The boy skateboards down the street, listening to his music through his Skullcandy headphones, leaning back to turn around a corner. Stopping at a red light, he cries out to the dark-haired boy sitting on the front step of an apartment building directly across from him. The boy raises his brown eyes and smiles as the rainbow haired boy removes his headphones as he crosses the street.
"Hey, David," says the boy with the skateboard, running his long fingers through his rainbow hair.
"Hey, Chess," says David, the dark-haired boy, taking in the rainbow hair. "What's with that?"
Chess drags his fingers through his multicolored hair again and smiles.
"What? I like it," he winks at a couple of giggling girls that walk past, making them giggle harder.
David's eyes get wider. "Are you wearing... eyeliner?"
Chess's smile grows and he sticks out his tongue, piercing clicking against his straight, white teeth on the way out between his full lips. "It's only eyeliner, don't worry!"
David rolls his eyes.
"I go away for five weeks and when I come back, you're not even the same geek you used to be!"
"So? Now that the step-loser divorced my mom, I can do what I want to do," David's jaw drops.
"Your step-dad... what? I’m so sorry!”
"Don't be. I'm glad the old bastard's gone!" Chess sighs, gets up off the steps, and starts walking towards the skate park. When David catches up, he continues. "Now the old fuck can't hit my mom anymore, he can't spend every one of my mom's paychecks on drugs and alcohol!" Chess laughs bitterly. "In the last two weeks, my mom and I have made so much more money than we're used to having. For spring break, we're going to Disneyworld with my little sister. Fucking Disneyworld, David! Do you have any idea how excited she is!?"
David slowly smiles. "And he can't do creepy shit to you anymore."
Chess's smile disappears.
"Oh, shit, sorry," David frowns.
"Nah. It's okay," Chess shakes his head, forcing his smile to return. “The asshole’s gone. Besides, it sucks to have to watch what you say all the time.”
They finally make it to the skate park and Chess sits on a bench to wait while David unchains his BMX.
"I can't believe school starts tomorrow," David sighs, putting the key in the lock. "Grade twelve... Then I'll go on to be a lawyer, and you'll be stuck flipping burgers for the rest of your life." He laughs.
"Nah. I'll take care of my mom and Kaylee for a year or two, then go to university and become a teacher." Chess puts his skateboard on his lap and motions for David to sit down.
"Really, Chester? You’re going to become a teacher!? I thought you hated school."
"Not really. I just hate most of the teachers. That's really all anyone hates about school. So, I'm going to be a cool teacher, and then people will actually want to go to school!"
"Wow... so, why are we sitting here instead of showing off?"
"I....." Chester, known as Chess to all his friends, falters. "I need to tell you something. Something important that you can't tell anyone!"
"Do you cut yourself?"
"Yes, but that's not the point," Chester sighs. "This is harder to say than I would have thought."
"You're messed up... But tell me already!"
Chester takes a deep breath. "I'm bi."