My name is Alex, I am a freshman in college, and this is my story. It begins by noting that there was an art to it; an art to creating and continuing that façade, to making and the choices that I made. There was art to everything I had done until this moment in time, until I had opened up and disclosed the truth.
I accepted to myself that I was different, there was no issue there; but the object of my desire, he made things difficult. Freshman year of high school, I met Zeke, and that started everything. He was three months my junior, yet was taller and significantly more muscular than myself; he had dark hair, and light brown eyes; he had the most charming smile, and inviting body language. His mind was constantly moving, examining, digging into the topics of our discussions, inspiring greater, even more significant discussion. He seemed to be the ideal male to me.
Naturally, he and I seemed to fall into similar social circles; I was among the academic population of our school, excelling at math, English and science, while exploring the arts, namely drama, and he was a part of the more athletic population while largely a part of the drama department. It was through drama that we happened to meet. We’d been running the same scene over and over in rehearsal, trying to perfect it. Eventually, our director had paired the new actors, including myself, with the actors with prior history in acting or those that had naturally seemed to grasp the principles of acting.
“Hey, I’m Zeke. Who’re you?” he asked me.
“Alex. Nice to meet you.” I offered my hand.
“Likewise,” he took my hand in his and pulled me into a hug. “This drama department is a family. You should try to get used to everyone here. That seems to be your main issue. You don’t seem to like touching other people.” he declared, immediately informing me of the one thing no one else had seemed to notice about me.
Naturally, he was right, I didn’t like touching other people, I didn’t like having them in my space, but somehow, Zeke seemed to distract me from that. We talked about what I was doing wrong and possible ways to fix it. I stuck with the notion that I needed to be more open in my scenes. When we had rehearsed the scene again, everyone had commented on how I was significantly better than I had been earlier. I thanked Zeke for his pointers, and that was how we met.
About a month of meetings and conversations in the drama class like this has passed by when he had invited me to hang out with him, and I took him up on his offer. I went to his house; it had two floors, and was very large compared to the houses in my small community. He and his family were very wealthy as shown by his house and the three cars in his driveway in addition to the truck in his garage. Inside his house, everything seemed to shine and glimmer. There were large, luxurious oak tables, and huge, soft seats and couches. All the wealth his family had, yet for whatever reason, he went to my school, and I, for one, was not questioning it.
“What do you want to do?” he asked as he showed me into this grand house.
“Whatever you want, really. I’m not too picky.” I replied.
He led me into a room that was specifically designed for visual and aural magnificence. There was a large, flat-screen television connected to a 7.2 surround sound speaker set-up. And with all of this, we played video games. It was then that he discovered that not only did I like video games, but that I was also very good playing them. I had defeated him at many of the games that he had boasted at being the king of.
Eventually, he and I grew hungry, so he stopped playing and disappeared off into the kitchen and suggested that I stay there and play more, so I did. While I played, the most delectable scent wafted into the room and my sense of smell lead me to a dining room where he was setting up our lunch; grilled bacon and cheese sandwiches with lettuce, tomatoes, and grilled onions. Apparently, he knew how to cook, and his food was delicious. During our lunch, we talked about the various games we played and accomplishments we made in them.
By this point, I was certain that I had developed an attraction to him, the tragic occurrence between any two best friends. So, I denied it. I was angry at him for being so charming, and at myself for letting this happen. I tried telling myself that if I stopped liking him, I’d find someone better for me eventually. I seemed to lose purpose; nothing seemed as grand as it once did. And eventually, I accepted the fact that I preferred to be in his presence. All of this, I kept hidden of course, and I continued to hide it.
Meetings like these went on for a very long time, up until I moved away to go to a university a year after graduating from high school. But somewhere during the course of those years, my attraction to him deepened, as was expected, and so did the purposelessness of my life without being his. But I couldn’t possibly tell him that, I’d lose him forever. There’s no way he could see me in the same way.
The night before my going away, he and my friends threw a going away party for me at his house. There was alcohol, much to my disapproval, and seemingly everyone but me got drunk or tipsy at the least; not wanting to seem a stick in the mud, I feigned being drunk, slurring my words, and stumbling about. Hours later, Zeke was walking me to the nearly empty apartment I had moved into after graduating, he was as drunk as I acted. Once in my apartment, he had seated me on my couch and sat down with me.
“You really can’t hold your alcohol can you?” he asked, in a drunken stupor.
“No… That’s why I didn’t want it at the party.” I replied, mimicking his speech, so as to continue my charade.
He looked me in the eyes, “so you won’t remember this, then…” He kissed me. “I’ve always liked you.”
“This has to be the alcohol speaking.” I thought to myself, and in my silent shock, he kissed me again.
Eventually, one thing led to another, and by the end of it all, he was asleep in my bed, and I was lying beside him. I knew what happened, but at the same time, I couldn’t understand it. I couldn’t believe myself; I couldn’t believe the actions I had taken, the choices I had made. I lied. I silently sobbed until I eventually fell asleep.
When I woke, he was staring at me. “Did you sleep well?” He was seated at the edge of the bed.
I quickly got up, so as to seem shocked, I can’t lose him. Last night was the alcohol in him. “What’s going on? Did we-?” I asked, keeping up this act.
“No,” he lied, “I got you home, and fell asleep on your couch.” He lied to me. But, things are better this way, so I accepted it. He seemed defeated. But I had to pretend not to notice.
“I’m going to go shower… do what you want, you know, like normal.” I replied as I went to my shower. I got in, and turned the water on, and immediately started crying. He lied. I lied. Last night was a lie. It could never honestly happen. It could never work. I’d just lose him entirely. After I had gotten all my crying done, I got out of the shower and got dressed again. I looked around my apartment and Zeke was nowhere to be found.
That afternoon I had to go catch my flight. So, I left. And soon, I was at college and I wouldn’t see him for a while. Classes started, and I tried to get my mind off of him, and that last night we spent together, but nothing worked. I was simply too close to him. There was too much between us.
I loved him.
I couldn’t keep pretending like I didn’t. But I couldn’t tell him, I didn’t want to lose him. I made the only choice that seemed available to me.
I woke in a sterile, white hospital room, and I couldn’t recall what had happened. It came back to me when the first face I saw was Zeke’s. He saw that I was awake.
“I lied.” we both said.