Warning, the story you are about to read deals with issues such as homosexuality and teenage sex. If your offended by such behaviors or your not of legal age to read such material, pleas exit now.
Well good! The following story deals with the fictional path my life would have taken if only I I could of told my parents that I was gay almost ten years ago. Some of the characters within my stories are based off real people but their names have been changed to protect their identities. Any similarities to real events or situations are purely coincidental...or maybe not so coincidental...
I want to thank everyone who emailed me after I posted the first four chapters. I love the correspondence, so keep it coming! Any advice concerning subsequent chapters would be much appreciated.
ps I know that I have had some grammar mistakes in each of my chapters, I promise that I will have a proofreader for the rest of the story.
"It will be a couple more minutes before Mr. Richardson can see you. You can take a seat over there and wait. I don't believe it will take that long."
My mom walked across the floor and sat right next to me without fully acknowledging my presence. I could tell that she was concerned, but I also knew that if she acknowledged me she wouldn't be able to maintain her composure. The only thing that was keeping her from breaking down was cold silence.
A couple minutes later, Mr. Richardson's door opened and me and my mom were instructed to come into his office to have a talk. Mr. Richardson did not look like his usual cheery self. He was instead very stone-faced in his expression. This was not a good sign.
"Mrs. V? Nice to see you, I'm just sorry that it had to be under such circumstances. Will you and Zack please come into my office so we can discuss the situation?"
With this, my mom and me were shown into the inner sanctum of the principal's office. Well, inner sanctum is a bit over dramatic for an 8X10' office but I've always had a flair for the overdramatic. Mr. Richardson's office was your typical middle-aged, hetero-male office. Scottish plaid wallpaper with duck hunting scene borders, various pictures showing family members and finally a large print of Mr. Richardson showing off one of his more recent kills. I don't know if it was the room or the situation, but I was beginning to feel a little claustrophobic.
"Well, let's cut to the chase and find out what Zack's version of the story is. Zack, why did you feel that it was necessary to assault a student on school grounds?"
With this question, I became the center of attention in the cramped office. Not exactly the position I wanted to be in. I just wanted to disappear. It took me a couple of minutes to think of a plausible excuse for my actions, but I finally decided that the truth would be the best course of action.
"John called me a fag, so I kicked his ass..." Maybe I shouldn't have been so blunt.
"I see, and you feel that since he was verbally attacking you, it was all right to physically attack him? Do you know that John is on his way to the hospital as we speak? He isn't seriously injured, thank goodness, but we can't be too careful."
"Zack, is this John the same guy that has been harassing you? What happened to make you act out to irrationally?" Take my mom to be concerned about my mental state, instead of my physical well being.
I looked Mr. Richardson directly in the eyes. It seems that I have to explain my action a little more clearly this time, give a little more background information.
"Mr. Richardson, I don't know if you had heard or not, but a rumor concerning my sexuality has been circulating around school for the past couple of weeks. First, the rumor is true, I'm gay. John took it upon himself to verbally abuse me and threaten me with physical abuse if I didn't listen to him. Today he went too far and tried to tell me that I was less human because I was gay. I tried to ignore him, but he went too far. That is when I snapped."
"I see...I have heard some talk about such rumors, I am the principal of this school after all."
"You've heard about the rumors, and you didn't do anything to discourage them? How dare you?!" I knew I liked my mom!
"Mrs. V, mam. It has been my experience in the past, that such rumors are just a product of boys being boys. I've found that it is often best to ignore such rumors and let them die as quickly as they started. If I took action to stop the rumors about Zack, I might as well of tried to stop every rumor that is circulating within this school. I'm sorry mam, but my time is better spent!"
"Well, I've actually heard enough! You knew that Zack was being harassed and you didn't do anything about it. As far as I'm concerned, it is your fault that one of your students got injured. I'm just glad that Zack wasn't the one going to the hospital!"
"Mam, this is a serious situation. Verbal attacks are one thing, that's just a part of growing up. Physical attacks are a whole other thing. Zack needs to be appropriately punished for his actions."
"Your wrong sir, you're the one that doesn't know the seriousness of this situation! My son was being hassled because of something that he cannot control! You had it in your power to fix the situation before it finally ended like it did! I do agree that what Zack did was wrong, but he should not be penalized because of your lack of involvement! As far as I'm concerned, we're through here!"
Up until then, I was acting as a quiet bystander. My mom apparently thought that it was Mr. Richardson's fault that nothing was done sooner. I have learned in the past, that when my mom was on your side, you just let her do all the talking.
My mom gestured that she and I were leaving. Just when I was about to get out of my seat, Mr. Richardson attempted to make it clear that he was not through yet.
"Mr. V! Sit back down! You will be dismissed when I tell you, you are dismissed. And Mrs. V., you are free to leave if you like, your son on the other hand has to learn his punishment for his actions."
My mom was not about to leave me alone with Mr. Richardson. Punishment? The situation didn't look like it would get any better.
"Zack, for attacking a fellow student, provoked or unprovoked, you will be suspended from school for the next two weeks. Don't believe that you will be able to stay home during that time. Every Saturday, you will report to the school for janitorial duty. All your school work over this period will be viewed as incomplete. After these two weeks, you will be required to come to my office where you will apologize to both John and me for your actions. Do I make myself clear?"
Two weeks suspension? I will miss midterms! All of the F's I will receive will probably cause me to flunk this semester. I will have to graduate a year later than I was supposed to! The whole situation had gone from bad to worse!
"Excuse me...Mr. Richardson?"
Breaking eye contact from me, Mr. Richardson finally acknowledged the fact that my mom was still in the office with us. Mr. Richardson could not but help to give my mom a smug smile of condensation as he looked at her.
"Yes, Mrs. V.?"
"I think you are being overly harsh to my son. He cannot afford to miss the next two weeks. Such a suspension will permanently affect the rest of his academic career. This is a school, you're supposed to encourage learning, not punish people by taking it away."
"I personally do not see the problem. Zack is just going to have to face the consequences of his actions. It is an important lesson that he needs to learn. If you don't care for the punishment, I could just expel him for the rest of the school year. The decision is up to you."
At this, my mom turned towards me and looked directly at me.
With that simple phrase, I didn't have any objections about leaving. I was more than happy to vacate the office. Two weeks suspension, I still couldn't get used to that. Everything was getting worse.
The ride home started off pretty quietly. My mom was fuming and I did not really want to direct that anger towards me. At the moment, I wasn't in trouble and I wanted to keep it that way. For me, the thought of having to repeat a semester was keeping me quiet as well. My mom was the first to break the silence...
"That bastard! Where does he get the nerve! I would go directly to the school board and complain, but its just full of his buddies. Fucking Bastard!"
I was shocked. I knew that my mom was angry, but she rarely cursed, let alone used the words Fuck and Bastard. My mom finally realized that I was in the passenger seat next to her. She seemed to calm down and even looked a little bit embarrassed that she had been so angry in front of me.
"How are you holding up?"
"I don't know. I'm sorry mom for fighting, but I really didn't know what to do! Honestly! Don't hate me!"
My statement was met with one of my mom's characteristic, don't be silly smiles.
"I'm not mad at you, maybe a little disappointed that you resorted to violence to solve your problems, but not mad. And, I don't hate you either. I'll tell you what. How about I blow off the rest of the day from work and take you out shopping. It's been awhile since you have gotten a new pair of addidas's or maybe even a new pair of jeans. What do you say?"
I felt a little better. My mom knew all of my weaknesses, especially when clothes shopping was involved.
"I guess I can manage...maybe." I could help but smile when I said that.
"Well, it's decided! We're going to Little Rock and the mall!"
In the mall's food court, a pair of shoes and two shirts later, my mom finally addressed the whole suspension idea.
"Zack, I don't want to seem like an irresponsible parent, but I don't like this whole suspension idea."
"How do you think I feel?"
"Probably not that great, but I was thinking there might be a way to ignore it."
"What do you suggest? For me to keep going to class even though I won't get any credit for it?"
"No silly? Where do you get your sarcasm from? Your father is as dry as a cracker and you obviously didn't get it from me."
"If it didn't come from you, it must have come from the milkman."
"How did you know about that!"
Laughing at our antics, my mom finally decided to get back on track with our topic of discussion.
"I was thinking about taking some time off from work. Maybe a few weeks and for the both of us to take a little vacation together."
"That sounds like a plausible plan, but what about your work. What about Dad and Melissa? What about my Saturday detention?"
"Leave the worrying up to me. I'm your mother and that is my job...okay? When we get home, I will call your father and we will iron out the details. I am overdue for a vacation anyways.
It had been two weeks since my entire family has been under one room together. It felt sort of nice, familiar. I had missed having my entire family with me. Even my father. My mom had called him when we got home and he had come directly over. Since everyone was together my mom pulled all the strings to put dinner on the table. No, she didn't cook! Instead she called to local Chinese delivery place and ordered the family special.
"Zack, I've been talking to your mother and my therapist over the past week, and I believe that I owe you and the rest of the family an apology for my actions. I am still not entirely comfortable with the entire situation, but I hope that you will allow me to grow."
"Thanks Dad, you probably won't believe me, but I've actually missed having you around."
"I've missed you too Dad! When are you going to move back home, I bet mom will let you move back in!" Melissa was always the optimist. It was one of her most endearing and most annoying habits.
"Well, kids, I think that your mom is the one to tell you that. At the moment, I don't think it will be right for me to try to enter back into you guys' life, pretending that nothing had ever happened. That wouldn't be fair to your mom or fair to both of you kids."
My mom this time as her cue to enter the conversation.
"Actually, Wes, I think that you might be able to move back home sooner than you thought. You know how we discussed a few days ago about me and Zack taking some time together and leaving town for a couple of weeks. It seems that this plan might need to be pushed up a bit."
"What do you mean, Lisa?"
My mom had apparently not told my dad about my suspension. I took it upon myself to fill my dad in.
"I got suspended from school for beating up a bully. He was harassing me and threatening me. Mr. Richardson felt that I needed to take a couple of weeks off from school."
"You got in a fight at school?! I'm not sure whether I should be disappointed or proud. I'm disappointed that you felt that physical action was your only course of action, but I'm proud that you didn't allow this bully to harass you anymore. Lisa, have you talked to Zack about what we had planned for him?"
Planned for me? I really don't like it when people try to make plans without consulting me first. I may be a teenager, but I'm also a young adult. I should have some input before things were decided for me!
"Zack, me and your father thought that it might be best for you to get out of this small town and enjoy a couple weeks in a larger, more open area. How would you like to visit your Uncle Mike in Colorado for a few weeks?"
"Colorado? If it was anywhere else, I might have said no, but how could I say no to Uncle Mike and Colorado? Have you guys talked to Uncle Mike yet? What did he say about the trip? Will Scott, David, and Alex be there? What about Aunt Shelly?"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Slow down there. Your mom called Mike last week and he said that he would be happy to have you and your mother anytime you guys would like. He just bought a new house in Evergreen and would love to have you guys over to help break it in. Shelly will love having you also. Unfortunately Scott and David are staying with their mother in Colorado Springs, but Alex will be excited to see his big cousin for a few weeks."
I was actually really exited about the whole trip, even though I didn't know the exact details. Uncle Mike was my favorite uncle! Okay, he was my only uncle, but he would have been my favorite anyways. I was a little disappointed that I probably wouldn't see Scott and David that much, but Alex was one of the funnies little three-year-olds that you had ever seen. I was going to have a blast!
"When are we going?" I really couldn't wait to leave!
"Well, that all depends on how fast you can pack a couple suitcases. I can book a flight from Little Rock to Denver for tomorrow afternoon if you'd like. Or we could wait until next week..."
"No! Tomorrow will be great!"
In all of my excitement, I did not see the disappointed face of my little sister. My mom, of course, was the first to see it.
"Melissa, what's the matter?"
"I want to see Uncle Mike and Colorado too. Why can't I come, I won't be any trouble, I promise!"
"Its not that you'll be any trouble sweetheart, it's just that Zack needs a vacation alone with me. I'll tell you what! If your a good girl and don't give you father any trouble while we're gone, I'll buy you something really special as a souvenir. Okay?!"
The thought of a gift finally brought my sister out of her little funk. She spent the rest of the night jumping up and down, telling us that we need to leave real soon for she can get her gift sooner. Kids!
The thought of Colorado and leaving life for a few weeks was the best news that I had heard in the past few weeks. My spirits were only dimmed slightly when I realized that all of the clothes I wanted to bring for the trip did not fit in two suitcases.
End of chapter 6. Colorado...here I come! lol! Maybe things will look up for fictional Zack! Maybe even a new friend...(hint, hint!). Or maybe Zack will just visit the Denver Zoo and come home to his wonderful old life! Who knows! Wait a minute! I know, but I won't tell you until the next chapter!