I have to believe him. I have to TRY! Come on, Zack! He needs our trust. He's ASKING us to have faith in him. If only this invisible war of fear and torment could get out of the way, then my angst and annoying reluctance to give in to my heart's true desires would be justified.
Just...BELIEVE him, Zack! How hard is this?
Your father's words don't matter. They're not real, Zack! HE'S not real! You've been letting your dad make an ice cold, functionless, corpse out of you. Fight it! Don't let a gift like this pass you by! Brody's standing right there in front of you. He's everything you've ever wanted. And I KNOW it's scary! I know it's a big deal risking your very sense of security to make this relationship a reality...but I've been tormenting myself for too long. I've grown accustomed to my own suffering to the point where I've accepted it as a part of my daily routine. I stopped seeing what was WRONG with the pain I've been put through. I've been sinking in quicksand and Brody is offering me hi hand to help me out. TAKE IT! Stop being a crybaby and fucking take it!
"I'm sorry." I mumbled, looking down at my feet. Great. I've gone one deeply embedded shame to another in record time.
"Don't be sorry. There's nothing to be sorry about. None of this is your fault." He said, ducking down a bit to try to make eye contact. "I don't know what we're going to do, Zack. I have no idea. But...we're going to get you some help. I promise."
I nodded, but it was merely a gesture that I used to keep him from pushing the issue any further. As much as I would love to believe that Brody could somehow use the magic in his heart to rescue me from such a hopeless situation...I knew that would never happen. The truth is, I had to use every bit of strength that I could muster just to deal with my father. I didn't have anything left to put towards escaping him. None. Even if I had the nerve to try, how can I get rid of him and not hurt my mom in the process? My mom's feelings get hurt when she over bakes a batch of cookies, imagine what she'd feel like if I told her I was being...
God, did I really just say that? Even in my own head, the word seemed like such a profane description of my life. I've been running from that word for years now. I've seen kids in the news who were bruised and battered, cut and bleeding, with broken bones and cigarette burns...and I always told myself that my life wasn't that bad in comparison. I would tell myself, "Well, I'm nothing like them. What those kids went through was horrifying." But it was just another way to defend the horrors of my own life, wasn't it? A means of procrastinating when it came to my own safety.
Abused. I'm...I'm an abused child.
You have no idea how surreal it is to admit that.
"I love you, Zack." Brody said with a smile, ignoring the silence that occurred when I started poking around inside my head.
"Hehehe, I said, I love you, Zack."
"Ack! NOPE! Shut up!" He said, cupping his hand over my mouth. "Whatever kind of rehearsed 'compliment repellant' you've got sitting there on the tip of your tongue? Swallow it and keep quiet. Hehehe!"
"SHHHH! Hehehe, let me WIN this one, ok? I promise you can win the next one. Deal?" Brody always makes it sound so easy. So I zipped my lips and just gave him a smile in return. "Good boy. See? Just like I said, we're good together."
He's right, you know? It's hard for me to accept the honor of Brody's giddy confessions of love. But I'm learning. I even got a mini-orgasmic reward for keeping my mouth shut this time.
That's when his eyes met mine, and the fact that we were completely out in the open sort of faded away into the 'who cares?' category. He leaned in, and my eyes closed involuntarily as I braced for the gentle collision of his plush lips being pressed against mine. It was a simple kiss. An affectionate kiss. More about comfort than anything sexually stimulating. It's moments like this that rip me out of my reality and make me truly appreciate being able to share a few moments with a gorgeous boy who is constantly reminding me that the mask doesn't matter.
Oh God, WHY does he care about me? WHY???
At that moment, we heard the honking of a horn in the street from a lone care driving through the neighborhood. It came to the stop sign and the driver, some guy in his 30's or something, saw us kissing and decided to...display his 'distaste' for that kind of thing.
We stopped kissing and he actually leaned over in his seat to wag his finger at us, as if to warn us that we were being sinful and evil.
Then he just drives off as if ANY of that was necessary! Brody's forehead wrinkled up, but he giggled instead of feeling the sudden insult that I did. "Did that guy just HONK at us? Hehehe!"
"Fuckin' asshole." I said. "I'm sorry, Brody..."
"Sorry for WHAT? Screw that guy!" He snickered. "Who is he? The 'Gay Teen Gangsta'? Is he the masked vigilante riding around the neighborhood, saying 'HEY! Stop that! God's watching!' Hahaha!" I don't know how he was taking such a humiliating moment and find humor in it, but there's nothing more infectious than his hearty laugh.
"Hehehe, yeah. It's like, get to WORK or something! What's he messing with us for?" I smiled.
"EXACTLY! Mind your business, right? If he circles around, I'm totally gonna throw rocks at his windshield, so get ready to run!"
"WHAT??? Brody, no!" I said, but he gave me the craziest grin to let me know he was just kidding. "You're silly."
"I know you love me." He said, and gave me a quick kiss on my cheek. Then...he took a hold of my hand, and he said, "Shall we?"
It was an extremely weak feeling at first. First, my stomach turned to jelly, then my heart went numb, then my knees began to wobble as my footsteps became labored and uncoordinated. But he held my hand anyway. He kept holding it...all the way to school. The closer we got to the high school's front entrance, the more I expected him to let me go. But he didn't. Brody held on. Even in front of the crossing guard and the other students crossing the street with us. He was being so strong about it. It made me want to be strong too.
I had to work a little harder to get past the discomfort of it...but I think I did pretty well for myself. Hehehe, I've never done anything like this before. It almost makes me wonder what else I could accomplish with Brody's love in my life.
Hehehe, does this count as my first 'coming out'? I know that it was just to some homophobic stranger in a passing car...but I think that officially counts as progress.
Brody and I held hands all the way up to one of the front doors, where he reached out to open the door for me. There was an older boy standing there at the time, and he gave us a weird look. Then he started chuckling to himself at the sight of two boys holding hands like that.
Instinctively, the shame of being laughed at made me want to draw my hand back as my face turned red, and my eyes were lowered to the dirty floor again. But Brody held his grip, looking this other kid right in his face. "Something wrong?"
The other kid said, "Are you guys actually holding hands, bro? What the fuck's up with that?"
I wanted to pull away. Let's just go. Don't make it worse. Everything was cool up until now. Let's keep it that way, you know?
That's when Brody says, "Yeah. We're holding hands. I'm sorry, but I don't really get what's funny about that." What was he doing?
I half expected things to escalate into something HEAVY any second...but there was something about Brody's determined stare as he stood, unphased, right in front of him. Somehow, he had reversed the whole situation and made him feel like the weird one in all this. How the hell does Brody DO that?
"What's wrong with us holding hands? Tell me. I want to laugh too." Brody said.
Believe it or not...the other boy said, "Nothing. Hehehe, nothing at all. You guys go do what you want to do."
And Brody says, "Cool. Thanks for your permission. Appreciate it." And he kept his grip firm on my hand while I just tried to hide my face and walk away from the minor confrontation with him.
The other boy waited for us to get a few steps away from him before saying, "Have fun being fags..."
Without thinking, Brody called out, over his shoulder, "Have fun being alone." And he raised my hand up to his lips to give it a little kiss.
I began to shiver, my adrenaline spiking in ways hat I had never felt before. My body temperature rose, my nerves got all jittery and weird, and I nearly started to cry again. My whole body went HAYWIRE all at once. Not to mention that I started to get a full blown erection from seeing Brody be so...COOL! Hehehe! Jesus. I'm SO not used to this!
It's going to take me a LOT of practice to embrace this kind of awesomeness. Might as well start today.
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