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Chapter Two

[TRAVIS]

“Heads up!” Sam screamed from the other end of the stall as a bag of potato chips flew across the air.

“Hey!” I said catching it in reflex. Sam just stuck out her tongue and headed for the other stall.

“That girl is crazy,” Jonah said and I nodded in agreement as I stuffed the potato chips into the cart. The mall was a bit rowdy today, end of the week and all.

“We still have to get some monsters and DR. Peppers,” Sam said, brushing past us, her dark hair in a ponytail.

“I thought the get together was here in the mall!” Jonah protested throwing his hand in the air, but Sam was already in the hallway, leaving the stall.

“Damn it, where’s Jasper, Sky, and Tony when you need them,” Jonah said messing with his buzz cut before proceeding to move the trolley.

“Somewhere in Walmart,” I offered, stopping at a shelf to pick out some packs of tic-tac.

“What are you doing?” Jonah asked, irritation building up in his voice.

“Um, shopping,” I muttered, shrugging as Jonah rolled his eyes. I picked out about three packs of tic-tac and a couple packs of extra chewing gum, looking up over the stall I spotted a surprisingly familiar head of dark brown hair.

“Travis, dude are you buying that or not?” Jonah asked shaking my shoulder. I sort of blinked repeatedly before uttering a very confused ‘huh?’ Jonah rolled his eyes before snatching the gum pack from my hand before glancing over the stall.

“Is that Alexander?” Jonah asked, somewhat interested.

“I guess,” I said, still gazing at the back of the maroon turtleneck sweater, the lion mane sort of hair hitting his shoulders as he stood on his toes to reach for something on the top shelf.

After a few minutes of staring aimlessly, Jonah nudged my shoulder wordlessly urging me to move.

“Come on, we have to catch up with the rest,” he reasoned pulling me lightly away from the shelf. I was about to follow suit before sighting some guy walk up to Alex.

“Wait!” I said, shrugging Jonah’s hand off my shoulder. I heard him groan behind me but I wasn’t really interested in what he thought. Still watching Alexander through the shelf, I sort of took a breath intake as he turned, grinning at the guy approaching.

What?

Alex never smiled. Okay, maybe the occasional chuckle or laugh at your expense, but he never smiled.

I think I almost lost my eyeballs when this person put his fringing arm around Alex, and Alex just smiled looking down at the jar of peanut butter in his hand.

“Err, what are we watching?” Jonah asked, leaning in behind me.

“I don’t know, a bunch of faggots?” I suggested scorn biting into my tone.

“I don’t know. They could be brothers,” Jonah reasoned as the guy rested his dark head atop of Alex’s.

“Sure,” I said in a sarcastic voice, rolling my eyes.

“They could still be brothers...” Jonah pondered. I watched not too convinced as the guy nuzzled Alex’s neck.

“Okay, we’re watching a bunch of faggots,” I heard Jonah sigh behind me in defeat.

I didn’t pay attention to Jonah. I just stared on at the pair. What exactly did Alex see in this guy? I mean the dark mysterious look doesn’t work anymore unless you counted twilight. The guy was in a pair of faded jeans and a green sweatshirt, his dark hair was shoulder let and periodically touched Alex’s face whenever he bent over to see what Alex was holding out to him.

“Can we go? This is getting a bit creepy...” Jonah asked from behind. I ignored him, looking on, watching as this ‘guy’ fondled with the collar of Alex’s turtleneck.

“What are you guys... wow,” I heard Sky say behind us as her lean weight rested on my back.

“I can’t believe he’s gay...”

“I can’t believe he’s smiling,” I said sincerely, still watching the pair in disbelief.

“Um, guys, isn’t it weird just staring?” Sky asked, removing her weight from my back.

“She’s right Travis, we should leave,” Jonah sighed behind me.

“Who said anything about leaving? I’m going to say hi,” Sky mused, and that got me sharply turning around with a big ‘what?’

“You don’t have to come with me if you want to,” Sky said, shrugging, her curly red hair bouncing with the action.

“Uh, we’ll just wait for you here,” Jonah said rubbing the back of his neck.

“Okay, I’ll be back in a sec,” she said, turning into the other aisle. As she approached them, I couldn’t help playing out what exactly would happen. Alex would frown, the dude would demand who she was. All in all the shit wasn’t going to end well.

“Hey!” Sky chirped when she got close enough to them. I watched in surprise as Alex turned over still smiling as he waved.

“Care to introduce me?” Sky asked, corking her head to the side as she took a good look at the guy. I frowned quite annoyed as Alex spoke in that stupid indoor voice as he motioned towards the guy, who took Sky’s hand and shook it vigorously. They talked for a while, the stupid guy still holding on to Alex’s hand... Is there no shame in this world anymore?

“Um,” I heard someone clear their throat behind me. I frowned not so impressed by Jonah’s attitude.

“Knock it off Jo,” I said, still looking straight at the ongoing conversation I couldn’t pick anything from.

“That’s not me...” Did I hear Jonah trail beside me... besides me? Shit.

“Should I file you for stalking or shoplifting?” I heard as I turned to meet a mall cop face to face.

*

“So how was the conversation?” Jonah asked. We got bailed out by Sky who explained the situation to the cop.

“Homey I guess,” Sky said shrugging, two shopping bags dangling from her left hand, the other hand preoccupied with texting.

“I don’t get it...” Jonah said, feeling his buzz cut with his hand again. He should just ask his dad to let him grow his hair out if it bothered him so much.

“Well he’s in my geography class, so it wasn’t as if I was exactly popping out of nowhere,” Sky said, chuckling a little.

“So, did he deny it?” I asked, trying to get her to move to the point.

“Deny what?” Sky asked as we walked into the elevator to the top floor. We were meant to meet up with the others in the cinema upstairs, that was the get-together, what we just did was Sam’s groceries — typical.

“You know, being gay,” I said, turning to face the elevator mirror. I bit my lip as I looked straight at the blond features that stared right back at me. Aren’t they enough for Alex? I blinked at my own though, completely embarrassed at the heat I was feeling on my cheeks.

“Well no, it’s not like I asked. He did introduce the guy as his boyfriend though,” Sky said plainly as she walked out the newly opened elevator door.

“He did what?” I asked in a loud tone.

“He introduced the guy as his boyfriend, said his name was Chris and he was a literature student at the local university,” Sky said, waving her hand as if the conversation was irrelevant.

“So, he’s not hiding it?” Jonah asked, surprise in his voice.

“Why should he?” Sky asked as if the situation was as normal as any other.

We closed in on the crowded cinema. You’d think the cinema at the mall would be less crowded than the regular one would — wrong.

“Hey, where have you twerps been?” Sam asked, running up to us.

“Nothing really, what movie are we watching?” Jonah asked, uninterested.

“Well, I was talking to Alex, these two were watching from the corner,” Sky said, still texting. I almost burst out laughing at the terrified face Sam made.

“You can’t talk to that sociopath!” Sam suddenly yelled, pouncing on Sky as she began to shake her roughly, making Sky’s phone fall to the floor.

“My phone!”

“Don’t ever talk to Alex again!” Sam threatened not quite basking in the fact she might have broken Sky’s phone.

“Get off me!” Sky said, finally prying Sam off her.

“Hey! I don’t even know him that much... I just know he enjoys literature, sort of cranky in school and has a boyfriend named Chris,” Sky said already all over her phone on the floor.

“Alex’s gay?” Sam asked, her features softening in interest.

Damn. Why does Sam knowing about this make me feel certain that everybody would know about this by Monday morning?

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