Chapter 6 – The Gun Of Fun – The Game Of Shame
“You gonna be there, bro, or what?” I read on my iPhone as I sat down, slumped, in my one piece chair & desk, four rows into the classroom of my Algebra class. I didn’t reply. Salem was asking me, in text, if I could meet him outside of school near the side entrance by his locker which was right next to the school cafeteria. It was already 2:13pm with only 17 minutes left for school to depart, yet, I felt as though I had just entered those cold, steel metal school doors, earlier that morning, at 7:30am. The day flew past me. I was in a daze. And, at that moment, I didn’t feel anything, at all, except for… hollow. I felt empty, somehow. I felt used. Why? I don’t know. I didn’t feel like myself. That Monday afternoon, I had concluded that from that moment on, I would never be or feel like myself in the same way, anymore, ever again; and, I wasn’t. That was just the reality.
As Mr. Duelberry continued his Algebra 1 lecture for us new coming freshman, I viewed Salem’s text in my Iphone’s notification strip on my lock screen. I was meticulous enough to hide behind the blonde kid in front of me. Charlie’s body was my “shield” that I used in order to ensure that our teacher wouldn’t see what I was doing on my phone. And, that’s when I, finally, came to the realization as I blankly stared at his blonde locks of hair; I-I wasn’t a virgin anymore.
I stared into nothing. I always did that when I was lost or didn’t know what to do about something serious that I was currently going through. It was my way of “reflecting” on my current situation to try to figure things out for myself. Some people go for a walk. Some exercise. Some people smoke, drink, or do drugs. Some people spend money. Some even binge eat until they’re stuffed to their face in order to numb their feelings or think things through as they do their little “habits”. Me? I stare into nothing, shut down, & close off from the world & become quiet. I have nothing to say. Why would I? Even if I said anything, it wouldn’t change the reality of my current predicament, anyway. So, I prefer to shield myself from society & the outer realms of this world & figure things out. It’s just my personality, I guess. I’m not, exactly, the most outgoing person. I’m more artistic and intricate, I suppose. I’m not really shy, I would say. But, I’m certainly not a loud mouth & I’m sort of quiet sometimes I guess. I speak when I have to and I won’t when I don’t, especially, if I have something going on or when something is on my mind.
I bit my bottom lip, nervously, as I heard the teacher continue talking. Does having… sex with another boy technically count as not being a virgin anymore? I wasn’t sure. It was not a question that I ever thought I would have to ask myself. I never, in my life, ever thought that I would have… gay sex with someone. EWWW. The thought of those words coming into my mind or going into my mouth to dare to speak them out loud made me cringe. And… the reality was, I was alone. I had no one to go to. Who could I possibly ask? No one. I established, after some long thought of 30 minutes in that class, that I’d have to look that up on the internet, for myself, either on my phone or on my mom’s laptop, as awkward of a search as it would be for me to even to type those words.
As I sat there on my little hard chair, I couldn’t help but feel exposed & gross. I just felt dirty, guilty, & disgusting. Not only did I just have gay sex at the age of 14, something that my family would all frown upon, but, it was with a boy that I had only known for ONE WEEK! …Ughh! What’s my problem? To me, as I sat there, it was like all eyes were on me & all of the other kids in my class around me were looking at me, somehow, knowing all of the lewd things that Salem & I were doing to each other last night in private.
I felt like… such a whore! It may seem mental, but, it seemed like they could all see me completely naked, somehow, while I just sat there as they all looked at me with disgust. I just wanted to hide myself from everyone so that they couldn’t see my naked body & skin, anymore, as bare as the day that I was born & brought into this world. It was like they were watching all of the things that Salem had done to me & to the different parts of my body and were, all, either, shrieking in horror or pointing & laughing at us. I was like a plastic doll. At that moment, I had turned into a hollow, empty manikin with no soul. A little frown, involuntarily, curved onto my mouth as I thought that. I squirmed around in my chair & just started to hug myself as I hunched over a bit. I just wanted to leave.
Don’t get me wrong, I liked it. I loved it. I liked everything about yesterday & all of the new things that I was …taught. Everything that we were doing really… excited me. I loved how raw it all was. And, that’s, exactly, what I felt so bad about. That’s why I felt so guilty about the whole thing. I was guilty. I was guilty of liking it so much. I was guilty of liking it as much as I did & that was the worst part of it all. What Salem was doing to me & how our bodies were all entangled with one another’s, truly, made me feel feelings & sensations, both, physically & emotionally that I would have never even dreamed of being able to feel before in my life, especially, with someone that I barely knew; especially, someone like him. It was amazing. It was great. It was so hot. Oh, God! I remember, even, yelling at one point. I, honestly, do not understand how my mother didn’t even hear me. Thank the Lord that she didn’t. Could you imagine? Could you imagine her hearing her own son helplessly & involuntarily shriek in absolute bliss & pleasure?
To be completely honest, thinking about when Salem taught me what to do, how to prepare myself, how to not be afraid, and how to position myself, correctly, so that I could get the most pleasure out of our special & personal interlude that we shared with one another, exposing my deepest and most private parts with him in the most erotic & intimate way as I positioned myself to him as he did his business & had his way with me, I thought one thing to myself, as I sat in my desk that afternoon, just before the final bell rang, which honestly concerned me… “How did Salem even know how to do all of those things so well in the first place?”
Sure, he was a year older than me, but, he really knew what he was doing. It was odd. It was almost as if he was a professional at it, somehow. Which I guess sort of makes no sense. But, that’s how he acted. Not one doubt, not one shy expression, not one questioning face, look, thought, or phrase was expressed by him that would reveal to me that he doubted anything that he and I were doing. It was almost as if it was nothing to him. He talked like it was just casual. He even said, in a blank & low voice, the same way that someone would recite a definition of a spelling word from the dictionary for homework- “No, …lift your leg like that.” He said it with a blank expression as he spoke in low monotone. Don’t get me wrong. Oh my god. He reeeeeeallly knew what he was doing. But, I wondered why he didn’t talk or act more, like, I don’t know, sweet and loving or intimate. Is that the word? Intimate? Am I too young to want intimate emotions from a schoolmate of mine? Isn’t that for, like, married couples or something? I even would have liked a smile or something. I wanted something sweet or cute, or fluffy. I don’t know. I don’t know! Did I want something romantic? I don’t know. But, it wasn’t like that, at all. It just wasn’t. It was… different.
As he explained, to me, how to do it and what to do, during some of the moments when we were switching positions on my very own bed that I slept in, I asked him how he knew all of that stuff as I was out of breath & sweaty & he replied with a simple- “Don’t…” as he just stopped for a second and glared right into my eyes with a blank look making his own eyes look… almost, black & empty. He looked at me for a moment as he held my leg by my ankle over his shoulder as he knelt on my bed &, then, just continued to have his way with me as if I had said nothing at all.
Did he, like, do all of this stuff before back at his home?
Looking at my phone’s clock again on my lock screen, that’s when I realized- I didn’t think Salem was a virgin when I met him; not at all.
It may sound funny, but, I always imagined when I first had sex I’d be at least 17 with a girlfriend. That was the dream and the fantasy that, abruptly, came to an end, less than 24 hours ago. But, being truthful with myself, as I sat at that school, feelings for girls never really came for me in that way in the first place, anyway. I mean, the only girl that I ever really had feelings for was an old best friend, Melissa, I’d play on the swings with every other day in 1st grade. But, that was more of a cousin type of feeling and probably only came from us being so young. But, with Salem, it was a whole other world of feelings and sensations that I would experience, both, physically and mentally, whenever, he did even the simplest of things. I liked him. I liked him more than anyone in this world & I couldn’t deny his addicting ways. He was like drinking black water. It was dark in some ways, and you wondered if it was toxic. You prayed that it was safe for consumption & was not fatal. But, you are so thirsty that you drink & chug the water taking your chances, anyway. That’s what Salem was for me. He was my Black Water. He was my Pretty Poison. And, I loved it. I drank it. With all of the cards on the table, I gambled & took my chances.
I felt the most awkward feeling that I had ever felt before in my life, last night, when Salem had to leave and my mother looked at me after she shut the door behind him and she commented. “He’s so nice. I’m glad you’re making friends, sweetie.” And, then, casually, just walked right up to me and kissed my forehead like she always did ever since I was a baby. I felt like a zombie with no eyes as I slowly walked back to my room from the kitchen in a robotic fashion. I felt like I was no one. I felt like I was dead and I was “the ghost of Johnny Applebee” floating around my halls as if I wasn’t amongst the living anymore and did not deserve to be there and was no longer welcome as I dwelled back to my room. Staring at the messy bed in front of me, I replayed, in my mind, the frisky frenzy of love making that I, myself, had just partaken in. If my mommy only knew what her son was just doing in his bedroom alone with a stranger that he was just getting to even know, she would- I don’t even know. She would shriek in horror, or scream at us, or worse, cry and wonder who her baby boy was or has become, or what he even was to begin with the whole time she even knew him.
The truth was, that previous night was all shameless until it was over. Am I what you would call, I don’t know… a slut or whatever? That’s gross. I’m disgusting. What’s happened to me? I regretted even coming to school for some reason, that day. I just wished that I was somewhere alone.
“Hello?” I saw Salem’s text. He was, obviously, wondering why I had not been answering that whole time, so I, finally, decided to pick up my phone and communicate to him for the very first time since I had seen him last night when he kissed my lips, goodbye, sweetly & lovingly in such an adult and romantic fashion as he held my hips before exiting my room door and then exiting my kitchen side door while my mom & I were directly behind him. I didn’t even know how BADLY his family reacted to us just leaving in a hurry that, afternoon. I was also embarrassed about THAT. Yesterday was just a MESS. I have to talk with them soon and apologize. One thing is for sure, those last 48 hours have been psychotic.
“Yeah, sure.” I responded back abruptly.
After I had left my class, I was waiting for Salem to appear outside as I leaned my back against the school’s brick wall as I stared at the sky, hearing ruckus from the other kids exiting the school’s walls and halls. “Hey.” I heard his brisk voice echo into my ear and I felt a warn moisture caress my cheek. He’s kissing me on the cheek on the school grounds? Is he nuts!? Oh my god. I turned to him and he had just this dreamy hazy smile on his lips. Okay. I won’t lie. He looked so… so… uhm. He looked so- awwww. He looked so cuuute. He was wearing a bright white t- shirt with black text which said “BRUH.” On the front. And black slim fit pants on with Puma Basketball Purple kicks on. I don’t know why. I just loved his style. I never saw him wear white before and it just really illuminated his face and contrasted so sharply with his blue black hair and green eyes. He looked so out of this world. I just stopped for a moment, stunned by his boyish beauty, against my will, and he just touched my cheek and caressed it, slowly and lovingly, as he sweetly and dreamily said “HIIII.” to me in a low voice and smiled with half-opened eyes.
My mouth opened. He was being so sweet with me. He was being so gentle. He was being so affectionate with me. He was completely different from the way he was when we were in my own room on my bed as we were both completely naked and rubbing our bodies all over one another. Why? Why wasn’t he like this with me last night?! He picks, now, to do this with me in front of everyone?
I noticed two kids saw us out of the corner of my eye as the setting sun was shining on them with his hand on my cheek and they just stopped walking, immediately. One pointed at us as they looked. Two more of their friends saw & they just stared at us. Two were smiling. One was wide mouthed. The other just looked like they were grossed out. My eyes widened as I backed away from him about a foot. I didn’t move after that. I froze. I was so embarrassed. Salem’s lost his mind. I usually do not cuss. But, in this case my mind literally thought- “What the fu**?”
“Salem. Oh my god. Just… can we go, like, somewhere else???” I said, shamefully, looking at the ground as my fists were to my sides as I closed them shut, tightly, as my shoulders were raised, involuntarily, from my own embarrassment. I just wanted to hide from the planet! Ughh! People saw us! I wanted to say that I was not the real Johnny Applebee and that this was all fake and not real. This couldn’t be real. This couldn’t be real life. Right? It, wasn’t real. It couldn’t be. No way. Nope! This is not me! I thought as I breathed really hard, feeling my chest hurt from my own panic. I began to think to myself- People will… people will think that I’m gay! Or… know that I was. Wait…. am I GAY??!! I just remember screaming that in my head and, finally, asking myself the “Big Question” for the very first time, since I had even first met the boy who had made me feel feelings that I hadn’t shared for anyone of my own gender before. I asked the very serious question in regards to my own sexual orientation to myself at quite the public time and place… you know, in front of four kids looking directly at me with Salem holding his hand on my cheek caressing me and holding me. Nothing awkward or overwhelming there! Nope!
I heard one kid giggle at us. And, I also heard one girl saying -“Shhhh.”
One other kid said- “Stop, its-.” I could of sworn that she said the word “Cute” but, I was too embarrassed and light headed to really pay attention or even hear them, to be honest. Honestly, I felt like I had left my own body for a moment as I just looked at the ground, hearing their banter.
“What?” He asked as if nothing he was doing was even out of the ordinary.
“People can see….” I said in a low quick voice as I did not stop staring at the grass.
“Oh.” He responded. He sniffed after about five seconds and just looked around and said. “Wana get out of here, man? Come on. I’ll buy you a treat or something. Maybe a slurpy?” He said. I guess those kids left before he could really spot them. But, they saw. They saw us. Thinking of all of the horrible possibilities that could bring us, I really didn’t respond right away. I was fighting the urge to just cry to be honest. My eyes hurt in the same way that they would when you try your hardest to hold back tears. You know, when you try to “swallow” them with your eyes before they get a chance to surface and come out. And, that’s probably, because that’s exactly what I was doing at that moment.
The world was spinning and I just felt so awkward and just… weird. Didn’t he see something wrong about this? I know Salem is a strong character and a tough mind to beat. But, wasn’t this all crossing some very serious invisible line of “casual” behavior that even someone like him might pass off as a bit too aloof? There was, definitely, something off and different about Salem and his behavior as compared to anyone else that I had ever met or seen, to be honest, and I just couldn’t figure it all out, yet, or what it’s source or cause was. How was he not reacting more to our “friendship” or what we were doing last night? Why was he just asking me to hang out so simply? The last time we even saw each other was at my house. Wasn’t there some missing dialogue to be exchanged, here, after our “Little Honey Moon?” I don’t know! I’m so new at this, that I had nothing else to compare it to. Is this how everyone my age acts when they have a boyfriend? Wait. Was Salem going to be my boyfriend? Was he my boyfriend?! Did I even want a boyfriend? Is that, like, what I ultimately wanted from him? Is that what I had been wanting from him this whole time? So many questions were flying through my head just, then. I had nothing else to say.
”Uhh…” I tried. I really was trying to come back to reality, but, I just couldn’t. I looked up at him. And he had this sweet expression on his face. “I-I don’t know. Uhm. Uhhh.” I was breathing hard. I just couldn’t take it all anymore. I left. Not even looking at him, I started to walk away from him in a fast pace. I didn’t even acknowledge him. I crossed the crossing section in a daze.
“Have a nice day, now.” The crossing guard said as I gave him a blank look and kept walking. He probably wondered what my problem was as I walked fast. He also probably wondered why Salem was hollering my name and telling me to slow down as he jogged up to catch up to me as I completely & subconsciously ignored him.
After we silently walked next to one another as I walked anywhere and nowhere, subconsciously, heading towards Nelly’s, Salem said “Okay, so 7-11 it is and, then, if you want, we can hit the park and-“ I still ignored him. I just didn’t know what to say or how to react to this. My body was shutting down. I just couldn’t anymore. I looked at him though. He looked at me and waited for my answer.
Defeated from what life was throwing at me, emotionally & mentally, at that moment & unable to fight my racing thoughts & questions any longer, I, instinctively said “Okay.” As we just continued our pace to the Main Street where “Sweetie’s” resided.
Salem bought me a Black Cherry Slurpy and I was holding it in my hands as we sat down on a dark green wooden bench, with the old paint beginning to peel off of its surface, all alone at the little park by the Main Street. This was Jefferson Place, a tiny little park for the young kids in our town to play in with swings, a play place, playground, and benches with some tables for locals to put together a small picnic, if they wished to do so. I have been to the park only one time, before, with my mother, when she wanted to celebrate with me our new town, house, and our move being the beginning of our new lives together on August 20th, about a week after our official move. No one was around at that time, except, for one family celebrating a birthday party. Only, this time, Salem & I were completely alone under the giant oak trees of the park as the fall breeze blew passed us as we sat on the bench by the unused spinkler due to the Season change. He kept talking about his day at school and this new kid, Max. He claimed that he was “Cool” enough to actually hang with and was a junior at Chestnut High School.
I, finally, spoke up. “Salem, don’t you wana talk about… last night?” I asked him, shyly, looking at the ground as my feet rocked back and fourth as they hung from the bench. I wondered why he didn’t even flinch to even talk about it all with me.
It was embarrassing to talk about. But, I felt that we needed to say something. I mean, I just shared my most intimate parts with him that no one else, in this world, has ever seen except for my own parents when I was a baby, possibly my aunt and uncle, as well, for a diaper change or a bath, back in the old toddler days, and he says nothing. I was really nervous to even think about it all, much less discuss it. I mean. Did he like my body? Did I look nice enough for him? Was it good enough for him? This is so awkward. It was so weird! He saw me fully naked… He’s seen me, entirely. And, he just talks about casual friend stuff with me?
“Oh, yeah. Hmmm. I had a great time. You were so good. Thanks.” I said nothing for about 30 seconds.
Thanks? Thanks? That’s it? Excuse me for asking, but, thanks?!!! What’s wrong with this kid? I couldn’t even believe that. He’s just talking about this like I just lent him a video game of mine, which I don’t even play mind you. He’s treating this all like we were just playing each other in a game of air hockey at the arcade. Is he serious? I was so shocked!!!!
“I, honestly, thought you wouldn’t have been okay with that last bit. But, I was wrong. Glad you were. You were sooo good. God. Next time if you want, lemme-“ I was lost in a daze of my own mind. He was treating me like I was a piece of meat. He was talking to me like we were trading baseball cards.
I remember thinking to myself as I sat there.-“This isn’t like playing Pokémon cards, here, Salem. I’m not your Pikachu. You can’t just capture me in a poke ball and expect me to do whatever you want and not at least acknowledge me in a serious way, about all of this. I – I LIKE you. I want you. I want you so badly. Don’t you- don’t you like me, too? Don’t you like me the way that I like you? I care about you a lot and I don’t really understand why. I feel like I’ve known you for years. I don’t know why. But, I just want more. I don’t even know what I want or what I am looking for from you. But, there’s something missing. Something’s wrong, here. There’s a hole that isn’t filled. This can’t be how everyone acts in a relationship, if that’s even what this is. I don’t know WHAT you call this! I don’t know why, but, something is off. Something’s wrong, here. This can’t be normal, though, whatever we are doing. Something bad is happening. And, I have a very strange & bad feeling about what I’m getting involved in.” I thought as I looked around the park, nervously, as though some evil spirit was looking at us and haunting our very lives and causing all of this to happen. I don’t know why. But, I just felt “watched”. I just had a bad feeling about everything that was going on, about his family, & about him. I didn’t know what it was. But, you know that “natural instinct” you get when you just sense something wrong or when something bad is going to happen or already is? I got that feeling. It was terrible. And, I didn’t like it at all. My eyes widened & I just got so nervous.
This was all just very weird. He wasn’t acting normal. Salem is just weird. I began to remember all of the things that Sarah had told me about Salem and the warning she had given to me, especially about him almost attacking her and not remembering her, and also how we weren’t allowed to be alone together. All of his behavior is just odd. I mean, he just had crazy wild sex with me and he’s acting like we were… I don’t know, “playing around” or something. Is this a game to you Salem? Are we just playing a game? He was acting like we were, casually, at summer camp, playing “Connect 4” or “Checkers”. He was talking to me as if I gave him all of his favorite colored skittles in one bag that he loved to eat as I organized them all for him and gave them to him as a friendly present. I don’t even know what else he was saying. I ignored him, subconsciously. I wish I hadn’t though. It might have put some pieces together in this puzzle that we were both trapped inside of which had a million missing pieces for me to figure out just what the hell was going on.
Eventually, we made it back to my house, as shocking as it may seem. He convinced me to bring him back, which, my mother had absolutely no problem, whatsoever, in allowing. I was defeated to even fight him. Apparently, he didn’t even want to go home as his father was still angry about me being over there yesterday and didn’t feel like “dealing with the drama.” So, as crazy as it was, I was sitting on my bed waiting for Salem to come back from the bathroom, hours after we had left the park. I was lost as to what to say to him when he came back into my room.
Oh my god. What if- what if he wants…uhm, sex with me again? Were we going to do it again?! NO!!! I was too scared for that. What would happen if we did it? What would happen if he wants to and I, like, said- “No”? He’d kill me! Would Salem… make me? My eyes widened as I thought that. I was getting so nervous. I already felt violated just sitting there and squeezed my legs together in a nervous manor almost as if to hide my penis & anus from the world & from him. He DID make me feel good. But, I was scared, nonetheless.
What was going to happen? Is that another reason why he wanted to come back there the very next day? Did he just want some more? I didn’t know. He was unpredictable after all. My mom WAS there if he chose to do something to me or attack me some more. But, if I said anything, she’d know what him and I had been doing. I couldn’t allow that! No way! She’d hate me! NO!!!! What do I do? What do I do?!
I was getting so nervous, that, I rubbed my fingers together, quickly, and just bounced my leg a bit making my knee bop up and down as I sat there. What if Salem hurts me? I wanted to cry still, but, I didn’t.
Before he went to use the restroom, the entire time that he was in my room, those few hours, he was on his phone, texting & talking to people; he barely even spoke a word to me. It was like I wasn’t even there. He just laid out on my bed with one leg laid out, straight, in front of him & another with his knee up. I guess he didn’t really have much to say to me & Salem wasn’t really a “Small Talk” type of person. And, personally, I couldn’t even figure out what to say to him, either. I was too shy & nervous. The silence made it worse. And, I suppose, to him, that type of casual silence among friends was normal where he was from. For me, however, it was awkward & nerve shattering. Whoever he was on the phone with was talking with him a lot, though.
I heard his phone vibrate as a text came in. I ignored it as it was on my bed. I was tired and wanted to lay down, though. But, it was in my way. I was so stressed from what had occurred in my life those last three days. I sat another minute, there, just trying to calm down, nervously regretting his return.
Another message came in. I looked out my window from where I was and noticed the sun was almost fully set. I wondered what time it was. If Salem was in trouble for having me as company the night before, I, certainly, didn’t want him getting in any MORE trouble for having been at my house so late. Oh, wait. Did they even know that he was at my house the day before? This is terrible! They’d murder us. I decided to peek at his phone to see what time it was as mine was still charging. I forgot to charge mine that previous night. Could you blame me? However, what I saw on his notification screen would change my life forever.
”Haha. Your roof just ain’t the same without you, bruh. It’s all cold blooded. I’ll let her know you told me, though. Don’t worry, Raven. I gotchu.” I saw on the notification strip of his Galaxy phone from where it layed down on my bed as I bent my body from where I was sitting on its edge to view it.
Huh? Raven? Who’s that? My door was open so I didn’t hear Salem come back inside of my room, even on my wooden floor, especially, since he was wearing those sporty, specialty purple Puma’s on his feet with the special soft bottoms. And, I noticed his feet standing there about three feet from where I was. I looked up. He was staring at his phone screen, seeing the message; the message that he just saw me reading when I thought he wasn’t around. And his eyes went from his phone to me.
“…” He said nothing for a moment. But, his throat made a sound.
Inhaling, slowly, from his nose in an unnatural manor, he slowly said to me in a low whisper, so weirdly, “…what’re YOUUU doing?”
He gave me a look that seemed -dead. He literally looked like he was dead. He didn’t move at all. It was so creepy. He closed his eyes and shut his fists to his sides. He kept his eyes shut for about 7 seconds. Then, he opened them. He lifted his chin up, very slowly, not once looking away from me.
I didn’t mean to read his text! I, honestly, didn’t! But, whoever this “person” was or Raven was…. I didn’t think Salem wanted me to know about any of it at all. Not one bit. And I regretted it with every ounce of my being as I sat there in my dimly lit room.
He didn’t say anything or move for 10 whole seconds as we just stared at each other and neither did I. He turned around & walked over to my door. He closed it &, then, locked it. I didn’t know what was happening. But, what would occur within the next 15 minutes would change my view of this boy, forever. And I would, finally, learn, once and for all, who he really was.