He got us both a couple of glasses of freshly made iced tea, just the right amount of sugar, and sat down to eat with us. The whole scene seemed so dreamlike to me in that moment. It shouldn't have felt all that unnatural at this point, but it did. Especially when Ryan sprinkled some Parmesan cheese on his spaghetti and sauce, and then reached over to sprinkle some on my plate as well. "Say when..." He told me, and I felt this euphoric swell of pride in my heart as I realized how strangely intimate it was for him to help me prepare my dinner plate like that. I almost missed my cue to cut him off as he kept shaking over my food while I wasn't paying close attention. "More?" He asked, looking up into my dreamy eyes while I stared back at him with my heart pounding in my chest.
His heartbreaking gaze can be so damn pretty sometimes. Hehehe!
"Yeah. That's enough." I said softly. "Thanks..."
The pull that he had on me was so intense. It really does block out the fact that other people are around you, and creates a passionate addiction to the boy you love. Something that I can understand, but wish I didn't feel so weird about entertaining more often when in public.
Just...it would be nice. You know?
"I hope you don't mind a little extra on your garlic bread, Randy." His father said, shaking me out of my hypnotic trance. "It's store bought, but it says it's the 'five cheese' kind. I though that might be a crowd favorite. Is that ok?"
Omigod, was I just sitting at his dinner table, undressing his teenage son with my eyes? Ugh! RUDE! "Oh! No. That's cool. The five cheese garlic bread is the best." I said.
"Hey! We've got another fan over here." His dad grinned, and cut a few slices of it for me. I reached over and put it on my plate, and Ryan grinned at me as we began to eat. To be honest, I was grateful to have my mouth full at the moment. If for no other reason than it would stop me from talking and potentially saying something stupid in front of his Ryan's dad. Keep a calm and cool head, Randy. Don't let either one of them see you sweat...
Ryan's dad seemed to be a parental pro at making conversation at the dinner table. At least at first. But after about five minutes of comfortable 'small talk' had passed us by, I felt my paranoia settling into the center of my chest again. But, this time, it wasn't just a matter of me thinking too much. I think I actually started to mess up our dinner banter with a bunch of awkward and unprepared answers that was starting to make me look bad. Which SUCKED!!! Because I was, honestly, beginning to think that tonight was going to go on without a single stumble or fall at all.
Especially, when his dad said, "You've got a pretty good, Midwestern, build to you, Randy. Do you play any sports at all?" Shit...am I going to look totally 'gay' if I say that I don't?"
Quietly, I mumbled, "Ummm...no. No sports."
"Well, I don't mean just for the teams at school, Randy. It's cool if you just play something on the weekends or just for fun." He added. I bashfully shook my head to reply in the negative, and he seemed a little uncomfortable with the sudden silence. "Oh...well, that's ok. Everybody's not cut out to be an athlete. It happens. You don't see ME playing any sports, do ya? Heh...but I did tear up a few football fields back when I was your age though." I just kind of kept my mouth shut, as I could barely tell a touchdown from a home run when it came to organized sports, but even as Ryan and I sort of peeked over at one another, he persisted. "Do you watch any teams on TV or anything? Got any guesses on any of the Chicago teams going all the way this year?"
Thankfully, Ryan jumped in, saying, "Randy isn't really that much into...you know, sports and stuff. That's not really his thing."
His father looked at me, and then back at his son, sitting together at his dinner table, and it looked as if he had somehow come to the revelation that we were gay for the first time. And that's when he said, in a totally non-malignant way, "Ohhh, ok. I see. So...what's your thing, then? Theater? Dance?"
Mortified, Ryan gasped, "Dad!"
"What? What'd I say?"
Ryan rolled his eyes slightly, but I really didn't take any offense at the assumption. Honestly. "Just because Randy isn't a sports guy doesn't me that he's a dancer or a stage actor..."
"I didn't say that! I was just asking a question." He replied. "You wanted me to get to know your boyfriend, I'm trying to get to know him."
I decided to slide right in, and I said, "It's ok, Mr. Stephens. Honestly." I giggled nervously, trying to break some of the tension, but felt a little clumsy doing it, regardless.
Ryan and his dad exchanged a bit of a weird look, but opted to not argue in front of me, I guess. Ugh...am I ruining this whole dinner thing? I'm SORRY, baby! This is my first time doing anything like this with a parent.
"I sorta like movies..." I said, having to clear my throat so I could speak up. "Ahem...movies and stuff. And some music. Well...a lot of music. I guess that's more my thing."
Ryan's dad nodded with approval...I think. "Ok. So, you're more the artistic type. That's cool. I dig it." He said. I couldn't tell if he was just being polite, or if he was really being accepting. All I knew is that I wanted tonight to go better than...it was going.
"Uh huh. I guess..." I said.
Then he made an effort to say, "I hope you don't mind me making any kind of strange assumptions about you, or anything. I didn't mean anything by it."
Hehehe, I think Ryan was more embarrassed by his apology than his original assumption. But, seeing as we were still holding hands under the table, I gave his palm a tight squeeze to keep him from making a fuss about it. It was ok. I just needed to find a way to emotionally navigate my way through this whole experience without falling flat on my face, that's all. "Nah, it's ok. I don't mind." I said. "I know that I'm...like...'different'. At least from what you're probably used to, anyway."
I was actually a bit surprised when Mr. Stevens told me, "You might have been a bit unexpected, Randy. But you're not different, ok? You're always welcome at this table. Even if it's just for spaghetti and five cheese garlic bread. I mean that. Alright."
My eyes widened, instantly. And when Ryan looked over and smiled at me, giving my hidden hand an equally intimate squeeze, I felt almost as if I was going to spontaneously burst into tears. "Oh wow...ummm....I mean ummm..." Speak UP, Randy! "Thank you, Mr. Stephens. That just...it means a lot to me..." Oh god, I was tearing up! No no no no NO!!! No sissy tears! Fuck! Hold them back, Randy. Just be cool.
Ryan's dad went back to eating his spaghetti, but I think Ryan could clearly see me getting all misty eyed, and he was just....he was so proud of me for hanging in there and trying to make this whole dinner seem like a 'normal' situation.
And then...just as I felt my confidence beginning to rebuild itself again, Mr. Stephens asked, "So, I'm just curious...what did your parents think about all this. I mean, IF I may ask. I don't want to pry."
Awkwardness. Silence. A touch of shame. I felt it all at that one moment, and even though I could feel Ryan's eyes on me, I didn't want him to jump in and answer for me. Not this time. "Actually...well, I mean, my mom doesn't exactly know about us yet." He raised an eyebrow, and I added, "She doesn't...well...she doesn't know about me yet. So..."
"Oh. Ok..." He replied. "What about your dad?"
This was getting worse by the minute. Ugh! "Well..." I started, and Ryan was going to change the subject, I could tell...but I didn't want to flip and flounder my way out of this without a legitimate answer. I mean, I didn't get into too many details...I just said, "My dad's not...he's not really in the picture."
Damn it. You never really understand how screwed up your own life is until you're looking at it through somebody else's eyes. I heard Mr. Stephens clear his throat, and he nodded again, guiding his eyes away from mine as he took a big bite out of his garlic bread. Am I screwing things up again? What if Ryan's dad is one of those, 'he thinks he's gay because he never had a strong father figure in the household' type of people? Trust me, that's not why I'm gay. Sexy boys like Ryan is why I'm gay, and it's a total privilege to notice how fucking HOT he is when most of the other boys in my class will never even realize that they just walked past the cutest, most sensual, most amazing boy on Earth. Sucks to be them, right? But still...having my parental situation come up during casual dinner conversation was preventing me from leaving any kind of favorable first impression.
The three of us did manage to finish our diner together, but there seemed to be a bit of clumsy tension at the table the whole time. Making the rest of the evening a bit....silent. Uncomfortably. Ryan's father stopped asking questions, and I certainly didn't have much to say. And with Ryan caught in the middle between us, well, it was about as awkward as you can possibly imagine that it would be in that sort of situation. And when our plates were clean, all I could manage to say was...
"Thanks for dinner. Everything was awesome." And I even mumbled that under my breath, fake smile in place, my eyes focused down at the dinner table.
"I'm glad you liked it, Randy. And, like I said...you're welcome over any time. Ok?" He replied, and he stood up to start clearing the table.
"Oh. I can...I mean, if you want, I can help with the dishes and stuff." I said.
But he just waved me off. "Don't be silly. I got this. Guests don't do dishes. Not in this house." He gave me a bit of a smirk, and he collected everything off of the table to take it to the sink.
I felt like I failed at this whole dinner thing, but the moment Ryan saw me stressing out about it, he immediately leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. I don't know why it still made me cringe slightly to have him do that in front of other people, especially his dad of all people...but it did. I think I'm still going to need a little more time to get used to this sort of thing. I was hoping that I was fully ready, but I obviously still have some hang ups to deal with, and a few more hurdles to jump before this whole idea comes anywhere close to being normal.
Give me a break. I'm a high school kid. I'm trying, ok?
Ryan called out to his dad and said, "Me and Randy are going out to get some air, k? I'm just gonna walk him home before it gets too dark out."
"No problem. Thanks for the company tonight, Randy. It was a good time." He came into the room drying his hands on a small towel, and he held up his hand for a little fist bump. So, I obliged him, albeit it shyly. Then he said, "I'm just kidding. Come here..." And his dad actually pulled me close to him and gave me a big hug around my shoulders. A hug that was surprisingly affectionate, considering that we only knew each other in passing at best. I could feel his hands patting me on my back, and it didn't feel forced or clumsy at all. And whe he let me go, he looked me right in the eye and said, "You get home safe, now. Ok?"
"M'kay..." I said. Wow...Ryan has his father's eyes. I just noticed that.
"Do you want any left overs, or...?"
"No, thank you. I'm good." I said. "G'night..."
Ryan took a hold of my hand and led me outside, giving me this weird feeling of....I don't know...gentle 'panic', I guess? Not in a bad way. Just...ugh! I think too much.
Ryan giggled sweetly to himself, and he ruffled my hair a bit before giving me a kiss on the cheek. Saying, "Quit freaking out. It wasn't that bad, was it? Hehehe!"
"I totally blew it, didn't I?" I whimpered slightly. "I told you that wasn't a good idea."
"What are you talking about? Dinner went great. You were fine." He said. "Trust me...my dad is probably in that kitchen right now thinking the exact same thing. 'I blew it, didn't I?' Hehehe, you two are more alike than you'll ever know. Trust me."
"I'm sorry, Ryan. I just, I was looking forward to having him like me. You know, like....really like me..."
He gently put two fingers on my chin to turn my head and kiss me softly on the lips. "My father, loves you, ok? He does."
"So...I didn't make a complete idiot out of myself tonight?"
"Well...I didn't say all THAT!" He teased, and it made me laugh as he leaned over to lightly bump me with his shoulder. "I think you did great, Randy. I've never been more proud to have the prettiest boy in town sit down to dinner with me and my dad. K?"
I sighed out loud, trying to hold back a smile. "You always make everything so cool. You know that?"
"If you say so, then I'll believe it."
"Well...I'm saying so. Hehehe!" I kissed his cheek. "Thanks. You know, for keeping me from freaking out too much. I guess I was just worried about nothing."
As we were walking down our neighborhood street, Ryan put a hand on my shoulder and stopped me. "Look, my dad's a good guy. A little rough around the edges when it comes to company, but he really has gotten the hang of the whole 'my son likes to suck dick' thing."
My jaw dropped, "Dude! Come on!"
"Don't say it like that! See? Now you're making this weird..."
"Well, it's the truth. I'd be sucking you off right now if I wasn't worried about getting the whistle blown on us by the neighborhood watch, or whatever." We got to laugh about it for a moment or two, but he then changed his tone and said, "Look...my dad? Sometimes he just gets it in his head that he wants something to go a certain way, and it's like he expects all of reality to come to a screeching halt and change directions just to make that happen. He wants to put out these little hints and nudges and pokes and bribes...and he tries to bully me into doing what he wants, simply because he wants it and can't understand why he can't have everything his way, one hundred percent of the time. And sometimes, he does so with all the subtlety of a friggin' banshee with a bull horn, all while pretending that it wasn't his intention to manipulate everything in his favor. But he always comes around eventually. He doesn't do it to be mean. He just...has issues with not being able to control every situation that he comes across. Heh...it's almost like he can't understand the concept of not being able to force people to see his point of view, sometimes."
Feeling a bit down about it, I said, "I take it that I'm not one of those things that he can control, then?"
"Exactly. And that makes me love you even more, babe." He smiled. "I think it makes him respect you for being that one stubborn kink in the machine too. It'll just take more than a single visit and some table discussions over a plate of spaghetti and five cheese garlic bread for you two to get in sync. That's all." As we approached my house at the end of the block, Ryan added, "For what it's worth...I don't think I've ever seen my dad try so hard to embrace another person that I've ever brought home. And that's saying something. Hehehe!"
"Well...except for Hailey, I'm guessing." I told him.
But Ryan just caressed my cheek and said, "Hailey who?" Hehehe, that's my number one guy...making life a paradise full of rainbows and glitter all over again.
There was a moment, standing outside of my house, when I was tempted to kiss his sweet lips one more time to say goodnight. And there was an overwhelming urge to even invite Ryan inside for a few minutes. I can't explain it, but my defenses were breaking down, more and more, by the day. Maybe even by the minute. And I almost asked him to come in so that I could introduce my hazel eyed, strawberry blond, guest as my actual 'boyfriend' to my mom. I mean...I could do it. No shame. No hesitation. No more secrets of any kind. I could do it. I really could. Right?
But my body froze up on me. I fought it with every bit of courage that I had, but it was like my lungs had filled themselves up with ice cold globs of wet cement, and my body stiffened up until I could barely move at all. Why can't I do this??? WHY???
I think Ryan could see the determination swelling, then fading, then swelling, then fading again in my eyes. His expression changed. And while he smiled at me with a touch of excitement at the idea of going through with what I was thinking...he decided to give me some much needed relief from my inner conflicts instead. "So...call me tomorrow?" He grinned.
I didn't want to agree to his easy way out of this situation. I wanted to feel sad about it. Guilty. Please, make me feel ashamed enough to go through with this. Right here. Right now. It might just push me over the edge so I can take the leap of faith that I've been waiting for. Teetering on the edge since I was about eight years old and thought about kissing another boy in my third grade art class.
But...Ryan didn't want me to do it that way. Not to be scared, and worried, or pushed into it by some sort of obligation after having dinner with his dad. It's like...if it wasn't my time yet...then it just wasn't my time yet. And he respected that.
"Yeah. I'll...call you tomorrow. In the morning. So wake up early." I smirked.
He smiled back, and said, "I'll be waiting." Then he took a few steps back from me and said, "G'night."
"G'night..." I replied, a chunk of emotion caught in the back of my throat. I should have invited him in. I really need to do this. Like...soon. He's worth it. My god...Ryan is SO worth it!
Forum timezone: GMT-6|
VF Version: 3.00b, ConfDB:
VoyForums(tm) is a Free Service from Voyager Info-Systems.
Copyright © 1998-2019 Voyager Info-Systems. All Rights Reserved.