Stale Smoke

I saw the moon, it was a blood red, when we had just met. I dreamt of Rui going up in a top hat, counting all the stars and giving them to me, but instead I am woken up by a hand crawling and tracing lines on my skin. I shouldn’t have worn a tank top, I feel completely exposed.

Years have passed since the moon. No, just weeks.

We headed back inside, climbing over the deserted park fence. Too many places like these became homes here. We didn’t kiss or anything, but I always wondered with his countless cigarettes why he had called me over. Instead of giving answers, he just kept me by his side.

I understood his loneliness. I would have seen Rui cry, if he had let me, but he would take the queue in the bathroom and bawl his eyes out there. He stopped doing drugs a long while ago, or at least that’s what I had thought until he had told me that he never actually did them. Alcohol was enough, he said, but through the mist of weed I had seen him stare at me and even wink.

But he was never pushed to the edge.

Once he had gone out and I laid on his bed, feeling myself go terribly aroused and I stuck a hand deep down my pants, touching myself. It didn’t take long and I wasn’t caught.

I jerk at the sudden hand.

He’s the one always talking in stores and I just mumble my way through a half-eaten language. It’s not like we go out a lot.

But he sketches me a lot.

He’s told me to undress and he’s studied my chest, he’s asked me to spread my legs. It was a circulating currency between us. He would pay me, but I would sometimes lend him money. He called me his muse, but he wouldn’t have sex with me.

Neither would he kiss me. Instead he would just watch, feeling disturbed if another man would sit besides me and watch too. I guess I knew I was good looking somewhere, or maybe it was because I was of such age. I don’t know. He would ask them to stop and take me outside, telling me stories as we would walk up and down the hills of the small city.

I never asked him even once why had he called me over.

The arm travelled and I regretted falling asleep on the bus, but my eyes were greeted with a pair of curious puppy brown eyes. He was younger than I was, and I already felt terribly young.

“Do you have a cigarette?” Accent from the north. I just nod, realizing that I shouldn’t be giving out cigarettes to random strangers. But he takes me by my hand and we exit the stop together. I realize that it’s two stops away so it’s not too bad. He lights the cigarette and I wonder if he is even of legal age, but then I see the subtle stubble. Everyone here has a baby face once they shave. Same for him.

I stretch out the box and he just pulls the cigarette from my mouth into his, returning his to the box. We share the cigarette and he watches me.

“What brings you here? Your accent… it’s not from here.”

“It’s not.” I reply in perfect English. He smiles, rubbing his eye away from any sleep which he might have contaminated from me. It’s not foreign for people to suddenly speak English here, thankfully, so he jumps along the train as we share the cigarette.

Sometimes I get tired from speaking anything else.

“Do you want a drink?” He asks and his hair doesn’t even reach his eyes, but is still rather shaggy.

“Are you old enough to even drink?” I ask him and he laughs.

“They barely ID you here. I thought you’d know by now.” I just shrug and he gives me the cigarette. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a joint. I wonder what would Rui be doing, but instead my thoughts are disturbed.

“The karaoke bars are terrible.” I hear him say and I just look at him, confused.

“I went on a date one with this… guy. It was awful, I sang Beautiful Stranger and then left, because the date was going so damn bad.”

“So he wasn’t your beautiful stranger?”

“Not at all.” He smiles at me, inhaling the cigarette. “But I would call you a beautiful stranger.”

I ignore the compliment and I see that he grasps it immediately.

“I shouldn’t be going around with thirty year old men who never dated.” I flinch, thinking of Rui. He never spoke to me about his personal life. I’m so used to gay men around me, that it takes me a while to realize that the young guy is into men as well. In his own way. I want to say that it depends on the guy, but I don’t want to keep talking and we start heading the same direction, I know he’s just following me at this point. But it’s not like there is anything to steal from me and I do live in a squat, anyway.

I turn around and he stops. We’re nearly the same height.

I point towards a bench and he follows me. It’s opposite to our place, so if Rui were to exit he would be able to see me sitting opposite and we would watch each other. I would surely get him jealous and he would start counting the stars all over again on my skin. He would trace his fingers, the nails down, as if he would be about to make love to me, he’d be on top of me but neither of us would love as he would watch my naked skin.

I loved him so.

We fall asleep on said bench. I don’t even recall us talking, I just remember that he leaned in to kiss me and I took out another cigarette and gave it to him as a pacifier.

We can be anyone to strangers, even beloved.

He invites me for a small breakfast the next morning and I comply, energizing myself from the fact that Rui would notice that I had been gone.

I had a letter handed to me last night by Rui, who watched me carefully, smoking the cigarette since the place was a mixture of anything you could lay your hands on. It was from my mother, begging me to come home, but I couldn’t. I felt like we had discussed too much and even being my mother she had said too many things I couldn’t forgive, so I just discarded the letter and Rui took some photos of me ripping it. He said that it would be for the future. I felt guilty, but I didn’t want to speak to the kid about it.

He paid for breakfast and I just smiled. He was possibly counting the dates it would get me to spread my legs. Maybe he was bisexual or something. Maybe we should all not care who we go to bed with, but in the end there is something wired within us. The problem is that sometimes our wiring doesn’t work, just like we were supposed to live to seventy, but we get run over by a car. It’s not the body’s fault or is it because we had stepped outside that day, knowing the fate and running water through the hair without shampoo just this one time.

Does everything go different on the day you die? Does the wiring go wrong as well?

I don’t ask that.

I run a hand through my short hair, which Rui had buzzed the day before. He watched me a lot and he would ask me questions with a thick accent, ignoring the letter h always, as if it was silent, just like in Portuguese. I couldn’t correct him, he felt like a snake charmer.

He had greeted me in the airport with flowers, telling me that he would be with roses and even if I knew his face and he knew mine. He asked me to strip the first day and he drew me, as if I had been an American Beauty fantasy. Maybe he knew that I hadn’t gone that far, something inside me not letting me unravel, but with him it was different.

Rui let me do anything as he would sketch. Once I had even touched myself and he just kept on sketching, watching me silently with charcoal nearly traced on his face.

“I’m André.” The kid says and lights a cigarette now from his box and watches me. I realize that most likely he is my age with those big brown eyes, which are different from Rui’s black bottomless ones. I don’t reply.

“Alright.” He replies surprised, but as if it’s no big deal. I sip my black coffee in the tiny mug it was served in. Anywhere else it would’ve tasted gross, but somehow it works here. It brings some sad nostalgia of old lovers I would never have. “What do you go by?”


“What do people call you here…? you’re clearly a foreigner.”

“Russo.” I say. “Even if I’m a girl-”

“A girl.” André chews on that for a while, as he pokes my pastry and then back up at me. “Yet people call you Russo.”

He narrows his eyes.

“Doesn’t it bother you?”

“No.” I lie. I think I lie. I’ve only let Rui call me by my name and even then when people don’t understand who he is speaking of, he says the Russo. Then everyone knows who it’s about. But André doesn’t push it, like Rui sometimes does.

Rui would ask me questions from a book on gender, studying me, but he wouldn’t let me in properly and I couldn’t understand the Portuguese title either. Maybe he had majored in Psychology. Rui was a few years older than me.

I can’t shake off André, no matter how hard I try, he just follows me, I guess since he bought me breakfast he keeps on asking me questions. How come I’m Russian, how come I don’t speak Portuguese yet and that just like he had learnt English by talking about things he enjoyed, and so should I. Not giving any particular reason, I just recall how once I had asked Rui, while sitting in his small room, to teach me some Portuguese and he had, but I was terrible at it. I couldn’t differentiate the Os and I would even forget the swear words.

But he smiled and he would kiss me on the forehead goodnight.

I don’t know why he preserved me.

Once I had walked in on him masturbating and he just locked the door on me, after letting me watch him cum all over his chest. He shut the door, excusing himself and I heard him sit on the floor for a while, probably running hands through his hair, which was now longer than my own and looking at the door.

I loved Rui.

There was something about him I couldn’t crack because I wasn’t a nutcracker, but I still loved him. Once we had fallen asleep in the same bed after drawing all night and taking photos of each other. My hands shook, but I took fairly decent photos.

“I love you.” I had told him. As if revealing a cover of a dusty book. He was terribly sleepy and allowed me to be in his arms.

“Pois, eu sei.” He mumbled sleepily, wrapping his arms tighter. I didn’t ask for a translation, but I left it at such, always forgetting to ask him.

“Where do you stay, Russo?” André asked me and I just nodded across the street, we had walked a while without realizing it much last night, silently. I wonder how much even goes in silence, simply because I refuse to speak or speak too much.

“Oh.” He said, eyes glistering. He wasn’t from here. Everything was a novelty, even some destroyed places by students and others who would leech off.

I was getting tired of his questions, recalling how I had spent my childhood being a Russian-German, never even speaking German as fluently as I should’ve, focusing more on English, an odd obsession which had gone nowhere. But then we had all learned the fucking language as if we would all believe together in something. Then I spoke of my parents who had to work twice as hard as any German, because we were still foreigners and no one looks properly at foreigners, to which André shifted uncomfortably in his seat. It wasn’t like he was the one holding the whip anyway.

“I don’t think you have that here.” I just smile sadly to his words, actually not knowing anything.

We walked up the stairs to the place and my hands were shaking, I was imagining a million scenarios where he would be sitting there through the haze, someone playing league of legends on their mac, someone grinding marijuana, someone just having a conversation on the phone, but instead it was all empty.

I ran to Rui’s room and André followed me. It was locked and I yanked the door further open, revealing nothing. The photos and sketches were there, all of them from my time here and I just picked some up, as if to clean up and André picked one of me naked and then looked back at me. I wasn’t much to look at naked. I was just average.

“Oi, Russo!” And a man with a crooked smile, sloppy dyed blonde hair shows up in Rui’s flip flops. He speaks to me in Portuguese, before slapping his forehead. “Rui’s in the kitchen.”

The blondie is wearing Rui’s flip flops. My heart sinks. André walked ahead, as if he knows where the kitchen is. We head upstairs, past all the graffiti covered the black paint of the walls and the blonde doesn’t look back. Instead he and André do some small talk in Portuguese about the weather.

Rui’s in the kitchen alright, naked, smoking a cigarette, all pale and his face in his hands.

“Eu fodi um homem.” I’m no moron to not understand that. He says that through his fingers.

“Errado, eu fodi você.” I realize the blonde man is Brazilian with his lax use of ‘você’ as he makes a motion towards Rui. Rui drags the cigarette again, then looking at me.

“He fucked me last night.”

“I got that.” I snap. Rui’s not taken back, instead he looks doped up, but all I see is discarded cigarette butts and the noises of stairs, doors and laughter from the room nearby. The Brazilian looks at all of us in turns. What the fuck is even André doing here? I feel like closing his eyes, from seeing all this opera and Rui keeps looking at me all lost and confused.

I can’t get the image of him receiving pleasure for someone else, that he had listened to the Brazilian’s soft words and gone somewhere in the enormous house to fuck. That somehow a stranger had managed to do something I couldn’t even dream of doing. I had wanted Rui so badly, but the more days went buy, the more I wanted to buy him a bouquet of flowers and leave. I knew that he didn’t want me, not that way while I was becoming obsessed. I was tired of stealing his clothes to wear and him watching me undress for another sketch.

I was desperately tired.

“I’m gay.” Rui says defeated and it is said in one breath, as if it would be a regular motion, but I close my eyes.

But I can feel his eyes pierce right through me and I open just to greet them and I see his stubble has now grown nearly into a beard.

“You could be going through a phase.” The Brazilian laughs and André catches up on the laughter, but instead Rui ignores them both and goes towards me, grabbing me by the wrist and taking me outside. We stand on the balcony, I wish it were raining now, but instead we are stuck in the drought which had burned down many things in its path. Instead I just stare at him.

“There was someone else before…” He wanders off, leaning completely against the balcony with his hands and then stretching, still hangover, thinking that he would find cigarettes, but I give him my own pack and he lights one, eyes which feel bloodshot looking at me.

“Then you-” I stumble on my words and he looks at me. “Why did you call me over?”

“Because you always looked like a guy.” He grabs my face and I stare at him. “I wanted it to be over with the other guy, but I’ve only stumbled onto someone else…”

And for the first time he kisses me hungrily.

I don’t even get a moment of surprise, I claw onto his back, kissing him instantly, his stubble still scratching me as we start making out and I can only imagine André and the Brazilian playing scrabble or something. Anything. I don’t care.

I keep kissing, as his boner starts digging into my hip.

“You were an escape, which I had failed.”

“Shut up.”

He sticks his hands under my tank top, travelling up to my nipples and I moan.

We stop and he presses the door of the balcony back, taking me on the floor with him. He squeezes them harsher than I’ve ever let anyone and I moan even harder. Pleasure travelling all over my body and I let him do whatever he wants to me, as he takes off my clothing, his erection digging into my legs or my hip when he drags himself up to kiss me.

The balcony door is open, the door is open, anyone can hear my moans as he goes down on me, kicking me everywhere, tasting me, savouring me as he is between my legs and I start shaking as he inserts a finger inside me.

“Rui…” I turn away, flushed from sex.

“I love you.” Somehow saying that I need him is harder.

“I love you too.” He stops and goes up to face me. I taste myself on his lips. He positions himself and starts thrusting inside me. I arch myself as much as I can, feeling him stretch me, going in and out. He’s rather big, but I’ve seen that and it aches in the current position somehow, but it brings too much pleasure that we both moan and stare at each other.

“I need you.” I still say and that makes Rui dissolve in me, I feel him fill me up with warm cum and I unravel myself, screaming, thrusting against him as he does his last pulls in.

I start crying.

He holds me. I cry even harder. He’s gay. Where do I even fit? He keeps kissing me all over.

He said he was attracted to me because I looked like a guy. That rings heavily in my head and I sit up, just to look at him. Then I look at my naked masculine body.

I am leaking his cum now. Rui takes a finger and rubs me in circles with the cum soaking it all and I stop crying. I lay down again.

“You never loved me as a woman.” I say.

He keeps doing it and because I’m still sensitive from the previous orgasm I cum rather fast.

“I fell in love, with you as a man.”

Many things made me wonder, many things made me think in the end. We laid still for a while, before I stood up and he asked for another cigarette. Rui didn’t chase me, as he just remained seated in the room, coated with our fluids and only glanced once back.

Stepping out, felt like walking out of a dream, it had been nightfall by the time we left.

I packed up all my things, my hands weren’t trembling anymore.

I gained what I needed to know, as André just sat besides me, passing me old clothes which I had taken with me. The Brazilian walked past my room, as Rui called him out, glancing quickly in my direction and leaving it as such.

I couldn’t picture Rui anymore once both me and André left. I asked him where he lived. It was elsewhere, paid by his parents money. He didn’t ask much, as we drove there.

The rain ended the drought when I headed inside his apartment and hugged André. There never is a way to end things, you just slip out and then you might cross paths again and that’s when you’re asked again

Would you want another round?


I’ve decided to blow off the dust off a very old story of mine. This is a retold/remake new and shiny version set in Portugal, which was influenced by the places I’ve seen, which were something I hadn’t experienced before but attempted to write about. I’ve touched on certain things in Two Elizabeths, so the mindset is sort of there. I feel weird when I don’t work on many projects at the same time, so I felt like rewriting this old story which took a few years to finish, slowly writing short chapters one at a time.

There’s also a homage to one of my favourite imageries in the beginning, but it’s too old to mention what it’s a reference to.

This version focuses more on Russo/Rui’s relationship rather than the original which was more focused on all four characters.

I hope you enjoyed it, because I was so thrilled about it that it took me a few days to finish the whole thing.


Two Elizabeths (Part Two)

What if everything you knew about yourself was wrong?

What if you had never known yourself at all in the beginning?

Was it neglecting the playing musician on the street, just because you decided to save up?

My hands trembled. I watched the cigarette box being passed around, I was still some sort of mamma’s boy, someone who would still pick up the call and say that I am okay, lying. Knowing that standing up to the rest of the family meant something my mother would never do. It was the least she could do, with her misgendering me. Maybe somewhere deep down I was meant to be a woman but ended up as Frankenstein’s monster on the way. Or maybe I was too much like my mother, keeping the mouth closed in a very thin line and displeasing everyone was at the end of my list, even if I had done it.

I had walked through the labyrinth and through poverty growing up, so what would be different this time? What was there all over again? I was like a new spectacle, but that was simply because I was a new person, a new person to look at the surroundings and get asked if I was alright. I was offered food and water. Was that enough? When does the world end to erase everything? I couldn’t decide on which lie I wanted to dwell on, which one was the reason I was here. No one asked many questions, I guess it was because it was still about cigarettes at the moment. No heavy drugs would be dealt with, as far as I understood. Some looked far too skinny and their backs carrying the strains of growing up. We were all chucked into a world where we all held our problems and had to suddenly grow up with a joint in our hand.

I recalled an interview of a favourite musician where he laid down on the floor, laughing and that had been what I had feared. I had the shivers, knowing that one day I would open up to all these people which were already using my name and they had their own speculations on me. They had their own thoughts which I couldn’t control, which I could just journal about.

I could just draw them in hope that someone online would look at them.

I spent some time in a hostel, wasting the last money and avoiding people like the plague, while here no one flinched at the fact that I couldn’t grow a beard yet. I eyed the guy on the corner, reading, he seemed cute. But would he fuck a trans guy? With all the commotion, I was just left without touching myself. I just wanted some misery sucked out of me. Everything seemed like a dystopia with classes left on top to attend and to answer stupid questions to the few friends I had, who had no clue what a trans person was.

I wanted coffee. So I excused myself into the kitchen, watching a few curious eyes lose interest very fast and I had settled on water. I still had a brief allowance, it was just that I didn’t know what to do with my life anymore and it wasn’t like I wanted the degree either. I was free-falling and I couldn’t stop, I didn’t want to stop. I just wanted it all to end, like last night while staring at the wall of the hostel. I couldn’t journal my thoughts, I couldn’t put pen to paper. I just needed it all out, but nothing was working.

I walked outside, I walked down, all the way down the hills, past the music bars, back onto the main street, shuddering, even if it wasn’t as cold today and my feet were sore from the Doc Martens I had bought before I had told my family I was trans.

It wasn’t that she was there. She was sitting on the bench, smoking a cigarette. Like I had said, it was early for weed.

Would it be okay only because it’s straight?

I don’t think there is love at first sight, but there is attraction at the first sight. Just watching her, I knew that everything she would say would be true. I could feel some sort of two sided street, I could feel her anxiety. The mixture of her thoughts to be dumped into ash was my greatest fear. I was no phoenix, I was no fool, if I were discarded I would be done so.

I would lie to myself, if I wouldn’t describe her cut with scissors bangs, her hair hidden in a beanie, leaving the evidence of anxiety of meeting me again, outside, it was something we both agreed on. I wanted to hear her. So I just stood, as she played her guitar, making only a few euros, which seemed to be the way things go.

Love is such a scary word, because I could never tell her that. It was shrouded with the fear of an unwanted confession. I would never be able to write again, unless I spread the truth out like a map. My mind is immersed in love, which I fear I’ve spilled over.

It’s a full transformation.

“I should’ve told you this after sex.” I wouldn’t even recall what she had said. What was the origin of dispute that time, but it was the last time I would go outside of the weed smelling halls with the ukuleles in different corners and some people scattered on sofas with flip flops in winter.

And there she was. Applying make up, lipstick, dark eyes looking way past beyond me, anxiety leaving no trace of being high a few minutes ago. I knew that I was no longer wanted.

But it still gives me nightmares.

Women scare me, because it’s such a boudoir performance.

It was a true story. She had told me that and kicked me out of her heart, now her hair longer and in a bun with walking on eggshells where we both block each other, wondering far too much what the fuck had happened to the man who had seen us both as men. He perhaps saw us as lovers, but he never told us anything he thought of us as he would speak to us.

Instead she would look at me, dark eyes focusing in me in a love now long gone.

I couldn’t look at her in the eyes and I knew she was the woman to make love one more time.

And I had left. It was never my fault, it was just my unlucky roll of the dice with women and even unluckier with the fondest of men, because the stars wouldn’t align. But at least I understood men and wanted them.

Sitting outside on the same bench we had met, I wondered of the labyrinths I would never see again. But fuck them. Fuck women.

It’s odd to think about this story, because I had left so much unwritten and so much had been changed to prose. So much is going to be left to rot and so much had been written at the same time. Originally these were two separate stories and this one was called cold spilled coffee.

I hope you enjoyed both parts and I’ll resume posting Offside next week. Back into the gay we go.


Two Elizabeths (Part 1)

There is always a ghost behind us and sometimes not only sexuality fails us, but so does gender. It falls into the cracks which you don’t reveal to a gender therapist, you don’t go around saying

I knew what it was like

Because I didn’t.

It felt like falling under the same trap, seeing the same eyes reflected and one day apart in birth. I’ve long lost the poems I’ve written for both, so all I have is recollection and just like coffee can be the drug, so can nothing and scraps of blood left on the bones of a once forbidden love.

I’ve known that you came back to haunt me. You knew that I would go on further with men, just like you did, but you gave me another trap because you were so desperately in love with me. You’ve told me that, while I never did. I didn’t even apologize for leaving you out of my life. So please count this as an apology as I have loved you as much as you did.

“I meant girlfriend because of your body…” And the second Elizabeth misgendered me again.

I don’t think I’ve ever told her of you either. Maybe I had mentioned that I was in love with a girl once and chickened out, but it was always the girlfriend which gets mentioned, while the first time I fell in love with a girl is always avoided because it becomes irrelevant in a gay man’s life story. Every word becomes a rough swallow.

I don’t even remember how we met, I just know when we had loved each other deeply. And I know that you had cursed me with another woman to love briefly, so that I could feel what you had felt. You wanted to show me how is it actually to vanish on someone else.

Divorce was heavily frowned upon and I still think that to this day you have no idea, maybe you thought of it. But it was the reality I lived in. School was dreadful and most of us knew what money issues were rather than not. It was a question of how to survive boredom with cheap alcohol, drugs still being out of the question and apparently lesbianism was something which haunted me. I had short hair, I had a deeper voice and I had far too many attractive girls which have kissed me, but you haven’t.

Maybe you knew that my parents were divorced. We kind of just became friends, speaking of men we liked and would do would we have had the chance at the age of around fifteen and fourteen. I won’t recall now.

Art school was a way of me just opening up. I could laugh, even if people would say that they would kill themselves had they found out they were gay.

I had worn make up back then, a tamed version. I would mix two lipsticks together, use a blue pencil just to trace a line on my eyelid and that was all until my mother had seen and told me to soften it up. Maybe it was then that I decided that it was all I needed to stop doing make up. I don’t think either of us changed that much, we would still talk about men now, but you don’t do that with lovers, do you?

I’m sure if you would sit opposite me you would recognize me, because you would see that indeed I had ended up asking up people to use a different name for me. You would recognize the short hair. You wouldn’t recognize my lovers, maybe you would see a pattern. But Elizabeth, you wouldn’t recognize me soon enough and I’m writing before all my memories fade of the first girl I’ve loved and maybe my first sexual awakening.

We talked about how much we wanted to be guys. You moved on, for you it was a phase and everyone else picked up, others asked to be called by male names as well.

Sometimes I fall and I want to know what the hell happened to you. I know where you work, I know what you do, but I don’t know if you’ve loved again and it’s not a privilege I want to own. I don’t want to be the only person you’ve loved. You don’t even know that you’ve loved a guy all along, so where would the honesty lay?

I was as honest as I could be. I asked you to dance with me but you declined.

I thought that if we danced a bit longer, in our dresses we would eventually kiss, we were on the dance floor, just our class left and somehow they had grown to see everything. They had grown to see our connection, they were okay with me sleeping on your lap and you watching me.

I can’t even story tell.

And if we were to talk… what would I say?

I recalled because I had loved for a brief while another Elizabeth which was born a day apart from you? I remember my body burning after we had discussed sex, as we role-played two gay men having sex, I remember it was with syrup and in a waffle house, something we will both maybe remember if we never fall in love with any other girls again.

I remember touching myself and I had frankly, a very intense orgasm which followed me for many years when I would think of women. Now… it’s different. I couldn’t even come with the second Elizabeth.

I broke my promise. I told you that we wouldn’t go to Amsterdam. Because there we would be ourselves, that we would find ourselves and frankly… I could find you now and ask you if you would go with me. I’m sure that then we would have the sex we both wished so greatly of. Now it’s all about drugs and sex, it’s no longer gin and tonic, kissing. It’s all about going down and orgasms or lack of them.

I’m not sure how we would go about it. I know nothing that you enjoy, all I know is that I am sure your heart would ache would I be one to show up and political ideology doesn’t help either. You would tell your old friends that I’m back, you would call them and you would cry.

Maybe you would ignore, maybe you would keep it to yourself.

I don’t even know what you would do. I don’t even know what you have done. So it’s better to leave it as a letter, if you stumble upon, then let it be. I’ve loved you. I’ve been with women, I’ve never regretted anything more. But if it was you, it would’ve been different.

There was always a dread of waking up, but there was always something to look forward to. Maybe I’ve lost that to depression, I had the same thing, but somehow… I would enjoy talking over drawing lessons which we’ve now long forgotten.

And I would be a psychopath sending you all of this in English.

If I were to tell you one thing… it would be that I had loved you so much, I had wanted you so much, I thought we would kiss on that dance-floor, that somehow the homophobia would be gone in that classroom where we had drawn everything imaginable. The teachers killed our desire to draw and maybe our desire to love as well. I don’t even know how to start a love story which ends with a disappearance and the other crying on the phone. Did you ever get over it?

Because I can look at your photos, but you have none of me. I can see what you’ve been up to and I can imagine how you are now… but you… have you managed?

I had always wanted to be a boy, I had an obsession of writing like a man. I had an intense desire to become some sort of Kerouac, but my escapade was actually art school. My parents were divorced and I was fairly distant from my father, who the closest knew was the fact that I had loved my first boyfriend at the odd age of thirteen. I was close to my mother, but it was hard to tell her once more that I wanted to be a boy. And it’s not like the thought never crossed my mind, on the opposite it was always there. But I enjoyed dressing up. I liked watching Vogue, I would get at least a copy of each season, knowing what was fashionable and I would somehow guess the latest trends and would get mocked for not being as rich as others in school.

But with art lessons, it was different. It only later started drifting. But I didn’t drift, we kept in touch, talking and you had known about my Manic Street Preachers obsession. You knew how much I had wanted to be Richey Edwards and you were my Nicky Wire. I had left you sucking on ice cubes.

The first time I had thought of sexuality was watching some early 2000s video where the woman was rather explicitly dressed and I had thought of myself of bisexual, a subject which I still heavily debate on. I think over the years my sexuality has been awfully fluid, women managing their way in, while others would be avoided and men would be pursued with heavier interest.

Growing up there was this innocence around, there was no judgement in my head until someone had called me out for wanting to kiss a girl on a cheek as a brief surprise, simply because I thought that was a nice gesture. I was called a lesbian then.

Maybe that’s when the fear kicked in.

Maybe that’s when I started thinking myself of heterosexual, but this was without touching gender at all. I just always wanted to be a guy, I role played as a guy, there was nothing else, I would beg for people to use different names and one of them was her. She agreed and asked to be called something else as well.

I will never remember how we had started talking, I just remember that she was younger than I am by around two years and was awfully quiet, drawing in the corner. I was always loud and I would dress bright and would speak loudly of the fact that I was the first to have gotten a boyfriend out of everyone I had known. My friendship circle was slowly closing up and we started talking.

I’ve always been bad at describing people, I just remember that she had wavy hair which would change length over the years and hazel eyes. Let her have hazel eyes for the memories which I’ve long forgotten.

“Please, stop talking so much and actually draw for once. It’s a drawing class.” We would shut up for a brief while, concentrated on doing something out of whatever vegetable we had to draw. It’s not like we would exchange glances, what we would do is simply keep talking. She also had a few friends who clung onto me as well. We just giggled and started playing a word game, just for the professor to stop pestering us for once. Even if so many people were not in the best of financial status, from what I understood hers was worse and from judging how her life had gone, I still see that her background was different from mine, even then. There was a lot of things I hadn’t told her, because when you fall in love you start holding secrets unless you start dating.

She would open up, she would tell me how she would stay awake and watch movies on her mp4 or whatever modern technology was considered then. That was some well-kept secret and I could see her doing that.

A lesbian themed movie with some bisexual undertones was released and she told me she wanted to watch it and we both agreed that it should be interesting. You see, back in the day we knew that lesbians existed, but we knew that any mention that we could be related to it was something we would have denied horribly even in our heads.

Changing the novel’s idea to two men in love was a possibility, but the problem was that I was still socialized as a woman and with time I will understand that even this was heterosexual, but for now… I see it as a gray area, where I had wanted to be a guy, but I acted as a woman in love with another woman.

I did what I thought I could do. I would subtly drop hints, I would sleep on her lap. The drawings we’ve painted together are long gone as well as our artistic abilities, maybe love had something to do with it. Maybe that’s why we no longer pick up brushes.

On the last night of our art school. I asked her to dance with me, one more time, I had built the courage to kiss her and we were left alone with our class who was more than well aware of our affection and didn’t bat an eyelash, I would speak of boys too often and my desire to be one. She had simply joined the band wagon. I wanted to dance to Love’s Sweet Exile by the Manics. She promised as the DJ that she would put it on.

But she didn’t and at the end of the night, she stopped dancing with me and was left on the top of the staircase, looking down and watching me leave, probably knowing that now I would never kiss her. At least that’s what I tell myself.

Usually I write poems for exes which had never happened, but for that one time which still confuses my gender, my sexuality, something I had held for years, I thought she deserved better. Out of them all.

I started a project about my exes this year and since Offside is currently on hiatus while I let the ending settle in my head, I decided to give this story the light of day. I had many exes, or near exes. The story talks of two women which I had loved or been infatutated with. A lot is made up, a lot is true to the bone.

I’ll post part 2 next week.

It’s about my brief experience being gay and trans with my female exceptions.

I don’t want to talk beyond about it beyond in the backstory, but I will reply to any questions.

Offside. Chapter 21

When practice was over, we both changed our footwear fast and left, not even saying goodbye individually to Andy and Paul, but to everyone as a whole. Leaving made my heart ache and beat faster, I could feel that Johnny was holding it tight and that I was now fully his. All my attention and my desires lay with him now.

“I was shit today, though.” I whined once we were out, but still within earshot. Johnny just waved at me, to calm down.

“You were quite good.” Then held a pause. “You alright, Robbie?”

“Yeah, yeah.” I lie even if my whole body is pumping adrenaline like crazy. Would it be anti-climatic that I might just know everything already? Is it wrong that I might just guess what will happen and what will the future hold for both of us, at least in the nearest future? At least for the summer? Even if we’ve only got a handful of it left? “I’m just…”

Johnny looks at me properly since we’ve been avoiding each other during practice and I run a hand through my hair.

“I’m alright, just tired. But hey, nice evening and day ahead.” I grin at him and he just follows back with his own broad smile.

“You sure you don’t want beer? I can really just buy it.” He says and I shake my head once more, barely functioning and wondering how will everything unfold. My mind keeps going places before the future even reaches it in any way, before it unfolds and maybe I am expecting far too much. We just texted all anxiously, holding pauses and just checking how the other was doing. Maybe there was still a possibility that he still didn’t care? Was that even possible at this point? He wanted a nice evening for both of us.

My blood kept getting warm and cold, just my whole body reacting as if I were in a roller-coaster and he was right besides me, holding my hand and laughing as the lights would go dark and sudden turns happened.

I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell was going to happen and how would things escalate, where would things lead and I just kept wanting time to go faster, as we went towards Johnny’s stop, him smiling at me. Maybe he knew that I knew.

“Last chance to get beer.” He reminded me and I just shook my head, trying to make sure that I don’t say anything too stupid.

“I’m alright, honestly.” I don’t say that I’m eager to finally be alone with him properly, to see what he has to say and possibly hear much more and something beyond touch. I couldn’t get myself to stop being so pumped and frankly it seemed to be the same with Johnny. We kept talking about practice, but I couldn’t help but forget what the fuck were we even talking about. The bus ride felt long and Johnny himself kept tapping his fingers against his thigh, impatiently. We were both bad. Something was clearly in the air between us.

What the hell does make a person tip over and fall into the water? No matter how icy or how deep it may be? How the hell?

Once we got off the bus, Johnny seemed to ponder a bit, before we made our way to the house. We still kept musing over the practice and shifting to games we had seen in the past few days, even if we’ve discussed them earlier. It was as if… we were making small talk and failing miserably at it.

Johnny closed the door and looked at me, holding the handle still.

“We’re here.” He says a bit worried, but the smile doesn’t wipe off his face.

“Yeah.” For the evening between us. I don’t repeat it, but it rings through my ears again. We just stand there and I’m sure I can hear the heartbeat between both of us. I wonder if our hearts are even beating just as fast as the other? He does a small step closer to me. I can’t feel anything, my world gets ripped out from me, I barely have the capacity to swallow or blink even. He’s made his decision.

I look at him directly in the eye. It all happens faster than it feels with him pulling me closer by the shirt, leaning even closer.


He kisses me and it’s completely different, I hear him moan, releasing all the tension we’ve had for the past few weeks. It’s all been whirlwind and crazy. I wrap my arms around him, opening my mouth under his as our tongues touch and slowly rub against each other. Now I moan softly, as he presses his body against my own and I can feel his growing erection against my own. My whole body flares up as we kiss a bit faster, Johnny’s hands on my back, pulling me as close as he can.



I shove thoughts away, kiss him harder, biting his lower lip and he breaks the kiss, going directly for my neck. I run my fingers through his curls, as he keeps kissing me lower and lower on the neck. Kissing my shoulder now, lifting up the shirt and taking it off, exposing my torso and I breathe even heavier.

“Upstairs… yeah?” He asks me and I nod, barely, knowing where all of this is finally headed. He takes my hand and we go up the stairs, I can hear my heartbeat in my ears now.

I am intoxicated with everything that is happening, I’ve never felt so grounded before and watching every move as we enter his room and he locks the room just in case, throwing my shirt asides and taking his off. I still feel our sweat against each other, realizing that we would fuck after practice. Usually I would be knackered but I always found it terribly hot and it seemed funny that I would get pretty horny after working out, like that old Grindr bot. We look at each other, knowingly and satisfied with the way the world is turning. I kiss him again, just as lustfully as downstairs and I run my hands down his toned chest. I never considered myself that much into toned men, but he’s driving me crazy with every single touch.

My mind drifted off, only actions becoming me. Johnny breaks the kiss and kisses my cheek, before kissing my ear.

“Ever since you told me that I should start by topping you, I can’t stop thinking about it.” I swallow far too turned on and Johnny strokes my cock over the football shorts. I’m terribly turned on and erect. “I want to see how you look when you’re getting fucked hard.”

I could only look at him, in daze from all his words and kiss him again.

“Fuck me then.” I say and Johnny keeps stroking my cock as I gasp. He then goes on his knees, pushing my shorts down, exposing my boxers. Johnny kisses my cock over the underwear, as I feel myself twitch. Thankfully we’re standing close to the bed, so I grab its wooden frame, breathing heavily. I didn’t think he would even take my cock in his mouth at this point.

“First things first.” He says and pulls out my cock. Johnny licks off the precum, before I can even say anything to the straight guy. I feel terribly sensitive and I keep moaning as he just focuses on the head of my cock, slowly making his way down the shaft but he doesn’t take too much of me, after all it is his first time. I put one hand on the back of his head, motioning for him to take as much as he can. He starts sucking and I feel myself far too close to orgasm, so I have to fucking make that seen otherwise I’ll come in his mouth. I didn’t even realize how turned on I would be from his sole touch.

“Johnny… I’ll come.” Johnny looks up at me, causing me to only pull out of him, barely breathing and pushing the hair away from my eyes. He looks a bit like a kid whose toy got taken away.

“You’re right, better have you begging me to fuck you harder.” And he stands up, kissing me ad I can taste myself briefly. We make out for a bit as I dare to put my hand on his cock. It’s bigger than I had imagined as I trail my fingers up and down, causing Johnny to look at me lustfully once we break the kiss. I take off my shorts fully now and turn towards his to pull them down, exposing his gorgeous big cock. I knew that he was hung, but it still takes me by a pleasant surprise. I want to take him in my mouth, but I’m far too desperate to get fucked and judging by him, he is also eager to get to the main course.

“Lie down. I’ll have to go slow at first.” I actually assess his monster. Johnny follows my instructions and I wonder if he just went in and destroyed Heather, but then I’m sure I’ll end up like that as well. I’ll let him just slide in and pound me soon enough as I get used to his size, but it’s necessary to ease into it. He reaches out to his bedside table and takes out a condom. I guess straight guys don’t use lube, but then I wasn’t too fond of it even if I have a tube at home. Johnny puts it on and I go towards him, kissing him as he runs his hands down my sides, licking my lips.

I breathe in deeply before sliding the tip of his cock inside me. I wince, I’m certain that I’ll be able to take him, since I’ve got a fair sized dildo back at home so you can say I’m a bit trained, not to mention I’ve fucked before numerous times.

“You alright?”

“You’ve fucking got such a huge cock.” I breathe out, as I slide more inside me. “It’s so fucking big.”

Johnny grins at me, putting his hands on my ass. Cocky bastard, literally.

There you go, I slide the rest in and wait to get adjusted to his size before starting to ride him. My cock is rock hard still, which Johnny teases with his fingers by stroking the underline of the shaft. He slowly starts stroking, which causes me to ease a bit with the subtle pain I’m feeling.

“I have some lube somewhere, if that would help.”

“Nah, I should be fine.” I say and slowly start riding him, very slow and in and out, gasping from the wave of pleasure finally hitting me after a few times. I look down at Johnny, who bites his lips, never tearing his eyes of me and I feel terribly sexy with him watching me like this.

“Fuck…” He says and I can see that he’s holding himself from fucking me into the mattress. “You’re so fucking hot.”

I can feel him being fully erect inside me. Johnny keeps stroking me lightly now, that the pain is gone and all I feel is deep sweet pleasure. He feels amazing inside me and he keeps stretching me slowly, as I feel myself give in to him more and more. I keep riding him, moaning now pretty loudly, so I see why it’s better that we are alone.

“You’ve been dying to have me fuck you, haven’t you?” Johnny breaths out, watching me and slowly starting to fuck me as well, keeping up my pace.

“Yeah.” He thrusts harshly in me. “Fuck. Yes. I’ve been wanking to you so much. Couldn’t help but imagine your cock deep up my ass.”

He stops me and starts fucking me harder as much as he can from his position, causing me to gasp, as he lets go of my cock and all my pleasure is focused on him fucking me. I look at him in eye, after having my eyes closed, focused on the pleasure.

“I bet you want to fuck me on fours… don’t you, Johnny?” I mock him and he just bites his lips, thrusting even harsher to shut me the fuck up. I moan his name out, myself thrusting against his huge cock, shaking from all the pleasure.

“Well… why don’t you go on fours, then?” Johnny asks as he stops suddenly and I feel desperate to keep on fucking, my cock leaking some precum again, which he traces with his finger and the puts in his mouth, licking it off. I get off his cock, my legs shaking as Johnny makes way for me on the bed. I grab his pillow and position myself, breathing heavily and waiting.


“Aren’t you going to fuck me?” I ask and Johnny just smirks.

“I’m enjoying the view.” I turn around and he’s besides me on his knees and stroking his cock twice, before getting closer to me. “You have no idea how sexy you look when you’re desperate.”

“C’mon… just fuck me, please.” And I lean against the pillow harder, spreading my ass for him, exposing myself entirely in all sexual vulnerability. He doesn’t move. “Please…”

And Johnny slides in suddenly, causing me to wince from the sudden size up my ass. But then he starts fucking me roughly, picking up a much faster pace. I start moaning really loudly in time for every thrust, clutching the pillow and feeling myself get fucked so good. So damn good. He keeps sliding in and out, doing it all terribly fast, keeping up the pace and I get surprised at his stamina, as I look back to see him all sweaty and desperate to keep fucking me.

“Come for me, Robbie.” I grab the pillow harsher and he thrusts even harsher than he possibly can. I start feeling myself unravel and I grab my cock, thrusting furiously with it against my hand, hearing Johnny moan and slide deeply inside me, which causes me to breathe fast and soon enough I feel an intense wave of pleasure hit me as I feel Johnny spread me even more. I scream out his name, eyes shut and face in the pillow, feeling myself ejaculate and now dripping from my hand. Johnny keeps fucking me slower, before letting go of me, sliding out slowly and we both collapse on his bed. He hands me a box of tissues which is in the same condom drawer and I wipe my hand off, barely catching my breath and looking at him.

I grab him and pull him into a long, tired kiss.

This is what it’s all been leading up to, isn’t it? I really enjoy writing sex scenes and most my stories have them. I’m sorry for the two week hiatus, but here I am, back in style. I hope the wait was worth it. With sex scenes, I just like taking my time about them, imagining everything graphic. I kind of plan them out, that they should happen, as I get tired that people think that sex is unnecessary. It’s fun, it’s sex, it’s great. I understand from an ace person’s perspective, but from everyone else? I just think that it shouldn’t still be frowned upon in the way that it is. I wanted the story to have a sex scene and that’s how the rest of the story built up.

Offside. Chapter 20

How can one miss a person so dearly when they are right besides you? I skipped a drag, just watching him as he would look outside and try to catch glimpse of the stars, even if the room was brightly lit. It wouldn’t just take one evening for him to settle himself. People took years to accept who they are, even if love is a very strong catalyst. Maybe I’m lonely because he’s not mine.

I could barely think of anything by the end of the evening and just like any other day after football, I was knackered and I could barely remember the match. I offered Johnny my bed, highlighting the fact that he would really be sleeping alone, so he shouldn’t be uncomfortable, but he decided on the sleeping bag. I had two of them, since Andy and Paul would just drag each other together, like an old ignorant couple.

“Sorry, I’m starting to fall asleep.” I said, hinting that I would really not mind some shut eye and maybe my insomnia would bother me, maybe his insomnia would bother him, if he had any. Maybe we would just talk at night. I didn’t really know what to expect. I even forget that we’ve kissed a few times now, all just accidents and one which I wasn’t sure Johnny remembered too well.

“No problem, man.” Johnny said as we both sat in our bean bags, pretty exhausted and I was barely following the conversations and mostly it was just us listening to music now. He patted me on the shoulder and I just observed him. It was hard to keep my eyes off him. He was really striking and I was curious about him ever since we saw each other and how things just trailed on.

I wanted to ask him, what the fuck is keeping him. What the hell is holding him back? We’ve kissed already and he was just shying it off now, but I kept my big mouth shut. We did everything before bed which was needed and I felt shy, to just take off my shirt and wondered if I should wait until I would turn off the lights, but Johnny proceeded to just take off his along with his shorts, probably had done this before as some other sleepover. Which didn’t exactly have a horny gay guy dying to get some action with him. I couldn’t help but stare and felt attracted by a usual very good build. I followed by taking off my own clothes, not really shying away. Johnny sat on his sleeping bag, but I caught him checking me out, so I took that as a compliment because I was really just fit, nothing beyond that.

“You really do work out a lot then.” I blur out, possibly a bit impolitely, but I play it cool, just as a friendly question, nothing beyond that. But Johnny doesn’t seem offended and just shrugs, scratching the back of his neck, looking away, realizing that he might be staring a bit too much. I sit on my bed.

“Sorry, I kind of… just undressed as I would normally.” He pauses and tries to choose the right words. “This… is far more intimate than I had assessed.”

“It’s alright.” I lie and shrug, as if it’s no big deal. “I should probably turn off the lights to avoid the awkwardness.”

“Yeah.” Johnny chips in really fast and tucking himself in. I cut myself from asking if he wants a goodnight kiss, a joke I had told Andy once which resulted in him politely telling me to fuck off. I turn off the lights, not at ease that I’ve got a very attractive lad besides me, nearly naked and possibly aroused. We go to our beds. We say goodnight to each other, nearly at the same time.

It gets awkward pretty quick.

I can hear both of our heavy breathing and this is all with the window left open. Whenever I open my eyes I can see him quickly close his and vice versa. We don’t speak and I get horny too much and consider standing up and jerking myself off in the bathroom, even in the room, but I don’t do any of the sorts. Instead I wait until sleep takes me away, to the stars and back for the morning where Johnny wakes me up.

He’s already dressed and over me, just leaning slightly and grinning at me.

It’s not long until he actually leaves back to his place, but he eats breakfast with me and my family, which gets even more questions, as if my parents needed some time to warm up.

I can’t help but wonder, maybe it’s a good thing that me and Johnny didn’t do anything that night. Maybe I shouldn’t rush him at all, even if we’re both tracing our nails on the black board as if it’s chalk. Well, the nails sure do feel like chalk with our own fears embroiled in them. I already miss him by the time I walk him to the stop and we just hug briefly, a few minutes to the bus, possibly due to Johnny’s paranoia of anyone even having the thought that we could be together, but I still clutch onto him. We briefly look into each other’s eyes before letting go.

It’s getting ridiculous, but I don’t do anything.

The next few days we just keep texting each other, discussing the games we’ve both agreed to watch and criticising it live so much, that Johnny suggests to do this over a call. I hadn’t been on a call with someone so long since maybe I was a child, Steven would just drag himself over to me and I would get tired of Paul or Andy. We didn’t really call each other outside games, mostly we would just text and eventually it would drag into the night and I would fall asleep and not reply until morning, but Johnny didn’t mind. Sometimes I would text him when he would be asleep and he would wake me up with his text in the morning.

Maybe we didn’t need to talk about exes, because we were stepping over into some future.

I felt terribly bored during these days, bizarre as if it was better to share loneliness and adolescence boredom with him. It had been the same with Steven, but I tried to push everything away, let myself just lay in bed, watching the window or smoking outside, when he wasn’t texting. I wondered what the hell had he found entertaining, but then even I would sometimes fake the time it would take me to reply just because he did the same, only I had literally nothing to do. I would feel the days slipping by but they were terribly slow at the same time. It was starting to get far too close to the beginning of the school year and I didn’t want to think about it. I started on the homework, out of pure boredom and revised a bit, but that didn’t last too long and just made me even more bored and without a purpose.

I felt as if we were all wobbling around, not knowing where would life leads up and to what would it lead. I knew Andy had some vague idea of getting into Law afterwards, but I just had months left to decide where would I let the future take me and the idea of doing nothing wasn’t too appealing. Soon enough the conversations with parents would roll in as well, asking me what do I want to do and that I better decide soon, because the clock was ticking.

Eventually I started avoiding my parents even more and I became a bit paranoid during the meals, wondering when would they raise what I had feared the most. Eventually I left earlier after the lunch, excusing myself way too early for the bus and rushing outside, also because I had wanted to just get into practice earlier, maybe because Johnny would be there and we could discuss what would we do afterwards. I hadn’t stopped thinking about kissing him the past few days and I had started losing count of the amount of times I had to keep my mouth shut from moaning when jerking off to him. I couldn’t help but feel guilty, but he would just slide into my thoughts as he was in front of me in underwear and it was getting far too intimate. I had wanted him desperately. I wanted him so badly.

I kept clutching onto my backpack, feeling my whole body heat up even if I had jerked off before, thinking that it would ease something. I hated touching myself in the morning, but I went ahead with it. The bus arrived on time, leaving me for a good while outside. I was terribly anxious to see Johnny again, because we still texted a lot and desperately, as if there was something about to turn over, as if we were both holding our tongues in our mouths and barely kissing. Maybe I was lying to myself, maybe he had made the decision already. But which one was it?

Johnny was actually waiting for me at the bus stop, which caught me off guard. We hugged briefly and I caught his eye, but we didn’t do anything besides patting each other on the back. His hair was a bit shorter than it was last time, but his curls were still seen and intact.

“Nice haircut, man.” I said right after greeting him after the hug, which I don’t even realize who leaned in first.

“You up for meeting up at mine’s later?” He didn’t add that he would call Andy or Paul over, but that wasn’t what made my heart stop. “My parents are out for the evening.”

I felt my cheeks heat up.

“I can sneak some booze from their cabinet or I can just buy some, really.” Of course. Never get your hopes up, Robbie. I just nod, like a dummy, like a puppet on a string. I still smile at his words. I agree to it, feeling my whole body shiver, as if he were touching me all over. I have no idea how I would manage to even shoot during practice. We walk slowly towards the field, Johnny trying to recall what even kind of alcohol would his parents have.

“Beer is fine.” I blur out, but that causes Johnny to think even more.

“I’m not sure I saw beer in the fridge, I can get some.” Johnny shrugs. I shrug as well and wave it off.

“It’s alright, whatever you have man.”

“Nah, it’s alright. Whatever you feel like.” And he looks at me, right through me, as if he could read my mind. “C’mon, nice evening together.”


Did he make his decision?

“Oi, wankers!” I hear Andy’ annoying voice behind us and we both turn around, pretty gingerly at them, instantly shutting up about our ‘nice evening together’. I instantly try to get any suspicious look off my face and glance back at them. Paul flips us off, while he’s drinking from a water bottle and Andy joins him.

“What do you want?” I smirk, slowing the pace a bit, enough to be polite and Johnny does the same, not looking as pleased.

What if he made his decision? What if he’s going along with it?

“Just to drag you love birds all over the mud during practice. I’m sure you’ll be so busy looking at each other’s crotches that you’ll miss the balls.” I barely even pay attention to Andy’ mockery, my mind is humming and making bizarre noises of screeching that this could be meaning something.

“I gotcha, Andy. You’ll be looking at the wrong balls, mates.”

“Or right balls.”

“Andy, the wrong balls.”

“The fucking right balls. For them it’s right.”

Johnny rolls his eyes at them. I just smirk at their attempt and just turn away and continue walking.

“Jesus Christ, Paul, they’re even avoiding us. Their mates, their pals.” Andy whines and even waves his arms around, to emphasize how important this suddenly is.

“Fuck off.” Johnny says and then both stop suddenly as I turn to see them and they look at each other, before shrugging and starting to talk among each other about the latest Chelsea match and arguing. I didn’t even watch it, beyond checking the score idly when it was over. Me and Johnny quickly exchange glances and I nod at him, thanking for the right action towards my shit friends.

We don’t talk much before practice besides discussing the games which were last week, both of us unsure how friendly we can even be, apparently. Practice was rather boring and straining, because we had to run for a bit before shooting at the goal and doing the usual shenanigans. It just bored me and made me realize how much more I enjoy an actual game, even if we’re rubbish. I ended up choosing players and I took Johnny first, not really making a big deal visible, but he knew what was up. If someone asked me the score an hour later, I wouldn’t really be able to tell what it was because indeed, I was too busy elsewhere, even if I wasn’t looking at Johnny’s crotch.

I’m terribly sorry for the delay, but hey, there’s plenty to go ahead and my lips are sealed. It’ll be updated on Friday as usual from now on, I’ve been rather tired and my mental health got in the way as well as I’ve been struggling with Nano. But I’m better now, I believe.

Offside. Chapter 19

“Do you want to row back? I think… I won’t think straight here with you and I really need to process everything.” He confesses. I just nod, knowing that he would think the whole way back. And Johnny did, with his hand under his chin and looking sideways at the lake, barely noticing when we reached the shore and I motioned for him to get out. I didn’t think much, I just felt my whole chest tense up and I felt terribly tired, my mind drifting to get a desired nap and wondering how would it feel curled up with Johnny. I wondered if I could sleep on his chest or if he would sleep on mine. I wondered how did he prefer to sleep with a partner.

I can’t help but wonder too much.

I want to get everything.

We walk silently back and I get far too worried if he would actually refuse staying over, but instead he heads up with me upstairs and all. He sits himself on a bean bag, which is one of two, because my mom thought that it would be a nice touch to be welcoming at least to one friend. In the end it was mostly taken by Steven, when we wouldn’t be in the bed, fucking. I try not to think of my ex when Johnny sits down, still terribly dazed.

“So… Fifa it is?” He asks and I just nod at him, possibly wondering if we ever do anything else, but frankly I’ve been dying to just play it with him, because he’s fun at it. We choose some crap teams this time, which we’ve never heard of and just go with it, missing the goal by a mile even with the goal keeper gone and really bad defence screwing up their job. It was amazing.

I wonder when would my parents speak, when would they speculate about Johnny? When they would open their mouths to just flare up the surroundings with rumors and I wondered how long would it be until they had reached Steven, somehow. I wondered how would he react, because I hadn’t heard of him moving on, I just heard about the odd hook up and how he had tried to get back with me, but eventually he gave me space, knowing that I was fully done.

Eventually my parents invited us down for dinner, which Johnny didn’t refuse. I watched everyone carefully, not speaking up much as my parents questioned Johnny further. They asked simple questions which I had known, about football, about how was it back where he came from, if he preferred it here than in the States. I wondered why hadn’t they asked him if he had someone. Maybe they figured that the truth would spill eventually and my mouth still didn’t stop whining internally that I wanted another kiss. I didn’t want to wait even more, but I just kept on eating and listening to all of them. I felt warmer knowing all the small things, because I had asked nearly the same set of questions to him, back when we were texting. It was nothing too exciting, but something you hold to paint a rough picture of a person, before you dig deep and hit the hard bits.

Johnny didn’t seem bothered and I wondered if I would get the same treatment at his house. But then everyone goes under the brief microscope, as the parents want to know who your kid is hanging out with. My mom wasn’t too close with Steven’s mom and his mom made an effort to avoid all of us altogether, not sure she would manage to hold long.

Maybe I think of Steven because Johnny is so unsure. I wished he knew what he was doing, but watching him kept me giving images of a very sure young man. Then how come did he hesitate so strongly about me? But then giving in to something you’ve never known, maybe that is scary. It was for me, but I just did know that my parents wouldn’t disown me, I knew that somehow it would be alright, I didn’t go with as much fear as others did. Because if one looks inside deep enough, you’ll know what awaits, but prejudice and fear clouds our judgement, that’s why we can never tell.

Dinner was done. We headed upstairs and I wanted to just push him against a wall, even if I knew that I couldn’t do that. I wanted to act on instinct. I stopped near the door, as Johnny went on and I just closed it, like we had before. I always kept my door closed even with Paul or Andy, even both of them, so it was nothing new. Steven had the lock.

“You alright?” Johnny asked me, picking up the controller and motioning it towards me. My mind still thought of just pushing him anywhere and kissing him, but I held. I knew that I would be jacking off furiously to him later. I didn’t even know how many times I had done it, with him grazing my mind.

“Yeah.” I lied, but headed towards him. I picked up the controller, it’s not like I could ask him if he had made up his mind. That would’ve been wrong in all ways, because I needed to give him enough space. And apparently today wasn’t the day when we would fully discuss our exes. Maybe we would do it via text. Who knows? I just knew that we would touch that subject and I was bursting with curiosity to just know him inside out, even if we would just remain friends to my torture, but maybe he would get tired and just ditch me. Maybe he wouldn’t want a friend who really wanted him as a boyfriend in the end? Maybe he didn’t want me to speak up, but he turned towards me and we silently just looked at each other. He knew.

He just didn’t want to speak of it. He needed his time. I turned towards the screen, choosing my next shit team. Johnny followed and we silently played, maybe we both needed time to accept what the other really wanted originally, just to make it fair. So I needed to speak up, but all I did was curse and throw random remarks, until we both realized the time.

“Is it alright if I just stay over?” He asked me, checking his phone for the time where frankly buses didn’t even go anymore. Perks of living in a very small town, outside of it too.

“Yeah, of course.” I say, before I can even smile properly and curse that I won’t have time for myself to even release this terrible tension, but of course I wanted him to just sleep over at my place. I’d just have to inform my parents of that, just a formality. I excused myself as Johnny proceeded to text his parents. I went downstairs since I wouldn’t be able to properly scream over the telly. My dad didn’t budge from his book, while my mom looked at me curiously, because after all, I was having a guy over. But she didn’t speak up and I hoped that she wouldn’t elsewhere. She just looked at me, with eyes glimmering, knowing that I had feelings for Johnny, possibly and painting that so did Johnny, but I doubt she thought that he had been heavily dwelling on these emotions.

I just headed up and Johnny was still on his phone, texting. I wondered how close really was he to his parents.

“You close?” I ask, once he puts his phone down. He looks at me confused, before getting it.

“Yeah.” He smiles. “I’m pretty close to my mom. She’s lovely and she’s always been there for me. I’m not saying that I’m not close with my dad, just that I happen to be close with her, that’s all. I always felt like I was lucky… But now I don’t know.”

Johnny sadly looks away as he says it. He puts his head in his hand, for a brief while before looking at me again.

“You know why.” He sighs. But I don’t push it. I’m not even sure what to say, because he could just be weighing stuff. But he goes on. “Sure, I saw that they were conservative, but I figured that it doesn’t really matter because I’m into girls. So I just didn’t bother or even think of it. That was it… And now it’s like… things might go really bad.

Just because I might be thinking too much with my dick or something.” I blink at his sudden confession, but then I had felt his boner.

I have too many thoughts which I don’t act on. But I do take his hand, stroking his hand with my thumb and Johnny just looks down at it, before squeezing my hand back. He looks up at me. I know what he asked, so I let go before he does.

What if we end up being a hook up of sorts? What if he would just leave the room and eventually go back to his place, leaving me alone? What if it would be something similar to hooking up with someone online, that once the deed is done you just drift elsewhere? Because nothing extends beyond sex. What if that was what we were gravitating to? I didn’t want to have everything lead up to something, then we hook up and it would be a ticked off box. I had sexted some guys online, just to ease the pain and give myself some pleasure, but once both would come that would be it. Maybe some would show up once more but not more. It never extended into any relationship or friendship.

I didn’t want to feel lonely and maybe I was kidding myself, when I would look into his eyes. Maybe I was kidding myself because I felt lonely and I didn’t just want to forget everything, I wanted to wake up in his arms when he would stay over, I wanted a full fleshed relationship, I didn’t want less. I shouldn’t be kidding myself.

But I could do friendship as well, with an aching soul which would seek any desperation. I didn’t want Johnny to be gone, because once my mind settled that I would lonely, I was certain that no one else would come and the fact that someone did was far too shattering to remove once again. Sometimes I wish I could skip forwards and see what happens. Sometimes I wish I knew what the hell would happen between us.

But it wouldn’t be close to me knowing anytime soon.

I realize that I hadn’t replied to his dick comment, because when he puts it that way. What good does ever come from people thinking with their junk? I don’t think anything great comes out, besides finding yourself crying at the early hours of morning, because you can no longer sleep. I don’t even know if I should say that.

“It’ll be alright. Whatever… path you choose and with whatever you’ll be thinking with.” I say and I hold back from a smile, making sure that he knows that I mean it and he just nods at my words. “I’ll be there if you’d like.”

“Well, we’re on the same football team and I don’t think I would discard you so easily. You seem like a great person.” Which could be another ticket to be discarded politely, but I don’t say that, because even with Steven I could’ve promised friends and just never followed up with that. But memories clog up all the thoughts and thinking. I just give out a sad smile, to which he just makes sure that I’m looking at him. I am. “I mean it.”

I smile a bit wider, but still sticking to my thoughts. His lies would weight the same as mine. I don’t really know what to say to him, what to reply even.

“What do you want to do?” Johnny asks me and I ponder for a while, picking up the controller and wondering what the fuck could we even do. I had some board games, but I barely felt like them. I thought of watching a movie, but I happened to be quite picky and I would just not stomach too many straight romances in any genre. I still actually start thinking and so does Johnny, as we watch each other. In the end Johnny just sAndy at me and I swear that for a moment, he leans briefly, maybe out of boredom, but we both stop it. Realizing that just making out for the sake of it, when not all known where would all lead and what path he even decided, is not a good idea. I do suggest a movie and we both fall silent for a while, knowing that what one might like might not be what the other likes.

“Maybe we should rewatch the latest Star Wars? Remind ourselves of what’s ahead and just pick our brains with the fuck is Snoke?” Johnny suggests and I just nod at his idea. We had both seen it, but I guess it seemed like the most easy agreement which would make both of us actually content. And no one ever refused rewatching Star Wars in their sane minds, anyway. I waited until Johnny had found it online, way faster than I ever would have and we started watching.

I paused it a few minutes in, asking if he wanted any snacks, to which he declined and just continued watching. We didn’t speak much, besides me making some jokes about Kylo and Johnny insisting that Hux would have a bigger role later on, since the actor seemed to be credited as Snoke and Hux. But then who knew what they really had in store for the viewers? So we just watched it. I kept watching Johnny at the same time too.

After we finished it, we just sat on our bean bags close to each other, discussing any ideas from Jar Jar Binks to fucking Anakin coming back to life. I can’t say I believed in any of them, but they were fun to discuss, which Johnny also seemed to enjoy doing. We kept talking to each other animatedly and coming up with even more outrageous ideas or speaking briefly about theories we had heard, not really falling into huge fans of Star Wars though.

We still had time before sleep, so Johnny offered to turn on some music, just for us to chill. But before that, I opened my window very wide open and we both smoked, laughing at how nothing was really changing from middle teenage years. That we still seemed to be stuck in our lonely bedrooms, even if Johnny had changed his, but he still felt stuck. He watched me and I watched him, as we smoked and smiled at each other. Johnny would speak how he actually wondered how would his football career progress, since he still believed that he had a far better shot here than back in America. And thus, that’s how he thought it was better and more believable.

I actually wrapped up the story today. So I wrote the ending and now I’m letting myself get used to it before I can say if I liked it a lot or if I need to add some more detail.

I really enjoy this story and I hope the other chapters will be just as enjoyable!

Offside. Chapter 18

“So does that mean that the fans won’t matter in the end?” I ask him and I get a terrible urge for a cigarette since I tend to get anxious around him, because I know that all is out of my hands and the ball has been in his court. I closed my eyes to see if he has kicked out of the field and I closed my ears shut, to make sure that I wouldn’t know and I didn’t dare to open anything to check if he had decided on a move which would ruin everything or if he was just thinking. Sometimes it’s better to keep the fears away, rather than opening a turned over basket with spiders just so that they would bite faster, since death is unavoidable. Johnny doesn’t ponder, he has an answer ready as soon as I drop my hand to feel the water.

“Well, I still would want fans. That won’t mean that I would cheat on you or anything, I’d still be devoted.” He says and then shifts in his seat. “Damn, you should’ve taken those cigarettes.”

I nod. He takes out a pack from his pocket.

“Good thing I took mine.” And I wait patiently until he takes one for himself and then stretches me the pack. I wonder for a while, how are we even promoting a healthy lifestyle but then it’s not surprising when everyone around smokes and it’s more weird that one doesn’t smoke than does. He lights both of our cigarettes and I try to relax, even if he’s like electricty running through my body, as if he was trailing his fingers on my skin and following them with his lips. It’s all tense and anxious to like someone.

“Good to know.” I smile, following the conversation after we had both taken the cigarettes. “That you’d be devoted.”

Then what’s stopping you? But I don’t ask that.

Maybe he feels the question though.

He keeps silent and we just smoke, but it’s not too tense. Both of us are thinking about our own things, but I’m sure we both convince ourselves it’s because we’re smoking. It takes a while until he decides to look me in the eye. We’re not too close, but it feels that way since we don’t dare to move from the middle of the boat. I’m sure it would’ve been a romantic moment if we tried and if somehow I was in Johnny’s interest completely, he would’ve kissed me here and then. I try to distract myself with different thoughts but by the end of the day, I can’t help but shake it off. If he were interested in guys he would’ve tried, but he doesn’t. It could be the homophobia as well though – one thing is disappointed parents, another is actually being shunned, excluded from family and everything.

I shouldn’t be pushing, but I entertain the thought of what if he were actually a big football player who would come out with a boyfriend, hand in hand. That would’ve been huge and in a sport which is rather quiet about sexuality, which depicts as if every guy only wakes up to women. It feels like a fake environment which only we have harvested, despising homosexuality for so long, that we ended up being in this lab and it’s been dragging on for God knows how long and who knows how much longer.

I think of being his boyfriend in that context, but I hold myself from smiling. I wouldn’t be lonely anymore and the only person I didn’t feel lonely with was gone for a few months already. But here I am with no prospect of anything and uncertainty with where life would go and lead me. I even just sit back and see where does the river end, not bothering to see what’s around, which branches could I grab to get out of this river and see if there’s a better one nearby or if I’d rather be stuck.

The days are long, boring and desperate because there’s nothing to gain and nothing to lose. There’s only this false feeling that we are doing something in the melancholic tail end of summer.

“What did you smile about?” Johnny asks carefully and curiously. I didn’t even realize that I smiled back then and I wonder if I had spaced out enough for him to ask me twice.

“Should be fun, being a boyfriend of a football player. Getting to see all the matches.” I breathe out the smoke. “I would totally be those boyfriends which would follow every game and get a kit every season to support.”

Johnny laughs.

“But wouldn’t you want to be on the field too?” I roll my eyes at him.

“Won’t happen. I’m realistic.” I keep inhaling even if I should’ve put it out now, the last desperate drag. “I’m no good.”

“You’re a pretty good attacking midfielder, you know.” Johnny throws another smile at me. He’s a pretty smiley guy, something I wouldn’t have expected if someone told me he’s one cocky striker. “Maybe out of all of us, you’ll get there.”

“Maybe no one will.” I say and I ponder where do I even leave my cigarette, but Johnny takes both and presses them against the box, before putting them back in, so that we don’t make a mess anywhere.

“Maybe I’ll be the football boyfriend then. Should invest into you, while I still can before some models line up to be fucked by you for eternity and for your glory.”

“You should totally audition.” I smirk at him and fiddle with my hands, still nervous and anxious and I feel like Johnny moved closer, but I’m no longer sure, could be my vision just showing me different tricks.

“Audition?” Johnny laughs and looks at me. “And what the hell do I have to do?”

“Kiss me.” I say, lifting my head up. I don’t even know how do I get the courage to do these things, maybe I learned from Steven, because he was rather brave. Maybe he didn’t move closer.

His face goes a bit pale.

I bet he wishes he had a cigarette as well. We just keep staring at each other. I lean a bit closer and Johnny doesn’t move, he just watches me, I’m sure his thoughts are terrible confusion.

“Is that all… for the audition?” He asks me, quietly, trying to keep up his act, but I let him go through with it. I want to hold his hand and tell him it’s okay and we’re frankly in the middle of a lake where we’re really far away from anyone-

“You don’t have to-” I start saying but he cuts me off by kissing me. I get so startled that I open my eyes only to see his closed and relaxed. I kiss him back. My blood starts rushing, pumping adrenaline, as I feel him against me. It doesn’t last long, but we do kiss a few times.

“I could nearly hear your heartbeat. I’m in, aren’t I?”

“Y-yeah.” I barely manage to speak up.

“You better start believing in yourself then, if you want me to be a football boyfriend to you.” He says, already looking for cigarettes and I’m aware that this is a one off thing. For the audition.

I don’t exactly feel like one, but I find it rude if I would refuse. I wonder if I can ask him if we can share one instead, not thinking of it as much romance as it would actually seem. But then he would surely get even more scared. I want to kiss him again. I want to be intoxicated by his lips that I can’t think straight. Johnny keeps flicking his lighter against his cigarette, staring at the flame. He inhales and then manages to look at me. I don’t dare to ask anything, I realize that my silence probably said too much and he decided that I wasn’t in the mood for one. I want to grab the cigarette with my shaking hands and kiss him once more. I want to taste him, taste the bitter taste of cigarettes again with his own blend. I want to tell him that I like him and I’m scared that after today he would just slip away from my fingers, that it would be it. I want to hold him close, even if I know that I wouldn’t be able to protect him from much harm thrown his way and maybe I am selfish to even want him to pursue me. Maybe I should just let him go.

I do take his cigarette, without thinking much and it doesn’t matter because we’ve kissed three times already and he’s driving me crazy. Johnny doesn’t bother much when I take it from his fingers and inhale. He watches me, waiting for his turn and the reality of a kiss suddenly takes over us.

Would I prefer him as a friend if we would be normal around each other and talk? But then who am I kidding when he kisses me that way? We would never manage to just be friends from now on and all was a question of time of how would the dice fall.

I feel terrible that I ache for a longer kiss, like the one we had shared prior in the bus, my fuel for these past few days and what I would keep thinking about. But I get a cheeky reply in my head, which would break the tension. I word it a few times in my head.

“If that’s all it takes for you to be with me, I’ll become a football player even if I can’t.” I say and we’ve been smoking the same cigarette by taking turns and breathing the smoke out, while still sitting close and staring at each other, waiting for some reaction, something we were both missing.

Johnny smirks at the sudden phrase, but I can see that he’s still uneasy. I want to say relax, but I once pushed Andy when I couldn’t stop worrying about breaking up with Steven and I yelled at him to never tell me to fucking relax. What if Johnny was the same way? What if he didn’t like to get told to relax? He takes the cigarette from my mouth as soon as I stop inhaling, brushing against my own fingers. The striker looks down on my lips. He watches my mouth.

We won’t be able to break this down.

“I would say that you should relax or that it’ll be better. But I don’t know… what you want to hear.” Johnny smiles sadly at my own words and takes a very long drag. I don’t even know which topics are taboo. I push it. “I’d like to know.”

I don’t dare touch him. He needs his own growth and decision whether to accept this or move on with regrets or thoughts which would trouble him at a late age, why hadn’t he done it in a fucking boat in the middle of a lake where no one could catch him at all. Why hadn’t he just kissed the other football player?

I inhale before giving it back to him.

“Try to weight everything. Take it action by action.” I suggest him. “Weight the harder ones, if they’re worth and if you’re panicking about the smaller ones…”

“They can lead to bigger problems.” Johnny says, looking at me.

“I’m breaking the moment, aren’t I?” I say, but he remains just as close.

“No, no. You’re just raising the right questions, which I should myself instead of blindly panicking and… acting rash because I feel like it.” Johnny confesses and finishes off the cigarette, putting it back into the box. He sighs, looking away.

“If you want, we can openly talk about it.” I blur out and Johnny stares at me, now noticing the elephant in the room properly and how it’s so huge that we’re frankly cramped together, holding each other tight.

“No, I… need some time, to wrap my head around and decide where I even want to go with this.” Johnny says and looks at me. “If that’s alright.”

“It’s alright. Take your time… it’s not easy decision to pursue or not and-” Johnny’s face tells me that he’d rather think of this himself. But I don’t want him to leave me today. I want him to stay and play Fifa with me, at least.

I feel like I had ran a terrible marathon, where all my limbs are aching and I’m disoriented, I’m lost and I haven’t found what I’m looking for. I haven’t found the answer to anything at all. Does he trust me? I wonder on that question far too much, I let it trail and do pathways in my mind. I feel tired. I just want him to tell me everything that worries his head, that doesn’t allow him to sleep at the night. I want to know what keeps him awake and if I cross his mind during the sleepless nights.

What if he’s going hot and cold on me?

“I just… don’t want to be alone and I’m still your friend, regardless of which turn you take.” I tell him and he looks at me surprised. I try to take some initiative. “I also thought of it, I’ll be your friend if you decide to just remain friends.”

What happens if we change and all of this will be lost in years? Is it worth pursuing something so young?

Johnny still looks at me shocked, expecting something else from me. But I just shrug, as an addition to what I had just said, because after all I will eat it up, I will be friends because that’s what we are anyway right now besides two snogs, one much shorter than the other, but both had different undertones. I could see us kissing under the stars, I could see us kissing under any other colours of the sky, as it would show a kaleidoscope of life. But we were so far away, so far that I had no idea if that was just my dreams and that would be it. If what I had seen was just the depths of my heart rather than something else. Maybe he’s shocked because he doesn’t want me to utter everything, maybe he just wants it at the back of his mind forever.

“Thanks.” He does say in the end. “I’m happy to hear that you’ll be with me.”

“I’m not some Grindr guy to say ‘alright, let’s get to know each other’ and then vanish.” I smirk and Johnny laughs briefly at my remark. I do smile at his ‘you’ll stay with me’ though, because I wouldn’t mind, because maybe all love should be treasured, even the one sided. I don’t even know where to go, maybe there will never be anyone out there. Maybe I am doomed to something like loving a friend, while he will go back to some girlfriend, because he’ll click with her in all the ways he would like, maybe he doesn’t want another football player, because after all straight people sometimes hold completely different interests and that’s okay, but maybe I have a narrow minded world, because me and Steven still were alike in ways. I don’t even know anymore. I just know that I wouldn’t be able to be with women, while Johnny clearly can. I do wonder how alike was he with Heather.

He tries to find some answers in my eyes, but instead he decides to look away.

I wanted to make this as natural as possible and it’s really hard not to rush things when you’re writing them. It’s just like watching a movie and wanting the pairing you like to just get it on. I hope you enjoyed it.

Offside. Chapter 17

Even if we started talking about exes, I couldn’t wait until I would be alone and I could think of the kiss on the hair properly and let those thoughts blossom, grow. I wanted to let those thoughts consume me as I would lay on my stomach, hugging my pillow and letting my mind progress to a place where I could see him properly kissing me too. I think of all of this during the pause, where Johnny is observing the lake.

“Can we row there now, in theory?” I’m a bit surprised, taken back, but I take his question.

“Yeah, of course.” I pause and Johnny looks at me pleadingly. “You mean now?”

I had rowed enough times without Steven, so that it would become routine instead of rowing for my previous boyfriend and now I would think of rowing when it’s nearly dark so that I would see the moon, so that I would see the first stars and nearly lose sight of the house, despite it’s brightly lit windows, reflecting wherever my parents were. It was odd that I would only reduce them to rooms, but then we all had many things to ponder about the other. I would catch myself thinking about odd discussions, where they would seem visibly upset about their only son being gay. I told them that most likely I would adopt regardless or if I happened to have a partner which could conceive, that would happen maybe, but it’s different from a parent’s eyes. It was briefly about what to tell everyone else since I had Steven. He had showed up to some family events as my plus one and it was met with hushed words as well as on his end.

His end was more harsh, a bit too upfront, specifically from his dad who had told him that he was an embarrassment rather than my own parents only hinting at that. But nevertheless his mother insisted on me coming, that I was a part of whatever kind of family they had going. I wonder if they actually divorced as it had smelt of it for a good while and Steven would speak on how much he himself would be happier if his parents had just went along with it.

“You know…” I trail off but catch myself. “Yeah, we can row now… But I’d rather just…”

I shrug.

“We can talk in the boat.” Johnny suggests. I wonder why is he so eager about the boat and it’s not as beautiful as one would imagine it to be, it’s no cartoon-like fairytale with singing sea animals and falling stars, it’s really just rural nature along with nearly still water.

“Sure.” I say, barely knowing how to refuse when he’s so eager about it and maybe he just wants some proper full fleshed privacy which we could only achieve by really being in the middle of the lake. We both turn around and go down the stairs which are filled with photos of me through the ages and of course there will never be a photo of me with a boyfriend. The closest I have to anything significant is standing in a full kit with a football, when I got in to the small club I am currently in now, which was one of the proudest days. No matter how shitty our club is, I’ve been in worse and this is the best I’ll get by just staying here. Johnny observes all the photos, a small smile starting to play on his lips, but he still makes his way down. We exit through the back door, avoiding all the cluttered area, but Johnny’s too excited so I just cut our way a bit and he doesn’t seem to mind all the mess.

We both avoid saying anything as we exit. He follows me and I make sure he is, even if it’s nothing hard to follow, which is a bit of a road to the right and through some trees. I stop for a brief moment, realizing that I had left my cigarettes in the backpack.

“I forgot my cigarettes.” I say a bit flatly and Johnny just goes ahead, seeing where the boat is and I look at him.

“Fuck it, be healthy for once, Robbie.” He grins back and waits for me. I join him up and start untying the boat. I do it faster than usual, because he’s so eager that he’s just rocking from front to back on his heels and I watch him, before I signal that we can both go into the boat. Johnny goes in instantly and I follow him, taking the paddles and not sure if he would now how to row properly.

“I can row this time, if you’d like.” I say and I have a vision of Steven for the first time since I had gone rowing without him, Steven had longer hair than Johnny and straight, he was very theatrical just like everything about him, he was a stereotype which people wouldn’t really talk about, not a jock. I take a while to say anything and just stare at Johnny, while he looks at the water and the surroundings, letting it all soak in.

It felt like rowing with Steven to the middle of the lake once again. It felt like an old love. I didn’t know where I wanted my mind to trail and I couldn’t help but continue the silence which Johnny started and think of my ex. It was all because I had taken someone else with me. I should’ve offered to row with Paul or Andy and leave the other cunt on the shore. I should’ve done something besides think of Steven all over. When I ended it, the feeling was far from over, I knew that we could’ve gone on somehow, that I could’ve forgiven or closed my eyes or opened the relationship, but it was the fact that he hadn’t told me that had driven me wild, to scream at him and then cry once I got back, midway back home. I didn’t cry after that, I just shut down and I let summer be the coldest I had felt in my life.

Even if we travelled I didn’t care, and just wanted back to my room. My parents didn’t know how to comfort me or speak of it, since they had heard that we broke up. My mom tried to comfort me, my dad tried to comfort me, both came to talk to me and stare at the old posters in the room, which I hadn’t taken down since I was a younger fella. They wouldn’t raise the topic right away, they would just ask me if there was anything on my mind. My mom put her hand on my shoulder, asking me about Steven after a long silence and saying that not everyone ended up with their high school sweethearts, that it was only normal. But I knew that the fact that I was dating a guy, made them confused on who should speak to me, so they both came. Mom also tried to get me into a holiday mood, but all I did was play Fifa and I would actually attempt to get some booze from the liquor drawers at night, when I wouldn’t be able to sleep so that I would stop feeling for a while. But mostly I just allowed the numbness to guide me.

I was surely glass eyed, like a doll. I couldn’t even comprehend how I had looked now. Developing a crush sometimes doesn’t erase the pain but just masks it, because a rebound does nothing.

“Do you think rebounds work?” I ask Johnny quietly, watching him notice how upset I seem, because by the end of the day we just want to be loved in a way or another. I don’t even register properly that I had spoken up. I feel like it yanks me out of my daze of missing Steven, which is new rather than lusting after the striker.

“I don’t think either of us should go for a rebound. I don’t think we’re ready.” Johnny turns to me fully and stops spinning around, watching everything from the boat as we keep getting closer to the midway. I knew that we would stop and I would just lazily keep rowing around and frankly I wouldn’t mind that.

“Speak for yourself, Johnny, I would love to be fucked.” I smirk, a bit too fake. But you gotta fake it until you make it. I happen to be lying to myself far too often, just to believe it and eventually I forget about my plan and start thinking things I shouldn’t even be thinking of in the first place, like places now which I had visited with Steven. But I’m not lying, I would love to be fucked into my goddamn mattress.

“Interesting, I never pictured you as a bottom. I guess I’d just be a top.” Johnny notes, what he thinks would be the truth.

“That’s what all straight guys say and then they get a dick up their ass and magically they change sides or halfway. But I guess you’d start with topping, to see what all the party is about.” I pause. “I’m versatile though.”

“Yeah, I can’t see you taking all the time.” Johnny swings it back to me. I laugh, slowly easing up instead of faking it and I’m sure he had noticed. I got told by Steven that I’m easier to read than a book.

“Amazing. You see me fucking someone?” I say and stop rowing, still holding to make sure that we don’t swim elsewhere with the little rowing boat.

“Yeah. I thought you were a top actually…” He drifts off, but decides to finish. “You seemed very assertive.”

“Yeah, well, I had to have some initiative.” I say and my heart acts way faster than my fucking brain catches up on. “But being a top doesn’t mean anything like that, you can lay on your back all the time, be bossed around and still be a top.”

“I guess I have plenty to learn.” Johnny smiles briefly, before looking around again, but I hope he won’t be quiet the whole time.

“I know you’re pretty used to everything by now, that it all seems dull, but it’s all really pretty. I keep staring at everything new.” He remarks and I am just happy that he is speaking instead of me thinking all over about Steven. It feels like he will never fully drift away from my thoughts, that he will always linger and be there, reminding that I had left the relationship. I always blame myself even if it was all him. I did the right thing, but that’s not something the heart listens to, is it? I loved him and that’s not easy to erase.

“Well, I see that’s pretty and unique, I guess, but I’m terribly tired of the scenery.” I saw and I row once to the left, because we’re drifting slightly, but not much. I pause and he looks at me, as if telling me to speak up, but I just avoid his gaze. “I don’t even like admitting it much… but I really wish things would change.”

I lean my head back and look at the cloudless sky for today.

“I don’t want to be stuck here forever, but the problem is that I have no idea where would I even go. Hell, I don’t even know what I would do.” It even feels heavy to say it and to open up to someone else, because Steven would hear such things while stroking my hair, as I would lay on my back, awake in the dark few hours of the night, allowing both of us to just stare at each other, barely seeing.

“How do you imagine yourself in ten years?” Johnny asks suddenly.

“Probably you still being my friend or whatever, in jail for throwing Andy and Paul down the well. You would send me cards and come visit me.” I look at him, not at the sky. “Probably had an affair already.”

He motions for me to leave with my bullshit and I just laugh. Maybe he’ll crack or I will, but someone will surely get tired of this tug of war, the problem is that I don’t know if we will remain friends or become lovers? My thoughts are a mess about Johnny. I am a terrible mess about feelings apparently, because once they started sprouting with Steven, they never stopped, love and hate intertwined. But I can’t say that I hate Johnny in any way. Now, Steven is a completely different story.

“You think we’d have an affair?” I can’t look at him as he says it, so I instead look at the water, nearly falling down, so Johnny gently shoves me and I push him back. The boat moves from side to side, so we remain still and close.

“Sure.” I shrug, turning to him.

Johnny smiles briefly and looks at the water himself. I put an arm around him. Maybe we’re not ready to discuss our past.

“You’ll be alright.” I say.

“I’ll be fucking better than Ronaldo and Messi combined.” He notes and I just start laughing, but I manage to speak up.

“You’re not a fucking winger. Say something like Lewandowski or Benzema.” I say through breaks of laughter, while Johnny looks dead serious somehow. Talk about his football self esteem, but then he doesn’t seem to be struggling about that like the rest of the world which is fucking suicidal, which is fucking self harming just because they won’t look good on a selfie. Never got the appeal, because I would just not look good enough or I would notice a bad angle later. All I’ve got is a few ones for Grindr which look as flattering as I could ever look.

“Yeah, but they’re not as good. I want the following as well. And the way Cristiano Ronaldo is playing is like a striker anyway. He’s not a winger anymore.” Johnny exclaims and I just roll my eyes at him, my hand still around his shoulders and we sit on the middle of the boat, so that we don’t really fall anywhere and have a homoerotic moment like Pocahontas could’ve had.

“He’s a winger, Johnny. Get off your high horse and become a second rate Morata.” I suggest him and pull him closer, as he smirks, but is still dead serious, like he always is about football.

“He’s got a following of girls. That counts. But he’s alright. There’s better.” Johnny mops around, that I’m not exactly glossing all his abilities, because neither of us are that great and I don’t like giving people too much false hope, specifically when Johnny has so much.

“So you want to play like Morata and have the following of James Rodriguez or something? How about you just become a bad knock off of James? You’ve got the face for it.” I say and hold myself from squeezing his cheeks. Johnny turns to glare at me and I just squeeze him with my arm. I realize something. “I’ll get jealous from all the attention you’re getting.”

“Fucking hell, live a little.” He tries to mock a serious face, but then loses it. “I’m not the cheating type anyway.”

I smile a bit sour, recalling my ex.

“Good to know.” Johnny ruffles my hair fast. “So it’s settled, we’ll have an affair and you won’t hide me from the press?”

“I’ll show all my love on camera and leak a sex tape of you riding me like an animal.” The image is way too graphic and tempting, but I ignore my urges from literally going into his pants.

A big chunk of the story is dedicated to not knowing your future, what you’re doing and what’s really the point. I touched it briefly in the beginning, but as time goes Robbie keeps thinking about it and it becomes a major theme, while I felt alienated from at first when I was writing the first chapter. Everything seemed concrete in my life and I seemed to know what I was doing, but now I relate more and more to Robbie as I write the next chapters (I’m a lot further down).

Offside. Chapter 16

I had all summer to try and get over Steven with these ideas. There were days when I was over, but I just had this longing for something else or someone else, I was ready to move on. But to whom? There was no one and there was no point in trying online dating, since I had once me and Steven broke up. It was hard and I kept wondering who the fuck was I really missing then? Maybe there was something about missing someone who would just come into my life softly and would fall in love with me, stay faithful. But just like you can never guess what awaits one in life, I couldn’t guess that I would…

Start liking some kid who is straight. I kept staring at Johnny, while we waited for the bus. Maybe I should just get over him and start sulking about being alone and miserable again? I knew that Johnny would never tell me that, on the opposite he would tell me that I should be chin up, probably? Well, that’s what he said previously. He wanted me to find someone else and he was sure that I would. But would I really? My body ached from loneliness on the love front, because this was my first proper break up and I was a terrible late bloomer. It took me a while to figure out my sexuality until the wrong man came along.

“Bus.” Johnny says, I didn’t even realized that I spaced out and he just kept watching out for the bus, while I was left alone with my thoughts. I didn’t know how could I even speak to him about it? Hey, Johnny, you broke my heart without any proper feelings, but you still made me lonely. You still hurt me and now please help me get over it. I could never say that. But then we had both manoeuvred talking about our exes, maybe it was high time, because I was sure that Johnny still ached. But how can I say that today of all days I was missing Steven? It wasn’t any anniversary or anything, it was just another day to be miserable. My mood was terribly decreasing as we waited for our turn quietly to pay the ticket and get inside.

It was far more crowded than usual, so Johnny started checking his phone for notifications, as other people were loudly discussing their own day. I wondered how come there were so many people, maybe there was a party of sorts? But I barely recognized the other faces. I didn’t bother looking further and just closing my eyes for a brief while, listening to all the distinct voices while Johnny was busy with social media. I wonder if he even pictured himself having millions of Twitter followers and misspelling common words, just to feed into the stereotype that some of us were really fucking dumb.

I don’t even notice that I had dazed off and as soon as we are on the road, Johnny wakes me up.

“I kind of have no idea where you live, Robbie.” He smirks, poking my shoulder. “Need you to be awake.”

I just nod sleepily and stop slouching, straightening my back and stretching my arms in front of me. I look out of the window. We’re still a drive away, but I don’t want to oversleep my stop either, so I try my best to stay awake from now on. The bus drive is a brief torture, so I take out my own phone to see some messages from Paul. He asks me if I’m alright, to which I quickly reply that I am and he never gets back to me after that.

Maybe he got surprised that we had left so early without eating pizza or even hanging out with them. Well, I can understand the surprise and whatnot. Johnny looks at me, all curious since the notification was loud enough for the bus to hear, I had forgotten to put it on vibrate and it’s not like I had a bunch of texts to boast about.

“What’s up?” He ends up saying out loud, far too curious.

“Just got a weird text from Paul, asking if I’m alright and I’m left on read. Bizarre, maybe Andy is sucking him off, so he got…” Yawn. “Distracted or something.”

“Possibly.” Johnny smirks. “I mean, yeah, they’re very close friends, but they couldn’t really be sucking each other off…”

I give him a weird look, I guess, but he assumes too much.

“They cold be full blown fucking. I guess, I need to get use to all your mutual mocking.” Johnny says.

“And that is an image I really don’t want to see. They’re both ugly as hell. I never liked any of them for more than friends. Ew. Not interested in what happens or the threesomes they’re rumoured to do whenever one gets some girl. Well, everyone speculates that it’s quite involved. Because there’s a girl, it’s not queer. So who knows what really goes on. Rumours can stretch and lie.”

It’s as if Johnny feels that there is a story to it. It’s odd knowing or feeling that he could just crack me open, crack my ribs open and see me all inside. But maybe he doesn’t and it’s all in my head.

“Yeah, rumours can be hurtful. I didn’t get to be harmed by them much. At least not in the beginning. I just wouldn’t care, besides one time.” He leans his head back. “It was all small banter or people speculated a lot where I would be moving and eventually it was guessed before I could even open my mouth.” He taps his knee. “Heather heard it before I wanted her to, because I just had a bad gut feeling about it. I wanted it to come from me, not from my best mate who decided to do me a favor… Maybe things would have been different, you know?”

“Maybe.” I echo back what Johnny really wants to hear. Johnny just looks at me, hopefully that somehow it would all turn around and I would manage somehow to bring his loved Heather. I wondered how she was and how much did Johnny think of her. “But it could have all just lead to the same result.”

I don’t add more, not sure if I had even done some damage, which I was far from wanting to do to my fellow football player. But it ends up to be our stop and I apologize quickly to Johnny, as we make our way outside. It’s all the same with the mail box and the route back to the big house, and the trash can as well. There’s not that many trees by the way that we have to go. Johnny seems to be thinking a lot, but I know that our topic and our wounds need to be stitched but we need to put some medicine before we sew them on raw skin and close them up.

“I know.” He opens the topic and smiles at me very quietly, sadly and looks down as we walk to the house. It’s seen soon enough, but Johnny doesn’t ask why it’s rather far away from the road, unlike his which is rather closer. But then they bought or rented the house with its location, while mine was built ages ago and just to be close to the lake, really. “But… you can’t help but wonder what the hell could you have done to prevent it, you know?”

“Of course.” I nod. “I always wonder what if Steven never cheated… But.”

I laugh a bit darkly.

“It’s all on him. My point is… it’s not your fault, which has led me to believe after figuring this out for months. It’s really not your fault that someone fucked up, no matter how much love you’ve given them.” Johnny stares at me wide eyed as I say it, as if I had revealed to him the secret of life, why were we all born and all of our purposes in life. “She… left you. Not because of you. But because it was her all along.”

I pat the shorts, before recalling that I had put the cigarettes back to my backpack. I take out the box and take one with my mouth, while stretching the rest to Johnny. My friend? I guess. We’ve been rather close recently.

“But honestly man, you gotta stop blaming yourself for what your ex girlfriend did.” I light both of our cigarettes, as we pause and I can hear a fucking bird already reminding us that summer is fleeting.

“It’s… more easy to say than do, really.” Johnny sighs. He looks around. “Do you ever just sit here in the field?”

“Yeah, of course. When I’m too tired to show up to my parents even if we’re distant and they never push it. What you want to sit down? We’re nearly in my room and I can sneak some beers or something.” I offer and Johnny just nods at my suggestion. “I think after I broke up with Steven, I just sat down and cried for a damn good manly while.”

I look around.

“Somewhere around here.” I say pointing to the left, which is frankly next to nothing and neatly trimmed grass. Johnny just follows my finger curiously and nods, as if there would be something enough for him to comment on, but there really isn’t.

“I just… got sad, I guess.” He says and I throw an arm around him, to which he turns his head to me. For a brief second he looks deeply into my eyes, before just looking down and inhaling the cigarette. I want to kiss him. My heart feels heavier, but I do nothing. I do nothing with the hair in his eyes and I don’t dare to touch it.

Johnny looks at me again and I just hold my silence, watching how the fuck would all of this unravel with all the anxiety which keeps mixing with adrenaline, even if I know that nothing would fucking happen. I was too anxious to keep track and I knew that this wouldn’t ever be the moment, if it ever were to happen, but I couldn’t help but look at him back. I wanted both of us to find solace somehow in each other, but I knew that Johnny’s thoughts were different entirely. I took the cigarette myself and inhaled, but I kept my eyes on him, both of us only having breaks with small blinks. He didn’t seem to dare to break the moment either. But we just held our distance with my arm around him.

“Robbie.” He says, looking back down.

“Johnny.” I mock him as he breathed out, not holding and frankly maybe it’s for the best. Johnny looks back up at me, I see thankful and he throws an arm back to be around my shoulders. He ruffles my hair out of place and I’m not sure what else he had done, because it’s quickly gone and he’s away from my hair.

“I haven’t been able to talk to anyone about Heather, thank you.” Johnny says. “And I’m not sure about anyone wanting to hear me mop around about it.”


“Don’t think about it.” He shrugs and then he drops the fact that he had kissed my hair briefly. It feels like another first kiss and apparently I’ll keep having these moments with him, these firsts which always seem to be strung with first feelings, like snapshots of what he’s really feeling. My heart starts racing as he slowly starts walking and drops the hand eventually and I follow. “I mean it, thank you and… just thanks, for listening and for the listening you might do.”

“I’m always happy to listen.” I bite the bait and Johnny eases. What if he’s doing all of this to keep me as a friend? Just these minor things to keep us both entertained? What if this is his way of paying me back somehow? What if he thinks that’s all I’ll ever want. I can barely breathe now.

“You- you don’t have to do it, if you don’t want to.” We’re both finishing our cigarettes and we discard them in the bin next to the bench right besides the house. I know that my parents won’t really go outside to bother us, but if there is a window open, they would gladly listen and gossip about it. I check to make sure the window is closed. I look back at Johnny, maybe they went upstairs or for a brief walk, that could be the case.

“Excuse me?” Johnny asks. I just shrug, as if it’s no big deal.

It should be a big deal, but I can’t make it such, sadly.

I point to my hair. Johnny’s face sinks slightly, maybe he thought that I wouldn’t notice or that I would ignore it, that all these handjobs under the table would never be noticed. Johnny takes a very long breath in.

“Look, I did it as a friendly gesture. Sure, it’s more… touchy feely. But that’s just how I felt like around you.” Then he changes tone. “If it makes you uncomfortable, that’s alright.”

“No, no.” I shake my head. “On the opposite-”

“If you think it hits too close to home-”

“Johnny, fuck’s sake, it’s nice.” He bites his lips at my words as I say it out loud. Johnny just stares at me and he tries to look away, but doesn’t eventually.

“Alright.” I get scared that now he would never do it again are my thoughts while he says it. He looks away though. “It’s just that… I just do it because I know you won’t mind, that’s all. That’s how badly I can word it.”

“Okay.” I hold a long pause, where Johnny looks back at me desperately. I even lost my trail of thought during the huge pause. “Just know that I don’t mind.”

I leave it at that and Johnny turns towards the house, well, we both do, desperate to get out of a discussion which could easily hurt us both far too much and hit too close to home. My parents do end up being home, but in the kitchen, drinking tea. I wave at them and introduce Johnny. It doesn’t take long and soon enough we’re upstairs and Johnny gets glued to the window.

“Do you ever row there?” He asks, looking away at the pond.

“Yeah, I do, but Steven liked it a lot.” Realizing that we’re opening the topic once more without realizing it. Johnny looks at me understandingly and just stares at the lake, before reopening our wounds for another time.

I really miss summer and going over this chapter, which is still all about it, makes me feel a bit sad. It’s not exactly autumn with the weather where I am, but it’s autumn full force in studying and everything. I’ve been writing ahead by many chapters, so it’s been rather fun and actually matching the seasons with my mood.

I hope you enjoyed it!

Offside. Chapter 15

After that we make our way to the football pitch. I do get a bit scared, I always do but it’s only until I start playing, then all my feelings go out of the window and I just concentrate. I get more relaxed and it’s something I know how to do, at least. I’ve been always a central midfielder and never really bothered to change it much. I’m confident that Johnny had always tried to be a striker anyway, or at least whined about not getting the position or complained about being a winger. I could see him pout about it.

We don’t talk much and neither does anyone besides Paul and Andy, who apparently scored and one kept filling in on the other with rather explicit details which you could frankly jerk off to if you were into that, causing the coach to tell them to shut the fuck up and concentrate before the game.

“Hey, Robbie, how come you didn’t let me know about those Brazilian football players which jerked each other off in the dressing room of their club? Did you watch the tape?” The other Robbie asks me and I snort, thinking of the video and at the same time wishing I would be left alone. Johnny just sits besides me and turns towards the conversation.

“I’m pretty sure you jerked off to it.” I say, waiting for the time to come.

“Nah, I just kept thinking of you, sweetheart.” He says and throws me a kiss. I roll my eyes at him and Johnny seems to be concerned and just takes a sip from his water bottle. I feel a bit flattered, but I am terribly used to the banter even if sometimes it manages to stick a needle under my skin and hurt me somehow. “But on all honesty, what the fuck were those morons thinking? I heard they got happy when they were caught, like this isn’t the back of a gay bar?”

“I’m pretty sure there’s far more going on in the back of a gay bar.” I smirk and it’s time. The coach and everyone wish each other luck before we enter the field.

As we wait for the coin to be tossed, we all form our positions regardless and Johnny turns around to see me behind him and he just grins. I’m sure the cocky fuck would have enjoyed being captain, but it’s not him. I wonder if he would try to get up the ranks later, just for his own football confidence.

We get the ball.

Johnny passes it behind and the game begins, as everyone runs forwards. We get the ball taken away from us pretty fast, as Johnny had tried to dribble past three defenders and of course one of them caught it. If I could stop time I would curse at him, but I don’t because that power is beyond me. We don’t get much action done and for once, our defence isn’t as bad and somehow we hold it up, but that doesn’t stop the other team’s defence from playing just as… good? I don’t like using the word for a team as mediocre as ours, but the other team isn’t as good either with their bright purple shirts. They look like massive eggplants running towards me.

But we look like squashed, stretched oranges. So who’s the real winner here?

I honestly don’t even know where to go from here. We get a goal scored against us right before the end of the first half and after a few minutes of us frantically trying to attack and Johnny making his first, rather, second pass in the entire game to me because I happen to be behind him again. I end up getting tackled and I trip, because well, it aches and it comes from a direction which I wasn’t looking at.

The big eggplant gets a yellow card and mouths a ‘fucker’ to me. At least it wasn’t faggot or anything. In the end I’ll have to walk it off or sit it out, as the whistle blows. We all go to our separate corners to complain, as if we are children in kindergarten. I smile at Johnny, as he hands me his water before I even reach for my own. Andy and Paul proceed to talk about banging the girl and I’m not even sure anymore who banged her or if it was some threesome I’m missing out the details on. But I can’t say I care and they don’t really approach me or Johnny until a few minutes.

“Hey, lovebirds. Even your names sound like some gay Teletubbies shit.” Andy says and Paul laughs. I’m guessing Johnny glared and I just narrowed my eyes at them, drinking water now from my bottle, feeling bad for drinking Johnny’s and I had drank a fair amount without realizing it.

“Better than some sleazy hook up you’re describing. You’re so fucking identical I don’t even know who fucked her, maybe it’s all a metaphor for you two finally bonding and engaging in some long-needed friendship macho release.” I smirk and I stand up, to make sure I can still walk with my legs.

“Ha ha.” Paul says. I can walk apparently. Johnny seems to be on standby to say something back, but he doesn’t have to, so he eases and leans against the fence, only to sit back straight from the fact that it doesn’t hold up too well.

“Maybe let’s talk about something about football? Motivation?” Johnny suggests so that we stop doing some petty fighting.

“You mean soccer?” Paul says with a cocky face and mocking Johnny.

“I have never fucking called it soccer. Just because I’m American that doesn’t mean that I’m shit at it.” I hold my tongue because he’s my friend and I take a mouthful of water, I would never tell him he’s rubbish now unless he would ask me that.

“You keep dribbling instead of fucking passing.” Paul whines, rubbing his eyes.

“Because everyone else sucks.” Johnny notes his point of view to everyone.

“You passed to me.” I note. “One pass.”

I’m not really adding much to the cause, but Johnny points to me as evidence. I just widen my eyes and nod, as if confirming my own point.

“Whatever. You only trust Robbie ’cause he sucks you off.” Paul says and Andy high fives him for the joke. Johnny raises an eyebrow and drinks from his water fast, thinking of a come back.

“Nothing bad with some friendly bonding, which you lads are very aware of. Since I can’t even imagine what you do when you’re alone. Describing how you screw in detail. Man, now that’s homosexual. Can’t wait for my first gay wedding. I hope I get to be best man.”

Our burns are slowly decreasing and we all lose interest, drinking some more water and about to return to the game. I feel more tired than usual and once we resume, my legs start aching, so all the options I have is to just run it off unfortunately. My right leg is specifically the one which is killing me.

The first half was less exciting than the second, as we manage to score a goal, after all of Johnny’s terrible dribbles, he seems to have taken his criticism and actually passes it around this time and scores eventually. I am not the first to approach him, but he pulls me in to a quick hug. We break it off, as soon as everyone else approaches him and ruffles his hair or high fives or anything else.

After that, maybe we’re all terribly tired, maybe it’s no one’s day after all but it ends in an exciting 1-1.

My whole body aches, as everyone just changes their footwear into something else and some guys change shirts, exposing themselves but I’m not ripped enough, just in good physical shape, so I never really do that and even among football players, I’ve seen far more ripped guys in pornos and Grindr. Johnny swings an arm around me and I finish all of my water bottle.

“Jesus, you need more?”

“Nah, I’ll be fine. Good game though, you scored a good goal.” Johnny smiles at me and I feel far too much than I would enjoy feeling and we don’t see each other every day, I wouldn’t want to start thinking about how much I would dread those days. I don’t even want to miss him even briefly, I don’t want to put Johnny to do anything which he wouldn’t want to do. Which is clearly getting close to me on another level.

“Why, thank you.” And he looks at me in the eyes and for a moment I hold the water bottle too harshly as he looks at me with his dark eyes. “I told you I was good.”

And he breaks the moment and I smirk, looking away, as he ruffles my hair again and I wish I could ease to his touch. I wouldn’t mind even having sex with him like this, post-match and all sweaty. I’ve seen plenty pornos where guys do it after the gym, why after football would be so much different? I think of him on top of me, biting my neck and just fucking me on either of our beds, fucking me into the damned mattress. I snap out of it, just so that I don’t get a very visible boner since I’m in full gear right now.

I still can’t really let my thoughts settle, because I would be lying if I said that he hasn’t eased my loneliness by a small margin. I want to invite him over, but my parents would be scattered around the house or just sitting watching telly in the living room, not really saying much, maybe spread some gossip or ask me if he’s my boyfriend. Would that be wise? But then I had told them that I went to Johnny’s earlier. Sure, they didn’t see all the texts I had sent, but that didn’t really erase the fact that they knew that I was talking to another boy. How long would it be until the rumors would reach Johnny’s parents then? How would they react?

I didn’t want to think of it further and we walked away from the football pitch enough for me to get out a pack of cigarettes, since I was more than aware of the fact that the coach didn’t enjoy us smoking.

We discussed the game over cigarettes and sitting on a bench.

How could I even ask him to come over to mine? Of course I had a bunch of things which were making me wish things were different, but hopefully my desire would run its course and that it would be replaced by a proper friendship which I haven’t had in a good while, maybe with Paul and Andy as we were children or other guys whose names had started to fade in my memory. I was never really too friendly with girls, because I didn’t understand much what was I supposed to find attractive. Sure, I had tried, but it was brief and something that I would just get red in the face for recalling late at night, when one can’t sleep and every embarrassing memory surfaces to keep feeding the insomnia.

I watched him inhale, as he just nodded at me, as if asking what’s up.

“You want to go to my place?” There is a brief silence before I kill it with my awkwardness, but as soon as I open my mouth, Johnny cuts me off.

“Sure. It’s not like there’s much to do here anyway.” He smirks and gets his curls out of his eyes. I wonder how blind he is to me or if he’s that desperate to just make friends which will continue somehow through the course of life, because if you try a lot, one is bound to just go through, right?

I try not to smile at how blind he is, but maybe it’s for the best of the both of us. After all, maybe we just shouldn’t get together, whatever holds in store or whatever just doesn’t align. I don’t exactly know his beliefs or what exactly he thinks of. I wonder if I should push it and ask him if he even wants to sleep over, but maybe that’s something he is pretty scared of. Maybe he just doesn’t want to push it until he’s fully immune.

We keep discussing the match a while still and Johnny confirms all the upcoming matches with me, as well as everyone’s names and he doesn’t seem to be struggling to remember everyone now, but that could just be observation and maybe that’s why he doesn’t pass, because he could still screw it up? I think far too much. We mock each other on the bus stop at our game performance and I’m not sure if I should offer him sleeping over. After all, it’s not like I’ll be able to sneak in much alcohol since my parents would be home and they would keep an eye on the booze drawer and the kitchen overall. So we won’t really be past the point of no travelling return.

I don’t think I had felt attracted and constrained at the same time in my life before. With Steven it was terribly straightforward with him hitting on me, how we had started hanging out more and more. How he had done the first move, when I had already doubted my sexuality for being around with him for so long. I knew he was bisexual and I wasn’t a fool, when Paul had told me that Steven was surely eyeing for something else other than friends. I just didn’t tell Paul that I felt the same way, but I told Steven eventually. We kept each other for a secret, because I wasn’t ready to just go all out about it and eventually my mom caught us. That was it.

Steven was different and now looking back, I wonder how similar we were and what had we found in each other? But then, maybe it was the fact that we were so different that attracted both of us in the first place and we knew how to have a good time, not just sex or making out. Steven was funny, he was far more outgoing and he would force me to do things and we would often row to the middle of the lake, because he said it relaxed him. Once we even blew each other there, intoxicated slightly and after smoking, so it wasn’t like I held dick in one hand and a cigarette in the other.

I don’t think I’ll ever get over the video of the Brazilian football player which jerked off two fellow players! Had to insert that for a brief cameo. The video is out there but it’s more funny than… porn with the guy’s face and all.

Inspiration can come from the weirdest places.