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

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24. Just Like That

Tyler came out of his room wearing a faded Pokemon t-shirt from Urban Outfitters, cargo shorts and a pair of slightly worn Converse low-tops. Charlie shook his head.

24. Just Like That
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Tyler came out of his room wearing a faded Pokemon t-shirt from Urban Outfitters, cargo shorts and a pair of slightly worn Converse low-tops. Charlie shook his head.

"What?" Tyler asked, completely mortified.

"That's what you're wearing? You look like you're going out to recess."

"But I'm comfortable!"

"Yeah, but on a first date, you gotta dress to impress. Come on." Charlie dragged him into his room and quickly made him over in a sweater and shirt set worthy of a J. Crew catalog.

"Charlie, it's like eighty degrees outside! I'll be drenched in sweat."

"But you look perfect!" The front door opened and shut: Hunter was home from the gym.

"Hey ladies," he said, peeking into Charlie's open doorway. "What you doin'?"

"Charlie's playing fairy godmother," Tyler scoffed, loosening his collar.

"Oh shit, it's date night isn't it? Well dude, you're not gonna get laid looking like that."

"Who said anything about getting laid? It's just a date!"

"Well sure, you don't have to go home with him or anything. But you gotta make him want it a little bit. Come on." And it was off to Hunter's room, where Tyler was transformed yet again, this time emerging in a tight black v-neck, dark skinny jeans, and motorcycle boots.

"I feel like I'm wearing a costume," Tyler said, barely able to walk in the tight, tight jeans.

"You do look a little emo-Greased Lightning," said Charlie. Tyler and Hunter had an anime "blink-blink" moment and Charlie felt gayer than gay for the random musical theatre reference.

"Well, where you guys going?" asked Hunter. "That'll help us figure out what you should wear."

"Um, I dunno. We were just gonna play it by ear."

"You guys didn't plan anything?!" You could've knocked Charlie over with a feather.

"Gimme a break, I've never done this before!"

"What, like ever?" Hunter laughed. Tyler's embarrassed silence turned Hunter's joking jab into an awkward reality. Hunter and Charlie quickly made with disjointed rapid fire pep talks to boost him up.

"It's gonna be great! You'll be great!"

"Just don't tell him you're such a newbie yet."

"Or how much you hate your job."

"Or how it's your first date ever."

"Or that your roommate is a go-go boy."

"EX-go-go boy!"

"Or the video game thing."

"Guys! I'm already nervous enough as it is. Can you just... "

"Sorry. But trust me, I've been playing at this game a LONG time. The first date is everything!" All the color went from Tyler's face. Charlie reached into his wallet and pulled out his credit card. "Here, take him to Yoshi's, my treat. I want this to go well for you."

"What's... ?"

"Some bougie French-Japanese place," Hunter said.

"That's so not my thing," said Tyler.

"Trust me," said Charlie. "Now, what time is he coming to get you?"

"I'm supposed to meet him at the Belmont stop at six and we're going from there."

"Um, Tyler? It's six-thirty."


Andy checked his phone one last time before he decided to hop back on the train. As he pulled his CTA card out, he heard someone call his name. A cab pulled up and he could swear there were two guys in the back seat pushing Tyler out the door before it sped away.

"Andy! I am so sorry."

"It's cool dude. But you could've texted me you were gonna be late."

"Yeah, sorry roommate stuff. It's a... long story."

"So, you ready for where the night will take us?"

"Actually, I had a couple of ideas... "


Andy was way underdressed for Yoshi's. The food seemed overpriced and they didn't have very many vegetarian options. Tyler was still adorable, but the clothes he was wearing didn't seem to fit him right nor did it match the sweet personality of the guy that he'd been texting the past couple of weeks. In fact, Tyler looked more comfortable in his ill-fitting clothes than he did in his own skin. There was something the way his conversation flowed, how he paused before he said anything, how he looked at his hands as if the answers were written somewhere. Still, he'd give the guy the benefit of the doubt. Plus, there was something sexy about the healing black eye.

When Tyler pulled out his card to pay for dinner, Andy couldn't help but notice that the card read "Charles Parker" as he put it down. Either he'd stolen the card (which was highly unlikely) or he was trying way too hard to impress him. Not knowing whether to be flattered or annoyed, Andy decided to call it a night as they left the restaurant.

"Wait!" said Tyler, somehow remaining adorable in his panic. "Um... there's the thing! The thing I had planned!"

"The thing? What is the... ?"

"It's gonna be SO cool! It's, like WOW! You're not gonna believe how cool it is. You're gonna be all ‘Man, I'm glad I stayed and hung out with Tyler some more, because that thing was SO cool' and... ?"

Ok, that got Andy to smile. "How about we just find some random bar and grab a drink?"

Tyler heaved a sigh of relief. "That works too."

After their third round of beers at Avenue Tavern, Tyler started to loosen up. They were sitting on the patio and Andy rolled a cigarette and smoked it, enjoying the warm late summer night. It was getting way too hot for Tyler however, so he unbuttoned a bit of the shirt that Charlie lent him.

"Pikachu, I choose you!" Andy called out, pointing at the Pokemon shirt peeking underneath the button down.

"Dude, you like Pokemon?!"

"Duh, it was like my whole childhood!" They spent the better part of the next hour comparing the pros and cons of the different pocket monsters when Tyler blurted out:

"And Ash was so cute! I always wanted to marry him when I grew up."

Andy kissed him.

"See that's the guy I wanted to go on a date with. Can he stay and play a little bit longer?"

"Yeah," Tyler blushed. And just like that, Tyler was just himself the rest of the night.


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Aw, cute. Tyler gets the guy simply by being himself. Not overly realistic in my mind tonight, but cute, lol.

by WalksTheEdge on Mon. Oct 28, 2013

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