"You're breaking up with me?"
"I just don't have time to be in a relationship right now." Sidney replied.
"Well, can't we just try to make it work?" Billy said. He tried hard to hide his emotions and keep the tears from forming in his eyes.
"Look, Billy I'm about to graduate and go off to college and I got this big show to do in the summer and I just don't have time to stare at clouds with you in a meadow somewhere or blow your money on a bad movie and a cheap restaurant."
"But we were going so good. We just had this show together. Please, Sid, don't do this."
"I don't want to talk about this, Billy. I don't have a good excuse. I just don't want to be your girlfriend anymore." Sidney collected her bag and quickly disappeared into the crowd.
Billy could not believe it. He fought hard not to show weakness to his classmates and teachers, but it was no use. What seemed like hundreds of people asked him if he was ok. He knew a lot of people were going to find out. However, he was too distracted from the pain and emptiness of losing Sidney to worry about the shame factor.
A thousand questions raced through his head. What did he do? What could he have done better? What about Drama Club? What is he going to do all about all those pictures of the two of them? What about Christmas? Date night? The prom?
His teachers could sense that he was off. Two of the males were normally abusive to him because they were simply jealous over how handsome he was. They took an inordinate amount of effort to pounce on him every time he had made a mistake or any chance they had to make him the whipping boy. It was getting uncomfortably obvious to most of the class as the semesters had gone by. It was hard for them to conceal. But today even they had backed off a little bit. Although, it was also hard to conceal how they elated they were at his misfortune as evidenced by the grimaces that spread across their faces every time they glanced at him. Billy had just learned to ignore it. He couldn't do anything about it. They were constantly just looking for an excuse to fail him or send him to the office.
He floundered his way through the rest of the day. Fortunately, it was Friday. He was planning on hanging out with Sidney that weekend. He had even bought groceries for them to cook together. They were going to try to make a whole bunch of fancy dishes to see how bad at cooking they were. Now it would all probably just spoil until his dad got sick of it being in the fridge. At least now he could just lay in bed and do absolutely nothing but cry and sleep. He was walking home on the sidewalk when he just dropped and started sobbing uncontrollably. He looked around. It was a quiet street. Most of the driveways were still empty around him and there was more space between houses in that part of town. He didn't think anyone could see him, and the few that might have, he just disregarded and gave in fully to his sorrow for a moment.
He found his way to his room. He was so relieved his Dad was not home yet. His face was red and snotty. He threw his clothes off and collapsed on his bed and proceeded to stain his pillow with tears.
He cried and cried. He thought it would be better if he grabbed a beer. He jerked some pajama pants on and grabbed a couple out of the garage and ran back upstairs and locked the door. He downed them in an instant. He cried in a hazy stupor that almost turned into a nap until the sun started to set and his room began to get dark. It was about 6:00 pm when the phone rang. Billy sluggishly reached over to his nightstand to pick up the very 90's receiver.
"Are you alone in the house?" the voice strained to sound creepy over a cheap voice changer.
"Stu, that stopped being funny the first eleven times you did it."
Stu laughed. "Hey, are you alright man? Tatum told me what happened."
There was a pause. "I'm fine man."
"Do you want me to come over?"
There was a longer pause. "Yes."
Billy had put on a shirt and just sat on his bed. He could hear Stu and his dad talking downstairs. Apparently, they had arrived at the house about the same time. He knew they were talking about him. It wasn't long before Stu had knocked on the door. Billy leaned over as much as he could, bracing one hand on the floor. He was determined not to get up to unlock the door no matter that two-thirds of his body were already off the mattress. He quickly retreated under the covers after he clicked the lock open.
Stu and his dad peaked through the doorway.
"You ok, buddy?" Mr. Loomis said.
"Hey, Stuart's going to spend the night with you if that's alright and I'm going to order you guys some pizza while I go buy some ice cream." Billy looked like he did not really care either way. Mr. Loomis closed the door as Stu came and sat on the edge of the bed.
"So, watcha wanna do Billy?"
"I don't know, Stu. I don't think I'm going to be very good company tonight and I don't really want you cheer me up and force me to be happy."
"Now you know that's not true." A stupid grin appeared on Stu's face as he began to poke and tickled Billy through the covers.
"Oh my God, you faggot!" Billy violently slapped Stu's hands away.
"Hey. I'm sorry man."
"It's fine, Stu, even though I've told you a thousand times not to tickle me."
"No, I mean – I'm sorry about Sidney."
Billy sat up. Stu turned his body towards Billy and pulled him into a hug. Billy resisted at first, then gave in. It felt nice to be loved. Stu rested his head on Billy's shoulder. Billy began to gently sob into his sleeve. The two boys remained there embracing as the sun finished going down.
"I'm sorry but I've got to fart so bad."
"Stu, for the love of... actually I do to." Billy shoved Stu off. He was amazed Stu could held it together that long without saying something stupid. He must have really been concerned about him. "Stu-pid." He thought to himself. He smiled, but kept the thought to himself. He wondered why he had never thought of that before.
Billy woke up around 9:00 the next morning. He rolled over to see Stu's mouth hanging open, drooling on the pillow beside his, snoring. Billy rolled back over. They were getting too old for this. It was cute when they were twelve, but now it was starting to look a little gay especially now that he was single.
Mr. Loomis knocked on the door as a formality and quickly walked in. Stu blinked his eyes and smiled, happily ready for the day. Billy sat up with metaphorical gray clouds still dominating his aura.
"Boys," he began. "I'm just letting you know; your principal is dead. He died yesterday after school. They think it was some kind of heart thing." Stu turned and looked at Billy, shocked. Billy just sat there overwhelmed; his pouty look had not changed much as his dad informed them of the funeral arrangements.