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    Krista
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Standing In Shadows - 22. Chapter 22

SIS 22

Being as young as I was when we moved from our house in town, looking around now I felt no ties to it. I thought I should, since I had been living just outside it. My High School is here and that’s where I spent most of my time during the school year, at least during football season. It is probably the only place now that I had left where I could go and feel something better than what I was feeling now. I had to try and get the image of my parent’s bed being jammed into a cramped and damp laundry room. Mom being crowded against the cold brick wall as Dad sprawled out to take up most of the bed. She used to playfully laugh about that, now I doubt she would.

Over the years I had been so used to leaving here, taking one of the two roads out of town. Either to go towards the lake and the larger towns that had better shopping and places to eat or the other one that led me home. Both are curvy and in need of repair in places and both led to where I either didn’t want to go or didn’t have to. So town already felt like it was holding me captive. Looking around I saw the town itself didn’t look as clean as I thought it did just as a visitor. Most of the buildings had chipped bricks and cracks like the apartment. The sidewalks were old in some places and newer in others. Some of the businesses had closed and their windows were boarded up. The town had been dying for years, but it never really bothered me because I didn’t live there. For some reason the dead state of the town made me feel a little better. I would hate seeing all the successful places here that took people away from Mom’s store and led to the mess we’re all in. Seeing them all in similar situations subdued some of the anger I didn’t know I had.

It also felt odd driving Mom’s small car. I missed my motorcycle, and my own car was in the back of the parking lot blocked by Dad’s truck. The car smelled of her perfume mixed with the smell of the store during breakfast or lunch. I glanced at Trouble, she was getting used to riding in a car and no longer jumped around. She just laid there in the passenger seat, still chewing on her toy. I reached over and scratched the top of her head with my fingertips. She dodged them, trying instead to lick my fingers.

Not having any breakfast finally hit me, so I went through the drive-through at the only fast food place still left. It was probably the most successful thing in this town apart from the doctor offices. Being the lone survivor it was the only choice people had when they wanted something quick. Smelling the food Trouble tried to climb over the center console, but I kept pushing her back into her seat.

“You’re going to make me wreck,” I said, rolling my eyes when she finally figured out how to climb the console every time. I had made up my mind on where to go. I wanted to be left alone and I had just seen Clinton. Him being in a weird mood, I didn’t want to bother him. I also didn’t think I had enough energy for Jenny. It made me miss Keith and Andy, they were the two that at least continued to invite me to things, knowing I would have to decline because of my shifts at the store during the summer. We did hang out on the days that I was allowed off and they were the only two people I never felt uncomfortable around. They always kept things light and didn’t push me to talk when I didn’t want to, only focusing on one another and hoping whatever had me in a bad mood would pass as I listened to their silliness.

The High School was a large rectangular building. Students parked behind it. The school didn’t have enough land for much of anything apart from the Football field. Over the years Dad complained about people being able to use the field over the summer. But the school made a little money from flag football leagues paying to use it. But the past couple of years not many teams were left and the only people that used the field were students until football camp.

It didn’t surprise me when I pulled into the lot to find it completely empty. After I had everything in my arms, I held the door open for Trouble, who jumped happily over the console and after sniffing around my seat and not finding any of the food she smelled, she jumped out of the car. She followed me through the chain link fence that surrounded the football field. I walked to the fifty yard line where the benches were and sat down to eat my lunch. The grass was starting to turn yellow in the center of the field. It always got dry this time of year and the soft grass they use died off faster. The lines and numbers on the field were nearly gone. Knowing Dad would have a fit if he saw the state of the field, I smiled. It wouldn’t last though, the field always looked nice by the time camp started. Dad hadn’t threatened to drag me to camp lately and I wondered if Mom finally got through to him that I wouldn’t be playing this season. Being my last year I did feel bad about my broken arm now that I was back on campus. We had been close to winning the state championship once, it is why I had a car, Dad told me if we won it would be mine. When we didn’t Mom talked him into giving me the car anyway. Dad wasn’t much of a teacher, he really only got his degree just so he could justify being a coach and still make enough money to be one. He was a popular teacher though, he wasn’t a hardass in the classroom, he saved that for here.

Trouble was chasing grasshoppers in the field forgetting all about my burger and fries. When I was finished I crumpled up the bag and tossed it into the black plastic trash can on the other side of the chain link fence. I walked to where she was playing, looking out over the farmland and forest on the other side. Before the chain link fence, it was a funny prank for our rival school to sneak cows into the field over night. The fence was put up before I was a Freshman though and that had stopped. Dad told stories about having to play in games after some of those nights, how no matter how long the groundsmen worked cleaning up the piles there would always be a few that were missed.

“You thirsty?” I asked, still holding my cup of ice water in my hand. Trouble was panting, her dense brown fur would be hot in this weather. I sat down in the grass feeling the sharpness of the dried and broken blades on my legs and I pulled the plastic top with the straw off the cup. Then I carefully ripped and folded down the top, making it a little wider so she could reach the water.

With her head buried in the cup as she drank the water I leaned back on my good elbow, stretching my legs out in front of me. The field had never been a peaceful place to be for me. Most of the time I was being drilled on passing, yelled at for making bad ones, or tackled. But it was peaceful now, only the dead grass and the midday heat and brightness really bothered me, but that was easy enough to overlook. I had found what I wanted, some time alone, somewhere quiet.

The afternoons after school when it would just be Mom and I at the store, I would complain about not having all this freedom on the extremely boring days. I wouldn’t see anyone from school or town ever come in. Most of our customers were older or have been coming for years. Before Mom lost the store, I would have traded my time there away. Being alone out here now I was beginning to see this place for what it was and I wondered just how much I really missed. That is if I was really part of it, would I have even liked it? What I have experienced so far hasn’t been all that fun. I had worried about all the lost chances to make lasting friendships with people, so maybe they wouldn’t have smirked or laughed when Cj and Clinton pushed me into the River. Now I think it would have happened anyway. Not even Jenny really came to my defense after it happened, she stayed at the party like the rest of them while I ran back home.

“What in the hell are you doing here?” Dad asked from behind me. It caused me to jump and Trouble ended up with her head jammed into the cup. She let out a squeal and shook her head violently to get it off.

“I didn’t have anything to do,” I answered, turning to look up at him. He was blocking the sun, his arms were crossed and I looked past him to see if Mom was around. I saw him smirk and look over his shoulder to where I was looking.

“Your Mom is doing some grocery shopping,” Dad said then he looked over at Trouble. “If you cared to read the sign, no dogs allowed.”

“I would have ignored it if I had,” I countered before I thought better. I couldn’t ignore how scared I actually was. Those bruises had hurt, but I never truly was afraid of Dad. I had taken his yelling and threatening as just that. Now that he had made good on them I didn’t want to push it.

“All this mess over a dog,” he grunted, “I would understand it better if you were seven and not seventeen.”

“I know I’m not man enough for you Dad,” I sighed standing up to face him. He studied me for a few moments then turned his head back towards the gate and the parking lot.

“That’s the problem with you,” he said, “you think you’re not man enough, but you’ve never acted like one to begin with. You’ve never set the bar, so you can never raise it until you do. Look I just came here to look at the state of the field, you need to get out.”

“Don’t you even care about what you did last night?” I asked as I picked up Trouble and the cup. I knew if I left trash on the field, it would push him over the edge. He didn’t let us throw our gatorade cups on the ground during camp and practice. If we did, we ran laps.

“Don’t push my patience Corey,” Dad said, glancing down at my chest where my bruises would be visible if I wasn’t wearing a shirt. “You need to do without, like your Mom, find yourself a job and help out around the apartment.”

“I want to,” I countered, “but she won’t let me, it would do more harm than good.”

“Stop worrying about your damn Mom, she’s made of stronger stuff than you,” Dad said, “if you weren’t so selfish, if you could stop for a minute and think about all we’ve lost…”

“Lost?” I asked when he didn’t say anything.

“Forget it,” he hissed, “just get out of here so I can look around the field and the weight room and not have to look at you. And if you know what’s good for your mom, you won’t say anything to her.”

“I won’t,” I said and I stepped around him and hurried across the field to the gate. I slammed my cup into the trash and when I was just around the corner of the bleachers where he couldn’t see me, I ran to the car. I got in and slammed the door and put Trouble down in the passenger seat. It was hot in the car, so I turned it on and hit the air conditioner and sat there trying to even out my breathing. Then I glanced back down at Trouble and saw that she was watching me with her head resting on her paws. Then I sighed and backed out of the parking lot. I should have realized that he would be coming, Mom had said something about him stopping in, but I thought it would have been awhile.

By the time I really started to pay attention to where I was going, I had turned down the road that headed towards our old house. I had been going faster than was safe on the curvy road. I could have turned around at any driveway, but I kept going. It wasn’t a place where I thought I would return to. I didn’t like the state of the empty house when we were moving and it would only be worse after looking through the apartment.

Then a large black truck came around a curve headed back towards town. I recognized it and slowed down to a stop. Clinton rolled down his window and waited for me to crank Mom’s window down before he killed the engine.

“You are a difficult person to find,” Clinton said, offering me a smile. He seemed to be in a better mood.

“Not really,” I said, my mind already back on the middle of the football field.

“I went by the apartment and your mom said you just left,” he said, “I thought I knew you better and thought you’d go back home or something.”

“I was at the football field,” I answered and he looked surprised.

“I figured that would be the last place in this shithole you’d want to go,” Clinton countered, “since you’ll probably see a lot of it pretty soon.”

“No, probably not,” I said and looked at the road ahead of me. When I turned back to look at Clinton, the smile was gone. He had finally realized there was something wrong, but now that he had I wanted to hide it.

“Do you want to hang out?” He asked and I saw a car easing to a stop behind me, it wouldn’t take long for the driver to start honking. I didn’t want to hang out with Clinton, I wouldn’t be good company, but he looked expectant and if I turned him down, it would hurt his feelings too.

“Yeah,” I answered, “I’ll turn around, could you meet me at the public parking area?”

“Alright,” he said and he started the truck and drove by. I turned into the next driveway I came to and let the car pass before I backed out and headed back towards town.

When I got there he was leaning against his truck. There was a designated area for permanent parking for the people that lived here on the main street. I parked beside his truck and looked across the narrow road to the apartment and the small lot it had for the tenants. My car was finally unblocked and I hadn’t driven it for a while.

“I’ll drive this time,” I said, feeling around in my pockets for my keys. I usually carried them with me out of habit, but I didn’t think of putting them in. Dad had driven my car last.

“I kind of had a surprise for you,” Clinton said, edging towards his truck.

“And you need your truck for it?” I asked and he smiled and nodded.

“I think you’ll like it,” he commented then looked unsure of himself. Neither one of us really knew the other, not in a way that would be helpful in times like these. I tried to think about what Clinton liked as I gave in and walked to the passenger side of the truck. He played baseball, liked to read a little, and played video games. He was my age, but we were really different so the age similarity didn’t count.

“So what is it?” I asked after he shut his door and started his truck.

“Wait and see,” he said, “I’ll need your help anyway, I don’t really know much about it.”

“Much about what?” I asked and he looked about to answer, but then smirked and shook his head.

“Don’t try to trick me into telling you, I’m really bad at this sort of thing as it is,” Clinton said, flushing slightly. Trouble was squirming in my lap trying to get into the bag with her food that I packed for her. I frowned wondering when the last time she was fed. She was at Jenny’s all night and I was sure Jenny took good care of her, but that had been a few hours.

“Surprises or keeping secrets?” I asked and he glanced at me.

“Surprises,” Clinton answered, “I’m pretty good at keeping secrets, been keeping one very important one most of my life.”

“Me too, I guess,” I added and it was my turn to blush a little. Although I had told Jenny, I still wasn’t used to saying or even hinting that I was gay out loud, or if I was even gay. The term seemed too strict for me. I was attracted to guys, but didn’t have much experience. I was less attracted to girls, but had no experience with them. I guessed the deciding factor was that I bolted from prom because of Jenny’s flirting and hinting around about what we would be doing after the dance. I’d yet to bolt from any of Clinton’s advances, even welcoming them when I was comfortable.

Clinton took the road that led back to my old house, but he turned onto the dirt road that led to the river where he and Cj pushed me in. It wasn’t really an official road, just one carved in the field from people driving over it a lot. I glanced at him not really wanting to return to the area, but I didn’t think I would end up in the river this time. I just didn’t know what could be here. It was an abandoned field that used to be a park. All of the playground equipment rusted and was removed well before any of us were old enough to use it. A farmer had owned it for a little while, but now the county owned the land. Now it seemed the last remaining piece of property near home not owned by the county was the old church Greg and I played basketball at. Being next door to the new Country Club Mayor Edwards was planning to build, its days were probably numbered.

When he parked in the field, I opened my door and slid out. I grabbed Trouble’s bag and let her down. The grass was greener here and higher. I followed Clinton to the shade trees, but he was careful to stay ahead of me. The trees were large and old, they supplied a lot of shade and I welcomed the slightly cooler air and the escape from the sun.

“Let me go see if it is still there, real quick,” Clinton said and he stepped around one shade tree out of view. I grabbed Trouble’s food and food bowl and poured her a little food. Watching her eat, I didn’t notice when Clinton returned until he cleared his voice. I looked over and instantly recognized my old motorcycle and my blue helmet.

“What did you do?” I asked, walking over to the motorcycle.

“I found the guy and bought it,” Clinton answered, his smile fading slightly.

“Not for me,” I said, refusing to reach out and touch the handlebars, even though I wanted to. I never thought I’d see it again. “I won’t accept it.”

“I figured,” Clinton countered smirking, “the surprise really is that I want you to teach me how to ride this thing.”

“What will your dad and mom say?” I asked not wanting to know how much he had to pay to get the motorcycle. He had also bought it while they were away on vacation.

“It’s why I stashed it here,” Clinton answered, “just until I break the news to them.”

“Aren’t you afraid someone will steal it?” I asked, but I didn’t know how long he had it stashed here. People come to the river a lot to fish or to have parties next to it. The trees and bushes that grew along the bank didn’t offer a lot of cover for it.

“Yeah,” Clinton said, “it’s worried the hell out of me ever since I bought it.”

“Then why did you buy it?” I asked, trying to cross my arms, but gave up and just let them fall to my sides.

“Well because I’ve always wanted one and it seemed important to you,” Clinton said then he fumbled around in his pocket until he pulled out the key. It was still my keychain, the keychain that Mom had put it on when she first bought it for me. “Now, teach me to ride this baby.”

“I’ve never let anyone else but Mom ride it, and she already knew how to ride them,” I explained as I fidgeted with the keys. “I also have a broken arm, so.”

“I won’t blame you if I get hurt or anything if that’s what you’re worried about,” Clinton countered, “it can’t be too much different than a bicycle.”

“You’re very wrong,” I offered smiling, “but you picked a good spot, the ground might be softer.”

“So you gonna teach me or what?” He asked after we both fell silent.

“I don’t know how,” I said, but I stepped closer to the motorcycle and put the key into the ignition. Then I took the helmet off the handle bars and handed it to Clinton.

“Well first, you turn the key,” I said and he gently pushed my hand away and turned the key. I saw the ignition light and gas gauge engage. I looked up to see if he had noticed as well. “Get on it.”

“You sure?” He asked and I stepped out of his way.

“You should look for a second light below the one that lit up when you turned the key,” I said as he kicked the kickstand and sat on it. “That’s the neutral light, if it is lit, the bike is in neutral. The gear shift is the little bar on the left side by your foot.”

“Ok,” he said and I heard his voice shake and I looked up at him.

“It’s not going to take off on you or anything,” I said smiling, “first gear is below neutral, so you want to push down until you hear a click and then second is the first click above neutral, third is the click above that. And the back brake is near your right foot, you want to use that one more.”

“Not the one on my right hand side?” He asked, squeezing the brake with his hand.

“Not right off,” I answered, “if you do it wrong you can flip it forward or throw you off balance.”

“Oh,” he said and I thought he was about to step away from it. “This is complicated.”

“Probably,” I said shrugging, “it takes a lot of easing into it really, just until you know how temperamental everything is.”

“What next?” He asked and I glanced back at Trouble to see her sleeping under the tree.

“Well you want to grip the clutch as far as it will go and then start it by holding that switch until it starts running,” I explained pointing to the starter and then the clutch. “If you don’t have the clutch all the way depressed, it will start rolling on you.”

“Alright,” he said and I flipped the switch that started it when he still had hold of the clutch pulled in disengaged. I glanced over at Trouble to see her bolting for the safety of Clinton’s truck, hiding under it. Clinton settled more of his weight onto the bike, leaning with just one leg on the ground. I stepped back looking to see if he had a clear path away from the river or any tree.

“Now you want to ease off the left hand lever a little to see how far you can before it starts rolling, not the right one, that’s the front brake,” I said, hoping he heard me over the sound of the motor. He nodded his head and I saw him slowly relax his left hand until the motorcycle started to roll.

“Now what?” He asked, his voice louder, but he didn’t turn to look at me.

“Now you twist the hand of the accelerator towards you, a little at a time to see how temperamental it is,” I said, but this time Clinton was too eager to start and the motorcycle lurched forward before he was ready and out from between his legs, popping up the front wheel. He had to dance out of the way to keep it from falling back over him and the motorcycle died.

“That was nuts,” he said, walking over and picking up the motorcycle.

“You turned it too hard,” I said trying not to laugh, “you want to do it easy, it’s really a balance between the clutch and the accelerator.”

“How did you learn?” He asked, turning the key off and swinging the keychain around his finger.

“Mom taught me, but I wrecked a lot,” I answered smiling. “Dad had me put on the thickest body armor I could move around in forever. He had been looking for a good excuse for me not to have it since Mom got it for me.”

“Sucks that you can’t show me, the surprise would have been better if you could actually borrow it,” Clinton said, kicking down the kickstand and walking around the bike to stand beside me. He took his helmet off, his face red and his hair smashed down. “I didn’t know how long the guy that bought it would hold on to it though.”

“How much did it cost?” I asked and Clinton smiled and shrugged his shoulders.

“Probably what he paid your Dad, I don’t think his wife liked it,” Clinton answered and I smirked looking over it. I couldn’t help feeling jealous that Clinton owned it now. It had been the second best thing I ever was given by my parents, the car winning out only because I could drive it to school instead of Mom’s older model car.

“You should really keep it in your garage and not out here,” I said, “and take your Mom’s yelling as best as you can when she finds out.”

“Yeah, I’ll do that,” Clinton countered, rolling his eyes. “It was stupid to buy it, but I don’t know, seeing you wanting it so bad made me want it too, I guess.”

“When you get the hang of it, you’ll like it,” I said nudging him in the arm. With the roar of the motor silent Trouble came bouncing out from under Clinton’s truck and was now hopping around both our feet whimpering.

“Do you have to be home or anything?” Clinton asked, looking around. Thinking about going back to the apartment made my stomach drop. Knowing that Dad would be glaring at me and watching me for any sign that I was going to tell Mom what he had said earlier on the football field. I didn’t want to go back, but I also wondered if I called Mom and told her that I possibly wasn’t coming home, if she would be worried.

“I don’t know,” I sighed looking out over the field. The sound of the river was calm. We hadn’t had any storms to fill it, so it barely made a sound. Like normal summer days here, there wasn’t much of a breeze. “Probably not for a while, why?”

“Well there’s a summer tradition that incoming Seniors do,” Clinton said and I nodded. I knew the tradition. Ever since I was a freshman everyone knew about the loose side door. It was an old entry for supply drop-offs for the cafeteria before they expanded and remodeled the school. Now they had a ramp in the back of the property with larger metal garage doors that lifted and closed, but the side door was never walled up. It opened in a small hallway between the trophy case room and the cafeteria. It was the door that allowed people to slip outside and skip school, but it was heavily policed during school. During the summer and at night someone always put tape between the door and the latch or a small rock between it and the rim just large enough to keep it from latching.

“I know about it,” I said and he smiled.

“I’m pretty sure it’s not that big of a secret, like it’s supposed to be,” Clinton said, “Dad keeps telling me how many times he snuck in through that old door.”

“Yeah mine too,” I added glancing down to see Trouble tentatively stretching out to sniff the back wheel of the motorcycle.

“Cj and a lot of us have already broken in and Jenny walked over and asked me if I wanted to go,” Clinton said, shrugging his shoulders. “She said that she was going to call you later, but I figured you hadn’t got your phones and stuff hooked up yet.”

“I don’t know if they are,” I said, “they probably are since Mom had it completely settled in, made Dad work through the night.”

“Since Cj isn’t here I didn’t really expect any invites to do anything, I usually only went to parties because he brought me along,” Clinton said looking down at his shoes. “I guess since you’re friends with Jenny, she’ll start including me too.”

“Who all is going tonight?” I asked not wanting to be around a whole lot of people. The two times I was this summer I felt out of place. I normally wasn’t shy at school around the same people, but outside of it they all looked less approachable. They had stronger bonds with one another than I had with them. None of them would have invited me either, unless it was Jenny, Andy, or Keith.

“So far Jenny, Amber, Katy, and Bryan,” Clinton answered, “that could have changed, you know how things go around here, but Jenny said not to invite anyone else, but Amber invited Bryan.”

“When do y’all usually break in?” I asked, more relaxed by the list. I was used to Amber and Katy not liking me because I was dating Jenny and they took turns sending me bitchy texts when I broke up with Jenny before prom. I didn’t hold it against them, because I knew it wasn’t the smoothest move on my part. After Jenny started talking to me though, they stopped glaring at me every time they saw me. And I had dated both of them briefly before, but neither of them put up with my Dad as long as Jenny had. I actually hoped he would annoy her enough for her to dump me before I had to ask her to Junior Prom, but she didn’t. She wasn’t the type of girl that wanted a hundred percent of my time like the rest of them. She knew that football and Dad came first, then the store and Mom came after. Looking back on it now Jenny really deserved a better junior prom.

“We heard that the cameras begin resetting around ten and don’t come back on until about six,” Clinton shrugged. “We’ve never had the cops come or the principal call our parents, so we think they either don’t care or the cameras really are off.”

“Oh,” I said wondering how Dad would react if I was caught breaking into the school. Since he did it I figured he’d be fine with it and laugh it off. He has surprised me before though. Somehow I was supposed to act just like him, like the things he liked, but be better than he was at my age.

“We could do something else though,” Clinton suggested, “I figured you probably haven’t gotten a chance to do the break in tradition yet.”

“No I haven’t,” I said sighing.

“Not a lot of people do it, but the last time was fun, it’s odd walking the halls and stuff at night, kind of creepy,” Clinton said smiling.

“Alright I’ll come,” I said, “do you meet at the school around ten?”

“No we meet at nine at the library and walk,” Clinton said, “too many cars at the school would tip the cops off.”

“I’ve not heard of anyone getting in too bad of trouble though,” I said remembering the few times people were caught in the school.

“Depends on who they catch probably,” Clinton shrugged, “and what they were doing. We’re just going to play some basketball and stuff, I think.”

“Ok,” I said then Clinton smiled and looked down at the motorcycle.

“I guess I’ll load it up,” Clinton said and he kicked the kickstand up. Trouble bolted for the truck again and after I picked up her bag of food and her bowl and put it in the back seat I helped Clinton get the bike into the back of the truck. Being a smaller bike it wasn’t all that heavy for two people to load, but it was awkward being only able to use one hand. When the bike never made any noise Trouble came out from under the truck and I scooped her up and climbed into the passenger seat.

When we got back to Clinton’s house he sighed looking over at the garage. His parents were still on their vacation, so he had time to think of a good excuse as to why he bought a motorcycle without asking them. I doubted it would matter what he said though. It probably wasn’t cheap and I wondered just how much money people like Clinton, Jenny, and Cj were allowed to blow until their parents put a stop to it. Clinton’s dad didn’t seem like the type that liked to waste money on anything, but they still had a really nice boat, so maybe he wouldn’t mind the motorcycle as long as Clinton paid them back.

It was more of a struggle getting the bike out of the back of the truck than it was getting it in. Clinton was doing most of the lifting. After it was in the garage covered by a blue tarp that didn’t do anything as far as hiding it, we were both sweaty and Trouble was getting tired as well and kept nodding off stretched out on my cast nestled against my stomach.

“It’s hot as hell out here,” Clinton said as he closed the garage. The summers here could reach triple digits along with the humidity especially later in the summer around July and August. Being early June though, it was already hot. The heat caused the skin under my cast to itch and sweat. Knowing that I would have to suffer the entire summer with it made it worse.

“It’s the thing I’ll not miss about football camp coming up,” I said remembering Dad’s camp and summer practices. There were rules about heat and outside practices, but here it got hot well before noon and Dad never called off practice before then. Everyone would be nearly naked and covered in sweat by the time it was over and we all stunk. Mom would playfully wrinkle her nose and fuss after we came home. Not letting us do anything until we had a shower and washed our clothes. I would work a few hours after camp at the store, but Mom never had me do much those days. I was never in the best of moods after those practices either. But we didn’t call it the month of hell for nothing. The two and a half weeks at the end of June through the middle of July were the worst part of football. It was when Dad broke in the new varsity players and freshmen and kicked everyone’s asses for slacking off on conditioning during the off season. We didn’t do actual plays and drills until the end.

“Well I need a shower,” Clinton said, offering me a smile. He walked around me to the kitchen entrance off to the side under the covered porch and unlocked the front door. “You can borrow some of my clothes if you want.”

“Not going to take me home?” I asked cocking an eyebrow.

“Nope,” he said holding the door open for me. Remembering the last time I took a shower at Clinton’s house made my stomach drop and my heart began to pound. I knew with each moment like this, we’d go farther than we did the time before and we had gone pretty far the last time, but we didn’t really have too many more opportunities like this. Complete freedom, the only freedom a hot summer day and an empty house presented. So I offered him a smile and stepped through the open door.

Copyright © 2014 Krista; All Rights Reserved.
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On 12/31/2013 11:32 AM, Menace said:
You finally decided to continue your story. lol. Im' ready for more.
:P At least I know where I'm going with the next chapter, so it may not be a long wait.
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Krista!!! You updated!!!! Yay! But you left it at such a good part!!!! Boo! lol

 

Corey's dad has got to be the biggest asshole. I cannot stand him. Poor Corey. Who would want to go home to that?

 

I kind of thought Clinton bought the bike for Corey, but I guess not. Isn't that a little insensitive? I know he said he also bought it so Corey can borrow it, but wouldn't that hurt even more? "Borrowing" your old bike, but knowing you could never take it home and knowing it would never be yours again? Maybe that's just me...

 

As always, Krista, you leave me wanting more! :2thumbs:

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On 12/31/2013 05:52 PM, Lisa said:
Krista!!! You updated!!!! Yay! But you left it at such a good part!!!! Boo! lol

 

Corey's dad has got to be the biggest asshole. I cannot stand him. Poor Corey. Who would want to go home to that?

 

I kind of thought Clinton bought the bike for Corey, but I guess not. Isn't that a little insensitive? I know he said he also bought it so Corey can borrow it, but wouldn't that hurt even more? "Borrowing" your old bike, but knowing you could never take it home and knowing it would never be yours again? Maybe that's just me...

 

As always, Krista, you leave me wanting more! :2thumbs:

Yeah, the bike was supposed to feel like that, but it wasn't Clinton or Corey's faults for those feelings to be there. It was Corey's father for making him get rid of it - when the bottom line he 'really' didn't have to, I mean how much space would his motorcycle take up? :P

 

It was definitely an awkward surprise, which I also wanted to show Clinton as someone that is at least trying, even if he isn't the smoothest person. :P

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YES ! Clinton bought the bike, I knew he would. And I'm sure he wanted to give it to his boyfriend, but realized that Corey would never accept such a gift (as shown by his immediate reaction). I think Clinton did a very good job of coming up with plausible reasons as to why he bought it, and hopefully at some point Corey's pride will let him be grateful that Clinton loves him this much. Because the real gift is not about money but the fact that Clinton wants Corey to be happy and knew that losing his bike was a hard blow and made an effort to help. Hope Clinton's parents don't give him a hard time - but I can just imagine him having to chose between 'I bought it for my boyfriend and it's just stored here until I can get him to accept the gift' and 'I really want to go bike riding, it seems like fun even if it's scary'. Thank for updating the story and Happy New Year.

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B) ............ Damn girl you are on a roll here! The bike was a surprise, yet in the back of my mind I thought it would come into play again. Well I see you have another chapter up, so I'll leave this review for now. LOL! Great chapter the puzzle deepens though!
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I kind of feel the pieces of shattered dreams are still falling and nobody's life can start again until the last piece hits.

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On 01/01/2014 09:03 PM, Timothy M. said:
YES ! Clinton bought the bike, I knew he would. And I'm sure he wanted to give it to his boyfriend, but realized that Corey would never accept such a gift (as shown by his immediate reaction). I think Clinton did a very good job of coming up with plausible reasons as to why he bought it, and hopefully at some point Corey's pride will let him be grateful that Clinton loves him this much. Because the real gift is not about money but the fact that Clinton wants Corey to be happy and knew that losing his bike was a hard blow and made an effort to help. Hope Clinton's parents don't give him a hard time - but I can just imagine him having to chose between 'I bought it for my boyfriend and it's just stored here until I can get him to accept the gift' and 'I really want to go bike riding, it seems like fun even if it's scary'. Thank for updating the story and Happy New Year.
Thanks for reading the story Timothy M. :)
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On 01/22/2014 02:45 PM, Benji said:
B) ............ Damn girl you are on a roll here! The bike was a surprise, yet in the back of my mind I thought it would come into play again. Well I see you have another chapter up, so I'll leave this review for now. LOL! Great chapter the puzzle deepens though!
Ah yes, never thought I'd see the day where I was ahead of you. :D
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On 01/23/2014 10:36 AM, Foster said:
I kind of feel the pieces of shattered dreams are still falling and nobody's life can start again until the last piece hits.
Aww that sounds so sad Sam Sam.. :(
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Damn, that that was a sweet gesture. And the fact that the keyfob was important was romantic. But won't the bike be recognized by CJ? I'm thinking there is a little trouble brewing right here in river city!

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That´s sweet of Clinton, I´m sure he wants Corey to have the bike or at least be able to use it as much as he wants. Clinton knew Corey wouldn´t accept bike as a gift, not yet anyway.

 

Clinton will be a great boyfriend, they just need to survive Cj and Corey´s father.

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Had a feeling that wasn't the end of the motorbike. Corey seems so aloof at times its odd. He wants to get out of his dads way but then is often finding ways to seclude himself. He sure is a character and a half.

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Clinton comes off as really sweet in this chapter with the whole motorbike thing, but I’m just worried Corey will fall hard only to be hurt in the near future. I guess I just don’t trust Clinton’s judgement when CJ is around.

Edited by NimirRaj
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On 8/5/2018 at 5:54 PM, NimirRaj said:

Clinton comes off as really sweet in this chapter with the whole motorbike thing, but I’m just worried Corey will fall hard only to be hurt in the near future. I guess I just don’t trust Clinton’s judgement when CJ is around.

Clint may have noticed too that despite  people agreeing to  pay out over the river-ruined  phone and watch, nobody's  actually given him anything (he wouldn't take it from Clint's Dad).   

Corey  not bothering to collect on that debt reminds me a bit of Jackson not opening his recruiting letters in "Best Year."   Quite different characters, but they share that lack of je ne sais quoi ...  it's not quite ambition or materialism,  because there's also a sense of being satisfied-in-the-moment,   and also carelessly letting futures wither away. 

 It's cool to read something written a while ago at the same time as your current stuff,  Krista.    

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