Ryan and I walked in silence for a bit, before I decided I had to speak. Firstly, because John boy had asked me to find out what was going on and secondly, well simply because I wanted to know, I really was curious to know if Ryan was gay.
"What happened back there?" I glanced sideways at Ryan. There was no immediate reply. "Why were the guys picking on you? That ain't cool."
"They're a bunch of losers, not worth the space..." Ryan trailed off into silence.
Obviously, he was still angry about what happened. Maybe I thought, he was scared to talk about it. Frightened to say anything about himself, because he had no idea what my reaction would be. Of course he had no need to worry on that account, but he didn't know that, how could he?
Spots of rain hit the pavement. One, then another, a few heavy drops, splat, splat, leaving tiny dark patches. A car drove by, the sound of it's passing fading into the distance. The thought entered my head that this time it should be me that was first with the revelation. I shouldn't hold back like I had with Matty, waiting until it was safe, letting him make the first move.
Just as I was contemplating what to say, Ryan spoke. "I think Brandon has got it in for me. He just doesn't like me."
"Yeah, OK, but why?"
"Umm... well I think it's to do with something that happened last week." It looked like Ryan was opening up. If I gave him the space, didn't rush it, he would explain himself.
I no longer paid any attention to the outside world. I was completely gripped listening to Ryan and wondering, still not yet knowing.
"You see I've got a girl friend" What!... that wasn't what I'd expected to hear. This beautiful guy was straight. Not gay after all, and just a few seconds ago I nearly revealed everything about myself, thinking he was gay.
"I can't remember exactly what was said," Ryan paused, it looked like he was trying to recall the event. "Something like, not too many guys our age have got a real girl friend. That was aimed at Brandon, Bulldog." He stopped again. "I told him he was a loser... I don't even know how it started. I must have touched a nerve or something. Since then he's had it in for me."
The thing in the showers was starting to make sense now.
"He got his little group of friends with him and started on with the gay insults. Pushing me around in the showers back there." Ryan was in full flow, I nodded, not wanting to interrupt. Listening and thinking to myself I'm glad I never said anything.
"If anyone has a problem it's Brandon... Maybe he's the one who's gay?" Ryan let the question hang in the air.
I don't know why, but I suddenly felt the overwhelming urge to change the subject. I just didn't want to go down the road of who was, or who might be gay... I wasn't ready for that.
"Well maybe Bulldog has a problem. Who knows? Anyway I think John boy sorted those goons. I can't see them coming back at you."
The drops of rain had stopped, but the air was heavy and sticky. We arrived at the bus stop and didn't have long to wait until the bus rolled up. Ryan stepped onboard ahead of me. We showed our passes and I followed him towards the rear of the bus. The back row of seats were empty. Looking around there weren't too many people on the bus. Just as Ryan was turning, squeezing into the back window seat dragging his bag after him, my attention was caught by the guy occupying the seat in front on the opposite side. He was hot, really good looking. He caught me looking and smiled.
Ryan was starring out of the window. I sat down next to him just as the bus started to pull away. I was thinking about everything that had happened these past couple of days, then my attention went back to the guy in front. I noticed he was writing something in a little note book. He'd taken the book out of his bag, which was resting on the floor in front of him. Half in, half out of the aisle. He finished. Then carefully, slowly, started to tear the small sheet of paper from the note book. The bus pulled in at a stop, jerking to halt. The engine vibrating as the doors clanked open. An elderly couple climbed onboard.
The guy was crumpling the paper up into a ball. Fascinated I continued watching. Was he going to throw it away? What had he written that he was now going to discard? He half turned back in his seat and launched the crumpled ball of paper in my direction. I watched as it landed just in front of my foot. I was about to ignore it, when he caught my eye again. He was grinning. He turned fully back in his seat. The bus started to pull away from the stop. The elderly couple had taken their seats right at the front. Ryan was still looking out the window. I leaned forward and picked up the ball of paper. Checked that Ryan wasn't watching. Unfolded it. 'Call me,' it said, with a phone number underneath and a name, Jake. I stuffed it quickly into my pocket.
My stop was next. I got up, turned to Ryan, "See you Monday," He looked up, nodded. I reached out to push the button for the bell. To get the driver to stop. Then walked down the bus. The guy sitting in front casually let his hand drift towards the aisle. He touched my thigh as I brushed past him, stepping over his bag. I was off the bus, down the street, and home. Taking the front door key from my pocket, with the little metal football that it was attached to. I pushed the key into the lock, turned it and opened the door.
"Anyone home!" There was no reply. Then I remembered, mum had said they were picking my little brother up and would be back around half six. The clock on the kitchen wall showed 5:20. An hour or so then. Opening the fridge door I peered inside as the light came on. Took out a carton of juice and unscrewed the top. Mum would always say, 'Get a glass!' But she wasn't there. I lifted the carton and drank. Wiping my mouth with the back of my hand, I screwed back the top, and replaced the fruit juice.
Speeding up the stairs two at a time, I opened my bedroom door, threw my sports bag in the corner and collapsed on my bed. Lying there on my back, alone, silent. The only sound being some faint noise from outside, down the road somewhere. I took the crumpled piece of paper out of my pocket and starred at it. 'Call me." That was exciting. The guy was obviously older than me. Twenty something, I guessed. I thought about the touch of his hand on my thigh. It was electric. Suddenly realised my cock was getting hard. It was pushing against my trousers. I needed to get changed out of the school uniform we were obliged to wear all week. I slid over to sit on the side of the bed. Undid my shoe laces and kicked off my shoes, one, then the other. Undid my trouser button, pulled down the zipper and stepped out of my trousers. I folded them to hang up in the wardrobe. My cock was making a pyramid in my pants. Sticking straight out. As I took off my shirt and tie, the temptation to do something with my cock was almost overwhelming. Images of Matty, Ryan, and the guy on the bus all mixed up floated around in my head, and my cock responded to my thoughts by getting harder.
No, not the right time I thought to myself. Wait. Then I thought wait for what? Asking myself the question for which I didn't yet have the answer. The bubble burst with the music from my phone. I reached over to my trousers and retrieved it from the pocket. I answered straightaway. It was Matty. He had his own music, no need to look.
"Just got in Matty."
"How was rugby?"
Matty was my number one fan. "Interesting. There was nearly a fight in the showers after practice,"
I told him everything that had happened with Ryan. How I thought he was gay, but found out he has a girl friend. The only thing I didn't tell Matty about was Jake, the guy on the bus. We continued talking as I got dressed, put away my school uniform and managed to pull my jeans on despite my hard cock. And, oh yes I told Matty about that too!
His response was, "Ah, well, we might just have to do something about that."
We talked for ages. I told him I had to go shopping with mum for some new shoes on Saturday. My uncle was coming over with his family on Sunday. So I didn't know if I would get to see him this weekend. Finally, I said I have to go because the folks would be back and I needed to tidy my room.
"Talk later then."
"Yeah, I'll call you." I replied and hung up.
I wasn't great on keeping my room tidy, but I'd promised mum that morning, over breakfast, that I would sort it out, so I just got on with it. Trying to make it look halfway decent. It didn't take so long. What mum would think, or say, I wasn't so sure. I heard the front door open and voices downstairs, the family were back.
Later that evening I was alone again in my bedroom. I had music playing, but I wasn't really listening. It was just there in the background. Picking up my phone, I took that little crumpled piece of paper from my pocket. I lay back on my bed and stared at it, for a long time.
Then I tapped in the number and started writing.
hi this is alex from the bus
The reply from Jake came back quick.
alex so thats your name..where r u
what u doing
nothing where r u
just up the hill from u
what u doing
listening to music
how old r u
20...21 next week
can we meet
difficult this weekend
yes ok next week
next week certain
Wow, what did I just do? Did I just make my first date? It was scary. Exciting, loads of emotions floated through me. I can't believe that happened.