The next day, at school, a bunch of us were eating lunch when Jason took me aside for a moment. "Hey, maybe I shouldn't be asking you this, but have you told any of the other guys about you and me posing nude in my room?"
"Nope. Well, not exactly. Greg and I had a chat about some stuff, but that was mainly about how I'd freaked you out. I figured he was the right guy to talk to 'cause I used to freak him out, too. And I guess I still do."
"Does he ever lose it?"
"Not any more. He's kinda used to me now. He even said I shouldn't change."
"Hey, I'm really stoked to hear you say that! Woohoo!"
"No prob. Just take it easy with me, though. OK?"
"Relax, dude. I ain't gonna bite you."
"Could've fooled me."
It was almost 7pm by the time Paul and I had finished our homework in his room. "No time for sex, dude. I gotta get home for dinner. Hey, listen, do you think you could talk your dad into letting me borrow his digital camera?"
"You're the one with the fucking silver tongue. You ask him."
"Hey, are you pissed that we don't have time for sex? Dumb question. It's written all over your face." I threw my arms around him and kissed him on the lips. "Friday night, dude. We'll do the tent."
"But I'm still grounded!"
Paul was right about my silver tongue. I'd not only managed to talk his folks into allowing him to sleep over on Friday night, but I had the digital camera in my hot little hand as I walked the long way home. Jason was sitting on the front porch as I passed by. He was getting used to my new routine.
"Hi, Jason. Are you doing anything tonight after dinner?"
"You wanna come around?"
"Your turn to visit my house, dude."
"I'll have to check with gran."
"Gimme a call. I'm late already. See ya!"
The moment I opened the front door, I smelt the rich, appetizing aroma of Asian stir-fry. "Mmmm," I said as I entered the kitchen and saw Greg and Andy preparing dinner. "Smells awesome! Hey, is there enough for one more?"
"Jason. Mom? Where's mom?"
"Feeding the dog."
"Mom?" That's as far as I got before I was attacked by a mountain of black and white fur, and licked to within an inch of my young life. "Jeez, Kyle! Your breath's putrid! Yuk! Down boy! Settle! Hey, mom? Is it OK if Jason joins us for dinner?"
"Of course, dear. Your friends are always welcome here."
"Cool. Can you phone his gran?"
"Yeah. Well, you're a woman and she's kinda strict and…"
"You should be doing your own dirty work."
"Awww, c'mon, mom. If I phone, she'll think I'm…"
"Up to something?"
"Yeah, I guess."
"And what are you up to?"
"Then why are you looking so guilty?"
Well, if I did have a silver tongue, I must've gotten it from mom's genes. Jason had arrived within fifteen minutes of mom convincing gran that it was cool. He looked totally wicked as he stood at the front door dressed in a button-up, short-sleeved, cream shirt, baggy blue jeans and white Nikes. He'd gelled his hair so that it was spiky. Neato!
"Hey, dude! It's so rad that you could come. Lemme introduce you to my folks. C'mon in."
Jason was an instant hit with mom and Andy, probably 'cause of his shyness. They were so used to me and Greg being cocky and outrageous, they must've thought that there was hope for teens after all.
"I hope you like Asian food, Jason," mom explained. "It's a little spicy."
"Well, we mostly have regular stuff at home, but I'm willing."
Well, he was not only fucking willing, but he went for seconds, then thirds, all the while telling Andy and Greg how delicious it was. Yadda, yadda, yadda.
"Hey, Jason! Chill dude! You're acting like this is the first time you've ever visited anybody."
"Well, I don't get out a whole bunch. Thanks for phoning my gran, Nancy."
"That's quite alright, Jason. I just hope your gran didn't suspect that my arm was being twisted half way up my back."
It was my turn to do the dishes, but Jason offered to help. "You sure you don't wanna chat with my folks and Greg," I asked.
"It's cool. I do the dishes at home, anyway. Hey, I'm really glad you invited me around. Your folks are wicked cool, and the food was the bomb."
"Yeah, so you said a million times. Glad you enjoyed it, though."
"I don't understand, though. I mean, like why did you invite me?"
"Why were you sitting on your front porch when I passed by?" Maybe I shouldn't have made that remark 'cause Jason went redder than a beet. "Hey, you've been drying the same plate for like ten minutes. Take it easy. OK? Wanna see my room?"
Once all the dishes had been stacked away, I told mom that Jason and I would be in my room for a while. "We're just gonna listen to some music and chill out." Greg didn't wait for an invitation -- he invited himself and sat on the edge of the spare bed next to my new bud. Damn! I wanted to be alone with Jason. I had plans.
"Hey, Jason," Greg began, "I could be way outa line here, but Daniel and I have been talking about some heavy shit, and there's something I want you to know."
Uh, oh! What the fuck was he gonna say? I left Jason to fend for himself as I sat at the comp and booted it, hoping that the distraction would make me invisible.
"Daniel used to freak me out big time, but I've gotten to know him. He's about the coolest dude on the planet. Yeah, he's crazy and he's unpredictable and he's wild, but he would never hurt a fly. What I'm trying to say is, he's not a threat. He'll never be a threat. He's not that kinda dude. If he thinks you're mad at him, he backs off. You get my drift?"
"I think so."
"So don't feel nervous around him. You've got nothing to be nervous about. Daniel's got too much respect for people to do any harm to anybody -- except maybe make them a little crazier than they were before they met him. But that's cool. His kinda crazy is cool."
"Who the fuck are you calling crazy," I grinned.
"You! You fucking lunatic. Anyway, Jason, Daniel's gotta lotta friends, and that's 'cause he's a naturally friendly kinda guy."
"And a hunk," I laughed.
"Fuck off, I'm being serious here. So, Jason, just enjoy the dude. You'll never make a better friend. As for me, well, I've got the best bro I could wish for."
"Jeez, Greg," I interrupted, "you're laying it on a bit fucking thick."
"Whatever," he shrugged. "Anyway, I've said my piece, and I'll leave you guys to chill. Catch ya later."
Jason was silent for some minutes after Greg had split, and was consciously avoiding me. "I guess I'd better go," he said eventually.
"It's only 9."
"My gran freaks."
"Hey, listen, I'm sorry Greg said all that stuff."
"I'm not. It's just that I dunno what to say. My mind's kinda going loopy."
I got up from the comp chair and sat on the bed opposite Jason. "Greg's right about what he said -- I'm not a threat."
"In a way, you are. You like me too much."
"Are you sure that's it?"
Jason stared at the floor for a while, then raised his brown eyes to mine. "No. Maybe that's not it. Maybe what's freaking me is that I like you too much."
"And it scares you?"
"Yeah. It's like things are happening to me that have never happened before. It's like I'm losing control."
"Control of what? Control of the dude you thought you were? Control of the dude you knew before I came along? Hey, you're a bright student. You know about evolution. You know about how things change and grow. So what are you telling me? That you're gonna be exactly the same dude for the rest of your fucking life?"
"It's like I said today at recess -- just take it easy with me." He gazed at me for a moment, then grinned. "OK, OK, I know what you're thinking. Maybe I should go easy on myself."
"Yep. Don't be so hard on yourself, man. It's not like you're tied to your gran, or to anybody else for that matter. You're you. Free as a fucking bird if you wanna be. Flap those fucking wings, man, and feel how good it is to soar amongst the clouds. It's a way cool feeling to be free of other people's shit!"
"Where did you learn all that stuff?"
"I didn't. I just made it up," I laughed. "Hey, you wanna know why I invited you around here tonight?" I went to my desk and grabbed the digital camera.
"What are you gonna do with that?"
"I take back what I said about you being a bright student. Pictures! You dumbass!"
"Pictures? Pictures of what?"
"Listen up. I've got this buddy in South Africa -- Kyle. We've been buds for a while, and I visited him in Cape Town with the school swim team. Later, he came to Tampa with his school team. He's the coolest. Anyway, he's into surfing and fitness big time, and he's got friends who are hunks like you are. Man, you should see his bud Steve. Whoa! I'm talking major! And he's got this other friend Mark who's into boxing and working out."
"What's all that got to do with anything?"
"Hello? Anybody home? Jeez! It's got everything to do with everything! I was gonna take some pics of you and send them to Kyle."
I collapsed onto the bed and stared at the ceiling. "Why me?" Then I sat up again. "You could say that Kyle is a kinda expert… a conny thingy…"
"Yeah, one of those."
"So am I bright now?"
"Shuddup and listen. Anyway, just after I'd met you, I wrote to Kyle 'cause my head was full of shit, and I wanted his advice. He said that he and Mark have a similar relationship. Y'know, Mark gets his fucking knickers in a fucking knot everytime Kyle so much as looks at him. But they're great buds. Mark's just a bit confused and paranoid, that's all. Now I've lost the fucking plot! Where was I? Oh, yeah... So I figured I'd take a few pics of you posing like you did last night…"
"Nude? On the internet? Me? No fucking way, Jose!"
"Hey, Kyle's my bud. He's seen pics of me and I've seen pics of him. It's no biggie."
"You're missing the fucking point, Jason. Kyle's a fucking conno-whatever, and I want his opinion of you. He hangs with the best, man. He knows about bods and sex appeal."
"I can't think. It's all too fast. You're rushing me."
"OK, let's wait. Ten years OK? Jeez, gimme a break!"
"Has anybody ever told you that you've got a silver tongue?"
"Now that you mention it," I grinned.
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Diary Part 126