So, what’s really going on with you and Kayla?” Mark asked, after we nestled into a seat on his school bus. It was Friday, and I was happily going to spend the night at his house. 
“I already told you…we are just friends.”
“Uh uh. I don’t believe you. You guys have something going on there.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, for one thing, she worships the ground you walk on.”
“Whatever nothing. Dude!  Open your eyes. The days you missed, all she could talk about was you. How she missed you. How she was worried about you. You. You. You.”
“I don’t know dude. I think her and I want different things.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I think she likes me for  like a boyfriend. But…I…kind of just want to be friends.”
Part of me wishes I could take that last comment back. If Mark digs further, he might figure out some things about me I’m not ready to reveal. 
“Ok…so have you done anything with her?  I know you have.”
“Yeah…you know…we’ve kissed and stuff, but nothing major.”
“Yeah!  Did she…you know” Mark replied excitedly, making a ring with his fingers and gesturing up and down.
“You know, jerk you off?  Or give you head?  Have you felt her up?  Or gotten in her pants?”
“God dude!  No. Nothing like that.”
“Why not?  I know she would do all of that with you.”
“Dude!  She’s like my good friend. I don’t know, it would just make everything weird.”
“Or fun. Friends with benefits. You should check it out.”
“Do you have one of those?”
“No. I haven’t been here long enough, but I’d take one.”
I couldn’t help but to imagine myself as his friend with benefits. That would be pretty exciting. 
We got to his stop, and slung our bags over our shoulders and walked up to his house. He lived in a very populated, suburban neighborhood. All the houses were very close together. It was way different than my own situation. 
We were the only ones home and we went right to the living room to watch some tv. Mark got a few cans of coke and a bag of Doritos for us to snack on. 
“Hey Mark, where is your room?  Maybe I should put my bag in there.”
“Oh yeah. Cool. Just head down those stairs behind you. It’s the only bedroom in the basement.”
I went down and walked right into a small tv room. There were three doors on the perimeter. A laundry room, bathroom, and Mark’s bedroom. I walked in and kind of looked around, without touching anything. He had a very cool Kurt Cobain poster that caught my eye and made me smile. There was another poster of a surfer inside a huge wave. No doubt from his time living in southern California. He had a desk with a laptop jammed in the corner. A framed photo of Mark and another boy, with arms over each others shoulders. He had a small shelf with some books and CDs. A queen sized bed filled in the rest of the space. His room was pretty small, but I’m sure he preferred it to being upstairs, where the rest of his family sleeps. 
As I walked back up the steps, I hoped he wanted to share his bed with me, instead of having me sleep on the couch outside of his room. No doubt, I would find out later, when it was time to go to bed. 
A little while later, the front door opened, followed by some noise in the kitchen.  Then a ratty-haired, blond boy walked into the room where Mark and I were lounging. The boy looked at Mark, then me, then at Mark again. With a raspy voice, he said “hey butt-hole.”
“Screw you pin-dick” Mark responded. 
“Bigger than you are and you know it.”
“Whatever. Go away brat.”
Ignoring Mark, the kid turned toward me and silently mouthed ‘small dick’ while pointing toward Mark. 
I couldn’t help but smile at his little display. He put his hands over his mouth to keep from laughing out loud. I liked this kid. He looked out of place in Minnesota, with his stereotypical California surfer look. The bleached out long hair. His shirt. Shorts. Everything about him screamed beach bum. 
“I remember you. Danny, right?”
“You got me.”
“Didn’t I tell you to leave? Mark interrupted. “You were in what, first grade when we moved?  You don’t remember Danny. Stop trying to impress him. So annoying.”
“I do remember. You had a big tree house in the woods behind your house. You guys let me up there a few times.”
“Yeah. I remember that tree house. It got destroyed in a storm like three years ago” I confirmed, smiling from the memories. 
“Bummer” he said, turning toward the staircase leading upstairs. 
“Nice to see you again Adam” I called out, as he was ascending the first step. He stopped and gave me a huge smile. Happy that I had remembered his name. He went up another step, then hesitated. He looked at me and gestured for me to come to him, so I got up and walked over to the stairs. 
“What is it?”
“Follow me. I want to show you something.”
He led me to his bedroom, hopping two steps at a time. 
“Check this out. It’s an albino rat!”
“Is it yours?”
“No. It’s my teachers, but we get to take him home and take care of him one week during the school year. I got picked for this week.”
“Sweet. Do you get to take him out of his cage?”
“Yeah. His whiskers really tickle a lot, like on your neck. He likes to crawl all around your body.  Under your shirt. He crawls everywhere. I just can’t let him get out of my room. That could be trouble.”
He took him out of his cage and we played with him for a while. 
“Don’t tell Mark I told you this, but he was so excited that he saw you again and that you’re friends again.”
“Oh yeah. When we picked him up from hockey Monday, he was going crazy excited in the car, the whole way home. And then this sleepover. He about shit himself.”
“When he found out we were moving back to Minnesota, all he could do was talk about you. He was so worried you weren’t going to remember him, or not want to be his friend.”
“Dude!  Marky is the best friend I ever had. I missed him forever. I’m way happy you guys came back.”
There was that moment of awkward silence, where neither one of of knew how to continue our conversation.  Then I spotted an electric guitar, leaned up against the wall. “Do you play the guitar?”
“Yeah. A little. Umm…I’m just starting out.”
“Cool. Play for me.”
Adam reluctantly picked up his guitar, flipped on his amp, and strummed a few chords. “I don’t know a lot of songs, so…”
“Play anything. I got an uncle that plays too. I really want to learn, but I haven’t tried yet.”
“See if you can recognize this one” he said, as he started to strum. 
It didn’t take long for me to say “Green Day!” 
He smiled proudly, as he flawlessly worked his way through the song. 
“Impressive!  You got some skills.”
“Thanks” he said, beaming with pride. 
“Well, I suppose I should get back downstairs before Mark gets jealous.  You know, you can hang out with us, if you want.”
“Thanks!  Umm…see ya.”
I hobbled back down to be with Mark, and he asked “did he show you his rat?”
“Yeah” I said back chuckling. 
“Figures. He’s trying to impress you. Show off.”
“I don’t know. He seems pretty cool to me. I always wanted a little brother.”
“Take him. He’s yours.”
I looked at Mark, obviously disturbed by his last comment. 
He caught the message, and said “I’m just kidding. He’s cool. He’s my little bro.”
A few minutes later, Adam came blasting down the stairs and plopped down on the couch, right up against me. 
Mark looked at him and asked “what the Hell?”
“Danny invited me.  What should we do?”
Mark rolled his eyes and gave me a ‘what are you doing’ gaze. I smiled back and shrugged my shoulders. 
We ended up just watching tv, waiting for his mom to get home, so we could beg her to take us out for pizza. We didn’t even need to beg, as she thought it was a great idea. 
After dinner, we found a RedBox and picked out two movies. We got home and Mark led me downstairs, to watch our dvd’s. 
“Can I watch them with you guys?” Adam pleaded. 
“Only one, young man” his mother interjected. “And NOT the horror movie. I don’t want you to get nightmares. You guys get started. I’ll bring you down some snacks later.”
We went downstairs and Adam went over to a corner of the couch. I started to sit at the other corner, when he said “sit in the middle. That chair is broken, so we all have to sit on the couch.”  
I scooted over and propped my casted leg on the coffee table. 
“Does it hurt?”
“Nah. It’s just a pain in the ass.”
Mark came back with a blanket and loaded up the DVD. He turned off the lights and crawled in on my other side. He threw the blanket across all three of us. 
“It’s pretty chilly down here.”
Then he got up again, and came back with a pillow. He picked up my leg and set the pillow on the table, under my foot. 
“Thanks Mark.”
He smiled and hit play. 
Once the movie started, they both moved in toward the middle. Snuggling against me. Maybe they were both trying to steal my body heat. All I knew is that I would stay pretty warm, with two sweet boys at my sides. 
A little while later, Mark’s mom came down with some kettle corn and iced tea. We thanked her and she disappeared back upstairs.   
About an hour into the movie, I could see Adam starting to slouch deeper into the couch. Occasionally his head would dip down, or off to the side like a bobble head. It was funny to watch him struggle to keep awake. Eventually he gave up hope altogether, and let sleep take him over. His head was dangling in what looked like an uncomfortable position, so I made some adjustments with my body and kind of guided him to rest his head on my shoulder. A soft moan escaped his lips as he sunk into me. 
After a while, he unconsciously started to thrash around, trying to find a more comfortable position within his cramped space. He drew his legs up, curling himself into a ball. His head settled into my lap. I pulled my arm out from underneath him and let it kind of dangle over his shoulder, onto my own knee. His hands sought out my forearm, and drew it into his chest, like some kind of stuffed animal. 
He had managed to get very comfortable in this tiny space. I, of course, had a sudden need to pee. After two iced teas, it was bound to happen. I tried to block it out of my mind. I really didn’t want to disturb his peaceful sleep. I held on for the rest of the movie without too much trouble. I expected their mom to come down and retrieve Adam before long, as every passing minute was becoming more difficult to deal with. 
Mark put in the next movie and glanced over at his brother. “Haha. Lightweight. God Danny. He’s totally using you as a pillow.”
“It’s alright. But I kind of need to pee. I don’t want to wake him up though.”
“Adam!  Wake up” Mark said a little louder. 
“Shhh. It’s fine. I can wait a bit longer.”
Just then Mark’s mom came down and saw Adam. “Oh dear. I’m sorry Daniel” she said as she came over to try and gently roust him up from his slumber. 
“It’s ok” I said, but I was silently cheering about the fact that I was going to get to relieve my bladder. 
Adam kind of sat up dazed and wobbly. His hair a twisted bird nest. He climbed up into his mothers arms, as she struggled with his weight. He smiled at me and said “gnite Danny. See you tomorrow” as they exited the room. 
 “I’m going to bed too boys. Not too late Mark.”
We both said goodnight, and I dashed to the bathroom, as fast as my cast would allow me to go. 
When I got back from the bathroom, Mark smiled at me and said “congratulations. You’ve got yourself a new fanboy.”
“Huh?” I replied while sitting down in Adam’s vacated spot. Propping my stupid leg back on the table. 
“Adam dude. He totally idolizes you.”
“Nah. He only just met me, what, four hours ago?”
“No dude. He’s my brother. I would know. You were cool to him and now you’ll be like royalty to him. Hehe.”
“As I should be!”  I joked back. 
Mark started the movie again, and we sunk into the couch to watch. 
After a few minutes, Mark asked “do you mind if I lay down. I mean if you’re staying way down there. All this wasted space.”
“Yeah. That’s cool. I have to keep my foot up, so yeah, I have to sit like this. Go for it.”
“Cool” he said, as I straightened his legs out, with his head in the opposite armrest. 
“I’m not gonna like, have to carry you to bed or anything, right?” I asked sarcastically. 
“Haha. I’m not going to fall asleep.”
We watched in silence for a while. It was one of the Scream movies. Not really scary, but it had some ‘jump’ moments. During one of those scenes, Mark nearly lifted off the couch. He landed with his feet on top of my thighs. I figured he would move them back where he had them resting before. Beside my legs. He simply left them where they landed. I know, big deal, right? Well, to me, it was a big deal. It was physical contact. It was innocent. But it made me feel good that he was comfortable enough to do it. 
A little while later, I made a bold move of my own, when I rested my hand on his ankle. I didn’t rub it or massage it. It just sat there. But he didn’t pull his leg away, or even flinch. It was a very small thing, but it made me happy. 
After the movie finished, Mark said “you want to go to my room. Hang out in there before going to bed?”
We got up and I followed him into his room. I sat at the foot of his bed, while he fiddled with his ipod dock. 
“Sorry if it’s been a kind of boring sleepover.”
“No way!  It’s been perfect. Just chillin’ out.”
“Cool. Do you need to take a shower or anything?  You hungry?”
“Nah. I’m cool.”
“Ok. I’m gonna go pee and brush my teeth. Just so I don’t have to do it later, like when I get tired.”
“Ok. I’ll go after you.”
“Just come with. It’s a big bathroom.”
I dug my supplies out of my backpack and followed him into the bathroom. Mark was already standing at the toilet peeing, which was kind of weird, to be honest. I used every ounce of willpower I could muster, to not stare at him next to me. It was not easy at all. I brushed my teeth and washed my face, to distract myself. He moved in behind me and I shifted over to the toilet. I was nervous, but I didn’t want to look like a pussy, so I tried to act natural, and just peed. When I finished up, Mark was bent over the sink, splashing his face. I could see his eyes were averted my way. Trying to steal a peak. I don’t know if he saw me catching him, but it was kind of embarrassing and exciting at the same time.  
When we got back to his room, he shut the door behind him and said “I get the right side. I always sleep on the right side.”
I had a private cheer and said “cool” in the most casual way possible. Masking my giddiness. 
I hadn’t packed any pajamas per say, but I did pack a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. I was going to wait him out, and see what he was planning to sleep in. For the time being, he seemed content on just staying in his regular clothes, as he just dove onto his side of the bed and laid on his back, on top of the blankets. 
I scooted in next to him and we talked over the low music. 
“It’s been forever since I had anybody spend the night.”
“It’s been forever for me too. Did you have many in California?”
“I had a few. But not much.”
“You got any friends back there that you miss a lot?”
“Ummm…not really. No. I mean I had some friends, but I didn’t like have a bestie.”
“No. I mean I did have one friend who was pretty cool. Lucas. But I don’t think I’ll ever see him again, and that’s ok.”
“Don’t laugh, but I haven’t had a good friend since you moved away. Such a loser huh.”
“I won’t laugh. I haven’t either. Losers unite.”
We both laughed at his comment, but I decided to take a risk, and be honest, when I said “I’m really happy you came back. It’s awesome to have my bestie again.”
“You have no idea. I was so worried you wouldn’t remember me or not want to bet friend, when I moved back. I’m so happy to have you here now.”
“Me too.”
We talked some more about random stuff, but I could tell Mark was starting to get tired. He was yawning like every minute and his words were sort of slurring together. Finally he admitted the inevitable, as he stood up and started to remove his clothes. He pulled his shirt over his head and yanked down his jeans. He crawled into bed in only his tight boxer briefs and pulled the covers up to just over his waist. 
I followed his lead and stripped down to just my boxers. He clicked off the light on his nightstand and we both laid there on our backs in silence. After a few minutes Mark said “goodnight Daniel” as he rolled onto his side, away from me. 
I stayed on my back and said “goodnight” as well, slowly waiting for sleep to come to me. 
Sometime during the middle of the night, I woke up with one of those ‘strange surroundings’ things. Where you know you’re somewhere unfamiliar, but you can’t remember where. My eyes popped open and I didn’t recognize my surroundings. I also didn’t know who was lying next to me, with their hand resting right above my waistband. It felt very ‘Kayla-like’, but I knew it wasn’t her I was sharing a bed with. Of course, I eventually remembered it was Mark. I laid awake for about ten minutes with my heart thumping like a freight train. I couldn’t tell if he was awake or not, but I was too scared to ask. He didn’t flinch once, and his breathing sounded like he was sleeping. A few minutes later, I fell back asleep too. 
Sometime later in the night, I woke up again. This time Mark’s hand was sitting on my far hip bone. His forearm was sitting right on top of my junk. I can’t be positive, because of the haze that comes with waking up, but I don’t think his hand was on my hip when I started to wake up. I think it slid to that spot as I started to move. I also noticed that I was hard underneath his arm. I thought I could feel gentle pulses of an accelerated heartbeat coming from his side of the bed. Did I just catch him playing with me in my sleep?  I laid awake with my eyes closed for a very long time. Too scared to move. If he was awake, he wasn’t moving either. 
I was consumed with a mixture of fear and excitement. It was too risky to bring up in a conversation, but I was definitely going to pay close attention to everything Mark says and does from now on. I know this might be a little premature, but could my dream be coming true?  A relationship with the boy I’m infatuated with. 

If any of you still talk to Jeff and Kyle.  Tell them “hi” for me. I miss them…


6 responses to “LIVE THROUGH THIS (part 27)

  1. Cool chapter. I'm glad Daniel is figuring things out quickly as to what he wants and feels. I'm also glad he and Mark have picked right back up as besties. I know how important that can be at that age.

    I'll shoot J&K an email. I occasionally get a response from them. I'll also email you with a bit of info.

    Peace <3


  2. So, Mark has an interesting little brother, Adam. He sure let Daniel know how happy Mark was to be back in Minnesota and to be with him again. It looks like Adam may be in the way a little as far as Mark and Daniel’s relationship goes though. I haven’t gotten a feeling yet for Adam’s age compared to Mark and Daniel except that he’s younger. It’s nice Daniel treated him the way he did, he’s now a hero for Adam. Adam sure does seem to have musical talent.

    This is a really good description of a really nice first evening of the sleepover. Everything seems to be going great with that whole family. It’s wonderful they are together again.

    It sure seems like Daniel and Mark will strongly bond to each other. It appears so far that their thinking lies along the same lines. I hope Daniel’s dream does come true. I’m still wondering how Kayla is going to fit in with this, I hope there is a way.

    More great writing… I really enjoyed this chapter, I sure will be watching for the next.

    I see you’ve still got cool weather there. We are in the 80s here now with everything green and blooming. I hope you get to see some of that soon. – Aof


  3. Great chapter David! Sounds like an awesome sleepover. I miss having sleepovers… Now it's usually people are just too intoxicated to drive home. It's not the same though. Can't wait to see what Daniel does with his new suspicions.

    I never heard back from Jeff on my last email, I hope everything's alright.




  4. I’ve been thinking about what it is about your writing I like so much. The way you describe things, feelings, emotions, gives me the ability to experience these that I never encountered in real life. When I read what you write, I feel I am in that place, in that situation, experiencing the same things your subject is. I think this is a special ability you have. I read a lot and usually enjoy what I read, but it normally doesn’t affect me the way your writing does. I think you have a great future as a writer. – Aof


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