Sunny Mr. Finnigan
Lots of swearing and gayness.
This is a story about a boy named Finn. At the age of seventeen years old, our dear Finnster McFinnigan began to develop feelings for a special someone.
This was not the first time such an event had occurred in his life. Spanning a period of over six years, Finn had been making time with all the sickest of wheels, getting the bunniest of plays, making sweet, sweet love to female population at large.
All this changed seven weeks ago. Contrary to all expectations, Captain Finn "the Hetrosexual" Blake had begun to lust after a punk boy.
Our story unfolds on a cloudy Wednesday afternoon, at approximately twelve-thirty in the afternoon, as Finn and I were leaning against the side of his battered Ford pickup in the school parking lot and stalking the punk boy. I was doing it more as a recreational activity than anything else, but Finn was hardcore into it. He didn't blink once while he was watching the punk boy.
"So you're total in denial," I said to Finn after the silence had stretched past ten minutes. "Admit it. You want in those shredded skinny jeans pretty bad."
"I'm not fucking gay," he retorted while wistfully eyeballing the punk boy. "You're just a little bitch."
That's just how Finn talks to people.
"You love him," I crooned. "You want to marry him. You want to make babies with him."
Without even looking over, Finn reached out and grabbed me by the throat. I'm used to his violent ways, though, and jabbed him in the ribs. Our battle ended in a stalemate a couple of slaps later.
"Why do you stare at him so much if you don't want to gay sex him?" I asked, holding his hands away from my face so he couldn't pull my hair.
Finn just shrugged. "His face looks very punchable."
"So you're, like, telling me you want make him your bitch?"
"Fuck you," Finn said mildly, grinding his fist into my ear until I yelped. "Just 'cause he looks like a fag, doesn't mean I'm a fag. So fuck off."
I emerged ruffled but otherwise victorious from his grip. "That's kind of hypocritical for someone lurking in a parking lot just to stare at him. Don't you have friends anymore? Or did they all ditch you since you cheated on Katie?"
"She was a bitch," he said. "She was boring, too."
"I think the real reason your friends don't want to hang out with you anymore is because you're so goddamn angry all the time," I told him. "You are a drag to be around."
"So why are you here?"
"I'm helping you stalk," I said cheerfully. "Look, he's smoking and playing the guitar! How can you not admire such talent?"
"Fuck off," Finn said, staring longingly around the rusting cars.
Truth be told, the punk boy was not all that hot. He actually looked like a kind of retarded little dog. A nice one, though, one you would feel sorry for because it was kind of cute despite being a freak of nature, even though it wouldn't stop running in circles and barking and foaming at the mouth while looking at you with freakish bulging eyeballs like an insane rat. But, still kind of adorable.
"I'm going to class," Finn announced after a while.
"I'll watch him while you're gone," I told him.
Finn stalked off, muttering to himself about how much he hated me.
Our families lived together in a ramshackle old house surrounded by vineyards. It was in the hills, so we got a good, clear view of the river, and on summer days there was nothing nicer than sitting on the porch and watching the sun go down, if only to escape the Den of Insanity that lurked inside our house.
The fragrant smell of a cooking roast greeted me when we got home. I headed to the kitchen and found our moms sitting at the table, peeling apples. As usual, they were both drunk. "Hey honey," my mom said cheerfully. "How was school?"
"Finn still won't admit he's gay for the punk kid," I told her, dumping my schoolbag on a chair and sitting down with a sigh. I'd been keeping them up to date with the saga so far. It amused them nearly as much as it amused me, but then again, they were alcoholics.
"He'll admit it soon," Finn's mom said, cackling, and handed me a cup of tea. "And then—think of how his poor brothers will cry."
They both had a good laugh at that.
"I can't wait to see their faces," my mother said. "Another bottle, Melinda?"
"Don't mind if I do. Let's celebrate my son, and his struggle to stay straight."
Oh, how they chortled.
I headed for the porch before I could get roped into playing any drinking games. Finn was there already, dangling from a hammock and tossing a baseball from hand to hand. I curled up on the loveseat, hands wrapped around my tea mug.
"Do you ever feel like we live in an insane asylum?" he asked philosophically. "'Cause that's what it feels like to me."
"Every day," I said.
We looked out at the view of the river and blueberry fields in silence. Inside the house, I heard our mothers singing drunkenly while frying onions in butter, while the football game played in the living room where our fathers were. Finn's two older brothers were out tinkering with one of the trucks in the yard.
Finn sighed. "I guess I would get lonely if all you crazy people weren't around."
"Yeah, because you have no friends," I said, and then added, "I would miss you too."
I really wanted to see what would happen should the punk boy and Finn ever come face-to-face. It was to this end I found myself following the punk boy around, determined to figure out his name and if he was an acceptable boyfriend for Finn. Sadly, this also appeared to be Finn's aim, and we collided in our stalking paths more often than not.
"What the hell are you doing?" Finn said irritably, pushing my head against the backboards as we lurked in the baseball dugout, peering out the fence at the parking lot where the punk boy was skateboarding.
I pinched the nerve cluster at the base of his thumb, making him flinch away, and fixed my hair while glaring at him. "I'm helping you stalker your future lover, asshole."
"He's not my future lover. I'm not gay. Fuck you, bitch, someday I'm going to kill you."
The sad fact of it is that Finn didn't used to be this horrible. Somewhere, in that twisted little lump of brain conditioned by years of being taught how a man should behave, he had morphed into this He-Man beast. The more he swears, the more he is crying for help.
"Look," I said, holding up my hands, "All I'm saying is that it's a bit weird that you constantly follow him about. I'll stop mocking your fluid sexuality if you can't handle the truth of your homo-ness."
He glared at me, but said nothing. I added, "Fag."
All six feet and three inches and too hundred pounds of sheer muscle that was Finn loomed over me. "Just because you grew up with me doesn't mean you get to fuck around with me," he hissed. "Get out."
It really did amuse me that, after all these years, he still thought he could scare me.
"Finn," I said, and went over to him, ignoring the clenched fists, and wrapped my arms around him. His lean back was trembling. "Did I piss you off, baby? Did I hurt your feelings?"
He stayed tense for a moment. Slowly, though, he went relaxed in my hold, and his hands unclenched. "Get off me," he said, but he sounded almost affectionate.
I let him go and grinned at him. "Want to get ice cream after school?"
"If you want to, I guess."
"Sweet," I told him. I needed to plot, and for that I needed motivational amounts of saturated fats. The fact that I often saw the punks getting ice cream at Dairy Queen's didn't play into it at all.
Indeed, the punk boy was digging into a raspberry truffle blizzard when we arrived at Dairy Queen's. I could feel Finn going rigid as I walked through the door he was holding open, though I myself approved of punk boy's dietary habits. "Come on," I said to him, and ran up to the counter in anticipation. "Can I get a peanut butter parfait, please?"
"Dilly Bar," Finn growled to the counter girl, who preened under his dark, masculine gaze and ran her fingers through her blonde mane. Finn had that effect on people, I guess.
"Sure thing," she simpered. "You two paying together?"
Finn slapped down a five dollar bill and some twoonies, still glowering in the punk boy's general direction, and then whipped his head around to glare at me. "Were you planning this?" he hissed.
"You're so suspicious," I said archly, waving one of my hands in the air. "You think I somehow lured them out here? Just to piss you off?"
"I wouldn't put it past you," Finn retorted, but he returned to peeping warily at the punk boy, who looking like he was about two seconds away from a total eclipse of the heart with his dessert. He was actually kind of hot when he was in the throes of ecstasy, I'm not going to lie.
We picked up our ice cream at the other end of the counter and went to go sit down. I had just started digging into my delicious parfait when Finn asked, "Do you know his name?"
"That kid," he said, jerking his head at the blonde punk boy, not actually looking over at him. "Who is he?"
I swirled my spoon around the chunk of frozen ice-cream in the middle, getting the melted stuff that was gathering in the sides, mixing it in with the hot fudge. It was so good I was about to fall into a diabetic coma. "I thought you would know, considering you're Mr. Jock and you know everyone."
"I don't know him," he said, giving the punk kid a brooding look.
A second after he looked away, the punk kid shot him a quick look in return, looking slightly hopeful but mostly just worried. Finn took a bite out of his Dilly Bar. The punk boy's eyes dipped down to his mouth for a second, and then he licked his own lips and looked away, faintly pink.
I rolled my eyes. At least now I knew he was just as much of a creepy loser as Finn.
"I'm done," Finn announced a minute later.
I was still busy slurping at the melted bits of my parfait, and wasn't inclined to go anywhere, especially not when I could watch Finn fidgeting at the sight of the punk kid. "I'm not," I told him. "You have to wait."
"Nothing interesting is happening," he complained.
"Fuck, Finn," I said, sighing, because he was always saying stuff like that. "Now something terrible is going to happen because the universe hates you. We've been over this."
Finn looked at his watch. "I'll give it five minutes, and then we get to leave. Nothing will happen, anyways, this town is shit for entertainment."
I just hung my head in shame. Something was going to happen.
About a minute later, a blue BMW convertible loaded up with the rich kids from the nice part of town came screeching to a halt right in the middle of two parking spots, blasting some terrible pop song. There was only one person in the entire district who had a car like that.
"Look what you've done," I told Finn, sighing. "Look who you brought here."
The guy's name was Jack. He and Finn had always been rivals, just because we lived in a small town divided into the rich south and the poor north, but it had gotten really bad during a hockey game in sixth grade where Jack had tried to cross-check Finn, and Finn then clubbed him in the head with his hockey stick until Jack had a concussion.
They deserved each other, really.
With the same overconfident attitude that had screwed him over in games against our part of town for years, Jack walked in Dairy Queen, flanked by his cronies. He didn't notice Finn sitting in the corner. Good thing, too, because Finn was glaring and his hackles were up.
"Don't do anything," I hissed. "I don't want to banned from Dairy Queen like we've been banned from A&W and Smoothie Hut and the Waffle House and the Pita Pit and Tim Hortons."
Finn's eyes were snapping. "I'm not going to start anything, but I'll fucking finish it."
Jack paused by the punk kid's table. I couldn't hear what he said, but apparently it pissed off the punk kid, because he shot up to his feet.
Finn launched to his feet, too, but I hooked my foot around his knee and dragged him back into the seat. "Sit the fuck down," I snarled.
"That guy's going to get killed," he said, looking very distressed at the thought, struggling to free himself from my restraining foot.
"He's a punk, he's probably used to getting beaten up, that's what they do for fun."
Finn broke his popsicle stick between his teeth and then spat out the wood splinters. I raised my eyebrows at him. Sometimes, Finn does kind of scary stuff, and it worries me.
"If that asshole threatens skater kids who I hate from my school, it's my job to defend them," he announced. "I hate that goddamn rich-ass bastard. More than I hate faggot punks. At least they're from the right side of the fucking town and not asshole dipshits from the south side, and I'll be fucked if I let them get beaten up."
Truly heart-warming words. The next time he tried to get up, I let him.
Besides, defending his boy's honour was probably some sort of secret mating ritual between teenagers with confused sexual identities, and in addition to that, I always enjoyed watching Jack getting beaten up.
"What the fuck are you doing in South Side, Jack?" Finn snapped. "Are you lookin' for new ways for me to kick your ass?"
The punk kid was backed up into the table, held there by Jack's hand in his shirt, looking more like a pissed-off little dog than ever. His friends all looked alarmed by the sudden appearance of strange jocks. None of them were getting up to help him, though.
Jack took his eyes—but not his hands—from the punk kid and looked over at Finn, smirking unpleasantly. His posse of hot girls sneered at me, but I just licked off my spoon and raised my eyebrows at them, knowing full well if they started shit I would make them cry. "Hello, Finn," Jack said. "Your sister pregnant, or is she just that fat usually?"
"Hey," I said, wounded.
Finn glared at Jack. He was a couple inches taller and his muscles were rippling beneath his tanned arms, obviously itching for him to punch Jack in the face. "This is between you and me, asshole. Leave everyone else out of it."
"What, these fags?" Jack asked, indicating the punks. "Didn't know you cared, Finn, you got a butt-buddy with one of them?"
"Just get the fuck out of here," Finn said.
"I can go where I want." Jack's hand was tightening in the punk boy's shirt. All of this time the punk boy had been quiet, staring at Finn like he'd never seen him before, but now his attention snapped back to Jack.
Knowing there was going to be a throwdown, I moved back a bit to enjoy the show and the last peanut-buster parfait I would be having for a while, because we were all going to get banned from DQ.
The punk boy made the first move. He grabbed Jack's hand and ripped it off his shirt, trying to bend the fingers back. Jack just kicked him in the balls.
I winced. That was truly uncalled for.
The punk boy's eyes rolled up in his head and he collapsed against the table. Growling, Finn lunged at Jack and managed to get him in a headlock. Jack wheezed ineffectually. Judging from the look on Finn's face, he was prepared to hold Jack there until he died.
The girls backed off, looking horrified, but Jack's friends waded in. One of them punched Finn in the mouth and drew blood. The punk boy was down but not out, and he rallied back enough to smack Jack in the face while Finn was still holding him. Jack yelped and collapsed backwards. Finn didn't let him go.
Both of them went crashing to the ground, where Finn straddled his stomach and managed to get in about three good blows before Jack's friends grabbed him and dragged him off. The punk boy kicked Jack in the ribs as soon as Finn was pulled away.
"How about you suck on this?" he snarled, snagging Jack by the hair and smashing his head into the garbage bin. "Huh? Who's a faggot now? WHO'S THE LITTLE BITCH NOW?"
One of the punk boy's friends grabbed him, but not before he slammed Jack's face into the garbage another time. "Fucking stop it, you crazy bitch, you'll get in shit with the cops."
"He started it," the punk boy sulked, but let Jack go. Jack collapsed against the bin, bleeding from his head and whimpering.
The punk boy barely even looked at him, and instead glanced over at Finn. Finn had his arms held by one guy and was being punched in the stomach by the other. "Should we...?"
Both of them looked over at Finn. The hot punk sighed. "Just 'cause you like him..."
"You're just a pussy," the punk boy grunted.
Finn managed to get things under control without their help. While two against one were shitty odds, they clearly hadn't planned for the fact Finn was a tank. He thrashed free and then proceeded to grab the one guy by his abdominal muscles and slam him back into an empty booth.
"Ouch," the punk boy said admiringly, just as the other guy sucker-punched Finn from behind. They both hit the floor.
Figuring it was time for me to do something useful, I went over to where Finn and the other guy were tussling, then got a handful of ice cream from my parfait and slapped it in the guy's face.
Apparently he wasn't expecting that. He inhaled and choked, and then rolled off Finn, coughing.
Finn looked pissed as hell. That's his default expression, though, so I wasn't too worried. I wrapped my hand around his battered forearms. "Follow me, Finnigan, the cops have been called," I told him.
He spat out blood. "I'm gonna fucking kill that cocksucking dickshit bitch and fucking shit down his throat."
"There, there. There's no shame in losing a battle," I said, pulling him upright.
"Fucking son of a bitch-ass whore cunt motherfucker!" Finn said, raging, even as I towed us out of the door, past the horrified workers and amused customers and crying girls, who were both clustered around Jack.
Most of the other punks were outside already, heading towards their cars or just running away, but the punk boy was sucking down a cigarette as if his life depended on it near the front. He looked up as we came out.
I locked eyes with him for a second. Despite his bruised eyes and the blood dripping from his lip, his expression was all cautious hope and inquiry. I met his gaze and read the question in it. He tilted his head to the side. I nodded. His face lit up, and he took his cigarette out of his mouth to come closer.
"Hey, man," he said to Finn. I discreetly stepped aside to let them gaze soulfully at each other. "I just wanted to say that was pretty cool of you, uh, going in like that. So, you know. Yeah."
Oh, he was so awkward. It made my heart fill with joy, especially since Finn flushed a bit and scuffed his feet, rubbing the back of his neck. "No problem," he mumbled. "I hate that kid anyways."
There was a pause. The embarrassment of the scene was so intense it was almost physically painful.
"So," the punk boy said, going completely red. "I figure you're, uh, kind of too tired to beat me up for this, and I know this is the first time we've ever talked, but, yeah. I'm sorry. Please don't kill me."
The punk boy took another step and stood on his toes to press a quick, off-target kiss against Finn's lips.
I clapped my hands over my mouth in shock. Finn's battered hands jerked up but went nowhere. The whole moment seemed to take far longer than it actually did, plenty of time for me to see Finn's jaw relax a bit and the punk boy's eyelashes to flutter. The punk boy's fingers tightened on Finn's face and for a second I thought they were really just going to start making out in front of the local DQ with everyone watching on.
The punk boy disengaged as quickly as he had moved in. Finn looked absolutely gobsmacked.
"So, uh, see you around. Please don't kill me," the punk boy said, and ran for it.
He got into his friend's beater car, which ripped out of the parking lot and into traffic as soon as he slammed the door. Still with the deer-in-the-headlights expression, Finn reached up and touched his lips.
Never in a million years would I have expected that, but there you go. You find courage in all sorts of places. Sometimes bravery comes in battle, and sometimes it comes with tiny little punk boys making homosexual advances on brawny jocks with bruised knuckles.
It warmed my heart. It really did.
Life always intrudes on this sort of thing, though. "Sorry to ruin the mood, but I hear sirens," I told Finn.
"He kissed me," Finn said, dazed.
"No tongue, so it doesn't count."
After blinking a couple times, Finn finally snapped out of it and looked at me. "This doesn't make me gay, you know," he said, already scowling.
I couldn't bite back the laughter. "You're fucking stupid. Let's get out of here."
Our moms laughed uproariously when we got home and I told them all about it. Then again, they had been drinking heavily as usual, so who knows if they cared or not that Finn had been getting in fights. Both of Finn's brothers, who were basically my brothers as well, laughed so hard they cried. Finn sulked and fled with the bottle of whiskey to the porch.
I ended up following him. I get bored when there is nobody to torment.
He was in his hammock as usual, the whiskey bottled nestled beside him. I went over and sat on the loveseat.
"You didn't have to fucking tell them," he said.
I think he was actually upset, but he was mistaken if he thought I cared. "Of course I fucking told them. They're our moms. And our brothers."
"They're just going to make fun of me." Finn's mouth was in an ugly twist, and he knocked back a good bit of whiskey despite his split lip. Finn's just hardcore like a motherfucker.
"They made fun of me when I went out with Ryan Wuttersmith," I reminded him, refraining from telling him that everyone made fun of him all the time, not just when he was a gay loser. "Then they told him that if he ever touched me they were going to shove a baseball bat up his ass and drop him off a bridge. My first and last boyfriend. I feel no sympathy for you."
"But you're not...you didn't get kissed by a fag," Finn said.
"Fuck off, man, you liked it. You're a fucking fag too."
"Fuck you in the tits."
"Go suck your own dick, you loser."
"Shut your fucking mouth, you goddamn bitch," Finn said, and drank some more.
I grabbed the bottle away from him after that and took some for myself. I figured it would be the catalyst for some drunken bonding between myself and Finn, and if not, at least we would both be drunk enough to come up with some truly devastating insults. My face went numb on the first gulp and I gagged.
"It'll fuck my whole life up," Finn said. "If I was gay. Which I'm not. I'm just saying."
"How will it fuck things up?"
Finn shrugged, which caused his whole hammock to rock, and held out his hand for the bottle. I gave it back grudging. He probably needed it more than me. "I'm a jock. I play sports. You think the guys would want me on the team if I was homo?"
"Dude, football is all about the homo."
"Everything's a joke to you, isn't it," he snapped.
It was now my turn to shrug. "Better than being angry about shit you can't control, like you are. People are people. Life's pretty much a giant joke anyways."
"You don't know fucking anything," he said.
I recognized it as the plea for help it was. The more abrasive Finn got, the more he needed someone to listen to him. Poor Finn. You think someone that was so popular would have more people he trusted enough to confide in.
I decided to give him my unvarnished opinion. "Okay, so, seriously. You have two options here. Either you're gay or not."
"I'm not fucking gay."
"So what's the problem, then? Go on with your life."
He bit his lip, eyebrows knotting, but for once he didn't bounce back with something rude. We sat in silence on the porch, staring up at the stars and albino moths circling the porch lights. He drank a bit more whiskey, and then carefully capped the bottle and put in on the end table.
"For what it's worth, I think you should go for it," I told him. "I mean, yeah, it might ruin your life at school at least, but it's not like you have much to lose there."
"Fuck you," he said automatically, and then said, more quietly, "Things are fine the way they are."
"Yeah, sure. The sports, the girls, the parties—you've got the life, man. You should be the happiest person around."
I got up to leave, but he stayed on the porch, staring out at the lights of the other city across the lake. I think he was mulling it over. I hoped my terrible pep-talk would help him figure things out at least a little bit. I was getting sick of how unhappy he was all the time.
Whatever conclusion he came to that night, it was put to the test the next morning when we arrived at school.
"I heard you made out with that punk kid," one of the popular girls said to him. We'd just gotten out of truck and were heading to the front of the school. All the popular kids had congregated outside. Alarming. I half-expected them all to start snapping their fingers.
Finn froze. "What?" he said.
"You know Jack?" the girl said, twirling a lock of her curly blonde hair through her fingers, sounding way more sassy than she should've to Finn considering that she was not very hot. "Well, he said that he saw you making out with a guy. Outside Dairy Queen. Amanda took pictures with her cellphone. So, like...what happened? Did he just jump you?"
Up until that point I thought Finn had no chance, since he was surrounded by gossip-hungry homophobes, but I'd forgotten how much everyone in the school loved him. The headlines of the school paper would read: Athlete with High Cheekbones and Manly Shoulders Assaulted by Faggot Teacup-Dog-Like Punk. Straightest Man Alive Ever Remains Heterosexual in the Face of Flamboyant Gayness. Finn could easily shell out the punk boy and move on with his golden life.
"What pictures," Finn said numbly.
One of the guys from his football team offered his own cell phone. "So is it true?" the guy asked. "Are you homo or something?"
Finn stared at the cell phone for a long, long time. A muscle in his jaw jumped. I couldn't see the picture, but I could imagine how it looked. Two guys, sharing a swift kiss. I could imagine everyone's reaction as they saw it. And I could remember Finn's face in that photo, the tiny, unguarded flash of happiness in that moment when he had kissed the punk boy back.
I waited for him to deny it.
I don't know what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn't what happened next.
"Yeah," Finn said. "I'm homo or something."
There was a gasp from the crowd, myself included. I couldn't believe it. Finn hadn't even admitted it to me, and here he was, outing himself in the most public way possible. He didn't even seem ashamed. He was standing there, chin held high, radiating anger, him against the world.
I had never been so proud of anybody in my whole life.
"I made out with a dude," he continued. "You guys got a problem with that, huh?"
A couple people in the group tittered. Many people whispered to each other. A few guys visibly recoiled.
Finn clenched his hand around the cell phone, which snapped into pieces, and yelled, "Well, I don't give a shit what you think! Deal with it! Or I'll fuck y'all up!"
Shard of plastic fell from his hands, along with a good deal of blood. Everyone had taken a few steps back. As much as it warmed my heart to see Finn's supposed friends treating him like shit, I didn't actually want him to go homicidal on them, but didn't see a way to intervene without getting killed myself. Finn had a scorched-earth way of dealing with things. The collapse of his social life would probably be the Finn equivalent of a nuclear bomb.
"Finn, you fucking cocksucker, you broke my phone," the guy said angrily. "You're gonna have to pay for that..."
It was a mistake to give Finn a target for his wrath. His head whipped around, and his eyes narrowed. In a single step, he had grabbed the guy by the shirt and flung him into a nearby wall. The guy screamed in pain, landed on the pavement in a heap, and everyone gasped again.
"It doesn't fucking matter if I'm gay or not!" Finn roared, throwing down the broken remains of the cell phone and grabbing the guy by the throat. "I can still beat the shit out of you, and believe me, I will."
The guy whimpered. Finn turned to the crowd, which had been steadily growing as other cliques came to investigate the commotion. At least fifty people flinched back. With the bruises from yesterday fresh on his face and the split lip, he looked like a maniac. "AND I'M NOT ON ANY TEAMS ANYMORE," he yelled. "GOOD LUCK GETTING TO THE PROVINCIALS WITHOUT ME, FUCKERS."
With that, he spun and marched away, shoving through the crowd.
I chased him down. The crowd was buzzing behind me, text messages flying to all corners of the globe. Finn was making a beeline for the truck, and the mood he was in, I knew better than to try and talk to him. I lingered a couple steps behind him the whole way there.
Once he got to the truck, he rested his forehead against the window for a few moments. I hesitated from my safe distance. There was no way I was entering the killzone that was the parking stall, but if he was actually crying, I would feel bad.
Then he raised his head up, yelled, "FUCK", and put his fist through the window.
"You retard," I said, sighing.
Finn retrieved his fist and looked at it with vague surprise, like he didn't know how his hand has gotten so cut up and why there were shards of glass in his knuckles. "Fuck," he said sadly.
"We should get you to the ER, I guess," I told him, stepping forward to help him. Despite being a tank, he was also a bit of a drama whore.
He didn't say anything, just cradled his fist and looked deeply traumatized. The driver's seat of the truck was covered in broken glass. There was no way I could drive that beast, anyways, and in the condition Finn was in, I didn't want him driving.
I was about second away from just calling an ambulance when I heard someone clear their throat behind me. Both Finn and I looked over.
It was the punk boy, shifting awkwardly on his feet. "Um..." he began, gnawing on his lip ring. "I could...drive you?"
I half-expected Finn to punch his face in, but the anger was gone. He just stared at the punk boy. "Okay," I answered for the both of us. "You have a car?"
"An old Civic, yeah," he said, and beckoned us over to a rusting piece of junk. "I mean, it's kind of crappy, but it's not like I really know anything about cars, and it's pretty good on gas, so I don't really care. It's good just to have wheels. Yup."
He unlocked the doors, and I herded Finn into the backseat before taking the passenger seat for myself. I could see about half the school outside the window, all staring at the car.
"Hope you don't mind getting blood on the seats," I told the punk boy. "Finn fucked up both his hands like an idiot."
"No, it's alright," the punk boy said quickly.
"Thanks for offering the ride," I said, and winced when the punk boy didn't get the car put in gear properly and the engine stalled.
He turned bright red, but got it right the next time and managed to get us out of the parking lot. He really wasn't a very good driver.
"I'm sorry," he said woefully at the first red light, after a minute of silence.
"What for?" I asked.
"I ruined Finn's life," he said. "I'm really, really sorry. I'm such a douchebag. He can just tell everyone I was making gay advances on him and that he beat me up after, really, he can actually beat me up, I'm just really sorry and like...yeah. I'm sorry."
Finn suddenly spoke up from the backseat. "You know what," he began.
The punk boy and I exchanged glances. His whole face was scrunched up with worry.
"Civics are actually pretty good cars," Finn said, and leaned back in his seat, expression unreadable.
The punk boy and I looked at each other again, and I just shrugged. The punk boy was going to have to learn how to speak Finnish if he wanted to make the relationship work, but right now he was clearly just confused.
I cleared my throat. "Sure, Finn. And, uh...what's your name, anyways?"
"Oh! Frankie. Frank. Yup." He laughed nervously and reached up to play with his bleached hair, then swiftly put his hand down on the gearshift and roared away as the light turned green. "It's kind of a gay name, but, well...there you go..."
I envisioned Finn and Frankie trying to have a conversation and shuddered. They were perfect for each other, really. "Allright. Uh...Finn's actually gay, too. At least, I'm pretty sure that's what you said, right, Finn?"
"Something like that," he said.
"So, yeah. Out of the closet of denial and all." I smiled encouragingly at Frankie and mouthed 'go for it', but he looked so shocked I ended up nervous that he would veer into traffic and kill us all. "All right there, man?"
You just missed the turnoff for the hospital, by the way, unless you're taking a shortcut or something."
"Oh, FUCK!" he exclaimed, and then pulled a U-turn right in front of oncoming traffic, ignoring how people honked and swore at him. I gripped the door handle, alarmed. Finn was thrown into the corner of the passenger seat with a muffled curse.
Frankie then did a very demure right-hand turn into the hospital parking lot. I let out a shaky breath. "We're here," he said unnecessarily, parking across two stalls. "Um...I can just wait out here, if you'd like..."
"No," Finn said with authority. "You're coming in with us."
Frankie turned pink, adorably, and managed to stutter out, "Oh! Oh...kay...I will, then."
They both then looked away from each other with a very determined air, both flushing a bit and fumbling their way out of the car. I bit my lip to keep from laughing. I couldn't believe Frankie was the same kid who had seized Finn yesterday and planted one on him.
The nurse at the desk looked at us askance when we all piled in, Finn covered in blood at nine in the morning. "He cut himself," I explained helpfully. "On a cellphone. And then a car window."
She raised one disdainful eyebrow at us. "We'll get a doctor to you right away. If you could follow me, please...?"
"Wait," Finn said. "Can they come with me?"
She raised her eyebrows. "What relation to you are they?"
"That's my sister," he said, and then added: "And that's...that's my boyfriend, over there."
They both turned bright red and didn't look at each other, though I noticed the punk boy biting down on a really sunny smile and scuffing his feet. I sighed, but it was a happy sigh. They were both such losers.
The nurse wasn't as impressed as I was. "Well, your sister can come in, but...oh, fine, just come along after me," she said after both Finn and Frankie gave her hurt looks. "Don't make out on the reclining bed or I will throw you into the street."
I smiled apologetically at her as she got up from behind her desk, but she was actually kind of grinning and just shook her head. Finn slouched after her and Frankie trotted along beside him. Neither of them had worked up to looking at each other yet, but their pinkies brushed together as they walked. I followed them down the hall, trying to suppress my snickering.
A student doctor came in pretty quickly after the nurse gave us all a room, and he figured out nothing was broken in Finn's hand after a minute. Finn sat there with a dorky half-smile on his face while the student doctor pulled bits of glass out of his knuckles, making fresh blood drip from his mangled hand. "What did you do, even?" the doctor asked.
"I guess I turned gay," Finn said.
The student doctor's eyebrows shot up, and he looked over at where Frankie and I were sitting. "He killed his car," I explained.
Both Frankie and Finn beamed at each other for a split-second, then they blushed again and looked away. The student doctor sighed. "Right..." he muttered, dabbing iodine on Finn's wounds.
It was nearly lunch by the time we got out of the hospital. Finn and Frankie somehow ended up holding hands as we walked back to the car, and I had to disguise my laughter as a coughing fit as they wandered ahead, dopy as two stoners from the sixties in love.
It was so sweet, though. Frankie was cradling Finn's damaged hand in his, while Finn was pretending that holding hands didn't hurt him a lot because it clearly put Frankie on cloud nine. And there I was, following them around, ruining their moment.
"I'm just gonna go head to get lunch or something," I said once we'd reached the car. "You guys go do your own thing."
"Are you sure?" Frankie asked, concerned.
Finn just grabbed him by the elbow and hauled him into the car. "Hell yeah, she's really fucking sure. Bye!"
Well, someone had recovered from their post-boyfriend bliss in a hurry. I grinned and waved goodbye as they rolled away in the Civic.
After that, I walked off to get a burger, feeling pretty good about myself. I totally made that touching scene happen. Sure, Finn's social status was destroyed, and he was one half of the only gay couple in the entire school, and he no longer had his hockey, football and rugby teams to put on his transcript, but maybe now he would actually be happy.
Three weeks later, Finn took Frankie home. Our mothers mocked his hair and piercings until it looked like he was going to cry, and then got him drunk on wine and discovered he also liked the Beatles. The family dinner dissolved rapidly after that. Finn had his face in his hands the whole time.
"Figures Finn would pick a commie retard," Johnnie, the older of Finn's older brothers, said with great resignation. Finn's two brothers, our dads and I were all hiding in the den, watching the hockey game and trying to ignore the off-key squawking noises from upstairs.
"Language," my dad reprimanded.
"If he had dated someone manly, like...I don't fucking know, Christian Bale or someone cool—I would have been okay with it, because I can see how someone would go gay for Batman. But no. He picks a reject kid who looks like a chihuahua. Fucking Christ."
"Why would anybody cool date Finn?" I asked.
We all considered it. "True," Johnnie said, and the three of us sniggered unkindly. "That's probably the best he can do."
"People are gonna give us hell for having a fag brother," Finn's other brother, Kyle, sighed.
Johnnie shrugged. "That's why we got brass knuckles, bro."
They high-fived over my head. My dads were pretending to be deaf, but I was still snickering, even as Kyle slung his arm around me. "You'll tell us if people talk shit about Finn, right?"
"Fuck that, I'll take them down myself."
Kyle rumpled my hair. "At least you turned out all right."
However, as things happened, it had turned out I didn't have to take many people down. After losing every game and jeopardizing their chances in the provincials, the football team came crawling back to Finn, begging for him to be the quarterback again. Finn had generously accepted. They won their next three games and were heading to the provincials.
It had also turned out that a lot of his friends didn't care that he was gay. Apparently being a dick to everyone was much worse than be a practising homosexual. I was just happy that Finn was in such a blissful haze that he actually let me hang out with his hot, hot jock was a good situation.
And if people were assholes, well, we could handle that. We did handle that.
Upstairs, Frankie, my mom and Finn's mom were all warbling along to 'All You Need is Love', and I could hear Finn saying angrily, "There isn't enough booze in the world to deal with this."
"You don't need booze! YOU NEED MORE LOVE!" Frankie yelled. I could hear my moms high-fiving him. "All you need is love!" they all sang.
We were all silent for a moment in the den, none of us paying attention to the hockey game anymore, instead contemplating the horrors of introducing people to our family. My dad suddenly laughed.
"Well," he said, "at least the kid fits right in."
THE MAGICAL GAY END.