“Elliott! Hey!” Beau exclaims as he spots his friend in Starbucks, sitting down beside him and wrapping an arm around his shoulders. Elliott stiffens his back and glares at him.
“Get off me, Beau,” he groans, pushing back against his touch. Beau laughs, and doesn't move his arm. “So, you guys ready to order or what?” he asks the rest of the table (Eric and Jared, Matt is at home with his soon to be wife).
“Already ordered. Actually waiting on it to be done. I ordered you your usual,” Eric responds, pocketing his cell phone.
“Thank you!” Beau exclaims. Elliott shoves him off.
“Give me some space, man,” he groans. Beau shrugs it off and continues being happy.
It's when he leaves to use the restroom and comes back that his happiness fades; he overhears the conversation Eric and Elliott are having before he gets back to the table.
“I'd rather kiss a snail,” Elliott snaps. “Dude, he's unattractive and annoying – it's not a good combo for anyone. Besides – I'm straight, remember?”
“Yes, but, he's just messing around! Why do you have to be so pushy?” Eric asks.
“Because it was funny the first couple of times but he is keeping on. I mean, damn, you'd think he'd get the signal that I'm not interested in his ugly ass sometime soon.”
“Well, you are single. And you can't blame everyone for thinking... You know...”
“That I'm gay?” he laughs. “I'm single because I choose to be. Once I find the right girl I'll date her, but no one has caught my attention yet.”
“I'd rather date your grandmother than Beau. Dude, I'd rather die than date him.”
“Damn, that's harsh,” Eric replies, Beau finds this to be the right time to show up again.
“What's harsh?” he asks as he sits down, this time beside Jared. He slides his drink over to himself and glances over at Elliott, who isn't looking at him. Figures.
“Uh,” Eric stutters, but Elliott is the quickest to lie-
“We were talking about Matt – it's nothing,” he says. Beau nods as if he believes him, and stays silent for the rest of the time they're there together.
Yeah, that guy.
“No way,” Matt says, “Who is the lucky man?”
“SHUT UP!” Elliott snaps, grabbing his phone out of his pocket.
Beau thinks he might be sick.
“This is a picture of us, thank you very much,” he snaps, handing the phone to Matt. Jared cranes his neck to see, Eric rushes over too. Beau stays where he is, pretending to be busy opening a water bottle.
“Wow, wasn't expecting that, I guess. She's pretty, Elliott,” Jared says.
“Yeah, congratulations. You are no longer forever alone. Right, Beau?” Matt says.
“Huh? Yeah,” he responds.
So he finds ways to avoid her completely during the times she's staying on the bus with them.
This goes on for a while, his depression because of the lack of ever having a chance with Elliott, and Eric seems to catch on.
“You're upset,” he says to him over coffee one day. It's just Eric and Beau there today.
“And you are basing this upon what evidence?” Beau asks.
“You haven't been laughing near as much as usual. Also – you've worn the same outfit for four weeks straight. So unless you're addicted to drugs or something, I'm guessing something is bothering you.”
“You wouldn't believe me if I told you.”
“Try me,” Eric responds.
“I heard what Elliott said about me,” he says, Eric looks confused. “The part about never wanting to date me?”
“Oh... Oh, shit,” he responds quietly, taking a sip of his coffee to pass the time in between his response.
“Yeah. And it kind of hurt-”
“Look, you could be the most attractive guy on Earth and he still wouldn't want to date you, okay? He's straight as can be-”
“But – he didn't have to say it like that, did he?”
“He was annoyed, don't take it personally, dude. We all say things we don't mean when we're pissed off.”
“That doesn't change the fact that he would never date me.”
“Dude, you like him?” Eric asks.
“Always have. Thought you knew that.”
“Nope – Guessed it, but didn't know for sure. Okay, well, I don't really know what to tell you other than I'm sorry. He's straight, Beau, and there's nothing anyone can do about it.”
“Right,” he responds. Suddenly, he doesn't feel like finishing the rest of his coffee.