It’s Friday night and I’m relaxing. When I got home from school, I immediately changed my clothes, went to the garage and got out the rake. I spent the next two hours raking leaves. I should have worn gloves because I have a big blister on my left hand. At least it’s not my right hand because that’s the... never mind. I’m glad I caught myself before I wrote what I was going to write. I’m still trying to talk Dad into helping me buy a car. I showed him the bank card my grandmother gave me, but he said I’d need a lot more than a $1000 if I wanted a dependable car. I really don’t care if it’s dependable. I will take anything at the moment, even his old one.
The driver’s ed classes after school are going well. All we’ve done so far is more book work. It seems like I’m just taking a 7th period on Tuesdays. The instructor says we have to pass the written test before we can go out driving. I know I’ll do well because I’ve read the driver’s manual about a thousand times. Mr. Casey, my instructor, says we have to have at least 50 hours of driving practice before we can take our driver’s license skill test. That means I have to talk my parents into letting me drive their car while they are with me. I know my grandmother will do it because she’s already let me drive her car. Of course, she’ll probably say something funny which will cause me to run off the road and wreck. Then I’ll never get a driver’s license.
While I was raking, I needed something to think about to make the time go by quicker since we have a big yard and it gets really boring raking leaves. Anyway, I started thinking about how much my life is changing. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older and maybe it’s supposed to change this fast. When school started, I was really lonely and I felt that I had no one to talk to. I still kind of feel that way, but I think things are getting better. I mean, Mom, Dad and my grandmother know all about me now. So if I need some advice, I can go to them. It might be embarrassing because I’m not sure what problems could arise, like maybe I’ll find a boyfriend and need some advice on dating. I guess it’s not any different when two boys or two girls date as it is when a boy and girl date, right? The talk line has helped me understand that. When I listen to Elizabeth or Caryn give a girl advice about a boy, I think that they could probably give me the same advice. It’s not like I’d be dating some kind of a monster. I mean he’d just be a normal boy. Well, anyway I hope he’s normal. LOL. I’ll probably get jealous if he looks at another boy too. I know I’m not all that cute, so I’ll probably feel insecure, especially if he is really cute. I’d really be jealous if he looks like Cory or Perry. I’ve kind of given up on Perry, though. I thought after my birthday party that he might like me, but I don’t think he does. He still keeps his book bag in the seat beside him, and I’ve never gotten up the nerve to ask him if I can sit down beside him again. Besides, he’s almost too cute for me. I’m sure that someday he’ll find someone who is much better looking than me.
But I really think I’m growing up. I know I’ve got a long way to go, but I think that things are changing. I’m changing. I look in the mirror and I’m starting to see someone different looking back. I’m not that little boy anymore. I guess I should be scared, but I’m not. I never really liked being a little kid. I guess I’m really independent and I want to do things for myself. I want to make my own decisions. So far, Mom and Dad are kind of letting me do that. They are letting me work at the teen center and take driver’s education classes. They’ve let me go to the mall with my friends, and they helped with my birthday party without getting involved in it. I think I’m getting closer to Dad to letting me get a car which would be a BIG step toward me growing up. I know that takes a lot of responsibility and he hasn’t lectured me once in the past two weeks about it, so maybe he thinks I’m a responsible person. So I guess I’m growing up and I like it.
And I guess since I’m in the mood, I’m going to answer the prompt. As soon as Mr. Byrd wrote it on the board, the answer came to me right away. What would you regret not fully doing, having or being in your life. This one is easy for me to say. I would regret not having someone to love in my life. I know I’m only 16, but I’ve given this a lot of thought. Ever since I realized that I was gay I’ve wanted to find that right somebody. Okay, I said ever since I realized I was gay. Let me explain if I can. I can’t really say when I first realized I was gay. I didn’t just wake up one morning and realize I was different than other boys. I don’t even like writing that- different than other boys. I’m not different than other boys. I think and feel like all boys. I laugh, hurt and cry like all boys. There is nothing different about me. Being gay is something that I just grew up knowing. I guess unless a person is gay they could never, ever understand. It’s like as you grow up, you just know. And by knowing, it seems normal, not different. I’m sure that Abe or Cory couldn’t say when they first realized they liked girls. So then why do people seem curious about when I first knew I was gay? I don’t know, okay? It’s just always kind of been there and it’s normal to me. I don’t know why people don’t understand that. I’m not a freak or an abomination or anything like that. I’m gay, okay? And to me being gay is normal. I’m not different, okay?
Sorry. Focus, Reggie. I’m going downstairs for a minute. I’m kind of upset at the moment.
FOR EVERY MINUTE YOU ARE ANGRY, YOU LOSE 60 SECONDS OF HAPPINESS
I’m back. I watched television with my parents for a little while, or I should say I watched it with Mom. Dad slept most of the time. She was watching some show about a guy who goes into a house and redecorates a room for them. I have to admit it was kind of interesting how he took an old shabby room and made it look different. I bet in a few months, though, the room will be all shabby again. Okay. Now I have to reread what I was writing about.
Okay. Regret. I said I’d regret not having someone to love. I don’t know. When I think about life, it just seems like it should be something a person would want to share with someone else. I mean, who wants to go to dinner and eat by themselves? And what fun would it be to go to someplace like Paris or Rome and go alone? I guess someone could do it with a friend, and that would be all right. But I want someone that I’m really, really close to, and I want to share my life with them completely. I guess that sounds stupid coming from someone my age, right? But I’ve watched Mom and Dad when they are together. They can sit at the table while Dad reads the paper and Mom drinks coffee, but there is still a connection. I can’t explain it, it’s like they are together or something. Sometimes I get up and leave because I’m not a part of it. And I watched my grandfather and grandmother together before my grandfather died. One would talk and the other would finish their sentence for them. Even after my grandfather died, my grandmother would stop before she got to the end of a sentence. I think she was waiting for my grandfather to finish what she was saying. She doesn’t do it as often anymore because I think she’s starting to get used to him not being there.
So that’s what I want. I want someone who knows me so well that they can finish my sentences for me. I want to find that one someone special who I can sit across from the table in the morning and just feel comfortable in knowing they are there. I want someone who will go to Rome and Paris with me, not as a friend but as someone closer, someone who will make it a romantic getaway and not just a sightseeing tour. And you know what? I know I’ll find that person someday. It may not be tomorrow, or next week or even next year. But I’ll find them because I know that stars collide in the sky, and my soul will collide with someone and create a huge explosion and me, Reggie Faulkner, will fall in love- forever.
Wow! Did I just write all that? This journal is starting to really make me think big. Just weeks ago I was writing about do IT. Now I’m writing about falling in love and taking romantic trips to Rome and Paris. I think at the end of the year, I’m going to make Mr. Byrd a really nice thank you card. It will just say that he’s a good teacher. I won’t thank him for making me write this stupid journal. He’ll probably say to me, “See, Reggie. I told you so.”
YOU MUST HAVE JUMPED INTO THE GENE POOL WHEN THE LIFEGUARD WASN’T LOOKING.
It’s Monday night and I circled this date on my calendar. Something really special happened today and I don’t know if I can explain it. I think when I look back on my life, this day is going to be really important. I don’t know why, but I just think it is. Okay, let me try to write down what happened.
After getting all philosophical last night, I woke up feeling better about things. Mom, Dad and I actually talked at breakfast, which we hardly ever do. Dad usually reads the paper and Mom yawns a lot as she tries to wake up. Anyway, it seems they want to take a vacation this Christmas. They actually asked me where I want to go instead of telling me where they want to go. Of course I immediately thought of going to Disney World because that is where every teenager dreams of going, right? But then I got a grown-up thought that maybe that wouldn’t be fun for Mom and Dad to walk around a hot park all day while I rode rides. So as they waited for me to answer them, I had to think of where they might like to go. After all, it might be the last time we’ll ever take a vacation together since I’ll be graduating in a few years and going off to college. I look at Dad and I knew where he’d want to go if it was his decision. So I timidly asked, “Do we have enough money to go to London?” You should have seen the happy look on his face when I said that. He laughed and said money was no problem, but then he asked me why I wanted to go to London. I had to think quick because I didn’t want him to feel guilty because I wanted to go there because I knew he did. I shrugged my shoulders and said, “I don’t know. I’ve just always wanted to fly and London seems like a neat place to visit.” Okay. I lied about the flying part, because I think I’m going to be really scared on a plane flying over the Atlantic Ocean. So anyway, Dad looked at Mom and asked excitedly if she wanted to go to London. She smiled and said she did. So I guess I’ll be spending Christmas in London with my parents. I’m already getting kind of excited about it.
But anyway, that is special, but I got distracted again. That’s not the really special thing that happened. When I went out to get on the bus, I was really happy about the trip to London. When I got on the bus, I saw Perry in his usual seat about four rows back. When I got to him I stopped and asked him if the seat next to him was being saved. I knew it wasn’t because he always sits alone, but I asked anyway. He looked up and gave me a weird look, like he couldn’t believe I wanted to sit beside him again, but then he moved his book bag and placed it on the floor. So I sat down and thanked him for letting me sit beside him.
He didn’t say anything to me because he had his notebook in his lap and he was working on a geometry problem. I watched him as he attempted to work out the problem. He has really soft hands. I don’t know why I noticed his hands, but his fingers are long and thin. His nails are this really pretty pink color. I don’t why, but I kept staring at his fingers. I know that sounds kind of kinky, but I’ve really never noticed anyone’s fingers like that before.
So I’m watching him work the problem as I stare at his fingers. He seemed to be having a really hard time figuring out the answer, so I asked him if he needed help. I told him I was taking geometry too, but I didn’t tell him I was in the advanced class. He looked over at me with his brown eyes and kind of nodded. He is so cute. I see him every day, and I talked to him at my birthday party, but sitting just inches from him is different. He’s really super cute. He has these really brown eyes and long blonde hair that falls down over his forehead. He had one strand that kept falling into his eyes and it was so cute the way he pushed it out of his eyes. It was like one really quick motion and it was back on his head again. But then when he put his head down, it fell back over his eyes again. It was kind of sexy like. A couple of times I wanted to push it back, but I didn’t. He would have thought I was a real perv if I did that. And he smells really, really good. I don’t know if it was the soap or shampoo, but he smelled like a big, juicy lemon. I took a couple of really deep breaths and held it just so I could enjoy his scent. Okay, how sick is that? It didn’t seem weird at the time, but writing about it makes me seem like some kind of a pervert.
I asked him what he didn’t understand about the problem, and he looked at me but didn’t say anything. So I asked him if he was having trouble understanding angles, and he nodded. Then I pulled his notebook over so that it was on both our legs so I could see the problem better. When I did this, our legs kind of touched. Then I took his pencil out of his hand and worked the problem for him while he watched me do it. When I finished I asked him if he understood what I did, and he nodded. I handed him the pencil and told him to do the next one. He hesitated a minute, and then tried to do it but he was having trouble. I asked him again what he didn’t understand because to me the problem was really easy. He started to say something, but then stopped. So I looked at him and asked him, “What?” because I didn’t understand why he was having trouble. Then he kind of muttered softly, “I hate math.” But when he said it, he kind of stuttered and had trouble saying it. I ask “Why?” He gets this really frustrated look on his face and stutters, “I just do.”
Okay, now I’m not a rocket scientist, but I know that he’s probably taken a big step by talking to me. I mean we’ve always just looked at each other without saying anything. He wouldn’t even talk to me at the birthday party, and thinking back, he really never talked to anyone. So I think this is a big moment for him to let me know he has trouble talking to someone. I try to act all normal, like I understand, which I think I did. Why should him having trouble talking to me be a problem anyway? I laugh and tell him that everyone hates math. He looks over and kind of smiles. So I reach out my hand to shake his, and I tell him my name is Reggie. He smiles and shakes my hand and attempts to tell me his name, but he starts stuttering so bad he stops and frowns. So I tell him it’s okay, and not to worry about it and take his time. He frowns and then slowly tells me his name is Perry Morgan. He smiles when I tell him I’ve been wanting to sit beside him since school began. I don’t know why I said it, but I did. He smiled and kind of giggled. It was so cute. So I told him I was good at geometry and if he needed me to help him, then I would. He nodded his head and pointed to the next problem. We worked it while our legs kind of touched a little bit. Then it had to happen- Little Reggie woke up while Perry’s leg rested against mine. Okay, here’s the situation I’m in. Perry’s notebook was opened between our legs. His homework assignment is on my half, and the edge of the notebook is just inches from where Little Reggie is waking up. Perry can’t look at the homework sheet without noticing that Little Reggie is stretching out, like he’s yawning or something. There was nothing I could do. If I tried to push him back down, Perry would definitely have noticed. I’m not a very religious person, but I start praying that Little Reggie won’t wake up all the way, but he does. So now he’s poking against the material of my pants and I know that Perry can’t help but see him. The only thing I could do was place my elbow over him, but that only made him wake up even more. Then I look at Perry and he’s looking at Little Reggie poking against my pants.
By then we were heading into the school parking lot, so Perry took his notebook and put it in his book bag while I used my elbow to try and push Little Reggie upward so it’s not so obvious he’s awake. My face must have turned 50 shades of red when I quickly looked over and saw Perry watching me do it. So I think, just great. My first chance to really talk to Perry and Little Reggie has to mess it up. Now he probably thinks I’m some kind of a pervert or something. When the bus stopped and the driver opened the door, Perry stood and waited for me to exit so he could leave. He giggled when I put my book bag in front of me and got off the bus.
I thought he’d walk away thinking that I was some kind of a sex maniac, but he hurried to catch up with me as I headed toward the building. He stuttered a ‘thank you for helping me with my homework.’ He started to get frustrated when he couldn’t say homework, but I told him to slow down, that it was okay. He kind of smiled and nodded and then said it. As we walked down the hall he kind of pressed his shoulder next to mine as we walked. So I guess he didn’t think I was some kind of sex maniac after all. Before I realized what I was doing, I’d walked him to his locker. I stood and watched as he got out the books he’d need for his classes. I was surprised when he pulled out a creative writing book. I asked him if he had Mr. Byrd, and he nodded and told me he had him 3rd period. He giggled when I asked if his class had to write a journal. He reached into his book bag and pulled out his journal. Mine is just a regular black binder, but Perry’s is really cool. It looks like a kaleidoscope with different designs and patterns. He had written Perry’s Journal in a really neat script on the front. When I reached to see it better, he quickly pulled it away and stuck it back into his book bag. I guess he was afraid I was going to try and read some of the things he’d written. After he closed his locker, he told me he had to get to class, so I hurried to my locker to get my books or I’d be late.
I didn’t think I’d see him again until after school, but when I was heading to my 3rd period class, I saw him heading down the hall to Mr. Byrd’s room. I hurried to catch up with him. He kind of jumped when I grabbed his arm, but then he started smiling. Since he seemed to like me a little, I decided to ask him if he wanted to eat lunch together. He hesitated a minute before nodding his head. I told him cool, and that I’d meet him outside Mr. Byrd’s room when the bell rang. Mr. Byrd was standing in the hall greeting students as they entered his room and he gave us a kind of strange look when he saw me and Perry walking together. I hope he doesn’t think Perry is gay because I’m talking to him. I don’t know if he is, but I hope he is. If he isn’t, that is okay too. I just don’t want people to think he is because he’s walking with me.
Hold on. I’m going to go downstairs and get a snack and soda. This is taking me way too long to write. I’ll be brb.
Okay, I’m back. Mom was in the kitchen and ask me why I was smiling so much. I guess I was still thinking about Perry, but let me explain first what happened at lunch. Okay, now I go by Mr. Byrd’s room and Perry is waiting outside the door. He’s talking to Mr. Byrd. He seems to be stuttering, because I hear Mr. Byrd tell him to relax and slow down. Perry nods and then he smiles really big when he sees me. It made me feel good, but then I got worried when I saw Mr. Byrd see him smile and then look at me. When I walk up, Mr. Byrd says hello and keeps looking at me and Perry. So I think he thinks we are boyfriends or something. So anyway, we say goodbye and then walk to the cafeteria. Now I’m worried about where we are going to eat. I’ve been eating with Abe, Cory, James, Caryn and Beverly. I can’t just walk up with Perry and sit down because they are going to wonder why I’m with him. So I decide that after we get our lunch, we’ll try and go sit by ourselves at a table on the other side of the cafeteria where no one will see us. But that didn’t happen. Cory gets behind us in line and starts talking. I’m surprised when he says hello to Perry, but then I remember he met him at my birthday party. When we get our lunch, Cory invites Perry to sit with us which was a big relief because now he can sit with us because Cory asked him to and not me. Beverly was already at the table and she gave us a really weird look when we sat down. She wanted Perry to sit beside her, but instead he sat beside me which made me feel really good.
Of course we started talking about school and James asked Perry what grade he was in and Beverly immediately answered for him. Then Cory asked him who he had for literature, and again Beverly answered. I guess she was trying to talk for Perry since she’s his cousin and she knows he stutters. Then James asked him how he liked my birthday party. Perry quickly looked over at Beverly, but she shrugged her shoulders. I guess she couldn’t answer that question for him. He slowly said he had fun, but he stuttered when he said it. James started to giggle, but I kicked his leg under the table so he stopped. We continued to talk for a few more minutes about school, until James decided he’d ask Perry if he liked playing video games. I know he did it to be cruel, and I gave him a really angry look.
When Perry started to say he liked playing video games, he started stuttering again. Beverly seemed really sad that he couldn’t get out what he was trying to say, and James started to giggle again until Cory elbowed him in his side really hard. Cory then leaned across the table and told Perry it was okay, and to take his time. I really liked Cory for doing that. He started having trouble telling James what games he liked, so I kind of put my hand on his leg to let him know it was okay. He slowed down and mentioned several games he like playing, like Mortal Kombat. James is a big game player, so they started talking about a new game that had recently come out. Perry struggled to speak, but he managed to do all right. Several times I put my hand on his leg to let him know he was doing well. I think Beverly noticed, but James and Cory didn’t. So when the bell rang, I walked with him to his class.
After school, he waited for me to get on the bus and then he removed his book bag for me to sit down beside him. He gave me the biggest smile when I asked him how his day had gone. He said it was a really good day. I asked him if he had any geometry homework he needed help with, so he pulled out a homework assignment and we worked on it until I had to get off at my stop. When I was getting off the bus, I turned and looked back at him and he waved goodbye to me. As the bus pulled off, I stood on the curb and waved back at him as he gave me a big grin.
So something really special happened today. I know I may be hoping too much, but I have this really good feeling that Perry is going to be a good friend. I can’t describe how I’m feeling right now. But things kind of feel right.
I don’t know when I’m going to get a chance to finish this entry. I have driver’s ed tomorrow and then I’m volunteering at the Crisis Center on Wednesday. Let me count how many words I have. Hold on. Okay. I only need about 400 more. I’ll try and do that on Thursday.
TO THE WORLD YOU MAY BE ONE PERSON, BUT TO ONE PERSON YOU MAY BE THE WORLD
It’s Thursday night and I just finished all my homework. With reports, translations, geometry homework and a chemistry paper that is due next week, I can hardly keep up with it. Now I’m taking a driver’s ed class and working on the Talk Line. It just seems like a lot of pressure for a 16 year old. I need a vacation, but it’s still 6 weeks away until we go to London. At least I’ll get a few days of rest in a couple of weeks during Thanksgiving. Yeah, right. All that means is teachers will give us 4 homework assignments instead of one.
I don’t have a lot of time to write since I’m exhausted, but I still need 400 more words. Wait, let me check what it is now. 4799. Okay, let me write what happened last night when I was at the crisis center. I sat around most of the night and did nothing. I guess that’s good because that means that there’s no problems. I suppose there is, but no one wants to call and talk about it. So I take the opportunity to get some work done. Since we sit at a computer, I managed to do some research for a history assignment. I checked with Mrs. Armstrong and she said it was all right if I did. So anyway, around 8:45, I start to put things away and get ready for Mom to come get me at 9. Mavis and Elizabeth had already gone home since it was a slow night. It was just me and Caryn. I’m putting my books in my book bag and the phone rings. Caryn answers it, but then she tells me the caller wants to speak to me. So I answer it and it’s Robert. He was disguising his voice until he knew I was on the line. I don’t know why he does that, it’s not like anyone here knows him. He said he wanted to thank me for talking to him Saturday night, and he asked if I could just talk to him for a little while. I look at the clock and realize I have to leave in 10 minutes, so I told him I couldn’t. I looked over at Mrs. Armstrong to see what she wanted me to do, but she had stepped out of her office. He said it was okay, that maybe he’d talk to me later. I told him I’d be working at the Talk Line on Saturday night. He said he’d talk to me then and hung up. So I haven’t really figured out his problem or why he keeps calling the Talk Line, but he seems to trust me. I was going to ask Mrs. Armstrong what I should do, but I think I’ll wait. Robert’s problem doesn’t seem to be too bad, so maybe I can handle it on my own. I think he’s maybe just lonely. At least that’s something I can talk about with someone. Okay. I’m really tired and I’m going to bed. Little Reggie is just going to have to wait until morning.
YOU’RE SO UGLY THAT YOU HAVE LITTLE BRUISES ALL OVER YOUR BODY FROM PEOPLE TOUCHING YOU WITH A TEN FOOT POLE.