I keep thinking back to this day when my friend and I were assigned to be partners for a school art project. This was before we’d started dating, way back before I ever told him I liked him. He invited me to his house after school so we could work on the assignment, and I should have been happy to spend time with him. I mean, he was my greatest friend at the time. But I was melancholic and heavy-hearted all day because I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I liked him and how he didn’t have a clue. It was really tearing me up inside. His parents were out of town and we’d been at the dinner table working on the project for a few hours. There was a huge thunderstorm going on outside and we kept seeing all these news reports on the tv saying that they might have to shut down a few roads because of flooding. It was awful. On top of that, the windows were leaking and the lights kept flickering and dimming like the power was on the verge of going out. It was getting really late and I was supposed to be back at my house by then, but I couldn’t because of the storm, so we kept working. Then his parents called him on the phone and he went outside and sat on the front steps to talk to them. I was watching him from the doorway and I just thought he looked so cool right then. I mean, the rain was really crashing down, all of the trees were swaying back forth, there were lightning bolts in the sky, car alarms were going off. It was chaos. And he was sitting right before all of that chaos, oblivious to it. I remember thinking that I’d rather draw him sitting on the front steps talking on the phone in the midst of a thunderstorm like that than work on some mindless art project for school. I also remember looking at the outline of his shoulder blades on his shirt and thinking that they reminded me so much of angel’s wings. And then I all of a sudden felt like I was about to cry because I just didn’t know what I was supposed to do. I wanted to tell him how I felt about him but I was so afraid that it would destroy our friendship, especially because I truly thought he was straight back then (yes, we’re both boys). It was killing me, it really was. So I went back to the dinner table and worked on our project because my heart couldn’t bear to watch him any longer. I don’t know how much time passed but I ended up falling asleep then and there and I woke up to his hand on my shoulder and I heard him say “Hey. You might as well spend the night, it’s twelve-thirty a.m.” So we went up to his room, and I remember how I could still feel the weight of his hand on my shoulder long after it wasn’t there anymore, and how I wished he would put his hand on my shoulder again and leave it there, but he didn’t. He gave me one of his shirts and sweatpants to change into, and he let me sleep on the recliner in his room. But I couldn’t sleep at all. I think this was the very first time I spent the night over at his house, and it was also the very first time I wore his clothes. And that was all I could think about for the next couple of hours. It was around three in the morning when he sat up in his bed and asked me if I was awake. When I told him I was, he asked me if I wanted to go for a walk, and I said sure. We ended up walking into town and taking the stairs to the roof of this multi-storey car park building. While we were up there I kept looking at these two stray cats that were asleep together on top of an old truck. I was thinking that they were probably a couple, and he asked me what was on my mind. So I looked at him, and god, I almost did it. I was so close my heart was hammering. I almost told him ‘I think I might love you, it’s been on my mind for so long now.’ But I was afraid of what might’ve happened next. It felt too rushed, too risky. So I just shook my head, said nothing, and got that horrible I’m-about-to-cry feeling in my throat again. When we finally went back to his house, it was around four thirty in the morning. He got back in his bed, and I silently cried myself to sleep on his recliner. It was just so painful. Realizing that I loved him was equally as painful and heart-wrenching and terrifying as it was thrilling and enchanting and amazing. I often wonder why I didn’t tell him what I was about to tell him that night when we were up on the roof of that building, and why I instead subjected to even more pain and heartache. But I think the pain was worth it, because now he’s mine and I’m his and I’m happy. Happier than I ever imagined myself being. And even though it nearly killed me, I’m glad I didn’t rush it. I’m glad I waited for the right time to tell him.
- 5 days ago
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