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 Chapter 37: Roots of Nihl

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Kell
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PostSubject: Chapter 37: Roots of Nihl   Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:00 pm

The breath knocked out of me. The throbbing pain in the back of my head. The tightness squeezing my wrists. The crushing blow to my groin. The sickening plunge of steel into my waist. The paralyzing agony of electrocution. The feeling of my most intimate spot being torn apart. The warmth of the orgasm from hell. The dumping of my insides into the toilet. The wretch of sex filling my nose.

My eyes opened from the hellish nightmare. I was still haunted by the agonizing memories of what Shannon had done to me that day. It was so...unbelievable. Something out of a horror movie. The sheer thought of what I went through caused me to start sweating in my bed while I had slept. I swallowed a knot in my throat.

Rolling over, I stared at the most hated invention in history & took in the red time. 4:30am. Lately, my nightmares had become my alarm clock. For the last three weeks I had started waking up become 4:30 & 5 in the morning from them. I stared at the black ceiling of my room, letting my eyes adjust to the darkness before I got up. After a minute, I inhaled a big breath & strained to lean up in my bed. When I was upright, I sleepily looked around my room & yawned. Rubbing my nose with my wrist & cleaning my eyes of the gunk, I pulled my blanket off me, letting the cool air hit my body. I blinked a couple times &, almost painfully, stood up from my bed.

I picked up my phone from my nightstand & saw that I had a new text. It was from Jared.

We had started texting each other after he had asked for my number at the club that Collin, Ruby & Janie took me to. I don't know what it was about Jared, he just seemed like such a cool guy. I was still afraid to consider going out with him, assuming he was actually interested in me. But if he was, I wasn't sure if I was ready, or even really wanting to start dating somebody. Regardless, I had found myself slipping into a flirting feud with him nearly every night & seeing his latest text, I couldn't help but smile both from just how silly it was, but also getting the text from in general. And while I wasn't anywhere near head-over-heels for him...I had to admit to myself that I had developed a small crush on him.

Stretching my arms out, I scratched a little itch on my butt & walked over to my dresser. Going through drawer, I pulled out a clean pair of boxers, some socks, a sleeveless shirt & some athletic shorts. My feet were cold on the wooden floor so I hurried out of my room down the stairs toward the bathroom.

You ever feel...I don't know, "naughty," when you're awake & walking around your home during the middle of the night when everyone is still sleeping? It's an odd feeling. Almost like, if you were quiet enough, you could get away with doing anything. And by middle of the night, I don't mean the time from around 1 to 2 or 2:30. I'm talking about part two of the night, or really, the epitome of early morning. And at 4:30, what could be a better example?

The silence throughout the house was loud & clear. Dad wasn't home, not that it mattered. He was in DC for the next two days for something that came up unexpectedly at work. So I didn't have to worry about waking him up, especially since when you're awake at that time, you know how every movement you make is twice as cautious. I could hear the soft sound of the skin on my feet peeling from the hardwood floors every time I lifted my foot. I could hear the sound my boxers made every time my legs moved past each other. All amplified.

I walked into the bathroom & shut the door. Flipping the switch on, I cringed at the onslaught of light pouring into my eyes. It took me a moment to fix my eyes & walk over to the sink where I put my clothes. I turned on the vent, listening to the mechanical whurr as air was slowly sucked up into the ceiling. Walking toward the shower, I reached in & turned the knob. I flinched as the first few drops of cold water splashed down on my arm as I worked to turn it to the perfect spot. I waited for the water to warm before I leaned back out & pulled my boxers down. Stepping out of them, I stepped into the warm pour of water.

I closed my eyes & lowered my head as the water matted my hair down & dripped down over my shoulders, arms & chest all the way down my legs & feet. The warm steam felt nice to my skin. I raised my head, squeezing my eyes tight as the water poured onto my face. I vigorously rubbed my face to help wake myself up a bit more. I reached for the bar of soap on the wall & the scroungy. Soaping up the scroungy, I began to wash my body starting with my chest & arms. After I did my underarms, I moved on to my neck & upper back, feeling the coarse feeling of the scroungy lightly scratch my skin. With the soap dripping down, I washed my waist & soaped up my thighs & butt. As I moved on to my groin, I couldn't help but start to get hard. As my handed glided over the skin of my cock, I watched as it slowly started to raise up, the head of it becoming more enlarged. I tugged at my dick a couple times for no reason but I even though I was hard, I wasn't up for a jerk off right now.

After I was done washing the rest of my body, I waited for the soap to wash away. I watched as rivers of white bubbles dripped down my chest & stomach, down my thighs & to my feet. I slowly rubbed any remaining soap off my chest, neck & stomach. I scrubbed my underarms, getting any remaining soap out from under there.

Once I was done, I reached for the shampoo & squeezed a glob of it out onto my hand. I reached up to my head, closed my eyes & began to scrub my hair. Once my hair was clean & all shampooed, I began to wash it out by looking up into the stream of hot water. I cleansed my hair tightly, letting the shampoo seep out. Done with that, I allowed my hair to rinse out for a little while longer, watching the water whip off the tips of my bangs which were dangling loosely in front of my eyes. I liked how my hair became a brown color when I showered. I snapped my head back, my hair whipping backwards. I pushed my hair back more over the top of my head.

Soon after, I shut the water off & let water fall off my body. I stepped out of the shower & grabbed a towel, wrapping it around my naked waist as I stepped up to the sink. I reached forward & wiped some of the condensation off the mirror. Jade had always told me that when my hair was longer & wet & pulled back, it looked like Orlando Bloom's hair a little.

I took the can of shaving cream & covered my hand in it while I took my razor nearby & wet it under the sink. Smearing my face with the smooth white cream, I rubbed it around my cheeks, above my upper lip & under my chin. I almost never had to shave, but after a while, a few sparse whiskers would pop up which I didn't like. I took the razor & begin to slide it down my cheeks, followed by obliterating any traces of fuzz around my upper lip.

I finished shaving a couple minutes later & shaking out my razor, I reached for my clothes. Dropping my towel, I slipped on my clean pair of boxers & then my shorts. I took my sleeveless shirt & pulled it down over my head. I ruffled my hair until it was back to a fairly normal style & threw my old boxers & towel in the hamper.

Walking out of the bathroom, I made my way to the kitchen. Opening up the fridge door, I grabbed a water bottle that was on the door. I started toward the front door where I could see nothing but blackness outside the windows. I found my sneakers & put them on. Opening the front door, I pushed open the screen door & let it close quietly behind me. I walked down the steps & started to jog down the road.

I was going to jog into town.

This had become my morning routine for the past three weeks.

*****

Four miles later, I made it to the center of town. Panting heavily, I gulped down what little was left of my water. I nearby a 24-hour McDonald's. Counterproductive, I know, but I was dying for something to fill me up. I walked across the street into the store & noticed how the cashier was dozing on his hand, which was propping up his head on the counter. I walked up to the counter & looked up at the menu to see what I wanted. I cleared my throat a little, which woke up him. His face turned red from embarrassment. I had kind of gotten to know him, Albert, over the last three weeks of doing this. By gotten to know him, I meant knowing his name each time I had walked in, that was it. And, when he wasn't sleeping, he was pretty good at his job. And, I guess in this business, being really fast is what was considered good.

"Can I get a 20 piece chicken nugget, a small fry & a small drink?" I asked as I took my arm & wiped sweat off my forehead.

"Sure."

I took out some money I had brought along & payed. After he handed me my receipt, I went to go sit down at a nearby table. As I waited for my food, I looked out the window. In the far distance, I could see sky lowly glowing with the hint of a near sunrise. Not many people are awake when the sun rises, or if they are, it's because they're too busy getting ready for work. But for the last three weeks I had been able to watch the sun rise & let me tell you...it's amazing. 12:00am is not the start of the next day. The instant the first ray of light pour into your eyes is. AM and PM do not define time, light and dark do. And when the sky was filled with the warmth of light from the sun, it was the start of something new that the turn from PM to AM just couldn't match up to.

My life. Hahaha. How it had turned upside down, inside out, backwards & just totally become a mess. My life was going so great & then, this. I had a perfect application to the med school of my choice, I had a great friendship with Jaden even though we were broken up, I was somewhat starting to get used to the idea of my dad dating, work was going great...and then it had all just turned to...to...turned to shit.

I sighed as I glanced over at the guy making my food. I wondered if he had ever gone through something like me. Not something similar, but something traumatic. And then I thought...would he think *I* had gone through something traumatic? How would he know? As I watched him move from the frialator to the grill, I wondered...what was his life like? What was his DAY like? We never stopped to consider what somebody else' day was like. Far too often we went about our days caring only about our own business. Was that necessarily a BAD thing? Well, no, but it wouldn't hurt us to give a little more consideration for those we come in contact with every day. Like the lady at the grocery store who might have a little bit of an attitude. She could have just had a heartbreaking fight with her parents and what do we do? Instead of asking how they are, we walk away & cuss them under our breath for the rest of the day. We call her "that bitch at the grocery store." Or the guy who cuts you off in traffic. We don't give him a break, we immediately judge his whole existence. We yell at him, call him an asshole, honk the horn, not thinking that he could be one of the nicest guys on the planet & just be having an awful day. Maybe his brother died, or he was just fired. We don't take that into any consideration. We act on they're interaction with us.

Sometimes it's the other way around. People around us who seem completely normal could, for all we know, have gone through horrible, awful experiences. The young woman in front of us at the grocery store, flipping through a DIY magazine, who just weeks ago had an abortion because her parents forced her to. Or the guy next to us at a red light, bumping to a song on the radio, who's son was just killed in Afghanistan.

Or the boy...sitting at a table in McDonald's, looking out & watching the sun rise, who was violently raped by a girl & was then told the girl became pregnant...

Would Albert know I had recently been through something? Probably not. For all I knew his neighbor could have been murdered the day before. He wouldn't know about me. I didn't want to make any of this about me, but I thought that if somebody could take a moment out of their day to ask me how I am, I mean REALLY ask me how I'm doing...that could be enough to bring a smile to MY face, why not somebody else? To be honest, I probably wouldn't open up to them but maybe tell them how I was feeling anyway. It was the little things in life that made life interesting.

"Number 63," Albert called over the microphone. I laughed to myself.

I walked up to the counter & took my tray of food, thanking him warmly. Walking back over to my seat, I began to dig into the warm food. My iced tea was refreshing as I gulped it down. The nuggets were warm & the fries were good. I felt very simple as I sat there, eating my food all alone, except for Albert, at this time in the morning. Of all the things I could be doing with my life at this moment...I was in McDonald's. It brought a smile to my face as I realized that I was GLAD my life was this simple right now. It was a mini break from all the hell that my life had become lately & it felt nice to be doing something totally & unnecessarily normal.

When I finished eating, I stood up with my tray & threw out my trash, placing the tray on top on the can. I walked past the counter on my way out...but as I opened the door to leave, I thought for a moment & turning back around, I walked up to Albert.

"So how are you?" I said as genuinely as possible.

*****

School later that day really wasn't exciting. Not that your average Thursday ever was.

Jade drove me home & on the way home we listened to the radio & chatted about nothing in particular. I know I've said it over & over...but it was this that we had, our friendship, that I would keep any day over having a relationship with Jade. The thing that ruins many relationships is that people try too hard to keep each other happy, satisfied, entertained, interested...they try too hard to keep each other. The great thing Jade & I had was that we ALREADY had each other. Of course we liked to do romantic things for each other, but the overwhelming majority of our time spent together was doing things that best friends do; watching tv & movies, video games, going into town, seeing a movie, etc.

We talked about school, the bitches in school, the assholes, how work was going, what was new on tv tonight, the possibility of going bowling with the guys next week, the loud AC in the car & other chit chat.

"So guess what I was thinking," Jade said.

"What?"

"We," he said, patting my leg, "should save up our money from Dade's & take a trip to Disney World!"

I laughed out loud.

"What?"

"What?"

"What are you laughing at? You don't wanna go to Disney?"

"No it's not that, it's just that that was so random. Why pick Disney World out of anything we could spend our money on?"

"Uh, 'cause it's the 'happiest place on earth' that's why. Ok fine mister, what would YOU spend the money on?"

"I, mister, would actually be putting money away to help pay for college a bit."

"Noah." He turned to me, "We both know what your dad does & how much he makes doing it. I don't think you need to chip in hahaha."

"I know but still, I wanna show my dad that I can start using my own money for what I think is important."

"If you're trying to show him you're responsible, he already knows that dude. EVERYBODY knows that," he laughed.

"I know. Anyway, why Disney?"

"Why NOT?"

"Disney WOULD be a neat vacation some time..." I admitted.

"Let's go then!" Jaden nearly jumped out of his seat & threw his hands up in the air.

"Ok, if you can drive without letting go of the steering wheel, then maybe I'll consider it."

*****

"See ya later!" I called to Jade who had parked his car in his driveway when we made it back home.

"Bye!"

I unlocked the door to my house & walked in, dropping my stuff at the door. I took my coat off & slipped on a nearby comfy long-sleeve plaid shirt that I left halfway buttoned. I went into the kitchen & looked through the cupboards to find something to eat. Unsatisfied, I went through some of the drawers. I found a thing of mac & cheese that I could put in the microwave, so taking it out, I grabbed a forked from the drawer and put the mac & cheese into the microwave. Once it was done, I took it out & went in the fridge to take out a Gatorade & went out the backdoor. I walked down the hill of my backyard down to the dock. Once I got to the edge of the dock, I sat down, took my shoes off & pulled up my pant legs. Dipping my feet into the water, I started to dig into my food. I scarfed it down quickly & gulped down my drink. In a matter of minutes I was finished & with a big burp, I leaned back on my arms & stared up into the lightly clouded sky.

All of a sudden, I hear a little plop sound in the water down by my feet. I figured it was a fish that had come up to the surface. I leaned forward to see if I could watch it swim around my feet. I couldn't quite see that well with the blue reflection of the sky so I leaned forward a bit more to look down into the water.

BANG!

Suddenly, a deafening sound very close to me shattered the silence & caused me to jump, & because I was leaning so far forward, I fell forward into the lake. Thrashing underneath, I fought to stand up so I could see what had caused me to fall into the water. Once I was able to stand in the chest-deep water, I found out.

Jade was on the ground laughing hysterically. I saw a large rock sitting on the dock. He must have picked it up & thrown it onto the dock, creating the heart-stopping loud noise from the rock-on-metal sound that nearly scared me to death.

I blew outwards water that had gathered in my mouth & around my lips. Jade was on his back holding his stomach, legs nearly flailing in the air.

"I....can NOT believe you just did that..." I said.

I walked around to the ladder & climbed up it. Once I was standing on the dock, I felt 10 pounds heavier with water dripping from my drenched shirt & jeans.

"You...you actually fell in! Ahahahahahahaha!" Jade cracked up.

"You are the biggest ass on the planet," I had to talk loud over his contagious laughter.

"I dunno," he laughed, "from the splash you made, that sounded like a pretty big ass to me hahahahahaha..."

"WHY would you do that?" I said, walking up to where he was on the ground.

"No! Get away from me," he chuckled, standing up to move away from me.

But he wasn't fast enough. I caught up to him too quickly & kept him on the ground. Laughing, I sat down next to him facing the lake.

"Why?" I laughed, wringing out water from my sleeves.

"Why not?" he giggled. "I didn't actually even mean to make you fall in, I just wanted to scare you by throwing that big rock onto the dock hahahahaha."

"Yeah well you're an ass."

"I went out to the backyard to water mom's garden & I saw you sitting on the dock eating. So I figured I could walk up & join you, or I could have fun."

"I leaned forward 'cause I thought I heard a fish come up to breathe."

"Oh, yeah...that was me too," he laughed. "I threw a little pebble into the water near your feet so you would be distracted & wouldn't hear me."

I whipped my head toward him, water zipping through the air & all over him.

"Agghh!" he cried.

"That's what you get...at least."

He wiped his face off withe his sleeve & picked up a nearby stone, throwing it far into the lake.

"So how're you doing?"

I laughed. "What do you mean what's up? We both just got home like five minutes ago haha."

"No, I mean...like, how are you?" he said more seriously.

"Oh..." I shrugged. "I'm ok."

"You can tell me if you're not, you do know that right?" he said.

"Of course I know that."

He had a stressed look on his face.

"What is it?" I said.

"Is there stuff...is there stuff that you WOULDN'T tell me?" Jade asked very nervously.

I looked at him.

"Like what?" I said, confused, almost a little scared.

"I dunno...anything I guess. I mean, you can be honest. Are there things that you might not want to tell me?"

I shrugged. "I dunno. Maybe...I guess there's a few things. Are there things you keep from me?"

He looked a little taken aback when I asked him. I guess he wasn't expecting me to wonder the same thing.

"I guess so...a couple things."

"How come you wanna know?"

Jade shrugged his shoulders.

"Just wondering I guess."

"C'mon, it's more than that."

"I guess I was just wondering if there are things that we keep from each other...even though we're supposed to be best friends."

I put my arm over his shoulder.

"We ARE best friends, you know that."

"Then why do we keep secrets from each other?"

I shrugged.

"Maybe what we keep from each other isn't kept from each other as best friends...it's kept from each other as ex boyfriends."

"Why should that matter?"

"Well," I said, taking my arm back, "what have we been keeping from each other then?"

"Is this a good idea?" he whispered.

I smiled.

"Probably not," I replied.

We looked at each other for a second & then back out at the water.

"Every time I remember what happened to me, I can't help getting turned on. I mean, you KNOW I didn't like the fact that she did anything to me...but purely physically...it was arousing."

"I think I know what you mean."

"It makes me sick every time I think of it...and it makes me feel gross when I realize that I was turned on when she..ya know..."

He nodded his head & started to gently rub my back.

"West has been bugging me for a while now...I figured that with you having been through so much, the last thing you need is him on top of you," he told me.

"Wait, what?" I said.

"West has just been giving me a bunch of crap here & there...it's not that big of a deal, really. I don't know what his deal is, I mean we were all great friends so why he's suddenly a bully to us I have no idea. But I've been getting up in his face a lot."

"Why?"

"I think if he sees me as more of a nuisance, then he won't bug you so much."

"Jaden-"

"I KNOW it's dumb & stupid but I really don't want you worrying about him ok? The bigger of a pest I am, the less of a pest you appear."

"You don't need to do that..."

"Your turn," he said with a little grin.

I suppose I appreciated the change of a subject. I felt uncomfortable telling him the next secret though.

"Do you remember that kid Jared? From the club?"

"The club that we all went to?"

"Yeah."

"Was he that kid who got you a drink?"

"Yeah."

"What about him?" he asked, scratching his chin & looking off to the side.

"I've been talking to him a lot since then. We text back & forth."

"About what?"

I shook my head. "Different stuff. Everything, anything I guess."

"Do you...like him?"

I glanced at Jade, who had his eyes focused on the ground.

"I don't know. Maybe I have a little crush on him..."

We were both silent for a moment. I wasn't sure how he felt about knowing that, but I knew that I couldn't make him unlearn it.

"I'm sorry," I whispered, rubbing his back.

He shook his head. "Don't be. It wouldn't be fair."

"What do you mean?"

"I...developed some pretty heavy feelings for someone. It's someone who I see at work everyday when they come in to order something."

"So...we both have some extra crushes. I don't think it's the end of the world," I said.

"It's more than that."

"What then?"

Scratching his forehead, Jade sighed heavily & gave me a sad look.

"It's...a girl. She's a customer at Dade's who I see every day. And I can't figure out why I'm so attracted to her but I am. We're not friends, I don't even know what her name is, we don't speak except when she orders..."

I don't know if I had ever honestly expected Jade to only ever be attracted to me. Maybe I had always hoped for it, but never realistically believed it. But to hear his actual confession was...an impact. What really hit me though was the girl.

A sudden chill came over me as I realized that...just maybe...

...he had never actually been in real love with me, & that perhaps an extended fling with his best friend was just an adolescent phase he was going through.

I felt my throat close up as the thought crept into my mind. My heart couldn't handle any more pain in this life, & the thought of everything he & I went through together as a couple being just an experiment in a tiny chapter of his life was too much. I had convinced myself that we were meant to be soul mates, whether or not we were actually with each other. But that had always been under the condition that we were both gay, not just one of us being gay while the other was confused. Now I didn't know what to think.

"When did this all start?" I asked.

"It doesn't matter..." he said quietly.

"Was it after we broke up? Was it recently?" I said.

"Do you remember when Tom changed my schedule at work?"

I nodded.

"It was around that time..."

I racked my brain to figure out how long ago that was. Slowly, my heart sank as it hit me.

"That was...while we were still together..."

He nodded.

No. I refused to accept that we had been a fake. What he & I had was REAL, I knew it was. I refused to believe that I had been a short experiment in high school, that I had been a jerk off buddy with a few more tricks. I didn't want to be some phase. At the absolute least, I wanted to be a legitimate ex.

And yet...

Saying even that to myself I knew was a lie. And that was the last thing I told Jade.

"I wanna get back together," I said.

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Chapter 37: Roots of Nihl
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