Blake has been dreading this day. No longer is he going to be able to hide behind the walls of his home. His heart is ready for this grand adventure, but his mind isn’t. At least he gets the opportunity to ride to school with Ian. It removes the hassle of riding the bus. For now, at least, he can enjoy the quiet on the way to school.
Ian is concerned that his son still might be worried about school. First days are always rough anyway without being worried sick. Ian glanced at his son.
“Are you ready for today?”
Blake knew he was ready physically, but mentally not so much.
“Yeah, I feel a little bit better about it.”
“Good!” Ian said, as he shot Blake a quick smile.
The young man clenched onto his backpack as the school came into the view.
The parking lot was empty, and so were the hallways as they stepped inside. Blake walked with his dad to Ian’s classroom. Once they reached the classroom, the young man sat down to review his locker combination. Ian logged into his computer and turned on the projector in the ceiling. A few seconds later Ian had an earthworm in a dissecting pan up on both his computer and on his movie screen. Walking over to the door, Blake realized that his locker was right next door. He walked to his locker and opened it up. Opening up his backpack, he grabbed three notebooks, two pencils, and a pen and then returned to the classroom.
“Try to have a good first day.”
“Easy for you to say, you don’t have to worry about making first impressions and making friends.”
“True, I don’t have to, but I do have to worry about you.”
Blake didn’t want him worrying, but at the same time was glad that he worried about him.
Blake was hoping that the day is a quiet one. He doesn’t want to deal with bullies or other rude kids. At the same time, being the new kid only makes being bullied a greater possibility. Back in Idaho, bullying was not an issue for him. Living here in Indiana could be a whole different story. Oh, and there’s also the fact that he’s gay, and that his dads are gay too. He’ll hide out for a little bit in his dad’s room.
Blake decided to draw while he waited for the bell to ring. Pulling out a piece of paper from his dad’s printer, he started to sketch a lemon tree that was growing in a corner of the room. He didn’t get very far on it. The first bell rang. Ian got up from his desk and stood outside his classroom. Blake hurried to first hour class, which he found without any problems.
He handed his admittance slip to the teacher, Mr. Martinez, and sat down where Mr. Martinez pointed. He looked around the room and at the other students and then opened one of his notebooks. History is one of his favorite subjects and so far this teacher has his attention. The class was covering some of the English history leading to the colonization of North America. After class, Mr. Martinez handed Blake a study guide.
“There is a quiz tomorrow so if you study the guide, you’ll be okay, or you can skip the quiz and I won’t hold it against you.”
Blake thought it over and looked over his study guide before answering.
“I’ll take the quiz.”
“Very good!” Mr. Martinez was quite impressed with Blake so far. He thought for sure Blake would skip this quiz. Blake left first hour feeling good about school.
The next two hours were awesome. Digital photography was a blast. Mrs. Curtis is one of those teachers who could make the most mundane things exciting. One of the assignments in the class is a weekly challenge where the students are given a subject to take a picture of as part of their grade. Oh, the other cool thing about this class is that his Aunt Ashley is in it. Third hour was a bit rougher. Somehow he ended up in Ian’s Earth Science class. Ian, himself, was not happy about it because he didn’t want to have to defend any of Blake’s grades. He’ll have to tell Blake that he’ll get treated like any other student. Blake is kind of worried about what the other kids will say when they find out that Ian is his dad. He had no problem following along with his dad and hopes for a good grade in the class.
Algebra II, the bane for most students that Blake has met, gives him a challenge, but nothing he can’t handle. His challenge in this class will be focusing on the lessons. Mr. White is crush worthy. He’s around 6′, blonde hair, blue eyes, and looks more like a gym teacher than a math geek. Blake returns to Earth and focuses on his lesson. The day has gone great so far. As he was sitting in the class, he hears someone say “Faggot. The teacher gave a stern look in the direction of the noise. It sounded close to him, but he had no idea if it was directed at him or not. From out of nowhere, Blake was hit in the head by a wad of paper. He turned around as another piece of a paper hit him right in his nose. Two boys gave each other a high five and one said, “Good job hitting the newbie!”
He turned around, deciding to ignore the paper and the clowns behind him. Could this be a sign of things to come?
Finally, Blake’s favorite part of the day, Lunch. He went to his locker, put his books away and grabbed his lunch. Instead of going to the cafeteria, he decided to join Ian for lunch in his classroom. It seemed strange to not be eating in the cafeteria, but the classroom seemed to be a friendlier place, but the room had a different feeling to it. The room no longer felt as inviting to him. This was his third hour classroom, not just his dad’s classroom. Ian was busy at his desk. This was Ian’s lunch but since he has prep next hour, sometimes he takes his lunch on his prep time. Ian looked up from his desk and finally noticed his son sitting in his classroom.
“Hey, how’s your day going?”
“Not bad, I love all my teachers so far.” Blake dismissed the kids who threw the paper in his algebra class.
“I just wish that I could have another science teacher, no offense.”
“What do you mean?”
“How do you think it will look when the other kids learn that you’re my dad?”
Ian knew exactly what Blake meant, because he had the same feelings. It could be a little awkward.
“You know what, we can manage. Trace has my back and we’ve got your back.”
Ian grabbed the phone in his classroom and called home real quickly.
“Hey Trace; I just called to say that I love you.”
It’s almost time to get back to work for both Ian and Blake.
Lunch is over with, and for Blake that means another locker run. He grabbed two more notebooks and the rest of his supplies and headed off to class. One of the boys who threw the wad of paper earlier came up to him.
“You’re here for one day and already you’re sucking up to Richards. What are you, some sort of science geek?”
“No actually, I’m adopted.”
From a vantage point from across the hall, a friendly face was checking Blake out and watching the interaction between the two students. The other student involved in the interaction seemed shocked. He mumbled something under his breath and walked away. Only two more classes and his first day at school will be done.
He just has to make it through Speech and Quest. The first of the two classes was in the middle of giving speeches. Mr. Hales asked Blake to stand up and take a few minutes and introduce himself to the group. Blake was nervous, but he swallowed his fear and stood up. By this time all the other speeches were delivered. He walked up to the front of the room, turned and faced the class. He took a breath and started his speech.
“My name is Blake Kimball, and I’m 15. My family lives in Idaho, and I got kicked out of my home. My parents sent me here to Indiana to live with a great aunt, but I ended up on the streets. I lived on the streets for three months before being adopted. My dads are awesome and I love living here in Tylerville. I love art, digital photography, and writing. I guess that is about it.”
Blake ended his speech and looked at Mr. Hales.
“Any questions for Mr. Kimball?”
“Why did they kick you out?”
Now he was nervous. He didn’t know if he wanted to reveal that information.
“Basically, because I’m gay.”
There, the cat is out of the bag now. No one seemed to react badly. Another boy raised his hands in the back of the room.
“You actually lived on the streets?”
“Yeah for three sort of cold months.”
A couple of the guys and girls in the class felt sorry for Blake. With the questions answered, Blake went back to his seat. Just as he sat down the bell rang ending the hour.
Quest. He was really looking forward to this class. Miss Stevens lead the class in a discussion on hazing. There had recently been a case of hazing at the local university. The entire class was outraged over the situation. Miss Stevens asked everyone to write in their journals about their personal feelings towards those involved in the hazing. The day has gone amazingly well, but he couldn’t see what was about to happen.
As he left class and was on his way to his locker, one of the clowns from earlier knocked his books out of his hands. Books went everywhere, but to add to it, one of the goons put a sign on his back that said “I’m queer.” Blake picked up his stuff and made the walk to his dad’s room, not knowing about the sign on his back. He stopped at his locker long enough to grab his backpack and whatever he needed to get his homework done. Ian was walking up the hallway behind Blake. He saw the sign and promptly removed it.
“Any problems today, son?”
“Someone knocked my books out of my hands.”
“Well, they also placed this on your back.”
Blake looked at the sign and felt embarrassed. There was little doubt who placed it on his back. While he was busily packing his backpack, there was an announcement for him to report to guidance.
“Go on, I’ll wait for you,” Ian said to Blake.
Blake wondered what was going on that he had to report to guidance. When he got to the guidance office, Mr. Goins ushered him into Mrs. Green’s office. He sat down while she pulled up his schedule on the computer.
“Blake, I’m sorry for calling you down at the end of the day. I made a mistake. I don’t like to make them and I certainly don’t like to leave them unresolved. We need to get you into an English class. I have a spot during the time that you’re in Quest. I know you wanted to take it, but state law requires the English, so I’ll have to switch you.”
Blake thought for a second.
“I understand the need for dropping Quest.”
“Thanks for being understanding. You’ll have Miss King in place of Quest. I think you’ll like her.”
Blake was hoping that he would end up liking her. Generally speaking, English was one of his better subjects. Knowing that Blake was disappointed, Mrs Green smiled at him and said that she could put him in next year. It was not an immediate fix, but he was okay with it. She excused him so he could go back to what he was doing.
Blake walked back to his dad’s room feeling a little down.
“So what did Green want with you?”
“She forgot to get me into an English class, so I had to drop Quest.”
Ian wasn’t happy, but he knows that things have been a little crazy around the school lately. Ian may not have been happy, but Blake was glad because he got his schedule fixed now, instead of waiting for another week or two. Ian held up the sign that was on his son’s back earlier.
“So what do you think about this?”
“I want to just forget about it and go home.”
Ian thought that was brave of his son, however, he does not want this to go any further than just a paper. There are kids who would run with this and make Blake’s life miserable.
“Well, I have to wait another 15 minutes before I can go so why don’t you go ahead and get some homework done?”
Ian went to his desk and worked on grading some quizzes from his Biology II class. Blake was almost done with his homework when a familiar face entered the room.
One of the other teachers walked in and approached Ian.
“I wanted to let you know that I wrote up the kids involved in throwing the paper at Blake. Those two boys are pain in my butt,”
Mr. White was not about to allow any form of bullying to occur in his classroom. Ian thanked him again and so did Blake.
“Hopefully, the office nips this in the bud.”
The way he said it made Blake wonder if this sort of stuff went unpunished around here. Mr. White glanced at the open Algebra II book next to Blake.
“Are you doing okay with the homework?”
“Yes! Math is one of my favorite subjects.”
Mr White smiled. “Okay, well, we’ll see how you did on it when I pass back the homework.” As the teacher left the room, Ian started gathering up his stuff.
“Okay Blake, time to split.”
Blake gathered up his books and placed them into his backpack, and together they walked out. Ian locked up his room and they started walking down the hallway.
They exited the building and headed for the car. As Blake entered the vehicle, he realized that he missed someone. He wanted to meet Ashley’s friend. Meeting him would have eased the pain of the day. Oh well… there’s always tomorrow.
By the time they got home, Trace was already gone. Ian set his school bag down on the coffee table and then walked into the dining room. On the table was a note from his husband:
“Have Blake call my cell when you get home. Love you!”
Blake made it up to his room fairly quickly and already had his television and Xbox 360 on.
He jumped when he heard Ian’s voice. It’s amazing how he can miss hearing someone coming up the stairs.
“Trace wants you to call him, so please make sure you do.”
Blake paused the game. He grabbed his phone and brought up Trace’s cell number and his finger pushed the send button. He hoped that Trace had time to talk. It would suck if he missed him.
“You wanted me to call?”
“Yeah… I just wanted to know how your day went.”
Blake didn’t want to say anything, because he didn’t want to make Trace upset when he heard about the bullying. Maybe he could leave that out, but his relationship with his dads has been built on honesty so far. He recounted the entire day to Trace and then waited for it.
“Did you report the bullying?”
“Well, one of the teachers reported the kids from class who threw the paper at me, and I wasn’t sure who knocked the books out of my hands. I didn’t see them; the hallway was too crowded.”
“Hmm… well just be careful, okay? I miss you buddy. Remember, we have your back son. Love you!”
“Love you too, Dad!”
Blake hung up the phone and turned off the television and the Xbox 360. He went straight to work on his homework.