Conflicted Affection

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The next morning I feel my palm on a smooth, skin like surface. I look up and notice I was still next to Ryland.

It is odd to think that it all actually happened.

I just want to play with his hair and hold him close. Last night felt intoxicating. My heart was pounding, breath shortening, temperature heating, rushes and tingles throughout my whole body.

Again, I remember what I told him. The fact that I never felt anything like this with a girl, not even anyone else except Ryland, has me confused.

Ryland is now awake and I am planning to ask him, "Ryland?"

"Yeah?" He asks, stretching and smiling.

"I only felt this with you. I never felt this with a girl or a guy, nothing sexual or romantic. Why do I feel it now? Am I not normal?"

Ryland pauses, "Have you heard of demisexual and demiromantic?"

I just shake my head, and he continues, "Its where you don't feel sexual or romantic feelings for someone until an emotional relationship begins. So if you had a celebrity crush, you wouldn't feel anything for that person at all really because you were both demisexual and demiromantic. Actually you wouldn't even have a celebrity crush."

"Do you think that's me?" I ask.

"Do you think that's you?"

I think for a second, but it actually describes me perfectly. The only person I have had a strong emotional connection to like this was Ryland, and this one best friend back in elementary. Soon, I remember how I began to have slight feelings for her, but then she moved.

My eyes widen, "Oh my god."

"I guess that's a yes." He chuckles.

"I didn't remember my first ever best friend. Me and her were always together and I began to kind of have a crush on her. She was the only girl I ever liked, and you were the only boy I ever liked. Both of you became my best friends. I know Michael was considered my best friend, but he was kind of annoying and we didn't have the same bond my first best friend and me had and we certainly didn't have the bond that me and you have."

"Woah, I guess I helped you discover something?"

"You did. I feel so much better, thank you." I smile.

Ryland begins blushing, "I like helping." He smiles shyly.

"Of course you do. You're just a good person like that."

We look at each other for a couple of minutes before he hesitantly leans in and kisses my lips softly.

I chuckle slightly after we pull away, "Are you hungry? I'm sure we have something you'd like down there."

"Actually, yeah."

"If nothing else, I'm sure my mom is cooking something. Especially if guests are around, that's when she really cooks." I lead him down to the kitchen, and with my prediction, the smell of pancakes, hashbrowns, and cinnamon toast filled my nose.

"Told ya." I whisper to Ryland, earning a small laugh from him.

We walk into the kitchen and mom turns around with a big excited look, "Hi! I am so excited! I really hope you love it! Its all our favorite breakfasts here."

"Well I do love pancakes, and cinnamon toast. But oddly enough, I never once had hashbrowns." Ryland admits.

"Never?!" Alexa asks.

"Never." Ryland replies with a smile.

"They're so so so good!" Alexa says.

"Well, I guess today I'll find out just how good they are!"

Ryland sits down in a chair, a fully made plate already ready for him and me both. I sit beside him and begin eating my food instantly.

Ryland takes a bite of his hashbrown, earning looks from the rest of us, trying to catch his reaction.

"I like it." Was all he says, but it was good enough for us.

We all reply cheerfully and continue eating our breakfast. Luckily, we don't have to worry about getting to school because it was a teacher work day, or whatever they called it.

"How'd you all sleep?" Mom asks.

"Great!" Alexa quickly shouts, but me and Ryland stay quiet, but only long enough to not get a suspicion from my mom. We both clearly are thinking about the whole situation from last night.

"I slept good!" I say.

"Me too." Ryland says quietly.

"You ok?" Mom asks.

"Yeah, just focusing on chewing my food. I don't want to be gross with it, you know." He chuckles. No matter how much we want to avoid thinking of last night at the table with my mom and sister around, we can't stop ourselves. That excuse seemed pretty genuine regardless.

"I like your manners!" Mom smiles.

"Thank you," He smiles back, "I learned from the best."

"Who might that be?" Mom asks.

"My mother and father. They have the best manners in town, maybe even in the state." He jokes.

"I can take your word on that. Every time I am around them they are just the kindest, most sophisticated people. They seem to love each other very much as well."

"Oh they do! Ever since they met in high school, according to my mother and father, they have been inseparable and when they fell in love, they loved each other with the same passion and strength from then to now." Ryland informs us. Speaking of this, I see his face lighten up. His home life seems pretty nice, especially since his parents get along so well.

"That's very hard to find. I'm glad you have them as parents. They seem amazing and incredibly happy with what they have and their life in general. I've never seen either of them really complain unless it was necessary. You have amazing role models and I hope you're grateful." Mom says.

"I am, extremely. I have been grateful for them since as long as I can remember." Ryland says with a smile I haven't seen on him since the 6th grade, when he was a happy, goofy kid.

"Oh, Dillan, you need to meet them! They are the most delightful people!" Mom suggests.

Hearing of them makes me really want to, especially since I barely know much of Ryland's really personal life, but he knows mine, "If Ryland is ok with it." I say.

"Of course! They would love you!" Ryland replies.

"Can I come?" Alexa asks.

"Mom?" I ask, and she nods, "Sure but I don't know if it'll be fun for you."

"We do have games and movies, and I know someone she will get along with! She is about her age, her name is Maybelle. My mom and dad recently adopted her." When Ryland says that, Alexa's face lights up.

"Oh, I heard of that!" Mom says.

"I was adopted too!" Alexa shouts.

Ryland chuckles, "I guess you two can bond over that, huh?"

"Yay!" Alexa shouts, and mom begins to shush her.

"We can go over tomorrow!" Mom says, then pauses, "If that's ok." She says to Ryland.

"Of course! They actually love to have you around from what I've heard." Ryland says, making my mom perk up.

"Well, go and tell them! We can't just barge into their home." Mom says, and Ryland quickly shots up and runs to my room.

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