"Ha, yeah. I wish."
These were my words whenever I was questioned about the guy I had a crush on. A huge crush, and only three people knew about it. The guy in question was not one of them.
Those three that knew were my closest friends, in the sense that we talked about the most meaningful things, and openly about them. That is why they knew, that I had this crush. Nobody would otherwise, because…I'm a guy, too.
Now we must visit an evening in fall, just heading into my third year of high school. I was using my laptop in my bedroom, and actually managed to get a little of the assigned law homework done between checking up on my favourite websites. The sun was setting especially early, and I closed my window to stop the cold breeze. Standing before it, I looked out and saw the sun just above the peak of my neighbour's roof, glimmering through the red leaves of their tree. I saw something in the corner of my eye and looked down to the end of my driveway, where a slim boy of five feet and ten inches was striding up towards my door.
I rushed down to meet him, he'd never come over without making plans first. I opened my door and stepped outside to meet him, and I froze with "Hey Matt," stuck in my throat. His face was red, and tears were leaking out of his eyes. I'd never seen him like this before, and I did what I thought I should, without thinking. I had closed the gap between us and was hugging the boy I'd had a crush on for almost two years. I turned my head to speak into his ear, but my thoughts became muddled by the nose-full of his scent, and more annoyingly his hair.
I managed to croak out "What's wrong Matt?"
"My…My dad…I-..Is…" He stammered, a waver in his voice I'd never imagined. He turned his head and buried his face in my shoulder, and I rubbed his back a little as I felt his tears wetting my shirt.
It was now that it dawned on me that he, Matthew, was hugging me. I tightened up, instantly conscious of every part of my body and trying my hardest not to do something to ruin things. With his blonde hair filling my vision I asked him again "Matthew, it'll be ok. It's ok, man. You know that it'll all work out, right?"
His body shook with his first sob, and I gave his back an awkward pat. Finally, he calmed down enough to say "He's moving out, Tom. I just…I don't want him to leave." and resumed his grieving. I had pulled him into a tighter hug when he said that.
After a few more minutes had passed, my legs became tired. "Matt," I said, receiving another strong wiff of him, his hair. "Let's sit down."
I hadn't considered how difficult it is to hug another person while sitting. After I had sat (reluctantly releasing my grip around him to do so) I tried to think of a place for him to sit, where we could continue as we were standing. I gave up and, setting my legs apart, patted my front step to have him sit in front of me, leaning back towards me. As he settled into this position, I had to supress an excited grin (though he couldn't have seen it without turning around anyways) and I put my arms around him again, allowing him to lean back and almost lay on me. I rested my chin on his shoulder and tried to console him.
"That…This just sucks, Matt. I'm so sorry that this is happening. I wish I could say something other than that it'll be okay…My parents are divorced." I said this last word quietly, so close as to have my nose brushing his ear.
He looked around then, at me, and I had to pull my head back to avoid knocking our heads together. With reddened, streaming eyes he answered "He just...He left." And began a fresh wave of sobs, though weaker than before.
I pulled him back to me again, for he had sat up. I reached up and stroked his hair, hoping to provide some comfort from it. My heart was either stopped or beating so fast it created one continuous note inside of me, for I couldn't feel it. As tears began to overflow my own eyes I squeezed him tight "I'm so sorry Matt, you shouldn't have to deal with this!" I said, before burying my face into his shoulder.
Twenty minutes passed, and the day grew dim. Still we sat on my front step, although we had been interrupted. We had both proven to be dry of tears before my dad opened the door to see where I had gone. Quickly and awkwardly Matthew stood from his position and we held a short conversation before my dad went back inside. Surprisingly to me, Matt wanted to sit where he had been sitting. I felt for sure that he had been called back to his senses and would sit beside me, but no. I put my arms slowly around him again, and he made no move to reject them being there. After awhile, I had to break the silence, if only to distract myself from my current desires. "Matthew…How are-..Are you okay?" I stammered, talking seemingly into his shoulder blade.
"I'm…Better. This still hurts, a lot. But…For now, I'm better. Thanks Tom, for helping." He replied, a smile heard by me to be in his voice.
At the end of his answer I felt him shift, and a light pressure was placed on my wrist. I jumped a little, my eyes widening. As the pressure moved down to be pressing against the bottom of my wrist, I believe my eyes may have been wide enough to simply roll out of my head. But they stayed in, and luckily, for I needed them to check if my hand was lying to my head. It wasn't, and Matthew had slipped his hand under mine, letting my fingers fall between his.
I must have gasped, because Matthew asked, nervously "What?"
I couldn't reply. I couldn't even draw breath. Such a reversal I had never dreamed of. Suddenly he wanted to…To hold my hand. A large, dumb smile spread across my face and he turned and saw me, staring over his shoulder at our hands. He smiled, looked down and blushed, "Uh..Uh-um…"
"Matt…What…Are you trying to hold my hand?" I ventured, hoping for an affirmation.
After a long pause and immediately following a large sigh, he said quietly "I am. I want to."
If my mind could be recorded it would have sounded like a full-blown riot, thoughts were streaming through with images and without, completely disassociated yet related without a doubt to the situation. I shook myself out of this euphoric stupor and blushed, "Well…I want you to." I said quietly back to him, pressing his hand to flip it over, and lacing our fingers together. Our hands, resting on his thigh was the single happiest moment of my life at that time. He must have had a similar feeling, because his head was turned to stare at the spectacle as well.
I leaned forward to rest my chin on top of his shoulder, our faces separated by very little space. I saw his eyes flick towards me, and he blushed deeper for a second. I cautiously moved my head forward, and with the feeling inside of jumping off a cliff, pressed my lips to his cheek.
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