New Years Eve arrives and the boys go to a party. This may be Ryan's chance to reveal all to Brendon.
Lying down on my bed, I kicked my shoes off. I placed my hands beneath my head as I stared at my ceiling desperately rifling through each detail of my last conversation.
Brendon has a date. I got a little jealous. Okay, a lot jealous. Talked to Caroline. Brendon went home. Spencer started asking questions. I got mad and told him about Brendon. Shit. That’s not it, though. Keep going. Spencer said Brendon would freak out if he knew I liked him. Why?
Why was he going on the date in the first place? I closed my eyes, digging my palms into my eyes, begging my brain to remember and wishing my heart not to warp my memories.
“I wouldn’t tell him if you didn’t want me to. You seem to be underestimating me. And I really don’t think he’d freak out.”
[/“Because the only reason he’s going on this date is to convince his parents he’s not gay.”
Okay, he had to convince his parents. Doesn’t really answer my question. Think, Ryan.
Spencer was being an asshole and not telling me if Brendon was gay. I wrestled him to the ground.
“You really want to know?” Spencer smiled.
[/“God, Spencer. Just tell me!” I said, trying to wriggle free.
[/“Okay, fine. His parents are right,” he told me.
Holy shit. His parents think he’s gay and he’s trying to convince him that he’s not. The only logical explanation of his wanting to change their view of him…
My eyes shot open. His parents are right. Oh my god. I grabbed my phone and dialed Spencer’s number; it rang twice.
“Took you long enough,” Spencer snorted.
“He is, isn’t he?” I asked, making completely sure this was a legitimate assumption.
“Very good, Ryan,” he mocked.
“You better not be screwing with me. I will kill you,” I threatened, trying to keep my voice down.
“I’m not. I swear,” Spencer said sincerely. “You really like him, don’t you?”
“Yeah,” I smiled, falling back onto my mattress with a muffled thud. “I do.” It was a weird feeling. Lightness. I’ve never actually voiced my feelings for Brendon before. It felt good to say it. It felt… right.
“Are you going to tell him?”
“Fuck no!” I exclaimed, and then looked around, cringing. I prayed that didn’t wake my dad up. I waited a few moments before breathing a sigh of relief as I heard him still snoring.
“Why not?” Spencer questioned.
“I don’t know. Maybe I will,” I admitted, raking my fingers through my hair. “Just not right now. Besides, just because he’s gay doesn’t mean he’s into me.” Although I would love if he was. Literally.
“Yeah, I guess. But still!” Spencer said, sounding girlishly giddy.
I sighed, still smiling to myself. “Even if I were to tell him, it’s not just something that comes up,” I told him.
“It could. But you should probably be sure before you say anything.”
“Don’t worry, Spence. I’m sure.”
“How was Friday night?” I asked Brendon as we walked to lunch from our trig class.
“Eh, it was alright,” Brendon told me. “Isabelle— she’s okay, I guess. My parents seem pleased so that’s a plus. I was only doing it to get them off my back.”
“Are you gonna go out with her again?” I asked casually, pulling out my sandwich from my bag.
“Probably not. I mean, she’s nice and everything, but she’s not really my type,” he shrugged.
You don’t say, I thought with a stifled smile.
“No? Well, that’s too bad. Sorry, man,” I said, trying to sound sympathetic.
“It’s fine,” he said, taking a bite of his turkey sandwich. “Besides,” he swallowed, “I kind of had my mind on someone else.”
I swallowed hard and felt my face flush fiercely. “Oh yeah?” I asked, making my voice sound as even as possible. “Who?”
“I can’t believe it! Mrs. Lexley gave me a C- on that Brit lit paper,” Spencer interrupted, plopping down next to me.
Brendon looked away from me and answered, “Really?”
“Yeah. I hate her so much. What did you get?”
“Oh, an A,” Brendon muttered under his breath, taking a drink of water.
“You suck. I spent all night writing that paper,” Spencer complained, slapping the paper down on the table. “How did Friday go?” he asked apparently over his rant.
“Fine. Not going out with her again, though,” Brendon answered him. “My parents seemed to buy it.”
“Well that’s good, I guess.”
Awkwardness ensued so I made a nonchalant dash to my backpack and dug out my iPod and book. Burying my nose behind the pages, I looked up every so often at Brendon trying to decipher his expression. His eyes were calm, but held a hidden truth. His shoulders seemed tense; that truth bursting at the seams. My feet were bouncing on the tile floor, as I prayed for a moment alone with Brendon so he could tell me who had been occupying his thoughts. Unfortunately, that moment never came and the final bell rang and I went home. Spencer left with Brendon to go study.
When I got home, I turned my phone over and over in my hands as I tried to decide whether or not to text Spencer. I sure as hell couldn’t text Brendon. Yeah, I was wondering who you were interested in because I really hope it’s me. No. Spencer was with him so maybe I could make him bring it up casually with him.
Ask him who he likes. He said he did before you came into the cafeteria today, but didn’t say who. I need to know! Send.
I got up and paced the living room while I eagerly awaited Spencer’s answer. I jumped when I felt my phone buzz against my palm
No way! You want to know so bad, ask him yourself.
But I didn’t.
I never managed to muster up enough courage. I thought of different ways I could tell him. Bring it up casually or spontaneously kiss him. Either of those would have done the job. It always seemed like the wrong time or we were surrounded by people. December came and it got increasingly harder to be around him without having to control myself. If I didn’t tell him soon, I’d lose all sense of myself and kiss him in front of our math class and god knows that would not go over well.
Winter break neared and everyone was excited to get two weeks off of school. Of course, teachers, being the thoughtless bastards that they are, decided to pile on the tests the day before break. We survived the day, though, and left our last classes with a contented sigh knowing we didn’t have to come back to the hell-hole for a while. Grabbing my books from my locker, I headed out dodging people left and right in the pre-Christmas riot.
“Hey Ryan!” I heard Spencer yell from behind me. I stopped in the busy hallway and waited for him.
“Hey,” I said when he approached me.
“My friend, Ian, is having a New Year’s Eve party and he told me to invite whoever I wanted. I told Brendon too,” Spencer told me as we walked.
“Oh, yeah. That sounds good,” I said. I never have plans on New Years. Well, I guess I do, but going to Spencer’s every year with his sister’s doesn’t really count. They always fall asleep before midnight and me and Spencer have to be really quiet. Plus, his mom is home. Ginger’s awesome, but it’s still sort of awkward.
I’ve never been to a real party before. This should be interesting.
When New Years Eve arrived, I changed my outfit about four times before I finally settled on a simple black button down and dark wash jeans. I’m like a girl or something. It’s not like I even have a large variety of clothing to choose from. My wardrobe consists of band t-shirts, jeans, and black or gray sweatshirts.
I drove over to Spencer’s to pick him up with a promise to his mother that we’d be back around two. I was really nervous for this party. I had been planning to ask Brendon out or something or at least tell him how I feel. Keeping this in is killing me.
Walking in the door to Ian’s house, we were greeted by surprisingly good music; Brandon Flowers was singing their famous “Somebody Told Me” in the background. The room was dimly lit with pieces of scattered furniture around the edges, making space for a makeshift dance floor in the center. Some people talked, some danced, some drank, and some were even making out in the couches, but Spencer and I ignored them as we pushed past the bodies to find Brendon.
Some people moved out of the way and I saw Brendon in the clearing talking to another guy, my heart sinking. He was very attractive. That tall, dark, mysterious type. He reminded me of myself as he sported dark jeans and a black jacket with buckles and zippers. I’d seen him around school. I think he plays varsity baseball. Dillon, Devon, Dallon something? He held a red plastic cup, taking periodic sips as they talked. Just walk away now, Brendon. I beg you.
I told Spencer I was going to get something to drink as an excuse to avoid seeing Brendon get reeled in by someone else. I reached the punch bowl, but realized it was probably spiked so I grabbed a can of Pepsi instead. Snapping open the top, I felt a tap on my shoulder. Turning around I saw a girl staring back at me.
“Hey,” she said with a grin. She had blonde hair and green eyes and wore a loose purple striped t-shirt over a tank top. Her eyes would have been more beautiful if they weren’t hidden under all that black eyeliner.
“Hi,” I said back, a little confused. Why would a girl be coming up to talk to me?
“I’m Jac,” she told me.
“Did you want to dance?” she asked, biting her lower lip nervously.
“Um… I’m actually trying to find someone. Maybe later?” I suggested, trying not to be rude.
“Oh,” her expression fell. “Sure. See you, Ryan,” she faked a smile and walked back to her waiting friends.
Ryan Ross: breaking hearts since 1986.
“Ryan!” Spencer called to me, grabbing my shoulder. “I found Brendon,” he told me. I followed him obediently preparing myself to see him with someone else.
“Hey, Ryan,” Brendon greeted. He was alone. Thank God.
“You guys got here late. It’s almost midnight,” Brendon pointed out.
“Oh, yeah. I had to fight to put my little sisters to bed,” Spencer explained.
“Twenty minutes ‘til 2003 everybody!” I heard someone shout over the crowd.
I stayed quiet, listening to Brendon and Spencer talk about who knows what. My mind was everywhere but their conversation; particularly what was beneath Brendon’s clothes. They were too enthralled in their conversation to notice my wandering eyes in Brendon’s direction. It’s good the room was dimly lit so they couldn’t see my blushing cheeks.
One particular topic reached my ears and I paid close attention. They were doing that obnoxiously annoying game of “who do you like?” You know that game? Of course you do. You’ve probably played it at least a dozen times.
Spencer said he had his eyes on a short brunette in a striped dress, but no one that he was really interested in. He then turned the tables and asked Brendon.
He shrugged and said, “No one.”
“Oh, come on,” Spencer laughed.
“It’s true,” he shrugged again. “How about you, Ryan?” I merely shrugged and shook my head.
All of a sudden the countdown from sixty begins. Everyone chanted the seconds until a new year begun. I looked over at Brendon and Spencer as they joined in, the juvenile game long forgotten. I merely muttered the decreasing numbers under my breath. When we reached zero, everyone cheered to bring in 2003. Couples kissed and friends hugged and high-fived. I wish I could have just kissed Brendon then and there, but that wouldn’t have been the wisest thing to do.
“I’m going to go get some air,” I told Brendon and Spencer over the music, hoping they heard me.
“I’ll come too,” Brendon’s lips read. My heart started its rapid beating as my stomach jumped to my throat. We pushed our way through dancing bodies to the deck out back. I stood next to Brendon breathing in the brisk air, leaning against the wooden railing. I took a deep breath and looked up at the sky. A Cheshire cat smile shaped moon hung brightly behind gray lingering clouds. I closed my eyes, taking another breath.
This was it. You can do this, Ryan. Just tell him. Or better yet, don’t say anything. Just kiss
him. You know you’ve always wondered how that would be; the countless nights laying awake fantasizing about those perfectly full lips on yours. Take the risk.
We stood there a moment more in silence. I averted my eyes from Brendon into the darkness, trying to gather all the courage I could.
“So you never did answe—”Brendon began to say, but I silenced him with my lips before he could finish his statement. I felt Brendon stiffen when my lips touched his, but after a few moments, I saw his eyes slip closed, losing himself like I was. He relaxed and lowered his hands to touch my hips lightly. I draped my arms around his neck and deepened the kiss. I felt the electricity course through my body as the rhythm of Brendon’s heart beat faster and faster. He was very good at this.
“You’re late,” Brendon whispered. I smiled against his lips as we stood in each other’s arms. The brisk night air sent additional goose bumps rushing over my arms. I shivered and held Brendon closer, not wanting the moment to end. I felt one hand reach up to my neck as the other slipped around to the small of my back.
“I wasn’t expecting that,” Brendon smiled as he pulled away.
“Me neither,” I admitted, blushing, as I swept my bangs away from my face.
“How did you know?” Brendon asked seriously.
“I didn’t,” I admitted, looking down at my shoes, my bangs falling over my eye again.
“Well, Spencer told me you were gay, but I didn’t honestly think you would ever be interested in me.”
“Ryan,” he breathed, taking a step towards me, sending my heart racing again. He reached up and traced my jaw with a light touch. His slightly callused fingertips from years of guitar playing grazed my cheek. “How could I not be interested? You— you’re amazing.”
“No, I’m no—” I protested, but was cut off by Brendon’s lips against mine. My breath caught in my throat.
“You need to give yourself a little more credit,” Brendon said, staring into my eyes as he rested his forehead on mine.
“I love you,” I whispered breathlessly. I moved away and gazed into his eyes. “Ever since we met.”
“I love you too, Ryan,” he whispered back, brushing my bangs aside. He gazed into my eyes with such intensity; I almost collapsed into his arms. Breaking the gaze, I leaned in to kiss him again now that I could. I can’t tell you how much I’ve wanted to do this and now that I could I wasn’t going to pass it up. He held my face in his hands with a gentleness you would never have expected. “You wanna get out of here?”
So much, I thought, but my mouth said otherwise. “I can’t. I have to drive Spencer home.” His eyes fell in disappointment. “We can stay out here, though. Alone. If you want, that is,” I suggested.
Seconds after I said this, Spencer slid open the patio door and came outside with a plate in his hands. “You guys coming back? They’ve got cake,” he told us, taking another bite.
“I can see that,” I smiled. “Maybe in a little bit. Be ready to go at like quarter to two, okay?”
“Yes, mom,” Spencer rolled his eyes before slipping back inside.
Brendon and I stayed out on the deck for the rest of the night. Talking mostly. We sat on the wooden ledge of the railing facing each other. Ironically, Brendon was planning on asking me out tonight as well, but changed his mind when I flippantly mentioned I didn’t like anyone. I laughed at this, asking how he expected me to just say, “Oh yeah, about that… I’ve actually loved you for forever”. He nodded in agreement, touching the tips of my fingers. I had lost feeling in my hands awhile ago. The temperature was dropping and I was only in a hooded sweatshirt.
“You’re freezing. Do you want to go in?” Brendon asked.
“I’ll be fine. It’s not too bad,” I lied, keeping my teeth from chattering. True, it was warmer inside, but we couldn’t be together in there. I’ll risk frost bite for being with Brendon.
He scooted closer to me and put his arm around me. I was hoping no one was watching us until I remembered that there was a canvas curtain on the inside of the sliding door shielding us from our classmates. I felt his warmth instantly permeating my sweatshirt. I leaned my head on his shoulder and watched our breath in the cold air; the translucent clouds of white absorbing the bright moonlight.
We sat for a while in silence. Just being in Brendon’s presence was as loud and stimulating in my mind as an actual conversation. I let my mind wander.
I love you, too, Ryan. I’ve wanted to hear those words from him ever since Spencer introduced us in that day and now that’s it’s happened… It’s kind of like post-concert depression. You look forward to that one moment for days, weeks, months, maybe even years and then when you go home with your sweat covered clothes, messed up hair, and raw vocal cords, you realize it’s over. The next day is just like any other and it’s almost like nothing happened at all. For the first time in a while you have nothing to look forward to.
This instance doesn’t exactly correlate with my situation, however. Yes, I’ve been waiting forever for that moment and, yes, it’s over, but those five words are just a gateway to more professions of love to come. I hope anyway. I get the sense that Brendon’s never been in a serious relationship before, if in a relationship at all. Is it bad that I’m relieved if that truly is the case? Just the fact that I, Ryan Ross, may have taken Brendon’s lip virginity is a great thought.
I heard the long squeak of the sliding door opening and my eyes bolted open and I quickly scooted away from Brendon’s side.
“Hey, you ready to go?” Spencer asked, sticking his head out. “It’s freezing. Why are you guys still out here?”
“It’s not so bad,” I smiled, my gaze flickering to Brendon. “I’ll be in in a minute.”
Spencer disappeared again and closed the door. I looked over at Brendon, his expression falling in disappointment. I hopped off the railing and stepped in front of him. He looked at me, his powerful brown eyes staring intensely into my own. I felt myself blush and he must have seen because he smiled and touched my cheek gently. He then placed a finger beneath my chin and lifted it to reach his lips. I don’t think the butterflies I get when we kiss will ever go away. It’s like everything else melts away and it’s just us. Cliché, but god, it’s amazing.
“I better go,” I whispered, half-heartedly. He let me go and got off the railing as well.
“I’ll call you tomorrow,” he promised.
“Yes, you will,” I smiled, turning away. I felt a hand on my wrist when I stepped forward, bringing me back.
“You forgot something,” Brendon grinned, kissing me again.