Last weekend, I was able to drive up to see an old friend of mine for her birthday party. This friend of mine also happens to be a girl who I have had some feelings for on and off in the past (and the feelings have definitely been mutual). Over the past few years at different times, I have flirted with her, liked her, and even considered dating her. But for obvious reasons, it's always been fleeting and I never pursued a relationship.
When I arrived at her house after the hour-and-a-half drive of listening to practically only Lana del Rey, I finally saw her and met several of her own friends, all of whom seemed to be very nice. Out of the group of maybe ten people, there were only two other guys, and the more social of them – Austin – immediately stood out to me. He was slim, with black hair and a short dark beard.
From the start of the night, I had my suspicions that he was gay. There was something subtle in the way he spoke and the way he composed himself around his many female friends– I just got the vibe, so throughout the night I inwardly wanted to be closer to him. I probably looked at him too often and laughed at what he said too much. Later into the night, we all sat and talked around a bonfire in the backyard. Eventually someone was singing and someone was playing guitar. As things continued to calm down and the flames of the bonfire continued to light up Austin’s face, I could not help feeling so attracted to him.
While I felt this attraction, I remembered the girl sitting across from me, who probably wants to be more than friends and for whom I wish I more consistently felt something. The girl whose house I was at, the girl who I had “dated” in middle school and the girl I sometimes wished was my girlfriend now. Here she was, yet here he was. Why is it that in seven years I could hardly feel for her what I now felt for him within a matter of hours? I have never wanted to be alone with – or kiss – anyone like I wanted that with Austin.
Well the party went on. My friend suggested that I stay the night in their guest bedroom so that I wouldn’t have to make the drive back home that night. I agreed. After that plan came together, I secretly pleaded that Austin would also be staying the night– not necessarily so that anything physical would happen, but just for the emotional closeness and the simple knowledge itself that we would be sleeping in the same house or same room. But soon Austin left, and that was it. I felt disheartened for a while, but it wasn’t any shocker so I got over it.
Sometime after Austin left, he came up in discussion and I officially heard that he actually is gay and actually has a boyfriend. It was then that I noticed something in him that made him so attractive (or, rather, contributed to it). He was honest with his close friends about his sexuality, but he was certainly not desperate to make it all you see in him. He was just simply him– classy, friendly, good-looking, and as it so happens, gay.
I won’t forget the great time I had catching up with my friend at her party. And I won't forget her contagious smile, or the way her face is full of such effortless beauty.
But inconveniently... I also won’t forget what I felt for Austin. I won’t forget the way he looked glowing by the bonfire, or how badly I wanted him to sleep beside me that Saturday night.