My Boyfriend

by Victor Thomas

Chapter 9

I was nervous about picking up Laura at her house again. After the ordeal with her mother the last time, I wanted to avoid it if at all possible. I just knew Katie would be waiting for me again. I lucked out tonight when her little brother answered the door. He invited me in and we talked for a few minutes until Laura finally came down the stairs. I managed to dodge a bullet tonight, but I knew I wouldn't always have such luck.

We beat a hasty retreat out the front door and out to the car, where Brian and Charmain were waiting in the back seat. I opened the door for her and then climbed into the driver's seat and we took off for the theater in Joplin.

We bought our tickets and walked in just as the previews were starting. We would have been there in plenty of time if we didn't have to wait on the girls. Why couldn't they be ready on time? That's another thing I liked about guys; they were always ready. No one ever had to wait on a guy while he fixed his hair or changed outfits. I wondered how my friends could stand dating girls. It was such a chore.

Of course, not all girls are like that. The female tendency to be late was a stereotype, and I hated stereotypes, mainly because most of them were such crap. From what I've heard, and seen on TV and in the movies, a lot of gay guys are the same way, always messing with their hair and having to wear the latest fashions. They're usually portrayed as effeminate sissies, and while that's probably true for some, it's not for the vast majority of gays. Guys like that actually turn me off, no matter how cute they are otherwise. Stereotypes were dangerous too, maybe because they were so easy to believe. Laure and Charmain were late, so I immediately bought into the 'girls are always late' stereotype. No wonder others fell for them so easily. I just wished both girls didn't fit that particular cliché. Why couldn't I have hooked up with a girl who could be on time?

It was so dark I couldn't see a thing in the theater. Finally, my eyes adjusted enough that I could find us some seats without the risk of sitting on someone. We ended up sitting near the back; Charmain, Brian, me, and Laura. I was happy about the seating arrangements. I was afraid that the girls would sit in the middle and I'd be separated from him, but luckily it didn't happen. When the picture started, I put my arm around Laura, then pretty much ignored her. I did give her a little squeeze now and then, but my mind was elsewhere. I get pretty much wrapped up in movies, especially if there's enough action, but Brian was what really drew my attention away from Laura. She didn't seem to mind, or even notice. One thing I'd learned about her was that she was a major movie buff. She watched everything. I was thrilled she was so into the picture; I could steal a few looks at Brian without her wondering what the hell was going on. She seemed content as long as my arm was snugly around her.

I wished that Brian and I were alone. I couldn't help but think of Charmain and Laura as unwanted intruders. In my mind, I was on a date with him and we were saddled with two girls. It sucked. Dating a girl was a lot of work. I had to keep thinking about saying all the right things to her, and concentrate on doing all the right things as well. I wanted to make sure she had a good time, but with him there, my mind wasn't really on my 'girl.' I wished for the hundredth time that me and him could be open about our relationship. Why couldn't I put my arm around him the way I did her? Sure, I could do it, but there'd be hell to pay. A guy could put his arm around a girl without anyone thinking a thing about it. He could even make out with her. If I tried anything like that with him, we'd both get our asses kicked in the parking lot, and be forever marked as perverts. Life wasn't fair. I wished we didn't have to sneak around like we were doing something wrong, when there wasn't a damn thing wrong with what we were doing. Why did everything have to be so hard?

I was keenly aware of him beside me. Even when I was really into the movie, I could still feel his presence. I was aware of his every movement; I could catch the scent of his cologne and sometimes hear his breath. I was attuned to all those little things that most people ignore. His arm was on the arm rest between us. I stretched out my forearm against his. That mere touch was more exciting than anything that was going on up on the screen. He pressed his forearm against mine. I reached out in the darkness and interlaced my fingers with his. Holding his hand filled me with a contentment and warmth that's hard to describe; it was one of those things that I wished I could keep doing forever and ever. If I could have, I would've frozen time and just sit there holding his hand for all eternity.

It was so dark in there no one could tell what we were doing. Laura or Charmain could've noticed, but they were both too wrapped up in the film. Charmain probably wouldn't have been bothered since she knew about Brian and had agreed to give him cover. Brian had told me that she was a lesbian, so I guess they were covering for each other.

The slight risk of discovery made it exciting. Him and I know well how danger highlighted such experiences. We didn't seek out risks, but sometimes we had to take it. I'd given him a quick hug now and then, when one of our friends was just around the corner, and he had kissed me a time or two when his parents were in the next room and could have walked in at any second. We didn't do such things often and took pains to avoid discovery, but the danger made what we were doing that much more intense.

When I touched him, it wasn't merely a physical sensation. I felt as if I were touching his soul. Whenever we made that connection, I felt like the two of us were one. That was when I was the most content, when I was with him. I felt like we were meant to be together. I felt that we were destined to be together forever.

We held hands for the rest of the movie. I had my arm around Laura and Brian had his around Charmain. To all the world, we looked like any other boys with their girls. No one suspected what was really going on. No one guessed our true nature. Yet again, I felt like a vampire, powerful and vulnerable, an extraordinary creature walking among mere mortals. We mingled among ordinary souls, living with the constant excitement and fear of discovery, and destruction. Each moment could be our last, and was therefore to be savored.

I had a wonderful time, and all because I was able to hold his hand. Nothing else mattered. Laura, Charmain, the movie, and all of those around us were without meaning, without consequences. They bore no importance in my life, left no imprint upon my existence. My whole world was the joy of holding his hand. Who could have thought that something so simple could bring so much pleasure?

It was too bad I couldn't have just taken her out now and then and be done with it. All that really mattered was being seen with a girl in public. I wished I could've hired an actress to play the part of my girlfriend. That would've made everything so much easier. We could've made a few appearances at dances, at movies, at ball games, and that would've been that. Unfortunately, she wasn't an actress, she was the real thing. I had to deal with the entire boyfriend/girlfriend situation, and it was far more time consuming than I'd ever dreamed. It involved a thousand details, all confusing, some bewildering, and many exasperating. It was tough, but if it meant that Brian and I could avoid being outed, then it was all worth it.

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