As They Say

by D K Daniels

Entry 18

Out In The Open

1st June 1991

Well, another month has gone and a new month is on the horizon. It's saddening to think that in about another thirty days It'll be the middle of summer. Yeah, let's erase that idea before a huge black cloud rains over me. Nothing abnormal happened yesterday I guess. When I woke up, looked out the window, the sun was sitting proudly in the sky. I saw Ross this morning. He was out in his grandparent's backyard; pacing up and down the length of it. He seemed to be anxious or something, the way he'd march up the back garden, and all the way back down to the house where he'd disappear out of sight. Only to be followed by him pacing back up the yard. I wasn't sure what was wrong; I wanted to go next door and see if he was okay. And of course, since our weird discussion yesterday, I couldn't exactly bring myself to knock.

I know what I said last night in my diary entry. I taught the word love means much more than just looking at a gender; though now I feel like a part of me is missing because Ross is not in the equation. Hey don't judge... but I want to meet Emma again. I mean she wasn't all that bad sure she's annoying when she wants to be, but for the most part, it was the first time that we've ever got on. I wouldn't mind doing it again; just bonding, the two of us.

I noticed that when she's with the group, she far more irritating of course, though she wasn't on her own. I'm not sure where I stand though, but Ross, I much prefer Ross hands down. I feel like I'm in first class again; you know when the teacher says you must do your homework or else you'll suffer a horrible agonising scolding for not completing your homework on time. It feels like I'm re-learning maths again.

After a while of constant thinking, I picked up a random CD and that random CD happened to be R.E.M. Of all the kicks you could get in the nuts. I should've just looked at the name of the album I was putting into the CD player. It made me think of Ross; and how I felt the first time met him. I never really liked them all that much, I just wanted to talk to him about something in common. You know, the music seems weird somehow, it's like a gut-wrenching feeling- reminding you that you've left a valuable possession behind.

That's all I did today, sat around and listened to music. After awhile Ross disappeared inside, and I didn't see him for the rest of the day. Every time I looked out my window, I kept wishing that I'd get a glimpse of him in his bedroom but he never went to his bedroom. He just vanished, and that made me even a sadder than the music. I don't think I can take this much longer; I need to talk to him; I'm afraid of losing him. God knows I don't want to lose him. Argh... I'll go tomorrow, and I'll apologise. I'll tell him that I'm sorry I made him feel uncomfortable about doing that. Okay, will night – Adam.

2nd June 1991

My chest feels like it's about to explode right now. I'm so happy; well, happy is an understatement. I guess I'm relieved, sigh... I'm glad that Ross and I are talking again. I don't know how I did it, but I just did I got up this morning, showered and put on some good clothes and went next-door. When I knocked Ross opened the door seconds after the rat-a-tat. He was fully dressed, and he looked radiant. It was like he was waiting for me to knock or something, even though I didn't acknowledge if I was going to knock when I woke up this morning.

It was like I crawled out of bed subconsciously, did what I had to do while all knowing that I was meant to end up here in front of him. His grandparent's car was gone in the driveway; so it also made me nervous even to contemplate that the two of us were alone. He smiled and said, "I taught you didn't want to hang out with me anymore." Then I realised how selfish I might've been. I've avoided him for the sake of headspace. I felt horrible; I mean why is it so hard just to tell him how I feel. He's like driving me crazy, no wild. Yeah, wild is the perfect word for the moment. Every time he passes by I saver his scent, and I crave his smile. Just seeing his dimples form and his eyes sparkle makes me feel complete.

I never knew what it meant to be complete. I always sensed that everything was great for me. I had everything I could need. I have the best of friends, and I'm genuinely happy. But just seeing him smile makes my heart smile, though he wasn't smiling this morning. I just stood there and began to panic because the fear of losing him was too much. So, I started to sway from side to side. I guarantee I looked a bit crazy, and if I didn't offer up an explanation he surely would have thought I lost it. Because if Ross were doing it, I would've considered him demented. Though he's too cute to be crazy, so unbalanced is a different sort of crazy when it concerns him.

I had this feeling bubbling up in my throat. I wasn't expecting to say anything, but this overwhelming surge of happiness just took over me with a touch of sadness. I didn't want Ross to go; I didn't want him to be mad at me. So, I blurted out quietly to myself more so than anything else, "I like you too." I was hoping that he didn't hear me correctly; my heart was running rampant in my chest. I Felt so exposed, I don't know where it came from or why I even said it, but it just came out.

I didn't plan on saying it. I guess from now on if I want to say something, I should think before I should just say it. I think the longer you think about something though, the harder it gets to say it. An odd silence formed between the both of us. I wasn't sure If I had done good by telling him. I glanced down at the doorstep in front of me from nervousness, and then he came closer to me.

The anticipation was unreal. I never felt anything like it before. I could see Ross's cute shoes, thin bare legs, followed by the blue shorts he was wearing and lastly his T-shirt. Before I knew it: he was standing inches away from me. I, of course, was still looking down at the ground. Then Ross just reached out and wrapped his arms around me. I felt so awkward just standing there; he latched onto me. I couldn't help but stand there helplessly like a dork. I guarantee it looked like one of those sitcoms were a girl hugs a boy and the boy is flattered to get the hug. I think I was more than flattered.

I had no idea where to put my hands; actually, I was petrified to move. Never mind placed my hands anywhere. When Ross finally broke the embrace, I felt sad that it ended and relief. A sudden thought raced through my mind, and I had the urge sit down. I thought my leg where going to give out, so I sat down. It was weird, I stumbled away from the door a tad and plopped down on the brick flower bed by the entrance to regain strength. Ross, of course, never missing a beat - following my every move. He stood in front of me, and I on the wall. It felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders as odd as it sounds. Now when I think of it, I felt like I'd gone mad and told the entire world a dirty secret, but at the time a mixture of embarrassment and jitters flooded my body-uncontrollably. I have no idea why I lost the power of my legs, but I'm glad I had the ability to walk home afterwards.

Glancing up at Ross; The weirdness had gone. He still looked as cute as ever. I was glad that we were talking again. And weirdly, I'm so happy I told him how I feel. You have no idea how freeing it feels to tell someone that you like them. I know I could've said more, but I don't think I'm quite ready for that yet. I don't want to say I love him because that might definitely scare him.

The way I look at it, at least he knows how I feel now, more or less. So the both of us just gave each other questioning eyes. Then Ross set off a nuclear bomb in my mind. He said, "how long have you liked me." My heart palpitating in my chest felt like it was going to give out. I began to panic from the inside out, in fear of rejection or ridicule even. Though nothing suggested Ross had any ill intent, he has never had any ill about him. He is just a sweet boy who I'm falling for. So, if I did anything right today, I hope what I said to him was enough to convince him that I'm not gone completely crazy.

I said, "I was nervous the first time I saw you. It was funny just walking into my kitchen, you sitting at my table. Even then I was really nervous talking to you because you're like... beautiful." I sat on the wall and began to brood at the sensitive information I just let slip out of my mouth. I was scolding myself mentally, why the hell did I say that. Ross sat down beside me, placed his elbows on the bridges of his knees and leaned forward.

"You… you… think I'm beautiful," Ross stuttered. As If stuttering wasn't enough, I developed this churning series of butterflies. I felt like I wanted to keel over on the wall. Shortness of breath caught me off guard, and I confessed. "You are."

The both of us sat quietly awhile; listening to the birds in the surrounding. The sky had cleared up to a lovely deep blue, and the sun had come out. I guess you could say the level of happiness amplified. I felt happy, and I think Ross felt comfortable too.

Then out of nowhere Ross's soft sounding tone led forward the discussion. I never realised before, but Ross's voice sounds like an entire orchestra to my ears. It has all the right tonalities; it is both soft when it wants to be, it's alluring when he wants to be, and harsh when it needs to be.

He said, "when I first saw you, you made me feel good. Everything with my parents has been a nightmare, and you are like the sunshine in a dark world. I taught I was angry at my mum and dad. Though you gave me something to look forward to every day. I thought this place was going to be shit." And the both of us giggled at that, but he continued. "But you went out of your way to make me feel special... or welcome. The more we talked, the more we hung out. I started to like you more than a friend. I was trying to hint that I was... I don't know interested, that's if you where you know like me." A panic set in for Ross; He confessed a vulnerable part of himself, his voice wasn't confident anymore, it was jittery and fluctuating. "I kind of got a little disheartened when weren't picking up on it. I tried telling myself to back off because I taught you weren't like me... or maybe you're not interested in me. I wanted to always tell you how I feel; because you're beautiful too."

I almost choked up; his message was so sincere and honest. I could practically feel as if he had opened his chest, taken his heart out and handed it to me in his hands. I don't know, but it felt weird discussing this with him. Not that I didn't want to of course. Though never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that I would talk this with him. I glanced over at him, and he seemed to be contemplating the two of us were too afraid to look at each, true we did sneak the odd glance.

Considering the two of us were genuinely scared to see each other, can you imagine how it would have been at that time if our eyes locked. I could just imagine utter chaos for the both of us. I just know that if Ross were looking at me, I would have seized up. I don't think I would've gotten anything out of me. So, I asked, "Ross…" to which he turned and looked at me. Though I still kept my eyes directed at the ground. I couldn't believe what I was going to say, my heart was almost coming up my throat, but I was going to say it. I honestly wanted to say it. "Yeah?" Ross mumbled. With all the courage I could muster up, I asked, "can I hold your hand."

It felt like I could lift the mountain or run from one side of the world to the other in a flash. It felt so good to speak those words. When he said, "sure." I felt like I could fly; we wrapped our scrawny fingers, interlocking them with each other. The two of us still too afraid to say anything else other than hold hands, the both of us just held hands on the wall. I didn't say anything, and neither did he. I could sense that he was nervous, and I was very fucking nervous. My hand became clammy; I had developed a boner in my tracksuit bottoms. Then I decided to ask, "do you want to head into town and get some ice cream or a milkshake."

I guess now when I think of it how I phrased it; I was kind of asking him on a date. Geez, I really do move fast, don't I. But I did, and he agreed which made me even happier. I think today was the best day of my life; I held Ross's hand for a full 10 minutes, then we headed into town for milkshakes.

I didn't feel as awkward anymore, if anything it felt easy, say… I think I now know what love is. I should go to bed I've been up late, but I can't sleep, I have to try at least. If I don't, I won't be able to hang out with Ross tomorrow; I'll be too tired to do anything. It's just these crazy fireworks going off inside my chest; they don't want me to sit down and relax. It makes me want to just go crazy and dance or something. Anyway night… sigh – Adam.

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