It was weird, she would just stare and stare with that weird, dreamy look in her eyes. The thought was kind of weird to me that someone would have a crush on Chris. I had never really thought about it, but I suppose he's pretty cute for having been hit by a truck two months ago. Geez, she stared at him like that so much, I didn't want what happened to Alice to happen to Jamie. Too late.
It was almost summer now and it turns out Jamie didn't know that Chris was my brother until she asked Alice if I had a crush on him (yuck! No way!) . Alice fought back a grin and said, "Uh, no, Jamie. Um.... he's her brother." Jamie's face turned a little red and she said "Oh....." I pretended I couldn't hear them and grinned.
It was Monday, it was time for Chris and I to get on the bus. He wasn't in our usual meeting spot. I searched the school. There he was, holding a pen, staring at the sign-up sheet for the musical. I walked up to him, "Chris," I said gently. He didn't look at me. What to say next.......? "You can sign up if you want to, Dad can't stop you from being who you are." Chris swallowed. his eyes started to moisten. I put my hand on his shoulder, he let me. "You see-" I began, but Chris cut me off. "Dad disapproves of me. You know how he is. He is so damn homophobic and that doesn't work when his own son is-" he stopped. His eyes widened and his jaw dropped slightly when he realized what he had just said to me. I opened my mouth but couldn't say anything. My grip on his shoulder tightened slightly, I knew how hard this was for him, especially at his age. "He doesn't love me...." Chris whispered. He wiped his nose and blinked back already falling tears and he wouldn't look at me. I couldn't blame him, poor Chris must have been so embarrassed, he looked so helpless. I wrapped my arms around him in a hug. Almost to my surprise, he hugged me back. He sniffed and shuddered as a sob came out. "It's who you are Chris," I said, "Don't let others tell you what you can and can't be." Geez, talk about cheesy! But I think I was getting somewhere..... We broke apart and Chris wiped his nose again. "Come on," I said, "we're going to miss our bus." Chris managed a laugh and we walked to the bus. My arm around Chris's shoulders, I glanced behind me and couldn't help but chuckle. There, was Jamie, standing about 34 yards away, her mouth wide open, her cheeks the color of ripe radishes, her eyes wide with surprise. I gave her a "don't worry about it" look and me and Chris walked to the bus.
On Friday, I walked by the theater where the musical sign-up sheet was posted. I walked by it when something caught my eye; I looked at it and smiled. Chris Harper. Chris had signed up for the musical.
END OF PART 3