The following is a work of fiction. The story may contain profanity and references to gay sex. Any relation to similar events or persons, fiction or real, is completely fortuitous. If such content offends you please leave now. The author retains all rights to the story. Do not copy or use without written authority from the author. Write Bobby at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments.
Have you forgotten all I know, and all we had?
You saw me mourning my love for you
And touched my hand
I knew you loved me then
I believe in you
I'll give up everything just to find you
I have to be with you, to live, to breathe
You're taking over me
Taking Over Me © by Evanescence, 2003
Control. It's extraordinary the tactics people employ to obtain it. Some rely on deception while others engage in outright trickery. Then there are those who resort to extortion. Why do we fight so hard for control? Because we know to lose it is to put our fate in the hands of others. And what could be more dangerous?
© by Marc Cherry, 2005
The class quieted down as soon as the bell chimed. Tyler stood from his chair and walked to the cheap podium the school provided. He had invited me to come by before I went to work saying that he wanted to grab lunch. Free lunch? I was more than happy to swing by.
"I know many of you have heard that I probably won't be here next year," he began slowly, choosing his words carefully. "But as of yesterday the district has offered me a new five year contract!"
Most of the kids showed their support and encouragement. Tyler was beaming with joy. I know how much he loves this high school and how little he wanted to be transferred. When he broke the news last night I was very relieved. Not only does the new contract mean he'll be at his school for at least another five years, it also means that he'll be making more money. The current salary tier he's in increases next school year. There could be a chance—a very slim chance according to my parents—that the house might not be in jeopardy after all. Although Jared told me otherwise when the two of us were alone.
"Even with his salary boost we most likely won't be able to keep the house. It's not like he'll be making thousands and thousands of more dollars."
"Then why is Tyler so excited?"
"He just found out he gets to stay at his school and get a raise. Wouldn't you be excited? Don't burst his bubble, okay? All this stress has been affecting him. It's nice to see him kind of let go." Jared also seemed quite enthused about Tyler's news.
"All right, I'll keep quiet. But for the record, I really don't want to sell the house."
Jared sighed heavily. "You're not the only one remember? We've been thinking about telling the boys. We're moving along with the real estate agent, so it'll be found out eventually."
The conversation pretty much died after that. Tyler made his return so the subject had to be changed. I'm not sure when they're planning on telling Torry and Keegan, but hopefully it's soon. They deserve to know, though they probably won't take it too roughly. They're still young. They're not at the point in their lives where things really sink in.
"And even better news," Tyler continued. His students quieted down. "Not only am I contracted for another five years, but I will also be teaching American government for those years. So I'll probably have many of you next year." Tyler's smile couldn't have been any larger. "US history and government? Could life get any better, guys?"
Unbelievably, the school district had planned to transfer Tyler to another district because of the government teaching position opening next year. He had shown interest in teaching it and requested to do so. The district negotiated with a neighboring district with his expiring contract. Instead of having to pay him more money for teaching two subjects they wanted to hire a new, cheaper teacher. And because Tyler doesn't yet qualify for tenure the district could have gotten away with that. Tyler isn't sure why the board changed their mind, but he didn't really care, either. He gets to stay at his high school, teach a second subject, and get a raise. Why question that kind of luck?
"You could skip teaching today," one of his students wisely said.
Another blurted out, "Come on, Mr. Delfino, you deserve a little break!"
Tyler only laughed. "Nice try, guys. We still have work to do so let's get busy." He clicked on the overhead projector and motioned for me to hit the lights. "So, we left off yesterday with Hitler's defeat in the Battle of the Bulge—and no, Frankie, not that kind of bulge."
The minutes passed by rather quickly. I became enthralled with Tyler's lecture; loaded with information and he even managed to throw in a few comical bits as well. As I listened I realized his class seemed like a college level course. The notes he presented and his lecture all reminded me of a much higher level class. The kids must do well enough because this is how he's always taught. Why I haven't noticed sooner is beyond me.
About twenty minutes before class ended, Tyler handed me his credit card so that I could go buy lunch. I hurriedly went to fetch our food as he only has a thirty minute lunch. Our favorite place is a mom and pop Mexican place just down the street. They have the best burritos I've ever had and could probably eat there every day of my life even though it would cause severe weight gain and artery cloggage. Honestly, I have eaten there for five days in a row. I think my heart literally wept on the sixth day. That was actually when I began to eat healthier and pay attention to what I put inside of my body. That was, maybe, a year ago.
"How's work going?" Tyler asked once I returned with the goods.
After swallowing a large bite of burrito, I said, "Work's great. Hasn't been too busy the past few days."
"Ready to come home?"
I rolled my eyes. "You know the answer to that."
"Just checking. What about school? How's that going?"
"That's going even better than work. My grades are steadily improving."
Tyler nodded absentmindedly. "That's good to hear. Trevor still bugging you?"
I suddenly realized I never told him about Ben and Trevor getting into that little scrap in the parking lot. Wonder what he'd say? Should I even bother telling him? It's not exactly critical information, more entertaining than anything considering Trevor somewhat had his proverbial check returned to his loud mouth.
"He hasn't lately," I grinned, knowing the reason why.
Tyler put his burrito down and shuffled through a small stack of cards on his desk. I noticed them earlier, but didn't think anything of them at the time. Now my curiosity was perking up. Who would send him personal cards at work?
"Okay, wouldn't be doing my job as your father if I didn't ask what the cheeky grin is for." He said through the cards.
"It's nothing, just that Ben and Trevor got into a fight."
"What?" Tyler set the cards back down and paid closer attention. "How did that come about?"
"Well, the dumb ass came into the café one day and asked me to go to dinner with him. He wouldn't leave until I said yes. He was holding up the line and I didn't want Bernie to walk out and discover my creepy ex stalking me behind the counter, so I gave in. Ben and I closed the shop later that night and I decided to go out to eat with him instead. Unfortunately, Trevor was waiting for me in the parking lot. He was pissed I was late and copped an attitude. He called Ben a few names, then kind of got in my face. Ben stood up for me and got in Trevor's face. Then Trevor shoved him and then shoved me for blocking him. That's when Ben speared him to the ground and they started beating the crap out of each other. I pulled them apart. Trevor drove off and I haven't heard from him since."
With a dumbfounded look on his face, Tyler mumbled, "Holy shit."
"Tell me about it," I said with a heavy sigh. Just thinking about Trevor makes me want to crawl into a hole. But then my thoughts wandered to the stack of envelopes again. "What are those?"
His lips curled upwards in elation. "Those are a few cards I've received from former students. Two of them are students from my very first year of teaching. They wrote me and just caught me up on their lives and how they're doing. And they thanked me."
"That must be satisfying." I could practically feel his giddiness.
"It is," he said. "I never expected it. One girl graduated a while ago and is a dental hygienist. Another is close to graduating with his Bachelor's in psychology. Another is getting his degree in nutrition."
"You know, I've never really heard you complain about your students."
He shrugged. "I've never really had a problem with any of them. I treat them like adults, they treat me with respect. It's a two-way street." After taking another bite of his food, he said, "For me, teaching is so rewarding. I love it. There's nothing else on this planet that I'd rather do. Being able to mold young minds is an incredible feeling. And when," he pointed at the letters, "I receive something like that, well, it makes any kind of struggle worth it."
Taking notice of his watery eyes, I began my own soul search. Tyler's emotional reaction to teaching is a powerful thing. He's sacrificed a lot for his family, his students, but he's as happy as can be. And why? Because of a few letters from former students. What a feeling that must be, to learn that you've touched a life so dramatically they feel the need to write and thank you. I know that's not really why someone should want to teach, to hopefully receive such adoration, but it surely must be a perk. Doing what you love and feeling like a saint? Sign me up.
"So, these are the classes you need to take to graduate." The counselor handed me a single sheet of paper with a listing of classes. "And this is what you'll need to transfer." He handed me another paper with said transfer requirements. I pretty much knew about the general classes, but the major specific classes were what I was unsure about. "Many of them overlap so don't think you'll have to take them over again."
"Thank you so much. I really appreciate the help." I shook his hand, then left the counseling office.
Claire was hunkered down in biology waiting for me. The weather was quite chilly, so it didn't surprise me when I walked into the room and saw she was dressed for a winter in Siberia. What did surprise me, however, was Trevor. He radiated positivity. And that bothered me.
"Hey! So you finally declared your major, huh?" Claire said as soon as she spotted me.
"Yeah, finally," I chuckled. "You're looking at a future environmental science teacher." I carefully placed the two papers inside my backpack and took out the homework from last night. "Let me tell you, it feels like the world has been lifted from my shoulders."
"What made you decide to teach?"
I smiled at the memory. "I was visiting Tyler at work yesterday. A few of his former students sent him letters telling him about their progress in college and all that. It was amazing. I've never really heard of that before."
Claire, ever the cynic, didn't seem as moved as I was.
"I guess," she said indifferently. "I just couldn't imagine having to teach. Like, I couldn't wait to get out of high school. The thought of having to go back there is practically inhuman."
"Fool," I laughed, "you loved high school."
"Correction: I loved seeing my friends. The work wasn't even really the problem. I don't know. It just wasn't my thing."
"Even though you graduated with a 3.2," I said wistfully. "I eked out a three even. I'm not even sure how the hell that happened."
Sylvester suddenly came powerwalking through the door. A burnt out cigarette stuck out from between her red lips. She looked almost frazzled.
"I had no idea you're a smoker," I blurted out, honestly surprised. She never smelt like tobacco. Her teeth were fairly unstained and her voice wasn't raspy.
"Yes, queerbait, I occasionally light up. I find that the acrid scent of the smoke is a much more effective fairy repellant than bear mace." She eyed me suspiciously. "Apparently my theory is incorrect."
Trevor snickered to himself. I glanced at him, wanting to smack the smug look right off of his face.
"I have good news, Sylvester," I started. "You'll be seeing much more of me from now on. I'm officially an environmental studies major."
An evil chuckle escaped her mouth. "Be an educator they said. Mold minds they said. It will be a great experience they said. You know what they didn't say?" I shook my head no. "They didn't say being an educator increases your likelihood of becoming an alcoholic."
"I'm sure they were sparing you, professor," I said with a cocky smile.
Sylvester turned around, her back towards the class. After a few deep breathing exercises, she turned back around with a coy smile curling her lips. She told everyone to fish out their notes, we'd be continuing a lecture about animal classifications.
The reason I chose environmental studies is twofold. One: I love nature. Hiking? Awesome. Camping? Even more awesome. Being able to moan as loud as you want to as your boyfriend drills into you deep in the woods? We'll discuss that later . . . maybe. My point is that I love nature. The smells, the picturesque sunsets, the chance to observe animals in their natural habitat. Everything about nature is fascinating to me. The environment needs help, though. Pollution, destruction, and arrogance are suffocating our natural resources. People need to be educated about how their actions can greatly influence the natural environment around them. What could be better than teaching future generations that? The current generationals think they know everything and couldn't possibly care any less than they already do.
My second reason for choosing environmental studies is Tyler. Granted our subjects are worlds apart, watching him lecture and seeing how engaged the students were was a powerful wake up call. I realized that's exactly what I want to do. As Sylvester so eloquently put it, educators have the ability to mold minds. I want the chance to shape the futures of kids who put their education in my hands. That's a tremendous responsibility. One that I've witnessed Tyler take very seriously, hence why his students are so interested in his class. It's a responsibility that I will also take very seriously, especially considering how important I already feel education is.
Sylvester let us out surprisingly early, which is very uncharacteristic of her. Claire and I met up with Olivia to burn some time before our next class. Olivia was thrilled I'd finally chosen a major, noting that I'll probably be a kickass science teacher. I appreciated the enthusiasm. We clucked about random things until it was time to separate.
On the way to history, I began to think up the possibilities with teaching. Where would I even want to teach? My alma mater, with Tyler? Surely being a former student would increase my chance of landing a position. I mean, a high school student who graduated wanting to return as a teacher has to be a huge testament to how astounding the education is at the school. Then again, would I want to stay here? There are virtually endless high schools to choose from in this state alone. A fresh, new start somewhere could be exactly what I need. Of course, there are still a few years to figure all of that out. No sense to be obsessing about that detail right now, but it is fun to think about. Perhaps a beach city, or a forested area. The desert always provides interesting natural phenomena. Ah, man, now I really want to jump ahead a few years. Wait until I tell Tyler about my plans. He'll be ecstatic that I finally declared a major and even more ecstatic that he's the influence for my decision to pursue education. I'll skip the part about potentially moving away, though. No need to have him stress about that now, even though he took me moving out fairly well.
History came and went fairly quickly. There was a pop quiz on Pacific Northwest Native Americans that I was well prepared for. Arguably one of the greatest and most interesting periods of American history is that of the Native Indians. The class's focus the past week has been on their culture and history. Surprisingly, Trevor didn't even attempt to so much as glance my way the entire class. I suppose that fight with Ben really put him in his place. I don't know where he gets off dumping me then expecting to be best buddies. His loss. Not my problem.
When class ended, I rushed home to eat and change for work. Last night Dan made steak (again) and offered me one. I graciously accepted, though in my mind I was cursing his Jared-like qualities. I nuked the meat while changing into my black shirt. At least it's chock-full of protein. The microwave beeped just as I finished fixing my hair. Garlic permeated the apartment and made my mouth water. However much I dislike Dan's affliction for red meat he does know how to add flavor and grill. Even reheated the steak was deliciously tender and moist.
Ben greeted me as I entered the café. Customers were scattered among the tables, sipping on their drinks while chatting or staring at their laptop. Must have been a busy day. Hopefully it keeps up. The more business the shop gets the less likely my hours will be cut back at all.
"Boy, am I glad to see you," Ben said with a hint of annoyance in his voice. "You won't believe this. Anthony forgot to order more hazelnut syrup. Bernice is livid right now."
I rolled my eyes. "Surprise, surprise, the boob strikes again."
"Bernice was talking about having him fired." My eyebrows shot up upon hearing the word fire. "From what I've gathered this is hardly his first time messing stock up, as if that's any kind of news."
"I wonder if he'll actually be fired?" I asked absentmindedly. For a split second I almost felt remorse for the poor guy. Then again, he doesn't emulate any kind of quality a good manager should have. He doesn't know employee's shifts. He thinks he can control the pricing without first receiving approval from the owner, or Bernice who outranks him. And now he's messing up the ingredient supply. What kind of manager does that? Anthony just clearly doesn't belong in a leadership position, particularly one that has such great influence on a business.
Ben grumbled, "He'd better. I'm tired of having to fix his mistakes."
"Jeez, now I'm afraid to even see Bernie. Hopefully she doesn't take anything out on little ole me." I was only partly joking around.
"You don't have to worry about that," he said. "She ran to the store to pick up a few bottles of the syrup."
"Man, a manager having to leave the store to buy product that another manager didn't replenish has to be a firing offense," I said, stepping over to the register to clock in.
"You're telling me."
"Well, other than Anthony's mess, how has your shift been?"
"It got busy, but nothing I couldn't handle."
"Cool, cool. I hope it stays busy. I can't stand not doing anything here. Sure, I clean up and all that, but there's only so much cleaning I can do, you know?"
"Oh, I know," he chuckled. "I feel bad for just standing around when it's slow, but sometimes there really isn't anything to do. I clean and all that, but I don't want to clean so much that when customers do come in they dirty everything back up." He looked at his watch and said, "Hey, I'm on break. I'll be back in ten."
Ben returned from his break a little while later. Bernice returned at about the same time from the store with a box of syrup in hand. I rushed from behind the counter to help her. She smiled and thanked me for the assistance. She seemed flustered. I made a mental note to stay out of her way until she's had enough time to deescalate.
The following few hours were spent serving the many customers that strolled into the café. Ben had to clock out around seven, so two hours by myself kind of slowed things down, but no one really said anything. I think patrons in general understand how difficult baristaship can be. Others, though, expect their drinks to be made as soon as they order them for some reason. I'll never understand those people. The drinks are made in the order they're placed. I don't really make exceptions for anybody. I'm certainly not going to skip a polite customer just so someone who didn't plan ahead can make it to their kid's soccer game or wherever on time.
Around ten I finished my duties and headed home. On the way I fantasized about just crawling into bed and passing out. The reality is, however, I have quite a lot of homework to do. The to-do list includes two chapters for biology, half a chapter for history, three chapters for English, and a chapter and a half for oceanography. The reading doesn't even include the separate work needed for each class. Obviously all of that won't be happening in one night, but biology and oceanography are the two most important and most difficult. Sylvester is definitely the toughest grader, followed by my English professor. My professors for history and ocean are surprisingly lenient in their grading, not that I expect easy grades with them.
Dan was lounging in his usual spot on the couch. The only light source was the TV. I smelt his familiar spice concoction wafting through the air. Garlic and pepper were the most fragrant. My mouth watered, but the thought of more red meat made my stomach lurch.
"There are a couple pork chops leftover. Help yourself," Dan said casually. I happened to notice four beer cans littering the coffee table.
"Thanks," I grinned. His night shirt clung tightly to his muscled chest and thick biceps. My mouth watered even more.
I took a fast shower and made myself a plate of food. Though meat, pork is certainly a nice change. He also offered me a beer, which I happily accepted. I sat at the dining table and watched CNN with him.
"So, uh, how was your day?" he asked with a hint of fogginess. He's probably carrying on a nice buzz.
Surprised by his question, I replied with simplicity. "It wasn't too bad. Long."
That was it. I finished eating and washed the few dishes I dirtied. The thought of studying seemed extraordinarily unpleasant, though. All I'd like to do is chill out with another beer.
"Mind if I have another?"
"Go ahead," he mumbled.
I popped open another can and plopped down on the opposite side of the sofa. The program on CNN ended. Dan turned it to a horror movie; one that is notorious for its strong sexual content. The last thing I needed was to mix alcohol and hormones. For some reason that combination doesn't ever seem to end up well for me.
"This fucking movie is so stupid," Dan complained. "I've must've saw it hundred thousand times and shit. But damn I love watching it."
His logic escaped me. I asked, "Why do you love it?"
"Come on, bro. All the boob shots?" He paused as if in deep, deep, drunken thought. "I know you like dick, but damn! I mean, there are some shots of the guys, I guess."
"Yeah, I've seen this movie a few times. It's a good movie for a quick rise in altitude, if you know what I mean."
He chuckled. "Oh, I know. It won't be long before I'm boned up and sprinting to my room."
I glanced down at his cloth covered crotch. No noticeable bulge yet. I'll be sneaking peeks periodically, best believe. Our male bonding was a huge relief for me. Aside from my trivial attraction towards him, I have wanted to gain some sort of friendship with him apart from just being a roommate.
"Same," I almost whispered. I downed the rest of my beer.
"Grab us another juice, huh?" Dan said. Four cans down and who knows how many more he can handle before calling it quits. Perhaps I'll find out.
"Sure." I retrieved us another beer, popping them both open. He took his as I sat back on the couch and lifted it in the air.
"Here's to a horny night!" A sly grin curled one of the corners of his lips.
I tapped his can with mine.
We finished a few more beers in the time it took for two sex scenes to play through. When the first started, Dan went silent. Before anyone even had their clothes off I was boned up. I kept stealing peeks at his crotch and was rewarded with an admirable bulge pressing against his sweatpants. I had an unimaginable urge to reach out and touch it, but I resisted the temptation. What made it worse was when he'd adjust himself, pulling on the fabric to provide temporary relief from the clutches of his clothing. By the third sex scene and another couple of beers down, Dan was drunk nearly to the point of not even being able to speak proper English.
The fourth sex scene became interesting for more than just the acting.
"Fuck, look at the tits on her, bro," Dan said. His eyes were glued to the screen displaying a petite blonde woman being nailed by her boyfriend.
I wasn't even paying attention. I had lost all inhibition. My eyes were glued to his bulge. Increasing urges to have sexual release were almost at the tipping point. I knew how wrong it would be, how much I could lose over it. But nothing mattered. In my chest my heart was pounding. Pounding so hard I thought it might seize up.
"Want your dick sucked?" Right as the words left my mouth I knew I'd regret them. Dan would flip out. He'd surely beat the shit out of me for even thinking it. I'd be kicked out, have to go back home. All because I couldn't suppress my sexual desires.
His head snapped in my direction. Through my own haze and the light cast from the TV I could see how glazed his eyes were. I damn near passed out when I heard, "Yes."
Finally here is the next installment! For those of you who don't know, I created my own website a few weeks ago.Follow this link Delfino Plaza to check it out. It is a work in progress and so far only has this story up. Because of two jobs and three classes, updates will be sporadic and probably not even consistent. Uploading the stories takes a great deal of time. That being said, I will occasionally post minor updates and interesting bits. So, save it in your favorites and check back every so often. Thanks!