Pretty Head

For the last time, Trevor watched Dane slip through his fingers. Stomping out his cigarette, he scoffed in Trevor's general direction, and paraded through the snow to his new friends (if that was what he even called them). The snow beneath his feet dissolved as he continued, leaving footprints in his wake that stretched over the span of the school's white field. Clouds overhead were gray and thin, wading quickly across the sky as rain began to pour from them. Attempting to hide the pout on his face, Trevor grazed his cheeks with his mitts. He hoped the gesture ended up so slight that it seemed as if he was only shielding himself from the wind, rather than sulking, which to others, seemed far from his nature.

In a single blink, the whole thing had come rushing back to him. The crash of realization didn't come when Dane had told him everything, but he gradually understood. The threads Dane had woven together with his scar-flecked, rugged fingers had come together, weaving a cage around his body. He'd built a wall to keep others out, and Trevor was a threat to him. He cared about Dane, and that meant danger. From the tattered sneakers Dane wore to the plaid scarf fastened around his neck, he was a lie. He'd frowned, zipped up his brown parka, and looked away from Trevor, his auburn hair floating above the tan fur of his hood. Through watery eyes, he'd lit his cigarette, and, after sternly deciding to himself that he would go for it, he explained it all.

"Listen, we can't hang out anymore, okay? No one takes me seriously; my friends, I mean. They just…don't like you, and I don't know if I even do anymore." He paused and waited for a reaction, but Trevor breathed in the toxin that wafted from Dane's cigarette and became distracted by the sting in his eyes. "Trevor?"

Trevor's eyes darted back up to Dane and he smiled as wide as his emotions allowed, which didn't appear to very reassuring to his former friend. If he'd been looking for reassurance, however, maybe he would've cared. Instead, he looked in disbelief at the pale silver in Trevor's emotionless eyes, and walked away.

Trevor had to be strong, and tell himself that it was fine, and that Dane was the one missing out, but he couldn't help but wonder who really would be. Dane had friends now, and Trevor didn't. The only person Trevor had ever really been able to depend on or console in was Dane, and he'd left Trevor stranded on an island, with no kindling to keep him warm. He was completely in the dark, but he was willing to find his way through it.

"Besides," He muttered to himself when he'd reached his classroom, "I've put up with his drugs enough, haven't I?"

Judging by the lack of sleep he got that night, he hadn't. Whether he flicked his lamp on and read for a half an hour, flicked it back off again in hopes that he would sleep, or ignored the alarm clock beside his bed and made weak attempts at sleep, it wasn't happening. Every time he came even close to drifting, images of Dane would slither into his haze, disturbing the peaceful rest he'd finally gotten.

There had been endless memories of his friend abandoning him to go get high with the others, and even though Trevor had never been into that sort of scenario himself, he felt left out. Dane had always been a troublemaker, since Trevor could remember, but he'd never imagined that high school would lead to such situations where he would see his own friend sniff a line of cocaine on the way to a swim meet, or light up a joint before they headed to the movies. Sure, he was aware that there was something going on when Dane started missing classes regularly and appeared famished when he finally did show up, but never did he expect things would go so far.

Not a week later, a black eye was visible from underneath the platinum and auburn patches of Dane's bangs, and when he approached Trevor, the teen almost laughed. Having the courtesy he did, he folded his arms, and waited patiently for what he expected would end up in an apology.

"I was having a tough week, Trev, but I'm sorry," he started, blinking and rubbing at his eye. Trevor took the other boy's hand away and rolled his eyes.

"Yeah, I can see that. I bet you're not going to do that again, are you?"

Dane laughed and shook his head, attempting to place his bangs back in front of his eye. When Trevor fixed it for him, he smiled sadly.

"I mean it, though. I'm sorry. For all the stupid things I've made you watch, and all the stupid things you'll probably never forget. And for treating you like that on Monday."

"Okay, okay, I get it; just chill out," Trevor grinned, and it already seemed like the two were back to normal. "Are we on for pizza?"

"I know I am," Dane agreed goofily, shoving his friend out of the way to begin a race that would lead them all the way down the street to the restaurant.