“Ollie, are you still…”
I was about to knock on my brother’s door when my hand stopped mid-air. A girlish giggle came from inside his room. I recognized Jennifer’s laugh and then heard Oliver murmur something in a much lower voice than what he usually sounded like. I sighed. Of course. Jen was here again. Even though Ollie insisted that they still hadn’t done it yet, they sure spent a lot of time locked up in his room.
“Fine, we’ll watch Stranger Things another time, then,” I said softly to myself. Seeing the time, I figured I might as well take a shower and head to bed.
Under the warm water and steam of the shower, I still couldn’t quite relax. It was good to see my brother so happy, and I really liked Jen. She was a sweet girl. But it was difficult to see my brother have his first real relationship, and experiencing true teenage love, when it seemed like that would never happen to me…
My family had been super supportive of me when I came out two years ago, but so far I hadn’t dared to tell anyone at school that I was gay. There were some rumors of course, but I usually ignored them and most of my friends thought I just wasn’t super interested in romance in general. Little did they know.
At the start of the school year, a new student had joined Newcrest High. Danny Moll. We were assigned to work on an art project together, and I soon figured out that he shared my love of painting and creativity. We got along really well and he quickly became a part of my small group of friends. Without even realizing it, Danny and I started spending more and more time together – just the two of us. He’d stayed for dinner a few times, and now that the weather was nicer, we hung out by our pool a lot on the weekend. And oh my god, his body… It had taken all the self-control I could muster not to jump on him right then and there.
But not only was he good-looking and creative; Danny was also smart, funny and super sweet. Mom loved to tell him about grandma’s career as a painter and show him old sketches of hers; dad always commented on how polite he was; and even Oliver got along really well with him after Danny had shown interest in different types of mushrooms. It was like he was the perfect son-in-law. And I… Well, I just felt like my heart would melt every time he laughed loudly, his chocolate eyes sparked with excitement or his strong jaw clenched when he was focusing on an art piece.
Of course, it was so incredibly stupid of me to have a crush on my friend who didn’t even know I liked boys. Danny probably thought we were just good friends… nothing more. He could get any girl he wanted, or any guy, for that matter. Why would he want me?
Still, as I sat on my bed, struggling to find sleep, I couldn’t help but let my mind wander. He’d never mentioned a girlfriend or a date with a girl. And he really did seem to like me – platonically, at least. How wonderful would it be if Danny was sitting here with me, wrapping me in my arms and kissing my forehead as we fell asleep together? How wonderful would it be if, for once in my life, I wouldn’t feel so… alone?