Connor took a deep breath. What the fuck I was thinking, he thought. School proms are in the Top 5 worst places for a social anxious folk to be and he knew it. He knew it and, even knowing, Connor told his boyfriend that since his recovery, how he felt guilty about all the stuff he deprived his mother of in order of his drug addiction. And one of those things was the feeling of dressing her son up to the prom. Of course she had Zoe but was not the same thing, and Connor never went to any of his proms since the Freshman because he was too busy getting high.
There’s no need to say that everybody in the Murphy’s house got completely shocked when one day Connor just went downstairs to have breakfast and blurted out “hey, Dad, can you borrow me a suit for the prom?”. Everybody was pretty shocked but Larry literally chocked with his cereal.
Now here he was, taking a bunch of photos of his sister and Jared Kleinman, since he was her pair and they were kind of dating. At the beginning, he thought a little weird but then Connor just got used to it.
“Are you both already over? I have to be at Evan’s place at 7:30PM” Connor asked, taking another shot.
“Man, calm down, it’s only six. Besides that, the prom is at 8 o’clock” Jared said.
“Yes, but if, for example, I came at four o’clock, then three Evan shall begin to be nervous” Connor pointed out.
“Wait, did you just quoted The Little Prince out of nowhere?”
“It’s his favorite book, Con used to sleep with a stuffed fox when he was a kid” Zoe said turning to her boyfriend.
“Oooooooh really Con?” joked Jared “Actually , that’s like discovering that Vladmir Putin enjoys painting handmade teacups but wow.”
“Fuck off, Kleinman”
Connor glanced at the clock again. 6:26 PM. Considering that he usually takes around ten minutes to arrive in Evan’s house, he still had time. But was a Saturday evening. The traffic could be a little slower in the weekends so it’s better to hurry up, he thought. So he picked his wallet, some hairclip and his keys. He kissed his sister goodbye and said the usual hurt-my-sister-and-I-will-kill-you speech to Jared. The traffic was pretty good, making him arrive to the Hansen’s house at 6:40PM.
“Oh, hey Connor, I thought you would arrive a little later” Heidi exclaimed, happily opening the door to her son in law.
“Hi Heidi, I wanted to be sure that I didn’t get late”
“Of course you did, come here” She laughed pulling Connor into a warm hug. “Evan is still getting ready, do you mind to wait in the living room?”
“Not at all”
Connor was about to text his boyfriend saying that he had already arrived but before he could open the chat, he listened to Evan’s voice upstairs.
“Mom, do you think it’s better for me to go with the red tie or the blue tie? Or m-maybe I could go with the green one, right? Connor’s eyes are green. I MEAN, kind of green because he has heterochromical eyes it’s green and a little hazel and-” Evan stopped in shock in the moment he saw his boyfriend.
“Blue suits really good on you thought.” Connor affirmed, smiling softly.
“T-thanks. Uh you, you showed up a little s-sooner, right?” Evan observed, rubbing the back of his neck.
“Yeah, I was afraid of the traffic being stuck, but end up all fine” He nodded confirming. “Is everything okay?”
“Oh sure, TOTALLY fine. I just need to f-finish to get ready. To comb my hair and p-put my tie on, the blue, right?”
“You look stunning in everything you wear Ev, trust me” Connor said, trying to calm his boyfriend. “Are you sure you’re fine?”
“Absolutely, justhavetofinishgettingreadybye” Evan said fastly before running to his bedroom.
Connor looked to Heidi, trying to understand what just happened.
“He would have an awesome career in the RAP industry speed flowing like that” Heidi pointed to herself.
“Heidi, is everything really okay?” Connor asked worried with the possible answer.
“Yes, Dear. Evan will be fine, he just had never went to any school prom before” She explained.
Connor didn’t know that. Did he know that Evan would probably hate proms? Yes, but did he know that Evan never went to one? Nope. Actually, Connor should have figured this out. Evan had like four friends and he was his first boyfriend. Now he started to think and feel a little guilty. He was so selfish, only thinking about himself and almost forgetting about the one he most cared about. Now he had to do something about.
“I think I’ll check how Evan is doing upstairs” Connor said to Heidi, who nodded smiling in response.
Connor started pulling his hair into a ponytail while he was climbing the stairs. It would probably ruin the hair that Zoe spent almost an hour combing and untangling but he couldn’t help it, was an old habit that he did every time he was feeling nervous. During his bad days, especially when he barely have energy to get up from his bed, the simple sensation of having his hair relatively organized gave him such a feeling of self-control and productivity that even he wasn’t feeling depressed he still continued doing.
When Connor arrived in Evan’s bedroom, the door was almost closed, excepted for a small gap. He tried to catch a glimpse of the room but it was too dark so he knocked on the door.
“Ev, may I come in?” He asked opening the door slowly.
“Sure sure, I’m just having some problem with the tie” Evan responded, turning to his boyfriend.
Connor entered into the room, looking at Evan and taking a better look of the boy. Damn, he looked so different with the suit, nothing like the usual Evan, with his stripped shirts and old jeans. Even so, Connor loved both of his boyfriend’s styles. He also noticed that Evan was almost done, except for the blue fabric tangled confusingly tangled around his neck.
“Hey handsome, having problem with this?” Connor asked, pointing to the tie.
“Uh… actually y-yes. I… don’t know how to do a proper tie knot” Evan explained, nervously rubbing the back of his neck “You know, no father figure and stuff, but my mom can do-...”
“Oh, c’mon Ev, it’s not hard to put a tie on, come here, I’ll show you”
Evan took two steps to his boyfriend who, he had to admit, looked hella hot with the hair tied up. Not the Evan had never seen Connor with a ponytail or didn’t think he was attractive with loose hair, far from that, he always thought the other boy very handsome, even before they started dating. Evan always had a thing for those mysterious dark eyes and soft smile that almost anyone had the privilege to see.
“Look, all you have to do is take this part, turn to the left then up, then to the right, now pull down and adapt to the size of your neck” Connor explained slowly, showing each step to Evan in his tie.
The taller boy took a step back to analyze his own work and smiled concluding that the knot wasn’t crooked after all. He came back to Evan, looking to his eyes and cupping his face.
“So…” Evan’s face turned completely red. “It’s just this?”
“Yeah, quite simple huh?” Connor said with a hoarse voice, smirking and softly rubbing his boyfriend’s cheek.
“It remembered me that time your dad taught me how to break into a glovOH FUCK!! You’re here clearly flirting with me and I’m talking about your father!! That’s such a mood killer! Damn I’m so sorry and-…”
“Evan, breath it’s okay” Connor said placing a soft kiss in Evan’s lips. “I love you, are you listening? I love you”
“I love you too, it’s just that sometimes I get a little nervous” He said looking everywhere but Connor’s eyes.
“You don’t have to feel like that, before being boyfriends we’re friends after all” Connor said, running his thumb along the other one’s cheek. “Besides that, I’m a trust fund baby, you can trust me”
“I can’t believe you just quoted Hamilton to me out of nowhere” Evan broke into a laugh, punching his boyfriend’s shoulder softly.
“I couldn’t help it, but anyway, are you sure that you really want to go?”
“Oh, of course, it’s an important thing to you, right?” He forced a smile.
“Evan, I don’t want to do anything that could make you uncomfortable” Connor said in a serious tone.
Evan took a deep break. He couldn’t say that he was excited to the prom. These kinds of social events had always been avoided by him. Crowded places made him feel pretty uncomfortable, besides that he never had anyone to go with. Well, now Evan was dating Connor, but it didn’t transformed him into a fan of social events and crows.
“It’s okay” He lied.
Therefore, Connor opened a bright smile, untied his hair and said:
“So it’s better hurry up, we both know Heidi will take a bunch of pics”
“Oh my Christ, you look like two princes” Heidi exclaimed with a large smile in the face.
“Mom…” Evan cried.
“Don’t even start it, Honey, come close to the stairs with Connor” Said the woman, putting the others in place.
They passed a couple of minutes taking a bunch of photos and the time was running out. Connor could clearly see that his boyfriend unquiet every time he asked if anything was wrong, Evan said everything was fine. So they decided to hurry up.
“Good prom boys, have fun” Heidi said goodbye hugging them both “Connor, take care of my baby”
“Don´t worry Heidi, I always do” Connor smiled entering in the car, followed by Evan.
During all the way, Evan was quiet as a mummy, answering all of Connor’s questions monosyllabically, making Connor just give up on having a proper conversation after a few attempts. That gave the rest of the ride an unusual thing between them: the awkward silence. It was not uncommon for the two boys to simply stay in each other’s company, without saying a single word. However, it was the first time that the silence was something uncomfortable.
They stopped the car in the park and Connor took a better look of his boyfriend. It was totally clear that Evan was quite nervous, not just nervous, like in their first date. Evan was very anxious, his leg was bouncing and he was breathing without a proper rhythm.
“Ev, the prom thing is triggering you”
“What? T-The p-p-prom? NO! I´m okay Connor”
“Evan, you’re not okay, I’m not asking a question, I’m pointing a fact. We’ve been dating for a while, I know you and I’ve seen you having an anxiety attack once so I’m just stating a fact.”
“Yeah, but I’m not THAT bad, we can just-…”
“Besides that, you know that I’m not the most neurotypical guy in town so I know exactly how a panic attack sucks”
Evan closed his eyes, reclining himself on the seat. He took a deep breath, for Connor’s relief. It was his first controlled breathe in last minutes.
“Connor…” Evan groaned.
“My love, you can’t bullshit a bullshitter, so stop lying to me”
Connor extended his hand to Evan’s face really slow, silently asking for his permission. He knew that when Evan were having an anxiety crisis, physical touch would make him extremely overwhelmed. Evan responded to Connor’s silent ask leading his own head to the other boy’s hand, who started to rub soft circles on Evan’s scalp.
Evan took one more deep breath. It was hard to look in boyfriend’s eyes right now; not only he spent the last hour lying about being okay but he also lied to Connor about wanting to go to the prom since it was annunciated. However, from now on, the lies would be over.
“Can we go to other place please?”
They went to a park in East side of the city, with a lot of trees, that people use to have picnics, but by that time of night, the probability of a bunch of children laughing and playing would be minimum. Evan spread his coat on the grass and seat sat on it.
“Are you sure that this is a good idea?” Connor asked, gesticulating to the coat. “Didn’t you said it was borrowed?”
“I don’t think the owner will appear wanting the coat back” Evan answered sarcastically “It’s my father’s”
“C’mere” Evan pulled Connor leg, making him seat next to him, then laying his head down on his shoulder.
“So… wanna talk about?”
Evan stood in silence for a moment. That would be hard, but since he decided to be 100% sincere about the prom, he would have to talk about.
“All I wanted to do was to see you happy, you know” Evan muttered, barely audibly.
“I mean, you were all excited with the prom and I really didn’t want to be that kind of shitty boyfriend that comes and tell that a stuff you like is not nice” Evan said lowering his eyes.
Connor stared in shock. The other boy continued.
“Besides that, I supposedly to be excited to go to the prom too. I mean, I never had anyone during my entire life, but now I have you, so I should want to go to proms and stuff”
“Evan, stop. When I asked you if there was any problems, all the times I asked, I wanted you to tell me the truth”
“I didn’t want to disappoint you”
“Evan, look at me” Connor said cupping his boyfriend’s face, making the blue eyes met the hazel ones. “You are my priority, not that stupid prom, okay? If the prom is being bad for the most important person in my life then fuck the prom.”
“But how about you? You were all hyped with the ‘stupid prom’ in the last months.” Evan asked, still flusted by the other’s words.
“To be quite honest, I couldn’t care less about it. I mean, I was doing all that because I had some kind of idea that, since I stopped going to my proms in freshman year, the same era that I started with the weed, going now would give her some hope vibe.” He stopped talking to tie the hair up again. “Anyway, in the end it was all a crazy stuff of my head, since she and dad traveled three days ago”
“It’s okay, babe, I guarantee that Heidi would take pics enough for twelve teenage couples”
“It’s just a shame that all of this was for nothing thought”
“I wouldn’t say that. Taking away the part of the actual prom, I think we had some good points to considerate.”
“Look at us, Evan. Today I had the opportunity of wearing a nice suit and see the most handsome guy in the world all dressed up.” Connor said with a confident smile.
“And I learned how do on a tie” Evan continued, starting to smile.
“Right! See? It wasn’t for nothing” Connor wrapped his arms around his boyfriend’s shoulders. “Not to mention that every opportunity I have to see you is magical by itself”
Still blushing, Evan kissed the other tenderly. Connor was right after all.
“Also, it reminds me of a thing that I was preparing for after the prom but since the prom is gone I gonna pick up now” Connor said getting up and going to the car trunk and getting back with a bottle of wine and some slices of cheese.
“Wine?” Evan asked smiling to the other.
“Yeah, even with you lying that you were the biggest fan of school proms, I already thought that you wouldn’t like that much the after party” Connor said sarcastically, followed by Evan’s laughs. “So I stole a bottle of my parent’s wine, bought some fine cheese and here we are.”
“You stole it???” Evan asked in shock.
“Evan my dear, I am just tall, my face is zero percent mature. Who would be crazy to sell alcohol to a guy like me?.”
“Okay, you have a point”
Connor sat back in his place and Evan placed the head on his shoulder almost immediately. They stayed there, talking about sweet nothings. After some minutes, they stared at each other eyes and in this look, Connor could see how he loved Evan and how he was loved. After all, that was the only thing the mattered.