Autumn Mystery

A leaf blows past, red and thinned by the autumn weather. There’s the continuous sound of crunching as I make my way along the path or what once was anyway. A shiver runs down my body after another whip of the wind and I zip my coat up to the top and try to hide behind my scarf.

The forest is alive with bright colours but they’ve long since lost my interest, I see them often enough. A mouse here a squirrel there, they notice me but continue their business much like I do. I suppose my breathing will be audible by now but I can’t tell with the music in my ears. While most would be deaf to the world I hear better, it helps me drown the unnecessary sounds.

My hands buried deep in my pockets are sweaty by the time the trees thin out. I quickly pull out my phone, I’m early. He left me a message… I make my way to our meeting spot first. The hollow oak that must have died years ago is our hideaway and it even shelters from this slight drizzle. It had been very old and created what could be seen as a small room once you find the entrance.

I head inside and sit down on the small couch we dragged here ages ago. My bag I place on the table, but I decided to wait to open the contents until he arrives. I wait to catch my breath until I bring out my phone once more to read my text. I should have done so earlier.

Robin, don’t go to our spot today. I heard there’s some creep around the woods that has attacked people before and you must have heard of the missing teenagers. I’ll just drop by your house for homework later. Max

It worried me though it didn’t last long, Max was a prankster after all. Still I needed something sweet to lighten my mood and headed over to the table. I had packed some homemade cookies and cupcakes. It was meant as a picnic but oh well…

I had just reached the couch when I heard a familiar tread of footsteps approaching the clearing. I hurries to close the bag and crawled out of the old tree.  “Yo, Maxy.” The solemn look on his face transformed into the grin I prefer seeing. “Hey, Roby.” I roll my eyes at his greeting, he knows it annoys me.

We head inside and talk about our day. I notice his hands are shaking and his outfit is messier than usual. I make no comment and he seems content with that. I get up and bring out my haul of delicacies or at least I would have when Max caught me by surprise. He hugged me and kissed me on the cheek. I froze, why was he doing this?

“What are you trying to do, bro?” He took a deep breath and then whispered: “Isn’t it obvious?” I loosened his grip and somewhat reluctant he stepped back. “I thought you were straight.” I said. “I never said I was.” Is his reply. No way… The guy I’d crushed on all along way gay like me?

Tears start to stream down my face as I burst into laughter.  “How could I have been so blind?” I mutter. Max seems somewhat freaked out. I should explain this then… “I-I..” But I can’t voice the words he needs to hear. I reach into my bag and bring out a special cupcake hidden away between some books. I had prepared it so I could tell him how I felt ages ago but never found the courage for it.

I reach out to give him the rainbow frosted cupcake with a heart on it. “Robin… what?” His hand is hovering over it and I grab it with my empty one turning it around to place the cupcake on it. He stares at it in disbelieve. “Does this mea-”  He never gets to finish his sentence.

It’s interrupts by my knife getting lodged in his throat. I pull it out and he drops to his knees placing his empty hand on the wound that’s beyond saving. His expression is of pain and confusion, just the way I like it. I capture a picture with my phone.

He’s surprisingly quiet and I’m almost furious that I wasted so much effort getting him to show up in this lone forest. To have some more fun I lift his pretty face by his chin and leave a heart shaped cut on his right cheek. No scream, just opening his mouth and gritting his teeth.

A noise from my phone disturbs the moment and I let go of him. Even if he can move he won’t make it far.

So what time should I come over for homework? My folks even said I could sleep over!  M

Huh? What? I never saw him take out his phone. I turn around to see him sprawled across the floor still holding on to the cupcake. No… Either this is not Max or someone has his phone…

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