Hey, um. This sort of goes with my Identity Disturbance thing. Just not into it, obviously. Just something I wrote bored in Spanish class. Read it even if you haven't read my lame novel attempt, and review, because I like that.

            "Alex, you fucking faggot, open the door!" Mike shrieks, pounding his tiny fists red.

            Alex lowers the volume on the TV and bites into his fifth strawberry pop tart of the day. He truly considers getting up and opening the door for his oldest, dearest friend. Who wants to murder him. He decides against it, choosing to savor his pop tart and concentrate on the man on the Food Channel teaching him how to stuff a duck.

            "You serious fucking asshole! I know you're there. So let me in."

            Mike is right. About everything. Alex is a serious fucking asshole, and he is at home in the middle of the school day, enjoying the finest microwave/toaster ready foods his kitchen has to offer.

            The chef guy on TV shoves oranges and green leafy shit into the duck's cavity and Alex touches his own bottom protectively and in sympathy for the duck. He ignores the gay sex joke his mind makes at his own expense.

            "I'm not leaving, fucker," Mike warns. "If you don't open the door I will go to your window and climb in because you always leave it open."

            I do not, Alex thinks, but he's tempted to check. Mike is always right.

            "ALEX! I HATE YOU! REMEMBER THAT!"

            "Boy, is this pop tart tasty," Alex says, as Food TV guy sprinkles salt and cracks pepper over his duck. Poor duck. He is toast. Or roast. Alex laughs. He sure is funny when he's wallowing in self-hatred.

            "I can hear you, you fucking shit. Open the door."

            No, I'm good, thanks, Alex says, since obviously Mike can read his mind.

            "Okay, fine. I'll go through the window. And I will kill you."

            Mike hasn't climbed the tree in front of Alex's window in awhile, and Alex knows he will hurt himself, as teeny as he's gotten. Alex already hates himself enough. He doesn't need to be responsible for Mike's death or injury as well.

            Alex places his pop tart on the coffee table as the duck is placed into the oven. He goes to the door and opens it to see Mike on his way to his backyard.

            "Hi," Alex says, and Mike turns, red faced and angry looking.

            "What the fuck, Alex?" Mike says, walking over to give him a shove and Alex has to laugh because Mike is so much shorter and skinnier than him, and he pushes like an upset little girl. "This isn't fucking funny!"

            "Quiet, before I make you put a quarter in the swear jar."

            "What are you talking about? Shut up!"

            Alex steps back into his house. He returns to the couch to snuggle back into his comfortable blanket and pillow nest. "Why aren't you at school?" he asks Mike, even though he knows why. He's an asshole, not a moron.

            "I'm here to kill you. Why aren't you at school?"

            Because I didn't want you to kill me, Alex thinks, hoping Mike really can't read his mind although it really does seem like he can. "I'm quitting," he says, examining the sprinkles and frosting on his pop tart. Pink. So happy. So gay. Alex isn't hungry anymore.

            "You can't. I'm quitting first."

            "We can both quit."

            Mike snorts. "There's no reason why you should. You're not the one who will have to put up with all the shit at school."

            "Well maybe I meant I was quitting life."

            "Oh shut up. Fucking drama queen."

            Alex twitches. "What's that supposed to mean? Queen?"

            "For the last fucking time, man, I don't care if you're gay, you asshole!"

            Alex sighs, because he knows this, but it doesn't help. It makes him feel worse, even.

            "I do care, though, that you'd just fucking stand there and let Mark call me a fag and shit and not even say anything?"

            "What was I supposed to say?" Alex squeaks, and he wonders how Food guy's poor duck is doing.

            "Shut up? Fuck off? Hello, I'm gay? Anything at all? Anything but laughing along?"

            "I can't tell anyone," Alex whines.

            "You told me," Mike says, and he doesn't look so angry anymore. Hurt maybe. Alex wants to give him a hug. I am so gay, he thinks.

            "Yeah, well. You're my best friend. And like. You told me about your eating thing."

            "Shut up," Mike says, because Alex isn't supposed to talk about it. He hardly ever does. Mike pokes at his stomach sort of nervously.

            "Want my pop tart?" Alex asks, for lack of anything to end the silence.

            "That isn't funny," Mike pouts.

            "I wasn't trying to be. It's a good pop tart." Mike takes it and thanks him, and they both try not to think about whether Mike will let is digest or not.

            "Everyone made fun of me," Mike says, sitting next to Alex's blanket bundle.

            "I could pull like a mass murder suicide thing tomorrow if you want."

            "That's alright," Mike says, biting into the pop tart.

            "Really. My dad has a gun," Alex replies. Mike licks a crumb off his lips and Alex misses his gay little pink frosted pop tart.

            "Leave out the suicide thing and maybe. I'd have no one else to talk to otherwise."

            "Someone would. Someone better than me," Alex says, unconsciously scooting himself closer to Mike. Mike shakes his head.

            "You weren't there, dude. Everyone was talking about how I'm a fag and making all these jokes and then the people who I never talked to before ignored me, and of course Mark and all of them aren't talking to me, and the people I made fun of with you all before I was suddenly the un-cool little fag hate me."

            Oh. "Oh," Alex says. He wants a bite of the pop tart, but Mike consumes it like he hasn't eaten in a year. A couple of days, maybe, Alex thinks.

            "I'm all alone!" Mike sort of wails. Alex thinks he's about to cry.

            "Are you going to cry?" He asks, and the Food guy pulls a beautiful golden brown duck out of the oven. Well good. Someone is doing something right.

            "Fuck off," Mike sniffs. "Thanks for the pop tart."

            "No problem," Alex says. "Do you hate me?"

            "Yeah. For now. You'll fix this?"

            "I'll try," Alex says, but he knows he won't and he hates himself for it and just wants to curl up on his couch forever with a box of pop tarts and the Food TV duck guy.

            "Then I won't hate you. Much." He looks at Alex, his eyes red from holding back tears or possibly no sleep. Or both.

            "I love you," Alex says. And he must. Because he really liked that pop tart and he just handed it over to Mike like it was a common cereal bar or something.

            "You do not," Mike says, and tilts his head sort of like, Huh, because love is a tricky word and he doesn't know what Alex is talking about.

            "I do. I swear. Sorry."

            "No it's okay," Mike laughs. "Awkward, but whatever. At least someone likes me."

            Alex scratches his face to shield the blush creeping into his cheeks, and focuses on the TV. He doesn't know what to do because obviously this isn't a situation they teach you about in Health class or that your father has an important talk with you about. "Son, there comes a time in every young man's life when he's in love or at least feeling guilt towards his male best friend and he blurts out 'I love you' because he's a jackass and the best friend laughs and they sit there awkwardly watching a cooking show together. And I want you to be prepared for it." Alex doesn't think his dad would speak in such a rambling sentence anyway. Or about anything personal for that matter.    

            "I don't care or anything, so don't go like kill yourself in shame, okay?"

            Alex accepts that as an awkwardness ender, and they watch the rest of the cooking show together. Alex tries to enjoy it. He has to, because he knows this is the last time something like this can happen between them. Mike will realize eventually Alex has no intention of fixing everything, and clearing Mike's name by admitting he's the big fag, because, damnit, Alex just doesn't have that kind of nerve. And he hopes again Mike can't read his mind because he just wants to have this perfect last moment together.

            "How about another pop tart?"