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  Why the hell am I doing this?

  Michael asked himself this question over and over again all the way across town. Heart racing, palms sweating, and a thousand thoughts bouncing around his mind at once, he pulled his P.T Cruiser into the semi-familiar driveway that now made him feel nauseous. He spent a few minutes in the driver’s seat after turning the car off, just assuring himself that this needed to be done and he wasn’t making a mistake.

  After all, if Jeremy wasn’t going to do anything about it, it was up to him to end this once and for all.

  With a final deep breath, he jumped out of his car and made his way up to the porch, knocking rhythmically on the door until it opened a pair of shocked eyes met his.

  “Michael? Hey man, what are you doing here?”

  “Hey Rich, can we…can we talk?” Michael stuttered, mentally slapping himself for how quickly he lost his confidence.

  Rich hesitated, and Michael could tell how uneasy the shorter boy was by the look on his face. “Sure.”

  Michael sighed and immediately walked in the house. “Do you have anything to drink?” The thought of his own sentence prompted him to follow it quickly with, “I’m not an alcoholic.”

  “It’s cool. It’s a Saturday. Every college kid drinks on Saturday.”

  An awkward silence followed as Michael took a seat on the couch and Rich entered the living room with two glasses of an alcohol that Michael couldn’t name, but he didn’t really care as he drank half of it in one gulp.

  “…So…you and Jeremy-“

  “Fuck, he told you?” Rich said, choking on his own words a little.

  “I wish. He was supposed to tell you months ago, I…I saw your texts. He’s not the most discreet when it comes to texting someone about the next time to bang.”

  “If I were you, I would’ve just taped a note to a brick and chucked it at my window or something.”

  “I still might.” Michael joked, although he was clearly not in the joking mood, especially with Rich.

  Silence followed soon after, other than the quiet sound of them gulping their drinks down. The emptier the bottle got, the more talkative the two became. Starting with Michael lamenting the fact that he never saw it coming, they both talked for what seemed like hours about seemingly nothing. Eventually, the empty bottle was tossed aside and they stayed in their spots on the couch, staring at the wall with matching neutral expressions.

  “I don’t know, I guess you seemed nice. Your face…I mean I’m aware that I’m basing this entirely on something as superficial as your physical appearance, but…yeah. You seemed…nice. And just completely unaware as to what he wanted from you.” Michael sighed, fidgeting with his hands to keep himself occupied in his tipsy state.

  “Thank you.” Rich shrugged, not entirely sure if that was meant to be taken as a compliment or not but taking it as such anyway. There was a long pause before he spoke again. “You know, I try really hard…to be a good person. There’s people hurting all around me, and I just want to help them to be happy. I think about it in every situation. What would a good person do? Because I know inherently, I’m not. I’m just…aspiring.”

  Michael looked over at Rich, his neutral expression growing more sympathetic. “…That sounds exhausting.”

  “It is.”

  And then Rich’s lips were on Michael’s.

  At first, Michael couldn’t fully register what was happening, but when he did, he immediately pulled away.

  “I’m sorry.” Rich quickly apologized, waiting for Michael to lash out, yell, scream, anything.

  “…Fuck it, I’m not, I don’t think.” And his lips were reconnected with the shorter boy's.

  Time seemed to stop for Michael as it was filled with gentle touches, rough kisses, and soft moans echoing in Rich’s bedroom.

  It wasn’t until the two were catching their breaths for the second time when he realized how he had fucked up.

  Rich was playing with his hair in bittersweet silence, and it made Michael uncomfortable to be cuddling after doing something so horrible.

  “I hate you.”

  The shorter boy leaned up so he was hovering over Michael, a soft yet confused smirk on his face. “What?”

  “I meant, I…I hate me.” He sighed, flinching a little when Rich kissed him slowly.

  “Yeah…me too.”

  “You hate me?”

  “No, I mean-“

  “’Cause I do actually just, fucking hate you.”

  Rich moved back to lay on his back, taking a deep breath. “So do you wanna know who was better?”

  Michael stared at him with a look of disbelief, before giving his arm a light shove. “Fuck you.” He sat up, looking away from the man next him and opting for focusing on a spot on the wall in front of him. “…I’ve never done this before,” he admitted shyly, already feeling tears begin to form.

  “What? With a guy?” Rich questioned, using his elbows to prop himself up a little.

  “With anyone other than Jeremy,” Michael responded quickly, the first few tears falling down his cheeks as the guilt began to weigh on his chest.

  “No. No way.”

  He wiped away the stray tears, letting out a shaky sigh. “It wasn’t obvious?”

  “No,” Rich assured, placing a hand on the other boy’s bare shoulder. Michael immediately moved away, getting off the bed and looking around for his clothes. “So are you guys gonna try to stay together, open things up?” Rich asked casually.

  “No, that’d just be-“

  “Against your moral code?” Rich scoffed, biting his lip once he said it. “Sorry.”

  “No, you’re right. I have to go.” Michael mumbled when he found all his clothes and hastily pulled them on.

  “And if Jeremy calls me?”

  “Do whatever you want.”

  “I was gonna ask what you wanted me to say, or not say, or-“

  “I’ll tell him,” Michael stated clearly, a serious expression making him feel more mature than he wanted to feel in that moment. “I should be the one to tell him.”

  “…What’s gonna happen, do you think?”

  There was an awkward silence while Michael tried to figure out the answer to the question himself. “That’s personal,” he responded shakily, causing Rich to scoff a little.

  “That’s personal.” Rich sigh, his face softening along with his voice at his next statement. “You can call me too, y’know…if you ever wanna do this again.”

  “…I’m just gonna go.”

  Michael left, driving to the nearest park and spending the next hour crying behind the wheel of his parked car.

  What the hell have I done?