A Different Perspective Ch. 03
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I had fun on Friday with Kyle and Eric, though I still didn’t dance. Eric suggested I try talking to somebody, but that didn’t happen, either. Well, okay, his exact words were, “The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else.” Still no go, any way you cut it.
Keith called me Sunday, and told me how he broke up with the guy he had been seeing — Dave, I think — because he wasn’t taking Keith seriously. It annoyed me to think about it. I don’t think Keith realized it, but none of the guys he dated ever took him seriously. While he had broken up with this ass that didn’t respect him, he had still allowed himself to be pushed around for months. Story of his life. He let them walk all over him, and when he finally asked for something, he got nothing. It had been like that since I met him, junior year of college. Still, he deserved better. I just wished he’d stand up for himself before it got to that point.
Thanksgiving came and went, and my parents were grateful to have me. After Mark and I had been together for a couple of years, we started spending Thanksgiving together, or with friends. His parents didn’t accept him, and mine seemed to make him uncomfortable. It wasn’t anything they did — they’ve always been supportive — but I think it made him sad, so I didn’t push the issue when he said he’d rather not go there for holidays. Kyle and Eric took me out a few more times, and it was fun. I still couldn’t bring myself to talk to anyone, and I could tell Kyle and Eric worried that I didn’t mean it when I said I was fine, and having fun. Never in my life had my friends doubted my honesty. I know it wasn’t meant to be some sort of insult to my integrity, but it was discouraging that they didn’t believe me. And the way they both seemed to treat me like I was about to start freaking out again — but maybe I deserved that, for the crying episodes. I still cringe when I remember that.
Keith was the only one that didn’t talk to me like I was about to break down, but things were still a little weird. We talked, almost like we used to, but there was a certain awkwardness that I didn’t know how to fix. Maybe it was me. Maybe I was more fucked up than I realized. Maybe he hadn’t really forgiven me. Maybe things would never be like they were because of what had happened. Maybe a part of me still held that against him. Too many maybes… life sucks like that.
Another Saturday night at the gay bar, and I was smashed, but having a lot of fun. I finally danced, but I don’t really remember to what. I just remember drinking, and then I remember dancing — a lot. Eric and Kyle were dancing with me, then suddenly Keith was there, and we were dancing, and then he was gone and Eric and Keith were telling me it was last call and time for us to go.
We went to an all-night diner and I realized I was quite drunk. Eric was all over Kyle, so Keith offered to drive me home. They were both quite thankful, and I realized — not for the first time — that I had become a third wheel in their relationship, much like Eric had been at points during mine. Weird. I had never been in that position. Also, I was very very horny, and that hadn’t happened in a long time. Somehow, that had just hit me. I lay back in passenger seat and looked out the window. Apparently I had sighed, because Keith seemed concerned. I just shrugged.
“Travis?” he asked again. I realized he couldn’t see me shrug in the dark, while his was driving. I was drunker than I thought.
“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine,” I said softly as we pulled into my driveway. Keith gave me a long look.
“I’ll make you some tea,” he said, getting out of the car.
“No, I’m fine –”
I tripped and stumbled, but Keith’s arms were around me, holding me up.
“You’re so tall,” I mumbled at his nipple, and he chuckled.
“You’re so drunk,” he replied in a low voice, and I could hear his smile, even in the dark. He let go, and we walked toward the house.
I was seated at my kitchen table while Keith fluttered around my kitchen. He put a glass of water in front of me and ordered me to drink.
“Bossy,” I grinned at him. He just raised his eyebrows at me. I still didn’t drink it. “Want to play Scrabble?”
“It wouldn’t be fair to take advantage of you in your state. Plus, do you know what time it is?” He was smiling while he said it.
“Late. You always hand my ass to me anyway, so what’s the problem?”
“It’s after midnight!”
“It’s not a school night; you don’t have to be up for anything… do you?” I asked. I wasn’t sure what had gotten into me; I felt giddy and awake, but I was suddenly worried that Keith might have had other plans than babysitting me in my sloppy drunkenness. He shook his head, still smiling.
“Then come on! I will beg if I have to. I’ll get down on my knees right now. Are you going to make me beg, Keith?”
I looked up at him with the best puppy dog eyes I could muster. Honestly, I’m not really sure how to make puppy dog eyes, but I did manage a pout. He turned red and bahis firmaları laughed, shaking his head.
“I’ll get the game; just drink your damn water!”
I saluted him as he walked away. I sipped at my water and watched him set up the board. He made me tea and made me drink that, too.
“I’m hungry. Are you hungry?” I asked him midway through getting my ass handed to me. I kept talking, and I couldn’t concentrate on the game.
“Want me to make you something?” he asked carefully. I stared at him for a moment.
“Am I keeping you from something?” I asked suddenly. My filter was nonexistent at the moment. Everything that popped into my brain went directly to my mouth. Also, the refresh button my brain was apparently working overtime. Keith had informed me a number of times that I was repeating myself. Repeating what? I wonder the same thing. I couldn’t remember what I was talking about, so I kept switching subjects, but apparently I was also switching back.
“No, of course not,” Keith said, frowning slightly.
“You’re handing my ass to me. Want to just say you win?”
“Sure,” he replied. Still with a weird look on his face.
I stood up and went to the refrigerator. Leftover Chinese takeout. Perfect. Keith watched me eat a fortune cookie while I heated up some leftovers in the microwave.
“You will do great things in bed,” I announced. Keith stared at me, and I laughed. “Fortune cookie.”
“That’s not what your fortune cookie said,” Keith said.
“Is, too. You have to add “in bed” to the end of it,” I replied.
“You never did that before,” he laughed, incredulous. “Ever. It was always just Eric and I.”
“Eh, so what,” I shrugged. “I’m doing it now.”
“Right,” Keith said quietly, but he had a small smile on his face. Wordlessly, I offered him some of the food in front of me. He got up to stand beside me, and I noticed for the second time that night how tall he was, and apparently I told him so. He laughed.
“You’ve told me.”
“Why have I not noticed that before?”
“Pretty sure you have, Travis.”
“Eh, whatever,” I shrugged. As I did so I managed to shrug my food right off my fork and onto the floor. We both laughed. Keith’s eyes crinkled when he laughed, and I realized I was staring at him. I had known Keith for a while, and there had never been anything romantic between us. Staring at him, I wondered if there might have been if I hadn’t been dating Mark. Then again, he wasn’t really my type — I don’t really go for twinks. I like manly, and that was not a word one would use to describe Keith. Of course, Keith was cute. Nice blond hair — I do like blonds — and big blue eyes, long lashes, and plump lips. Dimly, I remembered thinking of him as “horse-faced” when I was angry, but I never thought he was ugly. Okay, so his face was a bit long. Even beer goggles couldn’t hide his long, thin nose, but really, who cares? I have a beak myself, so I’m not really in any position to be judging that.
He also could have been described as gangly if not for how graceful he could be. It’s not that he was scrawny, but he had a slim build. He liked cycling and running, and that kept him in shape. And his ass? I think it was the cycling that gave it to him. So maybe I had been in a relationship, but I’m not blind, and I am a man. Keith had a hot ass. Firm, round… just about perfect.
I was still staring at Keith, and I realized he had said something. I also realized I was feeling the first twinges of an erection. Shit.
“Are you alright?”
“I’m not going to be sick, don’t worry,” I assured him, looking away. I shoved a piece of chicken in my mouth, and remembered I had dropped food on the floor. I grabbed a paper towel.
“Not was I was talking about,” Keith said quietly. He was smiling a little. “What’s going on?”
“Nothing,” I said carefully. I wasn’t go to say a damn thing to him about what was bugging me, not one little thing. Nothing. I talk too much when I’m drunk, but I was keeping my mouth shut tight. Mouth zipped.
“You sure? You can tell me, you know,” he said kindly. Jeez, he was so nice. I shook my head.
“I’m just so…” I started as I kneeled on the floor. I shook my head again as I cleaned. Mouth zippered.
“What is it?” Keith asked real quiet. I rocked back on my heels and looked up at him.
“I’m so horny,” I laughed, looking him in the eye. So much for mouth zippered. Keith looked shocked for a moment, before he laughed, too. He didn’t laugh for long, though. I realized I was staring at him again. On my knees in front of him. I didn’t remember when I had stopped laughing, or even smiling. This looked wrong. I knew that. It wasn’t what I meant to do, and it looked like I wanted something else when all I was doing was cleaning up and telling him what was going on.
Keith stared down at me. I continued to stare back. Awkward. It had gotten really awkward. So, naturally, I did what anybody would do — I grabbed his belt buckle. It kaçak iddaa seemed like the right thing to do at the time. And I undid his belt. Also seemed right. Keith inhaled sharply as I unbuttoned his jeans, but he grabbed my hands as I started on his zipper. I looked up at him. His eyes searched my face.
“Travis,” he said quietly.
“Keith,” I answered, freeing one of my hands and running in up his side. Our first real physical contact. He dropped my other hand, and I reached under his shirt. Still looking at him, I ran one finger under the band of his jeans. He swallowed, and continued to look down. I removed my finger and ran my hand down the front of his leg, the other still holding onto his waist, before I caressed him through his jeans. He was hard.
“Travis,” he gasped. I smirked up at him, my fingers teasing. Keith was harder than I expected him to be, and seemed quite well-endowed to boot.
Then, as suddenly as it began, it ended.
Keith pushed my hand away, and stepped back. My smirk disappeared.
“You are drunk,” he told me carefully. “I’m sorry, I… I have to go.”
And he left. I still knelt on the floor, all trace of hard-on and horniness gone, wondering why the fuck I had done what I did. Knowing I had royally fucked up, but not quite sure what was going o happen. Still drunk, though, which was probably a good thing.
I woke up, and didn’t immediately realize that I felt like shit. I rolled over to the side of the bed, and realized that was a mistake. My stomach rolled, but it was actually the stab in my head that was the problem. Gingerly, I stood up and limped to the bathroom. Then I hobbled out to the kitchen and stared into my fridge. I closed it, and went to stare into my cabinets. I was hungry, kind of, but didn’t want anything that I had. I went back to the fridge and pulled out a cheese stick, sourdough bread, chocolate syrup, and orange juice. While I had no intention of mixing them, those were the only things that held any appeal. I ate the cheese stick and my stomach felt better immediately. I thought about the club the night before and smiled; it had been fun there.
I heard a car pull into my driveway. As I grabbed another cheese stick I padded to the front door. Somehow, I had managed to strip and pull on some flannel pants the night before. I figured whoever was visiting that early would have to be okay with seeming me in my pajamas. A peek out of a front window confirmed that it was Eric. He, Kyle, and Keith were coming over for dinner. Odd. I opened the door.
“Did you just get up?” Eric exclaimed sharply as he came in. I flinched; the man’s voice could cut glass.
“Do you know what time it is?”
“It can’t be that late,” I mumbled, rubbing my head. Eric sighed heavily. I padded back to the kitchen. “It’s only… shit. One. Well, still. You’re early.”
“We talked…” Eric said slowly, like he was speaking to a small child, “I’m coming over to bake with you. Keith is picking up Kyle before he comes over. Later.”
“Oh, yeah. I remember,” I told him, and I did remember. We had talked about it last night. Eric looked amused.
He eyed my arrangement on the table and raised an eyebrow.
“New hangover cure?”
Eric made me French toast, and then ordered me to brush my teeth and take a shower. He also fed me Motrin, which I scoffed at, but it really does work well for a hangover. I wouldn’t know; it had been years since I had gotten drunk enough to get a hangover, and I had never really partied much anyway. It was a little after two before we actually started cooking. Coconut cake and peanut butter cookies for a party later in the week. Something was up with Eric, though. He was happy enough, but seemed nervous, almost. Like he wanted to say something, but wasn’t.
“So what’s up?” I finally asked. I was tired of the tension he was radiating.
“What do you mean?” he asked innocently, but Eric never had pulled off innocent. Not like Keith… Keith pulled off innocent like it was his job.
“You’re nervous, or mad, or something. What’s up?”
“Oh, I don’t know. Nothing,” he sighed. He looked up at me and sighed again. “Fine. Kyle is pissed because I refuse to go to his parents’ house for Christmas. I’ve got my own to go to.”
“Can’t you go to all of them? Split up the day? I mean, your mom and dad have met him, right?” I asked. His parents were divorced, and while neither was quite comfortable with it, both of them tried to accept him and his partners. He just looked at his feet. “Serious? They haven’t? It’s been, what, two years? Why haven’t they met him?”
I tried to sound sympathetic, but I’m sure I failed miserably. It wasn’t that I wasn’t disappointed or disapproving as much as shocked.
“Well… I haven’t really told them much,” Eric said quietly. He was blushing. Ashamed. He wouldn’t meet my eyes. “I just… I don’t know. I never really told them much, and I haven’t actually talked to them in a while…”
“Do you want to tell them?” I managed kaçak bahis gentle that time. To my surprise, Eric shrugged.
“What’s the point? They’d just be uncomfortable. There always were before.”
“Eric…” I trailed off. He sounded so disheartened, not his usual chipper self. “Well, it might be different with Kyle. I mean, who have they met?”
“Ronny,” Eric mumbled. “He wore a pink muscle shirt and wore a rainbow bracelet. Then Steve, then Brian, then the other Steve… none of them really made good impressions. Brian tried; he really did, but…”
“Steve the Second was a bad idea,” I commented, “And Brian never had a chance after Steve the First.” Both Steves had been quite… odd. Both in different ways. Steve the First was the polar opposite of Ronny. He was quiet and unassuming at first, and probably any parents’ wet dream at first glance. Alligator shirts, expensive leather shoes, and pressed khakis, like he had just come from playing a round with the governor at the best country club in town. Steve the First may have been too much of a dandy to be misjudged as straight, but the man did have class. He was also a humungous jackass, which just about everyone except for Eric had figured out within the first ten minutes of meeting this guy… five if they were astute. Steve loved to argue, and loved to explain why every opinion you had was wrong, except when you were lucky enough to agree with him. One of his favorite topics was the subtle homophobia of everyday life, and how everybody was homophobic. Even gay people. Ah, yes, deep down we all just hated ourselves for being gay, especially if we weren’t out to every single person that ever walked into our lives. Needless to say, Mark and I avoided Steve like the plague, and I can only imagine what Eric’s parents thought of him. They weren’t even dating that long, but he insisted that Eric be completely out and open to everyone in his life.
They didn’t last long.
Steve the Second was a lot like Ronny. Out and proud. Plus he was tattooed and pierced. And did I mention loud? He told great jokes, though I doubt either of Eric’s parents really appreciated them. I don’t imagine either of them would have gotten past the shock of seeing a 6’7″ giant with a shock of spiky blue hair in their living room, telling a dirty joke about Judy Garland and one of the lollipop kids.
“I think that if anybody could make a good impression, it’d be Kyle,” I told him. “I don’t think you should be worried about that. He has a nice job, looks professional, knows when to shut up…”
“What if his parents don’t like me?” Eric asked suddenly.
“Is that why you’re worried? Mark’s parents hated me.”
“They were homophobes! But Kyle’s parents… they like him, you know? They’re cool with stuff. What if they hate me?”
“Aww, they won’t hate you, they’ll love you!” I answered, putting my arm around his shoulders. It was kind of cute, him being worried so much about impressing Kyle’s parents. “Have you told Kyle how you felt?”
“He said the same thing you did,” Eric grumbled. “I guess I’ll think about it.”
“And something else…” Eric said, suddenly nervous again. I raised my eyebrows at him. “So, Kyle and I were talking… and we were a little concerned.”
“About?” I asked, frowning. Where ever this was going, it obviously wasn’t good. And my head hurt again.
“Well, he brought it up, and at first I thought he was crazy, but I think he has a point. Kyle’s smart like that. He notices stuff…” He looked at me, and realized I was getting impatient. “So yeah, Keith. Look, we think Keith…”
Eric kept talking, but suddenly I was in my head. Keith. Something about Keith, on the edge of my consciousness. Keith. It started to form, then slipped away again…
“Hey, are you listening to me? Are you alright?” Eric asked, concerned.
“Yeah, sorry, just thinking. What about Keith?”
So Eric explained that they were concerned about Keith. He was rebounding, all that, and needed some cheering up. Holiday blues. Depressed. That kind of thing. Made sense, and I told him so, but part of me was struggling to bring back whatever it was that I had forgotten. Something about Keith.
“How did he seem last night?”
“Oh,” I asked, startled for some reason. “Fine, I guess. Happy enough.”
Happy enough… he did seem happy. He made me tea, I remembered that. Then…
A knock, and then the door opened. Keith and Kyle walked in, and took off their coats and boots. They both said hello to Eric and I, but both of them seemed rather reserved. Odd. Dinner was done, so we all sat down in the dining room. Eric and I started talking, and Kyle joined in eventually, but there was something going on that I couldn’t quite place my finger on. We all talked about holiday plans, which added a bit of tension to the room, but overall it wasn’t a bad dinner, just a weird one. Something about Keith… because I had realized that it was Keith that was making the whole thing awkward. His hands fluttered like nervous little birds, straightening the place setting, arranging his silverware, straightening the sleeves of his button-down, and tugging on his sweater. He wouldn’t meet my eyes. Weird.
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