When I got to the liquor store, Ethan was already there. He had sunglasses on and was leaning against an old, run down car with what looked like bullet holes in some places- and a lot of broken glass. He looked like he was texting.
"Hey." I said to get his attention. He had an old school rap station on at a low volume. He jumped a little and smiled, taking off his glasses.
"Hey Daniel. Here get in there's no glass on the seat I promise!" He laughed.
As he walked to the driver side I got in the car, trying to hide my bloody, cut shirt.
"Thanks for picking me up." I said nervously. It had only been a few hours since he last saw me, so I felt a little awkward.
"No problem. Hey put on that hoodie and take these." He handed me his glasses.
"Um. Why?" Is he embarrassed to be seen around me?
"Haha just the neighborhood you know? Don't want anyone dangerous seeing you." He reassured me and I nodded. I dug my jacket out of my backpack which I had completely forgotten about. I pulled it on uncomfortably, but was careful to not show any sense of pain. After throwing the hoodie over my head and popping on Ethan's sunglasses, I felt more comfortable.
Ethan slowly pulled up next to an alleyway and hopped out. He walked to my side and grabbed my backpack for me which I was secretly grateful for. After manually locking his car, I followed him to a shady looking apartment complex. We walked all the way to the end and Ethan quickly ushered me in the last room, number 707. I took off his glasses when we were inside and looked around. It wasn't too bad, there was a corner full of empty beer cans and some random video tapes.
It seemed like Ethan tried to clear up a bit before I came, but it was hard to say since I'd never been there before.
"Nice apartment." I said and looked out the window to one of the alleyways I walked through to get to school.
"Thanks. So, what's up?" I knew he was referring to why I'd asked him to hang out, but I played dumb.
"Nothing really. You?" He gave me a seriously look. I smiled back.
"Why wouldn't you tell me what was wrong on the phone?" I froze for a second.
"I just... Felt kinda sick to be there." I knew he would assume I meant the incident from this morning.
"Okay. I'll figure out the real reason eventually."
Why is he so good at telling when I'm lying?!
"Lemme see your room." I said, changing the subject. He looked a little embarrassed.
"Yeah. So there's four guys living in here and two rooms so I share one with my buddy Fox. I think you met him..." There was an awkward silence then I nodded.
"Okay lemme see it then."
He lead me into a surprisingly neat room except for a corner with some laundry on the floor. I noticed that there were no pictures, just a closet and two mattresses on the floor.
"Which one is yours?" I said pointing to the mattresses. He pointed to the one with black sheets.
Who's genes led to me being this awkward?
"You wanna go like, watch TV or something?" He asked me anxiously.
"Oh yeah, definitely." We walked out of the room and sat down on the couch. I winced a little as my back hit the couch, and I hoped Ethan didn't notice.
YOU ARE READING
Sixteen year old Daniel Layman has been bullied since he came out. His best friend and protector Sean, moved to Los Angeles leaving Daniel to fend for himself in Oklahoma City. Along with trying to survive every minute of hell at school, Daniel also...