Loving you, Loving Me
you start reading:
Here is the second part of the story. Thanks to people who have written to me and for their encouraging comments. I guess the first part of the story got off to a rather sudden start, and probably left people wondering what is happening. I hope as you read on you'll see things fall into place.
What follows is a work of fiction, but many things are based on personal experiences and events. I'll let you decide what is fiction and what is fact. The story revolves around teenage gay males and includes sexual and other content that may be offensive to some. If you think this might be the case, or if you are under the legal age in the area where you live, please do not read any further. Any resemblances to persons, names, or places are unintentional and mere coincidence.
Please respect my efforts in writing this, and do not copy or reproduce any part of the story without my permission.
Comments and suggestions are of course always welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org
"What the hell is wrong with YOU?! Kick the stupid ball!"
The football was at least still a metre in front of me, to my left. I took a swing as hard as I could, but missed, and almost lost my balanced as my swing tipped my whole body forward unexpectedly.
"You fucking idiot! Are you retarded or something?"
I tried to pretend I didn't hear, and tried to suppress the heat of embarrassment at having missing such an easy kick from showing on my cheeks. It was Friday afternoon. My favourite time of the week...not. P.E. lessons were always a torment. They seemed to drag on for hours and hours, and each minute crawled away at snail speed. The more you looked at the watch, the more it seemed like each tick of the second pointer was slowing down right in front of you eyes on purpose.
Worse is football...or any thing involving a ball. Perhaps I have always had a phobia towards balls, or perhaps balls just didn't like me. My coordination just goes completely out of control, and even the easiest kick or swing could leave me standing there feeling like a failure each time I miss. Though admittedly I did enjoy the occasional gymnastic lessons. I could even out-jump some of the girls in my class on the trampoline. I guess it must be my slim figure, and the fact that I'm slightly underweight for someone my height and age.
"Well, what are you daydreaming about? Go for it! Attack, damn it," some guy screamed from behind me.
Attack. Defend. Tackle. Shoot. These games sounded like we were fighting a battle. I could never understand how people can become so agitated about these simple games, or how they could swear and curse their guts out for loosing, or even how they could drink themselves silly for winning. It was only a game.
I ran as fast I could after the ball. Out of nowhere a broad-shouldered guy charged at me with lightening speed that I twitched unconsciously out of fear of being knocked down. He ran past me, and took possession of the ball I was after. I could smell his cheap aftershave streak past. The soles of his football trainers pulled up chunks of dirt and grass, which sprayed onto my shorts as I trailed behind him.
"YOU STUPID IDIOT!!! How could you loose the ball like that? What are you, a girl or something?!" a voice shouted, followed by a few chuckles that seem to resemble the cackle of hen. I didn't know where that came from, but I sure felt it inside. A weak sun shone on my face, making me feel even hotter inside.
I felt a push on my back which almost threw me to the ground. I turned to see the Jack, the biggest idiot in school, stare at me with blood-shot eyes and a fiery gaze. A group of his `cronies' who usually hung around him, surrounded us. I was closed in, trapped between the circle of his cronies and an angry Jack towering above me.
"What the fuck do you think you're doing? Lucky to have you on the team, you wuss!" he said with such hate and disgust in his voice. I thought he was going to strike me, as I noticed his fists clench and the veins on his arms protruding. I almost let out a low whimper, but forced it down before it could escape my throat. I couldn't let them see that I was frightened. There was too much shame in that.
"I'm sorry, OK?" I said as I shrugged my shoulders, "I just can't play". My right hand rubbed the back of my neck and hair as I stood there, not knowing what else I could say, and feeling overwhelmed with guilt. Jack's angry look did not ease the tension.
"You better be sorry! Just stay out of the way and let the real boys play, got that, you little wimp?" And neither did his angry words either.
I fumbled with my hands around my waist nervously. I felt my hands sweat, and throat run dry. There was so much tension hovering in the space between us it felt oppressive. The other stood around us like a bunch of vultures, watching and taking in every moment of this cruel episode with satisfied faces. You got your show; you wanted to see me humiliated. What else do you want?
"OK, OK, break it off. Cool it guys. Let's get back to the game", Coach said as he blew the whistle and walked over, his arms outstretched trying to pry open the short distance between Jack and me. Coach was dressed in his usual red track suit, the kind made out of thin polyester and which makes little scratching noises every time you move. Rumour has it he got dismissed from his previous job for peeping in the boys' shower room.
"Mr. Kievan, would you please pull yourself together and at least try to act like you can play," Coach turned to me and said. He always called people by their last name. And each time it made me feel so grown up, so mature, even though I don't feel like I was. "It's really not that difficult. Chase after the ball, dribble and pass. And if you are close to the goal, shoot. It's no rocket science."
His voice and words were condescending, that much I knew. But I was in no position or mood to argue. I simply nodded, looked down at the grass around my feet as if they had suddenly become interesting, and tried to avoid seeing the smirks on the other guys faces. I was in the spotlight, and I hated being the centre of attention, I hated the gaze of people on me as if I were some strange creature. I wanted to remain unnoticed.
Coach blew the whistle again, and the game began again. Guys darted around me left and right, making my head confused. I wasn't sure where I should go, or what I should do. I ran up and down the field, following whichever direction the ball went, even though I knew that chances members of my team passing the ball to me were slim. Less than slim. Nobody wanted me on their team. When they chose team members at the start of the lesson I was the last to be picked on, as usual. I could vividly picture the look of disgust on the faces of my team members as joined them. The other team seemed to be smiling crassly, as if they knew they had already won.
I ran around the field, trying to act like I was into the game, like I was part of the game, just trying to fit in. But I knew I was just acting, like in so many situations in my life. While all around me the other guys were filled with such enthusiasm and sweated profusely as trailed behind the black and white ball, I felt that empty feeling of loneliness. Strange, here I was standing in the middle of so much excitement and live action, but I felt so out of place and time, lost in my little world, lost in my thoughts.
The sudden euphoria all around me brought me back to reality. I stood panting, and watched as guys of the opposite team jumped on one another, hugged one another and leapt up and down, letting out whoops and hoots. On the other hand, the faces of my team members were darkened and frowning in jealously. I could not but feel that I was the one responsible, that with me on the team everyone had to suffer bad luck and suffer from having one player less. The glances in my direction confirmed this. I quickly looked down and away.
"That stupid prick. What a loser." I heard someone mutter behind me. Again, I tried to ignore that I heard it, though I knew it was directed at me.
"We're going to lose because of him. Shit! Shit!" another voice said.
It wasn't my fault I can't play football. I could do other things, but football was just not my thing. I didn't scold other people if they were bad in maths or English. I didn't judge them if they didn't know the difference between `there' and `their', or the difference between `your' and `you're'. Why did they judge me? Why did they dislike me so? Why did they have so much negative feelings towards me? A slight breeze mingled with the scent of freshly mowed grass cleared my thoughts away.
The chaos of the ball darting from left to right, up and down the field continued. I started running again, as if trying to run away that shame and guilt that had taken over me as I stood there. The ball seemed always so distant. The other guys held and controlled it with such skill between their two feet that I envied them as I watched they tackle, dribble, shoot and attack. I looked over at Jack, his broad upper body heaved left and right as he stomped the ground with each step. He may be an idiot, but he did have a great body. And the other guys too. Everyone seemed to look so well built, so muscular and tanned, so perfect and so flawless...not like me. Weak, skinny and pale.
The ball continued being kicked and shoved around like a cannonball on the field. Neither side seemed to have given up, and there was just a few more minutes left, I realised as I read my watch, again. The excitement was intense. I could hear the adrenaline rushing as the game started to rage. Daniel gave the ball a hard kick with the inside of his left foot, only to be intercepted by Graham who locked it between his feet and swiftily dribbled it forward. Shawn rushed back to the defending position and with one silent, quick motion stole the ball away. The whole field turned and headed for the other direction. With a quick pass the ball rolled speedily into the waiting feet of Barney, who carried it far towards the opposite goal. On and on and on he took it further into enemy territory. But out of nowhere Yuri appeared and gave the ball one mighty, loud kick, sending it hurtling like a bomb through the air...
Next thing I knew and before I could duck I saw a rapidly spinning dart of white and black fly towards me. Whack! Impact!
My ears seemed to have turned themselves off for a moment, and all I could hear was this monotonous humming noise. For a few moments my eyesight blackened and I could only see black space, even though my eyes were open. A shock of dizziness travelled up my spine and my head began to spin wildly. I could barely stand straight and lurched back and forth like a drunk who's had a bit too much to drink. The ball landed softly with a bounce at my feet.
Bleeding? I regained control of myself and instinctively touched my face with the fingertips of my right hand. A smooth liquid rubbed against the touch of my fingertips and my skin. I held my hand in front of me and saw traces of bright red blood dripping down the length of my fingers. I was bleeding.
"What's going on here," the Coach sounded irritated, "Oh Jesus, Mr. Kievan, how did you get into such a mess?" He frowned at me, and all I could think of is how to quickly run away, as I knew I was at the centre of everyone's gaze, yet again.
"Ha! He's bleeding like a pig"
"What's wrong with him? He bruises like a peach."
"Get him out of here. He makes me sick!"
"Come one, I only kicked the ball slightly. It can't be that bad!"
The shower of snide comments appeared again in the background. Despite my dizzy head, I could just about hear them, since my hearing had by now returned to almost normal. I didn't know what hurt more, those comments or the fact I was just hit by a hurtling ball.
"Let me see", the Coach said, as he brushed the spectators that had started to gather aside, "Oh, it's nothing serious. Go on, you can go home now and get some rest. It's just a small nose bleed. You'll heal soon enough."
I rubbed the space between my nose and upper lip and felt more gooey liquid. The blood had flowed so much that I could taste the iron in the corners of my mouth. The pain was really unbearable, as if someone had struck me right in the face with a rusty hammer. I could feel the corners of my eyes moisten from the stinging sensations.
"But Coach it really hurts. Is there nothing you can do..." I asked, the last few words trailed off, as I could barely get enough air to talk properly. It was really painful, like nothing I had felt before.
"Look, I've seen plenty of accidents in my time, and this is just a nose bleed," he said impatiently, "Just go get yourself washed up and lean your head back. You won't die from nose bleeds, OK?"
"What a wuss!"
"Yeah, he's weak!"
"What a sissy!"
"Guess he should have stayed indoors with the girls, and played badminton instead!" A roar of chuckles echoed after the joke.
I felt my face redden and heat up, and my chest felt oppressed with so many unsaid words of anger and shame. My face felt swollen. My eyes seemed to have bulged after the impact. The cartridge in my nose felt like it was broken off. My T-Shirt had by now become stained with blood down the front, like some kid who has not learnt to use a napkin had just carelessly eaten spaghetti. Both my hands were now blood-stained, and wherever I touched I left more stains.
How embarrassing. Not only could I not play football, I got hit by it even though I was never anywhere close to it. I could just hear the murmurs and jokes spread in the canteen. The shame, the embarrassment of it all! I wish I could disappear from the face of the earth, hide my head, like an ostrich does, under dirt. Or... maybe I was dirt already?
"You're still here, Mr. Kievan. Get yourself washed and go home." Coach commanded.
"Yes sir." I said in a flat voice, as I again rubbed the area above my upper lip to see if the blood had stopped oozing out like lava after an eruption. By the feel of it, it hadn't. I leaned my head backwards and held my noise with one hand, and made my way to the changing room. I must have looked so pathetic from behind, as I tried to picture myself. I must have looked like a drunk stumbling forward with his neck bent backwards.
The sky looked so clear, so blue. The breeze felt soft to the touch. Behind me, there was a cacophony of laughter and sniggers.