Brad said so little about Sutan, just that he was sensational at his job and when he transformed into Raja, her legs went on for miles. They arrived in the art district just as the sun started to set. The independent artiest always inspired Adam’s creativity. Leading the way, Brad took them to a large brick building containing lofts. The last door on the right was Sutan’s.
“Bish, let me in!” Pressing on the buzzer constantly to annoy the occupant inside, the door was soon thrust open.
There Adam got his first glimpse at Raja. The leopard printed dress was so short he couldn’t help but wonder how the hidden little secret didn’t slip out. It looked as though Raja was dressed and ready to go out for the evening.
“If it isn’t my favorite little dwarf.” Said with love but Brad took offense anyways.
“Ahh I never!” Placing a hand on his chest and gasping slightly, Brad walked past the other two and entered the loft. Adam quickly followed.
“And this is the closet boy you were telling me about?” Taking a seat at small table, Raja was doing touchups to the makeup.
“I’m not a…”
“Yes, this is he. The boy who loves this cute tiny rock star across the street. I swear, if it wasn’t so pathetic I would sell it to some trashy mag. But that’s not the best part. Adam is still a virgin. Saving it for the other closeted homosexual.”
“Jesus Christ, Brad!” Adam could feel his cheeks turning red, matching his hair and spreading through the rest of his body. “I told you that in secret.”
“Brad, just because you gave it up to your swimming coach in middle school does not mean everyone has to be such an easy slut.”
“Well you fucked that cabbie last week.”
“He was hot!”
“He was pushing fifty!”
“Anyways!” Stopping the conversation before it got too far, Raja got back up to check out Adam. “All joking aside, how important is…”
“How important is Tommy to you?”
So many words came to mind. Tommy was everything in his life. The first person he thought about in the morning, and the last one at night. “He’s… He’s my other half,” sounded sappy, but it had Raja and Brad both going, “Aw!”
“I can help, but you have to be serious about this.”
“I’ll do anything. Just name it.”
“First, we are putting you on a diet.” Poking at Adam’s belly didn’t help the redness in his cheeks go away. “Then a makeover. Nothing wrong with being a red head, but I see something better.”
“So what you’re saying is…” Adam’s voice softened, “That I’m not good enough?” It sounded so hurt and painful that both men approached Adam, though it was Raja who got him into a hug first.
“That thinking is going to have to stop right now. What’s inside you is truly beautiful. Never change that for anything or anyone. If Tommy can’t see that then it would be in your best interest to think about another guy.”
“Totes. Though he is a hottie.”
“God made our outsides a blank pallet. We get to decorate it anyway we see fit. I think it’s about time your outside matches the glamor of your inside.”
Leaving Sutan’s loft that night, Adam’s mind was overwhelmed with the giant project that lay ahead of him. It wasn’t the diet that worried him. For many years, Adam wished he was trimmer, lose the roundness to his shape. The makeover was exciting as well as nerve wracking, trying to picture himself in a completely different way. There was more, too, such as getting makeup tips and learning how to dance. Sutan thought it was very important. Brad tried to teach him how he would pose his face to make it appear fiercer. That session ended in a fit full of giggles from Adam’s side.
Giving up the sweets wasn’t the hardest part of the diet. After school, Adam would run the track behind the school while Brad sat on the bleachers, tanning and cheering him on. Why anyone would want to run on purpose was beyond him. When he was younger, maybe, but certainly not now.
Since he wasn’t in this summer’s play, Adam used his free time to focus more on his singing lessons. Watching his teacher’s face light up from his voice spurred him on, ending on an emotion song. There were tears in his eyes and his teachers alike.
As freshmen year neared the end, Adam welcomed the summer and the extra time to focus in on tasks on hand. After a tossup between blonde and black, Adam flipped a coin and dyed his hair black. The second he saw it in the mirror, he knew it had been the right choice. Allowance went to buy a new wardrobe, clothes that suited his slimmer figure. Evenings after rehearsals, Brad planned Adam’s debut while they were at a coffee shop, within walking distance to the play house.
Sipping on coffee that made Brad feel more sophisticated as he laid out his master plan, he said, “I went to see your man play the other night.”
About to take a bite of his side salad, Adam’s mouth hung open, waiting for the next sentence.
“He can play. The singer pulled at his hair and the pretty boy went down to his knees and I totes thought…”
“Brad, focus please.” Taking the bite now, Adam chewed slowly.
“Oh yes, right. Now that school is out, that club is looking for more people to come play. With your voice, I just thought...”
“Well un-think it. I could never.”
“And why not? This whole ‘I can’t do anything and I look weird’ phase needs to stop. Hello? Have you looked in a mirror lately? I’m tempted to get a piece from you myself.” Brad flicked his wrist as though such information was old news. “I have friends of friends that can play instruments. I’ve seen the book you write music in. Pick a song and practice it. Then after Tommy goes on stage to do his thing, you go on and do yours. Just remember to bring a mop from the drool you will find after he gets a look at the new you.”
Shaking his head in a slight yes, Adam knew he had come too far to chicken out on everything now. He just hoped Tommy liked what he saw.