It's that new project I've been hinting at on my profile page! Woo!


No, seriously, I hope you enjoy Mango. Because he's awesome. :)

I lied to my penpal, okay? And now I'm screwed, because he (Tuesday) is coming here, and I (Mango) am going to be found out. I know, you must feel my horror. Not. Anyway, this is what happened: we got penpals the beginning of senior year as a project for English class. Tuesday is my partner (duh, I already said that). He sent the first letter, and he enclosed a picture of himself. He's fucking hot. As in, I would do him in an instant if he went to our school. Even if it meant rape. Well, maybe not, but you catch my drift. Anyway, well, I wanted to flirt with him. Problem? We're both guys, and I don't know how he feels about gays. And I didn't want to get into it with him, because I was afraid he would stop writing to me, and I needed a good grade on this project. So I told him I was a girl and proceeded to flirt shamelessly with him.

Only now, he's flying out here to stay for the summer. Because his parents are fucking rich, my mother is never home, and "cross-culture bonding is wonderful," according to our teachers.

I am so fucking screwed.

"Jonathan, you're going to be late!" my mother called up the stairs.

I grunted and rolled over in bed so that I could see the alarm clock. What was that crazy bitch (no, seriously, I love my mother, I'm just not a morning person) smoking anyway? It was only seven thirty. That's right. Seven thirty. As in, the sun hadn't even risen yet. Okay, so it had. A while ago. Because it was the middle of summer.

Speaking of which, why the hell was Monica (that's my mother; I called her by her name because she called me by mine) trying to wake me up at such an ungodly hour? Apparently I was going to find out, because moments later she stormed into my room. Well, she didn't really storm, per se, because she was too cheery and too hippie-ish to storm anywhere, but she burst into my room without knocking and flounced over to my bed. They're pretty much the same things.

"-The hell?" I mumbled as she opened the blinds and stood silhouetted with her hands on her hips.

"Jonathan Nathaniel, you get out of bed right this instant." Ooh, I was so afraid of the woman in the flowered skirt and peasant blouse. Watch me tremble. Not. "Your penpal is flying in this morning, did you forget? You need to be at the airport in an hour."

"I thought his plane was at, like, ten or something." At least I think I said that. I had pulled a pillow over my face to block out the evil sunlight. Trust me, sunlight steals souls. Or just gives people migraines. Or gives me migraines anyway. But I think that has something to do with my eyes not dilating properly or something. But anyway, yeah. Sunlight. Evil. Pillow over face. Good. (If you hadn't noticed already, I tend to ramble. Mostly when I'm tired. Nine tenths of what I talk about should never leave my head. But I have a tendency to talk before thinking about what it is that I'm saying. Oops.)

"His flight lands at ten fifteen," Monica informed me. "It's an hour to the airport." Which totally explained why she was waking me up at half past fucking seven in the morning. (Another thing: three quarters of what I say is sarcastic. There isn't a reason for it. Don't bother analysing it.)


"Why what?" Monica asked impatiently, nearly hopping from foot to foot as she waited for me to get out of bed. I wondered who had given her coffee that morning. I sincerely doubted it was my father. Oh, wait, that was impossible, since the man was dead. Haha, and here I was, learning again that it had happened, when he had been dead for...three years? Yeah, something like that. It wasn't that I was slow, just...I had never seen him really, so I still thought that maybe he was somewhere off-stage doing stuff that I just wasn't noticing. Which was stupid, because Monica had never worked while he was alive. Not that she really worked now. She taught yoga classes. Or so she claimed. Mostly, she just gossiped with other hippie people. But it supported us.

Anyway. "Why do I have to get up fucking right this god-damned minute?"

"Wash your tongue!" Monica hated it when I cursed. But no, she couldn't just say something normal. Her theory was that if she said something odd out in public, people would look at us, and then I would be embarrassed enough to stop. She didn't realize that I didn't give a rat's ass what strangers thought of me. "You have half an hour to get ready to leave. We'll leave at eight." (As though I couldn't do the math or something. Seriously, I think Monica thought I was mentally retarded. Which I wasn't. And okay, she probably didn't think that, but still...jeez.)

"And why are we leaving at eight?" I sat up finally, realizing she wasn't going to be satisfied until I was up.

"Because then we'll get to the airport early and we can have breakfast." Monica sucked at cooking. I was thankful she realized it. Or maybe she just thought I was picky and wouldn't eat her tofu...crap. Actually, now that I thought about it, maybe she wasn't bad at cooking; maybe tofu was supposed to taste like some nasty combination of rubber and dirt and...about a million other indescribably nasty things. Somehow, I doubted it. "And his plane might be early."

"Right." Monica believed in always being prepared (no, she wasn't a boy scout...but she did try to get me to join...which was just scary). I turned so my feet were dangling over the edge of the bed, making certain I kept the blanket across my chest. No, I wasn't nude (Monica couldn't understand why I liked to wear clothes to sleep), but having my mother see me in my boxers...just frightened me a little. Knowing Monica, she would make some comment on how cute my boxers were, and then I would be down a pair of boxers. Not that she would steal them, but I would never be able to wear them again without thinking of Monica. Which was just odd. Creepy. Sickening. Watch me vomit. Actually, don't, because then you might vomit as well, and I hate the sound of people vomiting. Anyway.

"If you go back to bed..." Monica left the threat hanging. I wondered whether she thought she was intimidating me. Which was just funny, because I was usually the one intimidating people. Fear me with my awesome blue hair of doom! Ahem. Moving on.

"I won't." I made shooing motions. "I'm not getting out of bed with you standing there."

Monica rolled her eyes. "Half an hour," she repeated as she left.

I slid out of bed and stretched, wincing as my back cracked. Not that it was painful, just...I guess that was another sound I hated. It was right up there with those drills the dentists use. Okay, not quite that awful, but pretty close. Made me want to hurl. Only I hated that sound as well, so that didn't help anything.

I walked over to my closet and glared at the abundance of empty hangers. I really should have done my laundry before Tuesday got there, but...when you could watch movies for six bucks a showing and get free popcorn into the mix (Liza, one of my best friends-not that I had many-worked at the theatre), who wanted to do laundry? I mean, come on, it was my last summer before college!

Finally, I found a pair of only-worn-twice jeans and a crumpled black shirt. Damn wrinkles. Another of my pet peeves. I slid into the bathroom (connected to my bedroom and painted with the same sunny yellow-Monica's choice) to get dressed. I could have taken a shower, but my hair actually didn't look half bad, and I didn't feel like spending the time to gel it again. And I still hadn't got a new blow dryer (my old one smelled like it was going to burst into flames every time I turned it on...or like my hair was).

Then, I had to check my email. I hated it, but it was necessary. Not that I ever got anything, but...if I didn't check my email three times a day, I went crazy. I needed a schedule, and email was part of that schedule. And sometimes I actually did get something that was worth reading, and then I felt like I actually-gasp-had friends! No, seriously, I wasn't that desperate, I just...I don't know. Probably a side-effect of living in the technological era. Monica hated it. Seriously, if you are lucky, you will never need to hear her rant about how much computers are disrupting our youth. Which is a really funny phrase, because they aren't my youth. I mean, you don't see me having kids, do you? (Nope, I'm still a virgin. And I will be forever undoubtedly. There's something about me that's just not fuckable. Or something. I don't know. Liza thinks it's because I scare people away. Rawr, I'll eat you!)

By the time I got downstairs, Monica was standing by the door, tapping her bare foot on the linoleum. And yes, even without shoes, she was ready to go. I didn't even think she owned a pair of shoes. No, that wasn't true, she owned some platform sandals that laced up like ballet flats. She went everywhere barefoot, though. Something about remaining connected to the earth. At least, that's what I thought she had said; I hadn't been paying attention.

"Ready?" She seriously looked like she was going to bounce up and down. Because, you know, the plane might have been an hour early or something, in which case we were cutting it really close. With my luck, Tuesday would be early, I supposed. All because I had lied and told him I was a girl. Maybe I should have dressed in skinny jeans and worn a bra that day. I could have pulled it off. Actually, I had sent him a picture of me, and he still thought I was a girl. What can I say? I'm a very effeminate man. Which is a really weird term to apply to myself. Not effeminate-man. Because I'm only seventeen (yeah, that's right, I graduated at seventeen).

"Let's go." Do not mistake that for excitement. The only excitement I was feeling was at the fact that I would be able to sleep in the car. And the fact that we were going out for breakfast, which meant I might actually get something with meat in it for a change. Even when Monica wasn't cooking, she refused to allow me to have meat in the house. (She was a vegan, and she "couldn't stand sight nor smell of meat.") But no, no excitement for meeting Tuesday. Even if he was fucking hot. Because meeting Tuesday meant revealing that I was a guy, and I wasn't sure how he would take that. Maybe he would just hop a plane right back to Maine. Probably. Story of my life.

And then there I was at the gate, watching as people began to pour off the plane. Okay, so not directly. First, there was the car ride. Monica listens to "Sounds of Nature" or some shit like that. Basically, it's just, like, waterfalls...wind...maybe some seagulls if you're especially lucky. It's enough to make me never want to ride in the car with her again every single time...only I don't have my own car, and she won't let me drive her van-it's a collectible straight out of the seventies. It's butt ugly, but I don't tell her that. Because it's the only form of transportation besides my bike, and I can't bike to the airport. And I don't know how I would get Tuesday back with me if I did. I mean, maybe he could sit on the shelf above the back tire. But he would probably have a wicked wedgie before we even got a mile down the road. Too much information, I know. But still.

Anyway, then there was breakfast. I got sausage gravy and biscuits because I knew it would annoy Monica. And because sausage gravy is amazing. As in, like, the best breakfast in the whole fucking world. You can keep your damned pancakes. And eggs. Which just look nasty enough. They're even worse when you actually try to eat them. I am so lucky Monica doesn't eat eggs. Liza's family has eggs every other weekend, and I don't know how she can stand it. They're going to have mutant grandchildren, I just know it. Ones that squawk and stuff. Or not.

And then I was at the gate, and I was watching all these people pour off the plane, and I was freaking out. Luckily, Monica had decided she was going to look for someplace to get coffee, because apparently she thought that Tuesday would want coffee when he got off the plane. Something about it being nearly noon where he was from (Monica didn't seem to realize the rest of the world-excepting small children-did not take naps...or she just didn't care).

But she left me alone to face this ordeal. On the one hand, I was upset because I really could have used the moral support right then (never thought I'd be turning to Monica for that, since I rarely even saw her between her work, my school, and her protests). And then I thought about how awkward everything was going to be, explaining to Tuesday that I was actually a guy, and yes, indeed, I had actually been flirting with him for the past nine months, knowing that we were both guys. Although that made me want the moral support even more. Because, you know, maybe he wouldn't make a scene if Monica were there. Actually, Monica would probably have laughed at me, called me a goose, ruffled my hair, and then left me for slaughter. I didn't think I had ever been called a goose in my life. The thought made me shudder. And the last person who had ruffled my hair had got bit. By me, of course; I didn't let others fight my battles.

That was him, coming out of the Tunnel of Doom (a.k.a. the place that smells something like stale coffee, air-freshener, and vacuum cleaners-I don't know if it actually has a name, but it's that place that leads from the gate to the plane. Terminal? Anyway...), a messenger bag hanging from his shoulder and a guitar case in hand. Yes, he was a musician. He had a band and everything. Have you ever noticed how many hot musicians there are? I mean, jeez. Fuck. Drool.

As much as I hated to admit it, I was drooling a bit as Tuesday walked out. I mean, fuck, he was fucking...fuckable. He had this bleach-blonde hair (dyed; naturally brown or something) that always sat just so in a haircut that would have looked emo on anyone else, but somehow he managed to pull it off. That day, he was wearing a green polo shirt that matched his eyes and khaki cargo pants. Total prep. Total hotness. God damn.

Well, here went nothing. Actually, here went everything. I know that phrase means I'm pretending that nothing is happening, but it's just stupid. I mean, if you're going to do something, just say that you are.

I walked up to Tuesday, he looked past me, scanning the mass greeting the arrivals (arrivees?). I coughed uncomfortably. "Tuesday?"

His eyes finally focused on me, and I focused on just breathing. And not, you know, throwing my arms around him and kissing him passionately right there in the middle of the airport. He looked like he kind-of-sort-of recognized me, which was a good sign. He smiled, and my heart stopped for a minute. Not to sound like an overly dramatic schoolgirl, but fuck, he was hot. Which I've already said again and again, but...yeah. He was hot. And I was a whore. Okay, not literally, but yeah. I flirted with a lot of guys. And he was hot. Okay, okay, I'm shutting up!

"Are you Mango's brother?" he asked, looking me up and down. I suddenly wished my shirt weren't so wrinkled. And that my jeans were clean. And that I had showered, because I knew my hair was nasty. And I probably smelled bad. Oh God, did I smell bad? I hadn't even thought about that!

But now definitely wasn't the time to think about it, because Tuesday was still waiting for an answer. I dropped my gaze to the tiles and scuffed the toe of my sneaker along the ground again and again. "Actually...I'm Mango."

Tuesday snorted. "Right. If you wanted to play like that, you should have stuffed a bra or something. Where's Mango?"

See, I knew it! I should have worn a bra and some heels and lip gloss! I blushed a bright red. "I am Mango," I insisted. "I'mkindofaguy." I wondered if he had any idea what I had said, because I definitely didn't know. Didn't look like he did either.

"Er-come again?" So polite.

I took a deep breath and said slowly, "I am a guy. I'm Mango." I kind of felt like I ought to bow, but we were in the middle of the airport, and I kind of liked being a wallflower. Not. But I didn't want all these people staring at me. "I kind of-er-lied to you."

Tuesday raised an eyebrow. "Really. Did Mango ask you to do this?"

I groaned in frustration. "I am Mango!" Yeah, I hadn't wanted weird looks? Well, one way to get them is to yell out in the middle of the airport that you are named after some fruit. Not that I really am, because my real name is-well, it isn't Mango, but yeah. I don't use that name. Only Monica does. And my math teacher, whom I can't seem to convince that I'm actually named Mango. Because I'm not, according to the school.

Tuesday gave me an odd look. "So this entire year, I've been writing to a guy?"

I nodded sheepishly. "Sorry?"

Tuesday just stared at me. Monica chose that moment to appear, carrying a couple Starbucks™ cups. Mmm, Caramel Macchiatos. For both of us, it appeared. I hoped Tuesday liked them. No, I hoped he didn't, because then I could have his! Ooh, yum! I accepted my cup from Monica. Tuesday made no move to take the other, and I realized he couldn't know who she was. "Tuesday, this is my mother, Monica. Monica, Tuesday." I popped off that stupid plastic lid covering the whipped cream and began licking the amazing stuff.

Tuesday took the other cup while watching me like I was insane. "Isn't that what the straw is for?"

I scooped up some of the whipped cream on my pointer finger and then paused, looking between him and my whipped cream before snorting. "Straws are for...people who use straws. Fingers are for...barbarians." I grinned wickedly, and then tore off in the direction of the luggage carousel, really hoping Tuesday actually had a suitcase. Of course he did; he was staying with us for a month. There was no way he had enough clothes in that bag of his. "I'm a barbarian!" I screamed as I ran. Okay, so I did like having people staring at me. You caught me. Oops.

Of course (if I haven't already mentioned it, my luck sucks ass-and if I have said it, my luck still sucks ass), I ran into someone. A security guard kind of someone. And my poor, poor Caramel Macchiato went everywhere. Mostly on us. Oops. I was so dead. Tuesday began to cackle somewhere behind me. It was in that moment that I realized I hated him. Only not, because he was too damned hot. Hey, I rhymed! Go me!

Back to my current predicament...

The security was turning an unattractive shade of purple, and I-quite frankly, I cowered before him. He looked about big enough to break me in half with a look. But maybe not, since I was still in one piece. But you catch my drift (I hope). "Watch where you're going, punk!"

Hey, just because my hair's blue, it doesn't mean I'm a punk! "Watch where you're fucking going, moron," I snapped back at him, not thinking about what I was saying. Ah, yes, my mouth gets me in quite a few messes.

Monica appeared at my elbow just then and clamped down hard. I bit back a yelp. "I'm sorry, officer, he didn't mean that." Um, yeah, I really did. I just didn't mean to say it out loud. There's a difference. Monica rolled her eyes, and I thought for a minute that I had said it out loud, but Monica was leaning in conspiratorially. "Kids these days."

The guard looked sympathetic. "Just make sure he watches where he's going next time."

"Will do," Monica chirped, thrusting me in the direction of the carousel. "Walk, young man."

I dropped my head to the floor and shoved my hands in my pockets. Tuesday caught up to me. "Dude, you're such a klutz!"

I whirled on him, my face heating. "Shut the fuck up," I hissed, my good mood spoiled. Yeah, I'm a bit bipolar sometimes. Whatever. "Or you can get on another fucking plane and get right the fuck back to god-damned Maine and leave me the hell alone!" Another trait of mine: I tended to cuss when I got upset. So shoot me. Only don't, 'cause that would totally suck.

Tuesday raised an eyebrow. "Right." He walked towards the carousel and hefted a black duffel bag that was making its rounds. "So, are you really Mango?" He took a sip of his coffee-not that there was really much coffee in it-and I sighed.

"Share?" I made puppy eyes at him, but they didn't seem to have any effect. Damn.

"Hate to say it, but I don't really want your fingers in my coffee."

I pouted. "I could use a straw."

"You threw yours away," he pointed out.

"I could use yours?" The please was implied. He didn't look like he was going to let me, unfortunately. Which made sense, since I had been flirting with him for nine months. And I was a guy. It probably wouldn't have mattered, had I been a girl.

"Are you really Mango?"

"Yes!" How many times was he going to ask me that? "I don't even have any siblings!"

He studied me. "So I've been writing to a guy for nine months. Trans?"

"No!" Not that I had anything against cross-dressing-actually, I did have my fits of cross-dressing, which was why I had bras and stuff-but that wasn't why I had told him I was a girl. "I-you were hot, and-I thought you might like me better if I was a girl." Scuff scuff toe of shoe again.

Tuesday looked amused when I peeked up at him. "What's your real name? I mean, I assume it isn't 'Mango.'"

"Jonathan Nathaniel Adam Baker Lawrence. Junior."

Tuesday winced. "Mango it is." He popped off the lid covering the whipped cream goodness and held the cup out to me. "I don't really like whipped cream anyway."

I gasped. "Sacrilege!" I noticed he hadn't offered me the straw and took that as my cue to use my fingers. I licked off some of the cream and smiled shyly at him. "Thankies." Before he could reply, I skipped over to Monica, who was still chatting with the officer. Jeez, what a whore. Not that I could talk, but...yeah. It's a little weirder to see your mother acting like a whore, trust me. Although she was only thirty-four (she was seventeen when she had me). Still. "Monica," I whined, tugging on her arm. "I want to go to the beach!"

Monica rolled her eyes. "All right, all right, give me five minutes. Head on out to the car, why don't you?" She tossed me the keys.

I rolled my eyes and trudged back towards Tuesday. "Come on." I glanced back towards Monica. "It's going to be a while."

Tuesday glanced back at Monica and cleared his throat. "Is she like that a lot?"

I nodded. Shrugged. Nodded. "Yeah, pretty much. I don't see her most of the time."

"You mentioned that."

"Right." I swung his duffel bag up on my shoulder so he could carry his guitar, the coffee, and his carry-on. I swiped some more whipped cream and began sucking on my finger. "We can at least go back to the car; I've got a couple CDs in there."

"Anything I've heard of?"

I realized we had never really discussed the types of music we listened to. "Van Halen, Journey, Rush, erm...I might have Night Ranger...maybe Magnum...I don't really remember."

Tuesday grinned. "Nice selection. I'm more of a '60s-'70s person myself, but '80s beats pop music at least. I would have had to open my head on the dash if that was what you had in mind."

"Ugh, puke, no! Ick!" The idea of me listening to pop music...was utterly laughable. Like, piss my pants, tears in my eyes kind of laughing.

There was a shuttle waiting when we exited the...airport part of the airport. Ugh, my eloquence amazes me at times. Tuesday and I climbed aboard and we sped off into the sunset. Not. But I was a hopeless romantic, so leave me to my fantasies. Mmm, fantasies about Tuesday. Erm, yeah. Did I mention he's pretty damned fuckable?