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The Unmasking of the Beard

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The feel of the wind was making its way around his body, his stomach turning into knots. The leaves around him were slowly falling from the trees, as the first drops of water made their way down the nearest tree trunk. The birds in the area were now making their laps around the nearest pond, the water was covered in dark colored leaves, the wind was picking up making the people in the area run for cover. But not him, he still sat at the furthest bench from the parking lot, his stomach still turning. There was another man now, running towards him, his smile too bright for the moment.

“Did it happen?” The man questioned, when he was in speaking distance.
“Yes, Zed,” The man sitting on the bench replied, his stomach now increasing in pain.
“Are you going to tell me what happened?” the dull blue eyed man inquired, taking his time to sit down. Their thighs touching.
“No.”           
“But you need to tell me,” His dull blue eyes turned dark with curiosity.
“I don’t need to, you just want me to,” the emerald eyed man stated, turning towards Zed. He tried to not smile, but failed.
“But you tell me everything, we don’t keep secrets Rae,” Zed declared, putting his hand gently on Rae’s shoulder. 
“I know we don’t keep secrets, but this time I can’t tell you,” Rae shot out pushing away the hand on his shoulder. Making Zed feel some kind of way.
Rae stood up, not knowing what else to do in this moment. His stomach was now making its way towards a painless rumble. He started to make his way toward the pond, the changing of the weather was getting to him. The idea of something changing was getting to him.
“Don’t walk away from me,” Zed thundered with more force than he expected. He didn’t want Rae to think he was upset
“The leaves are changing and they’re falling,” Rae rumbled, staring off in the distance.
“What does that have to do with anything?”
“Don’t worry about it. We only have a short amount of time left.”
“What do you mean?” Zed questioned, his face turning into a frown.
“Stop worrying and just enjoy the day with me.”
“I can’t. I need to know.”
“NO!” Rae yelled, making Zed jump a little.
“Don’t get mad at me. I just need to know.”
“Well you can’t. End of discussion.” Rae demanded.
“I’m not done talking about this,” Zed ordered. “We are not going to stop talking about this. I’m worried about you,” He grabbed Rae’s hand.
“I’m not  ready for the fall. Remember I don’t like change,” Rae said not letting go of Zed’s hand.
“Of course I remember.”
“Is that all you remember?”
“I remember it all.”
“So you remember when I said I don’t like confrontation.” 
“Yeah, I remember, I just try to look past that one.”
“Well don’t,” Rae said looking deeply into Zed’s blue eyes.
“Was it bad?”
“I don’t want to talk about it. Remember last summer at the lake when I told you sometimes I need to keep things to myself, well this is one of ‘those’ times.”
“You can’t do that.”
“And why not? Last time I checked this was my secret.”
“Stop messing around and tell me what happened,” His smile returning to his face, only for a moment. Zed couldn’t help but smile around Rae.
“I’m going to leave,” Rae snapped, removing his hand from Zed’s tight grip and turned towards the parking lot.
“Stop! Fine, I won’t bring it up again,” Zed remarked grabbing Rae’s hand before he was too far out of reach. Fixing his grip around Rae’s hand until it was perfect.
“Why do I have a feeling you’re only saying that now, but in five minutes, we will be back to the same conversation,” Rae mumbled, not letting go of Zed’s hand.
“Because you know me, just like I know you. This time I promise though I will not bring it up again,” Zed chimed,  smiling at their intertwined hands, “What's up with you and this fear of change, you never told me this  story.”
“Zed.” There was a long pause before Rae said, “It was bad.” His smile faded, his eyes glossed over and his words become to hard to form in his mouth.






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