The last thing Ashton expected was becoming college roommates with Badboy Jakob, the Chancellor's homophobic son and an arrogant, cocky, Playboy. Being closeted and from a religious background, Ashton tries to steer clear off Jakob's path, even if he secretly admires his badboy roommate who's nothing but trouble. Jakob despises Ashton. He is nothing but a weird gay kid with glasses. But what happens when he starts to fall for his nerdy gay roommate?
" You have to stay away from these fraternity boys. I don't want them ruining your reputation, scholarship, and making you lose focus. You know your father and I want the best for you, right?" Mom goes about rambling as she nears my new apartment.
I look out the window, marveling at the streets. It doesn't look bad, at least it's comfortable for a college student. I was supposed to stay at the dorms, but my parents thought it was a bad idea. They wanted me off campus since I'm a freshman and they badly don't want me to steer off my path. Like I would even do that.
I have promised myself to do better. Maybe date a girl and it might help with this weird attraction I have towards my gender. And then focus on school and get a job to support my family and stay far away from these athlete jerks who are literally in every college.
Pushing up my glasses, I get out of my mom's car and shut the door. I help her bring down my bags as we walk toward my new apartment. Driving me here and helping me settle in wasn't really necessary, but my mom insisted. She also wanted to meet my new roommate. To make sure he's not a bad influence or they won't waste time moving me out and finding a new apartment.
" Mrs. Brooke." A man greets us as we enter the apartment. He gives my mom his hand for a shake and she shakes him.
I busy myself and look around the foyer. It's pretty decent and neat. I guess the guy occupying this apartment is neat and decent.
" And you must be Ashton." The man turns to look at me with a big smile on his face. He must be the landlord.
" Yes. Nice to meet you sir." I shake his hand.
" It's a pleasure. Come on." He starts to walk and we follow him. The living room is neat too. With a music set and an Xbox. The couches are neat and look new. Everything in here is neat and well arranged. Now I can't wait to meet my roommate.
" Okay. Jakob isn't around. He should be in school or on the field for his soccer practice." The man says.
" He's an athlete?"
" Well, yeah." The man nods. I still don't know his name, but my mom does. She's been talking to him about the apartment. " Don't worry about Jakob. He's a good kid. I assure you that."
" I hope he doesn't like parties or likes to partake in promiscuous activities. 'Cause I was hoping to see him." Mom tells the man.
" I assure you Mrs. Brooke, Jakob is a good kid. He won't be any trouble."
" Alright. Ash honey, why don't you go upstairs with your bags and I'll come help once I'm done talking with Mr. Romanoff."
I nod, grab my bags from the floor and walk towards the hallway.
" Your room is the one on the left. First door." Mr. Romanoff calls out.
I open the first door and walk inside. It's a little tidy but still needs serious cleaning. I sigh and sit down on the bed. I run my fingers through my blonde hair and breathe into my palms.
Why the hell am I nervous?
Well this is the first time I'm moving away from home and living on my own. Technically I won't be staying alone but it still counts. I had a bad trauma in highschool and it's never been the same with my family. Especially when both my parents are homophobes. They spent almost all their lives judging the gay kids and guys in my town. And it sucks I ended up as one.
I had this crush on Bryson. He's not a jock or a jerk. He's just perfect. Well or so I thought. I would secretly check him out from afar and watch him. I truly liked him, to the extent the very little thing he did made me wish I was man enough to tell him how I felt. It was just a stupid crush I thought. And I knew nothing about being gay. To me it was just a little crush and it was okay to find someone attractive, either a girl or guy.
Well nope, I was wrong. And then I noticed I've never looked at girls the way I looked at Bryson. Not even made any attempt of wanting a relationship with a girl. It just doesn't feel right. I googled how to know you're gay and all the signs were just me. I was scared and afraid and I tried to fight off the crush. My parents would kill me if they found out I fantasized about guys. They are homophobes. They believed gay people are the reason we still have hurricane. Which doesn't make any sense.
Everything went back to a little normal. I spent little time staring at Bryson in order not to raise suspicion. I don't want to be that weird kid who is a 'fag'. The bullying will be hectic and I don't trust myself to make it through. I might end up doing something I'll regret. It was around 12th grade and in a few months I'll be leaving highschool. I was dared to write Bryson a love letter in a stupid truth or dare game I played with my classmates. I never had real friends so I hung out with the available squad.
Bryson wasn't the most popular guy in school but he was one of the most popular guys in school. And fortunately he was single. To prove a point to the squad that I was not a coward, which I definitely was, I wrote Bryson the letter. Confessing how I've had a crush on him since 11th grade and it hurts he doesn't see me the way I see him. I regretted ever pouring my heart out to that letter, 'cause at the end it was shitty.
Bryson cornered me the following day at school with his friends and beat the shit out of me. Called me a 'fucking fag' and even started telling everyone I tried to seduce him to have sex with me. I skipped school for four days and my parents were more furious. I couldn't lie to them so I admitted writing Bryson a love letter.
Luckily I graduated high school with Bryson and his friends hitting on me when they felt like it. It was crazy. And now I'm in college and my family and myself thought I have to start all over. Retrace my steps. Stay away from jerks. Stay away from guys and maybe try to date a girl and I can rebrand myself again. I don't know how correct this theory is but it's worth trying.
" Ashton." Mom calls as she walks into my new room.
" I just paid the rent." Mom sighs. She looks a
round my room and smiles. Pleased.
" You haven't started arranging your room? What are you thinking Ashton?"
Sighs. " Nothing. I'm fine. I'll just get on with unpacking." I stand up.
" Is this about that Bryson kid?"
" Jesus, mom, that was a long time. That was in high school and I regretted my actions."
" It's nice to hear you regret your actions. Because I won't watch you waste your life. Your father and I want the best for you and you should know that. No matter what you do, don't repeat that same mistake again."
I nod. " Noted."
Mom and I unpack my things as I clean my room. I've got class by noon and I need to attend since it's my first class. Once I was through settling in, my mom hugged me and left.
I quickly take a bath since I'm nearly late. I drag plain dark jeans up my legs, the university's hoodie and converse. My parents aren't really rich so I'm here on a scholarship. I grab my backpack and rushes out of my apartment, not forgetting to lock the door. Looking at the school guide on my phone, I navigate around college as I search for the political science building. This school is bigger than I expected.
Not really looking at where I was going, I accidentally bumped into someone. Their books happen to fall on the ground as I quickly bend down to pick them up.
" I'm really sorry." I say to this person.
" Shit, no I'm so sorry. I was careless and I wasn't looking at where I was going." This stranger says. It's a girl. A petite redhead, pale skin and very beautiful eyes. She has a pointed nose and she's beautiful. But for some reason, she doesn't attract me. Sexually I mean.
" No, I'm sorry. I was late and lost, so I wasn't looking." I tell her.
" I'm Lana." She shakes my hand.
" Yeah." I chuckle and pull my hand away.
" I'm a sophomore. Where are you going, maybe I can help you."
" The political science building." I say, adjusting my glasses.
" Great. Come on, let's go. That's my direction." Lana grabs me by the arm and starts to walk.
This is a little awkward. It's not like I've not been held on the arm by a girl before, but because we just met.
" I'm majoring in political science too." Lana starts a conversation and I just listen not really knowing what to say.
" Did you just resume?" She asks. She has a British accent and I barely noticed. Maybe because I wasn't paying attention.
" Yeah. Today actually. Didn't want to miss my first class." I tell her. She smiles at me and nods.
I may not be hot or sexy or whatever thing girls describe guys as. But I know one thing for sure. I'm good looking. I've been told one too many times by girls. I'm just a little bit of a nerd and I'm socially awkward. I don't know how to behave with crowds or friends. It's not like I've had real friends before too. I'm tall, not really pale, slightly dark. Don't like parties. Never gotten drunk before, so I'm what girls or guys call boring despite my good looks. People love assholes and it's crazy.
" There." Lana stops walking and points to a classroom. " That should be your first class." Lana smiles at me.
" I'll see you around. Maybe we can have coffee together and talk more about politics. What do you think?" She smirks. Isn't she a little older than me? And is she asking me out? God I'm so clueless.
" That will be nice."
Her face beams with happiness as she bites her lip and scurries away. Weird.
I'm just rounding up my third class for the day as I step out of the classroom. I'm hungry, exhausted, tired, and in desperate need of sleep. Walking aimlessly around school, a familiar voice calls my name.
" Ashton." I turn around and Lana is smiling at me. She waves a friend or maybe classmate bye as she approaches me.
" You just finished your class?"
" Yeah. And I'm tired." I say.
" You wanna grab something to eat with me. I know a good Café that sells amazing pizzas and other good stuff." She suggests.
Not really sure of what to do with myself, I nod. " Sure."
At least a new friend won't bite. Lana and I walk inside the Café and straight to the counter. We ordered pizza and she ordered milkshake while I ordered coffee. I'm in desperate need of caffeine if I want to make it to my apartment in sound mind. I'm just hoping and wishing my roommate would be kind, and maybe the 'mind your business' kind of guy. I'd really like that.
Lana and I find a booth at the corner of the Café and we sit down.
" So how was class?" She asks.
" It was great. How was yours?"
" Not bad. All though the last class humanitarian was pretty tough. I've got a project that is due Wednesday. I'm yet to start."
" That's…bad. Right?"
Lana laughs. " You're cute. Where are you from?"
" I'm originally from Louisiana. But my parents moved to Georgia when I was ten." I pick at the loose thread of the university hoodie that I'm wearing.
" Wow. You sure don't look like a guy who's from Louisiana."
" Are you British?" I decided to ask her. I don't want to look awkward.
" Duh, like my accent didn't tell you that." She laughs. I silently chuckle this time.
" You know there's a party this Friday, you want to maybe hang out? It's gonna be fun, you won't regret it." Lana asks.
Parties? I've never attended parties in my life before. And also if I want to pass and secure my scholarship, I think it's better to stay ten feet away from parties. My parents aren't rich so I can't afford to fail them.
" Um… I don't know, Lana." I sigh and look around the Café. Lana says something but I don't hear it.
My attention and focus is on the guy that's two booths behind Lana. He's looking down on his phone, with a scowl on his face. His brown hair is tousled, with a black cap turned backwards covering his hair. And from where I'm sitting he sure looks fine. He raises his head and a pair of blue eyes stares right into my soul.
My breath caught up in my throat at once.
Who in the heavens is that?