Read Part Five Here
The three teens walked up to Taylor’s house feeling quite rebellious and quite relieved to not be at school anymore. They walked into the kitchen to grab a snack. “Do you guys want anything to drink?” Taylor opened the stainless fridge and pulled out an iced coffee for herself.
“We will take some root beer, Tay. Thanks.”
“No, problem. Should we go to our spot?”
“Sounds good. Cartwright, hope you like the swamp.” Taylor laughed as they walked out to the backyard.
“I am from Louisiana, I have a love-hate relationship with the swamp. Unless you want me to swim in it. Then I won’t go down without a fight.” Cartwright took a deep breath as he stepped out onto the back porch it was a beautiful yard. The porch looked as though it was out of another place and time and as far as he could see it was live oak trees and beautiful water. He wondered how Taylor’s family was able to snatch up this property. As they walked down the dock Dylan grabbed Cartwright’s hand and snuck a quick kiss on his cheek. Cartwright blushed at the display of affection even if Taylor was in front of them and couldn’t see them. Taylor sat down on the end of the dock and turned to face the boys. She wasn’t sure exactly what to say but wasn’t too worried about it. This spot was one of her favorite places to be and just being here relaxed her. Taylor noticed the intertwined hands and the gentle affection between her friends and decided to wait before she interrupted their moment. Dylan looked up realizing that they had forgotten Taylor was there.
“So, I guess you want to know how I snagged this hot piece of…” Cartwright pushed Dylan before he could finish his thought. Dylan laughed. “… intellectual genius.” Dylan smiled big. Taylor was laughing so hard she felt a tear run down her cheek.
“Yes, D. How did you catch someone with enough brain power to know better than to date your sorry butt.”
“Hey! Now. You used to like this butt.” Cartwright couldn’t help but get caught up in the banter.
“Well, I think I should be the one to tell this story since it was I who corrupted the school’s golden boy.” Taylor and Dylan nodded in agreement. Dylan was wondering exactly how Cartwright would tell the story. He had never really heard Cartwright tell it from his perspective.
“It all started last year when my biology teacher asked me to tutor the quarterback. I protested, not wanting Mr. Smith to know how spending hours with the hottest boy on campus was not a problem for me. He offered me extra credit and community service because he knew that he couldn’t get away with failing the star of the football team.” Cartwright paused to kiss Dylan’s hand. “I told him he would have to come to my house, as I was not going out of my way to help him. But, really I knew I would have a hard time keeping from staring at him and I didn’t want everyone in the library to notice. Sure, everyone at school knows I am gay, but not everyone is ok with it. He came over that first afternoon and suggested we go study in my room. I didn’t think much of it until we got upstairs. He closed the door behind me and well….” Cartwright paused not wanting to go into too much detail. But, Dylan was more than happy to share.
“I sat down on his bed and told him I thought he was hot and that I had asked Mr. Smith to make him my tutor. He stood frozen by his door as if he didn’t know what to say to me, so I went over to him and kissed him. And of course, the rest is history. I have mad game, Tay. How could he resist me?”
“Of course, baby, you just make the world go weak at the knees.” “I don’t need the world to go weak at the knees, just you.” And that’s when Cartwright grabbed Dylan’s face and kissed him. Dylan might be a hot mess, but he was his hot mess. Taylor just smiled listening to their story. It made her twinge thinking about all that time she had refused to speak to Dylan. She certainly wasn’t going to run away from her problems anymore. Shit, she realized that was exactly what she had done with Zoe today. She would have to make it up to her tomorrow. As Taylor watched to two boys kiss she wondered when she should talk to them about her feelings for Hayley. She wasn’t sure exactly what she should say about it or what her feelings really were for the girl. She decided that today wasn’t about her and she could wait. At least that is what she was telling herself to avoid the topic.
“That was quite the story, I am so happy for the both of you. Cartwright, you be careful this big lug treats you right.”
“Hey, I was your friend first. Shouldn’t you be saying that to me?”
“Since I have been on the end of a broken heart from you, no I don’t think so.”
“Fair enough, fair enough.”
Taylor laid down on her back and let her feet hang off the edge of the dock looking up at the passing clouds. Finding herself feeling calmer than she had been in weeks. Dylan was resting his head on his boyfriend’s shoulder. Cartwright was the first to break the ice.
“So, why don’t you tell me about your relationship together? Dylan has told me bits and pieces of what happened. But, there must be more to it, if you haven’t spoken for two years.” Taylor smiled, she was glad that they had skipped over asking her about her love life.
“Well, Dylan and I have known each other since kindergarten. We had always hung out but started spending more time together alone in 8th grade. He asked me to the homecoming dance and in 8th grade taking someone to a dance is the same asking them to go out with you. Have you seen any pictures of Dylan from back then?”
“No, I haven’t, why?” Dylan gently kicked Taylor.
“You will stop talking if you want to remain my friend.”
“You are full of it, D.” She turned back to Cartwright. “He was super skinny, had these bright green braces and I don’t think he knew what a hairbrush was.”
“Oh, I have to see pictures of that. Please tell me you have some!”
“Actually, I kind of well… burned them all.” Taylor sat up and looked at Dylan to see his response.”
“It’s ok Tay, let me tell him why you hated me into a deep abyss.” Taylor was nervous she had a feeling he was going to tell her more about what happened than he did yesterday. “In 8th grade, Katherine and Taylor were best friends. I was this skinny kid that hung out at Taylor’s house a lot because my parents were always fighting. Once we started going out we became like the three musketeers and did everything together. Until Katherine started flirting with me when Taylor wasn’t around. At first, I didn’t realize she was flirting with me, I was a pretty clueless kid. Over the year I had a huge growth spurt. Discovered a hairbrush and my braces came off. It was the beginning of my spectacular transformation into this fine specimen you see before you. Katherine noticed too. The last day of school she asked me to wait for her after class and once the room was empty she started kissing me. I panicked because at this point I knew I was gay, but I didn’t want anyone else to know. I was afraid if I pushed her away she would somehow know. So I pretended to be really into it and that is when Taylor walked in. You see Taylor and I never got physical more than a few quick kisses and I had always told her it was because I wasn’t ready. And then she walks in on me in a full-blown make-out session with her best friend. Basically, I was a complete ass.” Taylor leaned over to Dylan and gave him a huge hug and a kiss.
“Why didn’t you just tell me? I would have understood.”
“I tried to call you, really I did, but I thought I had screwed up so bad there was nothing I could do to make it up to you.” They were all so entranced by the conversation none of them heard Rebecca walk up.
“Well, I certainly hope you didn’t skip classes to come out here and make out with my daughter gentlemen.”
The three of them quickly turned around and Dylan jumped to his feet. Cartwright had a panicked and confused look on his face and Taylor was about to say something, but Dylan beat her to the punch.
“Mrs. Guidry, you are looking quite lovely this afternoon. You see Taylor made me skip school, I didn’t want to, but you know how persuasive she can be.” Taylor stomped her foot in protest.
“Dylan you are looking disheveled as if you have been up to no good in my backyard, however, we both know I spoke with Elizabeth, what I want to know is the real story about why you left and not the fake one you told your Elizabeth.” Cartwright was confused, who was this woman that said Taylor was her daughter? He knew her mom was Elizabeth the Dean of Academics at their school. He didn’t want to ask and look stupid. So, he just stood there quietly hoping Dylan would tell him later. Taylor knew she was in trouble. Elizabeth was always the easy-going of her two moms, but Rebecca would never be that. She was kicking herself for forgetting she would probably come home early. If they had just gone out for coffee this would not have happened. Coffee really solved so many of life’s problems.
“Mom, I had a run in with Katherine at lunch. I freaked out and Dylan and Cartwright walked me to my car to get away from it for a moment. We decided we didn’t want to go back to class, so mama let us go home. I made up the story because she wasn’t going to vouch for Cartwright since she didn’t know him.” Cartwright tried to hide his shock. Taylor had gay parents. He tried to recover his face quickly not wanting anyone to notice his revelation.
“Taylor, you and I will talk about this later when your mother gets home. I was really hoping that coming back here would get you back on track and out of trouble. If you are going to be up to your same antics then we are going to have problems.” Taylor avoided looking at Dylan.
“I know mom, I’m sorry.” Dylan was looking back and forth between Taylor and her mom. He couldn’t let her take the fall for this when clearly other things were going on with Taylor that he didn’t know about. He looked up at Cartwright hoping he would give him a sign that it was ok to tell Becky. Cartwright nodded at him knowing what he was about to do.
“Actually, Rebecca that is not the whole story.”
“It’s not? Well, what am I missing Dylan.”
“Once we got out to the car, I kind of told Taylor that I’m gay and Cartwright is my boyfriend. So, we kind of were having a gay crisis, technically.” Rebecca took a step back and looked at the two boys who were now holding hands.
“I see. Well good for you boys. I suppose I can make an exception this one time, if only because I too was young and in the closet once. However, I do not want this to become a regular occurrence. Cartwright dear it is nice to meet you, I do believe I should have introduced myself when I walked up, My name is Rebecca.” Rebecca held out her hand in kindness. Cartwright quietly shook her hand.
“Nice to meet you, Rebecca.”