My mouth hung open for several minutes before I could do anything useful with it, such as form words. I made some sounds that were mostly incoherent gibberish, but eventually gave up. In the end I managed to spit out, “You do know I date girls, right?” Yeah, it probably wasn’t the best thing to say, but it was better than standing there and looking stupid.
It was Jeremy’s turn to look surprised. He stuttered something that I could only guess meant, “I had no idea.” even though it sounded more like, “I-ha-nidea.” The only thing we could do was stand there awkwardly, which we accomplished with ease. All at once, there seemed to be so much I had to say, so much I wanted to say. Eventually I got up my courage and asked, “Will you give it a shot?”
There are many things that surprise me, nothing is ever what it seems. Jeremy’s hugs are one of those things. He never shows emotion. I never would have guessed his body would be so soft. He always looked so tall, in reality, the top of his head only came up to my eyeballs. I had always seen him as something male, something dominant. For the first time, I saw Jeremy for who he truly was. He was a she. He was tender and delicate. He was a girl.
I hugged him back.
We stood there for a while, not saying anything. If the situation were different, I would have wondered why I was hugging a guy like this before we had even gone out yet, but circumstances for me were different now. Jeremy was my best friend. He understood me, it’s why he never asked questions, and why we didn’t need to talk in order to enjoy being together. For the first time, I realized what having a best friend felt like. I was content to stand there all night, and the both of us probably would have, but people were starting to notice. It was best to move on and continue later in private.
We got back to the warehouse. James told me that I had no more runs to make. Even though I didn’t want to leave Jeremy so soon, I was tired. For the past week I had only been getting two hours of sleep every night. Since I was getting off work early, I might actually get at least four. I couldn’t let this chance slide. After talking to James, I said goodbye to Jeremy and left the warehouse. I was about halfway down the street when I heard footsteps behind me. When I turned around, I saw Jeremy running with a scrap of paper. He caught up and as he gave me the piece of paper he said, “That’s my address and phone number. You can come by tomorrow after school. We have a lot to discuss.” I smiled and nodded and continued on my way home. Jeremy walked with me in his usual silence.
I guess even though some things change, some things stay the same.