“Elliot, hey, Elliot,” Sophie called after me. The last bell of the day had just rung and I was on my way to rehearsal.
“Hey,” I said and greeted Sophie with a smile.
“Can I talk to you for a minute?”
“I’ve got rehearsal but…ah, I’m never on time anyway. What’s on your mind?”
“Come here,” said Sophie. She took my hand and guided me around the corner, away from the heavy flow of students desperate to get out of school. “Elliot, I want you to know you’re a really, really sweet boy and the last few weeks, well, you’ve treated me better than any boyfriend I’ve ever had.”
“Awww, Sophie.” I blushed and hugged her. “I just…”
“Hold on, let me finish,” said Sophie, pulling away from me. “You’re sweet and you treat me like a lady and that’s why this is so hard.”
“What do you mean?”
“Elliot, I think we need to break up,” said Sophie with a sigh.
“What, but why?” I exclaimed.
“As nice as the last few weeks have been I feel like you’ve just been going through the motions,” said Sophie.
“I don’t understand.”
“I get the impression that you want someone else, someone who can give you what I can’t.”
“Ok, now I’m really confused.” I scratched my head.
“Honey, I eat lunch with an army of gay boys every day, they’re like big brothers to me. I see how they look at each other and every time you’ve joined us I see you looking at them with this longing in your eyes,” she explained.
“It’s ok, Elliot. There’s nothing wrong with being gay but I think we need to break things off now before either of us gets hurt.”
“What if it hurts already?” I bit my bottom lip.
“I’m sorry, Elliot. I’ll always be your friend and I’ll do anything I can to help you find what you’re looking for.”
“Ok, if that’s what you want.” I sighed.
“Are you going to be ok?”
“Yeah, I better get to rehearsal.” I sniffled and wiped my eyes.
“Hey,” said Sophie as I made to leave. She pulled me in for a final hug and gave me a kiss on the cheek. “You’re one of the sweetest boys I know and you’ll find someone who deserves you.”
“Thanks, I gotta go,” I replied and walked away.
The part that hurt wasn’t so much being dumped as being so transparent that Sophie saw right through me. I thought I wanted a girl and I was happy to start dating Sophie when she broke up with that cretin, Gavin. But she was right; when I joined her and her friends for lunch I looked at them and wanted what they had. The worst part was I’d had it once and let it slip through my fingers.
I walked into the band room by rote and sat down at the piano bench. I cracked my knuckles, opened the key cover and started leafing through my sheet music when I heard it, Devyn’s wheezing laugh. I looked up and found him in the corner with Griffin. I’d forgotten that Griffin and his cello were joining us that day and while they waited for the rest of the band to arrive he tickled Devyn and stole a little kiss. When they pulled apart I saw Devyn flash his boyfriend the sign, I love you, which Griffin promptly returned. That was one more advantage Griffin Douglas had over me when it came to Devyn. I’d struggled to pick up a few signs while he seemed to take to American Sign Language like a duck takes to water.
“Hey, Elliot,” said Griffin, his cheeks turning pink. “We didn’t see you come in.”
“Yeah, I noticed.”
Devyn tapped out a note on his phone and showed it to Griffin who then asked, “Are you alright?”
They were so in sync, so perfect together. I felt a rumbling in my stomach and all I wanted to do was get out of there.
“No, actually I’m not feeling so good. Tell Mr. Norris and the guys I had to go home,” I replied. I grabbed my backpack and ran for the door before Griffin could say another word.
It’s not that I didn’t like Griffin; in fact I liked him very much. He was a nice guy and a great musician, what annoyed me about him was he had Devyn. Devyn and I tried dating last fall, he was the first boy I’d ever kissed and I thought I loved him until I started to get this yearning for female companionship. We remained friends but I gave him up so I could explore heterosexuality only to discover that I had what I wanted and let it, or rather him, go.
I couldn’t get Devyn back now. Griffin made him happy and that’s what I wanted for Devyn more than anything in the world. Devyn is still recovering from a really rough experience with his former home economics teacher and the whole school knows what Royce McGuire did to Griffin. They have their shared pain and so much more in common to bind them. I couldn’t compete with that.
It was mid-April but you wouldn’t know it. I walked out of Columbia High into a world covered in slush with dark skies ready to drop the last gasp of winter on New York State. I drove home with the window down letting the frigid air wash over me and hoping it would clear my head but I couldn’t get the image of Griffin and Devyn kissing in the corner out of my mind. I dropped my backpack by the door when I got to my house and went straight down to the basement. Even my piano, which has brought me comfort in my darkest hours, couldn’t sooth me.
I paced the basement and felt trapped, as if the walls were closing in on me. I had to get out of the house. I had to do something to clear my head. I went up to my room and changed into sweats and a hoodie. I threw on a pair of running shoes, grabbed my keys and headed for the car.
“Hi honey, where are you going?” asked Mom as I passed through the kitchen.
“I’m going to drive down to the river and go for a run along the hiking trail,” I explained.
“Elliot, it’s freezing and there’s a storm bearing down,” said Mom.
“I know; I’ll be back before it hits.”
“Honey, are you alright?”
“Yeah, Mom, I just want to get some fresh air. I feel like I’ve been stuck inside to much lately,” I said. I didn’t want to tell her I was having boy and girl problems. I love my mom but she’s clueless when it comes to relationship advice.
“Alright, be careful and be home in an hour. Dinner will be ready,” said Mom.
I kissed mom on the cheek and headed for my car. I drove out to the river and woods that ring Sanitaria Springs hoping that the solitude would bring me peace of mind. I parked the car and walked to the trail head then just started running. As I ran all I could think about was Devyn. He’d been so sweet and I cared about him so much, why did I ever walk away from him? The short answer was fear. I’d always thought I was straight until I met Devyn and when he brought my true self to the surface I got scared.
I don’t really know what frightened me, there were plenty of gay couples at Columbia High and no one really gave them any grief for it. I wasn’t afraid of my parents or how they would react. They told me it would be ok with them if I was gay a few years ago when I first took an interest in sex and dad gave me, “The Talk.” I guess I’d have to call it a fear of the unknown.
The harder I ran the more I thought of Devyn and how sorry I was I’d let him go. I’d never get him back now and I felt hopeless and alone. Sure there were other gay guys at school but they all seemed to come out in pairs. You had Robin Kirkwood and Lucien Kutsenko, Austin Hamilton and Derek Pellegrini, even some of the freshmen had come out together. I had my chance with Devyn and I let it slip by; now he was out with Griffin and their relationship seemed solid as a rock. I started to feel I was destined to be alone and that’s when the tears started.
The tears filled my eyes and streamed down my cheeks. I couldn’t see where I was going and before I could slow down I tripped over a tree root. My foot caught and there was a sickening crunch as I crashed through the ice covering a puddle of mud. I felt pain shoot up my leg and course through my whole body.
“God damn it!” I shouted. I rolled around in the frigid mud and tried to stand but I couldn’t put any pressure on my left foot without screaming in pain. I reached into the pocket of my hoodie for my cell phone but it wasn’t there. In my haste to get to the trail I’d locked my phone in the car. As if matters couldn’t get any worse, the snow that had been threatening to fall all afternoon began to come down in sheets.
I started to panic. I was hurt and stranded out in the woods with no way to call for help. Yes my mom had told me to be home in an hour and with the snow coming down she’d be worried but how long would she wait before coming after me? I was lying in a puddle of freezing cold mud and the snow was already sticking to the ground. In these conditions how long would it take me to freeze to death?
“Someone help me!” I shouted hopelessly. “God damn it,” I swore. “Damn it, damn it, damn it!”
“Elliot, is that you?”
I rolled on my back but couldn’t make out his face through the falling snow and the tears that filled my eyes.
“Who are you?”
“Elliot, it’s Colby, Colby Stewart,” he said as he knelt beside me.
Colby Stewart. I’d known him since the fourth grade. He was in a couple of my classes this year and he’d been the lead in the drama department’s production of Little Shop of Horrors. I accompanied him when he sang Suddenly Seymour. As he knelt down, and I blinked the tears out of my eyes, I recognized his unruly blond hair, parted to the side, his greenish blue eyes and his glasses with the tortoise shell frames.
“Colby, oh thank God,” I said and exhaled a deep breath.
“What are you doing out here?”
“I came for a run and tripped over a stupid tree root. I think my ankle’s broken.”
“Can you stand?”
“I tried but…Colby it hurts.”
“Ok, well, you can’t stay here,” said Colby. “Which ankle is it?”
“Alright, take my hand and I’ll help you up. Try not to put any weight on your left foot.”
I took Colby’s hand; he smiled reassuringly and then pulled me to my feet. I started to slip at first but he caught me around the waist and suddenly I was on my feet, well, foot, with little more than a wince. Colby put an arm around my waist and I put my arm around his shoulders for support.
“Ok,” said Colby, “We’re going to take a few steps now, keep your weight off your left side.”
“Ok,” I agreed and then I was slowly hopping down the trail.
“Good,” said Colby, “I think we’ll make it.”
“My car’s back the other way.”
“Yeah but we’re closer to my house and the way this snow is coming down I’d rather get you inside then risk getting trapped on the road,” Colby explained. “I’ve gotta get you out of these wet clothes, don’t want you freezing up.”
“Ok,” I agreed as we continued slowly down the trail and silence settled over us as Colby concentrated on getting me to his house.
“So what were you doing out here?” I asked when I’d grown tired of the howling of the wind.
“Same as you, going for a run,” Colby huffed. Helping me was taxing his strength.
Just then we hit a patch of ice and tumbled to the ground in a tangle of arms and legs. I cried out in pain and felt tears well up in my eyes but choked them back as best I could.
“Shit, are you alright?”
“Yeah,” I said, biting my lip and trying not to scream as pain shot up my leg.
“Ok, this isn’t working, I’m going to carry you the rest of the way,” said Colby.
“You can do that?” I asked dubiously.
“Yeah, I’m not as scrawny as I look.” Colby winked and as if to prove his point he scooped me up in his arms in one fell swoop and carried me like a baby. “Comfy?”
“Uh, yeah, I guess so.”
“Good, it’s not far,” said Colby.
It’s a good thing it wasn’t far. Colby may have been able to pick me up without any trouble but he was huffing and puffing harder with each step he took. Fortunately it only took a few minutes to reach his modest contemporary style home nestled alongside the river. We struggled up the front steps and then, thankfully, we were inside and out of the snow. Colby carefully put me down next to the couch so I could lean on it for support.
“We made it.” Colby panted.
“Thanks, Colby, my God, I would have died out there.” My body shivered and for that instant it wasn’t from the cold.
“Don’t move; just wait there while I get you some clothes to change into.”
“Uh, yeah, ok,” I replied. Where did he think I was going to go?
Colby disappeared down the hall and I tried to distract myself by gazing out the solid wall of windows that faced the rushing river. It was hard to concentrate on anything but how miserable I was. My ankle was throbbing, my clothes were soaked from snow and mud and my body was shaking like a leaf from the cold. Thankfully Colby returned after just a few moments carrying a bundle of clothes and several blankets.
“Alright, strip,” said Colby as he put the bundle down. To my surprise he started taking off his clothes too. When he was finished he stood in nothing but a pair of black boxer briefs. He as in better shape then you could tell through his clothes. He was lean and toned with the barest hint of a six pack. He wasn’t ripped by any means but he clearly took good care of himself. Looking at him was a better distraction then looking out the window. My mind was a complete blank until he called my name, “Elliot?”
“Huh, what?” I asked and shook my head.
“You need to take your clothes off. I brought you some things to put on.”
“Right, uh, why did you take your clothes off?”
“Oh, sorry, I have carpet in my room and I got mud all over myself from carrying you. I didn’t want to get it on the floor so I figured I’d change out here. I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable,” Colby explained as he pulled on a clean pair of track pants.
“Ok,” I said then took off my hoodie and t-shirt. I was a little self-conscious and crossed my arms over my chest.
“I need your sweats and undies too,” said Colby. “You can get really sick if your core temperature drops and sitting around in wet clothes only makes that worse.”
“How do you know that?” I asked curiously.
“Scouts,” said Colby.
“You were in Boy Scouts?”
“Was…anyway, pants and undies.”
I started to toe off a shoe but it hurt too much. I realized I was in trouble here, I couldn’t take off my sweats, I couldn’t even get my shoe off, without causing myself a lot of pain.
“Um, there’s a problem…”
“The ankle,” said Colby. He shook his head and rolled his eyes as if to say, “Why didn’t I think of that before.”
Colby went around the couch and spread out a blanket then he came back and helped me hobble into the living room proper. The couch was a big sectional with a chaise lounge built into it and Colby stopped there.
“What are you doing?” I asked when Colby got on his knees in front of me.
“I know this is awkward, Elliot, but I don’t want you to get hurt worse then you already are. I’m going to pull your pants and underwear off so you don’t get mud on the blanket then you can sit down and I’ll help you the rest of the way.”
“Um, ok,” I agreed. Colby seemed to know what he was doing after all. A second later my sweats and underwear were around my knees and he was eye to eye with my dick. Great, the first time a guy’s at eye level with my dick and it’s because I can’t take my own pants off.
“Ok, go ahead and sit down now,” said Colby and I collapsed into the lounge. He handed me a hooded sweatshirt and I put that on while he took off my right shoe and sock. “Ummmm.”
“What’s the matter?”
“I’m just trying to think how to get your other shoe off,” said Colby. “I think it’s going to hurt.”
“Ok,” I said with a sigh. “Just do it quick, like pulling off a band aid, ok?”
“Alright,” said Colby. He untied the laces and gingerly placed his hands in position to remove the shoe.
I braced myself as best I could. I bit my lip and screwed my eyes shut but when Colby pulled the shoe off I screamed and fell back on the lounge.
“I’m sorry, Elliot, I’m sorry,” said Colby. He put his hand on my shoulder and tried to comfort me.
“It’s ok,” I cried.
“Fuck the sock and sweats,” said Colby, then he got up and disappeared.
I had no idea where he’d gone but he was back in a flash and before I knew it he’d cut my sock, sweats and underwear off with a pair of scissors. He helped me into a seated position on the lounge and then gently lifted my legs and turned me so I could stretch them out.
“I brought you a pair of my pajama bottoms but after that shoe I think it’s best if we just forget it,” said Colby.
I was going to object to sitting there naked but he stood up and threw a sheet over me. After that he added a pile of blankets and I pulled them around myself. Dealing with that stupid shoe was so traumatic I’d momentarily forgotten how cold I was.
“Just relax, I’m going to call 9-1-1,” said Colby.
“Ok,” I replied and sunk back into the couch cushions.
I closed my eyes and tried to relax while Colby made the call. I was only able to hear his side of the conversation and got nervous when he sighed and hung up. “What did they say?”
“I guess the storm is worse than I thought. The dispatcher said because your injury isn’t life threatening they can’t risk sending an ambulance this far out,” Colby explained.
“So what do we do?” I asked in a panic.
“They told me to keep you comfortable and once the roads are open in the morning they’ll send the paramedics,” said Colby.
“Oh God, I’ve gotta call my mom.”
“Of course, but first, how much pain are you in?”
“It’s not so bad as long as I don’t move.”
“Ok, I’ll get you some Tylenol and then you can call your mom,” said Colby.
He disappeared again and came back with water and a bottle of pills. I took a couple tablets and swallowed them down then the lights flickered out.
“Fuck, and there goes the power,” Colby swore. “I don’t know about you but I’ve just about had it with winter.”
“Yeah,” I chuckled.
“No problem,” Colby exhaled. “You go ahead and call your mom and I’ll get a fire going.”
Colby handed me his phone and I dialed the number while he started crumpling newspaper. My mom picked me up on the second ring.
“Elliot, oh my God, where are you?”
“I’m ok, Mom. I tripped on the hiking trail and broke my ankle…”
“Elliot…” Mom started.
“It’s ok. Luckily a friend found me. I’m at his house now and he called 9-1-1 but they can’t make it out here until the storm passes.”
“Tell me where you are and dad and I will come get you,” said Mom.
“It’s ok, Mom. If the storm is too bad for an ambulance to get through then I doubt you’re going to make it in your Honda.”
“Honey, I’m so worried about you.”
“I know, Mom, I’m sorry.” I sniffled.
“It’s alright sweetheart, does it hurt?”
“It’s not so bad.” My inner momma’s boy really wanted my Mom then. He wanted her to pick him up and tell him everything was going to be ok but I knew I had to be a big boy and tough it out.
“Are you sure you’ll be alright?”
“Yeah, Colby’s taken pretty good care of me so far.”
“Ok, Elliot, if anything happens, you call me right away.”
“Don’t worry, Mom, I will.”
“I love you, Honey.”
“I love you too, Mom.”
I was crying when I hung up. I wanted to go home, I wanted my ankle to stop throbbing and on top of everything the image of Devyn and Griffin kissing in the band room was still lurking in the dark corners of my mind. I covered my eyes with my hand and felt embarrassed for crying in front of Colby but then he surprised me by sitting close and putting his arm around my shoulders.
“Don’t cry, Elliot. It’s going to be ok.”
“I’m sorry. I guess it’s the injury making me all emotional.”
“Well it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. I broke my wrist once and cried like a little girl with a skinned knee.”
“Thanks.” I chuckled.
“I…” Colby started but then his phone rang.
“Well, that was my mom,” said Colby when he hung up. “It looks like it’s just you and me tonight. Mom can’t get out of Binghamton with the snow so she’s staying with friends.”
“How the hell are we having a storm this bad in April?”
“Beats me,” said Colby. “I’ll make us something to eat.”
A couple of minutes later he had chicken noodle soup in a cast iron pot and he was cooking it over the open fire. He continued to impress me with how handy he was and the way he rolled with the punches.
“So you’re pretty calm for all the crap that’s happened this evening,” I said as we sat on the couch and ate our soup.
“No big deal,” said Colby. “It’s mostly stuff I picked up in scouts. You know first aid, cooking over an open fire, stuff like that.”
“I can’t believe you were in scouts.”
“I know right?” Colby giggled. “I guess I don’t fit into the typical drama kid stereotype.”
“Oh, I didn’t mean…” I started, feeling bad for insulting him.
“Relax; I know you didn’t mean anything. I was just saying.”
“Ok, good,” I said, breathing a little easier. “So what made you quit?”
“Scouts, what made you quit? How come you’re not an Eagle Scout or whatever?”
“Oh, don’t get me wrong the local troop is great but when I was about twelve the Boy Scouts of America came out against gay’s in scouts and well, I didn’t want to belong to an organization that didn’t want me,” Colby explained.
“Wait, you’re gay?”
“You didn’t know? I thought the whole school knew,” said Colby with a smile.
“Guess I missed that rumor.”
“Well, I’ve never seen you at a GSA meeting, maybe the rumor never got beyond that circle.”
“I’m gay too,” I said suddenly.
“Really?” asked Colby, surprise evident on his face.
“Yeah, but I’ve never told anyone before.”
“How come? I mean if you don’t mind my asking.”
“I’ve been struggling with it. I thought I was straight and then I met someone and I sort of realized I liked guys, then that scared me a little and I tried being with a girl but it’s just not what I want.”
“Wow,” said Colby.
“Yeah, the funny part is the girl I was dating had to break it down for me. She saw me for me while I was trying to deny it to myself.”
“Girls are pretty perceptive. Way more so then most boys,” said Colby.
“Well, she sure figured me out.” I giggled.
“Go back a minute though, you said you met someone?”
“It’s a long story.”
“Ok, hold that thought,” said Colby taking my empty soup bowl. “Let me put these in the dishwasher. I wanna hear this.”
When Colby returned he lifted the blankets and got under the covers with me. He didn’t snuggle up to me but he was close enough I could feel his body heat. I’m not sure but I think he checked out my package when he lifted the blankets.
“Comfy?” I asked with a smile once Colby settled in.
“Yeah, er, sorry for just…” he started.
“So, you met someone?”
“Yeah, it was a few months ago,” I began. “You know I’m in Sahara, right?”
“Sure, you guys are great,” Colby exclaimed. “I loved that concert you did last month.”
“Oh, uh, thanks.” I blushed. “Anyway, I came to rehearsal one day and there was a new guy there. Do you know Devyn Kennedy?”
“Sure, he’s going out with Griffin Douglas.”
“Yeah, well, when he first joined the band, he and I…”
“That’s who you dated?”
“Yeah.” I nodded.
“Elliot, he’s such a cutie,” said Colby, smiling brightly.
“I know.” I sighed.
“So why is he with Griffin and not with you?”
“Well, like I said, Devyn forced me to consider my sexuality and it kind of freaked me out, you know, that I could like a boy that way,” I explained.
“But how, I mean you’re sixteen, hadn’t you ever had, I don’t know, urges before?”
“No.” I shook my head. “I met Devyn and my heart went out to him…”
“Yeah, I’ve heard the rumors,” said Colby. “Poor guy.”
“Anyway, my heart went out to him and suddenly there were all these new possibilities. We kissed and it was wonderful but I got scared.”
“Why, it sounds nice.”
“It was wonderful but I started feeling weird about it, I think I was just scared, so I broke it off. I started dating Sophie and it was great but when she dumped me she said it was in part because she felt like I was just going through the motions, that she wasn’t what I really wanted. She’s right.”
“Oh, Elliot, that’s sad.”
“I’ll never get Devyn back now. He has Griffin now and much as I hate to admit it, Griffin treats him great, they have a lot in common, their relationship is rock solid.” I sighed.
“I know Griffin, not really well but he’s in some of my classes. He seems sweet.”
“He is and it sucks.”
“What I mean is, if he was a dick then I’d feel ok hating him but as it stands he is a nice guy, a wonderful musician and I really like him.”
“I get it.” Colby nodded.
“So Devyn is lost to me and I’m destined to be alone.”
“Elliot, that’s a little dramatic, don’t you think?” Colby snickered.
“It’s how I feel. All the other gay guys I know are in relationships. There’s no one left for me.”
“Not all of them,” said Colby. He blushed a deep shade of red and turned to look at the fire. It took me a second to understand the deeper meaning behind what he said.
“Wait, you mean…”
“I didn’t mean anything by it.” Colby continued to blush. “But, well, I’ve always thought you were cute.”
“Yeah.” Colby nodded.
There was no arguing that he was cute too. I liked his blond hair, the way he combed it but it was always flopping down on his forehead. He had pretty eyes and a friendly smile. I’d never considered him as a potential boyfriend before, partly because I hadn’t known he was gay and partly because I’ve been so hooked on Devyn.
“We have some things in common too, don’t we?”
“I think so; evidently we both like to run in the woods.” Colby grinned at the source of what brought us together that night.
“Other stuff too though. We both like music…”
“Yeah, I think we were great together when you accompanied me in Little Shop,” said Colby.
“You made a pretty cute Seymour.” I smiled.
“Thanks.” Colby blushed.
“Why didn’t you ever say anything?”
“Like what, hey, Elliot, I think you’re cute, wanna go out sometime?”
“I’d have said yes,” I admitted. I’d always been friendly with Colby, if he’d asked me out I would have gone, at least I hope I would have. After all, I didn’t realize I was gay until after I started hanging out with Devyn, but maybe Colby would have brought out the best in me if he’d had the chance.
“It would have been easier if I’d known you were gay,” said Colby. “Going up to straight guys and asking them for a date seems to be a good way to get punched in the mouth.”
“Yeah, I see your point,” I conceded with a yawn.
“You’re tired, I should go to bed and let you get some sleep,” said Colby as he started to rise.
“No,” I replied and grabbed his arm. “Would you stay with me?”
“Please? I’d like that.” I smiled.
“Ok.” Colby blushed again. It was very cute.
Colby scooted a little closer. I put my arm around his shoulders and drew him in so we could snuggle. We talked a bit more but as the hour grew later he eventually dosed off with his head resting on my shoulder. I looked down at his angelic face and removed his glasses. I kissed him on the forehead in thanks for giving me hope and showing me the possibilities the world still had to offer then I rested my cheek against his head and closed my eyes to dream about what the future might hold.
In the morning we were woken by a knock at the door. Colby got up to answer it and returned with two paramedics. Once the storm had passed and the roads were cleared, the 9-1-1 dispatcher Colby spoke to the night before sent an ambulance to bring me in. The medics took a look at my ankle and returned for their gurney.
“Thanks, Colby, for last night,” I said, once we were alone.
“No big deal, anyone would have done it. I couldn’t just leave you in the snow…”
“I’m grateful you found me but that’s not what I was talking about.” I smiled.
“Oh,” said Colby when the meaning of my words dawned on him. He smiled too. “Your ankle’s probably going to be in a cast or a few weeks. Makes it hard to shift I bet. I could pick you up for school...”
“I drive an automatic; don’t have to worry about shifting.”
“Ok, what if I picked you up, you know, because I want too?”
“I’d like that.”
“Cool,” said Colby with a big happy smile on his face.
Colby was right; I ended up getting a cast and crutches. The doctor said it would be at least 6 weeks before my bones fused back together. True to his word, Colby picked me up for school on Monday morning. As we drove his hand rested on the gearshift and I placed mine on top of his. Colby looked at our hands, smiled at me and then continued to talk about the production of Rent he was doing with the community theater in Binghamton. Neither of us had used the word boyfriend or even tried to define the status of our relationship but the way he stroked my hand with his thumb told me everything I needed to know.
All anyone wanted to talk about at school that day was my ankle and how it had happened. It was kind of an exciting story so I happily told it over and over, leaving out the part about how I’d been upset over a boy. Some things are personal after all.
When band practice ended that day I watched Devyn and Griffin. They really were cute together and I realized I was grateful to Griffin. Grateful he made Devyn so happy. I saw Devyn sign something at his boyfriend, something I didn’t understand, and then Griffin kissed him on the cheek and left the room. Devyn closed his flute case and walked over to me, he waved and mouthed the word, “Hey.”
“Hi,” I replied. “Where’s Griff?”
“I asked him to wait for me in the car,” Devyn tapped out the message on his phone. “I wanted to talk to you for a minute.”
“Oh, what’s up?”
“I just wanted to make sure you’re alright,” said Devyn.
“Yeah, why wouldn’t I be?”
“You’ve been in a weird mood lately. You seem happy today though and I was hoping something had happened to make you feel better,” said Devyn.
I was about to answer him when Colby came into the band room. He’d driven me to school and insisted on driving me home too. Considering the way things are going between us it was a drive I’d been looking forward to all day.
“Yeah, I guess it kind of did.” I answered and smiled at Colby.