Dani brought the water bottle to her lips, ready to wash down another pair of pills. But first, a knock came from her door.
Fuck! Dani gagged, almost choking on the two tablets she had yet to swallow.
“Danny? You in there?” It was Ryan.
Dani quickly took in a mouthful of water, gulped, and let out a large sigh. “Um, yeah, one sec’.” She tucked her pill bottles into her desk drawer, careful not to make too much noise. With a quick glance in her mirror to make sure nothing was amiss, she answered the door.
As expected, Ryan was there. Dani looked up at him, which she always had to do if she wanted to meet his eyes. Wow, his eyes are super...pretty. Have they always looked like this? Ah, I’m doing it again! She shook her head and put on a smile. “What’s goin’ on?” She asked.
Ryan was standing with his hand on the back of his neck. He was looking rather unsure about what he was going to say, but Dani could only stare at his well-built arms as she waited for him to answer.
Maybe I should see if he wants a gym buddy...Just so I can get in shape, of course!
Ryan finally spoke. “Yeah, I just was seeing if you wanted to play video games again. With me. Online players are being annoying again.”
“Sure! But I have to leave for work in a couple hours, so I can’t play all day this time.” Dani said.
“Right, yeah, just a few is fine. Just need to get revenge for last time!” The two laughed.
Dani caught herself about to twirl her hair, and jerked her arm down before it was noticeable. “Well let’s get started, then!” She gestured to the living room, and followed Ryan to the couch.
Dani settled into the couch, leaving a foot of space between her and Ryan. After booting up the game and playing a couple rounds, she looked over to see Ryan staring at her.
“Is something up? Wondering what my secret to beating you is?” She said, smiling to make sure it wasn’t taken the wrong way.
“No, not that. It’s just...Danny, you know you’re a cool guy to hang out with, right?”
Well, I’m pretty cool, but not sure about the whole ‘guy’ thing… Dani thought as she twisted her mouth. “Uh-huh?”
“And I’m kinda just curious about something.” Ryan said. His hand started rubbing the back of his neck again.
“Okay?” Dani squinted her eyes. Normally I can predict what he’ll say, but what the fuck is he getting at?
“Do you really not want to date anyone?” Ryan asked her.
Oh. Not what I was expecting, but nothing I haven’t been asked before. Dani collected herself before responding, “Yeah. Well, maybe.” Oh god, do I tell him? No. Obviously not. She battled with her thoughts for a few moments, before realizing she had left Ryan hanging.
“Hey,” Ryan put up his hands, “if it’s not something you want to talk about, I get it.” Ryan stood up and walked toward the kitchen. “I’ll grab us some beers and we’ll just keep playing. Sorry for intruding.” He returned to the couch, offering Dani one of the bottles he was holding.
I wish you understood how badly I want to tell someone. Dani smiled as she accepted the drink.
Simon’s phone buzzed. Again. He had lost track of the exact number, but this was over the dozenth time that Rachel had texted him today.
How on earth is she still finding stuff to tell me?! Simon thought as he reached to check his girlfriend’s message. I’m going to have to tell her this isn’t okay. Not when I’m at work. Simon knew he would never actually confront Rachel about it, but he still told himself the lie.
He read the message, “can’t wait for tonight!!” Then, he read it once more. Wait, he thought, did we make plans? He racked his brain, thinking of every conversation they had over the past week. Oh, right. It’s been a month of dating.
Simon had yet to sleep with Rachel, much to Rachel’s dismay, as he claimed that he was waiting to, “make sure that they actually had chemistry,” first. The arbitrary deadline he gave her was a month. Unfortunately for him, that was when he assumed they would go on a date or two and split. Every moment that passed, however, Rachel got more power in their relationship. More of a hold on Simon. And Simon knew it wasn’t malicious. She had even complained to him that he seemed disinterested on their dates, and would never make any decisions without an initial prompting from her.
Simon also knew, though, that his future with Rachel couldn’t work. His lackadaisical attitude would drive her away sooner or later, and he could go back to his bachelor life.
He could also go back to supporting his friend. I don’t understand why he didn’t tell me. Simon thought of Danny. Should I even say ‘he’ anymore? I guess I’ll just wait and ask him.
He closed his texts with Rachel, and pulled up an old photo of him and Danny. And I can’t believe I haven’t noticed it myself. He looks so different, now! Well, not really. He still dresses in hoodies and jeans, and his hair was always long, and he never had much facial hair. But something has changed. Something subtle. And now I know what it is.
After Simon found the pill bottles in the bathroom last week, he spent the whole day at work debating if he should look up what they did. Of course, he cracked. The curiosity was too much to bear. “If my best friend’s life is in danger, I need to know,” is how he justified it to himself. And, after a quick internet search, Simon realized his best friend was transitioning.
In truth, Simon’s initial reaction was relief. His friend wasn’t dying, at least not any faster than normal, and it explained some of the strange behavior that he had grown concerned over. That must be why he refused to take his shirt off all summer… And it also explains why he kept his legs shaved despite never going swimming. Simon pieced everything together rather quickly, but his mind kept wandering. I’ve only ever been supportive of the entire LGBT community! Did he seriously think I would get mad? Christ, I can’t believe he thinks so little of me! And these thoughts were still with him today, a few days after his discovery.
So instead, Simon focused on getting home. He started his car, and tried to keep his thoughts under control, but to no avail. If he doesn’t come clean this weekend, I’ll say something. Yeah, that’s fair. I mean, I’m sure he will be open about it. He was probably about to open up the other day, before I interrupted him. Okay, yeah, things will be fine. Things will work out.