My Best Friend

by Victor Thomas

Chapter 13

"Are you mad at me?" asked Todd.

I could hear the strain in his voice over the phone. I'd just gotten home when he called on Saturday night. It had been days since the barbecue and I'd barely spoken to him in all that time.

"No, I'm not mad."

Silence. There was awkwardness between us that hadn't been there before.

"Um, you want to do something tomorrow?" he asked.

"I can't. Dad needs me to help him tomorrow."

I hated lying to him, but I just didn't want to see him. I just couldn't, not alone, not yet.

"You sure you aren't mad? You sound mad."

"No. I'm not, really. What would I have to be mad about?"

"I don't know."

"Well, there, see, there's nothing for me to be mad about, so I can't be mad. I'm just busy. Uh, we can do something next weekend, okay?"

"Okay. Well, I gotta go."

"Bye, Todd."

I felt empty as I put down the receiver. His voice sounded dead. I had half a mind to call him back up and tell him we could do something the next day after all, but I thought better of it. I had a few things to sort out before I saw him again. There was so much going through my mind that I didn't know how to act around him anymore. I just needed time to think. I'd had a few days already, but it just wasn't enough. I needed more time.

Allison was another one that I wanted to avoid. Talk about not knowing how to act around someone. The last time we'd been together, we'd had sex; sex that she thought was awesome, sex that utterly repulsed me. I didn't want to touch her again. The mere thought of kissing her made me gag. Now that I'd had her, I knew she was not what I wanted, not at all. I didn't want her, or any other girl. Sex with a girl disgusted me. I couldn't help but think that the whole world was turned upside down. Most people seemed to think that sex between two guys was disgusting. I thought that sex between a guy and a girl was gross. To each his own, I guess. At least I knew what was right for me. If only it weren't such a long, hard road.

At school on Monday, I endured Allison's kiss on my cheek yet again. Ever since our night together, she'd kissed me whenever our paths crossed. I had to fight to keep from shrinking away in disgust. It wasn't so bad on the cheek, but when she slipped her tongue in my mouth it almost made me retch. At least I was safe from that at school.

I concentrated on being kind and attentive. Despite how I felt about it, we'd slept together and that came with certain obligations. I knew I couldn't keep going out with her, but it was not the time to breakup with her. It just wasn't right to have sex with her, and then dump her. It was only with supreme effort that I was able to pretend I even liked her. I knew none of what had happened was really her fault, but I still felt anger toward her. I hid it as best I could.

I'd gone out with her the night before. It was unavoidable. I made sure that there wasn't the slightest opportunity for sex. We went to a movie, we ate out, and then I took her home. She suggested a nice quite walk, but I knew that walk would end up with us naked on the grass. I didn't want any part of it, so I lied about having to be home. I'd been doing a lot of lying sine I found out I was gay. My whole life had become a lie.

I think she sensed that there was something wrong. She created opportunities for me to kiss her that I ignored. She set up situations that would have allowed us to be alone and I sabotaged them. I was doing the exact opposite of what most boys my age would've been doing. If any of my friends had such a willing girl, they'd have been falling all over themselves to be alone with her.

The pressure was building and I was ready to snap. There was just too much going on for me to bear. Something had to give. The whole thing with Allison and Todd was enough to make me crazy.

For the first time in more than a week, I arrived for gym at my normal time. Todd looked at me in the locker room like he was gazing at someone he didn't know. My recent behavior toward him had him baffled. I didn't have to fake anything with him the way I did with Allison, but it was still awkward. Admitting to myself that I loved him made me look at him in a whole new way. I just didn't know how to react around him. When we talked, it just wasn't the same.

I was done with avoiding him, however. I just couldn't keep it up. I'd just have to get through it all somehow. It was hard, very hard. He pulled off his shirt and I felt my dick begin to throb. I seemed to have no control over my own body. I looked at him with love and desire in my eyes. Watching him undress made my heart race and made me feel funny all over. That had happened many times before, but now that I knew just what it meant, it was a hundred timed more intense. My eyes were glued to him as he slipped out of his jeans and boxers. I was practically drooling.

I tore my eyes away from him. What was I doing? Was I crazy? I was doing exactly what I'd been trying not to do. All those days of avoiding him were to keep me from ogling him, and there I was, back at it the very first thing. I was out of control. I looked around the locker room, paranoid, but no one seemed to notice.

I was edgy. I half expected someone to jump up and point an accusing finger at me. It wasn't something I just felt in the locker room either. I felt it everywhere. I felt like I was waiting to be struck by lightning. It wasn't a feeling I needed. I had plenty to deal with without the worry of someone accusing me of being a fag.

I sat down at lunch that day with a great cloud of worry hanging over my head. Todd sat across from me. It was the first time I'd sat so near him in days. In a crowd, I felt more at ease with him and things were more like they were before. Brendan sat by us, as did Robert. Those two were always together. There were reasons for that; they were both seniors and played on the football team, but there seemed to be something more there, however, at least it seemed that way to me. I almost felt that they looked at each other the way I looked at Todd, but that was crazy. Still, there was something between them. Maybe it was just friendship. I suspect more, but I also suspected I was seeing more than was there. Just because I looked at other guys like that, didn't mean that every guy was doing it. The whole world was definitely not gay.

One thing was for sure, if those two were gay, I could certainly understand the attraction. Owning up to what I was allowed me to really look around and admire the young boys around me. Both Brendan and Robert were hot! Brendon was a jock; all firm muscle and he was handsome as hell. Robert had a softer, more sensual look. He was very cute. If I hadn't been so in love with Todd, I'd have fallen for him in a minute; Brendan too for that matter. Todd was the one I loved, however, and that made him more attractive to me than any other guy.

I looked at Todd across the table. He was chewing on some macaroni and cheese. His lips were full, his mouth beautifully shaped. I almost got lost in his face, noting all the little details that I'd forced myself to ignore before. I was so in love with him. How was it possible that I'd been able to lie to myself about that for so very long? I felt like my heart would burst. My feelings for him were that strong. I yearned to reach across the table, take his hands, and tell him how much I loved him in front of everyone. I felt a sob forming in my throat. I knew that was a dream that would never come true. I looked at Brendan and Robert again. If they were more than friends… if they were in love, I hoped they were able to express it, for I was not.

I met Todd after school for the first time since I'd started avoiding him. He was as easy going as ever, and his familiar ways helped put me at ease. It felt like old times. I knew that things would never be as they used to be, but maybe I could handle being in love with him. Still, it was hard on me. I dreamed of holding hands, walks in the moonlight, soft kisses, and so much more. It was hard being so near him when what I really wanted was to hold him in my arms. He was kind of like some precious treasure in a museum. I could look but not touch.

Oh, how I wanted to touch. I ached to just hold him close. I yearned to nuzzle my nose against his neck and feel his warm breath upon me. If only he could love me as I loved him. Part of me wanted to throw caution to the wind and just tell him how I felt. My mind crushed that idea as soon as it formed, however. Such a risk was stupid. Not only would it not get me what I wanted, it would destroy the friendship I had with him. Better to be friends and enjoy his company, than to have nothing at all. I couldn't bear the thought of being without him. I grew sad and it darkened my features. Before I slipped too low, I forced my thoughts in other directions.

"Uh, you want to do something tomorrow night?" I asked.

It was time to stop putting my life on hold and to quit avoiding my best friend. I had no idea how to handle our time alone together, but I couldn't hide from him forever. Trying to do that would just hurt us both.

"I figured you'd be taking Allison somewhere tomorrow night," he said.

"Damn, I forgot all about her," I said. "Maybe you can find yourself a girl and we can all go out to a movie or something. Like that's ever going to happen."

I laughed a little, but not too hard. Poor Todd was forever trying to find himself a girlfriend but always managed to strike out. I don't see how any girl could not want to go out with him, but maybe that's just me.

He just looked at me sadly for a second and then he smiled again. "Maybe you can see if one of Allison's friends wants to go out with me," he suggested.

"I'll ask her when I see her later. But what about tonight? We can at least go to the Hornet's Nest or someplace after practice."

"Now that sounds like fun," he said. "It's a date then."

I paused at his choice of words. Oh, how I wished it was a date. It seemed that at least a little of my world was back to normal. I still felt the sting of unrequited love as I sat there with him. I still experienced the overwhelming sexual arousal. But we were talking again like close friends. That meant more to me than I'd ever guessed.

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