How I Live Now

Day 28

(This is the first draft; expect some problems)

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Day #28


Matias turned up on time, rang the doorbell, and I could feel the excitement in his voice from the intercom.


“You ready?” Matias asked.


I have no idea why, but I nodded to the intercom as if when he looked up from the street, he'd be able to see through the walls. I grabbed my shit and scrambled down the stairs so fast. Some of that excitement rubbed off on me, and by the time I got to the ground floor, I felt sick. Exiting the building was a different story. I slowed down, opened the door with grace, and left smiling. Moments earlier, I'm not sure how he'd have taken my motivation to reach him. I looked like one of those crazy guys. With the entrance door shutting behind me, Matias waved meekly from his ride. His arm was extended with a helmet, clutching them from the straps. Taking hold of the protective gear, I placed it on my head then climbed into my designated spot as always. It has become a habit now that we no longer have to discuss where I have to stand. It made me feel all weird. Our friendship has come a long way in the past few days. It's like I've known him for years. Maybe it's just his easy-going nature that makes it so easy to speak with him. There is nothing worse than having a conversation with a person who hijacks it. People who only boast about themselves bore me: I get it… your somebody special.


The traffic was surprisingly thin, especially for a Saturday. There was no ducking and weaving between vehicles. Most of the commute was a straight drive, and when we arrived, Matias wheeled his scooter to the front door. Some kind man was in one of those glass boxes. This was a low-frequency event. So, we were able to buy tickets without having to preorder. Plus, I assumed it would have cost more to buy-in. $12 each, and it gained admission. There were lockers not far from the door; we entered a small corridor and chose a luggage compartment. They don't want people bringing bags and stuff into the building for public safety, but Matias said he could fit his scooter in one. I figure he has done this before, given he's tried everything already, as it seems. The main handle on the scooter folded down, and Matias placed it into the cupboard lengthways, put in a quarter, and then locked it. We walked to the concession stands while he secured the key in his wallet. Most of the vendors were closed. It probably wasn't worth it opening up all the food stalls during the small ball games. One stand was open at the end of the atrium; we stopped to order drinks and food. I wasn’t feeling hungry, but I wanted something tasty. Chocolate didn’t cut it for me today, then I saw the popcorn. I can’t remember the last time I had popcorn. Well, I had some today, but before that… It must be years. I love cinema popcorn.


“Popcorn?” Matias stated.


I watched the woman behind the till dipping the cardboard holder into the vat to scoop up the popcorn I ordered.


“Yeah… What’s wrong?” I asked.


Matias had this look of amazement on his face. It was almost as if I was insinuating that I betrayed tradition. Or like those people who put ketchup on toast. Though I do put red ketchup on mash potatoes. So, I guess that evens the score for weirdness.


Matias turned from the vendor to me and said, "Well, for a first… It's popcorn."


Here I thought, 'What?'


“But I like popcorn,” I offered back.


“But it's not real ball game food,” Matias said.


Matias took back out his wallet, still seeming to want to pay for the popcorn regardless of what I wanted to get. That was the deal. I'd pay for my ticket, and he could buy my food. Not that Matias didn't already try to top me with… Okay… TOP ME…. Wrong choice of words. What I mean is: Matias attempted to be the perfect gentlemen and get me my ticket too. Though I am a little independent, perhaps a little stubborn too. But how can you say no to those gorgeous pleading eyes? I felt that nervous energy in the air, almost like a ghost was standing over my shoulder, saying, 'you're going to fuck this up.' Yet, somehow, Matias's light jabbering was playful. I felt inspired to give back some of the teasings.


“Oh yeah… What is? That sausage and bun,” I shot back.


Matias glanced down and balked. He withdrew his arm into his chest with his food, cradling it and protecting it from the vicious insult I hurled at it.


"Don't speak about my hotdog that way. When I think of popcorn, I think of a projector and a dark room filled with old people watching Gone With The Wind."


“Wow… Gone With... It totally confirms it… you're a geek," I offered back.


Matias brooded coyly, then a smile cracked on his face. God, when he gives you those puppy dog eyes, you can't help but feel your heart almost give out.


“Why not get both?” Matias counteroffered. He gave a solemn stare.


I smirked, “Why don’t you mind your own sausage business.”


The cashier had finished scooping up my popcorn. I think she was secretly enjoying or cute dynamic. The two of us glanced at each other. There was a twinkle in Matias's eye. Seeing them in such a stunning way made my knees weak like they had run a 10k marathon. We eventually broke into a chuckle. It's funny, but I felt passionate. If that's a thing, you're supposed to feel… I'm not sure. I can't help how I feel, but I'm falling for Matias. He doesn't have to do much to captivate me.


So, Matias paid, we found our seats and settled in for a game. Most of the game was spent with quick, nervous glances, heart flutters, and the occasional boner. Around the 7th inning, a stray ball came ricocheting toward me. Matias's lightning bolt reflexes stopped it from hitting me. He launched his hand out in front of my face and caught the ball. Something about seeing the veins in the back of his hand was hot. I didn't even flinch when the baseball came barreling my way. It goes to show how alert I am at any given moment. It was impressive, actually. I felt oddly safe. Strangely, if Matias was that quick to stop a stray ball from hitting me, it must mean he likes me. Plus, the way he downplayed his noble gesture was irresistibly sexy. Matias waved down to the players letting them know all is good, and he dropped the ball into my hand. All Matias was missing was a pair of rolled-up sleeves. Oh, when boys do that... it's wonderful. Though, then again, Matias plays baseball now that I think of it. Surely he has to have skill. I wonder what position Matias plays? So, yeah, I had a lovely keepsake.


Leaving the stadium, we were collecting the scooter when Matias removed his cellphone from his pocket. He appeared to be reading something on the screen. Before the message, he seemed happy, but now I felt a sense of urgency in his actions. I peered across at Matias for an explanation as to what is going on. The plan we had in mind was to go out to dinner, but now I quickly realized it might not happen.


“Em… I have a family thing,” Matias said.


“Oh… Okay… I guess I’ll see ya,” I added glumly.


I was starting to feel a bit depressed. I can understand if it was an emergency, but still, I felt disappointed by his departure. Though Matias reached out and placed his hand on my elbow.


“That’s unless you want to come along,” Matias added.


“I wouldn’t want to get in the way,” I said.


“You wouldn’t,” Matias said, adding a grin.


So, it was agreed. The two of us loaded onto Matias's scooter and headed home to his family apartment. Turns out, Matias's younger brother had returned home earlier than anticipated. He wasn't supposed to be home, so he looked for his older brother's help. Matias's father was at work, and his mom was probably out getting groceries. Today was the only day I knew Amy had off of work.


Matias carried his scooter up two levels of a condominium block with three floors when we got there. Before setting foot inside the building, I could tell that the family where pretty well off. Probably middle class as everything was swanky. We entered a small hallway separating two condos and came across a young about 10-years-old sitting against the wall by their front door. When the boy saw Matias, he perked up; climbing to his feet, he smirked meekly as Matias approached. I followed behind Matias, trying not to get involved. Though Matias's younger brother peered around him and cast me a skeptical glance. So, I was involved. How come Matias nor Amy ever mentioned a younger boy? That was my first question. Though again, I never asked about other family members… did I?


“Who’s he?” the boy asked.


"That's Kyle," Matias responded.


I felt awkward, so to break the ice, I offered, "Hi…."


“Okay…” The younger boy murmured.


There was a second silence, then Matias cut in with a sigh, "Mom told you to stay at Johnathan’s.”


"But he hit me…." The boy said.


“He what?” Matias asked.


“We got into a fight,” came the response.


"Well, that's different than he just hit you," Matias said, digging into his pocket looking for his house key.


Unlocking the door, the younger boy funneled inside and down the hallway. Matias followed closely behind. So, I trailed along, sticking to Matias.


“But…” the boy said.


"But nothing…. You know you're not allowed to walk home alone," Kyle added.


The boy grumbled, “But it's bullshit.”


The younger boy headed up the hall and into a room. Matias turned to me and beckoned me inside. Telling me to shut the door. When I turned around, Matias was gone, but I followed the voices. The two boys went to the same room, and as I made my way along the wall, I felt safe in such a pleasant home. It was nothing like my house back in Acreage, and it was delightful to know that some people have it nice. Reaching the room, they disappeared inside. I entered what appeared to be a bright living/dining area with a kitchen adjacent. I liked the open-plan layout.


"I had to come all the way home because of your sorry ass…." Matias added with a groan.


The younger boy sat on the edge of an L-couch. He'd kicked off his shoes and made himself at home. Matias rounded the corner after scolding his brother and went toward the kitchen.


"Jeez… I'm sorry…." The boy said mockingly.


I stood in the middle of the room, waiting for directions. It was odd, watching the two brothers squabble. There wasn't any violence. Usually, when something didn't work out back home, a belt came out to do the discussion. Though that still unnerved me, the disagreement. I don't like people fighting. Maybe it's because I am from a hostile home. Matias opened the refrigerator and started plundering the contents of the freezer drawers.


“Do you want something to drink?” Matias asked.


I thought it odd that they kept their drinks in the freezer part of the fridge, but then Matias removed a bag of frozen peas.


“Yeah, I’ll have a cola,” The young boy said.


I glanced over at him, he stared back dubiously.


"I wasn't talking to you, freak…." Matias shot back.


Peering from the young boy, Matias shut the bottom of the fridge and opened the top.


"Water would be fine…." I said.


My throat felt like a sandstorm has taken place. If I coughed, lots of sand would spew up.


“Okay… Make yourself comfy,” Matias said.


Doing as I was told, I sat down beside the younger brother. The boy plucked up the TV remote, fired up the 4k television hanging on the wall. Some talk show hosts dominated the screen, talking about summer clothes with some woman modeling them on a catwalk. The young boy dropped the remote on the sofa, got up, went to one of the kitchen cupboards, removed some pastry, and returned to the couch. South Park was put on the big TV, and the kid settled in.


“Should you be eating that Hudson? The doctor said you have to keep an eye on your insulin levels.”


"I'll live…." Hudson said.


Matias was filling up a glass of water for me using and large 0.5-gallon bottle. Hudson took a chunk out of the dried pastry bread, and it crumbled. So, Hudson cradled his hand under his chin to catch loose pieces. He swiped his hand up at his mouth to down those too. Some loose flakes stuck to the side of his mouth, then the boy looked at me.


"You one of my brother's friends," Hudson said. He used air quotes when he said, friend.


I felt confused; what would I say to that? Did that mean that Matias was really gay…. and was out to his family? Thankfully, Matias came to the rescue, calling from the kitchen, telling Hudson to leave me alone.


“God… you’re all buzz kill,” Hudson groaned.


There was a moment's silence. Hudson peered over at me. I clandestinely glanced in his direction. When I did regard the boy, he looked down at the large pocket in my hoodie, where the baseball outline protruded. Pulling it out, I held it up for the kid to see.


“Where you get that?” Hudson asked.


I grinned, “We went to a ball game. You want it?” I said.


The boy grinned back. It appeared that he was warming up to me. I can't explain why, but I rather like the kid’s personality. He's a little different than his brother. More vocal, but then again, that night with that pervert, Matias was pretty vocal. The kid nodded, he reached out, and I deposited the ball in his hand.


“Coool," the Hudson said.


Matias returned with two drinks, crossed the threshold from the kitchen into the living room. One was orange and the other water. The bag of peas he removed from the freezer was slumped over his shoulder. He gave me the glass of water, and I cradled it. With his free hand, he tugged at the bag of frozen veg and tossed it on his brother's lap. The boy sat up presumably because he felt the cold of the peas soaking through his pants. Matias directed his little brother's head up with his hand so he could get a better look at the damage.


“Stop,” Hudson grumbled, then withdrew.


“You better put something cold on that… to stop the swelling,” Matias said.


"And stop fighting with people..." Matias added.


The boy noddle and climbed to his feet.


"Right… Thanks, toots…" Hudson jeered.


I sniggered at what he called Matias, and Matias looked to me wide-eyed.


"Don't encourage him…." Matias pleaded.


"Right… I'm gonna play some Xbox… later toots…." Hudson teasingly added, mimicking someone kissing.


The boy ran out the door, and his footsteps stopped. My smirk said it all, then Matias cracked a grin at me. The weird dynamic between the two of them was unique. Yet, when we thought we were alone, Hudson returned momentarily. There was silence after that awkward statement, but the kid smiled meekly. He was holding the bag of peas across his eye.


"Eh… Thanks for the baseball…." Hudson added.


That was the last we saw of him; he zoomed down the hallway, presumably to his bedroom, to play online. Matias and I sat drinking, talking a little, and having fun. I still can't believe I got to sit in Matias's home. It still feels like a dream. Every time I ask myself to wake up, it feels like an even more ludicrous dream. Plus, I learned that Hudson is not allowed to walk home because he got mugged a couple of weeks ago on his way home from school. The boy's wallet and phone were stolen. Now it made sense why nobody in the family wanted him walking alone. Though that's shit… What sort of world are we living in if someone mugs a ten-year-old? Who would believe that a 10-year-old boy gets whipped to the point his back bleeds too?


I enjoyed myself. It was sweet, sitting in the room, just being with Matias. I can't believe I thought that he'd abandon me. It was a genuine reason, plus his little brother is adorable and sweet.


After that, we decided to part way. It was getting on in the day, and the evening was starting to approach. Plus, I wanted to get home so I could start dinner.

Matias walked me to the bus stop.

I can't stop thinking about him.

What's wrong with me?

Hmm… is that what you do when you’re in love?

Hmm… Did I just say I'm in love?


Gawd… I'm getting weird. I'm going to eat my dinner now. The microwave beeped. It's not much, but it will fill me. I'm going to keep thinking about Matias all evening. I will; there is no point in denying it. How can you not think about that dreamy face? He's got those wholesome eyes, a cute smile, and a goofy attitude vibe. I can live with that… or maybe I can't.


Should I call him?

Would that make me look desperate?


Hmm… I should go away and think logistically about these stupid feelings I'm experienced. The point being… I've got feelings that I've never had before Matias walked into my life.


Talk soon,




Thanks for reading, comments are welcome, and I reply to all.



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