by mcee


It's three in the afternoon on a Tuesday, and Zeke is playing hookie. He looks out of a smudged window at the bland landscape of an Ohio suburb a little less swanky than his. The sky is of a uniform grey, the sun beaming weakly through a seamless layer of clouds, like a giant soft light, department store lighting. There are no shadows anywhere, and all the colours--the reddish brick of the apartment building next door, the ugly yellow of the dog trotting on the sidewalk at the heel of an elderly man, the man's white hair--are at once brash and washed out. Zeke squints; he's always hated the in-between twilight, and this is too close to it for comfort. He wonders idly if maybe he should go back to school. He thinks of Miss Burke, with her sweet earnestness, fishing for answers with no one to humour her because it's three in the afternoon on a Tuesday and Zeke is playing hookie.

Zeke pulls both shirts over his head and drops them to the floor, by his feet. The bed is a mattress on a low base, flanked by Ikea night tables and a blinking alarm clock. The sheets are white and almost tidy, pulled up hastily and tucked under flat pillows. There is little that's inviting in the room, except perhaps for the stacks of books by the bed and the decidedly male scent faintly permeating the air around him. It's eerily silent, the quiet only broken by the muffled sound of a few romping children squealing happily down the block. Zeke feels cowed by the strange surroundings and found himself slouching. He crosses his arms over his bare chest and looks at the square grey light of the window again.

He's trying to block the silence out of his mind, and he doesn't expect the hands that creep up his sides out of nowhere, their owner hovering behind, unseen. Zeke feels the soft cotton of shirt sleeves against his ribs, and the plastic cuff buttons dig into his flesh when Furlong's fingers brush over his nipples. Zeke's arms fall limply to his sides. He wrenches his gaze from the spotted window pane and looks down at the grey carpeting. A warm mouth latches to the back of his neck, the arms around him tightening possessively. Zeke wonders what Miss Burke's assignment is today.