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Danny was waiting at his locker, waiting for Kyle. His heart skipped a beat when the slender young man came into view. Danny wasn’t quite sure how he felt about Kyle. They did all kinds of things together and if it were up to Danny they’d do more. But now, he was just waiting to have lunch with his friend.
He noticed another guy walking beside Kyle and apparently cracking jokes since they both kept bursting into laughter. They stopped at Kyle’s locker and stood talking. He waited for Kyle to say something to bring him into the conversation, but they never seemed to notice Danny. After a few minutes, Danny decided his friend could at least tell him if they were going to eat lunch together or if Danny was on his own. It’s no big deal. I mean, he just needs to tell me.
He began walking their way and stopped a couple of feet from Kyle. They continued to ignore him, laughing a little too loud and picking at students who walked past, either making fun of them or shoving them around.
The whole thing was making Danny uncomfortable. It was worse because Kyle’s buddy seemed to be targeting mostly the kids that were a lot smaller. Danny’s stomach began to knot and he started to walk away.
“Hey, you leaving, pussy!”
Danny frozen in place, not believing the older boy had said that to him. He slowly turned back as the anger built inside him. He shot a look at Kyle before turning back to the guy. “I know you weren’t talking to me.”
Mark turned to Kyle and gave him a melodramatic elbow to the ribs. He sneered at Danny. “Look at the little fag. He’s gonna act all tough.”
Danny turned to stare at Kyle until he dropped his gaze. Then he twisted his mouth as he stared at the boy he thought was his friend. “Is this jerk your friend now?”
Kyle kept his eyes glued to the ground and never met Danny’s gaze. “Mark and I were just talking. We use to live next door to each other.”
“You could use a new way to pick friends. Cause you’re acting like a jerk.”
The older boy shoved Danny toward his locker and flipped him off. “Get lost, punk. We’re just having a little fun. No one but you is offended. So back off.”
Danny ached inside at the loss of his friend but he refused to show the hurt to either Kyle, or his new buddy Mark. Keeping an eye on both of them as he went back to his locker. There were a few more sounds that made Danny uncomfortable followed by too loud of laughter. But he was determined to ignore them when he heard Mark say, “Well look here. If it isn’t the fairy queen herself. The biggest fucking fag on campus.”
Danny spun in time to see him trip Brandon. He was the smallest boy in their class and had a noticeable limp from some bad accident when he was little. He landed on the floor, his bag spilling open and books scattered in all directions. Danny had already started to help Brandon when he heard that awful laughter fill the hallway again.
He considered the consequences and just focused on helping Brandon. But Mark kicked one of the scattered textbooks and Danny lashed over into furious. He doubled up his fists and started stalking toward Kyle and Mark. Neither of the two seemed concerned about Danny, but he was about to teach them a lesson. He was only a few steps away when a pair of hands grabbed his arm and stopped him. He glanced over to find it was Brandon.
“It’s not worth it, Danny. You’d get expelled,” he glared at the other two. “And they’d still be stupid.”
Mark lunged toward Brandon and grabbed him. “You little shit, I’ll show you who’s stupid.”
“You boys knock it off and get to class.”
Danny glanced down the hallway where one of the teachers was standing staring at them with his arms crossed over his chest. He glanced over and saw that Mark and Kyle had turned away, acting as if nothing had happened.
“Come on, Danny. They aren’t worth getting in trouble over,” Brandon said as he began to pull Danny down the hall. Danny resisted for the first few steps and then realized Brandon was right and let him direct where they went. They turned a corner and Brandon released his grip on Danny’s arm.
“Thanks for the knight in white armor thing. I appreciate the help. Maybe I’ll catch you some other time.”
Danny studied him for a few moments before he cocked his head and smiled. “Wanna go grab some lunch?”
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