Case Study: Matthew Cohen
Facts thus far gathered
- Everyone likes him; he is the most popular boy at the school. Does not explain the fascination he appears to have with me.
- Does not care that everyone likes him, never plays up popularity card.
- Always listens, intently, making eye contact whenever he can. Slightly unnerving.
- Was the cause for the breakup of Mike and Misha without meaning to be, thus leading to our first real interaction.
- Asked to study with me for finals for the second time.
- The first time he kissed me.
- I might have feelings for him I didn’t know about before.
- I’m not so sure this is the best thing.
Matt Cohen being part of my life was never something I planned.
Tom’s palms were sweating as he paced down the sidewalk. This was rather ludicrous. After all, the ground was covered with snow and he could see his breath every time he exhaled. But the nerves were too strong and his mind was spinning out of control. It couldn’t be helped, feeling this way, but it didn’t necessarily make it easy.
Tom had never really had a crush on anyone before, not a real crush, and especially not a crush that could potentially lead to something more.
Should be Noted
- Matt made something flutter in my stomach, like butterflies.
- While everyone else in the school walks past me without a second glance, Matt notices.
- Being with a guy, if that is what Matt wants, is complicated.
- Matt was my first kiss. It was just one, hardly the full press of lips, but I thought about it for days afterward and still am.
- I am, maybe a little terrified.
Matt Cohen lived in a two story house that looked white in the dark of early winter evening but was probably some shade of cream or something. Tom liked to make note of those sorts of things and it bothered him that he couldn’t. His fingers shifted over his notebook and his Trig book and he shuffled from one converse to the next, feet crunching in the snow. It took him a few moments to remember that he hadn’t rung the doorbell and he nearly jumped when the door opened the moment he’d pressed the lighted button.
“Hey.” Matt’s grin was wide, stretching from one side of his lips to the other, and his eyes were nearly sparkling in the light spilling out of the house. “I was wondering when you’d show up.”
Tom lifted his hand and peered down at his watch. It was seven on the nose. “Didn’t you say seven? I’m on time.”
Matt continued grinning at him and nodded, stepping back to grant Tom access into the house. “I did say seven. I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised that you would be exactly on time. Do you want to take your shoes off?”
Honestly, Tom found the idea impractical.
The rug in this area was wet and if he took his shoes off his socks might get wet, Tom wasn’t certain this was a wise risk. But Matt was looking a little hopeful – he thought – and so he stepped to the side and bent down, unlacing his converse and slipping them off. Tom had forgotten he was wearing Christmas socks, he must look ridiculous. When he finally straightened up Matt was still watching him, still smiling though there was certainly something oddly fond about his look.
“My room is down here.” Matt gestured down the hall, turning to lead the way.
Tom spared cursory glances at the pictures on the wall. He didn’t go over to people’s houses very often and it was strange in a good way to be here now. Judging from the pictures on the way Matt was an only child and he lived with just his mother. Tom wondered what that must be like. He had a mother and a father and eight siblings that kept his life more than a little busy.
“I’m just gonna get us some soda, and candy. My mom makes really great Christmas candy. Do you like chocolate?” Matt bounced back once Tom had entered his room, fingers fidgeting on the edge of his shirt.
Tom looked toward him once more though he wanted to peer around the room curiously. But he smiled at Matt and looked down at his red and green toes instead. “Yeah, I do. I don’t get to have it a lot because my brothers and sisters always eat it all.”
“Well, I’ve got a lot to share.” Matt laughed softly and teetered forward once more then slid back. “I’ll be back in one minute.”
Watching Matt disappear down the hall once more, Tom slowly looked around, curiously examining.
Things to be learned from Matt’s room:
- Collects movie posters, including: The Boondock Saints, V for Vendetta, Fight Club, and The Matrix
- Either relatively clean or cleaned before I arrived, no sign of dirty clothes.
- Decorated window with Christmas lights – possibly loves the holiday as much as I do.
- Shelf with miscellaneous knick knacks indicates mild collector of all things.
- Carpet was dark green, walls were white, blanket was black and fluffy on a bed that looked way too comfortable.
- Pictures on bulletin board with kids from school suggest his popularity.
- Closer inspection – My picture in the right hand corner – Cannot recall when it was taken but it looks like the math classroom
The lack of noise in the house suggests we are alone.
“What do you always write in that thing?” Matt asked as he came back in the room, setting a tray covered with Christmas cookies and candy. There were two sodas lying on the edges of it.
Tom had taken a seat on the end of Matt’s bed after shrugging off his coat and he suddenly felt a little self conscious because that was assuming sitting on the boy’s bed was okay. There might be rules for that sort of thing. “Facts. I like to keep track of things.”
“Were you writing about me?” Matt asked softly, stepping toward him, the smile on his face slipping up and disappearing.
“Uh huh,” Tom admitted and flicked the notebook closed, lips rolling together. “About your room. What it means about you.”
“What does it mean about me?” Matt whispered and stepped forward again, finally sitting beside Tom on the bed which must mean it was okay to be there.
“I’m not sure yet,” Tom murmured, picking at the hole over his knee until Matt’s hand rested over his. When he looked up, Matt was watching him with curious eyes and a wide smile. “I’m not supposed to like you.”
“Because of your family?” Matt wet his lips and shifted a little bit closer.
Should be Noted take 2
- I could feel the heat from Matt’s knee pressed against my own.
- I could hear my heart racing in my ears.
- my lips were too dry which worried me because Matt seemed like he might kiss me again.
- My palms were sweating and I desperately hoped Matt wouldn’t try to hold hands because that was embarrassing.
“Tom?” Matt whispered and ran his fingertips along Tom’s jaw. “If it’s not okay I’ll back off you know? I won’t push you.”
“I don’t get why you like me,” Tom admitted in something close to an exhale. “No one even knows I exist.”
“Nah, that’s not true.” Matt shook his head and smiled once more. It seemed like Matt was always smiling. Tom didn’t get how that was possible.
“So why do you like me?” Tom asked but he didn’t move away because he didn’t want Matt to. It was rather nice to be the center of someone’s attention.
Matt’s hand slid up the side of his face and to his hair, passing through the dark locks and lingering on the back of his neck. “Because you don’t need me too.”
This logic made a very little sense to Tom but Matt was drawing him in then, their lips touching, and it was like everything in his stomach twisted and rolled pleasantly. It was longer than their last kiss, drawn out and warm, wet and tingling until Tom’s toes curled together on the carpet and his hand clasped Matt’s thigh because it didn’t seem like there was anywhere better to hold.
When they pulled back it was after the brief touch of tongues and Tom blinked, realizing too late that his eyes had been open the entire time. “What do you mean?” He asked like the statement Matt had said wasn’t five minutes before.
Matt laughed softly and dropped his hand. “You’re funny, the way you have to know everything analyze everything. Doesn’t that ever get old?”
“No.” Tom shook his head, only a little annoyed that Matt wouldn’t answer his question. “It keeps me a part of things.”
“Okay.” Matt nodded and touched the inside of Tom’s wrist. “Everyone wants to be friends with me but you never push it. You’re cute, and shy, and a little quirky which makes you interesting. I think it would be really awesome if you liked me like that too.”
“But then I would want to be your friend.” Tom pointed out the flaw in Matt’s logic and smiled nervously. “Doesn’t that make me not as interesting?”
“No, it would just make you more amazing,” Matt leaned in to kiss him again and this time Tom didn’t hesitate to part his lips.
Case Study: What to get
Matt my boyfriend for Christmas?
- A movie poster: he mentioned liking Terminator and also the Nightmare Before Christmas.
- Photo album
- New camera
- Box of candy
- More kissing