It’s been a little over a week since I’ve seen Isaiah, but every night since then, I’ve been debating on texting him or even calling him, though I haven’t been able to go through with it. What would I say? I felt terrible leaving the bar so abruptly and especially for not explaining myself to him, but I didn’t know what else to do.. It was hard enough to tell James what had happened between Jody and I, so how would I explain that to Isaiah? Maybe I assumed he wouldn’t understand or wouldn’t believe me, but he had never given me the impression that he wasn’t an understanding person, so why did I even think that? He had been nothing but accepting and kind towards me and it was obvious that he liked me, but I was too absorbed in my own problems to the point where I didn’t want to cause any more for myself when it came to something new, so.. I ran.
I’m not proud of what I did, but then again, I haven’t really been proud of myself for a long time.. I seem to always find myself stuck in situations that seem impossible to get out of and some of the situations I’ve put myself in lately have been making me wonder if I’ve ever made the right decision.. I was scared of getting hurt again, scared of being taken advantage of, but I could see in Isaiah’s eyes before I had left that he felt bad for what he had done even though he had nothing to be sorry for.. He never pushed me and he never pried, he was as gentle as he was apologetic and I completely left him stranded.. Why did I do that? I didn’t realize until after I left that I had never given him my number to reach me and I was thankful that I had some time to think without wondering if he’d call, but then again, that meant it was all up to me to talk to him first, and that only made me feel more pressured and nervous.
I know James has been worried about me, even sitting in class right now I can feel him looking at me every now and then, but I’ve been closed off a lot, just as much as I was after everything with Jody, and I knew he wanted to know why. But, the truth is, even I didn’t know.. I loved being with Isaiah and I loved talking to him, but I had never come across someone that I’ve been so attracted to, let alone it being a guy. I didn’t see much of a problem with it, but it still confused me and made me feel like something like that wasn’t acceptable. In this “rich people” town with their noses constantly in the air, something like this would surely get noticed, and I wasn’t sure if I was okay with that, either. I didn’t want us to become something that would get us noticed in a bad way, and I felt that being together would get us a lot of unneeded attention.. But, I also wasn’t used to this kind of thing, liking someone as much as I liked Isaiah.. I had never felt like this with someone and for some reason I couldn’t wrap my head around it being a good thing..
The bell rang and I was the first to stand from their chair, throwing my backpack over my shoulder and heading out of the room with James already following me, “Ollie, wait up!” He called out, but I continued my pace in an attempt to avoid him asking me “what’s wrong” for the millionth time this week. He finally caught up to me and he walked at my side, “Hey, do you wanna grab a late lunch before we go home? There’s something I want to talk to you about, and I’m starving,” he added with a normal tone and I was a little skeptical about whether this was just going to be a simple lunch or if it was a way to corner me into telling him what’s been up lately.
“I don’t know.. I’m kind of tired. I was hoping to just go to the pool and relax or something before Kat’s ballet performance tonight,” I replied.
“Well.. It’s Kat that I wanted to talk to you about,” he continued and I looked to him curiously.
“Oh, uhm.. Alright.. Let’s just go to the cafeteria here, though.. It’ll be less crowded than the cafe,” I agreed, though I still wouldn’t put it passed him to still try and get me to talk about why I’ve been so secluded lately.
As we walked through the halls together towards the cafeteria, James kept talking to me and I’d respond with a simple ‘uh huh’ or something related to that to try and hide the fact that I wasn’t really listening. All I could think about was Isaiah and how I had ran away like a coward that night.. The more I let it consume my thoughts, the more and more I felt bad about it and I wondered what could be going through his mind right now.. He probably thinks I hate him or something and that was the last thing I wanted him to think, so maybe I should finally text him..? But.. No.. I can’t.. I don’t even know how to begin to apologize, or even if I needed to in the first place, but how else do I start a conversation with him if I don’t apologize? ..Maybe I could just call him and everything would just come to me as I talked..? ..No, I wasn’t that suave, or that lucky..
James and I finally reached the cafeteria and it was practically empty, just like I’d hoped, and we chose a table away from everything, James then going to get something to eat for himself while I sat there alone, but I didn’t need to wait long. If we were going to talk about anything serious, or if he managed to somehow convince me to talk about what’s been going on lately, I wanted to be somewhere less crowded than the cafe, and this was as good of a place as any without going all the way home. Besides, Kat was most likely getting ready for her performance tonight and we’d only distract her if we went home.. She needs to ‘get into the zone’ and be alone before her shows so she can allow herself to get into the right mindset, and going home with James, even opening and closing the front door, would distract her, and being at the raw end of the stick in that argument was something I wanted nothing to do with..
“You’re not hungry?” He asked and I shook my head as he sat down, “That’s weird.. You didn’t even eat breakfast this morning and it’s already almost three, are you sure you don’t want anything?” He continued to bother and I sighed.
“I’m fine.. Now why did you want to talk to me about Kat?” I asked, changing the subject and he didn’t pester me about eating anymore.
“Well, uh.. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, and..” He paused briefly, staring down at his food and he looked as if he was building up the courage for something.. “I think, uhm.. I think I’m going to tell Kat tonight.. How I feel about her, I mean..” He continued and my eyes widened a little.
“Are you serious?” I asked and he chuckled nervously, but nodded with a small grin, “Wow, that’s.. That’s great. When are you doing it exactly?” I continued to question.
“After her performance.. I already asked her if she’d like to go with me to it and she said ‘yes’, so.. I know she hates being disturbed beforehand, so we’re not literally going together, but afterwards, when she’s getting congratulated and what not, I’ll be the one standing next to her,” he replied with a rather calm and pleased tone.
“Aww..” I teased him a little and he laughed while blushing.
“Shut up.. I’m nervous enough as it is,” he replied.
“You know that white roses are her favorite, right?” I asked and he shook his head.
“No, I didn’t remember.. How could I have forgotten that..? Thanks for telling me,” he replied with appreciation and I nodded in response.
“Well, good luck.. I’m rooting for you. Whatever you do, don’t let her get distracted like she did at the bar a while ago, or else you won’t see her for the rest of the night and you’ll never get the chance,” I continued and he nodded, though now he looked more nervous than he already was. “Don’t worry about it, though.. I’m sure everything will work out just fine..”
“Thanks.. You’re going tonight, right?” He asked and I hesitated a moment, “I need support, man.. You have to go.. Kat will kill you if you don’t, too..”
“Yeah, yeah.. I know.. But, I saw her first and second year performances, do you really think she’d mind if I didn’t go to this one?” I asked and he seemed offended by that question.
“You can’t be serious.. They only get better each and every year because of how much she practices and improves, I’ve never seen someone so passionate about ballet before.. This one is going to be even better than the last ones, too, I’m sure.. And you know how much us attending means to her.. Why don’t you want to go? You never complained the other years,” he pointed out and I sighed.
“You know why..” I hissed and he scoffed.
“Look, I know Jody is in her ballet course, but she might not even be in the show,” he argued back.
“It doesn’t mean that she won’t show up to watch it.. She’s the last person I want to see tonight, anyways..”
“Well, if I’m still being honest, I know you want nothing to do with her anymore, but dude.. You gotta find out if she’s carrying around an accident with her, and if she is, even though you don’t want to, you’re going to need to talk to her about it and what you’re both going to do about it..”
“And if she’s not?”
“Then thank the heavens! I don’t know what you want me to say.. I know that you’re thinking ‘well if I talk to her and she’s not pregnant, then this will all have been for nothing, blah blah,’ but you don’t know, so just ask her and get it over with. If she’s not, then awesome, we’ll have a huge celebration and I’ll buy you a cake, but if she is, then man up and face the reality and decide what to do about it with her. Just find out, alright?”
“Whatever..” I let out quietly, standing from the table and James put up his arms.
“Where the hell are you going?” He asked somewhat angrily and I turned around to walk away.
“To the pool to swim, like I wanted to..” I replied and I started to walk away from the table.
“Ollie, come on, did I make you mad? ..Are you going to be there tonight!?” He continued to ask questions as I walked off and I didn’t answer him, leaving the cafeteria and heading to the pool on campus.
The entire walk to the pool was cold and brisk, but it wasn’t too far of a journey, so a coat wasn’t entirely necessary, and honestly, the cold was the last thing on my mind. I still couldn’t stop thinking of Isaiah. For whatever reasons, I didn’t care about Kat’s performance, I didn’t care about James finally confessing his love to her later, and I didn’t care that they both wanted me at the theatre tonight, at least, I didn’t care as much about those things as I did about making things right with Isaiah. I still didn’t know when or how I should contact him, but I knew that I wanted to, so hopefully relaxing in the pool will help me clear a few things up in my mind and help me be more confident when it came to finally talking to him after over a week of avoiding it..
I got to the pool and there were a few people there, but not many, walking then towards the locker rooms and I changed into my swimsuit in one of the stalls. I locked everything up in my designated locker and walked out towards the water, sitting on the edge of the pool and dangling my legs off the side into the water, feeling how warm it was and I loved how good it felt. They usually always left the water room temperature during the spring, summer and fall seasons, but they heated the pool whenever winter came around and it was so much more worth it to swim in it when it was the cold season and the outdoor pool was closed.
Already I could feel my body relaxing, hoisting myself up a little and I then slid down slowly into the pool, letting my body sink steadily into the water and I shut my eyes and held my breath just before I was completely submersed.
I kept my eyes shut, holding my breath for a long, relaxed minute, trying to clear my head and soon I thought of nothing. I was happy in the water every single time I was in it and it was the only place where I could completely let myself go and be relaxed.. But, I soon couldn’t hold my breath any longer and I felt my feet touch the ground of the pool, pushing myself up and I took in a deep breath when I had resurfaced. I extended my arm for the edge of the pool, kicking once to reach it and I then let my arms rest on the warm tiles, resting my chin on my arms and shutting my eyes to relax even more.
My entire body was warm, loose, relaxed, and now when I thought of Isaiah, it only made my body warmer in the humid room and even my heart felt a little weak. Relaxing this much really helped and it made me want to talk to him even more, but there was still the factor of what the hell was I going to say to him? I wanted to see him again, badly, actually, and I figured the sooner I made up with him, the sooner I’d get to do just that.
After spending roughly three hours at the pool, relaxing on the side as well as swimming laps and having contests with myself on how long I could hold my breath, I figured it was time to leave and get ready for Kat’s performance tonight. I got out of the pool and went to the locker room, getting my essentials and bringing it all into the shower with me so I didn’t need to go all the way home in order to get the smell of chlorine off of me. I kept a lot of things in my locker, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, a razor, towels, extra clothes as well as another spare swimsuit, goggles, cologne, you name it. It’s as if the locker room was another bedroom for me and the pool was my bed that I could sleep in as I float on my back. I sometimes even wished I could sleep in the pool for just one night..
I wonder if Isaiah liked swimming..? I felt my body get a little warm and my heart rate went up a little all over again when I thought of him without a shirt, wearing a bathing suit, wet.. “Tsk..” I scoffed at myself, shaking my head then and trying to rid those thoughts from my mind as I finished showering and shut off the water.
I threw a towel on around myself and walked back out to my locker, putting away all of my stuff and beginning then to dry my hair as well as the rest of my body with another towel. I slipped on a pair of blue jeans and a random shirt, walking then over to the hand dryer by the sinks and using it to dry my hair. After completely drying myself, I slipped on a hoodie I had within my locker and packed my school clothes into my backpack, then shoving it into my locker and trying to close it with force since I already had a lot of stuff within it.
I let out a successful sigh after I had managed to shut it and I took out my phone and went through my contacts, soon coming across Isaiah’s name and a spark of nerves filled me instantly. This would be as good of a time as any to prove to myself that I wasn’t a coward, maybe even have a chance at making me proud of myself that I managed to work up the courage to call him, but what if he didn’t answer? What if it rings but he ignores it and it goes to voicemail? What if he changed his number so I can’t even reach him anymore because I’m such an idiot for leaving that one night..? But, why do I do this to myself? James was right.. Either way, I’ll never know anything for sure unless I found out for myself, and although he meant things with Jody when saying that, it still applied in this situation, too.. I had relaxed myself enough in the pool to where it wasn’t that big of a deal, but now that I was face to face with my phone and his number stared back at me, it made me nervous all over again.
I walked towards the opening of the locker room, seeing no one coming over this way and I was glad that I had some privacy, but it still didn’t calm me down that much.. But, I swallowed my hesitation and hit the ‘call’ button, butterflies in my stomach going wild as I listened to each ring against my ear, the build up was almost too much to bare and I even contemplated hanging up after the first ring, but somehow I managed to stay strong.. Four, five, six rings later and still nothing, no answer.. But, the ring eventually stopped and I heard his voice, but it was only the prerecorded message he had done for his voice mail.. It was.. Oddly soothing, in a way, to hear his confident, deep voice again..
“Hey, you’ve reached Isaiah’s cell. If this is a supplier, please call the bar, it’s much easier to reach me there during business hours. If this is a friend, then just leave a message and I’ll call you back when I get a chance. Thanks.” -beep-
I didn’t plan on leaving a message, but I guess it was the only thing I could do right now.. He was probably still at work and I assumed he wouldn’t get my message until after nine when he closed.. “Hey, it’s Oliver.. Listen, uhm.. I’m really sorry for bailing on you last week and also for not calling you until now.. I can’t imagine what you’ve been thinking this whole time, but.. I just.. I needed time to think, I guess.. About us, and, uhm.. Well, if you don’t hate me by now for what I did and how I avoided you, then I was thinking maybe we could, you know.. Get together soon.. Maybe even see each other outside of your bar,” I chuckled nervously, “Anyways.. Call me back if you want to, I understand if you don’t, though.. Okay, uhm.. Bye,” I ended my message, pulling the phone from my ear and hanging up. I guess it was better and a lot easier talking to his voice mail rather than talking directly to him and probably sounding more like an idiot.. But, I hoped he would call me back..
I left the pool and made my way back towards the road to catch a cab, noticing that I had about two hours before Kat’s ballet performance started at eight and I was hopeful in thinking that I could maybe sneak in a quick nap beforehand. I got home and noticed that no one was there but me, though I could tell that James had been here and left already from seeing his Converse sitting by the door. I was glad that I had the place to myself, no one to bug me and no one to pressure me about going to Kat’s performance tonight and I was glad that I could nap in peace. I made my way up to my room and immediately fell onto the bed, letting out a calm and relaxed sigh as I lie there, slowly shutting my eyes and drifting off to sleep.
I awoke to my room being dark, knowing that the sun was no longer in the sky and I panicked a little at what time it could be. I looked at my phone as I stood up from the bed and it was close to eight, causing myself to go into a more panicked mode and if I didn’t leave the house right this second, I was going to be late. I went to put my phone back into my pocket and leave my room, but before I could, my phone started buzzing and someone was calling me.. Isaiah. My heart began to race a little more and I stood in the middle of my room, staring at my phone and I debated on answering it, but I knew I wanted to talk to him, so I answered instead of leaving.
“Hey..” He answered, a sense of relief falling over me when I heard his voice, “I just listened to your message.. I was glad to hear from you,” he continued.
I smirked just slightly at his response, “I didn’t expect you to call me back while you were still at work.”
“I’m closing up early tonight at eight, it’s a really slow night..”
“Oh.. Well, uhm.. I’m guessing then you might want to talk about stuff..?”
“Yeah.. I was calling to see if you wanted to talk tonight, actually..? I’d really love it if you came over so we could.. I’d rather do it in person than over the phone like this, if that’s alright,” he replied and I grew a little nervous.
“Well, I’m going to-” I stopped, rethinking my next words. I was already going to be late to Kat’s performance and although both James and her wanted me to be there, I’d rather not go than walk in late and be a distraction. Plus, I really wanted to see Isaiah.. “I’m actually free tonight, so.. I’d like that,” I answered.
“Great, do you want to come over? I should be home in about twenty minutes.”
“Yeah, I’ll come by.. I know you said you lived on Queens, but what’s the address?” I wondered, noticing his tone going happier as he recited it and although I knew Kat and James would be mad that I didn’t go to the theatre tonight, I’d rather see Isaiah and figure things out with him rather then letting this whole situation eat at me anymore.. Both of us needed some kind of closure as well as an understanding for this whole situation and I wanted to get it over with so we could maybe focus on better, more rewarding things, like maybe actually being able to spend time with one another without it being awkward.
Before I left for Isaiah’s, I took the time to text James and tell him I wasn’t coming, lying and telling him that I was feeling a bit under the weather and to tell Kat that I’m sorry, wishing him luck as well and although I could tell he was a little mad at me through his replies, he understood in the end and when it was a few minutes to eight, I left for Isaiah’s.
I got there around the time when he said he’d be there, but I didn’t see him yet, deciding then to take a seat on a bench that was covered in a thin layer of snow. I brushed off the snow and sat down, holding myself to keep warm, though the winter time was luckily never too cold to where I’d need a huge, thick winter coat. I could stand the cold, it also helped me hide the fact that I wasn’t only shaking from the weather.. I was nervous knowing I was about to see Isaiah after I had made a fool of myself last time we saw one another, my body trembling at the thought and I couldn’t seem to get my heart to stop beating so fast just knowing that he was going to get here any second.. I almost couldn’t wait.
I hear a car pull up and I lifted my view from the ground, seeing Isaiah getting dropped off by a cab and walking to the door. My entire body peaked with both excitement and nervousness at the sight of him, standing to my feet as I saw him smile when he noticed me and the expression he made every time he looked at me never got old.
“Hey, have you been waiting long?” He wondered and I shook my head.
“No, only a couple minutes.”
“Oh, good.. Well, come on up,” he replied with the same smile, unlocking the front door and I followed him inside.
I trailed close behind him up the stairs to the second floor and waiting for him to unlock the door to his condo, following him inside and he stopped at the entrance, nearly causing me to bump into him, but I was able to stop before I did, “Hey, uhm,” his words caught in his throat when he noticed how close I was when he had turned to face me and both of us looked at one another with nerve-filled eyes. He chuckled softly, “If you’d just take your shoes off, if you don’t mind,” he continued and I then nodded, slipping my shoes off as he did the same and I then watched as he ventured into his living room where I then continued to follow him.
“I like your place.. It’s very.. Cozy,” I pointed out after taking a quick look around and he faced me with a smile.
“Thanks,” he answered, “Give me a minute, I’m going to change out of my work clothes,” he mentioned and I nodded.
“Alright,” I replied, watching him walk away and into his bedroom down a short hallway, shutting the door behind him.
As I waited for him to change, I took the time to admire his place a little more. Even though he had just moved here not that long ago and even with his place seemingly still a little empty in a few areas, he made due and like I had told him before, it really was cozy. The smell of his place still had the lingering scent of fresh paint and new leather furniture, but there was still a little hint of him everywhere and I really enjoyed being here, even though I was still shaking a little in my socks from being so nervous.
Isaiah came back within a few minutes wearing much more comfortable looking clothes and I admit that I may have stared at him longer than I should have, averting my eyes then to the ground as he approached me. “Do you want anything to drink? Water, coffee, a beer?” He wondered and I shook my head.
“I’m fine, thanks..” I replied and I noticed him nod from the corner of my eye. There was a short silence between us, both of us standing in the quiet living room and I don’t think either of us knew where to begin, but eventually he spoke up first.
“Well.. Let me just start by apologizing for the other night.. I got a little ahead of myself and I know I made you uncomfortable.. You have nothing to be sorry for, too, like you said in your message.. It was all my fault,” he brought up and I sighed softly.
“No, it’s okay.. It wasn’t your fault, either..” I replied, looking up to him and he nodded in understanding.
“So, uh.. Is there any particular reason why you left so quick the other night, or was it just from what I did..?” He asked with a smirk but his eyes held remorse, but I wasn’t even sure if I should tell him the truth.
I hesitated for far too long, no doubt probably giving him the impression that it all was his fault, but I still couldn’t decide if I should tell him about Jody.. “It’s, uh.. It’s complicated,” I resorted to a shitty answer that I knew wouldn’t be good enough.
“Do you want to talk about it? I’m a pretty good listener,” he joked slightly to maybe bring some of the awkward tension down a notch and I smirked, but it quickly left my lips.
“It’s just.. I like you,” I admitted, “I like you a lot, more than I can even understand and I feel that if I tell you some things that are going on in my life right now, you won’t want to see me anymore,” I replied, letting my eyes drop from his.
“I’m relieved to hear that, because I like you, too,” he replied, my eyes going back up to his and he still held the smile that I loved, “But, I don’t think that you could tell me anything that would change that,” he continued and a sense of relief consumed me, yet I still didn’t think he knew what he was in for.
“..Can I sit down?” I asked and he nodded.
“Of course, please,” he answered and I walked passed him over to one of his sofas, taking a seat and he joined me.
“I know it’s probably obvious, but.. I’ve never been with a guy before and it’s weird and confusing and I don’t really know what to make of it,” I began and he chuckled softly.
“Yeah, I assumed that.. But, it’s always hard at first to accept it. I knew I liked men at a really young age but I didn’t come out until I was in my twenties. My parents weren’t thrilled about it, but I think I’m better because of it. It really feels good knowing that I can just be myself now, you know?” He replied and I nodded.
“Yeah.. But, that’s, uhm.. That’s only part of it,” I admitted, letting my gaze meet the floor.
“Oh? What’s the other part?” Isaiah asked curiously and although it was surprisingly easy for me to talk to him, the subject of Jody was never something easy to come to terms with.
“There’s this.. This girl..”
“..Oh.. You’re seeing someone..?” He asked with disappointment.
“No, no, I’m not..” I corrected myself, “Uhm.. About a month ago, my cousin and my roommate set me up on a blind date kind of thing. I hadn’t been with someone in a really long time and they thought that I needed to get back out there in the dating world or whatever, but..” I stopped, sighing heavily as I held myself tighter, trying to work up the nerve to tell him everything.
“Oliver, it’s alright, really.. I don’t care if you had sex recently with a woman, that doesn’t bother me,” he replied and I shook my head.
“N-No.. That’s not it.. Exactly..”
“..Then what is it?” He asked, curiosity as well as a slight sense of worry in his tone and I took a deep breath before continuing.
“She, uhm.. She made me..” I finally admitted, running my hand through my hair in an attempt to maybe hide my face a little more from him.
“..She made you do what?”
“She knew how long it had been for me and I told her I wanted to take things slow, but.. Apparently she didn’t want to. She tricked me.. She made it seem like she was doing something nice for me and then she, well.. Had her way with me,” I spoke quietly, trying to hold back any crack my voice might let out, “I couldn’t stop her and she even hit me.. Slapped me so hard that I was dazed and the next thing I knew-” I stopped, unable to say any more and I was even too embarrassed to look at him. A silence fell over the room and I didn’t know what to think, I didn’t know what he was thinking either and I wanted the silence to just go away.
“I.. I don’t really know what to say..” He answered just to break the silence, “I guess that really does explain a lot, though.. I’m really sorry that happened to you.. But, Oliver,” he continued, feeling his hand touch my arm and he pulled it gently until his hand had slid up and into my own, my eyes going to him and he held a warm expression, “I’d never do anything like that, I’d never put you into a position that you’re not comfortable to be in, and I’d never lie to you like that. I understand that you’re scared and you probably feel betrayed or used and you probably feel like, too, that it might be hard to trust people now, especially ones that show interest in you, but.. You know I’d never do that to you, right?” He asked, his expression serious now and I felt this is the most truthful he could’ve possibly been with me. “We can take things slow, as slow as you want.. I’m really glad you told me all of this and now I completely understand. I’m so sorry again for scaring you the other night.. Had I known what you had been put through recently, then I would’ve never done what I did.. I’m truly sorry,” he finished, and oddly enough, the only thing I wanted now was for him to touch me.. All of my fears earlier now dissipated and I knew now that I was thinking too much earlier.. I assumed that he’d want nothing to do with me, but why? Why the hell did I think that? It was just the opposite, he still wanted nothing more than to be with me and it was obvious.
I was finally able to come to terms with myself and the whole time that we haven’t been together, I couldn’t stop thinking about kissing him again. As much as I wanted to see him and as much I wanted to make things right and to be able to kiss him again, I needed time.. Now, with him right in front of me, his lips calling to me and wanting to fulfill the thing I’ve missed most, I decided to go for it. I scooted closer to him, my heart still racing from both the conversation and just being in his presence, but I removed my hand from his, leaning in slowly and I met his lips with my own. I knew he was a little surprised from my actions, I knew that he was hesitant on touching me and I knew I’ve been giving him so many mixed signals, but as long as I do things first, he’d feel okay about it, right? But, how was I going to get over this..? I wanted him to be comfortable with me, but now after telling him everything, I felt as if he might take even more precaution with me and I wanted to say that I wouldn’t flinch if he ever touched me without me knowing first, but I couldn’t predict such a thing. I hated that Jody had made me scared of a relationship, I hated that I couldn’t enjoy my time with him to its fullest potential, and I hated that it would take a long time before we would be fully comfortable with one another..
I pulled away slowly and he smiled towards me, but I hung my head and my eyes met the ground, “What’s the matter?” He asked, but quickly corrected himself, “Sorry, that was a stupid question.. But, it seems like something else is bothering you, too,” he continued, and although it felt comforting to be so close to him again, it was hard to truly enjoy his presence when I had so much on my mind.
“It’s just.. I don’t think I’m right for anyone.. You’re too good to me already and I don’t deserve it, and you don’t deserve to deal with such a hassle so early into this.. I’m nothing but a burden..”
“Oliver, stop.. Don’t degrade and punish yourself for how you feel, for how some girl made you feel. You’re worth more than that and you deserve to be happy. I know now what you’re dealing with and I’m more than willing to help you see that you’re important.. Don’t let what she did to you make you feel as if you’re not to be cherished.. I know she made you feel used and abused, but that doesn’t change how I feel about you and it doesn’t change the fact that I want to prove to you that you deserve to find some happiness. Even though you may think you’re not worth it, you are worth it.. You’re already important to me and I hate to see you beat yourself up about something you couldn’t prevent,” he replied and I could feel my bottom lip beginning to quiver.
A few tears gathered in my eyes that he couldn’t see due to my hair hiding my face and I pulled away from him, using my hands to bury my face into and I tried my hardest to hide a quiet sob, but it was no use. It was obvious I was crying and it made me feel even weaker than before.. This is so pathetic to do in front of someone that I don’t want to think less of me..
“I know what you’re thinking,” he spoke quietly by my ear, feeling his hand touch my back in a comforting manner, “You’re not weak or inadequate.. This is the first time you’re letting it all sink in, isn’t it?” He asked and I nodded softly as I felt my palms getting wet with salty tears. “It’s okay, really.. Take as long as you need,” he continued and I still couldn’t grasp it all.
“You’re too good for me,” I managed to say through the frog in my throat.
“No, I’m doing what any decent person would and I’m comforting someone who deserves it, who needs it. You need to realize you’re better than this, you’re worth it, Oliver.. You truly are,” he continued and that only made me more emotional than I intended on being when I first came here. I knew we would talk about things and get everything sorted out, but I never expected I would tell him as much as I did, and so easily at that. Well, it wasn’t easy, but I was glad I said it. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted and I could even breathe a little easier, and it was all thanks to him.
No wonder he had been acting so skittish whenever I touched him.. I couldn’t even begin to fathom what he had been through and I felt extremely sorry for him, but I tried my hardest the whole time not to show him too much pity, I didn’t want to make him feel worse. It made me immensely angry, too, knowing someone had treated such a sweet and gentle person with such an uncaring and horrific goal in mind.. I had never been subjected to doing something I didn’t want to, but then again, maybe I was just a lot stronger to the point that I wouldn’t let anything like that happen to me, but.. He had said she had tricked him, made him feel comfortable and wanted, he let his guard down, so who was to say that even I couldn’t be tricked, as well? I definitely felt for him, and I hoped for this girl’s sake I never find out exactly who she is or I might just have a few choice words to say to her.
Oliver managed to calm down a lot more after a while and I’d like to think that I helped him tonight, watching as he wiped his eyes and his face with the sleeve of his hoodie from the tears I knew he had shed but I never saw, “I’m sorry.. I didn’t expect that to happen,” he said with a quiet, embarrassed chuckle.
“Don’t apologize, I’m just glad you told me the truth. It helps me understand you a lot more,” I replied, “Do you feel a little better now?” I asked, seeing him look over towards me and nod and I always smiled towards him. How could I not? His blue eyes were glossy and a little red from shedding tears, but I still loved looking into them. No matter what, they still always held a sense of a sweet nature and he truly did have the puppy dog eyes that I remembered seeing the first time I had met him.
I wanted him to stay longer and I wanted to spend some actual time with him outside of my bar, and also some time with him that we could just relax and enjoy together, “Do you want to stay for a little while? We could watch a movie or something..?” I offered and I watched him thinking for a moment, then nodding.
“Yeah.. Let’s do that,” he answered and I couldn’t help but smile more.
I got up from the couch and stepped over towards my movie collection, looking through them and I didn’t know what to pick.. Maybe a comedy to bring his spirits up? Or a story driven action and drama to maybe help him focus on something else than what he had to deal with..? I looked over my shoulder towards him and he was already looking at me, seeing a tiny smirk on his lips and I needed to avert my eyes from him for a moment to hide my undoubtedly smitten expression that I couldn’t contain. “What are you in the mood for..?” I asked, my eyes then meeting his again and I watched him shrug as he looked to me.
“Anything’s fine.. I just want to sit here with you,” he replied and I felt my chest tighten a bit, almost sure that I couldn’t like him any more than I already did, but he managed to prove me wrong.
“Can I ask you something?” I inquired, watching him nod as he sat there and I continued, “So, are we dating, or..?” I asked, watching his expression grow somewhat surprised from my occasional bluntness, though it was easy to see in this lighting the pink glow on his cheeks.
“I-I mean.. I guess we are.. Yeah. If you want to be..?” He answered and I chuckled softly.
“Do you want to be? Because I think you already know my answer,” I replied and I watched him look away from me briefly with a nervous smirk.
“..Then, yeah..” He confirmed, keeping my smile as he looked to me again and that was a good enough answer for me.
I quickly picked a random action movie and put it in, letting the movie play and I got up from the floor to go to the couch and join Oliver once again. I sat a few inches away from him at first, wanting to put my arm around him or at least have my side touching his, but of course I didn’t want to do anything that would make him nervous or uneasy, so I held back from doing so. But, to my surprise, as the movie rolled through the opening credits, Oliver looked over towards me and I watched as his eyes looked at my arm that was closest to him, as if telling me to do exactly what I wanted to and I couldn’t help but smile as I lifted my arm to invite him in.
I watched him smirk and he moved closer towards me, leaning back against my chest and the back of his head rested against the front of my shoulder. I let my arm dangle over the front of him and he then reached up to hold my hand with his own, feeling him relax against me and I couldn’t have asked for more than this. I was so glad earlier to have gotten a call from him and I was more than happy to close the bar early just so I could spend as much time with him as I could and to hopefully figure out exactly where we stood as far as a relationship. But, tonight had gone better than I had hoped and I was confident now that we could possibly get through anything that stood in our way.
I rested the side of my face against his head and I couldn’t help but notice the scent of his hair, the smell of a clean shampoo as well as a hint of something else, but what was it? ..It was only after a few minutes of pondering that I knew what it was. He had mentioned before that he loved swimming and chlorine was the smell that was hard for me to detect at first, but oddly enough, I actually liked how the two smells went together and it was a unique scent I’d only associate with him. I admit that I didn’t watch much of the beginning of the movie, I was too content and relaxed just sitting here with him and in his company, but eventually I started watching and enjoying the movie with him when I had fully relaxed with Oliver under my arm.
Almost towards the end of the movie, I felt my eyelids growing heavy and I must’ve nodded off because the next thing I knew, I opened my eyes to Oliver sitting on the floor going through my movie collection and I was lying down on the couch without my glasses.
I sat up slowly, rubbing my eyes for a moment and I noticed Oliver look towards me, “Hey.. Sorry, I didn’t want to wake you and I didn’t want to leave without saying anything.. I took your glasses off, too, so they wouldn’t bend while you slept,” he brought up and I smirked. He was truly too sweet.
“It’s alright.. Thanks,” I replied.
“I tend to be up more during the night, too, so I figured I’d just watch another movie.. I hope that’s okay?” He inquired and I nodded.
“Yeah, that’s fine.. Wait, you’d watch another movie?” I asked with confusion.
“Well, yeah.. You fell asleep towards the end of the first one and I let you lie down and took your glasses off.. Then I watched another, and now I guess I was going to watch a third..” He replied and I was surprised he had stayed this long.. I honestly expected him to leave, but I was glad that he didn’t.
“What time is it..?”
“Almost one thirty,” he hesitated a moment, “Sorry, I should probably actually go home now that you’re awake and can go to bed.. I didn’t mean to stay this late..” He mentioned with a somewhat defeated tone.
“No, it’s fine, really.. You can, uhm.. You can stay, if you want.. I know this might be asking too much, but.. You can always sleep in my bed, or of course, if you feel more comfortable sleeping on the couch, you can do that, too..” I offered and I was relieved to see him become a little more chipper now that he knew I wasn’t mad that he had possibly overstayed his welcome. “I won’t try anything, too, I swear,” I continued with a smirk and I noticed his cheeks blush slightly.
I noticed him thinking for a moment, looking blankly at the DVD’s I had as if pondering my offer and for a moment I thought I may have come off a little strong again, but his reply was a little unexpected, I’d admit. “Would you want to lay with me on the couch and watch this movie with me..?” He asked.
“Yeah.. I’d love that,” I answered, seeing him smile as well and he chose another movie, putting it into the player and he stood to his feet.
I watched him come back over towards the couch and I laid back down first so he could follow in suit. He sat down at first by my hips, then lying down on his side in front of me and I didn’t really know what to do at first. I rest my head against my arm, extending my other arm along my side casually as the back of him touched my entire front, wanting to wrap my arm around him to get fully comfortable, but I didn’t. I didn’t do a lot of things I wanted to, but I thought the sacrifice of not being able to touch him was worth it and I felt the reward later whenever he was comfortable enough was worth the potentially long wait, too.
At first, he lie on his side through the beginning of the movie, but he eventually turned his body so he lie on his back and his head turned towards me so his eyes could meet mine. “Thanks for letting me stay,” he said quietly and I smiled.
“I’m glad you stayed. Thank you for not leaving while I was asleep,” I replied and he smirked slightly, noticing his eyes look to my lips briefly and then back up to my eyes, knowing he wanted to kiss me, but I wasn’t going to do anything without him doing it first.. I knew better now. But, surprisingly he had been doing things first a lot tonight, and just like before, he leaned in slowly and kissed me, shutting my eyes and our lips massaged against each other’s for a sensual minute as we laid together.
I sat up slightly, propping myself up on my elbow and I leaned over him, introducing my tongue like I had done at the bar over a week ago, but I was careful as to not touch his body like I had done before. I merely propped myself up with my hand on the other side of him, gripping the couch instead of him and I noticed both of us grew a little more excited and passionate during the newly-turned-intense kiss. I knew not to expect much from this, but kissing him for this long was for sure making me feel a lot of things that I knew weren’t going to be fulfilled, but I tried to keep myself as calm as I could for his sake. It was a little obvious I had more experience than him, and not just with men, but being with someone in general and I knew I’d be able to keep myself from getting too excited as I lie next to him. Ultimately, it made me wonder if he’d be able to ignore it as well as I could.
After a few long minutes of enjoying his lips, he pulled away somewhat suddenly, shying his eyes away from me and I was curious as to why he had stopped so abruptly as I then watched him face away from me. He turned to his side like he was before and faced the television, paying attention to the movie and I also felt him squirm a little very briefly before getting comfortable. I couldn’t help but let a sly grin spread across my lips as I looked at the back of his head, knowing just by his body language that he had gotten excited and flushed from our kiss that he was forced to turn away from me in hopes of hiding how he felt and from what might be quite visually obvious.
“Can I leave my arm around you?” I asked, giving him a moment to ponder my question and he soon nodded.
“Okay..” He replied and I kept my grin, keeping my arm where it was and I enjoyed getting to hold him as we fell asleep together.
I dropped my head back down onto my arm like I had done before, still looking at his long, dark hair instead of the movie. I hoped he didn’t regret lying on the couch together, seeing as he had become so bashful after a deep kiss, but, he was still just as cute as I remember him being back at the bar the last time we were together.. Now that we had gotten passed an obstacle and passed any slight awkwardness, we were back to how we were, back to how I liked us. After many hard, sleepless nights that I went without hearing from him, I could actually go to sleep happy knowing that he had come back to me, and especially knowing that he was all mine now.
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