Chicken Soup For The Gay Soul

I was ready to tell my best friend that I was in love with him and wanted to be a couple. He already suspected I was gay.

*****

One often wonders if their life really has any meaning at all, or if it is just some big cosmic joke where supernatural beings are laughing and pointing at our misfortune, all the while eating a large bucket of overly buttered popcorn and drinking something unnaturally sweet. This thought has often plagued me. Especially when circumstances would lead me to tell the guy I really liked that I liked him after I had hidden it so well, while precautious perched on a tree limb. Yep. I’m fairly positive my very existence is merely for someone else’s amusement.

Let’s start somewhere near the beginning, shall we?

Graduation Party day, the day were all the seniors get together after graduation and go do something fun together as a last fling before moving on with their lives. Most seniors save up and go to Disneyland or Six Flags or something like that. Where do we go? A water park. Not exactly what I had in mind, but it works.

Now look really close. See that poor pathetic kid down there in the shade of the trees at the side of the main building for rentals getting the shit beat out of him by several large football players? Yeah, that’s me. No, don’t pity me, I knew it was coming and I just sat there ready to take it.

Why am I getting beaten into a bloody pulp, you ask? Oh, just because my fellow classmates somehow found out what I myself only found out two weeks prior. I’m gay. How it happened, I don’t know. But it might explain why I’ve never been able to keep a girlfriend for longer than a month and why we always parted as friends. Who knew?

I had only told two people, my best friend Jose who was gayer and more feminine than most of the girls in my school put together, and his friend whom he swore I could trust, Benny. You know, in every movie I’ve ever watched and the million times that I’ve watched The Mummy, I’ve come to realize you should never trust anyone who allows themselves to be called Benny. Now, I know Jose would never betray my trust because he knows I know where he lives and would reap revenge upon him like no one else, so the only other explanation that I have is that Benny leaked it out and now my fellow classmates are taking it upon themselves to kick my ass because I was in the locker room with them on countless occasions and never told them that I might be salivating over their lean forms, something Jose was always kind enough to do so they could grab towels and run for it.

I don’t mind getting beaten for being gay. Considering the fact that I was still trying to come to terms with it in my one mind, I kind of felt like something might be wrong with me and if they just hit hard enough, it might be fixed. I know, but I wasn’t quite thinking logical yet, give me a break.

I hadn’t told my parents yet. That would just be too weird. My dad, who always encouraged me in sports and told my mother that I was going to be a real man’s man because of it probably wouldn’t take it very well. My mother would look at me like some kind of alien, say “Oh, that’s nice dear, whatever makes you happy,” while grabbing my little brother as if she could protect him from becoming gay like me. At least, these where the scenarios that repeatedly ran through my head, so I kept my mouth shut.

Just as one of the guys over me landed a nice kick to my ribs, the rest of the players began to back away. Someone was yelling, several of the players were saying they were only having fun. With a small cough of blood, I gave a weak laugh. Fun? Is that what this was?

Rolling over to my side, I spit out what blood I could and crawled a few paces away before someone laid their hand on my shoulder. Involuntarily I flinched, still waiting for a blow to fall, but the hand just stayed there. A soft voice started to speak to me, “Hey, it’s okay. Come with me and I’ll get you cleaned up. I’m not going to hurt you. Come on, that’s right.”

Allowing someone to help my up, I kept my eyes on the ground as the person led me into the First Aide Station. Stumbling over to the chair, I began to investigate my face with my hand as the person said to wait there while he got some supplies. My left eye was swelling at an alarming rate, my lip was bloody and I had a nice sized cut above my right eye that was bleeding everywhere making it hard to see. I’ve had worse, but it still wasn’t very fun.

“Hey, keep your hands away from it, okay?” It was that kind voice again, very commanding without being hard. “Now this is going to sting a bit.”

Sucking in some air as the alcohol hit, I tried my best to glare at my rescuer, even though I really couldn’t see him yet.

“Man, those guys really did a number on you, didn’t they? What happened?”

“Nothing.”

“Yeah, right. Because everything that is nothing gets dragged into the First Aide Office.”

“It’s none of your business. They were just being retards.”

A damp cloth touched my face, wiping away the worst of the blood that had kept me fairly blind for the last several minutes. The man standing before me was around my age and beautiful. His tanned body spoke of strength, the red shorts of a lifeguard hugging his muscular thighs in a way that really should have been outlawed. My chest constricted and I groaned. Why did he have to be a great looking guy? Didn’t I have enough problems at the moment?

“Sorry, I know it hurts.” His beautiful hazel eyes looked closely at my forehead. “I don’t think it needs stitches. A butterfly bandage should do it for you. Head wounds always bleed the most.”

His brown hair was streaked with sunlight giving him this almost ethrel glow. Of course, that could have been the sunlight coming in the window glinting behind him, but I like the fantasy that he was a Godly being instead.

After he put on the bandage, he handed me an icepack for my eye. “Do you have someone you want me to call? I don’t think you should drive home by yourself.”

“Could you just call out for Jose? Jose Martinez. He’s somewhere out there in the park.”

“Sure, no problem.”

After hanging up the phone, he came back over to me with a cup of Tylenol and water. “You might want to take this. You are going to have some nasty bruises on you side, but it looks like nothing is broken.” Holding out his hand, he said, “Name’s Derek Briggs. What’s yours?”

Damn, even his handshake was nice. “Ethan. Ethan Chambers. Nice to meet you.”

Derek grabbed my hand and turned it over, examining my knuckles. “I’m sure it would be nice over different circumstances. Can I ask you something? Why didn’t you fight back? You didn’t take one swing at any of them. How come? Why did you just let them wail on you?”

I tried to jerk my hand back, but he wouldn’t let go. His eyes stared into my gray ones, looking for answers he had no right to ask for.

Just then the door to the First Aide office opened with a slam and there stood Jose. Dressed in his frilly pink two piece, a thin cotton wrap around with blue green flowers on it and sandals with matching flowers on them came barging in with a look of distress. “Oh, ma poor baby! Those vicious brutes! Why would they do something like this? Look what they did to your beautiful face!” He came rushing over, shoving my savior out of his way, his hands flitting all over me. “I’ll kill them. I’ll kill them all! Thank goodness they were thrown out of the park, every last one of them, or I would go all Miss Bitch on their asses.”

I rolled my good eye towards the ceiling, cursing my day once again. Just over Jose’s shoulder, I could see Derek looking at him with amusement and trying very hard not to laugh.

“Jose, could you please just go get my car? The good physician doesn’t think I should drive home alone.” I passed Jose my locker key. He took it patting my hand reassuringly.

“Of course you shouldn’t, poor thing! I will get you home before you can say Birdcage, darling.” Turning to go, Jose spotted Derek, eyeing him up and down like a piece of Symphony Chocolate. With a last look over his shoulder at me that spoke volumes, he hurried to the door and was gone.

“I’m sorry you had to see that.”

Derek started laughing. “You have very strange tastes in friends, Ethan.”

I nodded. This was not the first time someone had told me this. “Jose is as weird as they come, but he’s a good friend. No one messes with him though because he kind of scares the guys. They are all afraid that if they start wailing on him that they might get him excited or something. Not to mention their girlfriends would give them all hell because all the girls love him to death.”

I rose from the chair slowly, making sure I didn’t fall over. “Hey, thanks for patching me up and stuff.”

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