Midnight was most definitely Nate's favorite time of the day, well the night really. It was cool, but not yet cold, and if the cops came by it was still early enough for him to fake not realizing the time, after all the park was open to the public till eleven pm.
Not that the cops were likely to come by, they rarely visited this end of town, and then only if they were called in.
"Oi." Nate looked up at the familiar call to see his best friend Michael standing at the end of the bridge. "You're out late.." It was true, Nate wasn't usually out after curfew, at his house being late was never a good idea.
Nate shrugged as if he didn't care.
"Dad got into the bottle again." Out of the corner of his eye Nate watched Michael wince, he know what that meant.
Nate's dad was the town drunk, falling off the wagon was a common occurrence for him.
Michael wandered over and sat down beside the other boy and pulled a bag of sugared orange slices from his pocket and with a sly grin offered it to Nate.
Biting his lip, Nate sat up slowly and made himself take the bag gently instead of snatching at it, it wasn't just that he tended not to get feed when his dad fell back into the bottle, but also that the sweet treat was a delicacy to a kid that was forbidden such things.
Nate's mother was religious to the point of being almost fanatical, most likely her way of dealing with her husband's alcoholism, and the "church" she had joined years ago forbid earthly pleasures such as sweets and dancing.
Nibbling on a piece of the sugared fruit, he swung his feet over the edge of the bridge and leaned forward, resting an elbow against his knee.
Michael watched his friend for a few minutes before nudging him with his foot.
"Hey, wanna stay at my place tonight? You know my mom loves to have you come visit." It was true too, Michael's mom loved Nate.
Shrugging, Nate nodded.
"Sure. Did she send you out to find me?"
"You know how she is." Michael said, his mother heard all the local gossip, and always knew when Nate needed a place to crash.
Michael smiled and scooted over to lean against Nate's side, snuggling close and laying his head on the other boy's shoulder
"You know..." Michael faltered for a second, "if you wanted, you could just stay with us all the time." He bit his lip nervously and picked at some grass that had caught on the fabric of his sneakers as he waited for his friend to respond.
Nate turned enough to look Michael in the face, his eyes wide and oddly bright in the light of the street lamps.
"Do you want me to?" Michael smiled and hugged Nate tightly.
"Course I do, idiot. Come on." He stood and pulled Nate to his feet, "Mom saved you some dinner." They wandered off in the general direction of Michael's house.