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Chapter 2- The Truth

After my brief encounter in the supermarket, my excitement was visible to all. I was driving at snail’s pace, with the windows rolled down. I sang out loud as I usually do and I’d occasionally scream out almond praline gold or not chocolate randomly.

My poor aunt Berne one must admire her patience. It was only after we missed the turning did she bother to stop me briefly to tell me we were going the wrong way.

Nonetheless, if this is what getting my phone number taken was imago the state id is when we ‘hung’.

We reached home unpacked all the stuff and I bounced up to my room. It was really my room. Half my stuff from my house in California was here. The bookshelf, the bed, the study they were all my familiar friends.

I collapsed onto the bed and placed my phone cautiously on the bed side table. I closed my eyes. Promptly 2 minutes later I woke to see if I had received any messages. This was getting out of hand. I was acting like a little girl seeing Justin Beiber for the first time. But I couldn’t help it.

I decided -what better way to take my mind off Chris than by studying. So I took out my book and flipped through the pages. And rightly so within 10 min I was fully immersed in the book till I came across Chris Douglas and something on excavation. And there I was back to the same state.

Half an hour later aunt Berne chimed for lunch. I huddled down the stairs and asked her if she needed any help. She politely declined my offer to help and continued about the kitchen.

“The whole family is coming over for thanksgiving.” She said out of the blue.

“Really? Wow. Cool.” Is all I could say.

“So that means you are going to help me cook the thanksgiving dinner!” She smiled like it was obvious.

“No problem. I’m an expert with dead birds!” I laughed.

Ok now is where the complication starts. I was a closeted gay. The only two people who knew were Toria and aunt Berne. Neither had said anything about it. I mean there were no signs to suggest that I was.

I wasn’t the stereotypical type who runs around shaking his ass wearing pink or anything. I don’t think any gay guy is like that. I was just a guy who liked other guys. I didn’t think it was a problem keeping it to myself till aunt Berne herself told me that I should tell my parents.

I never did bother to tell them. We are a very traditional orthodox family. Besides I barely see them anyways. And it really didn’t make a difference. At least that’s what I told myself.

You see the thing is I’ve had girlfriends in the past. I’ve even had sex with them. My parents know that so telling them that was just experimentation was not going to help much.

The familiar guilty feeling came back to me again. It wasn’t that I needed their approval of who I was. It was just my conscience. They were my parents. You’d expect them to understand and comfort you.

All of a sudden I felt weak. I sat down my face flushed of any colour. I felt like I was going to puke. Aunt Berne came nearby and put her hand on my shoulder.

“I know you haven’t told them. It’s going to be ok.” She said her voice soothing my mind.

Now you see the reason I haven’t told you about aunt Berne’s husband is because his story is quite similar to mine. He was a closeted gay. He had married her by force from his family and only after having two kids did he really decide to tell her. I don’t know the details of what happened, but all I know is that my parents hated him for making aunt Berne’s life miserable. Regardless of the fact that she was ok with it-and that they still kept in touch. She never spoke about it.

She brought out the lunch. It smelled delicious. It was soup and fish. I know not the best combination, but I was famished, for the first time. All the thinking had drained me of any will to move around or anything.

Lunch was quiet other than the occasional exchange. After lunch and some strawberry cheese cake. I helped her with the dishes and went up to my room to work on the computer.

I walked over to my bed to pick up my laptop when I saw my phone flashing. A message. Till then it had completely slipped my mind that Chris was going to call me to hang out a word that I still didn’t understand.

It was from him. ‘Hey Jake, some of the guys and I were going to hang out at my place flat 301 and then head out to a club. The invitation is still open…….see you at 6 -Chris ‘ wow he even punctuated in messages was all I could think of.

It was a quarter to three. That’s it 3 hours more. The wait was agonizing. I took out my laptop and pulled out my project file. It was complete. I just had to submit it on Monday. I opened the Internet browser and randomly opened stories on gay children revealing to their parents stories. Basically out of the closet stories.

And without knowing it was 5:15. I looked at the watch and almost shrieked. I had to get ready. I opened the closet that I had accumulated here and went through the stuff I had. I pulled out a graphic tee and black jeans. My green converse which I wore everywhere. I pulled on a jacket and headed down.

I found aunt Berne and told her I’m going out with some friends and would be back well in time to help with dinner. She looked at me and smirked. “Are you meeting someone?” She emphasized on someone.

Without knowing it I got hot and blushed. “C’mon cut me some slack.” I winked. I could’ve lied but I didn’t want to especially not to aunt Berne.”Yes I’m hanging out with a guy I like…. And his friends…. And don’t get too excited he’s straight.” I added at the end.

“Oh honey!” She began.

“I know I know and I’ll talk about it over dinner!” I said heading out

I went up to the building and stood outside it, wondering if I should act cool and cancel at the last minute. I decided against it and went into the elevator. I punched in the third floor button and headed out when the elevator door opened. It was the wrong floor.

God these guys had to redo the lift signs. Third floor was 201 etc. I climbed the stairs to the next floor and rung on the bell. Seconds later I heard footsteps on the other side and the door opened.

I caught my breath. Chris was standing there smiling. He looked at me and then frowned. Oh it wasn’t me he was expecting.

“You didn’t get my second message did you?” He said an apologetic look on his face. His eyes twinkled. And his smile lit up the entire corridor.

He opened the door and ushered me in. Now I was too caught up in what he meant to really pay attention to the rest of his house. But after frequent visits I can tell you, it is big. It fully marbled floor duplex pent house. his living room was an epitome of decor. Everything placed with great detail. It was dare I say it…….. Perfect.

“No I didn’t get your message I cut in, is the plan cancelled?” I asked pulling out my phone from my pocket. I did receive the message I just didn’t read it.

“Oh semi formals ….oops ok then it looks like I’m not going to be coming.” I didn’t know what to say…. I didn’t have formal wear at my aunt’s house? “Ok I’d run and change but all my formal stuff is in the university.” I couldn’t believe I said it either.

He looked at me speculatively. “Wait maybe some of my stuff would fit you.” He said grinning.

He himself was dressed in a blazer with jeans and a shirt with an open collared tie. He looked HOT. It was almost like everything was made for him. Everything hugged him in all the right places accentuating his chest and small waist.

I followed him to his room. That too seemed too good to be true. Typical yet clean jock room. 4 other guys were hanging around in his room doing various stuff everyone with a beer in hand.

“Hey guys this is Jake. He’s from the university,” He said, “Jake this is Caleb,” He pointed to a guy sprung on his bed he got up and shook my hand. He was tall with blond hair like Lucas till. “That’s Riley,” He pointed to another guy who handed me a beer which I very graciously declined. I don’t drink. Ok rarely. Riley was just……. Normal cute that’s all I can say about him. “That’s Jason,” A huge guy got up and sat down again. Each time with a similar handshake. “And that’s Stan,” I froze and out from the corner came Stanley Edmund. We shook hands and he winked and grinned.

I turned red and blushed till I felt feverish.

Just then Caleb got up, “Man you’re totally not dressed to go to where we are going.” He said in a surfer dude tone. To a certain limit He looked like the surfer dude.

“Yeah well Jake didn’t get my second message and so I’m going to find him something to wear as soon as that’s done we’ll leave k?” Chris said and ushered me into a huge corridor. It wasn’t a corridor it was a closet.

For a straight guy he had LOTS of clothes. He opened a cupboard and pulled out a blazer, it was RED.

“Too much?” He asked and laughed.

“No that’s perfect!” I said sarcastically, “I didn’t know you worked at the circus.” I smiled.

“Why you haven’t seen me?! I’m the most famous joker!” He laughed out.

Next he picked out another blazer. This one was a shade better; it was dark green and blue. I took off my jacket and pulled on the blazer.

“This suits you.” He said bluntly.

I agreed it did look good. “Hey thanks. You didn’t have to do all this.” I said before we left the cupboard. I know that sounded perverted but it was his cupboard.

“Hey no problem friends help each other.” He winked.

Back at his room, everyone was up and ready. The most punctual jocks I’ve ever seen in my life. We got out of the house. And Jason brought out his car to the front of the building. It was more like a minivan. It was actually just right to fit 6 people.

I took the backmost seat and Chris sat next to me at the back. “I figured you’d get lonely,” He smiled. In front sat Stan and Riley and Caleb sat in the passenger seat opposite the drivers.

We started off heading southwards. About 15 minutes later with no traffic we reached a club. The music was really loud and you could feel the vibrations. There was no queue but a big bouncer standing outside.

He looked at us and opened the door. We enter the club and let the music fill us up. It was 6:30. I told Chris that I could stay only for an hour and that I had to get home for dinner. He said it was cool. Like duh what else CAN you say?

It was a dance club for those of you who are wondering. The dance floor was crowded even at 6 this seemed to be a hotspot. Ok now came the real test. I couldn’t dance and still can’t. Well it seemed like I wasn’t the worst of the lot.

And as much as it pains me to say it, Chris couldn’t dance either. He was actually…..worse than me. That made me feels a whole lot better.

We danced and the other guys had drinks and even as Chris stumbled around desperately trying to dance he looked so poised doing it sometimes it looked as though he was purposely dumbing himself down.

We sat at a booth table and looked around the dance floor.

“Hey Chris, I dare you to get that girl there.” Caleb said pointing at a blond girl. She was hot and she had been eyeing Chris the whole night.

He got up and moved gracefully across the room. He closed up next to her and dug his hips near hers. Then he whispered something and she hung her arms around his neck. He picked her up and licked her neck.

I’m pretty sure I blushed, because I could feel my cheeks redden. I wanted to be that girl. I couldn’t bear to see him doing that to her. I wanted him to hold me. To feel me. To feel his tongue. His soft grip. His beautiful mouth. Every second I looked on only made me insanely jealous. Each time I cursed under my breath. And each time my heart would pound faster.

He finished took down her number and walked back to the table. Just then my watch beeped. It was 7 I had to go. I remembered the promise I made to aunt Berne. I told the guys I was leaving and gave them the lame excuse. Surprisingly everyone understood.

I thanked Chris for inviting me. He got up and gave me a ‘jock-style’ hug. And even for that brief moment, I could feel the heat his body was giving off. His soft touch. Those piercing eyes.

He walked me out of the club. “Hold on I’m going to drop you home.” He announced as we were walking out. From the back I’m pretty sure if everyone knew I was gay, they’d have thought we were a couple. But sadly we weren’t.

He ran to the table and bid the rest of the guy’s adieu. “You know you don’t have to, I can take a bus.” I croaked out.

“No it’s no problem; I was getting bugged of the music anyways.” I knew he was lying but I couldn’t argue with him anymore.

We got into Jason’s car and we drove off towards home. The journey was silent, but it wasn’t awkward like with Stan. It was just a different silence, one of understanding. And even though we weren’t talking, silently we were communicating.

He turned the curb to the drive way and stopped the car I got out and thanked him. “Do you want to come in?” I asked him. I think my voice couldn’t hold the eagerness of his answer, desperately hoping he’d say yes.

“Well ok only if it’s not a problem.” He smiled. As if having him was ever going to be a problem.

We walked up to the door and I opened it with the keys I had. Aunt Berne was reading the paper in the living room. We walked in and I removed my shoes. It was customary for me. Chris did the same behind me.

“Hi aunt Berne!” I motioned to her “Chris is going to stay for dinner if it’s alright with you.”

“Oh no problem at all!” She said her voice filled with excitement. I knew what it was about.

“Chris this is my aunt Berne. Aunt Berne Chris.” I introduced them. Chris stepped forward and hugged her.

“Nice to meet you ma’am. You have a lovely home.” He said in his usual serenading voice. I bet even if I was a chair i would have felt horny being complimented by him.

“Oh aren’t you the nicest person!” Aunt Berne smiled. “Well wash your hands we can sit for dinner.”

Chris went into the bathroom first. Aunt Berne gestured asking if that was him. I blushed and nodded. She smiled a crafty smile and I’m not sure but I think she mouthed the word CUTE. My whole face was red.

I washed my hands and all three of us sat down for dinner.

“So Chris where do you live?” Aunt Berne began her interrogation.

“I live in Weston towers, umm it’s just down the road.” He said, choosing his words carefully.

I quietly slurped my soup. I didn’t want the conversation to shift towards me.

“So I don’t reckon you live alone right. ” she smiled.

“Ha-ha no ma’am I live with my parents and brother. My parents are both doctors – they work in the St. Paul hospital. And my brother is older than me he’s working in Austin.” He had answered everything in one simple reply.

“Oh good. I visit the hospital very often.” She laughed.

I turned red. I don’t even know why.

There was a sudden awkward silence. Before aunt Berne got up and took out the filets of chicken from the oven.

“Wow that smells great aunt Berne.” I said looking up.

“I’ll second that “Chris chimed in. Ok not the expected statement to be heard but it didn’t matter she didn’t seem to really care.

“Well Jake told me you were into football. I’ve always been telling Jake he needed to play some other sport I mean swimming isn’t really a sport.” She said at my expense.

“Of course it’s a sport you have the Olympics and millions of tournaments with real Money “I protested.

“Well you can always play football with me and the guys.” He offered “I can even teach you.”

“Yeah I don’t think I’m made for football I laughed.” I have two left feet.”

He looked under the table. “Well doesn’t like it from here.” He smiled.

Aunt Berne served us our chicken and the pleasantries went on. After dinner I helped her put away the plates. Chris offered to help but I sent him to the toilet. He was very obedient in that way.

Desert was ice cream. Vanilla with chocolate sauce. After desert Chris announced he was leaving. He said goodbye and started towards the door.

I told aunt Berne I was going to drop him home. She grinned at me. I mouthed very funny and stormed out.

I walked him home. That’s about it that happened. No romantic kiss under a lamp post, no holding hands. Don’t get too excited. It was just 2 guys walking on the road after dinner. Ok it did sound gay.

We only talked about music and other crap. Not even once did we touch on the topic of Toria. Ok you’d think we had identical music and that it was just mean to be but today nothing seemed to be working for me. He was a rock-metal guy and I was not exactly that…. Ok I was classical music -symphonies etc. He was Opeth I was Bach. You get what I’m saying.

That night I slept like a log. It was full and complete and I woke up early the next day. After my daily routine I decided I’d do some work on my project. So I randomly began reading it.

An hour or two later, I had finished and went down for breakfast. Aunt Berne was making eggs.

“Good morning!” I smiled

“Good morning.” She smirked, “Your friend is nice.”

“Yes I know.” I blushed.

“Okay now about thanksgiving,” She began “everyone will be here on Tuesday your parents are staying for a couple of days more. I think you should tell them.”

I knew exactly what she was talking about.

“When Ben came out, after all the lies, I was devastated but I knew that it was not up to him there was no use in hiding from it. It was only going to cause problems,” She continued, “See I can only tell you from experience. But ultimately you have to do what you want to do.”

I was listening but I was switched off. I couldn’t deal with it anymore. “Yes I will. I know it’s certain it’s only a matter of time anyways.” I lied.

I didn’t want to tell them but they were my parents. They wouldn’t say anything. They were my support system.

I ate my eggs helped with the dishes and went upstairs to think about when and how to say what I felt. I was lying on my bed when I heard a buzz on my cell phone. I looked at-‘come out’ it was a message from Chris. The words seemed so ironic. Now at this time of the day. I got up and ran down. I smiled at my aunt before going out. She knew who it was. I opened the door and……

“Catch it!” Chris yelled 5 feet in front of me.

I jerked and missed the ball. Typical me. I really had zero interest in football. Even Chris being here couldn’t help take my mind of what Aunt Berne had said.

“Hey sorry I told you I suck at football. Give me a racquet and I can do wonders.” I smiled picking up the ball. It was true I was a racquet/ swimming person. I was my high school tennis champ.

But my tennis elbow now prevented me from playing it. So I resorted to swimming. And I have to tell you I was mighty good at it too.

I didn’t really want to see him right now, when I was in this state. He’d be just another person who I didn’t tell that I was gay.

“Hey what’s up want to come play?” He smiled the most beautiful smile that made me fall for him again.

“Well no not really, there’s a lot going on right now.” I said apologetically.

“Is it with everyone or is it just me cause of the lunch thing?” he asked concerned.

Why was he even bringing that up? I could never be angry with him. It was CHRISTIAN TREY. I felt like shit and unfelt like crying. But I managed to contain myself.

We walked down a block to the park. He was constantly asking me if it was him. Was he the reason I was upset. We sat down on the bench.

I looked at his deep grey black eyes and I lost it. I burst out crying. Great now I look like a looser. He didn’t say anything. He just put his arms around me like we had known each other for years and we were best friends.

I think I cried the longest ever that day. It was a full fifteen minutes before in could control myself. He stroked my hair and patted my back. He kept saying stuff like its ok; it will get better……

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