They were coming. Josh could hear Sarah and Jeremy outside on the steps in the hallways bringing things up. He knew he'd have to go.
"They'll be on this floor?" He didn't like it. Josh shrank back to Freddie's room. "What if they find me out?" He was on edge now. He remembered he'd skipped school. It was beginning to come so easily now. Not to think of school. Just of Freddie.
"No one even knows you're here." Freddie wrapped his arm around him and brought him back to the kitchen.
"But what if they come in here?" Josh wanted to know. "What do I do?" Suddenly Josh felt a wreck. He didn't want Sarah to know about this life. This wonderful life he had to keep under wraps.
"They won't." Freddie touched his chin then and stared deeply into his eyes trying to comfort him.
Next thing Josh heard was Spike opening the door and yelling, "Can't you fellows give us a hand?"
"Spike is helping them!" Josh fretted. "I have to get out of here. I have too." He rushed back to Freddie's room and disappeared when Sarah walked into Freddie and Spike's apartment.
Josh slid out the window and down the landing as fast as he could. If he sprinted quickly enough he'd make it to the commons at the school to study. Possibly, no one had noticed he was gone. No one would. He didn't hang out with any of mates like he use too.
He knew he wasn't entirely to blame. Fletch had a different crowd to hang with, and Sasha had escaped from Hollyoaks. He never got along with Micaela anyhow, and Amy was glued to Ste.
He wasn't in uniform, but that didn't matter. So there he was again, back in the halls, going through the motions. No one said hello. He might as well be invisible.
There in the commons sat Simon, dressed appropriately in uniform with his book of poetry. It was a book of some dead poet, or so Josh suspected. Very quietly Simon turned the pages. Josh didn't even have a book to read. This was so boring. Yet he needed the time to get his story straight. Just in case he was questioned.
"Where you been?" Simon pulled his stringy blond hair behind his ear. His complexion was amazing, and he was a bit on the feminine side which Josh never minded. He was just Simon the bookworm, for the most part. Quieter than even Josh.
"Around." Josh sat across from him and kept looking down.
"Obviously, you're not a very good liar, Ash." Simon looked at him waiting for more of an answer.
"Its just been boring, lately. That's all." Josh shrugged still not looking the thin bloke in the face.
"And what might you be fancying, then?" Simon shut his book.
"No one. Not a thing." Josh half stuttered.
"Come on, spill it, " said Simon. "What's with you, lately?"
"Its complicated." Josh looked around then, wondering who might be watching him.
"Is it? Not with that Amy, I hope." Simon stared at him, and Josh caught that look. Did it mean something else? Or was Simon complicated too?
"No." Josh caught himself laughing. Was Simon interested, perhaps?
"And what might be so funny?"
"Never mind." Josh sighed. Afterall, there was Freddie to think about. And he couldn't dare mention him. "You wouldn't understand."
"Figures." Simon got up then.
"Really, we should do something. Sometime." Josh smiled then. "Cinema?"
"No. That's all right." Simon crossed his arms then as if he wouldn't be caught anywhere with Josh. "See ya, around."
He walked away then and left the room. Josh sat there unsure what to think. He hadn't a clue when it came to guys his own age. Just then he over heard one of the teachers say aloud. "That boy, he's too pretty to even be a man."
Josh sank back in the couch. He knew who they were talking about. It wasn't him. It was Simon.