In The Depths

Loneliness is like a deep dark void, with nowhere to go and nowhere to hide. As much as I try, I just get deeper into the depths of loneliness, and into the depths of my soul. I just want to get out. I don't deserve this.


5. Push the Thoughts Back

We take a quick drive to the lake in Harry’s mom’s mini-cooper.  It turns out that spending ten minutes in a cramped car with two teenagers can really make you feel alive. I feel like I’m back in junior year, just learning how to drive, and hitting the road with a wide grin on my face.

As I turn into the side lane, I hear Will pipe up from behind Harry. “If one of you goes into the lake with only boxers, I’ll pay you five bucks.”

“Five only!?” Harry exclaims. “Not enough.”

“How about twenty?” I say.

“No deal.”

“I’m not doing it,” I reply, as we turn into the lake parking lot. The sun starts to go down, leaving the sky a mix of reds and pinks.

“I won’t either,” Harry states. I catch him with a sly smile, the edges of his mouth wrinkling. I force myself to look away, and force myself to not develop the thought that’s been resting at the back of my mind. He’s so damn attractive.

“Fine. I just wanted to see one of you skinny weaklings get frozen to death.” We park.

“It’s not like you aren’t skinny as hell,” Harry says, which is true, because Will is basically just a tiny stick with noodle arms formed into a teenager. We all get out of the car, grab umbrellas and seats, and walk to the lake.

“I know,” Will says as we walk. “I can take the cold.”

“Then why can’t you go in the lake?” I say.

“Because,” Will smiles. “It won’t be funny that way.”

We soon have our stuff set up in the sand. The beach chairs are lined up so they face the ocean, and two umbrellas are in back, even though shade isn’t needed at five o’clock in the swall. (I call winter and fall swall because the weather feels like winter but it’s really fall.)

The sun is practically set, with the top skimming over the horizon. Harry, Will and I sit down on the beach chairs, ignoring the fact that they have leftover sand all over. Harry sits in the middle of us two.

“This is… nice,” Harry says, his fingers playing with his lip again. I decide it’s a habit.

“Yeah,” I reply. “Look at the way the sun bounces off the water.” I look out onto the lake. The reflection of the sun is etched into the blue water, making it a smeared pink color. The water ripples as we watch.

“You two are so girly.”

That makes sense because I’m gay. “Oh c’mon, Will,” I say. “You secretly think it’s pretty.”

“No!” He says, trying to hide a smile. I’m now looking away from the lake and at Will over Harry.

“You so do,” I laugh. “I can see it in your eyes.”

“Whatever.” He stands up, putting his hands in his khaki short pockets. “I’m gonna get a snack.”

“You just had pizza,” Harry says.

“I’m nineteen, almost twenty. I eat when I wanna eat.” He walks off then, the keys in his oversized pocket jingling. The sun is not fully set, and the stars start to show.

“So,” Harry mumbles. “Have you been thinking about it?”


“Why your favorite color is red.” He twiddles with his thumbs. “I mean, you probably haven’t but, I don’t know. Maybe you- I don’t know.”

“Yeah, well, kinda.” I look over at him. He still stares at his lap. “I mean, I like it because it means a lot. Like anger is one of the bad ones, but it also symbolizes happiness sometimes and romance.” I feel sort of strange talking about romance to Harry, but have no idea why.

“Yeah.” He looks up, and now suddenly he’s looking at my face for an awful long time. “I like your mustache.”

“Thanks I guess.”

“How do you grow one? I’ve been trying to grow one.”

“Just don’t shave. I don’t really know how my pores make the hair, if that’s what you’re asking.”

“Oh,” he laughs under his breath. “No, no. I just like it.”

“Yeah. You look good without a mustache anyway.” I realize I’m staring at his lips. I’m supposed to be staring above his lips but the temptation overtakes me. “Like, I feel like a mustache would hide some of your other features.” Oh god, am I flirting?


“Lips,” I whisper. I try to make it inaudible, but I accidentally say it aloud. Harry and I make eye contact.

“What? Lips?”

“Uh- what?”

“You said lips.’


“Yes. You just said lips.”

“No. I said uh- hips! Wait- what?” I bury my face in my hands. “Flips. Chips. Chips! Like, do they sell chips here? I heard they do.”


Harry stares into my eyes, and we stop talking for the better. I get lost in thought for a second before Will comes over. He holds a soft pretzel in his hand, with his mouth full of food.

“I got the last one,” he says, chewing. He swallows. “They put extra salt.”

“Delish,” Harry says.

“I know.” Will sits down and I silently thank God for sending in Will at just the right time. My head is soon out of my hands and I’m staring out at the sea again, not daring to look Harry in the eyes. It would be too awkward.

“Harry,” Will says, taking a bite of his food. “Did you tell Louis about the party tomorrow?” He swallows. “Maybe he can go.”

“What party?” I say.

“There’s going to be a party at Will’s house tomorrow.” Harry says, and rips off a bit of Will’s pretzel.

“Harry!” Will snaps, but Harry’s already chewing.

“Ha,” Harry says with a full mouth.

“Ugh, anyway,” Will continues and bends over to see me better. “Yeah. I’m having a party at my house because like, actually- my roommate and I are throwing it, because I just moved in and he wants to show me a good time. So it’ll be really awesome with hot chicks and beer and girls-”

“You already said girls,” Harry interrupts, staring lamely into the distance.

“I said hot chicks.”

“Same difference.”

Will rolls his eyes and continues speaking. “So basically, it’ll be the best damn party ever known to man. Can you come?”

Will sounds especially excited about all the hot girls, but not as excited about the hot guys, so that’s kind of sucky for me.

“Um, I guess.” I seriously hate parties. The drinking and strangers and claustrophobic-ness mixed all together makes me want to punch a wall. It’s nothing personal really; I just enjoy the quiet better, and the smell of vomit isn’t a pleasant one. “Time?”

“Just show up.” Will laughs.

“Um, but, like, night or what?” I glance at the two boys.

“Just show up,” he repeats.

I decide there is no other option for me but to “just show up”. I will have to struggle through the stupid party. Through the stupid girls and stupid music and stupid games and stupid vodka and stupid everything. But if it means keeping a friend, I’m all in. Friends are hard to find for me, obviously. “Cool,” I smile. “Cool. I’ll be there.”

“You better be,” Harry playfully punches me in the arm. I smile again, and I realize that I’ll be doing a-lot of fake smiling.

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