I hate Valentine's Day.
I, legit, hate the whole idea behind it.
I mean...if you're a fan, then good for you. You're one of the lucky ones. But I, personally, despise it with everything that I have to give. It's such a 'fake' holiday. Like...this is the day that you're supposed to hug and kiss and your sweetheart and talk about how much you love them? Ugh! Are you serious? I'm in the 10th grade. Do you know how often 10th graders talk about love once they've found it? They never freakin' SHUT UP about it! And yet...they force the whole world to go out of their way to celebrate this stupid, made-up, holiday anyway. Secretly punishing people who aren't in a fucking relationship. Rubbing their noses in it. Giving society's biggest showoffs a chance to scoff at single people and feel like they're on some sort of pedestal where they either pity the lonely, or feel obligated to set their friends up with somebody special. Boys like me, who just happen to like other boys...even though I'm too chicken to say it out loud. Boys who might never ever find the kind of happiness that they print on a bogus Valentine's Day card and sell at your local Walmart.
Wait, do they even make gay teen Valentine's Day cards? Is that, like...a thing?
Who knows? Who CARES, really? I just find the whole obligated practice a useless and awkward experience. Causing people I barely know to ask me questions that I really don't want to answer. It's about as clumsy to me as one of my dad's Superbowl Sunday parties, with people looking at me weird for not wanting to participate in their near-Pagan ritual. No interest. No relevance. No thank you.
So when I went into school this morning, I really wasn't in the mood to be forced to take part in the silly act of people pretending that this was anything more than an average Wednesday. The last thing I needed was the sight of high school boys kissing people that weren't ME! You know? Whatever. I'm gay. I'm ok with being sad and alone right now. Maybe it'll save me the trouble of weeding out the lame dating options that most hetero teens have to go through before finding someone stable enough to call my boyfriend. So, I guess that's a plus, right?
I was ready for the school day to be over before it even got started, but despite my desire to be left alone to hide out in a random corner of my classroom for the rest of the afternoon, I had the uncomfortable experience of finding a pink envelop with a bright red, heart shaped, sticker holding it together...sitting on top of my assigned desk when I walked into my English class today.
My first reaction was to ask who it belonged to, as it must have been some sort of mistake.
But when I turned it over and saw my name scribbled on the front of it, my common sense tried to figure out if this was a mean-spirited prank...or something that somebody did out of pity, knowing that I could never warrant any level of affection on my own if they didn't step in and throw me a bone.
Neither option made me feel any better about being there. If anything, it made me feel worse.
Who was it? Was it Stephanie? Was it Rachael? Which one of the girls in here thought it appropriate to drop this offensive piece of paper on my desk? I'll bet it was Monica. She had this weird obsession with making everybody feel like they were special and appreciated at all times. It was probably her. She probably saw my desk empty, thought that it was sad that I didn't have any love in my life right now, and threw some last minute Valentine's Day gesture together to make sure that I didn't go home empty handed, depressed, and, alone or something.
I didn't need the charity. I really didn't.
"Hey, Robbie..." Came a voice from a boy walking by in front of me. It was quick and softly spoken, but I can't say that Logan and I knew each other all that well. He was in three of my classes, and we talk in passing sometimes, but that was about it. I can't say that he would be my ideal when it came to my ultimate dream boy. But I'd be lying if I said that I hadn't enjoyed a masturbatory fantasy or two about him. Maybe even a wet dream. I don't know, he has really cute eyes, and lips that were made, specifically, for boy kisses. I take that back...he was super attractive. Undeniably so. I guess I just always wanted my first boyfriend to be blond. I don't know why, but it was a bit of a stupid fetish for me. Brainwashed by TV and boy magazines. Go ahead, Google 'hottest boy ever'...and all you get is a long list of blond hotties looking sexy. Don't tell me that you're not a little brainwashed too. I needed my blond boy, and Logan was brunette with brown eyes. It wasn't the same. Who knows? Maybe some day. He is pretty cute. Maybe with some blond hair dye...?
Anyway, class wasn't going to start for another few minutes, and I sat at my desk...looking at the pink envelope. I felt so stupid. Why even open it? It's just a Valentine's Day joke, and I was so sick of being emotionally water boarded with this intimate bullshit every February. But...curiosity kills, ya know?
So I looked around the classroom to see if anybody was watching me. None of the girls seemed to be interested, so...I opened the envelope and read the card inside.
'Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone - we find it with another.'
Words by somebody named Thomas Merton. Pretty cool quote, I guess. But my suspicions kept me on edge.
I heard some coughing behind me, and turned my head to see Logan timidly burying his gaze into the English textbook on his desk. Then he peeked up at me once or twice more for some reason before shriveling away from me completely. My paranoia grew in intensity. It made me wonder if he saw who put this on my desk, or if maybe he was in on the prank himself.
There were hearts drawn on the card in pen, and the ink was pretty fresh, because it smudged slightly when I ran my thumb across it. But despite its sincerity and spontaneous presentation...my brain kept looking for the tripwire that was certain to set off whatever trap this phantom prankster had set for me. I wasn't about to let that happen. I'm nobody's sucker.
I put the card back in its envelope and thought about discarding it as soon as possible, but...I don't know. Something about the quote and the way it was written...it was kind of sweet. I had the urge to read it again, even though it was super short and to the point, I felt an urge to maybe look it over a few more times before getting rid of it. At home, of course. Not here, where people could see me and make fun of the fact that I was falling for the ruse.
It was then that I looked up to glance around the room again, and caught a brief glimpse of Logan swiftly looking away from me again. He's always been a little strange around me, but this was different. His cheeks were seriously turning red right in front of my eyes, and he kept peeking at me to see if I was peeking back at him. He knows something. He's got to know something, right? I bet he saw who put this on my desk. He probably feels bad for not saying anything. That's why he got up from his desk and walked towards me, with five minutes left before class started. He's going to confess and keep the meanies from laughing at me behind my back. Thank goodness for basic human compassion.
"Hi...Robbie..." He said...again.
"Hey..." I said. I half expected him to just scurry off after speaking to me, but he seemed to be forcing himself to linger for a while longer. He closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths, clenching his fists, then unballing them to wiggle his fingers, then clenching them again. Was he trembling? "What are you doing?" I asked.
"Huh?" He looked a bit scared at first, but faked a little smile and said, "Nothing. I'm cool. Totally. Are...are you cool?"
Wrinkling up my forehead, I said, "Yeah. I'm pretty sure that I'm fine."
He giggled nervously. "Good! Ok, that's...that's good. Right? Yeah..." Then he took another breath, his blush getting more severe by the second. "So...Valentine's Day, right?"
What the...? "Yeah." I groaned. "It's such a dumb holiday."
Logan's expression changed, briefly. But then he brushed the comment off like, "Psh! Yeah. It's stupid, right? I hear ya." But then he looks at the card on my desk, then back into my eyes, then back at the card again. "But...I mean, at least you got a card. So...somebody must be thinking about you." He says. "That's a good thing. Right?"
Logan's being weird again.
I'm like, "It's probably just a joke. I don't know who left this on my desk, but I'm thinking that it was just a really passive way of somebody telling me that I suck." I sort of smirked to take some of the depressing edge off of my comment, but Logan seemed to take it to heart anyway.
"What?" He asked. "I don't understand."
"It's obvious that somebody just dumped a Valentine's Day card on my desk to keep me from feeling bad."
He seemed confused. "What makes you think that?"
I rolled my eyes, "Come on, dude. I don't have a girlfriend. I' not, exactly, 'popular' or anything. I highly doubt that anybody would suddenly decide to develop a crush on me out of nowhere."
"Well...why not? Maybe somebody decided that they really like you." Logan said, trembling even worse than before.
"Heh...somebody like who?" I scoffed.
It took him a second or two to get the words out, but he softly mumbled, "Like me, maybe." He sheepishly peeked at me out of the corner of his eye, and then added, "I'm just saying...I thought that maybe I'd take a chance on...you know...saying more than 'hello' to you when I see you."
Ok, so now it was my time to be confused. "Wait...are you saying that you gave me this?" I asked.
"Would that be, like...a bad thing?" He asked in return.
I had to think abut that. Was this another trap? What was his agenda, here? And was he suddenly cuter to me than he was a few seconds ago. I really am attracted to those lips of his.
I said, "Wait...you didn't give me this Valentine, did you?"
When I saw the shame in his eyes, I almost felt sorry for asking. "Maybe..." He said.
Thinking about it some more, I said, "Wait...I mean...you're just joking around, right?" Logan's face drooped a bit, despite his attempts to hide it from me. We were in an entire classroom full of 'normal' people, for crying out loud! Was he saying what I thought he was saying?
Logan was quiet for a moment. Now looking around the classroom to make sure that nobody was eavesdropping on our conversation. It seemed like a real concern to him at first, but after another courageous breath...Logan said, "No joke. Ok? Don't feel weird about it. Just...I thought you were really cute, and I wanted to let you know that I...ummmm...'noticed'. You know?" He grinned to himself, and his blush reached maximum purple-ness as he laughed at his own silly admission. "I thought that maybe...you might be..." Then he stopped himself. "Hold on. That's not even important. Ummm...I just thought that maybe you and I could go out and see a movie some time. Or something like that. Just for fun."
I didn't want to hurt his feelings or anything, but even this felt like some kind of entrapment. Like...something another guy would do to force me out of the closet or something. I mean...what boy just randomly asks another boy out on a date like this? Seriously. "Let me get this straight..." I said, trying to moderate my tone of voice, just in case Logan was serious about this. "...You want to 'hang out' with me sometime? Like...on Valentine's Day?"
He giggled to himself. "Well...yeah. If you want to."
I asked again, "This isn't a trick, is it?"
He had the cutest laugh EVER. He really did. His brown eyes looked up at me, and he said, "I don't think so. I just...I thought you were really cute, ok? And I'll TOTALLY understand if you're not interested. But, I think I've had a crush on you for months now...and I just figured..." He stopped for a moment, but soon found the strength to continue. "...I wanted to take a chance on getting to know you better. That's all."
Bewildered still, I wanted to know, "Are you asking me out? Like...on a date?"
Timidly, he responded with, "Maybe..." Then he giggled to himself. "You're not mad are you? I mean, if this isn't you're 'thing'..."
I was quick to interrupt. "No! I mean, YES! This is my thing. I just...I've never been asked out on a date by a boy before." There was so much that I wanted to add to that statement. So much explanation about boys and other boys and the dating process when it came to homosexual needs. But...it hardly seemed necessary in this particular situation. He had a crush on me, it was Valentine's Day, and he got me a card so he could open up an opportunity to ask me out on a date. Just like anyone else would do with the opposite sex. He made it...'normal'. That's CRAZY! I didn't even know Logan was gay.
"Never? Not once?" He asked. Then his blush returned with a vengeance as he said, "That's hard to believe. You're too cute to not be asked out on a date every now and then."
I looked at him sideways, still trying to figure out his agenda here. Then I said, "Are you being serious right now? I just...I'm sorry. But I just need to make sure."
He was like, "I certainly think you are. I've always thought so." He said. "So, I mean...do you wanna go out some time? With me? Like...I can pay and stuff. I just...I'd feel like a huge failure if I didn't take a chance and ask the cutest boy in the entire school out for dinner and a movie or something."
I giggled out loud, embarrassed by the high pitched sound of my own spontaneous laughter. "Logan..."
"What? What did I say?"
"The cutest boy in school? Come on..." I blushed.
"You are!" He grinned, biting the side of his lip. "Well, to me you are. I think you're dreamy. And...you know...'yolo' and all that. Hehehe!" Then...after an awkward moment of me fidgeting and squirming in my own skin, he asked, "So...Robbie? Will you be my valentine? I saved up some cash. We can go somewhere and blow the whole stash if you want. I don't know. This is all new to me. But, if you feel like spending time together...you'd make me the happiest guy that ever lived. Hehehe, so...give me an answer. Don't let me go through all of this stress and agony for nothing. Please, go out with me? Just once. Just to see what happens. Is that ok?"
I've never been in this position before. Not EVER! I didn't even think it was possible! Can boys ask other boys out on a date and not have it be this huge controversial issue in the eyes of the rest of society as a whole? Is it possible to just approach somebody cute and take a shot at claiming their hearts for your very own? Without shame? Without complications? Without labels?
If it's never happened before, then maybe Logan and I can be the first. I'm not passing that up. I don't care WHO might be listening in our class! Logan was sooooo cute! Not blond, but I'm starting to think that requirement was dumb and unnecessary t begin with. Oh God, what if Logan and I hit it off and became boyfriends? He'd be perfect! How did I not see that before? He's just...he's so damn cute that it hurts. Hehehe! Hiiiiiiiii, Logan!
"Yeah. Ok. I think I'd like that." I replied. "Going out, I mean." I added.
Logan has such an adorable laugh. He took his phone out and said, "Is it ok if I get your number? I'd like to call you. Maybe make some plans?"
"Ok!" I smiled. Is this really happening? Is this part of the prank? I don't think it is. Logan seems pretty anxious for us to get together. And that would be...awesome.
After trading numbers, Logan smiled at me, and said, "I'm glad you liked my Valentine. I was terrified to give it to you at first, but...I wanted you to know how I feel." He said, gazing deeply into my eyes. "I think you're...you're just..." With a sigh, he touched my arm, and said, "...You're incredible, Robbie. I just wanted to see if maybe you and me could be...'close'." Saying the words caused his blush to deepen even more. "Is that ok?"
"It's more than ok." I answered. "I'll...I'll call you soon."
"Please do." Logan snickered. "I'm going to be lost in a love stricken psychosis until you do." Then, just our teacher entered the room and brought an end to our period break, Logan said, "Thank you for not totally rejecting me and destroying my whole life by saying no. Hehehe!"
Omigod! No way, I'd never do that!
He gave me a hug, and we both heard the bell ring for class to start. He said, "Ok...we'll talk later."
"Bye?" I asked.
Clumsily, he giggled and pointed to his desk. "Well, not bye, like...'bye'. I'll just be...I'll be right over there. So I won't be able to talk, but I'll be thinking about you. Not in a bad way. In a good way. Wait, that sounds weird..." It made me laugh, both of us beet red in the face. "I'm going to stop talking now. I'll call you."
"I'll be waiting."
The biggest grin spread across his face. "Yes! Score! Can't wait." And we kept eye contact for another few seconds before our teacher came in and told everybody to take their seats.
Do I really have a date? Like...did a really CUTE boy just walk over and ask me to be his valentine tonight? What the hell did I do to be worthy of such an honor? Hehehe! Holy shit! I've got a date! A real life date!
Valentine's Day is AWESOME!!! We need more holidays like this on the calendar!
What? I've always been a fan of Valentine's Day! Who would make themselves miserable over something as incredible as the possible promise of love? Get out of here! This is the best feeling ever.
Robbie and Logan. A high school couple. It has a ring to it, don't ya think?
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