Chapter IMature

     "I'm bi."

     After a few seconds of silence, Chester finally gets up the courage to look up. David's face is blank, his eyes wide. It was to be expected. In a town like this, being gay was a death sentence. No one was anything other than heterosexual, so admitting to something like a homo- or bisexual sexuality, you were bound to get harrassed.

     The silence continues until the tension becomes unbearable and Chester snaps. "Say something, damnit!"

     David flinches. He's not like he was before I left, he thinks. He's changed so much.

     "I... I'm sorry, it's just... You know," David falters, glancing around him at the other boys at the park. Chester sighs. "I didn't think you would actually tell anyone."

     Chester's brow furrows. "What? What are you talking about?"

     David meets Chester's mismatched, confused eyes and shakes his head, forcing himself to smile. "Nothing. Just thinking out loud."

     Chester doesn't believe him, but when David doesn't want to tell you something, there's nothing you can do to get it out of him.

     "So, are we gonna head out to Maddie's now?" Chester's brilliant half-smile returns.

     "Definitely!" They leave the skate park, Chester with his skateboard, David with his BMX bike, and when they get on the sidewalk, they mount up and ride away.

     Halfway to Maddie's house, it begins to rain. Chester speeds up on his skateboard and David laughs. "So, you finally managed to get good enough to keep up with a bike on that shitty board?"

     Chester smiles, pulling up the hood of his dragon sweater, complete with small wings and horns on the hood. David always thought the sweater was embarrassing, but Chess likes it. "Yupp! I had a couple weeks where I didn't work because of court and watching Kaylee and all. We were outside a lot, and I taught her how to skateboard."

     They pull up in front of Maddie's house and David calls out for her before turning to Chester. "You taught a nine-year old how to skateboard?" Chester nods. "Are you sure that's a good idea?"

     Maddie pokes her head out the window of her second floor room and gives "just a second" signal. Chester gives her the thumbs up, then gives David a look.

     "Come on, David," he says cheerfully. "She's old enough to have walked in on the step-loser and mom and to have understood what was going on, but she can't learn how to skateboard? That seems unfair."

     David makes a face. "I walked in on my older sister and her boyfriend once. That was bad enough." They laugh, rolling their eyes. When Maddie finally comes outside with her backpack and rollerblades, the boys are already soaked to the bone. "C'mon, hurry up!"

     Maddie laughs, pulling up her hood. "Let's get out of here before James wakes up!"

     The three friends roll down the street, headed for freedom.

The End

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