What I know about the AIDS virus could fit on a gum wrapper. Thankfully, Victor became an expert when he volunteered to run the safe sex drive.
"We're okay." He tells me, after we return to his room to freak out. "You're A Virgin, right?"
No self-respecting seventeen year old boy ever admits to being A Virgin unless he's being asked by an authority figure. When the subject of virginity comes up in a group full of adolescent boys, or worse, a group of adolescent girls, you invent elaborate stories. Mine involved a Canadian girl, You Wouldn't Know Her, who seduced me when I was just a fetus.
"Yes." But "You?"
"I'm A Virgin, too. " He says. "Was A Virgin."
But okay is average and mean, and the next day he starts looking at me too often, his kiss grows too moist, his hands too needy. Soon, he wants to sit next to me at lunch, touch me when my friends are watching, and why don't I stay in bed when we're done fucking?
"What's the deal with Victor?" JBob asks, a couple of weeks later.
I try and focus on beating my record on Minesweeper. "What do you mean?"
"I don't know." He shrugs. "You guys were hanging out all the time, and now...."
"I was doing homework for him. Now I'm kind of busy writing essays for the Korean Mafia kids."
"Oh." He says. This is the last time he mentions Victor's name for months.
Still, every other word someone says to me sounds like Victor. When I brush my teeth, Victor looks forlornly at my reflection in the mirror. Every time class lets out, there's Victor in the hallway.
"I think he likes you." One of the hockey jocks says after Victor walks into the basement, shoots me a pathetic look, and walks away.
"Tough shit for him that I have a" pretend "girlfriend, then, huh?"
"For real." He says, and punches my arm.
And that's thw way it is for the rest of the year: Victor walks into a room, sees me, and walks away. It isn't until the week before graduation, when a couple of the friendlier jocks, JBob and I, are in the boiler room doing tequila shots, that Victor and I spend more than ten seconds in the same room. The yellowjackets make a return appearance. and I'm thinking of leaving the room, but Victor smiles and starts talking to someone else. Everything's okay. There are people between us, and we all share the fear of getting caught by the dormhead. So we laugh stupid and drunk. It's going to be okay. Pass back beers and toss back shots. "Oh, man." I say. "This Sauza is rancid. I'm gonna go get some Cherry Coke. I'll be back in a sec."
I don't realize that Victor is following me until I'm bent over to pick the what is that can out of the machine. His cock presses against my ass. "Admit it, lover, you miss me."
I whip around to punch him, push him, whatever is necessary to save heterosexual face. But his face is bloodshot I'm sorry and puffy. I can't hit him or hate him.
"I love you." He says.
"I'm sorry." is all I can think of to say.