It's been a somewhat crazy time for me, one way or another, and I haven't had time to write, but this week Cyan is back and in trouble again.
“You’re touching me,” Cyan said calmly as they left the common-room. “I don’t like it. Can you stop please?”
Robin paused, dropping Cyan’s hand instantly. “I’m sorry, I forgot. Why didn’t you stop me?”
“That would have been rude, but we shouldn’t go out there holding hands, Robin. People would get the wrong idea. It’s too late for me now, but it would be awful if I made you gay too?” Robin turned a choke into a cough. “I mean, make people think you are.”
“Don’t worry. I don’t care. They can think what they want.”
“It’s not a good thing, Robin,” Cyan said sombrely as they made their way along the corridor. “You can get hurt if people think you’re gay.”
“Have you been hurt?”
“Yes. That’s why we moved.”
Robin stopped and stared at Cyan. “That’s why you were scared in the shop, when Gillian asked?”
“Were you hurt badly?”
“Yes, I was in hospital because…. Yes, I was hurt badly. I was scared the same thing would happen this time. My mother said it would be alright if I was more careful, but I was worried because the only thing I know how to be is me.” He smiled . “After I met you, I wasn’t so frightened anymore.”
A strange fluttering in Robin’s stomach made him shiver, although it was hot in the corridor. “Why?”
“Because you said you’d look after me, and I believe you.”
“I haven’t done a very good job so far.”
“That wasn’t your fault. You can’t be everywhere. That’s what my mother says – she can’t be everywhere, and anyway I need to learn to stand on my own two feet. I’ll be alright now.”
“Aren’t you scared—that everyone knows?”
“I’m….” Cyan faded. His shoulders slumped and he hung his head. “Yes,” he said softly. “I’m very scared.”
“There’s no need to be. I’m here. I’ll protect you.”
“Wanna bet?” Robin tried to make his voice light and Cyan glanced up,but dropped his eyes again.
“You can’t,” he repeated. “You can’t be with me all the time. We have different classes.”
“I’ll come get you. Walk with you.”
“You can’t do that. It’ll make things worse, and I don’t want you to be hurt too.”
“No one’s going to hurt me. I can stand on my own feet. There’s no one in this school I’m afraid of.”
“Maybe you should be.”
Robin laughed. “They’re not monsters, Cyan. What happened before was terrible, but it’s not going to happen here. It’s a good school, and the teachers will watch out for you. No one will hurt you.”
Cyan raised his face and regarded Robin thoughtfully. “You’re wrong,” he said softly.
“I’m not wrong. I promise. No one here will hurt you.”
Cyan shook his head. “You’re wrong.”
“How can you be so sure I’m wrong?” Robin said, slightly irritated by Cyan’s intractable attitude. “How do you know they’ll hurt you?”
“Because they already did.”
Robin sighed. “I know. I’m sorry. But they only pushed you. If you’re a little more…aware of what’s going on around you, you’ll be able to see trouble coming and avoid it.”
“Only pushed me ?” Cyan stared at him. “Only?” For a moment, he froze, making Robin feel uncomfortable, then he shook his head. “It’s okay, I’ll mange. I’d better get cleaned up.”
Robin was shocked when Cyan turned and walked away, fast, down the corridor. “Wait. Where are you going?”
“Oh. Okay.” Robin hurried to catch up. “I’ll help you clean up.”
“Don’t need you to. It’s only mud.”
“Cyan, please, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean—”
“Hi Robin,” a girl said as they passed. “Lover’s tiff?”
“Shut up,” he growled over his shoulder.
“Hey, gay boy,” someone else called. “See you’ve got a boyfriend.”
There were more comments and catcalls, and by the time they got to the toilet, Cyan was almost running.
Outside the doors, Robin spotted one of his friends. “Ben.” Ben turned and grinned.
“Hi. Is everything alright?”
“Nothing that won’t pass. Can you keep a watch out? Stop anyone coming in?”
Ben’s eyes widened and flashed to Cyan. “Is that wise?”
“What do you mean?”
“You know what people are saying about him. If you lock yourself away in the toilet with him…”
Cyan had already disappeared, and Robin moved closer to his friend. “It’s his first day, and he’s already been pushed in the mud.”
“I don’t know and if I find out I’ll be doing more than pushing them.”
“What’s with this guy? Why are you getting so protective? You know what people are going to say.”
“I don’t care what people say, or are going to say. For God’s sake, it’s his first day. It’s hard enough for anyone, but someone like him—”
“What do you mean?”
“He’s…different. He’s autistic, but that doesn’t mean he’s not normal. Well…I guess it kind of does but it’s in a good way, and he’s had a bad time. He was hurt in his last school – badly, and I’m not going to let that happen here.”
Ben held up his hands. “Alright, alright, I’m not the bad guy.”
Robin sighed. “I’m sorry. It’s just he’s been through a lot and I don’t want him to be hurt here. It was supposed to be a new start for him, and I’ve screwed it up already.”
“Gillian has. Where do you think the rumours started?”
“Sometimes I wonder what you’re doing with that bitch.”
“So did I; so I’m not.”
“You’ve split up?”
“About bloody time. Not great timing though.”
“What do you mean?”
“You break up with your girlfriend, and start hanging around with a gay guy. What do you think?”
“Don’t give a fuck. I know what he is. I know what I am. Whatever.”
Turning his back on Ben, he walked into the bathroom, to find Cyan, with his shirt pulled out of his trousers, examining a bruise on his ribs.
Okay, time to go visit the other amazing bloggers to see what they have in store for us this week.
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