Good Morning, Heartache (Part 2)

7 04 2012

Good Morning, Heartache (Part 2)

Before you read the next part, play this video.  It will help enhance the mood while you’re reading.  However, if you are like me and are unable to concentrate on words while listening to music, then don’t play it.

The two boys stare at each other.

“Ah wahh?” was the last thing Heath uttered.

“Your name is Heath, right?”  Jake goes on to describe in fairly good detail about how they had met that one day almost a year ago through Jake’s old classmate.

“I vaguely remember that…” is all Heath has to offer.  No matter.  As long as Jake doesn’t come across as a big weirdo, that’s fine by him.  After their brief re-introduction, they don’t speak to each other much.

At the write-a-thon, Jake is introduced to a few other of Romulus’s friends, including Mozilla and Chihiro.  Remember their names because they come up again later in the story.

Everything goes fine.  Jake speaks to Heath in Arabic (and Heath replies in English, but that works too) a few times, but not much really happens between them.  The problem is that Jake has never been the kind of guy to ask people out, particularly in person.  His sense of gaydar is all but defunct, and thus, approaching boys has never occured to him.  But since Romulus is gay, there is a chance Heath could be as well.  Jake decides to test this out in the best way possible: greeting card-writing, of course!

On the last day while, Romulus and the rest of the friends are out getting inspiration from the night sky, Jake, Heath, and his best friend Chihiro are left at Romulus’s place.  Jake scribbles and scribbles in a small blue notebook, while Heath and Chihiro chat away.

“I wrote a greeting card about you.”  That’s Jake speaking– or rather– blurting out loud.

“Oh really?  What’s it about?”  Heath inquires.

Jake fumbles with the pen in his hand.  “I… I’ll read it to you.”  He takes a breath and begins.

“Roses are red, violets are blue… Please can you tell me if you like dudes?”

There’s an awkward silence in the room as Jake finishes.  Heath and Chihiro look at each other, then giggle.  Jake shakes his head.

“I know ‘blue’ and ‘dudes’ don’t rhyme… but I mean what I asked.”

Heath smiles.  “Well, what do you think?”

“Well… you’re friends with Romulus, and he has a lot of gay friends, but that doesn’t mean anything.  Also, I not-so-secretly anymore stalked your facebook page last night and saw that you’re a fan of Dan Savage, but lots of heteros like him.  So in conclusion… I don’t know.”

Heath smiles again.  “Well, you are correct with those points.  But yes, I am gay.”

Jake feels himself sigh with relief, and manages a smile.

A few days later, after having exchanged messages on facebook, the two decide to hang out.  Jake suggests going for milkshakes, which is secretly his way of asking guys out online (although it has never actually worked up until this point).  They hit Mary’s Hamburgers and settle down for some drinks.

“Are you out to your family?” asks Jake.

“No.”  Jake’s face falls, as he remembers how unhappy he was with Dorian.  “But I want to soon though.  I’m out to friends and all, and if someone asks, I won’t hide it.”

Jake nods.  He remembers how difficult it can be to come out in general, much less come out to parents.  The fact that Heath is out to friends is already a big step.  Jake learns that Heath has been studying at the same school for a year, in biology, specifically, botany.  When he talks about plants, Heath really gets into it, speaking about how gymnosperms are just so damn cool (and not because the word “sperm” is in the word).  For someone his age, which is to say, two years younger than Jake, Heath is quite intelligent and seems mature, which impreses Jake.

The two finish their milkshakes and head off.  Seeing as how this whole date was orchestrated by him and his romantic mind, Jake proceeds to lead Heath to a nearby hidden secret.  In between a row of houses is one of the city’s treasures: a small garden of a variety of coloured flowers.  Jake had discovered it months ago, and it was his quiet place to think.  For a while, it became his place to dwell on Dorian but he eventually decided that associating negative thoughts with sucha  lovely place wasn’t a good idea.

“Have you ever been here before?” Jake asks as they get to the small garden.

“No, I haven’t.”  Heath’s eyes are everywhere, absorbing all the life around him.  Jake sees this and smiles, knowing he’s done good.  For a second, Jake hesitates, then cautiously puts his arm around Heath’s shoulders.  Heath doesn’t move, and Jake interprets this as a good sign.  It’s the first real intimate contact the two have had.  The two sit in the clearing for a few minutes in peaceful silence, with the wildlife of birds, bugs, and wind rushing through the plants as their soundtrack.

“Hey, that’s a bleeding heart flower!” Heath leans in to examine it, breaking their embrace.  Jake watches Heath giddily caress the plant, talking about the species and all this random trivia about it.  The greeting card writer and the botanist, he thinks.  Us.

After spending some time in the garden, Jake asks Heath if there’s anywhere he’d like to go.  Heath says no, which is perfect, since Jake has more plans up his sleeve.  Jake leads Heath over to the local music store, where they go up to the third floor– instruments.

“I don’t know how to play any instruments,” confesses Heath.  “Except if you count the recorder.  And I’m not even very good at that.”

“Hey, recorder’s better than nothing.  I think everyone should be able to play at least one instrument.  It would change how we’d all look at life.”

They finally stand in front of the accordions, possibly the most misused instrument out there.  Jake picks up a snazzy, bright green one, and puts the straps around his shoulders.

“Wait, you know how to play this?” Heath asks.

Jake smiles.  He takes a breath, and sings while he plays, his breath almost moving in time to the compression of the reeds:

I first saw you at the video exchange.
I know my heart and it will never change.
This temp work would be alright if you called me, you called me,
I lie awake at night for you, and I pray.

We cross the deepest oceans, cargo across the sea,
and if you don’t believe me, just put your hands on me.
And all the constellations, shine down for us to see,
and if you don’t believe me, just put your hands on me.

When Jake’s done singing Vanessa Carlton’s “Hands On Me” (you didn’t think he wrote that, did you?), there’s a few seconds of silence before Heath claps politely.

“That was great!” he says.  He puts a hand on Jake’s shoulder.

Jake merely blushes.  “I’ve been playing for a long time.  I just felt like playing that for you.”

“Well, thank you.  I really appreciate it,” says Heath.  “Hey, I’m actually going to meet some friends– Chihiro and Mozilla, you remember them, right?– to catch that latest zombie movie, you know, the one where the zombies are all old people?  Did you want to watch with us?”

Heath and Jake are off on the streets again.  It’s late in the afternoon now, but still quite warm for a fall day.

“You know, I would, but zombie movies just aren’t my thing.  Makes me hungry after watching one.  I’ll walk you to the theatre though.”

As they make their way to the theatre, Jake reflects on how things have gone.  He’s spent the day with this young, unbelievably cute boy, who, for whatever reason, seems to also like spending time with him too.  How many times has that happened?  First date success, it seems.

Inside the theatre, Heath’s friends Chihiro and Mozilla await him.  Jake says hi to them, and wishes that they enjoy the film.  Before he leaves, he turns to Heath and opens his arms, gesturing for a hug.  Heath embraces him, and they hug tightly.

“I’ll talk to you soon, alright?”

“Yup.”

With that, Jake leaves the building, hearing curious murmuring and whispering behind him.

To be continued!


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