I have written many adventure/ romance books with LGBTQ+ characters. Visit my website to browse my full bibliography. You can also sign up for my mailing list to ensure you don't miss any fun future updates. ACOJ has a full book; check out my website.
A Case of Jitters
Hands clammy, heart hammering irregularly, and a cold sweat on the horizon. I feverously contemplate while maintaining eye contact with my reflection in the mirror, if this is indeed a safe idea. I mean, how will I know if I'm doing it correctly? I've never danced before. What if Andrew laughs at me. God-forbid what'd happen if I trample all over his toes by mistake. I pray to God; I don't get a boner. Forget it; let's hope nothing terrible happens, and my plan works.
I suppose I look good. Are my clothes sitting evenly on my skeleton? I don't know why, though I feel uncomfortable. What if my feet forget to move, or my legs give out when he smiles at me if we're dancing. What if… What if my breath stinks fowl? I brushed my teeth twice now, plus, I can't help but notice I've chugged half a bottle of mouthwash down the drain. God, I wish my acne is gone. Except, I guess, I have to persevere. I reckon it can be worse if I forget to speak somehow.
Running my fingers through my hair, afresh. I carefully mold it back into place. I have a reputation to maintain. People need to notice that I'm taking a girl out. Except, I'm not taking a girl out.
What's more embarrassing is my parents have harassed me for an entire hour about how adorably cute I look. If anything, I feel nauseated. My family has perfected the art in saying how my button-up shirt suits me, and the chino combination makes me look handsome. I forbid them to mention such a thing if I ever bring a girl or… a boy home. Which will lead to an entirely new set of rules itself? My Mom will begin by stating unequivocally that the bedroom door has to remain open if I have a girl in my bedroom. That is a terrifying concept, having a girl remarkably close to where I perform certain rituals. But a boy hmm…
Sigh… I am beginning to sweat; it's time to raise my arms up again, so the moisture doesn't build up. Why do humans have to endure such a yucky obligation in the first place? It makes you smell, and what boy or girl will ever like that? I hope I don't stink like a Chinese massage parlor with all the deodorant I've put on.
My nerves are bouncing around in my stomach, my chest feels like a bazillion bricks are toppling over on it. It took a lot of courage and confidence to approach Andrew and ask him out. Now that I think of it, I could have learned to dance properly. I should have begged Mom for lessons even if it means dropping karate for a while. I imagine I am going to suck at dancing. I'll resemble a limp noodle, and that's when he'll snigger at me at how goofy I move. Is it wrong that I'm weighing the pros and cons of backing out? I'll pretend a crayon got lodged in my nose and that I have to go to the Emergency Room. I have an excuse prepared for when Andrew calls me up requesting, wanting to know where the hell I am. I don't believe I have the heart to do such an act. However, to bail out on him would be horrible. He definitely wouldn't want to be my boyfriend then if I did this on him. Thank God for Sophia, pretending to my parents she is going with me. The sad news is I have to make an appearance with her at some point.
Raising my arm to look at the cheesy addition of a watch on my wrist, my older sister gave to me for the occasion. I glance at the face of the silver timekeeper and note it is 6:30 PM. The reception is at 7:30 PM, and I tell Andrew that I'll meet him at our homeroom at 7. The watch is slightly heavier than I expected it to be. Each time I draw my attention back to the mirror, I can't help but notice a new flaw every time I study. I surmise I'll be paranoid by the end of the night if I don't calm the hell down and take a moment to rationalize what I'm thinking.
Is my hair okay…? Again, lifting my hands, I tenderly brush my fingers at the sides of my haircut and restart the entire process of scouring for pimples and straighten my clothes. Since the coast is clear from the last time I checked, I grant a sigh of relief. For assurance, I affirm everything will be okay. I suspect whatever happens will come down to faith because my Dad just beckoned for me. Dad asks if I want to leave now.
Catching a breath of confidence, I split from the sink with the mirror and start for the door. Cracking the bathroom door ajar, I pause, glimpsing back at the mirror to examine if everything is okay one last time.
Mumbling to myself, I chant, "don't act awkward, don't act awkward, don't act awkward."
And like that, I exit the bathroom, now in a panic for leaving the mirror behind. My family anticipates me at the bottom of the stairs, waiting to see me off.
Slowly, with a buildup of rattled terror emanating from my ribcage, I descend the levels. I hug my Mom goodbye. She wells up with melancholy.
I stop shy of my sister, she gives me a fist bump, accompanied by a wink, "have an awesome night little doofus," she says.
A bashful surge of cutesy tingles erupt in my heart, my face floods red, and I begin to sense arousal. 'Not now… already!' I rebuke. Shifting my attention to Dad, I give him an indicator that I am ready. We stroll down the path, onto the drive, and pull away. My parents don't know about my secret, and I intend for it to stay that way until I am ready to come out.
As we drive, droplets of translucent rain impact the windscreen. I sit slump in the front seat with a case of what you'd call jitters. Dad is too busy paying attention to the road. All I can come to concentrate on is tonight, hoping I will make Andrew like me more than just a friend. That is the reason I asked him out; he is a cute guy, and every girl pays attention to him. The smart, nerdy boy with a lovely personality. The only thing is we have nothing in common, sure we hung out a few times when we were kids, but he was a tagalong, nothing serious. I am not even sure why he said yes, but I am glad he did. All I have to do is sneak off with him. I updated my playlist on Spotify with some slow songs earlier in the day. It'll be the second time we'll meet face to face on our own. The other day was nice, I hadn't privately talked to him before until then. When I slipped the note onto his copybook, I hoped, saying, please don't let him think this is a joke.
With Dad stopped at a traffic light, he takes a moment to look over at me.
"Jacob, sit up, you'll get creases in your clothes."
I don't need to be told twice. I shoot into a stiffened position and hold myself like that, so my threads don't appear to be scruffy. We are close to the school now.
Dad asks absently with his eyes remaining on the road, "you nervous?"
The car navigates the corner, and a couple of yards down the street, we pull up outside a busy drop-off bay. I look at him nervously, giving him expressive eyes. Dad must sense something is off because he leans across, placing his hand on my shoulder. I revert my head to the dashboard.
Dad draws in a deep breath and then speaks sincerely, "you'll be okay. Make sure to show off your dance moves to all the girls."
Ugh… If he only knew. I glance from him to the school through the window, and like that, I sit up straight, shimmying in the seat. 'Boys like confidence, I reflect. Reaching out, I pull the lever for the door and step out. The school is bustling with life, unusually compared to class hours.
I take a step, and then another from the car. With a sigh, I contemplate. I presume I'm on my own from here on out. I just need to make it to the door, from the front entrance to my homeroom. I'm surprised Andrew didn't want to pick me up. My heart flutters, and before I know what is what, I'm within arm's length of the door.
Shuffling under the LED lights, I cautiously blend with my peers. I offer greetings, then make my way to the designated meeting point. I turn into the corridor, and behold, Andrew, stands patiently outside the securely locked classroom. I hesitate; he looks so pretty, and with a rush of emotional determination, I close the distance.
When I come face to face with him, he smiles. My mind goes blank, and I forget my name. Andrew rattles slightly too, in a modest way, a case of the jitters also.
Like a blubbering idiot, I say, "I didn't think you'd come."
"I'd look like a jerk if I bailed."
There is a second of cutesy silence, then Andrew smirks, "wanna ditch and get a burger and milkshake."
I grin, I like the sound of such an adventurous escape.
More to come, let me know your thoughts by emailing me. I'd love to hear. ACOJ has a full book; check out my website www.dk-daniels.com for more information.
I have written many adventure/ romance books with LGBTQ+ characters. Visit my website to browse my full bibliography. You can also sign up for my mailing list to ensure you don't miss any fun future updates.