"Have you tried calling him?" Ken asked me over a mouthful of chicken sandwich. It was a free block for us, and we had stolen away to lunch on the hood of my car in the parking lot.

"Called, texted, facebooked, twittered…" I listed off the top of my head as I took another sip of red bull.

"Are you trying to get drunk off that stuff? I haven't seen you eat anything for the past few days."

"Not hungry." I shrugged lifelessly.

"If you keep dropping weight the coach's going to get on your case." Ken gave me a comforting pat on the shoulder.

Lan's been avoiding me like the plague for the past three days since prom. I tried sitting over at his table during lunch but he would just get up and walk off if he saw me coming. At first I reasoned with myself that the whole thing wasn't even my fault; if Lan hadn't brought a date in the first place, I wouldn't have gotten drunk and caught kissing that girl. In the back of my mind, I knew that trying to shift the blame wasn't going to change the fact that it was really only me who had messed up; I had a choice while Lan didn't.

"How are you and Barbie doing?" I tried changing the topic

"Who knows, I wonder if all I am is just another guy with a crush on her sometimes. Do you think she's annoyed by all my attention?"

I thought for a moment, and decided I didn't know how to answer him. I couldn't even figure out Lan. "Ken, sometimes I think we are too young for this shit."

He sighed. "Nah, this is what being a teen is all about. You know what they say, teenage angst. No one ever says adult angst, right?"

"You think this stuff goes away when we are older?"

"Maybe, who knows. It probably becomes something different, alcoholism maybe."

I snorted cynically. "Maybe I'll have red-bullism instead."

"I heard that stuff shrivels your dick."

"Not like I'll be getting much use out of it anyway." I retorted.

After a moment of silence, Ken finally said quietly, "We've changed."

"Don't talk like we are an old married couple." I cringed away jokingly.

"Seriously Kay, think about it. We used to be the two most upbeat guys in school. Man, what happened?"

"Love and teenage hormones never mix well. Think Romeo and Juliet."

"Man, I don't want to end up like that. I'm allergic to poisonous potions."

"I won't end up like that." I said finally.

Ken glanced at me questioningly. I jumped off the hood of the car and tossed the empty can in my car.

"If you are brave enough to be fearless in front of death, then what have you got left to be afraid off? There's nothing left to stop us from trying with all we've got."

Ken grinned at me approvingly. "You are starting to sound more like the Kay I know. "

"Come on, we need to stop being so dejected. Where's the battle in us?" I proclaimed with open arms to the quiet parking lot.

"We are going to keep trying?" Kay asked.

"In the name of love—" I started to shout.

"Hey, let's not over do it."

I walked up to Lan's house after school on Friday His mom's car was parked in the driveway. For a moment I thought about chickening out. I muttered something about resolve and perseverance to myself under my breath to pump myself up.

It took two rings of the doorbell before I heard someone unlatch the front door. Lan was dressed in an oversized rumpled tshirt and pajama pants when he opened the door.

I was so ecstatic to see him that the words I had neatly prepared fell into a jumble, "I—I just wanted to apologize to you and I thought maybe we can talk about stuff I've been thinking a lot about—"

"It's okay, come it." His cut me off briskly. I fidgeted nervously and tried to gage just how pissed off he was with me still. There was weariness on his face, a mix of frustration and tiredness.

He nudged back from the entrance to let me in and I followed him up the stairs to his room. There was a random assortment of clothes strew across the carpet and surface of his dresser. It was hard to find anywhere to stand. A large suitcase lay open in the middle of the bed with. I picked my way through the clothes and sat on the edge of the bed. I took a peek inside the suitcase; it was half filled with clothes already.

"Are you going somewhere?" I nodded at the suitcase.

"Yeah, Korea. My dad got me into one of the trainee programs for people who want to be singers."

I blinked blankly while the gears in my head tried to catch up.

"Wait, what? Korea?!"

Lan sighed and looked at me impatiently. "I'm leaving next week."

"How come I didn't know anything about this? You never said anything about going overseas!" I could hear my voice raising and the heat in my face as panic overtook me. I walked over to him and grabbed his arm. He met my eyes with a dangerous glare.

"Stop shouting." Lan growled under his voice. "If my mom knows you are here she'll try to make you leave."

"Where is she?"

"Gardening in the backyard." Lan explained, and then shook off my hand. He pointed at a pile of clothes in the corner. "Help me fold those if you are going to just sit there."

"Why are you so calm? How can you leave?"

"I didn't know I was leaving either. My mom told me she and dad decided for me already. They seem to think Asia'll get the gay out of me. Anyway, it's a fair tradeoff I guess, I go to Asia and they'll finally be supportive of my music."


Lan crumpled the tshirt in his hand in to a ball and tossed it with great frustration into the suitcase. He sat down next to me and rested his head on my shoulder.

"Lan?" I tested his name on my lips nervously,

"I'm just tired, let me rest for a bit." He explained as he took my hand and laced his fingers in between mine. I gave him hand a light comforting squeeze. "I don't want to fight anymore."

"Me neither." I replied softly. "I'm sorry, it was my fault, I shouldn't have been so selfish. I've wanted to apologize the whole week. I was only thinking about myself and—"

"It was pretty terrible of me to not have warned you. I wish I could stand up to my family more." Lan cut in and said quietly. I looked down and his face resting on my shoulder, his eyes had fluttered close, and could see the tiredness in his posture.

"Please don't go." I finally said.

"What's on your hand?" Lan looked away and rubbed at the words I had written on the back of my hand with a permanent marker.

"Keywords for things I thought we should talk about."

He smiled at my honesty. "Did we hit all the points?"

"Don't try to change the subject." I chided and pulled on my best angry face. I tried to pull him back into my arms, but Lan shifted away from me. He looked past me at the wall and chewed on his bottom lip, deep in thought.

"It's a good opportunity for me, I guess. It'll get my family off my back too." He said finally.

"But what about us?" I tried to argue.

"If we are strong enough to pull through this then that'll mean we are strong enough to be together." He reasoned back with a tight smile.

I frowned at Lan and pulled my hand away. . He sighed and turned away from me. I clutched at my hair in frustration.

"That's bullshit." I growl under my breath with anger barely under control.

"You want to break up with me if I leave?" Lan suddenly asked. There was a quiver in his voice that pulled at my heart.

"No, of course I won't." I said quickly and pulled him in my arms. He face was scrunched up in concentration, as though he was trying to put off any emotions toiling inside him. I kissed the top of his head. My boyfriend, mine, how dare anyone try to pull us apart.

"Can't we try? Please, Kay?" Lan pouted. Fuck, Lan never tried cute shit unless he was really trying to convince someone, and he knew this trick worked like a charm with me every time.

"Lan, I want to try the new bacon brownie and Burger King, or the triple berry mocha thing at 7-11, I want to try putting new lights under my car or adding some chrome to my plates, there's lots of things I want to try, but I don't want to try a relationship, I want to be in a relationship." I tried to put the anger out of my voice because I knew Lan was miserable about this too, but as hard as I tried my emotions wouldn't calm.

"Then do you want me to give up on music?" Lan got up and paced around his room, not caring if he was stepping on the clothes underfoot.

"No, of course I don't."

"Then do you want me to go against my parents?"

"No, that's not what I mean."

"Then what do you want me to do?"

I sighed. There really was nothing else I could do to stop him. I knew his music was important to him, and I knew that his parents wanted us apart. I went through all the possibilities in my head, even the idea that maybe he could come live with my family. However, I knew that was impossible. No matter what Lan's parents thought, he was still their son. Lan's parents were probably only trying to help him live a normal life from their perspective.

No one understood what we were going through beside ourselves. If we didn't try to pull ourselves together and hold on then we were going to fall apart. It was up to us to give our relationship our best effort despite all the roadblocks.

"I'll help you pack." I finally said, defeated. My head was cast down and I didn't have the heart to look at Lan. This couldn't be our only option.

Lan put his hand on my cheek and tilted my head so I was looking him in the eye. I leaned away in frustration so he wrapped his arms around me. I resigned and patted him gently on the small of his back.

"I know we can get through this. It'll only be a year or so I think. You know I don't know what to do without you." He said softly against the crook of my neck.

"We've never been apart that long since I've met you." I held him tightly in my arms and tried to pull him into me so that we could be one person.

"I know. We'll get through it though. You've got my everything." His voice was muffled against the fabric of my clothes, but I heard him loud and clear. He was clenching my shirt in his fingers the same way I was his. Neither of us wanted to let go of each other.

"You've got my everything." I echoed back.