fifty nine

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C O N N O R

It proved quite hard to convince my parents to skip graduation. All of my high school life I'd been living towards that moment, to graduating and leaving this town, and they couldn't believe me when I said I'd rather go to some youtube event than attend graduation. At first they just laughed, thinking I was making a joke. But when I didn't laugh along nor said anything, they turned serious. My dad got his glass of water from the side table, took a sip from it and leaned a bit more forward in his chair.

"Connor." His tone was a combination of a sigh, seemingly tired and disappointed of this, and like the start of a scolding. I looked up and wiped my, now sweaty, palms on my jeans. "We don't want to keep you from having fun, but graduation is crucial. You only get to graduate high school once in your life. It truly is a once in your lifetime experience." I knew all that, but I felt like it was a better thing to go to vidcon with Troye. After all, that too was a once in your lifetime experience. I'd rather miss graduation than miss Troye announcing his EP.

Besides, he was way too stressed about the whole thing and it was clear he needed someone there. And I'd rather I be that person than have Tyler be the person that has to comfort him. The guy was nice, yes, but the fact that he and Troye went on a couple dates and he looks at my boy the way you look at someone you at least like, made me slightly jealous and more aware of his presence.

"I know that, dad," I figured the best way to handle this was by acting rational and calm, rather than to get angry and shout at them. "but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, too." I looked both my mom and my dad in their eyes, and swallowed once, before continuing. "I need to be there for Troye, make sure he feels at ease when going up that stage. He's going go announce his EP, dad. He's been working on that for so long, so hard, I can't leave him hanging now. He's really stressed just thinking about it." I bit my cheek, wondering if it was nice to say the plane tickets were bought already and that we would have to leave in a couple hours to make it to the airport on time.

My mom sighed, and it seemed to me as if she started accepting there was no way to talk me out from this. My mind was set, and she knew me well enough to know that once I really set my mind to it, nothing would keep me from doing it. She laid a hand my fathers knee, and a couple looks were exchanged. I didn't know for how long I sat there on the couch, tensed up and waiting for either of them to speak up. Probably not really long, but it felt like forever.

"Connor..." I cast my eyes upward to my mom, "sweetie, we don't want to deny you the opportunity of being there for him, but it is graduation we're talking about. Are you sure you'd want to miss that? All your friends will be there, people will be asking why you're not present- they..."

"–so? If they ask where I am just tell them I had something more important than graduation. Besides, graduation is just putting on that weird cap and gown and walking down to the front of the auditorium, receiving a paper and them snapping a picture."

"Well, yes but..."

"Mom! I don't want to go. I want to go with Troye to support him and be there for him."

"Right. Okay. Then go ahead. I'm already happy that at least this time you take the time to inform us that you're going away for a couple days." With that, the conversation clearly ended and I walked upstairs briskly. I knew that now my parents had given me permission and I wouldn't have to sneak out and be confronted with rage as soon as I got home, again. So I knew that I was supposed to be happy, but something hadn't felt right about the conversation, and it left me feeling a bit hollow.

I got my suitcase from where I had it underneath my bed, and started packing. I wouldn't need that much, just some clothes, toiletries, chargers and electronics, shoes, and couple more necessities.

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