A month passed by and, frankly, it went by as something of a blur.
I had about eight projects I had to turn in simultaneously to fill out my second quarterly for the year. Each quarter the Institute expects us to complete a representation of the concepts we picked up in class and during practice. I don’t think I slept for two whole weeks! I seemed to have lived in the fucking darkroom through most of that! Thankfully, due to my fair skin, I’m not as big a sunshine fan as some other people seem to be so I didn’t miss going out much. I’d be perfectly happy being up all night and sleeping all day like some kind of ‘Gone From Daylight’ teen vampire anyway. Unfortunately, Danny is a sunshine supernova in the morning. I just can’t keep up! For someone supposedly ten years older than me, he seems to have twice the energy I have! I hope I’m not getting too boring for him.
He also seemed a little worried about me. For instance, this month I seemed to live on coffee, Red Bull, and protein shakes. I don’t think I’d eaten solid food for a whole couple of weeks! The same couple of weeks I didn’t sleep! I’m sure I’ve lost some muscle mass because I’ve not had time to work-out. I hope Danny hasn’t noticed me ‘twinking’ out on him. He likes my physique and I don’t want to lose it for fear of losing him! Maybe I don’t give him enough credit, but . . . there is a LOT of competition for men of Danny’s looks and standing in Boystown. It’s almost disgusting how gorgeous the guys are that Chicago’s gay zone attracts! God bless corn-fed All-American Midwestern boys, I guess. I don’t think there’s a better place to grow handsome then somewhere in a cornfield in central Illinois!
Speaking of handsome, today I got a weird request. Jamie wanted me to pick him up again because Mom was working or something, I guess. Actually, he didn’t make clear exactly why he wanted me to pick him up so I had to infer that it was because of Mom’s continuing struggle with her work situation. The fact that Jamie wanted me to pick him up, however, wasn’t really the weird part. It was where he wanted me to pick him up that was strange.
“Chan, could you, like, pick me up around back this time?” He asked of me over the phone.
“Why? Am I getting so ‘old’ that you’re getting ashamed of me already?” I teased . . . sort of.
“Uh . . . huh?” Jamie has the most dead sounding ‘huh’ ever heard on earth! It’s completely empty of any kind of feeling or intelligence. It doesn’t even sound all that confused! It’s almost like a robot or a computer talking to you going ‘-huh-‘!
“Well, you don’t want me to pick you up out front so I figure that’s only because you don’t want to be seen with me!” I tried to stir Jamie up to get some kind of rise out of him. He’s so dense, though, it’s sometimes not really possible. But, what he came back with stunned me and almost brought me to tears! At this moment, I still feel like fanning my face and squeaking all fem-like just remembering it!
“Um, no. Why would I be ashamed of you for? You’re my Big Bro and you’re the coolest person I know!” Awwwwww! How can you possibly say no to that?
“Um . . . ok. Round the back it is then. Same time?” I felt the need to choke back tears because Jamie had touched me so, but I really didn’t want to let on that he’d gotten to me that hard. The last thing I need is Jamie turning ‘mushy’ into a habit! He is perfectly capable of it since he can be as affectionate as a puppy dog at times.
“I’ll be out a little, um . . . early, so maybe a little sooner than later, huh?” Jamie almost sounded like he was hiding something. He can’t lie to save his life. But, because he’d made me so ‘verklempt,’ as my friend Greg once taught me to say about being emotionally overwhelmed, I didn’t want to probe any deeper. I’d be there to get him, around the back, earlier than usual. Got it. No problem.
“Kay. I’ll see you then, Squirt.” I confirmed.
“Kay. Love you, Chan! See you later.” Jamie said and then hung up.
“Love you too, little guy.” I found myself telling the ring-tone.
So, around the back of the school, I waited for Jamie, early as promised.
Somehow, though, his being late didn’t really surprise me. I’ve long since gotten used to his flakiness. However, I was presented with a bit of a show while I waited. Sitting there, I have a view of the athletics field for the High School. Getting there a bit early, I had a chance to catch the last of the final gym class for the day. This one is a favorite for the football team because it allows the players to use gym time as a warm-up for practice. I figured this out early when I was in High School. It gave me an opportunity to sit on the bleachers and shamelessly ogle all the boys on the field running around, flexing, and teasing for me. A number of them knew I was watching and seemed to like it since I’d end up ‘walking home’ quite a few of them after practice!
In this particular case, however, I was not really interested in perving on the teens. Rather than being turned on by what I was seeing, I was, actually, more disgusted by it. For some completely stupid reason, the Powers That Be for the High School thought it would be a ‘great’ idea to put underclassmen in the same gym class as the varsity team. Maybe it was a way to ‘inspire’ the younger guys to strive for the ‘magnificence’ of joining the varsity team in the future. Mostly, I don’t think much thought was put into this placement at all except that all the other classes were full of the correct age group for these kids. As I could see there were only about four of these underclassmen trying to be as inconspicuous as possible. Unfortunately for them and due to the unsportsmanlike behavior of Jamie’s teammates and buddies, this couldn’t work.
Like the good predators that they are, Jamie’s Jock Pack can’t help themselves when thrown new meat to chew on. This group, in particular, have a peculiarly homoerotic need to harass sexually, and in other ways, kids younger and weaker than they are. The four boys selected as prey were unfortunate enough to be the pieces of meat thrown to the wolves.
To my horror and surprise, one of them was Brandon!
It was at this point that I understood why Jamie wanted me to wait for him where I did. I had to hand it to the little Squirt, he set me up! He’d planned this so I’d be there too, I guess, do what I do, keep watch over things. I hate bullying with a red ripe passion! Jamie knows this! So he knew that I couldn’t just stand by while watching shit go down and I knew better than to think the coaches were interested in doing their jobs and keeping watch.
So, I was sitting there ‘watching over things’ when I saw a couple of the meatheads, that I particularly loathed out of Jamie’s ‘friends,’ begin to harass the smallest and most vulnerable of the underclassmen. This boy couldn’t have weighed more than 100 lbs soaking wet! I’m not sure he would have even sprouted hair down there yet! He was just a little kid and Karl and Jason, the two giant lunkheaded linebackers for the team, were basically chasing the poor kid around the field making him ‘run faster.’ I’m surprised those two could even run any distance at all as big as they are.
I got a look at the kid and he was turning fucking beet red in the face from exertion! I knew I had to do something, so I got out of the car, walked out onto the field in front of the little guy, and, basically, caught him. He plowed right into me since he was so intent on looking back to see if his pursuers were gaining on him.
“UAAGH! Ohhhh, I’m so sorry mister! I’m so sorry, I was running . . . and . . . ~pant pant~”. The little guy managed to squeeze out of his collapsing lungs.
“No worries, you just rest a sec, ‘kay?” I told him while getting him behind me as the two pack animals bounded up. They were pretty red in the face too, but that was mostly from their actually having to lug their fat asses for a change rather than running for their lives.
“Chan! Dude! What-up, Mr. Gorgeous!” Jason reached out to do fist-pounds with me like good ‘friends’ do. I obliged, though in a way that looked like I really didn’t want to get any of his greasy sweat on me. God those two can stink when they sweat!
“Nothin’ much. Just giving my new friend here a rest. You guys were giving him a good chase. ‘What-up’ with that?” I said, crossing my arms, cocking my hip, and making my arm and chest muscles bulge a bit. I stared them down over my sunglasses too, just to get my point across.
“Yeah, well, ‘Melvin’ here needed some motivation! How else is he ever gonna get that scrawny bunch of bones to turn in to a man if he doesn’t put the effort in?” Karl, the Soulless Ginger, growled while peering around me to catch ‘Melvin’s’ eyes.
“Well, I’m sure he appreciates your ‘help,’ Carrottop, but I think you’ve run him enough. Where’s coach anyways and when did he start letting you morons ‘train’ the freshmen?” I squinted at them.
“Bitch! Who you callin’ a moron you butt-pirate! You want me to rearrange your pretty face for you so you have to wait a week before you can suck my dick?” Karl puffed up and bunched his fists up. He got redder, impossibly. For a moment there, I thought he’d stroke out right there in front of us! Here’s to hoping, I suppose.
“You, you dick-headed retard. Why don’t you put some ice on it before you go doing anything even more moronic? I’d hate to have to tell your Team Captain that you were caught chasing a freshman around the track because you got lovesick.” I leaned into the words so Karl could understand that I wasn’t bluffing. Jamie, the almighty blabbermouth that he is, would have that joke running all over campus by the end of the week if I told him. Karl would be a laughing stock and he knew it.
“Fuck you and fuck ‘Melvin’ too! When you take him back under the bleachers I hope you faggots enjoy fucking each other’s brains out!” Karl snarled.
“Geeze, Karl! Fucking get a grip, Dude! Don’t piss Chan off any more than he already is. Let him have the little asswipe! Come on. See you around, Chan. See you around . . . ‘Melvin!’ ” Jason actually winked at the boy behind me who was, basically, peeking out from behind me like the little kid he still is. They both went away with Karl staring daggers back over his shoulder at me every now and then. I think he likes me!
I heard the kid let out a big sigh although he looked like he was still shaking a bit. I turned around and patted him on the shoulder.
“Thanks, mister! I thought they’d kill me for sure this time!” He said with a touch of PTSD in his voice.
“Meh, those two idiots, mean as they are, wouldn’t have the courage. I know them too well. Just stay out of their way the best you can and, maybe, stick with the other three guys in your class that I saw before the bell rang. There’s strength in numbers, ‘kay?” I assured him. He was sweating up a storm, but, fortunately for him, he didn’t stink like the two meatheads.
“‘Kay.” He said quietly as he stared at his feet looking very dejected. Was he afraid of making friends with the other kids in his class? I’m sure Brandon would probably make a good friend to him. Hell, if I’m right about Jamie’s new friend, maybe Brandon would make this kid a swell boyfriend!
“I’m suspecting your name isn’t ‘Melvin,’ is it?” I asked as I started to walk with him back to the gym. He seemed hesitant to go with me.
“N-no. Uh, my name’s, uhhh, Jimmy.” He said in a voice so low I could barely hear him. Awww! These assholes were really getting to Jimmy, here!
“Well, Jimmy. Don’t let them get you down, ‘Kay? Act happy and smile even when you don’t want to! That way people like Karl and Jason don’t win! The best way to fuck ‘em is by making sure that what they do doesn’t mean anything, Dude! Trust me on that!” I explained.
Jimmy looked up at me with the saddest expression I think I’ve ever seen in a young boy. He said, with a creak in his voice: “Ok. Uh, I’ll . . . try.” Dear God how I hate seeing the look of despair on the face of a kid! I was of a mind to yank both Karl and Jason into the bathroom and giving them both swirlies over it! But, I knew if I got anywhere near them, the School would have me up on charges and I’d be spending the rest of my twenties in jail!
On that note, one of the Coaches, I think I remembered his name is Coach Bradshaw, came out to ‘greet’ me as I walked Jimmy up to the entrance to the boys’ locker room and showers. I gently guided Jimmy so he’d go in before Coach could intercept me. Fortunately, he seemed to recognize me.
“Well, well! If it isn’t Chandler Cross! What, um . . . What brings you onto campus during classes? You graduated like, um, a couple of years ago from what I remember.” Coach was feigning being cordial as he questioned me about trespassing on School property like I was.
“I’m here to pick up Jamie, Coach. I saw Jimmy, here, looking like he was having a hard time of it so I helped him back here. It’s the least one alumnus can do for a fellow alumn, I’m sure you’d agree.” I parried.
“Well, that was mighty nice of you, Chandler, but you know non-authorized adults aren’t allowed on campus. It’s for the protection of the kids, you know. Leave the care of the students to us from now on, if you don’t mind. Oh, and you’ll have to wait a bit for Jamie. He has practice after this! I guess he forgot to tell you. You’re welcome to stick around and watch him work, if you want. We’re very proud of your little brother! He’s a natural Quarterback! I think he’s gonna take us to the Championship this year if he continues to play as well as he does!” Coach Bradshaw crowed. Inwardly, I rolled my eyes since now I’d have to wait for Jamie to finish. I’m going to strangle him! I can just feel it!
Anyway, I knew that Coach didn’t really resent my being there, but he had to give the Administrative spiel about adults not being on campus. I agree with that, of course. I know of too many sickos out there that would just love to take advantage of a High School kid alone on a football field. Having been ‘troubled’ by such men in the past, I understand that all too well.
But, that said, I’m not going to stand by and watch a little guy like Jimmy get trounced by the likes of Karl and Jason. If the coaches would actually do their jobs and really ‘care’ for kids like Jimmy I wouldn’t feel the need to breach security to be the kid’s watch dog.
“Well, I accept the invitation and thanks, Coach. It’s good to see you again.” I turned on my patented winning smile that actually got Coach Bradshaw to blush a bit.
“Ahhhh, if only we could have convinced you to play back in the day. We’d have had a Cross Legacy here at this school!” Coach said as he walked me over to the practice field.
“Well, you got one Cross and, trust me, that’s plenty!” I responded and allowed the coach to clasp my shoulder. Hmmm . . . Danny might have cause to be a bit jealous tonight, hehehe! The Coach is kind of dreamy: blue eyes, scruffy blond beard and hair, fourtiesish. Yum!
In any case, I think I need to make stopping over here a ritual and done as often as I can. Something tells me that if the meatheads target Jimmy they’ll be targeting Brandon too. I have a feeling Jamie knows this and that’s why he put me up to this today.
Chandler Cross is officially a human watchdog. Bark, frigging, bark.