forty five

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The room went silent. My eyes were wide as I turned my head to look up to the boy's face. Connor stood in the middle of the living room, frozen, as he realised what he had just blurted out. With every second passing, his face got more shocked. He stared at his parents, and they stared back. It almost looked like a frozen painting. The world seemed to slow down for a moment, as I saw tears form in his eyes, running down his face in a matter of seconds. His shoulders slumped down, a look of utter fear on his face while still staring at his parents in shock, unable to move.

You could hear a needle drop, one might say. But with this silence... with this silence you could hear a single feather hit the ground.

Whoever said silences were peaceful and for the matter, silent had been wrong. This silence was deafening. This silence was thick with emotion; with questions and with regret. I felt my heart sink into my chest with it.

The moment now was like the peace before the thunder. Like the silence before all hell broke loose. But I didn't dare move, and neither did anyone else. Everyone seemed to be holding their breath, waiting for what would happen. And even though only a couple seconds had passed since he blurted the word 'boyfriend' out, it seemed like hours.

And then everything started moving, it seemed to be happening in slow-motion. Connor turning around and dashing for the front door, Nicola jumping up and preventing their parents from running after him or exploding in whatever reaction they might have, Dodie bursting out in maniacal laughter and me jumping up and running after Connor.

"Connor! Connor, wait!" but he was gone already, the door having slammed close. I ran after him nonetheless, not paying attention to the scene unfolding in the living room, not caring whether the door had closed or not.

What I cared about now was Connor. All I cared about now, as I ran outside into the pouring rain, was Connor. Connor, who was running away onto the street. I stood still for a moment, orientating myself and looking in which direction he had gone, after which I started running to the right, spotting Connor. He was running, but even from here I noticed he wasn't concentrating on that.

"CONNOR! HEY! CON, HOLD UP!" I shouted after him, already almost out if breath from the sprinting. He didn't stop immediately, but slowed down before sinking to the asphalt. When I reached him, breathing hard, the first thing I saw was the rain on his clothes, which made his shirt stick to his fit body. But the first thing I noticed was the loud sobs escaping his mouth, the way he was just a heap of person sitting down on the street while breaking down.

"Oh, Connie..." I whispered, my voice almost breaking, before shrugging my wet jacket off and laying it over his shoulders. It was wet, yes, but not yet soaked. And it always gave some extra warmth. I shivered myself, the cold air and rain now directly hitting my arm and shirt, giving me goosebumps.

He didn't acknowledge me, just kept on sobbing. His shoulders hanging low, his hands in his lap and his head hanging down. I felt my heart shatter.

Because his legs were in a cross-legged position, I held his hands up with mine and sat in his lap, wrapping my legs and arms around the boy, stroking over his back.

"I- I fu- cked uh-up, Troye" he hiccuped through his tears. The boy buried his face against my torso, clenching his fist on my shirt. Whereas my tee had first only been getting wet from the pouring rain, I now felt warm tears sticking to it.

"Sssh, hey, pretty boy, it'll be alright," i hushed him, drawing slow circles on his back with one hand. I moved my other up to his hair, to the back of his neck where his hair ended. Just a little bit higher up, I ran my hand through his hair, pressed a kiss on top of his head, and rocked him back and forth slowly.

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