Oakleaf Academy For Boys (BxB)

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forty one

“So?” Benji grinned.

Diesel sighed, though he couldn’t conceal the way his eyes lit up from a murky mixture of amusement and excitement. “How do you know about this?”

“I nicked a newspaper from a guard.” Benji whispered dramatically, his eyes darting over to the teacher, making sure she couldn’t hear their conversation. He’d read about it. A meteor shower taking place tonight. Nothing could stop him from watching that, not even the thick walls that locked them in. “The guard you tried to make me suck off.”

Diesel paled at the mention of an event which had haunted him, drifting through his head, infecting his sanity, his consciousness. “You know I don’t do that anymore.”

Benji’s smile only grew. “I know. But it’s only been a week since you quit dealing drugs. What if you change your mind?”

“I won’t.”

“But how do you—?”

“Because of you. I won’t.”

Benji smiled, his fingers grazing Diesel’s across the table, his small way of saying thank you. “So, you’ll sneak out with me?”

“How did I end up with you?” Diesel asking lovingly. The icy chill was absent from his voice. The bitterness, the coldness, the stony nonchalance was drained. The Pup had filled him with tingles and love. “Of course I’ll watch the stars with you.”

“Great.” Benji’s entire expression lit up, “I’ve invited Lucky too, is that okay?”

Diesel rolled his eyes, “Why? You scared to be alone with me? Can’t trust yourself to keep your hands to yourself?”

Benji nudged him teasingly, “You know how miserable he’s been recently. It’ll be fun.”

They didn’t have any grand plan to sneak out that night. They were going to meet in the corridor and try their luck. Neither boys had been out at this time before; so long after curfew. They just prayed that the guards had gone to bed and forgotten all about them. And if they hadn’t, then they were in deep shit.

“Where are you going?” Quinn groaned, rubbing his eyes and rolling over to face Diesel. The creaking floorboards and Diesel’s rustling sheets had awoken him.

“Nowhere.” Diesel whispered back, pulling on his jeans and tucking a packet of cigarettes into his pocket. “Go back to sleep.”

“You meeting Cooper?”

“Yes.”

“Why? He allergic to sunlight?” Quinn scoffed.

“Meteor shower.”

Quinn shuffled out of his blankets, sitting up in bed as Diesel flicked the light switch. He squinted and shielded his eyes at the stinging brightness. “Can I come?”

“No.”

“I’m coming.”

“Quinn—”

“The stars are for everyone.” He argued, hopping out of the bunk and quickly getting dressed, his eyes lidded from exhaustion.

“Pup?” Kit yawned, sitting up in bed when he noticed Benji’s creaking bed groaning. “You off?”

“Yeah.” Benji replied in a soft whisper. “It’s okay, go back to sleep.”

“Where?”

“Stargazing with Diesel and Lucky.”

Kit shuffled into a sitting position, hugging his duvet close to his body, “Can I come?”

“Yeah.” Benji grinned happily.

Lucky was stood in the shadowed corridor, his sleeves pulled past his fingers, waiting for his friends. It’d been a month since Sebastian had left his life. He was getting better. He was slowly healing, slowly becoming Felix Waters again. He no longer belonged to Sebastian, no matter how much he loved him. Because every day he loved him that little bit less, and every second he missed him that little bit less.

There will come a day when Lucky says Sebastian Steel’s name for the very last time. And not until that day will he be truly forgotten.

But for now, he was just a shadow cast over the blue haired boy’s life. He had no real power over him. He was just a memory, a whisper, an experience. He was just his first love and his first loss.

He’d have a million heartbreaks in his life, and Sebastian was the very first.

He smiled gently to himself, letting Sebastian’s warm coffee eyes fade into the corners of his mind. He’d walk with him every step of the way until Lucky learnt to do it without him.

“Hey.” Benji appeared, Kit trailing closely behind. Diesel emerged from the depths of the shadows moments later, accompanied by his roommate, Quinn.

Quinn and Kit exchanged a chaste kiss, their fingers weaving together. They were no longer ashamed of who they were; who they were together. Maybe they couldn’t show the whole world quite yet, but they will. They’ll learn. And one day, they’ll be able to walk down the street hand in hand, no shame or doubt daring to appear in either boy’s mind.

As the five boys walked out of Oakleaf’s tall, protective walls, a smile crept onto their faces. Oakleaf had trapped them, kept them prisoners, denied them of fresh air or childish experiences. Deprived them of the clouds and the stars. The lazy nights out and the snug mornings in. It had broken each and every one of them, leaving each other to pick up the pieces.

They found a patch of grass under an oak tree and settled themselves there. A line; two couples, a fearless boy and memories of a fallen soldier.

The stars were twinkling, the moon looming over their fragile forms. Their frail embodiment of humanity. Stars blinked, planets twirled and the breeze brushed through their hair.

Thoughts of confusion, joy, despair flashed in their minds.

Pierre Blake.

Benji’s Mother.

Diesel’s faded scars.

Alex.

Kit’s broken family.

The library swarmed with ghosts.

Humanity shattered, broken, fragmented; reduced to five teenage boys, loving, hating, losing, and ever so slowly dying.

“You see that?” Benji whispered, a shooting star fluttering down to earth.

Diesel didn’t reply, just slipped his fingers through his boyfriend’s. Benji’s fingers grazed his cuts, and Diesel tightened his grip. ‘I know’, he said without words, ‘I’m working on it.’ But he managed to find the only words that mattered, “I love you.”

“I love you too.” Benji murmured back, snuggling up to his side.

Kit and Quinn were so deeply infatuated with each other, laying side by side, watching the universe go by without partaking in it, they didn’t need to use their voices. Just one look told the other exactly what they were thinking. They loved each other too much to say, too much to even try and put into words. Words didn’t do their love justice. Nothing did. So they loved each other silently. And it was enough.

Lucky’s eyes welled with tears and he blinked them away, smiling to himself. The two couples either side of him were happy, and so was he.

He didn’t need Sebastian. He didn’t need anyone. He needed himself.

He was alive, he was healthy, he had friends, he had a family. He had everything he ever needed. And with Alex’s photograph tucked into his back pocket, he felt almost complete. He was going to get out. He was going to have a life; a real one.

And he was happy.

They all were.

Fuck Oakleaf Academy For Boys. They thrived in a place designed for torture. They suffered, they cried, they screamed, they endured.

Humanity shattered, broken, fragmented; reduced to five teenage boys, loving, hating, losing, and ever so slowly dying.

But not here. They wouldn’t die here.

Here, they were going to live. In so many ways beyond survival.

• The End •
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