The Kirkland family sat around the dinner table talking about their day. “Arthur,” Patricia turned to Arthur, “You have been coming home late a lot recently.”
Arthur looked up from his food. “I have a lot of school work and activities, so I have to stay late.”
“Oh really? Only that,” Scott asked smirking.
Arthur glared. “Yes, really.”
Scott sighed. “Okay Peter, I was right, so pay up.”
Peter pouted. “But that doesn’t make sense!”
Arthur looked back a forth between the two of them. “What are you two talking about? And Scott, why would you bet with a kid…actually, never mind I asked.”
“I’m not a kid! I’ll be fourteen soon! And well,” Peter went on, Arthur rolling his eyes, “it’s really weird! You’re always coming home late, and you never tell us about school anymore when you used to. Not to mention,” Peter yelled pointing at Arthur, “You don’t wear your jumpsuit and glasses anymore! Which why I think that you. Have. a. Girlfriend!”
Arthur nearly choked on his food. “A…a girlfriend?! You’re both crazy!”
Scott simply nodded. “The kids got a point there you know.”
“Oh Sod off! Like I said, it’s just schoolwork!”
“Maybe not a girlfriend,” Wendy quickly said, ignoring Arthur like everyone else, “Arthur, you swing both ways right?’
Arthur blushed, and muttered, “Yes, I opened up about this a while ago didn’t I?”
“Then,” Wendy interrupted, “I’m correct. One of my friends at your school said they see you always in the presence of another guy.”
Arthur gulped. “Oh no…”
Wendy smirked. “A handsome young man, glasses, blue eyes, blonde hair with a hair sticking up. A man who goes by the name of Alfred F. Jones!”
Arthur really choked this time. Scott’s jaw dropped. Peter went hysterical with laughter. Patricia started laughing as well. “Well,” she giggled, “that’s surprising. I thought you hated him, and now you’re dating him?”
“I didn’t hate him…AND I’M NOT DATING HIM! I told you, it’s school work,” Arthur screamed, but he was ignored by his family chatting about their parents finding out, along with something about Scotts affair with a French girl. He put his head on the table and groaned. “Damn it, they’re horrible. They’re making this even more confusing. I don’t even know what Alfred really thinks of me.”
The next day, during chemistry, Arthur watch as the water boiled over the alcohol lamp. He slowly added chemicals to the beaker so it wouldn’t spill or explode. Once it was deemed safe, Arthur put the other beaker back in the holder, when someone grabbed his shirt sleeve. “Excuse me, Arthur, can I talk to you?”
Arthur turned to see a young woman with long brown hair and green eyes like his own. Arthur smiled. “Yes, how may I help you Elizaveta?”
Elizaveta smiled and said, “Well…this isn’t about the class work…it’s….well, I was wondering what your relationship with Alfred is?” Arthur nearly tripped over himself when she said this, swearing he could see stars. “You two have been very close lately, this we have seen. I was wondering what was happening. It’s great if you two are friends, just from what I can see, you two see more than just friends. That would be amazing for my footage, I mean, for you too, if it was like that?”
“More…than…”Arthur mumbled to himself while swaying.
“Actually,” the girl went on, “there’s this rumor going around about this.” Arthur stopped swaying, his head quickly going back to her. “I asked my friend Sofie* actually to asked Alfred about it. She said that he just laughed.”
Arthur expression dropped a bit. Then he smiled and said, “Don’t worry, it’s nothing.” He then turned back to what he was doing. “Of course,” he thought bitterly, “Who am I kidding?! Alfred doesn’t feel that way. He’s probably only attracted to girls! He would be disgusted with me. But…maybe he doesn’t mind. Even if he doesn’t mind…he doesn’t show that he has any feelings for me at all. He was nice to me before he found out my secret, then all he did was tease me and be mean and…use me. I…I didn’t fall for him until after I found out his other side. He liked the other me better…I don’t stand a chance. The tragic end to a forbidden fairy tale.”
Alfred opened the door to a classroom to find Arthur still at his desk that evening. Alfred walked over to him. “Oh, so I see you’re still here.”
Arthur didn’t look up. “I finished it.”
Alfred smiled big. “That’s great Artie, now…”
Arthur stood up and threw the papers at Alfred, cutting him off. “I’ve had enough!”
“What do you mean,” Alfred asked confused.
Arthur glared at him. “I’ve had enough of this. I won’t help you anymore!”
Alfred looked at him confused and then said, “But, if you don’t, you’ll have lots of problems later,” in a sing song like voice.
Arthur walked passed him. “I don’t care anymore. I don’t care even if you told the whole world.” He proceeded to leave, when Alfred grabbed his arm. “Let me go.”
“No,” Alfred said, “You’re angry. Why are you angry?”
“Shit, why does he have to read the atmosphere now?!” “I’m not angry,” Arthur said calmly, “but if you don’t let go, I will be. So let go!”
Alfred only held tighter. “You are angry! I’m not letting you go until I know why!”
Arthur struggled. “Alfred, let me go!”
“I said let go!”
The sound resonated throughout the classroom. Alfred held his hand to his cheek, staring at Arthur from where he was pushed. Arthur stared back, surprised he had actually done it. “I…I,” Arthur muttered and then he yelled, “I hate this! Damn it, Alfred, I hate being used by you!” He then ran out the room and down the hallway, ignoring Alfred’s calls. Arthur kept running, his heart beating faster every moment, and at the same time, shattering. “I should have known,” he thought, “I almost lost myself. For a while, it was like we were friends, but he’s been using me this whole time. Arthur Kirkland does not get used! This is too much! I can’t continue like this!” Suddenly, Arthur heard footsteps behind him. He turned his head to see Alfred on his tail! “Bloody hell,” he yelled, “why are you following me?!”
“Because you’re running away from me,” Alfred yelled back.
Arthur ran faster. “Go away, stop chasing me you idiot!”
“Like hell I’m gonna do that!” Arthur halted, only to jump out the open window to his left. Alfred stopped, shock running through him like a virus as he watched Arthur jump…and then land safely on the ground. Alfred groaned. “You’re lucky we’re on the first floor,” he screamed. Alfred sighed, jumped out the window, and started to chase Arthur again. “Will you stop running you fucking Brit! “
“No, you stupid Yank!”
Alfred reached his hand to Arthur. “You’re acting like you’re life’s in danger. Will you listen?” He grabbed Arthur by his shirt.
The grab caused Arthur to stumble, leading to the two falling and crashing into the sports equipment. Panting, both of them stayed still for a moment, before Alfred got up. “Ow, that will leave a mark,” he claimed, rubbing his arm. He then saw Arthur crawling away out the corner of his eye. “Oh come on, you’re still running away,” he groaned, grabbing Arthur, “Aren’t you hurt? Let me see your…face.”
Arthur’s face was covered in smudges, along with a stream of tears. “So what if I’m running away for once?! Why do you care if I’m hurt?! After all, I’m just a vain, spoiled brat who likes to tell lies, right? Okay, I admit to that. I’m not a complete gentleman. I’m conniving, controlling, and selfish! I’m deceptive! You know all this, have I disappointed you? Huh?! Am I not worthy now?! Is that why you tease me now?! Because I’m not perfect anymore, no longer having the dignity of a human being?! Damn it, I hate you….I hate…” Alfred reached out the touch Arthur’s shoulders, but Arthur flinched away. “Don’t touch me, you bastard!”
Alfred looked at him hurt, but backed off a bit. “I’m sorry,” he muttered. Arthur’s eyes softened at this. Alfred continued, “I didn’t mean for it to be like this. I…was never planning on telling anyone in the first place. You’ve never disappointed me Arthur. Being with you…makes me really happy. Honestly…I did all of this just because I wanted to hang out with you.” Arthur’s eyes widened, as Alfred blushed, “before I found out your secret, I wanted to know more about you. You seemed so perfect. After I found out…I wanted to find out even more about you. You seemed like a fun person, and I’ve never acted like this with anyone other than you…and…this is embarrassing,” Alfred said, blushing more while scratching his head, “I thought this would work. I thought you liked to work, so I wasn’t trying to use you. I thought you would have fun, and it seemed like you were. I’m sorry, let’s just forget all this, okay?
Arthur gazed at Alfred for second. Alfred looked back, with a look on his face that told Arthur that he was being sincere. Chuckling, Arthur smiled. “You could of just asked, you git,” he said smiling.
Alfred’s face lit up. “Yeah, but asking for friends is kind of lame Artie.”
Arthur rolled his eyes as Alfred helped him up.
After that incident, Arthur and Alfred became good friends who shared a secret. They would hang out during school and they starting eating lunches together. “In the end, “Arthur thought during one lunch, “Alfred thought the real reason I was angry was because he gave me too much work. That’s fine, at least for now I know I have a little part in Alfred’s life…even if it’s not romantic, I can live with this.” “Hey Alfred,” Arthur asked, “I remember you saying you had a brother?”
“Oh yeah,” Alfred said between bites of a hamburger, “I live with my older brother Matthew. It’s just the two of us, without parents, so Matt has to work a lot to take care of both of us.”
“Oh,” Arthur replied, “What does he do?”
“He works as an assistant to a doctor at the famous hospital down the street.”
Arthur nearly dropped his food. “That…THAT hospital! You must be rich!”
Alfred laughed. “Not really,” he said, “what about you?”
“Well,” Arthur said after thinking, “I have four siblings; an older brother, and younger brother and two older sisters. My parents’ jobs require that they live in England for now, so my brother Scott looks after us.”
“Wow,” Alfred said amazed,” That sounds like fun!”
Arthur did a half smile. “Yeah…fun…Anyways,” he said, changing the subject, “I can’t believe no one’s seen this side of you! Though you’re not that much different.
Alfred chuckled. “I guess so.” “I’m surprised too,” Alfred thought, “I never knew I could be like this. I’m usually fine with people but not as comfortable as I am with you Arthur. I wonder…what attracts me to you? I’m falling deeper into you Arthur and I don’t know whether this is good…or bad.”
*Sophie is my name for Belgium