I’d been eating as slow as possible so I could avoid joining the conversation. It was working at the moment, but my mom was still trying to keep me involved.
Everything was going fine until my mom asked why they moved.
“There was a lot of bullying in Atlas’s previous school and we decided it would be best to move to a safer town,” his mom explained and I could only assume that it was Atlas who was being bullied.
“I’m so sorry you didn’t feel safe in your own hometown!,” my mom didn’t seem to have put two and two together and my dad was too busy cutting the pie into equal pieces to be listening to the conversation.
“It’s in the past, it’s alright. We are hoping Atlas will be safer here,” his mom responded and my mom seemed to finally understand.
“He will be. Our school doesn’t have any problems with bullies. Besides, Elliot can watch over him,” my mom said, smiling at the end. My eyes widened slightly and I inwardly groaned. I was planning to stay away from Atlas but apparently fate had other plans.
“It’s okay, ma’am. I appreciate it, but my friend Caleb said he would make sure I get around okay,” Atlas smiled at my mom.
“Nonsense. Elliot will make sure nobody bothers you. Right, Elliot?,” she nudged me with a smile on her face and I faked a smile as I nodded.
“Yeah, I can do that,” I answered and fought the panic and anxiety that was building inside me. I wanted to just stay away from Atlas and forget last night even happened. Obviously that wasn’t going to happen and I’d just have to deal with it. Maybe I could keep an eye on him from a distance?
“Do you have a ride to school? Elliot can drive you,” my mom offered and I wanted to just scream in frustration.
Does the universe hate me? Seriously!
“That would be great! You don’t mind, do you Elliot?,” Janice asked with hopeful eyes and I let out a quiet sigh.
“I don’t mind,” I answered and I felt Atlas’s eyes on me. I avoided looking at him after that and sat in silence as I thought about how much I hated myself for being too nice.
“Well, dinner was great! Thank you for inviting us over!,” Janice said as my mom walked them to the front door.
“Yes, we should definitely do this again!,” my mom said cheerfully and we said our goodbyes. I went up to my room immediately and shut the door behind me.
I laid on my bed, burring my face in my pillow and groaning in frustration.
Why? Why me?
Everything was going just fine before last night. Why can’t I just forget last night even happened and just go back to how things were before?
Monday came too quickly and I already wanted to go back to sleep the moment I opened my eyes. I wanted to just sleep the day away.
As I reluctantly rolled out of bed, I thought about how I could get out of being around Atlas at all. Unfortunately, I couldn’t think of anything that would work. My mom would find out if I ditched him and would be pissed.
I guessed all I could do was drive him to and from school, and avoid him any other time. That would work, right? I sure hoped so.
It took me a little longer to get ready than normal because of my rising anxiety, but after taking some deep breaths, I calmed down enough to face my parents without them suspecting anything.
I walked down the stairs to the kitchen and had some breakfast. Luckily, my parents were about to leave for work, so I didn’t have to deal with them for long. Their goodbye’s were quick and they were out the door shortly after.
I looked at the time on my phone and groaned when I saw that I needed to leave.
I put my dishes in the sink, grabbed my backpack and keys, and walked out the door after locking it. I slid into the drivers seat in my car and backed out the the driveway after putting on my seatbelt and starting it.
I drove to Atlas’s house slower than I usually drove and as I parked in front of his house, I realized how dramatic I was being about the entire situation.
Yeah, I was terrified that someone would find out about my sexuality and all hell would break loose, but who wouldn’t in my situation?
Yeah, if my parents found out they would kick me out and disown me, but the more I worried about it, the more suspicious they would get.
I needed to just relax and calm down. At this point, all I could do was move forward.
I felt calmer and decided to put on some music while I waited for Atlas. I didn’t have his number, so I couldn’t text to let him know I was here.
I didn’t want to go up to the door and have to speak with his parents, so I honked my horn once and checked my phone.
I noticed I had a couple messages from unknown numbers, so I opened them.
Unknown number: Hey, Elliot. I miss you
:( quicky before school? ;)
I looked closer at the phone number and sighed. The number belonged to a girl named Sora. She’s a nice and beautiful girl, but we had sex once and she hasn’t left me alone since. She texts me every monday asking to hookup, but I don’t reply. I made the mistake of replying the first time and she blew up on me after I told her no. I had let her down easy and she immediately claimed that I thought she was ugly and hated her. It was a disaster.
She doesn’t do anything besides text me every monday, so I haven’t worried about it.
I opened the second message.
Unknown number: Hey, baby. Want to come to my place after school? My name is Ciara.
I smirked and replied, accepting her invitation. She replied with a winking emoji and I heard the door to Atlas’s house open and close. I looked up and saw Atlas walking towards my car with another boy behind him.
He opened the passenger door and before entering asked, “Is it okay if Caleb joins us? His dad took his car away after he came home drunk friday night.”
I looked at the boy behind him and he gave me a small smile.
“Alright,” I answered simply and Caleb thanked me as they got in the car.
Atlas was wearing a black pair of skinny jeans, black t-shirt, and denim jacket. He was still the most beautiful person I’d ever seen and I hated that. Well, not hated. I just hated that his beauty was so distracting. I could admire him all day.
I couldn’t do that though. I had to appear straight, and no straight guy would stare at another guy like that. I needed to just be straight.
Caleb looked good too. He was wearing dark jeans, a black t-shirt that had the sleeves cut off, and had long black hair that was pulled up into a bun. The sides of his head were shaved and he had dark green eyes. He had plump pink lips, high cheekbones, and a smaller figure. He had kind of a grunge style and it looked good on him. I hadn’t ever seen him before today. Did he just move here too?
I focused back on driving before either of them caught me looking and began driving to our school.
The drive was quiet and I could hear my phone vibrating every minute after a few minutes of driving. Once I stopped at a stop light I grabbed my phone and saw a bunch of texts from Drew.
They all were saying the same thing.
Drew: Come pick me up.
Just as I was about to reply ‘no’, he called.
I sighed and answered, “What, Drew?”
“Well good morning to you too, grumpy pants,” he chuckled and I rolled my eyes. After he realized I wasn’t going to reply, he said, “Come pick me up.”
“And why should I do that?”
“Because I’m your best friend and you love me? Plus my car won’t start.”
I sighed, “Alright, fine. See you in a few.” I hung up and turned right towards Drew’s street.
“Where are we going?,” Caleb asked.
“Drew needs a ride. His car won’t start,” I answered.
“Wait, Drew Andrews?,” he asked me with widened eyes.
“Yeah, why?,” I asked, confused as to why he would act like it was a big deal.
“Nothing, he’s just so fucking hot,” he smiled and went back to whatever he was doing on his phone.
I turned onto Drew’s street and parked in front of his house.
Fuck, I’m a god damn chauffeur today.