When It Rains, It Pours.

Trans lives matter.

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1. I think you're my best friend

Chapter 1. 
"She sleeps in her black skinnies, bro, she would kick your ass" Thomas says to Banter. 
It causes me to smirk and purse my lipsticked lips. 
Henna smiles and leans over to kiss me, leaving black traces of my lipstick on her lips. 
"Oh nice shirt" Thomas says to me as I take off my sleeveless jean jacket. 
"Thanks" I say and fold it up next to me. 
"What number is that one?" He asks. 
"Two hundred and four" I say smiling wide and shutting my eyes.
"Rise Against, lucky number two oh four" he says in an announcers voice. 
"Yeah, yeah, yeah" Banter says. 


I have a collection of band shirts; I don't even own any other type of shirt. 


"So we going bowling or what?" I ask Thomas. 
"For soup" he says and smirks.
"Let's go, brat" Henna says as she smirks at me. 
"I love you" I say and kiss her forehead. 
She glares at me and scrubs her forehead to get the black kiss mark off and then grabs my jean jacket and puts it on, and I admire her daintiness in a big jacket and her 'infinite grunge closet clashing with my goth clothes' as Thomas; the lover of fashion puts it.

We walk out of the dark parking lot of the park and to the local bowling alley for midnight bowling. 

As we approach the door we take our proper positions, Banter and I holding hands and Henna and Thomas locking arms. 

Banter is a transgender
female-turned-male, 
Henna is lesbian, 
Thomas is gay,  
and I'm gender fluid, but I mostly identify as a pansexual female. 

We go to a strictly homophobic school, and all of our families are homophobic. 
The only way we survive is acting like we're straight by dating each other's girlfriend or boyfriend. 
Really, henna is my girlfriend and Banter is Thomas' boyfriend but when we're in public we go as straight couples, and that's just how life goes for us. 

"Aye, Banter, hey guys!" Bronx says as we pass him on the way in. 
Bronx is our indie photographer friend who knows our secret and keeps it well hidden, it's nice. 
We gave him the nickname Bronx because of the song by Pierce the Veil and I think it fits him. 
"Good game tonight?" Banter asks. 
"Always. You guys have fun!" He shouts and heads out. 

Really, I hate this bowling alley but I hate it because I love it. 
I hate the shitty pop music they play and the way it smells like mould and greasy fries, but I love each and every memory we have here. 
We all smile at the stain Henna left back in 7th grade, the giant blue stain in the pink carpet right by the door. 
We got kicked out and banned from here after she spilled that stupid slushee, but after freshman year all of our styles changed and the angry old man who owns this place either didn't recognise us or just doesn't care. 

We go to the counter and get the badass bowling shoes that I love because they're all odd colours and distressed after so many people wearing them. 
These are the only shoes I don't mind having to take off my boots for. 
I help henna lace up hers and Thomas does his own, sharing a sorrowed look to Banter. 
"What's up with the lesbians having better band shirts than us?" Banter asks Thomas as he sees Henna's PVRIS shirt that I bought for her. 
"I think it's just you" Thomas says and removes his jacket to show his The Neighbourhood shirt. Banter glares at all of us and mutters something under his breath before flipping us off and going to get a bowling ball. 

We all get our favourites, mine being the black galaxy looking, I carry Henna's flowery black and brown ball to her and she ogles over my strength to carry both bowling balls. 
Thomas gets his black matte ball and types in all our names on the digital score board while Banter grabs his mustard coloured ball. 

"Hey, Arabella, do you want your full name or is Ara okay?" Banter asks. 
"Arabella is good" I say and he nods. 

Arabella isn't my real name, it's Alexa, but in our group we all have nicknames and mine comes from the Arctic Monkeys song. 
Banter's name is Matt, but it's pretty self explanatory, he likes to argue. 
Henna, her real name is Winifred, but she's called Henna because she's always got two sleeves full of henna tattoos because her parents won't let her get real ones so she keeps infinite all natural tattoos and spits in their face because there's never a time she doesn't have them and I love it. 
Thomas... Thomas' real name is Jared, but where Thomas came from, we don't talk about.

Thomas finishes the score board and we all pool money to get food and drinks and make bets. 
As the good girlfriend I am, I bet my last three dollars on Henna and she does the same for me and Thomas tries to make me look bad by betting six dollars on Banter, but banter is a selfish son of a bitch and asks if he can bet on himself, and we all punch him in the gut. 

"Well fuck, then I guess I'll bet on my boyfriend..." He says and lays a ten dollar bill on the little table and smirks.
"Son of a bitch I would kiss you right here and now" Thomas says and lightly touches Banters hand. "Who's first?" I ask nobody in particular. 
"Age order, baby Henna goes first" Thomas mumbles and I take a fry off the tray and motion for her to go. 

"Go baby" Henna whispers to me after Thomas sits down. 
I smile and get up and grab my galaxy ball and hit six pins. 
I hear banter laughing and he's the most immature out of all of us so it's not surprising to me. 
"Shut the hell up asshole" I say with a laugh and he smirks. 
The next I bowl is four pins and that gives me a 10 and that's the highest on the board so far. 
Banter bowls after me; the oldest of all of us, and he makes a show out of it, making us all crack up. 
He dramatically gets up and grabs his ball and spins a few times and it's a never ending comedy show being his friend. He throws his ball and it goes straight into the gutter and it makes us all laugh, and as much as he tries to have an angry face he burst into laughter.

The rest of the game goes like that, we bowl, talk, laugh, and throw food at each other. 
As we sit Henna plays with my gauges, sticking her pinkie through my ear and various items through the holes like pens and pencils when it's not her turn. 

Henna beats us all, not surprisingly. 
I get the 19$ because I bet on Henna and she won, but since she won, I slip the 19$ in her back pocket as she bends over to put her ball back and she'll text me thank you when she notices the next time she puts her hands in the pocket, which could be within the next three days cause she stays in the same outfit for as long as fragrantly possible. 

When we walk home, we drop off one person at a time, farthest first. Thomas and Banter hold hands through the forest on the whole walk home in front of me and Henna and I smile. 
Henna's hands hold my waist and I have a hand holding her lower back and the other holding the flashlight. 

Banter and Thomas take five minutes to say goodbye, lips and hands included, and eventually me and Henna have to drag Banter away. 
"Just the girls" Banter says as we walk away. 
"Banter you're a boy" Henna says.
"Guys, honestly I'm a girl, when it all comes down to it I'm a girl. But thanks" he says. 
"Shut up, you're a boy with mixed up parts" Henna argues. 
"Mixed up parts?" Banter says in doubt. 
"It's like a Lego set. You get certain Legos in a set, but other Legos still fit on the set and the creation is still amazing. You got girl parts but when you change the outside you are still amazing Banter" Henna sweetly explains, and she's always, always making innocent metaphors. 
"Thank you, and I like Legos" Banter says cheekily. 
"I'd be scared if there wasn't a boy to protect us" I say and they laugh. "you're all we need Ara" Banter says and Henna nods. 
"How many knives do you think Ara's got on her right now?" Banter asks Henna. 
"I'd say at least seven" Henna says and I snicker. 
"You're suppose to know your girlfriend a lot better than that" I say. 
"How many do you have?" She asks. 
"15" I reply. 
"Oh you knew we would be walking out here tonight?" Banter asks. 
"Absolutely" I reply. 
Henna plays 'Brother' by Gerard Way and we discuss his talent and overall amazingness on the walk home. 

"I love you so much" I say and kiss Henna hard. 
"I love you more" she replies. "Dear God don't fucking start that shit" Banter groans. 
Henna giggles on my lips and I hug her hard before letting her go in her house through the back yard. 
"I don't know why she does that shit, she knows you're stubborn as hell and you'd never let her win that, and she has to start that when we're trying to leave" he argues. 
"Oh shut up" I say and playfully shove him. 

"Thomas says the way we have our fake couple thing is good cause of our styles" he says randomly. 
"Why so?" I ask. 
"Well he's a hipster, baby girl is a grunge, I'm apparently punk rock and you're goth so he says that it's a slow increase to hardcore" he says.
I laugh at the explanation. 
"That's actually sad" I say through a laugh. 
"I know" he says and laughs. 

When we get to his house he asks "I know this is a stupid question but are you going to be okay on your walk home Wednesday Aadams?" I snicker at the nickname and nod and I kiss him on the cheek. 
I watch him get inside as see if everything is okay with his parents, sometimes they abuse him verbally because of being himself. Whenever I see them yelling at him I always stay and climb through the basement window and hold him for awhile to help him stop crying. 
He's the only trans boy in our town and of course, he gets so much shit for it. 

He stalks down to the basement and hits his light on and I know it's okay to leave. 
I walk home thinking about everything, the bowling, our walk, my best friends, my girlfriend, what Banter said about being a girl. 
That's all from his parents. 
They fill his head with horrible thoughts like that and I feel so bad. 

I check my mobile for the time and I'm way past curfew but I haven't followed that since I was thirteen. 
When I get home I walk right through the kitchen and my parents glare at me and my mom is the first to speak up. 
"Oh you're a girl today?" She asks snottily. 
"What ever floats your boat" I say back, half assed. 
"What floats my boat is my daughter, being a daughter, not dressing up like a boy one day and a girl the next and always looking like the walking dead" she says and I laugh. 
"Walking dead? Thanks mom" I say back. 
"It's past curfew" my dad says.
"and?" I ask.
"You were suppose to be in three hours ago" he replies.
"Congratulations, but I haven't done that for the last four years, what's the change, was the weather not good today?" I counter. 
He glares at me and clears his throat before saying 
"no, now your sister is old enough to go out with her friends and I don't want her half as rebellious as you and if she keeps seeing you come home late she's gonna do it too." 
I shake my head and say
"wouldn't wanna mess up twice, right?" I see my mom almost nod, but then she understands what I'm saying. 
"Well, pleasant talk, and for the record I hope she is more rebellious than me, maybe I'll even let her borrow some of my 'walking dead' makeup" I say and put quotation marks in the air with my fingers. 
I blow them a kiss from my black lips and they glare at me.
"Well if you're going to negatively affect your sister like that you can just leave" my dad says in a shaky voice. 
He's afraid of what my mom will say and afraid that something like that is even coming out of his mouth. 
"Oh, can I?" I say evilly. 
I walk away and go to my room and shut the door. 
I lay down on my bed; I almost always sleep in my clothes. 
Today was a good day. 

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