The Shoal Isle



On The Outside (Looking In) - Part Two



I was a little early to school the next day, and watched for Drew to come off the bus. As soon as I saw his head bobbing along with the rest of the students, I hurried up to catch him.

"Hey, Drew!"

He turned, looking to see who had called out his name, almost as if he didnít expect that anyone would ever do such a thing. He had this aura around him like he was alone. I waved towards him, and as soon as he saw me, that cute smile lit up his face again.

"Ethan! Hey!"

I caught up to him and we walked into the school together, talking about this and that. The early bell rang and everyone began to go to their classes. Drew was about to leave when I grabbed his arm. "Hey, wait a moment. What are you doing for lunch today?"

"Well, I was thinking of probably eating," he replied, a mischievous grin playing across his lips. God, how I wanted to taste them, just once. Control, Ethan!

"No shit, Sherlock. I meant, where? I donít think I saw you in the cafeteria yesterday." I answered.

"Yeah, probably Ďcause I wasnít there. I donít usually eat here." He seemed like he wanted to get away before I could say anything else. Glancing at his watch, he said, "Itís getting late, Iíd better go to class." Before I could stop him, he took off. Great. What the hell was this all about?



Classes came and went until it was again time for biology. I sat down in the same spot as yesterday. Drew wasnít here yet. The bell rang and still no sign of him. Great, I didnít scare him away somehow, did I? Did he somehow figure out that Iím gay, and now heís avoiding me? Whatís going on?

My worries were short-lived however, as Drew showed up in a few minutes. The teacher made some little joke that got everyone laughing, including Drew, and he sat down next to me.

After a few minutes, I whispered over to him. "The lunch offer still stands. I would be honored if youíd join me for lunch today."

"Sorry, Ethan, but I almost never eat lunch here. I...donít like the crowds." He answered.

"Well where DO you eat? Can I join you, then?" I had to find some way to get closer to this boy. Fuck my rules, I can at least hang out with him. Thereís no harm in looking.

"I..." he paused to consider his next words. "I guess that would be cool. I always eat at this little park a little ways from school. Itís a private park so thereís almost never anybody there. It would be just you and me."

I was both excited and terrified at this possibility. Alone...with Drew? I couldnít afford to take this risk and I couldnít afford to miss this opportunity. In the end, I gave in. "That sounds awesome, dude. When & where?"

"Just meet me by the back gate, and Iíll lead you."

We continued to talk throughout class, narrowly avoiding getting in trouble. Every time I made a joke, his face would just light up, and his quiet laugh was the cutest sound Iíd ever heard. Finally the bell rang and we separated to go to our next classes. I could barely wait for lunch; the next hour seemed to take an eternity.

Finally the bell rang and we headed out. I ran out to the back gate; Drew wasnít there yet. Doubt crept into my mind; what if this was a trick, to catch the fag boy and beat the living crap out of him. I was just about to get up and leave when I heard Drew shouting.

"Ethan! Sorry to take so long," he said as he skidded to a halt in front of me. "Our teacher ran a bit late. Becker is such a bitch. Anyways letís go." He swung open the gate and held it open for me, then hurried to catch up and walk beside me.

We arrived at the park and it was completely empty except for two teenage boys. Us, to be exact. "Whoa, this place really is deserted." I commented.

"Yeah. I really like it that way. I can come out here to be alone and to think. I donít really like large groups of people." He motioned to a tree and we sat down in the shade.

We ate in silence for a short while before it was broken. "Sorry to not be a good host, but I donít know what to say. I always come out here alone. Youíre the first person to share it with me."

"I feel honored, Drew." He gave me a questioning look. "No, seriously. That means a lot to me."

He giggled. "Wow, um, thatís...cool." He seemed a little nervous and I asked him about it. "Ok, truthfully you DO make me nervous. I mean, youíre one of the cool kids, cool kids donít like me."

"Iím one of the cool kids? Since when? Nobody bothered to tell me this!"

"Whatever, you always have a ton of friends."

"Iíve got like, maybe five in the whole world."

"Well, I donít have any. So maybe five is a lot to me, OK?" He was quite upset, I could hear it in his voice.

"Correction, Drew. You have me." There. Yeah, I was his friend. Thatís it. Just a friend. Just a friend who happens to think heís the cutest boy heís ever seen. Damnit, Ethan, youíve got to stop this! One of these days youíre going to let something slip and then everyone will know!

He smiled at that last sentence. "Thanks. You have no idea what that means to me." He stood up. "Itís getting close to the end of lunchtime, man. Weíd better start heading back."

I kept sitting right where I was. I really didnít want to go back to school, plus I had a really great view of his cute little butt from where I was sitting! Wait a minute, Ethan, your rules...oh fuck it, Iíll look if I want to!

"Címon, Ethan, letís go!"

"Iím not going anywhere."

"Dude, weíre going to be late!"

"So what if we are? It isnít going to kill us. I like this place, and I..." Was I really going to say this? "I like talking with you. Youíre...youíre really a cool guy."

He blushed again. Damn, he was cute when he did that. Hell, he was cute all the time! I felt myself start to swell, and instantly broke that line of thought. Damnit Ethan, you can look but this is whatís going to happen! Weíve got to be more careful!

"Umm, ok, I guess we can do that." He sat back down next to me, almost close enough to touch. God, how I wanted him to close that last inch, and God how I wanted him to put more between us.

Drew was beginning to represent a mix of feelings for me. I wanted so badly to touch him, to kiss him, to hold him, but I knew in my heart it could never be. In the least, heíd be uncomfortable around me and wouldnít hang out anymore, and at worst heíd tell the whole school and my life would be over.

Despite my foreboding feelings, we continued to talk about everything. What our lives away from school were like; his parents had split up a few years ago, and he had taken it really badly. His father had always been really close to him but lately he had become quite distant; he still had a great relationship with his mother but he wasnít able to see her very often as she now lived on the other side of town.

Eventually, our conversation topics ran dry, and we just sat there, enjoying the world around us. You know, nobody ever realizes this anymore but the world is really a beautiful place. The sky was the perfect shade of blue; the clouds were light and airy, creating an assortment of fantastic shapes, constantly changing and reforming. The grass was the greatest shade of green; the trees around us stood magnificent and proud, some of their branches swaying lightly in the breeze that drifted by. Chipmunks were chattering off in the distance and the warbling call of some bird in a nearby tree was answered by another a little ways away. It was just an awesome sight, and I had no better company to share it with than Drew. I didnít want to admit it, but I knew in my heart-of-hearts that I was falling in love with this boy. That realization filled me with ecstasy beyond belief and terror beyond imagination. How much longer could I resist it before I did something that gave me away?

Why did this have to be so wrong? Who made up this rule that said "Gay people are bad."? Why did this have to happen to me? Why couldnít I fall in love with some girl and get married and have beautiful children and a house with a white picket fence? Why canít I be happy? No, I have to fall in love with a boy, with Drew, a love that could never be returned. Great, I said it again. Love. How can something that feels this good be so bad?

Looking over at Drew, our eyes met. I stared into those beautiful brown eyes. It was like I fell into them; they seemed to go straight to his soul, revealing his innermost thoughts and emotions. I couldnít help myself; this boy was just too cute for his own good. I sighed to myself. We were still talking about this and that, nothing too important really. Continuing to lose myself in his eyes, something inside me seemed to snap. Why the hell SHOULDNíT I be happy? Who the hell gave people the right to say who I can and cannot love? If I love another boy, thatís how it is. I didnít choose it but thatís the way the dice fell. People are going to have an issue with it, then fuck Ďem. They arenít worth my trouble.

Iím still not going to "come out" or whatever. I donít think I could take the torment of all of my so-called Ďfriendsí at school. But Iím not going to put MYSELF down, too. I suddenly felt so stupid for thinking of myself like that. Like I was a bad person, just because of whom I loved. I mean hell, thereís enough hate in the world; more love canít be a bad thing.

"Dude, whatís the matter?" Drew asked, snapping me from my reverie.

"Huh? What?" I suddenly realized that I had stopped talking.

"You havenít said anything for like the past five minutes. Youíve just been starting off into nothing!" Drew giggled. Ok I donít mind admitting it anymore, that giggle drove me crazy!

"Sorry, I guess I was just thinking about something," I tried to cover it up. Still gotta be careful not to give myself away; I donít want to lose Drew as a friend, even if I canít have him otherwise.

"Ok, whatever," Drew laughed again. "Just lay off the crack, ok?"
I laughed back. "Hey, you shouldnít sell it to me then. God, you make enough selling it to the rest of the students and the grade school!"

"Well, I AM the Crack King, after all!" He stood up and attempted a regal pose. "Bow down before me, beotch!"

I stood up and then genuflected before him. Wow, are we nuts or what? Falling to the ground laughing, we just laid there and enjoyed each otherís company. This was one of the greatest times in my young life that I could possibly think of.

"Oh, shit, dude, I gotta go!" Drew suddenly jumped up. "Iím going to miss the bus, and if Iím late, Dad will be hella pissed!"

"Aww, dude, do you have to?" I asked, pleadingly. I didnít want this to end. "Canít you, like, call him and tell him youíre staying with a friend for a little while?"

"No, he hates to have stuff dropped on him. Maybe if I had told him beforehand, but..." He trailed off.

"Damn it. Ok, well Iíll see you in class tomorrow, right?"

"Guaran-damn-teed."

He waved goodbye and I laid back against the tree to watch him depart. OK, you got me, I wanted to check out his ass again. I canít help it! Itís so cute, his delicate hips, the way it wiggles slightly as he walks. Oh Lord, how long before I start lisping and flopping my wrist around? Hehehehe...



To be continued...




Author's Email: jalaki@hotmail.com
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