Blake’s cell phone rings and he quickly looks at the screen to see who is calling: Ashley.
“Hey Ashley, what’s going on?”
“I just wanted to know how you’re doing.”
“I’m doing good.”
“By the way, my friend wants to meet you.”
At first Blake was a little confused. He had no clue who his aunt was talking about.
“Ummm… the guy in the picture that you practically have been drooling over. You know… Ben. You’re meeting him tomorrow in the cafeteria for breakfast. He’ll find you so don’t worry about finding him.”
Blake is speechless. He doesn’t know what to think or what to say. All he knows is that butterflies have suddenly filled his stomach. He’s going to owe her more than any other nephew has ever owed their aunt in the history of the world. She made his day, no, his week.
“Thanks Ashley! Thank you so much!”
Her reply was short. “You’re welcome.”
Blake had no idea that when his parents sent him to Indiana, that Indiana would end up having this big of an impact on his life.
“Don’t forget, you have to be in the cafeteria for breakfast or you miss out.”
“Blake, dinner is ready,” Trace yelled up the stairs to his son. Blake is walking on the clouds.
“Ashley, I won’t ever forget this, thanks for everything.”
“You’re welcome! Bye Blake.”
The young man practically ran down the stairs.
Blake’s excited and who could blame him? In his mind, he’s meeting his first boyfriend, even if Ben didn’t know it. Now the question is can he contain his newfound energy? The minute he reaches the kitchen sink to wash his hands, he can feel the energy ready to explode out of him. As he nears the dining room, the words jump from his mouth. “I’m meeting Ben tomorrow!”
“Blake, who is Ben?”
It took Ian a second to figure out who Ben was, but he finally put two and two together.
“You’ve seen Ben; you just don’t remember it, Dad. He’s the guy from that picture that Ashley gave me. Anyway, Ashley called to tell me that he wants to meet me tomorrow for breakfast.”
Ian was afraid that maybe their son might get crushed. “Don’t get upset if things don’t work out,” Ian said, hoping that he didn’t ruin his son’s enthusiasm. Lucky for Ian, Blake was only half listening. His mind was on dinner, sweet and sour chicken made by Ian. He loves the stuff.
“Blake, take this Ben thing slowly, okay?” Trace doesn’t want his son rushing into things with this kid. Little do Ian and Trace know that Ben is as excited about finally meeting Blake as their son is about meeting him.
“I’ll think about it, Dad.” Blake is hoping to hear “Would you be my boyfriend?” spill out of Ben’s mouth tomorrow, and the sooner he hears it, the better. Trace knows that his son has no intention of taking it slowly. A dad can dream, right?
Dinner is done and Blake has retired to his room. He grabs his journal and decides to write.
Tomorrow, I’m meeting the man of my dreams. My Aunt Ashley called to give me the good news. Ben, the guy I’m meeting, decided that he wants to meet, which I’m totally okay with, of course. I’ve wanted to meet him ever since Christmas Eve at Grandpa and Grandma Andrew’s house. I wonder what Ashley has told him. I can’t wait! Promise to write more tomorrow.
Blake put his journal away and put the cap on his pen. As he sat on his bed, he got up and grabbed the picture of Ben. Ben’s face is smooth. He has short brown hair and brown eyes. Blake could literally look at him all night long. He should get to bed though. He’s got a huge day tomorrow.
Blake wakes up and walks up to his mirror. He smiles at the reflection and then goes to his closet to pick out his outfit for the day. It takes about ten minutes for him to find just the right clothes today. Now with his outfit lined up, it’s off to the shower. Blake takes so long prepping himself that Ian came looking for him. His dad knocked on the bathroom door as Blake was putting on his cologne. “Yeah!” Blake said as he was combing his hair.
“I have to go Blake. You either get out here or ride the bus.”
He knew that he couldn’t ride the bus because he would miss Ben. He has to be at school early today.
“I’m coming, Dad.”
Blake opened the door and ran to his room to put on his shoes and grab his backpack. Ian had already gone out to the car and had it running. He was already out on the street. Blake wasted no time in getting to the car.
“Are you ready?” Ian joked. Blake was squirming with excitement.
“Dad, I can’t sit still. I’m so nervous.”
“Calm down; you don’t want Ben to know you’re nervous. Besides, you’ll get all sweaty.”
“Hopefully I’ll calm down a bit before he shows up.”
Ian suddenly remembers the butterflies he felt when he first met Trace. He was so nervous that he almost got sick. He’s surprised that Trace didn’t pick up on it; then again, maybe he did pick up on how Ian was feeling.
“Blake, if Ashley is all about you meeting this guy then lose the butterflies. He has to be a great guy.”
“I want to do the right thing, Dad.”
Ian is amazed by his son and his ability to do what is right. They pull into the school parking lot and park the car. Blake burst from the car at record speed and ran inside. The young man is so excited that he almost forgot his locker combination. He quickly placed his belongings into the locker and headed down to the cafeteria. It took fifteen minutes for Ben to show up. Ben and Ashley entered the lunchroom while Blake was turned facing the large windows looking out into the forest behind the school.
Ben is just as nervous as Blake is. He doesn’t want to say or do anything stupid. “So where is he, Ashley?”
She scans the room, looking for her nephew. “There he is in the back. He’s the kid in the faded jeans and the navy blue polo shirt.”
Ben’s butterflies are really starting to kick in now. His mind told him not to approach him and to turn away, but his heart pushed him onward. Ben was still moving towards Blake when he stopped to take in what he thinks is the most beautiful thing he has ever seen. Oddly enough, he felt the same way about Blake that Blake felt about him. Blake was glued to something happening outside the window that Ben couldn’t see. Blake was watching a male Eastern Bluebird checking itself out in a truck’s side view mirror and he had no idea who was standing in front of him.
Ben tapped Blake on the shoulder. Blake jumped a mile high out of surprise. He turned his head to see who was standing behind him. The first thing he saw was Ben’s brown eyes. They held him in place. He had never been so entranced a by pair of eyes before. Ben broke out in a smile. Blake seemed not to notice the smile at all. Here, standing in front of him, was the most perfect guy in the world and Blake was speechless.
“Hi, I’m Ben.” Ben put out his hand to Blake.
“Hi,” Blake said as they shook hands. “I’m Blake.”
As soon as Blake and Ben touched each other, they felt a spark, a hint of electricity that neither of them had ever felt before. Blake’s voice caused Ben to feel the electricity that is coursing through him.
“Join me.” Blake offered Ben a seat at the table.
“Thanks.” Ben walked around to the other side of the table so he could see Blake, who was the first one to speak.
“You have no idea how long I’ve waited to meet to you.”
“Hmm… I’ve been hoping that you’d approach me, so why didn’t you?”
“My shyness got in the way.”
“You’re shy? That is so cute.”
Blake had never thought of himself as shy until he saw Ben’s picture.
“It’s funny, Ashley told me that a friend of hers liked me but she wouldn’t tell me anything about you. For the longest time all I knew about you was your name. It’s a shame we didn’t meet up sooner.”
A million questions were forming in Ben’s head. Blake couldn’t wait to learn more about him.
Blake is sitting here in heaven. Nothing else exists right now. He’s having a hard time grasping the idea that across from him sat his new friend… and hopefully his future boyfriend. As he sits there, all thoughts of school slowly begin to melt away.
Ben and Blake have less than eight minutes before the first bell rings, but Blake isn’t even paying attention to the clock. Ben is the first one to notice the time.
“We have five minutes before the first bell rings. Can I join you for lunch?”
“Yeah!” Blake said without even thinking about it.
“Okay then, see you at lunch.”
Ben wanted to say more, but it was almost time to go to first hour. Blake wanted to say the hell with class, but his dad would ground him for sure. Ben wanted to kiss Blake; instead, he got up and headed towards his locker. Blake also headed to his own locker.
The day moved so slowly while Blake waited for lunch. During 4th hour, Rick saw Blake and noticed that he appeared to be glowing. Rick had never seen anyone look like this before in his life.
“What’s up with you?”
“I met someone today and life is good. We’re meeting for lunch so we can talk.”
“I guess that means we won’t be sitting together at lunch, huh?”
“Umm… yeah, sorry Rick, but this is important.”
Life was more than great at the moment. Everything seemed to be perfect. Sadly, Blake learned that just because something seems perfect doesn’t mean that it really is at all. His parents taught him that when they disowned him.
“So is this someone, anyone that I know?”
“You might. He’s a friend of my aunt, Ashley.”
“Does he go here?”
“Yeah!” Blake said with a huge smile on his face.
The idea of seeing Ben every day at school really made Blake happy. The last bell rang, signaling the end of 4th hour and the beginning of lunch.
Finally, lunch was here and it was time to see Ben again. The lunch line seemed to be moving slowly. Blake was not even sure why he was in line. His appetite was pretty much nonexistent today. His mind was on Ben and his brown eyes. Getting through the line was the easy part; the hard part was going to be finding a place to eat. It’s a lucky thing that Ben had already gotten through the line ahead of him, otherwise they wouldn’t have a place to sit. Blake wanted to run to the table, but with a bowl of hot soup on his tray, he decided against it.
“Is this seat saved?”
Ben’s face lit up. He stood up and pulled out a chair for Blake. Blake couldn’t count the number of times that he’s seen his dads do that for one another. He never thought anyone would be doing it for him.
“So how has your day gone so far?”
“Good!” Blake said as he looked at Ben’s face.
Ben was glad that Blake was having a good day, because his day had just gotten ten times better. Ben knew that nothing could ruin this day.
“You want to hang out after school today?” Blake hoped that Ben would be okay with hanging out for a bit. Maybe they could hang out at his house.
Ben was a little shocked that the supposed shy kid sitting next to him just invited him to hang out after school. “Sounds like a plan. Your place or mine?”
“How about my house?”
“Cool, it will give me a chance to see you outside of school.”
“My dad could even bring you over if you don’t mind waiting around till 3:20.”
Ben glanced at his school planner. No homework yet, so he could go over after school and if his other teachers assign work, he could work on it while waiting for Blake’s dad. This plan just might work. Closing his planner, he flashed another smile at Blake.
“Works for me… as long as my parents are okay with it.” Ben reached for his cell phone, but at the last minute pulled his hand back. He didn’t want to have his phone taken away. “Well I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what my parents say. It would suck big time if they said no, but I think they’ll say yes.”
“In case they do say no, what time do they usually get home?”
“Around 3:30 or 4:00 o’clock; it shouldn’t take them too long to get home.”
Just as they finished talking, the bell rang, ending lunch and giving them five minutes to get to class. Blake and Ben smiled to themselves and then headed out of the cafeteria.
Unlike the first four hours, the rest of the day moved pretty fast. All Blake could think about was Ben and all Ben could think about was Blake. After school, Ben and Blake met up at Ian’s classroom just long enough for Ben to call his mom.
“Call Mom,” he said into the phone.
He waited for what seemed like forever before his mom answered.
“Mom, a friend of mine invited me over to his house. His dad teaches here at the school and can drive me over to their house. Can I go?”
Things were pretty quiet for a few seconds. Ben made some sad faces, which caused Blake to be a little disappointed.
“Okay, I’ll come straight home.”
He hung up the phone. He didn’t seem all that upset for someone who had just gotten bad news.
“She said that she wants me to give her some help with the computer, but then I can come over.”
“Yes!” Blake exclaimed, disrupting his dad for a second or two. Ian stared at Blake giving him a not so happy look.
“See ya, Blake. I need to catch my bus.”
“Bye!” Blake said as he watched his friend disappear out of the room. He hated to see him leave. At least they’ll see each other later. Now all he has to do is avoid getting the butterflies all over again. Blake pulled out some homework from his last hour class, English. It’s just some reading in “The Life of Pi” by Yann Martel. Hopefully the book is one that really pulls him in and keeps his attention.
He had just started chapter one when Ashley walked into the room.
“Hey Mr. Richards, Blake!” Ashley said as she walked up to her nephew.
“You’ve made me the happiest kid at Tylerville East.”
Blake stretches out his arms to hug Ashley, but she grabs his hands and lowers them down to his sides. Blake is slightly taken aback by Ashley’s actions. She could tell that Blake wasn’t too happy with her.
“Get over it,” she teased. “So what did you think of Ben?”
Blake still couldn’t get Ben’s face out of his mind.
“Ben is even more handsome in person than in his picture. I’m going to see him after school around four o’clock.”
His heart sped up just a little when he finished that sentence.
“Blake don’t you ruin this opportunity. Ben is a great guy and he really likes you.”
“Ashley, I don’t plan on ruining anything.”
“I hope you’re right, Blake. I don’t want him hurt.” But Ashley knew her nephew would never intentionally hurt his new friend and love interest.
“Quit worrying, I’m not going to hurt him!”
Ashley could tell that her nephew was being sincere. Ian could hear the entire conversation and he was on Blake’s side. He was doing his best to ignore them talking, but he has to show his support for his son. He walked around his desk and approached the two teens. He put his hands on Blake’s shoulders and looked at Ashley.
“Ashley, I’ve had to hear about Ben since Christmas Eve; I know Blake isn’t about to hurt him. He’s been dreaming of him ever since he got that picture. Trust me, he’s not going to slip up.”
Blake’s face was red, but he appreciated what his dad had said to Ashley.
“Thanks Dad!” he said as he looked up at Ian. Ashley’s worries were for nothing and she could see that now. “Guess I can go home. Blake seems to be in good hands, and I can tell that he’s is going to be honest with my Ben.”
She turned and left the room. The guys gathered their materials and headed out the door. Ian stopped just long enough to lock up his room.
“You ready to head out?”
“Yeah, Dad, come on!”
Blake was already ahead of Ian and there was no stopping him. By the time Ian left the school building, Blake was already at the car.
Ian was excited for his son. He had seen this progress from crush to an almost instant friendship and he hopes that the two teens will fall in love. Everyone deserves to be happy. After what Blake has been through over the past five months he deserves to be happy and then some. From what he knows about Ben, Blake is going to be treated very well. Ben has never been in trouble at school. Academically, his grades are outstanding. Hopefully, Ben will share some of those good traits with Blake.
“You want to call Trace?”
“Okay!” Blake tried to hide his enthusiasm. He’s hoping Trace answers the phone. His dad is pretty good about returning phone calls, but sometimes he can get tied up with a call or paperwork.
Trace doesn’t answer the phone because he’s busy writing a ticket, but as soon as the paperwork had been donehe returns the call. Feeling the vibration in his left pocket, Blake quickly answers the phone.
“Hey Dad!” Blake said with enthusiasm.
“What’s going on? Is everything okay?”
“Dad relax, everything is fine.”
“You called me when I’m on duty and there isn’t a problem?”
“Sorry, Dad, I just wanted to tell you that Ben is coming over tonight.”
“Wow… Does Ian know?”
“This is the guy from the picture that my sister gave you, right?”
“Cool!” Trace suddenly finds himself smiling from ear to ear. He’s excited that his son finally is getting around to bringing a friend over to the house. Now he just has to remember to ask Ian how everything goes.
“Blake, I hope everything is great tonight. I need to run though.”
Blake was about ready to hang up when Trace remembered something.
“I almost forgot, I won’t be home till after you’re in bed tonight, so call me after he goes home. I want to hear everything. I promise to call back if I miss you.”
“Love you, son!”
Making his way to his room, he looked at it and decided to do some cleaning. As he is going around sprucing up his room, he hears Ian opening the front door.
Blake took off out of his room and ran down the stairs and there in the doorway is Ben, his angel.
“Hey Ben come on in!” Blake said.
“Thanks!” Ben couldn’t take his eyes off Blake.
He even forgot that Mr. Richards, Ian, is standing there near him. Ben walked into the house and followed Blake into the living room. Ben looked around the room and then brought his deep brown eyes back to Blake. He felt butterflies unlike any he has ever felt before and Blake is the cause of them. At this point, the nerves are a welcome reaction. There is something about Blake’s eyes; Ben just loves to stare at them. Ian walks into the room after closing the front door and Blake stands up.
“Ben, I know you already know Mr. Richards, but I want to introduce you to my dad. Ben, meet my dad and Dad, meet Ben.”
Ian and Ben shake hands.
“Mr Richards, it’s nice to officially meet you.”
Ian just smiled to himself.
‘Ben is going to be good for Blake,’ Ian said to himself as he readied his words.
“You know that you’re the first student, other than family, to step foot into this house. I hope you feel welcome!”
Blake and Ben sat in the living room for a second or two. Ben had so many questions; he just hoped that he could remember them all. Blake wanted to know all about Ben too. Ben’s eyes sparkled with excitement.
“So Blake, what happened that landed you here living with Mr. Richards?”
Blake wasn’t sure that he wanted to rehash ancient history. But he wanted any relationship, whether it be friendship or as boyfriends, to be based on honesty. That being the case, Ben has every right to know.
“My mom read my journal and found out I was gay. She was none too happy. I ended up with enough money for a bus ticket and trip to the bus station. Of course, there was only enough money for me to make a one-way trip to Indiana. One thing lead to another and here I am.”
There were teardrops forming in Ben’s eyes, something that Ben wasn’t expecting. Now it was Blake’s turn to ask a question.
“So what is your family like?”
“I’ve got two older siblings, one sister and one brother, and one younger sister and I live with my parents.”
Instantly another thought popped into Blake’s mind. ‘I wish that I could see my older brother and my kid brother.’
“Feel free to come over and spoil my little sister all you want.”
Blake’s face just lit up. She wouldn’t replace his little brother, but it was nice to have the offer from Ben.
Ben wanted to know what led the dads to adopt Blake.
“Have your dads ever told you why they adopted you?”
“Well, they were both going to work one day and saw me on the way to the alternative school from where I use to sleep. Somehow, they tracked me down and one thing sort of lead to another and here I am.”
Ben wondered what it was like to be on the streets. Maybe he could convince the student council to do something with the alternative school.
“Do your parents know that you’re gay?”
“Yeah!” Ben said smiling. “It’s not as awesome as having two gay dads, but things are good. I know they love me.”
Ben was lucky because his family was understanding. He lost a good friend who ran away and was never heard from again, and all because of his friend’s dad’s rampant homophobia. He looks back to the age of 12 with some regrets, but overall he was grateful for the way his family handled his coming out.
“My mom actually took some time getting used to the idea and Dad, oddly enough, just accepted it.”
Quietly, he wished that Blake’s family had been supportive. Ian walked through the room with his shirt off and Ben’s eyes moved with him as he moved up the stairs.
“How do you not get wood around him?”
“It was bad the first month or two, but I started thinking of them as my dads, and when that happened things got a little easier.”
Then Blake asked, “Have you ever had a boyfriend before?”
“Yes, but we only lasted a month. He wanted more than I could offer.”
“He wanted to take my virginity and I wouldn’t let him. I wasn’t sure why at the time, but I know now that he wasn’t the one who was supposed to take it.”
Ben has sparked Blake’s curiosity. The news that Ben was a virgin hit Blake. Ben was saving himself for his man. The young man sitting across from Blake has no idea how happy he just made Blake.
“Do you have any pets?”
“My dad, Ian, has a dedicated pet room, and somewhere there is a cat.”
“Can I see the pet room?”
Blake headed to the room with Ben following. They looked at all the animals, saving the snake for last. Without saying what was in the tank, Blake carefully opened it and removed the hide. With the snake revealed, Blake lifts the snake out of the tank. Ben’s eyes got huge.
“Is it your snake?”
“What type is it?”
“She’s a corn snake. She’s just a baby. Want to hold her?”
“Umm… maybe later!”
He did want to hold her, but he wanted something else first. Ben was fascinated with the time that Blake spent out on the streets.
“Blake, how long were you living on the streets?”
“I guess I was out there for about three to four months.
Ben hated the idea of his new friend being out on the streets. “I don’t know how you managed to survive three months out there.”
Blake wasn’t sure either, but he did and that is all that matters.
“I survived because I had to. Somehow I knew that I wouldn’t be on the streets forever.”
Blake’s faith kept him going in his darkest days. The streets were just a stepping-stone. They lead him to Trace and Ian and ultimately to where he is today.
“Did you ever eat out of garbage cans?” Ben’s face showed a hint of disgust at the idea of finding one’s meal out of a garbage can.
“Luckily, no, I managed to ask for money, was given food, or ate in one of the soup kitchens.”
“So your dads took you off the streets?”
“Yeah, but it wasn’t easy. It took some powerful friends to get me into their home as fast as they did.”
Hmmm… those friends deserve a gift or something. Ben owes them big time. Without them, he realizes that he may not have met Blake.
“Blake, is there any way that I could see where you slept when you were on the streets.”
“Well, I need to ask Ian about taking us to the building.” And he left Ben to find Ian.
Knowing that dinnertime was coming closer and closer, the first place he looked was in the kitchen. Sure enough, Ian was bent over in the fridge getting vegetables for whatever he was making. Blake waited patiently for Ian to finish digging through the crisper drawer.
“Hey bud, what’s up?”
“Dad, I need a huge favor.”
“What do you want?”
“Ben wants to see where I used to sleep when I was on the streets. Could you take us out there?”
Ian looked at the pot on the stove and the veggies that he just got out of the refrigerator. He turned off the stove and put the veggies back in the fridge. Blake didn’t need his dad to give him a verbal answer. He knew that Ian doesn’t stop cooking for anyone.
“Okay, get out to the car.”
Blake ran out of the kitchen and straight up to Ben. He looked into Ben’s eyes for a second or two before telling him what Ian said. He just loved looking into those eyes. There just wasn’t time for that right now. Ben grabbed his camera and followed Blake out to the car. Ian already had the car running and the backdoors open. As the teens entered the car, they closed the doors.
“Blake, are we going to the building near the alternative school or the City Center Shelter?”
“The building that I used to sleep in near the school.”
“Okay.” Ian took off towards the other side of town.
On the way over to the site, Ben watched, as Blake grew more and more tense. He too was growing antsy as he watched his friend become more uncomfortable. He’s beginning to wonder if this visit into Blake’s recent past is really worth it. His idea was simply to see where Blake had been living before being adopted. Of course, he’s only getting a part of the story. As they arrived at the building, Blake felt apprehensive about being there. He remembers the nights that he froze, the loneliness he felt each night, and the emptiness of his life at that point in time.
Ian stopped the car and looked back at the teens. “Well, here we are.”
Ben could see the pain this place caused Blake. “Blake, we can leave if you want.”
“No… this place is a part of my life, no matter how painful it might be. I can’t ignore it.”
Ben got out of the car and slowly approached the building with his camera in hand. Blake got out and followed in behind him. He came up behind Ben and pointed to an open doorway.
“I slept right over there.”
Ben stepped inside the building. It was dark, musty and, of course, dirty. It was hard to imagine anyone willingly taking shelter in such a place. Ben saw a spot where a pile of old clothes lay on the floor.
“Is that really where you slept?”
“Only during the week, when there was school going on. The rest of the time I was at one shelter or another.”
Ben snapped a few photos of the inside of building and then turned to Blake. “Blake, I hope you’re okay. I… didn’t mean to upset you.”
“I’m fine. It was just a little hard to revisit this place.”
Ben felt guilty for causing Blake to remember his past. They emerged from the building together and Ian immediately recognized the pain on his son’s face. What Ian could never have seen is the happiness that was in his son’s heart.
Blake wanted to surprise his new friend by taking him to the last place he stayed before coming home to Ian’s and Trace’s house.
“Dad, can we stop by City Center Shelter?”
“Alright. Are we visiting anyone today?”
Blake was quiet as he contemplated his dad’s question.
“No, not today Dad.”
“Okay.” Ian is glad that Blake wasn’t going to go inside the shelter on this trip. He wanted to get back home and finish his cooking. Hopefully this last stop would satisfy Ben and give him a better idea of what Blake’s past was like. If nothing else, at least the weather is holding.
Ben looks over at Blake and wonders what the future holds for him. It’s taking all his will power not to reach across and grab hold of Blake’s arms. He never thought that he’d meet anyone at school that he wanted to date. Maybe it’s because his friend seems so vulnerable right now, but Ben finds himself lost in Blake’s eyes.
It didn’t take Ian long to reach the shelter. As the car came to a stop, everyone undid their seat belts and got out of the car. This building and the memories it holds cause Blake to feel good.
“This building is where I met Ian and Trace, my dads, for the first time. It’s also where I found out that I was going to be their son.”
Ben glances first at the building and then smiles over at Blake. He wants so badly to ask Blake out right now. He also glances back at Blake’s dad and notices that he looks worried.
Ian was watching Blake. The pain on his face from earlier looked like it was returning. Sure enough, the tears are returning.
“Dad, Ben, I… I think we should go home.”
Neither Ian nor Ben questioned Blake’s request. Everyone loaded up into the car and headed back to the house.
When they arrived at home, Blake knew he didn’t want to Ben to go just yet. “Do you think that you could stay just a little bit longer?”
Ben glanced at the time. It was already 6:00 pm. Man, time has really moved fast. It’s just about time for dinner at his house. Ben pulled out his phone and dialed his house.
“Dad, can I stay a bit longer over at Blake’s house? … Thanks! I’ll let them know.”
Ben ended the call and started talking to Blake.
“Hey Blake, my mom wants to meet your parents.”
“As soon as Trace gets home, I’ll let them know. So what is your favorite food?”
“It has to be Mac and Cheese. You?”
“Easy: Tacos!” Blake said as he licked his lips at the thought of food.
The questions had to keep coming. Blake wanted to know more about the teen sitting in front of him. He wanted to get a feeling for this guy. He wanted this evening to be perfect. Blake asked another question. “Favorite Book?”
“Hmmm… a bit of a tough question there, but I’m going to say The Chronicles of Narnia.”
“I think my current favorite is Latter-Days.”
Ben smiled and nodded. “I love that book too. My mom got it for me for Christmas.”
It was amazing how they seemed to connect and the book was just one example. The boys, it seemed, were connecting and it wasn’t just their questions that made it happen. By just spending time together, the two teens are finding that their bond is growing closer. They sat across from each other and just gazed into each other’s eyes. Ian appeared in the room interrupting their staring contest and offered them banana splits.
The boys went to town on their splits while they watch some television. Blake was loving the evening even more than he thought was possible. Ever since Christmas Eve, he’s dreamed of this night. Someday, maybe, they’ll be able to spend every night like this. Blake stops himself before he gets too far ahead of himself.
Blake wants to tell Ben what’s on his mind. He’s just a little shy. “Ben, I really want to be more than friends, but I promised my dad that I wouldn’t rush into anything. What would you think if I asked you to be my boyfriend anyway?”
Blake didn’t want to be just friends, and neither did Ben. They knew exactly what they were doing. Trace and Ian may not approve, but then they haven’t been waiting on pins and needles for this night.
“I hope you don’t walk away from me.”
Ben smiled and put his hands on top of Blake’s hands. “I’m not planning on walking away from you ever.”
As they sat there, Blake’s phone went off. He looked at the screen and noticed that it was Ian. Immediately, he thought this was strange, especially since his dad was in the house.
“Dad, I know it’s getting late, but… okay.” Blake looks over at Ben with a frown, “My dad said it’s getting late, and we need to get you home.”
Just as Blake ended the call, Ben’s phone rang. “Oh… you’re already outside the house.”
Then it hit Blake, that he never gave Ben the address or told him how to get to the house. “How did you manage to find the house? I never gave you instructions.”
“Umm… actually, Ashley had already taken care of that for you… well in advance of tonight, so don’t worry about that. Oh by the way, I would love to be your boyfriend.”
Ben gave Blake a hug, their first hug officially as boyfriends.
Blake followed Ben downstairs, barely able to hold in his thoughts as he passed by Ian. Blake opened the front door and then opened the screen door for him. Ben gave him a quick peck on the cheek as he walked past.
He watched as Ben got into the car and then closed the door behind him. Knowing the minute that he turned, Ian would be there wanting to know what the kiss was about.
He was right.
“I take it that you decided against waiting a little bit before asking him out, huh?”
Ian almost sounded disappointed that Blake didn’t wait. Blake stood there just looking at Ian.
‘Did they honestly think that I could just be friends with a guy that I’ve wanted to ask out since Christmas Eve?’ Blake thought to himself.
Ian was just playing off what Trace had told Blake. He knew that his son wouldn’t wait to ask Ben out.
“Well, should I call Trace now?”
“Yeah, I think you had better and umm… congratulations.”
“Thanks Dad!” Blake pulled out his phone and sat down in the living room.
As he sat down and found Trace’s phone in his phonebook, he pressed send. Trace wasted no time in answering the phone.
“Well, how did the evening go?”
Blake wanted to just go on and on about how everything was just perfect. He wanted to give Trace a minute by minute recap of the entire evening. Instead, he decided on just the highlights.
“Well, we talked for little while and then Ben asked if he could see the building where I slept near the alternative school, so Dad drove us out there. We saw the City Center Shelter, and then came home and talked some more. Dad was the hero of the day and made banana splits for us. After that we talked some more and watched a movie and then it was time for him to go home.”
Trace was impressed. It sounded like the evening was a success.
“Ummm… Dad, I know I told you that I shouldn’t rush into anything, but I just couldn’t’ wait any longer. I asked him to be my boyfriend.”
Now Blake was scared. Was Trace going to be upset or was he going to blow it off? The silence went a little longer than Blake would have liked it to.
“Son, I knew you wouldn’t wait. I just… I don’t know. I’m happy for you. Maybe one of these days, I’ll get to meet him. Are you happy?”
“Yeah… I think I’m on cloud nine.”
“I have four more hours of work to go, so I’ll let you go. You had better call Ashley and tell her ‘thanks’.”
“I will, Dad; I love you. Be safe!”
“I love you too, son. Thanks!”
Blake ended the call and immediately brought up his phone book and dialed Ashley.
He was hoping that this phone call would be quick. He wanted to eat. Maybe he should eat and then call Ashley.
“Hey, so did you ask him out?”
There was no “Hi!” or “Hello!” Blake was finding that pretty typical of his Aunt. She seemed pretty strong-willed.
“I figured you would. Did he say ‘No’?”
“No!” ‘Why would he say no?’ he thought as he waited for her to continue talking. She remained quiet, waiting for Blake to say something.
“Are you for real? He said yes.”
She started laughing over the phone. First she teases him about his answer and now she’s laughing at him. Ashley is one weird girl.
“All I can say is I’m glad this is over with. I won’t have to hear any more about ‘Why isn’t he asking me out?’ Congrats, Blake!”
“Thanks Ashley! I need to go eat. Talk to you later!”
by Chuck B