Anthony made a mistake.
ANTHONY: A big mistake.
A rather big mistake.
ME: It can't be that bad.
ANTHONY: I slept with Brad.
Oh sweet Jesus made of red velvet.
ME: I'll call you right back.
I got Brad on the phone ASAP.
BRAD: Hello, Kevin.
ME: Don't you--um--Hello me! You slept with Anthony?
BRAD: It just happened.
ME: How? Were you both at a naked party and just happened to bump into each other?
BRAD: We were at a seedy bar. We were sloppy drunk. Gaga was playing. It was just one of those situations where all the pieces fall into place.
ME: Apparently that wasn't the only thing falling into place.
BRAD: Ew, don't be crass.
ME: This is a huge setback for Anthony.
BRAD: The boy wanted to have a little bit of fun. If you beat him over the head for it, you're going to lose him again.
ME: Good-bye Brad. I'm defriending you on Facebook.
BRAD: You wouldn't dare!
ME: Temporarily. Just to teach you a lesson.
BRAD: Great. I guess I won't be able to read any more of your witty posts about life.
You know what I hate about cell phones? You can't dramatically hang up on people.
I drove over to Anthony's apartment, where Aaron and AJ were already waiting for me.
AARON: He's really upset.
ME: Brad was that bad? I mean, I know he's no Mario Lopez but--
AJ: He thinks you're going to kick him out of the club.
ME: The club?
AARON: You know, what we have.
AJ: The Proteges.
ME: Guys, it's not a club. I'm just trying to help you.
AARON: So we can't wear the t-shirts then?
ME: There are t--never mind.
I knocked on Anthony's bedroom door, and he let me in--the room still smelled a bit like Brad--a mix of expensive cologne and cheap values.
ME: How you doing, slugger?
ANTHONY: Let me have it.
ME: Have what?
ANTHONY: The speech. I know you're going to give me a speech. So just let me hear it.
I contemplated sitting down on the bed, but god only knows if they remembered to put a catch-blanket down.
ME: Anthony, this process is a lot like a diet.
ANTHONY: You're saying I'm fat and I need to diet?
ME: No, I'm saying when you mess up you can't get down on yourself. You just have to do better next time.
ANTHONY: It's just hard. I think I'm doing so well and then--
ME: You sleep with Brad.
ANTHONY: And as soon as I did it I was like--What the hell?
ME: Look, maybe I'm too hard on you guys. I don't want you to think that you can't screw up. I've screwed up. I've screwed up more things than I've gotten right.
ANTHONY: And you get over it?
ME: If it weren't for mistakes, I'd be boring. I'd rather be anything than be boring.
Anthony smiled. It was then that I noticed he was wearing a 'Protege' t-shirt.
ME: Anthony, take that off.
ANTHONY: Kevin, please, I already hooked up with someone once this--
ME: No, that's not what--never mind. Let's all get dinner.
The boys and I went out and had a great time.
It was then that I realized maybe these proteges were actually becoming my friends.