Whenever Chad looks at Ryan, he feels his stomach do strange acrobatics. He thinks his heart skips a beat and flies out of his chest. His voice goes slightly raspy, and he blames it on a cold he never had. Troy asks him what’s up with him and Ryan, and Chad says nothing; he just shrugs and walks in the other direction.
Whenever Ryan looks at Chad, he thinks that he’s grown a pair of wings; he feels a thousand times lighter than a moment ago. He feels like he’s bought fifty brand-new, sparkling hats, or done a thousand and one jazz squares. His eyes begin to sparkle, and he tells Sharpay that it’s just the thought of beating Troy and Gabriella in the next Musicale. Sharpay screeches at him when he spaces out during their auditions, and he blames it on not having enough caffeine earlier that day.
Whatever Chad does, he somehow always links it to Ryan. When he’s playing basketball with Troy, Zeke and Jason, it’s because Ryan’s occupied with rehearsals. If he happens to be hanging out with Taylor at the café a few blocks away from the school, then Ryan had to stay in school an hour later to work with the Ms. Darbus on the writing essay he failed in English.
Whatever Ryan does, he can’t stop thinking about big, fluffy hair like clouds and dark skin the color of rich chocolate. He wonders if that hair is as fluffy as it looks, or if that skin tastes anything like chocolate. Sharpay asks him to go to the mall with her and her Sharpettes, and he only agrees to because Chad went on another date with his girlfriend.
Chad doesn’t know why, but whenever Ryan comments on how hot Troy looked without a shirt on in basketball practice later on when it’s just the two of them, hanging out, his jaw clenches, his hands make fists, and his chest tightens in a painful way. He thinks that the room is covered in a green haze, because that’s the color he sees.
Ryan doesn’t know why, but he feels like he wants to curl up in a corner and cry his eyes out whenever Taylor give Chad a cutesy little peck on his cheek. He thinks to himself that Chad deserved so much better, that Chad could get so much better, and wonders whom Chad would choose.
Chad meets up with Troy one day, his old and trusting basketball slung in one arm, prepared for a game of one-on-one. Instead, Troy surprises him by asking him to sit down on his backyard grass ground. He says, “Chad, we should talk.”
Ryan is busy with painting his sister’s toenails a sparkling pink, ever so delicately stroking the paint on with the applicator brush, when he thinks that Sharpay will complain that he’s not doing it right. Instead, Sharpay surprises him by asking him to stop for a moment, taking the nail polish away from her brother. She says, “Ryan, We should talk.”
Chad says “No,” offering his hand to his longtime best friend who sits on the ground, looking up at him with surprised blue eyes. “Let’s play some b-ball.”
Ryan says “No,” frowning as he snatches the nail polish back and resumes his job as her pedicurist. “Do you want another coat of sparkles?”
Chad knows what Troy wants to talk about. He wants to know why Chad was nowhere to be found during last night’s after-party. Chad knows that if he talks to Troy about it right now, he’ll feel like he was forced into telling his best friend that he’s gay and that he made out with the Ice Princess’ twin brother. He knows that he’s not ready for that.
Ryan knows what Sharpay wants to talk about. She wants to know why her brother wasn’t there by her side as she insulted the Wildcats-and-Company with scathing and petty remarks. Ryan knows that if he talks to Sharpay about it right now, she’ll screech out in shock and won’t talk to him for a long time, something that the two of them don’t need since the Winter Musicale is days away. He knows that they’ll be ruined on stage if he tells her.
The next day at school, Chad and Ryan meet up in front of Homeroom, both smiling slightly at each other. They enter the room together, the only other occupant being Ms. Darbus, and sit in their assigned seats. Chad turns to Ryan and says, “I think Troy knows. He tried to get it out of me yesterday, but…”
“But he said no,” Troy sighed woefully to his girlfriend, who rubbed his arm soothingly.
“But he said no!” Sharpay huffed to her three-person audience. Emma, Jackie, and Lea, all clad in identical blue outfits, bobbed their heads apologetically.
“We’ll have to talk to them eventually though,” Ryan sighed. He had skipped Drama Club, Chad basketball practice, for this: the two of them were pressed up together, panting slightly from past events, inside of a janitor’s closet.
“Eventually,” Chad smirked saucily, pulling Ryan’s face back to his for another kiss. “Not now.”
- Current Mood: artistic