Chapter 32

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Avi finally left. Thank God.

Mitch and I went back to my room after lunch where we are currently laying on our stomachs at the foot of my bed playing Mario kart on my xbox. I had just beaten Mitch for the 3rd time in a row when he pouted and put his remote down. 

"Come on, don't be such a baby." I joked. 

"You're a cheater."

"Am not!"

"Are to!" 

"Yeah? Wanna fight?" I chuckled. 

"I will beat you up!" 

"Yeah?"

We both laughed hysterically and I went to turn off my Xbox. "What do you wanna do now?" I asked.

Mitch sat up. "I wanna ask you something."

I finished putting our controllers away before I sat beside him on my bed. "Shoot." 

"Do you think I'm making the wrong choice?" He asked quietly, obviously nervous. 

I sighed. "Look, I was maybe overreacting because Avi frequently collaborates with people that aren't that great and they get made fun of all the time. But you, you're different, and they'll love you. I was just just being a little overprotective I guess... b-because I care about you so much and don't want you to do anything you might regret. Just like right now, I want to tell you something so you won't do anything you'd regret." 

"Tell me what?" He asked, staring at my face in concern. "What's wrong?"

"I-Umm... I haven't been completely 100% honest with you. Well, mostly there's just secrets I've been keeping because- well, because I'm scared."

I looked down at my sweaty palms and tried to find the courage to continue. 

"Scotty? It's okay. I'm your friend." 

"Exactly! That's the problem. You're my friend."

"Wha-what do you mean? You don't wanna be friends with me?" He asked, sounding hurt. 

I looked up then. "No! I mean, yes! I mean.... I don't know?"

I was confusing myself and Mitch looked clueless as well. 

"Scott, if you're trying to say  something just say it. You didn't have to waste my time today if you didn't like hanging out with m-"

"Oh my God, no Mitchie. You're completely missing what I'm trying to say." 

"Oh." He whispered. "Okay, im sorry. Don't feel rushed to say what you need to say... I didn't mean to misconstrue anything."  

"No, it's okay. Just- just hear me out okay?" I took a big gulp. It's now or never. "This is difficult for me to talk about because I haven't ever told anyone before. Anyone. Not even Ben and Jeremy know this about me. I haven't told anyone because I'm scared, afraid of being outed to all of Martin. I'm telling you because.... because to me, you're worth the risk. Even if you hate me after this I will still be able to say that I tried."

Mitch sat and didn't say anything. 

"No, I'm not a murderer, I'm not coming out to you because you already know I'm gay, and I'm not dying. Now... Let's just start from the beginning."

I told him everything about my childhood, my mothers death and my fathers abandonment. He learned about my relationship with the Kaplans, how Avi and Esther are my siblings although I'm not officially adopted into the family. We talked about school and how much I'm struggling. I told him about how many times I've failed my grade and how I might still be stuck at Martin next year. He vowed to help me with my grades and when I asked why he would do that he said he owes me for everything I did for him in show choir and while he was in the hospital. It felt nice to finally open up to him and not feel judged at all. I managed to not completely bawl, but when I talked about my parents Mitch cried his eyes out, making me cry as well. He really had a tiny feeling of what I was going through with all of the problems he has with his dad, so we really connected because of that. At one point during my story Mitch placed a hand on my knee to comfort me and would squeeze if I spoke about something too intense and/or emotional. 

I wasn't surprised by his reaction to Avi and Esther being my siblings. He was just very confused and I didn't blame him. The last thing I was going to tell him about was my age, but right as I was about to- 

"Um, actually. I'm not ready to talk about this yet." 

"Hey, it's okay Scott. You don't have to." He said, squeezing my knee. 

I placed my hand on top of his. "Thank you for listening to me and not hating me. Well, I'm assuming you don't hate me since you're still here and-"

"-Hate you? Why would I-? Scott. You are so strong. you made me realize how easy I have life. Yeah, it's kind of hurtful that you've been lying to me, but I understand why you did it. Plus, I'm the only one you trusted to tell, so that must mean something right? And speaking of trust, your secrets are safe with me."

I grinned "Promise?"

"I swear to God."

"You won't even tell Kirstie or Alexander?"

"Not even Kirstie, definitely not Alex. I don't think he likes you very much..." he frowned.

"That's okay, I'm used to people disliking me." 

"Oh Scotty-"

"-No, it's okay. like I said, I'm used to it. A lot of people love me at Martin but a lot also hate my guts. I'm just happy that I've got you... um-and like, Ben and Jeremy too." I added to not sound awkward.

"Okay... Oh, Scotty?"

"Hm?"

"I was wondering... Kirstie has been very suspicious about you lately. Like, she was against me hanging out with you today. Why is that?"

I gasped. "Oh, right! Maybe you can tell her that we talked, but just don't give her any details please. Okay?" 

"Huh? Why do I need to tell her we talked?"

"Well... She kinda went all mom on me and told me that if I'm not honest with you I need to stay away. My guess is that since she's friends with my sister, Esther slipped up and mentioned something that got Kirstie curious about me."

"Oh, I understand." 

I looked at my wall clock. "We've been talking for like two and a half hours. Do you wanna go do something else? Go home?"

"Oh. Do you want me to go home?" He asked shyly.

I laughed. "No. I really don't. Despite this intense talk, I've really enjoyed our time together today. You're not bad company, you know?"

"Nor are you" He giggled. "I definitely feel closer to you now."

"Same. It feels so good to finally have someone to talk to." 

"I'm happy to be here for you." He blushed.

My hand was still on top of his which was placed on my knees, and I interlocked our fingers. 

My heart was racing and his had to be racing too, judging by his nervous fidgeting. I loved watching him like this, he's a beauty. 

"Mitchy?"

"Hm?"

"Will you be my date to Jeremy's party tomorrow night?"

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