Duplexity

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Babes

I woke up that day like any other day. Stretching whole-heartedly with a big yawn, I tossed my wrinkled covers over me once more and lingered in bed for another forty-five minutes. Once I got bored of scrolling through my newsfeed and responding to the occasional message, I decided to drag myself out of bed, brush my teeth, shower, and change. And I did these menial tasks without thought or care. Yes, I woke up that day just like any other day, but it ended up being one that would forever change my life.

I lived in a new, decently sized two-bedroom townhouse five minutes from campus. While I did make ends meet and live comfortably, I needed a roommate to ease the financial burden in any way possible. I posted an ad on Craigslist and in the campus newspaper about the available room down the hall, and it took months full of crazy “interviews” before I finally started to lose hope: one guy insisted that he would have to bring his lizards and snakes to the townhouse, another was out of work and couldn’t afford the first month’s rent, and one asked if I was okay with naked sleepwalkers. Needless to say, things weren’t going the way I wanted them to and my search was proving to be fruitless.

But that day I had arranged for another interested tenant to stop by, so he could see the place and we could see how we got along. As you could imagine with the months I’d had searching, I expected nothing to come of it, and the excitement I’d originally felt at the prospect of meeting someone new and potentially get a new roommate had faded. These little meet-ups started to blend in with my mundane routines. Despite my low expectations, a small glint of hope always remained.

And so when I heard the doorbell ring, I didn’t rush to answer the door with a skip in my step. I took my time getting there, opening it casually with a half-assed smile. “Jamie Lakis?” I asked with my brow raised.

He gave me a nod and a grin, outstretching his hand to me. “Nice to meet you,” he said coolly.

Giving his hand a firm shake, I introduced myself and waved him in. “You too. I’m Carson. Feel free to have a seat on the couch there. Want something to drink?” I asked, walking into the kitchen to grab myself a water.

“Yeah, a water would be nice,” he shouted from the living room.

The couch he sat on faced toward the kitchen, and the island with the sink on it faced him. I looked up at him playing on his phone as I fixed him a glass of water. I couldn’t see his face but I was able to admire the chocolate brown mess atop his head. He sat bent forward with his arms rested on his knees. He wore a pair of cargo shorts and flip-flops, leaving his golden calves visible to me. Even from the distance I could see the golden-brown hairs that sprinkled his legs.

Snapping bahis firmaları out of it, I carried two glasses of water to the living room and when I placed them on the coffee table he looked up at me and put away his phone. Taking a seat on the loveseat adjacent to him, I decided to be the one to strike up a conversation. “So, Jamie, are you from the area?”

“Sort-of. I just transferred from Middlebury. Only an hour away, so new to the college but not so much to the area.”

I crinkled my brow and looked at him quizzically over my glass. Before taking a sip, I asked, “Why did you leave Middlebury? If you don’t mind me asking.”

He shrugged, leaning back. “Well, this is where I originally wanted to go but my parents preferred Middlebury. That is where my dad attended. I said I’d give it a shot and I did—for three and a half years,” he chuckled. “This is where I want to be. What are you studying?”

“I’m an education major—early childhood education, actually. My junior year. And . . . you?”

“Biology, senior year,” Jamie said matter-of-factly. “I love that shit.”

I laughed, warming up to him. Finally, someone who seemed perfectly normal and quite pleasant to boot. Not to mention, I knew I wouldn’t get tired of looking at that face. He had a Greek-ish little nose, dark blue eyes, and shortly cropped, wavy brown hair. He wasn’t bulky by any means, but he was certainly tall. From what I could remember at the time, I’d have had to slightly lift my head to press my lips to his chin.

We bullshitted for another hour or so—much longer than any of the others—and the conversation just continued to flow effortlessly. He was really just a laid-back guy who I happened to have a lot in common with. I told him straight up that day that he could move in as soon as he was able and that the room was already ready. When he left, I watched him from the blinds as he got in his big truck, put his baseball cap on, and drove off. Was he witty and ambitious? Yes. Was he attractive? No fucking contest. But that wasn’t the reason I chose him—I’ve never been so shallow and vain as to make monumental decisions based on spur of the moment feelings in either my head or my pants. He genuinely seemed like he’d be a good roommate—get off my back!

We texted back and forth that night about a possible move-in date and decided that the next day would work for us both. He said he’d be by with most of his things around 4:30, after his classes, which gave me time to make an extra key to the duplex and tidy up a bit more. I keep a clean house, and it isn’t cluttered with the typical man-cave shit either. It was pretty plain, actually, and not even so much as a picture adorned its walls. I guess I as a person was plain.

The next day I left the front door open so he could kaçak iddaa just walk in with his things, blasting some Arctic Monkeys to fill the void in case the silence got awkward between the two of us. As I wiped down the kitchen counters I pondered about whether or not I should have told him I was openly gay. I’d imagine he didn’t pick up on it by himself, being as I don’t really fit the stereotype of the flamboyant, feminine homosexual. Pictures of half-naked men slick with oil don’t cover my bedroom mirror and don’t even have a presence on my phone. Ironically, when I come out, most people try to insist that I’m straight. I’ve never experienced homophobia, nor do I understand it. What I do understand is a man being somewhat uncomfortable about living alone with another gay man. He had a right to know, and I suddenly felt bad for not having told him before he brought his shit over.

Right on cue I heard three taps on the door. Peering around the wall I saw Jamie poking his head in, a large box of what seemed to be knick knacks held tightly against his chest with his forearm. He was wearing the same cap as yesterday except now it was backwards, with bits of brown hair jutting out the front, and he also sported a sheepish grin on his face.

I laughed a little and walked over to him, gesturing toward the box with my hands as a way of offering to take it. “You know,” I said as he handed me the box and bent down to pick up another, “you do live here now. No need knock.”

“Didn’t want to scare you,” he winked with that same lopsided smile.

My cheeks may or may not have turned pink at the sight of him winking at me, and in an effort to hide it I quickly turned and led him to his room. Luckily for me, it was right next to mine. You know, in case he happened to sleep walk in the nude. As you could imagine, that concern was genuine and in his best interest, of course.

I put his box down and jabbed a thumb in the direction of the front door. “Need more help unloading?”

“Thanks, man,” he chirped, smacking my shoulder and walking out, leaving me behind to touch my shoulder in an effort of making sure the sparks I felt didn’t ignite my shirt on fucking fire.

“I have every Arctic Monkeys song on my Spotify,” he commented behind another large box before handing it over to me. I lingered and waited for him to grab one for himself so we could walk to his room together.

“Oh yeah? I’ve seen them in concert a bunch of times. They’re probably my favorite band.”

He grunted as he lifted what appeared to be the heaviest box and started walking inside. “No doubt. They’re one of mine too, although I think 311 takes the cake for me.”

How I was swooning.

After we unloaded the last few boxes and the few bags of clothes he brought, he kaçak bahis sighed and looked around his cluttered room with triumph. “Alright. That’s enough for now. How’s a beer sound?”

“You just read my mind,” I laughed.

“Good. I have a six-pack in the truck that I’d have been embarrassed to drink alone.”

I cracked a smile from ear to ear, and he literally jogged to the parking lot to get his beer. I smiled all the way to the living room, where I threw myself on the couch with legs apart and tossed his key onto the coffee table. He returned and sat next to me, grabbing it and handing me a bottle.

Tossing it gently up and down in his hand thoughtfully, Jamie gave an encouraging glance toward my beer and then toward my mouth. Amuse, I obliged and took a swig. “I’ve been thinking . . .” I trailed off. “I probably should have said this before in case it made you uncomfortable, but I am gay.”

“What’s the news?” he asked, popping off the lid to his bottle.

“What?”

“What’s the big deal? Did I need to know because it effected my rent?”

“Well, no—”

“Then take it easy,” he winked. “Doesn’t make a difference to me.”

“Oh,” I grinned, somewhat embarrassed that I felt the need to announce my sexuality. “Never mind then.”

He shot up from his seat and kneeled down in front of the TV. “Want to play some Xbox? I see you have Splinter Cell. I’ve never played the co-op campaign mode. If you’re up for it.” He looked back at me awaiting my answer, game case already open with the disc ready to be put into the console.

“You’re on.”

The rest of that night went well. We played video games with the music on and, by the end of the night, the table was littered with empty bottles of beer. Having put off setting up his bed, he slept on the mattress on the floor his room and I carried myself to bed. That night I stared up at the ceiling smiling with sore cheeks. I couldn’t stop thinking about the day I had, which was no doubt a simple one. It’s not like we locked eyes, or like his touch lingered too long. Nothing like that at all. Still, like a school boy, I daydreamed of him. His smell, his voice, his smile. It’d been years since I felt that familiar somersault in my stomach, the pricking of hairs on the back of my neck, or the anticipation of seeing him again the next day.

This little crush of mine wasn’t life altering by any means. I’d had crushes on guys before, some gay and some straight. It was nothing out of the ordinary. Still, a new crush is always an exciting experience, especially when it forms so quickly. And indeed, it did—it only took a half a day.

Carson, you are playing a dangerous game.

*****

Hope you guys like it. It’s a little short, only because I didn’t want to put too much effort into making it long if no one ends up enjoying it and wanting to read more. Let me know what you think, and feel free to share tips and critiques on where I need improvement.

Venereae

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