Chapter 26: Forbidden Secrets

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October 6th 2015
Damian

Lights are shining, illuminating glows across the porch and the front gardens. Music is blaring at full volume from multiple speakers and teenagers are being idiotic and intoxicated pretty much everywhere. So in other words my party is in full swing like always.

I didn't want to succumb to my family being back. I couldn't show them how much it bothered me they were here. I don't understand it. What news could Mia have that makes her five year disappearance worth it? Nothing.

I know the rational thing is to hear her out. But I can't. At least not yet. I need time to process this, so what's a better distraction then a party?

Noah and my friends are somewhere here. But I lost them a while ago. They weren't really satisfied with the prospect of a party right now. But they all knew better then to question my current judgement and state of mind at all.

So far the party has been going fine. I couldn't have the heart to heart with Noah about our future and what not. So I have left it. I left all those worries for another day. But I know someone is bound to bring up the rumors sooner or later, the only reason they haven't is cause they haven't seen anything yet to convince them of it. Most people didn't even know Noah and I were friends let alone gay lovers. Though technically we still aren't the later.

I do know the one person who will bring it up though: Chad. He's the reason I'm sitting here, in the freezing cold, on my porch steps, instead of drinking my thoughts away. I need a level head to handle him.

I don't know what Noah wants me to say, I'm too afraid to ask. What if he wants this to end? So instead I'm waiting for Chad and hoping I can talk some sense into him, before anything crazy happens. What sense that is: I don't know.

Now the familiar grey Chevy pulls up. Out jumps Max, Ryan and Marc. Then finally Chad. All members of my basketball team. I'm assuming all of these are the guys who don't approve of my new alleged sexuality. Five against one is not going to go down well. Shit.

"Hey guys, what's up? Glad you could finally make it!" I fake enthusiasm as I break the undeniable tension in the air.
"Well Cap, weren't sure what was going on with these gay rumors. Thought best we hear it from you first." Max pipes up
"Yeah Silva, what's up with these rumors? you can't be gay. You're are captain for crying out loud, you can't be a faggot!" Ryan chimes next. All they want is me to say I'm not and then this will go away. I can have my team back, otherwise, I see it in their eyes, they don't want me as part of the team. Whether they have the authority or not to get me kicked off this will cause a divide. I, then, can kiss State Championships and any scouts interested at the same time, good bye.
"You aren't seriously hooking up with that nerd Noah are you? He's a geek, not even a cute geek." Marc finally says. We all shoot him a confused look. "What? its the truth!" I want to so badly defend Noah right then and there, I want to proudly claim him as my boyfriend and that each of them can go screw themselves. But I can't. My chance for basketball fame out rules this urge. Noah is the only guy I like, so does that make me gay? I don't think so. Is he worthy giving up my future for? Probably yes. But I don't even know if we have a future for us. So what does that mean: risk everything I've worked so hard for, for one boy, who may or may not want me in the end. When I'm nothing because basketball is my only identity.

"So what is it Silva. You a fag?.. Can't have no fags on our team. So are you part of this team or not?" Chad vocalizes the question that's been swimming in my head since I heard of this predicament earlier today. Do I pretend to be batting for the same team in order to keep my team ? Or do I give it up for Noah?

"Of course I'm not a fag. Noah's probably making up rumors to sound cool or what not. He's not hot, he's just a nerd I'm using to help me get my English grades up. I'm failing and if it's not a C by the end of semester I'm screwed. Coach says I got to keep it at a C minimum to stay on the team." Okay some of that is true, I am failing English and Coach has warned me about it, I was gonna ask Noah for help, so now this is the perfect excuse to be seen with him. English. To hone in on the point though I continue." I can't believe you think so low of me I would sink to being gay. Like I don't think nothing's wrong with them, well actually I do. I'm just stringing the boy along for the help. He's the top student in our year for crying out loud."
"So you two aren't dating?" Chad questions.
"Of. Course not!" I jump to respond.
"You don't find him attractive?"
"Maybe if he lost the balls and developed two X-chromosomes. But currently hell no."
"So you are only with him for tutoring?"
"Ill admit I've hanged out with him in order to make him think we are friends. But only because of that. He's a weird nerd that I only associated with because of my need for an English tutor."
"What about the rumors?"
"I don't know. I thought he was with Kate. But I can't help it if he finds me more attractive now can I? I've been given these graces by God himself. Not my fault if he has a crush on me. I bet the dweeb started These rumors himself." I say. As these words come out of my mouth in the most nonchalance tone I can muster I see the worry dissipate from my team members faces. They stand there for a moment as to see if I'm about to go back on my words. But I don't. No matter how much I want to. No matter how much I want to make this vile aftertaste go away. but I can't risk it. Noah will understand the lie- I hope.
"Okay cool, we'll catch you inside then" Chad finally says as if satisfied by my answer. He slaps his hand against my back as he passes by me. I feel a sort of uneasiness, but I shrug it off. They all follow suit and enter the house for the party. I'm about to turn around to follow when I notice a little bit of brown flash past me. I turn to see Noah's retreating form. Run straight pass me. Why would he be running from me?

Unless he heard what I just said...

"Noah!" I call out as I run after him. But no response. "Noah!" Again nothing."Noah!"

"Just leave me alone, I'll tutor you in English if that's what you're worried about. Don't have to pretend to like me anymore." He says as he finally stops to catch his breath.

"I didn't mean what I said" I try to reason with him.
"You sounded pretty convincing to me" he bites back
"I just didn't want it to affect the team. I didn't mean a word of it."
"Just give it up Damian, I know it's not true. All of this, I'm special- I'm the only one you care about crap- it's not true. You don't care about me. You can't." He said Damian, he has never called me Damian before. I must have really hurt him. He must believe me- I didn't mean a word of it. But before I can respond he's already walking away again.

I'm about to run after him again. But I'm suddenly pushed back.
"Let him go. He needs space. He deserves better than to be your dirty little secret. I know you didn't mean what you said, but he doesn't and will always doubt himself with you. He needs someone who can help restore his confidence not break it. You don't know the half of what he goes through."
I look up to be met with the pitch black eyes of-
"Ash" I gasp. What's he doing here, what does he know? "You know what's going on in his life?"
"Yes, yes I do"
"But how?"
"It's far more complicated than you can understand. But understand this. Noah deserves better than this- better than you" just like that Ash is walking away. Straddling his motorcycle and following Noah in the direction he just went.

I'm left dumbfounded.

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