Lexington High School – Scene 2. The List (for members 100 and 101)
The crawl space above the ceiling tiles was surprisingly clean. Hsin had discovered the spot after studying the blueprints of the building when attempting to locate an adequate location to get lit during the school day. Previously, he’d just smoked under the bleachers or in the basement. But then Dean Archer found all of his hiding spots and started chasing him down. He got a little too physical with Hsin sometimes, grabbing arms and dragging him– It was certainly against regulations, but Hsin figured he’d deal with it by breaking a limb or two. It was like the guy wanted to end up hospitalized.
He exhaled slowly and watched as the small cavern filled with smoke. He hoped that it got out through the vents and everyone got messed up on a contact high. Mostly he just hoped that the school would blow up. Or that he had explosives to blow up the school. Or that everyone would commit ritualistic suicide while he and Boyd watched.
He didn’t tell Boyd those thoughts very often. Boyd liked fooling himself into thinking that Hsin wasn’t actually a complete psychopath, and that was okay, because it meant he was more willing to go out with Hsin. Them getting together had basically been a total fluke, anyway, and he didn’t want to spoil it.
They’d met in the dean’s office after the fifth time that Madame Beaulieu gave Boyd detention for mispronouncing something. He’d spent the first three times menacing the other teen until catching a glimpse of one of the poems that Boyd scribbled during the long, tense silences. Something about masks, monsters and seeing into people’s souls. Making out and blowjobs had followed not too long after.
Hsin glanced at his phone. 12:00. Boyd had likely gone to the cafeteria already.
He stubbed the blunt out on his tongue and put it in his nearly empty pack of Marlboros. It took less than half a minute to shift the ceiling tile and drop down to the floor of the library. He landed next to the table that Ryan Freedman was sitting at, and stared down at the kid silently.
“You got a problem?”
“What? No! I didn’t even–”
Hsin walked away without bothering to hear the rest of the sentence. He could practically feel Ryan’s big, blue googly eyes on his back. He had the suspicion that the kid was one of those do-gooder, save the world types. Hsin hated him preemptively.
Lunch had already begun by the time he shoved the double, swinging doors open. One of the doors slammed into Harriet Stevens and sent her flying into the wall. He didn’t bother to apologize. He would have expected the only female member of the football team to be more steady on her feet.
A quick glare-over of the cafeteria showed that A) it was full of complete idiots, B) half-full of people who he was likely going to kick the shit out of pretty soon, including Douchebag Trovosky, and C) Boyd was standing in the lunch line and staring intently at the options.
Hsin stared at his boyfriend, waiting for him to move. It didn’t happen.
“What the hell are you doing?” Hsin demanded, approaching.
Boyd frowned. “I’m thinking.”
Hsin looked down into the case. Beef stroganoff, chicken fettuccine and random fruits and vegetables.
“I didn’t realize this garbage was so thought-provoking.”
“I’ve checked this month’s menu. They provide two options every day. All the Mondays in the month have the same options, all the Tuesdays another set, and so on. While chicken and beef are the two most popular options, they plan to substitute turkey and pork four times each this month, and we’ll have seafood options twice. At home, the only meat we have are chicken nuggets. So, for variety’s sake and taking into account the options tomorrow, I should get the beef stroganoff. But as for what I feel like right now, it’s the chicken fettuccine. But if I get chicken now, I might not want to eat it tonight, and we have no other food available. The likelihood that my mother will give me money to go grocery shopping tonight is not high, but I suspect–”
The steady flow of words were interrupted when Hsin pinned himself against Boyd’s back. “How about you get some protein another way?” he suggested, lips pressed against Boyd’s ear.
Boyd stuttered to a stop. “Uh.” Hsin could see the heat rise to Boyd’s pale cheeks. “I guess I don’t really… need to get food right now…”
“Oh, fuck, forget it.” Hsin took a step back, irritated for no discernible reason. “Let’s just blow off the rest of the day and go have sex. My father is off doing something terrible and probably won’t be home until after midnight.”
There was a beat of silence and then Boyd turned toward Hsin. “Actually, I wanted to talk to you first. Maybe we could use my homeroom? No one’s in it this time of day.”
“Talk to me about what? I told you, there’s seriously no point in using condoms. The chance of me having an STD is about as likely as me trying out for the football team.”
“No, it’s not–” Boyd stopped, shook his head to himself, and grabbed Hsin’s wrist. He tugged Hsin toward the main door. “Come with me.”
Hsin allowed himself to be pulled primarily because he got to look down at Boyd’s ass in the process. It was a rare treat– uncovered by a massive trench coat and encased in tight, black jeans. When Boyd stopped by the double doors to wait for a mass of cheerleaders to pour into the cafeteria, Hsin took the opportunity to scope out the area again. The deans weren’t paying attention to them, but someone else was.
Douchebag Trovosky was sitting on the edge of a table in all of his blond, quarterback, smug glory. His eyes were currently zeroed in on Boyd, and unless he was seriously trying to figure out the brand of Boyd’s probably-owns-ten-of-them black jeans, he was also gawking at Boyd’s ass.
Hsin started to storm over to the moron, but before he could, Boyd was yanking him through the double doors.
“This better be important,” Hsin growled. “I have things to attend to.”
It didn’t take long for Boyd to lead him to a nearby room. As Boyd had predicted, it was empty. With the door shut behind them, they were as alone as they could manage with the students wandering the hallway outside.
Boyd thumped his bag heavily on a desk and rummaged around inside it until he pulled out a sheet of paper. A particularly serious look overcame his features. “I’ve been thinking about us. The larger implications of it all, whether we’re good for each other or not. I was instructed to do this and– well.”
He handed over a piece of paper, filled with his careful handwriting in two columns. It read:
We’re the only ones who truly understand each other
We both feel more alive together
We’re good at making out
No one else cares about the other person as much as we do each other
We love each other (side note: I mean, I love him, I don’t know if he loves me, note to self, ask)
Mr. Carhart says Hsin is getting worse with me around and that it’s dangerous for Hsin
Mr. Carhart says I’m destroying Hsin’s life
Mr. Carhart says we’re pulling each other down
Hsin might accidentally kill someone trying to help me (side note: I would feel awful about that)
My grades are falling
If I love him, I should let him go, but I don’t want to live without him
We might be the death of each other
Boyd fiddled with the strap of his messenger bag and, when Hsin didn’t immediately respond, said: “Technically there are two more cons than pros, but I feel like some of the pros are worth more than some of the cons. But what really worries me is the last con. We can’t come back from that.”
Hsin read the list again. And again. And again. Until his eyes were narrowed so much that all he could see was the repetition of the words “Mr. Carhart says.”
A sneer crossed his face and he tore off the bottom half with the cons before shredding it into pieces. He glared at Boyd for several seconds and then swept out of the room, long legs taking him to Mr. Carhart’s office.