Kyle sensed something was wrong as soon as he entered the school. Several
students stared at him and giggled as he made his way to his first period class. He
overheard one girl ask another, “Is that him? He’s kind of cute.”
Throughout first period, students would pass their cell phone to another student
when the teacher wasn’t looking. They would then look over at him and laugh.
Something was going on, but he didn’t know what.
It didn’t take him long to find out. When he entered his second period and sat
down, Brian Davenport, class clown of the sophomore class, looked over and threw
him a kiss. Everyone in the room burst out laughing. From the back of the room,
someone shouted out, “Better be careful, Brian. He may just take you up on that.”
Kyle looked around the room as everyone looked at him and laughed. He was
being humiliated in front of his classmates, and he couldn’t understand why. He
looked over when the girl next to him exclaimed, “From the picture, it looks like
he’s into more than just kissing.”
“Yeah,” added another student, “looks like he’s into a lot more.”
A female classmate behind him leaned over and told the girl beside her, “I’m
surprised that Brad goes both ways. I always thought he was just into girls?”
Kyle thought to himself, “What the hell is everyone talking about?” The teacher
entered the room and everyone scattered to take their seats.
During the middle of class, Kyle felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. Mr. Peterson
was pacing around the room observing students as they worked on an assignment.
When he went to his desk to sit down, Kyle cautiously pulled out his phone. He had
a message from his sister.
It read: u r a fag
There was also a picture attached. He let out a slight gasp when he saw it. His
sister had taken one of the images of Brad and him playing Twister. Brad was
leaning over him, and it appeared that they were getting ready to kiss. However,
someone had altered the picture so that they were no longer playing a game.
Instead, the background was his bedroom, and it looked like he and Brad were
making out on his bed.
Kyle’s face reddened with anger as he looked at the image. His sister had used him
to seek revenge on Brad. The picture made them appear as if they were gay
lovers. She wanted students to think that she had broken up with Brad because he
was having an affair with her brother.
When the bell rang, he gathered his books as other students continued to stare at
him. Instead of heading to his third period class, he left the building through a side
* * * * * *
Buddy was still in shock as he sat in his fifth period class. He looked at the empty
seat beside him and wondered if Kyle was all right. He had seen him in the hall
earlier in the day, but he hadn’t shown up to class.
He knew something had happened when everyone in his first period kept passing
their cell phones around the room and laughing at a picture someone had posted.
When a girl on his left passed her phone to him and asked him to pass it to the boy
on his right, he quickly took a glance at the picture.
It was Kyle! And he was making out with Brad! Brad was straddling him on the bed,
and it appeared that they were getting ready to kiss. He wished that he could have
taken a better look, because it appeared that both of them might have had an
“Holy shit!” he exclaimed to himself as he passed the phone over. He tried
unsuccessfully to look over other student’s shoulder as she passed her phone
around, but he couldn’t get another good glimpse.
When the picture first appeared in the morning, students found it amusing.
However, as it circulated around to more students, the comments became harsher.
He heard words like fags, cocksuckers and homos becoming more numerous. By
the end of the day, the rumor was that Kyle Caldwell was gay, and that he had
tried to seduce Brad Chambers. Melissa had walked in on them, and she had taken
the picture. They then got into a huge fight, and Brad started seeing Joy Riddler to
prove to others that he wasn’t gay. Now, everyone assumed that Kyle was gay,
and he was the instigator to all of the problems that had occurred.
“What!” Andre shouted as he sat down beside Buddy on the bed. “Kyle is gay?”
“I didn’t say that,” remarked Buddy. “I said that a picture is circulating around
school showing him making out with Brad.”
“I don’t believe it,” replied Andre. “We’ve been in school with Brad since the first
grade, and he’s never shown any interest in guys.” He started to laugh. “I should
know. I begged him several times to let me get him off. I even offered him five
dollars in the sixth grade if he would let me suck him.”
“You’re one sick puppy,” laughed Buddy as he shook his head.
“It almost worked, though,” replied Andre. “He told me he’d think about it. When I
reminded him about it the next week, he told me he didn’t want to do it.”
Buddy turned to Andre and asked, “Do you think him and Kyle really did do
“Maybe he’s on the downlow,” suggested Andre. “A lot of guys are.”
“True,” replied Buddy as he lay back on the bed. He slapped Andre’s hand away
when he started to rub his crotch.
“Oh, come on,” begged Andre. “I’m horny, and we haven’t done anything in over a
year. Don’t you ever get horny?”
“Of course, I get horny,” replied Buddy as he stood and rearranged his growing
erection. “But we’ve talked about this before. You’re like a brother. It wouldn’t
“I know,” sighed Andre. “It’s just I need someone.”
Buddy sat back down beside him. “I thought you were seeing Tyler?”
“When he wants someone to fuck,” replied Andre angrily. “I need something more
permanent. I’m tired of guys using me.”
“If you’d stop being such a slut...”
Andre slapped his arm. “I’m not a slut. Besides, you’re one to talk about someone
Buddy scowled at his friend. “What do you mean by that?”
Andre stood and looked down at his friend. “I heard that you stopped by Aubrey’s
“Who told you that?”
“It doesn’t matter,” replied. Andre. “I thought you weren’t going to do that shit
“I know,” Buddy said as he lay back and rubbed his hands over his hair. “But I just
can’t take this shit anymore. I can deal better when I’m high.” He sat up and
looked at Andre. “I’m thinking about dropping out of school,” he announced.
“You can’t!” insisted Andre as he sat back down beside Buddy.
“But you did.”
“I did it because of all the shit people were doing to me,” he replied. “I got tired of
all the names they called me, and all the bullying. They don’t do that to you.”
Buddy nodded and said, “I still want to do it. I’ll get my GED like you’re doing.”
“And then do what?” Andre asked. “Work a minimum wage job the rest of your
“So?” Buddy stood and paced around the room. “If I stay in school and graduate,
then I’ll be somebody some day?”
Andre replied skeptically, “Maybe.”
Buddy started laughing. “You really do believe that life gets better, don’t you?”
“I have to believe it,” replied Andre as tears welled up in his eyes. “If I stop
believing, then I might as well stop living.”
Buddy sat down and patted him on his leg. “We stopped living the day we were
born,” he said sadly. Andre reached over and pulled him into a hug.
* * * * * *
When Kyle arrived home, he could hear music coming from upstairs in this sister’s
bedroom. He threw his book bag on the floor and rushed up the stairs. He threw
open his sister’s bedroom door. She was lying across her bed talking to someone
on the phone. He looked down and screamed, “What the fuck did you do!”
“I’ll call you back,” his sister muttered into the phone and then hung up. She looked
up and with an evil smirk and replied, “Getting even with Brad and you.”
Kyle yelled, “Me! What did I ever do to you?”
“Oh, get off it, Kyle!” she shouted as she jumped off the bed and stood before him.
“You’ve wanted Brad ever since I started dating him. Since Jordan isn’t around
anymore to fuck you, you had to try and take my boyfriend. I saw how you looked
Kyle’s eyes widened. “What?”
“Yeah, you faggot,” she spat as she took a step closer. “I saw your dick get hard
when you were playing Twister. Why do you think I took the pictures? I just didn’t
know they would come in handy.”
“You bitch!” He pulled back his hand and slapped her across the face.
She stepped back and hollered, “Get out of my room, you fucking queer!” She
placed her hand on her face where Kyle had hit her. “Get out!” She screamed and
pointed toward the door.
Kyle ran to his room and slammed the door. He fell against it as he tried to regain
his breath. He couldn’t believe what his sister had done just to get even with Brad.
She had outed him to the entire school, and she didn’t feel any remorse. All she
cared about was seeking revenge on Brad, even if it meant ruining his reputation,
He took off his school clothes and put on a pair of sweats. He then paced around
his room deciding what he should do next. It would probably be several more hours
before his mother returned home. He wasn’t even sure if his father was at his
office, or if he was on another business trip. He considered calling his mother and
telling her what had happened, but he didn’t know what to say.
“Hi, Mom. I’m gay and Melissa just outed me at school.” That would certainly be
the start of an interesting conversation.
He was pacing around the room when he heard a car door slam. He went over to
the window and looked out. A patrol car was parked in the driveway, and an officer
was walking up to the front door. He heard Melissa leave her room when the
“That bitch!” He hissed as he opened his bedroom door to see if he could hear what
she was saying downstairs. He could hear her talking excitedly, but he couldn’t
understand what she was saying. A few minutes later, he heard someone coming
upstairs. He quickly closed his door and sat down on his bed.
There was a light knock on the door. The uniformed officer opened it, peeked inside
and then came walking in. Kyle looked up and tearfully asked, “Are you going to
The officer smiled warmly and then sat down beside him. “No,” he assured him.
“I’ve got two kids at home who fight all the time. I think we can handle this without
anyone going to jail.” Kyle placed his face in his hands and started crying.
“I didn’t mean to slap her,” he mumbled, “but she did a really awful thing.” The
officer rubbed him gently on his back.
“How old are you, Son?”
Kyle looked at him and replied, “Sixteen, Sir.”
The officer smiled and said, “You don’t have to call me Sir. I’m Sergeant Murdock.
Would you like to tell me what happened?”
“Not really,” replied Kyle. “It’s kind of embarrassing.”
Sergeant Murdock pulled a small notebook from his pocket. “Elizabeth Caldwell, the
federal prosecutor, is your mother?” Kyle nodded his head. Murdock rose from the
Kyle asked worriedly, “What are you going to do?”
Murdock looked down and replied, “I’m going to call your mother and tell her what
has happened. I’ll let her deal with this.”
Kyle asked, “So I’m not going to jail?”
Murdock knelt down in front of him. “If you promise me you won’t slap your sister
again, then we’ll consider this matter done. Promise?”
Kyle sighed deeply and responded, “I promise.”
* * * * * *
Buddy was sitting in the kitchen of Aubrey’s trailer inhaling deeply on a joint. He
looked over at Aubrey and held it up in the air as he exhaled. “This is some good
shit,” he exclaimed.
Aubrey laughed and said, “Only the best.” He took the joint from Buddy’s hand and
took a puff. He then exhaled it into Buddy’s face before handing it back.
“Hey!” cried Buddy. “Quit blowing that shit in my face.”
Aubrey grabbed his crotch. “I got something you can blow.”
“You wish,” laughed Buddy as he held up the joint.
Aubrey walked over to the refrigerator, pulled out two beers and returned to the
table. He handed a beer to Buddy.
“Thanks,” said Buddy as he pulled open the tab. He then asked, “How many runs
you want me to make tonight?”
“Just two,” replied Aubrey as he weighed out a bag of marijuana on a scale. “One
goes to Jenkins down at the corner. He’s already paid up, so don’t ask for any
He held up another bag. “This one goes to Aames over on Market Street. You know
where he stays?” Buddy nodded his head. “He ain’t paid yet. If he don’t give you a
hundred, don’t leave it with him. He’ll try and con you and tell you he’ll make it
right with me, but don’t trust him. He’ll eventually pay up, but I gotta wait until his
unemployment check comes in. It’s the middle of the month, and I ain’t waiting
two fucking weeks. If he gives you any shit, just bring it back and I’ll deal with him
Buddy pulled his hoodie over his head as he left Aubrey’s trailer. The nights were
getting colder, and he hadn’t bought a coat from the local Goodwill yet. Jenkins
was waiting outside for him.
Buddy handed him the baggie. Jenkins turned away and mumbled, “What the hell
you doing? Don’t hand me that shit out here in the open. Cops might have the
place under surveillance.” He looked angrily at Buddy. “You must be new to this.”
“I am,” replied Buddy as he followed him around to the back of his trailer. Jenkins
looked around and then told Buddy to hand it to him. He examined it and
remarked, “Aubrey’s bags keep getting smaller and smaller. I’m going to have to
find someone else to buy from.” Buddy nodded and walked away.
Jenkins’ remark about police surveillance had him worried. As he walked down the
sidewalk toward Aames’ place, he kept looking around to make sure he wasn’t
being followed. When he agreed to run for Aubrey, he hadn’t taken into
consideration that danger might be involved. Not only did he realize he could be
arrested, he also feared that someone might know that he had drugs on him, and
they might try to rob him. All he intended to do was make a little money; but now,
he thought perhaps he hadn’t made a wise decision.
He became suspicious when a car circled the block and pulled up beside him. A
young man, perhaps in his early twenties, rolled down the window and asked,
“Naw, Man,” replied Buddy as he pulled his hoodie tighter around his head and
began walking faster. The car continued to ride slowly beside him.
The guy hollered out, “Come on, Man. I’m desperate here. I know you’re selling.”
Buddy stopped and peered down into the car. It was getting dark, and it was hard
to see the guy. “I told you...” Suddenly, someone jumped him from behind and
knocked him to the ground. He covered his head and watched as the guy in the car
jumped out and ran over to him.
“Mother Fucker,” he spat as the other guy kicked him in his side. He shielded his
head tighter to avoid serious injury. “Gimme what you got,” insisted the young guy
as he felt inside the pockets of Buddy’s sweat pants.
He pulled out the baggie, showed it to his friend and said, “Got it!” They both
kicked him one last time before jumping into the car and speeding off.
When he saw the brake lights come on, he jumped to his feet, hurried behind a
nearby house and hid in some bushes. He waited there about five minutes until he
felt it was safe to leave. He made his way down the street holding his aching sides.
Andre screamed when he saw Buddy standing outside his door. “What happened to
you, Baby?” He helped him as he limped into the trailer.
“We alone?” Buddy asked as he looked around.
Andre replied, “Momma’s asleep in her room.” He led him over to the sofa, and he
helped him sit down. “What happened?”
Buddy explained how he’d been attacked and robbed while making a delivery for
Aubrey. “Why are you doing that shit?” Andre asked. “Ain’t nothing good going to
come from it.”
Buddy looked over and replied, “I need the fucking money.” He pulled at his
sweatshirt. “I ain’t even got a coat, and it’s cold as fuck outside.”
“Momma can buy you a coat,” insisted his friend.
Buddy looked at him and frowned. “And be what, a charity case?”
“It isn’t like that,” replied Andre. “You’re like a son to her. She’ll buy you one.”
Buddy stood, looked down and said adamantly, “I can take care of myself. I’ve
been doing it all my life.” He then opened the door and left.
As he was walking back to his trailer, Aubrey stepped out from behind a parked
car. He approached Buddy angrily. “Where’s my fucking weed, Kid? Aames said
you didn’t show.” He pulled a gun from behind his back and pointed it at Buddy’s
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