Mikey’s voice trailed off, falling beneath the Bollywood music which blared in the background.
Zach slid past him with his best attempt at a dance, sliding over the hardwood floor in his socks. Zeus followed cloe behind him, snorting and grunting in bewilderment, his hooves slipping on the newly mopped floor. The maid had mopped it later than usual, and the moment Zach had seen it, he kicked off his shoes and yelled at Mikey to turn on the Bollywood music. Although Mikey hated Bollywood music with every cell in his mind, he grudgingly went along with the request.
“Zach, have you read this article?” he asked over the high-pitched singing and the maddening drumbeat. Gods, he hated Bollywood music. He had taken that dance class to demonstrate cultural sensitivity, a delicate ability which was slowly ebbing away. Zach had more Bollywood music on his mp3 player than anyone needed, and he wasn’t even from India. It was flat out weird… Mikey wished that Zach would just focus on being gay… or half-black… or Estonian… because this was just too much. People needed to stick to their culture.
Right now, Zach was skating large circles around him, narrowly avoiding tables and chairs. Mikey tersely watched him woosh by.
“I never read the school paper!” he exclaimed, gracefully gliding past him.
“Gentry was interviewed… he said that Kennedy should pass out condoms to prevent rape. Can you believe that?”
“Yeah, I can.”
Zach twirled around on one foot, then dramatically collapsed onto the couch, resting one arm over his forehead with unearned tiredness.
“I wouldn’t be so casual about it, Zach. And I wouldn’t be dancing around like that, either. This is serious.”
“I don’t want to be serious.”
“Well, rape is a very serious crime, which he obviously doesn’t understand. I can’t believe he’s even being considered for Valedictorian, since a valedictorian is supposed to represent the school…”
Zach sighed forcefully, raised both his eyebrows and looked up at the ceiling, but didn’t say anything. There were times when saying anything was saying too much. So, in the absence of commentary, Mikey went on:
“A rape victim can never be normal again, their lives are ruined and they are dead inside.”
“Now come on.” Zach turned onto his side, “Getting raped doesn’t turn you into the walking dead.”
Mikey leered at him for a moment, then shrugged and put down the paper. He slowly sauntered to the couch and climbed on top of Zach, leaning in. He was not stupid; it was clear that Zach’s newfound joy hadn’t come from out of nowhere. The bruises were one thing, and the way Gentry looked at him was another... it was plain to see that something very predictable was going on. He didn’t like it, not one bit.
Some days he wondered what Gentry had over him, but promptly decided it was not a thought worth pursuing. Whatever Gentry had, it didn’t make him great enough to be in a relationship with. He wasn’t even an ex, there had never been a relationship. All he was was a confused homophobe, and now he was starting to suspect that there was something else wrong with him. It was only a hunch, but he was going to test it.