"Are you sure?" I asked.
Jacob, looking rather pale, told me that he just had to get it out of his mind.
"But, are you ready? What do you think your parents will do? They might kick you out of the house!"
Being a worry-nut, I rather have Jacob stay safe until he's ready to live on his own. I suggested that he should wait, until he is financially capable. (As you can see, I'm a very practical person)
"I understand. I just want to get out of that place."
That boy seemed to have a lot in his mind. Which, I can sort of understand. Especially for someone living in an unhappy conservative family, being gay, and no close friends.
We had an early dinner at a local restaurant, then I walked him to the bus stop.
"It was good to see you in person, Wayne."
I stared into his eyes the same way he stared at mine.
We probably stood there, silent, facing each other for a good 40 seconds, before he went and placed himself behind the line of people waiting to get on the bus.
"Write soon." He mouthed.
I nodded my head, and gave him a smile.
That year, aside from emails, I've also sent him greeting cards on Holidays.
Then gradually, our exchanges of (e)mails have gone down. Perhaps, it was the school work to blame, or that my social at the new environment had taken off. I stopped writing to Jacob at the end of year.
Out of blue, during the second quarter of my second year in College, I've got an email from him.
From the email, I've learned that he had come out to his friends that he went to school with. There was a little struggle for his friends to accept him for who he is, but soon, the struggle became acceptance. And they wanted to come down to San Diego.
"Sea World?" I asked over the phone.
"Yeah." Jacob replied. He sounded different from what I could remember.
The tone of his voice was filled with confident. More mature.
So, they wanted to come down and check out Sea World. But I believe that was just an excuse. Jacob's friends were really good to him. Going to Sea World was only a cover up, for them to bring Jacob to see me. For the fact, I was the first and probably the only gay person that Jacob ever spoken to. Since, the gay population back then were pretty much non-existence in his neighborhood.
His friends seem very nice. (ALL Asian, for some reason) - They didn't seem to feel uneasy with my presence. (No. I wasn't all diva-que back then) They picked me up at the bus stop and we head straight (heh, straight) to Sea World.
Park, the tallest of group, was the driver. He also seemed to be the 'leader' who organized the entire trip. Even during our ride to the theme park, he had hinted that I should spend more time talking to Jacob.
Unlike the previous meeting, or how his voice sounded over the phone. Jacob seemed bothered. Distracted, rather. As if he left half of his brain some where on the way to San Diego.
While in line getting tickets, Park pulled me a side.
"Jacob is a very nice guy. You talk to him more."
"I know. I have known him for a period of time. Great guy."
"There are things we cannot help him, because we don't understand. But you can. Please, take as much time as you can, just talk to him."
"I will. Of course."
Park seemed a bit uneasy. As if, there's something he wanted me to do, yet didn't know how to word it.
After a couple of rides (there weren't many rides in Sea World. It's mainly a zoo) - the group split up. And Jacob and I had wondered off to see the Star Fish.
"Gosh. So hot."
"Yeah. The Sun is burning me." Jacob looked back at me.
We went and seek shelter at an indoor observatory. The air was definitely cooler.
We sat ourselves down at a dark corner in the room. Watching people waking back and forth in front of the gigantic tank.
Kelp all over the place.
"This place can be very creepy, depends on the time of the day." I whispers.
Jacob remained quiet.
"What are you thinking?" I asked.
Jacob's shadow told me that he was shaking his head.
"Something you want to talk about?"
Then we sat, silently.
Watching him from behind, he seemed so thin and fragile.
I had a very strong urge of wrapping my arms around him. Just giving him a hug. I thought. Just a hug.
To be Continued...