The Dark Side of the Moon
The Dark Side of the Moon 7
I went downstairs with Jimmy and Chase so that I could have a normal dinner with people and actually sitting at a table. My mom and Karen were treating me like they did before it happened and Connor was kinda sullenly ignoring me. But I’ll take that over yelling and shit.
I really miss Connor. That must sound weird cause of all the shit he’s dumpin on me but it’s true. He’s a little strange but mostly it’s been a good strange, at least from my point of view. I mean he’s somebody that everybody’s always saying, “Well, that’s just Connor,” or “Well, you know how he is.” It’s like Connor’s gonna live his life with an asterisk next to his name. Like see below for the things you gotta take into consideration when dealing with Connor.
He is kinda hard work but every once in a while he’ll do something that so totally nice that it’ll like floor ya and you’ll think that maybe you never really did understand him.
And for another thing he’s probably the best looking person in the family although when he’s being mean that’s like a kinda sick joke. It’s like you can’t believe that shit came outta somebody so hot looking. In a way it surprises me that he’s having so much trouble with the whole gay thing. I mean I know sound strange but if I had to pick someone other than myself who might have understood it’d a been Connor. Not that he’s ever said anything pro-gay but unlike most guys I never heard him say anything bad about gay guys. But then Connor’s like that, he’s always a surprise.
Connor was also the one who understood a lotta the things that nobody else seemed to, like when I couldn’t throw out a dead plant because I thought it’d feel bad. He was the one who sided with me and made me not feel quite so stupid. Or like when our dog Ralph died and Connor came into my room that night and told me that he knew how much I liked to talk to Ralph and that I could always come and tell him whatever I woulda told Ralph. It was like he was sayin that he knew I told Ralph secret shit and it’d be okay with him if I wanted to tell him that stuff, that he’d keep my secrets. Shit, I wonder what happened with that? Maybe Chase is right. Maybe Connor is pissed that I didn’t go and tell him all this stuff. Now I wish I had, it couldn’t be worse.
Finally I got tired of watching TV and went slowly up to my room to call my friend Carl. I was pretty sure that I knew how this conversation was gonna go but I knew that if I didn’t call I was always gonna wonder what woulda happened if I had called.
I was lucky that he answered before his mom cause at least I didn’t have go thru the third degree from her. She was kinda a gossip.
“Robbie?” Carl had caller ID.
“Holy shit, Man! What happened to you?”
I snorted. “Guess I had a little problem.”
“Little problem? Fucking, Dude! That’s not a little problem!” He was silent for a couple of seconds and then said quietly, “Ah..Rob…did they do what everybody says they did?”
I didn’t want to tell him but I didn’t really see that I had a choice and besides if Carl didn’t understand then who in the hell would. “I dunno what everybody says, Carl but they did………..well, kinda rape me and beat me up.”
“Holy fuck! Did it hurt bad? Shit, Rob….shit! I can’t fuckin imagine………holy fuckin shit!”
“The thing is Carl, that I’m wonderin if….well….is anybody gonna gimme a hard time at school about this?”
“Fuck, Rob, I never thought about that! I guess I can’t imagine that anybody could be mad at you about it.” He was quiet a moment then, “I dunno, ya know how sick people can be. Maybe you’ll hear some jokes and shit.”
This next bit was risky. “Ya think people’ll still talk to me?”
He laughed. “Shit they gotta, Rob! They’re all gonna wanna know what happened.”
I groaned. “Carl, I don’t wanna have to tell anyone what happened.” Then I got a brainstorm that might even be true. “The cops told me that I can’t tell anyone what happened. So that means that you can’t tell anybody either. I know that everybody figures they know but maybe they’ll forget.”
“Rob, if you don’t want me to tell anyone then I won’t but I don’t think that they’re gonna forget, at least not for a long time.”
I sighed. I was so fucked. “I know, Carl. But just please don’t tell anyone, okay? Man I dunno how I’m gonna live thru the next four years.”
Carl didn’t say anything for awhile and then said quietly, “Maybe it won’t be as bad as ya think.” And I realized that I had really messed up, that I shoulda just kept my mouth shut about the whole thing. I shoulda gone home after they raped me and pretended that nothing happened. Like that guy said, never complain and never explain.
I felt so lost. I hadn’t really thought all that much about school, hadn’t really wanted to think about school. It’s weird cause I know that in the back of my head I knew that this is what was gonna happen but somehow my brain was able to hold off on dealing with that for quite a while. Kinda like without even talking to me about it it made this decision to not let me deal with something that it knew I couldn’t handle. But that meant that it figured that I could handle it now. I really hoped it was right but I just couldn’t see it.
I lay down on the bed and pulled my pillows over my head. They were soft and fluffy and the pillowcase was white and cool. I breathed deeply. I couldn’t think of a way out, well except one but I wasn’t gonna go there.
I don’t know how long I was laying there just like veggin out but the next thing I knew somebody was shaking my foot. I pulled a pillow off my face and Chase was kneeling next to the bed looking at me. There was just the suggestion of a smile on his face.
When he spoke his voice was almost a whisper but still deep like Chase’s voice is, “Waz up, Robbie?”
I really hate it that I’m the whiny, needy little fucking kid who can’t seem to get his shit together and who always needs someone else to bail his ass outta trouble. I tried to keep my voice steady and not let on how fucked up I felt.
“Just thinking about what’s gonna happen at school on Monday.”
Chase started to get up and said, “Shove over.”
I scooted to the side and Chase got in bed with me, his left side pushed up against my right. He felt really warm, almost hot. I could feel the hard rounded shape of his muscles thru his shirt.
He reached over and picked up my hand in his and just held it down by our legs. He didn’t say anything for awhile but then like he had given it a lotta thought he said, “There’ll be some shit for sure. I don’t think though that you’ll get too much crap from guys in your own class, the freshman. If you pick up any shit it’ll be from dudes in Jeff’s an my class, the Juniors. Jimmy an me’ll put out the fires that we know about….but I dunno what’ll get past us. It’d be a huge help if Connor got his head outta his ass.”
I laughed at that and it felt so good to do that. It also felt so good to be laying here with Chase holding my hand and being on my side. It’s really the shits when you can count everybody who’s on your side on one hand.
I stared up at the ceiling and said, “Chase, how’m I gonna get thru four years of this?”
“Robbie, the hardest part is gonna be this year but news gets to be old fast. You’re gonna make it thru this year because your brother’s are gonna help you and by next year nobody’s gonna care about this shit cause there’ll be new shit to get stirred up about. I’m not tryin to tell you that it’ll be easy caused it won’t but it’ll be something that you can do.”
I turned my head to look at him, there was something that I had to know, something that was haunting me. “Chase…..how come….how come you went from being mad at me to liking me again?”
Chase rolled slowly over onto his side facing me. He laid his right hand on my chest lightly and he took a while to answer. When he finally spoke it was very slowly.
“I…I was never mad at you, Robbie. I was confused though. When we came home from school that day and found you all beat up,” He sighed heavily, “when I saw you…all bloody…it’s like my brain exploded.” He started rubbing my chest. “But it was this weird moment cause just as that was registering you started to go…well, you started to get upset. I couldn’t get my head around it but Jimmy explained that what we did to that Ryan kid…that you were getting that mixed up in your head, thinking that’s what happened to you. Then later that night at the hospital, I wanted so bad to see you, to explain, but by then you were scared of all of us.
Chase was shaking his head slowly and smiling. “Dad ripped us a new asshole. Oh fuck, did he tear into us.” He groaned deep in his throat. “We had to apology to the kid. God I felt like an asshole. The kid was so scared and I was so fucking ashamed. I kept thinking about him going home that night….maybe trying to explain to his mom what happened. I wanted to crawl into a hole and die. But then I started to get pissed. Like I didn’t really feel like I had done anything, not really done anything. But here everybody was still pissed at me…at us. But as pissed as I was it was nothing to what Connor was….he was fucking insane. Finally he told me that he was certain that you were gay…well, he didn’t use that word but you can imagine.
Chase buried his face in my neck and shook his head. “This is weirdly embarrassing. Connor has always had this ability to get me to go along with him. I really don’t understand why because I know what a dick he can be….but anyway, he can. He totally comes in under my radar and before I know what the fuck’s happening he’s got me doin this bizarre shit.”
“So anyway, he knows that I’m confused and pissed and really trying to find some excuse to justify the crap we did. I know, I know, that’s totally lame but it was how I felt. And here comes Connor with this gay shit and how this was probably all your fault and cause you were gay you probably brought this all on yourself.” He was shaking his head again. “Don’t even say it, Robbie. I get it now. But at the time it sounded like it somehow bailed us out and before I knew what was happening Connor is giving his little speech to Dad.”
“Fuck, I wish I had a video of that! But anyway even before Dad springs the joke on Connor I realized how fucked up what we were doing was and then when Dad sprung it I thought, “Why the fuck did you listen to him?” “So Connor storms out and he tries to drag me with him but I just couldn’t. Dad is goin on about how the most important thing is that we’re all a family and how you really need us now and Jimmy is sittin there looking like he’s expecting me to do the stupid thing. It just hit me how right Dad was.” Chase rubbed my stomach. “I realized too that there was no fucking way that you’d be to blame for those guys doin that shit. I also realized that I didn’t give a flyin fuck if you were gay or not. I mean how did it affect me? Like not at all, that’s how.”
“Robbie, I wish there was some fucking way that I could make
myself look like I was something other than a total asshole but there
isn’t. This wasn’t not the coolest week of my life but
I get it now and I fucking swear that from now on I’ll never
not be on your side about this.”