Best Friend Zone
“So I just left her there. I couldn’t take one more second of her nagging...” I heard Matt saying before I drifted off again.
I could barely pay attention to his complaints. For the last half hour, I had my brain fully occupied by the glory that was Matt’s well shaped body: his strong legs and muscled arms, fit abs you could die for, broad shoulders and a chest so strong, you could rest your head gently over it and die of happiness…
All the while, Matt continued talking, completely oblivious to my ogling.
And I continued not listening.
But it was not my fault that I wasn’t listening. His body was very distracting!
I know. I’m the worst friend ever. I should be more supportive here. He’s my best friend after all, and had been since we were toddlers, but I couldn’t stop myself from burning with lust on my bed, while I watched him lying on the floor of my room.
I totally blame him and his distracting athletic, firm and smoking hot body.
Yep, it was his fault, not mine.
I shifted in bed and forced my eyes away from his body. I didn’t want Matt to notice how much he was affecting me. I was supposed to be listening to his problems now, and definitely not having hard-ons because of how incredibly fit he looked.
How could this boy make me feel like my blood was slowly boiling inside? It was pure torture! Couldn’t he be more benevolent and at least cover himself up a little?
I mean, those shorts were showing all kinds of knees and ankles there! The soft thin fabric of his sports vest left little for the imagination too. And what about that strong neck and chiseled jaw line of his? It was the pure essence of masculinity! Couldn’t he cover that up with a turtle neck or a scarf? I don’t care if it was hot as hell in this room! Put on a damn scarf, man! For the sake of my happy pants here!
I curse you, summer days! It was so damn hot lately (the weather, not Matt. Well, Matt too, I suppose), that Matt decided to put on the least clothes he possibly could. I was delighted by so much skin at sight. So were my pants.
I couldn’t stop myself though, I kept taking sly glances at his body every five seconds, while he talked and talked on that floor. I had been drooling over him for the past hour. Lucky for me, Matt didn’t seem to notice anything, he laid on the floor, tossing and catching a football, while he complained endlessly about his girlfriend.
She was the most annoying girlfriend Matt ever had. And there had been quite a lot of them in all the years I’d known him. This last one won first place at the Most-Obnoxious-People-Awards for sure though.
No, seriously. I was not being jealous. She was truly out-of-this-world irritating!Just thinking about her made me gag a little. I had spent many years silently gagging to all of Matt’s girlfriends, but the latest one had me going for the records.
So here I was, watching Matt toss this ball in the air, while secretly hoping for his T-shirt to lift a little and flash me a bit of his awesome abs. My prayers hadn’t been answered yet, but I could not lose faith. That shirt would lift and those abs would be seen. It was such a light piece of fabric, for God’s sake, lift it up!Lift it up!
“Right?” Matt asked, making me snap out of my abs-induced reverie.
“Yeah, lift it up!” I whole heartedly agreed.
“What?” Matt asked, turning his face to me, confused.
“Oh. I mean, yeah, right. You’re so right!” I back-paddled.
He arched an eyebrow and gazed suspiciously up at me, with his amazing baby blue eyes. “Hey! You’re not listening to a word I’m saying, aren’t you?” He admonished me with a scowl.
I sighed. He knew me so well.
“Of course I am listening, Matt! I’ve just agreed with you here, haven’t I?” I wailed, trying to save face. “I think you are very much right! Indeed you are, sir, totally for sure.”
He stared at me in silence for a moment, then gave up on lecturing me and resumed the toss of his football. Where the hell did that ball come from anyway? I didn’t see him arriving with it, and I sure as hell never had a football in my house. Or had I? Maybe it was an old piece of memorabilia left from the ghastly age when I tried to pretend to my parents that I was straight…
I shivered at the memory. I did not miss those days.
Matt had also resumed his nagging over his girlfriend. I sighed again. I should at least act like I was interested to what he was saying, support my best friend and all… Yeah, I can support you any time you want, Matty, I thought to myself. A vivid image of me supporting Matt in my bed flashed in my head. Soon it was going to be very hard (pun intended) to hide my excitement. I should probably stop thinking about this supporting stuff here now.
I coughed and shifted my eyes away from Matt’s strong arms, down to his chest and then lower to his- No! For God’s sake, Taylor, get a hold of yourself! Focus on... on... Oh, I know! My feet! I wriggled my toes and stared at them the hardest I could. That should do the trick and keep me safe from those damned alluring thoughts. I could not get excited over these stinky feet, that was for sure.
Then a football smacked me right in the face, making me yelp in fright.
I rubbed the left side of my face and looked startled at an annoyed Matt.
“Tay, quit messing around while I’m talking here!” he grunted, upset. “It’s the fifth time I catch you spacing out on me there!”
“Ouch! That hurt! You’re mean!” I pouted, rubbing my face.
My eyes began to tear up because the ball had hit me hard on the nose.
“Oh, come on! You’re not going to cry, are you?”
“I’m not crying, dumbass! The ball hit my nose! Just because I’m gay, doesn’t mean I’ll cry over every little silly thing. God!” I snapped, irritated.
He leaned back on his elbows, looking relieved. “You do cry over every little silly thing, Tay.” He pointed out.
“I do not!I told you already, everybody cried at the end of Toy Story 3! It was very sad! The toys almost died, dude!” I said, affronted. “And it wasn’t just me, all our friends cried, too! Remember Jack, Mister There’s-a-speck-of-dust-in-my-eyes? He bawled his eyes out that night! I don’t hear you teasing him about it!”
Matt chuckled. “I tease him all the time about it. Not in front of you. He asked me not to, he said you’ll think he’s gay because he cried and will try to hit on him. I think he’s secretly afraid that he might enjoy it, if you ask me.”
I widened my eyes in surprise. “Shut up! I’m so onto him tomorrow!”
Matt shook his head, seeming amused.“So, what were you spacing out about so hard in there anyway? You had your horny face on for about ten minutes.”
I blushed, my face turning all shades of red. “How do you even know what my horny face is anyway?” I snapped, trying to hide my embarrassment.
“You get fidgety when you’re like that. You won’t sit still for a second.”
“I- I... I was thinking about Ian Somerhalder, that’s all.”
“Oh, geez, thanks very much for spacing out on Ian Somer-whatever there, when I’m pouring my guts out here!” He scoffed.
“Aw, are you jealous? If you want, I can space out thinking about you next time, sugar cups!” I winked at him and mentally squirmed in delight when I saw how flustered he got then.
“How about you don’t space at all and actually listen to what I’m saying?” He looked away so I wouldn’t notice the light blush on his cheeks.
Matt was cool about me being gay, but he always got a bit flustered when I openly flirted with him like that – which I almost never did because I had a rule not to, since he was my best friend and most importantly, a very straight best friend.
Matt had been the second person I had told about my sexuality. Jessica, our closest female friend, had been the first to find that out though. She said it was very easy to connect those very sparkly gay dots. I guess all the drooling I was doing over boys had been a dead giveaway. Don’t ask me how, but she also knew I was secretly in love with Matt. That girl had some witchy powers hidden up her sleeve for sure.
After she busted out my secret, she insisted for me to come out to Matt for days on end.She had the delusional idea that Matt liked me and that he needed to know I was gay, so he could finally declare that he was madly in love with me.
She was so certain of it, I almost started believing it myself. This delusion of hers got roots into my brain, and I began to think that maybe she could be right about this. So why not risk telling him, right? I could end with the boy of my dreams.
It was the scariest moment of my life, the day I told him I was gay. I knew about what people can do, all the hatred and the violence, but the thought of losing Matt was what scared me the most. I didn’t even care if he punched me or called me names, but having him out of my life forever terrified me to death.
I was worried over nothing though. When I told him, Matt had looked at me surprised at first, then, upset, because I have kept this a secret from him, and then he was totally cool about it. There was no mad love declaration though. We resumed our friendship like nothing was different, except for the fact that I didn’t have to pretend that I liked girls around him anymore.
After telling Matt, I decided it was time to tell my parents too. Turns out they already knew that I was gay. My father told me I was really obvious about liking boys and then gave me a supportive pat on the shoulder and walked out of the room as if this wasn’t a big deal at all.
My mother hugged me when I told her, and cried a little, because she was afraid that horrible people could hurt her baby boy now because of this, but she told me to be careful, that I was perfect the way I was and that she loved me, and that was about it. I felt such a relief after I told them, as if a big load had been removed from my shoulders.
Of course it wasn’t just unicorns and rainbows for me. There were a few name callings here and there at school, and threats to beat me up, but nobody acted on it, because they feared Matt’s retaliation. Thank God for my best friend, the most popular guy in school. Bless his beautiful popular soul.
All in all, it was a very smooth walk-out-of-the-closet for me, to be honest. I was secretly dating Kyle, my first boyfriend, at that time. Kyle was really supportive and helped me along the way too, but I still nurtured my secret crush on Matt though, during the entire time Kyle and I were dating.
It was hard to disguise that my heart belonged to someone else until we both couldn’t pretend anymore. When Kyle broke up with me, Matt was there for me, helping me pick up the pieces. When Matt was breaking up with one of his girls, I was there for him too.
It became our tradition, every time one of us broke up, we would spend the entire weekend together, eating junk food and talking trash about our exes.
“I’ve been talking here for ages and you aren’t listening to a word. What a friend you are.” He accused, upset.
“All right, all right. Sorry, Matt. Go ahead. You were saying you’re breaking up with her then, is that it?” I hazarded a guess, since I hadn’t been listening.
But I knew the drill, when Matt showed up trash-talking a girl for more than an hour, it meant he wanted to end things. He had been going at it for a couple of hours now. It wasn’t rocket science, you do the math.
“Maybe.As I was saying,” He paused and glared at me accusingly, because he knew I had no idea about what he was saying at all. “I’m just sick of her. She’s too high maintenance and clingy. She won’t let me hang with any of my friends.”
“Tell me about it…” I said with a loud snort, because I knew damn well she was particularly overly snarky when Matt was hanging out with me.
“I know right? She’s getting on my frigging nerves… like, a lot!” He huffed out, annoyed. “I guess you’re right. Maybe I should break up with her already. Yeah, I’ll break up with her now! It’s settled.”
“I’m sorry, Matt,” I said trying to hide my smile.
“Try to say that again without the evil grin on your face there, would you?”
Crap.I guess I was really the worst at hiding things.
“I’m sorry, Matt.” I tried again.
“Nope, still with the evil grin.”
“I’m sorry, Matty!” I wailed theatrically, still grinning as wide as I could.
He laughed, making wrinkles show at the corner of his eyes. I couldn’t help but laugh along with him. His laughter was contagious.
“I’m really sorry, dude. But I’ve got to be honest with you, that girl is annoying as hell!” I confessed. “Five minutes listening to her and I want to rip my ears out! I don’t know how you still have yours on.”
He laughed again. I loved hearing his laugh, it made my heart go warm and my tummy flip inside with giddy butterflies.
“Well... I wanted to end things with her many times before, but she always know it’s coming and bails out before I can say anything,” He said, shaking his head. “I’ll go call her now and finally end this. Rip it like a band-aid sort of thing. I’m going to talk in the living room, be right back.” He stood up and took his cellphone out.
“Hey, and you know what this means, right?” He asked on his way out of the room.
I grinned like there was no tomorrow. “Weekend break-up hang out!”I cheered enthusiastically. Awesome! A whole weekend with Matt all to myself!
I tossed him the football and he picked it up with only one hand.Show off.
“That’s right!” He smiled and gave me a quick wink before walking out of the room.Then he shouted from the hallway, “You know, this is actually the first time we are both single at the same time?”
Huh, I guess he was right.
I was single as well, and completely free to daydream about Matt whenever I wanted without any jealous boyfriend to get in the way. This had been the reason for all my break ups, I couldn’t stop thinking about my best friend and was the worst at hiding it. I never dared to mention the real motive that ended all my relationships to Matt though. It was best that he didn’t know.
I was so hopeless head over heels over Matt, I just couldn’t get him out of my head. The fact that he was constantly close to me didn’t help matters either. That was a frequent complaint from all my ex-boyfriends. When I wasn’t day dreaming about him, I was always hanging out with him. I would go mad if Matt was away for too long.
Yeah, my crush on him was that gigantic, and I was that lame.
But all that mattered to me was my weekend-hangout with Matt now.I had two whole days with him all to myself!High-five to that!
Pity I was stuck in the best friend zone...