At school the next day, it was as if you could feel the awkwardness in the air. It was hard for Lawrence to face his friends after what had happened, but Lawrence knew he could not keep his secret from them forever and now seemed like as good a time as any.
“Hey, guys.” Lawrence greeted, trying his best to avoid eye contact with the three of them.
“Hey Lawrence.” replied Eugene.
“Look I’d just want to explain about what happened last night.” Lawrence continued.
“No need.” Tyler piped up.
“Ya, the strangest thing happened last night after you left I seemed to have lost my internet connection and the game booted me from the server. I was only able to get back in after you asked if we were still there.” said Colin.
“Same here.” added Tyler.
“That’s so weird, the same thing happend to my connection. I guess we'll never know what happened after you left.” Eugene said with a smile and a winke.
Lawrence knew what they were doing and he was thankful.
“Thanks guys.” he said.
They all just smiled at him and continued to a new conversation. After the first bell, the day seemed to go on like normal. After lunch Lawrence went on the algebra with Colin, Tyler, and Heather. The class was then split into groups. Lawrence was with Tyler and Colin was with Heather. Lawrence was a bit surprised how well she was getting along with Eugene, Tyler, and Colin. From what he could see they were all becoming good friends.
The groups were then told to read through a chapter in their book and answer some questions.
Both Lawrence and Tyler read to themselves. The chapter was ten pages long and it took Lawrence mere minutes to get through half the chapter. Lawrence then raised his head to see how Tyler was doing. He wasn't even off the first page. This alarmed Lawrence a bit, because it looked to him that Tyler was struggling, confused, frustrated, and distracted. As if his mind was somewhere else. Which was odd for Tyler, he was normally very good at stuff like this. So Lawrence took it upon himself to help.
“Hey, Tyler, you OK?” Lawrence asked.
“What? Oh, Lawrence, ya, I-I’m fine.” he replied as if he had just woken up. It was as if Lawrence had just gotten there.
“Are you sure? You don’t look fine.” Lawrence continued.
“Lawrence I said I’m fine.” Tyler repeated this time more angrily.
“OK, but if you need any help, any help at all I’m here. OK?”
“Ya, whatever Lawrence, thanks.”
Lawrence could tell he was hiding something. He could see it in Tylers dark green eyes. His eyes seemed to be bloodshot as if he hadn't been sleeping, he was sweating hard, and breathing heavily. At first Lawrence thought he was about to pass out, but then he saw something, a note Tyler had place on his desk. Just as he was about to open it the bell rang, Tyler closed his book and without a word, left for his next class.
Lawrence opened the note in the hall and read it.
Lawrence, meet me by my locker after school. We need to talk. Come alone.
Lawrence was a bit confused about why Tyler wanted him to come alone. After the last bell Lawrence went to Tylers locker as instructed.
As Lawrence approached the locker he noticed it was open with Tyler standing behind the door. Lawrence was about to call out his name, when he heard something. It was Tyler he was crying.
Lawrence slowly approached the locker and closed the door. standing in front of him was Tyler with tears slowly sliding down his face. This was the first time Lawrence had seen Tyler cry, He didn’t know how to react.
“Hey, Tyler what’s wrong?” ask Lawrence.
Tyler did not respond to Lawrence instead he simply talked to himself. Lawrence could barely hear the words coming from him.
“I can’t take it anymore.” Tyler repeated.
Tyler then put his back against the lockers and sank to the floor. Lawrence sat down next to him and put his arm around his shoulders, in, an his only way, to comfort him.
“I can’t do it anymore Lawrence, I-I can’t keep living this lie.” Tyler told him.
“What are you talking about?” asked Lawrence.
“Lawrence I need you to make me a promise, that what I say next will stay just between you and me. OK?” Tyler continued.
“Ya, Tyler, I promise. Just between us.” Lawrence told him.
“OK, Lawrence. I’m gay.” said Tyler.
Lawrence’s eyes widened in shock, when he heard those words. It took a minute for Lawrence to comprehend what he was just told.
“Tyler I don’t know what to say.” that was Lawrence’s only response he could think of.
“Then don’t say anything. I don’t care if you accept me or not. I just couldn't keep living with this secret.”
“I understand Tyler, but why me. Why not your parents?”
“Please my parents are religious nuts. They'd crucify me if I told them and I can’t tell Eugene because he’s too unpredictable, but you I know I can trust you with this secret Lawrence.”
“Well thank you I feel honored that you trust me so much.”
“There’s more, I think I like Colin.”
“Well, you guys are friends right?”
“No Lawrence, I think I’m in love with him. I just know he wouldn't love me back.”
“Tyler this is a lot to take in.”
“It’s OK Lawrence. Look just promise me you won’t tell anyone else.”
“Of course not a sole, this is just between us.”
“Thanks Lawrence I knew I could trust you.”
With that Tyler left. The next few days Tyler seemed to go back to normal. He wasn’t as distracted and he seemed more rested. Nothing seemed to change between Lawrence and him, and nothing seemed to change about Tyler. He acted and dressed the same as he always did. To Lawrence it was as if Tyler hadn’t told him anything at all. It seemed that having to keep that secret pent up inside him was what was causing his stress. Now that he had finally told somebody he seemed better about himself. Seeing someone to be so happy with who they are made Lawrence feel good, it made him feel as if he made a difference in someones life. Lawrence always thought that it could be his calling.