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Meeting Brad, part 2

 The party began at 3:00 in the afternoon and the boy Tyler had invited to our party arrived with this girl at about 3:30. I knew almost everybody among the 20 or so other people there, but who was that beautiful boy who just walked in? And was that his girlfriend with him?

Tyler and I were deciding what music to put on next, and I stopped cold in my tracks and just stared at this boy. Tyler looked at me, waved his hand in front of my face and said, "Matt?" I just kept looking at the boy and said, "Who's that guy?" Tyler looked and just said, "Oh, we work together at the grocery store." I was about to ask another question, but Tyler knew my question and answered it before I asked. "Yes, he's gay and he's out." All I said was, "Introduce me."

Tyler took me over, introduced me first to the girl he was with. I didn't seem to catch her name. Then he said, "Brad, this is Matt, my identical twin I was telling you about." The only imaginative and witty thing I could muster was, "How's it going?" (Gee, very original, right?!) We shook hands and he was staring directly into my eyes and held the stare for what seemed like 2 minutes! It was actually a little unnerving. I mean, neither one of us wanted to stop holding hands (uh, we were shaking hands, right?). There was nothing shy about that stare since it was coupled with the most innocent and angelic smile I've ever seen. I think I was on the verge of getting lightheaded when all he said was, "I'm good, thanks." Pause. Two beats. "Nice to meet you."

I think I forgot to breath for a few seconds, and wanting some air, asked him if he wanted a Coke and go out on the deck. All he said was, "Sure. I'll meet you out there." But neither of us budged. He looked down at our hands, still in the grip of a "handshake", then looked back up and smiled. I cleared my throat, unloosed our clasp, smiled, turned red, and said, "Yeah. Okay. I'll be out in a sec." He smiled and just said, "Cool."

When I came back, we made lots of small talk. He was asking about my work, and lots of other stuff. I don't know what got into me, but I swear it was like I was in a blackout or something. He was actually in the middle of a story or something and I couldn't take in anything he was saying. So, what does Mr. All-Smooth-and-Collected me do but jump right into his story and ask him if he's dating anybody (God, I can't believe I actually did that! He's gonna think I'm some kind of rude creep or something). He just stops and gets this huge grin on his face. Pause. Two beats. "Actually, no." He tilts his head to the side as if to say, "Well, are you gonna continue?" So, Mr. Suave here just says, "Would you like ... I mean would you  be interested in going to a movie next weekend?"

Then -- and here I'm thinking he's enjoying this -- he smiles and says, "Well. Give me about one minute to think about it." He keeps looking into my eyes and I notice he has a little eye-liner on. God what beautiful eyes. Pause. Five beats. Then, "Yeah. Definitely. Definitely I'd like to." All I could say was, "Okay. Cool." He gives me his number and about that time there's a huge crack of thunder. He takes his eyes off me, has this little scared kid look and actually, I swear to Holy God, startles and falls into my arms! He says, "Take me inside", or something like that.

We hang out together during the party and when he and the girl (I still can't remember her name) he came with leave, I walk out with them. I open his door and he gets in. Rolls down the window and just says, "You gonna call me, right?" I say, "Don't doubt it." They drive off and Tyler's standing at the door and yells, "Hey, Matt! You gonna get your butt in here and help me clean up?"

When I get inside, he looks at me and says, "Well, I do think you found your 'First Thing Next'." He smiled and we hugged. Indeed. A boy named Brad.
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