The Secret Life Of Billy Chase: Book 9

Chapter 40


- You know...sometimes love works out for the best...and sometimes it just...doesn't. I feel like it's getting harder and harder to depend on the beauty of romance being able to rush in and save the day.

I know that we're all suppose to believe that love always wins...but the truth is...the word 'always' is a bit of lie. Or, at the very least, a naive attempt at optimism. And that sucks. It really does.

So...I had a surprise or two today.

My mom and I are...well, we're attempting to coexist in the same household without any further conflicts, but 'keeping the peace' has mostly been made possible by us just not making much eye contact or speaking for longer than a few seconds at a time. I can't even say that I'm really mad at her anymore. I just...I can't just cave in and make this Mr. Franks thing okay. It bothers me, alright? It's...gross. I just need to stand my ground for a little bit longer, that's all. It's the only way to let her know how I feel about this situation without getting into another argument.

Did she really have to say all that awful stuff about my dad? Honestly. Something about her angry rant still hurts. It burns like a corrosive acid in the center of my heart and I wish I could go back in time and keep that shouting match from ever happening. I fucking MISS my dad, ok??? I really do. The least she could do is allow me to keep some fond memories of him being around, back when things felt normal. If she thinks I'm going to abandon my own father in order to replace him with some mustached freak who comes by to fix the sink every now and then, she's got another thing coming.

Anyway, I pretty much kept my distance from her until it was time for me to head into work today. I did notice that Brandon sent me a late message last night. I don't know why I didn't check my phone to see if he thought about me...but I didn't. Apparently, I was the first thing on his mind when he got home from Stevie's last night. He said he was spending time with his dad and wished he could call, but had to settle for sending me this short message:

"Just in case you were worried, I've been thinking about you all day, babe. Same as always. Hehehe! I love you. With my whole heart and then some. Let's get together soon. K? Kiss!"

Hehehe, it was simple, and it was quick...probably something he rushed out while his dad was calling him to dinner...but I felt the full impact of the sweetness delivered regardless. I'm almost sorry that I read that on the bus on my way to work. It left me sitting there, squirming in my seat and giggling like an idiot for nearly five minutes straight. I think a part of my reaction came from sweet relief, to be honest. I really didn't want any jealous thoughts to sink in when it came to him spending another Monday with Stevie...but a few of them dusted the surface of my brain regardless. Sorry. Can't help it, sometimes.

My Brandon is just a bit too cute and bit too special to just trust around other cute boys. I just...I don't want to be caught off guard here. I trust him...but I'm not a complete idiot. I know other guys are desperately looking to snatch him away from me the first chance they get. Some people just don't give a damn about stuff like that.

Ollie was in an unnaturally good mood today. I wear, if he hadn't been trapped behind the front counter and was given a few more feet of room...he would have been dancing. When I asked him what all the rainbows and fireworks was about, he could barely contain his blush. He's like, "Greg just informed me that he's taking me on a little 'End of Summer' getaway next weekend! Omigod, he actually rented a little cabin for us to spend two days in the woods. He's been saving up for a few weeks, all the reservations are in order...we've got a fireplace and everything. My sweetie is such a romantic when he wants to be!"

Ollie was positively glowing at the moment. I giggled from the grin on his face. It's the kind of grin that a baby gives you the when they eat ice cream for the first time. I'm like, "Well, cool! I'm happy for you two. I wish me and my boyfriend could do something like that. Maybe when we're a bit older."

Ollie and I giggled aboiut it a bit, but when Taylor walked back behind the was like this dark cloud suddenly enveloped all of us at once. He was like, "Great. Here we go again."

Ollies was all like, "Excuse me?"

And Taylor says, "Whatever. It's nothing. You and your special boyfriend, so nice, so guys were meant to be together. Yadda yadda yadda. Do you think that maybe the rest of us could get a break from hearing about it all the time? Try conserving the oxygen, for crying out loud."

I raised my eyebrows, and Ollie's jaw dropped from the verbal sucker punch. Then Taylor avoided our eyes and walked away again to straighten up his section of the store. I looked over at Ollie, and I was like, "What the heck was that about? That totally came out of nowhere."

Ollie was like, "You know what? I don't even have the patience to deal with Taylor today. That little bitch has been pissing on everybody's parade since his band's show on Sunday. Maybe he's mad that I didn't show up this time. Who knows? But he was even worse yesterday. Maybe you can find out what the heck he's got under his skin lately so he can snap out of it."

I said, "Me? Why me?"

He replied, "'re Billy Chase. You're like...the easiest person to love around here."

Why the hell do people keep TELLING me that???

But, after letting him cool down a bit, I did try to make a sneaky and subtle approach towards Taylor . I hope he doesn't feel bad about me coming out to watch his band on Sunday. I mean, I wanted to. I LIKE his music a lot. But I wouldn't trade the time I spent recconnecting with Sam for anything in the world. I'll just have to support him on the next one. Anyway, I pretended to be wiping down a few shelves with a rag right next to where he was working, and I asked, "You feeling alright?"

He's like, "I'm fine. Don't worry about it." A bit standoffish, sure...but with Taylor, it's hard to know when he's being mean or just being...'Taylor'.

There was a brief pause between us, and I told him, " was the show on Sunday? I'm sorry that I couldn't make it. I got tangled up with some other stuff on that day. I'm sure you guys killed it though, right?"

Taylor mumbled, "Yeah. The show was good. Don't sweat it. How many times can I ask you all come out and pay money to watch the same band sing the same songs over and over again. It's fine."

Ouch. I probably should have come out to show my support. Ugh...I feel bad for not showing my face when he needed me to. I was like, "Hopefully, you guys had a decent crowd. You always have a cool turnout for your gigs, don't you?"

Still putting CDs and stuff in order, Taylor said, "Yeah. A little bigger than usual, to be honest. Ummm Terrell and Dizzy came out again,but they're always there. Calleigh showed up. Even Scott came through for a little while. was fun."

I noticed someone 'missing' from his list, and I asked, "Hehehe, I'm not going to believe for one second that Garrett missed your show. He has been super excited about going for over a week now. He HAD to have been there, right?"

Taylor's already nonexistent grin vanished even further into the dark cloud hovering above his head. Shit...that doesn't look good.

He's like, "Yeah. Garrett showed up..." And then he started to walk away to the next aisle, as if to avoid saying anything more about that situation. Which also doesn't look good.

I was like, "Did he enjoy himself?"

Taylor says, "Maybe. Who knows?" But when I persisted, he finally came clean and said, "Look, Billy...he showed up, he was having a good time, and then...we 'talked' about a few things. A few private things. An offer was made to maybe be more than just friends...and then it was rejected. End of story. Garrett left early. And I'm pretty sure he's not going to want to come back to another show. Not by me and my band, anyway."

Fuck...I should have seen this coming. I mean, it was only a matter of time before someone got their heartbroken, right?

I said, "Wow...I mean, it must have taken some courage for Garrett to, like...ask you out, or whatever. Honestly. I hope you let him down easy. He's a good guy, but sometimes youjust get a crush on someone you can't have. And it sucks, you know? But it's not like he could help himself."

Taylor's forehead wrinkled up for a moment. He's like, "Let him down easy?"

I said, "Yeah. When he asked you to be more than friends."

Which is when Taylor looked around for a moment or two, and he lowered his voice to say, "No, was me. I asked him if he wanted to be more than friends."

Wait...WHAT??? But...but that doesn't make any sense! Why would Taylor...? And if Garrett was the one who...? Wait, then that would mean that...?

It took a moment to sink in fully. It was like a slow dripping syrup that finally covered my brain with the truth, and the true surprise of it all finally reached a conclusion. I was trying my best not to have a knee jerk reaction, keeping myself from speaking without thinking about my words first. All I could come up with was, "So...are you...? Garrett's not...?"

With a grunt, Taylor rolled his eyes. He looked up at the front counter and said, "Ollie needs to get his fucking 'gaydar' fixed."

Holy shit!, Taylor was the LAST person that I thought would have any gay tendencies at all! Then again...I never would have thought that Garrett was straight. Is that what he's saying here? Aren't stereotypes supposed to, like...'work'? Is it weird that this feels so damn backwards to me?

I asked, " like boys?"

He shrugged and said, "Boys? Girls? Who gives a shit? I just like people that make me feel good. I'm not into forcing myself to one table at the buffet, you know?" When he saw the confused look on my face, he added, "'s not something that I want to broadcast and put on my band's resume, ok? Don't look so surprised. It's fucking RUDE!"

Immediately, I was like, "I'm sorry! I wasn't trying to be, I'm just...I wasn't expecting that at all."

Taylor said, "Well, I wasn't expecting someone as Garrett to possibly take an interest in me either. Turns out he didn't." His facial expression didn't change, but I could feel the heartbreak in Taylor's sad shrug of his shoulders. He says, "He's not into guys. The idea never crossed his mind. I get it. And I'll get over it...eventully. I just...I thought about it, and he seemed like...the kinda guy I wanted to take a chance on, you know?" Then he told me, "I took a leap of faith and hit the jagged rocks below. So what? I'll get over it. It would have been cool though. I was almost starting to enjoy seeing his name on the work schedule next to mine. I guess that's allover and done with, huh?"

Still reeling from Taylor's confession, I tried to compose myself and said, "I'm sure Garrett was super flattered, dude. Honestly. He doesn't seemlike the kind of guy who would fault you for having a crush on him. He likes you a lot. We were all sure that he was the one with the crush!"

Taylor snapped, "Yeah? Well, you were all wrong. So thanks a lot for making me embarrass myself. It's truly appreciated." I felt bad for the mix up, but Taylor looked me in the eye and said, "It's not your fault. I just thought..." He sighed to himself, then he's like, "...I was living in a dreamworld. My stupidity. Not yours. So let's just drop it, ok? And don't go blabbing this to everybody else. They don't, exactly, know about me...ummm...occasionally 'batting for the other team'. I'd kinda like to keep it that way, ok? Don't gobeing a blabbermouth."

Knowing how accepting they were of me and Ollie and Dizzy...I didn't think that it would be much of a problem for him to tell the rest of our crew of misfits what he was feeling. But...he asked me for discretion, and I guess it's really not my secret to reveal. So I agreed, and even though Taylor kept the nasty attitude for the rest of my work shift, he seemed relieved. He still wasn't sure that Garrett was willing to keep things quiet as well about Sunday night...but it''s not like he had a seriously homophobic reaction to being chatted up by another boy. According to Taylor, he was feeling a bit awkward about the proposition...but didn't make that big a deal out of it. However, he did leave Taylor's gig early. So who knows what he's thinking right now? This is all so weird to me.

So...Garrett is straight...and Taylor is gay? Or maybe bisexual? He didn't seem to categorize himself one way or the other. That's crazy! I kinda feel bad for him right now. After years of wagging my tongue over Sam once my hormones kicked in, I know what it feels like to lust after someone who just...isn't interested in the same way. It hurts. I think it hurts even worse to know that they didn't mean to intentionally ruin your fantasy. But they did. And now there's a hole in your heart that can never be filled by somebody...ummm...'lesser than'. You know?

I don't think I've ever seen Taylor even remotely vulnerable when it came to his feelings. His heart has always been surrounded by thorns and barbwire, daring anyone to reach out and try to gain access to it. But this Garrett thing? I think that took a shot at him that even he wasn't expecting. And I think it hurt. A lot.

I've gotta go. I'm going to send some sweet nothings back and forth with Brandon tonight before bed. Now that I'm at home, I don't have to worry about grinning like a creepy Halloween clown on the bus or at work. No boners to hide either. Hehehe, talking to Brandon always makes me hard as a rock within the first few seconds of having him digitally send a smile and a kiss my way!

I'm gonna jack off so HARD after I kiss my baby goodnight! LOL!

Ok, I'll write more later. It's late, and I have to work tomorrow morning. I should have written back to Ian tonight to let him know that I was sorry for hearing that he was breaking up with Bobby. I'm just...I'm tired. And that is a discussion that can't be tackled in a few sentences. I should take time and write him something lengthier than, 'Sorry, dude! Those are the breaks, I guess.' That would just be rude. I'll send him something substantial tomorrow instead of tossing out a half assed reply while I'm half asleep. I hope he'll understand.

Take Care. And I'll seeya later.

- Billy