One Person at a Time
Part III - Boys in the Park II
When I arrived at school I heard someone on the drums - on the new drums that I had dropped off yesterday. Only and handful of students were around. I smiled I knew it was Matthew. My heart rate sped up the closer I got to my room but then the drumming stopped. Music started playing. I heard Matt say testing, testing. They must have delivered the audio system!
The volume was suddenly cranked and the halls were filled with Phil Collins singing 'Son of Man' along with Matt saying 'testing'. I had to giggle when I hear Matt singing along but instead of singing the words of the song Matt was singing 'Is this work-ing yes yes it is.'
I quickened my pace as the song changed and heard Matt on the drums then Phil Collins son 'Wake Up Call' started. Matt's drumming was in sync with the recording - He was harmonizing with Phil Collins voice. As I got to my room I noticed students running toward my class. Leading them were Joey and Eddie.
As I expected Matt's eyes were closed and he was well into what he was doing. The music transitioned into the song he had given to Evan and I but it was just the parts that he needed. He was playing the drums and there was only his voice.
"God he is so hot!" I heard Joey say.
Eddie saw one of the new keyboards set up and ran over and joined in and singing along with Matt. Matt's eyes open and the biggest, happiest smile appeared on his face. He stopped playing reach for a remote and turned off the CD player.
"I thought you played the guitar," said Matthew.
"I do, but I didn't know which one to use," replied Eddie, "Beside this keyboard is awesome.
Matt got up. "Dude, Let's do this one!" giggle Matt as set up the keyboard and explained the cords Eddie needed to play. "Mr. Petri, Charlie called me at 4:30am. The only person he could get to deliver all this was a 5am. He tried calling you but" Matt shrugged his shoulders. "So, I came in and then I decided to set as many things up before I have to start my testing. This stuff is sooo cool."
Matt honestly was like a little kid at Christmas. He miked Eddie and went back to his drum. They started playing. Eddie got a bit lost a couple of times and Matt would stop and giggle and explain. It was phenomenal for me to watch - Matt was a natural teacher. Patient and encouraging.
In less than ten minutes they had it together good enough. By this time the crowd of students had moved into my class room. All of them intently watching this new student and Eddie wondering who he was and wasn't he a hottie.
They started and part way through Joey miked himself and joined in singing the song. The three were so great together - I wondered how much better it could get then Eddie hit a wrong key and for the first time Matt messed up. I looked at him and he winked. He had deliberately messed up. I gave him a thumbs-up.
As they finished Luc managed to wiggle his way through the crowd.
"Dudes! You were incredible!" Matt complimented his two friends. "Joey, I'll sing with you anywhere!"
"Well, his best singing is in the shower," Eddie chipped in.
Matt laughed and added, "Okay ALMOST anywhere."
"Luc! Where have you been," said Joey.
Matt's attention snapped to Luc. He went motionless. I could see that he recognized Luc as the boy in the park. Luc was staring at Matt but I didn't see the same recognition by Luc. Then I saw disappointment flash on Matt's face and he hurried out of the room.
I wanted to run after him. Matt had rushed out so fast saying he was late for his testing. He couldn't look at Luc as he moved past. I saw a worried look on Eddie's face. Eddie looked at me, then to Luc.
"I wanted you to meet Matt, why were you late?" said Eddie.
"I'm not like you Eddie - I don't throw myself at every cutie that passes by," Luc joked, but Eddie was too angry to be joked with.
"Fuck you, Luc. You don't remember do you?"
"Remember, what?" said Luc bewildered at Eddie attitude.
"If you can't remember - then fuck you," said Eddie as a tear rolled down his cheek.
"What did I do?" asked Luc.
"It's not so much what you did as what you didn't do. Come on babe we got to get to class," said Joey. They left Luc in a state of bewilderment.
Luc went to look at the new keyboard.
"How am I supposed to work this thing, Mr. Petri?"
"You'll have to find the manual - I think Matthew is the only one who knows how to work it. Maybe you can ask him later."
"Yeah, he's new here and his mom donated all this equipment, right? Eddie said he was an awesome musician." Luc sighed, "I wish I'd gotten here earlier cuz now Eddie is pissed with me. You know Matt's face looks vaguely familiar. I wish I could remember where I saw him before."
At lunch time Luc seemed even more frustrated as Eddie and Joey had ditched him and gone out for lunch on their own.
I hadn't seen Matthew all day and I wondered how he was doing. That question was answered right before my last class when a worried Eddie approached me.
"Mr. Petri, Matt's going to be a little late. I found him in the boys restroom crying. He said he'd just finished a very stressful test by Pritchard. Pritchard thought he had cheated on the test because Matt got one hundred percent so the asshole grilled Matt for a half an hour. I think there is something else bothering him." Eddie glanced over towards Luc then back to me. "Matt says he'll be here as soon as he can. I told him to take his time. Joey and I really like him a lot."
"Thanks, Eddie. It's good he has friends like you and Joey. He was so happy on Saturday and I think that you and Joey were the main reason."
Eddie nodded and went to take his seat. Luc tried talking to him but he ignored Luc.
A few minutes after class started and as I was asking the students what they thought we should do this year for a musical Matt came in.
"Sorry, I'm late," he said quietly.
"That's quite all right Matthew; you can sit where ever you want." As he was standing by an empty chair he took it. I thought he might cross the room and sit with Eddie and Joey but he didn't.
I saw him looking sadly at Luc.
"So, any suggestions on what we should do as a project this year with the drama class?"
"Phantom of the Opera," suggested Luc.
"That is so gay!" Matt blurted out.
"What!" said Luc.
"I said that's gay. Andrew Loyd Webber is a very talented person, but it would be too gay for us to do."
"You homophobe! How…"
"I am not a homophobe. I am…" tears started rolling down his cheeks, "I am the boy in the park, but you forgot." Matt got up from his seat and ran from the room.
Suddenly, there was a sign of recognition. "Omigod," said Luc softly. He looked at the door then me then Eddie.
"For Christ sake, Luc, go after him. Tell him you remember!" said Eddie.
Luc looked at me. I smiled, "Go." I decided to follow. "Guys, I'll be right back discuss what you think we should do. Come up with some suggestions."
When I got to the boys restroom I could hear Luc.
"Matt, please I'm so sorry I forgot. Please open the door, I love you. You're the only one I've ever thought about. I thought I lost you forever. I thought I was going crazy - it hurt so much not being with you. Please, please forgive me." Luc was crying standing in front of close cubicle door.
The door opened and the two embraced and held onto each other crying.
"Never let me go Luc. Promise we'll never be apart again."
"I promise Matt. I promise." They kissed.
It was getting a bit steamy and so I cleared my throat. The two looked at me but they didn't separate.
"I'm glad you two found each other. This is school and so you have two minutes to be back in class." I returned to class.
When I arrived back at my class I hear Joey finishing off telling the class the story of the boys in the park. I smiled as they looked at me eager to know what happen.
I said nothing.
"Mr. Petri what's happening?" asked Melissa.
"Yes," said Eddie, "I suggest you tell us if Matt and Luc are together."
"Oh, come on Mr. Petri, tell us!' said another student.
"I've given them a minute to return to class. Then you can ask them."
Of course no one had to ask anything when the two returned to class. They were both smiling and holding hands. Joey in his most southern accent said, "I'll Swannee, if they aren't the just cutest couple in Worthington High."
The two boys blushed which caused Melissa to say, "And with matching blushes."
The two boys sat down next to their best friends Joey and Eddie.
"Mr. Petri, how about an opera?" asked Matt enthusiastically.
"An opera! Now that is just too gay!" Laughed Melissa.
"No. Hear me out," said Matt, "In the nineteen-sixties there was this rock group call the Who and they wrote a rock opera called Tommy and I thought we could do the same. We good get the drama class to write skits that would blend with the songs we choose like stuff from Phil Collins, my favorite, but also songs from Greenday, Postal Service, Interpol, Corn and such. We could even get the orchestra students involved."
"Dude, you rock! I'm in!" said Eddie.
"Me too!" said Joey.
Within one minute the students were unanimously in agreement to do a rock opera. We spent the rest of the class time discussing who would do what - it was decided that Luc and Matt would lead the effort. The bell rang and class and school was over for the day.
"Mr. Petri can I show Luc how to work the Korg?" ask Matt.
"Sure, I'll be around for about an hour."
Of course Eddie heard this and he and Joey joined Luc along with Melissa and Cory. I saw a first year orchestra student Anthony Radesheski standing in the doorway looking at Matt, Luc and the others. Anthony was really small for his age and although he was thirteen he looked about ten.
"Anthony did you need something?" I asked.
Luc turned to see Anthony, "Anthony, my man! Dude come and join us and meet my boyfriend Matt. He's going to teach us how to use this awesome new keyboard."
The Anthony's face beamed at Luc then he looked at me, "Can I Mr. Petri?"
For the next hour Matt worked with them show them the different features getting them to actually do the things he did. Anthony looked happier than I'd ever seen him. It was obvious that all of them adored him. I hated giving them the two-minute warning that they'd have to be leaving.
Matt whispered something to Luc to which nodded enthusiastically.
"Mr. Petri?" asked Matt.
"Can Anthony be in the rock opera? I have the perfect song for him to sing." Anthony's eyes got really big. I don't think he was expecting what Matt said.
"I can't sing!" said Anthony.
"Anthony, I have an ear for music. Do you agree?"
"Yes, but I can't sing."
"Anthony, you have the most beautiful voice I have ever heard you should be singing. Just work with me on this and I'll prove it."
"Matt's right, little dude," said Luc.
"The master speaks," said Joey.
"He's right, Anthony, you'd be so awesome," said Cory.
I could see the tears filling in Anthony's beautiful blue eyes.
"Don't you dare start crying Anthony or you get me started and I've exceed my tear quota for the day," laughed Eddie and dramatically let a tear escape.
Anthony laughed and said, "Okay, I'll do it." The group let out a cheer.
Matt invited them over to his place to jam and eat pizza.