Chapter 36.1: Jacky/Ryan

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The Christmas vacation went by way too fast

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The Christmas vacation went by way too fast. Suddenly it was a new year and Jacky was back at school, although he did have one little thing to look forward to: seeing Ryan in his new scarf. It wasn't the biggest of the gifts Jacky and his mom had picked out for Ryan, but it was the one he had bought himself, and the blue matched Ryan's eyes so perfectly.

Oh, and there was the little matter of the winter formal.

Tickets to the dance had been Ryan's gift for Jacky. "You're really ready for this?" he had asked Ryan quietly, before his mother had noticed what the gift was. She was busy exclaiming over the hand soap Ryan had given her.

"I will be." Ryan had looked determined.

And then Mrs. Jennings had asked what the gift was and she was thrilled. Up until Jacky's grandparents arrived, all she talked about was taking them out to be "outfitted" for the dance. "This isn't like prom, Ma," Jacky had said. She waved him off.

Jacky and Ryan had talked about how Ryan might come out to the rest of his friends. He didn't want to tell everyone all at once. But it wasn't exactly easy for him to hang out with his friends lately, and he worried that telling anyone while they were at school would result in rumors and gossip.

A flash of red caught Jacky's eye, and he called out, "Hey, Nina!"

Nina turned, and so did Haylee, who was walking arm in arm with her. "Dyusha, hello," she said. "What is up?"

"Nothing much," Jacky said, glancing at Haylee. "How was Christmas?"

"I received many gift from my host family. And soon will be shipment from my family in Russia. How is your holidays?"

"Good, good." Then he remembered Haylee. "How was your Christmas?"

"Great," she said. "I got a new coat."

Jacky had noticed the peacoat she was wearing. "You sure like purple, don't you?"

Nina hugged Haylee close and glared at Jacky. "I think matching coat is cute. Haylee is very cute, yes?"

"Uh, yeah," Jacky said. "I like her matching outfits."

Haylee smirked at him.

"Yes. Haylee is cute." Nina turned her face and kissed Haylee's cheek. Haylee blushed.

Jacky wasn't sure where this was going, but he had a feeling Nina might be trying to pawn Haylee off on him, like Cody had. Maybe Haylee had told Nina that she liked Jacky. Nina seemed to understand that Jacky was gay, but sometimes he wondered if something wasn't lost in translation.

"Okay, we must go," Nina said.

"Bye," said Haylee, and as a unit, the two of them turned and headed off down the hall.

Jacky was still shaking his head when Cody finally showed up. "Are they gone yet?"

"Were you... were you hiding from them?" Jacky asked.

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