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hey bae

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I come up with this idea because the way I see it, it could go two ways: I cheer someone up, or I make someone flustered. Well. Or they're homophobic. But the other two are more likely so I do it anyway. I pick out my mark later in the day, when people are more awake and I'll probably get more of a rise out of that one person. When we get closer, I hold up my hand for a high five and he high fives me. I lace our fingers together so we're holding hands and say, "We're dating now; love you, bae". He flushes brightly, but neither of us actually let go until we have to. He turns around again once we're farther apart at the same time I do, and I wink at him as I walk away. He smiles slightly and turns back around.

The next day, it's almost the end of the school day when I hear a soft "hey bae" and feel a hand brush against mine. I look up to see the same guy walking away and smile.

It goes on for the next year or so, us bumping into each other and saying "hey bae". We never really talk save for those interactions, and I don't even know his name. It never fails to make me smile, though.

- - -

This morning is not going well at all. I wake up with a sense of dread and don't end up eating breakfast. I do pack myself a snack though, because I know I'm gonna get hungry. I grudgingly get on the bus and slide into some seat, hunching down and turning my music on.

I see him between second and third hour this year, as well as between fourth and fifth. He says "hey bae" as he walks past me and immediately changes course to walk alongside me when he catches my expression. He takes my hand and I let him.

"Hey, what's wrong?"

"I don't know. Today's just not a good day for me."

"What lunch do you have? We could sit together and talk, if you'd like. I have third today."

"Yeah, me too."

"Alright. So lunch?"

"Yeah."

"See you later, bae." He kisses my hand before letting go and that surprises me, and finally gets me to smile.

When I've purchased my lunch, I go down to the mall to look for him. I spot him in a little cranny on the steps and sit down next to him. We eat lunch fairly quickly in silence, and when we're done, he takes our garbage and goes to throw it away.

"Alright," he says as he comes back.

"What's your name? Do you wanna lay your head in my lap?" And surprisingly, I do wanna lay my head in the lap of some person I don't even know the name of. So I lay my head in his lap facing his belly, and his hand starts running soothingly through my hair.

"'M Morgan."

"Alright, Morgan. My name's Jason, and I'm gonna tell you a story." I nod, so he takes a deep breath before telling me the story. "Alright, it's not like I was a surprise baby, okay? My parents knew they were going to have me. They planned to have me. It's just that my mom's as bad a procrastinator as I am, and my dad refused to make decisions about me without her. So he didn't, and they just never got around to thinking about possible baby names. So she's just had me, alright? And the nurse is by her bedside, asking 'Do you have a name for your baby, ma'am?' and my mom panics and says 'Jason'. Why does she say Jason? Because the first thing that pops into her head is how July, August, September, October, and November spell out Jason. So when my dad's next to her again - he's squeamish around blood and pain and that type of thing - she goes 'meet Jason' and my dad's kinda curious, y'know, wondering why his son's named Jason. He doesn't know of any family member named Jason. And when I can come home a coupl'a days later, it's the dead of night and I'm cryin' my head off and neither of them can sleep and my mom just goes 'he's named after the months' and my dad just kinda chokes on his spit and she starts laughing at him and goes 'I know, right?' And that's the story of how I was named after the months. The end." I start laughing and he grins.

"I'm afraid I'm not named after anything. My mom just thought it was a pretty name." He chuckles a little.

"So, Morgan, my bae, what's wrong? What's got you down in the dumps? Do you need to talk about it? Do you want me to shut my mouth?" I smile and shake my head.

"Nah. You can keep talking. Love your voice. 10 out of 10. 11 out of 10. It's nothing in particular. Just woke up feeling gross and I've kinda adjusted my mood to match that."

"Aww that's no fun. Tell you what. I give you my number, you give me yours, and you call me anytime you need. Anytime. Text me, if that makes you more comfortable. Facetime me. As long as you have someone to talk to when it gets bad. Okay?" He takes out his phone and opens it up to his contacts, handing it to me, and I do the same with mine. He inputs his name as 'Jason (Bae)' and opens up the take photo option.

"Come on, you gotta get in the picture, so it looks like a typical bae picture." I snort and push myself up, squishing my face next to his. We both grin widely and do it again for his phone, in which I have entered my name as 'Morgan (Bae)'. The bell rings and he sighs.

"Alas, I will be returning shortly to a life without the bae. How ever shall I live? Walk you to class?" I nod and we both get up, heading towards my class. When we get there, he kisses my cheek and says "bye bae" before strolling away. He's very different from that kid that blushed like crazy when I pulled that move. I'm very different from the kid that pulled that move.

- - -

I don't eat lunch alone anymore, because it turns out we have the same lunch schedule.

- - -

School hasn't started yet, so I'm just walking loops inside the building. I don't have my music on because I forgot my headphones at home today, so I'm just kinda lost in thought. I hear a voice behind me say "hey bae" and turn around to see Jason. He's toting a white piece of paper and I head towards him. The paper says "I don't wanna be all bae myself. Hoco?"

"I -- is this for me?"

"Sorry. I didn't wanna waste a big poster paper," he says sheepishly.

"No oh my god this is good. No, yeah I'll go. I'll go with you to hoco."

"Really?" he exclaims excitedly, eyes widening.

"Yeah! I mean I've just stayed away from it on principle, but I could go with you."

"I . . . haven't paid for tickets yet, so we could skip out and do our own thing, like go watch a movie, or walk around somewhere, or chill at one of our houses."

"Hey, whatever you want, Jay." He blushes at the nickname.

"Flowers for you, bae." He holds out three red roses that I didn't even notice him holding, and I accept them graciously. "I didn't wanna do anything all out so we could use the money on something better later, or something. And these are thornless roses, so no harm there."

"Awwwww oh my god thanks so much. You're so wonderful. Don't know what I'd do without you." He throws his arm across my shoulders and pulls me closer. I don't think I even noticed him getting taller than me.

- - -

We do end up not going to homecoming. We never bought tickets and instead have a sleepover at his house. We spend the majority of the time on the couch, me cuddled into his side, watching movies on the tv. His family stays out of our way because his mom informed them that this is our homecoming and they aren't to bother us. We order a pizza and end up sleeping like that on the couch. My last thought before I fall asleep is how lucky I was to have high-fived this kid, out of all the people I could've chosen.