All Through the Year: Poems and Stories (Chapter 2 – February)

Chapter 2 – February

Part 1 – Poetry

The Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is here again,

And the parties will soon begin.

Pizza, snacks, and buffalo wings,

Garlic bread and cheesy things.

Some watch previews all day long,

Deciding who is right or wrong.

The game begins, we gather round,

Hoping our team holds their ground.

In between, the commercials run,

This year, they are loads of fun.

The halftime show is a blast,

Better than those in the past.

The second half starts out slow,

For right now the score is low.

The game is over, and we find,

The score for us is not unkind.

Not only did our team win,

We also won the pool we’re in.

The Super Bowl was quite a show,

We had lots of fun, this I know. 


Super Bowl Party

The Super Bowl is here today,

A fun filled day is on its way.

Long before the parties start,

Snacks are piled upon bench and cart.

The pizza ordered, the wings cooked,

The cheesy bread won’t be overlooked.

Everyone gathers at your place,

A friendly smile on every face.

They all wonder which team will lose,

Asking you who you did choose.

Your dad starts a Super Bowl pool,

Collecting money from every fool.

You put your money into the pot,

Then check to see which block you got.

The pre-game begins on tv,

You sit down right next to me.

I no longer care which team wins,

With you this close, my head spins.

I try concentrating upon the game,

Finally knowing you feel the same.

I feel your hand within mine,

I hold tight, our fingers entwine.

At halftime, we both watch with awe,

The show goes on without a flaw.

The game returns, our team behind,

Momentum now, we hope to find.

Our team rushes for a score,

The tension now is much more.

Their quarterback drops back to pass,

Our team knocks him on his ass.

The ball pops loose, rolls around,

Our player picks it off the ground.

He scores, and we take the lead,

That was just what we need.

Your hand is back in mine,

It makes me feel so fine.

Your hand fits mine just like a glove,

You are the one who I love.

The game is over, our team won,

The commercials were also fun.

From you, I steal one quick kiss,

The day was perfect, I couldn’t resist.

The time has come for me to go,

I pull you aside to let you know.

The Super Bowl was super fun,

Pizza and snacks for everyone.

Jokes and laughs all day long,

Everything right, nothing wrong.

You, though, made my day complete,

Time with you just can’t be beat.


My Valentine

Will you be my valentine?

I want to make you only mine.

You are my one true love,

Sent from angels up above.

I will make all your dreams come true,

And spend my life in love with you.

So, just put your hand in mine,

And say you’ll be my valentine.


My Valentine’s Angel

Happy Valentine’s Day, my love.

You are my angel from up above.

No matter what the world may say,

By your side is where I’ll stay.

Love is love, that’s so true,

For I know that I love you.

On this day and for all time,

My heart is yours and yours is mine.


Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s is a day for love.

Cupid’s arrow shot from above.

Gifts and chocolates have become a part,

Flowers and cards there from the start.

Presents are great, but let’s be real,

They don’t show the love you feel.

The depth of the love in your heart,

Can’t be held in a shopping cart.

Shopping cart or flower-filled vase,

The love shines brighter on your face.

Whether you love a girl or a boy,

Show them your love, don’t be coy.

Spend Valentine’s Day with your honey,

Love is so much more than money.


His Love

His bright eyes light me on fire.

Igniting my deepest desire.

His hand touches my face,

My heartbeat starts to race.

His hot breath on my skin,

Feels so good, it must be sin.

His body pressed to mine,

Makes me feel oh so fine.

His love devours my soul,

Finally making me feel whole.


Short Story

Sonya’s Flower Shop

Noah paced nervously on the sidewalk before finally walking into Sonya’s Flower Shop. He started looking around, but he didn’t know much about flowers. Noah had no clue what to pick out for his mom. He knew that red roses were for romance, but that was the extent of his flower knowledge. He hoped to find Sonya or at least one of her employees. A girl would know what Noah should get his mom for Valentine’s Day. He absently brushed a few stray strands of his unruly black hair out of his face and walked toward the cash register, looking for help.

Noah stopped dead in his tracks. The cashier was not a girl, but instead was the hottest guy Noah had ever seen. Even from across the room, Noah was captivated by the guy’s stunning blue eyes. Those eyes added with the neatly trimmed blonde hair and killer smile made Noah weak in the knees. He guessed the guy to be sixteen, no more than seventeen, which was perfect since Noah himself was sixteen. He composed himself, so he wouldn’t look or sound like a complete idiot and walked up to the cash register to ask for help.


Aiden spotted the guy as soon as he walked in the door. This dude was hot as hell. Aidan was glad there were no other customers in the store because there was no way he could have concentrated on anyone but this dark-haired, dark-eyed beautiful guy. Aiden chuckled softly to himself. The teen looked utterly lost in the flower shop. Was he searching for a gift for a first girlfriend, maybe? Aiden sure hoped not. If he could get a read on this guy, he wanted to ask him out. The guy started walking towards the cash register, stopped, then started walking again.


Noah took a deep breath and thought about what he wanted to say. He was always nervous when talking to new people, but this guy made him even more nervous than usual. “Uhm, excuse me, sir. I need help in picking out flowers. Is Sonya here? Or do you happen to know anything about flowers? I’ve never bought them before. I know they all mean different things and I’m just so confused on what to buy.”

Aiden grinned. “Well, you’re off to a good start in asking for help. Sonya is not here. I’m her son, Aiden. We live right upstairs, and I’ve always helped out down here, so I do know a thing or two about flowers. I’d love to help you pick some out. Who are they for? A new girlfriend?” Aiden caught himself holding his breath, waiting for an answer.

Noah blushed and couldn’t look at Aiden. “No. I don’t have a girlfriend. They’re for my mom, for Valentine’s Day. It’s been a rough year, and I wanted to get something special for her.”

“Aw, that’s sweet. I hope the year hasn’t been too rough. What flowers does your mom like?”

“Everything is starting to get a little better for both of us, I think.” He looked at Aiden finally. “Could you help me pick out something a mom would like? I honestly have no idea.” He shrugged and gave Aiden a shy smile.

“Yeah. Of course.” Aiden walked out from behind the cash register and clapped Noah on the shoulder. “Come on. Let’s look around. By the way, what’s your name?”

“Oh God. I’m so sorry. I’m Noah. Didn’t you say your name is Aiden?”

“Yeah. I’m Aiden. Pleased to meet you, Noah. Now let’s pick out some flowers.”

They walked around the little store for about fifteen minutes. Aiden showed Noah almost every flower arrangement in the shop. Finally, they narrowed down the choices, and Aiden began to engage Noah in non-flower related conversation. “I don’t think I’ve seen you around before? Are you new in town?”

“Sorta new, I guess. Me and my mom moved here from across town right after my parents got divorced.”

“Oh geez, that really sucks, Noah. I’m sorry to hear that.”

“It’s ok. Things were actually worse when they were together than they are right now.”

Aiden gripped Noah’s shoulder. “It must still be tough. Anyway, what school do you go to?”

 “I’m still going to West Side High, but I’ll be transferring next week. A new school right in the middle of junior year. I hate that so much.” Noah’s smile instantly turned into a frown.

“Hey, I’m sorry. That sucks.” Aidan put his arm around Noah’s shoulders. “You transferring to Mystic River High?”

“Yeah. How’d you know?”

“It’s the only high school around here. It’s not bad. Kinda small.”

“I guess I’ll know one person at least. I’m sorry for getting emotional. I’m still getting used to the whole thing.”

“No worries, Noah. I’ll show you around and introduce you to my friends. You’ll know a ton of people in no time at all.”

“Thank you so much. Maybe buying flowers for my mom was a better idea than I thought.” Noah finally smiled again.

“Flowers are the answer to everything.” Aidan winked. “You pick out a college yet?”

“God, no! Still working on the applications. I don’t even know what I want to do with my life. Ugh.” Noah rolled his eyes and laughed. “I’m such a mess. Just put my picture in the dictionary next to ‘teen angst.’”

Aiden smiled and poked Noah in the ribs. “How about next to ‘teen hottie’ instead.”

Noah blushed and cleared his throat. “Uh, I’m totally not hot but thanks. Uhm, I think I’ll go with these.” He pointed at the display of tulips.

“Good choice, hottie,” Aidan smirked and winked again. “Everyone loves tulips. I’ll put in a few assorted colors, and I’ll be right back.” Aiden went into the back room then returned with an armful of tulips. “Here you go. One dozen multi-colored tulips and a nice mom appropriate vase.” His blue eyes gazed up and down Noah’s body. “You play a lot of sports?”

Noah blushed again. “I run track and cross country, and I play lacrosse. What about you? I’d guess football or maybe wrestling?” Noah tried to give a sexy smirk, but only accomplished a shy smile.

“I get my workouts around here. Lots of lugging bags of soil and fertilizer everywhere. I don’t have time for sports, but hey I do know one of the guys on the lacrosse team. Zac Simpson. He just started dating one of my best buds, Cole. It was so sweet. Their first date was on New Year’s Eve at the biggest party of the year in this town.”

“Simpson? The Simpsons that own half the town? Wow. I’m not sure if I’m more surprised that he goes to public school or that he came out while he’s playing high school sports! I..” Noah stopped what he was going to say, blushing furiously. “Any jock would get their ass beat at my old school for coming out. I mean yeah, there are gay kids at my school, but the jocks are the ones that pick on them. They wouldn’t accept one of their own coming out.”

Aiden rolled his eyes. “Homophobia is so stupid. I do give Zac credit for coming out. The locker room is a different place than the classroom. His coming out does make it easier for any other gay lacrosse players to come out, though.” Aiden said with a smile.

Noah blushed even redder and walked with Aiden back to the cash register. “After I deduct the hot boy discount your total comes to $23.99.” Aiden said.

Noah smiled and handed the money to Aidan. “You don’t stop, do you?”

“Not until I get what I want.”

“We’ll see about that.”

“Here’s your change, sir. I guess this means I’ll have to let you leave now. I hope your mom loves the flowers.”

Noah glanced down at the flowers. “Hey, Aiden, you made a mistake. There’s an extra flower in here. A red rose.”

Aiden’s grin returned. He reached into the bouquet of flowers and pulled out a single red rose. “It’s not a mistake. It’s more like a question. If you don’t already have plans, would you like to go out to with me for dinner Friday night?”

“Friday is Valentine’s Day. Doesn’t a sweet-talking gorgeous guy like you already have plans?”

“No. And even if I did, you are worth canceling any other plans I might have. Noah, will you be my Valentine?”

Noah nearly jumped for joy. “Yes! Absolutely, yes! I would love to go out to dinner with you. And I’d be honored to be your Valentine.”

Noah put Aiden’s contact info into his phone and smiled. A first date and on Valentine’s Day. He hoped that would be a good omen. He left Sonya’s Flower Shop, clutching his rose close to his chest, happier than he had been in a long, long time.

All Through the Year: Poems and Stories (Chapter 1 – January)


Part 1 – Poetry

The New Year’s Kiss

New Year’s Eve at his place,

Laughing smiles on every face.

Loud music blaring in the air,

Party streamers everywhere.

Time slips by, moving fast,

We’re all having a huge blast.

Jokes and games played by all,

Quick kisses stolen out in the hall.

From the television, we finally hear,

The stroke of midnight and we cheer.

He wraps his arms around me, tight,

And says it’s been a perfect night.

The moment is pure bliss,

When we share a New Year’s kiss.


New Year’s Wish

The ball drops in Times Square,

Signaling New Year’s everywhere.

The party’s over, they turn off the light,

He walks me home and says goodnight.

Our New Year’s kiss still wet on my lips,

He turns to me and grabs my hips.

Soundly kissed down to my core,

I go inside, wanting more.

I drift off to sleep, dreaming happy things,

All the thoughts that true love brings.

I wake with the sun high in the sky,

I stretch and yawn and cover my eyes.

My thoughts return to last night,

And the guy who held me tight.

Thoughts of him cause a grin,

I feel happiness creeping in.

I make a wish that the feelings stay,

As I start my New Year’s Day.


The North Wind: A Haiku

The north wind blows cold.

The smell of snow on the air.

The blizzard rolls in.


Snow Day

The snow falls softly to the ground,

A howling wind, the only sound.

A freezing chill bites through the air,

Every beast is hidden in their lair.

Me and you, warm by the fire,

Our eyes burning with desire.

Two hearts that now beat as one,

whether in the snow or in the sun.

Tomorrow we’ll go outside and play.

Snow can be fun in the light of day.

Snowmen, sledding, and other fun,

Wild snowball fights for everyone.

Good times the whole day long,

maybe even ending with a song.

Tired and happy, inside we will go,

to warm our hands with hot cocoa.

Daytime friends have now gone,

Once again, we are all alone.

By the fire, we find bliss,

With cuddles, hugs, and a gentle kiss.


Warm Winter Day

The moon was shining up above,

Our two hearts were filled with love.

We strolled along, hand in hand,

Bare feet squishing in wet sand.

The winter day warm not cold,

So, we felt we could be bold.

Walking through the ocean spray,

It’s now colder than the day.

One quick kiss beneath the sky,

Then back up the beach, we fly.

Back inside, we warm our feet,

Close to the crackling fire’s heat.

Fire in the hearth and in our hearts,

The love we feel is off the charts.

He plants kisses along my neck,

Giving me more than just one peck.

I run my fingers through his hair,

Telling him just how much I care.

One last kiss and we must part,

Me and the guy who owns my heart.



Another cold and snowy day,

You hope he will decide to stay.

For some fun in the snow,

Before he has to go.

Back inside, you stop and stare,

As the snow melts from his hair.

One touch. One kiss. He departs.

Your love for him is off the charts.

Part 2 – Short Story

A New Years to Remember

Cole’s best friend, Samantha, spotted him in the hallway. “Cole! Hey, Cole, wait up!” She ran up, almost out of breath. “Hey, idiot. I wanted to catch up to you before you got to class. What are you doing New Year’s Eve? Got a date yet?”

 “No, Samantha, you know damn well I don’t. Who should I ask? This school is so close-minded it isn’t even funny. I don’t think this town realizes it’s 2018 and not 1950!” Cole ran a hand through his longish jet-black hair and focused his dark brown eyes on his friend. “I wish I could go up to anyone here and ask them out without being afraid of getting beaten up, but you know how this place is, Sammie.”

“I know, sweetie. And I also know you wish you could ask out Zac Simpson. I think it might go better than you expect. I don’t have proof, but I think he plays for your team.”

“If there’s a God, he does. I gotta go, Sammie. I’ll see you at lunch.” He ran off down the hall.

Next up for Cole was algebra, his favorite class of the day. Not that he loved math, but Zac sat directly in between Cole and the blackboard. He could spend the entire class pretending to pay attention but all the while staring at Zac. The short blonde hair, the piercing blue eyes, the hot jock body. Yeah, Cole could stare at Zac for hours. After his conversation with Sammie, Cole decided to do something bold. He spent the entire class sketching Zac, he even wrote a poem and added it at the bottom of the picture. Cole wasn’t sure if he’d be brave enough to give it to Zac, but he drew it anyway.

Cole slid into the seat next to Samantha at lunch. No one else was at the table yet. Sammie looked up. “Hey, Cole. You ask him yet?” She smirked and nodded towards Zac, who was sitting with the other members of the lacrosse team and a few cheerleaders.

“No. Of course not. He’s probably going out with one of those cheerleaders anyway.” Cole blushed. “I did doodle a sketch of him and write a poem.”

“Aww! Let me see.” Sammie reached for Cole’s backpack.

“Cole Kendrick, this is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen! The art and the poem are both fantastic! You have to give it to him!” Sammie nearly squealed, and she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed his cheek.

“Oh, look the little fag has a girlfriend. How sweet.” Cole glanced up and recognized Danny, one of Zac’s friends on the lacrosse team.

“Screw you, Danny.”

“You’d like that, wouldn’t you, fag?” Danny reached over and flipped Cole’s lunch tray up, the food and milk splattering all over Cole’s clothes.

Cole stood up quick and started brushing off his clothes. “No, Danny, I wouldn’t let you touch me even if you paid me. I’ve heard how small your dick is.”

Danny raised his fist, but someone pulled him backward, and he landed on the floor. Zac stood over Danny, looking directly at Cole. “I’m sorry my friend is a jerk, Cole. I’m sure he’s sorry. Aren’t you, Danny?”

Danny looked up at Zac. “No. Why would you defend that little faggot?” Danny started to stand back up.

Zac lifted one foot, put it right in the center of Danny’s chest, and pushed him back to the floor. “Stay on the floor if you can’t be nice.” A crowd was starting to form around the boys. “What he did wasn’t cool. Let me get you a new lunch.” Zac smiled the smile that made Cole fall for him in the first place.

Cole looked down and blushed and then took a deep breath and looked back up at Zac. “Why are you so nice to me. You’re a popular jock like he is. Don’t you feel the same way about me?”

“Not all jocks are bigoted jerks.”

“Hold that thought,” Cole reached into his backpack. “Here. This is for you. I better give it to you now before I lose my nerve. If you decide to punch me, I understand.” Cole handed Zac the sketch.

Zac looked at the picture and read the poem, expression blank. He glanced around the table at all his friends. He peered down at Danny. He reread the poem and then stared directly at Cole. “Thank Goodness! I was starting to think there weren’t any other gay guys in the entire school. Especially none that are both smoking hot and smart, too.”

Danny stared up at him incredulously. “You’re a faggot?”

Zac pressed down harder with his foot. “Yeah, Danny. Do you have a problem with me being on the team now?” Zac directed the question at Danny, but he glanced at each of his friends that were standing around watching the drama unfold.

“No, Zac. Whatever, dude. Just get off me.”

Zac removed his foot from Danny’s chest, and the other boy got up and stormed out of the cafeteria. Zac scanned the group of his other friends. None of them made eye contact. He focused his attention back onto Cole.

“Now that that drama is out of the way, do you have any plans for New Year’s Eve, Cole? My parents always have this huge party, and I’m usually bored out of my mind. Please say you’ll go with me. I’d owe you a huge favor.”

Cole nearly melted into a puddle on the floor. He stuttered and stammered, “I… uh… I think…” He glanced helplessly at Samantha.

 “No. No. No. We definitely do not have plans.” She put an arm around Cole. “He’s my best friend in the whole world, and I love him to pieces, but his tongue sometimes gets in its own way. What this boy is trying to say is that he’d love to go out with you on Monday night.”

 “I am capable of speaking for myself, thank you very much. Yes, Zac, I’d love to go.”

Zac reached out his hand. “Phone, please.”

Cole handed over his phone. Zac put his contact info in then sent himself a text from Cole’s phone. “Now you have my number, too. The party is formal. Do you own a tux?”

“No. I have a suit if that works?”

“I’ll have a tux sent to you. You look like you are about the same size as me, but text me your sizes just in case. I’ll make sure the tux is delivered by four, and I’ll be over to pick you up Monday at six. Okay?”

“You don’t have to go through that trouble, but yeah it sounds great,”

“No trouble at all. As I said, you’ll be doing me a huge favor. I’ll see you on Monday night.”

Cole turned to Samantha. “Oh my God! Did that just happen?”

“I know right! Damn, boy, you’re not just going on a date with your crush, you’re going to the biggest party of the year!”

“I hated that we were the only school open between Christmas and New Year’s, but I guess it was fate. If I hadn’t been at school today, Zac would have never asked me out!”

“I know! All the snow days we’ve had killed our Christmas break, but now it’s all worth it.”

“Should I call him this weekend or wait until Monday?”

“He said Monday. He’s got your number. If it were me, I’d wait for him to call.”

“You’re right. We better go. The bell rang two minutes ago.” They both hurried out of the cafeteria.

Cole spent Friday night and the entire weekend driving himself and everyone around him completely insane. He was so distracted by the thought of going out with Zac on Monday night that he could barely focus on anything else. Finally, Monday afternoon, Samantha arrived at his house to keep him occupied until the tux came. They were watching their second movie of the afternoon, “Love, Simon.”

“I am so glad that I came out on my own terms. If I had been outed like Simon was, I don’t know how I would have handled it.”

Sammie leaned in and hugged her best friend. “I would have been right here helping you deal with it and kicking the ass of whoever outed you.”

“You’re the best, Sammie.” Cole kissed her cheek. Then the doorbell rang. Cole leaped off the couch and ran to the door. He came walking back into the living room, carrying a garment bag and smiling from ear to ear. “It’s here. This is really happening.”

“Of course, it’s happening, now go get dressed.”

Cole stopped and pulled his phone out of his pocket. “It’s him. He asked if the tux got here and if everything was ok.” Cole quickly typed a reply text. “Alright, I’m gonna go change. Are you leaving?”

Sammie scoffed. “I’ll be right to take pictures of your skinny ass in that tux. Now hurry up. You don’t want to make your boy wait.”

Cole laughed and ran off to his bedroom to change. A little while later, he walked back into the room, straightening the cummerbund and adjusting the bowtie. “Does all this look right? I’ve never worn a tuxedo before.”

“Oh, Cole. You look so handsome.” She hugged him. “I don’t know how you have stayed single this long.  You are going to knock his socks off. You’re gorgeous, Cole. The tuxedo is perfect, too.”

“Aww, you’re making me blush. Thank you so much. You’re my best friend. I love you.”

“I love you, too, sweetie.” The doorbell rang for the second time that evening. Cole looked at the clock. Five fifty-seven. Zac said he’d be here at six. He started to walk out of the room, but Sammie stopped him.

“Wait here. I’ll go answer the door.”

Samantha walked back into the room, followed closely by Zac. Zac stopped and stared at Cole. “Wow. You look incredible.”

“Thanks. So do you.”

“Seriously. You’re stunning. Dressing up suits you. You should do it more often.”

“Give me a reason to, handsome.” Cole tried to sound sexy but, with the amount of blushing he was doing, only managed to pull off shy and innocent.

“I might do that. You ready to go?”

“Yes. Let’s get this party started.” Cole grinned, and the two boys walked out the door. Sammie yelled after them, “You guys have fun tonight. Cole, text me when you get home.”

“I will, Sammie. Thanks for everything.” Cole waved to Samantha and then got into the limo.

The limousine pulled up in front of the biggest house that Cole had ever seen. “Wow. You live here?”

“Yeah, I do. Home sweet home.”

Cole’s eyes were darting everywhere, trying to take everything in at once. “Looks likes there’s a lot of people here already. Has the party started?”

Zac shook his head. “No. These are all the decorators and caterers and delivery people. The guests will start arriving around eight.”

Cole followed Zac into the house, weaving around various trucks and vans and avoiding all the workers. He glanced at all the party streamers and growing tables of food as Zac led him up the stairs.

Zac pointed to a closed door as they passed, “That’s my bedroom. I can show you that later, but there’s another room I thought you might be interested in first.” Zac led him a little further down the hallway. They entered a room, and Cole’s jaw nearly fell to the floor. He felt like he was in “Beauty and the Beast.” The room was as big as four rooms in his own house. There was floor to ceiling bookshelves taking up most of the walls. There were gorgeous paintings between the bookshelves and sculptures on pedestals throughout the room. There was even a suit of armor standing in the far corner. Cole didn’t know what to look at first.

“This room is mind-blowing, Zac. I could spend the whole night in here looking at everything and be happy.”

“I’m glad you like it. I figured you would. Your poem was fantastic, and the drawing was beyond extraordinary.”

Cole walked all around the room and stopped to take a closer look at a section of books that were leather-bound gold embossed editions. “Can I pick them up?”

“Go ahead. My mom loves for people to read them. These aren’t just showpieces.”

“This is my all-time favorite book, and it’s even signed by Orson Scott Card. I would kill to own this copy of “Ender’s Game,”

Zac raised both his hands up. “Please don’t kill me. I haven’t even had a chance to kiss you yet.”

Cole’s head snapped up, and he looked right at Zac. “Hm. Ok, you get to live a while longer. I’ll just kill Danny instead.”

Zac laughed. “Nah. He was a total jerk, but let’s give him until I show up for practice Wednesday. If he’s still a dick at practice, you can kill him.”

“Dammit. I guess I can wait.”

Zac’s phone beeped, and he slipped it out of his pocket to check the notification. “Text from mom. Time to head downstairs. The guests are starting to arrive. You ready for this?”

“As ready as I’ll ever be. I mean I’m more than ready for a date with you, but I’m kind of nervous about the whole town being on our first date with us.”

“Don’t let them get to you.” Then Zac leaned in close. “And you can be sure that I’ll take you on a date with only the two of us very soon.”

             “In that case, I’m ready to go downstairs.”

Zac and Cole walked down the staircase together, slowly weaving their way through the growing crowd. Party guests stopped Zac every few feet to talk with him. Cole recognized a face here or there, but he didn’t know most of them. His family and Cole’s traveled in different circles. While Zac made small talk, Cole spent the time looking around the room. He bet that the chandelier cost more than his parent’s entire house. The whole place felt like a fairy tale setting with the waiters and drink tables and decorations, and everyone dressed up so fancy. He looked down at himself and remembered that he too, was in a tuxedo.

Zac touched his arm. “Something wrong with the tux?”

“Not at all. I can’t believe this night is happening. The party is wonderful, Zac. It’s like a Disney movie.”

“Then I guess we should dance.”

Cole took Zac’s hand and allowed himself to be pulled in close, and they started dancing. They drew some stares, some nods of approval, and even a few winks. Then Zac’s mother stepped between them. “Zachary Simpson, what do you think you are doing?” She was flushed and looked beyond angry.

Zac looked confused. “I’m dancing. What do you mean?”

“With,” She waved absently toward Cole. “This boy? Dozens of girls are simply waiting for you to ask them to dance, and you dance with some boy?”

Now Zac was a little flushed. “Mom, I won’t have you talking about Cole like that. I told you over a year ago that I’m gay. Why would I dance with a girl when I can dance with him?”

Isabella Simpson got a look on her face like she had smelled the worst smell in the world. “Saying you might like boys and actually dancing with one at my New Year’s Party are two totally different things. I will not have you embarrass this family in front of the entire city.”

“You are the one causing the embarrassment, mom. Not me. Look at them.” He waved his hand toward the growing crowd of guests. “I think more of them care that you are a bigot towards your own son than care about me dancing with Cole.”

“Don’t be crude, Zachary.” His mother scoffed. “And you, boy, get out of my house.” She glared at Cole.

One of the party guests, Dr. Emily Baxter, spoke up. “Isabella, I can’t tell you what to do in your own house, but if you make this boy leave, I will leave, too.” Other guests started speaking up. Over half the guests committed to leaving if she made Cole go.

Isabella was shocked. She waved a hand toward Cole and Zac. “Do whatever you want. We’ll talk about this tomorrow.” She stormed off into another room.

Cole looked at Zac. “It’s your decision. Do you want me to leave so you can go talk to her?”

“You’re not going anywhere except back out on that dance floor. I’ll deal with my mom tomorrow. Tonight, my focus is on you.” He swept Cole back into his arms and started dancing again.

The next few hours went by in a blur. Cole was aware of the other guests, but it felt as if the world had shrunk down to him and Zac. They danced, they talked, they drank punch, Cole was happier than he had ever been. Then all the tv screens switched to the ball drop in Times Square. 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 and everyone shouted Happy New Years!! Amid the yelling and streamers and noisemakers, Cole, for the first time in his life, reached out and took what he wanted. He made the first move for the first time ever. He pulled Zac close, put a hand on each side of his face, and kissed him. Zac wrapped his arms around Cole’s waist and pulled him even closer. It was their first kiss, but they kissed like it was the last thing they would ever do. When they came up for air, they realized that most of the people in the room were throwing confetti in their direction. They looked around and saw much more approval than disgust. Then Zac saw his mother walking toward them, and he braced for another confrontation.

Isabella handed a bottle of champagne to her son. “For you and Cole. I know I forbad you from drinking in my house until you were of age, but I’ll make this one exception. Take it as a peace offering. I’m still not one hundred percent on-board with this, but I won’t stand in your way either.” She hugged Zac and walked back upstairs.

Zac peered over at Cole, both boys with astonished expressions. “I’ll call that a win. Let’s go drink this champagne.”

Cole smiled the biggest smile of his life. “Maybe it will be a Happy New Year.” He pulled Zac into another kiss then they walked off hand in hand to enjoy the rest of the New Year’s Ball.