By the time the day was finished we were all sweaty, dirty and exhausted. I was glad for my great choice in hiding spots as it made me certain no one had seen what happened. I was worried he might continue making comments and touching me when we rejoined the others but he acted as he had this morning.
“You need a lift home too Michael?” Lily asked as her dads car approached the parking lot.
“No, I'll give him one,” Zack answered for me. I didn't argue with the idea. Though it was still weird getting used to the fact he was rich. I'd just made out with a cute, rich kid who has an amazing personality and he likes me. I was still wrapping my head round that last part. As soon as the car left viewing range of anyone Zack pulled me to him. I thought he was going to kiss me again but instead he just leaned into my hair, nuzzling it.
“Do you have any idea how happy I am right now?” he murmured, inhaling deeply. I tried not to worry about the fact that I probably didn't smell very nice with all the running around and exercising.
“I'm guessing somewhere close to how happy I am?” I replied. Remembering in the back of my mind that he's likely had relationships before me. Maybe my happiness is completely different because this is the first time I've found a guy who wanted me as much – I hope – as I wanted him. He laughed and I could feel his warm breath on my cheek and he pulled me into another kiss. This was shorter than the others but still as amazing. I was still stumbling to regain my line of thought after.
“So...” Zack started, clearly unsure of whatever he was about to say.
“If your going to ask me out, I think we skipped the first date a little,” I replied. With more confidence than I expected.
“Oh, trust me. I can top that in terms of a first date,” He said. I raised an eyebrow but didn't ask. Because I wasn't sure how much he was insinuating and whether my brain with all it's crazy hormones could take it.
“I was going to ask if I'm allowed to kiss you when I see you on Monday,” He said closing the distance between us again. This time drawing it out longer, and I wanted to say yes, I really did. The idea of letting the whole world know I was with this guy made me grow all happy and glowy inside. But I couldn't, not yet. I was in no way prepared to let people know the truth. I knew it didn't matter anymore, it's not like I had to admit to being gay and say I liked a straight guy as well. I was just coming out with a boyfriend. Boyfriend, that word made me want to grin and not stop. I think Zack must've been watching every emotion pass over my face before speaking.
“Does that grin mean yes?” he asked, his voice excited.
“No” I replied lamely. It just means if I think about you I get happy.
“Oh,” He said, his shoulders slumping. His smile replaced by a frown. I wanted to remove it from his face with kisses but the car pulled to a stop and the driver announced we were here. I glanced at Zack but he seemed to still be thinking. I wondered if I'd just blown everything up in my own face as I opened the door and stood up. Then I heard Zack follow me. He hesitated before speaking.
“Guess we'll just have to find good hiding places then. See you Monday Mikey-boy.” With that he wrapped his arms round me and I felt a sign of relief run through my body. God, why was I being so insecure? Zack wouldn't blame me for wanting to hide, he'd done so himself for a long time. I watched the car drive away before going home. When the door closed I lent against it for support.
“Someone looks happy, good day?” mum asked from the sofa. I tried not to notice the persons face on the screen as I responded.
“Zack kissed me!” I blurted. Because I couldn't think of a more smooth way of saying it and honestly I wanted to yell it at someone.
“About time someone did.”
“Mum!” I replied, drawing out the word and trying not to get embarrassed. But she just laughed at my annoyed expression. The banter continued for a few more seconds before I finally picked up the remote and turned off the TV.
“I was watching that,” Mum said, her face staring at the black screen.
“Yeah, well I'm sick of looking at his face,” I replied, arms crossed. I knew it was unfair to take out my spite on mum. She didn't react except to nod. I headed to my room feeling stupid. Why had I snapped like that? I wish my mum would shout back whenever it happened.
Like that my good mood was gone. I wanted to go back to the paint balling range earlier today, when I hadn't been thinking about anything but Zack. Where all the other stupid stuff in my life hadn't crossed my mind.
Monday morning couldn't have come quicker, Zack and I had exchanged texts throughout Sunday and I wanted to see him. Not that I could attack him there and then. I remembered what he'd said about hiding places and tried to think of areas that nobody wondered too but it was hard. The main building and all the other blocks were surrounded by open field.
“Michael, wait up,” I turned to see Derek was running after me. He paused to get his breath for a few seconds.
“Didn't get to see you much after paint-balling yesterday,” he said as we began walking again. He was right, when paint-balling had finished I'd spoken to Lily and Kim a little. Then Zack had given me the lift home.
“Sorry, needed to get home quickly,” I replied. It was a feeble excuse but I couldn't think of anything better.
“And spend more time with that weirdo Zack?” he asked with a small laugh. I felt a spike of anger go through me. He didn't know Zack, where did he get the right to be mean?
“Zack's a nice guy, you shouldn't be so judgemental,” I said. Trying to keep my voice neutral. I wished they would get along. Though Zack doesn't dislike Derek, he just seems to enjoy annoying him.
“Is he gay too?” I stopped and stared at Derek's back as he kept walking until he paused to look back. He looked a little ashamed by what he'd said.
“Amber told me,” He finally said, turning away from me but still not walking forward. Of course, I was stupid for thinking she'd actually keep my secret.
“Is that all she told you?” I asked. God no, anything but that.
“Yeah,” I could tell by the way he couldn't meet my eyes that he was lying. So much for hiding. If Amber had told Derek then she's probably told the whole school, or about to today.
“Why didn't you ever tell me?” Derek asked, turning to look at me again and it was my turn to avoid his eyes.
“Just couldn't,” I muttered. I didn't want to continue this conversation. What did it matter anymore? I had Zack, Lily and Kim. I wasn't alone in this. I didn't wait to hear what Derek had to say next and walked faster than I ever had before. Wanting to get to school and get it over and done with fast.