The Secret of Tony
This story is a work of fiction, with characters loosely based on real people. Any resemblance to actual people or events is purely coincidental. If sexual situations between teen males or the gay point of view offends you, or if you are forbidden to read this kind of literature by your country, state, or local authority, then you should not read this story.
This story is Copyright 2007 Austin.
This is my first story on Nifty, and my first story that wasn't a school assignment. All feedback is appreciated and can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. If I get enough positive feedback, I will continue to submit the story.
TST -- Chapter 1
"Love is a battlefield." Whoever said that was not lying. Finding love, or what we think love is, in high school is tough enough as it is. Imagine adding in other limiting factors to shorten the field, such as being a big nerd, or being gay. Well, those are two things I have to deal with...
Attempting to find love in high school is pretty hard for a non-outstanding gay nerd. I'm not as some would call "hot" or "sexy," but I'm not a super genius, either. I also have nothing that is often referred to as a `gaydar.' I have a hard time spotting gay people at my school, which means they're doing a good job hiding themselves.
Being gay is torture, in a few ways. You have to endure the jeers and taunts of ignorant people who don't understand. Also, you get to see so many people who are attractive, but are totally off-limits... That sucks.
It would be nice if my gay peers were secure enough to come out because at least I wouldn't be alone. Out of my school's population of ~1,800 students in 10th, 11th, and 12th grade, I know five gay students, including myself.
I may have only been in this school for eight months, and in this town for only two more, but I feel as if I've been here my whole life. That is probably due to the fact I have lived within twenty miles of Waxahachie for nearly ten of my sixteen years.
My day started much like any other teenager. I was awoken at 07:00, much to my distaste, by my alarm clock. I got up, took care of business in the bathroom, wandered into my closet and find something decent to wear for the day, then wandered my way to my desk and sat down. I then turned on my servers' monitor and opened my laptop. Ok... maybe not like most teenagers from this point on... I spent the next hour catching up on email, MySpace (sadly, yes), and browsing various other sites until 08:20 when I departed for school.
I live just over half a mile from the high school, 1.4 miles to close to ride the bus, so I have to ride my bike. I really don't mind it, I just wish I had an alternative method of transportation for the rare freezing mornings in Texas. Over the course of the past year, I have improved my riding skill and strength, and have gotten my morning ride down to five minutes or less, depending upon how long I get held up at the stop light.
I entered the school building, put on my ID and walked towards the cafeteria. I got there just as the bell rang and the students flooded out to go to their first period class. Perfect timing. It took me awhile to get that right with my network's time being different from the janitor's watch.
I worked my way through the throng of students all in an enthusiastic rush to get to class to the opposite side of the cafeteria towards the vocational hall. My first class is BCIS II (Business Computer Information Systems) and way back in the vocational/technology wing. I entered, set my backpack under the centre table, and walked over to my computer. It was on as usual, and for the past month, has actually been working correctly. The entire lab has been, as a matter of fact... scary. I logged on, and then trudged over to the filing cabinet to retrieve my work folder.
We finished our PowerPoint syllabus before Spring Break, and we had no assignments yet, so I opened my network drive, and then opened my preconfigured Remote Desktop profile I had saved there. I remotely connected to my server and logged on. Then I got bored. As always, I was bored in an `advanced' computer class...
The class filed in and somehow, most all of them made it in in the last minute before the bell rang. I never really understand how it takes some people the entire seven minutes to move from class to class when it takes me only two to four. Is the three to five minutes of conversing with friends (exchanging the latest gossip acquired from the last class) worth it?
The teacher eventually announced that the next syllabus was over Excel. How terribly exciting. She turned on her projector and guided her minions- I mean pupils, through the first few exercises, then had us work on our own for the remainder of class. I worked my way until 10:00, at which time I saved, closed out, and put my folder up with the rest of the class. I logged off of my server, then my workstation and waited for the signal to move to the next class.
The bell rang and the class filed out into the hallway. I hate getting stuck behind slow people, and the vocational hallway is one of the busiest and narrowest... My next class was ceramics, at the entrance to the hall, near the cafeteria. I passed the instructor on my way to class and he shouted his usual greeting of "BOINKIN! What ya doin' boy?!". People have such a difficult time pronouncing my last name for some reason. It is said exactly as spelled.
I didn't mind my ceramics class, but since I lack any artistic talent at all, it is not my favorite. I sat my backpack down, took out my apron, and wandered my way through the haze towards my usual seat. I located a clean, intact chair and placed it by a table. I then went into the glazing/firing room and retrieved my bag of clay and carried it back to my seat. I waited for the announcements as the rest of the class filed in and did pretty much the same as I had just done.
The bell finally rang and the announcements started. We all stood up as a part of the routine and a few chanted the familiar verses of the US Pledge of Allegiance and the Pledge to the Texas Flag. We endured almost five minutes of announcements that rarely vary by week. No one really noticed when they ended because most had already started working on their crafts.
The instructor, a genius potter named Carl Block came in and pointed out a new assignment on the whiteboard, (ha, white.. The room was so dusty that everything had a red tint or haze.) yelled at a few of the students who don't do much, which could include me, and left the room to his office. I opened my bag of clay, reached my hand in, grabbed some out, and proceeded to form it into a ball. I always shaped my clay into a ball before I did anything else with it.
Mr. Block came back in then with a guy I had never seen before. Ah, a new student. He was carrying a lime green piece of paper in his left hand; a schedule. His complexion matched with his clothes: khaki cargo shorts and a nice striped polo, and his blonde curls that fell over his head completed the appearance of a beach bum/surfer. I wonder where he's from?
Block introduced him as Tony Amos and released him to the class. He wandered, rather nervously it seemed, past the jock table towards my somewhat vacant table. Only three people sat there: me, Tyler, and Ariana. Ariana was currently throwing her latest creation on a wheel, and not at the table. Tony sat down in the chair across from me and looked down at the table with a grimace, then shifted his gaze all around the room, taking in the numerous dust covered shelves and lockers.
At that time, Block came back and deposited a twenty-five pound bag of Armadillo Red clay in front of Tony and pointed out the assignment on the board. Tony opened the bag and peeled the plastic down. He looked around, then somewhat reluctantly got up and picked up a wire tool from a nearby wheel. He gripped the wire tool, pulled it taught, and drug it through his clay, cutting off about a two pound slab. He then replaced the wire tool on the wheel, sat back down, and began wedging the slab into a ball. I watched as he worked the clay into a more perfect ball than I could ever make. I watched as his arm muscles flexed under his tanned skin, moving his long fingers over his clay, smoothing it even more. My own clay lay idle and forgotten in my hand as I watched him press his thumb into the center of his clay ball to begin forming a pinch pot.
I suddenly noticed he was looking up at me. I came to my senses and remembered my own clay and began squeezing and shaping it into nothing in particular, just hoping the most beautiful emerald eyes I had seen were once again focusing on their owners clay. I finally began reforming my ball when Michael, one of my classmates who sat behind me called my name.
Grr.. `Tis Boy-kin' I wanted to reply, but I kept it in, used to mis-pronunciations after so many years of it.
"Are you really gay? You said you were on MySpace, but are you really?"
"That's gross, dude. Just so you know, I hate gay people more than anything. I mean , I want them all to die. So, try not to be to gay around me ok?" Michael then turned back around and began murmuring to his friends nearby.
"Whatever," I uttered in reply.
I looked up, feeling eyes on me, and looked into the brilliant green eyes of Tony, who averted his gaze to Michael when he noticed me looking. His expression was difficult to read because I'm not too great at reading people faces and eyes, but I could see a mixture of elation and apprehension.
Tony continued working on forming his pinch pot, which looked much nicer than the one I was forming... The rest of the class went by without much more than a few awkward glances at Tony when I felt him looking at me, or getting caught staring at him. At ten minutes till the end of class, I sealed up my clay bag, wrapped up my finished, but still too soft to continue with the assignment pinch pot, and set the pot on the shelf I usually put my Michelangelos on. I went back to my table, grabbed up my bag of clay, and took it into the second room, set it rather forcefully in the cabinet then went over to the sink to rinse the clay off of my hands. I heard someone else enter and queue behind me, so I finished up, turned around, stared right into those eyes then nervously looked away walked back out to the main room for paper towels. I located the paper towel roll, ripped some off, dried off my hands, threw away the towel, and walked back to my seat. Tony came in and did the same a minute later.
We nervously sat at the table, opposite each, other, trying not to meet each other's eyes. I found a knot in the wood of the table to be of particular interest until I looked up to my right at the clock and noticed we had a minute left. I got up and walked over to the corner where we're supposed to put our stuff, pulled my backpack out of the pile, and joined the group of some of my classmates already milling at the door. The bell rang just as Tony came up beside me and I followed the crowd through the narrow hallway past the ag classroom to my next class, the closest one to the cafeteria, right at the entrance to the vocational hall.
Career Studies is one of those pointless required classes like Health and Teen Leadership, and the same old guy teaches all three: Coach Lafavers. Lafavers' age is unknown, but he is rumored to be the oldest one at the high school. I have yet to meet a student who liked him, and I'll just say he wouldn't my favorite teacher if I chose favorites.
To say I was surprised and happy when Tony entered the class behind me and approached the teacher would have been an understatement. My heart was racing as I watched him talk with the teacher then walk towards me. I turned to my left, opened my backpack and busied myself with taking out a pen and saw Tony sit in the seat in front of me in my peripheral vision. I resurfaced with pen in hand to find Tony sitting sideways watching me. I just kind of stared for a few seconds then timidly uttered "Hi."
"Hi. I'm Tony."
"Is this class fun?" he asked with a questioning expression and a doubtful tone.
"Not at all," I replied with a small smile.
Tony sighed, rolled his eyes, and turned around to face the front of the class.
Why did I like this guy so much? What was so special about him? He seemed to have this pull on me drawing me near with no intention of letting go...
Coach started class with yet another lecture about careers then scribbled an assignment on the board. We were to do the Chapter 12 review questions on page 187 in our Careers in Focus books, after reading the chapter. I don't know anyone who actually reads the chapter because all of the answers are very easy to find and the two that require basic reading comprehension and thought can be answered from what you picked up for the other questions and facts/knowledge that have been shoved down your throat for years.
I got up and picked up two books from the shelf at the back of the class and handed one to Tony as I passed him on my way back to my seat. He turned around and followed me back to his seat. I opened my book, pulled out a sheet of paper, titled my paper and started writing and answering questions.
I completed the assignment about half an hour later; `twas a really easy one today. Tony finished a few minutes later, got up and turned in his paper. When he turned around and walked back our eyes met and I held eye contact for the longest I ever have. He reached his seat, and seemingly rather reluctantly, turned and sat down. Now was the time for boredom. We still had at least forty-five minutes until lunch and the end of this class.
I dug in my backpack and fished out my book. I'm a big computer nerd and the book was over TCP/IP. I opened it where I had my sticky note stuck and started reading about valid custom subnet masks. I made it to supernetting when I noticed Tony turn around. Most all of the class was finished by now and chatting amiably with their neighbors. I looked up and found those eyes boring deep into mine, as if to discover any hidden secrets they might be holding.
He bit his lower lip then blurted out "So, what do you like
"I like anything computer. Except programming. I don't like programming a whole lot."
"Cool. I do ok with computers. I know how to use Windows and some hardware..."
"I like networking the most. I am passionate about networks and servers."
"Cool. I don't know much about networking other than how to connect a computer to a router. What time is lunch?" he asked.
"13:27, after this class. Lafavers has D lunch..."
"Ah." He glanced at his watch an announced it was 13:05.
We started talking a little more freely, joining the low chatter of voices in the rest of the room.
Topics shifted from our likes and dislikes, to basic histories, and of our families. Tony also likes cats and reptiles, but he likes dogs too. He's moved far fewer times than I have, and it turns out he's from a community north of Dallas. He lives with his mom and has a younger brother named George that goes to the Ninth Grade Academy across the street.
The class became restless as they packed up their stuff and sat poised in their seats, ready to jump up and run out of the class. Someone asked how much time we had, and Coach Lafavers replied "One minute."
Much less than one minute later he said "Alright, you can go." The class charged through the door, either to the cafeteria, or to the student parking lot if they were done with classes for the day. Being only a sophomore, I don't have any free periods, so I made my way into the kitchen and scanned over the lines. Mmm.. over cooked baked chicken, burritos, pizza, and cheeseburgers. I finally decided on a cheeseburger with fries and a banana and queued in a checkout line. I typed in my ID number and gave the lady my money, then proceeded through to my usual A day table.
Nobody was there yet when I sat down, but I was quickly
followed by Tony.
"Following me?" I asked him.
"Um.. yeah, I guess. I don't know anyone else," he stuttered in reply.
"It's ok. I was just messing with you."
I started devouring my cheeseburger and was joined at the
table by Ben. Ben isn't really a friend, more of an annoying person I sit with
at lunch on A days. Ben is a junior, and a twig. Ben looked over at Tony, who
kind of eyed him nervously and asked, "Who's that?"
"Tony." I turned to Tony, "Tony, this is Ben. He's odd, but nice overall." My introduction and assurance seemed to comfort him and he started eating his burrito.