Hey, there. My name's Cody. Let me tell you, my love life is pretty weird.

I know you're probably thinking; 'how weird can this dude's love life actually be?' Well, let me give some insight into my life leading up to my very first relationship.

I've always been known as a 'pretty' boy. Even now, people have always looked at me and admired me for my young-looking face, my messy blonde hair that somehow looked effortlessly good, and my blue eyes as bright as the sky yet soft as the ocean. That's what someone said to me once, I found that pretty strange.

Despite all the attention I got from others, I've always been pretty shy. It's always been kind of hard for me to hold conversations with people, I usually prefer doing my own thing. That's why I don't really have that many friends, I spent most of my life at school keeping to myself. I wasn't lonely or anything, it was just something I preferred.

Well, that kind of all changed when I met the first person I ever fell in love with, Daniel Thompson. Yeah, he definitely still has a place in my heart. Of course, we were young boys when we started dating—only fourteen years old, so we never really got to do much together, considering the environment we were in.

You see, for all of my life my Christian parents put me in private all-boy catholic schools. My parents always kind of taught me that sex was taboo—even the mention of any kind of sexual activity, so I was never really properly educated on that stuff growing up.

So, you know how I learned about sex? The good ol' internet, of course.

I was really sneaky about it. Being the curious fourteen year old that I was, I learned about clearing the browser history and eventually, learned about private browsing mode. It wasn't exactly explicit porn that intrigued me (in fact, it actually kind of grossedme out), but rather erotic fiction.

I've always been a reader. I loved to read, always loved using my own imagination to explore new and different things that I couldn't experience in real life. So, I learned all about sex through fanfictions and stories online. Sex was one of those subjects that was so new to me, just waiting for me to explore it. It was like the forbidden fruit.

Anyway, back to the subject of Daniel—I remember my first day as a freshman at school, the desks were arranged in pairs, and I sat by myself in the corner at the front of the classroom next to the window. Everybody seemed to already know each other, but for some reason, he sat next to me, even when there were other seats available.

"Hi there, my name's Daniel," he said to me with a grin. I remember how handsome and tall he was, he had curly black hair and a piercing in his left ear. He had a really nice smile.

It was slightly confusing to me why this good-looking, obviously charismatic boy would have wanted to sit next to me out of anybody else. But I wasn't ungrateful or annoyed or anything like that. To be honest, I was kind of happy.

"I'm Cody," I said to him with a small nod before going back to reading my book. For some reason, I was feeling a little bit nervous around him. My heart was beating faster in my chest.

He smelled like typical teenage boy body spray, but somehow, it wasn't overpowering or cheap scented. It was subtle, it was nice. I liked it.

The classroom began to fill up with more students, and the teacher still hadn't come yet. Daniel turned to me. "So, what school are you from, Cody?"

This smalltalk is going to stress me out, I remember thinking to myself. "Saint James," I responded, much too shy to look him in the eyes.

"Oh, cool. I'm from McCall," he said with another smile. He seemed to look at my uniform, which was the school's sweater with a collared white shirt underneath. "I see you went for the school sweater, huh? I actually prefer the sweater vest, myself. Gives my arms a bit of freedom to move," he said, popping his collar with a little chuckle. I just silently nodded in response.

When the teacher finally arrived and began teaching her lesson, I noticed Daniel doodling something in his notebook that he had out. Since I wasn't paying much attention either, I decided to read my book as she went on with whatever she was talking about, before Daniel subtly slid his notebook in my direction.

"What book are you reading?" His badly written message said with a little smiley face beside it. It was kind of cute.

I picked up my pen before writing, "Lamb In a Box." I clicked my pen before sliding the notebook back to him.

He began to write something down again as the teacher continued to speak. He slid the notebook back to me before I read, "You seem so interested in it. Wanna have lunch and you can tell me about it?"

This guy is really inviting me to have lunch with him? I thought to myself, almost in disbelief. Well, I guess it couldn't hurt. He seems like a nice guy.

I slightly smiled to myself before I wrote, "Okay" with a smiley face beside it. I slid the notebook back to him and he seemed to smile to himself before closing his notebook and beginning to pay attention to the lesson.

After the class was over and everyone began to pack up their things and leave, Daniel put his backpack on before looking at me. "So, you wanna meet my friends and I for lunch at third period?"

I put all my stuff into my bag. "Sure," I said.

"Cool. How about you meet us by the school fountain then?" He asked and I nodded. "Okay," I said.

"See you then!" He said happily, flashing me that beautiful smile once again before heading to his next class.

I headed to my next class too, opening up the folded school map from my pocket. As I kept my cool looking for my next class through the crowds of people, I couldn't stop thinking about the upcoming lunch with Daniel.

I never gave this much thought about anyone before, really, I remember thinking to myself. I barely know him and yet there's something about him I like. If it were anyone else, they probably would have annoyed me.

Even when I got to my next class and sat down, trying to lose myself in my book, my mind couldn't help but wonder what lunch with Daniel would be like. I couldn't help but wonder what his friends were like, couldn't help but wonder what he was like. Why would a guy like that, who was probably destined to become popular at school, want anything to do with me?

Or maybe he just wants to mess with me and make fun of me with his friends, not the first time in my life where that's happened to me. Whatever, I guess we'll soon find out.

After class finished, I looked at the map to try and find where the school's fountain was. After locating it, I headed quickly for it, my heart pumping strong inside me and nothing but Daniel taking up the thoughts in my head.

I finally made it to the school fountain, where him and a group of other good-looking males were gathered. Even so, Daniel stood out to me the most out of all of them.

I took a deep breath as I walked over, and Daniel immediately stopped talking to his friends and smiled once he saw me. God, his smile's gorgeous.

"Hey, Cody," Daniel called out to me as I walked over to their group. "Hey," I greeted back. The rest of Daniel's friends seemed to kind of look me up and down before going back to talking to each other. I didn't know exactly why they seemed to judge me, but I suspected it was because out of everyone in the group I was the only little white boy there. Not to mention, most of them already were so mature looking for their age—while I basically just started puberty not so long before.

I basically stood there awkwardly with my book bag around me, rocking my feet back and forth as I just listened to the group speak to each other about subjects I wasn't familiar with, such as girls, sports, and mainstream music.

Daniel looked over at me and must have noticed that I wasn't exactly comfortable, as he interrupted one of the conversations to tell his friends he was going to get some food with me, much to my surprise.

He pushed himself off from the edge of the fountain before he beckoned me to follow him as we began to walk away from the group.

"You got lunch, Cody?" He asked me, his voice sounding slightly concerned. I nodded. "In my bag," I said as he nodded back with a little smile. "Good. Don't want you eating the food from the school's cafeteria, I heard that it's really not that good."

"Noted," I said as the two of us slowly walked across the school's courtyard. "Are you thinking of joining any clubs? I'm thinking of trying out for the basketball team," Daniel said as the two of us found an empty bench for us to sit.

I pulled out my sandwich that my mom prepared for me in a plastic bag from my bookbag, sanitizing my hands before opening it and taking a bite from the sandwich. "I don't know. I just like reading."

"I heard the library here is huge. I'm sure you're bound to find something you like," he said before taking off his backpack, placing it on his lap before unzipping it to pull a thermos out of his lunch bag. "By the way, I wanna hear about that book you were reading earlier. You seemed really into it. I kinda wanna do more reading myself."

"It's a love story," I said after chewing and swallowing the food in my mouth. "It's about two high school lovers who thought they were gonna be together forever, then they had a bad breakup after graduation. They meet again years later after high school when they're both adults, but time had already passed and they both have changed since they were together… So it's complicated."

"I see," Daniel said as he nodded, listening while intensely gazing at me the entire time. "I didn't think you'd be the type to be into reading love stories."

Somehow my face began to feel warm with slight embarrassment. "I mean… It's interesting to me. I like reading about other people's relationships, I guess."

"You're a soft guy," Daniel said in a teasing tone as he lightly punched my arm. "It's not a bad thing, though. It's cool. Sometimes I wish my own friends were more like that." I swore my face must have been pink at that point.

The two of us just continued to eat in silence for a while before Daniel struck up conversation again. "Uh… So, what's your background?" He asked.

I swallowed my food. "I was born here. My mom is Ukrainian. My dad's like, a mix of English, Irish, and French, or something like that. I don't know, I'm just… Typically white."

Daniel chuckled lightly. "I hear a lot of that from my friends with white parents too," he said before eating a spoonful of chilli. "I mean, I shouldn't really be talking. I'm mixed."

"Oh, yeah?"

Daniel nodded. "Mmhmm. My dad is from Jamaica. My mom's Mexican. I have an older brother and two younger sisters and we all pretty much look the same, at least that's what people say about us."

I slightly smiled. "Must be fun having lots of siblings. I only have an older brother and he's kind of a goody-goody, even though he has such annoying friends who just cause trouble."

"Well, my parents are pretty religious, actually. So they plan on having all my siblings and I go to single-gendered catholic schools. Somehow, they think mixed-gendered schools are nothing but distractions for our education."

My eyes widened. "My parents think the exact same," I said before taking a bite into my sandwich again. "They want me to be just like my brother, but he's basically on his way to becoming a pastor."

"Well, what do you want to do?" Daniel asked before eating his chilli.

It took me a good moment to really think about it. What did I want to do? I didn't like thinking much about the future, I just started high school, after all…

"I don't know. I'll decide when the time comes, I guess. I just wanna focus on what's happening right now."

"Respect. I should do the same. Sometimes I worry too much about the future. I should pay attention to what's already going on."

Both of us continued to eat our lunches in peace, the sounds of the slight breeze blowing past my hair feeling somewhat invigorating. Daniel was so easy to talk to, even though I've always had trouble with talking to people—but with Daniel, it just felt so natural.

We continued to eat until we finished our lunches, packing up our things before the bell rang. We both stood up and Daniel turned to me and smiled. "You're cool, Cody. We should have lunch together again sometime," he said cheerfully.

The cool wind blew past us again. I could only nod, looking down to try and hide my face that was most likely blushing. "Sure."

And with that, he held out his fist as an invitation for me to bump my own with his. I raised my fist to lightly bump his before the two of us went our separate ways.

I couldn't help but think about him even more as I headed to my next class. Why would such a perfect guy like that want anything to do with me?

After getting off the school bus at the end of the day, I made my way home. I could barely remember how my day went other than lunch with Daniel.

Once I got to the front door of my house, I unlocked it before announcing my arrival when I entered. I went to greet my mom before turning to leave, but she cleared her throat like she wanted to say something.

"How was your first day?" She asked.

I shrugged. "Fine."

"Reminding you that we'll all be gathering to pray the rosary tonight, okay?"

"Okay," I muttered in a somewhat annoyed tone before heading to my room. My family and I lived in a bungalow in an older suburb in the city. It was fine for my parents, my mom being a tailor and my dad being a mechanic, they didn't seem to ever really talk about upgrading their life or anything like that.

For me? Well, I had at least wanted to be away from my parents once I got older. I found their whole 'leave it up to God' attitude to get on my nerves sometimes. And waking up early every Sunday morning to get ready before sitting through a church mass wasn't exactly my idea of fun.

I closed the door before diving into bed, sighing. I didn't have a cell phone or anything like that, and the only way I could talk online was when I could use the family computer after I finished my homework.

Chatting online was a lot easier for me to talk to people since it was so hard for me to talk to people in real life. Chatting was something my parents saw as 'dangerous,' so of course my curious self going through a bit of a little bit of my own rebellious phase was definitely going to secretly do it when they weren't in the room.

I wish I knew Daniel's email or something, I remember thinking to myself. I usually didn't chat online too much, as I usually would rather read fanfictions while I was on the web instead. But I couldn't help but really want to talk to Daniel.

He just couldn't leave my mind. He was the first person I felt this way about—Someone I really wanted to talk to and hang out with. Someone I felt so comfortable around. Someone who I could see myself truly having a connection with.

I guess I'll just talk to him when I see him at school tomorrow, I thought with a smile.

The days that followed were as great as the first—better with the more time the both of us spent together. Though I was worried about stealing Daniel away from his friends, he assured me that they were cool.

Both of us would spend each lunch together talking about ourselves, from the things we liked, to activities that we liked to do, and some childhood stories that would make both of us laugh.

I never opened up that much with anyone before until I met Daniel. No one ever knew so much about me in just the few days we spent together.

"So, what about you? What do you plan on doing in the future?" I asked him. Daniel leaned back on the bench and sighed with a slight smile. "Um… That's hard," he said, taking a moment to think. "You know, my parents kinda want me to have a successful job and a wife."

"Oh yeah, I forgot to ask you if you have a girlfriend. Obviously she wouldn't go here."

Daniel shook his head. "No, I don't. A lot of girls my sisters were friends with would tell me they have a crush on me, but I'm just not really interested in girls. I just don't really have much in common with them," he said as he stared down at the half-eaten sandwich in his hand. "I mean, I have more in common with boys than girls, so…"

"I know what you mean," I said. I really did understand what he meant, because I felt the same way. Did I really have to marry a girl when I grew up? I just never understood them. Never got the chance to really communicate with them. I really just had no interest in girls at all.

"But apparently being gay is bad," Daniel said in a sad voice. "My aunts and uncles always treat them like they're bad. I remember my dad saying gay people go to hell."

"That's what my uncle said too," I added.

Daniel sighed before shaking his head and smiling at me again. "Well, I'd rather not talk about that anymore. Anyway, my dad said I should become a stockbroker or something. I don't even know what that is," he said with a little chuckle.

I leaned back on the bench and shrugged. "As I said, you don't really have to know right now. Just focus on what's happening right now."

"Yeah," Daniel said before taking a bite into his sandwich. I wasn't very good at comforting people or giving advice—so I just decided to change the subject instead. "Basketball tryouts are after school."

"Yup, I'm pretty excited. I hope I make the team."

"You will," I said, the first time in my life reassuring someone. "I know."

Daniel laughed. "Well, I'm glad you believe in me," he said before slapping a hand on my shoulder, making me flinch and suddenly blush at the contact between us.

I cleared my throat. "Hey, uh, do you have an email or something where maybe we can talk more than just at lunch?"

"Oh, yeah! Let me write it down for you," Daniel said before unzipping his backpack, pulling out his notebook and a pen before quickly scribbling down his email address and phone number on a page. He ripped the page and gave it to me and I took it. "Cool. Thanks."

"No problem," he said with a nod. "You can email me whenever you want, I'll be sure to answer it when I can."

"Okay," I said, already planning in my head what I could possibly email to Daniel.

When I got home from school later that day, I tried to finish all my homework as quickly as I could, not caring about whether I put in all my efforts into them or not.

My parents had finally let me use the family computer after I showed them my work, and I immediately unfolded the piece of paper Daniel gave me earlier.

Even though his handwriting was messy, I still managed to understand what he wrote down as I typed in his address to search for his profile. His profile photo was of some high-top shoes with a vignette filter, typical 2012 teenage boy choice of display photo.

I added him to my contacts list, my first contact that wasn't my parents or my brother. I opened up a draft email, thinking about what I could send him. I wasn't very up-to-date on what were some popular videos on the web, the only thing I could really talk about were books or fanfictions I've read.

I typed out my review for one of my favourite books I read recently. He seemed to be interested in what I had to say about one of the books I was reading on the first day of school, so I hoped that maybe he'd be interested in what I'd have to say about another book.

After I finished writing the email, I sent it before opening a new tab, ready to browse some fanfictions for the rest of the night. I liked to check up on some of the popular forums to see other people's new recommendations.

I heard a ping in the other tab, seeing a new reply from Daniel already, even though it had only been around ten minutes. I opened his email to read it, being greeted by a bunch of smiley faces. In the email he actually responded to some of the things I talked about, and told me about how interesting it sounded. He attached a link to some sort of video he said he liked, and I clicked the link before the video popped up in a new tab.

It was a clip of a cute dog dancing to some hip-hop music. It made me smile and chuckle a little bit.

I ended up replying to that email and Daniel would reply to it again ten minutes later. We practically spent the entire evening just exchanging emails until my dad had called for me to let me know it was time for dinner. I sent my last email to Daniel saying goodnight before I logged off and cleared the browser history, heading to the dinner table to eat.

Dinner was the same as always, my parents talking about work and praising my brother, Nathan, for his good grades. Nathan was nineteen, and was going to university nearby. He had some questionable friends that he knew since they were in middle school, they were troublemakers and were known for getting suspensions at school—but they were the only people who could stand such a nerd like Nathan, they all played the same video games.

Nathan mentioned something about wanting to invite them over for the weekend for a sleepover, and of course, my parents said they could. Then they turned the conversation to me and asked when I'm going to make any friends.

"Actually, I've been spending my lunches with someone," I decided to say. It almost irritated me how excited my parents got at that moment.

"What's his name?"

I slurped up some of the spaghetti from my fork. "Daniel."

"I see. Well, it's nice that you made a friend for once. We're proud of you, Cody. Perhaps we could even meet him sometime."

"Maybe," is all I said before we continued eating and my parents completely changed the subject.

Over the course of the next few weeks, Daniel and I became closer and closer with the more time that passed, both of us bonding in class and at lunch, eventually we would even hang out sometimes after school and then send emails to each other during the evenings. But the more we hung out, I noticed the more he had been distancing himself from his friends, as we wouldn't even meet his friends before we hung out and would just eat lunch on our own. When they'd see Daniel they'd greet him as if nothing was wrong, but when I'd pass by them in the hallway or see some of them in my classes, they'd either ignore me or seem hostile towards me.

I didn't worry too much over them, though. I only cared about what Daniel thought of me. I had grown so attached to him, always wanting to be by his side. He was so different from anyone I had ever met. It only furthered my curiosity as to why exactly he wanted to hang out with me so much.

One day, I met Daniel in the bleachers of the football field after he finished basketball practice. He offered me some snacks, asking me if I wanted any because I must have been hungry waiting for him, but I turned it down.

"I wanted to talk to you," I said. Daniel's expression turned serious, yet he still looked so handsome even when he didn't smile. "Yeah, what's up? Everything okay?"

"Your friends," I said. "You haven't been hanging out with them lately."

Daniel looked away from me and sighed. "It's complicated. I've known them since middle school. I'd rather hang out with someone different."

I raised a brow curiously. "But why me? I'm not exactly someone that someone like you would probably want to hang out with."

Daniel looked down silently, as if he was thinking hard about his answer. "You would probably hate me if you knew why."

Huh? What does he mean? I thought to myself. "Is it because you felt sorry for me, so you decided to hang out with me out of pity? Is that why?"

Daniel looked at me with wide eyes, as if he was shocked I would say that. "Of course not! I'd never do that to anyone."

"So… Why, then?"

Daniel seemed to become somewhat flustered, his cheeks blushing red on his dark skin. "I… I like you, Cody," he said quietly as I felt my heart skip a beat at those words. "The first time I saw you, I instantly knew I had a crush on you. I thought you were so cute and wanted to get to know you better. You intrigue me so much, Cody. You're someone who actually listens to me and someone I like listening to. You're so different from anyone I ever knew."

I just blinked, not exactly knowing what to say. Daniel likes me… It was something I never thought would ever happen, but I wish I could have told him that I felt the same—I liked him so much, I never liked someone like this before. "Daniel…"

Daniel only brought a hand to my face that was probably blushing pink, leaning in to press his lips against mine.

I felt my heart beating so quickly from inside my chest—like it would explode. I just sat there still, with Daniel's lips on mine as I was feeling so overwhelmed at that moment that I just froze and couldn't do a single thing. I didn't pull away, I didn't want to. I just wished that I could have done something in that moment other than sit still like an idiot as the boy I liked so much kissed me.

Daniel pulled away, clearly embarrassed. "I-I'm sorry, Cody… I shouldn't have done that. I didn't even give you a chance to speak, I don't even know if you like guys—"

"I like you too," I said as Daniel's sad expression turned into a happy one, as I got to see that beautiful smile once again. He looked down at himself before taking off his woven bracelet around his wrist. He gently took my arm, putting the bracelet around my own wrist.

"I know guys like us aren't allowed to be boyfriends—so this is all I can give you for now," Daniel said with a smile. "Maybe one day… When we're older, maybe we'll be able to be together."

I looked at the bracelet before looking up at him, and I couldn't help but smile too.

I think that was the happiest day of my life. I wished I could take that moment, capture it, and keep it forever.

Because that was the last day I saw Daniel and his beautiful smile.