Hating With A Passion
He was such a prick! Jay Daniels... asshole extraordinaire. Every time I turned around he was saying something else that was nasty about me. I mean I know I'm not exactly a saint myself. Hell I can be an asshole at times too, but only "at times", not all the time, and certainly not without cause. But Jay... he burned me up. I hated him with a passion. The only problem was the "passion" part.
From the first moment I saw him, I was drawn to Jay. He was really cute. Jay's legs are pretty smooth for a fifteen year old, and the way the sun reflects off of his light brown hair is nearly enough to make you catch your breath. His face, so perfect with the most adorable nose and smooth thick lips, made me want to kiss him the second he walked in the door of our grade nine classroom. His eyes met mine and for a brief second almost took on a look of recognition, but the look faded quickly into a frown and from then he's hated me.
I wanted him to like me. I had never done anything to him and had never met him before, but he wouldn't even speak to me. When we had our first group assignment in English class, Jay was put in my group, but he made it quite clear he didn't want to be there. We didn't speak other than when he would shoot down one of my ideas for our project, and if it hadn't been for the others in the group we would have gotten nothing done.
The thing that made it hardest to deal with was the fact that Jay was attractive and I actually, despite everything, wanted to be friends with him. He was a good athlete, he got good grades, and he could be funny when he wanted to be. Hell some of the insults he sent my way were amusing and I'd find myself laughing later on in spite of myself. The thing I didn't understand was that despite all the hatred he sent my way, I'd still catch him staring at me sometimes. If I looked over he'd scowl of course, and that made me even more furious.
"Why are you such a fuckin' prick Jay?" I asked him frowning one day as we worked on yet another group assignment together.
"Why do you have to breathe?"
"You guys come on," Catherine said urging us to get back to work. "We have to get this assignment finished so just both of you relax."
"I can't relax," I said angrily. "He's an asshole."
"You're the asshole," Jay shot back.
"Jason and Benjamin," Mr. Elliott said walking up to our table. "If you two would like to use that kinda of language, maybe you have a situation you should take up with the vice principal."
"No sir, that's okay," Jay began
"Office... Now," Mr Elliott said sternly. Jason and I both rose to our feet and turned towards the door. "Take your books," Mr. Elliott added.
"You've screwed us this time," Jay muttered as we walked to the stairs leading down to the second floor where the office was.
"I've screwed us?" I asked incredulously.
"Just shut the fuck up and let's get this over with," Jay said as he pushed past me down the stairs.
We walked into the principal's office, Jay first, and took up two seats in front of secretaries' desk. "Next!" came Mr. Clark's voice from his office as a red-faced boy shuffled out. Jay and I both stood up and walked silently into the dreaded inner sanctum. Mr. Clark was only the vice-principal, but he was even more feared by the students than the principal himself. The way our school worked was Mr. Clark chewed you to pieces so that the principal, Mr. Davis, could mold you into a better student. "Now just what's the problem with you two?" Mr. Clark asked in his regular serious tone.
"Nothin," Jay said looking at me out of the corner of his eye.
"Mr. Elliott sent you down here for a verbal disagreement involving expletive language. Now which one of you wants to tell me about that?" Mr. Clark wasn't playing around as he set the palm of his left hand down on the arm of his chair and leaned forward slightly and to the side. We both sat silently until he began to glare at the two of us.
"It was my fault," I said grinding my teeth. "I took exception to something Jay said, and I was the first to start cursing." Damn it! Why the Hell did I have to take the fall for this?
"Mr. Daniels?" Mr. Clark said looking at Jay for confirmation. "Do you have anything to add?"
"Nope," Jay said lifting his eyes to meet those of Mr. Clarke. My jaw dropped slightly and jutted out in irritation.
"Boys, I've been at this school for the last twenty years. I have given out hundreds of suspensions in that time, and even a few expulsions. Neither of you two are bad kids so why don't you drop the whole disliking of each other and get on with your lives? That way I can get on with mine. Now get out of my office, get back to class, sit down, shut up, and do your work," Mr. Clark said raising his voice suddenly.
The two of us jumped up and half-ran out of the room. When we reached the hallway outside the office we giggled and joked for a moment before we each realized who the other was and returned to our usual brooding anger. Things like this pretty much went on through the rest of ninth grade and right into the tenth. Even after a summer apart, Jay still showed up hating me just as much as before. When I saw him on the first day, I nearly jumped as the anger rushed back into me. Part of it was the rejection of something as simple as friendship, but again it was that feeling of something more between us. I had fantasized dozens of times about Jay's smooth legs next to mine as the two of us cuddled quietly in a soft chair next to a fireplace. I had wished and prayed that we could stop hating each other to at least long enough become friends, but nope. That wasn't to be.
I knew we were pretty well stuck in the rut of anger when Jay's first words to me in our second semester of tenth grade were "hey fuck-nut still single huh?" I turned red with anger since Jay had gone out with three different girls through the first semester while I had stayed single. The fact was I didn't seem to be that interested in girls. Oh girls are fine and dandy as friends, but there's just something so much more drawing about guys. I had decided that if I would ever "be with" a guy, it would be a guy who met my standards. No way would I settle for anything less than what I wanted. The trouble was that the guy I found most attractive was also the guy who hated my guts simply because... well... they were mine!
I walked into science class one day and saw Catherine seated in her usual seat. The Valentine's day dance was coming up and I decided I really wanted to go. After all, it was about time I gave up on any miracle happening that would get me together with Jay even as a friend, let alone boyfriend. I figured that if I could hang out with any girl as a girlfriend, Catherine was the one. She was definitely not hard to look at and had a genuinely sweet disposition. "Yup," I thought, "Catherine's who I'll go with."
I sat down next to her at my desk and smiled setting my books down. Catherine smiled back and started organizing her things. I kept looking at her trying to figure out whether or not I should go through with it when Jay came in the room and sauntered to his desk on the other side of Catherine. She shot him a smile then looked back to me. "Okay I'll start it off... what is it Ben?"
"I was trying to figure out how to ask you to go to the Valentine's Day dance with me in two weeks," I said looking from my book to Catherine's face.
I happened to glance past her to Jay whose top lip curled up in anger or maybe disgust while his brow twisted into a frown. "You can't go with Bumjammin!" Jay said angrily. "I was gonna ask you to go with me!"
"Jason," Catherine said unhappily. "Do you always have to call each other names?"
"If he would sit on the other side of the room, we would get along fine," Jay said scowling at me.
"The feeling's mutual," I fired back.
"So you're gonna go with me right?" Jay asked quickly.
"No she's going to go with me," I sad smiling.
"Will both of you relax? I have to think about it for awhile first," Catherine said glumly.
Now the asshole was trying to steal my date for the Valentines dance. I fumed about it all day... I mean the one girl I wanted to go with just happened to be the girl he wanted to go with? No way.. the only reason he wanted to go with Catherine was because he didn't want me to go with her. Yup as far as I was concerned, at that point Jay's whole life was about making me as angry and upset as humanly possible. And just when it seemed there was no limit to how far he was willing to go to piss me off, when he wrote my name in one of the stalls in the bathroom.
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"That fucking prick!!" I bellowed. "I'll kill him!!" I continued as I stormed out of the bathroom and down the series of halls to where Jay's locker was. "You asshole!"
"What?" Jay asked innocently.
"What do you mean what? You wrote that shit in the bathroom, that's what!"
"Wrote what?" Jay continued acting like he had no idea what I was talking about.
"You..." I said searching for the words, but none would come to mind. "I hate you," I said angrily. "I couldn't hate you any more if I tried you stupid ignorant asshole!" Jay actually looked a little hurt and I relished in the idea of having brought him as much heartache as he had brought me. Such was our highschool career together, if "together" would be the right word.
To make matters worse, now our parents would be involved in tossing us together! A few weeks ago, my mom ran into a woman at the supermarket who was one of her old highschool friends. Well you know how women (or at least moms) talk when they run into an old friend.. it was gab-gab-gab-gab-gab for about ten or fifteen minutes about what they'd done after highschool. Mom is a lawyer, and it turned out that Cynthia also went into law.
"Wow, that's unreal," mom remarked. "Cynthia and I were like sisters in highschool Benjamin."
"Yeah that's really somethin mom," I said with as much fake-interest as I could muster.
"I knew your mother since before she was ten years old when she transferred into my elementary school," Cynthia said happily. "You must be around my son's age."
"You've got a son too?" My mom asked.
"Duh," I muttered under my breath as I turned to look for something good to toss into the cart while she wasn't looking.
"Yes I do! Jason's fifteen."
"Oh wow, this is too much. When's his birthday?" Mom asked.
"Who cares?" I thought to myself as I grabbed a box of Jos Louis off the shelf and dropped them into the cart.
"Jason will be 16 this year in May," Cynthia said
"So he's in your grade Benjamin? Do you know a Jason Watson?" Mom said turning to me.
"Nope," I answered simply. "Maybe he goes to a different school."
"Well he usually goes by Jay, and our last name is Daniels now," Cynthia said.
My jaw dropped.
"Do you know a Jay Daniels then?" Mom asked looking from Cynthia to me.
"Yeah.. uhh.. yeah I know Jay," I said slowly. "He's in one or two of my classes..." I trailed off.
"We should get together for dinner one night," Cynthia said grabbing my mother's arm. I had walked around behind her and my head snapped up at her suggestion. I looked at my mom shaking my head from side to side, but my mom just smiled and agreed that we should alllll get together some time for dinner. One big happy old-friends and their families' meal. There was just one problem with this happy event. The sons of the two old friends were in a hating match with one another, and it was going to be really hard for me even to pretend to be civil towards Jay "the prick" Daniels.