#AtoZChallenge — S is for Shallow

SFor today’s story, I took kind of a silly idea and just went with it. Remember C is for Casual? This is the prequel.

818 words. LGBT theme, plus that sort of je ne sais quoi combo of privileged neglect. Please leave a comment if you like what you read. 😊

Shallow

Nathan had it all. At seventeen, he was one of the most popular guys in school and didn’t even have to be on the football team to achieve it. His parents were rich, his girlfriend was hot and put out, and her equally hot best friend who couldn’t seem to find a boyfriend sometimes agreed to sleep with him when she needed a self-esteem boost. He had so much, he could afford to give it away.

But he also had a problem. It wasn’t his grades. It wasn’t the drinking, although he did a lot of that. It was that whenever he and his best friend Brian were hanging out, supposedly studying but actually drinking and talking shit about losers who weren’t as popular as they were, Nathan always ended up drunkenly trying to grope him. And it was never the ass, always the package.

To his credit, Brian didn’t seemed to bothered by it. He just wasn’t interested, and rebuffed the attempts to get at his dick more or less gently with statements like “Dude you’re so wasted” or “Hey man if you want to jerk off you have your own.” And it was never discussed beyond the moment of the incidents themselves. It had started along with puberty but they still remained friends over the years.

Nathan was bothered by it because, in the moment, the rejection irked him. But he didn’t hold it against Brian because the guy was cool about it, and anyway, it wasn’t specifically about Brian. Any dick would do. It was just that Brian always happened to be around when he got the urge because he kept his elite circle of friends small. He wasn’t used to not getting what he wanted.

So he turned to the internet. Nathan had very specific requirements, which he typed carefully (to avoid misunderstandings and misspellings) into his new profile on a gay online dating site. It would have to be someone who lived nearby, but not so near that they went to the same school, and possessed the qualities he liked about girls while still being a dude. Nathan didn’t consider himself gay because, as a millennial, he didn’t believe in labels; he just wanted more dick in his life and figured this was the best place to find it. God bless the internet.

It took some searching and a lot of swiping left, but he finally found the perfect guy who was down to meet up. As a friend, of course, and they’d see where it went after a few drinks. His name was Nic, he had long hair, and they liked all the same bands and tv shows.

On the appointed day at the appointed time, Nathan stationed himself behind the closed blinds of his bedroom window and peeked outside. From here he had a perfect view of the front drive and saw, to his surprise and envy, Nic pull up to the house on a motorcycle with a spray of gravel. Excited, Nathan went out to the stairs and took them two at a time, but still wasn’t quick enough to make it to the front door before his mother.

She opened the door and stared politely at the stranger in an expensive-looking yet, she couldn’t help thinking, distinctively grunge style clothing. A well-cut leather jacket was thrown on over a long striped sweater that hung almost to the stranger’s knees, flat and androgynous as a wall. The stranger also wore black leggings and biker boots with impressively high heels. It all added up to something… hard to peg.

“Can I help you?” she asked.

The stranger glanced surreptitiously at a name written on one wrist in ballpoint pen, then replied, “Yeah, I’m a friend of Nathan’s. I’m helping him with calculus. I’m Nic.”

Nathan’s mother, hearing and seeing what came easiest to her, smiled and loosened her grip on the door, letting it swing open enough for Nic to come inside. “Is that short for Nicole?” she asked. “That’s a lovely name.”

On the upstairs landing, Nathan rolled her eyes. His mother was never the most observant and she was truly meeting all of his well-seasoned expectations now.

Nic shrugged noncommittally and stepped inside, eyes roving around the grand entryway until catching sight of Nathan partway down the stairs and recognizing him from the privately shared pictures. He waved.

“Mom,” Nathan said loudly without bothering to come the rest of the way down, “we’re going to study in my room.”

“Alright dear, make sure you finish all your homework. Your father and I are going out tonight, but I’ll leave some money on the kitchen island so you two can order a pizza.”

It was as simple as that. Nathan really did have it all — though he wondered sometimes if his parents didn’t care or actually were that stupid. Most days, he was charitable enough to settle on stupid.

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7 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge — S is for Shallow

    1. … Sorry about the gibberish comment at first. That’ll teach me to put my phone in my pocket still on.

      It’s funny you should say that, because I wasn’t very adventurous when I was a teenager. No one in high school is ever 100% mature, although I don’t really think thinking about sex and drinking require maturity. You’re physically and often situationally able to do it long before the emotional and ethical readiness kicks in. Nathan starts to get a bit of that in Casual, but it’s not like anyone ever figures out all the answers.

      Liked by 1 person

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