Take me back

Seven Minutes in Heaven01-2022, 1400 words

High school

The party was loud and sort of terrifying. 

Sol was there only because Chet was there. And Chet was there because he helped a jock with his homework and scored an invite to the hottest rager in town.

This was where the cool kids went, with flashing lights and music that blared through tinny speakers. People walked around with red plastic cups and Sol had a feeling they weren’t drinking juice. 

He was supposed to like being here but actually, he wished they weren’t. His head spun and his ears hurt. 

Worse of all, he was stuck in a circle, Chet sitting next to him, waiting for a bottle to spin. 

It was… Seven Minutes in Heaven

Sol wondered how he got here. He also wondered if he could just get up and leave. 

Except Chet actually seemed excited, given that on their way there, he’d talked up a storm about their “first real party experience!” 

He was staring animatedly at the bottle, a grin on his face. Positively bouncing with excitement as the bottle spun.

“Sol, Sol, this is so cool! This is just like out of my high school movies!” 

It figured that a childhood of watching High School Opera would give him really weird expectations. At least he was having fun, which was more than Sol could say. 

The bottle kept spinning and Sol began to wonder when it would stop. Then he began to worry about what would happen when it did, like if it landed on him. 

He tugged on Chet’s sleeve to get his attention. “Chet, what happens if the bottle lands on me?” 

Chet looked at him and beamed, head completely empty. “No way, there’s like twenty people here. The odds of it landing on us is two out of twenty which is ten percent which is basically impossible!” He propped his chin in his hands and sighed. “I always wanted to have the full party experience.” 

“Okay,” Sol said, feeling irritation rise in his voice. Chet wasn’t being helpful at all. “I didn’t.” 

Chet stared back stubbornly. “We’ll just stay for this spin and leave. The bottle won’t land on you.” 

For a moment, Sol felt better. Then the bottle landed on him. 

“You were saying?” Sol muttered, face going white. 

Everyone was staring at him, which was a scene out of his worst nightmares. The other end of the bottle was pointed towards another boy, which made the crowd erupt in giggles. 

Someone in the back cheered. “Seven minutes!” 

Sol, in a rare moment of violence, wanted to reach over and throttle him. 

Now he had to stand in a closet with some guy for seven minutes. Sol could already imagine how it would go. No one was going to speak and the other boy would be counting down the seconds until he could escape. Afterward, he’d tell his friends about how awkward it was and they would all have a good laugh. It was going to be absolutely painful.

There was no way to back out without people getting mad at him. Sol got up and took a step towards the closet, more miserable than he’d been all night.

And was promptly stopped. 

Chet had thrown out an arm, standing protectively in front of him. 

“Sorry but no,” Chet said, glaring at the crowd. “Sol is not going in the closet. He is not going in there to make out with someone else!” 

“M-make out?!”

“Yeah, make out!” He turned to Sol, crossing his arms. “Unless you want to. Do you wanna make out with him?!” 

“No!” Sol said quickly. 

“Good!” Chet smiled triumphantly at the crowd. “He doesn’t wanna play so there! You can stick your seven minutes up your -” 

“Then why did you even join?!” someone in the crowd snapped. 

“Peer pressure!” Chet yelled back. 

At this point, Sol had a feeling it didn’t matter what he did anymore. He could probably sneak out and no one would pay any attention. 

Except now everyone was mad at Chet. Chet had done the thing where he drew attention away from Sol to help him - and faced the crowd himself. 

But Sol didn’t want him to go through that. Even if it was his fault for dragging them to the party in the first place. 

Taking a deep breath, Sol gathered himself and spoke. “I, um... I would rather go with Chet?”

He had to say it twice because no one heard him the first time. Once they did, everyone turned to stare. 

“We’re dating so,” he mumbled weakly. 

“Fine, go with him if you care that much.” Already, people were losing interest, eager to get the party going again. 

And that was how Sol and Chet were unceremoniously shoved into the closet. 

It was dark and stuffy, which was about right for a closet. Small too, with the wall against Sol’s back and something soft on his front.

“Chet?” he called out, feeling around in the dark. His hand hit something soft and curly and he resisted the urge to pet it.

“‘M here, Sol.” Chet shifted and Sol felt him move. “Uh, there's something on my head? And in my face.” 

There was a faint light streaming through the cracks of the door. As Sol’s eyes got used to the dark, he could make out vague shapes. What he thought were clothes pressed against him was actually Chet. 

Sol felt his face getting warm. 

“I think that's me,” he said quickly, taking back his hand. “Sorry.” 

“It’s okay.” Chet pulled back so his face wasn’t smooshed up in Sol’s chest anymore. For no reason at all, Sol was a little disappointed. 

In any other situation, he would’ve thrown out his arms and clung to Chet. This was as good a time as any to hug and cuddle. 

But Sol was still feeling snippy for getting dragged into the party and then into the closet. Especially the closet, right after causing a ruckus where everyone had stared at him. 

No one was talking, the silence as suffocating as the darkness. Sol crossed his arms and looked away, towards a lump of fabric that looked vaguely like a jacket. It was the least he could do to sulk. 

Chet was the first to break the silence. Sol heard a scuffing noise and then Chet spoke. “Sorry for making you come in the first place,” he muttered. 

“It’s fine,” Sol said automatically. He had a habit of saying things were okay. 

“Sure it is.” Chet didn’t believe Sol at all, which was both fair and true. “I just wanted to see what it was like. I didn’t think you’d get bottled!” 

No doubt he was giving Sol big ol’ eyes right now, even if Sol couldn’t see. “Sorry again.” 

Despite himself, Sol felt his heart softening. He could never stay mad at Chet for long, especially when it was just Chet being Chet. Of course he’d be silly about parties. 

Slowly, he looped his arms around Chet’s waist and squeezed. “It’s whatever,” Sol mumbled. 

“Mm hm.” Chet slumped forwards, resting his head against Sol’s shoulder. 

Now the silence was nice. Sol stood there, hugging Chet and thinking about how comfy he was. He was always so warm, like a little space heater. 

“So, what do people do in the closet?” he asked, just to tease Chet. 

Chet fidgeted against him, caught by surprise. “Uh, a bunch of things… Talk. Kiss. Make out.”

“What are we going to do?” Sol asked without thinking. Once he realized it, he was suddenly glad it was dark. His face felt warm, no doubt it was bright red.

“We're talking right now, aren't we?!” Chet whined. “I’m not making out in someone’s closet. That’s weird.”

He had a point. Sol nodded, though he didn’t know if Chet saw it. “You’re right,” he said. “And thanks.” 


“For standing up for me.” He turned his head, embarrassed. “I’m changing the subject.”

“Ohhh.” If Sol could see, he was sure Chet’s eyes were wide. “Well, I didn't want you going in with him either!” 



Time passed, just the two of them in the dark. Sol wondered how long it had been. It felt like more than seven minutes. Maybe they’d been locked in because no one wanted them at the party anymore? 

Whatever. Sol would rather be in the closet with Chet. 

Slowly, he fumbled for Chet's hand. “Does anyone ever, um... do this?” 

“What, hand-holding?” Chet squeezed back awkwardly. “Y-yeah…” 

Chet’s hand was warm, with a grip bordering on painful. The occasional band-aid brushed against Sol, a souvenir from his many scrapes. Holding his hand was very nice, better than anything else that had happened all night. 

“Your hand is kind of sweaty,” Sol mumbled. 


Sol didn’t know how long they were going to stay there. But as Chet squeezed his hand, he figured they could stand in the dark for a bit more.