Alfred turned around to see Arthur behind him. “Yes,” he said calmly.
Arthur glared. “If you have something to say to me, then say it now!”
Alfred stared at him, looking confused. “I don’t know what you’re talking about…”
“Don’t play dumb with me, you git! You have been ignoring me for the past week, so I want answers! If you have a problem with me, then say so!”
Alfred sighed and turned around. “It’s nothing,” he said as he walked away.
Arthur was taken aback and went after him. “Don’t say it’s nothing! I thought you told me not to run away!” Arthur grabbed Alfred’s arm. “What is wrong with you?!”
That was when Alfred snapped. “Shut up,” he yelled, pushing Arthur away, “You’re annoying, so leave me alone!”
Having pushed harder than necessary, Arthur fell to the ground. He looked up at Alfred, a wounded expression on his face. Alfred looked back, his face filled with distressed, and he ran away. “Al…Alfred,” Arthur whispered.
Alfred kept running, jumping down the stairs two at a time. “Damn it,” he said out loud, “why?!” He stopped at the bottom of the stairs, memories flooding through his mind.
“Why are you crying you brat?!” SLAP “Stop crying!”
Alfred held his head. “That’s the only memory of my parents I have. Them slapping me.” Alfred landed on his knees, tears falling down his cheeks. “Why…Arthur?”
Arthur was still in the same position, glaring into space. “You liar,” he said bitterly, “You said you wanted to hang out with me. You said I made you happy…that we were friends! You bastard, I was an idiot to fall for you.” Arthur stared at the ground, tears forming. “Well fine! If he’s going to be like this, I will as well!” Outside, the rain poured harder as the two boys cried.
The next day had begun normal. Alfred stared blankly as he listened to Feliks chatter. He was beginning to feel guilty for what he had done to Arthur. “Move it,” someone suddenly said behind him. The boys jumped to see a very angry Arthur in front of them. “Move,” he growled, “if you want to live.” Everyone quickly moved out his way, Alfred gulping.
Later on, near the end of homeroom, one of the girls came up to Arthur. “Um, Arthur, do you think you can help me with this problem?”
Arthur looked up at her calmly and then, “WHY DON’T YOU JUST ASK ALFRED? AFTER ALL, HE IS SO MUCH MORE AWESOME AND SMART THAN ME! HE KNOWS EVERYTHING!”
Everyone stared at Arthur in shock, while he simply huffed and looked away from Alfred’s gaze. Alfred felt a chill go done his spine. “Oh shit,” he thought.
“Alfred, like, what did you do to Arthur,” Feliks asked, “I’ve never seen him angry before.”
Alfred sighed and looked away. “I wonder,” he thought, “when did this happen?”
The rain poured outside the house. The lightning struck the ground, basking the room in white light. In a corner, a younger Alfred was cuddled with a stuffed rabbit, whimpering. The thunder shook the room once more, causing Alfred to cry harder. Suddenly, the door of the room opened, and a woman walked in. “What’s wrong,” she asked, “Are you scared?” She looked at his bed. “Oh, you wet the bed?”
Alfred clutched his rabbit harder as she came closer. “She’s going to hit me,” he thought.
The woman came to him and raised her hand. Alfred prepared to be hit, only to feel a hand rubbing his head instead. He looked up to see the blond woman give him a warm smile. “Are you scared? Do you want to sleep with us?”
Alfred grew melancholy. He knew what he had to do.
Alfred waited outside the school, the sun setting over the fields. He shivered, pulling his jacket closer to him. He heard the crunch of a leaf and turned to see Arthur walking towards him. Arthur saw him, a glare quickly falling on his face. “Arthur,” Alfred said, but Arthur walked passed him.
“No, I’ll let him learn what it’s like to be ignored!”
Arthur walked faster, looked back for a second and walked right into a pole. “Oh, bollocks, that hurt! Bloody hell,” he muttered, holding his head. That was when he heard laughter and turned to see Alfred holding his stomach laughing. “Damn it, why do I always embarrass myself in front of him?”
Alfred walked over to him. “Wow, even I wouldn’t do something like that Artie! Here, let me see.”
Arthur backed away from him, looking away. “Leave…leave me alone,” he yelled.
Alfred sighed, and grabbed Arthur by the shoulders. When Arthur didn’t move away, he bent down to look in his face. “Hey,” Alfred said softly, causing Arthur to look at him, “I’m sorry.”
Arthur’s expression went from shock to relief. “That’s him,” he thought, “that’s the Alfred I know.”
The two went over to the park. It was getting late so no one was in the park at the time. The boys sat on a bench in silence. Eventually, Alfred broke it, “There are…secrets from my past that I had forgotten for a long time. Somehow,” he looked at Arthur, “You brought all those memories back.” Arthur listened intently, so Alfred went on, “We’re the same….yet we’re different. Me avoiding you…wasn’t your fault. You see, after I went to your house…I got to see what a real family was like.”
“What do you mean,” Arthur asked quietly.
“The truth is,” Alfred said sadly, “I’m adopted. Matt is actually my cousin. His name is really Matthew Williams. I love him and my parents but I know I could never have the kind of family that you have. My real parents…abused me, made me feel useless. They stole, used bribery, and then one day they left, leaving me behind. They were the shame of the family. When my father’s sister adopted me, everyone in the family came and they said…that a child from such evil could never amount to anything.” Arthur’s eyes widened as Alfred glared, “I knew I had to prove them wrong. I was not evil, I was going to be perfect, a hero! That way I could save the Jones name, which is why I kept the name. I was always satisfied was myself and my life. I thought I could go on pursuing this dream…that is, until I met you Arthur.”
Alfred smiled at that and looked away. Arthur, hesitantly, put a hand on his shoulder. “Go…go on,” he whispered.
Alfred looked back sadly. “When I first met you, I thought you were exactly like me. That’s why I wanted to know you. But when I learned more about you, and saw your other side…I realized a side of mine I didn’t know I had. That there could be a more evil…a darker side to me that I’ve hidden behind smiles and laughs. It was hidden behind a smiling mask that you are slowly destroying Arthur. I didn’t want that to happen, so I thought it would be best to avoid you and drive you away.”
“But why,” Arthur asked jumping up, “If you’ve found your true self, why not face it?!”
“Because,” Alfred yelled, “What if I become an evil person?! What if my real parents passed it on to me!? I…I don’t want to be like my real parents…I want to be a hero…to be good…for my adoptive parents and for Matt.”
Arthur’s expression softened. He stood in front of Alfred. “Alfred, you care for them very much, do you not?” When Alfred nodded, Arthur smiled. “They must love you as well. And…even if you became evil, you will never be like your parents. Your relatives and friends will understand your weaknesses, and accept you. That’s what it means to be a family.” Alfred looked at him was amazement. Arthur smiled and walked closer to Alfred. “This guy…I want to protect him…I want to protect this person who cares so much about people…because,” he thought, placing a hand on Alfred’s cheek, “…I love him.”
Alfred gazed at Arthur. “Ar…Arthur?” Then Arthur took the same hand back and punched Alfred across the face. Alfred held his face for a minute before jumping up. “You…WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT FOR?!”
Arthur held up his hand. “That,” he said, “is the real Alfred.” Alfred blinked, causing Arthur to chuckle. “You are not evil; you get angry, happy, and sad, like a normal person. I prefer this Alfred. I believe that the hidden you was waiting for the hidden me so that both of us could come out.”
Alfred smiled a little. “That’s sounds cheesy Arthur,” he said chuckling.
“Oh shut up,” Arthur said teasingly, “I’ve decided…that I’m done pretending and I’m going to act like my real self from now on. I…I think I’ll be happier that way. What about you, Alfred?”
Alfred stared at him, before smiling big. “I’m really glad I became friends with you Arthur.”
Arthur blushed and looked away. “I…I’m happy I’m friends with you too, I suppose.” Alfred laughed as snow began to fall from the sky.
After that, the two began to work on their goal to reveal their true selves. Although some of it they had to hide for public image (though Alfred began to care less) the two would just laugh it off. During the time, Arthur’s feelings for Alfred kept growing from a crush to love. Whenever Wendy brought it up, he would deny it. Truthfully, he enjoyed being Alfred’s friend, but wanted something more. “If only I could say something, but,” is what Arthur would think, but he never got past the “but.”
“Christmas is coming soon, isn’t it,” Alfred said after school at the end of the week.
Arthur hit him on the head. “Soon?! It’s in a week! I thought you would know when your favourite holiday was?”
Alfred laughed, putting his arm on the desk. “Oh yeah, you’re right! Besides, Christmas is my second favorite. The 4th of July is my favorite holiday.”
Arthur rolled his eyes. “That’s just because it’s your birthday as well.” Arthur looked out the window. “It’s hard to believe half of the school year has gone by. So much has happened in these four months.” Arthur chuckled, “We went from acquaintances, to classmates, to friends, to…close friends I suppose.”
Alfred smiled. “Do you know what‘s interesting about this,” he asked. Arthur turned back to him. “Despite changing a little and learning about the real you, my feelings for you haven’t changed since the beginning.”
Arthur looked at him in shock. “What…what are you saying, Alfred,” he asked.
Alfred smiled warmly and got very close to Arthur. “Arthur,” he said quietly, “I’ve been in love with you this whole time. Will you go out with me?