Old friends abandon me, it's just the routine politics of jealousy
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 Chapter 19: Action Reaction

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Join date : 2008-10-05

PostSubject: Chapter 19: Action Reaction   Fri May 28, 2010 9:23 pm

The red light on the phone was flashing when I walked in the door after school. I dropped my bag to the floor & hit the play button.

"Connor I won't be home for a while, I was offered a job in management at Cooper & Anderson Construction, so if you get hungry before I get home there's some ramen noodles, mach & cheese, yogurts & some fried chicken for the microwave in the fridge. Call me if anything comes up. Talk to you later, bye," said dad's voice.

Dad had been unemployed for a couple years now since his accident, so I figured he thought it was time for him to go back to work, even if it was management & not actually a worker. I smiled.

The next message wiped that smile off.

"Hi this is Jennifer Frost, principal at the middle school. I'm calling about Chris, who was involved in a fight during lunch period with another student. Chris has been instructed to attend the rest of his classes for the rest of the day & to stay in my office until someone from home can come over to discuss the matter. If you could give me a call, that'd be great. Thank you, bye."

I picked up the phone to call my dad when suddenly, the phone rang in my hand. I answered it.


"This is Jennifer Frost from the middle school. I'm looking for Mr. or Mrs. Truman."

"Neither of them are home right now. They won't be back for several hours."

"Who am I speaking with?"

"Connor Truman, I'm Chris' older brother. I go to the high school. Hi Ms. Frost," I said with a wicked grin. I couldn't help myself.

"Connor. I never thought I'd hear your angelic voice again for as long as I live," she said with enough sarcasm to bite my ear through the phone.

"Don't think of me as some little pesk who just made trouble Ms. Frost. Think of me as someone who made sure you kept your job," I said, with a smile slapped on my face.

"I can't thank you enough for having me miss budget meetings and sessions with the superintendent just so I could deal with a class clown."

"I can't thank YOU enough for pulling me out of classes. God some of those teachers are so boring they could pass for anesthetic-"


"Man, you never listened to me then, & you still don't. Nobody's home right now, they won't be back until later."

"Ok. Well it seems Chris was in a fight with another student during lunch period today. He's in my office now & I need a parent or guardian to come in so I can talk with them."

"I can come in. I'm like Chris' third parent practically."

"Well I'm sorry to hear that."

"Har har. I'll come in."

"Really Connor, no, that's not necessary. I just need a parent to talk to about-"

"I'll see ya in five minutes," I said happily & then hung up.

I went into the garage & got my bike. Just as I was about to leave the garage, I realized I wouldn't have a way to bring Chris back home. He could walk, but I felt bad letting him. A stupid idea popped into my head. I went over to get Chris' bike & found some rope. Getting onto my bike, I tied his bike to the side of mine & started pedaling out. It probably looked stupid as hell.

A few minutes later, I reached the middle school. I enjoyed some memories as I went in & walked down to the office & knocked on the principal's door. I opened it & walked in. Ms. Frost was behind her desk while Chris was in a chair across from her.

"Hi Ms. Frost," I smiled.

"Connor...I never thought I'd see the day where you were in my office for any reason other than being a troublemaker," she said with an unhappy face.

"You should really work on having an open mind," I said.

Just as she opened her mouth to say something, I interrupted.

"So what happened?" I asked, sitting in the chair next to Chris.

"Well during the lunch period, Chris began fighting with another student, Marcus Zeifman. When I approached the area, I saw Chris punch Marcus right in the face. I've talked to both students & Marcus has been suspended for two weeks."

"And my brother?"

"A week of detention."

"What were they fighting about?"

Ms. Frost looked to Chris. So did I.

"Well...he was making fun of somebody."

"So you punched him?" I said, a little surprised.

"He shoved me first & spit on me, he started it!" Chris said defensively.

"Ok, back up. Start from the beginning."

"I was eating lunch with my friends & then Marcus came up from behind me & I heard him whispering things in my ear. I turned around, told him to go away & he didn't. I stood up, I said to stop & that's when he spit on me. When I was wiping it off, he shoved me backwards & I hit the table. That's when I punched him."

I glanced at Ms. Frost. She knew there was more to be said here.

"Ok, something's not lining up, why did he only get a week of detention & Marcus got two whole weeks suspended?" I said.

"Chris," she said, "would you like to tell him what Marcus was saying?"

Chris looked unsure & he looked anxious.


"He was...he was calling you a cock sucking faggot..." he said quietly.

I shifted uneasily in my seat & swiped a look at Ms. Frost.

"What...um, why was he talking about me?"

"Because he's one of those kids I told you about."

"One of the kids bullying you?"


"I'm sorry, who are these kids? Why don't I know about this?"

"Well...Chris came to me a couple months & told me about how there are these kids at school harassing him."


Why? I had never had to tell anybody I was gay like this. I was growing increasingly uncomfortable as I hesitated longer & longer.

"Because um...I'm...uh, I'm...gay..." I stuttered.

"That's what Marcus said. And that's why I gave him two weekes suspension. Physical confrontation through a hate crime. Your brother acted in self defense, but instead of throwing fists, he SHOULD have immediately gotten a teacher. That's why he has a week of detention. Any other reason for punching Marcus would have resulted in an equal suspension."

"What about the general harassment?"

"When Marcus returns from his suspension, I'll call him into my office along with these other boys apparently. I need the names of these other boys. Basically, I need them to rat on each other. Otherwise, I can't punish them simply because your brother claims harassment. I need more proof than that. But what I can do is mandate that they see the guidance office. Guidance can take it from there."

"Ok. So what now?" I asked, still very uncomfortable & feeling my face red.

"You & Chris can head home now. But after school every day this week, Chris is to be here in my office for an hour."

"Can I do homework at the least?" Chris asked.

"Well typically I don't let students do anything in detention. But maybe it'll teach your brother a lesson," she smirked. I ignored it & stood up.

"Thanks Ms. Frost, I'll make sure my parents know about this."

"Of course. Have them call me at some point."

As I put my hand on Chris' shoulder & started to walk out of her office, she called me back. I told Chris to wait outside. I went back in.


"Connor," she started, "I hope you realize that there's nothing wrong with being gay."

I looked down.

"I've walked these hallways for 12 years. I know it's tough, even these days in time. But there's nothing to worry about."

I nodded, but kept my head down.

"My younger brother lives in Florida & he's gay. And I watched him suffer through harassment when we were in high school. Now I don't know how many people know, or if you get made fun of a bit, but what I do know is that it WILL get better Connor."

"Somebody saw my boyfriend & I...ya know...& now it's spreading throughout both schools & I don't know what to do."

"My advice...don't fight it. Fighting it might add to the issues. It's harder to make fun of the truth than a lie."


"And Connor?" she said.

I looked up.

"I have to admit...it was...entertaining to hear from you again," she smiled warmly. I couldn't help but crack a smile.


She nodded a bye to me & I walked out of her office & put my arm over Chris' shoulder.


When we arrived home on our bikes, Travis was standing there at the front door. We put our bikes in the garage & headed to see him.

"Hey you," I smiled.

"Hi. What's up big guy?" Travis said to Chris.

Chris shrugged his shoulders.

"Got into a fight at school."

"Ahh..." Travis said, eying me. I shook my head for him to ignore it.

"I reckon you''re takin' a rain check on the movies tonight?" he asked as the three of us headed inside.

"Sorry," I put on my best apologetic face.

Once we got in, I got a drink out of the fridge & handed another one to Travis.

"Well I'm gonna go watch tv," Chris said nonchalantly, heading off to his room.

"Ah ah ah, get back here," I said.

Chris slumped hi shoulders & walked back to us. He sat at the bar while we stood across from him.

"At first you have my unconditional sympathy when you sleep with me because you're afraid. Now you're picking fights at school in the cafeteria. What the hell happened in between those times?"

"Nothing! And sorry for trying to defend YOU! God..." he retorted.

"As sweet & flattering as it is Chris, really it is, I still don't approve of it."

"I agree. Sorry dude, but getting into fights at school is never the answer. You're lucky they didn't suspend you, or even worse," Travis piped in.

"You know I have to tell mom & dad."

"I know...but he's probably in the school's parking lot just to piss the school off..."

"If you guys were in the parking lot or somethin' that's different. I would've knocked his teeth out if I was there," I said.

Travis gave me a weird look.

"Wait, what...?"

"Hypocrite!" Chris yelled at me.

Travis grabbed my arm & led me to the living room.

"Connor, what the hell?"


"You just told him that it's ok to fight as long as it's not at school."

"Well, I mean, yeah, I guess so, yeah."



He shook his head.

"I didn't know you felt that way..."

"He called me a cock-sucking faggot. I sure as hell wouldn't let him get away with that."

"Ok, but beating him up?"

"Well? I don't know..."

"Neither did your brother."

"HE'S not the cock-sucking faggot!"

"No, but he IS being bullied because of US."

"WE didn't do anything Travis! I'm gonna pretend you didn't say that at all. Where's the fairness in letting him getting picked on for absolutely no reason?"

"Well unfortunately babe, that's life."

"Then let's fucking do something about it."

"Ok then, but your brother getting in trouble at school ain't the best way."

I huffed a bit to calm down.

"Fine. You're right."

Travis walked over to me, tilted my chin up with his finger & gave me a gentle kiss on the lips. He wrapped his muscular arms around my waist.

"You need one of them big fuckin' chill pills."

I smiled & kissed him.

"You're good to me."

"So what about-" he stopped.

"What about what?" I asked. He was staring behind me, so I turned around.

Chris was gone.



"I told you he was here," I called back to Travis as we arrived at the school.

Chris, apparently still upset, was about a foot & a half away from an enormous beast of a person, easily a foot taller than him. From the general situation, I assumed it was this kid Marcus. My brother had punched this kid? Christ...

Travis & I walked up the large open circle of kids standing around the two of them. I rushed into the middle & stood between Chris & Marcus while I put my hands roughly onto Chris' shoulders & looked him in the eye.

"Chris, ignore everything I said at home, you CAN'T do this."

"Connor, get out of here!"

I wasn't in the mood for negotiating. I grabbed his arm roughly & started dragging him away.

"Get off!" he yelled, hitting me with his fists.

Suddenly, my arm was ripped from his arm & lifted above my head. My body was turned immediately & I saw myself staring up at Marcus. He could have easily eaten me like a human burger. The kid was a monster.

"Why don't you fuck off & let the kid fight himself?"

I shoved him in the chest with my free hand & he let go of my arm.

"Leave my brother alone you fucking oaf," I hissed.

That set him off. The next thing I knew he grabbed ME by the collar & lifted me up off the ground. All right, NOW I was a bit scared.

"Bite me, FAGGOT!" he said.

Just then, he threw me off to the side. I hit the pavement, hard, & skidded on my bare legs a full three feet. I screamed in pain as my legs were torn like wet tissue paper.

Suddenly, Travis grabbed Marcus from behind by the neck & shoved him roughly into the brick wall of the school. He didn't hold onto the kid though. Instead, Travis just stood in the kid's face & leaned in close. He said something, but I couldn't make it out, I was too busy holding my shredded legs. Travis gave Marcus one, solid punch to the big belly & the kid went down like a brick. Travis turned to me & rushed to my side.

"Oh my god, Connor, are you ok?" he asked.

I nodded my head & muttered a stressed 'yes' but he could obviously see I wasn't ok. He reached under my arm & hoisted me up, supporting me on his shoulder. Blood was pouring down both my legs, soaking my socks & shoes. Gashes on my legs were deep & filled with gravel, dirt & whatever was on the ground. I was in agony.

Travis started walking me out of the parking lot past all the on-lookers, with Chris close walking next to me.

"Connor, I...I'm sorry..." he said quietly.

I ignored him as Travis walked me all the way home.

I'd pick bacon over a bj any day.
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Chapter 19: Action Reaction
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