The New Kid Ch. 02bymusicfreak©
Weeks passed and things did not get much better for me. I mean I was settling down fine. School was...well school and I managed to meet some new people but I had yet to get the nerve to talk to Hanson. I did find out his first name though, Corey, and that was through hearing his friends calling him. One person I got pretty close to was Angela. She's a student in one of my classes and she approached me at lunch one day. She turned out to be a pretty cool person and helped me around the school. When the question if I was dating came up, I simply told her that I was gay. She wasn't prejudice so it didn't bother her. You may think that that sounds like a good first few weeks but I was under a lot of mental stress.
Let me tell you why. I'd pretty much established that I really liked Corey. I would always hear him talking to his friends and he seemed like a really cool and fun guy. Now usually with most guys, give me a few days and I can tell if they're gay just like that, call it gaydar or whatever. But the problem with Corey was that he was very confusing. I couldn't tell if he was gay or not. Although a little embarrassing, I'll admit that I stared at him a fair lot, and on occasions I would see him looking at me too, before quickly looking away when I looked in his direction. Other times I would see him seemingly flirting with a few girls, which led me to think he might've been straight or maybe bisexual.
During my many staring sessions, I started noticing the little things about him. I realized that he was left-handed. How his lanyard attached to his phone always hung out of his pocket. His dimples whenever he smiled, showing a perfect set of pearly whites. It was creepy the way I was observing him. As time went on, I kept getting more infatuated with him. That is until he started ignoring me. I mean I didn't go saying hi to him and he totally disregarded me, but he just seemed to be avoiding me. My suspicions were somewhat confirmed when I was walking down the hall when he appeared at the end, walking in my direction. My heart sped up thinking this was my chance to say hi or something, anything to make my presence known. He took one look at me and his facial expression changed. Before I could make out what that expression meant he took off in another direction.
Only one reason came to me for his behaviour. He was straight. I mean I won't be surprised if he or his friends had spotted me staring, what with the amount of it I did. Maybe he thought I was gay and after him or something, so he avoided me at all cost because he wasn't interested or felt uncomfortable because of it. That was the only possible explanation I could think off. So, in my nature, I decided to stop trying to get his attention. It's apparent he noticed me but just didn't want to meet me. So I willed myself to stop thinking about him. Every time I caught myself staring at him I would pinch myself and look away. It was difficult yes but not impossible. I barely knew him so I was convinced that it was just another schoolboy crush, nothing too difficult to handle.
A week passed and I was thinking less about Corey. He would still pop into my head once in a while but I would kick him out, not wanting to torture myself. Friday came and I was glad. I was looking forward to the weekend to just relax, maybe watch a movie or something. Well I was at least, until I got a bad case of food poisoning. The number of times I ran to the toilet to throw up, I lost count. I should have known better than to have eaten that leftover pasta from the previous night. I sat in the lecture hall, the last lecture of the day. I was glad that in fifteen minutes I would be able to get home and just rest. The good thing about feeling so sick though, was that I couldn't think of Corey at all, and class of course, but Corey more importantly.
I kept looking at the clock, wishing the time would pass faster. Just then, a wave of nausea came over me. I tried to hold it in but it was futile. I ran out the lecture hall and straight for the washroom. I ran in holding my hand over my mouth in case I couldn't make it, and as if the universe was again trying to taunt me, standing at the bathroom sink was none other than Corey Hanson. For a split second I considered going to another bathroom but then I felt the stomach acid rising in my throat. I ran to the nearest cubicle and emptied my stomach into the toilet.
"You okay?" came the voice of Corey. I put up my hand to signal that I couldn't talk before I hurled again into the toilet. Finally after feeling that I could vomit anymore, I leaned against the cubicle wall, eyes closed, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand. "Do you need to see a doctor or something?" Corey voiced. For a second I forgot he was there. I shook my head, my eyes still closed. "You sure? You don't look too good."
I chuckled. "You think?"
"Sorry it's just...I think you should head home." He said. I didn't understand his sudden concern for me. Just a day ago it was like I didn't exist.
"My last class is almost over. Heading home after." I said, still not opening my eyes. I didn't want to look at him and see a look of sympathy. I didn't want sympathy.
"Oh okay. Um... are you fit to drive back like that?" He asked.
"No car. Bus." I croaked.
"Oh...do you...um I mean I could...give you a ride if you want." He offered. At these words, I finally opened my eyes. What was he playing at? First he shows concern and next he's offering me a ride home.
"I wouldn't want to throw up in your car." I said.
"Nah its no problem. I mean I would appreciate if you didn't but..." He said sheepishly. I chuckled again. Damn I should stop laughing at him. "C'mon, we'll get your stuff and go."
He helped me off the floor and I walked over to the sink, rinsing my face with water. I looked at my reflection in the mirror and indeed I looked horrible. My eyes drifted to Corey's face and in comparison he was even more handsome than usual. "You don't have anymore classes?" I asked.
"Nah. C'mon." He said walking out the washroom. I led him to my lecture hall where many of the students were leaving. I went in and grabbed my stuff, still feeling really lousy. After which I followed Corey to his car. It was a black Porche convertible and I stood there looking slightly shocked. "Like it? 9 years worth of Birthday presents from my parents." He said as he got in. "C'mon get in."
"Um... I don't think I should." I said,
"Why not?" He asked. I raised an eyebrow at him. If I drove a Porche I sure as hell won't want the possibility of puke on my carpet. As if reading my mind he said, "It's alright. I don't think you can throw up anymore." I hesitated as I climbed in. I strapped myself in and he drove out of the lot. Now this is where it got awkward. I just stared out the window not knowing what to say, only to notice that the car wasn't moving. I looked at Corey who was looking at me in return.
"Why aren't we going?" I asked, nervous under his stare.
"You haven't told me where you live." He said nonchalantly. I was overcome with embarrassment, my cheeks turning crimson. I stammered my address to him and he simply chuckled at me. I felt like crawling into a dark hole somewhere to hide my face. I went back to staring out the window, not wanting to look at him especially after I had just totally embarrassed myself.
The ride was really quiet. The radio was off and neither of us were talking, only the sound of the car rolling across the asphalt. I could see from the corner of my eye, Corey turning to me on more than one occasion as if trying to say something before closing his mouth and turning his attention back to the road. I got over the embarrassing moment and now my mind thought about his sudden concern for me. It was pretty apparent that there was something on his mind.
Finally we arrived at my house, marking the end to one of the most awkward rides home I have ever had. "Thanks for sending me here." I said as I got out of the passenger seat.
"No problem." He said and gave me a smile. I nervously returned one and closed the door behind me. I started up my porch when I head the sound of a car door opening. "Hey Kyle!" He shouted. I turned to face him waiting for him to continue. He seemed to be looking for the words to say. "You take care." He finally said and went back in his car before I could reply. I watched as he zoomed down the road and out of view. My mind was spinning, adding another reason as to why I found Corey Hanson extremely confusing. I entered my house and trudged up to my bedroom. I threw myself on my bed and just lay there, exhausted. I didn't even have the strength to think about the strange circumstances surrounding my encounter with Corey. I fell asleep soon after, hoping that a good rest would rid me of my food poisoning.
The sound of a bell woke me up. I rolled sleepily in bed, not sure where the bell came from. Another ring told me that it was someone at the door. I took in a deep breath and threw my blanket off, slowly walking down the stairs to the front door, my steps heavy as I walked across the wood floor. I opened the door and, to my surprise, there stood Corey. "Corey? What are you doing here?" I asked, rubbing my eyes, wondering if it was my eyes playing tricks on me.
"Hi. I figured you would be too sick to want to grab dinner so I brought you some food." He said holding up a bag in his hands. I looked at him, confusion on my face. "So...can I come in?" He asked.
"Uh...yeah sure." I moved aside to let him in. "You can leave that in the kitchen." I said, referring to the bag of food in his hand. I took a seat on the couch and waited for Corey to return. He came back with two takeaway containers of soup. Holding one in front of my face. "Thanks." I said, taking the bowl from him.
"Figured that you shouldn't be taking solids. Are you feeling better?" He asked.
"Much. Thanks for the soup again." I said, taking a sip of the hot soup. After a whole day of throwing up, I was getting a little hungry.
"No problem." He said drinking his own soup. An awkward silence surrounded us for the second time that day. I stared at the bowl in my hands and avoided looking at him. He decided to break the silence. "So...Um...how is school so far?" He asked. I could see him curse himself at the horrible attempt at starting a conversation. I replied with a simple okay. "Good." Was all he replied. He went back to his soup as well, the awkwardness returning again.
I couldn't take this. Everything was so strange and I couldn't deny the question on my mind that kept clawing at me. Finally I decided to just go for it. "Can I ask you something?" I said, the sound filling the quiet house.
"Sure?" He said, slightly unsure of his answer.
"Why are you doing this? I mean I'm grateful and all but like, you pretty much avoid me for the past week and now you are so concern about my health?" I asked. The question kind of just came out. I was surprised at my own ability of speech seeing as most of the time I would be tongue-tied in such a situation. He sat there staring at his soup, me waiting for his reply.
"Why shouldn't I be concerned for your health?" He said, not looking at me.
"So you're not denying that you have been avoiding me?" I asked.
"I wasn't avoiding you. Well not the way you think. I just didn't want to be around you." He said. I raised my eyebrow at his comment. "Um not a very good explanation. It's just that I sometimes see you looking at me...um...It's not that I think you are creepy or anything but I just had a lot on my mind and I...I don't know." He said, playing with the spoon in his soup. I sat there, unsure of what to make of his response. Was what was on his mind anything to do with me? Was I causing him some stress by staring at him all the time? I didn't know so I kept quiet.
"Can I ask you something then?" He voiced, looking up at me. I nodded and he continued. "Okay...um...you don't have to answer if you do not want to." He paused and I just looked at him, his cue to continue. He took a deep breath, "Okay...are you...um...gay?" He stammered. His cheeks went red and he immediately broke his gaze with me. I chuckled, expecting that question but not thinking it was actually the question on his mind.
"Is it that obvious?" I said, smiling, letting him know it was no big deal.
"Well no...not really, but I just...it's...I see you, you know...staring and I thought..." He said. He cheeks went a shade darker as blood filled them.
"Sorry...if I creeped you out. Not my intention, I swear." I said.
"So you are?" He asked.
"Yeah. It's no big deal really." I said. He kept quiet. "So since you know I might as well tell you right, although you probably already know. Um I kinda...like you? I guess." I said. I had just totally confessed to him, something I'm still wondering how I managed seeing that my ability of speech should have been failing. "You can pretend I didn't say anything if you know...don't like what you hear. I just needed to get that off my chest." I added.
I got a little anxious when he didn't speak for a good five minutes or so. I went back to my soup and drank it all. My stomach was now feeling bad not because of the food poisoning but because Corey was still not saying anything. I went to the kitchen and threw away the bowl, leaning on the kitchen sink, thinking.
"I'm gonna head off." A voice came out behind me, startling me. I nodded at Corey and he left, just like that, without another word. I heard the engine of his car start and a few seconds later, it slowly faded into the night as he drove away. I knew that I had just made it really awkward for him. I mean it's one thing to suspect that someone likes you but when that person confesses it to your face it can be quite shocking, especially to a straight guy. I had no doubt in my mind now that Corey was straight. That was the only explanation. I was still standing at the sink, looking at the water droplets in it. I didn't know how long I stood there but I think it was roughly ten minutes, just staring at the droplets of water.
I heard the rumble of engine in front of the house and I finally moved from my spot at the sink. The engine cut off and a few seconds later I heard my door open. I went to look at my door and Corey stood there. "Did you forget something?" I asked. He looked at me and walked up to me swiftly. "What ar..." I was cut off as lips pressed against mine. My eyes were wide with shock, if his hands weren't holding me, I would have fallen to the floor. Corey Hanson. Straight Corey Hanson, was kissing me. He pulled away and breathed in deeply. "Wha...y-you...I'm..." and with that my speech impediment was back.
"I've been wanting to do that all night." He said, as he lowered his head, his hands still on my shoulders.
"Is this some sort of weird dream?" I asked to no one in particular.
"No...it's real." Corey replied.
"But I thought...Why?" That was the only thing I could ask. My mind was spinning and I couldn't think straight. Corey didn't reply so I continued to babble. "I thought after you left like that...I thought you were straight." I said.
"I might as well be." He said, hands still on my shoulder.
"I don't get you?" I said.
"Well...I'm...gay but...no one knows. Well except you now." He said, finally dropping his hands and walking over to my couch, collapsing on it. So he was still in the closet. Everything was falling into place now. I remembered when I first came out, how hard it was for me, finding the courage to tell someone. I walked over to him and sat next to him. I didn't know what to say. He looked lost.
"I won't tell anyone." I reassured him. I suddenly felt that much closer to him, seeing as I went through what he was going through at that very moment. He laughed, a choked laugh like when you are on the verge of tears.
"I come here and kiss you, tell you I'm gay and you say that you won't tell anyone." He said.
"Well I know how difficult it is so I just needed to reassure you." I said, putting a hand on his shoulder. "Do you want to talk about it? Just let it out if you want, it helps." I said, surprised at how easy talking seemed to me at that moment. He sighed and leaned back against the couch, before looking at me. He stared at me for a few second. I could tell he was thinking if this was really what he wanted to do, before his expression relaxed.
"You know that first day you came? Well when I saw you I just...I don't know...it changed me. When I noticed you looking at me all the time, I wondered if you were gay too. The way you averted you gaze, pretending to be minding your own business whenever I spotted you staring, made me think you were closeted too. I wanted to get to know you. Wanted..." He paused. I looked at him, processing everything he was saying. "For the first time in my life I felt that I wanted to come out, just so I could...date you." He said.
"So you thought I was closeted and I thought you were straight. I guess we both suck at guessing then." I said. He laughed and some of the tension we were feeling lifted. "So what made you change your mind? You know to come back here." I asked without thinking. Whatever tension that was lifted before had just returned from my one question. There was a pause, him looking at his hands.
"There's something about you." He stopped, finding the words to say. "You are different, I guess. Before you came, I never felt the...the need to come out. I was happy just going about my life, pretending that I was...normal." I cringed at the use of the word. It brought back memories of my childhood, always hiding, and feeling like I was some sort of mistake. "But then that first day I saw you, I wanted to tell someone, you in particular, what I was. These thoughts didn't go away and whenever I saw you looking at me, I thought you had figured it out, even without me saying a word. I got worried. I mean if you thought I was gay, how many others suspected it. I thought that by avoiding you, it would quell the feelings I was having, but...it only made them worse. I kept thinking how good it would be to be open about it, to let at least one person know, to not have to hide behind the lie. I wanted to tell you, seeing that I didn't know very well, hoping that by doing so you would be less likely to judge me, but I didn't know how to approach you about it. Then you came into the toilet, spilling your lunch." He said.
"And you thought now would have been the best time to at least get to know me." I said, completing his thought.
"Well that and I really was genuinely concerned about you." He said. I smiled and probably blushed a little. "And when you told me just now that you were gay and you liked me, I got a little shocked. I mean I didn't expect you to say it so willingly, what with me thinking you were closeted and all. So I didn't know what to say. I wanted so bad to say that I was too but I didn't think I was ready, so I left. While driving back I kept thinking about it, how I was just presented with the opportunity to tell you and I ran. It was literally eating me on the inside, so much so that I turn around and came right back here, where I... you know..." He looked, totally ashamed of himself, like he had just committed a crime. I put my hand on his knee, running it back and forth slightly in my pathetic attempt to try and console him.
"You know that it's okay, don't you?" I asked. He looked up to me, his brown eyes almost on the verge of tears, confusion on his face. "That you are normal. It may not be something to want to sing to the heavens but there is nothing wrong with being gay. I lived almost my entire teen life thinking that and it only made me feel broken inside. You may not be ready to come out to everyone, but just don't think that you are not normal." I said. A tear rolled down his face before he pulled me into a hug. I returned it, wanting to make him feel better.