It's a humid day in the middle of May. California has a funny way of making you wonder. You can wake up covered in sweat from a warm night, go to school covered up against the Bay Area fog, strip halfway through the day to avoid sudden heatstroke, then put your layers back on at night to avoid pneumonia.
It's like Mother Nature on her time of the month. Every day.
We've literally devoured an entire bag of chips in 10 minutes and quenched the heat with 5 Arizonas. It was a scorching 92 degrees.
But it was still not as hot as he was.
This stupid little crush started when he texted me one day. Then that turned into this weird feeling I can't shake off. It's like, who are you? How dare you make me feel this way. I'm not even gay. But your personality is so magnetic. There's a certain buzz in the air when I'm near you.
We've been sitting under the sun in his backyard for an hour and a half. This idiot forgot his keys inside, so now we're sitting ducks, waiting for someone to let us in.
He shows me a picture of a girl on Facebook.
"She's kinda hot." No, she wasn't. You are. I am. Or, at least, I think I am? I've been on Wii Fit every day doing yoga and shit since I started having feelings for you. Have you noticed it?
Finally, someone let us in.
The inside of his house was like an oven. If that were so, we were both Doritos-stuffed chicken.
"Do you want to play Black Ops?" He asked
"Yeah." Fuck yeah. Anything. With you. Literally anything.
He takes his shirt off, sweaty, and changes into a new one. Fuck.
Then he tosses me a controller, which somehow lands on my lap. A sign?
I should pull a move. Nah, his parents are home. Okay, but what if I did? What's the worst that can happen? Will a "no-homo" be enough?
"Why are you sitting so far?" He asks, motioning me, "come sit next to me closer to the TV."
I move next to his bed. Dammit.
We spend the next 30 minutes killing some Nazi zombies in Kino der Toten. The whole time, my heart was beating. Was it because it was round 21 and I haven't even used the Perk-A-Cola? Or was it straight up this weird vibe he's giving off.
Fuck. He's hot.
Game ends. He died, and I couldn't revive him. And then it happened.
He crunches his fist, aiming for a playful punch, which turns into a gentle shoulder tap. His hand stays on my shoulder. Then he gives me a weird squeeze.
And then dead silence. No words. No movement. Just the zombies piano riff from Black Ops playing, and intense heartbeat. Should I say something? Maybe he's like me. Maybe this could be a thing, you know? I've been at his place a lot. We've been texting a lot. Why not?
He looks right at me.
Okay, say something. Something not dumb. 'Are you gay?' No, something less conspicuous, idiot. 'Have you ever thought about kissing a guy?' Okay, maybe. Try again. 'Dude, I gotta say, I think she might like you if you tell her. You're kinda cute. No homo but yeah, just tell her that you like her.' Okay, that works. Ease up on it, then feel around a little. No, not that way. Like, try to see where he is.
Okay... Say it. Like, right now. Come on. Just come out with it. It's now or never.
It's been way too long. Okay? Fuck. Just say a word. Any word. Like, any word at all. Goddammit, he's staring right at you. Mutter something. For fucks sake, say a goddamn word.
A loud horn comes from outside, followed by a beep on my phone.
You fucking moron.
"Is that your ride?"
I jump off his bed, collect my things, and he walks me out. He lets out a sigh. Was it a sigh of disappointment, or a sigh of tiredness? God, I hate myself. I want to bang my head against a wall. When I come out of his house, can someone run me over before I get in the car? Please.
I hate middle school.
People will probably come out in high school, right? Then I won't be alone. It's like Glee or something. It's 2010. It's okay to like boys.
As soon as I get home, I crash my bed, then fall into a long but deserved Thursday night nap.
Should I have said something? Maybe. Should I try again? God, this is complicated. Why can't I like girls like everyone else? I've faked a girlfriend. Half of the people I told believed me. I should just do it again. I hate feeling this way. Can it go away?
I just want to be normal.
But he's so hot.