As They Say

by D K Daniels

Entry 13

This story takes place in Ireland, my homeland. Some words and uses of words may be unfamiliar. I'll list them below and explain them as best as I can.

Stick - Means to give teasing remarks but in good nature. Eg. I gave him stick about the dated fashion trends he was wearing.

Close Encounters

24th May 1991

Just wow, I don't think I could have asked for a better night in all my life than what transpired last night. I mean me and Ross shared a tent and talked all night, though I'll get to that in a moment. I'm majorly tired right now; my eyes are burning that every couple of seconds it's best to shut them so that they stop the stinging. Though, hey, it was worth it. I got to hear Ross open up a little bit after everyone else was no more.

So, from my previous diary entry yesterday evening, we camped out the back garden. I didn't think the night would go off without a hitch, but it did. Everyone came prepared with sleeping bags and food which we munched on all night. I found out that Ross loves strawberry candy. His grandmother had bought him a bag of Haribo jellies, and he ate pretty much every single strawberry sweet from it. He was popping them back like pills. I think he didn't realise he was doing it as quickly because the discussions for most of the night was high energy enthusiasm, combined with tremendous amounts of sarcasm and stick. I mean there we were sitting around in the backyard playing some music, talking about games, girls, comics and life in general. The light conversing made me feel at home in the group and I think Ross thought it too. I think it made him feel more welcomed than the first time, even though the guys were cool the first time, I think the second time around made him even surer. The guys are not fake, they are just welcoming Ross into the group no questions asked, and I'm proud to know them for the way they handled it. The first time Ross had been to meet the guys he was a little standoffish and little nervous, the second time wasn't as bad. He competed with Eli; I think the both of them have some unspoken lingo going on because the two of them were quite a pally. The two of them were talking acting the way me and Carl do as if they were old time friends. Then again Eli is that sort of person, he is just a cute, easygoing guy. Right… I just called Eli cute which has never really happened before so let's make sure it doesn't happen again. It feels weird to call him cute because he is anything but. Wait… that sounded horrible, he's attractive I mean, though he is my friend, so it feels wrong to think of him that way. So, I won't; no more thinking of him this way.

We sat around in a circle and began to tell stories; I never realised before how good a storyteller Carl is before until he narrated a tale about a sad and lonely man; followed by a psycho killer on the loose in the countryside. I guess I'd be lying if I say It didn't in the least make me feel uncomfortable. All throughout the night, I kept thinking about the story and half expected a crazed killer to slash open the tent and gut me. Though I'd happily do it if it saved Ross, take on a crazy person I mean. On top of that; what hours I lost to sleep, I spent looking at Ross. He was like so close you know, closer than the night before. I could have leaned in and kissed him, but of course, I was to chicken. He had fallen asleep facing me, and I could feel light breathing grazing my cheek, every time he exhaled. I don't think I have ever lost so much sleep over someone. I couldn't go asleep. I mean he was just perfect; he is just as beautiful asleep as he is awake. Though how could you even compare his angelic appearance when he is sleeping with when he's awake. He is something unique; it's like he makes my day when I see him. I want to kiss him, what would one kiss do. Admittedly, I could pretend that I'm just curious, and then one thing leads to another, and I end up kissing him. That could work, right?

Of course not… I'm stupid. If I kissed him, he'd push me away and call me names, or if he didn't then, he would surely avoid me for being so gay.

Though before he fell asleep, the conversation between the two of us felt magical. I think it is possibly the best conversation I've ever had of my young life. Everything was just perfect the way Ross just laid there and spoke effortlessly; was enough to give me the wobblies in my stomach. God, he is perfect; I have no idea what he does or how he manages to do it, he just does. He makes me feel special on the inside. It felt like nothing else mattered, it was just him and me against the world, and anything that existed outside the tent didn't exist at all. I know what I said the other day was weird though, I'm not sure exactly how that accounts for now. Ross seems to be talking with me now; I wonder what got into him the other day. But after all the boys had gone to their respective tents, to sleep, Ross and me went to ours. Even that has a ring to it; ours. We were already dressed in our sleepwear, so we just got straight into the sleeping bags. Naturally, the two of us merely faced each other as a light conversation turned into something that I don't think I'll ever forget.

He asked, "do you like me." I guess you could say that caught me off guard and I turned to look at him and my heart began to pummel in my chest, and I was like oh God. My mind began to work itself into a frenzy. What did he mean by that; does he mean do I actually like him, or does he mean do I like him as a person; yes, to both. Then again, of course, I was too chicken to say yes, I love you, well at least I think I do. Instead, I just began to stutter there like the messed-up retard I am. Alternatively, all I could get out of my mouth was, "yea… yeah… sure I like… I mean you're a cool…." And he immediately just smiled and started laughing. I'm not exactly sure how I phrased it, but I think that is somewhere along the lines of how I said. You know, now while I think of it, I realise who stupid I must've sounded, and that's why he laughed. He just grinned and then a smile bestowed his face, and he turned his face up to the ceiling of the tent and started hysterically laughing. Now and then he would throw out a snort and laugh even harder.

I felt embarrassed. After Ross calmed down, he regained control of his laughing fit and then glanced back over at me. He was so cute just lying there; so snug in his sleeping bag. Ross had it all the way up to his neck; he was just adorable. Ross glanced over at me for a couple of seconds, and then he became quiet. He appeared to be contemplating for a moment; then the smile faded from his face. He took a moment to figure out the words he was presumably going to say, and then Ross said, "I think I like it here." I wasn't sure what he meant by that, but I guess I'd like it here as well if it wasn't as dead. I mean in the summer there is literally nothing to do other than hang around with people who you presumably went to school with for the last ten years of your life. If you quarrelled with someone in school or from the town, then you didn't talk or associate yourself with that particular group or person at all. On the downside, if word gets out about something the whole town knows by the next morning, and I guarantee if I were to come out and say that I'm gay, the entire town would know by the following day. That is not something I exactly want to say out loud to anybody, not even my friends.

But anyway, I just said, "really? You like it here?" I guess there was some contempt in my voice at the time because he just gave me a quizzical face and then I knew that I had to rephrase it. "What I mean is… it's just like nothing ever fun happens around here. Legitimately; you are the funnest thing that has happened here since last summer." And you know what he did? Ross propped himself up on his elbow, smiled before glancing down at the gap between our two sleeping bags and blushed.

You have no idea how cute it is; it's desirable about him. He doesn't even need to batter his eyelids or anything or say anything over drastically complicated to make him even cuter; he's just naturally charming. Is that crazy, am my going crazy? Yeah, I think I'm going crazy.

So, Ross leaned on his elbow and glanced back up at me and then the two of us caught eyes with each other, and he just kept on looking at me. And I looked at him, and the odd silence between us unsettled me in a way I've never been disturbed. We could hear the other boys in the tents vaguely talking, but whatever they were talking about I didn't care and whatever was happening outside the tent felt like it was another world altogether compared to what was going on inside the tent.

He bit his lower lip; then I got nervous. My heart pummeled in my chest, and I had to lay down; I glanced up at the roof of the tent. I felt like my eyes were going to well up and suddenly I was going to start crying. I'm not sure why, but my mind was fucked. I wanted to tell him how much he means to me; he is perfect in every sense of the word. I hope he never changes, and I hope wherever he's going through with his parents gets resolved soon. Because something like this does not happen to nice people; even though I still hardly know Ross, I feel like I know him a lot longer than I actually know him. I know we haven't talked about anything serious other than where you're from and how your mother and father's marital status is still going. But what Ross last night was the first night that I felt like I made a connection, even though we didn't say all that much. He just made my night even more special by letting me spend it with him.

"Am I really that fun," Ross sheepishly said.

I just glanced down to my lap in the sleeping bag and secretly scolded myself for mentioning how cool he was. Sure, he is pretty awe-inspiring, but I think I gave him too much information concerning how much I love having him around. So, I just shrugged my shoulders and said, "Sure you're cool to be with." Then Ross looked down at his sleeping bag and said, "It's good hanging out with you too."

I'm not exactly sure what had happened, but it felt like that the two of us had spoken something that neither of us wanted to say accurately. I felt like there was a magic in the air and it felt pretty incredible. The two of us just talked about mindless chat for about 40 minutes nonstop about food, dead pets, what he would rather and what I would rather.

If he was given the option between a pair of blue converse and red converse; which would he take, he said the red. Which I guess would look awesome on him. Then out of nowhere while staring up at the ceiling he just quietly murmured, "I like you."

I froze there in the spot; I kept my eyes directed at the roof of the tent; I was expecting him to move closer to me and say something else, but he didn't. Ross stead perfectly still and the rays reflecting off the patio light, cast shadows inside the tent. I turned my head ever so slightly, and I glanced over at him. Ross was there, perfectly still but still awake. He was just silent, and all I could make out was the iris of his eyes. Other than that, he was just this small silhouette of white mass.

The way his breathing was so soft and dynamic. I sensed nervousness and a little bit of shame. I can't describe how to write it, though it felt as if he was resentful for saying what he had said. So, I decided to stare back at him; the two of us apparently knew what he had said. I didn't say anything back; I was too afraid. Instead, I shifted my position in the bed and glanced over at him. That's the last thing I remember; I think I fell asleep after that. I'm a little annoyed at myself; sure I should've said something. Theoretically, I can still say anything but last night was a notable moment for me. I should've taken his offering, and I should've told him how happy he makes me feel, and how confused he makes me. I think something about last night, the way the two of us stared at each other make me feel insecure. I mean I fell asleep in the hope that he would kiss me or something, the two of us fell asleep waiting for the other one to make a move. Reality seems to be sinking in for me, and I don't feel so much alone. If he has the same feelings as me; then at least I'm not the only one confused. I should've told him of course; I don't think I'll ever get another chance to say it. Maybe he was trying to give me a chance last night, and I exclusively chickened out, I didn't give him the reaction. I don't know what is happening to me right now; feels like my heart is full. I feel a little better about myself; I'm a bit frustrated that I couldn't do it. I missed my chance to tell the only boy I've ever really liked, actually scratch that. The only person I have ever admired.

Okay, I have a couple of things to do before I have to meet with Ross. I'll fill you in later if I find a moment to tell Ross how I feel, I'll try and explain it to him. I can't guarantee I'll do it, but I'll try to. Anyway, later Adam.

The End of Entry 13

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