Read "Boy Meets Boy" by David Levithan available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first download. This is the story of. Editorial Reviews. Review. In this delightful young adult novel for readers 12 and up, high school sophomore Paul says, "There isn't really a gay. Boy meets boy. [David Levithan] -- When Paul falls hard for Noah, he thinks he has found his one true love, but when Noah walks out of his life, Paul has to find a.

Boy Meets Boy David Levithan Ebook

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Boy Meets Boy . Author: Levithan David all the same at a certain point, and few of them want a gay boy cruising around with his friends on a Saturday night. All Ebook Boy Meets Boy, PDF and EPUB Boy Meets Boy, PDF ePub Mobi Boy Levithan David ebook Boy Meets Boy, Boy Meets Boy E-Books, Online Boy. The unforgettable debut novel by co-author with John Green of Will Grayson, Will Grayson To be together with someone for twenty years seems like an eternity.

Boy Meets Boy is an extraordinary romance novel, and the fact that the characters are likeable and complex helps immensely. Like p PinesandPrejudice Jun 14, I didn't enjoy this book. There was too much drama and I couldn't stand Paul. It was cheesy and almost felt like a parody on "chick lit" which if it is, then that's great but I wish I would have known going in. But it wasn't humorous, it was just sad. The whole thing just felt like it was trying too hard.

It was clishe after clishe after clishe. It even ended on a song lyric. And a boy trying to win the boy back with this ridiculous scheme even though he cheated on him.

And it ended with a school dance. I barely made it through and there were so many instances on the audiobook where I just stopped listening. I'm disappointed because I like David Levithan's other books. But this one was not a favorite of mine. I found it all very interesting.

Benchly explained a little more to me—the whole boys-liking-girls thing. I can't say I understood. Benchly asked me if I'd noticed that marriages were mostly made up of men and women.

I had never really thought of marriages as things that involved liking. I had just assumed this man-woman arrangement was yet another adult quirk, like flossing. Now Mrs. Benchly was telling me something much bigger. Some sort of silly global conspiracy. My attention was a little distracted because Ted was now pulling up Greg Easton's shirt, and that was kind of cool.

Benchly told me. Always remember that. Sort of. That night, I held my big news until after my favorite Nickelodeon block was over. My father was in the kitchen, doing dishes.

My mother was in the den with me, reading on the couch. Quietly, I walked over to her. She jumped, then tried to pretend she hadn't been surprised.

Since she didn't close her book—she only marked the page with her finger—I knew I didn't have much time.

I thought, at the very least, my mother would take her finger out of the book. But no. Instead she turned in the direction of the kitchen and yelled to my father. Paul's learned a new word! But eventually they got used to it. Besides my parents, Joni was the first person I ever came out to. This was in second grade. We were under my bed at the time. We were under my bed because Joni had come over to play, and under my bed was easily the coolest place in the whole house.

We had brought flashlights and were telling ghost stories as a lawn mower grrrrred outside. We pretended it was the Grim Reaper. We were playing our favorite game: Avoid Death. It's spreading up your arm. At first, I figured I had her stumped. Then she leaned over, her eyelids closing.

Boy Meets Boy

She smelled like bubblegum and bicycle grease. Before I knew it, her lips were coming near mine. I was so freaked out, I stood up. Since we were still under my bed, I crashed into the bottom of my mattress.

Her eyes opened quickly after that. It was with Joni's help that I became the first openly gay class president in the history of Ms. Farquar's third-grade class. Joni was my campaign manager. I'M GAY. I thought it rather oversimplified my stance on the issues pro-recess, anti-gym , but Joni said it was sure to generate media attention.

So the A was struck, and the race began in earnest. My biggest opponent was I'm sorry to say Ted Halpern. Joni threatened to beat him up, but I knew he'd played right into our hands.

When the election was held, he was left with the rather tiny lint-head vote, while I carried the girl vote, the open-minded guy vote, the third-grade closet-case vote, and the Ted-hater vote.

It was a total blowout, and when it was all over, Joni beat Ted up anyway. The next day at lunch, Cody O'Brien traded me two Twinkies for a box of raisins—clearly an unequal trade. The next day, I gave him three Yodels for a Fig Newton.

This was my first flirtation. Cody was my date for my fifth-grade semi-formal. Or at least he was supposed to be my date. Two days before the big shindig, we had a fight over a Nintendo cartridge he'd borrowed from me and lost. I know it's a small thing to break up over, but really, the way he handled it lying! Luckily, we parted on friendly terms. Joni was supposed to be my back-up date, but she surprised me by saying she was going with Ted. She swore to me he'd changed. This was also symptomatic of bigger problems.

But there was no way of knowing it then. In sixth grade, Cody, Joni, a lesbian fourth grader named Laura, and I formed our elementary school's first gay-straight alliance. Quite honestly, we took one look around and figured the straight kids needed our help. For one thing, they were all wearing the same clothes. Also and this was critical , they couldn't dance to save their lives. Our semi-formal dance floor could have easily been mistaken for a coop of pre-Thanksgiving turkeys.

This was not acceptable. Luckily, our principal was cooperative, and allowed us to play a minute or two of "I Will Survive" and "Bizarre Love Triangle" after the Pledge of Allegiance was read each morning.

Membership in the gay-straight alliance soon surpassed that of the football team which isn't to say there wasn't overlap. Ted refused to join, but he couldn't stop Joni from signing them up for swing dance classes twice a week at recess.

Since I was unattached at the time, and since I was starting to feel that I had met everyone there was to meet at our elementary school, I would often sneak out with Laura to the AV room, where we'd watch Audrey Hepburn movies until the recess bell would ring, and reality would beckon once more.

In eighth grade, I was tackled by two high school wrestlers after a late-night showing of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at our local theater. At first, I thought it was a strange kind of foreplay, but then I realized that their grunts were actually insults—queer, faggot, the usual. I wasn't about to take such verbal abuse from strangers—only Joni was allowed to speak to me that way. Luckily, I had gone to the movies with a bunch of my friends from the fencing team, so they just pulled out their foils and disarmed the lugheads.

One of them, I've since heard, is now a drag queen in Columbus, Ohio. I like to think I had something to do with that. I was learning that notoriety came with a certain backlash. I had to be careful. I had a gay food column in the local paper—"Dining OUT"—which was a modest success. I'd declined numerous pleas to run for student council president, because I knew it would interfere with my direction of the school musical I won't bore you with the details, but let me, just say that Cody O'Brien was an Auntie Mame for the ages.

All in all, life through junior high was pretty fun. I didn't really have a life that was so much out of the ordinary. The usual series of crushes, confusions, and intensities. Then I meet Noah and things become complicated. I sense it immediately, driving home from Zeke's gig. I suddenly feel more complicated. Not bad complicated. Just complicated. I hope that he's looking for me, too.

Joni promises me she'll be my search party spy. I'm afraid she'll get too carried away with the job, dragging Noah over to me by the ear if she finds him.

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But the connection isn't made. No matter how far I drift from the hallway conversations I'm having, I never drift into him. The halls are awash in Homecoming Pride posters and postweekend gossip.

Everybody is jingling and jangling; I look for Noah like I'd look for a pocket of calm. Instead I run into Infinite Darlene. Or, more accurately, she runs on over to me. There are few sights grander at eight in the morning than a six-foot-four football player scuttling through the. If I wasn't so used to it, I might be taken aback. Perhaps it was back when she was still Daryl Heisenberg, but that's not very likely; few of us can remember what Daryl Heisenberg was like, since Infinite Darlene consumed him so completely.

He was a decent football player, but nowhere near as good as when he started wearing false eyelashes. Infinite Darlene doesn't have it easy. Being both star quarterback and homecoming queen has its conflicts. And sometimes it's hard for her to fit in.

The other drag queens in our school rarely sit with her at lunch; they say she doesn't take good enough care of her nails, and that she looks a little too buff in a tank top. The football players are a little more accepting, although there was a spot of trouble a year ago when Chuck, the second-string quarterback, fell in love with her and got depressed when she said he wasn't her type.

I am not alarmed when Infinite Darlene tells me things are such a mess. For Infinite Darlene, things are always such a mess; if they weren't, she wouldn't have nearly enough to talk about. This time, though, it's a real dilemma. He wants me to march with the rest of the team. But as homecoming queen, I'm also supposed to be introducing the team.

If I don't do the proper introductions, my tiara might be in doubt. Trilby Pope would take my place, which would be ghastly, ghastly, ghastly. Her boobs are faker than mine. Of course she would stoop that low. And she'd have gravity problems getting back up. But Trilby Pope is her weak spot. They used to be good friends, able to recount an hour's worth of activity with three hours' worth of conversation.

Then Trilby fell into the field hockey crowd. She tried to convince Infinite Darlene to join her, but football was the same season. They drifted into different practices and different groups of friends. Trilby started to wear a lot of plaid, which Infinite Darlene despised. She started to hang with rugby boys. It all became very fraught. Finally, they had a friendship break-up — an exchange of heated classroom notes, folded in the shape of artillery.

They averted their glances dramatically when they passed in the halls. Trilby still has some of Infinite Darlene's accessories, from when they used to swap. Infinite Darlene tells everybody except Trilby that she wants them back. My attention is beginning to wander from the conversation.

I am still scanning the hallways for Noah, knowing full well that if I see him, I will most probably duck into the nearest doorway, blushing furiously. Because while Infinite Darlene feels comfortable telling me everything, I am afraid that if I tell her something, it will no longer be mine. It will belong to the whole school. I think I'm off the hook, but then she adds, "Is it someone special? I pray that it's not nothing. I say to her: I don't ask for much.

I swear. But I would really love Noah to be everything I hope he'll be. Please let him be someone I can groove with, and who wants to groove with me. My denial has sent Infinite Darlene back to her own dilemma. I tell her she should march with the football team while wearing her homecoming queen regalia. It seems like a good compromise to me. Infinite Darlene starts to nod. Then her eyes see something over my shoulder and flash anger. Of course, I turn and look. And there's Kyle Kimball walking by.

Turning away from me like he might catch plague from a single bubonic glance. Kyle is the only straight boy I've ever kissed. He didn't realize he was straight at the time. We went out for a few weeks last year, in ninth grade. He is the only ex I'm not on speaking terms with. Sometimes I even feel like he hates me. It's a very strange feeling. I'm not used to being hated. She's been saying that for a year now, without ever telling me who Kyle's going to learn from. I still wonder if it's supposed to be me.

With some break-ups, all you can think about afterwards is how badly it ended and how much the other person hurt you. With others, you become sentimental for the good times and lose track of what went wrong.

When I think of Kyle, the beginnings and the endings are all mixed up. I see his enraptured face reflected in the light of a flickering movie screen; passing him a note and having him rip it into confetti-sized pieces without reading it; his hand taking mine for the first time, on the way to math class; him calling me a liar and a loser; the first time I knew he liked me, when I caught him hovering around my locker before I actually got there; the first time I knew he didn't like me anymore, when I went to give him back a book I'd borrowed and he pulled away instinctively.

He said I'd tricked him. He said it to everyone. Only a few people believed him. But it wasn't what they thought that mattered to me. It was what he thought. And if he really believed it. But even she knows this isn't true. He is far from the worst.

Seeing Kyle always takes some of the volume out of my soundtrack. Now I'm no longer floating on a Noah high. Infinite Darlene tries to cheer me up. I am sucking at the caramel and nougat when Joni comes up to us with her latest Noah Report.

Sadly, it's the same as the last five. Chuck was helping me before, and Chuck said that he's one of those arty types. Now, from Chuck that wasn't an ultimate compliment, but at least it pointed me in the right direction. I looked at the wall outside the art room and found a photo he did. Chuck helped me get it. But my inner security device does take notice of the number of times that Joni's namechecked Chuck.

In the past, I've been able to tell that things with Ted were getting better when Joni began to name-check him again. The fact that it's now Chuck has looped me for a throw. Joni takes a small, framed photograph out of her bag. The frame is the color of Buddy Holly's glasses, and has largely the same effect.

I hold the photo up to my face, ignoring my own reflection to see what lies beneath. At first I see the man in the chair, toward the back of the photo. He's the age of my grandfather and is sitting in an old wooden rocker, laughing his head off. Then I realize he's sitting in a room covered by snow globes. There must be hundreds — maybe thousands—of the small plastic shakers, each with its own blurry locale. Snow globes cover the floor, the counters, the shelves, the table at the man's arm.

It's a very cool photograph. Infinite Darlene has kept quiet through this whole exchange. But she's about to burst with curiosity. So I do. And I know as I do that he isn't "just some guy.

Telling Infinite Darlene this doesn't just feel like I'm setting myself up for gossip. No, it feels like I'm putting my whole heart on the line. It's the first rally that I've ever been in the stands for. This is due to a fluke of scheduling.

Our school has too many activities and teams to be represented in each and every cheering session, so whenever we have a rally, only a dozen groups are spotlighted. They'd asked me to bring my acting troupe this time around, but I felt such recognition might damage our art—putting the personality before the performance, as it were. So as a result I am sitting in the bleachers of our gymnasium, trying to gauge the Joni-and-Ted barometer.

Right now, it looks like the pressure is high. Ted keeps looking over at Joni, but Joni isn't looking as much at Ted. He turns to me instead. Panicked, I look around to see if Noah is in the immediate vicinity. Luckily, he is not. I am starting to wonder if he actually exists. The principal's secretary gets up to the microphone to start the rally.

Everybody knows that she wields the real power in the school, so it makes sense to have her leading things here. The gymnasium doors open and the cheerleaders come riding in on their Harleys.

The crowd goes wild. We are, I believe, the. But I could be wrong. A few years ago, it was decided that having a posse of motorcycles gun around the fields and courts was a much bigger cheer-inducer than any pom-pom routine could ever hope to be.

Now, in an intricately choreographed display, the Harleys swerve around the gym, starting off in a pyramid the shape of a bird migration, then splitting up into spins and corners. For a finale, the cheerleaders rev all at once and shoot themselves off a ramp emblazoned with our high school's name.

They are rewarded with massive applause. Already the rally is doing its job. I am proud to be a student at my high school. The tennis team is the next up. My brother and his friend Mara are the doubles champions, so they get a pretty good reception. I try to cheer loudly so Jay can hear my voice above the crowd. He's a senior now, and I know he's started to feel sad about everything coming to an end. Next year, he'll be on a college tennis team. It won't be the same. After the tennis team has been cheered, our school cover band comes out to play.

The cover band's stats are actually better than the tennis team's — at this past year's Dave Matthews Cover Band Competition, they went all the way to the finals with their cover of the Dave Matthews Band covering "All Along the Watchtower," only to be defeated by a cover band that played "Typical Situation" while standing on their heads.

After an encore of Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus," the principal's secretary asks for quiet and introduces this year's homecoming king and queen.

Infinite Darlene strides out in a pink ball gown, covered in part by her quarterback jersey. The homecoming king, Dave Sprat, hangs from her arm, a good thirteen inches shorter than her if you count the heels. Infinite Darlene is holding a portable microphone we borrowed from Zeke's van, so she can introduce and march at the same time. As the school cover band strikes up a skacore version of "We Are the Champions" we're not entirely without tradition , the members of the football team line up for their presentation.

I lean over to Joni. She's fixing her eyes on Chuck. I honestly don't know why. Chuck is the second-string quarterback who fell for Infinite Darlene and got all upset when she didn't return his affections. He was real bitter about it, worse than Ted in his fouler moods. Ted, at least, is able to lose his cool without totally losing his sense of humor.

I'm not sure that Chuck's the same way. I wish Tony went to our school, so I could lift my eyebrow and get his take on the situation. Ted doesn't seem to notice where Joni's glance is taking her. He is looking elsewhere.

Because he's Ted, he goes right ahead and points at someone in the stands across the gymnasium. I squint to make out the faces from the crowd. At first, I think he's pointing at Kyle, who is somewhat subdued in his applause for the football players as Infinite Darlene introduces them. Then I realize Ted is pointing a few rows up. I see an empty seat. Then, next to it, I see Noah. He senses me looking. He looks right at me. Or maybe he's looking at Ted, who's still pointing. I try to play along.

When the whole pointing charade is over, I see that Noah's still where he was a second ago. I don't know why I thought he would have disappeared. I guess I don't believe these things can ever be easy, although I also don't see why they have to be hard. Joni's broken her attention from Chuck for long enough to get what's going on.

I'm not sure if he's kidding or not. It's a mighty thin border between peer pressure and bravery. Knowing that Joni and Ted aren't going to let me get out of it, I head to Noah's side of the gym. One of the teachers shoots me a stay-in-your-seat glance, but I wave her off.

Over the loudspeakers, I can hear Infinite Darlene's crystal voice: "And now, introducing the quarterback. Everyone cheers, except for some of the more elitist drag queens, who feign disinterest. I duck behind the bleachers, weaving to the stairs. I wonder what I'll say. I wonder if I'm about to make a fool of myself. All I can feel is this intensity. My mind beating in time with my heart. My steps keeping sway with my hopes. I get to the bottom of the stands. I've lost track of the space.

I can't find Noah. I look back to Joni and Ted. Much to my mortification, they both point me on my way. The football presentation is over and the quiz bowling team is preparing to enter. Infinite Darlene is basking in her last round of applause. I swear she winks when she looks my way. I focus on the seat next to Noah. I do not focus on his crazy-cool hair, or his blue suede shoes, or the specks of paint on his hands and his arms. I am beside him.

He looks up at me. And then, after a beat, he breaks out smiling. I am so happy and so scared. There is a roar through the stands as the quiz bowling team is announced. They come sprinting onto the court, rolling for pins while answering questions about Einstein's theory of relativity. He says, "Cool," and it's cool. So cool. I sit down next to him as the audience cheers for the captain of the quiz bowling team, who's just scored a strike while listing the complete works of the Bronte sisters.

I don't want to scare him by telling him all the things that are scaring me. I don't want him to know how important this is. He has to feel the importance for himself. So I say, "Those are cool shoes," and we talk about blue suede shoes and the duds store where he shops. We talk as the badminton team lets its birdies fly. We laugh when it falls. I am looking for signs that he understands me. I am looking for my hopes to be confirmed.

I almost fall off my seat. I am a firm believer in serendipity—all the random pieces coming together in one wonderful moment, when suddenly you see what their purpose was all along. We talk about music and find that we like the same kinds of music. We talk about movies and find that we like the same kinds of movies. Although I guess I was too young to know it was a theory. You see, I had this imaginary friend. She followed me everywhere—we had to set a place for her at the table, she and I talked all the time—the whole deal.

Then it occurred to me that she wasn't the imaginary friend at all. I figured that I was the imaginary friend, and she was the one who was real.

It made perfect sense to me. My parents disagreed, but I still secretly feel that I'm right. With an h. I left Thorn in Florida. He never liked to travel. The paint on his hands is not quite purple and not quite blue. There is a speck of just-right red on one of his fingers. The principal's secretary has the microphone again. The rally is almost over. He's glad I found him. I'm glad I found him. We are not afraid to say this. I am so used to hints and mixed messages, saying things that might mean what they sort of sound like they mean.

Games and contests, roles and rituals, talking in twelve languages at once so the true words won't be so obvious. I am not used to a plainspoken, honest truth. It pretty much blows me away. I think Noah recognizes this. He's looking at me with a nifty grin. The other people in our row are standing and jostling now, waiting for us to leave so they can get to the aisle and resume their day. I want time to stop. Time doesn't stop. I want it to fast-forward an hour.

Noah has become my until. As we leave the gym, I can see Kyle shoot me a look. I don't care. Joni and Ted will no doubt be waiting under the bleachers for the full report. I can sum it up in one word: Joy. Hallway Traffic Complications Ensue Self-esteem can be so exhausting. I want to cut my hair, change my clothes, erase the pimple from the near-tip of my nose, and strengthen my upper-arm definition, all in the next hour.

But I can't do that, because a it's impossible, and b if I make any of these changes, Noah will notice that I've changed, and I don't want him to know how into him I am.

I hope Mr. B can save me. I pray his physics class today will transfix me in such a way that I will forget about what awaits me at the other end. But as Mr. B bounds around the room with anti-gravitational enthusiasm, I just can't join his parade.

Two sixty-four has become my new mantra. I roll the number over in my head, hoping it will reveal something to me other than a locker number.

I replay my conversation with Noah, trying to transcribe it into memory since I don't dare write it down in my notebook. The hour passes. As soon as the bell rings, I bolt out of my seat. I don't know where locker is, but I'm sure as hell going to find out. I plunge into the congested hallway, weaving through the back-slap reunions and locker lunges.

I spot locker — I'm in the wrong corridor entirely. There aren't enough Pauls in my school that I can assume the yell is for someone else. Reluctantly I turn around and see Lyssa Ling about to pull my sleeve. I already know what she wants. Lyssa Ling doesn't ever talk to me unless she wants me to be on a committee. She's the head of our school's committee on appointing committees, no doubt because she's so good at it. She's used to this. The Dowager Dance is a big deal at our school, and architecting it would mean being in charge of all the decorations and music.

Lyssa sighs. But then he went all Goth on me. Not cool. We have to give people the freedom to wear something other than black. So are you in or are you out? I know it's going to be a rather elaborate budget. The dance was created thirty or so years ago after a local dowager left a stipulation in her will that every year the high school would throw a lavish dance in her honor. Apparently she was quite a swinger in her day.

The only thing we have to do is feature her portrait prominently and this is where it gets a little weird have at least one senior boy dance with it. At first I am distracted by theme ideas. Then I remember the reason for my after-school existence and continue heading to locker I can't exactly blow her off, nor can I blow off Infinite Darlene when she asks me how her double role at the Homecoming Pride Rally went.

The minutes are ticking away. I hope Noah is equally delayed, and that we'll arrive at his locker at the same time, one of those wonderful kismet connections that seem like signs of great things to come. He's right. We walk up the stairs together. Sometimes I feel like fate is dictated by irony or, at the very least, a rather dark sense of humor. For example, if I am standing next to Joni's on-and-off boyfriend and he says, "Have you seen Joni?

Joni and Chuck don't see us. Their eyes are passionately, expectantly closed. Everybody pauses to look at them. They are a red light in the hallway traffic. Then he charges back down the stairs. I know Noah is waiting for me. I know Joni should know what I've seen. I know I don't really like Ted all that much. But more than I know all those things, I know I have to run after Ted to see if he's okay. He stays a good few paces ahead of me, pushing through hallway after hallway, turn after turn, hitting backpacks off people's shoulders and avoiding the glances of gum-chewing locker waifs.

I can't figure out where he's going. Then I realize he doesn't have any particular destination in mind. He's just walking. Walking away. We're in a particularly empty corridor, right outside the wood shop. He turns to me, and there's this conflicted flash in his eyes. The anger wants to drown the shock and the depression. I shake my head. It's news to me. I really don't care.

She can hook up with whoever she wants. It's not like I was interested. We broke up, you know. I wonder if he can actually believe what he's saying. He betrays himself with what he says next. I want there to be something else for me to say, something to make him feel even marginally better.

I look at my watch. It's been seventeen minutes since the end of school.

I use a different stairway to reach the second floor. The locker numbers descend for me: Nobody home. I look around for Noah. The halls are nearly deserted now— everyone's either gone home or gone to their activities. The track team races past me on their hallway practice run. I wait another five minutes. A girl I've never seen before, her hair the color of honey-dew, walks by and says, "He left about ten minutes ago.

He looked disappointed. I rip a page out of my physics book and write an apology. I go through about five drafts before I'm satisfied that I've managed to sound interested and interesting without seeming entirely daft. All the while, I'm still hoping he'll show up. I slip the note into locker I head back down to my own locker. Joni is nowhere in sight, which is a good thing.

I can't even begin to know what to say to her. I can see why she would have kept the news about Chuck from Ted. But I can't figure out why she never told me. It hurts. As I slam my locker shut, Kyle walks by me. He nods and says hi.

He even almost smiles. I am floored. He keeps walking, not turning back. My life is crazy, and there's not a single thing I can do about it.

Finding Lost Languages "Maybe he was saying hi to someone else," I say. It's a couple of hours later and I'm talking to Tony, recounting the drama to the one person who wasn't there. Tony nods noncommittally. It's not like I've done anything differently. And it's not like he's the kind of guy who changes his mind about this kind of thing.

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I mean, would he even know who I was if I called? Would he recognize my name or my voice? It can wait until tomorrow, right? I don't want to seem too neurotic.

What was she thinking, snogging up to Chuck in the middle of the hall like that? Do I let her know that I know, or do I pretend I don't know and secretly count the number of times she talks to me before she lets me know, resenting each and every minute that goes by without her telling me the truth? We are at my house, doing each other's homework. We try to do this as often as possible.

In much the same way that it's more fun to clean up someone else's room than it is to clean up your own, doing each other's homework is a way to make the homework go faster. Early in our friendship, Tony and I discovered we had similar handwriting. The rest came naturally. Of course, we go to different schools and have different assignments.

That's the challenge. And the challenge is what it's all about. He takes Spanish. You pictured Ted and me catching them in the hallway? But face it. Joni likes having a boyfriend. And if it's not going to be Ted, it's going to be someone else.

If this guy Chuck likes her, odds are she's going to like him back. If she's happy, then good for her. Tony's never really had a boyfriend. He's never been in love. I don't exactly know why this is. He's cute, funny, smart, a little gloomy—all attractive qualities. But he still hasn't found what he's looking for. I'm not even sure he knows what that is. Most of the time, he just freezes.

He'll have a quiet crush, or even groove with someone who has boyfriend potential.

This is one of the reasons I don't want to dwell on Noah with him. Although I'm sure he's happy for me, I don't think his happiness for me translates into happiness for himself. I need another way to buoy him. I resort to speaking in a nonexistent language. Our record for doing this is six hours, including a lengthy trip to the mall.

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I don't know how it started—one day we were walking along and I just got tired of speaking English. So I started throwing consonants and vowels together in random arrangements.

Without missing a beat, Tony started to speak back to me in the same way. The weird thing is, we've always understood each other.

The tone and the gestures say it all.

Reward Yourself

I first met Tony two years ago, at the Strand in the city. It's one of the best bookstores in the world. We were both looking for a used copy of The Lost Language of Cranes. The shelf was eight feet up, so we had to take turns on the ladder. He went first and when he came down with a copy, I asked him if there was another up there. Startled, he told me there was a second copy and even went back up the ladder to get it for me. Then he drifted off to the oversized photography books, while I got lost in fiction.

That would have been it. We would have never known each other, would have never been friends. But that night as I boarded the train home, I saw him sitting alone on a three-seater, already halfway done with the book we'd both bought. At first he didn't realize I was speaking to him. Then he looked up, recognized me, and half smiled. I sat down and we talked some more.

I discovered he lived in the next town over from mine. We introduced ourselves. We settled in. I could tell he was nervous, but didn't know why.

A cute guy, a few years older than us, passed through our car. Both of our gazes followed him. Tony hesitated for a moment, unsure. Then he smiled. Which, in many ways, he was.

We kept talking. And maybe it was because we were strangers, or maybe it was because we had bought the same book and had thought the same boy was cute. But it was very easy to talk. Riding the train is all about moving forward; our conversation moved like it was on tracks, with no worry of traffic or direction.

He told me about his school, which was not like my school, and his parents, who were not like my parents. He didn't use the word gay and I didn't need him to. It was understood. This clandestine trip was secret and special to him. He had told his parents he was going on a church retreat. Then he'd hopped on a train to visit the open doors of the open city.He is far from the worst. I first met Tony two years ago, at the Strand in the city.

They even made the workers keep the uniforms, only with a leaf pinned where the corporate logo used to be. She tried to convince Infinite Darlene to join her, but football was the same season.

This is a happy-meaningful romantic comedy about finding love, losing love, and doing what it takes to get love back in a crazy-wonderful world.

All the while, I'm still hoping he'll show up.

ROBYN from Scottsdale
See my other posts. I absolutely love metal detecting. I love sharing PDF docs roughly .