I step off the plane. Disgust and regret instantly filling me as I look around the busy airport. I can't believe I actually came back; 10 years ago I left California promising never to return. Now look at me, 28 and coming back to the place I hate most.
You may be wondering why I'm putting myself through this hell, and that is a great question. I have nothing, and nobody here for me. I'm here for my brother's funeral, he had cancer. Life is a bitch huh? He had the worst kind too, Leukemia. Anthony was the only family I really had left, after my father disowned me. He was there for me when I came out as gay.
How the fuck is it fair that this 25 year old kid who had big dreams, would just die like that. And my homophobic asshole of a father gets to live. I'll get through these two weeks, and then I'll be on my flight back to New York.
I got in a line for Starbucks, because hell, it's too late to function without coffee. I grabbed my phone and dialed my older sister's number. "Hello?" Diana said into the phone, sounding groggy.
"Oh did I wake you? It's me...Oliver." I spoke. I haven't talked to her since the day I moved in with my best friend when I was 16. "...oh...no you're fine. I was already up anyway."
I didn't want to do this, but I had to. "Look, I know you hate me, but I need a ride to my hotel. Or at least to a rental car place. We both loved Tony, so say you're doing this for him." I missed my sister, but she had the audacity to cast me away all those years ago. And we used to be so close too.
"Oh don't act like you're a victim. If you weren't a...a sinner, you would've been fine. But you know what, I am a mature, civilized adult. So yes, Oliver I'll come get you." I think her definition of mature and civilized is different from mine.
Funny how the only time my family really cared about religion was when they found out I was gay. I rolled my eyes. We were never overly religious. Rarely went to church. I mean, I'm a fucking atheist. But you know what, I don't fucking care anymore. "Diana if you're going to be like that, I'll get an uber." I said before hanging up.
Ten minutes later, I was getting into a car, and heading toward the hotel. "Yo, the name's Dante, I'm your--HOLY FUCK IS THAT OLIVER DANIELS???" He turned violently in his seat to stare at me. The car swerved suddenly to the right, and I clutched the door with white knuckles. Wait I know this guy. He was...is?...my best friend. I say was...is?... because when I left California, nobody knew that I had left or where I was going. It's not like anyone really cared anyway. And by nobody, I mean nobody...except for Anthony. It's not like anyone really cared anyway. I lived with Dante and his parents for two years after my dad kicked me out.
I'll admit that was kind of a dick move, but as soon as we graduated, I was out of there. "H-Hi Dante it's great to see you." I said meekly. "Been a w-while huh?"
"Don't you dare 'it's great to see you' me. You left. You left me, and you left Theo. Do you know how fucking worried we were? The day after graduation you were just gone. It's been ten years and we've had no trace of you." He was justifiably angry.
"I-I'm sorry man. I just, I had to leave." I said quietly. "H-How is Theo anyway." All this time I've been gone, the only people I regretted leaving was Anthony and Theo. Theo was the guy I loved. But that's another story for another time. "Dunno dude. Guy went AWOL soon after you did. Can't really blame him though, can you?" It's my fault. I hurt him. I loved him, and I hurt him. So many emotions went through me at the same time. Disgust and regret still there, but now sadness and longing too. I can't wait to get back to New York.
————-Timeskip brought to you by Mountain Dew Red————————
I checked into my hotel room, and immediately flopped onto the bed. I had so many thoughts to sort through. This was a mess. I'd be here for two weeks, and already I've fought with my older sister, and ran into my high school best friend. What next.
I contemplated going to out to see a movie tomorrow, but I didn't really feel like going alone. I pulled out my headphones and my iPod. Whenever I'm upset, music makes me feel better. As much as it hurts me to say this, I didn't really want to listen to any musicals right now.
Going for a walk might improve my mood, and clear my mind. I checked my phone, and the time read 10:30 pm. 1:30 am back in New York. I've already been here for 2 hours and everything has gone to shit. Turning up the volume for my music, I started out the door of the hotel room. Starting tomorrow, my understudy would take over my part until, I get back
There was this cute 24 hour bakery, that Theo and I used to go on stupid cheesy dates. It was only a couple blocks from here, so that might be a nice place to go. It was a nice night, middle of April, so not too cold, but not warm either. As much as I hate it here, I have to admit it's a nice change from the freezing New York slush.
It was a little colder inside the cafe, than I would have liked, but beggars can't be choosers. "Well I'll be damned. Am I seeing the ghost of little Oliver Daniels?" I looked up to find Emma Schwartz, the owner of the bakery. "You aren't very little anymore. You've changed so much. And you've grown out your hair."
I self consciously touched my shoulder length hair. "Uh yeah...hi Mrs. Schwartz. How have you been?" She's such a nice person, and she makes one damn fine pastry. Honestly I've never been the best around people, and I've had too much human interaction for today. Let's just hope I can, at the very least, make it through the rest of today without any more incident.
"I've been good hun. Are you here for Anthony's funeral? He was such a sweet kid. Such a shame." Comments like that irritate me, God that sounds so fake. I just want to be done with today. Maybe coming here was a bad idea. "Y-yeah. I-I flew in this morning." I said. "I'm s-sorry, I-I shouldn't have come." I turned and went back out the door.
San Francisco was still alive, despite it being kind of late. Not as alive as New York, but at least it was somewhat familiar. All I can think about is how it's been ten years. I shoved my hands into my pockets and kept walking, a little more briskly, back in the direction of the hotel. The only thing that would save me right now was sleep.
Maybe tomorrow I'll have the strength to tie up some loose ends, but knowing me, probably not. Once again I arrived at the hotel, and immediately went up to my room. The bed looked so inviting, and my eyes felt so heavy. I had no energy to change, I fell into bed, and waited for the sweet release of sleep.
Flashback: 12 years ago today, April 13
"I-I think I love y-you," I whispered. Theo looked at me, his face unreadable. "I'm s-sorry. Did I t-take it too far?" He hates me. He doesn't love me. I made him uncomfortable, he'll never love me. I started biting my nails like I did when I got nervous.
Suddenly Theo's arms wrapped around me. "Baby of course you didn't. I was just surprised, that's all. I love you too." A small relieved smile appeared on my face and I leaned in to kiss him. We had been best friends since 7th grade. I had loved him since 8th, and we've been dating for about 3 months.
I hate my stutter, I hate my ugly blonde hair, I hate all my freckles, but Theo makes me feel ok. He makes me feel loved. I'm not sure when, but eventually, I started to drift off.
"I love you. Don't doubt that." I heard Theo say, right before I fell asleep.