Jonah - with a stupid smile on his face - hastened to go to the skate park where Cyrus should already wait for him. The two boys had met the day before, had spent some time at The Spoon and had decided to get together at the park the following day. Jonah - who knew that his best friend could be ill at ease in front of people he didn't know - offered Cyrus to go there early in the next morning so he could teach him some basics before other kids rolled in. Besides, Jonah had another helmet, a second pair of elbow pads and knee pads in his bag so that they could skateboard together as soon as Cyrus felt safe on his wheels.
Jonah couldn't help but beam with pride after seeing that Cyrus was wearing his Space Otters jersey: he was one of the few members of the team who earned it most because his crew wouldn't have gotten this far without Cyrus' tips and tricks. But Jonah also wondered why he was dressed in it: Cyrus had explained that he only carried it on important occasions. There was nothing exceptional today: the two of them just hanged out and had a good time.
The skate park was empty when they walked in there as Jonah expected.
Cyrus - who had already acquired the art of standing still on the board the first time Jonah taught him - kicked off. This was followed fast by a lesson in falling off but soon enough he was comfortable with standing on the moving board and rocking to get it going roughly to the desired direction.
Andi and Buffy are totally wrong about Cy: he's not as hopeless as they think. Yes, it's true he had been sick on a merry-go-round but maybe he had eaten something spoiled before. They should have more faith in him!
Jonah thought it was time to teach his vest friend how to do an ollie. They had still time before being alone together anymore.
"Cy," he said while approaching him, "stand still for a sec. How d' ya feel about learning your first trick?"
"Really?" Cyrus asked with a worried voice. "I ain't sure I could..."
"Don't worry," he reassured him. "It's an easy one. Besides, you trust me, right?"
So, after equipping with his protections, Jonah jumped on his board.
"Now," he explained to him while demonstrating the move, "what you gonna do is, like, get going a bit then do a little squat, jump up a little then kick down on the back of the board. Just make sure that you lift your front leg up so that your skateboard can pop up. Then level it out and land on it."
"Okay, I'm gonna try."
So Cyrus got on his board with more or less of confidence and then got going, squatted, popped his skateboard, proceeded to miss it as he put his feet down and almost fell. But Jonah who was at his side caught him so that Cyrus was in his arms.
Why did you blush all of a sudden? Jonah wondered when his friend was back on his feet.
"I told you I couldn't do it," Cyrus stated, his head down.
"It's okay, Cy. It's easy but you need more practice. It wasn't so bad for a first try though. And know I didn't do it the first time either."
"I don't believe you: you're just saying it to..."
"Your words are hurting me," Jonah who felt piqued by his friend's comment blurted. "I'd be a bad buddy if I lied to you."
"So-Sorry," Cyrus tried to salvage his mistake. "You've been honest with me all along."
"Don't worry, I'm over it."
So Cyrus - relieved - immediately jumped on the board and practiced the move until he succeeded in landing a decent ollie with Jonah's encouragement.
"Why don't you take a break? You totally deserved it, Cy."
His friend nodded so Jonah brought him to his favorite spot. Once seated, Cyrus opened his bag that contained amount of drinks and foods: it reminded Jonah of the first time his friend - and first fan - had offered his services to the frisbee team.
"I hope you had fun anyway," Jonah said while picking up some fruit juice and a cereal bar.
"Course, I always take a lot of pleasure with you. I wanna apologize again for calling you a liar. I was just trying to make you proud of me."
"I am, Cy. Like the other day. I still remember your words..."
"Yup," Jonah replied before quoting him. My all life I lived in a cloud of fear but today I was reckless, I stood on the edge and looked into the abyss."
Cyrus looked at him with great big round eyes.
"What? You were right: it was a milestone. I was glad to have done my part. Even if you scared the hell out of me when you fell in the bushes."
"You, you w-were w-wor..."
But Cyrus couldn't finish his sentence. Jonah noticed that he started being overwhelmed by his emotions so he came closer and hugged him.
"Course, I care about you."
And Cyrus - hearing his words - blushed once more.
"You're so nice. I'm sure other boys would have fun of me..."
"And they'd be totally wrong," Jonah said before adding. "They don't know how docious magocious you are."
Cyrus who went redder had the biggest smile on his face but had to pull through because Jonah was going to think he was weird - and he didn't want him to see that way - so he changed the subject. They spoke on a variety of topics for a while before their conversation turned to their friends who went on holiday.
"Well, Buffy texted me earlier: she made it okay. But I haven't heard from Andi. What about you?"
"Me neither, " Jonah replied with a hint of sadness. "But I'm not surprised..."
"What do you mean?" Cyrus asked, taken aback. "What's wrong?"
But Jonah didn't say anything and sighed loudly.
"I think I just haven't had any luck with girls," he eventually told Cyrus. "I was so glad that a girl like Amber was interested in me: she was my first girlfriend and I was so naive. I didn't realize that something was wrong about our relationship: I only did it when I met the three of you and even I didn't want to admit it first when Andi told me that she saw Amber with another boy..."
And it was the turn of Cyrus to hug him. Even if it was short-lived because he was afraid of telling Jonah how he felt. It wasn't the good time: he only needed his friend Cy-guy, even if it ripped him more and more inside. He had planned to come out to Jonah.
"But you're all right now. And Andi's not like Amber."
"Yeah, you're right: she's so sweet and so funny. But..."
Jonah lowered his head before finishing his sentence so Cyrus patiently waited that he mustered up his courage to carry on.
Are you afraid to tell me something that will upset me?
But Cyrus didn't say it aloud.
"I feel like I don't like Andi like that," he finally admitted without looking at Cyrus.
He shook his head before pausing again.
"But I don't understand how come... Do you remember the day I broke up with Amber?"
Cyrus nodded before saying yes because Jonah was still staring at his feet.
"It hurt me when Andi barely stopped to say hello that day. As if I was just a schoolmate . As if she didn't care about me anymore."
Cyrus remembered it well: he hadn't liked what Andi confessed that she was feeling better without Jonah in her life. Even if he got her after what she went through because of Amber's jealousy and Jonah's attitude. But, at the same time, he was sad for Jonah: he seemed lonely among Amber and the other guys and girls. That's why he waved at Jonah because he wanted to show him he still mattered to him. And Andi blamed him, almost accusing Cyrus to be on Jonah's side. But he didn't want to choose between Andi and Jonah because he liked them so much.
Cyrus kept that to himself too.
"I left The Spoon shortly after you two did: I wanted to have a serious talk with her while you were tying your shoe but I shied away and Amber caught up to me. We started arguing: she told me that Andi liked me more than a friend if she was turning her head to me and I denied without any real conviction before looking at you who were moving away."
Cyrus hid as well as he could his emotion after Jonah's words, wondered if the boy next to him was staring at him without realizing it but chased away that thought. His feelings were trying to decieve him.
He had also turned his head to Jonah but he was gone. He had felt some sadness while looking at the empty street.
"You okay, Cy?"
He tried to get his act together as quickly as possible but didn't have time to answer Jonah. Someone called him.
Cyrus immediately felt ill at ease in front of the new three kids - despite their friendly grin - so Jonah who put a good face decided to make introductions.
"Guys, let me introduce Cyrus to you."
"So," a blond boy with grey eyes and a slight French accent said, "this is the famous Cyrus you don't stop talking about. My name's Louis."
Cyrus couldn't help but stare at Jonah who nervously rubbed his neck.
"I'm Kane," a black-haired and dark-eyed guy then told him.
"Aaron," the third one with with black curly hair and green eyes just said before adding. "I thought you had to go on holiday last week, Jojo. Something happened?"
"Yeah, my dad did: he changed his mind again. But it doesn't matter since Cy-guy spends some time with me."
"And you guys, of course."
Cyrus couldn't but blush a bit. The boy called Kane seemed to notice without saying anything.
"Well," Louis asked, "what do you do here?"
"I'm teaching to do an ollie."
"He did a decent one."
"Really? Show us."
But Cyrus shook his head vigorously.
"Cmon, nobody's gonna make fun of you: you're Jojo's friend. We'd insult him if we..."
"Yeah, Cy. Show them how a good teacher I am."
Cyrus alternatively looked at Jonah and the three boys and then reluctantly equipped himself before going down the spot. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, viewed the steps and finally performed the trick. When he was done, he didn't hear laughters, only silence.
"And you said it was just decent?" Louis exclaimed. "It was pretty awesome! Do it again, please."
"Yeah," the other boys - including Jonah - exclaimed. "Please."
So, as if he was relieved of some weight, Cyrus performed the trick again. The four boys cheered him. All of them then returned to the spot and sat down.
The time passed quite pleasantly as Cyrus felt more and more comfortable with the three boys. Unlike Jonah who was more and more upset even if he didn't get why at first before noticing that Louis didn't stop glancing at Cyrus who glanced back and started blushing. Jonah didn't like that at all so he suggested to go skating. Jonah and the three boys immediately got up while inviting Cyrus to join them but he declined because he was sure he'd bother them - even if they assured him to the contrary - so he promised to go with them the next time. But Louis decided to stay with him so that he didn't feel lonely and offered to explain some of their moves. Jonah couldn't help but frown while the two boys were moving away but he needed to get his head in the right place and there was nothing like skateboarding.
So Cyrus and the blond boy took place along the way that they would follow through the park. Cyrus was totally excited: he was going to admire Jonah's skills. Kane soared first, then Aaron and Jonah finally dropped into the quarter-pipe. The line out of it brought him to the edge of the bowl, which was roughly kidney shaped. The goal was to gather speed, bank around the edge of the kidney bowl, then hop up on to a succession of rails that would take them to another series of banks and on to more obstacles. The distance between the place where the three boys had to go out of the kidney bowl and the bank up to the rails was short and at an arduous angle. It was possible to tell whether they were going to make it if they got a little air off the lip of the hump coming out of the bowl. Not making it meant bailing or having a terrible wipeout likely involving their head hitting metal rails.
The two of them quickly re-stationed themselves near the rails. Cyrus became more and more nervous because Jonah came out of the bowl so Louis tried to reassure him before putting his hand on his shoulder.
Jonah who saw the gesture didn't bail, began to panic and lost control. Louis - who knew what might happen to Jonah - immediately got up, leapt on the course, ran toward him and deftly plucked him from the board. Jonah clung to him while Louis ran a little ways before slowing down and putting him down on the grass. Cyrus - close behind the blond boy - helped him.
"What happened?" Aaron and Kane inquired when they joined the three of them.
"I got distracted," Jonah just replied while glancing at Cyrus and Louis very quickly.
"You know you have to be focused though: it's not the first time we do that course."
"I know," he answered while lifting his shirt up. "Just got a few scratches."
Cyrus couldn't help but blush - while his eyes lingered a bit on Jonah's lower back - before looking away.
"Thanks to Louis," Jonah reluctantly added after a few seconds of hesitation.
"You'll get some rest for now. Doctor's orders."
"As you wish," he said while taking off his protections and going back to his favorite spot.
Louis and Cyrus sat down next to each other - which depleased Jonah - while Aaron, Kane and Jonah took place in front of the two boys and started talking about everything and nothing until they returned to skating. Cyrus went with them as he had promised and because Louis wanted to teach him a new trick while the other boys were practicing on their side, except Jonah who decided to stay with Cyrus too.
I won't leave them on their own. I don't want anyone else but me to be close to Cy. I know it's selfish...
Or I'm... jealous? Whatever! It's true I like being around him: he makes me forget all my problems. It's also true I've never been so close to another boy. Not even to Aaron that I know since Kindergarten...
"Jonah, you're zoning out again?"
"No, I mean yes. Sorry, Cy. So ready to learn another trick?"
"Course, Jo sensei!"
"Well," Louis warned him, "look at me: it's called a frontside 180 but let me show you"
Then he jumped on his board: he positioned his feet as for an ollie, except that his back foot was at the end of the board, he then leant down and slightly twisted his shoulders before popping his board while putting its tail with his back foot so that he performed the move. He did it again more slowly before breaking down each step.
Cyrus was particularly pleased to be with Jonah and Louis who seemed to be interested in him. He thought that the blond boy with his breathtaking gray eyes and his shining smile looked amazing. He had still wondered if he was really gay after telling Buffy he had a crush on Jonah because no other boy drew his attention.
Yep... definitely gay.
He couldn't help but grin while looking at Louis who smiled back. After turning to Jonah, he noted that there was a hint of sadness in his eyes: he shouldn't understand what was going on. Maybe it was time to tell him the truth so he took his courage in both hands.
"Can I talk to you?" He asked nervously before turning to the blond boy. "Alone?"
Louis just nodded and moved away. Cyrus was preparing for several weeks: he had watched many coming out videos and had sought advice from his four parents who could provide the best answers as shrinks after coming out to them just before his bar Mitzvah. They accepted him as he was.
But he hadn't found the strength to come out to Andi and Jonah yet.
"Jonah," Cyrus said in all seriousness, "you're right when you tell me I'm one of a kind."
He paused before lowering his head and taking a deep breath.
"So are you in my heart."
Cyrus then looked up.