Starting Over

by Tony A

Chapter 4

There was a lot of avoidance and awkwardness after the embarrassing incident at my house, and surprisingly it was mostly from Cole and not Kevin. Kevin and I resolved our issues the following day and he apologized and told me that it's going to take him some time to get used to the 'new me', but he'll try. However, Cole has been cold and distant. He avoids me whenever we run into each other and in the two classes that we have together he makes a point to avoid looking at me. His treatment towards me hurts more than I could ever admit.

Since he's been ignoring me I took my chance to confront him at lunch. I saw him walking past the cafeteria so I told everyone (aka the jock crew) that I had to go to the bathroom. I watched him walk down the hall; he was oblivious to the fact that someone was watching him. He happened to walk into the bathroom so I followed him in. He had his back turned to me and he was about to go to one of the urinals when I violently pulled him back by his shirt and pushed him up against the nearest wall.

He made a squeak noise and looked terrified. I knew I was being unnecessarily rough, but he was pissing me off at this point. I do regret it though because I saw genuine fear in his eyes. I never want to see that again.

"What are you doing!" I yelled at him. Then he looked totally confused. I guess I was the one acting strange.

"Matt?" Cole gasped. "What are you doing?" He asked still looking scared.

"Why are you avoiding me? You don't talk to me anymore and you just flat out ignore me." I probably sounded insane.

I realized that I was still pushing him up against the wall so I stepped away from him and gave him some room. He looked less scared and just as confused.

"I thought it was pretty obvious why I've been avoiding you," Cole responded quietly.

"Are you talking about when we...kissed?" I held my breathe waiting for his answer but he just nodded. I hesitated, startled, "I thought you liked me," I said pathetically.

"I do, I just thought that maybe you were still straight. I thought I took it too far. I knew that you had changed recently but I thought maybe your orientation hadn't."

"Cole, I kissed you," I said quietly, I don't think he heard me because he kept frantically explaining.

"And then Kevin walked in and he saw us. And I've probably ruined your friendship with him. And you probably hate me and think that I've corrupted you," Then he looked up at me like he just realized I was standing there. "I'm sorry".

"Cole, calm down," I said softly, putting my hands on both his shoulders. "First of all Kevin saw nothing. You didn't ruin our relationship, trust me if anyone is ruining that friendship it's me. Also, I don't know if I could call myself completely straight because I like you, a lot. And my sister informed me that if I like you, like that, then I might be 'kinda' gay," I said with a smirk.

"So, you're not totally straight, and you're 'kinda' gay," He looked like he was trying to figure it out. I hope he figures it out because I feel just as confused as he looks.

"Yeah, basically".

"Then you're bi".

"Bi?" I asked confused. I guess it's the memory loss, but I can't place what that word means.

"Oh, um, bisexual. It means you can be attracted to both genders,"

"Oh, okay. Maybe that's what I am. I'm actually not sure because the only person I'm attracted to right now is you," I said more to myself. I forgot that Cole could still hear me but when I saw his shocked yet hopeful expression I immediately got embarrassed.


"Uh, yeah, totally," I stared into his sparkling blue eyes, then a thought donned on me. "I just want to be clear though, you are gay, right?"

He looked at me like I had just told the best joke, "Yes, I am".

I started rubbing his cheek with my hand and then without even thinking we both leaned in and kissed. It was more tender than last time, but also more certain. It was definitely no accident. But of course whenever me and Cole try to have a moment alone it's always ruined. This time it was someone forcefully pulling Cole away from me. It was so fast I barely knew what happened until I saw Sam pushing Cole into the wall, similar to how I did earlier, which made me cringe. Sam is the sort of 'leader' of the jock douches that I used to hang out with. I've also learned that he is known to be pretty nosy.

Cole looked terrified again and I was feeling the same way too, honestly. "Sam?" ,was all I could muster up because of how stunned I was.

"Hey Matt I saw this little faggot all over you and I thought I should help you out," He said with a smirk, as he pushed Cole harder into the wall.

I cringed at that f-word, I knew it wasn't good, "No, Sam you don't get it--" I said quickly.

"No it's okay man I understand. You still have this whole head injury thing and you don't know what the fuck is going on. This kid was obviously taking advantage of you, but it's okay I got you," He looked satisfied with himself like he was helping somehow.

"Sam really, don't do this, you don't understand," I said while advancing towards him.

It's like Sam didn't hear me because he turned his attention back to Cole, "How 'bout you start talking, huh? Why don't you explain why you were taking advantage of him and fucking up his head even more with your gayness, huh," with every sentence he would shove Cole. I was about to stop him then he did something that made my blood run cold. "Huh, you little faggot," Then Sam shoved Cole to ground and he fell with a whimper.

I instantly grabbed Sam by his arm, swung him around and punched him so hard and fast that he didn't know what happened. Cole had gotten off the ground and stared at Sam as if he couldn't believe what he saw. I was about to go to Cole when Sam had to say something again.

"Why the fuck are you defending this faggot?" Sam said weakly holding his face while still on the ground.

I saw red at that point and I couldn't control myself, it was like I was having an outer body experience. I kicked him hard so that he wouldn't get up off the ground. Then I got on top of him and just started pummeling his face. I could vaguely hear someone shouting my name and screaming for me to stop. I couldn't even control myself I was like on autopilot, just going on instinct. Sam's face was getting bloody and I didn't stop until someone was pulling me off of him. I later found out it was a teacher.

I looked at Sam laying on the ground with a bloody face and I felt no remorse. I looked over at Cole and he looked at me like I was a monster. That's when I felt guilty. That's when I felt like a monster.

The principal's office was a blur, it was also a blur when my parents came, they talked to the principal and tryed to explain that I did this because of a side effect of the amnesia. The result of all of the mayhem was that I was suspended for a week. And hopefully Sam won't press charges. After they cleaned up his face he didn't look that bad, just the beginnings of a black eye and a possible broken nose.

I don't know what came over me, but when he kept saying that f-word to refer to Cole I just couldn't handle it. It's like that word was my trigger to fight. I don't even care about the suspension, but the thing that I do care about is that Cole probably hates me now, or he's, at the least, scared of me.

"Matt, Matt! Are you even listening," my dad pulled me out of my thoughts. I better pay attention he looks so upset.

"You are in a lot of trouble so you better start explaining son," my dad yelled in the most disappointed voice I could ever remember.

"I--uh--I don't know what to say," I stuttered out while rubbing my head in frustration. I really had no way to explain what I did.

My mom looked so distraught, I could tell all the things that had been happening to me lately had been bringing her down.

"Honey, please explain to your father and I what's been going on with you. I know you have this whole amnesia thing going on but violence, that was never like you".

I looked at them with a blank expression, "I wish I could explain everything that's going on in my head right now. I really wish I could because that would help all of us, wouldn't it. Like you said mom, I've been acting unlike myself. Doing things that I would 'never' do. Trust me, I know, everyone has told me that. But guess what, if you think it's hard for you guys, imagine how difficult this must be for me. I literally have no clue what I'm supposed to do anymore and I'm only going on instinct and my instinct seems to always be wrong". I was red in the face by time I finished ranting. My dad looked even more confused and my mom had a sad expression on her face.

"Well, son, can you at least explain to us why you did it," my dad asked solemnly.

I looked at both of them and tried to find an excuse, "I -- I was defending a friend. That Sam guy is bad news and he was getting way too aggressive... so I stopped him," I said simply with a shrug.

"You more than stopped him, you knocked him unconscious. And you looked like you had no regrets. That's sociopathic," my dad said worriedly.

My mom looked horrified at his words, "Don't even say that. He's not crazy, he's just going through a lot right now," Then she looked at me, "Your metal state is perfectly fine".

"Except for the fact that I can't remember anything," I muttered pathetically.

My mom got up from her seat, walked over to me and immediately embraced me really tight, as if she was never going to let go. "Matt, you know that you can always come to us, no matter what".

I still wasn't completely comfortable around my parents, but in this moment everything just felt right, and my mom's embrace felt good and somewhat...familiar.

After some 'soft words' from my mom and some stern 'talking-to' from my dad, they both informed me that I was grounded until my suspension was over. Even though I thought the suspension was the punishment, but I guess parents have to go one step further. I went to my room after their talk with me and just laid on my bed and sat in silence for an hour, just letting my thoughts race, which is never a good thing. Finally I couldn't take it anymore and I decided what I needed to do. I needed to talk to someone. But 'stupid me', I called the one person who didn't want to talk to me... Cole.

"What do you want," is the harsh greeting I get on the other end of the line, when I called Cole.

"Hi, to you too," I say quietly.

"You have no right to call me and then act like I'm the one who's out of line," he replied in a sharp tone. I've never heard him sound so upset before.

"I'm sorry I just-- I wanted to hear your voice".

There was a long pause, it felt like the longest pause in existence, but in actuality it was probably only a few seconds. "I don't know what to say to you," Cole stated with a sigh.

I felt gutted, I knew he was upset about what happened. "Well, can you just humor me anyway".

"Don't act like everything's normal, nothing about this situation is normal. You beat up a guy to a bloody pulp. That's not normal".

I was starting to get worked up just listening to him call me 'not normal', I clenched my fist and closed my eyes in order to not loose my cool. "I think I might have anger issues," I said the last part more to myself, thinking that he wouldn't be able to hear me.

"Yeah, you think." He sighed heavily into the phone, "You know, I am flattered that you came to my defense like that but-- but I just don't like violence for any reason. You may think that's a sissy mentality but that's just me, I guess".

"I'm really sorry about that--"

"Don't apologize to me, you didn't beat me up, apologize to that guy," Cole said swiftly.

"Hey! You might of forgotten but he called you a faggot and pushed you to the ground. Okay. I might not remember everything but I definitely know that that is not okay," I felt bad for yelling at him, but I couldn't believe he was defending that jerk.

"Yeah, I know that. I clearly remember every time someone calls me that, which is more often than I would like. But, I never physically attacked someone for calling me that," He stopped as if he was thinking of what to say next. "I can take care of myself you know".

"Yeah, okay," I said sarcastically with a huff.

"Excuse me? You don't think I can take care of myself. Look, I took care of myself way before you and your 'alternate self' came along. Before you started taking interest in me. I was fine before you, and I'll be fine after this phase that you're in goes away".

"What the fuck is that supposed to mean? I'm not going through a phase... I like you. And I'm sorry if I got a little crazy today, but I just don't want to see anyone disrespect you, or hurt you".

"Matt, you have some issues that I've never encountered before. You're like no one that I've ever known".

"So what does that mean...", I wanted to ask 'what does that mean for us', but I couldn't muster up the courage to finish.

"That means I don't know how to help you. I can't help you," He says in a distant voice.

"I'm not asking for help, I'm just looking for support, maybe companionship". 'I feel so alone', is the thought I didn't vocalize.

"Matt, believe it or not I don't really know you, I never really knew you. I don't know what you're 'feelings' might be telling you, but we were never... a thing," Cole said quickly. Almost too quickly, like he couldn't get it out unless he said it fast.

"Cole I --"

"I gotta go. Bye Matt," then he hung up and that was it.

I feel like everything that's feels good in my life won't stay for too long. I guess that's why in the past I probably concealed my true feelings. It was probably easier that way. I should probably just go back to acting like that. It was... easy.

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