I sat on a bench, in the lobby, waiting for Aaron to finish up at football tryouts. He told me he wanted to be a part of something at the school and meet more people. My stomach twisted in knots at the thought of my only friend being dragged away by the football team. They had a way of turning everyone away from me. And now Aaron wanted to be on their team.
I decided to wait inside, not wanting to draw too much attention to myself at their tryouts. The biggest bully of them all was there. “You know, if you want to spread your gay germs somewhere, do it somewhere that no one else sits,”
I looked up at the person who made possibly the worse comment I had ever heard and swallowed. It was just another asshole.
I stood up, wordlessly and walked down the hallway to the bathrooms, locking myself in a stall. There, simple. No trouble there.
“No,” Someone laughed, walking in shortly after me.
“Dude, I could’ve sworn you were gay,” The other kid announced.
“Just because I hang out with someone who’s gay, doesn’t make me gay.” He snorted, and I knew immediately that it was Aaron speaking. I then heard the water running and the other kid laughing lightly.
“How do you hang out with that kid? Doesn’t he hit on you?”
“I mean… occasionally,” He answered hesitantly and I frowned. I had never hit on him. If anything, he’d always make moves on me. I guess they were just friendly gestures, but I had never taken them as more than that. “Actually… no. Again, just because he is gay, does not mean that he is going to make moves on me.”
“Whatever you say,” He huffed. “Why don’t you come to the party Friday?”
“I’ll think about it,” Aaron replied before I heard footsteps head toward the door and someone exit. I then heard the scuff of shoes on the tile ground and someone sighing. “You know, Aaron, someday you won’t be such a fuck up.” I heard him speak to himself. I could just imagine him looking into the mirror, frowning.
“What party?” I said quietly, yet, just loud enough for him to hear.
“Fuck,” He grumbled. “Dylan? Where are you?”
“In here,” I murmured, before exiting the stall. I walked slowly over toward him, with my head down
“I’m sorry,” He whispered, glancing over at me.
“It’s nothing,” I muttered back.
“Well, yeah, the party… it’s Friday at Joe’s house. Would you like to go with me?” He smiled slightly, looking at me. I shook my head, stuffing a hand into my pocket.
“No,” I stated calmly and turned around heading out of the bathroom. Oh yeah, me going to a party with a bunch of kids who hate me; sounds great. I could slowly feel our friendship slipping away. He would go to that party, become friends with everyone there, be convinced that I’m too gay to be friends with, and I’d be left alone all over again.
“Dylan,” He sighed then groaned. I continued walking, running a hand through my hair. I felt a hand on my shoulder and turned to face Aaron with a frown on my face. “Don’t be mad at me,”
“I’m not mad,” I shrugged.
“Please go to the party with me, Dilly. I can’t go alone,”
“Then don’t go at all, or go with someone else.” I frowned deeper.
“Dylan,” He whined. “I want to go with you,”
“I’ll think about it,” I mumbled.
My phone ringing was what woke me from my nap. I reached over, checking the caller ID before answering. “Hello?” My voice cracked and I quickly cleared my throat.
“Hey! Guess what!” Aaron shouted from the other end of the phone.
“Hm?” I groaned, turning on my back, running a hand through my hair.
“I made it on the team!” He responded, and I could hear his smile through the phone.
“That’s great!” I feigned happiness, slinging an arm across my eyes.
“Something’s wrong, isn’t it?” He questioned, his demeanor changing completely.
Although I knew he could sense my insincerity I said, “Nope,” I yawned, sitting up. “All is good. I’m just muzzy from my nap.”
“Did I wake you?” He laughed half-heartedly.
“Kind of, but I should be awake anyway,” I ruffled my hair, “But, really. I’m happy for you,”
Friday afternoon, Aaron sat on the floor of my room, leaning back against my wall. “I’ll make sure no one bothers you,” He suggested.
“I know…” I sighed, sitting down beside him.
“Please, it’ll be fun.” He whined, leaning over to nudge his shoulder into mine.
“Fine,” I sighed in defeat. “Fine, I’ll go. But, if I don’t like it, I’m leaving.” I answered and he smiled widely at me while nodding.
“Of course; I’ll take you right home.” He stood up, and clapped his hands once. “Let’s get ready then.”
I stood up slowly, wiping the imaginary dust off my pants. “Should I shower?”
“If you want; I’ll text Joe to let him know that I’m bringing you,” He pulled his phone out of his pocket, and starting typing. I couldn’t help the frown that formed on my face, knowing that he had Joe’s number.
“I’ll be out soon,” I mumbled, turning and heading for the bathroom.
Once I was safe in the shower, I began thinking about what could happen at the party. Maybe people wouldn’t hate me as much if I were with Aaron. Or maybe they would hate me more, and accuse Aaron of dating me. Maybe people would leave me alone and let me be; I doubted that. But, hopefully they’d be too drunk to care. In the back of my mind, I was a little excited to go and wanted to make sure that I cleaned and dressed myself properly, so at least I’d look nice. This was my first party.
Once out, I towel dried my hair before wrapping it around my waist. “Aaron! I forgot my clothes in the room.” I bit my lip, hoping that he wouldn’t mind the state I was in. I slowly opened the door and walked back to my room. I spotted Aaron in my closet, looking for clothes.
“Can I borrow some-“ He froze and gaped when he turned and saw me. “c-c-clothes.” He stuttered, his eyes roaming my body. I blinked slowly, not really sure what to do. I also wasn’t sure why I would get that kind of reaction out of him.
“Yeah,” I answered, consciously wrapping my arms around myself. He quickly turned back to the closet, snapping himself out of whatever trance he was in.
“What do you want to wear?” He suddenly asked, pulling out a pair of skinny jeans.
“Can you pick out something for me?” I chewed on the inside of my cheek. I wanted to look decent, and if Aaron was cool enough for Joe and his friends, then he had to have some sense of style.
“Yep,” He dug out clothes from my closet and handed them to me. I quickly pulled on boxers and the jeans he picked out before he turned around and saw me. I then slid on the fitted black t-shirt and exhaled.
“Thanks,” I said, watching as he put on black skinny jeans and a white t-shirt.
“All ready!” He smiled.
~ ~ ~
We got out of the car and headed towards the front door, hearing the music blaring. I wrung my hands together nervously and straightened out my shirt. “You’ll be fine,” Aaron said beside me, making me feel more nervous.
I ran a hand through my hair, fixing it and breathed deeply. “I know; I just don’t want to get made fun of tonight,”
“If they do, I won’t hesitate to punch them.”
“Don’t do that!” I nearly yelled, eyes widening. “That won’t make anything better,”
We reached the front door and Aaron opened it slowly, gesturing for me to walk in. I took a small step in, waiting for him. He appeared beside me, smiling.
“Hey!” Someone shouted, making their way over to us. I recoiled, stuffing a hand into my pocket. “What’s up, man?” The guy asked, giving Aaron some sort of handshake. Aaron replied something, but I couldn’t quite hear.
“Come on, Dyl.” Aaron grabbed my hand and pulled me toward what looked like the living room; it was hard to tell with all of the people dancing and drinking.
“What are we doing?” I asked, sitting down beside him on the couch.
“Look,” He gestured around the room. “You didn’t get made fun of,” He smiled.
“Maybe I should dress like this more often.” I looked down at my clothes.
“Hey,” Some girl in front of us said before taking a seat on Aaron’s lap. I furrowed my brows, looking down at my hands.
“Hey,” He replied and when I looked up he had his arms around her. I gulped, fumbling with the hem of my shirt. I then looked around the room, watching as people danced. A guy I recognized as Tom waved me over from across the room.
I blinked a few times before standing up slowly, glancing at Aaron and the girl who seemed to be getting comfortable. I then made my way over to Tom and his group of friends, cautiously. I wasn’t worried as I usually would be. Aaron was right across the room if I needed him…
“Hey!” Tom shouted over the music. “Dance with us!” I nodded slightly, looking at his friends who smiled reassuringly at me. I smiled a bit and began to dance with them, noting their drunken state.
This was like a dream; to have people accept me and hang out with me like I was just any other normal person. I smiled an actual smile and continued to dance without a care.
“Dilly!” Aaron said beside me, wrapping an arm around my waist, in what seemed to me, to be a protective gesture.
“What?” I asked, stopping my movements to look at him.
“You left me!” He frowned.
“You were getting close with some girl,” I countered back.
“She was drunk,” He stated simply and I rolled my eyes.
“So I wasn’t getting close with her,”
“Whatever,” I kept frowning and was about to turn to face Tom again when Aaron pulled me against his chest in a hug.
“I’m sorry,” He murmured. “I won’t do it again.”
“Its fine,” I replied, pulling back slightly.
“You can dance. I’ll get you a drink.” He smiled.
“No alcohol,” I murmured before turning back to Tom.
A few minutes later, I felt a pair of strong arms wrap around me from behind. I looked back to see Aaron smiling a cute smile at me. “I didn’t know what to get you to drink.”
“That’s alright,” I smiled back, looking down at his arms. I stilled a bit when I felt his front side press into my back side.
“Dance with me,” He murmured into my ear, swaying his hips against me. He gripped onto my sides and I moved with him, my heart pounding.
“Fag,” I saw Tom mouth to me from where he was dancing. My stomach knotted up as I felt Aaron stop moving and tense up. I began to feel worried because I really wasn’t in the mood to argue with anybody tonight and I especially didn’t want Aaron to be involved.
“Cool it man,” Aaron said from behind me in a serious tone to Tom.
“Alright dude, calm down. I was just playing around.” stated Tom with a cautious look on his face as he and his friends left us. I watched Aaron as he moved around to the front of me and we began to dance again.
An hour later, everyone sat in a circle, ready to play seven minutes in heaven. I was wary on the whole situation, considering I wasn’t ready to kiss random guys or girls in a closet.
The bottle spun and I watched carefully, my eyes widening every time it passed me. Once the bottle landed on some guy, I breathed a sigh of relief and watched as people emerged from the room to see what would happen between the two.
Once they came back into the room, we spun again. Tom volunteered to spin next and I absentmindedly gripped the side of Aaron’s shirt, considering his close proximity. He cunningly slid an arm around to my side, in a protective way.
“Ha! Look who it landed on,” Tom chuckled, looking my way. “My good friend, Dylan!” He stood up, keeping his eyes on me. “Come on, buddy, I won’t bite… unless you’re into that.”
I looked at Aaron, my eyes pleading him to do something. He looked at me sympathetically, before moving his arm from around me.
I followed behind Tom slowly just before I felt him yank on my hand and pull me toward the closet. I glanced back to see a group of kids already forming with smirks on their faces. We got inside the small spaced area and the door slammed shut, with me being the only one in there. I reached my arms out automatically, as I couldn’t see anything. “Hello?” I asked, my hands finding the door.
“Hey fag! Get out of there!” I recognized Tom’s voice. I pushed on the door, noticing how it wouldn’t budge. The muffled laughs didn’t go unnoticed as I began banging my fists on the door.
“I can’t,” I whimpered to myself, twisting the handle. My heart sunk into my stomach, and tears pricked at my eyes.
“Open the fucking door!” I then heard Aaron shout from the other side. The door swung open and there stood Tom smirking at me.
“Look who came out of the closet,” Tom laughed… “again,” Everyone’s laughs followed shortly after and I quickly glanced around the room in a panic. I made a beeline through the crowd and darted out of the house.
“Dylan!” I heard Aaron shouting after me. I ran over to his car once I got outside and pulled on the handle repeatedly, the tears spilling from my eyes. “Dyl!” He yelled again, reaching me. Before I knew what was happening, I was in his arms, my face up against his chest. “I’m sorry, Dyl. I didn’t know.” He soothed, rubbing my back.
“I just want to go,” I mumbled, sniffling a few times. “Please,”
“Of course,” He reached into his pocket, releasing me slowly and unlocked the door.
I opened the door and quickly got into the car, waiting for Aaron to get in. Once in, he started the car and glanced nervously over at me. “Do you want me to just drop you off?”
“Yeah,” I grumbled, wiping at my eyes, looking out of the window. He pulled out onto the street, turning the radio on quietly as background noise.
“They’re such dicks,” He murmured to himself, his hands tightening on the wheel.
“I should’ve expected that. I just- I thought maybe they’d like me because I was with you.” I said, sighing. “Never again,”
“I’m sorry…” He groaned.
“Are you going to go back to the party?” I asked, looking up at him.
“No,” He answered simply, pulling into my driveway. “I’ll walk you up,” He said, getting out of the car. I followed suit, and walked up to the door beside him.
“Thanks,” I cleared my throat. “Do you want to come in?” I asked as I reached my hand out to play with the bottom of his shirt nervously.
“Only if you want me to,” He stretched his arms out and trailed his fingers up and down my sides lightly. I bit back a smile, seeing as I was still upset.
“What the fuck are you doing?!” I jumped at my brother’s voice and quickly turned around to see him standing in the doorway.
“S-Sorry,” I stuffed a hand into my pocket, my face turning bright red. “I was just-“
“Leaving,” He finished for me.
“Yeah… I-I’ll go.” I gulped.
“Come on, Dyl.” Aaron said quietly, patting his hand on my side gently. I turned around and sulked over to the car.
We pulled up to Aaron’s house after he insisted on me coming over. I kept my head down as we walked inside and his sister greeted us. “We’ll be upstairs,” Aaron said, throwing an arm across my shoulders. We walked up, my head still down as he guided me to his room. “Nice warm bed,” He murmured, pulling me over to sit on it. “You can sleep over, Dilly.” He leaned over, placing a soft kiss to my temple. “You can share my bed,” He said, with his lips still hovering near my face.
“Thank you,” I muttered, leaning into his side. We sat in silence for a few minutes before lying down.
“Are you tired?” He said lowly, his hand sliding up the side of my shirt slightly, before he traced his fingers up and down, slowly. I exhaled deeply, relaxing into him.
“Yes,” I breathed, nuzzling my head against his chest. I slid my hand over his arm, miming his movements that are on my side, absentmindedly. He pulled the comforter farther up our bodies and used his other hand to ruffle his hair.
“We can sleep now,”
I looked up at him and smiled, kissing his chin gently. “Thank you for being my friend,”
“I really like you, Dylan.”