You know, I knew better. I told myself that coming out was a complicated process, that it didn’t mean anything that you’d let me suck you off in the midnight showing of a cheesy action flick, every explosion on the screen bright enough that the guy two rows over could see my head between your thighs, could see the way you had your head thrown back, your fingers clutching my hair so hard you nearly pulled it out—but you wouldn’t hold my hand when we left.
I told myself it was just because we had to keep things quiet until I graduated, until you weren’t in charge of my grades, until you wouldn’t lose your job over fucking a student. I told myself it didn’t have anything to do with the fact that you weren’t out and I was the president of the GSA and more flamboyant than the glitterbaby love child of Johnny Weir and Adam Lambert.
I used to worry that I was too effeminate for you, that there was too much swish in my hips, but you told me you loved everything about me. You told me that nothing got you hotter than watching me walk into class in the morning in jeans so tight it hurt to sit, wearing a T-shirt that didn’t quite cover all of my stomach. I told myself that was enough.
I believed myself—I believed you—because of the way you held me tight like you couldn’t stand to let me go. I let it be real when you whispered that one day, you were going to bend me over the railing on your balcony as the sun came up and fuck me hard where all your neighbors could get an eyeful on their way to work. I believed you when you said that one day I wouldn’t have to leave before morning, that one day I’d get to have breakfast with you.
Because as much as I wore rainbows and pink triangles and Define “Girlfriend” T-shirts to school, as much as I defined myself as out and proud, I was terrified. Every single day, I was scared to death that it was going to be the day that one of the football players thought I made a pass at him and stuffed me in his locker, and the only thing that got me through was the way you looked at me, the way you called me to your office and locked the door and kissed me until my mouth hurt and my knees buckled.
You only did it once, on my birthday, the day you sent Justin Kane home for pinning me to the wall in the hallway and calling me a faggot and a slut and a cocksucker. It was just once, the corner of your desk pressing into the backs of my thighs as you swept your tongue into my mouth and held me close and told me you were sorry. Sorry he’d done that to me. Sorry you couldn’t tell him to fuck off and leave your boy alone.
It was only once, but it was enough. It bought you a lot of time. It gave you a lot of wiggle room with your excuses and your “I’m busy” and your “We can’t risk it” and your insisting I meet you two towns over for our dates, that we get two separate hotel rooms, that I pay for my decoy room with cash you gave me twenty minutes after you’d already checked in to yours.
It was hard when you told me we needed to stop seeing each other for a while, just to cool suspicions, just until I graduated, but I told myself I could do it. The memory of your mouth against mine, whispering that you wanted to kick Justin Kane’s ass, that you wanted to shove me up against a wall and make him watch you blow me just to show him what a cocksucker really is—that would be enough to get me through six more months. Six more months until eighteen, until graduation, until I had you back again.
But even that one day, that memory pressed into my mind deeper than the desk-bruise on my legs, wasn’t enough to make it all right when I saw you kiss her, when I saw you put your hands around her waist and hold her close in front of a whole fucking room full of people.
It wasn’t even that she was older, out of school, your own age. It was that she was a she, and you’d told me you weren’t bi, you weren’t even flexible. You’re gay, and all you wanted—all you would ever want—was my mouth around your cock, my legs around your waist, my fingernails pressing into your shoulders, my neck bruising under your teeth.
Does she know? Does she know that the only reason you can get it up for her is that you’re remembering me, imagining me? Do you ever start to call out my name and have to bite off the syllables, or do you just clench your teeth and not say anything at all?
I don’t even want you back anymore. I’d never trust you. Dreams like that don’t work after they’ve been shattered. I feel sorry for her, for the way she doesn’t even know who you really are, for the way she’ll never know that, more than anything in the world, what you really want is for her to have a sweet cock for you to suck.
But nothing—nothing—is ever going to be sweeter for me than knowing you saw the fingernail marks on Shane McConnell’s back at the swim team practice. Because fuck yes, he liked it. He told me later it was worth every chlorine sting, every sore pull of his shoulders. He told me I was worth every second of the forty-five-minute lecture he got about how sometimes we have to make decisions to deny ourselves something we want in order to achieve a goal.
You oughta know.