That Kind of Boy
by Cody

He's spooned behind you on the bed, but all you can think about is the puddle of his clothes on the floor and how it won't be there once he leaves. The thought grows brighter and brighter until you're squinting and have to pull away from him to pick them up before you go blind. You toss them to him. "Here. Here's your clothes."

He looks at them dumbly. You say, "You probably want to get back to your room now."

"Oh. Um." He's pretending it never occurred to him. How polite. "All right."


"Do you want to go to dinner tonight?"

"Of course." Like he has to ask.

"Okay." He smiles as though he'd actually thought you might say no. "Okay, good. What time should I come by?"

"Whenever you want. Eight?" It's your game, you tell him silently, You make the rules. I'm just here to play until you win.

"Okay, eight. I'll pick you up at eight."


"I'll pick you up at eight, it'll be great. I won't be late. For our date." So goofy, you have to laugh. His face lights up and he kisses you, pulling away slow like he's savoring it. "Your mouth tastes good."

"I had a Jolly Rancher."

"Mmm." He burrows his face into your neck, kisses it. "You smell good, too."


His hand slips between your thighs. "And you feel good."


"J--" Chris halts in the doorway. "Whoo! Never mind, I'll catch you later."

You pull away, embarrassed. Justin seems nonplussed. "Wait, it's okay. Just make it fast."

Chris looks you both over with amused eyes that you can't bring yourself to meet. "I was just gonna see if you wanted to come out tonight. Mike's spinning; I told him we'd be there."

Justin shakes his head apologetically. "Dude, I can't. Me and C-- "

You cut him off. "No, you should go. It's fine."


"No, it's fine." Then you look at Chris, "He'll go."

Chris looks at Justin, not taking your word for it. "You sure?"

Justin shrugs. "I guess so."

"All right, man." Chris starts to go, then stops. "Wanna get some grub before we go?"

"Well..." He looks at you like he expects you to object. You don't. "Fine. Yhea."

"Okay, cool. I'm gonna go see if Joe and Lance wanna come with." And then he's gone.

Justin's confused pout is beyond hot when he turns to you. "I thought it was gonna be just us tonight."

You don't want to have nights that you'll dwell on later. Moments will be enough. "We can get some time in after dinner and before we leave." Because you can't resist.

Pacified, he puts his hands on your hips and nods. "And then after the club... we could duck out early and go back to my place."

"Well, I'm..." You look down at your hands, palms pressed against his chest. "What if Chris or someone wants to crash there?"

"I'll tell them they can't." Like it's obvious.

"Because why? What are you gonna tell them?"

"Um...the truth?" Like it's easy.

"No..." You don't want everyone to look at you with pitying eyes, pat you on the shoulders consolingly. "I, um... Actually, I don't think I'm really up to going out tonight. I'm thinking I kind of want to be alone."

He ducks down to catch your gaze, make you look at him. "Hey. If you don't want... I mean, I guess I just can't take a hint or something, 'cause I feel like you're brushing me off, but then I think... I mean, are you? Do you, like... I don't..."

Chris is back. "Hey, me and Joe are heading to Hooter's. You guys coming?"

"I'm not hungry," you say, even though you're starving. "I'll see you guys tomorrow."


"What's going on here?" You didn't mean to answer his call, but the Caller ID said Number Unavailable. He must've used *67.

"What do you mean?"

"You're avoiding me."

"No, I'm not." Yes, you are.

He sighs lightly. "I left you like ten messages."

"I figured you were out. I didn't want to bother you while you were with Britney."


"I heard Britney's in town. I figured you wanted to spend time with her."

"So you just decided not to answer any of my calls?" He sounds. Like he's trying not to sound angry.

"Look..." And you almost tell him that you're just protecting yourself, because you know that he's going to tire of you sooner or later, and you're just letting him go before he's asking you to leave. "Sorry."

"What's your problem? Why are you treating me like this?" Which is entirely laughable coming from him. Why are you treating him badly? You're trying to make it easier for him, here. You're trying to preserve your friendship and give him a way out.

"I'm not. I'm just--" Someone beeps in on his line, so you stop.

"You're just what?" he prompts. Another beep.

"You have another call."

"Finish your sentence." The line beeps again.

"You have a call on the other line."


"It might be important," you warn.

Beep. Pause. No more beeps. Whoever it was hung up.

"Now, what were you saying?"

"I just--" Beep. The other line's trying again. "You should answer that."

After an exasperated groan, he clicks over. He clicks back a second later. "Okay, go on."

"Who was it?"

"Nobody. Britney."

"What did she want?"

"I don't know. To talk."

"You should call her back. I'll let you go."

"No, I want to--"

"No, it's cool. I'll see you later." You hang up. And then you leave your phone off the hook.


"Hello?" This time you answer on purpose, 'cause you needed to at least hear his voice.

"Hey." And it's a relief, 'cause he sounds the same.


"I know you don't want to, but do you want to go see a movie tonight?"

"Yhea, of course."

"Of course." Dead-pan.

"What movie?"

"I don't care. Whatever you want to see."

"Um... I heard that one about serial killers is pretty good."

"Yhea, me, too. I was just talking to Britney about that last--"

"Oh, then never mind. You should take her to see it."

"What? No. No, I--"

"No, really. She's still in town?"

"Yhea, but--"

"You should call her up. That would be a good date movie. Get her all scared and snuggling up." You try to sound teasing, like you think the idea of Britney snuggling up to him is cute, when really it makes the pit of your stomach ache.

"Okay." He sounds almost angry. "Okay, man." And now defeated. "I guess I'll just... see you at the studio or something."

"Sure, yhea." You wait, but he doesn't say anything, like he wants you to say... something. "So, I guess I'll let you go, then."

"Hmm, yhea." Mildly bitter, a little sarcastic. "I guess I'll let you go, too." And then you're listening to the dial tone.


He took Britney to the movie that night. In fact, he started taking Britney to a lot of things. A lot of phone calls; a lot of dates. Friendship turning into something more, just like you knew it would. They vacationed together in Maui during coinciding breaks and it was then, according to a conversation he had with Chris that you accidentally overheard, he took her to bed. He told Chris he was starting to really care for her because they had a lot in common and had fun together. When you heard that, you felt so grateful to have saved yourself the pain of hearing those words from Justin while the two of you were in a relationship. It would've killed you when Justin dumped you for her or whoever it would've been. Thank god I had the foresight, you thought. Thank god, thank god, thank god.

Everyone goes clubbing one night and he brings Britney along. They're out on the dance floor, owning it. So right for each other it's sick. Your eyes meet through the crowd and he smiles at you. There's something in that smile that's not quite right, something wistful. He senses my loneliness, you think. He feels sorry for me. His compassion makes you love him more. He breaks your heart every time you look at him, but it's not his fault. He can't help it. He's just that kind of boy.


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