I am terrible at titles, you can tell... My apologies
| I wake the next morning feeling lighter, as if a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I smile to myself as I realize why. I had never talked about that ‘car crash’ with anyone other than the cops. It felt strange telling Caine, a stranger practically, but yet, it felt nice too. Yawning, I hop out of bed and make my way to our one tiny bathroom to tidy up. I look in the mirror, admiring my looks.
Okay, sure, I’m not the best looking guy in the world, but I think I look alright. I’ve got straight black hair which hangs down over my right eye, I’m pale, but a few freckles dot my nose and cheeks, and my eyes are a blue, almost turquoise color. I’m a skinny guy but I’m much stronger than I look; I work out whenever I have the time and my weekend job usually requires a lot of heavy lifting. I do have abs; honestly, I do; but they’re just barely noticeable.
Sighing, I remove my clothes and step into the shower, using cold water to wake myself up. I shiver lightly as I step out to dry my hair, brush my teeth, and all the other boring essentials of life. All the while, I can’t keep a stupid grin off of my face. All I can think of is him; his bright blue eyes, his kind, generous smile, and the way he stood up for me when no one else ever has except my best friend, Rebecca and my mum. I can’t wait to get to school in the hopes of seeing him again; even if I don’t talk to him. ‘I know; it’s pathetic, right?’
I make my way to the kitchen next and make my mum and me some breakfast; eggs and toast with straight black coffee; the way we both like it. Mum wakes to the smell of the food and sits up groaning. She sleeps on a bed in the living room because we could only afford a one-bedroom house when we bought the dump. I insisted on taking the living room spot, but she told me she wanted the best for me and she wouldn’t take no for an answer. She even spent half her life’s saving to send me to the expensive Middleton High because she wanted me to have what she didn’t.
My smile widens at the memory as I cheerfully hand over the plate and mug. She looks at me warily, not saying a thing, but hums as she digs in. Still smiling (damn man, am I really that pathetic???) I dig into my own while reading the local news. Nothing major really; the local baseball team won a game, a small robbery in town, etc... As she finishes, mum hands over her dirty dishes and I wash them while silently humming to myself. It’s been so long since I’ve felt this good. How could one small act cause such an effect in me? It’s because someone finally stood up and helped me win a losing battle.
“Alright, what gives darling? What’s got you in such a great mood?” Mum asks after a moment.
“Hmm? Oh, it’s nothing really, just a good morning.” I smile to her.
“Mhmm... Are you sure about that love?” She asks with a knowing smirk.
“Yeah, mum, I’m sure.” I tell her.
It’s not that she’s opposed to my sexuality—she fully supports that decision—it’s just that I don’t really know Caine, and what happened yesterday was probably just a good guy doing the right thing. I don’t know if I’ll ever speak to him again, so I don’t want to tell my mum about it and get her hopes up for me. I’d like to think that Caine would become a friend, but in my life, I doubt it. So I just smile at a good memory, walk to the bus, and prepare myself for school.
- - - - - -
The morning is as uneventful as always. I grab a plate and head over to meet my best and only friend here, Rebecca; the pretty ginger with wide green eyes and a beautiful, slim face. If I was straight, I’d probably date her. She smiles as I make my way over to our ‘loners table’ and shoves a coke my way as I sit down.
“Hi.” I greet, grabbing the drink.
“What’s up compadre?” She asks.
“Well, I have a few comments for that... Which one do you want?” I ask smirking.
“Ewe, none, I know you.” She giggles, stealing some of my bacon. “Have you seen the new guy? He’s cute.” She adds.
“Yeah, I’ve seen him.” I answer. “He’s sweet... and gay.” I add and chuckle as she chokes.
“Seriously, how do you know this?” She asks, glaring playfully.
“I’ll tell you later.” I tell her.
“Hmm, alright I wanna know everything. Can I come by your house today?”
“I don’t see why not. Mum will be working late again tonight though.”
After a few minutes of banter, I see Caine enter the cafeteria on the other side, eyes scanning the crowd. I blush as they land on me and he waves. I wave back and he nods towards our table, asking permission to come over. ‘Wow, maybe I was wrong…’ I nod and he makes his way to our table. Because Rebecca is messing around with her phone, she doesn’t notice until he’s right there. He sits down, causing her to jump in surprise.
“Hey.” He greets with a nod to me.
“Hi...” I reply.
“You’re the new guy?” Rebecca asks in awe.
“That’d be me. Who might you be?” Caine asks in amusement.
“My name is Rebecca. I’m Jared’s best friend.” She answers with a warning glare.
“Ah, yes, he mentioned having a friend here yesterday.” He smirks my way. I blush deeper and he chuckles.
“So, you guys met yesterday… Anyone want to give me details?” She asks.
“Jerome was being a dick and Caine stepped in. That’s all there is to it really. We met and talked.” I answer sheepishly.
“What did Jerome do?” Rebecca asks angrily.
“Nothing; It doesn’t matter.” I mutter.
“Yes, it does! You’re supposed to tell me these things.” She sighs, exasperated. “Fine, at least someone was there to stop him.” She adds with a sour look. “Anyways! What brought you here, Caine?” She says turning to face the new boy.
“Well, I moved out of my parents last month and found a nice, cheap home here. I wanted to finish school though, too so I asked my parents to help me settle in.” Caine explains.
“Ah, I see. That’s awesome. What did you move out for?” Rebecca asks.
“Becca quit interrogating the poor guy.” I chuckle. She frowns at me.
“No, it’s alright I don’t mind.” Caine replies, throwing me a wink.
‘Damn this guy. He’s totally flirting.’
“I moved out because I thought it was time. I have a job, a car, and soon I’ll be graduating, so I thought ‘why not?’, and my parents were supportive. They helped me a lot.” Caine adds, keeping his eyes on me; almost like he was avoiding her gaze.
“Why so late? It’s almost summer time.” Rebecca asks curiously.
“I had the money and found the perfect first house. I didn’t want to chance losing it so I decided to move right away.” Caine explains quickly, finally looking back at her.
“Okay, nice... Hey, I’m going over to Jared’s house today, why don’t you pop by as well sometime?”
“Oh yeah, that’d be fine with me and I know mum wouldn’t care.” I add.
Before Caine could reply the morning bell rang. I sighed and stood up, grabbing my things. “I’d love to come by.” Caine states before walking to class. Rebecca pulled me into a hug. “He’s totally into you. Don’t push this one away.” She whispers. I blush and rush off to my own after saying bye.
- - - - - - - -
School is out; thank God. Rebecca and I meet up at the front of the school as I wait to board my bus. I’m not sure if Caine will ever actually show up at my house (damned insecurities), but I am hoping for it. It seems the more I see or think of him, the deeper I fall. I don’t understand it and it’s kind of scary. Rebecca is talking on her phone, arguing with someone. She huffs in annoyance and turns to me.
“Hey Jared, I won’t be able to make it tonight. My sister broke her arm and is in the hospital so I need to babysit while my parents are with her. I’m so sorry.” Rebecca says, apologetic.
“Hey, it’s cool, I understand.” I smile, lightly brushing her arm. “Hope your sister is alright.”
“Yeah, thanks.” She snorts. “Maybe next weekend, or if it’s not serious, I can come over later tonight or early tomorrow.” She states, walking off.
A few minutes later Caine steps up behind me. “Hey, Jared; if you still want me to, I can come over in about two hours. I’ve got to go visit my, grandmother, first and help her with something. It won't be long, she lives nearby” Caine says.
“Cool; that’s awesome.” I smile at him. That gives me time to make my house at least a little presentable.
“Alright.” He says handing over a slip of paper.
“Ah, uhm, I figured, ya know; my number… if you want it.” He says, fidgeting.
“Yeah thanks. Here,” I smile and write down my own number and Rebecca’s because I know she wouldn’t mind. “, here’s mine and Rebecca’s. Oh, and Rebecca might not be able to come by; family emergency. If you want you still can though.”
“Alright, sorry to hear that, but I’ll totally still be there......” Caine trails off. “So... does this make us friends?” Caine laughs.
“If you’d like, then yes.” I smile.
He nods before trudging off to his car and I step onto my bus.
‘Who is this strange boy?’ I wonder.