You're too beautiful.

It took the words of the only other person he admired to show him that what he was experiencing wasn't love. What he was experiencing was something wrong. Something painful. Something sad. It took three simple words from a boy he never expected to hear them from. It took words that a male would usually decline, to wake him from his nightmare. Because inside, he knew that boy meant something different. That those words were not due to his beaten appearance. He knew that the beautiful that was being spoken of, was to represent who he was. It took the words of the boy who took the time to see past it all.

He wasn't sure how it happened or when his thoughts began to truly change. All he knew was that his secret had been discovered, and by the one person he wanted to never know. They had stumbled upon each other, and they decided to play while they had time. Part of it, he felt, was to extend the time before his next beating and the other part was because he missed the one he was playing with. Something about the other calmed him. Maybe it was that never changing look in his eyes or maybe it was that the color, that never ending bright blue, got to him.

He could look into those eyes for hours on end. He felt safe in those eyes. On that court, with that boy who reached out just a little farther for him. Of course he had worked up a sweat, and a sweat meant wiping his face. Wiping his face meant the loss of his only cover, and it didn't take long for him to get trapped in that stare. A stare with those endless baby blues, that he knew were taking in every little thing.

No hands reached out to him. No one held him but never had he felt so protected before those words were spoken. It was as if they were timed just perfectly. As if they were spoken just to protect him that night. For a long time he stood alone then, watching as his shadow ran away with the setting sun. He would be late, which meant something even more terrifying than the usual. This night, however, he would not allow himself to be ruthlessly beat.

This night, the night which belonged to the day that changed everything, would not be the end of him. This night, he would not allow himself to be engulfed by darkness. It wasn't those baby blues that saved him, it wasn't the game that connected all of their hearts. It was three simple words, spoken in a tone that the normal person would take as being simply indifferent. Three simple words that not many men would boast over. Three simple words that, spoken in that indifferent tone, gave him the strength to defend himself.