Friday, September 21, 2012
a long time ago
"See, its fine." Henry didn't know what was on Shan's mind, but Henry's mother wasn't going to make a big deal about him being here. "She's cool with..us. OK?"
But Shan wasn't exactly being a boyfriend at the moment. He was eating fried chicken as if it all needed to be eaten at the moment.
Henry kept eying Dorian thinking that was weird. How did he get here? And why? Was he a party crasher? At his mother's picnic? Not that it was much of a party. Just a few of Aidan's friends that he worked with. Henry wanted to invite Shan's parents but Shan wouldn't hear of it.
"What's wrong?" Shan finally asked when he finished his plate of food. Henry looked at Shan's paper plate of bones. That boy really liked chicken legs, and thighs, and even chicken breasts. Henry didn't know how to comment on that. Evidently, Shan appreciated his mom's food.
"I dunno, its just I..I thought Dorian would be with Derrick, but he's with Audrey's brother." Henry shrugged as he watched Dorian.
Shan pondered this, but he went to get a heap of chocolate cake instead.
"Derrick?" Chan chocked half a chunk of cake, licking the thick icing from his fingers. "You mean, from the theater?"
"Yeah." Henry squinted as if maybe this wasn't the best place to talk about his ex.
"He stays pretty much to himself, these days. Don't see him hanging out with..anybody." Shan shrugged.
Just then Aidan introduced Dorian to Henry and Shan as the back yard event progressed under the paper lanterns and a lingering late summer breeze. It didn't feel like fall at all, but Henry suddenly felt a chill.
Dorian talked about how he remembered, Henry, back in high school. He'd just started college. Shan kept the conversation neutral. He talked about how amazing the cake was. Had he tried it? Henry looked at Shan wondering if this was just nervous talk.
"How is high school?" Dorian asked. "I don't see any of my friends from there. I guess they are all busy."
"Yeah, but you were pretty popular? Weren't you?" Henry didn't mean to put him on the spot, but then maybe he meant too.
"No, not really." Dorian sort of laughed as if wasn't true. "I didn't, feel popular." He cleared his throat.
Henry felt a little sad for him then. It was odd being around Derrick's so called lover. Evidently, Derrick was just a shitty guy, all around.