"I wanna go somewhere.", Michael looked over to where Jeremy was sitting. The scrawny boy was looking back at him expectantly, hands fidgeting with unresolved energy.
"What?" Michael muttered back in question. He had been lounging on his bed, lazily scrolling through whatever social media sites he had on his phone when Jeremy had suddenly disrupted the comfortable blanket of silence.
Jeremy smiled excitedly, "Lets go do something! We could go to the mall and get some chili fries, or we could just, like, go find some abandoned building and see if it's haunted. I just want to go out." He bounced in his seat, unable to sit still.
Michael mulled it over silently, he probably had enough gas money to go wherever they wanted and not end up stranded, and it's not like he really had any other plans for the two of them. He had figured that they would just play video games or watch dumb reality shows or something, since that's what they usually ended up doing when they were together. Perhaps a change of pace will be fun.
"Yeah, sure, maybe we can pick up a new game to play tonight." He nodded, thinking through all of the nearby places that could have been of potential interest.
Jeremy cheered, hopping up to go get dressed. Michael quickly began the search for his wallet and keys as he pondered where they should go. He grumbles to himself as he thinks about the how they had recently closed down the FYE in their local mall. That had been the only store he tended to visit willingly, and it was also where he usually got most
of his movies. He did a quick search on google maps on his phone to see if they had another location nearby, and found that the nearest one seemed to be in some mall that was three hours away.
Jeremy scampered back into the room as Michael was shoving his wallet into his hoodie pocket. After ten minutes of rummaging around his cluttered belongings, he had finally found it on top of his dresser, behind some empty water bottles that he couldn't be bothered to throw away.
"So, where are we going?" Jeremy asked, rocking idly on the balls of his feet in anticipation. Michael felt a small smile tug at his lips at the other boys constant fidgeting. Michael knew that occasionally there would be random days where Jeremy seemed to be bursting with energy. Those were the days where Jeremy would be overwhelmed by the urge to adventure. He would always want to go somewhere new, which he generally did through Michael. Despite being half way through their senior year, Jeremy still had yet to learn to drive, let alone acquire a license, which meant that if he wanted to go anywhere he would generally beg Michael until he drove him wherever he wanted to go. Truthfully, Michael didn't mind in the slightest. He enjoyed any time he spent with his boyfriend, even if it's spent with him driving to the next town over in the dead of night just because Jeremy couldn't sleep and wanted to go get frozen yogurt.
"Well," Michael started, huffing as he shuffled through the clutter on his bookshelf in search of his keys, "apparently there's some mall a couple hours away with an FYE, you up for that?"
"Definitely, dude. I have your keys, they were on the bathroom counter, you should really keep up with these, man. You literally always loose them." He smirked, tossing the keys to the other boy.
"Shut up, nerd, at least I can actually drive. Let's go." Michael grumbled, despite feeling his face heat slightly at the thought of how domestic this all felt.
Jeremy smiled back smugly, sauntering out of the room. "Don't forget your phone, Honey Bunches o' Oats." He called over his shoulder, his voice bubbling with laughter.
"Wow Jeremy, that's pretty gay, bro." Michael called back, swiftly stuffing his phone in his pocket with his wallet. He made sure to grab his headphones as he left the room, pulling them on around his neck.
Jeremy snorted, "Only for you, bro. No homo tho."
Michael swiftly pulled the drivers side door of his PT cruiser open, tossing his backpack and headphones into the back before sliding into the seat, yanking the door closed behind him. After a bit of bickering in the kitchen, Jeremy had managed to convince Michael to bring drinks and snacks for later, just in case. Michael shoved his keys into the ignition, turning it so that the air con and radio started up, but not quite starting the car yet. He pulled out his phone, typing the malls address into google maps and setting their route. He tossed the device to Jeremy, starting up the car.
It had become a sort of ritual between the two, Michael would drive Jeremy wherever he wanted to go, and Jeremy would lounge in the passenger seat while muttering out directions from one of their phones. Michael began pulling out of the driveway and Jeremy fiddled with the radio, cranking up the volume as he selected a song from one of the various CD's currently in the player.
Michaels car was pretty old, which meant he didn't have an aux cord, but he did have a CD player that held six CDs at a time, so it kind of made up for it. The only thing was, it tended to limit the variety of songs they could listen too, and they had to buy actual albums if they wanted more music. They usually listened to a couple of old Bob Marley CDs that Michael has had for years, occasionally mixing it up with a variety of random albums that Jeremy had given him over time. Sometimes he would show up with albums that he bought mostly as a joke, like the Hawaiian wedding music and the 'Spooky Noises' album. They never listened to them, of course, but Michael kept them regardless. He had a special stash of Jeremy's albums stored in the cars console.
Michael was pulled from his thoughts as Jeremy starts spouting out the directions as the appeared on the phone. They chattered to each other idly as they wove through weird back roads, eventually ending up on a weird mini highway that felt like it was taking them to the middle of nowhere.
"Now just go straight for a while." Jeremy said, clicking the phone off temporarily. Michael assumes that 'a while' probably meant more than 30 minutes, because Jeremy just turned up the volume of the radio so that they could sing along with the music to pass time.
Michael had discovered fairly early on that Jeremy's method of directing him generally meant that he would tell him what he needed to do, when he needed to do it. He didn't really like to give much unnecessary warning like the app did, he usually would just call out 'you need to turn at the next left' or 'you should probably get into the other lane because you need to go right at the turn after this one'. Actually, Michael is kind of surprised at how well it usually works, it was amazingly easy to follow the directions that Jeremy gave him, and he secretly loved how well they worked together when it came to driving. Growing up, Michael's parents had always ended up fighting when they took road trips or vacations, so when Michael thinks about how him and the other teen cooperate so well it makes his heart swell with affection.
Michael continued singing idly to the music, his thoughts drifting as he zoned out. Michaels mind would often begin to wander when they were on freeways or highways and he didn't have to worry about turning or stopping at lights and stop signs.
Michael lets his mind drift to the boy sitting beside him, and the relationship between them. Michael and Jeremy had begun officially dating not long after the SQUIPcident. Jeremy had realised that what he had felt towards Christine was admiration, rather than romantic attraction, so they ended up agreeing to just remain friends. The lanky boy had ended up agreeing to date his best friend a couple weeks after that.
Michael thinks about how they had ended up getting together. There hadn't been any dramatic confessions of their undying love for each other like you see in movies and books. It had, honestly, been much like one of their usual exchanges. He remembers that events that had taken place before then, events that ultimately ended up leading to them getting together.––
After his only friend had begun ignoring him for no apparent reason, Michael had started to become emotionally overwhelmed, he no longer had his other half to vent to when he was upset, which inevitably lead to him struggling to keep it together on his own.
In an attempt to help himself when he was feeling especially upset, Michael began writing letters to Jeremy. He never intended to give the letters to the other boy, he wasn't even really writing them to the real Jeremy, it was more like a cheap attempt at a substitute for how he used to always be able to turn to his friend for the support he needed when he was having trouble.
Michael had reached a point where he would write letters every day. He would write about what he had been up too in the time since he had last seen Jeremy, usually when class was boring and he didn't feel like paying attention, he would write out how angry and sad and lonely he was whenever a day was particularly bad. On the days when he felt especially alone, he would write about how much he missed his other half. He would write out how much he cares about the other boy and how he felt about him, he would lament on how he regretted not telling him how much he really meant to him while he had the chance.
One day in particular, Michael had been feeling especially rough. He had been tripped while walking in the hallway, causing his binder to spill everywhere as the onlookers laughed at him for falling. Then when he opened his locker he had been presented with a pile of harsh notes that had been shoved through the slots on the door. The notes had been mostly threats and slurs, and the teachers did nothing the help when Michael had been cornered and beaten up in the hallway after lunch.
He remembers how he had passed out from one of the blows that had managed to knock his head against the linoleum floor especially hard, and how he woke up half way through the class period, limply dragging himself to his economics class, only to receive a detention for being late. No one said anything about the drying blood from his nose and the bruises blossoming on his skin.
He felt more alone that day than he had in years. It was then that he wrote a particularly emotional letter, in which he poured out his heart and confessed how he was probably in love with Jeremy, and how he missed him more than anything. Michael had written the letter in Tagalog, as he often did with the more sensitive ones (just in case someone managed to get their hands on them) and then he folded it up and shoved it into an old shoebox that had contained some of Jeremy's things that had been left behind at Michaels house over the years.
Michael had forgotten about the note by the time the Halloween party rolled around. After the night, he stopped writing the letters.
Michael began to give up hope that Jeremy and him would ever regain their old relationship. Michael had started trying to get rid of any reminders he had of the other boy, which is why he drove to Jeremy's house at 4 a.m. in order to leave the shoebox of stuff outside of Jeremy's front door. Not like he was gonna be needing and of Jeremy's stuff at his place anytime soon.
Fast forward too not long after everything when down at the play, and they had finally been able to go back to normal. One night had Jeremy suddenly sent him a text about the letter that had been forgotten in the shoebox.
J: 'hey dude I've been meaning to ask,,, what's up with this note that you gave me? I mean,, I can't really read it but I guess I could like google translate it or somethin'
Michael felt his heart seize as he reread the lines of text. He never meant for Jeremy to see any of the notes, let alone the one that had the biggest probability of screwing up their relationship again.
M: 'ah, that wasn't meant 4 u, it was just smthn I wrote ages ago, don't even bother translating it, haha'
The boy desperately hoped that Jeremy would just drop the subject and succumb to his laziness.
Michael felt uneasy.