In 2003 my friend Jonas began a story that he never finished. He passed away in an unfortunate car accident on the way to my house. He tried writing his story twice. He struggled with the story and never fully realized it. Recently I was given the chance to see his notes on this story and I began to see his vision. A year ago I was approached by someone asking me to finish his story. I was originally opposed to it but as I read his notes I realized that this story deserves to be told.
As a tribute to My friend Jonas I take the helm and I present to you his story as seen through his notes. I will be writing as Jonas the watcher. Without further ado I present to you:
No Matter How Far
The Watcher's Chronicle
Written by Green as Jonas The Watcher.
"Expectation is the root of all heartache.” William Shakespeare
What do you do when your parents see something in you that you do not see? Do you accept it? Do you fight it? In time will it become so much a part of you, that it defines your very soul?
Tony farmer has always been conflicted over his father's wishes. Being the son of a military general comes with a lot of expectations, especially when you move to a new town. As the General says “Image is everything, and so shall we conform.”
At The End Of A Night,
Who am I? I wonder as I look at myself in the mirror. I am Anthony Farmer The Third. I look like my father, I have his brown skin and his dark eyes, but I'm not him. Sure I have his smile and his deep voice, but I don't want to be him. How can I tell him that?
“Anthony!” my father, the General, yells. “Anthony! What are you doing? You are going to make us late.”
“I'm coming dad,” I say as he walks into my room.
“You look fine son, come on we need to leave. I have a meeting this morning with some of the big wigs at the factory, I cant be late.”
I hate it. Already. Another School with new people. He promised that it was the last time we'd move. Now here we are in Little River, the perfect all American town with the big football team.
“You will like this football team Tony, I spoke with coach Lewis personally, he's a very respectable man. If you do what he says, he will see it that you will play first string,” my father says as he drives. “I'll have scouts come to every one of your games. This team is not known for losing.”
“Yes sir,” I reply.
“I will meet you here at five, do not be late. We are having company tonight and I expect you to be there.”
“Yes sir.” I watch him leave.
I don't belong here. I sometimes dream that I get away. I want to be far from everything just for a minute, sitting alone In a white room where no one bothers me. In there I can be away from my father, and everyone.
Little River High School is bigger than the last school I attended. Here everything seems to have it's place, including the students. Some kids notice me as I walk past them. I know that they are thinking. Who's the new kid? What's his story?
Why should I bother. I shouldn't make friends here? As soon as I do my father will move us again, it never fails. The last time I got close to somebody my father got it in his mind that we needed to move to a town with a big football following. Now we're here, in good old Little River.
I walk to the main office. There is a receptionist sitting behind a huge desk. “Can I help you?” she asks, I hand her a paper. “Wait here somebody will be by shortly to help you get to your classes.”
Have you ever been through this town? It has this eerie sense of immaculate perfection. It's asking for some kind of controversy to come it's way and take away that image. I don't think it's natural, it can't be.
“Shit,” someone yells slamming the door.
“Miss Brady that language will not be tolerated,” says the receptionist.
“Well it wouldn't be a problem if you guys didn't fuck with me,” She yells, sitting next to me. “And what the fuck do you want?”
“Nothing, your the one yelling,” I say and she smiles. The smile leaves quickly as a tall graying man storms out of his office.
“You in here now!” he yells pointing at her. She storms into his office, he slams the door. We clearly here him yell, “Miss Brady I will not tolerate this! Not this year!”
That is the single most interesting thing I've seen in this town. I don't expect things like this to happen here. I can see something in her.
“What is that?” asks the watcher.
She doesn't fit the mold. She doesn't have a place here and she never will. This town is trying to change her and she pulls the other way, fighting a downhill battle against the town.
“Mr. Farmer your guide is here,” the receptionist says.
“Hey, you're going to be late for class,” someone says from behind me.
“What?” I ask, she smiles.
“Your new here Right?” I nod. “I'm your guide. Come on so I can show you to your classes,” she says pulling me out the doorway.
“I'm sorry I don't know your name.”
“It's Jessica,” she replies.
“Hi, I'm Tony.” I extend my hand she smiles.
“What are we forty years old? Let me see your schedule.” I hand it to her, she studies it for a second.
“You have English for homeroom, in room b312, that's next to me, I can meet you after class.”
She walks quickly, leading me through a hallway and then up the stairs, to the second floor. I notice some of the members of the foot ball team laughing as they throw something at some kid. The kid just stands there and takes it.
It never amazes me, every school I go to there is that one kid that gets picked on. I always wonder why they take it. Why don't they fight back? It's not like it can get any worst.
“Do you know what it feels like to be picked on?” Asks the watcher.
Yes I do, trust me. I've been picked on before at my other schools and I've learned to fight back. It won't stop until you stop it. My father says that we shouldn't look weak in the presence of others, it gives them control of us.
“Do you always listen to what your father says?”
I don't have a choice do I? The man runs my life.
“Your class is here,” Jessica says pointing to a room. “I'll meet you here after class.” She storms away, leaving me to venture in to the classroom all by my self.
“How was your class?” Jessica asks when I meet her in the hallway.
“It was alright,” I say as she grabs the class schedule from my hand.
“You have Lit next period, I 'll take you there but I wont be able to meet you after. So you'll be on your own for third Period. I'll meet you for lunch though,” She says, handing the schedule back to me.
“I should be fine,” I say as we head towards the end of the hallway.
“Here is your classroom,” Jessica says. “I sit by the windows at lunch meet me there. I'll introduce you to some of my friends.”
Where am I, I think as I see so many faces. Every face completely different than the ones in my previous schools. I'm sure they all have a story to share.
“Doesn't everybody?” asks the watcher.
I sure hopes so, because it's already pretty dull here.
Students I would like to introduce you to a new student,” says the teacher. “This is Tony farmer.”
I sit in an empty seat in the first row. “Hi I'm Ian Lewis, says the kid next to me, extending his hand. “You play?” I nod as I take his hand, his blue eyes shine as I take it.
“You are coach Lewis' son?” I ask.
“Yeah, dad wants me to show you the ropes,” Ian says.
“Cool,” I say as the teacher begins to speak.. He keeps looking at me. I hate it when people look at me for long periods of time but I don't want him to stop, I like it.
“Maybe he likes you,” says the watcher.
Really? I mean do you think he's gay? I don't think he is. I wonder what my father would say if he knew that the respectable coach Lewis has a gay son. I wonder if coach Lewis knows. My father would kill me if he found out that I...
“You can't bring yourself to say it can you?”
It's not that I can't bring myself to say it, it's just that I've never actually said it before. It's hard, I Try to tell myself that I like girls but I know that I'm only lying to myself. I see a guy that I like and I get all of these feelings deep inside of me. I don't know how to deal with it.
I see the kid that was getting picked on in the bathroom. He's on the floor rubbing holding his rib. He is bleeding and coughing up blood. “Are you alright,” I ask him, I get no answer he just stares at me. “Do you need me to get the nurse or something?”
“No I'm, just leave me alone,” he says, trying to get up.
“No man you're obviously hurt. I can't leave you like this.”
“I'm alright, I just need to clean myself up.”
“Who did this?”
He froze at my question and headed towards the stall. He never made it and hurled all over the floor. I walk over to him, helping him up. I am careful around the vomit and I help him out to the nurses office.
I wait as the nurse cleans the cut under his eye. “Why don't you say something Robert,” asks the nurse. “You can't let them get away with this. All you have to do is say their names.”
“You should tell him to leave,” he says, pointing at me. I was gone before she saw me.
I sit with Ian and his friends in my next class. To my surprise he introduces me to his girlfriend. “Hi my name is Jennifer,”she says. I instantly do not like her. She doesn't seem to like me either.
Ian also introduces me to his friend Reese. “Hi I'm Tony,” I say extending my hand.
“Hi Tony,” he says. “So your the new quarterback every body's been bragging about?”
“ I hope not too much,” I say, noticing the girl I met in the office bursting into class. She looks at me for a second before storming by us. She sits somewhere behind me.
“That's Elizabeth Brady,” says Jennifer. “Nobody talks to her, she's such a bitch.”I'm sure Elizabeth can hear what Jessica says, but there is no retaliation in her part.
“We have a game on Saturday, dad wants us here for an early practice that morning,” says Ian as the teacher walks in.
“Miss Brady, how nice of you to join us. Will this be a weekly thing or are we to expect you every day,” says the teacher. Everyone snickers, I can't bring myself to do it. I find it rude and disrespectful. Why would anybody single somebody out like that?
“Well Mr. Davis, like the teenage boys you keep, I am being forced to be here,” Elizabeth snaps back. No one laughs and I look at the teacher. His face is pale, I also notice Ian go rigid. What's going on?
“Miss Brady please leave my classroom!” the teacher yells. “Go now!”
Ian doesn't talk to anybody for the rest of class. At the end of class two police officers come for MR. Davis. I watch as they lead him out of school in handcuffs. Ian excuses himself and Leaves.
There is something definitely wrong here. The next Time I see Ian he's in a good mood like nothing had just happened. “Your going to love the team, they're all good guys,” he says, guiding me down to the locker rooms.
Ian introduces me, one by one, to the other members of the team, they all make me feel comfortable, except one guy I assume to be the quarterback I am replacing. He is rude to me, but I don't let it faze me. I'd be rude too if I had torn a ligament right before a big game and I am replaced by a junior.
“Tony Farmer,” Coach Lewis says, extending his massive hand at me. He is an intimidating man, at over six feet with a muscular body. Yet he doesn't look like Ian. His hair is black, and his eyes aren't blue like Ian's, they're Brown.
“Hi,” I say taking his hand. “I guess my father spoke with you already.”
“Yes he did, your father is a very persistent man, I like that,” the coach says. “Your team uniforms are over there in that bag.”
Ian brings the bag over to me, pulling out the helmet and handing it to me. “Your name is on it,” he says. “You have both home and away uniforms, but you don't have to wear them for practice.”
“Thanks,” I say, taking the bag.
My father yells at his phone as I got into the car. “Make sure the equipment is there, it's needed early tomorrow morning. Thank you lieutenant.” he looks at me. “You are late,” he states before pulling away.
“I'm sorry coach kept us a little longer because of the game,” I say as he picks up the phone once again.
“That better be the reason.”
I remember a time when my father was happy. It all stopped the day my brother left. My brother was the apple in my fathers eye, but he chose my mother over him and we've been moving ever since. My mother divorced my father when I was Ten years old. My brother was sixteen at that time. I like to think that he understood what my father was like. Maybe if I was older I would have chosen my mother too.
My father remarried and moved us cross country. That was eight years ago. My stepmother Ada is really a nice person, but she isn't my mother. I know she tries but I think of her as a close friend. She respects that. I haven't seen my mother in years and I miss her.
I still have that Image of them leaving in my mind. My mother held me for a long time before she left. She said she'd be back but my father wouldn't let her. He's moved us seven times since, making sure she can't find us. I don't unpack anymore, I don't see a reason to.
“Are you listening to me son?” My father asks.
“Yes sir,” I lied.
“Your aunt and uncle are coming for dinner tonight,” he says, causing my stomach to churn. “I know they can be a bit much, but you will be on your best behavior tonight, and wear that suit your mother got you.”
Where does he get off calling her my mother? She has been a good friend and I truly love her as that, but she is not my mother. I hate it when he calls Ada that, I know it bothers her too. She yells at him when he does that.
I hate my aunt and uncle. They are worst than he is, telling me I should do this and that I should do that. They brag about their son and how I should do things like he does, knowing how angry it makes me when they speak that way. I know for a fact that my cousin is in no way near as perfect as they like to brag. He has been arrested twice in the last year for drugs and stealing, and they say I should be like him?
“How was practice?” my father asks.
“It was great, I like this team. They can keep up with me,” I reply.
“But can they play?”
“Yeah they're awesome, Ian especially he,” I say, noticing him pull up next door. “He lives next door.”
“Yes I know,” my father says as he pulls to the curve. “Go help your mother with dinner, I have to go by the office, I'll be back within the hour. Be ready by the time I get home.”
I watch him pull away, I remember how he was when I was young. I never doubted that I loved him back then. I find myself questioning that more and more these days.
“How so?” asks the Watcher.
He isn't the same person I once knew. He used to be such a good dad and he loved me. Even when I made a mistake he treated me like a son. Now I'm his own personal trophy. It's like I sit on a mantel and he takes me down for two things, to show his friends and to polish me in his image. He's reliving his old football days through me. He tries to control all aspects of my life.
“Hi Tony,” says Ada, my stepmother as I step inside.
“Hello,” I say, putting my stuff down.
“I pressed your suit, it's on your bed. Why don't you go take a shower and change into it.”
“Dad asked me to help you.”
“Oh honey don't worry about me, I'm already done. Go change, your father has good news to share.”
Great, he's moving us again. “ Ada I'll be down in a few.”
My room faces Ian's house, I notice that as he turns his light on. Ian intrigues me, I can't lie. There is something about him that wants you to get closer to him. I don't know if it's his smile, or maybe the way he talks to you.
“Could it be that you like him?”
It could be, but he isn't gay. I wish he was, but it wouldn't matter because my father wouldn't let me have the relationship. He knows everything I do. I know it's useless so I live my life pretending I'm another person, I pretend that I am my father.
Dinner smells good . Ada always outdid herself. “Are you sure you don't need any help?” I ask.
“Well maybe with the chicken, can you bring it out of the oven for me,” she says as I pulled the pan out.
Ada really loves my father and my father must love her back because he always seems to listen to what she says. With my mother it was different he barely talked to her the last year they were together. When they did talk they would fight. He never fights with Ada.
“Ada what's he hiding?” I ask.
“My lips are sealed,” she says, handing me a plate and a knife. “Can you cut a few pieces for harry,”
Harry was my dog. My mother had given him to me before she left. I walked out to the back yard. He walked over to me wagging his tail. “Hey boy, want some chicken?”
“Get out!” I hear someone scream from Ian's yard. I run over to the fence. I see Ian pull away. Harry barks as Coach Lewis slams the door.
“What is going on?” Ada asks from the porch.
“I don't know.”
“Then come inside I don't want your father to see us listening to the neighbors.”
I gave harry the last piece of chicken and headed inside. I wanted to run after Ian to make sure he was alright but I didn't know what was happening. They probably just had a disagreement.
There is something about my father that makes people trust him. I notices this as I sit next to him at dinner. Every thing about him is intimidating and demands respect, but when he needs something from you he shows you a different side of himself. He puts down the wall and just speaks.
“So I told them what was needed and what we expected from the new equipment,” says my father at the dinner table. “What they brought back was something made of a quality I've never seen before.”
“Well that's what you have to do Anthony,” replied my uncle. “You have to make things tough and uncomfortable it's the only way you get what you need.”
I listen to their never ending conversation. “Must we have this conversation at the dinner table?” asks Ada.
“Honey please, I haven't seen my brother in ages,” says my father.
My aunt eye's me as I eat. I can already tell she's itching to say something.”What do you say Eliza, Do you think this conversation should take place elsewhere?” Ada asks my aunt.
“Well you know our boys,” says my aunt. “Always something to be said.” There it is her chance to bring my cousin into the spotlight. “Andrew is doing great, he just got a job at a prestigious law firm.”
“That's great Elizabeth,” says my father.
“What about you son?” asks my uncle. “Do you have a job yet?”
“No we just moved here three days ago, uncle Jim” I reply.
“By the time Andrew was your age he had already been through three jobs,” aunt Eliza added.
I should mention that my cousin had been fired from all three jobs for stealing. I think one of them pressed charges against him. “I'll look for a job when I can,” I say.
I had a dream last night, that I was swimming in red water. I was trying to get to the surface. But streams of light got in my way and I never made it, I drowned in the red water. I've had that dream before, yet for some reason this one was clearer. That's exactly what I feel right now, like I'm drowning.
“Actually he wont have time for a job, he's the new quarterback,” Ada says, saving me from further scrutiny. I notice the frown on aunt Eliza's face, her son was kicked out of his team.
We ate in silence until Ada brought out her apple pie. “I made this from scratch. I hope you like it,” she says, placing a slice before me.
“Oh I'm sure we'll like it,” says uncle Jim. “You should try Eliza's apple brown betty.”
God is everything with these people a competition? They had to be the best at everything. When my father joined the army uncle Jim joined the air force. When dad married mom, uncle Jim married her best friend. It never ended, they resent me because my father had two sons and they could only have one. They treat me like shit and my father is completely oblivious.
“Can I be excused?” I ask. “I have a long day tomorrow.”
“Sure son,” says my father. “As soon as I tell you the good news, I am retiring.”
I run from him as he shoots at me. “Please don't do this,” I say. I stumble when one of the bullet's hits my leg, screaming I fall to the ground. I can hear his footsteps as he approaches me. “I'm sorry I have to do this,” he says dragging me.
“Why do you have to do this,” I choked out.
“They'll notice this way,” he says.
He drags my body through a door, near the edge of the pool and shoots at my chest twice. Then he kicks my body into the pool.
He shoots at me as my body falls to the bottom. The water turns red from my blood, all I can see is bright beams of light, from the neon lights above the pool. Then everything goes dark and cold.
“Hello Tony,” says the watcher. “Welcome.”
“Where am I?” I ask, noticing another kid sitting next to me.
“I can't explain that until the others arrive.”