I was six years old when I received my first marriage proposal. It was silly to be honest. We were just kids, but it was a nice gesture. I hadn’t ever thought about marriage, but I didn’t give it a second thought when I said yes. I mean, I was only six.
Wes and I were the same age. We were in the park under the jungle gym when he proposed. He actually kissed me too, but made me promise not to ever tell. He said he would hit me if I told anyone. I grabbed his hand and dragged him over to my mom and his grandmother. I told them that we were going to get married.
Wes was holding onto my hand. I mean, like really holding onto my hand. He held on tightly and I remember it kind of hurt, but I didn’t ever want us not to be connected like that. They said we couldn’t get married because we were too young. I found out there was another reason we couldn't get married later on.
We grew apart slowly after that. He was always into football and sports. I didn’t even know how to throw a football, and in a small farm town, football was everything. My interest in the cello didn’t measure up; I was the only person in town who played it.
Another thing happened between me and Wes. It was in the eighth grade, at a boy-girl party. It was my first boy-girl party. The only reason I went was to just see what it was like.
“Spin the bottle!?” one girl howled. “This isn’t the 60’s!” Everyone laughed.
“You don’t have to play Kaylie, just shut it and let the rest of us have some fun.” Some people sat around the circle but I somehow managed to be included in the game. There were six boys and five girls. A boy and a girl would kiss and everyone would roll with laughter. It was my turn and the bottle spun around several times before it pointed to Wes.
At that point we didn’t speak on the regular, but he had never been mean to me or anything. We locked eyes in the smoky-aired basement of Hailey Abbot. I glanced away, my face red and hot.
“Gross, that’s so gay!”
“Spin again! Spin again!”
“Kiss. Kiss. Kiss.”
Wes leaned across the circle, lingering for a moment, and kissed me on the forehead. I had an erection; I remember that, because I was embarrassed. I was happy. I was happy that Wes had kissed me, but I was embarrassed. Everyone laughed again. Crisis averted.
“Harvey!” I sat up in bed, glancing over at my clock. It was seven thirty. I was going to be late for school. “Are you up!?” I hopped out of bed.
“I’m up, I’m up!” I found a pair of jeans and a Roosevelt High hooded sweatshirt. I brushed my teeth and washed my face. My hair would just have to do…ugh! I stayed an extra five minutes trying to make it look nice. I needed a haircut.
I grabbed my bag and ran down the stairs, out the door, and the two blocks to Roosevelt High. I made it just in time for first period. First period was Art IV. I chose Art over Music because they only let you play four different instruments in Music, none of which being the cello. My cello belonged to my father. He died before I was born, but I knew he was about my size and that he taught English.
Today we were painting a still life of cubes and spheres. I noticed Wes and a couple of other guys were absent, but they were always late. They, however, never got in trouble for it. They played football.
“Mr. Lennox, Mr. Jacobs, Mr. Greene, you all are late.” I looked up at Wes, John, and Freddy.
“Uh, yeah, Sorry,” said Freddy. “Morning workouts ran long.”
“Just take your seats gentlemen,” Mrs. Keilman said with a sigh. Wes sat down across from me and started sketching the cubes. I didn’t say anything.
He was pure farm boy. He had a brush cut type of hairstyle and he was a honey blonde. He had icy blue eyes and a masculine jaw. I hated myself for looking at him. I hated myself for noticing his broad shoulders and beefy chest. I hated myself for noticing how he walked because he was so large. I hated it all. I hated this town, and these people, and feeling so constricted. I even hated myself.
After school I went to the library. I needed to check out some books on the World Wars. It was for my history class. Nobody was ever in the library. I walked over to the history section and started looking through the shelves. I saw a really good looking book that was on the top shelf, curse my short stature. I didn’t see a stool or anything.
Nobody was in there so I just started to climb the shelf. I wondered why book shelves were always so tall. I was sort of shimmying over a bit and my foot missed an open space and I fell backwards. I stumbled and I felt myself caught before I could fall completely. I was stood upright and I felt a belly press into my back as they reached behind me to grab the book I was attempting to retrieve.
I turned around; my body was so close to them. I noticed how excited I was getting and stepped back. I looked up into Wes’ blue eyes. “Oh, uh, sorry,” I said timidly. “Thanks for getting that though...” I tried to grab the book, but he lifted it over his head.
He smiled at me and laughed. I wanted to laugh, but I was…angry. I didn’t even know why. “Keep it,” I spat unkindly before I ran out of the library. I was mad and I didn’t get it. I was sure he was just messing around with me. He wasn’t trying to be mean or anything. I was such a spaz.
Why wasn’t he at practice anyway? Oh yeah, when they have morning workouts they get to go home after school. But why was he in the library? He wasn’t the brightest bulb in the bunch. I went inside and grabbed my cello. I made my way to the back porch and sat down. I started to play. I heard nothing aside from my music. I was really getting into it too. My mom came and told me I had to go and meet our new neighbors.
“Nobody ever moves here!” I told her. “What house was even vacant?” I put my cello back in its case and followed my mom back into the house.
“You know Mrs. Flanner died three months ago. It’s her house that was vacant.” She picked up a brown paper bag and I knew she had baked them something. My mom rarely baked, but if it was to make a good impression she’d bake up a storm.
I made the trek two houses over to our new neighbor’s house. I wondered if they were really old and looking for a quiet place to die. That was awful and I hoped they weren’t old. I rang the doorbell. I flattened my brown hair and waited. I heard someone come to the door. I heard the lock.
“Hello?” It was a guy. He looked to be around my age. He was tall and stocky. I think he was black. I was pretty sure he was the first black guy in town in a long time. He was gorgeous. He had light brown skin and a faded haircut. He had large, deep chocolate eyes, and full lips.
“Yes, I hope I’m not bothering you. My name is Harvey. I live two houses over and I just wanted to introduce myself.” He smiled at me. Oh god I was nervous. “I brought a cake too,” I added.
“Come inside.” He had a deep voice. I followed him into the house. There were boxes everywhere and ill-placed pieces of furniture. I had only been in Mrs. Flanner’s house one time before.
“Dante, where is your brother…” He glanced over at me. “Oh, hello there,” he said, voice just as deep as Dante’s.
“Oh yes, hi. My name is Harvey. My mother and I live two houses over.” He smiled at me too. I was so nervous. I hated talking to new people. “I brought you guys a cake. I’m pretty sure it’s lemon.”
“Thank you. My name is Paul. I assume you’ve met Dante and I have another son named Tony.” I set the cake on the counter. “You two can go talk or something. I’ll find your brother.”
We went outside and I kind of wanted to leave. I was being nervous and acting all jumpy. I didn’t talk to cute guys often. I barely talked period. We walked back to my house. My mom was on the porch reading something. She looked up at us and smiled. We walked over to her and they talked, so I luckily got to just listen.
His mom died last year, cancer. My mom told him my dad died in a car crash. They moved for his dad’s work. My mom told him that he was her new boss. My mom worked in a doctor’s office. She was a nurse/receptionist.
Dante went home after asking if we could go to school together. I agreed and told him I’d meet him at his house at seven thirty. That meant I actually had to get up on time.
I was running late! I had set my alarm, but I kept pressing the snooze button. I had to learn to get up. I had fifteen minutes. I took the quickest shower in the history of showerdom. I brushed my teeth while I was in the shower and dried my hair to the best of my ability. It was still really wet, but I got dressed and hurried to meet Dante.
I was only five minutes late, but I saw Dante and who I assumed to be his younger brother, Tony, in front of my house. I ran up to them quickly. I felt bad for being late, but it was only five minutes.
“Hi, I’m really sorry that I’m late.” I turned to Tony. “I’m Harvey; it’s really nice to meet you.”
“Nice to meet you Harvey, I’m Tony.” Tony was taller than me, but shorter than Dante. Dante was also much larger than Tony was. Tony was kind of lanky. We began walking and they’d ask me questions about Roosevelt High and I tried answering them all.
When we got there I directed them to the main office because they had to check in and get their schedules. I sat on a bench outside of the principal’s office and waited for them, in case they might have needed me. I felt like a troublemaker on the bench reserved for those sent to see principal. I felt someone sit down next to me. I looked over to my right and saw Wes was also on the bench.
“Uh, hey Harvey,” he said. “I just wanted to give ya your book back. I didn’t try and make ya angry, honestly. I’m really sorry.” He handed me the book on the World Wars. “Sorry.” He gave me a nervous half-smile and I turned my gaze away from him. He was so cute.
“It’s fine. Thanks, Wes.” Just then Dante and Tony walked out of the office. Tony looked in my direction and I stood up. “Talk to you later, uh, Wes,” I said. I walked over to them both and I glanced back at Wes, still sitting on the bench for troublemakers, watching the three of us.
“Can I see your schedules?” They both handed me the white sheets of paper. “Tony, your schedule is pretty good, except you got Mr. James for Freshmen Bio, he’s awful.” He groaned slightly. I laughed. I flipped to Dante’s schedule. We had mostly the same classes. “We have nearly the same schedule, well except you’re taking Music.”
“Really?” he asked. “Cool.” He smiled and I smiled back like I was dim. He turned to Tony. “See you later Tone, have a great day.”
“Yeah, yeah. Bye. Thanks for all your help Harvey.” He nodded towards me.
“No problem, have a good day.” He walked off to Biology and Dante and I were alone in the hall. “Well, I will see you in English. Have fun in Music.”
“Thanks…what class do you take, like, instead of Music?” he asked.
“I take Art IV,” I said. “Music is awful.” The bell rang and I hadn’t realized it was already eight ten. I yelled my goodbye and sprinted to class. “Mrs. Keilman I am so sorry I’m late. It…it won’t happen ever again. I promise.” She smiled.
“It’s fine, if they can favor the football players, I can favor my own group of students as well.” I smiled and thanked her. I took my seat, across from Wes. We were still drawing the cubes and spheres.
“Who were those guys you were talking to?” he asked.
“New friends of mine, why?”
“I was just wonderin’, that’s all.” I took out my drawing and pencils. I looked at the cubes and spheres, but they were at a different angle than yesterday. They weren’t supposed to be at a different angle.
“Did you…move the basket?” I asked, a little pissed off.
“Yeah, I didn’t like the other angle.” I sighed, and ripped out my drawing. “What’s wrong?” he asked, and I knew he was genuinely concerned. He didn’t know moving the basket would change my view of the stupid cubes and spheres.
“I was drawing them too, but from my point of view, but now that you’ve moved the basket…”
“Oh, no, I didn’t mean…I’m really...” He looked at my nearly completely picture. “Sorry.”
“It’s okay, I just have to come in during lunch. Just don’t move the subject around again.”
“I won’t.” He was so cute. It was like he was a little kid who had spilled some milk, or a puppy that had accidentally ruined a garden. His eyes got all sad and he pouted a little and I felt sorry for HIM, even though he had inconvenienced me. I smiled to myself and started a new drawing.
We walked home after school and they told me all about their first day at Roosevelt High. I didn’t think it was as much fun as their old school in New York, but I hoped they wouldn’t hate it completely. We passed their house first, so we parted there and I walked on home. I took out my cello after getting a glass of water.
I sat on the back porch and began playing the Moonlight Sonata. I always felt like I looked crazy or something the way I got into it. I really liked the song. It made me a bit depressed and gave me an eerie feeling. I finished and started it up again.
Halfway through, I heard something added onto my cello’s rendition. It was the sound of a violin. I stopped playing and looked into my yard where Dante stood holding a violin. He stopped playing and smiled at me. He had been playing along with me.
“You play violin?” I asked, already knowing he must be able to play.
“Yeah, and guitar…I thought you said you didn’t like music.”
“No, I don’t like the class. Everybody likes music!” He laughed. I offered him a seat on the porch. He came and sat next to me on the small bench we had on our back porch. It was a little close. He was really wide. I could feel his thigh touch mine. I noticed his belly resting in his lap. “Can we play that one again?” I asked. He nodded and we started.
We played for another hour and we finally stopped. It was wonderful. I never had gotten the opportunity to play with someone else. It was amazing. I got him a glass of lemonade and we sat on the little bench and talked. He told me about how he heard me playing from his bedroom and rushed over to see if it was me, violin in tow. The conversation led to his mom.
“Yeah, it was hard when she died. It was the first time I had ever seen my dad cry. It was awful. I quit the basketball team. I couldn’t handle it. Tony just got busy. He did every activity he could. He did quit playing the trumpet. Our mom’s the one who convinced him to play it.” He sighed. “She played violin too.”
“My dad played the cello…,” I said absent-mindedly. He looked over at me and smiled softly. Such a beautiful smile…I smiled back. “So, you quit playing basketball?”
“Yeah, and I started eating.” He laughed. “Can’t you tell? Well, I guess you don’t know what I used to look like. It’s bad; I’ve put on thirty pounds in a year. My dad put on some weight too. Tone’s the only one who hasn’t gotten fat.”
“I don’t think you look bad,” I said. “I mean, I think you look really strong and safe. I mean, you look really good…” I hadn’t meant to say that. I felt my heart beat really fast and I turned my head away from him.
“I think that…you look really cute, and that maybe you might, uh, like someone strong and safe.” He was looking at me. I could feel his eyes. He was being serious. I couldn’t believe that he was being serious. He put his large hand on my shoulder and I turned to look at him. He leaned forward and kissed me.
My first non-Wes related kiss. It was soft and warm and lasted a lifetime. I didn’t want it to end. We stopped kissing and he looked at me with his large brown eyes. I knew my face was covered in a blush. I didn’t think he was…gay.
“I wondered if there would be any guys that were…you know, here.” He smiled. “I hope you don’t mind me kissing you so suddenly.” Oh, I didn’t mind at all!
“No, I liked it.” Smile.
“I’m glad the guy I found was so cute.” He leaned forward to kiss me again. “I’ll see you tomorrow. Bye.” He stood up and made his way towards his house. I had never felt so happy in my entire life. That was a real first kiss. It was the most exciting experience in my entire life and I was fortunate enough to kiss such an attractive guy. I couldn’t wait to see him again.
School the next day was boring. I hung out with Dante and Tony afterwards and it was kind of awkward. Dante and I would look at each other and give nervous half-smiles, but other than that we both mainly talked to Tony.
“Harvey, can we talk?” Art had just ended and I had to get to English. Wes looked at me with his beautiful, blue, puppy dog eyes. I melted on the inside and I walked next to him on our way to class.
“Yeah, of course…what’s up Wes?” I asked. He laughed nervously and I wanted to hold his hand like when we were kids. My face got hot.
“So, what’s the new kid like?” He was asking about Dante? I was disappointed, but I didn’t have a reason to be. It was weird. What had I expected him to say?
“He’s nice,” I said. My lips tingled a little. Dante sure was a good kisser. “His brother is nice too,” I added.
“Oh, okay. I was just wonderin’,” he said. We were almost to the English classroom. “Can I see ya after school today?” he asked suddenly. I nodded and he smiled like I had just done him a huge favor.
I spent the rest of the day perplexed by Wes’ strange behavior. He had never really talked to me before, or had he ever even wanted to for that matter. I was just invisible to him. We were in two different social classes. We were just too different…but so were Dante and I. We were even more different than one another. I was so confused.
They had had morning workouts that morning so after school I went to find Wes by his locker. “Wes, uh, hi,” I said. He smiled again. “What’s up?” He slung his bag over his meaty shoulder and walked closer to me.
“You wanna go for a ride?” he asked. I was going to try and catch up with Dante and Tony, but Wes seemed to have to tell me something important. I nodded and I followed him out to the parking lot. He drove a pickup truck like almost every other guy in town. His was red and white with a couple of rust spots.
“What did you want to talk about?” I asked. We sat in his truck. His hands were shaking as he gripped the steering wheel. He was…nervous? He laughed nervously and I almost burst out laughing at how red he was getting. He was so handsome, even with the obvious fear on his face. He looked over at me and took a deep breath.
“Ha…Harvey, I was just wonderin’ if ya might wanna go…go and see a movie with me sometime.” I felt my eyebrows rise in shock. Did he just ask me out on a date? “I’m sorry…I…just forget I even asked.” He started his pickup. “I’ll just take you home and we can just forget this ever even happened.”
“Wes…” he was on the brink of tears. He was terrified of asking me out on a date. I felt my stomach flutter with butterflies. “I don’t like scary movies.” He smiled a half-smile and nodded.
“Do ya wanna see that new musical drama? I know ya like the ce…cello.” I smiled. He knew I liked the cello. “We can go this weekend…Saturday.”
“This Saturday sounds nice.” He parked in front of my house. He lived a ways away from my place. He and his grandparents lived on a farm on the outer limits of town. He helped out with the farm work when he wasn’t practicing for football.
“I’ll tell ya all the details tomorrow.” I got out of his truck and waved as he pulled off. I heard him shout “Yes!” as he drove away. I could feel my face radiating warmth and I knew I must’ve been blushing something fierce.
The next day in Art Wes smiled at me. He even said good morning. I smiled back and we just finished our drawings.
Lunchtime was always hectic at our school. I found Dante and sat across from him at a table. “Hey Dante,” I said. He gave a smile and I noticed it wasn’t especially cheery.
“Hi Harvey,” he replied. I picked at my fruit cup as he ate a sandwich from a sack lunch. I offered him half of my pizza and he happily agreed to take it off of my hands. “You want to go see a movie with me and Tone this Saturday?” he asked. I nearly choked on my lemonade.
“This Saturday?” I asked stupidly. He nodded.
“I can have the car and stuff too, so if you maybe, want to drop Tony off we could go get something to eat after.” Damn.
I had almost forgotten what happened between Dante and I. Wes…Dante…too many guys. I had none, but then I had two. I wasn’t Dante’s boyfriend was I? But I liked him…but I liked Wes too.
“I can’t. I’m sorry,” I said. He frowned. “Maybe some other time…”
“I don’t have to bring Tony; it could just be us if that’s the problem.” I made him think I didn’t like Tony? Tony was cool, he definitely wasn’t the problem. I looked at Dante and smiled sadly. I knew I was disappointing him. He had his chocolate chip eyes focused on me and I had to look away.
He took up a lot of space in the chairs offered in the lunch room. He was a bit taller than Wes, but not as beefy. He wasn’t as muscled either, but I could tell he had worked out in some point in his life. “Tony’s not a problem…I’m just busy. My mom and I have to do something.” He nodded slightly and grabbed his trash.
He was wearing a loose fitting pair of blue jeans and a black t-shirt. It had a musical note…an alto clef, on the chest. His chest was muscular, but I noticed a slight sag to it. His belly jutted out, pulling the fabric of the shirt. I got the feeling it was an older shirt. “I’ll talk to you later,” he said. He stood up and I looked at his butt as he walked away. He had an amazing bubble butt. It looked large and meaty even though his pants were loose fit.
He shoved his trash into the garbage shoot angrily. I wished I wasn’t in some weird love triangle that wasn’t even a love triangle at all. Wes had practice after school so I walked home with the Kinkle brothers. “Harvey, are you going to the movies with us this Saturday?” Tony asked. I looked at Dante, who told him to drop it in a low voice.
I felt awful, but was not like I could tell him I had a date with another guy. That would just make things even more awkward. I made it home after saying my goodbyes. “Harvey, what are you doing this Saturday?” my mother asked. “Because I’m having grownup company and I need the house until midnight.”
“Grownup company?” I laughed. “I’m going to a movie this Saturday,” I told her.
“With Paul’s kids?” she asked. “Because, uh, that’s who is coming over on Saturday. We’re going to be having dinner.” My mother blushed. She and Dr. Kinkle…were going to be busy Saturday night. Dante must’ve known I lied to him, about having to do something with my mom.
I was such an idiot! That was why he was so upset. He knew I was lying to him and I guess that really surprised him.
On Saturday around seven Wes rang my doorbell. I was really excited. I told my mom I wouldn’t be in before midnight and left. Something about Wes had been nagging at me for some time. He had never attempted to ask me out…or talk to me for that matter. I didn’t even know he was gay.
“Wes…,” I started. “Why did you ask me out now? I mean…I’ve liked you for a really long time and everything, but I didn’t even think you remembered my name.”
“I was too nervous,” he said. “You’re so smart and stuff. I mean, I can’t play any type of instrument or do math problems. I prolly sound really stupid to ya and I just get so nervous. Like when I messed up your drawin’ in Art class. It looked like ya wanted to kick my ass.” I laughed and he smiled.
“But how come you weren’t too nervous now?” I asked.
“I was real jealous of that new fella,” he said. “I could tell he liked you and I…I didn’t want to miss my chance.” Wes was jealous of Dante, but I was pretty sure Dante hated me now. I sighed. Wes and I walked side by side into the movie theater. “Two for Nefarious,” he requested. I had wanted to see this movie for a while. We took our tickets and he offered to get snacks.
“Oh, I don’t need anything…but if you maybe wanted to get something,” I suggested. He smiled at me and I felt guilty about having such a good time. I felt guilty about lying and it made having a good time really hard.
“Gran gave me a bunch of cash when I told her I was going on a date,” he said. His voice was deep, but incredibly sweet and wholesome. He bought a gigantic thing of popcorn ‘In case you might want some,’ he said. He also got a soda and some chocolate covered peanuts. He carried the popcorn and soda and I held onto the peanuts.
We went into the theater and found seats. The previews hadn’t even started yet. As the lights dimmed I saw Tony and Dante walk in. They scanned the theater for seats and I moved in closer to Wes, trying to hide. They sat a ways away, thankfully. Wes didn’t notice why I was freaking out. “You okay?” he asked. “This isn’t a scary movie, remember?”
“Yeah, I’m fine,” I said. He looked a bit uncomfortable in the theater seat. I was glad I could lift the armrest to give him a bit of breathing room. Wes let out a sigh of contentment. I smiled a little.
I liked that Wes needed more room in a movie theater seat. I liked that he liked to eat. I liked that he was bigger…but I liked that about Dante as well. I thought that they were both incredibly handsome, both very sexy, both really sweet.
I watched the movie and actually forgot the whole Wes/Dante problem. Wes put his arm on the top of my seat and I liked it. I leaned into his hard/soft body and felt his mellow breathing.
He smelled really good, like active sport deodorant. He was warm and hard and soft at the same time. Once the film ended, I waited for Dante and Tony to leave. We followed about two minutes after.
I was glad not to have been spotted, but I felt awful. It was only a little bit before ten, so I couldn’t go home yet.
I was pretty sure my date was over. Wes slipped his large meaty hand into mine as we walked to his truck in the darkness of the parking lot. It was like total déjà vu.
“What time do ya have to be home?” he asked. I guess my date wasn’t over. I smiled.
“My mom said not to come home before midnight. She’s having “adult” company.” We both laughed. “But, I mean, if you have to go I can find someplace to hang out.”
“Do you wanna come to my place?” he asked. “I mean, just until I can take you home…” He laughed nervously.
“If you wouldn’t mind,” I said. “That’d be really nice of you.” He drove and we didn’t really say anything. I thought that it was really sweet how bashful he was around me. He pulled into his driveway fifteen minutes after ten.
“My grandparents are prolly sleeping,” he said. “My room is up the stairs.” We walked up the stairs and entered his bedroom. It was technically the attic and the ceiling seemed a bit low for someone as tall as he was. “Uh, sorry it’s kinda messy.”
It was a little untidy, but it was mainly clothing thrown about on the bed and near the closet. I think he might’ve been picking out what to wear tonight. He wore a blue t-shirt under a darker blue flannel shirt. He also had on blue jeans and a pair of boots.
“It’s fine,” I said. “My room is just as bad. I was picking out my clothes for tonight and I threw a bunch of stuff everywhere.” He smiled widely before hastily agreeing.
“Are you hungry?” he asked. “My Gran made a pie this afternoon.” I didn’t want any pie, but I kind of wanted him to. I wanted to see him eat again. “I…I could get you some, if you wanted it.”
“I’ll take a small piece…if you’re getting any.” He went to get us some pie and I sat on his bed. I could hear him coming back up the stairs; his footsteps were loud and thunderous.
He had two plates, both with gigantic slices of pie. “Uh, thanks…,” I said, knowing I wouldn’t be able to finish such a colossal slice of pie.
He ate his quickly as he sat next to me on his bed. I ate about a fourth of mine before he looked over at me. “Is it too much?” he asked. “I made your piece smaller than mine…so I figured it was only a little.” I laughed.
“Will you finish it off for me?” I asked. He nodded and took the plate from my hand. He gobbled down the rest of my pie quickly. I glanced around his room. He had a desktop computer and an empty fish tank. I saw some free weights and laughed at the thought of ever wanting to lift weights. I was such a pansy.
I turned towards him suddenly. He looked at me, blue eyes sparkling. I wanted to kiss him and taste the pie on his breath. “Do you remember when…when you kissed me and told me never to tell anyone or you’d beat me up?” I asked. His face reddened and he looked away from me.
“That’s so embarrassing Harvey…,” he said, voice shaking a little. “You’re the…the only person I’ve ever kissed before.” My face reddened this time. He looked at me again. “Can I kiss you now?” he asked. I nodded. He leaned over and kissed me.
I leaned into him as we continued to kiss. His lips were soft and warm. He leaned farther into me and I felt his hand on my chest. It was like a bear paw or something, with the size of it. His hand was just as warm as his lips. I fell back as he kissed me. My hand found his beefy chest and worked its way down to his stomach. He had a nice round belly that added to the air of masculinity that surrounded him.
His hand traveled to the button on his jeans and I started freaking out. His bear paws reached for my jeans button and popped it open, albeit non-skillfully. “We…Wes…,” I started. His hand actually went into my shirt this time, his palm actually touching my skin. “I…I’m not…stop…please.”
He sat up, short of breath. “I…I’m sorry Harvey.” He was always apologizing. “I guess I should take ya home now, huh?” He laughed and brushed his hair down. He stood up and buttoned his pants, with some effort.
He took me home after that and I didn’t know why I was so freaked out. I had thought about Dante, sure, but that shouldn’t have mattered. It shouldn’t have mattered!
So after that Wes didn’t talk to me really. He’d get all red-faced, followed by a disappointed look. Dante was just as silent.
After a whole month of bullshit I went to sit with Dante again. He looked at me and angrily took a bite of a pretty big sandwich.
“Did I do something?” I asked. I knew I had done something; I just wanted to talk about it.
“You lied to me,” he said. “And the worst part is…you even went to see the same movie we were going to go see.” He saw me. I had thought I gotten away with it, but I hadn’t. He saw me and I was a liar.
“Dante…,” I started. He bit off another bite of the sandwich, which was diminishing quickly. “I was going to…”
“Nope, I don’t want to hear it Harvey.” He chugged his soda before standing up. “If you and blond boy want to hook up it’s none of my business. I just wish I knew you didn’t actually like me and I was just some joke.”
He stormed off, dumping his trash and making his way over to the cafeteria line. He was getting more food?
He was wearing that pair of jeans that I thought was loose fit. They didn’t fit the same. His butt seemed bigger and there seemed to be less fabric around his thighs. His belly poked out, drawing attention because of his liking for smaller t-shirts. He was getting larger and it turned me on. But I liked Wes…I thought I did…or did I like Dante?
I did like Dante. I had liked him, what was different? Wes was tossed into the equation, that’s what. “Mom, I’m home,” I called. She was baking, which she seemed to do more often.
“Harvey, great…you’re home,” she said. I looked at the large pink box on the table. I opened it. There must’ve been at least twenty cupcakes in it. “I need you to take that over to Paul’s. It’s Dante’s birthday and I wanted to make sure it was a happy one.” I sighed. It was his birthday today and we got into a fight? Well…an even bigger fight.
“Yeah, sure,” I said, picking up the box.
“Oh, and guess what?” she asked, and I already knew she was going to tell me. She held out her hand, a rock the size of Texas on her ring finger. I almost dropped the box of cupcakes.
“Holy Shit,” I said. She laughed. “Who…when did this happen?” I asked.
“It happened today at lunch. Paul is so sweet and he…he knows how to treat a lady.” She sighed happily. “We’re having a little party Saturday. It’ll be us and the Kinkles. I invited some of the ladies from work, the Lennox’s.” Wes’s family? Would he be coming as well? I hoped he would, but hoped he wouldn’t. “Take the cupcakes! We’ll take later.”
I left out and took the cupcakes to Dante’s house. He answered the door and looked at me scornfully. “What’s up brother?” I asked nervously. We would be brothers soon. “Happy birthday!”
“Don’t call me brother, it sounds racially insensitive coming from you.” I handed him the box of cupcakes. He opened it and took one out. He bit into it, some icing resting on his nose. “Thanks for the cupcakes though.” He closed the door.
“Our parents are getting married!” I shouted. I stood there for a moment. I had the feeling things weren’t going to work out between Dante and me. I decided to go and see Wes. I wasn’t going to just let both of them ignore me.
I told my mom I was using the car. I rarely drove and I was really bad at it. I was always so nervous. I put my seatbelt on and placed my hands at ten and two. “Don’t crash,” I repeated to myself over and over again. I pulled out of the driveway and made my way to Wes’s house.
I was there in about twenty minutes and I pulled up their long driveway. The garage was open. I put the car in park. I didn’t crash. I got out and saw it was Wes in the garage. Of course he was lifting weights, looking all gorgeously hunky and stuff.
“Uh, Wes…,” I called as I approached. He looked at me with his beautiful blue eyes and gave me a half-smile. It felt like he didn’t want to see me. “Can we talk please?”
“Yeah…sure,” he said. He stood up from the weight bench and I got a boner. His beefy body glistened with a light layer of sweat. He walked over towards me, his arms not touching his sides, because he seemed to walk in such a way that suggested he couldn’t put them down if he tried.
His belly jutted out in front of him in a nice round sphere. I wondered if he had eaten recently. His thighs were massive and his chest looked solid. He was a behemoth…that was for sure. “Did I do something to make you mad at me?” I asked.
“Why would you think that?” he asked. He was so handsome. I couldn’t stop staring at him.
“You just ignore me again and you don’t say anything to me in Art. I…is it because I freaked out on our date. I just was really nervous and…and…I’m sorry.” I was rambling and he was looking at me and I just needed to give up on the dating game and join a monastery.
“I thought ya were made at me…,” he said. “I was being so dumb and aggressive and I thought you thought I was just some idiot trying to screw ya on the first date.” I wish he’d put a shirt on so I could form sentences.
“I really like you Wes,” I said. He smiled.
“I…I really like you too Ha…Harvey.” I loved how he was just a big softie. “Can I kiss you?” he asked. I walked into his slightly sweaty body and he leaned down a little to kiss me. I liked the way he smelled. It was slightly musky, but I could still totally smell his active sport deodorant.
“Are you coming to my mom’s little engagement announcement dinner on Sunday?” I asked.
“She’s getting married?” he asked. I nodded. “Who’s the guy?”
“Dr. Kinkle…Dante’s, uh, dad,” I told him. “Wes…”
“Yeah Harvey?” I was still holding onto him. He could probably snap me in half if he didn’t like what I was about to say. I told him everything about Dante and me and how we kissed and how I blew him off for our date and that I was a terrible person. I didn’t want to be a liar. I didn’t want Wes to think that about me.
He didn’t say anything for a while. He didn’t break my spine, so that was a good sign, but his hands shook slightly. I had upset him. I hurt his feelings. He let me go and stood there in front of me, all hulking and kind of frightening. “Wes…I…I’m sorry.”
“I’m not mad,” he said. “It’s just…do you still like him?” Did I? I…didn’t think I did. I smiled to myself. I think I was over Dante…and besides, he was my brother.
“I like you Wes,” I said. “I don’t think I like him like that anymore.” Wes smiled and kissed me. He’d be over my house on Sunday…along with Dante. I just hoped Dante and I could be friends.
“I love you Harvey.” Those words lingered for a moment. He said that he loved me. I almost cried and I thought about my parents. My mom said my dad stayed here in our town when she said those words. They were like a trap…keeping me here when only a few months I wanted to leave more than anything.
“Wes…I…I can’t say that to you,” I said. His face fell. “Not here…not in this town.” He looked at me. “I don’t want to stay here, do you? Have you ever even considered leaving?”
“Of course I have Harvey. I’m gay. You can’t be gay and happy here.”
“Then let’s leave!” I exclaimed. “Why should we have to stay here? Why can’t me and you go somewhere nicer and be happy there? I want to play the cello, Wes! I want to play the goddam cello!”
“Then you can play the goddam cello!” he shouted. “We can leave. We can go wherever you want to go and I’ll be there for you Harvey. I’ll be there, lovin’ you like I always have!” His breathing was deep. He grabbed my arms and pulled me into his body forcefully. He kissed me like a lunatic and it was something I always wanted.
His stomach was slightly less sweaty, but still just as large. He was honest to God the man I loved and I knew he was. I didn’t need anybody else. I had Wes and we were going to leave and be happy and I was going to play my cello. Wes was going to let me play my cello and we’d find something he was passionate about and he’d do that too.
I wanted us to eat pie together and see movies together and kiss and have sex without me freaking out and it could all happen somewhere else. We’d be leaving and facing the world together and we’d be happy, me and my blue eyed, puppy dog.