It started out being so casual, that I guess I didn't realize what was happening. All of the pointless weekend trips, the days we spent at Shane's doing nothing, me being sad when I didn't see him. I never realized how I felt until I realized that he wasn't mine, and then I got mad. I got really mad that he wasn't mine, but how could I be mad?
This doesn't make any fucking sense. You're not gay. And I wasn't. It's not that I didn't want to be gay, in some cases, it felt like it would solve all my problems.
"You're a fucking idiot."
"What?" Oops. I'd forgotten where I was, something I'd seemed to be doing a lot of recently. I stood up quickly, knowing that I needed to leave before my mood carried over into the day. The last thing I needed was for Garrett to be worried about me. I fake a smile quickly and try to think of something to say.
"Nothing... I gotta go. I promised Nick I'd help him move his couch." What even? I don't give him a chance to speak, I wave goodbye and leave as fast as I can.
Once I reach the car I feel myself decompress and the anger returning.
"FUCK!" I slam my hands on the steering wheel.
I look to my left, there stands a surprised Shane.
"I'm good, Shane." I avoid making eye contact with him, he would read me like a book. He'd know I was upset.
"You're not looking at me."
"I'm good." I stare at the steering wheel for a second and then begin to put the car in reverse. He wouldn't say anything, and I knew he wouldn't.
"See you later?"
"Yup." I pull out of the driveway and make my way home.
I should've known that once I got home that I'd have multiple texts from Garrett, and a message from Shane. I hang my coat, toss my keys on the table and grab a beer from the fridge. It was only three pm, but I had never wanted anything more. I open it and take a long drink before I even glance at my messages. I sit down, leaning back into the couch that of course, Shane got me. At least it wasn't a Garrett gift, I thought as I close my eyes. What even was I feeling? Anger? Sadness? Confusion? All of the above. What the hell had I gotten myself into? I was fine a week ago, and now all of a sudden all of these emotions and feelings are clouding my judgment. What changed? What happened?
"HEY! You left so suddenly (weird) um anyways! Are you still coming to see the house later? Just need to know, I'm kinda gonna film you coming since you haven't seen it yet!! Excited! Just uh let me know?" - Garrett
"Also!!!! There will be snacks! Okay.. there will be cheezits and diet coke. Your favorite!! OKay... My favorite.." - Garrett
"Are you okay???" - Garrett
"Hey... just wanted to check in, make sure you got home safe. Are you sure you're okay? You seemed really upset today in the driveway... Are you coming to Garretts tonight? He wants to surprise you, so you need to tell him if you're coming or not... Text me back so I know you're home safe." - Shane
I decide to text Shane back first.
"Made it home safe. I'm good, just have some things that I'm trying to figure out. I don't know about Garrett's yet, I will let him know."
"I'm always here if you want to talk. He really wants you to come, but if you're not up for it, then let him know." - Shane
"I will let him know if I decide to go. I know, thanks, Shane."
I leave my phone on the couch and get up to shower. Maybe I just needed to clear my head and think about everything. I turn the shower on and undress. The hot water streams down my back and down my body. I start my shower process and feel myself begin to somewhat relax. I can't stop thinking about him. But why? I'm not gay, I wished it could be that simple.
I get out of the shower, wrapping a towel around my waist, I decided that I needed another beer and that clothes aren't necessary at the moment. That was my first mistake. Well, actually, I guess my first mistake was leaving the door unlocked, no... actually, the first mistake was texting Shane before texting Garrett because the motherfucker was sitting on my couch.
"Andrew! Hey! SO are you coming to the house tonight? By the house, I mean my house... I should've specified what house I was talking about because we never go to mine... So are you coming?"
"I'm naked." Is all I could say, as I feel my face turn bright red.
"Oh. Yeah, I guess you are." He doesn't seem the least bit phased.
"Uhh... I'm going to put clothes on." I grip my towel tightly and hurry out of the room.
Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck??? I shut my door quickly behind me right as my towel drops. I lock it behind me and begin to search for pants, shirts, socks, any type of clothing. Why was I so messy? That's where Garrett and I bonded, us both being messy guys, Shane as well. I guess we all were that way. Thank God for Ryland.
"Andrew? Have you been drinking? Will you need a ride to my place? I can take you. I'm already here anyway. You're coming, right? Sorry to intrude by the way... I was worried when you didn't text me back... I wanted to make sure you were safe." Of course, he did. He's so sweet and kind, and thoughtful, and just great. He's great, and good, and perfect and fuck me I am in deep. No. No. No. Let's not follow this path of thinking right now. Let's not think about how much I want to kiss his stupid face because I am not gay. I am straight, and I just am feeling lonely is what this is, and I'm projecting feelings that aren't there, I don't like him that way. I'm just lonely, I just miss Gabbie. I'm not gay. I'm just not. I like women, not men. I am straight. I'm straight, I'm straight, I'm straight.
"Andrew?? Are you okay? Are you drunk?" I quickly dress and exit my room.
"What? No. I'm good. Sorry, I didn't text you back, I wa-"
"Wait, I thought you had to help Nick with his couch? Why are you drinking if you have to help Nick with his couch?"
"What? Oh yeah, no... I got the days mixed up... He meant next Saturday." Fuck. I shouldn't have lied, to begin with, now what?
"So. Tonight?" I sigh and walk over to the kitchen, I grab another beer.
"I don't think I'm gonna come... I've been feeling strange lately, I think I should just stay home." I watch as his face falls, and he clearly becomes upset. "I'm sorry Gar, I don't know what's wrong with me. I don't want to bring the group down. I know this is a big deal for you. I want you to be happy tonight, not worried about me." He avoids eye contact with me, another thing we have in common, I note.
"The whole point was for you to see... Okay." He cuts himself off and stands up, still avoiding eye contact. "I guess I will get going, see you later buddy."
"Garrett..." I make a move towards him but stop myself, I don't know what my actions would be after that point. This fucking sucks.
"It's fine. I'll see ya." I clench my fists, angry at myself for upsetting him.
"B-Bye." I manage.
"Yup." Shit. He's mad. Why? Why is he mad? Not a big deal for me to miss a hangout? I watch as he leaves, shutting the door abruptly behind him. I open the beer and chug it down, I shouldn't be drinking, but I'd already fucked up more than I thought I would today, so why not drink some more? Again... I'd regret that idea.
It was only nine thirty and I was drunk. Fuck. Something was buzzing, and it wasn't just my head. I'd sat in the same place for hours, drinking my thoughts into oblivion, and angrily watching The Office. The buzzing stopped and was soon replaced with knocking. Who even? I find myself rolling off the couch to my knees, I pull myself up and stumble to the door. I glance through the peephole. Son of a bitch. Shane. Of course, Mr. Save the Day Dawson to the rescue. I open the door and fake a smile.
"Shane! To what do I owe this pleasure?"
"Andrew what the fu- Oh shit. It's worse than I thought."
"Yeah. It sure fucking is." I groan, slamming the door behind him. I stumble to the kitchen and grab for another beer, but they're all gone. "Damn it."
"Andrew... What is going on?" I stand in the kitchen, my back to Shane. Maybe it was the alcohol, or maybe I was just being sensitive, or maybe I just felt really bad for missing Garretts big reveal, but I could feel myself begin to tear up. I wipe viciously at my eyes. Stop, stop, stop, stop. I don't cry, at least not in front of anyone.
"W-what? What do you mean? I'm good. We're good. It's good." I keep my stance facing away from Shane. "I need more beer, I'm going to go get some more beer." I shut the fridge and turn to get my keys.
"No. You don't need more beer, you need to sit down." I feel him take my hand and lead me to the couch.
"Stop, stop, stop, stop!" I raise my voice and instantly regret it. I don't yell. That's not who I am, Andrew doesn't yell at anyone, especially not friends.
"Whoa... Okay. Okay." He stops touching me, I sit down on my own and cross my arms in front of me. It's happening, I feel myself beginning to tear up again. Fuck. Instead of wiping them away, I let them fall. I cover my face with my hands, feeling its muscles contract together, I am crying. I am crying in front of Shane. No, no, no, no, let's stop this, now let's stop right now. But I can't. The anger rushes out of me, the sadness and confusion as well.
"I...I... I don't know.." Shane puts a hand on my back, and I drunkenly lay my head on his shoulder. Sober Andrew would never.
"Shhh. Hey, you don't have to talk, just let it out." He pats my back rhythmically, an attempt to get me to calm down. It sort of works, and I feel myself to calm down. "Everything's gonna be okay. I don't know what's going on, or why you're crying, but you're gonna get through this. I'm here." I didn't think I'd like that. Shane comforting me with words, but I did. He was right, everything was going to be okay. I just felt so bad about upsetting Garrett, and every time I closed my eyes all I could see was how disappointed he'd been when I'd said I wouldn't come. I knew how much it meant to him, and I'd still bailed.
"I just... didn't want to ruin his night... I... I wanted him to be happy tonight... I know he wanted to show me... But I didn't want to ru...."
"Not going to lie, Andrew. He was upset as soon as you said you weren't coming... But you knew that. You know him better than any of us do, and I've known him for as long as I can remember being on Youtube." Why would he say this? Another wave of immense guilt crashes over me and I feel myself begin to cry all over again.
"I didn't mean to hurt him." Is all I could get out before I began to feel myself fall asleep.
I woke up on the couch, covered up with a blanket. A blanket that Garrett had actually bought me. It was Harry Potter themed, of course, I'd had the feeling that he'd bought it for me, to have for him when he came over. I'd never seen Harry Potter, but I couldn't let him know that, so when he'd given it to me, I acted as if I had, and as if he'd just given me the worlds greatest present.
"Morning." I sat up quickly, instantly regretting it, I laid back down.
"Morning," I mutter.
"Huh? I have coffee?"
"No, I went and got some this morning... It's twelve in the afternoon."
"Oh.. Cool. Please." I sit up again, slower and take the coffee from Shanes' hand. "About last night..." I begin, Shane stops and turns, listening intently. I continue, "about last night... I'm sorry..." I don't know where I'm going with this so I stop talking.
"You don't need to apologize... to me." Shane sits beside me, and I can't decide if I'm sad again, or if I'm mad at passive aggressive Shane.
"Look." I take a sip of coffee. "I know I messed up." Again, I don't know where I'm going with this, so I stop talking. I take another drink.
"What's going on?" And the sweet compassionate Shane is back, I begin to feel my guard come down again. "Last night... Last night was weird and sad, and confusing... And you might not want to talk about it... But for Garrett's sake, I think you should. Hell, for your sake I think you should." I nod.
"I know, I know. I just... Don't know." Now I'm just talking out of my ass. "I don't know what to say, I don't know what I'm feeling, or even how I'm feeling. I feel awful about yesterday, I didn't mean to hurt him, and when I told him I wasn't coming to his house the look in his eyes... Shane, the look in his eyes broke my heart. I just... I don't know what's going on with me, and I didn't want to bring the mood dow-"
"Okay, but you knew that he was excited for you to come over. I told you he was so excited, you should've at least tried to lie or something..."
"I don't lie to him, Shane."
"Okay, so you just lie to me now? Look, I know you two are closer than we are, and that's great and all... But I can tell there's something going on with you, and it has to do with Garrett, so why don't you just tell me, and we can go from there?" Again, I feel myself becoming angry. Angry at myself for getting into this mess, and angry at Shane for thinking he could fix it.
"You think you can just fix everyone don't you?" I snap. Calm down.
"Excuse me?" The look in his eyes shifts from concerned, to angry. I regret this immediately, but I don't see myself backing down.
"Yeah... You think you can fix everyone, that everyone around you is just helpless and damaged. Dr. Shane fucking Dawson to the God damn rescue... Do me a favor and get the hell out of my house."
"Get out, Shane."