I used to have a really close friend in high school. He was a new kid in school, and we got close because we were on the same track and field team. We started hanging out before and after training. He was tall, big, very hairy for a 17-year-old boy. I, on the other hand, was still looking like a little child. We used to take the bus to the stadium every day after school and talk a lot.

He was totally straight, I was totally not, and was in the closet. I already had friends, but he was a nice addition to my circle. He made other friends as well, as time passed. After several months, he became friends with the popular boys of the school, as he should. He had that “popular kid” look about him. It was only a matter of time before the cool boys started noticing him. They played football in between classes, talked about girls, and probably jerked their dicks together. All these didn’t include me. He was still friendly with me, but he wasn’t enjoying my company that much anymore. We were still training together and hang afterward. He even tried to bring me over to those cool boys’ hangouts. But something was off.

I must say, I did not have a crush on him. I really thought we were friends. He was super straight, and I never had a thing about straight boys. It was 5 months or so since he came into my life and even though we were not that close, we would still be quite friendly. One day, I was at McDonald’s with my girlfriend at the time. She was quite upset because she heard some rumors about me. I immediately panicked, I thought I was busted, everybody would know my secret, that I’m gay. I was almost right. I learned that my new best friend, the guy I was training with and hanging out with all these months was talking trash about me, behind my back. Calling me a faggot and saying that I was in love with him. I wasn’t. I thought I was a good friend to the new kid in school. I was really sad. I told my girlfriend that this was nonsense, that I was not gay and that I loved her. Some of that was true.

The next day at school I tried to confront him but I couldn’t. I was afraid to speak about these accusations out loud. So I chose a different path. Two days later I went by his place, acting like I had something very important to tell him. I started flirting with him, my heart was beating like crazy. I didn’t like him I thought. Did I? Or was it just crazy that I was, at last, flirting with a boy? All of a sudden he kissed me. I kissed him back. His beard scratched my lips. Then I slapped him, I didn’t know why. I thought I’d seen that in a movie once so I recreated the moment. He looked at me for a moment, quite shocked. Then he punched me. I think I know why. I lost my balance for a moment. We kept looking at each other, questioning what the fuck was happening. I turned my back, told him I’d see him in practice, and left his place. I had my first kiss and my first punch on the same day.

As I walked back to my house, I replayed that moment in my head. I was practicing all those things I would tell him if the moment was not over. The next day at school was super awkward. He was trying to make eye contact with me, I was avoiding his glare. He was very discreet about it, I think he never spoke about the incident to anyone. Two days later he stopped trying to make eye contact. Eventually, we stopped talking. Actually, we never spoke again. Neither in school nor in the training sessions. Then, summer came, we graduated high school and went on our different ways. He studied at a university that was on an island so he left our town for good.

I saw him again, for the first time since we graduated, 9 years later at a bar. At first, I pretended I didn’t see him. I think he did the same. But a common friend was in his company and I saw her, she started talking to me, introduced me to him and then we had to admit that we knew each other. We talked a little. Alone. I told him I’m gay now and that, actually he was the first boy I ever kissed. I was his first too, he said. And the last. I asked him why did he kiss me and he said because he had made a bet with his new popular friends to prove to them that I was in love with him. I don’t know if that story is true. I highly doubt it. We talked about our schoolmates and if we kept in touch with any of them. We both didn’t. Then he looked at me and smiled. He was pretty, I have to say. We hugged. His hug was very bro-like. He told me he was glad to see me. I laughed, as if I heard a joke, I don’t know why. I got back to my friends, told them everything about the incident 9 years ago, and then we all had a moment staring at him. Which was very uncomfortable for him. And me. As we discussed it furthermore, I realized that I was mad. I actually had my full American teenage movie fantasy happen, and I just learned about it 10 years later.