Christmas with Colt

by Rob Warr

Chapter 2

The mystery that was Colt continued to trouble me, and as we became closer, I was even more determined to find out what was going on in his life and try to fix it. Of course, I couldn't do that alone, but I had my family in my corner, and I was sure with their help we could make things right.

On Friday, Colt and I met again on the bleachers, and this time I pressed him a little harder about coming to my house. At first he was reluctant, but eventually he gave in, however, when I called mom to pick us up he started trying to bail again.

"Come on, it'll be fun. We can have a snack and play some video games or watch some TV. Heck, you can even stay for dinner if you want. I mean, if you don't have any other plans."

"Well, I don't know..." he said, but I could almost smell his hunger and hear his tummy growling.

Mom arrived about then, and any further resistance seemed to melt on Colt's tongue. He dutifully climbed into the back of the SUV and I took the seat beside him.

"Hello, Colt," my mom said, "it's nice to see you again."

"Thank you, ma'am, it's, umm, nice to see you too. Thanks for having me over and all..."

"You're very welcome. Any friend of Blake's is always welcome in our home."

"Where's Sammy?" I asked casually.

"He's at home helping your dad with something in the garage."

"Oh, dad's home?" I said happily.

"Yes, he worked half a day in the office, then a few hours at home, but now he's all ours," she laughed.

Colt had been following our conversation with an interested, almost envious look, but he remained quiet most of the trip. I could tell he was nervous. How best to describe him? I'd say like an animal trapped in a cage, waiting for his captors to either free him, or beat his brains out.

"Colt might stay for dinner," I offered, hoping that putting it out there might persuade him to do so.

"Oh, that would be nice," Mom said, "we're having spaghetti and meatballs. Do you like spaghetti, Colt?"

"Yes, ma'am, but I'm not sure if I'm staying or not..."

"Well, if you decide to stay, there is always plenty, and we'll have a nice salad and garlic bread too," she said, dangling the proverbial carrot in front of this obviously hungry boy.

I swear this time I did hear his tummy growling and I wanted so badly to just grab onto him and hold him, and comfort him, then feed him as soon as we got home. Instead, I looked away, wiped a tear from my eye, hoping he wouldn't notice.

At home, Sammy came running in as soon as we entered the house, his joyful laughter filling the air.

"Brother, you're home," he said screeching to a halt at my feet, "and Colt, yaaay!" he said giving both of us a hug.

Colt was blushing and seemed unsure what to do, but eventually he relaxed and hugged back, and I could see the happiness and contentment that Sammy's hugs always brought flowing through him.

"Well, hello, Colt," Dad said coming in from the garage about then, "I'd shake your hand, but I have grease all over it. I was changing the oil in my generator and got some on me."

"Oh, dear, don't get that nasty stuff on the good towels," mom scolded, "use the sink in the laundry room and use one of those old towels there."

"Yes, ma'am," dad said grinning as he headed off to wash up.

"Dinner won't be for a couple of hours, so how about a snack to tide you boys over?" Mom suggested, "I have some fresh baked cupcakes, or there's fruit..."

I really wasn't all that hungry, but to get Colt to eat, I forced myself to eat a cupcake and a banana. It must've worked, because Colt ate two cupcakes and an apple. Sammy, who ate like a little bird most times, had an apple as well, gnawing at it like a chipmunk, and looking cute as always.

"Come on, I'll show you my room," I suggested once we'd finished our snack.

Colt thanked mom for the snack, then followed closely behind me as I led him up the stairs to my room. I sensed that Sammy wanted to join us, but apparently mom had requested that he let us have some alone time, and as much as it was killing him to do so, he never disobeyed either of our parents.

"Wow, all this is...yours?" Colt said once in my room, "I figured you and your bro shared a room."

"Nah, but we do share the bathroom, that's bad enough," I teased.

"Nice," Colt said, looking a bit lost, "I like your posters," he finally added as if he felt the need to say something.

"Oh, well...I guess they're not typical of most teenage boys," I said blushing. At least not straight ones, I didn't add.

However, my posters were generic enough not to give my sexuality away completely. I did have a 'Stranger Things' poster with the boys from that Netflix show, but there was a girl too, so that could go either way.

"You have your own TV, cool..." he said, finally noticing my 32" flat screen TV on the bookcase with my gaming system and games.

"Well, I share it with Sammy. Sometimes we play games or watch a movie in here..."

"That's cool, bros should hang out together, especially cool ones like you and Sammy."

"Thanks, I think you're cool too."

"You have your own computer," he said softly, more to himself than to me, I guess. Then he sighed, "You have things I never will," he said, then turned away as if embarrassed, "I mean, you gotta lot of neat stuff."

"Colt," I said daring to touch his arm, and when he didn't pull away I took that as a good sign and continued, "come sit with me, on my bed, okay?"

He just nodded and I practically led him over to the bed before finally releasing his arm as we both sat down.

"Look, I know not all kids have it as good as me and Sammy. I think, I think maybe Sammy felt just like you do right now when he first came to live here. See, it was just him and his mom, and well, she got sick and he had to go into foster care. All he had was a few clothes and his toothbrush when they brought him to us." I went on to tell Colt the whole story and I could tell that he was moved by my narrative.

"Poor kid," Colt finally said, "he seems so happy right now, I'd never have guessed..."

"Yeah, he's something special. Even with all he's been through he still has a positive attitude and it's contagious. Any time I'm feeling down all I have to do is spend a few minutes with my little bro, and the blues go away."

"Maybe I could borrow him," Colt joked, then he sighed, "problem is, I don't have any place to keep him."

I thought that sounded strange, maybe even weird, until I realized what he was really saying, that he was homeless.

"Colt, I know we just met and all, and you probably don't trust me all that much, yet, goes, what's really going on with you? Are you okay? Do you have a place to go?"

"What? Oh sure, I'm fine, I just my place there's just the two bedrooms, one for my mom and one for me..."

"Colt..." I said, but I didn't know what to say next. Should I tell him what we knew so far, or let it drop?

"I should go," he said suddenly, his eyes darting to the closed door.

"Can't you stay a little longer?" I pleaded, "Why don't you stay for dinner, it's spaghetti..." I said grinning.

Colt sighed and rubbed his eyes as if he had a headache. Perhaps he did, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and who knew what else, could no doubt lead to health problems.

"Come on, for me," I said making a pouty face and hoping I wasn't making a fool of myself.

Apparently not, for suddenly there was that sunshiny smile again and my heart melted all over again.

"I guess," he sighed, "but then I need to go, okay."

"That's fine. I mean, you're not a prisoner," I joked.

"Maybe, in some ways...I am," he said speaking cryptically again.

"What do you mean?"

"Nothing, so..." he said then, "is it okay if I use your bathroom?"

"Oh, sure, right through there," I said pointing at the half open door that led into the bath Sammy and I shared, "just close the other door if it's open and latch it so Sammy doesn't barge in on you, like he does me," I laughed.

"Yeah, okay," Colt said, then he rose and disappeared into the bathroom.

I heard the other door close and what I thought was the sound of the latch being thrown, but I couldn't be sure. Anyway, Sammy was probably still downstairs with mom and dad.

Colt was gone about ten minutes, which I thought was an awfully long time for a piss, but then I thought maybe he had to go number two. However, I only heard one flush, though I did hear the water running in the sink for what seemed like a long time. Maybe he was washing up a bit. I mean, if he didn't have access to a shower, maybe he was taking advantage of having running water. That got me to thinking, and worrying again, and I even thought about asking him if he wanted to take a shower before dinner. No, I can not ask him that, I realized, He'd think I was crazy, or rude, or something, right?

My thoughts were interrupted by his return, and he blushed bright red when our eyes met. I looked away, then did some blushing of my own as I thought of my next words.

"So, do you want to play some video games, or watch a movie?"

"Well, I'm not that great at video games, and I'm really not in the mood for a movie, maybe we can just, you know? hang out."

"Sure, I think that sounds awesome," I said, hoping I wasn't sounding too lame, "so, go Trojans!" I said, and we both laughed.

We did talk then, mostly about school, and I got the impression that he genuinely liked school. He was apparently very bright, that fact confirmed by what Mrs. Sanders had said about his being a good student. But not only was he smart, he was a really nice guy, and the fact that he was gorgeous and sexy as hell didn't hurt either. That brought up another question: how could someone as special as Colt not have a dozen friends and be the most popular boy in school?

I was pondering that, and other questions when Sammy came to get us for dinner, and I decided they could wait for another day.

Dinner was always a noisy and pleasant affair at our house. It was one of my favorite times of the day, where we'd gather as a family and share our joys and sorrows, and gain strength and inspiration from each other. I guess you could say, every meal was a thanksgiving for us, because we had so much to be thankful for.

"Colt, how do you like the meatballs?" My mom asked, avoiding any questions that might seem intrusive.

"They're really good," Colt said, wiping spaghetti sauce off his chin, "they taste...extra spicy, what do you use in them?"

"A little ground red pepper," mom said, "it gives them a little twang, is it too spicy?"

"Oh, no ma'am, they're just fine. I just never tasted any meatballs this delicious before. The ones you buy in the store are kind of blah."

"I use half ground beef, half ground pork..." mom said, but I stopped her.

"Mom, he doesn't need the recipe," I laughed.

"Maybe he does," she said, sticking out her tongue, "how do you know Colt isn't a culinary genius?"

Colt laughed at our banter, and I think at that moment he felt truly at home with my crazy family.

Dessert was more of the cupcakes we'd had for our snack, but this time we had ice cream with them. I don't know about Colt, but I was stuffed by the time we pushed away from the table. As always, Sammy and I started clearing, and Colt quickly jumped in to help. Before long we had the dishes in the dishwasher and the table and counters wiped down while mom stored the leftovers.

"That was a delicious meal, Mrs. Caldwell," Colt said once again, "thanks for having me over and all, but I really need to get going."

"Can I drive you home, son?" my dad asked then.

"Uh, no sir, it's not that far, and I could really use the exercise, especially after eating so much," he laughed nervously.

Dad didn't press him, and neither did I as I walked him to the door. I stepped outside with him, and we stood on the sidewalk leading up to the porch, then just stared up at the sky, the stars, and the quarter moon for awhile.

"I wish..." I said, then trailed off.

"What?" he said, sounding curious, perhaps hopeful.

"Nothing," I sighed, "I don't want you to think I'm loony or lame, or anything..."'

"I would never think that," Colt said touching my arm, as I had his earlier, "tell me."

"I just, I wish you could stay longer, or all night, or forever," I said, then blushed bright red. Now he was going to think I was a nut case for sure.

He chuckled, "Well, I offered to become your brother, what more can I do?"

I laughed then too, and I felt relieved enough to venture a bit more truth, "I don't know if you know this, or if maybe you kind of figured it out already, folks know, and my friends know. I, well, I, umm, I, you see..."

"You're gay?" Colt finished for me, "I sort of got that vibe," he chuckled.

"What was the giveaway, my room, my clinging, or maybe the way I drool every time I look your way?" I teased.

"Nah, it's just, know what they say? It takes one to know one."

"What? Oh, OH!" I said, finally getting what he was saying, "you mean...?"

"Yep, certified queer," he said grinning.

"Wow, I mean, that's great, or not, depending on how you feel about it..." I stammered.

"I'm fine with it, my mom, not so much..."

"I'm sorry to hear that," I said frowning, "my folks have been super supportive ever since I came out to them, Sammy too."

"Yeah, I can imagine. They're really nice, and I can see they love both you guys a lot. It's not surprising to know they support you in this."

"So, umm, I'm sorry if this comes out wrong, but...what did your mom do when you first told her?"

"She got drunk," Colt said, sounding a little sad, but a little angry as well.

"Does she do that a lot?" I asked, then winced, hoping he took no offense from the question.

"Nah, well...what's a lot?" he laughed nervously, "hey, I really gotta go," he said, obviously done answering questions for the night.

"How about I walk you to the end of the block?" I suggested, our house was almost smack in the middle of our block of ten homes, so no matter which way he went, I'd be able to spend more time with him.

He laughed, "Are you that attached to me already?"

"I'm sorry," I said blushing and feeling tears fill my eyes.

"No, no, don't get upset. I didn't mean anything bad by that. I...I kinda like the idea that someone feels that way about me, even if it is a lost cause."

"Why is it a lost cause?" I said, wiping a stray tear from my cheek.

"Nothing, never mind. I'll let you walk with me on one condition," he said taking my hand and surprising the heck out of me.

"Anything, if it means I can hold your hand the whole way," I said grinning.

"Okay, we can hold hands, but no more questions, okay?"

"Deal," I said happily, and we started off, hand in hand toward Oak street.

Just because I couldn't ask questions didn't mean I had to be quiet though, "Is it okay if I tell you how much I like your green eyes?" I said grinning.

"Sure, go on..." he teased.

"And your lips, very kissable looking."


"Oh, well...your cheeks look soft..." I said blushing, and he laughed.

"Which ones?"

"Oh," I got the joke then and laughed as well, "both, I guess, but I was talking about these," I said reaching up to caress his face, and guess what? his cheek was very soft.

"I could really learn to like that, Blake," Colt said softly, "being adored by someone as cute and sexy as you."

"You think I'm cute...and sexy?" I said blushing.

"Yes, I've always thought so," he said, causing me to do a double-take.

"What, uh, do you mean, always?" Have you noticed me before?"

"Damn, I didn't mean to say that," he sighed, "but yeah, I watched you play football last season, and I...I sorta had a crush on you. When I saw you at the mission I was hoping you didn't recognize me at first, then...I was praying you did."

"Colt," I said pulling him to a halt and taking both his hands in mine, "why didn't you ever approach me, talk to me, something?"

"I dunno," he said sounding shy now, "you and I don't exactly come from the same world. I mean, look at you, you have a nice family, a nice house, stuff that I'll never have..."

"Colt, what does all that matter? I'm just a person like you. It's a little unfair to judge me by what I have. Besides, it's not even my stuff, it's my parents, and I have no control over our social or economic standing."

"I know, but...most boys in your situation would just snub their noses at someone like me."

"Well, that's not me. You've seen how my parents are, and I guess some of that good has rubbed off on me. I don't give a darn about whether someone has money or things, what I care about is how that person is inside, and Colt, you're darn near perfect in that area. You're smart, kind, loving, and sexy as hell to boot," I added grinning, "and I'd be proud to call you boyfriend, but if all we can be is friends, well...that's fine too."

"Boyfriends?" he said sounding gobsmacked (there's that great word again). "Whoa, slow down," he laughed nervously, "let's work on the friend thing first, okay?"

"Sorry," I said meekly, "I tend to be impulsive at times, "being friends is cool."

We resumed walking then, and I would occasionally glance at Colt, his beautiful face illuminated by the pale moonlight, while his emerald eyes seemed to glow. He was so absolutely perfect that just looking at him nearly took my breath away.

Too soon, we reached the end of the block and it was time to say goodbye. I felt like crying as I stood there, still holding his hand as I stared into those lovely eyes and begged him to stay a bit longer with my own blue ones.

"Well, this is my stop," he joked, "I guess I'll see you Monday."

"Okay. Wait, what? Monday, can't we get together sooner, like tomorrow, or Sunday?" I begged.

He laughed, "I guess, I'm not doing anything tomorrow. What if we went to the Mall? It's not that far, and if we go through the neighborhood we only have to cross one major street, Penn."

"That sounds great, how about we meet somewhere in between your place and mine and we can walk there together and have lunch, my treat?"

"You don't have to keep feeding me," he said frowning.

"I don't mind. Hey, I gotta eat too, it's not like I'm just feeding you. Come on, let me pamper you while I can."

"Well, okay, but nothing fancy. five dollar max, okay?"

I laughed, happy I'd gotten my way, but either Colt knew nothing of mall food court prices, or... he was only gonna have a soda. I'd deal with that when the time came, however, I'd order the food and pay for it and he'd damn well better eat it. Man, I couldn't wait for tomorrow.

"Well, goodnight," I said, feeling a bit awkward now. Did I dare hug him, kiss him, even if only on the cheek?

Fortunately, he made the decision for me, taking both my hands in his, he pulled me close and kissed me, right on the lips, and oh man, oh man, my legs turned to rubber. I don't care that the kiss only lasted two seconds, and that there was no tongue or spit involved, it was still the single most exciting thing to ever happen to this 14 year old virgin.

I was reeling so hard I could barely speak, but eventually I managed to squeak out a goodnight, then before he could get away, I pulled him into a tight hug. He hugged back for a moment, then gently pulled away, then practically fled down Oak Street.

I watched as he disappeared, his figure growing smaller with each step, reliving that kiss, a huge smile on my face. Now, if I could only speed up the clock so it would be time to meet Colt tomorrow and walk with him to the mall.

I started home then, a spring in my step, a song in my heart, the moonlight guiding my way as I practically skipped along.

I slept well, but around 8 a.m. I awoke needing to pee, and afterwards instead of returning to bed as I usually do, I got dressed and wandered downstairs.

"Well, you're up early," dad said from the dining table where he was sipping a cup of coffee.

"Did you sleep well, honey?" mom asked from the kitchen.

"Yeah, I slept just fine," I said giving them a goofy grin.

"Oh, no, what's that look?" mom teased, "is that the look of a love-struck teen boy?"

"Maybe," I said grinning, "we're going to meet today and go to the mall and have lunch," I informed them, beaming with my news.

"Well, sport, you certainly seem to have tamed that boy quickly," dad chuckled, "any new insights into his situation?"

"Well, I casually asked him a few questions," I said as I fixed myself a bowl of cereal, "but he got kind of upset, so...I had to back off. I did find out one very interesting fact, though."

I waited till I had poured my milk and sat down with my cereal before I finished, mom and dad's eyes on me the whole time. Were they holding their breath? I laughed to myself, I loved being theatrical when I spoke.

"And..." dad finally asked, giving in first.

"He's gay," I said bluntly, "and...apparently his mom isn't too crazy about that little factoid."

"Oh, dear," this from mom, "do you think she kicked him out of their home because of that?"

"I don't know, for some reason I get the feeling that his mom is still a part of his life. Maybe they're homeless together. Mrs. Sanders said they had a red mini-van, maybe they're living in that, somewhere."

"Hmm, he couldn't be too far away if he walks to school," dad mused, "where are you meeting him today?"

"At the corner of Kingston and Oak, then...we'll cross Penn and walk a block and we're there."

"Okay, so he must not be staying too far from there if he's agreed to meet you there. Either that or he's getting a ride."

"I don't think he's getting a ride. I think he's walking," I said before turning my cereal bowl up and drinking the icky sweet milk left behind after I'd gobbled down the cereal.

"What time are you meeting?" dad asked looking thoughtful.

"11:30, why?"

"Well, I was just thinking, if I happened to be driving around in that area say, around 11, maybe I might accidentally spot him and be able to backtrack to where he's staying."

"Isn't that kind of risky?" I said frowning, "what if he spots you and recognizes you and then just bails on me. No, dad...I'd prefer that you not do that. Please, let me see what I can find out first, okay?"

"I think Blake is right, honey," mom agreed, "we don't want to destroy the trust we've built up with him so far and scare him off."

"Okay, you're both probably right," dad sighed, "it was just a thought."

"Cool," I said as I hopped up to rinse my bowl out before placing it in the dishwasher, "hey, where's Sammy, still sleeping?"

"Yes, you know how lazy he is on the weekend," mom chuckled, "but if you want to go wake him, I'm sure he won't mind as long as it's you doing the waking."

"I'm gonna go poop and take a shower first," I said candidly, "then I'll check on him."

"Thanks for the news bulletin," dad laughed, "at least you can go, some of us need help from time to time."

"Eat more fruit..." mom said as I hurried away, not wishing to hear mom's lecture about fruit and fiber again.

I'd just finished my shower and was still drying off when Sammy knocked on the door leading from his room, and I called for him to enter. I'd latched the door while I pooped, but unlatched it once I'd finished because I had no problem with Sammy seeing me naked, just not on the pot.

"Hey, little bro," ready to face the world yet?"

"Soon as I pee," he said sounding sleepy as he walked over to the toilet and pulled his stiffy out of his briefs and let loose, "ahhh, that feels better," he sighed as the piss began hitting the toilet almost violently.

"Man, you really did need to go, didn't you?" I chuckled.

"Yeah," he said, finally finishing and shaking the last few drops off, "Hey, I was wondering, want to go to the park with me today?"

"Aww, buddy, I made plans to go to the mall with Colt and have lunch, how about tomorrow? I'm free tomorrow."

"Sure," he said flushing the toilet, "you really like Colt, don't you?"

"Yes," I said as I wrapped my towel around my middle and gave my little bro a hug, "between you and me, I think I might be in love with him."

"Oh," Sammy said softly, but I couldn't read the look on his face, "that's nice. Does he like you too?"

"I think so," I said whispering conspiratorially, "he kissed me last night."

"Oh, wow, that's...amazing," Sammy said, sounding a little more enthusiastic now, "what was that like?"

"Ohmigod, it was epic! Probably the most awesome thing I've ever felt. His lips were so soft, and he's such a good kisser," I swooned.

"So...boys kiss too," he stated, though of course we both knew that, he seemed to be weighing that fact as if it was something alien, "I wonder if girls kiss girls too?"

"Oh yeah, all the time, even the ones who are just friends. Girls are much more affectionate than most boys. But of course us gay boys are pretty affectionate too," I chuckled.

"I better go get dressed," Sammy said after washing his hands and face, "did you already eat?'

"Yep, had some cereal. I'm saving room for lunch, we're going to eat at the food court at the mall."

"That's nice," Sammy said giving me a toned down version of his usual sunny smile.

"Hey, what's wrong? You're not upset because I'm going to meet Colt and can't go to the park with you, are you?"

"No, no way," Sammy said quickly, but I was pretty sure I was right in assuming that.

"Look, you're my bro, and I'll always have time for you, but this is important to me, okay? We're still trying to figure out what's going on with Colt and how to help him, but in the process I sort of developed this huge crush on him. Someday you'll understand better, when you start crushing on some cute little girl," I teased as I tickled him slightly, causing him to giggle. God, I loved my little bro's laugh.

"What if it's not a girl," Sammy said, then he looked nervous and pulled away, "I gotta go."

"Wait, Sammy, bro, hold up. Let's talk about this, okay? I got plenty of time. Let me get dressed and I'll come to your room, okay?"

He nodded, then ran into his room, shutting the door behind him. I'd planned on spending some time picking out what to wear, but decided that could wait and just slipped on some boxer briefs, a pair of baggy shorts and a tee for now.

I knocked softly on Sammy's door and when he told me to come in, I found him sitting on his bed looking nervous and as if he'd been crying. I sat down beside him and placed an arm around him, and he leaned into me and I buried my face in his clean smelling hair. God, how I loved this little guy, and as I sat there tears stung my eyes when I thought about how fortunate we were to have him in our lives.

"So, you know mom and dad, and me...are cool with you liking boys, or girls, or both, right?"

He nodded, "But mom and dad want grandchildren," Sammy said, looking up at me with his big dark eyes, tears glistening in them as he spoke.

"You can't base your life on what other people want, not even what mom and dad want. They understand, believe me, we've had this discussion. If, and when I ever find a partner and get married, I want to have kids. Now, I know that sounds impossible," I chuckled, "but believe me, there are ways. Do you know what a surrogate mother is?"

He shook his head and I explained how some gay, and some straight people basically rented a woman's uterus to create a baby using the man's sperm. He seemed confused at first, but I knew he'd had the talk and had a basic understanding of how babies were made, and he soon caught on.

"Oh, like pay the woman to have a baby? I see," he said wiping at his tears and looking more relaxed now.

"And there's adoption too. These days two same sex parents can adopt kids, and that's actually a very good alternative, cause there are so many kids who need good homes. You can sort of pick and choose too, get one the age you want, one that's already potty trained," I joked.

"Yeah, he said, so...I could still have kids, even if I turned out gay?"

"Sure, don't let that be a determining factor. Why do you think you like boys all of a sudden, is there someone special at school that you like?"

"Not really, I mean...there are a couple nice boys I like, but not that way. I just don't like girls all that much right now, except as friends."

"Well, that could change," I offered, "but if not, it's no big deal. Just be who you are and we'll love you no matter what," I said hugging him again.

"Thanks," he said leaning in to kiss me on the cheek, "I love you, Blake."

"I love you too, little bro," I said kissing him on the cheek as well, then surprising him by adding a quick kiss on the lips, "didn't expect that, did ya?" I chuckled.

"No, that was totally unexpected," he laughed, "hey, that was my first real kiss," he giggled, "too bad it was with my brother," he added cracking up.

"Maybe I'll get Colt to kiss you. How would you like that?"

"Just fine," Sammy said grinning, "he's really cute."

"He sure is, little bro, he sure is. Well, gotta go pick out something to wear for my date, catchya later, bro," I said hopping up.

"Okay, thanks," Sammy said gazing up at me with that smile that had been missing earlier, "have fun."

"You bet," I said heading to my room.

For the next thirty minutes I dragged every single shirt and pair of pants out of my closet as I looked for just the right combination to wear to the mall. Then suddenly I realized just how silly I was being. Colt didn't care what I would be wearing anymore than I'd care what he was wearing. Wasn't it me who had said, it was what was on the inside that counted? Well, then why was I being so superficial? With that I grabbed up the first thing I'd picked out, black jeans and a blue jersey with my favorite football team logo on it.

I spent a good half hour in the bathroom after I got dressed, brushing my teeth, gargling with mouthwash, then styling my hair just right. I didn't count that as being superficial, because I was always very conscientious of my looks and hygiene, that was just one of my character traits, and it wasn't a bad one, so I wasn't about to change it.

At eleven, I said goodbye to my parents, and Sammy walked me to the corner, where we hugged and said goodbye. As I walked away, I suddenly wondered if Sammy had walked with me hoping I'd invite him to go along, but I knew he'd never ask. It wouldn't have been a big deal, I supposed, but I did think that Colt might open up to me more about his life if it was just us two.

I turned once to see what Sammy was doing, and was happy to see he was talking to Ray, a kid his age, who lived just two houses down from us. Hopefully Ray would keep Sammy entertained till I got home, and the two of us could spend some time together after dinner.

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