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Jessie-101: Online Celebrity - 21. Chapter 21 - Standing By

Online Celebrity

Chapter Twenty One:
"Standing By"


You know...there's a certain way that my mom has been looking at me lately that has become a rapidly increasing cause of discomfort for me. It's not just that she's looking at me...it's more like she's examining me. She looks at the way I walk, she analyzes the way I talk, she pays closer attention to the way that I dress...I mean, am I being paranoid here? This can't just all be in my head. Why is she watching me like that? Why does she sometimes smile when she catches me staring off into space for a quick moment during dinner? Why do I feel like she tries to eavesdrop in on my conversation whenever I talk to Lori on the phone now? She's being a damned detective again, isn't she?

All I can think about now is how Lori keeps telling me how blatantly obvious it is that I'm in love. That it flows from every pore and that I'm practically fighting my every sissy urge to keep from skipping through the streets, whistling showtunes. Is my love for Jesse really making me that transparent?

I was sitting at the dinner table with her tonight, chowing down on some tasty chicken stir fry and drinking a soda...when I noticed her giving me this really awkward smirk. She was all dreamy eyed and being weird, sort of playing with her food instead of just eating dinner like a normal human being. NOW what did I do???

I'm like, "...What?"

"Nothing. Can't I look in my son's direction without arousing suspicion?" She grinned.

"Not if you're going to look at me like that. No." I tried to just focus on my food, but I think she actually 'sighed' as she watched me eat a forkful of food. I swear, at this point, I'm just going to start eating dinner on the back porch or something from now on.

"So...you're still going way back out to the big mall on Saturday, huh?" She asked.

Does she not understand that trying to force me to talk to her about this only has ONE outcome? And that is me wanting, even more, to AVOID talking to her about this!

I didn't even answer at first. I just gave her a brief look and took a sip of my soda. She stopped pushing, but she seemed a little sad that I didn't want her so closely involved in the naughtier parts of my life. That wasn't what I wanted. I'm not trying to hurt her feelings or anything, it's just...ugh! It's hard enough for me to figure this out, what help can she possibly hope to offer me? Seriously. There's probably a whole week long dialog that she and I have to have about me being gay in the first place that has to happen before we even come close to getting around to falling for a boy I saw on YouTube.

I'll tell her! I promise, I will. Just...not right now. Not at some random moment over a plate of chicken stir fry and a soda.

I just wish she could be a little more patient with me on this. It's like she can't WAIT to jump in and start being 'Super Mom'...which is great. It really is. It's just not what I need right now. I hope she can understand that for just a little bit longer while I find my own footing on this. Thinking about it is awkward enough. Talking about is going to take some more practice. Well, when it comes to my mom, anyway.

I just remember washing the dishes, and then making sure to give my mom a kiss on the cheek to let her know that I loved her. It was hardly a graceful substitute for actually talking to her about my 'gooey gumdrop' feelings for the cutest boy on the internet, but at least it was better than a total rejection. Maybe it'll keep her from being too sensitive about it all until I'm ultimately ready to spill the beans.

To be honest, I'm actually looking forward to being ready. It might actually be a huge relief for me.

I went to my room and shut the door. I had homework to do, but my mind was hardly in the mood to concentrate on anything for longer than a few short seconds at a time. Anything other than my new boyfriend. Wow...I still get this awesome 'rush' when I say that word to myself. Boyfriend. I think about Jesse kissing me on his front porch...and at the mall...and in his bedroom when we...well, you know. I heard myself sigh out loud and I just laid back on my bed, practically squirming from the quivering sensation in my tummy. I couldn't sit still. This was killing me.

A big part of me really wanted to be happy. To run through the streets, half naked, and scream from the highest rooftops that I was completely swept up in the glory of true love. But then...there was another part of me that was so inexperienced, so confused about what I was doing, what I was feeling, what it meant, and where it was going...that showing any brazen confidence in this situation felt like a set up for an utterly embarrassing failure. How can I be proud of something when I'm so hopelessly lost?

Fuck this homework! I've got to call Lori. She'll listen to me bitch and moan for a while and maybe I'll get rid of some of these infatuated jitters before they start making me nauseous.

I pressed her contact and Lori picked up on the first ring. "Talk to me, gorgeous." She said.

"Help me..." I groaned.

"Ugh! Not again. Are you kidding me?" She groaned back at me. "Hold on a sec. Let me get some place quiet."

"I'm sorry. Am I being a pest?"

"I'll let you know in a minute. Give me your 30 second pitch, Cupid." She said. "Is this a good Jesse moment? Or a bad Jesse moment?"

"Ummm, neither, actually. And...both. I don't know." I hope that didn't sound as crazy to her as it did to me. "I think I just need to...talk about him. Channel my excess energy into something positive, you know? I know that sounds lame..."

"That doesn't sound lame at all." She said.

I rolled over onto my side to curl up into a ball. Where was this overflow of emotion even coming from? "I can't stand being this hopelessly in love, Lori. I feel like it's eating away at me and I don't know if I want it to stop. I barely know what to do with myself anymore."

"I'm pretty sure you've had quite a few ideas of what to do with yourself before you called me up, and I hope to God you washed your hands afterward. Hehehe!"

She got a soft giggle out of me, but it quickly went back to a dreamy sigh, and I rolled over on my other side to curl up again. "I really am sorry about this. You know...whining to you about him is my only outlet for this insanity. Without you, I honestly think I'd explode."

"Lucky for you, I don't charge for my particular brand of best friend therapy. But, for what it's worth, I couldn't be more selfish about deriving pleasure from seeing you like this. How long have we known each other now?"

"Too long." I grinned.

"Darn right. And I've seen your ups and your downs and everything in between. There have been times when I was really worried about you feeling so alone, Tristan. And it sucked because it was an empty spot in your life that I couldn't possibly fill." Then she grunted, "Then that friggin' Neanderthal, Jason Fixx, got involved and he ended up making things infinitely worse. But...some of that was my fault too. I kick myself every day for allowing that situation to go as far as it did."

"What? What are you talking about? Jason was just...a stupid mistake on my part. One that I wish I could take back, or at least erase from my memory." I told her. "But none of that was your fault."

"No, Tristan. I feel like it is. I knew that guy was trouble from day one. I knew it. From the second you secretly pointed him out in the hallway to the first time you went down on the creep in that alley. I just...I bit my tongue and I refused to say anything because you were happy. At least, temporarily. You had this big smile on your face, and a sparkle in your eyes, and it was like...you didn't seem so empty anymore." She said. "God, I hate Jason Fixx sooooo fucking MUCH for breaking your heart the way he did!!! But...you're the best friend I ever hop to have in this life. I wasn't going to keep you away from a few moments of freedom away from feeling so isolated all the time. It was really scary for me to watch you spiraling downward like that, Tris. I wasn't quite sure how else to help you other than standing out of the way and letting you get some while I secretly hoped somebody better would come along. You know?"

"Still, though...that wasn't your fault. I was blinded by the misguided belief that there was somebody out there for me. Not Jason, specifically. Just...somebody. Anybody. It was such a foreign concept to me, the idea that I'd ever be able to kiss another boy and..." Suddenly, I clammed up and walked over to my bedroom door to peek out into the hallway to make sure my mom wasn't sneaking around again. I quietly closed the door and sat on the floor at the foot of my bed. "...I never thought I'd be able to kiss another boy and have him like it the way I liked it. Or that he would want to kiss me back. It certainly never crossed my mind that another boy would want to kiss me FIRST! That might as well have been science fiction as far as I was concerned. So many cute boys...and they were all so hopelessly out of reach. I couldn't talk to them, couldn't touch them, couldn't stare at them for too long for fear that they'd catch on to my intentions. I'll admit, it hurt. For a long time, it really hurt." I said, "I guess that pretty much made me an open target for somebody like Jason Fixx to waltz in and get me all screwed up in the head, huh? I totally made a victim out of myself."

For a moment, Lori had gotten so quiet that I had to check to make sure that we hadn't been disconnected. With a nearly inaudible sniffle, she said, "Tristan...you know that I love you more than any other person in this world right?"


"It's true. I do. I remember, back when we were little...you were so amazing and so pure that I was positively convinced that we'd get married some day." She sniffled again with a little chuckle. "Then those stupid hormones got activated and that was the end of that fantasy. But for the longest time...I was your princess. And you were my prince. It wasn't love or anything...but it felt right. Everything about it felt like it was the way things were supposed to be."

A little bewildered, I told her, "I think you lost me, here."

With a heavy sigh, she said, "You have the biggest heart of any boy I know. Any person I know. And...if you ever need someone to laugh with, or talk to, or just want to keep up the sissy skill of dyeing your best friend's hair...I'm always going to be here for that. Always."

"Okaaaay, this is starting to feel a little weird, Lori." I said. "I mean, are you leaving on the first shuttle for Mars tomorrow morning or what?"

I figured that she was just goofing around or something. But it soon started to sink in that she wasn't.

"We're always going to be Prince and Princess for as long as we're breathing, and while I truly cherish these moments of hearing you soar into the clouds, only to crash and burn a day later before getting another running start...I think it's time you stopped telling me this stuff...and started telling it to Jesse instead. You know?"

"I can't do that."

"Why not?"

"Because I CAN'T! C'mon, Lori, we've been through this a million times already."

"Yes! We HAVE! And you have yet to give me a single satisfactory answer as to why you can't go for this, full blast, and ditch the teen angst thing at the door. Don't you understand, Tristan? You WON! You got the dream boy. The one you've been waiting for your whole life. And instead of being happy and making kissy faces at your one-of-a-kind sweetheart...you're wasting all of your time and energy on making up excuses for why you shouldn't." She told me. Obviously shedding a few stray tears on her end of the line. "I LOVE you, Tristan. God knows I do. And I'm never going to abandon you. I'm never going to stop being that needy chick who needs to hear the gritty details of a lovestruck gay teen who's suddenly been swept off of his feet by some super gorgeous internet celebrity that would have to fight anyone else with a brick, two swords, and a freakin' machine gun!" Then...with another sniffle, she added, "...But I won't be a part of your excuse, Tris. I just won't."

"A part of my excuse? Lori, I'm just..."

"No, Tristan. I know what you're doing, and I'm not going to let you get away with it. I'm not going to be your shield. Or your crutch. I'm not going to be used like some security blanket for you to conveniently hide under every time you're feeling a little unsure of yourself. I can't do that. I won't." She said. "You almost had a piece or your beautiful heart destroyed for good by someone like Jason Fixx because I stood by and I let it happen. You nearly ruined your life because I didn't fight hard enough to save you from making one of the biggest mistakes of your life. But, lucky for you...I learn from my mistakes. And if I stand by and let you miss out on an opportunity like this? I'll never forgive myself. And I won't ever let YOU forgive me either."

Feeling a bit helpless, like a new swimmer suddenly tossed into the deep end of an ice cold pool without warning, I softly muttered, "But...I don't know if I can do this alone, Lori. I really don't."

"Well..." She said. "...There's only one way to find out, isn't there." Of all the times for Lori to not want to be involved, she had to choose now? "You've got more love to give than you'll ever know, Tristan. Don't try to divvy it up between me and the love of your life. K? He deserves more. You...deserve more."

Feeling a lump in the back of my throat, I said, "So...where do I start?"

"You start by taking that loving heart of yours and pointing it in the right direction. No more making excuses about the other boys being too scared to talk to you. No more excuses about Jason Fixx breaking your heart. No more worrying about how you look, or if you're good enough, or what your mom will say when she finds out. You've got to put all of that behind you now. No more of that garbage."

"And you?" I asked, a touch of heartache building in my chest. "Does that mean no more you?"

She grinned. "Fuck no! Hehehe! You're going to need somebody to gossip to once you and Jesse get finished 'wagging your tails' at one another."

"Hehehe, God, Lori, stop CALLING them that!" I laughed, a single tear rolling down my cheek. "It's a PENIS! Geez!"

"See? You're getting all grown and nasty on me already." She giggled.

Did something suddenly change between us? Was this a step up to the next level of our friendship? Or was it...dare I say it...a slight step back from one another? It was hard to tell. After all the video games and shared bowls of ice cream, the trips to the mall and the hysterical laughter we shared over the phone...from the first time we rode on a roller coaster together...to the first time I got up the nerve to tell her I was gay...Lori and her sister, Michelle, have been the greatest parts of my life thus far. If the angels above had a personal highlight reel of my finest moments...they'd be included in more than half of them. Friendship-wise...we were a tripod. There was no way that we could fall.

And now she was asking me to depart from that security. Pull away from that bond. And take a chance on something more...if there is such a thing. That might actually be the ONE thing more terrifying than talking to Jesse Kyler without my best friend in my corner...ready to catch me if I faint.

"I'm not...leaving you for him. I mean, you know that, right?" I asked, hoping that she understood the growing decision in my mind better than I did.

"I know." She said. "But that's not something that you need to worry about. Go. Be happy, Tris. Trust me, I'm not going anywhere. Not ever."

"I love you, Lori. I mean that."

"You'd better." She said.

"And...and no matter what, I'll call you up tomorrow and let you know what happened."

"Ok, Tristan." She said.

"In fact, why don't I just take the bus over to your house or something? We can make an afternoon out of it. I can get that awesome buttered popcorn from the convenience store down the street. The one with the heavy butter that you like so much...?"

"Tristan?" She said, firmly.


"STOP STALLING!!!" She hollered. "CALL HIM, already!"


"Arrrgh! Can you, for ONCE, just pretend that you don't know everything about me??? It's fuckin' CREEPY!" I said, making her giggle. "Ok. I'm gonna call him."


"I'll tell him exactly how I feel. No holds barred."

"Great! Do that!"

"And then...I'm going to make a DATE for us to get together again! So I can see him, face to face. Where do you think we should go?"

"I'm hanging up now, Tristan!" She said.

"No, WAIT!" I whimpered. "Pleeeeeaaase! Just let me stall for a few minutes more!"

"G'night, my prince!" She said, hanging up right after.

And in a whisper, I sighed, "G'night, my princess..."


Just 'call up' Jesse Kyler and tell him that he makes me crazy. Just...just like...tell him. This will mark the very FIRST time in my entire teenage life that I've ever done something like this. Like...ever. And I'm supposed to just...just say it. I've said it before, haven't I? I know that I've at least hinted at it before. We hang out, we laugh, we kiss, we eat donuts and drink iced coffee and take selfies together. He knows how I feel about him, right? I don't really have to SAY it, do I? It's not like I'm being all secretive about it. Maybe that's enough. Maybe we can just talk without all of the lovey dovey stuff, and we can remain just as infatuated with one another as we are now. That's possible, right? There's no need to go all goofy on him and start talking about rainbows and flowers and….and...

I think I finally got it. Right there, in that moment. Interrupting that evasive train of thought. Whether or not I needed to say it wasn't the point, was it?

Whether or not the boy I loved more than anything needed to HEAR it? THAT was the point. I love him. There's no doubt about it. I am madly in love with this boy. What am I hording it for? What good does it do, keeping it all to myself where he can't benefit from it? Making my boyfriend happy is a part of my life now. My duty. It would be selfish if I let a few butterflies in the stomach keep me from it.



I'm going to do it. I'm going to call him. In...in a couple of minutes. Just as soon as I go downstairs and get some more soda to make sure my mouth isn't so dry. And...and maybe I should relax a little first. In fact, I should probably finish my homework before it gets to be too late and I end up rushing before bed...

WAIT! NO!!! Dammit! NO!!!

I'm going to call him up right now. I'm picking up my phone. There's his name. 'J. Kyler'. It's right there. I'm doing it. I'm going to press that button and force myself to sit still until we talk.

Lori's right. It's time that I stopped denying that this whole magical adventure isn't real. It IS real! And I refuse to sleep through it.

I refuse!

Copyright © All Stories and Original Content Copyright © 1998-2008 by Comicality
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Wow, great chapter Com! Everybody should have someone like Lori, she's a true friend. Glad Tristan is finally ready to take his relationship with Jesse to the next level and become a real couple. And I bet his mom just can't wait to meet the boy who makes her baby so happy. I'm really looking forward to seeing how that call went.

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God. I love Lori now. She is the best friend that everyone wanted to be in their life. And coming to Tris, he did as I expected he would be. Its obvious that that's what everyone do when it comes to them. Refusing. But it's common.


Well done Comsie. As usual, waiting for more... :)



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Oh how I wish that there had been a Lori for me. Tristan is blessed beyond words. Hopefully, he will understand that and take fully what has been given to him so freely.
I'm also following the 'real Tristan' on YouTube. Wow, his little life sounds so much like Billy Chase it isn't even funny! He's spooked me a couple of times. I wish his life was more Tristan and less Billy. Ryan deserves better than that.
Much love Comsie. Thank you for the wonderful gift of yet another chapter of Jesse-101, your romantic masterpiece!

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I have a feeling mama already knows about Tristan. :)


Lori is wonderful.I have to admit, I've always thought of Lori as kind of ditzy, but she totally blew me out of the water in this chapter. She's very smart and insightful, and she knows Tristan better than he probably knows himself.


Now, Tristan and Jesse have already exchanged 'I love yous' numerous times, so why is Tristan so nervous now? He knows Jesse loves him too, so whatever they talk about should be cake. :)

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Lori is the bestest friend, ever❣️❣️

For all the loneliness he has felt, Tristan takes a lot for granted and I get it’s because he feels unworthy, somehow.

The friendship he has with Lori, (and Michelle) as well as his romantic relationship with Jesse, are things that some people never experience in their whole lives and he’s hit the jackpot at 15!!!!  

That’s not even including his Mother practically begging him to come out to her.

Tristan, you are BLESSED.  💫


On another related note, I’ve appreciated your perspective on Tristan’s sexuality, he doesn’t want to talk to his Mom about sex, period, his homosexuality happens to add another level to his desire for secrecy, it’s almost incidental.


You have crafted a story that perfectly captures the obsessive intensity that accompanies any romance as a teen (actually, do we ever outgrow it? ☺️)

I love that Tristan got his guy and look forward to where you’ll be taking them and the stellar supporting characters in this story.


Thank you and amazingly well done (especially for how much time has elapsed between chapters).  👏👏


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