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 Chapter 33: Blueprints & A Side of Clemency

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Kell
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PostSubject: Chapter 33: Blueprints & A Side of Clemency   Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:39 am

It's kind of weird how the mind works, isn't it? How your brain can figure out in under half a second the identity of someone you know surrounded by many other people. Maybe someday I'd look into that shit. But for right now, it only made me angry.

Walking through the halls after my class, I instantly spotted Jordan through the crowd. After the stunt he pulled yesterday, I was still furious at him. He hadn't seen me yet. But boy was he gonna any second now...

After a few short seconds, he finally saw me as we neared each other. "Hey Connor."

"Oh hey, Jordan," I said with a big smile on. That was when I lunged at him & angrily shoved him back against the lockers. The crowd slowed down to watch one of the staples of high school drama unfold.

"Ahhgg! Connor, what the hell, man?!" Jordan grunted as I held him roughly by the collar of his shirt.

"What the HELL was that yesterday?!" I shouted at him.

"What are you talking about?" he said.

"Asking me...asking me if I'm gay..." I lowered my voice but maintaining the point that I was mad at him.

"It was just a question, dude, relax. It's a little rumor going around. I only asked because I knew people wanted to know for sure."

"That's not your job to report something like that to everyone."

"Well," a shit-eating grin grew on his lips, "that sounds like a 'yes' to me."

I grunted as I started shoving him back & forth into the lockers & hitting him with my fists. All of a sudden, I felt myself being pulled off him.

"Connor, stop!" Jacob said as he pulled me back. Looking around, the entire hallway had stopped to watch what was going on & as Jacob pulled me into a nearby restroom, I looked down in shame.

"Connor, are you nuts?! Do you wanna get suspended?" he asked me as I rested a hand on the sink.

"I can't believe he asked me that," I fumed.

"Look buddy, I know what he did was pretty messed up. But you can't go around & trying to beat him up."

"Trying? I was doing a pretty good job, you know," I looked away from him.

"Yeah," he grinned a bit, "you were. But you're gonna get in trouble."

"What am I supposed to do now?" I threw my hands up.

"Well...do you think you're ready to come out?" Jacob asked me.

"Huh?"

"Connor, charging at Jordan like a wildebeest is probably gonna make people think you have something to hide. So there's a good chance people are going to know sooner or later. And if you go with later...I think it'll be harder down the road."

"So he wins either way," I said under my breath.

"I don't think he has this weird agenda to out you. I don't think he's evil, I think he's just unaware of how sensitive coming out is since he's never had to & won't ever have to."

"I should publicly humiliate him sometime..." I thought out loud.

"Oh my god would you STOP?" Jacob laughed as he reached up to hold my face in his hands. "What he did sucks, I agree. But don't go out picking fights," he leaned in to drive home his point.

Looking into his eyes, I saw his legitimate concern & I knew that he was right. I was pissed...boy was I pissed. But I knew if I went & did...SOMETHING to get back at Jordan, it'd probably bite me in the ass.

"You're right," I sighed, feeling sadness suddenly wash away my anger.

"Are you gonna be ok?" Jacob asked.

I shook my head as I felt myself choking up. "Everybody knows..."

"It'll be ok, I promise," Jacob pulled me into a warm embrace. "If anybody gives you a hard time, you send 'em to me, ok?"

"I didn't want everyone to find out," I held onto him as I began to tear up. "My parents weren't supposed to find out...now this."

"But you managed that just fine & you guys are on good terms now."

"Yeah but why can't I just come out at my own pace rather than getting outed each time?"

"Maybe that's just life's way of givin' you a nudge," Jacob said, patting my back.

I was too drained at this point to offer any sort of reply. Pulling back from the hug, Jacob smiled at me & wiped a few of my tears away with his sleeve. "Everything will be ok, I promise. You got a brother, a boyfriend & a best friend who care for you a lot."

"Thanks," I said, drying my eyes.

**********

The school day ended without any other events. When the halls were flooded with students after the last bell rang, I found myself swimming through them once again. Outside, as I neared my bus, I heard my name.

"Connor!"

Turning around, I saw Jordan approaching me. Not caring about whatever it was he wanted to say to me, I turned back around to head onto the bus.

"Connor, hold up!" he called. Just as I made it to the vehicle, I felt him turn me around to face him by my arm.

"Leave me alone, Jordan."

"Look, dude, I just wanted to say...I'm sorry," he said, stuffing his hands into his pockets.

"You're sorry?" I said rather non-enthusiastically.

"Yeah, really," he replied. "Couple of my friends gave me a bit of a lecture on what exactly I did during lunch. Er, potentially did," he hinted.

"And what exactly DID you 'potentially' do?" I crossed my arms.

"I outed you," he said simply. "Potentially," he added, keeping up.

I didn't respond.

"Look, Connor...I'm really sorry. Honestly. I guess I didn't really think about how private something like that is."

"You friends seemed to know that," I pointed out.

"Haven't you ever made mistakes?"

"Not ones that publicly humiliated someone," I shot back.

He looked down. "Fair enough. I never should have asked you that in front of all those people. And I would understand if you don't forgive me for it..."

Ugh...he pulled that card.

"It's...it's all right now."

"You sure?"

"Yeah."

"All right, good. I mean, you're a pretty cool kid & I wouldn't want us to be upset with each other, you know?"

"I'd hardly consider myself cool," I rolled my eyes.

"Popularity is overrated," he replied.

"Says the president of student council."

"Got me there," he laughed.

"Speaking of which," I said as I heard the bus rev its engine, "it'd really help me and the prom committee if we could see the budget."

"If I let you see the budget, would you forgive me?" he asked.

"Yeah, sure," I answered after a moment.

"Cool. See you later!" he said as he smiled & walked away.

**********

Later that night, I arrived home having worked with the prom committee for the past few hours on ideas. My job was fairly simple; just come up with potential thoughts while they would sort of the details to accomplish that. At one point, I had jokingly suggested that we throw the prom at the Waldorf Hotel. The rest of them, however, thought I was serious & started immediately discussing it. They began discussing prices of tickets, contacting the hotel, reserving the space, transportation & planning out the format of the room.

After that, we talked about music. As much as I loathed contemporary music of most kinds, I knew that we'd have to have a fair share of it to play. But no matter how much I insisted to the rest of them that I put aside my personal feelings of music, they insisted right on back that we look for some combination or collaboration of what I liked & what other liked. We discussed finding a DJ that could mix classic dance-music songs with modern electro-dub, or whatever it was called. Nobody could sit still with something like 'Stayin Alive' playing, so I could only imagine what it would sound like mixed with other modern hits & club songs. There wasn't too much objection to that idea, surprisingly.

So far, the smaller details of what we had talked about up to that point were relatively easy to obtain. However, the bigger parts, such as the reservation at the Waldorf, the cost of a DJ who could provide what we wanted, & the food, was way out of the budget the student treasury had, as given to me by Jordan.

The meeting that day had ended with our group of nine agreeing to think of ideas how we could raise more money on our own time until we next met.

As I walked in the door, my mom was at the counter reading the mail. She looked up when she heard me walk in.

"Hey hun."

"Hi," I said. "Sorry 'bout the other night..."

"What were you upset about?"

"This kid from school kind of...outed me at the carnival," I blushed, still feeling somewhat awkward talking about my sexuality with my parents.

"Oh honey, I'm so sorry about that. What happened?" she said, a look of concern on her face.

"Well, he just asked me if I was in front of a lot of people & when I stormed off, I think that sort of said 'yes' to everybody around."

"Aww, I'm sorry to hear that. I'm sure the kids in your grade will be fine with it, though," she offered, trying to comfort me.

I shrugged. "Maybe. I'm tired so I think I'm gonna go to bed early."

"Booooo!" I heard a deep voice from around the corner booing me. When I turned to see who it was, I saw my grandparents standing there.

"Grandma, grandpa!" I beamed, running over to hug them. "What are you guys doing here?"

"We decided to visit for a few days, mostly to see our grandkids. But if they're gonna be sleeping the whole time..." grandpa pretended to pout.

"I just had a long day, that's all," I laughed as he ruffled my hair.

"I even brought you & your brother some of my homemade pies," grandma gave me an extra hug. I loved her pies.

"Cool, thanks! But as happy as I am to see you guys, I still wanna take a nap," I said as I slowly made my way towards my room. "See you 'round dinner time!"

"Sleep is for the weak!" my grandpa called after me as I chuckled.

At this point in time, I was fairly invested in my prom duties. An hour later, I was having some trouble falling asleep for my nap because I was thinking too hard on what to do to raise money. I cycled through ideas in my head wondering what we could do. Car wash? Nah, unless we got flaming hot girls in their bikinis to do it, we wouldn't make much. Not to mention...ew. Another carnival? Yeahhhh I wasn't up for that.

As I lay in bed thinking, I noticed a small mark of some sort on my wall. I wondered how that got there...

Then it hit me!

I sat up & grabbed my phone, dialing the number of one of the girls on the committee with me. I had the perfect idea.

That is...if the school wouldn't suspend me over it...

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Chapter 33: Blueprints & A Side of Clemency
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