On The Outside

Chapter 2

It was one of the first mornings ever that the alarm clock didn't annoy the hell out of me. In fact, I woke up several times on my own before it even went off. Don't ever tell anyone I said this, but I think I was actually anxious to go to school! Does that mean that I was infected with some strange geek virus or something? I was turning into a full blown weirdo these days.

I hopped out of bed and went straight to my closet to pick out what I was going to wear. It seemed a little harder that day for some reason. Like none of my clothes really looked right. Well, I got one of my best shirts from the back, the one I usually reserve for parties and stuff, and a pair of cargo pants that I was hoping would show off my ass a little. I looked at my own butt in the mirror and suddenly giggled out loud at the idea of it. What the hell was I doing anyway? I swear, next thing I know I'll be picking out rug patterns and asking my parents to paint the walls a glorious shade of 'fuchsia'.

I made sure to rinse with mouthwash after my bowl of cereal, and fix my hair as well as I could. I don't know, I just wanted to look good that day. Maybe because I was in such a goofy mood. I hopped on my bike and rode off to school, just happy and thankful for every golden ray of sunshine. And before I got there, I saw Drew's bus drive up. He got off, on time for a change, and started walking towards the door. I was locking my bike up at the time, but I watched him every step of the way, so happy to be able to see him again. He was walking fast, his head down, as though he was just hoping that no one would notice him. My heart sank for that boy. People SHOULD notice him. He was such a cool person, and nobody ever took the time to understand that. All because of a three lettered word that happened to label him and place him into a deviot category. As soon as I heard my lock click shut, I ran to catch up to him just inside of the front door.

"Drew! What's up bud?" I said happily. He spun around and actually smiled shyly back at me.

"Hey...how's it going?" He asked.

"Not too bad. Another day, another page of homework."

"Yeah...I'll see ya in class later man." He began to start walking again but I caught up to him. He was so cute, never expecting anybody to want to talk to him.

"Well...wait! I just...you know I was wondering...um...y-y-you wanna hang out or something for lunch today?"

He looked confused for a second, like he had completely misinterpreted what I had said. "What do you mean?"

"Um...hello? What do I mean? Hang out for lunch...you know...eat like we always do, but in the same place? Maybe even at the same table?"

This look of surprise and awe came over his face, "Awww...dude, that's so..so sweet of you. Um...no...I can't, that's okay." He began to walk away again, but I kept up with him.

"You don't want to?"

"It's not that. It's just...you usually eat with your friends, and...it'll just be weird if I show up." He looked like he almost wanted to go, but he just kept refusing, no matter what I told him. It was going to take all I had to get him to believe that he was worthy of my company. Finally, after trying to walk away from me a third time, unsuccessfully, he made a compromise. "Okay...how about this? There's a park not far from here. Sometimes I eat lunch there when I want to be alone. How about you meet me at the back gate at lunchtime, and I'll take you over there. If...if you want to."

"Ok! Sounds awesome! I'll meet you there." He was shocked at the idea, still seeming to not be able to figure it out.

"It's a private park, Ethan. There won't be a lot of people around, if any." He said, almost in an attempt to get me to back out.

"Even better, I could use some peace and quiet."

This confused Drew even more. "You...you really want to go?"

"Yeah. It'll be fun."

"Um...ok...yeah. G-g-great! Um...I'll...I'll meet you there. At the gate I mean. At lunchtime. Ok?"

"I'll be here." I said happily. He was so cute when he was trying to scan me for answers. I honestly don't think anybody ever asked to eat lunch with him before.

"Heh...okay then! Uhh...I'll see you then! Cool! This is cool. Um...bye...Ethan." His voice was normal, but his eyes gave him away. I think he was much happier than he let on. He blushed a little and then turned to walk off to his class. But as I watched, I saw him occasionally look over his shoulder to see if I was still there. And it made those jitters in my stomach come back. It was a nice feeling.

I made it back to our biology class and sat next to him as always. The weird thing is, he kept looking at me and grinning. Not saying anything, just giggling happily for no reason. And it was beyond contagious. That's when I noticed some guy sitting behind Drew looking at us. And another girl across the room doing the same. And I realized what I was doing. Geez! Why don't I just put a big gay pink t-shirt on and lipstick? I straightened up right away and faced forward. I don't think Drew even cared at first, he's probably used to being stared at, but I was going to have to be a bit more careful. I had to ignore the giggles for a few minutes, and I think he got the hint. Then I looked back, and I saw his eyes had dropped down to the desktop. He was opening his textbook, silently, and his smile was gone. His giggles were gone. The sparkle in his lovely eyes was gone. And he didn't look back again until the end of class. I hope I hadn't done anything to hurt his feelings.

The bell rang and we got up to leave. But the first thing he said was, "Um...look, you don't really have to come to the park for lunch if you don't want to. Ok? We're still cool."

"Not come to the park? Come on, I wouldn't miss it for the world."

I smiled at him again, but he didn't smile back. "Ethan, you don't have to prove anything to me. You're a good guy, I know that. Just...don't do this just to make me feel better. It's not worth it."

"What brought this on?" I asked.

"Just don't...okay? Please?"

"Drew, I WANT to go."

"I've gotta go. Later."

And then Drew just walked away. When I asked to come with him, he just told me that he knew the way. Great, I DID hurt his feelings. That must be it. What am I supposed to do? I'm not...ready for any big 'coming out' or whatever they call it. I didn't mean to be cruel, I was just being careful, that's all. I'll make it up to him at lunch. If he'll let me.

I did as I promised and met him by the gate, I think he was really surprised to see me. Even though I told him a million times that I was coming. The look of joy on his face was enough to make me laugh out loud. "Quit looking so surprised! I SAID I was coming!"

"Yeah, well...people say a lot of things. Um...wow...cool...you're actually here. So..do you wanna go?" He was getting cuter by the second, and before I knew what hit me, I got the urge to throw an arm over his shoulder. I didn't do it for fear of being seen, but it was there, burning inside of me. I suddenly wanted him to be closer to me, in actual contact with me. And trying to fight off that need brought the jitters back even worse.

"Yeah...after you." I said. Why was I nervous? We were just hanging out. Nothing more than that. But something kept me trembling on the whole walk over there. And it must have been as contagious as his giggles earlier, because I could have sworn that he was shaking too. I could hear it in his voice. Not that he spoke all that much. We finally made it to the park, and it was completely deserted. Not a person in sight.

"Well...this is it." He said.

"Wow, there's like nobody here at all."

"Yeah, that's kinda why I like it. No noise, no masks, no...no judgements..." He trailed off and sighed to himself. "I come here to think. You know, just exist without looking over my shoulder?"

The urge to touch him came back even stronger than before, and this time I gave into it. I reached out a shaking hand to put on his shoulder, and he jumped. He had a big inhalation of breath and jerked away from me as though I was going to hurt him. I saw him tense up, and then try to quickly cover it up. "What's wrong?"

"Wrong? Nothing. Nothing....say...let's sit over there." He said, and he pulled away from me. The strange thing is, that brief moment of contact felt really good to me. I watched him go over to a tree and sit in the shade. I followed behind him, but I couldn't help but stare. I just appreciated him for who he was. I appreciated his walk, his voice, his mannerisms and all. He was just...really special to me for some reason. And that made me REALLY nervous. What the heck was I doing? Was I breaking my rules already? No no no...we can't do this! Stop it Ethan! Just...be a friend and forget the rest.

I sat next to him, and we opened up our bags to eat lunch. We sat there for about five minutes, not saying anything at all. I was occupied with my thoughts, and he was occupied with his. He didn't even look at me. This wasn't how I expected lunch to go. And yet I was too scared to say anything. I mean, what if Drew had that 'gaydar' thing going or something? If I said the wrong thing, he'd know I was gay and he might tell somebody or something. Or maybe he wouldn't...but...I didn't want him to know. I don't know why, but I didn't. I didn't want anybody to know.

"I'm sorry. I'm not being too good a host today." He said.

"No...no dude. This is fine."

"I just don't know what to say. I've always come out here alone. I've never had someone like you to share it with me."

"Someone like me? Is that a wisecrack?" I grinned.

"NO! No...it's not, I swear! Honestly!" He was so tense.

"I was just kidding dude."

"I know...I just...um...ahem...y-you make me nervous." He looked to see if I took offense to that comment, but more than anything, I was confused.

"I do? Why?"

Well...you're so...I mean you're just..." He looked like he was about to say one thing, but chickened out and said another. "I mean...you're actually, you know, one of the cool kids. Cool kids...they don't like me so much."

"Who ME? Hahahaha! Who's your informant? They've got some more research to do."

"I'm serious. You are."

"I've got like five friends in the whole world."

"Well.....it's five more than I've got." He said. He tried to make it sound like a joke, but I knew it wasn't.

"Four more." I said.


"More friends then you've got. Four more. You forgot to include me." I said. He turned his head and looked at me, for the first time since we sat down, and there was a look of admiration on his face. There was a brief silence, but it wasn't long before he smiled.

"Yeah......four more." We held eye contact for a second or two, before he realized that he was staring and jerked himself out of it. It was almost like he was about to start crying and laughing at the same time. That's when he quickly changed the subject. "So...what's....new?"

I didn't pursue anything, I just went along with it. This was so confusing, trying to like somebody and not like them at the same time. I mean, trying to balance between being a friend and being...well, like...infatuated or something. Not that I am! Because I'm not! That's not going to happen. He's just cute is all. I can think somebody is cute and not be too gay about it. Hell, puppies are cute. You don't see me trying to mount any of THEM do ya? I can talk to him without anything happening. And I did, the whole lunch period. We just talked and talked and after ten minutes, we were able to relax a bit. We had some laughs, and by the time lunch was over, we had half of our sandwiches left.

"I guess we better be heading back." He said, standing up and wiping the dirt from his butt. Which I secretly watched without shame.

"I don't know about you, but I'm not leaving until I finish my sandwich."

"But...but we'll be late."

"What if we are?"

"We have to go back."

"What if we don't?" I said, a sly smile on my face. "Why don't we just...stay and hang out some more?"

"You wanna stay here? With...with ME?" And I nodded. He tried not to smile, he tried hard, but as soon as his face turned red, it was unstoppable. He sat back down, a bit closer to me this time, and said, "Ok...why not?" He let out this sigh that just brought this overwhelming sensation to my heart. And with him being that close, almost touching, I began to tremble slightly once again. We talked some more, and his arm brushed against mine for a second. He didn't notice it so much, but I did. And not only did I feel the butterflies in my stomach go nuts, but I felt myself begin to harden and swell. Now I know that most teenage erections have a mind of their own, but this was worse. It was his touch that did it. That tiny brush with his arm. No dirty thoughts or sexual fantasies...it was just being there with him that made me feel this way.

I wanted to hide it, but I longed for another touch. Just one. So while he was telling me about the last movie he saw, I pushed my elbow out a little bit secretly so he could rub up against it again. Then...contact. It was brief, but his skin was so smooth and cool, with the most subtle texture to it. I had almost lost my breath when he did it. Again! One more time, and then I'll stop! It's not like I'm getting a blowjob or anything. This is still well within the limits of the rules that I had set for myself. And that's how the next few hours went. Just the two of us, sitting under a tree, talking about our lives and our memories, and occasionally bumping our arms together. It was heaven.

"I don't think I've ever had such a deep conversation with somebody before." I said.

"You know...me either. It's kinda nice." Drew put his hand on my leg in order to stand up. "Well, I'll see you soon, k?"

"Wait. You're leaving?" I didn't want our time together to be over already.

"Dude, we've been here for like 3 hours now. School's over and I've gotta get home."

"Just for a little while longer? I like kickin' it with ya here."

He started to tear up slightly again. "Th-thanks. Um...but really, I've...I've gotta be going."

"Well, fine. If you don't want to talk to me anymore." I joked around, but he only smiled for a second before getting serious again.

"No Ethan...today was...it was great. Thanks." Then he helped me up, looked around for a second, and before I knew what happened, he gave me a quick kiss on the cheek. "Don't tell ANYBODY I did that, k?" I was in shock. I didn't expect, that is, I mean, I didn't know that he would...wow! I was speechless, and I wanted so badly to just grab him by the shoulders and kiss him back. Reallykiss him back. But I heard the kids getting out of school, and no doubt they would be cutting through the park to go home soon. So I just grinned, showing a little blush of my own. "Ethan...you know, if I didn't know you better, I'd say you enjoyed that." Then he gave me this impish grin and took off before the other kids got a hold of him. I guess he had made it a habit of catching the first bus home everyday so he didn't have to deal with the usual horde of bullies and homophobes. Still, he had only been gone a few minutes, and I already missed him. I held my cheek and suddenly realized that I was smiling. I cleared my throat and just walked away. I was floating on air, and it worried me.

I got home, and for some reason I was able to eat proudly with my parents at the table. Talk on the phone with my friends, and suddenly, my dismal world of self hate didn't seem so bad anymore. After all, I was doing just fine, nobody knew anything so I was evidently hiding it well, and I had a new friend who was turning out to be one of the coolest people I know. It felt good to have confidence again. I made a few quick phone calls, but there was one number that was missing from my little mental roledex. Drew was out there somewhere, probably alone, and I just wanted to call and talk to him again. Just for a few minutes. I didn't want to bother him or anything, just...talk. I just continued to think about him for the rest of the night, and then when I went to sleep, I dreamed that he was laying there beside me. Nothing erotic, or even remotely sexual, just him lying there, breathing peacefully. I woke up the next morning with more energy than I had the day before.

For the next week, Drew and I spent our lunch periods at the park. Sometimes we'd come back in time for our next class, sometimes not. He was a totally different person out there. He was being himself. He wasn't holding back or ducking to avoid anyone in the halls. He just spoke his mind and took every opportunity he could to make me laugh. Especially while I was drinking a soda. He only got me to spit it out once though, and some of it got on him. So that was the end of that game. It was really a special time. I had gotten a hold of his phone number, and we would get on the phone and talk until my mother had to basically put me on 'lights out' like a prison warden. And even then, I would try to stay on for a few minutes longer. It had been an entire week since my other friends had really heard from me at all. But it wasn't on purpose. I just didn't relate to them the same way anymore. Even though I still liked them a lot, they didn't leave me in that amazing state of pure bliss after a long talk. That satisfying breath of fresh air that just rejuvenated my body and mind, making me feel weightless and free. Drew was the only one who could. And I loved it.

Another week had passed, and it was a Thursday afternoon. My friends had been giving me the business about being so absent lately, so I figured I could sit down and join them for lunch. I went down to the cafeteria and I'll admit that it was nice to see the gang again. Billy had discovered that he was in love...for the fifth time this month. Joey was talking about setting a trap for his little brother if he tried to sneak into his room again. I was hoping the diagram he drew with a razor sharp guillotine was just an exaggeration. And Jermaine was going on and on about some party on Friday night. "You've gotta come dude, it's gonna be killer." He said.

"Nah, I'm not in a partying mood this week. Besides, they said there's gonna be some crazy storm or something tomorrow night."

"Aw come on Ethan! When is the weather lady right about anything? A lot of people are going to be there, and I'm even going to be able to sneak out some of my dad's import beer!" He said with a grin.

"Oh god! That stuff is TERRIBLE! You can't even pronounce it much less drink it!" I laughed, and it took a lot of struggle, but he finally gave in. I'd rather spend the night on the phone with Drew all night than watch Jermaine drink that tiger piss any day.

That's when I heard a familiar voice say hello over my shoulder, and Drew came to sit next to me at the table. I don't know what it was, but suddenly I became more tense and paranoid than I had ever been before. Drew touched my shoulder and said, "When you didn't come to the park today I kinda figured you might be here." The whole table stopped. Jermaine, Billy, and Joey just dropped their sandwiches and looked at the two of us in amazement. I got really REALLY nervous after seeing that! Two different worlds, two that should have been kept apart, were suddenly crashing into one another, and I was stuck in the middle! Think Ethan....THINK!

Drew heard the silence, but he happily stuck out his hand to Jermaine. "Hi! I'm Drew." He said. Jermaine gave him a cold fish handshake, and as soon as it was over, as though he thought no one could see him, he wiped his hand off on his shirt. Shit! They knew! Of course they knew...supposedly, everyone knew! It's ok, they don't know about me. Do they? I just happened to have a gay friend, that I talk to all the time, and on the phone until late at night...and who I hang out with at lunch in a secluded park everyday...so we can be alone. Um...maybe this DOESN'T look so good!

Drew introduced himself to the other guys at the table, and got the same basic reaction. I froze, I wasn't sure what to say, so I didn't say anything at all. What was Drew thinking about them? What were they thinking about HIM? About ME? About us? My other friends made an attempt to be polite, but Drew could easily sense a strange vibe about it all. And he knew why. Billy got up from the table and made up some story about going to study for a test, and Joey got up to join him. It was then that Drew's eyes went back to the floor and his spirits dropped again. He mumbled a goodbye to them both, fake smile in position, and then he looked for me to say something. But dammit! I just COULDN'T!!! So Ethan just strikes out in the friendship department again!

"Um...it was...it was nice meeting you Jermaine. Ethan...I have to run. Look, I just wanted to tell you that...I'd be free this weekend if you wanted to get a head start on that project. It wasn't...important or anything. Um...I'll see you in class." He said, adopting that same mechanical, professional tone that he always did when he realized that he was different in the eyes of the others. I literally saw his every emotion shut down again, and he became that isolated ghost that I had witnessed walking the halls before we ever started talking. This was stupid, I'm not going to make this mistake again.

"Drew, wait. Stay for a while. No need to hurry off." I said. Jermaine seemed a bit surprised, but I didn't care. He can accept it or he can leave.

But Drew saw the look on his face, and he chose not to come between us. He was a special boy, that Drew. "Actually...I've got some stuff to do. I'll see you later."

"I'll call you." I said as he walked away. And I said it loud enough so half the lunchroom could hear me. It almost felt good, letting them know I wasn't afraid of it. When Jermaine began talking again, I stopped him cold. "That was real nice, Jermaine. A real class act, all the way."

"What? Your friend there? Dude...listen, I'm not making any judgements about his lifestyle or anything..."

"But you ARE making judgements and you treated him like shit! I never would have thought you for a homophobe."

"Homophobe has NOTHING to do with it Ethan! This isn't about him being...gay...this is about our rep, dude. If people see us eating lunch with him, they're going to associate us with him and think we're ALL homosexuals." What kind of sense does THAT make? Was he stupid or something? "Drew may be a very nice guy and all, I don't doubt that, but...people talk. I didn't make the rules. They just do. And once they start rumors, they're endless dude. ENDLESS! It'll follow you until the end of school and come back to haunt you on the ten year reunion!"

"He's just a person Jermaine! For crying out loud! What if I was gay? Then what?" What the hell was I saying?!?! Shut up Ethan! Let it go! It's over! Stop while you're ahead before you let the fag out of the bag!


"Or...not even me...anybody." I looked around the room. "What if Jordan over there was gay? Then what? Would he stop being the cute little heart breaker, the star of the track team, and one of your buddies on the bus?"

"Now you're just being crazy. Jordan's not gay, so why even worry about it?"

"How do you know for sure? Did you ask him? Hmmm? And if he said no, how do you know he's telling you the truth? Anybody here could be gay, even somebody you know." ANOTHER clue! Shut up shut up shut up!!! Alright, end of story! Not one more word!

"Are you feeling alright today? You're starting to freak me out here."

"Look, I'm just having...a rough day. Ok? So..forget it." And I got up to leave the table before I said something I REALLY regretted. But Jermaine stopped me.

"Hey Ethan...I'm sorry. Ok? Seriously. I didn't mean to be a prick about it. Sigh....any friend of yours is a friend of mine. Seriously. Just...be careful okay? Buds?" He said, sticking out his hand.

"Buds...always." I shook it and then left for the library. I called Drew as soon as I got home and tried to explain it all to him, and all he could do was apologize over and over for 'ruining things'. How ridiculous is THAT? I told him not to worry, but he insisted that it was all his fault and that he never should've just dropped in without telling me and he sounded like he was almost crying. It broke my heart to hear him like that, and I did all I could to make him feel better. Most of our conversation revolved around that incident, but we got passed it, and afterwards we were giggling and playing around like always. It was a bit awkward at first to have him around my other friends, but at the same time, I liked it. I would like it even more if they got to know him the way I did. They'd love him, I'm sure. Probably tease him a little bit, but all in fun. They just needed to get used to him, that's all. And they will. Because I don't intend to hide my friendship forever. No matter what happens.

I met up with Joey later on that afternoon, and he didn't seem to be as open minded about it as Jermaine was. I couldn't even believe that I was talking to him about it, but he brought it up. "Ethan, I don't want to come off as some kind of jerk or something, it's just that gay people scare me." I gave him a look that told him exactly what was going through my mind when he said that, and it wasn't pleasant. But he tried to defend himself. "Can you blame me? You should be a bit more cautious too dude."

"Oh is that so?" I said, not really caring about the answer.

"Yeah, that's so. Did you know that more than half of all the teenagers in the world experiment with a homosexual experience before they're our age? Boys who aren't even remotely gay." He was whispering now, and looking around like he was giving me the hidden answers to some great mystery of life. "How do you think that happens? They get lured into it dude. Seduced. You might not even be gay, but what if Drew decides that he likes you? Then what?"

I gave the idea some thought, and this strange feeling of warmth ran throughout my entire body. No! Stop it Ethan! Oh God...was I...did I have a CRUSH? On a boy? No no no! This can't happen! This has got to stop, I can't do this. What about the rules, what about being 'normal', what about trying to straighten myself out? I don't want to be gay! I WON'T be gay! Ever!

"You see? You don't know what then, do ya? He'll come over, he'll smile and treat you nice, and the next thing you know, you're letting him touch you and stuff. Then, he'll be kissing you on the cheek or something." Having a gay friend to talk to is one thing. I mean, I'd love to be with someone who understands, someone I could have fun with. But I'm not trying to fall in love! I can't do that! It'll ruin everything! And now that Joey mentioned it, he DID kiss me on the cheek! "There's nothing wrong with gay people, but if you let them get to you, they'll make you want them. That's what they do. I had this friend once last year, who had a girlfriend and everything. Then, one afternoon, his best friend tells him that he's gay, and they continue to hang out and all. Everything's peachy right? Wrong. One afternoon, on a rainy day just like this, they were both watching a porno movie, and started touching each other and shit. And the next thing you know, he's sucking dick like a 2 dollar whore with a ten dollar bill! Just that ONE time! Well, word gets out that he's a fag, his girlfriend dumps him, no girl will date him, and I think they kicked him off the volleyball team. All because he 'experimented' one time with gay sex. And his friend seduced him into it. He was never heard from again! Left school and everything."

"This doesn't sound the least bit true, you realize that, right?" I told Joey, who was obviously believing his own hype on this one.

"Believe what you want man, but I know what I heard. I'm telling you, half of the gay teenagers out there probably aren't even gay. They're just tempted." It sounded so stupid, even by JOEY'S standards, but a part of me wanted so badly to believe it. To think that I could be 'saved' if I just stayed away from temptation long enough to grow out of my curious experimental stage. Maybe it IS possible. I mean, there are some people who live most of their lives as being gay, and then decide that they want a wife and kids. People who just don't want to do it anymore. Who knows, maybe ten years from now, I'll look back at this and laugh. I'll be able to tell my kids about the time when I was a teenager and was terrified because I thought I was gay. It would be nice.

I spent the rest of the period thinking about what Joey said. It was still too brainless to believe, but the more I replayed our conversation in my mind, the more I WANTED to believe it. Now that I thought about it, I did have my own set of rules outlined and everything was going great until Drew showed up. I wasn't even thinking about touching a guys arm or getting all excited when I saw him walking my way...until Drew came along. Now it's all different. Now I'm thinking about him all the time, wanting to be with him, wanting to hold and kiss him and...I've never really had it this bad before. I've seen guys that I thought were cute, even fantasized a little bit, but ever since Drew came along, I've been going nuts. I'm confused and nervous and lost...maybe he was the one doing this to me. Maybe if I can just hit the breaks for a while, I'll be okay. I don't mean stop being his friend, just...stop all of the little affectionate stuff. No more touches and smiles and giggles. No more secret lunches in secluded parks and CERTAINLY no more kisses on the cheek! I don't hate Drew, and I know he would never do anything to hurt me, but understand that this is my life we're talking about. And I don't want to spend the rest of my days as an outcast.

Drew and I got the details of our biology project in class, and he made sure to ask again if it would be okay if he came over. I had to think about it, trying to come up with some logical excuse, but it seemed like a shitty thing to do. I was a bit torn for a second, but I couldn't turn him down, not after we had already made plans. I was so excited with the idea of coming over at first. But now it really scared me. At least my dad would be there to chaperone. I didn't have to worry about Drew trying anything on me. I hope this all works out.

It started raining out of nowhere in the middle of the day, and every time I thought it was going to let up, it would downpour again. It was one of those weird days when the rain just has everybody in a groggy mood, and you can just tell. Well, except for Brian in my English class, he's always in a groggy mood. It had everybody feeling weird, me included. I had mixed emotions about this whole evening. Was this going to be my 'buddy' Drew coming over? Or was this going to be some brazen tempter coming over with a gleam in his eye? Damn Joey and his half assed philosophies! I sat in my last period class, struggling through my own thoughts, and only finding more questions where I was hoping to find answers. And suddenly, I began to think about Drew actually succeeding in his efforts. Actually getting the chance to touch me all over. To place soft kisses on my neck. To slide his smooth naked teenage frame over mine as our legs tangled around us. That image should be making me sick, it should be something that I want to avoid at all costs...so....why was it arousing me so much? Why was my erection suddenly harder than it had ever been before? Why was my heart beating so fast at the idea of being in the same room with Drew without the threat of the other kids watching us? This was really beginning to frighten me. What if I couldn't turn it off? What if I fall so deep into my feelings for Drew, that I can't ever go back to liking women ever again? What if...? Oh God, what am I going to do?

I jetted home quickly through the rain after school, making sure that I didn't run into Drew on my way out, and locked myself in the house. Okay, okay...he's coming at 6 o'clock, my dad will get home about 5:30, so...no problem. We'll just study in the living room, and I'll sit on the other side of the table. No touching, no rubbing, no nothing. I can beat this. I KNOW I can. I cleaned up a little bit, and then had a quick snack. It was only a matter of time now.

By the time 5 o'clock rolled around, I was sitting on the living room sofa, twiddling my thumbs nervously and sweating like crazy. I was a total wreck. What the heck was the matter with me? I still had an hour to go, and I was being bullied by the butterflies in my stomach. I heard a roll of thunder in the distance, and pictured Drew on his way to my house...in the rain, and wet. His soft brown curls would have been weighed down by the water, and his lips would look even more delicious when naturally moistened and smoothed. A slight chill would cause those lips to quiver ever so slightly...and...and...okay, think about something else. I turned up the volume on the TV, hoping that the noise would keep me focused on anything BUT Drew. I just wish my heart would obey me and stop beating so hard, so fast. It was almost jumping right out of my chest. I kept wiping my sweaty palms on my pant legs, and just tried to get my breathing under control again. One hour, that's it...one...more...hour.

I heard the doorbell ring and got up to answer it. I figured my dad had stopped by the grocery store in order to get us some snacks or something, but when I opened the door...it was Drew! He's early! I nearly had an asthma attack right then and there. My eyes were wide, and he gave me the weirdest look. "Hehehehe....don't look so surprised. I SAID I was coming." He grinned, mocking me word for word from what I told him the first time we had lunch together. Was this a part of his plan? Show up early and get in my pants before my dad comes home?

"H-h-hi...hey...what's up?" I stuttered. Oh man, this was bad. Very bad.

"Are you gonna let me in, or am I just going to keep getting wet out here?" He asked. But I couldn't concentrate. I had been picturing what Drew would look like, slightly drenched in rain, but even my most sensual visions didn't do him justice. He was so damn cute, standing there in front of me, shiny and wet and just...lovable as all hell. I don't know what he was doing to me, but he was putting some extra spice into it that evening! Because I have never felt so allured by one boy in all my life. The harder I fought it, the more I became aware just how strong the attraction was. I can't stop...I can't ignore it.

I let him in and he sort of shook his curly locks free of the excess water. "Sorry I'm early, dude. I thought my dad was going to give me a ride, but I guess he wasn't in the mood, so I took a bus right over. He's being a bit edgy today." He said. He used his hands to brush his wet curls out of his face, and then he smiled at me, his big brown eyes staring a hole right through me. He looked like a cute little puppy dog or something. "What?" He asked.


"You're staring at me. Hehehehe, what is it?"

"NOTHING! Nothing! Come on in...uh...have a seat." I snapped back. Jesus, I was tighter than a wound up rubber band ready to snap at any moment. I had to get away from him. Just for a second or two. So as soon as he sat down, I said, "I'll be right back!" And I took off to my room for a minute. I looked at myself in the mirror, checking to see if everything was okay. Was I blushing??? Shit! No! Stop it! Get a grip man! I'm not going to be shipped off to some other school over a rumor. Even if Joey's story was complete bullshit, I don't intend to make it true by being that kid. I took some deep breaths, adjusted my semi-hard organ so it wouldn't stick out, and went back out into the living room.

I was hoping that I'd be okay, but when I saw him sitting there...just looking...pretty...I choked again. "You know, if this is...weird for you or something, I can leave..." Drew started to sense something was wrong and was beginning to apologize already. I didn't want him to leave. It wasn't him, it was me...I'm the one who needed to get a hold of himself. Just...be a friend Ethan. He won't bite you. Great! Now I'm picturing Drew biting down on my shoulder! How kinky am I going to get with this dirty mind of mine?

"No, that's alright. It's...it's cool. So...um..." I was stuck for words, and I was so tense that all I could do was stand next to the sofa and look down at Drew with this psychotic smile on my face. Then, I began to giggle to myself, out of nowhere. It was like my emotions were tickling me, and I wasn't sure how to respond. Laughter was the only thing that could come to the surface. I was too confused to respond any other way.

"Hehehe...you're a weird one today. Say, you want to sit down?" He said, scooting over a little and leaving me a little room on the couch. TOO little room if you ask me. So THAT'S how he plans to do it? Get me to sit next to him and he'll start brushing my arm again and again until I'm horny enough to jump his bones? No way! I walked around and sat on the floor on the other side of the coffee table instead. He gave me another funny look, but then just grinned shyly and took some books out of his bag. And so...the evening began.

We were probably actually looking in the book and concentrating on the project for twenty minutes before I started to watch the clock. It was almost 6 o'clock, and my dad wasn't home yet. What the hell? I know it's raining, but he HAS to come home soon. He HAS to! I can't sit here alone with a boy that I'm in...that I'm...uh...that I think is somewhat cute. He's gotta come home soon.

"Penny for your thoughts?" He said.


"You seem to be thinking about something totally different than the lesson tonight. Care to share?" He grinned again, and he looked me right in the eye. God...he was beautiful. It was almost enough to make me actually cry. I didn't know what to do. It just overwhelmed every inch of my body, every thought in my mind, every beat of my heart...it was like this strange adrenaline rush that wouldn't end. And it began every time I looked into his eyes, increasing with every gasp of breath.

"I'm just....thinking. You know?" I said. That's when he closed up the book and sat back on the couch. "Wait...what...what are you doing?" I asked nervously. When he leaned back, I was terrified that this would be it. That the real seduction would begin. And the bad part is, I didn't think I was strong enough to turn him down.

"Lesson's over for right now. So, why don't we just talk for a while?"

"Talk? Talk about what? Why would we need to talk?"

"I don't know...just about anything. I like talking to you Ethan. It's kinda cool." He said. His voice was so hazy and sexy when he said it. It was in a tone that let me know that he really meant it. "Dude, come on. I'm curious, I want to know what's on your mind."

"I"LL BE RIGHT BACK!" I said quickly, and got up to run to my room again. I went to my mirror and tried hard to just stop thinking about him. I couldn't avoid eye contact for the rest of the night, he'd know something was wrong. Why is this happening? Why is this getting worse with every second? I don't want to be...in...in love. God...I said it. Oh...ewwww...Ethan...you're NOT in love. This isn't love. This is temptation. It's a hormonal teenage sex thing, it's gotta be. I can still be saved. I'll go to school on Monday, find a nice girl and just give the straight life a chance. That's what I'll do. I mean, I'm a virgin right? What do I know about love? I'm making this all up in my head, that's what I'm doing. Where is my DAD??? Ok Ethan, just....just go out there. He can't make you do anything you don't want to do. But the scary thing was that I DID want it. God how I wanted it. If I kissed Drew, even on the cheek, my soul would melt and I'd be a puddle of 'fag-ness' right there on the living room floor!

"Ethan? Are you okay dude?" Drew said, walking into my room! My room! Shit! Now he was here, where I sleep! There was a gay boy and my bed in the same room with me. I began to feel my hands shake as he moved closer to me.

"I'M FINE! Really...seriously." I was so terrified of the boy, it was insane. "Um....let's go back out into the living room, ok?"

"WHOAH! Cool!!!" Drew said, walking past me. I followed him as he walked over to my desk. "Dude, you've got South Park the movie on DVD???" He was so happy. But all I could think of was, oh great, he just found a reason to stay in my room for a few minutes longer.

"....Yeah..." I replied.

"DUDE! We've GOTTA watch it tonight! This movie is funny as hell!"

I looked over, and realized that the only DVD player was on my computer...in my room. The thought of us sitting on the same bed and laughing together spooked me. But he didn't give me a chance to really refuse. "Um...dude...I don't know..."

"Oh please? C'mon! How many people on the planet Earth get to actually say 'hey I had Drew over at my house to watch the South Park movie?'"

Before I could answer, and by 'answer'...I mean 'cave in to his every whim'...I heard a rattle at the door. My dad was home! Thank God! Now I could have some protection. I walked passed Drew without saying a word and said hello to greet him. My dad smiled and brought home a pizza for us to snack on. He was happy to meet Drew and shook his hand, welcoming him to the house on such a dreary night.

Shortly after he came home, Drew and I sat back down in the living room, and actually got some work done. We had about two weeks to finish everything up and make a halfway decent presentation for the class, so there was no rush. With my dad just in the other room, I began to feel a bit safer, and I was able to relax a bit more around Drew. Finally, some of those haunting thoughts gave way to friendly jokes and a normal feeling of togetherness. This was MUCH better. I knew that I wasn't going to do anything with my dad in the house. Paranoia alone would make me 'behave' while this cute boy was within my grasp. I could even say that to myself now, he was cute. Drew had this funny laugh that just made his whole face light up, and his gestures were so incredibly sexy in a way that I just can't seem to understand. His voice, his eyes, his hair...sigh. It felt good to look at him again.

It had been an hour or two when the phone rang. I started to get up, but my dad beat me to it. So Drew and I went back to joking around. He really was hilarious, and something about the way his body just looked so soft and flexible...wow. I just wanted to touch it all the time. Even the quickest look from him would make me smile, and he never knew what I was thinking about him. Not once.

My dad hung up the phone, and then walked passed us in the living room to get his coat. His COAT? What's this all about? And then he said something that basically signed my death warrant.

"Listen fellas, I'm not going to be able to stick around like I planned. Ethan, your mom's having trouble with the car and I've got to go pick her up. This darn rain isn't a good time to be out. I'll be back as soon as I can." HUH??? No....no this can't happen!

"Well...wait! I mean, can't she get a ride or something from Mrs. Binder?"

"Ethan...Mrs. Binder is 85 years old. If she could drive all that way in the pouring rain by herself, she wouldn't need your mother at all. And my goodness can that lady talk! Every time I visit, she just invites me in and goes on and on and on...you practically have to knock the woman unconscious just to get away." My dad was actually finding this FUNNY! He had no idea what he was doing to me. I knew that my mom had been acting as a personal nurse to Mrs. Binder for a while now, but her house was waaaay out in the suburbs. Almost an hour and a half away! If my dad goes to pick her up, then that's a MINIMUM of three hours! And that's without Mrs. Binder's babbling! We're teenagers for goodness sakes! We could have sex TWELVE TIMES in a three hour period! Was he nuts?!?!

"Dad...can't you...we can come with you, ya know..."

"No, you guys have a project to do. Just don't tear up the house when I'm gone, ok? I'll be back in just a few hours. Save me some pizza, got it boys?" Drew seemed fine with it, and my dad seemed fine with it...why was I the only person who was freaking out here? Suddenly, all of that safety and confidence was gone. And the fear returned.

"It was nice meeting you Drew. I hope to see more of you." He said, and then he just said goodbye before I could find a way to protest any further. I could hear the silence envelop the room as soon as he closed the door, and when I looked back at Drew, he was smiling.

"Well now we've got pizza AND a movie! So what do you say? We'll just take this baby in your bedroom and have some fun." If only Drew understood the kind of sensation that nearly lifted me off of the ground when I heard him say those words. I don't think he got it at all. He was really acting innocent about the whole thing, and that only made it worse. Because that innocence made him even more attractive to me. If he was doing this on purpose, he was damn good at it.

I'm not sure what made me do it, but I panicked and ran outside after my dad as he drove off. I was in my sock feet and with no jacket. I felt the cold water soak into my socks with every icy puddle I stepped in, but it was too late. My dad was already driving out and there was no way for me to catch him. I stopped out at the sidewalk, and saw the red taillights of my dad's car disappear in the distance. I stood there in the rain, wondering what the heck I was supposed to do now. Please...somebody...give me a sign. I don't want to be gay, I've seen what they do to Drew, I know what can happen if anybody ever finds out. Please...don't let that happen to me. Just give me a sign. ANY sign.

As soon as I thought it, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I turned quickly to see what it was, but it was already too late by the time I caught a glimpse of it. It was a little boy, about ten years old, I assumed, speeding through the rain on his bike. All I could see was a quick flash of curly red hair as he swished by me at a billion miles an hour! And I wasn't even aware of what had happened until the ice cold sensation soaked into my shirt. As he passed, the boy splashed a hefty dose of ice cold mud on my shirt! Thick globs of it splashed up onto my shirt and some onto my face! I stood there paralyzed for a moment with my arms out, and all I heard was a well mannered "Sorryyyyyyy" from the boy as he kept travelling towards his destination. Sorry? He's SORRY? Little shit drenched me in rainwater and mud, and he's SORRY? Bastard.

I turned around, getting a chill every time my shirt touched me, and saw Drew standing under the front porch, laughing his ass off. I'm glad SOMEBODY finds this funny. Some sign THAT was! I splish splashed my way back to the house while my socks reached their capacity for holding water, and went inside to smile back at a still giggling Drew. I must admit, when I looked at myself in the mirror, I DID look pretty silly. I couldn't help but smile myself. He followed me back into my room and I slid the soaking wet shirt up over my head. I let it hit the floor and used my hands to brush some of the mud off of my neck and shoulders. It was then that I noticed that uncanny silence again.

I looked over at Drew and he had this weird gaze in his eyes. He quickly forced his eyes to the floor as though I had frightened him, and then he sat down on the bed. "Uhhh...I'm...I'm sorry. Go ahead." He said, and then he turned his back on me completely. I think I was so used to being able to take my shirt off in front of Jermaine and Joey and the guys, that I almost forgot that Drew was...different.

"T-t-that's ok...really." I said. But to avoid taking any more chances, I grabbed some stuff and headed into the other room. There, I dried off, washed the dirt off, and changed into some new clothes. When I came out, Drew was laying face down on the bed, propping himself up on his elbows. He looked back over his shoulder at me and that vision will always be one of the most erotic moments that I'd ever remember. His body stretched out on my bed, his cute little butt wiggling slightly, his timid grin being flashed at me, as if to invite me to lay on top of him and satisfy these thoughts and feelings eating away at my will power. His legs and his back and his...I knew at that moment that love was definitely NOT out of the question. I don't know if admitting that made me feel better, or scared me worse.

It was the most confusing blinding fear that I had ever known that had taken control of me. I slowly made my way to the bed, and sat down next to him. If this was it, then so be it. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad. Maybe he wouldn't tell anybody. Maybe it would just be a one time thing, and then he wouldn't want to do it anymore. It would certainly feel good though. To be naked with him, to touch his body and be unashamed of it. To feel his warmth next to me and admire him for every beautiful thing that I know him to be. "So, you ready?" He asked.

"*Gulp*.....yeah. I'm ready." I said, giving myself totally over to the idea now.

"You'll have to show me what to do, unless you want to start it first." He said.

I didn't know HOW to start off a sexual encounter. I was new to this whole thing, and they don't necessarily teach this in schools. Maybe if I just touch him, that'll get things going. "Ok...sure."

I reached out slowly, and put my hand on the small of his back. I was sooo nervous, but it felt good. I sprang to life instantly and felt the throbbing of my swollen organ as it began to tent out the front of my pants. Drew was still laying on his stomach, looking forward, and I took the opportunity to look at his face. It was from the side, but he was still a looker. I was beginning to really appreciate this opportunity. I suddenly wanted to kiss him, to hold him, to taste him all over. My hand began to make small circles on his back, wanting desperately to move down to his firm young cheeks, but too scared to do it. My heart stopped and I sighed out loud to myself. I was so hard that it pained me.

Drew then turned his head to look at me with a passionate gaze, and that only made my penis hurt more. I needed release, and fast! Then he said, "Do you want me to grab it?"

I closed my eyes and whispered, "Yes...oh God yes..." And then I felt Drew slide away from me. I opened my eyes and watched him get off of the bed and get the South Park DVD off of my desk. "Oh...the MOVIE!" I said out loud before being able to stop myself.

"Of course the movie. What did you think I was talking about?" I didn't dare answer that question! I just swung my legs around and lay on my stomach too before Drew had a chance to see what I was thinking. I instructed him on how to set everything up and turn the screen towards the bed so we could see it. I was naturally a bit shaken. I mean, I was THIS close to giving myself away and ruining everything. I pushed my hips into the bed a few times, trying to get rid of some of that tension, and I prayed that Drew wouldn't see me doing so. He's not stupid, I'm sure he could figure me out, if he hadn't done so already.

And then he actually turned out all of the lights except for one small desk lamp across the room, and hopped back on the bed with me. We were both laying next to each other, both propped up on our elbows, and I couldn't believe that I was this close to him. Close enough to kiss him if I had the nerve. His leg was touching mine, and my arm was touching his. We stayed like that, with me being able to feel every vibration in his body when he laughed. Which for THIS movie was quite often. It really was a freaky experience for the first ten minutes or so, but after that, I was able to think about the movie more than about him. I mean, what was I doing here? Drew could have tried something a long time ago if he really wanted to. It's not like every gay person in the world is on some secret mission to get laid by as many boys as possible. Damn Joey and his lame stories! As though I wasn't screwed up ENOUGH in the head without HIS influence!

I was able to mellow out a bit and just enjoy Drew's company. Before I knew what had hit me, we were rolling with laughter and just having a blast. This was the night I was expecting to have before I let my mind get all cluttered with nonsense. I was almost sorry that I had wasted so much of it being scared. Things went back to normal and we just had a good time. There were a few gay themed jokes in the movie, and Drew was able to laugh at those too, even though I was worried if he'd take offense to any of them. I don't know why. But for some reason, it made me curious enough to ask a question or two.



"Can I ask you a serious question dude?" I paused the movie and he gave me his undivided attention.

"Okay..." I wasn't sure how to ask it, but I had him interested now, so I couldn't just tell him to forget it.

"Um...I was wondering...and don't take offense or anything...but why did you..." I was stuck, but just decided to spit it out. "Why did you tell somebody?"

"Tell somebody? About being gay, you mean?" He was just able to throw that 'G' word around so easily. Geez!


"Why wouldn't I? It's who I am." I told him that I didn't quite understand, so he continued, "Look, I'm this tall, I weigh this much, I have curly hair, and I'm gay. That's all there is to it. It's not like I'm doing it to be a brat or to impress anybody. It's just a part of me."

"But...don't you hate it when people make fun of you? Doesn't it bother you?"

Drew's face got a little more concerned, and he seemed to wince a little bit thinking about it. "Well...sigh...yeah. It does. And some people will never understand. Naturally it hurts, but it's their problem, not mine."

"They wouldn't have a problem if they didn't know about you. You didn't have to tell anybody you were gay. You could have just kept it a secret..." I said.

"Kept it a secret from whom? From THEM? Ethan, as far as I'm concerned, there's two kinds of people in this world. There's those that will stick with you, and those that'll leave you behind. I'd rather know who my true friends are...even if it only turns out to be one or two people. If they can't deal with what I am, then they're not worth me putting on this 'hetero' act for. It's a waste of my time and energy."

He made perfect sense, but I wasn't convinced that I'd ever see things his way. Not for my situation. I didn't want to deal with it. I didn't need that in my life. "I know what you're saying Drew...it's just...things could be so much easier for you if you had just kept quiet."

"No it wouldn't. When I came out, it was time. I was tired of not being able to look at other boys walk by, having to pretend to not notice them, having to shut everything down and live in the fear of being discovered. I wanted to be free of all that. I wanted to let people know who I am and see them for who they are. I didn't think they would all be so cruel about it, but hey...I'll live." He was so incredible. In every way. I felt that jitter in the pit of my stomach and it threatened to tear me apart if I didn't do something about it.

"What about your dad? What did he say?"

Another look of distaste came over his face, "He...uh...he doesn't understand. He's...well...he just doesn't understand. We'll leave it at that. We don't talk much anymore." Drew didn't say anything more, and I didn't want to push it. He was suddenly looking so sad. I just wanted to hold him close, and sincerely wondered what was stopping me. I could just reach out and hug him. Nothing wrong with that. But, with a tear in his eye, Drew added, "I know he loves me, I just don't think he accepts me, and that can be hard to take."

"I accept you Drew. No matter what." And I put an arm around him and hugged for a QUICK second before letting him go. It felt good to touch him again, but he had know idea how much I wanted to say 'I LOVE you Drew' instead. He smiled at me, leaning against me and resting his head on my shoulder. He kept it there for a little bit, and while it felt good at first, I realized what was happening and got all tense again. I reached down for the remote and started the movie again. It broke the mood pretty quick and we went back to laughing again. It was a weird balance of feelings that I had for Drew. Between love and friendship. It seemed to switch back and forth so fast that it was hard to tell one from the other. But I was beginning to like it. As baffling as it was to me.

I'm not sure when I had dozed off that night. I guess a combination of the rain and the damp air had put BOTH of us to sleep before the movie was over. And we probably would have slept until morning if it weren't for a sudden rude awakening. I had my heart jump started by a thunder blast from hell, making the whole house shake with it's sonic boom of noise. I jumped slightly and the first thing my eyes focused on was the clock across the room. It was exactly midnight, and I guessed that my poor dad had been sucked into Mrs. Binder's dungeon of conversation torture, because he hadn't made it back yet. The next thing I noticed was that the movie was over, and my computer screen was blank. The third thing I noticed? I wasn't alone.

Right under my nose, Drew was cuddled up next to me, his back to me. He was pressed very tightly against me, and I began to harden against my will. I couldn't stop it. He was right there, with his entire body touching me, and I couldn't help but be trapped in a moment of pure lust for this boy...my friend. I couldn't move, but I couldn't stay still either. I could only pray that Drew was still asleep, because my erection was out of control. Then, it touched him! We were both still fully clothed, but I KNOW he could feel it. And that's when I heard a small sigh escape from his lips. Was he awake??? He very gently pushed his hips back against me, and I involuntarily pushed back. I couldn't help it. My chest felt heavy and I was out of control. I suddenly want to wrap my arms around his delicate hips and thrust into him with all that I had. I felt him slightly push back again, and a soft moan escaped my lips by mistake. I couldn't stop.

"Drew?" I whispered quietly, hoping not to get an answer. "Drew, are you awake?"

I felt him start to tremble a little bit, and then he answered me with an even softer whisper of his own. "Yeah....the thunder was....uh...loud..." Even his voice was shaking. Did he know? I was hoping that he thought that it was just a normal teenage 'morning hard on' type of thing. I wasn't ready to make any sudden moves. "I use to hate the rain when I was younger."

"Really?" Our whispers seemed to increase the tension between us even more. Especially since neither one of us dared to move an inch.

"Yeah....but....t-t-tonight...tonight it seems...pretty cool." He said. And then, timidly, gently, slowly...he pushed himself back on my hardness. The pressure against my swollen 6 inches caused a spasm to rush throughout my body and I felt it throb and tighten with the contact. It was so hard that it took my breath away. I couldn't help but push slightly forward again, and I felt his body melt into me. He sighed while closing his eyes, and he whimpered softly. Almost like a small child, and we just laid like that for a few minutes. Not moving at all, just silently listening to the rain falling against my window frame, and the distant echo of thunder. Then, Drew turned onto his back, and looked into my eyes. I couldn't turn away, I didn't want to. I could tell he was searching. Looking for a signal of some sort to tell him what to do next. My heart was racing so fast that my chest shook with every beat. I let my hand fall softly down to his smooth chest. I was barely touching him at all, and then I began to lean forward. The gravitational pull between his lips and mine was inescapable, and they connected in one of the sweetest and most amazing kisses that the world has ever known. I was kissing DREW! KISSING HIM!!! Another boy in my bedroom! My mind was screaming with a hundred different voices at once, and I couldn't understand a single one of them. My lips moved so gently against his that it felt as though they were meant to be together. Drew's hand covered the one I had placed on his chest, and moved it downward to feel the hardness in his pants. He pushed up into me with sexual frustration, wanting me to go further, and it took every ounce of restraint that I had to not oblige him. Then he rolled into me, to hug me even closer. I felt weightless, my body no longer under my control at all. But...as soon as Drew's tongue began to lick the outside of my lips, begging to be given clearance to enter my mouth, alarms and bells went off in my head. I got scared, and realized exactly what I was doing. I was breaking the first rule! And I was letting him seduce me! Just like Joey said! I felt Drew push into me, and I felt a stiff hardness against my own. That was it, I had to do something, and fast!

I jumped back, my lips pulling away from his with a sucking noise. I scrambled to stand up and adjust myself in front. Drew looked up at me, a bit dreamy at first, but then in horror. "Ethan...Ethan wait....let me explain..."

"NO! No explanation! What are you doing to me? I can't...I'm not...you've gotta go."

"Please...don't hate me. PLEASE? I can't live with that Ethan. Just let me say something..." He was pleading with me. He stood up on his feet, his boner still sticking straight out, and he was beginning to cry. His voice was an urgent whine, trying to get me to listen. But I refused. I won't allow this to go any further.

"You've said enough tonight! I know what you're doing! I know all about it. The little giggles and the smiles, the secret lunches, the project, the movie and laying on my bed! I now what you're up to, so you can just STOP IT! You just want to get me in the sack! You want to make kissy faces at me and stare at my chest and..."

"SO WHAT?" He shouted, tears pouring out of his eyes. For some reason, I didn't expect that to be his answer. I expected him to deny it all, but he didn't. "So what...huh? Look, I tried, ok? I'm GAY...I can't help that! You think you can just walk around and be this cute and sweet and smart...and funny...and be so...so nice to me..." He was beginning to break up as his sobs drowned out everything else. "...you want me to see all these beautiful things in you, and not notice? You want to be this awesome boy who's perfect in every way and expect me not to fall...and not just be in...in...I mean..." I knew what he was about to say. I could see him about to say 'in love with you'...and it shook me to the bone. I began to breathe heavily, not knowing what to say or how to handle what was happening. My emotions were on overload, and I didn't want to give in. I wanted to believe that I still had some control over this. But I didn't. And I knew that. "Ethan....I..."

I began to cry myself, but as much as I loved him, as much as I wished that I could tell him so, I didn't. I choked it all back and swallowed it. "Drew...I think you better call your dad to come pick you up. It's late." I hated myself for saying it, but I wasn't sure that I could handle this friendship anymore. This wasn't going to work out. The fact of the matter is, the more time I spend with Drew, the further I descend into getting more and more queer. I had lost control, lost my ability to hide it, to tuck it away where no one would ever find it. I wouldn't be half as strong as he is if everyone were to know about me. I had to protect myself. I had to look out for number one...whether it hurt him or not.

Drew didn't say anything else. He looked so sorrowful and apologetic, tears staining that once perfect face. I saw his heart breaking in two, and mine was braking too. He went over to the phone, and hit the buttons a few times. I guess the lightning strike had taken out the phone lines. But that didn't stop Drew. He hung it up and put on his shoes and jacket anyway. "Drew...Drew where are you going?"

"The phone's dead. I'm going home." He said, tearfully tying up his shoes as fast as possible.

"You can wait until my dad comes back. He'll give you a ride."

"I don't need a ride. I don't need anybody." He said, and he got up quickly to walk out. I chased him to the door, asking him to come back, but he refused. He walked down to the sidewalk, and I called him one last time. He stopped and turned around.

"I overreacted...ok? I'm just...I freaked out. Please...don't walk home alone. We can talk for a while." I didn't how to comfort him or take back what I had said or done. But none of it helped.

"I'm sorry Ethan. I just...I can't. Ok? I can't." And with that, he walked off, the rain storm soaking him from head to toe. He walked off, and once again I knew that I wasn't going to be able to make this up...not ever.

I came back into the house and slumped down onto my bed. I leaned backwards until my head hit the mattress. I was kissing him. Not a dream, not a fantasy, not a porno flick...I was actually kissing another boy. A cute one. One that I got along with and laughed with and lived close enough to visit. He was here in my arms, our lips connected as naturally as any heterosexual's would. And I threw him out. I...I threw away the only chance that I had to be happy. Maybe alone is how I was meant to be. Maybe alone is how I should stay.