Disclaimer: This is the first chapter of a series I am planning to write. Even though there be will no sex during the first couple of chapters, I plan to include some juicier bits about consenting teens of the same gender and about the same age. If any of that is offensive to you, stop reading. If you are younger than 18 years old, or whatever the legal age is in the country you currently reside in, stop reading this now. Any similarities between characters in this story and real people, places or events is entirely coincidental, since this is a completely fictional story.
This story was written by me, Chris, and the only site that has a license to host this story at this time is nifty.org. Should anyone wish to host this story on another website, contact me under <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I will reply as soon as possible.
Also, if you have a penny to spare, please donate to nifty for their generous hosting!
Now that that is out of the way: Hey, everyone, I'm Chris. I have been a longtime lurker on nifty and have been thinking about writing a story for ages and now I finally got up the courage to go through with it. This is basically the first time I ever wrote anything that wasn't a paper for school on a specific subject, so I suspect there are going to be quite a few rough spots around the edges. Since I'm also a non-native speaker of English, I suspect that there will be some grammatical errors, which I hope you can forgive. Any feedback is greatly appreciated so I can find out what the strengths and weaknesses are. I will try to improve on the latter and capitalize on the former, though I guess that is easier said than done. :)
Know, that I have tried my best and that I hope you enjoy the first chapter of Chances and Changes
Chances and Changes 1
It was a new beginning for Nate, or at least he hoped it would be. He had just transferred over from his old highschool back in Houston, Texas, to Barrington-High. It was a big school, even though it seemed to be in the middle of nowhere. The reason for that was, that it was the only highschool within about 100 miles (or so it seemed to Nate). Some of the kids even came from one or two towns over to attend Barrington-High. That most students went there more out of necessity rather than choice, didn't change the fact that it was not a bad school. The program and the variety of courses were extensive to a point that many a student found themselves in a bind when putting together their schedule or having to pick one subject over another. There was something for anyone.
Nate's own worries were of an entirely different nature. His last school hadn't been kind to him. He had never voiced his complaints aloud to his father, but he knew that it had played a big part in his fathers decision to move here. It really hadn't been necessary for him to take this new job. He knew his father had liked working at the accounting-firm. Still he had taken the offer with the explanation of "We both need a change of scenery.". If only he knew how right he was.
When Nate and his father David arrived in town both were feeling a mixture of excitement and anxiety as they looked at what would be their new home in days to come. They were wondering about the same things: Would the past repeat itself? Or would life be better here? They had both needed a do-over, a chance to try again, a chance for change.
Their first couple of days were a blur. Nate and David busied themselves with unpacking and furnishing the house.
"So, how do you like it?" Nate's Dad asked once they were done unpacking Nate's stuff.
"Looks nice so far. My room is bigger than the one back in Houston." came the unenthusiastic reply
"That doesn't sound excited. Anything wrong with it?"
"Nah Dad, I just have to get used to it first. Not worse or anything, just different."
There was a slightly awkward pause before David asked: "So how about we go down to Barrington-High tomorrow to get you started on your paperwork?"
Upon arriving at the school-office Nate and his Dad were greeted by demure-looking woman who seemed to be in her thirties. The plaque on the desk read "Ms. Dull"
'Interesting' Nate thought, smiling at the irony.
Mrs. Dull: "How can I help you two?"
She noticed Nate reading the plaque
"Don't worry, Honey, I don't live up to that name." She said with a mischievous twinkle in her eyes.
Nate immediately liked her.
"Hello Ms. Dull. My son and I just moved here and I wanted to register him for the coming school year here at Barrington-High as a sophomore. Could you help us with that?"
"Sure, let me just dig out the form"
She proceeded to do as she had said without pause. The form laid before them in a flash and Ms. Dull helped them fill out the sheet.
"Nathaniel Blythe, is it?"
"Yeah, everyone calls me Nate though." Nate replied noncommittally. He had never liked his first name. It sounded so formal, so old. He wasn't a grandfather. And in recent years he had learned to dislike his surname as well. It seemed to Nate even his own name was mocking him, like someone was trying to pronounce "bliss" with a speech impairment. Plus he had not felt particularly "blissful" lately.
After a short time they were done with the registration and Ms. Dull announced smilingly
"It was nice to meet you, Nate. I'll be seeing you around then. Enjoy the remainder of the summer vacation!"
"You, too, Ms. Dull." Nate and his Dad replied then left.
"She seemed nice enough." David said to Nate after they had left. Nate was about to reply "Yeah", when he laid eyes on what was the most stunning boy he had ever seen. Perhaps even the most stunning boy PERIOD. He was about 6 feet tall and broad shouldered, had blue eyes and dirty blond hair as well as a face that could melt Nate into a puddle of boy. Their eyes met across the hall and when Nate tried to smile at him he found something in the other boy's eyes that surprised him.
Ignoring Nate's attempt at a greeting, the boy brushed past them almost angrily. Why was he so mad? Nate had never even seen him before!
"Well, that was decidedly rude." Nate's father said, unaware of his son's growing unease.
'That looked like --'
'NO! Don't go there' Tom thought to himself angrily. He immediately felt a pang of rage. At himself. At the world. And at that boy. Thomas, or Tom, as anyone but his mother, when angry, called him was just coming from football practice, eager to get home and relax for a while. Their coach drove them hard, even during summer vacation. But instead his thoughts wandered to the place laced with barbed wire inside his head. The place he so desperately was trying to forget, yet couldn't. It was always there, lurking, drawing him in, bringing him pain.
He immediately hated that boy across the hall. 'Who is that anyway? Maybe a transfer student?' He didn't know him and didn't care to. He wanted nothing more than to turn around and stalk the other direction, away from the source of his anger. No, what he really wanted was to smash that guy's face in with a baseball bat. Tom knew his fury was irrational and he didn't care.
Unfortunately he had parked his car on the other side of that hallway, so he had no choice but to rush past him and what seemed to be his father.
'Yeah, transferred here for sure.'
'He won't stay long.'
The fateful day had arrived, the first day for Nate at his new school. Three days had passed, since David and his son had seen Ms. Dull and picked up Nate's schedule and books. During those last days of summer vacation Nate had mostly kept to himself, preferring to spend the bulk of his time alone in his room. David had arranged to take the day off so he could make sure Nate was settled nicely into his new school.
He worried. Nate had never told him explicitly about what was happening at school, but David was no idiot and paid attention to his son. It had not gone unnoticed that Nate drew back into himself more and more, that he tried to hide bruises and even bloodied clothing from his father at times.
When David tried to talk to Nate or the principal about his problems the boy had refused adamantly, but he had not needed to speak it out loud for his father to know he was hurting. Mentally probably even more than physically.
David desperately wanted his son to be happy. After the death of his mother and the other incidents of that time Nate's smile had vanished completely. It had taken two years for Nate to regain some of the quirky and infectious energy he had once possessed as a boy, the boy David has and still loved fiercely and with all his heart.
Right after Linda's death Nate and his father had moved. They had both agreed that their old house held too many memories and the sympathy in their neighbors' eyes soon grew tedious.
Just as things had started looking up for the duo, the bullying began. His son reverted into a tense bundle of nerves and bottled up emotion. David was determined to do better this time.
"Morning, Dad" Nate said, breaking his father out of his thoughts.
"Morning, Nate!" Despite his anxiousness David was trying to sound upbeat.
"You ready for the first day?"
"No, but I guess I'll still go." Nate answered with a smirk.
"That's the spirit! Eat your breakfast and let's get going."
As they pulled up to the school Nate got nervous. His heart started racing and his palms were sweaty
'This is it. No backing out now'
As Nate tried to calm his nerves his mind drifted back to what he assumed was the first student he had met. The thought was equal parts good and bad. Thinking about that boy made his stomach flutter in a good way. But then there was that anger he had seen and that scared him. It was almost as if he had made a first impression on the school on that day and had been met with disapproval.
His father truly had a way with words.
Nate took after him. He hefted his school-bag and got out of the car.
"Enjoy your first day at school, Nate. In case anything happens, you have my number saved in your phone. I love you."
"I love you, too, Dad."
"Now get moving before I force you to give your old man a kiss."
"Yuck" Nate said and smiled, then got going toward his new school. He was actually excited. His schedule looked manageable and what he had read of the classes in general was very promising.
He had looked up a map of the school online, so he had no problem finding his assigned locker and stowing away the books he knew he would not need that day. Afraid of being late, he quickly made his way to his first class, math. On his way there he saw that boy again, the one from his first visit. He didn't seem to have noticed Nate, who was content keeping it that way. He ducked out of the hall and hastened his pace toward his classroom.
He sat down as the room started to fill, teenagers entering the room in small groups. Everyone seemed to know each and some seemed dejected
"I heard his class is really haaaaard." Nate heard one girl whine to another
"It's probably just exaggerated, Sarah. I've seen Mr. Peters a few times and he seems okay."
"He seems grumpy. My brother had him last year and he ripped him a new one and my brother is the one with the math-skills. I will probably be eaten whole. They will lower an empty casket into the ground and my tombstone will read 'Had Mr.. Peters' class'"
"Don't worry so much!"
Their discussion became inaudible to Nate as they passed his seat and sat down several rows behind him.
Soon after that a grumpy-looking old man entered, who Nate assumed would be their teacher.
"For those of you who do not know me yet, I am Albert Peters. I will be teaching this math class for the coming year. I will not drone on about how important math is, since I am sure you already heard that speech a million times before and know it by heart. Be aware, that my curriculum will have a wider span than the simple highschool curriculum.
The purpose of my class was always to prepare my students for higher education at colleges and some such, not just to get you through highschool. Some of you might have no interest in pursuing a higher education that requires math or simply no higher education at all. As such be warned. For the first two weeks I have arranged with Ms. Dull, the school secretary, to make class changes possible. There is a math class parallel to this one taught by Mrs. Connor and she has several free spots in her class.
This offer ends in two weeks, after you have had the chance to get an impression of my class. Any questions so far?"
Nate was ecstatic. He had always had trouble staying awake in class because their teacher would go over the same topics over and over again and he was more than happy to get the chance to have a class that actually taught him something. Besides Mr. Peters sounded a lot nicer than he looked so he was sure it wouldn't be too bad.
After an uneventful English lesson, that primarily served as a summary of books they would be required to read, it was time for lunch. In his old school he had rarely eaten in the lunchroom, but he was determined to not let that hinder him. He got his lunch, which looked surprisingly appetizing and sat down at a table at the back of the room. He had seen that boy again but this time the boy had seen him, too. Although simply looking at him had made his heart skip a beat the other again only offered contempt in his expression. It was startling and not a little disconcerting for Nate.
He heard a sudden clattering as a girl smashed her tray on his table, pulling him out of his thoughts
"You seemed to be brooding, so I thought I'd wake you. My name is Samantha Richards, but you can call me Sam. Is that seat free?"
Nate nodded, still stunned.
"Still startled? Don't worry, I don't bite."
After another short pause
"I've told you my name, won't you be a proper gentleman and introduce yourself to a lady?" Sam struck an overly exaggerated "lady"-pose and held out her hand for him to kiss, batting her eyelashes
"Nate" he mumbled, still somewhat out of sorts at that unorthodox first meeting, unsure whether to call her on her bluff and kiss her hand. He decided he wouldn't be able to pull it off. After looking him over Sam asked:
"So Nate, I guess you just transferred here, right?"
"Yeah, how did you know?
"I've been living here forever and know everyone. Since I didn't recognize you I figured you must be new here. Besides you had something of a 'lost-puppy' look on your face and I so love me some puppies, I just couldn't stay away" She said, laughing a pretty laugh.
"Guess I was kinda obvious, huh?" Nate said, grinning. That girls good mood seemed to be more infectious than the common cold.
"So if you know everyone here, how come you're sitting with me instead of some of your friends?"
He blushed even as he said it, hastily adding "no offense."
She just laughed that good-natured laugh again "Don't worry about offending me, Nate. The phrase that could scare me off hasn't been invented yet!" She said proudly.
"My friends haven't made it here yet and you looked like you could use a someone to show you around your first day, so I came to pester you."
They shared a laugh and now that he wasn't so tense he finally got a good look at her. She was a very pretty Latin girl with eyes that seemed to sparkle gold, cinnamon colored skin and slightly darker curly hair.
He was surprised she was so nice to him, considering how the popular girls at his old school had been
"So how was your first day so far?" Sam asked, chewing her pizza with vigor.
"It was cool. I have Mr. Peters in Math and Ms. Gene in English"
"Ms. Gene's really nice and so is Mr. Peters, as long as you don't get on his bad side. Looks way meaner than he is, like a bulldog that just wants to cuddle and drool all over you!" She laughed again. She seemed to be doing that a lot, not that Nate minded.
Nate hadn't even been aware of how tense he had been until he started relaxing around Sam. He made the mistake to look past her at the boy again, who was scowling at him again. That brought the pressure back quickly. Sam noticed him tensing up and followed his gaze toward the boy, who still seemed irritated but wasn't staring anymore.
"What's wrong Nate, you look like someone bit your tail."
"You see that guy over there?" Nate nodded toward the boy.
"You mean the tall one with the dark blond hair? That's Thomas Evans, 'star-quarterback' of our school" She made quotation marks with her finger as she said that.
"As arrogant as a poodle, but pretty harmless. He been bothering you?"
"Nah, just some weird stares, like I drove over his dog and ate it" Sam's humor seemed to be getting to Nate, who was grinning again.
"Good one. Ignore him, he's probably just scared you're gonna steal his girl with your good looks." She winked as she said it and Nate blushed. Sam's remark wasn't baseless, Nate really did look good. He had a lean, tight body cultivated first by years of swimming then years of running as well as his fathers dark hair and green eyes and everyone agreed, that he had a more masculine version of his mothers features, who had been a very pretty woman.
"His family moved here two years ago and since then the whole school seems to be drooling all over him. He does look good, problem is he knows it. Cocky bastard."
She seemed to consider the topic closed and was about to ask him something, as two girls clomped their trays on either side of her, making Sam jump.
"What the – Oh, it's you guys. Nate, meet Sarah and Claire. Sarah and Claire, the new kid, Nate" Sam introduced her friends with a grin.
"Hey there Nate. Wait, I think I've seen you somewhere. You had math with Sarah and me, right?"
"Ugh, so you got the death-sentence, too?" Sarah asked, grimacing sypmathetically.
"Stop whining, Sarah" Sam said with a smirk "I'm sure you've been droning on and on about how terrible it is, am I right, Claire?"
"Yeah" Claire confirmed.
"Hey, I resent that" Sarah laughed.
"I actually thought it sounded fun." Nate said.
"Fun? You some kinda math-whizz? If so you better come clean now so you can help me survive." Sarah said, grinning.
After lunch they all exchanged phone-numbers and split up to go to their classes. Since Nate had always been good at sciences he was kind of bored during physics class and only listened with half an ear. He was really happy to have found some friends his first day at school and smiled to himself at how lucky had been that Sam had decided to befriend him.
His last class for the day was Sociology. He was really curious about that, since his old school hadn't offered that subject. As he wandered the hall, wondering what the class would be like he suddenly found himself face to face with Thomas, who seemed just as surprised. He was a good 7 inches taller than Nate and almost twice as wide at the shoulders. He had strong arms and thick legs that seemed to be as wide and sturdy as oaks. Most captivating to Nate though was his face. Thomas had perfect lips, neither too wide nor too thin and startlingly blue eyes like the ocean after a storm. Nate could have stared at them all day.
Thomas extended his hand toward the other boy and wore a smile that seemed a little forced to Nate, though he was already happy enough with not finding the animosity from before in his features.
"Hey, I'm Thomas"
He clasped Thomas' hand
Suddenly Thomas yanked Nate by the hand and roughly shoved him face first against the nearest wall.
"I don't care who you are or where you came from" he had pinned Nate between himself and the wall and had come very close, almost whispering the words as he twisted Nate's arm painfully.
"I want you gone, you little faggot. Either leave on your own or you will wish you had when you could."
Nate was close to panicking now as he tried to croak out a reply. He could only stammer
"You heard me faggot. Now get out of my sight"
Thomas released him after pressing his elbow into Nate's back until he started gasping at the pain.
Nate hastened into the classroom for Sociology as Thomas followed.
"You're in this class, huh? That's gonna be fun" Thomas said with an evil grin as he sat behind Nate, who had broken out in a cold sweat, trying to supress the memories. Memories just like this.
Chapter 1 END
So, I wanted to show a little characterization first. We have seen a lot of Nate and David as well as Sam and her friends. Tom's part was meant to explain some of the conflicts in his head. Nate is not the only one with difficult things in his past and neither boy is really making any good progress processing the things that happened to them. Please understand, that this story is one of healing and love, but to heal the wounds, they need to be inflicted first. I am sorry :(.
I really like the way I managed to portray Sam, she was the character I was most anxious to get right. I wanted her to convey a sense of belonging to Nate, just for her to be a good person in general. I hope I got that right.
To anyone who read it till the end, thank you for sticking with it! If you have any feedback whatsoever, please shoot me an e-mail to
email@example.com . I am anxiously awaiting criticism. Please do not be be afraid of offending me with honest opinions, I have a thick skin. :)