27 May 2016 at 07:08:38 MDT
REXAR: Damn, Rex. That's one hell of a cute puppy you've found yourself there.
I couldn't help it. Every time I looked at Mike, I felt like I could just grab him and squeeze him. He had this adorable innocence about him. Those bright little blue eyes, those big floppy ears, that soft golden fur shining in the sunlight... He was just so cute.
I kept glancing over at him while I made my drink. I dunno why. I just liked looking at him. Watching him sitting there, perched up on the kitchen stool, just flicking through stuff on his phone while he sipped his tea. Mike really liked his tea. I was never that keen on it myself, I'd always been more of a coffee guy. But I'd always make him his cup of tea in the morning, ready for when he got up. Always made me smile. Little Mikey and his tea. Silly little thing, I know, but it was one of those things that made him Mike.
It was funny. I'd been with a few guys down the years, but I had never been in a relationship like this before. I don't think I'd ever felt so relaxed with someone, so at ease. Maybe it was because we were already friends before we got together, but I didn't feel like I had to keep up any kind of front around Mike. I didn't feel under pressure to make any grand efforts to impress him, even though I still kinda wanted to. But we already knew each other, we already liked each other - and I felt like I could just be myself.
That was one of the things I loved most about Mike. He was so accepting, completely non-judgmental. Never imposing himself on anyone. And he'd never do anything to make you feel bad. I think he'd been hurt by some people in the past, putting him down, making fun of him. I guess he'd taken so much of it before that he would never want anybody else to go through the same thing. He'd always want to make you feel better, and he always made me feel better. Just so, so sweet. I really loved him for it.
I watched him a little longer, just sitting quietly reading through something on his phone. He did that a lot. Looking things up, learning things. In many ways, he was so different from anyone else I'd been with. He was quieter, more reserved, more thoughtful. Smarter, too - Mike was probably one of the smartest guys I'd ever known. I admired him a lot for that. He'd often talk about really clever stuff, trying to show me things, teach me things, expand my mind... even though I didn't always get it.
I'll admit, there was a small part of me that worried about that. I wondered whether I was just a bit... I dunno... dumb for him. I couldn't help thinking sometimes that he'd probably get on better with someone who could talk properly about that stuff with him, really understand it and get into it. I tried my best, and I did find a lot of it interesting, but sometimes, it was just kinda over my head. Not that he'd ever say it though. He'd never make me feel bad about it. Knowing Mike, I knew he probably wouldn't judge me for it, and he never made out like it bothered him. Just my own paranoia, I guess...
I think that was one of the reasons why Mike was so good for me right now. He was exactly the kind of partner I needed after everything that happened with Carl. I mean, that whole deal really hurt me. All the things I'd achieved in my life, my football career, the money I'd got, lots of people telling me how much they loved watching me play and all that... Doesn't count for much when you come home to find your boyfriend's been cheating on you and doesn't really give a crap about you. Didn't matter how many fans I'd got. They didn't know me. The one person who was meant to know me best, and apparently I wasn't 'good enough' for him... Damn, that whole thing just made me feel so worthless. So used. It just made me doubt whether anyone really cared about me. Y'know, the real me.
But Mike was amazing. The way he picked me up, the way he stuck up for me and made me feel like I mattered. And not because of what I'd achieved or what I could do or what I could give people. He made me feel like I was special. Not the footballer Rexar. Not the famous Rexar when I put on a front for everyone else. Me. He made me feel special. Just for who I am. And that meant so, so much to me.
I think that was when I really started to look at him differently. Not that I ever thought I'd have a chance to be with him, but I just felt so much love for him right there and then. He'd always been a good friend to me. Loyal. Reliable. Someone I knew wouldn't hurt me or let me down. When he told me how he felt about me, it was like a door being opened, leading me somewhere safe, somewhere familiar.
Even so, I'd been wary to begin with. I wasn't absolutely sure it would be right to cross that line with him. I sensed even Mike still had some uncertainty, being with someone for the first time, truly exploring his sexuality for the first time. We were still taking things slowly, and I guess that suited us both - even though I couldn't deny I was getting eager to start getting more physical with him. Man, I wanted to. I did. I wanted Mike to feel how I felt about him, to feel how much I loved him. One day, I was gonna rock that little doggy's world...
But no, I wasn't going to rush anything. Not considering what was at stake. Here was a chance to nurture a really meaningful relationship, so much stronger than any I had ever had before. The sort of relationship that, after the pain I went through with Carl, I wasn't sure I would ever be able to find. And I don't think I would have done with anyone else. I'd have found it hard to really trust anyone enough again. In all honesty, if it had been anybody other than Mike coming to me like that, I would have been far more reluctant to go for it.
But this was Mike. Little Mikey. My best friend. Just the sweetest, nicest, kindest guy I knew. Looking at him there, warming himself in the sun, just tapping away on his phone, taking little sips of his tea, gently rocking back and forth on the stool... I couldn't explain it, but I just loved every single little thing about him.
Suddenly he looked up from his phone and over towards me. His gaze caught me off guard. I tried to turn my head away, but then a goofy grin swept over my face and my eyes checked back for his reaction. He was smiling at me.
"You okay, Rex?" he asked sweetly.
I took a moment. Just enjoying being in his company, looking at his friendly smile - and thinking about what a lucky guy I truly was.
"Y'know what, babes?" I replied, "I don't think I've ever been better."
Rexar & Mike: Snapshots - List of episodes in full:
M - mature rating | E - explicit rating
(List last updated 30/12/2015)
This was the ninth - and presently most recent - instalment in my popular Rexar & Mike: Snapshots series, a collection of images and short stories depicting the romantic relationship between my characters Rexar and Mike. This series is ongoing, so more instalments will be added in due course.