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Ben put a piece of Duck in his mouth. He embraced the taste of it, chewed it, and then eventually swallowed it. "Is it good?" I asked. "Yeah, it's fucking delicious." He complemented, he ate another piece
At our school, sports act as an elective and not a club, and they're scheduled during one of the two lunch periods. However, two days out of the week, the teams don't practice, so they have both lunch periods to do whatever they want. On Tuesdays, we both happen to have a day off, so we usually leave the school and eat out or do something else.
Today, we made fried duck and steamed broccoli in my apartment. Were sitting at opposite heads of the dining table: a wooden table made of various width planks of various woods that make up the full length of the six seat table. The plentiful cracks and knots were filled in with a consistent smooth gradient of wax colored bright pink to a bright orange, and a bright purple. The table was then covered with a clear matte finish. the legs of the table were a rustic dark steel held together with big, equally rustic bolts and nuts. "Every time I come here I am just mesmerized by this table." Ben said. "Where did you get this?"
"I got it custom made, it cost 15 hundred."
"Nice." he said.
We continued to eat. I took a small bunch of grapes from the bowl of fruit in the middle of the table, and ate about half them, and set the rest on my plate. "How's volleyball going?" I asked.
"It's good. We're not having as many games so we're just doing games in practice. It's pretty chill.
"Pretty much the same. There's a lot of students that try to beat us."
"Do any of them win?"
"One beat us by a few points, but we usually beat them by a little if they're any good."
"Nice." He said.
We ate a bit more. The duck was packed with flavor, and was extremely juicy. I kept the chewed meat in my mouth for a few seconds before swallowing. "This is so fucking good." I said. "We're making this again." Ben rushed to swallow what was in his mouth. "Definitely." he agreed.
I set my chopsticks down on the brim of my plate and continued to eat my grapes. Ben had finished half of his food already.
"Hey, Anthony?" Ben got my attention, "I wanted to have a serious talk with you."
I was confused a bit, "What about?"
"You. Your mental health. I'm worried about you."
"...How so?" I piqued.
"I can't provide romantic stuff to you, even if I tried - it wouldn't be genuine enough." He paused for a second, "Look, I want you to find someone, but I can't do that if you won't try."
"What do you mean I'm not trying? I'm trying every day."
"I think that you're too scared, I think that you'd rather just stay with me because you're more comfortable. So comfortable that you screwed me with little warning when we were cooking."
"No, it's fine. Remember: We've consented to anything that's safe as long as we're in private and have the ability to refuse, but, I'm more worried about your mentality. This relationship or whatever between us is not something that you should aim to keep. You need to try to find someone harder."
"The fuck do you mean. I've been trying as hard as I can. Do you think that this is easy? I don't just have to deal with normal rejection, I also have to deal with the fact that only 5% of people are gay, and that's a liberal estimate. I've been interested in probably 20 guys this year, and none of them turned out to be gay. It's... meticulous."
Ben did not respond.