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Laundry Illustration
Laundry Basket ~ (Modified) Getty Images

It was a quiet evening, the first Saturday since Dalton and his new roommate Evan had moved into the apartment just off campus. Dalton was propped on the second-hand sofa, feet up, leafing through a new sci-fi magazine, and every now and then munching on some Chex Mix or taking a swig of his Dr. Pepper.

“Hey,” muttered Evan as he passed on the way to the utility room.

“Hey,” called Dalton as he looked up, and promptly spilled the soda, sputtering and fumbling for everything at once. “Omigosh, Evan!” Evan was completely naked and carrying a basket of clothes to the washer.

Evan turned back around to see the commotion. “Yeah? What?” he walked over, still carrying the small armload. He stopped by the chair. He couldn’t help but grin at the scrambling mess that was his roommate. Unfortunately, it also put his waist nearly at eye level.

“What’s the matter, Dalton? You spilled your drink.” Dalton tried mopping at the liquid with his shirt, which was soaked. He recovered enough to set down his cup. The snack mix had already scattered across the table and the floor.

“Guh, you’re, you’re naked!” Dalton was having real trouble looking anywhere else. His attention kept focusing on Evan’s body. It didn’t help when Evan leaned over and handed him a towel.

“Yeah, I know. Here.” He giggled. “Your eyes are so big. Don’t tell me you’ve never seen a guy naked before?”

Dalton took the towel and tried very hard to look only at what he was doing, but it didn’t really work. He was embarrassed and getting only more flustered. “Yeah, of course, it’s just…I really didn’t expect you, I mean…. Evan, you’re what, fifteen and more preppie than me. I looked up, and suddenly, you’re right there.”

“You’re lookin’, too.” Evan snickered.

“Sorry. I’m trying not to.”

“It’s OK. You can look. And I’m not fifteen, I’m seventeen. I know, you’re gonna say I still look fifteen. I know. I’m still seventeen.”

“But it’s not OK. Evan, I’m not a freshman. Wait, I am a freshman, but I mean I’m eighteen…. Aw crap, I’m sorry. I know you don’t like people treating you like that.”

“You’re right, I don’t like that. But Dalton, I do get it. You’re OK. Go ahead and look, I don’t mind. If I didn’t think you were OK, I wouldn’t have stripped like this. Don’t get all worried. You know your shirt and stuff’s all wet. You better take ’em off and gimme the towel. And no, I didn’t plan this. I’ll get you a new magazine.”

“I-I didn’t say you…. Thanks, about the magazine.”

“Come on, better take off your shirt. Whatever else. I’ll throw it in the washer. Don’t get all worried. If I see anything, you’ve seen mine.”

“Yeah, I guess.” Dalton handed him his shirt and looked down at himself. His khakis weren’t too wet, maybe he could….

“Evan…what are you doing? What is all this, really?” Dalton was suddenly very self-conscious. His pants and shorts really were too wet. He could throw them in the washer with Evan’s things. That would mean they’d both be naked.

The thing was, that was kind of appealing. That felt…he wasn’t sure if that was OK or not. He had been looking at Evan and Evan knew it. “Didn’t you know you were gonna startle me? Now…what am I supposed to think?”

Evan looked him in the eyes and quietly said, “Only you know what you want to think, Dalton, don’t blame me. I didn’t really think about it. I may be a near genius, but I don’t think through every little thing I do. I’m used to this. I didn’t think you’d spill your stuff all over and have to change. I’m sorry you’re weirded out. I’m OK with you looking me over.”

Dalton looked down and bit his lower lip, deeply embarrassed.

“I’m OK with you, Dalton. Was I trying to make you, you know, strip off and…do things…? Not really. I was just teasing, I didn’t mean to freak you out. Look, Dalton, I may only look fifteen, but I can tell you’re interested and trying not to be. And you think maybe I’m trying to make you be. I think you’re afraid it’s wrong for you to like looking. Well, it’s fine if you do. I might like seeing you. I think you’re afraid because you’re eighteen and I look younger. But come on, you can’t tell me that never happens in high school between guys and girls. Or sometimes between friends. So how come this is any different? I’m in college too, you know. I’m a certified boy genius, everyone says so. So if I like you enough, yeah, maybe we could do what you’re wondering about. You’re worried about it, though, whether that’s OK for us, either or both. We’re in college. If we both like each other and we want to play with ourselves or make out, OK. If it’s more than that and we really, really, really like each other and fall in love and make love…well, I was only planning on doing laundry, but all that sounds a lot more fun. So…you wanna?”

Dalton wasn’t worried about his pants any more. And soon, Evan wasn’t thinking about the laundry.