LIE

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Chapter 22

When I died, there was no flash. No black or white. No replay of life. Just black and white stars and hollow dots on a black background. But that comes later.

At the end of the day, Brian picked me up from school and we hit the road.

"Let's go to the hospital. Get you out of that sling." Brian said with a grin.

"Couldn't you just take it off? You're a doctor." I stated.

"True, but I can't take it off; it's better for a different doctor to. Aside from that we're legally family." He explained. What in the hell does all that mean?

"Huh?"

"Protocol." Brian said simply. Oh.

When we left the hospital, I cheered left and right.

Brian chuckled, "be careful."

He walked on my right side as we crossed the parking lot. I chuckled mentally; I'm his left eye, he's my right eye.

When we got in the car and pulled off, I leaned forward and looked up at the sky. The clouds were gray and stuck together, like a wad of cotton. Maybe they'd burst.

"So, what do you want to do?" Brian asked.

He was driving, I just didn't know where.

I sat back and darted my eye back and forth.

I've never hung out with a grown man; what does a grown man and teenaged boy do to have fun?

At that exact moment, my mind became a multiple choiced answer question:

What do you say?

A) Scream

B) Freeze

C) Say nothing

D) Food

I chose a mix between A and D.

"Ice cream!" I brought my hands up to my face.

I saw Brian's eyes widen in amusment. He had a smile too -- he was trying not to laugh.

"Okay. We can go get ice cream." A small chuckle broke through.

I almost giggled when I saw the big white 'DQ' sign. I think I get too excited when food is involved.

When we went in a cold breeze hit us. There was a small line. People sat at tables or booths talking and eating. I knew what I wanted.

"Ready to order?" Brian asked me once it was our turn.

I panicked and everything was thrown out the window.

"Uh...can I get uh...yeah, a small...teeny tiny vanilla bowl, please? Like super small." In my head, I was thinking needle sized small.

Both Brian and the clerk tilted their heads in confusion.

"So you want a small?" The lady asked.

"Yes." I answered. I said 'small' even though it's not the size I want. I just don't like people spending money on me, that's all.

I chuckled lowly and walked slowly over to the napkin dispenser. I started pulling a few out. You never know what could happen.

"Luc," Brian called. I turned around to him. He held both ice creams in his hands.

"Why don't you pick out a seat?" He suggested.

I grabbed two spoons, "okay."

I looked around. I slid into an empty booth beside a window.

Brian set down my bowl in front of me. "Thank you."

"Sure." He said as he sat down.

I handed him a spoon. He took it and stuck it in his ice cream.

"You know," Brian started. I tensed up, who knows what he wants to talk about.

"I've been wanting to get to know you for a while. I just wanted to wait until you were comfortable, I know you're a bit afraid of me." He finished.

I tilted my head a little. "You want to get to know me?"

Is that normal? I mean, Chet never bothered to get to know me. The only thing he knew was is that I'm gay. A "stupid faggot," I think it was. How would Brian react if I told him that? How would any of them react?

"Of course." Brian answered.

"Feel free to say whatever you're comfortable with." He said as he picked up a spoonful of ice cream and ate it.

What would I say? I need a prompt.

"Could you ask me something, please?" I asked slowly.

"Sure; favorite color?" He said quickly. He kind of scoffed at himself.

"Never really had one." I answered. I really never thought about colors.

"Oh." Brian said.

I was kind of nervous. I keep thinking he's going to ask deep questions.

"Favorite artist? Musical, I mean." He said.

I perked up, "David Bowie."

Brian guffawed then quickly composed himself.

"You don't like him?" I asked.

"No, I like him. In a way." He started.

"I just don't know any teenagers who listen to the "old ones" I guess. All you hear now is cuss words pulled together in an incoherent line."

"Guess I do now." He muttered under his breath.

I shook my head. "I never liked that kind of music."

Anarchy forever!

"I guess you and Jason are similar." Brian said.

Ah right. He doesn't entirely listen to today's music.

I realized I never ate my ice cream. I quickly picked up my spoon and ate a small scoop. I'm glad I ordered a small. I didn't want to slow Brian down.

"I'm a Libra. If you're into that kind of stuff." I stated. I was interested in zodiac signs. I firmly believe their traits are accurate to our's.

Brian nodded. "Gemini."

"And the others?" I asked.

Brian struck a thinking face, "let's see..."

"I think Jeanette is a Capricorn. I'm not so great with the dates..." He said.

"Jason is an Aquarius." He finished.

I nodded in awe. Brian chuckled.

"I'm sorry Brian. I keep thinking you're Chet. And that's not fair to you." I said suddenly.

"You're not him. I know that now."

Brian looked up at me. "You don't need to apologize. I can see why you are wary around me and I understand it."

"Luc, you didn't deserve anything that happened to you." He said. He had this face...almost reflective.

I adverted my gaze. What the hell am I supposed to say to that? All I could do was look up and smile weakly at him.

After we finished our ice cream, we headed to the car.

"Want to go Go-Karting?" Brian asked as we walked.

I raised an eyebrow. "What's a Go-Karting?"

Brian glanced at me. I hunched my shoulders.

"They are motorised cars that you can drive around a track, to put it simply." He explained. I nodded my head, interest piqued.

"Do they go fast?" I asked. I'm all for going fast.

"Yes."

"This helmet is squeezing my head." I thought. Guess that's the point though.

I crawled into the passenger seat of the Go-Kart beside Brian and strapped in. I can't drive because of the handicap. The cars were loud. We'd probably be deaf by the time we get out of here.

Our car sat in one of the two lines somewhere in the middle. The track itself was big, wide, and curvy. There was a big traffic light in front all the cars hanging from a rod. It was red.

Tension built when the light turned yellow. Wait, is this a race?!

I don't really care about winning or whatever, just the thrill.

The light turned green. The sound of tires screeching echoed and cars began to speed off.

Eventually Brian stomped on the pedal and the car took off. I hung on to the side for dear life. Adrenaline was pumping!

Cars passed us. We passed some.

"Go faster!" I yelled at one point.

"Whee!" Brian said as he followed a curve.

I stepped out of the car after our time was up.

"Okay, that," I gasped as I took off my helmet, "was fun." I laughed giddily. My head felt numb and heavy.

Brian took off his helmet and held it under his arm. "Glad you enjoyed it."

I smoothed my hair down in the front. Since we were already out, I decided to ask about painting my room.

"Hey, can we go to a department store? Or something like that?" I asked Brian after we turned in our helmets and headed out.

"Sure. What for?" He asked.

"I...wanted to paint my room."

"I-If that's alright with you guys." I stammered as we approached the car.

"It's fine. We can go." Brian said as we got in the car.

"Ok, thank you." I said lowly with my head hung.

Let's see... I scanned the wall of colors. Deep red or dark red? No. I don't want red.

I grabbed a color flap and held it up in the air for Brian to see. "How about denim?"

"Whatever you think suits you best." Brian responded.

We bought a can of paint and painting supplies then left the store.

I can't wait to get started!

When we walked into the house we -- mainly Brian -- were ambushed by Jeanette.

Brian yelped as she hugged him and gave him kiss on the cheek.

"Brian!" Jeanette squealed. "You were right!"

Brian hugged her back and rubbed her back.

"Of course." He sighed.

What're they talking about? Is it my place to ask?

Jeanette cringed. "You boys smell like dirty metal."

Brian let go of her.

"Go shower!" She ordered as she nudged him.

"Fine..." Brian sighed as he walked away. Probably heading upstairs.

Jeanette opened her arms and leaned forward. I flinched away from her. She froze, "oh, right. You don't really like hugs that much."

"It's not that I don't like them, they're awkward to me." I responded.

"Okay." Jeanette said.

"What you got there?" She pointed.

"Paint. I'm painting my room." I stated.

"At some point." I added.

Jeanette grinned, "I'll help!"

I hunched my shoulders. Eh. "Thanks." Was all I could muster up. I was always used to doing things on my own, so her saying that just made me confused.

Brian:

Later that night, I lay awake thinking.

Jeanette was laying beside me. We had briefly spoken about what Luc and I did today. I told her about his interests. I was happy that we got to finally hang out. Hopefully we can do it again.

"Oh!" I suddenly remembered something. "He's interested in Zodiac signs."

"Ooh. What's his sign?" Jeanette asked.

"Libra." I answered.

"So his birthday is probably coming up soon." I said.

I closed my eyes and started to doze off.

"But, Libra month is over." Jeanette's voice said.

Huh?

I opened my eyes. "What?"

"I'm pretty sure it ended on the 23rd." She pondered.

"Oh my god!" She gasped. I sat up quickly and she followed my lead. Panic set in; only a few weeks in and we're already failing as his adoptive parents!

We missed his birthday!

"Wait, wait, wait!" I gasped and hopped out of the bed.

I ran down the hallway as silently as I could and downstairs. Records. Gotta find his records!

"Yep," I said as I put down Luc's information sheet. "October 21st, 2001."

"Oh, man..." Jeanette gasped.

"What do we do?" She asked.

"Apologize for forgetting." I stated my opinion.

Luc:

I couldn't fall asleep. I just sat on my bed staring at the bleak white walls. I wasn't really thinking about anything. My mind was just thoughtless. That made me happy, in a way.

And then suddenly, I smiled. I feel like I haven't seen Jason in a while. I wanted to hang out.

We can do it tomorrow. I dropped onto my side and tried to go to sleep.

In the morning, Jeanette and Brian were acting weird. Secretive too.

They were getting ready to leave. Jason and I stood at the door in front of them.

"So, we'll be back later today." Jeanette said clinging to Brian's arm. They were both kind of...jittery.

Jason and I exchanged glances.

"Kay! See ya!" Jeanette said as she ran out the door with Brian.

"Come on. We can hang out in my room." Jason said as he walked away.

We were hanging out. Somewhere along the line we decided to wrestle. Needless to say, Jason was a lot stronger than me.

Jason threw me and I felt something break, and heard something shatter. I wasn't stopping. All I could see was the grass getting closer.

It was all black. A white small dot here, another there. I died. I died, I died, I died. I was so certain.

My body jerked when my legs were grabbed. I heard Jason yelling.

That all happened fast. I came to.

"Oh god!" I gulped.

I looked up. Sure enough. I was hanging out the window and Jason was holding me by my legs.

"Pull me up!" I snapped. Jason's face was turning red.

"I can't!" He strained.

"What?! You can throw me out a window but not pull me back in?!"

"Gravity's increasing on you." Jason replied.

"What do we do?!" I questioned.

"Okay...bend your knees...and relax your body." Jason said. I'm going to die.

"Jason what the fuck?!"

"We need help." Jason panted.

I thought for a second. He's always outside!

"Dex!" I screamed loudly.

"Dex! Dex!!" I screamed again.

Nothing.

"I'm losing my grip." Jason cried out.

"Uh yeah, go ahead and have them put "Killed by the adoptive brother" on my tombstone!" I snapped.

He tried to tighten his grip, but I was slipping.

I looked down again. A person was approaching. I could barely see them.

"Oh! Hi, help us?" I asked politely. My head was starting to hurt, and I'm about ready to puke.

"Sup suckas? Whatchu doing?" Dex?

"Oh! Dex it's you!" I cried.

"You couldn't tell?" Jason called down.

"I already have the one eye! This makes it a hundred times worse!"

"Don't worry, shawty! I's got a plan!" Dex gave a 'V' on his hand.

"Ok." I practically sobbed. He ran away.

I was kind of hopeful, but more sure I was going to die.

Dex came back with the plan in his hands: a trashcan.

Oh my god.

It was full. Dex took out a couple bags, then positioned the trashcan under me.

"Nnnnnnno! No, no!" I protested.

"Just do it!" Jason's voice cracked.

"I'd rather die." My voice strained. God I'm about to puke.

"Shawty!" Dex called up to me.

"Being smelly is a lot better than a broken neck!" He said.

"He's right, Luc." Jason agreed.

Fuck.

"Wait." Jason said. "I'm holding onto you, why am I trying to convince you to let go?" He said.

"What?" I roared.

He let me go. I shrieked all the way down.

I landed right in the trash.

I'm already embarrassed enough, so forgive me for not telling the next part.

We sat on the porch. I held my face in my hands and Jason sat beside me with his hand on my shoulder.

Dex was on the other side of me grinning.

My head was pounding and I felt like the wind had gotten knocked out of me.

"Well shawty, it's been a blast. As always." Dex said. I assume he stood up.

"See ya!" I just waved lightly when I heard the grass crunching.

I moaned lowly. "I am so sorry." Jason said sincerely.

I wanted to go lie down, but I couldn't will myself to get up and walk. "I should go lay down," I stated in a sickly tone,

I started to get up. "Don't you think you should wait?" Jason questioned.

He got up along with me. He helped me walk inside. Even walking that short distance nauseated me.

"Nevermind. Just put me on the couch please." I said. Jason complied and lied me down on the couch.

I draped my arm over my eyes.

"You gonna live?" Jason questioned.

I grunted in response and "passed out."

Days passed, so did events. I'd love to stay and tell you about them, but I'm not going to.

Jeanette:

I burst into the break room and saw Brian sitting at a table about to eat his lunch.

He looked up at me. "What's wrong?"

"Luc's been suspended!"

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