By Drake McDonald
Content Warnings: None.
His favourite colour was blue – but not really. Not really. Not at all. That wasn’t the right word for it. His favourite colour, really, was the colour of the sea. At night.
No… that wasn’t right either.
There had to be a moon. A full one. And no land in sight. And a tiny sailboat rocking in the waves. There had to be cards and poker played by mast light. There had to be Tommy. And chewing gum because they were two thirteen-year-olds smart enough to know that smoking would kill you but too dumb to think of raiding a liquor cabinet. It had to be the last night of a long, hot summer. His last night in town.
There had to be fear. Because high school was starting. And he was moving. And they’d probably never get another night like this.
There had to be tears. There had to be. No posturing, no talk, no false pretences of early manhood. Only tears. There had to be.
And when it was over, and the boys simply held each other in their cradle ʼmidst the waves, that was when he had to look up, to gaze out over the bulwarks, and see the sea. And he would love its depths. And he would be safe.
‘You all right?’ She gazed at him over the top of her salad.
He smiled back, picking up his fork. ‘Yeah, I’m fine,’ he said, stabbing a tomato.
She eyed him for a moment, then returned to her greens. ‘That was strange,’ she said. ‘Your face went all slack like you were having a stroke or something.’
‘I’m sorry,’ he said. ‘It’s just been a long day. I didn’t sleep well last night.’
‘Aww, that’s too bad,’ she said.
For a moment, there was only the sound of forks and cabbage.
‘Oh, wait!’ her hand flashed to her mouth as if the urgency of her words might send croutons flying. ‘You never answered my question! What’s your favourite colour?’
‘I think I like blue,’ he said.
Drake McDonald is a storyteller. He makes videos, designs art installations, and sometimes he even writes short fiction and poetry. He is interested in the stories that connect us. His work has previously been published in The Pearl and New College Review. You can follow his blog on LIVE-BETWEEN.com, where he explores the tense intersection of queerness and Christianity (through living it); or find him on his youtube channels: @DrakeMakesArt and @DrakeMakesMovies.