It was a thought to meditate on...being the only gay boy in the area. Or even anywhere NEAR here! Maybe even the whole state is straight! I kinda sulked over it for the next twenty minutes as I wandered the halls, waiting for that last bell of the day to ring. I was in this...'zombie-like' state, where I didn't want to think, didn't want to feel. I just wanted to sleepwalk through the rest of my life, and keep these desires to myself. Locked up and tossed into the dark basement of my soul where they belong. It really just...hurt, you know? To want somebody so badly and have them reject you right off the bat without even giving me a chance. They don't even know anything ABOUT me. It's not like fucking a SHEEP or anything...I'm just...I'm a member of the same sex. So what? Is that really sooooo disgusting to them? It's not to me. If I was a 'girl', I might at LEAST be able to score a date or two with someone before they decided that they were totally disgusted by the idea of being with me. But 'boys loving boys' isn't necessarily treated with a sense of fairness in this town. I've spent my whole life, growing up with these people...but once sexual attraction became a part of the equation..everything changed. It got complicated, and scary, and just...sighhhh...hopeless. There's nothing more hopeless than wondering if you should prepare for a life without love.
"Kevin? What are you doing out here?" I looked forward, and saw Carter in the halls, waving me over to one of the school's empty classrooms The place where we have our school paper staff meetings. I guess that I was pretty late, just wandering around in a daze like that. "Come on, people are getting kinda fidgety already. How did the interview go?"
"Don't ask." I told him.
"That well, huh?"
"Worse." I said, trying to get my emotions together. "Is everybody ready to discuss the issue for next week?"
"Everybody that's here, sure." Carter replied.
"Wait...what do you mean, everybody that's here?"
"Well...I mean, I'm sure the others are just late. But Mr. Dunn kinda wants to start things off soon, so..."
"Sighhhh....whatever." I told him, walking into the classroom to find five people waiting. Five people...out of almost 15. "This is it?"
"Some folks kinda bailed on us this week." Carter said. "There's a dance coming up...they're all kinda...'involved' at the moment."
Mr. Dunn, my journalism teacher, was sitting at a desk in the room. More of a room monitor and a helpful guide than anything else. But even though he was quick to offer his advice, he mostly let us run the paper ourselves, submitting it to him for approval later. He smiled when he saw me come into the room, and then went back to his books, grading papers for his classes tomorrow.
I looked at the room, and while I should've been happy with the five people that I got...I have to admit that it made me kinda cranky knowing that everybody else just 'brushed me off' like they didn't care at all about what I was trying to do here. If it wasn't for me and Carter, the school paper would have been cancelled altogether a long time ago. "Ok...so where is everybody?" I asked the group. They hardly even acknowledged my question. Out of FIVE fucking people...none of them had anything to say! NOTHING! "Hellooooooo? Can anybody hear me???" I think that most of my emotion was wrapped up in my fucked up day...but still, you'd think somebody would at least answer me! "Where is Peter? Where's Lisa? Crissy? Charles? I called everybody together today for a reason, and two thirds of us are missing. SOME of us, for the third or fourth time. So what gives?"
Benny was the first to speak up, "They just had shit to do, dude. They were busy."
"Oh, and I don't get busy? I guess I never have homework? I never have friends and family to spend time with? I have other stuff to do too. But I 'managed' to show up. YOU guys managed to show up." I told them. "What about Joey? Does he have the pictures he promised from the canned food drive last weekend? Where is HE?"
Greg told me, "He said he'd give them to you the day after tomorrow. He's ditching tomorrow to be with his girlfriend."
"NO! The pictures have to be IN by tomorrow! They've gotta go to PRINT tomorrow! Can somebody get in touch with him? We NEED those!"
"Why don't you just push the story back to next week instead?"
I tried to calm down, but I couldn't grit my teeth together hard enough. "We CAN'T just push it back to next week. Ok? The drive happened LAST week...so we report it THIS week. Does that not compute?"
Greg sneered at me. "Dude, chill out. It's just a school newspaper."
"It's NOT just a..." I had to lower my voice as I saw Mr. Dunn watching me with concern. "...Ok, you know what, forget it. I'm not gonna get mad. We'll do something else instead." I turned to Michele. "Michele, what do you have for a front page this week?"
"I didn't finish it yet." She said sheepishly.
"You didn't...finish it? It's...it's the front page?"
"Well...I was busy." She said with a shrug.
"Somebody ELSE who was 'busy'. Great. Well...what is it about?"
She looked up at me briefly, and said, "Ok...so I didn't start it yet."
Carter covered his face with his hand, hiding from me while I did my best not to TOTALLY fucking explode! "You've GOT to be kidding me! You've GOT TO BE FUCKING *KIDDING* ME!!!" I shouted, and Mr. Dunn had to break in.
"Kevin..." He said, and I had to work hard to swallow it all. Sooooo hard to hold it all in.
I sat down in a nearby desk, and brought my fingers up to rest on the bridge of my nose. "Did...anybody even bother to do what they were supposed to do for the paper this week?" I asked, and Carter was the only one who raised his hand. He noticed his solitary admission...and bashfully brought his hand back down. My right hand man, my only loyal assistant, and the only one to support me in here. Every other person in that room had completely blown me off. On purpose. They just...didn't give a shit at all. "So....everybody was too 'busy'...to take FIVE minutes...and help me out here? This was really important to me, and you guys couldn't just take a LITTLE bit of time out of your day...to help me out? Not ONE of you?"
Johnny angered me even more when he said, "We're 'sorry', Kevin. We can't all just drop the rest of our lives to work on this paper. I mean, it's not the only thing in our lives."
To which I answered, "You know what? I didn't ASK you to give over your whole life to this paper. ANY of you. I only asked that you try to do your part and make this worth my time. That's all." I could feel this burning anger and the ice cold grip of despair fighting for control over my emotions at that moment. And...defeated, I quietly added, "This paper may not mean shit to you guys...but it means a lot to me. The fact that you couldn't even pretend to care one day out of the week...for my sake...well, it says a lot." The room fell silent for a moment, and I just stared at my closed notebook. Thinking back to what happened earlier in the day, and feeling my spirit getting heavier and heavier until there was hardly enough breath left in me to complain any more. After all I had been through, getting this paper moving in the right direction might have been enough to at least keep me distracted from my problems today. Instead, I'm left with even more to stress about.
Who am I fooling? They didn't care. I shouldn't even expect them to. They were 'busy'. Too busy to give a shit about anything that I was trying to do. So...once again...I'm all 'alone' here. Trying to carry this stupid newspaper all on my own shoulders.
"Look, I gotta leave kinda early today. So can we kinda hurry this up?" Benny asked me, and I didn't even bother feeling insulted.
"Go. Whatever. I don't care. Why doesn't everybody just go. It's not like we have a whole lot to discuss, is there?"
I didn't need to tell them twice. And my 'five' remaining helpers picked up their stuff. Johnny looked down, and said, "You don't have to be such a 'girl' about it, Kev. Jesus. It's not even all that important."
This time, I stood up, and tried my best to keep my hands from reaching out and strangling him to death. "It's important to ME! Ok? To ME! And if you're not gonna DO anything, and you're NEVER gonna say anything worthwhile, then why the FUCK do you even keep coming back here?!?!? HUH??? What GOOD are you? You don't offer ANYTHING to ANYBODY! So why even fucking show your face? Why even bother wasting your time? You CAN'T be getting anything out of this, because you hardly put anything INTO it! So what's your deal? If you're too 'busy' to help anybody or add ANYTHING to our discussions...then why don't you just go be 'busy' someplace ELSE from now on? I'd rather get some people in here who give a shit!"
"Kevin!" Mr. Dunn said in shock, and stood up to step between us, obviously seeing the rage in my eyes. "Johnny...why don't you go on home. Let me talk to Kevin for a minute."
"No, he's right! I don't need this! Fuck you, then! I'm walking!" Johnny said back. "If he's gonna get all pissy and mad every time somebody doesn't want to be a part of his special little 'project'...then screw him! I'm out!"
"FINE!" I said, as Mr. Dunn kept his hand on my chest. Everyone had cleared out of the classroom except for Carter, who shyly looked at me with...I don't know what it was that I saw in his eyes. I guess it was just 'pity'. Who knows?
"Carter, can you give us a moment?" Mr. Dunn asked him, and he hesitated for a second before walking over to gently hand me his folder of printed comments for the group.
"I'm sorry, man." He said. "That was pretty messed up of them." Then he offered, "If you need any help getting some filler for the rest of the paper this week, just call me, k? We'll work something out by tomorrow." And with a nod from Mr. Dunn...Carter walked out and closed the classroom door.
I stepped away from my teacher and said, "I already know what you're gonna say, and I'm sorry. I just...I lost it, ok?"
"Just losing it isn't really a valuable excuse for your behavior, Kevin."
"He wasn't that great an editor, anyway. I can find somebody else to take his place, easy. Somebody who actually WANTS to do this with some level of commitment. Some....loyalty."
Mr. Dunn softened his expression a bit, and leaned back against his desk, folding his arms. "You know...you can't just force people to share your passion for this project, Kevin. They'll give what they can, when they can. Sometimes that just has to be enough."
"But they're not giving ANYTHING, Mr. Dunn! I mean...every day I see them! They come here, and they sit in a desk, and they pick their noses without saying a word to anybody about ANYTHING. I try and I try to get them to be independent enough to take care of things without me having to harass them every fifteen minutes...and they just...slack off and don't care." I said, feeling even more hurt than I was when I came in. "I can't RUN all of this by myself!!! There are FIFTEEN people here who are supposed to HELP me! And every chance they get, they blow me off, and tell me they're too busy, or too tired, and make up every excuse in the book as to why they can't give me a MINIMAL effort without me getting down on my knees and having to BEG them for it! I thought they wanted to be a PART of something? Why are they even HERE if they're not gonna get involved?" I felt the emotion welling up in my throat, and my eyes began to water, as my conversation suddenly became more about 'me' and less about the school paper. "I just....I want to stop feeling so ALONE, you know? I'm so SICK of being the only person feeling this way! Of being the ONLY person who's willing to give a shit about somebody other than themselves. I'm so SICK of constantly pushing my own feelings aside to really...MEAN something to somebody...and having them just DITCH me to go 'play' somewhere! I'm tired of being overlooked...and made fun of...and treated like I don't matter. Like my feelings don't matter. I'm working my ass off to make this special...and I've been...totally abandoned by the people I trusted to help me figure this out." It was then that the first tear fell from my eye, and I wished that I had the power to stop it. "I'm alone, Mr. Dunn. I'm....I'm soooo alone here. And nobody cares. Nobody ever cares. I can't even get them to pretend. They don't even love me enough to feel 'obligated' to care." Mr. Dunn didn't say a word, but as more tears fell, and I slumped down in my chair...he reached into his desk drawer, and handed me some tissues.
"Are you going to be ok?" He asked me.
Great. Now on top of anger, sadness, and loneliness...I'm feeling humiliated too. "I'm sorry. I've just...got some other stuff going on right now. Issues...you know?"
"Gee, ya think?" He said, getting a very faint smile to reach the surface so we both could share it. "Kevin...you know, this paper, this project..I know you put your heart and soul into it. And that's going to count for a lot in the long run. But do what you do because you love to do it. Not because you're hoping for everybody else to feel the same way. You should be out having fun yourself. The paper can wait until next week. Take a break and get your 'issues' straightened out."
"Sure, you can."
"No, I CAN'T!" I said louder. "The second I let them slack off, the worse they get. Soon I won't be able to get any help at all. It's bad enough as it is." I wiped my eyes, trying to keep my sniffles to a minimum. "I just wanna have an impact. I just want to get people to give a damn. It can be....sooooo hard for some people...when they realize that you just don't give a damn." A part of me wanted to say it out loud. I wanted to just tell him how the cute boy next door would never love me, how the popular school boy laughed in my face, and how the school's star athlete threatened to kick my ass just for admiring him up close. I wanted to tell him how many nights I stay up, praying to God that some cute stranger would move into town, and he would feel the way I do. How I wish I could kiss, and hold hands, and get the same chance at getting the kind of affection that everybody else has in this town. Instead, I stay locked in this prison. I can't have it. I can't talk about it. I can't look at the things I want without worrying about who's watching. I can't even dream about it without feeling guilty when I wake up. Somehow...I just had these really high hopes that today would be different. I was really hoping that today...I would find proof that I couldn't be as alone as I feel.
Mr. Dunn waited for a moment, and he said, "I think I get it."
"No, Mr. Dunn...I'm pretty sure you don't." I told him.
"You might be surprised." He offered.
But I knew better. "Heh...not as surprised as you would be if you knew what was bugging me." I got up and grabbed my stuff. "I'm sorry. I'm just...I'm gonna go home before this day gets any worse."
He had such a worried look on his face that I kinda felt bad for dumping it on him. "You know, Kevin...if you ever want to talk...about anything...you can come to me."
"Thanks." I said halfheartedly. "I'll be fine. It's just...sighhhh...I work really hard on this. And I just don't understand how people can just..'look at me' living in misery and not say anything. I would." Mr. Dunn's face seemed to drop slightly, and I really needed to just get home. Now I was screwing up his day too. "Sorry. I know, I'm being pathetic. I just..I wish I wasn't so alone. That's all." He looked so hurt by that statement...but shit, it hurt me to say it. "Like I said....nobody cares. Why pretend?" And with that, I left the room. What else could I do? I mean...tomorrow's another day, right? Maybe even a better day. Couldn't get much worse, that's for sure. Besides...even if it's better that I leave this investigation of mine alone...I've still got two targets left. If I'm gonna fail at this, then I might as well fail all the way. Better to be a complete failure than a partial success.
Who knows? Maybe I can just 'PAY' some horny boy cutie to let me blow him in the alley or the park bathroom whenever he wants me to. That seems to be the best I can hope for these days. It's better than nothing at all.
Going to sleep that night was difficult. The whole time, I swore that I could still hear Ralphie's sweet voice 'laughing' at me while those pretty eyes stared me down from a distance. I could still feel Jeff Patton pushing me against the lockers with those strong sexy arms and that evil look in his eye. I thought about Marc drooling over his teacher's boobs, completely ignoring anything and everything that could ever possibly be attractive about me. It hurts more than I can describe...knowing that I still find the people that hate me more than anything...sexy. It just....it seemed like such a waste to me, you know? Those boys would have been real heartbreakers if they were gay. Boys would have lined up around the BLOCK to get a chance of having them all to themselves! Ugh! Just thinking about them caused my heart to ache with a pain that I could hardly bear, so I just rolled over on my side, curling up into a tight little ball under my sheets while I waited for it to mellow out enough to let me sleep. I refused to let a single tear fall from my eye. I didn't want to cry it out. And I didn't want to punch a hole in the wall, either. I just...wanted to lay there and 'crave' hopelessly for a while. I wish I had more to look forward to...but the way I feel right now, I don't. Why even bother?
Losing consciousness was the best thing that could have happened to me that night. Because some subconscious signal went through me while I was sleeping, and somehow gave me a very faint light at the end of the tunnel. I don't know what I dreamed about the night before, but it was enough to fuel me with enough frustration to bring my determination back to one hundred percent potency when I woke up this morning. I think a big part of it was just plain anger. It was like...I needed to PROVE that the boys that I had given a real CHANCE at getting my heart, had truly missed out on a golden opportunity. I wanted to be blissfully happy with somebody cute and sweet and special...if for no other reason than to throw it right back in their fucking FACES for treating me so badly. I sprung out of bed, hoping that my next two leads would completely reverse the luck I've had so far. Two more possibilities, with a 50/50 percent chance each. Even if they're just BIsexual....I'll take it! Just so long as he gives me an opportunity to show him that I'm just as capable of making another boy happy as any girl is. That's all I need....is just ONE moment...where I get to prove that I'm worthy of some other boy loving me, DESPITE the odds and the bullshit surrounding our sexuality..and I can be HAPPY! Really happy, you know?
It's....all I want. Everything else in my life can fall into a big pile of shit for all I care. I JUST...sighhh...I just want to know that there's someone out there for me. For ME! You know? I'd gladly throw the rest of my life out of balance right now just to have someone to hold. Just once.
I got to school earlier than usual, my face visibly determined to make something out of this new opportunity. I had a brand new 'C' drawn on my hand, even bigger than yesterday, and began marching my way towards the front door. Two targets left...and ONE of them has GOT to be gay! In fact, I don't even know why I started with the other three anyway. That was reaching way too high. I was blinded by the fact that they were the cutest boys in school, and wishful thinking kept me from seeing things clearly. I'm sure these others will be better.
"Sup, Kev?" I heard as I headed towards my locker, and saw Carter catching up to me quick. "You feeling a little less...um...'crazed' today?"
"If anything, I'm feeling even crazier than yesterday. But it's a good thing, trust me." I told him.
"Cool. Mind if I let some of that rub off on me? I've got a major test today, and my chances of passing it are, like, less than zero. I'd probably make a higher score if I left it blank."
"That's what you always say, Carter, and you end up making a high enough grade to wreck the cure for the rest of us." I smiled.
"Hey, what can I say? Pressure and stress help me to work." He grinned back at me. "Oh, HEY...did you watch that tape yet?"
"The tape?" I asked, completely forgetting about it until that very second. "Oh man, I'm sorry. I had a lot on my mind yesterday. It's still in my locker. You want it back?"
"Nah, you can keep it. Just loan it out to me for a day after you watch it, because I haven't had a chance to check it out yet."
"You didn't see it?"
"Nope. I only taped it for you. Evidently, I missed out on something awesome. Barry in my physics class won't stop going on about it."
"You'll have it by tomorrow. Promise." I told him.
"No rush." Then he reached into his backpack, and pulled out a folder. "So, I did a little bit of footwork last night...well...it was more like 'phone' work, actually...but I think I worked something out for the paper." He opened the folder and showed me some typed papers. "Now...don't judge me too hard on my writing skills, but I figured that since I had so many quotes on standardized tests already, I could write that up as an entire story for the front page, and just grab some more quotes at lunch about the nasty shit that passes for cafeteria food these days. So we move that to the student reaction page, we move the test story to the front page...and we can fill in the rest with something else." I stood in awe of his strategy, and my mouth dropped slightly as he flipped through a few more pages. "Also...it just so happens that Janet Curtis was doing a photography project this past weekend...and she happened to get three or four pics of the canned food drive." He pulled out the pictures and showed them to me. "Most of them are a little distant, but we could blow them up in the computer lab, and I'm sure we could make them work." One of the pictures had Carter standing at the table, bringing a bag of canned food to the drive himself, along with his mom.
"This one is awesome. And it's pretty close."
"The one with you in it. We should use that one."
"Really?" He said, looking a bit 'weird' about it. "Um...ok. But let's cut my mom out though. I don't want people to see me with her."
The comment made me giggle, and he smiled sweetly in response. The fact that he went through so much trouble to make next week's issue happen...damn he's smart. I'd like to think I'd be HALF as smart as he is if my mind wasn't twisted around my sexy thoughts day and night. "Carter....you're a life saver. You know that? I mean it...thank you." I said, feeling the words truly leaking out of an already wounded heart. He was truly something special.
"Like I said...somebody's gotta keep your life together." He grinned.
"No, really...this is above and beyond the call of duty, dude."
"No it isn't. This is why you hired me."
"Hehehe, I didn't hire you, Carter. I asked for your help, and you gracefully accepted." I giggled.
"Well, I might as well do a 'graceful' job then, right?" He said. "That's why I'm here."
I don't know what made me do it, but some kind of emotional line had been crossed at that moment...and I stepped forward to hug Carter around the neck. "Thank you soooo much, Carter. You came through again." The second he felt my arms touch him, he tensed up. His whole body became rigid, and for a second, I think he stopped breathing. "Dude...ok, what's happening here?" He asked, struggling a bit to quickly put some distance between us. When I let him go, he looked almost horrified by the act itself. Some other students walked by us, and Carter turned bright red in the face, looking down at the floor. He seemed totally embarrassed by my big gay display of affection in front of other people, and I instantly regretted it. You know...for a moment, I had almost forgotten that being even remotely affectionate with another boy was about as big a sin as anyone could imagine in this town. Carter stepped away from me, his eyes still a bit wide from the contact.
"Yeah. I've gotta go." He said. "I'll get you those quotes about the cafeteria once I go to lunch. Here's the folder, get those photos to print, but tell them to be CAREFUL...because Janet will KILL me if we ruin her only printed copies." He said, backing his way down the hall. Every step taking him a safer distance far away from my 'fag' antics. Sighhhh....
"Sure. Ok." I said quietly. Shit...what the fuck did I HUG him for? I've really got to learn to keep this emotional shit under control.
"Oh yeah, and get me that tape of Jeff's interview next period, so I can type it up for you. I've got a free study hall today." Was it just me, or was he being really strange all of the sudden. I mean...from what he said, it was the same old Carter. But...his comments just didn't 'feel' the same. Hard to explain. Even harder to analyze. Not that Carter was ever really that easy to analyze to begin with.
Alright, so the school day begins, and I've just gotten a lot of unnecessary stress off of my back. Let's see if I can get this investigation underway.
Now Mickey was what you would call the 'anti-geek'. Somehow, despite the somewhat nerdy appearance, the glasses, the bright red hair and slight spattering of freckles, and lack of clothing that could even be 'mistaken' for hip...he managed to avoid the whole nerd stigma completely. Simply by being a cool person. The ultimate testament to the idea that you can't judge a book by it's cover. The thing is...when you really took time to notice it...the 'cover' wasn't really all that bad. Mickey had this..body on him. It was dressed funny, sure...but if you really looked at it, he was tall, with broad shoulders, with a flat chest and stomach. I wouldn't be surprised if he had a soft little six pack under that shirt of his. He had soft brown eyes that seemed to glow with a brilliance that his wire rimmed glasses couldn't contain. And he had a mouth full of silver braces that would almost blind you when he smiled, as he was beyond the point of trying to hide them from anybody. Plus, he was one of those boys that you could just look at and know that he was...ummm...a mouthful, you know? Seriously. His stature and height, you just imagined your mouth being just physically 'full' when you sucked him...even when he was limp. And something about that was incredibly HOT to me.
Mickey came first that day, because he worked in the 'hut', which was right in the middle of the high school's main hall. It was basically like a prison commissary for students. A little store, the size of a walk-in closet where we could buy extra notebooks, pencils, pens, computer disks, batteries, calculators...whatever knick knacks we ran out of in the middle of the day. Don't know how he got the job, and don't think I really want to. But even though Mickey and I knew each other pretty well from Junior High, we didn't have any classes together in high school. So this was the only predictable schedule that I had to work with. It would have to be enough. It was pretty 'public', but I was hoping to get enough evidence to maybe get him alone somewhere and probe a little deeper. Hopefully right up that tight little ass of his.
Ahem...'professionally speaking', of course...
"Greetings and salutations, my man." Mickey said with a grin as I approached. "What do ya need?"
"What makes you think I need anything?" I smiled, making sure to put my 'C' symbol hand on top of the counter where he could see it clearly.
"Hehehe, well, I can't confess to getting many random 'visitors' in here that aren't looking for something specific. So I'm assuming this is a trip of necessity."
"You misjudge me."
"Such is the life of a guy who works directly with the greedy system of supply and demand." Good, Mickey's in a good mood. The subject has been engaged, conversation has broken the ice...time to put the operation into effect.
"I might need one of those disks for the computer lab, actually. I have a paper to write. I've been doing a lot of studying on it, I hope I got it right." Easy Kevin. We've gotta grease the wheels on this one. It's a delicate process...go in slow.
"Oh yeah? What's the paper about?" He said, turning to grab me a disk from the wall behind him.
Excellent! Targeting subject...now! "Well, it's just some weird sociology project thing. You know, about different kinds of people and how they're either accepted or outcasted from society." Mickey seemed interested, but I stopped as a couple of girls came up to grab a pack of pens and a mini stapler. Mickey helped them out, but then returned his attention to me again.
"So...this sounds like a pretty hefty project."
"Oh, it is..." I started, and had to wait while somebody 'else' came up to buy a small bottle of white-out. Dammit, I wish I didn't have to do this in between classes while he was busy. Ok, initiating main directive....now. "...So, I'm basically just talking about the differences between us, and the people who kinda get kicked out to the side."
"What kind of differences?"
"Well...you know...financial, physical, educational, cultural..." Do it..plant the seed now. "Ahem...sexual..." I tried to slip it in as seamlessly as possible, but I was definitely hoping he'd notice.
"Really? Sounds interesting."
Keep going. Make him take the bait. Get creative. "Well...I'm not really finished with my research yet. I mean...everybody here is so much alike. Nobody wants to admit anything 'odd' about themselves in this place."
"Tell me about it." He said.
"Even though...I'd TOTALLY keep it a secret! I mean, all of my sources are 100 percent anonymous! All the time. I just need to find somebody to talk to, you know?" I said, feeling a shiver go through me as I tried to cautiously approach the reason of my visit. "Like, I really wish I could talk to someone from a totally different...'culture'. You know...to get some perspective." And then I lowered my voice a bit as I tried to casually add, "And maybe...like...a gay boy or something."
I think that got his attention, and I stood there like a deer in headlights as I tried my hardest not to look like I was 'suggesting' anything directly. His brown eyes met mine, and I swear, my brain froze to the point where I couldn't even THINK! "Wait...you want to interview a gay boy?"
"Wha? Huh? Well...I mean...for the PAPER, I mean..."
"You mean like a homosexual?" He was talking so LOUD! Well, ok, it was his regular voice, but I didn't mean for him to say the word...'HOMOSEXUAL' at full volume around me in a hallway full of students! JESUS!
"Not JUST a...a..." I lowered my voice to a whisper. "...A homosexual. I mean, like, a BUNCH of people."
"You mean a bunch of homosexuals?"
"NO! A bunch of DIFFERENT people! From different...backgrounds and stuff.." I started instantly backpedaling, and when I saw that my hand was still sitting up on the counter where he could see it...I snatched it down to hide it at my side.
A freshman boy walked up beside me to buy a notebook pad from Mickey, and I was hoping it would give me a minute to think about this. Bad thing is, he didn't stop talking, even with the other boy standing right THERE! "Where are you gonna find a gay guy?"
I gasped so hard that I nearly swallowed my tongue, when he said that!!! "Mickey...I..."
"What's he need a gay guy for?" The younger boy asked, his face wrinkled up.
"He's doing a paper." Mickey answered, but then he thought about it a second, and asked, "Wait...you don't think I'M gay, do you?"
"WHAT??? No...Mickey...no..." I said, still wishing that I had a way to shut him up.
"Cause I'm not. Seriously." Mickey told me, blowing target number four's name right off of the list.
"I didn't say you were gay, Mickey." I told him. I have to admit, it pinched my heart a little bit to have him deny it. I almost got my hopes up over this one.
"So then...wait...are YOU gay, Kevin?" He asked.
"Ewwww...dude, you're gay?" The other boy asked.
"NO!!! HELL no!!! FUCK no!!! I'm not gay!" I lied.
"You don't have to get all loud about it, Kev. It's cool if you're gay." Mickey offered.
"No it's not." The other boy said. "That's fucking gross."
"I'm NOT gay! I was just...I....you know what, forget it! Forget I said anything." I told Mickey, throwing some money on the counter for the disk and started to walk away. "And I'm NOT gay! I'm NOT! Don't go spreading that shit!" I told the other kid, who I was willing to whip the tar out of if he so much as breathed one word of this to anybody else. FUCK!!! I was really putting my money on Mickey to at least be into a little discrete fooling around! He's never had a girlfriend in his LIFE! How the hell is HE straight? If guys are gonna be straight all the fucking time, they should be forced to wear some kind of...MARK or something! Instead of me walking around with this STUPID 'C' on my hand, they should have to wear a big letter 'H' on their forehead for 'hetero-breeder-piece-of-shit-straight-guy'....don't touch!!! Ugh! This is SO fucking unfair!
I hurried around the corner to get OUT of that hallway, and was already planning out alternate routes to my classes in the future so I could avoid my last subject for the next few weeks until this whole thing blew over. The less he sees of me, the better.
Shit. I can't believe this particular approach was a washout.
Final Analysis: My Cover Has Been Compromised! ABORT! I Repeat...ABORT! Avoid Subject At All Costs Until More Research Can Be Done!
Needless to say, my luck so far with this particular investigation made it hard for me to keep the faith that my very last hope would actually pan out. Again, I had studied his movements, his 'girl history', any possible gay traits, and calculated the chances that he might actually be just like me. And he scored pretty high on the list...but...after four miserable failures, what should I expect? What happens if I keep doing this, and enough people start whispering about it? Even if I WASN'T gay...the high school gossip would have officially MADE me gay by the time it finished getting around to everybody listening. I mean, I can't just approach every boy in school like this. Already, I've put myself out there enough to have them totally 'yank' me out of the closet kicking and screaming. So once I finish, I'll have to lay low for MONTHS before I can put together another list of possible targets. Then again...what if I stop now, and Daniel, my final target, turns out to be the one boy in the whole school that I ever had a chance with? What if I stop now, and I lose out on him? That would kill me! He's adorable! Shit...I wish I could have Carter help me with this. He would be able to come up with a much better plan, I'm sure of it. I guess this is one project he can't assist me on.
I'm on my own.