Eff and I managed to get seats, right near the back. The bus is always overcrowded on its first pass by the school after the last bell has rung. We take up every seat, aisle and handle bar. Half of us are standing. It's practically a hostile takeover of the transit system.
He watches her out the window. She's that girl from before, kissing the guy who looks so much like Eff.
I think I know why. There's three of them with those distinct features; one's a niner though. You see, Eff's father's not in the picture - never even was, except for fifteen minutes in a dark alleyway. Or, so my Daddy told me; he's a cop, see.
Miranda Reynolds must enjoy these Friday nights almost as much as I do. Because when her son is out of the house, she's free! She's liberated! There's always gratitude in her voice when we drop him off, or she picks him up. It's that fleeting happiness, so ephemeral, that hides in the edges of her cheeks and the twist of her gentle smile.
Does that make her a bad mother?
I try not to judge. I don't know what she does with her weekends, whether it's one Friday night or a whole Friday to Monday-morning relief from motherhood. I like to think she's seeing someone. A therapist, a date, a group of girlfriends... something other than her empty apartment. And because her name is Miranda, I always imagine she's got a personal life right out of an episode of Sex And The City.
By now, I've zoned out. I usually find myself staring off mindlessly into some corner of space. This time, I'm staring directly at Eff, and I don't even realize it. Something catches my attention. I'm like a cat, for it is shiny. Something shiny where it doesn't belong.
It reminds me of Edward Cullen from the movie Twilight, when he's in sunlight. Scintillating skin, a handsome face. Then I realize what it is: a tear. I single drop upon Eff's cheek with a thin, moist trail leading up to an empty blue eye.
My right hand jerks involuntarily, as I feel a sudden longing for my sketchbook that is tucked away in my backpack. I repress the urge though. The bus is bumpy, and the tear won't stay there forever.
See? Now it falls.
And now, I remember what Miranda beseeched of me. I am to learn, to observe, and to make him happy. Get to the root of the problem, and fix it if I can.
Somewhere, in the back of my mind, it occurs to me that Eff might be crying over the girl. But, why then would he have greeted her so kindly while she was in the arms of another man? His reaction made no sense to me. Besides, I'm quite sure that Eff, like me, plays for the team with less players. After all, if he were straight he would not cry for her. Instead, he'd suck it up for thirty minutes until he was off the bus, in his house and behind a locked bathroom door at which point he'd deal with his frustrated emotional issues by jerking off. Call me narrow-minded, but there's only one place that I've seen straight guys cry tears of sadness, and nobody seems to be conducting a God damn funeral on this fucking bus!
Eff and I didn't have the typical platonic male-to-male relationship. First of all, I cannot recall an instance in which we shared a dirty joke, discussed girls, boys or sex. Mind you, we had a webcomic and it did deal with the topic. But that was never personal.
He'd stopped crying, but he still looked sad. It was as if he was running on empty, with nothing left to cry.
One of the main characters was quite the contraversial pseudo-impossibility. He was a cross-dressing, highly conservative, homosexual Muslim, who hid his feminine beauty in public beneath a burkah. It was Eff's idea.
Lately, Eff and I had been working our way through episodes of various TV shows on DVD or through streaming video on the net. And we'd just finished both Kyle XY season 2, and Firefly Season 1. The plan was that we'd start our sleepover with the movie Serenity, which is a follow-up to the Firefly TV series. However, I decided at this moment to change the plan. For once, I had to make things clear to Eff. Queer As Folk, Seasons 1-5, the boxset DVD collection I kept under my bed. The first few episodes. He'd see the parralel, wouldn't he? I practically was Justin, the young, virgin homosexual artist looking for love.
The bus reached my stop, and we got off together. Pun may or may not be intended? We'll see.