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Monday came around relatively quickly. I hadn’t spoken to Nick since his blow up on Saturday and I knew that today there was no way I could avoid him the entire day. Luckily for me, we hadn’t decided to carpool and so I could drive to school without sharing a vehicle with Nick. It’s one thing to talk to someone in school with the presence of other people, and another thing completely in the confines of a car.
As I got out of my truck at school, I scanned the parking lot for Nick’s Audi, not seeing it parked in his driveway when I left home. I don’t know why I was trying so hard to avoid him but I tried to be as stealthy as possible, scanning for the car behind the cover of my truck.
“What are you doing?” I jumped at the sound of Tray’s voice. I turned to find Tray leaning against the truck, arms crossed across his body, one eyebrow raised in questions.
“Nothing.” I said as nonchalantly as I could.
“Didn’t look like nothing.” I played dumb, acting like I hadn’t just been caught red handed sneaking around. Tray shook his head and smiled, “Nick’s already inside. You won’t bump into him here.”
I looked at him in shock as he turned and headed for the school entrance. I shook my head and ran up to him. “Who says I was looking for him?” I asked.
“You can drop the act, and before you think he told me anything, he didn’t. I kinda put two and two together when he arrived here doing the same thing a few minutes ago.” This information was new. So I guess I wasn’t the only one dreading our eventual meet up. “Something happened between you two?”
“Long story.” I said. Before Tray could reply I heard someone calling my name. I turned around, looking for the source of the voice. I spotted him a few yards back, waving to me. It was Travis, one of the guys on the football team. He was a sophomore and first in line to take over Nick as quarterback once he graduates. We spoke a few times since I befriended Nick but we weren’t close. “Hi Travis.” I greeted. Travis returned the greeting, giving a small smile and nod to Tray next to me. Tray returned a similar greeting of a simple nod. “What’s up?”
“Um…” Travis stared between me and Tray. “Can I speak to you in private?”
I raised an eyebrow at his peculiar proposition. I looked to Tray and gave him a ‘Do you mind’ look. He took the hint and walked towards the school, leaving me with Travis standing in front of the school. “Okay so what’s this about?”
“Um well I know we haven’t really spoken much and all but I was wondering if maybe that could change?” He asked. Did I think what I think he was saying?
“Um you gotta be a little more specific than that man.” I said. Best to be sure of his intentions before jumping to any conclusion, because quite frankly, it sounded like Travis was asking me out.
“Well you know. Um…maybe we could go have dinner together or maybe catch a movie?” Oh my god he was asking me out. I thought about it from his perspective. Maybe I was overthinking and it was just his way of wanting to be friends. This was all new territory to me, having never been asked out in my life. Hell I was the only openly gay kid at school.
“If you are asking me out just say it. I don’t want any miscommunications here.” I said, trying to just clear up any misunderstanding on my part.
“Wow this is awkward. Yes…I am.” He said, giving me a nervous smile.
“Um well…this is kinda unexpected.” I was still reeling from the thought that someone had just asked me out, and by extension, that someone likes me. I mean Travis wasn’t bad looking either, and the thought that a football jock liked me was more than enough to send my ego flying.
“So is that a yes?” Travis asked, giving me a hopeful smile. I thought about it but I wasn’t sure. I mean Travis was kinda cute with his blonde hair and blue eyes combo, but I didn’t really know him much and then there was the whole Nick thing. In the back of my mind, I thought that maybe dating Travis was a good way to get Nick off my mind. I mean what better way to get over the cute straight jock, than dating a cute gay jock. Was it fair though? Dating Travis when I know that it wasn’t him I liked but his teammate.
“Travis I’m flattered, I really am, but…” I stopped. The looked on his face changed from hopeful to disappointed at that last word, ‘but’. The look he had made me consider maybe just saying yes. It wasn’t easy asking someone out and he not only did that but kinda outed himself at the same time. Talk about double whammy. “Look you’re sweet and any other time I would have said yes, but I have a lot on my mind now and I don’t think I’m being fair to you by saying yes.”
“Listen, give me some time to sort out my problems. Maybe then I’ll say yes, but right now, I’m gonna have to pass on the offer. Sorry man.” I said with a heavy heart. Maybe it was the thought that he still had a chance, that all hope wasn’t lost, that his face lit up slightly. “We can be friends though.”
“I’d like that.”
“Beside, it’d be nice to have another sincan escort gay friend in this school. Does anyone else know?” I asked. Last thing I wanted to do was accidentally out him.
“Well it’s not public but a couple of people know.” He said, walking towards the school entrance. I followed him, keeping up with his pace.
“Hmm, well if you need anything feel free to ask. I guess I’m the leading expert in that field at Jameson high.”
“Good to know.” He smiled. “Hey see you around then, I gotta head to class.” He said turning down a different halfway. “Oh yeah, maybe we could exchange numbers?” He asked, fishing his phone from his pocket. I nodded and keyed my number in, letting him save it. “Thanks, I’ll text you mine.”
“See ya.” I shouted, heading down the opposite hallway, heading to my locker. I felt like I was on cloud nine, knowing that maybe I wasn’t so alone anymore. I would have skipped down the hall if it wasn’t filled with so many students. I arrived at my locker and further down the hall I finally caught sight of Nick, who was leaning next to Tray’s locker. They were both chatting as Tray retrieved some books. It was at that moment that Nick caught sight of me too.
I acted cool, opening my locker and retrieving what stuff I needed, before doing my routine mirror check of my appearance. “So…Tray said that Travis spoke to you this morning. In private?” Came Nick’s voice on the other side of my locker door.
“Yeah. What about it?” I asked, closing my locker and coming to face to face with Nick.
“What did he want?” I stopped and thought about his question. Should I tell Nick? But then I realized I couldn’t, seeing that Nick may not have known about Travis’s sexuality.
“He asked if I could do a video for him. For his mother’s birthday.” I lied.
“Oh…I see.” He didn’t say anything else and leaned against the locker. I didn’t know what to say too, letting the silence between us grow. I mean what do you say after what happened on Saturday. So I simply stood there and looked at my feet, kicking at an invisible stone on the floor. “Sorry again.” Nick said, breaking the silence.
“I think you’ve already said that.” I said, shooting him a small smile in my attempt to break the ice. Even the conversation after my outburst where I almost killed Nick wasn’t this tense.
“Yeah but I overreacted. I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“Pfft, I wasn’t scared.”
“Mmhmm sure, I felt your heart thumping.” He pointed out, his smirk filling me with both the feeling of punching him and kissing him. Wait what. NO!
“Whatever.” I said, turning to head to my class.
“Hey hey wait, I wanted to ask you something.” Nick shouted, putting a hand on my shoulder, spinning me around. “So this weekend I was gonna head down to my mom’s house that’s out of town. The place is beautiful and I was wondering if you wanted to come with me.”
“Go with you, to meet your mother?” I asked incredulously.
“Well it sounds bad when you put it that way. No not to meet my mother, just to go with me. You know, for company.”
“What about Steph? Wouldn’t she be company?”
“Well she would, if she was going, which she’s not. She’s got some sleepover or something this weekend. So what do you say?”
“I don’t want to impose on your mom.”
“Nonsense. C’mon man. Just say yes. The project would be over and all so there’s no worries.” He pleaded. Once again a new side to Nick I had never seen before. Nick begging.
“Awesome. We’ll be staying the weekend so do pack some change of clothes and stuff.” He said. “We’ll talk about it later.” I nodded and waved goodbye as we headed in different directions.
As the week went by, I started regretting agreeing to the trip. I mean I should be trying to get over Nick and here I am going on a trip with him, just the two of us. Talk about rubbing salt in a wound. But I guess no matter how much I’m beginning to regret my decision, I wasn’t going to back out. I mean Nick was still my friend and there was only so much distance I could put between us, and to be honest, I wanted to go too. Yeah I’m fickle like that, or maybe I’m masochistic.
Through the week, Travis called me a couple times, and we talked about nothing in particular. He probably just wanted to get us comfortable with one another as friends and it was working. I don’t know if it was because the little secret of his that we shared or just chemistry but we ticked. He had a surprising sense of humor, something I didn’t expect as Travis had always given me the serious impression.
I spoke to Dean about Travis too, and being the cynical pessimistic bastard that he is, said that Travis was just trying to get in my pants. How all his so called ‘friend’ plot was just some elaborate plan to get me to sleep with him. I cursed him, because you know how when someone says something, it plants that seed in your brain and you can’t help but always think about.
“Why are you tearing down the person that could be the one to pull çankaya escort me out of this Nick funk?” I remembered asking him.
“Because I don’t like him.”
“Yeah because who you like should dictate who I date. Besides, I don’t see you tearing Nick down? Shouldn’t you be doing that so I stop liking him?” I said, pointing out that fact.
“Oh ho Ho, I don’t like Nick either but there is something that I see in Preston that I never saw in that Ken doll lookalike.”
“Oh and what might that be?”
Did I agree with Dean? That’s a simple yes, but I account that to the fact that I’ve known Nick for longer. I know Nick wears his heart on his sleeve and, as I have pointed out many times, Nick was, and had proven himself to be, a very nice guy. Sure he had a few moments here and there that proved to me that he wasn’t some perfect cyborg made in a lab, but a normal human teenager with normal human teenager problems.
Travis on the other hand, was quiet a lot of times. I now knew that he had a sense of humor behind his unfeeling facade but that was all. He was smart and athletic, could hold a decent conversation but at the same time, secretive and mysterious. A person who was very difficult to read, let alone understand. It was this quality however, that also intrigued you, eliciting curiosity to find out who Travis really was. Curious yes, but trust, not so much.
Would my love life ever be easy? A stupid question, seeing that I know love was never easy.
However, fretting about the prospects of relationships was for another time. Today was the day I go on my trip with Nick. So here I was with a bag packed for a weekend stay at Nick’s mother’s place, heading out of Seattle in his car. Nick told me that his mom lived a few hours outside Seattle, somewhere around Lake Samish. I knew of the place but had never been there, however, I have heard that it’s a nice place to relax and get away from the city life of Seattle. Yeah it was just what I needed, a place to clear my head.
“So anything I need to know about your mother? Anything I need to avoid? Topic conversations or anything.” I asked. Seeing that I was going to be staying there for the night, I figured it was best not to get on her bad side.
“Nah she’s cool. Complete opposite of my dad. You see where he is stoic and unfeeling, she is bubbly and cheerful. I’ve always wondered how my mom could have married a man like my father. It’s no wonder they divorced.” He said. The conversation, which started out lighthearted enough, got heavy with the diversion to his father.
“Man you really don’t like your father do you. Is he really so bad?”
He chuckled cynically. “You know when I was younger, I loved my dad. I’m not saying that he was a bouncing off the wall type of guy, no he was still a man of little words, but he was there when you needed him. That didn’t last though.”
I sighed being able to relate to his situation. “Yeah I get you. When I came out, my dad as good as disowned me. Stopped talking to me completely, pretended I didn’t exist.”
“Seems like we have that in common. Horrible dads with amazing moms.” I smiled at his comment, but that was before I pictured my mom in my head. It suddenly came back to me that unlike Nick, my mom wasn’t living a few hours away. Nick must have noticed my sudden silence and put the puzzle together. “Sorry.”
“Nah it’s okay.”
We settled into a comfortable silence after that. I guess Nick understood and gave me my space to sort through my thoughts. It was half an hour later before we arrived at Lake Samish. “We’re here.” He announced, pulling into the huge driveway leading up to a rustic wooden house. Think a nice cabin in the woods and multiply it in size.
“Wait till you see the backyard.” He said, parking the vehicle. Just then the front door opened and standing at the doorway was Mrs Preston, or actually not since she divorced Nick’s dad sometime back. She was a relatively small woman at around 5’4″ but I could definitely see that Nick got his looks from his mom. Her hair was the same brown color of Nick’s and she was quite stunning, even though pushing forty. “Hi mom.” Nick said, getting out of his car. He was smiling wider than I had seen him for sometime, which only proved how much he loved his mother.
“Hi sweetie.” Nick’s mom, came down to the car, giving Nick a tight hug. “You’re looking thinner. You’ve been eating okay?” Her motherly side immediately coming out.
“Yeah mom I’m good. It’s just football season and training that’s all.”
“Good, and you must be Nick’s friend.” She said, turning her gaze at me. I smiled and stepped forward, holding out my hand.
“Drew Langston. Nice to finally meet you Mrs…” I paused, unsure of how to address her.
“Please, just call me Carrie.” She said, shaking my hand firmly.
“Nice to meet you Carrie.”
“Oh god, my best friend and mom are on a first name basis. Heaven help me.” Nick said, looking up to the sky in dramatic fashion. eryaman escort
“Still the joker. C’mon you boys must be hungry. I’ve prepared some lunch for you guys.” Carried said, turning on her heels and heading for the front door.
“Be right there mom. We’re gonna bring our stuff to the guest room first.” Nick said, popping the trunk open. He tossed me my bag, which I caught with ease, before slinging his own bag over his shoulder. He picked up his DSLR which he brought along, and I’m not gonna lie, seeing that thing made me have a flashback to that certain Saturday.
“Oh about the room, there’s…you know what, I’ll let you see for yourself.” Carried shouted, disappearing into the house.
I looked to Nick. “What did she mean by that? Good or bad?”
“Knowing my mom, it’s probably something bad.” He replied, walking up to the house. I followed behind him, walking up the path towards the front door. In the background I could hear…well actually I couldn’t hear anything. No cars, no loud talking. Nothing but peace. I smiled inwardly, knowing that I managed to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, if only for a few days.
As I looked into the cabin-slash-home, it was…well a cabin. The walls were made of large pine logs. Classic stone fireplace and comfy living room furniture. The only thing that didn’t seem to fit in was the flat screen TV which hung on the wall, it’s shiny black surface sticking out like a sore thumb against the brown backdrop. Nick bounded up the stairs and I followed suit, simply admiring the home as I went. When Nick stopped outside one of the doors, I assumed it was the guest bedroom.
“I guess it’s the moment of truth.” Nick said, placing his hand on the door knob. He took a deep breath, opening the door in one swift motion. I peeked in, looking for anything shocking or out of the ordinary, but found none.
“Looks pretty normal to me.” I said
“Um…take a closer look.” Nick said, his face horrified at what he saw.
I scanned the room, looking from the desk, to the small dresser to the double bed in the middle. I stopped. Wait, unless my math was off, I counted two of us and only one bed. “Oh.”
“Yeah oh is right. What happened? There used to be two single beds here.” Nick said, scratching his head in bewilderment, probably thinking about how to make this work. I mean one of us could sleep on the floor, if you didn’t mind a sore back I mean. “Umm just put your stuff down. We’ll figure this out later.” I did as I was told, putting my backpack down on the bed.
Nick put away his stuff, placing his camera on the desk before pulling me downstairs. I just followed him, seeing as I didn’t have a clue as to the layout of the house. We arrived at the kitchen, where Carrie was busy setting up for lunch. “Mom what is up with the double bed?” Nick asked.
“Sorry honey, we change it awhile back. I couldn’t do anything about it even if I wanted to.” She explained, plating up the grilled fish she had taken off the pan.
“So where do you expect us to sleep, might I ask?” Nick asked.
“Well I was hoping that you guys won’t mind sharing, but if it really bothers you, there’s always the couch?” She suggested, giving Nick a cheeky smile.
“It’s a good thing it’s only one night.” I didn’t know what Nick meant by that. So were we sharing the bed? Or was one of us taking the couch. The idea of sharing a bed with Nick was both inviting and unappealing at the same time.
“Okay now that that’s settled. Let’s eat. I hope you like salmon Drew.” Carrie said, pushing a plate in my direction. I nodded and sat down at the kitchen island, Nick taking a seat beside me; Carrie sat across us. I looked down at the plated meal before me, the smells wafting up into my nose. I hadn’t had a home cooked meal since my mom passed as neither my dad nor I could cook to save our lives, so for the past weeks, have been living off takeout and microwave meals.
I stuck my fork into the juicy flesh, which pulled away easily, the salmon’s natural oils flowing out and pooling around the dollop of mash potatoes. I put the fork into my mouth and I swear I had an oral orgasm right there. I closed my eyes and sighed in satisfaction.
“Well I never had that reaction from my cooking before.” Carrie said, her voice knocking me from my little bout of euphoria.
“Sorry.” I mumbled, fish still in my mouth. I swallowed before talking once more. “It’s just been some time since my last home cooked meal.”
“Oh? Your family doesn’t cook?” She asked. I sensed Nick shift beside me and Carrie’s eyes diverted to him. I guess Nick made it clear to stay clear of the subject when Carrie apologized.
“Nah it’s fine. Your cooking is really good.” I said, taking another bite.
Over lunch I learnt more about Carrie. After her divorce, she had moved out here to get away from the memories associated with Seattle. It was here that she met her current husband, Patrick. Patrick was a real estate agent and it was through buying the house did they actually meet. Carrie was Patrick’s client. A few dates later and they were a couple and a year after that, they were married. It was all a very fairy tale kind of story, and I smiled at the thought. Patrick however was away for the weekend, tending to some business out of town.
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