The daily serial fictional based on Chicago's Boystown neighborhood: Boystown series by Danny Bernardo

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11. Imagine Me & You

The deafening chirping of birds outside his window roused Tyler from his alcohol-induced semi-coma. Maybe it was the pounding migraine of his hangover talking, but Tyler thought Disney Princesses could go fuck themselves. How could they be so cheerful and accommodating to woodland creatures first th

11. Imagine Me & You
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The deafening chirping of birds outside his window roused Tyler from his alcohol-induced semi-coma. Maybe it was the pounding migraine of his hangover talking, but Tyler thought Disney Princesses could go fuck themselves. How could they be so cheerful and accommodating to woodland creatures first thing in the morning? Most likely, they hadn't drank as much as Tyler had the night before. Thankfully he didn't have to work today, but his body was wide-awake. Finding no use in fighting it, he threw on a tank top and gym shorts and headed for the shower.

When he opened the door to his bedroom, it seemed like Hunter and Charlie were deep in conversation. They stopped abruptly, looked at him, and smiled.

"Morning, dude," Hunter said, sliding off the counter top he was sitting on. "Have fun last night?" A half-awake muttering groan was the response.

"Did you make out with any randoms?" Charlie asked. Tyler stopped: omigod, did he?

"You don't remember that older guy that slipped a fifty down your boxers just so he could lick your nipple?" Hunter asked.

"Did I... I didn't really do that. Did I?"

"Dude, Geno asked if you were interested in being a go-go boy and you took your shirt off and auditioned right on the stage. Carlos was so pissed you kicked him off." The color drained from Tyler's face. "Relax dude, I'm just fucking with you."

"Jerk!" Tyler giggled, slugging Hunter in the arm. Charlie smiled, but didn't join in. Obviously, Tyler interrupted something. "I'm gonna hit the shower. Unless you guys need... "

"Nope," said Charlie. "We're good. I mean I'm good. I don't... "

"Me neither," said Hunter. They both watched him in silence as he went into the bathroom. Tyler didn't want to pry, but was dying of curiosity. He strained to hear them over the roar of the shower. While he toweled off, he opened the door and peeked out. Nobody was in the kitchen.


Nookies wasn't that busy on a Saturday morning, so that seemed like the logical choice. They could easily sneak a quiet table for two. Just as the cute Eastern European guy (who Charlie had nicknamed Igor in his head) was about to seat them, a ruckus table called out to them.

"Charlie! Omigod, what are you doing here?!" It was Becka, brunching with Brad and the Davids. "Join us!"

"We don't want to impose, we just... "

"Nonsense! There's more than enough room." As Becka made Brad grab two chairs, Charlie looked at Hunter, shrugged sheepishly, and motioned for him to join.

"Who is this?" Becka asked, obviously approving of Hunter as she sized him up.

"Hi, I'm Hunter. New roommate." Forks dropped. David and Other David and Becka and Brad all looked at each other, and then looked at Hunter. Forks were picked up again and they ate in awkwardness for a moment.

"So, Hunter, which room did you end up taking?" Other David asked.

"The green room. Off the living room."

"Hey! That was Becka's room!" Brad exclaimed. Becka elbowed him.

"How are you liking the place?" Becka asked.

"You two getting along?" David asked coyly.

"We're fine. Everything's fine," Charlie offered abruptly.

"Yeah, Charlie's great. Tyler's great. Beats the fuck out of the situation I was in before."

"So, Hunter, what do you do?" David asked, still annoyingly coy.

"He's in the service industry," Charlie volunteered.

"I bet," retorted David.

Hunter looked around the table, then at Charlie, then awkwardly down at his menu. Charlie felt awful: about the situation, about how ignorant his friends were being. He got up. "We're actually gonna head out. I think we need some air. You ready, Hunter?"

"Yeah, dude. Let's hit it."

Maybe a walk was what they needed anyway, Charlie thought. It was a nice day and they could be alone without being "alone." Hunter had been quiet since they left Nookies, so Charlie broke the silence.

"Sorry about my friends, Hunter."

"Don't worry about it. It's cool, dude."

"I've been meaning to ask you about your tattoo."

"You like it?"

"Yeah, it kinda represents what I'm kinda going through right now. Change. Rebirth."

"I got it cuz of Jean Grey."


"No. Um... Jean Grey. X-Men. The Phoenix?"

"Oh. Right." As any good former boyscout would, Charlie looked both ways before crossing Aldine. And as he looked east, he saw that svelte linebacker, blue-eyed heartbreaker heading north on Halsted, holding some twink's hand. Has to be the new boyfriend. The very sight of him stopped Charlie dead in his tracks, his heart immediately dropping.

"Oh fuck. It's him." Charlie said under his breath.


"He Who Shall Not Be Named."


He Who Shall Not Be Named glanced west and noticed Charlie also. Charlie quickly grabbed Hunter and kissed him, closing his eyes, shutting out the image of He Who Shall Not Be Named holding hands with that awful twink boy. Hunter lost himself in the kiss completely, grabbing the back of Charlie's head, drawing him closer. Charlie found himself reciprocating, kissing him hungrily until he was out of breath. Then he remembered that they were in the middle of the street, in the middle of the day.

Charlie slowly pulled away, their lips lingering for just a moment. Charlie opened his eyes at the exact same moment that Hunter did. They looked at each other for a moment. Then Charlie sharply looked away, towards He Who Shall Not Be Named who had seen the kiss as he walked past, quickly looking away to avoid Charlie's eyes. Charlie didn't know whether to be disappointed or relived. Seeing him just made him sad. He collected himself with a sigh, took a step back, and looked at Hunter.

"So... about That Night... "

Hunter wanted to tell Charlie that he never hooked up with anyone randomly. Ever. He wanted to tell him that the minute he saw Charlie, he thought there might be something there. A spark. He wanted to tell him that the night they spent together was the best sex he ever had. That Charlie was special. He wanted to tell him that his heart broke a little bit when he heard Charlie sneak out the next morning. Hunter wanted to tell Charlie that when he moved in, it took everything he had to not to sneak into his room and fall asleep holding him. That Charlie was probably one of the funniest, smartest, sweetest guys he'd ever met, that just knowing him inspired Hunter to become a better person.

But he saw the way that Charlie looked at that guy, who'd obviously meant something to him at some point and still did. And Hunter knew that Charlie could never look at someone like him that way. So instead, he said:

"Whatever dude. It was... you know. Just a thing. No big. We can be cool, right?"

Charlie was taken aback. "Um, yeah. For sure. We can be cool. I just thought, since we were living together... "

"You don't have to fag out about it, dude. It's not a big deal." Hunter was so annoyed at how diplomatic Charlie was being. "I'll see you back at home dude. I gotta... do some stuff."

Charlie watched Hunter walk off. Again, he didn't know whether to be relieved or disappointed. All he knew was at that moment, he wasn't thinking about He Who Shall Not Be Named. And he stood there on Halsted and Aldine, watching Hunter walk south on Halsted until he disappeared into the horizon.


awwww, Hunter does have feelings.

by WalksTheEdge on Fri. Oct 25, 2013

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