Reggie's Journal

Chapter 7

Entry 7


Okay, I just got in from school. This has been a wild day. You have to understand something, the class I’m in, we NEVER get into any trouble. The teacher can leave the room for the entire period and we’ll sit quietly and do the work. I mean, we NEVER get into any trouble. So when Abe called Sarah the ‘B’ word yesterday, it was like a major event. It’s the first time anyone in our class has gotten into any trouble since about the third grade when Kyle threw a snowball at Jennifer while we were at recess. Even James who gets a little wild at times knows just how far to push a teacher’s buttons before he backs off and acts like a normal person again. Of course we voted in the 7th grade if he was normal, and we decided he wasn’t. hehe. Anyway, first, Abe came to Mr. Byrd’s class late. I think he was trying to avoid talking to any of us, especially Sarah. He didn’t have a late pass, so Mr. Byrd sent him to the office to get one. Normally, I don’t think he would have done it, but I guess the word is out that Abe is some kind of a degenerate because he called Sarah the ‘B’ word. Then when he returns to class with a late pass, he walked over and threw it on Mr. Byrd’s desk. He didn’t lay it down, he threw it at him and stormed over to his seat. You should have seen Mr. Byrd’s face turn red when he did it. So he calls Abe up to the front of the class and tells him to apologize to him for his rude behavior. Everyone looked at Abe to see what he would do. And he sat there. It didn’t help the situation when Sarah started giggling at him. I felt sorry for Abe because it was obvious he didn’t know what to do. If it had been me, I probably would have peed my pants with everyone staring at me. This went on for about a minute, and to me it seemed like an hour. I’m sure to Abe it seemed like a century. So Mr. Byrd asked Abe to go out into the hall and wait for him. Abe got up and when he walked past me, I swear to God he looked like he was going to cry. I looked over at Cory, and he seemed to be thinking the same thing. He gave me this sort of sad frown. Mr. Byrd told us to get out our journals and spend the remaining time writing in them. I bet if I went around the room, everyone is writing about what just happened just like me. They’ve been out of the room for about 10 minutes. Mr. Byrd probably took him down to the office. By now Abe has probably been suspended. That would be a big... Hold on Mr. Byrd just came in. Abe’s following him and it looks like he’s been crying. The bell is going to ring in a couple of minutes, so I’ll try to find out what happened.

Okay, I’m writing this before dinner. I’ve got too much homework tonight to do. Besides finishing a report for my history class, Mrs. Reynolds gave us a geometry assignment that’s going to take me most of the night to complete. Urgggggghhh! I’m starting to really hate school. And if that’s not enough, Elizabeth told me today that the first training session for the crisis center is Wednesday at 6. She said it will last about 2 ½ hours. Just great. That’s all I need to complicate my life even more. Beside cutting into my homework time, I have to talk Dad or Mom into taking me and picking me up. I haven’t mentioned the community service project to them yet, so I guess I’ll have to do that at dinner.

Anyway, I wanted to write about Abe and Sarah while I have a few minutes. This has been a really interesting day for our class. We finally had something to talk about other than teachers and school work, and did we ever talk. Hehe. The pressure was on me because I think I’m the only person who knew what was going on, unless Sarah told Stephanie, which I’m sure she did. Do you know what it’s like to know something that no one else knows and then listen to all the wild speculations? But I promised Abe I wouldn’t tell anyone. Cory guessed around 3rd period I knew, but he didn’t try to guilt me into telling him. So finally the rumor became either Abe or Sarah was flirting with someone else. Most betted that it was Abe. Last week someone saw him talking to an underclassman, so he probably cheated on Sarah over the weekend and dated this new girl. I was kind of relieved because that was a better reason than the real one.

At lunch Abe asked me to sit alone with him at a table away from our other friends. James and Cory tried to join us, but Abe asked them politely if we could be alone. They gave me a weird look and left. Naturally, they pestered me the rest of the day to tell them what Abe talked about. I’ve got my own problems, but I’m glad I’m not Abe. His are even worse. I guess over the weekend, Sarah told her mother what they did. Her mother called Abe’s father and told him what they did. Abe is now grounded until he’s like 50 years old. I’d die if my parents knew I was having sex with someone, especially since I’m 15 going on 16. Abe and Sarah are already both 16, but I think it is probably still too young. I guess their actions prove that. Since both of them regret what they did, they shouldn’t have done it to begin with. But it’s too late now. One thing I learned, once you give up the V, you can’t take it back. That was Abe’s words, not mine. I still don’t understand, though, is how they cared enough for each other to do IT, but now they hate each other after they did IT. He said he was going to try and make up with her, but then she told her mother about IT. Now he hates her because his parents know. He said it may be years before they trust him again. Now he can’t drive by himself unless one of his parents or younger brother is with him. So I guess that’s why he called her the ‘B’ word. He made me promise not to tell anyone, but I think some girls in our class already know the story. On the bus home, Elizabeth called Abe a cad. When I asked her why, she just said all boys are cads and wouldn’t explain. I also asked him what happened when he and Mr. Byrd went out into the hall. He said he started crying and shaking so bad that Mr. Byrd had to hold him up so he wouldn’t fall down. He said he kind of told him what happened, and Mr. Byrd gave him some good advice. He also said he couldn’t just let his rude actions pass without some sort of punishment. So when he gets done serving detention with Mr. Bowers, he has to serve two more with Mr. Byrd. Poor guy. So we kind of hung out for the rest of the day. By the end of 6th period, I think some of our classmates were beginning to think that the reason he broke up with Sarah was so he could date me. If they only knew. Hehe. Mom’s calling me down for dinner. I have to talk one of them into giving me a ride Wednesday. Wish me luck.


Okay. I’m back. It’s Thursday night, and I’m drained. I’ve been so busy the past couple of days I haven’t hardly had time to take a pee, much less write in this stupid thing. I’m glad I’m a few days ahead, or I’d definitely be behind.

I think I’m going to hate doing that crisis thing- probably to about the 569th power. I had to attend the first training session last night. Two and a half hours of pure boredom. First, I had to sit down with one of the social workers and talk with her. She was a middle-aged woman whose face would probably crack if she smiled. She must have been at least 40, and she was extremely thin. She kind of looked like one of the crack heads who wander around at the mall asking people for spare change. I’m not sure they are crack heads, but Cory told me they were. The first time he told me that, I thought that he meant they had a head injury. I didn’t want to appear dumb, so I waited until I got home to google it. Now I can’t understand how someone would do something that is addictive and messes up their life. I guess I better write about that later because I’m supposed to be talking about what happened last night.

Anyway, she said her name was Mrs. Armstrong, and she was a psychologist with the county. She wanted to know why I was interested in volunteering, and I told her the truth- I had to. She really didn’t seem to like that answer. She said that volunteers for the crisis center should be committed to helping others. At first, I thought she was going to let me leave, but then we talked a little more. She liked the fact that I was a boy. I think that’s the only reason she let me stay. She said all the other volunteers are girls. She said they get quite a few calls from boys to the Teen Line, but they hang up when they find out they can’t talk to a guy about their problems. She thinks that they may be calling about girl problems, and they think another girl will side with the girl he’s having problems with. She’s probably right. I know that the girls in my class always stick together, even if they know that they are wrong. Just last week Beverly told Clarise about a problem she was having with Stanley. Wait a minute. I’m doing it again. Hold on. Let me go get something to drink and then I’ll finish.

Okay. Back. Where was I? Oh, yeah. Anyway, Mrs. Armstrong started to like me about 20 minutes into the interview. But it got really weird before that. She started asking me questions about my sexuality. Things like if I have a girlfriend, if I date, things like that. She said that most of the calls that come into the Teen Line deal with boyfriend/girlfriend problems. She seemed disappointed that I didn’t date. Then she asked me what I thought about gay people, and I guess I kind of blushed and got all frustrated when I tried to tell her I thought gay people were all right. She then kind of smiled and leaned forward and almost asked me in a whisper so that no one could hear us even though no one else was in the room, “Are you gay?” I must have turned about a hundred shades of red. I finally managed to ask her if she should be asking me a question like that. I felt like it kind of violated my privacy. She quickly apologized and then explained that recently they had had numerous calls coming into the center by gay boys wanting to talk to someone. She said that the standard procedure was that the girls on the phones were not to talk to the boy since she didn’t feel they were properly prepared to handle such calls. She said that those calls were forwarded to the supervisor on duty who handled calls that required a more ‘delicate’ approach. I didn’t like the way she used the word, delicate, but I didn’t say anything. She made it sound like their problem wasn’t normal, like it would be with a straight boy. She asked me again if I was gay, and I literally told her that it was ‘none of her business.’ Mom would kill me if she heard me say that to an adult, but I was getting insulted. Did she ask Elizabeth and Caryn if they were straight? She may have asked Elizabeth if she was gay, though. The verdict still isn’t out on her yet.

Anyway, Mrs. Armstrong didn’t get mad or anything. I thought she might kick me out of her office for being so rude to her, but she didn’t. She sat back in her chair and gave me this big grin. Grin! I don’t even know why. She then wrote something down in my folder. I tried to read what she was writing, but she covered it with her hand. Now that I’ve given it some thought, I think she was happy with my answer because she knew that I could be bold if I wanted to be. See, I’m really a timid person, and I’m not very bold. But I guess by standing up to her, she probably thought I could stand up to a caller if they became rude. And to be honest, I’m pretty proud of myself, too. So anyway, she asked me a few more general questions, and then I went into the hallway and waited with Caryn and Elizabeth while Mrs. Armstrong interviewed another girl whose name was Tiffany. She isn’t from our class. She said she called the Teen Line last year with a problem and now this was her way of repaying the center for the help they offered her. She didn’t say what her problem was, but she did say she had a daughter, so I figure since she only looks like she’s about 18 that they probably helped her when she found out she was pregnant. Now I’m worried because I don’t know what I’d tell a girl who just found out she was pregnant. Since it’s something I’ll never have to probably experience in my life I don’t know what advice I could possibly offer. What if she wants to have an abortion? I’m almost 16, I still don’t have an opinion on that yet. Since I don’t go to church very often, I really don’t have a religious view of it. So I don’t know. Maybe this is something else I can think about and then write in this journal sometime.

Now to the training session. Elizabeth left because she had already received the training. She told Mrs. Armstrong she’d do it again, but she wouldn’t let her. So it was me, Caryn, Tiffany and another girl named Gina. Gina goes to our school, but she isn’t in our class. She’s in Mrs. Carter’s fifth period. I guess Gina may also be inducted into the National Honor Society, so she’s taking the hours for community service just in case. She’s really pretty, but she’s kind of arrogant. Since I’m used to my classmates, I guess I overlook that they can be snobbish at times. But seeing someone else act all snotty just because they are pretty and smart was just a bit annoying. I’m not sure what kind of advice she could give a girl with her holier than thou attitude. I’m guessing she is probably pretty popular at school, so she’s probably had a lot of experience dating. But then again, maybe not. She acts like she might think she’s too good for most boys in our class. If she dates, I bet it’s with an upper classman, probably the captain of the football team. I’m going to do a little research when I get the time. Cory’s brother is popular and plays football. I’ll ask Cory to ask his brother, Jayson, who Gina dates. He’d probably know, although him and Cory don’t get along very well. Cory says Jayson doesn’t pay him much attention and is kind of embarrassed because he’s in what he calls ‘the smart class.’ But I’m getting off the subject again.

So anyway, we sit for an hour and a half listening to Mrs. Armstrong talk about personality disorders. I don’t think she knows that we were taught most of the stuff in school. They do offer psychology classes. She gave us handouts that she must have been using for the past twenty years. They were faded and difficult to read. I know they were old because I scanned one and saw the word retarded used once when talking about someone with a low IQ. I started to raise my hand and ask her if that shouldn’t read, mentally challenged, but then I thought she might think I was being sarcastic and making fun of the information she was giving us. So I circled it just in case I wanted to mention it later. So I was bored, and I hope the other sessions aren’t as boring. Elizabeth asked me how I liked the class, and I was honest. She agreed with me, but she said the next session will be more fun. It’s going to be on Saturday afternoon. If I had a life, I’d be upset, but at least now I’ll have something to do instead of sitting in my room and doing homework. Anyway, she said it will involve role playing. If Elizabeth enjoyed it, then I just know I’m going to hate it. She is the only student who enjoyed acting out Hamlet in our English class in the 8th grade. I played Claudius, and she played Gertrude. It was two of the longest weeks I’ve ever spent in a classroom.

I think I’m going downstairs and watch a little television with Mom and Dad. Now that they know I’m gay and they accept me, I feel closer to them. I guess that doesn’t make sense, and I can’t figure it out either, but right now I’m going to enjoy them before I get too grown up.


Just a quick note. I wanted to write this down in my journal before I forget. I think Mr. Byrd read that little thing I wrote the other day that said ‘Don’t knock it, at least it’s with someone I love.’ I have a feeling he knew what I was talking about. He kind of chuckled and patted me on my back when he walked away. Cory looked over and gave me a weird look when he noticed how red my face was. I have to be more careful. Mr. Byrd is going to think I’m some kind of a pervert- if he doesn’t already.

Sorry. It’s Monday night and I couldn’t be any more tired. I’m almost 16, and I already feel like an 80 year old man, or at least what I think an 80 year old man feels like. He might even feel better than me right now. I’m starting to really regret I volunteered to work at the crisis center. I even asked Mrs. Carter after class if I could change what I wanted to do. I had to endure a 3 minute lecture on accepting my responsibilities. Most of it didn’t even make sense. I’m still trying to figure out what not liking what you order at a restaurant and not being able to return it has to do with changing my community service project. So when she finished, I just shrugged my shoulders and left the room.

Let me explain what happened Saturday. There were four of us in the training class- me, Caryn, Tiffany and Gina. Okay, I like Caryn. She and I have known each other since the first grade. She’s quiet and shy and pretty much lives in her own little world. She’ll be perfect in case any space cadets call into the hotline. LOL. Last year she started dressing really bizarre, wearing black dresses and painting her fingernails black. We thought she was going to be an emo or goth or something, but she changed again a few months later. Now she’s got her hair cut really short and she has it tinted this hideous pink color. The class is waiting to see what she becomes next week. Anyway, I like her okay. Tiffany is pretty cool. I was right about her having a baby. She’s 17 and got pregnant when she was 15. She goes to school while her mom takes care of the baby. She seems more mature than most girls her age, but I guess that’s because she is a mother. I think she’s going to do really well talking to kids over the phone. She’s probably experienced already what a lot of girls may be going through. Now Gina. I’d call her a ‘B’ but that’s not very nice. But she really is a ‘B,’ though. She has this attitude that she thinks she’s better than anyone else just because she’s pretty. She is pretty, but there are a LOT of girls that go to our school who I think are prettier. Caryn tried to talk to her before the class, and she looked at her like she was crazy and then had the nerve to roll her eyes at her. Then she said all snotty, “Are YOU talking to me.” She stressed ‘you’ like Caryn was trash or something. I think Caryn wanted to say something, but she’s not very good at expressing herself, so she just walked away.

So later in the class we start to do some role playing. Mrs. Armstrong had us pretend that that we are on the phone with someone who is experiencing a crisis. Okay, now this is where I get really mad at Gina. I would have hit her, but Mrs. Armstrong stopped me before I was able to raise my hand. So anyway, we are role playing and I’m supposed to pretend like I’m a girl who just found out that she was pregnant and Gina was supposed to counsel me. I don’t know why Mrs. Armstrong didn’t ask Tiffany to do it. She’s the one with the experience. Anyway, I’m pretending like I’m crying and upset. Gina keeps rolling her eyes at me as she tries to give me advice. Finally, she slams her hand down on the desk, looks over at Mrs. Armstrong and says, “This is so stupid. How can a fag possibly know anything about teen pregnancy?” Mrs. Armstrong lets out this gasp and grabs my hand before I can slap Gina. The next ten minutes are chaotic. I’m screaming at Gina because she called me a fag. Gina is screaming at Mrs. Armstrong because she has told her to call her mother and have her come get her. Tiffany is trying to be the peacemaker, but things have gotten so far out of control that peace isn’t even an option. Caryn holds my arm because she’s afraid I’m going to try and hit Gina. Finally, Mrs. Armstrong drags Gina from the room and tells the three of us to sit down and be quiet. So anyway, after they leave I still rant for about five minutes while Caryn and Tiffany try to calm me down. Then we started laughing. Tiffany started it, and then Caryn. When Tiffany stood and pretended to be me when I tried to slap Gina, I couldn’t help but laugh. What was funny was the way Tiffany did it, I did look gay. Then Caryn made some remark about me being gay, and Tiffany stopped laughing and asked, “Are you gay?” I wasn’t really prepared for that, so I looked over at Caryn. She already knows it because she’s in my class. She kind of nodded her head a little, so I told Tiffany I was. I didn’t know how she’d react, but I already knew she was kind of open-minded about things. She said she thought it was cool, because her best friend is a lesbian. In fact, she even suggested that the three of us should get together and go out to a movie or something sometime. I told her I would, but I doubt I will.

So then Mrs. Armstrong comes back into the room and apologizes to me for Gina’s behavior. I told her it was okay, but she was still worried about it. I think I impressed her when I told her that I’d probably hear much worse by answering phones for the crisis center, and what happened would be a valuable experience. She told us that Gina’s mother picked her up, and after a lengthy conversation, they decided it was best if Gina withdrew from the class. I kind of giggled to myself when she said she didn’t think Gina had the right attitude to work in a crisis center. I could have told her that before the class began and prevented all the drama that happened. We didn’t do any more role playing. She spent the rest of the evening talking about some of the challenging cases she’d dealt with in the past. I really, really wish I didn’t have to do this. I don’t want to deal with girls who are like Gina. I’d write down what my advice to them would be, but it wouldn’t be very nice.

Anyway, that was how I spent my Saturday night. We meet again Wednesday. Mrs. Armstrong told us that there would be a couple of visitors, but she wouldn’t tell us who. She tried to make it sound exciting, but if Wednesday is like the past two classes, I’ll probably hate it. I’m going to bed now. I’ll probably write more after the next class, unless something else really exciting happens.


It’s Wednesday afternoon and I’m in Mrs. Griffin’s class. We have a substitute again. School just started and this is the 2nd sub. We’re supposed to be reading a short story, but the sub is young and inexperienced. After giving us the assignment, she told us the work wouldn’t be due until Mrs. Griffin returns tomorrow. Now you don’t tell a class that. It gives us two choices- spend the period reading a boring short story that we can read at home later- or talk. Naturally, the class decided to talk. Well, except for Lisa Derringer. She’s the class brown nose. While everyone else talked, she made sure she reminded the sub to tell Mrs. Griffin that she was the only one who read the class assignment. It was funny when James told her to put a sock in it. So anyway, since I guess I’m Abe’s new best friend, he scooted his chair next to mine and we talked quietly. Cory and James tried to join us, but again Abe asked them if we could be alone. Cory gave me this weird look like he was asking me what was going on. I shrugged my shoulders and he walked away. So Abe and I are talking about nothing in particular when he comes out and asks me what it’s like to be gay. I think I missed a couple of breaths when he asked that. After all, it was Abe who outed me to the class, so I didn’t really want to talk about it with him. When he saw I was upset, he kind of apologized, and said he was asking because he was considering giving up on girls and he wanted to be gay. Okay, now I’m usually a very serious person and I don’t laugh a lot at school, but when he said that, I fell out of my chair and started laughing hysterically. When I started choking, the sub came over and asked me if I was all right. I got back in my seat and tried to not laugh as I told her I was okay. Abe kept looking at me like I was crazy or something. Finally, after about five minutes, I was able to gain my composure enough to talk to him. I told him you can’t just be gay because you had a bad experience with a girl. He tried to convince me that you can, but I told him you couldn’t. We got into an argument, but he stopped when I suddenly asked him if he could really do it with a guy. He asked me, “Do what?” So I stammered around a minute before I leaned in and whispered, “You know, take one in your booty.” His eyes got really big, and he started turning really, really red. So I knew I had won our argument, but just to make him more uncomfortable, I added, “So you would? You could really do it?” He turned even redder and mumbled something about never considering having to do that. I told him he should reconsider being gay, and he said I was probably right. So I guess Abe won’t be gay anytime soon, but I did get a good laugh. We’re both writing in our journals, and I’d love to read what he’s writing. He’s probably writing about our conversation like I am. Well, I’ll write more later. The bells getting ready to ring.


Okay. I’m on the bus home. Elizabeth is sitting next to me running her mouth a mile a minute. I swear I’m going to take James’s comment to Lisa and literally shove a sock in her mouth someday. Anyway, I counted the words to this stupid thing, and I only need a few more words to hit 5000. Maybe I have enough. Let me count this paragraph. Yippee! 5004. I’m going to go. I’ll write later what happens tonight at the meeting.