Chapter 9

On the way to fifth period, Roni walked up beside me and grabbed my hand. “Hey, Cutie,” she giggled. I looked around pretending like I was trying to see who she was talking to.

“Hi, Roni.” I tried to pull my hand away, but she had a firm grip on it. Several students saw us. Two girls rolled their eyes as we passed. One of them muttered, “Dyke.” Roni wanted to confront her, but I pulled her quickly down the hall.

When I approached my class, Craig was standing outside the door. We share the same geometry. We don’t sit together, but occasionally he will ask to borrow my classwork so he can copy it. I’m always afraid the teacher will see me hand him my paper, but so far, we’ve never been caught.

“Well, well, well,” he grinned as we approached. “Look at the two love birds.”

It surprised me when Roni released my hand and pushed me into Craig.” Here,” she said. “He’s all yours.”

As she walked away, Craig gave me a worried look and asked, “What’s that supposed to mean?” Roni walked away and flipped him off. I think she is still upset because she feels that Craig is taking advantage of me.

Craig suddenly shoved me against the lockers and looked angrily at me. “What did you tell her?” I looked down as he balled his fist.

I nervously replied, “I didn’t tell her anything. I swear.” I wasn’t exactly lying. Roni had figured most of it out on her own. I just didn’t deny that we were messing around.

Craig hissed, “If I find out you tell anyone what we did…” He grabbed my arm and squeezed it tightly. “I’ll fucking kill you.” He again shoved me against the locker. “Got it?” When Mr. Adkins, our geometry teacher, came to the door, Craig entered the room and took his seat. I shyly looked over at him before sitting in my chair.

I was upset the rest of the period. Craig would occasionally look at me and scowl. I had never been afraid of him, but now I wasn’t sure what he would do if our secret was exposed. I think he thought we could keep it secret. However, the hickey he put on my neck had changed things. Since others knew that I never dated, then they would be suspicious as to who would do something like that to me. It wouldn’t take long to narrow down the suspects. Roni guessed it immediately. I also think that it wouldn’t take long for Ty to put two and two together.

The best thing to do is stay away from Craig. I have managed to avoid him for years. However, everything changed in his hospital room. I really don’t want it to end. And I suspect that Craig doesn’t either. He enjoyed what we did in his bedroom too much to let it be just a one-time thing. I had read a couple of gay stories on the internet. I had seen the term fuck buddy mentioned a few times. I think that is what Craig was hoping that is what I would become.

But why? Craig could have any girl he wants. I’m sure that Stacy would even give it to him if he tried harder. But his admission to me that he was a virgin puzzled me. I would have thought that he would have been sexually active since the seventh grade- or before. He walks around like he is a stud. Yet, he was a virgin until what we did Saturday in his bedroom. And what puzzles me more is how much he enjoyed it. He enjoyed it so much that he sucked on my neck and gave me a hickey while he fucked me. He even admitted that he wanted to do it again.

But why? He can’t be gay. He is dating my sister. He’s also been dating other girls since middle school. He plays football and other sports. He’s admired by all the other guys. Then why does he want to mess around with me? One thing I know. If anyone finds out what we are doing, he’ll hurt me. He’ll deny everything and make others believe that I am responsible. I feel like I’m caught in a trap, and there is no way of escaping.

Amber was waiting in the parking lot when the school let out. She smiled when I approached her. “I’m glad you’re doing this,” she said.

“I didn’t exactly volunteer,” I reminded her. “You walked away before I could tell you no.”

She leaned forward and kissed me on my cheek. “It is still nice of you.” She giggled when I rolled my eyes.

As we drove away, I said, “I still don’t know what you want me to do.’

“Just talk to Blake,” she replied.

I asked skeptically, “And say what? We’re not exactly best friends. We hardly know each other.”

“But I think he likes you,” she said. “He was talking the other night how cute he thinks you are.”

“He must be desperate,” I laughed.

She looked over and frowned. “You don’t get it, do you Seth?”

“Get what?”

“How nice a guy you are,” she replied. “We’ve known each other since the first grade, and I’ve never seen you get upset with anyone.” She laughed and added, “Well, except Stacy.”

“I’m not that nice a guy,” I said.

“You can say that” she replied, “but I know better. There is no one in our school I would trust more than you.” She giggled and added, “Besides, you’re cute.”

“Me? Cute?”

“Yes, Silly,” she said. “If you dated, every girl in school would want you to ask them out.”

“What?” I said excitedly. “Are you kidding? No one has ever told me that.”

“That’s because we weren’t sure.”

“Sure?” I asked. “About what?”

“If you were straight or gay?”

“What” I shrieked. “Are you kidding me?”

“I wasn’t sure until you and Blake hit it off at the pizza place,” she said. “Then he told me how he had met you in the hospital. He told me how you told him you cared about him, and you didn’t even know him. That meant a lot to him.”

“Well…” I didn’t know what to say. I remembered when I left telling Blake I cared about him. I don’t know why, but he just seemed to need someone to care for him at that moment.

Suddenly, I grew afraid. “How many people think I’m gay?”

“No one, really,” she answered. “It’s just that you never seemed interested in anyone, so a few girls have been waiting for you to ask them out. They have even asked your sister if she could hook you up with them.”

“What? Stacy?” I asked surprisedly. “She never told me.”

“Stacy is a bitch,” she replied. “She wouldn’t.”

We had finally reached Amber’s house. I pulled into the driveway and turned the car off. “Are you ready?” asked Amber.

I tried to object, but Amber wouldn’t take no for an answer. “I’m not asking you to marry Blake,” she said. “He needs a friend right now. He’s been through a lot recently. Just talk to him.”

“Okay,” I relented as I got out of the car. “Just don’t be disappointed if he won’t talk.”

“I won’t,” she replied as she leaned in and kissed me on my cheek. I followed her into the house. We went to the kitchen, and she got three sodas out of the refrigerator and a bag of potato chips from the cabinet. I followed her down a hallway until we came to a closed bedroom door. I could hear music blasting from inside. Stacy knocked on the door and then entered. Blake was lying on the bed snuggled under a blanket. He opened his eyes and sat up when we entered.

“What you are doing here, Amber?” he asked angrily. “I told you this morning to leave me the hell alone.” He looked at me and shouted, “Who invited you here?” I turned to leave, but Amber grabbed my arm and turned to Blake.

“Shut the fuck up, Blake!” she shouted. “You’ve been nothing but a whiny little baby since you got here. Grow up, Asshole!” She then turned and left, slamming the door behind her.

I felt uncomfortable standing looking down at Blake. He appeared so vulnerable and hurt. Tears were quickly appearing in his eyes. He gave me a sad look and lay down on the bed, covering his head with his blanket. “I hate my life,” he cried. “I wish I was dead.” I didn’t know what to do. He was sobbing uncontrollably.

What seemed like an hour, but it was probably only a minute, I hesitantly sat down on the bed. Blake scooted away and continued to cry. “I want to die,” he sobbed. Reluctantly, I reached out and put my hand on his back. I thought he would move away, but he didn’t. I continued to gently rub his back as he cried. After several minutes, he stopped crying and lay motionless.

I asked, “Are you okay?”

He mumbled sarcastically under the blanket, “Does it look like I’m okay?”

“Not really,” I replied sadly. I then asked, “Do you want me to go?” I felt him shrug his shoulders. At least he hadn’t told me to leave. I got off the bed and went over and got two sodas that Amber had put on a dresser. I opened them and returned. I sat and asked Blake if he wanted something to drink. He lay for about thirty seconds before he pulled the blanket away and sat up. I had never seen anyone look so sad in my life. His face was filled with tears. His eyes were sunken, and his expression was lifeless. Tears welled up in my eyes just looking at him. I handed him the soda. He took it and thanked me.

We sat looking at each other as we drank our sodas. He seemed to be settling down. At least he wasn’t crying anymore. I rose, got the chips and returned. I opened them, and he hungrily ate several handfuls.

I smiled and asked, “When’s the last time you ate?”

He shrugged his shoulders and replied, “I don’t remember.” I quickly scanned his body. He had on a baggy white tee shirt, and it appeared he had lost a few pounds since Saturday.

“Would you like me to see if Amber can fix you something to eat?” He again shrugged his shoulders. I took that to mean that he didn’t care. I rose and headed to find Amber.

She was in the family watching a movie. She looked up angrily and asked, “Is Blake okay?”

“I guess,” I replied. I sat down on the sofa beside her. “He says he wants to kill himself.”

She sighed and replied, “He always says that when he gets upset. I’m getting so sick of him.”

I said, “I think he needs help.”

“He does,” she said. “But my family can’t afford it.”

“What about his family?”

Amber replied, “I thought I told you him mom and dad kicked him out of the house.”

“Oh, yeah. I forgot.”

“I think Mom and Dad got in over their heads when they agreed to take Blake in,” she said sadly. “He’s caused nothing but trouble since he’s got here.”

“Maybe he needs someone to love him,” I said without thinking.

Amber replied sarcastically, “Then why don’t you go love him.” I looked at her and shook my head. I felt deep sorrow for Blake. He was kicked out of his own home by unloving parents. Now, he was living with Amber and her family. By the resentment in her voice, it sounded like her family regretted taking him in. Since I didn’t know anything about him, I didn’t know if he had any other alternative places he could stay.

“Blake is hungry,” I said. “Do you have anything he can eat?”

“I gave you soda and chips,” she replied. “Isn’t that enough?”

“I don’t think he’s eaten in days.”

“That’s his fault,” she said. “Mom has taken him meals, but he refuses to eat.”

I asked, “Do you care if I go in the kitchen and find something for him?” She rose from the sofa, and I followed her into the kitchen.

She reached into the refrigerator and pulled out a can of Pillsbury biscuits and handed them to me. “What do I do with these?”

“I don’t know,” she replied. “Read the directions.” After reading the label, I asked Amber for a pie pan while I turned on the oven. I spread the biscuits into the pan and placed them in the oven.

“Do you have any jelly? I asked. “Biscuits taste better with jelly.” Amber rolled her eyes, opened the refrigerator and placed a jar of grape jelly on the counter.

“Anything else, Chef Seth?” I giggled and asked her if she had anything else for Blake to eat. She threw up her hands and asked, “Do I look like the Waffle House?” I started to make a joke, but she gave me a deadly stare. She went back to the refrigerator and looked inside. She pulled out a plastic container.

“What’s that?”

“I don’t know,” she replied as she opened it and looked inside. “Oh, it’s leftover chicken from last night’s dinner. Mom probably put it in here when Blake didn’t eat.” I took it from her, looked for another pie pan and placed the three pieces of chicken into the oven with the biscuits. Amber leaned against the counter and stared at me.

“What?” I asked.

She smiled and replied, “I wish you wasn’t gay.”


She said, “I would love to have a boyfriend who cares as much about me as you do Blake.”

“I’m not his boyfriend,” I reminded her.

“Maybe not now,” she smiled, “but you will be. You don’t go to all this trouble for someone you don’t care about.” Just then, the oven timer when off, so I didn’t reply to what she had said.

I put the chicken and biscuits on a plate and poured Blake a glass of orange juice. Amber was all smiles when I headed out of the kitchen. Blake was still sitting on the edge of the bed when I entered. He looked sad and depressed.

“What’s this?” he asked as he took the plate from me.

“Sorry,” I apologized, “but it’s all I could find.” For the first time since I had arrived, Blake’s mouth curled into a smile.

“You did this yourself?”

“Well,” I said, “Amber helped a little.”

He smiled and replied, “Thanks.” I sat down beside him as he began to hungrily eat. I guess Amber was right when she said that Blake hadn’t eaten in several days.

After eating three biscuits, he offered me one. “I’m good,” I replied. He grinned and put it to my lips. I smiled and licked some of the grape jelly from the side. I then took a small nibble off it. Blake took a bite, and then offered it to me again. We repeated this several times. Each time he would smile, and his eyes seemed to light up. When all the food was gone, we did the same thing with the orange juice. He would take a drink, then he would put the glass to my mouth.

When we were finished, I reached for the plate. “I’ll take this downstairs,” I said. When I took the plate, he wrapped his hand around mine.

“Thanks, Seth,” he said appreciatively. “You’re a real friend.” I smiled and left the room.

Amber was still in the kitchen. “How did it go?” she asked as she looked at the empty plate. “Did Blake eat all that?” I smiled and nodded my head. “You’re a miracle worker,” she replied with an astonished look on her face. “We haven’t been able to get him to eat anything.” I took the plate over to the sink and cleaned it off.

I turned and said, “I better get back and see how Blake is.”

Amber walked over and kissed me on the cheek. “He’s going to be just fine,” she smiled as she pushed me from the kitchen.

I was happy as I walked to Blake’s room. When I arrived, he was distraught and was talking about suicide. His mood seemed to change as he ate. He was smiling and playful. Now, if he would only stay that way.

When I entered his room, he was standing in his underwear looking into the closet. He pulled out a pair of shorts and slipped them on. When he turned, I noticed how skinny he was. His ribs were visibly noticeable. I’m sure I could have put my hands around his waist. He walked over to the dresser and took out a pale blue tee shirt and put it on. He walked over, closed the door and sat down beside me on the bed.

“Thanks for what you did earlier,” he said as he looked at me and smiled.

I replied, “It was nothing.”

“Yes, it was,” he said. He looked at me and tears began to form in his eyes. “Do you know what it’s like for everyone in the world to hate you?” Suddenly, he began to cry. He leaned over and buried his head into my shoulder. Hesitantly, I put my arm around his back and cradled him gently as he cried.

“It’s okay,” I said soothingly.

“No, it’s not,” he sobbed into my shoulder. “I hate my life.” I pulled him tighter and wrapped my arms around him.

I had never experienced so much grief and sorrow. Blake was completely broken. Yet, as I held him, it seemed right. I felt his sorrow, but I could also feel it escaping his body as I held him tightly. Blake needed love. As his sorrow left him, I could feel the tension in his body leaving. He was no longer crying, and it was as if he was savoring the warmth between us. He pulled away, looked into my eyes and kissed me gently.

“Thanks,” he muttered as he rested his head on my shoulder again. “I’m glad you’re here.”

“Me, too,” I replied as I squeezed him tighter.

He rose, took my hand and pulled me to my feet. “Let’s go for a walk,” he said as he led me to the door. “I’m sick of being in this room.” We walked into the kitchen still holding hands. He told Amber that we were going for a walk. She gave us a puzzled look as we headed out the door.

Blake held my hand until we reached the sidewalk, and then he released it. “Where are we going?” I asked.

He didn’t respond as I walked quietly beside him. We walked for about fifteen minutes until we came to an empty warehouse. I asked, “Where are we?” Blake didn’t say anything as he pulled on the creaky door. He struggled until the door finally opened far enough for us to get in.

I squinted my eyes to see inside the large room. It looked desolate. It appeared like it hadn’t been used for years. Trash littered the floors and paint had peeled from the walls. I soon realized that we were standing in just a small room of a larger building.

“What is this?” I asked as I walked around. In one corner was a make-shift bed. Someone had taken several large boxes and attempted to make a mattress. There were several thin blankets strewn on top of it.

Blake walked over and sat down on the boxes. “This is home,” he announced sadly. I walked over and sat down beside him.

“Home?” I asked. “I thought you are living with Amber?”

A sad expression appeared on his face. “That’s not home,” he said. “They don’t want me there.”

I was puzzled. I had no idea what Blake was talking about. I asked, “Why do you call this dirty place your home?”

He lay back and started to cry. “When no one wants me, I come here.” I suddenly remembered how Amber said that Blake has a habit of disappearing for several days, and no one knows where he is. This must be the place he comes to when he can’t take it anymore.

I lay beside him and wrapped him in my arms. “I want you,” I whispered softly in his ear. He pulled away, looked into my eyes and kissed me.


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