A Different Road

Chapter 10

I woke up early the next morning. I had a lot of trouble getting a peaceful sleep. I kept thinking about everything that had happened the past few days. I cannot really explain it, but I do not think I was as scared about the future.

Meeting Adrian had really changed my life. Before him, Brett had always been my world. Charlie was right when she said I had followed him around like a loyal puppy for years. I could now see that that was true. I don’t think Brett saw me as a loyal follower, but he knew I was always behind him. After speaking to his mother, I realized he missed me being there.

Now, I felt I might have a new chance, a chance to walk side by side with someone else. However, we both had so many problems. I was still messed up over Brett, and Adrian was scared to death of his father. I really didn’t know if we even had a chance at a decent relationship. Even though we were drawn to each other, there seemed to be a force pulling us apart.

When I arrived at school, the halls were decked with banners. We were facing one of our toughest rivals that evening. The first thing I saw was a poster with my name and number on it. I walked over and tore it off the wall. Since I wasn’t playing, it didn’t deserve to be there with the other members of the team

“You should have left it up there.” I heard Brett’s deep voice behind me. “I thought you said you were still on the team.” I turned and looked into his face. There was a haunting sadness behind his brown eyes.

“I am,” my voice trembled. It was the first time I had actually tried to carry on a conversation with him. “But the coach says I can’t play tonight because I missed most of this week’s practice.” Both of us found it hard to make eye contact.

“I see,” he said sadly. I don’t know why we were having difficulty speaking to one another. Things had never been so awkward before.

“Good luck,” I said and then walked away. I heard him say a weak, ‘Sure.’ I never thought that there would ever be a day when I would feel uncomfortable being around my best friend.

I went to my locker to get my books for first period. Charlie was stand beside it with a grin on her face. It disappeared when she saw the sullen look on mine.

“Uh, oh,” she said. “You all right?” She walked over and wrapped her arm around mine.

“Yeah,” I replied. “Just not a good morning. I ran into Brett.”

“You wanna go somewhere and talk?”

“No,” I replied. “I gotta quit freaking every time I see him. We have a whole year of school left, and I still have to play with him on the field.” I gathered my books and closed my locker.

“I’ll catch you later.” I turned and headed to class. Charlie rushed off in the opposite direction.

As I was heading to class, I saw Tommy, our other wide receiver, approaching me. He walked up angrily and stood in front of me blocking my way. Students stopped walking and gathered around us.

“Singer,” he said loudly. “How come you’ve let the team down?” He shoved his finger in my chest trying to get me to respond. I stepped away from him. I was not looking for a fight.

“Biggest game of the year and your punk ass ain’t even suiting up.” He shoved me backwards, again trying to get me to fight him. Some one from behind shoved me back into him. When they did, he swung and connected to the left side of my face. I briefly saw stars swirling in front of me.

“Tommy. I don’t want to fight you.” I took a step back in case he swung on me again.

“You don’t have a choice, Mother Fucker.” He swung again. This time I was able to avoid his punch. Suddenly, I felt someone shove me to the side and stand before Tommy. It was Adrian.

“Leave him alone,” he said coldly. Everyone around us got deadly silent. Tommy’s eyes widened looking at Adrian. No one knew what to expect since he had never interacted with another student before. I could tell that Tommy didn’t know what to do.

They stood staring into each other’s eyes. It was a game of who would break the stare first. I looked at Adrian and shuddered looking at the steely stare he was giving Tommy. It was almost deadly. Tommy looked away first and stepped back. He then looked over at me.

“This ain’t over Singer,” he threatened as he turned and walked away.

Students began to disperse and head to class. Adrian grabbed my arm and led me to the nearest restroom. Once inside he walked over, got some paper towels and wet them. He then came over to me and placed them on the side of my face where Tommy had hit me. Not once had he said anything.

I looked into the mirror and started laughing. The left side of my face was turning red. Adrian’s left side also had a slight bruise in almost the exact same spot from the auto accident.

“We look like twins,” I laughed. He didn’t find anything funny about the situation. He frowned and continued holding the cold towel to my face. He glanced over at the door to see if anyone was coming in, then he gave me a quick kiss.

“You okay?” he asked worriedly.

“Yeah,” I replied. “You really didn’t have to step in. I can take care of myself.”

“Yeah, sure,” he said as he took the towel and threw it away.

“I gotta get to class.” He turned and headed for the door. I quickly grabbed his arm and turned him so he could face me.

“Thanks,” I whispered as I leaned in and gave him a longer kiss. Just then, the door opened and we pulled away quickly. I looked over and saw Brett staring at us. His eyes dropped, as he hung his head and left.

“Man.” I leaned against the wall, slid to the ground, and put my head in my hands. As long as I live, I don’t think I will forget the hurt look on Brett’s face. I know I shouldn’t worry about it because of the way he made me feel this past week. However, Brett and I had once meant something to each other.

I don’t know how long I sat thinking about Brett. When I finally looked up to see where Adrian was, I discovered that he had left without saying anything. I became even more depressed. Within the past few minutes, I had hurt two people I cared about.

I got up and walked to first period. I considered leaving school, but I had already missed a few classes and my grades were beginning to be affected by all the distractions. I tried to pay attention and take notes, but I found myself doodling on my paper. When I looked down, I realized what I had been writing.

I kept writing Adrian and Brett repeatedly. It was as if I was subconsciously trying to decide between the two. One time I had circled Adrian’s name, and the next I had circled Brett’s. I added up each time I had circled their name.

Adrian- 9

Brett- 5

I couldn’t even remember what I had been thinking each time I circled their name. One thing was for sure, Adrian had definitely come out on top. However, I didn’t know if that was a good thing or bad thing.

When I got to third period government class, Cindy was sitting in the front, but Brett was not beside her. I took my seat and waited for him to enter. He never showed up. It had to be the first time Brett had ever missed a class, except for the time we were both sick.

I next went to calculus class, which I shared with Adrian. However, when I entered, he wasn’t sitting in the front as he had been the past few days. I looked around and he was sitting in the back row with his head down on the desk. I took my seat and tried to pay attention, but I could feel his eyes boring into the back of my head. I turned around once, and he was staring sadly at me. He then put his head back down on the desk.

I couldn’t understand how my life could be so screwed up. It was as if I was riding on a roller coaster and it wouldn’t stop. I just wanted to get off and stand on solid ground, but it just kept going up and down.

When the bell rang, I tried to talk to Adrian, but he just brushed past me without saying anything. I ran out into the hall and pushed him against the wall.

“Adrian,” I pleaded. “Please. We have to talk.”

“Look, Corey,” he responded with tears in his eyes. “You still love him. I can’t compete against Brett.” He pulled my fingers from his arm and walked sadly down the hall. I saw Charlie walk up to him, grab his arm and walk with him. She turned around and gave me a questioning look.

I walked out to my car and drove away from school. I headed back to Kiser Lake. I had to get my life back into perspective. I needed some place to do some real soul searching.

When I got out, I walked deep into the woods. I didn’t want anyone to find me this time. I decided I wasn’t going to leave until I had made some sense of my life. After walking about a half mile, I found a tall oak tree. I don’t know why, but I climbed up and found a fork in the tree that made a suitable place to sit. It was almost like sitting on a hammock.

I had to stop the roller coaster, but how do I do that?  I didn’t even know if I had the power to do it. I wasn’t the only person involved. If it were just me, I could handle it. However, Brett and now Adrian figured into the equation. The problem was, I didn’t really know if either of them really wanted me.

I knew that Brett didn’t want me as a lover, but the look on his face when he saw me kissing Adrian made me wonder if he still had feelings for me. Moreover, I could never have a chance with Adrian if I kept my heart open for Brett to someday come back and reclaim it.

Adrian- 9

Brett- 5

What was I thinking when I circled Adrian’s name nine times? I knew I could really have a wonderful relationship with him; however, Brett stood in the way. In addition, what if I did choose Adrian and Brett wanted me back? Did I have the will power to tell him no? One thing was for sure, someone was going to get hurt no matter what decision I made; and I didn’t want to hurt either one.

I must have sat in that tree for an hour pondering my future. One thing was clear; I didn’t have any more of an idea what to do than when I had climbed up. However, I did feel good that I had given it some thought. I guess the only thing I could do was wait and see what road I would be going down. There was definitely a fork in the road, and I was standing looking down two dark paths.

When I returned to my car, I suddenly stopped. Charlie was sitting in the driver’s seat asleep. I walked over and tapped on the window. She jumped, looked out the window at me and then started frowning. I walked around and got in the passenger’s side.

“Would you fucking tell me what is going on inside that pea brain of yours?” she shouted angrily. “I swear to God I’m going to break your neck with my own hands if you don’t stop hurting Adrian.”

“I don’t mean to hurt him.” I sighed, put my head on the headrest and closed my eyes.

“Would you then please tell me why he’s locked himself in a bedroom at Uncle Cornelius’s and refuses to come out?” She looked at me disgustedly. “Why the hell did you two have to meet?”

“I’m sorry,” I said softly.

“Sometimes saying you’re sorry just isn’t enough, Corey,” she replied. She held out her hands demanding my keys. I reached into my pocket, took them out and handed them to her.

“Where are we going?” I asked as she pulled out of the park.

“You’re going to go talk to him,” she insisted. “Either tell him you want him or let him go. He can’t take much more.”

“But I don’t know what I want,” I said honestly.

“Then let him go.” She looked over at me. “Quit stringing him along.” We drove in silence as we headed back into town. She kept glancing over at me.

“You need to get your shit together, Corey,” she said as we pulled into Cornelius’s driveway. We got out of the car and walked inside. Cornelius and John were sitting at the kitchen table. They looked up and gave me an angry look. Charlie pointed to a closed door and walked into the kitchen.

I went to the door and knocked. “Adrian. It’s Corey. Will you let me in?”

I put my head to the door and listened, but I couldn’t hear anything. I knocked softly again. “Please,” I pleaded.

“Go away, Corey.” I heard his shaky voice say from inside.

“Please, Adrian,” I pleaded softly. “I just want to talk.” I sat down outside the door and waited. About five minutes later, he unlocked the door. I opened it and walked into a dark room. I saw him lying on a bed across the room. I walked over and sat down beside him.

“When I met you, the last thing I wanted to do was hurt you,” I started. “If we had met maybe two months later, I wouldn’t be going through the shit I’m going through right now. I guess our timing sucks, huh?” I laughed nervously.

“Yeah.” He wiped tears away from his eyes with the pillowcase. “I guess it does.”

“I really am sorry.” I rubbed his back gently. “I never wanted to hurt you. It’s just...”

“Brett.” He finished the sentence.

He sat up and looked into my eyes. “Do I even have a chance?”

In that split second, I made my decision. I knew what the circles had meant. I knew the road I was destined to take.

“Yes.” I leaned in and kissed him. He responded by returning a passionate kiss. I turned and lay atop him, kissing him deeply. I had never felt as close to anyone as I did with Adrian at that moment. In all the years that Brett and I had sex, not once did I feel that I was loved.

Adrian made me feel loved.

I rolled around on top of him and could feel his hard cock pressing against my own. I pulled his tee shirt over his head and threw it on the floor. I then began sucking his nipples as he squirmed beneath me. I started licking down his chest, but I first looked into his face his permission. He nodded, laid his head back on the pillow and moaned softly as I continued nibbling at his soft stomach.

When I unzipped his pants, his hard cock jump up awaiting escape. I rubbed the head through his underwear as he moaned loudly. I looked at him again for permission and he nodded.  I pulled his pants and underwear off him, leaving him naked before me. Even in the darkness, I could tell he had a nice body. It wasn’t muscular like Brett’s, but he was solidly built.

I looked into his eyes one last time and he nodded. I began stroking his hard cock with my hand as I leaned in and gave him another kiss. He moaned softly and squirmed under me. I moved between his outstretched legs and began to lick the precum that had formed on the tip of his cock. He shuddered as I began to suck his cock into my mouth.

“Oh God, Corey.” He grabbed my head and held it tightly. I began to deep throat him and I could feel the head of his cock expanding. I knew he was getting ready to cum.

“Corey!” He screamed as he began to shoot his warm cum down my throat. I thought I was going to gag with the volume of cum that was going down into my stomach. I don’t think he’d had an orgasm in a while. I gulped quickly as he filled my mouth. Soon, his began his cock to soften in my mouth. I pulled off, moved back on top of him, leaned in, and gave him another passionate kiss.

I rolled off and lay beside him gently rubbing his chest as his breathing became more regular. I played with the small beads of sweat that had formed. He was lying back with his eyes closed.

After a few minutes, he rolled over and rested on the elbow that was still in a cast. He winced slightly from the pain. With his other hand, he pushed me over on my back. He reached down and unzipped my pants. Realizing he was having difficulty, I lifted up and pulled my pants and underwear down to my knees.

He reached out and gently began stroking my cock. He started out slowly, and then he sped up the movement when I began to fuck his hand. Soon, I could feel my balls tighten and knew I was approaching an orgasm.

“I’m going to cum,” I moaned in his ear. He leaned over and watched as I started spewing cum onto my stomach. He continued stroking me until the last drop had dripped out of my cock. He leaned down, grabbed his underwear and began to clean my cum off me.

When he was finished, he leaned in and gave me another kiss. We made out for several minutes without saying anything. I reached out and felt that he was hard again. I started stroking him rapidly, and within minutes he filled my hand with warm cum. I took his underwear and wiped it off.

“I really like you, Adrian,” I said as I kissed him again gently.

“I know you do, Corey.” He returned the kiss. “I think I’m in love with you.”

“You know I can’t say it yet,” I responded sadly. He leaned in and gave me another kiss.

“I know,” he smiled. “I can wait.”

We got up and I turned on the light on the dresser. For the first time, I got a good look at Adrian’s naked body. He looked great. I could tell he was satisfied with my body because he wouldn’t stop staring at me. We started getting dressed. I laughed when he held up his cum stained briefs and threw them under the bed. He then put on his pants and shirt. After dressing, we walked out of the room and headed to the kitchen holding hands.

Charlie took one look at us and started dancing around the kitchen.

“Oh my God! You did it!” She kept screaming as she bounced around. “You did it!”

Both our faces began to redden.

Cornelius and John sat at the table and smiled. John got up, walked over to the refrigerator and pulled out a few sodas. He handed Adrian and me one.

“I guess this calls for a celebration,” he said as he lifted his can into the air.

“Here! Here!” Cornelius shouted as he lifted his coffee cup. We clanged our drinks together and began drinking. When Adrian leaned in and gave me a kiss, everyone started applauding.

John made another wonderful meal. I could see why Cornelius was so large. If I ate like this everyday, I surely wouldn’t have the body I now have. When we were done, we went into the den to watch television. I looked at the clock and noticed it was just a little past seven.

“I have to go,” I announced as I took Adrian’s hand and squeezed it. “The game starts at eight and I really should be there.” I felt really guilty by not playing. We were facing our biggest rival of the year; if they beat us, our hopes for a state tournament would be almost over.

“Can I go with you?” Adrian asked timidly. I knew he had probably never attended a sporting event in his life.

“Of course,” I smiled. “I would have asked, but I didn’t think you’d go.”

“Can I go?” Charlie screamed. “Hot pretzels!” Everyone started laughing. I stood and helped them to their feet. We hugged Cornelius and John and then headed out to the game. Charlie called shotgun, but Adrian drug her out of the car and sat beside me. Charlie didn’t say a word all the way to the stadium.

There was a large crowd when we arrived. Many people, especially alumni, stopped me and asked why I wasn’t playing. I just told them I had an injury and it hadn’t healed yet. I assured them I would be back in the game next week.

We sat in the fifth row behind our team. Several times, I saw Brett scanning the crowd. I saw him wave once. looked down and saw Cindy standing on the sideline in her cheerleading uniform. I figured that was who he was looking for until he continued to scan the stands.

He saw me and stopped. Even from such a far distance, our eyes met and we stared at one another. He saw Adrian and Charlie sitting by my side. He cast his eyes down, walked over and sat on the bench with his hands in his head. A few of our team members approached him, but he didn’t seem to have much to say.

“I’ll be back, announced Charlie. “I need a hot pretzel. Anyone want anything?” Adrian and I shook our heads.

Charlie returned about fifteen minutes later with another girl. She was a very pretty, and her hair was cut extremely short. She had a ring piercing in her left nostril and several more piercings in her ears.  Fortunately, her hair was dark brown, not orange or some other wild color.

“I’m back.” She sat down and the other girl sat beside her.

“Julie,” She pointed to me. “This Adonis is my good friend, Corey. The hunk beside him is his boyfriend, Adrian. Adrian is my cousin and best friend.”

“Julie?” I questioned her. It suddenly dawned on me that this was the girl whom Charlie had previously dated.

“I told you about her.” She cast me a cautious glance.

“Oh yes. The famous Julie,” I laughed. “The one who owns Charlie’s heart.” Charlie began to blush. I loved it when I could embarrass the impenetrable Charlie.

The game began. On the first play, Brett dropped the ball on the handoff and the other team recovered it. Minutes later, they scored a touchdown.

The rest of the night continued like the first play. It seemed like Brett fumbled every handoff and three times threw the ball into the arms of the opposing team. He kept looking up into the stands at me. Guilt overwhelmed me. If I had been on the field, he wouldn’t be playing this poorly. At halftime the score was 34-3.

Charlie and Julie disappeared during halftime. They said they were going to the restroom, but they never returned. I was worried about her, but I knew that she was safe with Julie. They had dated for several months. It wasn’t as if she was leaving with a stranger.

When the team returned to the field after halftime, Brett was not with them. Joseph, our second sting quarter back, played the second half. We were crucified. He played worse than Brett had the first half. The final score was 48-10. We had managed to score only one touchdown the entire game. It came when the opposing team fumbled a ball and our defensive lineman picked it up and ran in for a touchdown.

As we were leaving, many people stopped me and said that we would not have lost if I had been in the game. Again, it made me feel extremely guilty. I should have been down on the field. It appeared that our chances for a state title were gone. Brett and I had dreamed about it for so long.

As Adrian and I were heading to our car, Mrs. Weaver walked over and grabbed me by my arm. She spun me around, and I stood staring into her angry face. She glanced over and noticed Adrian standing beside me.

“Thanks, Corey,” she said angrily. “Thanks a lot.” She gave me a disgusted looked and walked away to her car.