Graduation was approaching.
Each passing day made it easier to accept neither Nick nor I was good enough for college. It didn’t hurt. It might have been a relief. While everyone else prepared for a normal life after high school, Nick and I got to consider alternatives.
“You know if we leave, there’s no coming back. You’ll be stuck with me forever,” I said.
“No, you’ll be stuck with me,” Nick playfully corrected while he raided the refrigerator.
My dad was out of town for the week, so Nick and I had the house to ourselves. It was nice to kick back after a long day of school, especially after stripping out of half my clothes. Having my boyfriend there made it a million times better.
I knew I wasn’t Nick’s first anything, but he was mine. He probably wasn’t as cautious with his ex as he had to be with me. Sadly my dad bought into all the toxic Christian beliefs our town petaled, so it was unavoidable. We missed out on doing things normal couples got to do, which made me appreciate moments Nick might have looked over. I wasn’t sure how he felt about our time lazing around, but to me, the simple things were worth gold.
Anyway, it was cool to have time without filters up.
“We could move in together. It might be more expensive, but,” I started but quickly went silent because Nick sat beside me on the living room couch.
He got in close and made it hard to think of anything else.
He was such a dork. Nick leaned in but stopped just as we were about to touch. His eyes were wide open and looking into mine until I closed the last bit of space for him. The awkwardness might have been a product of him knowing I was new to everything. Maybe he always stopped himself short of being assertive because he wanted to make sure I was ok? It took months after prom night for me to even stand in the same room with him without losing my shit. It took even longer to admit that I felt something.
Or maybe he was just awkward and had bad timing. It was odd, but I was into it anyway.
Once I gave him the go-ahead, Nick and I both got into it. That was our first kiss all day after seeing each other plenty of times at school. Needless to say, we were enjoying ourselves. We made out for ten or so minutes, but it felt like seconds.
When Nick had to come up for air and let me go, I couldn’t help but laugh. It was odd how quickly I learned to enjoy and crave another guy’s attention. I went through three years of high school chasing after the opposite sex, so it was a flip when I suddenly hooked up with a dude.
There was a look on Nick’s face, like drunken relief. I probably had a similar expression.
He leaned back in his seat and kicked his feet up on the coffee table in front of us. While he sprawled out and stretched, I took mental photos of everything. It made me comfortable the more relaxed I thought he was.
“I want to see the world, or...at least a better one. Don’t you?” He asked.
I almost forgot we were having a conversation.
“Just the two of us?” I said.
“Don’t you want to leave Oklahoma?”
“I do, but,” I stumbled, still watching him beside me.
While I was in little more than my boxers and a t-shirt, Nick was fully dressed. He usually wore sweaters and jeans, but they couldn’t hide how skinny he was. We both were, but I had more muscle from playing football.
Either way, I was mesmerized by his presence. Nick was my first boyfriend and longest serious relationship. His body was right there, tempting me to reach out and undress him as I’d already done to myself. Anything he might have said or done was enough to effortlessly hold my attention. I fetishized my boyfriend when all he was doing was sitting next to me. It’s true, I was a popular kid, but when it was just us, I was nervous like my first kiss.
“You’re afraid?” He asked, and he wasn’t wrong, but I was also turned on.
“No. Not really, ” I said.
“I can take care of you,” he joked with a grin.
“I’m not a baby,” I argued, to which he said, “you’re my baby. My dumb Meat Head of a baby.”
Only he could get away with saying something like that. It was goofy, cheesy, and annoying, but I could tolerate it from Nick enough to laugh.
“Don’t call me that,” I laughed and pushed his shoulder.
“What? Meat Head or baby,” he ran with the bit, but I answered, “both...either.”
“We could move in together, but if we stay here...there are places outside this town. Places that are nice to people like us,” Nick explained while he took his feet down from the table to turn and face me more directly.
“So it’s not just a road trip? You really want to run away?” I asked.
“Why not? I’m tired of hiding,” he said with a hand resting on my leg.
“But where would we go?”
“Seattle,” he said.
I paused to process.
“That’s where my mom grew up, and I hear it’s nice to people like us,” Nick explained.