- Karma. It always comes to find each and every single one of us eventually. Bad karma is really good at it. Especially when it comes to doing really hurtful things to good people. Maybe it takes a few days, maybe a few months, maybe even a few years if you think you're moving fast enough to get away from it. But sooner or later...when you least expect it...it comes shamelessly knocking at your front door. And it's way too late to make amends once that happens.
I was luck enough to have my mom take me in to work today, which gave me an extra 20 minutes to do...well, nothing. Hehehe! But I didn't have to take the bus to work, so I see that as a total bonus. I don't know what they have her doing at work lately, but she's back and forth from home to the office and that means more time for me to get a free ride as long as I'm around long enough to catch her on her way back out!
Today couldn't have been a better day to get there early, either!
Actually, one of the FIRST things that I noticed when I came to punch in was Garrett standing by one of the shelves...talking to Taylor. I mean, like...talking talking. Not only that, but unless my mind was playing tricks on me...I think I heard Taylor LAUGH! Taylor doesn't laugh. Hardly ever. In fact, it's so rare to see even the slightest of smirks on his face that it almost seems fake when it happens. It was always a 'don't blink or you'll miss it' sorta thing. That was...weird. It's a good thing! Just...unexpected, I guess.
I happened to catch sight of Robin leaving the office, and he had the biggest grin on his face. His eyes were practically sparkling as he 'skipped' by me. Hehehe, at first, I just figured that it was maybe a part of his new found freedom from AJ's clutches, that had him in such a giddy mood. But as I got my list of tasks for the day from Scott, and walked out to see Ollie, Terrell, and Robin, all gathered around Calleigh and her cell phone, I found out what was really going on.
I mean, Calleigh was ALWAYS on her cell phone! She was a total addict when it came to that chunk of metal in her pocket. But everybody else kinda just ignored it. I thought it was intriguing to see them all huddled up to look over her shoulder. So I asked what was going on.
Calleigh was like, "Big drama today, Billy! Omigod...haven't you seen it yet? It's been going on for two whole days now."
I'm like, "What's been going on for two whole days? What do you mean?"
I went behind the counter and tried to get a peek at the action. Ollie was like, "I don't know what he did, baby girl...but this Alex, 'AJ', whoever he's supposed to be, is getting a royal ass kicking online."
Terrell said, "You should see some of these comments, B! They're doing him DIRTY right now!"
I wasn't sure that I understood what was going on, but as I looked at the screen of Calleigh's cell phone, I saw an obviously photoshopped cartoon picture of AJ being ruthlessly tossed under the wheels of a moving bus! Hahaha! I had to cover my mouth to keep from snickering out loud at the goofy smiling face as the tires rolled over him again and again in a constant loop!
I'm like, "What the heck is this? Robin, did you do this?"
But Robin was like, "Nope! This is all Rodney's work!" He giggled again, and I was a bit confused.
Calleigh asked, "Haven't you ever heard of 'RoddyToddy14'? He's all over the place."
Still confused, Ollie said, "RoddyToddy14 is really big on social media. Facebook, YouTube, InstaGram, Twitter...you name it, he's tapped into it. Look at this, he's got almost nine thousand followers, and growing! Most of them gay teen boys from THIS area!"
Robin grinned, "Yeah! And he has definitely put the word out on a certain lowlife scumbag named AJ as far as his game plan to scheme on as many boys as he can right here at this mall and all the malls in the surrounding area. Hehehe!"
Calleigh said, "If he throws any more shade on this boy, he's gonna feel like he's living on the dark side of the MOON!"
Terrell patted Robin on the shoulder and said, "Dude...I don't know what this guy did, but it doesn't look like he's gonna be getting another date for a long long time! This is, like...the ultimate internet cock block. Hahaha! I hope his masturbation techniques are on point. Because that'll be the only action HE gets for the rest of this Summer. Look at these comments! Gay boys are MAD, dude! For real!"
They all got a kick out of it. I have to admit that I did too. Because Robin was right last week when he said that he was good to him. He was. But AJ treated him like shit and now he's getting a taste of his own medicine. I probably shouldn't feel good about that...but I do. After what he did to me and who knows HOW many others...it feels good to know that he's been forced to suffer a bit for what he's done.
That sounds evil of me, doesn't it? I'll probably regret this part of my journal entry later...
At one point, as we were laughing at some of the many MANY angry comments that we read concerning AJ and what he did to Rodney...Taylor came walking up to the counter to see what all the ruckus was. I wasn't going to say anything, but Ollie smiled first, so it was HIS fault! Hehehe!
Ollie smiled, then I smiled, and Taylor looked at us like we were crazy. He's like, "WHAT? What the heck are you smiling about?"
Terrell gave him a playful wink and nodded his head in Garrett's direction. He wasn't watching, but Terrell chuckled anyway and asked, "What's going on over there? Are you two 'playmates' now, or what?"
Taylor scowled immediately. "What? NO!!!" Then it seemed like he got frustrated. Like, "God! FIRST, you guys tell me to be nice to him, and NOW, you act like I'm some kinda nerd for doing it!"
Ollie giggled and said, "NOBODY said you had to feel nerdy for being nice, Taylor! Hehehe, come on, we're just playing..."
But Taylor just grabbed some merchandise and a price gun and mumbled, "Screw you guys..." Then he went right back to being the Taylor that I was used to seeing on a daily basis. Hehehe, who knew that a shy little wallflower like Garrett could somehow battle the 'Goliath' that is Taylor's grumpy disposition? Awwww, I think it's kinda cute, to be honest.
I overheard Ollie reading one of Rodney's quotes, saying, "After basically saying that I was nothing more than his other plans after his boyfriend showed up in the mall, he actually had the nerve to say that there were plenty of boys that would be willing to take his place. And MY place! He actually SAID that! Stay away, people! This guy is cute, but not worth the raw sewage you have to go through to be with him. Make sure to check him off your lists this year as someone to spend time with. You're better off doing nothing at all than spending time with this self centered asshole!" Then he laughed to himself and said, "This kid is angryyyyyy! Even *I* wanna throw a slushie in this AJ's kid's face!"
I felt a slight tug on my shirt, and Robin sort of pulled me from around the counter and wanted me to talk to him in an empty part of the store.
I was a little taken aback by the whole gesture, and wasn't quite sure what to expect from him. I mean...he was happy, wasn't he? Did I ruin that? Well, technically, it was AJ that ruined it, but I wasn't quite sure whether Robin was going to hold me as a 'part' of that or not.
I have to admit to being a little nervous at first, but the first words out of Robin's mouth were, "Billy...I want to thank you. Ok?" I didn't say anything because I was taken by surprise by the statement. He was like, "That whole situation with AJ...I mean, deep down...I knew that he wasn't going to be anything more than a few weekends spent in tangled sheets. And I want to be totally honest with you...the very first time that you came over to umm...have fun with us...?" I saw him blush slightly as he looked around to make sure there was nobody around to hear us. He says, "I realized that what I was feeling went beyond some immediate sexual encounter."
Really??? That surprised me. Hehehe, I was like, "It did?"
And he said, "Yeah. There was something about the way you approached it all that didn't seem...'happy'." He winced slightly, and said, "That doesn't sound insulting, does it? I don't mean for it to be offensive."
I'm like, "NO! Not at all. You're actually...one hundred percent right on that."
He gave me a sigh of relief, and said, "Good. That's kinda what I figured. I think I actually began to see what I was doing to myself by watching you...umm...well...that's weird to talk about. Hehehe!"
I said, "Yeah. Just a little bit."
That's when Robin told me, "You tried to warn me. You really made an effort to tell me to steer clear of this whole mess..."
I started to tell him, "No. Dude, I get it. I get it. I totally get it..."
But he's like, "No. You said it. Plain and simple. You saw the 'cliff' ahead, and you were the one who was brave enough to tell me that it was coming. I was just too damn blind to see it for myself. To stubborn to listen."
I said, "It wasn't your fault. AJ has a way of twisting people's minds and manipulating them to do whatever he wants them to do."
He's like, "Yeah, but I fell for it. I wanted to fall for it. Because he was offering me something that I could have right 'now' as opposed to getting something far more valuable in the long run. I let him talk me into wanting something immediate...when I could have been searching for something real. So that was my fault. And I want to take full responsibility for that...so that I can do better next time." Robin looked at me for a moment, and then he gave me a hug around the shoulders. And he said, "Thank you, Billy. I probably gave you a hard time, but...I think this was something that I just needed to learn. For myself, you know? I needed to know that boys like AJ are out there...looking to take advantage of the desperation of boys like me who think they won't ever find anything better." He looked me in the eye, and said, "At the end of the day...I'm glad you were there for me, Billy. I really am. Whether you know it or not, you showed me what it was like to distinguish something meaningful over some bullshit sex romp that was destined to go nowhere in the end. Something that was using up all of my most potent emotional energy and giving me nothing in return. Not like I wanted it to. I just wanted you to know that I understand now. And I appreciate you being there for me when I needed someone to point me in the right direction."
I wasn't quite sure what to say. But when Robin leaned in for a hug, I made sure to meet him half way.. He just found out the same thing that I did about choosing a few fleeting moments in the sack for something special...and I got to share that with him. Right here. In this moment. I thought that was so incredible.
I think I started to get hard for some reason, but I couldn't explain the reason for it. Weird teeny bopper shit, I suppose. Hehehe!
Anyway, while we were both trying to 'one-up' each other in the realm of thanks when it came to coming out of the AJ chaos with some level of sanity in tact...Brandon showed up at my job!!!
Seriously. Hehehe, has to find a way to warn me about just showing up like that! He's too pretty to sneak up on me with a smile!
It was a totally different experience this time though! Hehehe! I mean, after seeing us kiss at Taylor's show this past weekend...ummm...well, let's just say that the entire store fell silent as far as my loyal co-workers were involved. The front counter got so quiet that Brandon were forced to look over to see what the heck was going on over there. Everybody was staring at us with a goofy grin, trying to stifle a few snickers as they stared at us to see what we were gonna do.
I shooed them away, like, "Leave us alone! Hehehe, get back to your own business! Geez!" Not that it was going to keep them from watching us, but it was cute for them to let me try.
Robin gave me the nod. I was going to ask him if he wanted to talk some more, but he just stopped me, saying, "Go. I'll be alright. In fact...just knowing that AJ is finally seeing what it's like to be heartbroken the way I was heartbroken...I'll be better than alright. I might even smile for a little while. The day is young, after all."
I was like, "Are you sure?"
And he said, "Go, already. At least one of us can experience true love today. Heh...." I wasn't sure if he meant it or not, but...you know...Brandon. Hehehe, I've got no greater weakness in this world.
He actually waited for me to get out of work today. I mean, he didn't hang around the entire time that I was working my shift. That would have been 'distracting'. Hehehe, but he told me that he missed me and he wanted to escort me home. Those were his exact words. 'Escort me home'. Isn't he the cutest boy ever???
Everybody at work knew that he was my boyfriend. They kept smiling at me and giving me little pokes and teases about him being sweet enough to wait for me until the day was done. Only Ollie's boyfriend gets this much attention when he comes by. I was so proud of my pretty boyfriend. It was an entirely different experience, having people know that he was all mine. Hehehe! I don't know, it gave me the chills.
Brandon and I got on the bus together as I was going home, and just...sighhh...he held my hand, you know? Like it was the most natural thing in the world. I sat down, and he sat next to me, and without even blinking, he reached for my hand and smiled as he picked it up and held it in his lap.
I felt this fluttery buttery wiggle in the center of my stomach...but I didn't let my original instincts force me to let go. I just went with it. And it just felt right. So right.
Brandon was all like, "That wasn't weird, was it? Me just showing up to your job like that? I was feeling spontaneous today and...I missed you so much after yesterday...hehehe..." He turned away from me, the CUTEST little blush in his cheeks as he giggled to himself. He says, "I was going to be so careful this time. And yet, here I am...hopelessly in love again."
I was like, "Me too. I guess it's not so hopeless when we're being hopeless together, huh?" I was amazed at how easy all of this was. How we just seemed to click right back into place with hardly any effort at all. How many people do you meet like that in a life time? Two? Maybe three? And then never again. God, could he be any more amazing?
Then...came the NOT so easy part...
Brandon got off the bus with me, offering to walk me the rest of the way home. It was a short walk, but with my sweetheart beside me, it was sure to be a casual stroll that would last until the street lights came on. Hehehe, it was already the late afternoon, and Brandon's pretty eyes were the first two sparkling stars of the night, as far as I was concerned. That's when I looked up...and happened to see Jimmy LaPlane coming from the other direction.
I don't think I had actually laid eyes on him since he threw a tantrum and tore my room to pieces in a jealous rage. Seeing him now, with Brandon walking at my side...traces of that same rage were beginning to surface all over again.
I stopped walking.
So did Jimmy.
So did Brandon.
There was a moment of silence that not even the birds and crickets in the street dared to defy.
What was I going to do? I couldn't RUN! It's not like I could throw down a smoke bomb and disappear like some kind of ninja. Jimmy and I were looking right at one another, face to face. And he was instantly hurt. Hurting in ways that I never could have imagined.
All I could say was, "Jimmy...I...hey..."
And all he could say in response was, "Why?" I watched his bottom lip quiver slightly as his eyes began to well up with tears. And he says, "Is this it? This is why you dumped me?"
I'm like, "Wait, Jimmy...listen to me, ok..."
But he's like, "THIS is why you won't talk to me anymore! Isn't it! It's because of HIM!" As the first few tears fell from his eyes, he's like, "I can't believe this! You CHEATED on me???"
What the...? I'm like, "NO! Jimmy, I didn't cheat on you. Dude, listen..."
But he persisted, "You cheated on me! And now you don't want me anymore. That's it, isn't it? How could you do this to me? I LOVED you, Billy! I gave you my whole heart! ALL of it!" He was starting to yell, right here in the middle of the street, basically. And he was crying and sniffling so badly that I was worried somebody might come along and think me and Brandon were threatening to beat him up or something. Then Jimmy says, "I can't believe you would do this to me! We had something special and you just toss me aside at the drop of a hat to go be with someone else???"
Brandon tried to speak up by saying, "Jimmy, you've got it all wrong..."
But Jimmy was infuriated by the very sound of his voice. He screeched, "Don't you talk to me!!! Don't you talk to me at ALL! You didn't even WANT him until he was MINE!!! You wouldn't even TALK to him! You took Billy for granted and didn't give a shit about whether or not you were HURTING him! *I* was the one who took care of him! *I* was the one who loved him! Where were YOU! Why do YOU get him? It's not fair!" Jimmy looked me in the eye, a massive surge of emotional disgust rolling through him as he tried to contain the tears pouring out of him in buckets. And he says, "You never cared about me at ALL, did you? You didn't love me. You'll NEVER love me! I hate you both!" And with that, Jimmy took off running away from us as we called out after him.
I saw him reach the end of the block, and gasped as he was nearly hit by a CAR in the middle of the street! Had the driver not been paying attention, he wouldn't have been able to screech to a halt in time.
I didn't know what to do. I didn't know what to say. But Brandon and I made a very awkward, very silent walk back to my house, where he kept his eyes down and attempted to say goodnight. I apologized ten times in a row, at least. But he told me that it was ok. He even gave me a secretive kiss on the cheek before turning around to go back home. He made it seem like everything was ok, but it wasn't. I could tell from the way he suddenly withdrew from me. The warmth of our short time together had gone cold, and I didn't exactly know why.
When I came inside, my mom was making dinner. She gave me a kiss on the cheek and said, "Oh, you came straight home. Your friend, Jimmy, was here not long ago. I told him you had to work today and he said he might come see you. He didn't leave all that long ago. You might be able to catch him if you hurry."
Sadly, I mumbled, "I saw him." And didn't mention anything else. I just went to my room and closed the door, laying back on my bed and staring up at my ceiling again.
I could still hear the strain and misery in Jimmy's voice. I could still see his face awash with tears. I had broken his heart 100 times at this point, and now that he knows I'm with Brandon again...I may have broken it for the last time.
Looking up at that ceiling...I couldn't help but to feel bad for him. Feel bad for what I've done. And I wondered if maybe it was my turn for that unfamiliar knock at my front door.
Karma. It always comes to find each and every single one of us eventually. Bad karma is really good at it. Especially when it comes to doing really hurtful things to good people.
I wonder if it's coming back around for me this time. The worst part being...I probably deserve it.