The Rainbow Chessboard

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Acceptance. A simple enough word. 3 syllables. 3 meanings- be yourself, be safe, be happy. But when the law is against who you are can anyone accept you?

Submitted: October 29, 2016

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Submitted: October 29, 2016

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Check. 

Mr Hillman had Tyler and Miles pinned like butterflies to a board.  

Silence consumed the room, seeping into the fissures in the walls, seizing the inhabitants in its malevolent grasp until no words fluttered on the vacant air, the morose, melancholy mantra manifesting in Tyler's mind the sole relief from the forsaken quiet. With each passing moment, Tyler felt as if he was inching closer to the edge of a precipice, a terrible hurtling fall into nothing and nowhere. Tyler's father's inhale was deafening. Vertigo gripped Tyler's stomach, his ears ringing. 

"So, Miles. Do you like The Beatles?"

The lack of emotion in his voice only made the question more daunting. A second past. Tyler muffled a gasp. The clock tocked. Such an innocent question. But, if Miles answered erroneously, or (most plausibly) indecorously, any hope of Mr Hillman accepting his son's relationship with Miles would be obliterated. 

"Sure, sir," Miles responded smoothly, beguilement dancing in his eyes. "I can dig them."

Apparently, this was a satisfactory answer; Mr Hillman inclined his head at Miles in respect, the light glinting off the shots of grey streaking his hair. "Saw them myself last year. The girls were going crazy for them, though I don't suppose I strapping young lad like you has any problem with the ladies, if you know what I mean."

Miles glanced his signature smirk in Tyler's direction- gloating in his success of being queened- heat rising to the younger boy's cheeks as he promptly broke eye contact causing his black curls to tumble into his eyes. Plates chinked against glasses as Mrs Hillman adorned the tables with a cornucopia of vegetables and chicken. A warning died in Tyler's throat, the smell of roast chicken invading his nose and reducing his ability to converse, despite knowing the necessity to quell Miles's obstreperous behaviour before he exposed the truth as to why Tyler hadn't introduced his parents to a new girl recently. Nevertheless, Tyler couldn't help the euphoric curl of his lips when his and Miles's hands brushed while reaching for the first slice of chicken...

Grit slid beneath Tyler's feet, wrenching him from the memory, dust filling his mouth and nose, making him choke. Like a tidal wave, exhaustion ploughed into him, his legs burning, cheeks stinging from the lashing wind against his tear stained face. Images of the past dinner swarmed around him, Tyler's hysterical laughter dissolving into the air. How could he have been so naïve? A rookie, premature move on Tyler's behalf. Acceptance. It was all he ever wanted. Perhaps he should have stopped to consider exactly whom his wanted his father to accept. 

Without warning, the ground came rushing towards him. Throwing out his hands to absorb the pressure, the bag he'd previously been holding hurtled from his grip, skidding ahead of him. As he made impact with the road, sharp stones sliced into the palms of his hands, blood welling to the surface, making him wince. Frantically, he scrambled desperately in the direction of the fallen bag. Tyler could taste the salt of the tears on his lips, his blurry eyesight making the somewhat easy task of retrieving his backpack impossible. Trying to remain calm, Tyler felt the effects of a panic attack beginning to stalk him. His lungs seemed to shrink in size, his breaths shortening and chest tightening, the world whirling around him. 

"Tyler!" someone yelled over the roar in his ears. A blonde-haired boy swam in his vision and, even though the figure was all but concealed by the tears stinging his eyes, Tyler knew it was Miles. 

Dragging in a shaking breath, Tyler gazed up at Miles, his personal white knight, gliding across the squares towards him, snatching up the forgotten backpack. The sun glowed behind Miles, illuminating his bleached hair like a halo as though he were an avenging angel with pale skin and honey-glazed eyes, framed by long lashes that cast shadows on his unfairly high and angular cheekbones. Normally, the sight caused Tyler's heart to flutter, but now it just caused a dull ache, the memory of his mother's laissez-fire attitude as his father's antagonistic words debased him, as his father threatened to expose him, as his father labelled him a reprobate,  clouded his mind, the memory haunting him. Every word felt like a blow to his stomach, one he couldn't shield himself from, the meanings worming it's way into his mind, entwining with his thoughts, twisting his perception. Tyler had to leave. He didn't have a choice; he wouldn't allow his father to taint his image of Miles. 

A sob tore from Tyler's throat, echoing across the desolate fields littered with trees, their gnarled branches reaching out like fingers of the dead. Sinking to his knees, Miles brushed away Tyler's tears, so close to the younger boy that his breath spilled open his face when he spoke.

"Tyler, what are you doing here?" 

"He reported me," breathed Tyler, his voice barely a wisp on the breeze. "He accepted you. Why couldn't he accept me?"

Miles him offered a small, enigmatic smile, allowing the smaller boy to collapse into his arms. A moment passed. Neither moved. The sun began to dip beneath the horizon, bathing Miles's house in golden light, the windows blinking in the waning sun. And there they stayed. The midnight shrouded boy and the blazing, pale angel, black and white, like chess pieces; they were two pawns on the board of gay rights. 

Checkmate. 


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