Starting Over

by Tony A

Chapter 3

I'm totally regretting this. I should probably explain. Yesterday I invited Cole (aka my new obsession) over to my house to work on our science project and he agreed. I thought this would be a great idea, but now we're sitting here, on my bed, a bit too close, and I can barely breathe. Cole is my biggest distraction, ever since yesterday afternoon when I got painfully hard just thinking about his lips. Now all I can think about is him, in compromising positions. It's like I opened up a Pandora's box that can never closed. I've never felt this way about anyone. Well maybe I have, but hell if I remember.

"Matt... Matt..." It's like someone was waking me up but I wasn't even asleep. I finally realized it was Cole who was saying my name. He was nudging my shoulder and looking concerned.

"Oh, what, yeah, sorry," I looked over at him bashfully.

"Did you hear what I was saying?"

"Um, yeah, something about the project, right?"

He crossed his arms over his chest and looked really upset and kind of sad for some reason. "Maybe this was a mistake," He says quietly as he starts picking up his books and putting them in his bag.

I immediately got up and stood in front of him stopping him from leaving. "Where are you going? What -- what did I do?" I said quickly, desperate for him to stay.

He looked hesitant, "Nothing. You haven't done anything. I'm just the idiot right now for thinking--" He looked sadly up at me, "Just forget it."

"No, tell me. Why do you think you're an idiot, which you're not by the way."

"I just thought you had changed, but you haven't, and that's fine. I was expecting too much and -- it's my fault. But don't worry I'll finish the project by myself," He stated as he inched towards the door.

I pulled him back by his arm, "Dude, I'm not a mind reader you gotta tell me what I did and why you're leaving out of nowhere, " I was trying to make eye contact but he was looking anywhere but at me.

"It's just, well, yesterday you started acting so out of character and I thought it was because of the accident, but I just took it in stride. Then you were offering to help with the project and you were being so nice and stuff. I don't know, I guess I got carried away or something. But now, you're all distracted and so uninterested in contributing to the project, which is what you used to always be like before. And you know what it's okay, I'm used to it. I'm fine with doing it on my own, really."

He was saying this with his head down as if he was talking to himself and trying to convince himself that he's actually okay. It was weirdly heartbreaking. I felt like I was letting down this kid that I've known for all of two days. But I guess I knew him before...

I didn't realize he could tell how distracted I'd been, but if he knew the real reason, I don't know if he'd be more mad or kind of happy. Hopefully the latter. I need to let him know that I'm not the same asshole he used to know.

"Look Cole, can you just sit back down and calm down," I think I said it with too much force because he looked shocked and kind of scared but he obeyed and sat back down on the bed. I made a hand gesture to sort of imply that I didn't mean it to sound so rude. "I'm sorry that didn't come out right. It's just, you're kind of confusing me on every level right now and when I get confused I can't handle it to well. It overwhelms me, I'm not sure if that's a side effect of the amnesia or if I've always been like that."

He looked sympathetic at my ramblings, "Okay, sorry," He said meekly.

"I know that I've been distracted but I've got a lot going on in this head of mind, you don't even realize. But I do want to help with this project, we're partners after all." He seemed to perk up when I said the word 'partners', I kind of shook my head when I saw his reaction then he looked shamed. "I mean -- I don't really know what I mean anymore. I'm sorry, my life is just kind of confusing right now." I sat down on the bed next to him and put my face in my hands. I can't believe I'm being so vulnerable in front of him.

Then I felt a hand on my shoulder and looked at his hand, then looked into Cole's eyes. "Maybe we should take a break from working on the project and just hang out. I've been told I'm a good listener, maybe you could unload your problems on me." He said with a genuine smile and sparkling eyes.

All I could think was 'that's not all I want to unload on you'. Being around him is starting to get hard, both figuratively and literally. I had to shake his hand off my shoulder before I get too excited. I think he took it as a rejection so I quickly responded, "Yeah you know what maybe I do need to talk to someone. And for some reason I feel I can trust you,"

He looked thoughtful, "Do you mind if I ask you something?" I gave him the 'go ahead' nod, "Well, yesterday you said that I seemed familiar and you thought that maybe I was your friend. Why did you say that?"

That's an easy answer, "Because you seemed familiar to me. I can't explain it further than that. I just saw you and this feeling of deja vu came over me, like I'd seen you in a dream. It sounds weird I know, but that's the only way to describe it."

He looked transfixed and dreamy eyed like what I had said really touched him. "I'm surprised. I never thought I was that significant to you. I thought you hardly noticed me, honestly."

I looked at him and just stared for a second, "I don't really know either, could you give me a clue as to what our relationship used to be?"

"Well, the only way I can describe it is... non-existent. We really only interacted with each other when we were paired up as lab partners in Chemistry. And even then you would basically ignore me."

"I just can't believe that,"

"No it's true--"

"No, no, I know you're telling the truth, but the way that I feel about you-- " Then I stopped abruptly and realized I might be revealing too much to him. After all, just because Kevin said that Cole was rumored to be gay, doesn't mean he actually is gay. Or even interested in me. I mean that would be arrogant of me to think that if he's gay then he'd have to be interested in me.

"Go on," Cole encouraged.


"Matt, please go on, I'm interested," He said with a certain inflection that implied he meant that in more than one way.

I instantly perked up, "As soon as I saw you I knew you were significant to me in some way. I don't know if I'll ever fully remember how I actually felt about you in the past. But I can tell that for me, there was something there," I said honestly. I felt like I was pouring out my heart to him and it was startling to me. I guess I never used to let out my emotions before.

"You said that you felt like you'd seen me in a dream, right?" Cole asked carefully.


He looked up and smiled, "I always wondered if anyone ever dreamt of me. I just never thought it would be you".

Turns out our 'break' was slightly longer than expected, like 2 hours long. We spent that time just talking, well more like me talking while Cole listened, since he doesn't talk much anyway. But really just getting to know each other. We seemed to inch closer and closer together the more we talked and it felt so natural, so comfortable. At one point I even touched his hand, well more like caressed it, and that might not seem like such a big deal but this is the most action I can remember getting so far.

But now we were a little bit past hand holding, because now our faces are getting closer, and we're not talking anymore, and Cole looks shy but open, while I'm getting so close to his face that I can see every little detail. Then 'it' happened. The thing I'd been fantasizing about. Cole's soft lips touched mine and we kissed. Then we parted and looked at each other with uncertainty, and just as I was about to move back in to do it again I heard a voice call 'Matt' and then right after Kevin walks through the door looking stunned.

Cole instantly jumped off the bed as if he'd been electrocuted. I don't know why he was worrying so much, because when Kevin walked in all it looked like was two guys sitting next to each other on a bed, but that's all.

Kevin looked bewildered and looked from me and then to Cole and gave Cole a scolding look as if to say 'you should know better'.

All it took was for Kevin to say, "What's going on?" And Cole was quickly gathering his things while muttering something and practically sprinting out the door, before I could say goodbye. That happened to us before, not getting to say goodbye because of Kevin.

"Kevin, what are you doing here?" I said sternly, with a huff.

"No, you don't get to put this on me. You're in the wrong right now. So, explain to me what the fuck he was doing here, in your room".

I stood up to look at him face to face and try to intimidate him as much as he was intimidating me. Kevin wasn't giving off the best vibes right now.

"I was working on a project with my lab partner Cole".

He put his hands up in a defeated gesture and sat down on my bed. "I think you might actually be going insane," He looked at me solemnly, "You 'never' would have done this before, never".

I played innocent, "What would I 'never' do? Work on a project?"

"Don't do that. I know you're not retarded so don't act like it. I mean you would never associate with that-- that kid Cole. You told me, before the accident, that you had to do this project and you had to work with -- and I quote, 'this fucking fairy'. 'You' said that. You told me that you and him had an agreement that he would do all the work and then he would put your name on it at the end. You told me it was a piece of cake and left it at that. So explain to me what the fuck you're doing." Kevin said all of this with a cold and callous demeanor and quiet voice as if he was holding back his anger.

Believe it or not, I was a little bit scared and I wasn't quite sure why. "Kevin, I've changed. Obviously everyone can tell, but I have changed, just in case you hadn't noticed. I'm clearly not the same guy that I used to be and I don't know if I can ever be that guy again. I don't even know if I'd want to be that guy again".

He looked at me dumbfounded and then just stared at me like he was just seeing me for the first time.

I sat down next to him and spoke calmly, "I know this is hard for you, believe me I know because it's hard for me to live in this life--"

"This is your life! Yours! How can you not remember any of it!" He exclaimed in a frustrated tone.

That startled me but I continued, "I'm sorry to disappoint you but I'm not that guy anymore. I don't know who I am but I don't think I'm 'him' anymore," I said sadly.

"Well that guy was my best friend," Kevin said with so much sadness it kind of hurt.

"I'm sorry Kev," was all I could muster.

Then he got up, without looking at me and left.

I was sitting on my bed just contemplating the craziness that had just happened in the past hour. Me and Cole kissing, Kevin barging in, Cole leaving frantically, Kevin yelling at me, and me not knowing if I have a best friend anymore. Or if I even have a -- a Cole anymore. I was starting to feel sorry for myself when there was a knock on my door. I just wanted to be alone, is that too much to ask.

"Who is it," I asked sharply.

No one answered so I quickly stomped to the door and opened it. I was surprised to see who is was standing there, looking scared. It was my sister.

"Christine? What do you want?" I asked slowly.

"I overheard you and Kevin yelling and I just wanted to know if you were okay". Wow, my brat of a sister is actually concerned.

"Come in," was all I said as I turned around and sat on my bed and she followed suit.

"I didn't mean to be nosy or anything, but our rooms are connected by a thin wall so I heard a lot. It seemed serious because you and Kevin usually never fight."

"Yeah, well there's a lot of things I never did before that I seem to be doing now". I stated with a sigh.

She looked at me sympathetically, "I'm sorry," She saw my confused face and continued, "For doubting your... impairment."

"Thanks. And thanks for calling it an impairment and not an injury,"

She laughed, "You know we never used to talk like this. We didn't get along that well in the past. Mainly because you were an asshole," She remarked with a smile.

"And because you were a brat," I smiled. This was nice, I feel like my sister is the only stable and definite relationship I have right now.

"Do you wanna fill me in on what's going on, since we're getting along so well".

"Um, It's kind of complicated,"

"I'm a teenage girl, I understand complicated".

"Well, Kevin's mad at me because I'm acting different and helping Cole out with this project and Cole is 'rumored' to be gay. So that's why I never hung out with him before, or something like that. And Kevin is pressuring me to be more like the 'old Matt'. And it's all very confusing because I really like Cole and he's so familiar to me." I said quickly, barely able to get out the whole explanation.

She looked at me as if I just spoke Greek, "Okay slow down, first off, who is Cole?"

"Cole Blume, my lab partner, have I seriously never mentioned him?"

"We never talked much, remember. Well of course you don't remember but, okay. So you like Cole," Then she got a gleam in her eye, "Do you 'like' like Cole?"

I felt my face flush, "I don't know, maybe,"

She looked so happy, "Oh my gosh, I'm so excited! I have a gay brother." Then she hugged me tightly.

I quickly pushed her off of me, "I never said I was gay".

"If you have a crush on a boy and you're a boy, that makes you gay. Oh, this is going to be so much fun," She looked like she was already scheming up plans.

"Christine calm down. I don't really know if I'm gay. I barely know myself. How could I know if I'm gay. Also, I still have this complicated relationship with Ava--"

"Oh, Ava Luciani. I hate that bitch," She rolled her eyes.

"Hey! I don't have the best feelings towards her right now either, but she is still my girlfriend -- thing, kind of. I don't know," I said pathetically.

"Well how do you feel about Cole?"

I thought for a second, "I just really like him". I stated simply.

I just hope that after all the things that happened today he'll still like me too.

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