I lost all ability for rational thought. I saw red. I lunged at him and punched him square in the jaw. He staggered back a few paces, then with a primal roar, he attacked back.
I'd like to say that I fought the good fight. I'd like to say that I showed him I wouldn't take any shit from him. But I can't. I never had been a good fighter. He beat into me, then before he got the opportunity to end my life once and for all, one of the sport teachers broke us apart. Ben almost hit him, but he was able to block the punch.
"What the hell is going on here, boys?" Mr Giggins, the teacher, demanded furiously. He was a huge man. 6'4", at least (220lbs), a mountain of muscle, and definitely not someone you want to piss off. I remained silent.
"He's a FAG, sir." Ben yelled at the top of his voice, making sure that everyone within earshot could hear.
"Who threw the first punch?" Giggins asked, applying the school's policy of who started it, faces the consequences.
"He did." both ben and I answered in unison.
"Hey, he lunged at me here in the playground for no reason." Ben was starting to get defensive.
Giggins looked at me.
"He beat me up in the park and got some guy to....... attack me." I didn't wish for the entire world to know I'd been raped.
The two of us got into a verbal wrestling match. Giggins looked between the two of us for a couple of minutes before grabbing us both by the shoulder and dragging us to the principal's office.
"Mr Dixon, this school will not tolerate physical harrassment of any of its students." Mrs Simmons, the school principal, stated simply.
She was a small woman. Just shy of 5'2". I guessed she was late 30's. But you can never tell. She was asian in appearance, but I think she was born here in Australia. I had always liked her, but many of the other students thougth she was a stuck up bitch.
"Without exception." she added after a brief pause.
Ben and I both just sat there. I was too miserable to respond, Ben was probably too scared.
"Do you understand me, Ben?"
Ben nodded meekly. By the look on his face, I could tell he thought he was being hard done by.
She turned her attention to some forms on her desk. I noticed Ben had started glaring at me. I felt uncomfortable under his scrutiny for some reason. I saw Mr Giggins staring at me with a look of disgust on his face. I also noticed he was standing as far away from me as he could without standing on Ben's lap.
I looked around the office, taking in small details. Certificates, books, posters. The usual stuff in a school office. Then something caught my eye. It was a sticker about 10 cm square. It was a picture of two girls hugging, but it was a negative image. There were some words on it, but it was too far away for me to read it. I knew I'd seen it before, but I wasn't exactly sure where. I couldn't remember seeing it anywhere. I figured I must have seen it on the internet somewhere. Some site for gay teens, or something. I was not good with the internet, so I knew I'd probably never find it again. And I was too scared to use the library's computers to look up anything now. I knew someone would be looking over my shoulder to see what gay stuff I was looking at. I had a strange feeling that I was going to be ok, but Ben had to worry. For some reason, that made me feel better.
"Mr Dixon., I am suspending you for one week. You are not permitted within the school premises until next Monday. If yu are found here, the police will be informed. Is that clear?" I was amazed how furious she seemed now, yet earlier she was fine.
There was no reply from Ben. She stood, and gave him a slip of paper.
"You can go. I expect to see that next Monday signed by both your parents."
Ben stood and stormed out. Mr Giggins followed him.
Ben made his way down the hallway, determined to get out of here before burtsing into tears. He was almost out of the building when he was called back.
"Dixon." Giggins bellowed, making Ben stutter for a second. Giggins reached him. He started whispering. "Look, I think you're being treated badly. He's the faggot, and you're being punished for it? That doesn't sound terribly fair to me. But I still had to stop you two from fighting. Some stupid law about anti-harrassment in schools. If it were up to me, I'd let you beat that queer freak into next year. There are ways around being called a gay basher, you know........."
I layed, bored on Dianne's couch. Mrs Simmons had given me the rest of the day, and the next day off. She didn't call it suspension, but it's what it was in essence. I didn't mind. I could use the rest, anyway. There was some stupid kid's show on tv. Teletubbies. Ick! I was just too lazy to get off my arse to go change the channel. I remembered hearing something about how everyone was saying that the purple one with the triangle on his head was gay, and they were all in an uproar about it being a bad role-model, or some shit. What a crock.
I looked at the clock, and saw that Dianne and Zeb will be home in a few minutes. I stared at the ceiling for god knows how long, before I heard them coming in the front door.
"Oh wow, what a shiner." I could hear an impressed tone in Zeb's voice. He had a huge smile on his face. I couldn't help smiling back at him, even though I didn't really feel like smiling.
"Cameron, you really need to be more careful, you know....." I should have listened to Dianne. I was just too busy remembering the fantastic look on Zeb's face.
For some reason, I now found myself wanting to just get out of that house. I was suddenly sick of the thought of my life. I waited until Dianne had finished speaking, then I got up without a word and walked out the front door.
I wandered the streets aimlessly until it started to get dark. I found myself fearing the darkness. I didn't know where I was. I didn't know how to get home. I was scared. I started running. I ran for a long time until I couldn't take another step. I collapsed. I forced myself to look around. Still nothing was familiar. But at that point, I didn't really care. I just wanted someone to come and end my life for me so I didn't have to worry about the pain I was feeling, or the hatred I felt everyone had for me.
I remembered not sleeping much at all that night, I just lay where I was, staring up at the sky, watching the stars twinkling, and I actually saw some wink out, and not come back. I'd never seen a star die, and I remembered a science lesson where my teacher told me that You never see a star vanish when it actuallly explodes. It takes hundreds or even thousands of years for us to see it dissapear. It was an odd sensation. I thought about how that star existed for thousands of years after they'd become no more, and then they were suddenly not there anymore. I wondered to myself if perhaps thats how it would be for me. Gone, and never thought of again, or living on in memories, and stories for years to come. Some how, I didn't think the latter was ever going to occur to me.
As the sky became light again, I felt myself getting very sleepy. I
didn't want to be sleeping in the open during daylight, so I dragged myself
to my feet, and somehow stumbled my way back to Dianne's. I had all of
today off school, so I was looking forward to a peaceful day by myself,
and since it was nearly 8:30 am by the time I got home, I was shocked to
see Dianne and Zeb sitting in the lounge room. Zeb was crying, and Dianne
had her arms wrapped around his shoulders. I felt bad for a second. I hadn't
even mentioned to them where I was going, and I didn't come back at all
last night. I felt touched that they cared so much for me.
Then I noticed that Zeb was holding an envelope. I realised that it was the reason he was crying. I also saw a letter lying on the floor, and sticking out of it was a plane ticket.
"What's happening?" I asked, confused.
Zeb just got out of his chair, and threw his arms around me. He sobbed into my chest, and I could do nothing but hold him as he shook and dug his finger nails into my back.
"Zeb's going to America for a few weeks. One of his closest friends was killed there a few days ago."
I stared at Dianne. "Why?"
"He was in a shot at school."
Zeb sobbed even harder into me. I didn't want to let him go. I wanted to take away all his pain, and I wanted to make him feel loved.
"When does he go?"
If you have any comments, suggestions, ego boosters and what not, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
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