Bright Lights and Black Rainbows

Chapter 1: Ethan

I'm a fake. A fraud. A poser. A nobody. And I like it that way. Nobody knows me... well almost nobody. Most everyone thinks they do. One look at me and images and ideas plop into their minds like crap and they think they know me. My black hair and porcelain skin, my thin lithe body and I hear the whispers, goth, freak, emo ... but they don't know me. They hate me, want to hurt me, want to make me disappear because of who they think I am. The truth in their minds is the biggest lie. They don't try. They don't want to try. It's easier if they live in their own little worlds and hate or fear what they don't know. They're robots and fakes and posers too. But they don't think so. Fashion plates of popularity, facades to hide behind, afraid of who they are, but comfortable in their own skins because they are accepted by their peers. To hell with their peers, who don't know who they are either. It's a vicious cycle. Spiraling down and down till it's too dark to see anything other than what's behind their eyes and not in front of them. Living their stepford lives. The mainstream is a sluggish bloated river filled with the detritus of the popular. What pains me most is I want to dive into it, and drink it and live it and be accepted by it. As I said, I'm a fake, a poser and I want nothing more than to be accepted by at least one of them, to be known, inside and out, to be grasped and embraced by someone who might just see beyond everything else, beyond the lies and facade and see in me, who I really am. Because I don't know.

I heard the knock on the door and I knew it was probably my sister. She's never one to get the hint when I had the door closed and the music turned up.

"Ethan?" It was my mother. I rolled over and clicked the remote and turned off the music. My mother took that as her signal. She opened the door with some hesitancy and poked her head in. "Is everything all right?

I couldn't help but roll my eyes. Why do they always ask that when it was obvious, blatantly obvious, that no, everything wasn't alright. The world was shit, everything was crap but they seemed to think everything was just fine. Or at least wanted to hear it.

"Yeah I'm great. School just su..." My mother's eyes rounded a bit. She wasn't used to the new phase that I was going through. You know, teenage rebellion and all that crap. Just another label to explain away whatever angst or anger or misanthropic notions that I might be going through. "...wasn't the best first day, is all." She seemed suddenly relieved. This was familiar territory for her. She could have her patented heart to heart about how school, like everything else, was a necessary part of life and you had to make an effort to fit in, to be accepted. I imagined little birds singing and her wearing an apron like the mother from Leave it to beaver or some other 50s show.

I'm an enigma to my mother. She doesn't understand my isolation. It's beyond her comprehension. Her stories of high school, the cheerleader, the valedictorian, club president this, prom queen that; I was an ironic little twist thrown into her life. I could tell she struggled with it and it pained her to see me alone. But she, like everyone else, had her facades, her role to play. So she propped me up, tried to relieve my pain in the only ways she knew how.

"Well if you need to talk about anything, I'm right here." She tried to smile reassuringly, but I think she felt she didn't know what she'd be getting into if we had a true heart to heart.

"Okay." I looked towards the window again and clicked the remote and The Great Escape by Boys Like Girls poured from the speakers. I heard her pull the door closed. I closed my eyes and listened and thought it fitting. My mother and I, just the two of us since my father left, and neither one of us heard what the other had to say. We didn't understand each other. Opposite sides of the same die, no matter how it's rolled, we're both looking the opposite way. Young or old, guy or girl, popular or not; we could never see eye to eye, no matter how we tried.

If your own mother didn't know you, who would? I realized this was not fair. My mother knew me in the ways that mothers do. She knew when my room was a pig sty, she knew when I'd sneak a smoke out on the roof. She knew when I drank milk from the milk carton; the things that mothers know, these things she knew But like I said, we didn't get each other. Her perspective on on my life was through the rose colored glasses of pompoms and football games and late nights down at the local hang out, wherever that was.

I picked up my cel phone and started to text Billyien. I need you. I cancelled the text and dropped the phone and looked back towards the window. In a perfect world, he'd be knocking on my window right now, his smile bright, his eyes mischievous, an unlit cigarette hanging from his lips waiting for me to climb out onto the roof and light up with him. I drew a finger across my lips, imagining his lips on mine. Him pressed down on top of me, his weight comfortable, his hardness obvious. Gently grinding, his breath on my neck as he lay his head on my shoulder, his eyelashes brushing my cheek.

I rolled over and buried my face in between my pillows, imagining him nestled next to me, whispering in my ear that he loved me, that he missed me. That he wanted me back. I could only sigh, knowing it was just wishful thinking. We were over. His parents had seen to that and then his friends.

All summer I had struggled to get past him. And it was working, in the way that time alone works. No simple reminders, no pictures, no him, till he slowly slipped from my mind. But we had plans for the first day back to school. Big scandalous plans of walking hand in hand down the hallway, maybe a lust-filled kiss before parting to our separate classes. And that stand and be proud confrontation before whatever asshole thought, maybe, they could call us fags, and get away with it.

But Billy was a dreamer. Strong in words, but weak in spirit. High in hopes but low in strength. When we talked about it, nestled together under the comforter, our arms wrapped about each other, our breathing slowly calming down, our heartbeats evening out, our sweat chilling except under those down blankets, it was always about how we were different. We would show everyone. There was nothing wrong with our love. There was nothing wrong with us. His eyes glistened with hope. He wanted to believe himself, as I did.

I think we are never more afraid, than when we are in high school. We are learning about who we are. Being pulled this way and that. Acceptance and peer pressure, the cliques, the popularity, the friends; everything an ingredient buffeting against who we think we are already. It's confusing, it's frightening, not on that conscious level, but deeper. And we don't explore ourselves that deeply. We're not afraid or confused. We're pissed. We're angry. We want to kick someone's ass.

"I don't understand." I looked at him. His eyes, those deep brown, almost black eyes looked at me, imploring me to understand.

"Ethe. She said I couldn't see you. She doesn't think it's a good idea. Too many people, the football team... If they found out..."

"So everything you said, about how we would show them? That was bullshit?" I pulled my arm back as he tried to reach for me. It took everything in me not to go to him, to be in his embrace. I wanted to cry. But I was pissed. "You're just a fucking coward. All talk!" I pushed him. And for a second I was a little surprised thinking what the fuck am I doing. I love him. But then I pushed him again. "Get the fuck out!" I pushed him again and he hit the wall next to my bedroom door. A picture of the two of us our arms draped over each other's shoulders with cigarettes hanging loosely from our lips, crashed to the floor. We both looked at it for a moment.

"Ethe. I love you."

"You love me? If you loved me, you wouldn't, at the first sign of trouble, want to break up." I reached up and angrily wiped tears from the corner of my eye. Fuck him, he wasn't going to see my weakness. "If you loved me, you wouldn't want to break up cuz your mommy said it's not a good idea."

"Ethe?"

"Fuck you, Billy. If anyone found out? What happened to our big plans. People weren't going to find out. We were going to show them! Remember?"

"Ethe, my dad..."

And that was almost enough. I almost stopped there. His father was brutish and a drunk, filled with his own insecurities. Forcing Billy to take football and soccer and baseball hoping it would make a man out of him. "I'm not gonna have one of them sissy boys under my roof." he would say after one too many beers. And hopefully that would be the last of it, but other times he would hit. Blacken an eye, bruise a rib. I'd seen it twice, one time waking, to find him outside my window, his cheek swollen and red, his eyes pleading for sanctuary.

We'd slept together that night for the first time. His touch tentative, at first, caressing my face, kissing my eye lids. His weight, light atop me as we kissed, afraid that he might crush me. As if he weighed a ton or something. I pulled him down, and he collapsed atop me with a nervous laugh. I kissed him harder and that was all it took. He pulled at my shirt and didn't even mess with the belt and zipper as he pulled at my jeans. We ground against each other, kissing frantically. and I whispered to him. "Fuck me."

"I ... I haven't."

"Fuck me Billy." I pulled at him, grinding my hardness against him. His eyes were a bit ravenous. But he'd never had sex before. I grabbed his cock and he groaned.

"I want you to fuck me with this." I whispered in his ear and gave his cock another squeeze. I maneuvered under him and positioned him. "Go slow."

"I... I haven't."

I pushed my ass back and the head of his cock pushed at me. I groaned. Mentally reminding myself to get some lube. His hips seemed to go into automatic pilot as he pushed back at me and I felt him enter me.

"Ahhhhh! Fuck. Slow! Slow!" Against my own words, I pushed back against him and felt him go in deeper. It burned and bit my pillow. And pushed back again.

Billy grabbed my hips, and thrust. "Oh shit.'

My muscle were tense, my back straining against him as he tried to pull out. I reached back and pulled him to me, until he was completely inside of me. "Now stay." I panted. "Let me get used to it."

Billy leaned forward and kissed my back, my shoulder blades. I turned and looked back at him and he kissed me. "Does it hurt?"

"Fuck. Yes. But. Don't. Stop." I had to breathe deep with each word as he started to drive into me. His grip on my hips, tight. He pulled me back to meet each thrust. He leaned down and wrapped his arms around me and thrusting deeper. His breath on my neck gave me chill. "I love you Ethan." He grabbed my cock and jerked in time with each thrusts. I panted heavily and pushed back to meet him. " I want to see your face." I almost screamed when he pulled out of me.

He thrust back into me and saw the pain on my face as I lay on my back, my legs propped against his chest. I almost laughed at the sight of my feet splayed as they were, my toes curled in ecstasy. His thrusting was growing more heated, one hand grabbing at my chest, the other gripping me tight, jerking faster with each thrust. My head thrown back, my breath shallowing as I came closer and closer to a climax.

"Oh God!" We both screamed it at the same time and I felt his cock expand and shoot inside of me. I had a moment to think CONDOMS! before I shot all over my chest and onto my cheek. He leaned down and kissed me, licking at my cheek and kissing me again. We tasted sweet. I felt his heart beating in his chest as he lay atop me. No care to crushing me this time, his exhaustion winning out. I welcomed his weight, his presence. I tightened my embrace around him, the slick mess between us forgotten. I kissed him again and again and again, thinking I could never stop. It was like breathing, something I had to do.

"You need to go, Billy." My heart was pounding in my chest. Remembering that first night together; I was weak for him. I wanted to be mad. I wanted to scream at him. But I also wanted him to fuck me. Right then. Right there. I turned away from him, walking towards the window. I pulled my cigarettes from my pocket and and knocked one out of the pack, then climbed out my window.

"Ethe?"

I didn't look up as I closed the window. I saw him out of the corner of my eye, his shoulders hunched. I knew he was crying, I could hear him through the glass. I perched myself below my window, watching the smoke curl around the moon. I didn't look up when I heard his car start, I didn't see the yard flash in his headlights, I didn't watch as his break lights disappeared out of sight at the far end of the street. At least I tried not to, but I saw his silhouette under each haloed streetlight. This time I didn't wipe the tears from my eyes.

There was another knock at my door, but no hesitancy this time. My sister opened the door and ran and pounced on my bed. She was 8 years old and had more energy than a thousand chihuahuas on crack. She snuggled up against me. "School sucks!"

I couldn't help but laugh. "Get used to it."

"Cindy Masterson called me ugly."

That killed my laughter. I looked at her and smiled. "You're my little monster and nobody can call you ugly. Besides you're beautiful." And she was. She looked like my mother, a cheerleader in the making, with her big blue eyes and wavy blonde hair. Almost predetermined. "Hey, you want that I should break her knee caps for ya." My Italian accent was horrible enough to make laugh and she laid against my shoulder as I turned off the stereo and turned on the tv. She grabbed the remote and turned it to the Cartoon Network. I sank against my pillows and sighed.