The next morning was a drag. The thought of having to show up at school and pretend nothing happened between me and Aaron was heart wrenching. Maybe it was for the better… so I wouldn’t get made fun of more than I already do, and drag him down with me. But, a small part in my heart, wanted him to show me off to everyone, and act as if we didn’t care what they’d say… because we liked each other, and that’s all that matters.
“Fuck you, you ugly piece of shit.” Someone said, pushing past me. I jumped and quickly fumbled with my shirt, – the same one that I wore yesterday –scared for my life.
It was difficult to get ready, considering I still wasn’t allowed in my house. I couldn’t even bring my school bag. So I walked in the same grimy outfit that I slept with on the front steps of my house. I ran my hands through my hair a few times, trying to tame it as best as I could.
Once entering the school, kids whispered amongst themselves, as usual and I headed to my locker without a second glance.
“Dylan,” Aaron said, suddenly beside me, leaning against the row of lockers. I continued digging in my locker for my books, not looking over at him.
“What’s wrong?” He asked, warily. I slammed my locker shut and began heading to first period, him following.
“Nothing… have you thought of anything for our book project?” I asked, just remembering about the stupid assignment.
“No… We can hang out in the library after school?” He suggested and I shook my head.
“I have to be home,” I lied. I really didn’t want to go home. I was still locked out, and I had nothing to wear, or to eat.
“Are you mad at me, Dylan?” He suddenly asked as we entered the classroom and took our usual seats.
“No, I’m just tired.” I answered.
He suddenly kissed my cheek swiftly, whispering, “I’m sorry, I’m just not ready.” I quirked an eyebrow. Was he a mind reader?
“I understand,” I nodded, just as the teacher started class.
~ ~~ ~~
After hearing the teacher lecture us about our book projects, I was quite done with the day. I was done with everyone and everything. I sat down at the lunch table, placing my hands in my lap. Aaron came in shortly after and sat across from me, smiling.
“Where’s your lunch?” He asked, opening his bag of chips that he pulled out of his lunch.
“I forgot it,” I shrugged. “I’ll be fine.”
He stared at me, frowning. “Come with me.” I watched as Aaron emerged from the table and over to the short line to buy lunch. He waved me over and I soon stood beside him. “Do you like,” He peered over at the menu, “chicken nuggets?”
I nodded, furrowing my brows. “I don’t want you buying me anything.”
“It’s no problem, Dilly.” He smiled, his fingers tugging gently on my shirt. I smiled slightly, moving a little closer to him.
Once he bought my lunch and we sat, I thanked him quietly and he smiled wide in response. “You have to eat something.”
I smiled up at him, thanking him yet again and he shook his head.
“You can repay me, with a kiss.” He whispered, smiling a secret smile. I bit my lip to hold back a wide smile.
“Later,” I muttered, chewing slowly on a nugget.
~~ ~~ ~~
I sat in the lobby, waiting for Aaron. He had told me that he would take me home and that he was waiting for that kiss I had promised him. I smiled to myself, kicking my feet back and forth.
The wait was taking longer than expected; Aaron had football practice, which he hadn’t told me about and my smile slowly turned to a frown as I sat there.
I then began to remember how mad I still was at him. I mean, sure, he wasn’t ready to come out to everyone… but, I couldn’t help the feeling of being used. He kissed me… multiple times and acted all couple-y with me, without confirming or denying anything, except publicly. But, public or not, I still didn’t know what we were or what things meant.
I never really envisioned myself with him, or with anyone for that matter. But, after kissing him and feeling those indescribable tingles, I knew what I wanted. I wanted him; and not just his body… I wanted him as, what –a boyfriend? It never crossed my mind –me dating somebody –after all of those dreadful and hurtful comments from my peers. No one gave me the opportunity to believe in love or believe in dating. They made it out, as if I, dating anyone was a catastrophe . . . that the world would end -I wasn’t allowed to be happy with myself or my life. Me being gay was apparently the center of their worlds. If I were to date anyone –a male –it would end their lives.
I rolled my eyes at the ridiculousness of it all. It really was nobody’s business, but mine. I should’ve been allowed to date whoever I pleased. It wasn’t affecting them in any way. Did it affect how they watched TV, or how they played video games? Did it make them trip on the sidewalk while heading to school? Did it make their parents kick them out of their house? Did it make them lose any friends? No.
So I shouldn’t have had to feel threatened every day of my life walking into school. I shouldn’t have worried about what they had to say. Because once I graduated and moved on in life, no one would even remember me. No one’s jobs would be in jeopardy, no one would live on the streets because of me.
“Hi, baby.” Aaron said quietly, reaching me, shaking me out of my reverie.
“Hi,” I murmured. “How was your first practice?” I took in his sweaty and mud-covered appearance. He held his helmet firmly in his hand and smiled down at me. He looked, well sexy, to be frank.
“It was fun!” He beamed, sitting down beside me. “I played defense and intercepted the ball.” I nodded, looking at him, not understanding what he was saying. “It was great. You should come and watch next time.” He looked at me hopefully.
“Maybe,” I said, coolly, noting as he slid his hand to mine and cunningly hooked his pinky with mine. The butterflies spewed in my stomach, my heart lurching in my chest. I glanced around the lobby, my breathing uneven. This was new… almost holding hands.
“We should go,” He whispered, close to my ear. I nodded slowly. We both stood and made our way silently out of the school, our pinkies still entwined.
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