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: 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 6 -- Love, Angel, Music, Baby
"Welcome to Montega Academy," I exclaimed as I opened the doors to our large cafeteria.
Lee laughed in astonishment.
"I've never seen a school this big in the two decades of my life!"
I smiled, showing a little pride for the school that I've worked hard to get into.
"The cafeteria has more than one level. I couldn't believe it the first time I came to this school."
Students that had woken up early for class all looked up to see whom the handsome stranger was by the cafeteria entrance. Lee waved at them, exhibiting his smug persona. They looked... intrigued.
"Because you work for Montega Resorts and Accommodations, the faculty is giving you the privilege to have free meals."
He rubbed his stomach and licked his lips.
"Nice. Very nice."
He ruffled my hair.
"You've got it made here Ettie."
Growing up, I have always wanted to impress Liam Jackman. He was my idol. Everyone in town knew my brother as the star quarterback and all around Boy Scout. But in my eyes he was just Lee. It was the simple and seemingly insignificant things that made him a hero to me. The way he respected our parents. The way he defied them. The way he walked like no one could put him down. The way he shared everything he ever owned. The way he organized his day to the very minute. The way he gave change to the homeless. The way he gained inter-dependence. The way he laughed. The way he smiled. He was everything I've always wanted to be, and more. I told him that once. He laughed and said that I was already more than he could ever be. I never understood what he meant by that.
"So where's Damien?" he asked with a smirk.
I had finished my workout earlier this morning to meet up with Lee in the main foyer. The hallways were crowded with slow-paced students, mindlessly walking around for random social interaction. I had just gotten my laundry from the school dry-cleaners and the yellow shirt that I had put on felt tighter than the last time I wore it. The fabric hugged the muscles on my upper body. Because of my runner's experience, my muscles flexed as smoothly as I walked. Even after two weeks of arriving to this school I am still being compared to various blond actors and singers who were around my age. I would usually laugh it off. I never wanted to come off as vain. Lee had finally gotten the opportunity to take a day off from his job at the hotel to visit me in the school. I was excited to see him and to share the many stories of our new lives in Hawaii.
When I got to the main foyer I saw my brother playing hackey sack with a group of students. He was wearing white running shoes, khakis and a navy blue golf shirt with the hotel logo on his left breast pocket. His brunette blond-highlighted hair glistened as the sun reflected off of it through the windows. The students circled him as they watched him balance the footbag on his ankle, and then bouncing it to his other foot. Lee shifted his weight so that he could maneuver a thrust and flip the sack. It went over his head and almost landed behind him but he caught it with a mini back kick, tossing it to his left hand. The group of students cheered. I sighed. Some things never change.
Finally taking notice, he called out to me, "Hey Ettie!"
His crowd took a glance in my direction. My brother walked towards me and gave me a hug.
"Whoa that's the hottest couple I've ever seen."
We both laughed.
"We're brothers," we said in unison.
I gave Lee a small tour of the school. I started off with the cafeteria where we had our breakfast. He noticed that the food served was a lot like that of the hotel where he was working. We then headed off to the library. Montega's library had a post-modern design. The walls were made of cement with circled six feet windows. Though it wasn't the biggest library I've ever been to it had three floors of books. The top floor served as an Internet café/computer lab, where hundreds of the latest flat screen computers assembled row by row beside a café. Afterwards I took him to see the three-floor fitness room, basketball court, wave pool and the mini-mall.
"It's like you never have to leave," Lee said in bewilderment.
"I understand now why you worked so hard to get here."
I nodded. We began to walk to my first class. English.
"I still can't believe a kid died here a week ago. And I can't believe that it wasn't on the news."
I held my books tightly.
"I don't know Lee. Things haven't really changed around here. And the teachers told us that it wasn't in the news because they didn't want to inspire other teens to do the same thing."
He stopped to fix his shoelaces.
"I think all schools have at least one suicide every year."
I nodded. The suicide rate in the country was high on teens.
"Why do you think he did it?" I asked.
We continued to walk.
"He was a rich kid right? He probably felt pressured by his parents and peers. Or maybe he had a chemical imbalance. I don't know. Did you guys have a funeral service?"
Many students stared at us as we walked through the hallways.
"No. His body was taken to his parents in California. We did have a remembrance ceremony two days ago."
Lee took out my English textbook and carefully browsed through it.
"So what was his name again?"
It was recommended for parents of students in Montega to attend at least one class with their children for observation purposes. But many parents were busy with their profession and many students rather leave their parents at home. I was happy to show Lee how the school functioned and the many privileges it offered. The first class we attended was my English class with Ms. Fox. She was handing out our grades for the Hamlet presentations we had the week before and the essays we had to write for them.
"Fantastic Ethan. I thoroughly enjoyed your group presentation and your essay was above and beyond."
Lee lightly punched me in the shoulder and coughed a laugh. We were learning about essentialism in writing essays and how it was hard not to stereotype gender and culture. Ms. Fox was lecturing when the classroom phone began to ring. While she was on it she kept nodding until she put it down. She got a folder from her desk and quickly looked it over.
"Ethan darling. Can you kindly bring this folder to the office for me."
She looked worried. Earlier, she couldn't stop checking out my brother and now she seemed a bit flustered. I grabbed the attendance from her and made my way down to the office. I wonder if Kyle ever had to bring down the attendance. I made a turn at a corridor when someone big grabbed me from behind. My father told me once that he was mugged when he was in high school. He was walking home from work at the supermarket when a homeless person attacked him, wrestled him down and then took his money. The large hand gripped my shoulder tightly, and turned me around to face him. I recognized him. He put his left index finger to his lips. His other hand grabbed my elbow and pulled me into the restroom. He pushed me against the dense wall.
"Hey sexy," Damien whispered.
He hadn't talked to me since the trip. I saw him everyday in class and in the hallways. He never said a word, not even during the memorial service for Kyle. His eyes focused on mine directly as if waiting for a response.
"How are you doing?" I asked.
My elbow was sore after hitting the wall.
I felt him kiss my ear.
"You still have my territorial mark on your neck."
The hickey had started to disappear. It faded and looked more like a healing bruise.
"Are you feeling ok? I know this week's been pretty weird after Kyle..."
He gripped my waist.
"What do you see in me Ethan?"
I was confused.
He brushed his hand by my cheek.
"You're not looking to get laid."
I bit my lower lip.
"No. But that doesn't mean I'm not attracted to people."
"Kyle was a good kid. I tutored him last year for his math class. He was the first good-looking guy that I just wanted to be friends with."
My cheeks got hot.
"I've been really needing you Ethan."
I didn't understand at first until I felt his fingers pulling my fly open.
"Please?" he asked.
I closed my eyes. I didn't say anything. I didn't know what to do. His other hand pressed my shoulder against the wall. It was as if he didn't want me to escape this time. His lips tried to reach mine but I turned my head. His wet mouth instead found the nape of my neck. The zipper was stuck. He tugged it down. His lips touched the same area on my neck where he gave me the hickey. He lightly pulled the skin with his teeth. He was breathing hard. The muscles on his body were tense. I could now feel his wet tongue. He was making a soft slurping sound as he continued to lick and suck my neck.
"Excuse me but can you stop manhandling my little brother?"
Lee stood by the restroom door. His facial expression was serious. Damien pulled away from me. I quickly fixed myself like I would if I had finished urinating.
"You must be the infamous Damien. Can I talk to you for a second? Alone."
Lee glanced in my direction signaling me to leave. Damien looked as serious as my brother did. They stared at each other down, as if they were oppositions in a football game. Lee crossed his arms. Damien raised his chin and broad shoulders. I was about to say something but decided against it. I left the restroom, handed the file to secretary in the main office and then headed back to class.
Class was almost over when Lee returned. He sat beside me and acted like nothing happened. Whenever our mother got into a dispute with someone she would stay quiet about it. She always said that though people should express their anger they should also try to be private, depending on the situation. We were on our way to my next class when Lee finally said something.
"He's a nice guy."
I smiled. Dad use to say that being nice didn't really mean anything, because anyone could be nice or at least pretend to be. I didn't question him any further. My next class was math that I had with Pierre. When I came home from the retreat Pierre had ran to me from the door of our dorm and hugged me tightly. He seemed weak and it was as if he'd been crying for days. I later found out that Pierre was the one who found Kyle's dangled body behind the porch while looking for a watch he accidentally dropped. He's been a bit better after the memorial service but every once and a while he would go into this temporary catatonic state where he would just stare into space. We entered the classroom casually. Pierre was sitting by his desk talking to a few students. The room stared at us briefly.
"Hey Ethan. Who're with?"
I gave a small wave. Lee shook his hand.
"My name's Liam. I'm Ethan's brother."
Pierre chuckled for a second.
"Good. I was about to get jealous."
Lee and I looked at each other and wondered, jealous of whom?
"So you're the guy who's always calling Ethan. We all thought he had some secret boyfriend."
I laughed nervously.
"My brother's here to see how the school is. Our mom used to talk about the school a lot."
Pierre nodded knowingly. Lee grabbed the textbook from Pierre's desk.
"Calculus? Man, I haven't seen this crap in so long..."
"Yeah. It's part of our new unit. How are you liking the school so far?"
Lee continued to flip the pages. The sunlight behind him made Lee look angelic.
"It's more than I ever imagined it would be. How are you doing? I heard what happened."
Pierre cast his eyes down. I placed my hand on his shoulder.
"I'm doing better. I just feel sorry for Kyle. He was always a happy guy. He just never seemed the type to do that to himself."
"Sometimes you can never tell what's really going on inside someone. No matter how much you think you know them."
Pierre turned his head to look at the window. Palm trees were planted on this side of the building.
"I will never forget the look on his face when I saw his body. His eyes were open. And his skin was pale."
I remembered the night when our parents died. We were home. I was doing my homework. Lee had just come home from his girlfriend's. The house was quiet. Our parents went out to celebrate their anniversary. We got a phone call late in the evening. It was a woman's voice. She asked about my last name. She was very polite and had an edge of sympathy in her voice. My own voice was cracking at the eve of puberty. She then said something that hit me like a bad joke. She said, `Sorry'. `Sorry for what? You didn't do anything ma'am', I responded. Her voice got a little muffled. She told me that she worked in the police department. I asked her if she wanted to speak to my parents. She said that she wished she could. I didn't understand. She then said that they died at a car accident. I told her that she must have been mistaken because my parents went out for dinner. She said that they did go out for dinner... and that there was an accident. She said some other things, but I forgot what they were. I stood there motionless. I didn't understand. When Lee came downstairs he asked who was on the phone. I gave it to him. He asked me what was wrong. I couldn't say anything. My throat was all dried up, like I hadn't drunk water in days. My body was shaking. My head was hurting. Lee talked on the phone. After a few seconds he began to cry.
Math class started off with some confusing equations but the teacher attempted to give us different ways of solving them. Pierre was diligently copying the notes and I had begun the homework. Lee was ready to sleep. After another half hour we left math to eat lunch in the cafeteria. We introduced Lee to some more students who were more than eager to be his new friends. I don't think that they knew my brother was heterosexual. They stayed close to him and even flirted with him. Pierre acted very weird but at least my brother's presence diverted him from his traumatic experience. A big part of me had severe sympathy for Pierre. First he had suffered abuse at the hands of his last boyfriend, and now he had to overcome the death of a friend.
"You guys are hilarious," Lee exclaimed.
Eric and his Brown member friends were telling him about their lunchtime adventures.
Eric laughed, "Seriously, we all thought you were Ethan's boyfriend or something. Good thing though, because so many people have been trying to get it on with him but the guy is just so clueless."
My brother laughed at my expense. Eric was an enigmatic character, surprisingly friendly but had a mystique about him. I was told that Eric had more friends outside of the school that he always seemed to be in contact with. He told me during the trip that he had problems being pressured by this group of friends. I never saw him as the type of person to be easily influenced. He was the first person in school to actually befriend me.
Lee was very ecstatic during lunch. He's never seen such variety in foods and had a mix of Mexican and Taiwanese for a meal.
"Damn this is good."
We sat in our usually lunch spot, outside on the second floor. The view of the ocean added to Lee's exhilaration. The waves were calm today, the sky had puffs of cotton clouds and the sun blanketed the earth. The Hawaiian Islands have a moderate tropical climate with gentle northeasterly trade winds and warm Pacific waters almost year-round. Temperatures vary little from place to place, except at higher elevations. The average annual temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit fluctuates only a few degrees from summer (May through October) to winter (November through April). The recorded temperature in the state has ranged from 12 degrees F near the summit of Mauna Kea in 1979 to 100 degrees F at Pahala (on the Big Island of Hawaii) in 1931.
While the others were talking about a car meet, I turned to my brother and curiously said, "You never did tell me about the dinner with Carlos Montega or your date with that girl."
Lee smiled, "The attention was focused on you the whole day."
I chuckled at the irony. Because of his quick thinking, Lee had inadvertently stopped an illegal smuggling campaign at the hotel he was working in. He was offered a raise, a better job and a free dinner with the hotel chain owner. Also, he won the affection of a co-worker and a date. I was happy that things were starting to look up for him. He deserved it more than anyone.
"Mr. Montega is a pretty cool guy. He's smaller than I thought he'd be. We ate at this really nice restaurant. We talked about what happened in the hotel and he told me how he first started the business. I told him about you and how you were going to his school. He said that he wished he had a supportive older brother like me while he was growing up."
I listened intently as he ate his taco. Carlos Montega seemed like an interesting character.
"He also told me that he had an adopted son who just started at your school. It was funny because he never knew about Timmy's sexuality till earlier this year. Have you met him?"
Timmy Montega was starting his own reputation in the school. It was sad to know that people made fun of him behind his back. He had the labels `ugly' and `fat' mentally written on his forehead. He came up to me on his first day. He too was a blond and had blue eyes. But he also had sideburns that ran up his head and long hair that flowed from the top. He had a few pimples on his face and a husky body. He complimented me on my physique. I smiled, only to observe a very cynical laugh that emanated from his throat. Because of his last name, Timmy gained instant Brown membership of the student government and seemed to interact well with the Gold member Celly. Celly was another member of the student body that didn't seem to fit with the most popular guys in school. He was also made fun of behind his back, but at least he had the position of being best friends with Damien, the Vice-President of student council.
Eric had explained to me that Celly's roll, as Gold member was simple. He was the smartest mathematician and programmer in the school, the perfect treasurer. To have him by your side would be an exceptional asset. This got me to wonder if Damien was only a friend to Celly because of his brains. I also wondered if Celly was only in good terms with Timmy because he knew how the other felt.
"Timmy's alright so far. He seems nice."
Lee nodded. He knew what our father taught us about being nice.
"Anyways," he continued, "Mr. Montega is a cool guy and said that I should be looking for a huge promotion soon if I continue doing good work. It's cool but I'm already in the process of being in charge of the clerks that do inventory for the entire hotel."
I took a sip of ice water. My skin was moist from the humidity.
"Nice. I still can't believe you actually met him though. How about that date you had? How did that go?"
Lee rubbed his lips.
"You mean Naomi? She's awesome. This girl is a mix of Hawaiian and Dutch, and she has the cutest smile. We went to a bar, but there wasn't much to do there so we went to her place."
I almost choked on my drink.
"Nah. Her daughter was there..."
Lee looked away from me.
"She has a child? That's not such a bad thing..."
Lee paused for a second before he continued.
"Her name is Alexis. She's four years old and is probably the cutest kid I have ever seen in my life... well besides you when you were little. Naomi's baby-sitter had a test the next day so she let her go early. We watched Lilo and Stitch."
Lee continued to describe Naomi and her daughter. They were both beautiful and Alexis' father left three years ago when he couldn't handle the pressures of being a teenage father. Since then, Naomi had raised Alexis with her parents. They got their own apartment and Naomi would pick her daughter up everyday after work to take care of her. She hadn't been on a date for years. She must of thought that Lee was really special.
"Anyway Ethan. She wants us to come to the grand opening of the Dragon Center. It's this new Asian buffet downtown and she got passes from work to eat there for free."
I wiped my mouth with a napkin.
"What do you mean by us?"
"I told her about you already and she said that it'd be really cool to meet you."
I nodded. Though I was happy for him, I also felt that he was rushing into this relationship. It had only been a couple of weeks since we arrived on the island. It already felt like he had a new family. Maybe I was jealous.
After lunch we walked directly towards my social ethic's class. Lee followed Eric and I while he talked to some more of the guys. They were severely intrigued by my brother. Mr. Buchanan greeted Lee with a bit of enthusiasm. He explained that there hadn't been a legal guardian visit for a long time.
"At a time of such trauma, it's greatly appreciated that parent figure and role model come to the school."
Lee was bashful. I could tell that he'd been enjoying the day so far. While my brother and teacher were in the middle of conversation, I went to my seat to take out my books. In the distance I could hear a group of students coming closer, and the sounds of two lively Gold members.
"Shimmy, shimmy, cocoa what!" Bobby hollered as he pulled his large headphones closer to his head.
Joe continued, "Listen to it now!"
"Light it up and take a puff!"
"Pass it to me now!"
They all laughed giving each other high-fives. It was the first time since we came back that they had their cheerful harmony. Bobby wore a towel around him with a large picture of Kyle on it. His small frame couldn't hide his big ideals. Joe was enthusiastic, pulling jokes like nothing happened between now and the retreat. He wore tank top that outlined the toned muscles of his lanky body. It took them a while to finally notice that they had a guest in the room.
"Hey, there's a stud muffin in the room!" Joe called out.
Bobby laughed, "Bring out a hose."
Turning from his conversation with Mr. Buchanan, Lee gave them a small wave and a wink and continued talking to our teacher in the front of the classroom. Joe was about to make another remark when Damien entered the room. His broad shoulders quivered under a light draft in the room. His muscular frame was more evident when he stood with sheer confidence. He looked more serious than usual.
"Back off Joe. It's Ethan's brother."
He suddenly pulled a smile that had the class chuckle. Damien entered the room, shook my brother's hand like they were old friends and took his place on the seat behind me. When he sat down he pulled his desk closer to my back and he leaned forward.
He whispered, "Sorry about earlier. If you're re-thinking about our plans for tomorrow..."
I smiled. It started to feel like Damien was always apologizing. It seemed as if my brother had pulled him back to reality without hurting him.
I turned around and flashed him my eyes, "It's ok Damien. People have different ways of grieving. And no, I haven't changed my mind about tomorrow."
It was his turn to smile. Then he began to look around him. People were getting suspicious. I wondered how long he could actually hide his newfound interest. Joe had warned me two days ago. He told me that Damien wasn't a stationary person. He said that the captain of the football team was always sleeping around with everyone. Joe made one word clear. Everyone. Through Joe I had found out that Damien had already slept with most of the Gold members. I didn't know how I felt about that at first.
"Ok class, settle down. As Damien has stated, this is Ethan's handsome brother Liam Jackman."
I think it was Mr. Buchanan's introduction that made me a bit uneasy. Handsome. I wasn't surprised. I looked around the room to find Eric staring out into space. I laughed inside my head. He was already bored.
"These guys really like your brother," Damien whispered.
"Yeah. The entire school is practically sniffing him," I chuckled.
Mr. Buchanan glanced in my direction silencing me and then continuing his introduction.
Damien came closer to my ear, "People always fall in love with what they can't have."
There was something eerie about the way Damien said it that caught me off guard. What did he mean by that?
"Anyways class. We also have another visitor waiting outside in the hallway," Mr. Buchanan continued.
It dawned on me that Max wasn't in class. He'd been really upset since the retreat. I don't know what Damien had said to him but hopefully it isn't what's causing him to miss class. He reminded me of Snowy. The guy he called ugly because of his acne. But it was ironic because Max wore his acne on the inside. His lack of confidence and vision were corrupted by his lust. He wanted Damien because of his social background, looks and popularity. He was too blind to even see the beauty within Snowy.
"Liam, take a seat next to your brother. Come in Sophie."
I didn't think it was her until she walked into the room. There were a few people who we didn't regret ever seeing again when my brother and I left home. She was one of them.
"Sophie?" Lee choked.
My eyes widened. Her hair was shorter than I last remembered. Chestnut-brown curls caressed the back of her neck. Gray eyes fluttered like an innocent butterfly.
"What the hell are you doing here in Oahu?"
Lee's anger was searing.
"I was going to ask you two the same question."
Her eyes floated between Lee and I. I always thought that she was pretty. I also thought that she was pretty insane.
Mr. Buchanan cleared his throat, "It seems that the three of you know each other. You may all discuss whatever you need after class. In the meantime, everyone, I'd like you all to meet Miss Sophie McKinnon."
Everyone said their monotone `hellos'. Lee still stood there and stared. He narrowed his eyes. Sophie McKinnon grew up a couple blocks away from our home. During high school she finally befriended Lee. However, he was never aware of her obsession over him. She was massively jealous of Lee's former girlfriend and had taken aggressive actions against her. She was suspended for a few days. Later on, Sophie began stalking Lee. He was still blissfully ignorant about it all until she finally confronted him about it. He told her that even though he found her attractive, he didn't feel like going out on a date with her. She told him that he was lying and ran home crying. The next day when Lee went to grab some books from his locker, he found hundreds of pictures instead. They were of her. When he tried to speak to her about it, Sophie made the impression that she would let go of her fantasies about being with him. But as soon as she got home she called the cops and accused Lee of sexual assault. Lucky for Lee, he had taped their previous conversation and placed a restraining order. After our parents' deaths, she came over to apologize. My brother told her to leave and to never talk to him again. It was the last that we ever saw or heard of her... until today.
"I'm the school's new social worker. After the traumatic events of Kyle's death, I have been assigned here to talk to each and everyone of you. Suicide is a very delicate issue. When I was younger I had often contemplated on it myself."
Sophie glanced at Lee before continuing her little introduction.
"I thought you were going into Law," my brother said with great suspicion.
Mr. Buchanan gave him a very annoyed look. The rest of the class could sense the tension. They remained quiet, along with their thoughts. Sophie didn't respond to Lee's comment. But her face flashed red. What was she doing here? Out of all the placements in the country, why here? Her slender body walked across the room. She looked into the eyes of every student.
"Life is a combination of freedom and will. But sometimes people feel that they have neither."
Kyle Pennington. Timmy Montega. Sophie McKinnon. The school year was going to be a lot more different than I had ever thought it would be.