Torry is my childhood friend. He lives in my neighbourhood and we've known each other almost forever.
I'm doing stuff on my phone and I barely pay him any attention. We’re in a spot on the river bank. We sometimes go there with our bikes to talk or just pass time on our phones. We sit on the grass next to each other.
I dismiss him with a grunt and go back to browsing Instagram.
"I'm honest, Kev, I'm gay!" Torry says a little louder. I roll my eyes. He knows I'm not in a mood for his bullshit when I do that.
"Kev for fuck's sake, can you talk to me for a second?" he says a little louder this time and kicks my ankle.
I'm annoyed but put my phone aside.
"What do you want? You're not gay. Stop messing with me." I say. I like Torry but he can test my patience like no one else.
"Kev, it's true. I'm gay." He says, a little calmer this time.
"Knock it off, what's made you gay all of a sudden?" I reply, a little confused by his persistence.
"Nothing made me, I always was."
I look at him intently, expecting him to turn it into a joke but he doesn't. Normally, he would by that time. Torry just sits here, looking stressed out and sad. My eyes go wide.
"Dude, you're for real?" I ask, "gross!"
This comment makes Torry turn away from me. He sits and looks blankly into the distance. A few moments pass and I don't know what to say.
"Come on Torry, drop it," I say impatiently, "you're not gay."
I honestly can't believe it. Torry doesn't look gay at all. He's 15 like me but people usually assume we're five years apart.
I am short and rather skinny. Also, a late bloomer. I still have boyish features and a high-pitched voice. I have mid-length, light blond hair and big, green eyes. Despite people telling me I'm very cute on every step, I’ve grown pretty tired of it. I wish I could look more manly and impress girls. The way things are, I’m self-conscious about my body. I am the shortest boy in my class and even most of the girls are taller than me. I like sports but I'm not good enough to join teams and become one of the cool guys.
Torry is something else. He's tall and big. Not fat. Big-boned. He sported a weird-looking moustache before he turned 14 and now he has to shave almost every day to stop his dark beard from taking over half of his face. We don't go to the same school but he would be the tallest guy in my class. Yeah, we make a pretty odd couple.
To think of it, Torry has never been into sports. He also never mentions girls but the same could be said about me. We are just too nerdy to talk about them. But I do think about them, like, all the time. I just assumed Torry does too and we just never speak out. What would be the point? To remind us what petty virgin losers we are?
“Dude,” I throw a small stone at his back to get his attention, “it’s a joke, right?”
“It’s not,” he turns to face me, “I don’t like girls. I like guys. What’s so hard to understand?”
He likes guys. I don’t know why, but I immediately imagine Torry kissing my English teacher, a 40-something guy I despise. I have to shake it off because it almost makes me puke.
“But you never said anything!” I complain, not sure what to say.
“It’s not exactly easy for me, okay? And we’re friends. I thought you would be more accepting.”
“Sure we’re friends but... it came out of nowhere! Two guys… like… gross!”
“Am I suddenly gross to you?” he’s still serious. It doesn’t suit his usual goofy demeanour. It’s so weird!
“No, I didn’t mean it like that. You’re not gross but for me, it's just… I’ve known you for so long,” I say, completely out of reasonable arguments.
Torry sighs and stares at his shoes.
“Yeah, we’ve known each other forever. And the truth is… I kind of thought you were gay, too, Kev. I was almost sure, honestly”
I open my eyes and my mouth wide.
“... Dude!” I breathe out with disgust.
“Guess you aren’t then.”
“Hell, no!” I exclaim and become aware I’m sounding a little too defensive. I have enough problems getting girls’ attention as it is. If people start thinking I’m gay… I’ll be done for.
“I get it, Kev. But I am. If you need time to accept it or don’t wanna be friends anymore… I get it. But I’m not kidding, I’m gay,” he pauses for a bit and finally looks up at me. “The reason I’m telling you now is that I wanted to be honest with you. I’ve got a crush on you and I thought it wouldn’t be fair if I kept it secret.”
“Crush? On me?” I whisper. I have to repeat his words because my brain can’t comprehend them.
“Yes, Kev, you’re cute, you’re funny and you’re my best friend. I like you very much,” Torry looks up at me with hopeful eyes.
This drops like an atom bomb. I stare at Torry for a few moments. Then, without a word, I get up, brush the grass from my butt, get on my bike and ride home. Torry shouts my name a few times but I don’t listen. My world is in pieces.
I don’t see Torry for a few days after the incident. I don’t wanna. He lives just two houses away from mine but now I only come out to get in and out of the school bus. I could live with knowing Torry is gay but the thought that he has a crush on me is too much to process. Most of all, it grosses me out. He is so not my type. First of all, he’s a dude. But I like girls and I like them soft and small. Torry is hairy and big. Just thinking of me and him that way makes me wanna take a long shower.
To steer my thoughts away, I think about Sarah. Sarah is in my class and she’s the most beautiful girl in the school. Everyone knows that. There are only a few boys who dare to talk to her but she’s a good student and she’s not slutty at all. I don’t think I ever saw her with a boy.
The prettiest girl in school. I know, I’m aiming high. But I consider myself fairly interesting, clever and reliable. Maybe I have a shot. Oh, and one of those few boys from school who ever talk to Sarah… well, I’m one of them. I’m also a good student and we sometimes compare our test results and discuss other school stuff.
Three days after Torry’s coming out it’s Friday and I’m at school, writing the History test. I like History a lot. I like to read historical books, especially about ancient civilizations. But I can read anything related to history. This test is about the Napoleonic Wars and I know all about them.
Whoever finishes the test can leave the classroom and I’m the first one to do so. I sit in the school corridor waiting for the rest to come out. I turn on my phone (yeah, we’re allowed to have our phones) and scroll.
Just a couple minutes later, the classroom door opens again and it’s Sarah. She notices me and I smile sheepishly at her. She’s so good looking. I love her womanly shapes as she walks in my direction. She’s a bit taller than me and I probably look like her younger brother but somehow I feel pretty confident with her. She’s not a shallow snob and she seems to like me.
“Hey Sarah,” I say.
“Hi Kevin,” she replies and sits next to me.
For a while, we talk about the test and compare our answers. She complains that she’s failed it for sure. We both know she’s getting an A just like me.
After a while, more people start coming out.
“Check Emma’s haircut,” Sarah says.
“Yeah, what happened to her?” I chuckle. Okay, we can be a little shallow but it’s harmless.
“Do you like anyone from the class?” she asks as she watches more people come out.
“Maybe, do you?” I tense up a little and dodge the question.
“Maybe,” she laughs. My heart rises. “James is looking good.”
“James who?” I ask a little bummed.
“James Mitt? He’s not even in our class,” I say.
“I know,” she laughs again. “But he’s good looking, don’t you think?”
“How would I know?” I ask, suddenly feeling offended.
Do I look like an expert on male beauty? To make things worse, James Mitt is the school’s volleyball star. He is tall, dark-skinned, handsome and muscular. I look like a shrimp in comparison. His fucking dick is probably longer than my arm.
“So, who do you like?” she asks.
“Amy is cute,” I say without enthusiasm.
“Yeah, she is. You should try and talk to her.”
“Yeah,” I reply dismissively. I will never admit to Sarah I have a crush on her right after she told me she likes a guy that is everything I am not.
I don’t feel like talking to her anymore so I excuse myself to the bathroom and mostly ignore her for the rest of the day. I can’t wait to start the weekend.
Later that day, I collapse on my bed heavily, overwhelmed by feelings. I’m still weirded out by Torry’s confession. And I’m jealous about James Mitt. I know he is handsome, duh. Everyone does. But I’m a boy and I can’t comment on another boy’s look openly. That would make me look gay.
James and Sarah would be the ironclad prom king and queen. Super popular and super good looking. I don’t think James is very smart though. I hope this is enough to put Sarah off if she happens to get to know him better.
I force myself to get up and start changing from school clothes. I strip down to my underwear and look at my reflection in the mirror. I look like a 7-grader, I realise with sadness. I flex my muscles. It’s not terrible. I’m quite lean and there are hints of muscles here and there. And I am cute, I know it. Maybe I will switch from cute to handsome one day. For now, I would make a great child underwear model, I think with resignation.
Then I pull down my boxer shorts and step out of them. I know better than to compare myself to porn actors but it doesn’t help a lot. Thanks to how short and slim I am, my dick looks pretty normal but I know it’s a little below average. I keep my light pubic hair unshaved. Without them, I would look like a little kid. For a fraction of a second, I imagine James Mitt standing naked next to me. He would probably look like a horse in comparison. I blink a few times to get rid of this image and start dressing up.
It is April but it’s cold outside and if the weather forecast is right, it will be raining all weekend. I don’t mind. I can spend my days playing video games. That wouldn’t be anything out of ordinary. The only alternative is to hang out with Torry but I’m still not ready. I don’t know if I’ll ever be. I can’t see him in the same light anymore. Every time I think of him, I see him kissing some ugly, fat dude and it makes me nauseous.
A few days pass and I feel like I'm making progress with Sarah. I have a feeling she seeks me out at school and wants to talk a lot. I've been trying my best to give her a cold shoulder and it looks like it is working.
I decide to ask her out on Friday. It takes me the whole day to gather courage but eventually I do it.
"Hey Sarah, would you like to grab a coffee tomorrow? Maybe see a movie?" I can't believe I'm saying it. Me, the hobbit, asking out the hottest girl in school.
"Can't," she says. "I'll be out of town. Maybe next weekend?"
"Cool," I reply.
I'm not cool, though. I'm sweating. But it could be worse. She didn't seem uninterested, at least. Now I have to survive the uncertainty until the next weekend.
Back at home, I can barely focus on anything. For the first time in my life, I'm actively looking for a date. And aiming pretty high for my standards at that. I jerk off on my bed thinking about Sarah's body and touching her boobs to release the tension. And then I have to jerk off twice more in less than an hour because I'm still horny.
Then I take a shower and hop on my bed in just my underwear. I play with my soft hair trail leading to my belly button and start texting Sarah.
"Have a nice trip," I write after deleting 50 messages that I thought were stupid.
";)," she replies.
I collapse and stare at the ceiling. She's fucking teasing me.
Now I definitely can't write anything first or else I'll sound desperate.
Torry calls but I don't answer. I haven't been replying to his messages since our talk. I know I wouldn't mind company, though.
I spend some time watching TV with my family. Apart from my parents, I have a younger sister. We mostly ignore each other.
The next day, I go to my other friend Dave to play some League of Legends. We like to play from our rooms but sometimes we crash in his man-cave. I prefer playing on my home PC than on my laptop but I'm doing okay.
Then we both become hungry and decide to get some KFC right across the street. We take our orders and when our food is ready, we go searching for a place to sit.
James Mitt. I see him first. The man himself. He chuckles as he takes a bite of a chicken strip. Sarah sits on the other side of the table. I freeze in place holding my tray. It’s Sarah. And James. They're alone. They eat and laugh. Someone behind me tells me to move over but I don't listen. The commotion causes Sarah to look my way.
She's a little startled as she realises that I'm here. Her smile fades but she doesn't want to spoil her date so she gives her attention back to James Mitt and forces a weak smile.
"Are you deaf, kid? Move!" The man behind me is out of patience. I move. I throw my food into the bin and storm out. I forget about Dave and my stomach. I begin to hyperventilate. The only thing I can see is James Mitt and Sarah having a great time together. Sarah, who's been teasing me for days and now is supposedly out of town. James Mitt, who is my age but I can't reach his shoulder with my nose.
I'm super angry, jealous and sad. I've never been so sad before. I don't even notice that it's raining. Soaking wet, I walk home.
Dave calls me and asks me what happened. I reply that it's fine and I'll explain later. He says I left my laptop and my jacket at his place. I say I'll come to grab them someday.
I storm to my room and get questioning looks from my parents. I jump on my bed and cover my head with the pillow. The pain is real. I try to cry but I can't. Instead, I dream about revenge.
Thanks for reading! "The Matchmaker" pt. 2 is on the way. Please let me know what you think so far