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Earth, As it is in Heaven
By: Roman Genesis
I Must Confess
I stepped out into the empty parking lot and froze. There didn't seem to be anyone around for miles. Relief washed over me as I figured they must have just been messing with me and had no evil intentions. They really had scared me shitless though. I sighed and began to walk over to my bike, but I stopped in my tracks when I saw it. The thing was twisted in some sick, unnatural way around the rack it was locked to and the tires had been bent almost completely in half.
"It's a damn shame," I heard a voice say. I looked over and saw Ryan and his friends coming toward me from behind the store. I froze where I was as they casually walked toward me, hands in their pockets. I should have been angry when I saw my bike like that, but my fear was to strong for that. They were coming closer and closer and all I wanted to do was run and hide, but my legs just wouldn't move. The wind whipped past me, blowing snow against the side of my face. "Cock sucking faggot lost his pansy little bike," he said. "What a fucking shame."
"What the hell do you want," I said. These guys weren't going to take me without a fight and I think they knew that. There was no way I was going to roll over for assholes like this. I knew I probably wouldn't survive if I fought back, but I had to stand up against them. Someone had to.
"I think you know what we want Trevor," Ryan said, only ten yards away now. "We heard the good news and we wanted to come celebrate your coming out." He stepped right up to me and stared into my eyes. "Congratulations." Before I had a chance to react he had punched me in the stomach and taken the wind right out of me. I fell to the ground, gasping for air. So much for fighting back.
I saw them circle me like vultures, awaiting their master's command to strike. Once Ryan had said the word it was all going to be over. These guys weren't messing around either. They weren't going to stop until I had passed out or died. I didn't know which was worse. "Now you're going to die queer," Ryan said. I closed my eyes as I awaited the next hit.
There was a loud smacking noise and I heard screaming and the sound of flesh against flesh, but for some reason I couldn't feel a thing. Perhaps god had taken mercy on me and decided to not let me feel the beating I was getting. I slowly opened my eyes and saw Ryan laying on the ground about ten feet away and Bryce and the other boy were backing away. What the hell was going on?
Someone leaned down next to me and I looked up and noticed it was Mike. "Mike?" I said, still trying to catch my breath from the punch I had gotten in the gut.
"Come on," he said. "Stand up." He helped me up and I saw that Anthony and Nathan were with him. I couldn't believe my eyes.
"You're all going to pay for this," Ryan said, getting up off the pavement. I could see that his eye was quickly swelling up and I realized that someone had hit him.
"Bring it on fucker," Anthony yelled in his loudest "angry black man" voice he could conjure. Bryce helped up Ryan and they all quickly backed away into the night.
"What's going on?" I asked. My head was still spinning.
"Looks like we saved your ass," Nathan said.
"We heard a rumor that these guys were in town and I had a pretty good idea where they were going," Mike said, sitting me down on the step in front of the store. I had caught my breath by this point, but my stomach was still a little sore.
"I don't know what to say." I looked up at Anthony and Nathan who were both looking down at me. "Thank you."
"No problem," Anthony said. He turned around and started to walk off and he called, "Okay Nathan. Let's go."
I looked at Nathan and I noticed he wasn't going anywhere. "Actually, I wanted to talk to Trevor." Mike looked at Nathan and then looked at me and I nodded my head. Mike shrugged his shoulders and went off to walk with Anthony to his car.
"So, what's up?" I asked Nathan as I stood up. I noticed that my legs were still a little shaky and I tried desperately to push the realization from my mind that I had come very close to death. I looked over at Nathan and saw he was just staring at me. He and I had not been on good terms since my coming out, and things had only gotten worse since then. I really had no idea what he wanted to talk to me about.
"Well, it's about Vanessa you see," he started out.
"Oh no," I said, looking over at my bike.
"Oh shit. They did that to your bike?"
"I guess so," I said, leaning down next to it and inspecting it. It was beyond repair by this point. I couldn't even figure out how they had destroyed it so completely. I stood up and brushed some mud off my pants that I must had gotten on me when I was knocked to the ground. I looked back up at Nathan and I saw that he was waiting for me to pay attention. Something was really bothering him. "You were saying something about Vanessa."
"Yeah," he said, suddenly remembering what he had wanted to talk to me about. "You won't believe this man, but she knew you were going to be at the coffee shop that day. That's why she dragged me there."
I shook my head in disgust as everything suddenly made sense. "Actually, I do believe it Nathan. She told me she wasn't going to leave me alone and now I see how she is still managing to make my life a living hell." I looked over at Anthony's car and saw that they were waiting for us. I suddenly didn't want to talk to Nathan anymore and started walking to the car.
"Hey," he called out before running to catch up with me. I looked over at him as he came up beside me. "We're not going out anymore," he said. For some reason it seemed that Nathan was trying to suck up to me and I couldn't figure out why.
I stopped in my tracks and Nathan stopped as well and looked back at me. "Look Nathan," I said. "We haven't been on good terms since I came out. If you're going to tell me she was the reason..."
"No no," he said cutting me off. "That's not what I'm getting at." I stared at him and waited for him to continue, but realized he wasn't going to or he didn't know how to. "Jesus Trevor," he said. "Those guys would have killed you if..."
"Don't change the subject."
He stopped and looked down at his hands. "I'm sorry about the way I've been treating you these last few weeks." I stood there in shock as he said it. Nathan was the last person on earth I expected an apology from. "I can't believe those guys came out here," he said again, shaking his head in amazement. I noticed he still hadn't brought his eyes to look at me. "God, I want to ram that fucker into the ground...."
"Nathan," I said, cutting off his mindless rant. He finally looked up at me shamefully. "What's bothering you?" Anthony began honking his horn, but Nathan turned around and yelled for him to hold on a minute. He looked back at me and I could tell he really wanted to get something off his chest.
"It wasn't you that I was mad at," he said slowly. "I just had a bad experience and you seemed like the perfect target to take my anger out on." He once again looked up at me. "I just don't understand. How can you be attracted to other guys? I mean, it goes against everything..."
"I don't know," I answered before he could go any further. Anthony began honking again and Nathan told me to hold on a minute. He ran to the car and said something to Anthony and came running back. I noticed that Anthony was leaving. "What's going on?" I asked.
"I told him we'd walk. If that's okay I mean..."
"It's fine," I said reluctantly. I was a little pissed that Nathan had passed up a perfectly fine car ride for me and I immediately began heading off toward Sebastian's house. Nathan caught up to me and we slowly began to make our way down the street. Neither of us said anything for a while, but I figured he had more to say since he wanted to walk. "So what was your bad experience?" I asked, not really caring if I was being too blunt. Nathan's sudden appearance of kindness wasn't doing much to ease the resentment I still felt for him.
"I'd rather not talk about it," he said. That was fine with me. I really didn't care what his bad experience was. We continued walking in silence, but now Nathan felt the need to break it. "It was last year," he said. I looked over at him and saw that he was staring off at some unseen spot far ahead. "I had photography second period and... I don't know if you know him, but Mr. Erwin was the instructor."
"The class was going fine," he said, "but then things started getting weird. Mr. Erwin seemed a little bit to interested in my work and he would always come around and lay his hands on me while I was working." I looked back over at Nathan and could tell he was really struggling with this whole honesty thing. Whatever he was about to say, I knew he hadn't told many people about it. "I was always trying to avoid him, but he always found some excuse to come around. I hated when he touched me. I knew what he wanted..."
Nathan was getting slightly upset and I forced myself to look away. I found myself getting nervous listening to the story. I couldn't even imagine what it would be like for a teacher to hit on me. "Things were fine as long as the whole class was around. I knew he wouldn't try anything. Mr. Erwin wasn't a small man you see. He must have been more than six and a half feet tall. God, he gave me the creeps just by looking at me." We walked on in silence for a while and I realized I didn't want to hear the rest of the story. Some things are just too horrible to hear. I was afraid of what happened to Nathan.
"Yeah, it was fine when the whole class was around, but one day I found myself in the dark room all by myself. I was just developing my film and then all of a sudden I hear the swivel door spinning. I thought it was just another student, but I turned around and saw Mr. Erwin step out." I was beginning to feel sick to my stomach. Nathan was telling me the whole thing in a sort of detached voice that freaked me out almost as much as his story did. If this story was leading where I thought it was leading...
"I should have gone straight for the door right then, but I was just to scared. I thought if I just kept working and ignored him then maybe... maybe he wouldn't..." Nathan was quickly losing his cool and I felt horrible for him. This whole time I had imagined he was just one of those assholes who hated me for no reason at all. Nathan had good reason to hate me though and it scared me to death.
"He cornered me... I wanted to run..." Nathan was having trouble continuing his story and I knew then that I had to stop him.
"Nathan," I said, stopping where I was on the sidewalk. "You don't have to do this."
"God Trevor," he said turning to me. I could see tears were forming in his eyes. "What was I supposed to do?"
"I'm so sorry Nathan," I said. I had no idea what to do. There was nothing I could say or do to make it any easier.
"I hated gay people for so long, and then you came out... You, of all people. I trusted you and suddenly you represented everything I hated. I felt betrayed."
"I guess I don't have to say this, but not all gay people are like Mr. Erwin. That man did something horrible to you and I think you need to tell someone."
"No," he said shaking his head. "He didn't lay a hand on me in the dark room. Luckily, someone came in and Mr. Erwin backed off just long enough for me to get out of there. I had never been more scared in my life though."
Relief washed over me when he said that. The whole time I thought that Mr. Erwin had done a lot more than just scare him, but now I knew the truth and wasn't as freaked out. "Still," I said. "Someone needs to be notified if he's doing this to students."
"Don't worry," Nathan said, turning and looking at the point where the road vanished over the next hill. "I guess you never knew Mr. Erwin, because he doesn't teach at our school anymore. He isn't even in this town anymore."
"What do you mean?" I sensed some hidden pleasure seeping from his last remark and I knew there was something he wasn't telling me.
"I realized that he was thriving off my silence, so I finally got some balls and confronted him about it. I told him if he didn't quit his job I would go straight to the principle, the cops, and the fucking mayor and tell them what had happened." He smiled as he continued. "He told me nothing happened so I leaned over his desk and whispered to him, 'It doesn't matter. They'll believe whatever I tell them.'"
I stared at Nathan in shock. He was still grinning like the devil himself for what he had done. I couldn't believe he had done that to his teacher. One minute he was on the verge of tears telling me about the horrible thing that happened to him and the next he's telling me how he ruined the man's life. Something wasn't right here.
I stopped in front of Sebastian's house and turned to Nathan. "Well," I said. "I'm glad you got that settled then." I wasn't really sure how to react to his comment. I just wanted to get away from him. He had come to me to apologize, but for some reason he had just ended up scaring me even worse.
"Yeah, thanks a lot for listening. I guess I don't have to say it's just between me and you...."
"No no," I said quickly. "I won't tell anyone."
"Thanks Trevor. I'm really glad we were able to work out our differences. I guess I'll see you at school on Monday." I smiled to him and he turned around and kept walking down the street. God, I must be going crazy, I told myself. One minute I'm about to get the shit beaten out of me and the next minute Nathan is pouring his heart out.
I shook the thoughts from my head as I walked up the path to Sebastian's front door. It had been the longest day ever and I couldn't wait to see him. I knocked loudly and I was surprised when Mr. Reynolds answered. Now I knew it was going crazy.
"Hi," I said nervously. "Is Sebastian here?"
He didn't respond at first. He just sort of looked down at me, attempting to incinerate my whole head with his laser vision no doubt. "Yes," he said finally. "He's up in his room." He walked back into the house and left the door open for me. I sighed to myself and walked in. I guess some things would never change.
I went straight to Sebastian's room and knocked. "Come in," a small voice called out. I opened the door and saw Sebastian sitting on the floor next to his broken cello.
"Hey," I said.
He looked up and smiled when he realized it was me. "Hey," he said back. He got up off the floor and came over to me, wrapping his arms around me. "Didn't think you were coming." He began kissing me as I came in and closed the door behind me.
"I didn't either," I said as he pulled away finally.
"What do you mean?"
I was about to tell him what happened at work, but then decided that it would just cause him to worry. "You know work," was all I said. I went over and sat down on the edge of the bed as Sebastian went back over to his spot on the floor next to the shattered cello. He just sort of sat there and fooled with it a while before looking up at me.
"So, what exactly did happen with Chad?" he asked.
"I thought Shannon told you," I said quickly. This was definitely not the reason I came over here tonight. I did not want to think about Chad.
"She did," he said looking back down at the cello. "I just wanted to hear it from you."
"It was nothing. The coach held me after practice and when I went into the locker room I saw that Chad was waiting for me. He said he needed to tell me something, but he wouldn't say what. One minute I'm just standing there and the next minute he's right next to me kissing me."
"Oh," Sebastian said, not looking up from his cello. I got up and went over to sit next to him on the floor. I wrapped my arms around him and leaned my head on his shoulder.
"I told him today that it could never happen again. I told him I was too much in love with you." Sebastian looked down at me and smiled. I leaned up and kissed him softly and he laid down on the carpet and I laid down next to him, wrapping my arms and legs around him, trying to get closer than was humanly possible.
I just laid there a while listening to his heart beating and feeling his chest rise and fall with each breath. Finally I looked up and saw that he was staring over at his broken cello with a look of contentment on his face. "I think we can make it work," he said.
I was pretty sure he wasn't talking about the cello. "I think we can," I said.