Do you remember the moment your life changed?

I do.

It was 10:30 on the 2nd day of summer vacation, 1991. I was 12 years old and sitting in my sun-kissed front yard with my new toy - a bass guitar that my Uncle Ivan had given to me. My mother was in the house, drunk as usual while my father slaved away trying to "make ends meet". I didn't quite know what that meant but I guessed it was important.

All the neighbourhood kids were out playing hockey in the street but they didn't ask me to join them. The other kids didn't like me very much - I was too tall for their liking, my features too delicate, my blond hair too long. My lack of interest in sport of any kind just boggled their little brains.

But I wanted them to stay away from me. They merely disliked me on a superficial basis. If they knew what really made me different, they'd hate me.

I was 12 and I knew I was gay. Well, I didn't know I was "gay" but I knew I was attracted to boys instead of girls. Since I could remember, I had always preferred to look at boys. My parents didn't know, no one did. I thought it was a dirty little secret, one I must hide away forever.

But he changed all that.

The huge house across the street had been sold to a rich man, or so my mother said. That morning the giant removal truck appeared, followed by a shiny and expensive looking sleek black car.

The first person to get out was a stumpy man with greying hair and sharp eyes. He was followed by a slender woman with dark hair. She was holding the hand of a little boy who looked just like her. The little kid couldn't have been more than three years old.

And then he got out of the car.

Dressed in a sky blue t-shirt and neat jeans, he looked like any normal boy. He seemed smaller than the other kids and he was definitely better looking. His blue eyes glittered like the ocean and his hair was very black, long enough to tuck behind his little pale ears. He seemed to be constantly moving; jumping or twitching.

He must have felt my fascinated gaze on him because he turned to look at me. Without hesitation, he ran right over, disrupting the boys' hockey game without a second thought. He came to an abrupt halt right in front of me.

"Hi my name's Frankie! I'm new here we're moving in across the street that's my dad and that's my mom and my brother Michael but only half of him is my brother cuz my mom misbehaved what's your name?" He gushed, never pausing for a breath. It took me a minute to catch up with what he'd said.

"My name's David," I informed him.

"David's a grandpa name!" He giggled, and his laugh took my breath away. It was light and sounded like the tinkling of glass. If anyone else would have told me that I had a grandpa name I would have been hurt, but I could tell from the innocent smile on his face that he didn't mean to offend me.

"Can I call you Dave?"

"Um…sure," I nodded.

"Yay! My name is really Frank but I'm too little for it so I decided to be called Frankie instead," He beamed as if he'd just won the Lottery.

"Have you had a lot of sugar Frankie?" I asked, well aware that too much sugar made people jittery. He laughed at my question as he bounced on the balls of his feet.

"Haha people ask me that all the time! I have AHDD no wait ADHD it means attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or something but I'm not sick my mom says I'm special," He explained. I didn't have a clue about what he had said, but it seemed to be a valid explanation.

"Oh, ok."

"Hey Dave will you be my friend?" He blurted, blushing a little as he did. I blushed too - no one wanted to be my friend.

"Yeah, sure," I mumbled as he flashed me another dazzling grin. I couldn't help but think that Frankie was the prettiest boy I'd ever seen.

"Frank!" His mom called from their porch. Frankie's brother Michael began to wave, smiling widely.

"Bye friend!" He giggled again (I began to notice that he giggled a lot) before running back across the street and into his house.

I watched him go, somehow knowing that my life was never going to be the same again.

That night as I helped my dad make dinner, I filled him in on our new neighbours. He listened with bright-eyed interest as my mom nursed her glass of red wine at the scrubbed table.

"They have two kids, Michael and Frankie. Frankie has ADHD," I told him as I washed the lettuce.

"That's nice son," My dad yawned. I caught a glimpse of the bags under his eyes and I felt a pang of concern for him. My mom didn't work so my dad took every job going to support us. I loved my father very much and wished we had a normal family. An alcoholic mother, an absent father and a homosexual son didn't really make us the picture of normalcy.

"You should make friends with this new kid," My mom slurred. "You're too much of a loner." Her words stung, even if they were true. But I had to tell myself that she was drunk and that she didn't mean it.

"You hear me?" She demanded and I nodded.

"Yes mom," I replied politely as I sat down at the table.

Dinner was always a sombre affair in my house. My mom would usually drink a whole bottle of wine and bark that I needed a haircut. My dad would ask me how the bass playing was coming along and with genuine enthusiasm I'd tell him. My father was saving up to buy me some lessons, but until then I'd be perfectly happy figuring out how to play myself.

After dinner, I locked myself away in my bedroom. My dad left around seven to do his security guard night shift and my mom slept the night away on our ratty sofa.

By eleven o'clock, I was exhausted. I sat on my window ledge, gazing out at the street. Most of the lights were out. All the normal, happy families were fast asleep.

But something caught my eye. The window directly across from mine was still glowing with light. With a small shock, I realised that was Frankie's house. Sure enough, Frankie was standing at the window. He waved enthusiastically at me, smiling his sweet smile. Pleased, I smiled and waved back. Just looking at him made me feel better. I watched curiously as he bent over his desk. He reappeared a second later and held a piece of paper up to the window. The paper had "Sweet Dreams" written on it in giant letters. I felt tears sting my eyes - nobody had said that to me in years. I grabbed some paper and a pen and scribbled "You Too" in my biggest writing. His smile widened when I held it up for him to see. With a last wave, he turned his light off. I did the same and for the first time in what felt like forever, I fell asleep with a smile on my lips.

(A/N: So that was the first chapter! I have the first four written so I'll post Chapter 2 as soon as I can. I hope you enjoyed that and reviews are nice!)