There are times when I don’t know who I am. I’m floating in a sea of emptiness, searching for something I can’t understand. I try to call out but no words come to me, I try to reach out but I have no hands. I am nothing, there is nothing.
And then I wake up, the alarm blaring in my ear like some sort of emergency siren, telling me that something has gone wrong, and that I have to wake up and face the emergency. My life, my emergency, and that cruel joke they call high school.
Fuck. My. Life.
Every day that I roll out of bed it’s the same story. I pee, I shower, and I spend a few seconds in the mirror to make sure that my hair isn’t too bad, I pretend to brush my teeth and then I get dressed for school. I run out the door before my mom has time to shove breakfast at me. Who needs breakfast when you can have five more minutes of sleep? I certainly don’t, and the school has vending machines for that reason anyway. Besides, no time for mom because that would be totally uncool; no kid at fourteen wants their mothers to know what’s going in in their heads. Besides, if she knew some of the things I kept secret, I don’t know how she’d react.
So there I was, another day, another morning in the life of Seth McAllister, the normal, average, small and quiet kid who was in the middle of his freshman year at Columbia High in Sanitaria Springs. I was walking to school, as usual, hoping to catch up with one of my friends before I reached the doors. It sucks to walk into school alone; the bullies notice.
And then I heard my name yelled out from down the block. I turned toward the sound, expecting to see one of my friends, but instead I saw someone running toward me who I would have never expected. Logan Whitmore, one of the most popular kids in my grade. He had taken the freshman year by storm, and everyone knew who he was. It didn’t mean he was friends with everyone, though he had a large following. He had run for the office of representative for the freshman class but had barely lost to Harry Summers, but there was little doubt that if he ran for office again for the sophomore year that he’d be sure to get it. Everyone liked Logan, and he liked everyone.
Except, of course, me. I wasn’t the kind of kid that attracted the popular crowd. I didn’t do any sports; I didn’t do anything really except play video games and watch movies. Even then, my tastes weren’t what others tended to like, and I was pushed to the fringe even in my circle of friends. Sure, the few guys I did hang with liked me well enough, I guess, but when they wanted to go see the newest action flick and I wanted to see the new musical we kind of butted heads.
“Seth!” Logan called out again, and I blinked several times as I realized that he really had been calling me and I hadn’t misheard him. I stopped my walking and turned toward him the rest of the way. The least I could do is hear him out.
“Logan.” I said his name quietly and formally. I didn’t know why he was there yet, and so I wasn’t prepared to think of this as anything other than some chance meeting.
He stopped running and pulled up in front of me panting. Reaching up with one arm to slide the light-brown hair away from his blue eyes, he flashed me a toothy grin and then stuck out his hand. “I don’t think we’ve ever properly met. I’m Logan.”
“I know,” I replied, taking his hand and shaking it briefly. “You’re in my gym class.”
“Really?” Logan asked, “That must be where I saw you and learned your name.” He kept smiling, though I was still waiting to find out why he was talking to me.
“So… what can I do for you?” I asked awkwardly.
“Oh!” Logan laughed and clapped me on the shoulder. “I saw you walking home yesterday and found out that you live in my area. My parents and I recently moved to the next street over from yours. I’m still with all my friends from middle school but none of them live by me.” His voice fell a little as he stammered, “I was hoping we could walk to school together.”
I was startled and obviously showed it in my face as his eyes showed that he was about to back out of his offer when I managed to get my shock under control and replied, “Sure. Sounds awesome. None of my friends live around me either.”
“Now one does,” Logan said with a shy smile. He grabbed my shoulder again and spun me around so that I was facing the direction of the school and then fell in step beside me. “We’re going to be good friends, Seth,” He said with a chuckle, “by the time this day is over.”
I wasn’t certain I agreed with that assessment, but as we got to talking I found out that we had more interests in common than I ever would have guessed. He still liked the things that normal kids liked, and he was on the school basketball team, but there was more to him than that, and I found myself meshing with his other side. The most surprising point for me was when I was able to talk about musicals and have him understand me completely.
“The new ‘Into the Woods’ is great and all, and I’m glad they made it into a movie,” I said while shaking my head, “But no matter how good Meryl Streep is she…”
“… Just isn’t Bernadette Peters?” Logan finished for me. “I know, right?” He said with a sigh, not noticing the look of complete shock I was giving him. “But Disney still did a great job, all things considered.”
“Y-yeah…” I stammered, and then recovered enough to not sound like a complete idiot as I continued, “I was just thinking the same thing. So, what are your feelings on The Nightmare Before Christmas?”
He looked at me and grinned, and I knew without a doubt that his assessment from earlier had been spot on. We continued our conversation up until the point that we walked through the doors of Columbia High right as the first bell rang. We split up, agreeing to meet again in gym, and I turned to go when he called out to me. I faced him and he pulled out his phone which was open to his contact screen.
“Oh. You want my number?” I asked, staring at him blankly.
“Yeah, doofus!” He replied, punching my shoulder playfully. “Of course! Come on, we’re going to be late!”
I grinned and gave him my number and then left, and a second later I felt a vibration in my pocket. When I retrieved my phone and read the text, I couldn’t help but laugh. The message read: I put you in my phone as ‘Bernadette Peter’s second-biggest fan’. It seemed appropriate. I sent him a quick response, asking if he was her biggest fan and immediately received his answer. Of course, doofus, I’m taller.
I was still laughing as I entered my first period math class, a complete first for me. I hated math, but not even the pop quiz that Ms. Davis gave us that morning was able to remove my good mood. It had been a long time since I had found a person I connected to as well as Logan had with me that morning. I was practically glowing, and I know the few people I talked to in that class could see it, and for some reason I didn’t even care that I was being noticed. For once I had met someone that liked me for who I was. I could only hope that Logan continued to stick around and be my friend, and possibly even…
I let my thoughts end there. I didn’t dare consider the possibility that there could be more. Such a thing would be too good to be true, and I didn’t want to give myself false hope that my fucked up life could actually transform into paradise. I decided I’d enjoy Logan’s friendship while it lasted, but I knew that it too would be fleeting.
By the time class ended I was in a different mood. I was no longer caught up in the happiness of the morning, instead I was dreading the time that Logan grew tired of me. It was bound to happen. He’d meet other kids in the neighborhood and he’d walk to school with them, and suddenly I’d be discarded, just as I had so many other times. It was only a matter of time before it fell apart.
My pocket buzzed again, and I briefly considered not even checking it, but I knew that I had to. I owed it to myself to have at least some hope in things working out for me. I unlocked my phone and read the message, smiling sadly. Gym class. I’ll see you there! I thought about replying, but then I just shrugged and put the phone back in my pocket. I’d see him in a few minutes, and then it would all fall apart.
He met me at the door to the locker room. His phone was in his hand, and he had just finished checking it when he looked up and met my eyes. He grinned and stepped toward me, laying his arm across my shoulders as he asked, “Hey, did you like my text?”
“Yeah,” I said with a smile that came easily to me. It wasn’t that difficult for me to be happy when I had him next to me, as his enthusiasm was infectious, but there was still that nagging sense that soon I wouldn’t have him so close. “It was hilarious,” I said when he seemed to want me to say something more.
“I thought you’d appreciate it,” He said with a satisfied nod. “Hey, I was thinking… It’s Friday night, and I don’t have any plans. Do you want to come over and watch the 1991 Into The Woods?” He gave me puppy dog eyes for the second time that day, and I knew I couldn’t refuse the request, despite the fact that I was completely shocked by the fact he had asked me at all. Nothing could prepare me for his next question, however, as he began to shuffle his feet and for the first time I had ever seen him, I knew he was nervous. “Maybe,” he continued as his voice broke just a little, “You could even spend the night.”
I nearly fainted as I stared into his eyes, and for the second time I managed to respond right before he backed out of the offer. “I’d have to check with my parents first but…” I swallowed hard and coughed to cover up my delay, “T-that sounds g-great!”
His eyes lit up and he said with obvious enthusiasm, “Cool!” Then he released my shoulder and we walked to our gym lockers among a crowd of chattering boys. While neither one of us had made mention of it during our earlier conversation about being in gym together, his locker was very close to mine, halfway down the same row. I expected him to stay down by his locker with his usual friends and get dressed, but after saying hello to them he retrieved his clothes quickly and returned to where I was standing, pulling my shirt off. I saw him out of the corner of my eye, looking at my skinny naked chest appraisingly. I was scrawny and I knew it, but he didn’t seem to be giving me any sort of negative judgment, but the attention embarrassed me, and I suddenly wished my short black hair was long enough for me to hide behind so that I didn’t have to look at him.
I decided not to comment on his stare, but kept him in my peripheral vision as he started to undress. I had never allowed myself to watch him before, but now that I had him this close I couldn’t help myself. His chest was smooth and not as toned as I had expected for the athlete that he was, though it was still far more muscular than mine. Despite the fact that it was winter, his entire upper body was tanned still from a summer that must have been spent mostly shirtless, and when his skin tone on his legs matched as he slid out of his jeans I realized that he had to be an avid swimmer. I was fond of swimming myself, and I knew that if our friendship somehow survived the winter then I would have to ask him to swim with me.
He turned slightly toward me, and that’s when I saw the bulge in his briefs. I started coughing again to cover up my reaction. For a kid our age, he was huge. I turned away, letting him fall out of sight as I pulled on my gym shorts and then quickly slid my shirt over my chest to hide my flushed face. I busied myself in putting my normal clothes away in my locker until I glanced back to see that he was grinning at me shyly. He was still shirtless, but he had pulled his shorts on over his briefs, and the bulge was no longer quite as noticeable.
“See you on the court?” He asked before sliding into his gym shirt. I nodded slowly and he turned away to put his own clothes in his locker. I breathed a heavy sigh of relief and then left the locker room. If undressing next to Logan was this bad, I could only imagine what would happen if we were to shower together after class. I could pop a boner and then I’d be embarrassed for sure!
The rest of gym went better than any other gym class I had had previously in all my years of school. Fridays were free days, and provided you were exercising and not getting hurt, the gym teachers were generally open to whatever you had in mind. Normally I just stood on the fringes of the basketball court and pretended I was participating, but this time Logan made sure I got in the game. He picked me first for teams, and he made sure to pass to me often, and by the time the bell for dressing rang out I was sure I had improved my skill by a lot. I was sweaty but I felt great.
Until we stepped into the locker room and I realized that there was no way I was going to get out of showering this time. No amount of body spray was going to give me a pass on how much I had sweated. I was doomed.
Resigning myself to my fate, I sighed heavily as I dressed down to my boxers, grabbed the towel that I rarely used from my locker, and then tied it around my waist before shucking my boxers as well. I grabbed the unopened bar of soap and started toward the showers, only to have a very naked Logan fall into step beside me. My eyes seemed to have a mind of their own, and I couldn’t help but glance at his considerable youthful package. He wore it proudly, like it was a badge of honor, flopping between his legs, almost like he was presenting himself to me. And only to me, I noticed, as the way he held the towel in his hands blocked the view from the front even though I could easily see him from the side. And then he apparently grew self-conscious at last and brought the towel closer to his body.
“So, you’re going to shower today?” Logan asked, thankfully giving me something else to focus on other than his crotch. “Normally you avoid it.”
Why would he mention that? I wondered, turning toward him cautiously. “Yeah… Normally I don’t get that sweaty, but today was a bit more…” I paused, searching for the right word. “Active than usual.”
“I get it,” he said with a grin. “No worries. You can come shower next to me. It can be embarrassing when you’re standing by yourself.” I nodded, though at the moment I was wishing that I was anywhere but right next to him, and I chose to focus on not letting things get out of control beneath my towel.
I followed him to one of the sets of shower heads and hung my towel on the nearby hook, keeping myself turned away from him as I did. I kept my eyes high as I moved back to the shower head and pressed the button in, feeling the warm water wash over me. I kept the soap in my hands and as soon as my body was wet enough I began to scrub myself all over. Somewhere between the heat of the water and the movement of the soap against my crotch I noticed that I was starting to plump up. In desperation I started to rinse the soap from my body, feeling like all the eyes in the shower room were on me as I rose to half mast, quickly approaching full. As the last trace of soap disappeared from my body I turned off the showerhead and jumped for my towel, wrapping it around myself as I disappeared as quickly as I could.
I didn’t wait for Logan. I couldn’t. I was too embarrassed by what had happened and I didn’t want to face him. The bell would ring soon anyway and it would be time for lunch. We hadn’t agreed to eat together, and he had his own circle of friends anyway, so I dressed as quickly as I could and left the locker room. I noticed him leaving the shower to get dressed as I stepped through the door and into the gym, and sighed in relief as I leaned against the wall. Knowing that it would only be a matter of minutes before he came out to join me, I headed for the door out of the gym and sneaked out before the bell.
The halls were empty except for a few kids from my class who had had the same idea of getting ahead on their lunch period. I knew what I was after, and instead of heading toward the lunch room, I made a direct line for the language hall. The bell rang as I rounded the first corner, but I was already halfway there, and before I made it to Mr. Eddington’s English class I saw my quarry. Jamie Kirkwood, walking with a pair of buddies from the class.
“Jamie!” I called out, surprising myself by how calm I sounded. I was desperate for someone to talk to, and I expected that fact to be broadcast in everything I did. I felt a buzzing in my pocket but I ignored it as Jamie turned toward me, flashing me one of his award-winning smiles. He excused himself from his friends and dodged through the students around him to get to me.
“Seth!” He greeted me with a fist bump. “Haven’t seen you in a while. It’s been like…” He thought really hard for a moment and then said with a snicker, “A day. What’s new?”
“I was wondering if you could… talk for a moment?” I said uncertainly. I looked around nervously at the students around us. “Somewhere quieter?”
“Library? It’s always open during lunch.” He suggested with a raised eyebrow. I nodded and we started dodging through the crowds together on our way to the suggested location. My phone buzzed two more times as we walked, but I continued to ignore it. Once we arrived, we found a table in the corner and sat down, him leaning back in his chair while I began to shift uncomfortably.
“All right, what’s up?” Jamie asked a tad impatiently. I heard his stomach growl and understood why. I was hungry too, though I didn’t feel like I’d have much appetite if I tried to eat anything.
“Hey I wanted to say thanks for taking care of David Mullins for me last week,” I began, not wanting to address the issue head on. I needed some time to work up to what was going through my mind.
“You know I’d do it for anyone, but that fuckwad had it coming,” Jamie said with a glare. It wasn’t directed at me, and I was sure he was imagining David’s face when Jamie threw him up against the lockers and told him in no uncertain terms that David’s bullying of me wouldn’t be tolerated.
“Yeah but, you know I appreciate your doing that for me… I consider you a friend,” I said, as I started to choke on my words. “I think it’s awesome how you don’t care what anyone thinks of you.”
“I consider you a friend too, Seth,” Jamie replied with a grin. “What can I do for you today? This isn’t about David.”
“Jamie, can I ask you something… important?” I asked, afraid to meet his eyes for fear that I’d lose the courage to say anything at all. My phone buzzed again, and I reached down and turned off the vibrating function, not wanting it to distract me until the conversation was over.
“Yeah, of course you can!” Jamie said with a grin. “What’s up?” His eyes grew serious and every trace of his earlier impatience disappeared as he leaned forward and growled, “Some little fucker giving you shit again?”
“No…” I shook my head, this time meeting his eyes as I grimaced. “It’s something else.”
“All right then, what is it?”
I took a deep breath and went for it. “You have two gay older brothers, right?”
Jamie’s eyes widened at the question, clearly caught off guard. “Yes, but that’s not really a question,” he answered with a snicker. “The whole school knows that. Come on, Seth!”
“Did you know they were gay before they came out?” I asked, ignoring his sarcasm. “I mean…” I sighed in frustration. “Was there some way you could tell?”
“Not really,” Jamie answered with a shrug. “They were just my brothers, ya know?”
“What about now. Can you see it now?” I spoke more urgently, hoping that he’d see how serious this issue was to me. His blue eyes met my green and he nodded in apparent understanding.
“When they’re hanging out with their boyfriends, sure,” He said with a shrug. “I mean, it’s pretty fucking obvious isn’t it?” He snickered again, though he quickly stifled it and went on with a shudder, “It’s hard to deny it when they’re kissing, no matter how hard it is for me to think of kissing another guy! They seem to like it though, and it’s not like it bothers me that they do it.”
“Y-yeah…” I stammered, looking anywhere but at his face.
“What’s this about?” Jamie asked, his eyes showing concern.
“So really, there’s no way for you to tell?” I asked.
“Nope,” Jamie shook his head firmly. “Some people say it’s a genetic thing, but Mom and Dad are both straight and I sure as hell am so…” He shrugged for a third time and smiled. “Beats me. I guess it’s just something that you won’t know until a person tells you.”
I let the information digest for a moment and then smiled back and said, “Thanks.”
“Hey, don’t mention it,” Jamie said as his stomach growled again. He patted his abs as he stood up to leave. When he noticed that I wasn’t following he nodded in understanding and said simply, “And Seth?”
“There’s nothing to be ashamed about if you’re gay. I get that it’s not necessarily what you’re saying but…” He grinned and took a deep breath as he put his hand out for another fist bump. “You got at least one friend in me if you need some support.”
“T-thanks,” I stammered as I bumped his fist weakly, not sure how to take that last comment. Jamie never stopped grinning as he turned around and left the library. I sat for a moment, digesting the conversation before I pulled out my phone to check my messages, each one from Logan.
Why did you leave? Was the first message, and I grimaced as I thought about it. It was an obvious answer for me, but maybe he hadn’t seen my bone up.
Are you okay? No. That one was easy too, though I did feel better now that I had talked to Jamie. At least he had cleared up for me that gaydar wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Unless Jamie just didn’t have any, in which case I was still fucked.
Where are you? In the library, thinking about how I just ruined an awesome chance at friendship. Do you want to come find me so that you can kick my ass like all the other bullies? No, I couldn’t text that, no matter how much I wanted to play to the bitterness inside of me. This was too good to be true from the beginning.
I was hoping we could eat lunch together. Okay, now I was confused. Did he really want my friendship? Was I not just a convenient person to walk to school with as I had thought? Could it be that he actually…? No, he couldn’t.
Are we still on for you coming over tonight? It was his final text, and I could see his puppy-dog eyes in my mind as I considered the question. He hadn’t been messing with me. He really was interested.
That thought brought on whole new complications of their own. New feelings I wasn’t sure how to deal with. I remembered how he had looked at me when we met on the street, the hope that had been in his eyes. I remembered distinctly the way his arm had felt around my shoulders, and the excited way in which he had insisted he get my phone number. I could still feel his eyes on my skin as we dressed for gym, and the way he grinned when he caught me noticing his package, and the subsequent presentation of that same package to me as we walked to the showers.
And then there were these texts, which sounded almost desperate in the way that they sought for my response. I couldn’t deny what it looked like, and my heart began to race as I considered the possibility. Could Logan actually be interested in me? Was I that thick to have not seen it from the beginning?
My mind began to race as I considered the possibility, the implications of what had occurred throughout the day. I started and erased text after text, thinking of how I could respond, but then something Jamie had said to me earlier stuck with me. There was no way for a person to know for sure unless they were told, and it was my responsibility to say what needed to be said.
I looked at the clock in the library and realized that there were only a couple minutes before the bell was about to ring. I quickly started what would have to be my final text. Sorry. I realized that there was an emergency assignment I had to take care of for my next period. I’ve been in the library, and I didn’t notice my texts right away. Yes, I’m still planning on tonight. I have something to talk to you about when we get to your house. I didn’t even bother to look over the text message before I hit send, and my fate was sealed. Now I’d have to tell him my true feelings, and that was that.
His next text came right as the bell was ringing for third period, but I ignored the bell and focused on my phone instead. My breath caught in my throat as I read his text: No worries. I’ll meet you at the west doors then. By the big tree. I’m so excited!
“You won’t be once you hear what I have to say,” I muttered, feeling the bitterness return. With a final glance at the clock I quickly gathered my things and ran to my next period, intent to put the situation out of my mind until the time came for the truth.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“Have you called your parents about sleeping over yet?” Logan asked when we entered his house. He had been chatting about school the whole time, and I had been content to listen. I gave the occasional remark to show him that I was paying attention, but my thoughts had been focused on the coming conversation.
“No. Actually, I was hoping we could talk first,” I said weakly, avoiding his gaze. I didn’t want him to see my uncertainty. I had to maintain as much confidence as I could or I wouldn’t be able to go through with it.
“Um… Okay, I guess…” was his reply. His tone was quiet and unsure, and I glanced his direction to see a great deal of doubt in his eyes. Unlike earlier, this time I didn’t have the courage to respond soon enough to stop him from becoming wrapped up in my hesitation as he said, “If you don’t want to stay I understand…”
“Let’s just talk, okay? And then we’ll go from there?” I suggested, smiling meekly. His eyes lit up a little and he nodded and gestured that I should take the stairs first.
“First room on the right,” Logan said as I took his direction and started up. I opened the door to find a reasonably clean room with only a bit of clutter in a few places. Most noticeable were the papers and books on his desk, the clothes and magazines poking out from under his bed, and the sports gear that sat in front of his closet. “Go ahead and have a seat on the bed,” he said from close behind me, and I quickly took his direction and sat on the edge of his mattress. He pulled out his desk chair and dragged it toward me before setting it down and sitting in it backwards, crossing his arms over the backrest as he stared at me. “So…” he began awkwardly, “What do you want to talk about?”
“I…” I began, glancing away from him to his bed, which was made up but it wasn’t perfect. “I’m a little nervous, so bear with me. This is the first time I’ve ever done this.”
His voice changed to a supportive one, and I glanced back to see that his eyes had lit up again. “It’s okay, Seth. I understand. We’ve all been there at one time or another…” He smiled at me encouragingly. “You can say it, just take your time.”
“It’s…” I began again, but then growled in frustration and stomped down with my foot, which collided with a magazine. I glanced down to see if I had damaged it and noticed what it was. A very obvious gay porn magazine, with two muscular men wearing almost nothing standing very close to each other, one with his hand on the other’s bulging crotch. I coughed and then looked up to him, to see that his own eyes had followed down to the magazine and then back up to mine. His encouragement was still there, but he was suddenly nervous.
“Hey… maybe I should go first,” Logan said as he stood up and started to pace. “There are some things you need to understand, and I haven’t been entirely honest with you.”
“Uh…” I said, not sure how to respond. I glanced back down at the magazine again and then up at him.
“It’s you, Seth…” Logan said with a sigh. “I couldn’t stop thinking about how alone you always looked. You’re never with any friends, I’ve never seen you hitting on any girls…” he trailed off shaking his head. He met my eyes for a moment as he added. “I mean, I’ve noticed how you never shower after gym.”
“Logan, I… really don’t know what to say. I mean, I’m sorry about what happened in the shower,” I said, growling in frustration. “God, why is this so hard?”
“No, I’m sorry about what happened in the shower. I shouldn’t have been so open about that, I made you uncomfortable. I’m sorry,” Logan said as he leaned against his desk, staring out his window and nothing in particular.
“I just hope,” I said, choking back a sob, “that you’ll still want to be my friend.”
“Seth,” Logan said, turning toward me his face was torn by emotions I couldn’t interpret. Suddenly he had crossed the room and I was in his arms, crying as he held me. He sat down on the bed, cradling my head against his shoulder. “Shush…” he whispered in my ear. “It’s okay.”
“I feel like I messed this whole thing up, Logan,” I said when my sobbing had finally subsided. “God… I’m so screwed up.”
“Shush…” Logan patted my back soothingly. “Seth, it’s all right. I’ve been trying to make it clear to you all day that I don’t care that you’re gay.”
My back stiffened and I stopped crying immediately. I slowly peeled myself away from him and looked him in the eyes and asked, “What?”
Logan patted my arm encouragingly and nodded, “It’s all right, Seth. Seriously. I don’t care if you’re gay.”
“L-Logan…” I sputtered, “I feel like I’ve really screwed up now.”
“What do you mean?” Logan asked, confusion replacing encouragement.
“I am sooo sorry for this but…” I shook my head and looked away, and then looked back, knowing that he deserved to see my eyes as I told him the truth. “I didn’t mean to lead you on. I know that you’re attracted to me, but… I’m not gay.”
Logan looked like had had been struck by lightning, his hand stiffened where it was on my arm, and then he slowly began shaking his head, “Seth… I like you… but I don’t think of you that way… I’m not gay.”
“Wait, what?” I asked, watching his eyes for some sign of deception. “But the puppy-dog eyes and the arm around my shoulders and the invite to the sleep-over and the way you pretty much shoved your dick in my face… You’re not gay!?”
Each word that left my mouth widened his eyes and mouth even farther, all three orifices were like gaping chasms. But then his entire body began to shake. At first I thought he was either having a seizure, then I thought he was crying, but then suddenly he began to laugh louder and harder than I had ever heard a person laugh. Like his earlier enthusiasm I found the sound infectious, and joined in a second later, until we were both laughing so hard that we couldn’t see.
Eventually the laughter subsided and we were finally able to look at each other again. “Seth, this has got to be the funniest moment I’ve ever had in my life,” Logan said as he wiped tears away from his eyes. He looked like he was going to be sick from how much he had been laughing, and I could easily tell that his sides hurt as much as my own. “Seth… I did all that to try to show you that I didn’t care if you were gay, I still wanted to be your friend. I give puppy-dog eyes to everyone if I’m trying to get them to become comfortable with me. I always put my arm over the shoulders of my friends that are short enough for me to do it to, and what did you think I was going to do to you at this sleepover?”
I blushed, and then laughed as I thought about how absurd it was, and then blushed again. “Well, I assumed you might do more of that ‘shoving your dick in my face’ thing…” I shuddered at the thought. “I mean, I would have been nice about it but I’ve never had a desire to suck dick in my life.”
Logan started laughing again and then shuddered himself. “Just so you know, that was never the point I was trying to get across. I just wanted you to know that I didn’t care if you looked. I wasn’t going to freak out if I found my new gay friend checking me out.” He grinned and shook his head. “I was going to make it clear if you came after it that my dick was off the table… Wait a minute, I showed you my dick for nothing! God… I was so nervous, too.” He blushed but then a small bubble of laughter erupted from him that had us both start up again for several seconds.
“Wow… well this was incredibly unexpected.” I shook my head and chuckled. Then I slowly began to realize a question that had gone unanswered for me. “Wait… what made you think I was gay?”
Logan instantly blushed as I turned toward him, and he coughed several times before he finally answered. “I thought that was why you never asked any girls out, or didn’t try to make friends. And then you were looking at me out of the corner of your eye earlier… and then there was the way you ran out of the shower room when you plumped up…”
“Aha! So you did notice!” I accused and shoved him playfully.
“Yeah, of course I saw! I mean, you look, everybody looks…” Logan stopped as he realized what he was saying and shook his head, laughing. “Everybody looks,” he echoed. “I’m an idiot, of course you looked! I’m sorry for thinking you were gay when you weren’t, Seth. But look on the bright side, at least we’ve become friends now.”
His words struck me hard, and my eyes were moist again. I turned toward him, letting him see my tears as I said, “I was hoping you’d say that… I was really hoping you’d say that.”
“Seth…” Logan pulled me into another hug and held it, though this time there was no need for consolation, only a gentle sharing of brotherly warmth. When we separated I saw that his eyes were moist as well. “I told you at the beginning that we were going to be friends, and we are. Honestly, with how much we laughed today and the things we have in common…” He trailed off, his words suddenly caught up in his emotions.
“Yes…?” I urged, dying to know what he had been about to say.
“Seth McAllister, will you be my best friend?” Logan asked with a grin that made me melt and if I had been gay would have had me fantasizing about him every night for the rest of my life. I pulled him into a hug, amazing myself at how easy it was to connect to him, and how warm he felt in my arms. We held onto each other for half a minute before he chuckled and whispered in my ear, “Is that a yes?”
I pulled away from him and shoved him playfully, “Of course, doofus. I’ve always wanted a best friend, and I couldn’t think of a better one.”
“Yes!” Logan shouted and jumped up excitedly. “All right then, best friend, call your parents. It’s time to make this official with first annual best friend Into the Woods sleepover!”
I laughed for several seconds and then felt something under my feet as I moved to stand up, looking down I saw the same gay magazine from before. Reaching down with uncertain hands I retrieved the magazine and held it in my hands as I looked up at Logan with a raised eyebrow.
“One last question, best friend,” I said with all seriousness.
“Go ahead,” Logan said, his eyes twinkling.
“Why do you have gay porn stashed under your bed?”
“Ahhhh… my dear Seth,” Logan replied with a grin that lit up the room. “Some things are best left unexplained. After all, you’re going to have all of our years of friendship to discover things about me that you never wanted to know.”
I grinned back with a twinkle in my own eye and said, “Well then, best friend, can I borrow this?”
Without skipping a beat Logan answered. “Of course. There’s more where that one came from.”
I hope you enjoyed this one. It was really fun to write. If you haven’t guessed already, this story was meant to be a parody of a lot of the themes that repeat through a lot of “coming out” stories. There is nothing wrong with those stories, of course, but I wanted to jazz it up a bit.
To any of you who may be questioning your sexuality, there was a second reason why I wrote this story. I wanted you to know that you’re normal, and that, as Logan pointed out above, “Everyone looks”. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay, straight, bisexual, pansexual, transsexual, or anywhere in between (Okay, I don’t know about asexuals. My best friend is one, and he doesn’t even like the topic, so I’m afraid to ask him!) but everyone looks. Orientation does not determine whether or not someone likes a musical, and physical contact does not imply sexual attraction. Be who you want to be, learn to love yourself for who you are, and the rest will sort itself out.
I’m pullin’ for ya. We’re all in this together.
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Thank you for reading one of my stories! I appreciate the fact that you’ve taken the time to view something I’ve done. Although this is probably shameful of me, I’m going to do it anyway! I have a Patreon page where you can support me and help me make writing my career instead of my hobby. The way Patreon works is that you pledge a small amount of money (Even as much as $1 still helps!) per creation that I produce, whether it be a short story or a chapter of a serialization. Each time I produce one of those things, you’ll be charged. The good thing is that you can set a monthly maximum! That means that if you pledged $3 per creation and set a monthly maximum of $8, you would never be charged more than $8 in a month even if I released 5 stories/chapters. Here’s the link: http://www.patreon.com/cynus
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