By: Eric Case
To those whom it may interest, this story, and all my others - some of which
won't be on nifty - are available at my website "The BookCASE", so you
can check it out and let me know what ya think. Oh and if ya go puleeaaze sign
the guest book! :)
http://thebookcase.tripod.com/ - The BookCASE
"Worm-shit freshman gonna cry?" Jack taunted me while he and two other seniors tried to force me into my locker.
"Why can't you just leave me alone?!" I yelled in a quivering voice.
"Aaaaw poor worm-shit.. Do you have our money today?" The tallest of the three, who was holding my right arm asked menacingly.
"I told you I'm not giving you any money now let me go damn it!" I yelled back.
Jack grabbed me by the shirt collar with one hand and drew the other hand back to swing when we all heard footsteps coming down the hallway that intersected with the one we were in. Then around the corner came Maxwell Thomas, the 16 year-old, two-hundred pound junior who the girls went nuts over. The funny thing about it was that he didn't seem to care who liked him, he was into working out and playing sports, and could take or leave the girls.
"Fuck Max you scared the shit out of us!" Jack exclaimed. "Come help us beat on this freshman!"
"No thanks," Max said simply and kept walking passing by us while I looked at him pleadingly for help. Our eyes met for a moment but he quickly looked away keeping a stone-face.
"Okay you guys can let me go now," I said hopefully.
"Fuck that! We're gonna stuff your pretty little ass in this locker," the tall guy said again.
I took one last hopeful glance after Max who was nearing the end of the hall when he stopped and looked back over his shoulder, but I was pushed into my locker and finally just gave up. I felt sick to my stomach as the door was close plunging me into darkness. A small amount of light streamed in through a few openings at the top of the locker just above the door, but that was the only light that came in. Then I heard the lock being placed through it's ring and snapped. The three seniors banged on the locker door then I heard Jack's voice again.
"Monday you better have our money or it's toilet time. Got it worm-shit?" Then the three of them laughed and I heard their footsteps heading off down the hall.
There wasn't much space for me in the locker and my mind quickly wandered to other things to avoid the situation. I was thirteen at the time, and small for my age. In fact, I was one of the smallest freshmen male or female and the fact that I was a late bloomer didn't help me much either. I was commonly called "pretty boy", "teeny weenie", and a few other choice phrases. For the most part I ignored it and just got on with life, but for the last couple days Jack(ass) and his two friends had started pushing me around, saying they wanted money.
Suddenly I heard the lock of the locker moving around, then a loud thud. There was a couple seconds more rattling then the door swung open. I had been scrunched into the locker for almost two minutes and the light from the hallway seemed pretty bright. Standing there was Maxwell. He reached into the locker and helped me out. "Thanks.." I said softly. Standing so close to him sent shivers up and down my spine. It was like he had this force about him that made the air around him feel electric.
Max looked at me for a moment and placed a hand on my shoulder. "Those guys are assholes. Don't let them get to you," he said and then turned and walked away turning back down the hall he had first come down before I had a chance to say anything.
I turned back to my locker and looked at my lock hanging open on the locker-ring. I guessed Max had kicked it off, but he had actually knocked it open with the butt of his hand. You might be asking what I was doing alone in the hallway in the first place.. well I go to a big high school and it was the middle of forth period. Try going back to class 10 minutes after you left and explaining why it took you so long to get back without saying you got shoved into a locker. First it would have meant dealing with the humiliation of everyone knowing about it, and then after those three jerks were back from being yelled at in the office you can imagine what they'd do next. No, being a rat wasn't a good thing to be, especially at my school.
The good thing was that it was Friday and at least for two days I'd have a break from Jack's boys. It wasn't just that I was getting hassled at school, it was that I didn't really have any friends there. It was still early in the year and me being shy didn't help. I had gone to a different school than my friends because my parents had moved us half way across town over the summer and this was the closer school.
I went back to class and said I had gone to use the washroom while I was going to my locker. The teacher bought it which got me off the hook - for today. I kept getting more and more upset through the rest of the day until it was finally time to go home.
I rode the bus in silence while the people around me gabbed about who liked who, and who said what about who. I couldn't stand it and I kept getting more and more upset. Everything was falling apart! I got to my stop and got up to get off the bus, but one of the seniors pushed his way past cause he had to be first along with the added comment from one of the other freshmen of "'kindergarten-cock' getting pushed around as usual.."
"Asshole," I muttered under my breath as I got off the bus and headed for home. I stormed through the house and up the stairs to my room and slammed the door behind me. After flinging myself down on the bed I burst into tears as I buried my face into the pillow sobbing quietly. I couldn't understand how people could be so cruel and for nothing more than the sake of being mean. I had never said anything to anyone to deserve how I was being treated! Sure I was gay, but no one knew that and that wasn't why they made fun of me. It was just to hurt me and make themselves feel more important.
Before long my thoughts trailed on towards Maxwell Thomas helping me out of the locker. That one act of kindness had been the only thing that made my day bearable. Still, I wasn't going to be pushed around anymore. I might be the shorter kid in school, but I was gonna work out night and day if I had to so that those jerks couldn't push me around anymore! "Are you okay hon?" my mom asked through the closed bedroom door.
"Yeah," I said as I got up and started flinging clothes around looking for the right outfit to wear to the gym.
The gym I was going to was called "Champions" and it was only about a block from my house, so I jogged over with my bag of clothes. My family had a membership there and we were good friends with the owner so I knew I could get in without any hassle from anyone. When I got there I changed quickly in the locker room, a little shy to be there, but it was quiet tonight and that suited me just fine. I walked out into the weight room and was surprised to find no one else working out. Everyone was in the cardio area in another room.
I went over to the decline bench press and tossed fives on each side of the bar and started pressing like mad, not even keeping count, but just watching that cold steal moving up and down like the piston of an engine.
"You're doing that wrong."
I turned to see Max in a sleeveless shirt watching me. "How am I supposed to do it?"
"Well if you want to bulk up you should be pressing a little more weight than that if you can bench that 20 times as easily as you just did," he said simply.
"I didn't wanna put too much on cause I'm working out alone," I retorted quietly.
"If you want to do an arm workout I'll spot you in it," Max said looking down at me.
"You would work out with me?" I asked a little more excitedly than I wanted to.
"Yeah sure why not?"
"Well cause you're a junior and I'm a wor.. a freshman," I said looking down at the floor.
Max chuckled. "You think I give a shit about that? Hell no," he said quietly. "Come on." He held a hand out to help me up off the bench and I took it. When my hand touched his I felt tingles shooting all through my body; it was that electricity everyone always talked about. I swear sometimes Max could probably light up a 60 watt bulb!
"Thanks again for helping me out of the locker," I said timidly as Max sat down at the preacher-curl and picked up the bar with the 35 pound plates on each side. Max just nodded as he lifted the bar lightly off it's stand and started curling it. I stood for a couple seconds watching then chimed in again, letting my curiosity get the better of me. "So if you don't care that I'm a freshman, why did you just walk past when they were stuffing me into the locker.
Max was finished his set, and he rested the bar back on it's stand and took a long look at me. I examined his handsome features, and started feeling a stirring down under and quickly started thinking about Mrs. Stidsen the oldest, ugliest, female teacher at our school and that ended that feeling. Then Max spoke up. "Well Jared, to be honest I didn't do anything because I knew those guys wouldn't hurt you too badly. For one thing, they're pussies. For another, if I go around helping the freshman people would think I was soft.. right now I'm one of the most powerful students in the school because I have that air of mystery hanging around me. People are nervous and excited when I'm around."
This statement set two things in front of me. One being that Max somehow knew my name.. me the little worm-shit freshman, and he knew my first name! Then the second, he knew exactly what he was doing with people. He had the whole school figured out, and knew exactly what they thought about him, and how to maintain opinions about him. Max was definitely not some dumb jock who just did what he did because that's the way it was, he was someone playing a carefully calculated role. The question was, who was the real Maxwell Thomas?