Welcome to Michael's.
Today is once again free read Friday and we're continuing with the story, Out in left Field.
Part One Part Two
After talking with Jim, we hopped in my car to drive to Nathaniel’s flat in south London. I'd only been over his place a few times since he’d moved in three years ago. For whatever reason, when we hung out, he always liked to come back to my apartment.
Slowly, I guided him out of my car, up the stairs of his building. My arm was around his waist, supporting him so he could move without falling.
“Ay Roger, thanks mate. Those things are just startin’ to hit me,” he stammered on his words while belching.
“I knew you had too much. It’s alright though. At least you are at home now.” Once we reached his door, I picked him up over my shoulder, laying him across his sofa.
“Whoa Roger, Jesus, I’m glad I did not have to wretch.” Nathaniel lay back on the cushions, while watching me.
The thought of him vomiting didn’t come to mind, I just tried to get him over to the couch faster. “I knew you wouldn’t so I brought you over. Did you need somethin’, water er erm…”
“No thanks mate. However, this furniture is not fit for sleeping. I believe I’d rather go to my bed. Can you help me.” He got up slowly, trying not to lose his balance.
That moment, my mind raced as I thought about what I would say. Part of me wanted to stay and try putting out this burning desire to be with him. The other wants to leave right away because although I really would like to be with Nathaniel, I didn’t want to be here while he was drunk.
I walked him to his room and immediately he flopped on the bed.
Patting the spot next to him, “Roger, why don’t you spend the night huh? As long as you don’t mind sharing the bed with me since the couch is so uncomfortable.”
At that point, I replayed what he’d just said in my head.
I can’t do this, not now.
“Uh, no Nathaniel, I’m gonna head home. Besides, we have breakfast with the team tomorrow. We both need to get up early. Get some rest and sober up chap. I’ll turn the lock for you, no need to get up, G’nite.”
Before he could object, I left out of his flat.
Once I got back to my car, I leaned my head forward into the steering wheel.
What the fuck? I had him right there, I could have satisfied this desire, longing and then maybe it would’ve went away.
There I sat a few moments pondering what should have been. Nathaniel had left the door open for an encounter and I just literally shut it in his face.
As I started my engine, I thought about my stupidity. I hoped that the chance would present itself again since I had squandered this one away.
The following morning, the team met at a local diner for breakfast. Once we got in, I saw Nathaniel chatting with Charlie, our goalie and captain. When our eyes met, he glared at me before turning his attention back to our teammate.
I pissed him off by not staying this morning.
To break the ice, I walked over to sit at their table.
“What’s up Madden? How was the date last night? Didn’t get a chance to ask you before you left,” Charlie said after gulping down his juice.
Nathaniel took a bite of his biscuit seemingly trying to ignore my presence.
“Erm not so good I’m afraid. She was a bit of a dunce. Too chatty a bird for me.” The waitress came over as I finished my sentence. I ordered my usual cereal with fruit.
“Ah well, good you saw that right away. You should’ve just stuck somethin’ in ‘er mouth, if you know what I mean,” he chuckled, before getting up. “I’ll be back. I wanted to ask the coach somethin.”
Once he walked away, Nathaniel didn’t even raise his head. I could tell he was still hurt.
Obviously, he wanted me to stay there.
Nervously, I tapped my fingers on the table. “Look Nathaniel, I’m sorry that I left so quickly, I…”
“Don’t worry about it Madden.” He cut me off, raising his hand. “I was just tryin’ to be hospitable. Didn’t want you drivin’ home inebriated is all.” He played with his fork while not meeting my gaze.
No I think it was more than that.
“I appreciate that but was there some other reason?” I took my cereal from the server.
Angrily, he tossed his utensil on the wood. “What would make you think that,” he snapped.
I put the first spoonful in my mouth. “Erm well you seem a little unhappy that I didn’t stay.”
“You're damn right. Madden, you act like you are so innocent, oblivious to whatever is goin’ on around you. I like you Madden, always have, always will,” he hissed while picking up a piece of fruit.
Now I know why he put his hand on my back.
“Nathaniel, let’s go outside and chat for a moment.” I rose while finishing the contents in my bowl.
“No Madden, there’s nothing to talk about. It’s obvious you don’t want this to transpire. It’s fine, we can still be friends. Just forget about it.”
The moment I was about to retort, Charlie walked back over.
“Alright, that’s settled. Madden looks as if you’re done with breakfast. You sure don’t eat much. As a matter of fact, you eat like a bird,” He laughed while taking another muffin from the basket.
Wryly, Nathaniel smiled at me as I put some money on the table and walked away.
I should’ve stayed last night but I just wasn’t ready for that to occur.
Thoughts of what he’d told me went through my head. He wanted me and accused me of being oblivious, maybe even naive.
Fuck Madden, it was there for you and you blew it. The chance to be with your close friend in bed. You longed for it and when the opportunity presented itself, you dismissed it, you coward.
Alone, I walked out the back door of the diner to the parking lot. I lay against the wall thinking of him. How I just hurt his feelings by being such an idiot.
Why do I care so much all of a sudden?
I’m a straight man who wants to experience a gay encounter. If it never happens will it kill me?
Right then, I made up my mind this was no longer a big deal and that my emotions involving Nathaniel needed to be put in check. I liked women. I wanted to be married with children someday.
Although I was still for keeping my options open, I decided to put this incident with Nathaniel behind me. As long as I had our friendship, I would be content with that. We were brothers, teammates, and friends first.