"He's gay" she repeated.

"How do you know?" I asked not knowing if she was joking, I didn't know how to feel about this news.

"He told me himself, but you can't say anything to anyone, that's kind of the reason he left his last school" she told me in a hushed voice.

I motioned for her to get in the car to make it a little more private. "What happened to him in his last school?" I continued in the car. I was listening intently wanting to know more.

"He didn't explain it all to me but he got outed by someone on his team that was really close to him, poor kid" she said looking a little bad for him. "We talked a long time, I missed most of 8th period and he's a really sweet guy when he opens up. But please don't say anything, I'd hate it if the same thing happened here. I only told you because I trust that you won't say anything to anyone and I want you to be close to him, he could use a friend" she said her eyes pleading.

"Of course babe, I would never out someone, that's just wrong on so many levels." I said agreeing no one else has to know about his secret.

She texted her best friend Chloe to let her know I'd be driving her home since she had come with Chloe as usual since they've lived near each other for as long as I could remember.

My mind was running wild about Michael. He didn't seem gay but what does that even mean, I don't think you can just generalize how a certain group has to act to be labeled gay. And I keep getting a nightmare involving Michael.

I dreamt that somehow I let it slip he was gay and he started to get tormented all over and there was nothing I could. It was horrible, I woke up crying in my sleep. It was really weird that I just met the kid and I already felt really strong about him... as a friend. The next morning I made sure not to act any different towards him. I wasn't supposed to know about him so I kept it normal when I saw him walk into first period. I waved at him and he looked over at me hesitantly.

Class didn't start for a few minutes. "Morning Michael" I said smiling at him but I think my voice gave it away. Maybe a little too happy?

"She told you didn't she" he said his voice a little angry and scared? Why would he be afraid of me? He was about to get up and leave.

I grabbed him by the arm and made him sit back down. "Michael don't worry, your secret is safe with me, us. Samantha only told me because she trusts me not to say anything, and I trust she won't either."

"Yeah right, it doesn't bother that I'm into guys?" he said looking at me with questioning eyes. His eyes looked like they were welling up with tears. There were more students in the class as the bell was about to begin.

"Why should it?" I looked back at him still holding onto his upper arm so he wouldn't run away.

"In my last school it took 5 seconds for my so called friends to turn their backs on me when I got outed by that Dick" he said wiping some tears that had fallen leaving streaks on his face.

"Well sorry to say, but sounds like your friends sucked" I told him straight up. "Look I hate it when I see someone getting bullied and I'll never just stand idle while it happens in front of me. If there's ever a problem you could always come to me and I promise I'll do my best to help you" I said letting his arm go a bit.

I saw him relax a little back in his seat. "Thanks" he said smiling that infectious smile of his.

"you sure you're not going to out me to the whole school, cause I'd rather get it over with before I get too comfortable" he said half joking.

I looked over at him "positive" was all I said and gave him a wink. I don't know why but it seemed right at the moment. He turned crimson and giggled a little. The bell rang off and first period began. We talked and walked normally to our next class.

Michael started opening up more, telling me what sort of things he's into. Turns out he can do more than just draw amazingly, he can play the piano and guitar, and he paints occasionally but loves the feel of a pencil/charcoal scratching the paper. I also found out that he's an only child and that his dad walked out on his mom when he was 5 years old. He also told me that he came out to his mom already and she was fine with it. In fact, she had guessed it already, you know the old saying 'a mother always knows'

When lunchtime came I told Samantha he knew I knew and that I assured him we wouldn't be spilling the beans. She apologized quietly to him for having said anything but that she trusted me enough to confide in me. He said it was fine and that she was lucky to have me for a boyfriend. I felt my cheeks turn hot.

"Hey guys we should do something this weekend" I said looking at everyone.

"Like what" Vance asked

Before I could answer jimmy announced "my parents are leaving town this weekend. Party at my house?" this wasn't an unusual situation. Jimmy's parents left town a lot, they had business matters to take care of frequently. Jimmy's house has become the go to spot for parties over the years.

"I'm in" I said and everyone else agreed. Everyone except Michael. I sat next to him away from the group. "You coming right?" I asked him quietly so no one would hear.

"Uhhh" he said.

"Come on it's the first party of the year" I said trying to convince him. He seemed like he could use a few drinks to get him comfortable and loosen up a bit.

He looked deep in thought for a little "sure sounds like fun. Is there going to be a lot of people?"

Brad a friend of Jimmy's said "I'll take care of the invite list. PARTY AT JIMMYS HOUSEEEEEEEE FRIDAY NIGHT" he yelled at the top of his lungs in the middle of the lunch room. Everyone turned their heads towards him. Some people cheered/ wooed and others started murmuring about the party. Well that's one way I thought.

Michael and I made eye contact and both of us busted out laughing. The rest of the week went by quick uneventful. Michael was getting more comfortable and was making friends in his other classes. We were all sitting down during lunch.

"Excited for the party?" I asked Michael.

"Yeah a bit" he looked a little nervous.

"Everything okay?" I asked concerned he'll flake out of the party.

"I was um wondering if I could invite someone?" he said looking down not making eye contact. Hmm weird.

"The more the merrier" I told him to cheer him up. There were so many people going I doubt jimmy would mind another one. And by that announcement Brad made I'm sure it was an open invitation.

"Cool" he said smiling a bit. "Hey ill catch you later at the party" he said running off. We still had at least 15mins till lunch was over. Wonder where he was off to in such a hurry. I didn't go to 8th period, instead Samantha and I had an argument. She said she as feeling ignored ever since I left for the summer and that she thought I'd at least give her some attention when I got back. I didn't think I was ignoring her but I told her I'll try harder. She said she wanted a little space and that we should take a "break".

"That's so cliché" I told her furious. "If you want to end things just tell me".

She walked away without saying anything. Great.

Fuck, a fight before a party way to kill the mood. I know we've been having problems but you know how it is in relationship you get stuck in a rut and things get boring. She and I weren't even having sex like before. Before I felt heat and passion but ever since I got back from summer vacation things seemed different. Sometimes we'd have sex a couple times s night, now I'm lucky if I get it once a month. Sex isn't everything to me, I'm not one of those guys, but when I want to be intimate and feel close there was always a problem with her. I guess my mind has been in the clouds a bit, but a break? I doubt it was that serious.

I didn't want to let it ruin my night but I could feel myself brooding over it. I left home and locked myself in my room.

"Honey, foods ready" I heard my mother call from the other side of the door.

"I'm not hungry ma" I responded with a grunt.

"Eating some good food that I slaved over to make you will fix you right up" her voice half rising.

"Guilt tripping, really ma" I said chuckling. She always does this.

"You got to work with what works best" she said laughing a bit. "I'll see you downstairs in a bit"

I got up decided to take a shower to relax a bit. I soaped up my entire body and paid extra attention to my balls. I loved playing around with my 8in cut dick, always seemed to cheer me up. Seems like I went a little too much since my staff was at full length. I tugged on it some more while pulling on my balls with the other hand. My mind started to wander and Michael popped into my head. Whoa why was I thinking of his face. No, no I pushed the thought out and tugged some more, a little faster. It had been several minutes and Michaels face popped up in my head again, this time he was smiling and I couldn't let his face leave my mind. Well I wasn't going to jerk off to a guys faced, I wasn't gay. Right? No definitely not.

I decided this was getting me nowhere and I left the shower a little frustrated... sexually frustrated. I put on a white tee and a navy blue button down with the sleeves rolled up and some black jeans. I ate really quick and told my parents I'd be heading out with Samantha. When I arrived at the party it was still pretty early and not that many people were there yet. My best friend Bryant was there sipping on a red cup.

"Hey dude" I said casually walking up to him.

"Hey man, what's up"

"Nothing stressed out a bit" I said.

"Why, what happened" he asked genuinely concerned. I always told Bryant all my problems. He was a good listener and never had and judgments towards anyone. I started drinking my second cup after telling him everything that had happened, there were more people now and the party was starting to liven up.

"Thanks man I feel better" I always felt better after talking to Bryant. He looked wide eyed when I looked over at him and I was afraid he drank too much and was about to barf all over me. "You ok?" I asked backing away slowly.

He was still staring at something behind me so I looked where he was looking and Samantha was there with her friends. "Time to face the music" I said as I walked away from him towards Samantha.

"Hey" I said walking up to her. Her friends gave me a look like I shouldn't be talking to her so I squinted my eyes and gave them a 'mind your fucking business' look. They flipped their hair towards me and walked away mumbling jerk.

"Hey" she said not sounding too happy.

"Stop being like that" I told her pushing her a little trying to get something from her. She pushed my hands away and I let them drop to my sides.

"I'm not in the mood" she said rolling her eyes.

"Isn't that the problem?" I said still half joking.

"How do you expect me to just give you sex when I don't feel like you pay attention to me. God you pay more attention to him" she said. I followed her eyes which looked a little annoyed. I saw who she was looking at, Michael, and he wasn't alone. He was standing close to a very flamboyant looking guy from school. I had seen the guy around school. Ricky, I think that's his name was openly gay at school. Wow way to stay under the radar Michael.

"Helloooo, see you're not even paying attention to me during a fight about you paying attention to me" she said her voice rising a bit. I pulled her over to a corner to get some eyes off of us. Nosy bastards.

"Sorry, look I don't mean to ignore you there's just something's that have been on my mind and I'm trying to sort them out"

"Well, when you get it sorted out let me know" she said walking away angrier than before.

I sat down on a nearby sofa chair and put my head in my hands. God why does she have to be a buzz kill. I do the best I can with her and I just get shitted on. My pity party was cut short when I felt someone tap my shoulder.

"Is he passed out?" I heard a high pitched voice say.

I looked up and standing there was Michael and Ricky or whatever his name is. I got a little irritated seeing Ricky standing really close to Michael. "Thanks, I'm fine though" not being able to hide the irritation in my voice.

Michael pulled me to my feet and I actually did feel a little wobbly. Michael held one of my hands and put the other one on my mid back to support me.

"Looks like someone had a little too much to drink" Ricky said in a sing songy voice. Man why was this guy getting on my nerves. I'm usually very calm, it had to be the alcohol.

"Are you ok" Michael said looking right into my face.

"ye-yeah, yes I'm fine" I said standing up straighter and letting go of Michael. He dropped his hands.

"Good, anyways Robert I'd like you to meet Ricky. Ricky this is Robert." So I was right his name is Ricky. Ricky was tanned skin, short hair dark brown hair, and dark brown eyes. He's lean with a small amount of muscle, not much definition, but still looked pretty good. Probably does well with the guys.

"Ohhhh this is Robert" Ricky said smirking at me while he looked me up and down. I looked at Michael who turned red and stomped on Ricky foot. What was that about? Ricky ooed and grabbed his foot.

"I'm sorry" I said clearly missing something.

"Nothing" Michael answered quickly before staring down Ricky.

"Hey can I talk to you privately" I said pulling Michaels arm. Ricky said it was cool and started talking with a group of girls that were standing near us. I took him upstairs to get away from all the people and loud music.

We tried the first door which was locked and could clearly hear moaning and sex sounds coming from inside the room. The second door was unlocked but a couple were making out intensely on the bed.

"Out" I said. The guy mumbled 'cockblock' on his way out buttoning his pants on the way out and the girl covering her chest with her shirt. Shit I was drunk, I'm usually not that rude. Whatever.

"What happened Michael said standing in front of me. I was sitting on the bed looking up at him. I sat back more and motioned for him to sit next to me.

"Why did you come with him" I said. Not hiding the annoyance in my voice.

"What, Ricky? I asked you if it was cool and you said it was fine" he said his forehead creased a little showing his confusion.

"Yeah but why him" I asked again.

"He's a friend that I met, he seemed nice, cool, and funny. Plus we have a lot in common" I didn't like that answer.

"So you're dating?" I asked my voice rising a little. Whoa why was this bothering me.

"Um what the fuck, why because we're both gay we automatically have to be fucking already?" he said back his voice rising a little.

"tha-that's not what I meant" I said half stuttering. "I thought you said you were trying to stay under the radar?" I asked calmly.

"I don't have to hide who I am with him, he's a friend who makes me feel comfortable"

"Aren't you afraid people will talk, he's openly gay?"

"Not that you'd understand but I like that I could talk to him about anything. We were talking and he made a point, I can't stay in the closet forever, if people talk let them, why should I care what they have to say. I told him about what happened in my other school and since he's been out of the closet he's experienced what I've went through. Life gets better plus I'm not letting anyone treat me anything less than human for liking the same gender. Not again" he said clearly angry and getting angrier.

Fuck I was passing off a lot of people. Maybe it is me. I was a little more sober not having drank any alcohol, good I need to clear my head. My head was spinning.

"I'm sorry, I'm just looking out for you" I told him leaning my head to the side using my arm for support.

He relaxed a bit. "I know you are but you don't have to worry, it's not your problem, its mine. Ricky is just a friend, I'm sure straight guys have openly gay friends. I'll be careful and he knows not to say anything to anyone. I'll come out when I'm ready"

"So how did you two meet" I asked.

"Samantha actually introduced it, he could tell before I said anything that I played for his team. Gays wave good gaydars"

"What's a gaydar" I asked never having heard that word before.

"It's like this built in radar that lets you know when someone's gay"

I busted out laughing. "You've got to be joking" I said still giggling.

"No, I'm usually dead on when I think a guy's gay, but sometimes, I mix my gaydar with my pleasebegaydar"

"What's that mean" again confused.

"When I think someone's gay but it's because I wish it were true so I make up excuses as to why I think someone's gay. I mean I have to guess on whose gay unless they make it known, I can't just go up to any random guy and assume he's gay. I'd probably get into a lot of fights over some big macho trying to show off how manly and not gay he is"

His eyes were watering a bit. "has that happened before?"

"Yeah" he said looking down at the floor.

"You don't have to talk about it" I wasn't sure if he wanted to. "But know that Ricky isn't the only one you can confide in. I won't judge you, shit I'll go as far as talk about other guys with you. Did you see what that bitch downstairs was wearing, do I hear slutttttt" I said joking around in an overly flamboyant voice.

He laughed at that. And stayed smiling. I wrapped an arm around his shoulder. His face was really close to mine and I could smell his sweet breath.

"Thanks Robert I appreciate that more than you know" I heard the door fly open. In came Samantha stumbling all the way. She stopped as soon as she saw us.

"Well, well, well what's going on here" she said swaying back and forth unbalanced. I removed my arm from around Michel shoulders to steady her but she jumped away.

"I kn-knew it" she said slurring her words. She must've had way more to drink. "I didn't believe it but now I see it"

"Hey Samantha are you okay" Michael asked getting up to try to help her but she pushed him hard and he sat back down with a thump.

"Samantha calm down, what're are you talking about. What do you know?" I asked. I felt left out not knowing what she was talking about.

"About you two" she said still not making any sense.

"What" Michael said not understanding her either? "There's nothing going on between us" he said a little scared look came over his face.

"He never looks at me like that, and the way he cares for him. It's not the same way he cared for me" she said more to herself than to us.


"Shut up" she yelled. She was clearly far gone, no reasoning with her.

"But what are you saying, you're not making any sense" I said standing a bit with my hands out to catch any blows she might throw. I stood in between her and Michael. I didn't want him to get in the middle. "What did we do" I said.

"It's what you did, you stopped caring about me" she said slurring.

"No I haven't, I still care about you" I said in a soft voice.

"Not like you care about him though!" she yelled. I looked behind me to Michael and he looked a little red probably by the accusations she was saying. I turned around to see her hand come flying towards my face. I tried moving back but I wasn't quick enough. Her hand made contact with the side of my face and I felt a sting on the side of my face.

"You don't look at me like that anymore, you did at one point but not anymore. Not since he's been here"

Michael jumped to his feet but I held him back. "See still protecting him and you don't even see it"

"Samantha" I said in a calm voice trying to calm myself down. "What is it I don't see?"

"That you have feelings for him!" she yelled.



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