I was very surprised that Chris had called. My father told me that he had been driving around the day before looking for me, but I just figured he felt guilty because he was the one who had gotten me drunk to begin with. Now that I was safely at home, he no longer had to worry about me.
“Hi, Chris.” I said. “I’m all right, really.”
“Good,” he replied. “I was very worried about you. Is there anything I can do?”
“No,” I laughed. “Not unless you have a magic wand and can take back the past twenty four hours.”
“Listen, Taylor. I’m really sorry I got you guys drunk. I feel responsible for what happened.”
“It wasn’t your fault,” I assured him. “You didn’t force me to drink; and you sure as hell didn’t force me to...” I suddenly realized what I was going to say and abruptly stopped.
“Yeah, well, um.” I could tell that Chris was stammering, trying to find the right words to say. “Yeah, um, listen. If you need anything, let me know. Okay?”
“Thanks, Chris,” I responded. “I appreciate it.”
“Will I see you at school tomorrow?”
“You mean after everything that’s happened, you still want to see me?” I figured that by the time the story made its way around school, I would be treated like a leper.
“Why wouldn’t I want to see you?”
“You do know what happened at your house Friday night, don’t you?” I began to think that maybe he had slept throughout the whole ordeal, and he wasn’t aware of anything that had happened.
“Are you kidding?” He started laughing. “Stephanie almost tore up my bedroom after you left. I had to spend today straightening it up before my parents got home.”
“And you still don’t mind being seen with me?”
“Why should I?” he asked. “Do you think I care what people say about me. I’ve been going to that school for three years and no one has said more than a few sentences to me.”
“But why do you want to be my friend? I’m one of those people who has hardly said a few words to you.”
“I don’t know,” he responded. “I just kind of got to like you when you were over the other night. That is until... well... you know.”
“I could definitely use a friend right now,” I admitted. “I don’t think many people are going to be talking to me.”
“Don’t be too harsh,” he replied. “I don’t think it’s going to be as bad as you think. Most people aren’t bothered by gay people today.”
“Maybe they aren’t,” I said, “But by the time Stephanie tells her side of the story, everyone will think I’m some kind of a pervert.” Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with emotion. “I can’t believe I sucked off my best..” I stopped, realizing that I was exposing too much.
“He didn’t seem too upset,” Chris replied. “Stephanie seemed more upset about it than Jason.”
“He was still drunk,” I replied. “Now that he’s sobered up, he probably wants to kick my ass into tomorrow.”
“You still didn’t answer my question.”
“Will I see you tomorrow?”
I hesitated for a moment. “Maybe not tomorrow, all right? I don’t think I’m going to school tomorrow. I don’t want to be there when the story gets around.”
“I can understand that,” he said. “I’ll go around to your teachers and get your assignments. I’ll bring them to you after school.”
“Chris, you don’t have to do that, really.” He was being very persistent in trying to help me. I still felt that he was feeling guilty for getting me and Jason drunk.
“I’ll come by your house after school.” He hung up the phone before I had a chance to respond.
I sat at my computer catching up on the homework I had been assigned on Thursday. Most teachers had excused us from the class work, but my chemistry teacher had assigned a big project that was due when I returned to school.
My father walked into my room and sat down on my bed. “You all right?” he asked.
“Yes, Dad.” I said. “But I need a big favor.” I gave him my best sorrowful face.
“Uh, oh,” he laughed. “I’ve seen that look before.” For a minute I saw tears start to form in his eyes. I think he was remembering what he had said about not knowing what to do if something had happened to me.
“What do you want, Champ?” I got up, walked over and gave him a hug. He held me tightly for a minute before looking me in the eyes.
“Forget it,” I replied. “It wasn’t important.”
“Spill it,” he insisted. “What do you want?”
“Can I stay home from school tomorrow?” I asked. “I really don’t feel like going back so soon.”
He started laughing. “I was coming in to suggest that you stay home and rest. You’ve been through a big ordeal and you need some time to adjust.”
“Maybe I need a week?” I gave him another sorrowful face.
“Don’t push it, Young Man.” He looked at me and started laughing. “One day should do it.”
“Two?” I asked, already knowing the answer. When my father makes a decision, he hardly ever changes his mind.
“One, and that’s final,” he said sternly. He then added, “One other thing.”
“Your mother and I were talking.” He was choosing his words carefully. “Do you need to talk to someone about what you’ve been through? You know, like a psychologist or something?”
“Do you think I’m crazy?” I asked angrily.
“God no, Taylor!” he replied quickly. “Sometimes people just need someone to talk to, you know, about things they can’t talk to other people about.”
“I’ll be all right,” I assured him. “I know I can trust you to talk to.”
“I’m not an expert in these kinds of things,” he said.
“No, but you’re my Dad.” I walked over and hugged him. “I can’t trust anyone’s judgment more than yours.” He tightened the hug before releasing me. When he stepped back, his eyes were filled with tears.
“I think I’ve done more crying the past couple of days than I have in my whole life,” he laughed as he wiped his eyes with his sleeve.
“I’m sorry, Dad.”
“No, don’t be,” he said quickly. “It makes me realize just how much I love you and your mother. Sometimes I get so caught up in my work, I forget what’s really important.”
“I love you too, Dad.” I hugged him again before he left my room. I spent the rest of the night doing my homework. I went to bed two hours earlier than I normally would.
It’s great having a day off and having absolutely nothing to do. After Mom and Dad left for work, I just lay down on the sofa in the den and spent the morning watching stupid court shows. I never realized that there were so many. One thing it did was make me realize, I wasn’t the only one with problems.
I slept most of the afternoon; not because I was tired but because I couldn’t find anything decent to watch. I had seen most of the movies on the movie channels, and I certainly wasn’t going to watch a soap opera. I could remember watching them as a small boy with my grandmother when we would visit her. After almost ten years, it seemed like the characters and plot had still not changed. They just looked a lot older than I remembered them.
I was startled out of my sleep when the doorbell rang. I looked at the clock. It was 4:18. I got up off the sofa and rearranged my erect cock. I must have been having a good dream. It’s unfortunate I couldn’t remember it.
I opened the door and Cynthia came barging in, appearing very upset. “I hate that bitch!” She ranted.
I felt a knot grow in the pit of my stomach. I knew she was talking about Stephanie; and by her angry mood, things must have gone worse than I expected.
“I don’t think I want to know,” I said worriedly.
“You probably don’t,” she replied. “But you’ll find out sooner or later.”
“Later sounds good,” I joked. She looked at me and rolled her eyes.
“She stood up in the cafeteria and told anyone who was within earshot what happened Friday night.” I suddenly felt weak. I knew she would tell people, I just wasn’t expecting her to announce it to everyone. “By the end of the day, the entire school was talking about it. You know how we love gossip.”
It was true. The National Enquirer could take tips from high school teenagers on how to spread gossip. If one student told another something in confidence, it would be general knowledge by the end of the day. A good story could last a week. My story was probably good for a month or longer.
When Carl Withers got Nancy Simmons pregnant last year, the story lasted for two months before everyone finally let it drop. Of course, Nancy had to leave school, while Carl strutted around school like some kind of stud. A fag sucking off his drunken buddy would probably be a story that would be told for years to come.
I put my head in my hands and moaned softly. Cynthia sat down beside me, put her hand on my back and rubbed it gently. “It’s going to be all right, Taylor.” I looked at her and gave her and rolled my eyes. “All right, it’s not,” she said, “but look on the bright side.”
“There is a bright side?” I asked skeptically. She thought a minute before speaking.
“Well, maybe,” she smiled. “There has to be something good come out of this.”
“Being the school fag is not going to be good,” I responded. Just then the doorbell rang. I got up and opened it. Chris came storming in.
“I hate that bitch!” he shouted. Cynthia looked over at me and we burst out laughing. Chris looked at us like we had lost our minds.
“You must not have heard.” He gave me a questioning look.
“No, I heard,” I laughed. “It’s funny because Cynthia came through the door exactly like you did ten minutes ago.”
“I knew it would be bad,” he commented, “But Stephanie is out for blood. She really hates you.”
“What did Jason say?” I was curious how he was handling all of this. He was as much involved as I was. It was his dick I was sucking when Stephanie walked in. I was kind of surprised that he would let her talk about it. If it had been me, I would have been embarrassed.
“He didn’t come to school,” Chris informed me. It surprised me. It wasn’t like Jason to miss school unless he was really sick. Maybe he felt as bad about what happened as I did.
I looked over at Cynthia. “Do you think he’s all right?”
“I don’t know.” She stood up and pulled out her cell phone. “Give me his number.”
“What!” I shouted. “You can’t call him.”
“Why not? I’ve known him almost as long as you have. Now give me his number.” I gave it to her, and she walked out onto the patio deck.
“Here.” Chris walked across the room, sat down and started pulling papers out of his book bag. “I hope you have your books with you.”
I looked through the assignments. I had the books I needed, except for one. “I can’t do the history assignment. My book is in my locker.”
“That’s all right,” he grinned. “I was having a little trouble with it earlier. I can stay for a while and you can help me.”
“Hey, that’s cool.” I replied. I looked into the Chris’s grinning face. I realized that he was going to quickly become a good friend. A good friend, not a best friend. That was still reserved for Jason, even if he never did talk to me again.
Just then Cynthia walked back into the den. She stopped and looked at me and Chris sitting closely together. A small smile formed from the corner of her mouth.
“Well, what’s the verdict?” I asked. “Is he going to kick my ass the next time he sees me?”
“I don’t know,” she responded. “It was a really strange conversation. He stayed home today because he said he was still sick with a hangover. His parents hit the roof when he came home drunk. He said he’s been grounded for five years.”
She gave me a puzzled look when I started to laugh. “That’s what they always say when he gets in serious trouble. Usually it’s only about two weeks. What else?”
“He was really upset,” she informed me.
“I knew it.” I put my head in my hands. “He hates me.”
“No,” she responded quickly. “He didn’t say anything bad about you.”
I looked up and gave her a puzzled look. “What?”
“He said his cell phone has been ringing all day. He must have had about twenty calls from people asking if what Stephanie was saying is true,” she replied. “Right now I think he’s angrier at her than he is with you.”
“That makes sense,” responded Chris. I looked over at him. “He was probably going to deal with this quietly, but now Stephanie has made it a public issue. He kept telling her Friday night not to say anything about what happened.”
“That’s right,” said Cynthia. “He was upset with what had happened, but he didn’t make any threats or say anything bad about you. He just kept telling Stephanie that he would handle it.”
“She’s the one who was making threats,” offered Chris. “She kept saying that you’d get what you deserved. She also used quite a few expletives.” He gave me a worried look.
“I don’t think you have to worry about Jason,” Cynthia said reassuringly. “It’s Stephanie who’s going to cause a lot of trouble. Just now on the phone, he never said anything bad about you. He even asked me how you were taking all this.”
I felt a little better knowing that Jason was concerned how I was feeling. Maybe we would never be best friends again, but at least we may not be enemies. All I had to do now was figure out a way to deal with his girlfriend.
I suggested that we do the history assignment since we all had Mr. Nathan. It was the one class I shared with Stephanie. I was surprised to find out that Cynthia and Chris were both in his second period. They sat beside one another, and Cynthia was one of the few students who talked to him.
There was something that puzzled me. As we worked together, I kept looking at him when he didn’t notice. I was trying to figure out what made him so aloof. He was exceptionally attractive and had a great personality. A couple of times he looked over at me and smiled. He had perfect teeth that flashed when he grinned. A person would think he would have to take a baseball bat to ward off the girls. Instead, he seemed lonely.
Cynthia nudged me in my side with her elbow when I was staring at Chris. I wasn’t aware that I was admiring him. He looked over at us and smiled, wondering why we were giggling.
“I don’t have drool running down my chin, do I?” He took his sleeve and wiped his mouth. We all burst out laughing. I was feeling good, sitting with two friends who accepted me for who I was.
Suddenly it hit me. Chris and Cynthia would make the perfect couple! He didn’t seem like the type of boy who would try and take advantage of Cynthia. They were both attractive, and they appeared to have similar personalities. They were both shy and introverted. All I had to do now was figure out a way of getting them together.
“Let’s go to a movie this weekend,” I suggested. The plan was simple. We could go to the theater together, and then I’d find a reason to leave. It was perfect.
“Sounds good to me,” said Chris. “What do you want to see?”
“I don’t care,” I replied. “How about you, Cynthia?” She looked at me and shrugged her shoulders.
“You sure I won’t be in the way?” She asked.
“No. Why would you?” I said. “It will be fun.’
“All right, I guess.” She gave me a puzzled look. I didn’t know if she had figured out what I was trying to do.
Just then my parents entered the room. They greeted Cynthia and then noticed Chris sitting in a chair.
“Why, hello,” said my mother. “Who are you?”
“Chris Brewster, Ma’am.” He responded politely as he got out of his chair and stood before her.
“Chris Brewster!” shouted my father. “You’re John’s boy?” He walked over and started shaking Chris’s hand.
“The last time I saw you, you were this tall.” He indicated about four feet tall. “Now, look at you. You’ve grown into a fine looking young man.” My father looked over at me and raised an eyebrow.
“Don’t.” I mouthed. I knew what my father was trying to suggest. He thought Chris might be boyfriend material; especially after his concern for me over the weekend.
“Let’s all go out to dinner.” My father clapped his hands together with excitement. “I know just the perfect Chinese restaurant. You kids go call your parents and let me talk to them.”
Cynthia called her father first, and he didn’t mind that she go with us. Over the years she had attended quite a few dinners out with my family. When Chris called home, my father spent a half hour talking to his dad. My mother finally had to pull the phone away from him to get him to stop talking.
Dinner was, shall I say, interesting. I kept trying to get Chris and Cynthia to talk, and my father tried to get me and Chris to talk. It seemed like one plan was working against the other. I knew that Chris had no interest in me; but obviously, my father didn’t.
Unfortunately, it seemed like Dad’s plan was working better than mine. Chris hardly said two words to Cynthia all night. He spent most of the dinner talking to me and my father, while my mother and Cynthia chatted.
We dropped Chris off at home first. My mother refused to let my father get out of the car. She knew he would spend the next hour talking to Mr. Brewster. She said they would be playing golf together on Wednesday, so there was really no need for him to talk to him. Instead, I walked him to his door.
“Thanks, Taylor,” he said shyly. “I had a really fun evening.” He looked at me and his green eyes twinkled in the moonlight. For a moment, I wondered what it would be like to kiss him. I almost regretted my decision to get him and Cynthia together. She would be the one who would get to taste his perfect red lips.
“I did too.” Again I became overwhelmed with depression. First, it was Jason who was untouchable. Now, it was Chris. I suddenly realized just how hard being a gay boy was going to be.
“Are you all right?” Chris asked worriedly. He reached out and held my arm and squeezed it tightly.
“Yeah,” I tried to sound reassuring. “I’ll be all right.”
“I did have fun tonight. I really like you.”
Before I could say anything more, he turned and disappeared into the house. I stood on the porch trying to figure out what he meant by, ‘I really like you.’