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 The One That Got Away

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Jett Jones



Posts : 303
Join date : 2016-11-24

PostSubject: The One That Got Away   Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:31 pm

Gally pushes the drink across the table as he watches his lover slide into the booth across from him.
"Drink up. You're a better dancer when you're drunk." Gally smirks and Jett rolls his eyes but downs the glass anyways.
They're having a relatively nice evening, for once. Jett has yet to start a fight which has to be some sort of record for the boy.
They've just ordered whatever sad excuse passes for dinner at this club when they hear it.
"Well I'll be! I don't believe it! Galileo Gray, s'that you?!"

Gally would recognize that voice anywhere. This can't be happening here. Not with Jett in such a nice mood.
He glances over at his lover, watches his eyes narrow as the boy descends upon their table.

"Hey, Raleigh. Been a long time." Gally gives a feeble smile, tries not to let his gaze linger for too long. He looks long enough though to see the boy's face fall at his greeting. It's hard not to stare because even though sometimes he can't remember his mothers name, the first thing he remembers is the way this boy looked sprawled out in the bed of his truck under the stars. And truly, it has been a long time and while they hadn't ended on the best terms, there was a time when he loved Raleigh Compton. Maybe he had never stopped.
It was nice to see him.
Would be nicer if Jett was far, far away.
The boy is short, only two inches taller than Gally and he never let him forget it. He's got dirty blonde hair that hangs in perfect little curls down to his shoulders. His eyes are a shade of green that Gally can still see and the speckling of freckles across his nose and cheeks still almost makes Gally's lips twist into a smile.
Almost.
Almost because he can see the hurricane of emotions swirling behind those forest green eyes. And yet, the boy still has his church face on. Of course he does.
But Gally knows better.
This is the calm before the storm and he doesn't want to know what that storm will look like when it finally arrives.
"So are you two just gonna stare at each other or are you going to introduce me, Leo?" Jett's voice is harsh. Normally he's better composed, knows how to hide when he's insecure. But now, it's clear he's jealous. To his knowledge, Gally didn't have any friends. Certainly not any cute little Southern friends who looked at him like that.
"Leo, ain't that cute." Raleigh smiles at Jett but there's something else entirely being communicated through those emerald green eyes. His face has changed, more mature since the last time Gally had seen it. But he still recognizes that look. The smile may seem sweet but he's almost certainly wishing Jett a painful death.
"This is Jett Jones, my boyfriend. Jett, this is Raleigh, an old fr-"
"Boyfriend. First boyfriend." Raleigh speaks innocently but Gally knows better. He knows damn well what he's doing.
"Funny, he's never mentioned you." Jett seems to have caught on to whatever passive aggression game they are playing. He's not quite as good at it, unable to keep his upper lip from curling into a snarl. But it's understandable, this was never a game he was going to win against Raleigh Compton. The son of a Southern preacher had spent years perfecting the art of saying rude words in an incredibly kind way.
"Aw, he is very kind ain't he? Knows you're all insecure so he don't mention it. Sounds like him, bless his heart."
Gally's brain feels like it might explode. His head is pounding even worse than usual for some reason, not able to comprehend two different phases of his life communicating with each other. All his memories are flashing behind his eyelids in a blur; racing through an open field with Raleigh just a few feet in front of him, their first kiss in a church basement, sneaking around behind bleachers and holding hands in a darkened theater. He's surprised he can remember all these things, wonders how many he's forgetting.
It hits him then just how much he had loved this boy.
He misses him.
Not in a way Jett would have to worry about but he wants to catch up, wants to know how his life has ended up and how he'd gotten out of that godforsaken town they'd both called home. Not to mention he definitely owes the boy a few explanations of his own.
He wants to ask for his number but oh lord, he'd never hear the end of that.
Thankfully, Raleigh had always had a way of knowing what Gally was thinking. He cuts Jett off before he can say anything rude, leaving him to stew in his anger.
"Here." He scrawls his number onto a napkin and extends it to Gally. "Please, use it. We can catch up, go out for lunch sometime."
"I reckon I'd like that." Gally smiles softly and Raleigh leans in, presses a soft kiss to his cheek.
Skin remembers skin. He knows those lips and they send chills down his spine.
"I'll let you two enjoy your evening now. You have a nice night, Galileo." With these words and a small smile traced with sadness, the boy disappears back into the crowd.


Jett is silent as they get in the car but Gally can see his thoughts racing, sees the way his jaw is clenched, arms folded tight across his chest. He's just waiting for the moment the boy snaps.
They've been driving for a few moments when it finally happens. However, it's not quite what Gally had expected.
"What's his last name?" Jett's voice is harsh but at first Gally doesn't understand where he's going with this.
"Scuse me?"
"The boy. Raleigh. What's his last fucking name?"
"Compton. Raleigh Compton."
Jett lets out a mean, humorless laugh, shakes his head incredulously as Gally notices a bit of scarlet creeping up his neck.
"Of course it is."
"What in the hell are you getting at? What does his name have to do with anything?" Gally furrows his brow, considers pulling over so he can look at the boy, figure out what he's going on about.
However, he doesn't get the chance before Jett is grabbing him by the elbow, snatching his right hand off of the wheel entirely.
"Jesus, Jones!" Gally curses as he swerves, thanks God that there aren't any other cars around.
"This! This is what it has to do with!" Jett has a vice like grip on his forearm, claw digging into the flesh right beside where the letters RC are tattooed sloppily.
Oh.
Gally doesn't say anything for a moment, steers them with his left hand over to the side of the road.
"Yeah you're real fucking quiet now, that's what I thought." Jett continues muttering under his breath, turns to look out the window as Gally parks.
"It ain't no crime to have an ex." The man finally sighs and knew he'd chosen the wrong words when Jett snaps his head over to glare at him.
"You're right, it's not. But that's not any old ex, Leo! Do you think I'm fucking stupid? You have his initials tattooed on your arm, he looked like he wanted to cry when you introduced me as your boyfriend. You're not just some little fling or first love that wasn't meant to be. You tell me the story right fucking now because there's something I'm missing."  
"There ain't nothing to tell. We didn't end real well is all."
Jett snorts, shakes his head once more.
"Fine. If you're not gonna tell me why don't I call Boyd up? How'd you feel if he came over and fucked me with his eyes while you were sitting right there, huh?"
"Christ, Jett. So damn dramatic, we barely talked." Gally rolls his eyes, rubs his temples in an effort to make his head stop throbbing. Normally it doesn't act up with Jett around but tonight the boy is doing the opposite of helping.
"Alright then, would you like it if Boyd came up and was rude to you and said we should catch up sometime, invited me to lunch?"
This time Gally is silent.
"What I fucking thought." Jett snaps before shoving open Roxanne's door and heading for home on his own two feet.




They sit across the table from each other at some little cafe on the outskirts of town. It's nice, cute, the type of place he and Jett would never fit in at. But somehow, he comes off as a different type of man when he's with Raleigh. When he's with Jett, he comes off as no good white trash. People act scared of him, like he might try to mug them. But when he's with Raleigh, he gets smiles from the same old women that would normally clutch their purse a little tighter. He comes across as the hardworking Southern gentleman that he used to think he was. Gally will never quite understand it. Maybe it's Raleigh's Southern charm. No matter where they are or who is around them, Raleigh can make small talk. He's never met someone who hated the boy.
Until Jett, of course.
He's reminded of this now, as he watches with a fond smile as Raleigh goes on with the waitress about the weather they're due for that weekend.
Finally, nearly five minutes later and she's forced to go serve her next table.
"You never did learn how to shut that mouth, didja?" Gally finds himself chuckling, shaking his head as he stirs the coffee Raleigh had ordered him. It's a much lighter shade of brown than he's used to. Jett's been making his coffee lately, always black. He can't imagine how many packs of cream and sugar Raleigh must have loaded this with. He'll drink it anyways.
"It's called bein' friendly. You should try it, ya grouch." Raleigh wears a tiny smirk as he sips his own drink. "Just you watch, she'll give us somethin' on the house."
By the end of the meal, Gally will realize the boy was right when their dessert is mysteriously missing from the check which the waitress slips to Raleigh with a wink.
"Ya know, Jett's gonna kill me if he finds out I'm here with you." Gally is still smiling softly but his words are true and he feels the slightest twinge of guilt.
"I'm glad ya called though." Raleigh's smile mysteriously disappears at the mention of Jett and he glances out the window behind them. "How come ya did if that boyfriends got ya on such a short leash?"
"After seeing you and remembering you were real, I couldn't just go on not knowing how you've been, what you're up to now."
"It ain't much." Raleigh confesses. "Just moved up here a couple of months ago. It's nice bein outta that shithole. I can go out when I want, dance with as many guys as I want without bein gawked at. It's real nice, at least that part is."
"Oh yeah? What part ain't so nice?"
"The lonely part. But I'm getting used to that too."
There's a brief pause where they both avoid eye contact. Then Gally talks again.
"So how'd you get out of that town anyways? Thought daddy was trainin ya to follow in his footsteps, take over at the church when he was gone?"
"Oh that's easy. I came out." Raleigh smirks slyly and Gally's jaw nearly drops.
"You're shittin me."
"Nope. One night at the dinner table, told him plain as day. They were botherin me about never having any girls over for them to meet. I tried pushing it off like I always did but he was in a downright sour mood. Told me I was almost twenty years old, a grown man, and I had to find a nice girl to help me carry on the family name. I told him I didn't want a girl, thinking he'd get the hint. But nope, just as stupid as he always was, he asked me why the hell not? So I snapped and I told him. I said 'what do I gotta do to get it through your thick skull? I like boys!' Oh man, you shoulda seen their faces. I wish you'd have been there, you woulda got a real kick out of it." Raleigh chuckles, takes a drink before continuing. "Momma dropped her fork, choked on the bite she was takin'. Dad just got real quiet and then he just got on his knees and started prayin', sayin' sorry for letting a fag live in a house of the lord for the past twenty years. He promised he didn't know or he would have put a stop to it. I was all fired up then so I laughed and asked if he was really that stupid that he didn't know all these years. He mentioned you then. That vein in his forehead got goin and he started yellin, told me he knew it was that Gray boy, how he knew you were 'funny' and you must've done this to me." Raleigh is laughing but somehow Gally doesn't think it's all that funny. "He got real mad then and for a second I thought he might beat me. But he didn't. He's a good man. Just got some wrong ideas is all." Raleigh trails off, takes a sip of his coffee. It hurts thinking of his father sometimes. But he really does believe that he's a good man. Still holds hope that someday he will come around, that he will be there to walk him down the aisle at his wedding. "Anyways so he kicked me out and I took the first bus outta town in the morning, didn't get off til it felt right. My gut took me here. Reckon maybe this is why, seein you again."
"Whatever it was that made you get off here, I'm thankful for it. It's nice talkin to ya again."
Instead of smiling at the kind words, Raleigh sighs.
"Don't talk to me like that, Galileo."
"Like what?" Gally furrows his brow, truly confused. "I didn't mean ta-"
"Like I'm some old friend you barely talked to in high school. Like you didn't love me." Raleigh's voice is calm and quiet but his words are powerful.
Gally goes quiet then for a moment.
"Well what do you want me ta say, Raleigh? That I'm sorry for how things turned out? Beg for forgiveness? That apology is a couple years too late so I'm not gon dwell on it."
"Well how long are we gonna sit here and pretend like it didn't happen?!" Raleigh raises his voice without seeming to realize it, only settles back in his seat when a woman at the table next to them glances over. He quiets then, purses his lips and avoids Gally's eyes.
"This ain't the place to have this talk." Gally sighs and runs a hand through his hair.
"Then take me somewhere that is."

They finish their meal in an awkward silence. When it's over, Gally leads him out to Roxanne. Gally isn't sure if it feels right or wrong as he helps the boy climb up into the passenger seat. This is Jett's seat now.
But it was Raleigh's first.
Ten minutes later and they're sitting on a picnic bench in the middle of an old park that hasn't seen use in years.
"Are we allowed to have the talk now?" Raleigh speaks in a tone that conveys his frustration and Gally knows the dam is about to break. He's going to get the lecture he's deserved for years now.
"Go 'head."
"I waited for you. You know how long? Hell, I was probably still waitin til I saw you sitting with that boy the other night. I woulda just kept on waitin all my life like a pretty little fool for you, Galileo. Cause that's what you meant to me. I thought I meant that to you too but you couldn't even spare me a goddamn phone call?!"
Gally is taken aback, nearly cringes at hearing the boy raise his voice, cursing. He knows he deserves it, whatever he's getting today.
"You don't understand, Raleigh, I-"
"Oh no, don't you cut me off Galileo. I ain't done just yet." Raleigh clears his throat, tries to regain his composure. "I understand just fine. There ain't a damn thing you can tell me, no excuse you could spit out right now that would make it okay. I called your number every day hoping you'd answer, that you'd let me talk some sense into you. You know what it did to me when it stopped ringin'? When that little voice told me that the number was disconnected? I was outta ways to find you. All I had left to do was wait because I knew that even if your number was different now, you still had mine. So I waited. A year later and I still answered every damn phone call just in case it was you finally sayin you were ready to come on home. It never was. You coulda been dead for all I knew but I still waited. After a while I thought you musta been dead. Ain't no way you'd leave me hangin like that without even letting me know you were okay. But I finally find you and you're just dandy. You got a pretty little boyfriend and a nice family and all I got is a whole lot of wasted time waitin on you. I dreamed I might find you some day. All I wanted was one more night with you ta say goodbye, one more kiss. And now I can't even get that because you didn't have the decency to fuckin call me tellin me it was all over."
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