After my shower, I was trying to think of something to wear before I could get into bed, and then my phone rang. It wasn’t like I expected phone calls during this time, and it wasn’t like I ever actually answered them, either. I sat down on the bed for a few seconds before finally deciding to answer Ezra’s call.
“What?” I asked, my voice sounding like I could give less of a ⟴.
“Hey,” Ezra whispered, his voice sounding hot and scared at the same time. Ezra’s voice was lower than mine by an octave, but it got about ten times lower whenever he whispered. It was weird that I found it hot, but his voice also had a sense of worry in it. “I’m sorry for calling you so late-it’s just that-”
“Why are you whispering?” I asked him.
Ezra’s voice paused for a minute before he answered me. As much as I hate that Haven girlfriend of his, she’s not wrong about something: his awkwardness is cute, and he’s not even aware of it. “I’ve got news,” he whispered.
“Let me guess,” I sarcastically exclaimed. “Haven’s pregnant.” 552Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡEJm9GduEUd
“No!” Ezra whisper-yelled. “I-no, she isn’t. Seriously, Delcan, could you please not joke around with me right now?” 552Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡTajnojKvzY
Standing up from my bed, I took my precious time responding to him. Looking at my abs in the mirror, I said something back. “I thought you liked me when I was like this.” 552Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡQnz3T23i1k
“I do,” Ezra whispered. “But only at certain times. And I also like you when you decide to listen to me, and understand what I’m telling you. Please, can you listen?”
His pleas were only weird to me because he never really did it. I only hear stuff like that from my sister, and not that often, either. “Fine,” I said. “Name your issue, Gatley.”
“Angelica knows,” Ezra whispered. I moved past how hot it was that his voice sounded the way it did, and raised my eyebrows. I didn’t even know who Angelica was, but whoever he is, it seemed to have a bad effect on Ezra. He was saying her name like he did when he mentioned his dad, who I wouldn’t mind slapping one day. “And...she knows about us. She-oh god. She this video...where I kissed you.”
I hesitated for a minute, and then remembered that he actually did kiss me in the locker room. I don’t know how, but Ezra was better at what I liked to call “surprise kisses” than I was.
And that’s saying something.
But with everything he gave me, it was hard to respond. I didn’t care too much about people knowing that we were dating, because it’s not exactly like I’m his boyfriend or anything. “Okay, chill,” I told him. “Who is Angelica?”
“Haven’s sister. I thought that I told you that,” he said.
You probably did, I thought myself. But Haven doesn’t mean ⟴ to me, so her family is probably the same. “I forgot,” I lied. There was no need to make him seem more frazzled than he already was. “But I still don’t get it.”552Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡVeCbwP4Kwj
“She knows that we-you and-you know what I mean. Angelica agreed to keep my secret, but she understands that there’s something going on between us,” Ezra whispered. I turned away from the mirror, and put on a shirt, leaving Ezra on speaker.
“If she promised not to say anything, why are you worrying?” I asked him.
I could feel Ezra wanting to roll his eyes. “That’s beside the point,” he said. “I just-I thought you might wanna know.”552Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡqVBWhJrrSU
Because it matters so much to my life. “Is that all?” I asked him. The truth was that I did care about him, and what he thought, but anything to do with Haven just puts me in a bad mood. She knows. And I know that she knows because there’s no way she wouldn’t suspect the comment Ezra made about me in front of everyone else. I wouldn’t tell him, though, because I know how worried he gets about things like that.
Then again, I don’t know if Haven exactly knows yet, I just think she knows that Ezra likes me. But, she may think he’s bi or something. No matter what - I know how bothered Ezra would’ve been. And as much as I try not to show it, I hate when he’s upset.
“Um…” Ezra paused for a second before he seemed to have shly laughed. It was weird that even though I could only hear his voice, it was like I knew he was messing with his hands or blushing. And I don’t know why, but he was so freakin’ adorable. “No. No, I’m okay. What are you up to?”
I shrugged. My parents spend about ten minutes each night reminding me about therapy (which I refuse to take) and then they start blaming my issues now on Ezra, which isn’t the case at all. If they really wanted to know, it all has to do with Grayson Williams, who I have a feeling knows more than what he says. “Not much,” I said. “Is there anything else?”
“How’s Callie holding up?” Ezra asked.
I hesitated before responding because I knew my sister when I mentioned things she didn’t like. Though I could care less of her opinion, I would get in trouble from her telling our parents. But Ezra was the first guy that I’d ever seen care. Not just about him and “me,” somebody else that I associated with. It made me feel great that he cared, but sometimes I was confused about how somebody like him could be with someone like me.
“She’s fine,” I muttered. “It’s not your place to care, though?”
Ezra paused. “I didn’t-I didn’t mean to-to pry,” he stuttered. “I’m sorry.”552Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡjCVwy4AStD
“Stop apologizing, Ezra,” I told him.
“I’m-” Ezra stopped himself before he could say it again, and I felt sympathy for him. My mom had told me about Ezra’s parents (her older sister used to be friends with Sarah, Ezra’s mom before she basically abandoned all of her friends for her husband) and it was hard to understand what he must deal with at home. I didn’t get what type of man would do such things to their wife, but it wasn’t like I could change anything. “You know that Evelyn and Callie have started to become friends. I didn’t want to be that douche who could care less about other people.”552Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡub5sMJ2sMp
But that’s me, I thought to myself. “Understandable,” I answered. I checked the time and knew that one of my parents would be walking into my room in less than a few seconds, and would pretend to care about my life while checking around my room for drugs. They did it every night, and usually at 10:30. “Hey, sleep well. See you tomorrow.”552Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡkMgjj7bfmz
“Yeah,” Ezra whispered. I was about to hand up the phone when Ezra said something else. “Wait!”
“What now?” I asked, actually sounding annoyed. I didn’t mean to, but it just happened.
“I’ll probably be grounded for staying out too late,” Ezra whispered a hint of fear in his voice. “So if you need to talk to me over the phone...just take Callie’s phone and text me or something. Or, just wait.”552Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ3M4vTFNjTV
I don’t think Ezra understood what a Cuban teenager does when you steal her phone in the middle of the afternoon.
“Alright,” I muttered.
“Goodnight, Delcan.”552Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡpOKYF1nwvK
Just like I’d expected, the second that I’d ended the call, my mom walked into my room and began asking me about my school life (which, I’m hardly even passing, in case anybody wanted to know. I’m street smart, but school isn’t my best thing) and then she looked around my room for drugs.
My parents love me, regardless of the hell I put them through. Though they didn’t completely trust me yet. Either my mom or dad comes into my room when I should be going to bed and looks around, searching for anything that I could get high from, or that could cause an overdose. And they always worry that I’ll try again.
I can’t, actually. I’ve already made a promise to more than two people, which means I kinda have to keep it.
“Goodnight, sweetie,” my mom said, kissing me on the cheek.
I brushed it away and looked at her. “Please call me by my name, Mom. It’s really annoying.”552Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡD4AwdZqTvA
Now if you’d wanted to know, I’m not just a jerk for the fun of it. It’s actually - literally - in my blood. My mom isn’t as sarcastic as her sisters are, but her parents...oh. Oh, they're ten times worse than me when I’m around Haven Bronx. But my mom was a lot nicer than what her parents had expected, which is why I wasn’t as shocked by the response she gave me.
“Sass your mother again,” My mom playfully threatened. “And you’ll have to remember something. I put you into this world, and I can take you right back out.”552Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ8l2LsyNBOp
I smiled. “K.”552Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡzk8ZTOp9zX
My mom really didn’t look anything like me, but Dad says we both have the same smiles. My mom smiled to me and then hit my shoulder. “Don’t be such an imbécil,” she whispered, her Spanish accent on point.
And then she actually did leave my room, and my thoughts stayed behind.
I have a hard time when it comes to understanding my ideas, but everything helps when I run. It’s stupid - but it’s the one thing that calms my mind. And though I’ve got tons of homework to do, I could always seduce Ezra into helping me.
My pace was beginning to slow, and I had to sit down on a bench in order to make sure I wouldn’t throw up. Running my hands through my beautiful hair, I felt myself suddenly think of Ezra. I didn’t know why, but as much as he annoyed the living hell out of me, he was a really great guy - and something felt off about our relationship.
Our first kiss was the first time I’d ever actually gone slow with a guy before, and I still don’t get why his awkwardness is attractive to me. Honestly, I’ve never even dated anyone who’s been even the slightest percent awkward, but I really do like Ezra, and how he makes me feel.
“Ever dated a guy before?” I’d asked Ezra that night, not even caring about his answer too much. I was laying back on the chair my parents had bought a few months ago and seemed to be interested in dirt lodged into my nails.
“No,” Ezra had said. “You?”552Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡhPlCZqLnzj
I shrugged. “Depends on what you consider dating,” I told him. I’d never had a boyfriend before, or anything like that - because it didn’t seem interesting to me. But I had been with other people, and I for sure wasn’t a virgin. “How many girls, then?”552Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ8RWS4znWga
“Technically, I’ve only had one girlfriend,” Ezra muttered, his voice sounding shy. “But I pretended to date my best friend in 7th grade.”
I looked at him. His dark brown eyes catch me by surprise every time I look at them, and I know how attractive he finds my changing eye color. “So you’re bi?” I asked. I’ve been in “relationships” with bisexuals, pansexuals, trans, didn’t really matter too much to me. As long as they were a guy, I was cool. But Ezra’s look made me understand he was strictly into guys.
“That’s fine,” I told him. “I’m gay, too.”552Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡAdkoNi6Mxt
“But you already know I’m gay,” Ezra said. “And I know you are.” He shifted in his seat and looked at me. Clearly, the idea of my mom and dad being in the living room was getting to him. “Are you sure your dad won’t walk back here?”552Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡhwP5ND4Eua
I nodded. My parents know better to interrupt when I’m on a date (never actually been on a date, but it’s better than saying the truth) or whenever I say “leave us alone.” They know how to listen pretty well, which I appreciate. “No.” I flashed him a charming smile.
He blushed, just like I’d expected. But it was kinda cute.
What is happening to me, I thought to myself.
“Ever been kissed?” I asked randomly. I wasn’t really planning on having a make-out session or anything, I just wanted to make sure he wasn’t a full virgin.
Ezra slowly nodded. “You?”552Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡFJcvWCZjFi
Ezra bit his lip, and put his head down, which my brain was trying to find out if it was attractive enough.
I stopped everything I was doing and looked at him. “What about guys?”552Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡRtbKtGe7vS
Ezra’s eyes widened. “O-Once,” he stuttered. “But it was basically a peck. So...I don’t think it counts too much.”
It was still a kiss, but I decided to agree with him. “Yeah,” I muttered. “Am I bothering you with these questions?”
Slowly, Ezra nodded, pressing his lips together. “I’m really uncomfortable.”552Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡRYJz78zLOf
It was kind of cute.
Smiling, I pulled myself closer to him and watched his face get red. “You know what?” I asked him. I wasn’t even trying to be seductive, or even cute in a way, but his cheeks and nose were burning red, showing how clearly embarrassed he was. I didn’t know I could have this effect on somebody. “We should kiss.”552Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡStneFUMXwY
Ezra’s eyebrows shot up so far, I thought they’d fly off his face. “Wh-wh-why would y-you think….I-I don’t,” he paused and buried his hands into his hair, his face bright red. I had to hold back my smile as he looked back up to me with his dark brown eyes. “Delcan, I have a girlfriend.”552Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡKoGs647wtE
“And you’re gay,” I said. “Basically, you’re already lying to her. It’s just one kiss, Ezra. That won’t be the end of you.”552Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡvL98g8ISuP
Ezra stopped and then nodded. “Fine,” he said. “Fine.” His eyes closed, and I looked at him for a few seconds. Did he expect me to just lean in and kiss him? If that was the case, it was newer than any other kisses I’ve ever done before. But if he wanted it to be this way, I guess it wouldn’t be too hard to try.
I leaned into Ezra and pressed my lips onto his. I didn’t even expect for him to react the way he did, but Ezra breathed a sigh of relief before he put his body closer to mine. His lips were soft, and they sort of tasted like mac and cheese, which I hated and loved at the same time.
We both pulled away at the same time, and without a single word, we both kissed again, his lips brushing against mine with the softest touches on my face. His hand ended up being on my lower back and left cheek (upper, not lower. Don’t be gross.) I made the decision to simply slide my tongue into his mouth, annd it worked out better than I thought.
The kiss was about to get a lot better before my mom walked in, and she cleared her throat. In less than a second, Ezra pulled away from me and fixed his shirt, pretending nothing happened.
And then he left.
It wasn’t until before that kiss that I thought that Ezra would just be a guy-crush I’d shortly have, but the kiss changed everything. After it, no matter what, I wanted to help Ezra feel safe. I cared about him, and seeing him smile or laugh at one of my jokes was one of the most satisfying things I’d ever feel. It was like every time he even would brush my shoulder, I would feel all silly inside, and my words would get mixed up when I talked about him.
Even now, I smile when I think of him. But this was one of the weirdest feelings I’ve ever experienced, and I don’t understand what it is.
And that’s when it hit me.
“Oh ⟴!” I yelled out to nobody. “⟴,⟴,⟴,⟴,⟴. NO!”
There’s no way.
No way...ns 18.104.22.168da2