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Someone Like Me

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It's hard being the only gay guy at your high school when you live in a hick town in the middle of Bumfucked, Nowhere. But that is Tommy's life. The only one he has, even if it is a miserable excuse for one. He’s eighteen and chomping at the bit for a chance to get the fuck out of that shit hole town. To say he doesn't fit in is a mild understatement. From the hair on his head (fuchsia, shaved on one side and the other side fringed just long enough to shadow one eye,) to the tip of his ebony polished toenails. It doesn't help that the in-between is draped in a Manson shirt, piercings including his new lip ring which is still tender to the touch, and the Dracula tat he procured out of his mother the day he turned eighteen. She still isn't too happy about it, but it was the only thing he wanted so she eventually caved. However, this package spells evil outcast to his classmates. Thankfully though those around him are too focused on his freak flag to notice he checks out the boys in the locker room after gym.

Life isn't easy, but somewhere in the mix he's made friends with a theater kid of all people. Go figure right? Adam. Adam isn't exactly popular due to his theater preferences, but the minute he opens his mouth he has women swarming him like bees to honey. And if there’s one thing Tommy could say for sure, it’s that Adam loves the attention. It’s after one of those performances when he is hanging backstage with Adam after the school play that Tommy's world tilts on its axis.

Adam’s been bitching to Tommy about how Queen is touring again with a shitty ass singer who would've made Freddie roll over in his grave when the new student (a transplant from Arkansas, Tommy found out since they have art together) bounds over to their little couch in the corner and plops right into Adam's lap. That in itself isn't abnormal. Adam is pretty handsy with everyone. A kiss in theory isn't out of the ordinary either until it registered in Tommy's brain that the little brunette (he never could remember his name,) is currently trying to extract Adam's tonsils with his tongue.

Tommy blinks once, twice, and then a choked off noise somehow makes it out of his mouth causing the pair to pull away from one another. Adam looks sheepish, but not surprised by the turn of events. “Umm, I think I missed something?” Tommy stutters, eyes flickering from Adam to his tiny companion and back again. His gaydar has never pinged Adam as anything other than metrosexual. He goes out with girls all the time. The football players even bitched at how much tail Adam Lambert gets.

Adam smirks, “pretty is pretty.”

“So... you mean?”

“I thought you knew. Hell, I thought most of the school knew about me and that kid from Central High, Brad... we were an item for our entire freshman year.”

Laughter bubbles up quickly and the kid in Adam’s lap throws a hand over his mouth to quieten himself. “Sorry, sorry,” he drawls, his southern accent very noticeable, through the cup of his fingers, “I thought everyone knew.”

“Apparently not, Tommy, Kris is my boyfriend. We've been seeing each other for the past month. That's why I've not had time for our movie nights.”

“Well, it's nice to be the last one to know. I thought... I thought we were friends.”

“Honey we are! But I didn't want to jinx it and you've been a little distant lately. I didn't wanna push you, but I'm here if you wanna talk about what's bothering you.”

“I,” Tommy starts and then clamps his mouth shut and shakes his head. Tommy's fear curls tight in his gut and he jumps up from his place on the cushion. He heads for the door without another word. He can't do this, not now. Not having discovered that he definitely isn't the only one having urges toward members of the same sex. His mind is boggled.

Tommy isn’t sure what the hell to do now. He spent the entire weekend ignoring Adam’s phone calls and now it’s Monday. He trudges into school feeling like his feet are encased in concrete. The butterflies in his stomach feel more like vampire bats when he gets to his locker only to notice Adam standing right there by it.

“Tommy, seriously?” Adam squawks and Tommy notices several heads turning their way.

“What?” Tommy replies hunching further down into himself wishing for once he was a turtle.

“I tried calling you, oh I dunno about a twenty times this weekend since you bolted on me and you never called me back.”

“Oh, yeah, about that… listen. I’m sorry… I just needed time to think. It was just,” Tommy starts and then lowers his voice. “I thought you were straight,” Tommy whispers.

“Well that’s a first,” Adam says, giving a small chuckle and shaking his head.

“I… I’m sorry really. I think I’m ready to talk now, but not now. Maybe after school?”

“Tommy Joe, you know I have theater practice tonight,” Adam groans.

“I know, but maybe after… could you meet me at Pizza Hut? We could have a late dinner? I really wanna talk to you.”

“I have to be home by ten or mom will freak, but as long as theater practice doesn’t run late I should be able to be there by nine at latest, maybe a little earlier?”

“Yeah, I can do that, my curfew isn’t until ten-thirty.” Tommy thinks for the hundredth time that it’s ridiculous that he’s eighteen and still has a curfew, but his mom says as long as he’s still under her roof and driving a car she pays for he can live with it.

“Okay, I’ll call you if I’m running late,” Adam promises just as the warning bell rings.

Tommy nods and they part ways, Tommy hightailing it down the hall to first period before he lands himself in detention, again.

Tommy swears time is slowing down. By lunchtime it feels like he’s already been at school for ten hours. He’s anxious about talking to Adam, but figures since Adam is bi that Adam would be a good person to come out to.

At lunch he eats quickly and then heads to the bathroom because he’s had to piss since before third period, but the bathroom had been too much of a hazard when he headed to the cafeteria. Tommy has learned that it’s better to lay low and keep his head down and the best time for bathroom breaks is when the asshole jocks are too busy shoveling everything they can fit into their mouths, besides a cock Tommy thinks to himself. And some of them he almost bets do that too, but they keep it on the down low.

When he walks into the bathroom he immediately cringes at the sound of urine splattering against the urinal. Any other day he would’ve walked right back out and waited until later, but there’s no way he can hold it any longer. When he rounds into the area of the urinals he keeps his head down and darts for the stalls. Once inside he unzips and pees for what feels like a century, but when he tucks himself away he notes that he still hears the other person washing their hands at the sink. He wants to hide in the stall until they leave, but knows that usually if the person was a threat they would’ve followed him to the stall. Cautiously he opens the stall and heads to the sinks. He pretends to be fascinated by the print on the floor until the sight of black combat boots in his vision startles him. He’s so shocked he looks up and can’t hold back the gasp when the mirror reflects the face of the owner of said boots back to him. The guy is taller than Tommy, black hair down around his shoulders, and white eyes ringed by black, eyebrows quirked are staring at his reflection.

“Can I help you,” the guy rumbles.

“No, I, uhh, sorry I was just surprised,” Tommy stutters.

“Okay then, I know I’m not quite like the norms in this school,” the guy says and turns to face Tommy. “I’m Andrew by the way. It’s my first day here so it seems I’ve been scaring everyone.”

“I’m Tommy, and you don’t scare me, in fact it’s kinda nice to see someone else rockin’ a Manson shirt around here,” Tommy laughs and it goes high and girly like it does when he’s nervous and Tommy is just hoping the floor opens up and swallows him. This dude is hot, but definitely in the ‘don’t flirt’ category until Tommy knows him a little better, if he gets to know him better. And fuck now he’s rambling in his head and the guy is staring at him like he has another head.

“Well Tommy, see ya around.”

“Yeah, see ya around.” Tommy parrots and groans when Andrew walks out the door leaving him in the silence. He has just enough time to wash his hands before the bell rings and he rushes to his locker to grab his English book before sprinting off to Ms. Duncan’s class.

It’s half past eight when Tommy gets to Pizza Hut and settles into a booth that’s in one of the dimly lit corners. He checks his phone out of habit and other than a text from his mom reminding him she has to work tonight, there’s nothing from Adam. He orders water and the waitress flits around him for several minutes until he sneers at her and she finally leaves him be.

“Hey.” Adam’s voice brings him from his thoughts a few minutes later. He looks at his watch and finds it’s fifteen ‘til.

“Practice finish early?”

“Yeah,” Adam sighs. “We got to the As Long As You’re Mine scene and Tina kept insisting we rehearse the kiss again and again. I know she’s had a crush on my for years and she’s a very sweet girl, but I had enough and told everyone I was running late for a date.”

“A date?” Tommy squeaks.

“I was hoping it might remind Tina that I’m not available. Even though Kris and I don’t flaunt our relationship, I want her to think about the fact I’m seeing someone,” Adam explains.

Before Tommy can reply the waitress comes over to get Adam’s drink order and ask if they know what they want. Tommy had already decided he needed a cheese with extra cheese pizza and Adam always orders the same thing here so it doesn’t take long until the waitress is on her way. Adam excuses himself to the salad bar and again Tommy is alone with his thoughts. He just can’t wrap his mind around how comfortable Adam is in his skin. Tommy is comfortable with his desires to be different. It’s not everyday a boy comes to school wearing eyeliner, nails painted black, wearing black band tees all the time, but if there’s one thing he’s always afraid of it’s that someone knows. He’s terrified that one day he’s going to look at a guy in the locker room a little too long and get caught, but he really can’t help his curiosity.

“Hey, the way you’re wrinkling up your nose means you’re thinking way too hard about something. And the whole deal for this little dinner was so you could talk to me about whatever has been on your mind lately,” Adam says and flops back down in his seat with his salad.

Before Tommy can open his mouth the waitress is handing Adam his drink and Tommy sighs. He feels like the universe is against him.

“How do you do it, Adam?”

“Do what?”

“How do you walk the halls with Kris? Why didn’t you seem horrified when Kris sat in you lap the other night in front of everyone? What’s your secret?” Tommy babbles.

“Hey now, first I think I need you to tell me what’s going on honey.”

“I figured since you’re bi that I could tell you and you would keep it a secret. I… I think I’m gay.” Tommy’s voice grows higher near the end.

“Oh wow, um, well… thank you for telling me Tommy. That’s very brave, but you know I’m gay, too?”

“You’re what,” Tommy squeaks.

Adam laughs then and when he calms a smile still tugs at him lips. “Yeah, I thought the whole thing I told you about Brad and now Kris made it pretty clear.”

Tommy can’t form what he wants to say yet so instead he takes several large sips of his water to give himself a minute. Finally he looks at Adam, really looks at him. Adam with his eyeliner, black chipped nail polish, and emo hair. No, Tommy hadn’t thought gay, he’d always watched Adam go out with lots of different girls.

“But…. uh… what about Danielle, Alisan, Scarlett, and Alli? You’ve told me about lots of dates with them. Hell the football team thinks you’re getting more pussy than they are.”

“Just friends, we like to go out and catch a movie or watch a concert together. Do you ever remember me mentioning having sex with any of them?”

Tommy thinks about it for a minute and his face flushes in embarrassment. “Actually I just thought maybe you were a virgin. You’ve never talked about having sex with anyone. I’ve never ever heard you make a comment about feeling up a girl, but I guess being gay explains that. But wait a minute… I saw you at that theater class party a couple months ago… you were making out with Alisan. I saw tongue!”

“I,” Adam begins and is quickly cut off by the fucking waitress who Tommy is having visions of dismembering. He’s generally not so easily annoyed by someone serving him food he ordered, but fuck this chick has some terrible timing.

“Cheese pizza extra cheese,” she chirps and sets the pan in front of him along with a plate.

“Okay thank you, and listen, I think we’ll be fine for a few minutes. We’ll flag you over if we need something,” Tommy barks, the waitress recoils and he almost feels bad, almost, but the sight of her walking away makes him too happy.

“She’s just doing her job Tommy Joe,” Adam chides him.

“I know, honest. I’ll tip her extra, I just wanna fucking talk to you without being interrupted.”

“Okay anyway,” Adam continues, “I was making out with Alisan. We’ve known each other for years. Our tongues in each others mouths, it’s practically the way we say hello.”

“Oh well, umm… back to my earlier questions. How do you do it? Apparently, from what you were saying about your ex, lots of people at school know you’re gay. Why don’t you get picked on?”

Adam laughs and pats Tommy’s hand. “I’m six foot one? That and just after Brad and I ended it freshman year Matt Patrick called me a fag. I punched him in the nose and got suspended for a week, but since then I’ve never had anyone say anything to my face. Sure I hear whispers sometimes from people, but fuck ‘em. They’re not worth me wasting my feelings on when I have so many friends who support me. And I’m sorry Tommy, I really wasn’t trying to hide anything from you. Kris and I, well, we just don’t want to flaunt our relationship. Kris is shy and feels awkward about PDA, so we keep most of that behind closed doors.”

“So the key is to punch someone in the nose?”

“No babe, the key is to be confident in who you are. No one has to know it unless you want them to and who knows, maybe you’ll meet someone at school who’s gay.”

“Adam, seriously? It’s not like there are gay guys just randomly available at out school. I thought… for so long I thought it was just me,” Tommy confesses.

“I promise you, it isn’t just you. There are others. I won’t name names because they also told me in confidence, but they’re out there. Just be careful, okay, and you know you can come to me with any questions, right?”

“Yeah, thanks Adam. I’m sorry I’ve been weird lately. It’s just been getting to me. I’ve been feeling lost. Maybe it will be different now that I know I have someone to talk to who won’t judge.”

“I hope so, I’ve missed my Tommy time,” Adam laughs.

“I’ve missed you, too, dude,” Tommy mumbles around the piece of pizza he shoved in his mouth.

After Adam and Tommy split for the night Tommy heads home. He’s feeling wired even though he didn’t have any caffeine with his dinner, but presumes it’s something to do with actually having someone in his life who knows the truth about him.

At home the house is quiet, his mom has already left for work. With the crazy energy prickling under his skin he knows trying to sleep is useless, so with the joy of having the house to himself he hooks up his laptop to the big screen in the living room and flops on the couch. When nothing else settles him down he knows some music videos that will do the trick. He gets his laptop booted up and goes to youtube to his favorites and selects one of his favorites. It’s a Depeche Mode concert from ’93. Depeche Mode is definitely one of his favorite bands out there and he’s been into them for as long as he can remember. He smiles as the blue curtains come into view and flicks on the TV where the picture is larger than life. He puts his laptop on the side table grabs the TV remote and turns up the volume until the first notes of Higher Love ease the tension in his body. He melts into the couch and lets himself drift to the music and the great view of Dave Gahan writhing around onstage. When Dave flicks his hair back and Tommy checks out the line of his body. The way the button up he’s wearing is unbuttoned at the top revealing glimpses of his chest and down further still until he focuses on the skinny jeans that Dave looks like he’d been melted and poured into. Tommy bites his lip and squirms. His dick is getting hard and it’s not the first time he’s noticed this reaction while watching the way Dave moves on stage. Not to mention that voice. Dave’s voice runs across Tommy’s skin like a million fingers touching him at once and Tommy groans, finally giving in he unzips his jeans and frees his erection.

“No,” he mutters to himself, hands leaving his dick to grab for his laptop. They’re not even through the first song when Tommy searches for another video. He needs this, wants to soothe his aching cock, but if he watches this video any longer it will be over before it begins. He finds what he’s looking for quickly. Green Day’s Awesome as Fuck concert from 2010. Billie Jo with his black eyeliner and white tie draw Tommy’s attention. The show is amazing, he’s watched it enough times to know, but right now he imagines how it might be for Billie to suck his cock. He’s heard rumors about Billie, that he likes boys too, and Tommy wonders how it would feel to have Billie on his knees between Tommy’s spread thighs. What sounds Billie would make as Tommy fed Billie his cock. Tommy whimpers at the thought and his hand drifts down to his dick. He squeezes it, pets it, and his eyes slip closed lost in the fantasy.

“Billie,” Tommy moans. “Suck me harder, baby.”

In his mind Billie’s lapping at the underside of his dick and sucking him down like a hungry whore. Those eyes, dark and intense are gazing up at Tommy from his place between Tommy’s legs.

It doesn’t take long until Tommy is at the edge and instead of giving into his desires and imagining Billie swallowing his come Tommy uses every ounce of willpower he has to take his hand off his dick. Tommy knows after years of experimenting with his dick that a quick orgasm is pleasurable, but that edging his dick when he has the house to himself makes the orgasm that much more intense. He turns his attention back to the TV and waits until the burn of impending orgasm diminishes. Then he goes back to rhythmically squeezing his dick to the beat of the music. The Billie in his fantasy returns when he closes his eyes and Billie uses a hand on his dick and the other to roll his nuts. It’s delicious and everything ramps back up in intensity until he has to release himself again for fear of coming. Tommy groans and gets up off the couch, erection bobbing when he heads to his room to retrieve some lube. His cock is covered in precome, the head flushes red and his foreskin retracted to show off how shiny it is. The lube however will make his plans to finger himself go much more smoothly.

He returns to the couch and flops down with his back pressed into the couch he slithers down until his ass is nearly on the edge. He plants his feet onto the cushions, spread wide, and grabs the lube. Fingers slick he presses one inside and whines at the burn. He goes with it knowing that it will be worth it if he just persists. And he’s patient slowly working himself open before adding another finger. It’s a stretch but he reaches until he can reach his prostate. He watched enough porn to figure it out and then it took him ages to find a position in which he could reach it himself. The effort is completely worth it when heat sparks in his gut and he’s not even touching himself but his cock twitches with it. Again the music comes into focus and he presses in following the beat of the music. In his head Billie is fucking him and it’s so good his toes curl into the softness of the couch.

Having already played his edging game a couple of times tonight and with the image of Billie is clutching his hips and pulling him down on his dick Tommy knows the end is near. His breath comes out in desperate moans and whispers of how good it feels having something inside him. Unable to wait any longer he grips his cock, thrust his fingers against his spot harder, and rides the wave as his orgasm spreads through him and come spills freely from his dick.

When it’s over he’s out of breath, messy, and in need of a shower, but it’s so worth it that all he can do is shift on the couch until he’s comfortable.

Tommy doesn’t mean to fall asleep, he really doesn’t, but he wakes up to the sound of his mom’s voice. He opens his eyes and it takes him several seconds for the memories of last night to flood in. His mom’s standing in front of him eyes carefully locked on his face and Tommy cringes. His belly is itchy where come dried, there’s a bottle of lube resting on his stomach, and the TV is still on, youtube still up from where he was watching the Green Day concert. He’s mortified, but at this point he can’t cover up and judging by the way she’s looking at him she isn’t mad, but he gets the feeling there’s going to be a talk.

“Go take a shower, get ready, you’ve gotta be at school in an hour,” his mom says. And that’s it.

Tommy takes the reprieve even though he knows this is far from over. He awkwardly grabs the lube, unplugs his laptop, and heads to his room to grab some clothes for the day before heading to the bathroom.

Tommy sighs when he gets together his things to head out for school. His mom is already in bed thankfully so he grabs his car keys and heads out.

In the car he hooks up his phone and flicks through his music until he finds his Manson play list. He turns it up loud, throws the car into car, and he’s off. Another day of school, with the lingering worries of what is going to happen when he gets home. Awesome, he thinks to himself.

When he pulls into the parking lot at school and gets to his designated parking spot he’s surprised to see the normally empty space beside him occupied. He looks over into the little sports car expecting to see a girl, but is surprised when he sees Andrew. Andrew gives him devil horns and nods along to his music and Tommy grins. Okay so maybe today was looking up.

Or not, Tommy groans when one of the asshole jocks shoves him while he’s standing in front of his opened locker. The momentum pushes him forward and pain slices through him when a pointy edge from one of his abused spiral notebooks catches just underneath his eye. The jock moves on and Tommy heads to the bathroom to assess the damage.

When he gets to the sink he immediately notices little droplets of blood. It doesn’t look to bad but he grabs a towel from the dispenser and wets it when the sound of the bathroom door opening makes him cringe.

“Hey,” a soft voice causes Tommy to turn and he relaxes when he sees Andrew standing there. “I saw what happened I just wanted to make sure you were okay. Lemme look?”

The warning bells rings but Andrew doesn’t react so Tommy steps closer to Andrew. “Okay, but really, it’s fine.”

“Not fine, those guys are jerks,” Andrew replies and cups Tommy’s chin gently. Tommy tries not to flinch when Andrew uses a black tipped nail to brush along the small cut. “I haven’t been here a week and they’ve already dubbed me ‘the freak fag.’”

Tommy gasps and pulls out of Andrew’s hold. He feels like he’s been punched in the gut because he hates that people are judging Andrew, but also he’s hoping that maybe they’re right.

When he looks up at Andrew confusion paints his features. “Did I hurt you?”

“No, umm, I just hate those guys. But, I mean, are you? Sorry, sorry, don’t answer that, it’s none of my business.”

“No, it’s okay Tommy. I’m not a fag, but I am bi,” Andrew confesses. “You?”

“Wow, I just… I’ve spent so long feeling like there’s no one else at the school like me and you’re the second person this week that I discovered likes guys. I’m… I’m gay,” Tommy chokes out.

“I won’t tell anyone, but it’s nice to know.” Andrew smiles and winks at Tommy. “I gotta get to class, gonna tell the teacher I got lost. Hope she buys it.”

“Yeah, at least you have an excuse. I don’t really feel like talking to the teacher about what happened so I guess I’m just gonna end up in detention again,” Tommy sighs.

“Maybe I’ll see you there.” Andrew turns and leaves Tommy standing there alone. Tommy shakes off the warmth in his chest at knowing that maybe Andrew might be someone he wants to kiss. Instead he heads out to his locker, grabs his books, and hurries off to class.

It’s not until after school (he’d avoided detention by the skin of his teeth) when he heads out to his car that he catches sight of Andrew again. Long legs, skinny jeans, nice ass, yeah Tommy is definitely staring at Andrew. Andrew looks around like maybe he feels eyes on him and Tommy looks away quickly. When he reaches his car Andrew is already pulling out of his parking spot and he waves at Tommy and peels out of the parking lot.

Tommy exhales a breath he didn’t realize he’d been holding. Somewhere in the back of his mind he knows he has a crush and for once in his life he thinks he might actually have a chance with the object of his desires. He crawls in his car and turns up the radio until Personal Jesus is blaring out of the speakers. He hoped it would drown out his thoughts, but it didn’t. Instead he’s thinking about how it would feel for Andrew to pull him into his chest and kiss him. The only person he’s ever kissed is Adam and Tommy doesn’t even remember that. Adam told him later after he’s sobered up. He’d had one too many beers at a party Ally had thrown while her parents were out of town. He wonders now why the hell he didn’t bring up a conversation about his sexuality to Adam then.

Everything else fades when he remembers what happened with his mom this morning. He’s sure that going home is going to be awkward. He wants to tell her everything, but he’s not ready. Not just yet. First he wants to talk to Adam.

Tommy called Adam and gave him a heads up he needed some advice. Fifteen minutes later he pulls into the driveway of Adam’s parent’s house and realizes he’s there before Adam.
It’s not like he doesn’t know Adam’s parents. He does, but right now he’s so damned anxious he debates for five minutes before he decides to get out and head to the door. He rings the bell and Adam’s mom answers with a smile.

“Well, hi Tommy, Adam’s not home yet.”

“I know Mrs. Lambert, I called him a let him know I was coming. I just figured he’d be here by the time I arrived.”

“Oh it’s alright dear, come on in. You can wait for him with me in the kitchen. I’m just working on dinner.”


She steps away from the door and motions for Tommy to come inside. When he walks in she shuts the door and ushers him to the kitchen.

“Can I get you a drink?”

“No, that’s okay. I just really need to talk to Adam.”

“Anything I can help with?”

“No Mrs. Lambert, it’s kinda personal.”

“Call me Leila or Mom, Mrs. Lambert is my mother-in-law. And it sounds to me like you might be having the same issues as Adam.”

“Uhh, what’s wrong with Adam?”

“Nothing is wrong with him, he just chooses to date boys,” Leila replies as if it’s the most normal thing in the world.

“You… you know he’s gay?” Tommy squeaks.

“Our family has known for quite some time, but Adam doesn’t know we know. We want him to come to us in his own time. It’s cute the way that he keeps trying to pass off Kris as a friend though. You can just tell when you look at them.” She smiles warmly and Tommy relaxes the muscles he hadn’t realized he’d tensed.

“So yeah, I am like Adam and I think I wanna tell my mom…” Tommy trails off.

“I’ll give you some advice. She’s your momma and if she’s any kinda momma she’ll love you no matter who you choose to love, baby,” Leila assures and abandons her place tending the stove to wrap him up in a hug. Leila ruffles his hair and makes a comment about how it reminds he of cotton candy before she returns to preparing the meal.

“Thanks,” he whispers and two seconds later the sound of a door being opened startles him.

“Our little secret,” Leila replies before Adam traipses into the kitchen with Kris hot on is heels.

“Hi boys, dinner will be ready soon. I already know you’re staying Kris… Tommy, are you going to join us?”

“Nah, just wanna borrow Adam for a minute and then I’ll be off,” Tommy sighs and gives Adam a look. One Tommy knows Adam will interpret.

Sure enough Adam grabs Tommy’s hand and Tommy distantly hears Kris offer to set the table while Adam drags him toward his bedroom.

“What’s so urgent?” Adam demands.

“Well uhh, mom kinda caught me this morning. I fell asleep after I jerked off and there was still lube in plain view. I’m thinking about coming out to her,” Tommy confesses.

“Okay, so what do you need me for?”

“I thought…” Tommy starts but doesn’t know exactly what he wants to say.

“You thought because I was out at school that my family knew?” Adam says and glares and it feels like he’s glaring a hole through Tommy.

“Yeah,” Tommy groans and lowers his eyes to the carpet unable to take Adam’s soul searching gaze.

“Well, I’m not. She doesn’t know me and Kris are well… doing more than studying up here.”

“I dunno Adam, I think your mom is smarter than you think, but since you can’t give me advice I guess it’s time to go face my momma,” Tommy mutters.

“Call me if you need me?”

“You know I will,” Tommy replies and before Tommy can head out Adam pulls him into a hug and ruffles his hair.

“Good luck my sweet little cotton candy treat,” Adam giggles and squeezes him one more time before finally letting him go.

“Thanks, man.” Tommy heads out and can’t help thinking how alike Adam and his mom are.

When he pulls up the driveway he immediately notices his mom’s car isn’t there and for a minute wonders if she was called in for a shift. He sighs and grabs his bag. He has homework, but he’s not sure how much of it will get done if he has to sit and fidget while waiting for his mom to get home. He dumps his bag just inside his bedroom door, grabs his old acoustic, and flops back against his pillows.

Holding her in his hands calms him and when he strums the strings her song lets him drift away. He’s so caught up in the music that’s coming from his fingertips that soon the light of the day is fading away and his fingers ache. It feels so good that he doesn’t even flinch when he hears the front door open. He hears his mom in the kitchen and decides it’s now or never. He has homework still waiting, but he needs to talk to her first.

When he enters the kitchen his mom is putting away groceries.

“Hey, mom.”

“Hey, baby, you had dinner yet? I stopped by and picked us up a pizza.”

“No, not yet, but… can we talk first?” Tommy asks and hops up on the barstool.

“Sure baby, what’s on your mind? If it’s about this morning don’t worry about it. It’s not like I ever had any delusions about you growing up and becoming a man,” his mom laughs and sits down on the stool next to him.

“Umm, it’s not… I just feel like I’ve been hiding something about myself from you. It’s way past time you know and I… I hope you’ll still love me after you know,” Tommy sighs and feels the way his throat wants to constrict around his confession.

“What is it? You’re not doing drugs are you?”

“No ma, I just…” Tommy trails off as his fears eat away at him and tears make the bar blurry.
Arms wrap tightly around him and his mom’s perfume fills his nostrils. In that moment a million other embraces fill his mind. The hug after the first time he fell riding his bike without training wheels, when his dog got hit by a car when he was eight, and most recently when his dad died when he was sixteen. The scent of her perfume, the one she’s worn ever since he can remember, brings it all back and the tears fall until he’s full on sobbing into her shoulder.

“It’s okay, baby, it’s okay,” she assures him while patting his back the same way she used to when he’d woke up from a nightmare when he was little.

“It’s not okay,” cries Tommy. “It’s not okay that you have to deal with this. It’s not okay that I’m not like other kids my age. It’s not okay!” Tommy knows at this point he’s scaring her more, but his fear of rejection is outweighing his common sense that’s trying to tell him she’ll love him no matter what.

“Calm down, shh, tell me what’s the matter.”

Tommy pulls away sniffling and wipes his eyes with his sleeve. A shuddering breathe and then another and it finally all tumbles out. “I want to be with a man. I’m gay.” Tommy feels so small in that moment, but when he finally looks up at his mom he sees so many things in her eyes.

He can tell she’s upset, but the smile on her face contradicts the shadow of worry in her eyes.
“Are you telling me because they hurt you?” she whispers and Tommy flinches when she reaches up to brush the place below his eye. Until that point he’d forgotten it was there.

“No… I… uhh one of the jocks pushed me and I tumbled into my locked and my face was in the way of my spiral notebook that has a jagged edge. They… I don’t think they know. The only one that knows is Adam.”

“Adam’s a sweet guy, is he your…”

“No ma, I didn’t even know Adam was gay until a few days ago.”

“Oh okay, well, I’m not going to say it isn’t a surprise, and I won’t say I’m not worried about you. This is going to make your life more difficult, people will look at you differently, and well I hoped you’d make me a grandma someday.”

Tommy tenses. “I didn’t choose this, it’s who I am. My life more difficult? Heh that’s funny, the kids at school already treat me like I’m infectious disease. Or did you miss the memo that your son is a freak? And grandkids? Ma do you really think I’ve thought that far ahead and in this day and age who says I won’t have kids someday if I find someone I want to settle down with?” He knows he’s being defensive, but hell it’s not like he wanted this. It just is.

“I didn’t… I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like that. You know I love you and I’ll support you. But you can’t blame me for being scared someone is going to hurt you just because of who you choose to love,” she chides.

“Sorry, it’s just… I tried to deny it for so long and I’m just tired. I wanna be who I am momma.” Tommy pulls her into a hug and allows himself melt into the embrace. She still loves him. Everything else is moot right now.

Later after he finally manages to finish his homework he grabs his cell and calls Adam. It rings several times before Adam finally picks up and Adam sounds odd.

“Umm… should I just wait to talk to you tomorrow? Sounds like I interrupted something.”

Adam just chuckles and assures Tommy that it’s nothing and Kris left hours ago so it’s not like they were doing it, like they could when his mom was home anyway.

“Well, I told my mom,” Tommy sighs into the phone.

“And,” Adam coaxes.

“And she was emotional about it. She’s scared for me and of course grandkids came up, but she assured me she loves me no matter.” Tommy feels his throat tighten on the last words as relief again floods through his body. He had been afraid she might not speak to him or maybe even scream so it was way better than his fears.

“Well, it could’ve been much worse. She didn’t kick you out. Though if she had I’m sure mom would’ve let you crash here.” Tommy can hear Adam’s smile as silly as it sounds.

“Your mom’s really great, you should talk to her.”

“I have to soon, I asked Kris to prom.”

Tommy squeals and Adam’s laugh comes over the line. “Good, your mom will be happy for you, I’m sure,” Tommy says with all confidence knowing it’s a fact.

“Hope so,” Adam mumbles and Tommy’s heart breaks a little. He’s never had romantic feelings for Adam, but he loves him like family and it hurts him to know that Adam is upset.

“I know so, get some sleep man, I’ll see ya.”

“See ya, goodnight.” Adam’s hushed voice comes over the line and then he’s gone and Tommy’s lying there with his thoughts. It all morphs into dreams and he’s reliving the incident at his locker, but the events change. Instead of walking into the bathroom alone, Andrew is their interlocking their fingers and leading him into the bathroom to tend to the cut.

The week is a blur of school, homework, and excited conversations with Adam about prom. It’s Friday night when Tommy gets the call he’s been waiting for. Adam finally came out to his family and the pure fucking joy in his voice makes Tommy want to do a happy dance. Tommy also finds out during that conversation that tomorrow night a bunch of the theater kids are going to take over Ally’s house since her parents are out of town. By the sounds of it, it’s going to be something different. Adam tells him that kids from other schools along with a few new people will be there and of course since the parents are away there will be a keg involved. The latter is definitely something Tommy likes to hear.