I woke up with a killer headache and my throat raw from what happened yesterday. I manage to roll out of bed and get dressed in some light blue jeans with some rips, a white t-shirt with the cuffs decorated with rainbows, and black Vans. I finish getting ready and make my way downstairs where my grandmother is sitting at the table with a cup of coffee and a book in her hand.
"Good morning, Gigi," I tell her, kissing the top of her head before going to the medicine cabinet to get some for my headache.
"Good morning, pumpkin. How'd you sleep?" She asked, setting down her book that seemed to be How To Kill A Mockingbird. Her and my grandfather are staying in the spare bedroom for a few days until their new house is officially theirs and they can move in.
"Fine, but I woke up with a bad headache," I said, taking two of the pills as she gets up to probably start on breakfast for the whole house.
"My poor baby," she said to me.
I picked up my phone and I saw that I have a text from Melissa because sometime yesterday, she had gotten my number and texted me when she got home. We texted a bit last night and I can see that she's really genuine and just really wants to be friends with me, but I honestly don't know if I can do that if she's going to be friends with Joey after what he did to me.
What happened between you and Joey? She texted me and I sigh, not wanting to get into it with her right now, so I put my phone in my pocket as Emilie was coming down the stairs. She was wearing black jeans, a white t-shirt with a denim jacket, and some Vans with her hair done up in a side braid.
“You look cute,” I tell her as I pour some of the coffee in the pot into a travel mug to help me wake up a bit on the drive to school. My parents come downstairs in their work clothes as Gigi keeps cooking. Once the food's done, Emilie and I rush to eat before saying bye to everyone and heading out the door for our second day of school.
“Who was that girl's name that you talked to in first block yesterday?” I asked my sister as I pull out of our driveway and waving at Dad who was walking out of the house as we were leaving.
“That's Amanda, she's new too, so she didn't have anyone else to talk to,” Emilie says and I can see a faint smile on her face, telling me that she might have made a good friend yesterday.
I keep quizzing her the entire way to school just so I could know how she's handling all of these crazy changes in such little time. Once we get to the school, we make our way through the parking lot and once we get inside, someone grabs me and pulls me to the side and Emilie gives me a confused look.
I look at Melissa who's staring at me and holding my arm before I look back at my sister. “Can you make it to class yourself?”
She looks around before nodding slightly. “I think so.”
Once she starts to walk in the way of her class, I see Amanda making her way over to her and she immediately perks up, making me feel a lot better about letting her go on her own. I look back at Melissa who is now inspecting my neck to look at the slight bruises. “Kade, I'm so sorry. I would've never left you alone with him if I knew he would do this.”
“Is there a real reason why he would do this?”
“What'd he say to you?” She asks and I'm immediately brought back to the moment that has really messed me up since then.
“He told me to not spread my gayness on him,” I say and she averts my eyes for a second, which tells me that she knows something that I don't.
“I'm so sorry, Cody already talked to him because I forced Joey to tell me what he was hiding because I knew he did something. I just didn't think it would be this way,” she says, confusing the hell out of me because 'this way'? What the hell does that mean?
“Wait, what do you mean?” I ask and she averts my eyes again before grabbing my schedule that I was holding in my hand to find my first class of the day.
“We both have gym first, so let's go,” she says, linking arms with me before guiding me to where the gym is since I had absolutely no clue where anything was.
“Are you going to tell me what you meant?” I ask her.
“Probably not. So the first day of gym, they don't make you change or anything, they just go over everything and then have a game that's optional,” she tells me, making me roll my eyes because I want to know what she means because there's obviously a secret between her, Cody, and Joey that I don't know about.
"Good because the only game I play is foreplay," I told her and she immediately burst out laughing in the middle of the hallway.
Once she had calmed herself down, we made our way into the gym where we went and sat down on the red bleachers and I noticed that Joey and Cody also had this class when they walked in and sat with a group of guys that I didn't know. I was sitting with some of the dance girls and we all started a conversation about the routine that was happening this afternoon.
“Hey, how long have you been dancing?” Some girl who I think is named Tyler asked me.
Everyone looked over at me, immediately making my cheeks heat up with the attention. “Uh, I started when I was about nine because I didn't like any sports so my parents put me in dance. I did gymnastics the last three years to focus more on my flexibility to better my dancing.”
“Whoa, so you're definitely the most experienced out of all of us,” someone else said while everyone else looked a little admirable at my experience. I noticed that Coach Erixon was one of the gym teachers, which made me feel good to have a familiar face thrown into all of these new ones.
"We're your teachers for your senior year. This is Coach Erixon and I'm Coach Gordon. We are just going to go through safety and using the equipment and sports teams, then we will play an optional game," The man said.
We listened as the coaches talked until it was time to play the optional game of two-hand touch football and they announced that it was optional for everyone but football players just to get in some extra practice before the game on Friday.
Joey and Cody got off the bleachers and went to play, which surprised me because they never once mentioned football, even Cody, who surprisingly talks quite a bit once he gets comfortable with you.
"They're football players?" I asked Melissa, who nodded as she watched her boyfriend participate in the game that looked pretty competitive.
“Yeah, Joey was the quarterback last season until he stepped down at practice during the summer because of some personal stuff,” she told me.
Melissa and I started a conversation with the dance girls and Coach Erixon about the routine because a lot of them were very confused about some of it. While some girl named Kara was asking a question, Melissa hit my shoulder and pointed over to Joey, who was waving me over to the locker room.
I shook my head at him, definitely not wanting to be alone with him. “Hey, maybe he wants to apologize for everything that happened yesterday.”
I shook my head at Melissa. “I doubt it.”
“Just trust me, if anything goes wrong, I'll step in. I promise you,” she tells me and I looked down at her with her soft smile that was silently telling me to do it.
I sighed as I got up, making sure that neither of the coaches were watching me. I crossed my arms as Joey walked into the locker room to wait for me to join him. Even after all that happened yesterday, I was still majorly attracted to him. He was wearing some tight dark jeans, an orange t-shirt with a picture of some waves printed on it, and some Converse.
“This is so stupid,” I muttered to myself as I pushed the door open.
He stood against the wall with one foot pressed against it. As soon as the locker room door s**t behind me, he stood up fully and opened his mouth to say something but nothing left it. He averted my eyes and didn't try to talk again, so I went to leave, but he finally caught my attention.
“I like you,” he blurted out. I slowly turned around again to look at him and he was fidgeting with his hands while looking to the side.
"But you told me yesterday-" I started to say.
"Everything I said yesterday was complete bullshit, just forget that ever happened," he said, finally looking up to meet my eyes.
"Just forget it?" I asked, starting to feel that anger rise inside of my chest because everything he did to me yesterday isn't just something I could easily forget. It was very scary and something I've barely ever had to deal with, so having to deal with it by a complete stranger at a new school is not something I had mentally prepared for.
"Yeah, it didn't mean anything," he said, but I knew he was just trying to play it off like it wasn't a big deal when it was a huge deal, at least to me.
"Do you not understand that I had to go meet my family at a restaurant when I was utterly scared for my life?" I snapped at him and his face shifted into a guilty expression that told me that I might be getting through his thick head that he truly scared me.
"I didn't mean to do that, I really didn't, I just didn't know what to do about what I was feeling and it all just-”
"And what were you feeling?" I asked, crossing my arms to show that I was still mad about the whole situation.
"I felt like I liked you and wanted to have a connection with you," he softly whispered.
"I thought you were straight," I whispered, my voice breaking from shock and embarrassment because I didn't think I even moved throughout the last few seconds.
"I thought so too.”
I cleared my throat. “You don't get to do this, Joey, you don't get to hurt me and then think you can make it up to me by saying that you're questioning your sexuality when you're just another one of those straight guys that will never act on his feelings-”
“But I want to, I want to act on them. I promise you. I've never felt this way, never felt such a strong attraction to someone without ever even talking to them,” he said, running a hand through his fluffy hair that flopped every time he would move his head too quick.
“Then why don't you?”
“Because I'm scared. All my life I've been known as one thing and I think completely changing it will mess a few things up and I don't know if I'm ready for it,” he told me and I could see the genuine fear building up on his face.
I cleared my throat again, feeling it getting dry every time I looked up into his eyes. “You'll have to do it at one point or another, so why not now?”
He crossed his arms before leaning into the wall. “I don't know.”
I don't know why the hell I'm helping this kid because he did physically hurt me yesterday and I could still feel it on my neck. There was just something about him that made me drawn to him. It wasn't even that he's godly attractive, even though that's definitely a plus.
“You gotta make a choice at some point, but for now, leave me out of it,” I tell him even though it physically hurt me to tell him to forget about me because I don't know how I would even react without him because there was something in my head telling me to get to know this boy and I really wanted to.
“Friday, uh, is the first football game of the season, would you want to come?” He asked me and I noticed how nervous he was by the way he fidgeted with his hands and tried to not make direct eye contact with me.
I completely forget about what I just told him because if he's asking me to do something for him, then obviously he's willing to do something about the way he was feeling. I know how hard it can be to finally make a decision about acting on your sexuality or coming out because it really puts so much pressure on your chest the entire time you're even thinking about it. When I came out, I was off for months because I couldn't find the courage to just get it over with.
I nod my head at him, immediately seeing his demeanor change into a form of confidence that I hadn't seen inside of him the entire time we were here. “I'll be there.”
“Alright, cool,” he tells me before we sneak back into the gym. He goes back to the game while I go back to sit next to Melissa. She gives me a look like 'what's going on' while I pretend like I don't see her to make her continue to wonder for a few more seconds.
“You better tell me what just happened or I'll slap you,” she threatens and I chuckle, leaning over to her ear to start to tell her all about what was just discussed.
Once I'm done, she reaches over and grips my arm with a huge smile. I chuckle at her huge expression. “You look so creepy right now, I don't even know what to do.”
She giggles. “How do you feel about it?”
“I mean, I'm still mad about what happened, but I understand more of why he did it now. I'm willing to stick with him and see what happens, but I think he knows now that if he pulls something like that again, I'm gone.”
She nods her head. “Yeah, but I do want you to know that he does care about you. When we got home yesterday, he asked so many questions about you and felt bad about what had happened. I've seen him struggling for awhile and now that I know that it's because of his sexuality, I think he just needs to find his outlet and that might be you.”
Did she just say 'home' as in they live together? “What do you mean you got home? Like do you live together or something?”
I notice the panic in her eyes before she pushes it down to shake her head. “No, I just spend a lot of my nights at Cody's house who is actually neighbors with Joey.”
I know she's hiding something, but I push it to the side to take in what she's just told me. “So you don't think that this is just some straight guy trying to experiment? You think that this can be real, right?”
She nods her head. “I know it's real, Kade. The way he talked about you is not how he's talked about all the girls he once dated. He truly likes you and I've never seen him like this with anybody else.”
I nod my head. “Okay, well, Friday it is, then.”
“We'll plan everything out later, but right now, let's just prepare for the routine later today,” she tells me as she gets up to join all the rest of the dance girls who are talking with Coach Erixon.
After dance practice, Melissa and I walk out of the gym to see Cody and Joey standing there waiting for us. They're wearing athletic shorts and jerseys while sweating profusely. Joey's hair is an absolute mess probably from him running around during football practice and running his hands through it.
“How was dance practice?” Cody asked his girlfriend who wraps her arm around his waist.
“It was good,” she says and starts to tell something to her boyfriend that I can't hear from where I'm at. Joey walks behind me as we walk out the back door to the parking lot before he comes back next to me in silence while the other two are whispering stuff to each other.
“How was dance for you?” Joey asks, finally saying something to me since earlier today in the locker room. I clear my throat before looking up at him to see his soft expression, which is different from how he looks at everyone else that I've seen.
“Good, pretty hectic, but good,” I say, not knowing how else to explain it because it was so hectic with all the groups performing the routines and a lot of the girls got lost halfway through during a difficult part and had to step out.
“Uh, excuse me, it was more than good for you, you got the lead,” Melissa said with a confused look along with a playful smile.
“You got the lead?” Cody asked in bewilderment because I don't think he quite understood how much dance experience I actually had because I didn't talk about too much as to not seem like I'm bragging at all.
“Yeah, the male lead,” I tell him. He reaches his hand out for a high five as he tells me 'congratulations' and 'good job, man' while Joey pats me on the back in a silent way of telling me 'congratulations'.
Melissa comes over as we reach her car to give me a hug. “I'll see you tomorrow, alright?”
“Alright,” I tell her as I continue my walk to my car along with Joey who was following me, probably not wanting to be with Cody while he says bye to Melissa.
“You have a nice car,” Joey tells me as he lightly kicks the tire while I unlock the doors to put my bag in the back while he looks inside to probably see what the interior is like.
“Oh, thanks, I got it two years ago for my 16th birthday,” I tell him before walking back to the front where he stood and leaned against my gray car.
He comes to stand next to me and lean on the car as well. “I want you to know that I'm trying, I'm trying to find the courage and the confidence to get through this and do what I feel is right, but it's hard. I think you know that it's hard and you're taking it easy on me, but I do want you to know that I haven't forgotten what I did and I am so sorry about it.”
“It's okay, I understand more of why it happened. I know how hard it is to deal with your sexuality and you just need to find a time when you feel is right to deal with it all. I think you are ready to move forward, but maybe not to officially come out and I understand that greatly,” I tell him and he crosses his arms before sighing.
“Let's wait until Friday when I have more time to figure all of these emotions out,” he says to me. I see the tenseness in his shoulders just like the first day, which tells me that I might've crossed the boundaries and said too much, so I quiet down and let him do what feels best for him.
“Okay,” I say and he reaches over to wrap his arm around my shoulder, which sends the wonderful sparks throughout my whole body that I've never felt with anyone but him.
“Thank you for making this easy, I thought you would hate me after what I did. I would've hated someone if they did that to me,” he says with a chuckle that's like heaven to my ears that instantly calms me down.
“If you were someone else that just did it to show your dominance, then yeah, I probably would've hated you,” I say with a chuckle and he nods with a small smile.
“Alright, break's almost up, so I have to get back to football practice, but I will see you tomorrow, alright?” He tells me as he stands up and starts to make his way through the cars.
“Wait, practice isn't over? Why'd you come then?” I ask him because I thought he was just walking with Cody out here and his car was behind mine so he kept walking with me.
“Well, I didn't want you to be a third wheel with the lovebirds, so I came to keep you company,” he told me as he walked backwards to look at me.
I chuckle. “You know, it's okay to say that you wanted to see me, I won't make fun of you for it.”
He gives me a playful look. “Fine, I wanted to see you.”
“Wow, what a loser,” I say with an obvious playful tone and he notices it before walking over to me and hitting me lightly on the back of the head to continue the playfulness we were doing.
I see his smile drop slightly as he starts to walk away again and I realize that what I'm about to do is something that I would never do, but I think making an exception for him is the right thing to do.
“Hey, before you go, can you help me with something first?” I ask him as I stand up fully and make my way to the back of my car where I know no one would be able to see us from that point. He gives me a confused look before he follows me to behind my car and once he's there standing in front of me, I feel the butterflies in my stomach even more than before because he's right there. I know I probably look like an i***t as I stand there and stare at him, so I lean forward to grab at his jersey.
Once I have the fabric locked in my hands, I pull him down to my height and press our lips together, which is like the sparks that I was feeling earlier are heightened 1,000 times and it's like fireworks just went off. He sets his hand on my waist while I let my hands slide up his chest to rest on his neck and shoulders.
I have to force myself to pull away because I don't want him to get in trouble for being late back to practice. He bites his lip as he looks at me and I can see that his eyes are now that electric blue color that confuses the hell out of me because how do his eyes just chance color?
I clear my throat as I remove my hands from his body to take a step back. “Well, thanks for helping me out with that.”
He chuckles before taking the step that I had just taken to be right in front of me again. His hand sets on my waist again as he leans down to press a soft kiss to my forehead, immediately calming my nerves that I hadn't just done something very stupid.
“I'll see you tomorrow,” he whispers before walking away. I make my way into my car and sit there for a few minutes to just walk through what I just did. If that went wrong, then I could've severely messed up how he was doing with figuring out his sexuality. Fortunately, I think it went fine due to how he reacted afterwards. Oh, how confusing everything is right now...