My original title for this story is "My Story". I wanted to give it a better name, a more meaningful one. But I found it difficult to summarize your life experience with a few words. The Nifty archivist thought "My Story" is too general, so they changed it to "Finding Happiness." Although I am not sure whether "Finding Happiness" is the appropriate title, lacking of a better one, I'll go with it for now.
Again, I apologize if reading my English is painful to you. If anyone is willing to help polishing it a little bit before I submit to Nifty, I would really appreciate it. Please email me at email@example.com. I understand it's a lot of work, editing is boring, and everybody is busy, so I am not expecting any offering. But there might be an angel out there, and I might hit a lucky charm somehow ... Who knows. :)
2.1 Days without David
School was totally different without the constant babbling of David. A lot of things changed. Maybe it's because I was so close to death, or because I witnessed someone's death, I became a hero figure somehow. Kids started to respect me much more and they became friendly. Girls started talking to me during breaks.
I wasn't unhappy about this. But considering that I earned my status out of David's death, I wasn't happy either.
The next day after the funeral, I ran into Luke in school. I wasn't sure whether the hugging and crying during the funeral had changed our relationship or not. While I was still contemplating how to act around him, he nodded to me and walked away. I guess our relationship did change.
The most difficult person I had to face was David's mom. Whenever she saw me, she would invite me over to their house. I found excuses like "I had homework to do" or "Grandma is expecting me". But inside I felt very bad to refuse. So one time she asked me again, I said yes.
David's dad was sitting beside the dining table, reading a piece of newspaper. He nodded to me without saying anything. David's mom started asking me about school, my parents, etc. After a while she went out of topic. So I went into David's bedroom.
David's bed was still there, with sheet, pillow, and quilt, as if he still lived there.
That night I thought about Luke. If one visit could upset me that much, think about him living in that house, and every morning he woke up, he saw that empty bed first. I felt very sorry for him, and wished there were something I could do to make him a little bit happier.
Even right after David's death and I was in great sorrow, my dick still got hard all the time. From time to time I thought about David's mouth on my dick, and I felt ashamed. After a while, I "discovered" that if I massaged my dick long enough, especially the part right under the head, I would cum too. This "massage" became my daily routine.
Whenever I was doing it, I thought about Luke and wondered if he knew about this "massage" technique. One day the image of David sucking Luke's dick came into my mind. I tried my best to push it out. Then I realized in horror that I myself wouldn't mind sucking on Luke's dick at all. Although no one told me that's a taboo, but instinctively I knew it's not something you should be proud of.
But I relaxed immediately when I realized that if I never acted upon it and never told it to anybody, then no one would know that I had such thought.
Nowadays I walked to school and back home alone. Grandma accompanied me a few days right after David's death. Then she got impatient and decided the street was not that dangerous.
One day on the way home, I didn't pay attention to the ground and stumbled on a rock into the car lane. Suddenly a strong hand grabbed my left arm and pulled me back. I turned around, and it's Luke. I didn't notice he was right behind me. I said "thanks." He said "sure."
Then I noticed that he always walked behind me on the way to school and back home. One time I purposed wandered into the car lane, and again he pulled me back immediately.
The city rained a lot and the weather forecast at that time in China was not very accurate. So many times they said it's going to rain, it didn't. But Grandma always insisted I brought an umbrella with me if there was a slightest possibility. I hated it that I was the only kid carrying an umbrella until one day.
The day started out as sunny, with no clouds in the sky at all. But the weather forecast said it's going to rain in the afternoon, so again, I had to carry this stupid umbrella. That afternoon when I was walking home, suddenly the sunlight disappeared. I raised my head and saw huge dark clouds all over the sky. In a minute heavy rain began to drop.
The wind began to blow too, and it's chilling. Now I was grateful that Grandma insisted about the umbrella. I opened it, and suddenly remembered Luke. I turned around, and he was right behind me, without an umbrella and with his schoolbag over his head, starting to get soaked.
"Come over!" I offered. He hesitated for a second before coming into my umbrella.
My umbrella was pretty small, and he was taller than me, so it's really awkward for me to hold it. We walked a few steps, and it's not working. I stopped and handed the umbrella to him, "Why don't you hold it?" He took it. But still, half of my body and half of his body were in the rain.
Then he put his right hand over my shoulder and pulled me into him. I could feel the heat from his body. It's nice and warm. I thought I smelled his body scent too, strong and masculine, but that might be my imagination. It's hard to smell anything in such a heavy rain.
The rain was heavy, and the whole world turned gray. It's hard to see anything two steps away. It felt like we were isolated from the rest of the world by the rain. The rain dropped onto my umbrella, making loud and clipping sound, but it's so quiet and peaceful too. After a few steps, we began to walk in sync.
That was the happiest day in my young life.
2.2 Luke and me
It's a totally new mystic feeling in my heart that I didn't have a name for it. I only knew that it felt good. Luke was still Luke. Usually he didn't talk to me, and he never walked side by side with me. But I knew he was there right behind me to offer protection. No one ever paid that much attention to me. My young heart was soaring. The world became much more colorful, and even the kids I disliked most in school became likable.
One major event during that semester was the teachers wanted me to jump two grades. I guess I was a pretty smart kid. Besides, for lacking of friends, I developed this huge interest in studying and reading. A teacher walked home with me to talk to my grandparents. They were not too surprised, but very happy and proud. They asked me if I wanted to skip two grades. I thought about it, and answered, "I guess one would be great. Two might be too much." So that's it, the next day, I joined the grade six.
In normal circumstances I would definitely jump as many grades as possible. I was smart, and I wanted the world to know it. But again, Luke was in grade six.
The grade six was divided into two classes. I prayed to Buddha that the school would assign me to the same class as Luke's. Luckily, my pray was answered. Not only was I assigned to Luke's class, but his desk too. Thinking back, it's not unreasonable. He joined his class in the middle of a semester when he was released from the Camp, so he had to sit in the back. I was in the same situation.
Teachers wanted to move me to one of the front seats. It's always like this, kids who studied hard sat in the front, and trouble makers were sent to the back. But I declined the offer, saying that I preferred the back seat.
It's hard to read Luke's expression when I first walked down the aisle to his desk. He didn't look as happy as I was, so my excitement died a little. Maybe he's not comfortable that I was in the same class as him, as he was two years older than me. But I didn't care. I just wanted to be close to him.
But soon he learned the benefit of me sitting next to him, he wasn't unhappy about the arrangment any more. He never listened to any classes. Either he's sleeping, or he's reading some Kung-fu story book. When it's time to do his homework, he usually just wrote some random answers. So teachers scolded him all the time, and he hated it. Now he could just copy my answers.
I knew I shouldn't let him. I even offered to tutor him. But soon I realized that it's mission impossible. He hadn't even learned how to multiply numbers, how could he calculate the value of an expression with add, minus, multiply, and divide operators all together? So I just let him copy my answers.
Luke never addressed me using my name. Before he just didn't address me at all. Now we were desk-mates, he started calling me "kid." Physically he looked much more mature than me, so I let him. In fact I felt special when he called me kid, because he's not calling anyone else kid.
Sitting closely as desk-mates, our legs touched each other's all the time. In the beginning whenever it happened, I moved my leg immediately to avoid contact. Gradually I noticed that he didn't seem to mind, so onetime I just let it stay touched. After that, my left leg was always touching his right leg.
Luke got hard-on all the time, and he never tried to hide it. Sometimes he just walked down the aisle with a small tent in front of his pants. Sometimes he wore something tight, you could even see the shape of his hard dick. With this "I don't give a shit" expression on his face, he looked so sexy, bad-boy kind of sexy. One time I even noticed that our natural science teacher, an old ugly lady, glanced at Luke's crotch.
The worst (or best) was when I was sitting, and he just stood in front of the desk, with his hard dick right in front of my face. I could feel my whole skin was burning.
After a while, I realized that Luke was pretty talkative too. Not as talkative as David. But once he got comfortable talking to me, we had a lot of conversation. But he's only like that when with me. With other kids, he's still a silent and cool dude. I wasn't unhappy about this special treatment. Not at all.
I became more and more daring after a while, like resting my head on his shoulders, putting my hand on his thigh, etc. In China most boys were physical like that, so no one raised an eyebrow to us. One time he was standing there, I was standing behind him, and I just opened my arms and hugged him from behind. I wasn't thinking, and it felt like a natural thing to do at the moment. But once I held him and felt his muscular ass, I began to get hard. He must feel it too, for he jumped away from me, turned around and said, "Don't you go queer on me." Then he just walked out of the classroom.
I was humiliated and horrified. I was thinking of jumping out of the window and finished myself right then and there. But I didn't have the guts. So I just sat in my chair, millions of thoughts flashing through my brain at the same time, none good, wishing I had never been born into this world.
Surprisingly, he came back in a minute or two, apparently just peed with hands still wet, sat down, and started reading one of his Kung-fu stories. It's like he totally forgot about the incident.
Then the other day, during a P.E. class, the coach was not feeling well, so he told us to play soccer and left. I played for a while and got tired, so I walked back to the classroom. Then I saw Luke lying on a bench near the running track, his hat covering his face. I went over, sat on the bench where his legs were.
Suddenly he sat up and grabbed me. I fell into his arms. He held me tight and said, "Kid, tonight you belong to me!" I couldn't believe what I heard. My face turning purple, my ears burning, my heart beating at ten thousand times per second, and I struggled to get away. Suddenly again, he released me and started laughing out loud.
It's the first time I ever saw him laughing. The shadow that's always on his face just disappeared. He looked so care free and so happy.
Many years later I heard a Chinese pop song, the lyric was something like "as beautiful as the spring breeze, I like your smile more." When I heard that song, I thought of Luke, thought of this moment.
Many years later I still wondered why out of nowhere he said something like that; I wondered, was he serious, was he joking, or was it that he thought he's joking but subconsciously he's serious?
2.3 Of love and hatred
Buddha taught us that everything in this world was impermanent. There was a beginning, and there was an end. No exception.
Of course an 11-year-old boy wouldn't understand that. I thought the future was just an extension of today, nothing changing, until the end of my life.
The doom's day started like any other day. It rained the day before, so the ground was still wet. I was walking home with Luke. Now he walked side by side with me, but he always walked on the side that's closer to the car lane, and kept me away from the cars.
So we were walking, talking, and laughing. I forgot about the exact topic, but he said something, I said "No way!" To emphasize my point, I pushed Luke. I guess I used a little bit more force than necessary, and it took Luke by surprise, so he fell to the ground.
When he got up, his clothes were covered by water and mud. I thought he looked funny, and started laughing hysterically. He looked really pissed, and pushed me too. I guess he used a little bit more force than necessary too, and it took me by surprise too, so I fell to the ground too.
When I got up, I was so angry. I didn't mean to push him to the ground. It's a pure accident. But he did it on purpose. From his angry expression, I understood he wanted to hurt me. The fact that Luke wanted to hurt me really got me. I wanted to hurt him back, and I knew how to hurt him worst.
"Don't you treat me like you treated David!" That's exactly what I said.
His expression turned from angry to furious in a splitting second. The next thing I knew, my face hurt like hell, and blood started running out of my nose. He punched my face hard.
When he saw my blood, he froze. Suddenly he started running away.
I got home with dirty clothes and a bruised face. Grandma was angry. She kept asking me whom I fought with. I knew I couldn't get away with a lie like "I fell," so I just stayed silent. Eating dinner was difficult, because even the slightest movement of my jaw hurt.
After the dinner, Grandma went out, leaving all the dishes to me. I was still drying up the dishes when Grandma came back. She grabbed one of my arms, and pulled me into David's house.
It's a neighborhood where everyone knew everyone else. I guess some nosy neighbor saw the fight and told Grandma. A strong-minded woman like Grandma would never allow her grandson to be bullied.
David's parents and Luke were still having dinner. Grandma just simply said, "Look what Luke did to my Jake!"
David's mom stood up, turned to Luke, and asked, "Luke, did you do this to Jake?"
Luke didn't say anything, looking at his bowl of rice.
I felt ashamed. I wanted to tell Luke that I didn't tell Grandma about the fighting and I definitely didn't ask Grandma to come here to ask for "justice." But again, I didn't think Luke and I were on talking terms. Besides, his parents and Grandma were here too, so I couldn't talk to him.
Luke's mom started crying, "Why it's David? Why it's not you dead?"
Hearing this, my anger toward Luke was suddenly replaced by sorrow and regret. I couldn't believe Luke's mom would say something like that. I couldn't imagine how Luke was feeling.
David's dad suddenly slapped Luke's face really hard and shouted, "Go back to your room!"
Luke stood up with such force that the dining table almost fell over. Before he turned around and left, he shot me a final stare. There were so much pain and so much hatred in his eyes, my heart just died right then and there, a thousand times.
I didn't pay attention to the apology from David's parents. I didn't pay attention to the triumphant look on Grandma's face when we returned home. I stayed silent, and went to bed without saying a word.
When I was angry with someone, I would shout and even use violence. But when I hated someone, I would just stay silent. That night I really hated that stubborn, self-righteous, ignorant woman whom I called "Grandma."
Luke didn't show up at school the next day. I didn't have the courage to face him, so I asked the homeroom teacher to move me to one of the front seats. I told her that my vision got worse and I couldn't read the blackboard from back there. My request was granted immediately, considering I was her top student.
Luke and I didn't talk the next day when he came back to school. We didn't even look at each other. Several months later when we graduated from primary school, we still hadn't talked or looked at each other.
Sometimes I thought about walking up to him and explaining, sometimes I thought I hated him. Sometimes I felt I owed him an apology, sometimes I felt I did nothing wrong. I wasn't sure about the situaion at all. One thing I was sure though, I was lonely and miserable.
Grandpa asked me, "What happened between you and Luke?"
"Then why don't you hang out any more?"
Grandma heard and said, "It's all for the better. That boy was in the Camp once! You forgot how he beat Jake? He's definitely a bad influence!"
"Well, boys fight all the time. It's no big deal." Grandpa said, "I think Luke is a good kid. Wild maybe, but still good."
"Well," Grandma shot back, "You are a stupid blind old man."
I stayed out of their conversation. I forgave Grandma long time ago. Deep in my heart, I knew she loved me, and you should never hate someone who loves you.
Then I wondered if Luke would agree with me on this. If yes, had he stopped hating me already? Because in those lonely and miserable days, I grew up quickly and realized that the feeling I had for Luke is actually ... love.
Then it's junior high.
(I'll stop here. I'll continue later.)