Normally, everyone child and teen is asleep before midnight on school nights. It’s a hard-and-fast rule that Nina implemented. The idea behind was to ensure the children had enough sleep for the next day. Even Nina went to bed before midnight. Sergio, when he wasn’t away, usually went along with the idea as moral support. So it would be strange to hear anything or anyone making noise in the early morning hours. Still, that’s just what Antonio heard through the wall: someone talking.
Antonio opened the door quietly, startling Diego a bit. Then he walked over and sat down on the small love seat in Diego’s room.
“Dude, you alright?” Antonio asked.
“No,” Diego said.
“What’s wrong?” Antonio said sitting down beside Diego.
Diego was quiet. He just sat there staring at the blank television.
“Did Richie say he’s comin’ out with us Saturday?” Antonio asked.
“Yeah, yeah,” Diego said.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” Antonio said.
“Yes, Tony. Richie is coming out on Saturday, but I think I’m gonna stay home,” Diego said.
“This whole thing was your idea,” Antonio said. “You can’t leave me to do it alone.”
“You mean like you did when you ditched me in the house with Richie while you went clothes shopping?” Diego said.
“Uh…” Antonio replied.
“Thought so,” Diego said.
“Well,” Antonio said. “This is great convo, bro.” He stood up to walk away. Diego turned towards Antonio and spoke.
“He kissed me,” Diego said feeling a sense of calmness overtaking him after finally saying it out loud.
“I’m sorry?” Antonio said.
“Richie. We were talking. Like two bros talking. And then he stood there. And then he kissed me. Like, talking, then kissing. And then awkward.” Diego said.
“No way,” Antonio said as calmly as he could, “like on the cheek? He’s a strange kid. Maybe he’s like those exchange students from France? Kissing on the cheek stuff?”
“Right on the lips,” Diego said. “Then he left. He smiled, went in the back of the locker room and changed and left as if nothing happened.”
“Whoa,” Antonio said. “What now?”
“I don’t know,” Diego said.
“Well, I mean, you can’t stop being his friend because he kissed you. He’s really weird with people, so he may have just not known you don’t do that?” Antonio said.
“What? No,” Diego said. “It’s not really that, though… I’m kinda pissed he didn’t tell me how he felt. I coulda handle that. This…. is different.”
“What’s different about it, D?” Antonio asked. “It’s just like when Cindy Collins kissed you in 8th grade. She just ran up and kissed you and ran away. What’s different?”
Diego cleared his throat. “Uh, well, I kinda….”
“You kinda what?” Antonio said.
“I kinda liked it,” Diego said. “At first I was kinda not into it, but then I don’t know.”
“Wait, dude, are you gay?” Antonio asked.
“I.. don’t know…” Diego said nervously. “Like, I don’t know, Tony.”
“Well, if you’re gay, then that’s great. More ladies for Tony the Love Tiger,” Antonio said.
“You’re an ass,” Diego said. “But, what do I do?”
“Do?” Antonio said. “Well, I don’t know, D. I mean, I’m not good with this kinda thing. Like, I’m totally here for you whatever, but I don’t know what to tell you, bro. Like, if you like dudes, then like dudes. If you don’t, then don’t. Hey, bro, maybe you like both, eh? Think about it”
“You’re stupid,” Diego said. “But, uh, yeah… I don’t know if I like dudes or girls anymore. I thought I knew. I don’t know anymore. How do you figure it out?”
I think you gotta mess around with a guy and find out,” Antonio said. “I mean, I guess. I don’t know. I know I just liked girls and that’s it. Hey! Maybe it’s like that. Maybe you already like guys, but you didn’t realize it till now! Totally like that movie Sim and Out where that dude was dating a girl and was gonna marry her until some Hollywood guy shows up and makes him realize he’s gay. But instead of a famous Hollywood guy, you got a billionaire. A strange, strange billionaire.”
“This is really messin’ with me,” Diego said. “I mean, what should I do?”
“Uh, I’m not Dad, and my advice always kind of sucks, but I’d say you gotta find out if you like dudes. And if you do, if you like Richie. It’s really obvious he’s gotta a crush on you. I guess you should figure out if you’re gay, bro.” Antonio said.