“You look like shit.” That was Maxxie. Five foot nine or ten of pure, blonde, camp energy. He’s about as gay as they come, a year younger than me and also my best friend. Originally, a few guys in my year were beating the crap out of him because he doesn’t hide his sexuality. I noticed, and figured being gay isn’t something anyone can help being, so I stood up for the poor kid. I mean, no one else was going to, and he’s not the fighting kind. He’s the roll-over-and-take-it kind. Anyways, once these bully kids had had a good heart to heart with my fists, they got the idea. They haven’t bothered him since, not much anyway.That was about two years ago now. Maybe a little more.
“Thanks, man. I really needed to hear that right now,” I grumbled, suddenly wishing I had hair that was long enough to cover my face and hide the dark circles under my eyes.
“You know I love you really,” he tutted, patting my cheek gently. The problem was, I think he really did love me. Again, he didn’t exactly hide it. He just didn’t seem to care. He was so fucking shy when I met him. I’ve ruined him. Though, probably not the way he wants me to. Ahem.
“I do. I love you too.”
“You tease,” he pouted, looking out over the Thames. We were sat on a bench. I’d had chips, but they seemed to be Maxxie’s now. “You’re wasted on the heterosexual world. Wasted.”
“You’ve mentioned,” I laughed a little.
“Even though you really do look like shit. I hope you aren’t planning on going back to school looking like that,” he glanced at me sideways, tipping maybe the fourth sachet of salt over those chips. I didn’t understand how they were edible like that.
“What else am I supposed to do, Maxxie?” I sighed, “I’m Lucas’ plaything now.” Yeah, Maxxie knew. He’d taken longer than me to get his head around it, but I’d needed someone to confide in, y’know? He lit a cigarette, frowning a little.
“Tell him to go easy on you. You’re not as pretty when you’re all pale and tired looking,” he said through a lungful of smoke. “I still wouldn’t say no, though,” he looked kinda thoughtful for a moment, before letting out a chuckle.
“What?” I asked, wondering if I really wanted to know.
“Just imagining us together in a few years time, with a house and kids,” he grinned playfully, dodging my fist with ease.
“Grow yourself some tits and I’ll think about it,” I laughed. His response was to pull the neckline of his shirt down and grab his pecs, squishing them up so they made cleavage. I pretended to be transfixed as he, still grabbing his chest, got up and started dancing to whatever music was in his head, doing his best to look sexy. His bright green eyes flashed in my direction as he looked at me from under his eyelashes.
“Is it working?”
“Sorry, Maxxie, but you’re still barking up the wrong tree,” I chuckled. He didn’t seem at all deterred by it, sitting himself down in my lap. If his dancing hadn’t gotten us some weird looks, we were certainly getting them now. “I think you’ve had too much sugar.”
“There’s no such thing as too much sugar,” he giggled, pecking me on the lips. He was very much the touchy feely, huggy, kissy type, and I think all these years of having very few friends that didn’t mind him being himself had made all the camp behaviour build up and up until we were left with the giggling mess that he was when we were teenagers. I wrapped my hands around his waist, lifting him up over my shoulder as I stood up.
“C’mon, you. Let’s go home. Mum’s probably making enough dinner for you,” I grunted, holding onto his legs so he didn’t fall. He made this high pitched excited noise.
“I like your mum’s cooking,” he reminded me, which was code for ‘I really hope I can stay at yours because I’d rather risk being eaten by a vampire than go home’. Yeah, Maxxie didn’t hide who he was around me. When he went home, it was a totally different story.