Timothy’s Terrible Prompt Stories - 68. Prompt 500 What took you so long? (II)
A Nelson POV chapter, second use of prompt 500.
“What took you so long? Coach started grumbling five minutes ago,” Jasper said, as we walked up to where he stood with Carolyn.
“Relax. He always gets a little worked up before a game. We’re here now, and ready to roll,” Rob replied.
My best friend poked at the edge of his hair, which was already standing up in red spikes, like small flamettes. He nodded at Ryan, Eric and me, and took in the two tall guys standing behind us.
“Hi, you must be Ryan’s cousin and boyfriend.”
“Yes, I’m Jordan, and this is Caleb. How did you know?”
“Oh, Ryan has been bragging about his cousin coming to see him play, for the last few days. It’s nice to see someone in his family appreciate our awesome second baseman.”
Ryan turned a little red, as Jordan stared at him in surprise. Before he could say anything, Jasper dragged Ryan and Rob off, with an apology and a promise to see us all after the game.
“Yeah, um, that’s my best friend, Jasper. He gets a little wound up when he’s hoping to pitch.”
“No problem. So, where’s the best place to watch the action?” Jordan asked Eric.
“I usually sit near third base, ‘cause that’s where Rob plays. But we also get a good view of second base and the pitching mound. Plus the hitters, of course.”
“Lead the way.”
I made sure to sit next to Caleb when we found a spot. Eric was explaining to Jordan about the baseball statistics he kept for Rob, Ryan and Jasper, while we waited for the game to start. Carolyn had wandered over to talk to some of the other girlfriends of the players.
“Can I ask you some questions?” I asked Caleb.
“Ryan said you went to college. How long had you dated Jordan by then, and how did you manage to stay a couple, if you were away from each other?”
“Are you graduating this year?”
“No, I’m a Junior, so Eric and I will have another year together, before I leave for college.”
“I understand your worry, but I think you can make it work. Jordan and I were lucky because he got work as a mechanic near my college a few months after I started. But I think we would have stayed a couple anyway.”
“I’m going to apply to colleges which are possible schools for him too. So it should only be for a year. And hopefully, I’ll get something close enough for weekend visits.”
“Skyping and staying in touch in other ways help too. But the most important thing is to share your experiences and show an interest. I don’t know anything about cars or motorbikes, but I still listen to Jordan telling me about his work, I go to car and bike shows, and I let him spend time renovating this ancient truck.”
At this point Jordan turned round and grinned at us. “Are you dissing my Dodge, Cal?”
“Never, Jordie. You know I admire your ability to turn a pile of rust into a truck.”
“Smart ass. Don’t listen to him.”
While they kept the light banter going, I noticed Trevor make his way along the bleachers towards Eric. As always, his presence caused me to feel awkward. He was a really nice guy, and apparently I had been utterly clueless about his crush on me.
“Hey Eric, I thought I’d better catch you before the game starts.”
“Hi, Trevor. No problem. You’re not really dressed for watching baseball.”
This was true, because Trevor was looking very sharp in a shirt with matching jacket and dress slacks.
“I’m on my way to work, but I just wanted to drop off some material for you to read before the GSA meeting on Monday.” He set the plastic bag down next to Eric and leaned in to say a few quiet words in his ear.
I hurried to explain to Jordan and Caleb. “Trevor is the current president of the school GSA, and Eric is going to run for the post next year.”
“Hi, Nelson,” Trevor said and looked at our companions, so I quickly introduced them.
“This is Ryan’s cousin Jordan and his boyfriend Caleb. They’re here to see Ryan play.”
“Nice to meet you.” Trevor shook hands with them, and they spent a few moments talking about what his plans were. It was obvious how ready he was to leave high school and get into the hopefully more mature and accepting world of college education.
I moved down to sit next to Eric, who was leafing through the contents of the bag while keeping a sharp eye out for any signs of the teams appearing.
“Most of it is rules, regulations and summaries of GSA meetings and events. But there are also some notes Trevor has made about which teachers are likely to be helpful, and what he has done to stop harassment and reassure students who’re worried about coming out. This could be very helpful.”
He let me glimpse a folder, which said ‘Confidential’ on the outside.
“He must trust you to give you those notes.” I lowered my voice to be sure no one heard me.
“Yeah, he said it was OK for you to read them too, but not to show then to anyone else. Will you hang on to the bag while I take notes during the game?”
“Of course.” My reward was a smile and a quick kiss.
“I guess it’s not a big deal to be out in this school.” Caleb’s voice behind us sounded a bit wistful.
Trevor laughed. “Let’s say it’s fairly easy for our local martial arts prodigy and the brother of Rob the popular jock to be out and proud. The school as such is supportive and tries to prevent harassment, but we have our share of stupid people, mostly those confused by religion.”
“Ah, yes. I know all about that. My family is infected by that disease too.”
The bitter tinge in Caleb’s words made tears come to my eyes. Eric noticed and put his arm around my shoulder. We didn’t want to turn around and interrupt the older guys’ talk.
“Even your parents?”
“Them especially. I haven’t spoken to them for almost ten years.”
“Dude, I’m sorry to hear that. It’s easier to ignore when it’s just the random uncle, aunt or grandparent.”
“Yeah, that’s the case with Jordan’s family. His parents just sort of ignore the whole issue, but they’ve gotten OK with me being around.”
“I had to hint their choice was between seeing both of us or neither, so they opted for the sensible road.”
“Do you have brothers and sisters? How do they feel?”
Jordan was the first to reply. “They’re generally OK, sort of ‘whatever’, and one of my sisters really like Cal.”
“My siblings are all younger and most of them live at home, so it’s difficult for them, but they’ve stayed in touch. My oldest sister moved out a year ago, and her boyfriend has a gay brother, so she’s finally getting different viewpoints to counter the influence from my parents. I don’t expect any of them to argue with my parents on the matter, but I hope I’ll eventually be close to my siblings again.”
“I’m sure you will. Our generation is a lot more relaxed, and we’re more likely to question our parents’ opinions because we have access to information.”
“And to other people like us who can prove it’s fine to be who you are and love who you want.”
I’d like to salute the online LGBT communities that are so important to us all.
You probably have a crazy and hectic schedule and find it hard to keep up with everything going on. We get it, because we feel it too. Signing up here is a great way to keep in touch and find something relaxing to read when you get a few moments to spare.
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