Disclaimer: This story contains sexual content of a homosexual nature between consenting teenagers. It is intended for mature audiences only. If you are under legal age, offended, or otherwise do not wish to view material of a frank and sexual nature do not read this story.
Author's Note: Thank you to all those who have written to me. I'm glad that you are enjoying this story as much as I am. Your constructive criticism is what I focus my progression on. Thank you again. This is a work of fiction. Many characters were inspired by real people. I would gladly appreciate any feedback. This includes constructive criticisms. Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2005 by ube_licker
All Rights Reserved.
Chapter 11 -- Germ free generation
`Caramel Explosion' was not so different from `Chocolate Doomsday'. They had the same amount of ice cream, nuts, and brownies. You just substitute the caramel for chocolate. I handed both to a man and his two daughters. The Dessert Bar had been busy since October had started. My body had the strong scent of waffles, which was better than smelling like coffee. It almost made me feel bad for the new kid working here. The father thanked me and I quickly trotted over to the back where two sundaes and a fruit salad were waiting to be devoured by customers. Perfect balance was something that was a necessity in this field. I carefully maneuvered myself through the kitchen. An old couple and their ten-year-old grandson were gleeful when they saw me. I had talked to them shortly before and they told me that they had come from New Jersey. The boy's parents were celebrating their honeymoon on an Alaskan cruise, so the old couple decided to take him on their trip as an early birthday present. Sweet.
Work finished smoothly, as there were very little people left. I grabbed my skateboard from the back and headed over to the school. It was a cool and misty night. The waves thundered across the beach, each one rising higher as if to reach the magnificent diamonds that laced the dark velvet sky. Wisps of wind combed through my hair. There were tourists and surfers who were all still out.
When I got back, Damien was sleeping on my bed, underneath the covers. The football player was so big that his legs were sticking out. He told me earlier that he hadn't been getting good sleep lately. Quietly, I closed the door, placed the skateboard into the closet, and removed my clothes. In my boxers, I tiptoed towards Pierre's bed. It was good that his absence left a vacant mattress. I didn't want to wake Damien up or make him feel uncomfortable. I pulled the covers over my head. Even from across the room, I could hear his relaxed breathing. As I closed my eyes I could picture his chest rise and fall. Goodnight Damien. Everything's going to be ok.
I woke up a couple of hours later. A large arm was draped over my ribs and was pulling my back closer to a chest with mounds of muscle. I felt someone breathing at the top of my head. One of his legs wrapped around my waist. There was this tingling feeling in my body. And it wasn't eroticism. All I knew was that it made me feel warm. I smiled, allowing the comfort of security to pull me into a deep and vegetated sleep.
Timmy walked around the multi-purpose recreation room, "As you all know, Halloween is just around the corner. I am well aware of the traditional ball party that is thrown every year. But this year, I think we should do something a little different."
The Gold and Brown members of the student government were lined up with our backs to the dance mirrors. It was my first meeting as a Brown member.
"Before any of you offer your brilliant suggestions. I recommend that we have a theme this year. Haunted mansion dance party."
Timmy had his hands out proudly. Joe snickered.
Damien was the first to step forward, "That doesn't sound any different from what we do every year."
His hands were in the pockets of his football jacket. The school president looked agitated at the comment.
"That's not a suggestion. Ethan, what do you think?"
I smiled and said, "It's a good idea, but if we're going to run with it, then this year we should actually build an indoor haunted mansion."
Eric's wavy auburn hair bounced as he turned his head into my direction, "Build an indoor haunted mansion in two weeks?"
I answered, "It's possible. We did it in my old school where we had very little funding. You just have to be creative."
"I love it," Timmy proclaimed.
Celly gave me a disgusted look. It was very clear to me now that he did not like me.
Damien placed a hand on my shoulder and winked, "Me too."
For the next two hours we talked about the Halloween party. It was suggested that we host the entire event in the school gymnasium. Joe led the discussion since it was his role to make sure everything ran smoothly. I could sense the sarcasm in his voice. He did not like being blackmailed. Bobby had stayed quiet. He was different.
My father was never into politics. He was very easygoing and just accepted the way the world was. My mother, on the other hand, had a proactive voice when it came to concerns of the government. She often criticized American diplomacy over foreign affairs. She questioned the motives of our leaders and the actions they had taken. Vietnam and the Middle East were often where she drew her arguments. Yes, the senate wanted a better world. But who were they to claim what was right or wrong? After all, national ideology is just another way of saying ethnocentricity.
Timmy Montega was a true politician with the added delusions of grandeur. First, he allied himself with the school treasurer. Second, he implicated an investigation on a murder by releasing confidential information. And lastly, he used Celly's knowledge to blackmail the rest of the student government into voting him into presidency right after Lucky had been charged for murder. Joe was right. Timmy did think he owned the academy based on his name.
He placed his hand on my shoulder and said, "I knew I could count on you."
I was calling Lee on the payphone by the school mini-mall near the bookstore when I found Bobby sitting alone. My brother hadn't picked up so I left a message. He'd been busy lately with the new wave of tourists who've come from Europe. They were a tour group that scoured the Peloponnesian every year. This year they wanted to visit Oahu's beaches. Many of them were young adults who had discounts as a graduate gift from their schools. Lee told me that they wanted to try surfing in the Northshore and thought that he was a professional surfer. He laughed and told them that he only tried it once with a few co-workers. It was an embarrassing experience.
Bobby was sitting outside the café by a table overlooking the first floor. He was sipping on an orange mug. Chai Latte. He had just finished a radio show. His enthusiasm had dwindled in the recent week.
He looked up forced a smile, "What's up?"
"Nothing much. Just window shopping for props."
I pulled out a chair and sat across him.
"We can always just hire people to set up the haunted mansion for us."
"Doesn't that cost a lot of money?"
"To you or me?"
I chuckled. Beside his cup of coffee were documents. My eyes glanced at the photo on top of the colored pieces of paper.
"Do you want to see a picture of André?"
He passed me the photo.
"He's a seven-year-old boy from a village in Africa. Both of his parents died from AIDS and he was born with HIV. I'm sponsoring him through my mother's newfound agency. He's given a home, guardians, medical treatment, food, and school supplies. We write each other letters every month."
It always surprised me when Bobby displayed his compassion for the disadvantaged.
"I'm glad he has someone like you to sponsor him."
Bobby looked at me carefully and then took another sip from the mug on the table. He lifted it with both hands. An eyebrow was raised.
"Those are really nice and cool words, but I must look like a hypocritical pervert to you."
I brushed another strand of hair from my eyes.
"You know about the videos."
I took a closer look at the photo. André was wearing an old shirt and was standing in front of an old fashioned well. There were trees and a dirt road.
"Yeah. But it doesn't change my opinion of you. Sometimes when I watch TV and there's a commercial about some sick girl living in some poor country and how she only eats once a week... I quickly change the channel, just so I won't feel guilty about it. But you're different, because you're the type of guy who will look and listen to these advertisements and then do whatever it takes to help out."
I turned the photo over and slid it across the table.
"And I think that's exactly how those videos happened. You saw what was happening with Joe. You listened to him. Then you took action. It might not have been the most appropriate decision. But at least your heart was in the right place."
Bobby stared into space. He was still holding on to his orange mug of Chai Latte.
He laughed, "So you think I'm stupid instead?"
I joined in his laughter. In the back of my head I could hear crisp sounds of a dreamer. There would always be the taint of something vile within our blood. But that's the thing about being a good person. You can fight it and always become better.
"Anyway, since you're a Brown member I'll bet that you'll be chilling at Daredevil's a lot."
Below us, on the first floor, there were several students walking around. There was one boy with an ice cream in one hand and cotton candy on the other. Several of them had shopping bags. It must've been the fall fashions that many have been talking about.
"The nightclub where all the other Brown members have started hanging out recently? Nah. I don't have the time or money to do that. Besides, I usually work Friday nights."
He took another sip.
"But you are going to the college party tonight right?"
Bobby began to tell me the quirks about being a Brown member. I tried listening intently. There was this nonchalant feeling of grief that came from my newly acquired position. It was the idea of being a lap dog to people with a superiority complex. I sighed. It was for the greater good. Or so I told myself. I wondered if Bobby's kindness could see pass the shiny gold covering of his position on the student body.
"Are you ready?" Damien asked.
Insects buzzed through the darkness of the night. The large Victorian home stood before us. It belonged to a college student from the University of Honolulu. He was hosting a frat party and tonight was `All Boys Night'.
"Am I ever ready?" I replied, waiting for him to unlock the car doors.
Students from our school sought after invitations from these fraternity brothers on the presumption of something cool, hip and spontaneous yet inadvertently mature. These students were the go-getters of modern society bent on finding a little romance from seemingly older teens who were usually looking for a bedtime friend among the youth. If statutory rape weren't in their itinerary, then it would be utter humiliation and intimidation. Joe had warned me that the fraternity was like Survivor. There were tasks and challenges that these guys had to take in order to join in their ranks. These so-called challenges were often embarrassing acts of sexual degradation.
"Then let's go."
We both stepped out of his car and headed towards the house. The half moon glowed atop the roof. Along the driveway were palm trees twice the size of a man. The pathway had a cluster of little lights that illuminated from the ground.
I turned to him. He had on his ever-present football jacket. Underneath was a plain shirt that was probably worth more than anything I've ever worn. His jeans had a label to it and perfectly matched his white running shoes that had a navy blue stripe running on one side.
"Let me fix you up before we go in."
Damien had let me borrow a few of his brother's clothes that he had bought as gifts from a talented local designer. His brother was younger than he was, roughly my age, and also my size. The football player approached me. He was taller than I was. Large fingers moved below my chin and onto my chest. He unbuttoned to expose my skin.
"There. Now you're ready, my sexy boy."
He pulled me in closer.
"You smell good too."
He kissed the nape of my neck. I was quiet. He'd been showing more affection lately. I didn't know if it was a good thing.
"Damien. They're waiting for us."
I stepped back. He bit his lower lip and nodded. My hair was shorter. We decided that I needed a bit of a makeover. It was mostly clothes and hair. But I still couldn't recognize my own face when I looked in the mirror. Was that really Ethan Jackman?
He shifted his stance and said, "I know that I've been bugging you a lot lately. And it's not because I'm looking for anything serious. I'm not. Don't take this the wrong way. Ok?"
I nodded. It was the reminder speech again.
"So if I start dancing or hitting on other guys, you're not going to go all weird on me?"
I shook my head.
"That's cool," I responded.
"But I do care about you. Remember, I think the world of you."
I glanced sideways and faked a laugh.
"Don't fall in love."
He shot me a serious look and quickly said, "That won't ever happen."
I nodded again.
I wanted to tell him that it was only a joke, but I didn't want to make him feel like I was mocking him either.
The party waited for us. The Victorian home was larger on the inside. Two sets of stairs spiraled upwards in the foyer. A chandelier hung brilliantly from the center. The diamond shards sparkled across the family portrait. It was painted of course. Marble floors gleamed below us. Several young men of various ages swept throughout the residence. Some stood by the stairs or laid around the larger living room. Others roamed outside by the family swimming pool. Noise blasted through speakers from the infinite backyard. When I looked beyond the pool, there were hills of green grass. Golf course. Almost everyone had a beer or some sort of cup in their hand.
"Damien!" one guy called out.
"Hey fly boy! How's it happening?"
They seemed like they knew each other. My mother had explained to me years ago that acquaintances were people we rarely see and when we do we have to fake interests in order to keep familiar ties. I took this opportunity to explore on my own. It was also an excuse to give Damien some space. I headed over to the kitchen where a bunch of guys were hanging out. One of them was sitting on top of the counter. A couple was kissing by the pantry. I blushed. The kitchen was smaller than it should be. But the dining room dwarfed any of which I was lucky enough to visit. Another chandelier hung here over the long table. There were two coolers that sat on each side. I hesitated before reaching into one. Mexican beer. I placed it back.
A proverbial blur of faces caught my attention as I continued my exploration. I either recognized them from the school or customers of the Dessert Bar. It took me a couple more minutes to finally realize that I didn't belong here. It made me feel like Paul on his road to Damascus.
I turned my head around. I had been facing the pool.
He handed me a cup.
"Man, if looks could kill. Don't worry. It's only punch."
Sandy hair. Green eyes. He laughed.
"You don't even remember me. Do you?" the stranger smiled.
I scratched the back of my neck.
"I'm sorry. You do look familiar though."
He was dressed like he was ready for a game of golf. All he needed was a nine iron and a ball.
"Travis," he stretched out his sinewy arm, "From your first game. You beat us 50 to 42."
It took me a few more seconds before images of the game came back to me. I shook his hand.
"Ah yeah, your team was tough. Sorry again. A lot's been going on lately. Didn't you take down my number?" I asked him.
He placed his hands in his pocket.
"Yeah I did. It was one thing asking for it. Procrastination and fear of rejection kept me from actually putting words into action. Ok, it was more of that fear."
The punch was sweet.
"It would be nice to get to know someone outside of my school. So what are you doing at a party like this?"
He shifted his stance to stare out into the pool.
"This is my house."
The family portrait from the foyer flashed in my head. He was one of those little boys.
"My brother goes to the University here. He also likes having parties whenever my parents visit the Riviera or the Swiss Alps. He pays the servants extra to keep their traps shut and clean up."
Travis was the youngest of a family of five. His sister was the oldest and had become a lawyer living in Orange County. She was married with a child on the way. Travis' older brother was studying medicine at Honolulu University. We talked for a bit in the hallway between the dining room and the living room.
"So humor me, Ethan, I'm hormonally imbalanced. What's a guy like you doing at a school like Montega's?"
Heat was emanating from the humidity in the air.
"Excuse me?" I didn't understand the question.
"It's like putting brandy inside of a vending machine. It doesn't seem to suit you. You're much more sophisticated than that."
He leaned against the wall.
"The school gives me opportunities that I wouldn't get at other schools. Does the idea of an all boys' school that caters to certain needs bother you?"
His bright green eyes stared deeply in my own.
"No. I just don't agree with the concept. Is the world so bad that guys like you need a haven? It shows weakness in people like you and me. Prevailing over adversity and discrimination is much more admirable than choosing a place that cuts off communication from other social groups. How will you ever be able to find acceptance if you can't face the bigotry head on?"
Travis posed an interesting question. Before I could answer, a shadow crept from behind me. His hand rested by my right hip.
Damien countered, "You think it's so easy, don't you? A lot of these kids from our school had a hard time growing up. You've had the luxury of supportive parents and friends."
Travis had an empathic expression on his face, "You're wrong about me. I don't think it's easy. But I rather face all of that crap than live my life in hiding."
He turned to me and said, "Enjoy the party, Ethan. It was really nice talking to you. I'll call you sometime and maybe we can hang out."
Before he left I grabbed him by the shoulder. He packed more muscle than he looked.
"I agree with you. We should be able to face the world in our own terms. But I'd like to learn more about others who are like me and about myself before I go out there and make my impact. That's why I choose to stay at that school."
He smiled, "You'd make a great boyfriend," and he shifted his eyes to Damien, "If only you were available. My friends are here. I'll talk to you later."
Travis left. Damien shrugged and then led me towards the pool. He seemed angered that I was having a conversation with another guy. There were more people now. Prominent members of our school were outside. Joe and Bobby were talking to several college students. Timmy was sitting by the edge of the pool, attempting to flirt with a Brown member. Celly and Boo were having a heated debate with an older boy. The others were huddled together in a corner. It reminded me of school dances back home, where the boys and girls were always on opposite sides of the gym. It was easy to be shy.
"So this is where y'all been hiding," I joked.
They greeted us. Boo waved from where he was and then continued talking to the stranger.
Damien crept from behind me again and whispered, "That's Boo's boyfriend. James."
He continued to describe how James was once a Gold member at Montega's and decided to attend the local college to stay close with Boo. James reminded me of Damien. They had the same build and hairstyle. But James had gray eyes and thicker eyebrows. Damien's gaze drifted from them and towards Timmy.
"He makes me sick."
I lifted my face to his and gave him a daring look.
"He's not so different from someone else I know."
"You're funny. In a Regis kind of way."
It was right then that Lucky stormed through the gazebo. At first I didn't recognize him. But the closer he came, the more distinguished his features appeared. It looked like he hadn't showered in days. Like he just woke up. He didn't shave. Not even wash his face. But he still looked handsome in gruff kind of way. It was the magic of Gold. Each step he took was a stomp. They were very quick stomps. Celly, Boo and his boyfriend immediately stopped their intense banter. Joe and Bobby froze. Pierre appeared from the shadows. His hair was ruffled and his clothes were rumpled. There was a daze expression on his face. An older guy came into view beside him. He was shirtless. Did they --
"Timmy Montega!" Lucky squealed.
Timmy stood on attention. His shorts were partially wet. The boy in the pool with him sunk deeper into the water.
"Hello Lucky," the present school president greeted the former, "I assumed that you'd be frantic, ludicrous, and completely out of your mind."
They stood by the pool. Face to face. Lucky was taller. Timmy's fat hung loosely around him.
"Really?" Lucky's eyes widened with hysteria, "Did you know what they did to me? What they put me through? It was because of you -- Because of this!"
He held something tightly in his left hand. It was a piece of paper. Manila. There was writing all over it. Black ink. He threw it at the calm president. It landed on Timmy's chest. The soft Hawaiian breeze blew it past him and onto my feet.
"You're the one who wrote it, Lucky," Timmy said as calm and snide as he could.
"I was only doing my job. It looked suspicious when I happened to come across it. The police needed to know."
Lucky stepped even closer. He grabbed the collar of Timmy's shirt.
"You piece of shit! You knew what kind of letter it was. How could you possibly think it was a confession? Did you want to be president that badly? Did it mean that much to you that you had to use someone's death? Maybe you're the one who killed Kyle."
A dash of fear crawled its way into Timmy's eyes.
"Yeah," Lucky continued, "It all makes sense now. You're the only one who had anything to gain from his murder. You were also the only person who knew that Sophie wasn't really social worker. And you took the first opportunity you got to accuse someone of such a crime. You didn't even worry about how that would complicate my future. You bastard. You fucking bastard! Did you do it? Did you kill Kyle? My Kyle?"
"Who do you think you are, Lucky?" I asked.
I stepped forward. He glared at me.
"You might have been arrested. But you were also questioned. You were given the opportunity to plead your case. And since you've been released, I can only assume that you're innocent. If you are as smart as everyone says you are then you should give the cops some sort of credit. If Timmy Montega is anywhere near guilty then they would have brought him in for questioning days ago."
He was still holding on to our school president.
"Shut up, Ethan. You don't know shit."
I could feel the eyes again. They were all over me. Everyone was watching.
"I do know that you're in no position to judge him. So let him go. Or else."
He shoved him aside. Timmy almost fell into the pool. He regained his balance... and his composure. Lucky pointed his right index finger directly between my eyes.
"Is that a threat?"
"If you start anything here you'll only bring more suspicion against you."
He stared at me for a few seconds, and then at Timmy. There was definitely a glint of hate there. But he eventually turned around. And walked away. He never turned his back. Not once.
The rest of the party seemed almost bleak. The college students talked about it... mostly amongst themselves. High school, they probably thought, never had this much drama. The rest of us were quiet. Travis attempted another conversation when he found me again but I was too distracted. Damien didn't talk to me at all. The rest of the Gold members were distant. But Timmy and Celly seemed a lot friendlier.
"Thanks for defending me back there."
I looked at him carefully.
"I owed you more than that."
"I knew there was a reason why I chose you to be a Brown member."
His teeth were crooked and his hand felt cold against my shoulder. I smiled. The half-moon shimmered across the ripples of the pool. Navy skies. Bright stars. And dirty clouds. Soft music sparked in the distance. It was new age rock, attempting to out do its predecessors in the ways of philosophical thinking.
I walked across the sands in the middle of the night. It was dark, the ugly kind of dark. Thoughts were scurrying around my head. Lee had told me that taking on more responsibilities would get the best of me. He knew I wouldn't listen though. My mind rummaged through my memories, knocking a few sensibilities over. My mother and I had this fight once. It was over a broken dish. She had raised her hand as if to slap me. And I said a few words that in minutes I had already regretted. When I look back at it -- it seems silly. I actually missed being lectured. Even over the simplest of things.
Lucky sat on a bench. His head was down. The ocean was a monster in front of him.
"Hey," I greeted.
He didn't say anything for a while.
But then, "You're plan seems to be working."
I nodded. The wind was picking up. Though my hair was short now it still obeyed the forces of nature.
"I had help. So when do you start school again?"
I sat on the bench too. There was space between us. Lucky had his hands clasped.
"I'm not going to. I'm taking a semester off."
My left shoe had sand in it. I could feel the grains underneath my sock.
"Cool. You'll be energized again when you get back."
He didn't move. His head was still down.
"I'm not coming back, Ethan. I'm ready to leave Montega's. I was ready a year ago. But I stayed back just to see if I could still... And now it's time. The world is waiting for me to face it."
He sighed. I lay back against the wood.
"There's no point in me stopping you, is there?"
Others have already tried. I scratched my nose.
"That's too bad. We were only starting to get to know each other."
He finally looked up. His eyes were red.
"He really likes you. I mean, he's actually fallen for you."
"I hope you're not talking about Timmy. Because the plan was -"
He placed his hand by my knee.
"No. You know whom I'm talking about. I know things seem weird and crazy right now. Like, you don't know if it's real or not. But it's that precious person that can drive you to do things you never thought you could do. That one special person, and all of their dreams."
Lucky's mind was already somewhere else. He got up.
"It's late. You still have school tomorrow and that Halloween thing to do. And I've got some packing to do."
"Good luck. No pun."
He forced a smile. I stood beside him. The water was distant, but it's presence felt so close that you could almost drown in it. He shook my hand and gave me a hug.
"Take care of yourself, Ethan. The police really think that someone out there killed Kyle. If that's the case, then there's a killer on the loose. The school is in over its head. Things always get hazy when money's involved. They don't know what to do except to keep everyone in the dark. You can't trust anyone... not even your closest friend."
He turned, walked, and gave a final wave. I turned around.
"Hey!" he called out in the distance, "Keep the letter. I don't think I need it anymore."
I almost forgot. Things moved so quickly at the party. The piece of paper was folded neatly in my pocket. I was going to give it back to him. Some things should remain as they are...
I killed you. If only I had done things differently, maybe you wouldn't have been in that place and at that time. I could have tried to see things in your point of view. Pushing you was easy because I only cared about what I felt. I only have myself to blame. There are so many things I wanted to tell you. Like how much it bothered me that your eyes were always on someone else. But also how your cute obsession with Russian aristocrats made me laugh. You were always so carefree.
Things are weird for me now. It's like I'm empty inside. Like I talk and speak and do my duties...but nothing. Maybe I'm just sad. It's a sad thing. People say I have a lot going for me. I don't. Not anymore. I know you're probably rolling in your grave somewhere saying, "Get a hold of yourself!" I just wish you were here to tell it yourself.
I've gone on and on about me again. I'm smart, but so -- stupid. You were there. You were ready. I wasn't. You already let go of the past and accepted that things are the way they should be. But I pushed and pushed. I wanted to be sure. And now you're surely dead. Do you think God sees that? Can he see the -- love? God, I sound like an idiot. One good thing that came out of all this was that I finally admitted what you knew all along. You were always right.
Kyle, I will never forget you,