Barriers Ch. 03

The bell rang for my last class of the day and like clockwork my phone vibrated.

"I'll be waiting out front hurry up."

I stood at my locker contemplating blowing Jon off. I really just wanted to go home and shut myself off from the world. I decided against it because Jon would just bang on my door until I gave in to him. I walked out and hopped in his car.

"I'm really sorry about this morning. I really just lose my temper when dealing with Jenna. I've never had someone hate me so much for no reason." He scratched the back of his head with his left hand as he drove down Plainvell Rd.

"Yeah whatever. Where are we going?" I noticed Jon drove past the commercial area and we were heading towards the park.

"You need to get out more, I figure the park is a good place to start."

"Fuck you. Pull over so I can walk home."

"You're not going home to drink more dipshit." He quickly changed his tone from repentant to pissed off.

"Here you go again trying to take me on a fucking date. As soon as you stop this car I'm walking away from you."

"I'm not taking you out on a date. It would be nice to see if you're actually a decent human being when you're not drunk off your ass or hung over from drinking like an ass."

"We've gone over this Jon. I don't like thinking about myself. I get drunk to forget about my fucking problems."

"Or you could be an actual human being and fix your problems instead of drinking them away."

"I'm far from an actual human being Jon. Holy fuck you're so fucking arrogant."

Jon parked his car by the Nature Trail

.

"Look." He turned at looked me in the eyes. Something about the way he looked in the sun made him look amazing. My white shirt was glowing and accentuating his biceps. I could see my reflection is his eye. It stopped me from opening the door. "You have a fucking problem. You're always miserable. You have no friends and it's your fucking senior year. It's time to man up and solve your problems instead of shutting off everyone like you always do."

"Holy crap." I snapped out of my trance and stepped out of the car. "You're only doing this so you can fuck me." I walked off back towards the mall. "You can't fucking tell me what to do. I'm not your fucking boyfriend."

"You can't keep running from your problems Jason." He got out of his car as he shouted at me. He snatched my arm and turned me around. He had a vice grip on me with zero intention of letting go. "I'm not fucking letting go and I'm definitely not going to let you go home."

"Let go, that fucking hurts."

"Nope. Not until you listen to me." He pulled me in close and hugged me tight. "You need someone in your life that won't put up with your stupid fucking attitude. You're not a waste of life like you think you are. The guy that I'm in love with isn't a waste of my time." He squeezed me again. I couldn't help but calm down. Something about being hugged in such a loving way, knowing that someone in the universe cared enough to stick around through my problems made drop my guard. I thought back the last night where Jon held me in my bed. Something about this warmth felt amazing.

"If I let go are you gonna walk away?"

"Don't let go..." I mumbled.

"Heh. Ok Jason. God you're so cute I wish I could kiss you again."

I entertained the thought for about a minute as he held me but decided against it. If I rushed myself into whatever we were getting into it would fail just like everything else in my life. I wasn't even sure if I actually even liked Jon. This could easily just be me latching onto someone who's giving me attention. My silence told him everything he needed to know.

"I'm in no rush, I can wait for you to move forward, but just give me a chance is all I ask. Give me a chance to make you feel better. Trust me."

He's been so patient over the past 6 months. He kept waiting for me to move forward into whatever we were. Maybe I should be giving this guy a chance.

"Come on, it's been a half hour and I'm starving. Let's go get something to eat."

"But the park..."

"Can wait for another day where you're ready. Right now you just need to get back to being healthy again and that starts with you eating regularly." He let go and moved back to his car. I followed into the passenger seat.

"Did you mean it?"

"Mean what?"

"You love me..."

"Ah crap my words get me in trouble again. I'll get back to you on that." Jon parked at the mall quickly and hopped right out of the car. He clearly didn't want to walk about it.

"I'm in the mood for a burger, let's hit up the Meat Hog."

"Jon you can say you didn't mean it I won't hold it against you."

"It's just I didn't want you to run away because I felt like if you did I would never hear the end of it at school because Jenna is such a bitch and..."

"So you can just throw out the word like that?"

"No." He stopped clearly mad at himself for digging his hole. "I like you a lot. Like... a lot. It's pretty close to love I think. That doesn't change that I shouldn't have said it and now we're in this situation. I'm an idiot I know." He turned around and smirked. "It's hard walking on egg shells, and even though I I don't wanna I'm gonna screw up a lot. It's just life. Now come on I really am starving."

About fifteen minutes and some idle chit chat later, the waiter brought over our food. I had a buffalo wing appetizer while Jon ordered what seemed like a mountain of food.

"I've been eating so much since I've been going to the gym more often nowadays. Feel free to have anything you want."

"Oh im fine..."

"Everything ok?"

"Just seems kinda...dateish don't you think?"

"Nah this isn't a date, I wouldn't be eating this if it was." Jon forced some unholy burger concoction in his mouth. "Just think of it as bros grabbing lunch." He said with a full mouth,

After seeing him eat I saw his point. He must have been extremely hungry because he was really digging in. It was kinda revolting. I shrugged and began eating as well. After about an hour and several empty plates later Jon picked up the check despite my protests and we were off to my place.

"It's your birthday tomorrow isn't it?"

"How did you know?"

"I think when you know someone for six months you should know their birthday. That or I like you a lot so I should know your birthday. Whoops missed the turn." Jon was getting nervous.

"Well it is tomorrow and before you ask I have no plans."

"Perfect, don't plan anything then I have an idea." He scratched the back of his head.

"Are you gonna tell me this plan or is it a surprise?"

"If you want me to tell you I will but I would rather surprise you, I think you'll love it."

We pulled up in front of my house. Jenna was already waiting on my doorstep. The look of disgust on her face as she finished her cigarette might of bent steel. I figured I should end our conversation quick.

"Uh so yeah. Thanks for everything and I'll see you tommorow." I opened the door and got out.

"Jason your things." Jon took my hoodie and shirt off and handed them to me. I got another good look at him. His Calvin Klein boxer briefs were sticking out of my sweatpants too. Fuck he looked so good. If I had any mental fortitude I would fuck him right then and there.

"Oh uh...thanks."

"No problem. Try and cut back on the drinking tonight. Alright see ya." He drove off slow and winked at Jenna knowing it would piss her off.

"Fucking pig." She tossed her cigarette onto my lawn as I walked up to meet her. "You just won't listen to me will you? He's gonna take your virginity then peace out like he did with every cheerleader he's ever been with."

"I think six months is a lot of time to waste on me if he just wants to fuck." I opened my door and made sure the housekeeper was gone.

"You're so naive Jason." She walked over and opened my liquor cabinet and took out the bottle of grey goose. "Some pretty boy pays attention to you and tells you he likes you and you're fucking putty in his hands." She poured two shots and downed one immediately. "Come on today sucked and Marky wouldn't go to the gym with me. I wanna get buzzed." She handed me the other shot glass.

I shrugged and downed it in one gulp.

"You know what we should do?" She took the glasses and the bottle and walked towards the basement.

"What?"

"Watch a movie tonight!"

"Ok I'll fire up Netflix and..."

"No let's go out! We never go out!"

"But we're already drinking..."

"Oh now that Jonathan Han is in the picture you don't wanna drive a little buzzed?" I hated this tension between the two of them. It really made hanging out with either of them incredibly awkward and hostile.

"No, theres a shit ton things to watch on Netflix and I've been out all day. I'd also rather not have people see me in public now that everyone and their mother knows Jon is pursuing me." I grabbed the bottle out of her hands and took a gulp out of it.

"Ugh fine, but we're going out tommorow for your birthday. I know your parents gave you a shit ton of money since they're nowhere to be seen."

"You know my house way too well."

"Of course!" She came over and hugged me. "Now what did you wanna watch? I'm in the mood for something animated."

"We haven't see frozen yet right?"

"You're so fucking smart Jason holy shit."

"You're already drunk."

"Shut up."

I laughed as I pushed her off me and turned on my computer. My Facebook was open from like 2 days ago when I last touched it and I couldn't help but notice the dozens of friend requests I received. I guess everyone wants to know you when your schools point guard wants to date you. I shrugged it off and put on Frozen.

As a general rule whenever we watch a movie, we make up a drinking game. Every time a character sang we drank. Everything a pet was introduced or an inanimate object was brought to life we drank. Every time a fairy tale cliché appeared we drank. As anyone who's seen the movie could imagine we got trashed pretty damn quickly.

Two hours later the movie ended and we laid there unsure what to do next.

"I'm hungry..." Jenna moaned completely gone.

"Yeah me too, what time is it?" I looked at my TV to see it was about 6:15.

"Jasonnn lets go outttt."

"We're far too drunk to drive anywhere." I picked up the bottle we brought down and finished it. "Let's just call in a pizza."

"I don't want pizza I want taco bell." This was a regular conversation, eventually I would give in and drive but tonight Jenna had other plans.

"I have an idea!" She sat up really quickly and held her head. "I can get Marky to bring us taco bell! Or even better he can drive us there and back!"

"Bitch he's not coming anywhere near my house nor am I getting in his car. God knows he would posion my taco and put pictures of me throwing up on Facebook." I started walking upstairs for more liquor. "What do you want? Rum or Gin?"

"I want Marky to take us to taco belllll, but if you're gonna be a dick about this I guess Rum." She laid back down texting who I could only assume was Houston.

I came back downstairs with some Captain Morgan and knew Jenna was up to no good when she had her pouty face on.

"Don't be mad."

"Good luck. He's on his way isn't he?"

"He really cares about me Jason, and he's grown up too. He would never do anything to harm you and has constant guilt about what he did whenever he sees me."

"Im sure." I poured both of us another shot.

"Look hun, he said he would drive us there and back. He won't say a word and if he makes you mad I will never impose this on you ever again." She came over and hugged me. Jenna never asked a lot out of me but I could tell she was really happy about her relationship and just wanted things to work for her. "I'll be nicer to Johnny if you say yessss."

"You swear he won't say a word?"

"Not even to order food he already texted me his order!" She shoved her phone in my face. Girl was the whitest of white girl wasted.

"I can't convince you otherwise can i?"

"Oh Jason I love you so much thank you!" She clinged onto me and took her shot. "To being the best friend ever!"

A half hour later Jenna's phone vibrated signaling that Houston was here. We stumbled out of the house arm in arm and I locked my door. She got in the front seat and I laid down in the back.

"BABYYYYY IM SO GLAD YOU'RE HERE!" She screamed.

"JENNA YOU'RE SCREAMING HUN!" I yelled just as loud not because I was drunk but because I was about to make Houston regret his decision

"I AM NOT!"

"YOU ARE TOO!"

"WHATEVER TO TACO SMELL!"

Houston didn't say a word like he said and began driving. I couldn't see much because I was laying down but I could tell Jenna was all over her boyfriend whispering something. It felt like an eternity before we got there. Half because I was gone, half because I had to listen to murmurs and giggling.

"WE'RE HEREEEE!" Jenna looked back at me laying down. "GET UP BITCH IM SO FUCKING HUNGRY."

I got up and walked ahead of the adoring couple. They would order their own food and I would get my own I figured.

"Hello and welcome to Taco Bell Jon's boyfriend." Leena Patel, one of the many school gossips was at the cash register.

"We're not together." I slurred. "Just give me what I always get."

"If you say so. 3 tacos, a drink, and an order of Potatoes. That's $5" We were definitely here way too much because she knew that by heart. I swiped my card and moved aside to pour myself a soda.

"I want...this is too hard I can barely see!" Jenna giggled. "Baby order for us pleaseeeeeeee."

Houston gave her a glare because all 3 of us knew he wasn't supposed to say anything.

"Oh it's fine Jason understands how gone I am." She smiled at me.

Houston and I looked at each other. I shrugged and went to get a straw, signaling that it was fine if he talked.

He sighed in relief and ordered what I thought would just be food for him and her.

What seemed like an eternity of staring at the celling we picked up our food.

"Enjoy! Tell Jon he needs to sign up for Mr. Wilson next month!!" Leena was determined to get a confirmation out of me.

"We're not dating, I wouldn't be drunk on a Thursday if he had anything to say about it." I laughed as I walked to the exit.

"BABE THAT'S A LOT OF FOOD IS THAT FOR JUST US?"

"No it's for everyone else. Remember? You said you would be there?"

I knew it. Jenna was prioritizing her new fuckstick over me. She was now officially lying to me. She had no intention of staying over she probably would of just snuck out when I passed out if I refused to go to Taco Bell.

Everyone was quiet in the as we approached my place.

"Well have fun you two. Houston it was a pleasure as always." I said bitterly as I got out of the car.

"Sweetie wait." Jenna hopped out of the car mouthing for Houston to wait.

"Don't fucking say anything."

"Honey he wants to come to the party to show you he's sorry!"

"Don't give me that bullshit Jenna we both know you're lying. You had no intention of staying tonight. You were gonna sneak out later and go see him."

"Jason stop I'm serious there are like 30 people at his place waiting on us!"

"What on earth are you even thinking right now? You think I would even want to go?" I dropped my bag to the ground and was ready to cry. "You're lying to me now. After 2 years and knowing how hard it is for me to trust anyone you do this to me."

"Oh please you're going off and fuckin Jon fucking Han and you're gonna call me the liar???"

"I haven't done a fucking thing with him Jenna. Unlike you I keep my fucking promises."

"What the fuck does it matter? If you were my friend you wouldn't keep talking to him. Marks been trying to date me for a year. I finally said yes because I was so sick of seeing Jon with you and seeing how happy you were. You're doing the exact same fucking thing to me bitch."

"Oh so that's what this is about? That's how you get back at me? Fine Jenna go enjoy your fucking party. I don't give a shit anymore." I picked up my bag and wiped the tears off my face with my sleeve. "Have a fucking great time bitch I hope he doesn't drug you and humiliate you."

"FINE WHATEVER!" She threw her hands up in the air and stumbled back to the car. "Ok babe whatever let's just go."

I walked up to my house and fumbled with my keys. I kept struggling to find my house key between my impaired vision and the tears coming out of my eyes. After 3 minutes I felt someone grab the keys and open my door. Houston picked up my bag and guided me downstairs.

"What the fuck are you doing you piece of shit get the fuck out of my house."

"Jason stop doing this."

"GET OUT." I walked straight to the bottle of rum and took a large gulp and put it down. "I WILL NEVER FUCKING FORGIVE YOU FOR WHAT YOU DID TO ME."

Houston walked over and brought me in for a long hug. I attempted to struggle for a good minute while he embraced me. I felt tears on my shoulder.

"I'M FUCKING SORRY OK? I WAS FUCKING YOUNG. I FELL IN LOVE WITH YOU AND I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. I NEEDED TO PUSH YOU AWAY BECAUSE I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MY FEELINGS. I DIDN'T WANT IT TO TURN OUT LIKE THIS. I'M A FUCKING COWARD OK?" He could barely talk because of how badly he was sobbing. "IT JUST...ITS JUST...IM FUCKING STUPID OK?!??! YOU WERE MY BEST FRIEND AND I WAS IN LOVE WITH YOU. I STILL AM! PLEASE JUST FUCKING FORGIVE ME BEFORE I LOSE YOU TO THAT FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT!"

I was finally able to push him off me. I couldn't believe it. He was in love with me this entire time. Throughout our entire history of school. Through all the awful pranks and the humiliation he was trying to fight off his feelings for me.

"Get out."

"Jason please I can't fucking stand that Jon is going to win you. I've been trying to years to work up the courage to deal with my feelings for you and now Jon Fucking Han is going to be your fucking boyfriend. It's just...Please just forgive me so we can try and be happy again." He walked up and picked up picked up my face with both his hands. For the first time in a nearly a decade I saw Mark Houston vulnerable and scared. "Please...just give me a chance to make things right. I can't lose you to him."

"Get out Houston. I meant everything I said. I will never forgive you. You and Jenna must have tried to come up with this plan for a couple months at the very least." I looked away and pushed his hands down. "It didn't work. You lost. I'm gonna try and be happy with Jon. I'm gonna try and work out all the years of abuse and misery that's turned me into a cold alcoholic. All this work that you did." I walked away.

"Jason...just know that I'm sorry and if you ever want to give me a chance..."

"Get the fuck out."

Houston knew he had lost. He began walking upstairs.

"If Jon hurts you in any way I'm going to kill him."

"You should probably kill yourself first. Considering the circumstance no?"

Houston looked at me one more time before he closed the door. His eyes told me everything.

I sat down at my computer at put on some music and lit a cigarette. The drama just wouldn't stop. After putting out my cigarette and eating my food I decided I would text Jon.

"Hey."

"Whats up?"

"Houston confessed his love for me in an effort to get me to stop seeing you."

"Are you serious? Mark Houston is gay?"

"Apparently it's why he bullied me for 5 years."

"What a fucking idiot. Are you ok? I would run over there but I have to close the restaurant tonight."

"I'm fine. I just can't wait to see what you have planned for tommorow."

"So you're excited? :)"

"Thrilled in fact. :)"

"Well get some sleep and I'll be there nice and early. Maybe we shouldn't go to school tommorow. It's been one hell of a week for you."

"Sounds good."

"Oh and happy birthday Jason Andrews. Let's make it your best one ever."

I looked at the clock. It was somehow midnight. I had no idea where the time had gone. I got up and decided to shower before bed. After putting on some fresh sleeping clothes I walked over to my bed. I noticed next to my bed was the clothes Jon had worn today. I picked up the hoodie and put it on. It still smelled like him. Between the smell and the warmth I was able to imagine him holding me as I drifted off to sleep.The bell rang for my last class of the day and like clockwork my phone vibrated.

"I'll be waiting out front hurry up."

I stood at my locker contemplating blowing Jon off. I really just wanted to go home and shut myself off from the world. I decided against it because Jon would just bang on my door until I gave in to him. I walked out and hopped in his car.

"I'm really sorry about this morning. I really just lose my temper when dealing with Jenna. I've never had someone hate me so much for no reason." He scratched the back of his head with his left hand as he drove down Plainvell Rd.

"Yeah whatever. Where are we going?" I noticed Jon drove past the commercial area and we were heading towards the park.

"You need to get out more, I figure the park is a good place to start."

"Fuck you. Pull over so I can walk home."

"You're not going home to drink more dipshit." He quickly changed his tone from repentant to pissed off.

"Here you go again trying to take me on a fucking date. As soon as you stop this car I'm walking away from you."

"I'm not taking you out on a date. It would be nice to see if you're actually a decent human being when you're not drunk off your ass or hung over from drinking like an ass."

"We've gone over this Jon. I don't like thinking about myself. I get drunk to forget about my fucking problems."

"Or you could be an actual human being and fix your problems instead of drinking them away."

"I'm far from an actual human being Jon. Holy fuck you're so fucking arrogant."

Jon parked his car by the Nature Trail

.

"Look." He turned at looked me in the eyes. Something about the way he looked in the sun made him look amazing. My white shirt was glowing and accentuating his biceps. I could see my reflection is his eye. It stopped me from opening the door. "You have a fucking problem. You're always miserable. You have no friends and it's your fucking senior year. It's time to man up and solve your problems instead of shutting off everyone like you always do."

"Holy crap." I snapped out of my trance and stepped out of the car. "You're only doing this so you can fuck me." I walked off back towards the mall. "You can't fucking tell me what to do. I'm not your fucking boyfriend."

"You can't keep running from your problems Jason." He got out of his car as he shouted at me. He snatched my arm and turned me around. He had a vice grip on me with zero intention of letting go. "I'm not fucking letting go and I'm definitely not going to let you go home."

"Let go, that fucking hurts."

"Nope. Not until you listen to me." He pulled me in close and hugged me tight. "You need someone in your life that won't put up with your stupid fucking attitude. You're not a waste of life like you think you are. The guy that I'm in love with isn't a waste of my time." He squeezed me again. I couldn't help but calm down. Something about being hugged in such a loving way, knowing that someone in the universe cared enough to stick around through my problems made drop my guard. I thought back the last night where Jon held me in my bed. Something about this warmth felt amazing.

"If I let go are you gonna walk away?"

"Don't let go..." I mumbled.

"Heh. Ok Jason. God you're so cute I wish I could kiss you again."

I entertained the thought for about a minute as he held me but decided against it. If I rushed myself into whatever we were getting into it would fail just like everything else in my life. I wasn't even sure if I actually even liked Jon. This could easily just be me latching onto someone who's giving me attention. My silence told him everything he needed to know.

"I'm in no rush, I can wait for you to move forward, but just give me a chance is all I ask. Give me a chance to make you feel better. Trust me."

He's been so patient over the past 6 months. He kept waiting for me to move forward into whatever we were. Maybe I should be giving this guy a chance.

"Come on, it's been a half hour and I'm starving. Let's go get something to eat."

"But the park..."

"Can wait for another day where you're ready. Right now you just need to get back to being healthy again and that starts with you eating regularly." He let go and moved back to his car. I followed into the passenger seat.

"Did you mean it?"

"Mean what?"

"You love me..."

"Ah crap my words get me in trouble again. I'll get back to you on that." Jon parked at the mall quickly and hopped right out of the car. He clearly didn't want to walk about it.

"I'm in the mood for a burger, let's hit up the Meat Hog."

"Jon you can say you didn't mean it I won't hold it against you."

"It's just I didn't want you to run away because I felt like if you did I would never hear the end of it at school because Jenna is such a bitch and..."

"So you can just throw out the word like that?"

"No." He stopped clearly mad at himself for digging his hole. "I like you a lot. Like... a lot. It's pretty close to love I think. That doesn't change that I shouldn't have said it and now we're in this situation. I'm an idiot I know." He turned around and smirked. "It's hard walking on egg shells, and even though I I don't wanna I'm gonna screw up a lot. It's just life. Now come on I really am starving."

About fifteen minutes and some idle chit chat later, the waiter brought over our food. I had a buffalo wing appetizer while Jon ordered what seemed like a mountain of food.

"I've been eating so much since I've been going to the gym more often nowadays. Feel free to have anything you want."

"Oh im fine..."

"Everything ok?"

"Just seems kinda...dateish don't you think?"

"Nah this isn't a date, I wouldn't be eating this if it was." Jon forced some unholy burger concoction in his mouth. "Just think of it as bros grabbing lunch." He said with a full mouth,

After seeing him eat I saw his point. He must have been extremely hungry because he was really digging in. It was kinda revolting. I shrugged and began eating as well. After about an hour and several empty plates later Jon picked up the check despite my protests and we were off to my place.

"It's your birthday tomorrow isn't it?"

"How did you know?"

"I think when you know someone for six months you should know their birthday. That or I like you a lot so I should know your birthday. Whoops missed the turn." Jon was getting nervous.

"Well it is tomorrow and before you ask I have no plans."

"Perfect, don't plan anything then I have an idea." He scratched the back of his head.

"Are you gonna tell me this plan or is it a surprise?"

"If you want me to tell you I will but I would rather surprise you, I think you'll love it."

We pulled up in front of my house. Jenna was already waiting on my doorstep. The look of disgust on her face as she finished her cigarette might of bent steel. I figured I should end our conversation quick.

"Uh so yeah. Thanks for everything and I'll see you tommorow." I opened the door and got out.

"Jason your things." Jon took my hoodie and shirt off and handed them to me. I got another good look at him. His Calvin Klein boxer briefs were sticking out of my sweatpants too. Fuck he looked so good. If I had any mental fortitude I would fuck him right then and there.

"Oh uh...thanks."

"No problem. Try and cut back on the drinking tonight. Alright see ya." He drove off slow and winked at Jenna knowing it would piss her off.

"Fucking pig." She tossed her cigarette onto my lawn as I walked up to meet her. "You just won't listen to me will you? He's gonna take your virginity then peace out like he did with every cheerleader he's ever been with."

"I think six months is a lot of time to waste on me if he just wants to fuck." I opened my door and made sure the housekeeper was gone.

"You're so naive Jason." She walked over and opened my liquor cabinet and took out the bottle of grey goose. "Some pretty boy pays attention to you and tells you he likes you and you're fucking putty in his hands." She poured two shots and downed one immediately. "Come on today sucked and Marky wouldn't go to the gym with me. I wanna get buzzed." She handed me the other shot glass.

I shrugged and downed it in one gulp.

"You know what we should do?" She took the glasses and the bottle and walked towards the basement.

"What?"

"Watch a movie tonight!"

"Ok I'll fire up Netflix and..."

"No let's go out! We never go out!"

"But we're already drinking..."

"Oh now that Jonathan Han is in the picture you don't wanna drive a little buzzed?" I hated this tension between the two of them. It really made hanging out with either of them incredibly awkward and hostile.

"No, theres a shit ton things to watch on Netflix and I've been out all day. I'd also rather not have people see me in public now that everyone and their mother knows Jon is pursuing me." I grabbed the bottle out of her hands and took a gulp out of it.

"Ugh fine, but we're going out tommorow for your birthday. I know your parents gave you a shit ton of money since they're nowhere to be seen."

"You know my house way too well."

"Of course!" She came over and hugged me. "Now what did you wanna watch? I'm in the mood for something animated."

"We haven't see frozen yet right?"

"You're so fucking smart Jason holy shit."

"You're already drunk."

"Shut up."

I laughed as I pushed her off me and turned on my computer. My Facebook was open from like 2 days ago when I last touched it and I couldn't help but notice the dozens of friend requests I received. I guess everyone wants to know you when your schools point guard wants to date you. I shrugged it off and put on Frozen.

As a general rule whenever we watch a movie, we make up a drinking game. Every time a character sang we drank. Everything a pet was introduced or an inanimate object was brought to life we drank. Every time a fairy tale cliché appeared we drank. As anyone who's seen the movie could imagine we got trashed pretty damn quickly.

Two hours later the movie ended and we laid there unsure what to do next.

"I'm hungry..." Jenna moaned completely gone.

"Yeah me too, what time is it?" I looked at my TV to see it was about 6:15.

"Jasonnn lets go outttt."

"We're far too drunk to drive anywhere." I picked up the bottle we brought down and finished it. "Let's just call in a pizza."

"I don't want pizza I want taco bell." This was a regular conversation, eventually I would give in and drive but tonight Jenna had other plans.

"I have an idea!" She sat up really quickly and held her head. "I can get Marky to bring us taco bell! Or even better he can drive us there and back!"

"Bitch he's not coming anywhere near my house nor am I getting in his car. God knows he would posion my taco and put pictures of me throwing up on Facebook." I started walking upstairs for more liquor. "What do you want? Rum or Gin?"

"I want Marky to take us to taco belllll, but if you're gonna be a dick about this I guess Rum." She laid back down texting who I could only assume was Houston.

I came back downstairs with some Captain Morgan and knew Jenna was up to no good when she had her pouty face on.

"Don't be mad."

"Good luck. He's on his way isn't he?"

"He really cares about me Jason, and he's grown up too. He would never do anything to harm you and has constant guilt about what he did whenever he sees me."

"Im sure." I poured both of us another shot.

"Look hun, he said he would drive us there and back. He won't say a word and if he makes you mad I will never impose this on you ever again." She came over and hugged me. Jenna never asked a lot out of me but I could tell she was really happy about her relationship and just wanted things to work for her. "I'll be nicer to Johnny if you say yessss."

"You swear he won't say a word?"

"Not even to order food he already texted me his order!" She shoved her phone in my face. Girl was the whitest of white girl wasted.

"I can't convince you otherwise can i?"

"Oh Jason I love you so much thank you!" She clinged onto me and took her shot. "To being the best friend ever!"

A half hour later Jenna's phone vibrated signaling that Houston was here. We stumbled out of the house arm in arm and I locked my door. She got in the front seat and I laid down in the back.

"BABYYYYY IM SO GLAD YOU'RE HERE!" She screamed.

"JENNA YOU'RE SCREAMING HUN!" I yelled just as loud not because I was drunk but because I was about to make Houston regret his decision

"I AM NOT!"

"YOU ARE TOO!"

"WHATEVER TO TACO SMELL!"

Houston didn't say a word like he said and began driving. I couldn't see much because I was laying down but I could tell Jenna was all over her boyfriend whispering something. It felt like an eternity before we got there. Half because I was gone, half because I had to listen to murmurs and giggling.

"WE'RE HEREEEE!" Jenna looked back at me laying down. "GET UP BITCH IM SO FUCKING HUNGRY."

I got up and walked ahead of the adoring couple. They would order their own food and I would get my own I figured.

"Hello and welcome to Taco Bell Jon's boyfriend." Leena Patel, one of the many school gossips was at the cash register.

"We're not together." I slurred. "Just give me what I always get."

"If you say so. 3 tacos, a drink, and an order of Potatoes. That's $5" We were definitely here way too much because she knew that by heart. I swiped my card and moved aside to pour myself a soda.

"I want...this is too hard I can barely see!" Jenna giggled. "Baby order for us pleaseeeeeeee."

Houston gave her a glare because all 3 of us knew he wasn't supposed to say anything.

"Oh it's fine Jason understands how gone I am." She smiled at me.

Houston and I looked at each other. I shrugged and went to get a straw, signaling that it was fine if he talked.

He sighed in relief and ordered what I thought would just be food for him and her.

What seemed like an eternity of staring at the celling we picked up our food.

"Enjoy! Tell Jon he needs to sign up for Mr. Wilson next month!!" Leena was determined to get a confirmation out of me.

"We're not dating, I wouldn't be drunk on a Thursday if he had anything to say about it." I laughed as I walked to the exit.

"BABE THAT'S A LOT OF FOOD IS THAT FOR JUST US?"

"No it's for everyone else. Remember? You said you would be there?"

I knew it. Jenna was prioritizing her new fuckstick over me. She was now officially lying to me. She had no intention of staying over she probably would of just snuck out when I passed out if I refused to go to Taco Bell.

Everyone was quiet in the as we approached my place.

"Well have fun you two. Houston it was a pleasure as always." I said bitterly as I got out of the car.

"Sweetie wait." Jenna hopped out of the car mouthing for Houston to wait.

"Don't fucking say anything."

"Honey he wants to come to the party to show you he's sorry!"

"Don't give me that bullshit Jenna we both know you're lying. You had no intention of staying tonight. You were gonna sneak out later and go see him."

"Jason stop I'm serious there are like 30 people at his place waiting on us!"

"What on earth are you even thinking right now? You think I would even want to go?" I dropped my bag to the ground and was ready to cry. "You're lying to me now. After 2 years and knowing how hard it is for me to trust anyone you do this to me."

"Oh please you're going off and fuckin Jon fucking Han and you're gonna call me the liar???"

"I haven't done a fucking thing with him Jenna. Unlike you I keep my fucking promises."

"What the fuck does it matter? If you were my friend you wouldn't keep talking to him. Marks been trying to date me for a year. I finally said yes because I was so sick of seeing Jon with you and seeing how happy you were. You're doing the exact same fucking thing to me bitch."

"Oh so that's what this is about? That's how you get back at me? Fine Jenna go enjoy your fucking party. I don't give a shit anymore." I picked up my bag and wiped the tears off my face with my sleeve. "Have a fucking great time bitch I hope he doesn't drug you and humiliate you."

"FINE WHATEVER!" She threw her hands up in the air and stumbled back to the car. "Ok babe whatever let's just go."

I walked up to my house and fumbled with my keys. I kept struggling to find my house key between my impaired vision and the tears coming out of my eyes. After 3 minutes I felt someone grab the keys and open my door. Houston picked up my bag and guided me downstairs.

"What the fuck are you doing you piece of shit get the fuck out of my house."

"Jason stop doing this."

"GET OUT." I walked straight to the bottle of rum and took a large gulp and put it down. "I WILL NEVER FUCKING FORGIVE YOU FOR WHAT YOU DID TO ME."

Houston walked over and brought me in for a long hug. I attempted to struggle for a good minute while he embraced me. I felt tears on my shoulder.

"I'M FUCKING SORRY OK? I WAS FUCKING YOUNG. I FELL IN LOVE WITH YOU AND I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. I NEEDED TO PUSH YOU AWAY BECAUSE I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MY FEELINGS. I DIDN'T WANT IT TO TURN OUT LIKE THIS. I'M A FUCKING COWARD OK?" He could barely talk because of how badly he was sobbing. "IT JUST...ITS JUST...IM FUCKING STUPID OK?!??! YOU WERE MY BEST FRIEND AND I WAS IN LOVE WITH YOU. I STILL AM! PLEASE JUST FUCKING FORGIVE ME BEFORE I LOSE YOU TO THAT FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT!"

I was finally able to push him off me. I couldn't believe it. He was in love with me this entire time. Throughout our entire history of school. Through all the awful pranks and the humiliation he was trying to fight off his feelings for me.

"Get out."

"Jason please I can't fucking stand that Jon is going to win you. I've been trying to years to work up the courage to deal with my feelings for you and now Jon Fucking Han is going to be your fucking boyfriend. It's just...Please just forgive me so we can try and be happy again." He walked up and picked up picked up my face with both his hands. For the first time in a nearly a decade I saw Mark Houston vulnerable and scared. "Please...just give me a chance to make things right. I can't lose you to him."

"Get out Houston. I meant everything I said. I will never forgive you. You and Jenna must have tried to come up with this plan for a couple months at the very least." I looked away and pushed his hands down. "It didn't work. You lost. I'm gonna try and be happy with Jon. I'm gonna try and work out all the years of abuse and misery that's turned me into a cold alcoholic. All this work that you did." I walked away.

"Jason...just know that I'm sorry and if you ever want to give me a chance..."

"Get the fuck out."

Houston knew he had lost. He began walking upstairs.

"If Jon hurts you in any way I'm going to kill him."

"You should probably kill yourself first. Considering the circumstance no?"

Houston looked at me one more time before he closed the door. His eyes told me everything.

I sat down at my computer at put on some music and lit a cigarette. The drama just wouldn't stop. After putting out my cigarette and eating my food I decided I would text Jon.

"Hey."

"Whats up?"

"Houston confessed his love for me in an effort to get me to stop seeing you."

"Are you serious? Mark Houston is gay?"

"Apparently it's why he bullied me for 5 years."

"What a fucking idiot. Are you ok? I would run over there but I have to close the restaurant tonight."

"I'm fine. I just can't wait to see what you have planned for tommorow."

"So you're excited? :)"

"Thrilled in fact. :)"

"Well get some sleep and I'll be there nice and early. Maybe we shouldn't go to school tommorow. It's been one hell of a week for you."

"Sounds good."

"Oh and happy birthday Jason Andrews. Let's make it your best one ever."

I looked at the clock. It was somehow midnight. I had no idea where the time had gone. I got up and decided to shower before bed. After putting on some fresh sleeping clothes I walked over to my bed. I noticed next to my bed was the clothes Jon had worn today. I picked up the hoodie and put it on. It still smelled like him. Between the smell and the warmth I was able to imagine him holding me as I drifted off to sleep.

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