"What are you doing?" Mitchell looked over Malcolm’s shoulder. Malcolm was Mitchell’s long-time friend and recent crush. Once Malcolm came out as bisexual, and the door was opened, long-denied feelings came flooding forward for Mitchell, and now was the time to act, before any of those Ares bears could get their hands on him.
"I’m studying for the bar exam." Malcolm responded, not looking up from his deep book with long words. He used his index finger to push his glasses up the bridge of his nose then shoed some blonde hair out of his face, all without breaking eye contact with the word "Hearsay."
Mitchell scoffed at him. He knew his friend was a devout studier and often studied way in advance for big tests, but this had to be a joke. “You’re sixteen.”
"Did you know that only fifty percent of people pass the exam? If I’m going to be one of them, I need to start now." Malcolm said those words with such conviction and gusto Mitchell forgot for a second that his friend was off his rocker.
Mitchell laughed a little, barely loud enough for Malcolm to hear. But he probably isn’t even comprehending anything outside of those pages, Mitchell thought. Mitchell wasn’t ashamed to admit it — he liked attention and he wanted to get it, he had some big plans for the two of them. It would be a nice romantic candle light dinner, with Malcolm’s favorite indulgent meal — a Big Mac, large fry, Dr. Pepper, and an apple pie for desert. It was perfect.
"You’re going to be fine. What do you say you take a break from studying tonight?" Mitchell suggested. His heart raced, and he never got nervous asking people out.
Malcolm laughed, “And do what?”
"Go on a date with me?" This was it, the big moment. He would say yes and they would ride off into the sunset together and —
Mitchell took a step back. “What?”
"Mitchell you’re cute, but we’re friends and I need to study."
He wanted to be friends. I guess that’s that, maybe we’ll give it another go in a few more years, Mitchell though, I wonder if that di Angelo boy is up for a hook up? He looks like a power —
Again, Mitchell’s thoughts were interrupted. “You look kind of sad a rejected.”
"What, no, I’m not sad, it was just an option, just dangling a line that sort of thing."
Malcolm didn’t buy it for a second. “Tell you what, I’ll go on a date with you when I’m done study for the BAR exam.”
Mitchell perked up. “Deal!”
What Mitchell didn’t find out until the next day was that “studying for the BAR exam didn’t mean that day or that week, it meant until Malcolm passed the exam, Mitchell was without a date.
Mitchell moved on, tired of waiting for Malcolm to come around, but they stayed close friends throughout college, and for Malcolm, Law School.
As the BAR exam crept closer, so did Mitchell’s old feelings. He remembered their old deal, and intended to collect, but it was going to be more of a goofy friend thing than an actually relationship thing. Now feelings were potentially getting in the way of that.
Mitchell waited outside the testing room the last day of the BAR exam, and was barely greeted by Malcolm, who looked half dead. This was it, he was finally getting his date! Mitchell was bouncing with excitement.
"I totally failed." was the first thing Malcolm said. "I might as well just start studying for the next one now." Was the second.
"Let me know if you need help," Was the first thing Mitchell responded with. "I’ll walk you to your car." Was the second.
It was a month later and the results were in. Mitchell was calmly waiting behind his best friend, who seemed about ready to pee himself out of nervousness. With shaking hands, Malcolm typed in his ID number and password to get his results. They both held their breath…
"I passed." Malcolm said in disbelief. Mitchell let out a gleeful yelp for his friend.
"I knew you would!" Mitchell scooped up his friend in a huge hug, hardly giving him room to breath.
Malcolm forced himself out of Mitchell’s arms, and then looked up. “You,” he put his index finder on Mitchell’s chest, “owe me a date. Let’s go I want a beer and and hamburger.” Malcolm nearly dragged Mitchell out the door for celebration.
Later that night, Malcolm, in a slight drunken haze thought very seriously about kissing Mitchell, but something about it just didn’t feel right, so he held off.
Mitchell wishes Malcolm would have kissed him more than anything else.
The next night, they were watching America’s Next Top Model together, when Mitchell finally got tired of all the waiting he had to do, and made the first move. Mitchell kissed Malcolm so spontaneously it surprised himself. What surprised him even more was that soon Malcolm was kissing back. They hardly stopped all night.
When Mitchell woke up in the morning and saw Malcolm sleeping next to him, he gave a high five to his sixteen year old self, they had earned it.