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Someone Like Me - 7. Chapter 7

Longest chapter yet ;)

Chapter Seven

Well within the minute after my confession, I began to panic. He knows. He knows. He knows. I thought of everything terrible that could happen to me now that one of my super cute crushes knew I was gay.
Or did he?
His words "Just as I thought" could mean anything. Does that mean he suspected I was gay and my nod just confirmed that for him? Or possibly, could it simply mean that he recognized himself in my drawing, which he definitely knows now is him, but hasn't come to the conclusion that I'm gay? It was wishful thinking, but there's a chance it's true.
I recalled how he had said those words to me. His deep, meaningful gaze had been pulled back into a knowing smirk. Like all his suspicions had come true. This is my fault. Why did I have to nod? What an idiot, Jordan!
I hid myself behind a book for the rest of recess. Malachi was busy with a librarian, but how long would that last? What would Malachi do once he had finished his library duties, potentially knowing that I was gay? Would he look for me? Would he avoid me? Even worse, would he start the rumors?
The rumors were the worst thing back at my old school. It had begun once my friend had first known of my sexual orientation. Like a vile snake twisting its way through everyone, the rumors informed them. That was how knowledge of my homosexuality got around fast. Through whispered words, even viral text messages, everyone eventually knew. And what they heard from others weren't entirely true either. It followed the Chinese whispers theory, that a message can be changed if spread through many people one at a time. I'd played the game before, so I knew about this well. So when my former crush had blurted to people about me, the message of 'Jordan is gay' dissolved into 'Jordan has bareback gay sex' in the space of two days. It was terrible, believe me.
Just then, Malachi stepped out of the librarian's office. At the same moment, the bell rang, indicating the end of recess. I have got to go - now! Students clustered around the narrow entrance not six feet away. I slid in amongst the lot, while Malachi, a concentrated look in his face, scanned the room. I knew that he was looking for me. Please don't see me...yes I'm out! I drew a relieved breath as I slipped out of the library unnoticed.
"Jordan — WAIT!" A boyish, Italian-flavored voice called from behind me.
Malachi. He's spotted me.The next thing I knew, I was sprinting down the hall. I just wanted to get away from him, as far away from him as possible. I thought I heard him call me again, but he was too faint to hear now. I mentally recalled my next class, went down a staircase and out into the hallway. I stopped running when I thought I'd lost him. I let myself breathe for a moment before carrying on. Oh great, Malachi must think I'm a freak now. If he didn't know I was gay before, he should know now. I cursed myself for running away. Should I go back and find him? I briefly looked over my shoulder. Nah, maybe not. I felt terrible though. Fear had compelled me to run, and now I think I've ruined a potentially great friendship. If I see him again, I think I should apologize. And hope to hell he doesn't suspect me as being gay, although I really do think he does know.
During Math, I constantly fidgeted, wondering what Malachi was thinking of me. Maybe he thinks I've ditched him for no real reason. If so, he must think he's done something wrong, which he hasn't, and he'll feel as awful as I do. Awwww, I really wanna see him now. I want to apologize for running off. Still, I fear seeing him again, as he has every potential to out me if he knows.
I wasn't in the mood to do the work we were set in our textbooks. I just tapped my pen on the desk and glumly rested my head in my hands. Stupid. Stupid Stupid.
Before I knew it, the period had ended and I looked at my timetable only to find I had science next. Great, like that's what I need right now. Fan-bloody-tastic.
I felt like total garbage as I trudged out of Math. My stomach felt sick thinking about it, and the earlier bashing it got on the bus certainly didn't help.
Perhaps I should just put this behind me and forget about it. An idea sparked in my head. Maybe I could pretend the whole thing never happened. When Malachi asks me why I had run away, I can just say that I didn't, it was somebody else he saw who looked like me who did. And if he asks me outright if I'm gay, I can act confused and refuse. If he brings up the drawing, I'll go: "What drawing?"
I smiled to myself. This is brilliant. No, hang on...what if Malachi was gay like me too? Then me refusing to be gay would turn his appeal for me off and our friendship wouldn't be that great. Yet if he was straight, our friendship could continue well. Man, this is so damn frustrating!
Do you know what I need right now? An actual gaydar. With it, you could scan a person you choose and it'll tell you whether they're straight, gay, bisexual, lesbian, and so forth. If I had that in my hands right now, boy life would be so much easier. Look he's gay, I'll go up to him, say I like him, and we'll go out. Gaydars would be awesome. The only problem is that no such technology exists, so the whole idea is impossible. Maybe in 2030 they'll develop something like that.
I reached science class and strode in. I looked around the room. Monica was there where she was last class by me. She instantly spotted me the second I walked in. I avoided her gaze and my eyes caught Lain sitting where he was yesterday by himself. I think he was looking at me, because he turned away the split-second I turned my head in his direction. Or it could've been my imagination.
I deliberately sat in a seat further away from Monica this time, but it didn't stop her from picking up her stuff and shifting fifteen feet to the seat beside me.
"Hi Jordan!" She said excitedly.
I sighed. "Hi Monica."
"Where were you earlier this morning?" She demanded.
"I came in late. Slept in." I lied.
She giggled. I looked at her oddly, but that only made her giggle even more.
"What's so funny?" I asked.
Of course, that just made her blush and giggle further. I shook my head and turned to Mr Oh who was ready to get started. As the teacher began doing roll call, I looked away from Monica for a second toward the other side of class. Lain seemed to be sitting by himself, his pal wasn't there with him. He looked pretty glum actually, with his head in his left hand and his right hand tapping a pen on the desk. What was funny about that image was how much he looked like me in Math earlier. But it kind of made me want to know what was going on with him. Why is he like this? Then he peeked at me, I saw it this time! He purposely looked straight at me! When he did, he turned away quickly. I could tell he was scared of how I'd just caught him looking at me. This totally confused and fascinated me. Lain was a jerk, wasn't he? Or was he...?
Actually, he was a jerk only when surrounded by his peers. But when he was alone, the situation was a little different. I remember when I sat by him the last time I had science, he treated me okay until his friend showed up. Then he turned sour on me so that his friend could sit where I was. This interested me a lot. I kind of wanted to know more about Lain just by himself.
I turned back in my seat, and glanced at Monica who was drawing a heart shape in her exercise book. She finished it off with a 'J' in the middle of it. At first I was puzzled about the letter. Then I realized what it was when Monica glanced at me with a bright smile. Oh no. What was worse was when she leaned forward and pressed her lips against the heart in a kiss. I paled in my seat, and I was suddenly stifling hot. Sweat broke out on my forehead as I tried to straighten up from the horrible thing I just saw. It didn't help at all.
Mr Oh noticed my state. "Young Mr Brooks, were starting dissections next week, you don't have to worry about it now."
"Oh I thought you meant today." I said, riding with that excuse.
A slight ripple of laughter sounded throughout the class. I'm not a class clown usually, but I have my moments sometimes.
"You're so funny." Monica grinned at me, getting uncomfortably closer.
"I'm surprised you haven't started raving about something yet." I said.
Again with the annoying giggle. What is up with her? I think I'd better ask her straight up now and stop this madness.
"Do you like me?" I whispered, ensuring Mr Oh didn't hear while he talked.
She looked nervous, but she nodded. The blush on her face reddened. To be honest, I was flattered a little. At the same time though, I felt like I could do without this.
"I wanna be yours before anyone else is." Monica then said.
"Wait, what? What do you mean, 'everyone else'?"
Monica frowned. "You know, don't you? Don't tell me you have no idea?"
"Of WHAT!?" I hissed.
She dug into her pocket and pulled out her phone. I watched her flick it on, get into it and tap onto a blue icon with a large lower case 'f'. Facebook.
"What are you showing me?" I asked.
"These are girls from school who have Facebook." She said. "Look here."
She showed a profile of a girl called Angelina Casey, who looked 16. I vaguely recognized her from my History class. Her recent post was this:
Saw this really cute boy at school today. I think he's new here. Everyone's checking him out. #Cuteboy #BeMyBF
Then after that, was a slightly blurry photo of a boy sitting next to another boy by a window. I realized it was me, and the boy next to me was Malachi.
"That-that boy could've been Malachi." I protested.
Monica shook her head and showed me another girl's profile page. Her recent post was this:
Is it me or is this new boy really cute?
That was followed by my school ID photo! How the hell did this girl get that?
But Monica wasn't finished yet. She showed me several more like it.
I'll dump my bf for this guy. #CuteasHell
Picture of me. Picture of me.
One that struck out was this:
There's this cute boy in my Science class called Jordan. Hope he'll be my lab partner if you know what I mean. Maybe we can go and do some tests wink.png
I didn't know how to take this. I felt awed, stunned, flattered, scared and a strange sense of disbelief all at once. They were all girls taking these pictures of me and posting them on Facebook. I looked closer at the post Monica was showing me, from a girl called Hayley Rose, and saw a few comments. I nearly choked when I saw one from Lain.
"Monica, unless you're showing Jordan additional research for the functions of the human heart, you should put that phone away." Mr Oh scolded.
Monica complied and whipped her phone back in her pocket before I could get a chance to even read the first word of the comment. Dammit! I was quite curious to know what he had said.
"Had this been going from just yesterday?"
"Jordan, could you also stop talking to your girlfriend while I'm talking too." The teacher butted in.
I froze for a second. I thought I heard a gasp or two from behind me, or a low murmur at the most. There is no way she is my girlfriend. Geez, I'm already having fangirls to deal with. It felt totally strange knowing that multiple people were admiring me, both secretly and not-so-secretly. I don't need this now.
Just then, a paper slid in front of me. Monica had a note for me.
This has been going on since midday yesterday while at school. It doesn't take long for a girl to track down a cutie who's new here. Everyone's into you.
I was still trying to absorb this. Right now, I was in Planet Weird. I had to get back down to earth and let this sink in. And I did just that when I slowly turned behind me in my seat and studied the class. I counted two girls with phone cameras pointed straight at me. Individual girls quickly looking away. Some being brave gave me a smile and a short wave.
Oh no. This is not what I want.
I turned back in my seat, and ran my hands through my hair.
"You look pale." Monica murmured.
I grabbed the note and a pen and wrote back a reply. 'Why me????'
Monica saw this, smiled to herself and wrote: 'Because you're hot.'
"NO I'M NOT!!!" I shouted, standing from my seat. The mixed feelings had overtaken me, but the dominant one I felt was anger. Why the hell is this happening to me? I realized what I'd just done. Monica looked up at me in surprise. Mr Oh stared conspicuously at me. Lain looked on with interest. The rest of the class did too, staring at me with shocked expressions. Everyone was looking at me. I was now the center of attention. Why did I have to do that?
"Is there something you'd like to explain to us, Mr Brooks?" The teacher asked, annoyed with me now.
I looked at him. "No...no, it's just...I was just telling Monica that I wasn't afraid of dissections at all."
Mr Oh sighed. "Jordan, will you please sit down and not talk to Monica again?" He glanced down at our desks. "Or write notes to her too?"
Someone oohed at the back of the classroom, followed by a chorus of snickers. I looked around, seeing people grin teasingly at me, seeing girls madly tapping away on their phones as if it meant their lives. Screw me and screw you Mr Oh. And Monica. And all of you.
I was so glad to hear the bell ring half an hour later. I felt like shrinking to the size of a shrimp and hiding from everyone and everything. Things weren't going the way I wanted them too. I wished it were the way it was earlier. That meant making friends with good people and feeling great. Checking out Sean and Malachi. That's what it meant. And now it's ruined.
What do I have now? I have many teenage girls I don't even know having these infatuations with me, including Monica. I have a friend I thought I could really connect well with who potentially knows I'm gay and won't like it. I have injuries from being beaten up by that jerk Patrick...what did I do to flip my awesome day yesterday around to a tragedy today?
I felt pretty broken hearted, as I packed up my things and started to head to the next class. I was about to leave when Monica said, "Jordan, wait."
I turned and sighed. "Monica, what is it?"
"You didn't answer whether you like me or not."
I had one simple, straight answer for that, but I really didn't want to disappoint anybody. I'm not that kind of guy. Sure, at times I do enjoy some black humor but I leave my rude comments as a joke. God, I just wanted to get out of here...
"A bit." I said. "I think you're ok but I don't like like you."
There we go. Tact, yet firm. Monica simply nodded with a hint of downheartedness on her face.
"Okay, then...see you tomorrow?" She asked.
I said a final goodbye and took off. No way I'm spending another second in the science class from hell. I had P.E next but after that was lunch. Despite everything wrong that happened today, there still was a ray of sunshine in the middle of it. Namely, my whole souled crush, Sean Chrystal. I couldn't wait to see him again.
For P.E today, our class had to do a triathlon challenge split into three periods. Today we ran a two mile distance, and me being not the most athletic got quite spent. What's worse was the spring sun beating down on us as we ran. I actually was worried that I'd look all sweaty and rugged in front of Sean, but I had some deodorant in my bag which I excessively sprayed on me after the run. The thing which worried me was the second part of the triathlon - the swim. It was going to be done in P.E tomorrow, but I still dreaded it. Not swimming itself though. It was the changing rooms that sent me crazy. Especially when you're in a room with a whole lot of naked and near-naked boys. Oh my God...
But never to fear until tomorrow. When the period ended, my mind was only concerned on one thing: My crush, Sean Chrystal. I raced out of the gym, and sprinted for the cafeteria. It was phenomenal how I was still able to run after my exhausting P.E class. I put it down to motivation.
And then I was there. Students crowded the large room as I came in. I looked through the crowd for my crush, but so far, he was nowhere to be seen. C'mon where is he...? I decided after a while I might actually line up and get my food like the others. When I did, I resumed my visual scout for Sean. Where the hell is he? As I stood in line, I looked everywhere. But the room was packed impossibly with people, there was no way is find him. I hardly noticed the girl in front of me move up the line, or more importantly, the person who told me to move up from behind.
"Dude, the line's moving." A boy said behind me.
"Oh sorry." I muttered, glancing at him and stepping forward.
I nearly gasped out loud when I saw who it was. It was Levi, one of Sean's friends.
"Hey, you're in my art class, aren't you?" He asked.
"Y-yeah I am. I sit by Sean." I replied.
"I think Sean wanted you to be with us at lunch." He said, before pointing at a distant table. "We sit just over there nearly always. Meet us there if you want."
Omigod, this was going to be the best lunch ever! It flattered me to know Sean still wanted to be with me at lunch. I hadn't really been invited by another group if friends before to hang out with them. I'd always had my best friends back at home, who were the only ones who enjoyed my company right up until they found out I was gay, and then they rejected me.
I remember going up to them the very next day at school after I let loose my secret, and saying hi like normal. Usually, they made room for me and we had good conversations. But that day, most of them walked away upon seeing me. My best friend Jake, who looked rather disturbed, spat to my face: "How could you?" He then left me as well. That was just one of the things that made me feel like killing myself. It was the immediate rejection I received from the friends I thought I could rely on which hurt me deeply.
So as I briefly recalled this, looking over to see the beautiful figure of Sean sitting with Josh at a table for four in the distance, I turned straight at Levi and gave him a genuine smile. "Thanks man. I'll do that."
Levi smiled back before noticing someone he knew passing by, who stopped to talk to him. I glanced over again and this time, Sean did too. From about thirty feet away, our eyes connected. His eyes sparkled as a grin extended across his face. I could've dropped to my knees, he was so damn adorable! It was only for two brief seconds, before the glorious contact was broken by hordes of people passing by in every direction. Between them through the gaps, I could still just see him...
I caught myself staring again and noticed the line had moved forward so that I could start choosing things on the lunch menu. It was pizza day today at school, which meant I mainly got slices of various pizzas, with a chicken salad, apple and small carton milk. Not that I cared like I usually did. I just wanted to grab my food and go. Once I was ready, I turned and headed for the table at which sat the boy I adored the most.
I squeezed through the masses of people. The room was a banter of a loud noise, cramped and congested, but nothing stopped me from gradually approaching the table. My heartbeat fluttered with every step I took. I was getting really nervous now, even though I'd only seen him earlier in art today. At one point along the way, quite close to them, I missed them. I circled for a moment, panic starting to grip and shake my body.
"Jordan." A voice called from my left.
I turned in that direction. There was Sean, a welcoming smile on his face, beckoning for me to sit. He stood out so much to everyone else, in that he was flawlessly beautiful. Intake of breath. Widening of eyes. Nervous sweat. All that overtook me. My hands shakily held the tray, threatening to drop it. Calm down...remember, take it easy...
"Oh, hi Sean." I chirped happily, before nodding at Josh sitting by him. "Hey Josh."
He smiled. "Hey."
As I sat down across from Sean, I mentally began to panic again. Now what do I say?
I just looked more at my crush with adoration. Sean was just so goddamn pretty. Taller than all of us, roughly shy of six feet and with playful brown eyes that twinkled as if he were joking about something every time he smiled. I really like him a lot. Geez, and I didn't know he even existed this time yesterday.
Sean spoke again. "I'm glad that you could be with us."
"Thanks." I said shyly, feeling my cheeks grow very hot indeed.
"Didn't you draw the anime guy on your project? It was yourself, wasn't it?" Josh asked.
"Yeah that was me." I answered him. "What did you draw?"
He grinned and whispered, "It's a secret."
"You have nothing to hide, you little bitch." Sean giggled, slugging his arm. "How the heck do you keep your personality a secret?"
Josh protested. "Maybe you haven't seen the other side of my personality."
"Shut up Josh."
"No you shut up, you faggot!"
"What did got just call me?"
"A weed-smoking retard of a faggot — OW!!! SEAN! Stop punching my arm, you faggot — OW!!!
I had to at least smirk at Sean and Josh's friendly exchange, or the apparent lack of it. They seemed to be like a couple of nit-pickers, bickering like an old couple.
"Please." Sean finally said to Josh. "Not in front of our guest."
Josh straightened up almost immediately. "Hi Jordan!"
"Can I just ask, how long have you been mates for?" I asked.
"What makes you think we're mates?" Josh said, before receiving yet another punch to the arm. "OW, geez Sean!"
"Since middle school." Sean said to me. "He's been hanging on to my tail ever since."
"Sean, humans don't have tails." Josh interjected.
"Shut your face!"
Omigod these two were hilarious together. I had never really heard them bickering in art, but it's so refreshing to see this love-hate relationship. I like that sorta thing.
That was about when Levi showed up and sat by me at the table. It was also when things started to go downhill.
"Hey Sean and Jordan. Hey little bitch."
"You guys are terrible friends." Josh complained. "Who needs enemies when I have friends like you?"
I spoke up after swallowing a mouthful of pizza. "Can I just say that I haven't said one nasty thing to you yet?"
Josh looked at me with importance. "You guys should be more like him!"
"Like him?" Levi said. "I don't even know much about him. Tell us about yourself, Jordan."
Then all eyes were on me. Levi stared at me expectantly. Josh smiled at me. The ever so beautiful Sean slurped on the straw extending from his milk carton, while he looked at me with curious interest.
"Uh...well..." I started.
You can do better than that Jordan. Just talk about yourself.
I took a deep breath. "Hello my name is Jordan Brooks."
"Hi Jordan." All three of them chorused.
"I'm new here to this school, well actually, I'm new to the whole state. I came from New York but we moved here to Nebraska because of my parent's stressful jobs. My Dad is a lawyer and my Mom's an environmentalist and runs a charity."
"You must be pretty rich then." Levi commented.
I continued, "I'm 15 years old and I was also born in New York. I like everything food, everything gaming and everything drawing. Someday, I want to be an architect. I don't have any brothers or sisters, in fact I think I might've been a mistake by my parents. They haven't said that to me though. I also like the color blue and...yeah. Anything else to add?"
Suddenly they all clapped.
"Well done." Levi said. "You have passed the first phase."
"Well done." Sean echoed, a smile on his face.
"So you were just testing me?" I asked.
"Yes we were. Congratulations. Time for phase two."
"Why does this feel like a Maze Runner moment?" I asked but Levi ignored this.
"Welcome to phase two Jordan. How's your day been going so far?" Levi asked casually.
"Not the best, but—"
"Don't care! Phase two has begun. You have to tell us, Jordan, one secret you would never share with anyone else but yourself. Then, you will gain full access to hanging out with us."
"Oh c'mon!" Sean started. "Give him some slack."
"No-no-no. I cannot. One secret, Mr Brooks. Preferably something juicy. Go."
I froze in a state of panic. Again. I didn't want to do this. I only had one real secret and I definitely wasn't going to tell these guys about it. Unless I wanted to be bullied for being gay all over again. Which I did not. What the hell do I do?
"Ummm...maybe to help me set the mood for this, why don't you guys go first?"
Levi looked incredulously at me. "That's not how it works, amigo."
Sean interrupted. "Levi, he's new. He doesn't have to do this if he doesn't want to."
"Then he won't be joining our group, will he?" Levi shot back.
I was starting to feel pretty uneasy with Levi. Was this just his way of being funny? Or was he serious? So I kind of hoped for the best when I muttered: "Sounds like someone's jealous."
Of course, that was the worst possible thing to say on this occasion. I was trying to match Levi's humor, but now I see that he wasn't trying to be all that funny. Levi snapped his head at me, a cool stare intensely transfixed onto me. He looked like he was about to say something nasty. Probably something so terrible to make me storm off. But for what?
"Uh...did I just fail phase two?" I asked meekly.
"You can bet your ass you did." Levi replied calmly, holding back visibly insurmountable annoyance.
I considered just getting up and leaving. I didn't have to join the entire group after all. It was mainly Sean I was interested in. Sean looked worriedly between us, and so did Josh. I just had to go, my time was up.
Sean spoke directly to Levi. "Can't he just be with us for just this lunchtime? You don't need to hassle him like that. He's new."
"He's new." Levi mimicked. "I don't give a shit! He's invading our group for no real reason!"
"Is that what it really comes down to?" Sean questioned with disgust. "He's invading our group?"
Suddenly, Levi got up. "That's it. See you later, you bastards."
I watched him snatch his bag and march away from us in a storm. I started to feel guilty. I did that to him, didn't I? I pissed Levi off for just being here.
"It's not your fault." Sean said softly to me. "I'm sorry about that."
"No-no...it's fine..."
"It isn't." Josh said. "Levi was being a jerk today anyway. He was having a man-period."
"A what?"
"Never mind." Sean interrupted. "Just forget about him. I'll talk to him later."
"Look...guys," I said uneasily. "I think it was also me. I've intruded on your group and stuffed things up..."
"You haven't, honestly."
"No I have. Look, I… I think I should better go." I stammered, picking up my tray, starting to get up. "Thanks for letting me be here Sean. Cool seeing you too Josh."
"Aww, please don't go?" Josh whined.
I shook my head. "I don't want to stuff anything else up, okay? I'll see you in art tomo—"
Just then, as I scraped my chair backwards, someone behind me tripped over it. I felt the chair itself buckle and tip to its side as an immense weight was shoved into its other side. Then came the crash of the tray and the plate of food on the tray itself as they hit the ground. I whirled around in a flash, saw what had happened, who had just fallen over my chair. The large figure on the ground groaned and pulled himself up to his elbows. He turned and our eyes met, the same eyes that glared at me earlier on the bus. The name came to me instantly, and dread paralyzed me just as fast.
Patrick Pierce.
When he had seen me as the one that had tripped him over, he roared, "IT'S YOU!!!"
Fear still bound me to the spot. I was vaguely aware of the rooms noise level softening as people started crowding around us to see what was going on. People were on their phones already, taking pictures and filming the situation. Like a scared rabbit, I looked in all directions. Behind me, Sean and Josh looked as equally as frightened. They stared in shock at Patrick. I spotted Monica from science and homeroom fixing a gaze on me in the distance as if to say what the hell is going on? Levi also looked curiously from nearby. He had seen who I had tripped over.
"P-P-Pat-Patrick, I'm so sorry man! Do you need some help up?" I asked, lending him a hand.
Patrick looked at my hand as if I were offering him shit. He looked disgusted as his eyes mercilessly locked onto my face.
"You're dead, Brooks!" He spat with vengeance. Then rather unexpectedly, he did take my arm. I first thought that he was actually accepting help up from the ground. But a second thought crossed my mind: What if he breaks my arm?
Too late, Patrick did just that. Or nearly did. Pain surged through my arm as he cruelly twisted my arm backwards. I cried out in both pain and fright, squirming in an effort to escape Patrick's vice-like grip but helplessly failing.
"You're mine now, Brooks." He seethed. "Lets take this outside."
He yanked himself up using my twisting arm, which hurt even more. My eyes started to water because I was being hurt really badly now. No one around me tried to stop Patrick as he began heading for the cafeteria door, clutching my arm.
"You're gonna get it bad now, punk!" He bullied. "I'll teach you for making a fool of me."
I whimpered and blubbered as I was literally dragged away. I was embarrassed, fearful, upset but mainly very sore. I couldn't do anything to escape him. And I knew the worst was yet to come.
"LET HIM GO, PATRICK!!!" A voice hollered behind me.
Everyone and everything stopped at once. Patrick and I looked in the direction of that voice. I heard gasps and low murmurs from the gathered crowd. I didn't know who had said that. I guessed a lot of people. Sean, Josh, a teacher perhaps or even Levi could've yelled out. But the person my eyes fell upon was not any of these.
It was Malachi.
He stood before all of them, furiously glaring at Patrick feet away. I was bewildered. Why...? How...?
"He doesn't deserve this." Malachi said. "You let him go now."
I glanced warily up at Patrick, who held a smug expression. "And what if I don't?"
No, this is bad, this is bad! Malachi obviously hadn't thought that far ahead. He'd must've seen me being hassled by Patrick and spoke up without thinking. I watched him struggle for an answer.
Then unexpectedly Sean Chrystal stepped up beside Malachi. His face looked defiant, ready for an attack.
"If you don't," He challenged. "Everyone will hate you because you will have beaten up someone who’s going viral over the teenage network. You will have no friends. Even your girlfriend will hate you. If you have one, of course."
Patrick glanced at a girl standing nearby, who was relatively pretty. But she looked quite unsure of herself and Patrick. That's his girlfriend. She edged away toward the clustered group.
"Chelsea!" Patrick bellowed to her.
But by then it was too late. Sean and Malachi had delayed Patrick long enough for the school guard to arrive. The doors to the cafeteria flew open behind Patrick all of a sudden as two security guards rushed in and took a hold of him. I felt myself being dropped to the ground as the guards wrestled with Patrick.
"Get off me!" He roared. "I'll get my Dad onto you!"
But the threats did nothing to stop him from being taken away. The sound of his rage was carried away as the guards passed back through the doors. Immediately after that, a couple of teachers surrounded me.
"Are you alright?" A woman asked. "Where are you hurt?"
"Do you need the Nurse?" Another asked.
"No." I groaned. "I'm just sore in my arm. It ain't broken but it freakin' hurts."
"We'll help you to the seat you were in before." The woman decided.
They steadily helped me up and escorted me to my seat I was in before. Sean rushed over to help me sit down.
"I'm not that badly hurt." I said to them.
"It's okay, we're glad to help." The teacher assured.
The woman introduced herself as Mrs Burgess. "Is there anything you did to provoke Patrick?"
"I was moving my chair back to get up from the table and he tripped over my chair, then he dropped to the ground with his tray of stuff."
"Straight down." Sean commented.
I said. "I should've been more careful really."
Mrs Burgess put a hand on my arm. Her eyes expressed both comfort and seriousness. "This is not your fault. Patrick is a very nasty boy, but we can't do anything severe to him other than detentions—"
"Because he's the mayor's son." I finished. "I know."
The teacher tried to avoid that fact. "Has he bullied you before?"
"Yes. Today on the bus, he hit me three times. The school nurse knows."
Mrs Burgess breathed like a dragon. You could tell she was angry with Patrick.
"Son of a bitch..." She muttered under her breath. "Sorry. Look, will you be okay now?"
"I'm fine, thank you so much."
"No problem. I'm the head of Sophomore class anyway. My office is along by the principal's office in the admin wing. Find me there if you want to talk to me more about Patrick."
"Sure. Thanks for that."
She rose and left. The other teacher had been conferring with Malachi beside my table. People started going back to their own business, and the room returned to it's former atmosphere. I turned back to Sean and Josh. Josh was still gaping at what had happened, while Sean held his head in his hands.
I leaned over toward him."Thank you, Sean. You're the best."
He mumbled something that I couldn't hear.
"Say what?"
"It should be him you should be thanking." He said louder this time, pointing at Malachi.
I glanced up at Malachi who also seemed to be taking peeks at me while talking with the teacher. I was genuinely amazed with him. I bet he knew he knew I was gay, yet again he stuck up for me. I really did need to thank him. But Sean seemed to be a little glum.
"What's wrong, Sean?" I asked him.
He sighed. "I should've done more to help you, but I'm a complete wuss."
"You're not!" I protested. "When Malachi was stuck, you jumped in and delayed Patrick. You didn't have to do that. You risked your own butt along with Malachi. You're awesome, you know that? That's why I like you."
Oh crap. I just got so caught up in the moment of praising Sean and uplifting him that the last line slipped out of my mouth. Dammit Jordan, you idiot! Sean lifted his head and gave me an odd look. I didn't know what it was exactly. But nevertheless, I started to panic again.
Then a distraction, as Levi appeared beside me.
"Jordan, sorry about before okay?" He genuinely apologized. "I didn't mean it. That was horrible what Patrick did to you."
Now that was both interesting, and surprising. I thought Levi would have kept a low profile after what had happened but he didn't. He fronted up to me. That was sweet.
"Thanks, it's okay." I smiled.
Levi also smiled, more in relief. A sense of forgiveness welled up inside me, but was washed out completely when Malachi appeared beside him.
"You alright, Jordan?" He asked.
When I saw he was there, I was instantly nervous. I wasn't ready for this, but this would tell whether or not he knew I was gay, and if he did, whether he'd let loose.
"I'm fine, thanks." I replied, barely above my breath.
I looked up at him. Malachi looked down at me with a little hurt, a little disappointment. And a lot of understanding. He knew, didn't he? He was hurt because I ran off, which confirmed for him that I was a closeted homosexual. I suspected he knew all too well. But so far, he didn't show it.
"Look Malachi, thanks for helping to stop Patrick again. You're an awesome friend. You didn't have to do that."
"I messed up." Malachi responded. "I got lost for words. It was really him who saved you."
He pointed straight at Sean, who looked surprised.
"Me?" He questioned. "I couldn't have done it without you taking the lead."
"It was you, man." Malachi insisted.
Oh great. I've managed to partner up my crushes. They did look adorable though, arguing over who did it better. Finally, Malachi had to leave.
"See ya later." I said to him.
He turned in my direction again, a half-but-not-genuine smile on his face.
He turned and left. In the moment we made eye contact, it was as if he was sending a telepathic message to me. I know. That worried me something terrible, but I tried to ignore it for now.
After that, a barrage of people, mainly girls showed up. They all knew who I was.
"Jordan! Are you ok?"
"Where are you hurt?"
And of course...
"Take a selfie with me!"
"Can I kiss your arm better?"
I faced them all, trying to take them all in. "Uh..."
"Looks like you've got a fan club." Sean grinned.
I glanced back at the cute face smiling with amusement. Even though these girls were pestering me, I ignored them all as best as I could and focused on my crush. I knew I would never have him as a boyfriend, or so statistics suggested, but Sean was suddenly all that beautiful. An uncontrollable urge stirred up inside me. He was a mere foot away. I wanted to do this really bad — I wanted to kiss him. In front of everyone. But I couldn't unless I wanted to be thrown out with the trash. His lips were so sexy though… damn boy!
"I only just realized." I replied to him meekly.
Sean smiled again at this, quickly glanced at the on-looking Josh, leaned toward me and just before I was pulled up by a lovestruck girl, he softly said: "I'll be your Number One fan."
It could've been an insane figment of my imagination. It could've been totally unreal. But I swear I heard him say that to me. My heart fluttered at this, but I was then hit with my fangirl club.
"Are you alright Jordan? My name's Christine!"
"I'm Stacey, take my phone number!"
I tried to push away from them but they had me ambushed, seriously! Whenever I tried moving back through a gap in the crowd, it was filled almost immediately with someone else. God, help me...
"Um...g-girls...girls..." I struggled to say. "Can I have some space please? I'm fine. Could you please just leave me alone?"
This was no use. The girls just kept on squawking at me, flicking their hair, laughing cutely on purpose, resting their hands on me. In the end. I gave in.
"I'll take all your phone numbers!" I yelled.
If a store was giving away make-up for free to a group of girls this size, the stock would be gone in five minutes. It only took one to distribute their phone numbers to me.
"Give me a call!" They said.
"You can read that number, can't you?" Another asked.
"Yes, yes, just let me finish my lunch, okay? I want to be with my friend."
Finally, FINALLY, I shook them all off. I sat back down in my seat back where I was before Patrick turned up with Sean, Levi and Josh. I let out a sigh.
"Why me?" I moaned, sliding my hands onto my face. "Why? I really don't need this attention."
Josh giggled. "I guess it pays to look good and have a big bully on you. Get all the girlfriends and all..."
"Yeah, I don't want that right now!" I snapped at him. "I can handle two girls liking me and on a good day three, but not the whole damn parade! Have you guys got Facebook?"
All three boys nodded.
"Am I seriously the only one without it?"
All three boys looked uncertainly at each other, then nodded again.
I sighed. "Christ's sake..."
"Some people don't get the attention you do." Sean softly said from across the table.
Was he saying something in that? I didn't think so, but I couldn't help but look for...well, not positive gaydar readings, but something on those lines...indicators.
"True." I said.
Levi spoke up. "So on the second day of school, you already have girl problems and bullying. Incredible."
"I know. How often does Patrick bully people anyway? He doesn't usually make a scene like that, does he?"
Sean answered bluntly, "Oh that? That happens every week."
"I don't get it." I said yet again on the bus back home that day.
Malachi sighed and tried to explain it to me again for the umpteenth time.
"What's there not to get?" He said. "That equation is a linear, that one's a quadratic."
I stared down at my Maths book, puzzled. "Yeah...but why does it have letters in it?"
"You're kidding, right?"
I grinned. "Actually, yeah I am. I knew that all along."
I cracked up in hysterics as Malachi gave me this I could kill you right now look.
"That's not funny at all!" He persisted, but we both laughed anyway.
"Never mind, I can do this at home." I said, shoving my books away in my bag.
From the fiasco at lunch to here right now, things have gotten better. I hadn't seen Patrick for the rest of the day. I did get a few young girls approach me with batting eyelids, but I managed to buzz them off. Which means I only have one other problem to deal with.
Does Malachi really know I'm gay?
I had a choice right now as I sat by him on the bus. Either not ask him and find out if he knows about me or ask him straight up if he knows and get the answer I've been dreading for the past few hours. I really would want to pick the latter option, just so that I don't have to stress so much about it. But my lack of courage is making me resort to the first choice.
"Do you think you'll be taking the bus after what happened today?" He asked me.
Now there's a thought. To be honest, I hadn't really thought about it. I was too wrapped up either thinking about my crushes or getting over Patrick's abuse. If I told my parents everything, trouble would happen. Just when we tried to move away from the stresses and difficulties of New York, we get even more of it in our new hometown. When Mom finds out, she will yell at me before ringing up someone responsible and yelling at them. Dad will yell at me before going to the house of someone responsible and yelling at them. Fights start. I’ve become Mr. Unpopular with everyone. And isn't Patrick's father one of Dad's clients? The mayor of Omaha James Pierce? If friction occurred between me and Patrick and Dad knew about it, he would do something radical like publicize every little corruptive thing James Pierce does that's even slightly illegal. Pierce would suffer, and Patrick would find out and hate me to an insurmountable extent...
I didn't want all that trouble. I'm a peaceful person. Can't I just sort my situation out with the guy anyway? I've got friends like Malachi and Sean to support me. He should know better to not touch a growing FaceBook sensation anyway. So why did Mom and Dad have to know, when if I say nothing, things can at least stay a bit less hectic than it could turn out to be?
"Yeah, I'll still take the bus." I said, quite resolved now.
Malachi looked in disbelief. "You can't be serious! With Patrick and all...?"
"The school's sorting him out. He'll leave me alone now." I responded.
"The only thing the school is sorting for him is a detention which he basically is immune to now. It only makes him annoyed. He'll beat you up real hard this time!" Malachi insisted.
"It's fine, don't worry. I'll sit away from him on the bus or catch a different one."
"Jordan, the next school bus stop is a mile away. Look, are you sure you still want to do this? Do you still want to catch this bus?"
I nodded. "Yes."
All that he could do was sigh. "Okay then. I'm telling you though, you'll get it hard tomorrow."
The bus slightly leaned to the side as it veered around the corner and came to a stop outside where I was at the beginning of the day, before all the drama happened. We made our way off the bus.
"Jordan?" Malachi said as we stepped out onto the sidewalk. "I know you've had a rough day and all, but do you wanna come over to my place for a bit?"
I felt jubilant. I had never expected him to spontaneously invite me over to his house, but here he was doing just so. I really wanted to go. I really wanted to hang out with this insanely cute and loyal friend of mine. The only thing stopping me like a police warden was Mom.
"I don't even know this kid. No way am I letting you go to his house!" I envisioned her to rant.
What would she say if I invited him over to my place?
"I don't even know this kid. No way am I letting a stranger into this house!"
Well how else are you supposed to find out, genius?
So I had two choices. Go with Malachi or reject his offer. The decision took me all of five seconds to decide. To hell with Mom, I'm going to Malachi's!
And that's what I did.
As the bus roared off, Malachi and I walked around the corner down his street. His adorable smile indicated he was quite happy for me to be with him that bit longer.
"You're parents will be fine with you coming around for a bit, won't they?" He asked, nearly self-assured.
I hesitated, but came out with a big, fat lie. "They won't mind at all."
I realized Mom would have a spaz at me once I got home, which could spell disaster. I couldn't see why I shouldn't live a little and pick my own friends? Mom freaks out about me being bullied all the time. Hell, she'd freak if someone called me even a slightly nasty word. If she saw what Patrick was doing to me, I could die in the process of her killing him for killing me. Ain't it ironic? Yet what sweet bliss it is to hush, hush about it. My parents didn't have to know about any of this. And that weren't going to.
Just then, my phone vibrated in my pocket. I pulled it out and examined the screen. Speak of the devil...
"Hi Mom, how are you?" I answered.
Malachi, who had been talking about something school-related in the meantime, stopped talking and looked at me.
"I'm at the airport. I forgot I had to pick up one of Dad's clients for dinner tonight." The voice at the other end of the line rattled.
"What time are you coming home?" I asked.
"Quarter past five. You'll be home alone for a while."
I was over the moon right now! Mom would never know I was late home.
"Okay, I've gotta go, my phone credit is nearly used up."
"What do I keep telling you to do?" Mom reminded. "Top up your phone!"
"Yeah, I will." I said quickly. "Bye now."
Then I hung up on my mother and shoved my phone in my pocket.
"Was that your Mom?" Malachi asked.
"No, that was my Great Uncle Frederick."
I laughed. "I'm kidding dude! It obviously was my Mom! She's out for a while so I guess I can camp out at your place for a bit."
Malachi snorted. "Sarcastic guests are uninvited."
"What a douche bag."
We chuckled with ourselves until we reached his house. It was a two-story bungalow, and looked quite warming. Homey. My heart beat against my chest as I reminded myself this was Malachi's house. His house. Malachi's house. earlier today I was running away from him.
Now things might get interesting.

Are you Team Malachi or Team Sean?

Copyright © 2015 The_Jordanator; 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. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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For me, the jury is still out regarding which boy to root for. Malachi was quicker to come to his defence, but Sean jumped in there quite fast too. Malachi seems more eager to get to know Jordan, but that could be because he's a bit lonely too perhaps. I still say Jordan should play it cool and get to know them both better. Also, now Lain is acting suspiciously...


I don't really understand his mother. Doesn't she want him to have friends?

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Amazing! That chapter was a real treat, I am so eager to read the next one!
Also I am not a hundred percent sure, but I think I am still rooting on Sean. :D

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Jordie, you have got to post the next chap ASAP! :D i'm loving this! I'm loving jordan, i'm Loving sean, malachi, josh, even monica and levi! And you have got to tell us what Lain commented on the FB post :o

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"Because he's the mayor's son." I finished. "I know."


Where does the story play in the Congo? 
the son of the citizen can do what he wants?
in Germay
the brawl would stand the next day in the newspaper and the bürgenmeiste would have to worry about his re-election.


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