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Sometimes I feel like I’m stuck on a ferris wheel. One minute I’m on top of the world then the next I’m at rock bottom. Over and over all day long because a lot about life is great. But nobody knows I’m gay.

#blue’s thoughts #mine

 

Simon stopped and stared at the Tumblr post. He had never related to something so much. God, his life was really good, he had great parents, awesome sisters, and the best friends he could ask for… but yeah, no one in his life knew he was gay and he didn’t know how to come out. Sometimes he felt like he was on the precipice of it, like when his dad pointed out a girl Simon’s age and joked about him getting with her or something like that. Half the time he just wanted to say I’m gay!!!! I like boys!!! Boys!!!

Yeah.

He read over the post again, his eyes jumping up to the icon of who posted it – bluegreen118, one of his favourite mutuals. They never talked to each other and Simon couldn’t even remember who followed who first, but they liked and reblogged a lot of each other’s posts.

Blue, as the account user referred to himself as was funny, liked superheroes, and sweet food. He was also a bit of a literary nerd. At least that was what Simon gathered from his blog. He was also really gay, as was most everyone on Tumblr – at least the people Simon followed on his secret account, so Simon assumed the post was referring to his real life. It was easier to be out in the online world where you could be a different person and not have to face the harsh realities of not being straight. And that just hit Simon straight in the stomach; he had to do something about it.

Simon wasn’t really one to interact much with online people, he sometimes made gifs or memes, but otherwise he was more of an observer, preferring to just like and reblog the content of those he followed. This time though he felt the need to reach out, besides they were mutuals so it shouldn’t be that bad. Didn’t stop his heart from beating a million miles a minute as he clicked on the messaging icon and typed in bluegreen118. He stared at the pop-up message frame for a good five minutes before he got up the nerve to type out a message.

 

Hi Blue, we’ve been following each other for a while now and I thought I’d reach out. I saw your post about feeling like you’re on a ferris wheel and can I just say I relate sooo much?? Like I have this really good life with great parents, awesome sisters and the best friends I could ask for, but for whatever reason I just can’t come out. I’m just walking around with this huge secret and it sometimes just gets so frustrating. Anyways, you can totally ignore this if you want, I just wanted to say that I feel you and you’re not alone. - Jacques.

 

Simon stared at his message reading it over and over again wondering if it was too much, or not enough, or ugh! Why was this so hard? Probably because he’d been wanting to reach out to Blue before this but never really felt like he had a good enough reason to do so, and he didn’t want to screw it up. What if he thought he was weird? What if he…?

Simon sent the message before he could second guess himself again. He then stared at the sent message for a couple of seconds feeling that instinctual horror mixed with anxiety. He slammed close his laptop and started pacing around his bedroom.

He was over thinking things, it was fine – Blue would just ignore his stupid message and they would both go on with their lives like it was no big deal. It was totally fine.

He stayed away from Tumblr for a full 14 hours before he caved and checked it. To his utmost surprise there was a notification waiting for him. Blue had responded!

It took him another minute to build up the nerve to open it, but finally he managed to do so.

 

Hi Jacques, I’m really glad you reached out to me! I really like your blog and you seem like such a chill person that I’ve been wanting to talk to you for awhile now, but never found the nerve (hopefully that doesn’t sound too creepy). It’s also nice to know I’m not just screaming at the void, you know? I created that post cause I was feeling kind of down and was actually going to delete it later, but then you messaged me so I guess I’ll keep it up… - Blue

 

Blue! No that’s not creepy at all! I’ve wanted to contact you too so unless that makes us both super creepy then we’re fine. You have an awesome blog too by the way, though can I just say Oreos beat out Reeses, just saying. Also, keep the post up! So glad you didn’t delete it before I saw it cause that just really struck a cord with me and I’m sure it invoked similar reactions with others – you’ll change the world Blue, I know it! Anyways, tell me a bit about yourself, where are you from? I live in the great state of Georgia, which let me tell you isn’t the friendliest of states towards gay people. Hopefully you live somewhere a bit friendlier! - Jacques

 

Hey Jacques :) Nice to hear that I’m not the only creepy one! Though… Reeses totally beat out Oreos I have no idea what you’re talking about?? (though of course Oreos are super awesome too. I especially love the Halloween flavoured ones – why can’t they be sold all year round?!?! :( ) It’s nice to see you have confidence in me doing great things even though that is the furthest thing from the truth. I’m this awkward nerdy mess who can’t even speak to cute boys, like I just freeze up and it’s awful! Oh look at that, we’re neighbours! I’m in Alabama… so no not really gay friendly, like at all. - Blue

 

DUDE!!!! The Halloween Oreos are the best!!!! It’s totally a crime that they aren’t available all year round. Right now they have the Christmas ones, but for whatever reason they aren’t the same… not that they aren’t still awesome, all Oreos are awesome and that’s just a fact. Speaking of, do you have big Christmas plans? My family eats French toast and Reindeer turds, (Oreo truffles that my mom makes which are AMAZING) sing silly Christmas songs and play finding games using Facebook. It’s pretty cheesy but also awesome and I wouldn’t change it for the world… well maybe having a boyfriend to share all that with but that would mean coming out first so, yeah. You freeze up when you see cute boys?? That is just so cute! I can just see you blushing and becoming this stuttering mess. But Alabama… damn that sucks. I feel for you. – Jacques

 

Haha you’re starting to convert me with your love of Oreos. I was out shopping the other day and just had to buy a package of them even though my dad doesn’t really like it when I bring ‘junk food’ into the house. I hid them in my room so it’s all good. Those sound like awesome Christmas plans. My holiday traditions are a bit weird seeing as my mother is Episcopalian and my dad is Jewish. We kind of do a bit of both, but both are sort of downplayed. I still get good presents though so I guess that’s all that matters lol. – Blue

 

Yes I’m converting you to the amazingness that is Oreos!!! Knew I would turn you around ;) But I should also point out that Oreos are most definitely not junk food! What is your dad thinking? Oreos are an essential part of your daily diet – you could die if you don’t eat enough of them. It’s scary business. Oh wow you’re part Jewish? That’s cool! (is it right to say part Jewish? Like is that a thing? Sorry I have no idea about these sort of things.) – Jacques

 

Wow I better start stocking up on Oreos. I’ve probably been deficient in that essential nutrient – there was a time when I couldn’t even think about eating any Oreos since I ate some deep-fried ones before going on the Tilt-a-Whirl at a local fair and threw up afterwards. It was awful and I couldn’t stand the taste of any Oreos for a while. Thankfully, I can now eat them again, though I still can’t handle the deep-friend ones. Seeing as I just shared an embarrassing story, you have to share one in return - that’s the rules! About the Jewish thing, it’s kind of frowned upon to label yourself as part Jewish since traditionally to be a Jew you are born from a Jewish mother. Since my dad is the one who’s Jewish I’m not considered Jewish. However, I can convert and my parents have both sat me down and said that the religion I choose to follow, if I choose one at all, is a choice that I’ll have to make. There are aspects about both religions that I appreciate, so I haven’t myself figured out which one I would rather follow. Also, I don’t want to make one of my parents disappointed since though they don’t pressure me, they are both super religious in their respective religions. I’m also an only child so they don’t have another one who can choose the other religion. Or maybe I’ll just convert to a totally different religion? That’s always an option. – Blue

 

Ouch! I would be traumatized if something happened to make me not able to handle Oreos anymore. Glad you got through that dark time of your life. Hmm… embarrassing story? Listen Blue, I have like so many of them, I’m like a walking embarrassment. Like there was the awkward time I tried to pop and lock to Boom Boom Pow at my best friend’s bar mitzvah and that was just… no. My sisters still never let me live that down. Or there was the time I shat in the public pool, or… god you get the point! Wow, I’ve never thought about the intricacies of religion like that. My family has always been low-key Christian, but I don’t recall ever going to church so I can’t really speak to that. But, you have time to choose and figure out what works best for you. I mean you’re young… wait are you young? Oh my god I have no idea! Have I been talking to this forty-year old this whole time? Please say no!! I’m a sophomore by the way so if you’re not underage too I’m going to feel really weird… - Jacques

 

I’m actually the FBI agent spying on you. Surprise! Haha, no actually I’m also a sophomore student too so we’re all good! Turning 16 on January 18 so that’s coming up. When’s your birthday? – Blue

 

118!!! I see what you did there – sneaky! Does the bluegreen stand for anything? My bday is on Nov. 17, so a late baby. I always feel like I’m so behind, like I just turned 15 and here you are about to turn 16. I’m going to be the last person to turn 21 which is so unfair! Not that I’m currently really into drinking and that sort of thing (I actually don’t drink at all, please don’t think I’m lame!) – Jacques

 

Yeah bluegreen make up parts of my name, but I’m not going to tell you it lol. Not that I don’t trust you, but I just feel better with this being an anonymous correspondence, you know?
Haha, really? I had you down as a real party animal ;)
jkjk, but no I feel you, I don’t drink at all either. Like I said I’m this huge nerd that actually loves school and kind of studies all the time. I’m the one who’s lame, not you. – Blue

 

No worries Blue, I totally get you. Full disclosure, my real name isn’t Jacques either haha. It’s like we have secret identities – we’re actually superheroes in surprise!
Nooo that’s not lame at all! That’s actually super cute – cute studious Blue who can’t talk to cute boys. Do you also wear glasses because that would be ADORABLE? – Jacques

 

REALLY??? Your name isn’t Jacques??? Quelle surprise!! (major sarcasm right there). I like the idea of us being superheroes though, I’m a big fan of comics and all that in case you couldn’t tell (not like my blog isn’t covered with posts of them). Do you have a favourite superhero? Mines the Flash. Ugh I can’t believe I told you I freeze up around cute boys! That was a poor judgement call on my part. But no, I don’t wear glasses, sorry to disappoint – Blue.

 

Hey!!! I could totally pull off being a Jacques, what are you talking about?? But yeah superheroes are awesome. The Flash is a good choice, and you know I kind of relate to that dude, he’s awkward and weird just like me. But really my fav is Harry Potter – which totally counts as a superhero by the way. You better be a Harry Potter fan or I’m sorry we can’t be friends anymore. It’s like the best thing everrrr!! Okay real talk, while you don’t wear glasses I do and sometimes I like to pretend that my glasses make me look like Harry. Yes, that’s so dorky I know!! My friends had a lot of fun teasing me for that. I’m a major Hufflepuff by the way. I was a bit disappointed about that at first since everyone wants to be in Gryffindor, right? But I’ve come to accept it – I really am a Hufflepuff through and through. I’m going out on a limb here and going to say you’re a Ravenclaw. Just a hunch ;)   Also! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! – Jacques

 

Sorry Jacques but there is nothing remotely French about you! Yeah I like Harry Potter, who doesn’t? Could use a bit more diversity though… and also J.K. Rowling kind of sucks with the whole only saying Dumbledore is gay during an interview, but not putting that in actual canon :/ but Harry is definitely a superhero in his own right. Yes I’m a Ravenclaw, how on earth did you know?  – Blue

 

Umm Je suis totalement français?? (look I even put in the accent!) Ugh I have a French test tomorrow which I’m totally going to fail. Not to mention Mr. Wise, my English teacher, is on my ass about my sentence fragments. Like who cares??? Sorry, just had to rant about my school life for a second.
You’re right about the whole diversity thing. I have to admit, me being white, I didn’t notice the lack of it which probably is a big sign that I should start paying more attention to these things D: And yes the whole gay thing! Like us gay people are all scrambling for proper representation and we eat up the scraps people give us, but we deserve better. Like where is the cute gay superhero falling in love with the nerdy gay internet friend?? I want to see that story.
Blue! Everything about you screams Ravenclaw – you’re so smart and always know what to say and your name is BLUE like how can you not be a Ravenclaw? – Jacques

 

Oooh accents how fancy! Hope you did well on your test, I’m sure you’ll be fine. English is a tricky one though, like there’s nothing particularly wrong with sentence fragments, and yours are cute :) hopefully he doesn’t get on your case too much. I can’t really talk since my dad is an English teacher and well, I love English. Me and my dad give each other essays we write on books as gifts sometimes, we have that kind of relationship. As you can probably guess I do really well in my other courses as well, not that I’m trying to brag, it’s just the truth. I kind of have to be though if I want to get into medical school… Wow, I was really worried about bringing up the problems with Harry Potter since I know people who would rip other’s heads off if they so much as say they thought Harry Potter was only okay, let alone bring up a valid criticism. Thank you for not being that typical white boy ;) (I’m half black by the way, just thought you should know.) But yes, we need so many more lgbt stories! It’s like all the representation we get is very stereotypical, offensive, or they die, like really?? Wait am I the nerd in your scenario? Why do you get to be the superhero? – Blue

 

Don’t talk to me about me about that test okay Blue? It just went so horribly I never want to see another French word in my life again. Why did I choose the name Jacques? Poor decisions Blue, such poor decisions. You and your dad give each other essays?? OMG Blue that’s so cute! Everything about you is cute, did you know that? I just can’t with you. And medical school? Wow. I kind of want to do something with theatre, not that I’m talented or anything but I’m a huge theatre geek so yeah. Haha I kind of am a typical white boy, though I try to not be really stupid. I do make mistakes, so if I ever say anything to hurt you please call me out on it. Like I have to confess that I’ve been thinking about you as being white this whole time, sorry! Probably because you said you were Jewish and until recently I thought that all Jewish people came from Israel. My friend whose bar mitzva I went to just recently corrected me on that. Actually, lol he’s half black too, what are the chances of that? But yeah his mom – who’s the Jewish one, his dad converted – came from Russia. The more you know! Oooh have you seen Moonlight? That was a really good movie, and the ending!!! Talk about breaking stereotypes! But yeah most are quite disappointing, like even Brokeback Mountain killed off the one guy. I was totally destroyed after watching that. Blue you are totally the superhero in this scenario. I’m the nerdy theatre geek who needs to be saved. Save me Blue! Please! – Jacques

 

Je suis très desole t’etendre à propos tes problemes avec la langue française! (hopefully that was right, I’m not very good with the language either). Ooh have you ever been in a production? I can just picture you with your cute glasses up on stage singing or something. And yeah no worries, I’m really glad your receptive to that, and I didn’t make it clear what my ethnicity was so it makes sense that you thought I was white, what with white been the default and all. Same as being straight… hmm that shouldn’t be the case though should it? I’ve been thinking of coming out to my parents. I kind of want to and feel like maybe it’s the time. I’m pretty sure they’ll both be fine with it, I just need to find the right time you know? I’m tired of keeping it in, it’s getting too hard. What do you think?
Moonlight was amazing!!! Full disclosure I cried multiple times watching that movie, ugh so good! I’m flattered that you consider me to be the superhero, but I think you’re pretty superhero material as well Jacques. How about instead it’s a story about two gay superheroes that fall in love? – Blue

 

Blue!!! Stop with the French!!!! Haha no I haven’t been in a production, but I’m working on the set creation for this years play and I’ve already told Ms. Albright that I want to be in it next year, maybe for a small non-speaking part. My friend Abby also wants to be in it too and she’s super talented so she’s for sure going to get a speaking roll. She’s new to the school this year so she only joined the set crew with me this year to get the feel for things. You are totally right though we shouldn’t always assume things like sexuality and race. That should be what are superhero egos combat – Jacques and Blue against the Homo Sapians Agenda! We could actually change the world Blue.
But wow, you go for it, I am so proud of you. Tell me how it goes, though real talk, there never really is a right time is there? It’s such an awkward topic you know? Like I think that’s part of the reason I have never told anyone since everything is going to change. Or it won’t but something is going to change and I kind of don’t want that. Like I’m still me, right? They’ll just know this added part of me. God, sorry, I’m rambling with my stupid sentence fragments. Also, why is it only gay people that have to come out? Why don’t straights have to tell everyone that they are straight? That should be a part of our superhero mission Blue. But yeah, good luck, you are awesome and perfect and an icon Blue and just know that whatever happens I’m here for you. – Love Jacques

 

Love Jacques. Bram stared at the two words, his heart beating in his throat. He had been trying to pretend that their online friendship was just light-hearted fun, but Bram knew he was kidding himself. He was falling for this Jacques person. It was silly, he didn’t even know his real name and the boy lived in a whole different state. What was he thinking?

He had to stop thinking about it. Even if he was developing a crush nothing would come out of it. They were both two teenagers who were lonely in a way and needed someone to relate to. Once they both came out in their respective lives they probably would start needing each other less and less till they slowly stopped messaging each other.

Bram had to admit, the thought hurt.

Shaking himself out of it he focused on his other issue – coming out to his parents. Like he had said to Jacques, he was ready. He couldn’t believe he was thinking this, but it was high time he stopped hiding himself. Even though the prospect was terrifying he knew that it would be like getting something off his chest. He had read enough coming out stories to know that the people who were out were generally happier than those who weren’t.

He felt it in his chest, he was ready.

He got up and went downstairs, heart beating a mile a minute and his hands starting to sweat. He could do this.

He could do this.

His parents were in the kitchen arguing.

Bram stopped short his stomach now tying itself into knots. His parents had been fighting a lot lately, and not the normal bickering that happened between married couples. Sometimes the fights would get really bad and screaming would be involved added with insults hurled. This fight didn’t seem to be that bad yet, but the tension in the air was palatable.

His courage dissipated just like that.

He crept back upstairs and curled up in his bed, tears falling down his cheeks until he fell asleep.

His parents never called him down for dinner.

 

Jacques, I don’t deserve to be a superhero. I’m just a big fat coward – I chickened out and didn’t come out to my parents. I thought I was so ready and I really wanted to, but then they were fighting with each other and I just got so scared, like what if they weren’t actually receptive towards it and they kicked me out or something because they were already in a bad mood? I don’t think that would actually happen, but my brain just kept on conjuring up all the worst scenarios and I just couldn’t face them. Fuck. I just feel so lost right now and I don’t know what to do. My mom and dad always seem to be mad at each other now and nothing seems to be working. I’m sorry for getting all emotional. – Blue

 

God Blue no! Of course you’re still a superhero. God you inspire me so much you have no idea. Because of you I came out to one of my best friends – Abby, the one I told you about remember? It went really well and it felt great actually. You probably don’t want to hear about that though shit I’m so so sorry. Don’t feel like you’re a failure okay? Your safety is much more important and if you didn’t feel safe then you have every right to keep it to yourself. And just so you know if you ever do get kicked out you are more than welcome to stay with me. My parents may be very nosy at times but they are still pretty great and would for sure take you in. My sisters on the other hand… But no really, I’m still here for you and I will always be here for emotional support whenever you need it. That’s what I’m here for okay? Oh, and eat lots of Oreos, it’s the best food to have when you’re upset… and when your happy or mad or whatever. They’re the best food all around. Sending you a million virtual hugs – Love Jacques

 

Thank you Jacques, that really helped me. I’m feeling much better now, but I think I’m going to keep my secret a bit longer, at least until whatever is going on with my parents gets sorted out. I hope it gets sorted out, it’s really uncomfortable right now. I am so happy for you coming out to your friend! That is super awesome that it went well and can I just say you are amazingly brave?? Treat yourself to a deluxe pack of Oreos on me okay? And thank you for the offer to stay at your place. I don’t think it will come to that point. I would return the offer, but at the moment I don’t think my parents would agree to that at the moment, sorry. You could stay at my aunts… but she has shitty taste in boyfriends so that might not be good either. Her last boyfriend stole her car, can you believe that? – Love Blue

 

I totally understand why you want to keep it to yourself right now, you stay safe alright? I worry about you and just want you to be happy and safe. As per your advice I ate a whole package of Oreos in your honour and it was delicious. You’re eating them too right? Doctor’s orders remember! And don’t worry about it, I think I’m going to come out to my parents soon too actually and though I suspect it to be awkward as hell they aren’t going to kick me out. My mom is as liberal as they come and my dad is like the opposite of toxic masculinity… though he does make offensive gay jokes. I wonder if those are going to continue after he finds out. I hope not, but idk. I also want to tell my other friends too. It’s weird, now that I’ve told one person it’s almost like a domino effect and I want to just tell everyone. I hope you get to experience that one day too Blue. Out of everyone you totally deserve it. But shitt!!! Your aunt really needs better taste in men! – Love Jacques

 

Yes I’m eating Oreos as per my doctor’s orders, don’t worry. That is so awesome Jacques, I’m so proud of you, you have no idea. I really do hope that all goes well, and if it doesn’t, know that I’m always here for you. I’m here if it goes well too! I want to celebrate with you even if it’s just sending you celebration gifs. Maybe talk to your dad about the jokes if he continues them? Like I’m pretty sure he doesn’t realize how harmful they can be. Anyways, best of luck and keep me updated!! – Love Blue

 

Simon took a deep breath. He had invited all of his friends over and made sure that his whole family was home. He had decided to do it all at once, rip the band-aid off as you could say. He just wanted the awkwardness to be over with so this was the best way to go in his opinion.

Needless to say, everyone was kind of weirded out as to why they were all sitting in Simon’s living room waiting for Simon to speak. Abby was there too for support and she was smiling at him, giving him the strength to go through with this. Blue’s last message also gave him a huge boost. What can he say? He really wanted Blue to send him celebration gifs.

“Why are we here, can I leave?” Nora complained.

“Hush, Simon has to tell us something,” his mom chastised.

Simon grimaced, well it was now or never. Leah and Nick were both looking at him questioningly while Alice was on her phone not even paying attention.

“Did you get a girl pregnant?” his dad asked, “wait let me guess, you’re pregnant.”

Haha, very funny dad.

“Yeah I’m pregnant,” Simon retorted, rolling his eyes. Nick and Abby snickered, somehow finding his dad’s humour amusing. “No, but really I asked you all here today because I wanted to… come out.”

Oh wow, he had just said it. He couldn’t believe it.

Alice looked up from her phone. “Wait come out? You’re gay?”

Simon nodded, holding his breath.

“Oh, wow sweetie, thank you for telling us,” his mom said tears glistening in her eyes.

“That’s cool,” Leah said.

“Yeah, awesome,” Nick said. Simon could tell he didn’t exactly know what to say, but Simon appreciated the support nonetheless.

“So you’re gay huh? Wow, good on you,” his dad said. Simon was actually surprised he didn’t make a joke. That was actually progress.

His mom got up and walked over to him pulling him into a big hug. “I just want you to know that I’m so proud of you, and I love you so much.”

Simon hugged back, tears coming to his eyes. “I love you too.”

Abby let out a whoop. “Group hug!” she exclaimed running up to engulf Simon and his mom, pretty soon everyone was all piled together in a big group hug and everyone was a laughing. Everything was back to normal, except that Simon now had a huge weight off his back. He could exhale.

His parents decided to order pizza for dinner that night and his friends were invited to stay over. Simon and his friends migrated up to his room while they waited for the pizza to arrive.

“So why now?” Leah asked.

Simon considered telling them about Blue, but then decided against it. His thing with Blue was special and he preferred to keep it to himself. Besides, it wasn’t like he was ever going to meet Blue.

He shrugged his shoulders. “I just felt tired of keeping it in, and once I told Abby I felt better about coming out to the rest of you.”

Leah’s face closed off. “You told Abby first?”

Simon glance over at Nick and Abby who both looked confused.

“Uhh, yeah. I was driving her back home after a theatre session and I decided to go for it,” Simon said, feeling incredibly awkward.

“Oh,” was all Leah said, her mood turning icy. Shit, Simon had really screwed up, hadn’t he?

“Look I’m sorry-”

“You don’t have to be sorry, it’s your thing, you get to decide when you come out and to who.”

“I know, but don’t think I didn’t come out to you first because I didn’t think you would be accepting, it was just… the right time and place with Abby, and frankly I’ve known you forever. It was easier to come out to someone who doesn’t know everything about you.”

Leah looked down and sighed before looking back up with a small smile. “I get it, don’t worry.”

Thankfully some of the tension dissipated, but it wasn’t all in the clear just yet. Simon was going to have to find a way to make it up with her.

Their parents called them downstairs since the food arrived. Abby and Leah went down first, but Simon held Nick back.

“Hey, you’re okay with it, right?”

“With you being gay? Of course, it’s all cool.”

Simon rolled his eyes. “No idiot, with me telling Abby first.”

“Yeah man, I don’t care. That’s your thing right. Are you going to start telling others?”

Simon hesitated then shook his head. “I considered writing a post on Facebook, to truly come out in the open, but it’s Atlanta. It’s still not the friendliest of places for gays. If people ask, I guess I’ll tell them the truth, like I don’t want to hide it and I want to be open to a relationship down the line, but I don’t want to make it into this huge thing.”

“Cool man, you do you. Just know, I’ve got your back,” Nick said, reminding Simon why once again he was friends with him.

Simon grinned at him then, like the children they were, started racing each other down the stairs in an attempt to get to the dinning room first.

As Simon ate dinner with his friends and family he remarked that everything was basically the same – his dad still made lame jokes, his little sister was still weird and his older one annoying, while his friends were still the best he could ask for. Nothing had changed, and yet it had – now he was free.

 

BLUEEEEE!!!! I came out!!! It feels so good you have no idea!! Everyone was super supportive and awesome and we got pizza afterwards and had Oreo cookies for dessert and I couldn’t be happier, like I’m so free now, I feel like I’m on top of the world! You better send me all the celebration gifs like you promised – Love Jacques

 

Here are your celebration gifs as promised! I’m so proud of you and I’m so happy to hear that you everyone was so supportive!! I wish I was there to give you a real hug – Love Blue

 

Ugh I wish I could hug you for real too!!! It sucks that we are so far away… well I guess in the scheme of things you aren’t that far away, just a state over, but sometimes it seems like you are across the world, like in Russia or something. I hope I get to meet you one day Blue, I think we would be awesome friends. – Love Jacques

 

Good thing I’m not in Russia or we would have to deal with crazy time differences. Also, it’s like way worse to be gay in Russia then it is here, even if it’s still not that great. Still can’t believe there are places where it’s illegal to be gay, it just breaks my heart thinking about it. I hope one day I’ll get to meet you too. – Love Blue

 

 

OMG Blue, okay big news! So this guy I have been having a low-key crush on – he’s like super cute with blond streaks and these AMAZING ocean blue eyes and just ughhhh. Anyways, turns out he’s BI!!!! He’s also in backstage work with the theatre crew, but unlike me he wants to be a stage director, which is kind of funny since he’s always really chill and kind of shy in a way so he has no authority over people. I can in no way see him bossing people around, but ANYWAYS!! We were talking and, like I’ve had a low key crush on him for awhile right and Abby noticed this so she started making these really unsubtle hints which I was like WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? Anyways nothing happened there but after theatre Cal (that’s his name) came up to me and said he was Bi and from what he had gathered from Abby, I was interested in men too? Like he was so cute when he asked, it was sooo freaken adorable! So we smiled awkwardly at each other like the dorks that we are, then – you’ll never guess this Blue! – he asked me to coffee sometime! Can you believe that? Someone wanting to go on a date with me??? Like in what world?? I’m still on cloud nine right now. Like seriously, on cloud nine! Ahhh the coffee date’s tomorrow! Wish me luck alright? Ugh I’m such a gay mess right now! HELP ME BLUE!!!! – Love Jacques

 

Oh wow that’s amazing Jacques. I hope the date went well – and just for the record I have no doubt in my mind that you are a major catch. Of course people would want to date you and don’t you ever forget that. – Blue

 

Bram stuffed his phone in his pocket trying to ignore the pain in his heart. Of course Jacques would have a crush on someone he went to school with. Bram was just this anonymous friend he talked to on the internet from time to time, not anyone who was actually important.

And what did Bram expect to happen when Jacques started coming out? That he would just wait around till there was an opportunity for them to meet and they would fall in love and start dating? Like this wasn’t a fairy tale. Bram should be happy that he found a person who was actually in his life that he could fall in love with.

It just kind of hurt that while Jacques seemed to be having his life fall into place perfectly, Bram was still in the closet with his parents still fighting and none of his friends knowing.

The only person who was even out publicly at his school was this black kid name Ethan and he received a lot of bullying from other students. At least he had a strong support group of friends and seemed to find the taunts more amusing than hurtful, but it wasn’t a good backdrop to come out in. And Bram was on the soccer team. Not as bad as football in terms of toxic masculinity, but still, a sport for jocks where you were supposed to be tough and totally heterosexual.      

He went through school that day in a blur wondering if Jacques was having fun with Cal. They were probably that incredibly cute couple that ate each other’s food and called each other pet names and that sort of thing. Bram wanted to punch something.

At the end of the day Bram didn’t know what to do. He really didn’t want to go home since it was going to be super quiet and lonely since his parents tried to stay at their respective jobs for as long as possible to avoid each other.

Instead, he went out to the soccer pitch and sat at the bleachers just wallowing in his mess of a life. He missed soccer, it let him forget his worries and it was just tactics and his team against the other team where he could be himself. He wasn’t playing league soccer this year since he needed to focus on his studies so he didn’t have late evening practices anymore, and high school soccer was during the fall season at their school so that was over.

He decided to borrow a couple of balls from the school gym, knowing the gym teacher wouldn’t mind – every teacher at the school trusted him for whatever reason, probably because he was smart and didn’t get into trouble. Some teachers even used him as a pedestal against other black boys, demanding them to be more like him, which always made him cringe. There was too much pressure placed on them to be perfect and it just made it even harder for him to come out. If there was something worse than a black boy, it was a black gay boy.

Ethan was the example of that, he was a good student who never got into trouble… well from his own doing, but teachers still treated him like crap.

Racism and homophobia were alive and well in Alabama.

Speaking of Ethan, he was leaning against the wall of the outside gym crying.

He hadn’t noticed Bram yet, so realistically speaking Bram could sneak away unnoticed and pretend he never saw him.

Thing was, Bram couldn’t consciously do that.

“Hey, do you need help?”

Ethan looked up and his eyes widened to see Bram standing before him. Yeah, Bram would be surprised too if another jock came to help him if he was crying.

Ethan quickly wiped away his tears and stood up. “I’m good,” he said, not sounding convincing at all.

“You sure, do you want me to call someone for you?” Bram pressed, not wanting to leave someone who was obviously in distress.

Ethan snorted, though he was still crying slightly. “I do have a phone.”

“Right,” Bram replied feeling embarrassed. He shuffled his feet not sure what to do.

“It’s just silly Ethan being emotional,” Ethan said.

Bram frowned. “You have the right to be upset.”

“What do you know?”

Bram curled in on himself. “I’m sorry, I don’t know.”

Ethan’s face softened. “Well I guess that’s not true. Racism sucks, doesn’t it.”

Bram smiled sadly. “Yeah, but I’m not openly gay.”

Ethan laughed. “There is that. Sometimes I envy you straight people, but then I see the shit straight people do to each other and I’m like no thanks, prefer being gay thank you very much.”

Bram chuckled. “Yeah, I know what you mean.”

Ethan tiled his head, analyzing Bram. “Wait are you…?”

Bram’s cheeks burned, realizing what he had just said. Well, there was no denying it. “Yeah.”

“Oh, wow. I honestly did not expect that. My gaydar must be totally off.”

Bram shrugged. “I’m not out at all. Please don’t tell anyone.”

“Of course not. Thank you for trusting me with it though.”

They smiled weakly at each other. Neither of them would ever really be friends, their differences too extreme, but Jacques was right – it was nice to come out to someone, strangely freeing. It felt like he could almost breath again.

 

Blue guess what??? Cal and I are officially boyfriends!!! Wow, I can’t believe this is actually my life! Before coming out I was positive that I would not have a boyfriend during high school. That was what college was for, but nope because of you Blue I decided it was time to be my true self and I couldn’t be happier. So thank you for that. Thank you so much! How are things going on your end? I feel like you haven’t talked about yourself a lot recently. Hope you’re doing well! – Love Jacques

 

Congrats, that’s awesome. You totally deserve it Jacques. Not much is going on in my life, same old same old. Came out to a fellow gay student the other day so there’s that, which was nice. You’re right, it’s really freeing in a way, but other then that I’m still in the closet. – Blue

 

Oh Congrats!!! See, it isn’t so bad! Do you like this guy? What does he look like? Tell me the deets! ;) Lol, anyways, have you thought of coming out to your parents again? Has that situation gotten any better? Our play production is coming up so I’ve been super busy, but at least Cal is also on the theatre team so we get to see each other all the time! I finally told my parents about him and now of course they want to see him. Ugh, sometimes they are so nosy! Wish me luck with the whole meet the parents thing… hopefully he won’t be scared away D: - Love Jacques

 

Thanks! No, me and him are too different and run in different friend circles, besides he’s out and I’m not and it just wouldn’t work. Ooh that sounds fun! Good luck… though I guess you’re just doing the set design stuff so it’s less pressure. Good luck anyways though! Haha I’m sure the parent meeting will go fine, don’t worry. - Blue

 

Things were really progressing well with Simon and Cal from the look of things. Bram really tried to feel happy for Simon, he really did. It didn’t take away the incredible loneliness of his situation though.

As soon as he got home from school, Bram could feel the tense atmosphere – both his parents were home. He tried to escape up to his room, but his parents called him into the living room before he could do so.

He walked in to find them sitting as far apart as they could, both with closed off expressions on their faces. Bram remained standing, shuffling from foot to foot, fiddling with the straps of his backpack.

“Sit down son,” his dad said.

Bram grimaced, but did as he was told, sitting on the edge of the couch. It was silent for several long moments.

Finally, his mom sighed and started speaking. “You’ve probably noticed how… tense things have gotten between you and your dad.”

Bram nodded, looking down at his hands.

“Sweetie, things change and people want different things in life and that is what is happening between me and your dad right now, and well, it’s not fair to either of us to be unhappy so we’re getting a divorce.”

“We want you to know that none of this has anything to do with you. We both love you very much Bram,” his dad said.

A lump appeared in his throat. Fuck this was actually going to happen. Bram had to close his eyes to stop the tears from falling out. He couldn’t say he was surprised, but that didn’t stop it from hurting.

“We just want you to know that we are going to do our best to make things as seamless as possible for you,” his mom said.

“Who’s getting the house?” Bram asked. He didn’t know why that was the first question that popped in his head, but it was. It wasn’t like he cared. Either way, his life was drastically changing.

His parents both looked at each other. “Since it’s in both of our names we are going to sell it and both of us are moving,” his dad said.

Bram wanted to laugh. They called that seamless?

“Are you okay Bram?” his mom asked, looking concerned.

Bram shrugged. “Yeah, I’m fine.” That was a lie if ever one was spoken. His parents, however, didn’t call him out on it. He wondered if it was because they really thought he was fine, or if they just wanted to pretend that he was. He didn’t know which one was worse.

“Okay, good,” his dad said, his mom just smiled.

“So when will it be finalized?”

“We still have to sort out who gets which assets, and then both of us have to find places to stay so best guess will be by the end of summer everything should be sorted out,” his dad said.

Great. A whole summer of awkwardness. “Okay cool, can I go to my room now? I have a big test to study for.”

“Okay sweetie,” his mom said, “you can come and talk to us anytime, you know that right?”

Bram nodded and faked a smile before quickly booking it up to his room.

Fuck.

How did other divorcee kids handle this? This was awful, it was like there was this hole in his stomach that was tearing his insides apart. He didn’t know what to say, he didn’t know what to do. He just felt so lost.

He looked over at his laptop. He could tell Jacques… but then they hadn’t been messaging each other as often anymore. Jacques because he was busy with his boyfriend now so he didn’t need a pen pal anymore, and Bram because, well he wanted his stupid crush to go away. It hadn’t.

He ended up not telling Jacques.

And so life passed. Blue and Jacques still messaged each other, but it was light-hearted stuff that didn’t ever go deep again. Just fun little tidbits they learned and thought were interesting, movies they recently watched, and cool stuff they encountered in their day to day lives. Jacques gushed about his boyfriend a lot, and Blue pretended that his life was going pretty smoothly.

While his parents were sorting out their divorce, Bram got a summer job as an administrator at a care home with the help from his mom’s connections at the hospital. It was alright work and it was nice to have some spare change and learn from the nurses there about their jobs and how to take care of patients. It wasn’t what he wanted to do with his life – wanting to become a surgeon, but it was still useful and would look good on his resume.

Simon meanwhile thought he was going to have a summer of bliss with his boyfriend. It started that way, but then midway through the summer Cal broke up with Simon. Simon, needless to say, was devastated.

 

Blue, I need your help – Jacques

 

What is it? Are you okay? – Blue

 

No.

 

Jacques? What’s wrong?

Jacques? Are you okay?

Jacques, you’re scaring me.

 

Sorry, I’ve been depressed lately, didn’t mean to worry you Blue.

 

Hey, don’t worry about it, I just wanted to know if you were alright are not. Sounds like you’re not. I’m here for you if you want to talk about it. I’ll always be here for you. – Blue

 

Thanks Blue. Cal and I broke up.

 

Oh. I’m so sorry. I wish I could help.

 

You just being Blue is already helping me. God Blue, I’m such a mess, like I really thought we would be forever you know? Like it was so perfect during the school year and then summer started and things just started falling apart and we started fighting a lot… the fight that ended things was so stupid, I think it was about him not recycling or something and I was just teasing him then it got into a full-blown argument. He was complaining that I spent too much time with my friends and they don’t like him and then I said that he was too needy or something really stupid, which he’s not I just said that and then he broke up with me! Fuck Blue. I don’t know what to do.

 

Shit Jacques, that really sucks. I’m not sure what to say. Try and hang out with your friends alright? It’s better than holing yourself away from everyone, that’s not healthy. Also! Eat a lot of Oreos, I’ve heard that those can heal everything. Listen to a lot of Elliott Smith too and all those other amazing artists that you have gotten me hooked on. Maybe binge watch Harry Potter? Go back to the days of your first crush? Kidding aside, I’m really sorry. I wish I could be there for you – Love Blue

 

Blue you are the first person who has been able to make me laugh all week, you are truly amazing you know that? God, you are a superhero, I can’t thank you enough. I took your advice and ate three whole packets of double stuffed oreos, maybe not the best idea, but don’t tell my mom that! I listened to all my favourite jams, which included a bunch of your suggestions. You have a great music taste, did you know that? I know I’ve told you that before, but you do. I have a special playlist called Blue’s songs and I just listened to them on repeat for a whole two days. They truly cured me. My wonderful friends helped me out as well. It was kind of awkward since Abby and Nick recently got together (about time!) but didn’t want me to feel all down because you know… but yeah I was like dude! I’ve been wanting you two to get together since forever! It’s all good! Anyways, we marathoned Harry Potter together and it was awesome! I’m feeling much better now, still not 100% but now I feel like I can get through this. So thank you Blue. You are like the best friend a person could ask for. – Love Jacques.

 

Hey Jacques, I’m really glad to hear that you are doing better. I’m honoured that you think I helped when all I did was give a couple of silly suggestions. By the way your taste in music is awesome too, which you already know, and I also have a playlist labelled Jacques with all your song recommendations. I can assure you that they are regularly played! – Love Blue

 

BLUEEEE stop downplaying yourself. You are truly the most awesomesssst person ever. Like SOOOO AWESOME!!! I love you so much, did you know that??? Like SSOOOOO muchhh! You are the bestest friend a person could wish for. Superhero Blue! That’s who you are, and don’t forget it! LOL I’m so drunk right now and I only have had 1 beer… or was it 2 I don’t remember??? LOL

 

Wow Jacques, that last message was a lot. I think you’re really awesome as well, so don’t you forget that. I hope you’re not too hungover… but 2 beers really? Are you that much of a lightweight? Lol, don’t worry, I don’t judge :) – Love Blue

 

OMG Blue! I can’t believe I sent that message, god I was a mess. I was over at Nick’s house and his parents were out, and Nick’s older cousin supplied him with some beers. We all drank to help me get over Cal, but I don’t think any of us were expecting me to be such a lightweight! God I’m embarrassed!!! I’m glad drunk me at least had some sense and messaged you instead of Cal. God that would have been embarrassing. You have saved me twice now Blue, no wait this is the third time! I’m going to be forever in your debt. (Just so you know, everything I said in that message is true, even if that was super embarrassing, you really are awesome and my best friend) – Love Jacques

 

Haha that sounds like an interesting night. Glad you have recovered. What was the third time I saved you? This recent time, and I’m assuming helping with the breakup is two, so what’s the third? – Love Blue

 

UMMM BLUE?? HOW CAN YOU NOT KNOW??? The third time, which is actually the first, was when you helped me come out! ACTUALLY! You’ve saved me four times – the fourth, or actually first lol, is when you made that tumblr post which like actually saved my life. You have no idea. Basically Blue you are just a saver and should accept your wonderful fate. OMG! You’re going to medical school right? You want to be a doctor!!! You really will be saving lives!!! This is amazing!!! – Love Jacques

 

Haha yeah, medical school is the plan, but that is still a ways off and I need my grades to be good so I can get in. Why I’m such a nerd. Okay I’ll accept my fate as a saver, lol. Just so you know you have saved my life too – you were an ear in the dark when I had none. Wow that kind of got deep, sorry! It’s true though. – Love Blue

 

Aww Blue that’s so cute! By the way I’ve never asked – how did you know you were gay? My first clue was my interesting dreams of Daniel Radcliffe to say the least, then there was Brendon Urie singing, and then the pieces just sort of fell into place from there lol. Can’t believe I had three girlfriends since I realized, though, I think I was hoping it would be a faze. What can I say… it wasn’t! – Love Jacques

 

Well that’s an embarrassing story that involved the cousin of one of my dad’s friends. We were at this wedding and god I was just so attracted to him and kept stuttering around him. Like SO embarrassing! That, and while everyone was crushing on the dragon lady, I was more into John Snow lol. I’m hoping you didn’t break those poor girls’ hearts too badly! – Love Blue

 

Aww cute adorable Blue stuttering over cute guys. That is just so you I can almost picture it! But haha about those girls. The first one ended badly, I kind of ditched her on Valentine’s day and have never spoken to her since so… but for the other two we were friends first and then started dating when I found out they liked me, but it just didn’t work out (for obvious reasons). They were the ones who broke up with me so no broken hearts involved! I’m still friends with one of them actually, and well, everyone knows I’m gay now because of the whole Cal thing, so I don’t have to worry about girls falling for me anymore! – Love Jacques

 

So it turned out that his parents promise of keeping their divorce as ‘seamless’ as possible was a big fat lie. Bram’s dad started having this thing with his friend, the one with the cousin, and they’re planning on moving to Savannah of all places since the friend got a good job there and my dad decided to follow along to see if it could work. So there’s that. Then Bram’s mom got a better position at this hospital in Atlanta somewhere so that’s where she’s going in January when the position starts. So basically, Bram is going to have his whole life uprooted and he has no say in the matter. It just all depends on who he’s going with.

After a long discussion it was decided that he was going to go with his mom since they were still on the whole stupid ‘seamless’ thing and with dad moving in with someone else it could get a bit weird for Bram. Bram swore neither of them took Bram’s feelings in consideration when planning this.

The only potentially good thing of this thing is that either way Bram was moving to Georgia, which is where Jacques lived. He didn’t know where in Georgia though and probably not in either of the places his parents are going. He considered telling Jacques, but in the end decided against it. He didn’t want to get his hopes up and besides, he still hadn’t told Jacques that his parents were divorced. It just never really came up.

Or so he tells himself.

 To make matters worse, since the divorce was official, their house was sold and so for the fall semester Bram and his mom would be living in a crappy apartment until it was time to move. Needless to say, Bram was not looking forward to his junior year of high school.

 

Wow okay Blue you are never gong to believe this! Cal and I got back together!!! Now I know what you are thinking – he hurt you, you shouldn’t get back with you ex yadda yadda yadda. But thing is Blue, he said he’s really sorry and he shouldn’t have said what he said and he wants to try again. He was just so cute and sincere when he said that, that I just couldn’t say no!! My friends also have their hesitations, but I mean every couple goes thorough breaks when they first start out and they get back together stronger than ever. This year is going to be amazing! I just know it. How was your first day back? – Love Jacques

 

Oh okay, that was unexpected. Congrats I guess? Be careful though, I don’t want you to be hurt again. My first day back went fine, same old same old. – Blue

 

Omg, okay Blue, you know how my school’s mascot is a bear? Or have I told you that before?? Idk, anyways, our mascot is a bear and so over the summer vacay my school decided to commission some students to create this art mural near the front entrance of our school and let me just tell you… IT SUCKS!!! Like yeah it was students doing it, but OMG it’s like the ugliest thing I have ever seen in my life. The bear, I kid you not, looks more like a brown pig than a bear. I have to walk by that monstrosity every freaken day of my life now, this is homophobic!!! Help me Blue!! Use your superhero powers to save me! – Love Jacques

 

Lol overdramatic much? I’m sure you can handle a bit of bad art. Though I guess that’s what you gut for going the cheap way… though couldn’t they have found more talented students? I feel sorry for Georgia’s artistic future if the students can’t differentiate between a pig and a bear lol – Blue

 

I KNOW RIGHT?? I don’t even know the students they commissioned. They should have hired Leah, she can really draw and would have made an awesome bear. But noooo, now we have to deal with this horrendous thing. Anyways! Blue, I’m going to be in the play this year!! I’m so excited!!! I don’t have a speaking role, which I’m totally fine with – baby steps. Next year I’ll have a role where I will speak… like one line. Haha anyways, I’m just super excited for it and Abby also got a role – a big one with lots of lines which she’s already freaking out about, but I know she’ll be fine. Cal is the stage manager, which is doubly as awesome since we get to hang out even more! Lol remember when I said there was no way he could order people around – well it’s going to be fun seeing him try. I love him though so I’ll support him no matter what! – Love Jacques

 

 Oh Congrats!! Here are so more fireworks gifs! I’m sure you’ll be awesome even without having any lines. I wish I could be there to see it!  - Blue

 

 

Blue? Are you okay? I’m just sensing that you’ve been a bit distant lately. Is everything alright? – Love Jacques  

 

 Yeah I’m fine Jacques, no need to worry, just tired. This year is really killing me. I’m taking Physics, History, French and Economics in my first semester and then it’s soccer season now too so I’m just always really tired. This isn’t even going to be my hard semester. Next one I’m taking English, Math, Chem, and Bio. That’s going to be fun. – Blue

 

Ugh that sounds absolutely horrible! Why are you doing that to yourself?? Right, medical school. But you know you need to have fun too right? You’re a teenager, you need time to let loose, go out have fun… find love ;) Why didn’t I know you played soccer?? You’re holding off on me aren’t you Blue! But it’s weird that you guys have soccer now, in Atlanta’s high school soccer season is during the spring semester. – Love Jacques

 

Bram nearly spat out his food when he read the last message Jacques sent. Jacques lived somewhere in or near Atlanta. The realization made Bram’s mind go into overdrive. He was going to be moving somewhere really close to Jacques, like they could be in the same city!

Okay, well that was not likely going to happen. His mom had informed him that they were moving to this suburb in Atlanta called Creekwood. Bram had looked it up and it was this small place that had hardly anything of note. There was no way Jacques lived there.

On a side note Bram realized he was going to have to take an hour-long bus just to get to school each day. That wasn’t going to be fun, and when he inquired politely if he could maybe get a used car – he would help chip in of course – his mom had outright refused, saying there was no need and money was short at the moment.

Didn’t most divorcee parents get their children a lot of gifts in the hope of making the whole shitty situation seem better? Apparently, his parents didn’t get that memo.

Anyways, he considered once again telling Jacques that he was moving to Atlanta, but decided against it. Besides, Jacques had been right, Bram had been growing distant with him. It was just that, his crush on him had never really gone away and he really didn’t like reading about how Jacques and Cal were being all cutesy and couply. It just made him remember his own shitty situation, which he had no escape from.

For the first time, however, it made him feel guilty. Not just because he was moving near to Jacques, but also because of Jacques joking about him holding out on him by not mentioning him playing soccer. It was obviously a subject that hadn’t ever come up and meant no harm, but well, Bram was holding out on Jacques, just with something so much bigger and he was going to continue to do so.

They continued to message back and forth, throughout the fall semester, but their dynamic went back to the same way it was back in the sophomore period when Jacques and Cal were dating. Surface level information without it ever going deeper. It was safer that way, less chance of Bram getting hurt.

Besides, Jacques didn’t care.

Or so he thought.

Simon stared down at the last message from Blue. Just a quick message about how his team had lost their last game of the season, not even bothering to answer any of the other questions Simon had asked about his holiday plans.

He tried to ignore the pain, telling himself that it happened, online friendships seldom lasted – people moved on in their real lives and didn’t have time for an abstract person thousands of miles away.

Thing was, Simon wasn’t ready to give up Blue. Blue had become such an integral part of Simon’s life that if Blue stopped talking to Simon he would be heartbroken.

Thing was, he didn’t know how to fix this. He had tried various ways of asking Blue what was wrong or teasing him back into their conversations that they used to have, but nothing worked. He was starting to get desperate.

“Simon!... SIMON!”

Simon looked up from his phone. Cal was staring at him in annoyance. “What?”

“I’ve been trying to get your attention for like five minutes now.”

“Oh, sorry, what is it?”

Cal rolled his eyes and shook his head. “Nothing. I’m sure your phone is much more interesting.”

Simon winced. That had been happening a lot lately. The more Blue drew away, the more invested in their online relationship Simon was getting. Okay, that was a lie, Simon had always been obsessed with it, but whereas before a message would leave him in a good mood all day, now it got him worried and depressed. Why didn’t Blue want to talk to him anymore?

Thing was, while before Simon could wait till after school before checking his messages, letting it be his little treat for completing the school day, he now checked his phone constantly craving any little thing he could get from Blue. And Cal was starting to notice.

And he wasn’t happy about it.

“Look I’m sorry, see, it’s going away.” Simon made a show of throwing his phone in his bag and zipping it up. “What did you want to tell me?”

Cal still looked annoyed, but at least this time he decided to let it go. “I was just going to ask if you wanted to go to the Waffle House with me after this.”

“Oh yeah! Me and Leah were actually going to go already, so you can tag along,” Simon said. That was obviously not the right thing to say since Cal’s expression immediately darkened.

“You know what? Never mind, forget it,” Cal snapped and he got up, walking away.

Simon stared after him, wondering what he had done wrong now.

Leah punched him in the shoulder.

“OW!”

“You idiot. He wanted to go with just you,” Leah said.

Simon frowned. “But we already made plans to go together.”

Leah sighed. “Simon, really? You could have suggested a different day, or a different date idea, you know instead of saying he could tag along like the third wheel in a relationship, when he’s your boyfriend.

Oh. Yeah, shit. Yeah, Simon had been a pretty shitty boyfriend lately.

“Ugh, okay, yeah. What do I do?”

Leah rolled her eyes again. “Go after him and apologize you dumbass, then ask him out on this big romantic date to make up for it.”

“Right, yeah,” Simon said, getting up to go after Cal. He didn’t know what date idea they should do, since well date options were kind of limited with it being Atlanta and all, but he had the walk to think of something.

Or he did until his phone beeped from inside his backpack getting him side tracked. It was a message from Blue!

 

Jacques. There’s something I have to tell you that I have been keeping from you and it’s part of the reason I’ve been so distant lately, for which I’m terribly sorry for. You don’t deserve that. Thing is, I don’t know why I haven’t told you yet. I mean we have always told each other the good and bad in our lives, but I guess you have been so happy lately that I didn’t want to bring my depressing news into your life and bring you down. Looking over these messages though I’ve realized that I’ve been drawing away from you and that’s the last thing I want. I don’t ever want to lose you and so I must sincerely apologize for how I’ve been behaving. I hope you can forgive me. So, here goes – my parents have gotten a divorce and my dad moved away, so it’s just me and my mom now and I’m really struggling with it since I feel like neither of them asked my opinion on anything. My dad is already fucking with another woman, like he couldn’t even wait till the divorce was fucking finalized before he started banging her and like, I’m just supposed to accept another mom in my life? Like fuck no. Oh wait, no I don’t have to worry about that since my dad has moved to a different state so I guess I’ll never see him again. Fine by me. And my mom has gotten even more strict since everything. I can’t even stay out past 10 anymore. Oh! And guess what? My mom is also moving to a new state too so I’m going to have to move schools half way through the year! I’m going to be that sad awkward kid who has to start their life all over again. To top it all off I still haven’t come out to either of them and now I don’t even know if I can. I lost my chance Jacques and now I don’t know what to do. I’m sorry for dumping all this on you, and I totally understand if it was too much too late, but if it’s okay with you I’d like to try and go back to how things were. I miss you. – Love Blue

 

Shit Blue. I’m so sorry for everything that you have had to go through. You don’t have to apologize for anything, I’m just some loser you talk to online and you don’t owe me anything. Thank you for telling me though, you mean so much to me and I never ever want to lose you either. Please, please know that I am always going to be here for you. You were there all throughout my breakup so it’s only fair that I can be here for you in this. Shit Blue. God that’s so awful. You have every right to feel angry you know that? Feel free to just vent at me and let it all out if that’s what you need. Or idk? Do you want jokes? Cause I can give you jokes… shit I can’t think of any right now. God I’m the worst friend ever. And no Blue you didn’t lose your chance. You’ll find the right time to come out and it’s going to be wonderful and amazing because that is what you deserve. Fuck Blue, I really wish I was there to give you a hug. I’m sending all of my love over to you just so you know, so if you experience this wave of awesome dorkyness tonight, that’s from me. Eat lots of Oreos and Reeses and all the other junk food… maybe even indulge in another jar of Nutella ;) But feel better Blue, I love you - Love Jacques

 

Thank you Jacques, I really needed that. I’ve been keeping it in for awhile now and pretending that I’m okay with it. When my parents told me I basically just shrugged my shoulders and said I was fine even though I was falling apart inside. I’m pissed that they never really checked up on me afterwards you know? Like why did they just think that I was totally fine with this? I now don’t even get to see my dad anymore, like wtf? Ugh, I don’t want to think of it anymore, tell me some good news, how’s Beiber doing? Or your sisters, Alice’s home for the holidays, right? That must be nice! My holidays consist of packing up for the move to my new neighbourhood. It’s super fun :/ Anyways, Merry Christmas! – Love Blue

 

Yeah that was totally unfair on you. Maybe you should approach your parents? Or I guess your mom, since your dad is well… I would suggest talking to your mom. I’m sure it will help. Ok! Beiber is doing great like always. You know what you should do? You should ask your parents for dog, you know for having to deal with all of their crap. You’ve always wanted a dog, so this is the perfect time. And yes, my wonderful, annoying sister is back for the holidays. I swear she’s hiding something though – she’s always running off to hide in her bedroom, talking on the phone… HOLY SHIT!!!! She totally has a boyfriend doesn’t she??? OMG! It makes perfect sense!... or a girlfriend… can’t assume right ;) but either way she is for sure in a relationship and I am totally going to confront her about it! I’ll let you know the deets. Shit Blue, that is such a sucky holiday. I wish there was some way I could make it better. I’m sure you’ll find cool friends at your new school. If anyone bullies you I will personally fight them, just send me their address! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! (did you celebrate Hanukah this year? With your dad and all) – Love Jacques

 

Yeah I’ll talk to my mom, though chances of her getting me a dog are negative a million considering she’s allergic to them :/ Lol look at you detective Jacques. You know with your sleuthing abilities and my superhero powers we would make a great team up. The Jacques et Bleu duo. Here to solve mysteries and save lives! But yeah, Happy New Year to you too! We didn’t celebrate either of the other two this year. – Love Blue

 

THAT’S THE BEST IDEA EVER!!! Blue and Jacques saving the day and solving crimes. They should totally make a tv show about us! And we would wear these cute costumes so that no one would know our identities!!! I’m getting excited just thinking of it lol. That’s too bad about the dog though. I guess you’ll have to wait till you have your own place :( But yeah! My sister does have a boyfriend! She doesn’t want mom and dad to know yet so mum’s the word. I’m trusting you with this on my life Blue so you better not betray me. My Life Blue. Ugh school starts again in 2 days. This sucks. – Love Jacques

 

Bram looked at their small condo. It was better than the apartment they had been living in for the past four months, but it still wasn’t his old home. It was weird, all of his life he had grown up in a white neighbourhood and he never really noticed it, but here it was obviously a black neighbourhood. You wouldn’t find a white family within miles of here. He supposed it could be worse, but it just further served to remind him of his differences. Half black-half white and fitting in neither world. Add gay to that and well…

He brought his boxes up to his new room. It was a bit smaller than his old one, but still pretty nice. There was plenty of room to fit his stuff, especially considering he had to throw out a lot of stuff in the first move. Once he was finished unpacking his stuff he went down to help his mom who was putting stuff away in the kitchen. He remembered Jacques message about talking to his mom. He guessed now was as good as ever.

“Why were you even looking for a job in Atlanta?”

“It’s a good job,” his mom replied.

“The raise is hardly worth the move. You would have gotten that amount in a year if you had stayed at your old job,” Bram replied. Yes, he had done a bit of sleuthing and read his mom’s contracts. He felt a bit guilty, but then he was being dragged to a whole new state so he deserved to know why.

His mom stopped unpacking the glasses and turned to look at him. It was silent for several long moments before she sighed. “You’re mad.”

Bram gritted his teeth. Really? She was only figuring that out now? Sometimes he wished he wasn’t so closed in; that he didn’t hide his emotions and pretended that everything was alright. People always just assumed that nothing bothered him, that he was chill all the freaken damn time. Well he wasn’t and it fucking sucked.

“Bram, I’m sorry. I know this is hard for you, but I needed a fresh start. There were too many memories back in Alabama and I needed out. So did your dad. None of this had anything to do with you.”

“Yeah you keep saying that, yet I’m also getting affected by this. I’m fucking starting a new school half way through the year! I don’t know anyone, I don’t even know when I’m going to see my dad again, who hasn’t attempted to reach out by the way. What, am I just never going to see him again? Is that it? Was he that desperate to get rid of me?”

“Oh sweetie no!” his mom said, “he just thought it would be best if you got settled in before he called you.”

“And he didn’t fucking think to see if that’s what I wanted? You didn’t even let me choose which one of you I wanted to go with. What if I wanted to go with dad huh? Why wasn’t that an option.”

“We thought-”

“Exactly! You thought. You guys both were screaming at each other for a year and during that time neither of you came to check on me. I was going through some shit stuff and I didn’t have my parents.”

All his frustrations were coming to a head that he had been bottling up for the past two years.

His mom was crying now and of course Bram felt bad for making his mom cry. It wasn’t all his mom’s fault. Like he got it, if he was an outsider he would totally understand why she needed to leave their city and he didn’t blame them at all for the divorce. Hell, it had become a very toxic environment and he was kind of glad his parents weren’t together anymore. But, he wasn’t an outsider. He was right in the middle of this mess and he felt like his voice wasn’t getting heard.

“Bram, why didn’t you say anything?”

“Because you guys said it was going to be seamless and I didn’t want to be that kid that kept guilt tripping their parents into trying to stay together. I knew you guys weren’t happy together, I just thought you would consider what you are putting me through.”

“I’m so sorry Bram,” his mom said, “me and your dad have both been incredibly selfish. We both took your silence as acceptance and didn’t think to look beyond that.”

Bram didn’t know what to say to that, only knowing that it hurt. His shyness had always made him invisible, he hadn’t realized it made him invisible to his parents as well.

“I know it feels too little, too late, but I will do my best to check in on you from now on. I honestly do believe this will be a good fresh start for both of us.”

“It takes over an hour to bus to school,” Bram said, feeling the need to drive that point home.

His mom winced. “Well it might be a good time to meet others who go to the same high school.”

Bram shook his head. “Whatever,” he muttered. He made a move to leave, feeling too emotionally drained to continue this conversation and still feeling upset. Plus he had school tomorrow. Great, starting as the new kid, who doesn’t like that?

“Bram?” his mom called, “what was the stuff you were going through that we weren’t there for?”

Bram froze. Shit, he had said that hadn’t he? “It’s nothing.”

“Obviously it wasn’t,” his mom persisted.

Bram considered brushing it off or making something up, but thing was, he was tired. He was so freaken tired of pretending to be someone he wasn’t and hiding himself and just not being seen, so he turned back around.

“I’m gay mom. That’s what I was going through, and I wanted to come out to you guys, but there was never an opportunity since you were always fighting all the time.”

“Oh, Bram,” his mom breathed, taking a step forward.

There, it was out in the open. Honestly, he still felt crappy. So much for getting to exhale.

“I am so sorry you felt like you couldn’t come to us,” his mom said. She had reached him now and was gently pulling him into a hug. Bram let himself fall into it and suddenly he was crying too, sobbing into his mom’s shoulder as she held him and soothed him. “I love you Bram, I want you to know that. I love you so much, nothing will ever change that.”

Perhaps things could be okay. Perhaps he could exhale.

 

Talked to my mom like you suggested. It was kind of a mess, but then I came out to her and she told me she loved me. We also had a really long talk after that where we sorted out some things and she apologized a lot. Also called my dad and cleared the air with him. Still a bit bitter towards him, but I guess that is something that is going to take time. I came out to him too by the way and he was cool with it. Their thinking of chipping in together to get me a car, but it’ll likely won’t happen till the summer since both of them are tight on money so it’s still a hell of a long bus ride to school each day. Fuck, I’m so not ready to start a new school. I’m so scared Jacques. I don’t know what to do. – Blue

 

I’m glad you got to talk to your parents Blue and cleared out some of the air. Shit you have to take the bus to school?? That sucks big time. What about if you chip in what you earned from your job over the summer and they pay you back later so you get a car sooner? Would that work? All I can say is good luck on your first day of school. Just be your awesome, amazing self and you will fit in in no time. Sending all the best wishes – Love Jacques

 

Bram smiled down as he read Jacques last message before putting his phone away. He would respond to him later, for now he was about to enter his new high school. He had gotten up super early to catch the early bus to get to the school early enough to finish up the needed papers and maybe familiarize himself with the school before others arrived.

He stopped short when he entered the school.

There right in the front hallway was this huge mural of what looked to be a horrendous brown pig.

What. The. Fuck.

He scrambled to take out some of his papers that the school had mailed to them and sure enough the school’s mascot was a bear.

Shit.

Bram’s mind was going into overdrive. He had to get out of there, he was dreaming, this was a mistake, he was at the wrong school…

“Are you alright?”

Bram’s head snapped up and he stared wide-eyed at as this black woman approached him. He couldn’t respond, just stared at her, clutching the papers in his hands.

“Are you new?”

Bram managed to nod.

“Okay, no need to worry, I’ll show you to the office,” she said starting to lead the way, “my name’s Ms. Albright, I’m the drama teacher, are you taking drama?”

Ms. Albright.

No fucking way. This had to be some alternate universe. Surly God didn’t hate him that much?

Realizing that Ms. Albright was waiting for an answer he hurriedly stammered out a no.

“Well, that’s too bad. Oh, here we are,” she said leading him into the office. “Stacy, this young man… what was your name?”

“Umm Bram… Bram Greenfeld.”

“Oh the new kid,” Stacy said.

Bram winced.

“Do you have your papers?” Stacy asked.

Bram handed them over, feeling awkward.

“Well Bram you are in good hands, welcome to Creekwood High. If you ever need help with anything don’t hesitate to reach out to me.”

Bram attempted a weak smile and nodded his head, his mind still a mess. He was 99% certain that Jacques went to this school. Jacques. The anonymous boy who lived thousands of miles away from him went to this fucking school. How was this his life?

He barely paid attention as Stacy rambled on about school protocols and gave him things to sign and showed him the map of the school along with where his locker was. He just nodded along and signed where he was told feeling the itch to run out of there and never come back. Maybe he could tell his mom he was getting bullied and needed to go to a new school? There was that private Christian school not to far from where they lived… it cost money to go to, but they could make do, right?

Shit, but he’s gay. Yeah, that wouldn’t work.

Finally, Stacy let him go and so Bram stumbled out of the office feeling totally adrift. Looking around he suddenly shook himself. He was being stupid.

So there was an ugly pig-bear mural at the front entrance and the drama teacher was named Ms. Alright. Those were all just coincidences. There was no way he was at the same school as Jacques. It just wasn’t possible.

He looked down at his timetable deciding it would be better to just focus on getting through his first day of classes.

First Period – English – Mr. Wise.

Fuck.

Two things could just be a coincidence. Three? Not so much. He was totally screwed.

Well, okay so he was now going to the same school as Jacques, that didn’t mean he was going to see him. This was a big school after all, with over 3000 students. There was no way he was going to bump into Jacques. Besides, he didn’t even know his real name or what he looked like. Yeah, he was fine.

After a couple of wrong turns he managed to locate Mr. Wise’s room. Mr. Wise was already in the room, stapling the lesson plans together so Bram awkwardly knocked on the door.

Mr. Wise looked up then frowned. “You’re early.”

Bram’s cheeks burned and he looked down at his shoes awkwardly. “Sorry, I’m new here…”

“Oh! Well, that’s perfectly alright, come in! What’s your name?”

“Bram. Bram Greenfeld.”

Mr. Wise nodded and looked through his attendance sheet. “Ah! There you are! Welcome to Creekwood High Mr. Greenfeld.”

Bram nodded, giving a fake smile.

“Do you mind telling me how you did in English last year?” Mr. Wise asked.

“Oh right,” Bram said, taking out a portfolio from his bag. “I brought my grades from last year along with some of my sample works, here.”

Mr. Wise’s eyes widened in surprise as he took the portfolio making Bram feel embarrassed. All of the teachers at his old school knew how smart and studious he was, he hadn’t really thought about how that might make him look at another school.

It was quiet as Mr. Wise looked over Bram’s stuff, and the silence was killing Bram. English was the one subject he was worried about this term. Math, Chem and Bio were all logic based and there wasn’t much room for interpretation. You either got the answer right or you didn’t. With English, a lot of it was how the teacher marked the work. At his old school his teachers had all loved his work and he got excellent grades… if Mr. Wise didn’t like his work though that could be a game changer. English had always been his favourite subject. He didn’t know what he would do if Mr. Wise thought his writing suck. Didn’t Jacques say he was a hard marker? Shit. Shit. Shit.

“This is really excellent Bram. Some of the best work I’ve seen.”

Bram breathed out a sigh of relief. “Thank you, sir.”

“Mr. Wise is fine,” Mr. Wise chuckled, handing back his portfolio. “I’m looking forward to teaching you.” He looked at his watch. “Students should be arriving soon. Take a seat wherever.”

Bram looked around at the rest of the room. There was this lumpy sofa in the middle that looked like it had seen some dark times, but other than that it was standard desk and chairs layout. At first Bram was freaking out about taking a spot, worried that he would accidently steal someone’s spot before he remembered this was first day of the new term. No one would have a favourite spot just yet.

Feeling a bit better he took a seat at the side of the room, not at the front, but not at the very back either. A good place to just sort of blend in.

Pretty soon people started trickling in. A pair of girls who were gossiping amongst themselves and didn’t even look Bram’s way as they headed to the very back to continue their gossiping. A guy and a girl who were obviously a couple and also headed to the back where they could continue making out. Seriously, what even?

Then this tall blond guy who was the epitome of a jock, came barrelling into the room. “DIBS!” the boy yelled at the top of his lungs and jumped onto the couch.

“Really Garrett?” this bigger white girl scowled walking in behind the boy. The boy, Garrett, grinned back at her and Bram could already tell that he had a crush on her.

She slanted her eyes at him though and shoved him off the couch so she could sit on it. Garrett neatly rolled off it then jumped back up and sat down next to her with a grin still on his face.

“Nice, you saved us the spot!” another boy called out, coming into the room. He was accompanied with another girl, both of whom were black and they took their spots on the couch filling it up.

The room was now pretty much filled and everyone was busy filling in their friends about their holiday breaks. Bram crouched down further in his chair feeling all the more alone.

Then he saw him.

Fuck, if he wasn’t the cutest guy Bram had ever laid eyes on. He was white, with adorably messy brown hair, well dressed and the brightest eyes Bram had ever seen. He smiled widely when he spotted the group on the couch and Bram died a little.

“Simon!” the black boy yelled out, “get your ass over here.”

Simon.

Bram was going to remember that.

“Move over,” Simon said, still smiling.

“Why were you late?” the black girl teased, “had to welcome Cal back to school properly?”

Bram’s heart stopped.

No. He had to have misheard that. It couldn’t be. Please no, the world couldn’t be that cruel…

“Shut up Abby, come on Nick move over,” Simon said.

Abby. Nick. Both friends of Jacques, who was dating a boy named Cal. The other girl must be Leah.

Of course the cutest boy in existence had to be Jacques. Why was this his life?

Mr. Wise started the class, though there was no way Bram was able to pay attention. Fuck, what was he going to do? Should he approach him? But say what? Hey, I’m the boy you’ve been messaging for over a year now and madly in love with you.

Yeah, no.

Just kill him now.

Finally, the bell rang. Bram at first considered bolting out of the classroom, but that would have drawn attention to him, which was something he was hoping to avoid. So instead he forced himself to pack up his stuff like a normal person and follow the crowd out of the room. As was his luck, he was right behind Simon and his friends as they were leaving.

“I can’t believe I have freaken Mr. Wise again. Like come on! This is just torture,” Simon complained.

Though that was just a couple of sentences, based on that Bram had a feeling Simon wrote like he spoke, which did nothing to help lessen the adorableness that was Simon/Jacques. Bram was so screwed.

Bram quickly hurried off to his next class, Chem, which thankfully didn’t have Simon in it. He didn’t think he could handle him twice in a row.

Abby was also in the class, but of course she had friends in it, not that Bram would have approached her or anything.

In the end he was partnered up with this boy named Martin, who was frankly really annoying and Bram could already tell had no idea what he was doing. This was going to be a long semester.

The only good thing to come out of that class was the school wide announcements announcing that soccer tryouts were happening next week. Right, Jacques had said that their soccer season was in the spring semester. Maybe if Bram could make the team he would be able to make some friends.

He hoped he was good enough.

He ate lunch in the library, avoiding the cafeteria at all costs.

He of course had Math with Simon since that was his luck, but at least they sat on opposite sides of the room so Bram couldn’t see him.

In Bio his partner was a boy named Lyle who was pretty cool. At least one class would be manageable this year.

It was a long bus ride back home. Abby was also on the bus, but she was talking with people she knew, not that Bram would approach her. Yeah that would be awkward. ‘Hey I know a lot about you because this guy I have a crush on talks about you a lot in his anonymous messages he sends me.’

Yeah. No.

When he got home he noticed that he had another message from Jacques, or should he say Simon. He’s a bit surprised since he hadn’t responded yet to Jacques’ last message. Maybe Jacques somehow knew that Bram was Blue and was confronting him about it.

The thought filled him with a few moments of anxiety before he dismissed it. Simon hadn’t even looked his way once throughout the day. There was no way he would have known that Bram was Blue.

He opened up the message.

 

Blue! How was your day? Did people treat you alright? Did you make all the friends? I bet you did, you just have that popular vibe to you! My first day back had its ups and downs. It was great seeing my boyfriend again since as you know he goes away for Christmas so I haven’t seen him since last year! Haha how crazy is that to say! So yeah, being able to kiss him was pretty awesome, but we don’t have any classes with each other ☹ at least we still have theatre! Thank God. Also!!! I have the evil Mr. Wise again for English. I swear someone out there hates me, like why???? He’s going to so be on my case about those sentence fragments. You have no idea Blue, no idea. Hopefully your English teacher is better. Btw, sorry for messaging you before you responded. I just really want to know how your first day went and couldn’t wait. Please please tell me, I’m dying to know, even if it went horribly. Especially if it went horribly. I will send you all the dog pics if it was. Also will if it went great since you deserve dog pics. Here’s a sample – that’s my dog Bieber! Isn’t he cute? – Love Jacques

 

OHHH he’s soooo cute!!! I love him already!!!! Umm my day was alright I guess. Didn’t really meet anyone, but there are soccer tryouts coming up at my school so I’m thinking of trying out, so maybe if I make the team I’ll make some friends? Idk, fingers crossed. That sucks about Mr. Wise, maybe you’ll have improved from last year so it won’t be as bad? Isn’t that the point of school lol? I showed my new English teacher my previous work and he said that it was some of the best he’s seen so I guess my English experience went better than yours… - Blue

 

Blue that is just unfair! How can you be so much better at English???? Lol, no you deserve that, you work so hard at school, I just sit on my ass all day. I get pretty good grades don’t get me wrong, but obviously not to your calibre. You are on a whole new league and that is why you are so awesome. Awesome Blue who is awesome at English and very cute. That is how I picture you anyways in my head. Is it weird that I sometimes have this image of you in my head even though we don’t know what the other looks like? Idk, I know you better than I’ve known anyone and shared things with you that I’ve never told anyone, yet I don’t even know your real name. It’s really weird. Not that I’m complaining, I love you my little superhero who may or may not also be a FBI agent ;) Oh and yes! You totally should try out for the soccer team and you are going to rock it and be the new star. I’m calling it now! – Love Jacques

 

Jacques, I’ve told you this before and will tell you this again, you are very awesome too and I know you will achieve great things. But I know what you mean, I can picture you in my head when I write to you. Especially now. Is it weird to say you are my best friend? – Love Blue

 

Blue, you are my best friend too. We are besties for life, unconditionally, alright? It’s the rules. – Love Jacques

 

Hey Jaques, good news! I made the soccer team! – Blue

 

CONGRATS BLUE!!! I KNEW YOU COULD DO IT!!! Here is a bunch of exploding soccer balls to celebrate :) – Love Jacques

 

Wow that was certainly an interesting gif. I didn’t know soccer balls could explode like that…  - Blue

 

“Yo, everyone make room for my new man, Bram Greenfeld, soccer player extraordinaire!” Garrett bellowed out as he dragged the new kid up to their lunch table. The boy, Bram was looking down at his shoes, obviously uncomfortable with the attention.

Simon looked around - they already were pretty squished and Cal hadn’t even shown up yet, but still, everyone shuffled over and let Bram and Garrett sit down. Nick leaned over and fist bumped Bram.

“We are totally going to win this season with you on the team,” Nick exclaimed.

“So, Bram, what school did you transfer from?” Abby asked.

Before Simon could catch the answer, however, Cal appeared, kissing Simon on the cheek. Simon blushed red and turned, pecking Cal on the lips.

“GROSS!” Garrett yelled, “get a room!!” the rest of the table laughed, knowing Garret was joking. Bram, however, was looking down at his plate frowning. Well, if he was a homophobe he could get lost. Too bad, Simon had thought he was cute.

Everyone squished over and Cal took his seat beside Simon, practically sitting on Simon’s lap, not that Simon was complaining.

The conversation turned to their upcoming theatre production and Simon forgot all about the new kid.

However, as lunch was drawing to an end, Simon pulled out his phone and was pleased to see another message from Blue.

“What are you reading?” Leah asked.

Simon looked up quickly. “What?”

“You’re smiling at your phone like you’re texting your boyfriend,” Nick supplied unhelpfully, “and your boyfriend is right beside you.”

Simon’s face burned. “It’s… ugh… nothing.”

Cal looked at him with a frown. “Let me see,” he said, reaching out his hand.

Simon yanked back, getting up and out of Cal’s reach. None of them knew about Blue and he wasn’t about to tell them now. Blue was a secret. His secret.

“What the fuck, Simon?” Cal demanded.

“It’s nothing!” Simon said.

“That sure as hell doesn’t look like nothing,” Cal spat back, eyes flashing, “you’re always staring at your stupid phone and smiling at it. Who are you fucking texting?”

“No one!” Simon exclaimed. “God, it was just some stupid tumblr thing, stop overreacting.”

Thankfully the bell rang, and so before anyone could respond he stormed off to class. He was in a bad mood for the rest of the day.

 

Me and Cal got in a fight today. God, sometimes he is just so annoying, like why can’t he stop being so nosy? Not everything about my life is his public knowledge. Like I was trying to respond to you at lunch today and then Cal started freaking out, demanding to know who I was texting. Like it’s not any of his business. Ugh, he’s so fucking childish sometimes!! – Jacques

 

Jacques… if I’m gathering this correctly, you not telling him about you messaging me was the cause of your fight, which frankly if you look at it from his point of view is a justified reaction. Hear me out, if you’re always messaging me and then refusing to tell who you’re messaging it can kind of send the message that you’re cheating on them. Not that you are or would ever, but to some it may seem that way. Maybe you should stop messaging me around him? Or tell him about us and clarify that it’s just a friendship thing? I don’t want your relationship to fall apart because of me, so if you have to stop messaging me, I’ll understand. Do what’s best for you Jacques, I’ll support you either way. – Love Blue

 

No Blue. Just no. How can you even say that? Me stop messaging you? I would rather die. You have no idea. No fucking idea how much you mean to me. I fucking need you in my life, you’re like my voice of reason, my guardian angel, my kindred spirit. Cal will just have to deal with it. Is it really alright if I tell him about you? Like you’re okay with that? From what you’ve said, looking back yeah it does seem kind of fishy and maybe I have been acting not the greatest about this whole thing. Dammit Blue, why are you always right? (Please don’t ever stop being right). So yeah if I can tell him about you that should clear things up. – Jacques

 

Yeah, go ahead. I want what’s best for you. – Blue

 

All things considered Bram’s life was actually going pretty well. His classes were coming along and the teachers all liked him, things with his parents were improving and the soccer season was going great. He was also starting to get along better with Leah and Abby, with him even talking with Abby on their bus rides home if they happened to catch the same bus.

He also got along well with all of his teammates, which was kind of a surprise, and him and Garrett somehow were becoming fast friends, something Bram would never have expected to happen. Garrett was really out going and seemed like kind of a douche, but in a harmless way. Bram quickly realized, however, that his new friend had a heart of gold and was extremely loyal.

Bram actually found himself coming out to Garrett a couple of days after his birthday. He hadn’t expected to, but he guessed Jacques/Simon was right, once you first come out it gets easier and easier to do so.

It happened after soccer practice while Garrett was waiting around with Bram for his bus, which wasn’t going to come around for another 15 minutes.

“Like I know she thinks I’m a weirdo, but weird can be good right? Like I do have a chance?” Garrett was saying, talking about Leah.

Bram shrugged. “I mean yeah I guess so? Maybe try being less annoying around her?”

Garrett made a face. “But being annoying is fun!”

Bram laughed and shook his head.

“But anyways, what about you? New school, lots of new girls and you’re a good looking man. Has anyone caught your eye? I know there are a couple of girls who are interested.”

Bram hesitated, but only for a couple of seconds. “Not my area.”

He held his breath.

“Oh cool! So any guy catch your eye? There’s not many out, but I’m sure I can find out for you.”

Bram laughed, feeling relieved. “Nah man, I’m good.”

“You sure?”

Bram nodded, but of course thinking about a potential partner made him think of Simon and well, he couldn’t stop the wistful smile at the thought.

“Yo man, you’re smiling! There is someone! Who is it?”

Bram shook his head. “No, no it wouldn’t ever work.”

“You don’t know that,” Garrett argued, “just because someone seems straight, doesn’t mean they are.”

Why does straight have to be the default? Bram’s mood dropped and he stopped smiling, looking down at his shoes. “Yeah, that’s not the problem.”

Garrett frowned, trying to figure out what Bram meant. Then his eyes bugged out. “You like Simon!”

Bram’s cheeks were positively burning. “Am I that obvious?”

“No! no,” Garrett assured, “it’s just now that I’ve got the whole picture I can put the pieces together. Like you’re a quiet guy, sure, but you can talk to people. Like you get along fine with the rest of the soccer team and I’ve seen you talk with Leah and Abby, but with Simon, you can barely speak a word to him.”

Bram scuffed his shoe on the ground. Yeah, he froze up around cute guys, and Simon was incredibly cute.

“And then you always tense up when Cal comes and sits with us and is all lovey dovey with Simon, and I think some people may think you’re uncomfortable with them displaying public affection, but well obviously that’s not it,” Garrett continued.

“How come you didn’t think I liked Cal then?”

Garrett laughed. “I’ve seen the way you glare at him. You fucking don’t like the guy, which doesn’t really make sense since you don’t know him, but if you take in the factor that you like Simon, it all makes perfect sense.”

Bram sighed. “Fuckkk…”

“Hey don’t worry about it man. It’s cool, and I can assure you that no one knows, like if anything they think you’re a bit homophobic.”

“That’s not good!” Bram exclaimed.

Garrett grimaced. “Right, yeah, well maybe tone down on the glares? Why Simon though? Like he’s good looking and all, but like it was always obvious that he was taken.”

Bram looked around. There obviously was no one around with it being after soccer practice, but still, he was paranoid and no one could find out about this. He was surprised he was even going to tell Garrett at all. He probably just needed to get it off his chest.

“Listen, you can’t tell anyone this. I mean it.”

“Hey of course dude. Mum’s the word.”

“So this is going to sound crazy, but back in Alabama I started messaging this guy on tumblr, we were mutuals and whatever and both were gay, and we just helped each other through some shit. We used pseudo names and never sent photos so we didn’t know our real life identities, but knew we lived in different states, so we were pretty loose about daily info that we shared.”

“Holy shit,” Garrett breathed, catching on to where this was going. “It was Simon!”

Bram nodded. “It still is Simon. We still anonymously message each other, but now I know it’s him and he doesn’t, and I’m fucking in love with the guy.”

“Shit. That’s pretty messed up. You should tell him.”

“I can’t! I just, fuck! He doesn’t feel the same way okay? It would be awkward.”

“Damn man, I don’t know what to say. Did you know he was dating Cal? Like before you met Simon?”

“Yeah of course. We tell each other literally everything. Well except for the fact that I moved to the high school he is currently attending. That’s why I can’t stand Cal so much because I was there for Simon when Cal broke his heart last time. Simon was a mess.”

Garrett’s eyes widened. “Yooo! Nick did say he was surprised with how fast Simon bounced back from the breakup, that was all you! Wait did he tell you about that night he got drunk?”

“From the 2 beers? Yeah,” Bram said with a laugh.

Garrett laughed as well, looking excited. “Well we all expected him to be bawling and wanting to contact Cal and stuff, but he just kept going on about how much he loved blue, and we were all like okay, we get it that’s your favourite colour. It was weird man.”

Bram's stomach jolted. “Blue is the pseudo name I use.”

Garrett’s eyes bugged out of his head. “DUDE!!! Fuck man! He’s totally in love with you!”

Bram bristled. “Yeah, as a friend.”

Garrett, however, was vehemently shaking his head. “No, no! Like I think he’s actually in love with you. Whenever he’s looking down at his phone, that’s you he’s messaging right? Where he’s smiling like an idiot? And god the way he talked about you that night, it was like you hung the stars and moon. None of us understood because we all thought he was talking about a colour of all things, and Leah suggested he was referencing Cal’s eyes, but no, it was fucking you!”

“Stop it,” Bram warned, “it doesn’t matter how he may feel for Blue, it’s never going to happen. He thinks I’m this lonely kid living thousands of miles away from him and he has a boyfriend who he loves very much. Besides, I’ve already betrayed his trust by not telling him that I go to the same school. It will never work.”

At that Garrett sobered. “I think he would choose you if he had the option.”

Bram shook his head. “Even if that were true, I’m not going to be the reason his relationship with Cal gets ruined.”

Garrett was about to reply, but the bus arrived and so the conversation got left at that.

Simon sat down across from Cal feeling antsy. He had asked Cal to meet up at the Waffle House to clear the air and tell him about Blue, but the thought of doing so made him sick in the stomach. He didn’t want to tell Cal about Blue. Blue was his special thing, his personal thing that was just for him. Telling Cal about Blue would change that.

But Blue was right, this couldn’t continue any longer, and Simon’s messed up confusing feelings towards this random boy on the internet had to be put to the side in the face of his actual boyfriend.

“So, you wanted to talk?” Cal asked, his voice a little short. They had gotten past the whole phone argument, but just the other day they had another fight about being on time to things, so Cal probably thought that was what he was going to apologize for.

Simon had been holding off having this conversation, but he realized he couldn’t do it any longer. It wasn’t fair to either of them.

“Yeah, thanks for meeting me,” Simon said.

“I’m your boyfriend you dimwit,” Cal retorted, and yeah, Simon was kind of an awkward idiot.

Shit, he wished he knew how to start this. He wished Blue was here to help him, Blue always knew the right things to say. “I have to tell you something,” he finally said.

“Okay, what?”

Simon sighed. “So you know how we had that argument a couple of weeks ago about me always on my phone, well there’s a reason for that.” Cal’s face darkened and it took all of Simon’s courage to continue. “See, the thing is I have this online friend, have had him for over a year, and we message back and forth about things, our lives, what we like and don’t like, problems we have. So yeah, that’s kind of it. We’re just friends, I don’t even know his real name or what he looks like, so um, yeah I figured I should probably tell you.”

Cal was silent for several long excruciating moments. “You’ve known this person for how long?” he asked, voice low and tight.

Simon frowned. “Over a year, since before you and I started dating. He helped me come out.”

Cal’s mouth dropped open. “You have got to be fucking kidding me.”

“What? He’s just an online friend.”

“Does he know about us?”

“Of course, I tell him everything.”

Cal gaped at him. “You tell him fucking everything, but you couldn’t think to tell your boyfriend that you have this online friend?

“I didn’t think you needed to know, it’s not like you’re ever going to meet him,” Simon protested, thinking Cal was taking this way out of proportion. Sure, maybe he should have told Cal about Blue sooner, but it wasn’t like a lot of people told their real life friends about their online friends. It was a different sort of situation. You have your online self and your real life self.

“That’s not the point!”

“Okay, I’m sorry! I should have told you, but it’s not like it’s wrong or anything. We’re just friends.”

“You don’t smile at me like you smile at your stupid phone when you’re messaging him,” Cal retorted.

“Oh come on! That’s not true, I love you!”

“Do you love him?” Cal demanded.

“Yeah, of course, but we’re friends.”

Cal shook his head. “No. No, do you love him?”

Simon froze, a horrible, guilty feeling spreading in his gut. See, that’s the thing, the thing he’s been hiding from himself for so long now. The fact that he’s kind of in love with this online boy who he doesn’t know the name of, and he’s been ignoring it because they could never be together in real life.

“Okay, maybe I do have a bit of a crush on him, but it doesn’t matter. He lives thousands of miles away, it would never work out. I’m with you, I’m your boyfriend,” Simon said.

Cal shook his head. “No, no I can’t do that.” He stood up.

“What are you saying?” Simon asked, heart beating rapidly in his chest while also standing up.

“I’m saying that I’m not going to be dating someone who would rather be with someone else.”

Simon gasped. “Are you breaking up with me?”

“Either you stop messaging this person or we break up. Your choice,” Cal said, glaring at Simon.

Simon couldn’t speak, he couldn’t breath. Cal was making him choose? Making him choose between Cal and Blue? But… but… that was totally unfair! He couldn’t do that. He couldn’t let go of Blue.

Cal huffed and started walking away and Simon panicked. He remembered how horrible the last break up had went and he couldn’t go through that again, he just couldn’t.

“Cal wait!”

Cal stopped and turned around, he looked pissed, but there were also tears in his eyes.

“Okay. I’ll stop messaging him. I’ll stop okay?”

Cal swallowed, a couple of tears falling down his cheeks. “Okay… okay. Thank you.”

They smiled weakly at each other, and then pulled each other into a hug, and everything was all right. Everything was great.

So why did it feel like Simon had a gaping hole in his chest?

 

I can’t keep messaging you anymore. I’m sorry. – Jacques

 

Okay Jacques, I understand. All the best. – Love Blue

 

It’s been two and a half weeks since Bram has messaged with Jacques. A lonely two and a half weeks.

It didn’t take a genius to guess why. Simon obviously told Cal who hadn’t taken it well and this was the result. Bram could respect that, he could, but that didn’t make things hurt less. He missed Jacques.

What made it all the worst was that Simon obviously was unhappy and Bram couldn’t see any improvements to their relationship either. In fact, it was more strained than before.  

There were countless times Bram wanted to reach out to Simon and cheer him up or send him a message about something funny or even just a mundane retelling of his days events since he knew it would make Simon feel better. But it would also make things worse so Bram never did, and so he remained the silent observer.

Garrett had brought it up a couple of times, but Bram had always shaken his head, not wanting to get into it. It hurt too much to talk about it.

So Bram braced himself for forever being in love with this boy who would never know who he truly was and never speak to again. It was quite depressing actually.

Of course, life had other plans.

Soccer practice ran over time since their coach was mad about their last lost, which granted everyone had played pretty shittily. To make matters worse it was extremely cold and raining and so by the end of it everyone was bone tired and freezing. To top it all off, his bus wouldn’t arrive for another 20 minutes.

Garrett offered to wait for him, but Bram convinced him to just go home seeing how much his friend was shaking. So, while the rest of the team headed to their cars or to the bus stop which went in the opposite direction of Bram’s, he headed back to the school to wait in the cafeteria until his bus came.

That’s when he spotted Simon sitting outside in the rain sobbing.

Bram froze.

Disappointingly, the first thought that ran through his brain was to run away. Simon hadn’t noticed him yet, so he could pretend like he never saw him and that would be that.

As he watched Simon sob though, Bram knew he couldn’t do that. This was Simon after all, and he was hurt. Bram was basically required to help.

“Simon?”

Simon looked up with a start and abruptly stood up, trying to wipe his tears away even though he hadn’t stopped crying. “I’m fine,” he said, not sounding fine at all.

Bram hesitated then approached Simon, grabbing onto his arm and leading him away from the school. “Come on.”

Simon let himself be dragged away which probably said a lot about his state of mind that he was willing to be led somewhere by someone he thought he barely knew, and who he might think was a homophobe. Bram had tried to hold back on his glares at Cal, but he wasn’t sure he was all that successful.

If Bram was right about the situation, he felt justified in his dislike for the other boy.

Bram led them to a small café near the school that thankfully was fairly empty. He sat Simon down in a corner seat and went and bought them both hot chocolates figuring something warm and sweet was needed.

“Here,” Bram said handing the drink over. Simon took it, but just clutched it in his hands. Bram did the same, sitting down across from him. He was still in his soccer outfit and was freezing, but he tried to ignore it.

It was silent for several long moments, with Simon still trying and failing to stop crying and Bram unsure what to do.

“Do you want me to call someone?” Bram finally asked, the situation feeling eerily similar to one he had a year ago.

Simon shook his head, curling in on himself. Bram hated seeing him like this.

“Did Cal break up with you?” Bram asked, having to know.

A huge sob escaped Simon and he nodded his head.

“Shit, I’m sorry man,” Bram said, not sure what else to say. It was easier writing things down. You could erase things and format it as you want, talking in person was difficult.

“What do you care?” Simon spat out. And ouch, that hurt.

Bram, however, smiled sadly. “You were sitting outside in the cold rain sobbing. I would have to be pretty heartless if I didn’t care a little.”

That got out a weak chuckle from Simon. “God, I’m such a mess.”

“Hey, you’re allowed to be upset,” Bram said, throwing Jacques words back at him.

Simon nodded, looking down at his cup, but still not drinking from it. “I just, knew it was going to happen you know? We both could feel the relationship falling apart, it’s just. It’s the 13th.”

Bram frowned. What did the 13th have to do with anything?

“Valentine’s day’s tomorrow,” Simon supplied, and Bram’s cheeks burned.

“Oh, right,” Bram muttered, taking a sip of his drink in an attempt to avoid his awkwardness. When he looked back at Simon, however, he found Simon looking at him with a small smile on his face. When Simon noticed Bram staring, his smile fell and it quickly turned into a sob again.

“I’m sorry,” Simon whimpered.

“Hey, you have nothing to be sorry for. Just let it out.”

“I… I just don’t have anyone to talk to this time,” Simon said.

“I’m sure your friends-”

“No. No. I mean ugh, it’s stupid.”

“Try me. I won’t judge,” Bram encouraged.

“This wasn’t the first time we broke up. We broke up before and I was a mess, but I had this online friend that really helped me get through it, and now I don’t have him anymore because I told Cal about him and he said it was either him or Cal and I chose Cal.” Simon started sobbing even harder, his whole body wracking which was frankly quite alarming.

Before he could stop himself, Bram got up and knelt beside Simon, pulling him into a hug, gently rubbing up and down his back in a soothing matter. They stayed like that for a while, as Simon sobbed into Bram’s shoulder. Eventually, Simon calmed down enough to pull back, though he avoided Bram’s eyes. Bram awkwardly went back and sat down in his chair.

“Why don’t you try contacting this online friend of yours again,” Bram suggested. He couldn’t believe he was doing this – suggesting Simon to contact Bram like he didn’t know who he was. Perhaps he should tell Simon he was Blue, but then Bram quickly dismissed that. That’s not what Simon needed right now.

Simon shook his head, crying again. “He probably hates me. I told him that I would never stop messaging him, and then I did. Like what kind of person does that? And he’s just started at a new school too, he probably really needs a friend who understands him and I just left him. Fuck! I’m such a horrible person.”

“No you’re not Simon. I’m sure he’ll understand.”

Simon shook his head. “I miss him so much,” he whimpered, “these past few weeks have been hell. I keep reaching for my phone to message him because that’s what we do, but then I remember I can’t and it’s my fault. Fuck! I hate this, I love him.”

Bram froze, his heart beating rapidly in his chest. He had to tell himself he didn’t mean it, he didn’t love Blue that way, he was just in a bad place right now and missed his friend.

“Honestly, Simon, I think you should try and reach out. I truly don’t think he hates you. No one can hate you Simon. Just explain yourself and I’m sure he’ll understand.”

“You think?” Simon asked, looking hopeful.

“Yeah,” Bram said, knowing full well that Blue will take back Jacques with open arms. God, what was his life? “Also, talk to your friends okay? They’ll help you get through this too. Probably better than I can, and also eat a lot of O-junk food.”

Dammit, he had almost said Oreos. Granted, Simon did always have a some at lunch, but that still could have been a giveaway. Or he was being way too paranoid. That was probably the more likely scenario.

Simon sniffled, but he seemed to have calmed down a bit now. “Yeah, I’ll do that. Thank you Bram, you actually really did help.”

Bram smiled, then awkwardly finished off his drink. He glanced outside, noting how dark it had gotten. Pulling out his phone he winced, he had missed his bus. It would be another half hour wait for the next one.

Simon also finished off his drink and stood up, holding out a hand to Bram. Bram shook it, looking at Simon in confusion.

“Thank you Bram, for being here for me.”

“No problem, glad I could help.”

They remained holding hands for a tad longer than normal before awkwardly pulling back. Simon took a step towards the door before turning around and staring at Bram confusedly. “Aren’t you coming?”

“My bus doesn’t leave for another half hour, so I’ll just wait in here.”

Simon’s eyes widened. “Oh shit! Sorry, I totally made you miss your bus!”

“It’s okay,” Bram laughed.

“No, I feel horrible, and shit, you must be freezing. Here let me give you a ride.”

Bram’s clothes were still damp and uncomfortable, but still, “my house is really out of your way. It’s fine.”

“No, come on – it’s the least I can do. Besides, I don’t really feel like going home just yet.”

Which fair enough. “Okay then, thanks.” Bram couldn’t believe he had agreed to a ride with the boy he loved who had no freaken clue who he was, and who just broke up with is ex-boyfriend. Like what was his life?

They both ran to Simon’s car since it was still pouring and once they got inside they both dissolved into a fit of giggles even though neither of them knew why they were laughing.

Eventually they settled down and Simon started the car up, handing his phone to Bram. “Plug it in and choose some songs.”

Bram dutifully did as he was told and then looked through Simon’s music library. It was just like Jacques, which duh, but it was kind of weird to see it in person. He paused when he reached Blue’s Playlist.

Feeling like he was spying on something private, even though he knew exactly what that playlist consisted of, he clicked on it. Sure enough it was a compilation of all the songs that Bram had recommended over their online relationship.

Simon glanced over to see what Bram was looking at. “Shit man, don’t play that, I’m going to start crying.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Bram said, hurriedly putting the phone down.

“No, it’s okay, it’s just that… Blue’s the name of the guy. Or well, it’s not his actual name, but that’s what I call him. You don’t know how many times I’ve listened to that playlist over the past two weeks. Sorry, that sounds really sad.”

“Hey, no worries,” Bram said. He completely understood. Jacques playlist was very well played on his own phone.

“So how are you finding Creekwood?”

Now, this was getting into dangerous territory. How much could he give away without Simon finding out? Granted, he did have the advantage of that Simon thought he was in a different state, and if there was one thing Bram knew, it was that Simon could be a bit oblivious at times.

“It’s alright I guess, going better than I thought it was going to, but I’m still getting used to things.”

“No kidding, damn, I can’t imagine having to move schools in the middle of the year. Or in general! That must really suck. What was the reason?”

“Oh you know, parents divorced.” Maybe if he gave enough hints Simon would figure it out on his own. He wondered how far he could go.

“Shit man, that’s rough. The online friend I told you about also went through the same thing this year and he’s having a tough time of it too.”

Yeah, he’s the friend.

Bram slid lower in his sheet, wondering if Simon would make the connection, but no, Simon remained perfectly oblivious.

“Well you and Garrett seem to be getting along really well, so that’s good.”

Bram nodded, “yeah, he’s actually a pretty great guy.”

There was awkward silence for a bit. Then, “you know I’m going to be honest with you, I thought you were a bit homophobic since you kept glaring at me and Cal at our lunch table. Talking to you it doesn’t seem that way, but do you have a problem with that?”

There was a challenge in his voice and Bram felt horrible. “No of course not! God, you must think I’m a horrible person. No, no it’s… well the thing is there was this guy I liked and then we had to move and well… seeing you and Cal being so open and happy together. I was jealous.” It wasn’t even a lie.

“Oh my god! Wow, oh wow! Shit, that must have been rough for you. God, I mean you must really miss this guy and you’re at this new school and everything. Shit, I’m sorry.”

“No, no it’s not your fault! I shouldn’t have projected on you. That was my bad, I’m sorry I made you feel uncomfortable.”

“Hey all’s good. It’s understandable. You could have talked to me about it though,” Simon said.

Bram shook his head. “I just started a new school. I wasn’t ready to be out yet.”

“True. Hey, you’re secrets safe with me, kay?”

“Thanks.”

Silence fell again, but it wasn’t awkward this time.

“So did you guys break up when you moved?”

Bram shook his head. “He never knew, I never found the courage to tell him.”

“Shit. Sorry.”

Bram shrugged. “What can you do?”

His body language must have relayed his bleakness for Simon reached over and squeezed his shoulder. “Hey, sure your first crush didn’t pan out, but there will be lots more in your future. I’m sure of it, I mean come on, you’re a catch.”

Bram’s cheeks burned. Simon thought he was good looking! “Thanks, and you too, you know. They’ll be other people out there that will love you.”

Simon grimaced and Bram wanted to curse himself for bringing the mood down again. “I guess, but it sucks that the person I want, I can’t have.”

“Hey, I know it’s tough, but Cal-”

“I’m not talking about Cal.”

Bram stopped short, heart racing. He couldn’t be saying what Bram thought he was saying, right?

“Am I a bad person?” Simon asked, voice weak.

“No, why would you think that?” There was no way in Bram’s eyes that Simon could ever be a bad person.

“Because I was with Cal but I was actually more in love with Blue than I was with my actual boyfriend.”

“Oh.”

“It’s stupid since we’ll probably never meet and there’s no way he feels the same way. I tried to convince myself that I just thought of him as a friend, but the more I think on it, the more I realize that what I feel for him goes beyond friendship and I just feel so horrible since I treated Cal shittily, but I’ll also never actually get to be with the guy I love.”

Bram had no idea what to say. God, Simon confessed he was in love with Blue. He was Blue. This should be a dream come true.

But because this was Bram’s life, Simon was upset and had recently broken up with Cal, and Simon had no idea that Bram was Blue. This was not the time for Bram to reveal that, not when Simon was so emotionally compromised.

They arrived at Bram’s house. Bram unbuckled his seat belt then turned and looked at Simon, needing him to hear the words he was about to say.

“Simon. Yes, what you did with Cal wasn’t the greatest, but if what I’m gathering is correct, you thought of this Blue person as a friend and there’s nothing wrong with having an online friend. Sure, you developed feelings for him, but you never acted on them and you yourself didn’t realize them until you cut off contact so don’t blame yourself okay? You and Cal, though this may be hard to hear right now, are probably not the right people for each other. Maybe that person for you is Blue, maybe not, but you will find them and when you do no online relationship with someone you don’t know is going to compare. You’re a good guy Simon. You made some mistakes, but you’re a good guy.”

“Thanks Bram,” Simon said, tears in his eyes, but they weren’t the soul crushing tears that Bram had found him in. These one’s were hopeful, even if they still came from a sad place.

“I’ll see you tomorrow,” Bram said.

“Yeah, see you.”

 

Blue,

God I have so much apologizing to do to you, you have no idea. I’m so so so so sorry that I stopped messaging you, and I’ll totally understand if you never want to speak to me again. I can’t believe I did that when I told you I can’t live without you. News flash – I really can’t. God, these past few weeks have been absolutely horrible. I miss you so so much, you have no idea. Every time I receive a notification, I’m stupidly hoping that’s it’s a message from you, when of course it isn’t. I cut off contact, why would you contact me? Didn’t make me stop hoping.

I guess I should start by explaining myself. So, I told Cal about you, and he did not take it well, like at all. Basically he was like it was him or you and I panicked. I fucking panicked because in the moment it was losing him and I didn’t want that, and so I agreed to that shitty deal, so that’s why I ended things. Turns out, doing so didn’t improve anything. It actually probably made it worse.

God, I’m so unhappy without you, you have no idea. And it showed. I wasn’t even trying in my relationship anymore. I’m not surprised he broke up with me, I was sort of expecting it, but to have lost him when I gave up you for him? I just can’t handle it right now and I’m a mess of emotions. Fuck. 

Okay Blue, I’ll totally understand if you never want to speak to me again, but please if you care for me even just a little bit can you please respond? I’ll find a way to make it up to you, I promise.

Love,

Jacques

 

Jacques, I’ve missed you too. Like so much and I’m so sorry to hear that you broke up with Cal again. I didn’t tell you this before, but I kind of had my reservations with you getting back together with him. I stayed quiet since it wasn’t my business, but yeah I didn’t think you guys were going to work out, sorry! Anyways, that is probably not what you wanted to hear. Thing is, it seems like I’m the reason you guys broke up, so I’m currently having reservations… I don’t want to be the reason you break up with your next boyfriend. I honestly don’t know how to go from here, we mean a lot to each other, more than we probably should, so how do we prevent something like this from happening again? Do we go back to just sending each other surface level information? Can we maintain that? I don’t know Jacques. I’m kind of stuck on where to go from here.

 Blue

 

Blue,

Just the fact that you are even messaging me means so much to me you have no idea. I get what you’re saying, but I don’t’ see how there will be a problem anymore seeing as I’m no longer in a relationship. Can’t we go back to the way things were?

Love Jacques

 

But what about when you get in another relationship? – Blue

 

Honestly, I don’t want to get into another relationship unless it’s with you. I love you Blue. I want to be with you. Other people have done online romantic relationships before. How about we say we give it a try? – Love Jacques

 

Simon hadn’t received a reply from Blue in over a week and it was driving him insane. He was already in emotional turmoil due to the break up and now he was splitting at the seams. Fuck, what if he had scared Blue away for good?

He had been too forward, he knew he had. They had never really discussed their relationship with each other, and Simon guessed he just assumed that Blue would sort of feel the same way. Of course he didn’t. Blue probably just though of Simon as this random person who he sometimes talked to online. Added to him being the first one to cut off contact and well, Simon could see why Blue wanted nothing to do with him.

Couldn’t he have least told him no though? He was owed that at least.

So, basically Simon was in a pissy mood and his hurt over Blue’s rejection turned into anger, which was the situation that Cal approached him in after theatre practice that day.

“Simon, can I have a word?”

Simon frowned. They hadn’t really spoken to each other since their breakup. The only interaction being when Cal needed Simon to do something for the play. Other than that, they rotated in different worlds. Granted, his friends also made certain that he was never alone when Cal was around… so where was his friends now?

A glance over at Abby showed her fake smiling at Martin. The poor kid had the biggest crush on her, but he had no hope, Abby was currently dating Leah and he had never seen either of them so happy. At first it was a bit awkward with Abby having dated Nick first, but thankfully Nick was cool with it.

Anyways, so now he was trapped in a conversation with Cal.

“What do you want?” Simon demanded.

Cal grimaced. “I made a mistake. I totally overreacted about the whole pen pal thing. People have online friendships all the time and I shouldn’t have tried to control your life.”

“Well that’s great Cal, but-”

“Look I miss you and I feel horrible about how I ended things. I was annoyed that you were so depressed since our last fight and just did it on a whim. I didn’t actually want to break up with you.”

Simon stared at Cal blankly. Was he saying what Simon was thinking he was saying? All this back and forth with both Cal and Blue was giving him whiplash.

“Please Simon, I want you back. I’m sorry. Can you give me a second chance?”

“Um, I’ll think about it,” Simon said, knowing he was in no mind set to make a decision at the moment. He quickly ran out of the theatre department… and straight into Bram, who must have been coming in from soccer practice.

They hadn’t really spoken to each other since the day of the break up, but there had been a definite shift in the way they interacted. They constantly made eye contact with each other, which ended up with them smiling at each other and Simon’s heart missing a beat.

“Simon, are you alright? You look pale.”

Someone must be taking care of him for Bram was just the right person he needed for this situation. He grabbed onto Bram’s arms – which were very nice arms if Simon did say so – and looked him straight in the eye. “I need your advice.”

Bram stared at him with wide eyes, but nodded and let himself be dragged by Simon down the hallway to an empty classroom.

“What’s wrong?”

“Cal wants to get back together with me,” Simon blurted out.

Bram’s face went through a variety of different emotions before it went carefully blank. “Oh.”

“I know it’s crazy right? Like he was the one who broke up with me, but now he wants me back. Like talk about whip lash. And guess what! He said he didn’t care if I had an online friendship… I just… what do you think?”

Bram stayed silent for a really long time, almost to the point where Simon was going to pester him. “I don’t think it’s a good idea to get back together with him.”

“But it would solve everything! Or well it would make me feel better.”

“Right now, but you’ve tried twice with him and broken up twice. Isn’t that a sign? Besides, what about Blue?”

Simon scoffed. “Blue doesn’t want to talk to me anymore. And hey! Without him I can actually try with Cal and focus on our relationship. I mean Blue was the reason it didn’t work out, so without him in the picture it should be fine!”

Was it Simon’s imagination or did Blue look part guilty, part hurt. He must be imagining things.

“I don’t think you should be with someone who made you choose between two people that you cared about,” Bram said.

“That’s not going to be a problem anymore!”

“It’s the concept of it! He tried to control who you interacted with! That’s not right.”

“Oh come on Bram, it wasn’t like that!”

“Why would you even want to go back to him?”

“Because at least he’ll have me. He wants me, which is more than I can say about Blue,” Simon spat out, “I feel horrible right now and I want this empty feeling to be gone. Getting back together with Cal will get rid of that.”

“You need time, that’s what you need. Not Cal, or Blue, or anyone, just time to heal your broken heart.”

“I don’t want time. I want this pain gone now. You know what, why am I even coming to you for advice? I hardly know you. I’m going tell Cal I’ll give him another chance,” Simon said, turning towards the door.

“Jacques, you’re being stupid!”

Simon froze.

Silence stretched out over the room. Simon slowly turned back around to face Bram.

Bram was staring at Simon in part horror, part fear.

“What did you just call me?”

Bram opened then closed his mouth, then bolted out of the room.

“Bram!” Simon called after him, but Bram was gone.

Simon stayed in the classroom for a few minutes slowly piecing together all the lost pieces. Bram was new to the school in January. Blue also started a new school in January.

Both of their parents were divorced -- the reason for the move.

They both have long bus rides to school.

They both joined the school soccer team.

They’re both gay.

They’re both half black.

Shit.

Simon ran to his car and started driving to Bram’s house. He couldn’t believe it, Bram was Blue. It seemed so surreal, impossible even, but there were too many coincidences. Jacques. He had called him Jacques, and Simon knew for certain that he had not told Bram that name. He hadn’t told anyone the pseudo name he used. Blue was the only one who knew of Jacques. Blue was Bram.

But it was just… Blue was here! Blue went to Creekwood High and Simon knew him. It was just too unreal.

It was only when he got to Bram’s house did he remember that Bram had said that he was in love with a guy back in his old city.

That definitely put a damper on his excitement. That was why Blue hadn’t responded, because he was in love with someone else.

But then, why the fuck hadn’t he just told Simon that? He could have handled it, hell that would have been totally fine. Like, Simon had been in a relationship for the majority of their online relations, he couldn’t grudge Blue for being into someone else. Sure it could have been a bit awkward at first, but they were Jacques and Blue, they could have gotten over it. But no, Blue had to be an asshole and just close off all contact.

It might have been a retaliation move because Simon had cut things off first, but Blue had sent that message after Simon’s cut off one saying he understood. Like yeah he might have just been saying that, but Blue usually was the more emotionally intellectual one out of the two. What Blue did was cruel and unfair and at the very least Simon deserved answers, so that was why he stayed at Bram’s house waiting for the bus to come -- so he could get them.

Fifteen minutes later, Bram turned the corner coming from the bus stop. He stopped short when he saw Simon sitting on the front steps. Even with the distance Simon could tell that he was crying.

Simon stood up and waited for Bram to approach. He did so with dragging steps, eyes remaining on the ground. They stood about five feet from each other. Simon glaring daggers at Bram, while Bram kept his eyes firmly fixed on the ground.

“Why didn’t you tell me you were Blue?”

Bram didn’t answer, just continued to stare at the ground, sniffling. Simon had never taken Blue to be a coward, but he guessed he never really had known the guy.

“You could have at least fucking said you weren’t interested in me. Way to leave a guy hanging.”

Bram’s eyes shot upwards and he stared at Simon in shock.

“What?” Simon demanded.

“I didn’t respond to you because I felt guilty. You were confessing your feelings to me and I was lying to you in real life.”

“Then why didn’t you fucking tell me who you were?”

Bram looked completely wrecked. “Because I was scared, because I had kept it from you for so long and knew you would be angry when you found out, because… I don’t know.”

“Damn right I’m angry with you. I laid out my heart and soul to you and you crushed it!”

“Oh fuck you!” Bram shouted, surprising Simon in his anger. “You chose Cal over me, you were the one who broke my heart first.”

Simon glared at Bram. “You don’t get to bring that in. It’s not like you are in love with me or anything. You would have just lost a friend, so freaken what. I laid my heart on the line for you!”

Bram gaped at Simon. “Are you kidding me!”

“All you had to say was that you were in love with this other guy and that would have been fine. We could have still been friends, but no you had to ditch me. Well, fuck you!”

“Simon that was you!” Bram shouted.

Simon stopped short. “What?”

Bram was full on crying now. “I’ve been in love with you for who knows how fucking long now, and I’ve tortured myself by having to sit through all your messages talking about your dates with Cal and how fucking awesome Cal is. So when I found out I was going to the same school as Jacques, I didn’t approach you because you were dating Cal and I couldn’t handle that. So yeah, I’m a coward, but you mean the world to me Simon and that’s never going to change.”

Simon was flabbergasted. Bram was in love with him, he had always been in love with him. Bram who was Blue. Bram, who was currently standing in front of Simon crying.

All of his anger towards Bram dissipated and what was left was this overwhelming feeling of love towards him. He had to do something about it.

Simon stepped forward and pulled Bram into a hug, clinging onto the boy that meant the world to him and feeling like the world was finally falling into place.

“You’re an idiot,” Simon whispered into Bram’s shoulder.

A tremor ran through Bram, part laugh part sob. “I know.”

“I love you though,” Simon said.

“I love you too,” Bram replied, making Simon’s heart swell. Fuck, Bram was the love of his life, he just knew it.

Simon pulled back and stared into Bram’s beautiful brown eyes. “I want to kiss you,” he said, biting his lip.

“So kiss me,” Bram said.

So he did, and it was perfect.

It was weird how easily they slid into a relationship with each other. They both thought it was going to be awkward at first, and it was a bit, but they were Jacques and Blue – they knew each other inside and out. The awkwardness quickly dissolved into adorable cuteness.

They had some explaining to do to their friends though. Garrett had just walked up to Simon and gripped him on the shoulder telling him that he better take care of Bram, but the others had been confused. Once the whole story was laid out though there was a lot of awws and squees.

“You guys must be soulmates for that to all work out like that,” Nick remarked shaking his head.

Both Bram and Simon couldn’t help but silently agree.

Cal was a different problem. Simon had a private conversation with him and needless to say it didn’t go that well. It took awhile for Cal to forgive Simon, but in the end he did, though they were never close again.

So life went on. Bram and Simon just continued to grow closer and while life had many hurdles to throw at them, they were together and that was what mattered.

After all, they were Simon and Bram.

Jacques and Blue.

Two nerdy superheroes who were going to change the world.

The End.