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*(Previous Statement May Not Be True)
- There are days in your life where you have to ask yourself which direction your life is leading in. What it all means. What got you here, and where is this going? It's like this weird 'limbo', where it's hard to tell up from down, black from white, right from wrong. A confusing series of self reflective moments where you get stuck wondering if you're doing this whole 'life' thing right or not.
I think I'm getting sucked into that black hole of confusion right now.
I went out to the Hill with Brandon today, and it was...an eye opening experience, to say the least.
Do I even have any right to feel the way that I'm feeling right now? Can I ignore my own hypocrisy long enough to complain? The only thing worse than harboring these dark feelings is knowing that I'd be a total bastard for feeling even a moment's worth of self righteous anger over it. It's just something that I have to swallow. Because...at the end of the day...it's probably more my fault, than it is his.
My morning started off being fucked up with another sad and desperate message from Jimmy. I should have been fuming over the fact that he still feels the need to even talk to me after everything he's done, but...nope. I don't even know why I looked at it. It basically said...
"You can pretend and make it seem like you're so happy and in love with Brandon, but I know better! It's really pathetic. Honestly. Brandon may be tall and handsome and all that, but what we had together was SO much more genuine! You screwed that up! And now you're trying to act like you're life is anything more than a disgusting lie! You're not fooling anybody, least of all me! Everything about you was fake from the very beginning, and you'll never find someone who loved you like I did. Not ever. So enjoy being alone, asshole!"
I don't even know what that was about, but...whatever. It was such a fabrication of the truth, so detached from reality itself, that I couldn't even find enough of an emotional connection to his comments to take any offense. He might as well have accused me of being possessed by Satan, secretly grinding up unicorns in my basement to sell their meat on the black market, or hiding the fact that I'm the spawn of the actual boogeyman, here to take over the world and force everybody on the planet to eat beef tacos. Hehehe, what was he even talking about? He knows that he's lying. Does he really expect anybody to believe him at all? ME, of all people? That's just stupid. How backwards and unintelligent do you have to be to think that anyone would fall for that garbage? Jimmy's whole message was just a massive waste of his time, but...as much as I wish I could get flustered enough to send him a nasty response to tell him to fuck off...I just...wasn't. I shrugged my shoulders, I deleted the message, and then I hopped in the shower to get ready to spend the day with Brandon like I had planned.
Jimmy LaPlane's broken heart is no longer my problem. I've got a life to live. A good one. And I'm wasting my own time even writing about it at the end of this journal. Life goes on, with or without the bland non-existent threat of Jimmy LaPlane's childish attitude. He can flog himself on his own time from now on. It's got nothing to do with me.
Let that fuck his head up for a while. I don't have to say a single word to watch him self destruct.
Brandon and I agreed to meet up around two O'clock, and I have to admit to being really nervous about it. There was something wrong. I could just tell. It's not like Brandon to leave me such cryptic messages without any cause or explanation. I kept trying to distract myself so I wouldn't spend the whole morning entertaining my worst fears and concerns about all of this. But I could clearly feel myself trembling, regardless. What if its something bad? What if its something REALLY bad??? THIS is something that actually matters to me! You know?
Please don't be about Stevie! I know that I keep telling myself that I trust him to be faithful...but Stevie is a blind spot that I haven't learned to ignore just yet. Nothing could hurt me more than hearing that Brandon went looking for affection in the arms of his ex-boyfriend, simply because I wasn't around enough this Summer. I probably could have made a bigger effort to spend time with my boyfriend these past few months, but...I convinced myself that I was too busy to juggle everything at once. If I could do it over again, I'd make my beautiful angel my number one priority. I SWEAR I would! Sometimes...there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day to make all the moves you want to make. God...I spent all morning praying that I didn't make another fatal mistake in our relationship. Every time I think I've got this dedicated 'boyfriend' thing figured out, I discover a whole other area of nuance and complexity that I never even thought of before.
It's easy to get mixed up sometimes, I guess.
However, just before I was ready to leave the house...I heard the doorbell ring. And when I answered it...Mr. Phillips was standing outside with a plastic bag full of some sort of restaurant take-out from a nearby hole in the wall grill.
I...I sorta froze when I saw him standing there. I mean...I just...fuck! I don't know!
I couldn't keep my stomach muscles from tying themselves in knots. I couldn't really hide my frustrated facial expression. I tried...but I feel like there will always be a part of me that is a tiny bit disgusted by his very presence in my mom's life. But...I'm going to try to let that fade away. For my mom, I'll...I don't know...I'll just try, ok?
He was all like, "Hey, Billy boy. I hope you don't mind me jumping the gun here, but I grabbed you a 'shroom burger' from Watsky's, down on Main Street. Some onion rings too. Your mom mentioned that it was your favorite."
Attempting to sound 'normal', I told him, "Oh...thanks, Mr. Phillips. Ummm...actually, I was just on my way out. I'm meeting up with a friend of mine."
He didn't seem disappointed really, but I could tell that he was trying to make some points here. He's like, "Oh. Well, are you sure you don't just want a quick bite before you go? Onion rings are always best served hot." He smiled at me, that weird mustache of his spreading out on his face like a stretching ferret.
I'm like, "That's ok. I'll warm some up when I get back." That's when he nodded and sort of walked over to put it on the kitchen counter. I don't know what he was doing there, but if this is Mom's idea of a good guy, I suppose I'll just have to deal with it. At least for now. So I made sure to say, "Thanks, Mr. Phillips. Shroom burgers really are my favorite." There. That's a step in the right direction, right?
That's when he said, "Aww, Billy...just call me Mack."
Okaaay. That's pushing it. I'm like, "Uh huh..." And then I left before things got any more weird.
Surprisingly, Brandon beat me out to the park today. I usually end up waiting for him, but he seemed super anxious today. That didn't do much to settle my nerves. He gave me a tender hug and we sat down under the tree at the top of the Hill. I could already feel myself trembling, so worried that he was going to devastate my vulnerable heart with something that was more than it could handle.
Brandon seemed to be doing his best to control his breathing. He didn't seem to be in the mood for much small talk. And even though I was terrified of what he brought me out there to tell me, I just sorta put my hand on his knee, and rubbed it a little, like, "Whatever it is...you can tell me. Ok?"
He sighed to himself, and he was like, "Billy...I love you. SO much. And I seriously would never do anything to mess this up. I swear."
The stress was killing me. I asked, "Is it me? Did I...did I do or say something wrong?"
He was quick to tell me, "Oh God, Billy, no. No, you're fine."
So I'm like, "You know, if you're at all worried about going to Jamie Cross' party this weekend as my date, we can just be friends. I know how you feel about your dad finding out..."
He said, "No. That's not it. I'd actually be pretty honored to be the great Billy Chase's date at a party. Heh..." Brandon's eyes got a little misty, and he took another deep breath.
More nervous than ever, I rubbed his knee a bit more, and I felt myself cringe when I asked, "...Did something, like...happen...between you and Stevie?"
Brandon was like, "Happen? Me and Stevie?" Then it 'clicked', and he was all like, "Oh please. No way. I told you, Billy...we're just friends. I'm helping him get back on his feet after a scary situation. Honestly, that's all it is."
He asked me why I was still suspicious about the two of them, and I shrugged my shoulders, like, "Well, there were all of those Mondays that you guys were hanging out and keeping it all secret and stuff..."
Brandon said, "But I already explained to you...he didn't want anybody to know what he was dealing with. I shouldn't have even told you as much as I did."
Then, even though I was relieved that Stevie wasn't the issue that Brandon brought me out here to talk about, I sorta mumbled, "Then there was that picture of you two kissing...so..."
Brandon lightly rolled his eyes, "I swear to you, Billy...it was a friendly peck on the lips to congratulate him for getting out of the house and taking steps towards being comfortable with who he is. Trust me, I've kissed my grandmother with more passion." He made sure to look me in the eye when he said, "I'm not sure why Jimmy decided to follow us around and take that stupid picture, but at just the right second, he snaps that, freezes a split second moment, and he makes it look like we were making out or something. And that's just stupid. I mean...you could snap a picture of me jumping up in the air right now, but it doesn't mean that I can fly. Right?"
I said, "Yeah. I guess that makes sense." Then I grunted, "Fuckin' Jimmy LaPlane, man."
He's like, "Who cares what that jackass has to say about anything? He has absolutely no control over how I feel about you, or how you feel about me. He's just another jealous stooge who could find something meaningful of his own if he wasn't so busy bothering you and me. I was dumb enough to not see him for who he really was once, but he's totally exposed now. So if he thinks his little tricks and baby tantrums are going to keep us from being together and being happy...then it just plain sucks to be him. He'll have to stay mad and alone forever."
Brandon had NO idea how good it made me feel to hear him say that. It was a huge weight off of my shoulders. I leaned over and planted a light kiss on his cheek, taking a hold of his hand.
But...we weren't quite finished yet.
When I asked him what he was so worried about, and why he wanted to come out here...Brandon looked away from me. He's like, "You remember when you and I came out here that day at the beginning of the Summer...and we decided to just...lay all of our dirty deeds on the table so we could deal with them and start over from scratch?"
I said, "Yeah. I remember."
Brandon was like, "Well, I know that I told you about me and Stevie being...well, you know." I nodded. Then he says, "There was another guy that I was with, Billy. This was before you and I decided to give it another chance, though. Honest. I was just...I was feeling so alone when it happened..." I think he could see that I was a bit confused, and while the idea of anybody's hands on my Brandon drives me up a wall...I wanted to hear this. I needed it. Brandon looked at me with his eyes tearing up, and he said, "...I went to some house party. I was all by myself, didn't know anybody there...and I started talking to some guy. He seemed nice, you know? We were just...chit chatting for a while. He helped me to not feel so awkward around everybody else, because they were mostly older than me. I didn't even know why I was there. Just trying to forget, I guess."
Already, I could feel the pressure building in my chest. It began to fill me with this dull ache as he went on, but I didn't stop him. I couldn't. I could only hope that what he told me would be easier to take than whatever perverted ideas I'd imagine later if I didn't let him finish it from his side of things.
Brandon said, "We got along...and he sorta...comforted me a little bit. It was like he could tell that I was feeling down. He asked if I wanted to get away from the party and maybe go somewhere so we could just...'talk'. That's all I was expecting to happen. He drove me back to his house, and...it was like he could tell, Billy. He asked me if I liked boys, and I...I told him that I did. Except for you, I never told that to anybody before. I started to cry, and then I just started blathering on about what happened with you and me...he just let me cry on his shoulder for a while." Brandon sniffled a bit more, and told me, "I don't remember how it happened, but...we started kissing. I didn't plan on it, I just...I needed some kind of validation at that moment, you know? I was so broken. And he made me feel safe. It was the first time in ages that I felt 'beautiful'."
Tearing up myself, I softly asked him, "So...you just kissed him?"
He's like, "No. I wish I could lie and say that it stopped there, but...we went into his bedroom, and...well, you know where things go from there." It hurt. God, did it hurt. But it's not like we were boyfriends when it happened. It's not like I wasn't doing the same thing with Jimmy around that time. Still, you'll have to forgive me if my heart is super selfish when it comes to him. However, Brandon surprised me by saying, "I didn't know he had a boyfriend. It just...it never came up. I wouldn't have even gone over there if I knew that he had someone already."
I'm like, "A boyfriend? Wait...am I missing something, or...?"
Brandon wiped his eyes, and he said, "You remember when I came to the mall on Monday? When we went to lunch?"
I'm like, "Yeah. I remember."
A tear rolled down his cheek, and he said, "I didn't know that he'd be there. I kinda thought I'd never really see him again. It was a stupid thing that I did. And it only happened twice. We were safe, Billy. I promise. He kept condoms around, and...it was just something that I did to fill in that emptiness that I felt when I didn't have anybody else to turn to. He made me feel something other than pain and loss for a little while. I was grateful for that."
I had to ask, "I'm a bit lost here. Who are we talking about? Who was at the mall?" Brandon looked me in the eye again, and I raised an eyebrow. I was like, "Hold on a second...are you talking about Greg? Ollie's boyfriend, Greg?"
Brandon nodded slowly. Is THAT where he knew him from? Did Greg have sex with my boyfriend???
He was like, "It was such a brief fling that it barely even mattered. I just...you have no idea how good it felt to be held in someone's arms again. I was starting to think that there was nothing desirable about me at all. Greg came along and he made me believe that I might be able to start over again. I needed that. I really did."
Still trying to wrap my head around the whole idea, I asked, "But wait...isn't Greg in college? He's like...19 or 20, isn't he?"
Immediately, Brandon said, "I chose to go home with him, Billy. He didn't pressure me at all. No tricks. No manipulation. Overall, he was really sweet to me."
I'm like, "But...you're a minor. I mean..."
He stopped me, "It wasn't like that. I couldn't tell you, Billy, or anybody...because they'd make it weird. He could get into a lot of trouble. I'd be drawn into a load of bullshit, my dad would find out, I was afraid you'd truly be done with me if you knew what I did...I just wanted to put the whole thing behind me. It happened. And I don't regret it. But...it's not worth the drama it would cause if I made a big deal out of it now."
My brain felt as though it was being rung out like a wet sponge. My heart was sure to be next. What happened to Ollie and his complete faith in him and Greg being faithful to one another? What happened to 'My boyfriend would never ever cheat on me'? Brandon slept with a college guy? Was it my fault? Did I drive him to it by being a jerk and breaking his heart? There were SO many questions going through my head at that moment! I don't think I was really ready to hear that. Not at all.
Brandon said, "I'll understand if you're angry with me. I get it. But...seeing as Greg is dating someone you work with...I'd rather you hear it from me, than from someone else. I'm so sorry, Billy. It's in the past. I don't even know why I did it. I guess it was the only way for me to create the illusion of feeling strong when I was actually feeling so weak inside."
I had to snap myself out of my daze before answering, and I put an ar around Brandon's shoulder, pulling him in for a hug. I'm like, "I'm not angry. I swear." I kissed his forehead, and I told him, "Brandon, out of everything I've ever done, out of everyone I've ever met...I can say, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that you're the only boy I've ever really loved. I mean, I know it's hard to put it into words, or explain what it is that I feel for you over every other person on the planet...but you're more than just the cute boy standing beside me. You're an actual part of me. It took me a whole lot of fails and stupid mistakes to realize that, but...I know that what we have is real. It's magic. And no little fling that happened before we got back together is going to taint that lovely vision that I have for you. You've got nothing to worry about. Promise."
Brandon had to wipe away a few more tears, and so did I, as we sorta held each other there in the park, letting the emotion sweep over us both. That's when Brandon says, "Thanks, Billy. God, I was SO scared to tell you about all of this. Even more scared NOT to tell you. I just...I wanted to come clean about this whole thing. All of it. I'm terrified of losing you, but if I can't be honest with you...then it's like I never had you to begin with. Not completely." He added, "It's important to me that you know who I am. Flaws and all."
There was something about that statement that made me feel kinda bad. And...even though I had to shut my eyes and cringe for a moment before saying the words out loud, I said, "...I had sex with Sam." Arrrghhh! STUPID! What the fuck did I tell him that for??? And right at the moment, of all the times to come clean about it!
Brandon raised his head from my shoulder and gave me a strange look. He's like, "You what?"
I opened one eye to peek at him, and I said, "Yeah. I kinda...slept with my best friend. And...more than once."
Brandon furrowed his brow a bit, and asked, "I thought...I thought you said Sam was straight?"
I was like, "He IS straight. But...I dunno...we were at his house, in his room...we have this thing we do when we sort of lay in his bed, back to back, and...for some weird reason we had a 'moment', and things happened..."
He was like, "Was this recently?"
I said, "NO WAY! This was before. Honest to God. I haven't been with anybody since we decided to give this whole thing a second try." I assured him. Then, I was like, "Look...I should have said something long before now, but...you're right. If we're gonna be together...we'll have to be honest with each other. Even if it takes a little bit of time to get it all out. I want to come clean with you too." I said this, knowing that it meant unraveling the entire AJ saga...and Jimmy, and Robin, and how that all turned into the train wreck that it was. But, for now...it felt good to get rid of yet another secret between us.
Brandon laid his head back on my shoulder, and it shocked me to hear him snicker quietly to himself. He's like, "Once again...we've proven that neither one of us is any more or any less fucked up than the other, huh?"
Hehehe, I was like, "At least we know we deserve one another."
Brandon said, "At least now I know why Sam hates me so much."
I'm like, "WHAT?!?!?! Get outta here! Dude, Sam adores you."
He said, "Whatever."
But I kissed Brandon's cheek again, and said, "I'm serious. He thinks you're good for me. I know he can be a little standoffish at first, but it's not like I didn't give his girlfriend the same treatment."
He said, "Giving an innocent girl the stink eye, were ya?"
I said, "Hehehe, no. Actually, she was a total bitch. But that's not the point." I lifted Brandon's chin a bit and our eyes connected. I said, "I love you. Every part of me is obsessed with you in the most exciting way. And no matter what we've done before, or what we might do in the future, I just want you to know that I'm proud to be your favorite boy. And I'm proud to have you as mine. Love trumps everything else, right?"
He smiled, and said, "It does. Every time."
We actually just sat there...kissing in a public park. But I didn't feel the eyes of some invisible crowd of judges watching us this time. In fact, every time I kissed my baby in public, it became just a little bit easier. It wasn't about putting on a 'show' for people to see. It was just having the confidence to give myself over to the spontaneity of the moment. To kiss my boyfriend whenever I felt he needed kissing. Holding his hand when I felt it needed holding. It just felt good, you know?
Now, I'm not gonna slam my face down in his lap and give him a sensual BLOWJOB in front of the monkeybars or anything! Hehehe! Some things are best done in private. But, being able to appreciate a moment of affection with someone that I truly love with all of my heart? It's just priceless. Totally priceless.
I'm not going to pretend that I'm not still stewing over the fact that Greg had actually...taken 'liberties' with my boyfriend. Even if he wasn't my boyfriend at the time. But Ollie said they had been together for a few years, and this happened at the beginning of the Summer. So...if he cheated on Ollie with Brandon...who else might he have cheated with? I mean, should I even involve myself with that situation? Especially with Brandon being underage, and asking me directly to not say anything? What kind of destruction would that cause? To Greg...to Ollie...maybe even to me and Brandon?
It sucks to think about these things sometimes. I have to remember...it's not my responsibility to save the world and everyone in it. I have a chance to be happy. I have a chance to finally grab a slice of life for myself, instead of kneeling down and trying to take on everybody else's problems at once. But I feel bad about it. I do.
Something about pretending not to care makes me feel less like 'me'.
Anyway, I've gotta run. I'm kinda hungry, and I think I'm going to warm up Mr. Phillip's shroom burger in the microwave. You know. For a snack.
WHAT??? I'm not caving in on the dating thing1 he already paid for it. What am I gonna do, let it go to waste? Might as well scarf it down and get some nourishment. I'm a growing boy, after all.
I might grab some of those onion rings too.