Offside. Chapter 5

In the end I was left with a bunch of photos without even asking him for permission and after eating with my parents, I just proceeded to stare at photos of him. I couldn’t help but start wondering how did his lips feel, even if I had just met him and the thought of touching myself to him seemed appealing yet terribly creepy, so I just went to find some porn, locking the door. I hated still living with my parents for the pure stupid reason of having to find headphones each time to jerk off to and do it terribly quiet.

He’s tall. So I had not really much of a connection of jerking off to guys with rather big dicks wrecking some poor twink today. I really tried to convince myself of that, but I am a pretty bad liar to myself because well, you can’t really hide things from yourself, you’ll end up thinking of them eventually. So I wasn’t really lying to myself by the end of the day.

I still continued staring at really old photos of him, where he had much shorter hair and looked like a full on dork, but still looked just as cute, no matter how bad his choice of a haircut was. But then anyone regardless of age can suffer a malfunction, that’s why I stayed with the same haircut for years, knowing that I had looked good with it. It was possibly boring, but at least I would never really look bad and the barber knew what I wanted every single time, but pushing his luck to ask me whether I had wanted something else.

I finished skimming through the photos and then went to his interests, surprised that he actually had a music taste for someone who claimed that we all should go to the gym. I wondered if he went to the city then for it and worked out with a bunch of other hunks. I had tried that once, but I didn’t get laid, all I did was get far too sweaty, tired and my body would ache for a week for no good reason. I wondered if I should’ve written somewhere that I wanted a gym buddy, but I was far too rubbish to even ask for that. I had plenty of exercise with football, so I considered myself to be in shape still.

I didn’t really know what to do and I knew that if I would text him asking if I could add him and start chatting with him would be weird. So I ended up playing Fifa far too late in the night, connecting with a bunch of assholes which would play Barcelona or Real Madrid and kick the ball from the middle of the field but still scoring. I didn’t even know why I even bothered, but it entertained me and I enjoyed it after all. I ended up playing Juventus as usual and frankly cursing at everyone, which seemed to be a sport of its own for me.

Well, I didn’t have to earn money yet and maybe it was a good thing that I was at my parent’s because after this year I would have to start thinking of something and I kind of ended up relaxing and easing in the moment, that it would soon pass and I wouldn’t really be awake at around 2 am playing Juventus against some snot face from France playing Ronaldo and forgetting the other players. Maybe it was something to actually be happy about.

I ended up flicking through every single app I have to see if luck would strike because I just couldn’t rely on Johnny who I had no idea about, but it’s always conversations which reach a dead end, but I pretend to be interested and end up falling asleep with the phone in my hand, curled up in bed. I do feel terribly desperate and lonely and I only wake up thinking how would the sleepover go and what the hell would even happen during it. I remind myself to tell my parents about it once I wake up again, just to make sure that they hadn’t forgotten it. I wake up rather late, which is a good thing, that means that I will manage to stay up late with Andy and Paul. Since alcohol might make me sleepy, all excess energy is always wanted.

I browse a bit on the phone before realizing that I’m hungry. There is nothing much to do until then, so I play some more Fifa once I’m done with breakfast and reminding the parents. I take the coffee with me, wondering if I should try to make some friends online and play with them, but I get too antisocial to even think that further. I end up missing practice and kicking the ball. At least that keeps my mind occupied and I don’t think of anything else.

Eventually the clock rolls the right time that Andy texted me as I was playing and I’m pleased that it’s alright to stay over after all, he could’ve just organized it and ended up not falling through with it. That had happened before but I didn’t want to discourage Johnny by putting a new friend down in his eyes. I struggled what to wear for a while, as if I should always be wearing a t shirt from a football team. I decide on a t-shirt and a scarf. I look at my boots for a while as I’m about to leave and decide to put them anyway, it’s not like I would want someone to like me for someone who I’m not. I wonder if I should have actually texted Johnny after all and gone with it, maybe even asked something risqué, but I would never have the guts and the message would have remained read forever with no answer whatsoever. He could’ve cancelled then as well. I mean, who would have wanted to sleep in the same room as me then?

Speaking of.

How would the arrangement be? Do we split the rooms? Do Andy and Paul get Andy’ room for themselves? I try to remember that I should mock them for that as always, because it wouldn’t be me if I won’t mock them. The bus ride ends up me listening to music and trying to space out and not think of anything, trying to become medicine for myself.

I have to change buses and I really regret not texting Johnny, because I could’ve picked him up, but it’s the only bus there to arrive in time so I see him dressed in all black and giving me a small wave in the distance, as I’m currently stuck on the bus stop, frankly doing nothing. I smile a bit too wide, at least I think.

“Hey Robbie.” Johnny says and I wonder what the hell did he even bring in his backpack. His pajamas?Is it like a full set? I usually just collapse and take off my jeans, so I don’t really bring anything with me.

“Hey, Johnny. What’s in the bag?” I ask, nodding at his backpack and he just looks at his shoulder, as if forgetting that he brought it in the first place.

“Oh, I got some alcohol actually. Just trying to be discreet about it.” He says and I just grin, because the more smashed we get, the better naturally.

“Nice.” I pat him on the shoulder. Johnny’s quite tall. And a silence is among us, where I get scared that I don’t know how to really converse with new people, how do you manage to talk to someone whether it’s online or not? How do you strike up a fucking conversation?

“So… you’ve always lived here then?” Johnny asks me and I nearly sigh of relief, as the bus also arrives on time, which makes me very thankful and sad at the same time, because soon enough I’ll have to share him with the other two friends I have and I won’t really be able to woo him in any way.

“Yeah, always. Makes me pretty boring, doesn’t it?” I sigh, looking back at him as we board the bus after getting tickets.

“No, I think it’s nicer than always moving around. I moved from the US actually. Well, I’ve been in the country for a while, but that’s where I’m from originally.” Johnny says and sits besides me, looking at me which gives me a bit of a tighter chest, but I try to ignore it and understand that it’s literally from the lack of attention why I’m jumping on poor him.

“Oh, nice.” I say. “Where from?”

“Detroit.” He says and I just nod, absorbing the information.

“Still nicer to be moving around and seeing countries.” I insist on my point, looking at him and wondering if he even has the slightest attraction towards men which would make it so much easier than to suffer alone. What if he was suffering as well? That would’ve surely been very romantic, but unfortunately that surely wasn’t the case.

“I always wondered how it’s like to actually be in the same place and everything.” He starts saying and I end up interrupting him.

“It’s shit, you get bored of seeing the same places every day. Bus rides are hell. You know everyone and your mom will gossip about you, because she’s just as bored as you are.” I smirk. Johnny just smirks back and probably wants to hear the full story, but I wait for him to ask.

“Gossip?” There it is. I just grin at him.

“My mom caught me with my ex-boyfriend and after the shock wore off she went off to tell everyone that I’m gay and eventually the word got to his parents as well, before he was out.” I say laughing lightly and remembering how it all went down and Steven got a scolding, but eventually they’re so distant that they gave up on it.

“Yikes.” Johnny laughs.

“That’s why I don’t recommend staying in small towns, everyone goes crazy. Everyone knows everyone.” I sigh.

“I think gossip goes around everywhere, only I guess in small towns it reaches you much faster than it would elsewhere.” Johnny says. “I mean, there’s other things to do and kill time with, so maybe the gossip isn’t as intense. Who knows. I’m not really one to gossip, so I’m not your best resource on whether I would gossip more here or not. Ask me in a few months.”

He’s staying here for long, of course. Somehow I saw him as someone who would stop talking to me soon enough, but there’s a high chance that we will remain friends somehow unless he decides that he prefers the company of some other guys. But still, it’s not like it’s a read message so far which will never get a reply.

I get far too scared of dropping the topic and ending up with nothing to talk about, so I feel like I cling far too much because until my anxiety goes down I won’t really be able to ease properly. But it doesn’t seem like Johnny sees my anxiety as he smiles at me and keeps talking, waiting for a reply and I probably take a second longer than I should.

“I’ll make sure to check up on you then. It’s not like you’ll go anywhere.” I smirk, not taking my eyes off him. If he’s single he’s surely not on any apps because I made sure to scroll and swipe plenty at least in the apps which had men interested in men, so even if he is, I’m not really in his field. I wonder if alcohol will loosen him up and get him talking, just so that I’ll see if there is anything or anywhere I can squeeze in when it comes to his sexuality.

“No, I won’t.” And he means it in a way, so I try not to overthink it and I know that I can’t really read him, maybe he’s pondering himself or maybe he’s just polite and that’s why I am so confused. Who even knows at this point.

“Would gossip ever reach you much in Detroit if you were gossiped about? But then everyone is, I think. Everyone will get discussed eventually.” I say, nearly thinking out loud.

“Yeah, of course it would but, like, after a good while. I remember I wasn’t really the most ideal person to date my ex-girlfriend and I heard people badmouthing me, but it wasn’t really a big deal and it’s not as fun as your own mother saying stuff like her son’s gay.” Johnny admits and I frankly agree with him, that no piece of gossip will ever beat my mother’s but it’s still a bit dark to think about it because she wasn’t the most pleased. And she gossiped just like she would’ve about anyone else being gay with a bit of regret that they happened to be so. But reading and knowing what happens all around the world, made me realize that I am more than lucky to get away with few disappointment. “But then, I think all gossip is annoying because it’s never really anything positive, it’s not someone patting you on the back like ever.”

“That’s true. It’s always something negative usually and smirking.” I add. I for once decide to glance outside the window, even if I know every single tree we pass since I’ve been going to Andy’ since I was a child. Maybe I should be thankful that my parents still allowed Steven to stay over despite all of their shattered dreams and whatever slightly homophobic thought parents have in their heads.

It’s a funny thing, every movie star has at least one gay rumour but you don’t hear too many gay football rumours in the tabloids. Very shady and secretive, but legend has it that gay football players exist left and right and keep it to themselves because of the fans. I always ponder about it.

I feel like if I start talking I’ll just spoil the entire story, since I know what is ahead.

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