Chapter 1

It has been very hard, growing up here in this area of the country. Anyone from the South knows how hard it is trying to live up to what people expect. I have been doing that all of my life and I am tired of it. I just want to be the guy that I am. Well, actually, I want to be it with Steven. Maybe he does not know how I feel at all. Maybe he does not notice the way that I look at him. I am afraid to tell him how I feel.

My name is Chad. I live in this small town, where everyone knows everyone. Even the police department knows my dad. If they ever see me out doing anything, they tell him. Why do they never say anything to me? They always say something to my dad and usually my mom will say something to me about it. Some times my dad never mentions it.

There was a time, a while back, when I was out driving in my car and I was like doing 65 in a 45 zone. The policeman that saw me told my dad about it. I wish that he had pulled me over. I would have rather face him than my dad. When I got home, my mom told me that the guy had told dad that he saw me. Oh brother…Now, I have this "guardian guy" watching out for me to tell on me. It is like some "tattle-tail." I never did like those guys in school.

Oh, I go to high school, too. It can be boring most days, but I do have a few friends.

Then, there is Steven. He is the best guy. I want to get up the nerve to tell him how I feel, but I am scared to death. Have you ever been scared to death of something? Then, you know how I feel. Plus, my mom and dad, wow, my entire family, school, county, state and country would freak if they knew that I like guys. Well, I do not actually like guys in the plural sense. I like Steven. No…I love Steven.

There, I said it. Yes, I said it when I wrote it down for you. I love Steven.

Did I tell you that I wrote a poem to him. But I was too afraid to send it? I still have it in my wallet. I open it some times and read it, but I have not been able to give it to him. Some times, I just open my wallet and I look at the edge of that piece of paper and it is almost like having Steven near. Some times, I reach out and run my finger down the edge of the piece of paper and I imagine touching Steven's skin. Is that crazy or something?

I never told anyone about this. You are the first. Now, you will know all about my feelings for Steven and all of the goofy things that I have done to deal with it. Just promise me something. Guard it, okay? I mean, I am opening up here and I need you to keep it safe. I can't say these things to my family. Maybe one day, I will be able to say them to Steven. I want to. I pray to. I will…one day.