Chapter 52


I was just a dither today.

I don’t know if you ever have days where you just feel ‘out of phase’ with reality? Well, I kinda sorta did today.  I think it was brought on by a lot of, I guess, unresolved things from this past week.  It was a fairly ‘nothing’ kind of week, really, but . . . there was a lot going on, I don’t know, under the surface, I guess.

Maybe, I just didn’t have enough to do today. No plans at all. Hell, I even had to ‘make up’ some chores to do. What is that all about? I’m hoping this isn’t what my summer is going to be like. I don’t know if I could survive it!

My thinker gets stuck in ‘crazy’ mode if I don’t have something to do, I guess. In any case, yeah . . . lots to process.

Marie hasn’t called or anything. I really . . . miss her already and she isn’t even going anywhere for months! I suppose, it is that feeling in me that I have been getting all through this week. The ‘unshackled’ feeling. I now don’t feel so much unshackled as I feel . . . I don’t know . . . cut loose? That might sound good, but actually it’s confusing and. . . lonely! I really did think I could go on with Marie and that she might be able to cure me or whatever.  That, of course, is a terrible thing to put on someone! That they are a means to an end.  Maybe, that’s one of the good things about this: her going away is forcing me to face the truth, like I said before, without distractions!

Yet, I know this must be making her sad, I guess. Maybe, I should reach out to her today or would that just be prolonging the pain for her?  Maybe, but wouldn’t it be better to spend as much time having fun together as possible before she ‘shoves off’ as my Dad likes to put it?

Then, of course, there’s the Billy thing . . . per usual.

Is he going to call me like planned? Am I supposed to call him first? Why do I feel nervous just thinking about reaching out to him for a change?  He’s always the one being proactive with me!  He’s always the one doing the heavy-lifting and yet . . . I’m the one that has true feelings for him!  You’d think it was me getting all creepy and stalkery on Billy with how much I carry on about him!  That’s something to think about: if Billy is straight and Joanne’s main squeeze then why does he seek me out so . . . new word . . . ardently?  Then again, lots of guy friends I’ve made are the same way. Look at Jamie, for God’s sake!  He is the most popular guy in school and he sought me out?  Then there’s Stevie who, I’m sure, would have much better fun with his Emo skater friends than with me. I mean, I haven’t even had the nerve to ask Stevie over yet!  Part of me is stalling on that because I’m not entirely sure how my Dad would take to Stevie. He looks like ‘bad news,’ but that’s only because he likes all that Emo hair and makeup stuff.  He’s, actually, the most normal person I know! Then again, he’s not invited me over yet either, so . . .

Then . . . Bobby?

Honestly, where the hell did HE come from?  I don’t share any classes with him and I have never seen where he hangs out during lunch so . . . how did he track me down in the Library where hardly anyone else goes? All I can figure is that he followed Billy in one day since they seem to know each other fairly well.  Of course, that brings into it the strange interaction last week between Bobby, myself, and Billy.

There was no two ways about it: Billy was jealous!  If my heart wasn’t so meltable in Billy’s presence, I’d have thought him quite rude for how he, sort of, ‘stomped’ over and stepped all over my conversation with Bobby.  But, instead, I felt a bit honored that Billy should be that interested in me that he should get jealous of my attention to some other guy.

Why would he care that much? Why, with my suspicions of Bobby present in my mind, would Billy feel the need to get between Bobby and me?

What’s Bobby’s game, coming out of the woodwork like he is, and seeming to enjoy getting a rise out of Billy? Am I some pawn in a game of his to out Billy and take him for his very own? Should I be suspicious and jealous now?

I swear to a loving God that I can drive myself absolutely bonkers with this ‘Dawson’s Creek’ kind of melodrama!  I need to leave it alone, I guess. If I don’t invest too much in this Bobby thing, I might be able to use it to my own advantage and see what it shows me of Billy.

I keep thinking or rather feeling a vibe off of him!  A way he looks at me. A way he smiles . . . it’s different than the way any other guy looks at me. It’s like a ‘gladness’ there, like I make Billy’s day or moment somehow.

I must wonder if I have a ‘secret smile’ for him too that might be drawing him into these fits of jealousy.

Could he want me like I want him? I’ve asked that so many times, but it’s only because it stays a question but with no clear answer!

But, then what about the Joanna thing? Could his Joanna thing be similar to my Marie thing? Could he be hoping that by letting that happen it will take him to the right place to be?  Could this be or could he be just as confused as I am by the whole thing?

Somehow, I don’t think Billy gets as confused as I do about what he wants.  I think, for him, it’s just a matter of choice where for me . . . it’s a matter of doing what is expected of me rather than what . . . I might want to do.  Do I have a choice? What would happen if I did make a choice and find I made the wrong one? How can I reconcile all this with the things Chandler has been trying to teach me about it being ‘ok to be myself’?

Do I need to wait a little while longer before jumping into anything? Am I still too young to really make a good decision about what I might want and what is ‘right’ for me?

Why can’t it be right to have what I want? Why do I have to always deny myself happiness?

I wish I had answers.

I really do!



I feel so naughty! There’s something so wrong with trading dirty jokes on a Sunday, but when you have a Billy to trade them with . . . how can anyone resist? I know I TOTALLY can’t!

So, we had our long awaited phone call tonight and we had so-o much fun! I was laughing so hard that Sher Sher had to bang on the wall next door and tell me to quiet down since she was reading! That didn’t help her much . . . Billy is just so hilarious he really should think about a career in stand-up. Maybe Bobby’s uncle could hire him or something?

So, Billy goes into perfect Family Guy mode:

“Peter Griffin is at the counter of a record store talking to the store owner showing him some records he just picked out:

Peter: ‘How’s dis one?’

Record Store Owner: ‘Ah, Bach! I highly recommend!’

Peter: ‘And dis one?’

Record Store Owner: ‘Ah, Mozart! Da Boy Genius! Da best!’

Peter: ‘Ok, how about dis?’

Record Store Owner: ‘Ah, DaPussy! I love DaPussy! Sometimes, all I can dink about is DaPussy! Oh, look at da peenist! Da peenist is so-o good wit DaPussy!’ (HEHehehe!)

Peter: ‘So you like his early work?’

Record Store Owner: ‘Oh Yass! When DaPussy was young, dat’s when you want DaPussy!’ (HAHAHAHA! SICK!)

Peter: ‘Ok! I’ll take dees two!’

Record Store Owner: ‘Very good, sir! Just remember to finish on de Bach, never on DaPussy!” (Billy’s Mom: “Billy! Language!”) HAHAHA HEEHEE!

The fact Billy got caught by what sounded like his Mom made it even funnier! I couldn’t breathe!

So, I did my favorite character . . . Herbert the Pervert!

Herbert is at the horse race and sees a ‘little boy’ brushing down a horse:

Herbert says seductively: “He-ey there little fella!”

The ‘little boy’ turns around and is a fully adult jockey about three feet tall.

Jockey in a deep voice says: “I’m 48!”

Jockey walks away and Herbert says to himself: “This whole place is a giant mindfuck!” Hehehe!

It took Billy a second to get it, but then he started wheezing he was laughing so hard! That got me to going which got Sher Sher to banging on the wall again: “Go! To! Sleep!”

Needless to say, I ignored that, but did pipe down a bit so she wouldn’t physically come in and yank the phone out of my hand. Hehehe!

Another thing Billy and I have in common . . . we both love Family Guy and have almost every episode memorized and can do the voices dead on! His Peter Griffin is perfect! Too funny . . .

We went on like that for quite a while until we had to rest from all the side-splitting to catch our breath.

Then . . . something came up that struck a sour note.

“So, what’s the deal with Bobby? You guys seem to be getting pretty friendly!” Billy popped that question, like, right out of the blue! What deal with Bobby? What’s he talking about?

Of course, when I shook the shock of that one off, I remembered the weird vibe from Friday. Was Billy still grinding on that gear? Was I right in thinking he was somehow jealous of Bobby talking with me?

So, I, kind of, put an answer to the question that was never asked Friday, “Bobby? Oh, he’s cool. I dunno, he just started talking to me one day, and he was kinda nice, so we talked.”

Which is the absolute truth! Like I’ve mentioned before, I don’t know where Bobby came from or why he suddenly got interested in me. What’s more, since Stevie’s warning about him, I probably will be talking to him less if I can manage it!

Well, that was just a foreshock of the coming earthquake, because Billy then goes, “Ohhhh, so he’s your new boyfriend, huh?”

That hit me on so many levels I couldn’t tell if I was coming or going!

That jolt was such that all I could come back with was a very dead sounding ‘No’.

I’ll admit, I retreated back into my shell like a snail does when it gets bumped on the nose. Our conversation ended in some awkward small-talk, but I think Billy knew he’d stepped in it somehow.

The fact is that the only thing he did was step closer! It was like he was trying to call me out! It’s a strange feeling when someone you secretly care about a great deal manages to peel away your veil for a second and catch a glimpse of the real person hiding inside. It’s scary, of course, because you don’t know if you can trust such a person with even a kernel of the truth you carry. Especially, a truth that you haven’t entirely admitted to yourself yet.

Then again, you are thrilled that maybe if that person catches that glimpse of the real you they’ll like what they see and want more of it! Along with that is a hope that the whole reason behind his teasing question is to tease out something from you that they might want very much. Namely, they might want you! The real you! They want that real you because they want you to know the real them!

Like I said, it hit me a million ways at once, that simple little tease.

I hope Billy doesn’t take my response to his question the wrong way like he’d done something wrong. I’m afraid I may have left that impression because I was, just, so scrambled up by all it might mean.

Hopefully, we can have a chance to talk more about things. I feel Billy and I are on the edge of something big and deep! Like a great big pool that we’re both about to take a big plunge into together.

I feel a little anxious about it, but also a bit excited!

I’m really starting to get a real feeling that Billy might actually like me in that special way I like him! I can’t ignore the smile he has when he sees me and the look in his eyes. The bashful blush and the deepening dimples in his chipmunk cheeks. What’s more, I’m starting to see a familiar look in those deep brown eyes of his . . . it’s that look of attention and longing that he gets with his best friend Sam!

We’re not at the drooling hero-worship he has for Jamie, yet, though! That just makes me laugh! Billy would so-o get bored with Jamie so fast if he really got to know him. Billy outclasses Mr. Prince Charming right out of the palace! I doubt Billy will ever get that, though.

Somehow, I hope he never does because one of the things that makes Billy Chase so beautiful is that he doesn’t know how beautiful he is!

I hope, one day, I’ll be the only one that can admire Billy for all that beauty that he is!

This is Brandon Hoping . . .

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