Tanner had to stop every now and then and look at Keith in disbelief, for no matter how bad he muffed up what he was trying to say, the big guy never once took advantage of it; Keith never once razzed him or made fun of him. What a rare person was sitting across from him, Tanner mused.
The slender blond teen appreciated his new roommate’s calm, supportive strength as he spoke of his past. What truly impressed him was when he released Keith’s hand, the large young man retook hold of Tanner’s hand and held it until the story telling was over. How warm and safe his hand felt, nuzzled into Keith’s giant hand…and how natural it felt.
Then, when Tanner was finished, Keith spoke to him so kindly and flattered him so sweetly, the young blond wanted to duck his head, but knew that wasn’t fair; Keith spoke to him face to face and he would do the same, “I didn’t know there were guys in the world like you, Keith, and I was blessed enough to be roomed with one. I think I’m the lucky one”.
When Keith began talking about himself, Tanner perked up and leaned in a bit. Did he say they were similar? Could he have been too busy studying to date? Really?! Then, the big guy frowned and Tanner was worried that he had pushed too far with his questions…but, wait, he shrugged…and now…Keith isn’t interested in girls?!!!, Tanner’s mind screamed it, though his face remained calm. Squeezing the big man’s hand, the blond teen soothed, “You don’t have to like girls, Keith”, Tanner’s heart was pounding. He wondered if this meant he liked boys. Was Tanner brave enough to bring it up? Keith had and it wasn’t fair to let him hang out there alone.
Clearing his throat, Tanner took a deep breath and soothed, “We really are similar, you know? I’m not that interested in girls either”. Using all the nerve he had, Tanner forced himself to look into Keith’s eyes and smile and then…the waitress came with their appetizers. “Thank you, these look great”, Tanner exclaimed, as the huge coconut crusted prawns were set before him, “Keith, you have to help me eat these!”. When the waitress left, the blond teen grinned, “If it were fair to count bad timing against her, we’d surely have to start knocking her tip down a few bucks”.