After Practice

After Practice 4

When I woke up the next morning, Dallas was the first thing on my mind. It made me wonder if maybe I had been dreaming about him or something just before opening my eyes. Like...maybe some sort of emotional connection to a subliminal fantasy hadn't fully tapered off yet...and it just left me feeling good. A bit nervous, but...you know...good.

Has something changed in me? After what Dallas told me yesterday, I feel...refreshed somehow. Given new purpose. I think I want to let him know that I'm...interested. You know? This should be the easy part. All of the cards are out on his side of the table. All I have to do is bring mine out. There's got to be a smooth way to just say, 'I like you too'. How hard is this? Just find a quiet corner somewhere, pull him aside, and tell him that I want to be his boyfriend. That's all it takes. I mean, I'll find a cool, nonchalant, way of saying it. I don't want to come off like some kind of a geek or anything. But there's no reason to pass up an opportunity to date the hottest guy in school, right?

Maybe...like...maybe I could write him a note or something. I could just spill my feelings out on a piece of paper, fold it up nice and tight, and slip it to him in the hallway or something...running away before he has a chance to reject and humiliate me in front of the rest of the whole school. Could that work? It would give me time to get my words together...and I could edit out everything that sounds dumb...and then maybe accomplish my mission of touching his heart, free of mistakes. I mean, that's the best way to go, right? It would be better to tell him face to face, I know...but I'm also fully aware of the fact that the second I look into those soft brown eyes of his...he's going to run his delicate fingers through that brass blond locks of his and I'm going to fall to pieces right there at his feet. I'm not going to be able to focus at all. It'll be a total train wreck.

I think that it would be best to take the slightly cowardly way out of this. Just this one time.

Wait...but what if he's not interested? What if he was just being 'nice' to me yesterday or something? Dallas is a sweet guy by nature. So it's not out of the realm of possibility that he was simply telling me what I wanted to hear. If I hand him my note and just run away like a frightened squirrel, I'm going to spend the rest of my day biting my nails and stressing myself out to the nth degree over what he might be thinking about what I said. I'll be wound up tight enough to SNAP like an overextended rubberband by the time we get to after school practice. Will I be able to handle that? It's difficult to figure out which outcome would be worse than the other.

I just wish this was easier. That's all.

I don't know. I think I'm just going to go with a note. Nothing super fancy or detailed. Just quick, and short, and to the point. Something to say...GOD, I wanna suck your dick! Hehehe! But, you know...not that forward. I mean, it's not far from the truth, but maybe that's coming in a little hotter than he would be expecting.

I crawled out of bed and took a quick shower, brushing my teeth to get them as white as I possibly could, and teasing my hair to get it looking just right in the bathroom mirror. I'm trying to woo the heart of a friend and a teammate here. Gotta look my best. I even put on some body spray, and put the can in my backpack to take with me. I figured I could spray a bit more onto the fabric of my shirt so I smell sexy when I see Dallas in the hallway. Every little bit counts. I usually see him near the end of the day. I think our classes have us cross paths around that time. I'm sure that I'll see him, and he'll smile at me and say, 'what's up?', like he always does...with those super cute dimples giving me the shivers. And then I'll just make sure to have my note ready to hand off to him and hold it together until I can get far enough away from him to not be embarrassed by his initial reaction to what's in it. At least that way...if he decides to let me down, he'll have time to find a way to do it without breaking my heart in two. Right?

So, now...the HARD part is figuring out what to say...

I mean, I want him to know that I like him. That's the most important part of crafting this hidden little message to him. No...no wait. Maybe I should start off by letting him know that nobody knows that I'm gay. I should start by telling him not to tell anybody, or open this folded up note in front of anyone else. Well...wait...will that come off as me being ashamed to be gay? Would that be insulting? Dallas is totally ok with having everyone knows that he likes boys, so I might come off as some kind of self loathing coward if I start off that way. Maybe I should say...you know...that I think he's beautiful. Flatter him first, you know? Or maybe start with a joke? Get him to smile. It'll determine how he interprets the rest of the note, where I tell him...

...UGH! What do I tell him??? This should be so simple! Why am I overthinking it so much?

"Trey?" My mom called out to me. "You're going to be lot, hon. Let's get a move on."

I looked over at the clock, and I was definitely cutting it close. The last thing I wanted to do was speed up my typical walk to school to a point where I end up looking all sweaty and disheveled when I get there. I've got to be a total prince today! Everything has to be tucked neatly into place. Which reminds me...I should check my hair again before I leave. I need to turn up whatever 9.5 beauty appeal I have to a full 11 if I'm going to get Dallas Nicolero to want to even consider being with me as more than a friend.

I kept looking down at that blank piece of notebook paper...tapping my pen nervously on my desk as I tried to quickly think up something clever or romantic to say to the one boy on Earth who blew my mind in ways that no other boy could ever hope to. Just something to let him know how much he means to me, and how I'm willing to be there for him with every beat of my overwhelmed heart...and just work hard to make him feel the way that I feel whenever he's around. Just...warm, and fuzzy, and excited to be alive. I wanted him to know that...

"Trey! The clock's ticking." My mom called out again.

Sorry. She's a stickler for punctuality. Especially when it comes to me getting to school on time. "I'm COMING!" I called back, and just rushed to write down a few notes on the page before getting a chance to really think about it. I'll figure out some way to write a decent letter to Dallas when I get to school.

"Joke, this is a secret, really like you too, think you're beautiful, wanna go out sometime?" Was basically all that I had time to write before folding the page up and putting it in my pocket. I slipped my sneakers on and grabbed all of my stuff to start my walk to school. I'll speed up my pace a little bit, but if I miss the first bell, I mean...who cares? I'm not going to sweat it. I doubt I'll miss anything important outside of attendance. If anything, showing up a few minutes late would pretty much ensure that my first period teacher knows that I'm there. So...that's a good thing, right?

I was hiking my way through the neighborhood, approaching Wade street so I could make a turn and finish the other half of my journey towards the front door...when I heard someone calling my name. "Trey! Wait up!"

I turned to see Dallas coming directly at me from the other direction, slightly jogging with those beautifully long and smooth athletic legs of his...his longish blond hair fluttering behind him like golden fields of wheat in the wind...and I felt my breath get caught up in the back of my throat. Honestly, he was triggering my fight or flight response in a major way right now. I almost wanted to flee the scene! Instead, I just froze. I was stuck standing there, waiting for him to catch me and give me that smile that I had been dreaming about every moment since the last time I caught sight of it. It seems silly to say that he gets more amazing every time I see him...but it's the truth. I can't stop falling for him. Over and over and over again. He never fails to impress me.

"Hey..." I said, trying to catch my breath.

"You running late too? I totally overslept this morning." He said. "I had to stay up super late to finish my History paper. So when I passed out, I passed out hard."

I didn't know what to do with myself. Wasn't quite sure what to say to him. Dammit! I wish I had written out that note so I could just toss it at him and run off while he opened it up. I should...I should wait. I need more time. I can't just collect all of my thoughts together at once like this without any warning. This is SO not fair! I wasn't supposed to see him until later on today. I had a friggin' PLAN in place, and he's ruining it!

"Are you ok?" Dallas asked me.

"Huh? OH! Yeah! I'm...I'm fine. How about you?" I said, spontaneously screwing up yet another special moment between us.

"I'm ok. It's just...you look a little sick."

"Do I? No, I'm not sick." The urge was there. Preparation, be damned...the compulsion to finally just spill my feelings out to him was right there on the tip of my tongue, and my brain was stuck on 'pause'...trying to assess the possible fallout that could come from making such a huge confession. What kind of consequences could I be looking at here if this doesn't go the way that I hope it does? Can we still be friends? Can we still be on the same soccer team without it being weird?

I think I'm starting to understand why Dallas felt like it would be extremely awkward to tell me what other boys he finds attractive. Something like that only works out if they accept your admiration of their beauty. Otherwise...they'll be giving you a stranger's 'side eye' every time they're within touching distance of you from now until forever.

"Dallas...?" I said. It was automatic. I don't even know why I said that. Nor did I have any idea what I was going to follow that up with. Oh great...he's looking a bit confused now. Shit! What have I done?

"Yeah?" He asked.

We were both walking towards the school building, but even though we were sure to be late...I took a hold of Dallas' arm and stopped our forward motion to look him in the arm. "Did you...did you really mean what you said yesterday? I mean...after practice?"

He smirked and said, "I don't know. I said a lot of things after practice yesterday. Hehehe!"

"No, I mean..." What am I doing? You don't have a PLAN, Trey! Are you telling me you're just going to wing this like it's no big deal? "...When you said that...you like a lot of boys from school, and stuff? I mean, you were just kidding around, right?"

Blushing a bit, Dallas said, "Dude, we're gonna be late..."

"Just tell me. It's cool if you were just fucking around."

"I already apologized for that. Trey...if I thought it was going to make you feel weird about us hanging out or whatever..."

"That's just it, Dallas. I don't feel weird about it. I don't feel weird about it at all." I could feel myself trembling, but I felt that I had dug myself too deeply into this hole to try to squirm my way out of it now. "In fact...I think it's kinda cool. That...you think the way you think. You know? About me?"

I could see Dallas' eyes widen slightly as he raised his eyebrows. "Trey...I'm not exactly sure what you're saying here. It sounds...super sweet, but I don't think I know what to make of this."

Shaking from head to toe, a bit of a sweat breaking out on my forehead, I took the dive. No game plan, no note, no strategy. And I said, "I think I like you too." Then I cleared my throat to keep my voice from nervously squeaking as I added, "No...I know that I like you too. I've liked you since you first joined the team." Don't lose your momentum now. Keep going! Go for broke! I mean, it's not like he can't figure out what you're trying to say at this point. Even if I stop right here, right now, he's going to go to class...and he's going to think about this...and he's going to know exactly what I was trying to say anyway. So I might as well say it in my own words while I have this hysterical level of jittery adrenaline pumping through my veins right now. "You know...I just...I think you're amazing, Dallas. I think you're beautiful. And you're cool to be around. And you're SO funny! I just..." Go on, Trey. Say it. Just SAY it! "...If I could have a boyfriend...I'd want him to be just like you." Dallas looked truly surprised to hear me say that. "or...you know...just...you." I added.

It looked like Dallas was the one who was stuck on 'pause' this time. He fidgeted for a few secnds, and I was beginning to wonder if I had just made the biggest mistake of my life. Then, turning red, he asked, "Trey...I mean...you know that I like boys, right?"

"Yeah. Of course."

"No, I mean...I LIKE them, like them. Like...in a romantic way."

"I know."

"Like...in a sexual way, Trey."

"Hehehe, yeah. You're gay. I get it." I said.

Again, he seemed baffled by my approach, and he was trying to figure things out in his head before deciding what he was going to say next. "So wait...are you saying that you...are you, like...?"

"I like you too, Dallas." I said. "I was hoping that maybe...we could go out some time? Just, like...to a movie, or to get something for lunch this weekend...?"

"Wait!" He said, now breathing hard and putting his hand up to keep me from talking. He shook his head, and breathlessly asked me, "Are you...Trey, are you asking me out???"

Cringing a little bit from the question, I said, "Ummm, yeah. I think I am. Is that...is that ok? Or...?"

"Omigod!" Dallas said, the biggest smile that I've ever seen cross his face. "This is insane! Please tell me that you're not just fucking around? Are you really asking me out on a date? Because, if you're serious...then YES! OMIGOD, YES!!!"

An excited wave of relief and anxiety washed over me! "Really??? Ok! Yeah, I'm totally being serious! I...I wasn't sure that you'd be interested..."

"Of course I'm interested! Oh wow! I mean...like, omigod! Oh WOW!" Hehehe, Dallas looked like he was freaking out a bit, and it was then that I realized that I couldn't have made a better choice than telling him straight out what was in my heart.

"You're taking this a lot better than I thought you would. Hehehe!"

"Are you kidding me?" He snickered in the cutest, most bashful way possible. "I've just...I've never been asked out on a date before. Like...EVER! I don't...I don't even know what to say right now!"

"Really? I find that kinda hard to believe."

"Well, I've never really been close to another boy who likes boys before. Much less somebody like you! This is a total mind fuck for me right now!"

Wrinkling my forehead a bit, I asked, "A boy like me? What's that supposed to mean?"

"Come on, dude..." He said. "Don't stand there and tell me that you don't wake up every morning and look in the mirror to realize how utterly gorgeous you are. LOOK at you! I'm, like...hyperventilating right now. This is too much for me to handle."

"I'm not...gorgeous, Dallas. Hehehe, now you're just overdoing it."

"Trey...seriously. Everything about you is awesome! I mean, you being extremely cute and all aside...every minute that I get to spend with you is sooooo satisfying! Oh God! Are you really asking me out? Please tell me the truth! It's gonna break my heart if you're just pulling a mean-spirited prank or something!"

"Hehehe, it's not a prank, dude!" I said. "I really...like...I really like you. We should get together some time soon. To do, you know...whatever."

Dallas was literally bouncing on his heels, and looked as though he was trying to contain his excitement as he ran his fingers through his hair again. He's so CUTE when he does that. "I feel like I can't breathe." He said. "Of all the crazy cute boys around here...I just never thought that you would be, like...available. You were way out of my realm of possible 'targets', you know?"

"Was I? Aren't you supposed to have some kind of gaydar sixth sense thing going? Hehehe!"

"My gaydar is apparently malfunctioning these days. Because I seriously thought that you were way too cute to be gay. I was expecting a torturous 'friend zone' relationship with you at best." He sighed. "But this? Wow. This is...hehehe, you just made my day. My week. My whole LIFE! Omigod, Trey...you're so cute. Can I say that? You're like...distractingly cute. I always wanted to tell you that."

"You are too. You're the most beautiful boy that I've ever seen. I was just scared to mention it. I didn't want it to sound creepy."

"It doesn't. Trust me...it really doesn't." Dallas' eyes met mine for an extended moment...and we smiled warmly at one another. He leaves me so breathless sometimes. There was an irresistible allure in his gaze that just...soothed my soul, you know? He made me feel at peace. "I can't believe this is happening right now..." He whispered, and he reached out to take my hand. The physical contact made me hard almost instantly, and I had to fight off my arousal while still keeping eye contact. NOT an easy task. Not with those eyes.

In the background, we heard the first bell of the school ringing to start off the day, and we still had several blocks to go before we got there. But, like I said...who cares? I was holding hands with the first boy that I've ever revealed my true self to. The first boy that I ever really saw for the true gem of a human being that he was. And as infatuated as I was with every enchanting part of who he was...he was excited to be with ME! How is that possible?

"I guess we should get going..." Dallas said softly.

"Yeah. I guess." I replied.

But as we turned to keep walking, Dallas held on to my hand. In fact, he raised it up for a quick kiss on my knuckles, giving me a flirtatious smile before allowing us to walk the rest of the way to school. This was all so brand new to me. Am I really holding hands with another boy right now? Maybe an actual boyfriend? I can't help but still nervous about this. And I forgot the part of my notes that reminded me to tell Dallas that I wasn't exactly...'open' about my sexuality as far as the rest of the world was concerned. But for now? Holding hands with him, and seeing that shy little dimple in his cheek as he smiled with pride...it was euphoric. A furious wildfire for the senses. I liked this.

I liked it a lot.