- Sometimes...the milestones in your life hit you with some level of predictable thrill. You know?
Like...like you see it coming. You prepare for it, and you set it up, and you just know it'll be awesome, no matter how it all comes to fruition in the end. A moment to remember for the rest of your life. Those moments can be really fun when they unravel in just the right way, right in front of your very eyes.
But...sometimes...the REAL thrill comes from an unexpected, totally spontaneous, series of events that come to catch you off guard and remind you that some of the best blessings in your life will come a total sucker punch to the senses.
I was lucky enough to be blissfully blindsided by one of those surprise moments today, and you know what? I don't regret a thing! In fact, the biggest surprise of all is how very EASY it was once the opportunity presented itself.
I didn't realize that so many people from work had my phone number! They kept calling me, one after another, to ask me when I was going to see Taylor's band tonight so they could meet me there or whatever. This place was closer to a bus stop than the other one, and it was much bigger venue too. I guess everybody wanted to make sure that we could get a plan together so we could find each other before the show started.
Apparently, everybody got my number off of the posted list at work. You know, in case they needed a shift covered or something. Which is a good idea. I might want to think about doing something like that too, just in case.
Anyway, I was talking to Terrell, who was calling me from work, and I asked him, "I kinda invited a close friend of mine to come out with us tonight. I mean, that's ok, right?"
Terrell was like, "No. No way. That is totally unacceptable, man." Then he snickered, like, "Of course it's alright? What, are we working security detail for the President, here? You can bring whoever you want!"
I said, "Alright. Alright. I'm just checking. I didn't know if you guys had some sort of 'plan' or whatever for tonight. Hehehe!"
Terrell told me, "Awwww, you're so sweet. But NOPE! The only plan tonight is to get together and have fun. Outside of that, sky's the limit. Got it?" I agreed, and he said, "Cool! I'll meet you guys up there as soon as we close this bitch down and I get myself looking all grown and sex-ay!"
So that was that. I was going out with all of the new friends that I've made this Summer at the store...and I was taking my boyfriend with me. Hehehe, this whole thing just feels weird, ya know? Totally weird.
I only got one message from Jimmy today. It came around mid afternoon, I think. But I didn't open it. I think I should get Sam to check in on him for a while before I step in and make things worse by setting up anymore dialogues with Jimmy LaPlane. It's just like hitting a hornet's nest with a big stick at this point. I trust Sam to have the kind of gentle hand that Jimmy needs right now. I guess I just need to take my guilt and hurt feelings out of it for now.
Yeah...I think that's for the best.
Anyway...so I call up Brandon, and just hearing his voice makes me soooooo weak in the knees that I kinda forgot about the whole Jimmy situation completely. I don't know, I'm just...I'm happy, you know? I can honestly say that, after all I've been through, I'm actually really HAPPY to have Brandon as my boyfriend! Everything has finally fallen into place. I had found the boy of my dreams all over again. And I'm never going to look back again. Not ever.
When we both met up to go to Taylor's show, I couldn't help but to notice that Brandon had put a little extra 'zing' in his appearance. And he smelled sooooo GOOD! His hair was immaculate. And those bright eyes were glowing like a set of high beams in the rain as his boyish gaze met mine. Everything about him was perfection. Everything. How could I possibly ask for anything more?
I couldn't take my eyes off of him. Not for a moment, the whole bus ride over to the venue we were headed to. I wish that I could say I was lost in a daze...but I wasn't. Because as gorgeous as Brandon was...I was just as stimulated by his conversation and mutual interest in me as I was in his beauty. It was like he had this easy access to my funny bone, creating shy giggles in me with a light pluck of whatever emotional string he chose to strum at that particular moment. And whenever I smiled, he smiled.
Brandon's smile was almost too much to bear! God, I wanted to kiss him on that bus! In fact, I almost wanted to take him home and skip the show altogether. We did it with that party Jamie Cross invited us to. Why not now? You know?
I can't really say that I was 'worried' about how my friends would react to Brandon, or vice versa. He's been in the store before, it's not like he's a total stranger. Besides, he's one of the cutest, most adorable, boys ever. They can't help but to love him. And yet...there's always a little moment of anxiety when two different parts of your life are suddenly put in the same room with one another. You never really how different your interactions are with different people until they're smashed together like that. You almost don't know who to be. If that makes any sense.
Thankfully, my work friends were super happy to see us show up! So much so that it was almost a little embarrassing. Hehehe, I don't know...I just started blushing like crazy as they all greeted me with cheers and high fives and were SUPER cool to Brandon too! I don't think I've ever felt so...popular before! Hehehe! And having it happen in front of Brandon like that and watching him giggle bashfully from all the attention, it just gave me this huge ego rush that could power the city of Chicago for a month straight if only I could restrain it to just one battery.
Dizzy was there, and the first thing he did was ask me if I wanted to split a big plate of super nachos with him. He was like, "I can't eat one of those giant plates by myself, and Ollie and Calleigh are being skinny little divas tonight! C'mon! Go half with me!"
I'm like, "Yeah. I'm down. How much is it?"
He said, "Don't sweat it, I got the cash. Just don't punk out on me once it gets to the table." Then Dizzy peered over my shoulder, like, "Hi..."
I said, "Oh! Dizzy, this is Brandon. Brandon, this is Dizz! One of the coolest people ever." Did I get that right? I'm sure I did. I think I've got the whole 'he/she' thing worked out now. Sometimes, talking to Dizz directly comes so easy, that I kinda worry about letting the wrong pronoun slip when it comes to other people. I wonder if Brandon can tell. I don't know. I doubt it matters either way.
Brandon was polite and all. A little soft spoken at first, but Brandon's always been like that. His shy nature was one of the most endearing parts of his personality, as far as I was concerned. That's when Dizzy did the unexpected, and suddenly grabbed Brandon by the wrist. He was like, "Come order nachos with me! You're gonna eat some too!"
Taken by surprise, Brandon was like, "Wait...huh?!?!"
But Dizzy didn't wait for him to refuse. He just pulled him forward. He was like, "You get to talk to Billy all the time. He'll be fine. Let's learn a little something about YOU now, shall we?" And before I knew it, Brandon was giggling and looking back at me as Dizzy dragged him through the crowd and towards the bar to get us some food and stuff. Hahaha, I bet Brandon wasn't expecting to be adopted into the family so quickly. But I guess that's just the way it goes with our little 'odd squad' sometimes. It's about time he got a taste of it.
I noticed that Calleigh was on her phone...like always. I once asked her how she could stand being so addicted to her phone like that all the time. Her answer was, "There's too much going on in the world at one time to me settle for what's happening in my limited line of sight." Hmmm...I guess she's got a point there. But does she have to engage the whole world at once? In real time, no less? She's in the virtual world more than she is the real one. I swear.
Robin showed up tonight too.
Now...there was a part of me that actually did feel a little stressed about him being in the same place as my boyfriend. I came clean with Brandon concerning a lot of the variety of weird and trashy things that I had done since we've been apart...but Robin and AJ weren't a part of that conversation. I know they should have been, but I already felt like such a creepy little SLUT, just telling him about Jimmy and a few others, that I felt like I was only disgusting him with every added detail. How can I expect to correct anything when I've been such an awful person for such an extended period of time. I guess this is why people lie about who they are when they're just trying so desperately to leave the past behind them and start over from scratch.
I've done things that I just don't want to linger on my conscience, I guess.
Anyway, I could see a look of...I don't know...sadness on his face. Nothing too blatant or depressing, but all the 'energy' seemed to have been drained out of him until his usual aura was almost too dim to see. Even with everyone giving him just as much as an awesome welcome as they gave me.
He talked to me briefly, and he said, "So...I see you brought Brandon with you tonight, huh? That's cool..." He said the words so softly that it was impossible not to notice that the very words left a bad taste in his mouth. Then he's like, "I asked AJ if maybe he wanted to come out tonight too. You know...just to spend some time together. But I guess he's busy or something tonight." Robin looked down at his shoes for a moment, and I decided not to make him feel any worse.
I said, "Aww, that's too bad. You know, Ollie's boyfriend, Greg, couldn't make it either tonight. But it doesn't matter. We're all hanging out as a family anyway. It's not like it was a couples only type of thing."
Robin mumbled, "Yeah. I suppose." He hesitated a moment, and then he was like, "AJ didn't even answer me. You know that? I asked him out...and he didn't even bother to tell me no. Or at least come up with an excuse. He just...didn't." Robin's tired eyes looked up at me for a moment, and he said, "I'm sorry. I don't mean to be so...well, you know. This is just one of those times that I wish being someone's 'boyfriend' actually meant something to him. It's one of those times where a little bit of effort would have gone a long way with me. A long way..."
At that moment, Dizzy and Brandon came back, both of them grinning to themselves. When I asked what Dizzy was telling him about me, Brandon said, "Hehehe, nothing!"
I raised an eyebrow, causing them to giggle even more. I squinted my eyes, and I said, "What did he say?"
Brandon was like, "I don't know. Did you really beat up a shoplifter for talking down to your friend, Terrell, last week?"
My mouth dropped open. Like, "WHAT??? NO!!! Hahaha! Dizz, why the hell would you tell him that?" I laughed.
Dizz tried to hush me up, and then grunted, "Ugh! See, Billy? I was trying to set you up with a totally boss story, and you fucked it all up now. I was gonna make a king out of you, dude."
We shared a chuckle over it together. Then I looked back over to see Robin still standing there beside me, looking even more dejected than before. Feeling a little guilty, I said, "Robin...you remember Brandon, right? We were all gonna share a big plate of nachos before the show starts. You want some?"
Robin took one look at Brandon, and I could almost feel his stomach tightening up into a knot with envy. He couldn't hide the look in his eyes. Then again, maybe he didn't try to. Robin had been searching for an escape from his loneliness for soooo long, hoping that he could take a sure thing like AJ and transform him into some sort of romantic figure that he could love and depend on. He wanted the giggles and the held hands in the park and the sweet messages online from someone who truly appreciated him for everything he was. Even when we were all just fooling around, I could always tell that Robin had a more sensitive side to him. One that deserved to be recognized and nurtured into being something really special once the right guy came along.
Instead, he gambled on AJ...
...And he lost.
Robin just said, "No. That's ok. You guys have fun. I think I'm just going to grab a seat and wait for Taylor to start playing. See ya..." He was already walking away before we could even stop him. I think he was really hurt by seeing me and Brandon together. Simply because he knew that he could really have it all...if only he knew how to get it.
I felt Terrell's strong arms hugging me from behind, and I heard Dizzy shout when he saw me wearing the bracelet he gave me. He's so easily entertained sometimes. Ollie sent a few sweet messages to his boyfriend, but never stopped pointing out cute guys as his eyes roamed around the room. Occasionally asking me, "Ooh! Billy, look at that one! Omigod...that boy looks like he would melt in my mouth! I'm serious! Isn't he hot?"
Calleigh would sometimes agree, and Dizzy would join in too. But I saw Brandon blushing from the openness of the conversation, and it made me smile. When Ollie asked me a second time, I giggled and said, "Yeah. I guess he's pretty cute. Good eye!" Did I sound like I was joking? I don't think they took me seriously. Then again, we hardly ever take each other seriously. So I could say pretty much anything in front of them and not have to worry about being looked at like I'm crazy! I think my admission surprised Brandon, but it just another reason for to exchange a few nervous giggles between one another.
That's when Terrell said, "Whaaaaat...? Speaking of cutie pies, look who showed up, you guys!" And...looking towards the entrance of the place...we all saw Garrett from work standing there looking a little bit awkward and out of place. But he was there. He actually showed up!
He was just a little overdressed for the occasion, but he looked nice. Hair still a bit damp from a recent shower, and fidgeting slightly as his sheepish gaze scanned the room for a familiar face.
Terrell called out to him, like, "Garrett! Dude, s'up?!?!?"
He instantly crawled back into his little shell, but even though we could almost see his shoulders practically collapse from the exposed nature of his clumsy position, he had the biggest smile blossom on his face as he saw the rest of us in a cluster against the wall.
He sorta waved a us, and it made Ollie and Terrell look at each other and laugh. Terrell was like, "Did he really just 'wave' at us? Come HERE! Don't make me go over there and 'collect' you, boy! Come here! Hehehe! Come on!"
On shaky legs, Garrett made his way over to where the rest of us were sitting, and I swear that his virgin grin got bigger with every step. It was truly something to see.
He had to pretty much give up on the idea of easing into our festive atmosphere with carefully measured baby steps. We just weren't that kind of family. Hehehe! Before poor Garrett could whisper a shy guy hello to me, the others were greeting him and passing him around like a hot potato. Brandon definitely approved.
We were all gathered together in one corner, but Brandon and I ended up sitting at a table by ourselves. It was like...our special little place among the chaos. And when he turned pink and smiled at me...I felt my heart melt like hot butter as if for the first time. Hehehe, God, he knows how to truly get right to the very center of me with little to no effort at all. I'm amazed by the fact that he can still leave me so breathless.
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