That day had been horrible. Mike stormed through his front door, slamming it as he huffed his way into the kitchen. He slung his backpack across a chair and walked to the fridge. No one was home yet as his highschool ended at 3:25, which is earlier than he expected to be home on this catastrophe of a day.
He had woken up late for starters. Hawkins High was a good ten minute bike ride from his house and he would always meet Dustin, Lucas and Max out by the bike racks at 8:30 sharp. His morning routine would be, wake up at 8, get dressed, brush his hair and his teeth, see his mother and younger sister in the kitchen, grab a slice of toast, chat for a few minutes and then take off. This morning, however, was starting out as a living hell. He woke up at 8:52.
SHIT, he muttered to himself as he whipped the covers off of his bed so fast he knocked his glass of water off his bedside table. The glass shattered and what little water was left soaked his go to sneakers. Mike’s shoulders dropped, forehead pinching together in frustration before pulling on an old striped sweater and some jeans before rushing downstairs in bare feet.
His mom and sister were gone already, he thanked them sarcastically for waking him up. Before rushing to get his old converse that were hidden in the basement so he could get to his bike as fast as he could. He’d woken up with 8 minutes to get to school on time, and the search wasn’t helping his cause. He found them and pulled them on quickly before running out the back door to the garage where his bike was parked.
He managed to get there at 9:02 which is what he expected. But there was nowhere on the bike rack to lock up his bike. Thank fuck everything was going so well today. He pulled it up to a tree on the front lawn, using his bike lock to tie it up.
He rushed into the school building, the halls were eerily quiet. He walked down the halls, his sneakers clanking against the linoleum tiles. Fuck. He thought to himself. He stopped wearing the shoes because he stepped on a rusty nail and never bothered to take it out. He pulled his foot up as he walked down the hall, no hobbling to try and pull his sneaker off. He managed to use enough force to pull it off but it sent him flying face first into the tiles. He pushed himself up, his eye already feeling swollen, and dragged himself to class.
The rest of his morning was just a blur of teachers boring him to sleep and popular girls blowing spit wads at him.
He persisted to lunch where he saw his friends sitting at their usual lunch table in the back corner. He grinned to himself subtly, and walked through the crowds of highschoolers, glad that he might finally get some relief by being with his friends. All those thoughts came crashing down just as he was about to say hello to the party. They noticed him and grimaced before Mike felt hands on his back pushing him into the floor for the second time today. He pushed his tense arms out in front of him and lifted himself off the ground. The cafeteria was silent, looking on in amusement.
“Good afternoon Troy” Mike said dusting himself off without turning around.
“How’d you- Nevermind, What’s up fagface” Troy spit, Mike finally turning around and looking at the shorter boy. Troy really never had an intense growth spurt. He stood at about 5’7 which was funny compared to the boys in the party who he picked on who stood at 5’9, 6’1 and 6’2. Dustin had pointed out that he kinda resembled a character from musical that he watched on his laptop once. There were similarities, short a streak of red in their hair and only bullying because its what the guys in charge deem as what’s cool.
“ Just eating shit, but I thought you’d recognize it you do it alot” Mike snapped, done with today’s shit already.
Lucas stood up and pulled on his arm, motioning for him to let it go and to sit down before he got into trouble again. But Mike stood stone faced, his eye turning purple from the mornings fall.
“I-w-well how’s your boyfriend wheeler? Still zombie boy or did he finally kick the bucket? I don’t see him” Troy tried to make a defense line but it wasn’t working.
“My boyfriend’s perfectly fine thank you for asking, he just simply moved out of town because of douchebags like you that bullied him into oblivion. So if you don’t mind, I’d appreciate my remaining lunch hour to be peaceful. Goodbye” Mike said before walking a few steps over to sit down at his table with his friends.
Troy brambled away aimlessly as Mike let out a tired sigh.
“Are you okay man?” Dustin asked him soothingly.
“Peachy” Stated harshly before changing the subject to what Max’s most recent skateboard trick was.
The rest of the day passed by slowly. Mike had a history test in the class he shared with Max. He finished as quick as possible and then when done asked to go to the bathroom. When he left the classroom he sat down in the hallway and cried. His days of eleventh grade had been okay. But it was everything in an amalgamation and the fact that he hadn’t talked to Will in at least a week was draining him. Both of their schedules had been changed so drastically that they could barely find any time to talk to one another in normal waking hours. Then the fact that El had made new friends and hogged the phone consistently put even more strain on their relationship.
Mike and Will had started dating the week before the Byers left town. They got in as much time for their stupid teenage hormones to run wild as they could before the two would be seperated. The Byers were only a few towns over, so they could still see each other once a month without having to wait the drawn out and agonizing time in between holidays and birthdays.
Mike Wheeler was an emotional being. Yes he didn’t volunteer the information out willingly but everyone in the party knew it. He had to see or hear from the people he loved every few days or he would fall apart.
He was crying in his own little world so he didn’t notice the red vans that snuck up to his side before he felt warm arms wrap around him. He looked up from his hands to find Max’s bundle of red hair tucked into his shoulder, consoling him.
“It’s gonna be okay Michael” She soothed, hugging him as best she could.
Mike hugged her back. Mike and Max had a rocky start, but after everything was settled and Joyce announced the Byers were moving away, Mike and Max’s friendship noticeably flourished.
“Thanks Maxine” He said through his quivering voice. If anyone else ever called her Maxien she would crucify them, but their full names had always been the “nicknames” they called each other.
After school was supposed to be his drama team meeting. Yes Mike Wheeler was a theater gay, who knew. But it was cancelled due to the fact that the co-heads had gotten into an argument. It was a stupid one too. One was mad that her boyfriend had a conversation with the other. Like somehow even interacting with the other co-head meant her boyfriend was cheating on her.
Mike was so fed up when he walked outside to pull his bike out from the tree. His friends saw him going and asked why he was heading home. He said because of the bullshit dramatic people before biking off down the road. His friends called his name out after him but he didn’t respond.
He pulled out a water bottle from his fridge, slamming the door closed before chugging half the bottle. He wanted to cry again, maybe just go to sleep without eating and get this hellscape of a day over with and try again tomorrow. He past through the hallway and was almost to the bottom of the stairs when his mother came through the front door.
“Oh hi sweetie! How was your day?” She said bringing groceries into the kitchen. Mike followed loosely, leaning against the frame of the door.
“Subpar” He muttered, watching her take out chicken to be made for dinner.
“Why don’t you put some ice on your eye” She suggest putting an icepack on the counter from the open freezer.
He smiled gratefully and kissed his mom on the cheek as he went to get it. “Thanks mom, I’ll be upstairs” He walked about three steps out of the kitchen before his mom called back to him.
“Oh sweetie Will called today! I didn’t manage to pick it up in time but he left a voicemail.”
Mike smiled, his eye cold under the ice pack squinting at the corners. He thanked his mom once more as he crossed into the living room where they had the answering machine. He sat on the couch and pressed missed calls.
“You have one voicemail from-” The femine voice of their answering machine said
“Will Byers” Will’s cheerful voice broke through the receiver.
“To hear it, press one-” She continued before Mike pushed the button.
A tone went off before more cracking came through the speaker followed by his beloved boyfriends voice.
“Hey Mikey! I know we haven’t talked in a bit but I want you to know I’m still alive. Will chuckled after his joke, Mike joining in too with his breathy laugh cutting through his creased brows.
-Anyway I think you’ll want to talk to me today but I’m sorry I have to work on a project tonight. I’m sorry I couldn’t get it done sooner so I could talk to you. But you mean so much to me and it’s been so long since we’ve seen each other so I feel shitty about doing homework when we could be talking. I hope this is at least enough to tide you over until I can call you tomorrow. I hope that phone call is the last until I get to see you this weekend for your birthday. I love you.”
And with that the line disconnected. Mike laid back, a small smile on his face, knowing that things could get rough but as long as he had Will he’d be fine.
When he sat up to hit the end button, the phone rang.
“I got it!” He called to his mom, before picking up the cordless phone.
“Hello?” He asked
“Hey Mike! I don’t know if you got my voicemail but my class got an extension for our projects so I decided to call you!” Will said, the smile in his voice making its way through the phone lines and boosting Mike’s mood
“How was your day?” Will asked sincerely
“Better now that I’m talking to you” Mike smiled into the phone.
“You’re such a sap Wheeler” Will snapped back giggling.