“Why don’t you talk to me? You don’t tell me anything anymore.” I pouted.
I hated acting like this in front of Dan, but he’s just been getting more and more distant and I miss him.
“Because, Phil, there’s nothing to talk about.” He sighed unwilling to fight.
“You haven’t been yourself for the past few weeks. Is something bothering you? Are you stressed out or something? You can tell me.”
“No, not any of those things. I’m still me, I just—I don’t know. I’m fine Phil. Really.”
“I said I’m fine, okay? Let’s just drop it.”
He turned around and went into his room closing the door. He always does this. He never confronts his problems head on. He runs away from them thinking that they’ll get better and no matter how many times I try to get something out of him, he just doesn’t care. It hurts me so much to see the guy I love so hurt. And I can’t do anything about it because I don’t know what’s wrong. I miss him and don’t want to drift apart from Dan. I know he doesn’t love me the same way I love him, but he makes it seem like he doesn’t love me at all. I took a seat on the couch and stared at the black TV screen. If I just knew what was making Dan act like this, I’d do anything to help; anything to fix it.
“I’m going for a walk.” Dan called leaving his room after a handful of minutes went by.
“Want me to come with? It’s pretty late out and you shouldn’t go alone—”
“No. I just want to go. I’ll be safe. I have my phone.”
With that, he was out the door and gone. Running away from his problems again. I knew I should go after him, but I’m too tired to play guessing games. I decided to sleep on it and confront him in the morning. As I made my way to our rooms, I noticed his door was partly open…his door is never left open. Biting my lip, I looked around to be sure no one would see me and pushed it open. I don’t know what I want to find in here or what I’m even doing, but if there’s some clue as to why Dan’s so upset, I’d take any lead I could get. My eyes fell to his bed to see his journal: his private journal with his thoughts, feelings…everything that goes on inside his head. Sometimes if he had a funny entry from a while ago, he’d read it to me, but he’s made it known I only get to see what he tells me.
I moved to sit on his bed, my fingers ghosting over the cover shaking slightly. This is wrong. I should put it down and go to my room and pretend this never happened. But on the other hand, this could be my only chance to help Dan. This drift between us is only going to get larger if nothing is done and I can’t afford to lose him. Going against my better judgment, I moved his pen out from the spiral rings and flipped his journal open.
‘This is Dan’s journal. If you’re not Dan then stop reading right now. Especially you, mum. If I want to tell you something, I will. I plan on just filling this thing with whatever I want though I assume most of it will be ranting about the twats I go to school with and how horrible uni is going to be. Anyways, this is mine, leave if you’re not me.’ -Dan
I smiled at his first entry wondering what it was like for him to have to hide this from his parents. I flipped a few pages to another entry and continued to read.
‘So I made my first YouTube video today. It’s probably going to get like four hits. It was sort of fun though. Maybe I’ll make more in the future, but I don’t know yet. I want to see how this one goes. So during school today…’
I decided to skip the rest of the entry. I really shouldn’t be reading this in the first place so I don’t want to be too intrusive. I began flipping again when my name in his writing caught my eye.
‘I am freaking out journal, THIS IS FUCKING MENTAL! I finally met Phil in person! He’s amazing…truly lives up to the AmazingPhil title he’s given himself. But I’m kind of weirded out. I like girls; I always have, but I feel something for Phil. I feel different around him for some reason but it’s not a bad different. I feel happier. I think I actually might like Phil. But he’s older than me and wouldn’t ever want to date someone as pathetic as me. Still, it’s nice to dream. xx –Dan
“No!” I whined out loud to the journal.
If I knew Dan liked me then, I would have asked. It’s because he said he was straight that I didn’t make a move. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I continued flipping through to see later entries with one or two sentences about Dan questioning his sexuality and feelings for me, but chose not to read them. I flipped to his most recent; one he just wrote today in fast writing.
‘Why is he so stupid? God, Phil is just so fucking clueless sometimes. But maybe that’s good. If he knows I like him and he doesn’t like me back I don’t know what I’d do. He’s been picking up on the distance though. I’m trying to force myself not to like him. It’s been three fucking years and I’m still not over him. It’s just the way he smiles at me when I do share my thoughts or do something stupid…though sometimes those two can be one in the same. The way his eyes light up when he meets the fans and how he talks about it for days after the fact. Everything about him makes me love him more and more each day and I can hardly stand it anymore. The walls are closing in on me. They know my secret and mock me by reminding me that Phil is contained within the same walls as I am. These overwhelming feelings are too much for me to handle sometimes. I don’t even know what…
“Reading anything you like?”
His voice made me jump while I slammed the journal shut midsentence.
“Dan! I—when did you get back? I—I didn’t even hear the door.”
“That’s mine Phil.” He angrily spat snatching the journal from me and pressing it hard against his chest crossing his arms over it. “You have no right going through this.”
“Is it true though?” I managed despite the waves of guilt crashing over me, pulling me deeper and deeper until I felt like I was drowning.
“It doesn’t matter, okay Phil? You had no right coming in here and reading my thoughts! How could you?” he screamed, tears pricking his eyes.
I stood up and walked to him, holding his face in my hands wiping his tears away with my thumbs. He looked down letting his brown hair fall in front of his face to shield himself of emotions and heartbreak.
“I’m so sorry, Dan. I know it was wrong of me, but you were drifting. And I was scared I’d lose you.” I whispered.
“That was the plan; to drift until I wouldn’t like you anymore.”
“And how’s that been working out for you?”
He looked up at me biting his lip.
“Not very well at all.”
“Then, maybe…you shouldn’t drift anymore.”
“And what, Phil? Continue to admire every single thing you do and pretend like I don’t? Just go on about my day like you’re not the most important person in the world to me? I can’t do that anymore. My heart just can’t take it.”
“Why do you have to pretend you don’t like me?”
“God Phil! You read it! You’re so stupid. I love you, okay? I love you, I love you, I love you. I. Love. You. Get it now? Do you understand what I’m saying? That’s why I have to pretend because I know you don’t love me. Just, please leave me alone!” He began shouting, his face a tint of red.
He ripped away from me and shoved his journal in his nightstand drawer, then collapsed on his bed, his back facing me.
“But…what if I feel the same way?” I asked feeling less confident without Dan in my arms.
“Yeah right. You’re just saying that to make it less awkward. It’s okay Phil. Really, I’ll be fine. Just please leave.”
I opened my mouth to say something but decided against it. Instead, I crawled into his bed with him and snuggled up close to him planting kisses on his shoulder blade and the back of his neck. I felt him tense up a bit when I kissed his neck, but he didn’t exactly stop me.
“Please, Phil. Don’t. Don’t play with my heart like this. It’s okay. I won’t be mad at you if you just leave me alone for a bit.”
“And you say I’m the stupid one.” I laughed as he turned to face me.
I rested my hand lightly on his cheek, his beautiful chocolate colored eyes with the light brown flecks staring up at me. His lips were lightly parted and I could feel his warm breath on my face. I leaned down slowly giving him time to back away if he didn’t want my kiss. When he didn’t, I ventured forward pressing my lips to his with a soft kiss. I felt Dan pushing back, letting go of every emotion he’s kept to himself for the past three years; the desire, the love, the heartache, the commitment, the passion. My head was spinning with the realization that I’m kissing Dan, at long last.
“You…you’re not lying?” Dan stated, his voice raising at the end making it sound like a question.
I shook my head smiling at him resting my hand on his chest, feeling his pounding heart.
“Say it. Please, I just need to hear it so I know I’m not going insane.” He begged studying my face for any sign of a cruel joke.
“I love you Dan.” I whispered, pressing my forehead to his to let him know I’m genuine.
“Say it again.” He giggled, his entire face lighting up.
“I love you. I love you more than you love me.” I laughed pulling away to really look at him.
“I doubt that.” He replied rolling his eyes.
He wrapped his arm around me and pulled me into him so there was no space between our bodies. Pressing his lips to my forehead, he began a trail of kisses down my face; over my temples, down to my nose, over on my cheeks, and finally, my lips again. This kiss was more laidback, but still incredibly sweet and romantic. We ended up fall asleep in each other’s arms whispering sweet little nothings until neither of us had the strength to say anything else.
By the time I woke up the next morning, Dan was gone, his journal left in his place opened to a new page with only a few sentences on it:
‘Last night was the happiest night of my life. I love you Philip Michael Lester, even though you read my journal. Flip to the first page for an extra lawl. xx -Dan’
Smiling to myself, I flipped back to his intro page to see that he crossed out ‘mum’ and put my name there instead warning me not to read his journal.
“What are you giggling about?” Dan asked walking back into his room.
“You.” I replied aware he already knew why I was laughing.
“Me?” He asked sounding mock-offended, pouting obnoxiously. “That’s mean.”
“Aww, come here. Would a kiss make it better?”
He smiled crawling back into bed with me. I pushed his hair back out of his face and pressed my lips to his holding him in my arms. He’s the most important thing to me and even when he’s pretending to be upset, I feel the need to fix that. I felt his lips part while running his tongue over my bottom lip silently asking for entry. I granted him that by parting my own lips feeling his tongue slide in my mouth and begin to dance and wrestle with mine.
“So what do you want to do today, love?” I asked him pulling back from our kiss a bit out of breath.
“I don’t mind just laying here for a while. As long as you don’t mind.”
“No, I don’t. That sounds perfect.”
He snuggled up closer to me kissing along my neck leaving playful love nips in his path.
“Pretty happy I read your journal now, huh?” I gloated making him laugh sarcastically.
“Yes, but if you ever do it again, there will be hell to pay.”
“Is that so?”
“Mmhmm. It’s not going to be anything good anymore anyways. The number one thing I used to write about is mine now, so I don’t even know if there’ll be much to put.”
“Mine? Am I just a toy to the toddler?” I joked messing up his hair.
“Mine.” He repeated biting a bit harder to leave a mark.
“Yours.” I nodded.