Sometimes I lay in bed and stare at my ceiling, imagining what it would be like to be normal.
But normal is such a relative word. What is normal for one person is abnormal for another.
To me, normal is being attracted to girls. Don't get me wrong, girls are beautiful. I can appreciate their curves and their delicateness, for lack of a better word.
There were times during freshman years where I thought that my attraction to boys was nothing more than simple jealousy.
I was jealous of their muscle or their sea green eyes. It wasn't until I got a boner when I saw Magic Mike for the first time that I realized how wrong I was.
It was so much more than jealousy.
I wanted to be attracted to girls because then I would be normal. But every time I would get a hug from a girl, something in me told me it didn't feel right.
I tried, I really did. Bethany Clark was my first and last girl friend. We 'dated' for about a month and I use the term dated loosely.
We never went on an actual date. She just held the title of girlfriend and would hold my hand at lunch. Kissing her felt like when you kiss your grandma goodbye.
"Brandon!" my moms voice echos through the halls, alerting me to breakfast.
I can smell the waffles and bacon from here. I am surprised that I have waited this long to make my move down there. I must have been lost in my own head.
I don't even bother to put on a shirt, I just slip out of my room and pad foot down the stairs to the kitchen in my pajama bottoms.
"Good morning sweetie" mom says, pacing me a steaming plate of food as I walk by.
"Morning mom. Thank you" she smiles at me as she plates the rest of the food.
Her blonde hair piled on her head and her red robe tied gently around her waist. I may be biased, but my mom is the best.
"Matt, if you don't get down here, Brandon is getting your food!" She calls to my dad and I laugh as footsteps sound upstairs coming towards us.
My dad emerges, still in his flannel bottoms and white t-shirt pajamas. He is carrying Max like a sack of potatoes over his shoulder, both laughing.
"I'm sorry. I was collecting your other son." My dad says, kissing my mother gently on the cheek.
I always admired their love. While most kids come from divorced homes, my parents are still so nauseatingly in love. I always wanted a love like that.
However, I don't care how old you are, seeing your parents kiss is just gross.
"Morning Champ." I smile at my dad probably looking like an over stuffed chipmunk stocking up for winter.
But damn these waffles are good.
He has always called me champ ever since I can remember. He is the reason that I actually play sports.
He wanted that all American son who talks sports on Sundays and will play catch in the yard. So far I have met that expectation, but I know it is only a matter of time before her knows the truth.
I am terrified of that reality.
I shake the what ifs out of my head before they can take root.
"Brandon, where were you last night after the game? I wanted to go for Ice cream." Max says, looking at me innocently.
Who knew that a ten year old would be such a pest. I shoot him a glare and reach over attempting to steal his bacon, but his hand is quick to swat me away.
"So" My dad breaks the silence, pouring syrup over his waffles "I met the new boss yesterday. He and his family moved from Atlanta for this position."
I nod my head like I am listening but really a pair of sparkling sea green eyes have crept in. I wonder what Miles is doing today?
No doubt something with Bridget. I don't necessarily hate her. In fact, I think she and I would get along really well.
If she was dating anyone other than Miles.
".... daughter that's Brandon's age." My eyes snap up, catching just the last part of whatever my dad had been saying.
But something that involves me and someones daughter can't really be good for me.
"That's a wonderful idea Matt!" my mom looks excitedly between me and my dad.
"What?" My eyes flit between mom, dad and Max, but none of them repeat whatever was said.
I catch my mom giving my dad a sly look and my heart drops into my stomach. They're planning something and anxiety is creeping in.
"Dad?" My voice cautious as I plead for an answer.
"Look, Lucy moved her for her dad's promotion and obviously doesn't know anyone. She will also be going to North Vale, so what's the harm introducing you?"
I see what they are doing. Shit, I can practically see my mom planning the wedding already. Color schemes, dates, invitations all turning in her head, keeping her eyes lit with an unknown emotion.
Mom always wanted to have a lot of kids, but after Max something went wrong. She has not hidden her desire for at a lot of grandkids to make up for it.
Great, another way I can disappoint them.
Why can't I be normal? What is it that really makes me different than the other boys? I hate that I will disappoint them.
Suddenly, I am not feeling well. My stomach churning and my heart is heavy.
"May I be excused please?" I see Max watching me curiously, but I don't need to fake not feeling well.
Max is way to observant for his own good. But the knot twisting in my stomach is making me feel like I'm going to throw up. So he shouldn't catch on to anything.
"The Jacobs will be here at six for dinner. Be home and dressed." My dad says with a nod. His way of excusing me from the table.
I take the stairs two at a time until I am safe behind my bedroom door. These four light blue walls know all my deep dark secrets but they will never tell; they'll never judge. It's the one place that I don't really have to pretend.
<3 <3 <3 <3
Thank you to everyone reading this story. I gave it a new title for now as I wasn't sure about the old one.
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