...We sipped our beers at the same time, silence popping up between us again as the song changed on the stereo. I recognized the new tune immediately and I smiled as the music filled the room.
“I love this song. It’s such a good record. I bought in on vinyl a couple months ago.”
Jesse smiled before taking a long drink of his beer.
“Okay, I take it back, Everett. You are more of a geek than I thought.”
“Because you still buy vinyl.”
“Fair enough. Like I said, I have no trouble with being a geek.”
“Albeit a geek with good taste in music.”
“I guess that softens the blow a bit.”
“Would it help to tell you that I have it on vinyl, too?”
“Well, that box over there labeled ‘Other Necessities’ is full of records.”
I looked at him in disbelief, but his guilty expression made me laugh.
“Not only do you lie about computer problems, Jesse, but you’re a closet music geek, too. So much deception from such an upstanding guy.”
“You found me out. Now, what do I have to do to get you to keep my secrets?”
I knew he was flirting with me this time. More panic bloomed inside me, but I ignore it and flirted right back. I hoped I was doing it right.
“I’m not sure. I’ll have to think about it.”
Jesse moved his arm on the back of the couch, and I felt his fingers graze my neck. He scooted closer to me and before I could react, he leaned in and kissed me. I knew I should stop him, pull away or do something, anything. But I couldn’t. The feel of him paralyzed me. Temporarily, at least. As I felt Jesse’s tongue part my lips, Kurt’s words came back to haunt me and I started to freak out even more. I tried to ease out of the kiss, but Jesse wouldn’t let me, pulling me closer still.
My mind was racing, my body at war with itself. It was Jesse who pulled away first, but he left his warm hand on the back of my neck. His thumb traced up and down softly, and I braced for the worst, for Jesse to catch on to my lack of skills. What I got instead was a compliment.
“Wow, you’re a really good kisser, Everett.”
“Um, okay. Thanks, I guess.”
He leaned his forehead against mine for a second before laughing. “What? You don’t believe me? Or is it that you don’t like compliments?”
“No, it’s not that. It’s just, well…” I thought better of an explanation and backpedaled as fast as I could. “Never mind.”
“Oh, come on. You can’t do that. Tell me.”
“Let’s say the last guy I kissed was unimpressed.”
I blushed as he finally let me go, turning my eyes away from him.
“Hey, hey, look at me.”
I let him turn my face back to his, the sincerity in his eyes taking me back to the school days. When I first developed my crush on him. The crush that now seemed in danger of turning into a full-blown infatuation. I wasn’t sure I could handle it. I didn’t want to stop it either.
“That guy was an idiot, Everett.”
“That’s sweet of you to say, Jesse, but—”
He cut me off with another kiss, his hands on either side of my face. I stopped worrying long enough to enjoy it, to relish the contact. It finally felt good, like I imagined it was supposed to all along. Just his lips against mine, skin on skin. I loved it.
“See. I’m not lying. Maybe that other guy didn’t know what the hell he was doing.”
Jesse ran his thumb over my bottom lip, which made my eyes fall closed. Then, the doorbell rang. I opened my eyes as Jesse stood and walked out of the living room. I could hear him talking, more to himself than to me.
“God, whose brilliant idea was it to order pizza?...”