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    Ethan
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Noah and Jordan - 1. Chapter One

The following story is a work of fiction and does not represent any living person. The story contains sex between two adult consenting men. The author retains all rights to the story.

*** The following story will be told through two people. The changes will be indicated at the top ***


Lying in bed, tonight is just like any other restless night. He drifts in and out of idle thoughts. He longs to sleep, but the precious reprieve evades him. He can’t shut off his brain. A cold breeze seeps in through the windows, brushing against his bare skin. It creeps up along his spine, making him shudder. The days of summer have passed and autumn is setting in. The first week of the new school year is already gone. And while he’s exhausted, he can't sleep. Something is on his mind. And so, he drifts, waiting until sleep takes him ...


*** NOAH ***

“Crap!”

It's 10:07. I'm late - again. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Usually I’m up bright and early. But this entire week I've been struggling to wake up on time. I've been completely ignoring my alarm, turning it off and going right back to sleep. It doesn't matter how many hours of sleep I get, I wake up exhausted. I really should get up. Maybe just five more minutes? I really shouldn't. Class started seven minutes ago! I need to get up.

Without thinking, I grab whatever articles of clothing I can find and put them on quickly. I know I should pay more attention to what I wear or how I look, but I don't. I just can't bother. I’m too tired to care. I look in the mirror before I head out; it's what I fear, I look like I just got out of bed. My hair's a mess, half of it is spiked up, half of it flat. I quickly run my hands through my hair to even it out. It’s a bit better, not great, but it will have to do for now. I have a little bit of stubble. I usually try to keep my facial hair short. It gives me a bit of an edge (or at least I think so). Then there are my eyes, which seem to permanently have bags under them. I can’t do anything about that right now, so instead I put on a pair of dark rimmed glasses. I don’t need them, but like the way they look.

Getting to school doesn't take very long; I live in an apartment not too far off campus. If I enter in quietly enough most likely the professor won't realize I’m late. My classes aren't as big anymore now that I am in my third year. I take a seat at the back and take out my notebook. History of Espionage. It's a really interesting course about spies in the Cold War. I'm studying history as my major, with a minor in politics.

Midway through the class I find I'm falling asleep. It doesn't help the prof has turned down the lights and is showing us a power point presentation. If only I had my pillow with me right about now ... no, can't sleep. I know staring at the clock won't make it go any faster, but still one can only try. Again, this is not like me at all. I’m that nerdy kid who is always eagerly listening and taking notes, afraid I'll miss something important. But today I just don’t care. At noon the professor has mercy on our ears and souls and sends us off. I gather my things quickly and am the first one out the door.

“Noah! What has you in such a hurry?”

I turn around to find Jennifer; I just call her Jenn for short. We've known each other since first year and have been friends ever since. Of course, I embarrassed myself the first time we met. It was my first class ever at university and the buildings were so confusing. They still are! The room numbers don't go in chronological order. Room 200 ... 201 ... 210 ... 203 ... anyone would get lost in that scheme. So, I finally gave up and asked this girl if she could help me find room 202. She replied, ‘I’m not sure, but it might be the room right in front of you with the big sign reading 202’. It was Jenn, she's a bit sarcastic just like me. We in fact had the same class together and since then have been friends.

“I'm not off anywhere in a hurry. I'm just so sleepy. I want to go home and take a nap,” I say.

“Are you 80 years old that you need a nap in the day? The semester just began! We haven't even gotten any essays or midterms yet, so why are you so sleepy already?”

Yes, she can be a bit intrusive, or well very intrusive, but in a good way. “I don't know. I haven’t been sleeping really well these last few days, that's all.”

“Everything okay?”

“Yeah. I'll be fine in a few days, and besides, as you quite horribly point out, it's going to get busy soon, so I won't have time to worry about anything besides school!”

“Yup. For now, though, I have a two-hour break between classes. You want to grab lunch?” This isn't a question but more of a statement. She grabs my arm and off we go to find something to eat.


*** JORDAN ***

“I swear these clowns are always late!”

I’m not talking to anyone in particular, just thinking out loud. I've been waiting here for about 45 minutes now for my annoying, and now very late, friends. I even cut my workout short just to meet them on time. I usually go around noon. Every day I tell myself I’ll go in the morning, but I can never get up. I’ve never been a morning person.

While I'm waiting I decide to call my girlfriend to see how she's doing.

“Hey, Kate, how are you? Okay … yeah, I know we're meeting tonight … that's fine … I didn't mean to bug ... you ... okay, bye to you too.”

That was weird. She was really short with me. Something seems off. I’ve felt that way for a while now. Truth be told, our relationship hasn't been going too great. We started darting a year ago, during our second year of school. Before the summer break everything was fantastic. She ended up going home for the summer, as did I. That’s when everything changed. At first, I just assumed it was because of the distance. But we’ve been back together now for nearly two weeks and I feel like that distance is only growing between us. Maybe it is something I did. Tonight I plan on asking her.

Phone still in hand, I decide to call my friends to see where they are. Neither responded to my repeated texts.

“Yo, where are you two?” I ask John.

I’ve known John and Caleb since first year. We met during frosh week. They’re both in engineering programs, while I’m in life sciences. I’m hoping to go to med school once I'm done my undergrad.

“Sorry man,” John starts, “but we just lost track of time. Be there in five minutes.”

“Dude, I have class!”

“We need to talk to you about something important,” John adds.

“Why don't you just tell me now?" I ask.

“Um, no, it's better that we talk in person,” he says.

My curiosity is piqued. John never has anything important to say. “Sorry man, it will have to wait then. I'll call later tonight when I'm free. See ya!”


*** NOAH ***

Lunch with Jenn was great, she always knows how to take my mind off of worldly affairs and make me laugh. I know what some people think, but no nothing like that has ever happened between us. We’re just friends. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jenn, just not in that way. I actually haven't dated anyone since second year, when my then girlfriend Stacey dumped me. Since then, I just haven't found the right person to be with. Instead, I’ve devoted all of my time to school.

“Alright, last week I told you all about the books we would be reading this semester. I hope you all got at least the first book by now.”

I’m taking an English literature class as an elective. It's only the second week and already the professor is talking about assignments!

“Each week we will have group presentations on the book we are reading. What I want you all to do is pick a theme and run it by me. It can be anything, but be sure to run it by me because there will be other groups presenting the same book. So, I want all of you to get into groups of two and then sign up on this paper. I will then randomly assign each group a book. Get to it.”

Ah, group work. I hate group work. I always manage to get stuck with someone who doesn't want to do anything, and I end up doing everything. I don't even know anyone in this class. I look around. Most people are already paired up! Then I notice this one guy looking my way. Oh God, not him. I don’t know his name but there is this one really pretentious guy in class. It’s only been a week but already he’s been trying to show everyone how smart he is. Plus, every article of clothing he is wearing seems to be designer. Someone comes from money, clearly. I don’t want to be stuck with him.

“Hey, dude, want to be partners?”

His voice shocks me. I didn’t even realize someone was standing right next to me. I look up to find a different guy I’ve seen in class. I know nothing about him. He hasn’t said anything in class, so I don’t know if he will make a good partner. At least he’s dressed like a normal college student, though he is wearing a school sports jersey …

“Yeah, that's fine.”

“Okay, I'll put our names on the sheet.”

“Perfect, thanks.”

He just stands there for a second looking at me. What? He said he was going to go sign up, didn't he?

“I need your name, dude.”

Well, that would make sense. “Oh, sorry, it's Noah.”

“Nice to meet you, I'm Jordan.”


*** JORDAN ***

Man, group assignments suck. Let's see who should I pick … I don't even know anyone here yet. I have no idea why I took English as an elective. I should have taken something easy like intro to geography. But here I am.

Oh God, the rich kid is looking at me. I should get up before he comes over here. I do not want to get stuck with him. Alright, let's see. Hmm, that guy already bought all of the books. Plus, he did say something really smart in class last week. He kind of looks like a nerd with those glasses on. Might as well go for it.

“Hey, dude, want to be partners?”

I seemed to have shocked the guy; he was so intently staring at the rich brat (I don’t know if he is a brat, but he gives off that vibe).

“Yeah, that's fine,” he replies.

“Okay, I'll sign up our names on the sheet.”

“Perfect, thanks.”

Okay, maybe this was a bad idea. Any second now he will tell me his name. Or maybe he won't.

“I need your name, dude.”

“Oh, sorry, it's Noah.”

“Nice to meet you, I'm Jordan.”

I walk down to the front and sign up. I take a seat across the room as the class goes on. I look up every so often to the guy I will be working with, Noah. He’s listening attentively to every word coming out of the professor's mouth, writing down pages of notes. I made the right call. He’s a nerd. Easy A.

“Alright everyone,” the professor says at the end of class, “I have assigned each group their book and presentation dates. Take a look and if you have any questions let me know. Otherwise I will see you all on Friday.”

After the large crowd of people craning their necks to see the sheet has dispersed, I walk up to the chalkboard. “Well, it looks like ‘Mrs. Dalloway’ in mid-October,” I say to my new partner.

“Virginia Woolf, not bad.”

“Are you afraid of Virginia Woolf?” I ask.

“You know the play?” he asks surprised.

“Yeah I know the play. I've heard about it, but I've never actually read it or seen it. Well, I’ll see you Friday.”

————— 

“Hey John, I'm done work, so if you still want to talk give me a call back.”

I tuck my phone into my jeans as I walk back home. John said he needed to tell me something important. Knowing him it is either dumb or lame. But still, I thought I should call him back. Caleb’s phone also went straight to voice mail. He rarely keeps it on. I don't really get people who have cell phones yet keep them off most of the time.

After school I went straight to my part-time job. I work at a local grocery store stocking shelves. It doesn’t pay much, but I have to do it; money is tight. My parents split when I was a kid, and it’s been just me and my mom ever since. She tries her best and has always provided for me, but being a single parent hasn’t been easy. Besides work, I also play volleyball on the school team. That, this job, and school keep me pretty busy!

I don’t have much time when I get back home — or I should say the tiny closet I call my dorm room — to rest, because I have to meet Kate. The room is small. There is only a single bed, a desk and a closet. I barely fit inside with all the furniture! It’s small, but at least I don’t have to share. The washrooms and kitchen area are shared among a few other people, though. It's not a bad arrangement, but it’s not great either. I want to move out, but I don’t have the money. My rent here is subsidized by the school, so it really is all I can afford.

I quickly change out of my work clothes and throw on a hoodie; it’s starting to get cooler outside now. I’m the first one to arrive. I grab a seat in the corner and wait. For some reason today everyone just wants to keep me waiting. Starting to annoy me a little. Not to say I’m impatient, I am very patient, but if you say you’re going to be somewhere at a certain time, then you should be there at that time. After about 20 minutes I see her enter and wave her over to the table.

“Hey, Kate,” I say as she sits down across from me.

“Hi, Jordan, sorry I'm late.”

“Don't worry, it’s okay.” I’m a bit pissed, but whatever. “How was your day?”

“Oh, it was fine,” she says not looking directly at me. “Have you talked to John or Caleb at all today?”

“No. I was supposed to meet up with them earlier today, but they were late. John said he needed to tell me something important, but I had class so I had to take off. Why do you ask?” Why does she care if I spoke to them?

“Oh, okay. Yeah, I sort of needed to talk to you about something as well …”

It looks like I’m quite the popular guy, a lot of people need to talk to me today. But I have a feeling this isn’t good.

“What's on your mind?” I ask.

“I think we should break up.” She doesn’t look at me. Her eyes are fixed on the table.

“I'm not sure what to say … I know we've been having problems recently … but I didn’t think they were that big … we've been seeing each other for a year now,” I respond.

“I know and that's why this is so difficult,” she says. “But I think it's best for us to move on … start seeing other people …” Still her eyes are fixed on the table.

“Are you seeing someone else right now?”

“Jordan, I don't think this is the time —”

I interrupt her. “I think it is the right time. Are you seeing someone else?"

I know the answer before she even opens her mouth. She looks up at me briefly, but then quickly shifts her eyes down again.

“Yes.”

Silence. Neither of us says anything. You would think this would surprise me. But it doesn’t. I sort of had a feeling that maybe there was someone else. It explains the distance between us. I still am angry. I feel betrayed.

“How long has it been?” I ask her.

“Jordan …”

“How long?” I ask again.

“Two months.”

“Two months!” I yell rather loudly. “And you’re only telling me now?”

“Jordan, please, lower your voice … people are starting to stare …”

“I don’t care!” I say loudly. “Why didn’t you tell me this before?”

“It was during the summer. I went back home and I ran into my old boyfriend. I didn’t mean to … it just happened …”

“You just happened to sleep with your old boyfriend and not tell me?”

“He was always special to me … and I want to give him another chance.”

“Well, that’s great for the two of you. Whatever. I have to go,” I say getting up.

"Jordan, wait ... I don't want to leave things like this with you.”

“I don't know what to tell you. You want to be, what, friends? You know maybe if you'd told me this in the summer I would have thought about it. But you lied to me for two months. You called me at night and we would talk for hours on the phone. Not once did you mention that you were sleeping with another man.”

“It wasn’t easy for me …” she starts to say.

“Well, I’ll make this easy for you now. Goodbye!”

I quickly walk out of the restaurant. The cool air feels like a slap across the face. It’s a harsh reminder of how brutal this world can be. I start to walk back home when I feel my phone vibrating in my jeans. I look at the display: John.

————— 

My head is spinning. I keep my eyes closed, my face buried in my pillow. I pull the blanket over my head, blocking out the light. I know I should check the time and get up, but I don't want to leave my shell. It's easier being inside, hidden.

Last night did not go well. After I left the restaurant John called. He said he needed to tell me something important. The reason he was late this morning was because he saw Kate with another man. He confronted her, and she told him the truth. That’s why she told me last night. Not because it was the right thing to do, but because she was caught red handed. Hearing that pissed me off even more. I went from angry to livid.

I look around my small dorm room. I feel like I am suffocating in here. I need to get some air. It’s too late to go to school, I’ve already missed half of my class. Instead, I grab my gym bag and head out.

*** NOAH ***

Every school year I say this will be the year. This will be the year I go to the gym and get into shape. For my height, 6’1, I’m pretty thin, weighing only about 150 pounds. But I don’t really have defined muscles. I always say I will work to tone my body. Instead, I go to the gym for maybe a week, and then I don’t go back for a month or two. Any little gains I make, I feel are gone.

Today is one of those rare gym appearances. I finished classes for the day and I thought getting a nice long workout would get my energy flowing. I'm hoping it will tire me out and that I will be able to sleep tonight.

After changing, I hop onto a treadmill. I start off slow, more to just get my heart rate up. I start to fidget with my headphones; they're tangled which really bugs me. From the corner of my eye I notice someone jump onto the machine beside me. He doesn’t take it slow. Instead he increases the speed and starts to run like a mad man. The way his feet are slamming against the treadmill it seems like something is about to break. I look up to see a blank stare on his face. Then I realize I know him. He’s my new English partner. But what was his name again? James? No …

I guess I'm staring at him for too long. He looks over at me.

“Oh, hey ... whoa.”

Bam.

Ouch.

It happens so fast. One minute he is looking at me. The next he is on the floor. He went straight down, slamming onto the belt. I quickly jump off and kneel down beside him.

“Shit, are you okay, man?”

Several people come over. Someone turns off the machine, which was still speeding away.

“Yeah, I'm fine, I'm fine. Just a bit sore that's all. Nothing broken.”

I can tell he’s embarrassed. After reassuring the crowd he is fine, people start to disperse.

“What happened?” I ask him.

“I don’t know. One foot went on top of the other, and then … well you know the rest.”

He tries to get up but seems to struggle. I grab his arm and help him up on to his feet.

“You okay?”

“Yeah, I'm fine. I'll be okay," he says.

Judging by the way he is walking I can tell he isn’t okay. I keep hold of him. “I would rather make sure you don't fall again.”

We walk over to a bench, and I help him sit down. “Shit, that was embarrassing,” he says.

“Nah, don't worry about it. I'm sure it happens all the time to people.”

“Really, how many people have you seen fall off of a treadmill?”

“Um, well …” I should probably lie to spare his feelings.

“Zero. I thought so.”

“I'm sorry I made you fall.”

“Why are you sorry? It's not your fault! When I saw you I realized you looked familiar, but I couldn’t remember why right away. I wasn’t paying attention, and I shouldn’t have been going that fast.”

“You were getting nowhere pretty fast,” I say.

“Yeah … I guess so …”

“Everything okay?” I ask in a hesitant voice. “Sorry I don't mean to pry.”

“No, don’t worry, you’re not prying at all …” He pauses. “My girlfriend broke up with me last night.”

"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.” I actually didn't expect him to say anything at all!

“Thanks. Alright, I think I’m going to head home and take it easy for the rest of the day.”

“That makes sense. You okay to walk on your own?” I ask.

“Yeah, yeah. I’ll be fine. Thank you so much.”

“No worries.” I go back to the treadmill as he starts to limp his way to the change rooms.

“Jordan!” That's his name! Oh, I didn't say that in my head, did I?

He turns around and looks at me.

Nope, I yelled it out. I nod back at him and give him a wave.

Great, real smooth dork.

Thanks for reading! I originally posted this story a few years ago, but decided to rewrite large parts of it and repost. Please let me know what you think. Comments, questions, good or bad, are all welcome.

Copyright © 2018 Ethan; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Chapter Comments

Loved it, nice first chapter! Both Noah and Jordan seem interesting!

When John said he had important news, I thought he was gonna say he and Caleb had hooked up, but I guess not 😛

Looking forward to more!

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2 hours ago, ObicanDecko said:

Loved it, nice first chapter! Both Noah and Jordan seem interesting!

When John said he had important news, I thought he was gonna say he and Caleb had hooked up, but I guess not 😛

Looking forward to more!

And I thought he was going to say he was seeing that skank, Kate.

I too, am looking forward to the next chapter.

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I loved this story the first time I read it! I’m looking forward to the updated story! 

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Nice beginning, can be an interesting story. But i would like to know from the author if you intend to go through with it till the end, since  i'm tired of reading so many  unfinished stories from authors that have so very little respect for their readers abandoning or putting stories indefenetly on hold. Thanks, i'd appreciate your answer 

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1 hour ago, Tonyr said:

Nice beginning, can be an interesting story. But i would like to know from the author if you intend to go through with it till the end, since  i'm tired of reading so many  unfinished stories from authors that have so very little respect for their readers abandoning or putting stories indefenetly on hold. Thanks, i'd appreciate your answer 

Hi Tonyr - I fully intend to see this through to the end. In fact, the entire story is already written! So I have no excuse. I'm just going through the story again, making minor changes and edits as I go. I intend to post regular updates. Thanks for reading, and your comment. 

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but no nothing like - but no, nothing like 

 

An interesting beginning to your story - a little bit confusing as to characterization, but perhaps my ability to interpret will even out as I become more familiar with them. Good start.

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Good start we all know how hard it is to get out some mornings. Untidy hair late and the chill of Autumn in the air.

All sounds good.

 

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On 10/4/2018 at 7:53 PM, Tonyr said:

Nice beginning, can be an interesting story. But i would like to know from the author if you intend to go through with it till the end, since  i'm tired of reading so many  unfinished stories from authors that have so very little respect for their readers abandoning or putting stories indefenetly on hold. Thanks, i'd appreciate your answer 

I agree with you about writers that don’t finish stories, if it’s in process and has been for a while, I don’t bother with it at all. 

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Actually, it's a good thing that Jordan heard about his girlfriend's infidelity directly from her. If John had broached the subject first, Jordan may not have believed him or may have tried to rationalize what he saw; but this way, John confirms Kate's two-timing behavior and makes Jordan realize that Kate confessed  only because she was caught red handed. (Maybe he'll be ready for a different kind of relationship in the near future! 😊)

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One of the pleasures of rereading is foreknowledge acquired in earlier readings.  I smiled in a wry way this time when reading the introduction between Noah and Jordan.  ("Buckle your seatbelts; it's going to be a....")

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Smooth intro to all the characters. All the info about courses etc just happened in the background while we were fascinated with the dialogue.

Kates history already. Eager to see what Jordan makes of Noah, the former nerd.  

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After reading your other story, I decided to check out your other stories.  Interesting start.  I'm looking forward to seeing how everything develops.  

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