Jonghyun wants to change his gender. Minho is a sassy student. As neighbours they grew up close. But maybe one of them wants a little bit more than just ‘neighbours’.
Jonghyun scrolled down the familiar page once more before the sheets finished printing. When the printer stopped clicking and whirring he grabbed the paper and stuffed it in his bag. He looked at the clock ticking above his head.
“Shit! I’m gonna be late!” He exclaimed and ran to find the clothes he was supposed to be wearing ten minutes ago.
After a few hastily gulped spoonfuls of cereal and a quick scull of juice (straight from the carton- his mum will kill him), he flew out of the house and ran down the path. A tall figure was leaning against the letter box at the front gate.
“You’re late,” He called.
“Sorry,” Jonghyun laughed.
Minho pulled the shorter Jonghyun under his arm and knuckled his head.
“Not good enough!” Minho sang with a big grin.
“Yah! OW!” Jonghyun laughed and struggled out of the hold. He poked Minho in the side, but never stopped smiling.
“What’s got you in such a good mood today? You’re smile is so bright I might go blind.” Minho jokingly put on a pair of sunglasses.
“I just feel good,” Jonghyun mumbled thinking about the sheets he printed this morning, his smile growing wider.
“You’re too happy Jonghyun, it scares me,” Minho said, bopping Jonghyun on his head as they walked side by side to school.
“So what do you need to do in order to solve the equation?” The dinosaur of a teacher droned on at the front of the class, completely unaware that half of his audience was asleep, and the other half…. Doing anything other than listening to him.
Minho and Jonghyun were completely absorbed in a thumb wrestling match that they had been competing in all day. Whenever one of them beat the other, the next round would always even out the scores.
“I’m winning!” Jonghyun whispered as he moved his thumb.
“No you’re not,” Minho smiled as he whispered back, countering Jonghyun’s attack.
WHACK. The teacher smacked the ruler on his desk waking half the class.
“Jonghyun! Minho! Would you care to repeat what I just said or were you to busy twiddling your pathetic thumbs?” He smirked.
“You said to factorise the left hand side, subtract the x and then expand the brackets and solve the rest to get the answer.” Jonghyun said, completely nonplussed.
The teacher looked miffed that Jonghyun was actually correct. The smart thing for Jonghyun to do at that point would be to take his small victory and leave it at that. But no- Jonghyun always had to go that step further.
“Even though the answer you produced is sufficient and, technically correct, you could simplify it further. Also the method you used is slow and there is another way that you could-,”
Minho kicked him under the table and Jonghyun realised he said too much. The teacher was going an unsightly shade of puce and he all but snapped the ruler in his hands.
“Well,” The teacher said. “If Jonghyun is so smart, then maybe Jonghyun should teach the class. How about it Jonghyun? You want to teach the class?”
Jonghyun looked bewildered and a little bit scared. The teacher was taller than him. But, then again, so was everyone in the class.
“He would teach the class but everyone was getting such a nice sleep listening to you,” Minho piped up from beside Jonghyun.
“Choi Minho!” The teacher shouted, outraged. “Out of the class now. You will report to me after school for detention. Out. NOW!”
Minho shrugged and piled his stuff into his bag and wandered out the class room. Just before he closed the door he made a face behind the teacher’s back, making everyone in the class laugh.
“SHUT UP ALL OF YOU!!” The teacher screamed.
Everyone, Jonghyun included, jumped in their seats and put their heads down as fast as they could.
Jonghyun waited on the steps of his house, watching the road for Minho’s tall figure. He sipped occasionally from the popper in his hand. He kept one by his side for Minho when he came home. The sun sunk lower and lower on the horizon and Jonghyun’s lack of sleep began to creep up on him. His lids crept closer and closer together until they shut and he lost consciousness.
Minho was walking along the road kicking a stone ahead of him. He thought back to earlier today in maths. If he hadn’t have said anything he wouldn’t have gotten into trouble. Jonghyun wouldn’t have either, but something about the way the teacher had picked on Jonghyun had made him bubble with anger. Jonghyun was so kind and unassuming, a bit too energetic for some people’s tastes, but Minho liked it. And no one could push his Jonghyun around like that. No one. Minho was still contemplating his feelings when he noticed Jonghyun’s slouched figure on the porch. He smiled before seeing the giant red patch blossoming on Jonghyun’s white shirt.
“Shit. Shit. Shit.” Minho exclaimed to himself and ran towards Jonghyun. “Jonghyun! Jonghyun!” He yelled and shook Jonghyun awake.
“Hmmm?” Jonghyun mumbled and rubbed his eyes as he woke. He looked down at his shirt. “Shit- mum’s gonna kill me. Blackcurrant never comes out.” He mumbled.
“Blackcurrant?” Minho asked in a breath.
“Juice, blackcurrant juice. Oh yeah, I forgot,” Jonghyun said. He reached behind him and pulled out the extra popper. “Apple- your favourite!”
Minho smiled and took the popper from his hands.
“Thanks. Man,” He exclaimed, taking a sip. “I thought someone had shot you or something.”
Jonghyun laughed and pulled Minho onto the step beside him. They sat in silence for a while.
“Um, Jonghyun….” Minho started, about to divulge the conclusion of his earlier self-therapy session.
“Yeah? What’s u- OH SHIT!” Jonghyun noticed that he had spilt the juice on his bag too.
He rushed to pull all the stuff out of his bag before it could get any worse. Minho watched, slightly sad that Jonghyun had interrupted what he was going to say. He helped Jonghyun get all his books out but a certain piece of paper caught his eye. He began to read.
Gender Reassignment Surgery.
The individual may undergo genital reconfiguration surgery after one year of hormone therapy at the earliest. Various mental health evaluations must be-
Jonghyun snatched the paper out of Minho’s hands before he could read further.
“Jonghyun, why do you have information on ‘Gender Reassignment Surgery’?” Minho asked.
“This school project-,” Jonghyun began but stopped. “Because I want to be a girl.” He admitted, ducking his head.
“Jonghyun,” Minho pulled Jonghyun’s chin up to meet his eyes. “Why do you want that?”
“Because ever since we were four I’ve had a massive crush on you and-,” Jonghyun spilled out in a rush. “And because boys don’t kiss boys.” He whispered.
“Who said they don’t?” Minho asked.
Jonghyun looked up at Minho. Their deep brown orbs locked and neither could look away.
“Jonghyun,” Minho said steadily. “Don’t you ever- ever change who you are for someone else. If they don’t accept you as who you are then they don’t deserve you.”
Jonghyun looked at his feet, disappointed. He had hoped Minho had been about to confess to some covered feelings like his own and that they would ride happily into the sunset on a white horse. But he didn’t even know anyone on the street who owned a white horse. There wasn’t even a white goat.
“You shouldn’t change,” Minho grabbed Jonghyun’s chin again to refocus his gaze. “Because I love you just the way you are.”
Minho leant in and pressed his lips to Jonghyun’s.
“Don’t you ever change, Jonghyun. Promise me,” Minho whispered in his ear.
“I-I promise.” Jonghyun whispered against Minho’s neck.
Jonghyun had to catch his breath. It was everything he had imagined all those years ago. His first lip kiss. With Minho. Who needed a smelly horse anyway, when you had the most wonderful being on Earth caught between your lips.
They kissed again. Suddenly Jonghyun pulled away from Minho’s face (although keeping within easy kissing distance.)
“Are you saying you don’t think I’d look good with boobs?”