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Almost Lover

Almost Lovers Always Do

I’m a jerk. I really am. I lied to my boyfriend because in all honesty, I didn’t want to be around him at the moment. I wanted to be by myself. I wanted to think to myself. I wanted to spend time with my mom. I want her to accept me. I don’t want to walk around on eggshells while I’m around her like I have been doing. She’s making me feel like I have to choose between her and Asher. I don’t want to do that. They both mean the world to me, even she realizes that. I felt even worse when I left Asher’s house.
I didn’t exactly expect to feel that empty that fast, but it was like the little bit of happiness I had left in me today was all gone. I just feel…off today. I heard voices coming from my living room when I walked into my house. I furrowed my brows. My mom said that she wanted to spend some time with me today. She said it would be just us. Imagine my surprise when I walked into a house full of laughter. I tossed my hoodie in the closet, and looked around my house.
"Mom?" I called out into the house.
"Stryker, we’re in here!"
I slowed down to a near stop and contemplated going with Asher and his mom to that gay marriage protest. I didn’t want to be there, being nearly aware of my sexuality, with people yelling at me. No thanks. I’m not as tough as Asher is. I sighed, and I came to the opening where my mom and two other females were sitting. I looked between the three of them.
"Honey, this is Mary Ann and her daughter Alyssa. They just moved here from Georgia. I went to college with Mary Ann. We were roommates." My mom explained. "Mary Ann, Alyssa, this is my son Stryker."
I waved as an awkward greeting.
"I…uh…hi?" I mumbled. "I thought that you wanted to talk to me?"
"I do." She smiled. "But Mary Ann and Alyssa are joining us,"
"I was kind of hanging out with Asher…"
"Who’s that?" Alyssa asked with a smile.
"He’s Stryker’s best friend," My mom laughed.
I looked at her, and I shook my head.
"Come on, and sit, honey. You’re acting like you might run away." Mary Ann stated with a huge smile. "I don’t bite, I swear,"
"Unless she wants too," Alyssa winked toward my mom like some inside joke. "I'm totally joking,”
"Alyssa here is going to be going to your high school, Stryker," My mom informed me. "I said that you would look after her, that's okay...right?"
I felt trapped. I slowly nodded and sat down beside my mom.
"You drug me away from Asher for this? Couldn't we just talk about this later when I got home or something?"
"You're always with Asher. I figured we could get to know each other again, and have some fun or something."
"Asher's a big part of my life," I replied, furrowing my brows. "I thought you understood that,"
My mom simply laughed, and rolled her eyes.
"You're being dramatic."
"Aren't all kids? My eldest son acted just like that up until he was nearly twenty." Mary Ann giggled.
"I'm not being dramatic." I interjected, but neither of them listened to me.
"Why don't we walk about Alyssa for a while?" My mom suggested. "How old did you say that you were again?"
"I turn seventeen in a month." She smiled. "I can't wait."
"And you're seventeen as well, Stryker?" Mary Ann asked me.
I nodded.
"Yes, ma'am. It's my Senior year. I turn eighteen in November."
"That's just a few months away." My mom stated. "I'm getting old," I rolled my eyes at her. I was about to say something when Daydream Away from All Time Low started to play from my phone. It was Asher. "Stryker, it's rude to have your phone on like that while we have guest."
"Sorry mom..." I trailed off.
"Put it on vibrate, and don't answer it, got me?"
Her request was ridiculous, but I listened nonetheless. I just really wanted to talk to my boyfriend. Asher knew that I was spending time with her today, so I can't imagine why he's calling me at such a time. He must be going through something. I know Asher, and that's probably the only logical explanation.
"There. Done," I rolled my eyes.
"Where do you plan on going after high school?" Mary Ann asked me.
I hesitated.
"I think I'm actually going to UNC you both."
"Awe, so is Alyssa." Mary Ann exclaimed.
I turned to look at the other girl.
"I'm graduating early," She shrugged. "At least we'll know someone right?" She laughed nervously.
"Cool," I nodded. I felt my phone vibrate again and again in my pocket but I chose to ignore it while Alyssa helped me set up the living room for us all to eat. My mom had made some chicken something while I was spending time with Alyssa. It was awkwardly silent until our mom's came into the room. My mom sat out all of the food for us to eat. We didn't even start when the doorbell rang.
"I wonder who that could be?" My mom questioned. "I'll be right back," She stated before she got up out of her seat and walked toward the front door.
"Stryker, I hear that you're some-what popular with girls?" Mary Ann teased.
"I was..."
"What happened there?" Alyssa asked."Usually there's a story."
I was about to answer when my mom took her seat back beside me.
"Ah...that's better."
"Who was that?" I asked curiously.
"Just someone who got the wrong house," She played it off, but I could just tell it wasn't just that. I was suddenly becoming very uncomfortable in my chair. "What was the conversation about before I rudely interrupted?"
"We were talking about how Stryker used to be a ladies man," Alyssa laughed. The girl was pretty. Actually, she was beyond pretty. She had a nice tan to her skin, and a long, nearly black hair with big, brown eyes. I mean, girls that look like that would've gotten my attention. That was before I realized I really happen to like a person with the same reproductive organs as myself. "Apparently he isn't one anymore,"
"God, I hope not," My mom smiled at me. "I want him to stop sleeping around,"
I rolled my eyes.
"I haven't slept around in the past month. Give me a little bit of credit." I playfully argued.
"Is that because of a special someone?" Marry Ann wiggled her eyebrows playfully.
I smiled just thinking about Asher.
" is," I nodded. I knew I looked like a love-sick puppy. God, Asher and I can't seem to stop looking at each other like that. It's a mystery how no one at school or in town has put two and two together. I figured that we were pretty obvious. I don't know how we manage to sneak around people's backs. I wanted to see Asher just thinking about him. I pulled my phone out of my pocket. I had seven missed calls, all from Asher, and a voicemail. I didn't care that we had company. Asher doesn't call me that many times at once for nothing. I ignored what my mom said to me earlier, and I pulled my phone to my ear. My mom scolded me, but I quieted her rather quickly. The three girls looked at me while his voice came through my phone.

Stryk…look…I really need you right now. My mom and I got to the protest, and some things were said…I just..I…I need you, okay? I know that you’re not at your house. I just stopped by and your mom said that you were out. I don’t even care that you lied to me right now, I just need someone to talk to. I’m not okay. I’m probably going over to Tay’s. Bye

I gave my mom a confused look.
"What's wrong?" Alyssa asked me, her Southern accent was charming, but I just wanted to hear Asher. I ignored them, and I dialed back his number, and waited for it to ring. I almost gave up when Taylor answered the phone for him.
"Hey, Stryker,"
"Is Asher there?"
"Yeah, he’s here," The girl replied.
"Is he okay?" I questioned quickly.
"No, he’s a fucking mess. I don’t know what happened. He hasn’t said anything,"
"What...could you asked him? Will he be okay?"
Taylor sighed from the other side of the line.
"Just get your ass over here." She stated.
"How is he?"
“Don’t lie to me,” I stated, interrupting.
"I'll be over there as soon as humanly possible. Hopefully," I looked right at my mom. Words can't express how mad I was at her.
"I’ll see you in a little bit." Taylor nearly whispered and I could hear Asher crying in the background. I know whatever happened really fucking shook him up. I stood up from the table, and I grabbed my beanie that I slipped off when I sat down to eat.
"Stryker, what are you doing?"
"Why would you do that?!" I nearly yelled. "Why would you lie to me? Why did you lie to Asher?"
"No, don't honey me." I shook my head. "You saw that he was hurting and you did nothing?"
"Let's not get ahead of ourselves." Mary Ann stated. She was just trying to keep the peace, but it wasn't exactly working.
"I get that you care a lot for Asher, he's your best friend but honey-"
"Boyfriend, mom!" I snapped. "Just say the fucking word! Asher's my boyfriend, okay? I get that it's a little hard to you to fathom, but get over it. I did. We’ve been together for a month and a half already."
"Do you think that it's easy getting used to that?"
"You can't call him my friend for forever," I shook my head. "And are you seriously asking me that? Of course I know that it's not easy getting used to! I thought I liked girls. Turns out, I happen to like boys more. It was confusing that all I could think about what my gay best friend, that was a dude! I spent weeks trying not to get involved with him, but I can't help it. Asher's an important part of my life. I thought that you of all people would understand that. You talked me into talking to him again after I found out that he was gay. It's not easy, mom. Believe it or not, I understand how this must feel to you. Now think about how I must feel now that I found out something happened to him. He's crying,"
The look on her face was priceless. She didn't say anything for a minute so I continued to rant at the three people at a table.
"It hurts me when he's hurting. I can't take thinking that he feels like I'm ignoring him because I'm not. I thought that maybe today was going to be about me and you talking together, not with other people. I have nothing against you two, but she's messed it all up. Asher's not okay, and I'm not there. It's killing me just standing here. I have a crying boyfriend, who means the world to me, to get to. I'm sorry that I'm not into girls. I'm sorry that I can't give you grandchildren. I'm sorry that I'm saying this in front of Mary Ann and Alyssa. I'm sorry sex with a girl isn't the same. I definitely didn't plan coming out to a few other people this way. It's embarrassing" I stated. I turned around to leave, but I walked back, seeing their shocked faces. "And a blow job from Asher is the best fucking thing in this world…a trillion times better than any girls." I shrugged and walked toward the front of my house. I grabbed my hoodie and I slipped out of my house.

"I'm sorry for freaking out like this," Asher sniffled. His voice was deep and horse from crying a lot. "I hate crying in front of people."
I grabbed his head with both of my hands. I brought our foreheads together. I kissed his salty lips slowly. I savored the feeling that he still managed to give me.
"Asher, you had every right to be angry. You deserve to be angry at the world, or throw something." I reasoned
"I'm so mad at you right now," Asher admitted, looking right at me. "Do you realize that I hated you for a while?"
"I couldn't get to my phone.” I tried to explain. “My mom said that she wanted to talk, and then roped me into staying when I got there. Her friend and her friend’s daughter were there,”
Asher rolled his eyes.
“Great, now you’re mom is trying to set you up with someone else,” He looked away from me.
“It’s not gonna work,” I nearly whispered. “Do you realize how much you mean to me? I’d be fucking insane to leave you,”
“Yeah…right,” He scoffed.
“Are you okay?” I questioned, staring right into his eyes. “I’m so worried right now. The last time I saw you cry you were fourteen.”
“I guess,” Asher sighed. “I’m just…hurt. That’s all,”
“If you’re hurt then I’m hurt,” I stated, getting a soft chuckle from him.
“You’re being a little ridiculous with this cute shit.” He rolled his watery eyes. “But thank you for coming over here.”
“Anytime,” I smiled. I pecked his lips quickly before I laced my fingers through one of his hands. “I uh…my mom made me really mad…”
“And…she was calling you my ‘friend’.” I shook my head. “She was like ‘I understand that Asher’s your best friend, but’, and I yelled back at her.”
“What did you yell?” He used his other hand to wipe the remaining tears from his face.
“I called you my boyfriend.” I smiled.
“Really? You’re not shitting me?” Asher looked completely shocked.
“No. Not to brag, but I gave one hell of a speech to the three of them. I’m pretty sure I scared Mary Ann and Alyssa more than my mom. She looked like a deer caught in head lights. It’s was pretty awesome,”
“Stryk…” Asher laughed, trailing off. “Thanks…that uh…means a lot.”
I shrugged.
“If I can’t stand up to my mom, there’s no way in hell that I’m going to make it out there in the real world with you,”
“Does that mean that you’re ready to tell the world?” He asked sarcastically. I froze a little bit. I looked down at our intertwined hands, and I sighed heavily. Asher understood my silence, and he didn’t seem happy about it. I knew that he wouldn’t, he has never been happy with our secret. “I get it…it’s fine, babe. I promise. After today, I’m not exactly sure that I’m ready to come out as a couple either,”
“I feel like that this is the only conversation that we ever have,” I sighed, finally looking back up at him. “I’m sorry, Ash. I can’t…it’s so fucking hard. I don’t know if you know how hard this is. My mom she…doesn’t…my mom…” I trailed off.
“She doesn’t accept you,” Asher deadpanned. “It’s hard to say out loud, right?”
I nodded, and rested my head against his collar bone.
“Right,” I agreed.
“She still loves you, Stryker.”
“Sometimes it doesn’t feel that way,” I announced with a shaky breath. “I hate that she doesn’t look at me in the eye. Today was the first time that she did because we were with other people. She was acting like I was normal.”
“Nothing’s wrong with you,” Asher interjected. “You’re perfect the way you are,”
“I’m glad someone thinks so,” I mumbled, placing a kiss on his exposed neck. I pulled my head away, and I looked into his deep green eyes. “I feel like shit too,”
“At least we have each other, right?” Asher nearly laughed. “I’m lucky to have you, I really am. You’re the best friend anyone could ask for,”
“Now who’s the girl?” I joked lightly.
“Come on, let’s get out of this house,” Asher suddenly stood up. He pulled me up by our linked hands, and we both turned around. “Tay?”
“Yeah?” She asked, walking into the living room. “Are you two okay?”
“We will be,” I answered, smiling at my boyfriend.
“Okay. I’m here if you need anything. Just let me know, okay?” Taylor smiled, wrapping us each up in a hug. “I love you both.”
“Love you!” Asher and I called as we walked out of her house. I got into the driver’s seat of Asher’s car, and I drove toward our streets.
“Can we please go to my house for food or something?”
I looked over at him.
“Can we make a pit stop at my house first? I wanna grab a few days worth of clothing. I’m not staying in that house with her,”
“Anything you want, babe.” Asher cooed, rubbing his thumb across the back of my hand softly. “You can stay with me forever and ever if you wanna.”
I laughed.
“I might just take you up on that offer,” I joked back. I pulled into the drive way, and I leaned over the middle console. I grabbed Asher’s face, and crashed our lips together. “Come inside with me?”
“Of course,” He mumbled, kissing me again. We slipped out of his car, and I walked up to the porch. Asher’s hand wrapped around my own, and I opened the door to walk in. The three ladies were talking into the kitchen still, where I left them an hour ago. Asher squeezed my hand right before they came into view. My mom stopped laughing at something that Mary Ann or Alyssa had stated. Once my mom stopped talking, the other two turned around. Alyssa gave me a shy smile, and Mary Ann didn’t seem disgusted by our presence.
“I’m…uh…staying with Ash for a couple of days,” I stated awkwardly. He squeezed my hand again.
“Stryker…can’t we talk about this?” My mom sighed, looking between Asher and I. “Alone?”
“No.” I stated boldly. “I need to be with him right now mom. Surely even you noticed how shaken up he was when he came by,”
My mom’s face turned red from embarrassment.
“Just stop,” I sighed. “I’m staying with him regardless.”
“Asher…I’m really…”
“Save it,” He shook his head. “I can’t believe how you’re acting toward Stryker. With all due respect, Shelley, Stryker’s no different. If you would just open your eyes, you would see that. In fact, he’s cleaned up his act a lot.”
“Okay…” My mom sighed, shaking her head. “I’m not happy about this.”
“Neither am I,” I stated. “Come on, Ash.” I tugged on his hand. He followed me up to my room where we packed my stuff. I packed enough clothes for a week, my laptop, phone charger, my skateboard, and my backpack. Together we carried my stuff down. My mom didn’t even try to stop us as we walked out of my house and toward his car. I carelessly tossed my stuff into the back, and got into his car.
It didn’t take too long to get my stuff put away, and we were cuddling on the couch. I didn’t care if his parents were to walk into the house. I just wanted to be close to Asher. Even though I had accidently hurt him earlier, we were okay now. I don’t know what made me even want to be away from him. It was a mistake even going back home. I just want my mom to accept us so badly that I figured everything would be fixed. I’m kind of stupid. I should’ve realized that that wouldn’t be the case.
♠ ♠ ♠
Two huge chapters....they're important people.

xoxo Rae