So my roommate is really fickle when it comes to watching TV; she’s constantly changing channels, and never settles on anything. I think she probably just likes the background noise; that’s what my mum did.
She was changing channels today, and this one program got to stay on the screen for a bit. And I got invested. Then she changed it.
This is my attempt to recreate and then continue the scene.
Michael stalked through the library, searching for his friend. He spotted him hidden behind a book, sitting at a desk right beside a bookshelf.
He sat down across from him, and lowered the book. There he was, all red lips and round soft cheeks and vulnerable eyes. “There you are,” said Michael with a mischievous gleam in his eyes.
Ethan looked scared, but Michael wasn’t going to let him get away now that he’d finally caught him. “I’m busy,” said Ethan. “Got studying to do.”
“No, you don’t,” said Michael. “Why did you run away back there? I got to talk to you.”
“I can’t talk. I’m sorry, I have to go.” He immediately got up and ran down the aisle and towards the exit.
Michael ran after him. He was stopped at the door.
“Excuse me,” said a voice from behind him and he turned around. A librarian stood behind his desk. “You’ll either have to check that book out with me or put it back where you found it.”
Michael lifted the red book in his hand. He’d forgotten he’d picked that up.
This was ridiculous. He had to hurry after Ethan or he’d get away again. He placed the book on the floor and slid it towards the desk. “There, I’ve put it away again,” he quipped. “I really don’t have time for this.”
He turned and ran out the door, hopefully not too late…
Outside was deserted. Down the hallway, he finally caught Ethan by the shoulder and pressed him against the nearest wall. There was a certain comfort in the solidity of his body.
“Stop running away. We need to talk about this.”
“There’s nothing to talk about. Really.”
The boy looked terrified. He’d really never experienced any of this before. “Please,” said Michael, “talk to me. I know there’s more to this than you’re letting on. Just tell me what you meant.”
“You know exactly what it meant. But it’s useless. The whole thing’s useless. It’ll never come to anything. It can’t.”
Ethan sounded like he was begging Michael for it to be impossible.
Michael didn’t have to ask Ethan why; he knew why. And he hated it. He hated that his father could do that to him. But from the bottom of his heart, he believed Ethan deserved better. Ethan didn’t deserve all this hate, he didn’t deserve to hide all of himself from everyone. He deserved a safe space.
“I’m not gonna ask anything of you that makes you uncomfortable,” Michael started slowly. “I won’t ask for anything you don’t truly want. But you do want this, don’t you? I can see it in your eyes. You’re terrified to want it, but you want it. You don’t have to hate what you are. I don’t hate you for it. I love you for it. I want you. Don’t you want me?”
Ethan’s mouth parted.
“—You don’t have to say you do, if you don’t. If you want me to go away and leave you alone, I will. I just needed to know… Am I right? Do you really want me too?”
Ethan’s eyes fell. They were full of shame. He said it so quietly that Michael almost didn’t hear it. “Yes.”
Michael’s face lit up. “We can be careful. I know what’s at stake, for me too.”
“There is no such thing as safe. It won’t matter how careful we are. Even this is dangerous…” He indicated between them with his eyes. “The only safe is not to do it all.”
“That’s why your father hates you, isn’t it? He caught you?”
“It was a friend. Like you and me. Nothing is safe, not even this.”
Michael let him up, stepped back. Ethan just looked at him. He didn’t move.
“You’re allowed to be happy. You’re allowed to have good things,” said Michael.
“No I’m not,” said Ethan. “But that’s okay. Emptiness is still better than pain.”
“Emptiness is pain,” said Michael. “Can’t you see that?”
“I don’t feel pain. I’m fine like this. Not happy, but… content.”
“Are you really?” said Michael sceptically.
“Yes,” said Ethan. “Now leave me alone.”
“Is that what you really, deep down?”
Ethan hesitated. “No,” he admitted. “Do it anyway.”
“No,” said Michael.
Ethan glared. Then he looked absolutely lost.
“Seriously, no,” Michael repeated. “I won’t do it. You’re making a mistake.”
“We can’t all follow our heart.”
“We should all follow our heart. Otherwise what’s the point?” said Michael.
“There are other things worth living for.”
Ethan paused. “Other things. School.”
“You can’t hide behind your studies your whole life, Ethan.”
“You can’t run forever.”
For the third time, Michael watched Ethan run from him.
Since I don’t know what the source for this is, it’s not fanfiction. However, I came up with the names based on the actors I thought the two characters looked like, Michael Weatherly and Ethan Hawke.
My continuation starts with Michael’s quip to the librarian.