Chapter 6: Love, Revelation, and the Past

School was as annoying as it could get. Everyone kept asking Kaya who she was dating because she was wearing Ser’s clothes to school. Well, our clueless heroine Kaya tried shrugging off and ignoring those questions. By the time she came into Creative Writing she saw Ser at the classroom door, leaning on the wall casually. His backpack already in the classroom, and closely in front of Ser was none other than Trace. Neither of the two seemed to care about the people staring at them. Trace kissed Ser again and left quickly for class—brushing by Kaya.

"Morning," Kaya greeted Ser, forcing a broken smile.

Ser simply glanced at her and came off the wall. He twisted to enter the classroom as he uttered out in what seemed like an irritated tone, "Don’t fake a smile on me." Entering the classroom Ser left Kaya standing at the door alone. So, their friendship was a one-time thing. Was that even possible?

In Creative Writing the students were given a new assignment. The assignment was due on Monday, so they had Friday to work on it in class and gather ideas from each other. The assignment was of course, another short story. The topic, Experience.

For the first time ever Kaya actually had something to write about. She was able to apply the knowledge that Mrs. Lyson taught her and wrote a descent story. Of course, like any rough draft it was expected that the story wasn’t completely perfect. There was editing to do. By the end of the hour Kaya had finished her short story, nearly filling up her entire 70-page notebook, double space back and front. To add on, she wrote quick and messy.

"Kaya," Mrs. Lyson approached Kaya at the end of class. She hadn’t even realized the bell was ringing. When Kaya had been called a few more times she finally looked up and realized it was time for the next class. "You’re quite motivated today. Did something good happen yesterday?" she asked Kaya.

Kaya was suddenly struck into realization. Our heroine had no idea why she was so inspired to write her story. Truthfully, though she finished the rough draft in that one hour—she had a vague idea of what she wrote. Remembering wasn’t her best friend. "Ah, it’s nothing Mrs. Lyson," Kaya said in her embarrassment as she stared at the ground. Packing her things Kaya drew a smile. "I guess maybe today is an exception. Thanks for helping me all the time."

"No problem, I’m happy to help," Mrs. Lyson smiled at her. She drew her long golden blond locks over her shoulder and waved Kaya goodbye as Kaya stepped out of class.

"Ser," Kaya gasped when she saw him waiting for her at the door. "What’s up?" she tried to smile at him again.

With his hands in his pockets, his messenger backpack at his side, Ser said again, "Don’t fake a smile." He turned and walked alongside her down the hallway of students.

"Um… so, what’s up?" Kaya asked nervously. The fact that she was wearing his clothes caused her to be truly embarrassed, not to mention she slept in the same room in the same bed with him—even if he was homosexual. For some reason Kaya still couldn’t grasp why she was so attracted to him. She had never thought she’ll be attracted to a gay boy before. However, our little heroine of the story here didn’t know one thing. Attractions are by feelings or by psychological reasons. Girls are only attracted to a homosexual guy if they don’t know the guy is homosexual, the psychological part kicking in. The raw feelings itself, is either the hormones or the actual matured developed feelings that most teenagers are incapable of seizing. For this, the clueless-wonder is the ‘instinctive attraction’.

"Hang out," Ser simply said.

"Huh? You have Lunch too?" Kaya asked Ser. She hadn’t known that she shared Block A lunch with Se. In response Ser merely nodded. "I didn’t know that. Who do you sit with?"

"No one in particular," Trace’s voice answered Kaya. Kaya gasped at the shock when Trace came behind the two and hooked his arms around the two of his buddies. "Ser’s more of a loner. We have to talk so we’re going on the Senior Patio for some privacy."

"Isn’t the Senior Patio… for seniors?" Kaya asked suspiciously.

"Don’t worry, what they don’t know won’t hurt them. Not that many seniors show up anyway. Besides, you can’t turn down Ser’s lunch, he made it especially for today," Trace pulled his arms down and pulled his messenger bag from around his side to his front. As he begun to rummage through his backpack the matching identical of Ser’s backpack, as Kaya noticed, Ser walked ahead of the two in the busy hallway.

"Is he mad?" Kaya asked the occupied Trace.

"Hm?" Trace then pulled up his head as he put back his backpack to his side. The usually playful Trace observed Ser walking ahead of the two in a silent and distant mood. "Likely irritated. You can’t expect less from him though. Just minutes away, you know? Only wished we had more privacy to talk to you," Trace said to her with a smile.

"I know the perfect place," Kaya smiled brightly. She yanked Trace and rushed ahead in the hallway. They stopped in the Arts Hall as she pointed out into the school garden—part of the Senior Patio. "The garden is free of people. Mostly the greenhouse, but it’s warm in there. Right now the sprinklers should be on in the greenhouse so it’ll be cooled a bit for now," Kaya explained to Trace as Ser approached them.

"Ser," Trace turned around, instinctively able to sense his friend. He pointed out at the window to the greenhouse. "How ‘bout there? Great place, right? I’ll go get him and meet you two in there," Trace excitedly suggested rushing off towards the cafeteria. Ser walked out into the garden as Kaya hurried along after him.

"So…" Kaya began to speak after moments of silence sitting in the wide greenhouse with Ser. He sat down beside her quite closely it caused her to tense up. There was so much space, since the plants were all around the walls of the greenhouse, and a small patch of flowers grown in the middle. The greenhouse was used more for show than anything. "Um… Ser… if you liked girls," Kaya began to try to ask Ser. "Well, I mean if you weren’t… gay—I mean homo…"

"-The type of girls I like are honest, hard working, lovable, easily embarrassed, and cute," Ser answered her unfinished question with a sigh. He lifted up his head as he leaned back on his hands. When he had leaned back on his hands he had his hand over Kaya’s.

"I… see," Kaya said with a flushed face. She looked down to her left where his right hand was over hers. Why did she feel so embarrassed? "You aren’t bisexual, are you?" she asked him again.

Ser chuckled in his amusement. He lifted his hands as he sat up more properly. "No, I’m completely straight, Kaya," he told her lightheartedly.

"Straight?" Kaya shrieked. "But-But… You… an-and Trace…" Kaya was at a lost for words again.

"No. LEAVE me alone Trace!" another male’s voice spoke out as they entered the greenhouse. Kaya and Ser’s attentions pulled to the entrance yards away from them. Before them entering was a Hmong boy, perhaps a freshman. Clueless Kaya had to say he was cute, his spiky black hair and his memorable symmetric face—flawless. He wasn’t as scrawny either. Being clueless as she was Kaya still didn’t grasp the reality before her. "Trace-" the freshman turned toward Trace closing the greenhouse door. He was stopped when Trace kissed him. Like Trace really KISSED him. Kaya’s face completely turned red and her heart started beating faster when she saw such a hot kiss full of passion and desire. It was shocking. That’s the best way I can explain it to you.

"Can we leave the frolicking and embracing for later?" Ser sighed to the two lovers still kissing each other unwilling to separate.

"Stop!" the freshman found sense in himself and pushed Trace away. "You’re with Ser," he pointed down towards Ser. Kaya could see he was near tears, and she knew the feeling. The boy really felt heartbroken—as she felt heartbroken when she was dumped. Even before she started dating she had felt heartbroken. "What do you want with me, Trace? Just stop teasing with me already."

"I’m not teasing you!" Trace let out honestly. "Tong," Trace grasped onto the freshman’s shoulders firmly and looked him in his teary brown eyes. Trace shook his head and hotly kissed Tong again, even more powerfully than before. Kaya’s face burned red completely and she pulled up her hands to try and cover her blush. How could the two do such things before others? Wasn’t Trace dating Ser? Why was he kissing another guy in front of Ser? Why did Ser seem to not care? Kaya’s head was spinning by then, and she couldn’t understand anything that was happening before her. "Tong, you’re the only one I want," Trace pulled Tong into his embrace. "I love you."

"No! You’re lying!" Tong pushed Trace away again. "Stay away from me!" Tong growled at Trace with a deadly look. "We broke up, remember?"

"Who said?" Trace snapped back at Tong. "You never let me explain to you what was really going on, Tong! You wouldn’t listen—and how could I tell you when we were doing-"

"Ah!" Kaya covered her ears, afraid to listen to the rest of what they were saying.

"Okay, okay!" Ser snapped out, seeing he was giving them too much freedom to solve their own problems. "Get over here you two idiots," he sighed heavily. "I’ll explain everything," he told the two. Trace grabbed Tong’s arm and forced him over to Kaya and Ser.

"Who is she?" Tong pointed down at Kaya.

"Kaya," Ser called her name. She shook her head with her eyes tightly closed. With a sigh Ser grabbed her hands from her ears and yanked them down. "Open your eyes, don’t worry they aren’t having sex." Kaya slowly opened one eye, and then the other to make sure. She nervously smiled when she saw Trace and Tong sitting in front of her. Of course, it was still strange since Trace had Tong sitting in his lap. Forcibly of course. Tong still wasn’t convinced. "Kaya, this is Tong… Trace’s real boyfriend."

"Real?" Tong questioned.

"Ser is my best friend," Trace told Tong.

Ser went on, "I’ve been pretending to be Trace’s boyfriend to keep Tong safe from Trace’s enemies. Apparently Trace pissed off some kids back in junior high, and he was afraid that if they found out Tong was dating Trace they’ll come hurt Tong. So I’ve been pretending to be Trace’s boyfriend all this time. My parents knew about this, but since they didn’t trust Long to know—they had to act the way they did. Even with Yer."

"I see, so that’s what you meant when you had said you were straight!" Kaya smiled brightly at Ser.

"You’re okay with it?" Tong snapped angrily. "I’m outraged!" Tong suddenly leaped at Ser and pulled him by his collar towards him. There was a dangerous look in his eyes. "How could you violate my Trace in public like that?"

"On the contrary Trace found it enjoyable to torture me by making our fake relationship public," Ser explained to Tong without an ounce of fear. Fear came from love and adoration—which Ser had neither for his playful friend Trace, nor for the temperamental Tong threatening him. "So speak to your boy."

"Trace!" Tong released Ser and turned to his lover. He shook Trace back and forth. "You really do have hidden feelings for Ser, don’t you? How could you play my feelings you jerk!" Tong yelled.

"Isn’t he…" Kaya couldn’t put the words to it.

"-Moody, yes," Ser finished for her. "Tong is a bit emotional, but Trace thinks it’s cute. It arouses him." Kaya shrieked again and closed her eyes tightly, covering her ears with her hand. Ser rolled his eyes and sighed. He received something from Trace and pinched her nose, plugging her breath. Kaya opened her eyes and her mouth for a breath of air, and a spoon went into her mouth suddenly. Before Kaya could say anything she had already swallowed.

"You like?" Trace asked eagerly. Tong was pacified in his embrace while sitting in his lap. "Ser especially made it this morning for this afternoon. He said he wanted to confess to you with food."

"Confess?" Kaya coughed. She started pounding her fist to her chest to stop her coughing. "Why would he—I mean, why would you do that?" Kaya asked as she looked from Trace to Ser.

So, hearing her words Ser questioned, "You rather I didn’t confess my feelings?"

"What feelings? We barely know each other!" Kaya argued. Her face was flushed and she was terribly confused trying to understand. How could Ser possibly confess his love for her? She had no experience, she was clueless and stupid, she was average in the looks department, and she didn’t have big boobs either. What made him have interest? "Besides, how… how would you know if I like you or not?" Kaya shot back another question.

"You don’t have to like me," Ser told her staring down at the container of stirred fry and rice on his lap. "A confession is one-sided, didn’t you know that?" he smiled at her gently. There was a hint of sadness in his smile and his eyes. It made Kaya feel bad for rashly blurting out. "Truthfully, I’ve liked you since the day we met."

"Huh?" Kaya remembered the first day they met they both didn’t even talk to each other. It was the beginning of the semester and they both didn’t even introduce each other. The first time they really talked was yesterday night. "When was that?" Kaya asked dumbfounded. For the life of her she couldn’t remember where she met Ser. Yet the harder she thought the more Ser seemed vaguely familiar.

"At your dad’s funeral," Trace nudged Kaya to remember.

Then Kaya gasped, realizing Ser had been the boy who washed away her tears so silently and comforted her with a word. Her father whose arm had always been there to comfort and reassure her had died. Up from his death to his funeral Kaya cried, and didn’t eat a single thing. Her older sister was so worried about her. On the first day of the funeral there was a young boy she met. She couldn’t remember his name, but she remembered he’d caught her crying out back of the funeral home. He crouched down beside her and washed away her tears. It was he who hugged her and comforted her as she cried out louder into the distant, cold night’s enveloping darkness.

The second night of the funeral Kaya remembered he brought her some food and made her eat it. He said he’ll cry if she didn’t eat—and she hadn’t wanted someone so nice to cry for her. So she ate. Hungrily. It had been days since she ate, and thought she at like a pig and food was all over her face, he had smiled cutely at her. His smile had always been assuring. Even if they’d known each other a shot while.

The third and final night of the funeral, the boy made her a promise. He promised if they ever met again that no matter what he would take care of her and watch over her, in place of her beloved father. At the end of that night before he left the boy had taken her first kiss with him.

She was ten then…

"You’re… him?" Kaya looked into Ser’s eyes as Trace and Tong took the food from Ser’s lap. "You’re the boy that helped me to live life without Dad." Kaya quickly and eagerly grasped at his elegant princely hands. The very hands that saved her just that last night, and the hands that held her at his home, the hands that held her when she slept, the hands that wrote stories like magic… Those hands were the same ones that washed away her tears years ago, the same ones that helped feed her, the same ones that raised into the night and vowed—promised—before Heaven to take her father’s place. She’d given up waiting for that boy, that promised dream, yet he showed up even when she’d told herself she didn’t need him.

"I know your pervious experience with boys… makes you doubt my intentions," Ser said to her gently. "But I will never break my promise, Kaya. So…" he looked down for a moment to think.

When he looked back up to speak Kaya had pulled up and embraced him tightly, her arms around his neck. Happily she said to Ser, "Thank you for keeping your promise…" The tears that fell, and were washed away by Ser’s magical hands, were for the first time… tears of happiness.

Epilogue

So, have you guessed the lesson learned yet? Well, I’ll let you to believe whatever should be learned from this. I have two things left to do.

Firstly, the lesson here is: don’t believe everything you hear. It is because of rumors and gossip that got us such a thing as ‘high school hierarchy’ and labeling. This helps no one.

Though there are more lessons in this story than just that, always remember: whatever you hear from others who aren’t the true source to such things you hear, may not know the full truth either. Another lesson learned, prejudice and hate leads nowhere. Well—what I’m trying to say is, take out of this whatever you can. This is life. This is what life gives, experience and moral.

Secondly… can you guess who I am? Here’s a hint: My hands are magical…

 

 

 

Ser Her

--Don’t Fake a Smile

The End

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