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Chapter 17

Waking up to Caleb’s sleeping face on my phone screen was almost as wonderful as waking up beside him. I noticed our call was still on and I vaguely remember falling asleep as Caleb told me a story about when his mom burned their thanksgiving turkey the day of thanksgiving and how they ended up eating rotisserie chicken from the deli in the grocery store that day.

I looked at the time and sighed when I saw that I had an hour before I needed to be at school. I couldn’t miss another day. I knew Caleb would be pissed if I let him oversleep, so I did my best to wake him. I had to yell his name through the phone for a minute before his eyes blinked open and I laughed at the groan he made when I told him we had school.

“Fuck you, let me sleep,” he shut his eyes and tried going back to sleep.

“Caleb, get your cute ass out of that bed. If you don’t get up right now, I won’t give you a good morning hug or kiss on the cheek,” I threatened and he pouted.

“Fine. Why can’t I get a kiss on the lips though?,” he gave me puppy dog eyes.

“We haven’t had our first date yet, sweetheart. You have to be patient,” I smiled and he rolled his eyes.

“Patience is for losers,” he said and I chuckled.

We ended the call after that and I got ready for school after a shower. I had a small breakfast before leaving and arrived at the school about fifteen minutes before the warning bell would ring.

“Elliot, can I talk to you for a second?” As soon as I got out of my car in the school parking lot, Drew approached me with an unreadable expression. I had a bad feeling about this. My happy mood shifted to nervous and anxious as he got closer.

“Sure, what’s up?,” I asked him, appearing calm.

“I heard something interesting about you and wanted to know if it’s true or not,” he started and I waited for him to continue. “I heard my parents talking last night and I heard them say you are gay. Is that true?”

“Drew, I’m not gay,” I said and I heard him sigh in what sounded like relief, “But you should probably know that I’m not straight either. I’m pansexual. I’ve recently discovered that part of me and have accepted it. You’re my best friend and I didn’t tell you before because I wasn’t sure how you would respond.”

He was silent, so I looked at him and felt my heart sink at his expression. He looked confused and a little worried or nervous. What hurt though was the slight disgust in his eyes. I was going to lose him too, wasn’t I?

“I already told my dad and I’m sure he told my mom too. He kicked me out, so if you don’t accept me for who I am, please keep it to yourself. I can’t handle it again.” I left it at that and after a moment of silence, he walked away. I felt tears stinging my eyes but I ignored them and took a deep breath so I wouldn’t cry again. I refused to walk into school like that.

After I was calmed down and didn’t feel like crying, I walked inside and went to my locker. I grabbed what I would need for my first class and looked around. I noticed a lot of stares from people and did my best to ignore it. I had a feeling my secret was out, but I didn’t want to hear any of it.

I spotted Caleb at his locker and walked to him. I immediately pulled him into a hug and felt him relax against me and hug me back tightly. I didn’t release him until the warning bell rang and even then it was hard to pull away. I could feel people’s eyes on me and could hear people whispering to each other.

My secret was definitely out. I wasn’t sure how, but I didn’t dwell on it.

I was relieved when lunchtime finally came. I was getting overwhelmed by all the gossip about me and people’s gazes. I wanted to just scream at people to mind their own fucking business, but that would only cause more problems.

I felt too anxious to eat, so I just went to our table and sat down. It didn’t take long for my friends to join me. First were Atlas and Matt and I made sure to apologize to them immediately. After explaining to them what happened, they forgave me and I felt a weight lift off my shoulders.

A grumpy looking Caleb sat down beside me a moment later. He chomped on a fry angrily and was glaring at the tray, looking like he was deep in thought.

“Caleb? What’s wrong?,” I asked him and his gaze snapped to my face. When he realized it was me talking to him, he relaxed and sighed deeply before speaking.

“Everyone is just pissing me off today. How is it any of their business what your sexuality is?” Caleb began rambling and didn’t stop until I pulled him close and hugged him tightly.

The rest of the day passed quickly and I was happy when school was over. Caleb, Matt, and Atlas followed me to the apartment and the whole car ride I thought about how lucky I was to have them as my friends. They accept me for who I am and Caleb even helped me figure out my sexuality.

I remembered how Drew looked after I told him I’m pansexual and felt a lump in my throat.

I was scared of losing Drew. We hadn’t been as close as we used to be, but I still considered him one of my best friends.

Please, I don’t want to lose Drew too.
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