Hey Guys! Here’s the ninth chapter of Back to You. I had originally planned to make this the final chapter, however it was starting to get pretty long so I decided to break it in two. Again, I want to apologize for the delay- I was still figuring out the best way to wrap this story up. Hope you guys like it. Please let me know what you think- I really appreciate it.
Chapter 9: He deserves something special.
Three weeks after Matt and Ollie confessed their love for each other, the two had been inseparable. Apart from the difficult nights they had to spend in their own beds, you’d never be able to see one without the other. They became a fixture at school, constantly stealing time in between classes and gazing far into each other’s eyes during lectures- so much so that neither of them had any idea what topic they were learning this week. They opened themselves up to others too, going on a few double dates with Pete and Jess- often turning into a roast of Oliver which Matty happily contributed to. Oliver was a regular at the Stevens house too, often spending dinners there whenever his mom had to work late. Even little Katie herself had grown to love his company- always asking her annoyed brother where Ollie was whenever Matt was alone.
Matt himself was slowly breaking down the wall that was Mrs. Morrison with moderate success. As kids, Ollie’s mom was a no nonsense kind of woman- often showering her golden child with praise yet knowing when to put her foot down. Since their reunion, Matt hadn’t spent too much time with Mrs. Morrison, and the few chance encounters he had were pleasant at best. He just felt this underlying guilt within himself for causing her son so much pain. He’d made amends with Oliver already, but Yukiko Morrison was the last person he’d have yet to clear the air with. Still, the teen struggled with figuring out how best to approach the conversation, and as he continued to spend more time with his love, he hoped it would be one he’d never have.
Mid- September had rolled around and Matt was busy planning a weekend away for the two of them to celebrate Ollie’s birthday. It proved to be a difficult feat, seeing as though they barely spent any time apart. He’d resorted to clearing out his browsing history every night so Ollie wouldn’t see the dozens of possible Airbnb options he’d looked up for their stay.
That day during lunch, the two were joined by Pete and Jess at their usual spot at the edge of campus. Jess was just finishing up her rant about having to bust her ass for her little sister’s sweet sixteen, complete with lilac centerpieces, a macaron tower and a choreographed dance routine by the entire entourage. The bitterness in her voice was dulling down the decadence of the slice of chocolate cake the two boys were sharing. Pete kept quiet, only shooting them mindful glances as Jess continued to vent.
“I just don’t get why she had this elaborate-ass party. My parents didn’t even throw me one when I turned sixteen!” Jess complained as she finally took a breath.
Oliver raised an eyebrow, “Wow, you don’t sound bitter at all.” He looked back at Pete and Matt, “Guys, I think this is Jess’ way of saying she wants a party!”
Jess threw a rolled napkin at his face, “Shut it, you.” The boys shared their laughs as she shook her head, “I swear, we need more girls in this group. I feel like I’m one of the guys here.”
Ollie snapped back, “Yeah, no. Matt’s not allowed around girls, especially after the last time.”
Matt threw his arms up, “Abby Winters had it coming! You should have seen the way she practically threw herself over Oliver.”
Swinging his arm around Matt, Oliver teased, “Down boy!” leaving Jess and Peter roaring out in laughter.
Peter then crooked his head, “Wait, dude isn’t your birthday coming up?”
Oliver nodded just as Jess’ eyes grew big, “That’s right! It’s on the 27th! Do you have any plans?”
Matt felt a trail of sweat form at his back as he waited for an answer. He spent the past week trying to plan the perfect surprise and he just hoped he wouldn’t ruin it here. Truth was he’d never actually talked to Oliver about the boy’s birthday and he was genuinely interested to get his take on it.
Oliver sipped his water and shrugged his shoulders. “Not really. I was probably gonna do something chill this year.” He reached over and hooked his arm around Matt’s neck, “Probably spend the day with my mom then have a birthday dinner with this cutie.” Matt let out a nervous laugh, hoping Oliver couldn’t feel the damp spots that remained at his back. If there’s one thing Matt was terrible at, it was hiding his emotions.
As Matty slowly worked his way out of Oliver’s chokehold, the boys settled back in their seats. Oliver went on, “But hey if plans change, I’ll let you guys know. Maybe you can join us for dinner or something.”
“It’s still weird how you’re one of the oldest in our grade. There’s a bunch of kids here isveçbahis yeni giriş who’ll show up to college still seventeen!” Peter mentioned, looking over at the two.
Oliver nodded, “Crazy huh? I don’t know- nineteen’s such an underwhelming age. I mean, it’s not like the newfound freedom of becoming legal or the end of an era when you hit your twenties. You’re just kinda in between milestones.”
Matty silently nodded, looking over towards the open field so to avoid eye contact with Ollie. Sure, a nineteenth birthday wasn’t anything to call home about, but he hoped this year was different. Ollie always loved birthdays, even more so than normal people. He remembered all those sleep overs when Oliver would wake up at the crack of dawn, and jump onto Matt, screaming, “It’s my birthday!” like the worst possible alarm clock there was. It had been years since he had a slice of Mrs. Morrison’s famous triple layer chocolate cake, or have to hear an off-key rendition of “Happy Birthday” by Oliver’s dad, but he was determined to make sure that this year was one for the books.
Matt snapped back to reality as Jess dug her fork into her bowl, stabbing the lettuce. “Well birthday’s are just another year closer to death”, she said as the plastic fork pierced through the crisp romaine. She looked over at a surprised Oliver, “Life sucks then you die.”
The boys sat there for a few seconds before Pete reached over and rubbed Jess’ back, “Jesus, could that have been any darker?” He looked over to Jess, “You sure someone didn’t piss in your ranch dressing?” Ollie and Matt awkwardly laughed as Jess shrugged her shoulders, blaming the outburst on post sweet sixteen stress.
The next day, Matt made the short drive over to Ollie’s. Considering how much time they spent together, and how they were literally two houses away, it made sense for the boys to ride together. Oliver suggested it himself, as he’d grown to love picking Katie up from school on the days Matty would take her to dance practice. Matt loved the arrangement too, unashamed to admit how he enjoyed a sweaty and heart-racing Oliver at his passenger seat after soccer practice, leaving the boys with a perfect excuse for some afternoon shower fun. He’d gotten over the need to keep his car clean real quick.
Matt knocked on the familiar door this morning, wondering if his fingerprints could be traced by now based on how often he was here. An extra chipper Oliver opened the door, pulling his boy in for a kiss after looking over his shoulder to ensure his mom wasn’t around. He’d come out to her two weeks ago and though he was met with nothing but support, he didn’t want to push his luck with public displays of affection.
Biting down on the boy’s bottom lip as he pulled away, Matty commented, “Someone’s in a good mood this morning.” He leaned in slightly towards Ollie’s ear, “I thought you’d be sore after the pounding I gave you last night.”
Ollie kissed the boy’s cheek, “You kidding? I had a full night’s rest- I fell asleep right when my head hit the pillow.” The boys snickered like children who’d just heard their first inappropriate joke. Oliver admitted, “God I love it when your parents take Katie to the movies.”
The boys laughed as they pulled away from each other, making sure to straighten out any ruffled pieces of clothing from the kiss. Ollie held onto Matt’s wrists, an act that Matty had grown to love. It was his boy’s way of making him feel secure, as if every brush of thumbs against his wrists was like Ollie checking Matt’s pulse, making sure he was okay. They lingered for a few minutes before Ollie looked over Matt’s shoulder at the large clock on the wall.
“Hey, I’m just gonna swing upstairs real quick. I forgot to print out my reflection papers for third period. Go ahead and grab a drink in the kitchen- I’ll be right back.” Matt nodded as Oliver turned around and jogged up the stairs, skipping every other step.
Walking through the rest of the house, Matt immediately turned a bright shade of red. He looked over at the leather couch, the redwood kitchen table and the countertop just around the corner- all places where he and Oliver had sex a few weeks ago. He swore he’d never be able to walk through this house without picturing Oliver, drenched in sweat and radiating heat as he pounded him; those brown eyes full of nothing but animalistic lust. He could feel his cock stir in his tight pants just at the thought of being on his back with his legs dangling in the air. Those dirty thoughts were cut short as he heard the sound of the sink coming from the kitchen- like a cold shower meant to tame the beast.
As he turned the corner, he saw Mrs. Morrison standing by the large farm sink, looking out towards the yard. The morning sun had cast a beautiful glare over her milky skin. She looked older these days, less vibrant than Matty remembered all those years ago. Grief does that to someone. It’s like Jack Morison took some of isveçbahis giriş his wife’s youth with him when he passed. Still, Matty looked at her poised frame drenched in morning light that covered each of the worry lines she’d gone used to wearing. She was arguably beautiful, if not a little more worn. He was about to call out her name, offering small talk as he usually did when she beat him to speaking.
“He’s a lot happier these days” Oliver’s mom commented, still looking out towards the fence line. Matt kept quiet, not sure if she was talking directly to him as her gaze never shifted. She continued, finally turning to him with a wet dish in her hand, “The other day I caught him singing in the shower. My son, singing?” She chuckled at the thought as Matty joined in, swinging around to the other side of the island.
“He was singing, very loudly if I may add, some trashy pop song that you kids listen to these days. God he sounded like is father- beautiful men, both of them, yet they have the ugliest singing voices.” She paused, placing the dish onto the rack as if the mere mention of her husband brought fatigue.
Mrs. Morrison wiped her hands on a clean towel, “You shattered him. That poor thirteen year old boy was nothing but a pile of debris, and Jack and I didn’t know what to do. We had a son who was broken cause his favorite person in the world wouldn’t even speak to him. Soon after, he closed himself off. And since then, we’ve been trying to find the key.”
Matt swallowed down at the emptiness in his mouth. He hoped he would never have this conversation, but here it was. Mrs. Morrison continued, cutting off the demons that haunted Matt’s subconscious, “Now I’m not telling you this to make you feel guilty. I’m telling you this because you need to know how much of an impact you’ve made.” Matt got a clear view of her eyes, but there weren’t full of rage or anger like he’d expected.
“You hurt Oliver all those years ago.” She paused, “But you’re also the person who brought him back to me; back to this world that includes more people than himself. Matt’s face softened a bit, melting the pout he had formed with his silent lips.
Mrs. Morrison’s expression also softened, wearing a smile as he went on, “The other week, after what I’m assuming was your first date, he came home and told me that he loved me before he went to sleep.” She could feel a tear forming at the corner of her eye, “God I haven’t heard him say that in years!” She chuckled. “You brought my baby boy back to me.”
Matt choked back tears as he felt Mrs. Morrison’s hands wrap around his. He could feel their softness as they brushed against his palms. “I’m just so grateful that he gave me another chance” Matt said as his voice cracked.
Yukiko Morrison squeezed Matt’s hands, nodding, “That boy adores you, Matty.” She looked back at the boy, assuring him, “You know when he came out to me two weeks ago, he didn’t say that he liked boys or that he was gay. He said that he was in love with you.” Matt looked surprised, not realizing Ollie had harbored those feelings for that long. Letting go of his hands, she shrugged her shoulders, “It was just that simple.”
Wiping her eyes, Oliver’s mom fixed her hair and adjusted her shirt as if getting down to business. She changed her tone, “So do you love him?” Her voice was firm, needing an answer.
Matt nodded and said, shyly, “I’ve been in love with Oliver since we were thirteen.”
“Good” she said, pleased with the answer and not needing anything more to say. She and Matty both exhaled, shaking away the serious nature of their conversation. Matt sat there with legs as weak as putty, dangling freely between the barstool. Was he pleased that the talk went better than expected? Yes. Would he do something like that again? Hell no.
Mrs. Morrison softened completely, wearing a smile as white as the pearls that hung around her neck. She kissed Matty on the forehead, something she used to do when they were kids. He immediately beamed at the act, feeling acceptance from the last hurdle he had to leap over. Pulling back, she cleared her throat, “Now tell me what you’re planning for Oliver’s birthday.” She looked at him knowingly, “It’s only two weeks ago and something tells me you’re not the type to settle for a simple dinner and cake.”
Matt lit up as he looked back at Mrs. Morrison, “No ma’am. I was actually hoping to go away for the weekend, just the two of us.” He immediately caught himself, “With your permission of course.”
Oliver’s mom chuckled at Matt’s nervousness, nodding her approval as the boy continued.
“He’s just been through a lot, and he deserves something really special” Matty said, looking off into the distance as a childish grin swept across his face. By now, the boys had progressed significantly in their relationship, yet there was still this innocence of young love that consumed the both of them.
Mrs. Morrison smiled at the sight. Matt Stevens, isveçbahis güvenilirmi in all his six feet and a hundred seventy pounds of glory was hopelessly and unquestionably head over heels with her son. It was an expression her husband used to wear around her, and in all their twenty two years of marriage, she never had to question how he felt about her. She assured, “Yes he does. Now you let me know what I can do to help.” She looked back at a relieved Matt who immediately wrapped his arms around her into a hug.
Oliver had made his way down the stairs, shouting out, “Hey sorry Matty, the printer kept jamming.” He looked around, trying to find him. Turning the corner he caught sight of his boyfriend and his mother embracing themselves in a hug. He crooked his head, chuckling, “Uh, what’s going on?”
Mrs. Morrison released Matt from her grasp, patting the boy on the shoulder, “I was just catching up with Matt here.” She looked over to check the time on the oven, “You boys should get going so you’re not late.”
Ollie nodded as he came around the island, still slightly confused. He kissed his mom on the cheek then reached for an apple, “Yeah, we’ll see you later, mom. Love you.” Yukiko’s face warmed as she felt her son’s touch.
Matt followed suit, mimicking his boyfriend, “Have a good day Mrs. M!” She nodded, reminding him of their earlier talk. In all the time that Matt had been friends with Oliver, he’d always known his mom as a woman of few words. She spoke when necessary- never the type to speak out of character or to show emotions without reason. Yet today as they parted ways, Matt could tell that she was wearing her heart on her sleeve. And as he turned his back and walked out with his boyfriend, he could feel the wall that was Oliver’s mother crumble to pieces.
Closing the front door, Oliver stopped just above the entry mat, “Was everything okay in there with my mom?”
Matt simply nodded, wrapping the circle around Oliver’s wrist. “Better than okay”, he admitted, then leaned in to give his boyfriend a kiss. He could feel the worry lines on Oliver’s face dissipate into the boy’s creamy white skin. The storm was over, only the calm remained.
The day before Oliver’s birthday, Matt could hardly contain his excitement. He’d practically said less than five words on the drive to school that morning, turning on the Bluetooth of his car and blasting The 1975 at full volume. Oliver didn’t seem to mind as he too rocked out, presumably leaving a trail of noise complaints through their suburban neighborhood. Matt had finished all the details of their weekend getaway and was making sure not to crack on this final stretch of secrecy.
By the time lunch rolled around, Matt resulted to a series of nervous ticks, from the tapping of his foot on the soft grass or the fumbling of his fingers against the picnic table. Oliver was his usual calm and collected self, looking incredibly comfortable in a bright white hoodie that Matt wished was just one size smaller. The boy pulled out a series of containers and a thermos, arranging them like a game of Tetris in front of the both of them. Matt brought it to his nose to take in the deep aroma of miso before drinking it down and warming his bones.
Matt let out a breath as he handed Ollie the thermos, “I swear, your mom’s cooking is to die for. She gives that Japanese place on Westchester a run for their money.”
Oliver nodded, pulling out a container of homemade onigiri, perfectly wrapped up in crisp seaweed like a Christmas present. “She makes all this for you, you know. This morning she handed me this Tupperware telling me its specifically for you because she knows how much you like salmon.”
Matt’s heart instantly warmed, and not just from the soup. He grabbed one, nearly devouring half of it in one bite, “No need to be jealous.” Oliver rolled his eyes as Matt admitted, “My mom intentionally makes lasagna whenever you tell her you’re staying for dinner, cause she knows it’s your favorite.”
Scarfing down the last of the rice ball, Matt shrugged, “I don’t even like Italian.”
Ollie laughed as he snatched one of the pieces from Matt’s container, “Guess we’ll both have to get used to it, Stevens.” He turned to his love, “Cause we’re in it for the long haul.”
Matt nodded in one of those moments where words weren’t needed to convey emotion. He looked out towards the grass, enjoying the warm sun that fell over them. Peter and Jess came walking by with Pete in his usually scraggy look that could only be described as comfortably chic. Jess looked great as usual, trudging through the lawn with some difficulty in her bright red wedges.
Oliver called out with his mouth still full of rice, “There you guys are!”
Matt waved as they came closer, “I’d offer you guys some food but Ollie here kinda ate most of it.” The two laughed as they found their seats with Oliver washing down his last bite with a bottle of orange juice.
Jess replied, “Thanks, but we ate already.”
Peter nodded, “Yeah, we wanted to catch you guys before the bell and wish Oliver here an early happy birthday!”
Returning the boy’s high five, Ollie paused, “Thanks bro. But I’m sure you could’ve just waited ’til tomorrow.”