Chapter Four - Six Months

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"Ever since I met Vicky, we've been really close. I've told her secrets, the kind you would never tell anyone. She's a good person, she never tells - but she always tries to get things to work out. So, when I came out to her about six months ago, she just had to do something."

Gabe listened closely, genuinely caring for the first time in his life about what somebody had to say.

"Everyone in school knows who you are. The famous Gabe Saporta, always the heartbreaker. So obviously I wasn't surprised when she told you guys were friends - she's exactly your type. Pretty, funny, confident, she's everything you'd look for in a friend. Anyway, she saw this as an advantage. So, last night, she dragged me to the party. Told me she wanted me to socialise with people, get out more." William rolled his eyes exasperatedly "Like I said, she's a good person - and she means well, bless her heart - but I'm introverted as fuck. One party wasn't going to get me to socialise with others, I'd just be the same old wallflower.

"Eventually, she got fed up of me standing in the corner on my phone and dragged me out to the back garden. She even locked arms with me so I couldn't run away! The next thing I know, I'm talking to a certain Gabe Saporta who's had one drink too many.

"After twenty minutes of really awkward conversation, she left us to it. I was still completely oblivious as to what was going on, and you were on your seventh drink since I'd started speaking to you. You didn't look too good, and by the way you were acting when you were running off to throw up, I could tell the amount of alcohol in your system wasn't as low as you thought it was. I texted Vicky to let her know that I was taking you home, and she texted me again this morning to tell me that she'd beat up the fucker that spiked your drink."

Gabe laughed, hiding his mouth behind the back of his hand. "Remind me to thank her next time I see her."

"Anyway," William smiled, somewhat in awe of Gabe's presence "We went out the back gate to avoid going back through the house, and you threw up in Alex's neighbour's plant pot. So you should probably apologise to him in advance, I'm pretty sure that's the same neighbour that threaten to call an exorcist on him.

"After that, you promised not to throw up on my shoes, and lead me to your place. You then took my phone out of my hand, clumsily put in your number, and told me to call you in the morning. Then you tried to kiss me on the cheek, and went in. It wasn't until this morning when you told me you were bi that I realised what Vicky's actual plan was."

"She wasn't... Was she?" normally Gabe wouldn't believe a mild conspiracy like this, but he never doubted for one second that Vicky would do that.

"Yep." William finished his coffee, surprised at how cold it had gotten in the past few minutes.

"If it was anybody else, I wouldn't believe you." Gabe stood up, taking his and William's mugs and putting them in the sink, before returning to his seat. "But that is the most Vicky thing I've ever heard. An elaborate plan to get two people together just because they both like boys."

"It was hardly elaborate." William smiled, rolling his eyes. "Just very... Vicky."

Gabe raised his eyebrows in agreement, and an awkward silence fell over them once more. William spoke first.

"When did you know? That you liked boys?"

Gabe thought for a bit, trying to figure out just how long it'd been.

"Four years. I guess I'd probably known before that, but until then I'd just pushed it away. It's not really something you put much thought into when you're ten, is it? Yeah, I'm pretty sure I was thirteen when I properly accepted it."

"When did you come out?" William was so curious about Gabe's experiences, they were so different to his own that he was utterly fascinated.

"Technically, I haven't," Gabe shrugged, trying to find the words to explain it all "I've never come out as bisexual, but if people want to know, I'm sure as Hell not going to deny it."

William was, once again, in total awe of Gabe. His overall confidence in his sexuality was in no way similar to William's. They were polar opposites.

"What about you? What's your story?" Gabe inquired.

"I only realised about six months ago." William hung his head shamefully "I told Vicky straight away, I thought she'd be able to help in some way. I haven't told anybody else, you're the only other person that knows. I'm not that popular as it is, I'd rather not become subject to hate crime, too."

Gabe put a sympathetic hand on William's shoulder, a matching expression plastered on his face. William lifted his head and his tearful eyes met with Gabe's.

"It's hard, Gabe. It's fucking hard. It's taken me six months to tell two people. Six months. And sixteen years just to figure it out myself. God, I'm such a failure."

Tears began to spill from his eyes and Gabe stood up. He took William by the hand and helped him up, then wrapped his arms around his skinny torso. William sobbed into Gabe's shoulder as Gabe rubbed his back soothingly, holding him tight. Eventually, William pulled away, wiping his tears with the back of his hand and apologising incoherently about the wet patch he'd left on Gabe's shirt.

"Hey, it's alright. It's just water, it's not ruined." Gabe brushed William's hair out of his face so he could look him in the eye as he spoke. "Look. I know what it's like to be queer. And yeah, I haven't had the exact same experience as you, but I know enough to be able to help. Being gay, it's not all sunshine and rainbows like people think. It's hard as Hell, but I'm going to help you through this. You didn't realise until you were sixteen? So fucking what? Some people don't even realise until they're in their fifties. You've only come out to two people? So fucking what? Some people spend their entire lives in the closet. Just because you haven't had the 'typical gay experience', doesn't mean you're unsuccessful. You're just doing you, one step at a time."

William started to cry again.

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