13

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I was finally going to see what this stick was. I was kind of excited actually. It wasn't everyday one was faced with something like it. Juboo said Etienne was a bad ass until he faced the stick. Truth was...I just didn't believe Etienne was ever that bad.

All of a sudden I saw someone.

He walked down the hallway.

"Wait, wait, nurse..."

Nurse Harrison turned to see who was running down the hall. She already had the key to the room where the stick was. I was finally going to see what this mystery stick thing was.

It was Lomas. He was running over. The man was something special. He was limping fast. I couldn't believe this loser was supposed to be my grandfather.

"Wait nurse...a student is having diabetic shock. You're needed."

"Diabetic shock. I don't know any students with diabetes."

"Well...ma'am you never know. Now do ya?"

Nurse Harrison looked over at him, "Well ok Lomas. Do me a favor. Ms. Trials wants this boy here to get the stick. Make sure he gets it good."

"Yes ma'am."

The old lady turned around and walked away down the hallway and out of sight. Lomas and I exchanged looks in the middle of the hallway as she walked away. That was when he turned and started moving.

"Come on."

"You not going to give me the stick?" I asked, still standing in front of the door.

"No...come on."

"Well I want to know what the stick is."

"Your curiosity is overwhelming. Just like your father..."
All of a sudden the stick wasn't what interested me. It was this man and my father. I walked down the hallway following behind him. He didn't look a thing like me. His skin was pale and ghostly. He had his nose much more pointy then mine was and his features were a whole lot more dull.

I wasn't the most attractive guy in the world, but I was damn sure stuck on how I could be related to Lomas...he just looked so...dull.

"Why'd you save me? I don't owe you anything. Don't think we are going to be the Partridge family or nothing."

"No...no...your cousin asked me."

"Ty?"

It was still weird acknowledging that Ty was my cousin.

"Yeah, he ran over and said you were about to get the stick. He's in her office faking a shock ..."

All of a sudden he just got quiet.

He just stopped talking. He stopped moving. He seemed to stop thinking.

"Lomas...um...Lomas!"

He didn't move. He was almost like a statue. That was when I saw the keys jangling from his belt. It was the master key. He was the groundskeeper, so it made sense.

I found myself reaching for them...pulling them off his belt. I hid them behind my belt and took off running down the hallway.

The weird thing was...he didn't even stop me. He just stood there, still just like stone.

 

I didn't know what happened to Lomas.

Honestly...I didn't give a damn much either. I had his keys!

Before I knew it I was going to Ms. Trials office. I had a feeling she was still teaching the class and her office was therefore empty. I snuck down into the office and used his master key to get in.

The office was still cramped and the file cabinets were on the other side.

Just as I looked on her desk, I started digging through the files for my file. I wanted to see exactly what the hell these people were really thinking about me. I definitely wanted to know about this whole antisocial behavioral disorder that they kept putting on me. I had to know if I was going to be diagnosed with it or not.

I opened the folder and looked through it.

The papers were lined up all back to back. I looked at the one that Ms. Trials had showed me. It was a paper diagnosing me from my old psychiatrist Dr. Lopez. Then I realized something. There were two signatures, like a contract. One was from the patient and one was from Dr. Lopez.

Why hadn't I realized this before?
It wasn't signed with my name. It was signed by Timon Clinton...not Syn Clinton.

That was when I realized my name on the top. It was written over white out. I scratched at the white out. It was Timon Clinton...not Syn Clinton.

Why were they replacing me with my father?

I started to look through the folder. There was history of my father in MY folder. Everywhere his name had been, I had been replaced. The things my father had done seemed to be way worse then anything even I would do. He was a pyro. He'd burned down a house which spread into wildfire wiping out a whole small town that used to reside on Tini's Bayou. The motivation was written on the sheet. His father was being cheep and didn't want to buy insulators for the cold breeze that was blowing into his room one December from the bayou. He decided to heat things up...literally. He was the reason that the Barons started a school for behavior. He was the reason that Thomas Prep was founded.

My father was me at his age. His picture. His description. We could have been twins. People referred to him by the nickname "The Sinning Baron" or just plain "Sin" for short. Maybe that is why they were able to replace him with me. But why?

There was medication given to my father. It was medication to...tame his wild ways. Behavioral modifiers...

And then I saw a new piece of mail that tied everything together. They were ordering more modifiers. Renewing a prescription from over 20 year ago. This time it wasn't for Timon...it was for me.

The phone started to ring.

I ignored the call.

They were trying to modify my behavior. They were going to drug me up or something. They were going to do this off of a diagnosis that I didn't even have! I was pissed off. I was very...very pissed off.

That was when the answering machine came off and Principal Baron's voice filled it.

"Vivian...I think my wife is starting to expect our affair. I love you...and I want to be with you. That is my wife though and I am your principal. We are going to have to be extra careful if we are going to keep this going. Instead of staying late after my shift, I'll come in early and maybe we can meet then..."

 

It was replaying again...and again...and again...

"Vivian...I think my wife is starting to expect our affair. I love you...and I want to be with you. That is my wife though and I am your principal. We are going to have to be extra careful if we are going to keep this going. Instead of staying late after my shift, I'll come in early and maybe we can meet then..."

Everyone in the lunchroom had their mouths open in shock.

Everyone heard it. All the teachers were trying their best to break into the little room where they did the loudspeaker was. I had broke the lock on the door as I left, making sure it was extra hard to get in.

"Syn, you are going to be caught," Jules stated, "Why would you do this?"

He looked worried. He looked bothered honestly. We were sitting at our same lunch table as the message played over and over on the loudspeaker throughout the school building.

Juboo was at the table with me as well, "Forget why. How did you do it?"

"Well I don't know...Lomas just stopped moving so I took his keys..."

"Yeah...Lomas goes into these...spells sometimes. It's real creepy," Juboo added, explaining the whole event.

"Well after that, I heard the message, stole the tape and the rest was history. I put the keys back on Loma's corpse after all that. Funny thing is two seconds later he woke up and had no idea that he even went into that trance."

"God that is so hot..."

Jules walked around the table to me. He sat right next to me.

I could see his eyes piercing into me as he licked his lips seductively. Juboo was sexy. I couldn't even deny that. I looked him up and down. He was a different kind of sexy than Ty. As Ty was an innocent sexy...Juboo was just damn sexy sexy. It was like he was perfect and he knew it. Just like everyone else did. His eyes just set into mine and it was something like a beautiful sunset challenging me. He wouldn't stop looking at me. It was like he was mesmerized. I felt like I was something to eat.

Then I realized Jules. His eyes were burning into the chemistry that was stirring up. I could tell.

I stopped staring back at Juboo, "Um. They shouldn't know it was me. I was sure that no one saw me. You guys just have to keep it on the low."

Jules rolled his eyes at me, "Who else would do that?"

`What's the attitude for Jules?" I asked.

He rolled his eyes again and sighed. The weird thing is Juboo hadn't even realized that Jules was so jealous. He just continued to look at me and it was as though Jules wasn't in the room.

"You aren't going to get caught," Juboo explained to me, "You're way to smart

for this school. You're too damn hot for this school. You're just...you're perfect."

Jules looked like he was two seconds away from committing a double homicide followed by his own suicide.

I opened my mouth, "Ok...let's get all this in the open."

They already knew how I was.
Juboo just looked over at me, "What?"

"He likes you," I told Juboo, "You are giving me all this attention and honesty just happens to be one more service I offer. So honestly you have a better shot with Jules because I gave up on this love thing...seriously..."

Jules all of a sudden was red. I could tell I had somehow embarrassed him. Truth was, he was already embarrassing himself but I saw how he pointed his finger at me.

"You think I need your fucking help!"

"Hey buddy, calm down," Juboo stated, "He was just trying to look out for your feelings..."

"Fuck you, damn it," Jules stated.

He stuck his middle finger at me in this feminine way as though he was showing me how he got his nails done and folded his hands together. He was red as hell. Emotion was such a weird thing when love was concerned. Jules was pissed off over a boy that hardly knew he existed. Why?
"C'mon give me the finger like you MEAN it," I told him, "I've gotten it so many times that I know what a good one looks like. Straighten it up. Jump out of your set. Make me care. Give it a little more umph."

Juboo hit on the table, "Ok maybe we should all clear things up between all of us."

"What does he have that I don't have?" Jules finally spoke to Juboo and it seemed like there was a complete change, "You have no idea what the real Syn is. I can see past his fronts."

Great...

It was another, Do you know what I REALLY think about you moments. Why did I keep ending up in these?

"And your whiny, cry-baby, estrogen-driven opinion would be?" I asked.

"You don't know what love is because you're scared. Mr. Big and Bad has a secret. He's a punk when it comes to the heart. You are petrified of love! You're boyfriend left your ass stranded because he realized you were a piece of shit!"

Bitch.

Why the hell was he actually getting to me? Damn...

"Shut up..."

"Look at you...I've never thought I'd see the day where Syn was just too shocked to say anything but shut up," Jules stated and got up out of his seat, "No smart ass comments? No shady pay-back threats? Now next time you want to embarrass someone think about the fact that you'll be lonely for the rest of your fucking life...loser."

He got up off the table and walked away.

There was silence when he left.

I didn't mean for him to have that kind of impact. I knew he was just saying all that stuff out of jealousy. I figured that much made sense.

But what if I have forgotten how to love? What if I'd lost all my emotions?

"What he said doesn't make sense," Juboo explained and grabbed my hand, "Everyone has a heart. Even killers care for someone. Syn I'm not like Ty...I'm not asking you to change. I accept you for who you are...I..."

"Stop..."

"No. I mean, you're mean and you won't open up to me right away. I don't want someone who is easy to open up. I want someone who will curse me out every once in a while. I want someone who will shock the hell out of me. Ty didn't know why he wanted you, I can tell you a million reasons..."

I got up out of the seat.

I didn't want to hear all that mushy bullshit.

"I have to go."

"Come on, can I just talk to you for a minute. This is important."
I could smell the tears from a mile away. No, I'd never let him know that I was getting upset about everything. I can't let him know that this all was effecting me.

No one would have that impact over me...ever again.

"When I give a fuck," I stated, "You'll be the first one to know."

 

I had walked away out of the cafeteria and into the hallway toward my room. I just kept thinking about what Jules had said. I would never be able to feel anything. I would always be scared. How I reacted to Juboo was just proof of that. It did hurt though to see Juboo's face when I turned him down. It hurt like hell, but I didn't stop. I didn't go back and apologize for hurting his feelings.

I just...let it happen.

"You!"

That was when I saw her running up to me. It was Ms. Trials. Her makeup was running down her face. She had been crying. They still hadn't managed to stop the echos of the answering message.

I couldn't believe these IDIOTS were the people who were supposed to be teaching me.

"Yes ma'am?"

I gave her these innocent looking eyes. Truth was I hated her. She was trying to drug me. She was trying to...CONTROL me. The audacity of this bitch.

"You did it didn't you? It was you...it had to be."

I looked her in her eyes. I wasn't going to lie. No this was my moment of glory. I was going to let her know I did it. I was going to let her know why. She had it coming.

She only had herself to blame.

"He didn't do anything. He was with me the whole time," I heard a voice say.

Ms. Trials looked like she'd seen a ghost, "Ty...oh dear...um...Ty..."

I turned around to see Ty.

Ty grimaced at his father's mistress, "How dare you blame him or anyone else for what you did? You are my guidance counselor. I looked up to you. Are you trying to break up my family purposely?"

"No..." she said, "I'm so sorry Ty...this is all so complicated. I should...go."

For the first time I saw Ms. Trials humble. Maybe it's because her hoe ass was seeing just how disgusted Ty really was. Ty's eyes showed it completely too. I wouldn't have been surprised if he spit on her.

"Apologize," Ty stated.

"I did already, but I am sorry. With all my heart...some things just ... happen. I really do care about your father."

"To Syn!"

She looked over at me. You would think that he had asked her for her first born. Her eyes spoke anything but an apology as her lips started to grind open.

"I'm sorry for accusing you," she explained.

She turned and walked away, cursing underneath her breath. The school had a new scandal and she was the Marilyn Monroe. Things definitely were going to get interesting.

I turned to Ty.

"You aren't mad at me?"

I figured he would be. The loudspeaker's repetition had forced everyone to recognize what was going on. It was so unlike the Bayou. With the strange traditions and secret lifestyles. Everyone knew what was going on.

"Yes I am," he said and started to walk with me, "I'm fucking heated with you. You can't just put my family's business out there...but then again, you are Syn. I understood why you did it though. I'm getting tired of all these secrets they keep from us."

"Have you spoken to your mother?"

He shook his head, "Not yet. I'm scared to."

"Don't be. When people are faced with the truth, they do what they have to do. She will do what she has to do. A fašade is never better then truth."

"Easy for you to say. You're not scared of anything."
"Not true. I am scared of one thing."

Suddenly as we walked down the hallway I felt something in my chest get heavy. I hadn't even recognized it for such a long time. It was my heart.

I was near one of the toilet rooms.

"What?" Ty asked.

I paused, "Love."

I had finally admit it.

He sat down beside me as we sat against the bathroom door. Why was I sitting here talking with love especially with someone like Ty? He lived and breathed for it. Why wasn't I just letting this whole thing go how I wanted it to.

Ty just paused, "That is why you are fighting it Syn. You fight what you fear. That has been true since the dawn of time. I know you must have learned something from Peter's class. We all want to love deep inside."

"Real deep in my case."

"But it's there."
He rubbed his hand on my face, "God every fiber of my body wants to kiss you right now...but I can't. We're cousins. I still love you though. I always will...you know."

"How did you do it?"

"Do what?"

"Love me so quickly. What is your secret to it?"
He thought for a minute. I could tell he probably never thought about it as much before. Ty was driven by his emotions. He could allow himself to love so freely, but a part of me envied him.

"You have to give yourself up. You aren't living for yourself anymore. You live for that person. Everything you do, it's for that person. I used to wake up in the morning and stare in the mirror just to be presentable enough for the person I loved. I used to wonder if you noticed. I spent most of my time thinking about what you were thinking about so I didn't have time to care about much of anything else. You have to feel it. You have to surrender."

"I feel like I can date someone. I'll like them, but it'll always be a friend. Even if we have sex...I just..I just don't see myself falling again. A part of me wants to fall for someone, but it's just physical. I don't have any feeling for anyone. I'm...emotionless."

"You want to cry, don't you?"

I nodded slowly, "A little."

"I won't tell anyone."

I put my head on his shoulders. He held me. I tried to cry but even with his permission I wasn't able to let it out.

"It'll happen. The mere fact you are worried about it shows you have a heart."

"Etienne..."

I pointed over to him. He had saw us all hugged up and like the snitch he was he probably thought it was more and ran down the hallway the other way.

"Ugh..." he stated annoyed.

I was just getting comfortable too. I moved away from Ty and jumped up.

"I have a plan," I stated, "We are going to get that boy back. I'll need you to go into that bathroom and hide behind the curtain...this is what we are going to do."

 

"There are no such things as witches," he told me.

I pointed towards the door and stated, "We saw Tini. I'm telling you."
"She's trespassing? I'm going to tell the Baron."
"Wait, I wasn't sure it's her."
"Well where is she?"

"In the mirror."

"What?"

"She's in the mirror. You have to go to the mirror and say her name 3 times. Tini, Tini, Tini...just like that."

"Hocus pocus. I'll have to let the Baron know that you need to be taken to church or something. Show me this thing you're talking about and lets get this over with. I'm happy you're finally folding to the rules around here."

I just didn't get it.

He might of well had been on the school payroll.

I walked to the bathroom door and opened it for him. I could see him reach in and try to find the switch.

"The lightbulb was busted," I stated.

"That's that Lomas. I'll have to tell Baron about that one. Now after you. Show me how you call that old lady."

"I'm scared. You do it."

"Scared?"

"Yeah, well you are the big bad Etienne," I stated and smiled, "You know I always looked up to you. I was always jealous of the relationship you've had with the teachers. You've always been so...responsible. That's why I knew who to call in this situation."

He looked so full of himself. I could see his chubby fingers moving through the door.

"Hm...maybe you aren't the ass I thought you were," he said and smiled, "Friends."

Ew...what?

"Yeah friends," I stated and extended my hand.

His fat ass chubby fingers were all sweating. It was disgusting. He had warts on it. I wiped my hand on my jeans after shaking his hand.

I waited at the door as I saw him walk up into the dark bathroom.

"Tini...Tini...Tini..."

I grabbed the door and shut it quickly! I held it tightly closed making sure he wasn't going to reach for it. Now was Ty's turn. He had to jump out from behind the curtain and scare the fuck out of fat ass Etienne.

That was when I heard the piercing scream.

"AH!"
I laughed my ass off at how long Etienne screamed. God this was priceless. Payback was most definitely a bitch.

The scream had stop and it was clear Etienne had got over his fear. But then all of a sudden a hard knocking came on the door. He was still scared? What the fuck? I know he wasn't dumb enough to still think Ty was Tini.

"Open the door!"

The voice wasn't Etienne. It was Ty's voice. I opened it and Ty came flying out. He was running. He ran all the way down the hall before he stopped.

I peered back into the bathroom...what the hell.

I followed Ty down the hallway. He looked like he had just seen a ghost.

"Ty, where the hell is Etienne?"
"Madame Tini came...she...she took him."