by Kiara Ayleen
An innocent question asked by little boy reveals the secrets of two best friends.
|»The best part was when Jake randomly lay down on the floor and tried to convince us he’s a starfish. I died laughing. Honestly, someone should forbid that guy to drink before he loses his last few brain cells too,« Kyle laughed with a hint of sarcasm in his voice.
»My personal favorite was how that girl at the club told Henry to get lost because he looked too much like her aunt’s dog. I can’t look at him without imagining him drooling over a feeding bowl now.«
»Oh good god, Nate, stop, I’ll never get those pictures out of my head again.«
With a huge grin on my face I turned the key and pushed open the front door. Before I could even put down my bag or kick off my shoes in the hallway, I saw my little brother standing in the doorway that lead to the living room.
»Nate!« he exclaimed with a dazzling grin on his little face. He ran toward me with his arms outstretched.
»Hey kiddo!« I dropped my bag on the hallway floor and lifted the eleven-year-old up, hugging him tight.
»I missed you,« he muttered into my neck.
»I missed you too, Danny.« I squeezed him one last time before I set him back to the ground.
»Hi Kyle,« he now addressed my best friend, a big smile on his face.
»Hey kiddo, how’s it going?« Kyle brotherly ruffled through Danny’s dark curls. »Did we miss anything interesting the past three weeks?«
»We have a new kid in class!« he bebbled, his eyes lighting up. »His name’s Luke and he’s a Harry Potter fan like me! And he thinks that Sirius is the coolest character too!«
A grin made its way onto my face. If there was one way that got you directly into Danny’s heart it definitely lead through the Harry Potter franchise. »Well, that sounds like a really cool new friend!«
»You better be careful or Nate is gonna still him from you,« Kyle joked.
»Maybe I should actually go look for a new best friend. My current one has been acting like an idiot lately. I don’t know what I ever saw in him.«
»Finally! I never liked that guy but of course you didn’t listen to me.«
Danny looked at us and shook his head laughing. »You’re weird,« he giggled.
»Thank you very much for that sweet compliment, kiddo.« Kyle ruffled through his hair again before heading upstairs. »I’ll go shower,« he announced right before he exited our field of view.
»Is Kyle sleeping over tonight? After you already were on that class trip together?«
I just shrugged. »Apparently he is. Or maybe he just likes our shower better, I don’t know.« At this point it felt absolutely normal to me that Kyle moved through our house as if he was at home. I wouldn’t even be surprised if a closer look at things revealed that he spent more time here than at his parents’ house.
»Anyway, I’m gonna go say hi to mom and unpack. You wanna watch a movie tonight?«
Danny nodded happily.
»So, what’s the plan for tonight?« Kyle had settled onto my bed, taking up pretty much all the space, while I unpacked. He laid on his back and continuously threw the stress ball that normally sat on my desk toward the ceiling, just to catch it again once it came back down.
»I promised Danny to watch a movie with him once he’s back from his friends’ house.« I pulled one last worn shirt out of my bag, tossed it into my laundry basket and shoved the bag back into my closet before turning back to my best friend and motioning for him to move. He scooted over just enough for me to sit down next to him. »Are you staying here tonight or you gonna show your face at your parents’ place?«
»They’re on a business trip again so there’s no one to actually show my face to over there. But if I’m bothering you I’ll obviously go home.«
»Do you want me to punch you in the face right now or later?«
»Later please. But make sure Danny’s not watching, okay?«
»Leave that up to me.«
And with that it was settled. He’d be staying with us and had hopefully finally understood that he would never annoy us, for god’s sake.
There was a gentle knock on my door and a second later Danny’s head popped into the room.
»Hey kiddo! How was the day with the guys?«
»Good,« he replied hesitantly while setting down next us.
»That doesn’t sound very believable. Did something happen?«
»No, not really but…,« he began but left the sentence hanging in midair. »Can I ask you something?«
I turned fully toward him and Kyle too sat up. His usual joking expression had turned into worry.
»Of course. You know you can ask both Kyle and me anything at any given time. What’s wrong?«
»Have you… ever kissed a boy? Or imagined what it would be like?« His voice was hushed, his eyes downcast. He started at his socks instead of looking at either of us.
I was startled. My gaze wandered to my best friend for a second and I could see that he had expected this question just as little as I had.
»No, I’ve never kissed a boy,« I answered truthfully. »But I’d bet that literally everyone has imagined it at least once,« I added after a moment’s hesitation. Or if you’re like me you do it at least five times a day, said a voice in my head that I quickly drowned out.
From the corner of my eye I could see Kyle nodding in agreement.
»Why do ask though?«
Danny’s feet shifted on the wooden floor. He still couldn’t look at us. »Paul told us that he has a girlfriend now. He even kissed her already. On the lips. Emmett was really impressed by that. But to me the thought of kissing a girl is kind of strange.« He hesitated. »I like the thought of kissing a boy way better. But I was afraid to say that.«
It broke my heart how uncomfortable and insecure he looked. »But that’s not a bad thing. It’s completely normal,« I assured him.
»Does that mean I’m gay?«
»Maybe,« I explained calmly. »But maybe not. Things like that are still developing at your age. Don’t worry about it. And even if you realize someday that you’re actually only interested in boys, that’s not a problem at all. We all love you just the way you are, no matter who you fall in love with. Okay?«
He nodded hesitantly and finally dared to look me in the eyes. »Thanks Nate,« he muttered wrapping his arms around me.
»No problem, kiddo. I’m always here if you wanna talk.«
He released me and a small smile crept back onto his face.
»So what do you say, should we watch that movie now?« I tried to brighten the mood and distract him from his thoughts.
He nodded excitedly. »I’ll get us popcorn! Mom brought some for the microwave!« Without turning around again he vanished from my room.
»Wow,« I could hear Kyle’s deep voice whisper behind me. »You never fail to impress me with how good you are with him. You really are a damn good big brother.«
»Thanks,« I muttered. »But in the end I just told him the truth. It’s weird though, what he thinks about at his age. I probably sound like my grandparents saying this but it’s crazy how fast he’s growing up. I’m pretty sure I didn’t think about kissing when I was eleven, no matter if boys or girls,« I noted.
Kyle nodded. »Do you think it has something to do with that new kid he mentioned? Luke?«
»Yeah, I bet he’s the main reason for all of this. I think my little brother might be in the middle of his first real crush.«
Kyle nodded again. »And you?« he suddenly asked. »Was it someone in particular that made you wonder what it would be like to kiss a guy?«
I just started at him uncomprehendingly.
»You said everyone has thought about it at some point. And I totally agree with you. But did you have someone special in mind?«
»Um...« I didn’t know what to say. I felt frozen for a minute. »No, no one in particular. I just… generally thought about it.«
»’Generally thought about it’?« One of Kyle’s eyebrows shut up into his hairline. »Nathaniel Anderson, you don’t actually believe you can fool me with this, do you? I’m your best friend, I can tell when you’re lying at me. Not to mention that you’re terrible liar either way.« His green eyes were fixed on me and I didn’t dare to look away. »So who was it? Come on, you don’t think I’ll judge you or laugh at you or something just because you imagined what it be like to smooch that guy at some point, do you?«
I lowered my eyes. I couldn’t look at him any longer.
»Wait. There’s no past tense, is there? You didn’t imagine that ‘at some point’, you still are imagining it now.« Something in his voice had changed. »Are you gay?«
I didn’t know how to interpret the tone of his voice. Would he have a problem with me answering that question with a ‘yes’? My best friend couldn’t really be homophobic, could he?
»I…,« I began, leaving the sentence unfinished for a second. I could practically feel his expectant gaze on me even though I still didn’t have the courage to look up again. »…am bisexual,« I finally finished after a deep breath.
»Hell, Nate, why didn’t you tell me?«
The way he said it made me feel like he had punched me in the face. Did my best friend – the last person on earth I would’ve ever expected to react like this – really have a problem with the fact that I wasn’t exclusively interested in females? I finally looked up, not bothering to hide the hurt expression that had found its way onto my face.
Something in Nate’s expression shifted as soon as he looked into my eyes. »Wait, no, I think this came across the wrong way,« he explained hastily. »I don’t have a problem with you being bi at all. It’s just...« His voice grew quieter, almost insecure. »I can’t believe you didn’t tell me. Don’t you trust me anymore?«
Now he was the one looking hurt which felt like another punch in the face to me. »I…,« I began, not finishing my sentence again. »Of course I trust you,« I finally explained. »I just… had to figure this all out for myself before I could talk to anyone about it. And then I just couldn’t find the right time. This isn’t exactly something I wanted to just drop in a casual conversation or something like that.«
Kyle nodded. It seemed like my explanation had actually managed to calm him down. »Okay yeah, I guess I understand that. Sorry I reacted like this. Does your family know?«
I slowly shook my head. »You’re the first one I’ve told,« I muttered.
»And… is there someone you’re… currently interested in?«
»I… No… At the moment...« I broke off as soon as I saw Kyle’s eyebrow shoot up again.
»Don’t you dare lie at me again, Nate.«
I suppressed a sigh. How did I manage do get into this mess? »Kyle, I… Fine, yeah, there is someone but… I don’t wanna talk about it.«
That hurt expression crept back into his eyes. I didn’t wanna see this, for god’s sake. I didn’t wanna hurt him. But I was even more scared of the look he’d give me if I told him the truth.
»Why?« he simply asked.
I swallowed hard. »Because there’s no way he’s ever gonna like me back anyway.« It was the truth. And I was sure that Kyle could see that in my face. Maybe he would drop the subject once he realized how uncomfortable talking about it made me feel. Or maybe Danny would finally come back and save me from this damn conversation.
Suddenly something in Kyle’s expression shifted again. He looked like he recognized something. In that moment I knew that he could see straight through me. That he had understood why I didn’t wanna talk about that stupid crush.
»Wait, are you…?« he began. He didn’t need to finish the sentence for me to know what he wanted to say.
My gaze lowered again. I couldn’t look at him. Just like my little brother before I stared at my feet instead of facing my best friend.
»I’m afraid that’s exactly what I am.« For a moment I wasn’t sure if he had even heard me or if my words hat gotten lost in the noise around us.
The way he said my name sent a shiver down my spine. Suddenly I felt his warm hand against my cheek. He turned my head, forced me to look at him. I didn’t know how to interpret the look in this eyes.
Suddenly his lips were on mine. His mouth moved softly against my lips. My heart seemed to skip a beat. My hands wandered into his hair. My lips parted slightly. I couldn’t help but let out a little sigh.
I had dreamed about this so many times. Imagined him touching me like this. Thought about what it would be like to feel his lips on mine. But – even if sounds cheesy – this was so much better than every single one of my daydreams.
»You should’ve told me sooner,« he whispered against my lips.
»I don’t think I’m the only one who kept a secret.« A smile crept onto my lips while I softly leaned my forehead against his.
He just replied with a grin that definitely proved me right.
»Sorry it took so long, the microwave…« The voice that had just came into my room abruptly fell silent. Danny stood in the doorway and started at us with widened eyes.
Kyle distanced himself from me. Not in a way that made it look like he was embarrassed or uncomfortable or as if he was trying to hide what had just happened between us though. No, instead he just separated his forehead from mine but took my hand and interlaced our fingers. I couldn’t believe this was actually happening. Even though the situation was strange I couldn’t help but smile.
Kyle padded on the bed beside him and Danny sat down next to us. »I think we have to correct one of our answers from earlier,« he noted calmly. »I guess we’ve both kissed a boy now.« He shot me a grin. »And it felt really good.«
My own smile widened as I nodded in agreement. This time it seemed to be Kyle who knew exactly what to say to my little brother while I couldn’t say a word.
»Does that mean you’re a couple now?« Danny tilted his head and looked at our fingers for a second.
I was about to tell him that it wasn’t that simple. That a kiss didn’t automatically equal a relationship. But when I saw the look on Kyle’s face and felt him squeeze my hand a little bit tighter for the briefest of moments I realized that sometimes it actually was that simple.
»Yeah,« I announced. »I guess we are.«
Danny grinned at us. »That’s so cool! I think you’re a great couple.«
At that point I was sure that it wasn’t humanly possible to smile any wider than I did. Everything about this moment, every little detail – as cheesy as it may sound – was absolutely and without a doubt perfect.
»Thanks, kiddo. I think so too.« Kyle ruffled through his curls again. »So… Should we start with the movie?«
»I need to go the bathroom,« Danny announced after the first half of the animated movie he had chosen from the Netflix catalog.
Kyle stopped fondling my head which was placed comfortably in this lap to reach for the remote and pause the movie.
As soon as Danny had left the room he bend down to me with a dazzling smile on his face and pressed his lips against my mouth. I stretched my head toward him, couldn’t get close enough. Once again my hand found its way into his hair and brushed down to his neck.
»I could do this all day,« Kyle breathed.
»That sounds like a damn good plan for tomorrow,« I whispered before I pulled him into another kiss.
When I released him again there was a kind of smile on his lips that I had never seen before. »I love you, Nathaniel Anderson. And I hate myself for not telling you way sooner.«
There was no word in any language that could have even come close to describing the feeling in my chest when I heard him say those words.
»I love you even more,« was everything I could reply.
He gave me one last innocent kiss before we were interrupted by the voice of my little brother who had reentered the room.
»You’re so cheesy,« he noted so dryly that I couldn’t help but laugh. He grinned back at me. »But you look happy. And when you’re happy I’m happy too.«
»We’re very happy.«
Yes, we were cheesy as hell. But it felt so damn good.