If you are still reading this story, thank you ^-^... it means a lot to me.
The bleachers were warm, welcoming, isolated. It was perfect, absolutely great.
There was no sense in wasting time. He had to finish his Romeo & Juliet video project, and now was as good a time as any. He needed to keep busy. Yes, that was it. Busy busy busy, business distracted from anger. What irritated him most was that he didn’t know why he was so irritated. Was it high school? Was it Gentry? Was it being closeted? He didn’t know… all he knew was everything was far too complicated. It was easier being 5.
“I hate this place.” Zach muttered to himself, throwing his copy of Romeo and Juliet onto the bench, “I want to go back to Estonia.”
“Alas, poor Romeo.”
Zach turned to see Gentry beside him, flipping through the book.
“He is already dead, stabbed with a white wench's black eye, shot through the ear with a love song, the very pin of his heart cleft with the blind bow-boy's butt shaft.”
Zach scowled and pulled the book away.
Gentry laid down on the bench, “And… is he a man to encounter Tybalt?”
Zach glared at him, but Gentry smiled.
“More than Prince of Cats. Oh, he's the courageous captain of compliments. He fights as you sing prick-song… keeps time, distance, and proportion.”
Zach glanced at the book in his hands, then at Gentry.
“…He knows the thrust that goes straight through…”
“Did you memorize the whole freaking book?”
Zach averted his eyes, “What a waste of time. What are you doing here, anyway?”
“Your lit project is due tomorrow, right?” Gentry replied, sitting up and wrapping his arms around one knee, “And you’re stressing about it.”
“Yes, a perfect time for the kill.” Zach snorted, averting his eyes as he pulled a camera from his backpack.
“We can come to an agreement that will help both of us.”
“Oh, let me guess. Does it involve BSing? Bribery? Calling your dad?”
“Just drop it for now, Zach.”
“No, I won’t, because I don’t need you to help me. If I get an F, at least it’s mine.”
“That’s just stupid.”
“It would be stupid to depend on you.”
Gentry’s drummed his fingertips on the bleachers, took a deep breath and said, “Everyone already knows you’re a good swimmer and that the Senior Swim team cheats people out of spots. Even if you beat me and get a spot, you’ll ultimately lose time and patience in the long run. I’m a good lit student, and even with a group that Romeo and Juliet project is huge. Flunking it will permanently fuck up your lit grade. I can do it for you, and you can beat Kylie.”
Zach turned to him, “I’m not interested because there’s a catch.”
“No, just equal exchange. I’m doing this to save both of us time--- Preparing for a race before Nationals is stressful.”
Zach shook his head, “You are SO full of BS that my head hurts. If you’re ever really nice to me it’s probably the steroids fucking with your head. You’re nice enough to make people depend on you, then fall into their back. That’s what high school is all about, isn’t it? Even now, I can tell you’re hiding something from me. Either that, or you’re scared I’ll actually beat you. Is that it?”
“Zach…” Gentry gathered his thoughts together, “Think about it. You have a VERY small chance of beating me.”
“It’s a chance I’m willing to take,” Zach looked to Gentry with disdain evident in his clear blue eyes, then saucily said, “Because I will kick your ass at the race.” he pulled out the project script and threw it Gentry, “And you can have this back. I don’t want it.”
Gentry’s eyes scanned the paper. His skin paled, and his lips felt very dry. This was not going according to plan at all. He could not control this… he could not predict it.
“Zach.” He said softly, “Why do you want to win a team of fuck-ups?”
“To see the look on your face.”