Picture Me And You

Chapter 15

My phone was already ringing by the time I had walked through the front door. My mom asked me if I had a good time, but I basically just gave her a nod and kept walking back towards my bedroom so that I could spend some more time with my sweetheart, and deny the fact that our night together was over. At least for now.

It wasn’t as intense as being close enough to Rory to reach out and touch him whenever I was forced to surrender to my addiction and give him a poke to remind myself that he was actually real, and that I wasn’t dreaming this whole thing...but just hearing his voice was more than another to raise goosebumps on both of my arms, as well as on the back of my neck. No one’s ever done that for me before. It almost felt like no one else would ever be able to do it again from here on out.

Rory’s my first love. He’s the one that I’m going to carry with me for the rest of my life. The one that I’m going to be curling up in a ball and giggling over when I’m old and gray. And you want to know something? I don’t think that I could have possibly made a better choice.

Rory is magic. Total magic.

We laughed and had fun on the phone for the next hour and a half without even breaking a sweat. A little flirting, a little small talk, a couple of jokes...it makes the heart beat faster, and my very concept of time itself seems to disappear altogether. It always feels like we could easily do this forever until we both wasted away from lack of food, water, and oxygen...and never regret a single moment of it. Hehehe, I think we could live on the overwhelming ‘wow’ of it all alone.

But as Rory’s mom began to bug him and ask questions about who he’s been talking to for so long...and my mom began to knock lightly on my bedroom door to harass me with the same parental treatment...we knew that we were going to have to wrap things up pretty soon. I mean, it’s not like we couldn’t still get together again this weekend or something if we wanted to. The difficult parts of building a boy on boy relationship is pretty much over with, isn’t it? I mean, neither one of us told our parents about any of this stuff yet, because it’s still just kind of, like...our thing. You know? They’ll know for sure when we know for sure. And we certainly seem to be headed in that direction so...it’s just a matter of time now. It’s not like we have to worry about ‘coming out’ or anything, as our parents already know that we’re gay. We’ve already had that talk.

I guess I just wanted to make sure that things between us were official before more people started to get involved. ‘Other people’ tend to ruin things sometimes. It’s always best to have some boundaries set up before they start meddling in our business. Especially with MY mom! She is a habitual meddler! One of epic proportions...believe me.

So, I finally let a moment of silence pass between us, and I said, “I guess I should get going.”

“Yeah...” He replied, almost with an audible pout. “...Me too. But tonight was...amazing. I just really wanted you to know that. K, Kevin? You’re a complete legend in my eyes. Hehehe!”

“Cool...” I mumbled, blushing so hard that I felt myself fall over on my side to lay my head on one of my pillows and do all I could to fight off the frantic butterflies in my stomach. “I have no idea what I’m doing this weekend yet, but if you wanna get together again...maybe hit the mall or something? I’d be down for seeing you some more.”

“Ok. I’m down. Just, ummm...give me a call. You know...whenever.”

“I’ll do that.” I grinned, squirming a bit as another silence fell over our conversation. The hesitation to be the first to say goodbye was killing me inside. And I felt like such a geek, but I said it out loud anyway. “I really don’t want to say goodnight right now. Heh...”

“Omigod...I thought it was just me!” He snickered. “Ok. I feel better about feeling like such a wimp then. I was afraid to say anything and sound too clingy and weird.”

“You’re not clingy. Weird, maybe...but not clingy. Hehehe!”

“Gee, thanks!”

I laughed. “I didn’t say that being weird was a bad thing! I’m weird too! We’re both weird!”

“You’re not helping, Kevin!”

“Hehehe, sorry.” I said, and then sighed out loud as I wiggled a bit more on my bed. “Well...let me put it this way, ok?” I might have been trembling a bit, just trying to say something so simple...but it felt awfully monumental to an inexperienced boyfriend virgin like me. “You’re just the right kind of weird. For me, that is. So pardon me if I’m easily fascinated.”

Rory was quiet for a second, but I could hear his ‘smile’ when he said, “You’re my kinda weird too.” And neither one of us knew what to say after that, so he just told me, “I’ll talk to you soon?”

“Yeah. M’kay.” I said softly. “I’ll figure something out, and I’ll...I’ll call you.”

“Sweet. I’ll be waiting.” Rory said. Can love be this real? Can it just keep going this strong, or is it destined to exhaust all of its tricks and eventually burn itself out? I just want to know, because I can’t imagine feeling like this all the time. How do I expect to function in a world where my emotions are constantly swirling around in constant chaos like this? I can barely concentrate on this conversation as it is now. “I love you, Kevin.” Rory said, catching me by surprise.

My voice was trembling like crazy as my eyes teared up and I said, “I love you TOO, Rory! Mwah!” And after exchanging another few rounds of boyish giggles, we finally gained the courage to disconnect and hang up the phone, causing me to feel drained and swept up in the moment, trying to get my breathing back to normal as I fought to wipe the goofy smile off of my face before it caused my cheeks to cramp up and leave me looking like the friggin’ JOKER for the rest of my life!

Wow…I’m in love. No wait...we’re in love! We! I’ve got to remember that part. It’s the most amazing part of the equation, you know? I’m so lost as to what to do with this feeling right now. I just need to...move around or something. Maybe pace back and forth until I burn off some of this cosmic energy that I’ve got shooting through my veins right now.

Ugh! This is wild!

This is SO wild!!!

To say that it took me a few hours to go to sleep, would be an understatement. I tossed and turned and felt myself vibrating with this ceaseless sense of untamed joy and excitement until it was almost time for the sun to rise over the horizon the next day. My baby. Oh God...my sweet, sweet, baby. It’s like...every time I began to nod off from the pure effects of fatigue alone...thoughts of Rory’s smile, his golden crown of beautiful blond hair, and the bright little glimmer in his eyes as they focused themselves on me...holding my hand in the park, leaning his head on my shoulder, connecting the soft angelic pressure of his pretty lips to mine in the most innocent of kisses...I found myself feeling another piercing shot of adrenaline to my heart...and I found myself wide awake again.

A life this gifted is too incredible to sleep through. I wanted to experience every last second of this infatuation for all that it was. I wouldn’t miss it for anything.

I was definitely a bit groggy the next morning when the neighborhood came to life again. People mowing lawns and trimming hedges...kids shooting hoops against the headboards on their garage doors...an uptake in the traffic going up and down the street. But with the exception of having to spend some extra time rubbing the tiredness out of my eyes...I can’t say that I was too sluggish to climb out of bed and hit the shower. My thoughts of Rory’s kiss picking up right where they left off. Mmmmm...Heaven on Earth.

But when my phone rang, with me still using a towel to dry my hair and opening my closet to pick out a decent t-shirt for the day...and I saw Kyle’s name pop up on the screen...I was kind of hoping that he wasn’t going to ask me to hang out today. Nothing against him, of course...I just didn’t feel like I was in the right frame of mind. You know? Maybe my overworked endorphins needed some time to rest and recharge. Hehehe!

“S’up, dude?” I said.

“Nothing much. I tried to call you earlier, but you ignored me, bitch!” Kyle grinned. “What happened with the birthday plans last night? Did he like it?”

There it is. That shot of adrenaline. Jesus...it feels sooooo good. “He loved it. The were playing “Maltese Falcon”, and apparently it’s always been one of his favorites. Which I didn’t know at the time, but it looks like fat was on my side.”

“Was it crowded out there?”

Grinning to myself, I said, “To be honest, Kyle...I don’t even remember. All I can think about is the look on my boyfriend’s face as he stared at that big screen and enjoyed himself. It turned out even better than I thought it would.”

“That’s a major pimp move, Kev! You are SO in with this boy, dude! I’ve got to admit, I’m feeling a little pride for you right now. Hehehe! After all this time, I feel like you’ve totally blossomed into something truly special. Shit...if you keep this up, I’m gonna end up taking notes from you.”

“Well, I don’t know about all of that. I’m still just kinda making everything up as I go along. But...I think he really loves me, dude. It’s like I can’t mess things up, even if I tried.” I said. “I feel like we’re going to commit to being an actual couple any day now. It’s kinda scary. This is all super ‘new’ to me. I’m afraid to trip all over myself and break it all to pieces before I get a real hang on what I’m doing here.”

But Kyle reassured me by saying, “Nah! You’ll be fine, bro. You came this far...and you, pretty much, did it all on your own. I’m willing to bet that you’ll come out of this just fine.” Then he said, “You mind if I steal your idea? Gabe is a big movie buff too. I don’t know how big he is on the older stuff, but I’m thinking that it’ll make for a cool date for us to get together and enjoy. And maybe I can score some more ‘boyf’ points that’ll put me over the top. After all...I don’t want him going back online to find himself another cutie before I get a chance that I can be more than a pretty face. You know?”

“Don’t flatter yourself, Kyle. You’re really not all that pretty.” I giggled. If he could have smacked me at that very moment, I know he would have. Thank goodness for proper cell phone distance.

“Fuck off! Hahaha!” He said. “We cant all be ‘Rory’, you elitist prick!” We shared a laugh over it, but then he said, “Dude, why don’t you come over for a little bit? I’ll throw some of these ham n’ cheese Hot Pockets in the fridge, toss a couple of sodas up in the freezer to get them nice and icy...and we can talk boys for a little while. Whaddya say?”

I hesitated.

“You know...no offense, but I think I’m gonna pass.” I told him.

“Seriously? You got plans or something?”

“No. Not really.” I said. “It’s just...I know that you and Jason hang out on the weekends and have fun...I don’t want to get in the way.”

Kyle grunted. “Look...Kev...Jason’s just gonna have to learn to grow the fuck up. That’s all. You know he didn’t mean half of that shit he said the last time he came over here...”

“It sounded awfully convincing to me, dude.” I said. “I don’t have anything against him. I just think it’s best that I stay out of his way for a little while. That’s all.”

Did it hurt Kyle to feel like he had to choose between us in that moment? Maybe. I don’t know for sure. I just...I felt happy and satisfied and thankful for my blessings, you know? The last thing I needed was to have him call or show up and ruin the mood by being a big baby over my good fortune.

“Jason loves you, dude. You know that, right? He always has.” Kyle said, but I’m starting to think that this may be the one thing that would cause me and him to drift apart for good. I didn’t want to say the words aloud, but there was a sore spot in my heart that truly believed it. This was a part of Jason that I had never seen before...and I didn’t like it. Like...at all.

What’s worse is the idea that I didn’t know if I could somehow navigate my way around this envious attitude of his and get back to having him be like a little brother to me for so long. I used to think that he had my best interests in mind when he was trying to get me laid with whatever cute boys he could find online. But maybe I had that wrong. Because he’s not just jealous of me….he’s jealous of Kyle and Gabriel too. Maybe he only wants to help until it surpasses what he has under his belt. Like...we can do well for ourselves...as long as we never do any better than he is.

How can I possibly stay friends with someone like that?

I just said, “It’s alright. Honestly. Just...you two guys hang out and do what you do. I’ll catch up with you some other time. Cool?” Kyle questioned me on it for a minute or two longer, seeing the separation of a solid three way friendship beginning to drift apart as our priorities began to change. But I tried to put his worried mind at ease by letting him know, “It’s no big deal. Seriously. Besides, I’m going to try to find some way to see Rory again today. And you and Gabe have a date to make for the park. Jason’s...well, he’s going to do his own thing. We’ll link back up in time. Just not this weekend. K?”

If I was as confident in that statement as I really wanted to be...then why did it hurt so much to say it?

“Suit yourself.” Kyle said. And then, after a brief pause, he said...”See you soon, then?”

That’s exactly how he phrased it. Like an uneasy question. Like a random ‘guess’ on one of our high school final exams.

“Yeah. Sure. Soon.” I said, and we hung up shortly afterward. I don’t know...something about the whole end of that interaction left me feeling like...this wonderful change in my world, and in his...was bound to come with consequences. Nothing bad, really...just...different.

It felt weird.

I walked into the kitchen to get myself some snacks, and my mom took one look at me and saw me looking a bit more disheveled than normal in the morning hours. “Geez, Kevin. Your eyes are all bloodshot and hazy. Didn’t you get any sleep last night, honey?”

“Not really, Mom.” I said, yawning from the mere power of suggestion alone. “I’ll catch up on my sleep a bit later, I s’pose. I just wanted to get something to munch on so I can lay back down and try again for a little while.” I opened the pantry, and looked at the shelves inside. “Do we still have those little pocket sized bags of Lays potato chips or some Dorito’s or something?”

“Don’t take that junk into your room, Kevin. I’m still using the vacuum to suck up the snack crumbs from over a month ago. Eat a proper meal for lunch, will you? For once? Give me a break. I’m trying to do my ‘Mom’ thing here.”

What is it with parents and their need to be so insecure over the stupidest things?

“Fine. That’s...it’s fine.” I said with a sigh. “Frozen pizza?”

Now it was her turn to sigh. “It’s better than potato chips, I suppose. Whatever.” She took out the pizza pan and turned the oven on to get it preheated. That was a much easier sell than I expected it to be. What gives? “I’m bringing home some take out from Milo’s Greek restaurant tonight. So don’t fill up on junk.”

“Milo’s is a bit out of the way to go for dinner, isn’t it?” I asked.

“Well, Beatrice called me early this morning and she’s got her schedule all backed up with extra clients, trying to get their hair done. If I want her to squeeze me in before Janelle’s baby shower next week...I’m going to have to do it today. Hopefully, I can keep it looking fresh and new for a full week without having the novelty of it all fade away.” She said.

“Wait...you’re getting your hair fixed tonight?”

“Well, in a couple of hours. Yes. She had to push me way up on her list. I cannot show up to that baby shower looking the way I do right now. I’ll never hear the end of it. Janelle will gossip about it forever...”

I wasn’t sure what she was talking about beyond her going out and leaving me in the house by myself for a little while...but it caused both my stomach and my heart to flutter at the same time.

“So...if you...like, if you go do that...” I asked, “How long do you think it would take for all that to happen?” I didn’t want to sound too forward in asking, but I didn’t want to make it seem like wasn’t trying to sound too forward in asking either.

“Don’t worry, Kevin. I’ll be back in time for dinner. I’m not going to let you go hungry, sweetie.” She teased. But...NO!!! I wanted her to tell me.

“No, it’s ok. Milo’s is great. I’ll be fine. I just wanted to know, like...when you were going. And...and maybe, like...when you might be back.”

She wrinkled her brow for a moment. “I don’t know. An hour. Maybe two.”

“So, you think, like...two hours?” I asked again, make sure. But as she seemed to look closer into my questioning of how long she’d be gone, I did my best to lower my energy and back off a little bit.

“It won’t be long, Kevin.” She said, suspiciously.

“That’s cool. Just wanted to know. I’m not worried about it or anything, I was just...wondering. That’s all.” I said.

It was hard to keep my fingers from fidgeting like crazy, so I hid them behind my back and looked away from my mom so she couldn’t look into my eyes and, like, read my mind or whatever.

An hour.

Maybe two hours.

Ok...I...I need to call Rory. Or...maybe not? Or maybe I should. I want to. Does he want me to call him. We talked about this. I just...need some time to think.

Yeah...just some time to think. To plan. To...fantasize?

Whoah! The possibilities...