I spent the weekend at Bebe's house. It was nice knowing that her parents weren't there. She had a message from her dad that he was in Washington for the week, and her mom was in France. They had transferred money to her bank account, which was shamelessly spent on pizza and Chinese food.
She had listened to me on Saturday morning, and had gently traced circles in my hair. I told her about Nicole and how I had lost my virginity in the school bathroom.
Then she had proceeded to tell me about going to Cartman's party and hooking up with Token.
"He was all over me, Kyle. Just hands and sweat and horrible, slimy kisses. He was so drunk and rough, and I just closed my eyes and imagined I was somewhere better. Afterwards he just climbed off me and left me there, lying on the bed with my pants at my ankles."
I hadn't been much better to Nicole. When we were done, she climbed down and I pulled up my pants. We had gone our separate ways, and after a couple more shots in Cartman's house, I couldn't remember anything. Bebe had had to practically pry me away from the kitchen to take me home. I had asked her if I tried anything and she said no, just that I was really really quiet.
"But when I took off your clothes and put you into my bed, you wrapped your arms around my neck and kissed my cheek, thanking me. You're even sweet when you're drunk, Broflovski."
We had stayed in bed that day. After a while I managed to fall back to sleep, and when I woke up the sun was setting. I could hear the shower going in Bebe's bathroom and I had just lain in bed. When Bebe got out, I showered and dressed. I had rang my mom, finding out that my nice 'girlfriend' had rang her that night and told her where I was staying. I told her I was staying the night, keeping Bebe company and my mom had just giggled. But she had accepted.
We ordered a ridiculous amount of food from City Wok and had just eaten ourselves into a stupor. That night we didn't really talk. I think the company was enough. I saw Bebe take a little white pill and I wasn't stupid. I knew what it was. I just hoped that Nicole was smart enough to do the same.
My heart jumped and I found myself looking at my phone. I had gotten a message that night from her.
Hey Kyle. U OK?
Yeah, I'm fine. You OK?
Yh… I feel bad.
Me too. It was a mistake, wasn't it?
Yh. I woz drunk.
Me too. Shall we just call it even?
Sounds good. Friends?
Of course. See you Monday x
U 2 x
And that was that. At least she had taken it well, and she knew it was a mistake. I knew that she used me for a rebound, but I didn't care. I should never have done it. All I can remember was feeling her and smelling her perfume and how out of place she felt. It still felt fucking awesome, but it just wasn't… right.
Now it was Monday and I was in school. I had seen Nicole, arm-in-arm with Token and they looked just as loved up as ever. I had smiled at her and she smiled back. I just hope that she wouldn't go spreading it around. Bebe had seen Token and he had blanked her. I wrapped my arm around her shoulders and she put hers around my waist and we had walked to English together.
"Wanna head to the gym?" she asked, gathering her books as the class started to get up to leave. I shoved my book in my bag, trying not to look up as a certain noirette walked from the class.
I nodded, looking down.
Something touched my shoulder and I looked up, smiling politely at the deep blue eyes.
"Hey Kenny, you OK?"
His face was serious, a look that was foreign to me. I frowned and faced him, giving my full attention.
"Kyle, can I talk to you later? Will you come over to mine?"
I nodded. "Sure, man. Do you wanna talk about it now?"
He shook his head, glancing fleetingly at Bebe and then around the room.
"Nah. Later's good. My place?"
I nodded. Something was weird about his demeanour. But then again it was Kenny, and he thought he was some kind of immortal.
He nodded sharply before fleeing the room. Bebe and I exchanged confused glances before we walked from the room and into the bustling hallway. She hooked her arm through mine and we took our time, talking about the new English assignment. We had to read 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and then write a two thousand word essay on it due after Christmas. Bebe made some kind of joke as we walked into the cafeteria.
It was sad, looking up and not seeing Chef. I always looked for him and was always saddened when he wasn't there. Now I was older, I understood his songs and the 'warning' behind them. He really shouldn't have been telling us about sex at eight, but I still found that whenever I sang his song in my head, I'd laugh and instantly feel better.
Bebe smiled. "What's funny?"
She grabbed a tray and proceeded to join the queue. I shrugged and grabbed my own, looking through the glass counter. I spotted a tasty looking baguette, and thankfully no one took it by the time I got to the serving lady. We picked up our lunch and then looked around for a table. I felt my stomach drop as my eyes drifted towards the familiar table. The three of them were sat there. Cartman was no doubt talking shit and Kenny and Stan were just looking at each other, probably trying not to laugh at the fatass.
I sighed and felt a comforting hand touch my shoulder.
"Come on, honey. Let's sit outside."
I nodded and followed her through the throng people and towards the glass doors leading to a small outside patio. Five benches were out there, and only two were taken. It was bitterly cold today though, but we didn't care, sitting down and starting on our lunches.
"So have you spoken to Nicole?" asked Bebe, shoving a forkful of her salad into her mouth.
I nodded, biting into my baguette. "Yeah, she seems cool."
"Token hasn't even acknowledged my existence."
I swallowed. "Don't let it get to you, Bebe. He was on the rebound as well and Craig told me they were back together. I imagine neither of them want to admit they went on the rebound."
She picked at her salad whilst nodding.
"Yeah I know. Still, a 'hey Bebe, nice fuck' would be nice."
I choked on my soda.
"You really want him to say that? Really?"
I saw the faint hint of red colour her high cheeks as she smirked into her water bottle. She shook her head, making her loose curls bounce.
"I guess not." She sighed. "I dunno. I guess I'm just being stupid."
I reached out and took her hand. In a habit I had recently developed, I brought her knuckles to my lips in comfort.
"Don't be stupid. You've every right to feel like this. It's not as if he tried to make it good, anyway. You can just remember it as the time 'you had black and wanted to go back'."
She gasped and swiped my chest like I thought she would, but she couldn't crush the smile on her lips. I chuckled and took another deep drag on my soda. We finished our lunch in a companionable silence as our own thoughts clouded our minds. I thought about Nicole. Which was weird. From what I could remember, she seemed to enjoy herself. Maybe I really was fooling myself and I was straight.
Then the image of his strong back against my chest filled my mind and despite myself, was accompanied by a whoosh of lust. Nah, I knew who I was. Women were great and all, but men just… they just had something else.
I crushed the wrappers of my lunch in my hands and then offered to take Bebe's empty salad pot before jogging over to the bin. Checking my watch, we still had a good half hour before next class.
"Wanna go for a walk?" I asked, offering her my arm. The blonde smiled and wrapped her arm through mine and then leaning onto my shoulder. We walked around the outside of the school, taking a familiar path that wound around the science department towards the outside basketball court. A few groups of kids were hiding behind the shed just away from the court, and I could see the wisps of smoke hovering above them.
We stepped around a fence and under a small tuft of trees before ducking into the huge gym. Thankfully, it was empty. As we walked across the floor, Bebe began telling me a story about when she was younger. I leant my head against hers and closed my eyes, letting our bodies slowly head towards the stands.
"… but I didn't know that he had already bought the dollies, so I hid it just behind the kitchen sink…"
I smiled, only half listening to her, when another sound made me frown. I heard a deep giggle and shook my head as the intruders knocked something. I sighed. Why did my classmates always come to ruin my peace? Surely there were plenty of closets they could go in to make out?
I felt the body next to me stiffen as she sucked in a quick burst of air.
Her name died on my lips as I cast my eyes upwards.
As soon as I saw it, I wished that I was dead. Never, in my life, had I ever felt anything like the pain that slammed into my chest. I felt my bones crack. Felt my heart being sliced. The tears welled instantly into my eyes as I stared at them.
Blond and black, blond and black, good and evil, evil, evil, evil…
"Kenny," I choked. "How could you?"
Stan dropped Kenny's warm hands as his friend dashed from the gym. Bebe was stood like a statue, her eyes locked onto the two boys as their cheeks flamed with shame. He felt the urge to run after the redhead, but he wasn't even sure why. He guessed it had something to do with the look Bebe was giving him.
Stan moved away from his beau, ready to follow his best friend when something grabbed his arm. He looked down, menacingly, at the lithe hand grabbing his bicep surprisingly hard.
"Let go," he hissed, moving to look into those burning brown eyes.
"Leave him alone." Her voice whipped against his skin, shocking him into submission. She eyed him with such deep, heart crushing anger that he felt his cheeks burn.
"He's my best friend… I…" Stan lost his voice.
Bebe's death grip lessened but she continued to stare him down.
"You've done enough."
Kenny's words were cut off as her dark eyes turned to the blond. He saw Kenny lower his eyes and put his hands in his pocket. Stan frowned, wondering why Kenny looked so ashamed and Bebe was so angry. There was a weird look that fluttered between the two of them and he couldn't help but feel like he was missing something.
"What… what's wrong?"
Bebe turned to him, but now her chocolate depths held more than anger. They were full of sadness.
"Ask you boyfriend," she spat before turning on her heel and storming from the gym.
Stan wanted to throw his hands in the air and shout. An uneasiness had curled itself in the pit of his stomach. There was something in the way Kenny was standing, about the way Bebe had glared, and how Kyle had looked so… broken.
The blonde's shoulders slumped and when he raised his eyes to Stan's, the noirette was shocked by the disgrace he saw there. He moved towards his friend and lover, confusion making him desperate. He just wanted to understand. As he touched the pale face, he was shocked to the core to see those sapphire gems spill and a crystal droplet trail down the soft skin.
He pressed himself against Kenny, and the blond wrapped his arms wordlessly around his waist, putting his head against Stan's shoulder. Stan rubbed his back, blinking back his confusion. A pounding had begun behind his eyes.
"Kenny… talk to me. What's the matter?"
But the blond only held him closer. Stan didn't say anything else, he just held his lover.
As the bell rang, Kenny raised his head to put his nose against Stan's.
"Stan… please remember something."
Stan frowned but rubbed his nose gently over Kenny's. "Sure."
Kenny closed his eyes and pressed his lips so gently over Stan's that the noirette felt a sliver of fear creep into his veins.
"Remember that I love you."
Stan's body went rigid, but he didn't have a chance to reply as Kenny stepped away from the embrace, grabbed his bag and stormed from the gym.
Stan was left clutching his chest, his mind reeling and his gaze travelling from the left to right in the two directions that his greatest friends had parted, separately.
His hands trembled as he shoved his books into his bag. As he zipped it up, the final bell of the day tolled and he was the first from his seat. He vaguely heard Mr Thomson shout something at him but he didn't listen, charging through the hallway as fast as he could.
He escaped the school and stood at the bottom of the steps.
He stayed there, unmoving, watching as every student spilled from the school. He saw Wendy talking to Nicole, saw Bebe glaring at him, saw Cartman and Clyde, but no Kyle or Kenny.
The fear that had been spreading from his stomach into his gut was now worming its way into his heart. He rubbed his face as the last students milled out of the school. He even stepped back inside and scanned the corridor, praying he would see a pair of emerald eyes. Something was so very, very wrong.
Stan turned his direction and started down the busy street, ignoring all that called to him.
He walked with a purpose towards a tall, deep green house. He couldn't hold back his desperation as he rapped hard on the door. When it wasn't immediately flung open, he rapped again, harder.
"Alright! Jesus…" he vaguely heard Ike swear under his breath before he was face-to-face with the little emo.
"Ike, is Kyle here?"
The dark eyed boy blinked at him once, unimpressed. Stan couldn't help but see how much the boy had changed. And even though he was adopted, his eyes were nearly the same colour as Kyle's.
The boy began to close the door but Stan was having none of it, pushing it open with all his strength. He ignored the boy's protests as he stormed up the stairs and through the familiar doorway, finally bursting into Kyle's room –
Only to find it empty.
"Told you," huffed Ike behind him. He span on his heel and grabbed the boy by his shirt. He cried out before his green eyes went wide.
"S – Stan, you're hurting me…"
"Tell me where he is, dammit!"
Ike spluttered as Stan shook him. "I – I don't know! Probably at Bebe's house!"
Stan dropped the boy and stormed from the room without looking back. He slammed the front door shut behind him and sped with purpose down the hill and around the corner before he stood outside a peach coloured house. When he wrapped on the door, he had to hold back his rage. His hands were trembling as he listened to the footsteps approaching the door.
He was a greeted with a glare.
"Bebe, look, I don't know what the fuck your problem is and, really, I don't care. Just let me talk to Kyle."
She crossed her arms over her huge chest.
"He's not here."
Stan clenched his fists so tightly that he felt his nails dig into his skin. It was taking everything in him not to throw up. The pain in his stomach was getting worse and his mind was reeling.
"Do you know where he is?"
She shook her head. He noticed that her stance had changed as she studied him. As she opened her mouth to say something, he cut her off with a murderous glare.
As he stormed away, he searched his mind for places that Kyle would go. He found himself walking to and fro, knocking on their classmates' doors. He rang Kyle's house again and Ike had promptly informed him that Kyle still wasn't in, and had a very colourful place where he could shove himself. Stan even found himself wondering to Cartman's house.
Even the fatass hadn't seen him.
As the sun began to sink, Stan had to stop on the sidewalk and take a few deep breaths. He dialled Kyle's number again but it went straight to voicemail.
"Fuck, Kyle… where are you?"
He made his way slowly to their old favourite spots. Over to Stark's Pond, around to the Wall-Mart parking lot. As the night settled over South Park, Stan felt tears prickling his eyes. He found himself walking towards the school. As the building got bigger and bigger, something started to niggle at the back of his mind. He closed his eyes and replayed that afternoon in his mind.
Kyle had taken off through the back of the gym. The back of the gym lead out to the open courtyard and to the supply shed. Then the fence that surrounded the school before leading off to the outskirts of the town.
He took off at a jog, wounding across the school grounds until his hands were clutching the wired gate that surrounded the court. Trees lined the back of the court and he made his way through the dense undergrowth.
If Kyle hadn't gone back to the town, maybe he had walked through the forest. He could be making his way around past Hell's Pass and… where? Where would he go?
As the trees closed in on him and darkness obscured his vision, Stan felt the pit in his stomach deepen. A shiver came over him and his breath clouded around his face. He held out his hands, using the rough trunks for support as he continued hopelessly through the forest. He took small steps and gasped as his foot hooked under a root. He yelped and reached out, crashing awkwardly against a tree.
His breathing was deep as he steadied himself.
"Okay…" he breathed, attempting to calm his racing heart. "Just breathe… breathe…"
The icy night air was settling on his skin, and the patches of snow on his clothes were beginning to melt from his body-heat. Stan tried not to think as he let his breathing return to a normal rhythm, and his eyes adjust to the night.
If he got lost now, he would be completely fucked. He needed a clear head.
Only then, when the hysteria in his chest had been pushed significantly downward and his eyes could pick up enough of his surroundings, did Stan look down. He looked down to make sure that he wouldn't trip over the same root again, only for his brain to tell him that what he was facing was not, in fact, a tree root.
It was trying to tell him that what he was looking at was indeed the silhouette of a body. A small, unmoving body. A small, unmoving, pale body. With a green hat.