A Clown and A Band-Aid

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The art teacher makes us hang our artwork up on the wall, right in the hallway, when we are finished. I should've known that this to was happening. Now everyone will see Richie Trashmouth, the stupid clown. But Eddie's, on the other hand...

His talent was unbeatable. It was the kind of thing where you consider the idea that he might be a prodigy. I spend a long time just thinking about him in some of my other classes.

I meet up with Stan at the end of the day outside in the courtyard. It's sunny now, with a tiny rainbow shining in the sky. "Did you end up fucking it all up on your first day?" I ask. He rolls his eyes, and is going to respond, when Eddie approaches us.

"Hi Richie," he smiles. The rainbow on his shirt matches the one in the sky. How fucking symbolic.

Your secrets are following you, Richie.

Do I really need to explain why the rainbows filled me with dread? I assume not. But I recognise how silly the idea is. These symbols of peace and rebirth are now used to torment me. It's a joke, almost. Maybe my entire existence is just one huge joke.

"Who's this?" Stan asks me, instead of just asking Eddie himself. It is strange, but who am I to question it?

"Eddie... I don't know his last name." My eyes drop straight to the floor and Stan definitely notices it. I think for a moment he wants to laugh, but he ends up stopping himself.

"Kaspbrak." Eddie smiles and I think I almost vomit. But not in a bad way. Does that make sense? My stomach gets all twisty but I kind of like it. That's it. I've lost my mind and it's the first fucking day.

"Stan, please kill me," I groan and sit down. Both the boys laugh it off so I just laugh with them. "I'm serious! I've lost it!"

Before Stan could make a sarcastic comment, someone notices us. Someone I had been dreading seeing, but I knew it was the sort of thing I couldn't avoid. Henry fucking Bowers, approaching. I roll my eyes before he even speaks. I know it's going to be something stupid, I could've bet on it.

"I didn't know we had room for more than one fucking fairy in this school," he hisses, almost angry, unlike normal where he enjoys the insults. I stand up immediately in defence of Eddie.

Defending a stranger?

I stare at Henry with anger in my eyes. "Back off. I'm not scared of you, or your ugly hair, or the way you use insults to hide your insecurities!" I yell back to him.

"Richie Tozier, if you don't back off right now, I'll shove your glasses down your throat until you bleed through your eyes!"

This time it is Eddie who laughs. He shakes his head and waves a hand through the air. "That's just not anatomically correct," he laughs softly. "Be gone, mullet man!"

Now both Stan and I are laughing, because neither of us ever really expected someone like that to become a part of our school experience. Eddie Kaspbrak. He was a fascinating kid.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Days pass drearily for high school. And art class is the most interesting part of the day. It seems that Eddie and I have a lot of chemistry. He even laughs at my dumb jokes, which is why Stan teases us and says we are soulmates.

Why don't you tell the truth?

Eddie has a weird mom he's mentioned a few times. She's one of those freaks who doesn't let her son play on sports teams or go on field trips. She's overprotective. I can't relate to any of that.

My mom and dad are shit, and next time they talk to me, I'll be sure to remind them. I'm sure they once loved me, I won't say that they're incapable. But they love each other and their friends and booze a lot more. I see my mom on Saturday mornings, and that's about it. They stopped being a part of my life a while ago. I just had to get used to it.

Stan and I let Eddie sit at our lunch table, since he doesn't have many friends in the school, just like us. He wears a lot of cute outfits...and although it really doesn't matter, I like to look at them. I wish I had a sense of style. It's mostly button ups for me. And jeans. Lots of jeans.

I think Stan notices me acting weird about the new boy. And by that I mean he pulls me aside after English one day. He asks me if I know Eddie.

"I met him for the first time this week, although his mom actually has sex with your mom...it's really kind of freaky, you should talk to her about that." I smirk. I can be kind of funny sometimes.

"Beep beep, that's not what I'm talking about...that's not what I mean," Stan explains. He looks over at me for a moment longer than I think he intended. "Shit, there's no way for me to ask this."

"I won't date you Stan, I don't like dick." I smirk.

Lying is a naughty thing to do.

"That's not what I was going to ask you. But you don't listen," he points out. We get to standing outside the cafeteria and he's still looking at me. What does he want? "Rich, if you ever feel like you can talk to me, please do so. I'm a good friend."

"I know, and I'm a good teaser."

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