Chapter Eight

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The humid morning air clung to my skin while I walked down to Cheven's house. I found her tying her running shoes on her porch steps. "Well, well, well." She said, standing up with her hands on her hips. "The prodigal running buddy returns."

            I laughed and hugged her, "I shouldn't have left."

            "Alright let's go run our asses off!"

            We took off down the street and I was so happy to have this bit of normalcy back. I breathed in the fresh morning air as my arms pumped rhythmically at my side. I smiled as we ran around the lightning-struck tree and ran back to our neighborhood. My mind wandered to Kendal and the information I had learned about her that weekend. Part of me wanted to out her to everyone, and give her the Hell she'd given me. But the other, more sympathetic side of me thought that there must be an explanation for why she didn't feel safe coming out at school. I hadn't told a soul what I'd seen, and neither had Hanna.

            Cheven and I sat on the porch steps of her house. "Are you excited about the tournament this weekend?"

            I turned to her, "Yeah, as long as Kendal behaves this week."

            Cheven laughed, "I think we're all banking on that."

            "Is Southridge going to be there? I can't remember."

            Cheven looked up, trying to recall, "Yeah I think so. That team is fun to play."

            "Hell yeah it is." I wondered if Alex's team being there would throw a wrench into things. Cheven and I sat together, shooting the breeze until it was time to get ready for school.

~

            After school the next day, I walked over to Hanna's car to talk to her. "Hey I heard Hairspray rehearsal is cancelled tomorrow."

            "Oh yeah, the director has a family thing. I thinking about having a movie night tomorrow, do you want to come over?"

            "Umm, Hell yes I want to come over!" I said, grinning.

            She laughed, "Good, come over whenever you want! I'll be there," She smiled.

            I practically skipped over to my car, imagining an evening cuddled up on the couch with Hanna. "What are you grinning about?" Kayla asked when I got in the car.

            I told her the truth, "Hanna invited me over to watch movies tomorrow."

            "Oh cool," Kayla said, "I'll be there tonight studying with Isaac."

            I laughed, "'Studying,'" I said with air quotes. I started the car, "How is dad letting that happen?"

            "Oh relax, we're restricted to the dining room." She laughed and looked out the window as we moved out of the parking lot.

            "Why are you asking Isaac for help anyway? You know you have a wise older sister who is willing to help you right?"

            Kayla smiled, "Well we made a deal, if Isaac can help me get up to a B average, then I'll take him to the Halloween Dance."

            "Isn't he who you wanted to go with anyway? Which I don't understand by the way, Isaac's like my little brother."

            "I don't feel that way! He's cute!"

            "Maybe it's because I'm gay, but all I see when I look at him is this dorky goofball."

            My sister stared at me, "It's definitely because you're gay."

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