Chapter 1



Oh, boy . . .

This one was quite the scoop today! I have actual real news for a change!

Bobby met me at the bike lockup before school, this morning, and dropped an effing bomb right in my lap!

“You know what?” He asked with this chipmunk grin on his face that I found strange in the extreme!

“Um…what?” I asked back. I must have looked like Bobby was about to bite me because he laughed.

“Dude! It’s just a little news! Nothing to do with you, so you can get that paranoid look off your face. Hehehe!” Bobby reassured me. As it turned out, it had a lot more to do with me than he could or would ever know!

“Well, it seems Billy Chase and that Joanna gal have split up!” Bobby whispered close to my ear…too close – close enough that I involuntarily flinched away.

Wow! Like, I didn’t see that one coming! I’m being sarcastic. Brandon, stop.

But, in all honesty, seeing it coming or not, I felt my heart pang for what must be Billy’s heartache right now. I never want to see him that way! I wanted to go pound Joanna senseless for doing this to him! With my fists…you perv!

“Oh. I’m sorry for him. That’s gotta be…rough.” I answered dutifully to this news/no-news Bobby was so excited about telling me. I don’t know why Bobby was so ‘delighted’ in telling me this, but I’m sure my reaction to the news was not what he was expecting. But, in all actuality, I didn’t care much how Bobby felt about things anyway. Billy was in trouble! My mind was only fixed on him!

“Um, I’ll catch you later, Bobby. I have, um, something I need to do at Homeroom. Thanks, uh, for the, er, info. Kay?” I rushed off, leaving Bobby scratching his head.

I found Billy. He was moping, which worried me. For someone usually so full of positive energy and, just, life it hurt to see how ‘deenergized’ he was!

“Billy?” Was all I could muster. I hope I didn’t sound as worried as I was for him. I – just can’t help it…

“Hey, Brandon.” He didn’t ‘chirp’ my name like usual. It, sorta, came out like ‘normal,’ which is anything but normal for Billy.

“Hey! I heard about what happened with Joanna and all. I’m…really sorry, Billy.” I wanted to reach out and touch Billy, to hug him, but…I knew better than to try it.

“Thanks. It’s cool. No problem.” Billy said in a way that I knew that it was anything but ‘no problem’!

“I’m sorry, Billy. That sucks.” I pressed on. I wanted to look him in the eye, tell him it would be ok, tell him, without ‘telling him,’ that I care! That I care very much! But, I kept things ‘normal’ as much as my own anxiety would let me.

Then, it just slipped out. Probably, the worst thing I could say to make any of this ‘normal’ between Billy and me. But, honestly, it took everything I had to not just reach over and grab him up in a big hug and rock him until everything was ok again!

But, I knew that to be a selfish wish. I want Billy to know that I’m the only one he’ll ever need! Boy, girl, it, whatever – it doesn’t matter what I am, only who I am to him!

But, my thinker got my talker going in the wrong direction with this line of thinking, “You guys didn’t really seem right for each other anyway.” I said. Yes, I totally did.

WTF, Brandon?

But…you know what?

It made Billy smile and to me that looked like sun breaking through the clouds on a cold and blustery day! It was such a tender smile, you know? Honestly, the genuine feeling it conveyed to me made me melt just a little…or maybe not such a little. Hehehe!

But, then Billy said something that made me flush hot and cold in waves!

“I can’t believe that Sam could just steal her away from me like that. What did I ever do to him to make him stab me in the back like that?” Billy said this with the correct amount of edge to his otherwise sweet, chirpy voice.

“Wait…what? You mean…she’s dating Sam? And Sam’s dating her? Your best friend, Sam? The boy you always hang around with?” I said as the numbing shock and awe hit me of the depth of that statement! What in the actual FUCK, Sam! How could you do this to my Billy!

I had to reign it in! I had to reign in that old Italian temper! I wanted to bite my hand, make a whimpering sound of barely restrained rage, and then go curb stomp Sam into oblivion! Grrr! Just like Sonny in the Godfather!

“So….Sam and Joanna? Wow….um…ok.” I babbled! I had to get out of there before Billy could see me totally melt down. I dismissed myself from Billy’s confused presence with some made up class thing and found the first empty bathroom stall I could! There I fucking pounded the metal door until I swore it would come off its hinges! I bruised my knuckles! Fortunately, that doesn’t bother me much anymore.

I, totally, want to kill fucking Sam right now! I was so glad I didn’t see him today or he would have gotten a round-house kick to the teeth! His Mom would have to have had to spend a fortune putting his face back together again!

How dare he do that to my Billy!

Betrayal! It is the worst of sins to an Italian! Friends are family and family doesn’t betray one another! Not ever! My Mom drilled this into me practically from the day that I was born! It’s her lingering spirit that reminds me and why things like this piss me the fuck off till I can barely see straight!

This is Brandon Raging!


I think Billy was avoiding me today.

I must have let my feelings get too weird for him yesterday. He’s going through a very hard time and here I have to make things about me! I hate myself, sometimes…so much!

I could understand Billy’s want to avoid everyone, though. That’s what I want to do when I’m hurting. I don’t want anyone to know and so I go ‘away’ so I can hide and be as miserable as I want to be…without ‘help’. I come through things myself, eventually. Like with my Mom’s passing, I spent a lot of lonely hours by myself riding my bike, walking the parks, and finally, doing what I did tonight…walking the streets at night!

It’s a secret habit I got into when I was struggling. Part of me, I guess, was hoping that someone would kidnap me or run over me or something else final. This was as a kid of eight-ish. Rather than my murder, I found peace in the night! I’m sure that if my Dad had ever found out about my sneaking off at night, he’d never sleep again! For his benefit, more than mine, I kept my nighttime travels to a minimum. I still do…but, I allow myself this treat every now and then when I most need some peace and clarity!

There’s a certain quietness deep at night and in the early morning that doesn’t exist at any other time of the day. Most people are asleep and those that are awake are often like me, looking for the peace that it brings.

I walked down to the Southeastern part of town.  There, it has a lot of families that are still up and I can enjoy the warm light that shines through their windows.  Sometimes, I can even pick up the noises of laughter or excitement as I hear families enjoying TV together.  Life alive, I guess! It’s strange, but my home doesn’t have those sounds anymore. Dad and I are so quiet since Mama passed away. Even our TV watching is nearly silent.

It gets so lonely sometimes . . .

When Mama was alive, we had plenty of laughs and excitement as my Mom would really get into things. Her favorite show was Survivor! She’d just rail at the TV thinking the idiots doing something idiotic on the other side of the screen could hear her! Hahaha!

God how I miss her laugh!

Anyways, I found myself walking passed what I figured to be Billy’s house. I had half a mind to toss a small stone at his bedroom window. He, or whoever lives at this place I think is Billy’s, leaves his window open. Between what I can see of the posters and pennants and things I can see through that window, I can figure it is Billy’s room or, at least, the boy who lives in that room.

Billy’s lights were on and I didn’t get weird and just stand and and try to stare into that window. I wanted to respect his privacy and that of his family.  That said, it was comforting to see the home. It seems so much warmer than mine. So much less empty.

I moved on and turned around to head home before my Dad might catch on that I wasn’t in my room. Along the way, however, I had a bit of a ‘hitch in my getalong’ as my Uncle might say. Up the cross street from ‘Billy’s’, I saw Sam and Joanna walking home from the bus stop. I guess they were going home. To who’s home I couldn’t and didn’t want to know.

In any case, I pulled a total ‘Michael Meyers’ from Halloween and hid behind a hedge in someone’s front yard until they passed. Even at night, I didn’t want them seeing me. That would have been awkward as hell and this was supposed to be a peaceful time for me to get my thoughts and feelings in order.

What dumb luck that Sam and Joanna would happen along my path at night while I’m walking around freaking stalking poor Billy.

I still can’t believe Sam would do that to my Billy! I disliked him before, but I’m getting close to hating him now. I hate hating anyone! Hate is just a terrible emotion. I should, maybe, think better on using it to describe my feelings for Sam at the moment.

I’m very, very angry with Sam right now! I wouldn’t mind punching him in the gut for what he’s doing to Billy, but…I don’t really ‘hate’ him hate him. I wouldn’t want him dead or even permanently injured or anything! I just want him to stop being such an asshole to people who have been so good for him over the years like Billy has! I know they are or were like brothers.

How does one do that to their own brother?

I guess I have no idea. I’ve never had a brother so I don’t know how that whole thing would work. I also have to figure that Sam is typical of any teenager, he’s more hormones than human. If Joanna give him the ‘crazies’ like Billy gives me the ‘crazies’ then I can partially walk in Sam’s shoes.

Billy does drive me to distraction, but then I have Marie’s example. I know she had the ‘crazies’ for me, but that didn’t stop her from doing the right thing and following her education to somewhere she needed to find it. She’s managed to control herself.

But, then, she is a girl and I don’t think girls get nearly as stupid with hormones as boys do!

Honestly, it’s, kinda, hard to think about anything else when you have a stiff sensitive dick rubbing in your pants 9 hours out of every day! How us boys get anything done at all with that going on is beyond my understanding. Even as I write this…I feel one coming on!

I’m glad its later in the evening and my Dad is already in bed. I’ve gotta take care of this or there won’t be any sleep for me tonight, or at least there won’t be any rest in my sleep!

This is Brandon Smiling, but restless!

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