Everything But Love

by Joel Young

Chapter 4

Tellico Falls High School

After church on my first full day in Tellico Falls, Aunt Gretchen, Mason, and I went back to the farm and changed into casual clothing. "Are there any more chores I should do?" I asked.

"No, not right now," Aunt Gretchen said. "We try to rest on Sunday afternoons. But this evening, you can finish up in the chicken coop, and I'll make us a light supper."

I decided to do some reading, so I got up to get a book. "Before you go, James, I want you to know that I was proud of you at church this morning," Aunt Gretchen said. "You were very cordial and polite, and people seemed to like you. I'm glad you made friends with Mark Salinger and Sylvia Turner. They're both nice kids from good families. And several people complimented the song the three of you did together."

"Thanks," I said. "But did you hear that someone complained that "Heart and Soul" was a dirty song?"

"What?" Aunt Gretchen exclaimed. "That's ridiculous! I bet it was that cranky Mrs. Carter just trying to stir up trouble again. Sometimes, that woman strains my ability to keep a Christian tongue in my mouth!"

"Mark said that we should ask God to bless her soul. I think he meant that she needs it," I said, smiling.

"Well, Amen to that!" my aunt said. "Oh, and James, we'll have to register you for school on Tuesday. Your mother is faxing some paperwork to the high school tomorrow. Classes start on Wednesday."

I had mixed feelings about starting a new school, but I decided to have a positive attitude. "Great," I said. "I'll look forward to it."

On Tuesday morning, Aunt Gretchen and I drove to the Tellico Falls high school. I was surprised that it appeared to be a very new building. Before going in, we drove around the campus. There was a running track, a football field with bleachers, and tennis courts in the back, all of which appeared to be well maintained. I was impressed.

We went inside the building and found the Counseling Office. "I need to register my nephew for school," Aunt Gretchen said to the receptionist.

"Name and address?" the lady asked. My aunt looked at me, indicating that I should answer the questions.

"James Covington," I said. "I'm staying with my aunt and uncle, Gretchen and Nathan Dwyer. The address is 77495 West Butterfield Highway."

"Where are your parents?" the lady asked me.

"In Connecticut," I said.

"His parents are traveling this year," my aunt explained. "I'm taking care of him."

"Are you his legal guardian?" the receptionist asked my aunt.

"Yes," Aunt Gretchen said. "My sister faxed the papers to you yesterday."

The receptionist got up to check a stack of faxed documents. "Covington? Oh, here they are," she said. "And it looks like someone sent records from – BAAL. What's that?"

"It's the Bridgeport Academy for Advanced Learning," I said. "That's where I went to school before coming here."

"Okay," the receptionist said. She gave the paperwork to my aunt, and she handed me a clipboard and some forms to fill out. "You can meet with the Counselor as soon as you're done with these. Have a seat in the hallway."

Aunt Gretchen and I went into the hall and sat down on a bench. I completed all of the forms, and both my aunt and I signed them. "May I see the papers Mom sent to the school?" I asked.

I expected my aunt to object, but she simply handed them to me. One of the documents was titled, 'Transfer of Guardianship of Minor Child." I read it carefully, and I was shocked! I couldn't believe what it said! Both my mom and dad had agreed to give up their parental rights over me! I wasn't just visiting my aunt and uncle temporarily. My parents had signed away their legal custody of me!

I felt totally rejected, and I started to tear up. "They gave me away - permanently?!?" I asked while looking up at Aunt Gretchen. "Do they really hate me that much?"

"Don't be so dramatic, James. It's not all that terrible," my aunt said. "Since you will be living with us, I need the legal right to enroll you in school and see to any medical treatment you might need while you're here. I can give custody back to your parents if you ever – I mean when – you go home."

The reality of what Aunt Gretchen had just said didn't escape me. I heard her say that I might never go home. She may have tried to make it sound like she misspoke, but I knew better. I wiped the tears from my eyes, but the knot in my stomach remained.

"How much did they pay to get rid of me," I asked.

"James!" Aunt Gretchen replied sternly. "What kind of question is that?"

"I don't know," I said. "I was just wondering what putting up with me might be worth on the open market."

Aunt Gretchen ignored my question, and she took the completed paperwork to the receptionist. She came back to the bench where I was sitting. Soon, a middle-aged lady came into the hallway. "Hello," she said. "I'm Mrs. Collen, the Counselor. Please come into my office, and we'll get you all taken care of."

In her office, Mrs. Collen looked at my records. "I see you did very well at your former school, young man," Mrs. Collen said to me. "Our standards here at Tellico Falls are very high, but with a record like yours, I think you will be able to keep up. Your transcript says you took College Prep Math last year. First-year students here take Introduction to Algebra. Do you think you're ready for that?"

I didn't know what to say. I had already completed Advanced Algebra and Geometry. Had I stayed at my old school, I would have taken Trigonometry this year. I didn't want to sound like a braggart, but I had to say something.

"I've had quite a bit of Algebra already," I said. "Is there a Trigonometry class I could take?"

Mrs. Collen gave me a reproachful look. "Trigonometry is for our senior college prep students. Let's start you off with Algebra 1 and see how that goes."

Mrs. Collen worked out the rest of my schedule for the semester so that I'd be ready for the start of school the next day. She made two copies, one for me and one for Aunt Gretchen. Then, she asked the receptionist to walk us around the school so that I'd have a general sense of the building's layout. The receptionist also assigned me a locker and made sure I had the combination.

Mason drove us to school the next morning. "Don't try and hang out with me today," he said. "I've got my own friends, and we don't need a clingy freshman getting in the way."

"Why would I want to hang out with you and some gang of goons?" I said defensively. "I can make my own friends."

I knew I was stretching the truth a bit. Making friends had always been a challenge for me. But I was older now, and people had stopped calling me a sissy – well, most of the time, anyway. I had worked hard to avoid giving people that impression. And believe it or not, my glasses and braces had helped with that. Now, people who wanted to call me names were more likely to say that I was a nerd. If I had to choose, I'd pick 'nerd' over 'sissy' any day.

Mason ignored me as we went into the school building. He took off, and I looked for my locker. Not that I had anything to put in it, but I wanted to be sure I could find and open it.

I was hoping that Mark and Sylvia might be in some of my classes, but I didn't see them all morning.

My first class was English. The teacher seemed nice enough. He explained that the class would focus on American Literature as well as grammar and composition. "We'll start with a Civil War novel by Stephen Crane," Mr. Peterson said. "It's called The Red Badge of Courage ."

I had read the novel a couple of years ago, and I liked it a lot. I looked forward to rereading it.

My second and third-hour classes went well enough, but they didn't seem very challenging. I wasn't at all concerned about keeping up with the curriculum. What I was worried about was the upcoming lunch hour. I hated to eat alone - especially in a large cafeteria. I had terrible memories of lunch periods from my earlier years of school. Lunch and recess were the times when I was bullied and called names during most of my school years.

Kids rushed past me to get into the cafeteria as I reluctantly entered the crowded room. It took about ten minutes for me to get through the food line. I took my tray and started looking for a place to eat my lunch. I hated that part of the lunchtime ordeal the most. I felt like I would be rejected wherever I chose to sit. I spotted a table that was only about three-quarters full. There was a space at the end where I thought I might be able to sit by myself and blend into the crowd without notice. So, I gave it a try.

All of the students at the table where I sat were guys. They looked like they might be juniors and seniors. At first, they ignored me. But I could hear them joking around with each other. There was a lot of trash-talk, mostly about how the guys wanted to 'bang' certain girls. And they took bets about who could 'get laid' first during the school year.

They referred to the guy sitting closest to me as Justin. I couldn't help but notice how cute he was. He was tanned and about two inches taller than I was. He was trim and had muscular arms and shoulders. His ash-blond hair was cut short. His eyes were blue, and he had a cleft chin.

About five minutes after I sat down, Justin turned and looked at me. Then, he turned back toward his friends. "Hey, you guys hear that weird sound coming from the end of the table?" he asked. "I think metal-mouth down there is picking up some radio signals – from outer space!" Everyone at the table began laughing at me. I felt as if I wanted to die!

Where it came from, I have no idea. But something inside of me changed at that moment. I felt like I could muster up the courage to defend myself. And I decided that I was done taking bullshit from other people.

Some of the guys' macho, sexual bragging had reminded me of an old joke that I once heard on a late-night talk show. "Play around with that," I thought to myself. "Turn it into a comeback to Justin's bullying remarks about my braces."

I picked up my knife and fork and held them so that they looked like they were growing out of the top of my head – as if they were antennae. I moved them around like I was trying to get better reception.

"I'm getting a signal from the Mars Commander!" I announced as if it were breaking news. "It's a message for someone named Justin. Is there a Justin here?" The other guys at the table started to play along with me. "That's Justin; that's Justin!" several of them hollered while laughing and pointing at their friend.

"Justin," I said. "The Commander has been listening to you on his intergalactic communication device. He wants you to know something. He says that the only way you'll ever get laid is if you crawl up the ass of a chicken and wait there until morning."

Justin's friends erupted in laughter. "BURN!" one of the guys said as he playfully pushed Justin on the shoulder. "Man, he got you good!"

For just a moment, I had an amazing sense of empowerment! Then, I felt reality set in. I didn't know what would happen next, but I knew there would probably be consequences for insulting a guy like Justin in front of his friends. Should I expect a fist in my face? Would I be wrestled to the ground and kicked in the nuts? I imagined all sorts of painful acts of retribution that might be heading my way. But I really didn't give a damn! I wasn't going to let another school bully ruin my life – regardless of the risks.

"You think that was clever, Mr. Funny Guy?" Justin taunted. Then he looked at his friends. "You guys think the nerd over there is funny?"

The group at the table quieted down. Some of the guys lowered their heads as if they might be afraid of Justin. Things got too quiet for my comfort. So, I decided to go for broke.

"That's Officer Nerd to you, Civilian!" I said to Justin, hoping to defuse the situation by acknowledging that I was a nerd. "I am an Officer in the Mars Commander's Earth Surveillance Unit."

"And just what are you surveilling in Tellico Falls, Officer Nerd?" Justin challenged.

I hesitated for just a moment. I thought I might have a chance of escaping my precarious predicament if I gave Justin a way to save face.

"I'm assigned to study how young males here on Earth go about persuading young females to participate in sexual intercourse," I said. "That's why I sat at this table. I thought you guys looked like you might be able to shed some light on the matter."

Justin smiled, and I felt the tension start to dissipate. "Well, you chose the right table for that, Officer Nerd. My friends and I are experts on that subject."

"What's your real name?" one of the guys asked me. I introduced myself, and I explained that this was my first day of high school. Then, Justin went around the table, introducing me to his friends.

"You're okay, Covington," Justin said. "We usually don't let nerds sit with us at lunch, but you're funny. You can eat lunch with us again sometime – as long as you can entertain us with more of your jokes."

"Thanks," I said.

Just then, I saw Mark walk by our table carrying a small carton of milk. He looked surprised when he saw me sitting and talking with Justin and his friends. He smiled at me briefly and kept on walking. Then, I saw Mark sit down at a table with Sylvia.

As the lunch period came to an end, I said goodbye to Justin's group and went to say "Hi" to Mark and Sylvia. "I can't believe you were hanging out with Justin Pennel!" Sylvia said. "He and his Pack only let the cool kids sit with them!"

"Gee, thanks," I said, sounding a little insulted. "I guess I forgot to wear my 'Not Cool' tee shirt today."

"I didn't mean it like that," Sylvia said. "But you know what I mean."

"That's okay," I said. "I'm not mad. I was surprised too when Justin said that I was welcome to sit with them sometimes. I think he liked my jokes."

"You are full of surprises, Covington!" Mark said just as the bell rang to let us know that it was time to head to our fourth-hour classes.

The rest of the school day went by quickly. Mason allowed me to ride back to the farm with him. He looked happier than he did that morning. "I got a date with Missy Holloway for Friday night," Mason bragged. "She's got the best pair of titties I've ever seen!"

For the rest of the week, I settled into a routine at the farm and at school. Taking care of the chickens and helping my aunt in the vegetable garden became my regular chores. At school, I mostly hung out with Mark and Sylvia. I was much more comfortable with them than I was with "The Pack." Still, I made sure that I spoke with Justin a couple of times during the week. I thought that having him as a friend might come in handy someday.

By Friday, I was pretty tired. The stress of dealing with new people, new places, and new situations all week long had worn me out. After school that day, I ate dinner, did my chores, and went up to my room. Mason was out on his date with Missy, so I had some privacy for the first time. I read for a while and fell sound asleep by 9:00 p.m.

I didn't hear Mason come into the room that night. But around midnight, I realized that he was home and banging around the room. "How was your date?" I asked as I yawned and slowly woke up.

"That's really none of your damn business, James," Mason said. "I need you to leave for a while."

"Why?" I asked. "Where am I supposed to go?"

"Go sleep in the damn chicken coop for all I care," Mason yelled while trying to keep his voice down at the same time. "I need to be alone."

"I'll be quiet," I said. "I promise I won't bother you."

"You just don't get it, do you?" Mason yelled again in a hushed voice. "Well, let me explain real life to you, Nerd Face. Missy got me all worked up, but then she wouldn't put out. And if I don't bust a nut pretty soon, I'm gonna go completely crazy!"

"What does 'bust a nut' mean?" I asked naïvely. "Is that a sex thing?"

"Yes, it's a sex thing," Mason said in a mocking tone. "Geeze! You're about as daffy as a doornail!"

"Isn't the expression "dead as a doornail?" I questioned.

"Don't give me any ideas, James!" Mason said in a threatening tone. "I've got a bad case of blue-balls, and your stupid questions are irritating the Hell out'a me!"

"Sorry," I said. "Is there anything I can do?"

I didn't mean it in the way Mason took it.

"Really?" he asked. "You think you can help me out?"

"We're cousins," I replied, still not understanding what was going through Mason's mind. "Shouldn't we help each other out?"

I was shocked when Mason unbuckled his belt and dropped his pants to the floor. He took out his dick from his briefs. "Suck it!" he said.

I was horrified!

"I said suck it!" Mason yelled at me again.

"No!" I said. "That's disgusting!"

Mason came over toward my bed and practically shoved his dick in my face. "Suck it, or I'll tell Ma that you were the one who woke me up tryin' to suck my dick," Mason said. "Ma already thinks you're a sissy. So, she'll believe me."

Mason took a step forward, and I felt a hard dick poking me in my face.

Even in that moment of shock and fear, I still had my wits about me. "What about my braces?" I asked. "Even if I try not to, I'll probably scrape the sharp edges on you!"

That got Mason's attention. He backed off and stood there looking angry. Then, he dragged me off of my cot and pulled me over to his bed. He let go of me and sat down. "Jerk me off," he commanded.

"I don't know how," I said as my voice cracked with fear.

"Do it just like you do it to yourself," Mason ordered. He grabbed my hand and put it around his dick.

"I've never done anything like that to myself!" I exclaimed.

You gotta' be fuckin' kidding me," Mason said. "How old are you?"

"Thirteen," I said.

Mason looked exasperated. "What the Hell is wrong with you? I've been spanking the monkey since I was eight years old! Your ma feed you saltpeter every night?"

I had no idea what 'spanking the monkey' meant. And I didn't know what 'saltpeter' was." I just stared at Mason. He started making my hand go up and down on his dick. It felt strange to be touching someone like that. But it wasn't quite as disgusting as I had first thought. For some reason that I didn't understand, I found it kind of exciting - until Mason did something absolutely repulsive. He spat on his own dick!

"What'd you do that for?" I whined as I pulled my hand away.

"To make it slippery. Now, stroke it," Mason demanded.

Reluctantly, I took his dick back in my hand. Mason placed his hand over mine and started to guide my movements. I stared at the hard penis I was being forced to touch. It wasn't particularly long; I had seen larger dicks in the school showers – and those dicks weren't even hard. But Mason's was very thick. My hand barely reached around the whole thing.

Eventually, Mason let go of my hand, and I continued stroking him. "Faster!" he said. I sped up a little. As I did, I felt Mason's dick get even harder. Maybe five minutes later, Mason said, "Don't stop! I'm getting close."

I wasn't sure what 'getting close' meant, but I suspected something was about to happen. I kept on moving my hand up and down on his hard dick. All of a sudden, Mason said, "Oh God! Here it comes!" I felt his dick tense up. Then, some white stuff shot out from the slit on the deep-purple head of his dick.

I pulled away from him. "Gross!" I gasped. "You peed on my hand!"

Mason was breathing heavily. A minute or so later, he sat up. I could see that his dick wasn't as hard as it had just been.

"That's not pee, Dumbass," Mason said. "It's cum. It's what a guy's body makes so he can get a girl pregnant."

Mason looked down at me. "You're hard!" he exclaimed. "My dick got you all hot and bothered!"

"No, it didn't!" I said defensively. "You're disgusting, Mason. You ever try to make me do that again, I'm telling!"

"No, you won't," Mason said. "Cause you liked it!"

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