“Nathan. Come on in, ignore the mess. This game’s been going on since early this morning, and these animals wouldn’t leave the room to go to the bathroom if I didn’t insist.”
Creeping into the room, it was obvious what held their attention. A huge flat screen television so large that the avatars were almost life size. I was so absorbed in the game playing out in front of me that I barely noticed when Jamie closed the door.
The group were deep in a multiplayer Halo game. I’d spent more time playing Halo than anything else I’d done. The game had become an obsession for me. I’d played video games my whole life, but this enormous size was even changing the sense of time passing.
When the shock of the giant ass TV started to wear off, I began to notice the other people around the room. A small crowd pressed close, some in various states of being slouched over the furniture watching while others gunned down the current round of bad guys.
“Hey, Nathan, Want something to drink?”
I tore myself away from the screen to see Jamie tucking the hair behind his ears again. “Sure, Whatcha got?”
Jamie studied the content of their fridge for a minute and came up with a smile. “Beer, local Beer, imported beer and cheap beer. Oh, and a diet Dr. Pepper that someone left.”
I thought about the choices for a second, but decided against being stupid this time. “Water’s fine. I think I’ll pass on the beer.”
Jamie handed me the unopened pop. “Better take this. The water’s kinda nasty.”
I didn’t really want a pop. The other guys might think I was some puss because I wasn’t drinking with them. But Jamie’s cute face began to make me have that fluttering sensation when we touched, so I took it. “Thanks,” I mumbled.
“Hey, babe. Grab me a brew.”
Jamie looked over at the hulking blond draped over one of the chairs. He shrugged at me then without a word, took one of the bottles of imported beer, and delivered it. I watched. Surprise, disappointment and elation swirled inside me when the blond took the beer with one hand, grabbed Jamie behind the neck with the other, and pulled him down for a kiss.
“Come on. Get a room,” said one of the other players.
I wondered too when it looked like the blond gorilla grabbed Jamie’s crotch to cop a feel before he let him go. He walked back to me with an odd grin on his face. “Sorry, hope that didn’t freak you out. Michael get’s handsie sometimes, he likes to be in control. I hope it didn’t bother you. I know some people don’t like to see two guys being affectionate.”
I swallowed hard. My mix of emotions settled in layers with disappointment being the thickest. It took me a few minutes, but I realized Jamie was waiting for me to reply. About the same time, I knew this was my chance. I could start chipping away at my worry about people discovering I was gay. Obviously, this group didn’t care. They didn’t have much reaction to the kiss. First steps, just a tiny first step. I gathered my courage and turned to Jamie. “Don’t sweat it. I’m gay too.”
Unfortunately for me, as the first words slipped from my lips, the gunfire reached a fevered pitch and Jamie didn’t hear a word I said.
“What?” Jamie yelled at me.
Someone stumbled over a powerstrip, and the speakers went dead just as I screamed into the silent room. “I’m gay!”
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