“So… Gentry’s tutoring you?”
“Yeah.” Zach didn’t look up from the folding chair he rested in, nestled in the sunniest spot of his yard.
“Ah. You never mentioned it.”
“You never asked.”
“What gives? He’s your ex, it’s already enough he prances around half-naked during your swim practice.”
Zach put down his book and promptly asked, “Do you have time to raise my F in lit?”
Mikey fell silent and Zach wordlessly picked up his book and resumed reading. And people were… like computers. They had a set number of variables under a given circumstance.
“I didn’t know you were failing. If you would have told me---”
“You never asked.”
“Why would I ask?”
Zach shrugged, and then there was quiet. He had learned one thing since coming out, which that when you were gay you could be an ass and get away with it. He’d always been a bit of an ass, only people had complained more. Now they just called it attitude. Snap snap pose.
Occasionally a bird cried out or a squirrel would chatter, yet whenever Mikey tried to see the source of the sound, it would disappear into the thicket. Every so often he would marvel at how much space the mansion consumed. That garden alone seemed big enough to accommodate four houses. It was huge--- and landscaped within an inch of its life. Every bit of wilderness was clipped and tamed around a sparkling pool, which was surrounded by drawf palms and reeked of chlorine. The unnaturally stiff green lawn rolled past the poolside into a gentle slope, which ended flatly where the patio began; in that shadowy area where pink lawn flamingos co-existed with white cherub statues, and a marble-accented barbeque lay shrowded in dust. Right beside it, the neatly trimmed hedge which sturdily lined the property gave way to thick vines of jasmine and ivy which jutted from the thicket and climbed the mansion’s brown stucco walls, curling their limbs around the wooden porch-swing (the one Zach hadn’t sat on ever since he had encountered an unusually large spider there.) Although he never consciously thought of it, Zach was subconsciously vexed by by it. All this fakeness…
The silence was like being in a city when all the cars and people had abruptly stopped.
“Hm. Yeah. Zach, you angry or something?”
“No.” he mumbled dismissively, then sat up and said, “It’s going to rain on Thursday.” Mikey raised both his eyebrows, as if he found this relevant or interesting. But he really didn’t; weather was one of those things he didn’t spend the majority of his time thinking about.
“What do homeless people do when it rains?” Zach murmured, before drifting back into silence. As if sensing the growing vexation, Geranimo kicked his hind legs at the wooden border of his cage (no more than a fenced in area that had once served as a pig men, and now housed an unused chicken coup.) Mikey had once wondered in shock what kind of people would build a pig-pen in the yard of their mansion, but eventually came to the conclusion that Zach got whatever he wanted. Spoiled brat.