Chapter 57


Monday

’Scaur,’ hmmm . . .

I’m not so sure about these guys and if I’d ever actually buy a ticket to see them, but since Bobby already has a ticket and it’s free then I guess I can check them out live. My Dad approved, though, he said that if there was anything ‘weird’ going on in the audience, “Just get out of there.” I would have asked him what ‘weird’ meant, but I figure I know already: passing drugs around, fights, guns going off, explosions, zombie apocolypses, and so forth. I am sure to avoid those if at all possible, though with a band like Scaur, these might not be such far fetched ‘weirdnesses’.

I pegged them as ‘Metal’ since they seem to make lots of ‘crunchy’ loud noises that they put to some kind of thumping rhythm, but I’ll admit that, in some cases, the ‘noise’ actually starts to get catchy after a while! Also, the vocalist wasn’t a screamer like most the Metal bands I’ve heard, but he had a deep sultry voice that was distorted somehow using electronics making him sound, I guess, ‘Darth Vader’ sounding. As a matter of fact, the music was far more ‘Electro’ then it was ‘Metal’. Is ‘Electro’ even a kind of music? I have no idea. I’m such a dweeb when it comes to music!

Bobby corrected me, however. Scaur are not ‘Metal,’ “They’re, like, Industrial! That’s way different than Metal! I don’t like Metal so much. Too, um, ‘screamy’!”

Industrial? Alrighty then!

In other news, I tried my new ‘temptress’ number on Billy today to squeeze out of him some Gay reactions per my Gay Sensei’s instructions. I felt really weird doing it and I’m still not convinced it’s the right way to go about things. It still seems dishonest to me!

He caught up with me while I was racking up the bike. “Hey, Brandon!” He chirped happily. I always get that unexpected thrill when I hear that lovely chirpy voice! It’s just too cute!

“Hi!” I even sounded shy to myself, but this was not going to be a normal conversation with Billy.  This time I was nervous to do what I, guess, I had to do to get Billy to, basically, Out himself to me in some way. I really hate doing this!

But, I need to know! I’d just whip right out and ask if I thought he’d be honest, but even if he is Gay, I doubt he’d just come right out and say, “Sure Brandon and I’ve always wanted to spread you open and turn you out ever since I met you!”

Uuuuumph! If only!

“Looks cold for this time of year! I even had to break out my little hoodie-thingie!”  Billy flipped the hood on for effect. For some reason it made me chuckle. How can something as simple as putting a hoodie on be cute? I don’t know, but Billy always seems to manage it!

“Yeah. Truth be told, I’m, kind of, glad! It was pretty hot last weekend. Yard work is always such a pain when it gets hot and sticky like that. I had to work without my shirt on most of the morning!” I said as we exchanged our typical ‘nothings’ to one another. I think it helped me to settle into having to say what I said next and gage the reaction, though I was hoping the ‘shirt-off’ thing might have sparked something!

“Bobby and I have been emailing a lot, lately! It’s kind of nice. I don’t have too many people around here that, like, just email me just to check on me. Hehehe.” I looked over and Billy was just, sort of, looking blankly as we walked. ‘Come on, Dude!’ I kept thinking, begging him in my mind to show me another sign like he did before at the Mall!

Nothing, so I pressed a little harder, “Bobby’s really cool, you know? I like him a lot.” That seemed to make his jaw work a bit, but still he gave me nothing very telling! I swear Billy should try out for the CIA or that ‘Poker-Broke’ game show! He’s as unreadable as Mandarin Chinese!

So I prodded a little harder, “. . . Don’t you think so?

God, did I say I hated doing this?

But, Billy only agreed, “Yeah, I guess he’s alright.”

Admittedly, it wasn’t said with any great enthusiasm, but, then again, he didn’t sound all that concerned about Bobby either!

Oh my Gurr-rrd! I really had to hold my frustration in check! ‘This wasn’t working! Why the hell is Chandler suggesting I even do this?’ I kept thinking to myself!

But, I continued, “It’s so nice to find someone who you can share stuff with, if you know what I mean. It’s been a while since I’ve had that! As you can see, I’m not overwhelmed with friends. Bobby . . . might be becoming something special!” I blabbed. Ugh! I was so hoping Billy would crack and show me that jealous attitude he had from before! Where was it? Had I misinterpreted the whole thing?

But, I did see Billy’s face tighten a bit more. His ‘Poker Face’ wasn’t nearly as Lady Gaga as he hoped it was! A-ha! I thought it might actually be finally working on him!

But, again, I didn’t want Billy getting too much of the wrong impression about what I was ‘pursuing’ with Bobby. The very truth of the matter is that Bobby really could be that best friend that I could share stuff with and with whom I have some mutual interests! We do have fun together and he’s easy to talk to. He is not, though, as easy to talk to as Billy – this frustrating conversation aside!

It then dawned on me the angle I needed to get something straight (ha) here! Was what Billy wanted from me something like he wants with Sam or was it something else?

“It’s just cool, you know? Kinda like you and Sam in a way,” I let that lie there to see where Billy would take that!

There was a definite shift in his body language that looked far more uncomfortable with that idea. I noticed Billy squirm a bit under his hoodie and he started looking at the ground, or his hands, or that tree over there, or anything other than my face! I could also see a tinge of red go to his cheeks and his brow furrowed with what looked like frustration. I was glad to see that reaction, but at the same time, hated myself for causing it with this really uncomfortable conversation.

“Me and Sam have been together for a long time, so I think what we have might be a little different from what you and Bobby have,” Billy said almost sullenly.

I wanted to stop right there! Billy couldn’t help it, but it came out as much as a rebuke as anything else. It pained me to do so, but I persevered, “So, then . . . how long have you guys been together?”

“Like . . . since we were little kids. We do everything together.” Billy did look over into my eyes at that point and it was a sharp look, almost like he was accusing me of something. My courage was fading and I felt that I was not going anywhere good with this kind of conversation. I certainly didn’t want to drive Billy away with all this, so I turned it back on myself to, sort of, deflect why I was making any comparisons at all. I already knew Sam didn’t care for me very much. It could be from jealousy or from my not wanting to go along with him and that dumb double-date thing with Billy and Joanna. I’m glad I didn’t do it either, because I figured it might have been a ploy to, somehow, drive a wedge between Billy and me and, maybe, Billy and Joanne too! I don’t care for Sam as I have written here before and so, in return, I could only figure that, “Sam really doesn’t like me. I can tell.”

This immediately appealed to Billy’s natural sense of caring and he reassured me, “Sometimes, I don’t think he likes me too much either.”

“I hope I didn’t get in the way of you guys being friends or anything. I’d stay out of it if you wanted me to.” It was a final test, to see if Billy’s feelings for me were anything like what he has for Sam or if they were somehow different.

“He’s really not so bad. He just doesn’t know you like I do, Brandon. He can be kinda harsh on people he doesn’t know. That’s all.” Again, there’s that need to reassure and to, somehow, cushion me from any unhappiness I might have with the ‘Best Friend’ question. ‘He just doesn’t know you like *I* do,’ the way he said ‘I’ sent a sudden shiver down my spine for some reason! Reading it back to myself, it still does!

Does Billy feel like he knows me that well? The way he said it was with such tenderness and he couldn’t help but look me right in the eyes when he said that. Then, there it was! There was that ‘puppy dog’ look of adoration Billy gets when his feelings just can’t be hidden any more!

Yet, I still had to keep Billy wriggling on the end of my hook sadistically. I’m going to have to ask Chandler if there is an easier way to do this, because doing what I did with Billy today was completely exhausting!

I switched subjects back to Bobby, “Well, Bobby said he has tickets for some weird band named ‘Skaur’ this weekend. Like, ‘Metal’ stuff. He asked me if I wanted to go.”

The puppy dog look instantly melted into the funniest ‘sour’ expression on Billy’s face! It was almost disgusted looking! He asked me quite pointedly, “Are you going?”

I felt myself shrug. Honestly, I hadn’t really made up my mind if I should go or not. I’d rather go somewhere and do something with Billy, but . . .

“It’s not really my thing, but . . . I dunno. Maybe. It might be fun. Bobby’s . . . fun,” I had to leave the hook in. That awful hook! I had to keep Billy wriggling until he 1) couldn’t stand it anymore and professes his Gayness to me along with his undying love or 2) couldn’t stand it anymore, cuts loose from the hook, and swims away never to be seen again!

Aw, I don’t like either of these things! Why does everything have to be so complicated for Gay guys? Why do we have to play such games? Honestly, Chandler? Why?

But then, “Ok. Cool. Have fun! Let me know how it goes.” Billy said as he shifted his backpack on his shoulder and turned away leaving me standing there alone before the bell even rang!

I watched him walk away and wondered . . . would I ever really see him again? Was I too ‘ham handed’ with my ‘manipulation’? Is Chandler trying to get me to do brain surgery before I even know how to carve up a pizza?

Did Number 2 just happen today? Did he get loose from my hook and did I just see him swim away forever?

I had more than half a mind to chase him down and tell him it was all a big mistake and that I rather go with him anywhere, anytime, in any way! But, I didn’t. Call me a coward or call me careful to not make things even more weird than they already were today, but I just let him go.

If only he knew . . . how much more I could be for him than Sam ever could be! If only I could tell him that Bobby is, as mean as it may sound, meaningless to me in comparison to Billy! If only I could tell him the truth!

If only . . .

This is Brandon, with an empty fishing line, a very bent rod, and a pocket full of empty ‘if onlies’!

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