I guess it was weird because it all happened really smoothly. Micah had this sort of...quietness. You know, the type that made me want to draw the talking out of them.
It was the type that made me want more.
"You can have seconds, if you'd like," they said.
They did this little thing when they said it where they flicked their wrist and the fork in their hand hit the ceramic bowl in front of them.
"I'd appreciate that. I'll serve myself."
I stood and went over to the vast crockpot sitting on the kitchen counter. The smell was amazing. They had homemade bread too. (Who makes their own bread these days?)
I ladled out another portion and swiped a slice of bread from the cutting board.
"Hey Micah," I said as I sat down again, "Wanna go down to the skate park after dinner? It's pretty sweet that you're so close to it."
Micah watched me dig into the stew, dragging my bread through the thick slop.
"We were going to study."
I scowled, "Oh, right."
After we cleaned up dinner, Micah and I retreated to their bedroom. They sat on their bed and I sat on their desk chair.
My backpack and skateboard had already been dumped just inside their door. I pulled my bag over by hooking my foot on the strap and sliding it along the floor.
Micah pulled their textbook from their bag and began to read the assigned chapter aloud.
I took the crayola marker pack on their desk and started attaching the markers together, lid nestled in end, until all twelve markers made a sword. Micah looked up and frowned deeper.
"Hey," they said, "I thought we agreed to study."
I shrugged, "I'm not really...I just can't focus right now."
Micah sighed and closed the book, "Let's go to the park for half an hour. I'll bring my books just in case."
We skated over to the park and Micah settled on the bench across from the rails. I practised my power slides and a few kick flips.
"Micah," I called, "grab your board."
Micah jumped onto their board and skated around. They did an olly and I pumped my fist when they landed it. After I tired from the tricks, Micah convinced me to return to their house.
"Have you been practising that without me?"
They scrunched up their nose. We were walking side by side and I slung an arm around their shoulders. They nodded.
"I'm glad you're still skating even though Emily broke up with you."
They shrugged and looked away. The smile on my face faltered and I had an urge to admit something I'd been saving.
"Can you stay over tonight?" They asked, not looking at me, "My parents are still away but they said I could have a...friend stay over if I wanted."
"Sure, bro," I replied, easy smile returning.
At Micah's house we settled on the front porch as the sun bathed the steps in a golden hue.
Micah retrieved some glasses of lemonade and I drank mine down quickly, swiping a sleeve across my face to clean it. Micah sipped theirs slower.
"You alright, bro?" I asked.
They'd been quieter since I'd mentioned Emily but I didn't know why exactly. They'd been fine to talk about her in the past.
"It's been exactly three months since she left me."
"Oh," I said, "I'm sorry I didn't realise."
Micah shrugged. They rubbed a hand over their arm sheepishly.
"It probably shouldn't bother me as much as it does."
My eyebrows collapsed into a grim line, "Why not?"
Micah blushed, pulled their knees up and buried their face in them. They said something muffled.
"I can't hear you," I said, scooting closer.
Micah poked their face up and I leaned in more so our faces were inches apart.
"Micah," I said, "I have a new crush too."
Micah was the one who closed that final gap. As we kissed, I reflected on the three months of our friendship. Emily dumped Micah shortly after we started hanging out.
Micah's family connected me to a social worker and set me up in a group home a month into our friendship.
Three months later, we were making out on Micah's porch, skateboards at our feet, bellies full of good food, hands touching the hands of our brand new partners.
I had fallen in love with Micah Walters.