Forgive and Forget
Although I felt a hundred times better after speaking with Matt, I still couldn’t sleep. I guess I had taken the ‘beating myself up’ expression way too literal. My body ached all over and I couldn’t find a comfortable position in bed all night long.
“Taylor! Wake up already! I called you three times and you didn’t even move!” My mother’s loud voice forced me awake in the morning.
“God mom, stop shouting. I’m awake, I’m awake!” I whined and sat on the bed, rubbing my eyes.
Ugh. I felt like total crap. Well, not ‘total’ because Matt wasn’t mad at me and he wanted to see me today. Seeing Matt could put a smile on my face any time of any day!
“You don’t look too good, honey,” Mom said, sitting on the bed and putting a hand over my forehead. “Yep, you’ve got a fever. You’re staying in bed today, Mister.”
“What? No! No, no, no! I’m not! I have to go to school!” I wailed, yanking my covers off me. By God, I needed to go to school! To see Matt! I couldn’t miss school! Matt was going to be there and so was I.
“No, you don’t. You’re staying home, Taylor.” She commanded, pushing me back on the bed.
“I’ve got to go woman. Now let me go!”
“You’re joking right? You’re always making up excuses to skip school and now you ‘have to go’, even with a fever? What’s happening in school today that’s so damn important?” she asked.
Matt. Matt was happening in school.
He was going to be there, and he was waiting for me.
“Nothing, I mean, I’ve got an important... test! That’s it. I can’t miss this test. It’s like, ninety nine percent of my grade. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m getting ready for school,” I said, standing up.
The room shifted, my stomach clenched and my head spun. I swayed and looked at my mom. She was staring at me with a worried frown.
“Taylor. You’re not going. You look terrible.”
“Nonsense mother. I always look amazing, you know that,” I said and then I threw up on her shoes.
I glanced up after barfing the latest contents of my midnight late snack to see my mom pursing her lips in worry, or disgust, I could not really tell.
“Taylor Holmes, get your behind in that bed! You are staying home.” She declared with the upmost finality.
“Ugh. Can I go to the bathroom first? I think I’m going to barf some more.” I whimpered with a hand over my stomach. She ushered me urgently to the bathroom and went outside to clean up my room. I guess I was really sick. Maybe I shouldn’t have walked in all that rain yesterday.
After my stomach calmed down and I had brushed my teeth to take the awful taste out of my mouth, I stumbled back into my room, now a ‘barf-free’ zone. Mom was wicked fast at the cleaning, thank goodness. I shuffled to bed, dragged myself inside the covers and don’t even remember when I fell asleep again.
At one time I felt mom passing a hand over my forehead, muttering to herself and then I zoned out again. Then I felt my mattress denting. It was probably mom coming to check up on me again. Sheesh, she could at least let me sleep in peace, here! How can I get better if she keeps waking me up all the bloody time?
“You’re really sick then, huh?” I heard Matt’s voice asking next to me.
Oh. Awesome, I’m hallucinating now. Hey, maybe I can make him shirtless and he can be my naughty nurse. That would be a good hallucination roll play to have.
I blinked lazily and stared at the source of the voice.
Yep. It was sure Matt-shaped. Looked just like him. Blooming realistic, it was. Even smelled like him, it had the same cologne Matt uses. How curious that it came with a smell too, huh?
“The smell is good and all, but shouldn’t you be dressed in a nurse’s outfit?” I mumbled, groggily.
“What was that?” Hallucination asked with a puzzled face.
“Never mind, the outfit doesn’t matter. What’s important is that you’re here.” I waved my hand and slapped his chest. That was a hard chest that I had just smacked. Huh. Aren’t hallucinations supposed to be like, ethereal and you know, not real? I raised my hand again and poked hallucination in the chest.
Yep, that was definitely a hard chest. Then I touched its chest some more.
That was some yummy hard chest.
“Taylor, what do you think you’re doing?” Hallucination asked, sounding amused.
Funny... It sounded just like Matt. It had the same sexy, deep, yet teasing voice. Wait. Oh God. Maybe it is the real deal, not a hallucination?
“Taylor, seriously man, are you feeling okay?” Former hallucination asked worriedly.
“H-heey, Matt! It’s you!” I said, taking my hand quickly off his chest.
He raised an eyebrow, probably thinking I had gone mental. “Course it’s me. Has the fever turned your brain into mush?”
“Ha. Ha. Very funny. I was just, you know, joking around. So…um, what’s up?” I asked sitting on the bed and scratching the back of my head awkwardly.
“What’s up?” His face switched to aggravated. “What is up is that you didn’t show up at school! So I thought you were avoiding me again. And that you were lying yesterday, and that you were still mad at me. So I came to apologize again. In person.” He announced, crossing his arms that bulged over his yummy rock hard chest.
“But you are really sick,” he said after an uncomfortable minute of silence.
“Well, either that or I just barfed all over my mom’s shoes for nothing...” I mumbled, looking at the spot on the floor that had been recently foiled by yours truly.
Matt laughed hard. “Well, that explains why Mrs. Holmes asked me to remove my shoes before entering your room.”
“Yeah, yeah, it’s all very hilarious. I’m glad my sickness is amusing to you.”
He stopped laughing and peered sheepishly at me. “You look relatively okay now, though.”
“I’m feeling better, thank you very much.” I mumbled, getting out of my covers.
I did feel a whole lot better, to be honest. It’s like all I needed was a good ton of sleep to restore my energy. Oh, and some barfing over my mom’s shoes, too.
“And you’re really not mad at me then.” Matt stated with a hint of a question. He looked at me anxiously, waiting to see if I was telling the truth.
“I’m not mad. Matt, can we just forget about that? And not mention it ever again?” I asked quietly.
He looked at me for a moment and then said, “Forget about what?”
“Forget about- Oh. I see what you did there. Cool. Thanks,” I said, feeling relieved. “So, school’s over already? I’ve completely lost track of time.”
“Yeah, it ended half an hour ago. I came with Jesse. She’s parking the car outside. She’s really worried about you.” And cue to Jesse entering the room with her arms wide open and a frantic look on her face. “My sick puppy, Mama Bear is here!′ she yelled at the top of her lungs.
She got the theatricals from me, I’m proud to say.
She ran to me and hugged me before I could even move out of the bed. My face was shoved between her breasts while she held me tight. Jesse’s boobies were like the most awesome, softest pillow cushions ever, but try to breathe through a soft pillow smothering you to death and see how it goes for you.
Least to say, I was suffocating in her glorious boobies.
It could be a good way to die, if I wasn’t a gay boy.
“How sick are you, Tay-Tay?” she asked, flustered.
“Hughf!” I tried to say, but she was seriously booby-smothering me here!
“You’re so skinny and frail, I told you to eat more, but you don’t listen to me! And school without you was so boring! People have been asking about you nonstop, you know? I told them you’d been attacked by a walrus on your way back from school yesterday, by the way. If someone asks, that’s the story you’re telling. I googled ‘walrus menace’ and emailed you what I found so you can sound convincing when you’re telling people about your traumatizing encounter with that vicious creature. Are you paying attention to what I’m saying, Tay?”
“Humfrghh!” I flailed my arms, trying to wriggle away from her grip of steel.
“I think he’s trying to say that he needs to breathe, and for that, you need to let him go, Jesse.” Matt intervened, stifling a laugh.
“What? Oh, okay,” she said, finally letting me go.
I stumbled back, wheezing and gasping for air. “Thanks for caring, Jesse, but I think that was just a little too much loving for me.”
She tsked at me. “There’s no such thing as ‘too much loving’, boy.”
“I guess you’re right,” I said and wrapped my arms around her, my face comfortably snuggled against her awesome boobies.
She patted my hair in a motherly manner. “So, you’re not mad at me anymore?”
“I was never mad at you. I’m sorry for taking everything out on you yesterday.”
“Apology accepted. I’m glad you’re okay now.” She grabbed my face and made me look in her eyes “Have you two made up already? I don’t want to see you boys fighting anymore!”
“We weren’t fighting, it was just a misunderstanding.” I told her, embarrassed. “We’re cool now.”
“Good. I know neither of you want to talk about it, but whatever happened, you better get pass it. You’ve been friends for too long to let stupid misunderstandings stand between you. I’ve never seen you two so upset like this before, and I don’t want to ever see it again, you hear?” she harrumphed at the both of us.
“Yes, ma’am.” Matt and I chorused obediently.
Jesse spent the next couple hours explaining to me her walrus nonsensical story and talking about school stuff, while Matt and I kept taking surreptitious glances at each other from time to time, trying to figure out what to do from here after this whole drunk mistake crisis. They both soon left, and I tried to resume my life activities as if everything was back to normal.
On the next day at school, everything seemed relatively normal. Well, almost. I could still sense a lingering awkwardness coming from Matt, even though he tried his best to hide it. We were both trying to pretend everything was fine between us, but the truth was far from it. He was different around me now. There was a sort of uneasiness behind all his moves when I was around. Whenever I got too close, he would subtly move away. I think he was still freaked out about what happened.
People kept coming to ask me how I had survived the infamous walrus attack that Jesse fabricated as explanation for my absence at school. Why on Earth that crazy girl had come up with such a ludicrous excuse, I had no idea, but the novelty about my oddly curious attack was soon overshadowed by the news of the arrival of a new transfer student.
It was his first day attending school, and the gossip mill was already at full speed, spewing all kinds of juicy gossip about him. Everywhere I went, people wouldn’t shut up about the ‘new guy’ and how amazing he was. Dude was already a big hit amongst the girls. The fact that he was ‘drop-dead-gorgeous’ probably helped a little, so I was told. New guy was such a hit around school grounds that there was even talk about a welcoming party in the planning for him this weekend.
Then it was time for gym class. Most days, I just pretended to be doing something and coach Brooks pretended he believed me, but today I was in the mood for actual work, so I put on my sweat pants and ran a full circuit around the field to try to stop obsessing about what was going on between me and Matt.
Maybe if I ran fast enough, I could escape all my problems.
I don’t know how many rounds I ran on that field, but it felt like a hundred. By the end of class my legs burned, my lungs felt like they were on fire and I was sweating like a dying pig. I hadn’t even noticed football practice was over when I heard all the jocks shouting excitedly at each other on the field, getting ready to hit the shower. Matt was in the middle of his team, all sweaty and happy with his jock buddies.
I decided to wait outside until they were done with their shower. I tried to avoid the changing room at all costs after football practice. The guys always freaked out at the slight chance I could be ogling them naked.
You ogle just this one time and the rumors stick with you forever, man!
Suddenly a shadow loomed over me, blocking the light. “Sun bathing now, are you?” Shadow asked, standing over me.
I put a hand over my eyes to shade them from the sun, and Matt’s sweaty face came into focus, his matted blond hair plastered and sticking on his face. “I’m catching my breath. Just ran for an hour nonstop around this field, if you hadn’t noticed,” I said.
“I’ve noticed.” Matt muttered while his gaze swept over me.
That was odd. When Matt was training with his team, he never got distracted.
“You were pretty fast. I even timed you once. You beat Kevin’s record and he’s the best in our tracking team. You should enter the competition this semester. We could win for once, if you keep that pace at the race.” He commented.
I waved a hand at him, but deep inside I was pretty pleased. He was timing me? If I knew he had been watching... I would probably have tripped and stumbled the entire circuit. Yeah, that sounded like something I would do.
“You know I don’t do competition, Matt. I crack under pressure.”
He smiled and continued staring at me. Well... okay, this was getting weirder by the second. A few of the guys from his team called after him but he didn’t even look their way. “We’re hitting the shower. Are you coming?” he asked instead.
Yeah, right. Like all I needed now was to take a shower right next to Matt, naked, with a bunch of buffed up guys all around us. Also naked.
I sat on the grass and took my shirt off, then I wiped the sweat off my face with it. “Nah, you go ahead. I’m going to rest here for a while. I’ll catch up with you later.”
Matt’s eyes flickered to my chest and back again to my face.
“You’ve been working out?” he asked out of the blue.
I blinked, slightly puzzled by the odd comment.
He shrugged when he saw the questioning look on my face. “I didn’t know you could run this fast and here you are today, fast as a bullet, Mister Speedy Gonzales. I’m wondering what else you’ve been hiding from me.”
“I wasn’t ‘hiding’ that I could run. You know I can run.” I frowned, not quite getting what he meant by that. “And you also know I’m not hiding anything from you. What are implying with that?”
“Just thought you were acting different today, is all.”
“Me? How am I acting different?”
He shrugged again. “I don’t know. Maybe it’s because you were actually doing gym for once, you usually run away from exercise. You should try to run more often. Like I said, our track team needs some help.”
“Hey, I’m trying to be a good friend here and encourage you to exercise. You don’t need to bite my head off because of it. I won’t say another word, if it makes you this cranky.”
“What? I’m not-”
“Look, whatever, man. I gotta go. See you later.”
Heh? I gawked in bafflement at his retreating back. What had happened here? One second, everything was fine, the next, Matt had gone mental, all because I had been running. What in the actual fuck was that about?
I mulled over Matt’s crazy behavior for a while on the field, and decided after a few minutes that it was safe to take a shower. I sighed in relief when I stepped inside the locker room and saw that the football team was gone. There were only a few students hurrying to get dressed and leave for next class, leaving me alone with some puddles of water and the amazing smell of wet socks and mold over the place.
I took my shower as fast as I could and walked with a towel around my waist to my locker to get my clothes and get changed, when I heard someone’s snickers squeaking in the tiled floor around the corner.I looked up and saw Matt halting with a tense sprint in his steps.
“Hey Matt, what’s up?” I asked as I turned to face him.
“Oh. Hey. I- I f-forgot...” he trailed off, his eyes darkening as they roamed over my body.
“Forgot what?” I asked, fixing the towel around my waist.
He blinked a couple of times and pointed to something on the floor. He was looking for his backpack, which he had left tucked beneath the wood benches beside me.
“Here.” I handed him his bag.
He took the bag from me, seeming deeply uncomfortable.
“You need something else?” I asked confused, since he wasn’t saying anything or giving any indication to be leaving.
“No.” He replied, clutching at his bag as if it was some sort of shield. Shield against what, is what I wanted to know.
A few seconds of unbearable uncomfortable silence stretched between us, neither of us knowing what to say or what to do, as we stared at each other.
“So... I’ll just... go now.” He suddenly said, turned around and left.
“What the fudge?” I grumbled to myself, completely baffled.
Matt was acting so freaking weird today!
I got dressed and was heading to the backdoor of the locker room in a distracted mood, when someone pushed me against the tiled wall. “What the-?” I gasped.
“Relax, Taylor, it’s just me.”