I think I followed the prompt. If not, oh well, enjoy the story anyway. There probably isn't going to be a sequel, by the way.
“Jace, look!” Mike says, pointing over the side of the railing, and leaning forward. The wind blows his curly red hair out of his pale, freckled face. He’s tall and lanky, and clumsy sometimes.
Charlie automatically reaches out to grasp the back of Mike’s shirt, and pull him back, not looking up from his phone. His black dreads are pulled back in a low ponytail, and his rectangular glasses are perched on his nose.
“What is it?” I ask him, following his finger. We’re on a bridge, and lots of people are walking either direction. Mike wanted to take pictures, though, so we stopped.
“Over there. Isn’t that an elephant?”
Charlie coughs at that, looking up. “Mike, we’re in New York.”
“Yeah, but look.” He says. “I’m pretty sure that’s an elephant.”
“Mike, that’s a bird.”
“Are you sure?”
“Oh. Never mind then!”
Charlie snorts. “Did you get your pictures?”
“Yep. Let’s go!”
Mike is a little bit childish, and a lot sometimes, but I love that about him. He’s also optimistic all the time.
Charlie is calmer than Mike is, and is usually focused on several things, but still always listening.
I’m quieter than both of them. Being mute, that makes sense. They both learned sign language so they could talk to me, which is probably what made me start to fall in love with them.
“Hey, you.” Someone behind me said.
I turned, and saw a cute short guy with fiery red hair grinning at me. I hugged my books to my chest, not sure what to do. I’m in high school, and have no experience on how to flirt.
“Hm. You look familiar.” He said.
I frowned. I was sure I’d never seen him before.
“Oh! You dropped this in the library. I’m Mike.” He said, holding out a stack of papers stapled together. My eyes widened, and I took it from him. It was the essay I’d been working on all weekend.
I took it from him, and, on reflex, signed thank you. He tilted his head in confusion.
“Well, I was wondering, are you any good at math? It’s the only subject I can’t figure out, and I need someone to tutor me.”
I nodded slowly. I was good at math. But how could I tutor someone if I couldn’t even talk?
“Do you think you could help me? I have a big test coming up next month, and I really help.” He said.
I reached into my pocket and pulled out an index card I carried around for exactly that reason, and handed it to him. It said, My name is Jace. I’m mute. He read it, then looked back at me.
“Oh. Well, that’s all right. Can I have your number?”
I blinked. My number? He hardly knows me.
“Please? You could teach me over text.”
I didn’t think about that. I nodded slowly, and he grinned as I pulled out my phone, and handed me his. He typed his numbers in as I did, before handing the phones back to each other.
“Thank you! I’ll text you later. And-Oh, hold on. Charlie, I’m over here!”
He waved to a tall guy with brown hair, who walked over. He smiled at me, and said, “Who are you?”
“Jace,” Mike chirped. “He’s going to tutor me in math!”
“Really?” Charlie asked.
I nodded. I was going to try.
“Thanks.” He said. “Though I should warn you, he hates listening to people.”
That shouldn’t be a problem.
“Jace. Jace? Jace!”
I blink, automatically stepping back. Mike is waving a hand in my face. “Are you okay?” Charlie asks, frowning. We’ve been walking, but I wasn’t paying attention.
I nod, and sign, Sorry. Just thinking.
“What about?” Mike asks.
The first time we met. When I agreed to tutor Mike.
That was before I knew they were dating. When they told me, they also told me they both liked me.
Charlie shakes his head, lifting his hand to hail a cab. “That wasn’t the first time we met.”
The yellow car stops by the sidewalk, and we get in, Charlie in between us. Charlie tells the driver directions, then sits back.
I give him a curious look.
“We both ran into you at the mall one day in middle school. You don’t remember?”
I shake my head. I tried to avoid malls in middle school. Being a weak gay mute kid got me targeted. If I went, I went with my mom, but rarely. The one time I did go, I got beat up. I don’t remember much of what happened after, though.
“Well, these kids were messing with you in the alley by the mall. I stopped them, and Mike got security. I don’t know what happened to them, though.
“But we brought you to the bathroom, since you were bleeding. You didn’t say anything, and we thought you were just scared. You had your phone, so we called your mom.
“She brought you to the hospital, since apparently your head was hit hard, and you lost a lot of blood. Neither of us realized it was you until a couple weeks after we met. I didn’t think it was important to mention.”
By the time he finishes, we’ve reached the house. Charlie pays the driver, and we get out of the car.
“You know what would be cool?” Mike says. “If we met when we were little. Or if our parents knew yours, Jace?”
“Then we’ll find out today.” Charlie says, wrapping an arm around his waist, and kissing his forehead as we walk up the steps.
I ring the doorbell, and we wait for the door to open. When we do, Mike grins. “Mom!”
She laughs as he flies into her arms, wrapping his arms around him. “Hey, Micheal.”
“It’s Mike, Mom.” He mumbles.
Mike’s mother has blond hair, and freckles. Mike’s taller than her, but only by a few inches. She looks over at Charlie and I, and smiles.
“You must be Jace. Mike has told me so much about you.”
Mike blushes. “No I haven’t.”
I sign, nice to meet you, and Mike translates.
“It’s nice to meet you, too. Charlie, it’s great to see you again. Your father is already here. Come on in.”
We walk into the big house. Mike’s parents are clearly wealthy.
There are three people sitting in a living room, and they all look up when we come in.
One of them is clearly Mike’s father. He has the same red hair and build as Mike does.
The other two must be Charlie’s parents. He told me he was adopted, so he looks nothing like his parents. The two both have black hair and light skin. They stand as we walk towards them, and Charlie moves to hug them both.
Charlie and Mike both introduce me to their parents. They’ve already told them about our relationship, and, I assume, that I’m mute, because they don’t ask about that.
When the doorbell rings again, Mike’s mother, Martha, goes to answer it. I grin when my mom walks into the room behind her.
I look just like her. We both have messy brown hair, and light skin. I haven’t seen her in a long time, and immediately hug her when she gets over.
She pulls away to sign to me, I missed you. How are you doing?
Good. I didn’t like the plane ride here, but I like new york.
When I was younger, we signed to each other instead of her talking. My father died when I was young, so it was always just me and her.
She turns to everyone else, but her eyes widen when she sees Charlie and Mike’s fathers. “Devin? Elijah?”
“Hello, Lucy.” Mike’s father mumbles.
“Wait, you guys know each other?” Charlie asks.
His father sighs. “Yes, we, well, we used to date back in high school.”
There’s a long silence. Mike breaks it.
“Well, I was right.” He says. “They do know each other.”