Sunday, January 30, 2011
Chapter 3: Kyle's Day Post Proposals
Kyle wakes up the next morning a complete hour before his alarm is set to go off at 7AM. Kyle immediately knows how the next few minutes will play out as he has already been through this process on multiple occasions throughout the night. His first thought is a hope that last night’s visits from Nick and Oliver were just a part of a really messed up dream. His mind is simply playing tricks on him. Right? The dream is just a manifestation of the battle between the feelings of his heart and the rationale thoughts of his mind. Or is it? Did he really agree to marry Nick? Did he really contemplate letting Oliver back into his life and heart? And then, a split second later, Kyle realizes that everything from the previous night was indeed very real. He knows sleep will not come back easily now that the process was starting all over again. He thinks to himself that he should just get up and get the day started, but his body refuses to move from the bed. Then the process continues.
Nick. The guy Kyle met at the gym and instantly found a connection with. The only other guy, besides Oliver, that Kyle ever felt he had some kind of serious connection with. Yes, there had been some others here and there, but nothing as complex as the current scenario hitting him like a slap in the face. Kyle loves Nick’s confidence, his passion for his beliefs, his very hot looks and mostly his being ‘out’ of the closet. Nick is not afraid to be himself. He is proud to be out. Kyle admires and respects these traits more than words can express. This is definitely not his experience with Oliver back in college or the last few months when their paths seemed to cross almost naturally without them even trying (maybe the universe’s way of trying to tell him something). Further, Nick gives Kyle the courage and strength to keep turning things around in his life after some of his low points in recent months. Kyle had lost himself for a period of time, doing some questionable things including blackmail, but is now actively trying to fight his way back on track. This had always been a challenge for Kyle as he always seems prone to making some bad decisions and then having to claw his way back from the ramifications of such decisions. Nick encourages him with this and supports him through the ups and downs. Kyle is grateful and appreciative to have Nick at his side. Kyle is not shocked that Nick told him that he loved him. Kyle is very much aware of Nick’s growing feelings. But this does not change the fact that Kyle is simply not in the same place right now. But in time, Kyle believes whole-heartedly that his feelings for Oliver will dwindle (or become a much softer roar) and then his feelings for Nick would grow as a result. His feelings would grow into the love Nick deserved. This is why he said yes to Nick’s proposal. It will just take some time. And in Kyle’s thought process it is not like Nick and him had to get married or make a commitment to one another right away (it was not even legal in the state of PA). Of course Nick and Amelia were actively trying to change that.
Oliver. His Oliver. The most frustrating, attractive, frustrating, smart, frustrating, sexy, frustrating, fascinating, frustrating and beautiful man that he has ever known. The man that stole his heart back in their college days, and in recent years trampled all over it. Until recently Oliver was in complete denial about being gay. Oliver was so far in denial about himself that he hurt Kyle in ways that to this day still pains Kyle to think about. Oliver was so far down the denial path that his treatment of Kyle was at times very hurtful, hateful and damaging. Kyle understands where Oliver’s actions came from, but it still does not change the fact that the man he thought he was going to be with forever hurt him to the core. He could not forget these things. They hit a nerve so deep that he was unsure if the waters could be healed or repaired. And yet the Oliver that visited last night was much more confident although still a bit nervous in his social interactions (a trait Kyle loved about his Oliver bear). Oliver recently came out to his friends, his boss at work and most importantly to his parents. Oliver’s parents were the reason Oliver had been in such denial for so long. Kyle is so proud of Oliver for taking this step. He even told him so on many occasions. Oliver is finally beginning to see that it is okay to be gay and to be honest with himself about who he is. Kyle finds this slightly more confidant Oliver so sexy and hot. Kyle wants to join him on this journey of discovery, but every time he thinks about letting Oliver back in, the pain and hurt over the past years would surface. Yet in those minutes last night when Oliver and him kissed it was like nothing had ever changed. The kisses reminded Kyle of the connection him and Oliver had in college. There was no one else in the world besides them. No hurt, no pain. It was just he, and his Oliver, together like they had never been apart. Being with Oliver felt so natural and right at least during those few moments of time together last night. And then.
Then the process would allow Kyle to fall back asleep. The most irritating part of this process was that it did not help Kyle come to any conclusion or action steps. He still feels confused and not sure of his path. His mind says Nick is the path, but his heart says Oliver is the path.
Kyle then jumps out of bed (wearing only boxer shorts) and heads for the shower. He wants his mind to stop racing. Kyle decides to take an extremely hot shower, at least as hot as he could stand, to distract his mind and to hopefully think about anything else except the Nick and Oliver situation. The hot water actually does the trick. Kyle dries himself off from the shower and wraps a dry towel around his waist. He then puts on some deodorant and begins to brush his teeth. While he is brushing his teeth, there is a knock at the door. Kyle thinks to himself, who could that be this early in the morning. He spits out the toothpaste, rinses his mouth and says, “Be right there”. He rinses out his mouth one more time, dries off his mouth and head out of the bathroom towards the door.
Kyle opens the door.
“Good morning!” says Oliver as he looks upon Kyle only wearing a towel. Oliver surveys Kyle’s very hot body and a smile immediately forms. Oliver then realizes he is staring and looks away blushing, his cheeks getting more red by the second.
Kyle is both a little shocked and excited if the truth be told, “Oliver! What’re ya’ doin’ here?”
Oliver faces Kyle again and holds up a white bag and a cup of coffee. “I thought I would bring you some coffee and a muffin. Its lemon blueberry! Your favorite! Can I come in?
Kyle, still a little in shock, steps aside and motions Oliver inside the room.
“Oliver, what’s goin’ on here? Why are ya’ here?”
Oliver laying the coffee and bag with the muffin on the desk, “I thought I would surprise you. I know how mornings can be rough for you without any coffee. So I stopped by the café around the corner to get you some and then I saw the muffins. Now I’m here.”
“Oliver, ya’ didn’t have to do this. I appreciate the thought, but what do ya’ think this is goin’ to accomplish?”
Oliver immediately gets one of his oh crap looks on his face. He hated these moments where he felt so insecure about what to do or say, but then….
“I told you last night Kyle that I was going to tell you everyday how I feel. So I thought I would start early today. I could not think of a better way to start the day.” Oliver smiles at Kyle.
Kyle can’t help but to smile back. Wow! How sexy is this man in his uniform standing in front of him at this very second? He could not take his eyes off of him.
“Sit down, Kyle and enjoy your breakfast.”
“I really should get dressed first.”
Oliver blushes as he says this, “Don’t do that on my account. I rather like the view.”
Kyle smiling again (why can’t he stop smiling), “Oh really?”
“I’m just speaking the truth, Kyle.”
Kyle sits down and pulls out the muffin from the bag, “You’ re too much!”
Oliver makes his way over to the bed sitting on the foot of it, “So have you thought about what we discussed last night?”
“I can honestly say I haven’t thought of anything else all night.” Kyle takes a bite of the muffin and drinks a sip of coffee.
Oliver with a pleased expression on his face as Kyle looks over to him, “Good. Do you need me to repeat anything I said?”
“I remember every last word, Oliver.”
Kyle takes another bite of the muffin and another sip of coffee.
“Good. I don’t want you to forget. It was a quality filled Oliver moment!”
Kyle smiling and laughing, “What’re ya’ talkin’ about?”
“Oliver had some courage for a change. It doesn’t happen that often in terms of my personal life. So I thought I should mark it down as a memorable occasion.” Oliver smiles.
“You are way too much sometimes, Mr. Fish,” says Kyle chuckling.
Oliver stands, “Part of the charm I guess.”
“Oliver the charmer. Some things never change!” says Kyle as he looks up at Fish standing directly in front of him now. “What’re ya’ doin’ now, Officer Fish?”
“Thinking about what my next move should be!”
Kyle gets a puzzled look on his face and before he realizes what is happening Oliver is bending down and brings his mouth to Kyle’s. At first Kyle melts into Oliver’s kiss and then Kyle starts to remember all the thoughts that had been racing through his mind throughout the entire night. Kyle breaks away and stands up walking over by the bed. “Oliver, I can’t do this.”
Oliver a bit flustered. “Okay. Sorry.” Oliver pauses and then walks over to stand in front of Kyle. Oliver then finds a wave of confidence, “No, I’m not sorry, Kyle Lewis. I want to kiss you and I know you want to kiss me back.” Oliver grabs Kyle from behind and pulls him next to him. Their lips lock and Kyle is immediately melts into Oliver’s arms again. Once again time seems to stop and the two get further lost into one another. Oliver begins to push Kyle towards the bed. Kyle senses this and breaks away walking back over to the desk.
“Oliver, I need ya’ to leave. I’m with Nick now. I can’t do this.”
“Why Kyle? Why can’t you let me back in?”
“It’s just not goin’ to work, Oliver. There’s too much baggage and history. I don’t think we can get beyond the past.”
Oliver a bit agitated (as much as Oliver can show agitation anyway). “You mean that you can’t get past it.” Oliver looks at Kyle with his sad puppy dog eyes and Kyle has to look away to keep his resolve.
Just then there is a knock at the door. Kyle and Oliver both look surprised and look at each other and then back to the door.
“Kyle, its Nick. I need to talk with you.”
Kyle’s mood immediately changes to panic. He looks to Oliver with a what do I do now look.
“Kyle, please open up.”
Kyle walks over and opens the door.
“Hey you!” says Nick as he barges into the room immediately spotting Oliver standing by the bed.
Nick is initially dumbfounded as he looks from Oliver to Kyle and back to Oliver.
“Oliver, what are you doing here? Kyle, why is he here and why are you wearing nothing but a towel?” Nick can feel the anger and bit of jealousy rising inside of him. Then the rage and jealousy hit him hard. Looking at Oliver he asks, “Were you here all night?”
Oliver looks over to Kyle. Kyle begs Oliver with his eyes to help him out.
Oliver walks past Nick, looks at Kyle and says, “I need to get to the station. See you around, Kyle.”
Oliver leaves closing the door behind him.
Nick to Kyle, “What’s going on Kyle? Did he spend the night here?”
Kyle looking over at the clock and realizing he needs to get going or he is going to be late for his morning shift at the hospital. “Look Nick. Nothing happened here. I can’t talk about this right now. I have exactly 20 minutes to get dressed and over to the hospital for my shift.” Kyle heads back towards the bathroom to get dressed.
“So that’s it. You’re not even going to try and explain what I just walked in on.”
“I will, I promise, but it’s goin’ to have to be later. Sorry, Nick. Please trust me. It’s not what ya’ think.”
“Then explain it to me.”
“I can’t right now. I’m sorry. I have to go.” Kyle goes into the bathroom closing the door behind him. He stands against the door hoping Nick will leave.
A few seconds later he hears the hotel room door close. He slowly opens the bathroom door and is relieved to see that Nick is no longer there. He lets out a sigh and heads back to the bathroom to get dressed.
Later that afternoon Kyle walks into the Buenos Dias Café for lunch. He initially pops his head into the door before proceeding into the restaurant. He wants to ensure that no surprises, namely Nick and Oliver, await him inside. The coast appears to be clear and Kyle enters the restaurant and has a seat in a nearby booth. To be honest he simply was not in the mood to face either Nick or Oliver right now. The morning went by quickly at the hospital. The hospital was hopping with activity today which kept Kyle’s mind occupied on other things besides his current emotional struggle. If he could just keep his mind distracted with other thoughts for the next half hour things would be okay. His hopes for this were not strong. How was he going to face Nick and convince him that nothing had happened between him and Oliver? If the roles were reversed, Kyle knew he would struggle to understand what he saw (just like he is sure Nick is having some very real doubts about them based on what he saw). How many more surprise visits is Oliver planning? He just needed to get through the next half hour and then work would beckon him for another 8 hours. Kyle volunteered first thing in the morning to pick up an additional 4 hours of work. He knows he is putting off the inevitable (facing Nick), but he’s not ready. Nick had even tried to phone him several times during the morning. Kyle did not answer instead chose to turn the ringer off and let all calls go to voice mail. He could not even bring himself to listen to the messages. At last check there was three messages from Nick.
Cristian makes his way over to the table, “Hey man. How’s it going?”
“Not bad. What about you?”
“No complaints. What can I get you?”
“Let me have a glass of water and the soup of the day.”
“Oh my stomach is in knots today.”
“Sorry to hear that. Is everything ok? You seem a little tense.”
“It’s just the pressure of juggling classes, studying and the work at the hospital.”
“I see. I’ll be right back.”
Cristian heads back behind the bar as Roxy enters the restaurant.
He looks up to see Roxy.
“Hey, Cris” says Roxy as she walks in front of the bar. “Can I get a diet soda over here.” Roxy points to Kyle’s table.
“Sure thing, I’ll have it right over.”
Roxy walks over to Kyle’s table and has a seat.
“Hi, stranger! Long time no see!”
“Hi, Roxy. What’s going on?”
“Oh not much just running around. You?”
“I’m on my lunch break. I have to head back to the hospital in about 15 or 20 minutes.”
“So what’s been goin’ on? Any update on the Officer situation?”
“There’s no Officer situation Roxy. I told you I am done with Oliver.”
“I don’t buy it.”
“Ok. I guess you don’t have to. It’s the truth I am movin’ on with Nick.”
“That’s a mistake.”
“What do ya’ know about it Roxy?”
“Well I happen to know how ya’ feel about the Officer. The guy ya’ love.”
“Its not that simple.”
“Why? If ya’ love him it should be.”
“Love doesn’t fix everything, Roxy.”
“Don’t you want to see if there is a chance?”
“I gave Oliver tons of chances over the past few months. He’s the one who chose to push me away and act as if we never existed. How do I get past that?”
“Ya’ trust in the Officer and what he is telling ya’ now.”
“Ok, but I can’t just forget everything he did. How do I trust that he can commit and mean it this time? We were together in college and he couldn’t keep his commitment to me then. He didn’t trust me to help him out. Instead he just ran away, tossin’ me to the trash so to speak.”
“Look, Kyle. Ya’ have every right to be angry and have trust issues, but listen to me when I say this. If there is even one tiny part of ya’ that wants to be with Oliver, you owe it to yourself to explore it. Don’t let him get away. In the long run you’ll hurt yourself more.”
“How? I have a great guy in Nick. He’s everything I need. He is confident, proud, knows what he wants and supports me.”
“Are ya’ trying to sell Nick to me or yourself? That’s a nice list you just spouted out there, but do ya’ go weak in the knees when he kisses you? Does he take your breath away? Are ya’ seriously ready to make a commitment to him and marry him?”
Kyle puzzled, “How do ya’ know about that, Roxy?”
“I overhead Mr. Activist telling his friend yesterday that he was going to ask ya’. I hope ya’ had enough sense to say no!”
Kyle looking down at the table, “Actually, I said yes.”
Layla enters the restaurant and heads over to the bar opposite Cristian.
“Hey Layla!” says Cris as he smiles.
“What’s going on?”
Cris points over to Roxy and Kyle.
Roxy now jumps out of her seat, walks over to Kyle’s side of the table raising her arms as she talks very loudly to him. “Have ya’ totally lost your senses?’ She lightly slaps the back of his head.
“Roxy, stop hittin’ me.”
“What are ya’ thinkin’, Kyle? Do I need to need to hit ya’ a few more times. Did the Officer’s visit mean nothing to ya’ last night?”
Kyle looks up in surprise. “Ya’ know about Oliver’s visit?”
“I tried to do ya’ guys a favor last night, Kyle. I talked Oliver into going over to see ya’ and layin’ his heart on the line. He still wants ya’. Don’t be an idiot. Go grab the man ya’ want and stop this silliness. He loves ya’. I hope he told ya’ that last night. You have waited for months for him to admit his feelings and when he does ya’ want nothin’ from him. You’re in serious denial my friend.”
“I have every right to be. I wish ya’ had left well enough alone.”
“I kind of doubt that. Ya’ can deny it all you want, but your face and your mannerisms give it all away. Ya’ love Officer Hunk! The sooner ya’ admit this the better off you’re goin’ to be. Continue down this Nick path and there will be lots of uneasy times ahead.”
“Nick, is in my life now.”
Roxy sits back down and waves her hands in front of Kyle’s face.
“Seriously? Wake up! Did ya’ just say that to me? Nick sounds like a super dude, all gay and happy, but he can’t be a substitute for your Oliver. If ya’ proceed with this you’re simply lying to yourself and deserve to be unhappy.”
“Thanks for that, Roxy. I appreciate the support. Not! I care about Nick a lot. He’s not just an Oliver rebound.”
Roxy shakes her head no and stands to leave. She walks over to Kyle and places her had on his shoulder. “Listen kiddo. I am not sayin’ that ya’ don’t have any feelins for Nick. In fact I’m sure ya’ do, but what ya’ haven’t convinced me of is that you’re over Oliver. I think we all know that’s not the case. Ya’ need to stop pretendin’ that Oliver and you are over. I’m here if ya’ need to talk and I’ll support ya’ assuming ya’ make the right decision, that bein’ the hot Officer of course. Get yourself over to Oliver’s apartment and tell him how ya’ feel. Take a chance and let him earn your trust back.” She grabs Kyle chin with her right hand and looks into his eyes. “Your eyes show the pain you’re feelin’, Kyle. Let yourself be happy. Let your heart lead ya’ down the right path. I’ll see ya’ later at the hotel. I need to make a few more stops before headin’ back.” Roxy releases his chin and begins to walk away. She turns and says, “Kyle.” Kyle looks over at Roxy. “Take a chance. Life is way too short. Don’t let fear ruin your chance at getting’ somethin’ you’ve always wanted.” Roxy exits the restaurant. Kyle buries his face in his hands. He now has a pounding headache and the Oliver/Nick thoughts are right back in the forefront of his thoughts.
Cris, with Kyle’s soup and water on a tray, says to Layla. “I need to get this over to him.”
“Cristian, wait.” Layla stands. “Do you mind if I take the tray over to Kyle.”
Cris with an inquisitive look, “Why?”
“I just want to have a little chat with him.”
“I thought you said it was to soon for Oliver to be with Kyle?”
“I did, but I can sense how down Oliver has been since he and Kyle talked at Rodi’s a while back. Maybe I can help. He is a friend.”
Layla grabs the tray and heads over to the booth.
Layla places the soup and water on the table, “Here you go.”
Kyle is puzzled to see Layla bringing the food over, “Do ya’ work here now?”
Layla smiles, sits the tray down and has a seat across from Kyle. She looks over at Cristian who just shakes his head in disbelief and smiles back at her. “I just needed a way to get your attention.”
“I see. So you’re also going to talk to me about Oliver.”
“Look I overheard some of your previous conversation. The lady has some good points, but I thought maybe I could offer some insight to the situation.”
“Because you and Oliver used to date?”
“Well yes, but not really. Oliver is my friend. We have recently been through some pretty dramatic stuff together.”
“I was there, actually Cris was also, when Oliver came out to his parents. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever witnessed. It broke my heart for Oliver and his family. The coldness of his father….”
“That sounds like George Fish for sure.”
“Well my point is that I was so proud of Oliver. He admitted to the two people he was most afraid of losing that he was gay and he was tired of hiding. I wish you could have been there and saw this Oliver. The strength and the courage he displayed was amazing. You would have been so proud of him.”
“I am proud of him. I’ve told him so on several occasions.”
“I know. He told me. He talks about you all the time, Kyle. He can’t stop thinking about you and he just wants a chance to make it up to you. Yes, he has made some mistakes, but if you could only hear the love that is in his voice when he is talking about you and your times together. He feels really bad about the hurt he has caused you.”
“So because he feels bad I’m just supposed to let him back in and trust that he’ll not hurt me again?”
“Kyle, he has to earn that trust back. Him and I are still working on our trust issues with each other. I don’t agree with how he has handled things or his tactics. He’s hurt me a lot, but he’s still my friend. I think you know this, but he’s a very special person. I would die to have a man feel about me the way he feels about you. Go see him. Tell him your feelings, your concerns and try to talk through it. What do you have to lose?”
“I don’t owe Oliver anything. I’m not sure I can forget everything. The pain he has caused cannot just be pushed under the rug and forgotten. I can’t allow him to ever treat me like that again.”
“You don’t have to forget, but I hope you can understand the place Oliver was in. We all do desperate and irrational things to cope with life sometimes. Oliver made some bad decisions. Let him make up for them.”
Cris walks over to the table, “Is everything okay here?”
Layla stands up from the booth, “I think so. Kyle, think about what I said. Open your heart back up. I understand you want to protect yourself, but that’s all Oliver has been trying to do over the past few years. Maybe he didn’t do it in the smartest way, but it was the only way he knew how to deal at the time.”
Layla walks back over to the bar. Kyle stares straight ahead with his forehead leaning on his hand, which is propped up by his elbow on the table.
“Can I get you anything else, man?”
“No thanks. Ya’ can take the soup. I can’t eat anything right now.”
“Can I tell you something?”
“So ya’ want to get your thoughts in on this also? So much for an Oliver and Nick free lunch.”
“Listen, Kyle. You stood in the alley behind this building a few months back telling me how you were in love with a man who wanted nothing to do with you. Love does not go away in a few months time. You love, Fish. Just admit it man and go do something about it.”
Kyle stands and hands Cris some money for the lunch. “I need to get back to work.”
Cris grabs Kyle by the elbow. “Just a friendly FYI. Fish will be at the apartment tonight alone. Layla and I are going to Capricorn. It might be a prefect time for a chat.” Cris pats Kyle on the back. “Take care man.”
Kyle exits the main entrance to the hospital some 8.5 hours later. The rest of the day passed by way too slowly for his liking. All he could think about all afternoon was Oliver and everything Roxy, Layla and Cris had said to him at lunch.
A few minutes later Kyle finds himself standing outside of Oliver’s apartment door.
Kyle knocks on the door.
Oliver opens the door a few seconds later.
No words are exchanged.
Their eyes say it all.
Oliver knows Kyle is ready to be with him.
Kyle knows Oliver is the love of his life.
Kyle walks through the door, grabs Oliver around the waist and pulls him forward into an embrace.
For the first time in months Kyle feels at peace.
He is back where he has always wanted to be.
Wrapped in his Oliver’s arms.
To be continued.........................