This story was first published in the Gay Authors Spring 2007
Anthology Starbridge Train
“Tyler has invited me to his party. I heard that only his close friends would be coming. You think he’ll propose there? He has been sending signals a few days. I don’t know what to do. What do you think of him?” Simone asked excitedly to her best friend, Ashley, completely unconscious of the dilemma she just put her friend in.
Simone was a rather sensitive girl who lived in a world of her own. She looked at the reality only when it suited her. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the best thing for her. When the reality slapped her hard on the face, it hurt. And being her best friend, Ashley comforted her. Right now, she could have easily lied but it would be like pushing Simone towards her misfortune.
“Well, he’s quite a nice guy. He’s good-looking. He knows how to behave,” Ashley started cautiously, “but…”
“But what?” Simone snarled as Ashley winced.
“Hmmm, he’s kind of dating Cynthia right now. They are together. Anyway, he’s not your sort, Simone. He’s not the type you’re looking for. There’re much…”
“You can’t see me happy, can you?” Simone snapped as her green eyes flashed dangerously.
“Let me tell you one thing. You’re jealous. You’re jealous of Tyler and me. You’re jealous because no one loves you like Tyler loves me. No one will love because…”
“Simone, stop now,” Ashley said loudly. She couldn’t believe it. Simone was on the point of outing her in a crowded train station. The venom from her mouth hit her heart directly like a poisoned arrow but the fact that it came from her best friend, it was like putting salt on the wound.
“I won’t stop, Ashley. You always told me how the boys I liked were bad. You never supported me. And you say that you’re my best friend! You’re just a hypocrite,” Simone said angrily, “Or were you trying to find your way with me? You were trying to convert me, weren’t you? You wanted me because you’re just a filthy…”
Both seventeen-year old girls remained stunned as the gravity of their actions and words dawned upon them. Simone unconsciously raised her hand to touch her left cheek that had turned a bit pink.
“I thought you were my best friend. I trusted you with my deepest secret and this is how you repay my trust? You were on the point of ruining me, damn it! You even imagine what would have happened to me if my parents learnt about it? It’s always you and you!” Ashley said quietly so that only the two girls could hear but the pain was definitely evident, “You know what, Simone? You’re not worthy of being called my friend. I end every bond I had with you till this moment. From now, we’re strangers, Miss Summers. Both Tyler and you can go to hell. I don’t care.”
Ash turned and left without even looking back. As she strode away, she didn’t notice the tall well-built guy sitting at the bench. It was Jake Spencer. But then, Jake also didn’t notice her. He was quite lost in his thoughts.
How could Jake have been so stupid? How could he have imagined that his parents would support him? How could he have thought that the love he saw all these years was unconditional? He was just a plain idiot!
Jake had just been through the day he dreaded for years- the coming out to his parents. And he had reason to dread. He sighed as he thought of all those years of affection, support and love. All seemed to be a dream now. No, a charade instead! Since he had learnt that he was gay, he always believed that his parents would be at his side. They were two milestones on which he could always rely. He loved them. But now, all he could feel was disillusionment.
He could not forget his parents’ reaction when they learnt he was gay. His mother fell on the couch and started sobbing. It was as if he just told her he got cancer. Had it not been for the wrenching pain in his heart, he would have felt pity for her. As for his dear father, who always boasted about his fatherly support in front of everyone, he simply punched him in his face and in clear words, said: “Get out of my house NOW!” Jake didn’t need to be told twice. Consider him cynical, pessimistic, or foresighted but he had a duffel bag prepared in his room.
Here he was, sitting in the train station with his bag and about a hundred of dollars. At least, he was wise enough to come out after his graduation. He didn’t know what to do. It seemed that he left part of himself back there. Part of him had died, ended. But he would start afresh. He would go to a new town. He would work. He would save money. He would even go to college. He would live for himself. He wouldn’t let his life be ruined. Because he believed that after every ending, there was a beginning.
Jake ducked as he saw Aaron approaching. He didn’t want anyone to see him here. He just grabbed his bag and dashed behind the nearest pillar. Aaron passed without even glancing in his direction as he talked over his cell phone.
“Yeah, I’m at the station. I’m coming in a few minutes,” Aaron almost shouted as he jogged. He didn’t want to miss the train, not when the next one was after one hour.
“Gina, if you don’t stop, I’m really going to be late,” he said as he started running. Cussing, he snapped the phone shut.
Aaron winced as he landed on his butt. ‘What the fuck!’ he thought furiously. But as he opened his eyes, he started into two golden orbs. He had never seen golden eyes. They were so beautiful! Then, he realized that they were just brown and when the sunlight falls on them, they shone… like gold. He was still lost in those eyes, when an angelic voice called:
“Are you hurt?”
Aaron jerked out of his trance as he realized that those golden eyes belonged to a guy.
“Yeah, I’m…I’m okay,” Aaron stammered as he got up and brushed off the dust.
“Oh, I dirtied your shirt. I’m really sorry,” the golden-eyed boy said. Indeed, it seemed that the coke he had been drinking fell on Aaron’s white shirt when both of them fell.
“It’s okay. I don’t mind,” Aaron said sincerely even though he had bought the shirt barely one month ago.
“I’m really sorry. It will stain your shirt. And the shirt seems quite new. There’s a washroom nearby. We could go there and wash it a bit so that it doesn’t stain,” he offered as concern clouded his mesmerizing eyes.
“Well,” Aaron said as he weighed his options. He didn’t really mind the stain but if this was a way to know him better, then “we can try to remove the stain.”
When they entered the washroom, there was just the two of them. Aaron’s heartbeat raced as he realized that he would have to remove his shirt to clean it. He was not the type to shy much in front of others, but when the others included someone he fancied, it was different. But he was not going to chicken out either. So he removed the shirt and felt the cool air hit him. When he chanced a glance at the guy, he saw that the latter was blushing. ‘He’s so cute,’ Aaron thought as he chuckled inwardly.
The guy wanted to clean the shirt since he was the one to soil it but Aaron insisted.
“By the way, I’m Brian,” the guy said as he brushed a bang of blond hair from his face. His dirty blond hair was quite long, unlike Aaron’s brown spiky hair, and kept falling on his face. For Brian, it was quite unnerving but Aaron found it sublime. Thank God that he was using his hands or else, he would not have been able to stop himself from playing with those golden locks.
“I’m…” Aaron started.
“Aaron Piers!” Brain said blushing as Aaron looked at him with the left eyebrow cocked, “I remember your speech on the first day of GSA. I was there. It was really nice. It helped me a lot…to find myself”
Aaron shifted on the other foot as he thought of the speech. It was the day he came out to the whole school officially. It was not easy but he was never the one to hide behind. So Brian knew that Aaron was gay and perhaps, he was gay too. Aaron’s pulse raced.
“I think it’s clean now,” Aaron said as he drew the shirt from the water. Brian nodded.
“Brian, are you…hmmm…gay?” Aaron asked tentatively as he put on the shirt.
“Yeah,” the other boy replied as he blushed once more.
As they exited the washroom, they continued chatting. Aaron learnt that Brian was returning from his cousin’s place where he had gone to fetch a program CD. They talked for nearly half an hour as they waited for Aaron’s next train, now that he had missed the previous one. They had so much in common- music, books, dislike for maths, and soft spots for Harry Potter.
“PC is really not my stuff. I like using it but never seem to understand it. The program CD I just took, for instance, I don’t know how to install it. I got to beg to my elder brother for him to do it. It sucks,” Brian complained.
“It’s quite easy. I can show it to you. I can install it for you, if you want,” Aaron offered his help as he tried to find ways to spend more time with his blond-haired friend.
“You would do this for me?” Brian almost jumped with glee.
They decided to meet the next day itself at Brian’s place before Brian gave him the directions for his house. They shared numbers and e-mail addresses. Shortly, it was time to part as Aaron’s train had arrived. The latter had barely sat on the train that his heart started aching for his newly found friend. It seemed that a very long night was waiting for him. He wanted to lose himself in those golden orbs.
However, not only Aaron was going to work. As the night crept on, Julia entered the station. The heavy make-up and lipstick did a good job of finding her nervosity. She found the tight red shirt and short black skirt quite uncomfortable but she had to bear it to gain money. She removed a quite worn-out cigarette and lit it. She wandered a bit looking for a good place to settle in. At last she found one near a nice pillar. All she need now was a good customer.
As she smoked, she reflected on her situation. Orphan. Left to die on street when a baby. A stranger pitied her and brought her to an orphanage. When she was still a child, she had to fight with the other orphans to get a piece of food. At thirteen, she went in a foster home. The woman was not bad but the man was a plain bastard, always trying to get her to his bed. At fourteen, she returned to the orphanage after she cracked the skull of the man when he tried to rape her.
Julia looked out of the corner of her eyes and saw two huge men coming towards her. She was still a novice but she recognized trouble very well. She slid into the shadows and widened the distance between them and her as she walked. She stopped at a bench.
“Hey you, it’s my place. Get the fuck out of here,” a voice said from behind her. She turned and saw a quite attractive woman. She must have been quite old but the layer of powder hid the possible wrinkles. And the blonde hair seemed a bit too beautiful to be real. But Julia, not wanting any trouble, walked away quietly. She wouldn’t have minded a female customer. She always wanted to be with a woman. Once when she was having sex with the cleaner of the orphanage, she imagined herself to be with a woman. She was probably a lesbian but a hetero’s business was more prosperous. So she did her best to be as straight as she could.
She saw another unoccupied pillar and leant against it. She sighed as she thought of her life. For a second, she wondered if the orphanage was not better, but the next second, she mentally scolded her for thinking it. She could no longer live in that place where she was treated as shit. And she wanted to live independently. She wanted to have money.
She noticed a man coming toward her, not a thief but a customer. Her heart raced. She calmed herself and regained her composure. She should not give away that she was still a novice.
“Looking for a wonderful night?” she said in a husky voice as the man neared.
“What’s the rate?” he said. He was probably in his early forties. His clothes were really dirty and smelled of alcohol.
“Ten dollar for three hours.”
“Make it five,” he said as he neared.
The man didn’t want to bring her to his house so they decided to settle in behind the pillar itself. They dissolved in the shadows as Julia got her first customer.
This story was first published in the Gay Authors Spring 2007 Anthology