Looking across the table at Dewey, I could only think of one thing. Well OK, okay, at this moment, two things. But the main one on my mind was today's game. The other thing that crossed my mind? Well, let's just say that maybe it’ll pop up again after the game.
Let me back up a minute!
I am Kyle Wood, the Principal of Baysville Middle School. Not only do I run the school, but unlike most principals, I also like to be in the classroom, too. So I also teach when I can. I float around classrooms whenever substitutes are needed. (This pleases the School Board, as it saves money in the budget!). In my position, I have the distinct pleasure of getting to know all the children in my care, especially the boys. I say especially the boys, because I am also Manager of the Baysville Padres, the local Little League team comprised of 12 and 13 year-old boys. So the boys really get to know me in Middle School in the hopes that they will make my team once they get old enough.
My partner in crime, as I like to call him, is Dewey Arnold. He and I have "known" each other for more years then either one of us can remember, and neither of us has passed 40 yet. Go figure. He is the Head Teacher at the local High School and is practically everyone's favorite. He also teaches Writing, which has become one of the most popular courses at the school. And he is one hell of a writer himself once he gets his act together. Right now he has this awesome story he is writing. Maybe one day he will publish it, or at least post it on the Net.
But Dewey is also the best Assistant Coach any Manager could ask for. I think it’s due to the relationship we have. He calls for the play I’m thinking of even before I ask him to. And prior to the games, he is running all sorts of drills to get the team ready while I am working the pitchers. That is what makes the Padres so successful, and also explains why so many kids want to join our team. And as an added bonus, being my assistant lets Dewey get an idea of what to expect when the guys join him in the High School a few years down the road.
Every year we field a pretty decent team. We have won our share of championships, and this year's team is doing all right. Well, here, take a look at the line-up for yourself:
Keith and Preston: The best Pitcher and Catcher combo I have ever had. When one is pitching, the other is catching and they are inter-changeable in those positions. They know each other intimately. Preston is even living with Keith and his family after a tragic accident that left him an orphan.
Pete and Brian: Two middle infielders that really work well together. It is not only their fielding; both take turns batting lead off or 2nd in the batting order. I can usually count on one to get on base and the other to move him over.
Jack and Will: The guys on the corner. If Jack fires a bullet to Will at first base, I can guarantee that out. These two are some of the best power hitters in the league. They like to keep in shape by playing golf in the off-season while on vacation in North Carolina. Will is a great debater questioning my strategies; I can seriously picture him working in the Nation's capital, while Jack is just putting on the greens.
Storm and Lucas: Storm is the swift center fielder that takes control of the outfield, hits for average and steals a ton of bases. But what is so remarkable is that he and his left fielder, Lucas, have yet to crash on the many balls hit in the gap. They seem to know where the other is without looking and make the play flawlessly.
That leaves Jason. He is the team's right fielder. He does an average job out there, not quiet up to par to the others. Actually he did great when Brandon, who he shared the position with, was on the team. But ever since Brandon moved away, Jason has not been the same.
And that, my friends, brings me to the problem. As I sit eating this Saturday morning breakfast with Dewey at Lusaid's, I can't help but wonder what will happen at the game. Dewey and I had thought about benching Jason in favor of one of our subs, but an awful accident befell one of my substitutes, Justin. He was playing a pick up game and was struck in the head by a line drive. My other sub, Danny, is still sitting by his side at the hospital. Justin has improved over the past weeks and I told him that there would always be a place on the team for both him and Danny. The team has decided to dedicate the rest of the season to him.
So now I am playing a game with only nine players. It has always been my practice to at least have one on the bench and now I don't even have that. I know it’s nothing I can control, but I do have a tendency to take the game too seriously.
"Earth to Kyle! You okay?"
"Oh yeah…I'm sorry... I guess I have my mind on the game. You have any ideas?"
"Come on, man! What do you always tell the guys? 'Go out and have fun! Win or lose, who cares? As long as we play hard, do our best and have fun?'"
"Yeah, I know. 'It doesn't matter who wins. Those who play will be champions.' But you know me, I just like to win so much and if we lose then we won't play in the championships in a few weeks."
"And that is why I’ll always be by your side, because someone needs to keep your priorities straight. That way the boys will learn about teamwork, and also help their self-confidence."
"Thanks Dude, sometime I forget and just need that slap on the ass to wake me up."
"Well, we need to be at the field in about a half hour so that slap will have to wait until later," Dewey whispered with a sly grin as our waiter, TJ, refilled our coffee.
Just then a welcoming roar went through the patrons of the packed restaurant.
"Bubba!" the diners exclaim, just like that hit television show of the '80's.
"Hey guys, what time is the game?" asks Bubba as he walks in with Jeremiah and Ian in tow.
"Noon, are you coming?" Dewey responds.
"No, I'm just breathing hard." Bubba quips with a wink. "Have I missed a game since you guys have been coaching? I'll see ya at noon." And he continues to a corner booth where TJ has set down a cup of coffee for him and OJ for the boys.
While finishing our breakfast, Dewey tells me about the donation that Willie Lee has given to help start up that school that he and Bubba have been working on. It has always been a dream of theirs to be able to make a gay friendly environment for teens. I must say that the idea of starting a new school has crossed my mind too. Maybe I’ll join him? Nah, I enjoy teaching where I am too much.
As we get up to leave I call out, "Hey Chris, put this on my tab and give TJ a BIG tip too!"
"Sure thing and Good Luck!"
"Thanks. Later Dude"
Kyle and Dewey arrive at the fields an hour before game time. In his ever-present Rayban sunglasses, Kyle takes to the field to draw in the foul lines while Dewey takes the time to "drag" the field. It’s right about now that Kyle first notices a blonde boy about 13 years old out by the right field fence with a glove in hand. It is not one of his players so he brushed it off, keeping his concentration on the game at hand.
The game itself is rough. An error by Jason in right field lets the opposing team; the Colchester Red Sox take a 3-0 lead after 2 innings. The Padres are able to score one in the third with a solo shot by Will.
By the fourth, the score is 5-2. But it was in the bottom of the fifth that Kyle and Dewey noticed a problem in Right Field. Jason was watching the boy standing out by the fence more then he was the game.
"Hey Jason! Pay attention to the game!" Dewey hollers, "Hey Kyle, do you know that kid out there by the fence?"
"I saw him earlier and didn’t recognize him. But now that I think about it, he just enrolled at my school. Zack, I think. Yeah, Zack Robertson. He is going to be in my 3rd period class starting Monday."
Just then a foul ball is hit to right field and out of play. A routine foul ball, but what made it amazing was the running catch that the coaches saw this unknown visitor to the field make. It was flawless, and then so was the on the fly throw to Preston on the mound.
"Hey, Dude?" Kyle pointed from Bubba to what had just happened with a grin.
"Yeah Kyle, I got it."
With that Dewey jumped out of the dugout to track down Zack. The Padres might just have that new player that they need, that little extra to get them over the hump.
"Excuse me, Zack."
"Oh sorry mister, I didn't mean anything. I was just leaving... Hey, how did you know my name?"
"The team manager is Mr. Wood, the Principal of your new school. And we saw what you just did out here. Care to join us in the dugout?"
With that, the two walked over as the third out was made. Jason was shocked to see the guy he was spying on was now sitting a couple of feet away from him, talking to Coach Kyle. With the conversation over, and Coach Kyle taking his spot in the Third Base Coach's Box, Jason watched as the blonde bombshell took a seat next to him.
"Hi, I’m Zack. Your coach just asked me to be on your team starting after the game, something about losing some players."
"Umm? umm? Ahhh? Ummm"
"Do you have a name, dude?"
While this was taking place neither boy notice that the bases were now full, Storm on third, Lucas on second and Preston on first.
"Jason, you’re up." Someone called out
"That's me, I've got to go."
As he walked up to the plate, the coaches noticed more of a spring in Jason's step, and more determination. This left Kyle wondering what caused this transformation all of a sudden. But the outcome was one that neither he nor Dewey really expected, a grand slam homerun on the first pitch to him. This put the Padres ahead 6-5. And that is the way the inning ended, but Jason's seating on the bench did not go unnoticed by the coaches. He spent the time next to Zack before returning to the field.
Keith relieved Preston and got into a jam, with one out he allowed a single and then a double to the Red Sox. And then adding insult to injury, with a 3-2 count, a towering fly ball was hit to Right Field. Dewey just closed his eyes in a silent prayer, which was too bad, for he missed the play of the season. Jason lined himself up perfectly and caught the ball. The runner on third tagged up and raced to the plate, but Jason then fired a perfect throw to Preston at the plate to end the game.
Victory belonged to the Padres. And as usual, Dewey and Kyle took orders for ice cream. Zack could not believe the celebration after the game. Here he was on a new team and getting ice cream at the same time.
"Yo Jason, awesome play. You practice that a lot?" Zack asked once he was able to track down the game's star.
"Actually, never." Jason replied, having lost his shyness for the moment.
"Well, I wouldn't tell that to a lot of people."
"I'll keep that in mind. So, are you new here?"
"Yeah, just moved from Woodland Hills, CA. I start at the Middle School on Monday. Not looking forward to it, haven't made any friends yet."
"Yeah, you have, me."
"Really? WOW, cool. Hey, you want to come over to my house and go swimming?"
"Sure, let me tell the Coach. He was going to give me a lift home."
As the boys left, Kyle watched them, "I wonder?"
Zack enjoyed his first weekend in his new hometown of Baysville. He had found a park, joined a baseball team, and made a new friend, Jason. But there was something about Jason he didn’t understand.
Jason had come over to Zack's house after the game on Saturday and they hung out and played some video games and went swimming. Boy, did Zack enjoy spending time with Jason. The time just playing and talking together was like they had known each other forever. Zack could not explain this closeness.
Zack had thought he’d noticed Jason touching him more then he thought was necessary. Yes, a playful punch after a joking little put down was normal, but was the constant bumping up next to him while laying on the bed playing video games all right?
And in the pool, Jason had borrowed a bathing suit to wear. After changing in separate rooms, the boys made their way to the pool. They did the normal diving competition, racing and dunking. During the wrestling, Zack felt a hand on his crotch and it wasn't his own. So he returned the gesture. While touching Jason like that, Zack felt a stirring in his stomach that he could not explain. And that delicious tingling excitement extended down to his balls. On the next grab, Zack felt hardness in Jason's suit, and then popped a boner of his own. With that, Zack raced away, jumped out of the pool and grabbed his towel ending the time in the pool.
Since that afternoon, Zack could not wait to see Jason. He had this feeling as though part of him was missing when he was away from his new friend. He spoke to Jason on the phone last night; and they planned to meet at the bike rack since Jason was riding his bike to school. Zack saw his friend turn the corner, and that strange fluttery feeling in his stomach returned. Maybe he was coming down with something.
The morning went smoothly; with the boys finding out they had five of six classes together. The only class apart was science before lunch. Where Jason had Mr. O'Brien, Zack was in Mr. Wood's class.
Today in science they were talking about germs.
Mr. Wood started the class. “Today is an easy day, guys. I am just reviewing for the test we will have later in the week. Even though he is new to our class, Zack has asked to take the test as he feels he knows the material well enough.”
"So, who can tell me what those little ‘life forms’ are called that can be found inside every human body?" I asked the class, "Zack?"
"Umm? What was the question?"
"Germs... ‘life forms’ inside the body. What else can they be called?"
"Oh yeah. Orgasms, I think."
"Whoa! Oh, my God!" And the class burst into laughter, catcalls, and wolf whistles. "Jordan, care to help out our overly excited friend?"
"Yes sir, they are called organisms." The boy answered primly.
"Thanks, Jordan. Zack, you, me after class here, thank you."
"Yes, Mr. Wood."
I sat there looking at Zach not knowing how to start off this conversation. Was this just another student not paying attention in class? Or one who really did not know the answer? Or was there more hidden meaning in his demeanor and his answer? Well, I guess there is only one way to find out.
"Well, Zach, what happened in class? That was some answer."
"Zach, let me start by saying this is a private conversation, just you and me. I won’t call your parents or talk to anyone else about this unless you are in some sort of danger. Let's start there, are you in danger? Is someone hurting you?"
"No, no one is hurting me physically."
"Umm…I don't think they mean to."
"One of your parents?"
"NO, SIR! Not like that. It’s just that I met someone."
"Oh, I see? And who is this person? Do I know them?" I said with a sly grin.
"Umm ... yeah but the problem I’m having is that I don't know if I should be feeling the way I’m feeling."
"Zach, look. It’s spring. Love is in the air, and you’re 13 years old. I am not surprised that a special girl might have stolen your heart." Even with the location of our school, I have found it is better push the conversation in this direction. At least to start with.
"Well, that’s the problem. It’s not a girl, and I don’t know if I should be feeling this way about another boy. But I do." Zach whispered with his eyes on the floor.
" I see. Care to tell me more about it?"
With that, Zach told me about the feelings he had for Jason. He even went as far as describing the way Jason looks when standing in the sun with the light shining in his hair. I did stop him when he tried to talk about the hard-ons. Too much information!
"Zach, I wouldn't worry about the way you feel. Look around Baysville, look at some of the guys on your team, don't you notice how some of them are closer to one person than the others? "
"I know, I did notice that ... but I don't know if he feels the same way! And then there’s the whole deal with telling my parents…"
"That is all stuff you can figure out as you go. You don’t have to have all the answers all at once right now. Yeah, he could feel the same way. Ask him. Or just drop some hints. There are different things you can do. As for your parents, that is also something you can figure out over time. You know your parents better then anyone. Maybe tell them later, maybe they already know. The important thing is that YOU know that you are okay yourself. There is nothing wrong feeling this way. You are a great guy and anyone... guy or girl... would be lucky to be with you."
"Thanks, Mr. Wood. I feel better."
"Good. Remember, I’m here for you. If you have any other problems or questions, come to me. Anytime. Now go to lunch."
With that, Zach gave me a big hug. "Thanks."
"No problem, dude. I'll see ya at baseball practice."
That afternoon, the boys did not have baseball practice. Actually, Coach Kyle had told them to do anything but think of baseball. Jason and Zack decided to take the coach up on that order and have a little fun.
They met at the front of the school and decided on a trip to Scoops, the local ice cream parlor. It was a popular hang out after school, being the only ice cream place in the area, even though it was about a 15-minute walk from school.
"So how was your first day of school, Mr. Science?" Jason chuckled and poked his friend in the side.
"I don't believe you heard about that? Damn! Who told you?"
"Keith did, he's in that class too. Hey Zack, don't sweat it! You’ve made a name for yourself on your first day, the first time a teacher asked you a question. How cool is that?" replied Jason, with a playful punch to the arm.
"Yeah, but I didn't want to become the school perv until next week."
"Oh, a perv are you? I can think of some things to help you live up to that name, dude!" smiled Jason.
This caused some very interesting thoughts to go through Zack's head over the next few minutes. After the visuals left him, Zack tried to read the signs that Jason gave him. Did these things include Jason himself? Was he sending hints Zack's way?
With cones in hand, the boys took a seat to eat their treats. Jason sat next to Zack rather then sitting across from him. As they ate and talked, including more ribbing about Zack's orgasm remark, Zack watched Jason with wide eyes, a result of Jason’s cone eating technique. There was something in that lick that started those butterflies in his stomach fluttering stronger than ever. So seductive, so exciting. Zack thought he was going to explode in his undies right there and then. Teen hormones are truly amazing things, are they not?
"Ummm…Jason…? I am sorry, but I have to go…"
Zack jumped up and left a confused Jason sitting there dumbfounded.
Monday night was the night that Dewey and I like to get together with Bubba and Rich. Since the boys moved in with Bubba, it’s been harder and harder to have dinner together. We finally had an opportunity to this week to get together at Lusaid's.
"So Bubs, where are the boys?"
"I’ve had enough of the lack of privacy so I dumped them at the county line and wished them luck finding any help back to town, Dewey. And how are you?"
"You what!!!!" I yelled as I spit my drink out at Rich.
"Thanks, Kyle, for the shower, I always have loved the smell of gin."
"Settle down, I’m only joking. Do you think I’d do that after working so hard to get myself certified as a foster parent? They’re home spending some time together. Ever since they moved in they have been so busy making new friends, keeping up with homework, plus Ian’s time with TJ and Jeremiah’s with Troop 69 that they wanted to spend some time just catching up on things together."
"That's cool." Dewey smiled at Kyle's response. He knew just how protective I am about all kids, not just my own.
"So, Mr. Wood, Mr. Arnold, how was school today?"
"Yeah, Kyle, speaking of school. Ian came home with an interesting story from your Science class. It’s even made its way across the parking lot to the High School. It’s making me wonder if I’ve chosen the right school for my boys."
"Ah, Kyle? What happened that you haven't told me?" Dewey asked.
"Sorry Dude, I got busy. Impromptu student meeting. And Bubs, you are cordially invited to BITE ME!"
I proceeded to tell them the story of the now famous orgasm comment, not only causing the guys to laugh, but also TJ as he came to set down our plates.
Dewey was the first to talk, "Any idea of what caused this outburst? Or is he into this type thing for the laughs?"
"Actually, that was my student conference. I spoke to him at the beginning of lunch. Kinda interesting."
"Well, if it’s sexual spill it fast." Bubba quipped between bites.
Dinner with these guys was always the same, so there was no need of reminding the guys of breaking any confidences. Needless to say, everyone was rooting for Zack. They just thought he needed a little help.
"Oh yeah, I’m so going to walk into my next Science class and announce to the world: Zack loves Jason. Jason, do you feel the same way?"
"You’re a smart guy," Rich said, "You’ll think of something."
"No he's not, Dewey's the smart one." Bubba jumped in.
Just then TJ came over and asked, "How is everything?"
"Well, the food is great but the company is less then desirable. Do you think you can help me out?" I asked.
"Sorry guys, you’re on your own with that part. We are only in the business of food; the company you keep is your problem. But you couldn't guess how many times I am asked that when Bubba is here," he said as he walked off.
"Geez, Bubs making life hell for other guys besides us? I’m jealous!" Dewey pouted.
"Sorry, man but you know how I like to get around."
We ended our meal a little later, just spending the time talking and making plans to maybe go take in a baseball game after our championship Little League game.
On the way home, Dewey spoke, "You know what you’re going to do about Jason and Zack?"
"Oh, yeah, like I can do anything."
"Sure, keep you eyes open."
"Well, I guess I can watch for an opening."
"An opening, huh...?" Said Dewey with a leer.
Tuesday went as any day usually goes. I lucked out and was not ambushed by any crazy Middle School parents this morning on my way to class. I looked around and saw Zack at his locker, I decided to wander over and see how he enjoyed his first day of school.
"Hey Dude, how was yesterday?"
"Well, Mr. Wood, besides becoming the class perv, I think it was okay."
"One comment in class does not make a perv."
"Yeah, but one directed to a teacher does tend to make me famous."
"Well, besides that, what about you and Jason. Any more on that situation?"
"No." But his gaze shifted to the floor, so I got more complicated vibes than he mentioned.
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah. I’m late for class. I'll see you later."
The week continued to get better as it went on. The team practiced hard. Classes were going fine for me, Dewey was, well, Dewey. Consummate professional as well as wicked friend and partner in crime. I didn't get a chance to talk to Zack to see how things were going. Actually, he seemed to avoid being alone with me. I figured he needed his space to figure things out. I’d seen that more times than I care to remember in other youngsters his age.
Friday was a beautiful day. The sun was out without a cloud in the sky. It was a wonderful day for baseball, and playing baseball is what I wanted to do. Dewey and I had a practice scheduled for 4:00 and I got there about ten minutes early.
As the boys started to arrive, I got them to through their warm-ups and moved into some drills. It did not take me long to notice that there was a problem with Zack and Jason. From the time they arrived separately to the time they spent out in right field together during drills, they didn’t say one word to each other. It was kind of spooky. It also showed in their playing.
The poor playing was not isolated to just right field. But to the whole team. And trust me, it did not go unnoticed.
"Kyle, what is the problem today, I wonder?" Dewey asked.
"Yeah, Coach. The team is playing worse than I’ve ever seen." Keith added since he was catching as I was hitting some balls.
"Not a clue, guys." As a ball goes off Jack's glove at third. "Come on, get that glove dirty." I called over to him.
"This is not the team that’s been out here the rest of this week."
"And if we continue to play this way, should we even show up on Saturday?"
"Keith, Dude, don't even start. Okay, go three, guys!"
I hit a towering ball to Jason in right field, high enough he could pitch a tent under it. It fell three feet behind him.
"Yeah, I see the problem, too."
What a sight seeing Dewey running out to right field. Such a cute butt in those shorts!
Keith nudged me. "Umm? Coach Kyle? Are we still going to practice? Or are you going to stare off into space for a while longer?"
"Enough comments from the peanut gallery, wise guy! Hit second, Keith!"
I guess I shouldn't be surprised at my poor playing today, I just can't concentrate on baseball. I should feel lucky that this is only a practice and not a real game. I know what’s causing my poor playing. All I can think of right now is Zack. If only I knew why he wasn’t talking to me. I can't imagine what is the cause of this snow zone between us. And it’s so hard being this close to him here in right field without feeling connected to him!
My mind is so distracted that I just let an easy fly ball land three feet behind me.
Oh great! My playing hasn't gone un-noticed by our coaches, because now Coach Dewey is on his way out here.
As Coach Dewey arrived out in right field, he motioned me over to foul territory. It is not unlike Coach Dewey to be out here to speak to a player if he is doing poorly, but give me a break…he should be speaking to the whole team today.
"Talk to me, Jason," Coach Dewey said.
"Yeah, I know, Coach…I could have 'pitched a tent' under that one." Thank God he couldn’t know I was pitching another tent underneath my cup. Which is darned uncomfortable, let me tell you!
"You’ve improved so much the past few weeks, that was a routine ball for you now. What's up?"
"I’m a little distracted."
"I believe the correct phrase is, DUH…You getting too much school work?"
"Nope, that’s going ok, thanks. Too much of someone…I mean something else."
"Aaaahhhhh, could it be Zack? I see the way you have been looking at him. But you two seem more distant this week. Is there a problem?"
"He ran out of Scoops on Tuesday while we were talking and hasn't said a word to me since. It’s freaking me out. I am so into him that I want to be with him as much as possible, but all of a sudden he’s just shut me out."
"Have you tried telling him how you feel? Have you told him about Brandon?"
"Why would telling him about Brandon help? Brandon is gone."
"Give it a chance. Telling him about your relationship with Brandon may help. Telling him about your past will help him get to know you better. And you never know what else it will lead to."
"Okay, I can give that a try."
"Good, now get your head onto the task at hand, and play some ball or Coach Kyle will have both of our butts."
"I'll take the fifth on that one, Coach," I said smiling, as I returned to right field.
For the next hour of practice I stood fielding better than I did during the first half of practice. I spent the whole time thinking about how I was going talk to Zack. Coach Dewey said to talk about Brandon. I loved Brandon. Why would that help? Brandon brought out feelings I had never felt before, feelings that I was now feeling for Zack.
But also at the beginning, Brandon and I had been best friends. Until the day he kissed me, I had no idea he was like me. And we also went through this period of avoiding each other right before we really got together. Oh my god!!! That must be why I need to talk to Zack about Brandon. It’s the same situation. At least, I hoped it was. Not the distance…the love part.
Just as Coach Kyle was dismissing the team for the evening, reminding us to get a good night’s sleep since we played for the championship this week-end. Suddenly I had an idea.
"Zack, go home and get some stuff together, you’re sleeping over with me tonight."
"But…I... can't…. I have to… "
"Yeah, you can. We’re having our first sleepover. We need it. Be there at 7:00."
"No, really, I need to…"
"Hey guys, are any of you spending the night at anyone else's place tonight?" asked Coach Dewey. A bunch of hands raised in the air. Slowly, I saw Zack raise his.
"Cool, have fun, be careful, and get to sleep at a decent hour." That last comment got a good laugh from the team.
After dinner, I packed a bag to go over to Jason's. I had almost hoped that my folks would tell me I couldn’t go, but they were delighted I was making a new friend. Sigh…why was I doing this to myself? The feelings I get when he’s near me...I’ve never had them before. I hate those friggin’ butterflies in my belly, yet I love the little buggers all at the same time!
I hadn't spoken to the poor guy all week, yet still he was inviting me over to spend the night. During dinner, I decided that I would tell Jason the truth about what I was feeling. I figured, it wouldn’t take too long for him to throw me out. I should be home in bed by 10 o’clock, which should be early enough to call Coach and tell him I was too sick to go to the game.
Anyway, I arrived at Jason's at the time he’d said, and was rushed into the family room to meet his parents. They seem nice enough. But do you think they would treat me this way if they knew what I was thinking about their son? Not!
We went up to his room and played the prerequisite video games for almost an hour before either one of us spoke of anything other then the video game. It was him who brought the other stuff up first.
"Zack, man, we need to talk. This past week has been terrible, I make a new friend and then we barely talk. What's up?"
"Well, I don't know. Every time I see you I…"
"What is it, Zack?"
"I …I can't tell you..."
"Well if you can't talk right now, let me tell you something. Have I ever told you about my friend Brandon?"
"No, not that I remember," I replied uncertainly.
"He and I were amazing friends, but our friendship started off a lot like yours and mine did. We got along for a few months, and then we drifted apart really fast. Basically the same as this past week, only on a higher scale." Where was Jason going with this? I don't care about this Brandon kid; I only wanted to be here with Jason.
"The lengths we went to to avoid each other were really awful. We were even in the same classes together and we made every effort to sit as far away from each other as possible. It affected our schoolwork, our baseball playing, and our relationships with our other friends. Finally, Brandon snapped."
"What did he do? Is this the reason he moved away?"
"No, the reason he moved had to do with his father's job. But when he snapped, he took action in the middle of the cafeteria. He grabbed me from behind…and he kissed me!"
"Kissed you…? What did you do?"
"Yes, he did. Big fat smack; right on the lips. What did I do? Well, I kissed him back."
"So that means…means that…you…umm…"
"Means that I like guys, yeah... yeah, I do."
"Oh my god!" The thoughts racing through my head were just too much to handle. Again I could not complete a full sentence. I mean, here I am with the boy who I’ve been thinking of non-stop and he’s telling me he liked guys.
"Umm…well…so you…and…Brandon…" Trying to talk was not going to work. It was no use anyway, because my questions were answered when Jason covered my lips with his.
After a couple little breaths, Jason asked, "How do you feel about that?"
In order to give him my answer, I leaned over and kissed him back. The past week’s inner twisted pretzels were gone and I knew I had what I wanted.
After we completed that kiss, we sat there on the floor, holding hands and talking. I leaned up against him and used him as my backrest, reaching around to steal more kisses every now and then. We talked about Brandon, our parents, his older brother, my dog, the friends I had left behind in Woodland Hills, anything we could think of sitting there in his room. All I cared about was that I was sitting and holding hands with Jason.
It was about midnight when his father knocked lightly and opened the door. I pulled away in reaction to seeing his dad, but Jason pulled me back to him. His father just smiled and reminded us that we had a ball game in the morning and that we should get to sleep. So we stripped down to our boxers and jumped into bed.
No, we didn’t hump like bunnies. Not everybody does that every hour on the hour, ya know. It was much better right then to fall asleep in each other's arms.
I arrived at the fields at about 10:00 a.m. to get it ready for the championship game against the Colchester Red Sox. They managed to make it to this point even having lost the last time we played them. Over dinner last night, Dewey had told me about his conversation with Jason. I must say that his idea about talking about Brandon had some merit to it.
Most of the team arrived in high spirits an hour before game time. It was Jason and Zack who were running late. The came running in at the last minute giggling something about getting to sleep about 30 minutes before they had to get up. I couldn't decide if that was a good thing or not.
The game itself was very close. Keith pitched a wonderful first half, with the team making some awesome plays in the field, including two by Jason in right field. After the fourth inning, Jason asked to be removed in favor of Zack. He felt that Zack deserved to play some in this important game.
Zack was able to hold his own in the field but it was in the bottom of the sixth that he made the impact that was needed. With his bases-clearing triple, we won the game. Again we were the champs, but more importantly, love was blooming again in Baysville.