the kid gasps, open mouthed, around your room, taking it all in. he’s never been in here before
after all, when you visit your friend’s house as a kid there are only two rooms that are off-limits.
one is their parents bedroom, it’s never been said that you can’t go in there but no one dares to take refuge there during hide and seek
the other, far more importantly, is their older sibling’s room, those dimly lit places, always barricaded shut to hide away any big boy or girl happenings that may occur, though what these happenings may be you and your friend have no idea, not for lack of speculation
but I digress, now you’ve allowed the kid into your room. or rather, he never really gave a shit about being told off and his curiosity often gets the better of him
so you wince as he plays with your vinyls, definitely scratching one of your favourites, because he’s never seen one before and even you still sometimes become enthralled by the way the drag of the needle across a black disc can produce any sound besides a horrible screech
and you gasp and catch the snow globe you bought in Berlin when you were lonely and miserable and detached as he - the fucking idiot, you’ll happily tell him - bounces it on your bed and of course it rolls off the edge and of course the football obsessed dumbass would be convinced that anything even remotely spherical would just bounce right up off of the floor
(in retrospect, you’re not entirely sure why you bothered to catch it, maybe you like to preserve the unhappy memories of alienation - that was probably just your fault because you weren’t outgoing enough - in such a cheap, shitty reminder. or maybe you just didn’t want to have to clean up glass and stale water and white glitter off of your floor.)
but by now (after fifteen minutes, maximum, I swear to fucking god) the kid’s run out of things to fuck around with, he’s even risked a half-a-second glance into your underwear drawer, right in front of you, the wee shit, so it’s no surprise that he’s decided to scrutinise the walls. he stops, perhaps only just really noticing the posters, proudly tacked up and yes you’re proud of them because you nearly broke your neck putting the top ones up and you actually had to plan which ones went where before you put them up so shut the fuck up okay? yes, you’re proud of them
you see his gaze settle on the poster of Harry Styles, artfully nude and draped across a yellow background. you sigh inwardly and prepare for the snigger of “why’s he naked?” from the kid
instead he laughs, points at the wall in an accusatory fashion and looks right at you, “You Freak!” bursts mirthfully from his mouth. “it’s art”, you protest, and laugh along half heartedly, maybe embarrassed. perhaps he’ll go home and tell his parents about the poster and they’ll think you’re just as bad as their son, with his bikini clad women tacked up on his walls.
you don’t really care though.
after a short while his accusatory shrieks die down and soon his gaze lands on the smaller photo of Lorde, tucked away in the corner, her face hidden by a big, red balloon and your stomach goes tight, tongue already loaded and ready to fire defence into the kid’s face. he once again turns his head to you and points at the wall
“You Freak”, bursts out again. you can’t tell if it’s just you or if it sounds more serious this time, mirthless. you jam on a defensive smile. “she’s wearing a top!”, you exclaim, too defensive, “she’s hardly naked like”. “you can still see her titties!”, he retaliates, argues
“You Freak!, You Freak!, You Freak!, You Freak!”, the words seem loud this time, real.
you wonder if in a few years he’ll tell his friends about the village queer, how he knew she was a Freak as soon as he saw the posters on her wall.
you look hotly at the poster as he continues to chant incessantly, at the thin, low-cut top she wears. you’ve analysed it before, you think she’s protesting against being reduced to just a Pair of Tits and you appreciate the irony of hanging it on your wall to show your solidarity with this statement.
“it’s art”, you laugh stiffly. then you put on a false-posh voice, “I wouldn’t expect you to understand”. but he just laughs. “I don’t care, you’re a Freak anyway”.
later, long after he’s left your room, you wonder if he understood perfectly well what that poster meant.