It was almost five when I heard a knock on my door. My head was banging from all of the cryings, and throwing a pillow around my room. I buried my head in the pillow, thinking it was probably one of my siblings. “Leave me alone,” I called out.
The door opened anyway, and I thought it was my sister, guessing that she was the only one in the house who knew how to unlock locks (bobby pins. She uses them to her advantage). But the person standing at the door said nothing, and I felt myself get angry. “I said, leave me-”
When I turned around, Delcan was standing there. I paused for a moment, trying to decide if I was confused about him being here or if I was still mad. I sat up on my bed and hoped that it wasn’t obvious that I had been crying. My head was still hurting, but he was simply acting like it was normal for him to walk into my room.
“What are you doing here?” I asked. Delcan shrugged.
“You kinda left in the middle of class,” he said. “And for that reason, I was told to bring you your homework.”
He handed me a textbook with paper sticking out of it. I sighed and then put it down on my desk, where I’d try cramming it into the three hours before bed. While I was trying to grab a pencil to set down next to the work, Delcan said something. “Where are your parents?”
“They’re working,” I said. It was Monday, meaning they’d probably be home until midnight since Dad wanted to always talk to Mom about the week over an expensive dinner. I don’t know why they just always do that on Mondays. “How did you unlock my door?”
When I turned back around, Delcan shrugged, looking at the desk. “It wasn’t exactly locked in the first place.”
“But-” I hesitated. “Okay. What exactly are you doing here?”509Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡbtF5Uo4q1G
Delcan made eye contact with me, and I felt myself blush. “Homework,” he mentioned again. “Like I already told you. I thought that you would have no problem finishing your work, but I kinda need help on mine.”
I looked at him. “You what me to tutor you?”
He rolled his eyes. “No,” he said. “I want you to tell me the wrong answers so I fail high school.”
“Not everyone is smart,” he said.
I didn’t really consider myself smart. As my sister would say, I decided to date Delcan, for one. Two, I lied to my ex-girlfriend. Three, I lied to my entire family. Four, I lie constantly. And five, I may be school smart, but I will never understand friendship or love. “Name the classes you’re failing.”
“All but two,” he said, smiling.
I wouldn’t have been able to walk the next day. But Delcan didn’t live my life, and he had no clue what I went through. His parents probably understand his situations. “Okay,” I said, making sure I sounded reasonable. “Let’s see what work you have.”509Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡEdwuhlGXWY
509Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡDdilybidG9
For the next two hours, surprisingly interrupted, I helped Delcan through as much work as I could. We worked on math problems and history prompts for him, but he still only understood half of what I was saying. Delcan tried changing the subject by talking about the song playing on my TV, but I kept him focused.
While I was sitting at the desk, looking through the work, Delcan leaned onto my bed. “Thanks,” he said.
I stopped. “For what?”
Delcan shrugged. I hated how he could do anything, and still look beautiful. It seemed almost impossible. “The work,” he said. “To be honest, I’m beginning to realize how what I did in the past affects me still.”
I stopped doing my work and looked at him. “You’re not a bad person,” I told him. If we were going, to be honest, the least I could do was remind him that. Delcan rolled his eyes, but there was a smile on his face.
“You sound like my parents.”509Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡpgRMx7gzNb
“Then your parents must be smart,” I said back to him.
Delcan paused. “They are,” he said. “And responsible. Sometimes I just try to understand how someone like me could be their son.”509Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡcYfGuHLkFM
“Maybe you’re not,” I joked. He looked over to me, and I forced a friendly smile. “I’m joking.”
Both of us were silent for a few seconds, and I began to wonder if I had screwed something up. Other than the obvious, I wasn’t making the smartest decisions right now. Haven would probably tell one of her best friends - or worse, her parents and my life wouldn’t be the same. I was suddenly okay with that. Maybe it was like those 5 stages of grief, and I’ve just come to acceptance. There’s nothing I can do to fix Haven, and I don’t need to be responsible for her anymore.
But there is Delcan.
“Speaking of families,” Delcan said. “I should probably leave you.”
I didn’t want him to leave. Without saying anything, I took his hand as he turned back around to look at me. He hadn’t exactly stood up yet, but he was on the verge of it. I still held onto my hand, and I felt the hairs on my neck stand up.
Is this seriously the smartest thing you could do? My brain asked me.
I ignored it. “What is it?” Delcan asked me.
Without another word, I pulled him into me and kissed him on his lips. He smiled for a split second before kissing me back. Not resisting any of the kissing, Delcan opened his mouth as he ran his hands through my hair, and then gently pushed me down onto the bed. I had to bite back my smile as Delcan kissed me again.
All the pressure and the crazy moments were gone now, and I felt better. Touching Delcan, kissing him, that made all the pressure go away. I could easily lose myself when I was with him. Everything was better if it was just us. This was a type of language I’ve been learning, and loving, over the time of our relationship. Delcan took his hand up my shirt, and then I began to laugh. Delcan pulled away from me, but he was still close.
“What is it?”509Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡEIryoexULY
I’m making out with you in a house with a homophobic dad. This is hilarious. On top of that, he hates you. I shook my head, still smiling. “Nothing,” I said.
“Doesn’t seem like nothing.” Delcan’s hand was still on my chest, but it was clear that the mood had changed. I guess that was my fault.
I smiled again. “I’m such a bad⟴,” I admitted to him.
Delcan tilted his head to the side. “I’m sorry, you’re the bad⟴ in this...complicated relationship?”
Well, when you put it like that. “My dad would be pissed,” I said.
Delcan rolled his eyes. “He’ll cry himself a river and get over it.” He still hadn’t moved. “Plus, it’s not like you’ll be telling him any time soon.
I ignored that. “What were you and Evvie talking about?”
Delcan moved his body off of me, and I sat up, watching him as he began looking down at his phone. I couldn’t see his eyes, but he had found a way to look occupied. “I don’t know what you mean.”
“Spanish,” I said. “I didn’t understand any of it, but it just sounded weird.”509Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡYm3GAMliSF
He looked up from his phone now, his eyes brown. “That's what happens when you don't know another language, Ezra."
Rude. “Delcan-” I started to talk, but then my phone ringing filled the silence in the room. It was Evvie. Without trying to push it away, a spark of anger flashes when I realized we would never talk about this again. Before the phone almost dropped the call, I answered it, wishing my thumb would stop shaking.
When my attention was now on the screen (that was taking its precious time to connect), Delcan had moved closer to me, and everything on the inside felt better. His head went right onto my shoulder, and before I could do anything, the phone connected.
“What do you want?” I asked Evvie. She noticed Delcan instantly as he smiled. Evvie rolled her eyes.
Evvie looked behind her, and I realized the setting was different. “I’m at Haven’s house,” she whispered. I paused for a moment before my eyes looked over to Delcan. He was trying to hide it, but I could see the surprise in his eyes.
“Good joke,” I said. “The truth would be helpful.”
Delcan smiled again. When his head leaned into my ear, I jammed my fingernails into my hand to keep from showing any reaction. “Look,” he whispered seductively. “I’m having an effect on you.”
Evvie ignored it completely. “Haven invited me over saying that she wanted to talk about today,” she said. “I have no idea what part of, though. By the way, after you left, Delcan got mad.” I raised my eyebrows.
What did he do now?ns184.108.40.206da2