Monday, May 31, 2010

Cool With A "K" PART 21 - CHAPTER 7

I sat with Mom in the living room and watched T.V. while she did something productive.
Mom broke the silence, "Daddy's going on a business trip next week."
"For how long?" I asked half-heartedly.
"Two weeks." Mom said gently, "Sorry I didn't tell you sooner."
I shrugged, "It's fine, it's not like it'll make a difference. He's never here anyway."
There was a crisp, chilling silence.
Mom cleared her throat and said, "Daddy's just had to take some extra shifts at work lately. You know that."
"Yeah," I said, still not taking my eyes off the T.V., "For four solid weeks?"
Mom looked surprised and said, "Pardon?"
I swallowed, trying not to care, "Chris has been counting. Dad may not act like he gives a damn, but he loves Chris and Chris loves him back."
"Do not use that word in this house, Angela." Mom said firmly, "Especially not when you're talking about your father."
I looked at her, kind of surprised, "The 'd' word? Well, sorry. What's the problem? You talk about him like he's dead!"
There was then a silence that scared the crap out of me.
"Mom...?" I said shakily, blinking back tears.
"No, no, Angela." Mom said, sighing, "Your father is not dead... But he might as well be."
I stared at her with my mouth hanging open, "What? How could you?"
Mom swallowed, looking tired and like she was about tell me something she had been hiding.
I watched her anxiously and she said, "Angela, your father has not been taking late shifts at work, he has been going to the bar with those friends of his. Those filthy alcoholic friends of his."
I stared at my mom, speechless. Without thinking, I asked, "Is he ever coming back? After the business trip, I mean."
Mom blinked back tears and held her hand to her mouth.
At last, she gathered herself and said, "I don't think so, Angela. Daniel is a mess and I think he's sane enough to know that he's not a very healthy role model for you and your brother."
I looked down at the floor, so Mom wouldn't see me cry.
"Oh, come here." She said, pulling me to her.
I put my arms around her waist and cried. I felt like a little kid. I felt like Leo.
Leo's father was crazy. He left Leo and his mom and his sister when Leo was eleven.
I didn't want to believe that my dad was crazy.
I thought about Chris; It would be so hard for him. Dad was his only male role model... Besides weird T.V. characters. 
Dad had never really gathered and O.K.ed that he had a gay son, but, even though he had never really let anyone know, Chris loved him to death.
I mean, I loved him too, I just had a different relationship with Dad than Chris.
When we were little kids, I would always hang out with Dad, be 'daddy's little girl' and all that crap and Chris would hang out with Mom. He would cling to her leg and cry into her shoulder (if not mine) and the like. He never had much for memorable moments with Dad, except for when Dad took us to a Marlins baseball game when Chris was four.
I had gotten sick with the stomach flu when we were there and went home with Mom. Then, it was just Dad and Chris.
Dad tried hard to explain the seemingly complicated game to four-year-old Chris, would tried to understand.
One thing he did understand was that catching a foul ball was one of the coolest things a person could do.
When a ball later came flying into the crowd, Dad almost broke his back trying to get it. He did, and he gave it to Chris.
They haven't talked about that day in years, but I'll bet you anything Chris still has that ball.
I wiped my nose on my sleeve and said, "Hey, Mom?"
"Yes, Sweetie?" Mom said.
"I-I don't think we should tell Chris right away." I said, "He's had a rough week."
"No, it's fine." Chris said suddenly, stepping out from the hallway, "I already heard it all."
Mom and I stared at him in surprise.
Chris shook his head and blinked back tears, "It's not like adding any more crap to my life will make any difference. It's already screwed up. I don't have a best friend, I don't have Marble... Um, K-Kathy... And now, I don't have a Dad."
Chris threw his arms up and let them fall back to his side. He laughed hollowly and yelled, "Well, isn't that just fine and dandy? I thought I was going to have an okay life. I thought was going to have friends and a good education and, most importantly, more than two thirds of a family!"
There was a long silence.
Walking toward him to put her hand on his arm, Mom said, "Chris..."
"Don't touch me," Chris said, shaking her off, "You've done enough."
"Hey, it wasn't her fault, Chris!" I snapped at him.
"Well, it wasn't mine, either!" Chris snapped back.
"Oh, yes it was!" I yelled without thinking, "You never did anything to make Dad proud! To him, you were as good as a second daughter!"
"Angela Magaret Harper!" Mom yelled.
"I HATE YOU, ANGIE!" Chris screamed, running to his room.
He slammed the door so hard that a picture fell off the wall in the hallway.
There was utter silence after that.
Mom slowly sat down on the couch and there was more silence.
"Mom..." I said helplessly, "You know I didn't-"
"How could you say that to your brother, Angela?" Mom said, "How could you?"
"Mom," I said, "Do you think don't care that Dad's gone? I loved him too, it wasn't just you and Chris."
"He's not gone for sure, Angela." Mom said, "And you know you shouldn't have said that to Chris. He's sensitive-"
"And you're bias!" I said, "Why am I always the bad guy? He's always the good one, the little one, the cute one, the innocent one!"
Mom sighed and said, "Angela..."
"No, Mom." I said, "Whatever you're going to say, you don't mean it, you just want me to shut up and drop it."
"Go to your room, Angela." Mom said, "And I mean that."
There was another silence as I scowled and stomped to my room. 
I tried not to regret what I had said to Chris. I tried not to care about Dad's absence, but I thought about how I might never see him again and cried.

Chris wasn't the only one who had it rough.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Cool With A "K" PART 21 - CHAPTER 6

The weirdest thing about how Chris and Kathy had been acting toward each other lately was that Chris was treating her like, well, how a guy would treat his girlfriend.
"I think he might have a thing for her." I told Leo at recess, "It's so weird."
Leo nodded and I said, "I don't get it. She's a girl! Chris isn't into girls!"
Leo nodded again and said, "Well, he could be experimenting with bisexuality."
I blinked. Those were some pretty big words for Leo.
Just then, Kevin rolled up to us and said, "Hey, b**chesssss! Have you guys seen Chris?"
Leo and I exchanged a look and he said, "Sorry, Kevin. I think you might be a little disappointed."
Kevin looked confused and I gestured to Chris and Kathy who were a few yards away, walking together and talking and holding hands.
Kevin's face fell and he said, "B-but, I thought we were gay buddies!"
Leo and I exchanged a 'seriously' look and I said, "Well, I wouldn't be too worried, Kevin. It's probably just a phase. I'm sure we'll have our sweet, *pantophobic, homosexual Chris we all know and love back in no time."
Kevin nodded glumly and, wheeling away, he said, "Thanks, guys..."
Just then, I spotted Alice coming toward us. Her steps were heavy and her head was hung and there was a scowl on her face.
"Leo, look at Alice." I said, tapping his shoulder.
Alice reached us and I said, "Hey, Alice. Are you alright, Honey?"
Alice glared at the ground and didn't say anything.
There was an uncomfortable silence.
Leo watched Kathy and Chris and sighed heavily.
I studied him and said, "Leo?"
"Hey, uh..." I said, "Remember when we went to the school dance and you brought Kathy?"
"You jealous?" He said half-heartedly.
I shook my head, "No. You like her, don't you?"
There was a pause and Leo said, "No, that would be stupid. Guys like me never get the girls like that. She's popular, hot, pretty.... And hot."
"And dumb as a sack of rocks." Alice said dryly, "And annoying, and hyperactive, and-"
"Alice," I said, "Calm down about this. She doesn't hate you."
"Oh," Alice said, a dangerous look in her eyes, "She will."

"Hey, look," Leo said, pointing, "It's Mouse."
Alice and I followed his finger to see Mouse talking to Kathy and Chris. They were not within earshot, but we tried hard to hear what they were saying anyway.
Mouse asked Chris something and he blushed, looking at Kathy adoringly and smiling. She smiled back and he said something to Mouse, putting his hand into Kathy's.
I tried to sneak a glance at Alice without her noticing.
To my surprise, her eyes were red and moist and she was glaring daggers at Chris and Kathy.
"Alice," I started to say, but she stormed off.
I started to go after her, but Leo said, "I can take care of her."
I eyed him and he nodded, "Yeah, you take care of your brother."
Before I could ask him what he meant by that, Leo jogged after Alice.
I sat down on the bench beside me and wondered what Leo had meant by 'take care of your brother'. I decided that while I thought, I'd watch Kathy and Chris.... And I wasn't stalking them, by the way. He's my brother....

I sat and watched as Mouse came over to me, leaving Chris and Kathy smiling at each other.
She stood in front of me with her hands in her pockets.
I gave Mouse an expectant look and she said casually, "Yeah, they're dating."
"Dating?" I said, "Are you freaking kidding me? I worked my butt off trying to get Chris back with Geoffry! I mean, I didn't really do anything to help, but they got back together. They're in love!"
"Not anymore." Mouse said with a shrug.
I shook my head and said, "We have to do something."
Mouse eyed me curiously and I said, "Come on, follow me."

Leo ran after Alice until he caught up to her. He put his hand on her shoulder and said, "Alice!"
"What?" Alice said without turning around.
Leo inconveniently stopped to catch his breath, having just ran to catch up with Alice.
"Okay," He said eventually, "Why are you freaking? What the hell is wrong?"
Alice didn't turn around. She sniffed and shook her head.
"Hey, come on." Leo said, putting his hand on her shoulder.
To his surprise, Alice hugged him and started crying.
Leo awkwardly hugged her back and said, "There. Now, can you tell me what's wrong?"
Alice sniffed, looking much like a small child to Leo.
She said shakily, "Chris."
Leo winced and said, "Um, really?"
Alice nodded and Leo sighed, "Alice, you know him better than I do and I'm sure you've noticed by his Lady Gaga fetish, and his voice, and his boyfriend-"
"I know he doesn't love me, okay?" Alice said suddenly, "But he's my best friend, and... I know he doesn't love me like that, but I don't think it's fair that I've had to deal with that for years and Kathy just comes and gets to be with him!"
Leo's face fell and Alice backed away, getting louder, "That is not fair, now is it, Leo? No, it's not! I think I deserve just as much as that Kathy girl! He can't just toss me aside like that! No, I can't let him do that."
Leo's eyes were on something behind Alice and he looked confused. He quickly looked back at her, blinked, and said, "Oh, yeah, you're totally right. But, think about this, Alice. Kathy might have been on the waiting list for a while too. She knew Chris in kindergarten."
Alice sniffed and said, "But I care more. Whether it's just as a friend or not, I love him. I care about him, he's my best friend and I am not going to let that Kathy girl hog him."
Alice turned to leave and gasped.

Behind her stood Kathy, Chris, Mouse, and I. We had heard everything.
Alice stared at us and, after a long silence, stuttered, "H-how much did you guys here?"
"All of it," Mouse said, "Starting from 'it's not fair'."
Leo grinned, "Which time?"
No one laughed.
Alice stared at Chris, clearly embarrassed. Her face was beet red and her hands were shaking.
Chris stared back at her, studying her face. Usually, he seemed to always know exactly what was on her mind, but now he looked like he didn't understand and was trying to figure it out.
"I didn't realize you felt that way." Chris said at last, clearing his throat.
"Yes, you did." Alice said grudgingly, "I know you did. You have known for years and I have learned to except that you don't, no, that you can't love me. I excepted that you don't fall in love with girls and I made myself deal with that and now this Kathy girl comes along and proves me wrong."
She sucked in her breath to hold herself together and said, "That... is not fair."
"Well, life just isn't fair." Kathy said suddenly, stepping forward, "You think that you're so innocent and that if you manipulate Chris that he'll love you. You think that he'll just take you in his arms and say 'oh, Alice! I'm so sorry that I ever dated that Kathy b**ch!"
"Dated?" Chris said, confused, "Did you say 'dated', Kathy?"
Kathy turned around to look at him and said, "Yes, Chris. I did say that. We're dating, y-you and I."
There was a long silence and Kathy said quietly, "R-right, Chris?"
Chris shook his head and said, "Kathy, that wasn't how I thought of it at all. I thought you knew that I was gay."
Kathy's jaw dropped and she stared at him in surprise and fury.
Chris said gently, "Kath, I have a boyfriend. I'm dating Geoffry."
"You are such a b**ch, Chris." Kathy screamed, "Why did you do this to me? You can't do that, Chris! If you're dating Geoffry, than you can't just play with our hearts like that! You're a... a... You're a cheater!"
Chris looked scared, like he wanted to take what he had just said back, but Alice broke in and said, "I never thought I'd say this, but Kathy's right, Chris. That was terrible of you and don't try to lie yourself out of this. You have to talk to us, face-to-face. Don't pretend you don't know what's going on, I know you're smarter than that. I thought you were better than that."
"A-Alice," Chris said, sounding small and scared. His voice was cracking and weak when he said, "I'm so sorry, but I really didn't-"
"You did, Chris!" Alice shouted at him, "Don't lie! Don't you lie to me!"
She started to cry and wiped her face.
"Alice, come on..." Chris said.
"Just for once, Chris," Alice said, "For once, please, don't run away from your problems. Please."
Chris stared at her, dumbfounded. Alice was the last person anyone would expect to hear a speech like that from. She's normally so meek and gentle, but now...
Alice broke down crying and covered her face.
Chris took a step toward her like he wanted to help, but Alice ran off.
There was a long silence before Kathy walked up to Chris and stood in front of him.
They stared at each other and Chris said, "Are you mad?"
Kathy slapped him hard across the face and his head snapped to the side.
She stomped on Chris' foot and he cried out, "Ow!"
Kathy glared at him and stormed away.
Chris held his hand to his face where Kathy had slapped him and said, "I probably deserved that, didn't I?"
Leo, Mouse, and I nodded in a half-appoligetic way.
"Maybe you should just stick with guys." Mouse said with a shrug, "You don't seem to be very good at getting girls."
There was a pause where I would usually come in and scold her, but she was kind of right. Chris had been kind of a jerk.
The more I thought about it, the more mad I got at my little brother.
I walked over to him and slapped him in the face.
"Ow!" He said, "What was that for?"
I shrugged, "I just thought you could use another one. Mouse and Kathy and Alice are kind of right, you were a bit of an ass."
"Oh, thank you." Chris said flatly.
Mouse stood next to me and slapped Chris.
"Ow! Enough, enough!" Chris cried.
"Sorry," Mouse said casually, "It looked like fun."
Leo looked around and raised his hand, grinning cheerily.
I shook my head, "No, Leo."
Leo bowed his head in disappointment.
Mouse, Leo, and I all glared at Chris and crossed our arms.
Chris backed up and said defensively, "What? Stop looking at me like that!"
"Chris," I said, "You gotta fix this."
Chris was about to protest when Leo said, "Your sister's right, Chris. What you did to those girls.... And Geoffry, for that matter, was not cool. I mean, I haven't went out with my girlfriend, Michelle, in forever and she's probably cheating on me too, but that doesn't mean it's cool if you do that. I mean-"
"Leo," I said, "Shut up."
Leo nodded sheepishly and I said, "Yeaahh, okay. So, cheating on your boyfriend is not okay."
"I did not cheat on him!" Chris cried, "Kathy and I were never dating! We never went out, I don't love her! Come on, Ange. I'm gay!"
"Yeah, Angie!" Mouse mimicked, "He's gay! Queer, homosexual, on the down low..."
"Mouse," I said, "Stop."
Mouse shrugged and I continued firmly, kind of annoyed, "Chris, like Alice said, you need to fix this. You need to take care of this."
I patted him firmly on the shoulder and we left him standing alone, thinking about everything that had just happened to him.

*pantophobic or panophobic = The fear of everything

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cool With A "K" PART 21 - CHAPTER 5

Later that evening, Alice sat in front of the mirror in her room, brushing her hair in quick, angry strokes.
"Forty-seven," She said through clenched teeth, pulling the hairbrush through her strawberry-blonde hair, which was frizzy from being brushed so much, "Forty-eight... Stupid Kathy..."
Alice's mother knocked on the door and said, "Alice, are you in there?"
Alice quickly ran the brush through her hair two more times, "Forty-nine, fifty."
She did not want her mother to know something was upsetting her. Her mother might get mad.
'"C-come in!" Alice stuttered. Oh, no, her voice had cracked.
Alice's mother, who was now almost six months pregnant, came in with her husband, Chad.
She studied Alice's face and whispered something to Chad, who then gave her a quick kiss and left the room.
Alice smiled stiffly, "Um, h-hello, Mother."
Alice's mother smiled back, also a bit tightly, and sat down on Alice's bed. She said, "Is something wrong, Alice?"
Alice shook her head and said, trying her best (which was not very well) to lie, "No, Mother. Everything is just fine."
She grinned cheesily and her mother raised an eyebrow at her.
Alice didn't usually talk to her mother about things like this; She usually talked to Chris about them, but that was not an option at the moment.
Also, her mother was not a particular fan of Chris and her mother had been very, very irritable lately (More so than usual) and Alice did not wish to upset her by bringing up Chris.
Alice sighed, "Um, okay. There's this guy that I, um..."
Alice's mother nodded anxiously, but looked slightly disappointed when Alice said, "I am very close to him. I actually c-call him my best friend. You know, besides Angie."
Now Alice's mother knew just who she was talking about and she did not hide her feelings about him.
Alice avoided her mother's scowling eyes and continued, "So, um, this boy came to lunch today with his arm linked through Katherine Parker's and... I was..."
Alice's mother sighed and Alice said timidly, "Jealous. I don't even know if I like him that way, I just..."
"Alice," Her mother sighed, putting her hand on Alice's shoulder, "You have got to face t.he facts. That Chris boy is not like other boys. He can not love you. He's different."
"I'm sorry," Alice said, suddenly becoming angry with her mother, "But do you even realize how terrible you sound right now? You're discriminating against him because he's the minority. That's awful."
Alice's mother's jaw dropped and she stood up in front of Alice, as if to remind her that she was several inches taller than her daughter.
"Don't you dare talk to your mother that way!" She squealed, putting her hand on her stomach, "And your pregnant mother at that!"
"You're just bent out of shape because you know I'm right." Alice said bitterly, glaring at her mother.
Her mother lashed out and slapped her daughter across the face.
There was a terrible silence and Alice's mother said, "I'm sorry, Alice, but you know better than to talk to your mother like that."
Alice let her hair hang in front of her face and she didn't move from where her head had snapped to the side.
Alice's mother studied Alice and left the room.
Alice collapsed into her seat at her mirror and tried not to cry.

Her mother had struck her for standing up for what she believed in.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Cool With A "K" PART 21 - CHAPTER 4

We were all surprised to see Chris come to lunch with his arm linked through Kathy's.
Leo and I exchanged a look. When I looked at Alice, I saw that she was staring at Kathy, an unfamiliar look on her face.
Chris smiled and said, "I told Kathy she could sit with us today. That is okay, isn't it?"
"No, she's annoying." Mouse said casually.
Kathy looked a little hurt, but Chris smiled at her and her sad expression faded.
The plastic fork in Alice's hand snapped in half loudly. 
We all looked at her and I studied her face. Her hazel eyes were glazed over and glaring. Her lips were pursed slightly and, just as Chris did, she looked kind of silly, being a freckle-faced doe-eyed ginger with such a dim expression.
I was suddenly kind of worried when it occurred to me that I couldn't remember the last time I saw Alice mad.
I glanced at Leo again and he shook his head like he didn't know what to think either.
Kathy noticed Alice's cold glare and quickly, awkwardly looked away. It didn't seem like Kathy meant any harm, I noticed.
Suddenly, Alice laughed loudly and we all turned to her.
"It's kind of cute, actually." She said sharply, "To see you two back in the same picture again. Just like old times...."
"What do you mean, Allie?" Chris asked, confused.
I shot Alice a 'what are you doing' look and she said dryly, "You know, old times. I remember when you two were best friends and you would always fun around in your little *GID world..."
"Alice!" I hissed, "What are you doing?"
Chris and Kathy exchanged a look.
"Don't you remember, Chris?" Kathy said, "Kindergarten...?"
Chris shook his head, "No, I don't. What am I forgetting?"
"Marble," Kathy explained slowly, "Barbies..."
Chris' face flushed and his eyes widened.
Alice chuckled grimly and said, "Yeah, Chris. Don't you remember? You two would be so cute together. Chris Harper and Marble Hopscotch; I can picture it carved into a tree now..."
"Alice, what is your deal?" Mouse said, "Next thing I know, you'll be forgetting to wash your hands and not knowing how many seconds are left in class and other crazy things! Alice, what if you kiss a boy?"
Alice scowled at Mouse and turned away.
Leo and I looked at each other yet again. This was so weird.
"Marble???" Chris cried, "Marble Hopscotch?"
He drew his hands up to his mouth and stood up, "Oh my goodness, oh my goodness..."
He looked like he was about to have a stroke.
Kathy quickly stood up and stuttered, "Uh, I, um... Oh, I'm sorry I didn't say anything, Chris! I really should've!"
Chris peeked at Kathy through his fingers and let his hands slide off his face.
He put his hands on Kathy's head and looked at her. After a while, he started laughing.
Kathy looked confused and Chris said, "I can't believe it! I-it's you! I would never have guessed it was you! You're Marble???"
Kathy laughed and said, letting herself smile, "Yes, it's me!"
Chris hugged her hard and she hugged him back. 
There was a series of 'I can't believe it's and 'it's really you's and 'oh my gosh's. 
Alice glared grudgingly at Kathy. I had never seen her this way and I was really starting to get worried.
"Alice," I put my hand on her shoulder, but she got up and walked off.
Unfortunately, Chris was too distracted to notice. He and Kathy broke apart from their hug and stared at each other.
Soon enough, they were lost in each other's eyes and smiling warmly.
Chris and Kathy looked at Mouse, Leo, and I. Our mouthes were hanging open.
"What?" Chris and Kathy said at the same time. They laughed and said, in unison, "Oh my gosh, we said that at the same time!"
They irrupted with laughter and I gave Mouse and Leo a 'let's go' look. They nodded and Leo said, "Hey, you two have fun. We gotta go."
"Oh," Chris said, "We'll see you outside."

We didn't see Alice at recess. Mouse, Leo, and I trailed behind Kathy and Chris, watching closely.
They talked and talked and talked and talked. It was just like when they had first became friends, but not entirely. It was different because now they were talking about kindergarten and all the fun times they had had and all the years it had been.
Then, to my shock and slight horror, Chris slid his hand into Kathy's.
I stopped walking and Leo and Mouse turned around.
Leo and I exchanged a glance and his face paled.
"H-hey," Leo said, "Y-you okay, Ange?"
I suddenly felt light-headed as paranoid visions of Chris and Kathy getting married and having loud, annoying, creepy little ginger babies raced through my head.
Why couldn't he just marry his d*ckhead boyfriend, Geoffry?
Leo studied my face and I blinked, smiling tightly.
"I'm fine." I said, staggering forward as I tried to walk in a straight line. Sadly, Chris was doing a pretty good job walking in a  straight line. Pun intended.

I felt like someone had just put my brain through a blender.

*GID = Gender Identity Disorder

Cool With A "K" PART 21 - CHAPTER 3

Kevin, er, rolled up to Chris in the hallway and said cheerily, "Heeeey, what's up, b**ch?"
Chris smiled tightly and said, "Oh, hello, Kevin."
"Hey," Kevin said, grinning, "Do you want to join the GSA I'm starting at this school?"
Chris looked confused and Kevin laughed.
"Gay Straight Alliance, duh!" Kevin said.
Chris raised an eyebrow at Kevin and said, "Kevin, there isn't really much for *GLBT students at this school. People get thrown into garbage cans and get swirlies and such for that kind of thing. Trust me, I would know."
Kevin beamed more and said, "Weeellll, there's you and there's me and there's Jesse and there's Leo-"
"Leo?" Chris laughed hollowly, "Leo isn't gay, Kevin. Neither is Jesse."
Kevin shrugged, "Ah, too bad. That Leo guy is HOT."
Chris looked at Kevin like he was crazy and Kevin giggled, "Soooo, you wanna help me start the alliance, b**ch?"
Chris gritted his teeth and said, "Why do you always say that?"
"Say what?" Kevin asked innocently.
Chris said awkwardly, trying to avoid saying the fowl word, "You know, that thing that you always call people."
"Oh," Kevin said, cocking his head to the side, "B**ch?"
Chris nodded and Kevin shrugged casually.
"I dunno," Kevin said, "Habit, I guess you could call it."
His voice was driving Chris crazy.
"What do you say?" Kevin pried, biting his lip excitedly.
Chris shook his head, "Kevin, there's no point in starting a Gay Straight Alliance when there's no one to join. Almost everyone at our school is homophobic."
"Almost everyone, Chris darling." Kevin said, stroking Chris' arm.
Chris blushed and pulled away, "Whatever. It's no use. Also, I don't like you."
Kevin pouted and batted his eyelashes innocently, "Oh, why not, Baby Face?"
Chris shook his head, "Because, you just... Just..."
"Turn you on?" Kevin said, pinching Chris' cheek, "Such a sweet little b**ch."
"Stop, Kevin." Chris said firmly, pushing Kevin's hand away, "You're annoying, that's why!"
Kevin pouted again, but then he grinned slyly and said, "That's not why, is it, b**ch?"
"Will you stop?" Chris cried, "This is getting really old."
"You still have feelings for Jesse, don't you, Doll Face?" Kevin said with a smirk.
Chris shook his head again, "No, leave me alone.... And don't call me that, I have a boyfriend."
"Soon enough, you will." Kevin said, smiling suggestively at Chris.
Chris shuddered and said, "Back off! I have a reason to dislike you!"
Kathy and a few of her friends walked past just then and one of them said, "Oh, Kevin! Is he being mean to you?"
Kevin nodded, looking down sadly.
Chris gaped at him and cried out, "You little liar!"
Kevin blinked back fake tears and said, adding in a stutter, "Y-yes. C-Chris was harrass-ssing m-me."
There was a chorus of 'awws' from the girls as they all rushed to Kevin's side.
Kathy was still very embarrassed about her first encounter with Kevin and didn't move. She blushed and glanced at Chris, who shook his head at Kevin.
Kevin glanced at Chris half-heartedly as the girls cooed to him pitifully.
Chris glared at Kevin, then at the girls. He eyed Kathy and sighed, walking over to her.
"It looks like it's just you and me now." Chris said, sighing.
Kathy stared at him like it was crazy and he said, "We can be friends now, if you'd like."
Chris decided he had enough enemies and maybe it was time to look for some friends.
Kathy smiled warmly and said, "Um, okay."
Chris smiled back at her. There was something homey and familiar in her smile, but of course, that didn't make any sense to Chris. He didn't know that he had known this girl since he was five years old.

*GLBT = Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender

Cool With A "K" PART 21 - CHAPTER 2

Kevin was on his way to his next class, when he heard someone gasp. He turned around to see Kathy, staring at him pitifully. 
As if he wasn't there, Kathy said to one of her friends, "Oh my gosh, he's in a wheelchair!"
"I know!" Her friend said, "Poor thing..."
Kathy smiled a sickeningly sweet smile at Kevin and, as if she didn't think he could understand her, said very slowly, kind of loudly, "Hi, Ke-vin. My name is Ka-thy."
Kevin stared at her for a long time and eventually said in the same slow tone, "Hi Ka-thy. It's nice to meet you."
Kathy beamed at how 'cute' Kevin was, all disabled and stuff.
Just then, a kid named Lester came up to Kevin and said, "Hey, man, we need to go to third hour."
"Oh, yeah, I'll be there in just a second." Kevin said his normal energetic, fast, somewhat annoying tone. He added teasingly, "I'm talking to Ka-thy."
Kathy's face fell and Kevin said sweetly, "Good-bye, Ka-thy. I am go-ing to class now. Bye-bye."
Kevin wheeled away with Lester and Kathy blushed deeply.
Some of her cheerleader friend laughed at her. 
Embarrassed, Kathy walked away.

Chris' silver-blue eyes narrowed angrily as he glared at Kevin and Jesse from across the playground. To tell the truth, it was kind of silly-looking to see that gentle, freckled face looking so ticked off.
He watched as Kevin followed Jesse around, trying way too hard to flirt with him, when Jesse obviously wasn't interested.
"I don't know why," Chris said, "But for some reason, I just really want to push that wheelchair off a cliff right now."
Mouse patted his shoulder and said, "I know how it feels, sister."
I smirked and said, "It's called jealousy, Chris."
Mouse took her hand away from Chris' shoulder and said, "Never mind. I don't know how that feels."
Chris shook his head and said bitterly, "Mm-mm. Can't be it, I hate Jesse. He's a-"
"Sure, Chris." I said, grinning.
Chris pursed his lips and said, "Nope, I hate him. Plus, I have Geoffry. SO much better of a choice."
"Yeah, Geoffry's actually gay, unlike Jesse, who thinks you're a creeper." Mouse said.
"He's not gay, Mouse." Leo said in a 'duh' tone, "He's bisexual. There's a difference."
Chris shook his head again and said, "Whatever. I'm not jealous."
I rolled my eyes, "You're not gonna win, Chris. You like him."
Chris' swallowed, looking like he was trying to hide the fact that I was right. This was a new trait he had developed; Trying to control his feelings.
"I-I do not." Chris said, a nervous expression on his face. The thing about hiding feelings is that Chris isn't built for it. He may have brown hair, but he has skin like a ginger and blushes at the slightest things. He also stutters when he lies.
"I don't like Jesse, Angela." Chris stuttered, blushing deeply and starting to sweat. The poor kid got so nervous so easily.
I shook my head and said mercilessly, "Good luck with that."
Chris nodded and got up shakily, laughing nervously, "Hey, um... I'm gonna go now...."
"Bye, Chris." Leo, Mouse, Alice, and I said at the same time.
He started to leave, when Jesse, Jamie, Jamie's friend, Crystal, and Kevin passed us.
Chris shot Jesse and glare and turned his head away from them snottily.
Crystal and Jamie exchanged a look and Jesse sighed, looking frustrated.
Kevin smiled and tried to hold his hand, but Jesse pulled away.
"Dude!" Jesse said, "Enough of that! For the last time, I don't date guys. I'm straight."
"Just about as straight as the dagger you stabbed through Chris' heart?" Kevin asked, smiling.
Jesse gritted his teeth and said, "Sure."
Kevin smiled more and said, "Well, let's hope that was a pretty gay dagger."
Jesse clenched his teeth, trying not to get mad, and he stomped off.
Jamie and Chrystal exchanged another glance, both fighting back a grin.
Kevin beamed and said to us, "I think he likes me."
Leo groaned and got up, "Uhhg! I can't take it anymore!"
"What?" Kevin said, "The romantically dramatic live-action love story life is turning into?"
Leo shook his head, rubbing his temples, "No, the dramatic live-action gay pride documentary my life is turning into!"
Kevin's eyes lit up and he squealed, "Ooh, I wanna watch! You're cute enough. You got yourself a date, b**ch!"
Leo moaned and walked away. Wow, three people to storm away because of a guy in a wheelchair in the past five minutes.

New record.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cool With A "K" PART 21 - CHAPTER 1

"Now, class." Mrs. Green, our way-too-happy French and homeroom teacher cheerily explained, "We have a new student joining us and I need you to be very nice to him."
She gestured to the door and the new student entered.
He was in a wheelchair. Some kids gasped and others gave him pitiful looks.
The new boy had spiky blonde hair and he was reasonably cute.
Mrs. Green smiled at him and said, "Now, boys and girls. This is Kevin, our new student."
Kevin beamed and said loudly, "Well, ain't you all a good lookin' group of b**ches!"
A few kids giggled and Mrs. Green gasped, looking offended.
"Now, Kevin," She said firmly, but she calmed down sweetened up, "We don't use that word at this school, Honey."
Kevin shrugged and said, "Oh, sorry, b**ch. Oh, uh, I mean Mrs. Green."
Mrs. Green smiled tightly as Kevin steered his wheelchair to an empty desk.
Chris glanced and me and, with a pitiful look on his gentle face, mouthed, Oh my god.
I shrugged and glanced at Kevin, who looked perfectly happy. What a weird kid.

On the way to lunch, we spotted Kevin in the hall and Chris said, "Here, I'll handle this."
My friends and I followed Chris and he said politely, "Hi, Kevin!"
Kevin beamed and said, "Oh, hey, b**ch!"
He drew out the word 'b**ch' and grinned.
Chris eyed Kevin and cleared his throat, "Um, hey, Kevin. Would you like to sit with- Er, eat lunch with us today?"
Kevin beamed and said, "Aww, aren't you a sweetie. Sure thing! That would be awesome, b**ch!"
Chris eyed Kevin and Mouse went up to them, putting one hand on Chris' shoulder and one on Kevin's.
She grinned and, having noticed by the gay pride flag attached to the back of his wheelchair that Kevin was obviously gay, she said, "Hey, Chris, will your boyfriend, Geoffry, be there?"
Kevin's eyes lit up and he said excitedly, "You're gay? Really? Oh my gosh, me too! We should be friends! Hey, you have a boyfriend? I used to too, but I dumped him last month."
Chris blushed bright red and he stuttered, "U-um... I..."
Mouse grinned and said, "Come on, Kevin. Let's go to lunch."
Kevin grinned and I smiled kindly.
Chris followed us to the lunchroom, trying to hide his flushed face.

When we got to the lunchroom, I said gently, "Hey, Kevin. Do you want help getting your lunch?"
Kevin looked offended and said, "Actually, I can get y own lunch, thank you very much!"
"Oh," I said, kind of embarrassed, "Sorry."
We all sat down with our lunches and started asking Kevin a bunch of questions, like we always did with new students.
What was your old school like? Was it better than this one? Why are you in a wheelchair?
I elbowed Leo and Kevin said, "Um... I-I'd rather not talk about it."
I smiled kindly and said, "You don't have to if you don't want to, Kevin."
Kevin huffed, "You know, I'm not a baby. I can take care of myself."
Chris bowed his head and blushed a little. 
I grinned. That kid was so sensitive. I'll admit that after the whole thing with Geoffry, he seemed to be a little better about that.
"Oh," Mouse, Leo, and I said at the same time.
"I'm sorry, Kevin." I said.
"No need." Kevin said, smiling again.
Just then, I saw Jamie and Jesse walk into the lunchroom. I hadn't seen them in forever... And, apparently, neither had Chris.
Chris' jaw dropped and, sounding like one of the stupid teenagers from a movie when they say 'I can't believe you're wearing that', he said, "Oh.... My... God.... It's him!"
"An ex-boyfriend of yours?" Kevin asked loudly, grinning, "Why'd you leave him? He. Is. Hot."
Chris clenched his teeth and said, "Nope, he's a d*ck."
We all stared at Chris. That was pretty obscene language for him. I mean, he did call Jesse a douchebag that one time.
Remembering the day when Chris had called him that, I stifled a laugh.
Mouse stood up and waved to Jamie and Jesse, yelling, "Hey, guys! Come sit with us!"
"MOUSE!" Chris yelled, blushing bright red. Man, that kid needs to see a doctor about that blushing thing.
Jesse and Jamie spotted us and started walking over.
Chris crossed his arms and scowled at Jesse, making Jesse very uncomfortable.
"Why, hello, you two!" Mouse said, beaming, "It's so nice to see you again!"
"Hi!" Kevin said to Jesse excitedly, "Are you gay?"
We all stared at Kevin, then at Jesse. 
Before Jesse could answer, Chris said, "Nope. He's as straight as the dagger he stabbed through my heart."
Now, Jesse looked really uncomfortable.
"Oh, I see." Kevin said, "So, he is your ex-boyfriend!"
"What?!" Jesse said, surprised and confused.
Chris shook his head, "No, he's not, Kevin. He's a moron."
Jesse looked offended and maybe a little mad. He and Chris glared at each other for a while and, wanting to break the tension, Jamie said, "Yeah, it's really nice to see you guys! You know, all so happy." 
Chris nodded and said, "Peachy."
Chris got up with his lunch and walked away.
"Chris," I started to say, but Alice gave me a knowing look and I nodded.
We all stood- Er, sat in silence for a long time, not saying anything.
Then, Kevin started chattering to Jesse. This took up the rest of lunch and recess.

For some strange reason, this really seemed to tick Chris off.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cool With A "K" PART 20 - CHAPTER 14

"So, Geoffry and Chris are back together?" Leo said, watching Chris and Geoffry walk around our school's running track, warmly holding hands.
I nodded and said distantly, "Yeah, they are."
Leo looked at me and said, "You okay with that?"
I grinned as I watched Geoffry with my brother, happier than I had seen him in months.

"Yeah, I am."

Cool With A "K" PART 20 - CHAPTER 13

Geoffry walked to the park the last letter had described that Saturday. He walked through the park, wondering what he was looking for.
Geoffry sighed and sat down on the bench across from the park's pond.
"What am I looking for?" He yelled, getting some odd looks from the people in the park.
Geoffry slammed his hand down on the bench and he got an idea. He slid his hand under the bench seat and he held his breath.
His finger brushed across a piece of folded paper.
Geoffry slowly drew out the paper, which was blue. All the other notes had been white. Maybe this one was special.
Geoffry cautiously unfolded the paper, holding his breath. The note said:

                                                                      Turn around.

Geoffry cocked his head, confused. He slowly turned around in his seat. 
Geoffry couldn't believe his eyes.
Standing about twenty yards behind the bench where Geoffry was sitting, stood the one person Geoffry hadn't even considered as his letter-writing sniper.
A smile slowly spread across Geoffry's face as Chris walked toward him, beaming.
Geoffry stood up and jogged over to him.
Chris smiled and said, "So, I see you got the letters."
Geoffry nodded dully and said, "Yeah. You wrote them?"
Chris grinned and nodded. He said, "Yes, I did. I know, not really my style, but let me talk."
Geoffry nodded back and Chris said, "Look, I think I overreacted. You and I, we think differently. Very differently. But... As mad as I was, I couldn't stop thinking about you."
Geoffry smiled and held out his arms.
Chris hesitated at first, but he smiled back and hugged Geoffry.
"That was really weird, Chris." Geoffry said.
Chris nodded, nuzzling into Geoffry's shoulder.
"I thought you were a letter-writing sniper, Chris." Geoffry said dumbly.
Chris eyed him, but smiled and hugged Geoffry tighter.
Geoffry hugged him back and said, "You're practically glowing."
"I missed you." Chris said, beaming.

Geoffry grinned, "It's great to have you back."

Cool With A "K" PART 20 - CHAPTER 12

Chris glanced at the clock on the wall nearby. The buses were to leave soon; he had to be quick.
Chris slipped the envelope through the gap in Geoffry's locker and ran off to his bus. 
Chris couldn't help smiling to himself as he left the school. He wasn't used to doing such clever things.
It felt good.

The next day, Geoffry opened his locker and a white envelope fell out.
Confused, he picked it up and inspected it. No name saying who it was from.
Geoffry opened the envelope and pulled out a piece of paper. Here is what it said:

Sit at the fourth desk to the right of the blackboard in the French room. Look under it.

Geoffry studied the note and went to the French room. Luckily, French was his next class.
Geoffry sat down at the fourth desk to the right of the blackboard, just as the mysterious letter had told him to do. Geoffry was afraid that if he didn't listen to the mysterious letter, then the mysterious writer of the letter might come and hurt him. 
During class, Geoffry reached under the desk and felt for anything. His hand brushed across a piece of paper, which was taped to the underside of the desk.
He opened the folded paper and glanced down at it. It read:

Good work, Geoffry. Now, to find the next clue, go to the Social Studies room and look behind the overhead projector.

Geoffry sighed and ran his fingers through his hair, reminding himself of Chris, who had always had cute little habits like that.
Not wanting the letter-writing sniper that could easily be following him to kill him, Geoffry stood up and left the French room.
The angry, confused French teacher called after him in French, telling him to come back.
Geoffry went straight to the Social Studies room and burst in. 
About forty confused faces blinked at him as he walked to the front of the room and reached behind the overhead projector.
Geoffry pulled out the paper from behind the projector and opened it. He said out loud, "Okay, now what will this mysterious piece of paper tell me?"
The whole class stared at Geoffry as he left the room, reading the paper for his next instructions.
Each note Geoffry found had more instructions similar to these.
Finally, he found the last one taped underneath the bleachers out by the school's football field. It said:

Congrats, Geoffry. Your almost to the end. Now, go to the park two blocks from the Southside grocery this Saturday.

Geoffry nodded to the letter, as if it could understand him.
"Yes, I will come." He whispered.

What a weird day Geoffry had had.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cool With A "K" PART 20 - CHAPTER 11

It had been almost two and a half hours since Chris had left the house and Mom and I were freaking out. His phone had been turned off the entire time and we had no idea where our baby- Er, her baby was.
Then, we were sitting in the living room and he came in from the hallway.
"Chris," Mom said, "Where have you been? How did you get in here?"
Chris shrugged and said casually, taking off his baseball cap, "Ah, I thought I'd try something new, so I came in through the bathroom window."
Mom and I started at Chris. He never tried to get out of routine!
Chris looked back and forth from me to Mom and a small smile crossed his lips.
He came in and sat by me at the table. He said, "So, what have you two been doing?"
Mom and I looked at each other and I said, "Um... We're playing cards."
Chris nodded, looking a bit disappointed. He said quietly, "Oh. I don't know how to play."
Mom smiled warmly at him and said, "We can teach you."
Chris smiled and nodded, "Okay."
So, Mom and I taught Chris how to play the card game we had been playing and it was one of the best 'family time' moments we've ever had. Too bad Dad had to take a late shift that day.

I didn't know what was up with Chris, but I wasn't worried.

Cool With A "K" PART 20 - CHAPTER 10

Chris sat by his bedroom window, gazing out the window at the dreary, rainy Saturday weather. He was going through his iPod, pausing at the Three Days Grace playlist.
Chris stared at his iPod and shook his head. He changed the music to the song "Alone" by Heart. It reminded him of Geoffry.
Geoffry had always loved older music, from the 70's and 80's and such... Chris thought.
He sighed as he thought about Geoffry. Geoffry had cut off his hair for Chris. Just for him and him only.
Chris blinked back tears. He wiped them away and wondered why he had always solved his problems by crying and taking cover behind his sister.
"No..." Chris said aloud, "I can't hide behind Angie forever. I'm fifteen, almost old enough to drive, almost old enough to vote, to go to college, to work, to raise a family...."
Chris swallowed and got up, getting his jacket and the Florida Marlins baseball cap his father had given him, and he left the room.

Chris came into the living room and he was putting on his jacket. 
Mom looked up from her sewing and said, "Chris, Sweetie, where are you going?"
I turned my attention away from the T.V., looking at Chris.
Chris sighed, but smiled weakly, "Out."
Chris started to leave and Mom called after him, "Alone?"
Chris turned away from the doorway and paused for a second. Then, to my surprise, he nodded and said, "Yeah, I need... I need some alone time. Time to think."
Mom and I exchanged a look and Chris went out the door, grabbing an umbrella on his way out.

Chris walked down his block, holding the navy blue umbrella above his head. The rain pelted on it, making a gentle, steady sound.
When he thought about it, Chris couldn't believe that in all his fifteen years of life, he had never gone on a walk besides himself. Not once. Not even a walk around the suburban neighborhood he called home. It felt good.
Chris didn't think about where he was walking; it didn't matter where he went.
The suburbs of Florida smelled of fresh rain and the air was cool. Chris thought about what Geoffry had done for him and felt guilty.
After walking for a while, Chris found himself standing in a large parking lot; a very large parking lot.
At one end of the parking lot was an enormous screen. Chris had involuntarily walked four and a half miles to the exact drive-in movie theatre where he and Geoffry had first kissed.
I know I didn't do this on purpose, Chris thought, but I had to have. I mean, I couldn't have accidentally walked to this exact place...
Chris thought about this and he thought about Geoffry.
He walked through the massive vacant parking lot, stepping through puddles left from the rain, which had stopped. 
Chris stood under the colossal screen where he had watched his favorite movie with Geoffry and his sister. It seemed like so long ago now...
Chris kicked a small rock at his feet and turned around, slowly walking back home.
Before returning to his house, Chris walked through a park nearby his house. He sat down on the bench across from the park's pond.
Chris gently glided his fingers across the bench's smooth wood. He had once sat here with Geoffry, watching little kids put their little toy boats in the pond and have races.
Everything seemed to remind him of Geoffry that day. 
Honestly, Chris missed him. He really missed him.
Chris propped his chin up on his hand and thought. I wonder if he's thinking about me? Maybe I was too harsh on him... But, after all, what he did was pretty unbelievable.... But, when Mom found out, she was so calm. Why?... Was I the only one who thought it was a big deal?
Chris sighed and stood up. Hands in his pockets, he walked back to his house.