When they were younger...
'I'm not gay'
'I don't wear dresses!'
'Father, believe me! What they said were wrong!' little Ethan said as he kneeled on the salt scattered all over the floor that his father had prepared for him.
"Ethan my son, I won't be mad at you if you'll tell me. Father will accept you even if you are a gay" Ethan's father said smoothly. Ethan cried loudly as he raised his head to meet his father's lonely eyes.
"Why won't you believe me? The kids were trying to bully me." Ethan said as he sobbed. His shoulders were shaking as his knees began to collapse.
"It was Center's doing that the kid's started believing I was gay. I won't lie to you, father. If I was gay, I would definitely tell you. But I swear I'm not." Ethan cried. His father looked at him and asked seriously, "For one last time, you tell me the truth."
"I'm not gay" Ethan stated. Ethan's father sighed and told Ethan to stand and sit on the sofa. His father aided hid knees as Ethan decided to speak.
"Maybe it's him." Ethan said softly. Ethan's father frowned as he didn't understand what Ethan was saying. The old man looked at his pityful son and asked him.
"Tell me, son" The old man said which made the tiny boy cried silently and remained bowing his head.
"Cent was being ridiculous. I noticed he... He would randomly touch my hair longer than he usually do. He would lean closer to me like he was about to kiss me. He would frighten me by hugging me tightly from the back." Ethan said while his hands were shaking. His father noticed the sadness from his son's eyes.
"When he teaches me piano, he would not let go of my hand. He said he wanted to play the whole song while holding hands. He sometimes lay on my lap and stare at my face for a long time. He even kissed my neck once when he was teaching me how to play guitar." Ethan said while shaking. The old man's eyes widened as he finally understood the situation his son had been going through. Ethan didn't want to tell his father about what Center has been doing to him but he didn't want his father to get angry at him. About Center doing those stuffs to Ethan, it didn't bother Ethan that much. He thought that maybe Center just loved doing those things to him since they were super close.
Ethan's father felt his son was humiliated and abused by the elite child. The bullying got worse and Ethan lost interest in going to school. Why would he go there when all he ever received were insults and disgusts from the other kids? His father got even involved and was called by the teachers because Ethan was always in trouble. Ethan's father didn't know what to do, so he decided to live with his son to another place. Right after Ethan and his father left the place where Center and all the bullies were living, they had a normal and simple life.
Ethan reached high school as a typical high school boy until he met Center again. The moment he saw Center inside his classroom who was looking for Khein, he didn't know what to do. Ethan proved himself to his father long time ago that the accusations for his sexuality were proven wrong. When Ethan accepted Center's request to bring their long lost friendship back, he didn't expected it to be the same way again. Ethan believed that when he made friends with Center again, he won't feel guilty for leaving him suddenly before. And right after they become normal friends, Ethan would stay away from Center with no guilt. That was his plan as part of growing up.
But everything turned out the way Ethan didn't expected it to be. Center was being a disturbance and Ethan thought he was acting childish again.
"Hey Eeth, if you were given a chance to give this bracelet to me back then, what would you have said to me?" Center asked as Ethan folded Center's wet clothes.
"Hmm, too bad I already forgot what I wanted to say back then" Ethan answered with a straight face. Center pouted as he tried to avoid reminding Ethan about the negative events that has happened in the past.
"Then, what do you want to say now?" Center asked with a curious face as he stared at Ethan who was currently preparing for dinner. Center has been spending the rest of the day following Ethan everywhere.
"Nothing, really" Ethan said which made Center felt a little bit disappointed. He expected Ethan to say the he missed the spoiled brat or that he waited for that moment to come where Center would chase after him. Center was too confident about that thought, he forgot that the little Ethan before no longer exists.
"I think I should go home" Center said as he placed the wet clothes inside the plastic bag. He planned to go to a laundry shop before going home from Ethan's house.
"You can have your dinner here and also you can leave your clothes there, I'll wash and return them to you" Ethan offered but Center declined his offer.
"Charles is waiting for me. He said he'll make our dinner tonight" Center lied. His uncle was out of the country and he was planning to have a dinner outside.
'Maybe a burger and cola will do' Center thought as he left Ethan's house. Ethan prepared the dinner and decided to bring food for his father at the shop. The old man greeted his son with a smile as they both had their dinner inside the shop.
'Hey Eeth, if you were given a chance to give this bracelet to me back then, what would you have said to me?' Ethan suddenly remembered Center's question. The truth, he never forgot what he wanted to say back then. If Ethan happened to say those words, that would just have made the situation even worse. Ethan was glad he wasn't able to say them until now.
'Happy birthday Center! Please be my best friend until the very end. I really like you as my friend. I wish we would grow up together and make our dreams come true. I want to grow old with you. You're my only friend. You gave me a chance to touch my dreams and helped me play them properly. Please teach me more about music in the future!'
Ethan smiled as he remembered every word he used to practice everyday for Center's upcoming birthday. As Ethan ate with his father, he thought, "I'm glad I was not able to deliver it. It would really disgust him no matter how I looked at it. He would really thought that I was gay then."
"You really make good meals, son" Ethan's father said with a smile. Ethan wondered if Center's uncle could make good meals for his nephew too.
"Thanks, father" Ethan replied and ate his dinner peacefully.
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