Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
MON AT 11:56 PM
Hey still up?
Just got home from the shoot now
I guess you’re already asleep
But i wanted to share this with you
Noah sent a photo.
Talk to you tomorrow
Good night x
Theo had ended up falling asleep around eleven the previous night, feeling tired after a long day of work, but he smiled as he read Noah’s messages in the morning, particularly at the photo Noah had sent him. It was a photo of Noah wearing some high fashion clothes, posing at an angle with his back leaning against a wall, exuding an air of elegance and confidence with a hint of a rebellious bad boy. Theo couldn’t help but bite his bottom lip, feeling slightly turned on by the photo, as he replied to the message.
TUE AT 7:12 AM
Good morning :)
This made my morning
You look sexy af in that photo
I wish I could see you right now
I also checked the song you sent me and it’s so good!
What are you doing to me, Noh? Theo thought to himself before taking care of the small tent that had formed beneath his boxers. Luckily, he’d gotten up before his alarm clock rang, so he had time to spare.
Once he’d climaxed and come down from the ephemeral high he experienced from the dopamine release, he headed into the bathroom to have a shower.
As he lathered his body with soap, he noticed his muscles weren’t as toned as they’d been when he was working out more regularly. He’d slacked off a bit in the last few months, only occasionally going for a jog. He knew Noah worked out in the morning before work to stay in shape and he wondered if he should start working out more often. Maybe he and Noah could work out together on the weekend...
There he was, making plans again as if he and Noah were already dating. He still didn’t know where they stood, but it almost felt like they were together, even though they hadn’t talked about it. But the song Noah had sent him had given him hope.
He quickly finished his shower, got dressed, and had a green smoothie for breakfast before heading to work. On the way to work, he smoked a cigarette and listened to the song Noah had sent him. He’d downloaded it the previous night as well as some other songs Noah had introduced to him over the last few weeks. Listening to those songs made him feel closer to Noah when he couldn’t be around him.
His good mood didn’t go unnoticed by his colleagues. Amy, the colleague who sat next to him, asked him if something good had happened. Theo just shook his head and said that he just woke up in a good mood. He didn’t really give his colleagues a lot of details about his personal life because he didn’t know what their views were on same-sex relationships. Instead he usually just engaged in casual small talk with them or talked to them about work.
He noticed he’d received a reply from Noah after turning on his computer.
TUE AT 9:02 AM
Just got back home from my workout
Glad you liked it ;)
The photo and the song i mean
My friend will send me the rest of the photos later on so i can show you some more
If you want of course
He quickly replied to the message before replying to the emails in his inbox.
TUE AT 9:03 AM
I should work out more. Where do you usually work out?
And yes please send me!
I gotta work now, but I’ll reply when I’m on my break x
After answering a few emails and making a couple of calls, he noticed that his manager didn’t seem too busy, so he took the opportunity to ask her if he could have Thursday afternoon off to take care of some errands. The manager checked to see if anyone else from his team was on leave before granting Theo authorization. He thanked her and returned to his seat, looking forward to surprising Noah at the bookshop on Thursday.
The rest of the day was just a regular day at the office: analyzing and selecting vendors, sending requests for quotations, creating purchase orders, and negotiating contracts before sending them to the legal department. He took a break in the morning and one in the afternoon to smoke and had lunch at the team member cafeteria. He texted Noah whenever he had time. During his afternoon smoking break, he also replied to a message from Alice, who asked about the time of the dinner. They decided they’d head to Theo’s parents’ place together.
It was a fairly light day in terms of work, so he managed to leave work just a few minutes after six, wishing his colleagues a good evening as he walked out. There was a slight skip to his step, a blissful bounce in his walk. He’d see Noah on Thursday.
The soft breeze caressing his skin made for a pleasant walk home as the sunset. After going up the escalator to the top of an overpass, Theo paused for a second when he noticed the colors in the sky. A plethora of shades of purple, pink, and orange. He took a photo of it and sent it to Noah.
TUE AT 6:18 PM
Theo sent a photo.
The sky looks beautiful today
I thought I’d share it with you
He was about to pocket his phone when he felt it vibrate. Noah had answered pretty quickly.
TUE AT 6:19 PM
It looks amazing
But i bet you look even better ;)
Theo smiled like an idiot at the message. People walking around him glanced at him suspiciously, wondering what a guy was doing in the middle of the overpass grinning like a fool as he looked at his cellphone. But that no longer phased him. He already was used to getting stared at, being a foreigner in a fairly ethnically homogenous place, where more than ninety percent of the population was Han Chinese.
Noah’s message gave him an idea. He lifted his phone up and opened the camera app. He switched the camera to selfie mode and looked for the best angle. He didn’t usually take selfies, but for Noah, he didn’t mind.
Once he was satisfied with the photo he’d taken of himself with the watercolor sky in the background, he sent it to Noah and stared at the conversation, waiting for Noah’s reaction. The photo was marked as seen. The three dots appeared at the bottom.
TUE AT 6:22 PM
I was right
This view is much better
Fuck you’re hot
Theo blushed at the message. He loved how blunt Noah was. He couldn’t wait to see him again.
TUE AT 6:23 PM
You sent me eye candy this morning
Just thought I’d return the favor ;)
He went down the stairs to exit the overpass and walked towards the old town center. On his way to the Carmo Garden, he smoked a cigarette and continued texting Noah, who was almost done with his shift at the book shop. The shop wasn’t too busy that day according to Noah, so he could answer Theo’s messages fairly quickly.
Alice suddenly called him, so he had to pause his conversation with Noah to answer the call, “Hey, Allie.”
“Theo, where are you right now?”
“I’m near San Miu. Going to buy some wine to bring to my parents’, why?”
“Oh, perfect! Jamie and I are running a bit late, so maybe you could buy for the three of us and we can split the price between us and we’ll meet you at your parents’ at 7?” He could almost hear her pleading eyes through the speaker.
Theo should’ve expected it. Alice always ran late, “What would you do without me?”
“Thank you! You’re a star!” Alice said before hanging up. I didn’t even agree to it, Theo thought as he looked at his phone screen. She was probably in a rush to get ready. It was already 6:40 pm.
Theo quickly replied to Noah before stepping into San Miu to buy a bottle of wine he knew his mom liked. After paying for it and taking the price off, he made his way to his parents’ place. He still had five minutes to spare by the time he arrived at his parents’ building so he decided to smoke a cigarette while he waited for the girls. He called Alice but she didn’t answer. Hopefully, they won’t be late, he thought.
He noticed Noah still hadn’t replied. He was probably busy finishing his shift. Noah would still perform at D2 that night and the following night. Theo stubbed his cigarette on the ashtray at the top of the trash can, wishing he didn’t have to get up early so he could go to the club and watch Noah dance.
He could watch Noah dancing all day.
He heard some steps approaching him, so he looked up and saw Alice and Jamie, “You’re on time.”
“I dragged her out of the house before she could think of changing outfits again,” Jamie said, looking at Alice with a teasing look.
“I only changed once. The dress had a stain on it,” Alice explained to Theo, “But I only found what I actually wanted to wear after I changed to this.”
“And you already look cute in this,” Jamie said as she brought her arm around Alice.
“Aw, you look cute too!” Alice said before giving Jamie’s cheek a kiss.
“Why do I feel like I’m a third wheel all of a sudden,” Theo asked looking at the two girls with an amused expression.
“You’re just jealous ’cause Noah isn’t here with you,” Alice threw back.
“Ouch,” Theo pretended to act wounded as they walked to the entrance of the building. Although he yearned to spend as much time as he could with Noah, he wanted to know where he stood with him before introducing him to his parents. It was still too soon. Noah clicked on the buzzer of his parents’ apartment.
“Hello?” His dad’s voice could be heard from the buzzer.
“Dad, it’s me. I’m here with Allie and Jamie.”
“Oh, great! I’ll buzz you in,” the trio heard a click on the lock of the door and opened it.
“Thanks, see you in a sec.”
They stepped in and called an elevator.
“By the way, do your parents know about Noah?” Alice asked as they waited for the elevator, which would take a minute or two.
“No, I think my mom suspects I’m seeing someone, but I haven’t told them anything. I might tell them I’m kind of seeing someone, but I don’t know.”
“Why not?” Jamie asked curiously.
“I don’t really know where I stand with him... I mean, I know he feels something towards me by the way he acts around me and even when we’re apart, but we haven’t really talked about it.”
“You should. You clearly want to date him, so just talk to him about it,” Alice was right. He knew what he had to do. But he’d always been a bit afraid of confronting people. He never confronted Jason about the way he was treated by him, he led Flávio on rather than dealing head-on with a difficult conversation and at that moment he was avoiding confrontation with Noah. He was afraid that he’d misread all the signs and that Noah would reject his feelings.
“I know. And I will. I just don’t know how to go about it. Casual sex is easy. Just meet and bang. This is new to me.”
Alice nodded in understanding. She’d been slow to date Jamie as well because of fear. A different kind of fear, but fear nonetheless. Unlike Theo, Alice didn’t struggle with facing things head-on. She did it too much and it had hurt her a lot, so for once, she decided to calmly think things through instead of just jumping in.
The elevator doors opened and they stepped in. Theo pressed on the button of his parents’ floor and the doors closed. Jamie asked Theo what his parents’ names were and where his family was from. By the time they reached their floor, Jamie had been briefed on Theo’s family.
The door to Theo’s parents’ apartment was already opened, but Theo still knocked first to let his parents know they were going in.
“Hello? Mom? Dad?” Theo called as soon as he stepped in.
“In here, sweetie,” his mom’s voice rang from the kitchen.
Theo walked into the kitchen, followed by Alice and Jamie who closed the door. His mom was cooking something that smelled delicious. Theo greeted his mom with a kiss on the cheek before saying, “Hey, Mom.”
“Hey, sweetie. You smell like tobacco! When will you stop smoking?”
Theo ignored his mom’s reprimand, being used to her comments about his nasty habit, “Whatcha cookin’? It smells amazing.”
“Jambalaya, so I hope you guys are hungry. Hi Allie!” She said as she saw Alice stepping into the kitchen. She set her spoon on a plate next to the stove and hugged Theo’s friend tightly.
“Lily! It’s been a while!” Alice gave Theo’s mom a kiss on her cheek before letting her go, “By the way, this is Jamie, my girlfriend.”
“Hi, Jamie! It’s lovely to meet you too,” his mom hugged Jamie with just as much enthusiasm as she did Alice.
“It’s lovely to meet you too Mrs. Edwards,” Jamie responded politely.
“Oh, please, call me Lily! I’ll feel old if you call me Mrs. Edwards,” his mom teasingly said before letting go of Jamie and returning to her cooking, “Now off you go to the living room so I can finish cooking!”
The trio headed into the living room where Theo’s dad was setting the table. “Hey, dad,” Theo greeted, “We brought some wine.”
“Oh, great! Thank you! I actually forgot to buy some so it’s good that you brought some,” his dad let go of the cutlery and gave Theo a hug before acknowledging the other two ladies, “Hi Allie, it’s been a while!”
“Hi, Nate. Yeah, I’ve been quite busy, but I missed you guys,” Alice said before giving Theo’s dad a hug.
“We missed you too! And who’s this?” Nathan looked at Jamie.
“This is Jamie, my girlfriend,” Alice smiled as she looked at Jamie.
“Oh, no wonder you’ve been busy! Hi, Jamie, it’s nice to meet you,” Jamie extended her hand out expecting a handshake, but Jamie received the same treatment as Theo and Alice, getting a warm hug from Nathan.
“Thank you for having me, Mr. Edwards,” Jamie said once Nathan had let go of the hug. She definitely wasn’t used to the southern warmth of Theo’s family.
“It’s Nathan, or Nate, whichever you prefer,” Theo’s dad said with a kind smile before grabbing the cutlery again and turning to Theo, “Theo, you can open that bottle while I finish setting the table.”
“Can I help in any way?” Jamie offered.
“No, you’re our guest. You and Allie can just have a seat. Make yourselves at home,” Nathan said, before setting the rest of the table.
Theo grabbed the bottle opener from the kitchen and accepted a bite from the jambalaya which his mom offered, “Oh man, that’s so good.”
“It’s almost done. Oh, you brought some wine! Pour me a glass of that,” his mom said.
“It’s a school night, are you sure you want to drink?” Theo teased his mom as he opened the bottle.
“What my students don’t know can’t hurt them,” she winked at Theo, who chuckled at his mom’s retort.
Theo headed back into the living room where he placed the bottle of wine on the table and joined Alice, Jamie, and his dad on the couches. Nathan was asking Jamie some questions about her, getting to know her, and asking Alice how she and Jamie met. It didn’t take long until his mom left the kitchen and announced that dinner was ready.
They all sat at the table and Theo poured a glass of wine for everyone at the table while Lily gave everyone a generous serving of her steaming hot jambalaya. “Hope you enjoy it,” she said after serving everyone.
Alice had a bite and immediately moaned at the taste, “Lily, you really gotta teach me how to make this. Even my mom doesn’t cook this well!”
“You’re always welcome to come over and learn,” Lily replied with a smile as she ate a bit as well, “How’s ya mom’n’em?”
Jamie seemed confused by the expression his mom had just used, but the meaning became clear to her as soon as Alice answered, “They’re all good. Mom got a promotion recently and dad’s decided to try the keto diet, so he probably wouldn’t be able to appreciate this jambalaya.”
“Keto diet? What’s that?” Nathan asked.
“Basically you can’t eat carbs or sugar,” Alice explained.
“That sounds like an awfully boring diet,” his mom said. She had a sweet tooth, so letting go of sugar sounded tragic to her ears.
“Well, he tries things every so often and has a hard time committing to them. My mom and I have a bet about how long this diet will last. She thinks he’ll last two months, but I think he’ll last three weeks tops.”
“You guys are so mean to your dad,” Theo said.
“Well, if you met my dad, even you’d bet,” Alice retorted back.
“And Jamie, Theo mentioned to me that you were also an English teacher. Where do you teach?” Lily asked.
“I teach at Santa Rosa de Lima,” Jamie answered, “By the way, this is amazing. I’ve never tried jambalaya before.”
“You poor soul,” Nathan jokingly said.
“Don’t worry, Jamie, I’ll bring some soul food into your life. Have as much as you like,” Lily said before taking a sip of the wine, “And Theo, see, Alice has already brought someone over. When will I get to meet your boo?”
“Hopefully it won’t take long,” Alice hinted.
“Oh, is there something you’re not telling us, Theo?” His mom asked.
“Thanks, Allie,” Theo said sarcastically to his friend, “And well, I’ve kinda been seeing a guy. It’s fairly recent, so not yet sure what we are to each other, which is why I still hadn’t told you about him...”
“They’re totally into each other,” Alice said to Lily.
“Ooh, tell me more about him!” His mom’s eyes were sparkling with curiosity. It had been so long since Theo had been seriously interested in someone. The last time he’d mentioned a crush was in high school.
“His name is Noah and he’s a dancer. He also works at a bookshop during the day,” Theo felt slightly awkward talking about Noah. He knew his cheeks were blushing.
“Oh, look at him being all shy!” His mom gushed, “You have to show me a photo of him after dinner!”
“How did you meet?” Nathan asked.
“I first saw him at D2,” he noticed his mom’s frown when he mentioned the club, “but we didn’t really talk. Then one night I bumped into him at Nam Van Lake and we talked and got along really well.”
“Oh, that was a coincidence!” Nathan said, “And how long ago was this?”
“About a month ago,” Theo said, wishing the conversation would switch to a different topic so he would stop being the center of attention.
“Is he from Macau?” His mom asked.
“Nah, he was born in Thailand, but he’s half-German half-Thai. His family moved here when he was young though. We actually went to the same school, but he’s four years younger than me and he moved to Germany when he was sixteen.”
“Oh, wow! Quite a well-traveled fella!” His mom said.
“Yeah,” Theo smiled as he thought about Noah.
“You seem smitten. Are you sure you two aren’t already dating?” His mom teased.
“They’re basically dating but don’t wanna admit it,” Alice remarked.
“Pretty much,” Jamie agreed.
“Oh, you two’ve met Noah?” Nathan asked.
“Yeah! He’s great! And pretty sure he’s just as smitten,” Alice said confidently.
“Can we talk about something else?” Theo didn’t want to think about the conversation he would eventually have to have with Noah about what exactly they were doing.
“Okay, we’ll stop teasing for now,” his mom conceded.
The rest of the evening Lily and Nathan asked Jamie and Alice a lot of questions, wanting to catch up with Alice and get to know Jamie. Jamie, who had initially been shy, was soon relaxed and laughing at Nathan’s jokes. It didn’t take long for the Edwards to make her feel welcome and like a part of the family.
After dinner, Theo showed his mom a photo of Noah. Lily put her glasses on and complimented the man in the photo, making Nathan curious, so Theo also showed him the photo. When they tried to ask more questions about him though, Theo checked the time and saw that it was almost 10 pm, so he used that as an excuse to evade questions about his lover.
“It’s getting late. I should get going, but I can tell you more about him next time,” he said.
“Yeah, we should also get going,” Alice said, yawning a bit.
“Oh, yeah, it’s getting late. But you’ll have to tell me more about Noah!” His mom insisted.
“Will do,” Theo conceded.
They thanked Theo’s parents for the dinner and bid them a good evening with hugs and kisses, before heading home. Jamie was going to sleep over at theirs that night, so they all walked home together. Theo whined at Alice the whole way home for having teased him at the dinner table regarding his situation with Noah, but Alice just shrugged him off, knowing that he wasn’t really mad at her.
Back at their apartment, Jamie and Alice went to Alice’s room and Theo headed to his room to grab a towel to take a shower. After his shower, he put his pajamas on and sat down on his bed to reply to Noah’s messages before he started his shift at D2.
They were texting each other for a bit, talking about Theo’s dinner with Alice, Jamie, and his parents as well as Noah’s day at work, when Theo received a call on FaceTime from. his sister.
He hadn’t talked to his sister in a while. She was usually busy with work and with the time difference, it was hard to keep in touch at times. They texted each other occasionally, but even though they didn’t talk often and lived on opposite sides of the world, they got along well. He quickly answered the call and adjusted his hair.
“Hey, baby bro,” his sister’s southern drawl greeted him.
“You do realize I haven’t been a baby in more than 20 years,” Theo responded.
“You’re always gonna be my baby bro,” his sister smiled in a teasing manner. She was wearing her office attire, so Theo assumed she was at work taking a short break.
“How are you? And aren’t you supposed to be at work?”
“I’m good and I’m having breakfast right now. Rob says hi by the way,” Rob or Robert was Katie’s fiancé. Theo sometimes forgot how big of a time difference there was between him and his sister, “Anyway, I’m calling because a little birdy mentioned to me that you’re seeing someone.”
Mom, Theo thought. “The little birdy wasn’t lying.”
“Oh my gosh! Please tell me everything! You haven’t dated anyone in years!” His sister was even more enthusiastic than his mom.
“Hold your horses,” Theo chuckled at his sister’s impatient expression, “We’re not yet dating. We met a month ago and honestly, I don’t really know what we are.”
“What do you mean?”
Theo had always looked up to his sister so when he was initially coming to terms with his sexual orientation, he talked to his sister and she wholeheartedly accepted him and helped him come out to his family, so he didn’t mind discussing his insecurities with her regarding Noah.
“I like him a lot. I like him so much it scares me. I haven’t felt this way about anyone before, Katie. And we act as if we are dating. We talk all the time, he is always texting me, sending me photos, spending nights at my place or at his place... But... he’s so hard to read. His gaze is blunt, but he is guarding his words. I know he feels something towards me, but there’s something holding him back.”
“Why don’t you talk to him about it?”
Theo grew quiet.
“What is it?” His sister asked when she noticed her brother’s hesitancy in answering her question.
“It’s stupid...” Theo felt embarrassed to admit the truth.
“Let’s hear it.”
“I’m scared,” Theo admitted.
“Aww, Theo,” his sister caringly gazed at him through the screen.
“I know, it’s stupid, but I just... don’t wanna fuck this up. I don’t really know what I’m doing. I haven’t been into someone since Jason, but... I’m afraid I might be moving too fast for him and that I’ll scare him off.”
“I understand your fears. I know it can be scary to put yourself out there and risk getting hurt, but from the little you’ve told me about this guy, he seems to be just as interested in you as you are in him,” she paused, waiting to see if Theo disagreed with her, “And being stuck in limbo id just as painful, isn’t it?”
Theo nodded before she continued, “So why not try talking to him about it? You can just ask him if he’d like to give it a try.”
His sister had a point.
“I guess I could try asking him if he’d like to give us a try this weekend,” Theo said.
“That’s the spirit! I’ll be here rootin’ for ya!” His sister smiled at him.
“Thanks, Katie. How’s Rob by the way?”
“He’s good. He can appear on camera next time. We’re about to head to work now, just got excited when I saw mom’s message that I had to call.”
“Mom really can’t keep a secret for too long,” Theo chuckled.
“I’m glad she can’t otherwise I’d not know that my baby bro has been seeing someone!” Katie teased Theo, “Anyway, I have to end this now or I’ll be late to work. I’ll talk to you later, okay?”
“Sure thing. Have a nice day at work,” Theo said with a yawn.
“Night night, baby bro. Love ya,” his sister said before hanging up.
He felt a bit more at ease after talking to his sister and felt determined to talk to Noah about their situation on the weekend. He noticed he had a couple of messages from Noah.
TUE AT 10:52 PM
Going to work now
I wish i were with you though
Or that you were at d2 to watch me dance
Theo smiled as he read the messages. He was sure there was something there. Noah wouldn’t be saying those things if there weren’t. And that thought gave him some reassurance.
TUE AT 11:01 PM
I’ll gladly be your audience any day
I wish I were with you too