Leo still felt a bit woozy. It was kind of hard to keep straight lipped. Especially, with his Mom, there in the kitchen.
He was checking to see if there was plenty of flour and sugar.
"Do we need brown sugar?" He said mainly to himself. But it was a good question. He really didn't know much about sugar cookies. Actually, he knew nothing about cooking, but Henry was coming over and they were going to bake.
"It depends." She found the brown sugar for him.
Leo was quick to smile, but he was certain it would be a tattle-tale sign of some kind. She was sure to know. He looked at her as if he were already in trouble.
"Is there something, you, want to tell me?" She looked at him as if she might burn him with her stare.
"No. Not really." He winced. But it just wouldn't get out of his head.
Suddenly, his mind went into rewind. Before the play. A good two hours before. They were just going to hang out at the school. Leo and Henry. After all, Leo picked Henry up from the library. There was a bitter cold. Maybe winter finally arrived. Of course, not a snowflake in sight. Still, a chill. And Henry was worried. About Vada's big night.
Leo thought getting him a soda might do the trick. Good old Sprite. But when he turned around, Henry threw up on his sweater. His Chuck Taylors too. It was a mess. Even some on his dark jeans.
Leo just wanted to clean him up. When they got to Leo's, no one was home. It was really, very innocent. Or it was? As Leo sighed now. Henry was kind of out of it. Leo didn't know why he was such a bundle of nerves. But one garment lead to another, coming off. And, the kissing didn't start right away because Henry was sick. Probably one of those hot dogs at lunch.
It was just a shower. Together. It was hardly anything regrettable. Nothing full blown. Exactly. Still, it was bliss. At Leo's house. Which had to be a first. He didn't think his parents DID IT anymore.
He squeezed his eyes shut at that disgusting thought.
"What's the matter?" His mom was now asking.
"Nothing." Leo squinted hard as if she just needed to leave him alone. Just leave he and Henry alone. "Look, you know...you know Henry and I are..." How did he finish that sentence? "Are..are more than..just friends."
After all, his parents did like Henry's parents. They'd been character witnesses, even. Helping out with Vada coming to stay with them.
"OK." His mom shrugged.
"He is ..my boyfriend."
"So, you say." His mom wasn't exactly smiling about it. "I get it. I do." She sighed as if it was too hard for her to completely digest. As if maybe this was some little phase he was going through. Maybe he'd get a reality check, one day soon, and he might find a girl to marry after college. "I want, you, to be a good boyfriend."
"Mom!" It was an overwhelming yelp. "Do we have to talk about this? Right now?" He looked at the clock. He needed to pick up Henry.
"Look, your Dad doesn't want to lose you, like he did his brother." She told him.
Leo looked at her as if he didn't know what she was talking about.
"His brother was so afraid, everyone would disapprove, you know.." His mother sighed. "We don't hear from him, anymore. And it hurts your Dad, a lot..that his brother won't talk to him, anymore. He really never gave him a chance." She nursed her bottom lip. "We do want, you, to be happy. But responsibility comes along with that."
Leo nodded. He really did want to be there for Henry, in so many ways.