Old friends abandon me, it's just the routine politics of jealousy
 
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 Chapter 10: Escape

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Kell
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PostSubject: Chapter 10: Escape   Sun Apr 26, 2009 10:55 pm

"I made it. Yes!" Travis exclaimed when he was finished reading the posted noted. Tryouts for the school's varsity basketball team were held the week before & Travis had been lokking forward to it all year long.

"That's awesome," I smiled.

Just then, a bunch of other guys who tried out walked over & checked to see if they had made the team also. Those who did howled their excitement & high-fived anyone around them. A few asked Travis if he had made it & he just beamed, answering yes. I was pretty happy for him.

Then the bell rang. We all headed to the cafeteria for lunch. Travis & I rarely ever sat together at lunch. It was mostly because the majority of his friends were the basketball & baseball players while I had my own small group of friends. Using the word 'friends' very loosely here.

Somehow all the people I had sat with for years all seemed to go emo. I never knew what happened between childhood & highschool, but over the last few years, they became the emo group. Maybe the reason I never knew was because I was never really close with any of them. Oh well.

"Hey Connor?" asked Mason, one of the guys at the table.

"Yeah?"

"How come, if you're friends with Travis, you don't sit with him?"

I blinked at him.

"Because he has his friends & I have mine; you guys."

"We're not your friends Connor," said Jacob. When we were younger, Jacob & I had been best friends. But once we got a little bit older, maybe 10 or so, we started arguing a lot of the time. We disagreed on nearly everything from tv shows to music to what we could understand about politics to movies to school & much more.

I must have had a confused look on my face because he rolled his eyes & started to speak again.

"When was the last time any of us invited you to our houses or vice-versa?" he sneered at me.

I had to admit, it HAD been at least four years since any of them had invited me over and me invite any of them over. I never talked to them on the phone, never really asked what's up & never generally hung out with them.

"That doesn't mean we're not friends guys."

"Yeah, it kinda does," Jacob said flatly. He was getting on my nerves. Deep down, I knew what they were saying was right, but the way he was coming off was annoying me.

"Just because you sit with us at the lunch table doesn't really mean we're friend Connor," said Greg.

"So what, are you guys kicking me out now?" I asked, just a little bit offended.

"No. But what we're saying is that you should sit with your boyfriend at lunch, not with people who you have nothin' in common with anymore," said Mason.

I always thought that the human brain could never actually stop working. But when Mason said the word 'boyfriend', it came to me; it can.

I had no idea where they got the idea we were boyfriends. Or maybe he was just using the word because Travis & I hung out a lot & jokingly, it seemed like we were boyfriends? I didn't know. I was scared to find out what exactly he meant by that.

"What...do you mean...boyfriend?" I asked slowly & cautiously.

"A boyfriend is a lot like a girlfriend. The only difference is that one has a..."

"Yes, I know what a boyfriend is, thank you," I stopped him from going any further.

"So sit with yours."

"Ok, even if he was my boyfriend, how the hell would you even know I'm gay in the first place?"

A few of them looked at each other.

"You think we wouldn't know if somebody's gay Connor?" zipped Jacob stretching his arms out, referring to everyone at the table.

"Connor," said Eddie, who was near the end of the table, "over half of us at this table are gay."

I would have bet a million dollars that my jaw dropped.

"What are you surprised about? Over half of the table are queers? Or that we all know you're gay?" asked Greg.

I had to think about it for a second. I guess...both. I mean, of course it was surprising that they knew about me. But it was even more shocking that a lot of them were, too. I felt a small pit in my stomach. I never knew about them because I had never bothered to get to know any of them anymore.

"So you guys...could just tell?"

"You bet," smirked Jacob. I flashed him a pissed off look.

He sat back a bit.

"Ok, so I'm gay," I admitted to them. "So what?"

"So, you should sit with Travis. Just because you're not friends with the other guys doesn't mean HE doesn't want you there ya know," said Mason.

I looked over his shoulders toward Travis' table. I didn't know what they were talking about, but it must have bee something good because Travis & the other boys were laughing. Travis wasn't a jock by any means, but he loved his sports & wasn't shy of talking about it all the time with the jocks he was friends with.

"They know he's gay Connor. Everybody does. You won't hurt him ya know," said Greg calmly.

I lowered my head.

"I know," I said quietly.

"If it's because you don't have the balls to let everyone know that you're gay, then that's different," said Jacob.

"Dude, lay off will ya?" said Krista who was next to me.

"Sorry, I'm just saying he needs to grow a pair & just come out already. We know how hard it was, so the best thing to do is just come out with it."

"Jacob, shut the fuck up. You of all people should know how hard it is coming out to other people. So knock it off," said Mason firmly.

Jacob was left speechless. Apparently, it seemed he had some trouble of his own, coming out, according to Mason. I wondered what that was all about. But the reminder was all he needed to keep his mouth shut.

"Connor," said Mason, turning to me again, "you do what you want when you at your own pace. I think what we're ALL trying to say is that if he's your boyfriend, go sit with him."

"But that's not what the problem is. Well I mean maybe it's a small part, but it's not that," I spoke up.

"Then what's the problem?"

"They're jocks! They don't like anybody who's neither a jock or some hot babe. They're not gonna like me sitting there with Travis."

"Don't care what they think then."

"Easy for you to say," I smirked. They couldn't help but smile a little bit.

I thought for a second. I looked at Mason, Greg & even Jacob. Everyone else was basically having their own conversations.

"Hey, you guys wanna come over this weekend?" I asked.

**********

"Guess what," I said when Travis called me later that night.

"What?"

"I'm having friends over this weekend."

"You?" he laughed.

"Funny Travis, my side is splitting."

He giggled.

"Jacob, Greg & Mason are coming over. It'll be the first time in a few years ya know."

"I thought you were barely friends with them though?"

"Yeah, but somehow they figured out I'm gay, so that makes me feel a little closer to them or something," I replied.

"Ahh, so they have gaydar?" asked Travis.

"What?"

"Gaydar. It's like gay radar. It's when somebody feels like they can detect another gay person from a distance. Some people believe it, others don't believe in them sort of things," Travis explained.

"Oh. Well whatever. All I know is that they guessed I was gay & that you & I are boyfriends. Plus, a lot of them are gay themselves."

"Wow. Wait, you talked about all of this at lunch?"

"Yeah."

"How did it get brought up?"

"Well they asked me why I don't sit with you at your table at lunch."

"Well, what'd ya say?"

"I told them that I don't fit in with the jocks. They said that it shouldn't matter, & that since we're boyfriends, I should sit with you. But I don't know..."

"Don't worry about it. Look, them guys that I sit closest to are pretty cool. The guys that sit 'round the other side can be jerks, so just come by on Monday, k?"

"Maybe..."

"Aww Connor, pleeeeeease?" he begged. I could almost hear his puppy eyes whining to me.

I groaned.

"Fine."

**********

Saturday I had the guys come over, including Travis. Chris was there too. Mom & dad decided to stay at a hotel that weekend to celebrate their anniversary. The six of us hung out. Chris was a little surprised to see the three of them after several years, but he warmed up to them like he had back then.

Greg told Travis & I to kiss. I objected, reminding him that my little brother was right there. Everybody turned to Chris just then & he shrugged his shoulders, telling us that he didn't care what happens. I shrugged & then proceed to kiss Travis deeply on the lips. I dug my tongue into his mouth, playing with his in the process. I licked it up & down like a lollipop.

Travis rested his hand on my neck & kept kissing me. I assumed everyone was watching, considering the tv was on mute & nobody was talking. I felt a hand at my belt just then & moved closer to Travis so he could take it off.

"You're in front of me again," I heard Chris say.

I pulled away from Travis, both of us grinning ear to ear stupidly. I guess we'd have to work on privacy.

From then on the six of us watched tv, played my XBOX360, watched some...stuff...on the internet (we told Chris it was boring homework so he didn't have to stay) & then all walked down to the center of town where all got a large bacon pizza. I was glad that I had spent time with my old friends, it had been too long.

Sunday, I gave worship to the Lord at church. At least, that's what I told Travis when he called & said he had tickets to a basketball game. I had come down with something at the pizza place the day before & I decided to not tell Travis because every time I was sick, he'd have a mini panic attack & drop everything, making sure that I was tended to.

As far as I know, he bought the act & said ok.

On Monday, I carefully made my way over to Travis' table & sat down next to him. A couple of the guys around us nodded towards me. I returned the gesture with a smile. I also realized that a couple guys on the other side of the table had paused their conversations to see why someone who wasn't a jock like themselves, sitting at their table. But then they continued, ignoring me.

I looked over one of the 'good guys' shoulders to my old table.

Jacob mouthed the words "stay there for now on", Greg gave me a thumbs-up & Mason smiled at me. I smiled back at all of them.

I guess just because you don't hang out with someone for a while, doesn't mean they left you. I was sure as hell glad that that was true. They were my friends again. Actual friends, too.

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