"You taste like peanut butter," I said, my voice muffled by Grant's insistent kisses.
I felt Grant chuckling against my lips. "You think you don't taste like peanut butter?" he asked rubbing my side gently, his lips capturing mine again, harder this time.
"Well yeah, but you're the one that brought us peanut butter sandwiches to eat," I said pushing him away.
He reached for me and pulled me back to his chest.
"It was the easiest and fastest thing to make and pack in a rush," Grant explained.
"In a hurry to see me?" I teased rubbing the nape of his neck with my thumb.
"Always," Grant said sucking on my neck.
I closed my eyes and savored the feeling of his lips on my neck. I would miss that feeling.
I was glad Grant had called text me during the middle of the day while we were in class to ask me if I wanted to go eat after school at the same park where we had our official date.
I didn't see Grant for the rest of prom weekend because he was hanging out with Blair and the stupid girls.
In a way I was glad. I did want him to have a good time, but I wanted to spend every day with Grant before my flight back to New York.
But I would take what I could get and that was eating sandwiches by the lake under some trees in the late afternoon sun.
School was so close to being over, there were no longer any practices or games held, but we lucked out when Blair had to stay after school to make up some exam and an oral presentation when he got sick or didn't want to go to school.
It sucked that Blair and Grant hung out every single minute and Grant and I could only be together when the idiot was doing something else.
But like I said, I would take what I could get.
I was having the time of my life now, being here with Grant, the nice breeze washing over us as I kissed Grant and exchanged peanut butter flavored spit.
We took a little break from kissing and ate our apples, leaning comfortably side by side on the huge tree trunk.
"So enjoy prom? My friends had a blast," I said as I chewed on my apple.
"I saw your friends, they were having fun. Jet and Stacey are good dancers," Grant said and he swallowed a huge bite of apple and I saw his Adam's apple bob up and down.
"I did have a fun time, well at some points," Grant said then he looked at me and smiled, "Who am I kidding. I was miserable," he cried out dramatically, "miserable without you by my side! I love you Pete Liu!"
I laughed and rubbed my face against his shoulder.
"Miserable, huh?" I asked pinching his cheek.
"Absolutely," Grant said searching out my lips again.
"What about the after party with those girls?" I asked.
Grant stopped kissing me and looked at me. "Trying to ask whether or not I did anything dirty with someone of the opposite sex?"
I looked at him, "Yeah, I am."
He took my hand in his, "Nothing happened that night. I promise."
I looked at him still, waiting for him to elaborate.
"We went to the hotel, had some drinks. Everyone drank more than me. She tried making out with me, but didn't succeed. I gave her more alcohol and she passed out on the bed. I slept on the floor," he explained.
"Thinking of you of course and maybe," he paused leaning in closer to me, "Pleasuring myself with thoughts of you."
"Pleasuring yourself?" I asked raising an eyebrow.
"Pretending it was you," he said emphasizing the last word.
"So then prom wasn't entirely crappy, right?"
"No, I was bummed. I wish you were in that hotel room with me, pleasuring me," he said batting his eyes.
"What about our little tryst between your prom stuff?" I asked edging away from his kiss as I smiled at him.
Grant grinned, "That was great. The best part of prom. That was what I enjoyed about prom night. The honest truth," he said smiling at me adorably as his hand massaged my knee.
"I was a little sore the day after," I admitted, referring to the anal sex.
"Me too," Grant said licking my cheek, causing me to giggle.
I can't fucking believe I was giggling.
"But I'd do it again," Grant whispered in my ear, nibbling on it.
"Me too," I murmured laying back on the grass.
"I'd do it right now," Grant said laying on top of me.
"Me too," I said sighing, "If only it weren't so sunny and at any minute someone could walk in on us."
"Screw the people," he said his hand moving underneath my shirt.
"Screw me," I said smiling.
"Gladly," Grant said reaching for his belt.
I laughed and grabbed his hand, "Stop it, horny boy!"
"What?" he asked pretending to look hurt, "You told me to do it."
I slapped his chest, "Be good. We're in public, we have to behave."
"Says who?" Grant asked widening his blue eyes.
"Says me," I said leaning in for yet another kiss.
After eating our peanut butter sandwiches and apples, we just sat by the lake some more, just kissing and making jokes.
Eventually, it got later and it was close to dinner time.
"I'm hungry," Grant announced.
"Already?" I asked, "It's 5:30. We ate like a little over two hours ago!"
He shrugged, "I'm a big strong growing boy. I need my nutrients!"
"Want to go back to my house for dinner?" I asked beginning to stand up.
He grabbed my hand before I made it too far away from him.
"No, let's go somewhere out to eat. I want to spend more time with you, alone, without David or Kelly, or Blair," Grant said leading me back to his car.
He drove us about 45 minutes away from the park and we went to this small Italian place.
I happily ordered spaghetti and meatballs and ate bread loaded with butter.
"See, you're hungry too!" Grant pointed out.
"Well, we drove to freaking Guam to eat! What do you expect from me?" I shot back.
Grant smiled and just chewed on his bread.
"Like that bread huh?" he asked when I asked the waiter to bring another basket.
I shrugged, "Can't help it. I don't usually eat too much Italian food back home. Little Italy is great, but somehow I always end up in Chinatown. What can I say?" I asked him.
"That and my Mom hates Italian food. Said it's too heavy and makes you fat," I added stuffing in more bread in my mouth.
"I doubt you'd get fat," Grant said.
I smiled, "That's what I would tell my Mom during a counter point."
He eyed me, "You got along with your Mom?"
"Of course," I responded immediately, "Why wouldn't I get along with my Mom? I love her."
"That's great. It's good to have a sound relationship with your parents," Gant said looking down.
I didn't know what to say, so I figured not saying anything would be best.
"I wish you could have met her," I announced.
He looked up at me with surprise.
"Well, my Mom knew I was gay. She loved to point out cute guys to me that came into our tea shop or when we were eating," I said and Grant laughed.
"But I would have liked her to meet you, the guy that I love, that took my virginity," I said lowering my voice.
Grant blushed and looked down at his bread plate.
"She would have liked to have met the man that made her baby into a man," I went on, causing Grant to blush even more.
"Pete," he said smiling at me.
I smirked, "She would have thought you were hot. She'd be glad I landed such a hottie. Said I shouldn't end up with someone uglier than me."
Grant was as red as the cloth on our table.
"You're hotter than me. My Momma would have been proud," I said grinning.
He looked at me, his smile beaming and his eyes sparkling, "I would have liked to have met her also. If she produced someone as awesome and beautiful as you, I'd be honored to be in her presence."
"Kiss ass," I smirked.
Grant leaned back and laughed loudly.
"Wow, you compliment me, telling me how hot I am, then the next second you're calling me a kiss ass. Wow," he said shaking his head, but he was still smiling.
I brushed my shoulder nonchalantly, "Well, that's my style. Take it or leave it, baby."
"What if I leave it?" he asked cocking his head at me.
I faked a hurt look, "You don't love me anymore?"
His eyes widened, "What? No! Of course I love you!" he burst out.
I glanced quickly around the room and luckily it was fairly empty and we were seated somewhere secluded.
He blushed again.
"I was kidding," I said softly, "I know you love me. I love you, too."
"I know, I just don't want you thinking at all I might not love you," he said just as softly.
I smiled at him, "I'm sorry. I won't joke about that anymore."
"No, it's ok. It was just an instinctual reaction," Grant said, "I was being silly."
"No you're not. You're the sweetest thing ever."
"I love you," he said looking into my eyes.
"I love you, too."
Needless to say, my last week in Texas flew by.
I no longer worked at the tutoring center, but I still went there after school to visit Stacey as she had become a good friend and someone I definitely wanted to keep in touch with.
Since it was the end of the school year, there wasn't any real work to be done, except for finals, but as seniors, we didn't really give a shit.
We kind of just coasted. I mean, we were all accepted to our respective colleges, so what was the big deal?
Jet and Lawrence were happy to be going to Florida together.
I swear those two were going to get married one of these days. One of those high school sweetheart couples. It was kind of sweet, actually.
"I wanna get my tan on!" she said bouncing around excitedly when we had more frequent gatherings at her house.
"Baby, you can't tan," Lawrence said kissing her affectionately.
She slapped his chest, but hugged him, kissing him back.
I would miss them. They were a cute couple and were great friends. So was Parker. I had to make sure to keep in touch with all of them. It was important. They were my lifeline during my entire time here.
Anyway, graduation day was tomorrow and everyone was excited.
Well for the most part.
My friends were happy to be done with high school, but were also sad to see me go.
I was unhappy; missing my friends and of course Grant.
And whenever Grant visited during the past two weeks or was with Blair, he looked depressed. So much to that point that Blair would shoot him funny looks and ask was wrong.
David didn't look too pleased either.
What a lovely time.
"You sure you don't want to stay for the ceremony? And for the graduation parties?" David asked.
I sighed and looked away from him.
I rubbed my face, "David, I can't."
"You can change your flight."
"I can't David. It will be too hard, ok? I need to leave now. I can't stay for the ceremony or the party and then leave. I'll just feel more depressed and bring everyone down," I burst out.
David just stared at me and nodded.
"I didn't think it would be this hard," I admitted meeting his eyes.
"Leaving?" David asked.
"Yeah. I was so excited to leave and now I'm gonna miss everyone. My friends, Kelly's dinners, our lunches, even Blair and our fighting. It's just weird."
"I'm glad you'll miss us, even if a little bit," David said.
"I'll miss you a lot, David," I said and he smiled.
"You're a great person and a great Dad, well, from what I've seen with Blair and the little time I got with you. I thought you would be the biggest dick, but I was wrong."
David laughed, "Umm, thanks, I think."
He cocked his head at me, "Does that mean you'll keep in touch? Emails, phone calls once a week?"
I smiled, "Yeah."
"Good," David said before he unexpectantly yanked me to him and hugged me, tightly.
I felt awkward and I'm sure my body was tense, but after a moment, I returned the hug, wrapping my arms around him too.
"I love you Pete. I'm sorry I was so stupid and left you and your mother. I'm sorry I wasn't there for you like I should have been," he said.
I felt this warm feeling in my stomach and I smiled, patting his back reassuringly.
"It's ok David. We all make mistakes, ok? You were young and it's not your fault if you were stupid," I said and I felt him smile against my shoulder.
"I don't hate you so don't feel bad. You're here now and we'll stay in touch, ok?" I said.
He nodded, "You're such an amazing kid Pete. I'm sad I didn't get more time with you."
"Ah well, your loss," I teased when we broke apart.
He smiled, "Yeah, my loss."
We stared at each other, not knowing what else to say.
"Want to have dinner?" I asked suddenly and he smiled.
"I'd love to."
The following morning before the graduation ceremony, I visited Jet to have breakfast one last time before I had to go to the airport.
She made iced coffees, pancakes, and lots of fresh fruit and light syrup.
"For you, Pete, the health nut," she said smiling and handing me the bottle of light syrup.
"Thanks babe," I said as I dug into the pancakes and piled them with fruit.
"Babe?" Lawrence asked raising his eyebrow at me questioningly.
"Relax Larry, the girl loves you, not me," I said and he smirked at me.
"Just as long as you know that," Lawrence said.
The poor guy had no clue I was gay and had no romantic interest in Jet, although she was a very attractive girl. If I were straight, I would go after her as well.
Parker drank his second coffee at lightening speed.
The guy had really come out of his shell.
I'd like to think I had something to do with that. Mental pat on the back to me.
"I will miss you Pete," Parker said when Lawrence and Jet went to get more fruit.
"I'll miss you too Parker. Technically you were my first friend ever here in Texas," I pointed out.
"Oh yeah," he said sounding awed.
He looked at me, "Well you were my first real friend too, Pete. You chose me to be your friend and you helped me a lot. Less teasing and now I have new friends because of you. Thanks."
"Don't thank me man," I said, "You're a good friend."
"Bummer you won't be at the ceremony later or Jet's party," Parker said.
"I know bud, but you know what, over the summer, hit me up and fly out to New York. I'm serious about you guys visiting me," I said.
"Ok," Parker said smiling.
"Great," I said.
Jet and Lawrence walked back in with fresh strawberries.
"What's up?" she asked looking between me and Parker.
"We were just discussing when all of you should visit me," I said glancing at Parker.
Jet's eyes lit up.
"Ooh, yeah, visiting. Let's do it in July. I have to go back to Connecticut to visit my Mom for a month," she said rolling her eyes.
"I'll miss you babe," Lawrence said and I sat back and watched my friends interact as I smiled, trying to remember everything about then, to take it back with me when I went back to New York.
The goodbye to David at the airport was short and brief, thank god.
I couldn't take anymore sad shit.
David helped me with my bags and I hugged him again with a promise to call when I got back home and an email within a few days.
I promised I would and had to force myself to walk through the doors and check in my luggage.
I also forced myself not to look back, knowing David was watching me leave.
I was actually going to miss David, my Dad. I wish he was in my life. He's a great Dad.
Blair, that lucky bastard. Why does that dickhead get a great father and I don't?
I checked in my luggage and took a seat, flipping through a magazine to help pass the waiting time until I could board.
I played music through my IPOD and fussed with my laptop, talking to friends on AIM.
Anything to distract myself from how down I was feeling.
I felt like shit for leaving and not saying good bye to Grant, but I couldn't exactly visit him at his house and it would look weird if he spent intimate time together.
And I knew it would be hard to control my emotions if I was around Grant. I'm sure I would have bawled like a baby and that wouldn't be good. It would create some questions and bad shit for Grant.
I love Grant, I didn't want him to deal with any gay bashing shit.
At least when I left, I could feel ok knowing he would be safe.
I didn't sleep at all the entire flight.
My mind was racing and I couldn't get it to stop no matter what.
I just listened to my music and let the thoughts take over me.
They consumed me.
I went to baggage claim and got my stuff and then exited JFK airport, calling Danny.
A few minutes later I saw my BMW coming towards me and my grandmother in the passenger seat and Julie in the back.
I grinned as I waited for them to park near the curb.
Julie was already waving to me through the window.
When the car came to a stop, Danny hopped out and then let Julie out of the backseat and my grandmother smiled at me.
I smiled, instantly feeling better.
I held out my arms, "Bitches, I'm back!"
Simultaneously they ran up to me and Danny and Julie hugged me tightly until a guard told us we had to move.
Together we threw my bags into the trunk and then stuffed ourselves quickly into my car, then taking off.
Initially, everyone was talking at once and I was answering people's questions in the wrong order.
My grandmother was asking me questions, Julie was saying how we had so much to do over the summer and not enough time and then she whipped out her planner. Meanwhile Danny was driving haphazardly while he was saying how great it was to have me back and how he couldn't believe we would both be going to NYU soon.
"Stop!" I cried out and everyone looked at me, silently, waiting.
"Let's just drive in peace for a bit. I'm a little tired. Why don't we go to lunch and we can just talk and chill there, ok?" I suggested.
"You got it man," Danny said as he began to drive more normally since he was focusing on the road instead of looking at me through the rearview mirror.
"Ooh, let's go to the buffet near our houses," Julie said grinning and rubbing her slim stomach.
On the drive there, I called David to let him know I got home all right and I was about to eat with my friends. I chatted idly with him about the flight, graduation, and upcoming parties and whatnot and promised again to email him the first chance I got.
I also text Grant to say sorry for not saying goodbye and hope the graduation ceremony was fun.
I didn't get a response.
I figured he was either busy or was pissed at me. Either way, I couldn't do much about it even if it hurt.
Once we did get to the restaurant and got our first plates of food, then we were all ready to socialize as we sated our hunger.
I turned to Julie who was sitting beside me, "Ok, so what is all this stuff we need to do?"
She smiled and took out her planner again and actually produced a list and my eyes widened.
I looked at Danny and caught his eye and he just shook his head, basically telling me not to comment and just let Julie do her thing.
"Well, you and Danny get to be together at NYU, but I leave to go across the country and won't be able to be with you two, so therefore," she paused and scanned her list, "We have to do all our traditional things of eating at our favorite restaurants and going to clubs since we're all 18 now."
She continued but I sort of tuned her out and focused on eating. Whatever Julie wanted to do, I would do. She usually got her way when it came to me and Danny.
We were guys, we catered to the lady of our group.
"How's Grant?" Julie suddenly asked, in English so my grandmother wouldn't get too curious about stuff. I don't think grandparents wanted to hear about their grandchildren's sex life whether gay or straight.
"Fine, I guess," I said shrugging.
"You guess?" Danny asked taking a sip of tea, "You don't know?"
I shrugged again, not really in the mood to go into the details.
"He's fine. I mean, how should I know anymore? I'm here and he's over there. That's it."
Julie frowned, "You're not going to see him again? Ever?"
I looked down at my food and then sighed, looking at her, "I don't know Julie. I honestly don't know. If he manages to visit me, then yeah, if not, I don't know."
She sensed my tone and the shift in my mood and let the Grant matter drop.
Danny and her exchanged looks before Danny nudged me.
"One of these days want to take our own little tour of NYU?" he asked.
I smiled, grateful for the subject change. "Sure."
"Oh, I want to come too!" Julie chimed in her face lighting up.
I smiled at her.
It was good to be back.
The following Monday Julie and Danny had to go back to school because they weren't quite finished yet. So I spent that time taking an early morning walk with my grandmother and helping her buy groceries.
Then I visited the teahouse to stop in and say hi, since I knew a lot of the workers.
Lastly, I visited the cemetery to talk to my Mom. I felt like I really needed to talk to her and just get some stuff out.
I got to her headstone and got on my knees, using my hand to dig a little opening to plant the two flower assortments I brought for her.
"Hi Mom. It's me Pete. Miss me much?" I asked sitting on the ground beside her headstone.
"Well, I missed you. I still miss you."
I inhaled the fresh air and felt the slight breeze in the air, blowing flower petals on the ground.
"You know what Mom?" I asked glancing at her headstone, "You're one sneaky lady. That's all I have to say. I was mad pissed when you sent me to Texas. To Texas of all places! I hate the South! We used to make jokes about Southerners all the time! And you sent me there, in the middle of my senior year no less, which is only the most important year in my entire academic career!"
I paused and smiled.
"But you sneaky woman, as always, it turned out ok. I guess you worked your magic or something," I said chuckling.
"David, he's great by the way. I can see why you fell for him. I only wish things would have worked out between you two and you would have had a husband and I would have had a Dad. He's a nice guy. Is on his feet. Too bad he wasn't that mature back in the day, eh?"
"He's remarried though. Silly housewife, cooks fattening food. She's blond you know. So is her son, Blair. I hate him and he hates me. In some odd way we get along, amidst our fighting and all."
"David wants to see me again. When it got closer to me leaving, he kept asking me to keep in touch and visit and whatnot. I almost feel like I have a father now."
"You did good Mom. I'm glad I met him. I think I really needed to meet him and get to know him just a little bit in order for me to not feel so pissed all these years over not having a father like everyone else did. Thanks for that. As always, you were thinking of me, even in the afterlife. You're the best Mom ever."
I paused and thought for a while enjoying the weather.
"Hey, my birthday was decent, even if you weren't there, but you were in my thoughts."
I smiled, "I made friends in Texas too. Jet and Lawrence, they're a couple and have been dating for over two years. They're gonna go to college together, probably get married. I made friends with Parker, a guy Blair and everyone liked to tease for being gay. I just had to step in," I said frowning.
"I got a job as a tutor and Stacey, my boss, is like 26 and she threw me this party with food and an awesome cake. She's great. I'm gonna get everyone to visit me over the summer."
"The most important person I met was Grant. I have to tell you all about Grant, Mom."
"Let me first start with how gorgeous he is. He's my height, blond curly hair, built, and blue eyes. Killer smile and he's smart. I tutored him a few times a week and he was always trying to get the best grades and he did sports. He was so sweet, always so caring and he went out of his way to try to spend time with me. Not like some closeted jerk, you know?"
I placed my hand on her headstone, "If he visits me, I want him to meet you, ok?"
I paused again, lost in my thoughts. Thinking of my blond angel that I left behind in Texas.
"It was sad for me to leave him, Mom. You have no idea. I love him."
"Yeah Mom, I love him. He's amazing. I'm afraid," my voice cracked, "I'm afraid I might never see him again or he'll find someone else, or I'll find someone else and never be truly happy. But I couldn't stay in Texas, I just couldn't. I'm here, my home is here, my life and roots are here. Do you think we'll end up together? Will thinks randomly work out as they always somehow do?" I asked, waiting expectantly for an answer.
"I hope you're right Mom. Maybe you can work some of your magic for me again?"
I closed my eyes and leaned on her headstone, just enjoying the comfort of being with my Mom.
I loved spending time with my Mom, one way or another.
"Fuck, it's hot this year," I said wiping my brow as I walked on Broadway with Julie and Danny, and another girl from school, Katie.
"You say that every year," Julie called out laughing as she grabbed Katie's arm and dragged her into a clothing store.
I looked at Danny, "Seriously, it's hotter than normal."
"Dude, it's June. What kind of weather were you expecting?" Danny asked laughing as we followed the girls into Sloppy Joe.
"I'm fucking sweating." I wiped my brow and showed him the moisture.
Danny wiped his back, "Me too man."
"We have to get some iced coffees at Starbucks after this and the sooner the better. I'm thinking the largest size that is offered," I said using my wallet as a fan.
I swear, it must have been 90 degrees already, or maybe it was the humidity that made it seem so bad.
I glanced at the sky and it was on and off overcast.
I was hoping for a rainstorm so I could cool off.
Suddenly walking in the rain seemed really appealing.
Seriously, I'd walk in the rain and do a little dance, but I wouldn't sing in the rain. That was a bit too cliché for me. Or too musical for me. Whatever.
I was still wiping my forehead as we continued to Yellow Rat Bastard and Danny patted me on the back.
"Calm down man. We're at your favorite store," Danny consoled.
I nodded and walked into the cool air of the store, breathing a sigh of relief.
I wasn't in the mood to talk so I brushed right past the people that were supposed to greet customers. Those people were so annoying, even if they were only doing their jobs, but still.
I couldn't find anything I liked, clothing wise. I looked at some of the sneakers but even those didn't spark my interest.
I guess I just wasn't feeling the whole thing or in the mood to have any fun. I was still kind of mopey and miserable. It was strange, I was home, back in New York, but I wasn't happy like I thought I would be. I actually missed being in a house full of people with parents even if they were David and Kelly and a brother, even if it was Blair, and a boyfriend that I left behind in Texas.
I didn't know where Grant and I stood. We never talked about that. I didn't think we were still together, because long distance wouldn't work, especially if the both of us would never be in the same place at the same time ever again.
I assumed we were not together as much as it pained me to think that way.
All that thinking was getting me in a grumpy mood and everyone was aware of it.
"You ok man?" Danny asked tapping my shoulder.
"I'm fine," I responded curtly.
"Yeah, ok," Danny said, his voice laced with slight sarcasm.
Well now I felt like a dick for brushing off my best friend.
"Sorry Danny," I said sighing, "I just, I guess I miss Texas more than I thought I would."
His eyes bugged out of his head, "Huh? Really?"
I smiled in spite of myself, "Yeah, David's a nice guy and I do miss Grant and some of the friends I made there," I admitted.
"I'm sorry you feel bad," Danny said sincerely.
I smiled at him again, shaking my head, "I'm sorry too, but I'll be ok, soon, I promise."
"I hope so buddy," Danny said as Julie announced she needed something to drink.
About two weeks after getting home, I finally managed to get a hold of Grant.
"Hey, it's me," I said into the phone, for some reason my heart was pounding.
"Pete," Grant said in an unreadable tone.
I didn't know what to say from here.
"How have you been?" I asked awkwardly.
"I've been ok," Grant answered.
"How was graduation?" I asked.
I sighed and rubbed my face, "Well, I just wanted to see how you were doing and that I miss you."
There was a long pause and for a second I wondered if Grant was still there.
"I miss you too," came a whisper.
I closed my eyes.
"Pete, this is hard," Grant went on.
"I know," I replied.
"I don't think I can do this."
"What?" I asked confused.
"I don't know if I can talk to you on the phone or by email or anything. I know we said we would keep in touch, but I realize now that not being with you and then hearing about what you're doing miles away kills me," Grant explained.
"Grant," I started to say but got interrupted.
"I can't do it Pete. Knowing what's going on and not being there with you. It's like it will be a constant reminder of what I lost and in a way I just want to not think about that."
"So what are you saying?" I asked.
He didn't say anything.
"You don't want to contact each other at all?" I asked.
"I guess so," he said quietly.
I inhaled sharply and just sat on my couch, taking in all this information.
"Fine," I said.
"Fine?" Grant repeated.
"Yeah, if that's what you want, then I respect that. I understand how it's hard. It hasn't been a cake walk in the park for me either," I said.
"Pete," Grant said his voice sounding shaky.
"Grant, I understand," I said in a more compassionate tone and he got silent again.
"So I guess I should go. Good bye?" I asked.
"Bye," Grant murmured and then I heard a soft click.
I stared at my cell phone stunned and shocked.
Finally I chucked the phone on the floor, not really giving a shit if it broke or not.
The best way to mend a broken heart was to get super busy.
So that's what I did.
It's not like I didn't have tons of shit to do anyways.
I attended Danny and Julie's graduation and went to a shit load of graduation parties. I think I got invited to everyone's party in my entire high school and on some days, had to attend several parties to make an appearance.
I did mention I was popular right?
I went clubbing with my friends since I was finally legal and danced my troubles away. I didn't drink much because I wasn't much of a drinker and even though there were some guys that hit on me, I didn't take the bait. I didn't want to be with anyone right now, I just wanted to focus on me.
I worked out a lot more. I ran every morning at 5 AM since the humidity was getting pretty bad on the East Coast. Then I would come home, shower and crash for a bit, and do strength training.
This body of steel wasn't going to main itself, baby!
I worked at the tea house too. I didn't get money for it since I owned it, but I figured as the owner, it wouldn't kill me to help out a bit. Plus it did keep my mind off of Grant, who I hadn't talked to since our last phone conversation.
With Danny, I did the last minute NYU stuff, like scouting the area, paying the bills, going to orientation.
With Julie I went to museums with her and helped her shop for stuff she needed to go to UCLA although I suggested she was better off buying what she needed in LA, since flying all her stuff out would be hell.
I think she just wanted to go shopping and needed company. I didn't mind. I wanted to spend as much time with her as possible as well. And I loved chilling at her house when she baked cookies.
I ate a ton of them. I had gotten dumped in a way. I may as well eat and get fat.
During this time, Danny began to act a little funny, around me and Julie and I was definitely confused.
I think Julie detected it, but she didn't press anything.
After a few more weeks of Danny's moody behavior and awkward conversations I finally confronted him.
We were eating ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery on 42nd street and I was more than halfway done with my Chocolate Devotion and I was thinking of going to Starbucks for a drink and a slice of cheesecake and a giant chocolate chip cookie.
I said I was eating fattier things lately.
Thankfully I wasn't getting fat. My jeans still fit perfectly.
Bless a fast metabolism.
And there goes another giant spoonful of ice cream.
"Danny, what's up with you man?" I asked.
"What do you mean?" he asked taking a bit of his waffle bowl.
I shot him an incredulous look, "You've been acting weird around me and Julie for almost a month now. What gives? Something going on?"
He didn't say anything.
"Dude, it's me. Why can't you tell me?" I asked frowning.
He looked at me finally and stared at me.
"Ok," he relented.
I looked at him expectantly, my brows raised.
"It's Julie," he finally said.
I looked at him with confusion, my frown deepening as I still couldn't figure out why he was so moody over Julie.
"What about Julie? You guys have a fight or something because she seems ok," I said throwing my cup in the trash.
"No, we didn't have a fight," he said.
"Then what's the problem?" I asked.
"It's just Julie. And she's leaving."
I raised my brows, "So, that's it?" I asked, "I know she's leaving and you don't see me acting all weird."
"I'll miss her," Danny said.
"So will I."
"No, I'll miss her," Danny said emphasizing the sentence.
I just stared at him blankly.
"God Pete, how are you so smart but then so dumb at the same time?" Danny burst out in frustration.
"What?" I asked taken aback.
"I like Julie!" he finally said.
I studied him, "Like, like her, like her?" I questioned.
I started grinning, "Wow. You like her. No fucking shit."
"Yes fucking shit," Danny said nodding.
"Since when? I mean when did this happen? Have you liked her for a long time?" I asked excitedly, my mind momentarily off of my own depression.
Danny shook his head with a small smile on his face.
"Well, not that long. It's just that we've been hanging out together alone ever since you left for Texas and we just bonded more. I don't know. I think it's just me. I mean, me liking her. I can't help it. We've known each other for so long and she's so funny and sweet, and smart, and pretty. You know she dragged me shopping with her," Danny said.
"Yeah?" I asked grinning.
Danny looked embarrassed but I couldn't tell if he was blushing since he was so tan.
"She made me look at every outfit she tried on. There were tanks, dresses, skirts, and even underwear," he went on.
"Underwear!" I exclaimed.
Danny ducked his head, "Yeah! We went into Victoria's Secret and there was a sale and she was trying on nighties and bras and I was going out of my mind!"
I laughed and hit my knee.
"She's really hot," Danny murmured.
"She's pretty. You never noticed before?" I asked cocking my eyebrow at him.
"Well, we've been friends all our lives. And then when Julie moved here when we were 2, we became friends. That's 16 years of friendship and I always thought we were little buddies, like I don't know, three of all, a trio. I never thought of her as a woman, you know, romantically," Danny explained.
I stood up, "Let's talk more about this, but I need coffee."
Danny frowned but followed me nonetheless to Starbucks.
We went to Starbucks and I ordered a huge latte and a slice of cheesecake and started digging in.
"So you realized she was a woman when she tried on lingerie for you?" I asked.
Danny snorted, "Well, not exactly. It just opened my eyes. She's the perfect woman. Besides being gorgeous, she has a personality and brains and I don't know."
"So ask her out," I said.
He rolled his eyes at me, "I can't. She's going to LA for school. She'll be gone for the next four years." He looked at me. "And do you know the types of guys that are in LA. Rich white men, rich Asian men. Too much competition for me!"
"How would you know if she likes you back unless you ask her?" I countered.
"What if she says no?" he shot at me.
I was at a loss for words.
"Umm, move on?" I asked.
"I don't think so Pete. I really like her," Danny said.
"Well, what are you going to do? Just suffer when she leaves and keep quiet until she finds someone else?" I demanded, the whole thing not making sense to me.
"Look, I don't know," Danny snapped.
I narrowed my eyes at him.
"Sorry," he said sighing.
"Don't be," I said shaking my head.
I leaned forward and got his attention, "Danny, life is too short for this scared bullshit, ok?"
I held up my hand when he opened his mouth to protest.
"I'm not trying to be dick, ok? I just want you to be happy and go after what you want. I'm sure it would be scary if Julie rejected you, but then what if she said yes? You could get to be with her even for a little while, you know if it doesn't last."
Danny looked alarmed when I said it wouldn't last.
"I'm not saying it won't last," I assured him, "I just think you should go for it and take a chance. Hell, I took a chance with Grant in fucking Texas. Surely you can take a chance with Julie, someone you've known all your life. If anything she'll let you down easy and you guys will stay friends, right?"
Danny bit his lip.
"Or it could be awesome for you guys and you guys can have lots of babies and name one of them after me. Ooh and make me a godfather!" I said pointing at him. "That's it, right there! I call godfather. I swear to god Danny, if you make someone else godfather of your future babies with Julie, I will kick your ass!
Danny started laughing and took a forkful of my cheesecake .
"You're such a fucking asshole," he smirked.
"You know it bitch," I sniggered.
"Go back to Texas asshole," he said smiling.
I gave him the finger.