The Awkward Boy's Crush (BoyxBoy)

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Chapter 12

It’s warm. There’s a breeze. The sun rays filtered through the light curtains made the room warm. There are muted chatters in the background.

The sun made his hair glow, softly reflecting the light. Or was he already glowing? The breeze playing with his hair made it tousled in buoyant waves.

He turned and looked at me. It felt like it was in slow motion. His sweet honey eyes met mine. He was not quite smiling, but it was a warm gaze. Not his uncaring one. But a tender gaze meant to convey words without vocalising.

“Marc...” He was smiling at me. He didn’t look away like he usually does.

We’re standing in the middle of the classroom all of a sudden. Just us. I can still feel the breeze. He took a step closer to me. And another. We’re face to face now. So close. He’s still smiling. I feel warm inside. I’m smiling too.

“Marc...” He’s getting ever closer. His face so close to mine. His smile and gaze, warm.

*alarm sounds*

Ugh, that damn alarm. I jolted awake from that scary sound. I clutched my chest, my heart beating rapidly from anxiety. Like I said before, alarm sounds scare me. No matter what sound I use.

The dream. Since I woke up suddenly while I was dreaming, I remember some of it. I don’t remember every detail but the gist of what happened. I usually dream a lot and I don’t remember all of them the next morning. But sometimes I recall the morning ones or if I wake up suddenly.

The classroom. The sun. The breeze. And Kai, him standing too close to me. Another weird one. I have a lot of weird dreams, anyway. But it’s another dream where Kai appeared. It’s been a few this week already. I don’t remember all my dreams anyway, so I must’ve dreamt of everyone at some point. It’s just I remember a few and Kai just happened to be in them. Whatever. I have to go get ready.

_______________________

The day was really normal. Just the same classes. I had Physics before the break; I think I was extra hungry today.

Kai told me he’d wait under that vine arbour tunnel after school. I was a bit late because I had to talk to the Chemistry teacher about some chapters I had missed before I joined. Since we have a quarterly exam soon and they will test those chapters along with the new ones. There were a few topics from physical chemistry. I told him I could manage and my friends would help.

I could already see Kai from here through the bushes and shrubs. I kept walking and I was gonna call out to him when I saw he was with someone. A girl from our class, Sophie.

“But why? I thought you did. You even helped me at the lab that day. You smiled, you gave all the signs.” She said, frowning.

“I’m sorry. You misunderstood. I just wanted to help. I don’t like you.” Wow, did she confess?

Kai was his same distant self while talking to people he isn’t close with. It’s the tone that scares people away, like he just wants to be done with the conversation. I’m so glad we’re past this.

“Why’re you so cold? You talk to your friends so nicely. You’re with Marcus all the time and you’re smiling.” She looked hurt. I understand her, but I know this is too much for Kai as well.

“I’m sorry. I’m not comfortable around people I’m not close with.”

Sophie looked like she could cry any minute now. “Is it me? Do you like another girl? I thought you liked me. No other guy even smiles at me.”

Kai took a deep breath. Looks like he’s preparing himself to deliver more than three brief sentences. I hope Sophie understands and isn’t too hurt.

“No, there’s no other girl. And I don’t hate you, I just don’t like you like that. I can’t... like you or any other girl. And it’s just high-school. You’ll find someone caring. You’re a... nice person.” Kai stated as softly as he could while thinking hard on what to say. It looks like that’s all the words he could muster right now.

Wait. Wait a damn minute...

What? Kai likes guys? Is that what it means? Sophie was taken aback a little as well.

I had no idea. I’m just... surprised.

I can’t really think of anything right now.

Sophie nods her head, looking down. “Thanks. I think no one knows or you wouldn’t have that reputation among girls.”

Yep, that’s what it definitely means. Also, I just realised. I was listening in on them. Shit. I have no right to be here. I walked in on a delicate moment, and I was too caught up in my thoughts that I totally forgot. But I don’t have a choice now, I’ll just apologise then.

Sophie finally left, and I walked up to Kai.

“You heard all of it.” He said avoiding eye contact, looking at his shoes.

“Well... yes. I didn’t wanna interrupt.” I felt guilty. “Sorry.” I wanted to explain and apologise more, but Kai looked so down. I stopped.

He just nodded. He was still not looking at me. He kept dragging his shoes back and forth on the pavement to look busy. I shouldn’t have stayed, I think he’s very uncomfortable now.

“I hurt another person.” Oh... that’s the reason he’s this down.

“No Kai, it was a misunderstanding. You did well.” What should I do? What should I say? I’m so damn nervous.

He shook his head, still not looking at me.

“I hurt people. It’s not just her. I’ve hurt people before. I hurt you before. I- ”

Before he could say anything else, I closed the distance between us, wrapped my arms around his shoulders and pulled him close. The force made him take a step back. He was shocked, as was I. Damn, I’m really impulsive.

I rested my head on his shoulder and shook my head ‘no’. He recovered from the initial shock and hugged me back. He slowly rested his head on my shoulder. He’s taller than me, so he had to lower his head a little.

“No, you didn’t. It’s my fault for judging you at first. The guys like you just as you are, so do I. I’ve told you that before, haven’t I?”

He nodded on my shoulder.

“And it’s me. I’m sorry. I should’ve tried to understand you’re not comfortable around new people. Felix helped me understand. I’m glad I stuck to you. Now you’re one of my closest friends here.”

“Yes... friends. We’re really close friends.” He mumbled. “I’m so glad you were patient with me. Most just leave. I didn’t want you to leave too.” He sounded genuinely sad. “I really thought you just put up with me because of the guys.” His voice was soft and fragile, just like how he was now.

I tightened my hold, as if to convey my feelings. I can’t think of the words I should say that’d make him understand how I truly enjoy being with him. I still tried.

“No. I didn’t put up with you. I didn’t stay because of the guys. I stayed because of you. And Kai, I’m here to stay."

I don’t know if these were the words he wanted to hear, if they moved him like I hoped they would. I don’t know if I reassured him. But I said those things truly with all my heart, with every drop of emotion I wanted to convey. I could feel him sinking into the hug, deeper. He truly embraced me and I, him.

I don’t really do hugs. They’re really awkward for me. I can’t even remember when was the last time I hugged someone. Probably the clumsy sudden hug with a girl from my class. She is a hugger, and she suddenly hugged me on my last day there. I’m still happy she did, it’s a fun memory for me. But if I could, I would hug Kai again. And again. And every time he felt down.

Kai suddenly spoke up chuckling, “So we’re gonna awkwardly hug for how long now...”

Yep, it’s been a while now. It’s become really awkward now. So embarrassing. I can feel my cheeks burn. “Umm... till you feel better. Yeaaah.... you know hugs release oxytocin. They’re supposed to make you feel better.”

“Thanks...” He loosened his hold after a few seconds. Both of us were not looking at each other.

“Do the other guys know? What if Sophie announces it to the whole class? To be honest... I never imagined, really. But it’s totally alright.” I spoke up finally. I’d be genuinely surprised if I’m the only one who doesn’t know. But I’m new anyway.

“Marvin knows. I’m not sure about the others, but they most probably know. We never really talked about this stuff before. And I don’t care if everyone knows now, just like I don’t care about that damn reputation.” He looked okay now, I hope the hug helped.

“I’m sorry you had to come out to her like this. And to me, too. We never really talked about this and it’s not that I assumed you were straight. It’s just... I never really thought about it.”

“It’s alright. But... it doesn’t make you uncomfortable with me, right?” He asked with a nervous smile.

I spoke up fast, “Of course not. Why should it?” I tried to assure him by punching his shoulder lightly. He visibly relaxed.

“But... how come only Marvin knows for sure?”

“I think he asked me once. I told him I was gay. Later, he asked for advice regarding Lance. Lance sees him as a friend or frenemy, whatever they are. I don’t know about Lance’s preference either. But Marvin’s liked him for a while now. He’s liked girls before too, so he’s sure he’s bi. But it’s not like I’m experienced.” Kai spilled everything, my brain working hard to process all that he said.

My jaw hung open by the time he finished. It could touch the ground now. I gasped out loud.

“WHAT??” Kai looked at me with an amused expression.

“Marvin and Lance? Really? I could’ve never...” I backtracked my thoughts. “Oh.. oh oh oh. Oh...”

Kai just laughed at my reaction.

“So Marce is for real...” I thought of the name I gave them. But it was not in that way.

“That’d be a nice couple name. I totally believe they could be for real.” He looked satisfied with the name. “I bet on it.” Kai bombed me with additional information, shrugging his damn shoulders. What the fuck. This is information overload for me. I gasped again.

So many things happened with me in such a short time that my brain cells were on overdrive. And there’s a bet. Of course.

“THERE’S A BET?!!”

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