Burning Love

Charlie reveals his BURNING feelings to Marv... but it doesn't go smoothly. Will they be able to KINDLE their passion for evermore, or will their love go up in FLAMES? A Charlie and Lola fanfic to ruin your childhood. Don't like, read it anyway. (Rated yellow for violence.)

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4. Burning Secrets

I instantly seize up. I have an urge to grab Marv, but then I realise that would just make things worse.

 

I looked him up and down waiting for something, anything to happen. black gelled up hair (although after years of forcing his hair into position like this I doubted whether he needed it still); small, dark, ball shaped earring in one side while a silver snake with a glowing ruby eye curled round the other; baggy, sleeveless skull shirt, with various stains just visible in the dark grey fabric; tight, black jeans held up with a spiked studded belt and from his right hip belt loop emerged the chains

 

Marv stops dead.

 

“What do we do?” I hiss at him from the side of my mouth. I get the inexplicable urge to just fast walk in the opposite direction, home preferably, and curl up by myself to wait everything out.

 

“I said what do we-”

 

“Charlie,” Marv says, turning to me. “Look at me.”

 

Our eyes lock.

 

“How much did you want this to remain a secret?”

 

I pause to consider. I know what school is going to turn into from this point on. I’ve seen it. We all have. It’s written in the films where kids older than me swallow pills and get punched and taunted and have their heads shoved down toilets. It’s written in the news headlines: ‘boy, 13, jumps off bridge after ‘gay taunts’, ‘transgender girl commits suicide after physical abuse following operation’.  It’s written all over the ‘be yourself’ talks with the Stonewall people in assembly and the snickers from the back row. It’s written on the internet, in books, on the graffiti in the school textbooks and on the walls. But worst of all is written all over Marv’s face.

 

I stare at him a while longer. His hair is silky and kind of puffier than normal. He probably washed it last night, after the water fight we had with Lotta, Lola and (according to Lola) Soren Lorenson in the garden. He’s smiling slightly on one side of his mouth, but apart from that I can’t really tell what he’s feeling. What answer does he expect? Does he want me to lie? To pretend everything’s okay amid the Indian burns and wedgies and spitballs and flat-footing and ‘kick-me’s, just because ‘we have each other’?

 

Marv’s not like that. He can’t possibly expect that.

 

Then why is this so difficult?

 

I break eye contact before answering, “More than anything.”

 

I expect him to look disappointed or something, but instead he just nods and runs his hands tiredly through his hair. Lola watches us, her little face pinched and nervous and her bottom lip stuck out defensively. I look down at her guiltily. If everything plays out like it inevitably will then I’m going to need a friend in Lola.

 

“I’m really sorry Lola.” I blurt out, not quite looking at her. “You’re not stupid. I’m sorry for being horrible.”

 

I thought that would make me feel a bit better, but instead I feel hot and panicky, my throat tight and painful. Marv seems to make up his mind about something and grabs my wrist, turning back towards the last few kids filing into the building.

 

“Okay then. Here goes nothing.” He mutters and begins to pull me towards the waiting Jordan.

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