Not every story has a happy ending . . .
I grew up alone.
I stuttered and had a lisp when I was very young. Needless to say, making friends was all but impossible. My reddish hair, freckles, and glasses didn't help any. Speech therapy, and the incredibly nice woman who led the class, helped me get rid of the stutter and lisp by fourth grade. I ended up skipping fifth.
I had never made many friends in grade school, but when I entered middle school, I tried harder. Over the first few months, I made several friends, but one became a very good friend. We liked the same kind of bad science fiction movies, the same rock music, the same books. And Dungeons and Dragons. We even secretly liked the same country songs. The irony was that I had been going to school with him for years.
In seventh grade we had homeroom together, as well as several classes. It was junior high, so we had to change into a uniform, shower, then change back into our street clothes for gym. I was barely thirteen, but I was further along than some of the guys in eighth grade. It was difficult at first, having all that nudity to deal with. I'd already suspected that I was too interested in boys' anatomies, and was finding it difficult to deal with that, and the feelings it caused. What was most difficult though, was having Trey in the class.
Trey was just a normal guy: not fat, not skinny, not tall, not short, not stupid, not smart. He was athletic, had blond hair, brown eyes, and ordinary features. There wasn't much about him that stood out, unless you happened to be a boy, about his age, who was beginning to be concerned that he found other boys attractive. In that case, Trey had the most wonderful blond hair, all wavy and unruly, eyes so soft and brown you wondered if they felt like felt or velvet, the cutest nose that turned up just a tiny bit, red lips so perfectly shaped that they belonged in magazines or on television. When he smiled, it made you wonder how anyone else would dare reveal how weak and tepid their own smile was. If you were a boy who was beginning to worry that he might like boys instead of girls, Trey had the cutest butt on earth, and he was beginning to fill out the front of his pants in ways that made your breath come short and fast, and made the front of your own pants suddenly feel tight and constraining.
Trey was a little bigger than I was, but that was normal, as I was one grade ahead of other kids my age. I was smarter than him, but he was better looking than me. He was a natural athlete, I was a natural bookworm. He was naturally outgoing and popular, I was naturally introverted and insecure.
Trey didn't care about any of those things. He didn't care about any of my foibles. He only cared that we got along, that we had fun together.
Exactly how we became friends, I couldn't tell you. It just seemed to happen.
By the end of seventh grade, we had started spending almost all of our time together. His older brother was an ass, so we usually wound up at my house. We rode our bikes to the arcade, or the movies, or just around all day. He slept at my house almost every weekend during school.
I finally had a best friend, even a blood-brother.
Yes, we had done that. One day between seventh and eighth grade, in the little shed behind my house, we had cut our palms and held them together, our blood mixing, and swore we would always be brothers - until death. That was also the day that we had given each other our private nicknames. I called him Three, he called me X. Blood-brothers had to have private, secret nicknames.
They had to have secrets, too.
I knew Trey's. He wet the bed. Not often, and usually only when he stayed drank a lot of soda before we fell asleep. I kept his secret, even when we had our fights, even when we fought each other and took sides with our other friends. Those times were rare, but they happened. Brothers fight. But I never betrayed his secret. Even after . . . what happened.
He never betrayed mine, either. Not until . . . what happened. It was the only time he ever let me down. Ever.
By the end of the summer before eighth grade, while he was staying over, he would often wrestle me to the floor to win a disagreement. I soon learned to argue the wrong side, just so that he would have to make his point physically. He was far more physical than me, and being larger and stronger, he didn't mind using those advantages. I sure didn't mind his taking advantage of them. It usually ended with him on top of me, usually straddling me. I didn't mind at all, especially when it was late at night during a sleepover with just the two of us. Because he wet the bed sometimes, he always wore pajamas. Just in case. He didn't wear underwear under them. I loved wrestling with him then. For very obvious reasons.
When not with me, he played football and baseball with his other friends, and his body showed the effects that exercise and sports had on it. As eighth grade began, we both needed new clothing to keep up with our growth. He remained taller than me, but not by nearly as much. He did grow out more than me, taking on more muscle and an even fitter body. And he became even more handsome.
Even though we both had other friends, we usually spent most of our time together. Sometimes, one or more of our friends joined us, but usually it was just us. When he wasn't able to spend time with me, he always let me know why, usually well beforehand.
That was another thing I found so wonderful about him, he was so caring. He once said that he wouldn't care if one of his friends turned out to be gay, that so long as he was one of his friends, it didn't matter. He never teased me more than just to get a laugh from me. He never let anyone else tease me at all. He wasn't a fighter, or a bully, but he would gladly throw down on anyone who threatened me.
In February, Steve Chandler, a class ass, pushed me down on the sidewalk outside of school and threatened to pound me into the concrete. I hadn't bowed to his threats earlier in the day and that had angered him. I was on my butt, looking up at him in fear, worrying about how badly he was going to hurt me, when a blur came from nowhere and Steve was gone. I followed the direction where that blur had been moving and saw Trey and Steve rolling along the snowy sidewalk.
"Fucker!" Trey yelled several times.
"Get the hell off me you asshole!" Steve got out before Trey closed a hand over his throat.
"You fucker! Nobody fucks with my friends! And nobody fucks with Rex!"
Trey punched him in the face and I saw red suddenly appear there.
Trey pulled back to hit him again.
"NO!" I yelled.
Trey snapped his head to look at me.
"Why not? Nobody fucks with my buddies! Not you . . . either!"
Steve made gasping and choking sounds.
"T! Don't! Just let him go. He won't bug me no more! Will you?"
Steve shook his head.
Trey jumped off of him and kicked his leg.
"You ever do, and I'll beat you so bad your momma'll wish she had an abortion!" Trey turned to me and asked, "Did he hurt you any?"
"Don't thank me. Glad to," he said as he smiled one of his cute half-smiles at me.
Steve scrambled to his feet and never so much as looked at me again. Ever.
The second person that Trey threw down on to help me was Brock. Nobody knew his last name, or maybe that was his last name and nobody knew his first, but he was known only as Brock.
He was huge. One of the tallest kids in our grade. And fat. Not hugely fat, but one big, round, massive dude. And a major bully.
It was only a month after Trey had torn Steve off of me and bloodied his nose. Brock wanted money. He saw me paying for my lunch, and I guess he saw me use a twenty and get back the change. Just as lunch was ending, and I was walking out of the bathroom, Brock pushed me back in.
"Gimme," he said bluntly.
I knew what he wanted. I began sweating. The other kids ran out of there.
"The money, dip-wad. Gimme."
He held his hand out and walked toward me. I backed up against the wall.
I swallowed and considered my choices; give up my money, or get pulverized. I pulled out my wallet and handed him my money.
"You better start packing lunches. I want your money from now on."
He shoved me against the wall. Hard.
He turned to leave.
There was a loud whacking sound.
Trey was standing there, a scowl of anger on his cute face.
He kicked Brock three times, then bent down, and without a word, took my money from his hand. There was blood on it as he handed it back to me.
"Here," he said simply. "Let's go. Did he hurt you any? Even touch you?"
"No," I said, still stunned.
"I'm gonna fuck you both up!" Brock said from the floor.
Trey turned around and swiftly put his foot into Brock's groin.
Brock curled up with a loud, "O-h-h-h-h-h!"
"You're gonna what?"
He kicked him again, this time in the hands that were holding his groin.
"Fuck with my friends and I'll fuck you up. You hear me?"
He only moaned.
"You fuck with me, or Rex, and I'll kill you."
Trey kicked him again.
"Trey, don't," I said softly.
"Yeah, okay," Brock groaned.
Trey put his arm around my shoulders and walked me toward the door. When we got there, he held the door open for me and followed me out into the hallway.
"Man, T, thanks!" I said, my breath returning.
"Don't thank me, Rex. Glad to."
He grinned that cute half-grin at me. I wanted to kiss him. At least hug him. I knew not to.
So, was it any wonder that whispered rumors began about us?
I didn't hear those rumors until the last month of school. Wally Burton told me. He said that for weeks it had been whispered that Trey and I were boyfriends. Queers. Homos. For long moments, I couldn't say anything. I wanted to deny it, laugh at it, make fun of the very idea.
Instead, I stuttered and stammered, "W-w-w-what? S-s-s-says, who?"
I had to immediately take control of my breathing and body, and calm myself.
Wally stared at me.
"Oh, my gawd," he said slowly, his eyes going wide, his mouth falling open. "Is, is it true? Are you guys . . . like that?"
"No!" I yelled at him. "Fuck you!"
"They why did you go all retarded?"
"I'm fucking pissed! That's why! Now tell me who!"
"No way! I'm not gonna be the one that gets him fucked over."
"So, a friend, huh?"
"No! I mean . . . no."
He was lying, and I could easily tell.
"Look, I don't know where this crap is coming from, but I don't want it following us to high school, so I want it stopped, now. Okay? You hear anyone saying that shit, you tell them you know better. I find out you didn't, or you said that kind of shit when you know it ain't true, and me and Trey will come after you, friend or no friend. Got me?"
I tried to sound mean, or threatening, and I was hoping that I had, but I didn't know for sure. He didn't look scared or worried, though. I guess he knew me too well.
"Okay. I mean, I didn't think so."
"Didn't think so? What? You gotta take video of me and ten chicks doing it all night to know I'm no homo, or what?"
"I ain't seen you and the ladies spending a lot of time together. At all. In fact, you and Sam seem, kinda, close, if you know what I mean."
His eyes widened.
"You know we ain't . . . yeah, okay. I get ya."
He nodded. I nodded.
"Just thought you should know," he added. "I said I didn't think so."
It was the beginning.
I told Trey. It didn't go well.
"What? Who? I'll fucking kill 'em!"
"No, wait! I told you so you'd know. That's all. I got the guys slapping it down, telling anyone who says something like that that they know it's a lie. Okay?"
He calmed, but not entirely.
"It's okay, Three. Just stupid rumors. You know how they go. Be forgotten next week. With graduation and all that shit, it'll all be forgotten."
"Maybe we should go to the prom together?" he asked, his cute half-grin starting.
"Yeah, but who wears the dress?"
"We both can. Go as lezzies!"
We laughed some more.
Things went back to normal. I tried not to adore him, but failed. It was only getting worse. I'd found out that I liked masturbating while thinking about him, but now I was having dreams about him. Those kinds of dreams.
I didn't know if I could hide it from him much longer.
Then Mom and Dad told me that we were moving. They wanted me to go to a better high school than the one my middle school led into.
I was devastated. I had finally gotten friends, and a best friend, but I was moving so far away that we would go to different high schools. I would never see them again.
I was never one to scream or yell at my parents, but I did fume for an entire week. I hardly talked to them. I answered them only when I had to. I understood that they wanted me to go to the high school that would give me the best education, but that didn't ease the hurt.
I had a month before we were going to move. They had already found a new home, and it was still being built. It would be ready for us to move into by the end of the month.
More than once, Trey asked why I was so moody. I wanted to tell him, not just disappear, but I couldn't. Every time I tried, or decided it was the right time, I would choke up. Knowing that I was going to cry, he would tell me that it was okay, that I should tell him when I could talk about it.
I loved that about him. He cared. He didn't mind showing it, either. I loved him. I knew it. I began to actually realize that I was really going to be gay.
I struggled with that fact for weeks. And the fact that I was falling for Trey, and that I was going to move away from him. And my other friends. Forever. I would never see them again.
It was a miserable month. Trey stayed at my house as often as his parents would let him. I wanted to tell him, but I couldn't. It hurt too much even to think about; talking about it was impossible.
I let the time go by.
We had fun; we joked; we laughed; we wrestled; we slept over at my house; we rode our bikes to the mall, the arcade, the bookstore, fast food shops, nowhere in particular. We sat around my place watching television, listening to music, playing Dungeons and Dragons with my nerdy friends, doing nothing in particular. We studied after school, and did anything and everything together. It seemed as if he knew. He was away from me only when we were in different classes at school, when he had to go home for dinner or some other reason that his parents insisted on, and when he went home on school nights.
On the weekend before the prom, I tried to tell him that I had to move away. I got as far as telling him how much I liked spending time with him, and how I thought he was my best friend ever. He said I was his blood-brother and that I could tell him anything. I almost told him that I was almost sure that I was gay, and that I was almost sure that I was in love with him. It seemed easier to tell him that than to tell him that in two weeks we would never see each other again. Instead, I choked on the words and started crying.
He put his hand on my shoulder and said, "X, take your time. If you can't tell me yet, I'll understand."
His voice was so soft, so gentle, so caring. His face was so beautiful.
I could only wipe at my eyes and choke out, "I can't."
The night of the prom, we went to hang out at Archer's. It was a local hangout where guys with hot cars would park them and show them off and talk about them. We both loved classic sixties hot-rods. After a couple of hours, he wanted to go to a small patch of woods surrounded by malls and houses called Red Gate Woods. It was quiet, even on weekends, and we liked going there to just sit and pass time talking.
We would sit in a certain spot that had no path to it and seemed to be secret, next to a large creek which ran through the woods. The water was always moving, making a soft sound. The traffic along the interstate not far away made a soft, sighing sound. We would go there all year around, even with snow on the ground and ice on the creek. That night, though, was hot and humid. We ended up taking off our shoes and socks and putting our feet in the water. We had rolled up our pants cuffs, but they were getting wet anyway.
"I'm gonna take the jeans off so I can put my legs in."
He stood up and did so. I tried not to stare, or even look. No matter how badly I wanted to. Recently he had started changing from his jeans and briefs into his pajamas without going to the bathroom. He never did so directly in front of me, would always do so while a commercial break was on if we were watching television, or some other convenient time by sitting on the bed behind me. But right then, in the woods, it seemed so incredibly sexy that I popped wood in an instant.
He sat down and stretched his legs out into the water with an, "A-h-h-h-h," of pleasure. I kept looking across the creek into the darkness. I could see his bare legs in the corner of my eye, and the flash of his white briefs. I was so hard it hurt.
"Gonna?" he asked.
"Nah, I'm fine."
I hoped that he couldn't see the tenting in my jeans. The situation was horribly uncomfortable, but intensely sexual, too. This wasn't the first time I had been so intensely turned on around him. Far from it. Those wrestling matches during sleepovers, with him in only his pajama bottoms, were never boring. But sitting there on the creek bank, with him in his underwear, was new in that we were somewhere almost public, and it was him in his underwear. His underwear!
Sure, I'd seen him last year in gym, changing clothes, naked and showering, but this was Trey, a year later, in his underwear. In, his, underwear!
We talked about this and that for a while before the topic became girls.
"Oh, man! Sherry Timmons is getting the biggest tits!" he said gleefully.
"I know! Like watermelons!"
"Yeah. Man, I'd love to put my face between them and just lay there."
He sighed. So, I did, too.
"I'm getting a major woody," he said suddenly.
I looked over, by accident. His hand was down the front of his briefs, moving.
I swallowed. I looked away.
"Dude, I got to take care of it. Be right back."
He stood up and walked around the large trees to the right. I tried not to look that way. I tried not to listen intently, trying to hear something. I failed.
I waited. I was so hard it did hurt.
I couldn't stop thinking of what he was doing just a few feet away.
More than once during a sleepover, I had wondered if he was doing the same thing. He sometimes took forever in the bathroom. Sometimes I woke up in the night during a sleepover and heard him sighing, or a repeated brushing noise. Or him breathing quickly.
But right then, I knew what he was doing, and he was doing it just a few feet away from me. It was driving me crazy.
When he came back, he was grinning cutely. He walked toward me in only his white briefs. He jiggled in them. I tried not to look.
"Feel better?" I asked with a short laugh.
"Yup," he replied, also laughing shortly.
He sat down and put his jeans back on.
"Want food. Hungry?"
"Sure," I said.
We put our shoes and socks back on. I stood up once he had turned to walk out of there. I adjusted myself secretly and then caught up with him.
Marconi's had the best Polish sausage and great root beer. And it was on the way to my place.
It was another great sleepover, until I made a huge mistake. I argued that The Thing From Another World was better than Forbidden Planet. But not until he had changed into his pajamas. I was still in my jeans, as I always was when he slept over. I had slept in my underwear until some time in seventh grade, when he started making me so excited.
It ended up with him straddling my chest, the opening of his pajamas giving me that awesome peek through them. He was nicely hard, and his balls were making themselves more obvious, too. I grew very hard.
"Now, you were saying?" he asked, grinning a cute grin, sitting on my chest, holding both of my arms down.
I said, "I was saying, that Forbidden Planet is a waste of celluloid," around my laughter.
He bounced on my chest.
"Say what?" he asked, laughing.
He had such a cute laugh.
"I was saying, Forbidden-ugh!"
He held my arms down tighter and then rocked his butt up and down my belly, making it hard to breathe.
"Okay," I said, merely a whisper due to his movements and my laughter.
"The Thing sucks!" I managed to choke out.
"Say what?" he asked, surprised.
"It sucks," I repeated.
"No it doesn't! Just not as good as Forbidden Planet," he said, still surprised. "What's the deal?"
I looked again. I didn't mean to. I never meant to when he was looking at me. He noticed. He rolled off of me.
He looked shocked and his face turned red.
I could see him swallow.
I knew I had just fucked up in a big way.
He rolled onto his sleeping bag and pulled his sheet up over himself without a word.
I slunk into my bed, feeling like I had just hurt him.
I had a very hard time trying to fall asleep. I wanted to talk to him. I wanted to pretend it hadn't happened. I wanted to say that I had looked only that one time he had seen. I wanted to hear him laugh. I wanted to see him smile.
I had to fight not to cry.
When I woke up, early the next morning, he was gone. I felt awful. I wanted to call him. He had never before left in the morning, except the first time he had an accident during the night. I had called him the next morning and made him come back. I'd put the sleeping bag in the washer, and it was in the dryer when he got back. I'd told him that my parents had no idea, that I had a cousin who still did it, that it wasn't anything new to me, that I didn't care. He had smiled at me and we'd gone on with our day together, laughing and having a good time. Not this time.
He had left his copy of Dune behind. It lay in the middle of the floor. I leafed through it several times, fighting tears. I put it to my nose, hoping to smell him on it. That angered me, and I threw it against the wall.
I tried to call him, several times, but no one answered. I became sure that he had told his parents and they wouldn't answer the phone for the raging homo.
Saturday went by without him. For the first time in almost two years.
Then Sunday. Horrifying scenarios filled my mind all day. I didn't want to lose Trey's friendship, and began formulating plans to salvage the situation.
Four more days of school, then summer vacation would begin and I would move. Then high school.
I sat down next to him like normal in the first of our several classes we had together..
"You okay? Why did you leave?" I asked, just as I planned, looking curious and unworried.
He didn't answer.
I got worried.
He crossed his arms and ignored me.
I had never hurt so much before. My breath came ragged, my eyes and cheeks grew hot. I fought not to cry. I couldn't think during the rest of the class, nor the ones that followed, except to worry.
We had fourth period together, too. And we sat together, too.
My friends were normal at lunch. It seemed that Trey hadn't said anything to them. I was so relieved I almost cried from it.
I had to hide in the bathroom during the beginning of the next class to cry. I had never had as close a friend as Trey before, nor a blood-brother. And I had never felt so close to anyone before. And I had never felt like I loved anyone before, either. Losing all of those things in one adorable person was intolerably painful.
I didn't try to talk to him in eighth period English. I just sat down and remained silent. We normally would have walked out together, gone to our lockers together, one at a time, then walked to my house together.
I watched him walk out of the classroom. I walked out alone, went to my locker alone, walked home alone.
I cried as soon as I got into my room.
I prayed. I rarely prayed, and hardly believed, but I prayed. I prayed that Trey would call me and that things would be okay again. I prayed that Trey would laugh it off and forget it. I prayed to have my best friend - my blood-brother - back.
I ate dinner.
I went back to my room.
I prayed more.
I cried more.
I fell asleep.
It was the same on Tuesday. We took finals all day, and I stayed silent. He never looked at me.
I went to my locker alone, I walked home alone.
I cried alone.
I ate dinner.
I went back to my room and cried and prayed. Alone.
Wednesday. On Wednesday I died a little.
When I walked into home room, several kids laughed. One pointed and said, "Fag!"
I glared, trying to look mean or intimidating. It didn't work.
"I'm not gay," I said as I sat down.
"Not what I heard," Max Courtland said with a laugh.
"What are you talking about?" I asked as angrily as I could.
"I heard you like looking at guys junk," he said, laughing still.
"Probably from that homo, Trey. He pulled his junk out and started beating off. We went down to the woods for something to do, and he just, did it. What a fuckin' fag," I said.
"You heard me. The fucker pulled his junk, right there in the woods. We were talking about Sherry's huge tits, then the next thing I know, he's jackin' it. I told him to go home, get away from me. We ain't talked since."
"Ask him. See how he reacts. Bet he gives it away."
It looked like he was believing me. I felt relieved. I hated to do that, but I needed to cover my own ass, and obviously Trey had opened his mouth about what happened in my room Friday night. I had to do something, right there and then, and this was all I could think of. I felt like a traitor, and a heel, and an asshole.
"You didn't check out his shit?"
"Dude, we were talking about Sherry's tits. Why he wanted to show me his shit, I don't know. Maybe he didn't wanna show me, maybe he just wanted to jerk it. I don't know."
He nodded and looked thoughtful.
I repeated the same story three times that day. I never sat next to Trey, either. I moved to an empty seat in every class I had with him. My friends seemed quiet around me at lunch. I was glad Trey didn't have the same lunch period. I felt alone and uncomfortable at the table.
I walked home alone. I cried alone. I ate dinner, but barely. Mom asked if I was feeling okay. I said that tests were rough this year. I went back to my room and cried alone. I prayed, alone.
Thursday, my friends acted as if I had some horrible disease. At lunch they actually ignored me. Only Wally talked to me, and it was obvious that he was going to pay for doing so.
I had once worried about telling them that I was moving, but now I didn't even consider it.
When the final bell rang, the building was rocked by yells and screams.
Papers filled the hallways. Lockers were left hanging open.
I walked home alone, cried in my room alone. After dinner, Trey called.
I heard the phone, but didn't care. Mom came to my room and said my best friend was on the phone.
Thank you, God! I almost said aloud.
I shook all over. I started to sweat. I walked slowly to the phone in the kitchen. I picked it up and told Mom that I had it. I heard her hang up.
"I'm sorry I left."
I didn't know what to say.
I just wanted to be friends again. I wanted my best friend back. I wanted my blood-brother back. I wanted Trey back.
"I, I . . . didn't mean it."
There was a long silence.
"I didn't care. I was . . . just, surprised."
He didn't care? I thought. He was just surprised? Then why did he leave the next morning?
"Why'd you leave?"
"I, I want to talk to you. Okay? Please? Meet me at Red Gate, at the creek?"
"Cool. See you then."
He hung up.
I exhaled violently. I stopped shaking. I wiped sweat from my face. I felt better than I had in several days.
I got on my bike and rode as fast as I could to Red Gate. I dropped my bike at the trailhead and ran to the creek. I waited.
I worried. I tried not to be sick. I made up my mind to tell him that I was moving in a week. I didn't care what he said before I did, I was going to tell him. Finally. I almost hoped that he was coming to tell me that he knew, and that he didn't want us to be mad at each other for our last week together.
I heard him coming through the woods.
I began shaking violently and sweating profusely.
I didn't look up as he sat down next to me.
We were silent for a while.
"I didn't care. That you, looked. I . . ."
I felt like throwing up.
"Are you, gay?"
I wanted to lie, but I didn't want to lie to him.
I belched silently and wetly, vomit not far away.
I couldn't stop the tears that started falling silently.
I could only wipe at them.
"I . . . I think I, love you."
I made a soft, squeaking sound in my throat. I coughed to clear my throat and restart my breathing.
"I, think, I think I love you, X."
I looked at him involuntarily. He looked right into my eyes. He tried to smile.
The idea that he could possibly have any kind of feelings like the ones I had for him had never seemed possible. I had never considered the possibility. I had dreamed of it, wished for it, but never gave it any real consideration. Hearing him say those words sent my heart into palpitations.
I squeaked again.
"I don't know. But, I . . ."
He sighed deeply and pounded his fist into the ground.
"I, want to know, though. I got to know. I, will . . . "
I wanted to do anything to help him find that out. Anything.
"Will you kiss me? To, find out?"
I squeaked again.
For a moment, I wondered if any of this was real. It couldn't be, I was sure. It was far too wonderful for any kind of reality. The tingling and thrills running all through me were maddeningly powerful.
I leaned toward him. I couldn't believe it. My heart raced. My breath stopped. I shook. I closed my eyes as my mouth neared his.
My lips touched his. Soft. Warm. He pressed them harder into mine. I felt his hand on my thigh, and felt it move upward. Warm thrills ran through me.
I heard laughter.
We jerked apart.
"He is a fag!" Dan yelled, coming out of the brush.
"Fag!" Rob said, laughing.
I had known it was too good to be real. The thrilling warmth of moments before turned to ice in my heart.
His two closest friends stood there, laughing and pointing.
The ice gave way to red-hot anger.
I didn't know where it came from, but I hit Trey. Hard. I struck him firmly on the mouth. It hurt my hand, so I know that it had hurt his mouth. His eyes went wide and his hands covered his injured lips.
The very lips I had just kissed.
I saw a red trail form under his hands. His eyes were huge.
"You mother-fucking ass-hole!" I yelled. "I hate your fucking guts!"
I jumped up and ran. I ran away from Rob and Dan, then cut back toward my bike. I saw Trey's bike there, and I kicked it over and then jumped onto the spokes and rim of his front wheel several times. Dan and Rob had ridden a moped. I picked up Trey's bike and beat the moped with it until it fell over and I smelled gasoline. Then I rode as hard and fast as I ever had. I cried as hard as I ever had. I had to wipe my eyes over and over, or risk running into things. I threw my bike down and ran inside. I locked the door behind me and ran into my room. I threw myself onto the bed and cried until I heard someone come home.
I cleaned myself up and pretended nothing had happened. I ate dinner. Mom asked if I felt well. I said I was tired from studying so much and I would be fine after resting all weekend. She laughed and said I wouldn't get much rest with Trey coming over to stay all week long. I told her that he wasn't coming over. She was surprised. I told her he had other things to do, something about family coming up, or going to see family, or something of the sort.
I went back to my room and cried.
It never happened, I told myself. I'm moving. No one there will ever know. Thank you, God. But the trick of why he called was cruel. But thank you for getting me out of here!
We had less than a week until we moved. I started packing things that night. No one came over. No one called.
We packed things in the garage the next day, and then started on things we wouldn't need for the next couple of weeks. No one came over. No one called.
Six days later, no one had come over, no one had called. My room was empty, the last things on the moving truck. The only thing left in my room was a thick, paperback book that lay in the middle of the floor. I had put it back exactly as I had found it two weeks ago. I sat there next to it and stared at it for a long time, not wanting to cry. I called up all the memories of Trey that I had. I visualized them soaking into the book, leaving me forever.
Finally, finally, I was as empty as my room. I stood with aching muscles and heart, and without looking back, I walked out of my bedroom for the last time.
I closed my bedroom door for the last time.
Six days after Trey tricked me into meeting him at Red Gate Creek, and tricked me into kissing him in front of his two other friends, we left the house on Emerald Avenue for the last time.
I had lived there for many years, but I had lived there only for the last two years.
Now, I had never lived there at all; not in my memories.
I had never known anyone named Trey.
I had never kissed a boy.
I had never loved.
I was alone.
Thank you to Pedro Castanya for his editing skills
[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. If the email address pastes with %40 in the middle, replace that with an @ sign.]