Cal and Donnie
Hi, my name is Cal Berkley and I have just finished my junior year. My goal is to go to college on a merit scholarship, not because of the money, my dad owns his own advertising agency and mom is a commercial artist. I am an only child, I don't need to worry about college funds except I want to do this on my own. My best friend Dave shared my enthusiasm for going to college on our own merits. In a way we were competitors, always trying for the highest class grade, making the highest position on the honor role and of course being the best in what ever sport we played. Dave was tall and so he excelled in basketball where I was a lot shorter and so I played soccer. Besides school sports, Dave and I would meet 3 days a week to run in the morning. My life was pretty much in a pattern and I was ok with that.
At the start of my junior year, two new students joined our class, Donald Chase and his sister Angela Chase. For most people this wouldn't be a big deal except hardly anyone ever moved to our town. Let me explain, our town was a small desert town about 15 miles from the big city. Not many people wanted to move away from a big city and this was particularly true where I lived. In our little town there was, what I called, a Quickie store. The store operated as a post office, a pharmacy and a market carrying a limited amount of emergency rations, such as bread and milk. Most of the grocery shopping was done at the supermarkets in the city.
Our school was located about half way between our town and the city drawing students from the eastern part of the city. Classes were limited to 25 students max which meant that in many cases the class size was well less than 25. My class as a sophomore had 15 students and now as a junior had 17 students. Because of the low student classes, many of the parents from the city actually paid to have their children attend our school. This resulted in a rather large high school. Our total attendance was slightly over 700 students of which a majority came from the city. The percentage of students that went on to college ranged from 90 to 92 percent.
I remember the first day of school when the teacher introduced Angela and Donald to the class as new students. Dave's eyes lit up when he saw Angela. She was a very pretty girl with long blond hair and blue eyes. Dave wasn't the only boy interested in this new couple. Her brother had black hair and green eyes. I always note the color of the eyes when I meet new people, it's a quirk of mine.
Dave was quick to invite the Chase's to our lunch table and guess where Dave sat. It was no secret he liked Angela and in fact I did also. Over the next three weeks, we became good friends. There was a small coffee shop in our town that served sandwiches, a limited amount of pastry and of course coffee. Sometimes after school we' d meet there for a snack or just to hangout.
Things changed over the Thanksgiving holidays. The Friday after Thanksgiving, the gang was at the coffee shop and when I arrived, Donnie and Angie were there with Dave and two of our other friends. They were drinking coffee or hot chocolate, just hanging out. Everyone seemed to be having a good time. I got something to drink and noticed that Angie was more or less by herself. The guys were arguing over the football games that would be playing this week end and of course the game that played yesterday. I saw that Angie was't very interested in the discussion.
"Angie, want to go for a walk?"
"No thanks Cal, I'll hang around here." I'm not a whiz kid but I noticed that when she said that her eyes went to Dave. For some strange reason that was ok for me.
"I think I'm going to go home and watch the game."
Donnie asked if he could come with me, "Sure you're welcome , we can get some lunch before the game starts."
His face lit up with a big smile, I wasn't sure if it was because of the lunch or to be away from the guys. As we walked to my house, "What do you think about our school?"
"It's rather big. My old school was really small in comparison."
"Where did you live before moving out west?"
"We lived in West Virginia in a small town, a much smaller town than this one. My dad said we were moving to the big city when we moved here. I grew up in small towns."
"So even though this town is small, it's big for you, comparatively speaking."
"Yes, my dad works for the government and is assigned to different parts of the country. In my 17 years this is the 6th place I have lived and before you say it, yes they were all small towns. I think that it reflects on my dad, he grew up in a small town and always said you make better friends because there's less to choose from. I'm not sure I understand that logic but I've made close friends wherever I've lived and still stay in contact with them."
"Here's my home" My home wasn't anything spectacular, it fits into the neighborhood. Opening the door, "We have a rec room downstairs, I'll make us some lunch and then we can go down and watch the game."
After washing my hands, I took out the bread, lunchmeat, cheese and some condiments. When Donnie saw the bread, "Your mom makes her own bread?"
"Yep and it's the best." I sliced off four slices, put them on two plates. "Donnie if you go into that closet, on your right, there are chips in there. Get a bag and while you do that, I'll start making our sandwiches."
"Cal what are these plantain chips? I never heard of them."
"Get a bag, you'll like them. Do you like onion and pickle on your sandwich?"
"Make mine like yours."
And so I did, butter on one slice followed by cheese and meat, then thin slices of onion and slices of pickle top with lettuce and bread with mayo on it. I cut them in half, handed Donnie a bowl for the chips and headed downstairs.
Setting the food on the counter above the small refrigerator, I set up two trays in front of the small sofa. Carrying the food to the trays, "Donnie there're drinks in the refrigerator. Get what you want and get me one of the juices."
"Where's the TV? We can't watch a game without a TV."
I just smiled, picked up a controller and activated a roll down screen. Then the projector behind the sofa on the ceiling, dialed in the channel carrying the game and sat back. Donnie's mouth dropped open, "That's the biggest television screen I have ever seen."
I just smiled at him and as the pregame discussions came on. Since Dad had his own ad agency, he used that as an excuse to buy this system. He said he had to preview the ads before he'd signed off on them. The only thing, I never saw him preview any ads.
As we watched the game, I kept looking at Donnie. He was a good looking guy, he had a great personality and he appeared to be smart. He caught me looking at him, "What? Do I have something on my face?"
"No, I was analyzing you, your smart, your polite and not bad looking. I think I'm going to like you as a friend, I bet all of your friends say that."
"No, they may think it but you're the only one that has ever said that to my face and it isn't accurate. I need to work for my grades, they don't come easy. As for being polite, my dad always told me that bad manners was the mark of a crude person so I watch my manners around everyone I meet. I'm not as good looking as you are."
I noticed his face turned red when he said that about me. I looked at him and I guessed he felt he had to explain further.
"Cal, I hope what I say isn't going to offend you but I like you. I'm gay, my dad knows and is fine with it. I never had a boyfriend, in some towns it was frowned upon and some my friends made a lot of crude remarks and so I kept my mouth shut. For some reason I want you to know and that scares me."
"Don't be scared, I'm not gay or straight. My dad says I'm bi-sexual. He says whatever floats my boat he'd be happy as long as I was happy and didn't hurt anyone in the process."
"So it's ok for me to be gay?"
"Sure, why not? If you're wired that way there's nothing you can do about it."
"And you like me?"
"I think you meet my criteria of a good friend, so yes I like you."
"I thought you liked Angie, you asked her to leave with you ."
"I do like her but she likes Dave and Dave likes her. I'm glad about that."
Donnie just shook his head. I guess he never met someone like me. "If you like her why wouldn't you fight for her?"
"Who would I fight my best friend? No, if Dave likes her and she likes Dave, I'm happy."
"You're strange. Most guys I know would fight over that, but you're happy for your best friend."
"I think we're too young to pick life partners but not too young to explore our emotions. For me I have never kissed a girl or boy, and maybe this year I'll try both to see which one I like."
Donnie looked at me, he put down his drink and grabbed me into a kiss. I pulled back and looked at him. He had a frightened look on his face. I wanted him to know it was ok, so I grabbed him and kissed him back. He relaxed.
"Well, that takes care of one half of my equation."
"Cal, you have to know that I like you, a lot."
"I kinda figured that." I was surprised.,my first kiss not given by my parents and I liked it. "Maybe if we practice more I can learn how to give the incredible toe curling kiss."
I watched Donnie's face when I said that. First there was a look of shock and that quickly rolled into a big smile with a head nodding yes. For the next 15 minutes, Donnie taught me how to kiss. Actually he just kissed me many times, I rationalized it as a teaching lesson. The only thing, at the end I was getting quite excited. I'm sure if Donnie looked he could see the rise of Mount Cal.
Just as I was getting ready for the next round of kissing lessons, Donnie's cell phone rang. "Yes,… I'm at Cal's house watching the football game…. Let me asked. Angie wants to know if she can come over. Dave left with a bunch of guys leaving her alone in the coffee shop."
"Sure, she can come over. Do you remember how to get here?"
He nodded yes and gave her the directions. We settled down and waited for Angie. I reorganized the room a little moving the sofa over a little and putting a lounge chair next to the sofa.
"Cal, I think I'm starting to like you a lot. Over the last few months, knowing you in class and out of class, I beginning to hope you'll like me as well."
"Donnie liking you isn't the problem, how much I like you will take time for me and you as well. I'm not perfect and I'm assuming you aren't either and before we go further we need to understand each other a lot more. Now I'm willing to get to know you better and get a better understanding of myself. I've never done this before and I'm excited to go this route. I certainly like your kisses and let's just keep calm and see where this road leads. I'm willing to walk this road, are you?"
He didn't answer in words but the kiss did. He was all smiles and I hope that this would be good for both of us. Just as I was ready to get another kiss, the doorbell rang. "That's Angie, I'll take the plates up and let her in."
"Hi Angie come on in, looks like it's going to rain."
Behind our town is a mountain range and when the wind blows toward the mountain the cooler air condenses the moisture in the air, ergo rain which the farmers like.To the north of our town at the foot of the mountains are a lot of large farms. For us it is a great advantage because most have veggie and fruit stands along the road to sell to tourists and the locals.
"Angie, we're downstairs. Do you want a sandwich?"
"That would be nice, I haven't had any lunch."
"Come into the kitchen and I'll make you a sandwich."
When she saw the slice of bread and before I could cut another slice, "Cal, one slice cut in half will be enough."
"Are you sure?"
I got out the fixings and began to fix her a sandwich. Putting it on the plate, I handed it to her, "Wait a second." I went and got another bag of chips. "We're downstairs, so just follow me."
When I got to the room, Donnie had set one of the stands in front of the lounge chair. Obviously he didn't want Angie on the sofa. "Angie what would you like to drink? I have sodas, juices and beer."
"Do you have diet soda?" I shook my head yes and gave her a diet soda with a glass. I took the bowl that Donnie and I emptied, added the bag of chips and set it on the table in front of Angie.
We continued to watch the game and make small talk. My phone rang, it was Dave. He wanted to know if Donnie was still here. I told him he was, "Ask him where's Angie."
"I don't have to ask she's right here. You left her alone so she came here."
"I'll be right there and I didn't leave her alone."
"Dave is coming over. He said he didn't leave you alone." This is going to be fun hearing him explain that one.
Soon we heard Dave coming down the steps. "It's really raining out there."
"Why don't you get a towel and dry off? I think you still have some clothes in my room. You should get out of those wet clothes."
Dave took off and in about 15 minutes he came down with a sandwich in one hand and wet clothes in the other. He took his clothes through a door into the laundry area and put them into the dryer. Dave has spent a long time at my home as I did at his. We told our parents we had two homes and two families.
Now dry with a half eaten sandwich, a can of soda, Dave looked for a place to sit down. He sat his sandwich on Angie's plate, picked her up, sat in her chair and pulled her to sit on his lap. She immediately jumped up, "What's the matter? I thought you'd like to sit on my lap. You know how I feel about you."
"Yes, I do, that's why you left me at the coffee shop when you went off with your friends." Donnie and I just watched with a smile on our faces.
"I thought you followed us out. You were there with us when we talked about watching the game. I just thought you were behind me when I was talking to Peter. Then when I went to talk to you, you weren't there. I walked back to the coffee shop and they said you told them you were going home. I walked to your home and you mom said you weren't there and probably with Donnie. I remembered Donnie leaving with Cal so I called."
Angie took out her phone and called home. Her mother did confirm that Dave was there looking for her. Of course being a woman she had to have the last word, "All right this time but if you ever do that again we're through."
I looked at Donnie, evidently Dave and Angie have been dating and neither of us knew. "How long have you two been dating and why didn't you tell me?"
"I'm sorry Cal. I knew you liked Angie as well and I didn't want to hurt you."
"Dave you know more abut me then anyone. Yes, I liked Angie as I do several girls. But you should know that if you liked someone I'd be happy for you. You're my best friend and best friends are happy for each other's good fortune."
"I'm sorry for not telling you. We have shared secrets and I should have told you."
"The game is over, do you want to watch a movie."
"Has your dad got the new Star Wars?"
"Yes, he brought it home yesterday. Want to watch? It's 2 1/2 hours long."
"Why so long?"
"It is a director's cut which is used for ad firms to plan the ad campaign. So there are some scenes that aren't in the original movie as well as some goofs. You'll enjoy it. But you mustn't tell anyone you've seen it or where."
"Yea, that's important because Cal's dad could get in lot of trouble."
I put the disc in the disc player, pushed start, the movie opened.
We must have been watching the movie for about 1 hour when I heard mom and dad coming home. Mom yelled down the steps, "Dinner will bet ready in a few minutes."
That meant take out. "Cal, I need to get home. If it's ok, maybe I can stop over later and see the rest of the movie."
"That'll be fine Angie. Just call to be sure I'm home. Dad, can you run Angie home?"
"Sure anyone else want to go?"
"I'll go with you Angie." I knew Dave would want to go but Donnie remained silent.
"Donnie you don't want to go?"
"No, I'd like to see the rest of the movie."
"OK, you can stay for dinner." I followed Angie and Dave upstairs and told Mom that Donnie
would be staying for supper. I took a look outside and it was really a downpour.
We went back to watch the movie until mom called us for supper. I knew we'd have to wait till dad came back.
I heard the car pulling into the garage, "Donnie dad's home, let's wash up for supper." We used the bathroom off the recreation room and headed upstairs.
Dad proceeded to tell us that this really is a torrential storm. Driving was hard as the windshield wipers could hardly keep up. Donnie I think you're stuck here for the night."
"I need to call my dad and tell him."
I thought it was strange that Donnie spoke to his dad while Angie spoke to her mother. Almost like two separate families living together but not together.
Donnie went downstairs to call his dad. I helped mom set the table, while he was on the phone. Coming back upstairs, "My dad said it was ok if I stayed. He also thanked you for bringing Angie home."
"This isn't fancy but you'll enjoy it. Mom, we'll have to have Donnie over again so he can enjoy your cooking instead of Wong's."
Mom looked at me and smiled which meant, we'll see. I saw that Donnie was holding back a little, I put some appetizers on his plate, "Trust me you'll like this." I watch as he took a small bite, you could almost hear his brain working, do I like this or don't I. Decision reached, a smile.
I did that through the whole dinner. I only gave him the food I liked. Some of the food dad liked and no way was I going to try that. When dinner was over, "Donnie we should wait till Angie and Dave return to see the rest of the movie. We can watch another movie if you choose."
Donnie just nodded yes and we headed back down to the rec room. I gave Donnie a list of the movies we had, he selected an old cowboy movie. It was in black and white. "Do you really want to watch an old movie. This isn't in color, it is black and white."
"Yes, I like the old movies. Some are very funny, the way they talk and the plots are a lot simpler."
He was right, the plot were pretty much the same but the actors I think were better. More realistic to the times, real Indians for actors instead of made up actors. So we set back and watched some of the original Lone Ranger, Gene Autry, Tom Mix and of course, Dale and Roy Rogers. We laughed at some of the dialogue and had a good time.
"Cal, we're going to bed. Don't stay up too late."
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