As They Say

by D K Daniels

Entry 28

The Thomas Situation

27th June 1991

Today was somewhat weird; we had a BBQ over at Eli's house. Eli knocked ahead of time to reveal his big plans for the day to me. From there the both of us knocked for Ross. While I was sitting at the table waiting for Ross to stumble sleepily down the stairs with Eli in his grandmothers; I had a sudden realisation that I didn't know Ross's birthday. I never asked before, and I'm not sure why it didn't occur to me as an obvious thing to learn until now. Though as I sat in the chair and watched every second of the clock on the clock, tick upward. I began to become jittery about what had happened yesterday. Will he hate me for what had happened or will he think I'm stupid or sick or something for grinding against him like that? I shouldn't have done it yesterday; even when he came down the stairs, he had this weird aura about him. It wasn't as if he wasn't annoyed at me or the fact of what I had done grossed him out to the point he wasn't talking to me anymore. Instead, he just seemed incredibly happy for a time until when he became quiet till we parted ways before the party but first, let me explain.

I initially sat at the table and sought a way to escape the dreadful silence. So, as a way to ease that awkwardness, I asked Ross's grandmother when his birthday was: because it was just what I was thinking and I thought that this information would have been ideal to know.

When his grandmother said the 8th of July, I began to get all these little tingles inside my stomach at the concept of actually throwing Ross a birthday party. I found the notion astonishing for some bizarre reason; it was almost as if I was assuring myself that he had never had a birthday before, but I knew that that was unlikely, so what I concluded was that I could host Ross a surprise party. His first ever in Ireland at that; though then again, I'm not too good at keeping surprises so perhaps, just maybe I can make it that long without giving all the details to him. After he came down, that's when he had the oddness to him. Ross wasn't acting strange or anything. On the contrary, he was in as bright a humour as one could be. His teeth were showing, and he was smiling so damn hard all the way out to where our bikes were housed. It's funny to think that he just keeps my bike these days. I don't ask for it back or anything he just holds onto it for me; it's like the bike was made for him and him only. Then again, I don't think I'd want it any other way. I want him holding onto it. It is my way of being helpful to him even though it doesn't mean all that much to me to give it to him.

So, as we mounted the bikes, Eli dropped the bomb on me that he was getting all the boys together. He said that he and Ross could pick up Carl and the Conner. The ironic part was that I got lumbered with having to pick up Thomas. We all know that he has no bike; not since he went over the handlebars in town, after that his mother took the bike away: she said that the contraption was a danger to society and that her precious son would no longer ride on such a rickety invention.

It's times like this that I wish that Thomas had a bike, but I'll get to that in a moment. Figuring that I would have to hitch Thomas along, I returned home, went into the garage and fixed a seat to the framing of the bike. It was an extra seat I had for my little cousin when she was down this far from Dublin. My mam never liked the idea of her standing on the pegs of the bike because she was unstable on her feet and she and my aunt didn't trust my cousin's balance to make up the math on the probability of her falling. So as a way of working it out, I had a rebar framing added, and I could take the seat off and on for whenever someone needed to use it. I would like to have a say in keeping my pegs so that the boys could stand on them, but my mam wouldn't have any of it. Once the seat was mounted over the rear tire, I took off toward Thomas's house.

When I arrived from the offset, I was uncomfortable when I knocked on Thomas's front door. Though I tried to keep an open mind, I worked really hard not to cease up and become off-put by the thought of Thomas liking me. I mean why else would he invite me out, not to mention what happened at the lake or the telescope. Is it that obvious; what happens if others know? Not that Thomas is not good looking, but he's not the one I want. He's just to plain, and I don't know… Thomas is not the right person for me that's all I know. Though I'm not sure why this is even coming to the forefront because I'm not even sure Thomas is interested. True Thomas did grab me by the wrist and asked me out, and it seems like he trying to show off all of the accomplishments he has gotten over the years. Perhaps he is trying to win my approval or something; argh… man now what do I do about this problem.

Anyway, as I was saying, I knocked for him, and Thomas opened the door. I couldn't help but notice that his folk's car was not in the driveway. So, that meant Thomas was all alone, leaving the awkward social interactions at the mercy of us two inept human beings. Though it is comforting to know that he didn't invite me in for a drink or anything this time around; I would have died from the uncomforted surroundings. Thomas was already dressed. So, I just waited for him to put on his shoes and we were set to go. He sat on the back seat of my bike and quite literally when I put it like this, but he got on it so awkwardly it was bound to make me laugh. Well, the both of us cracked a smile… Perhaps that was his mission: to make us laugh so that he can win his way into my heart without me noticing, but soon enough he fixed himself frontward then placed his hands around my stomach in the form of a coil loop. Thomas locked himself to me; at first, it wasn't too tight, so I cycled on taking in the blissful silence until he asked, "You looking forward to tomorrow."

I had completely forgotten that I had agreed to go to this film with him and I groaned in silence to myself. I listened to his overzealous enjoyment behind me on the bike. "I suppose," I said gently. Though it was so low that I didn't think he heard me. I was concentrating on the peddling, and I didn't want to think about the weird thing that was going on between us. I don't want to give him the wrong impression. I'm just trying to be nice, and I don't want to hurt anyone. So, unsure if he heard it, and since I cared about his feelings. I said, "It'll be fun."

That's when Thomas clung to me a little tighter than I comfortable with. I can understand if we were going down a hill or something but he was beginning to squeeze me, and he was very close to me on the bike. It was weird because most of the boys just hold onto me at the shoulders, he was doing something entirely new in my book. He just mumbled a petite drawn out, "yeah."

I tried tuning out to Thomas; I tried focusing on the birds, you know they are peaceful when they caw, chirp and sing. Even if there is a longing for some sound, birds will never disappoint. We passed the hill in the O' Neil's field and flung around the bend by Brady's Farm when Thomas stuttered about with his dialogue. It was a little like, "hey eh… would you maybe wanna come back to my house after the movie…. for… for a sleepover."

My heart began to race in my chest at all the what if's, and more importantly what this all meant. I started to get all flustered because I was taking to long to reply and Thomas was holding onto me pretty tightly. It was nice being held that way; I felt a little mushy, so I subconsciously agreed. "Ugh… I guess that would be okay," I said. Now, when I think of if I keep thinking to myself, 'what the fuck did I agree to that for; I can't just say no. Though how bad can it be. I'll be like a complete asshole if I stop by his house again and say that I can't stay the night. I could do it tomorrow before the movie. Oh, wait… then that would ruin the movie experience for the both of us, and that would make him sad which is not something I want to do. Then again what would happen If I did it after the movie? I bet that would look worse. It would be like saying you worthy of the film, but not worthy of the sleepover. Now I feel compelled to go through with staying in his house for a frickin night. For fuck sake. Sigh…

Do you know what Thomas said to that? He just snuggle-hugged me from behind which felt really out of place, but then the hug subsided, and he held onto to me harder? It was sore actually. He said, "Awesome. I have lots planned for us to do in case we get bored." After he said that, I became abundantly aware that he has perhaps a crush on me. I mean nobody tries so hard like this to be liked do they?. Well, I have never known Thomas to do that because he is just silent Thomas. He sits there taking in what everyone is saying, follows along and perhaps if you're lucky you might get a sentence out of him every once in a while.

I have no idea why our group just took to him, but he has a dull personality, and it is easy to approach him. Though the last couple of days I've gotten more conversation out of him than all the lads have ever gotten out of him in the previous year. It got so uncomfortable after that the silence became so thick that I so desperately wanted to hear Ross's voice. On top of that, the pain from him holding me tightly was off-putting that I asked him to loosen the grip. Thomas did, and we just cycled on, but I felt weird until I got to Eli's house which was a relief to say at best.

When I settled down beside Ross; Eli started up a small BBQ under the supervision of his dad who was working a project from the shed. Not long after that, we ate. Whatever had transpired with Thomas and me on the way over there was somewhat forgotten. Well, I think, but something tells me that it is not going to be the last I'll hear of it. Though the food was lovely; and the day was great. I got my turn on the BBQ to make some cocktail sausages and nuggets, but the burgers were the best bit. So yeah now I'm home, safe a sound from the bustle: and away from Thomas prying eyes. I shut my blinds, and I'm secretly scolding myself for making matters worse for saying yes. I should learn to speak no… I mean how hard is it to say the word… in my case apparently, it's difficult. Anyway - Night.

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