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Everything's Jake - 1. Chapter 1: Connor

Everything's Jake

Chapter 1: Connor

Normally, half the battle is finding someone who is gay in your school, what with all the closet dwellers, those in denial. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I am one myself, but it makes it hard to find a boyfriend when you have all these out of season clothes hanging in your face. The eye candy, on the other hand, is tremendous at times. It also is extremely bad at times, like sitting in math class and all you can see is the pimple riddled neck of the nerd in front of you. Of course, there is the occasional good looking guy or the one who has a good day, where he dresses in clothes that match and gets his hair to do the right thing, but it’s not as common as you might think.
I guess I fall into that category too, as I don’t take a great deal of time to ensure I look good on a daily basis, and I am also not always sure what goes together to start with, but I do recognize when it works for someone else and so I’ll usually try it out then. So from that bit of information you could correctly deduce I am one of those people on the fringes, you know me but you don’t-- not really.
So I wander the halls from one place to another, mostly unnoticed, but I do see some friends from time to time. Well, they used to be friends anyway, like Kenny, overweight and with a cutting sense of humor. It took me along time to realize that the things he said were insensitive at best, and discriminatory at worst. I guess the clue that put him on my bad side happened last summer. My father used to tutor people in English, part of a volunteer literacy program. One of his students was Polish, and he had a son my age. So one day when I was going over with my father, I invited Kenny. So he turns around and yells behind him, “Mom! Connor wants me to go visit some Pollock, can I go?”
Yeah, that’s Kenny. Bruce was different, but alas, just as shallow. He was much more attractive, kinda short with that pageboy haircut on his blond locks. He was better than Kenny in many respects, but since I had taken him off the pedestal I had originally placed him on, we were drifting apart. Besides, I wasn’t the sort you made friends with to improve your rep, I was a social nobody.
I know that people always joke about jocks, and how dumb they are and how nice they are to look at, but honestly? Yeah, some are nice, others aren’t. I saw some that were cute, to be sure, but most were pretty darn average. Come on, be honest and look around your school. I’ll bet the quarterback might look better than the offensive lineman, but he’s still no model or anything.
I went through my crushes, just like anyone else. Bob the first year, he was in my gym class and wore these little thin gray shorts that really clung to his ass, but weren’t tight material if you can get that picture. We went bowling once, after I got up the nerve to call him but he had the personality of a rock, pretty much. Couple years later it was that Bruce and I actually had a friendship with him. But as I said it was kind of souring now.
Now, there were some kids that screamed fag, like Steven and Oliver but…well, you didn’t want to associate with that, then you’d slide even lower on the social ladder. Besides, I have never really gone in for the fem types. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want a Schwarzenegger type either, some where in between would be nice.
So that kind of brings me to now, and Jake Bishop. Jake wasn’t exactly elite or anything, but I admit I liked his name. I was a name man, as well as being a leg man. I have these good or bad associations with names, kind of puts the person at an advantage or disadvantage with me right off. Is that fucked or what? Anyway, Jake was a name I approved of, and Jake Bishop was a good a reason as any for liking the name. He was soft spoken, always in the in crowd, played a few sports but wasn’t really a jock.
Now I know what you’re thinking, he’s been my best friend since grade school or even since diapers and we secretly lust for each other. Nope, Jake Bishop doesn’t know I exist, and we have never been friends, but I have a plan. Well, ok, I don’t have a plan, but I will. Cause I think Jake is just waiting for the right opportunity to get to know me.
See, Jake is out. I mean, completely out. He’s not fem and prancing about trying to be something he isn’t like the aforementioned Oliver and Steven. The only thing he has in common with them is that he hangs out with a lot of girls. But I have caught him looking at me once or twice, and before you say something smart, I was having good days. I mean, I matched and I did my hair that day. At least, I think I matched.
But the point is he was looking. OK, all right, I admit it was in my general direction. But it could have been me, and you won’t convince me it wasn’t.
So what might be my plan you ask? As soon as I know, I’ll tell you. Promise, you’ll be number one on the list. In the meanwhile, he’s getting ready to leave the choir room that we share seventh period and I’ll just take this opportunity to stare unabashedly since he is oblivious to my existence.
Not that it’s exactly news he’s oblivious to me. There was never any real reason to acknowledge me. We don’t live close to each other, we don’t engage in the same groups of people. I just….well, stare at him when I can and memorize his features until one of the witches scares me silly. Jake is very tanned with dark blond hair and I believe green eyes, I have never been close enough to find out for sure. His skin isn’t flawless, he gets the odd zit here and there, but they always seem to get dealt with severely within a few days.
He has this spring in his step, this little bounce as he walks along in his new Adidas or Nikes, his Aeropostale cargoes, and A&F shirt. I hang in the back wearing my K-Mart ensemble. Grandpa used to call my look early Salvation Army. Yeah, I know, he’s out of my league, but do you ask for bank account status before liking someone? I sighed a little to myself as he moved out of my sight, and now I was finally able to move again.
My last class was American Government and it was boring, so boring that my mind freely wandered, and for the most part I continued to obsess over Jake and how I might have the chance to get to know him.
Finally class ended and I collected my stuff before getting on the bus, where I spotted Jake walking with some of his friends. I guess he lived close to the school. I watched him as he turned the corner and was gone. That was one strange thing about Jake; he was far from a shunned minority. In some ways he was a pet for most people, a mascot. I think they saw him as harmless or maybe they were afraid of that coven he had would hex them or something. Or maybe they actually respected him for just being who he was and not taking any shit for it. No one really bothered him, no one got a bad reputation for hanging out with him. If it were me, it’d be like leprosy in the dark ages.
As I rode the bus home reality set in, and I realized that it was pretty much hopeless. I couldn’t do this without some outside help. I knew that, my mind told me so. It was reality, but I couldn’t get him out of my mind.
Over the next few weeks I continued to shoot wistful looks at him when I thought I could get away with it, and of course I thought of him and fantasized about him. Oh boy did I. I sang bass in choir, our seventh period class, and he sang tenor. He was good, actually, they would occasionally have him do a solo or duet with one of the altos or sopranos. Not that he was a pro or anything, just better than your average high school student, I guess.
He wasn’t angelic, I didn’t see stars or think he could charm the birds from the trees, but my curiosity grew and grew and I began to feel as if I’d burst if I didn’t do something soon. This is the point where, if I were lucky, I’d get assigned to him as my partner for a school project or something. Nope, we didn’t have science together or anything like that, our folks didn’t know one another that I was aware of.
Okay, so right now you are really wondering where my big break comes in, right? Ok, well, brace yourself, cause here it comes. This one Friday I get on my bus to find him there with this kid Paul that lives a block away from me. My heart almost stopped, but I played it cool and tripped over my feet, falling to the middle of the aisle. Cheers went up, laughter thrown in for good measure and I sat down quickly, feeling like a freaking moron.
My bus route had only one stop, called the Dairy Queen run because the building we were dropped off next to had at one time been, you guessed it, a Dairy Queen. I got off the bus and headed up the short hill to the next block, and to my house. I went inside and dropped my book bag, feeling every inch the moron. I turned and looked through the lace curtains at Jake and Paul walking by as they headed to the next block. They talked, it would seem, but not carrying on or anything like that.
I watched until they were out of sight, and then turned from the door to get myself a snack. I sat and watched TV, as I did everyday after school. I had no real friends to speak of, a few people I hung out with sometimes, but that was about it. Bruce lived a few miles away, and as I mentioned, our relationship was souring. Kenny had been jealous of how I treated Bruce, and that had soured even faster. So my days were spent with afternoon cartoons, and before you think I was smart and did my homework then, let me correct that thought. I rarely did homework, I hated it. Loathed it to the point that I only did it if it were a pass or fail situation. Okay, so not the smartest way to do business, but I was there all day, why should I bring the misery home?
I picked up a book to read after I got bored with the TV and went to sit in the living room when I heard the sound of a group of people outside. I peered out to see Jake, Paul[,] and some others gathered on the street. One guy, Nick, was tossing a football up in the air and catching it repeatedly as they debated teams. I wasn’t sure what the argument was about, but I eventually figured out that the teams were uneven and I saw my opening at last! I made to step out onto the front porch when the worst of all possible things happened, my parents got home from work. My mom looked grimly at me as she climbed out of the car.
“Connor, help with the groceries.”
I flashed a glance at Jake who, as usual, was oblivious to me, and I walked down to the car with a sigh. As I did, they settled their argument by selecting a quarterback to play for both sides. I grabbed a couple of bags and trudged for the door. I know what you are thinking. Right now is my big break, this is where my master plan comes to fruition. The quarterback will hit me with a pass, accidentally on purpose, and Jake will ask me for the ball. I will impress him with my arm strength and we’ll run to Massachusetts to get married.
I wish.
The game went on without a hitch and I lugged groceries until the trunk was empty. I shot Jake one last look and almost froze when his eyes met mine for a split second. Of course, being the closet queen I am, I closed the door to save my cowardly hide. I was not going to completely wimp out though. I darted upstairs while dinner was being made and raced to my window. My room is in the front of the house, overlooking the street, and I parted the curtains to watch the game.
Previously I had never liked the view from my window, nothing exciting to see. Well, there was this one time. I was reading ‘The Amityville Horror’ and it got to this part in the book where the father looks out in the back yard and sees the red glowing eyes of Jodie the pig. I’m sure Kenny could play the part, fat as he is. Wow, that was mean wasn’t it? Anyway, I had stopped at that point in the book and switched out the lights. Looking out my window I could barely see the lights of the grocery store five blocks away, just dotted points of light here and there through the trees.
You got it, red lights. I tore the book in half, closed the curtains and trembled under my covers. But now, looking at Jake running around down there, I didn’t mind the view. It wasn’t like he was even touching the ball that often, or doing acrobatic tricks or anything. It was just an opportunity to see him.
It got dark, I was called down to dinner and when the food was gone, so were they. I sat in my window with the lights off in my room after changing for bed and simply thought. How can I get Jake's attention? How can I make him see me standing there? How can I get my mind off this guy? I should just go to bed, sleep will cure some of this stress.
It’s now three seventeen in the morning. Did I say sleep would cure this stress? Well, this stress is not going to give sleep a chance. I sat up and sighed deeply. Maybe if I write it down, I can get some of it off my chest and sleep some? Yeah, that’s it, I’ll write it down and…then my parents will find it and I’ll be in a really weird place. No, I’ll be careful and sly so no one will ever guess. Plus, this plan has the added benefit of me not being in possession of any incriminating evidence until ….Yeah, how do I get rid of the evidence?
I know! I’ll drop the notes in his locker, that way there is no evidence! What if I get caught? My eyes narrowed in the darkness as I realized I would need to be stealthy and careful. Watch out Jake Bishop, you just gained a bolder secret admirer!
I sat up for an hour writing down what I felt, scratching it out, and adding more before I was somewhat satisfied I had covered all the basics. I finally nodded off feeling so much better, and thinking of Jake as my eyes finally closed.

I woke up late that Saturday and glanced at the clock. Ten thirty is almost a sacrilege in my house, Saturdays are meant to be enjoyed unless you have to work, which I did at four o’clock. I stretched, yawned, and went about getting cleaned up before heading downstairs for breakfast. Dad was cooking, you could smell the eggs and sausages drifting from the kitchen.
“Decided to get up, huh?” he asked.
“Morning, dad,” I said while hugging him from the side. He brought one arm up and clasped the arm that was hugging him before returning to his cooking.
“You have to work today?”
“Yeah, at four.”
“Get the lawn mowed before you go, please.”
“Okay,” I replied while getting a glass of milk. I had a mild allergic reaction to milk, but I liked it too much to not drink it. Dad made me a plate and I wolfed the food down before pulling on old sneakers to go out and mow. Our yard isn’t that big, but it gets muggy out and that makes lawn work worse than it might normally be.
I dragged the mower out and checked the oil and gas before trying to start it. It needed gas so I grabbed the container we keep for the mower, and it was empty. Shit. I went in and got money from mom for gas and walked down the block to the independent gas station for some fuel.
The day felt oppressively hot, the blacktop shimmering in the late morning heat. I was sweating already and I hadn’t done anything! I crossed Northern Drive carefully and got my gas while constantly wiping my forehead. I’ll be glad to get this done with!
As I walked back I spotted two figures a block away approaching on skateboards. I stayed on the sidewalk, but watched from the corner of my eye. Jake was still with Paul, must have stayed the night. I’d have given a lot to change places with Paul who had a new girlfriend every week. Jake suddenly fell off his skateboard and landed on his ass. He burst out laughing as he slowly stood, brushing his butt off and looking around for his board.
Paul was laughing at him as he toed Jake’s board back over to him. I began to pass them, lugging my gas and wishing that I could say something to Jake but, of course, I just kept walking with my eyes down. I heard the skateboards start up again and then they dashed past me heading back in the direction they came from.
I watched them fade to the next block as I turned up my walk. My eyes kept watch as I mowed, noting each time they passed in front of my house. It looked like Paul was teaching Jake how to ride the board, and Jake was spending more time on his ass than on the board. He laughed each time he fell, I can’t imagine why. I mowed the lawn diligently until I was sure they weren’t coming by anymore. I was such a sweat-ball!
After cleaning up and having lunch it was one thirty so I got ready for work. I got my work clothes from the dryer, a pair of blue khakis and a white button up shirt, and ironed them before I got in the shower. I stood in the shower, trying to get all the grime and that scummy feeling off me that always accumulates on muggy days: So long that the water began to run cold. I shaved and got dressed, having about an hour before my shift started.
I worked at a video store, and I was kind of lucky because everyone wanted this job. Why was that, you might ask? Because everyone wanted to work here: Great hours, free rentals and the chance to see movies before they came out on DVD because the store always got them almost a week early. I said goodbye to my dad, who was watching a Star Trek re-run, and headed out.
I have a car but I won’t talk about it much, it’s a piece of crap. That and I worked about four blocks away, but I wasn’t spending the gas cause my dad said so. So I walked down the sidewalk and over the few blocks down to the video store. It was a local chain, more or less; at one time they had one just across the state line but that didn’t last. I strolled in and walked through the swinging door and to the check in computer to punch in, ten minutes ahead as preferred by my employer. I checked to see which Supervisor was working that night, as it always affected how easy or hard the night would be. Turning around and looking towards the registers I saw Sam Denton, our store manager.
Sam was my favorite supervisor to work with. For some reason he seemed to not take the job as serious as other adults did; or he just had a way of enjoying the time he was in the store. He normally worked Friday night and Saturday morning so that he could have half Saturday and all of Sunday off, but one of our ‘shift leaders’ needed to switch.
The other good thing was Sam always ordered pizza for the guys he worked with on the weekend. Oh, and he’s gay.
“Connor, need ya to check in the stack of movies waiting there and then we’ll get your register started up for ya. make sure you count it before you start this time.” He smirked at me.
“It was one time, Sam!” I rolled my eyes at him.
“Don’t you roll your eyes at me,” he said with an exaggerated head roll, “I’ll roll your head across the floor!” We both laughed, it was an old joke.
“Do I go pick up the pizza after that?” I smiled at him.
“Oh, I am spoiling you. You’re gonna walk into your first real job and wonder when they serve pizza!”
“No, I’ll just tell them they aren’t the best manager I ever had!” I laughed at him, as pride flickered quickly off his face and he laughed back at me.
“Goofball. I need you to get that done though, and try to get everything caught up. We have a new guy starting tonight and after he gets his paperwork done I want you to teach him how to check in stuff and get them on the shelves. He’ll do that tonight mostly while we ring folks out.
“And yes,” he sighed at me, “I did order a pizza. Pick it up at five so we can eat before the rush starts.” I smiled broadly at Sam as I started checking in the returns. He really was the best manager I’d ever worked for, whether or not he believed it. I got the stack whittled down and then dashed a couple doors down to pick up the pizza. Sam always called ahead and paid with his card for us, and they knew us so sometimes they’d walk it down if they weren’t too busy.
I got back inside and headed to the small area where we count down the drawers and stuff at the end of the night, and of course fill out paperwork when you get hired only to find our new employee seated there. Well, you knew it would happen at some point, but I can assure you I was shocked to see Jake sitting there.
I was working with Jake tonight? I smiled; I was working with Jake tonight!

There was no witty dialogue, Jake didn’t even look up as he finished filling out his forms. I put the pizza down on the back counter and he glanced up, smiled at me and bobbed his head in greeting, then went back to his papers. I shyly watched him, while I feigned straightening the pizza box. Ok, maybe I wasn’t so slick, who adjusts pizza boxes? Let's not quibble about the small stuff!
I grabbed paper plates and handed Sam a piece while serving myself.
“Jake,” Sam said, motioning with his plate, “Help yourself, bud.”
“Oh, thanks. I will as soon as I finish this up.” He smiled back at Sam and returned his attention to the papers. Sam sidled over to me and leaned towards my ear.
“You’re drooling.”
“Am not,” I whispered back as I tore my eyes from their death grip on Jake.
“I saw him first, I got dibs.” Sam smiled.
“Dude, I go to school with him, he’s my crush!” I whispered back.
“You would say anything to keep me from him!” Sam laughed. This was also an old game we played with each other. Anytime someone came in that was noteworthy, he’d point it out to me or I to him and we’d call dibs. Not that either one of us ever made a move, it was all in good fun, but this one was off limits!
“No, really! This is the guy I told you about.”
“Really?” Sam glanced at Jake, “Well, you have good taste.”
I mumbled into my next bite of pizza as Jake stood up and reached for a plate. I think that was the first time I ever really noticed someone’s hands before. His were…what’s the right word? Not plump, that sounds like fat. They looked full, soft…I’m so stupid. Who looks at hands? His nails were neatly trimmed and...I think he just caught me looking.
“Connor, right?” he asked as he leaned on the counter next to me.
“Um, yeah Jake. Nice to…um… meet you.” Smooth, Clemente, real smooth I thought to myself.
“You too. I’ve seen you around but never really seemed to be in the right place to say hello or something,” he smiled. He had seen me, I knew it! I told you so!
“Yeah, well, big school and I guess you have enough friends.”
“Never have enough friends. Sam says you’re gonna train me tonight?”
“Yeah,” I nodded, “Just the check in and where they go back to on the shelf. I don’t think he’s gonna have you on the register tonight; it’ll be too busy.”
“That’s good, I was afraid of a trial by fire kind of thing. So I won’t get a video store hazing?” he smiled at me.
“Worst Sam does is make you put away the weird porn; that’s a punishment for some folks but not as much for others I guess.” We laughed and quickly had another couple slices before I showed him the way to check in the returns and gave him the general layout of the store so he could navigate his way to putting things back.
The night got very busy, as it will on Saturdays, and we worked steadily. I stole tons of peeks at Jake as he walked the store and interacted with customers. Sam kept giving me knowing grins and I kept ignoring him. Finally the customers tapered off and I went onto the floor to help Jake straighten up before the end of the night. I mean the shelves, and get your mind out of the gutter!
Once the store was back in shape I counted down my drawer and finally Sam did his after we locked the door for the night. I stepped out and Sam said good night, and I glanced at Jake as if to savor a last look.
“Well, good night Jake.”
“Good night Connor.” He smiled at me and I felt something inside me quiver.
We started to walk and I soon realized we were headed the same way.
“I’m staying at Paul’s tonight, since I’m working up this end of town. So,” he smiled at me again, “I guess we’re headed the same way.”
“So you’re gonna walk me home?” I laughed at him.
“I’ll tell all the girls at school, they’ll be so jealous!” he laughed back.
“Nah, I doubt they’d care much.” I didn’t reveal that I didn’t care much either.
“Oh, more than a few I’m sure. They’re just shy. You’re not dating, right?”
“Nope,” I replied. How would he know that? “How about you?” I asked.
“Yeah, but he’s kinda not comfortable with the whole thing, so I can’t really say who. I know that sounds kinda rude, I’m sorry about that.” He said sincerely.
“Oh, that’s okay. I guess I could understand not wanting everyone to know your business.”
“Yeah. It kinda sucks though, everyone else is holding hands and kissing in the halls, but I’m the only real out faggot you know? Backfired on me.”
“What do you mean?” I asked. We had walked across the parking lot and across Northern Drive and onto the first block of our trek. I had only about a block to go, he had two to get to Paul’s. I began kicking small pebbles and dragging my feet to stretch this conversation out.
“Well, if folks are in the closet, they won’t date me cause they don’t want to come out. Like dating me is gay by association? I have guy friends, but they all have girlfriends to protect their reps.”
“That’s kinda…mean.”
“Oh, I don’t blame them, really. High School sucks, it’s all about cliques and popularity. Everyone has raging hormones and self image problems so, one less thing for them to worry about I guess. I figured coming out, all the gay guys would come to me. The dates I thought I’d have!” he laughed and I joined him.
We walked a short bit in silence before I broke it.
“Maybe they’re afraid?” I said quietly.
“Yeah, probably. Even my so called boyfriend has a girlfriend. Maybe one day things will be different for me.”
“I always thought you were really popular, I guess I figured you were dating.” I winced before I admitted, “I guess I’m just as bad as they are, I see other guys hanging around you and I figured…well, who knew we had that many gay guys?”
He chuckled at me and murmured an agreement.
I slowed as we approached my front steps. “It was really nice to meet you Jake.” I said. Lame Clemente! Lame!
“It was really nice to finally meet you too, Connor.” He smiled warmly, “Don’t be a stranger, ok?”
“No way man.” I smiled back and fairly skipped into my house. Wow, Jake was a lot cooler than I had even dreamed about. Sounded kind of sad too though; I wonder who his boyfriend is?

The weeks drifted by, and Sam kindly put me on with Jake anytime I worked. I was incredibly grateful, and Sam knew it. Jake and I continued to talk and get to know each other, and even speak at school which was great. I was so enjoying the person he was I kind of forgot he was hot, sometimes. I think I was always aware at some level of my insanely huge attraction for him, but I tried not to let it get in the way.
Sam had scheduled us one Saturday during the day, we were having a kids promotion and some company had sent us a big, professional Clifford the big Red Dog costume. We were gonna take turns wearing it, cause it was kind of hot; I was mildly disconcerted by the fact I was looking forward to wearing the costume second, after Jake had been in it. Probably sweating. Eww, I am so disturbed.
“Connor, go in back with Jake and zip him up, the costume has a zipper in the back like a dress.” I was only too eager, but Jake seemed a bit reluctant. We walked to the tiny store-room in the back which was to double as the dressing room. The costume was packed in a box and we set about unpacking Clifford and getting him ready to be worn. Jake kicked off his shoes and slid his feet into the legs of the costume, and then stuffed the other foot in. He overbalanced slightly and reached out to steady himself and as he did his shirt rode up.
It revealed a nasty bruise.
“Dude,” I said as I reached out to the shirt and lifted the back to examine the bruise. As I did so the shirt turned out to be covering bruises up his back. He whirled quickly, to stop me I’d imagine, and had to reach out to me as he almost toppled over in the bulky suit.
“Jake.” I looked into his eyes and read the mixed emotions, mostly embarrassment.
“I’m okay, really. It’s not what you think.”
That sounded lame, even to me and I told him so.
“I thought we were kinda…you know, friends Jake.”
“We are. At least I like to think we are. Please, Connor,” he sighed, “can we talk about this later?”
I sighed as well, realizing this was not the time, and was also surprised to find out how angry I was to find him in this condition.
I nodded finally, “You promise?”
“After work,” he said, looking down. He was ashamed, I realized. I put an arm on his shoulder and he glanced up at me.
“We are friends. We’ll get through it.”
He finished dressing in uncomfortable silence, and I zipped him up and helped him get the head on so he could see. We walked to the front of the store and little kids squealed, some cried and Jake began hamming it up. He waved and covered his eyes like he was playing peek-a-boo with them. We took photos as the kids sat on Jake’s lap or as he held them. He did high fives with the slightly older kids and in general it was a real success. Once the rush had died down and the store had emptied Sam leaned over the counter and muttered to me, “You look so jealous of all those kids sitting on his lap.”
I glanced at him and smiled, “Sad to say, I am.” We laughed.
“Go do it,” Sam waved the camera in Jakes direction. I looked at Sam with an embarrassed smile and then thought, what the hell? I skipped over and plopped down on Jakes lap, looking back at the camera and smiling. Jake slipped an arm around my side and turned to face the camera, laughing from inside the hollow head.
“You can’t make noise!” Sam laughed at us while taking a couple pictures.
Eventually we switched places in the costume and I also had my picture taken with Jake on my lap. I can’t really say it was erotic, the suit was kinda thick, but It was as close to erotic as I had experienced as of yet!
Finally the event was over with and we left the store. Whenever he had to work he stayed at Paul’s, since his house was on the other end of our little burg and it made transportation easier. We walked in silence and, for the first time, he followed me into my house. I introduced him to my dad who was watching a Star Trek re-run. My mother was knitting as she tried to ignore the TV. We grabbed drinks from the kitchen and headed up to my room.
I have a small room, and after the ‘Porn Incident’ wasn’t allowed to have a computer in my room. So, bed, a dresser, and no chairs. We sat on my bed, backs to the headboard, and I don’t mind telling you I was nervous, concerned for Jake and all around ready to vomit since it was not lost on me that, technically, I was in bed with Jake Bishop. As concerned for him as I was, that thought never entirely left my mind.
Jake sighed. “Connor, you have to promise me you won’t tell anyone. It’s not what it looks like.”
I felt the fire I’d first felt at the thought of someone hitting Jake rekindle in my stomach and I spoke to him as evenly as I could.
“Jake, I don’t have many friends, but I like to think of you as one. I’d do anything for my friends. I think because I have fewer of them, I value them more. I know what they mean to me. If someone is,” I took a breath to steady my anger, “beating you then it is what it looks like. Please don’t lie to me, and if someone is beating you, I can’t keep quiet.”
“Connor, I’m not lying. It doesn’t happen much, just when I get lippy and I have it coming to me, honest.”
“Jake! This isn’t a spanking! Your back looks like someone whipped you!” I cried out to him.
“It’s okay, really, it’s not that bad.” Jake whispered.
“Not that bad?” I nearly screamed and Jake ducked his head down, trembling. I’m not sure, but I think he thought I would hit him.
“Jake, I’m…I’m sorry,” I was working hard to modulate the tone of my voice. I was shocked that anyone could be so much like an animal to beat their kid this way. “I don’t want you to be afraid of me.”
“I’m not, Connor, you’re very sweet.” He said in a whisper. This popular, fun, outgoing guy was going home at night to get beat for being lippy. It burned me up.
I stayed silent, not trusting myself not to yell at him. I wanted to, to make him see how wrong this all was, but I knew yelling wouldn’t work and I’d just make him feel worse. I hesitantly reached out to him, to his free hand and he let me take it.
“Connor…I know it’s a lot to ask. You’re my best friend, no one else knows about this.” He hesitated, took a sip and then looked me in the eyes briefly before looking back down at his lap. “Please don’t say anything. I don’t have anyplace to go, and it’s getting better. He’s not drinking as much, he’s going to join AA and get the help he needs. I have to stand by him, as his son, I’m all the family he has. Please Connor?”
I looked into his eyes and that was my big mistake. All the hurt, all the pleading and all the trust he was placing in me hit me right in the heart. I relented, gave him some time but I knew I wouldn't hold off long. I couldn't live with someone beating on him. Not my Jake.

It didn't last, not even a month. I knew in the deepest corners of my heart, even as I looked into his eyes, that the day would come when I would break my silence. I just couldn't watch him suffer, I couldn't live with myself for doing nothing to help him. He told me that just being there for him was enough, but I knew it wasn't. You can't claim to love someone and watch that happen.
Things happened pretty quickly after I called family services or whatever they are. Jake showed up at my house and told me with anger on his face and tears in his eyes that I had betrayed him. Nothing I said changed that, and he shut me out. Just like that I had lost him. He refused to be examined, denied the reported abuse and in the end nothing happened. Jake refused to talk to me, refused to acknowledge me. He asked Sam to schedule us on different nights, and he complied. I wasn't happy but as Sam told me, at least this way he could keep an eye on Jake.
I would say the story of Jake and I ended there, but a year or so later we graduated. Jake was civil to me, and I wasn’t told the details of his situation. It broke my heart he had stayed mad at me, but I knew what I had done was the right thing. Once in a while I’d get a flash of the old Jake, and it wasn’t that he hated me or anything, but it seemed he felt he couldn’t trust me, that I truly had betrayed him. Jake did corner me several months later saying that visit from the police had scared his father into AA, and things had actually gotten better. He lifted his shirt to prove it, and there were no incriminating marks. So it wasn’t a complete loss, and Jake slowly began to talk to me again. I ran into Jake at a graduation party and he smiled at me. I glanced around me and when I looked back at him he was laughing. I smirked and walked over to him and he held his hand out.
“Hi, I’m High. Err, drunk. No, wait I know the answer…” he put his finger to his lower lip as if in deep thought, “I’m Jake!”
“Wow, you are wasted, eh?” I smirked at him. I wasn’t entirely comfortable, to say the least. We’d barely talked in a year, outside of the odd meeting at school and of course we worked opposite shifts unless Sam absolutely had no choice.
He put an arm around my shoulder and started to steer me to a small stand of trees. “I owe you an apology, I know this doesn’t really come as news to you, but…I haven’t been able to get over the embarrassment enough to say so to you.” Jake mumbled as we walked. I was shocked to hear this, of course, and wondered what brought this on.
Now under the trees he looked at me, smiling almost coyly.
“I’ve had a bit to drink, so I guess I’m getting over myself, at least enough that I can blame not being a total ass to you on being drunk. I realize what you did was out of friendship and love. You do love me, don’t you Connor? Have I fucked that up with my stupid pride?” his face has changed from a smile to a picture of sadness. I realized he was bombed to talk to me like this, but I couldn’t ignore the words. Even if he didn’t remember later.
“Yes Jake, I loved you. I still do.”
His eyes, which had been threatening tears, released a few down his cheeks as he let out a relieved chuckle, a snort almost. Then he locked his eyes on me and moved forward, kissing me.
It was wrong, he was drunk and we hadn’t spoken for most of our senior year and my emotions were out of whack, I must be an asshole for doing this but…I kissed him back, lustily and satisfying every daydream I’d ever had of kissing him.
“Paul would be jealous if he saw, so lets keep that to ourselves, okay?” He whispered in my ear as he rested his head on my shoulder after the stunning kiss. I nodded dumbly.
“Connor, I know I don’t deserve your love or your friendship, but if you can ever forgive me…”
“For what?” I smiled. Yes, I am definitely the worlds biggest asshole. I just forgave him, just like that.
Copyright © 2015 Dabeagle; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Man, Beagle...everytime I saw the break at the bottom, I was afraid the chapter was over. I'm in, take me along with Jake and Connor to the final scene of this great story. Finally a story with real people, not models posing as teenagers. :) I could identify with Connor right away, having shared many of his traits at that age...and it seems high school never changes, which is very sad.


Bring on the next chapter...and I hope this will work out in the end.

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Beagle, I have read every story of yours wherever I have found them and this one is no different... truly engaging characters, being real people. Thanks so much.

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On 02/04/2015 07:56 PM, ColumbusGuy said:
Man, Beagle...everytime I saw the break at the bottom, I was afraid the chapter was over. I'm in, take me along with Jake and Connor to the final scene of this great story. Finally a story with real people, not models posing as teenagers. :) I could identify with Connor right away, having shared many of his traits at that age...and it seems high school never changes, which is very sad.


Bring on the next chapter...and I hope this will work out in the end.

There are only four chapters so you won't have to wait too long. It's an old story so there are no cell phones or video stores left, but hopefully that won't hurt it too much. Thanks for reading!
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On 02/05/2015 02:15 AM, BrianM said:
Beagle, I have read every story of yours wherever I have found them and this one is no different... truly engaging characters, being real people. Thanks so much.
I'm humbled, thank you.
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I really like Connor. He's a very real person and I'm glad he called CPS about Jake's bruises. Unfortunately, Jake did what a lot of abuse victims do and don't speak up about it. I'm glad Jake finally realized that Connor was only trying to help and they made up. Can't wait to read more (hoping to have time to get to the other two chapters soon!)

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On 02/08/2015 02:13 PM, craftingmom said:
I really like Connor. He's a very real person and I'm glad he called CPS about Jake's bruises. Unfortunately, Jake did what a lot of abuse victims do and don't speak up about it. I'm glad Jake finally realized that Connor was only trying to help and they made up. Can't wait to read more (hoping to have time to get to the other two chapters soon!)
Thank you so much for your review. The chapters in this are very short so hopefully you'll get top finish it, between all you have going on.
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On 2/4/2015 at 10:51 AM, Dabeagle said:
On 2/4/2015 at 3:56 AM, ColumbusGuy said:
Man, Beagle...everytime I saw the break at the bottom, I was afraid the chapter was over. I'm in, take me along with Jake and Connor to the final scene of this great story. Finally a story with real people, not models posing as teenagers. :) I could identify with Connor right away, having shared many of his traits at that age...and it seems high school never changes, which is very sad.


Bring on the next chapter...and I hope this will work out in the end.

There are only four chapters so you won't have to wait too long. It's an old story so there are no cell phones or video stores left, but hopefully that won't hurt it too much. Thanks for reading!

I just wanted to say there is still a few video stores left and I happily been enjoying.

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