Corey Silvers looked over at the gaggle of girls beside the football field and couldn't help but feel annoyed. 'What did they see in those assholes?' Corey had never held respect for the football players. He didn't think he ever would either. In his mind, it was never okay to torment others for any reason. The day that Corey saved David Leeber, the school's biggest flamer, from the football team's plan of dunking him in the men's room toilets, Corey decided he was never going to be able to have respect for any of them.

Corey walked into the school and was instantly greeted by several guys and girls, none of which he was friends with. Since the premiere of "Empty Spaces" Corey had found himself turned into a celebrity, quite unwillingly. He loved acting, but he couldn't stand the fakeness of it. He knew that if it weren't for the show, most of these people wouldn't be talking to him, let alone trying to be friends with him. Through the crowd of faces, Corey saw the one person at the school that he genuinely liked.

Lauren Greenwood had been Corey's best friend since school, when she decided that she was going to have him as her boyfriend whatever the cost. A couple tries later, and with the help of maturity, she realized that three was much too young of an age to have a boyfriend, and was content being just friends. They clicked instantly, and have been friends since.

As Corey fought his way through the crowded hallway towards him, he noticed her laughing. "Okay, this is NOT funny; I can't even go to the bathroom without having an escort. Seriously, stop laughing." Lauren grinned, showing her perfect teeth. Having parents who were both dentists gives you that advantage. "Corey, I can't help it, honestly you'd laugh too if you saw the way these lemmings idolized you!" When Corey didn't smile, she just said "Fine, I'll stop, but what's with you grumpy pants?"

This time Corey did smile. "Grumpy pants? Are you serious right now? You couldn't think of a better name for me than what you used to call me in pre-school? You'd think that by now your vocabulary might have increased just a tad. But whatever, I'm just annoyed, like I don't understand the girls that go to our school. Do you swoon when you see a guy on the football team? You'd think they had just been voted the sexiest men alive or something, and even then, I don't think George Clooney could bring this much contented sighing." Lauren gave him a look. "Clearly I don't, I have almost as little respect for them as I do a vocabulary. But what's this about, are you a little jealous that you're not getting the attention?" Lauren saw the face Corey made when she said that and added "okay, I was kidding, but seriously, why do you care? Like honestly we have a little bit less than a year left with these people before we're off to school, you shouldn't let it bother you so much."

Corey sighed and nodded his head. Both of them had written their ACT's in the summer, Corey in California, and had both been granted early acceptance to schools in California. Lauren was off to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, while Corey was going to UCLA both in Los Angeles. Next fall they would both be enjoying the sunshine and snow-free landscape of Cali. Neither of them could wait to get away either. "Listen, I know I shouldn't let it bother me, but I just can't get my head around it. Why is it that guys like Travis Keeler and Josh Woodman, both of whom have the equivalent of half a brain cell on a good day, and who both decide it's fun to dunk people's heads in the toilets, have this rally of girls around them all day who only want to lose their v-cards to them? Like what is wrong with the world? But what bothers me more than all of that is Seth Johnson. He is the worst of them, he may not join in when they're picking on the gay guys like David, or the geeks, or the not-so pretty girls, but he stands by and lets it happen. That's a million times worse. There is no excuse for that. How is it that every girl, well, all of them except for you, wants to sleep with someone who has no backbone? He has no courage to stand up for what's right, and that's what pisses me the fuck off. People like Seth Johnson are the worst people in the world. They see Evil being done and they do nothing about it!"

Lauren looked at the expression on Corey's face and couldn't help but laugh. "Wow, so tell me how you really feel!...Let me guess, you're going to march on Ottawa and protest and make people sign petitions forcing people to act if they see something that's morally wrong? Michaela Church's makeup is morally wrong, should I start putting up posters about the evils of too much cover-up? Seriously, lighten up, you're starting to get me down, and that is virtually impossible. Come on, the bell just rang, let's go to class."

Corey loved foundations of law. He knew that he wanted to be either a lawyer, or have something to do with politics, if ever acting didn't work out. He and Lauren were both in that class, and they both enjoyed it. Lauren's step-dad would always help them out if they had any questions. Owning a multi-billion dollar business, he had learned much about the laws that govern the nation, and also had had a Premier as his father, so he knew a lot about politics. It was quite an advantage for them, as they had never had a grade below an A before, the only two in the entire class except for Kristina Faddem, the quietest girl in school. She was in competition with Corey, Lauren, Seth Johnson, and Julie Campbell for Valedictorian of their year. She was a nice girl, but kept mostly to herself. She spent most of her time doing homework and studying for class. She wasn't as naturally gifted as the others, but she made up for it in hours of working to understand.

At lunch the two sat together in the cafeteria, talking about their morning classes, laughing about how Mr. Montag had fallen asleep today in class while teaching. "I don't know why he doesn't just retire;" Lauren said "he's been teaching here for almost 40 years. He has to have enough money by now, and judging by the way he yells and screams most of us, it's not because he enjoys it. It's probably more because he wouldn't know what to do with himself if he retired." Corey laughed. "Seriously, he is one of the most miserable teachers I've ever had. Like, he's really good, but he's just unpleasant." They continued talking for awhile, and when they heard the bell ring signalling class beginning again, they got up and headed for their lockers.

As they were walking down the hallway, Corey remembered something he had meant to tell Lauren earlier. "So, do you remember me telling you that Kyle called? Well, I finally got the courage to call him back to see what he wanted...you'll never guess what it is!" Kyle Smith was Corey's ex-boyfriend. They had broken up two years ago, after a really great three year relationship, only because Kyle was moving away. Corey had been really upset about it, but Kyle was moving to Halifax, and maybe long-distance could have worked, but that's if they were a couple of towns over. Halifax was half-way across the country, there was no way that relationship was going to work. They decided to cut their losses and break up. "Oh my god, yeah, I forgot! What did he say?" Corey opened his locker as he thought of how to put this. "Basically, he said he's moving back here to stay, and he wants to meet up and talk about everything. I'm a little nervous, it's been so long!" Lauren looked at her friend. She only wanted him to be happy. She knew that there was something that he wasn't telling her. She looked into his face "What's wrong? What aren't you telling me?" Corey grabbed his books and closed his locker again. He reached down and grabbed his bag again. "Ok, well I'm not really sure exactly what to say. I don't know anything else. But he told me that he has big news for me, and he wants to tell me in person. I have no idea what it is, and I was too scared to ask him if it was bad. I was shocked that we were talking at all, it's been so long!"

 

Lauren understood, it had been a long time. They had only ever talked to each other over the phone for the first few months. After a while, it was just MSN and a letter every now and then. A phone call if something major had happened. In the last couple of months, it hadn't even been that, it was just MSN, and only every once in a while, and maybe a birthday letter if they remembered. "So, when does he want to meet up?" She was wondering if he would want her to come with him. She wouldn't really want to. Corey scratched the scruff growing on his chin, wishing he was allowed to shave. For his role on the show, he had to look as scruffy as possible. One haircut every four months or so was all he could do, and even then only a trim. And he could forget about shaving, he was allowed to make sure he didn't get a full-on beard, but the scruff was there to stay. "Well...he actually said he wanted to meet up soon...like today..."

Lauren and Kyle had never seen eye-to-eye. It just seemed as though she had lost a best friend when they started dating. They used to hang out all the time, and then it just started becoming less and less often. Corey would always be with Kyle. It got so bad that Lauren almost had to schedule times to see her best friend. She couldn't believe the position she had been put in. She was happy for him that he found someone that loved him, and that he loved back, but at what cost did it come to her? She was only partially sincere when she told him how sorry she was that Kyle had to leave him to go to Halifax. She was kind of glad that she was getting her friend back. And at first he was just moping around, and wouldn't even leave the house, but eventually with the help of her boyfriend Matthew, they managed to get him back to normal. She was worried that if Kyle came back, it would all happen all over again. She didn't want to sound like she was being jealous or unfair, but in reality, she really wasn't.

Corey hadn't seemed to notice that he was seeing less and less of his best friend. He also hadn't noticed that she was becoming more and more upset. All he saw was this beautiful man that he had fallen in love with. When Kyle had moved, Corey didn't realize that he was seeing a lot more of Lauren, which was a really big difference...he only knew that he was seeing nothing of Kyle.

"Ok, so he wants you to see him today?" Lauren was a little upset that Kyle was springing this on her best friend a little bit too quickly. "Please tell me you couldn't see him until at least the weekend..." Corey looked up into her face. He noticed the concern, but he couldn't see the hints of anger "Well...haha...actually I told him that I had spare last period, and I could leave early to see him for a late lunch kind of thing." Lauren's eyes widened to the verge of popping out of their sockets. "You told him what? You haven't seen an inch of this guy in two years, and you're about to just see him on a whim? Jesus Corey, he still has you whipped!" Thinking it was a joke, Corey laughed. "Oh Lauren, you remember the way he would smile at me? It was as if every problem that I ever had just melted away. I wasn't whipped, I just did whatever he told me to do whenever he told me to do it...there is a difference, I swear!" Lauren laughed, trying to push her anger aside. "Ok, well do you want me to blow off class to come with you? Cuz I will, I love you enough that as a friend, I am willing to give up the pleasure of another 75-minute calculus lecture from Mrs. Kilburn, just so that I can back you up if you need me." Corey laughed, "Haha, no, don't worry about it. I got this. I'm sure it's just going to be us catching each other up on our lives. It's going to be awkward probably, but I want to see him. And, there's always the idea that he wants to get back together. I know it's been two years, but I haven't moved on. And if he's moving back for good, then he probably hasn't either. We were perfect for each other, the only reason we broke up is cuz of the move. Actually, I'm kind of hoping that's what he's going to say. I really don't think he wants to meet me right now just so that he can ask me how school's going. And he has to be single; I mean we both know he doesn't do long distance. What else could it possibly be?"

"Yah, I guess...but just promise me you won't do something stupid like fall head-over-Prada-heels for him again if he isn't single. You'll only end up getting hurt. But good luck, and if he fucks with you, then I fuck with him, but I'm sure it'll be fine" Lauren said this with a smile, but behind her back were both her hands, fingers crossed.

"Ok, well thanks Lauren, I'm going to head over now then, I'll see you tonight for our sups date, Artruro's, right? God I love Italian food...and boys haha! Alright, ciao bella!"

Corey gave Lauren a quick hug and walked out towards the parking lot; Lauren shook her head, gave a small smile, and walked to class.

As Corey hopped into his metallic blue Jeep, he couldn't help but get a little nervous. The thought of seeing Kyle after all this time was giving him goose bumps. He put his favourite CD into his stereo and blasted his favourite car-bumping song. "Fire" by Joe Budden was his favourite for several reasons. First because as a gay guy no one would ever think that he listened to rap music. Second, because this well dressed prep was no fool when it came to driving, and he knew exactly how to roll to his beats. The loud music and awesome beat, mixed with the wind through his hair as he drove 20 over the speed limit made him feel a little calmer. He had to cross town to get to the coffee shop where he was meeting Kyle, and the drive gave him time to clear his head.

While Corey was parking his car, he looked around the almost empty lot. He noticed that Kyle's orange Pontiac Sunfire was not yet there. He wasn't sure if this was good, because it meant that he had more time to calm himself, or bad because he had more time to panic. He walked in, and decided to get a coffee while waiting. He ordered his usual Iced Cafe Latte, and sat down at his regular table. He noticed two girls at the next table looking over at him. Corey was used to fans of the show blatantly staring at him without realising, so he just smiled and waved. One of the girl's faces went bright cherry red and she had to turn around. The other girl waved so violently that she toppled over her drink, and she yelped as the hot coffee burnt her skin. Corey laughed a little as she ran off to the bathroom, and he walked over to the table and helped the other girl clean up.

As Corey walked back over to his table, he looked up and saw the orange car come bounding into the parking spot right beside his Jeep. Getting a little nervous now, Corey sat down quickly and tried to calm himself down again. He practically stared as Kyle got out of the car. No one could deny that Kyle was one of the best looking guys that had ever graced this town. At 6'2" tall, with a medium build that was all muscle; his physique had most girls, and many straight guys doing a double-take. Today he had decided to go really classy and wear a white wife beater and his favourite A&F jeans. He completed the look with his D&G flip-flops (which Corey had bought him for Christmas their first year together), his Versace sunglasses, and a white LaCoste ball cap (backwards). He looked nothing less than right out of the pages of Vogue's summer issue. Corey might as well have started gasping for breath as he watched Kyle walk in, order a coffee (black), turn, walk towards him, and sit down.

"Wow, Corey, you look amazing! I can still never get over how good you look. Television usually makes people look better than in person, and although you never look anything less than hot on the show, you could stop traffic!" Kyle smiled showing his brilliant white teeth. "Th-thanks Kyle. Wow, you too though, you look awesome. I thought Halifax had cooler summers than we did, but you look dressed for Cali!" Kyle looked at his outfit and laughed, "Yeah, well it HAS been awhile since the last time that I went surfing; Halifax harbour is disgusting, I advise you never to even dip your toe into it, but yah, it's been too long!" Corey laughed a little, and his mind wandered around aimlessly, he couldn't concentrate. Kyle looked just too damn hot for words. "So...listen, I know it's been a long time, and this is probably like, mind-blowing, but I really wanted to see you as soon as I got back. I've missed you so much. We were...are...perfect for each other. I don't know why I ever left, but I'm so glad I came back. I know that it's not really fair to you to put you into this position. I mean, how have you been the last two years? Clearly your acting has taken off, I love the show by the way, but I mean, how have you actually been?" Corey looked down. He didn't want to admit that when Kyle left, he had been devastated, but he wanted him to know how badly he wanted Kyle back. "Well...I guess I've been good. Like you said, the show has sort-of taken off. Lauren and I both wrote our ACT's, and we're going off to university in California next year...I can't really complain. The only part of my life that hasn't really gone too well is...well...dating. I haven't been able to even look at other guys since you left. I still have feelings for you. I mean, it's stupid, I should have moved on, but I couldn't. Everyone that I met, I compared to you. No one has anything on you. It's not just because you're ridiculously good looking, and I know that sounds corny, but you just understood me. You always made me feel good, and we never had any fights or anything because we got along so well. I fell in love with you that day that our soccer teams were playing each other and we both kicked the ball at exactly the same time, making us both fall on our asses. Haha, it was so funny, I remember being covered in mud and looking up at you as you helped me up. You had this look in your eyes that just said "be mine"...and I was. I was yours. In every possible meaning of the words, I was completely yours. I haven't exactly moved on. As you can probably tell, you always could, I still quiver at the sight of you. You send this shockwave through every nerve in my body, and I can feel when you're close to me. I need that back. I haven't felt complete since that day you left. I don't...I don't think I'm able to love anyone other than you."

Corey sighed as he let his words wash over Kyle. Kyle looked shocked to find out that his ex-boyfriend still wanted him. He knew that it was the hardest thing of his life when he left Corey that day two years ago, but he had always thought that a man as good looking and intelligent and kind and funny and...well...perfect as Corey, would have moved on. To find out that Corey had remained single after he left was a shocker. "Corey...I never knew you felt like that. I guess I'm glad you never told me, it would have made it harder to leave, and I had to get out of this town. But I'm back now, so...I guess we can start over." Corey was more relieved than he could imagine. He finally felt comfortable with himself. He was going to be back with Kyle. They started really talking about how things have been, and Corey hadn't felt this good in so long.....

 

Josh Volland

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