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    Ethan
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Noah and Jordan - 21. Chapter Twenty-One

*** JORDAN ***

If only I could hit the rewind button. Undo. Control Z. I would do anything. I just want to erase this night, pretend like it never happened. Maybe then I won't feel like a gigantic moron. I honestly feel like taking my head and banging it against the wall. How could such a simple day turn into a nightmare? I was just supposed to meet up with Aiden, go to a party, then go home. Then, like any other night, talk to Noah on the phone for a bit, and go to bed. Instead here I am lying on the couch, with a splitting headache, and bitterness in my heart. Besides feeling stupid, I also feel angry.

They really do need to make an undo button for life.

--- Earlier that day ---

Today is going to be a good day! I can feel it! Aiden is finally back in town. It feels like I haven’t seen or spoken to that guy in forever. The two of us are going to meet at a New Year’s Eve party. It should be a lot of fun. Now, at first, I was a bit concerned about seeing Aiden again. He will, inevitably, ask me about my non-existent ‘girlfriend’. I’m just going to avoid the topic as best I can and hope that it doesn’t come up. I’m not ready to tell him the truth just yet. I hate the fact that I’m not ready. It makes me feel weak. But that conversation with my father shattered by confidence, and I haven’t been able to build it back up again. My plan is to go back to school, be with Noah, be with someone who accepts who I am, who loves me unconditionally, and work towards regaining that confidence. Then when I’m ready, I’ll tell Aiden and my mom.

And speaking of my mother, we’re just sitting down to have breakfast.

“I’ve been meaning to ask you,” my mom says as we eat, “how are you doing for money?

Dammit. I hate lying to my mom. “I should be okay. I still have enough from my student loan to cover most of my expenses for the rest of the semester.” I do have enough for my main expenses. But it will be tight. I don’t want to tell her just how tight because then she will offer to give me more, and I know she doesn’t have the money either.

“I know you didn’t work as much last semester because of your foot, so I wasn’t sure if you need more money to cover other costs. I can give you more if you need it.”

“It’s okay, Mom. You’ve already given me so much, I can’t ask for more,” I say.

“I’m your mom, it’s my job to help you out.”

“I know. But I need to pull my own weight too. It will be a bit tight, I won’t lie, but I’ll manage. I’ll just have to be smart on how I spend what I have. And I’ll also pick up some more shifts at the grocery store.”

“I don’t want you worrying about making money, when you should be focusing on your studies,” she responds.

“I get that. I think I can manage both. If I can’t, and I’m struggling, I’ll let you know, I promise.”

“I’ll hold you to your word,” she says.

Besides, I think I might be able to save some money this semester.”

“How so?”

“A friend of mine has a spare room in his apartment, and I’m thinking of moving in with him.”

“How much is the rent?” she asks.

Good question. I actually have no idea. Noah and I didn’t talk about that. “Um, I’m not too sure. But I don’t think it’s too much.”

“Moving out might not save you any money,” she says. “You may have to pay for utilities, Internet, and then food as well. I know you hate your dorm, but it’s subsidized by the school, so is your meal plan. It might just make more sense to stay where you are.”

I didn’t actually think about all of that. How could I have been so stupid? I should have asked Noah before agreeing to move in with him. I might not be able to afford to move out. Crap.

“I’ll talk to my friend and do the math,” I say.

“Can you even move out now?”

“I checked and I can. There’s a waiting list. I just have to let them know soon though.”

“Okay. Do the math, and see what works. But I would suggest it might be better to just stay where you are,” she says.

She might be right. Dammit.

——— 

A beer. My best bud. And a carefree night. I miss this. I miss spending time with Aiden, having a drink, laughing at something stupid, and not having to worry about anything in the world. It’s always a blast when we’re together. One of our high school friends is throwing this New Year’s Eve party. I’ve already run into a bunch of people I haven’t seen in years! It’s great to catch up with everyone. But, because of that, I actually haven’t been able to hang out with Aiden all that much. It doesn’t matter. He’s back in town now, so we’ll have time later. I didn’t realize this, but he’s actually staying for the next four months because he’ll be doing his co-op placement here. So, I’ll get to see him when I come back home. Even when I'm at school we can easily talk because we will be living in the same time zone! Also, once I’m settled with Noah, and ready to come out, I could always invite him down to where I live.

As the clock strikes midnight, and everyone cheers and yells, I pull out my phone to message the one person who I truly wish was here. But he beats me to it. Noah sends me a message to wish me a Happy New Year, and to tell me that he wishes he could kiss me tonight. It makes me smile. I respond I too wish I could kiss him right now.

“From the way you’re smiling, it looks like you’re talking to your girl,” Aiden says. He appears out of nowhere!

“Yeah,” I say quickly shoving my phone into my pocket.

“How are things going with her?” he asks.

“They’re good. It’s good.” I don’t know what more to say!

“That’s all you’re going to say? It’s good?”

“Yeah, man. It’s good,” I say smiling.

“Whatever, dude, be cryptic. I’ll just find out for myself in a few days.”

“What do you mean?”

“We’re going to be neighbours!

“What?” What is he talking about? Our cities are not that close.

“You know how I told you I got that co-op placement here?”

“Yeah …”

“Turns out, the company’s head office is actually located where you are. They hired these two guys to work there for the next four months. Both accepted, but then just this morning, one said he found something else and quit. So, my boss called me today and said I could either stay here, or go work at head office. It was my choice. And I thought, why not have an adventure. So, I said I’d move! We’re going to be neighbours for the next four months!”

Huh. I’m both happy and frightened at the same time. Obviously, I’m thrilled my best friend will be close by. But at the same I’m frightened my best friend, who has no idea I’m gay, is going to be close by. Shit.

I force myself to smile.

“That’s um … that’s awesome! Where are you going to stay?”

“I don’t know. I just found out today. The dude I will be working with sent me a note to say he was looking for a place with the other guy, since it would be cheaper. But now that the other guy quit, he thought maybe we could share. I said sure, why not! The company is also going to help us find a place. So, I’m not sure where I’ll stay. But the office is downtown. I Googled it, and it’s pretty close to your school. So, expect me to bother you a lot!”

Wonderful. Not only will he be in the same city, but the damn same area! Fuck! What the hell am I supposed to do? If I wasn’t living with Noah, it would be easier to hide our relationship. But if we live together … Aiden will figure it out in no time. Shit.

“Yeah, I’m looking forward to it,” I respond.

“So am I. I miss hanging out with you and the old crew. As much as I love Australia its not the same without you guys. Plus, I’m still close to home, but not that close either, so its perfect.”

It’s far from perfect. Everything was perfect. I was far away from here, far away from my other life. I could be with Noah in relative peace. But now that separation is going to disappear. And it happens when I’m finally able to move on with Noah. I’m finally feeling more courageous to be with him, to live with him. But now ... now those plans are ruined. Gone. Do I still move in with Noah? I guess I could, two platonic friends can live together. But Noah has a one-bedroom apartment, which doesn't seem very platonic, especially if all my stuff is in his bedroom. I could say I am renting out the family room. But there is no bed there and that doesn't seem very realistic. What if Aiden comes over one day? It would become obvious right away that Noah and I are living together as a couple. I really have no idea what I am going to do. I could also tell Aiden. That would solve so many problems. But I obviously can't do that tonight and definitely not here. I clearly need to think this through.

Alright, I think I'm going to head home,” I say to Aiden half-an-hour later.

Dude, its still early! Where is the Jordan I went to high school with, the party animal who stays out all night?"

“Honestly man I would love to, but I can’t. It’s been a long day.” Way too long.

“Whatever, youre on vacation, suck it up!”

I would, you know man I would, just not tonight, I insist.

“Okay. I hope youre more fun than this when youre back in the city,” he says.

“I am. I promise I'll make this up to you later, okay?”

“Its all good dude. Good night, Grandpa.”

Good night, man.

I walk out into the cold winter air, and stare up at the full moon illuminating the sky. I really did not expect tonight to turn out the way it did. Why is it that when everything starts to seem clear, it all of a sudden gets fuzzy again? Maybe it's just my luck. Maybe it is karma kicking me in the ass for something I did when I was a child. Whatever it is, I really just can't catch a break. I get into my car, take out my phone and message Noah that I had an interesting night, and that I’ll fill him in on the details when I get home.

Its only a short drive back to my house. My mom is asleep by the time I’m back. I change my clothes and grab my blanket from my room and head downstairs to the couch; I don't want to disturb my mom or for her to overhear anything. Once Im comfortable, I give Noah a call. I have a strong feeling this conversation is not going to go well.

And it doesn’t. But that’s not because of me, but whatever is happening at his house. We barely have a conversation at all! He keeps getting interrupted by his family. I know he said his mom can be intrusive, but this is a bit much. Noah keeps telling her he will be down in a few minutes, but she won’t listen. Just give the guy five minutes! I don’t know how he hasn’t lost his mind already. It must take a lot of patience.

“I honestly just can’t wait until I’m back with you, Noah says. “We’ll be together in the same house. And it will be perfect. Honestly, that is what gives me strength, just knowing I'll be living with you.”

Fuck. I can’t believe I might just crush his dreams. I can’t help but sigh.

“Is everything okay?” he asks.

“No.”

“What's wrong?”

This is a bad idea. I know he is not going to take this well. And the timing sucks. But I can’t lead him on. I have to tell him how I feel. The thing is, he should understand. Out of all people he should understand. He has to know that fear I’m feeling in my heart, those butterflies in my stomach. If he truly loves me, he will understand.

“Um … I'm sorry, Noah ... I’ve been thinking … and um ... I don’t know if it’s still a good idea that we live together …”

My remark is met by silence at first.

“I … I don’t understand,” he says. “Where is this coming from all of a sudden?”

“I want to live with you. I hope you know that … but I don’t know if we should because of Aiden.”

What does he have to do with this?

“He told me tonight that he’s moving to our city for a co-op placement. He’s going to be there for the next four months living close to campus.”

“Oh.

“Yeah …and so now I don’t know what to do. I’m afraid he’ll find out about us. If he ever comes over … we’re two guys in a one-bedroom apartment … it’ll be difficult to hide the fact that we’re a couple.”

“Yeah, I understand … but I’m sure we could figure something out,” Noah replies. “He won’t find out.”

“We weren’t able to hide it from Jenn. She eventually found out,” I say.

“That was completely different.”

“It was but … I don’t know if I’m okay or if I’m ready to take that risk just yet.

“I’m sure there is a way we can make it work.”

“But it’s not only that. Then there’s also the cost. I’m not even sure I can afford to live with you. I don’t even know how much rent you pay.”

“You don't have to pay rent. I have to pay that regardless if you live with me or not. And I have that covered. You living with me won’t make a difference.”

“I cant do that,” I respond. “I can't ask you to support me. Thats not fair to you. I won’t be a burden. My mom has always taught me to pay my own way. Plus, some of your costs are going to go up like hydro and food.”

Look, these are my monthly expenses …”

Noah goes through the numbers. As I expect, even if I pay half of that, its more than Im currently spending. Rent in the city is ridiculously expensive. I honestly have no idea how he even affords that place on his own! It’s just not financially viable. I can’t take on more debt.

“I’ll be honest with you. Even if we split the bills in half, I can’t afford to live with you. I don’t have the money, and I can’t ask my mom for more money. It’s not fair to her.”

“I understand. And I’m not asking you to take on more debt. Just pitch in whatever you can. We’ll find a way to make it fair and affordable for everyone.”

“You know what my parents fought about the most before their divorce? Money. It was always about money, and the fact that we didn't have any. My mom would work her ass off, and my dad would just waste it all. He never pulled his own weight. We would get collection calls every day. Every single day. And my dad would still waste money. And they would fight. It drove a wedge between my parents and it destroyed their marriage. I wont let that happen with you, I care about you too much to let that happen.”

“Look, I understand. But we’re different people.”

“And if it’s not money, then we’ll fight over the fact that I left my socks on the ground … or that I’m messy. I just … I’m worried instead of getting closer we’ll move apart … and that you’ll resent me.”

“I’d never resent you,” Noah says. “Jordan, nothing is easy in life. You have to work for everything. It comes down to if you really want to live together. If you do, we can make this work. But it just sounds like you don’t want to live together and that you’re just finding excuses.”

The word ‘excuses’ really pisses me off. I’m not making excuses.

“Noah, you know that’s not true,” I say in my defence. “I do want to live with you. I’m just saying we should think about everything first before making a decision. I don’t want to rush into something that we might not be prepared for.

Because maybe it’s too fast? he asks.

“Maybe,” I respond.

“Look, it’s fine. This is all my fault. I shouldn’t have said anything. I shouldn’t force you to do something you clearly don’t want to do. It’s obvious you don’t want to live together. It’s obvious you don’t want to fight for us. That’s fine. I won’t bring it up again. Let’s just leave it.”

You’re not listening, Noah. I do want to live with you. You have to believe me,” I say.

“Honestly, Jordan, I don’t know what to believe right now. Anway, I have to go. My mom is calling me again.”

“I …” I want to talk to him. I want to work this out. But I guess he has to go. “Okay.”

“I’ll talk to you later,” Noah says.

“Bye, Noah.”

“Bye, Jordan.”

He hangs up even before I can say I love you.

He didn't understand. I thought he would. Out of all the people out there I thought he would. But instead, he accused me of lying and pretending that I want to live together. He just dismissed my concerns as excuses.

I cant say which I feel more of, anger or disappointment. I thought he would be supportive like I was. I was there for him when he didn't want Jenn to know about us. I tried my best to make sure she didn't find out. We didnt even go out on dates; we kept ourselves sheltered. I know that also suited me as well, but I did it for him. I did it because I knew the paranoia he felt, the fear of thinking someone would find out. I was there to support him, but he’s not here to support me now.

He should know that feeling of dread, that feeling of uncertainty, and wondering what your best friend will think of you. He should know that awful feeling that they may end up hating you. That feeling that all you worked up to build in a lifetime could be gone in an instant. He should know that. I was hoping he would give me guidance, support me, and help me through this difficult time. I guess I’m on my own.

*** NOAH ***

I’m so angry I could scream. I want to pick something up, a glass, and smash it against the wall so that it breaks into a million little pieces. I'm such an idiot. I knew this was all too fast. I knew I shouldn’t have said anything at the airport. I knew I’d screw this relationship up.

Jordan clearly does not want to live together. He’s just finding reasons to say no. We can find a solution to all of the problems, Aiden, money, his messiness. Yes, there will be challenges, and it won’t be easy at times, but if he truly wanted this, he would be trying to find solutions like I was, as opposed to only focusing on the problems. This is about him, nothing else.

I’m in no mood to watch a movie. I just want to go to bed. I head downstairs to let my mom and siblings know I have a headache and I’m going to sleep. But as I’m making my way upstairs my mom comes into the hallway.

“Whats going on with you?” she asks.

Nothing,” I say turning around. “My head just hurts.”

“Your mood is off tonight. You seem angry and agitated.”

It’s become I am angry! At her, at Jordan, at life.

“I’m fine, Mom. I’m honestly just really tired,” I say.

“I just got a message from Beth.”

I’m honestly not in the mood for this right now.

“Okay,” I respond.

“Why didnt you just tell me the truth from the beginning?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Mom.” I honestly don’t.

“Emily told her that you're not interested because you already have a girlfriend.

Ah that stupid little! “She’s just angry because I wasnt interested in her.”

“And why arent you interested in her? What’s wrong with her? She's good looking, smart —”

I cut her off. “Honestly, I don't want to have this conversation right now.” I don't have the patience to deal with this. I honestly feel like I am going to snap. I’m hanging on by a thread at the moment.

So, is it true, did you lie to me? Are you seeing someone?

Do you not believe your own son? You believe your friend's daughter more than me?

I never said that.

You implied it,” I respond.

“You didn't actually answer my question. That means you are seeing someone. You lied to your own mother.

I can’t do this anymore.

“Yes, I did!” I yell. “I am seeing someone. Are you happy now?” Hearing the commotion my siblings come out into the hallway.

“Take it easy there, Noah,” my sister says.

“No, I'm just tired of everyone meddling in my life. Yes, I’m seeing someone right now. I didn’t tell anyone because I didn’t want to. And I don’t need anyone to set me up on dates. I’m capable of finding someone on my own. It’s not like I’m even that old! I'm barely in my 20s yet. I don’t need to settle down right away. And when I’m ready, I’ll find someone. I’m not that incompetent. I know you already think so because I'm not getting a fancy degree.”

“No one said you’re incompetent,” my brother says in a calm voice.

But I’m not listening. “And even tonight. I just needed a few minutes on the phone. But no. I couldn’t even get five minutes to myself! It’s not like I was selling drugs or something. Sometimes a person just needs a bit of space!”

Before anyone can respond I run up the stairs and into my room. I slam the door shut and lock it. What a fucking miserable night! I sit down on my bed, my head in my hands, staring at the floor.

Noah, you okay? My brother asks knocking gently on the door.

“I'm fine,” I reply in a calm voice.

Can I come in? he asks.

I'll talk to you tomorrow.

Just open the door.

Talking to my brother usually helps, and I’m not angry with him. He didn’t do anything. I get up and unlock the door.

“Whats up?” I say to him casually.

“You tell me. Whats going on with you?” he asks.

Nothing.

“Youre not one to get angry and storm off. That wasn’t like you at all.”

“I just cant stand her sometimes.” He knows I’m talking about our mother.

“I know. She can be pushy at times, but she cares.”

“I know she does, but I'm old enough to live my life. I dont need her setting me up on dates.”

“Why didn't you just tell us that you're dating someone? You could have avoided all of this.

“I know. But there still would have been drama. There always is. She would have asked a million questions. She doesn’t know when to stop. Besides, it’s a new relationship, and not serious at all.” I lie.

Is it someone she wouldn't approve of?

Yes, yes, and hell yes. With how high her standards are, who knows, probably.”

“Why didnt you tell me even?”

“We just started dating a few days ago. I didnt think there was much to tell.” I don't know what else to say. I have to lie to him.

“Is that who youve been on the phone with all this time?”

For the most part.

“I figured. You usually aren’t obsessed with your phone. I thought it might be a girl.”

Yeah … Moms probably really pissed.”

“She is. Look, youre only here for a few more days, try your best to get along.”

I really don't want to talk to her.”

Shes your mom.

So? That excuses all of her behaviour?

No, but you know how she is.

“I know.”

“You’re going back soon. Don’t spend the last few days angry. Talk to her in the morning once you’ve both had some time to cool off.”

He’s right. “I will. I’ll apologize to her in the morning.”

“Good luck, my friend. You’ll need it.”

I sure will.

When my brother leaves, I grab my phone. I check to see if I have any missed messages from Jordan. I don’t. I shut off my phone and put it on the nightstand.

I try to sleep, but I can’t. I keep thinking about my conversation with Jordan. I was so looking forward to living with him. I thought it would be good for us. But now that dream is gone. I keep replaying the airport scene over and over again in my head. I feel like such an idiot. And if I’m not thinking about that, then it’s my argument with my mom. I shouldn’t have snapped at her. That’s not like me at all. Usually, I can just keep it all in. But in that moment, I just felt like everything was coming crashing down on me, and that I was suffocating. I felt like if I didn’t say something I would explode. Now I regret my words.


*** JORDAN ***

One day. Two days. Three days. Four days.

It’s been four days since I last spoke with Noah. It was the night we talked about whether or not we should move in together. I haven’t heard from him since. I also haven’t reached out to him. I really thought he would call. He is the one who should call. He is wrong. Not me. He’s the one who accused me of lying, of making up excuses not to move in together, when that’s not true. My concerns are legitimate, but he just brushed them aside like they didn’t matter. He doesn’t see my side and how much I care for him, and how much I need him right now. He just doesn't understand.

I honestly was sure he would call. But as the days go by, I’m not as sure anymore. And what happens if he doesn’t call? Does that mean we’re done? That this is over? Deep in my heart, I know this is not the end. It can’t end over something so small. I know we will find a way back to each other, and eventually we will be okay. But it got me thinking about what happens if we do break up. What would I do then? Would I try to go back to the way things were, and date girls? Or would I find another boyfriend? I don’t think I could go back. I’m attracted to men. I like sleeping with men. There is no going back.

My train of thought is broken by the doorbell. My mom is home, so she’s able to open the door. It’s Aiden. He’s come over to see how I’m feeling. Over the past few days, he’s called a couple of times asking to go out and grab a drink. But I kept turning him down. I told him I’m sick, that I have a cold. I just didn’t feel like it. I’ve actually spent the majority of the last few days in bed. I think my mom is even a bit worried. I don’t think she buys the whole ‘I have a cold’ story. Hard to fool a nurse.

Yo faker,” Aiden says walking in to my room, how are you feeling?

A bit better.

“Well, you still look like crap.”

Thanks for the compliment.

No problem. I just thought I’d come over and see how your ugly face is doing.”

“Still better looking than you.”

“HA, you wish.”

We largely talk about nonsense. Usually these types of conversations with Aiden make me feel better. But not today. I still feel like crap.

Are you expecting an important call or something? Aiden asks.

No, why?

You keep looking at your phone every few seconds.

“Oh, I was just checking the time.” I keep checking to see if I missed a message from Noah.

“Am I that boring that you’re counting down the minutes until I leave?” he asks with a smile.

“Painfully boring. But no, I’m sorry, just playing with my phone out of habit.”

He stops smiling. When he speaks again his tone is different. “Is everything okay?”

“Yeah, everything is fine, man.”

“I know youre not feeling well, but something’s off. You seem down.”

“Just this cold. All is well,” I say trying to convince him.

“Spill it, whats going on?”

“Nothing, honestly.”

Dude, I'm not fucking with you, I know you better than that. I've seen your hideous face since we were children. I know when youre sick, and I know when youre upset. And I can tell something is up. Drop the act. What’s going on?”

The advantages and disadvantages of having a best friend. They now you well, but sometimes a little too well. I guess I'm not as hard to read as I thought I was.

Relationship issues. We had a disagreement.”

“Ah, girl problems. I should have known. Explains a lot. You must have royally screwed up.”

“Why do you think I screwed up?

“Just a hunch.

“Well, I guess it’s sort of my fault. I just expected too much.”

I don't know what to say to Aiden, or how to explain what the disagreement was over. It’s so fucking frustrating trying to have a meaningful conversation without being able to say anything meaningful at all!

“All couples fight, but that doesnt mean you cant patch things up. What exactly happened?”

I ignore his question on purpose. “We havent spoken since New Year’s Eve.”

“Did you try to call her?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Because I’m not the one who is wrong!”

“You’re an idiot. You should know by now, even if you’re right, in a relationship the dude is always wrong. It’s just the way it is. You’re going to have to call.”

I want to ask Aiden what the norm is if both people in the relationship are dudes. Then who is supposed to call?

“I know I could call … but I feel that will just set a bad precedent, that I’ll just roll over. Its not an ego thing. Usually I always make the first move. But this time I cant. I won’t.”

“I know it sucks having to be the one that always caves, but that’s just the way it is sometimes. Girls can be moody. Sometimes you just have to suck it up.”

This feels bigger than just a disagreement … sometimes I feel like the world is against us.”

Why do you say that?

There have been a lot of challenges with this relationship. I’ve really had to work hard.”

“No relationship is easy. And sometimes the best relationships are the ones where you have to work hard. You just need to make sure the struggle is worth it. If you really like her, if she makes you happy, a better person, then maybe it is. But if you’re always struggling, and always unhappy, then maybe it’s best to walk away.”

“I don’t want to walk away,” I say. “Even though it hasn’t been easy, it’s been worth it.”

“Then call her,” Aiden says.

Just then my phone rings. My eyes quickly dart to the display. I hope it’s him. But it’s not. Its someone else. Why is she calling me?

“Is that her?” Aiden asks. But before I can answer he gets up and heads to the door. “I should go. Good luck. I hope it all works out. Let me know, okay? Now answer it before she hangs up! And with that he walks out.

I'm just left there sitting on my bed confused.

Hello? I say answering the phone.

Hey, Jordan, its me Jenn.

Hi, Jenn.

“This isnt a bad time, is it? I can call back if you’re busy.”

“No, that’s fine. What’s up?” While Jenn and I are back on good terms, we don’t call each other. We just message here and there. She sent me a few texts over the holidays to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. But that’s about it. This is the first time she’s called since I’ve been dating Noah. So, this is kind of weird and unexpected.

“So, my birthday is coming up in about two weeks, and I’m going to have a party. It will be small. Just a few people. And I was hoping you could drop by as well.” She goes over the date and the time.

“Of course, I would love too. Thanks, Jenn.”

“Excellent. I told Noah. I figured he would tell you since you’ll soon be living together. But I thought I would extend you a personal invitation as well.”

Hmm, interesting. I figured Noah would have told her by now about our disagreement. I guess not.

“That’s very kind of you, thank you.” I’m not going to tell her our living plan is potentially cancelled. Noah can tell her.

“So um, that’s not the only reason why I decided to call … um … I wanted to ask if everything is okay with Noah.”

Why do you ask?” Maybe she does know. Did he ask her to call me? If he did, I’ll be really angry.

Well, because I think he might be angry with me.

That was not what I expecting her to say. Interesting. “Why?”

“I haven’t really heard from him much in the past few days. Just a bit here and there. I called him a few times, but he kept saying he would call me back, and never did. I know he’s under stress because of his mom. He told me about the ambush date, which was ridiculous. So, I wasn’t sure if it’s just that. Or if I had done something. I did make that lame joke about his cooking. Usually he never gets offended. But maybe he did? I figured he would have told you if he’s angry with me.”

I might as well tell her the truth.

“It’s not you. It’s me. We had a bit of an argument on New Year’s Eve. I thought he would have told you.”

“Oh,” she says surprised. “No, he didn’t say anything.

“Yeah, it was um, over us moving in together. It seems like the plan might be off.”

“Oh. He was really looking forward to that,” she says.

“So was I.”

“I’m sorry. If you don’t mind me asking, I know it’s none of my business, but what happened?”

“I might have told you about my best friend Aiden, the one in Australia?”

“Yeah, yeah, Noah mentioned him before.”

“He’s actually moving to our city to work for a couple of months.”

“Oh. He doesn’t know about you and Noah, does he?” she asks.

“Nope.”

“Gotcha. That complicates things,” she responds.

“Yeah. That’s what I thought. I wasn’t saying to Noah that we shouldn’t move in together, only that I had concerns because of Aiden, but he didn’t really listen. Two guys sharing one-bedroom, does that sound normal to you?”

“Not really. It doesnt seem very platonic.”

Exactly. My stuff would be in his room, and we would only have one bed. If Aiden ever came over, he would find out.”

“So, what did Noah say?”

“Just that we would figure it out.”

“I’m sure there are solutions,” she says.

“I’m sure there are too. And that’s what I wanted to talk about. But we didn’t. And then there are other issues. I actually can’t afford to live with him. We did the math. He said don’t pay rent, or just chip in here and there, and I told him that won’t work. But again, he just seemed to brush it aside. He knows that I’m not rich. I’m in debt. I’ve struggled with money all of my life, and it’s really important for me to support myself. I can’t be a burden on him.”

“I hear you. Noah’s never really had to worry about money; his parents have always supported him. I think he can be a bit dense when it comes to finances.”

“Exactly. I even brought up the fact that I’m messy and he’s not, and that can lead to problems. You know how anal he can be about certain things,” I say to Jenn.

“Absolutely. I hear you. Noah can’t stand a mess at all.”

“Exactly. And so, I wanted to talk about all of this, and you know what he says? That they’re only excuses. He called my concerns excuses. Do those sound like excuses to you or legitimate concerns that we should talk about before making a huge move?”

“I’d say legitimate concerns.”

“Thank you! I thought so too. But Noah didn’t. Ever since Aiden told me hes moving to the city I have been freaking out. He is my best friend, and I really care for him. But I'm not sure if I am ready for him to find out. I would be devastated if he wasn't okay with who I am. This is why I'm angry with Noah. He should understand that. I know how frightened he was before he told you about us. I was there for him. I supported him. But now when it’s my turn, he accuses me of lying. He accuses me of making up excuses. How is that fair? This is the hour I need him the most. I thought I could lean on him for support, for advice. But instead he ignores me for the past four days. How am I supposed to know I can depend on him in the future?”

I feel bad for going off on a rant. None of this is Jenn’s fault.

“You make a lot of good points. I’ll talk to him,” she says.

Whats the point in that? I ask her.

He'll know how you feel, she responds.

But he will know because you told him, and not because he realized it on his own.

“Maybe I can just nudge him in the right direction. I know he’s having a very hard time at home right now with his mom and dad. He was really looking forward to living with you, and I think the family stuff has impaired his judgment a bit. But he really does care for you.”

And I care for him.

I know you do. I'll talk to him. It will all work out.

You're a good friend, Jenn. Noah is lucky to have you.

“Both of you are lucky to have me! I don’t know what you crazy kids would do if I weren’t around. You guys are helpless!”

“That we are.”

I'll talk to you later. Take care, Jordan.

Now I play the waiting game.

*** NOAH ***

Two more hours. Only 120 minutes and I will be free! I'll board a plane and head back to my apartment. Ill be alone, but at least there will be no one to bother me.

The last few days of my vacation have been okay. On New Year’s Day I tried to apologize to my mother. But she wouldn’t talk to me. When she is angry, she gives us the silent treatment for a couple of hours, or sometimes, days. This time it lasted a day. The next day she responded back when I apologized for a tenth time. We had a long talk. I said I was sorry for yelling, for lying. And I told her about my relationship, albeit, I lied a lot, and there were a lot of omissions. The most important omission was that I’m dating a guy.

After that everything went back to normal. My brother and sister left, so the house became eerily quiet. I spent time with my folks. We went shopping, ran errands, watched movies. Nothing special. But it was nice. I needed a few days to just relax and recharge.

Only problem is I didn’t relax. I kept thinking about Jordan. I assumed I would hear from him the next day, or at least the day after, but nothing. It’s been four days now and no messages or phone calls. He should be the one who reaches out to me. This whole mess is his fault. All he needed to do was be honest. If he told me it was too fast, and he was scared, I would have been disappointed, but I would have been okay eventually. Yes, I’m still devastated that we’re not going to live together. It’s the one thing I’ve been most looking forward to. But it’s fine. We’ll figure it out. That is when Jordan calls me!

Okay, I think I have all of my stuff. I grab my bag and make my way downstairs. My mom is waiting for me by the door.

Have a good flight. Call when you get home.

Thanks. I will. Take care, Mom. I love you.”

After she gives me a hug, I grab my suitcase and lug it down the front steps and throw it into the car. My dad is dropping me off at the airport.

Good to go? he asks.

Yep, I think I got everything.

For the most part we talk about nothing in particular, just small talk here and there about the weather, or family stuff. Normally, before I leave, we talk about my finances. But this time he doesn’t bring it up, and neither do I. Maybe he is cutting me off earlier than expected.

“Thanks for the ride, I say when we arrive outside the departures area.

“No worries.”

“I’ll see you later, Dad.”

Here, he says taking out a paper from his pocket.

It's a cheque. I thought you said you weren't going to help?

“It’s not as much as we usually give you, as you can see. You’ll have to spend a bit more wisely, or work to make up the rest. I hope this will make you seriously start to think about your future.”

“Thank you.” I don’t really like having to take money from my parents, but I don’t really have a choice. It’s either this, or applying for a student loan. As for the cheque, it’s only a couple hundred dollars short of what he usually gives me. It's enough for me to easily cover all of my expenses for the next semester. But I can tell he is serious about cutting me off if I don’t make changes. I’m really going to need to figure out ways to make money if my parents act on their threat.

Have a safe flight. Call when you get there, okay?

I will. Love you, Dad. Bye.

——— 

Hello?" I say answering my phone as I enter my apartment.

Where the hell have you been? I've tried calling you a dozen times! Jenn yells.

My phone was off because I was on a plane coming back home.

“Youre home now?” She is still yelling.

Yeah, I just got in a few minutes ago. Whats going on? Why were you calling so much?

I'll be over in five minutes. Bye!

And with that she hangs up. She really is strange. I know it’s not fair to Jenn, but I have been avoiding her for the past few days. I didn’t tell her about Jordan’s decision to back out of our plan to live together. I just didn’t know what to say. And so, I didn’t say anything. But now that I’m back I’ll tell her what’s going on.

Anyway, its so good to be home at last! My own space where I can do whatever I want in peace. While I am thrilled to be back, at the same time I know if things had worked out, right now I would be preparing for Jordan to move in. But of course, you cant have everything you want. I start to unpack my stuff when I hear an urgent knock on the door. That must be Jenn.

Hey, Jenn,” I say opening the door.

“Why have you been avoiding me the past few days?” she asks barging in.

“I haven’t —”

“Save it,” she says cutting me off. “I know you’ve been avoiding me. And now I know why.”

“You do?” She knows nothing.

“Yes. And you need to call Jordan.”

“What? I don’t —”

“I know what happened. I know that you and Jordan had a disagreement over moving in together.”

“How do you know?”

“I spoke to Jordan. He told me. I called him because I thought you were angry with me. Turns out you’re angry with him. And he told me that you haven’t spoken in the past four days. So, you need to call him!”

“You know I love you an all,” I say trying to control my anger, “but this is none of your business. I just got away from a controlling and meddling mother. I don’t need that from you either.”

“I get that. And I know I’m out of line. And I’m sorry. I’ll back down after this. It’s just that I care for you. I want to see you happy. And in my opinion, I think you should call Jordan.”

“Just in case you forgot, you’re my friend, you’re supposed to take my side.”

“I am taking your side,” she says. “That’s why I’m telling you to call him.”

“No, it sounds like you think I’m wrong.

“I never said that. I only know his side of the story. And I’m sure you have valid reasons. But what I can say it that I think Jordan has some legitimate points.”

“If he has legitimate points then why doesn’t he call me and tell me them? Why did he tell you?”

“Because I asked him. He said he tried talking to you, but that you wouldn't listen. Sort of like what youre doing right now with me.”

Oh, how this girl annoys me. “Okay, I’ll listen now. What exactly did he say? What are his legitimate points?” I ask full of anger.

I think you should talk to him directly and hear it from him.

When he calls, I will hear it directly from him.

“Look, be angry at me all you want. I know we will be okay in the end. But trust me on this one, Noah. You need to pick up the phone and call him. You dont want this to ruin your relationship. Just do it for me. Trust me, please.”

I’m really pissed at you.

Thats fine, because now we’re even. You lied to me about dating Jordan, I forgave you, and I meddle in your affairs, and now you forgive me. The board is clear.”

I shake my head. Oh, Jenn.

“I really do hate you.” That's my way of letting her know I will call.

And I hate you too. But that sounds like a yes to me. Call him soon, okay!

Fine.

“And then remember to call me after and tell me all the details.”

You're really pushing it now.

I love you too! Okay, I'm going to go so you can call him. Bye! Good luck!

That girl makes me so angry sometimes. I know her heart is in the right place, but she shouldn't interfere. I'm going to have a serious conversation about boundaries with her later.

——— 

In the evening, after I finish unpacking, having dinner and cleaning up, I sit down on the couch with my phone in my hand. I keep playing with it, moving it around, turning it on and off. I keep going back and forth if I should call or not. Jenn has sent me several text messages asking if I've called. I’m ignoring her for now. She is adamant I call him to find out his side of the story. Maybe shes right, maybe he does have something valid to say. After debating for half-an-hour I decide to call him. Jenn better be right or I'm going to be so pissed.

I dial his number. It rings for a bit. It doesn’t seem like he is ready to talk to me. Im just about to hang up when I hear his voice.

Hey, Noah.

Hi, I say.

He pauses for a bit. How um, are you? He speaks slowly, as if he is unsure of himself.

I'm fine. You?

I'm okay.

“You back home?” he asks.

“Yeah, just got back today.”

It looks like I will have to get the ball rolling. No point in small talk, might as well just get right to it.

So uh, Jenn tells me that … um … that you two talked.

We did.

She wouldnt say about what though.

Oh.

She figures its best if you told me directly.

I see.

He really isn’t making this easy. I at least had the courtesy to call. He can at least reciprocate by saying more than two words.

So, then Jordan, whats going on?

You tell me, Noah.

I guess not. I guess he is going to be difficult.

You know why I'm upset Jordan, but I'm not sure why you are.

I see.

Is that it? Is that all you're going to say? I'm not sure why I even bothered calling. This is making me even angrier.

“I dont know what to say exactly,” he says. “Besides it doesn't really matter. You already think I'm a liar.”

I don’t think you’re a liar. But, it’s just that, you havent been honest with me either.

“What have I not been honest about?” There is anger in his voice, which I can tell he is trying to control.

Wanting to move in with me.

“And how do you know thats a lie?”

His tone is starting to irritate me. Because you keep trying to find ways to back out. I know you have concerns, but I’m trying to find solutions.”

“Do you remember the night, outside of your apartment door, when you kissed Sebastian and then saw me?” His tone is now more neutral.

I do. I’m not sure why he’s bringing up that awful human right now.

Do you remember that fear you felt, that paranoia that I would tell someone else, mainly Jenn?

Yes. I'm still not sure where he is going with this.

“I thought you would, it’s one of the reasons why you came out to her, isn’t it?”

It was. How does this relate to our situation?

Do you remember how supportive I was when you wanted to hide our relationship from Jenn? I said it was okay not to be seen in public, even as friends.”

“You did.”

“I thought you would remember.” His tone has changed again. Now, his voice is rather soft. “I thought out of all the people in the world, you would understand how scared I am about Aiden finding out that I’m gay. I thought you'd understand all the scenarios one plays out in their mind of how their friend will react, and what they’ll say. Whether they’ll stay or leave. Or, whether they’ll tell other people. And then I thought you'd understand the measures one would take to prevent any of that from happening. You’re the one who told me I should wait until I feel comfortable for the world to know my truth. I thought you would help me get to that point where I am comfortable. But instead, you accuse me of lying. You accuse me of making up excuses. You have no idea how much that hurt. I needed your support, and you weren’t there for me. I truly want to live with you; I never lied about that.”

I can see his facial expression in my mind, the sorrow in his eyes, the pain in his face. Shit. He has a valid point. Clearly, he expected more from me.

“I’m sorry. I should have chosen my words more carefully. I shouldn’t have said you were making excuses, or implied that you lied. That was wrong. I understand how scared you are, Jordan, I honestly do. And when I said we would find a way to make it work, I honestly meant that. You have to know I will go out of my way to make sure you are comfortable. I just thought that if we were together, we could do it together. We could figure out what to do together. I didn’t mean to suggest that I wasn’t going to be there for you. I always will be, no matter what, no matter where you or I live.”

“I know. I know you’ll be there for me. But that wasn’t the only issue. Again, out of all people, you know the challenges I faced while growing up. You know that we struggled with money. That to this day we still struggle. I have to be realistic with my expenses. I’m already thousands of dollars in debt, and I still want to go to medical school. That’s a reality I have to deal with. I have to live within my means. And that’s not an excuse.”

“Again, Jordan, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said excuse. I know money is an issue. But what’s wrong with letting me help you out a bit?

Because then I'd feel like I was taking advantage of you. I've worked so hard to get where I am, with my mothers help. It’s important to me that I contribute, that I pay my fair share. I don’t want to be like my dad. I don’t want to weigh you down, like he weighed my mom down. It was not fair to her, and it won’t be fair to you.”

“But arent we a team?” I ask. “I want to help you.”

“We are a team, but that doesn’t mean I take advantage of you.”

“You wouldn’t be,” I say.

“But I would feel that way.”

“I understand. I’m sorry, Jordan. I was just trying to help.”

“I know you were. The last thing I’ll say is, do you not believe me when I say I love you?”

His question takes me by surprise. “Of course, I do. I don’t doubt that at all.”

“Then why would you ever doubt that I wouldnt fight for us?”

Right, I said that it was obvious he doesn’t want to fight for us when we talked on New Year’s Eve. Again, words I now regret.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that. I just, with everything going on with my mom that night, I was frustrated. But that’s no excuse. I’m sorry.”

“And I should apologize too. I knew you were having a hard time that night. It was obvious you were frustrated with your family. I shouldn’t have said anything. I should have waited. It was bad timing on my part. And for that, I’m sorry. Was everything okay in the end with your mom?”

“Um, not really. But we can talk about that later. Right now, I’m more concerned about us.”

Makes sense.”

“Look, as far as Aiden is concerned, as I said before, I’ll be there for you. I’ll do whatever it takes for him to be kept in the dark about us. That is if you still want me to be there.”

I thought you said you loved me?” Jordan asks.

Of course, I do!”

So then why wouldnt I want you to be there for me?”

“I just thought maybe …”

“I’m not giving up on us, Noah. Not now, not ever.”

“Neither am I. So, does that mean we’re okay?” I ask. I hope we’re okay.

“We’re okay.”

I can finally relax a bit.

“I guess we made it through our first big fight,” I say.

“You’re right. Let’s never do that again,” he laughs.

“Agreed! That was not fun.”

“It was not.”

“So, have you thought about what you want to do exactly around Aiden? I ask.

“I dont know. It all depends on how busy Aiden is with his work, and how often hes around.”

“If we need to make changes to keep our relationship hidden, I’m okay with that. Honestly, I’ll do whatever it takes.”

“I just dont want to lose four months of our lives hiding, when we can be together,” Jordan says.

Neither do I.

It just feels like every time we're moving in the right direction, something gets in the way.

I guess thats the world subtly telling us we need to wait for now, I say.

“Maybe. I'm just sick of the world fucking with us.

Well, that's life, Jordan. The world is always going to throw obstacles in our way. You either go with the flow, or you fight back.

And how long do we just go with the flow? he asks.

“I dont know, I honestly dont. We just have to wait and see.”

And say if the tide never turns in our favour?

I take a deep breath. “I don't know, but as you said, we'll figure it out together. Life isn’t just going to be given to us on a silver platter, or it won't tell us when to take an opportunity. We have to make an effort, take a risk. We write our own destiny. If you hadn't taken that risk kissing me in the gym that night, we wouldnt be where we are today.”

“That’s true,” he says. “Hey, sorry, I have to run. I promised my mom I would help her tonight. I’ll call you later?”

“I may go to bed early, I’m pretty tired. Talk tomorrow?”

“Absolutely.”

“Again, Jordan, I really am sorry.”

“So am I. I love you, Noah.”

“I love you too.”

Oi vey. What a night.

Am I happy that we’re not moving in together? No. But at least we’re okay. And I understand where Jordan is coming from. He does have legitimate concerns. I should never have called them excuses.


*** JORDAN ***

I run up the stairs two at a time. Its not that Im in a rush, but my heart sure seems to be. My palms are sweaty. Im not really nervous, more excited. It doesnt help I am carrying several bags with me. Why didn’t I take the elevator? Oops.

A few hours ago, I didn’t think this would even happen. I didn’t think I would be here. I thought it was a long shot. But it was something Noah said that got me thinking. And then I realized, if I wanted to act, I had to act right away. I had to make several phone calls, beg with people, and really plead to get where I am now. But it was worth it. This is the right thing to do. Fuck the world, you only live once.

Once I reach the door, I place everything on the floor. I hope he says yes. Otherwise, this will have been all for nothing. Also, I hope he’s home! If not, that might be a problem.

Okay, breathe, Jordan. Relax. I lift my hand and knock on his door. I wait a minute, but don’t hear any movement. Shit. He’s not home. Crap, I'll have to come back. I should have called him, but that would have ruined the surprise. I guess I’m the one now getting the unfortunate surprise. Okay, time to grab my stuff. I lean down to pick up my bags when I hear a noise. The door is opening.

Jordan?

I stand back up. Hey, Noah, I say casually.

He looks confused. His mouth is open as if he is about to say something.

“What … what are you doing here? I thought you weren’t …” and then he sees all of my stuff on the floor. “What’s with all the …”

“These? I thought we were moving in together?” I ask as casually as I can.

His face contorts. He looks like a deer caught in headlights. His face can’t decide if it wants to smile or remain confused. “I’m sorry. What? I thought you said you didn’t want to?”

“Nope. I don’t remember ever saying that even once.”

“What are you talking about?” He is baffled. “We had two entire conversations just this week. We had a huge fight. And we put our plans on hold. I’m not crazy.”

“We fought, that’s true. But I never said I don’t want to live with you. Rather, I repeatedly said I DO want to live with you.”

He just looks at me, mouth open, one eyebrow raised, both of his hands in the air. He thinks I’m crazy. “You’re joking right? You may not have said the words, but you totally implied you were backing out!”

“All I said was I had concerns and we should talk. And we did. And now I feel better. So here I am ready to move in. That is, if you still want to.” Technically, I didn’t actually ever back out. He just assumed I did.

He just stands there mouth wide open, confused and baffled. “I honestly don't know what’s going on, but of course! Of course, Jordan. I want to live with you!” There’s that smile!

I step forward and wrap my arms around his waist and pull him into me. I kiss him hard. How I’ve missed those lips. I want him to feel the hunger building inside of my body. Fuck. I’m already rock hard.

“I’m positive you backed out,” he says as I hold his waist tightly.

“Nope never did.”

“What about Aiden, and rent, and everything else?” He’s still so confused.

As you said, we’ll figure it out together.”

His smile returns. “We will. I'm so glad you’re finally home.”

“So am I. It’s so good to be back.”

So, technically, Jordan never actually backed out, like some people, including Noah, reasonably assumed.
Still thinks Jordan's the bad guy?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Now let's see what trouble they get into living together.

Copyright © 2018 Ethan; All Rights Reserved.
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Jordan has valid concerns and I honestly don’t see how they can keep their relationship hidden from Aiden. There’s just no way to hide the fact they only have one bedroom and Aiden isn’t a fool. I sort of get Jordan’s view about the money but you accept help from those who love you so I think they can find a way to deal with that concern. The real issue with the money will be if Noah’s parents cut him off completely which they might do if they find out he’s gay as they’re already considering it because he won’t get the degree they’d prefer he get. Jordan has clearly forgotten he’s used Jenn’s identity as his “girlfriend” because when Aiden shows up that’s going to result in confusion & drama. Noah is liable to jump to conclusions and assume Jordan is cheating on him with Jenn, when Aiden mistakes her for Jordan’s girlfriend, considering how emotional he gets.

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So all of this angst and hurt was all for nothing ?  :facepalm:  I feel very sorry for Noah being trapped in this mess.

Noah's mother gets an apology she didn't deserve and Noah was forced to tell her about being in a relationship. Even the supposedly sympathetic brother didn't tell him to stand his ground. What an awful family - I hope Noah tells them exactly what he thinks of them, once he is no longer dependent on his parents for money.

Jordan (and Jenn) manage to talk Noah into apologizing and feeling even more shitty about the whole situation, and then Jordan suddenly turns up and is all ready to move in. Why didn't he think this through before he smashed Noah's hopes so cruelly ? I don't give a shit for Jordan's fears and pride. Aiden is obviously a cool guy who will be pissed his best friend didn't trust him, but kept lying to him, even when he sought him out ask gave him the perfect opportunity to tell him the truth. And perhaps Jordan should think about why Noah asked him to move in, it wasn't to share the costs of living, but because he needs his love and closeness. But I guess Jordan has never really caught on to how emotionally fragile Noah is. And Noah is used to everyone trampling all over him and expecting him to be grateful.

Oh well, I hope they'll grow up, get degrees and jobs, and live happily ever after. Together or not.

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Ok,,,,Confusing....

im with Timothy M., everyone is jumping on Noah for his response to Jordan’s late night decision. 

While Jordan,was talking to Noah about Aiden, money, messiness, etc, I kept thinking excuses, excuses. 

I felt the pain Noah was going through during these exchanges. 

All that being said, I LOVE this story. Thanks so much. 

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I'm sorry, but "um, I'm not sure if we should live together" is pretty much backing out. His "concerns" were excuses. At least Noah had the balls to tell his best friend, Jenn, that he was gay and eventually he was dating Jordan. I'm not letting Jordan off the hook that easily, and Jenn also made my shit list for sticking her nose in where it didn't belong. Noah had good reason to be angry and hurt.

Edited by jaysalmn
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Big frown at the beginning of chapter, BIG smile at the end of chapter, i am the biggest romantic in the whole world, in my world love is everything and it can only ever come first no if's or buts it just has to be first in every situation. 

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Again a lovable chapter! I never, never thought Jordan was the bad guy. ;) I like his way of thinking.

I really like both guys but Noah could have been a little more sensitive and understand Jordan's fear. At the same time I can understand that Noah reacted that way because he was in a difficult situation at home, too. Makes him more human!

Thank you so much for this story! Can't wait to read the next chapter!!

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I can certainly understand Jordan's concerns and I never assumed he didn't want to live with Noah. But I would have respected him and his worries more, if he hadn't turned up at Noah's door a couple of days later all ready to move in. And if he had introduced the matter in a better manner, like: 

Noah says: “We’ll be together in the same house. And it will be perfect. Honestly, that is what gives me strength, just knowing I'll be living with you.”

Jordan says: “Um … I'm sorry, Noah ... I’ve been thinking … and um ... I don’t know if it’s still a good idea that we live together …”

What Jordan could have said"It's what I really want too, but there are a couple of things I'm worried about and I badly need to talk to you about them."

 

As for Noah's family and his mother in particular, they may love him  and him them, but that does not oblige him to accept shitty treatment. I cheered for him, when he stood up for himself, and he should never have apologized unless she did too. And he should have told her, the reason he wasn't honest about being in a relationship is because he's fed up with her nosy and controlling behavior. Or he should have asked his brother to tell her, if he really wanted to help.

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7 hours ago, Timothy M. said:

As for Noah's family and his mother in particular, they may love him  and him them, but that does not oblige him to accept shitty treatment. I cheered for him, when he stood up for himself, and he should never have apologized unless she did too. And he should have told her, the reason he wasn't honest about being in a relationship is because he's fed up with her nosy and controlling behavior. Or he should have asked his brother to tell her, if he really wanted to help.

Originally, I started to type out Noah's conversation with his mother, but I ended up cutting it out, and summarizing their conversation in a line or two, for a few reasons (length, flow), though maybe I should have kept it in. Another is because I will reflect a bit of it later when Jordan asks what was going on that night, and Noah will explain his conversation (my idea here is so that Jordan understands just exactly what Noah has to deal with). So, as for your point about Noah not sticking up for himself with his mom, you're right to feel that way because I just wrote two lines in this chapter, but I should have given more context, and explained what he said. I'll try to flesh it out a bit more in Chap 22 instead. Thanks. 

 

That's the downside of only reading a novel, one chapter at a time, you can't keep going right away to see if you're concerns are addressed. To that, I'll say, I don't plan on making this a months long process. I'm hoping to post soon and regularly to complete this story. 

Edited by Ethan
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I like how you’ve seriously deviated from the Nifty version, I liked the mother drama version there but it also broke my heart.  Also if Aiden is the same age as Noah how is he already working?

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7 hours ago, Hunter of Porn said:

I like how you’ve seriously deviated from the Nifty version, I liked the mother drama version there but it also broke my heart.  Also if Aiden is the same age as Noah how is he already working?

Thanks. I'm really trying to add more context to this version, which was missing in some parts of the previous version. Aiden is doing a co-op placement, you could also call it an internship. Several university programs here offer them, where as part of your program you work to gain experience. Some programs do one co-op placement usually lasting 4 months. Some do multiple. That's why Aiden is back and working. He'll go back to school in Australia after he is done (I have no idea if Australian university programs offer internship placements, I just assumed they might like Canadian schools). 

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I'm wary of this “we'll figure it out” stamp that was placed on Jordan's concerns. Whenever that was said, I couldn't help but wonder, “How?”.

For example, regarding Aiden: we may guess that he'll be fine with it—though we don't really know anything about him at this point except a bit of his personality—, but expecting Jordan to just tell him as if he's being stupid for being concerned just doesn't make sense to me. Specially if we consider that just a few months before Jordan was for all intents and purposes straight, even to himself. It's not as if he's had years to get used to all of this.

And then how do they live together while Jordan figures out how and when to tell Aiden? Should he just forbid his best friend from ever going to the place where he lives, which is probably one of the very first places Aiden would want to see as soon as he gets in town? Or should he just expect Aidan not to wonder why he moved in with some dude, in such cramped conditions that they have to share a bed, let alone a bedroom, or at least sleep on a couch, when up until then he's had a perfectly good dorm room?

I can't help but think that Noah for one thinks—consciously or not—that, if worse comes to worst, Jordan can just come out to Aiden and all will be well. But that is not really allowing Jordan to set the pace, but rather allowing for a situation that could pressure Jordan into coming out, perhaps before he's ready for it.

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What was all that about? For sure Jordan said he couldn't move in for lots of reasons.

Clearly he changed his mind, realising you only live once. But that works too. One night together and all will be forgotten. 

Just hope Jordon remembers to fold away his boxers neatly before jumping into bed. Couldn't stand another 4 days of not talking 😉

And what a great friend Jenn is turning out to be for them both. I doubt that their relationship would have survived without her intervention; stubborn males.

Edited by Bard Simpson
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