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I kicked a rock on the sidewalk, unsure of what to do. Mom was at work and Gabe was getting drunk with his buddies again. I didn't want to come home. It was my birthday.

"Hey! Percy!" A familiar voice called from behind me. I started to smile uncontrollably at the blonde.

"Hey!" My delight was quickly turned into curiosity. "What're you hiding behind you?"

Jason grinned nervously and presented me with a skateboard. It was black with blue wheels and an ocean design on the bottom. I stared at it.

"I didn't get to wrap it or anything, but... Happy Birthday!" He said. Jason looked up at me hopefully.

"Jason, you can't-" I stuttered. "You can't give me-"

"I do what I wanna do. Take it- I know you've wanted a skateboard for forever!" He grinned and shoved it into my arms.

He... He remembered. He remembered his birthday. I felt something rising within him like a balloon. "I can't take this..."

"No, you take it. I'll tell ya what, my birthday's on July 1st. You can get me a gift then, I don't care." Jason smiled.

I didn't speak. I couldn't speak for there were tears welling up in my eyes my throat was burning. I quickly wiped my eyes with my sleeve as Jason peered worriedly at me.

"Thank you..."

I smiled in adoration at the skateboard. It was the only thing I possessed that I cared about maybe other than my relationship with Jason. It represented everything that I had left to live for. Someone who cared. Something worth looking forward to.

I hate to admit it. I hate making any connection towards someone who cares for me because it could only hurt us. They'll get hurt. I'll get hurt.

But he was an exception. He overpowers my fears and is worth the risk. I looked up from the sidewalk and the pale yellow setting sky as a knot welled within me, knowing that I would have to go home soon and this feeling of peace won't last.

Jason meant everything to me. Jason saw me as a friend. I saw him as a savior. Jason saw me as a friend.

A friend.

Somehow, that hurt.

A friend.

I couldn't see him in that way. He was the rainbow after every storm. He was the eye if my hurricane. He was more to me than I will ever be to him.

I was in love with Jason Grace.

I picked up my skateboard and stood up. I knew what awaited me at home. I enjoyed the scent of freedom and the elated feeling in my chest before heading home. Soon, it would be replaced by the scent of liquor, cigarettes, and old socks and with pain.

He's the rainbow after every storm.

All I had to do was wait out the storm.

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