guess we're all full of 'issues' today. Is there something in the air or the water supply or what?

I knew he was hurting over whatever happened between him and Bobby, and he just wanted to reach out and talk about it with anyone who would listen. They've had their differences here and there, but this didn't sound like a fight or an argument this time. Ian actually said that they 'broke up'. i wasn't sure if that was just an emotional response or a comment that he made in a moment of heartache, but...he's never gone that far before. I sent him a message to say that I was sorry to hear about that, and that I'll write him some more as soon as I finished dinner.

However, the moment he got my message, he wrote back to ask, "Can you talk on the phone for a little bit? Please?"

Oh man...this sounds serious. So I was like, "Ok. Do you have my number still?" He did, and a few seconds later my phone rang.

Ian's voice was a little gravely and strained, but loud enough for me to easily make out what he was saying. He's like, "I wasn't trying to bother you or anything, much I keep trying to deal with this, it just won't go away. I forgotten. And ignored. I don't understand what I did wrong? I were hanging out with us, right? Did you see me do something wrong?"

I said, "Of course not. Why would you even think such a thing? Dude, Bobby's just all screwed up over nonsense right now. He'll come to his senses soon enough." I was being overly optimistic when I said it, but I was really hoping that it was true. They made a cute couple. Honestly, I don't know why Bobby can't accept or recognize his own happiness when he sees it.

Ian sniffled a bit, and he's like, "I miss him, Billy. I really do. Every day, I miss him. He doesn't even speak to me. What the fuck did I do?"

I'm like, "I'm sure he misses you too..."

But he's like, "He has a funny way of showing it." I could hear the pain in his voice. There was something downright heartbreaking about every word he spoke. Then he asks, "Billy...? If Bobby found himself another boyfriend or something...somebody he liked'd tell me right?"

What the...? What makes him think that I would know anything about that?

I said, "I'm sure that Bobby doesn't have another boyfriend. He's not the kinda guy to do that to you without saying something, Ian. Why would you even think that?"

Sniffling even more, Ian said, "Bobby used to be sooooo sweet, Billy! He used to say the most beautiful things to me. We used to laugh, and kiss, and make love, and We'd talk for hours and it would never be enough. He was SO in love. And now...all of a sudden, it's like he doesn't even care if I exist or not. There was a time when he'd write me twice a day, just to say he loved me. Or to tell me goodnight. Or to laugh about a video he saw on YouTube. Now? Nothing. Nothing at all." Then Ian wiped his eyes free from the tears rolling down his cheeks, saying, "Where did all of that love and affection go? It didn't just die and vanish off the face of the Earth. If he's not sharing it with me...then he's gotta be sharing it with somebody, right? Somebody he really loves?"

Yikes! Ok, that's not a collection of healthy thoughts. I stepped in and said, "I don't think anybody 'stole' your boyfriend away, Ian. I think it's just a matter of Bobby going through some sort of a phase where he's making all the wrong choices. Bobby talked to me about you before, dude. You make him happy. I don't think I've ever seen Bobby Jinette so romantically inspired before. He DOES miss you. You DO make him laugh, and feel appreciated and sexy. This is just a stumbling block for you two. But it's the Summer, and it's almost over. When we get back to the routine of school and bus rides and weekend visits to the Cineplex and the mall...I'm sure you guys will get right back into the swing of things." Ian was quiet for a moment, and I added, "You're a really good guy, Ian. You've got one of the biggest hearts that I've ever known. Bobby's going to realize how much he took that for granted...and he'll come back to making a real effort to keep you guys together. Ok?"

But he said, "I don't think so, Billy. I really think it's over between us. There's nothing much to save at this point." Adding, "I'm all alone again..."

Trying not to feed his depression any further, I asked him, "Did Bobby actually come right out and say that he wanted to break up with you?"

Ian scoffed at the idea. He was like, "Boys don't tell you when they want to break up, Billy. Only girls do that. Boys just ignore the hell out of you until you go the fuck away." Holy shit! That's just what Sam said! Is there a science to this sorta thing that I didn't know about? Geez!

I offered, "Do you want me to talk to him?"

But Ian was like, "And what's that gonna do? What? Am I going to beg him to give a shit about me? Work out a schedule where he has to call me once a day and visit me twice a week? I can't force him to love me, Billy. Either he wants me to be a part of his life or he doesn't. I'm just...I'm really hurt that he doesn't. And I'm tired of turning cartwheels to try to get his attention. If he's not hurting like I'm hurting right now...then it was never love in the first place. I just want to forget any of this ever happened. I feel empty right now..."

Needless to say, it took another hour or so to try to get Ian to calm down a bit. But I didn't try to cheer him up too much. Heartbreak is something that I have a lot of experience with, believe me. And sometimes...trying to cheer me up was more of an insult and a dismissal of my pain than anything else. Sometimes, you just have to listen. Listen, send hugs, and let people know that you understand. Because it HURTS! It's supposed to hurt! Trying to push the agony down into the pit of your stomach and pretend that it doesn't exist just makes it worse. It makes it take forever to heal. I hope that I was able to at least be a good friend to Ian in his time of need.

Like I said doesn't always work the way it's supposed to.

When I got off the phone, my mom had turned off most of the lights in the house. It wasn't late or anything. Why the hell did she do that? I went into the kitchen, and my mom had wrapped my plate of food up with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. And she had gone to her bedroom to close the door and act like I had been gone for soooooo long. What the hell...??? She's mad at me for not RUNNING to the dinner table the second she called me? I was talking to a friend for Christ's sake! He needed my help! I can't take care of something important to me without her getting pissed off at me?

Ok. Fine. I'll warm my dinner up in the microwave and eat dinner in my room all by myself then. Who cares? Not me! I didn't want to sit across the table from her anyway!

Maybe Mr. Franks can come by one of these days and fix her nasty attitude! How 'bout that?

Whatever. I'm going to bed. I have the day off tomorrow, and I plan to enjoy it. No matter what.

But first...I'm going to call Brandon up and tell him goodnight, and let him know that I'm thinking about him. Just because. Thinking about everything I've experienced today...I want to be a better boyfriend. I don't want to be like Bobby and just make my sweetheart feel as though he's been forgotten or pushed aside. And I don't want to be like AJ, making a bunch of bare minimum gestures and faking affection just to keep dragging him along when I don't really mean it. What I feel for Brandon is real. It makes me happy. Fills me with light and companionship and joy. I'm gonna sacrifice that for the sake of laziness and ego? Hell no. I'm bringing my 'A' game to the table, every hour on the hour. And if Brandon needs a kiss from me every night before bed...I'm gonna give him one. It's either that...or I lose what might be my only chance to be overwhelmingly happy.

I'm not taking that chance. Not ever again. Believe it or not, I really do learn from my past mistakes. It takes me a while, sure...but I evolve. And plan to keep doing so. Until the day I get everything I want, and Brandon does too.

I'll write more later.


- Billy

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