The park was cold. Everywhere I turned there was emptiness. A park which thrives in the summer which is now seemingly abandoned, like it has been closed for years. I stepped forwards onto the stone pavement, looking around for the person who was supposed to entertain me today. And he was there. He stood under a bare tree, waiting for me. I walked up to him, a little too excited to see him.
“Hey.” He said. He looked so cool. The sun was hanging low. He had a large coat on and sunglasses. It was amusing because he looked like a bouncer but with weaker muscles.
“Hey” I said back. Tony came closer to me and smiled a goofy grin.
“Shall we?” He asked, offering his arm. I took it. I found it funny because it was making me warm and I was actually enjoying myself. We got talking a bit. It was interesting. It was in that conversation that I learned a lot about Tony. It turned out he had a puppy at home, which he is forced to look after because his sister didn’t want to look after it. I found out he loved to listen to music and to sing, and that he could play the guitar. Oh, and I also found out that he was gay.
The gayness didn’t bother me though. For some reason, I felt a wave of relief and comfort hearing it. It sort of made Tony more likeable to me. I don’t know, perhaps I was pitying him because he’s the minority.
Tony smiled and laughed and I felt encapsulated by it all. His laugh was beautiful. His smile made me feel like chocolate on a hot summer’s day. He noticed I was cold and so gave me his coat. A true act of chieveley. This guy should have been my best friend, not Matt. What would Matt have done? Probably laughed at me for being cold and then belched. He thinks he is so cool. But Tony. No Tony was different. He was kind and gentle.
“So what did your parents do when you told them you were gay?” I asked. I was genuinely curious.
“My parents. Well, my Mam was thrilled. She wanted me to be happy and said that if I was happy laying with another man rather than a woman, then she’s happy for me to do that… But my Dad. He was less thrilled. I told my Mam when he was at work and she told him while I was in bed. I’ve always been sort of afraid of my Dad but that night was Hell. He came into my room and told me that if I was to live under his roof I was to be straight. He then asked if I was straight or gay. I responded gay.” I looked at him. This was a deep story. I couldn’t help but wonder what happened next.
“So… What did he do?” I asked.
“He picked me up by the throat and threw me to the curb. I’ve seen my Mam since. I refuse to see him. I live with my friend now. They invited me in and have not asked me to leave since. Granted I think she has a crush on me but she knows she can’t have me because I’m gay.” He smiled. It was comforting to know that he was with living with someone who cares.
We entered a café. It was cute. It had three tables and some sofas. Clearly it wasn’t a large business. Tony walked to the counter.
“Would you like some tea? Maybe some hot chocolate?”
“Hot chocolate sounds nice.”
“Have you ever had a white one?”
“No… They come in white?”
“Two white hot chocolates please.” Tony bought the drinks. I would have paid but I wasn’t expecting to go into a café. I’m an idiot. He got the drinks and placed them in front of me. I picked up mine and he was watching me intensely. Probably to see my reaction. I took a sip and it was hot, but, it did taste really nice. Far better than the original hot chocolate.
Tony’s face lit up with a smile when he realised that I liked it. It felt good to see him smile with such happiness. My cheeks heated up slightly.
“It’s getting late. I should probably get going home.” And then his face dropped. He nodded, understanding.
“You haven’t told me about your family. Perhaps I could walk you home?” He offered. I graciously accepted and we started to walk. “So what is you family like?”
“My family… There isn’t much to tell really. So my Dad left when I was a young teenager. I think I was thirteen at the time. I don’t like to remember that period in my life though because it was rough. My mother was really broken up. I’ve looked after her since.” I shrugged. He looked at me.
“If we ever write a book- we should call it ‘daddy issues’.” He laughed. That made me laugh as well. Had Lilly said that joke to me, I would have gotten upset with her and that’s not right. She is my girlfriend. Tony isn’t. Why am I more comfortable with Tony making jokes about my father but not Lilly-Anne? I barely know Tony. Is it because he is male? I doubt it. I scratch my head, which is when Tony noticed that something wasn’t quite right with me. He didn’t say anything though, probably because he is ‘respecting my privacy’ or something like that.
We got to my doorstep.
“What time is it?” I asked, looking at him. He pulled out his phone.
“Honestly, not late. We can hang out a bit longer if you like?” He asked me now. Why did I start blushing? I know I was blushing 1) because I could feel my cheeks heat up, and 2) because Tony pointed it out. “Look. Your cheeks are red!” He exclaimed rather loudly. I covered my face quickly.
“No they aren’t. Don’t lie.” I had a feeling that I was getting redder; this was just from pure embarrassment though. Tony shook his head laughing.
“You’re adorable.” He said and kissed my cheek. “Would you like me to go?”
“No, you can come in.” I told him. Unlocking the door was an issue right now. My hands shook crazily as I tried to insert the key into the lock. I blamed it on the weather and the fact that I was cold, but in reality my heart was just pounding so fast that I lost all hearing and my hands turned numb. Honestly, I could feel my legs turn to jelly. I did not understand what was happening right now. This had never happened to me before.
Stumbling through the door, I managed to once again regain my balance and hearing. My breathing seemed to be rough though. Tony had to grab onto me to stop me from collapsing through the door because otherwise I would have fallen flat on my face. Would I still be able to blame this on the weather? Probably not. Honestly, Tony never asked about it. He probably just assumed I was being clumsy.
My mother was in the kitchen, humming away. It made me happy to hear her so happy. I announced that I was home and then went up to my room with Tony. Only Tony seemed to have lagged behind a bit. He went to the kitchen and introduced himself to my mother. It was embarrassing. Talk about humiliating. I called for him and he ran up the stairs laughing. Playfully, I punched his arm and he laughed more.
We went into my room and he started to look around. And by look, I meant he kept picking things up and then putting them down.
“Your room is nice… It’s… Cute.” He said. I sat on my bed, legs crossed, holding my pillow tightly. He looked at me, so I squeezed the pillow tighter. I hid my face slightly. I don’t know why, I must have been nervous or something. I’ve only ever had Lilly in here. I haven’t even had Matt in here. Though, to be honest, the dude would probably make fun of everything I own. That guy means well, but he’s a bit of an ass. I sometimes wonder why I hang around with him, but everyone has a friend like that.
Tony decided to dive onto the bed, making it bounce me up a bit upon his landing. He laid on his stomach staring at me. I stared back. Time suddenly stopped moving. I don’t know how long passed by before he rolled onto his back and spoke.
“Can we watch a film?” He asked. I nodded and got up.
“What do you fancy?” I responded to him. He just shrugged.
“Whatever you want to watch. I have no preference.” So I put on a film. I found it great, it was one of my favourite films. A guy falls in love with a girl, but she gets really sick and in the end she dies and he seeks solace in his best friend.
Throughout the film, I was sat holding onto the pillow with my legs crossed. It was like the pillow had become some kind of shield for me. If I put it down, the evil predator -Tony- would come and hurt me. I didn’t think Tony would hurt me though. The guy is too kind and sweet. Even if he does look a bit rough around the edges with the dark sea of silk which he calls hair.
He picked up the remote and paused the film.
“So when did you first realise you weren’t straight?” He asked.
“Come on, having a girlfriend doesn’t mean you’re straight. You could be bisexual, pansexual…” He went on listing a load of other words which ended in sexual.
“I get it. But I’m none of them. I am straight.” I said, sounding very defensive to the point where even I heard it in my tone. He pursed his lips together in a straight line and stared at me. Why is it one of us is always staring at the other? It makes me feel weird. But it’s a nice weird and that kind of scares me.
“So, if I did this…” He kissed me and then pulled away. “You wouldn’t feel anything?”
I didn’t answer. I was kind of in shock. He went quiet too. Everything was silent which made the tiny noises, such as his swallow, a whole lot louder. Of course I could have just been focusing on him. He leaned in once again and this time I kissed back.
For a moment we were both eager to taste each other. Him so more than me. He licked at my lower lip and then occasionally bit it. It was at that point that I came to my senses. I had a girlfriend and I am straight. This is a guy. I pushed him off me and he looked at me.
“I’m sorry. I have a girlfriend.”
“I know you have a girlfriend. But I felt something there.” He put his hand on my cheeks. I felt really confused right now. I wanted to kiss him again. I wanted that. But I also didn’t want that. I can’t betray Lilly-Anne like that. I love that woman. I plan on marrying that woman. Anything I want to happen here with Tony, cannot happen if I want a future with Lilly-Anne. It just can’t. Besides. Tony is a male. I like women. Women. Not men.
“Can you please leave?” I asked. He looked sad at this request. “Please. I’ll message you tomorrow. I just need to be alone right now.” Tony nodded and got off the bed.
“If that’s your wish. Hey Nathan, I’m sorry if I came on too strongly or if I got anything wrong. I didn’t mean to offend.”
“No it’s okay.” And that was the end of the conversation. He walked out and left. A part of me wanted to call for him as he left through the door. I wanted to apologise and cuddle him. But I never. I held onto the pillow even tighter and laid down. I didn’t know if what I had done was right or wrong. I felt bad for it though. Like I shouldn’t have kicked him out. If I’m being completely honest, it wasn’t half bad. In fact, I kind of enjoyed it. It felt naughty and that was thrilling. I wanted to kiss Tony again. I wanted to possibly do more than that with him. There is nothing wrong with wanting that, it is the 21st century after all. The fact I have a girlfriend, kind of makes it more wrong. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but I bet they could make a good time.
I felt really frantic as I closed my eyes. Thoughts of what could happen flowing through my mind. But there was a little voice in the back of my head. It said not to go down this road. This road will only lead to unhappiness. But I disagree. I think this road has pleasure and excitement in store. So I ignored the voice and went to sleep.
The next morning I felt unwell. The cold had gotten to me. My nose kept running. My head hurt, as did my throat. Not to mention, my stomach hurt and I felt like being sick. My mother was very concerned for me. She wanted to take me to get checked out by my GP but I wouldn’t let her. Instead, she took my phone and called Lilly-Anne.
“Hey, Nathan? Is the kid that was here last night called Tony?” She asked. I nodded weakly. “He has sent a few messages.” She said. I know my mother. She’d be curious about the messages now, but she won’t open them. She handed me my phone back.
“Is Lilly coming?” I asked, though it hurt my throat to do so.
“Yes. Of course she is.” My mother kissed my head. “I’ll go and make you some chicken soup.” She said and exited the room. I sighed. I read through the messages that Tony had sent. A few of them were apologies and then one said:
‘Let me make it up to you, please.’
I responded to him saying he had nothing to apologise for and that I would love to hang out with him again. But the thoughts of last night went through my head. The kiss. Do I tell Lilly when she gets here? Is that wrong? What is worse? Telling her or not telling her?
When Lilly-Anne arrived, I felt worse. I had made myself worried, which in turn had made me feel more nauseous than before. My mind had decided it was best that she didn’t know. Especially if I did want to kiss him again.
She came in and sat by me. Her loving instincts kicked in and she kissed my head.
“Shouldn’t you be spending time with your father?” I asked.
“Yes. But my boyfriend is sick.” She said and kissed my head again. “He needs my attention for a few hours. I’m sure my Dad won’t mind. He is an understanding man after all.” Maybe after the drinking problem she just needed time away from the man.
“Lilly, there is something I need to tell you…” I started to shout at myself mentally. I couldn’t tell her that me and Tony kissed. How would she react? That would hurt her. It’s stupid to even think that.
“What is it?” She questioned. She looked a bit concerned.
“Nothing to worry about. Just that I love you.” I mumbled. It was loud enough for her to hear. Her face lit up and she kissed me gently. It was brief because she didn’t want to get sick but it was nice. It was nothing compared to the kiss that Tony gave me though. That kiss last night had some kind of magical power in it.
Lilly-Anne’s face lit up.
“I love you too.” She said and kissed my nose. I smiled a little. I need to stop thinking about the kiss with Tony. It is making it hard for me to want to kiss Lilly and Lilly is my girlfriend.
The girl cuddled up to me tightly. It was a little to tight for my sick body to handle and so I made a noise. She loosened her grip a little and apologised. I felt tired. I think I looked tired as well. Lilly started to hum. I’m guessing she wanted me to sleep.
“Is it Saturday or Sunday?” I asked.
“Sunday.” She answered. “And you better not be off school tomorrow.” She laughed. I joined in the laughter and coughed.
“Your Dad goes back tomorrow, you should go and spend time with him. I’ll be okay. Just go be with your Dad.” Lilly hated being told what to do. She had a scowl on her face when she left. She knew I was right though. She rarely got to see her Dad, only for odd weekends here and there. So she should be with him and not with me right now.
I picked my phone up when she left and texted her. I told her I loved her and sent her a heart. She sent back the word:
‘Sure’ followed by the middle finger emoji. And then ‘I love you too xx’. She is so amazing. I don’t know what I ever did to deserve such a beautiful, gorgeous girlfriend like her.
I managed to get myself well enough to go to school the next day. I still felt pretty crappy, but I barely ever missed school. It would be a crime for me to miss school. All the subjects I am falling behind on will become impossible for me to do. But when I got to school, I got the shock of a lifetime. Tony was here. I saw him. I didn’t even know he went to this school, and it just freaked me out. We stopped in the corridor together.
“I didn’t expect to see you here.” I said, nervously.
“I do go here.” He laughed. “You never responded to my messages.”
“I’m sorry.” I said, looking down in shame. “I got sick.” His hand went on my forehead.
“You’re still sick.” He said. “You shouldn’t be in school.”
He was right, I shouldn’t be. But I am in school, and I am just going to get on with everything. Soldier through, so to speak.