I wrote this story as a tribute to Wazput’s story about Matt, Kris, Corey, Colt and the Gang.
The gang has been a part of my college life and all I could say is thank you for continuing it and making the story worthwhile.

This story is about an unseen character that maybe some of us can relate to. We all know someone has to play in the background. Someone has to be underneath everything and go unseen. Somehow, someone suffers from afar when we think everything is okay within eyes reach.

And we all know that there will always be a good story behind another good story.

Also thanks to Andy and Big D!!!

Watching from the Sidelines

Summer Sidelines
"A Good Start to Fall?"

Have you ever had an experience where in you are in what you feel like the best moment of your life and then all of a sudden a mishap will bring your world crumbling down? When you feel like you are on the top of your game, then one single flaw will come crashing to your happy and worry-free life?

I guess that's how life is. We all need to wake up cause life doesn't end in a happy wedding or the prince gets to marry the princess or in our cases, the prince doesn't get to marry his prince. Life ends in death, life is tragic. All we have to focus on is to die happily with the one we chose to be with for the rest of our lives. I'd like to think of it that way.

I was having a solemn walk yesterday, minding my own business, with my head bowed to the ground as usual when I bumped a guy who was with
his buddy. Of course I didn't see them when I was turning to the corner of one complex.

"I'm sorry" I said

"Fuck! Can't you watch were you're going? Faggot!" The guy snapped back as they turned to walk away.

"Don't be such a dick, Gage," The other guy said.

People can be really judgmental sometimes. But props to the guy, he made a correct judgment about my sexuality. But I'm no fag. I'm gay.

I sat in my apartment, thinking of excuses I would tell my dad when he calls me. I refuse to go to Sweden until I finish college. I've already
called Timmy and he supported me and told me that I was old enough to decide for myself. Well, that's good enough. In a few months’ time I will
have full custody of the bank account my parents have given me, and I don't even wanna check how much is in the balance.

Another thing that's bugging me is my misunderstanding with Toni. She is a really nice girl and she is a very nice friend. But I need to tell
her that she shouldn't be in love with me. I need to tell her I'm gay.

I went to the fridge to grab something to eat when I found out that my food supply's gone low. I decided that I would go to the mart to buy groceries.

I changed and grabbed my wallet and my keys and headed out to buy supplies. The mart was filled with lots of stuff to choose from so my imagination wandered and since I was already here, I decided to buy a few more decorations in the apartment. This will help me get away from all the tension that I'm feeling right now. I was rounding off the cereals section when I heard two familiar voices. It was Corey and Matt. They were shopping in the healthy food section. My mouth dropped as this was the first time I saw Matt in like forever. He had his hair trimmed and he was still the same guy who took my breath away. And his body now is to die for. Then I automatically went to stalker mode.

"Which one does Kris prefer, 'non-fat' or the 'lite with calcium'?" I heard Matt ask from the other side of the shelf. I was really careful and
felt stupid at the same time.

"Non-fat but Colt likes the original flavor." Corey answered back.

"We'll take both then." Matt said in an upbeat tone.

It was so nice knowing that they were so tight like this. I certainly would have wanted to be as close as that with someone. To have friends
so close to you they wouldn't care if you're gay, straight or bi. I felt a pint of sadness growing in my chest. I went to the cashier and paid
for the stuff I picked up. Although I wasn't done yet, I didn't feel like shopping anymore. I wish Matt was just single. It would make life much
easier for me.

I drove to my apartment and arranged the stuff I bought in the cupboards and fridge. Then I went straight to bed and thought of a plan. I need to
meet Matt and I need to do it soon. I glanced at my cellular phone to check up if Dad has called, he hasn't.

Waking up the next morning was unlike any other mornings. I was feeling a bit edgy and nervous. I've decided to call Nana. Her phone rang.

"Hello?" Nana greeted from the other line.

"Hello, Nana, it's me Cord." I started nervously. It's 8 in the morning and probably past noon in Sweden.

"Cordy darling. Hur mår du?" Nana asked how I was.

"Jag känner mig väldigt bra. Tack Nana." I said which gave away my nervousness.

"Is there something wrong Cord? Has your father talked to you?" She asked.

"Yes Nana. He has and I wanted to talk to you about it. It's really important."

"Go ahead dear." She said.

"Is it really necessary for me to go there? I mean, I've got college and all..." I trailed off. It's very unlike me to reason with my parents, or much more, grandma.

"Well... We should be holding off this important message until you get here but, here we go. I'm old now Cord. Honestly, I don't have much time here left..." Nana started.

"Nana are you okay? Are you sick? Where are you? Are you in a hospital? Where's mom and dad..." I panicked.

"Shhh... Cordy, I've never been better. What I'm saying is that. It's time for me to hand over the business your grandfather and I have to you." Nana explained clearly.

"But... but... that's too much. I mean, I don't really know yet how stuff works Nana."

"That's why your parents have decided to migrate you here."

"Wow... This is all much to take in. Thank you Nana." I said a bit shaking.

"And I'm hearing a 'but' here." Nana really knows how I feel. I smiled.

"It's just that. I want to grow the way I want to be. I wanna be who I want to be. I want to be the one who will make my own decisions in life Nana. If I will make a mistake
I will be happy because I got to decide on it. I want to finish college here Nana. I can see the change in me now, I'm not that shy person before. You guys have done enough worrying over me. It's time you relax knowing that your boy is no longer the helpless, shy and timid child you've known before. I'll make it through because
of what you guys have given me." I said now filled with tears.

"And I want you to know how proud I am of you Cord. I'm very proud of you." Nana said obviously in tears to with her voice cracking.

"Thank you so much Nana. I hope you can explain that to dad for me? Or maybe they should be the one to take over the company for you? “I said in a lighter tone.

"That was my original plan, but they said they have already given up work and don't want any more stress in life. They have enough money to suffice until they get old." Nana laughed.
"Enough percent of the interest is given to the 'HIV'+ charities in Europe and the Homeless children in Africa. Now the problem is to whom I'd be giving the company to. You are my
only grandchild Cordy."

"What about Fredrick Nana? He's your grandchild too. You said that yourself." I said, remembering Fredrick back in our younger years.

"Ahh. But just yesterday I've promised Fredrick the General Manager's position as soon as he finishes college. Mr. Anderson will also be retiring." Nana said.

"I think he'd make a great Manager." I smiled.

"Yes he would do just fine." Grandma said chuckling a little.

"I'm sorry for causing you much more to think of Nana. But I feel like I might have a shot in the Media and Entertainment field."

"It's fine dear. It's your life. Live it. Don't worry about your mom and dad. I will tell them."

"Thank you so much Nana. I love you!" I said.

"I love you too dear. Take care." And she hung up.

"There, now one problem's settled." I said under my breath.

I decided to walk around the campus today which is something I haven't done the whole summer. It was nice to look at the old places, funny, how they seem to be 'old' places now that I'm in my third year. A lot of things happened and yet, this is just the beginning for me. I will make a lot of friends this year. I can feel it.

"Cord! Hey man! What's up?" It was Ted Wilcox, the school superstar.

"Hey Ted! Nice to see you! I'm good. Just killing my time. It's a bit lonely when you're alone. What about you? What are you doing?" I asked.

"I was just checkin out on my nephew and see how he's settled in. I'm about to head for breakfast. You wanna join me?" Ted asked.

"Sure! I’m about starved." I said and joined Ted to his car to head to a nearby restaurant. We settled in and were served by a young waitress. We got our orders, with me settling on a plate of eggs, bacon and toast.

"So what's new?" Ted asked while the waitress served us our food.

"Not much. I learned my schedule online today and am surprised to see a lot of vacancies. I guess I shouldn't be that startled since I chose a light schedule this semester." I said and thanked
the waitress who smiled sweetly at me. 'What is it with me and girls?' I thought to myself. Ted must have noticed as he smiled at me.

"Well that's new. I usually get the smiles. I think she likes you. She's cute, you should hit on her, "Ted encouraged.

I smiled back at him, awkwardly. I really don't want to get caught up with these kind of situations. "I ahh.... No..." I stuttered as I don't wanna make any more lies. I'm changing and change
should start now. Then Ted suddenly put on an apologetic look.

"Oh. Dude I'm sorry. That was real inconsiderate of me," Ted said shaking his head.

"It's okay... uhmmm..." I smiled with my words faltering.

"I'm really sorry for asking this but... are you gay?" Ted asked smiling. I was surprised with his facial expression and didn't know what to say.

"Uhmmm... well... ahhh... yeah..."I finally said.

"Cool. I have some of the best gay friends ever. You should really hang out with the group sometimes." Ted said. I was surprised with the reaction of Ted while talking to me.

"You don't mind?" I asked in awe.

"Of course I don't... first off, I have a nephew who's also gay. In fact, he was the one I was checking out on this morning."

"That's cool. You must be a really great guy."

"Most of my friends have taught me on how to understand gay guys more. Although I never really had any problems with them..." Ted said.

"You are really surprising!" I said to him, still in awe.

"Not as much surprising as you are. So you've got a partner?"

"Nope. Never." I admitted lightly.

"Like never... Never? Are you serious dude?" It was now Ted's time to be shocked.

"Yup... Never."

"Well maybe we should hook you up with one of my friends." Ted joked.

"Maybe not... Say, where's Myles?" I asked to passively divert the conversation.

"I don't know. Maybe sleeping in. Coach has it light on us, what with the school starting and all. We need to get the academics settled."

"So are you all set?" I asked.

"Yep. I'm done and got my schedule Yesterday."

We talked for a few more minutes before I called the waiter for the bill.

"Oh no you don't. I'm paying for this." Ted grabbed the bill from my hand.

"No, it's fine, I'll pay."

"Not this time Cord. Let me." Ted smiled as he paid the amount.

We got back to the campus with Ted going back to see his nephew. We said goodbye and moved our separate ways. I toured the campus with some students fixing booths for University Organizations applications. There were a lot of booths with their own gimmicks to attract applicants. There were several fraternities and sorority booths also.

I got past the quadrangular lawn where the booths are when I saw a big poster on one of the University Administration Building. It is a talent contest that revolves on the theme: 'change'. The Event will be on the mid-term of the first semester that would be a month and a half away, October 2nd week. I wasn't finished reading the poster
when the thought hit me.

"I'm joining." I said under my breath.

I didn’t know what came in my mind, but suddenly, my mind is all set to joining and it made me happy. My life is changing, and I love it.

I went back to my flat and did a little capoeira practice. I opened up my laptop and placed it on the floor in the exercise room. I followed the steps the online capoeira expert was showing. In over an hour I got used to doing the simplest moves like the turning long kick which was my favorite move.

After my work out I showered and changed clothes and settled on the couch. There's not much to do and it's really warm outside. The class days are nearing and I could hear more and more students now pacing back and forth the complex. There are some old people too and it could be a problem for them to stay in a complex with lots of college students in it.

I thought on what I would do on the talent contest. The best thing to do without embarrassing myself is to sing. Maybe sing while playing an organ.

"That could work." I said to myself.

I scan through my playlist for a song that would fit the theme of the contest. I would like to sing a song that would make an impact. A lot of songs nowadays only have five words in them and they are sex, fuck, shit, nigga and bitches. I mean, the sounds are great but the lyrics are the opposite. What happened to the time when songs are all about the lyrics? Then I saw one song that could fit. 'Sing' by My Chemical Romance. This song would fit just fine.

I checked on some of my files and browsed through my download folder and saw that the movie I started downloading yesterday was now completely downloaded. I watched the film 'Strapped' and had me in tears in the end. It was about a gay college student who was all about money and sex. Because he's cute, he uses it to be paid for sex. In the end, he found his match. It had me in tears because it was so realistic. With just a kiss, he found his soulmate. With just a kiss he changed. Sex wasn't necessary.

Then I was in a deep trance again. Why is it all about sex today? Why can't it be all about kisses and cuddles? Why can't it be care and love? Wouldn't sex be great with the one you love? I wouldn't know now would I?

I played the organ while checking the chords and lyrics of 'sing' online. I started playing it first and it was a bit easy because the chords were pretty repetitive. I made a couple of changes and made the song a bit more acoustic type, and not the fast, upbeat song. It was good and I was really into the lyrics of the song.

I stopped rehearsing when I noticed that it is already dinner time. I prepared a sandwich for myself and decided to do a little evening walk. I passed by Matt's complex on purpose just to see if he was there. What was I thinking? Of course he's there... with Corey. I put my hood up and continued walking.

I passed two guys I normally see around walking with one giving me the 'look'. That was funny because the guy he's with is obviously his boyfriend. The nerve of some people who couldn't be contented with what they have surprises me. I continued walking and realized that I was in the school grounds. I went to the parking lot where I hung out most
of the time in my sophomore years, when I was spying on Matt. I saw a guy, probably a freshman who had his head down like he was about to cry. He kicked the rock beside the bench which he missed. He fell on his butt and got up quickly and sat on the bench. I approached him with a smile.

"Bad day?" I asked with him looking up with a surprised look.

"Uhmmm You could say that." He said looking back to the ground.

"Can I ask why?" I sat beside him.

"Do you hate black people? He asked me. I was shocked at the question.

"No, why would I hate African Americans?" I wasn't really used to calling people by their skin color.

"You're probably saying that cause I'm black." He chuckled bitterly.

"You know you can't just judge anyone around because some asshole's been harsh on you." I told him.

"Oh. It's okay for them to judge me and it's not okay when it's me who's judging." He shot back.

"Nobody said that what they are doing is okay. All I'm saying is that, if you do the things they do, like judge people, then you are an asshole yourself." I said. He looked
at me and for a moment I thought he was going to punch me.

"I'm sorry. It's just that my roommate’s giving me a hard time and jokes a lot about me being black. He thinks it's funny and all but it's not." He said and sighed.

"You can't control others you know? Have you talked to your R.A. about this?" I asked.

"No, they say our R.A. is a fucking faggot. You can't make me talk to no queer." He said and chuckled.

I was taken aback by how he acts and quickly composed myself. I took a deep breath.

"How can you say that I'm not gay?" I said and prepared myself.

"Whoa! You're a fucking queer ass lover? I should've known it since you were all up in my grill!" He said standing up.

"Great! Here you go making a fuss about your roommate dissing you cause you're black, when you can't even contain your feelings about gay people!" I said and stood up as well. "And for your information, I'm not hitting on you! You're not my type."

"Every guy's a faggot's target bitch." He threw a punch which I successfully evaded.

"I'm not gonna fight you dude."

"I bet you aren't! I'm gonna beat up your fag ass!" He threw another punch that hit me square on the jaw.

I got up to my feet while he charged. I stepped aside from his tackle and grappled him from the back. I threw in a sleeper hold and forced him to his knees. He kept elbowing me but I endured them. Luckily, they weren't that strong.

"Let go of me you faggot!" He squirmed at my hold.

"Hey! Hey! Cut that out!" A guy, not a freshman I could tell, went in to cut the fight. He held me on the shoulder and let go. "Can you tell me what's going on?"

"I ain't talkin to you faggot! You both are the same!" The guy spat out.

"Dude do you know who I am?" The guy asked the freshman.

"Yeah! You're the fag R.A. the students here are talking about!" The younger man said and ran back to the dormitory. "You fuckin queer cocksuckers should all die!"

"You better come with me to the clinic dude. You're bleeding."

"No, I'm fine. I'll just go to the restroom." I said. I don't really like clinics.

"Use the one here. Come on I'll show you."

I followed the guy inside the building and to the restroom. I immediately looked if there were serious injuries. It's a good thing the only cut is on my lip.

"Uhmm. Can I ask you what really happened?" The R.A. asked me.

"Sure.. I saw the guy disappointed and asked him what was his problem. He told me that he's pissed at his roomate for joking about him being black."I smiled at the R.A. Now that I looked at him. He was a real hottie with nice eyes.

"Well that's a bit ironic isn't it?" He chuckled.

"Yep. I asked him why he didn't come to talk to you and he said you were gay and that he doesn't wanna talk to 'faggots'. I told him doing a quote sign on the word faggot.

"Why did he hit you?"

"Cause I told him that he's talking to a gay guy. You should've seen his reaction when I told him. Priceless." I laughed. I was really liking the fact that I'm becoming more
open to the fact that I was gay.

"Whoa. That's really brave of you to tell him that you're gay when you know he dislikes people like us." He smiled.

"You mean, you're really gay?" I asked him.

"Well yeah. Aren't you?" He asked confused.

"Yup, I am. I'm just making sure it's not just a gossip." I smiled at him.

"You're really nice. I'm Jess by the way. I'm the R.A. here."

"I figured. I'm Cord. The job must be really tough on you." I said.

"Not really. Not all of the students are assholes. Some of the guys are cool."

"That's really nice. Hey, does my lip look swollen to you?" I asked feeling the sting on my lower lip.

"Nope, kinda hot if you ask me. Your boyfriend will agree with me." He smiled.

"Funny. I don't have a boyfriend."

"Yeah, and I don't have a dick." He said and laughed.

"No, honestly dude. I don't have one." I confirmed.

"With THAT look? The guy who dumped you is an asshole."

"Nobody dumped me. I never had any partners." I said and see his face become painted with disbelief.

"Wow! Just wow. Why?" He asked me.

"I just want my first time to be special."

"It'll be special as long as you want it to be. I admire you dude."

"Thanks. I take it you have someone special?"

"Yes. He's a good friend and we're trying to make the best of it and make it work. I want someone that would last you know?" He said and I saw the longingness in his eyes.

"It will as long as you want it to." I said returning his comment previously which made him smile.

We got out and he accompanied me to the dormitory entrance.

"Nice meeting you Jess and thank you. I should better be going."

"It's a pleasure to meet you too Cord. Where do you stay?"

"In one of the complex near the University."

"Sweet! My guy and most of my friends are staying there. Maybe you could hang out with us sometimes."He said excitedly

"I'd like that."

"Hey, can I have your number Cord?" Jess said and smiled. He was really cute.

"Yeah sure." I gave him my number and bid him goodbye. Went back to my appartment, and settled back down on the couch and watched a glee episode. I used to like this show the first season.

My phone rang and saw it was my dad calling.

"Hello dad?"

"Cord, son, your mother and me have talked to  your grandma and she told us what you said this morning."He breathed deeply. "Listen, I'm really really sorry about not asking how
you feel about the whole thing. I just got excited and thought that it would be best for you."

"Dad, I know you want what's best for me. I just..."I started to explain but he cut me off.

"Cord, you don't have to explain. I know you love us but it's about time you told us what you want for yourself. We are so proud of you son."

"Thanks dad." I said as there really was nothing else to say.

"Now your mom and I decided to stay here for a while since it's been years the since we've been here. And your grandmum needs company."

"You guys enjoy. I'll call to update you about how I'm doing."

"Okay son. Can I ask you something?"

"Sure dad. What is is?"

"Have you found someone you're interested in? Do you have a partner? I mean, are you in a relationship now?"

"Dad! Uhh! You shouldn't be asking me those stuff. But no! I'm not in a relationship."

"I just wanted to know. I still have the right don't I?" Dad laughed from the other line. "Besides, I'm sure if you'll ever find a partner, you'll tell me and your mother about
whoever that person is right?"

Person... Person... dad didn't say girl... Could it be possible that they know I'm gay?

"Ah.. sure dad, I'll tell both of you. But I don't really have a girlfriend." I said cautiously.

"Of course you don't." Dad said and quickly added. "Okay I need to go now son. Take care okay? And remember, we love you."

"Love you too dad. Bye." I said with my heart beating so fast. My dad never really talked to me about relationships or so. But he did gave me the 'talk' about sex and stuff when I was thirteen. I was shocked that time and was really not interested about the pussy things. I smiled with the thought.

My phone vibrated and I read the text. 'Hey hottie! It's Jess. =)'

I replied and told him I saved his number. We texted for a little while and I said goodnight. I did my usual routine, had a shower and went to bed. Tonight I'll be having a good rest with nothing to worry about... except Toni. But soon I will surely tell her.

The week continued on and was rather uneventful. Except for a couple of days when I saw Matt running with Kris. Boy there aren't two guys I know that would be as hot as Matt and Kris...Well maybe Corey and their other country boy friend.

I had a few bumps with Ted too, in school. He was really a nice and down-to-earth person. Myles was also as happy when he saw me in campus one day they were with another guy who also looked like an athlete. They asked me where I was heading and I told them about the contest that I'll be joining in.

"You serious bro? That would be so sweet! We'll surely watch that contest." Myles said in his usual upbeat attitude.

"Yep, by the way, Cord, this is Luke. Luke, this is Cord." Ted said and introduced me to Luke.

"Nice to finally meet the talented guy these two told me about." Luke smiled warmly and reached a hand.

"Nice to meet you too and I would tell you that both of them are exagerrating." I said while I felt my cheeks blush.

"From the stories, I think they are not over telling it." Luke laughed with the two which made me blush deeper.

"Ted told us you don't have a boyfriend yet? Want us to hook you up with one of our friends?" Myles joked which made me look at Ted who hit Myles on the shoulder. "Ow!"

"Cord, I'm sorry for telling them but these two are cool with it." Ted said apologetically.

"Yep, it's cool Cord. We don't judge people by their sexual preference." Luke said.

"Yeah... so who do you think guys? Jordy? Scotty? Brenan or Garret?" Myles said earning him another hit from Luke.

"Seriously Myles?" Ted said. "Brenan and Garret are together. And Scott's with Jess... I think."

"Jess? Is that Jess the R.A.?" I asked and Ted nodded yes. "We've met." And I proceeded to tell them the fight I had in the parking lot.

"You totally should've given that freshman a beatdown and tell him who's on top." Luke said.

"Thanks guys. I was just shocked a while ago. See, Ted, you are only the third person that I've opened-up to." I said. Thinking about Timmy and his girlfriend.

"Really? So you're just in the process of comming out?" Myles asked.

"Not really, I don't really shout it out to the world. If someone asks, I tell. It's like that."

"That's good to know. Hey Cord, we need to get going for a meeting. Holler if you need anything okay?" Ted said.

"Yup sure. Maybe I could round you up in the flat when you guys are free. I'll cook!" I joked. I was really liking the 'talking to others' thing.

"Hell yeah! Now you're talkin!" Myles exclaimed.

"Hell yeah! Your stomach's growling!" Luke joked which made us all laugh. "Thanks Cord! That would be nice."

"I'll call you and tell you when we're free. And maybe we could get some of our friends to come over." Ted said and left with Luke and Myles.

I did see Toni one time and she acted like she didn't see me. I was really sad about that part because I really wanted her to be my friend and I fucked up.

Sunday I went to a nearby church. I don't have a religion but I do believe in God. I find it funny but, when I felt weak and weary, I turn to Him. It's also funny that other believers say that God hates gays are also the ones who say that God loves the sinners. Isn't that like calling God a hypocrite? Of course I'm not the one to judge. For me, just as long as I'm happy with my faith in God, what others say doesn't matter anymore. It's still better than not believing at all. It's what I believe in. I like
to keep it that way.

Tuesday I was on my way back to the apartment after an afternoon run when I heard someone from behind me.

"Excuse me, is your name Cord?" The stranger asked. His voice was really familiar which made me very nervous.

I turned around and was shocked...

---end of chapter four----

First off, I'm really sorry for taking this long. As we've been struck by a really strong typhoon here in the country and we've been flooded in.
Thank you for all of those who wrote to me keeping me alive and ready to write more. Your feedbacks make me happy and strive well to get my writing to the best I can. I promise now to get my writing complete within a week or two for some of you to not be sad. I recieved an email 2 days ago telling me how sad he is that I wasn't submitting a fourth installation and it broke my heart to learn this so I immediately did this chapter. I hope it will suffice for now. I love you all and will gladly reply on any of your messages as soon as I've read it.

Remember: Feedbacks are sent to rizaldysbustamante@yahoo.com and for those who have trouble figuring my name out... you can call me Peps. Have a good day!
P.S. I'm 21 and I'm single. LOL

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