When I was a freshman in high school I was invited to a cheerleaders birthday party. She was an incredibly good person, always friendly and caring, with a smile that would light up a room. Her birthday was in the fall, and her parents allowed her to have a party at their house. This wasn’t one of those high school parties portrayed in movies. They didn’t have a pool, and no unrealistic events happened. They did have a billiards room and most of the party was assembled in there, playing pool, throwing darts, eating snacks and drinking soda. Guest would migrate from inside to outside to get some fresh air. It was a very cloudy and windy night, you could smell rain in the air, it just hadn’t arrived here yet. Growing up in the Texas countryside you knew this weather well. This was the weather that led to high school football games being delayed, tornado weather. Lightning could be seen striking 10-15 miles away, quite a lot actually. A few drops of acid would have enhanced the experience greatly, but I digress.
The birthday girl was rather popular and most of her friends were other popular kids at school, the athletes, student council, etc. I was friends with some of them, but not too many. My main group of friends were the skaters who never did mix well with this crowd. I was the versatile one, who could flow from group to group somewhat easily. I was outside enjoying the breeze and admiring the lightning when I decided I should go inside and get a snack. In high school I could eat everything I wanted and never gain a pound, I miss that.
Anyway, I make my way through the billiard room and into the kitchen. I spot the meatballs in the crockpot and rush to the plates and forks. I was talking (and eating) with another girl in my class, she would become the valedictorian, when the birthday girl’s dad came in and said her father was here to pick her up. We said goodbye and I was standing alone in the kitchen. I was bored out of my mind and a cocktail really would have helped here. In high school though, usually I only drank with the rest of the Drama department. The band members were the morons who got caught drinking, but in drama, we knew what we were doing.
Lucky for me, I was saved. The birthday girl’s older brother, just walked in from the garage. He was two years older than me, well toned, a football player and gorgeous beyond belief. I had never had any interaction with him before, so I just said “hey” and darted my eyes to the ground. He walked around the counter put his arm around me and said “Hey Kevin, how’s your night going?” He knew me, he knew my name, more importantly: he touched me! I was so nervous I don’t remember what I muttered, but I’m sure it didn’t make any sense. He invited me in to his bedroom which was just off the kitchen. He shut the door behind me. I stood there, not daring to move a muscle as he took off his shirt. I thought to myself, this has to be a trap, fantasies don’t come true in Hutto Texas. Well, I was right. He grabbed another t-shirt from his closet and put it on. He told me he was smoking pot with his buddies and didn’t want his parents to smell it on him. At least I got to see his six-pack up close. He sat down on his bed and told me to have a seat too. He asked again how the birthday party was going, and this time I felt more bold to answer that I was in need of something stronger than soda. He looks at me with a smirk on his face and says “Wait here, let me get some coke.” My heart jumps out of my chest, did he say Coke as in soda or Coke as in cocaine…yikes. He was smoking pot, I didn’t think alcohol would be 1. Offensive or 2. A gateway to cocaine. I sat there nervously trying to anticipate what he might be bringing me. I had never done cocaine, then, so I was terrified. A minute or two go by and he reappears with two red Dixie cups in his hand. He hands me one and says “cheers.” I raise the cup to my lips and inhale the vodka fumes. Ok, good. He meant soda to mix with alcohol, he gets me.
As we drink, standing directly opposite of each other, I try to sip, but he downs his. He then tells me to drink up so he can get us refills. I down the rest in one gulp, trying not to cough too much. He goes out and returns quickly. Telling me to take a seat and relax, I decide to get comfortable on his bed. As we sit there he starts telling me how he is planning to break up with his girlfriend because they both are bored with each other. I said “that’s too bad,” even though it meant he would be single for me (let me have my fantasy). He then asked me how I like being gay. I was lucky that I didn’t do a Danny Thomas spit take! He must have sensed me tighten up because he put his left hand on my shoulder and gently massaged it. He told me to have another drink, which I did enthusiastically. He got up, took the cup from my hand and left the room, without saying a word. Crap, was he coming back? Was he getting us refills? Should I go?
Before I could decide my next move he walked back in with two full cups. He handed me mine and asked me if there was anyone I liked at school. I told him it didn’t matter, nobody in Hutto was brave enough to be openly gay. He then said that he understood and that a small town like Hutto isn’t the most open-minded. I raised my cup to cheers him and took a drink. He smiled at me with his gorgeous smile and his piercing blue eyes. Then something happened that I never thought possible, he leaned in and kissed me. On the lips. His lips were so soft and warm with the taste of vodka and soda. I was in heaven, I didn’t want this moment to ever end. Two minutes later, while we were still locked in embrace, loud shouting was coming from outside. We both jumped up startled, and wiped our lips dry. He took our empty cups and put them in the trash bin. He walked towards his door, stepping back to kiss me one more time and told me “let’s go.”
Everyone from the party was now standing in the kitchen, looking worried. A tornado warning had been put in place for our county and reports of a tornado touching down just one town over were on the radio. In all of the excitement nobody seemed to notice that just the two of us were in his room or notice how flushed we both were. The storm had passed and the party was at an end. I was incredibly sad that this special night was over, I got to kiss the man of my dreams, but now reality had to set back in.
On Monday morning at school, word was spreading that he and his girlfriend had broken up. I tried not to think about it, I knew it didn’t mean anything for me. During second period I would go to the office to read the morning’s announcements over the PA system. As I was walking back to class, he was standing in the hallway waiting for me. I didn’t know if the pot and vodka left his system and he realized what had happened. What if he was mad, or pissed…”this could be bad” I thought to myself. “Got a minute to talk?” He asked me. “Sure” I said. He said that we should go somewhere private. I suggested the prop room behind the stage. So we go and lock the door, and I sit down on one of the sofas. I figure that if he wanted to punch me, at least he would feel bad about hitting a guy sitting down. He sat down next to me. He told me about the breakup. Then he goes on to tell me how he has never had feelings like this, but he wants to be with me. I was gobsmacked. He went on to tell me that he can’t be open about it, and I understood, we dated in secret for two years until he went away to college. I believe he is married to a woman now, and I don’t know if he ever told anyone about us, so that is why his face is blurred in all of the photos. He was my first love.