I Don't Want To Be A Gay - Chapter 27
Ethan took a deep breath, rehearsing the plan in his head for the umpteenth time. Behind him, Macey rubbed an encouraging hand across his side. He leaned back into the comfort of her touch, mentally thanking the Gods for the sweet girl. Had she not helped him, he wouldn’t have been able to muster the courage to do what he was about to do.
He felt for her, as it was painfully obvious to everyone with a pair of working eyes that she was deeply infatuated with his ex-best-friend. Guided by his conscience, he had urged Vincent to finally confront her about what had happened between him and Mason. Reluctantly, he obliged-knowing it was the right thing to do-and had a heart-to-heart with the girl.
She took it better than most people would’ve, but, then again, Macey was always good at hiding her pain. Vincent just had to make sure to keep an eye on her, which included keeping her company whenever he could.
When Ethan sought out her help, he was pleasantly surprised by how receptive and approachable she was. Instantly, he regretted not befriending her sooner and made it a goal of his to get closer to the kind girl.
“Are you sure this is gonna work?” Ethan stammered, pulling at the sleeves of his sweater.
Macey rolled her eyes halfheartedly. “Yes! Listen, I know Vincent. He’s gonna absolutely love this!”
Ethan nodded, buying for time as he slowly ambled up the steps. Pausing, he abruptly turned, almost knocking into her and making her drop her things. “Are you sure we shouldn’t do it somewhere else? I mean-”
Macey sighed in exasperation. “Yes, Ethan, I’m sure. Vincent wouldn’t want you to do it in public, anyways.”
Ethan nodded once more, exhaling loudly. “Can you knock? I know he likes you better.”
Macey giggled, stepping up next to the fretting boy and moving to ring the bell. A few seconds later, Ethan’s heart leaped to his throat as the door swung open, revealing a disheveled Roger.
When he saw Macey, the man offered a tight, sort-of-smile. When his eyes traveled to Ethan, however, any force tugging Roger’s lips upward immediately withdrew, leaving him with a frown etched on his features.
“Vincent’s not home,” he addressed Macey.
Despite his gruffness, she managed her usual, warm smile. “That’s okay, Mr. Samuel. We’re not here to see him, anyway.”
Roger quirked a thick eyebrow in confusion. “No?”
Macey shook her head. “Ethan has a little…surprise for Vincent. Mind if we go upstairs and leave it in his room?”
Roger eyed the pair wearily, feeling slightly skeptical about their motives. However, despite himself, he couldn’t help but trust his son’s best friend. And though he wasn’t too fond of the boyfriend, he had to admit that Ethan didn’t seem like a bad person. Reluctantly, he moved out of the doorway and made enough room for them to walk in.
When they climbed up the stairs and into Vincent’s room, Ethan basked in the familiar scent of his boyfriend that wafted from it, smiling softly to himself. Macey trailed behind him, already fishing out the things from her large backpack.
After his phone buzzed for the millionth time that day, Ethan turned to look at her guiltily. “He’s been texting and calling all afternoon. We were supposed to hang out later.”
Macey shook her head. “Don’t worry about it. I’m sure he won’t mind that you were ignoring him once we’re done here.”
Ethan chuckled nervously, still unsure. “I sure hope so.”
At the hesitance in his tone, Macey sighed in irritation. “I know so,” she assured. “Now, let’s make this beautiful.”
“So? Are you satisfied?” Macey asked, grinning as she rocked on her heels.
Ethan rubbed the back of his neck, taking in his surroundings. “This is the cheesiest, corniest thing I have ever done in my whole life.”
Macey laughed, elbowing him in the side. “It’s cute.”
The boy opened his mouth to respond, but closed it shut when Macey’s ringtone blared through the room. Showing him the caller ID, Macey gestured for Ethan to be silent as she put it on speaker.
“Hey, Vince,” she answered, voice a little shaky with nerves.
“Mace? Listen, I’m freaking out,” he sounded on the verge of tears, making Ethan’s heart clench painfully. “I’ve been trying to reach Ethan all day, but it keeps going to voicemail. What if something bad happened to him?”
Macey shared a look with Ethan, trying hard not to laugh. “Don’t say that. What if he’s busy?”
“We were supposed to pick me up an hour ago, but he never showed. Seriously, Macey, I think something has happened.”
“Calm down, I’m sure he’s okay. Where are you now?” she asked.
“I’m on my way back from the art studio. Do you think I should stop by his house?”
“No!” she shouted all too abruptly. “I mean, I don’t think that’s a good idea. If something really did happen, I think you should give him some space,” she scrambled for an excuse.
“You’re right,” Vincent conceded. “I’m gonna be home in fifteen. Can you come over?”
Macey turned to Ethan with a mischievous smile, “I’ll be there. See you, bye.”
“Okay,” she squealed, grabbing Ethan by the shoulders. “Vincent will die! I’ll let his dad drive me home so you can have the house to yourselves. Don’t fuck up, okay?”
Ethan pulled her in for a hug, feeling gratitude overwhelm him. “Thank you so much for your help, Macey. I’ll call you after.”
Macey grinned, reaching up to press a quick kiss to his cheek. Quickly, she packed up, dashing down the stairs where Ethan heard her muted conversation with Roger before the pair left the house. Ethan fidgeted helplessly, pacing back and forth until his legs ached.
It wasn’t long before he heard the front door creak open. Then, a soft, “Dad? Are you home?”
Ethan sprung up from the bed, rushing over to where his phone was already hooked up to the speaker and pressing play. The melody drifted loudly through the house, startling Vincent and making him spit out the water he was drinking.
Heart thumping in his throat, he called out, “Hello? Macey, is that you?”
When he heard no reply, he slowly started to tread up the stairs. He almost shrieked when he heard the soft singing.
Starry, starry night,
Paint your palette blue and gray,
Entranced by the beautiful voice, he took the steps two at a time, his confusion leaping bounds when he saw a warm hue glowing from his room. Fear shoved to the back of his mind by his growing curiosity, Vincent dashed confidently towards his bedroom door. When he took in the sight before him, a faint gasp left his lips.
“E-Ethan?” he whispered incredulously, blue eyes dancing as he tried to absorb the scene.
The lights were switched off, but the room was lit up with the dim gleam of the scented candles that were lined all over the room, creating an almost surreal, ethereal milieu. The air smelled heavily of roses, and Vincent almost doubled over in tears when he found out why.
On his bed, delicate, fluffy, blue petals were scattered all over his sheets: hydrangea, grape hyacinth, clematis, bluestar-an assortment of some of the most beautiful blossoms Vincent had ever seen. In his dazed state, it took him a while to realize that the flowers actually spelled a word. Tilting his head to the side, his bright eyes grew wide as they took in the wobbly letters.
There was a little heart-shape next to it, and Vincent felt his insides swell at the extremely adorable, thoughtful gesture. His eyes drifted to his boyfriend, smiling at him sheepishly and blushing cutely.
Before Macey left, Ethan had changed into a black suit that hugged his fit body in a way that made Vincent’s mouth water. He looked around the room insecurely, seemingly unable to make eye contact with his boyfriend. Ethan was never the romantic, and it felt foreign for him to be doing something as cliche as this. Still, the look on Vincent’s face and the happiness that so clearly radiated from his eyes proved to Ethan that all his efforts were beyond worth it.
Vincent approached him with a small, disbelieving grin, hooking his hands around Ethan’s neck. “Ethan,” he repeated in a whisper. “What is all this?”
Starry, starry night,
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze,
Swirling clouds in violet haze,
Reflect in Vincent’s eyes of China blue,
Ethan grinned back at his boyfriend, removing one of his arms from behind his back and revealing a single, blue aster. It was gorgeous, and Vincent stared at it in awe until it was removed from his line of sight when Ethan tucked it behind his ear. Vincent shut his eyes, looking down at his feet as crimson washed over his cheeks.
Ethan chuckled fondly, hooking his fingers underneath the boy’s chin and forcing his head up. He stared into Vincent’s eyes deeply, feeling the breath stolen from his lungs as they shone dazzlingly. Then, he leaned forward, sealing the space between them with a tender kiss.
When he pulled back, “So, prom?”
Vincent chortled, capturing his lover’s lips again, this time more passionately. “Yes, yes, yes! Of course!” Ethan wrapped his arms around his waist, smiling as he swayed their bodies gently to the music.
For they could not love you,
But still your love was true,
And when no hope was left inside,
On that starry, starry night,
You took your life as lovers often do,
When the part he was waiting for came up, Ethan began singing along, “But I could’ve told you, Vincent, this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.”
It was scratchy and hoarse and off-beat, but, to Vincent, it was the most beautiful thing he’d ever heard. By then, his cheeks started to ache from the amount of times he’d smiled that night. Still, it seemed as though no force in the world could pull his lips down from the grin permanently etched on his features.
With eyes that watch the world and can’t forget,
“Thank you for this, really,” Vincent spoke steadily, trying to avoid bursting into tears like the baby he felt he was.
Ethan shrugged it off. “You always make me happy. Just thought I’d return the favor.”
“I love this.” And I love you, he almost let the words slip-it felt so, so right.
But he couldn’t shake the fear of rejection, the fear of scaring Ethan away and losing the one source that brought him genuine happiness. And so he settled for leaning forward and kissing Ethan with all he had, only hoping it could convey the burning emotions that burned deeply within him.
When they pulled back, Ethan’s brows were furrowed; he was taken aback by the sudden intensity and urgency of Vincent’s lips on his. He felt it, of course he did. But he was also too frightened to say anything, overwhelmed with the feverish need to have Vincent closer. And so he pulled him in a tight hug, burying his face in Vincent’s hair and allowing his lips to brush the sensitive skin at the nape of his neck.
They rocked in each other’s arms, unspoken confessions lodged in their windpipes and hearts weighed down-in the best way possible-by the intensity of their feelings.
They would not listen,
They’re not listening still,
Perhaps they never will…