City of Exes
Sunday, June 5, 2005
Andrew stared at the ceiling of his hotel room. UTurn was in New York City as his plus-seven for the Tony Awards. Andrew may or may not win. He figured he might, and he didn’t mind. Still, it was something he had dreamed about. Now the day finally came, and he was in a pop group. His once-surging Broadway career was put on indefinite hold.
He didn’t want to get out of his bed. His mind was on his ex-boyfriend Blake. He knew Blake was going to show up. He was in the musical with Andrew in the previous summer. He was also scheduled to perform with the cast on live TV. Andrew, on the other hand, was invited to perform, but he was forced to turn it down. Rehearsals for the upcoming UTurn theatre tour was the main priority.
Andrew wasn’t interested in seeing Blake. He wasn’t sure how his ex would react to seeing him and Alyson together. Granted, that was biggest ship within the UTurn fandom, and it was a real ship. By now, Blake would’ve known that, but it didn’t mean he would approve of it. The last thing Andrew wanted was to get into an argument over his dating preferences. He hoped Blake had moved on to another guy instead.
As he kept staring at the ceiling, he was brought back to reality when Justin hovered over him. “Oy, you awake yet?” he asked.
Andrew blinked and rubbed his eyes. “Yeah, I’m awake.”
He slowly sat up when Justin asked, “You okay?”
Andrew shook his head. “Not really. I’m about to be reunited with my ex, and I don’t know if he’ll be okay with me being with Alyson.”
Derrick asked as he stared at his notebook, “Doesn’t he know you’re bi?”
“He does,” Andrew replied, “and he seemed okay with that.”
“Then it shouldn’t be a problem.”
Justin asked, “Does Alyson know about this?”
“I haven’t even told her that I’m nervous to see him,” Andrew said.
“You’re in the same band as Amanda,” said Derrick. “How is meeting your ex-boyfriend any different than working with your ex-girlfriend?”
Andrew looked at him. “Did you forget I used to date Libby? We both know Amanda is nothing like Libby. That’s what make this different.”
Derrick looked up from his notebook. “And you think this guy will act like Libby?”
Justin shook his head. “Seriously, why would you date a guy you didn’t even know about?”
Andrew glared at him, but he switched to a sigh. “Look, I had feelings for Blake, and I wanted to act out on those feelings. And I did. I really did fall for him at one point. I didn’t care if I knew him all my life or not. I just…I just wanted him.”
Derrick said flatly, “Sounds like you regret dating this guy.”
Andrew said, “No, I don’t regret dating him.”
“Then what is it?”
He looked away. “I don’t know. I know he wasn’t an experiment. I’m sure you all think that, but he wasn’t.”
“Well, he will probably feel like that once he sees you with Alyson.”
Andrew looked out at the window, glancing at the view of skyscrapers of Manhattan. He chewed on his lip ring as he thought about what Derrick said. Andrew knew how some people would think of bisexuals. He just hoped Blake wouldn’t fall for the stereotype.
Andrew stared at the mirror, fussing with his tie. It wasn’t supposed to be neat since his outfit didn’t include a suit. No, it consisted of black, torn, slim fit designer jeans; a half-unbuttoned, untucked white shirt, and his signature black leather jacket. His entire look screamed “bad boy popstar.” That was his media persona now, his popstar identity.
He felt his stomach being stirred with nerves. He was surel he was going to meet with Blake. All Andrew wanted to do was avoid his ex for as long as possible. Yet he couldn’t show that in front of the paparazzi that will be there for the red carpet. He needed to act everything was fine, that he was excited to be reunited with the entire cast. Besides, this would be the first time UTurn would appear on TV on a national level. It was a huge opportunity for him and his band. The last thing he wanted was to screw that up over boy problems.
He was suddenly taken out of his thoughts when he heard a knock on the door. Andrew opened it, seeing Alyson standing there in her pink, silk tank top; black, silk, pleated miniskirt; and her signature black, pointed, knee-high, stiletto, leather boots. He smiled at her as he admired her outfit.
Alyson smiled as she held his hands. She asked, “Do you know how much I love seeing you smile?”
Andrew replied, “Well, seeing you does make me smile.”
“You’ve been quiet all day today,” she said as she rubbed his arm. “Is everything okay?”
He sighed, “I’m just nervous to see my ex-boyfriend. I’m scared of how he’ll react when he sees I’m dating a girl.”
Alyson sighed. She hugged him, and said, “It’ll be fine, Andrew. You got me. I’ll make sure he won’t mess with you.”
He chuckled, “Of course you’ll do that for me.”
She kissed his lips gently and smiled at him. Andrew licked his lips, and asked, “Lip gloss again?”
Alyson gently punched his forearm. “Hey, lip gloss is trendy! And cute!”
He laughed, “Whatever you say, Aly.”
Andrew stared at his Tony Award trophy with a smile on his face. It was a dream come true of his, and he finally achieved it. He also got the paparazzi buzzing over the sight of UTurn. He figured he must’ve gotten people talking on social media. He’ll find out once he and his bandmates return to Boston.
He felt Alyson’s hand on top of his. He looked up, seeing her smile. She said, “I’m so proud of you.”
Andrew smiled, “Thanks, Aly.”
The two shared a sweet kiss. Suddenly, they heard a throat clearing up. The couple looked up to see a guy with blonde hair swept across his forehead. Andrew looked at Alyson, and said nervously, “Aly, this is Blake, my ex-boyfriend.”
Then he said to Blake, “And Blake, this is my girlfriend, Alyson.”
Andrew could tell his ex-boyfriend was holding a strained smile on his face. Blake asked, “Andrew, can we talk? In private?”
He looked at his girlfriend and their bandmates. They all seemed quite uncomfortable. Not that Andrew didn’t feel uneasy about all of this. He was sure he was about to be confronted. He could feel it in his stomach.
He nodded his head and followed Blake. The two boys entered the halls of the theatre. Andrew leaned on the wall as he asked, “So what do you want to tell me?”
Blake asked with irritation in his voice, “So that blond girl, that’s the cheerleader you were talking about? The one that was waiting for you in back in Boston?”
He nodded, “Yeah, that’s her. And?”
“She looks like a stereotypical, Middle American, blonde bimbo.”
Andrew narrowed his eyes at him, and said, “Alyson is not some stereotype. She’s a smart girl with goals in mind. She’s ambitious. She was the one who formed UTurn. She was a driving force to keep the band going. I mean, I was too, but still.”
Blake crossed his arms, and asked, “So what was I to you?”
Confused, Andrew asked, “What do you mean?”
“Was I just some experiment to you? Or is she your beard?”
“Are you truly in the closet?”
Andrew’s eyes widened which turned it into a glare. He said to Blake sternly, “I’m still bisexual, Blake. I’m not dating Alyson to hide being gay because I’m not.”
Blake scoffed, “You’re just saying that because you don’t want to admit it.”
Andrew gave a short laugh. “Really? I’m into both girls and guys. It’s called being bi.”
Blake raised an eyebrow. “So, what now? You’d date girls and guys at the same time?”
Andrew looked away. He wasn’t exactly sure where his attractions lied. He was into both guys and girls. It wasn’t like there was a stronger preference. Or maybe there was, and he was suppressing it. There was no way of knowing unless he let himself explore more of sexuality, but will he allow himself to do it? He was still scared, but he knew he needed to get over it.
“So you just would fuck guys and call it a day?” Blake asked with bitterness in his voice.
Andrew kept his eyes on the floor. Blake as his first-ever boyfriend. He remembered the days when he truly did fall for Blake. He was even mad that he had to break up with him. Now? He had moved on, moved onto Alyson. All the kisses and the embraces he was given by Blake were forgotten. Blake gave Andrew temporary happiness, but Alyson gave him endless, genuine smiles.
He was brought out of his thoughts when Blake told him: “You are just like all the other bisexuals. You just want to have sex with everyone. You treat everyone like experiments. Forget ever crawling back to me.”
With that, Blake stormed out of the theatre. Andrew looked up, as he watched his ex-boyfriend leave. For the first time in his life, he felt his heart breaking into pieces over a boy.