I wish I had a way to explain it…but I don’t.

I wish I could figure out a way to get rid of it…but I can’t.

Why did it happen? Why on this particular weekend, on this particular beach, with this particular boy, at that particular moment? It just…it’s WAY too confusing for this to make any sense to me at all!

It’s not like Crispen and I haven’t been friends for almost ten months now. I’m going to turn 12 in a few weeks, and that’s almost a whole month before he does. But we’re still pretty close together in age, and I just happened to meet him at the beginning of the school year. Talking to him has always been so easy. Plus he makes me laugh. Nobody makes me laugh like Crispen can. He can just be like, “Hey, Kyle!” And the second he gets my attention, he’ll do something like cross his eyes or stick out his tongue, and I can’t stop giggling for like a whole five minutes! I don’t even know what’s funny about it, really…it just…it feels good that he even thought to take a moment out of his life to make me smile. It feels like I’m being severely tickled from the inside, and then I just…I start laughing, and I don’t know how to stop.

It’s not something that I really thought much about before today. Things were different then, I guess. But now…I feel really weird about being around him.

I don’t even know if I want to invite him to my birthday party anymore. I mean, it’s not that I don’t want him there, I just…I don’t know what I’m going to feel now whenever he shows up and gets close to me. It’s like my comfort zone has suddenly expanded to keep him at 200 feet away from me at all times. It’s the only way for me to remember how to breathe properly. I mean, will anybody else at my party even matter if Crispen shows up? I’d want him to just be…exclusive, you know? Just him and me. Nobody else. What am I going to do??? This whole thing just sort of blindsided me out of nowhere, and now I’m stuck with these…thoughts.

These…incredibly awkward thoughts!

Crispen and I had been hanging out so much over the past few months that our parents finally figured that they’d better get to know each other better in order to keep a handle on things. Especially once we got into weekly ‘sleepover’ habits. Oh God…I just now realized that Crispen had been sleeping in the same bed with me for a few months now with nothing but our pajamas on. Whoah! How did I not notice how insanely beautiful he was back then? Wow…does this mean I can’t have sleepovers with him anymore either? I’m going to totally lose my shit if I think about him laying in the bed next to me like that from now on! Hearing his soft breathing…feeling the subtle warmth of his body heat…the thin texture of his pajama bottoms being the only defense that he has against me totally perving over his sexy private parts like I really wished that I could.

Crispen’s parents and his little brother Sammy decided to come to the beach with us today for a picnic and some swimming and stuff. I was super excited to see him again and spend the day just hanging out, you know? But I’m always happy to see my best friend. There’s nothing new or out of the ordinary about that, right? It was just supposed to be fun. But something went all funny inside of me today and now I cant seem to make it go away. Why won’t it go away?

I just…I ‘felt’ it. It was so random that I couldn’t quite figure out what was causing me to shake and wiggle inside the way I was at the time. Something had changed within me. Seemingly overnight. And I remembered the exact moment that it happened.

Crispen and I were being the goofy pals that we had always been on the 40 minute drive out to the big beach on the North side of town, and of course, his little brother, Sammy, just HAD to ride in the same car with us, because that’s what little brothers do. They RUIN everything! But as we were sitting in the backseat, with some music playing on the radio…Crispen and I started singing along with it, and I looked at his smiling face…

It’s not like I had never seen his amazing smile a million times before. But…I don’t know…today it looked extra cool.

Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘Call Me Maybe’. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that song ever again. I had heard that song a million times before. To the point where I was actually sick of it, to be honest. But…Crispen’s cute little freckles and a sweet smile gave it a whole new meaning for me. He brushed some of his dark brown locks out of his eyes, and he was singing with the sweetest little voice, dancing a little bit while he did it. Hehehe, an awkward little dance, but at least it was in time with the beat. And I don’t know if the sunlight just happened to hit him from a certain angle through the car window, or if it was the song, or the cute little bob of his head as he moved his shoulders back and forth…but he suddenly became absolutely radiant to me. I mean…I, seriously, almost leaned over and kissed him on the cheek on instinct alone. I’m not exactly sure why…but I never wanted anything more in that one moment. It’s like when you see the cutest puppy ever, and all you want to do is pick it up and snuggle it against your face while it whimpers and licks you over. Yeah, it was like that…but more intense. I actually had an urge to snuggle Crispen up against my face! What does that even mean? Crispen isn’t a puppy, he’s my bestest friend in the world. The feeling scared me…and I had to look away from him to keep from being uncomfortable.

But it didn’t stop there…

We got to the beach, and we played around, and…I was trying really hard to just be normal, you know? I wanted to ignore these new feelings and just pal around in the sun for a while. But they wouldn’t leave me alone. Did you know that almost everything that Crispen does is cute??? I didn’t notice that yesterday, but today, it was almost blinding. The way he walks is cute. The way he takes a bite out of his hot dog is cute. The way he smooths out his hair when he thinks nobody is looking is cute. He’s like an endless fountain of immaculate beauty, and I feel like an idiot for taking that cuteness for granted for so long. JESUS, he’s cute! Look at him! He’s just…he’s so….

Trying to shake myself free of his spell proved to be a futile pursuit. Things only got worse when we were going to go for a swim. He had on his swim trunks, and no shirt…and his nipples were so tiny and cute. And his flat tummy and shallow belly button…and then we got wet…and that just drove me crazy. His swim trunks were clinging to him in the most seductive way. You could clearly see his butt and the little cleft in between his round cheeks. It was so awesome. I could mentally remove the swim trunks completely and picture him naked. That’s how amazing it was. We were swimming past each other, and he’d touch me…and I’d immediately get dizzy with infatuation. I wrestle with Crispen all the time…but I don’t know if my heart can take it anymore. He’s so…slim and wiggly. And his wet skin was smooth, and slippery, and warm. At one point, we were splashing around in the water and I grabbed him from behind. I didn’t mean to do it, honest. It was just something that happened. And I could feel the ‘smoosh’ of his tight little butt against my lap…and my heart nearly exploded! It only lasted for a few seconds, but he had driven me totally insane with just that little bit of contact. Then he giggled and shook his head back and forth so his hair could sprinkle water in my eyes, and I had to let him go. I had to laugh too. Because…you know…everything he does is ‘puppy dog’ cute.

Then…we got out of the water and were still sort of goofing around on the beach. We were both trying to get each other to fall, and I eventually tripped Crispen and sent him falling back into the sand. We wrestled for a bit, hehehe, getting ourselves all dirty as he tried to throw me off of him…but eventually, he had to give up. I was laying on top of him, firmly nestled between his legs, pinning both of his arms down. And, with a bit of a sigh, I felt his struggling stop. His muscles relaxed, and he got all….soft. Everything about him was so soft.

We were breathing hard at first, panting from our epic battle, but it soon slowed down, and I looked down at his smile. That mind-blowing smile. His hair was a bit messy, his spattering of boyish freckles darkened by his exposure to the sun today…sand on his face…it was just…this one golden moment of realization that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to take back or deny.

I was gay. And I was in love with Crispen.

Don’t ask me how I knew, I just…KNEW!

His soft brown eyes looked up at me. His grin was so perfect in that moment. His breath…it smelled like ice cream sandwiches. That’s the only thing that I could compare it to. I’ve never seen a boy more beautiful. My heart began to race. I had been swept into a moment of utter panic as I felt my hips press into him. It was involuntary. I didn’t do it on purpose, I swear! And I could ‘feel’ him. Between my wet swim trunks and his, the pressure that I used to pin him down had brought our privates into contact with each other, smashing them together in a way that sent chills surging throughout my entire body. I actually started to get stiff down there, and I knew I was going to have to get off of him and find a way to hide it before he caught on…but…

…I really didn’t want to…

Looking down at his smiling face..I thought that I was going to KISS him! Right on the lips! I don’t just mean that I wanted to kiss him…I thought I was actually going to DO it! I almost had no choice in the matter! I was losing my self control! And that was absolutely terrifying to me! I didn’t know what to do. I was so CONFUSED! Because what I once thought was a really cool friendship with a boy that I just thought was a cool buddy to have…was suddenly beginning to unravel all at once. You see…that moment didn’t just appear out of nowhere. At first, I thought something had changed between us…but it hadn’t. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that my love had been there from the first day we met. The further my memories went back and re-examined the whole thing, the more I understood just how special Crispen had been to me this whole time. He’s always been cute to me. We’ve always had a special bond. And it was like putting a giant garbage can under a leaking roof…

…It’s just a few drips of water at a time. It’s a temporary solution. But the drips keep coming. And the garbage can fills up and fills up and fills up…until it becomes too heavy to hold anymore. And the water spills over. That’s what it feels like. I’ve been falling for Crispen, one drip at a time…and now my denial just can’t carry the weight of it anymore. It’s spilling over, and I’m left with a worse problem than the one I started out with.

Why am I gay? Did I do something wrong? Am I going to be one of those guys on TV with the rainbow flags and the tight leather pants? Am I going to be one of those kids who gets teased and bullied and rejected for the rest of his life? What if I fall head over heels in love with Crispen and he doesn’t feel the same way? What if he rejects me? What if we can’t be friends anymore? What if I kiss him right now, and Crispen thinks it’s gross? What if he thinks I’M gross? Life seemed SO much more fun, like, 12 hours ago!!!

I never knew much about gay sex…but, then again, I never knew much about straight sex either…so, at least there’s a balance there. All I knew was that I never ever wanted to do sex to somebody more than I did in that one moment, while laying on top of Crispen Flint in the sand.

“Boys? Lunch is ready!” My mom called out, and I suddenly realized that I was still pressing my genitals against Crispen’s in the sand.

“Hehehe, let me up, already!” Crispen giggled sweetly. Sigh….his giggles are cute too. And, as always…it made me giggle too.

I got off of him and reached out a hand to help him up. We brushed as much sand off of ourselves as we could, and then raced each other to the picnic table to see who would get first dibbs on the burgers our parents cooked for lunch.

Crispen still makes me laugh. He makes me feel so alive when he’s around. I almost feel a pinch of shame for thinking about him in a way that he would probably not approve of if he knew about it. But…I can’t help it. And, at least for now…it feels good. Really good. And I’m not sure where this is going, or if it’ll ever go anywhere at all…but…this is a day that I’m never going to forget.

I hadn’t planned on it. I could never have predicted it. And I have no idea what to do with the feelings that sprung up because of it.

But…in that ONE moment…I understood who I was. What I wanted. And the one boy that could deliver me an infinite level of joy and bliss…if only he would say ‘yes’.

Published June 13, 2019