Chapter 4 – Sweet Reality
I never wanted to leave his embrace, but I didn’t have a choice. It was almost midnight, and as flexible as Rosa was, she was still in charge of me and couldn’t let me stay out any later. Fortunately for me, Nate was a bit more responsible than I was, and when the driver arrived at his door, he literally dragged the sad and pouting boy from the bed.
“Your coach awaits you, sir,” he told me amusedly.
“But I don’t want to go!” I pouted, looking for comfort in his eyes.
“It’s not as if you have a choice, sweetheart,” he said as I finished getting dressed. He leant in, gave me a peck on the cheek and turned me toward the door. “Go, now,” he added, giving me a slap on the ass.
Being a teen sucks! I wish I had my own flat and that I didn’t have to comply with these stupid rules…
Wearing my best pout, I used my puppy eyes to plead with him once more to do something, to find a way for us to stay together, even a few extra minutes, but it was hopeless. I kissed him a loving and languid good-bye and reluctantly crossed the doorstep. My eyes never left the cute boy standing in the doorway, watching me depart from a distance in the black Audi A6.
Watching the townscape pass through the tinted windows, lost in my thoughts, something struck me.
Am I his… boyfriend? Friend? Acquaintance? Damn, I should have asked him! What if… what if it was just a one-time thing? What if he doesn’t want a boyfriend? So many what-ifs!
Those worries sat with me in the car and haunted me for the whole trip. Unanswered questions were spinning in my head to the point of making me dizzy, and when I eventually got home, I couldn’t take it anymore. I ran inside, kissed the maid a quick good-night and rushed to the computer. I hoped he would be online and that he would accept my friend request on Facebook, but when I logged in, what was waiting for me was ten times better. A chat window popped up and given the timestamp, he sent the message a few minutes after I left.
“Hey! I figured you’d have a hard time without me for an entire day ;p
♪Here’s my number, so call me maybe ♪ 07.21.53.69.87”
My anxiety disappeared the very moment I read his message. Although he pretended not to care, I was starting to think that he was the one who couldn’t do without me. And that thought alone made me the happiest boy on earth.
Awwwww! He’s so cute! He misses me already, and it hasn’t even been one hour!
Now that I knew I had the upper hand, I decided to give him a taste of his own medicine. After making sure Facebook let him know I had read his message, I headed to the bathroom and took a long hot shower. I pictured him hooked to his phone, wondering why I had not yet called him, fidgeting as his anxiety grew by the minute.
When I eventually called him, he answered before the first ring even ended.
Hehe, I was right!
“Hey, sweetheart. What took you so long?” he asked, betraying himself.
“Sweetheart? So…I’m not an ass anymore? And it seems like YOU are the one who can’t do without me for long,” I told him with a wry smile.
“You’re still an ass, but you’re also a sweetheart, so I guess it just cancels. And please, I’m an important person, my schedule is very busy, I didn’t want you to ruin it.”
We chatted for a couple hours, just getting to know each other better. I already knew everything I needed to know: he was cute, and he fancied me. But learning about his hobbies, his past, his likes, made me love him even more. We never ran out of topics and could have spent the whole night on the phone, but Rosa wasn’t of the same opinion.
“So… maybe we could meet tomorrow?” I twirled the recharging cable around my fingers, and tried to steady my voice. “I don’t know, hit the cinema, play games, or whatever you want. How does that sound?”
“Awwww, I’m sorry but that won’t be possible…”
My heart sank.
I knew it! I was stupid to even consider it…
“Oh… Sorry, I should have known…” I muttered.
“Psh! Hey now, don’t go all self-conscious. I have things to do tomorrow, but I’d love to hang out on Monday. How does that sound?”
“Awesome!” The words burst out before I could help it and I heard him chuckle at my enthusiasm. “Ehm, I mean, yay!”
“Hehe alright, we’ll do that then. Mwah, sleep tight my little ass.”
I shifted under my sheets, hugging a pillow tightly across my chest. “You hang up.”
“No, you first.”
I giggled. “God, I wish you were here in bed next to me right now.”
“What would you do to me?”
“Hmm… wouldn’t you like to know?”
“We have plenty of time. Now, go to bed.”
“No,” I said with a chuckle. “I’m not hanging up until you do.”
A low, steady thunking noise started down the hallway; I guessed that Rosa was making her nightly trip to the bathroom.
Suddenly, the door sprung open and Rosa’s shadow filled the doorway. She took three steps in, stopping in a sliver of light from the window. Her bath robe hung to the floor, resting atop her fuzzy bear-claw slippers. Her hair was disheveled, and when our eyes met, she narrowed hers into an angry squint.
Slowly, she folded one arm over the other and shifted her weight.
“Do you have any idea what time it is right now?”
I lay there frozen with the phone pressed tightly to my ear, beads of sweat forming at my temples.
“I have a nine o’clock appointment with your mother, and I need to be fresh in the morning.” She took several long, angry strides across the room and yanked the phone out of my hand.
As she popped the battery pack out of the back, she said, “I can’t get any sleep with you in here carrying on like a cat in heat. You hang up. No, you hang up. Tee hee hee hee,” she mocked. “I’m sure your mother will be pleased that you’ve caught the eye of a beautiful young princess,” she tossed the battery at me, “but your princess will not be spending any time in your bed, and speaking of bed…” She dropped the phone into the front pocket of her robe. “If I have to come in here again tonight…” She frowned at me.
I sank under the covers just a little bit, and watched her with wide, scared eyes.
“Well, you don’t want to know what I’m going to do if I have to come in here again tonight. Don’t test me, Monsieur.” She turned and left the room. “Bonne nuit!!”
The door slammed shut.
When I woke up on Monday morning, I was still dreamy. Sunday, this endless day that had separated me from my lover, would have been deadly boring had it not been for the impressive number of text messages we exchanged. I would have never thought someone could send over 300 texts in a single day, but I guess that’s because I had never been in love before. But today? Today was Monday! Today was the day I was eventually going to see him again, this delicious and lovely boy that I could proudly call “my boyfriend”.
I’m going to see my cutie pie! It killed me to be deprived of his delicious lips for a whole day. Such a shame there’s an entire long day of school before we can be intimate again… Wait, school?!
My happiness and cheerfulness disappeared at that thought; the world that seemed so bright and lovely a few seconds ago now looked mournful and scary; the butterflies living in my stomach were chased away and replaced by a tight and painful knot.
I don’t want to see those assholes again, and I don’t want Nathan to run into them!
I knew what kind of guys they were. I’ve always overlooked this trait in them, but they were rather persistent. Especially Max, who could unscrupulously hound someone for weeks.
There’s no way I’ll let that happen again. I’m going to stick with him every second of the day and if we run into them, I’ll… I’ll… Try to dissuade them.
With that promise I swore to keep, whatever the cost, I went through my boring daily routine – showering, dressing, eating, kissing Rosa good-bye as she told me how much my parents loved me – and headed to school. I never wanted to be driven there; I preferred walking. Being dropped there by our family driver would be as subtle as going there with a 2×2 sign on which would be written in glitters “HEY! LOOK AT ME! I’M RICH!” and that was the last thing I wanted. I wasn’t ashamed, but I would rather lay low.
When I got there, I still had about twenty minutes to kill and I couldn’t think of a better way to do so than abandoning myself to enjoy the visual delight that was the incredible amount of cute boys in my school – never would I have thought this town would have a higher concentration of cuties than Paris.
To my great disappointment, my favourite hobby lost most of its appeal. Of course, it was still entertaining to stare at the handsome boys that seemed straight out a teen models magazine, yet…I couldn’t help but compare them to Nathan.
Am I a groupie? Definitely.
In all honesty, none stood a chance by comparison. They all looked somehow plain, tasteless; something was missing in every single one of them.
A vibration in my pocket snapped me back into reality. It was Nate.
“Hey dude, I’m running late, don’t wait for me”
Damn. If I’m late again, the teacher won’t let me in. But I said I’d stick with him today, and I’ll do so! Who needs mathematics anyway? Like, what is it even useful for?
The square soon emptied, only traversed by late kids and hurried commuters, and I was left alone, leaning against the imposing gates of the school. Alone, except for the owner of the hand that landed on my shoulder, that I wished would have disappeared from the surface of Earth during the weekend.
“Hey bro!” Max said cheerfully, “How you doin’? Where did you go last time?!”
Oh geez… not him… can’t he just get hit by a bus or something?!
“I had things to do,” I answered through gritted teeth. I really didn’t want to deal with him, but despite all my wishes and prayers, he was still there when I opened my eyes again; standing there, with a stupid smile on his face.
“For real? That’s such a shame bro, we taught that little fag a good lesson. You should have seen that! He didn’t stand a chance.” He was literally bragging at this point. I felt anger build up from the depths of my heart; my fists clenched and a wave of heat overwhelmed my head.
“Maybe he would have had a chance if you didn’t gang up on him,” I said harshly, not even trying to hide my feelings anymore.
He seemed startled by my tone but misinterpreted it. “Why you mad bro? Don’t worry, I’m not done with him yet, you’ll get your shot too.”
My heart sank in a heartbeat and the pain tearing my stomach apart grew fiercer.
Is he serious?! He wants to hurt him again?! No! No fucking way! Not again! What the fuck is wrong with him?!
“Look, Max” I started, trying to sound as calm as possible, “we’ve known each other for a while, right? Can’t you do me a favour and leave him alone? Please?”
He gave me a suspicious glare and answered boldly “Why would I? The little queer wanted to mess with me; I’m going to make sure he learns his lesson.”
The bit of self-control and survival instinct I had shattered in a blink. “No, you won’t.”
He froze and stared right into my eyes. “Excuse me?” he asked menacingly, daring me to repeat it.
FUCK HIM! FUCK HIM BIG TIME!
“What? Being a fucking caveman isn’t enough for you? Stupidity isn’t enough of a flaw, you have to be deaf too? Or are you just too dense to understand a three word sentence?” At this point, I wasn’t in control of what escaped my lips. I was in a feeding frenzy, boiling with the rage that overtook me, and the more I spoke, the more I felt it grow; the more I tried to hold back, the more I felt it tearing apart my insides as it crawled its way out. God it felt good! I knew I had crossed the line when he stepped closer, his posture becoming more aggressive and his tone growing frightening.
“Who the fuck you think you’re talking to? What’s your fucking problem bro?!” he asked by way of a warning.
“You. You are my problem. You picked on a nice guy and beat him up for nothing! With four other guys. What is your problem? Not tough enough to face someone one-to-one?!”
He gave me one of his usual glassy and empty glares, hinting that he wasn’t even seeing anything wrong in that. It made him pathetic in my eyes; it was useless to keep arguing with him.
“You know what? Go fuck yourself. I can’t believe I’ve been so oblivious all those years. I don’t want anything to do with you anymore.” I told him haughtily, a grimace of disgust on my face.
“Alright. I’m gonna pretend you never said that, because until a few seconds ago, we were friends.” He put his finger on my torso, at which I stared in disgust, and poked me menacingly a couple times. “But lemme tell you that you better not be with your faggy girlfriend when I find him or you’ll get the same treatment.”
His eyes were still locked on mine, and I knew the boy well enough to know for a fact that shifting my glare from his threatening gaze would amount to signing my own death warrant. This childish little game went on for a couple minutes and my eyes, which started to burn, were begging me to let go. Fortunately, I didn’t have to give in; they found salvation in the form of the school bell finally ringing. Nathan wasn’t here yet, and as fortunate as it was at that time, it still meant that I had to wait for him before going to class. Max wasn’t so lucky, and after shooting me a last meaningful dirty look that he made sure to keep as long as possible without making a parody of himself, rushed inside.
I leant back again, resting my head on the cold metal of the gates, hoping it’d help me calm down. My fists were still clenched tight, and I could feel the painful marks my nails were digging into my sweaty palm as his last words echoed in my head.
By the time Nathan was in sight, hopping in a hurry, I had regained my composure and realized the full extent of what I had just done.
He’s gonna kill me. He’s gonna freaking kill me!
The boiling anger that possessed me a few minutes ago had made room for the fear that gnawed away inside me. I was sure to get my ass kicked for my little display of bravery and it scared me, but I wasn’t regretful. For once, I stood up for what was important to me, and boy it felt good!
“Hey sweetheart” Nathan whispered discreetly as he shook my hand, and as we headed to the classroom. He added casually, “You look like shit today.”
“Uh, thanks? I had trouble getting to sleep last night”
“That’s because you think too much about me, see what it does to you?” he jested, lowering his voice as we crossed some schoolmates in the hallway.
“I’m exhausted. You’ve been running through my mind all day,” I said with a wink as the loveliest hint of blush grew on his face.
We reached the classroom and, noticing that we were already 15 minutes late, I knew the embittered old teacher wouldn’t let us in and would give us the usual painful lecture. The few knocks Nathan made on the door proved me right, and after a solid 5 minutes of insipid and tedious “you should” and “you shouldn’t”, that the other students spent staring at the two bruised boys standing in the doorway, she sent us to detention.
“Awww, c’mon Mademoiselle!” Nate pleaded, but she would not be persuaded.
“What is it, Mister Martin? You have something to say?” she asked him in an oddly calm tone.
“Not anymore, actually,” he answered in a bordered insolence.
“In that case, get on your way” she answered sharply, her eyes shooting daggers at the cheeky boy wearing his most innocent look next to me, before slamming the door such that a loud noise echoed through the empty hallways.
It was the longest I had witnessed such an angelic expression on his face, and yet it was over too soon. It wore off the very second the door closed, replaced by a sly grin and a goofy face aimed at me. “Soo… detention, right? How about… we make a little detour?” he asked me with a wink, brushing my forearm with the tip of his fingers.
Does he want us to…? Hehehe… Wait, no! The situation already sucks, no need for us to be caught doing something kinky!
My body was imploring me to say yes, my heart was beseeching me to accept whatever wish he desired to be fulfilled, but if for once in my hormones-driven teenage life I had to listen to reason, it was now.
“Unh-unh, forget about that. Plus, we’re supposed to hang out after school… so we’ll have plenty of time for that.” Was I genuinely mentioning that or was it to make sure he was still willing to meet me after school? I couldn’t tell, but it sure didn’t have the expected effect.
A puzzled expression crossed his face when he heard that. “Wait, what? Plenty of time? I was talking about going to the library to get the book I need for my history class. Were you talking about sex again?!” he asked me with an accusing glare, his voice lowering as we walked past a classroom.
OH COME ON!
“Nooooo, you’re not tricking me again, I’m starting to get used to your sneakiness.”
He stopped at the door of the detention room and gazed at me with that adorable offended look of his. “No, I’m for real. You’re such a perv!”
Was he really serious?! That definitely makes me a pervert! Geez, I feel so embarrassed now…
“I… I’m sorry” I felt my face burn with shame, so I glanced at my feet. “I sorta thought…”
He looked around to make sure there weren’t wandering eyes in sight and gave me the sweet, long and delectable kiss I was craving. His hands caressed my shoulder and fondled their way down to mine, grasping them as he gently leant back and whispered the most adorable words in my ear, words that could melt the coldest of hearts and make the most insensitive person weak at the knees. He gave me of another kiss and whispered again, in a sensual voice this time “I’ve been thinking about those lips all weekend.”
A smile appeared on his face when he noticed my hazy eyes and the growing bulge in my pants. With a snicker, he knocked at the door and watched me struggle with my display of affection. “You’re such a bastard!” I told him in a mutter as he opened the door. He sat as far as he could from the door, forcing me to go through half the class with my rucksack uncannily pinned to my groin, and enjoyed watching me struggle sitting down on the desk in front of him.
The detention would have been deadly boring if not for the notes we exchanged discreetly, despite the sharp-eyed watch of our warder. While Nathan seemed to be used to this kind of study period, well aware of the unspoken codes, my complete inexperience worsened our situation. After about a half-hour, I was overcome with a bold confidence and, as I was passing him a sappy drawing I had made – which was quite explicit –, I didn’t notice that our monitor had lost interest in the papers lying on his desk. My heart stopped when his eyes caught the tiny piece of paper, followed by the harsh demand to see it, and the look on Nate’s face hinted that he was as afraid and reluctant as I was to expose our intimate talk to some stranger’s eyes. He winked at me and slowly, never looking away from the warder’s eyes, put the evidence in his mouth. At that point, my facial expression matched the dumbfounded look wore by the watchdog.
“W’at p’per s’r?” he asked, his words muffled by the intensive chewing, displaying the same innocent look that he had earlier, the kind of expression that would make anyone think honey wouldn’t melt in his mouth.
Despite my best attempt, I couldn’t suppress the laughter that escaped me at this sight. That’s one of the many traits that made him so perfect in my eyes, and fortunately for him, we were in a room full of people, otherwise he’d have had to deal with a horny teenager bursting with love for him.
The rest of the period seemed to last whole days, and I left the extra hour we got as a punishment dizzy and braindead out of boredom.
“Geez! I can’t believe how boring this was!” I whined as we walked, “That’s the last time I go there.”
He seemed rather amused. “Hehe, I can tell you’re not really used to the joys of detention.”
“Why, of course not!”
“How cute! Should I get a bottle of champagne?”
“Don’t be silly, this…” I stopped dead in my tracks and gasped in dread, the rest of my sentence lost as the most terrifying vision came to my eyes, a single figure that I had wished to never see again.
No! Nonononono, not him!
Enjoying spending time with my boyfriend had locked up that threat, though inevitable, in the depths of my memory; unconsciously, I hoped that fate would just forget the both of us. And yet, it was all too real. His eyes, fixed on Nate like an animal locked on his prey, were shining with arrogance; his heavy tread, echoing menacingly on the stonewalls, was getting louder as he got closer. The abnormal grimace twisting his face in the most intimidating way was completing the horrendous sight that made my knees weak. I glanced at Nathan, who was, to my great surprise, not impressed, not in the least. He seemed more like someone running into his annoying little cousin in a mall than someone about to be bullied.
“Isn’t that the retard friend of yours?” he asked me, trying to set me in motion again by pushing slightly on my back with his hand.
“Y-yea… I mean, no… not anymore… c’mon, let’s get out of there, ok? Please?” I implored him, my eyes getting wet at the thought of what was about to happen. He winked at me and pushed me a bit harder.
Is he crazy?! Friday wasn’t enough for him? What is wrong with people in this school?!
“Well, well, isn’t that the little faggot?” Max’s voice was tinged with a mix of pleasure and confidence, his predatory smile widening with every step.
“Well, well, isn’t that who-gives-a-fuck-who-he-is?” he snapped in an oddly calm tone, never slowing his pace nor looking down. I clung to his arm and tried my best to stop him, childishly pulling on it to make him follow me somewhere, anywhere, as long as it was as far as possible from this hallway, but it was useless. He kept walking and flashed me a bright smile that he thought would be reassuring. Had he given me the same smile while poking a bear with a 2 inch stick, it would have been just as unsuccessful.
He stopped a meter ahead of us, blocking our way by his imposing build, and snickered. “Still playing smartass, huh?” His eyes laid haughtily on me. “And I see you’re with your girlfriend. Good, I won’t have to hunt him down the hallways.”
The very moment he said that, I felt the atmosphere thicken. My throat was dry, my knees weak, and my eyes were so wet that my vision was nothing but blur coloured shapes. My earlier bravery was long gone, replaced by the drums of fear threatening to tear my rib cage open with every heartbeat. Our bodies were trembling in unison, and I knew that Nathan was as scared as I was. At least, that’s what I thought until he gently, but firmly, pushed me away.
Nathan turned in a heartbeat and drove his hand into his face in a blur.
His head snapped back and blood sprayed onto the wall.
Max stared at him with bloodshot wide eyes.
“Who the fuck you think you are you fucking queer?!” he yelled, “I’m going to fucking kill you!”
“The one who just broke your nose?” answered Nate with a shrug.
Max rushed towards him and tried to grab him, but his light build made it impossible. He hopped to the side and threw his fist into his ribs. A loud gasp escaped Max.
“What the…HEY!” a voice echoed in the hallway. It was Tommy.
Geez, one of his minions!
Tommy was nowhere as built as Max, it was my chance.
“Help Max!” he shouted at me as he was running toward us. I tightened my grasp on the bag and threw it at his legs. He looked at me with wide-opened eyes and stumbled upon it. His head hit the ground in a loud thump.
“You’re going to regret that, bitch,” he threatened.
I attempted to dodge his kick, but it was too late. A gasp escaped me as a stinging pain floored me and curled me in a ball.
My cries distracted Nate’s attention a split second, and Max seized his chance. He shoved him hard enough to fall over and rushed to pin him down with all the weight.
“Unnhh…no….Unnhh” I panted.
No… not again… Please…
He drew back his fist and drove it into Nathan’s face.
To be continued…