I awake, unwillingly.
The sun is streaming in through the window from the split in my old curtains. I need to remember to pull them all the way closed at night.
Tiredly, I roll over to face the wall and hug my pillow more into my chest. Okay, I admit, it’s not just a pillow. It’s a six-foot-tall stuffed bear that my friend won me as a joke at the fair a few weeks ago. It’s my makeshift lover.
Not in the gross way, of course.
I feel a hand grip my shoulder, shaking me. “Hey, lazy-ass, wake the hell up!” I groan and let my head fall back, looking up into the bright blue eyes of Oliver. That’s what woke me up, I realize.
“What are you doing here?” I stare blankly at him.
Those eyes of his. They’re more blue than anything I’ve ever seen before and they’ve never changed, still huge deer-like ones that look so big and sweet.
They’ve always been like that, even since we were kids.
“Waking you up… What does it look like?” He gives me another shove and tries to sit on the bed. I don’t budge and he rolls his eyes. “Move,” He pushes again and I continue to stay put.
I watch him, again, roll his eyes. This time he jumps up and sits on my chest.
“Fuck!” I groan, coughing.
“If you would move I wouldn’t have to have done that,” He jokes and gives me a smile that said he was proud of himself. Such a child.
“Get off me you idiot,” I give him a shove and he hops back onto the floor.
“Come on, Basile and I are going to the movies, come with us,” He smiles at me and his big, blue eyes are so excited.
“Ooh… Um, I have plans with Edie,” I frown. “I’m taking her out to the beach.”
“Oh,” Oliver’s sweet smile falters, “I thought-... Yeah, I should have guessed.”
“I’m sorry. I promise that next time I’ll go with you guys.”
“You tell me that all the time. It’s fine, really. She’s your girl, spend time with her,” His voice is flat, unreadable. I hate when he’s like this. She’s my girlfriend, him and I have done everything together since kindergarten. I can’t always spend time with him!
“Yeah, we can hang out tomorrow,” I offer, getting a nod from him as I slide out of bed. His eyes graze my body for a second. Bare-chest and old music themed boxers is all that’s there.
“Yeah,” He nods again. “Aren’t those mine?” He glances back down at my underpants.
“Who knows?” I chuckle, shrugging.
“Yeah,” A stiff laugh hums from Oliver. “See you tomorrow, Luke. I’ll text you or something tonight.”
And with that, Oliver leaves.
I toss myself back onto my bed. I hate when we fight. It’s never really a fight, it’s always me saying something blisteringly stupid and him getting upset and leaving.
I clap a palm to my forehead in defeat. I would have to figure out a way to apologize later, right now, I had to get ready for my date with Edie.
The air is so hot that it’s almost suffocating. Summers here in New Orleans are brutal, it’s hard to breathe most of the time. Today was worse than normal.
I was kind of kicking myself for not going with the guys. At least in the movies I would be able to take in a breath without feeling like I was burning from the inside out.
“Come in the water with me!” Edie is leaning over me, dripping water against my sizzling body.
“Nah, swimming isn’t really my thing,” She knew this already but must’ve forgotten.
“You look like you’re dying, you need to cool off,” She presses, sitting on my thighs, my legs outstretched in the sand. She has her legs kneeling on either side of me.
“Edie, hun, you know I don’t like swimming in the ocean,” I tell her, cupping her cheeks in my hands and planting a soft kiss on her mouth.
“Please,” She begs, running her cool hands down my chest.
“Babe…,” I frown at her.
“Luke, come swim with me, just to cool down and then we can leave. We can go to your house and build a fort in the air conditioning!” She cheers hopefully.
“I don’t know, Babe…,” I look towards the waves. “Can’t we just go home?”
She lets out a heavy sigh, frowning at me. “Fine. Let’s go,” She gets off of my lap and pulls her towel around herself. I stand and fold up mine, stuffing it into the bag we’d brought. Edie shoves on her flip flops and I slide into my sandals. She was pissed off now and probably would just go home. Today was not my day.
At least if she goes home I can attempt to apologize to Oliver.
She stomps off the beach and I hurry after her, lugging the bags that she didn’t help me with. I was pretty pissed off myself if I’m honest.
She was being a bit selfish in my opinion, I don’t like the beach, it freaks me out. I only come for her and she’s acting all pissed because I wasn’t joining her.
Hell, even Oliver was being selfish. He only seemed to care about me hanging out with him. He knows that someday we’re barely even going to see each other once a week, let alone every day. We’ll both get married and won’t need to be around each other as much.
I don’t think I’m going to apologize tonight.
Standing in line for tickets to The Disaster Artist was agonizingly boring. Basile was flirting with some girls behind us and was more focused on the color of the carpets than those damn girls. They looked like some cheap hookers and they were all over Mr. ‘pretty boy’ there. It’s a shock I was even friends with him. I swear if I had just met him, I would never even give him a second glance. Somehow, him and Lucas are my best friends in the world.
I glance over at him. I can definitely see why girls hang off of him like that. I can also see why he’s so much of an arrogant prick. He’s drop-dead gorgeous.
He may be absolutely stunning but I would never be able to fall for him like these damn girls do.
“Next!” Shouts the worker.
“Finally,” I grumble and step up to the counter. “Two for The Disaster Artist.”
“That’ll be twenty-seven-fifty,” The guy says. He’s cute and I almost want to slip him my number.
“Stop drooling and pay him,” Basile slaps my back as I fumble with my wallet.
“I’m sorry,” I grumble, handing the man the money.
He gives me a half smile before calling ‘next!’ again.
“Why do you find guys like him attractive and not me?” Basile huffs as we make our way over to grab snacks.
“You’re straight, Baze.”
“I know but it’s still not fair!” He whines. He’s such a drama queen.
“Listen, that’s like me asking you why you think that Marlee is hot and Rachel isn’t,” I roll my eyes. “Or why you think that girls are hot and guys aren’t.”
“Well-... I mean-... I-...,” He starts to sputter like an incompetent moron.
“Exactly,” I reply as I step up to the counter. I point out a few candies, Reese’s Pieces, Skittles, Twizzlers and I also ask for a large popcorn for Basile and I to share.
Basile pays for that and we finally get into the theater. There’s only a few people in here and we decide to sit near the back.
I glance down at my phone and sigh, sending out a quick message to Luke.
Hey, Luke. Just got to the movies with Basile… Bummed you aren’t here but I just wanted to apologize to you for before. That was shitty of me. I was jealous that you spend more time with Edie than Basile and I now. Anyway, still hope you have a Good day… Talk to you later.
I frown after hitting send. I feel pretty shitty for not telling him I’m gay. I mean, I told Basile only because he caught me with Trenton Brown in the pool shed in Freshman year of high school.
That was hard to explain. He basically forced me that night to tell him absolutely everything. And I really mean that. I had to tell him how I found out, what happened with Trenton, if he was the only guy and on and on. It was seriously draining.
But, I have to admit that I was glad to have gotten that off my chest.
Normally, I would tell Lucas. We’ve always told one another everything, but I just can’t tell him this one. Because I love him and don’t want to mess up. He’s not homophobic or anything, I know that but he’d be scared off if I did tell him because then I would probably spill all of the things I’m feeling for him.
Maybe someday I’ll tell him. Once I’m over him.
I know I’ll never be over him. I’ve loved him since we first met and we were only five. Now, we’re on the cusp of eighteen and I still can’t shake this feeling in my chest.
It’s not hard to hold in my feelings anymore. Like, I tell him I love him and he takes it as I’m his best friend. Because I don’t say it all the time like I wish I could,
I’m so used to swallowing my words that they just don’t come anymore. I mean, they come to mind but I’m not stumbling over myself to make sure that none of it just slips out.
Sometimes I am blindsided by this feeling though. For example, Luke does this stupid thing where when he’s thinking he’ll puff out his cheeks that, mind you, are already round and cute, and he’ll chew his lip and play with his hands or he’ll take a pen or pencil and just do little scribbles on stuff. Sometimes he even does it with his hands. Those little quirks make something in me explode and I just want to kiss his whole face.
But, I don’t. Because he is my best friend. Best friends don’t kiss.
I actually am not lying when I say that I have to tell myself this almost every day.
A sigh catches Basile’s attention and he glances my way. “What’s up, sad-face?” He pinches my cheeks between his thumb and index finger, causing my lips to poke out into a loose pucker.
“Uh, just thinking about some shit,” I shrug.
“About finally telling Lucas?” He flicks his brows up.
I nearly fall from the seat. “How the hell did you know that?”
“You always get that stupid guilty-pout-look on your face when you think about it,” He tips his head back, sliding to a slumped position on the chair.
“I know,” I purse my lips and do the same as Baze. “I feel awful but I can’t tell him.”
“Why? You’re gay, not a murderer.”
“I-... It’s not that simple, Basile. You’re straight so you don’t get it,” I cross my arms at him.
I catch him rolling his eyes at me and instantly groan. “Lucas is your best friend. He loves you no matter what, dude.”
“That’s not the point. His brother is gay and his mom’s bi so like, of course he’s okay with it… I’m just nervous.”
“Why!? He doesn’t care if you like kissing dudes as long as you’re not kissing him!”
“Exactly, Baze! I want to fucking kiss him so I can’t come out to him!”
Basile flinches at my outburst, looking around us for a second. He finally looks at me with his hazel, almost honey-brown eyes. They were wide as he looked at me.
“Are you serious?” He asks after a while.
“How long have you known?”
“Forever,” It comes so naturally. It’s beyond true. I really have always loved Lucas and I would say it over and over if I could. I would scream it from the rooftops.
That is, as long as nobody else could hear.