I honestly couldn't help but stare. He was beautiful. His brown hair swept perfectly over his forehead, his hazel eyes glowed every time his pearly white teeth flashed his signature smile. I signed, knowing that a guy like him will never go for someone like me. I mean, seriously, who would ever want to date me? With my tall, awkwardly shaped body, blonde shaggy hair and pale green eyes. But when I looked at him from afar, it didn't matter whether he would like me, just the fact that he exist makes my heart flutter. I even go as far as daydream about him…

"Kendall!" I was woken up from my daydream and was looking at my best friend Carlos. I smiled shyly, not bothering to re-enter my daydream. "You ok buddy?" I nodded slowly.

"Yeah, just thinking, that's all."

"Well, you don't have time to think any longer, the bell is going to ring in a minute! And Mrs. Longobard isn't going to be so happy if we are late again." I smiled back at my friend. Then got all my stuff and followed him to English class.

So, you must be wondering why I was just memorized by the most beautiful guy in West Gate High. Well, that's easy, I'm gay. I've had a crush on James since the 8th grade, when I found out about my sexuality. I haven't even been able to tell my best friend, thinking that it might ruin our friendship of 13 years. So I keep this secret to myself, and my little sister, Katie. She is the only other person that knows, not even my mom knows. My dad will never know, sadly, because he died when I was 10. I do pray to him, telling him my problems, so maybe that counts as him knowing.

And I do know for a fact that James will never like me for two reasons. One, he is completely and utterly straight. Nothing will ever change his mind about girls. And two, he has never spoken more than 2 words to me. Yeah, if I "accidently" bump into him in the hallway, he says "sorry" and I would excuse it, but other than that, nothing! In the beginning, I became very depressed; no one could help me because they didn't know why. Katie, who was 8 at the time, wasn't stupid. She found out what was going on and I was forced to tell her the clear version.

But I never went as far was harming myself. At the time, I didn't have the strength to. But the urge was there, the feeling of a sharp stimulus to mask the burning feeling in my heart. I have attempted many times, but I would chicken out before the blade touched my wrist.

Now, I am somewhat happy and healthy. I don't have that strong of an urge of harming myself anymore all thanks to Carlos. He has been by my side since we were 5. We started kindergarten together, and since then, the rambunctious teen and I have been friends.

We entered Mrs. Longobard's class, hoping the bell didn't ring while I was in my own little world. Luckily, it didn't, and we just went to our seats. After ten minutes of the morning routine, I felt a person standing by the door. I didn't look up, knowing that I was supposed to be writing my short story. But when I heard his voice, I couldn't help but shoot my head towards him.

James was standing next to the teacher's desk, waiting for her to return a slip he must have walked in with. Mrs. Longobard smiled at the paper and handed it back to James. Then she stood up as if she was going to make an announcement, which she did.

"Class, please welcome a new addition to the class, James Diamond. He is going to be in our class for the rest of the semester. So, James, how about you sit next to…" Mrs. Longobard thought about where to put him while I prayed to God that she would make him sit next to me. "Sit next to Kendall Knight. Kendall, please raise your hand." I was still in shock, but I managed to raise my hand slightly so he knew where I was. He smiled at the teacher than made his way towards me. I tried to hide the stubborn smile that wanted to spread across my face.

"Hi, I'm James." He said to me as he sat down. His smile caused me to forget how to breathe for a moment.

"I'm Kendall." I returned with a smile similar to his, but not as perfect. The period went on uneventfully, I tried to glance next to me at him, but only succeed once out of the 148 times, but who was counting? When the bell rang, I walked over to Carlos, who smiled at me. Was he suspicious? I asked myself.

"Hey," he said, and I breathed a sigh of relief. Good, it was nothing.

After 3 more uneventful periods, it was time for lunch. Me and Carlos sat by ourselves in the corner of the cafeteria. Everyone else surrounded us, laughing and talking about parties they were going to, and then it was us two. But we don't mind, me and Carlos never really thought of becoming popular or anything. We liked ourselves the way we are, well, metaphorically speaking.

"So, dude, sorry for not helping you out before in English class."

"What do you mean?" I asked honestly, taking a big bite out of my sandwich.

"You know, with the whole 'James sitting next to you' thing. I should have been a good friend and let that bastard sit next to me." The Latino huffed as he took a sip from his soda.

"Dude, it's ok," I swore to him, trying to hide the blush that was forming. "You couldn't have done anything."

"Yeah, but a true friend would help another friend out. And if that means to have the jerk sit next to me, I would do it… for you." he said the last part with a smile, his brown eyes literally shinning as the light from the window next to us shone in.

"It's alright, but why do you hate James so much again?"

"Like you don't know." I smiled shyly. I did know, I just liked to hear the stupid words escape his lips, not mine. "He stole me graham crackers, and they were the Scooby Doo ones!"

"Dude that was in the 2nd grade, I don't think it's enough for you to hate the guy."

"Well, it's not only that, he also is a player. He plays every single girl's heart from A-Z." Carlos said matter-of-factly. I just shook my head, I didn't believe it, not that I don't trust Carlos, it's just that he has the tendency to stretch the truth.

"Carlos, he's a nice guy, there's no reason to get yourself worked up all for me. I do appreciate it, though." I said to him, giving him a warm smile. After that, we continued our lunch, talking about certain things here and there. But mostly, it was quiet. After lunch, we both had a free, so we decided to head to my house for a bit before math.

"Hey mom! It's me and Carlos!" I called into the seemingly empty house. A moment later, my mom came out of a room, her smile extending from ear to ear.

"Hello honey, hi Carlos." She greeted us.

"Hi Mama Knight." Carlos returned. After that, he followed me up into my room, where we sat and relaxed for 45 minutes. I started thinking about James again; I found that it's been more noticeable lately. I feel like Carlos, my mom, and everyone else in the world are suspicious. It's not that I don't love them or anything, it's just that they are very judgmental people. My mom is a churchaholic, and Carlos "hates" his guts. It's almost like a lose-lose situation. I signed, knowing that I will have this secret on my shoulders for as long as I lived.

When we got back into school, I saw James from afar, and like every person would do, I stared. Carlos had to snap my out of it, the 2nd time today. I need to watch out, he's probably starting to worry.

"Dude, you ok? You've been a little off today." It's almost like he reads my mind.

"Yeah, I'm fine, like you said, just a bit tired. Mind if I catch you later? I have to go see…" before I could finish, he smiled and nodded.

"Ok dude, just meet me by my locker at the end of the day." I nodded in agreement as I watched him walk away. I signed again, Why can't I just tell him? He's my best friend, he'd understand, right?

Suddenly, when I turned around to leave, I felt someone standing next to me. I turned to see who it was and my breathing was cut short.

"Hey, sorry for scaring you, I was just wondering if you'd help me with something." James smiled shyly, his hazel eyes shining.

"Um—um—Sure, what—what's it you need help in." I stuttered like a fool, causing the blush on my cheeks to deepen. He laughed a bit, probably thinking it was cute. OMG, he thinks you're cute! But then I realized, He will never think that… are you crazy?

"Um, well there's an English project due next month, and I was wondering if you would help me out. I'm not that good at English, which is why I got kicked out of honors…" he started rambling on and on and all I could think about was his lips. Call me crazy, but his lips are perfectly plump. They moved so swiftly, so pink and plump. This sort of scared me a bit though.

"Um, sure… I would—" I stopped myself. Love to…

"Thanks, I really appreciate it." he said with another smile, and then he walked away. I started shaking slightly. Not from him talking to me, which was amazing by the way, but because I was fantasizing about his lips. I have never thought of his lips before, or wanting to kiss them for that matter. This scared me to no extent. Was I getting weaker? Or was my sexuality getting stronger?

At the end of the day, I realized that I completely forgot about Carlos. We usually do projects together, but this was like a once in a lifetime opportunity, I had to go for it. Maybe he will understand, without me giving away anything.

"Hey bud, I have something to tell you." I said as I approached his locker. He got up from packing and had a shy smile on his face.

"Same here, but you go first." He said.

"Ok, well, James asked me to be his partner for the English project and I said yes…" I said more as a question. His eyebrows furrowed a bit, but he then just shrugged.

"It's ok buddy, and I got a partner too. Stephanie." He said with a triumphant smile.

"Stephanie? Don't you have the biggest crush on her ever?" I asked.

"Yep, and we are going to have a bunch of "fun" doing this project." He said with a smile, which made me want to slap him playfully.


"What, a guy can only dream. But she's seriously my partner, she asked me after you left."

"Congrats dude," was all I could say to him. I wish I can show him my excitement that James is my partner, but I know I will never be able to do that.

"Ok, well, I don't think I can come over though," Carlos said with a frown. "My mom is being an idiot and telling me to do my homework. But I'll text you later!" he said with a smile. I smiled back at the little Latino.

"Ok, talk to you later." I said as he left. After a few moments, I was home and I went upstairs to do my homework. But before I did, I went on our school email to see if there were any updates. I saw I had one new message, so I opened it… I wasn't prepared for what I read next…



Hey, I just want to know if I could have your number… you know, so we can talk about the project. Thanks =P


I couldn't contain myself, I did was every mature 18 year old would do, I screamed into a pillow. Katie heard me and she walked into my room while this was going on.

"What is going on big brother?" she asked. All I could do was point to the computer screen. She gave me a questioning look, but went to look at the screen. Two seconds later, she sat down next to me with a huge grin on her face.

"Looks like someone is moving up."

"It's nothing, just project stuff."

"Kendall, if it was just project stuff, you wouldn't be fangirling about him right now." Her devious smile caused me to smile too.

"It's just that… he makes me smile, you wouldn't understand, you're too young."

"Fine, go crazy, just don't let mom see." She said with a stern look. I gave her my best "a-duhh" look and hit her playfully.

"Yeah, like I'm going to go run and tell mom that I'm gay and in love with James. Right… haha, you make me laugh sometimes little sister." I said, patting Katie's head. She gave me a frown as she quickly sorted her long brown hair back into place.

"Never pet me again." He voice evilly escaping her mouth.

"Fine, now leave so I can be happy again without you emoing the vibe!"

"Fine." And with that she left, and I started smiling and screaming into my pillow again. After ten minutes of freaking out over his email, I decided to answer him back. But what should I say? I don't want it to sound to flirty, otherwise he might think I like him (well, you get what I mean). But I don't want to sound like a jerk either. And after another few minutes thinking about this, I decided to write this…



Hi, and sure, it's 555-1098. Just text me saying it's you and I'll save your number too. =]


I smiled at the message before sending it, and once I hit enter, the message was sent through the World Wide Web, no way for me to get it now. But I didn't regret what I wrote; I simply gave him my number… right? Was that what I did? Maybe I wrote something else and didn't realize it because I was still star struck from his email! Well, there was still no going back, that was it. I signed, knowing that if anything happened, it would be the email's fault.

I left my room with a small smile, Katie knowing exactly why.

"You answered him," she asked with her eyes, I nodded slowly, causing her to smile along with me. My mom was cooking in the kitchen, probably another recipe she found out from one of her friends from her book club.

"Hi sweetie, how was school?" my mom asked, turning around to look me in the eye.

"Good, great even."

"Yeah, more like wonderful," Katie said under her breath. I gave her a look, warning her to say no more. She shot her hands up defensively and walked over to the living room. My mom gave me and Katie a questioning look, but dismissed it, knowing that she will never understand.

"So, you doing anything with Carlos tonight?"

"Um, not that I know of, he said he was busy, but I don't know."

"Well, I was thinking of inviting a woman I met from book club and her son over. He's your age and I heard he goes to your school. So I was wondering if you and Carlos would like to hang out with him."

"Um, sure, what's his name? Maybe I know him." My hands found their way into my pockets, thinking about who this might be.

"Not sure, sorry, I know the woman mentioned it, but I'm terrible at names. The woman's, I know, name is Jade. She's a very sweet lady, new to the neighborhood. They moved from the other side of New Jersey. They still need some help getting around."

"Mom, I'll call Carlos, he'd be glad to meet someone new." I said to my mom, placing my hands on her shoulders to calm her down. She gave me a warm smile.

"Thank you Kendall. You're such a sweet boy."

"Thanks mom. I'm gunna call Carlos, see if he wants to come over and say hi."

"Ok," and with that, my mom continued getting dinner ready. After about ten minutes, I called Carlos and told him to come over. He agreed, and said he would be there soon. My mom was still at the stove when the bell rang. Even though I was the furthest away, I had to get the door.

"I'm coming." I called to the unknown person standing by our door. I opened it casually, only to stop my breathing for I don't know how long.

"Hi, I'm Jade Diamond, and this is James. Is Julie around?" Jade asked, but I was too shocked to move.

"Um, she's inside…in the kitchen. Come in, she should be done in a bit." I led them into my home. I'm dreaming, I'm going to wake up and it would all be a dream. But this wasn't a dream, this was really happening. James Diamond was sitting in my living room. Katie came walking in soon after with a strange look on her face. She turned to me with confusion in her eyes. All I could do is mouth, 'it's him'.

Her eyes widened, probably realizing how beautiful he is. She smiled at him and his mom, then took me by the arm and dragged me out of the room.

"You never told me how hot he was!" was what she said to me when we were completely out of ears-way.

"Ok, and the many times I say 'Oh my God, James is so sexy, I'm in love with him' just bypassed you?"

"Yeah, pretty much!"

"Wow, it's great to have a sister that really cares." I said, sarcasm dripping for my words.

"Welcome, now, go out there and charm him Kendall!" and before I knew it, I was being pushed out into the living room again. I stumbled, causing James and Jade to look at me funny. Great, I'm going to "thank" Katie later.

"So, James," his mother finally said after the moment of awkward silence, "You fond of Kendall?" I choked on the saliva that was trailing down the back of my throat.

"Um, fond?" he asked, his voice sounding angelic.

"Yeah, are you guys' friends?"

"Yeah," he smiled, and I found myself blushing. But why was he saying that? I barely talked to him. "We're actually doing a project together. Speaking of which, you mind if we start on that?" he asked me.

"Um, sure, if you want."

"I do, it's better than sitting here and listening to all their woman talk." He laughed, causing me to smile.

"Ok, well, let's go up into my room." I pointed to my room upstairs. You would think I was cool and collective right now right? Well, to be honest, I'm freaking out! James Diamond is in my house. He's going into my room. And he smiled at me! I was beside myself!

"So, what is it we have to do again?" he asked me once we got to my room.

"Um, we have to make a story. It can be fictional or not."

"Ok, fiction stories are more fun." He laughed.

"Yeah, I think so too." I shrugged, my hands finding their way back into my back pockets. "Do you have any ideas on what we should write about?"

"Not really, I'm not so good with that kind of stuff. How about you?"

"Well…" I trailed, not sure if I wanted to say that I did, but he still picked up on it.

"You have something, don't you? Let me read it." he urged.

"No, it's fine, it's not finished and it not good at all."

"Fine, then let me show you my writing skills." A sly smile reached from ear to ear on his face. He picked up a pen and paper and started writing. He finished in 2 seconds, handing the paper over to me. I looked at it, trying to not have a laugh escape my lips. It read…

I am a cat. I like to eat pie. I love pretty clouds. My best friend is a dog. We fight a lot. But I love him.

"You're kidding me with this, right?" I asked, laughed escaping ever few words.

"Nope, that's how I write." He seemed like he accomplished something, as if he knew what I was going to do next. I reached for my book where I write my story in, majority of them are poems, but I did have one story. I opened to it, and handed him the book.

"Wow, this is long! Mind if I read it?" I gave him a confused look, but nodded my head in allowing him to. "Thanks." He started to read the short story that I had in the worn out book. He looked amazed by it, like it was a shiney new toy a young child would receive on Christmas.

James stopped reading, his eyes staring blankly at the book. I smiled at him, hoping he was ok.

"You ok? I know it's not good bu—" he stopped me before I could speak.

"No, it was amazing. I'm just, overwhelmed by the greatness." He said the last part with a smile, hoping it would camouflage the pain I saw in his eyes. It didn't. "Mind if we just use this story?"

"I wouldn't, but that wouldn't be a good idea." He gave me a confused look, so I continued. "I already showed Mrs. Longobard this story last week. If we use it, she will know I did all the work and not give you any credit."

"I don't mind that, it wouldn't be a lie." He shrugged, but I didn't accept it.

"No, I wouldn't want you to lose points. We can think of another story to write. And we're doing it together, so it wont be hard."

"Thanks, I really appreciate that." He smiled, and I smiled back. After a few more minutes, I heard my phone vibrate on my desk. I went over to it and picked it up, revealing a text from Carlos. Shit, I forgot… he hates him. I opened the message, and a sigh of relief followed soon after.

From: Caaaarlos =P

Hey dudee, sorry I cant make it, mi madre is being annoying and not letting me go ! she said I need to do hw! WTF? Lol , see you tomorrow though!

James gave me a confused look, so I smiled lightly. "It was my… cousin?" it came out more of a question, giving James the opportunity to give me a confused look once more. But he didn't worry that much.

"Ok, well, I think you're mom has dinner ready. Should we go down now?" he asked me, pointing to my door.

"Yeah, you go ahead, I'll be down in a bit." He smiled and walked out of my room. Once he closed the door, and I heard his footsteps go all the way downstairs, I ran onto my bed and screamed so loud, it was inaudible to humans. I felt an overwhelming feeling spread over my body, as if I was going to pass out. I began to breathe heavily, but knowing that I should be downstairs soon, I did my best to calm down and made my way to the stairs.

When I got downstairs, I saw my mom, Katie, Jade, and James all sitting at the table. They all gave me confused looks on why I was late. "Carlos called me asking something." Was my explanation. They all nodded with a few "Ohh's" scattered throughout the group. I sat down, as if nothing had happened just moments ago; as if I didn't just scream into my pillow because the guy I like was sitting in my room. No, nothing was remembered.

We all sat at the table, small conversation going around. But something was sticking in my head, almost like an annoyed bug. Why is he here? I know my mom said that he just moved, but I've known him since the 7th grade. Why choose now to have a meet and greet?

I didn't bother thinking about it anymore, I'm just happy he is here. And I shouldn't think too much because that causes trouble for me.

"So, Kendall," Jade asked me, causing me to snap out of my daydreams and thoughts. "Tell me about yourself. How you liking school?" she seemed like a sweet lady.

"He's nice," I heard James speak, causing me to look down and blush slightly, "We're doing a project together and he's an amazing writer. Tell them about your story!" I appreciated his kindness, but my mouth still opened widely. My mom doesn't know about my stories, let alone I could write.

"Oh my goodness, Kendall, I didn't know you could write!" once my mom said that, I could tell James felt sorry for saying it. I accepted his apology, but the feeling in the back of my throat still was there.

"Well, I'm not that good, James's just being nice, that's all." And with saying that, my blushing increased, making me red as a tomato.

"Aw, well, I would love to read them! Maybe later." My mom said with a smile, which then lead to me smiling back. The rest of the dinner was in silence, but Katie would glance over at me with a smile, which translated to "Dude, you're loving this right now". I fixed my eyes on her, forcing her to look away, but she never did. So it looked like we were having a staring contest, which made James amused.

"Oh, cool, a staring contest! I verse winner!" he cried, and I saw Katie making a plan, but before I could blink, her eyes shut tightly.

"Ugh! I always lose!" she faked being upset. "Ok, James, try to verse the master!"

"Ok, but I must warn you, I'm the champ!" he smiled at me kindly.

"Oh, let's see about that." I gave him my competitive look, showing him no mercy, but I couldn't help it! He's too cute!

"Ready, set, GO!" he yelled, then we were staring into each others eyes. I saw Katie out of my peripherals smiling deviously. I still couldn't believe it, this day has been one of the best ever! And I couldn't help but think that later, I have to thank Katie.

"Given up yet?" James asked, his eyes still on mine.

"Yeah, you wish." I looked deep into his blue eyes, as if I was reading his soul, and what broke me the most was that he was so fixated on girls. He will never see me in that kind of way. But it also didn't matter, because I got a free pass to stare into his eyes. Only problem was, my eyes started to hurt…

"Yay! I win!" I heard James shout as my eyes were closed. I signed to myself, 'Oh well, at least I got to look at them…'

"Yep you did." I boredly said.

"Wait, you let me win!"

"What, no I didn't," I fought back, yeah I'm extremely competitive, but he won! Wait… why am I fighting him? I could do it again and get ANOTHER free pass!

No! Don't, that's just wrong! You had your chance, enjoy it. Don't be greedy!

"James, come on! My brother is the most competitive person I know! He wouldn't have just given up for nothing! He must have thought you were…"

"Katie!" I shouted softly, making her jump a bit, but no one else.

"Come on dude, did you let me win?" I thought about answering it, just a simple 'yes' and I could stare at him again! But my conscience told me otherwise, I couldn't do that, it would make it too obvious.

"No, I didn't! I'm not that great at staring contest. And plus the light was facing me." I fibbed a bit, so it wasn't so stern.

"Fine dude, but me, you staring contest, tomorrow. Be at the parking lot at school, or else." He's finger was pointed at me with a fake stern look, but once he finished talking, a smile emerged from his face. I laughed at him, seeing what he did.

"Does this mean you let me win?" he asked again, and as much as I loved him, I wanted to kill him.

"No! I didn't, stop!" I laughed, feeling my sides hurt from laughing so hard.

"Ok, I'm believing you." he said smiling.

"Thank you," I signed with relief. Dinner was coming to an end, which also meant he was leaving soon. I wasn't so happy about him leaving, but honestly, the dude was annoying! And thinking about how annoying he was made me only smile more. Don't ask me why, I have no clue!

That night, I went into my room and just sat on the bed, thinking. I wasn't sure what I was thinking about, but I knew it had something to do with James. Was I upset that he came over? Did I want him to stay longer? My mind kept playing tricks on me, like it wanted me to kill myself with all these unanswered questions.

Then I remembered something almost painful…

My family is very religious. We have been for so long, since forever. And I remember during Ash Wednesday, when the priest would rub the ashes on your forehead and say "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel."

This would always get me thinking, like, is being gay a sin? Am I wrong for liking James? Worse, am I wrong for loving him? I shivered at the thought of God ever hating me. Because I haven't done anything wrong. Its almost like a school teacher being conficted for stealing, you wouldn't expect it.

I shivered, thinking horrible thoughts of hell. What if I were to be sent to hell? Would I be killed again? Would my soul, my love for James, diminish? I held my hands up to my face and cried, this isn't what I wanted, I never asked for this whatsoever.

This isn't me, I know it… I'm somewhere inside this body, but this lust for James, isn't me. I couldn't be this kind of person, not after knowing what kind of family I'm living with.

I took a deep breath and slowly removed my hands from my face when I heard that my door has been pushed open. I quickly wiped the tears that were streaming down my face and looked up to find Katie standing in my doorway, looking nervous.

"Big brother? Are you ok?"

"No baby sis, I'm not." I confessed. I couldn't lie to her, she was the only one I trust, sadly. She was the only person that knew everything, so if I lied to her now, what else would I be capable of lying to her about?

"Can you tell me what's wrong?" she made her way to my bed and sat down next to my laying body. I got up into a sitting position, crossing my legs Indian-style, next to her.

"It's James…"

"Kendall, you know that I love you and everything, but you can't cry over someone. Especially someone who, no offense, probably wont like you back."

"I know, and it's not that, but thanks for the reminder," I spat back sarcastically. Seeing the hurt look Katie gave me, I instantly apologized. "Sorry." She nodded her forgiveness and allowed me to explain.

"It's just that, I really do like him, but knowing what our background is, it's hard to admit it to myself."

"What do you mean? You know you're gay, why do you have to admit it again?"

"Being gay and being in love are two different things, Katie." I waited for her to realize what I meant. Once it clicked in her head, her mouth dropped open.

"You're in love with him?"

"I think I am, but I don't know. And if I was, I wouldn't know what to do! It's not like mom would allow it!" I stated firmly, feeling the tears well up in my eyes again. "You don't know how hard it is, to go through life and not being able to tell your own mother the things you are feeling. And I cant even go to dad…"

"It's ok Kendall, you will figure everything out. I know you, you're strong."

"Do you think dad would have been supportive?" I asked, ignoring her comment and just letting out my inner thoughts.

"I don't know Kendall, I really don't. But no one would hate you. Shocked? Yes, but not hate. I promise."

"Thanks Katie." I said with a small smile.

"Welcome," and with that, she got up and gave me a big hug. "Everything will be alright Kendall, I'll always be here."

"Thank you," I whispered and then I released her as she left the room.