15: WICKED DREAMS
I was definitely thankful for the two
extra days off from school. When Ryan and Toby came home on Monday
afternoon, they informed me that while pretty much everyone had heard
that I had been beaten up and hospitalized, no one had known about the
rape. That would save me from a great deal of shame and embarrassment.
I don't think anyone would have gone so low as to tease me about it or
anything (except for maybe Trent Lomax), but just knowing that they
knew would drive me crazy. So that was one worry I could scratch off my
list! I also got to get caught up on all of my homework, too.
By Monday night, I was back to sleeping with Ryan in his room, and I
could tell he was relieved. At least that's the way it seemed when he
practically devoured me with a passionate lip-lock as soon as we
slipped into bed together. Other
than him jerking me off a couple times in the shower, that had been our
first real intimate contact since the attack. Although we just ended up
making out, due to my still somewhat fragile condition,
it felt great to be in his arms like that again, able to feel his soft
skin pressed up against mine, and feel
him love me, rather than just hear him say it.
Being at the McCormacks' house permanently now, not having to wonder if
I might end up in some boys' home or foster home, and no longer having
to worry about supporting myself and my mom or about when I might
get beaten on next, definitely brought some big changes to my mental
state. It was like the weight of the world had been lifted off of my
shoulders, and I had never felt so relaxed or at peace before.
though I had agreed to go see a therapist, I didn't really think it was
necessary. I was feeling good. I was truly happy for the first time in
a long time. What was the point? But I had promised Maggie, and more
importantly, it was one of the conditions of continuing to stay with
them, so I would go through with it. Plus, deep down inside, I knew I
still had issues, and maybe the therapist really could help.
When Wednesday morning rolled around, I felt like I was starting my
first day of school. It was kind of a strange feeling, really. I mean,
I'd been there for a whole semester already, but now I had a new
"family," and I felt almost like an entirely different person. I was
dressed nicely -- in my own clothes, and not Toby's anymore -- and I
felt more confident. Of course, not everything had changed about me. I
was still shy and introverted, and didn't feel very comfortable around
But I had now made a good group of friends, having gotten
to really know them during my convalescence that previous week; I had a
boyfriend who loved me, and thanks to the anti-depressants and anxiety
medication I had been taking, I hadn't felt like having a panic attack
in a while. Yep, things were definitely looking up for me!
Of course, I was still me, and there was still that part of me that was
convinced that something bad was bound to happen, but I tried my
hardest to put that in the back of my mind and enjoy my new life for as
long as possible.
As I walked into school on my first morning back, somewhat reminiscent
of the first day back after the talent show the previous fall, people
who'd never really spoken to me were suddenly acting very friendly,
asking me if I was okay and if it was true that I was Ryan's and
Toby's new "brother." That last part made me feel pretty good. It might
have been difficult to consider Ryan my brother -- I wasn't really into
the whole incest thing -- but I loved the thought of Toby being my
younger brother. That would make me one of the luckiest older brothers
on the face of the earth.
During our morning break after second period, as I was changing books
at my locker, Cody walked up to me, wearing his usual bright and
cheerful smile. Ryan had to go see his math teacher about a quiz he
hadn't done very well on, and being the clingy boyfriend that I was, I
already missing him.
"Hey, Connor, what's up?" Cody asked.
"Nothing much. How was the rest of your weekend?"
"It was nice," he replied, shrugging his shoulders. "I spent some time
with Toby on Sunday, but you probably already knew that."
The cute grin and blush that he was obviously trying to conceal were
slowly spreading their way across his face.
I couldn't contain my own smile. "So, it sounds like things are going
well between you and Toby. At least it seemed that way when he kissed
you on Saturday."
"Yeah, I guess you could say that," he said, his blush growing an even
darker shade of crimson.
"So, has the word 'boyfriend' come up yet between you two?" I asked
quietly, not wanting to accidentally "out" the two of them, since the
halls were still pretty crowded. Even if I did, I didn't think Toby and
Cody would really care that much. But it wasn't my place to do it for
"Maybe," he said enigmatically, the grin never leaving his face.
"And you're the one who kept insisting you weren't gay," I said,
rolling my eyes at him.
"I'm not!" he said in mock exasperation. "I'm Cody!"
"Well, since I've known you, you've made out with two guys and zero
girls. So it kinda makes me wonder," I said, grinning.
"So what? Guys taste better," he exclaimed. He then gave me a quick
wink, stuck out his tongue at me, and walked away.
Did he mean what I think he meant?!?!
Despite the fact that I now considered Cody to be my best friend, I
didn't think I would ever figure that boy out. But I was definitely
glad he and Toby were getting along so well. Now I just had to figure
out what to do with Mikey.
As I walked into the cafeteria, I noticed that despite it being as
crowded as usual, the room was extremely quiet. All that could be heard
were people talking to each other in hushed whispers. So naturally, I
figured they had somehow found out about what had really happened to
me, and all of the shame that I felt came roaring back. I was tempted
to walk right out of the cafeteria and go to the sanctuary of the
auditorium, but I also found myself slightly curious. Something was
definitely up, and I wanted to find out for sure.
So I made my way through the lunch line as I would any other day, and
was relieved that no one seemed to be looking at me like I was a leper
-- either they didn't know, or they were just trying to be polite. As I
got to the cashier with my pita sandwich, salad, and chocolate milk, I
suddenly realized that today was the first time that I didn't have to
have my name checked off the list for the "poor kids" who got the free
lunch. I could finally pay for my food like a "normal" kid. I was
practically beaming as I handed my cash over to the cashier, who
must've thought I was nuts from the goofy expression on my face.
I made a quick scan around the immediate vicinity with my eyes to make
sure Trent Lomax wasn't around to humiliate me again -- a habit which I
since that fateful day back in the fall. Once I realized the coast was
clear, I made my way over to our table, and noticed that everyone
there, too, was talking to each other in hushed tones. The only one
who wasn't was Mikey ... but that would probably be because he wasn't
there. That was strange, though, since I couldn't remember a day when
he'd missed school, and he'd told me beforehand that he'd be there for
my first day back. Another surprise was that Toby was sitting at our
table. He usually sat with his freshmen friends from the swim team, but
I figured that Cody was the reason he had changed seats, and that made
me feel really good.
"Did you hear about the major drama that went down this morning?" Ben
asked excitedly, as I sat down at my usual spot next to Ryan.
"Huh?" I responded dumbly. I had no clue what he was talking about. But
then again, I wasn't exactly tuned in to the rumor mill.
"It was totally insane, babe," Ryan said, taking hold of my hand, right
in front of everyone. I was a little surprised by that, because anyone
could have seen it, and it wasn't something that could easily be
explained away. I didn't really give a crap, but I always worried about
"Well, what happened?" I asked, now finding myself extremely curious.
The way they were acting, I was pretty sure at this point that it
wasn't about me, which was a relief.
"That psycho ho Eleanor Van Epps happened," Tuwanda jumped in. "I
always knew that girl was wrong."
"Huh?" I was still lost. I knew about her sudden "transformation" from
geeky bookworm to ultra-militant goth girl, and that she was now dating
goth boy, Dominic. I couldn't say that I understood the whole "goth
thing," but as hot as Dominic was, he could be whatever he wanted, as
far as I was concerned. Plus, he only qualified as "light goth,"
anyway. But I still didn't get it. I thought that was last week's news.
Well, apparently, it wasn't. As Tuwanda explained, someone found
Dominic and none other than our very own Mikey making out in the
janitor's closet. Tuwanda said they were just kissing, but Derek
insisted that they both had their shirts off and there was some serious
groping going on as well. Anyway, word quickly spread, as it tended to
do in any typical high school environment, and when word got to Eleanor
Van Epps, it seems as though she lost it ... big time.
Although Tuwanda, Derek, Ben, Natalie, and Ryan argued over certain
small details, the gist of what happened was that as soon as
she heard in second period that her boyfriend had been caught making
with another boy, Eleanor very calmly got out of her seat, pulled a
stiletto knife out of her back pack, stripped off all of her clothes
(except for her spiked dog collar), and walked right out of the room
with a crazed look in her eyes, babbling incoherently, twitching
slightly, and smacking herself in the head repeatedly. When I heard
that, I was stunned, and I had no doubt that the other students and the
teacher in the class were likewise too stunned to even know how to
something so ... insane.
No one could be sure where she was headed exactly. Some thought she was
looking for Dominic, while others insisted she was looking for Mikey.
It didn't really matter, though, because as she was roaming the halls,
someone obviously contacted the front office, which sent Officer Karen,
our school's police liaison officer, to go nab her. Obviously, it
probably wouldn't be too difficult to figure out which student needed
Officer Karen had
been a graduate of our high school, and after joining the police force,
she was sent right back to her alma mater to work. It was county policy
that each school had a police liaison officer assigned to it, both to
take care of any trouble, provide security, and occasionally give talks
to the students about the dangers of drugs and such. And Officer Karen
was a big girl -- not fat, but solid, with long blond
hair, and she had a personality like a drill sergeant. She was not
to be fucked with, and not the kind of person I would want to meet in a
dark alley, especially considering that she was armed. Not that I
she would even need the gun if she got into a brawl with anyone.
Anyway, Officer Karen quickly caught up with Eleanor, tackled her to
the ground, and while Eleanor screamed, kicked, and shouted a number of
profanities, unceremoniously handcuffed her and led her to the office,
still naked, to await a police car. Mikey and Dominic
were also both sent home for security reasons, since they were
obviously the target of her little psycho bitch fit. And that would
explain why Mikey was absent from the lunch table.
I was stunned by the absurdity of the entire event, but I was even more
curious about what in the hell had been going on between Mikey and
Dominic? Wasn't Dominic dating Eleanor? Then why was he kissing Mikey
in the janitor's closet? And besides that, making out in the janitor's
closet just seemed so ... trashy. Ryan and I always kept our more
intimate affection to ourselves, in the privacy of our own home (our home -- I loved the sound of
that!) ... but I wasn't going to judge.
"So what do you think, Connor?" Ryan asked me.
"Uhhh ... I dunno," I replied. "Is Mikey okay?"
"I'm not sure," Ryan said with a sigh. "We're gonna go check on him
after school and see what the deal is."
"Yeah, I think that would be a good idea," I agreed.
Mikey and ... Dominic? Who claimed to be straight? I never would have
thought of that one.
My curiosity was piqued even more as
Ryan pulled up in front of Mikey's house that afternoon to find him
shooting hoops in his driveway, missing nearly every shot, cursing like
a drunken sailor, and with eyes obviously red from crying. I realized
then that it was probably a good idea that Ryan and I had come alone.
We'd all figured that the entire group going over there right after
school might freak Mikey out, and since Ryan was his best friend, and
I was pretty much attached to Ryan at the hip, we volunteered to be the
delegation sent to go check on him.
"Hey, Mikey," Ryan said cheerfully, as we got out of the car. Mikey
stood there staring at us.
"So ... uhhh ... what's up, Mikey?" I asked, a little uncomfortably.
Actually, that was probably a really stupid thing to ask. I'm sure he
realized that everyone at school knew what was up with him ... and
"You mean the whole school doesn't know that I'm a fag by now?" he
This was definitely not a situation I knew how to deal with. I figured
it'd be better to leave it up to Ryan. It's not like he'd ever been
through it before, but his people skills were obviously much better
"People are talking, bud," Ryan said gently. "But I think it's a little
too early to tell what their reaction is gonna be."
"My life is so fucked right now," Mikey groaned. "My parents are going
to have a fit if they find out. And as if that's not bad enough, I'll
probably get the shit kicked out of me every day at school."
"Mikey, you know all of your friends are gonna back you up. Everyone in
our group already knows, and you know they're gonna support you. If you
want, Connor and I will come out, too. And Toby's just been dying for
a reason to come out. If that's what it takes to show you you're not
alone, we'll do it," Ryan declared.
That little speech got me more than a little concerned. I'd never
really cared one way or another whether I was "out." I got shit
on plenty and I wasn't openly gay, so I figured it couldn't possibly
get any worse. I wouldn't mind coming out to support Mikey. After all,
we'd made promises and stuff about being friends, and I was gonna start
being a real friend to him. But Ryan? I was definitely afraid of Ryan
telling everyone he was gay. He actually had a great life at school,
popular, and I didn't want to see him risk losing all of that by coming
"Are you sure you want to do that, Ryan? I mean, I don't mind doing it
myself, but I mean ... you've got like a reputation and all," I said. I
actually probably shouldn't have even said that, because I knew what
Ryan's reaction would be as soon as those words left my mouth.
"Do you really think I'm that shallow, Connor?" he asked. "I don't mind
coming out if it's for one of my friends. It was wrong of me to say
you'll do it, too. That's your decision, not mine, so I'm sorry I said
that. But if Mikey needs me to come out to support him, then I'll do
I was really proud of my boyfriend at that moment.
"I'll do it, too. You know I've never cared about whether or not I'm
out," I said. The tone of confidence in my own voice surprised me a bit.
"Hold on," Mikey jumped in. "Just wait and see what the reaction is
like at school first. You guys don't need to come out if there's no
Wait a minute ... wasn't Mikey the one who was just insisting that he
was going to get the crap beaten out of him every day at school, and
now he's telling us to wait and see what happens? The teenage mind can
be a baffling thing.
"Fine, we'll wait and see," Ryan agreed. "But no matter what, we've all
got your back, bro."
Mikey actually smiled at that, and that made me feel good.
"So, what's up with that Dominic kid?" Ryan asked with a wry grin.
Mikey blushed a deep shade of red. "I was hoping you wouldn't go there."
"Well, it's kinda surprising. I mean, he was going out with that
Eleanor Van Epps girl, and the next thing we hear, you're making out
with him," Ryan said.
"It just kinda happened," Mikey mumbled, looking quite uncomfortable.
"And they weren't exactly 'going out.' That was all in her head. He's
just as gay as the rest of us. Apparently, he likes to write, and has
posted some stories on the Internet, and even though they were 'gay'
stories, she thought they were destined for each other or some crap
like that. Dominic wanted to set the record straight, but you saw how
she reacted. He was terrified of her. All he could do was go along with
"Yeah, well, it makes me feel like I'm not so crazy after what she
did," I added.
Ryan smacked me lightly upside the head and gave me a scowl. "You're
not crazy at all, babe. Don't say shit like that anymore."
"Sorry," I muttered.
"So are you two, like, an item now?" Ryan asked.
"I dunno," Mikey replied. "He's cute, and I guess I kinda like him. I
don't know how he's gonna react to this whole being 'out' thing,
though. I guess we'll have to wait and see."
"Next time you see him, as long as you're not too busy trying to suck
his tonsils out of his throat, tell him he's welcome to hang out with
us. If anything happens, he shouldn't have to go it alone either," Ryan
Mikey smiled again. "Thanks, bro."
I was feeling a lot of mixed emotions
on Saturday night. I was excited about my show at the pub, my first
time back on stage since my beating, just a mere two weeks prior. I
still wasn't feeling one-hundred percent, but I was feeling good enough
to go out there and do it. I needed
to do it. But I was also sad that it was going to be my last show.
Performing at the pub had pretty much been the only stable thing in my
life until I met Ryan, and Mr. Bill was one of the only people to
actually treat me well. Now, I felt like I was letting him down by not
performing anymore. He insisted that it was fine and he understood
Maggie's position, and when I suggested that I could sneak out and
still do it without Maggie's knowledge, Mr. Bill immediately nixed that
idea. Hey, it was worth a shot!
Maggie finally gave in and let Toby come to the show, since it was my
last one and all. Maggie said she would have loved to go, too, but she
had to work that night. So, Ryan drove us, as well as Cody, and the
showed up in their own car. The place was already pretty packed, and
Mr. Bill said that it would probably be nearly as crowded as on New
Year's Eve. I asked him why, and he said that a lot of people were
going to miss me. I didn't believe him, of course, but didn't see the
sense in debating it with him.
While Ryan and the others went to sit at the table up front that I had
made sure Mr. Bill reserved for them, I went back to my small changing
room for the last time. I pulled out my new pink and yellow polka-dot
suit and chuckled to myself, thinking that maybe this wasn't exactly
the most appropriate outfit to wear in a bar full of rednecks.
Wearing something so garish might also make it seem like I was going to
put on a rock and roll show, which was actually not going to be the
case tonight, at least for most of the show. I had my heart set on
doing more of a "folk rock" and country set, since that's
really what kind of bar this was. I'd spent a lot of time thinking
about my set list, and I thought it would be a pretty good performance
for my last hoorah.
At the appointed time, I took my place, as usual, by the side of the
stage. However, rather than taking my cue from Mr. Bill's introduction
like I usually did, I had given him a cassette of Beethoven's Ninth
Symphony to play as an introduction. It was one of my favorite
classical pieces, and I also wanted to toy with the audience a bit. I
waited as the sounds of the orchestra filled the room and the audience
grew quiet. I wasn't sure if it was in anticipation or out of shock
that they were being forced to listen to classical music. I was betting
on the latter.
As soon as the last sounds of the beautiful orchestral piece faded
away, I walked onto the stage, dressed to kill (hopefully not
literally), and received one of the loudest ovations I had ever heard.
I immediately began to feel a little self-conscious, so I made my way
over to the piano as quickly as possible ... the only problem was, the
piano was gone. The old upright piano that I had played on so many
times had been replaced by a Roland RD-1000 digital piano. I looked
over at Mr. Bill, who was standing in the wings, and he gave me a big
grin and a wink. He finally got what I wanted, and now I'd only get one
chance to use it. Bastard!
The piano wasn't as nice as the school's Kurzweil, being a late
eighties model, but it would still work well. I wouldn't need any of
the synthesized effects for tonight's show, so I just checked to make
sure that it was set on the 'regular piano' mode as I took my seat on
the piano bench and adjusted the microphone. Before, I had always sat
facing sideways to the audience, but now the piano was set up so I was
actually facing them. It was like a totally different perspective and
actually made me feel more self-conscious ... a little like I was naked
I quickly shrugged off those feelings, though, and immediately started
in on my opening number, Elton John's folksy, gospel-tinged ballad,
"Border Song," which began slow and soulful, and by the second verse,
switched into a more up-tempo pace. Based on the audience's reaction,
it was a big success. It was the first time I'd ever performed that
song at the pub. I then followed that up with Ryan Adams' "Oh My
Sweet Carolina," which was one of my absolute favorite songs, then Joni
Mitchell's "A Case Of You," Billy Joel's "The Ballad of
Billy the Kid," a soulful rendition of Tina Turner's classic "Proud
to Elton John once again with "My Father's Gun," one of his older,
country- flavored songs, which would be featuring in the
upcoming Cameron Crowe film, Elizabethtown.
Having barely stopped to breathe between songs, I decided to pause for
a few moments to address the audience before diving into the final
portion of my set.
"I just wanted to say a big 'thank you' to everyone who's come out to
listen to me so many times," I began, starting to feel a little more
emotional than I had expected. "It's been a great ride, and this place
has been more important to me than you can probably imagine. Mr. Bill
is a great guy, and has done so much for me. It's time for me to
move on, though, so this is gonna be the last show. But I'll try to
make it a
good one for you."
The applause from the audience was practically deafening, and I had to
wait a couple minutes before I could even start up again. As soon as
the noise began to die down, I tore right into Jerry Lee Lewis' "Whole
Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," and then just started ripping through some of
rock & roll songs I could think of, including Elvis Presley's "The
Promised Land," The Rolling Stones'
"Honky Tonk Women," The Beatles' "Get Back" and "Come Together," Little
Richard's "Good Golly Miss Molly," "Johnny
B. Goode," "Twist & Shout," "Great Balls of Fire," and finally,
I pounded on the keyboard like a madman, alternating between standing
up and sitting down, playing from my knees, and even swinging a leg
over the piano as I played. Unfortunately, it was hard to look as
"cool" playing the piano as it was playing the guitar, but I gave it
everything I had, using not just my fingers and voice, but putting my
whole body into the music. I sang my heart out, pouring all of the
energy and emotion I had bottled up inside of me into the vocals, and
added extra long improvisations to the piano solos, giving each song my
own personal touch.
As soon as I finished the last notes, having already kicked away the
piano bench about halfway through the song, I darted off stage to
splash some water on my face and get changed into my black track suit
so I could go back and do my encore. I could still hear the applause
from all the way back in the changing room, and I had to admit, it was
And despite the numerous ovations I had received before, I was still a
bit overwhelmed by it all. I knew they were clapping for me ... I mean,
who else could they be clapping for? But some part of me still found it
a little difficult to accept.
When I got back on stage, dressed down in my "street clothes," I made
my way back to the piano and said another quick "thank you" to the
audience for being so supportive. I then dove right into the classic
Marvin Gaye song "Can I Get A Witness," doing my best imitation of his
unique Motown style in my piano playing and vocals, and then dedicated
number, Billy Joel's beautiful ballad, "This Night," to "a couple of
cute redheads up in the front."
When I finished, I was ready to go
home. I was totally exhausted from giving a hundred and ten percent. I
was even more tired out than after my epic performance at the school's
show. In fact, this was probably the hardest and longest I'd ever
played in my entire life. Despite the adrenaline rush, I wanted nothing
more than to just cuddle up with my snuggly
boyfriend and go to sleep. That would be the perfect end to a perfect
As I made my way off the stage, Mr. Bill met me by the steps, as
usual, with an envelope that felt a little thicker than usual as he
placed it in my sore, red, and blistered hands.
"Thanks so much for everything, Connor," Mr. Bill said. "You did a
great job tonight, and I'm glad things are going so well for you now. I
hope I'll see you back here again when you're a little bit older, but I
have a feeling you'll be moving on to much bigger and better things by
I was quite stunned by his words and didn't really know what to say. So
I just muttered a quick "thanks," shook his hand, and then took off to
meet my friends. When I opened the envelope Mr. Bill had given me, I
noticed that he gave me three hundred dollars, six times the amount I
normally would make in one night!
That night, when we finally got home and got into bed, I was more than
ready for a little loving from Ryan. It had been over two weeks, after
all! But when I started sucking on his earlobe and rubbing his nipples
with my thumb, he stopped me.
"Connor, are you sure you're ready for this already?" he asked.
"What do you mean?" I replied, feeling a little nonplussed.
"I mean ... I just don't want you to feel like we have to do anything
yet. Not until you're really ready. You've been through a lot, and I
figured it might take some time to get over it," he said.
To be honest, I'd never really considered that. I'd been more worried
that Ryan wouldn't want to touch me again after what happened, but as
soon as he had said that wouldn't change the way he felt about me, I
had just forgotten about it. I couldn't think of any place that I felt
safe and loved than in Ryan's arms, being close to him in that way. Why wouldn't I be ready
I was fine, dammit! I was ready to go
on leading my life!
"I'm really fine, Ryan," I said, although his little interruption had
caused my erection to begin deflating.
"Okay," he sighed.
"Well, if you don't want to ...," I began to protest, starting to feel
like maybe he really didn't want to touch me like that anymore. But he
quickly shut me up by wrapping me in his arms and practically shoving
his tongue down my throat. That was all it took to get me back in the
mood again. And it was a good thing we'd gotten into the habit of
sleeping naked, otherwise I probably would have torn his clothes to
shreds trying to get them off of him.
As Ryan's familiar scent of Irish Spring soap and
strawberries filled my nostrils and his pubic hair brushed against my
nose, I dove down on him, relishing the feeling of his thick cock
buried deep in my throat as he worked my own aching erection with his
mouth. It also
seemed as though my hands just couldn't get enough of feeling him,
massaging, and stroking every inch of his smooth body as we both tried
force each other's cocks deeper and deeper into our mouths.
I was in a hormonal frenzy as Ryan lapped at my balls and kneaded my
ass. I just held on to him harder and harder, trying to pull our bodies
even closer together. I couldn't get enough of him. I wanted to devour
every last inch of my beautiful boyfriend's body and suck every last
drop of cum out of him. The copious amounts of pre-cum that were
already leaking into my mouth were just an appetizer, and I couldn't
wait for the main course.
As I felt my own orgasm building deep inside my balls, I squeezed his
beautiful, soft ass hard, shooting my load into his mouth, followed
only moments later by his own salty-flavored cum running down my
throat. I had missed that feeling (and taste) so much, I didn't want to
let him go. So I didn't, and we ended up falling asleep in our
sixty-nine position, our faces still buried in each other's crotches.
Obviously it really had been too long, as we woke up again later to do
it two more times.
Things at school hadn't gone nearly
as bad as Mikey had feared. Sure, there were occasional snickers and
rude comments from some of the more bigoted members of the student
body, and Mikey even got pushed around a little, but all of our friends
stuck close to him, and nothing serious happened.
Everyone was a little surprised, though, when on the Monday following
the "incident," the principal called an assembly to talk about
bullying, diversity, and acceptance at our school. It was a nice little
speech and all, but I was mostly just glad to be out of class. I wasn't
so sure a few words from the principal would really sway anyone's minds
as to whether or not they would hate someone because they had a
different skin color, or were gay, poor, just didn't fit in with
everyone else or whatnot.
I was a little surprised, though, when the principal announced that he
intended to form a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at our school. I'd heard
about those groups forming at other high schools, but our school didn't
have one yet. Miss Oh, the Korean language teacher (yes, we had Korean
language classes at our school -- go figure!) would be serving as the
faculty advisor for the club. Students interested in participating were
told to meet in Miss Oh's classroom after school the next day. It
didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Ryan would want to
go, and would be taking me along with him.
The first GSA meeting was ... interesting. About thirty people or so
showed up, and me having absolutely no "gay-dar," I couldn't tell who
was gay and who was straight. Of course, I knew Mikey, Toby, and
Dominic (who had begun joining us at lunch, but never said much) were
gay. Since Ryan and I slept naked together in the same bed, I could
safely assume that we probably were as well. And Cody ... well, Cody
was Cody. As for the straight ones, Natalie, Tuwanda, and the twins
were the only ones I was sure of ... even though I still had nagging
suspicions about Ben. Delcondris hadn't been able to make it.
The meeting began with Miss Oh going over what the purpose of the club
was, the rules about privacy, and something about "safety zones," which
I wasn't quite sure about since I was busy plucking a few stray hairs
from the back of my boyfriend's neck. Then came the business of
selecting officers for the club. I was terrified that Ryan would try to
volunteer me for something. I had no problem joining the club and maybe
going to a meeting or two, but I was not into the whole "school
I also managed to talk Ryan out of volunteering
by throwing a momentary selfish hissy fit, afraid that his taking on
that kind of responsibility would eat into our time together -- not
that we didn't already have tons of that, considering that we lived in
the same house now. But like I said, I was being selfish, and I figured
I was entitled to at least a little bit of selfishness every once in a
Natalie volunteered to be the president of the club, which I wasn't too
surprised about, since she was into the whole "school spirit" thing.
The rest of the positions were filled by people I didn't know, and
really had no desire to know, either. I thought I'd gotten off
scot-free until Miss Oh announced that our group's big "coming out"
(I'm sure the pun was intended) would be at the school's Spring Fair,
held right after Spring break. The GSA would set up a booth with
information, games, and food. And when someone suggested that we have
some other sort of entertainment, like skits or something, Toby (the
little bastard) suggested that I give a performance.
Unfortunately, my reputation preceded me because of that damn
talent contest that I'd won, so everyone immediately thought it would
be a great idea. I didn't, but since I'd pretty much forced Ryan not to
take on one of the club's leadership positions, he was able to hold
that over my head ... and he did. The only thing I could hope for was
that it would rain that day, since the event was going to be held
Nevertheless, barring any unforeseen acts of God, I would most likely
be up on a stage again, which in and of itself was actually a good
thing, except that I'd end up being the unofficial face of the gay club
school. And yes, I was aware of the "straight" part of Gay-Straight
Alliance. But to most people, it was still the "gay club," and although
I didn't care about being out, I didn't want to become some kind of gay
spokesman or symbol.
The whole "gay rights" movement was fine and dandy for those
people who were into that kind of thing, but I just wanted to live my
nice, new, quiet life
with Ryan, Toby, and Maggie. There was no need for more drama in my
life, thank you very much. Besides, I would rather people think of me
for my musical abilities, and not just as being "that gay kid." Being
was only a small part of who I was.
I also managed to make Ryan promise me that other than the Spring Fair
performance and coming to a meeting once in a while, he wouldn't push
me into getting too involved with the new club. I was willing to
do my small part, and would support Mikey as much as I could at school,
but I certainly wasn't as excited about all of this as some of the
others seemed to be.
But aside from my being roped into performing, the meeting was actually
harmless, and Mikey seemed to
be happy to have some kind of official support group. Well, I wouldn't
exactly say "happy," since he was still paranoid about his parents
finding out about him or that he'd get cornered somewhere and have the
beaten out of him, but at least he looked a little better than that day
we found him attempting to shoot baskets in his driveway. As for him
and Dominic, they sat next to each other at the meeting, but I didn't
notice them interacting in any kind of way, so I had no idea what was
going on with them. To be honest, if I was Mikey, and single, I'd be
"Well, look, if it isn't the fairy squad." I heard the familiar voice
Trent Lomax as we were all walking to the parking lot after the meeting.
"What do you want, Trent?" Ryan asked in an obviously annoyed voice.
"I was just wondering when you were all going to start wearing rainbow
dresses and dyeing your hair pink," Trent said.
"Fuck you, Trent!" I shouted back at him.
WHAT?! Did I just talk back to Trent
Lomax? Where in the hell did that come from?
"What did you say, you little fucker?" he snarled at me.
"Just back off, Trent, and quit being an asshole," Ryan jumped in, this
time more angrily.
"I'm gonna beat the shit out of your little boyfriend, McCormack. You
little shits can't be around to protect him all the time," Trent shot
back at Ryan.
"Oh no you won't, bitch." I heard Delcondris' voice coming from behind.
I hadn't even noticed him approaching, and by the time Trent had turned
around to see Delcondris glaring at him, the big football player had
grabbed him by
the scruff of the neck and started dragging him back toward to the
"Get your hands off of me!" Trent protested.
"Not yet, little man," Delcondris said calmly. "You and me need to have
a little talk about some things. And if you don't keep your mouth shut,
I just may end up making you my own personal little bitch."
I couldn't help but chuckle when I heard that, and apparently, neither
could the rest of the guys.
I was really glad Delcondris showed up when he did, even though I was
pretty sure that Ryan, Toby, and the twins could have taken Trent
easily. But I didn't want to see any of them get hurt in the
process. I couldn't imagine Trent possibly doing any damage to
Delcondris, with the big black football player being nearly twice his
size. I hoped that that was the last time we'd have to deal with Trent
Lomax, but it probably wasn't. He was just like Toby described him as
we walked toward the car, a bad case of the crabs that kept coming back.
As Ryan, Toby and I got in the car, and the twins headed off toward
their car with Cody, the only other issue I could think of that we had
to deal with was Ryan's promise that we would all
"come out" in
support of Mikey. Toby had already told his friends on the swim team,
and apparently they had all taken it well. I couldn't imagine anyone
giving Toby a hard time about anything, and he wouldn't take any crap
from anyone anyway. Even though Toby wasn't in the least bit
effeminate, I had the feeling that he was going to be one of those "out
and proud" gay boys. He just loved to stir things up and push the
envelope. It would definitely be fun to see how that all played out.
I honestly didn't mind coming out, and apparently Ryan didn't either,
but I just
didn't know how we were going to do it. I mean, I wasn't about to get
on the intercom during the morning announcements and declare my sexual
orientation to the
school, and I sure as hell wasn't going to just start walking up to
people at random and say, "Hi, I'm Connor, and I'm queer," with a big
goofy grin plastered on my face. If I still couldn't introduce myself
people at all, how likely was it going to be that I would do that?
Eventually, Ryan decided that we would just start holding hands around
school and that word would eventually get around, which was probably
the best course of action. I suppose we could have made out by the flag
pole right before school started, but I wasn't exactly into public
displays of affection, nor did I really want to become the center of
attention like that. That would be a sure fire way to set off one of my
dreaded panic attacks. Toby then had the brilliant idea that I get my
ear pierced -- the right earlobe, just like Elton John. I didn't really
like the idea until he tossed in the "just like Elton John" part, and
then I was all for it.
Ryan didn't want to get his ear pierced, but that afternoon, he took me
right over to the mall to get it done. As we stood in line waiting for
my turn, I got to watch several middle school-aged girls go through the
whole procedure of
getting their ears shot with the piercing gun. I'd never seen anyone
cause such a fuss about getting a little prick in the ear, and they
obviously wanted it done. So what was up with that? Hell, I'd taken a
more pain than that in my life. So when my turn came around, I didn't
even flinch (so I guess I wasn't a complete wuss), and walked away with
a shiny, fake diamond stud in my right ear. It made me feel kind of
Maggie wasn't thrilled with the idea when she saw it that night, but
eventually she just sighed and gave me the same speech as the dumb
blonde girl with the nasal voice at the ear-piercing stand did, about
keeping it clean, turning it occasionally, and all that
stuff. I was more interested, though, in what kind of cool earrings I
could start to wear once I was allowed to change the stud in a couple
As for the fate of a certain Eleanor Van Epps, we got a phone call
later that evening from a very relieved sounding Mikey, who had
apparently just heard from Dominic that she had been sent to a mental
institution. As I took my medication that night, I prayed that I
wouldn't ever end up like her.
I had no idea how I ended up there, standing in front of my old
trailer, looking at the darkened doorway. It was a pitch black night,
not a star in the sky, and the only thing that let me know where I was
was the faint glimmer of the decrepit old porch light. I should have
terrified, or in the middle of a panic attack, or something. But for
some reason, I felt myself compelled to move forward, making my way
slowly up the rickety wooden steps. As I got to the door and my hand
tentatively reached out to grab ahold of the door knob, the door swung
And standing there in the doorway was ... my mother.
My mother?!?! Hello?!?! Wasn't she
supposed to be dead?
While she stood there leering at me, and the shock of seeing the woman
who I had thought was out of my life forever began to wear off
slightly, I took in her familiar appearance. She still looked like she
always had, haggard, mean, and aged beyond her years, except that her
eyes had more fire in them than I had ever remembered, and she was
As I looked closer, I realized that something had changed ... she had a
It wasn't just a normal-looking penis either. It was massive, hanging
loosely between her legs, covered in hair and open sores, and crawling
with what appeared to be hundreds of maggots. The smell of rotting
flesh almost made me lose my dinner right there on the porch.
WHAT IN HOLY HELL WAS GOING ON
"I've been waiting for you to come back, Connor," she sneered at me.
"Now I see you've finally come home to mommy."
As I finally regained my wits, I started to turn and run, but she
quickly grabbed me by the wrist and yanked me inside, practically
dragging me through the living room and toward the hallway. I took in
all of the once familiar sights and smells of my old home. Everything
was just like it had been the last time I was there ... that night. The old, tattered
couch, the coffee table piled high with liquor bottles and cigarette
butts, the musty, smoke-filled air stinging my nostrils. It was as if
I'd never left.
She dragged me through the hallway, past my old room, and finally,
into her own bedroom. As my eyes adjusted to the dark room, illuminated
only by the faint light coming through the doorway from the hall, I
froze in terror. Lying on the bed, gagged and bound, with a bloodied
face and shirt, was Toby.
"What did you do to him?" I screamed at my mother, my fear quickly
being replaced by anger.
I watched her reach down to the floor and pick up a shotgun, and all
thoughts of trying to fight her and escape quickly diminished.
"Nothing too bad yet," she sneered, cradling the gun in her arms. "He's
still alive and ... intact ... if that's what you're wondering."
"Let him go," I yelled. "You've got me, so just let him go. He didn't
do anything to you!"
I could see Toby on the bed, weakly struggling against his bonds, faint
cries coming through his gagged mouth. I was thankful that he was still
alive and since he was still fully clothed, apparently nothing else had
been done to him. But what was I going to do?
"I think your little friend has something to say to you, sweetheart,"
she said, as she moved over to the bed and pulled the gag away from
As soon as that gag was off, I could hear him gasping
for air and sobbing.
"Tell him, boy!" my mother shouted at him, while poking at him hard
with the butt of the shotgun.
"I ... I love you ... Connor," he blubbered.
"And would you be willing to die for him?" she asked Toby in a
sickeningly sweet voice.
"Y-yes ... I would," he said.
Despite having been bound, gagged, and beaten, I could hear the
determination in his voice and see it in his eyes. And it terrified me.
I couldn't let anything happen to Toby. He hadn't done anything.
Neither had I, for that matter!
"No!" I shouted. "Take me and let him go!"
"I'm afraid it's too late for that now, Connor," she said.
"Then what do you want?" I asked, the anger once again being overcome
"I'm going to fuck him until he's barely breathing, then blow his
brains out. And then, I'm going to do the same to you," she sneered.
Copyright 2006. All
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This is a work of fiction. Any similarities to persons living or dead
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