A New Kind of Love
A teenage boy sat cross-legged on the couch with his arms around his knees and a remote clutched tightly in his hands. His pale green eyes were transfixed on the TV screen, the radiation flickering across his face. On mute was a show depicting two young boys locked in a heartfelt kiss. The boy watched intensively as the pair continued to make out, nervously biting his nail as he did so.
"Kyle!" A woman's voice rang out.
The said boy quickly hit return, "Yeah mom?"
Kyle's mother walked into the dark living room, "When are you going to clean your room? I've told you a million times already! It's a pigsty in there!"
"U…uh…yeah." Kyle stammered, "I…I was going to…after I finished watching…" He paused; eyes flickering to the TV screen to see what show was on, "Finish watching G…Girls in Leather…"
Kyle's mother raised an eyebrow, "Girls in Leather? Aren't you a bit too young to watch that?"
"Uh…uh…" Kyle struggled for something to say, "Gee mom, watching all those dirty girls made me realize how dirty my room must be. I think I'll go clean it now. See ya!"
Kyle jumped out of his seat and raced to his room, but was pulled back by the scruff of his collar. "Just a minute young man. I do not want you watching this kind of show. If I ever catch you watching this again I swear you will not see the light of day for at least a month. Are we understood?"
"Good. Now go clean your room!" She said, a slender finger pointing to the stairs.
Kyle grabbed his bag and raced up the stairs. When he reached his room he closed the door behind him and slid to the floor, his open backpack hitting the ground beside him, allowing all of its contents to be strewn across the floor.
Looking at the pile of schoolwork his eyes fell upon a photograph of a boy with spiky brown hair, chocolate coloured eyes, and a perfect smile. It was only a few weeks ago that Kyle had noticed his feelings for this boy, and he still hasn't gotten used to the fact that he was in love with him.
It was the first week of school and Kyle had just started high school. He had moved here from Montreal and was only beginning to adjust to his new lifestyle. Needless to say, Kyle was a nervous wreck. He was afraid that his new classmates wouldn't like him and that the teachers would be strict. He was afraid that he would be all alone without anybody to talk to. Never before did he have to worry about this. Kyle had lived in a town where everybody knew each other. He had always been with the same friends and stayed in the same school.
It was very hard on Kyle after his dad walked out. His mom was a wreck, always coming home after midnight smelling like booze and men. But six months later his mom met Ted. Ted was a doctor in Toronto and he was in love with Kyle's mom at first sight. They went out for about two weeks and then decided to get married. That would've been fine but this new dad was old, bald, and lived in another city! Kyle was sure that if it wasn't for his unbelievable amount of money, his mother would've never even considered going out with him.
Anyways, two days after the marriage ceremony, Kyle had to pack his bags, say goodbye to his life, and get into his mom's cramped little car to Toronto; his step-dad had left the day before because of "important business".
This of course all happened very fast. Before he knew it, Kyle was attending a new school surrounded by people he's never even seen before in his entire life!
As he walked into his classroom on the first day of school he noticed three things. One, the teacher was viciously stabbing a voodoo doll that looked suspiciously like the principle; two, the antisocialists in the back of the room all had multiple tattoos and piercings; and three, he had just stepped in a big wad of gum.
With a look of disgust he picked up a tissue and cautiously pulled the sticky piece of gum off of his shoes. As he went to throw it in the garbage, he accidentally bumped into a girl, getting the gum stuck in her hair.
The girl was horrified! At first she was too surprised to speak, but then she began screaming, "What's your problem? I just had my hair done over the weekend and you put gum in it? How dare you! I swear I'm going to make your life living hell!"
"I…I'm sorry. I…I didn't mean to!" Kyle quickly apologized.
The girl, if possible, looked even angrier, "Didn't mean to? Didn't mean to? How can you not mean to put gum in someone's hair? Do you know how much it cost me to get it like this? You'll pay for this!" She spun around on her heels and walked out the door.
"Yeah." Her two annoying followers agreed in unison, stuck their noses up in the air and followed their leader.
This was not a good start to a brand new life. Kyle looked around, hoping that no one saw that. But no such luck, every pair of eyes in the room was on him. He swallowed nervously and sat down in the nearest chair he could find. Luckily for him, the bell rang at that moment and class started.
No matter how much he tried Kyle couldn't concentrate on the lesson. He kept thinking about how this is the end of his life and how from now on he'll never fit in. He'll probably end up with the antisocialists! No. Not even they would accept him. He'll become the freak who sits in the corner of the cafeteria every day and eats his homemade lunch with a brown paper bag sitting next to him.
All morning he moved in a haze, not really paying attention to anything. Word spread fast in high school; by the end of third period, he was known as "the gum boy". No one even cared what his name was! And by lunchtime, there was not a single person who wasn't laughing at him.
When he walked into the cafeteria someone shouted "Hey look it's the gum boy!" and everyone laughed. Kyle was mortified.
Apparently, the girl from before was the most popular girl in school. She was your typical high school jock, blond and preppy, enough makeup to cover an elephant, and her name was Ashley. Ashley told everyone how Kyle had purposely put gum in her hair and how much she hates him. No one wants to mess with Ashley, so whatever Ashley says is the law. Basically, Ashley announced him the freak of the school.
Kyle sat down and began eating his lunch. He was thinking about how he really should purposely put gum in Ashley's hair. In fact, he'll put it right near her scalp, so that she'd have to shave her head bald! He was so busy planning his attack that he didn't notice that someone had sat down next to him until the person spoke.
"So I heard you put gum in Ashley's hair."
He laughed, "I was hoping someone would stand up to her. She's way too stuck up."
Kyle looked up, "So you don't think I'm a freak?"
"A freak? Why would I think that?"
"Because Ashley said so, and if you don't listen to her, she has the power to ruin your life."
He laughed again, "I really don't care what other people think of me. As long as I'm happy with who I am, it doesn't matter whether or not I'm cool."
Kyle sighed, "I wish I could be more like you, I live on the appreciation of others."
"You're funny. I like a guy with a sense of humour. So where you from anyways, France?"
"Montreal. My mom just remarried."
"Tell me about it."
"What's your name?"
"Josh. Anyways, I gotta go, I promised my girlfriend I'd meet her at the library."
Josh got up and left, leaving Kyle to brood in his thoughts.
Josh was a year older than Kyle; he was fifteen and in the tenth grade. Kyle was so relieved that somebody actually thought he was normal that he became infatuated with him. He would meet him for lunch everyday and wait for him after school. In just two days they became best friends.
Eventually people forgot all about the gum incident. Despite his horrible first day, he actually fit in quite well at the school. He made lots of friends, and the girls just loved his French accent. After only one week at school, tons of girls asked him to go out with them. But surprisingly Kyle didn't like any of them. No matter how hot they were, Kyle simply wasn't interested. He didn't know why either. Something about it just didn't seem right.
Looking back now, he realized that he had always loved Josh. The way he smiles, the way he puts his arm around him. For a long time Kyle was confused as to why he wasn't interested in any of the girls. He'd spend hours trying to figure out the problem, but he would never get an answer.
One day, he saw Josh kissing his girlfriend – Josh's girlfriend that is, not Kyle's – and he felt a pang of jealousy. At first Kyle thought that he liked the girl, but as time went on, he realized that it was Josh he liked instead. But Kyle knew that he could never have him, because Josh wasn't gay. And even if he was Kyle wasn't going to ruin their friendship over something so trivial like that. He convinced himself that this new kind of love was wrong, and that no one will ever find out about it.
But today as he sat on the cold, hard floor after watching that show, he realized that being gay isn't wrong, it's just different. And as Josh once told him, different isn't always bad. Kyle took a deep breath. He's made up his mind. He was going to tell Josh how he felt about him. Picking up the phone, Kyle dialled the number that he knew by heart. 4-1-6-8-3-6-1-1-4-6. The line connected. After three rings someone picked up and a familiar voice spoke.
Kyle just sat there, not saying anything.
"Hello? Is anybody there?"
Kyle slammed the phone back into its cradle, heart pounding loudly against his chest. He couldn't do it. It would be better to do it in person anyways. Yeah that's it. He'll confess to Josh tomorrow, after school. Kyle turned off the light and crawled into bed.
The next day after school they stood outside the gym.
"What's up?" Josh asked. "You said you wanted to talk."
Josh raised an eyebrow, "Well?"
"Um. How's your relationship with Cindy?"
"Cindy?" Josh looked surprised. "She dumped me yesterday for speaking my mind."
"What did you say?" Kyle asked.
"Nothing important. You couldn't have just called me here just to ask that."
"No. I…I have a confession to make." 'Come on…' Kyle thought, 'This is my chance, his girlfriend just broke up with him.'
"Yeah." Kyle took a deep breath, "I know that you probably won't feel the same way, but I just can't lie about it anymore! You know? I can't stand here and pretend nothing's wrong!"
"What are you talking about?" Josh asked, confused.
"I'm talking about us! I like you Josh. A lot."
"Well…I like you too."
"I don't mean as a friend! I meant more than that. I want us to be…to be together. As a couple."
Josh laughed, "I know you're just trying to make me feel better about the break-up. But you really don't have to. It's no big deal."
"I'm serious! I really like you!" Kyle struggled to get Josh to understand, "I love you Josh!" Kyle reached up and kissed him.
When they pulled apart Josh was stunned. For once in his life he had nothing to say.
"I'm sorry." Kyle said as he saw the look on Josh's face. He turned around and started to run away.
"Wait!" Josh said, grabbing Kyle by the arm. "Did you mean that?"
"Of course I meant it you idiot! Why else would I kiss you?"
Josh paused, "You know, from the first day I met you I fell in love with you. I wanted you so bad but I couldn't confess my feelings because I thought you wouldn't feel the same way. I wanted to get my mind off of you so I began dating around. The only reason Cindy dumped me was because I told her that I'd rather be with you instead."
"But…if you're gay wouldn't you date guys instead?"
"I'm not gay. I'm bi. Gender doesn't matter to me. What matters is you. I love you Kyle."
Kyle smiled, "I love you too Josh."