See You Tomorrow

"Hey, Spot! Blink's here!" Race called through the open doorway of his friend's shabby house. The dingy gray paint was peeling off of the walls both inside and out, and there were fallen shingles in the spreading juniper bushes lining the narrow walkway leading to the front door and around the outside of the building itself. Sean "Spot" Conlon and his family had lived there for years and years, with Antony "Racetrack" Higgins' family right next door. Spot and Race had grown up together, friends from the get-go. Now, both boys were new graduates from Guardian High School, just down the road a few miles, and they had decided to throw a party at Spot's house to celebrate.

"Tell him to come in!" Spot yelled back, his voice faint to Race's ears from the backyard where he was setting up the trampoline. "He better have the Mountain Dew he was going to bring."

Race smirked and turned to face Jack, their mutual friend and classmate. Under his blonde hair, Blink's face was reddening. "I knew there was something I forgot," muttered Blink.

"Don't worry about it." Race threw his arm around Blink's shoulders and pushed him inside. "Spot'll forgive you. I'm surprised he doesn't have any himself, to be honest."

Blink shot a brilliant smile at his friend and shrugged away from Race's arm. "So what are we doing at this shindig?" he asked, looking around Spot's modestly-furnished living room.

"Dunno," Spot said as he walked in from the back yard. "Trampoline's all set up out back. I know you'll love "

"You have a trampoline?!" Blink shouted, interrupting Spot and sprinting out the back door.

"That," Spot finished, rolling his eyes. Race laughed, and Spot's annoyance evaporated like the morning dew. Recently, the relationship between the two boys had begun to change. Spot started to see Race in a new light, one that illuminated Race's finer qualities in such a way that Spot could see little else. His neighbor's fine, dark hair and winning smile struck him hard in a way he'd never experienced before. Similarly, Race noticed Spot's lean muscles and piercing blue eyes much more often now, and though some part of him knew that he should feel uncomfortable looking at his friend so much, most of Race's mind longed for every moment they spent together. But both boys smothered their feelings when they were together, their emotions not yet ready to be expressed. Race broke the easy silence that had fallen between them. "So, we're only expecting Jack and Skittery now, right?"

Spot shook his head. "Just Jack. Skittery called me this morning and told me he couldn't make it."

"Did he say why?"

Spot raised one eyebrow. "He told me that he had to work."

"... or he didn't ask Charlotte," Race said. Charlotte McKinley, Skittery's mother, was a hard, stern woman who rarely let her son do anything. Skittery was scared stiff of her, and so didn't often ask her for much. "Can't blame him for that."

Spot nodded. "So just Jack."

As he spoke, the doorbell rang. Spot and Race turned to the door, and saw the familiar smirking face of their friend Jack Kelly.

"You can come in, Jack. That's why the door's open," Race said, laughter fluttering in his voice.

Jack shrugged. "Thought I'd be polite."

"Since when have you ever been polite?" Spot asked skeptically.

Jack laughed, but didn't answer. The three boys chatted for a few minutes before joining Blink outside. They jumped on the trampoline, played ping pong, and watched TV lounging in Spot's living room. When Blink and Jack left at eleven, Race and Spot decided to go back outside and put the trampoline away before Race went home. Together, they dragged the heavy metal frame to Spot's garage and dismantled it, folding away the mat and storing the separate pieces in the box they had arrived in. As they packed the last one away, Spot straightened up and dusted his hands on his pants. "I wish we didn't have to put that thing away every time we got it out."

"Why do you, then?"

Spot shrugged. "Parents say so." He looked sideways at his friend. "Hey, you want to stay over a few more minutes?"

Race felt a twinge of nerves in his belly. He pushed it away. "Yeah, sure." The two left Spot's garage and wandered out to the middle of Spot's large yard. There, they sat down in the grass and stared at the sky, watching the stars. "It'll be weird when you're gone," Race mumbled after a while.

"Yeah, you too," Spot answered, his brows furrowed. He frowned at the blade of grass in his hands that he had been twirling absently.

Another moment of silence passed, and as Race shifted to a more comfortable position, a sudden movement in the sky caught his eye. "Look!" he gasped. "A shooting star!" He pointed at the glimmer of light, and Spot whistled, impressed.

"I've never seen one like that before," Spot said. "Better make a wish, Race." Race bit his lip and made a quick decision. He felt a million miles away and yet closer to Spot than he had ever been. He was aware of everything, the grass beneath his body, the cool night air on his skin, and the proximity of his best friend. "I wish that you would react favorably to what I'm about to do."

Spot faced his friend, confused. "What does that mean?" Then, as he leaned forward, Race's eyes caught a shaft of light from a window of Spot's house. In their deep brown depths, Spot saw a swirl of emotions that matched perfectly the feelings he had long-harbored deep inside himself. In that moment, he knew what Race was going to do, and he felt his belly clench with anticipation and nervousness. He met Race's lips with his own, and felt their smooth softness with heightened senses. Spot closed his eyes and felt Race's tongue slip past his lips. He allowed it, and after a few tense heartbeats, he pulled away.

Race sat back and met Spot's gaze. "Thanks," he said simply.

Spot did not answer immediately. "No, thank you," he replied finally.

They sat together in a companionable silence, one that soon led to more kisses under the glowing stars. Spot reached for Race's hand and held it, twining their fingers together. "You know, no matter what happens in the fall, I'm never going to forget you, Race."

"Let's not talk about that. We have three more months before then."

"You're right." Slowly, Spot stood up. "Your mom's probably wondering where you are. You'd better go."

Race stood as well. "Yeah. But I'll see you tomorrow, right?"

"Of course." Spot pulled Race to him for a quick good-bye kiss. "See you tomorrow."

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