“Wake up! Come on! We’re in Santorini.”
“Yeah! Come on lad! Up, up!”
I sit up, groggily, “Okay, okay! I’m coming.”
We take a bus through the beautiful streets of Santorini. And, WOW it’s bright and colorful. Everyone is dressed in very bright and fashionable clothes, so now I’m kinda doubting my earlier doubts.
We get to the hotel in under ten minutes. As we wait to get our luggage, dad practically runs out the car to meet Fred. I grab mom’s luggage before I grab mine, because someone’s too busy running around like a child with his bestie.
Mom crooned, “You don’t have to do that, I can handle my own bags.”
“I know, but dad isn’t doing his job, so I’m doing it for him so I can pester him about it later.”
She starts laughing, “You know what? You are unbelievable, I swear.” We’re both chuckling, when Fred’s handsome son Alexandré comes over.
“I’ll take our luggage in Timmy.” mom insisted.
“Actually, I came over to help you guys out Mrs. Bianchi.” assented Alexandré.
“Why thank you Mr. Borghese, you can get Rob’s stuff in the trunk, while Timothée takes our stuff to the rooms.”
Me and mom walk into her room where I drop off her bags. She’s got this weird look on her face as I turn to walk out.
“Timmy…” Oh boy, here we go.
“I want you to have a good time here, it’s so beautiful here. You don’t have that many friends, I think you and that Alex kid should hang out.”
“Yeah...?” she says hesitantly.
“You know you could just say go and play with ‘I want you to have more friends, so go hang out with that Alex kid.’ Right?”
“Oh, I guess I do now.”
I start chuckling, “Mom you’re so old.”
She starts laughing too, “I’m gonna go put my stuff in my room, ‘kay?”
“OK, honey, I’ll just be in here putting my clothes away.”
I walk over to the next hall, and then about 15 doors down and unlock the door...to find Alexandré standing in the middle of my room. I startled and stumbled backwards,“Uh, what the HELL are you doing in my room!?”
Alex throws up his hands, as if in surrender, “Okay, first sorry. And second, I think you forgot something in the trunk.” It was my favorite baseball cap.
That caught me off guard. “Oh. Sorry.”
“It’s fine. To be honest I would’ve reacted the same way, probably.”
“Yeah, probably. Anyways I should probably start getting my stuff packed up before dinner, so...y’know.”
“I can help you put your stuff away if you’d like?”
Jeez, this guy can not take a hint. “No, it’s fine, really. I can handle it.”
“I insist, I can show where the sock drawer is, the shoe closet, and your own hotel phone. Which, by the way, you can take up to 4,500 miles from the hotel before the wifi cuts out.”
I’m sorry, WHAT!? How prestigious is this place?
As he says this, I reach for my hat (which his hand was still on) that he had put on the counter. As I grab my hat his fingers reach out and brush my hand. I jerk my hand back, letting go of my hat, realizing why he’d held onto the hat.
He jumps back as well, but instead of being surprised, he looked ashamed, his face was burning a bright red, which was getting brighter by the second.
“I guess I should, um, get going then. I’ll leave you now.”
“Uh, thanks for the hat?” I made it sound like a question. He turned around looking anxious, but with a glint of something in his eyes, maybe hope?
“Uh, sure, no problem. I’ll see you at dinner?” Now I know for sure that that was a glimpse of hope. But I don’t know what to do. So I say;
“Sure, save me a seat.” He then smiles a really big smile and responds, “You bet! See you then!” And he rushes out the room, practically skipping down the hall.
I walk into the bathroom to the toilet, and puke. Then I brush my teeth and walk to mom’s room. She’s still in there putting away her clothes. I guess dad’s still out talking with Fred.
“Hey mom…” She jumps, startled by the sudden noise
“Timothée! You scared me! What are you doing here?”
“I-I...don’t know. Sorry, I’ll go. See you at dinner.” I start to walk towards the door, when she grabs my arm and sits me down on the guest bed (in a hotel room?).
“No, I’m sorry. What’s going on? Are you okay? I saw Alex walking down the hall a little bit before you came in, is this about him?”
“Well,” I hesitate,“it is about him. It’s just that...well, he brought me my baseball hat.”
“That’s nice of him. Is that what’s wrong? You know you can be really selfish sometimes, I swear-”
“Mom, I think he’s gay.” That brought her up short.
“Honey, why would you say that!?”
“When he brought my hat back, he kept his hand on it. And when I went to pick it up, he brushed his fingers against my hand, intentionally.”
“Oh.” That’s all she had to say? It was like saying “whoops” after you break something, it doesn’t change the fact that it happened.
“Does that make you uncomfortable?” What kind of question is that!?
“Yes, it makes me very uncomfortable. It’s not that I’m uncomfortable with the fact that he’s gay-”
“We don’t know that for a fact.”
“Why else would he do that?”
“It could’ve been an accident?”
“Yeah, except for the part where I said intentionally.”
“Well, I mean, I guess so. I just don’t like going around on a whim saying that Alex is, you know…”
“Yeah, that,” she jumps up, “Right! We should be getting downstairs for dinner.”
“Okay. But wait, you aren’t going to tell anybody about what I think of Alex, are you?”
“What? No! Of course not! Me and you are going to figure out if he is or not on our own. Trust me: we do not need anyone else in on this.” I let out a sigh of relief.
“Thanks, mom.” She smiles.