The Secret Life Of Billy Chase: Book 9

Chapter 46

Monday

- You know...I, honestly, didn't think that taking up a few extra hours on the job for somebody else was going to b that much of a big deal...until my morning alarm clock went off.

FUCK!!! Do they purposely make alarm clocks sound extra annoying for people who might be peacefully sleeping when they go off? Sleep never feels so good until you have to go without it.

I got a message from Ian when I rolled out of bed. Actually, looking at the time stamp, it looks like he sent it at like 3 O'Clock in the morning...which is a bit odd. What the heck was he doing up at THAT time of night? And why would he assume that I would be awake too? He says that he just wanted to talk to somebody, but I'm pretty sure that it was his broken heart that was bothering him the most. I remember how it feels, trust me. Sometimes, when you're heartbroken, the inability to talk to anybody about it is worse than the heartbreak itself. And I should really call him up, or hop on a bus to pay him a visit to make him feel better. Or...at least to let him know that I sympathize with his Bobby situation. I just need a few more hours in my day to be...'effective' or whatever.

Ugh...I'm worried that I'm jumping into my 'Captain Save 'Em All' role again.

Is that an actual flaw in my personality? Is it a BAD thing to want to help people all the time? I just...I feel like I can *SEE* what's going wrong in these problematic situations, and I want to help them fix it! I can see it better than I can see the solutions to my own problems. Wouldn't I be an awful person if I didn't get involved? I try to butt out, but...if my gradual interference can make somebody's life a little bit better...shouldn't I at least try?

I feel so guilty when I don't at least give it a shot.

Ian has such a good heart, and so does Bobby Jinette when he puts his paranoia aside. They make a good couple. I was really rooting for them to make it work, they just...I don't know...they've got to find a way to get back in sync with one another again. That's all.

With Bobby still thinking that Ian and I are going to suddenly run off somewhere and start screwing around behind his back...I'm starting to wonder whether my very presence in all this is only going to make things worse. I'm really trying to leave this alone. Seriously. It's not my fight...and Bobby needs to learn how to treat his boyfriend better.

Anyway, I went in to work for Dizzy today, and he actually stopped in early to bring me a couple of donuts to say thank you. I mean, he really didn't have to do that, but the redness in his eyes made it look like he had been crying all morning. I guess he just wanted to show his gratitude for me stepping in to give him a much needed break. When I asked if he was ok, he said, "I'll be alright eventually, Billy. Thanks. You're really cool for doing this." I just felt like I wasn't being sincere enough, but Dizzy put a hand on my shoulder, a few tears welling up in his eyes. Like, "Honestly, I'll be fine. It's just...sometimes it's hard for me to be who I am. I feel like my 'outside' and my 'inside' lives are at war with each other, and...my dad is being an asshole about it...and I just...I want to 'fit', you know? Just fit in somewhere so I don't have to hurt like this all the time." He wiped a tear from his eye, and sniffled, like, "You don't know how lucky you are...being born with the body you were supposed to be born with..."

I can't say that I really understood that comment fully, but I gave him a hug anyway. I feel like I'm so out of the loop when it comes to anything about being transgender. It's hard for me to imagine what it's like to not feel comfortable in your own skin. I'm just now getting used to being gay, and THAT was a struggle that took years for me to get accustomed to. God knows what I would have done if I hadn't started keeping these diaries when I did. So, I'm thinking that Dizzy has a harder time of figuring himself out than I did. But...I wish him the best. If...you know...if that helps any.

I was glad to see Terrell and Ollie working today, because it kept me up around the front counter and not further in the back end of the store...where Taylor and Garrett were both sorta...trying not to notice one another. After they had been joking around and Garrett had just begun to open up a little bit more so he could stop being so shy...it's kinda weird to see them looking so 'cramped' now whenever they work together.

Don't get me wrong...I don't think Garrett strikes me as being particularly homophobic or anything. It wasn't like some kind of fear or hatred kinda thing. But there was this sense of embarrassment that existed between them now, and they couldn't seem to get over it. With Taylor asking him out and Garrett having to tell him he wasn't gay. Which still blows my mind, because...between the two of them, I would have picked Garrett out as the gay one, ten times out of ten.

It's gotta suck for them to be dealing with this stuff. I kinda miss the fuzzy feeling it gave me to see them so happy together. i guess something weren't meant to be.

Just then, I got a 'blink' on my phone, and I took it out to see who was sending me a message. Both Ollie and Terrell looked over the counter to take a peek, and I turned my back to them once I realized that I was smiling.

Ollie was like, "You keeping secrets now, Baby Boy? What's going on with all that?"

Once he heard me giggle a bit to myself, Terrell said, "Uh oh! That little chuckle has Brandon's name all over it. I can tell."

Blushing hard, I turned back around and told them, "Hehehe, yep. I thought he was going to be busy all day today, but...he said that he wants to come and see me first. He wants to know when I'm gonna take my lunch break."

Ollie melted right there at the register. "Ohhhhhhhmigod, isn't he the sweetest thing?" It made me giggle out loud again, and I felt this tingly shower of heated shivers run up over my shoulders. My baby...hehehe. He's like "So he's actually coming to buy you some lunch today?"

I said, "Well...it looks that way, yeah. I've gotta ask Scott if I can take my half hour break at one O'clock so he'll know where to be here."

Ollie seemed so impressed. He says, "Pretty little gay boys like you are so fuckin' adorable at this age! I can barely stand it." The comment only made my blush deepen its shade. It's so COOL being able to talk about my boyfriend out loud and have other people just...see how amazing he is. I'm totally having a 'proud-gasm' over my sweetheart right now. Ollie was like, "What did you do to get all this extra attention today?"

Terrell was like, "We already know what it is. Hehehe, Billy's been giving him a major sweet tooth with that sugar stick of his. He's been keeping his favorite boy satisfied. You better step up, Ollie. Maybe you can get some free lunch too."

Ollie gasped for a second, and then he said, "Oh no, honey...I can get myself some lunch, believe me. I make sure that Greg keeps a sweet tooth too." Then he thought about it, and he said, "Actually, my baby has the day off today. No classes. I'm gonna call him up and see if he can bring me one of those spicy Italian subs from that place around the corner from his house today. He's, like, ten minutes away. Good idea, Billy. Let me see if I can get my slacker boyfriend to bring me some sunshine too."

Terrell just shook his head at Ollie, and then patted me on the back, like, "Get your 'happy' on, man. We're cheering for ya."

I thanked him for it, and I immediately went into the office to make sure that I could take my break when Brandon got here to the mall. Was I actually feelingnervous? Or was that just my heart beating too fast for my breath to keep up with it? I don't know, but...it kept me smiling to know that he thought about coming to see me before rushing off to Stevie's house to help him out with...whatever. I'm not even thinking about that, really. just...ahhhh! My boyfriend's coming to take me to lunch! It was hard to wait the whole hour and a half until it was time for him to show up. I was practically dancing in the aisles. I hope the expression of my excessive joy wasn't too obnoxious. It just...it made me sigh out loud to feel Brandon's love reaching out to me, once again.

I waited, and I fidgeted, and I squirmed, for the next 90 minutes straight...and when I finally saw Brandon's sweet face come into the story wearing one of my favorite shirts...that light beige one with the big white stripe down the middle that makes his big hazel eyes look even bigger? Oh man, I had to stop myself from running up and jumping into his arms. Hehehe! I knew that all of my co-workers were looking at how cute he was. They started smiling as soon as I gave him a hug and peck on the cheek, and everybody made sure to say hi to him again. Brandon can be so adorably shy sometimes. He just kinda gives them a tiny wave and looks away, trying to avoid some of the attention. God...I'm SO in love with this boy!

Scott had to remind me to punch out for my break before I just ran out of that place and forgot. And Brandon was like, "I hope you don't mind the last minute invitation. My dad gave me a ride, and I figured it would be cool to see you for a little while..."

I'm like, "NO! I don't mind at all. It's one of the best surprises ever." And then...it was like we both got stuck for a moment. Just looking into each other's eyes for a few seconds, grinning like crazy, and feeling too awkward to say anything that would...ummm...get our brains functioning again.

Hehehe, not that standing in the middle of the store, staring into my baby's eyes, isn't a grand old time.

Finally, Brandon bashfully asked, "So...you ready to go?"

I'm like, "Uh huh. I'm ready."

And, as soon as we started to walk out of the store entrance, Ollie and Terrell both said, "Byyyyeeee, Brandon..."

Causing his face to turn super red as he quietly mumbled, "See ya..." Awww, he's so CUTE! Ugh, my heart!

He told me that I could get anything that I wanted and that the sky was the limit, but I only had a half hour, and I wasn't really all that hungry anyway. I just wanted to be close to him for a while, and he felt the same way. The lunch date was just a lame excuse to get us at the same table together.

So I got a chili dog and some lemon pepper fries, and he got himself some chicken tenders and a large root beer for us to share, and that was it. Although, there's something really sweet about being able to share a soft drink with another boy in public. I don't know...I'm heavily infatuated with just about everything that Brandon says or does on a daily basis. So maybe I'm biased. Hehehe!

But...as my physical and emotional attraction to him got more intense with every passing minute that we spent together, I found myself trembling as if this relationship was brand new all over again. I tried to distract myself with casual conversation, but I kept joking around in an attempt to shake out my nervous jitters...but every joke made Brandon smile, which only made me want him ten times worse.

The next time i get this boy alone, we are DEFINITELY going to make up for lost time! How much Summer do we have left again? Hehehe!

I did the 'polite' thing and asked him how Stevie was doing these days. And Brandon was like, "Ok, I guess. I highly doubt that he's ready to go back to school when it starts up again, though. I keep trying to get him out of the house...gradually ease him back into things, you know? But he's still having trouble with the idea that he has to look over his shoulder all the time. Always wondering if somebody is going to jump us in an alley somewhere and beat us to a pulp. I mean...I can't get him to stop being so scared all the time. I don't even know what to say to him anymore."

I'm like, "I'm sure he'll get back to his normal self. You know...eventually."

But Brandon says, "The bad thing is, we don't have enough time to wait for 'eventually'. The first day of school is almost here, dude. And he's going to be forced to go back out there and face it all at once. I just...I don't know how to help him with all that. I don't have any idea as to how I can make him less afraid."

Thinking about it a bit, I said, "You know...one thing that I've learned over the last year or so is that...you can't 'make' anybody less afraid of anything. You can't make them do anything." I felt that emotional mirror rise up when I decided to continue, like, "I sorta have this weird need to save people sometimes. And I don't think that's a bad thing. But...sometimes I have to remember that, even though I feel like I know what's best and complain about how I can easily solve everybody's problems with a simple solution...I can't be a 'bully' about my so-called help. I can't get angry and yell about how things would be so much better if people just did things the way *I* would do them. That's just not fair." Brandon nodded, and took another sip of his root beer. I said, "Sometimes I don't understand things the way I think I do. And I've made my mistakes. I've had my dark times and my moments of utter stupidity. And I can honestly say that the LAST thing I needed to hear was somebody screaming at me about how my life would be so much easier if I would just do everything they said when they said it. Well, life doesn't always work like that. And it's easy to lay claim to a logical approach when you don't have any emotion invested in what's currently going on. Sometimes...the 'outside' is exactly that. The 'outside'. They're looking at things from a totally different perspective than I am. And that doesn't make me an idiot, you know? So, I'm still going to help people as much as I can because it's in my nature...but I'm also trying to train myself to just shut up when I need to stay out of things. I don't have all the answers. I never did, and I never will. It shouldn't frustrate me so much, allowing somebody else to lead the life they want to live...pitfalls and all."

Brandon smiled at me, warmly. He's all like, "Is this your philosophical moment for the week?"

I giggled. "Sorry. Am I getting all existential on you on a half hour lunch break?"

Brandon was like, "A little bit. But, I get what you're saying. I made it a mission to help Stevie out of his 'prison'...but I know it's not my responsibility. He has to take responsibility for himself, and solve his own problems. Even if it causes him some distress along the way. I can only give my support, you know?"

I said, "Yeah. Pretty much." Adding, "My dad, before he left, told me that sometimes failure can teach you things that success just can't. I only partially understood that lesson at first...but I think it gets clearer in my mind all the time. Making mistakes, even stupid mistakes, shouldn't be thought of as the worst things in the whole fucking WORLD for people. Especially teenagers. I mean...geez! Sometimes, people just have to live the lives they have, and find their own way without somebody else totally crushing them with their control issues. I can definitely say that I've learned from my mistakes, and I'll probably learn more along the way. But how else am I supposed to grow? Let me learn on my own."

Brandon had the biggest grin on his face, offering me the root beer, which was two thirds empty now, so I could take a few sips of my own. He was like, "Omigod, it's so refreshing to hear something like that, Billy. Honestly, I don't know who I'd be if it weren't for some of the stupid mistakes that I've made along the way. I guess the pain involved in dealing with the consequences is what helps me to remember not to do that again. Hehehe!"

I'm like, "YES! It's like...putting your hand on a hot stove! Or getting a spanking!"

Brandon laughed, "Spanking, huh? Sex-ay!"

We both giggled for a moment, but thinking back to some of the bad things I've done...many of them to Brandon specifically...I said, "You know, it was that level of pain that made me realize..." Should I have said it? I don't know. I was emotionally vulnerable at the moment. I don't think I could help myself. I said, "...Realize how much I love you. And only you. And it taught me to never ever make that same mistake ever again. It just wasn't worth it. I love you, k?"

Another deep blush rushed up into Brandon's cheeks, and i heard a slurping sound as he finished off the rest of our shared root beer. Then he wiped his soft lips on the back of his hand and said, in classic 'Brandon' fashion..."I do too."

Hehehe...my baby.

I was down to the last few minutes of my lunch break, and our trays were pretty much empty with the exception of a few crumbs. And, even though I felt a bit clumsy about it...I decided to be like, "Brandon? I...I heard about this party coming up this Friday. It's gonna be at Jamie Cross' house. I was asked to be there..."

Brandon was like, "Hehehe, how the heck do you even get invited to these things, Billy?"

I said, "Believe it or not, Jamie Cross invited me, personally." I grinned as Brandon gave me a shocked look and tossed a balled up napkin at me.

He's like, "You TALK to him??? That is so unfair! What is going on with you two, anyway?"

I laughed out loud, like, "Yeah, didn't you know? Me and Jamie are having hot, passionate, monkey sex, six times a week! Hehehe! I thought you knew about that? I posted it on Youtube if you wanna watch!" He rolled his eyes in the cutest way, but I really wanted to ask this question while the inspiration was in me. I was like, "Anyway...it's a big 'back to school' bash, so like...everybody is expected to be there. Sam is pretty sure that he wants to go...and I figured I'd go with him..." Geez, Billy, he's your boyfriend already! Just ask him! I said, "...I was wondering if maybe...you wanted to come with us? I mean, if you feel like it. Or if you aren't busy with anything."

Brandon smiled as he looked down at the table top. And he's like, "Ummm, I don't have any plans. Sure. I'm in." Then he peeked up at me and said, "A couple of friends, hanging out at the end of Summer...sounds neat."

But, that was only the first part of my question...

I was like, "Sure. We could just go as a couple of buds, having a good time." Then I said, "Or...I mean, if you want...I was thinking that maybe you could go...as mydate?" I was almost afraid to look him in the eye, for fear that I'd see a bad reaction to my inquiry.

For a second or two, Brandon avoided my eyes, and he played with the straw in our soft drink by sawing it in and out of the plastic top. And then he asked, "Are you sure?"

I told him, "Listen...I've been thinking about this for a while now. And I mean...Brandon...you're everything that I could ever want in a best friend and boyfriend. And this Summer was...amazing. It really was. But can we go back to school and pretend that none of this happened? I'll understand if you're not ready to go all out on telling everybody, but..."

Brandon jumped in with, "Actually...I kinda considered that too." He looked me in the eye, and pushed the empty root beer aside to take a hold of my hand. He's like, "I'm not gonna lie to you, Billy...I'm scared. The idea of being so 'exposed' to the people we know, and all the people we don't...it terrifies me. Especially when it comes to telling my dad. I have NO idea what I'm gonna tell my dad."

Feeling my shoulders slump over in a pouty sulk, I told him, "It's ok. Really. We don't have to. It was just a thought."

But Brandon says, "You didn't let me finish." He gave my hand a squeeze, and he's like, "There was a time when the fear of other people mattered more to me than my own happiness, and...I didn't have any reason to put myself through that kind of torture and hatred for the sake of not having to keep the secret anymore." Then he gave me a cute little smirk, and he said, "Now I do."

Super surprised, I said, "Wait...are you saying...?"

He's like, "Billy, whatever it is that we have right now...I like it. I really do. And I think I want it to get better, not worse. I'm not going to give this feeling up. You mean more to me than the fear of revealing who I really am ever could. So...scary or not...if you're ready, then I'm ready. K?"

Without thinking, I suddenly stood up from my side of the table and gave Brandon a tight hug around the neck. Hehehe, nearly knocking his tray of left over trash into his lap, but he didn't seem too bothered by the threat. I kissed him on the cheek, and he kissed me on my other cheek, and then we shared a quick peck on the lips.

Shit...sorry. My eyes are getting a little misty over it, even now. I was just...I was soooo happy!

I'm like, "I LOVE you, Brandon! And I'd be honored to have the whole world know that you were my super SUPER beautiful boyfriend."

He said, "Me too. I just...hehehe...I hope I'm ready for all this. Especially at a Jamie Cross party."

Hehehe, I was like, "So, does that mean you're coming with us?"

Brandon says, "You really didn't think I was going to let you spend all night schmoozing it up with Jamie Cross without a proper chaperone, did you?" And he kissed me on the lips again. it was then that I looked around and had to remind myself that we were doing all of this in the middle of a semi-packed shopping mall. Hehehe! Maybe I should save the full coming out until the party, huh?

Just when I thought I couldn't be any more impressed with my favorite boy...he breaks the mold. Every time.

I had to go back to work, even though I knew that I'd be punching in about 10 minutes late. Yikes...I stayed out there in the food court a little bit longer than expected. But it was SO worth it!

Omigod! Does this mean that I'm going to be 'out' at school this coming semester??? Holy shit! What does that even MEAN for the future of us being together? Good stuff? Bad stuff? I can't even predict what things would be like once people find out that we're...you know...together.

Hehehe, that thought alone just made me blush so hard!

And then...something...'weird' happened.

Brandon walked me back to work, and I was ready to say my goodbyes when I noticed him being slightly distracted by something over my shoulder. I found it a bit offbeat, and when I looked back at the register, it looks like Ollie had actually made good on his word to get his boyfriend, Greg, to bring him that Italian sub after all. Maybe he's giving him the deep 'sugar stick' too. Hehehe!

But...as they share a little kiss and a smile, Brandon spoke. He was like, "Greg?"

Greg turned around, and his eyebrows lifted a bit when he saw him. He tried to put a smile on his face in a hurry, and he was like, "Hi. Brandon, right?"

Wait...what?

Brandon was like, "Yeah. Hi..." And he went in for..I think it was a handshake, or...maybe a fist bump...and it ended up in this really awkward hug that looked so uncomfortable that I imagined that hugging a desert cactus would be more pleasurable.

They barely exchanged more than a few words before Greg said, "I was just bringing my boyfriend, Ollie, some lunch. So..."

And Brandon responded with, "Oh. Ok. I was just taking my boyfriend, Billy, out for some...for some lunch too. So...yeah. Small world."

Ok, so this was confusing the hell out me. I don't think my brain was really processing this the way it should have been, because I was caught so far off guard. But, by the time I could get my thoughts together to ask what was going on, Brandon told me that he had to hurry up and catch the next bus to Stevie's house. And Greg gave Ollie a quick kiss so he could make a hasty exit himself.

Everything happened so fast that my head is still spinning over what happened there. How does Brandon even know Ollie's boyfriend? What just...like...am I going crazy here?

I know Brandon was in a hurry, and his surprise lunch visit was so awesome that I didn't want to taint the effort by sounding like i was interrogating him, but...a while ago, I sent him a message to ask what was going on, and he hasn't answered me yet. I doubt he'd still be at Stevie's this time of night, but...I dunno. Maybe he's charging his phone or something. It's possible, right?

I'm gonna stay up for a bit longer, just to see if he writes me back. But yeah...I found that kinda weird.

I sent Ian some hugs, but I know that he needs more than that. I'll try to call him early in the day tomorrow to make sure he's ok. He's such a nice guy. he doesn't deserve to be suffering like this.

Yeah, i know...I should butt out. But...just this ONCE, i'll try to help. Just this once.

I'll write more later!

Seeya!

- Billy