On The Outside (Looking In) - Part Four
I woke up Friday morning, bright-eyed and
bushy-tailed. Seriously, who comes up with these phrases? And since when did I
become such a morning person? I jumped out of bed, heading for a quick shower
before returning to my room to dress. I took one of my best shirts from my
closet, one I usually reserve for parties and stuff, and a pair of cargo pants
that I was hoping would show off my ass a little. Oh shit, what am I doing?
Hell, Drew just has this effect on me...And fuck it, itís Friday, heíll be
coming over tomorrow! I ignored the feeling of fear that tried to enter my heart
and instead focused on the happiness there. Hey, the most awesome boy I know is
going to be here tomorrow! School is going to take FOREVER today!
early getting there again, and waited for Drew to get off the bus. As soon as I
saw him step down, I shouted out to him. This time, there was no searching
around, he knew to look right for me.
Meeting up with him, we walked into
the school together, chatting about the previous day. I mentioned his singing
again and he kept denying how good he was. He tried to tell me that I was really
good. I guess I never really thought about it, my voice was ok, maybe even good,
but his was just plain AWESOME!
We headed into the building, still
talking as we each stopped by our own lockers. Finally the early bell rang and
we separated toward our own classes. Everything took so damn long today;
English, Spanish, Geometry...I swear, the clock went BACKWARDS sometimes!
Biology was the bright light of the day, though. I think Iíve probably said this
before a hundred times but everything was just better when Drew was around.
Somehow at that point I WANTED time to slow down, just so I could spend more
I kept trying to convince him to eat lunch with my other
friends and me today. He seemed to be in an exceptionally good mood today, even
more so than his usual chipper self, and as I kept pestering him I could see his
resolve beginning to weaken.
Finally, he blurted out, "Okay, Iíll eat
with you today! Sheesh!" I giggled at him; he was trying to make me think he
only did it because he wanted me to shut up, but I could tell he really wanted
to make me happy. He was such a sweet kid.
"Alright, just meet me at the
cafeteria entrance then." I replied back. He gave scowled at me, but I still saw
a smile light up his face when he turned back to face the blackboard. Kick
We met up at the cafeteria entrance, and even though he pretended
to be upset, I could tell he was excited to meet my friends. We went through the
line; well, I went through it. Drew just followed me, as he had brought
his own lunch. We then began the customary search of the cafeteria, looking to
see if any of my friends had already taken a table. I spotted Joey and Brian at
one of the smaller tables, and Joey waved me over when he saw me looking. Drew
and I made our way to the table, just as Jermaine joined us. The little group
was relatively complete.
I sat down and Drew sat next to me. The others
all gave him an odd look, and I realized they probably didnít know Drew and were
wondering what he was doing here.
"Guys, this is Drew, I told you about
him. Drew, this is Joey, Brian, and Jermaine." I pointed each of them out to
"Nice to make your acquaintances, guys," he said, offering his
They all seemed to take it, rather coldly replying back, "Yeah,
same here." What the hell was their problem?
The other three ate in
silence, occasionally giving Drew a hard stare, and I could tell he wasnít
feeling too welcome. Finally, he stood up, saying, "I should probably get going,
Ethan. I have a test to study for before my next class. Iíll see you tomorrow."
And he left.
"Great, way to go, guys," I admonished. "Whyíd you do that?
Make the kid feel like he isnít welcome."
Jermaine seemed somewhat
embarrassed; he was my best friend next to Drew and I could tell he felt sorry.
Joey spoke up. "Ethan, dude, heís like one of the social outcasts of the school.
I canít believe you hang out with him. Nobody else goes near the
"Why? What did he ever do?" I asked.
Brian answered for him.
"Heís just always been a loner and shrugged everybody off. So they decided he
wasnít worth it anyway. I think youíre the only one who ever talks to him, let
alone have him talk back."
"Well, that was really nice of you guys. A
real class act, just staring at him until he left." I was more than a little
pissed at them. They didnít even give him a chance, just went with the idea that
he was supposed to be an outcast. God forbid they ever find out about
Jermaine started to defend them but I cut him off. "Huh, well screw
you guys then. I canít believe you. Iíll talk to you later." I stood up and
hurried to empty my tray and try to catch up to Drew.
I managed to catch him just a few minutes before the lunch period was to
end. "Drew, look, Iím sorry about those guys. They..."
"Itís ok, Ethan.
As I said, Iíve always been on the outside." He tried to be strong but I could
tell it still hurt him. "Look, Iíll call you tonight and weíll see each other
tomorrow anyways." He turned and left, glancing back occasionally. Every time he
did, I tried to smile back reassuringly. Damn those three, Iím gonna kill
As he walked away, my eyes followed him down the hall. His delicate
hips swiveled back and forth slightly as he walked, making him even more cuter,
if that were even possible.
"I love you, Drew," I whispered, more to
myself than to anyone. Turning to my locker, I nearly bumped into Joey. "Um,
"Did you just say what I think you just said?" He asked, disbelief
apparent on his face.
"Ummm....." Oh shit. What have I gotten myself
into? I tried to change the subject. "What are you doing here, Joey?" Smooth,
"I wanted to apologize for how we acted. That was harsh. But what
the hell, did you just say you LOVE him?" He seemed to catch from my seriousness
that I really did. Great, no backing out of this one. "Oh shit, what the fuck
Ethan, are you gay?"
"Look, Joey, I..." I started to say but he cut me
"Oh my God, Ethan, seriously, how can you do this?" He started to
back away. "Thatís just not right dude, are you really a fag?"
that word, from someone I considered a good friend, just drove me over the edge.
I could feel it building up inside me, and now it was going to be released. I
grabbed him by the front of his shirt and pulled him sideways, pushing him back
into a locker.
"Look, Joey, donít fucking cut me off when Iím talking."
Shit I was pissed. "So what the fuck if I am gay? Iím still the same
person youíve always known. I didnít just change overnight. This is how Iíve
always been. I was gay yesterday and I was gay last week." Fuck I canít believe
Iím saying this. "You knew me then and I was cool, and now you know a little bit
more about me, but that doesnít change who I am. Iím not going to suddenly start
prancing around or lisping or whatever."
"But..." he tried to break in,
but it was his turn to be cut off.
"Look, maybe I like Drew as more than
a friend, ok, but thatís my problem, and Iíll deal with it. You donít have
anything to worry about from me, itís not like Iím going to suddenly try to jump
you or anything. You get me?"
"Umm...yeah..." he was acting really
nervous now. I think my outburst scared him! "Look, Ethan, Iím sorry. This is
really new to me, I mean I didnít any queers...I mean, gay people before." Well,
at least he was trying. "I wonít tell anyone, really. Just...give me some time
to adjust, ok?"
I wasnít sure if I should trust him, Joeyís always been a
little loose-lipped, but I had never seen him shaken before either. "Promise me
you wonít tell anyone, Joey. And remember, Iím still the same Ethan you knew
yesterday. I didnít change, only your perception of me did." Wow, when did I
become this eloquent?
"I promise man, really. Look, Iíll call you
tomorrow or something, ok?" I nodded and let him go. He walked away slowly,
glancing back at me ever few steps. I just hope he kept his word.
donít have to worry about him telling anyone, sissyboy," a voice from behind me
whispered. I spun around, almost tripping over Rodney. He was a year older than
me but was in a few of my classes. I had always been relatively indifferent to
him; we werenít friends but we werenít enemies either. Looks like that was going
"Uh, Rodney, what do you want?" I backed up a few
He laughed. "I heard what you just said to your little friend
there. Your days are numbered. By the time school gets out, everyoneís
gonna know your little secret, bitch." With that, he pushed me, and I fell
backwards, hitting my head against the floor. He snickered and walked
I hurried to my next class and sat down at the first available
seat. Please let this be a bad dream. Please. Donít let him tell anyone. Oh God,
what was I going to do? The rest of the class arrived and I could already feel
their eyes on me, hear their whispers circulating around the room. How long
before Drew finds out? He wonít want to hang around me either. A single tear
slipped from my eye and made its way down the side of my face before I could
wipe it away.
The rest of the day was even worse. Walking down the hall,
I could hear their whispers of "Weíre gonna get you, fag!" and "Wait till the
locker room, pussy!" By now the whole school had to know. They were all staring
at me. I tried to keep strong, to ignore their taunts, ignore those who
intentionally bumped into me as I went to my next class. I managed to sit
through that one, but I couldnít take it anymore. I left school, ditching the
rest of my classes, and went home. Luckily my mom had already left for work, so
I was safe there. I made my way to my room, collapsing on my bed and bawling my
What was going to happen to me know? This was it, no more
friends for Ethan. Joey said he might be ok with it, and Jermaine and Brian
probably would too, if I could talk to them, but they sure as hell wouldnít want
to hang out with me anymore. Theyíd be set in the same group, too. God, all
because of a three-letter word that throws people into a label of being a
deviant, my life was over.
I fell into a fitful sleep, only to be
awakened a few hours later by the phone. Groggily, I answered, only to hear the
one voice I never thought Iíd hear again.
"Ethan, whatís up? Just wanted
to make sure weíre still on for tomorrow afternoon." Drewís voice was music to
"Uh, yeah, Drew, of course..." I couldnít help but sound
confused. Maybe he hadnít heard yet? I almost felt like telling him right there,
but decided against it. Iíd rather spend the last day with Drew in peace, even
though Iíd be hiding who I am, rather than lose him now.
"Um, no, no everythingís fine. Iíll see you tomorrow
"Ok, yeah. Sorry I canít talk long today, Dad needs me to help him
with some stuff. Iíll be over at about two, ok?"
"Alright, see you then."
I collapsed back on my bed. This was futile; I was hoping there was still some
way heíd be my friend, but Iím sure he somehow hadnít heard yet, I mean he DID
say he was always alone. But Iím sure come next week heíll hear, and that will
be the end.
I managed to waste away the rest of the night watching TV and
just sitting around. I didnít eat with my parents, for fear that Iíd break down
in front of them. I went to bed early, around 9 PM.
Sleep was fitful at best, I kept awaking from some terrible dream but I
could never remember what it was about. Finally morning came around and I got
up. Hell, I was never up before 10 on a weekend but I couldnít sleep anymore. I
took a long, hot shower, which seemed to help relieve some of my
I decided, hell, might as well look good for this last time. I
dressed in what I considered to be my best shirt, one I almost never wore, and
another pair of cargo pants that DEFINITELY would show off my ass. Hell, might
as well go out with a bang.
I started to walk out to the kitchen to get
some food, and almost ran into my mom. Why is she all dressed up?
morning, Ethan," she said as she went ahead of me. "What are you doing up this
I decided to tell the truth, or at least some of it. "I went to
bed early last night and couldnít sleep, so I thought I might as well get up.
What are you guys all dressed up for?" Dad was looking good, too.
did you forget that Joan and Steve are getting married?" Joan and Steve were two
of my momís friends. I had forgotten about it, actually. "Joan is having
a bridal shower and your father is going to Steveís bachelor party."
yeah. Must have slipped my mind." Shit, Joan and Steve lived all the way across
town. It was like an hour and a half drive one-way. At the least, they wonít be
back until late tonight! I was going to be alone with Drew here! "Do you guys
really have to go?"
"Oh, honey, donít be silly. We couldnít miss this,
they would be crushed," Mom answered. "Besides, I thought youíd be glad to have
the Ďold peopleí out of the house while your friend was here."
there was no way I could get them to change their minds. I guess Iíll just have
to run with this. "I guess..."
Dad picked up, "Ethan, thereís some money
for you guys to order a pizza, and of course there are drinks in the fridge.
Does...Drew, right? Does he have a ride home?"
Actually I wasnít sure, he
hadnít mentioned it. "His dad was going to drive him here, I guess heíll
probably take him home too."
"Ok, well if for some reason he doesnít, he
can stay here for the night, if you guys want to." What?! Dad just said Drew
could sleep here?
"Um, ok, thanks." I needed to get out of here for a
little and clear my head. "I think Iím going to go for a little bike ride, Iíll
see you later. Love you."
"Bye, honey. Weíll probably be gone by the time
you get back."
Well, they meant well, I suppose. I hopped on my bike and
rode around aimlessly for a while. Eventually I noticed I was getting close to
the park where Drew and I had lunch. I let my bike fall to the ground and sat
underneath the old tree where he and I usually sat. I was really going to miss
this. Not only the beauty of this park, of sitting here in the sun, just
enjoying the awesomeness of the nature around us. More so, I was going to miss
the beauty of Drew, of being able to sit here in his company and enjoy his
I sat there under the tree for a while longer, before deciding
I had better get home before Drew arrived. Picking up my bike, I said a silent
good-bye to this park. I knew I wouldnít be returning here again.
back to an empty house. Yup, Mom and Dad had already left. Wow, I was gone
almost three hours, it was already 1 oíclock. I made a quick scan of the place
to make sure everything was in order. Looks good, I thought to myself. I was
pulled away from checking the house by the doorbell. Great, Mom probably forgot
her gift or something.
I opened the door and stood stunned.
"Duh, I said I was coming, didnít I?" He grinned.
um...yeah, I know, I just didnít expect you already." I stepped back to let him
"Yeah, sorry, Dad didnít seem in the mood to drive me so I rode the
bus." He walked into the living room and sat down on the couch.
see..." Great. I didnít want to make him ride the bus back home but I donít know
if I could stand having Drew sleep over!
"Yeah, so letís get started on
this." He motioned for me to sit next to him, and I did, managing to sit as far
away as possible.
We managed to work on the project for an hour or two
when Drew announced we should take a break. "Show me around the place, man.
Whereís your room?"
Gulping, I took him on the Ďgrand tourí Ė ok, more
like five-cent tour. When we got to my room, he jumped in front of
"Nice room! A computer, a TV, PlayStation AND N64, kewl." He seemed
"Yeah, I guess." I started to pull him away when he
yanked me further into the room.
"Címon, letís play a few rounds of
Goldeneye, I own at that game!"
OK, did he just challenge me? At
GOLDENEYE nonetheless! Itís on. I popped in the cartridge and got everything set
up. We were pretty even, actually. Things seemed to run neck and neck the whole
time we were playing. Finally we grew tired of it, seeing as how neither one of
us was apparently going to win. We eventually threw down our controllers and
shut the machine off. Drew rolled onto his back, lying on my bed. He looked so
beautiful to me that I wanted to cry. God, how this hurts. I laid next to him,
and neither of us said anything, just enjoyed each otherís company. I wondered,
would this be the last time we ever got to do this?
Finally, Drew sighed
and stood up. "I suppose we should get back to work."
"Yeah, I guess so."
I didnít want to end it but it was probably for the best. I should quit
torturing myself like this.
As he started to head towards the door, he
glanced at my desk. "Dude, youíve got South Park on DVD? Man, we so have to
watch this tonight!"
"I donít know, maybe..." I trailed off.
on! Pizza and a movie, what could be better? Besides, how many people can say
they had Drew over to watch South Park?"
Damn it. He had a point there.
Why was this boy always right? Maybe itís because I canít turn him down! It was
almost 5:30 so we decided to order the pizza now, that way it would get here
about 6 and we could watch the movie.
We went back to my room and played
a couple of other games on the PlayStation until the pizza guy got here. I told
Drew how to set up the computer to play the movie and get the monitor set up so
we could see it from the bed, while I went to pay for the pizza and get us
something to drink.
I came back to my room, putting the pizza on a chair
near the bed and tossing Drew his drink. I laid next to him on the bed and we
started the movie. I could feel every vibration, every tremble of his body each
time he laughed, which was quite often for this movie. There were even a couple
of gay jokes, which I tried to laugh at, seeing as how Drew seemed to think they
were funny. He must have noticed something was wrong because he suddenly got up
and paused the movie.
"Ethan..." Oh shit, I know what was
"No, Drew, itís ok. I understand. Whatever rumors you heard are
probably true." I couldnít help the tears beginning to fall from my eyes. "Iíll
understand if you donít want to be my friend anymore." The tears were falling
fast and plenty, now.
"No, I would never do that," he said as he came
back over and sat next to me. "Ethan, I...why is this so hard to say? I think I
WHAT? DID DREW JUST SAY HE LOVES ME?!?! "What? Is this some
sort of joke, Drew? Seriously, it isnít funny."
"No, Ethan, I could never
joke about that, not with you. Ever since that first day we met, you were so
nice to me, when people always seemed to shrug me off. And I just
felt...something about you, that you were special. And itís just grown more and
I couldnít believe it! Drew felt the same way I did! No way this
is happening...any moment now Iím going to wake up and realize that Iím still
stuck in my lonely life.
Suddenly, Drew bent down, and before I could say
anything, he kissed me. DREW WAS KISSING ME, IN MY ROOM, ON MY BED!!! I was too
startled to do anything more, and he pulled away. "Iím sorry, I shouldnít have
done that, I donít even know that you like me, I just assumed..." He started to
move towards the door. I canít let this happen! Even if itís too good to be
true, I donít want this to end yet.
"Drew, wait..." I jumped up and
grabbed his hand. "I..." Címon, Ethan, you can do it. "Oh hell, I love you too!"
I pulled him close to me, our lips joining together. My arms circled around his
body, my hands coming to rest on his hips before moving back to squeeze his firm
cheeks. He pushed me backwards and we stumbled back, falling onto my bed. I was
in pure heaven; it was all I could ask for and more.
The movie remained
paused, forgotten. And you know what? Maybe my life wonít be so bad after all.
As long as I have Drew with me, it will all be okay. Weíll be on the outside,
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