19Y: Chapter 8

I put down my controller and face Ken. It’s time I get real with him. “Ken, yes I could date you. But why not look for someone your own age? Seriously, 19 years. You’re still a kid!”

He puts his controller down and looks me in the eyes. I feel like I’m going to regret what I just said. “Hey, James. I don’t think you’re old. Stop thinking I’m too young. I passed 18 long ago, and even sailed past 21. I’m an adult, not a kid or a boy. I’m a man. I can make my own decisions.”

I swallow hard, so hard it hurt, I look at my controller. I didn’t know what else to say but his gaze nearly killed me.

“So, what if you were born a little bit before me? I hate it when people think I’m a kid. Seriously, I think you being older makes you that much more interesting than the shallow guys I go to school with, or that I meet at that stupid bar every week that just like to play mind games. I may be young still and don’t have all of the life experience you have, but I can make up for it in other ways.”

I look up at him. I feel like my heart is bleeding. I’m not the kind of guy who cries easily but I can’t say I’m not touched either.

“Besides, known ya since Friday night. It’s not like I’m asking to marry you. I just wanna hang out, play video games, see and do stuff. Go out with you and Marla and Josie on the weekend. Just see where it goes.”

“Bet your parents will have a heart attack when they find out,” I say with a wry smile.

“Well, I have no immediate plans to come out to them. My love life is none of their business. But if it ever comes to it, I will tell them without regret. But I would prefer to do it when I have a love life, that is.”

I smile at that last comment. He does seem to be a mature individual. Maybe I should let my walls down and let him in. I haven’t really done that since my ex cheated on me all those many years ago. Pouring myself into work as an answer to that heartbreak probably caused me to miss a great many opportunities for love. I shouldn’t miss this one, I think.

“I should warn you. I’ve never actually seriously dated a guy before.” My one last-ditch effort to steer this train away from what I perceive as the point of no return.

“Me neither,” he says with a grin. “Guess age doesn’t matter. We’ll both be doing this for the first time.”

I shake my head and simply smile. “You’re incredible.”


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