The first thing I heard was violins. Then a soprano came in, twirling her voice around the guitar. "This?" I sat up from where I lay stretched out on Hazen's bed reading a surfing magazine, looking more really at the way the ads were laid out, the photography and the set up. He looked up from the novel we were assigned to read two weeks ago, just starting it now. I at least started the assignments on time, not that it helped me. "This is the new CD?"

"OK, so the first song is a little."

"A little what? It sounds like something my mum would listen to!"

"Well that's just your punishment for getting me detention. Harps. Loads of them. With cellos."

"I bought you lunch!"

"You always buy me lunch."

"Because I'm always apologizing for something!" He considered this, sitting up on the floor now.


"I'm changing the song." I got up, heading across the room to the stereo.

"No! Just listen to it!" He stood in front of me, pushing his hands against my chest playfully. I slammed my hands down to meet his, and struggled, our fingers locked, faces grinning, used to the old battle, test of strength, socks sliding across carpet till we both lost our balance and tumbled to the ground, a new song beginning. Audible bass, drums, guitar that was plugged in- I was appeased enough that I didn't jump to change this one, just lay on the warm shag. I lifted my head to look down at where Hazen's head rested against, near my leg. His eyes were closed. I jumped up, nearly kicking him.


"Got something to show you." I reached into my bag for a moment and hesitated, then pulled out the picture- had sacrificed my free period to work on it. Each triangle had a fairly distinguishable snap shot of Hazen- (albeit rough) his smile, his hand wrapped around a football, his hair falling into his eyes and over his nose (as he wrote articles for the school's literary magazine). Each was cut off- framed by the edges of the paper or the other sketches. Only those who knew Hazen well would recognize the bits of his figure and piece them together.

Except for the center picture they were rushed, a bit hurried. But the circle- his lower body, bare abdomen, sweatpants down wrapped in laundry and sheet- that was clear, finished. I had raced to photocopy it and had just made it to detention on time, skidding in on my heels.

I watched Hazen look the picture over, his brow furrowing in realization. "That's. me."

"We had to draw someone we knew well, show their character. It's not finished but I know you better than anyone. I think; except, for this CD." I rushed out, pausing to breathe. I refused to let my hand shake, crossing my arms- shifting my weight foot to foot instead, turning a quarter so I was staring at the wall, Hazen's poster there- one or two I had drawn of our favorite bands, sports teams.

"Marc, what if I told you I fancied-"

I interrupted- I couldn't let him finish that sentence. Not before I got this all out, whatever the consequences, no matter he would confess that he too, had a thing for Kaye. "And I think about you a lot. All the time actually. Except when I'm not, like when I'm sleeping though I've had dreams about you but not that that's." I trailed off, faded as the net song came on- David Bowie. "Heroes"- this must be a mix Hazen burned; the last song had been "Wild World"- Cat Stevens. Hazen and I always had the eclectic taste. I had slowly rotated in my speech so my back was to Hazen; I was staring at his bed, the stain on his comforter from the time I brought over my mother's wine and we had sampled, then spilled a glass upon his bed spread where it had smelled like grapes until we washed it 3 times, taking it out of the washer each time and smelling it until we only smelled detergent.

"Marc," Hazen sounded close, his breath straying hairs on my neck and involuntarily, I shivered- goose bumps though his room was warm. "What if I told you I fancied guys?" I turned and stared at Hazen- our noses were not so far apart now.

"You mean it?" He nodded, not looking at me, his eyes trained on his window and what I had painted there years ago so it resembled stained glass when light came through the paint. "Does. that include me?" My fringe was falling in my eyes and absently I pushed the sun-streaked hair away; it fell back again.

" Only you." He smiled a little though he looked worried, like he might cry, meeting me in the eyes.

"Oh god." I breathed out. He put his arms around me and I sank into his embrace, holding him close, my hands feeling the heat of his back, his arms around my waist, my knees ready to buckle for a moment. Looked for a minute at his picture of Becks. But I didn't want to just hug him- I wanted to feel his lips against mine. So I kissed him. And he kissed back, warm against me.

"I, I can remember (can remember) Standing by the wall (by the wall) And the guns shot above our heads (above our heads) And we kissed as though nothing could fall (nothing could fall) And the shame was on the other side Oh we can beat them forever and ever Then we could be heroes just for one day"

David Bowie- "Heroes"