As They Say

by D K Daniels

Entry 34

Bygones

4th July 1991 - Part 2

Sor…. Sor...ry. Never mind the previous statement my pen wasted. I was trying to say sorry. Though I have no notion as to why I'm saying sorry, I needed to have dinner. Nevertheless, since I was saying, Eli, approached me with the screwdriver in his hand; my inside rattled.

Near the last minute, he brushed past me and plopped the tool down on a work area littered airsoft rifles. I believed for a moment that Eli was going to plunge the spike of the sharp object into my gut for pissing him off again even further, though thank god he didn't. Instead, Eli displayed a front I did not expect him to show. Slightly; Eli shifted back to me, and he sighed. Eli allowed himself sway to the side, and he leaned against a support post.

Apparently, he didn't know what to say. It was the first time I have ever wholly taken the words right out of Eli's mouth. The fact that I could do that was well… odd for the time. I didn't think I would be the one of all people to shut him up. Evidently, I did that today. I shocked him in a sense.

Eli didn't look uncomfortable with the information I gave him. He appeared to be contemplating; unsure of what to say because he hadn't anticipated such a thing to come from me. Which I suppose I did have this ace up my sleeve. I guess you could say if I weren't gay then I could have considered myself going home with a screwdriver in my hip. Besides… I have no idea why I leap to conclusions before obtaining all the facts. I don't think an arise of events could have surpassed on a scale amounting to him stabbing me. Though who knows, the world is a scary place and people are unpredictable, even my best friends.

I stood they're spastically running the odds. Had I told Eli too much to be able to turn around and walk back out the door as if nothing happened. Believe me. The concept loomed as if it were the best prophecy since the arrival of the Bible and all the mumble jumble of religion. On the contrary, I was petrified to move; not due to the fact that only moments beforehand that I resolved Eli was going to stab me. No… it was as a result of me foolishly outing myself to who I thought was an enemy. All I could do to back up my front was stand there. I knew in the back of my mind that I shouldn't have been there. At least say something productive ADAM my brain taunted. Though… NOPE. My mind chose to exert a significant lunch break when I required it the most. Still, it wasn't all bad at least I thought of some idyllic thing to say.

"So… yep…" I murmured. "Wanna hear a joke...?" I have no idea why I even though that a joke was a welcome thing to do. At the time it seemed plausible that it could solve all my problems by making fun of myself; injected with a little bit of irony at what Eli found natural in his life.

It went a little like this, without me waiting for him to say yes or no. I said, "What do you call a gay boxer…?" The sheer silence exhibited from Eli was enough for me to push through the awkward interaction and get the joke over and done with. "… Fruit Punch!" I began to giggle at the stupidity of the one-liner and caught myself from making a further mockery of the situation. I glanced down at the ground in defeat, crushed by an invisible force pushing down on my chest.

Eli wasn't amused at the joke, and that was even more awkward than coming out to him. I never thought that coming out would have been that horrible. Well, I held the belief until Eli let out a sigh and spoke. He said, "that was a terrible joke." Suddenly the silence grew back, plus I have no clue as to why; I felt incredibly inadequate during the stillness.

Finally, Eli broke the thin air again by saying, "is that the reason you turned my sister down?" And here I was concluding that Eli understood it. I mean all along I assumed while we were talking that he would piece the jigsaw together. Grasping that if I'm gay, then I'm not going to show interest in any girl, not only Eli's sister. Alternatively, I had well… to spell it out more or less to him. Yeah, he got the part that I was gay happy, though I had to give him clarification or something.

Nodding my head in agreement, I paused for a second before continuing. I'll tell you now; I have never experienced anything' like I did today. The nervousness was so abundantly explicit that it felt like I was suffocating. At the same time, it emerged as if Eli had no perception of the drowning feeling surrounding us. Perhaps I'm turning crazy, or it's what adult's call paranoia, floating among anxiety. The sensation is like someone is dragging at me from my feet; while at the same time someone is pushing my head first under water. On a side note, the sensation of which coursed my veins after releasing a small proportion of the stockpile I'm shipping made me feel wonderful. I lingered reluctantly to share unspecified, intimate details with Eli. Of course, being Eli, you have a way of natural grinding a person's willpower and ability down to hide what should stay hidden: out into the open.

The moment sunk into the abyss of solitude. If Eli's calm demeanour were showcased like it were that time: all the time; then it would be enough to elude me indefinitely. No matter how hard I'd fight against an impenetrable current I don't think I'd cease swimming upstream; if only to receive one more smile and a thoughtful conversation. Eli… is the wisest of the group; yet also the fighter. Eli was the first to accept my situation; only I had to hold his hand for him to understand. Mind you: not guide him by hand. I mean in some paramount shepherd way. As to lead my friend to the missing information he needed to see for the black and white to burst to colour.

Eli bowed his head to the ground before staring back up at me, "am I the first person you've told?" Eli asked. I remained worried though, at the same time, it felt like I could strangely breathe. You know as I could inhale and the deep-breath I'd take would be non-ending. The sensation of the second was like getting hit in the face with a fierce blast of winter wind. You recognise that frost that burns on your cheeks, which makes your ears turn a glowing pink and has the potential to take your breath away, yeah well… that.

Eli pondered a while and paused for a moment. The presence in the room had shifted in a fashion or another. The anger which presumably existed had vanished. The chamber now filled with a stigma of possible desolation. Not that I was alone in the matter; though it felt like the two of us where two islands trying to build a bridge among the both of us. Only the mortar was cheap from the get-go, and the engineer did a right cracking job in making sure the support columns were a degree out too far to roof the road. Suggesting that it was inevitable for the bridge to collapse. What had transpired was the first time Eli, and I had a meaningful conversation. An in-depth discussion about life in general. Momentarily that I think of it, I have never regarded that our alliance lacked such a thing. I'm merely glad now that things are resolved in some way or another. I don't think we got everything fully patched up, though at least he understands now.

"Yep…First one," I squeamishly said. I so badly wanted to cut myself short; all along I was lambasting myself to shut the fuck up. Though no matter how strenuously I tried it didn't seem to decay because for some bizarre reason; even after the fight, I happened to be comfortable after coming out to Eli. "

If I was lonely at the time, it wasn't due to the fact I experienced an unplaced burden; or so to speak, me as the burden among society. It was to do with the exposure of content; and how Eli reacted. He didn't go all out and start screaming 'get away from me fag' or stuff you read about in the newspaper and see on TV all the time about how gays get dropped on the daily. His acceptance was profound, sigh… I guessed today was going to go a lot worse than it was reckoned to go. I made it clear in my mind that when he was walking towards me with the screwdriver that he was going to kill me. Conversely as well the fact that he then pointed the gun at me that he was going to shoot me.

Eli displayed a view I had never observed previously. Moreover, I surprised myself that I left myself fall helplessly into a plausible trap without contemplating the repercussions. In all of the times, we've ever had fights and belittlement competitions; I was so relieved that Eli and I came in on the far side of the whole problem with our heads held high.

Eli remained resting against the post and calmly asked, "how long have you... You know... been stuck that way?"

At the period I guess I took it a little offensive without realistically thinking about it. I don't think it was all that flogged off as I had initially thought. I affirmed my next choice of words carefully, except all I could seem to accomplish to get out was, "stuck?"

I wasn't confused about what he had said; it was more or less in the nature of how Eli asked. It wasn't smug; it wasn't aggressive, nor neutral. I'm unsure how to truly describe the moment: only to me, it sounded like he was confused. I deemed that when I had said it out loud, he would've just said, "you know… okay, now I understand." No such luck on that front though however, instead, we had an entire conversation about me being gay.

"Well, you know... stuck!" Eli said. At that point, it was beginning to get a little agitating because in hindsight I was lost. I grasped he was badgering on about how long have I known; it was just the way he phrased it. I wasn't stuck this way; it was the only way that I could see this happening. I didn't inevitably wake up one morning and say you know what I'm going to be gay for the craic. Because being something like a homosexual is going to be ever so fun. I can picture it now; life in seclusion, surrounded by common confused straight folk. Except for fear of coming out, beat downs and mass usage of foul language that will be hurled in my direction. In all, if I was to petition to be a punching bag in the local gym, I'd imagine I'd have more luck. However, that's the way it seems to appear within the news, amidst with what all straight people say that every gay person appears to end up experiencing.

At the time earlier, I guess I came off a little sterner than I intentionally realised. I said, "I'm not sure what you mean." I am no Dumbo you know; I knew what he was trying to refer to, it's just I guess I took a little bit more of a personal stance on the matter.

Finally, Eli spluttered out bashfully in a soft-spoken tone, "how long have you been gay?" At least he could say it there and then when all he had to say was those particular five words, and I wouldn't have been as nearly easily as offended.

Why am I even talking like this, it's so not me? It's like I'm talking inward to myself. I'm getting a vibe of dickish off of it. I don't want to be snotty, so maybe I should tone it down a small bit. It wasn't exactly like how I sound here. I did cool my shit down in the conversation, pushed forward without the two of us losing the head with each other.

An awkward silence fell between the two of us, and eventually, Eli came back with, "so does that mean you want me to be gay or something because I like girls."

Annoyed is not the word I'd use. Is this what they mean that when you tell someone you are gay, they inevitably jump to the conclusion that you want to fuck them. I had a handle on my emotions at the time, so I just remained as neutral as best I could.

So, I said, "what no! Stay the way you are... Just because I feel this way doesn't mean I want you or every guy to be gay." Although now that I think about it imagine every single guy on the planet was... Sigh gay. It would be a world like no other I'm sure of that much; all that ass that would be walking around, all that beauty. On the second reflection; if every boy on the planet were gay, then everyone would be looking at Ross so let's scratch that idea. Somehow in the middle of my little-uninterrupted thinking session, the conversation had died briefly.

"Oh... Okay!" Eli said.

"Yeah..." I mumbled. Unsure of what to correctly say the silence made me feel exposed. It felt fuzzy to my ears. I felt like my heart was beating in my head and well I guess you could say I was a little bit overwhelmed. I mean sure; getting this much off my chest was amazing, I tell you that much. Only something about it just felt, I don't know as if wanted to cry.

"So, you didn't really mean what you said to Em..." Eli asked gently.

I locked onto his eyes sincerely, and I said, "no! It's just she's always following me around. And I already like someone and their's just other things you won't understand." After I had said that my heart sunk and I felt even more alone than I had when I told Eli. It wasn't because I felt hated or anything it was because I felt unsure of myself. Here I was trying to explain to someone I was gay. All along though, I still don't even know who or what I am. It feels like there's a missing piece of me, in the middle of my chest. For the life of me, I can't figure out what that is. I just know that if I ever found it, I'd assume I'd feel complete.

Eli said, "oh, like what?" It's funny how the turn of events changed so quickly today. I anticipate when I first arrived at Eli's house he wanted me most likely dead. I think it's even enough to assume that he hated me and then well... at that present time he was curious as to what I was going to say next. The act that Eli had been holding up as facade had somehow crumbled and the wall that had been dividing the two of us from recovering from my mistake was surely and slowly being levelled.

I dug deep for an explanation as to what to say to him. Eventually, I concluded that I didn't have anything or any idea of what to say so I just set it as best as I could have known how to.

"I don't know just things. I didn't ask to be like this. I already feel weird about it. Plus I've been hiding it; normally I'm very eager to share everything with you guys. I just... I just... I'm messed up." I guess it doesn't take a genius to understand that after I got to the end of my little rambling, I began to tear up, followed by crying. I have no idea why I showed a bit of weakness to Eli at my most vulnerable time, but somehow Eli didn't seem to see this as a weakness.

I was petrified of the idea of course; if anyone else found out. Although I think Eli would be the sort of person to hold that secret. I don't have to explain it; it's just he's different than everyone else. Your problems become his problems in some way or form, and they remain until you figure out how to fix your predicament. Even though he's not the best showcase of emotions, Eli accepted my impending doom. Eli was a little hesitant at first and when he saw my crying; then he crossed over to me from the pole, and he laid his arm on my shoulder.

Then as you say to a baby, he said, "there-there." I have no idea why but I just sniggered at the show of affection. I think it was part from nervousness, and the fact that he was holding a gun to my head earlier made it unbelievable. How the tables had turned, and now he was holding onto my shoulder, and that gave me all the security I needed because it meant that he was accepting me regardless of what I had just said. And I hope that he saw that my apology was really and genuinely genuine about his sister. I didn't intentionally set out to hurt anybody I don't even know where I'm supposed to be at the moment. Everything feels like a big vast world to explore, and at the same time, I'm head over heels – blinded by Ross.

"What?" Eli asked in bemusement.

And I giggled and said, "nothing it's your choice of words."

Eli just squeezed his hand down my shoulder a little bit tighter and then said, "aha-ha-ha." He gave a smile, and I smiled back.

"Is your sister around? I want to say sorry to her," I asked.

"No she's not," Eli said soft-spoken."If you want I can tell her, not about the gay thing, of course, that's up to you, but I can say that you came by to say sorry."

I was determined though however to say it face to face with her. So I let the Eli let her know that I wanted to apologise to her. I still need to confront her. Tomorrow I guess I'll go back around and give my proper apology.

Eli and I sat there for a few minutes longer and then eventually we sort of mended the wound in the silence. Eli was the first to speak up; he didn't move away from me. On the contrary, he remained beside me.

He said, "bygones-bygones?"

I glanced across at him in relief. A warm fuzzy feeling emanated in the centre of my chest, and for the first time since all of this had gone to shit, it felt good. If not for myself; but it felt like I had done something correctly for once.

"Bygones, "I affirmed.

For the remainder of my visit at Eli's, we caught up for a bit as Eli used the screwdriver that I thought he was going to stab me with earlier on to open the spring valves on the bottom of the airsoft guns. I know it's foolish to believe that he was going to stab me. Though my mind was in a different place altogether. All along as I sat there watching him strip the paintball guns and talked casually. I was secretly hoping that Emma would turn up though she didn't, so it still is tomorrow.

Anyway, I should be off the bed so… I hope I did something right today. I feel a lot more whole. I haven't felt that way for a while, so I know I have to continue this act of retribution.

Night – Adam.

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