You should never play drinking games when you're fifteen. More specifically, you should never play drinking games when you're fifteen with Kenny McCormick. Yeah, that never goes down well, and I was about to discover this first hand.
I've made it my priority to remember this date and the time. Friday July 5th (4 days after my fifteenth birthday) at 2:30 AM. I'll always remember it as the worst and best day of my life. My life kind of divided itself on this day, it may sound dramatic, but it's true. There's a part of me that feels completely human, alive, almost humbled and ecstatic, then there's the other half of me which is angry, confused, self loathing and fucked up. Really, really fucked up. And it's all because of one spectacular yet incredibly annoying person who seems to get more spectacular and annoying as the years go on.
We were in Stan's basement, playing video games and drinking whatever we could find in his dad's liquor cabinet when we came across that fateful bottle of Tequila. Immediately Kenny insisted that we play that drinking game with lime and salt, we all groaned, wasn't it enough to get shitfaced on a Friday night without having it turn into a competition? Though we all knew drinking games didn't revolve around comepetitiveness, they revolved around vomitting, making a fool out of yourself and having an excuse to do weird shit with alcohol.
Still, it was something to do and we were all getting bored of drinking old Budwieser six packs. "Okay" Stan sighed slurring a little "how do we play it, Ken?"
"Are you kidding me?" Kenny laughed, shaking his head, unscrewing the Tequila bottle before continuing "You've never heard of this game before?"
"No, we haven't" Kyle groans, rubbing his eyes before saying "Unlike you we were playing with footballs and action figures when we were kids, not Jim Beam."
"Yeah, plus our parents weren't raging alcoholics" I add.
"Okay, first of all, Jim Beam is whiskey, Tequila isn't, secondly, are your parents perfect? No they aren't." Kenny replies, narrowing his eyes at me before I flip him off.
Stan pinches the bridge of his nose, swaying before hauling his ass off the skanky second hand couch his parents bought for the "den". We were under no illusions, this wasn't a den, this was a basement that flooded in the winter and smelt like dogs.
"Ken, just tell us what this game is about so we can play it and get it over with..." Stan says in an exasperated way that must have taken him a lot of effort in his inebriated state.
"That's the spirit!" Kenny smiles, he somehow manages to become perky and excitable when he's drunk, whereas the rest of us get clumsy, grumpy and often nauseous. "Stanley, my boy, get me a lime and a salt shaker please."
"You sound like a crappy cruise ship magician" I smirk, pushing Kenny with such force that he almost falls over and spills Tequila on his orange jacket. It amazed me how at fifteen he could still wear that thing. He's always had this malnourished look about him though, he could probably still fit into kids clothes.
"Fuck you fatass" Kenny snaps before Stan blocks his ears as the volume raises in the room and he calls out angrily "Alright! Alright! I'll get your stuff..."
"Thank you" Kenny smiles sweetly, before making himself comfortable on the couch, nestiling himself between Kyle and I. Kyle grimaces at the sudden, jerky movement of the couch and takes a swig of the stale beer he's been cradiling all night.
He looks so pissed off when he drinks, like he has a beachful of sand in his vagina or something. I laugh and roll my eyes, while he pouts at me and gives me a dirty look, muttering something angrily in Hebrew under his breath before downing the entire contents of the beer bottle.
Kenny glances over at Kyle and then winks at me. Fuck, he's weird.
After a while Stan returns, with a salt shaker and a lemon.
"A lemon?" Kyle asks, raising his eyebrow.
"That's all I had, okay! Stop interrogating me!" Stan snaps, folding his arms and sitting down on the floor.
"Not to worry, that'll work equally as well." Kenny announces. Okay, now he definitely sounds like a cruise ship magician.
"Just tell us what this God damn game is about..." I sigh, feeling like I may have an aneurysm if I get anymore agitated.
"Well, it involves two people" Kenny explains, whilst pouring Tequila into the little shot glasses we found earlier "You lick the salt off your partner's neck, take the shot and then suck the lime, or in this case, lemon, out of the other's mouth."
I think Kyle spoke for all of us when he said with a frozen, shocked expression "Dude."
"What?" Kenny asked, as if it was the most normal thing in the world for a group of friends who have known each other since they were five to start sucking each other's necks and making out with lemons in their mouths.
"That's gay as fuck!" Stan shouts.
"Come on, it's fun!" Kenny laughs.
"Yeah, if you're playing it with some hot bartending chick maybe, like the girls at Hooters, but not with another guy, man. Not cool." I reply, though it kind of hurt to say. I don't know why, it was like some unrecognisable, ashamed pain. Like I was making up some ridiculous, desperate lie and saying it right to someone's face, someone who wasn't buying it. I put this down to the alcohol messing with my head.
"Now you're just being ignorant" Kenny says, crossing his arms.
"Ignorant?!" Kyle snaps, becoming hilariously fiesty. It's always very fun to watch. "Well I'm sorry Kenny if we don't wanna spend Friday night watching our friends engage in homo-erotic drinking games!"
"It could be pretty hot..." I sometimes wonder if Kenny has any shame in what he says. Or at least some control.
"Sick dude, what planet are you on?!" Stan asks sharply.
"Do you really wanna pull at that thread?" I ask, looking at Stan seriously and raising my eyebrows.
"Whatever" he mutters back.
"Look, just one game, okay? If it gets too weird then we'll stop" Kenny whines, almost begging us and Stan, Kyle and I look at each other, shrugging our shoulders and exchanging defeated stares.
"Fine" Kyle replies through gritted teeth. While Kenny looks so happy that he may start to dance, Seriously, what's wrong with him?!
"So, who wants to go first?" Kenny asks breezily.
While a chorus of strong, defiant 'not me''s echo around the hollow basement Kenny rolls his eyes and heaves his shoulders.
"Well then, I guess I have to choose, huh?"
I think Kenny must get off on seeing us uncomfortable. The panic and nervousness permeated across the three of us, we all turned red, frozen and refused to look at each other while Kenny grinned, with this excitable, drunken gleam in his eye.
He cleared his throat before saying "Alright... Eenie meenie minie mo-Cartman and Kyle."
"WHAT?!" Kyle and I shout, practically scream, in unison.
You know those moments where some primal instinct makes you curl up into a panicked, defenseless ball? Where everything is crucial and you've become exposed, cards on the table, so pathetically helpless that it makes you want to scream? Where your lungs, heart, nervous system go into overdrive and you're hit with this daunting, chilling realisation that you're completely screwed? Yeah, I felt like that at that exact moment. And I'm sure Kyle did too. No, I know he did. I felt all that fear and disbelief radiate off of him and I actually felt sympathy for him. For once in my life.
I glance over at him, my heartbeat rocking senselessly in my ears, becoming discordant and disturbed. His face has drained of a flustered, uncomfortable red and has now become white, moist and terrified. He can't even form a sentence right now, his words stumble out of his mouth and evaporate on his lips. Naturally, I did all the talking for us...
"No, no, no fucking way! I am not playing this stupid gay game with that little Jew faggot! I don't wanna be contaminated by his Hebrew germs!" I shout, standing up and balling my fists, with this sudden urge to punch anyone and everyone.
"Hey! You really think I want your second grade bacteria in my system?!" Kyle snaps back, trying his hardest to stand up on his drunken, loose legs.
Meanwhile Stan has gone into some weird catatonic state and Kenny is laughing his ass off to the point that he may piss himself.
"Look, look, one game won't hurt, right?!" Kenny struggles to breathe through his laughter, wiping smug tears of joy away from his depraved little eyes.
"YES IT WILL!" Kyle and I again shout at the same time. We both exchange dirty looks and cross our arms, what the fuck is happening?
"You guys are giving me a headache" Stan groans, snapping out of his coma briefly to pinch the bridge of his nose.
"Well what do you expect me to do, Stan?!" Kyle shouts back, his voice shrill and it makes me want to burst out in nervous laughter.
"Just fucking play the game already." Stan replies, his teeth gritted.
"No way! I am not touching that fucking kike!" I swear to God, Kyle looked like he was going to punch me in that moment, the notion of it was weirdly exciting. Just the thought of him blessing me with vivid impact made a shiver go down my spine. Okay, this is getting fucked up...
"What have you got to lose?" Kenny teases, waving the salt shaker in my face.
I snatch his wrist away before glaring at him and mumbiling bitterly "My dignity."
"Really? I thought you lost that a long time ago" Kyle sneers before running his eyes meanly over me. I hate it.
"So, whatdya say?" Kenny asks, way too enthusiastically.
To my surpise and utter horror, Kyle says firmly and boldly "I'll play."
Before I can stop myself I reply "Me too."
We look at each other with cold, hard eyes, our eyebrows furrowed and teeth gritted. Kyle's fists clench and unclench and he sits down, folding his arms. Kenny tugs at my arm and sits me down too but I can't help but keep looking at Kyle.
His jaw is locked, so much so that you can see how defined his bone structure is, I feel this familar heat gnaw at my groin and it grows more vicious when I realise that this is sick and wrong and that it's Kyle, Kyle for fuck sake!
"Alright" Kenny begins, tipping salt onto his middle and index fingers before rubbing it on my neck. "There you go..."
"What the fuck?!" I snap.
"It's part of the game" Kenny smiles, licking his teeth.
The salt trails from my Adam's apple and curves upward until it reaches a pressure point by my ear, it burns my skin, sinking into my pores, making me grind my teeth and seethe. I let my gaze linger over Kyle, who's watching deeply and almost hungrily as the salt oozes into my skin and leaves a glistening, white trail behind. As soon as I catch him staring, he looks away, his hands fidgeting. Usually I would've revelled in Kyle being so uncomfortable and got some kind of glorious kick out of it but now things were different. Maybe because we were in the same boat?
Kenny magically produces a pocket knife out of his jeans pocket and cuts a wedge out of the lemon, while Stan is looking at Kyle with sympathetic eyes. If only my best friend wasn't a giggiling, excited weirdo, if only he could offer me some compassion right now. I guess I deserve it.
"Okay, now put this in your mouth." Kenny smirks, dangiling the lemon wedge between his index finger and thumb, some juice leaks onto the floor before I snatch the damn thing off him. Rolling my eyes, I put the lemon in my mouth and immediately wretch at the sour, bitter taste that's flaring on my tongue.
"Ready Kyle?" Kenny snickers.
"Sure" Kyle sighs heavily, crinkiling his nose and hesitantly leaning in towards me. I try to give him a dirty look, but it's hard to look intimidating when you've got a lemon wedge stuck in your mouth.
Kyle ignores me anyway, the look on his face right now suggests that he'd rather be dead than have to go through with this psychologically traumatising humilation. Hell, I feel the same way.
I froze, however, when I felt his hand clutch onto my knee and when I glanced at him, his eyes were half-lidded and the tip of his tongue was probing his full bottom lip. In short, he looked hot, hotter than anybody I had seen in real life. I indulged in his senses and a heated, crisp electricity crackled and fizzed from my chest right down to my groin. It was all so overwhelming. Jesus Christ monkey balls, I never realised how good looking he is.
His tongue almost sizzled when it met my trembiling, moist skin, I was fucking terrified. But he liked it, liked my humilation and potent fear, the salt of my own skin mixing with the trail that ran along my neck. I swear I can feel him smiling. I gulped, my Adam's apple retreating from the hot, red swell of his tongue, I'm sure he whimpered as he dragged his tongue longingly, pleadingly, up my neck. The lemon wedge acted as a welcomed gag, a moan crawled up from my trachea but was extinguished, my canine punctured the yellow flesh and sourness erupted and trickled down the dry walls of my throat. I felt my eyes close dreamily as Kyle's slick, delightful tongue took it's time tasting my skin, reaching the end of the trail, flicking over my pressure point, leaving a damp track behind him. His laboured breathing enclosed me, he shivered and made quivering, sensitive goosebumps rise on my flesh.
Kyle swiftly pulls away from me and I watch with wistful eyes as he takes a shot of the Tequila, wretching, coughing, muttering a plethora of raspy curse words under his breath. While Kenny laughs and Stan is left reeling, probably because he just watched his best friend lick the neck of his worst enemy. I smirk when I realise that Kyle has to practically make out with me to get the lemon out of my mouth. Fuck. I have never been so nervous and excited in all my life, it feels really great, exhillirating.
Kyle turns to me, obviously shaking, with his eyes closed and his lips half heartedly ready. I sit still, mostly because I've put my defenses up and am unable to move, it doesn't help that my heart is beating dangerously fast and my palms are getting sweaty. I lower my eyes and direct my gaze to Kyle's full lips, so soft on the rough skin of my neck, I wonder what it will be like when our lips meet? His trembiling hands clamp down on my shoulders, his fingers digging into the grooves of my muscles and he clutches me even tighter when he hits me with a blunt, chaste kiss. I instantly sink into his hold, moving closer so our bodies can slide perfectly together and my unsure hands rest on his back, my index finger tracing his spine, making him purr. While his right hand slips down from my shoulder and clutches onto my bicep, he angles his head so his tongue can slip easily into my mouth, like a warm, teasing intruder that works slowly. He runs his tongue along the backs of my teeth, intertwines with my own as I make it even harder for him to get the lemon out of my mouth. Mainly because I don't want this to end too soon but also because I like to annoy him a little, but he doesn't seem to mind, in fact he whines and giggles, smiling against my lips and sighing, the noise vibrating pleasurably in my mouth. Our kiss tastes like Tequila, beer, salt and most noticably lemon, there's a clash of teeth and lips, our tongues graze at our mouths and the lemon but it tastes interesting, bittersweet and it turns us on, Kyle couldn't pretend, he was getting as excited as me right now.
His talented tongue twists around the lemon wedge and teasingly prises it away from my grip. Kyle spits it out onto the floor, but still offers me a quick kiss, not as passionate as before, but I'm determined to change that. Before Kyle can pull away, I run my tongue over his bottom lip, making him gasp and whimper, allowing me in, our kiss deepens for a few more seconds and my hand trails up to his scarlet curls and clutches his hair possesively. Until of course we realised where we were.
It was then that we stopped, panting and releasing each other. Kyle still kept his damp forehead pressed to mine, I wasn't an idiot, I wasn't going to break this yet. I stared down, bewildered at his lips, swollen by kisses, flushed and his cheeks tinged with flustered ecstasy. Kind of like mine, I suppose. It was then I realised that while I was getting increasingly turned on by his sexy, gorgeous lips, he was staring into my eyes the entire time. I was a fucking fool to miss those. Those fervent, fiery eyes that made my heart melt.
Yeah, I definitely had a boner right now. Fuck.
And I was certainly, pathetically falling in love. That was the hot, somewhat romantic calm before the heartbreaking, all consuming, unrequited storm.
I was fucking in love with my worst enemy and I had fallen hard. Cruel. Undeniably true.
Three years later
"Prom? Really?" Kyle groans, shaking his head at the poster in front of us. "Shouldn't that have died out years ago?"
"Yeah, what's the point of it anyway? All that stress for one night that you'll be too drunk to remember..." Stan replies, even though he was the last person who should be saying something like that.
"That's easy for you to say, at least you have a date." I snap, nudging Stan before he scowls at me.
"What do you-" Stan begins before gasping and muttering "Oh crap, I forgot I have a girlfriend..."
"Imagine if she heard you say that, she'd scratch your eyes out... Maybe even rip your balls off." Kyle jokes.
We all laugh before Stan gets all melodramatic and way too serious for his own good. "Shut up you guys! Aw, crap, you don't think Wendy wants to go to prom do you?"
Kenny, Kyle and I exchange disbelieving looks with each other, seriously, does Stan not understand girls at all? This led us to say "yes" in exasperated unison.
"Honestly dude, it's prom! Girls go crazy for that bullcrap." I explain, rolling my eyes.
"Well, Wendy isn't like other-"
"Woah Stan" Kenny interrupts "I think you're missing out on a valuable opportuinity here. It's true that girls are obsessed with prom, especially your girlfriend who is on so many clubs and comittees that she takes up every page of the year book. But, if you play up to this charade of loving prom just as much as she does, then you may get yourself some action..."
"Really?" Stan asks, his voice becoming eager and his eyes widening at the possibility to have sex with his long-term girlfriend.
"Of course! It's the prom effect! Girls go wet at the sight of tiaras and prom queen sashes... Trust me!" Kenny smiles smugly, like he knows everything about girls. Well, he has slept with a considerable amount of them.
"Kenny, that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard" Kyle sighs, raising his eyebrows disapprovingly.
"Uh-oh, Sergeant Buzzkill is out patrolling the halls again..." I tease, as Kyle punches me in the arm and I try to contain a satisfied, guilty smile. For three years it's been the same, I become euphoric even if Kyle gives me a slither of attention. Everything just echoes back to that night in Stan's basement, I wonder if Kyle thinks about it as much as I do? Even if he was insanely in love with me I would never know... He would hate to let his guard down in front of me.
Before our argument can escalate further, the shriek of the bell runs down the halls and makes everybody groan in disappointment, forcing us to all go our seperate ways. It's funny how we only ever see each other in the morning before classes start and lunchtime and yet we haven't made any other friends accept each other. We've stuck with the same format since we were five. I don't think anybody pays enough attention to us to really want to pursue our friendship. We're not exactly the most popular kids, I mean, Stan has a girlfriend and is on the football team. But his girlfriend is Wendy and we've known her since pre-school and Stan only plays football because his dad strongly encourages him to, though he's really good and if he became more passionate about it, he could become really successful. Who knows? He could play for the Broncos one day... Lucky bastard. Kenny, on the other hand, is popular for the wrong reasons, because he gets drunk on the weekends and screws other people's girlfriends. But Kenny's a nice guy and rather quiet and chilled until you give him a drink or a hot, blonde chick.
Exhausted mumbles of "see you guys later" gets passed around our zombified group. It's too fucking early to pay attention to anybody, especially an arrogant as fuck teacher who thinks they're better than you.
"See you in detention later." Kyle softly says to me, kind of startiling me, touching my shoulder in an awkward display of friendship before nervously pulling away.
"Oh, yeah, see you... uh, later..." Jesus Christ when did I lose the ability to talk?! I cough into my fist and blush, but I feel better when I see Kyle smirking cutely at me. Even though he did look like a pompous asshole. But hey, I kinda like it.
He swiftly walks away from me, but turns around every now and then, almost as if he's checking on me or something.
Crap, I completely forgot about detention. A solid hour alone with Kyle surely isn't going to do any good to my battered, screwed up little heart. And it's all his damn fault.
There's no "in between" with Kyle and I. I've learnt this after three years of being stuck in a relationship purgatory with that darling Jew. Up until that fateful July night everything was simple, planned out, easy to explain. I hated him to the point of obsession and addiction, practically perishing if he ever left. Who would feed my constant need for attention? Who would be my punching bag that always fought back? Who would be my challenge? My equal? Try as they might, nobody could ever live up to Kyle. Not only was he an excruciatingly perfect source of teenage angst and longing but he was also a damn good oponent, consuming my thoughts with vengence, my anger flaring delciously whenever he acknowledged me.
We just had to play that stupid game, didn't we? He just had to thrill me and excite me and get me all worked up and under his thumb... Because though it's taken me a long time to admit this and to actually say it without gagging... That night with Kyle wasn't some startiling revelation. Actually, it was just kind of, well, an awakening, an epiphany that was bound to happen sooner or later. Wiping the steam away from the glass to reveal your own cruel reflection staring back. All this time I had liked him, admired him, wanted him desperately. It just took a very provocative drinking game and drunken humilation to realise this. See, there are two scientifically proven facts about the human brain and relationships and emotions and all that crap... The first one is that the part of the brain that makes you madly in love and the part of the brain that makes you hate someone so much that you want to murder them slowly with a bread knife are right next to each other. So it's easy to get the two confused, easy for the two to merge and once you've fallen in love with someone you hate, there's basically no way back. Just ask me. I'm going to be perfectly honest here, but jacking off whilst thinking about Kyle has given me the best orgasms ever, which leads me to the other scientifically proven fact, which is that hate will always turn into lust before culminating as a beautiful, soul-crushing love that will either drive you to suicide or the arms of the person you so want to be with and make passionate love to... But in the real world, I would put my money on the former. Only people in movies get the guy or the girl or whatever.
So things have been weird ever since. Although he doesn't love me, he feels something for me, a spark or an attraction. I see him staring at me, blushing whenever I stand really close to him, getting defensive over the simplest things and yet he also acts really nice to me sometimes. I like that he tries too hard. Stifiling, ashamed emotions are never good, especially when they're shared by two very proud and stubborn teenagers who have anger issues and a bad history together. Our fights escalate to the point where I either want to strangle him or kiss him so hard that I make him cry, before obviously fucking him. And I can see this weird masochistic temptation burning in Kyle's eyes that wants me to hurt him then heal his wounds, he wants something more than what we have now. But I could never, ever let myself be honest.
That's actually why we're in detention now. We got into a really big fight in the cafeteria, we both were beat up really bad, it's all just a blur now. I woke up in the nurses room, with an ice pack sticking to my cold hair and my jaw numb and slack. Kyle was lying next to me, breathing heavily and sharply and he stole quick, curious glances of me every now and then, gritting and ungritting his teeth in the process. Our clothes were both messed up and there was actually a tear in Kyle's jacket. There was dried blood clinging to his neck and a grape, swollen bruise glistening meanly around his eye, bringing the emerald out in his iris. The principal walked in then and said he was sick of hearing my name come up whenever there's trouble. I wanted to defend myself with a smartass comment but I couldn't. I just wanted to sleep. We had after school detention every day for a month, because of the "severity" of our injuries and the "sheer stupidity and reckless violence" we supposedly showed. Now normally, I would miss these detentions and not give a fuck, but apparently if I don't attend, I'm gonna be expelled.
And I'm late. Fuck.
I'm just finishing the first week of these things and this is the first time I've been late. Kyle's gonna be pissed, sometimes I think he just needs to chill out. Or have some really awesome sex to loosen him up a little bit. I don't even know if he's a virgin or not, I think if I ever asked him he'd kick me in the balls and to be honest, it's not worth it.
So I stroll in, half an hour late, Kyle's sitting at the back, with this whole Jew rage thing going on. Slouching in his seat, arms folded tightly and resting on his knees and he has this look on his face that says "If anyone so much as stares in my general direction I will murder them". The teacher who's name I've forgotten is snoring, his head resting on the desk and if he wasn't making that irritating noise you would've sworn that Kyle had bashed his head against the wood and knocked him out.
"Cartman!" Kyle hisses, snapping me out of my daydreams "Where the hell have you been?!"
"Aw, why are you asking Kahl? Did you miss me?" I smirk, my saccharine voice making him wince.
"No" Kyle whispers, biting his lip as he tries to muffle his laughter, turning serious when he says "It's just that if you're late to these detentions then you're going to get expelled and-"
"I won't" I interrupt "It's about attendance not punctuality, I can be as late as I want but as long as I turn up then I'll be okay."
Kyle rolls his eyes and then turns to look out of the window. There's this tense silence in the room that heightens this weird chemistry I always feel around Kyle, I hate it. I just don't know how to behave, acting cocky can only take me so far after all and the only thing I can think of doing is touching him again and kissing him... The memory rushes back like boisterous, relentless waves during a storm, drowning and smothering me with vivid touches and tastes.
"Well? Sit down!" Kyle snaps impatiently. "This past half an hour has been torture..."
"Why's that?" I ask, taking a seat next to him.
"No one to talk to. It's just boring" Kyle shrugs, deflated, studying his nails.
This past week has been amazing and horrible. It's been amazing because, well, Kyle and I have kind of realised that when we're on our own and we're forced to make decent, nice conversation with each other, we get along quite well. Which is a terrifying discovery after 13 years of pure hatred and animosity. Kyle actually makes detentions enjoyable and it disappoints me that in the morning all that niceness and relief gets washed away and that intrinsic rivalry is all we have left. Everyday, when the hour is up and we get to go home, we smile shyly, awkwardly say goodbye and I watch him leave with the knowledge that I love him even more. Then there's just this glorious ache that I only feel for him and that I wouldn't give up for the world.
It's been horrible however because we're slipping further and further away from what we're supposed to be. We're not supposed to be friends, we're supposed to be, well, enemies. The lines are becoming blurrier, rules are changing, morphing into other rules and sometimes neither of us knows what to say or how to behave. My worst fear is that, pretty soon, it's all going to come down to confrontations, denial and painful confessions. And it will all end in tears.
"How long has he been sleeping?" I ask, tilting my head at Mr... Fuck, what's his name?
"Well, he was awake when I'm came in here but then after ten, maybe fifteen minutes he was out cold." Kyle replies, both of us studying the teacher from the back of the class.
"Maybe he's got narcolepsy"
"Hmmm... I heard that a bunch of the kids in tenth grade put sleeping pills in his coffee."
Sure enough, on the corner of the desk was a cup of coffee, Kyle and I glanced at it and laughed softly under our breath.
"Yeah, that seems like the best explanation" I smile, looking at Kyle, running my eyes over him.
Kyle catches me, smiles back and even blushes. Embarassed, he coughs and turns away. It's just those moments that make me wonder...
"You know what we should do? We should just pull a Breakfast Club on him and leave a note on his desk from the two of us. Something about not judging people and how it doesn't matter what clique you're in because we're all going through the same crap" Kyle says, before asking "I mean, that's pretty much the point of the entire movie isn't it?"
"Yeah, pretty much" I nod "Man, that's a great movie."
"You're only saying that because you have a crush on Ally Sheedy" Kyle teases, leaning in close to me and poking my arm.
"I do not have a crush on Ally Sheedy!" I snap, shoving him away, both us laughing childishly for a few minutes.
"If you're going to have a crush on anybody from The Breakfast Club then it should be Molly Ringwald..." Kyle points out.
"Molly Ringwald? Seriously?!" I laugh.
"Dude, she's fucking hot." Kyle replies, nodding his head and getting all cute and defensive.
"Oh, I get it... It's because she's ginger" I tease, leaning in close like Kyle did, so I can piss him off even more. He hates it when people invade his personal space. He could invade my personal space any day...
"No" Kyle mumbles, smirking and blushing.
"It's understandable, I mean, all you gingers and daywalkers got to stick together right?" I laugh, poking him in his ribs until I'm nearly tickiling him.
"Dude, fuck off!" Kyle shouts, trying to sound tough and serious but he just ends up giggiling his words and squeaking in between his laughs and breaths.
This carries on for a while, Kyle manages to find some strength from somwhere and starts kicking and playfully punching me until I'm doing the same. Laughing and scrambiling around like kids until we fall off our chairs and end up like a retarded, laughing mess on the floor, desperately trying to catch our breaths. And that teacher still didn't wake up, shit how strong were those sleeping pills?!
The remaining half an hour started catching up with us. Making us go our seperate ways. We probably won't even talk to each other or bring this up until tomorrow at 3 o'clock. That's one of the worst things about being stuck "in between", having to keep something so damn good a secret.
Kyle hadn't been in detention for 3 days... Well, he hadn't been in school either. And according to Stan it was because he had caught the flu or something. I couldn't help but laugh and roll my eyes when he said that, which caused Stan to call me a prick under his breath and storm off to get to second base with Wendy under the bleachers before class started.
So now it was Saturday and I decided to go and visit Kyle, if only to rip on him for my own personal gain. I don't know whether I was experiencing some pathetic withdrawl or I was just slowly starting to become a compassionate person that actually cared about people's lives. I'd hate it if either of them were true. Something tells me that I can also blame both of these possibilities on Kyle. Stupid gorgeous Jew.
I've always liked Kyle's brother, he seems like the type of kid that if we were the same age, we'd get along really well. So I'm glad he was the one who answered the door, because if I had to make small talk with Kyle's parents I'd probably start to feel suidical within the first five seconds. They hate me, but the feeling's mutual. Kyle's mother is so intimidating and ruthless that it even makes my skin crawl, though she can also be charming and rather polite, though there's always this unnerving, sinister edge to her. I don't know how Kyle can't stand it... In a way, he's kind of like her though. They share those qualities that some would say are admirable and coveted, they're both fiery, confident and tough. They even have the same cold stares that could make your balls wither and fall off.
"You here to see Kyle or something?" Ike asked, in that obnoxious, almost broken voice. He's obviously going through that moody, angsty phase of adolescence. Hell, me and my friends are still going through that phase right now... I guess it starts at thirteen and doesn't end until you're well into your twenties... Maybe even thirties.
"Yeah" I nodded, blushing at the thought of seeing Kyle, maybe the cold weather will disguise it.
"He's upstairs. Being as melodramatic as ever." Ike tries to smile, rolling his eyes in a way that lets me know he's amused. Although he probably thinks he's too "misunderstood" and proud to show it.
He was right though, Kyle could never handle being sick. I think it's because that when he's sick it hits his immune system pretty hard because of his diabetes. But whatever. Every time some illness fell upon him, he would talk to you in this sobering, resigned way that made you think you would never speak to him again. He sounded like an old man or a depressed, accepting person who is coming to terms with a life-threatening disease. It was always really funny and annoyingly endearing.
When I walked into Kyle's room it was bathed in darkness, the only light was the pale glow from his TV, chattering disposable nonsense. His bed was a mountain of various pastel blankets, used Kleenexes and Doritos packets (Kyle eats those a lot when he's depressed, which he obviously is right now). There was also a worrying amount of pills and painkiller tubs on his dresser drawer and in amongst this den of self pity and illness was Kyle. Pale, tired, constantly sniffing and scowling and looking as if every movement he made, ached. And immediately I started to smile goofily, he hadn't even noticed me standing in the doorway, watching him, silent and content. He was just concerned with feeling sorry for himself, dragging himself down in his own discomfort. Strangely, I didn't want him to notice me, this moment was perfect and simple, unspoiled. Nothing was complicated and I wished that I could share these blissful silences with him everyday.
"Cartman?" A small, nasally voice croaked, breaking through the avalance of quilts.
"Hey Jewboy" I found myself smirking, a cocky smile spreading across my face.
"Don't just stand there" Kyle groaned "Come in."
Biting the inside of my cheek, I walked in, familarising myself with Kyle's room all over again. Like mine, it hadn't changed that much. I stared around, the room seemed frozen like a museum display.
I perched on the edge of his bed, careful not to get too close to him. Too risky. Especially in the dark. Kyle shivered before asking "Not that I'm ungrateful or anything but what's with the visit?" Even though his voice sounded constantly whiny and lathargic, it was still weirdly cute.
"Just wanted to check on my favourite Jew" I reply, but then instantly regret. Fuck, everything I'm saying right now sounds sentimental.
"Well, that's nice" Kyle sighs, almost delirious, but his words have a sharp, blunt quality to them. Yeah, he's definitely taken too many pills, hypochondriacs like him usually overdo their periods of illness and make it out to be some fantastic, morbid drama.
As I'm sat here, mocking him in my head because ripping on him when he's sick isn't any fun, I'm caught off guard by a clammy, limp arm snaking around my own.
"Dude? What the fuck?" I snap, jolting and instantly becoming nauseous, making a nervous, hot wet sensation course swiftly through my body.
"What?" Kyle laughs high and shrill "You're warm" his soft cheek resting comfortably on my shoulder.
"You're like a comforter. A human comforter." He whispers contently into my jacket, almost forgetting his personal space issues, his pride even his supposed hatred for me.
"Whatever. Just don't get any of your Jew germs on me." I mutter, nudging him in the ribs, making him yelp in pain before I laugh nastily. I can feel the warm, liquid blush of his embarassment on my skin. I can survive on these small, fleeting moments of intimcacy, it truly shows how hard up I am.
"I thought you had all your necessary vaccinations." Kyle smiles, removing himself from my grip to blow his nose.
"Yeah but, I don't know what new virus you're currently hosting. Could be highly contagious." I smirk.
There's a soft pause where no words need to be spoken and for the first time I feel truly at ease. I stare over at Kyle however, who is seriously channelling a helpless, weak victim right now. His scarlet hair is matted and unwashed, though he smells like musky soap. His eyes are pale and slightly glassy, the TV reflecting disturbingly in his scleras, draining an envious green in his irises and his skin is damp, lukewarm, a weary, clinical grey. He's wearing a Denver Broncos jersey and sweatpants and the only sign of life and vibrancy is radiating in his damp, swollen nose which he's constantly petting with a tissue. And I still think he's the most beautiful person I've ever seen, this need to grab him until he bruises, kiss him until he moans and cries and fuck him until we physically can't take it anymore has been replaced with this urge to hug him, make him laugh and fall asleep. Feeding him Doritos and watching any old crap that happens to be on the TV. I squirm at how sentimental I can be and how perfect and right it seems at this very moment.
"What is this anyway?" I ask, pointing at the screen and poking him in his side.
"Scrubs" he grumbles, his patience becoming thinner. "I've got the boxset" he continues, picking up the boxset and waving it in my face, I don't know why. Even more proof he's not thinking straight.
"You're watching a show about hospitals when you're sick?" I ask, raising an eyebrow and messing up his hair "You really don't help yourself do you?"
"Like you're one to talk, remember that time you contracted HIV and you walked around with that baseball cap and scarf like Tom Hanks in that Philadelphia movie?" Kyle teases, elbowing me and smirking smugly.
"Yeah but, that's different. I looked awesome. You look like you're about to die any minute." I reply, knowing that saying that would really piss him off.
"Do you never take a break from being a complete asshole?" Kyle says in this biting way that's a total turn on. I don't think he ever takes a break from being a sassy little Jew bitch.
"Nice to see you have some backbone for once" I whisper lowly in his ear, kind of scaring myself when I feel him swallow nervously and shiver, goosebumps flaring on his pale, tired skin.
"I've always had backbone" He replies in a flustered, almost flirtatious way that makes me gulp.
Another silence, this time it's unnerving, electric, sizziling and excruciatingly slow burning. We're looking at each other, pieces of each other becoming clearer in the low shade of the room. I can see his lips, his hesitant, full lips. I don't know where he's looking though, if he wasn't sick then the thought of kissing him and fooling around in the dark would be a tempting, intriguing idea.
"Anyway" Kyle shakily whispers "I'm not watching this because I'm sick."
"Then why are you watching it then?" I nervously laugh.
"Because" Kyle sighs, effortlessly snapping himself out of his thoughts and looking at the TV. "I want to be a doctor" He says that rather proudly, I feel kind of proud too. That he's opened up and confessed something like that to me.
"Yeah. Ever since I was a kid, I've wanted to be a doctor. I think it's fascinating... And plus, I would look so good in scrubs."
I run my eyes over Kyle and lick my lips. He would look good in anything.
"You could be a doctor. You're smart enough." I shrug. It's true, Kyle is super intelligent, he's one of the smartest people in the entire grade, along with Wendy, Token and Butters. Kyle's painfully modest about it though, he hates it when the teachers praise him and use his good grades as an example for all of us.
"Cartman, did you just compliment me?" Kyle laughs, looking at me again.
"Yeah but don't make a big deal out of it okay?" I sigh impatiently. "Seriously, if you so much as think about it again I will punch you in the face, even if you are sick, I don't care."
"Fine" Kyle snaps, rolling his eyes.
Kyle gave me the silent treatment for a few minutes before we both ended up laughing at our stubborness. It's times like these where we can't take each other seriously at all, I kinda like it. It just feels so comfortable, all the stress evaporating when we're acting stupid together.
Then suddenly Kyle groans really loudly, making me jump, I honestly thought he was going to pass out. Instead, he rests his head on my lap my fucking lap and starts whimpering, moaning over and over about how shit he feels.
"Feel my temprature, go on! Feel it!" Kyle insists, roughly grabbing my wrist and forcing my palm to his feverish, hot forehead, glistening with sweat. But just the fact that I'm touching him, that he's broken down all his boundaries and is this fucking close to me is enough to make me way too excited. If I get a boner I may just die right here. The embarassment of it all would be deadly.
All the shock and pure bizarreness of it all fizzled out fairly quickly, Kyle stopped complaining, instead he sniffed and breathed heavily, sighing and furrowing his eyebrows when my hand slipped away from his forehead. But his head was still on my lap, centimetres away from my dick, his sultry breathing making arousal flutter in my groin, but I don't want to move him if he's comfortable, but I can't get anymore turned on. I can't. Fuck, why am I still a virgin? Surely this whole ordeal would be easier if I had fucked someone a long time ago and some of my sexual frustration and crippiling horniess would be relieved. Instead I'm just a mass of hormones and testosterone who's madly in love with a boy who could, right now, easily pull my fly down and start deep throating me.
Kyle is definitely delirious, he would never have done this otherwise. It wouldn't have even entered his mind if he wasn't burning up and his diet wasn't currently consisting of pills and chips. The only consolation is that I can turn this all on him and rip on him until it stops being hilarious. Right now it's terrible and awkward but it'll be funny tomorrow. Hopefully.
"Oh, Eric..." Kyle moans dramatically, burying his nose in my thigh. Yep. He's gone insane. He has never, EVER called me Eric before.
"Hmmm?" Is all I can bring myself to say.
Kyle has this really wonderful and extraordinary way of making all the panic, the despair vanish. He has this way of making things seem clear and simple, not a big deal. And the best part? He doesn't even know he's doing it... Like now, when he simply replied.
"My head really hurts" In a helpless, weak, innocent way that made me smile. It made me realise that I was his friend right now, someone to distract him from feeling like shit and all we have to do was talk and rip on each other and act like idiots. I just have to be the friend-who's-not-really-his-friend, the guy who pisses him off daily.
"Well, what do you want me to about it?" I obnoxiously ask, smirking in relief.
"Get me the tub of painkillers next to the lamp" Kyle snaps back, not even thanking me when I handed them to him, popping two in his mouth.
I visited Kyle three more times after that. And with every visit he was sure to rest his head on my lap, murmur how comfortable my jeans felt against his sweaty, gaunt face and I would rip him on him for being a fag. He didn't have the energy to rip on me to the extent that he usually does, so he'd nudge me, softly punch me.... He even bit me once. Yeah, that was oddly arousing.
In a way, Kyle being severely ill with some vicious flu virus was a bonding experience. A drained, groggy halycon where we could just be lazy, goof around and not worry about anything. We would watch his boxsets over and over, commenting on stupid stuff, bickering over trivial nonsense. We'd eat chips and drink sprite, Kyle would maybe treat himself to some chicken soup. He didn't like his hot water bottle, he said I was better. I didn't let that freak me out for too long though. There were times where he'd get really dizzy and fall asleep with his head on my lap, begging me to stroke his curls and dab his head with a wet cloth. I snapped at him that he had the flu, not the bubonic plague and he told me that if I didn't do as he said he'd kick me out of his house and what helpless person would I steal Doritos from then? He had a good point. Call me lame, but it was a turning point in Kyle and I's relationship, things were changing, for better or worse.
I felt fine. Kyle didn't turn me into a paranoid, closed off, neurotic mess anymore, we had established some kind of paradigm and relationship that wasn't so blurry. I was obviously still madly in love with him and the pain of it being so mercilessly unrequited still fucking killed me but at least we knew where we stood. We seemed to have seized the horrible purgatory of "in between".
That was until detention on Tuesday. Then everything I had assured myself of bitch slapped me.
Kyle and I were sitting in our usual space at the back, letting Mr Whatshisname sleep, trying to block out his loud, irritable snores. We were talking about Stan and Wendy and how Kyle wants to be the godfather of their kids, bitching about kids in school, how weird it is that we'll be graduating soon when it feels like we've only just got here and how the dreaded prom is getting closer and how pathetic it is that we have absolutely no idea what we're gonna do about it.
There was a slight dip in the conversation before Kyle said "So, you know how like, when we were fifteen we kissed?"
Oh fuck. "Yeah" I swallow, hopefully not too obvious how nervous I am.
"Do you still think about it?" Kyle asks, furrowing his eyebrows and making a face that pleads "Please say yes or I'll die of embarassment."
"No" I lie. Stoic and arrogant as ever.
"Oh" Kyle laughs under his breath, obviously disappointed. I shouldn't be enjoying it right now but I am, this terrifying energy is addictive.
"I'm guessing you do then?" I smile wickedly.
"Well, I remember a lot about it. It comes back to me sometimes." Kyle smiles uneasily.
"Okay, even though we were both kinda drunk I remember how my tongue felt on the slight stubble you had on your neck" Kyle says quietly, mischeivously, leaning in close and not making eye contact with me, every word rolling off his tongue effortlessly, slowly manipulating me into ecstasy "And I remember how you tasted of lemons and how arrogant and confident you were when you put your tongue in my mouth. I remember being terrified at the fact that I was actually kind of impressed by you."
My breathing has become ragged and the urge to swallow is unbearable, all the memories are rushing back and making my chest feel heated and my skin tingle. I stammer out a breath and ignore Kyle's dark chuckle.
"You're so fucking gay" I shyly, huskily whisper.
"Well you seemed to enjoy it" Kyle giggles back, edging closer, studying my face, my hopeful eyes, smiling and biting his lip as we share this unexplainable yet amazing moment. We can't seem to take our eyes off each other, or say anything that could make sense of this entire thing.
I didn't give a fuck anymore, about anything. I didn't want to speak, even move, I just wanted this moment to preserve... But who am I kidding? It's Kyle and I... Things never turn out the easy way.
Kyle was the one to break first, his panicky, stubborn mind going into overdrive. He frowns, his eyebrows furrowing, his emerald eyes widening and his expression is pained, so unnerving to see. It had been so happy and carefree before.
"Sorry" he whispers mindlessly.
"I said I'm sorry for- well it's nothing just- I don't want to talk about it anymore. Forget I ever mentioned it, okay?" Kyle says, becoming flustered, panicked, obviously upset.
The weird thing was, I knew he was right. I don't know what could've happened if our precious moment lingered any longer but it would've been amazing. But we'd mess it up, we always find a way to knock ourselves back to square one.
Back to frustrated, proud silences that were fronts for passionate, conflicting emotions. But we just keep coming back for more, hit after hit.