Chris guessed it wasn't a lie, but it was a lie. All of this. He kept going round and round about this in his head with Max. But he couldn't say it. No, just wasn't feasible when he knew he wanted this as much as Max.
But what would become of them? Really? Wouldn't it be so much easier to shed light on this than to stumble around in the dark with each other? But he knew Max now. And he liked being with him at night, waking up next to him in the morning.
Chris was beginning to think he just liked secrets. How was he going to handle this, anyway? Would he ever come out and say it to his boss down at work. "Well, I'm seeing someone now, I have a boyfriend." The words didn't even sound natural coming out of his mouth. Not by the way he looked, nor the way he stood. He just wasn't gay enough. Now was he? He was sure his sister would say the same. "Oh, I don't think so, you are so not gay?" And they'd have a laugh and move on to something else.
But there was Mrs. Reinhart giving him the look over at the grocery store. Chris hated being here. It was nice to shop with Max, but if they did, it was a trip into the city out on the west end where it was much more normal to go into an organic food store and see that everyone was just like yourself there. But Max was seldom seen with him here. It just wouldn't happen. So he had his list. He hoped he'd get what Max wanted. So many vegetables it made his eyes hurt.
"Now aren't you the shy one?" Mrs. Reinhart finally spoke, and Chris did his best to be cordial to the upper lip older woman who didn't really fit the mold of some of the others at church. It was as if they were beneath her. "I suppose you consider yourself an assistant of some sort, don't you?"
"Not really." He shook his head, no. Chris didn't know where this was going. He wanted to push his basket on, pay for what he had and leave.
"Does he know?" Mrs. Reinhart kept looking him over as if she knew everything. "Does he know how you feel about this boy that Brother Max's sister is marrying?"
"What?" Chris gasped. Then came a cringe. "Oliver? Um, he's just worried about his sister, that's all. That's all there is to it." Chris gritted, feeling as if his stomach might fall out then.
"So you say," her smile was nasty.
"We're friends." Chris guessed. He so wanted to tell her how it was. He could have. But he let it go. Pushed his cart on. He looked back then and saw her staring at him.