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The ride to school was quiet, my lovable sidekick missing from my passenger seat. Dean had left the previous day, heading back to New York with his parents. Of course I sent him off at the airport.
“You be good now.” I said as I hugged him.
“Since when have I ever been good?” He rebutted, chuckling. “I’ll miss you.”
“This isn’t goodbye.” I said. Dean was a part of my life. The best friend that everyone wished they met in their life; the kind of friend that, even after not meeting for years, could talk as if it was just yesterday; the type that you told all your secrets and never judged you for it. So it was natural that when he flew off that day, a little part of me died and followed him.
Now I was driving to school, the sky rumbling as droplets of rain hit my windscreen. As I expected, with Dean gone, there was nothing to keep my emotions at bay. I felt alone. For the first time in my life, I truly felt alone. I didn’t have anyone at home to confide in and my one confidante was across the country.
But still I wouldn’t cry, letting the sky cry for me.
I parked in front of my high school, looking at the building that I was just a few days ago sneaking into with Dean. The first day of senior year and I felt like shit. Senior year was supposed to be the best time of your high school life. It didn’t seem to start so hot for me though.
I pulled my hood up, getting out of my truck. The cold drizzle hit my face, feeling like pins against my skin. I stuck my hands into my pockets, trudging over to the entrance of Jameson High. I watched as students waved hi to each other, getting reacquainted after a long summer, settling into their cliques, chatting away as they walked down the hallways.
With eyes downcast, I dragged myself to my locker. I couldn’t look at anyone. I couldn’t see the sympathy in their eyes. Apparently my misfortunes had spread all across school. Gossip turned to whispers as I walked past groups of kids, all not making it too discreet that they were talking about me. I dared myself to look up, just once, only to have my gaze land on the concerned looks of students. I sighed, returning my eyes to the floor.
I went for the first few periods, sitting at the back of the class each time. Even the teachers who walked in gave me those looks. I didn’t need their pity; all it did was remind me that my life, everything that meant anything to me, was gone. No one came to talk to me though, knowing better than to disturb me now, which was fine by me. That is, until one person had the nerve to break that unspoken rule.
I was at my locker, grabbing my books for the next class.
“Langston.” I heard beside me. Now wasn’t the time I wanted to deal with Nick. He already had the nerve to talk to me today when everyone else just left me alone, as I wanted. I was pretty sure this had to do with the message I left him on his locker.
“Not today Nick.” I spat, feeling irritation boiling up in me at his voice, stuffing books into my backpack.
“Hey c’mon. I just wanted to talk.” He said, looking at me as he leaned against the locker.
“I said not today Nick. I’m not in the mood to deal with you today.” I slammed my locker shut for added effect. I turned away from him and started to walk away when I felt a hand grab my shoulder.
“Drew…” Was all he managed to say before I turned abruptly, the irritation turning into full-blown anger; anger at him, at the student body, the school staff and the world. I grabbed the front of his shirt, pushing him back and smashing him into the side of the lockers. He looked shocked for a short while before his expression relaxed.
“Don’t you understand English? I said I’m not in the mood!” I shouted at him. “What? Want to make my life more miserable than it already is? Want to kick me while I’m down? My mom is dead and my best friend has moved away. But of course that’s not enough is it? Want to call me a fag and tell me I’m don’t deserve to live anyway? Hit me till I don’t even want to get up anymore? Is that it?” I could feel my hands curling into fists, my nails digging painfully into my palm. “I want to hit you so bad right now, you know that?”
“Then do it.” He said, looking at me in the eyes, his eyes set in determination. His words knocked me out of my rage. Yes I was still fuming but I could keep it in check.
“I’m not like you.” I spat, releasing his shirt.
“Oh don’t act all high and mighty. You know you want to do it. I’m giving you the chance and you’re turning it down.” He said, his voice rising as his temper rose.
“Hitting you will not bring them back!” I shouted, closing the distance between us.
“No it won’t, but that doesn’t mean you can’t vent your frustration.” He said, bumping his chest into me, knocking me back a step. “Just hit me.”
“Coward!” He screamed. I lost it, grabbing his shirt, pushing him into the locker. My right fist came up, ready to strike him across the jaw. The blow would surely knock his çıtır escort head back into the lockers. Adrenaline and anger coursed through my veins, fueling my arm as I sent it hurtling to his face. The sound of metal clanging rang across the hallway. I looked into Nick’s brown eyes, glancing at my fist implanted into the locker, mere inches from his face. Yeah I didn’t hit him, but I sure hell was close to it.
I dropped my right fist down, seeing the dent I made in the locker, my left hand still clutching his shirt. Everyone in the hallway was looking at us now, mostly shocked faces everywhere. No one had ever seen me lose my cool before, even when Nick taunted me I never lost it like that. I felt a tear escape my eye and roll down my cheek. The emotional outbreak opened the floor gates. I felt everything crashing into me; sadness, anger and frustration. They filled me up to a point I thought I was going to burst.
“Don’t you ever call me a coward again.” I hissed through clenched teeth. “If I was a real coward, I wouldn’t be standing here talking to you today.” I let go of his shirt and stormed off, leaving awestruck students behind me. I wasn’t going to class, not in the state that I was in. I headed to the second floor, the gate to the roof open seeing that school was back in. I walked out to the roof, which was devoid of human life, probably because it was just raining earlier.
I walked over to the wall with our initials on it. Our wall. I looked at the letters carved into the concrete. I brought my right hand up, tracing the letter, only to notice blood trailing down my finger. I inspected my knuckle, which apparently split when I punched the locker. The blood had started to dry so I ignored it; I was feeling so much worse pain than that. Another tear escaped my eyes as I looked at our little work of vandalism.
“I miss you already Dean.” I muttered feeling another tear flow down my face. I didn’t want to keep it in anymore. It was too exhausting. I leaned against the wall and slid to the ground, leaning my elbows on bent knees, letting the tears fall. I closed my eyes, feeling the cool breeze on my skin, the tear tracks colder than the rest. I felt a presence appear next to me but I didn’t open my eyes. Whoever it was slid down beside me but didn’t say anything. I opened my eyes and saw Nick sitting beside me. “You really don’t get ‘not now’ do you.”
He didn’t say anything, just looking at his hand, playing with his fingers. I shook my head, closing my eyes once again. I heard the school bell go off, hoping that he would get up and leave, but he didn’t. We sat there in complete silence for ten minutes, just enjoying the cool air. “Sorry.” He finally said. I finally managed to stop crying and I opened one red eye, glancing at him.
“For? Last I checked, I was the one who almost broke your jaw.” I said. He chuckled, smiling.
“Yeah and I guess thanks for that. But I am sorry, for everything.”
“It’s not your fault. Life’s just a bitch.” I replied.
“No not that either…ugh I mean…for all the shit I put you through. I’m sorry about that.” He apologized, constantly playing around with his fingers. Was he nervous about this? Nick Preston and nervous didn’t go in the same sentence.
“Yeah you should be.” I smirked, trying to calm him down a little.
“Yeah I didn’t mean anything I ever did to you. I just…I don’t know…feel the need to tease you.” He quipped, which I had to raise my eyebrow to. “Sounds stupid I know but yeah.”
“You sure it’s not cause you’re an ignorant homophobe?” I smirked.
“No!!! C’mon we’re in the 21st century. I just liked to see you squirm.”
“Sadistic bastard.” I muttered. He laughed looking at me with those brown eyes. Brown eyes that I’ve never seen looking at me with kindness before. I wasn’t going to lie, Nick was good looking, the hottest guy in school to be exact. His brown hair cropped at the side but spiky on the top gave him an almost innocent, boyish look. We stayed there for a while; not saying anything, the sound of students could be heard from the nearby field. The air was humid from the rain, the smell of freshly cut grass mixed with the cologne that Nick was wearing. It was all very peaceful.
“I really am sorry you know…and I was kinda hoping we could start off anew. Forget everything that has happened between us. Friends?” He asked after the silence, sticking his hand out.
“Why should I trust you? For all I know this could be another of your ploys to make my life hell.” I said.
“I understand that but I’m serious. No shit this time. I’m being honest, I swear.” He said, not putting down him outstretched hand. I stared at him awhile before spitting in my hand and shaking his. He tried pulling his hand away but I kept my grip on his, his face twisting in disgust.
“That’s for everything. But fine, friends…for now, but I’m watching you. If this is a joke, you’re gonna wish I knocked you out just now.” I said, escort demetevler letting go of his hands. He pulled it away before wiping it on my sweatshirt.
“And thanks for the message on my locker. Now everyone thinks I got screwed by some Jake dude.” He said, thumping me on the head. I played innocent, pretending to not know what he was talking about. “And for the record, I would do the fucking, not the other way around. Can’t say the same for you though.”
“Oh you want to get into my sex life now? Slow down tiger, I don’t go for bi curious guys.” I teased, lightly tapping his cheek.
“Oh don’t play dumb. I know you want me.” He smirked.
“Don’t flatter yourself dude. Personality is more important than a hot bod.”
“So you’re admitting I have a hot bod then.” He stated.
“I never…you…ugh you’re infuriating.” I said, crossing my arms across my chest. He pushed himself off the wall, kneeling in front of me. “What are you doing?”
In a swift action, he pinned my arms beside my head and straddled me, an evil grin on his face, pinning me against the wall. He bent his head close to mine, his breath tickling the skin on my neck. I stared at him in disbelief as he ran his face so close to mine, my hairs stood on end. He never actually touched me and yet I felt myself getting turned on. I felt myself growing in my jeans at his proximity, his breath dancing across my skin. He stopped his lips inches from mine, looking at me straight in the eye. I stared back, unsure of what was happening.
Nick was straight; he had a girlfriend. Or was what I said about him being Bi curious true. I was a little scared of what was going to happen next, his eyes boring into mine. I was fully hard now, straining against my jeans. I stared into his eyes, trying to figure out what was swimming in his mind, before the side of his lips curled up in a smile. “See, you want me alright.” He laughed letting go of me and climbing off, returning to his spot beside me.
I let out the breath I didn’t know I was holding. Glaring at him, laughing in his spot. “I wasn’t turned on.” I tried although my blush probably betrayed me.
“Yeah sure you weren’t.” he said, putting an arm around my shoulder. It was odd having Nick acting so chummy with me. The only time we ever had any physical contact was when he was either pinning me to the ground, putting me in a headlock or twisting my arm behind my back. Not to say that I’m complaining though; I’d much rather him put his arm around me instead of inflicting pain on me. The school bell rang in the distance.
“This is so weird.” I voiced my thoughts, not even looking at Nick.
“Good weird or bad weird.” He asked.
“Still not sure.” I replied to which he laughed and pinched my cheek.
“You’re cute. C’mon it’s almost time for lunch.” He said, getting up. I raised an eyebrow. Did Nick just call me cute? I mean he could have meant it as cute like acting cute but still it caught me off guard. Cut me some slack, I thought the guy was homophobic just earlier in the day, and suddenly he’s touching me, calling me cute and putting his face within kissing distance of mine. It would have made anyone confuse. I watched as he walked to the stairs, turning around and waiting for me. He made a ‘what are you waiting for’ motion, snapping me out of my thoughts and getting up.
I followed him down the stairs, walking behind him, my hands deep in my hoodie pockets. Nick turned around a few times to make sure I was following since I hadn’t said a single word since leaving the roof. I noticed a few stares shoot my way, muttering whispers thinking I couldn’t hear them. The news of my outbreak earlier in the day was already making it’s way around school and I couldn’t help but shake my head at the virus that is gossip. “Just ignore it. It’ll all eventually blow over. Look on the bright side, no one wants to get on your bad side now.”
“Huh, like anyone ever got on my bad side besides you.” I retorted.
“Well you sure did teach me a lesson. Please don’t hit me.” He mock whimpered, covering his face with his hands. “I didn’t even know you could punch like that. Would have made me think twice about picking on you last time.”
“What? Just cause I’m gay I’m supposed to hit like a girl?” I quipped.
“No, it’s just you don’t seem like the type to throw a punch like that.” I raised an eyebrow at his comment. “No I mean…you…you’re a guy, I know but…you…ugh that’s not what I meant. I mean c’mon you’re not even the feminine type.”
“I don’t know whether to be flattered or insulted by you’re comment.” I deadpanned.
“Well I meant it with the least disrespect I swear. Oh god, who knew talking to you would be so awkward.” He said.
“Well you should be honored that I’m even talking to you.” I joked, which made him smile.
“Indeed I am.” He said, pushing open the doors to the cafeteria. The warmth of the kitchen felt good against my skin. The smell escort dikmen of food made my stomach grumble. I followed behind Nick as we queued for our food, which consisted of some spaghetti, meatballs and a side salad. Normally school food made me lose my appetite but this time, it only made me realize how hungry I was. I hadn’t eaten the previous night as well as the morning before so I was basically running on empty.
As I stood with the tray of food I couldn’t wait digging into, I stopped to ponder where I was going to sit. You see, in the past I would have sat with Dean at the far end of the cafeteria, away from majority of the student body. Now there were a couple problems to that concept. One being that Dean was no longer around to sit with me, and two, my table has already been occupied by a group of freshmen. I let out a breath of exasperation.
“Well don’t just stand there c’mon.” Nick’s voice knocked me out of my stupor, making me shoot him a confused look. “Well you didn’t think that you wouldn’t be eating with me now did you? When I said friends, I meant the whole package. Not some part-time thing.”
I felt something akin to awe at Nick but as I looked past him at the table that he usually sat at, any feeling I had was replaced my one of uneasiness. His table was considered the ‘popular’ table. A few kids from the football team and their hot cheerleader girlfriends. I always got the impression that the table had an aura surrounding it; an aura that just screamed, ‘come too close and we’ll bite your head off’. The aura was weird seeing that everyone who sat at that table was nice to almost everyone else. Not the typical popular kids in movies who didn’t give a fuck about anyone else but themselves. Maybe it was just me.
“You mean you want me to sit there?” I asked, nodding my head in the direction of his table.
“Yeah why? Don’t worry, they don’t bite.” He said, turning and making his way towards the table of doom, or so I called it, placing his tray on the table and sitting down. Residents of the group returned their greetings, a few bumping fists with Nick. “I brought someone along if you guys don’t mind.” Nick said, turning to face me. All at once I felt half a dozen pair of eyes shoot in my direction. To say I felt uncomfortable under their gaze was a little of an understatement.
“Hi.” I said, my voice catching in my throat. A blush shot to my cheeks as embarrassment filled me. When I thought their stares were going to burn a hole in me, they lightened and a smile spread across their faces. A couple of them broke up laughing and I felt myself blush even further.
“Oh you should have seen your face. Priceless.” Tray Parker, linebacker of the team laughed as he wiped the tear from his eye.
“Glad I amuse you.” I deadpanned as I sat at the far right of the table next to Nick.
“Tray Parker.” Tray said, stretching out his hand for a handshake, to which I left him hanging.
“I know who you are Tray.”
“I know, I was just being polite. I mean everyone at this school knows who I am.” He joked.
“Yeah and you’re modest too.” He smirked at my sarcastic comment before looking at Nick.
“You should have had your butt kick by him long ago. He’s great.” Tray said, pretending I wasn’t there.
“Hey I didn’t get my butt kick by him okay.” Nick tried defending himself but me being me, I knew I had to say something. I can’t help it sometimes.
“Yeah sure, just keep telling yourself that. It would probably soothe the wound.” I teased, sticking my fork into my spaghetti and stuffing it into my mouth. I slightly cringed at the strong garlic taste that filled my mouth but I was too hungry to care. Who cares if my breath stinks anyway?
“I think you’re gonna fit in just fine here.” Tray said, digging into his lunch as well, not before Nick shot him a glare.
As I sat there and listened to the group talk, I realized that they really were genuinely nice people. Sure they’re not going to be winning some peace prize or something but they were decent. My misconception of them putting up a facade just to gain popularity with the student body was somewhat blown out the water. Plus, I realized that although Nick was the star quarterback, he was kind of the little kid in the group. A lot, if not all, light-hearted banter was aimed at him, to which he would chuckle and shake his head. It was so different from the guy that picked on my everyday.
“Hey guys, sorry I’m late. I was helping Suzy with something.” I looked up at the pretty red head with striking green eyes, dainty pointed nose and pink lush lips that was our school head cheerleader and girlfriend to Nick. Kate Benson bent down and placed a small peck on Nick’s cheek before taking a seat across me. She looked up at me and a surprised look crossed her face. Apparently she hadn’t noticed the new addition to their group. “Oh I didn’t know we were having guests.” She smiled. “Drew right?”
“You know who I am?” I asked, a little bewildered that she knew my name. I mean I was known around school as the gay kid but most people didn’t actually know my name.
“Yeah why not? I heard you beat up a jock today.” She said.
“Will everyone stop it? I didn’t get beat up.” Nick cried, pouting like a little kid, which was cute in a way.
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